Over the last few years, Pau Gasol has been the consistent subject of trade rumors, having to sweat out the trade deadline every season.
This past season was no different as many believed that Gasol would be moved for draft picks and salary cap relief. That turned out not to be the case and Gasol would go on to have a relatively successful year.
But that almost didn’t happen. According to the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan, Jim Buss was fine with trading the veteran:
Buss was fine with trading him, Kupchak wasn’t so sure. In the end, the Lakers were never offered more than a second-round draft pick for the aging star, a pittance in their mind. And they didn’t want to seem like they were dumping Gasol’s $19.3-million salary for nothing.
It’s amazing that the Lakers were only offered a second-round pick for a former All-Star who nearly averaged a double-double this season.
Gasol’s stock has fallen a lot over the last couple of years and Kupchak wisely expressed caution at getting rid of a very productive player for so little.
Times are tough for the Lakers right now, but there is a lot of confidence that the team will be able to turn things around as they have done so many times in the past.
Jim Buss has even gone as far as saying that he will step down if the team isn’t turned around in 3-4 years.
There may be a lot of questions about the Lakers front office right now, but being able to communicate on key issues like that shows that there is a good structure in place.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak On NBA Draft, No. 1 Pick And Trading The Pick