RUMORS: Could The Lakers Be Looking To Trade Pau Gasol?

Pau GasolFor the past three seasons, Lakers big man Pau Gasol had been mentioned in trade rumors — and was even traded once for Chris Paul — but nothing has actually materialized on the trade front.

This season, Gasol has continued his struggles he saw last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, and tensions have started to rise as both Gasol and D’Antoni have called the other out through the media. With the two not being able to figure things out on the court, Gasol’s time as a member of the Lakers may finally come to an end, according to The Sporting News.

Tensions between Lakers big man Pau Gasol and coach Mike D’Antoni have been simmering almost since the day D’Antoni took over the team last year, and they might have finally hit a boiling point. League sources told Sporting News that the Lakers have been fielding trade offers for Gasol for a while now, and finally could find a new home for their disgruntled big man.

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“I don’t think there is anything personal between the two guys,” one source said of D’Antoni and Gasol. “They’re both professionals. I don’t think they’re buddies or anything. But on the court, it is just not working out.”

While the Lakers may be looking to move Gasol, it may prove to be difficult. While Gasol’s $19.2 million expiring contract will be coveted by some organizations, especially those looking for a short term big man for the season, but the Lakers will not be willing to take on contracts that extend through the 2013-14 season.

The Lakers plan has been, and will continue to be, to try to clear enough cap space for this off season to bring in talent to play around Kobe Bryant in his final year, and to take the reigns from him once he leaves for retirement. If this summer doesn’t work out, there’s another class of free agents in the summer of 2015 that the Lakers will have their eye on.

If the Lakers move Gasol, which could be a real possibility before February’s trade deadline, it will have to make sense for the Lakers. The worst case scenario is that they retain Gasol for the remainder of the season, then allow him to walk in free agency, allowing for the cap space and freedom to chase this summer’s free agents. Best case scenario, the Lakers trade Gasol for a collection of pieces, namely a point guard and maybe some front court help, who would be stop gaps for this season.

There’s no telling who the Lakers are talking to at the moment, or whether anything will come to fruition. But something is going to have to get done to stop the brewing tension between Gasol and D’Antoni — and that could very well mean the loss of Gasol.

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Kobe Bryant on Steve Blake’s Injury, Will Play Point Guard, Pau Gasol’s Struggles

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