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Pau Gasol doesn’t want to be traded, but are the Lakers making the calls?

Jun 21, 2011, 11:01 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

All over Los Angeles there seems to be a case of “trade Pau Gasol fever.”

Which is just flat-out stupid overreaction by Lakers fans, but there you go. This guy was the No. 2 reason the team won back-to-back rings, was the team’s MVP for the first 30 games of last season, then wore down physically after playing 400 games over 4 seasons (like every other Laker) and you want to trade him? For Kevin Love, a guy who never leaves a rebounding position to contest a shot on defense?

That would be foolish.

But that may be what the Lakers themselves are doing.

Know that Gasol himself does not want to be traded. He told the Spanish news service AFP he wants to stay a Laker.

“My desire is to stay with the Lakers. I don’t have control over it but I want to stay with the Lakers for as many years as I can to be able to remain eligible for the maximum possible championships,” Gasol told reporters in the northeastern city of Alicante.

According to a tweet Sam Amico of Fox Sports, the Los Angeles media is wrong and it is not other teams calling the Lakers about trading Gasol, it is the Lakers calling other teams.

Lakers media incorrectly reporting that teams calling Lakers about Pau Gasol. It’s the other way around. No one in big hurry to help LA.

Take that report with a lot of salt. A whole lot of it. As part of the Los Angeles based media, I will say that the Lakers have been very insistent that they both need to make changes and do not plan to break up a core of the most skilled big men in the league. They want to change styles of play, get more defensive focused and get more athletic, but they won their titles because of Kobe and because they had the most skilled front line in the game. They are not kidding that they are not looking to change that.

But if you want to think an Ohio-based reporter has better info on the Lakers than the guys in Los Angeles, well, believe what you want… unless you believe that Kevin Love and the No. 2 pick is equal value for Gasol. Then you’re just wrong. (And the Wolves said they wouldn’t do that trade anyway.)

  1. dohpey28 - Jun 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    If I am Minnesota there is NO way I trade Love for Gason. Then again Kahn is an absolute idiot so it will probably happen.

    • dohpey28 - Jun 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      Gasol*

  2. damp1015 - Jun 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Trade him. Then the Lakers can realize what they had is what they needed. He won games Kobe could not. Get rid of other players like Barnes, Artest and maybe even Odom.

    • edgy - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Baloney. I love Pau but when they needed him, he disappeared into the wood work. It was good for Dallas but man, if he would have shown up, the Lakers would have had a real chance of defending their title. Instead, it was a 4 game embarrassment that you could see coming from their first round performance.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 21, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        Gasol dropped 18 points and 19 boards in Game 7 of the finals in 2010, in 2009 he matched up on Dwight Howard and won the Lakers a title. He won you two rings, has a bad playoff series and you dump him?

        What drives me crazy about Lakers fans is how short sighted they can be.

  3. Justin - Jun 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Seemed like pointless shot a K-Love there. Pretty sure that the Wolves wouldn’t move Love either like you said. However, with the new CBA coming and perhaps a harder cap it may be inevitable to make a move now while Gasol’s value is higher. If every team knows the Lakers have to dump someone his value would plummet.

    Is this something where a guy throws crap against a wall and see what sticks? Most likely.

  4. chargerdillon - Jun 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    The entire reason the Lakers won 2 rings is because Pau was putting in 20-30 nearly every night, he became an equal if not better because of his inside presence on offense for the Lakers and clearly you saw in the playoffs when he couldn’t make a shot to save his life so went the Lakers.

    If Pau isnt leading the scoring charge, Kobe doesnt hold off till the end of the game to throw up too many shots in the fourth. Keep in mind im a diehard Lakers fan but Kobe still takes too many shots, and if Pau doesn’t the Lakers are in serious trouble.

    If Pau isn’t still demanding the ball and taking the majority or at least second to Kobe in shots, he’s absolutely worthless to the Lakers, much as Love would be. Kevin Love makes no sense on the Lakers because he doesn’t score point like Pau.

    The only logical bigman to bring in is Dwight for both offensive and defensive presence, and that’s contingent on the Magic dealing

    • hungrybear22 - Jun 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      The problem wasn’t touches for Pau. He got plenty of touches in the post early in the shot clock. But he would hold it…. hold it…. look around… and then decide, “no i don’t want to shoot it” and pass it back out, causing the lakers to have to swing the ball to the other side of the court, by which time the shot clock is getting low and kobe has to throw up a bad shot. The problem wasn’t the amount of touches Pau got, but the fact that he didn’t turn them into quality shots.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM

        HungryBear22 is spot on, as the season wore on Pau became less decisive and that was an issue. One he easily fixes, by the way.

  5. illyistic1 - Jun 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    This is all a motivational tactic to light a fire under pau’s ass! If he wants to continue to enjoy all the perks that come with being a laker it should work.

  6. svallen - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    His production lately has not been anything spectacular. While there might be some teams out there that are willing to possibly trade to see if there is that spark the Lakers saw, some teams might be hesitant to acquire his current deal with how he has been playing.

    Current deal: http://www.spotrac.com/nba/los-angeles-lakers/pau-gasol/

  7. Justin - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Just to further dispel any rumors about Love. From the Rubio press conference when someone asked about trading Love: “Absolutely not, no ifs ands or buts. Kevin will be on this team next year and I expect for many, many years,”

    • goforthanddie - Jun 21, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      I’d like to bet otherwise. They may not trade him, but he ain’t staying.

  8. jimsjam33 - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Pau Gasol for Love ? Nuts !

  9. rreducla1 - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    unless you believe that Kevin Love and the No. 2 pick is equal value for Gasol. Then you’re just wrong.

    Laker fan here.

    At least this is Kurt writing about the Lakers instead of another Matt Moore ESPN-message-board-quality-troll post about them that has the analytical content of a finger painting.

    Kurt seems pretty adamant about this, but I think he is wrong. I agree that Love is not as good as scoring/rebounding numbers indicate (and yes, the way Kurt phrased it was an unnecessary cheap shot) but Pau wil be 31 in August and has 57M + a trade kicker on his deal. Trading Love + the #2 for Gasol makes no sense for Minnesota. Love is 22 years old. I would also guess that 95% of Minnesota fans would not trade Love for Gasol straight-up if such a deal were possible under either new or old cap rules.

  10. gorsk7984 - Jun 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Trading the thirty year old Gasol for the twenty-three year old Love would be foolish for the lakers?

    Wow.

    Not only would Love be a fan favorite in LA, he’s actually, to the exact definition of the word, unique. Pau is very good, but not unique, not as good as Love is now, and won’t be getting any better. Plus the financial considerations for LA…dang dude, you might want to take off the purple and yellow shades and rethink that.

    Gasol for Love STRAIGHT UP would be a heist, never mind all this other talk about minny including the number two pick and “filler” (details from various reports I’ve read).

    Lol….foolish. Wow.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 21, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      Love is a TERRIBLE help defender. You really can’t say this enough. Gasol is a good pick and roll defender, a solid help defender (not great) but watch Love for a while, he will not give up rebounding position to contest shots inside. The Lakers won their titles with defense, Love would kill it instantly. Gasol for Love is about an a wash on offense (Love better outside shooter, Gasol much better at creating his own shot) but the Lakers would fall apart on defense. So yes, I’ll stand by foolish.

      • gorsk7984 - Jun 21, 2011 at 8:27 PM

        I’ll concede your points, but your critique of love ignores that 1) he can improve his help D, and 2) he’s 23. Focusing on those shortcomings would be foolishly shortsighted on the Lakers part.

      • ndirishfan1 - Jun 21, 2011 at 9:04 PM

        After a week of practice with Kobe, Love would be helping on defense. Love is a young, high-IQ player, and I think that given time and opportunity in the limelight, would pick up on defensive rotations rather quickly.

        And you’re telling me, that in the NBA, on a 17-win team, a guy sacrificed helpside defense to pad his numbers??? I think if he’s on a squad that hits the 20-win mark by the new year, he’d be more inclined to bust his tail and play better defense.

  11. themanchine - Jun 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Gasol for Stuckey, V, and the pick

  12. goforthanddie - Jun 21, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    “Which is just flat-out stupid overreaction by Lakers fans”

    Really. It’s stupid to consider getting a much younger, self-driven rebounding machine? I’ve read LA would receive the 2 pick in the draft also; the Lakers’ biggest problem is age, you don’t think the #2 pick might help there?
    KLove may need defensive work, but I’m sure Kobe can get him moving the right direction. And Kobe won’t have to go on TV questioning KLove’s drive.

    • mogogo1 - Jun 21, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      “And Kobe won’t have to go on TV questioning KLove’s drive.”
      Are you talking about the same Kobe who was caught on tape disparaging Bynum? Just because he “won’t have to” doesn’t mean he won’t. And there were no problems with Gasol until Kobe’s little missus stuck her nose in his love life. Wonder how long before the same would happen to KLove?

  13. ahemahem - Jun 21, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    I am a Laker fan. I have not caught the fever, and nobody I know has. Maybe we are immune.

    • ndirishfan1 - Jun 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM

      I think Pau can right the ship, but one has to worry about the post-Kobe Lakers. It’s not that far away, and Bynum’s knees are always a concern.

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