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Pau Gasol says he won’t ask to be traded from Lakers

Jan 5, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Pau Gasol was essentially non-existent in the Lakers loss to the Clippers on Friday, finishing with just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in his 27 minutes of action. Defensively, he wasn’t much better, and seemed to be playing in slow motion at times against the likes of the super-athletic Blake Griffin.

To make matters worse, two of Gasol’s field goal attempts came from three-point distance. It’s clear that for the second straight season, the Lakers head coach hasn’t found a way to properly use Gasol’s All-Star skill set, and both team and player are worse off because of it.

As has been the case multiple times since Mike D’Antoni took the reins, Gasol once again found himself riding the pine in the fourth quarter Friday — at least until Dwight Howard fouled out with 1:07 remaining.

All of this can’t be easy on Gasol, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give up on the Lakers altogether by requesting to be traded out of town just yet.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

“No, oh, that’s radical,” Gasol said when asked whether he would request a trade following the Lakers’ 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. “I still believe. I still have faith in what we have. I still have faith that I can be a big part in helping this team succeed. Right now, I’m not being able to do that very often.”

“It’s difficult sometimes because it’s not up to me to get involved,” Gasol said. “I’m trying, but the times that I am at the elbows are the times that I get more involved and can make more plays from there, but it’s not consistent.”

Following the last time Gasol was benched in the fourth, a narrow Lakers win over the Charlotte Bobcats, Gasol met with D’Antoni for dinner to discuss how best to integrate him with the team. More than two weeks later, Gasol was not so sure things had changed since then.

“I don’t like watching from the bench,” Gasol said.

As Gasol correctly points out, this isn’t all on him — at least offensively.

If you want to see exactly how Gasol was used against the Clippers, there’s an excellent breakdown over at Silver Screen and Roll. Essentially, we have mostly outside jumpshots, with just one opportunity in the post.

Gasol can hit the open jumper, but honestly, that’s a fraction of what he’s capable of, and using him exclusively as a spot-up shooter is a complete waste. D’Antoni’s offense calls for bigs to hit their outside shots following dribble penetration off of pick and roll sets, but that should only be part of what Gasol is asked to do, not the entirety of it.

Gasol is still capable of being the aggressive big man whose skill set has consistently been recognized for being one of the best in the league for a player his size; look no further than the way he finished the Lakers’ Christmas Day win over the Knicks. But the team will need to get him more touches and involve him from different spots on the floor to re-engage him in the game plan, otherwise the player and team will part ways eventually, no matter which side initiates the conversation.

  1. Gordon - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Trade him to the Bulls for Boozer. He doesn’t mind sitting on the bench at the end of the game. Thibs does it all the time because his defense sucks.

  2. moseskkim - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Him and d12 are just too dang big and clog up space. It’s not easy to use two talented big bigs. The last time two bigs won a championship was spurs with a young Duncan and old Robinson (could be wrong). It’s not just d’antoni.. It’s just hard to work. Especially end of the game.. So slow on defense and clogged up on offense. Gasol needs to stheckup and sit in crunch time or lakers need to trade him for young talent and or contracts that don’t go past 2014.

    • somekat - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      What other team since that spurs squad have had 2 dominant big men?

      Answer? none

      • caeser12 - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:59 PM

        Answer: Lakers. Bynum and Gasol.

      • mazblast - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:08 AM

        He said “dominant”, caesar. Bynum has never been dominant on the offensive end, nor Gasol on the defensive side.

    • somekat - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Also, Gasol’s contract is terrible. If they move him, it will be a salary dump. They will not get young talent back. Young talent comes at premium, and Gasol is no longer worth it.

      If they are lucky, they can get expiring contracts. But they won’t be guys that can play and contribute

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      so please explain how they won 2 chips with Gasol, Bynum and Odom…………………………..

      let me know when you can explain!

      I have never ripped any Laker coach this season, but Dantoni really has to be a idiot, I mean come on already this guy is a valuable asset, why can’t you figure out how to use this guy.
      I feel like he would rather lose then have this guy help him win.

      at least my hometown Knicks are making some noise this year, I’ll give my purple and gold
      a rest this year.

      oh boy!

  3. jmclarkent - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    I don’t understand why they don’t trade him. He is ineffective as they are using him, might as well get a cog that fits.

    • gnu2308 - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      You dont understand why they dont trade him? I can give you 19 million reasons why they cannot trade him.

      In order for the Lakers to trade Gasol they need to realize with that contract his value is almost zero. There are teams giving away first round picks to get rid of contracts like that (Baron Davis). Lakers have this holier than thou attitude where they think teams should be giving them valuable assets for Gasol. Its not going to happen.

      Until the Lakers realize that they are not going to get value for a 32 year old player, who has not performed very well, with two suspect knees and has a $19 million salary cap hit …. they will not be able to trade him.

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Gasol has a lot more value around the league than Lakers fans seem to think. Put in a system and used properly he will put up good numbers. That said, the salary is an issue in moving him.

  4. xerocc - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    trade d’antoni out of town first

  5. cameltoehoe - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Do him like they do all old dogs that are suffering….,put him to sleep.

  6. djjackson81 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Gasoline won’t request to be traded but the Lakers may want to trade him.

  7. jeffbd99 - Jan 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    It’s D’Antoni that needs to go. They hired the wrong coach. He needs to be able to adjust his offense to the talent that is on the roster, not force square pegs into round holes. Also, someone please buy him a book on defensive schemes.

  8. lakerluver - Jan 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Magic said it best when he said the days of the “twin towers” are over. Unless a team has two athletic centers in the starting lineup, and one of them can knock down jump shots, they will cancel each other out. Pau can still play but he can’t operate in the post because Dwight is playing there. The LAKERS have no other choice but to trade him. Ryan Anderson or Josh Smith would be much better fits in the LAKERS offensive scheme. However, it’s questionable if they can get either one of them.

  9. shockexchange - Jan 5, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    It’s funny how when he played against the USA this summer the Gimp was the best big man on the floor and now people tryna to make him out to be trash. The Lakers are done … they misuse the Gimp / D12 at the same ___ time, and they don’t play defense. It’s a wrap.

    • progress2011 - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Pat Riley has been in touch with Buss boy…

      They are working on a trade:

      The Heat will get Pau

      The lakers will get Haslem, Battier and Mike Miller !!!

      Pau will be a 20pt and 10boards player by February !

      • shockexchange - Jan 5, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Trade the Gimp for bag of chips and “a player to be named later?” Really?

      • bougin89 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        The Lakers would never make that trade. I mean like never, ever, ever.

    • progress2011 - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      Shock…..ahahahahah….that’s funny ….A BAG OF CHIPS! I almost laughed !!!

      But seriously, I can assure you, in a system where guys actually pass the ball to eachother…Pau will be a 20 and 10 guy…..EVERY NIGHT !

  10. yousuxxors - Jan 5, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    gotta love laker fans…. we can trade pau for lebron melo and kyrie then wrll kick ass. all laker fans will disappear if they suck for more than two seasons.

  11. e39er - Jan 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    STOP making excuses Gasol, and the time your in the post right next to the rim you throw up an airball, your defense consists of standing there with your hands up as if your foot is tied to the ground, he was good in the Olympics because his spanish team actually defended well, plus Marc Gasol was able to step out of the post and hit that 18 footer, that left Pau to operate down low, but in the Lakers case, Howard can’t hit that 18 footer, Gasol’s play shows a lack of effort and i feel like the team feeds off the bigs of Howard and Gasol, Howard is trying his best given his back injury, but Gasol looks lazy, slow, and just plain OLD, its time to ship your ass out of Los Angeles for another guy who is willing to try, a clear comparison is Jordan Hill, yes he lacks the polish post moves of Gasol but in given todays game speed, at least show some damn effort the man gets 14pts and 8 rebounds just on hustle plays and put backs, when was the last time Gasol had a putback dunk on anybody?

  12. andreweac - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Fire Mike. Free Phil Jackson.

  13. addict2sport - Jan 5, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Did they not realize Gasol was on roster when they hired D’Antoni or did they not realize that D’Antoni was not able to adjust his scheme based on the roster of his teams? Either way little Buss basically borrowed his daddy’s car and totaled it.

  14. themagicfanguy - Jan 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    @somekat Sheed and Ben Wallace don’t count? Okay…
    What about Shaq and ‘Zo?

  15. themagicfanguy - Jan 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    @somekat not to mention Gasol and Bynum…

  16. kanemoney - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    He hasn’t been traded because he has no trade value. You won’t get anything besides another underperforming, overpriced player.

    That being said, he can still play. I don’t know why they hired Mike D, who is a systems coach, when they only have one player, Nash, who fits it.

  17. nycalldayz - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Still don’t understand the hiring of Mike D? He was fired from NY for obvious reasons, but LAL of all teams decides to hire him. Smh

  18. 00maltliquor - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I’ve never been a fan of Gasol trade talks, and I would love for him to retire here but, if they would just trade him for not young talent or another star, but 3 really reliable bench players whose contracts run out by 2014 I would be game. BUT only if Jordan Hill is promised to start and get about 34 min a game!

    Jordan Hill needs to start. He is amazing in the 19 or so min. he gets every night. It’s not even fair that that’s all he gets on most nights. For me, it’s not even about getting rid of Pau, but making room for Jordan Hill to be a stud! He is quickly becoming one of my favorite players with his hustle and second chance oppertunities. He seems to be in about every play and is a magnet for offensive boards.

  19. cornbreadbbqred - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Hold the press! This team took the erstwhile untouchable Clippers to the limit without all their moving parts in synch. Look for them to knock a few teams down a few pegs come the playoff run second part of the season! Hang in there Pau!

    • progress2011 - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      cornbreadhead !!!

      Your amnesia, dementia, Alzheimer syndrome made you forget…..CRAWFORD / aka THE LEADING SCORER OFF THE BENCH FOR THE CLIPS DIDN”T EVEN PLAY !!!!

      So, add another 17 points to the total you lost by…then you can see how the FAKERS were not really close.

      So much for your rationale

  20. mazblast - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Two things people (or at least the Laker fans, who sometimes count as people) may not be considering–

    1. “Trade Gasol for…” Uh, someone has to want him and be able to afford his huge contract; and
    2. Maybe he’s just not that good anymore. Slow and soft on defense, can’t get open, can’t make a jumper.

  21. pricejustin24 - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Pau for stoudamire. If you ain’t gonna play defense and just try to out score everyone, why not go all the way? Lakers are doomed regardless. I hope metta murders d’antoni… Only shot we have!

  22. freenbatips - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Pau needs to go , he reached the bottom point of his career . Kobe Bryant gets frustrated … Even on tonight’s game vs Denver.

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