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Report: Pau Gasol’s recent remarks cause Lakers to weigh trade options

Dec 14, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Pau Gasol is underperforming this year in Mike D’Antoni’s offense, despite getting more opportunities than he did last season with Dwight Howard now playing in Houston.

That fact alone isn’t enough for the Lakers to consider trading him; everyone is going through an adjustment this season with all of the new pieces and Kobe Bryant just now finding his way back from injury.

But Gasol’s recent comments about being unhappy, along with D’Antoni’s brutally honest resposes through the media reportedly have the team considering whether or not to engage other teams in conversations about dealing Gasol much earlier than previously expected.

From Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

The Los Angeles Lakers prefer to keep struggling center Pau Gasol and believe he eventually will have success in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, but his recent comments and subpar play have caused them to begin weighing whether to make him available before the NBA’s annual trade deadline in February, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Lakers have yet to engage in any Gasol-related trade discussions with other teams, sources told ESPN.com. But Gasol’s recent comments about his frustrations with his role in the Lakers’ offense, his impending free agency, and his struggles offensively and particularly defensively have essentially forced the team to consider its options. …

The Lakers are still weighing their options regarding Gasol both this season and this summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent. They have communicated to him in various ways that they remain interested in him beyond this season, sources said.

There are a few things to think about for the Lakers here, and none of the options seem to be all that appealing on the surface.

Gasol is an unrestricted free agent following the season, and he’ll get offers on the open market that will be for more dollars over more years than L.A. is going to want to commit as they carefully consider how to construct the roster in Kobe Bryant’s final two seasons. While Gasol may take less to stay in Los Angeles, how much less is yet to be known, and the Lakers might be better off trying to get some assets in return for a player who may very well revert to his previous All-Star form in his next destination under more favorable team circumstances.

The Lakers also have their salary cap to consider. The team went to considerable lengths to make sure it will have enough to spend on a max contract player next summer. It will be extremely difficult to trade Gasol without taking back salary in return, and unless a star player is coming to the Lakers in the deal — an unlikely scenario given Gasol’s current perceived value and his open-ended contract status beyond this season — any trade would likely eat into L.A.’s cap space, thereby hindering them from being true players in free agency.

It appears as though Gasol will be dealt before the Feb. 20 trade deadline, but it’s a tricky situation for a Lakers team heading into a future with so much uncertainty in terms of its roster. The only question surrounding Gasol is whether or not his relationship with his head coach and his dissatisfaction with his current role forces the team’s hand much sooner.

  1. miamiheatdynasty - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Miami! Make it happen Pat Riley!

    • spthegr8 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      @Miami
      & just what assets do the Heat have that they are willing to move??? We KNOW it’s not Lbj so, who is it??? D Wade…….LMAO!!!!

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Lakers will get a new coach soon, this time with Kobe input.

  2. shanelsweet - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    You would think that a team without a PG and an unhappy, under performing $19M center would be crazy to not be considering a trade right?

    • antistratfordian - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      If I had to choose between D’Antoni and Gasol – I’m siding with the champion hall of famer Pau Gasol. D’Antoni can go take his cancerous coaching elsewhere.

      The Lakers should have more loyalty towards Gasol than to D’Antoni anyway. Z-Bo was just talking about how loyal the Lakers are… well I wonder what Pau thinks about that.

  3. slickdadick11 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Let that BUM go!!!! He’s way 2 soft 2 play with the big boys. Good 4 nothing Big Man. Everybody bully that bum down N the post. He make opponents bench players look like stars. That’s a damn shame!!! So lose that clown plz!!!!

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    remember when EVERYONE wanted to be a laker?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      and now they want to be with Milwaukee Bucks, it’s LA, the Kardashians
      and girls with BIG fake boobies.

      • kanemoney - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:48 AM

        I will never thumbs up someone who is against big fake boobies.

      • ranfan12 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        What’s wrong with being pro big real boobies?

  5. legend30 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    What about Zach Randolph for Pau Gasol? The salaries match, just a suggestion.

    • joshm5683 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      That would be an option, but Randolph isn’t really a fast pace spread the floor type of guy either. He also likes the post and slow it down style. I also think he has this year and next year so he would eat into the Lakers cap space.

      I think the biggest problem though is Gasol has underperformed and everyone kind of knows the Lakers would want to make a move so they have no leverage to really get anything they want.

      • legend30 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Good point, I just think Pau wants to play with Marc, before his career ends. Maybe he’ll sign with them during the off-season.

      • shanelsweet - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        The leverage only comes if they trade him to one of the few teams that actually have a shot to challenge the Heat with him. Nobody in the East of course unless your still drinking the Koolaid served up to the Knicks and Nets fans.

      • ranfan12 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        Hasn’t he already before he got traded to LA?

  6. monkeyhateclean - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    No team is going to give up the necessary salaries to rent a declining Gasol for a pro-rated $19.2 million for this season.

    Furthermore, Lakers fans need to realize that their club isn’t a destination team for free agents anymore. If a player wants the limelight of LA, they go to the Clippers. The Lakers will be rearranging the deckchairs of the Titanic so long as Kobe is “playing” there and D’Antonio is “coaching” there.

    • paleihe - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      You can’t be serious. I’m a Clipper fan, I love them. But, to say that if a player wants the limelight they should go to the Clips is ridiculous. Total and utter crap.

      The Lakers are a global team. The limelight IS the Lakers. The Clips have been good for about three years now. Three years. That’s not enough to steal the limelight,no way, no chance.

  7. aarondommin - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Brett, we know for certain one thing and that is Pau Gasol is unhappy with the Lakers presently. Yet you decided to write “while Gasol may take less to stay in LA”. Why on Earth would Gasol take less to stay in an unhappy place that actually takes the highest amount of taxes than any other state? Think before you just start spewing out words please :)

  8. soundsofsuccess7 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Trade Pau for a box of donuts if that’s what if takes

  9. azcards - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    How about Pau for Durant. The salaries work.

    -Lakers Fan

    • kanemoney - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:49 AM

      A Lakers fan would write that

  10. azcards - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    The Lakers should trade Pau to Utah for their 1st round draft pick next year. He would start immediately and if he didn’t work out he is an expiring contract they can dump. Utah will do this I mean c’mon, we’re the Lakers.

    -Laker Fan

  11. fiyeaglesfiy - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Phoenix actually may be a decent trade partner for the Lakers. They have young talent and potentially 4 1st round draft picks this year (3 of which are at least top 12 protected). They also have Emeka Okafor who is currently injured and likely out for a few more months, but his expiring contract would allow the Lakers to trade Pau without them having to take back long-term salaries. In addition, Phoenix is playing very well and reportedly willing to trade picks to try and win now.

    Gasol for Okafor and some combination of Len/Goodwin/draft picks would benefit both. Phoenix adds a solid C/PF to improve their inside game. He’s veteran leader and former champion for a young locker room. Low risk in the final year of his contract and could be a mutual try-out to re-sign him to a longer term (and cheaper) contract next summer. Lakers maintain their cap flexibility for this summer, while adding a few young pieces (or future trade assets) to jump start their rebuilding process. Yes, the Lakers would be worse this year, but realistically they can’t contend this season, and dumping Gasol now would mean their own draft pick (which is their last 1st rounder for a few years) would improve and could potentially lead to an elite prospect.

    • fiyeaglesfiy - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Bonus points if they can convince PHX to take back Nash’s last year and half and let him come off the bench, mentor their young guards, and retire a Sun. Nash left to try and win a championship which is now unlikely in LA before he retires. Lakers would like have to take Channing Frye back as well to pull this off.

  12. noahbird - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Might as well start getting younger & developing asap.

  13. bknowledge - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Pau to the Cavs for Andrew Bynum and Dion Waiters

    • azcards - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      AND Dion Waiters? Pau is not worth that package anymore.

  14. fordmandalay - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I’ll be sorry to see him go, he was a great player and a big part of championship teams. Thanks Pau, good luck to you if you do go.

  15. 22yearsagotoday - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    OKC and Kevin Durant destroyed the Lakers last night.

  16. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Imagine if Gasol played in New York… The Knicks are paying Gasol money to Amar’e. Too bad it isn’t Pau. He was amazing in that Gold Medal game in London. Beast. Not bad in the 08/09 finals either..

    Like his game.

  17. 24thesho - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    Ever since P.Gasol’s performance in the last game Phil Jackson ever coached (along with A. Bynum’s antics), he has been a no show most of the time. Of course when he played with Spain’s national team in the Olympics he was a much different player. D’Antoni’s unproven offensive schemes are no better; not sure what the deal was when Gasol and Howard were on the Lakers but clearly D’Antoni did not respect Gasol’s talent nor his past contributions to the Lakers 2 prior world championships. Clearly, D’Antoni is owed some personal favors because I can’t for the life of me understand how he continues to land these coaching jobs; with the Lakers, no less. He, D’Antoni is the “cancer”; his attitude, his philosophy, even his voice. He is a terrible coach and still has not figured out that “defense” needs to omnipresent in order to become a championship caliber team. Get rid of this guy, for the sake of the N.B.A. Hire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the remainder of the season. I meant, you take a chance on D’Antoni but not on Kareem?!?? Not that Mr. Jabbar is even on the map as far as coaching rumors but he, Mr. Jabbar, has to be better and more inspiring that this fool.

  18. omniusprime - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    It’s not that Gasol is underperforming in Dumbtoni’s offense, it’s Dumbtoni’s offense that’s underperforming. Plus there’s the nonexistent Dumbtoni defense that doesn’t stop anyone, except those inept new york teams who stop themselves. Pau isn’t the problem, it’s Dumbtoni, the second worst excuse for a coach the Lakers have ever had, replacing that clown brown who was the worst.

    I hate ignorant sports pundits who get paid to write a bunch of garbage like these trade rumors. Sad that fools like Brett Pollakoff suck up to the worthless jerky boy jimmy in writing ignorant stories about how Pau is underperforming while failing to see that it’s the worthless piece of garbage coach that’s failing the Lakers.

    Plus let’s not forget that Trash Nash and Steve Flake have been major disappointments for the Lakers the whole time they’ve wasted Laker money. With an aging Kobe being too greedy with his salary to garbage like Trash Nash, Dumbtoni and Steve Flake being the worst starting 5 in the NBA it’s no wonder the Lakers suck this year.

    Only a total simpleton, like Brett Pollakoff or any other sports pundit, would try to place the blame on one player like Pau Gasol. If Pau’s lucky the Lakers will trade him, hopefully to a much better team with a real chance of winning another ring. Gasol is a great player and still has some great things left in his career, but he needs to escape from Dumbtoni’s small ball ignorance before he can shine again.

    Fire Dumbtoni! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake! Thanks Pau Gasol!

  19. felisberto - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    How about the Lakers trade Gasol for Roy Hibbert ?

  20. ranfan12 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Funny how people start talking about trades and then turn quiet when he starts getting 10+ rebounds and around 16 points lol.

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