The Los Angeles Lakers are currently doing everything within their power to acquire superstar center Dwight Howard in a blockbuster trade that would result in a drastic power shift in the Western Conference.
There’s no telling how the Howard saga will unfold in the coming months leading up to the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, but the Lakers seem intent on making the deal the Orlando Magic are willing to make the move.
In the meantime, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant will be sporting red, white and blue as a member of Team USA in an effort to win a second consecutive gold medal.
During his time overseas preparing for the 2012 Olympics, Kobe has been asked all sorts of questions about the Lakers, the Dream Team and how much longer he plans to play in the NBA. Along with the endless Dream Team debate, Kobe has also been asked about Pau Gasol’s status in Los Angeles.
Without hesitation, Kobe has defended his longtime teammate by saying that Gasol isn’t going anywhere. As the one player that seemed destined to be traded last season, trade rumors involving Gasol were never-ending with it seemingly being a matter of time before he’d be dealt by the Lakers.
Fortunately for the Spanish forward, Gasol never ended up being dealt and it appears he may be able to play out the last two years of his contract with the Lakers as Kobe remains adamant about Gasol not being traded in the near future according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com via Twitter:
Kobe continued his Defend Pau With My Life offensive at USAB press briefing: “If they want to get rid of him, have to get rid of me first.”
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 27, 2012
Now that the Lakers have acquired Steve Nash and the fact that Dwight Howard may very well be on his way to Los Angeles via trade, the immediate future of the Lakers franchise looks promising to say the least. With the recent addition of Nash and veteran forward Antawn Jamison, the team is much improved and will be a legitimate NBA title contender next season as a result.
As of right now, Gasol appears to be safe in Los Angeles with the Lakers seemingly having no intention of trading the two-time NBA champion. That may change in the coming months if the team is unable to bring in Howard or begin to struggle in the first half of the upcoming season and need to make a move.