Two days ago it was reported that the Lakers, for the time being, have decided not to trade center Pau Gasol. With Gasol struggling to adapt his game to Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, and playing some of the worst, and most uninspired basketball of his career, it made since to see what the Lakers could get for the All-Star.
Despite engaging in talks with a couple of teams, the Lakers decided to stick with their roster. But now with the recent news of Kobe Bryant’s injury, the Lakers may be in need of a trade to bring in some new pieces to make up for the lack of guards and playmakers on the team. So we at Lakers Nation ask the question: Should the Lakers trade Pau Gasol?
Ramneet Singh (@Ramneet_Singh24): Although the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly no longer shopping Pau Gasol, that does not mean the front office will not have a change of heart come February. It seems like every season during the trade deadline there are rumors saying Gasol will be shipped out of Los Angeles. Even though Gasol has been with the Lakers since 2008, his tenure with the team may end before his contract expires.
The Lakers are gearing up for a big offseason with a loaded free agency class and are looking to build for the future. With Kobe Bryant already in the books for the next two seasons, the Lakers will lose a lot of cap space if they re-sign Gasol over the summer.
With that in mind, I do see the Lakers getting rid of Gasol for either young assets or players with a year left on their current deals. The Lakers are not planning on tanking for a high draft pick, but if they can assure future success by trading Gasol, they should certainly pull the trigger. The New York Knicks have been ready to trade Iman Shumpert for quite some time and he is certainly a young, explosive guard who the Lakers can develop in the coming years.
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): Let me start off by saying that I would love to see Pau Gasol end his career as a Laker. However, there are numerous variables which could get in the way of that.
Can he still be the same player he once was? Will he take less money to stay with the Lakers over the offseason? Can he coexist with Mike D’Antoni and his system any longer?
For right now, even though management supposedly took him off the trading block, I think the team should always explore their options with any player. However, they shouldn’t be looking to desperately trade Pau, either. Being in the final year of his contact, other teams may be more enticed to take Pau than they were in previous seasons, but will likely only do so if the Lakers take back a couple of multi-year deals.
I’m sure Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss would only make such a deal if they truly see talent out there that they can foresee being part of the Lakers’ future for years to come.
Personally, I don’t anticipate Gasol being traded. I think management will let his contract run out, and try to do most of their work in the offseason. You never know, though, as Mitch has waved his magic wand over the league a few times before.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): The Pau Gasol trade rumors have become a common occurrence for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team has seemingly been looking to trade the veteran for the right package for the past few years. Although Gasol may ultimately not be moved before the trade deadline on Feb. 20, it’s safe to say the rumors will continue for the next two months if the Lakers continue to struggle.
The problem with trading Gasol is getting the right piece or pieces in return. Right now, it doesn’t appear that the Lakers will be able to move him for equal value and may not even want to make a trade. The New York Knicks have emerged as a potential trade partner, but taking on Tyson Chandler and his contract might not change much aside from the front court being upgraded defensively.
At this point in time, unless a better trade scenario emerges, keeping Gasol might be the best move for this team.
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