Since joining the Lakers in 2008, Pau Gasol has been an integral part of the Los Angeles Lakers. In helping the team win back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, Gasol etched himself a spot in Lakers history forever and is likely to have his jersey retired when he decides to hang it up.
Gasol has also been consistently dangled in trade talks for the past three seasons. When the Lakers agreed to trade Gasol for Chris Paul before the 2009 season, most Laker fans were saddened to see him go and when the trade was vetoed by the league, many questioned how Gasol could handle staying with the team.
Since that time, Gasol has been a model citizen, but his play has suffered leading some to believe that the Lakers would be wise to get rid of him. Every year, he was subject to a number of trade rumors and where he might possibly end up.
With the Lakers struggling this season and looking to save money, Gasol is once again the prime asset that could be moved in a Lakers trade. So we asked our experts: Should the Lakers trade Pau Gasol this season?
This is what they had to say:
Ramneet Singh (@Ramneet24): The Los Angeles Lakers have to look towards the future and start making changes to this roster.
Kobe Bryant will only be around for two more seasons and the front office has to put young stars in place to carry the franchise for the future. Clearly Bryant will not be getting dealt and the only real valuable asset the team has is Pau Gasol.
Gasol has seen his name in the rumors for quite some time, but I think it’s time for the Lakers to finally part with the two-time champion. The Spaniard changed the team overnight when he came to Los Angeles, but in order to prepare the team for the future he has to be traded.
There are several names out there, including Kevin Love, that will certainly help the Lakers win once Bryant retires. Although the Wolves will want more than just Gasol in a deal, the seven-footer would certainly be the main player in any sort of trade.
Even though fans would like to have Gasol on the roster for the remainder of the season for sentimental reasons, the front office has to ship the skilled big man out of Los Angeles.
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): This has been an ongoing topic all season. As I’ve said before, I’d love for Pau to retire as a Laker, but now it seems as though he may not be in the Lakers’ future plans.
Should they trade him? It’s simple. If the Lakers can take back players they want and feel they can build on, then yes. If not, then just let his contract run out and go from there.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): The Los Angeles Lakers were convinced that trading Pau Gasol for Andrew Bynum in order to save as much as $20 million was the right move and it was. Unfortunately, the Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t willing to part ways with young prospects or the draft picks that the Lakers desired.
With the NBA trade deadline a little more than a month away (Feb. 20), I believe the team needs to continue gauging trade interest around the league in Gasol. Although it may be impossible to snag a big fish like Kevin Love or Rajon Rondo, Gasol is an asset with an expiration date.
It has become clear at this point that the Lakers are willing to let him walk in free agency. Not only is the team ready to move on, but Gasol appears to be as well after dropping the hint that a return to the Memphis Grizzlies might be on the horizon.
The real question is what the Lakers can get for Gasol at this point in time. Gasol’s trade value has plummeted and there’s no telling what they can get, but it’s time for some new blood.
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