There was speculation everywhere last week that the Lakers were attempting to trade veteran center Pau Gasol, especially after his remarks about his role in Coach D’Antoni’s system. While it now is unlikely that the Lakers will move the big man, and are also possibly looking to keep him around beyond this year, there is now some news leaking out about the discussions the Lakers have had.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, the Lakers engaged in preliminary discussions with the Houston Rockets who are intent on moving disgruntled center Omer Asik:
The Lakers did have talks with the Houston Rockets, sources say, but those conversations never got serious, even with Houston determined to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik before a self-imposed deadline of Thursday.
The addition of Asik would have been a huge defensive upgrade for the Lakers as he is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA. However, not only does his contract extend into next year, but it gets a huge increase due to the ‘poison pill’ contract the Rockets signed him to.
The Lakers have also inquired about Knicks center Tyson Chandler, but the Knicks now appear to be uninterested in moving the big man:
Sources say that the Lakers do have certifiable interest in Knicks center Tyson Chandler, but the Knicks appear to have no interest in fielding offers for Chandler at this time, having just welcomed the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year back to the lineup after a fractured fibula sidelined Chandler for the past 20 games.
If the Lakers were to make a move, it would be with their cap flexibility over the next two years in mind. Gasol has been the team’s best trade piece for years now, which is why he is constantly involved in the rumor mill, but with his recently inspired play, things seem to have cooled off. Under the general management of Mitch Kupchak, however, there is always a chance of something big happening.
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