As free agency got underway last night, the Golden State Warriors made it known that they were looking to trade All-Star forward David Lee.
Lee injured himself during the Warriors run in the playoffs and they attempted to trade him to the Portland Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge and Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani, but were turned away.
However, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury Mercury News, the Warriors reached out to the Lakers last season about a trade for Pau Gasol:
“For instance, I’m told that last season the Warriors were quickly rebuffed after hypothetically asking the Lakers about a Lee-for-Pau Gasol deal.”
Gasol is in the last year of his contract and it sounds like the Lakers are ready to let it expire or depending on what free agent Dwight Howard does, they could look to trade him.
Lee has four years left on his contract and since the Lakers want to have as much cap flexibility as possible going into next summer, a deal doesn’t make much sense.
Last season, Lee averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds, but it’s clear that the Warriors are trying to unload some salary as they look to get even quicker and younger in the frontcourt.
As soon as free agency started, the Lakers were busy looking at perimeter scoring as they try to get more shooters to hopefully surround Howard and adapt to head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.
Since the deal was proposed last season, chances are these Lee to the Lakers won’t be revisited, but with the Warriors set to meet with Howard, a sign-and-trade could be discussed.
Regardless, Gasol will go through another off-season filled with rumors about a trade, but more than likely he’ll finish out his contract with the Lakers.
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