When the Los Angeles Lakers began this season, they thought, along with everyone else, that Pau Gasol would be able to be the main focal point of the offense and lead the team to moderate success while the Lakers were without it’s star Kobe Bryant. But as the season has progressed, Gasol’s play has gotten progressively worse, even after Kobe returned just four games ago.
As it has been throughout most of his tenure with the Lakers, Gasol’s name has been rumored to be a part of possible trade talks between the Lakers and the New York Knicks.
According to Mark Medina of the Daily News, Gasol seems to have shrugged off the recent trade rumors.
Pau Gasol on hearing his name again in trade discussions: “I’m used to it by now … It’s been a constant thing for me.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 16, 2013
The recent trade rumors have linked Gasol to Knicks players like Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, and possibly J.R. Smith.
The most realistic name from those three names would be Tyson Chandler. Although Chandler would be a huge offensive downgrade from Gasol, he makes up for it plenty on the defensive side of the ball. Chandler has been out since November with a broken left fibula.
The other problem with dealing Gasol for Chandler would be that the Lakers would be forced to pick up Chandler’s contract, which in turn takes them out of the running for some of the big name free agents like Carmelo Anthony in the summer of 2014.
Gasol is very well liked in Los Angeles as a player and a person, but since the arrival of Mike D’Anotoni, he has struggled to fit into D’Antoni’s offensive plans and in turn, has caused some turmoil between the two that has been unhealthy for both of them.
As for now, the rumors are exactly that, just rumors. But it should be interesting to see what the Lakers do in the next couple weeks, as they get to see what they look like with Kobe Bryant back in the lineup each day.
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