Pau Gasol came off the bench against Toronto because he was rusty. But Kevin Ding would report right before the Chicago game on Monday that Gasol would be coming off the bench permanently. It was for efficiency issues, D’Antoni says. He feels that he can’t put Gasol and Howard in at the same time and that Gasol would be able to maximize his talents off the bench.
Gasol is not a fan of that bench role and has insisted that he’s a starter. He said that he is uncomfortable coming off the bench.
Craig Sager of Turner Sports talked to Gasol about his new role. Gasol, of course, expressed his dissatisfaction about coming off the bench. Sager asked Gasol about possibly being traded before the trade deadline. Gasol responded that it has certainly become a “possibility.”
Gasol has been in trade rumors ever since Phil Jackson left town. He was traded initially to Houston involving the Chris Paul megadeal before it was nixed due to the infamous “basketball reasons” episode. Gasol has been rumored to go to Minnesota, Toronto, New Orleans, and Atlanta but obviously, nothing came to fruition. Kobe Bryant has been one of Pau’s bigger defenders, saying that he should be more involved in the offense.
Unfortunately, Mike D’Antoni hadn’t really put Gasol in a position to succeed. But D’Antoni never seemed to be enamored with Pau Gasol’s game, preferring his offense to be more of the “small ball” kind. So expect the rumors for Pau Gasol to be ramped up even more as we seem to be numbering the days Gasol has left as a Laker. Maybe it could be a good thing for Pau, who has had one nightmare of a season. He’s averaging a career-low 12.6 points and shooting a career-low .432 from the field. Gasol has also gone through tendinitis on his knees, plantar fasciitis, and a concussion that have all caused him to miss 13 games.