According to Eric Pincus there is reportedly serious consideration in Los Angeles and Minnesota for a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Kevin Love.
Rumor has it the Lakers and Timberwolves could possibly swap power forwards with a few other pieces added to the mix. The trade would most likely be beneficial to both teams, as both Los Angeles and Minnesota would benefit from the trade.
After a dismal post-season, Gasol is facing plenty of scrutiny in Los Angeles. The news that Ricky Rubio is now joining Minnesota is also important, as the Timberwolves reportedly like the relationship between Gasol and the young point guard. The two played together for the Spanish national team that won a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
For Los Angeles, bringing in some young blood might be exactly what the team needs. New coach Mike Brown has stated that defense and energy will be his mantra, and Kevin Love brings a little of both to the table. Love also provides Los Angeles with rebounding, an area where they could use a little bit more help.
Love is also a local favorite, as he spent his college days, albeit only one season, at UCLA. He led UCLA to a Final Four appearance during his season with the Bruins.
The Lakers are also reportedly interested in Minnesota’s top draft pick. Recently Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak stated the team’s desire to get one of the top five picks in next week’s draft, claiming that there were good players at the top of the list. The Timberwolves have the second overall pick in the draft, as well as the 20th pick. Either pick might have to be included to get the Lakers to sign off on a trade.
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Another hurdle will be the contract issues for both players. Los Angeles is way over the cap, and with a new collective bargaining agreement looming there’s no telling what the salary cap situation will look like moving into the future. Love is still on his rookie contract, meaning he is getting paid significantly less than Gasol. Minnesota could make it work financially, but it would certainly limit them in the future.
Gasol is not the only Lakers big man currently getting tossed about in the rumor mill. Center Andrew Bynum has been mentioned numerous times in regards to Magic center Dwight Howard, who has all but asked for a trade in Orlando.
Until anything becomes official this all remains speculation, but it’s something to consider. The Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals three out of four years since adding Gasol back in February of 2008. Trading him might be a costly move for Los Angeles. But bringing in a young up and coming star like Kevin Love might be worth it for Los Angeles.