Pau Gasol, trade rumor. Nothing new about that phrase as it’s been repeated and brought up ad nauseam over the course of the last three seasons, not to mention that he was even traded once for Chris Paul, the infamous basketball reasons move that was reversed by NBA’s commissioner David Stern.
This time around the rumor involves a Gasol for Brook Lopez deal with the Brooklyn Nets. According to ESPN, the Lakers reached out to the Nets about a potential deal, but the Nets turned down the offer before Lopez’s season-ending foot injury in mid-December.
Sources with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN.com that the Lakers did indeed engage the Nets earlier this month in some exploratory talks to see if Brooklyn had interest in such a swap. Sources say that the Nets balked at the idea when it was presented before Lopez’s injury, but it’s still noteworthy if it happened.
If true, it’s interesting that the Lakers would target a free agent who has a deal that not only lasts through this season, but all the way through the the 2015-16 season. The Laker are a team that is trying to have some financial flexibility over the course of the next two seasons with some prime talent slated to be free agents over the next two summers.
Going after a guy like Lopez, who is owed $32.5 million over the course of the next two seasons would be counter to any plan that the Lakers reportedly had. Of course, with Lopez out for the remainder of the year, there’s no way the Lakers engage in trade talks with the Nets now, but it makes things a little more interesting if the Lakers are pursuing NBA players who don’t come off the books in the next two summers.
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