Another year, another season, another slew of Gasol trade rumors. Normally, we at least make it a couple games into the season, maybe even midway through, before Gasol’s name starts getting spread across the rumor mill. This season, the Lakers aren’t even waiting that long. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Lakers have already begun discussing with teams a possible “substantial” trade for Gasol, who remains “far from untouchable.”
One Eastern Conference executive told FOX Sports Ohio he’s heard from the Lakers recently, and word around the league is they may try to make a “substantial” trade before the regular season. Apparently, forward Pau Gasol remains far from untouchable.
Many NBA talent-evaluators feel as if Steve Nash is no longer capable of playing at a high level for more than 15-20 minutes game. The Lakers, it is believed, are on the lookout for a younger point guard who’s a more potent scorer. But as everyone who deals in the trade market will tell you, that won’t be so easy to obtain.
We know how Gasol will react to this: with the utmost professionalism. That being said, if he were to speak out in anger about this, could you blame him? All this man has done is bring the franchise three Finals appearances, two NBA titles, and 6 years of consistent output, and the Lakers have treated him with rumored trades, even dealing him for Chris Paul, year in and year out.
On the other hand, the Lakers have an incredibly valuable trade chip in their hands. Gasol’s $19.2 million dollar contract comes off the books next summer, and a team looking to gain some cap room for the impending free agency class could look to deal for Gasol. But don’t expect the Lakers to take on anything less than a young, talented star and/or a draft pick in this loaded draft class.