Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t so long ago that trading Pau Gasol seemed like a reasonable if not shortsighted way to help improve the struggling Lakers. Well…that ship has sailed and it’s no longer a means to help improve this team or the impossible prospects of contending for a title.
Gasol’s trade value has never been lower.
His production has dipped, his injury woes have worsened and worst of all is that phat contract no team is likely to take on.
Right about now I’m guessing Mitch Kupchak’s voicemail is no longer clogged with calls from NBA general managers wondering what it would cost them to acquire the services of the Spaniard. Not that the Lakers were actively looking for trade suitors, at least not since the Chris Paul Debacle. For the most part it’s been other teams reaching out to the Lakers.
Still, the option of dealing Gasol in order to relieve Mike D’Antoni the burden of having to game plan for an All-Star big man is pretty much gone.
Pau’s contract was always a huge hurdle to clear. With two years and $38-million owed to Gasol there is a very distinct challenge to be met in moving him to another team.
His knees have become a real talking point and that’s bad news for a big man. And now Gasol’s got a concussion that has out of action during a crucial period for the Lake Show.
Then there is all the concern over his lost ways on the court. While No D Antoni bears the brunt of the blame it is impossible to ignore Pau’s playoff shortcomings in recent years plus his level of interest seems to have taken a plunge.
So anyone that was hoping the Lakers could upgrade by removing Gasol will be sorely mistaken. At this point it’s going to be another Lamar Odom situation in which the Lakers would unload a superior talent for a bargaining chip later. Either that or they take on another questionable contract just for the sake of seeing Gasol off.
Either way there is no means to improve this team via a Gasol trade. Not that trading Pau was ever the right move to make but now it would appear to be almost completely off the table.