The Los Angeles Lakers have the second or third best bench in the NBA. The irony here, of course, is that last season they had an extremely solid starting lineup and a terrible group of reserves, whereas this year they have an excellent bench and no starters to speak of.
Lakers fans had high hopes for Pau Gasol coming into this season. He finally seemed reasonably healthy, and the absence of Bryant theoretically should have resulted in him being the guy who the offense would run through. Unfortunately, through 12 games, he’s averaging 13 points per game. That’s down slightly from last year, but not by much. No, the reason why his play has been so disappointing isn’t the total point figure – it’s the percentage that comes with it. Thus far, Gasol is doing his damage on 39 percent shooting. For comparison’s sake, Bryant, a shooting guard, hasn’t shot below 43 percent since becoming a starter.
Because Gasol isn’t performing to expectations, and given the Lakers’ precarious position in the power rankings right now, some are thinking that Mitch Kupchak might be looking to make a deal. According to Fox Sports’ Sam Amico, sources around the NBA are saying that Kupchak may trade Gasol for a point guard – especially now that it’s become clear that Steve Nash is done.
"It's not like Mitch to sit and do nothing," one league exec told Amico. "I'd be really surprised if that's his course."
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Interestingly enough, the sources apparently admitted that Kupchak hadn’t reached out to them. They essentially confirmed that this was just gossip. Still, they’re expecting a call. Aaaany day now.
"We have a good idea which players (on the roster) he'll ask about," one GM told Amico. "We're already preparing counter offers."
Will Kupchak make the call? Will Gasol eventually get dealt? We’ll find out within the next two months.