NBA Rumors: Lakers, Kobe Bryant No Longer Interested in Trading Pau Gasol?


The Los Angeles Lakers trading Pau Gasol before the start of next season appeared to be a foregone conclusion last week.

A week is a lifetime in NBA time, though.

On the heels of pulling off arguably the biggest coup of free agency thus far, Jim Buss and Co. are reportedly somewhat content with the potential of a Kobe Bryant-Steve Nash-Metta World Peace-Pau Gasol-Andrew Bynum starting lineup.

They apparently believe that Nash could provide this team's offense with the sort of fluidity and rhythm that it seemed to frequently lack last year, and that his unique nose for delivering the ball precisely where it needs to be could be the magic elixir to making Gasol and Bynum play effectively off one another.

Are they right to believe that? We'll find out soon enough.

Almost as soon as news of L.A. acquiring Nash broke, Dave McMenamin of ESPN posted this on his Twitter account:

Pau or Bynum trade the next shoe to drop after Nash? Not so fast. Source tells me Lakers intend to keep core intact to play with Nash

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 5, 2012

That said, obviously things can change between now and the start of next season. Bynum -- and Peace -- might get moved in a deal for Dwight Howard. Gasol could get moved in an effort to save cap space.

However, for now, the Lakers’ much maligned starting power forward has to feel good about his prospects of staying in Tinseltown.

Early Thursday morning, clearly unable to hide his glee regarding the Nash trade, Gasol did a video chat with fans during which he lamented about what it would be like to play with Nash (via the L.A. Times):

"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to play along with Steve and everything he brings to the table. He's probably the most unselfish player in the NBA," Gasol said Wednesday in a video chat (alternating between his native Spanish and English) through his Twitter account. "Any player would be excited to play with Steve, who makes things easier for everyone else on the team."

The longer a Gasol deal doesn’t happen, the more likely it is that one won’t happen. A combination of there not being much demand for him coupled with the Lakers holding him in too high of regard to just give him away for scraps may ultimately give him a reprieve.

And don’t be surprised if, thanks to that reprieve, Gasol gets his career revitalized by Nash next season.

Get more Lakers news and rumors on Twitter: @agroberman

(Kudos ESPN, LA Times)

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