The Los Angeles Lakers are considering trading Pau Gasol to the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics, according to reports.
LA is currently 13-19 and riding a six-game losing streak. In their next seven games, they are looking at three guaranteed losses – at least. Maybe more. For obvious reasons, Mitch Kupchak and Co. are throwing up the white flag as far this year goes, and doing their best to chart a path forward past 2014.
Gasol, 33, is the Lakers’ second highest paid player, and he has an expiring contract. While he has pretty consistently been the subject of trade speculation over the past three years, his massive salary coupled with LA presumably being in cost-cutting mode has resulted in rumors getting ramped up to new levels lately.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers apparently reached out to Nets brass to see if there was any interest in a Brook Lopez-for-Gasol swap. There wasn’t. And this was before the injury that will require Lopez to have this third foot surgery in two years.
Early last week, reports surfaced that L.A. was entertaining the idea of sending Gasol to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum. By bringing in Bynum and waiving him before Jan. 7, the Lakers could save about $20 million in salary and luxury tax. However, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, this deal is unlikely because L.A. wants assets, not just cap relief, in return for Gasol.
Finally, ever since last year, there has been speculation that perhaps the Lakers and Celtics could work out a deal that would land Rajon Rondo in L.A. To date, there hasn’t been any movement on that front. It’s worth remembering, though, most NBA trades happen without a bunch of gossip in the lead-up. This is about as likely as any other option.
NBA trade season is about to heat up, so if Gasol does get moved, it will happen sometime soon.