Lakers Trade Rumors: LA GM Keeps Pau Gasol Dangling as Trade Bait

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02:  Andrew Bynum #17 (L) and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers sit on the bench before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on March 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 115-107.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Pau Gasol still doesn’t know if he is going to be traded at the March 15th NBA trade deadline. Even after speaking with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Gasol doesn’t have a clear picture as to what is going to happen to him.

According to, Kupchak spoke with Gasol to get an understanding as to what might happen to the All-Star Laker, saying:

"I have an understanding of where things are," Gasol said after the Lakers' shootaround in Detroit on Tuesday, "where they stand and where he stands and where I stand. He [Kupchak] told me to just keep doing what you do, keep playing hard and playing on and from that point on, we'll see."

This was the first time that Kupchak spoke with Gasol since Pau was involved in a potential deal that would give the Lakers point guard Chris Paul while sending Gasol to the Houston Rockets. When the deal fell through, the threat of being traded lurked over Gasol’s head, which prompted teammate Kobe Bryant to lash out at Lakers’ management. Bryant said:

Listen, he’s been the consummate professional. He’s going out and he’s trying to do what he can. But let’s be real, if you didn’t know you were going to be here tomorrow, if your head’s on the chopping block and you feel like you’re just waiting, it’s tough to put all yourself in the game.

The Lakers are not doing any justice to Gasol by leaving him hanging out there in trade rumors. He’s in the midst of his worst points-per-game average of his 12-year career, only averaging 16.8 points per game. 

In Gasol and Kupchak’s recent meeting, Pau did say that the meeting was “calming to have that feedback.” However, Gasol then went on to say that if there was a serious offer that came to the Lakers' front office for the Lakers to “just let me know.”

However, if the Lakers would come out and say they are not trading the talented forward, maybe his numbers would go back to what the Lakers are used to at 18 points per game. Instead, the Lakers are only hurting themselves for the next five games as the trade deadline approaches.