Pau Gasol is handling rumors of his departure from Los Angeles with complete class, and while different trade scenarios are coming into play, don't be surprised if the Spaniard is still dawning purple and gold after Mar. 15.
The Lakers were once victims of a bad trade before when they were forced to send Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat for Brian Grant, Caron Butler and Lamar Odom in 2004 and rushing into another bad deal could really hurt them in the long run.
Sure, Odom contributed in the championship era, but do fans remember what happened to the other two players in that deal? Grant and Butler were both eventually dealt in a span of two years, and after some rebuilding, the Lakers finally recovered.
Fast forward to 2012 and the team is faced with a similar situation involving their star big man. Gasol isn't in the middle of a public feud with Kobe Bryant like O'Neal was, but the Lakers are somewhat forced to make a deal to better their team. After experiencing what happened in 2004, the Lakers should be a lot more picky with what comes their way and pulling the trigger on a bogus trade isn't a last resort.
With all that's happened and been said up to this point, here are four reasons a Gasol trade could be losing steam.
This whole trade situation started with the concern that Steve Blake and Derek Fisher were incapable of handling the task of defending younger point guards, but of the rumored trades, there really isn't anyone worth trading for.
Rajon Rondo is a rumored possibility to LA but the Boston Celtics aren't going to just hand him over. Rondo is a very talented young player, and the Celtics are probably going to want more than an aging star in return.
I like the addition of Rondo to the Lakers and I definitely think he would put an end to their point guard problems but is he really the best option available? Can you honestly see Rondo staying in LA for more than two years?
It's a lot to think about in the long run for the Lakers. Gasol is a great player, and he has an amazing attitude in the locker room. No, he's not 25 years old anymore, but he's still a productive big man. Are the Lakers really willing to give him up for a guy who may not pan out long term? And if the Lakers miss out on an NBA title despite great play from Rondo, who's to blame?
Michael Beasley to the Lakers has been a recent hot topic along with a few other big men, but those trades don't solve the point guard problem.
Why would you trade away one big man for another big man and still ignore your point guard problem? It makes no sense whatsoever.
The whole reason this trade talk started was to find a point guard, and yet, adding another big man to the mix is something LA is considering.
Keeping Gasol is the better option because adding another big man solves nothing and potentially sends you back to square one.
Fans had previously said that if a new point guard wasn't brought in at the deadline, the Lakers would miss out on the playoffs because of Blake and Fisher, yet LA is sitting comfortably in the fifth playoff spot in the western conference.
If it's not broken, then don't fix it.
Yes, Blake and Fisher are struggling, but the Lakers' record hasn't shown that. It's safe to say the Lakers will be in the postseason this year because there's an unusually large gap between playoff contenders and the rest of the Western Conference.
Utah and Portland are a few games back from the eighth spot, and then, there's the rest of the Western Conference teams. Unless the Lakers have a total meltdown toward the end of the season, they shouldn't have a problem getting into the playoffs.
Why would you risk that by sending away Gasol and potentially disturbing chemistry?
Despite all the rumors and speculation, Gasol has handled the situation like a professional, and it hasn't stopped him from playing at the top of his game.
Every night, Gasol is giving 100 percent playing hard and playing like he's trying to get the Lakers into the playoffs. After everything that Gasol has done for the Lakers, it just seems wrong for the Lakers to send him away. I understand he fits the mold as the best player to get value for, but the guy hasn't been a problem since he came to LA.
Unless you can get a sure thing for him, I don't see why you would replace him.