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Lakers Trade Rumors: Dealing Pau Gasol for Kyle Lowry Would Be Disaster for LA

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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T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 13, 2012

The Los Angeles Lakers have been rumored in the past to be involved in trade negotiations with the Houston Rockets. Those trade talks involved the Lakers moving Pau Gasol to the Rockets for any combination of Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, draft picks and Kyle Lowry. 

However, now that Lowry is going to be out two to four weeks with a bacterial infection, the Lakers should move away from moving Gasol, instead holding onto him for a playoff run.

According to CBS Sports, Gasol to the Rockets was a serious option until Lowry’s infection. 

The Lakers are said to be serious about trading Pau Gasol in the right deal, with the emphasis on saving on future payroll. But Rockets guard Kyle Lowry being out 2-4 weeks with a bacterial infection may have put the brakes on a potential Gasol-to-Houston deal. If the Lakers could've gotten a healthy Lowry, rival executives believe it would've eased the loss of Gasol. Luis Scola has been showing signs of age, but while he has two guaranteed years totaling $19.6 million left, that's about half what Gasol is owed over the next two seasons.

The move would be a big salary dump for the Lakers, as they would be moving their second-highest paid player on their roster. From that same CBS Sports piece, moving Gasol may not appease the face of the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, who is trying to win his sixth NBA championship.

In any event, the Lakers need to be aware that an obvious cost-saving trade as opposed to a basketball-upgrade trade would send the wrong message to Kobe Bryant, who is running out of time to chase his sixth championship to equal Michael Jordan's mark. "If they're going to send a message to Kobe Bryant that they're not about winning, they're about money," one league source said, "that's going to set off a whole new deal."

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers adjusts his mask during the closing moments of the Lakers 106-101 loss to the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 7, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
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If that is the case, and Gasol is moved to Houston and the Lakers do not make a deep run in the Western Conference towards the NBA Finals it will send off a tailspin that could push Bryant further away from the Lakers. 

With Gasol, Bryant has been able to reach the NBA Finals three times, while winning two championships. 

This trade has to workout with the Lakers getting equal parts for Gasol. However, from what it looks like, in the end LA will be coming out on the short end of the stick. 

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