Los Angeles Lakers: Why Moving Pau Gasol May be the Right Decision for LA

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 28, 2012

Pau Gasol.
Pau Gasol.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers saw their season end at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder one week ago.

The Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, may opt to make changes that will allow them to get younger and more athletic players, especially after struggling in some sense against the young Thunder in the postseason.

In order to do so, the Lakers may have to part with one of their big men as both Gasol and Bynum have value around the league due to the dearth of centers in the NBA.

Pau Gasol was almost traded to the Houston Rockets in a three-team deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers before the proposed trade was nixed by David Stern (acting as the Owner of the Hornets since the team was owned by the league at this point).

Gasol is the older of the two (at age 31) and has two years remaining on his contract that will pay him $38,285,850. But, given his level of skill and the fact that he can still contribute to a team makes him a reasonable get.

Gasol certainly has value around the league as he is a legit seven-footer that can command double-teams and can find teammates with his decent passing skills. He holds career averages of 18.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, which are pretty darn good for a big guy that can play at both the power forward and center spots on the floor.

Another reason for making such a move by the Lakers would be to shed some salary as the rules are only going to get harder for teams that are over the salary cap in the coming seasons. Clearing space would give the Lakers financial flexibility down the road.

It will be interesting to see which teams are interested enough in Gasol to make a move for the Spaniard and also what assets the Lakers would be interested in.