Lakers Trade Rumors: L.A. Reportedly Desperate To Move Pau Gasol's Contract

Alex KayCorrespondent IJune 4, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to being called for a foul while taking on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers and Pau Gasol cannot seem to escape trade speculation this offseason. The latest rumor is courtesy of Shaun Powell of NBA.com’s Hang Time blog.

Here is what the reporter had to say about the situation:

What they [the Lakers] don’t have is cap room, but that can be resolved if they agree to a sign and trade for Pau Gasol. The Lakers desperately want Gasol’s contract (three years, $60 million) off the cap and tried to trade him last summer.

While Gasol is only on the books for the next two seasons at $19 million and $19.3 million, it’s understandable that the team would want to move him and bring in some fresh blood.

The Lakers collapsed in the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row and it is becoming clear that the current roster no longer has what it takes to be the best in the West.

Gasol is coming off his worst season as a Laker, averaging 17.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 50.1 percent from the field. While his regular-season stats aren’t bad by any stretch, his postseason figures of 12.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 blocks on 43.4 percent shooting are concerning.

With Kobe Bryant not going anywhere and Andrew Bynum the much younger and more promising big, Gasol appears to be the odd man out and is likely gone if the Lakers can find a suitor this summer.

Powell said the Celtics would be one option for Gasol, assuming that Kevin Garnett does not re-sign. Boston will have the money to absorb the Spaniard’s deal, but it is unknown if the two long-time rivals would be interested in helping out one another.

There will be plenty more Pau rumors as the playoffs wind down and the offseason begins in earnest.

Keep it tuned to Bleacher Report for the latest news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on any potential deal involving the Lakers and Pau Gasol.