Citing a feud with teammate Kobe Bryant, Smith went on to say that the 32-year-old Spaniard has at least four good seasons left and would be best suited to seeing them out on a team where he wants to play.
With that said, it is absolutely vital that Gasol makes as much noise as possible so that he can indeed be traded from the City of Angels to the Windy City. In Chicago, he would be in a team-first environment within arm's reach of a championship, while in Los Angeles, he's just a soft scorer on an aging squad.
Look at it this way. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau spent three years as an assistant for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics. In that time, he won a championship ring and made a second trip to the NBA Finals, where his Celtics lost to Gasol's Lakers. Long story short, he knows what it takes to make 12 men play as a team and bring that title home.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, is a completely different story. In watching them over the past two years, it seems as though their coaching staff is just a formality. It's as though the approach to their game is "Let Kobe Bryant call the shots and hope for the best."
Yes, Gasol and Bryant have won two championship rings together, but that ship has run its course. The fact remains that both players are scorers who want to put up monster stats and, in Los Angeles, the only way Bryant will stop trying to score the most points is if he's on another team.
After checking in with the expert staff I've employed at an undisclosed location, I can safely say that the odds of that happening are slim to none.
That is why Gasol needs to be traded to the Bulls, and fast. As we all know, Chicago's current option at power forward is Carlos Boozer, who, while effective in the low post, still hasn't been as tough and hard-nosed as the fans hoped he would be.
In his two seasons with the team, the former Duke Blue Devil has averaged 16.2 points and nine rebounds. That's pretty disappointing considering how he was a near-lock for averaging 20 and 10 a game in his years with the Utah Jazz.
The 7'0" Gasol would add some more size to Chicago's frontcourt, as the 6'9" Boozer tends to be outclassed by bigger opponents. More importantly, Gasol has a decent long-range shot, and stretching the floor is the key to the Bulls getting another trophy.
Having him and his championship experience gives point guard Derrick Rose a reliable go-to guy and takes some of the scoring pressure off the 2010 MVP.
Should Gasol demand a trade to Chicago?
The only real bump in the road in terms of getting this trade done is the money. Gasol is due $19 million over the next two years, and chances are he would cost the Bulls tough perimeter defender Luol Deng and then some.
Still, it's become all too clear that keeping Gasol in Los Angeles is season suicide for the Lakers. Bryant has a history of feuding with teammates and, in this case, it's time to defuse the situation before an unmanageable bomb goes off.
As long as Gasol keeps insisting on going to Chicago, it should happen sooner rather than later.