Lakers Rumors: Pau Gasol Must Be Traded to Allow for Financial Flexibility
The move would make perfect sense for Los Angeles, who has now been bounced from the playoffs in the second round for the second straight year. They will need to become much more financially flexible this offseason if they are to get back to the NBA Finals and compete for a championship while Kobe Bryant is still playing at a high level.
According to Powell, the Lakers wanted to trade Gasol last offseason after being swept out of the second round of the playoffs by the eventual NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Gasol's contract, which still has two years and $38 million owed, is the biggest motivation for LA to trade the Spaniard, according to Powell.
With that being said, the Lakers will need to move Gasol and his contract in order to free up some money to throw at their various other needs this offseason. The Lakers had the third-highest payroll this season, exceeding $86 million and trailing only the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.
Where Might He End Up?
One team that Gasol has been rumored to be interested in—although he has since denied it—are the Chicago Bulls, a team not far off from contending for a title thanks to the brilliance of MVP point guard Derrick Rose. Bulls.com writer Sam Smith recently wrote on the possibility of Chicago acquiring Gasol before next season.
The Bulls had the 13th-highest payroll in 2011-12, which gives them more money to work with this summer than the Lakers.
Chicago could greatly improve its frontcourt by adding Pau Gasol this offseason. They could trade a piece like Luol Deng—who has two years and $27 million left on his current deal—to acquire Gasol and bolster their frontcourt scoring punch.
Where is Pau Gasol most likely to end up next season?
Joakim Noah is another nice trade piece that the Bulls could use to mix things up. His contract is somewhat trade friendly considering it has four years left, but only $50 million owed over that time.
Gasol's age is a concern though. He will turn 32 this offseason, and at 7'0", he runs the risk of breaking down long before a guard would. Still, Gasol's recent production suggests that he will be among the league's best power forwards again in 2012-13.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season with LA, shooting 50 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line.
Powell also discusses the potential of Gasol joining forces with Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce in Beantown next season, but that would likely cost the Celtics too much in return.
At this point, no one knows for sure where Gasol will call home next season, but his future in Hollywood seems to be getting dimmer and dimmer by the day.
Follow Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more on the latest happenings around The Association.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?