Pau Gasol: Breaking Down the Latest Buzz Heading into Draft Day
Pau Gasol, power forward of the Los Angeles Lakers, has been the subject of a ton of trade rumors over the past year and even in the past few days. Here, we’ll give you a breakdown of each of these rumors and who's reporting what.
Gasol has been a great player for the Lakers over the past few years, helping Kobe Bryant win his fourth and fifth NBA championships. He’s been one of the most skilled big men in the game. Despite a USA Today report stating that the Lakers don’t even want to trade Gasol, now it appears he could be headed to a plethora of different places.
To Atlanta for Josh Smith
The rumor that seems the most likely to come true is the one that has Gasol headed to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Hawks are aggressively interested in trading Smith for Gasol and have been for a few weeks now. Smith has been unhappy in Atlanta, and his departure would allow Al Horford to move to his natural position at power forward, with Gasol in the center position.
In Smith, the Lakers would get younger and more athletic, two things they need desperately to continue to compete in the West.
When NBA.com writer Sam Smith wrote an article speculating on Pau Gasol possibly being traded to the Chicago Bulls, it set the world ablaze with rumors that Gasol wanted to go to the Bulls and could be headed there.
So much so, in fact, that Gasol was forced to come out and deny any such notion, according to the LA Times. As of now, there are no reputable rumors out there about this trade happening, but I suppose you never know what could happen.
A trade before the season that would have sent Gasol to the Houston Rockets was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern. While you would think that the Rockets would still be after the big man, it appears that is no longer the case.
According to CBS Sports, the Rockets aren’t nearly as high on Gasol any longer. Apparently, their plan was to center their team around point guard Kyle Lowry, Gasol and another big man (probably Nene).
What LA Is Looking for
However, it isn’t going to be cheap to get the Lakers to part with Gasol. And since he’s a former All-Star still capable of putting up big numbers, charging a steep price for him is warranted.
According to Chad Ford of ESPN, the Lakers are looking to get a Top 10 draft pick in Thursday’s draft and an established player in exchange for the seven-foot Spaniard. The Lakers aren’t even stopping there, though, and want their trading partner to also absorb Gasol’s entire salary for the next two years.
It should be interesting, whatever happens. One thing is clear: The Lakers are shopping Gasol around, and they won’t part with them unless they get the price for him they want.
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