Lakers Rumors: LA Smart to Reportedly Deny Interest in Trading Pau Gasol

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2012

Pau Gasol has gotten off to a rough start this season.
Pau Gasol has gotten off to a rough start this season.Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

With Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol owning the paint alongside Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash running the backcourt, the Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to dominate the NBA this season. 

Boy how things can change quickly. 

Between injuries, ineffectiveness and coaching changes, the Lakers have been the league's biggest disappointment, and the trade rumors surrounding Gasol have been swirling out west. 

While names like Amar'e Stoudemire have been thrown around in a possible Gasol trade, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Lakers are not currently trying to move the big Spaniard. 

The Lakers aren't actively looking to trade Gasol right now, The Times has learned, because they want to see what happens when Nash returns from a small fracture in his leg.

Finally, LA has made a good decision, for now. 

Sure, Gasol hasn't been the typically efficient scorer and rebounder from his heyday. 

The 7-footer has been a lock for 18 points and 10 boards per game during his five-year stint in LA, but his numbers have taken a considerable dip during the Lakers' poor start. 

Gasol is averaging just 12.7 points per game and shooting 42.3 percent from the floor—a far cry from his career mark of 51.9 percent. 

The lack of production from the four-time All-Star is certainly alarming, but there a number of correctable factors that have contributed to Gasol's rough start to the 2012-2013 season. 

First, the big man is reportedly suffering from tendinitis in both knees, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA

That condition certainly can't be comfortable for the average person, let alone a 7'0", 250-pound athlete. 

According to McMenamin, the tendinitis, combined with the lengthy practices held by former coach Mike Brown, have sapped Gasol of some of his explosiveness and athleticism. 

Instead of giving up on Gasol, the Lakers need to let the big man get healthy, and it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see him return to form. 

Besides his health issues, Gasol's production has taken a decline with all the coaching and system changes.

Now there's finally some stability in LA for the time being, the Lakers should try and get everyone healthy and acclimated with Mike D'Antoni's offensive system and let their cast of superstars jell.

Moving Gasol for Stoudemire—an injury-prone player on the decline—would be putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

The Lakers have the pieces to win a championship on their roster already. 

In Gasol, they have one of the most skilled big men of this generation to complement three Hall of Fame talents in Nash, Kobe and Howard.

Holding on to Gasol is the only option LA should consider if the Lakers hope to turn their season around and try and capture their 17th NBA championship.