It seems that whenever a team in the NBA struggles, trade rumors start spreading like wildfire.
That’s certainly the case with the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers, off to an 8-9 start and playing wildly inconsistent under new head coach Mike D’Antoni.
No player signifies the Lakers' problems more than Pau Gasol, who hasn’t even been able to get on the court at times despite being an All-Star caliber PF. He was benched during crunch time of L.A.’s 113-103 loss to the Orlando Magic, and trade rumors have been swirling around him since the run-and-gun style system was installed.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Gasol and more trade buzz around the NBA in today’s rumor roundup.
No Rush on Gasol Deal
The Lakers brass is wisely hesitant to move a player of Gasol’s caliber this early in the season. It would be even more of a panic move if they dealt him before observing how he fits with future Hall of Fame PG Steve Nash in the lineup.
Will the Lakers move Gasol?
ESPN’s Marc Stein has found that GM Mitch Kupchak and his staff are awaiting to judge how Nash and Gasol interact when playing 30-plus minutes per night before making any rash decisions.
Nash won two MVP awards under D’Antoni during his time with the Phoenix Suns and clearly understands how to get his teammates involved and playing at a high level.
Even if Gasol isn’t fully healthy— as he’s reportedly suffering from tendinitis in his knees—he’s still a capable asset that brings more to the table than most players at his position in the league.
Varejao’s Cost Prohibitive
With Anderson Varejao playing at a tremendously high level right now (averaging 15.1 points, 15.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steal per game), there is talk that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be interested in moving him to a team contending in 2012-13.
The 30-year-old center would be extremely useful on a playoff-bound team, rather than suffering through a rebuilding effort with the Cavs. Unfortunately for the player and franchise, there isn’t much of a market right now.
According to FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico, the Thunder are one team that has the young players and assets that Cleveland covets and is also a lock to make the postseason.
However, his sources report that Oklahoma City has no interest in bringing in Varejao at this time and aren’t looking to further mess with the chemistry that brought them to the NBA Finals last year (after the James Harden trade shook the team in the offseason).
If the Brazilian double-double machine is going to be dealt this season, it will likely be around the deadline, but keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest trade rumors concerning Varejao.
Bibby Bouncing Back into the League?
Mike Bibby is out of the NBA right now, but the 14-year veteran isn’t calling his career quits.
According to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com, the former Vancouver Grizzly, Sacramento King, Atlanta Hawk, Washington Wizard, Miami Heat and New York Knick is still hungry for a ring and believes he can provide leadership and point guard skills off the bench.
It’ll be interesting to see if he gets any calls, but Derek Fisher’s signing with the Mavericks has given him hope, and there is a chance that a veteran team picks up Bibby for a playoff run.