A Timeline of Every Pau Gasol Trade Rumor from His Lakers Tenure
Since arriving in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers, Gasol has seen himself become both a hero and a goat. Trade rumors were non-existent when the team was winning championships prior to 2011, but it didn't take long before people began questioning his long-term placement throughout the 2011-12 season.
With Mike D’Antoni in town, and a new system in place, Gasol’s role on the team is more questionable than ever. But scrutiny is something the big man has become used to, as his name has been tossed around in trade talk time and time again since arriving in L.A.
Gasol has been one of the league’s best big men for quite awhile, but not even that has kept him safe from rumors and speculation throughout the years.
December 2011: Houston Rockets
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The deal, however, was quickly stopped by David Stern before any players could change their addresses.
The botched deal has infamously gone down as the trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, but what some may forget is that Pau Gasol was going to be a full-fledged member of the Rockets.
Gasol had officially been traded to Houston, and if not for Stern shutting down the deal, all future talks of trading the big man would have been avoided all together.
Houston missed out on their man, but it wouldn't be too long before they were at it once again.
March 2012: Boston Celtics
Like Pau Gasol, Rajon Rondo has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the years. The Boston Celtics’ point guard has a very reasonable contract for his production, and he would have been a big-time acquisition for a Los Angeles Lakers squad that desperately needed a point guard at the 2012 trade deadline.
Both Rondo and Gasol were on the block at the same time, but neither ended up being moved.
According to Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers and the Celtics discussed the possibilities of a trade involving the two superstars, but “nothing was close to being accomplished.”
Bresnahan stated that the Lakers were unable to give up Gasol in their attempt to acquire Rondo, making you wonder if they simply undervalued what they were getting, or if they truly overvalued their own asset.
March 2012: Atlanta Hawks
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Of all the trade rumors that Pau Gasol has been linked to, the one that seems to never go away is a deal that would essentially swap the seven-footer with Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith made it clear in the 2012-13 season that he wanted out of Atlanta (according to Michael Cunningham of ajc.com). His name was tossed around in rumors, and of course, Gasol was one of the big names (according to Bobby Ilich of International Business Times).
Both Smith and Gasol remain with their respective teams, and both are yet again being linked to one another in trade rumors (according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated).
Neither player appears to be in the long-term plans of their current organizations, which means until a change is made, these two will remain connected in trade talks around the league.
May 2012: Brooklyn Nets
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One of the more short-lived rumors in recent memory was the idea that the Brooklyn Nets (New Jersey at the time) would consider trading franchise point guard Deron Williams for Pau Gasol.
The thought was that the Los Angeles Lakers would turn Pau Gasol into a franchise piece that they could take into the future, but that notion was quickly debunked, as the Nets seemingly had no interest in losing Williams via a Gasol trade.
According to Matt Moore of CBSSports.com, the potential deal was never truly an option. Williams’ contract situation made it difficult to believe he’d be interested in such a move, and the Nets organization was more interested at the thought of acquiring cap space than acquiring Gasol.
The Nets were never an option, but that didn’t stop the rumor from getting started.
May 2012: Chicago Bulls
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Around the 2012 NBA draft came the notion that Pau Gasol actually wanted out of L.A., and that the Chicago Bulls would be a place he could picture himself playing in 2013.
According to Sam Smith of Bulls.com, Lakers’ insiders knew that Gasol wanted to play for Chicago. L.A. was in need of a small forward, and if the Bulls were willing to move Luol Deng, the two teams could find a deal before the summer came to an end.
Gasol ultimately shut down the idea that he wanted to play in Chicago (according to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times), and as a result, he made it through the 2012 offseason as a Los Angeles Laker.
Gasol was also connected to the Bulls through talks at the 2012 trade deadline (according to Marc Stein of ESPN).
June 2012: Memphis Grizzlies
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Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers from Memphis back in 2008, and he instantly helped his new team reach the NBA Finals that season. L.A. sent back the rights to Marc Gasol—Pau’s brother—and the idea of a Gasol-Gasol combo would be something fans in Memphis would drool over straight into the future.
The problem was that nothing substantial ever came from such speculation. The Lakers would have had to take back a package including either Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay or the younger Gasol, and with the Grizzlies becoming one of the toughest up-and-coming rosters in the league, the move to break up the core simply did not make sense.
It was fun to think about while it lasted, but it did not last long, and before we knew it, we were on to the next rumor in the saga of the elder Gasol.
June 2012: Minnesota Timberwolves
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Pau Gasol was a hot commodity during the 2012 NBA draft, and the Minnesota Timberwolves were trying with all their might to obtain the Los Angeles Lakers forward.
According to the Associated Press (via USA Today), Minnesota was willing to give up Derrick Williams for the Charlotte Bobcats’ No. 2 pick in the draft. The goal would then have been to entice L.A. with the second overall pick.
Pairing Gasol with Ricky Rubio would have been a dream for Rick Adelman and fans of the Timberwolves, and it would have helped the team take the next step toward the postseason.
Minnesota was ultimately unable to obtain the Bobcats’ draft pick, making their pursuit of Gasol a lost cause.
Peter Vecsey of the New York Post also reported back in January of 2012 that the Lakers tried to trade Gasol for Kevin Love in 2011.
June 2012: Houston Rockets (Again)
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The Houston Rockets had Pau Gasol in their grasps before David Stern stopped the deal in its tracks, but that in no way meant that they were done in their pursuit of the Los Angeles Lakers big man.
It’s no secret that Houston was stockpiling draft picks to make a run at Dwight Howard throughout the 2012 NBA draft (according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). Howard was going to be somebody’s prize that summer, and Houston made all the moves necessary to put themselves in the running.
The problem was, they were never able to pull off a deal, and Gasol was seemingly still on their minds from the failed acquisition just six months prior.
Gasol’s trade value was as low as it had ever been that summer, as he was coming off a horrible playoff performance. Los Angeles never heard anything they liked, and they made getting a superstar a priority— not getting rid of one.
The 2012-13 Season
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It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to begin the 2012-13 season. They made personnel changes both on the floor and on the sideline, yet they’re off to their worst start in recent memory.
With the season off on the wrong foot, Gasol has once again become the focal point in trade rumors surrounding the organization.
According to Jabari Davis of Sheridan Hoops, Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets is the Lakers’ No. 1 target “if they decide to trade Pau Gasol,” and according to Sam Smith of bulls.com, the team should target Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon.
Even Amar’e Stoudemire’s name has been brought up in conversation (according to Steve Kyler of HoopyHype), but that one seems less likely with two bad contracts being involved in one high-profile transaction.
Gasol is still a part of the Lakers, but there’s no way to tell which team he’ll be connected to next.
So Where Does Gasol Stand Today?
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So where does Pau Gasol stand today? In familiar fashion, that’s a complicated answer.
On Nov. 27, 2012, Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times reported that, “The Lakers aren’t actively looking to trade Gasol…because they want to see what happens when (Steve) Nash returns from a small fracture in his leg.”
Sounds good, right? Wait just one second.
According to ESPN LA (via cbssports.com), Gasol has been informed by the Lakers organization that if he is “unable to adjust to D’Antoni’s system, the team will have no choice but to search for possible trade scenarios.”
So what does Gasol’s future hold? At this point, a whole lot of confusion.
If Gasol is ever going to be traded, now might be the time. L.A. has added a new coach, a new center and a new point guard to their roster. Something has to change, and the seven-footer might just be the first one to go.
But we wouldn’t want to start any rumors now, would we?