The NBA rumor mill continues to churn at a high rate now that we are over a month into the 2012-13 campaign.
With the Los Angeles Lakers hovering around .500, and their history of bold maneuvers during the season, they have undoubtedly become the most discussed team in the league.
Let’s take a look at some rumors surrounding that franchise and a few others in today’s rumor roundup.
Pau Gasol Safe, for Now
While we’ve seen reports that the Lakers are awaiting the return of Steve Nash in order to judge how Gasol fits (or doesn’t) into their offense under coach Mike D’Antoni, it seems that December 15 is the real date that trade discussions could start happening in earnest.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, L.A.’s team brass is willing to evaluate Gasol’s performance with Nash running an offense that earned him two MVP awards, but will undoubtedly have more doors open once the mid-point of the month arrives.
League execs believe LA won't have any real discussions for Pau until Nash back and past the 15th, when summer signed contracts are in play— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) December 4, 2012
One of those unavailable players—who becomes eligible to be traded in about a week-and-a-half—is the New Orleans Hornets’ Ryan Anderson, who was signed and traded in July of this year.
As per Jabari Davis of Sheridan Hoops, the stretch 4 is a highly coveted player by the Lakers for his three-point shooting ability and proven fit next to Dwight Howard, as the two played together in Orlando last season.
If Nash returns and Gasol is still slumping, there is a strong chance that general manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss start working the phones and try to hammer out a deal to acquire Anderson.
Lakers Not Seeking New PG
There has been some buzz that the Lakers would try to bring in a new PG to weather the storm while Nash is out and fill in as a capable backup, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld’s sources seem to indicate that L.A. has made enough drastic changes in the offseason and isn’t in a hurry to make a move for another point guard, not with four already on the roster (Nash, Steve Blake, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon).
The insider quipped, “How much more change does that team need?” This makes perfect sense, especially when considering the franchise could soon be looking to move Gasol.
Josh Smith Rumors Have No Weight
We’ve seen some unconfirmed, unconnected talk about Josh Smith and the Lakers, but there is no basis for these rumors.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, there is absolutely no truth to these latest rumblings.
For those of you asking about a Pau Gasol for Josh Smith deal, I haven't heard anything. I have no idea where that trade rumor came from.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) December 5, 2012
While Smith would be a great fit due to his athleticism in D’Antoni’s offense, the Hawks are currently in the midst of a renaissance and are a surprisingly talented young contender.
It’s unlikely the team would be willing to part with the young star in exchange for the 32-year-old Gasol or any of the other “available” players on L.A.’s roster.
For those wishing that Smith would end up in Purple and Yellow, our advice is to keep dreaming.