It almost makes you feel bad for the guy. Almost.
So what is the latest talk surrounding Gasol? Well, for starters it would appear he's garnering plenty of interest around the league, but the Los Angeles Lakers just aren't having any of it.
Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN bring us that tasty little tidbit:
The Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves have both recently tried to engage the Lakers in trade discussions for Gasol, sources told ESPN.com, but the Lakers continue to tell teams that call that they will not consider dealing the Spaniard until L.A. can fully assess its roster after the return of injured point guard Steve Nash.
Trade speculation involving Gasol nonetheless shows little sign of abating, even as the 32-year-old is being held out of the lineup to combat a worsening bout of knee tendinitis. Gasol has not been shelved because a deal is imminent, sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com Tuesday, but Kupchak has advised Gasol's representatives that the Lakers will have no choice but to start exploring a trade if the former All-Star is unable to eventually adjust to D'Antoni's system.
Interesting, muy interesting. According to Stein and Shelburne, the Raptors are offering Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza in a package for Gasol, while the Timberwolves are trying to build a deal around Derrick Williams and center Nikola Pekovic.
Bargnani would make sense as a stretch 4 in Mike D'Antoni's system, but it seems the Lakers want to see if things will work out with Gasol once Nash returns. After all, if Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Bryant and Nash can all thrive together, why move Gasol?
The other issue might be that the Lakers simply don't like the return they're being offered. But this is a tricky game they're playing—if Gasol's knee issues continue, might his trade value decline as well?
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, that's already in play:
Pau's trade value dropping. a GM with past interest told me 2day "now u have to wonder if some of his performance issues are knee-related."— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) December 6, 2012
This could be a problem for the Lakers. If Gasol doesn't improve his play the team will want to move him, but it might signal to other teams that his knees are an issue and totally deflate his trade value. That's the worst of both worlds, suddenly making the entire situation a slippery slope for the Lakers.
And truthfully, this must all be really, really, really annoying for Gasol at this point. Has anyone been mentioned in more trade rumors without being moved than he has in the past year?
I can't think of anyone. It must be driving him crazy. I'm sure he's venting on Twitter about it right now.
Oh, maybe not. Those are some sweet tigers, though. I guess the big man is just taking it all in stride.
What else can he do? Until he and the Lakers start playing better, Gasol and the Lakers will be subject to weekly—nay, daily—trade rumors. Honestly, I would be shocked if he isn't eventually moved. I simply don't see him and Howard fitting in D'Antoni's system together.
But until then, we wait, and we read the rumors. Four things are certain in this world: death, taxes, people overusing this cliche and a never-ending stream of Gasol gossip.
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