NBA Rumors: Temporarily Pulling Gasol off Trade Market, Right Move for Lakers

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Pau Gasol #16 talk during a 79-77 Indiana Pacers win at Staples Center on November 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Pau Gasol belongs in Los Angeles, and the Lakers might have finally realized that.

According to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Lakers may be looking to hang on to Gasol after all.

"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."

Gasol's name has been dragged through the rumor mill all season, especially after Kobe Bryant told Gasol to "put your big-boy pants on" (h/t ESPN).

Since then, the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves have reached out to Los Angeles about an offer for Gasol, despite the 32-year-old currently sitting out and nursing tendinitis in both of his knees.

Stein and Shelburne reported that the Raptors offered Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza for Gasol, while the Timberwolves have been trying to convince Gasol to join fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio in Minnesota. 

Teams are going to come out of the woodwork to express interest in Gasol, but the Lakers are making the right move by hanging onto him for now.

We're talking about a guy who's averaged close to a double-double for his career, and who helped lead Los Angeles to back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.

Gasol has been frustrated with his role—or lack thereof—in the Lakers' offense, and rightly so.

The seven-footer has one of the sweetest jumpers in the game, and utilizes his size to his advantage in the post, which has helped him average 18.5 PPG over his 11-year career.

We've seen in the past what Steve Nash can do with the basketball, which is why the Lakers need to wait until their roster is at full strength before moving Gasol.

If Nash returns and things still aren't clicking for Los Angeles, I can see the Lakers moving Gasol for viable pieces in return, but Gasol is too good of a talent to just scapegoat because the team isn't winning games. 


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