Pau Gasol: Latest Trade Rumors Concerning Los Angeles Lakers Superstar

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes to Kobe Bryant #24 after a rebound during a 79-77 Indiana Pacer 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 has been prominently involved in a number of trade rumors during the 2012-13 season, and it’s no surprise to find that these haven’t relented—even with the star power forward sidelined with a knee injury.

The Spaniard has mightily struggled to fit in coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced, run-and-gun offense that focuses on athleticism and perimeter shooting from every player besides the center. Even if healthy, those aren’t Gasol’s strong points, but the team isn’t anxious to trade away a player that helped bring two championships to L.A.

Let’s take a look at the latest rumors concerning the big man and potential trades being floated about in today’s rumor roundup.


Minnesota Still Interested

While the Minnesota Timberwolves’ party line is that they never made an offer for Gasol, Bob Finnan of Ohio's The News-Herald has found that’s just not the case.

The reporter noted that the T-Wolves are still interested in the 32-year-old, and would play him at center—answering questions many had about where he would fit with Kevin Love.

On Saturday, team president David Kahn told reporters after a practice that the Wolves hadn’t offered Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic to the Lakers in exchange for the All-Star power forward, but revealed that he tried to pry the big man away in June.

It’ll be interesting to see if Minny continues to pursue Pau, or attempts to find a different suitor for Williams—last year’s completely disappointing No. 2 overall pick.


Sixth Man?

After being the second-best player (next to Kobe Bryant) on two title teams, the Lakers are seriously considering bringing Gasol off the bench in favor of Antawn Jamison, when he returns from injury.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan, there is an internal debate going on concerning whether or not to start the four-time All-Star on the bench. If they feel it would help Gasol get back into a rhythm and play more athletically, it’s likely going to happen—at least for a little while.

Should Gasol react negatively towards the demotion, there’s a strong chance he will start sooner than later, as having the power forward check out would be extremely costly for the team.

We’ll keep you updated right here on Bleacher Report as soon as we know more about D’Antoni’s plans for Gasol upon his return.


Raptors Rumors

In case you haven’t heard, the Raptors are another party interested in Gasol and have reportedly offered a sweet package for his services.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Canadian squad floated out Jose Calderon, Linas Kleiza and centerpiece Andrea Bargnani in exchange for the seven-footer, which actually makes sense on paper.

Calderon would make for a suitable backup PG and Kleiza is a solid 3 that can shoot, while Bargnani’s skills as a stretch 4 would fit perfectly next to Dwight Howard at the 5.

If things don’t work out with Gasol upon Steve Nash’s return, expect Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak to call up Raps GM Bryan Colangelo to work out a deal.