The Los Angeles Lakers are finally showing signs of progress. Steve Nash's return to the lineup provided an expected boost and things should continue to trend in the right direction as chemistry gets built between Nash and his teammates.
Despite the team's improved play, the rumor mill continues to involve the Lakers. Even though the team remains committed to give its new-look roster a chance, that could always change quickly if things don't take a serious turn for the better heading into the new year.
Knowing that, let's take a glance at some of the latest updates on situations that Lakers fans have been tracking recently.
Gasol is averaging 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game since Nash's return. Although that's a slight overall improvement from his lackluster numbers while the star point guard was out, it's still not up to his usual high standards.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.com believes it's only a matter of time before the Lakers end up trading Gasol. He states there are only three or four teams interested right now, which limits Los Angeles' options. It all comes down to waiting for the right deal.
The combination of Dwight Howard and Gasol seemed like a good pairing before the season began, but it just hasn't worked out that way. At least not yet. The Lakers have to hope more suitors emerge before the deadline so they can get fair value in a potential deal.
The Lakers have been linked to multiple free agents as possible depth additions, including Fisher. The veteran point guard, who already has two Laker stints under his belt, was recently released by the Dallas Mavericks.
Even though the connection with Los Angeles is obvious, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports the team isn't looking to sign any free agents right now. Along with Fisher, he names Kenyon Martin as another rumored player the Lakers aren't pursuing.
Fisher could have some value off the bench, but the decision sticks with the front office's status-quo narrative. If the team continues to make positive strides, that will work. But if the Lakers go through another slump, it will be interesting to see if the tune changes.
One reason Fisher might be off the table, at least for now, is the upcoming return of Blake. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times provided the latest update, stating the backup PG is due back from an abdominal injury within a couple weeks.
Nash has logged 37 minutes per game since his return to the lineup. It's important for the Lakers to find a viable alternative so he doesn't have to get pushed too hard because the team already found out how hard it is to win without him.
Blake is a journeyman capable of handling the role. If he can get back before the Lakers suffer any more injury setbacks, the team will finally have the squad it was expecting in the offseason. By that point Nash should be back in form and the Lakers should take off.