Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers Rumors: Holding On to Pau Gasol the Best Move Los Angeles Can Make

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 26:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on December 26, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

It only took three days, but I've already broken my New Year's resolution to not write about Pau Gasol and trade winds that have circulated around him for what seems like eternity.

Here's the thing—and there are plenty of Lakers fans who won't agree with this, I know—trading Gasol makes no sense for the Lakers.

Yes, he's slow, he costs more against the cap than you'd like and he's not helping things on the defensive end of the floor.

All of that is true.

However, when you consider the alternatives, trading Gasol just isn't worth it.

As noted by Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld.com:

There are deals for Gasol, but all of them either have the Lakers taking back multiple assets, which they cannot do without eating some contracts or taking on bad financial deals.

Kyler continued talking shop on Twitter:

The Lakers can't do a multiple player deal without eating contracts and have said they are not looking at that... so its all moot.

— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 3, 2013

The Spaniard has tendinitis in both of his knees (h/t ESPN) and is shooting a career-worst 41.7 percent from the floor this year. 

There isn't a team in the NBA that is going to give up something of substance—much less a young, up-and-coming player—for Gasol.

No matter how maddening he may be, taking on someone else's bad contracts—something the Lakers would have to do with Gasol earning $19 million this season and $19.25 million (roughly) in 2013-14—is a terrible idea.

If anything, the Lakers would be wise to hold on to Gasol until the NBA draft rolls around, when his expiring contract could be attractive to teams looking for salary-cap relief following the 2013-14 season.

As it stands right now, there's no chance that the Lakers could get anything better than what they've already got in Gasol.

Moving him for the sake of making a move would be counterproductive, both for the short-term and long-term success of the team.

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