Lakers Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Won't Benefit Enough in Any Deal for Pau Gasol

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09:  Injured Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol #16 (L) and Steve Nash #10 watch from the bench in street clothes the game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on December 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Jazz won 117-110.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers need to stand pat with Pau Gasol.

Lakers management has been trying to part ways with its big man for the past few seasons, to no avail. It's hard to see why the team would want to part ways with such a skilled forward.

Much like Los Angeles as a whole, this year has been one to forget for Gasol. Through knee problems and a concussion, he's only played in 25 of the team's 37 games.

When considering a possible trade involving Gasol, though, the losses far outweigh the potential benefits.

At this point, the Lakers need to ride with the players they have.

The Lakers' executive vice president Jim Buss said as much to Ramona Shelburne of

"We still like this team a lot," Buss said Thursday in an interview with ESPNLA 710 radio in Los Angeles. "How can you not believe in this team? This team is built to win. It's a very, very solid team. We haven't seen them all together and play together for games. In my mind, we would not consider a temporary fix or blow it up. Why blow up something we have a future with?

"It's very difficult to talk this way because we're five games under or six games under .500, and we've dug ourselves a hole. But at the same time, I feel that if we put it together, we can string seven or eight games in a row and dig ourselves out of this hole. If we play with the energy we've seen in the last two games, then I think you go into the playoffs with momentum."

Injuries to Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash mean that Los Angeles' preferred starting five hasn't been able to connect on the court.

While the team has been very bad at times, you can expect the Lakers to improve organically as their team continuity grows stronger.

Nash has only played 13 games so far this year. When your starting point guard misses so much of the first part of the season, you can't expect your team to perform very well, no matter who else you've got.

In addition, the play of Earl Clark recently has shown the Lakers may have a solid forward option to bring off the bench.

It's not going to help things to trade away Gasol and then bring in more new players who have to get used to Mike D'Antoni's system and playing together as a team.

This concern could be dismissed if Los Angeles was able to obtain some very valuable pieces in return. But at this stage, that's simply not possible.

If the Lakers wanted to get rid of Gasol, they should have pulled the trigger a long time ago. His trade value has never been lower than it is right now.

Gasol is having the worst season of his career. His 12.2 points per game are six points lower than his career average, and his field-goal percentage is a full .100 points lower than his .518 career average.

In terms of the more advanced stats, his player efficiency rating, true shooting percentage and effective field-goal percentage are all the lowest of his career.

Most of his struggles this season are due to injury. When he does get healthy, it's not as if teams are going to queue up in order to acquire his services.

And the ones that do will only be offering a mere pittance compared to what Gasol can still bring the Lakers.