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The Los Angeles Lakers are 20-25, have fired a head coach and have had chemistry issues seemingly all season. The team has struggled to implement a new system and several new players and starts four players over 30 years old.
One of the biggest issues for the Lakers this season has been Pau Gasol's offensive struggles. He is averaging career lows in points, 12.7 per game and field-goal percentage, 44.7 percent. Gasol has never averaged less than 17.4 points per game in a season during his career.
There have been a variety of factors contributing to his struggles. First, he has struggled to stay healthy—missing 13 games—which has hurt his ability to get into a rhythm with his teammates.
This biggest issue Gasol has had is finding a place in Mike D'Antoni's offensive system. The system is fast-paced and pick-and-roll heavy while featuring very few low-post looks, Gasol's biggest strength. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard also excel on the block, so there is always a shortage of looks for Gasol. Often he is forced to the perimeter where he is left open and forced to shoot long jump shots.
In an ideal world, the Lakers could trade Gasol for multiple players to add depth and shooting to the roster while not taking on any long-term contracts. With his age and salary, over $19 million next season according to HoopsHype, finding a trade partner to meet those requirements will be nearly impossible.
Even though Gasol may not be happy in Los Angeles and the Lakers could stand to get younger and deeper, Gasol's value has probably dropped too much this season to get fair value in a trade. The Lakers would be best suited to keep Gasol and try to take advantage of their dominating post play to make a playoff push.