Pau Gasol Addresses Trade Rumors, Says 'It's Not Easy' Being Involved

Ben Leibowitz@BenLeboCorrespondent IIIJanuary 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers stretches before a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at STAPLES Center on December 31, 2013 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol is no stranger to having his name stirred around in trade rumors, but the 33-year-old veteran said that being involved in such talks doesn’t get any easier.

“It’s not easy,” Gasol said, according to an article by ESPN’s J.A. Adande. “As much as I’m used to it after three years of several [years of potential trades], it’s not easy.”

The most recent trade rumor involving Gasol was a proposed deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers that would send former Laker Andrew Bynum back to Los Angeles, per Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Those talks, however, have reportedly stalled, according to Windhorst and Shelburne.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 21:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2012 NBA
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Considering that Gasol was taken off the trade block as recently as December, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, it’s difficult to decipher exactly where he fits in with the Lakers’ plans.

According to the article, sources close to the situation said the franchise had decided to keep the four-time All-Star.

That proved not to be the case.

The Spaniard has experienced friction with head coach Mike D’Antoni since he took over the job from Mike Brown early last season. The two exchanged words through the media this season, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

“When I’m not getting the ball where I want to, where I’m most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity,” Gasol said.

D’Antoni countered the seven-footer by saying, “Everybody, to a man, we’ve just got to play harder and worry about things less.”

Jan. 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni gestures towards forward Pau Gasol (16) against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from a solid three-game stretch from Dec. 16 through Dec. 20—when Gasol averaged 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game—the big man has experienced another down year.

He’s averaging 15.1 points per game on a career-low 44.3 percent shooting during the 2013-14 campaign. He notched just 13.7 points per game a year ago for the Lakers when Dwight Howard was aboard.

On top of all that, Gasol has been suffering from a sinus infection and bronchitis, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. He’s missed two of the Lakers’ past three games as a result.

The veteran has experienced a perfect storm of circumstances this season. Trade rumors continue to be a harsh reality he’ll have to face.