Don't get me wrong here. The Gasol situation is important and needs to be resolved soon. That being said, other rumors are getting overlooked because of the constant updates regarding the team's star center.
The 14-19 Lakers are in need of some help, and they'll take it from anywhere they can get it at this point. With Kobe Bryant out due to a fracture in his left knee, L.A. will need more firepower to keep this team afloat while he heals up. Even when he returns, there's no telling what he'll be able to give.
Look for L.A. to be active ahead of the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Here are a few rumors to monitor up until then.
This would allow the Lakers to shed Gasol's contract, and by waiving Bynum, would rid them of a ton of cash heading into the upcoming offseason. However, the progression of these talks have been slow-moving at best.
Shelburne gave the latest update on the swap on Jan. 5:
Lakers vehemently deny Pau trade is done. Vehemently deny. Aren't budging from stance that they want asset for Gasol— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 5, 2014
Plus, Marc Stein of ESPN admits that a one-for-one swap technically wouldn't even work financially.
Cavs would love to get deal done Sunday. But NOT there yet. Lakers still looking for extra asset + Pau-for-Bynum alone doesn't work cap-wise— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 5, 2014
Gasol has played poorly this season—perhaps the worst he's ever played throughout his 13-year NBA career. He's shooting a career-low 44.9 percent from the floor with 15.3 points and 9.5 boards per night.
It's obvious that he's not the same player he was when he first came to the Lakers back in 2007-08, and the team seems determined to deal him prior to his impending free agency after the season.
The Los Angeles Lakers could emerge as a suitor for free agent Hedo Turkoglu, according to a source: http://t.co/ePJ0OCEL0z— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 5, 2014
The forward has yet to play this season. In 2012-13, he averaged just 17.2 minutes per game over the 11 contests he appeared in, and scored only 2.9 points per night in the process. He shot 26.4 percent from the floor and an abysmal 4.2 percent from three.
That being said, the 34-year-old veteran might find himself decent minutes over the next month or so with the Lakers. Even Turkoglu would prove useful on this roster that has been decimated by injuries.
A signing of Turkoglu represents a small risk that could pay dividends if he can rekindle his old touch from deep. A career 38.1 percent shooter from three, Turkoglu would add another dimension to the team's offense.
Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Steve Nash are all battling injuries right now, which leaves Kendall Marshall as the lone healthy point guard on the team's roster.
Berger breaks it down:
With the deadline less than seven weeks away, [Masai] Ujiri is said to have multiple deals he could do for Lowry that would involve receiving an expiring contract in return or slotting him into another team's trade exception. Taking back future salary would come at a high price, i.e. a first-round pick.
Lakers, Knicks Warriors among teams asking about Kyle Lowry trade http://t.co/LYwOlGoCF2— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) January 4, 2014
Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has flirted with dealing Lowry all season. The Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves are all in the discussion, cites Berger.
Adding Lowry would be a smart move for the Lakers. Nash can't be relied on at this point, and the likes of Blake, Farmar and Henry are best suited for reserve roles anyway. Marshall really shouldn't even be anything more than a No. 3 point guard in the NBA at this point.
The Lakers will have some competition if they want to get a deal done with Toronto, though, and that could prove to be the biggest obstacle they need to overcome.