Lakers Rumors: Latest on Pau Gasol, Hedo Turkoglu and More

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIJanuary 5, 2014

Dec 23, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) and center Chris Kaman (9) react on the bench in the second half against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. The Suns won 117-90. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

The Pau Gasol saga has taken over much of the attention of the Los Angeles Lakers' fanbase, but there are plenty of other rumors swirling around for the Purple and Gold.

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.


Pau Gasol

Dec 23, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) is guarded in the first half by Phoenix Suns forward Miles Plumlee (22) at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of reported on Dec. 31 that the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers were discussing a swap of Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

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:

Plus, Marc Stein of ESPN admits that a one-for-one swap technically wouldn't even work financially.

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.


Hedo Turkoglu

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 20:  Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks on January 20, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Hedo Turkoglu was waived by the Orlando Magic on Friday, and sources have told Alex Kennedy of that the Lakers are interested in signing him once he clears waivers.

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.


Kyle Lowry

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 22:  Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 22, 2013 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

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.

This would appear to necessitate a trade, and Ken Berger of reports that the Lakers have put themselves in the discussion for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.

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.

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.