NBA Rumors: Lakers Should Eliminate Distractions and Trade Pau Gasol

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IFebruary 18, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Pau Gasol #16 against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2012 in New York City.  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 Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers tried to trade Pau Gasol before the season in order to acquire Chris Paul, but since that trade fell through, it's clear that the star forward is still being bothered by that and other trade rumors involving him this season.

Per ESPN:

"There's talks and rumors every day. Today I was reading it was Minnesota is really interested in trying to put a good package together," he said. "[Other teams are] calling, and it seems like things are just waiting for the right offer to come along, for [the Lakers] to pull the trigger."

"It's out of my hands. It is what it is. I'd like to be here," he said. "I'd like to make this team better and get back to a championship level, but it's not up to me."

Gasol, 31, is having a nice season, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. After a terrible 2011 playoffs last year, Gasol has bounced back well thus far in 2012.

However, these distractions involving trade rumors obviously weigh on player's minds and it looks like Gasol is really thinking about them.

When new rumors sprout up every few weeks, it's hard to imagine that your're going to finish the season where you are currently.

It's clear the Lakers are open to discussing Gaosl's availability with other teams and going forward the best move would be to just trade him so he can start fresh in a new place without these types of distractions.

Trade rumors affect players differently, but it seems that Gasol has really been affected by them. It's clear that the Lakers need to get younger at most positions and certainly need an upgrade at point guard.

Gasol is still a quality trade chip to use because any seven-footer with the great skill set he has will be coveted by nearly every NBA team.

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The Lakers need to get better, and if Gasol keeps thinking about these rumors and his play suffers as a result then trading him is the best move for both sides.