Lakers Rumors: Latest Rumblings from Los Angeles on Pau Gasol and Kevin Love

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 20: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 20, 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 Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It has been a season to forget for the Los Angeles Lakers as injuries and losses continue to pile up.

The Kobe Bryant-less Lakers sit at an abysmal 14-22 and are staring at a sizable hole if they want to climb back into playoff position in the deep Western Conference. It may be a lost year, but that doesn’t mean the Los Angeles brass doesn’t have its eye on the future. 

Let’s dig into some of the latest Lakers rumors.

Looking for a Power Forward 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 27:  Mike D'Antoni, Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a call during play against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena on December 27, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
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Perhaps the Lakers have grown tired of seeing Blake Griffin dominate the airwaves in town because they are on the market for an athletic power forward of their own to fit Mike D’Antoni’s system.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported that Los Angeles would like to add a versatile piece to fit in the four spot who can run the floor and finish in transition. D’Antoni loves his team to get out and run, which seems to indicate guys like Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly may not be the long-term answers for the Lakers.

Berger does note that it isn’t clear just how high on the power forward ladder Los Angeles is willing to climb, although given its position in the standings, moves to bolster future rosters may be the way to go.

Trade Market for Pau Gasol Dwindling

Rumors surrounding Pau Gasol have become a regularity in Los Angeles by now to the point where poor Gasol can’t even enjoy a night out with his family to see The Lion King without hearing about them.

While it may have seemed imminent recently that the big man would be traded to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum, those rumors swiftly ended when the Cavs swapped Bynum to Chicago for Luol Deng.

Now Berger notes that league sources seem to think Gasol’s trade value has completely plummeted. That is especially important considering the Lakers are on the market for an athletic power forward, and Gasol may be a potential trading chip. 

Despite the dip in market value, Gasol is still posting nightly averages of 15.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 blocks, so he would certainly provide some value to a contender looking to make a splash.

Kevin Love 2015?

The one thing that may salvage the moods of Lakers fans is the fact that Kevin Love may be joining their side in the future.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 8:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves stands on the court against the Phoenix Suns on January 8, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadin
Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

Berger mentions the following when discussing Los Angeles’ search for a power forward on the market:

Rival executives are skeptical that the Lakers would be willing to cut into future cap space, especially with an Eastern Conference executive telling CBSSports.com this week that "everyone knows" 2015 free agent Kevin Love wants to sign with LA. 

Clearly, landing a transcendent talent like Love would almost instantly make the Lakers contenders again in the West, assuming there are at least some capable pieces surrounding him by 2015. He is a double-double machine and would likely thrive in D’Antoni’s offense because of his shooting prowess and ability to start the break with underrated outlet passes.

Follow and interact with Bleacher Report writer Scott Polacek on Twitter @ScottPolacek.


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