With the trade deadline nearing, one of the biggest possible names on the market is Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers. The rumors are not going to stop until the deadline has come and gone or Gasol is actually moved.
Update: Friday, March 9 at 6:54 p.m. EDT (Update by Jeff Chase)
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports also reports that there is no Gasol deal on the horizon.
Lakers front office telling people that "nothing is happening" with Pau Gasol, league sources say. For now, anyway.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 9, 2012
Considering how much of a respected figure Woj is in the NBA community, it seems pretty likely that this whole situation has been blown out of proportion. It will remain to be seen what will happen next, but it appears that this deal is continually being shot down.
Update: Friday, March 9 at 3:54 p.m. EDT
Alex Kennedy of Hoops World is refuting that any potential deal with Gasol is on the horizon.
I just talked to several executives and nobody has heard about an imminent Pau Gasol trade.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) March 9, 2012
If there is, in fact, a potential deal involving Gasol, it is the best kept secret in the world. That is not to say something couldn't happen soon, but it does appear that the Lakers could be more serious about moving him than they have been since the failed trade before the season.
Update: Friday, March 9 at 3:40 p.m. EDT
There are now mixed reports out there about what is going on with Pau Gasol.
According to Roland Lazenby, there is going to be something announced soon with Gasol being dealt.
It seems we'll soon be getting news that Gasol has been traded. No details confirmed, but he's apparently gone.— Roland Lazenby (@lazenby) March 9, 2012
That seems very cryptic, but it would not be a shock to hear something because Gasol has basically been on the block since the offseason began.
On the opposite side, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that Houston is still pushing to acquire Gasol but nothing is close.
Houston has continued to aggressively probe the Lakers on a potential Pau Gasol trade, but there's no deal close, league sources tell Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 9, 2012
All the information has to be making Gasol's head spin even more than it was. It is going to be an interesting weekend for the Lakers.
Update: Friday, March 9 at 9:49 p.m. EST
Ken Berger of CBS Sports gave a pretty good idea as to what the Lakers would be looking for if they were to move Gasol.
Houston, whose acquisition of Pau Gasol in the ill-fated trade that would've sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, also remains in hot pursuit of the Spaniard, sources say. So are the Timberwolves, who would like to pair Gasol with Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. The Lakers, however, are unwilling to trade Gasol unless they get a comparable All-Star in return -- preferably one who could provide the guard penetration they're so sorely lacking.
It's hard to imagine a trade really working out there. The Rockets do have Kyle Lowry, but they're a playoff team. Teams headed for the postseason don't usually move their starting point guards towards the end of the year.
Update: Wednesday, March 7 at 4:36 p.m. EST
Pau Gasol and Mitch Kupchak have finally discussed the trade rumors swirling about. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the two discussed Gasol's situation at length.
"It was kind of calming to have that feedback. Since before training camp, it was the first time I was approached by them."
This might not have been what Gasol wanted to hear and in no way does it seem he is suggesting he is firmly on or off the trading block, but finally hearing where he stands with the organization has to be reassuring to Gasol, who seems to have been kept in the dark until this point.
That was confirmed by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, who wrote that Gasol heard from the Lakers about the possibility of him being moved.
Pau Gasol did hear directly from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Monday, I'm told.
Gasol got no guarantees – same as in Kupchak's official statement later that night – but at least he received an update and an acknowledgement from Lakers management. That's more than had happened in months, so credit Kobe Bryant for helping Gasol get that much, too.
Reasons for interest in Gasol can't be a secret.
Frankly, it's hard to keep track of all of the possibilities, but let's take a look at a few of the more recent ones.
Larry Coon, who covers the NBA for outlets including ESPN and the New York Times, answered a question on Twitter by saying that the Rockets like Gasol, but that it will be hard to come to a deal.
Rox still like Gasol. I don't see a 2-way deal that makes a lot of sense for RT @James_Schmidt1: Who do you think Rockets move for? Gasol?— Larry Coon (@LarryCoon) February 26, 2012
That is an accurate assessment. Sam Smith of NBA.com gave a specific deal that the Lakers are interested in.
The deal that’s been most speculated is Gasol for Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.
Get real. It would make no sense for the Rockets, a contending team, to make that move.
Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8:44 p.m. EST
The scuttlebutt is that the Magic would send Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson to the Lakers and the Magic would receive Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
That would certainly be the biggest trade of the deadline, but it is a real longshot. Robbins even added that in his report.
Magic CEO Alex Martins told the Sentinel the rumor is wrong.
The Magic have said all along that they will speak to Howard at some point before or on March 1 to see what he plans to do when he can become a free agent this summer.
The next two-plus weeks are going to crawl for Gasol and anyone interested in where he goes. Anything can literally happen, including absolutely nothing. Stay tuned.