Despite the sheer number of trade rumors concerning Pau Gasol, it seems that the big man isn’t leaving Los Angeles just yet.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, the Lakers brass has already rejected at least two serious trade proposals for their All-Star PF, and will continue to wait for Steve Nash’s return to the lineup before making any rash decisions.
As per the pair’s report, the Toronto Raptors offered a package that likely included Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza in exchange for the 32-year-old big man. The Minnesota Timberwolves were also interested, dangling last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Derrick Williams, and Nikola Pekovic out there for Gasol.
While rumors earlier in the week suggested that the Lake Show had painted the New Orleans Hornets’ Ryan Anderson as the No. 1 target, Stein and Shelburne found the stretch 4 is considered untouchable and it would be a waste of time for L.A. to pursue a trade for his services.
Bargnani is now the best, most available target the Lakers can return for Gasol, as the former No. 1 overall pick has range out to the three-point line and, on paper, fits with D’Antoni’s offensive philosophy.
However, it doesn’t seem the Lakers are in panic mode yet, and any potential deal is likely still a few weeks away at the least. GM Mitch Kupchak has been adamant about giving the slumping Spaniard a chance to prove himself in coach Mike D’Anonti’s offense with Nash back in command.
Gasol hasn’t been able to find his rhythm in the up-tempo, run-and-gun system, but has also dealt with second-year backup Darius Morris and journeyman Chris Duhon running the point.
Pau, a two-time NBA champion, is also dealing with tendinitis in both knees, which has caused him to miss the past two games and has hindered his athleticism for much of the 2012-13 season.
Hopefully Nash and Gasol will return to the lineup in the near future, as the sooner the Lakers can either commit to their PF or flip him, the better.
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