HoopsHype Pau Gasol + Trade rumors

February 19, 2014 Updates

However, sources said the Lakers have remained resolute in every trade discussion not to trade Gasol without acquiring an asset in return, and that there is a growing sentiment within the organization that it could be more valuable to hold on to Gasol and his Bird rights as he becomes a free agent and the organization has substantial room under the salary cap for the first time in years. ESPN.com

February 18, 2014 Updates

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has heard his name in trade rumors for more than two years now, so he is equipped to make it through the next two days before the NBA's trade deadline passes on Thursday afternoon. "It fills up a lot of pages and f------ airtime," an exasperated Gasol said Tuesday after the Lakers' first practice since the All-Star break. "It's something that's there and there's potential that it might happen. Who knows? We might be saying that it's been great to see you guys (in the media) and we'll see you around. But hopefully that won't be the case because it's always hard and I think if it ever happened, it would be tough." ESPN.com

Gasol, 33, said he is aware that Wednesday could be the last time he plays a game for the Lakers. "I hope not," said Gasol, who was acquired by the Lakers near the trade deadline in 2008 and helped lead the team to three straight Finals appearances and two championships. "It's possible. Again, hopefully it won't happen. But it's a possibility and it's something that I always thought about, that this could be my last game here. It's been like that for a while, but as we get close to the deadline, I guess it's a little more intense." ESPN.com

The Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Los Angeles Lakers concerning veteran big man Pau Gasol, but a source familiar with the discussion downplayed the likelihood Gasol would end up a Bobcat by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Gasol makes over $19 million in this, the final season of his current contract. Superstar Kobe Bryant is hurt and the Lakers have fallen out of the Western Conference playoff race, so getting something for Gasol – like a first-round pick – is something the Lakers have explored. Charlotte Observer

February 16, 2014 Updates
February 13, 2014 Updates

The NBA's trade deadline is next Thursday. Will Pau Gasol still be with the Lakers? "My preference would be to stay," Gasol said Thursday. "That's what I've been saying all year, though the circumstances are difficult right now for our team and nobody's too happy. But it's still my team and I still want to be here." Los Angeles Times

But after so many false starts and trade rumors over the years, does he even feel wanted by the Lakers? "I think I feel wanted. Otherwise I wouldn't be here," he said. "The team would have pulled the trigger with prior opportunities that I'm sure had been on the table. I feel like the team appreciates me. It's just a tough moment, I think, as far as the franchise losses. That always is going to stir things up and you've got to look at options and possibilities to get better as a team, a franchise. "I don't take it personal. I appreciate that a lot of teams have showed a lot of interest in me and believe in my abilities to make them better and help them be a better team." Los Angeles Times

"I've been mentally ready more or less and emotionally ready for a while now ... for three years now," Gasol said, chuckling, not needing to remind everybody that the Lakers were ready to send him to Houston as part of the vetoed three-team Chris Paul trade in December 2011. "As we get close to it, I'm sure things will heat up at some point and we'll see if they actually fall through or they don't. Either way, I'll be ready and once that date kind of passes, just finish off the season strong and see where I'm at." Los Angeles Times

Moving Gasol could accomplish two goals for Lakers management at this point: shedding salary to try to get under the luxury tax threshold and also adding a young piece or a draft pick it can use for the future. When the Lakers-Cavs talks were still active, one league source described L.A.'s motivation to ESPNLosAngeles.com by saying, "The Lakers are in the assets-acquiring business." The Lakers are approximately $8 million over the luxury tax line, so there are other ways they could get under without dealing Gasol. ESPN.com

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