With the emergence of center Nikola Pekovic, one would think Minnesota’s not in the market for a big man to pair with Kevin Love in an effort to make a run at a playoff berth. Pekovic has turned heads in February: Six double-doubles in nine games, and averages of 17.1 points and 10.6 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field. Despite Pekovic’s surge, a report claims the Wolves are interested in prying Pau Gasol away from the Lakers, in an effort to team him with his buddy from Spain, Ricky Rubio:
Minnesota continues to pursue a possible trade for Lakers forward Pau Gasol, dangling rookie Derrick Williams, who is from the Los Angeles area, and draft choices. The only players considered untouchable by the Timberwolves, who are seeking to add a veteran by the trade deadline, are Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves believe it could be enticing for Gasol to play on the same team as fellow Spaniard Rubio.
A Gasol-Love combo essentially would be a top five center and a top five power forward in the same frontcourt. It would also signal to rookie Ricky Rubio that the franchise is committed to keeping him happy. And it would certainly give Minnesota the frontcourt depth to deal with the Clippers in the playoffs. But would giving up promising Derrick Williams, draft picks and maybe a someone else be too much for a guy who turns 32 in July?
As for the Lakers, while they need to get younger, they are desperate for 3-point shooting, and Williams, who is only making 23-percent of shots behind the arc, won’t solve that. Is giving up Gasol a white flag on the season? How would Kobe like that move? Gasol’s stats are down slightly this season (18.8 to 16.8 points, 53 percent shooting to 50 percent this year), but he hasn’t fallen off a cliff, which was the fear after last year’s awful playoff series against Dallas.
I’d love to see a 2-man game between Rubio and Gasol, with Kevin Love on the other side spotting up.
Minnesota’s 14-16, but only two games out of the final spot in the West. [Fox Sports]