The Lakers are 9-10, Pau Gasol is struggling through early season doldrums (career-lows of 42 percent shooting, 12.6 ppg) and Lakers fans can’t wait for the team to trade him and get younger on the wing (or anywhere, really).
[Could they renege on that promise? Sure, especially after this horrendous start.]
At some point, the Lakers have to think about their future, because a horrible train wreck of a season and an ancient roster could leave the door open for Dwight Howard to ponder his options in the offseason.
Even if you don’t buy the Nash promise stuff, ESPN LA is reporting that the Lakers have already rebuffed two offers for Gasol:
Stretch power forward Andrea Bargnani, veteran point guard Jose Calderon and fellow vet Linas Kleiza are among the players, sources say, whom the Raptors have discussed making available to the Lakers in a deal for Gasol. It’s an open secret around the league, meanwhile, that Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has been trying since last season to acquire Gasol to join fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio in a three-man core with All-Star forward Kevin Love, but sources say the Lakers continue to resist Minnesota’s attempts to build a trade offer around 2011’s No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams and center Nikola Pekovic.
The Toronto deal is preposterous, but the Minnesota one – if they can somehow land Williams and Pekovic – would be a stroke of genius. I don’t think the Lakers really need to fire up the ESPN Trade Machine until Steve Nash has played at least 20-25 games with the squad. He’s played 40 minutes this season!