Despite the Lakers not being sure about Dwight Howard‘s future in Los Angeles, they continue to explore trades involving Pau Gasol, according to HoopsWorld:
Sources close to the process say the Lakers continue to talk about Gasol deals with teams, but that they basically understand that moving him would net them pennies on the dollar for Gasol’s talent. It is clear Pau Gasol doesn’t have much of a future with Mike D’Antoni; however the Lakers don’t have enough assets to just give away Gasol to move him.
Gasol has been playing pretty well as of late: he’s averaging 13.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in just 28.6 minutes off the bench, as opposed to similar numbers in 34 minutes as a starter. His field goal percentage has seen a sharp increase too, up from 42% as a starter to 53% off the pine.
However, due to Gasol’s better play in recent weeks, many have felt he should be getting more minutes than the 28.6 per game that he’s currently averaging – he and head coach Mike D’Antoni don’t currently appear to be on the best of terms.
Gasol’s name has been brought up in trade talks for near two years now, so this is nothing new, but if D’Antoni is only going to play him 28.6 minutes per game, you have to wonder if the Lakers would look to make a move – he’s making $19 million this year and nearly $19.3 million the next – do the Lakers feel a trade for more depth, perhaps, would be a better use of $19 million’s worth?
Although, with Dwight’s uncertain future in Los Angeles – he’s a free agent this summer, of course – and his current injury woes, the Lakers may need to keep hold of Gasol for big man insurance, especially after they lost Jordan Hill for the year earlier this month.