The Minnesota Timberwolves have been linked with Pau Gasol for a while now. They have visions of pairing him with fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio and giving him a prominent position in Rick Adelman’s offense.
Despite Gasol’s recent struggles, the Wolves still remain very much interested in trading for Pau, according to ESPN:
As long as Pau Gasol is a Laker, trade rumors will percolate, and as they do, they will always include the Wolves.
The fact is Kahn and Adelman love the thought of Gasol in their offense. Adelman’s recipe for success in Sacramento was due in large part to Chris Webber and Vlade Divac. The Wolves look at Love and Gasol as comparable to that duo.
Gasol is an excellent passer. Adelman loves big men who excel at that. A team source said Taylor is willing to go over the luxury tax for the 2013-14 season if the right deal presents itself. With a salary of nearly $20 million next year, Gasol fits that mold.
The Timberwolves were rumored to have offered Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic for Gasol in 2012. The Lakers could definitely use Williams’ services, but Pekovic would be best off being moved to another team in exchange for pieces the Lakers could actually use; he wouldn’t have much use with Dwight Howard on the roster.
A trade involving Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour works financially – L.A. would have to send a couple of players with Gasol too to keep the roster numbers down – and it could possibly be just the kind of move Los Angeles needs. Ridnour could be more attractive to L.A. as he has a team option in 2014, though Barea is the better player and only has less than $5 million on his deal that year. AK47’s deal expires in the summer of 2014: perfect.
Some may argue Gasol has more value, but with nearly $20 million owed next season and his current diminished state, it’ll probably be hard to get a true All-Star back for Pau at this point.
The Wolves have wanted Pau for a while and need to take a risk if they really want to make a push for the Playoffs. They’ve also got to try and win to keep Kevin Love happy.
The Lakers would get youth, athleticism and shooting from Williams. They’d get defense and slashing from Kirilenko. And they’d get bench help from Barea or Ridnour.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but the way things are going, you can expect to hear more rumors involving Pau Gasol in the coming weeks.