Surprise surprise, rumors are swirling again that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to move starting PF Pau Gasol. The 32 year old Spaniard is again the victim of the Lakers early season struggles. This season for the Lakers has been one of big dreams and mass blame. Early on it was Mike Brown, who in reality should never have been chosen over Rick Adelman in the first place. Brown got the quick axe and now it looks to be the once loved Lakers big man who is getting the LA “Death Stare”.
Thus far Gasol has registered a career low 12.6 PPG while shooting .420 percent from the floor. The rest of his game seems to be around his career average with 8.8 RPG and a respectable 3.5 APG. But with the unsatisfactory drop from his Laker average 18.4PPG, it is easy to put a target on the 7’0” big man. Unfortunately for Pau, his surroundings seem to be his downfall. He is on one of the most covered and decorated sports franchises of all time, playing with one of the greatest NBA players of all time and is once again paired with a post player who is taking Pau’s touches , looks, and space in the paint. Granted Pau can hit it from anywhere within 18 feet, he needs to be fed the ball down low. I don’t know if the Lakers forgot, but Pau Gasol has one of the best jump hooks in the league today, and not to mention he can do it with either hand! But so can Dwight Howard right………..?
To be honest, I’m shocked the pairing of Dwight and Pau has not worked yet. It seems like they would be a perfect fit, Dwight the freakishly athletic defensive center, and Pau the offensively versatile power forward who can spread the floor and pass with the best of them. To my disbelief, and the entire leagues, it’s not working. Even now with the offensive genius Mike D’Antoni calling the shots, the Lakers still aren’t producing. In my mind, waiting for Point Guard Steve Nash to come back and run the show would be a better idea than sending Pau packing. He was proven to be a top power forward in this league and he could (against popular belief) be effective with Nash running the D’Antoni’s system. Between the constant ridicule from the media, the call outs by Kobe and what seems to be a loss in confidence, maybe new scenery is what Pau needs to resuscitate his offense.
If any of you remember, last season there were trade rumors floating around the Timberpups were looking to acquire the Spanish big man. The Pups were said to have offered rookie Derrick Williams and Center Nikola Pekovic for Gasol. Last year, I would be all over this, pairing Pau with fellow countrymen Ricky Rubio! But with the impressive inside presence of PEK, and D Will starting to build an all-around game…no thanks. As much as Pau and Love could flourish together, they would be a soft interior defense. Pekovic and Williams are both young (at 26 and 21 respectively) and like the Lakers we are waiting for our flashy passing point guard to return form injury to lead the pack. Right now the chemistry on this team is the best I have seen in years from the Wolves. The Wolves have had their struggles early one, but between adapting to new players and the plethora of injuries we are looking to make a push. Although Pau seems to be a compatible with the Wolves, I would take Pekovic over Gasol all day. And seriously, would you want to be the person who had to tell Nikola Pekovic, the strongest man in the NBA, pack your bags.
I would be surprised to see this become anything more than a common NBA trade rumor. Both teams are feeling the pressure to win now, LA because they have created another trending super team, and the Wolves from the fear that All Star Power Forward Kevin Love will bolt once his contract has expired. Regardless, it’s going to be a chore for the Lakers to move Pau with $19 Million due this year and next year. All I can say is, KAAAHHNNNN NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!