The Los Angeles Lakers have four major stars, but Kobe Bryant isn't going anywhere, Dwight Howard isn't going anywhere (they hope), and Steve Nash, once he's healthy, isn't going anywhere because he's the one to run Mike D'Antoni's offence. That makes Pau Gasol the presumed odd man out, given his weighty contract and declining stats. He makes $19 million this season and, the big blow, $19.3 million next season, when luxury taxes increase dramatically in an effort to eliminate the obvious spending differences between big and small markets. Gasol, 32, is averaging 13.4 points and shooting only 43.4 per cent this season, easily career lows for the four-time All-Star if he doesn't improve them. The Lakers aren't actively looking to trade Gasol right now, the Los Angeles Times has learned, because they want to see what happens when Nash returns from a small fracture in his leg. After that, there are two important dates: Dec. 15 is when teams can deal players they signed during the off-season, opening up about 20 per cent more of the NBA's player pool; and Feb. 21, the league's trade deadline. Gasol has been in four entirely different offences the last three seasons. It's pretty obvious which one he prefers. He did everything but give a figurative hug to the triangle offence Monday.
Pau Gasol's mediocre stats a $19 million problem for L.A. Lakers
Toronto Star | Nov 27