Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has been at the center of trade rumors since late last year. No one knew what the Lakers had in store for the four-time All-Star and the fact that nobody was saying anything upset teammate Kobe Bryant.
Originally, Gasol and Lamar Odom were to be traded in order for the Lakers to acquire point guard Chris Paul. The trade was blocked by NBA commissioner David Stern but the aftermath was devastating to the team. Odom wanted out of Los Angeles immediately and Gasol never truly recovered from almost leaving the team.
According to ESPN, Gasol and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak broke the silence to speak about his status with Los Angeles. The conversation came shortly after Bryant publicly criticized the Lakers front office for not clarifying what their intentions were with Gasol.
“I have an understanding of where things are,” Gasol said Tuesday, according to ESPN. “Where they stand and where he stands and where I stand. He [Kupchak] told me to just keep doing what you do, keep playing hard and playing on and from that point on, we’ll see.”
Gasol said Kupchak did not directly tell him whether or not he would be traded before the deadline next week but the feedback he received seemed positive.
“It was kind of calming to have that feedback,” Gasol said. “Since before training camp, it was the first time I was approached by them.”
It is no wonder why Gasol, Bryant and the rest of the Los Angeles players were upset when a possible trade was announced in December. Not to mention, the confusion that has taken place since then that has just recently been talked about internally. The fact that Gasol had to wait almost four months for a clarification on his status with the Lakers is ridiculous.
“It’s hard because when an organization is going to pull the trigger, I guess the less involvement and the less contact, the easier it is,” Gasol said. “That was the point if you watched that movie ‘Moneyball’ where Brad Pitt doesn’t want to be involved with players. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but you could see that kind of factor.”
The NBA trade deadline is March 15 which means the Lakers will have to make a decision soon.