NBA Atlanta Hawks

NBA Rumors: Could Lakers trade Pau Gasol back to Grizzlies?

The majority of the rumors coming out of L.A. this offseason appear to be surrounding Pau Gasol, who the Los Angeles Lakers seem bent on trading at some point in the next couple of months.

The latest rumor regarding Gasol and his likely departure from the land of purple and gold involves a reunion with his brother Marc Gasol, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily Times, there’s a possibility that Gasol could be shipped to the Grizzlies, even if the price isn’t right.

“The Lakers are committed to moving Pau Gasol – the fall guy for their second round ouster against the Thunder and previous playoff failures – even if they have to take back less talent. As long as [Grizzlies owner Michael] Heisley retains the Grizzlies, Memphis will always have interest. Heisley has always wanted to bring Gasol back, pairing him with his brother Marc,” Lawrence said in a Saturday column.

Gasol’s original route to the Lakers was through Memphis. The younger brother’s route to Memphis was through the Lakers. It just didn’t seem like the initial trade involved a round-trip flight for the older Gasol. No matter how it happens, the potential teaming of the two has to be tempting for the Grizzlies.

The biggest concern for the Lakers regarding this situation is what their compensation would be for Gasol, who is still extremely valuable despite his lackluster playoff performances as of late. My instincts tell me that the Lakers would have their focus on attaining fellow power forward Zach Randolph, who would provide some much-needed tenacity and energy to the lineup.

Other options could be small forward Rudy Gay, a great player at a position that has proven to be a huge crutch for the Lakers over the years, or a package deal including point guard Michael Conley, a terrific shooter who also plays at a position of need.

Even if the Lakers found a reasonable deal, the potential sale of the franchise to Robert J. Pena could be a stick in the spokes. It’s expected that Heisley will sell the Grizzlies to Pena over the summer, which would leave a Gasol trade in the garbage can.

More than likely, Gasol will be playing for a different team when the 2012-2013 season rolls around. The only remaining question is which one.

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