The Los Angeles Lakers are a sinking ship with more passengers than life boats at this particular moment. In an effort to chase more championships before Kobe Bryant walks away, or while his is still playing at a high level, they threw all of their chips into assembling an all-star roster which has failed. Steve Nash has missed half of the season, one head coach has been fired and the current coach needs to be fired as well, Dwight Howard hasn’t performed like his normal self, and Pau Gasol looks like a shell of his former self on most nights.
To be honest, Gasol hasn’t been himself since the Lakers were unceremoniously swept by the Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs a few seasons ago. The world knows that Gasol happens to be extremely fragile mentally. Being mentioned in multiple trade rumors, being traded (but recinded by David Stern), and the off-the-court rumors have all affected Gasol’s game enough. This year, the addition of Howard, Nash, and coach Mike D’Antoni has all but plummeted his value. Now coming off the bench and seeing very few minutes on the floor with Howard, the Lakers need to let Gasol go, even if its for just pennies on the dollar.
Gasol’s low trade value is the very fault of the Lakers. Once the Chris Paul trade was denied, they should have still shipped him out of town like they did with Lamar Odom. His already diminished value sank even lower once the season started.
This year has been abysmal for Gasol and the Lakers. D’Antoni refuses to adjust his system for the players he inherited which means Gasol has very little value in the starting lineup. A sulking Gasol coming off the bench paired with his lackluster performances can’t be good for team morale. The Lakers need to realize that making a blockbuster deal for Gasol should no longer be the priority, but finding players that fit with D’Antoni’s vision is, if they plan on keeping him around. They have assisted in mentally damaging one of the most expensive and talented players on their roster and continue to hold him for a ransom no other team in the league is willing to pay.