For the second straight night, Pau failed to score in the double-digits. Gasol’s toughness has always been questioned, but if he continues to underperform, it won’t only be his toughness that will continue to be questioned. Instead, his overall talent as a big man will start getting questioned, and that should lead to the Lakers trying to ship him out of town by the trade deadline.
When Kobe Bryant returns to the lineup, he may help Pau improve his game. If Gasol continues to struggle even with Kobe on the court and the Lakers appear to be going nowhere fast, then trading Pau for either a draft pick or a young up-and-comer at just about any position should be discussed.
I know Kobe is competitive and he doesn’t like it when the Lakers are losing, but there is no chance Los Angeles is going to win a championship this season. If Kobe is smart, he’ll use this season to get his legs completely back under him, score as many points as he possibly can and worry about getting his sixth championship in 2014. All of this could lead to the Lakers shipping Gasol out and continuing to tank the season to help improve their draft pick.
If no one is willing to take on Gasol’s contract, then the Lakers will have no choice but to keep him. Pau’s contract comes off the books this offseason, so whether or not he gets traded before hand, his future with the Lakers is practically guaranteed to be over following this season at the latest. Pau was great for the Lakers when they won back-to-back championships from 2008-2010, but he is now quickly playing his way out of Los Angeles.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org