Some NBA players respond to trade rumors in a negative manner, while others use the annoying trade talk as fuel — and that is exactly what Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has done. The four-time All-Star has turned it on of late as Gasol has put the public spat with head coach Mike D’Antoni in the rear-view mirror.
Since groaning about the Lakers’ offensive scheme — or lack thereof — Gasol has been on fire averaging 17.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 blocks a night over the past three games. Gasol has endured quite a few ups and downs throughout his seven seasons in Hollywood, and it appears he’s back on the incline after starting the month of December shooting 29% from the floor.
Of course, with Gasol’s recent offensive explosion the trade talk that has been following him for a month has suddenly subsided. Let’s face it: the Lakers aren’t going to trade Gasol anytime soon. Despite being a free agent after the year, the 33-year-old Gasol is still a top-five power forward in the NBA and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak knows it.
So while teams like the New York Knicks might hint at dealing for Gasol, there’s no way the Lakers trade No. 16 without at least trying to sign him to a long-term deal. At this point, Gasol is more likely to sign an extension then he is to be dealt out of Los Angeles.