NBA Los Angeles Lakers

5 Teams Who Could Take Pau Gasol Off Los Angeles Lakers’ Hands

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Which Teams Are Good Fits For Pau Gasol?

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angles Lakers are at a crossroads with Pau Gasol and his contract.

Do they trade him now, or let him play out the season and watch him walk out the door next year? Kobe Bryant should not return this year, and the way the team has been playing, they are in position for a lottery pick this draft. Gasol has given the Lakers good and great years, but it's time for both parties to go their separate ways.

Gasol has been playing at an All-Star level this season, but it has not shown in the standings for the Lakers. We know he misses his sidekick Kobe, but Gasol now must decide if he wants to continue to play in the depths of NBA purgatory with the Lakers or hope they trade him to a contending team, where his efforts will be noted and appreciated.

The NBA is a business, and the Lakers must cut their losses and move on from their championship-winning team and begin to rebuild through either trades, free agency or the draft. Right now, their financials are tied up, but trading Gasol will shore up some luxury cap relief and have the front office in smiles.

Kobe will not be a happy camper, but being a veteran of the league, he knows the business side and has to understand the hard choices that has to be made in order for his team to be contenders again.

Here are five teams that could take Pau Gasol off the Lakers' hands.

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5. Oklahoma City Thunder

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kendrick Perkins has never been the answer for them in the paint, and Gasol will have the NBA sizing the ring fingers of the Thunder players once this move is done.

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4. Charlotte Bobcats

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This move will propel the Bobcats to at least the third seed in the East and make them a tough out in the playoffs for any team they face.

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3. Portland Trail Blazers

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

As good as they are, they are still missing a true center. Gasol and Lamarcus Aldridge will form a frontcourt tandem that will rival some of the great ones in NBA history.

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2. New York Knicks

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks like to throw money around, so why not give it to a player who has proven he is a winner and the ultimate teammate? He can provide offense and defense, and take some of the load away from Carmelo Anthony.

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1. Brooklyn Nets

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With the injury to Brook Lopez, the Nets should be in the market for a center that can score, rebound and play defense. Gasol will fit right in with the the Nets and help bring a title to Brooklyn.