Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers addressed discussions regarding Pau Gasol before the NBA trade deadline. These reports confirmed that Gasol was in fact on the trade block and Los Angeles did involve themselves in talks with numerous teams. This will likely not come as a surprise, but what will is that the Lakers were never offered anything better than a measly second-round pick in exchange for the Spaniard.
The Lakers would be lucky to receive a second-round pick back in exchange for Wesley Johnson, but Gasol? I can’t even imagine basically giving away such a productive player for a draft pick which will likely end up in a D-League player at best. Yes, Gasol’s salary for the 2013-14 season was hefty at about $19 million, but this does not erase the fact that he is still a top big man in the league.
Of course, he has lost a step over the years, but he still managed to post an elite stat line, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in just 31 minutes.
On a championship contending team, Gasol can provide a huge lift in both the frontcourt and in the locker room. We have all been witness to how productive he can be when in the right system which utilizes his strengths in the post. His future may not be very clear, especially with Los Angeles, but he will likely be in high demand this July when he hits free agency.
Although the majority of teams were not interested prior to the trade deadline, Gasol should have no issues in finding suitors. Hopefully he does end up signing in Los Angeles as he can be an enormous asset moving forward, alongside Kobe Bryant.