Lakers Aggressively Shopping Pau Gasol
After the Lakers’ lackluster performance against the Thunder in their second round exit from this year’s playoffs, it’s no surprise that they’re looking for a fall guy. And, as always, it’s Pau Gasol.
Here’s what Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has to say:
“The Lakers are committed to moving Pau Gasol — the fall guy for their second-round ouster against the Thunder and previous playoff failures — even if they have to take back less talent. As long as Heisley retains the Grizzlies, Memphis will always have interest.”
Now, don’t get too excited – Pau Gasol has been on the block for two years in a row. But the difference now is Andrew Bynum, who quietly turned Gasol into the Lakers’ third wheel. Gasol, who’s more comfortable and effective playing on the block with his back to the basket, was forced to work out of the high post. So a drop in production was to be expected, while also providing perfect bulletin board material to explain away his departure.
It’s more than likely that Gasol will be on a different team before next season –Mitch Kupchak knows that the Lakers as constructed are not true championship contenders, but a middling playoff team maxing out at a second round playoff exit. Now the real question is, where does Gasol go? Houston is probably still interested – if you remember, he was almost a Rocket before David Stern wielded his tyrannical power. And, according to Lawrence, the Grizzlies want to reunite the brothers in what would arguably be the strongest front court in the NBA. Rudy Gay is the only player on Memphis who could offer the requisite value, but that’s a hefty price to pay for Gasol.
No matter where Gasol goes, expect a spike in his numbers on a new squad. If he can get touches in the post, where he belongs, Pau is a top five big man in the NBA.