NBA Trade Rumors 2014: Memphis Grizzlies Interested In Acquiring Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol?
Pau Gasol will be one of the hottest subjects surrounding NBA trade rumors as the February 20 deadline approaches, despite previous reports indicating that the veteran will finish the season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol is expected to attract the interest of teams who are desperate to improve their title chances this season, as well as teams who are looking to create cap space in the offseason.
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The All-Star forward, who is averaging 16.4 points and a team-best 10.0 rebounds per game this season, is playing in the final season of his contract that pays him $19 million this year.
Gasol was recently linked to his former team -- the Memphis Grizzlies -- when he talked about the possibility of playing alongside his younger brother, Marc.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that the Grizzlies could also consider pairing up the Gasols next season, but not through a trade before the deadline.
Sources said that the Grizzlies have zero interest in trading for Gasol and his expiring contract, and that the only way to make the Gasol-to-Grizzlies scenario feasible is via free agency next summer.
However, the Grizzlies also appear unwilling to offer a huge contract to Gasol, which means that the 33-year-old center should be willing to take a big paycut if he wants to return to Memphis and play alongside his brother.
"Let's stop the Pau wants to be in Memphis talk. They want no part of his $19 million contract. If he'll sign there as a free agent on the cheap they'd take him, but they are not trading for him," Basketball Insiders noted.
Lakers executives previously said that Gasol could stay with the team even beyond the current season, but it is widely believed that the team will still shop the 13-year-veteran before the deadline.
But whether or not they will be successful in trading Gasol this season depends on the Lakers' stance on asking for draft picks or future assets in any deal involving the Spanish center.
Sources said that the Lakers' asking price for Gasol is too high, considering the fact that they could lose him for nothing when he hits free agency in July.
Gasol was almost traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month for Andrew Bynum, but the talks collapsed after the Lakers reportedly asked for future picks or Cavaliers sophomore guard Dion Waiters.