NBA Trade Rumors: L.A Lakers Look To Trade Pau Gasol For Zach Randolph
The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly exploring potential trades that will help them land a solid compensation in exchange for veteran big man Pau Gasol, a reliable league source disclosed on Tuesday.
With the Lakers struggling to hold their ground in a very competitive Western Conference, general manager Mitch Kupchak could be a few days away from pulling off a big trade that would see them part ways with the four-time All-Star.
Based on reports circulating, the Lakers will do everything to get someone in exchange for Gasol, who is scheduled to be a free agent next season.
According to Hoops Hype, the Lakers front office was expecting Gasol to lead the way offensively for the team as superstar shooting guard Kobe Bryant worked his way back from a torn Achilles heel injury. However, it turned out to be a frustrating start for the Spaniard, who just averaged 12 points per game and shot a miserable 35 percent field goal shooting.
"It's pretty obvious I have got to be sharper," Gasol told L.A. media last week via Hoops Hype. "I might not have all the speed and the explosiveness that I used to have years ago. But I still have to use my experience and my fundamentals to be able to be effective every single night."
With this lackluster performance along with his $19.2 million salary (which will increase by 15 percent if traded), several teams that previously showed interest in Gasol are beginning to back out from further negotiations with the Lakers.
But Chicago Bulls veteran writer Sam Smith believed the Memphis Grizzlies might still find it intriguing to pair the aging Gasol with his brother and current Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol.
Pau spent his first six and half years with the Grizzlies, the team that drafted him No.3 overall in the 2001 Draft. During his stint with the Grizz, Gasol posted the highest stats of his career and made it to the playoffs three times before he was traded to Los Angeles in 2007.
Z-Bo in Los Angeles
Speculation is high that the Grizzlies are trying to use Zach Randolph as their trade chip. Usually a double-double force on the floor, Z-Bo's production noticeably declined as he averaged just 13 points and 7.9 rebounds per game through the first seven games of the season.
HoopsWorld reported that the Grizz could trade Randolph this season before he opts out and becomes a free agent next summer. The Lakers and Grizzlies could make this trade happen if Gasol and Randolph continue to struggle this season. After all, both players are expected to be off the salary books next year.