Breaking Down What LA Lakers Are Looking for in Potential Pau Gasol Trade

Perhaps we should stop being surprised at this point. After yet another round of trade talks, this time with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the tax relief that Andrew Bynum's contract would have provided, the Los Angeles Lakers have once again decided to hang on to Pau Gasol.

The decision likely wasn't an easy one, but there's a misconception that the Lakers kept Gasol because there are hopes of being competitive this year, even on a minor scale. There's a theory that waving the white flag is something so unappetizing to such a proud franchise that it can't even be considered.

That paints the Lakers as delusional, or at least stubborn. But unlike the Kobe Bryant extension, this decision wasn't rooted in emotion, reputation or perception. Here's what sources told when the trade talks for Gasol stalled:

The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers' desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs (...) The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or a first-round draft pick as part of the deal.

Lakers owner Jim Buss had a chance to save well over $20 million this season and get under the tax, but he passed. And while there's value to getting under the tax, the Lakers will be hard pressed to be a repeater next year anyhow given their lack of current long-term deals.

Point being, the Lakers held out for an asset that wasn't just money. How many teams would pass on saving over $20 million for the chance, not the guarantee, but for the chance of acquiring a future asset before the trade deadline?

This wasn't an organization clinging to false hope and holding on to the past, but rather an organization investing rather heavily into the future.

Now comes the real test. Will the Lakers be able to secure an asset for Gasol now that the chance to acquire a large non-guaranteed deal has passed? What can the Lakers realistically hope for in a trade? Let's explore. Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers