Lakers Rumors: Lakers Must Deal Pau Gasol Soon to Avoid Camp Distractions

The Pau Gasol rumors are flowing and the Lakers need to make a move sooner than later. I think this entire saga has gone on too long.

I believe it was a bit of a distraction last season, and the Lakers would be wise to clear this cloud from above their organization.

One of the most recent rumors have the Lakers interested in sending Gasol to Atlanta for Josh Smith. It's another decent trade, but there have been a few that seemed fair to both sides. Hawks new GM, Danny Ferry has reportedly shot that deal down. Marc Stein of ESPN reports:

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry apparently isn't ready to part with Smith right away. 

Boston, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers -- with Pau Gasol as the prime piece being offered in L.A.'s case -- have joined Orlando this week in making their interest in Smith known. 

With his name thrown about aimlessly, a player like Gasol isn't likely to be enthused about coming back to LA for another year of rumors and trade questions.

He seemed mortified by them through the trade deadline last year.

I think it affected him last season, and I can only imagine it's going to get worse if the Lakers don't move him. Fans may see more of "angry Kobe" at training camp again. Remember this:

Bryant won't like the team in a flux for the second season in-a-row. He knows his window is closing.

The Lakers seem to be headed to a place where they may have to take less than they planned. The price for Gasol is understandably high now, but as time goes by he'll come cheaper and cheaper.

Teams will know how desperate the Lakers are to part with him, and the offers will shrink.

Sam Amico of Fox Sports says there is a chance Gasol may not be moved until the free-agency period, or just before training camp.

That's a better scenario, but it can still hinder the Lakers' process and potential acquisitions ...

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