Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Wise to Remain Patient with Pau Gasol

The Los Angeles Lakers brass is making a wise decision by holding off on dealing Pau Gasol at this juncture.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, the trade talks between L.A. and the Cleveland Cavaliers that would have seen Gasol exchanged for Andrew Bynum have reportedly stalled, largely due to the Lakers insistence that they acquire more assets than just Bynum’s cap-friendly contract.

It’s a smart decision, considering the Cavs still have up until Jan. 7 to flip their petulant center before the guaranteed money in his deal jumps from $6 million to over $12 million.

While acquiring Bynum and cutting him would theoretically put L.A. under the luxury tax threshold for the first time in seven seasons, there is a chance that the team can either improve around Gasol or get more future assets in exchange for his services by the Feb. 20 trade deadline—more than likely the latter.

Windhorst and Shelburne noted that the Cavs wouldn’t budge when the Lakers demanded a first-round draft pick or a talented young prospect on top of Bynum’s non-guaranteed contract and a throw-in player necessary to make the swap legal under the league’s salary cap rules.

If the Cavs get backed into a corner over the next few days and realize that they have no other options other than cutting Bynum and losing him for nothing—or keeping him and overpaying for an injury-prone, poor player—there is a chance they relent on their stance to not package any other valuable assets in with the big man.

It is easy to see why the Lakers would want to add a developmental piece and picks, as they have now lost six games in a row, fallen to 13-19 and seem on the cusp of a full-blown collapse due to the sheer number of injuries that have ravaged their roster.

As per Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, the team’s backcourt i...

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