Lakers Working Sign-and-Trade with Pau Gasol Could Be Win-Win for Both Sides

It's decision time for the Los Angeles Lakers. With nearly $30 million in cap space, the franchise is positioned to make some serious changes as it attempts to surround superstar Kobe Bryant with enough talent to make another championship run or two during the sunset of his career.

The first of Los Angeles' decisions is what to do with Pau Gasol. 

The 33-year-old earned $19,285,850 last season and is in store for what should be a fairly substantial pay cut. Gasol remains productive, but that kind of money is probably no longer in the equation, especially if the Spaniard wants to play with a contender.

His best shot at a payday may entail re-signing with the Lakers, either to play with the team for another couple of years or as part of a sign-and-trade that would send him elsewhere.

One potential destination is the New York Knicks.'s Marc Stein reports:

One source close to the process told's Ramona Shelburne that Jackson is planning to make a determined attempt to try to recruit his former Los Angeles Lakerscenter Pau Gasol to replace the freshly traded Tyson Chandler alongside Anthony on the Knicks' front line, despite the fact New York is limited to offering Gasol less than $4 million for next season.

Ramona Shelburne separately notes that:

If he chose to sign elsewhere and wanted a salary anywhere close to the $19.3 million he made in L.A. last season, Gasol would need the Lakers to agree to a sign-and-trade. It is unclear whether they would be willing to do so, as they prioritize salary cap flexibility.

Chances are Gasol would scoff at an offer in the $4 million range, even if it were coming from old friend Phil Jackson.

The problem is that most contenders probably won't be in any better position to offer Gasol more than that, especially with teams like Chicago and Houston saving their mo...

About the Author