Los Angeles Lakers Won’t Find Pau Gasol Deal Worth Making

Los Angeles Lakers veteran big man Pau Gasol continues to see his name floated in trade rumors, but it has become increasingly clear that the Lakers won’t find a deal worth making, as any proposed swap is a dead end.

Most recently, a proposed deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to exchange Gasol for disgruntled big man Andrew Bynum has stalled, according to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The article detailed why the deal hit a snag:

The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers’ desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs beyond Bynum’s team-friendly contract, which could save the Lakers more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or a first-round draft pick as part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to part with either.

There are two sides to the coin in any Gasol trade scenario, and the tug of war between those sides continues to thwart a possible deal.


The Lakers’ Perspective

As detailed in the ESPN article, the Lakers are not going to trade Gasol merely to dump salary. Swapping the 33-year-old for Bynum could have saved Purple and Gold more than $20 million all told, but the Lakers wanted more chips (young players and/or draft picks) added to the pot.

The problem with that philosophy is Gasol simply isn’t worth that type of trade haul anymore.

Not only is his contract set to expire at season’s end, but he’s also entering the twilight of his career and he’s not the player he once was. The Spaniard is averaging 15.1 points per game—an improvement from the 13.7 he averaged last season—but he’s shooting a career-low 44.3 percent from the field.

That field-goal percentage ranks Gasol 87th among qualified players, behind perimeter guys like Martell Webster, Rodney Stuckey and Tre...

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