Why the Lakers Need to Think Twice Before Letting Go of Pau Gasol

Remember when the Lakers traded for Chris Paul? 

Pau Gasol does. 

What happens when a player finds out he's been traded and then untraded before he even had a chance to process the initial information? Gasol is learning as he goes. After that strange start to this shortened season, knowing that his team was looking to let him go to gain a player they felt could help them contend for a championship, Gasol is doing his best to be a professional. While Lamar Odom went the opposite route and requested a trade, Gasol wants to show his employers his worth, prove why he deserves to be in a Lakers uniform.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke with the L.A. Times about how Gasol has handled the unconventional start to his season:

"This has been a really hard, hard period for Pau," Kupchak said. "He's been ridiculously professional. I can't imagine going through what he's gone through the last two or three months. The way the whole thing unfolded with what took place in training camp, it's just been one big unavoidable mess, and unfortunately Pau's in the middle of it."

Looking at Odom and how things have unfolded for him in Dallas since being moved, Gasol's approach doesn't seem like a bad idea. Coming to the Lakers from Memphis, Gasol knows that there are very few places in the league where the grass is going to be greener than in Los Angeles, playing alongside Kobe Bryant and a healthy Andrew Bynum.

Have the Lakers realized that there won't be many trade scenarios that will bring them what Gasol brings them on a nightly basis?

That depends on who you ask.Yesterday, The L.A. Times reported that the Lakers nixed talks with the Celtics about a Gasol/Rajon Rondo swap, while ESPN's John Hollinger is calling Gasol the All-Star most likely to be traded at the deadline.

While Los Angeles needs an upgrade at point guard after losing Odom for nothing, Gasol's importance has only i...

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