The Los Angeles Lakers are not a good team this year and they have little to no hope when it comes to turning things around. It’s been discussed that the team just tanking the rest of the season may end up being better in the long run than making some sort of pride fueled run that results in nothing more than a lower lottery pick.
When teams like the Lakers aren’t going anywhere, it seems that trading away big contracts and clearing cap space becomes more of a priority that winning. Pau Gasol is a giant contract the Lakers have ben trying to move for years, and talks with the Phoenix Suns have fans convinced a move is on the horizon.
Basketball Insiders scribe Joel Brigham has other ideas, and states that Gasol’s $19 million contract leads him to not expect Los Angeles to deal the big man.
I do not expect him to be traded, actually. I think $19 million is too hard for other teams to match in terms of outgoing value, and since the Lakers will already get cap relief if they keep him, it’s not even like another expiring deal would get something done.
Not trading Gasol could be deemed as the Lakers front office failing the team. But as Brigham points out, the team really doesn’t need to trade Gasol, which may lead them to just keeping him through the end of the year.
The only question is, do they want draft picks in addition to cap relief?