The silver lining of Dwight Howard slighting the Los Angeles Lakers for the Rockets was that Pau Gasol was supposed to flourish with a move to his more natural position as center, but apparently that hasn’t been the case.
Gasol recently told LA Times reporter Bill Plaschke that his lack of post touches in Mike D’Antoni’s offense has a direct affect on his effort, which isn’t what you want to hear if your a Lakers fan:
“The fact that I’m not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness,” he said. “When I’m not getting the ball where I want to, where I’m most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity….
“This year hasn’t been ideal, certain things are not ideal for me, but that’s not going to change any time soon,” he said.
This isn’t a good sign in he least, as Gasol was supposed to be a key component in the Lakers slim chances of being successful this season. Gasol was unhappy last season as well, and his play this year suggest that his dwindling career as a Laker is nearing an end — he’s averaging 14.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and shooting just 41.7% from the field, a career low. Gasol’s compaints about a lack of touches also ignores that fact that the Lakers are built to play outside in this season, not the other way around.
Gasol’s trade value is somewhat high, as his $19 million expiring contract may be attractive to a team looking to take on his expiring deal in an effort clear cap space for this summer. The Raptors have been reportedly shopping point guard Kyle Lowry, and PG is a position of need for Los Angeles with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all shelved with injuries. Toronto also has a plethora of other players they can throw in to make a deal work financially.
The Grizzlies are also said to be in the market to deal Zach Randolph and Gasol has stated that he’s be interested in playing with his younger brother Marc, so that could even be a possibility worth exploring for the Lakers.
In any case, Gasol needs to be traded, sooner rather than later and before his effort dips any further.
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