Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has been the subject of trade rumors since the season began, especially after the hiring of Mike D’Antoni.
But although Gasol has been warned that he will be traded if he fails to fit into D’Antoni’s system, keeping Gasol was a “prerequisite” to signing point guard Steve Nash, Bay Area radio host and Comcast SportsNet analyst Ric Bucher is reporting.
Source: Ignore any and all trade talk about Pau Gasol because the Lakers landed Steve Nash by promising him he would get to play with Gasol. Nash made it a prerequisite for passing on offers from Toronto and the Knicks that Pau would be around, the source said.
Currently sidelined with knee tendinitis, Gasol is averaging just 12.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting, both well below his career averages. He is owed $19 million this season and about $19.3 next season.
The Lakers’ 107-105 loss to the Rockets on Tuesday night — in which Los Angeles blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead — dropped their record to 8-10, tied for 11th in the Western Conference.
Nash also remains out with a fracture in his leg. He pushed Suns management to trade him to the Lakers this offseason, and signed a three-year, $27-million deal after a sign-and-trade was complete.