Report: Pau Gasol’s recent comments may have him on trade block
Pau Gasol, who recently voiced his frustrations with his role in the Lakers’ offense, has caused the Lakers to weigh whether to make him available before the NBA trade deadline in February, sources with knowledge of the situation told Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
L.A. hasn’t engaged in any talks involving Gasol yet, but his struggles and impending free agency have forced the team to consider its options.
“The fact that I’m not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness,” Gasol told Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times on Thursday. “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.”
Head coach Mike D’Antoni held a team meeting on Friday to address the situation and urged Gasol or anyone else who had an issue with his coaching to speak directly to him, sources said.
The 33-year-old, who is making $19.3 million this season, is averaging 14.4 points per game, which is the second-lowest mark in his career, with 9.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists, and he’s become a defensive liability. He’s shooting 42.3 percent from the field, well below his career average of 51.5.
He scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds in Friday’s 122-97 loss in Oklahoma City. After the game, he backtracked from his comments, saying that “you always have to make yourself responsible” for your own play, and that “when you start pointing fingers at other sides or other directions, you’re making a mistake.”
Kobe Bryant said the D’Antoni/Gasol spat was nothing major.
“That’s every year. They’re like an old couple,” Bryant said. “It’s not really anything new. It’s not a big deal.”
The Lakers (10-12), who have lost three in a row (all since Bryant’s return), continue their four-game trip on Saturday in Charlotte.