With the trade deadline approaching – February 21st at 3:00 PM Eastern, to be exact – it’s likely that Gasol will continue to hear his name in the rumor mill until after the deadline passes.
And if the Lakers and he continue to have tough nights, like they did last night against the same-city rival Clippers, you can expect those trade winds to pick up ever so quickly. From Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
After he endured his fourth benching in the fourth quarter since Mike D’Antoni was hired as coach, there is no denying Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol is having a hard time fitting in with the team he once helped win two championships. The Lakers ultimately could decide they just can’t make it work with the former four-time All-Star; however, it won’t be Gasol pushing his way out of town. “No, oh, that’s radical,” Gasol said when asked whether he would request a trade following the Lakers’ 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. “I still believe. I still have faith in what we have. I still have faith that I can be a big part in helping this team succeed. Right now, I’m not being able to do that very often.”
Other news from around the NBA:
Dirk Nowitzki is officially making his first start of the season against the New Orleans Hornets tonight, via Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas: “After missing 27 games while recovering from preseason arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Nowitzki came off the bench in his first six appearances of the season. He practiced with the Mavs’ starters for the first time Friday, a couple days after setting season highs with 19 points in 29 minutes during an overtime loss to the Miami Heat. ‘I felt like the best I’ve felt out there,’ Nowitzki said Friday. ‘I don’t think the wind is a big deal or wasn’t the last couple of games. It’s more the legs and the explosiveness and the push-off and switching directions. So that was the major problem I thought the last ten days I’ve been back, or whatever.'”
Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat are acutely aware that rebounding is a huge problem for them right now:
Here’s an interesting take on the “Rudy Gay Dilemma,” that we reported about earlier today.
This, via Zach Lowe at Grantland: “A lot has changed since the Grizzlies started the season scoring at a top-10 rate and looking like a legitimate title contender. Their offense has stalled out, falling to 19th in points per 100 possessions, and three other Western Conference contenders — the Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder — have settled in at a slightly higher level than Memphis.