The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly pushing hard to trade Pau Gasol to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tyson Chandler and J.R Smith, a source close to the situation reported on Sunday.
With the Lakers desperately needing more firepower to stay in the playoff hunt, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchack has been busy on the trading front for the past few weeks as he looks to hammer a good deal, using the Lakers' remaining viable trade asset - Gasol.
"ESPNLosAngeles.com is reporting the Lakers are currently shopping Gasol around as he continues to produce one of the worst seasons of his career. While the Lakers do actually prefer to keep the All-Star on the team, his recent comments regarding the head coach have officials thinking otherwise," said Sports World Report.
The trade rumors involving Gasol started to get traction again, following the Spaniard's critical comment on head coach Mike D'Antoni and his system.
"The fact that I'm not getting the ball in the post affects directly my aggressiveness," Gasol said, via the Los Angeles Times. "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. ...What do you think? I'm not going to say anything, but it's easy to see."
Gasol is averaging career lows 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds this season, but league sources reported that there are still teams very much willing to trade for the versatile big man.
Trade with the Knicks
Any potential Lakers-Knicks deal won't be that easy at all, considering the huge paycheck Gasol is up to pocket this season. Moreover, a straight up Gasol-Chandler trade won't work. For the trade to happen, the Knicks have to deal another player, and it's likely J.R Smith, who reportedly had a heated argument with head coach Mike Woodson.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year averaged 10.1 points, 2.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds for the struggling Knickerbockers. However, the emergence of Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed to a decrease in playing time this year.
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"A Gasol-for-Chandler swap won't work straight up, because Gasol's salary ($19,285,850) exceeds Chandler's ($14,100,538) by more than $5 million. The Knicks, being capped out six different ways to hell, would have to send more Los Angeles' way," via Bleacher Report.
The Chicago Bulls might also look into the idea of trading Carlos Boozer for Pau Gasol to strengthen their playoff bid without franchise point guard Derrick Rose.
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