It was always a long shot anyway, but the idea of the Lakers trading big man Pau Gasol at the deadline — most likely to Phoenix, but there were other talks including with Charlotte — always seemed to have the caveat that other teams wanted to see him healthy and back on the court.
Not going to happen before the trade deadline — Gasol is out for the Lakers Wednesday night when they take on Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, tweets Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell. Gasol has been out with a groin issue for several weeks now and got a PRP injection in there to help the healing process.
While him being out doesn’t completely kill the chances of Gasol getting traded at the deadline, it’s doesn’t help as some trade partners remain unconvinced about his health.
It was always difficult to find a deal that worked anyway. First, only a few teams could or would add his massive $19.3 million salary to their books for a rental — Gasol can be a free agent this summer. However, there were a few teams open to it, for example the Suns, who want to solidify their playoff standing.
On top of the small market, Los Angeles wanted more than just a straight salary dump for Gasol, they wanted an asset back — and a pretty good one. Remember they were asking for one of the two highest of Phoenix’s potentially four first round picks in this draft, something that pushed the rebuilding Suns away from the bargaining table. The Lakers felt Gasol was worth more than a straight salary dump, other teams did not agree.
It looks like the Lakers will have Gasol through the end of the season. Don’t bet on his return to the team next year, this relationship has run its course.