Within the last week, Dwight Howard has taken a backseat to Pau Gasol as the NBA's most-discussed trade target. It may not last long, as the Howard talk figures to roar back to life after the All-Star break. For now though, Gasol is dominating the headlines. Kobe Bryant called upon the Lakers' brass to either trade Pau as soon as possible or pull him off the trade block, but I'd be surprised to see any resolution quite yet. Gasol is one of the Lakers' strongest trade assets, and the quality of offers they'll get for him will likely increase as the deadline approaches.
With plenty of discussion focusing on whether the Lakers will trade Gasol, and where the Spaniard may land, let's round up a few Pau-related links….
- Using ESPN.com's Trade Machine, Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles runs through a few conceivable Gasol trade scenarios.
- SI.com's Zach Lowe acknowledges that the Lakers' current roster doesn't look like a real championship contender, but says the Gasol rumors he's heard so far haven't made a ton of sense. I agree with Lowe on both points. In particular, the reports linking Gasol to the Bulls and Timberwolves didn't seem all that logical from L.A.'s perspective.
- The Rockets are rooting for a messy breakup between Gasol and the Lakers, since it could allow them to swoop in and acquire Pau, writes Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle.
- Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles explores how the constant trade rumors are affecting not just Gasol but the Lakers as a whole.
- Gasol is "there for the taking" for the Magic, tweets Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Of course, Schmitz is referring to a Dwight Howard deal here, in which case the Magic would want more than Gasol.