Despite building chatter that the Lakers will trade forward Pau Gasol, the club may opt to keep him to satisfy guard Steve Nash. The club landed Nash this summer by promising him that he would get to play with the Spaniard, a source tells Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (via Twitter).
Nash, the source says, turned down offers from the Knicks and passed on the opportunity to return to Canada with the Raptors because he was promised that Gasol would stay. It’s possible, of course, that Nash re-thinks his position if the team continues to struggle upon his return.
Agreements such as this aren’t unheard of in the league as Chris Paul made similar personnel demands as part of his agreement to be dealt to the Clippers. Paul demanded that the Clippers would do whatever was necessary to retain restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan.
Yesterday we learned that General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently spoke with Gasol’s representatives and explained that the team will have to explore trade possibilities if his play doesn’t improve. The forward missed last night’s game against the Rockets due to tendinitis in both knees but benching had nothing to do with an impending deal.