Lakers forward Pau Gasol has been involved in heavy trade speculation for the bulk of the season, but the big man says that he won't encourage the Lakers to deal him. After being left on the bench for most of the fourth quarter in last night's loss to the Clippers, Gasol told reporters that he plans to stick things out with his team.
"No that's radical," said Gasol when asked if he'd request a trade, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (on Twitter). "I still believe and have faith here and I still have faith I can play a big part in helping this team succeed. Right now, I'm not able to do that very often."
Gasol added that while it was difficult for him to sit out most of the final frame, he understands coach Mike D'Antoni's reluctance to change the lineup while things are clicking. While the Lakers' comeback ultimately fell short, they did outscore the Clippers 31-20 in the final quarter.
For their part, the Lakers say they're not looking to trade the Spaniard and word is that they're not looking at deals at all. Even if they have a change of heart, it's hard to imagine them getting a strong return for Gasol given his troubles and bloated contract. Gasol is set to earn $19MM this season and $19.3MM in the final year of the deal next year.