With the eighth-seeded Rockets hosting the red-hot Warriors tonight, the Lakers will have the opportunity to gain some ground in the Western Conference playoff race. It won't come easy though, as the Lakers head to the Barclays Center for the first time to face the 28-19 Nets. As we wait to see how tonight's game plays out, let's round up a few of the latest rumblings out of L.A….
- D'Antoni told reporters, including Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (on Twitter), that he isn't concerned about his relationship with Gasol. "He will probably do what we ask him to do. I'm not going to Spain to vacation with him this summer, but he's good," the coach said.
- The Lakers aren't upset about Gasol's comments either, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The big man is a professional and they don't believe that what he said will impact the team.
- Asked by T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times how he'd feel about next season, if Mike D'Antoni remained with the Lakers and Dwight Howard re-signed, Pau Gasol admitted it would "be hard for me to deal with another season." Gasol acknowledged that it's possible he'd ask for a trade this summer in that case, but he won't do so this month: "I'm not a quitter. Just because things look better on the other side of the fence, I'm not going to take the easy way out."
- More Gasol to Simers: "I'm fortunate to be doing what I am for a living and being highly rewarded for it. But it hurts me that this unique opportunity we have with such good players is not being maximized."
- Gasol's trade value may be rising recently as he plays well with Howard out of action, but D12's absence also exhibits that Pau is an important piece for the Lakers to keep around this season, writes Brian Kamenetzky via Sulia.
- It would be a major departure from Mitch Kupchak's style for him to say he's not trading Howard and then turn around and do it, says Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (via Sulia). As such, Bucher expects the Lakers to roll with their current roster rather than making any significant changes.