It was only four days ago that Pau Gasol addressed the trade rumors surrounding him and the Lakers, but after Sunday's loss to the Suns, Gasol and teammate Kobe Bryant shared a few more thoughts on the topic. Kobe was the first to talk to reporters, including Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, about the trade rumors involving Gasol and the team.
"It's hard for Pau because of all this trade talk and all this other stuff," said Bryant. "It's hard for him to kind of invest himself completely or immerse himself completely into games when he's hearing trade talk every other day. I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him."
Kobe stressed that he'd prefer the Lakers not to move Gasol, but said he'd like the team to make a decision one way or the other soon, so that Gasol can focus on playing basketball. Gasol agreed with the sentiment:
"It seems like there is a team almost every other day that is putting something together," said Gasol. "Which is flattering and I'm glad there are teams out there who would love to have me on their roster, because they believe in the player that I am, but at the same time, it's frustrating because if I own a player or a player plays for my team and I say, 'Look, I'm not interested in listening to anything because I value my player and I want to keep him here,' then all that stops. But, it seems that it's not that way."
For his part, Mitch Kupchak told SI.com's Sam Amick this weekend that he doesn't expect to make any major moves before the trade deadline. But the GM's comments left the door open enough that things could change between today and March 15th. Kupchak talked to Amick prior to the Suns game, so perhaps the Lakers' dismal showing in Phoenix, along with the comments made by the club's star players, could prompt Kupchak to explore a deal more aggressively.