Pau Gasol‘s frustrations, offensive struggles, and impending free agency have the Lakers considering trade options for the big man. However, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter) that the team is still open to re-signing him at season’s end. Los Angeles believes that Gasol can succeed in coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system and hopes that he does.
D’Antoni held a team meeting Friday to address the rising tensions between him and Gasol in which he urged the forward or anyone else who had an issue with his coaching to speak to him directly. With a relationship that is still termed as “professional,” one has to imagine that there’s at least a chance for reconciliation between the two.
As for the trade possibility, sources tell Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com that the Lakers would be reluctant to surrender their hard-fought financial flexibility in a deal for Gasol or any other player. Yet it is believed the Lakers would consider taking back salary commitments for the 2014/15 season if they received a strong offer featuring a player who could significantly help them this season and beyond or other assets to help them reload around Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers have yet to engage other clubs in talks for Gasol and have told him that they’d like to work out a new deal, sources tell the ESPN.com duo. That could be easier said that done given Gasol’s friction with D’Antoni and Kobe’s brand new two-year, $48.5MM deal.