by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Ever since his epic flameout in the Playoffs this summer, what was once an inconceivable thought — the idea of the Los Angeles Lakers trading away Pau Gasol — has turned into a full-fledged rumor.

There’s talk out there that a deal for Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ number two pick in Thursday night’s Draft for Gasol has become a possibility.

As far as Pau Gasol is concerned, however, he doesn’t want to leave sunny California for Minneapolis, or anywhere else for that matter.

The AFP reports:

Spanish forward Pau Gasol, who has been linked to a move to the Minnesota Timberwolves, said Monday he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers for “as many years as I can”. The Timberwolves have reportedly been strongly pursuing Gasol to pair with Barcelona guard Ricky Rubio, who will play for the NBA side next season.

“My desire is to stay with the Lakers. I don’t have control over it but I want to stay with the Lakers for as many years as I can to be able to remain eligible for the maximum possible championships,” Gasol told reporters in the northeastern city of Alicante.

Even if the Draft comes and goes with no movement, Pau Gasol can continue to expect seeing his name bandied about in trade rumors well into next season.

After all, Dwight Howard is still out there.