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Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  39 responses

Los Angeles Lakers Reportedly Take Pau Gasol Off the Trade Block

There had been rumblings that the Lakers were considering trading disgruntled center Pau Gasol. According to ESPN, however, Gasol won’t be leaving LA anytime soon:

Sources said Wednesday that the Lakers, after weighing the idea of making Gasol available before the trade deadline in February, are encouraged by the way he’s played in the past three games, as well as his efforts to make amends for his recent public spat with coach Mike D’Antoni.

The Lakers entered the 2013-14 campaign fully intending to keep Gasol for the whole season and then to explore the feasibility of re-signing him in the summer. But it was reported last week the Spaniard’s recent public complaints about how he’s been used in D’Antoni’s system, as well as some subpar play, prompted L.A. to begin assessing its trade options.

However, the way Gasol quickly made amends with conciliatory comments about D’Antoni during the team’s recently completed 2-2 road trip has eased concerns. Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers’ 96-92 win in Memphis on Tuesday night, after totaling 16 points and 10 rebounds Monday night in a loss to Atlanta. In the two games, Gasol made 16 of 21 shots to raise his overall shooting percentage to .439.

“I just think people go through periods of slumps where you question things,” D’Antoni said of Gasol after Tuesday’s win. “Like I said, we were out of whack. Different things go on. But Pau’s an All-Star, he’s one of the best players in the league, he worked through it and he’s back to normal.”

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  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Should’ve never been on the damn block in the first place. As a life long Laker fan it frustrates me that this guy is always dangled as trade bait.

  • playa

    Why oh why?? I appreciate his body of work& his special connection with Kob,but if they could they SHOULD TRADE HIM ASAP!!!

  • robb

    Unfortunately that happens to nice guys like Gasol. They always get tossed around like that, it’s pretty sad, because it happens everywhere, being polite and educated is often confused as being weak. “Oh there’s no problem he’s a nice guy he’ll understand” That’s bullish*t.

  • Cortez Mack

    I like Gasol a lot.

    …but, reality took him off the trading block. They simply were not going to get what they wanted for him.

    Now what they need to do is put D’Antoni on the chopping block. Gasol’s “issues” are a direct result of D’Antoni’s system. Either get rid of him or have Phil Jackson buy D’Antoni a copy of The Art of War.

    He needs to figure out that you fight with what you have, not with what you wish you had.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Yea man I hate it. When I’m talking Lakers bball with my homies they always have short term memory with Pau. I’m always the one saying “if it wasn’t for Pau we wouldn’t have the two recent championships that we have!” I just appreciation what he brings to the table and D’Antoni is pissing me off with his attitude towards Pau.

  • robb

    Man, D’Antoni’s the only one who understands what D’Antoni’s doing. And I’m not even sure about that

  • spit hot fiyah

    pau faces

  • LakeShow

    What has D’Antoni said about Pau?

    Have you noticed a change in his game scheme in the last few games since Pau’s resurgence?

  • robb

    I have noticed Pau’s resurgence since he changed his game scheme lol

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I just didn’t like the way he came out in the media and made that statement regarding Pau’s touches. I have noticed a game change but it seems like Kobe is the main reason for that not Mike.

  • LakeShow

    They haven’t changed a thing. KB is just better at setting up Pau and making things easier for him than anyone else on the team not named Nash.

    Pau and KB are a great duo. They really feed off of each other.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that is the nature of being the only asset on a team that needs multiple pieces to compete though lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    aren’t they 12-13 with a roster full of also rans and old people? i mean, wtf did you really expect something better than that?

  • xyz

    kobe is out for 6 weeks. of course they gotta keep pau.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I know and it sucks lol

  • Saleem Rainman

    pretty much. 100% agree with u.

  • roscoe

    This is not about keeping PAU.

    This is about LAL eating more of PAU’s contract this season…

    He will be traded when it is financially beneficial to the other teams involved…

    The deal is already done.

  • Cortez Mack

    I would expect a team with with Pau Gasol to play to his strengths rather than play to the strengths of Nick Young, (who, admittedly, has been a mild positive surprise) Henry or Meeks.

    I do not believe sticking to a “system” hell or high water is optimal, which is why I mentioned the Art of War book.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Id play to the strengths of my roster. Not any one player.

  • Cortez Mack

    I get what you are saying but let me ask you a couple of questions.

    1. Do you love D’Antoni as a coach? As a Lakers fan, was he your first option?

    2. Do you think this current roster could have, at a minimum, reproduced a 12-13 record running a offense that featured Gasol in his preferred spots? (I do)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    My first choice as a basketball fan was D’Antoni. But I was also (at the time) assuming Steve Nash / Dwight Howard and everyone else would be healthy and happy. It’s not what anyone expected, and now just like last season, the coach is not their big problem. Firing him for someone else would be pointless unless it were a long term replacement that the Buss’ would stand behind through a rebuilding process. Which in Laker/Scapegoat land I don’t think such a coach exists.
    And no, The Lakers have no chance of equaling last year no matter who they play around. Dwight Howard, while sulking and unhappy was a huge factor in the Lakers success last season. Oh and then there was the whole healthy Kobe Bryant part of last season. Which was the last season of great great Kobe Bryant that anyone is ever going to see, unfortunately. All of this, plus how Gasol has played this season. Which has been mediocre at best, despite actually getting the ball in comfortable spots more often than bigs who are playing considerably better.

  • Cortez Mack

    “My first choice as a basketball fan was D’Antoni.”

    That is surprising. I have no deep animosity toward D’Antoni and, at first, I assumed Nash would pull a late career Stockton, so I get your position on that also.

    “And no, The Lakers have no chance of equaling last year no matter who they play around”

    I did not mean reproduce the record from season 2012-2013. I meant the meandering 12-13 win/loss record you referred to in your comment.

    “despite actually getting the ball in comfortable spots more often than bigs who are playing considerably better.”

    Gasol seems to complaining an awful lot for this to be true. I assume Gasol would say his mediocre play is a direct result of the system.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    @HPbasketball: Tim Duncan gets 4.8 close touches per game. Pau Gasol gets 4.5. LMA gets 4.3. David West 3.7.
    Shocker, Gasol is complaining a lot! No way he could be the one who is off base?

  • Cortez Mack

    “Close touches” does not equate to getting the ball in his preferred spots or in his preferred sets or even being used off the ball in the same.

    Your general position is the same as D’Antoni’s. Which is, “Do something with the ball however, whenever or wherever you get it.”. At a base level that could lead to success if everyone just produced at a high rate in any situation. That is not reality though, and it is certainly not basketball reality.

    It is similar to the mindless corporate speak of “We have to do more with less”. Well, if you could simply do more with less, why were we doing less with more in the first place?

    Until D’Antoni arrived, I would not have even remotely classified Gasol as a malcontent diva type. So, could he be off-base? Sure he could but from what I see combined with the history of D’Antoni and his dedication to his system (and his near hatred of post play), I will continue to agree with Gasol.

    …and, do you think the Lakers could not, at a minimum, reproduce a 12-13 win/loss record running Gasol’s preferred sets?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s fine. i am not posting conjecture. Pau is touching the ball, in the post, close to the basket, just as much as many other bigs who are all outperforming Gasol.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=aldrila01&y1=2014&p2=duncati01&y2=2014&p3=westda01&y3=2014&p4=gasolpa01&y4=2014

    :”the System sucks for post players” – yet, most post players who have played in the system have been extremely efficient, maybe less productive then normal, but ALL have been extremely efficient. Pau on the other hand is shooting 44% from the field, and in general, is loafing up and down the court.

    My position is simple, you are getting paid to play basketball, you have shown no reason for the offense to revolve around you, and the team is overachieving, so at least just shut the f*ck up until you’ve earned the right to complain. Because at the moment, Pau is miles and miles from the player he used to be.

  • Cortez Mack

    “i am not posting conjecture”

    I do not think you are. I do think it is a bit out of context. My point is that simply saying he touches the ball close to the basket does not give the whole picture.

    “most post players who have played in the system have been extremely efficient”

    I cannot think of any player offhand who fit this description AND is a comparable player skill/attribute wise to Gasol.

    “Because at the moment, Pau is miles and miles from the player he used to be.”

    Yes. Due to the system not being conducive to the way Gasol is telling you (and film tells you) he is effective at playing. Like I said in my first comment, D’Antoni’s answer to this is “be effective in my style, regardless of how it fits your skill set”. Maybe he should just shut the f*@! up, but that is a different issue.

    …and, do you think the Lakers could not, at a minimum, reproduce a 12-13 win/loss record running Gasol’s preferred sets?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “I cannot think of any player offhand who fit this description AND is a comparable player skill/attribute wise to Gasol.”

    what skill/attribute about Gasol makes him less apt to succeed in this system then say, Shaq was? or Dwight?

    if the system is such a problem, how come Chris Kaman is producing at the same level as Gasol while being considerably more efficient?

    My point isn’t that this system fits Gasol, my point is that the system is not an excuse for the way Gasol is playing. I understand if he’s unhappy, and not as productive as he would be in a better system. But I don’t understand defending his play as a product of the system when he has literally been terrible.

    Unless you really think the system is a legitimate excuse for Pau Gasol to be a less effective offensive player than Kurt Thomas was in D’Antoni’s system, idk how D’Antoni seems like the bigger problem.

  • Cortez Mack

    “what skill/attribute about Gasol makes him less apt to succeed in this system then say, Shaq was? or Dwight?”

    I do not have an exact answer but one thing is for sure, Gasol certainly disagrees.

    Plus, I would bet my life on the fact that you are not seriously suggesting that

    1. O’Neal
    2. Howard
    3. or even Kurt Thomas

    have anywhere near the same type of floor game as Gasol and would be suited to perform the same things skillwise.

    I have seen your posts and you seem to have some level of basketball sense. I am 100% certain you are not saying that.

    “My point isn’t that this system fits Gasol, my point is that the system is not an excuse for the way Gasol is playing.”

    We simply disagree here. Do more with less is the motto.

    “if the system is such a problem, how come Chris Kaman is producing at the same level as Gasol while being considerably more efficient?”

    Because Chris Kaman is a different player than Gasol.

    …and Kaman is “complaining” too! If he is so “efficent”, why can’t he get off of the bench consistently? No one seems to have any answers for Kaman either.

    http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2013/12/chris-kaman-frustrated-with-lack-of-playing-time-with-lakers/

    If Kaman is that much more effective than Gasol, why not give him the playing time over Gasol?

    …and, do you think the Lakers could not, at a minimum, reproduce a 12-13 win/loss record running Gasol’s preferred sets?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ANSWER THE QUESTION: “what skill/attribute about Gasol makes him less apt to succeed in this system then say, Shaq was? or Dwight?”

    Gasol is what, a better passer/shooter/and more agile then at least Shaq was in his time in Phoenix. What in the world would make him such a terrible fit for that system? Chris Kaman is literally better than Gasol at absolutely nothing offensively, so, again, explain why in the world he is playing just as well (actually better) than Gasol?

    You can disagree all you want, put all the blame on Gasol. But i hate to break it to you, basketball is basketball. The system doesn’t force you to miss easy shots, the system isn’t what makes Gasol unable to score when he is isolated against a smaller player. The problem is Gasol. At worst, the system should make him slightly less effective. Not a bad player.

    “more with less” you keep repeating that, for no actual reason. There is no “less” – Gasol doesn’t have less, he has just as much as other players who are more effective. Just as much as other players on his own team, who are typically worse players, while being less effective.

    Blaming it on D’Antoni is just an excuse. And I personally, am not big on excuses. Gasol needs to take responsibility. As all adult’s who are underperforming at the jobs they are paid to do, should.

  • Cortez Mack

    “ANSWER THE QUESTION”

    I answered your question the first time.

    I do not have an exact answer but one thing is for sure, Gasol certainly disagrees.

    There is my answer. The same answer from before.

    “But i hate to break it to you, basketball is basketball.”

    As a high level abstract philosophy I agree with you and I have heard plenty of coaches say this as if it is a concrete operating principle.

    BUT: If “basketball is basketball” and the system does not matter? Then JUST RUN THE SYSTEM GASOL WANTS.

    ..but then I am sure that “basketball is basketball” theory goes out of the window in that specific case.

    “‘more with less’ you keep repeating that, for no actual reason. ”

    No, there is a reason. You were implying before, then you explicitly said, that the system does not matter. That is ridiculous. Gasol is being asked to do more with a lesser system for HIM (according to the very person who would be likely to know. HIM).

    “Chris Kaman is literally better than Gasol at absolutely nothing offensively”

    Then why isn’t D’Antoni playing him over Gasol? He can’t get off the bench lately!

    Now…

    …and, do you think the Lakers could not, at a minimum, reproduce a 12-13 win/loss record running Gasol’s preferred sets?

    ANSWER THE QUESTION (I have asked it 4 times now)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that is not an answer. That is you saying, “well i just believe Gasol, i have no actual opinion myself…and don’t have the ability to reason out whether or not he is making sense myself”

    THAT is what you are saying. And THAT is not an answer. You want to give your opinion? Give it. Don’t just tell me you believe to to be true because Gasol said so.

    “BUT: If “basketball is basketball” and the system does not matter? Then JUST RUN THE SYSTEM GASOL WANTS.”

    - Are you redundant? Why run a system around Gasol when he is proving to be one of your least effective players? If Gasol was above average in D’Antoni’s system, then there would be an argument to make things revolve around Gasol…but he isn’t. He sucks. No reason to change things to make one player who sucks, better…when everyone else is over achieving.

    “No, there is a reason. You were implying before, then you explicitly said, that the system does not matter.”

    At worst, the system should make him slightly less effective. Not a bad player

    where do you get that the system just flat doesn’t matter? I acknowledged, multiple times that the system does have an impact. It just should never be significant enough to say, “it’s the sole reason a guy sucks” – the sport doesn’t change. Basketball is Basketball. If you suck in one system, you will suck in another. Especially when you are years removed from your prime.

    “…and, do you think the Lakers could not, at a minimum, reproduce a 12-13 win/loss record running Gasol’s preferred sets?”
    No. They stand no chance of being a 12-13 team playing around Gasol. Gasol has been utterly useless as a “go-to” player.

    infact, the Lakers are 12.6 points per 48 minutes better with Gasol on the bench. that’s how terrible he has been.

  • Cortez Mack

    “Are you redundant?”

    Am I adding unneeded information? No.

    “well i just believe Gasol”

    Yes, I do believe Gasol.

    …in conjunction with my own observations of what style of play he has been most effective in. And D’Antoni’s offense ain’t it.

    “No reason to change things to make one player who sucks, better”

    Do you really think Gasol “sucks”?

    And the question is not “Do you believe he sucks stat-wise”, it is, “You you believe Gasol is simply a bad player who cannot produce anymore, in any offense”.

    I doubt it.

    “where do you get that the system just flat doesn’t matter?”

    You. I am getting it from you.

    You keep repeating that Gasol should just play well in this system for D’Antoni to even have a reason to switch the system. That is the issue. D’Antoni LOVES his system (regardless of who’s in it).

    “Why run a system around Gasol when he is proving to be one of your least effective players?”

    We are going in circles now. My contention, and Gasol’s, is that the system does not fit his skill set WHICH IS MAKING HIM LESS EFFECTIVE. Chicken or the egg.

    You say chicken,, I say egg. We disagree.

    “At worst, the system should make him slightly less effective. Not a bad player”

    “Bad” is subjective. But, ok, I will play along. Why is D’Antoni burying Kaman on the bench when he is (according to you) demonstrably a more effective player than Gasol. Is D’Antoni a complete idiot? Or does he simply recognize that Gasol is a better player, regardless of the stats, but running a system that downplays his strengths, making him a half-idiot at best?

    “when everyone else is over achieving.”

    Here is (another) fundamental area which is causing our disagreement. I do not believe in “overachieving” (over a long enough sample space) or giving a 110%.

    You either play at your ability level or you do not (within the guidelines and structures given to you).

    “Basketball is Basketball. If you suck in one system, you will suck in another. ”

    Yeah, if you suck, period. Gasol does not fit that bill in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    So you don’t believe in over achieving, just under achieving…… The system can’t help players, it only can hurt them. Got it. That makes perfect sense. Have a nice weekend.

  • Cortez Mack

    “So you don’t believe in over achieving, just under achieving (over a long enough sample space)”

    That is correct.

    “The system can’t help players, it only can hurt them.”

    The system can’t help players? How in the world did you come up with that characterization of my opinion from our conversation?

    My main point (and probably only point) this whole time is that another system WOULD HELP Gasol.

    You are the one that has been, seemingly, arguing against this obvious fact, repeatedly.

    Plus, you have been arguing that the system may actually hurt someone YOU JUST DO NOT AGREE WITH THE AMOUNT TO HARM IT COULD CAUSE.

    Basketball is basketball…remember? Any system should do. Just get out there and perform. MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    “That makes perfect sense.”

    Perfect? Nah. Pretty good sense though.

    “Have a nice weekend.”

    You too.

    …and ponder if D’Antoni is a complete idiot or just a half-idiot for leaving a demonstrably (according to you) more effective player buried on the bench who just so happens to play the same position as the washed up bum who now “sucks”.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You still don’t get it. The system is about the team as a whole. Gasol is a better player than Kaman, he’s been worse. But it’s not the system that leads to that distinction. Gasol wasn’t this bad last season …. In the same system. As I’ve acknowledged numerous times, Gasol would probably be better in a different system, but not significantly enough to lead a team to the playoffs, and not enough to justify changing the Lakers system for him. Blaming the system is an excuse, and it only applies to Gasol. Which is convenient, but ultimately, meaningless and irrelevant.

  • Cortez Mack

    “You still don’t get it.”

    Apparently not.

    “Gasol is a better player than Kaman”

    So stop quoting me out of context stats about how Kaman is “more effective” in this offense than Gasol, as if that proves the offense is fine (for Gasol). If he is more effective than Gasol (who “sucks”, remember) put him out on the court.

    Oh, I get it, D’Antoni is just an half idiot. He knows better.

    “Gasol wasn’t this bad last season …. In the same system.”

    Looks comparable to me, stat-wise, and HE HAD THE EXACT SAME COMPLAINTS LAST YEAR.

    “As I’ve acknowledged numerous times, Gasol would probably be better in a different system, but not significantly enough to lead a team to the playoffs”

    Have you acknowledged that (multiple times in fact)?

    Let me check….

    I did not think so. But I suppose you could be referring to this…

    “I understand if he’s unhappy, and not as productive as he would be in a better system”

    “Better system”, interesting.

    Plus, who said anything about the playoffs. The only standard I applied was; could they, at a minimum, reproduce the lackluster 12-13 record running the sets that Gasol prefers.

    You said no. I disagree.

    “Blaming the system is an excuse, and it only applies to Gasol.”

    Yeah, a valid excuse.

    Change the system to better suit Gasol and then have Nick Young (and the rest of the Can’t Get Right Crew) step up like men, earn their checks, and get buckets (which is my real suggestion btw) because…

    Basketball is basketball, remember?

    …but I forgot, Gasol sucks now and Kaman is more effective, yet D’Antoni, inexplicably, keeps playing Gasol over him every f!@#ing game.

    D’Antoni = Half-idiot.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Loooooool

    Let me straighten this out for you.
    Argument – The System is not why Gasol is this bad
    “Fact” – Gasol is better than Kaman.
    Argument – “if Gasol is better than Kaman, in general…he will play more. So, despite being better, and playing more, Kaman has still been more effective than Gasol. Leading one to surmise, logically, that it is not, in fact, the system that is causing Gasol to underperform. But Gasol himself. Proof – Kaman, a worse player in the same system is playing better than Gasol.

    Let me try and make this even more clear – Gasol was better than this last season (in the same system), and every other season of his career (in various systems). So logically, it doesn’t seem like the system makes that much of a difference. We can only go by what we see…..and what have we seen? We’ve seen Gasol struggle at things he has never, as an individual, struggled at before. The question, if there is one, remains, “Can Gasol get over himself and get over his unhappiness and make the best of his situation…or, will he continue to pout, and look in turn, like a has been in the process?”
    Think about it…..

    Your argument is that the “Can’t get right crew” should “earn” their checks (which seems to be what they are doing right now)…….. And Gasol, who makes $19 million ………..doesn’t, because the system makes him play worse and he also becomes sad? Right, he’s unhappy, got to please the overpaid guy who is unhappy (which in itself is not anything new)…right?.
    Here, let’s make it really really simple. It’s about the system? Then explain recent history……
    “…. the team’s recently completed 2-2 road trip has eased concerns. Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers’ 96-92 win in Memphis on Tuesday night, after totaling 16 points and 10 rebounds Monday night in a loss to Atlanta. In the two games, Gasol made 16 of 21 shots to raise his overall shooting percentage to .439.”

    It’s not the system. Gasol has been struggling because he’s just been struggling. It’s something that he will have to get over, and something that he probably will. Either that or he’s completely done. But it’s not the system, it doesn’t account for this level of struggle.

  • Cortez Mack

    “Gasol was better than this last season”

    You can keep repeating this all you want but I, and the stats, say he was comparable.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gasolpa01.html

    “Leading one to surmise, logically, that it is not, in fact, the system that is causing Gasol to underperform.”

    Leading YOU to surmise that. No one is confused about your assertion.

    ” We’ve seen Gasol struggle at things he has never, as an individual, struggled at before. ”

    I have. Gasol is not Superman. He is simply better than this system allows him to be by virtue of it’s positional philosophies.

    “Your argument is that the “Can’t get right crew” should “earn” their checks ”

    That was not my argument. The “GRC” was mentioned, in jest, because of your insistence that a basketball player should perform in any system. They are “earning” their checks (with their mediocre, stat production).

    “But it’s not the system, it doesn’t account for this level of struggle.”

    I say it’s the system.

    “…doesn’t, because the system makes him play worse and he also becomes sad?”

    That’s right.

    “Kaman, a worse player in the same system is playing better than Gasol.”

    Yet, the half-idiot keeps him chained to the bench, playing behind the worse (performing) player.

    “It’s not the system”

    It is the system. Man, that was easy.

    “the team’s recently completed 2-2 road trip has eased concerns.”

    Some random beat reporter says it has “eased concerns” and that is supposed to mean something? Gasol STILL has the same complaints. He was able to do that (in a small sample set) DESPITE the constraints of the half-idiot’s offense because he is still the best player on that team right now.

    Gasol is struggling because of the offense. Gasol is most comfortable and effective operating in certain spots and Coach Half-Idiot philosophically does not believe in the type of offense that gets him the ball in those spots.

    It is that simple.

    “Let me straighten this out for you.”

    You failed, I guess. Do not worry about it though. I am not worth the effort.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The way Gasol played tonight? anomaly. The fact that he was extremely effective and happy? A product of the position of the moon or something.

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