Over the past few years, Pau Gasol has been at the center of trade rumors with the Los Angeles Lakers exploring all options around the league. Apparently, Gasol's name being mentioned in these trade rumors may no longer be a distraction for the two-time NBA champion with the Lakers reportedly taking him off the trading block according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com on Dec. 18:
The Los Angeles Lakers have decided -- at least for now – that they're better off keeping four-time All-Star center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the situation.
With Gasol in the final year of his deal with the Lakers, a trade before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20 was thought to be a likely scenario. The Lakers made a point of clearing as much cap space as possible in order to rebuild with another big-name or two, but after signing Kobe Bryant to a lucrative two-year contract extension that might not be possible.
Regardless of the report of Gasol staying put, two months remain before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20. A trade could still go down sending Gasol elsewhere if an intriguing option arises in the coming months.
In the meantime, the Lakers will try to make it work with Bryant trying to shape back into elite form and Gasol attempting to become an All-Star for the fifth time of his career.
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