The Houston Rockets thought they had gotten Pau Gasol back in early December before the NBA vetoed the blockbuster Chris Paul trade. Since that time the Rockets have kept in touch with the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the four-time All-Star and would still like to get him.
The problem for Houston is that the Lakers aren’t interested in any of the pieces they can offer except point guard Kyle Lowry, who is a guy the team plans to build around. The Rockets have considered parting with their 25-year-old point guard – who is in the midst of a breakout season – but would obviously prefer not to.
Well, even if they were willing to deal Lowry to get Gasol they learned this weekend that he’ll be out for the next two to four weeks with a bacterial infection. The fact that Lowry won’t be healthy before the NBA’s trade deadline on March 15 means that any trade between the Lakers and Rockets is likely off the table.
Houston had been offering either Goran Dragic or Jonny Flynn plus Luis Scola and a draft pick in exchange for Gasol, but there is no way the Lakers would bite on such a proposal. They’d rather keep Gasol and try to add a point guard through free agency or the draft.
The Lakers are well aware that they need to get younger and more athletic, and that they need upgrades at both point guard and small forward. That said, they won’t bring back slight upgrades in exchange for an All-Star like Gasol.
Andrew Bynum’s emergence this season has made Gasol more expendable, but thinking the Lakers would just give him away for a few extra pieces is silly. Los Angeles values the Spaniard more than that and won’t ship him somewhere just to do a deal and reduce payroll.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on this as things develop but as of now the Lakers are probably keeping Gasol and he is definitely not heading to Houston.