It’s becoming clearer by the day that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to deal Pau Gasol.
A report has surfaced that one team they talked to about it was the Brooklyn Nets. According to ESPN’s Mark Stein:
1. Sources with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN.com that the Lakers did indeed engage the Nets earlier this month in some exploratory talks to see if Brooklyn had interest in such a swap. Sources say that the Nets balked at the idea when it was presented before Lopez’s injury, but it’s still noteworthy if it happened.
2. The Lakers were known to be, at the very least, calling around to gauge Gasol’s value before they decided to pull Pau off the market earlier this month. So determining how serious the Lakers really were with their Lopez interest is tricky … especially since Lopez’s health misfortune extinguishes any realistic hope of Pau-for-Brook talks re-igniting between now and the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Yet the mere concept of Gasol and Lopez exchanging jerseys nonetheless gets you thinking, because Lopez is owed $32.5 million over the next two seasons after this one.
Right now, the Lakers are going to struggle just to make it to the playoffs, and with Gasol playing like he is, it’s better to just have him elsewhere and let your other players get some game time.
However, Lopez may not be their best bet since the organization has already sunk a ton of money into Kobe Bryant next season. That $32.5 million will limit what they're able to do in free agency.