Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has been coveted by the Houston Rockets for quite some time. The biggest issue is giving the Lakers players they want. They want a point guard, which would probably mean Kyle Lowry as their guy. Lowry is definitely the starter the Lakers need to upgrade that position and feel that Kobe Bryant has a solid backcourt mate.
Things might've just gotten complicated with making a deal with the Rockets though. Ken Berger of CBS Sports files this report.
The Lakers are said to be serious about trading Pau Gasol in the right deal, with the emphasis on saving on future payroll. But Rockets guard Kyle Lowry being out 2-4 weeks with a bacterial infection may have put the brakes on a potential Gasol-to-Houston deal. If the Lakers could've gotten a healthy Lowry, rival executives believe it would've eased the loss of Gasol. Luis Scola has been showing signs of age, but while he has two guaranteed years totaling $19.6 million left, that's about half what Gasol is owed over the next two seasons. In any event, the Lakers need to be aware that an obvious cost-saving trade as opposed to a basketball-upgrade trade would send the wrong message to Kobe Bryant, who is running out of time to chase his sixth championship to equal Michael Jordan's mark. "If they're going to send a message to Kobe Bryant that they're not about winning, they're about money," one league source said, "that's going to set off a whole new deal."
Without Lowry ready to go in the next few weeks, there's no way the Lakers are likely to sell Bryant on the deal. Los Angeles is in the hunt for the playoffs and they can't really avoid any stagnation from that goal.