The worst-kept secret in Los Angeles these days is that the Lakers are desperate to add a top-tier point guard to run the show along with Kobe Bryant. While the team has been linked to multiple players in recent weeks with the trade deadline looming, L.A. seems to be focusing on the Houston Rockets and Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Rockets appear unwilling to deal their young point guard and unlikely to budge any time soon.
Marc Stein of ESPN has the latest report on the rumors:
Gasol did acknowledge to ESPN.com that he has received a level of clarification about his status from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak since Bryant's speech ... but wouldn't describe it as any stronger than "some" indication of L.A.'s plans for him. Sources say that the Houston Rockets remain adamant that they won't surrender Kyle Lowry for Gasol, no matter how much they like the big man, but it's likewise still true that L.A. lusts for an elite point guard to pair with Bryant and has made it known around the league that it's willing to surrender Gasol to get one.
"There's no guarantees still," Gasol said. "The Lakers' [recent public] statement said it pretty clearly. There's no guarantees."
Asked how much he's looking forward to March 16, Gasol said: "When that day comes along and nothing happens, I know for sure I'll have the security that I will be here at least for this season. After that? Who knows? Obviously it'll be an important day in order just to put everything behind me for another month or two or three."
There is no doubt that tension in Los Angeles is near an all-time high, especially with other players like Bryant getting frustrated with the on-again, off-again trade rumors surrounding the All-Star power forward. Pau Gasol is a very talented big man and still has quite a few seasons left in his tank, but it appears the Lakers will have no problem moving him if the right deal comes along. After all, Gasol was likely gone in December before the Chris Paul deal went south.
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