Pau Gasol is healthy again. But he is not starting for the Lakers, and he is not happy. A trade? Well, that seems pretty close to inevitable. Here is Gasol talking about it:
"I have no idea. I can't really worry too much about something that is out of my hands, so, I'm just going to no matter what stay positive and do my best. Like I said, it's not something that I'm too thrilled about."
The question most pertinent to you, dear Minnesota sports fan, is this: Does a Gasol-to-Minnesota trade make sense?
In terms of rosters, it makes quite a bit of sense. With Kevin Love out for much of the rest of the season, Gasol would slide seamlessly into his role as a versatile big-man. The Lakers, presumably in the market for a power forward more suited to Mike D'antoni's up-tempo style, would be a natural fit for Derrick Williams.
However: Gasol will make $19 million next year, the last season of his contract. Williams only makes about $5 million. So there would have to be some shenanigans to make the money work (like, say, Brandon Roy's contract plus something else). Then there is the matter of Gasol being 32. And then what do you do next year when Gasol, Love and Nikola Pekovic are healthy? Does Pek, a restricted free agent-to-be, walk? Do they use him as bait in a sign-and-trade? Do they sign him and -- gasp -- try to move Love?
So it's not a perfect fit from that standpoint. Intangibles-wise, if you think Ricky Rubio is a franchise cornerstone, then Gasol is perfect. He's a fellow Spaniard who would play beautifully off of Ricky.
The trade deadline is Feb. 21 -- less than a month away. It would all depend on whether the two sides were willing and whether giving up Williams at this point in his career is the right idea. Your thoughts on reviving these talks, please, in the comments.