As if the Lakers haven’t shaken up their roster enough this off-season, multiple sources are reporting the Lakers are interested in acquiring New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson for the struggling Gasol.
Gasol has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors ever since last year’s three team trade between the Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets, which would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers. League commissioner David Stern later vetoed the deal.
Gasol, not known for his shooting outside the paint, has been noticeably frustrated with Mike D’Antoni’s style of offense this season and has been unable to find his role within the system. To make matters worse, Coach D’Antoni has benched Gasol in the closing minutes of games, limiting his playing time in favor of Antwan Jamison.
Mitch Kupchak along with Kobe have both would prefer to keep Gasol, but it’s speculated that Jim Buss is pushing the issue and wants a forward better suited for D’Antoni’s system. Ryan Anderson could prove to be that player, as he played alongside Dwight Howard in Orlando for three seasons.
Management and coaching staff continue to evaluate whether Gasol can find his place in the new D’Antoni system, one has to wonder how much of that responsibility lies with Gasol himself who has received criticism from Kobe. Gasol likely has some time, as the Lakers are hesitant to pull the trigger on any trade until Steve Nash returns from a leg fracture.
Gasol is out tonight’s game vs. the Houston Rockets due to lingering tendonitis in his knees. Stay tuned for more developments Laker Nation.