Lakers power forward Pau Gasol, left, and Timberwolves point guard Ricky… (Juanjo Martin / EPA )
With the team struggling and Pau Gasol ailing (both on the court and now off with knee tendinitis), rumors abound that the Lakers will look to trade their star big man.
The Lakers, before doing anything rash, might be more likely to wait until Steve Nash returns from his leg injury to see exactly what the team can accomplish.
Of course, with rumors, other franchises and players are mentioned, which has a ripple effect throughout the NBA. One of the teams tied to the Lakers and a possible Gasol trade has been the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The natural tie linking Gasol to the Wolves would be Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who is expected to return soon from a knee injury. Gasol and Rubio have been teammates for their national team for many years.
Whether that's enough motive for Minnesota to seriously pursue Gasol remains to be seen. Overtures were made in previous years, notably around the NBA draft, but on Friday Timberwolves President David Kahn tried to shoot down any speculation.
According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, "Kahn said he hasn't talked to the Lakers since last June."
Players such as Derrick Williams, Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour have been linked to the Lakers in various reports.
"What bothers me is it has an impact on a team and its players and its family members, and it's not appropriate for that reason, in other words if it's not real," Kahn said.
It's important to note that NBA executives are not required to tell the truth to reporters.
Given that the Lakers are not believed to be ready to swap Gasol, any trade buzz is probably premature.
It's also worth noting that most players signed over the summer as free agents cannot be traded until Dec. 15. Activity around the league tends to increase after that date each year.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.