Pau Gasol will not be playing in the All Star game in Orlando this weekend, but his name will be on everyone's lips. The LA Lakers center is on the market and all of the executives present in Florida are well aware of his uncertain future. March 15 is the NBA deadline for trades to take place and Gasol is under no illusions that the Lakers, who made a ham-fisted attempt to offload him during the lock-out, have not yet given up on the possible trade.
"The rumors over a possible trade have stopped being something that affects only me," said Gasol in a statement published on his website after learning of the support of Lakers' megastar Kobe Bryant. "Kobe has made it clear that it is a situation that affects the entire team, I am grateful for his support as he has expressed his desire that I stay but it's clear that, if my transfer is going to take place, the sooner it happens the better for everybody. The truth is I don't know what is going to happen. What I do know is that wherever I play I will continue to work to be one of the best players in this league and help my team and my teammates to be better."
"As a former player, I know the days leading up to the transfer deadline can be distressing," said Lakers sporting director Mitch Kupchak. "However, I have to look for the best way to improve the team for this season and the future. To publicly say we are not going to carry out any operation makes no sense and puts us at a disadvantage in negotiations."
On Wednesday night Gasol top-scored for the Lakers in a 91-96 win at Dallas Mavericks.