NBA AM: Rose Asking For Gasol Out Of Character
Rose And Gasol? Yesterday the talk of the weekend was a rumor floating around suggesting Chicago Bulls’ guard Derrick Rose had expressed interest privately in wanting to play with Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol.
The problem with this report is twofold. First, this is absolutely out of character for Derrick Rose, who has time and time again said he did not feel it was his place to recruit players. Second, the deal as reported involved a swap of Gasol for Carlos Boozer, who is very much like a big brother to Rose.
Bulls’ sources were adamant yesterday that this story did not originate in any way from Rose and the Bulls have had zero contact with the Lakers regarding Gasol or any other player.
There is no doubting Pau Gasol is unhappy and somewhat distracted by all the trade talk involving him. There is also no doubting that Gasol, who is represented by Arn Tellum (who also reps Derrick Rose) would love to see his client moved to a better situation.
Gasol has been under siege with the media badgering him about trade rumors. He says he is taking it all in stride.
“You’re going to have people who like you, like your game, like your style, like what you do,” Gasol said to Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN.com. “You’re going to have people that don’t. For very different reasons.
“There has been so much going on from talks, from rumors, situations that have changed. That makes it more challenging than usual, the amount of games that we’ve played now this season. That makes it a little more complicated. I want to have as much fun as possible doing well and doing my part,” Gasol said, “but it’s been difficult at times.”
For those asking, a Carlos Boozer for Pau Gasol swap does not work by itself under the cap.
Boozer is scheduled to earn $13.5 million this season, and has three more seasons worth $15 million next season, $15.3 million the following season, with a final year of $16.8 million owed in 2014-2015.
Gasol is owed $18.714 million this year, and has two more seasons worth $19 million next season, with a final year of $19.285 million owed in 2013-2014.
Because both teams would be Luxury tax teams after the trade, they are bound by the 125% trade rule, meaning the acceptable gap between the players is $1.739 million on The Bulls side, requiring another player to be included.
None of the Bulls “expendable” players line up with that number.
There is no doubt that the rumor is interesting, but given how Rose has conducted his business since arriving in the NBA and understanding his connection with Boozer, this one is hard to believe, especially given that Rose wouldn’t recruit Dwight Howard or LeBron James. Now he is asking for Pau Gasol?
That one does not pass the sniff test, even before the Bulls blasted the idea out of the water yesterday.
Stack Jack And Dwight? Bucks’ guard Stephen Jackson wants out of Milwaukee and said as much to HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy in Orlando on Friday.
After the media cleared out, Jackson joked that he was handling all of the chaos in Milwaukee in stride and in a few weeks he’d be traded.
When prompted about the idea of being traded to Orlando, Jackson’s face lit up and he cracked a coy smile.
Jackson and Magic center Dwight Howard are close friends. The two talk and text frequently, and Jackson admitted the two have talked about playing together both in Orlando and possibly in Brooklyn next season.
Jackson was clear that he did not believe Howard would be leaving Orlando as a free agent.
Now Jackson is hardly the expert on what Dwight Howard will or will not do, but it was interesting to hear someone suggest that Howard would stay, especially someone that was not a Magic employee.
For several weeks it’s been suggested in Magic circles that Dwight would consider opting into his deal if the situation were right.
That still remains the longest of long shots.
Magic sources said recently they would actively explore the trade landscape again on March 1st, the first day players who signed contracts this summer could be traded.
The first goal for the Magic is to see what they can pry loose in trade for themselves, but to also see what’s out there in return for Howard.
League sources peg the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors as teams that would be willing to trade for Dwight Howard as a rental player, even if it meant he walks away in July.
Both franchises feel like if they get Howard, they have a chance to convince him to stay which would be worth giving up non-core assets. Neither franchise is on Dwight’s “list of teams” he’d accept a trade to, so there is that.
Its commonly believed Howard will walk to the New Jersey Nets in July as a free agent and most teams that have been in the hunt for Howard are reluctant to put serious trade packages on the table without assurances that Howard would sign a new deal in July.
Sources close to the Howard situation deny he has decided on New Jersey, but confirm Dwight will gauge the marketplace and do the free agent dance regardless of how this season plays out.
Sources close to this process say that New Jersey and Dallas have been assured they will get a chance to make a pitch to Howard in July and no team has been promised anything more than a real chance to sell Howard on their team. This includes the Magic.
With NBA All-Star weekend getting underway in Orlando on Thursday night expect a lot of Howard trade talk as his face will be front and center all weekend.
Kupchak Talks Lakers: Laker General Manager Mitch Kupchak keeps things close to the vest. So if you are hearing about a Laker trade, that’s not likely the one Mitch is really considering; but that doesn’t mean he’s not considering a trade at all.
“Of course we’ll talk to a lot of teams [about trades], like everybody else does, leading up until the trade deadline to see if there is a way to improve the team,” Kupchak said to Sam Amick of SI.com. “But the likelihood is that this is the team that’s going to finish into the playoffs. That’s just the way it normally works, but we’ll see.
“I think we’re making progress. I think we’re getting better every time we play. I would like to see us be a little bit more successful on the road. I think we’ll get into the playoffs and would like to have some homecourt advantage. But if you don’t, you’ve got to win a game on the road and we haven’t demonstrated we can win on the road yet.”
Kupchak has made some moves this season that did not sit well with the Laker fan base, like trading away Lamar Odom for basically nothing but a Traded Player Exception and not addressing the point guard position in free agency. Still, he continues to get a ringing endorsement from Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant which has helped in the court of public opinion.
“The good thing is he trusts the organization, and we’ll do everything we can do to get better,” Kupchak said. “We’ll look to do something big, and we’ll look to do something small, or maybe we’ll do nothing at all. Sometimes a small deal is all a team needs to get over a hump, so I wouldn’t categorize something that we’re looking to do as big, small or medium.”
Like most teams the Lakers are looking at what’s out there and that will likely continue for the next 24 days as the NBA marched towards the trade deadline.
Laker fans can take some solace in knowing that Mitch is looking, but that does not mean he’ll make a deal.
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