"Gasol has been thrown out there for weeks, most notably in a potential deal to Toronto for Bargnani and Calderon, each of whom fills definite holes in the L.A. roster -- a stretch four and a legit point who could spell or replace Steve Nash. But despite a lot of smoke, there doesn't appear to be any fire, at least at the moment.
The Lakers, according to league sources, remain adamant that they want to see Gasol and Nash together and healthy before making any final judgments on whether to move Gasol and the $37.2 million left on his contract extension. They believe that Gasol, while not being a classic stretch four, can work in D'Antoni's system. For their part, D'Antoni and his players think the same thing (see above).
According to the invaluable Mark Deeks at Sham Sports, Gasol also has a 15 percent trade kicker on the remainder of his deal. Normally, that would mean a team would have to cough up an extra 15 percent of the remaining amount of the contract to the player in order to do a trade. But, as Deeks pointed out to me Monday afternoon, trade kickers cannot push a player's salary above the maximum salary allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Players with 10 or more years of experience, such as Gasol, have a maximum salary allowed this season of $19,136,250, or 35 percent of this season's $58.044 million salary cap. Gasol's salary this season is already $18.7 million this season. So if he were to be traded, his trade kicker would only be allowed to get him up to the $19.136 million max, but not higher. So he wouldn't get the full 15 percent kicker.
The Raptors, sources say, are leery of taking a flier on yet another international player, despite Gasol's obvious and longstanding talents. GM Bryan Colangelo has gone this route before, remember -- signing Jorge Garbajosa, drafting Bargnani, signing Hedo Turkoglu -- and even though Gasol would fit in with just about any team, including, most assuredly, the 7-19 Raptors, Toronto isn't ready to pull the trigger.
Besides, Bargnani's torn elbow is expected to keep him out another month, making a deal for him unlikely until he returns. The same goes for Calderon; with starter Kyle Lowry (torn triceps) out for a while, the Raptors have to keep Calderon, in the final year of his contract, around. (He also has a trade kicker, 10 percent.)
But if a Lakers deal for Bargnani isn't in the cards, league sources are convinced the Raptors will eventually move him somewhere. "Bryan is going to move him, no doubt," a rival GM said Sunday evening.
Colangelo said Sunday that he was not under the gun to win this season from the team's new owners, even though the Raptors got Lowry from Houston this summer -- after an unsuccessful courtship of Steve Nash -- precisely because they wanted to jump-start their team's performance this season, feeling a legit point guard would help the likes of DeMar DeRozan and rookie center Jonas Valanciunas.
"We're not going to bow to pressure," Colangelo said. "That pressure is obviously something that's important to all of us, because we play a game that's based on pressure. Hopefully we respond to the pressure. We're not going to make any quick, rash moves."
(If Calderon is dealt, my guess is it won't be for Gasol, or for any player, but to a team that can send Toronto a pick back and create a huge $15.6 million trade exception for the Raptors.)"
- DA from NBA.com