Monday night's loss to the Thunder may very well have been Pau Gasol's last game as a Laker.
Los Angeles lost 106-90, as Oklahoma City took the playoff series in five games. Gasol played perhaps his worst game of the series, scoring 14 points on just 5-14.
Gasol's effort in the elimination game was indicative of his play the entire postseason. He averaged 12.4 points per game on 44 percent shooting in this year's playoffs. That's five points fewer and six percentage points lower than he averaged in the regular season.
Star players in the NBA are expected to raise their level of play in the postseason. Gasol did just the opposite.
The forward's postseason failures may force the Lakers into trading him.
L.A. has already shown once that they are willing to move Gasol. They included him in the deal that would have landed them Chris Paul, before the trade was vetoed by David Stern. What's to stop the Lakers from trading Gasol again after he had his worst season in Los Angeles?
The Lakers size in the frontcourt has been their strength for the past few years, but it hasn't led to many playoff wins in recent seasons. They've had early exits from the second round this year and last, and management could decide it's time for a change.
Gasol is more replaceable now than ever.
Andrew Bynum, while always showing promise, had never performed at an All-Star level for an extended period of time. In 2012, he finally stayed healthy and was arguably the best center in the NBA. Bynum stayed injury-free, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, surpassing his teammate in both categories.
With Bynum becoming an elite big man, the Lakers can afford to move Gasol, while maintaining a dominant presence in the paint.
Perhaps the biggest reason that Gasol could be traded is Kobe Bryant.
Bryant hasn't been shy about expressing his feelings regarding Gasol's poor play, especially in the playoffs. He criticized Gasol for not giving a complete effort in the first round, and said Gasol wasn't aggressive enough against the Thunder.
Gasol has often been criticized for being soft since joining the Lakers. Now that the Lakers aren't winning and Kobe Bryant is saying it, Los Angeles may not be willing to tolerate his lack of aggression any longer.
It remains to be seen who the Lakers would try to acquire in return for Gasol, but a trade for a point guard seems likely. L.A. tried to move Gasol for a point guard in the offseason, and it's been one of their biggest weaknesses over the past few seasons.
Gasol has had many big moments with the Lakers. He won two titles and was an important part of the team's success.
The Lakers though may feel it's time to make a change.