Lakers Trade Rumors: Pau Gasol Wants to be Traded to Chicago

Paul Gasol is averaging a career low 16.6 points per game this season.
Paul Gasol is averaging a career low 16.6 points per game this season.

Rumors have been circulating since the beginning of the season about the Lakers trading Pau Gasol.

They agreed to send him to Houston in a trade that would have landed them Chris Paul, before the deal was vetoed by David Stern. Last week, there were rumors that Los Angeles was making another attempt to send him to the Rockets.

Now, it seems that the Lakers may not be looking to trade Gasol. Instead, Gasol is looking to get out of L.A.

ESPN reported Wednesday night that the Bulls are looking to acquire the forward. The report states that Chicago would like to deal Carlos Boozer in exchange for Gasol, but the Lakers are not interested in making such a trade.

Ric Bucher of ESPN says Gasol's interest in the Bulls is greater than Chicago's interest in the Lakers big man.

Pau would love to go to Chicago, Bucher told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd.

Gasol's preferred destination is Chicago because of their core of young players, namely Derrick Rose.

He sees in Derrick Rose what he once had in Kobe Bryant, said Bucher.

Bryant is still one of the best players in the NBA. He leads the league in scoring at 28.9 points per game, and has the Lakers in first place. However, he is no longer the player he used to be, and Rose is the reigning MVP.

The Lakers guard has expressed his desire for the team to keep Gasol, whose performance has been hindered by all of the trade talks.

I talked to [Gasol] a little bit about it, Bryant said. It's just tough for a player to give his all when you don't know if you're going to be here tomorrow. I'd rather them not trade him at all. If they're going to do something, I wish they would just [expletive] do it. If they're not going to do it, come out and say you're not going to do it. This way he can be comfortable, he can go out, he can play and he can invest all of himself into the game.

Just one day away from the trade deadline, it looks like Gasol is likely to stay put. The Lakers have been trying to acquire a point guard, and there doesn't seem to be a deal available that they feel comfortable making.

The Lakers could probably obtain a point guard without giving up Gasol, but they'd have to take on a bad contract, which doesn't seem like something they are willing to do.

Perhaps once the deadline passes on Thursday, Gasol will rest easy and return to his All-Star form.

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