The Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors seem intent on talking with the Los Angeles Lakers about a trade for Pau Gasol even though the Lakers want to give Gasol and Steve Nash a fair chance to play with each other before any changes are made to the roster.
According to a report on Thursday from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Raptors and Wolves have made calls into the Lakers front office to inquire about a trade for the Spaniard.
The Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves have both recently tried to engage the Lakers in trade discussions for Gasol, sources told ESPN.com, but the Lakers continue to tell teams that call that they will not consider dealing the Spaniard until L.A. can fully assess its roster after the return of injured point guard Steve Nash.
Nash is out with a non-displaced leg fracture that he suffered in the first week of the season and the timetable for his return is still uncertain, with some reports saying he will be back next week. The Lakers reportedly want to honor the promise they made to Nash when they acquired him in the offseason to give him the opportunity to play with Gasol before they make any moves. In any case, a trade likely won't happy until Dec. 15 when free agents from this past summer are allowed to be traded.
The Wolves are likely trying to pair Gasol with his fellow countryman Ricky Rubio, who returned to practice this month after undergoing ACL surgery from an injury he sustained against the Lakers last season as a rookie. In order to get Gasol, the Wolves are reportedly prepared to offer Derrick Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and center Nikola Pekovic.
The Raptors, meanwhile, would reportedly trade Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, also from Spain, and Lina Kleiza for Gasol. Gasol has long been rumored to be on his way out of Los Angeles, so the news that the Lakers could soon be fielding calls for him again shouldn't come as much surprise. If he's unable to fit into head coach Mike D'Antoni's new system when Nash returns, however, General Manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jerry Buss will likely be figuring out an exit plan for Gasol.