Pau Gasol Updates: Benched for Tendinitis, not a Trade

Lakers big man Pau Gasol is starting to hear his name more and more often in the trade rumor mill, and his 4th quarter benchings are not helping his cause. Gasol will reportedly miss Tuesday's game against the Houston Rockets due to tendinitis in both his knees. Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times quotes a Lakers spokesman on Gasol's status:
"His knees are really bothering him," Lakers spokesman John Black said. "They're sore and affecting his play. We're going to rest him and see if it gets better."
Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com also printed a quote, this one from coach Mike D'Antoni, about the severity of Gasol's injury.
"The biggest thing with him was that he was playing hurt and in this league you just can't do that. I just didn't think he was running fluidly."
Gasol has been dealing with the tendinitis issues since the beginning training camp back in October. With the Lakers having such a disappointing start to the season, fans may wonder how long they plan to keep Gasol out for.
"We got to get him healthy," D'Antoni said. "Whatever it takes -- one game, two games, 10 games -- I don't know. It's day to day but he's got to be healthy. It wasn't fair (to him). He's trying to battle through some stuff and in this league, you just can't do that."
With that statement, the big man's listing of day-to-day and the timely rumors, some may suspect a trade coming up. Gasol has been playing through this all season, why sit him now? The rumors are picking up and it could be likely that this benching is linked with a trade.

But it is not.

McMenamin adds to his report that according to "multiple league sources", Gasol is not sitting because of an impending trade. So for now the rumors are just that, rumors.

Gasol has been struggling this season with the adjustments that he is being asked to make. He is averaging a career-low 12.6 points per game (5 point drop-off from last season) on a career-low 42% from the field (8% drop-off), 8.8 rebounds per game (1.6 rebound drop-ff, but mostly due to Dwight's presence) and just 3.4 free throw attempts per game (0.6 drop). His numbers are dropping and if it continues to do so due to lack of adjustment, the Lakers will trade him. It would appear to be a mistake to many, but there is not enough patience in the Lakers organization to wait for development, as was seen with the firing of coach Mike Brown.

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