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What the Injury to Pau Gasol Means for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Future

February 6th, 2013 at 6:13 PM
By Brandon Duran

 'Pau Gasol' photo (c) 2008, Keith Allison - license: Los Angeles Lakers have announced that PF Pau Gasol underwent an MRI test today in Boston which revealed he has a tear of the plantar fascia. Gasol will leave the team in Boston for Los Angeles where he will be examined by Lakers team doctor Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Dr. Kenneth Jung tomorrow. The Lakers front office is holding off on saying how long Pau will be out but NBA Insider and CBS Sports writer Ken Berger reported Gasol will miss at least six weeks.

With Dwight Howard (right shoulder) listed as day-to-day and Jordan Hill (left hip) out for the season , the Lakers are extremely thin at the center and power forward positions. The Lakers are now left with one power forward, in Antawn Jamison, and one center (not including Howard), in rookie Robert Sacre. Tomorrow’s starting lineup will either be one of two possibilities:

#6 Clark               SF          #24 Bryant         

#4 Jamison         PF          #6 Clark               

#50 Sacre            C            #50 Sacre            

#24 Bryant         SG         #20 Meeks          

#10 Nash            PG         #10 Nash

It’s definitely not the lineup fans imagined the Lakers would start come February but the it’s what they have to deal with for the foreseeable future. Mitch Kupchak said earlier this week that the Lakers will not make a trade this season and the commitment was emphasized when it was reported today that Kupchak told Dwight Howard he will not be traded before the trade deadline on February 21. The injury to Pau Gasol means that the Lakers not only won’t make a trade, but can’t make a trade. The only players with any trade value are Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark but the Lakers need to add depth at the fourth spot so trading a Laker big in exchange for a new big man gets Los Angeles nowhere.

Despite the inordinately high amount of injuries the Lakers have unfortunately sustained this season, there is a silver lining. Two weeks ago the NBA granted Los Angeles a disabled-player exception which allows the Lakers to add a player to their roster for half the amount of Jordan Hill’s salary, $3.6 million.

This means the Lakers have over a million and a half dollars to offer a free-agent for their services for the rest of the season.

The Lakers need to go out and get Kenyon Martin. Martin is a 35-year-old free agent who last played in the NBA last season for the Los Angeles Clippers. Martin went overseas because of the lockout last year, returned, signed with Los Angeles but did not re-sign with the Clippers following the season. Martin is a viable option in the post and isn’t that far removed from being one of the most dangerous power forwards in the league. Martin has been rumored to be in talks with the New York Knicks and if the Lakers front office doesn’t make a move soon, they could be left with a very thin and unbalanced lineup.

Tags: Antawn Jamison, Basketball, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Jordan Hill, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Kupchak, NBA, New York Knicks, Pau Gasol, Robert Sacre

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