Well, all it took was a slow, injury-fueled start for Pau Gasol and a train wreck beginning for the Chicago Bulls for the "Gasol to Chicago" rumor mill to start up again......in Chicago. This time it is John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times who thinks that the Grizzlies will be willing to part with their best low-post option so that he can be the only low-post option in Chicago. Although he admits that there is nothing out of Memphis to suggest that Gasol is available, he throws out his own trade scenario that seems straight out off a message board post:
So what would it take to make a deal? If I'm Paxson, Luol Deng still is an untouchable and so is Gordon in this scenario. I'd put together a package built around Tyrus Thomas, a younger, much cheaper player who could spark some fan interest in Memphis. An offer of Thomas, Andres Nocioni, another player and a pick might get a deal done under the right circumstances.
If Chris Wallace takes that deal, it would be wise for him to not return to Memphis. Fortunately, I've met Chris and talked with him and can assure all of you that he's not Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas or Mitch Kupchak -- he won't trade away his best player for pennies on the dollar. So once again, this is Chicago futilely hoping for a handout to solve their woes. We're not in a charitable mood right now though.
In other Gasol-related news, he is making waves with overseas comments again -- this time by defending what he perceives to be unfair treatment of Spanish teammate Jorge Garbajosa. From Yahoo! Sports:
"It's surprising and unexpected, (Garbajosa's) situation," the Memphis Grizzlies forward wrote in his weekly column in Spanish newspaper Marca.
"There's something strange going on because Jorge says that he feels fine. I think that for all the things he did in the summer and his desire to play in the national team at the EuroBasket, the Raptors have a bit of a grudge."
After fighting through a lot of red tape to be able to compete in international tournament play this summer after a serious ankle injury in the spring, Garbajosa feels that he's being ostracized for his commitment to his national team -- something that Gasol has felt the sting of as well.
Coach Sam Mitchell said the forward "just (has) to get his confidence back and his timing back."
However, Garbajosa hit back.
"That's his opinion," he said. "He is the coach ... physically I'm great. I have all the confidence in myself. So what can I do?"
Through six games so far, the 6-9 Garbajosa has played an average of less than seven minutes.
In Friday's 105-103 win over Philadelphia, Mitchell elected not to play Garbajosa at all.
Given that the NBA has language that specifically prohibits teams from stopping their players from playing for their national teams, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone from the NBA's front office step in behind the scenes to smooth this over so that it doesn't become front page news.
Over on Beyond the Arc, Chris Herrington has a great post about what we've learned five games into the season. Chris echoes a lot of the thoughts and expectations you've read on this blog, although he is still holding onto more hope (possibility of 40 wins?) than this humble blogger will allow himself to. It's a great read and I highly recommend it.
The crew here at 3 Shades of Blue was in no mood to reflect on the massacre that took place on Saturday night, so we'll turn the recap over to others who were less affected by the beatdown:
Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune has a nice take on Iavaroni's return to Utah to face his former coach, Jerry Sloan..
The Sports Network provides their own recap of the carnage that occurred in Utah, as well.