The NBA's trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 20.
Possibly for the final time as a Los Angeles Laker, Pau Gasol will be escorted to the stage and presented for all interested parties. A prospective suitor must part with a draft pick or promising young player, or Gasol will remain with the Lakers for the remainder of this season.
"The offer would have to change, I think, a little," Gasol acknowledged he was reading along with everyone else heading into the All-Star break. "If something happens, it'd be a tough moment no matter how much you try to prepare yourself mentally."
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Gasol does not want a trade, and he does not feel slighted by the Lakers.
"I feel wanted," Gasol said. "Otherwise I wouldn't be here."
He may not be the most eligible bachelor, but Gasol still has skill, ability and experience to offer a playoff-level team. Whether that team is willing and able to work out a deal before the deadline remains to be seen.
Just before starting his All-Star break, NBCLA.com caught up with Gasol and talked about his sentiments on being traded considering it was a real possibility.
"I've been here for so long, and I feel this is my team; this is my city," Gasol told NBCLA.com. "My preference would be to stay."
Gasol acknowledged that the team was in a tough spot and hinted that a trade would not surprise him. However, he said that his experience of being traded from Memphis still did not feel good. The well-spoken Spaniard explained that even though he wanted to be traded at that time, the act of being discarded by a team never feels good to a player.
Invariably, the Lakers trading Gasol away would hurt the 7-footer. However, he understands that trades are a part of the game, especially in Los Angeles.
"I feel like I have very good years left, still," Gasol responded when asked about his future beyond the trade deadline and the current season with the Lakers. "I love playing the game. I would like to be in a position to win championships again, and that is what is going to be on my mind for my future."
Regardless of whether he is ultimately traded, Gasol's name should come up plenty in the days leading up to the trade deadline. For his part, Gasol has made it clear that would prefer to stay despite the Lakers’ season slowly and painfully circling the bottom of the drain.