The Los Angeles Lakers could be looking to deal center Pau Gasol in hopes of trading up for a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, sources told ESPN.com. The Lakers have been gauging Gasol's value around the NBA, and are reportedly hoping to pick up an established player along with a high draft pick.
The Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Rockets are among the teams that may strike a deal with the Lakers. The Hawks have reportedly been pursuing Gasol for a while now, and could offer up Josh Smith in a trade. The Rockets, meanwhile, are stockpiling first round picks as useful leverage in a trade for either Pasol or Dwight Howard. On Wednesday, they sent the No. 14 pick and Samuel Dalembert to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for the No. 12 pick as well as Shaun Livingston, Jon Brockman and Jon Leuer.
As part of any deal, the Lakers are also reportedly asking teams to assume the final two years and $38 million of Gasol's contract. They are also shopping Metta World Peace, though the two years and $15 million remaining on his contract may deter suitors.
For more on Gasol and the Lakers, head over to the SB Nation blog Silver Screen And Roll.