Thoughts and Trade Machine tinkering: Can the Lakers trade Pau Gasol?

As Los Angeles Lakers fandom giddily awaits the possible debut of Mike D’Antoni on the bench tonight and the emergence of the superteam most observers expected, the inevitable whispers are beginning: Yes, Pau Gasol appears to be on some imaginary trading blocks (and perhaps even the actual one) already.

As BallinEurope understands it, the thinking goes something like this: Pau has not performed brilliantly early on this season. He’s at his peak trade value. Literally the only tradable assets beyond Gasol are Metta World Peace and Steve Blake – unless taking a flyer on Chris Duhon or Earl Clark proves irresistible to someone. Dwight Howard should exploit a pick-and-roll game enough so that the Spaniard’s specialized skills aren’t missed too much. And hey, let’s face it, they’ve been trying to deal this guy for quite some time.

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NBA players to Europe: Pekovic, Seraphin, Parker, Boozer, more

Seraphin back to Cholet?

Nikola Pekovic will be back in Europe to play with Partizan Belgrade as the NBA lockout drags on, just the latest of names from the big league to be jumping to The Continent for 2011-12. BallinEurope takes a brief look, bullet-style, at the progress of some other players coming over below. An even briefer summary: Kevin Seraphin probably, Antawn Jamison probably not, Carlos Boozer if only…

• France-based (!) Basket USA has been tracking interest in its homeboy Kevin Seraphin as the Portland Trail Blazer works out with Team France in preparation for Eurobasket 2011. Though Seraphin has stated that he “has not signed anything with Cholet,” his former team and reportedly his top suitor for a European vocation in case of an extended NBA lockout, he emphatically added that he will be speaking with several clubs and plans on playing LNB ball.

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Official BallinEurope Euroleague Power Rankings: Final preseason edition

The 2010-11 Euroleague season tips off tomorrow? Right, then. Presenting the last preseason – and thus last totally subjective, because we’ll be able to base these things on, you know, wins and losses beginning next week – BallinEurope Official Euroleague Power Rankings™. (Plus lots of video clips.) Enjoy!

1. (↔) FC Barcelona – Yeah, as though we didn’t know how good Barça was going to be this season, they went and bored down behind mighty Pete Mickael to take out the Los Angeles Lakers at home. In addition, they’re 3-0 in ACB play thus far while outscoring opponents by an average of 82-68, the Human YouTube Clip has added a couple more highlights to the infinite reel, Juan Carlos Navarro has been “¡espectacular,” et cetera.

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Big Z boomeranging back to Cavaliers

Just a quick note on former Cleveland Cavalier/sitting-in-limbo Zydrunas Ilgauskas from the big network. ESPN reported last night that, despite interest from the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks in Z, the big man plans and expects to re-sign with the Cavs.

Ilgauskas must wait until March 22, due to a NBA-mandated 30-day wait period required of released players seeking to re-sign with their former club.

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Ruminations on ex-Cavalier Ilgauskas (Come to Europe, Z…)

Did you know that Zydrunas Ilgauskas is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ all-time leader in games played, minutes played, blocked shots, offensive rebounds, and total rebounds? Or that the sportswriting team at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer just this month named him the fifth-best player in Cavaliers history?

Ilgauskas: Cavalier no more

Ilgauskas: Cavalier no more

Maybe, maybe not: After all, for most of his 12 seasons in the NBA, Ilgauskas has been mired on bad Cleveland teams; ironically, while the team’s most realistic shot at taking the NBA title is happening, the ever-adaptable and reasonably reliably Z has been jettisoned for a larger-than-life personality with older-than-Australia knees – traded as a necessary evil cap-space move in the deal that sends Antawn Jamison to the Cavs.

Though Ilgauskas’ 2009-10 season is hardly over – reports last night on ESPN had the Washington Wizards buying out his contract and the Dallas Mavericks picking him up – one can’t help but wonder if his expiring contract combined with the ties cut by his heretofore loyal employer will be enough to bring him to Europe for 2010-11.

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