Sources told ESPN.com Wednesday that the Lakers, after weighing the idea of making Gasol available before the trade deadline in February, are encouraged by the way he's played in the past three games, as well as his efforts to make amends for his recent public spat with coach Mike D'Antoni.
The Lakers entered the 2013-14 campaign fully intending to keep Gasol for the whole season and then to explore the feasibility of re-signing him in the summer. But ESPN.com reported last week the Spaniard's recent public complaints about how he's been used in D'Antoni's system, as well as some subpar play, prompted L.A. to begin assessing its trade options.
However, the way Gasol quickly made amends with conciliatory comments about D'Antoni during the team's recently completed 2-2 road trip has eased concerns. Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers' 96-92 win in Memphis on Tuesday night, after totaling 16 points and 10 rebounds Monday night in a loss to Atlanta. In the two games, Gasol made 16 of 21 shots to raise his overall shooting percentage to .439.
"I just think people go through periods of slumps where you question things," D'Antoni said of Gasol after Tuesday's win. "Like I said, we were out of whack. Different things go on. But Pau's an All-Star, he's one of the best players in the league, he worked through it and he's back to normal."
Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Lakers, before Gasol's resurgent play, engaged in exploratory talks with several teams but never got too far with any of the calls.
Among the teams they spoke with were the Rockets, sources say, but those conversations never got serious, even with Houston determined to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik before a self-imposed Thursday deadline.
Sources say the Lakers do have certified interest in Knicks center Tyson Chandler, but New York appears to have no interest in fielding offers for Chandler at this time, having just welcomed the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year back to the lineup after a fractured fibula sidelined Chandler for the past 20 games.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Saturday that the Lakers, facing a slew of injuries in the backcourt, made an inquiry about the Knicks' Iman Shumpert, but sources say those talks were likewise merely exploratory.
The Lakers are still assessing their long-term plans and whether there's a way to keep Gasol beyond this season, with the 33-year-old headed for unrestricted free agency in July. Sources say that team officials have communicated to Gasol in various ways that they remain interested in keeping him in L.A. beyond this season.
Yet it remains to be seen just how much they'll be able to pay him in the wake of the two-year, $48.5 million extension the Lakers awarded Kobe Bryant earlier this month. Gasol is in the final year of a contract that pays him $19.3 million this season.