Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/10/12
MINNEAPOLIS Pau Gasol slept just fine -- and it was the middle of the day. Friday morning brought with it some renewed non-specific trade speculation surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers power forward, speculation the Spaniard has adeptly learned to tune out. Yes, he was aware of Friday's gossip -- Houston seems to be the hottest recent destination. No, he didn't let it bother him. "Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, and then somebody texted me, 'Are you gone? Have they traded you?'" Gasol said. "There were some thank-you tweets for your services, some good luck and all of that. And then all of the people saying, 'Oh no, he's not gone yet.' "After that I slept for another hour and a half. I'm that kind of guy." Then Gasol woke up and posted 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in Los Angeles' 105-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves -- including a key rejection in the final seconds with the Lakers clinging to a one-point lead. Just another day at the office for the four-time All Star, who is on pace to average a double-double for the third consecutive season. "I think he's fine," Lakers coach Mike Brown said. "I don't think he's uptight. Maybe I'm wrong or oblivious to it, but to play the way he played tonight, I'll take that every night." Gasol wasn't worried about Friday's uptick in trade buzz, considering he didn't get any phone calls from the Lakers or his agent. If Gasol is about to be traded, he won't hear about it from social media -- or at least not exclusively from it. "Anyone can start a rumor," he said. "It's going to put you a little bit on edge, but I think it's going to be like that for the next six days. I just want the day to get here and move on from this crazy show." March 15 is the trade deadline, a day that can't arrive fast enough for Gasol or his teammates simply because by then they'll at least know -- either Gasol is with them for the remainder of the season or he isn't. The trade rumors have swirled since the offseason, when a deal that would've sent Chris Paul to the Lakers and Gasol to the Houston Rockets was nixed by the commissioner's office. Gasol has impressed his teammates by handling the difficult situation with aplomb. Teammate Kobe Bryant reiterated Friday that he doesn't want to see his cohort in two NBA title runs sent packing. "I adore Pau," Bryant said. "It's tough to see him go through this crap. I wish I could do something." There's nothing much Bryant or Gasol himself can do other than wait. Gasol has proven his worth to the Lakers several times over, thus said he doesn't feel the need to demonstrate his value with his play in these final days before March 15. He expects to play at a high level nightly, and hopes he'll be doing so for Los Angeles the rest of the season. "I can't control certain things," Gasol said. "I'll just continue to do my job the best I can. March 15 is around the corner. One way or another -- I'll be here, or who knows? "I do as much as I can to help my team win. I'll do whatever's necessary out there." And afterwards, he'll forget about the latest trade rumors and get a good night's sleep.
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