EL SEGUNDO, Calif All day Thursday, rumors were swirling concerning the Lakers and possible trades before the 2012 NBA Draft began at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Four-time All Star Pau Gasol provided the most grist for the mill. Reports had him heading to Atlanta for Josh Smith: to Houston for one or all three of their first round picks; maybe even back to his original teamMemphisin exchange for power forward Zach Randolph.
At around 9 p.m. Pacific time, the draft ended with the Lakers drafting center Robert Sacre of Gonzaga with the 60th pick, then trading cash considerations to Dallas for the No. 55 pick, Darius Earvin Johnson-Odom (really) from Marquette, then sending Gasolback to limbo.
"We worked hard at trying to get something done in the past couple weeks," said Laker General Manager Mitch Kupchak, refusing to reveal if Gasol was the centerpiece of any possible deal. "We were active, but getting into the first round isn't the easiest thing to do without...