The Lakers are struggling. If I had a dollar for every time I said or heard that then the local McDonald’s Dollar menu would be non-existent, or I’d save the boatload of money (thinks about it…) yep, definitely saving the money.
The blame game is one that has taken Los Angeles by storm in the same magnitude Lob City did. So, the blame game turned into musical chairs, and Mike Brown was left standing.
But now Mike D’Antoni is in town, and Steve Nash will be back at some point. In other Lakers firings, the team canned their entire training staff and has brought in Phoenix’s in exchange for whichever first-round pick the Lakers still hold the rights to in this Millennium. (2058, I think?)
(Ok, you got me. I may have fibbed a little bit there.)
The point is that the Lakers are looking to change things up, and a synonym for “changing things up” is “trading.” This happens to be one of my favorite things to write about, the least favorite being draft picks, just for future reference.
With that, let’s go to the trade machine:
Lakers Trade Pau Gasol to the New York Knicks for Amar’e Stoudemire.
Gasol isn’t a huge problem for LA. There are just a lot of concerns about whether D’Antoni’s scheme is going to work for anyone not named Steve Nash. Stoudemire is a proven commodity in the system and would benefit from a reunion with Steve Nash.
I have no idea how the Knicks would use Gasol, but at this point he’d be an upgrade over Amar’e who is out with an injury.
Lakers Trade Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Earl Clark and Metta World Peace to Chicago for Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.
I have no idea again, how Gasol fits in Chicago (the underlying theme here is what the Lakers can get out of Gasol. Definitely not what the acquiring team can do with him.)
The Lakers would lose Gasol, but they would get a huge upgrade offensively on the wing with Deng, not to mention Deng isn’t a bad defender in his own right. Boozer would fill enough of Gasol’s production to be satisfactory. And the Lakers would be able to shed the rest of Blake’s contract due to the emergence of the younger and cheaper Darius Morris.
Lakers Trade Pau Gasol and Steve Blake to Minnesota for Nikola Pekovic, Derrick Williams and JJ Barea. Minnesota Trades Luke Ridnour to Utah and the Jazz Send Raja Bell to LA.
This trade probably makes the most sense of the ones listed so far. Yes, Minnesota would lose a potential All-Star Center in Pekovic, but think of the aesthetically pleasing basketball Gasol, Rubio and Kevin Love would make together. That’s borderline worth buying a league pass just to watch the Timberwolves.
I’m not sure how Pekovic would do at power forward with the Lakers, but the potential twin towers set-up of him and Dwight Howard would sure be imposing. The Lakers also get a solid and reliable point guard in Barea, and a former second overall pick with loads of potential in Williams. In addition, they get Bell, who is the key besides Pekovic. You’ll remember the formerly stated concern about everyone not named Nash fitting into LA’s new scheme, but Bell has played and thrived in it before while he was in Phoenix. Plus, the Lakers get to shave a whole lot of money off of their payroll by letting Gasol and Blake loose. If Pekovic, Williams and Bell don’t work out, their contracts are all near the end of their duration, meaning the Lakers could go into free agency with more money than usual.
Lakers Trade Pau Gasol to Atlanta for Al Horford and Johan Petro.
Again, not sure how Atlanta uses Gasol, but then again, Jeff Teauge, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Gasol would probably vault Atlanta a little higher in terms of the Eastern Conference hierarchy.
LA would be able to use Horford at his more natural position, power forward, and would save a little money sooner rather than later with Petro’s deal expiring after the season.
So, what do you think? Would you make any of these trades if you were GM of the Lakers? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.