The Los Angeles Lakers have made it to no secret that they want to trade Pau Gasol. Despite the fact that he delivered two championships to Tinseltown and maybe even deserved a Finals MVP in one of those efforts, the big Spaniard has never gotten the respect that he deserves from Laker fans or management.
When L.A. wins, it’s because of Kobe Bryant. When L.A. loses, it’s because of Gasol. That’s the pre-written narrative, and it’s one that will never change.
With that in mind and another failed season in the books (by Lakers standards), it’s no secret that if anyone is going to get moved this offseason, it’s going to be the team’s often-criticized power forward. Would the Lakers be better off shipping away Andrew Bynum given that he’s coming off his best year ever? Probably. Will Jim Buss part ways with his beloved center, though? Nope.
And so, the natural follow-up to that is: where could the Lakers send Gasol, and what can they get back for him?
Well, according to Shaun Powell of NBA.com, the answer to that question may lay with the hated Boston Celtics:
There are other possible landing places as well. Maybe the Lakers? Garnett has a home in Malibu, and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant. What they don’t have is cap room, but that can be resolved if they agree to a sign and trade for Pau Gasol. The Lakers desperately want Gasol’s contract (three years, $60 million) off the cap and tried to trade him last summer. The Celtics, with only Pierce and Rondo making decent money, could take Gasol, although that would likely prevent them from re-signing Brandon Bass.
The notion that L.A. could get a superstar in return for Gasol is a pipe dream. Really, best case scenario is just getting back several quality pieces that will provide a bit of depth to an L.A. roster that was severely lacking it this year.
Presuming this deal goes down, what pieces could Boston really offer that would spruce up the Lakers’ bench? None that spring to mind, really. And the prospect of trading a capable, proven, skilled power forward like Gasol for fake tough guy like Kevin Garnett (plus spare parts) makes no sense. It’d strictly be a cost-cutting maneuver.
Would a starting lineup of Ramon Sessions, Bryant, Metta World Peace, Garnett and Bynum have been able to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder?