The Los Angeles Lakers have made it no secret that they are willing to trade Pau Gasol. Unfortunately, his age, injures and salary make a deal very difficult to swing. With Kobe Bryant out for the foreseeable future, Steve Nash likely out until he finally retires, and 24 losses in their last 38 games, L.A. management is understandably revisiting what they could get for their only tradable asset – even if his value is at its lowest point ever right now.
According to the International Business Times, there has been some speculation about a deal between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers that would send Gasol plus a pick to Philly, and land a package of Thaddeus Young plus Tony Wroten in Los Angeles.
It’s clear why this deal would be good for the Lakers. The chances of them getting a top three draft pick are slim – and outside the top three this draft is unpredictable. It’s more solid than it has been in recent years, but still unpredictable. Unloading a pick and Gasol for a talented, athletic guy like Young who would fit seamlessly in Mike D’Antoni’s system makes sense. And Wroten is one of the league’s more promising young point guards; given the Lakers’ hole at that position, this would be a great pick-up for them.
Unfortunately, this deal doesn’t make as much sense when you look at it from Philly’s point of view. Sure they would get cap space by letting Gasol go, but is the Lakers’ draft pick really worth giving up Wroten for?
It’s worth keeping an eye on how bad the Lakers get over the next couple of weeks. If it starts to look like they may have a legitimate shot at a top three pick, things may get interesting quickly. But if they’re staring at picking anywhere from 5-10, then Kupchak will have a hard time getting the value he wants out of that pick.