The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-6. Through 10 games this year, Pau Gasol is averaging 13.4 points on 39 percent shooting. He is also averaging 10.6 rebounds, which isn’t as impressive as it sounds because he is no longer playing beside guys like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard who took potential boards away in years past.
Any which way you want to look at it, whether Gasol is bogged down by injures or old age, he is not the player the Lakers need him to be right now.
Seeing as Gasol has been the subject of trade speculation for three years now, including when he was still a very productive player, it’s natural that rumors about him being shipped off elsewhere are heating up again. Most of the talk that has floated around the pits of the internet to date has been totally unrealistic. However, this week, Sam Smith of NBA.com threw something out there that you have to respect, if for no other reason than just because Sam Smith has that sort of credibility.
According to Smith, a trade between the Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies may be in the cards. Basically it would pair the Gasol brothers up, and result in Zach Randolph being shipped to L.A.
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The good thing about this imaginary deal is it would give the Lakers some instant offense – which they desperately need right now. And seeing as Kobe Bryant may be out until January, Randolph wouldn’t have to worry about his inherent ballhogging nature ticking anyone off. The bad thing about this imaginary deal is that a.) Randolph is terrible for the sort of system Mike D’Antoni runs, b.) Randolph plays better when he has a Marc Gasol-type banger playing beside him, and c.) when Bryant does return, he and Randolph would despise each other.
Moreover, what exactly do the Grizzlies get out of this? If Gasol is done, aside from a slight financial boost, replacing Randolph with him accomplishes nothing.
Final verdict: This would be terrible for Memphis, and good for L.A. until Bryant returns. Then it would suck for them, too.