If you buy into the idea that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to move Pau Gasol at all costs – then this latest rumored deal between them and the Atlanta Hawks makes a lot of sense.
Coming into this offseason, the general consensus has been that Gasol will not play another game in purple and gold. L.A. previously tried to trade him last summer, and the only reason that deal ultimately didn’t go through is because of shady, illegitimate intervention by Commissioner David Stern. If Mitch Kupchak and the gang had it their way, Gasol would be long gone by now.
Late last week, Jim Buss came out and said that his team had no plans to move its much-maligned power forward – despite all the rumors that had been floating around. To hear Buss tell it, folks were crazy to think that L.A. would peddle its second or third best player to the highest bidder.
Gasol didn’t buy that. He told a Spanish newspaper that while he appreciated Buss’ words, he wouldn’t feel good about not getting traded until…well, there was no actual specificity in that regard. Probably because he knew that the odds were in favor of him getting moved.
He was right to be skeptical.
According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are listening to an offer from Hawks brass that, in theory, would send Gasol to Atlanta for Josh Smith. Yes, that Josh Smith. Per the report:
The Atlanta Hawks have aggressively tried to trade power forward Josh Smith to the Lakers for Pau Gasol, initially expressing interest in Gasol shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, The Times has learned.
Basically, the Lakers would be swapping out Gasol’s skill, savvy and size for Smith’s athleticism and, well, athleticism.
Is that a smart move? Eh…
(Kudos Los Angeles Times)