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NBA Rumors: Lakers Want to Trade Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace for Draft Picks?

The Los Angeles Lakers could be gearing up to do something really crazy this week. How crazy? Metta World Peace-type crazy.

Heading into this summer, management made it clear from the outset that nobody was really safe. Sure, Kobe Bryant wasn’t going to get moved anywhere – but even that was more of a byproduct of Jim Buss not being able to move him than Jim Buss not wanting to move him.

Beyond Kobe, though, everyone was available. The obvious caveat there would seem to be management’s pet project, Andrew Bynum; however, he isn't as untouchable these days as he once was either.

So, given L.A.’s everyone is available mantra heading into the 2012 NBA Draft, naturally, some of the squad’s more marquee names have suddenly become the subject of trade rumors.

First up: the Lakers’ much-maligned power forward, Pau Gasol. According to Fox Sports, Gasol is apparently being dangled in front of the Washington Wizards for a deal that would net L.A. the No. 3 overall pick. Via the report:

Back to the Lakers. If the Cavs are able to move up and nab Beal at No. 2, there’s talk the Lakers would be willing to make life easy for the Wizards and help them move out of the third spot. It would likely take power forward Pau Gasol. Far-fetched for now, but don’t be surprised if it’s something that’s explored in the right situation.

At which point the Lakers would presumably -- with Beal off the board -- take Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes. Then again, maybe they could use the pick in a trade for Dwight Howard…

The other big move that Fox Sports discussed today would be slightly less impactful, but it would still shake things up quite a bit. Via Sam Amico:

The Lakers are exploring all kinds of potential deals, having floated every name on the roster this side of Kobe Bryant. They are said to be open to trading Metta World Peace for a late first-rounder, with their eyes on Baylor forward Quincy Miller and Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague.

The obvious question is: who would want Peace’s massive, bloated salary? Teams picking at the bottom of the draft are usually too smart for something like that.

So, what’s the likelihood that any of these deals go down before Thursday? Not great. Mostly because they don't make much sense for any of the parties involved. But if they’re acually just small, baby steps in order to make Orlando an offer for Dwight, then both rumors would suddenly make a lot more sense.

(Kudos Fox Sports)

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