Before we were embedded in an NBA lockout there was some talk of the Lakers trading with the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to draft La Mirada native Derrick Williams. At the center of those talks were the names Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. As we know nothing came of those talks and Odom was eventually shipped off to Dallas for a six-pack of Shiner Bock and a gift certificate at Denny’s. Meanwhile the Wolves grabbed the guy the Lakers valued all along making Williams the second pick in the draft.
The Lakers interest in Williams was real however. Clearly Odom was never a part of the team’s plan going forward and a guy like Williams was viewed as a building block for the future. Thus far Williams hasn’t done much as he’s being brought along slowly by the improved T-Wolves. But that hasn’t seemed to affect how the Lakers both view and value Williams. At least if you believe the writings of Fox Sports columnist Chris Tomasson.
In a recent postTomasson claims the Wolves are looking to acquire Gasol in exchange for Williams and future draft picks. Tomasson cites courses close to the Minnesota franchise claiming everyone on the roster is open for discussion except for All-Star forward Kevin Love and upstart point guard Ricky Rubio.
For the Lakers this move would serve as a chance to dump salary while also adding young and athletic talent. Gasol’s loss would obviously lessen the Lake Show’s size advantage. Another note is that any future picks from Minnesota might not be as valued given the team’s improved play. We could be talking lottery picks still just without as many ping pong balls as the Wolves have had in the past.
Overall the deal is great for Minnesota as they’ll add to the size they already have on their frontline while losing little in the immediate future. For the Lakers this deal would be all about the future as it does little to change the team’s title chances now.
I’m as big a supporter as you’ll find of Williams. Given the right coaching and the proper use of his talents he’s got the skills to be an All-Star in the NBA. However his promise isn’t going to come to fruition in the short period of time remaining in this shortened season.
At some point Mitch Kupchak is going to have to make a move be it for now or the future. Gasol’s production is starting to dip and after his playoff disappearance act last season it only makes sense to get something of value now before you’re left trying to unload a bloated salary later.