The Lakers have reached the point of no return. That moment every NBA team comes to when the front office must decided which direction they’re taking the franchise. That moment is known as the trading deadline and its set to expire in a few hours.
Turns out March Madness isn’t limited to amateur ballers this time of year. Pros like Dwight Howard have been busy creating more drama than Marc Cherry.
Before this season even started the Lakers got a jump on their usual drama by attempting to acquire Chris Paul. As we all know that deal was crushed by the communist hand of David Stern. The collateral damage done by the unapproved deal has lingered throughout the year.
Lamar Odom’s shock led to a speedy exit from L.A. while Pau Gasol took the pro’s approach. The Spaniard swallowed his pride, showed up the next day and has been tip lipped on the situation since. Kobe Bryant spoke up on Pau’s behalf but that likely didn’t help the awkward situation.
No matter the past all will be resolved in the very near future.
All season long Gasol trade rumors have been swirling. At every turn the trail has gone cold. There really isn’t a single move to be made that will take the Lakers over the top. With Howard supposedly off the market Gasol’s value is diminished as far as the Lakers are concerned.
Who else would Mitch Kupchak acquire in exchange for Gasol at this point that will make it worth his while?
If there is a deal to be done it looks like the Lakers will follow through on adding Michael Beasley to the roster. In that instance the reports claim L.A. could gain Beasley for a draft pick and Steve Blake as part of a three team trade involving Portland and Jamal Crawford. That is a value trade as far as Kupchak is concerned.
Now moving Gasol would be a loss for the Lakers. Unless they’re getting a franchise type player in return then the rumors of Gasol going to Chicago or Houston make no sense at all.
The Bulls aren’t parting with Derrick Rose and the Rockets don’t have any grouping of players that would make sense to trade Gasol for.
The reality is the Lakers had their trade window slammed shut on their hands once Stern flexed his muscle. Attaining a franchise point guard will be the only way to validate getting Gasol out of town. By all accounts Deron Williams is staying put in New Jersey. So that eliminates yet another trade partner.
It also stands to reason that the Lakers would be better off trying to make the most of what’s left of the season. Andrew Bynum’s budding chemistry with Kobe Bryant has been eye opening in recent days. Keeping Pau around for at least the balance of this season is advised given his battled tested pedigree. If the Lakers are going to make a late season surge then you’ll want experience combined with chemistry over new parts that will need to get acclimated to new surroundings.
While there are those that see the Lakers making a move today, Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times sees the a Gasol trade as unlikely to occur. He might be in the minority but to me Bresnahan has hit the nail on the head. Kupchak just can’t get anything in return of significant value for what he’d be giving up. Unless the new cost cutting ways are so serious that Pau’s contract is the lone reason for a trade then he should be able to sleep soundly knowing he’ll remain a Laker…for the rest of this season at least.