Pau Gasol has been twisting in the wind like a kite stuck to a telephone pole for almost two years now. He’s been the source of constant trade speculation and like a trapped kite he’s getting beaten up as the trade winds blow violently around him.
Going all the way back to the 2011 NBA Draft there was talk of the Lakers moving Gasol to Minnesota in order to acquire the T-Wolves 2nd overall pick in order to select La Mirada native Derrick Williams.
Now one year into Williams’ NBA career those same talks are continuing.
That leaves me with only one question – what the hell are Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak waiting for?
Even if they weren’t convinced that Williams is going to be able to live up to his draft status after one season they still should make the deal. For one they’d be ridding themselves of Gasol’s contract even if that means taking on enough contracts to match dollar for dollar. But at least they’d a few more assets to package in further dealings.
Plus they’d be doing Gasol a favor. If this franchise wants to show any respect to Pau for all he’s done they owe it to him to go out playing for a team that will put his talents to use. This Mike Brown approach of putting Gasol 25 feet from the hoop is an insult.
Also, it stands to reason that this is going to be the last and best chance to deal Gasol for anything more than expiring contracts, late-round draft picks and a Jerry West throwback jersey. The Lakers can’t keep flirting with deals then get all gun-shy just because David Stern flexed the NBA’s communist manifesto on the Chris Paul trade.
If it were Jerry Buss running the show and not his trust fund son playing owner he would have kept bombarding the Hornets with trade requests until Stern would have ha no choice but to admit he was acting as Dan Gilbert’s mouthpiece.
More to the point, the Lakers are no longer in a position to keep holding out for the right deal to come along. The time has come to start acquiring young talent still striving to earn their first phat payday to see what works and what doesn’t. We’ve been here before. It was called the 90s and while there were no title there were no boring teams nor were there any seasons of miserable losing.
We already know this current Lakers team is not good enough to win a title. That’s been proven two years running. Whatever has been done to try and fix the problem hasn’t worked. Now I’m not advising the Charlotte Bobcat/Washington Wizard method of going with nothing but young knuckleheads across the board. However getting a few players that have some upside and something to prove could go a lot further in the long run then letting Gasol continue to fade in Mike Brown oblivion while continuing to beg veteran players to play for less and produce more.
The formula is broken and getting Derrick Williams might not fix it but it will help to provide a blueprint.