LSL Mid-Season Roundtable: Changing of a Mindset

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Which Lakers is most likely to be traded this season?

Booth (Pau Gasol) – Well I was certainly off on my 1st two pre-season predictions (playoff contention and C. Kamam contributing), but I will stand by this prediction with Pau Gasol. Heck, he was nearly traded again 2 weeks ago for Andrew Bynum’s contract. Seems to be one of the long-standing loose ends the Lakers still will not tie up; how much does Kobe have in the tank, how much longer will they stick with MDA, and will they ever finally trade Pau Gasol?

Garcia (None) – Pau Gasol is most likely to be traded.  When the trade rumors hit a peak of tension, he put up a string over 20 point, 10-rebound games, demonstrating his talent on the floor when he puts out the energy.  His contract is an expiring contract as well, so he would be even more beneficial to a playoff team looking for a strong second half of the season with his talent, or looking capspace to get a team over the hump.

Jan 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) defends against Los Angeles Lakers center-forward Pau Gasol (16) during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Hicks (None) – Jodie Meeks is the only one of the rotation players that I think can duplicate what they do for the Lakers on other teams. He’s now become either a great weapon off the bench or possibly a bottom 10 caliber starting two guard. The problem with him is he’s making no money so by himself he won’t get the Lakers anything. Throw him in with Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, or even Gasol and the Lakers might be able to get some useful assets in return. I’d rather give his spot to Xavier Henry and develop him. Henry has the higher ceiling

Morales (Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks) – I still think you trade Kaman for an offensive rebounder. The current Lakers rebounding philosophy is to reach for missed shots as opposed to go and get them. D’Antoni ball. Plus D’Antoni doesn’t want to play Kaman. Too much post up basketball.

Rude (Meeks) – Boy has my stance on this season done a complete 180. My exact words in the preseason prediction were “I’ve been highly adamant against tanking.” Now I’m all for the Lakers tanking. It’s not something I’d usually root for, but the Lakers are a unique situation with unique circumstances. That said, the Lakers front office hasn’t been as open to change as I have and are adamantly against tanking, still. However, I do think a deal for Gasol will be found, with the Lakers getting something for the big man rather than letting him walk in the off-season.