One of the many goals for the Los Angeles Lakers this NBA off-season was to get rid of the player that, according to Laker fans around the world, has caused their beloved Lakers demise in the playoffs for the last two seasons, Pau Gasol. Although Jim Buss, son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the man who is starting to assume the bulk of the ownership responsibility for the Lakers, stated earlier last week that he was not expecting to make any major moves this off-season, getting rid of Gasol has to be a number one priority.
Gasol’s contract over the next two seasons, he’s due nearly $38 million, would not be ideal for the Lakers plans heading forward. Now that the new collective bargaining agreement’s luxury tax rules, put into full effect at the beginning of the 2013-2014, will force the Lakers ,(a team who is always over the luxry tax), to make drastic changes, unloading Gasol would be a great move if it can be pulled off. But many people around the league are not too confident that Gasol, and his huge contract, on top of the fact that he is 31 years old, and his play is declining, can be moved.
Those people might end up being wrong though, as the Lakers are rumored to have a few suitors for Gasol. The first team who is looking to deal for Gasol is the Atlanta Hawks, having rumored to be offering Josh Smith. One of the more interesting trade scenarios though, is what the Memphis Grizzlies are offering theLakers. Rumors are swirling that the Lakers have been offered power forward Zach Randolph in exchange for Pau Gasol. This seems like a very fair deal for both teams, as the Grizzlies would really like a player like Gasol, a big man with an outside touch, to pair with Marc Gasol. The Lakers in turn would just like to get rid of Gasol’scontract and get a good player in return, which Randolph is.
But I am not too sold on the idea of having Randolph as I believe that Smith is the better option. Randolph is already 30 years old, and not getting any younger, while Smith is just 26, although he isn’t getting any younger as well he still has some upside to him. Going off of last season’s statistics would be hard as Randolph was hurt fora majority of it, while Smith was upset with his situation in Atlanta. So, with being said, I think it was good news, to me at least, when I heard rumors that the Lakers requested Rudy Gay, instead of Randolph, which the Grizzlies then denied.
Gay, as of now, is not available to any teams although that may change in the hours leading up to, and during, the NBA draft. Whatever the Lakers do decide to do, whether it be a deal for Randolph, Smith, or trading Gasol to move up into the lottery, (which is a possibility the Lakers are exploring), rest assured they will be getting good value for Gasol in return. Somehow the Lakers almost always have a knack of getting good value in trades, anyone remember the Kwame Brown situation?
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