Trading Pau Gasol Doesn't Solve Lakers' Issues

By Kevin Van Pelt

After losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, the Los Angeles Lakers showed that they clearly need to upgrade their team this offseason. They are weak at the small forward and point guard positions and they lack depth on their bench.

However, the main story that is coming from Los Angeles is that the Lakers need to trade Pau Gasol. The same guy who just helped the Lakers win back-to-back titles two years ago. The same guy who has averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season and was a force almost every night that he stepped on the floor.

Now let’s be honest, Gasol didn’t have one of his best series as he seemed to disappear at points during the games against the Thunder; however, that doesn’t make him expendable. The one advantage that the Lakers have over almost every other team in the league is their size. They cannot lose that and the Lakers need to build around it.

The Los Angeles Lakers are always a possible destination for top free agents and that won’t change this year. If the Lakers hold on to what they have and get a top point guard, such as Deron Williams, then they will be set for another championship run.

Gasol is one of the strengths of this Lakers team and he unfairly takes most of the blame for their losses. Instead of trying to place blame on one of the best players, why not take a look at what the real problem is, they have no bench.

The bench for the Lakers is one of the worst in the league and they have no one who can come off the bench and put in quality minutes while Kobe Bryant is on the bench. Steve Blake is the best shooter that Los Angeles has on the bench which is not a good thing. Blake is a good shooter, but he cannot be the primary option off the bench. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs have done a good job getting good bench players who can shoot the ball and are good role players. The Lakers need that.

At this point trading Gasol seems like reflex every time the Lakers lose. Kobe blaming Gasol every other day for their losses doesn’t help anything and is a big part of the reason of him being talked about for trades. Bryant needs to start looking at himself more and figuring out how he can be more efficient on the floor instead of jacking up terrible jump shots. He claims that Bynum and Gasol are not being aggressive enough which is true to an extent. But all Lakers fans know sometimes Bryant tries to play Superman and do every thing himself when there are better basketball plays to be made.

Bryant and Gasol need to get together this offseason and look at what they did during their championship seasons and get back to that form again. If they can figure out how to work together again and get some more depth on the roster, they will be threats to win another championship.

Finally, for those who are clamoring for the Lakers to trade for Dwight Howard, just remember, having his ego along with Howard’s will be worse than what he currently see with the Bynum, Gasol and Kobe saga. Howard is a headache who is overrated. He has limited offensive skills and has shown that he will disrupt a team if it means that he will get his way.

So before you start to talk about trading Gasol, think about what he has done for the Lakers and how he benefits the Lakers more than he hurts them.


Follow Kevin on his new Twitter account @kevin_vanpelt10

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