The New York Knicks are an NBA best 7-1, and the Los Angeles Lakers are 5-5. The Knicks are looking like one of the top teams in basketball behind Carmelo Anthony and coach Mike Woodson, while the Lakers, with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Kobe Bryant, have a worse winning percentage than the Charlotte Bobcats (5-4), who finished 2011-12 with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
New York is playing well without PF A’mare Stoudemire, allowing them to start three guards and have Anthony take the PF spot. When Stoudemire comes back, who knows what will happen as far as switching up the rotation; all of the chemistry that the Knicks have been playing with could be torn apart.
The Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start, and hired former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni to take over. D’Antoni coached the Phoenix Suns team that had Nash winning two MVP awards by running the pick-and-roll with none other than Stoudemire, who averaged 23 PPG-8 RPG in ’09 with Nash, and 25 PPG- 8.1 RPG in New York running the same offense with Raymond Felton.
The pick-and-roll offense that D’Antoni is brining to L.A. will work with Howard and Nash, and will get Bryant open looks. But, that leaves big man Pau Gasol out of the mix, as he is more of a back-to-the-basket/spot up shooter kind of player.
So, could a Gasol for Stoudemire deal be possible? Yes, but only if the Lakers are willing to take on the remaining four years on Stoudemire’s contract ($81 million), which includes the 2012-13 season. You never know with the Lakers, who assured Brown that his job was safe and then fired him later in that same week, so anything is possible.
Being a Knicks fan, I’d love to see Gasol in blue and orange. I think he would fit right in with the chemistry that New York is already playing with, and would add a low post presence that the Knicks lack outside of Rasheed Wallace.
This is a deal that would benefit both teams: Stoudemire would help the Lakers win now, as their window is closing with aging players Bryant and Nash; Gasol, a skilled offensive big man, would greatly help the Knicks , who would be able to solidify themselves at the top of the NBA for years to come.