The Los Angeles Lakers may be having the worst season in franchise history, considering the expectations they had with the addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. The roster was reminiscent of the 2004 season when the Lakers added Gary Payton and Karl Malone to a roster that already included Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. However, this current team is under .500 and have no chemistry on the court.
Now Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers are close to completing a three-team trade that would send Gasol to the Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce to the Memphis Grizzlies and Rudy Gay would join the Lakers. Stein has reported that the Grizzlies and Celtics have been in talks about Gay, but recently talks have involved the Lakers who are looking to trade Gasol since having him and Howard together doesn’t seem to be working.
The trade is an interesting one to look at and does seem like a real possibility. All three teams have been open about trading the players involved in this trade and it makes sense for two of the teams involved.
The Lakers have won two championships with Gasol and he was the key in both of those runs; however, the Lakers are set on making Howard the future of the franchise, even though he doesn’t have a contract past this season. Trading Gasol takes away one of the best advantages Los Angeles has had over the past few years and that is being the team with the best big men. Though if the Lakers could get Gay, that would provide them with two young stars, Gay and Howard, and would be a better fit for the offense they have in place now.
The trade also makes sense for the Celtics who lack in rebounding and post play from their big men. Gasol would fit right in with the team and he and Rajon Rondo would be a dangerous duo running the pick-and-roll. The Celtics still have hope of making the playoffs this season and making a run and with Gasol on the roster that would make their aspirations a real possibility.
As for the Grizzles, they currently sit fourth in the Western Conference and are contenders to make the NBA Finals this season. If this trade is complete, it would hurt Memphis in the long run losing a player like Gay, but the feeling here might be that they think they might lose him in free agency, so why not try and get the veteran Pierce for a championship run right now.
This is an interesting trade for all three teams involved, but for the Lakers it might be a move that they have to make. They are currently 11th in the west and need to make improvements to this team so Howard doesn’t walk away this offseason.
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