Billy King has made it crystal clear over the last two offseasons that he isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to reel in a big fish.
And with the announcement that star center Brook Lopez will be on the shelf for the rest of the season with a broken right foot, the Brooklyn Nets’ general manager could be looking to replace him with another enormous bass before the trade deadline in hopes of reviving the organization’s immediate championship hopes.
If the Nets do turn out to be buyers, dangling some bait in front of Mitch Kupchak and the Los Angeles Lakers could land them the perfect fit in Pau Gasol.
Considering the circumstances, a deal between the two sides would make sense both ways. Brooklyn is now short a seven-footer, and although Gasol isn’t a true center and doesn’t block shots the way Lopez does, he would at least spread the floor with similar outside shooting and provide the rebounding the Nets will miss.
Also, Gasol brings invaluable championship experience to the table, as he won titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
Meanwhile, there’s been talk of trading Gasol in La-La Land for more than two years now. But now more than ever, the Lakers would love to make it into more than just talk. He’s struggled mightily within coach Mike D’Antoni’s system this season, averaging just 15 points per game.
And with an expiring contract approaching this upcoming summer, the Lakers would be thrilled to get anything they can for a highly talented player that can still produce given the right situation, so long as they get younger and don’t take on too much salary in the process.
That’s where the Nets come in. Gasol is someone that could be of great help both this season and beyond if they could re-sign him over the offseason, and a package consisting of players like Tyshawn Taylor, Mirza Teletovic, Bojan Bogdanovic and maybe even a Mason Plumlee/Andray Blatche could be worth exchanging for Gasol’s services.
The Lakers would certainly accept such a trade even if they’d still be forced to eat some of Gasol’s salary, as those would be excellent, young building blocks to put around Kobe Bryant moving forward.
But this would all be a matter of King and whether or not he’d be willing to keep on fishing this season.