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Los Angeles Lakers trade Pau Gasol to the New Jersey Nets for Deron Williams straight up
At this point (see: Stern veto/Kupchak not not pulling the trigger on a Gasol for Kevin Love and second overall pick last summer), this is the best trade the Lakers can make, and it is logical for both teams.
The New Jersey Nets' chances of trading for Dwight Howard are slim-to-nil. The Orlando Magic seem dead set on keeping Howard in spite of all the signs that point to him leaving via free agency. If they do trade him, the Magic can find a better deal than what the Nets can offer. And if the Nets don't land Howard, they can say goodbye to Williams.
That is why Williams for Gasol is a perfect trade. Williams would sign a contract extension before his flight landed in Los Angeles, while Gasol would be a Net until 2014. With Gasol and Brook Lopez, the Nets would have arguably the game's best center-power forward combination.
Marshon Brooks is a keeper at shooting guard, and the team will have a lottery pick in the deepest draft in years to find a point guard or dynamic wing player. Imagine this team with Jordan Farmar (though, I would expect them to find a better replacement at point) Brooks, Harrison Barnes, Gasol, Lopez and Kris Humphries off the bench. It is not Mikhail Prokhorov's dynasty, but it is a playoff team for the next five years.
For the Lakers, they have literally the perfect matchup for Chris Paul, who would absolutely torch the current Lakers' roster. To replace Gasol, they have two serviceable power forwards in Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy, while Bynum would be a much-deserved bigger piece of the offense.
An all-around perfect trade for both teams.
Alexander is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow Alexander on Twitter @thesportsdude7 or become a fan on his bleacher report profile.