Pau Gasol for Rajon Rondo would be a very even trade that will benefit both teams equally. The Lakers desperately need a point guard and the Celtics would love to have another talented big man down low.
According to a report from HoopsWorld's Eric Pincus, rumors have been swirling around ever since Mitch Kupchak made a comment about brining in a 25-year-old All-Star point guard who has great ball dribbling skill—it seems like Kupchak is alluding to Rajon Rondo.
This swap of All-Star’s would change the dynamic of both teams—while providing some assistance in areas where both teams are deficient.
The Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green. The Celtics lost Green early in the season because of non-related sports health problems. The Celtics best feature was their size, but not without Jeff Green or Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics are left with only an aging Kevin Garnett and sub-par talent backing Garnett up.
If the trade for Gasol were to happen, the Celtics would be able to boast about a great frontcourt again. Gasol and Garnett would be dominant together, both on offense and defense. Gasol would demand a lot of attention in the paint, which would allow Garnett to play one on one where he is deadliest.
The Celtics would be losing a top five caliber point guard in Rondo, but they apparently do not want to build around Rondo when the big three retire, according to reports.
A frontcourt of Garnett and Gasol would be one of the deadliest in the NBA—and the Celtics will slowly become one of the favorites in the East again.
On the other hand, this trade would automatically make the Lakers a better team. The Lakers need a great point guard in order to combat the other great point guards that have been single-handedly defeating the Lakers in the past couple of years—like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Tony Parker. Derek Fisher is a decent point guard, but he is not going to get the job done for the Lakers—especially at a time where every team has a better point guard than Derek Fisher.
Who Would Benefit More from the Trade?
Rondo is arguably a top five point guard and he would bring enough to make the Lakers contenders for the title again. Rondo would not only be able to defend the top-flight point guards, but he would be able to distribute the ball to the great shooters on the Lakers and to big man Andrew Bynum.
Kobe Bryant would also benefit if Rondo became a Laker for two reasons—Kobe would spend less time controlling the ball, which he has had a problem with this season—and Kobe would have a great defender helping him out with the other elite guards. Kobe and Rondo would work fine together even though they have argued before on the court—but the Lakers signed both Ron Artest and Matt Barnes a year after they each argued with Kobe on the court—and it seems like it all worked out fine.
The Lakers would be losing their size that has helped them go to three straight NBA championships, but that was when they were in the triangle offense under Phil Jackson. Gasol has looked lost in LA recently and it is not because his skills have diminished, it is because Bynum’s production has increased.
The Lakers do have the best big man tandem in the NBA, but their lack of a point guard and small forward balance out the great advantage down low. The game of basketball is slowly changing and the Lakers need a fast paced point guard like Rondo to lock up other top point guards and help facilitate the ball to talented players.
A backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo would automatically be the best in the NBA—and the Lakers will definitely have the attention back in Los Angeles.
With the emergence of the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference, the Lakers need to find away to contain them if they want to return to the NBA Finals—the only way they can do that is if they can contain Chris Paul, who was almost going to eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs without any help last year. Rondo will fix this problem for the Lakers against the Clippers and other teams with elite point guards. Rondo would benefit the Lakers more than Gasol would.
With the emergence of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics need to find away to contain them if they want to return to the NBA Finals—the only way they can do that is if they can find a matchup problem. The Heat are weakest down low, and if the Celtics could put together a frontcourt of Gasol and Garnett, they will cause a huge matchup problem for the Heat. The dominant frontcourt will also clog up the lanes, which would not allow Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to do whatever they want when they drive into the paint. Gasol would benefit the Celtics more than Rondo would.
If this trade were to go down, expect the media to be in a frenzy for a couple of days—not because of the players involved in the trade—because of the two teams involved in the trade.
If both teams can look beyond the fact that they have been rivals ever since the beginning of time, then they will both see that this trade would help both teams get back into position for another match in the NBA Finals.