Lakers Rumors: Why Derrick Williams to Lakers Would Spark LA

Alex EppCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats looks on from the bench against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers need to do something with their line up to help generate a spark if they want to be a legitimate contender in the NBA this year.

As of late there have been several rumors floating around that Pau Gasol is on the trading block as the Lakers look for something to work.

According to a report by Fox Sports' Chris Tomasson, the Timberwolves are one of the teams that have shown some interest in Gasol. The Timberwolves have considered offering Derrick Williams, their rookie first-round pick.

The only two players that Minnesota is considering untouchable at this point would be Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

If the Lakers were to make some kind of trade with the Timberwolves that sent Gasol away and brought in Williams, he could prove to be the missing link that the Lakers need to make a legitimate push, and be able to compete against the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference bid to the NBA finals.

So far in Minnesota, Williams has been all but what he had been expected to be. Averaging a mere 7.5 points and 4.2 assists, while only playing 18.6 minutes per game.

An explanation for his low rate of production could be one of several reasons.

First he is competing for time on the court against Martell Webster, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, all players who have at one point in their career been fairly solid players.

Another possible explanation for Williams’ lack of production could be that he does not have a seasoned veteran that can help him out and make sure that he gets what he needs to be successful.

Kevin Love is there with the skill, but he has only been in the league for the past three years.

If Williams were traded to the Lakers a lot of this would change. First of all, the only real talent that the Lakers have at forward would be Gasol, who would be leaving for Minnesota. Williams would be stuck in a position where he would probably get more playing time than Metta World Peace or Josh McRoberts.

Second, the Lakers have one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball in Kobe Bryant, who could act as a mentor to Williams. Learning from Bryant, who has been around for 15 seasons, could be exactly what Williams needs to step up his game and play like he is expected to as a first-round pick.

Williams could also be bait for the Lakers to help convince Orlando to let Dwight Howard go and help bring him to the Lakers. If this trade were to happen, Williams would have indirectly lit a fire behind the Lakers that could propel them to their 28th NBA Championship.

Whatever scenario happens, it is seemingly more and more likely that the Lakers are looking to make a move, and are willing to use their star power forward for bait to make sure something happens.

The Lakers should try to market to the Minnesota Timberwolves and get Derrick Williams and the draft picks from them while he is still being offered at a low cost. Not only will Derrick Williams eventually snap out of his funk faster, but the Lakers will get some higher draft picks that will really pay off in the near future.

The Lakers are getting to be one of the oldest teams in the league behind only Dallas and Boston with an average age of 30.61. They need to start bringing in some young legs now to start developing them before the older Lakers begin retiring.

No matter how you look at it, something needs to be done. The Lakers were not close to being the best team in the west last year and they are even farther behind this year. Something needs to be changed up.

This trade could be the perfect option for the Lakers.