The closer we get to the trade deadline the more the Lakers rumors crop up. There is so much rumor and speculation around the team that it's hard to separate fact from fiction.
We're going to do two things here. We're going to look at what all the latest trade rumors are and we're going to look at them reasonably to try and conclude which ones make sense and which ones don't.
According to John Ireland of ESPN, Dwight Howard will not sign an extension if the Lakers trade for him. Specifically, Ireland says that the Lakers are not "out of the running," but "if the Lakers get him, they're getting him for six weeks, and they would have six weeks to convince him to stay for a long-term deal.
I don't see that happening. It's way too big of a risk.
The other thing is, Howard doesn't fit their biggest need, which is at the point guard.
Depending on which version of the latest rumors you are reading, Rajon Rondo is either not available, they are listening to offers or they are shopping him aggressively. Generally, when there's this much rumor popping up, though, it's a "where there's smoke, there's fire" kind of situation.
The New York Daily News reports a moderate stance:
With the Big Three’s window now shut, Ainge is trying to land Atlanta’s Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations.
The general idea floated out is that the Celtics would give up Rondo and Jermaine O'Neal for Pau Gasol. There's a lot to work about this deal from both sides of it. The Lakers free up salary and get the pure point guard they would like to have.
On the other hand, while Rondo penetrates and is a great passer, he's also not a very good shooter. He's not going to spread the court. I can't help but wonder if he's not a good quarterback for this system.
One source tells FOX Sports Ohio that “it’ll be a miracle” if Ramon Sessions is still with Cleveland after the trading deadline.
“I don’t know that they’re actively shopping him, but they’re certainly listening,” the source said. “It’s nothing personal. (Sessions and the Cavs) have a strong relationship. The Cavs really respect and admire him. They wouldn’t be against keeping him. But it‘s a tough situation. Kyrie (Irving) is the point guard of the future there, and Ramon could go somewhere else and start.”
Sessions has been linked to the L.A. Lakers, who were expected to step up their pursuit of him during All-Star weekend. “But I don’t know if that really ever happened,” one source said.
I've been kind of surprised how down some Lakers fans are on this particular deal. Sessions recently started for Kyrie Irving, who missed three games with a concussion. During his brief stint as a starter, Sessions averaged 18 points and 12 assists.
Seems to me that's a tad better than what Fisher is posting. Granted, Sessions is not a defensive stud, but if you can obtain him for the Dallas pick, why not? It's certainly an upgrade, and it immediately does three things: First, it brings scoring to the position. Second, it makes Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum better. Third, it takes some of the load off of Kobe Bryant.
That's getting a lot out of the Dallas pick. If Rondo doesn't work out, this makes a lot of sense.
From Fox Sports Ohio in regards to Michael Beasley:
According to multiple FOX Sports Ohio sources, the Wolves have already spoken with New Jersey, Houston and the L.A. Lakers about Beasley. While both teams are said to still be open to a deal, it appears Beasley’s most likely landing spot, for the time being, is Boston.
The good news here is that they've talked. The bad news is that those talks don't seem to be going anywhere.
Beasley would provide the Lakers with a wing who can put the ball on the floor and score the ball. He's a solid three-point shooter, hitting .426 from deep. As such, he would immediately be the best three-point shooter for the Lakers, which would give the Lakers the means to stretch the court.
The question is whether that's their biggest need. Ideally, they would have a point guard who can distribute the ball, hit from deep and run the pick-and-roll. The problem is that that player might not be available at all, especially with what the Lakers have to offer.
They may have to decide which is the greater need, and the greater need might be a point guard who can effectively run the pick and roll.