NBA Trade Deadline: 5 Rumors the Lakers Should Pursue

Ross Read@@RossReadContributor IIIMarch 6, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline: 5 Rumors the Lakers Should Pursue

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    The Los Angeles Lakers currently sit third in the Western Conference. Despite their struggles and questionable personnel moves they are still within arms reach of the conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The team has won eight of their last ten games and Kobe Bryant has been hot since the all-star break.

    Can they compete in the playoffs? Do they have enough to advance to the NBA Finals or should they make a move? 

    Here are five trade rumors the Lakers should consider going into the trade deadline. 

Trading for Raymond Felton

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    The Lakers are in dire need of a point guard. Derek Fisher is no longer a quality starter and the Steve Blake experience has been a letdown.

    At one point the Lakers were so desperate they actually looked into signing Gilbert Arenas.

    According to Chris Haynes of the Lakers have inquired about Portland Trailblazers point guard Raymond Felton. Haynes says the deal will most likely feature Steve Blake.

    This would be an instant upgrade for the Lakers going into the playoffs. 

Trade Pau Gasol

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    Things seemed to have gone from bad to worse when the Pau Gasol rumors heated up a couple weeks ago.

    This prompted Kobe Bryant to voice his displeasure with GM Mitch Kupchak by responding in the media—showcasing obvious tension within the organization. Gasol is 31 years old, and there is a good chance they have gotten his best years out of him.

    The team is not built to win a championship right now, therefore it might be wise to trade the player whose feelings are obviously hurt right now.

    ESPN's Chris Broussard says the Houston Rockets would put a deal together for Kevin Martin, Louis Scola, Goran Dragic and maybe the Rockets' first round pick for Gasol.

    That's a deal the Lakers would have a tough time beating anywhere else they look. 

Bring Paul Pierce Home

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    Paul Pierce was raised in Inglewood, California. While he has spent his entire career in Boston he has always expressed an interest in playing in his home town near the end of his career.

    The Boston Celtics are at the fork in the road where they realize it's time to rebuild again.

    According to Sam Amico from Fox Sports Ohio, the Lakers are trying to bring Paul Pierce back to Southern California. Amico has said it is not known what the Lakers would give up for him and it might take a lot for the Celtics to get rid of a fan favorite, but L.A. has to try.

    He is the kind of player that could revitalize the franchise in the short term. 

Michael Beasley Anyone?

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    Remember when Michael Beasley had so much potential he was actually considered by the Bulls for the No. 1 overall pick?

    Remember when Pat Riley and the Miami Heat thought they were getting a cornerstone player with the second overall pick?

    Times sure have changed.

    It must be tough to have the reigning MVP Derrick Rose as a constant reminder of what you should have been. Beasley has without a doubt struggled in his young career. He has had character issues, questions of effort and has not been able to find his niche on the court. Yet some still believe the talent is still there. 

    The Lakers recently turned down a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Beasley because they were worried about the luxury tax. However, if the deal gets reworked and the numbers match better he could see a resurgence under the tutelage of Kobe Bryant.

    He is still young and could be a bounce-back player worth investing in. 

Dwight Howard Is Still Available

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    Ahh the crown jewel of them all.

    It is no secret Dwight Howard would love to play in L.A., but are the Lakers willing to give up a king's ransom to get him?

    Trading for Dwight Howard might go against everything the Lakers' organization believes in. Gutting a team for one player and trading a homegrown big man who has a world of potential as well.

    Andrew Bynum would for sure have to be the focal piece around a deal to Orlando along with Gasol and somebody else. 

    If you have Dwight Howard you have pretty much given up on this season but you have a bona fide superstar to build around going forward long after Kobe Bryant retires. He would excite the crowd, entice potential free agents and keep a buzz around the team now competing with Lob City. 

    The Lakers have the power and pieces to make the move. They just have to pull the trigger.