Pau Gasol’s value pales in comparison to Rajon Rondo’s.
The Boston Celtics point guard has more toughness in his left pinkie than Gasol has in his entire body. But heart isn’t the only reason why the Los Angeles Lakers’ best trade option not named Dwight Howard is without a doubt the floor general out East.
The latest Rondo-to-Lakers rumor came from HOOPSWORLD's Eric Pincus last month, in a deal for Pau Gasol. Today, the New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence spoken about the Lakers being a potential landing spot for Rondo.
Swapping Pau for the All-Star point is a no-brainer. Derek Fisher’s time is up. Los Angeles must find a replacement before the trade deadline, or they have zero hope of winning the 2012 NBA Finals.
Rodney Stuckey just dropped 34 points on the Lakers Tuesday night in an 88-85 win for the Detroit Pistons. If Stuckey abuses Mike Brown’s defense, just imagine what Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook will do over the course of a seven-game series.
But who are the power forwards that Brown and company should be terrified of? Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki and…that’s it. Sure, LaMarcus Aldridge, but the Portland Trail Blazers aren’t a legitimate threat.
Losing Gasol would mean absolutely nothing in terms of the Lakers' ability to slow down Griffin and Nowitzki. They already dominate the Spaniard; it couldn’t get any worse. But the addition of Rondo, on the other hand, would result in the Lakers being able to slow down Paul, Westbrook and Derrick Rose if they were to meet the Chicago Bulls in the title.
Sure, there would be a significant drop-off in offensive production at the four, but Rondo’s playmaking ability would make up for that and more. LA’s offense defines the term stagnant. Isolations with Kobe and post-ups with Andrew Bynum or Gasol are effective, but one-on-one isn’t always the best way to go.
Rondo is a shot creator. He will find Kobe, Bynum, Metta World Peace and Andrew Goudelock for looks they’ve haven’t seen in a Lakers uniform. Boston’s facilitator averages 10.2 assists per game—Kobe leads the Lakers with 4.9.
If Jim Buss wants to witness a flashback to last year’s playoff run, he shouldn’t touch this roster. If he is interested in experiencing déjà vu of the Showtime Lakers with Magic Johnson running Hollywood, Rondo is the solution to his problem.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.