NBA Trade Deadline Possibilities: Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers

Matthieu Hertilus@MHertilusContributor IIIMarch 7, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline Possibilities: Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers

0 of 6

    The NBA Trade deadline is nine days away, meaning front office executives and GMs are talking, while not “actively shopping.” If the last two years of NBA Trade Deadline deals (2011 and 2010) are any indication, the usual names that we’ve heard all season will be discussed.

    There are a few big names involved who we don’t know about, and several complementary pieces will inevitably be dealt. All this is an effort by teams to position themselves closer to the title this year or rebuild for titles to come.

    After a very hectic first half of the season, here’s what we know thus far that could shape how this year’s deadline plays out:

    • Brandon Jennings is already “exploring” his options for next season;
    • At their best, Boston may not have enough to contend with Miami or Chicago in the East;
    • Golden State must decide who they’ll keep long-term: Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry;
    • Kobe Bryant has more great years in him than we might have expected;
    • Steve Nash is wasting the last of his great years in Phoenix;
    • We’re no closer to finding out what the Magic will do about Dwight Howard.

    Despite the recent surge of the Los Angeles Lakers, their current roster may not have enough to contend for a title this year, let alone the Western Conference. While these trade scenarios are not based on insider information or founded rumors, on some level, these deals make sense for the teams involved.

    So, before you shake your head at any of these deals, saying that they would never happen, let me be the first to agree with you. However, it’s always fun to wonder.

Gasol to Portland

1 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol


    • F Gerald Wallace
    • G Jamal Crawford
    • G Raymond Felton

    Portland’s season has not been going as it had hoped. Marcus Camby has been a solid contributor, but at 38, it’s time to think about a more permanent option in the frontcourt alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.

    With Gasol, they would have one of the best frontcourts in the league for the next three to five years. That alone would make them title contenders.

    While Crawford and Felton haven’t worked out in Portland, the change of scenery would do them good, as they are still productive players who could provide L.A. with a point guard (at least for this year) and a scoring option off the bench to spell Kobe.

    Then, there’s Wallace, a younger, more athletic version of what Odom provided for L.A., in the prime of his career.

    That should be enough to keep Kobe happy.

Gasol to Milwaukee

2 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol


    • F Drew Gooden
    • G Brandon Jennings
    • G Stephen Jackson
    • 2012 first-round draft pick

    L.A. already has two first-round picks in the upcoming draft. However, given the extremely deep talent pool expected to come out, having three picks could be especially valuable, while one or both picks likely to be moved in another deal to help the present.

    Having Jennings, who is looking to play for a big market, would give L.A. some much-needed life at the point guard position, the like of which they haven't had, even when Derek Fisher was in his prime.

    Despite the pedestrian numbers this year, Jackson is a proven scorer, and it would be interesting to see how motivated he would be playing for a championship contender.

    Gooden is a solid big man to fill the void left by Gasol. However, his contract, which has three more years on it after this season, may be an issue in the future. They only take on Gooden if they get a first pick in the deal as well.

Gasol to Atlanta

3 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol


    Atlanta is stuck in basketball purgatory. They are a perennial No. 4-6 seed in the East and are no threat to get past the second round with their current roster. Though Smith may be their best player, sometimes a change is needed for the sake of change.

    Gasol would provide a different skill set for Atlanta. L.A. gets a dynamic, young forward who can contribute to L.A. for longer than Gasol would.

    Hinrich, while a throw-in, would turn into their best option at point guard.

Gasol to Cleveland

4 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol
    • G Steve Blake


    • F Antawn Jamison 
    • G Ramon Sessions

    Gasol to Cleveland is a long shot, but it’s possible given what each team would get out of it. Jamison, while providing different advantages to the Lakers roster, is a far cry from what Gasol has and would bring to a postseason run this year.

    However, considering that Bryant has more good years than expected, the Lakers would at least remain competitive this year and have LOADS of cap space for the future in letting Jamison walk, along with shedding Steve Blake’s contract in the deal.

    Ramon Sessions gives them a solid starter at the point, something they desperately need. This amounts to L.A. being players in the 2012 free-agent market, something Bryant would be very happy to hear. Cleveland accelerates its rebuilding process adding an inside scoring threat to pair with better-than-advertised Kyrie Irving and uber-hustle player Anderson Varejao.

    Suddenly you have a very competitive Cleveland team again if rookie Tristan Thompson pans out. Additionally, they continue to get solid help off a bench including Omri Casspi and their 2012 first-round pick.

Gasol to Toronto

5 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol


    • F Andrea Bargnani
    • G Jose Calderon

    Hard to believe it’s been six years since Andrea Bargnani was drafted No. 1 overall by the Toronto Raptors. His stats have steadily improved over his career, yet “Il Mago” has yet to work his magic on the Raptors in the form of a playoff appearance, or even looking slightly competitive for that matter.

    While it would be unfair to put all the blame on him, the sample size gives us no indication of whether he is a franchise player or not. His skill set may not lend itself to being the cornerstone of a team. However, he would make for a fantastic second option.

    In a sense, Bargnani would turn into Pau Gasol 2.0 for the Lakers, giving them a younger, less costly big man to take some of the scoring pressure off Kobe Bryant. For the Raptors, they could come a bit closer to contending by acquiring a legitimate top-15 player to pair with 2011 first-round draft pick Jonas Valanciunas, who is set to come over next year.

    L.A. also gets a starting point guard to run the offense in a way that Steve Blake/Derek Fisher can’t.

Gasol to Boston

6 of 6



    • F Pau Gasol
    • 2012 first-round draft pick


    • G Rajon Rondo
    • C Jermaine O'Neal

    It seems almost blasphemous to see Boston and L.A. helping each other, but Boston needs to maximize their biggest trade asset, Rajon Rondo, with a player to pair with Paul Pierce for the remainder of his years in Boston. They also ensure their future with a first-round pick to pair with their own pick in a deep talent pool in the 2012 NBA draft.

    L.A. gets an ultra-competitive point guard to pair with their ultra-competitive franchise player, along with cap space from O’Neal’s expiring contract.