Lakers Trade Rumors: 10 Deals That Will Get Them Back to the NBA Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers have been the subject of multiple trade rumors in this short season. It seems like just about every player who could possibly be traded this year has been linked to the Lakers in one way or another.
In the hours leading up to the NBA trade deadline, the trade possibilities have not slowed down, and it will be exciting to see which ones actually occur and which players will still be with the team when the dust settles.
While the time may be short for general manager Mitch Kupchak to pull off a deal, here are 10 trades that will improve the team and get the Los Angeles Lakers closer to returning to the NBA Finals.
Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard
A trade involving Andrew Bynum and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been rumored since early in the season.
This deal is still a possibility regardless of whether Howard decides to opt in or opt out of his contract for next season.
According to David Pingalore of the website www.clickorlando.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are now the front-runners for a deal to acquire Howard.
Pingalore's sources confirmed that the Magic are considering a deal where the Lakers would acquire Howard, Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson.
In exchange, the Lakers would send Bynum, Steve Blake, Luke Walton and Devin Ebanks back to Orlando.
This swap of All-Star centers would benefit the Lakers greatly as Howard would join Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Pau Gasol for Deron Williams
In the event that Dwight Howard opts into his contract and neither the New Jersey Nets nor the Los Angeles Lakers are able to acquire the All-Star center, there's a possibility that the two teams swap a couple of big-named players and make a deal.
Howard opting into his contract is the worst thing that could happen for the Nets as they do not have the assets to make a trade.
If Howard does not become a free agent during the summer, it is likely that Deron Williams will leave the Nets as soon as he possibly can.
Instead of allowing Williams to walk away for nothing, the Nets could make a trade with the Lakers that would swap Williams for Pau Gasol.
The contracts owed both players are close enough to make the trade work, but there would be some throw ins for each team.
If the Lakers were to add Williams to the team, it would go a long way toward improving the point guard position and would create one of the strongest backcourts in the league with Kobe Bryant.
Pau Gasol for Rajon Rondo
Earlier in the season ,a trade rumor that would send Pau Gasol to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Rajon Rondo was mentioned as a way to solve the Lakers point guard woes.
This trade has risen and fallen in possibility and popularity since that time.
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times recently confirmed that the two teams had talked about making a deal involving these players, but nothing significant came of it.
If the teams were to have a change of heart, the addition of Rondo would have a similar effect on the team as Deron Williams would, creating a strong guard line with Kobe Bryant.
Ramon Sessions and the Houston Rockets
Ramon Sessions is a player who has been on the radar for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team has looked for ways to add a point guard.
While there are several options of how the Lakers could get Sessions to come to Los Angeles, a league source has told Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com that the two teams may use the Houston Rockets as a third-team facilitator.
The Lakers would receive Sessions from Cleveland and future considerations from Houston.
The Rockets would get one of the Lakers' two 2012 first-rounders and Houston point guard Jonny Flynn would move to the Cavaliers to replace Sessions.
Sessions would be an immediate upgrade at the point guard position for the Lakers and would help to facilitate the offense.
Pau Gasol for Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola
Adrian Wojnawroski of Yahoo Sports tweeted recently that the Houston Rockets are still interested in Pau Gasol who they tried to add before the season began.
This trade seems simple for the Lakers as they would send Gasol to the Rockets for point guard Kyle Lowry and big man Luis Scola.
The Rockets may want more back in the deal and would ask for an added draft pick or part of the trade exception that the Lakers have from trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in the preseason.
This trade depends on how interested the Rockets truly are in Gasol and how much they're willing to give up.
If it were to go through, the Lakers add a quality point guard and a good big man who does the dirty work in Scola.
Michael Beasley to Los Angeles
Michael Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves is a player that has seen some interest from the Los Angeles Lakers and would be a great fit for the team.
A report from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times indicates that the Lakers are still looking at the option of adding Beasley to the roster.
One potential move would send Beasley to the Lakers, Steve Blake to the Trail Blazers and Jamal Crawford to the Timberwolves. A draft pick or role player may also be needed to help things line up correctly.
Beasley, a former second overall draft pick, would provide scoring at either forward position that the Lakers have needed all season.
Adding the 6'10" Beasley to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol would make up an even bigger front line.
Pau Gasol to the Chicago Bulls
Unless the Chicago Bulls were to offer reigning MVP Derrick Rose to the Lakers for Pau Gasol, a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers is not likely.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Bulls are exploring possibilities to acquire Gasol, but do not have assets that are enticing to the Lakers.
The Bulls would have to find a third team to put together a good trade, but any player that they could find that the Lakers would exchange for Gasol would be one who would make an impact for the team.
The likelihood of Gasol going to the Bulls is small unless the two teams can find a third partner who could deliver an All-Star caliber point guard in return.
Raymond Felton for Steve Blake
In a trade of underachieving point guards, the Portland Trail Blazers would send Raymond Felton to the Los Angeles Lakers for Steve Blake.
According to Steve Berger of CBSSports.com, the Lakers would have to throw in some extras to make the trade work, but would be receiving a point guard in Felton who has been a good facilitator in the past and needs a new start in a new system.
Felton would not be asked to do much and would not have to score a lot of points.
If he were able to simply run the offense and get the ball to his teammates, he would be an improvement over the point guards the Lakers now have.
Blake would likely be comfortable returning to Portland where he played for two-and-a-half seasons.
Jose Calderon to the Los Angeles Lakers
Acquiring Jose Calderon has always been a long shot at best, and that's not changing at the trade deadline.
The biggest hurdle facing the Lakers in acquiring the Toronto Raptors point guard is his high salary.
While Calderon would be a great addition to starters Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers are not likely to bring Calderon to the team.
One thing we know about the trade deadline, however, is that anything is possible. If all other point guard options are exhausted, the Lakers may just need to find a way to bring in Calderon.
Blockbuster Trade with Houston
ESPN.com analyst John Hollinger has created a list of NBA trades that he thinks need to take place.
One of his suggestions has the Los Angeles Lakers sending Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Jason Kapono and Troy Murphy to the Houston Rockets for Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, Hasheem Thabeet, Marcus Morris, Chase Budinger and a 2012 first-round draft pick from the New York Knicks.
While this trade would not net the Lakers the All-Star caliber point guard they're looking for, Hollinger writes:
"This is the type of deal L.A. needs to look at if it wants to trade Gasol, one that fills a bunch of holes in one shot. Dragic, Budinger and Scola would start immediately next to Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, while Morris would come off the bench and play regularly. With that lineup, the Lakers would have a real rotation instead of three stars and nine fringe players."
Perhaps, this is just the trade that the Lakers are looking for and can pull off before the trade deadline.