NBA Free Agents 2012: How Lakers Land Deron Williams Without Ruining D12 Chances

David DanielsSenior Writer IMay 24, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets looks on in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are still dreaming.

Since last summer began, the Lakers' ideal series of acquisitions has been trading for Dwight Howard and Deron Williams (them along with every other team in the NBA). This season, those dreams were believed to be crushed by stirrings that the pair of superstars had interest in landing elsewhere. Now, though, it looks as if the Lakers may still have hope.

The New York Post’s Fred Kerber reported after the trade deadline that the Magic were ready to trade for Bynum, Devin Ebanks and Steve Blake if Howard didn’t sign an agreement to waive his opt-out clause.

That doesn’t leave the Lakers much to offer the Nets in a sign-and-trade scenario. But what they have left will be enough.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Kenneth Faried #35 of the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in
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Despite his critics, Pau Gasol is still valuable. According to John Hollinger of ESPN, Gasol rated higher this season in estimated wins added than big-name 4s such as Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh.

Kris Humphries is a free agent. Brooklyn is in desperate need for a power forward. Pau and Lopez would form one of the top low-post scoring duos in the league.

Valuable candidates that'd be included in a such package along with Gasol are Metta World Peace, Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill.

Brooklyn needs a point guard if Williams leaves—that’s where Sessions comes in. If Gerald Wallace opts out of his contract, that’s where World Peace comes in. Hill is already significantly better than any big the Nets have coming off the bench.

When it comes down to being left empty-handed or accepting a package centered on Gasol, Brooklyn won’t have a choice but to accept the Lakers’ offer.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.