Pau Gasol is most likely on his way out of Los Angeles, and acquiring Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola in a deal would be the best option for the Lakers.
Throughout last season and heading into the offseason, Pau Gasol's name has been used the most in trade rumors for the Lakers.
With Lowry's issues with the Rockets' coaching/management, along with Goran Dragic's emergence, the Rockets should be willing to deal Lowry. Dragic can step in and take over as the starting point guard for the Rockets.
Premier point guard
This trade would give the Lakers a premier point guard, one they have lacked for years. While Ramon Sessions could return to the Lakers next season, he would serve the team well coming off the bench.
Lowry is a player who can be another scorer for opponents to have to worry about. Last season, he connected on 40.9 percent of his shots and 37.4 percent of his three-pointers.
Lowry's ability to hit the three-point shot would help the Lakers spread the floor when they worked the ball inside to Andrew Bynum. This season, the Lakers had trouble in this area of the offense, since their outside shooters of Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Jason Kapono were mainly unsuccessful behind the arc.
In this deal, Lowry wouldn't have pressure on him to constantly score since he would be the third or fourth scoring option on the team. If he chipped in 12-14 points a night, that would be significant amount behind Bryant, Bynum and even Scola.
In addition, Lowry has a very physical, defensive part to his game. He would fit well in Mike Brown's defense, and it will help the Lakers defend teams like the Spurs and Thunder, who also have premier point guards.
This move would allow Kobe to stay on the shooting guard instead of rotating over to cover the point guard like he has over the past few years. Kobe can stay fresh this way and would be more aggressive on the offensive end since he wouldn't be drained of his energy on the defensive side of the ball.
Replacement for Gasol
A trade with the Rockets would also help the Lakers, as they would acquire a power forward in return for Pau Gasol.
Not only would they fill Gasol's position in the deal, but they'd acquire someone in Scola who possesses some of Gasol's strengths.
Scola has decent height at 6'9" and is a very strong rebounder. Over three of the last four years, Scola averaged more than eight rebounds a game. While he did see a decrease in those numbers last season, he can still provide the Lakers with the length they are used to with their bigs underneath.
Scola can set up in the corners or at the top of the free-throw line for his shot. It is very similar to Gasol and how he runs his offense, except Scola isn't as great of a passer as Gasol.
That will be the only disadvantage of taking Scola over Gasol.
Preserves Kobe Bryant
A trade for a premier point guard will help keep Kobe Bryant fresh throughout the whole season. A ball-handling guard like Lowry would be able to take the ball up the court to set up the offense. Bryant can then be free to work in the low post or stay outside for a jumper.
Without a true point guard until Sessions came around last season, Bryant took the ball up the court and had to work the offense, which allowed teams to double team him as soon as he crossed mid-court.
Having a true point guard would allow single coverage on Bryant. And if the opponent doubles him, Bryant can circle the ball to one of his other scorers on the team, whether it's Bynum in the post, Scola from the outside or Lowry from behind the arc.
After losing to the Thunder, the Lakers should model their offense after the Thunder. Match their Westbrook, Harden and Durant with Lowry, Sessions and Bryant.
At 6'3", Sessions could cover the shooting guard, which could move Bryant over to the small forward position.
With their ability to attack the basket and hit the long-range jumper, the Lakers could be a very dangerous team come playoff time in 2013.
The blueprint for the success in the NBA these days is built on quick, athletic guards/forwards who can attack the basket and create shots for their teammates. The Lakers lacked that this season, but a trade for an athletic guard like Lowry could turn things around really fast.
In addition, the Lakers would still maintain their advantage with their big men as well. This would help on the offensive glass and on defense. Combine the two aspects of the game, and you have a very solid team.
After all, they still have Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest scorers in the game. Getting younger and more athletic around him can only help.
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