Could this be another year of free agency where the dearth of big men becomes even more of a glaring issue around the league?
Teams seeking an athletic big man will have to get extra creative, since trading for one appears to be the primary way to go.
For example, what would happen if the Philadelphia 76ers are able to find a way to acquire center Pau Gasol from the Los Angeles Lakers?
At times, Gasol was under-used in Los Angeles, as he found himself on the perimeter setting screens and shooting jump shots while fellow frontcourt partner Andrew Bynum was “living” in the lane. Gasol was effective as a rebounder and as a passer, which allowed both he and Bynum to dominate in the paint against opposing teams.
If this should ever happen, it would fill an immediate need in Philadelphia. The Sixers could lose center Spencer Hawes in free agency and cannot rely solely on veteran forward Elton Brand to be their primary scoring option in the frontcourt.
Gasol is still somewhat in the prime of his professional basketball career (finished his 11th NBA season) and would become a primary scoring option in Philadelphia. Gasol would most likely draw double teams, therefore opening up shooting opportunities for the remaining four starters on the floor.
A potential tandem of Gasol and Thaddeus Young (at the power forward spot) would be an interesting combo within the Eastern Conference. Additionally, Gasol’s ability to pass the basketball effectively would give the 76ers more opportunities to score in the low post instead of settling for jumpers.
However, Gasol is a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Until that changes, there will be talk about him possibly being moved before the 2012-13 NBA season.