Lakers Trade Rumors: Sign-and-Trade for Deron Williams Doesn't Have a Chance
The Los Angeles Lakers never had a chance to sign superstar point guard Deron Williams outright, but it appears the organization's chances at a sign-and-trade acquisition aren't much better, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:
The Los Angeles Lakers, likewise have continued to express interest in a sign-and-trade package built around Pau Gasol for Williams, sources say, despite the Nets' longstanding insistence that they have no interest in Gasol and would only consider such a move if they were getting back All-Star center Andrew Bynum, whom the Lakers have not made available.
As much as we'd all like to think there were some way to bring a floor general of D-Will's caliber to a ready-made contender like the Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak can't realistically believe the Brooklyn Nets would prefer the remainder of Gasol's contract to cap space.
Gasol has two years remaining on his contract, and he'll earn just over $38 million for his trouble.
That's a steep price to pay for anyone in this new age of league-wide frugality, but it's especially high for a 31-year-old who never looked his best this season. Of course, his play may have had more to do the threat of trade looming over him, but no one really wants to find out for that kind of money.
If you're L.A., would you trade Bynum for Williams?
Whether the Nets hold on to some cap space in pursuit of other top-tiered talent or ultimately prevail in their attempts to land the perpetually disaffected Dwight Howard, Gasol doesn't fit into the plans.
What's worse, the Lakers have precious few assets that could sweeten such a deal.
Such is business with a top-heavy roster built around three core pieces. Moving those pieces isn't easy without a reservoir of supplementary talent to include in talks.
If the Nets were in fact intrigued by the possibility of getting Andrew Bynum instead, the plot obviously thickens. Bynum's value to the franchise is one of the more polarizing questions in Southern California, and the possibility of adding Williams to the mix is sure to make those debates all the more heated.
Would you rather have a dominant wild card like Bynum or a proven veteran point guard like Williams?
They both play vital positions, and they're both among the very best at what they do. Re-signing Jordan Hill might ease the pain of losing Bynum, but the same could also be said of Ramon Sessions filling the point guard slot that would ostensibly go to Williams.
The fact that Gasol is under contract for another two seasons would seemingly make Bynum more expendable, but there's nothing easy about parting with a 24-year-old seven-footer who's already been to his first All-Star game.
Bynum probably falls somewhere short of "untouchable," but perhaps not by much in the eyes of Los Angeles' front office.
In any event, the franchise will have to do some serious soul-searching if it's serious about bringing someone like Williams into the fold. Dangling Gasol may be the more appealing option for L.A., but that's hardly the case for clubs on the other side of the negotiating table.
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