Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Would Be Insane to Deal Pau Gasol for Draft Pick
Rookies do nothing for teams in win-now mode.
Sam Amico of FOX Sports reported that there have been talks linking the Lakers to the Washington Wizards and the No. 3 pick in the draft. If the Cleveland Cavaliers leapfrog the Wiz and select Bradley Beal, LA reportedly could deal Gasol to D.C.
If the Lakers were rebuilding, such a move would be pure gold. Exchanging an aging, declining star for a future stud would be the perfect way to start the process. But, as previously stated, Los Angeles isn’t rebuilding.
As long as Kobe Bryant is on the team, LA will enter every season with a championship-or-bust mentality. Bryant is 33 years old. He won’t accept anything less than going all-in for a ring because his clock is ticking.
If the Lakers were to ship Pau—an All-Star who helped Kobe win two titles—for a rookie, Bryant would flip and understandably so. Franchises can’t commit to the future and the present at the same time. I call it multiple-direction disorder.
For example, the Boston Celtics fought their way to the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010. They did so with the exact same core each time. The Celtics were obviously in win-now mode, but Danny Ainge moronically traded Kendrick Perkins, the best post defender in the league, for the more-promising Jeff Green with the future in mind.
Boston hasn’t returned to the Finals since.
Which direction is LA headed in?
In the NBA, there are contenders and teams striving to become contenders. When a GM, like Ainge, gets confused with which category his team falls into, franchises are ruined.
If the Lakers trade Gasol for the third overall pick, they better put Kobe on the trade block too. Los Angeles either needs to go into full-rebuilding mode or forget about the draft and trade for a superstar—there is no in-between.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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