NBA Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest Lakers Trade Buzz

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IJune 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers gives a five to teammate Pau Gasol #16 as they take on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Earlier today, Sam Amico of Fox Sports reported that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to make some trades before the draft.  This makes sense for the team, seeing as how their sole pick at this point is the very last one, the 60th overall.

Given the team's needs, acquiring a first-round pick would improve prospects for the future. However, the scenarios that Amico presents are entirely unrealistic, specifically one involving power forward Pau Gasol. 

In this hypothetical circumstance, the Cleveland Cavaliers would acquire the No. 2 pick from the Charlotte Bobcats and take Bradley Beal, whom the Washington Wizards like very much.  In this case, according to Amico, the Lakers would try to acquire the third pick from Washington in a deal involving Pau Gasol.

Now that your eyes are done popping out of your heads, let's discuss the absurdity of Amico's scenario. 

First, this trade could never happen under the current CBA.  The Wizards are over the cap now that they've acquired Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, and they also have Nene's contract to worry about.  Those three salaries alone add up to $32.4 million for next season.  Thus, there's no way they could also take on Gasol and the $19 million remaining on his deal without doing some major roster slashing.

On top of that, what kind of starting lineup would that leave the Wizards?  Would it be Nene at center, Okafor at power forward, Gasol at small forward, Jordan Crawford at shooting guard and John Wall at the point?  Or would it be some other variation? 

No matter how you look at it, it just doesn't make sense.

Amico also mentioned the possibility of dealing Metta World Peace, who is due just over $13 million in the next two years, for a late-first-round pick.

Allow me to rattle off a few teams who have picks at that point: the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies.

Most of these teams have some pretty heavy contracts on their payroll already. To take on World Peace, whose underachieving in Los Angeles has made him a prime candidate for the amnesty clause, they would have to deal the Lakers another big contract just so that they could fit World Peace under the cap.

That all being said, the rumors presented by Amico are total fiction.  These trades can't happen unless Washington and other potentially involved teams send some players to the Lakers, and that's a whole other battle that has yet to be tackled.