NBA Trade Scenarios: 7 Teams That Could Come Calling for Pau Gasol
It's become fairly obvious in the past year that L.A. would be more than willing to trade Gasol—if the right offer comes along.
According to a poll by the LA Times online, 57 percent of readers believe L.A. should trade Gasol if it entails a blockbuster deal.
Here are seven potential scenarios for Gasol in the upcoming season.
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This one surprises me a tiny bit, because Luis Scola currently holds the starting PF position, and he definitely puts up solid numbers. Scola's contract isn't up for another couple of years.
However, the Rockets may be interested in dealing Scola, or it may just be a situation where it would be nice to add another big man to the roster. With the aging Marcus Camby starting at center, Gasol would be a welcome addition.
Houston originally hoped to acquire Gasol in the attempted Chris Paul trade, and it's still pursuing either him or Orlando's Dwight Howard. At this point, Gasol appears to be a much more feasible option.
After trading Chase Budinger to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 18 pick in tomorrow's draft, the Rockets now have three first-round picks (14, 16 and 18). According to Jeff Zillgitt, the hoarding of these picks could very well be in preparation for a trade offer to L.A.
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How likely is this trade? It may be too soon to tell.
Sam Amico weighs in:
"If the Cavs are able to move up and nab Beal at No. 2, there’s talk the Lakers would be willing to make life easy for the Wizards and help them move out of the third spot. It would likely take power forward Pau Gasol. Far-fetched for now, but don’t be surprised if it’s something that’s explored in the right situation."
The move would certainly benefit L.A., but would it be worth it for Washington to lose their third pick while taking on Gasol's large contract?
I consider this one of the lesser-probable options out there.
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Chicago would benefit from adding another big man to support center Joakim Noah, and Gasol would be a nice fit to the contending team.
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The Lakers have been looking for a defensive-minded small forward, and Andre Iguodala may just be a great fit.
Considering the size of each player's contract, the swap could be an easy one: Iguodala for Gasol, straight up.
Iguodala puts up solid numbers across the board. He averaged 12.4 points, 5.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 2011-2012. The 28-year-old is a good player, but his contract is too hefty for Philly to hang on to in its situation.
The Sixers' frontline needs improvement, and Gasol could add stability and power to the lineup. Philly might decide to use its amnesty clause to dump Elton Brand's $18 million contract, and Spencer Hawes is a free agent.
Paying Gasol's contract makes much more sense to Philadelphia right now than hanging onto Iguodala.
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The Hawks were knocked out early once again, and now might be the time they appease Smith's request. Gasol would be a better post player for Atlanta, and L.A. would be able to slough Gasol's large contract in exchange for a PF who delivers solid numbers across the board.
Last season, Smith averaged 18.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. While he would be a great pickup for the Lakers, he wouldn't make an even swap.
If the Hawks threw in Jeff Teague to soothe L.A.'s point guard issues, this could be a feasible trade deal.
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Memphis originally drafted Gasol in 2001, and I find it hard to believe the Grizzlies wouldn't love to see him return.
The trade might cause playing time issues between Gasol and current paint defender Zach Randolph, but Memphis could find a way to solve the conflict—even if that meant trading Randolph in exchange for Gasol. L.A. would rid itself of Gasol's contract, and Memphis would gain the tandem it's been wanting awhile for.
Pau's brother Marc Gasol currently plays center for the Grizzlies, and having the Gasol brothers playing together would be dynamic.
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The trade I'd most like to see is Gasol to Minnesota.
Gasol still puts up solid numbers, and he and Pekovic could share the minutes. Pek would be a solid reserve for the C/PF position, especially since Minny relied on Darko Milicic as a backup last season.
Being that the Wolves just picked up Chase Budinger in exchange for their No. 18 draft pick, there are five players listed as small forwards on the roster. These include Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams, who the Lakers have shown interest in.
It would be sad to see Williams go, but he didn't exactly live up to the hype his rookie season. Gasol's skills and experience may be worth the sacrifice.
Gasol to Minnesota could be the kind of drastic move the Timberwolves need.