Pau Gasol Trade Rumors: Grizzlies Wise to Offer Zach Randolph for Lakers Star

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IJune 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 02:  Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies attempts to steal the ball away from Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on January 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Grizzlies defeated the Lakers 104-85. 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 Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

After failing in the second round of the playoffs for a second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to make adjustments to their roster this summer.

It will be interesting to see just how desperate Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak becomes as the 2012-13 season draws closer. With the pressure mounting this offseason, there is definitely a possibility that he makes a questionable move and gets shortchanged in a trade involving one of his best players. 

That would certainly be the case in shipping Pau Gasol back to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Zach Randolph.

According to Peter Vecsey of the New York Post, the Grizzlies have put that exact offer on the table and are hoping to get a bite from Los Angeles. 

Memphis, by the way, says a source, is offering Zach Randolph, another solid citizen, for Pau. Rudy Gay, as of now, is not available

— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 28, 2012

It was a wise play by Memphis GM Chris Wallace, which is quite a bit of a surprise considering that Wallace was the mastermind behind the original deal that landed Gasol in a Lakers uniform.

By dumping Randolph and the approximately $50.8 million left on his contract in exchange for Pau’s $37-or-so million deal over the next two seasons, Memphis would be upgrading the position in the short term and would be on the fast track to having a lot of cap flexibility in the summer of 2014.

The Grizz would be trading an overrated big man that plays his best in contract years and has only made one All-Star team for a much more consistent big that has made four All-Star squads and, more importantly, won two championships.

Gasol (31) and Randolph (30) are roughly the same age, and have similar career numbers (Gasol: 18.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.7 BPG, 52.0% FG; Randolph: 17.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.3 BPG, 47.3% FG), with Pau holding the edge in every major statistical category. 

Randolph has a history of injuries (690 games in 11 seasons) and character issues (mostly incidents back when he was a member of the “Jail Blazers”), while Gasol has managed to stay relatively healthy and out of trouble during his NBA career.

It’s a clear upgrade for Memphis and a downgrade for Los Angeles, but the Lakers are so anxious for change that they just might take the bait.