NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Would Be Crazy to Trade Pau Gasol for Zach Randolph

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJune 29, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 14: Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches near the end of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2012 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City defeated Los Angeles 119-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers must not get so eager to trade Pau Gasol that they ship him back to the team from which he came for Zach Randolph. That would solve nothing, and could create a whole host of problems.

The scary part about this is that that very deal appears to be sitting on the table waiting for them to pull the trigger on.

Peter Vecsey of Houp Du Jour sheds some light on that proposed trade.

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

What would be the point of this for the Lakers? They would be sending away their talented—yet frustratingly inconsistent—big man for a talented—yet frustratingly inconsistent—big man.

They would be gaining some youth with this move, but at 30, Randolph is just a year younger and is coming off a year where he only played in 28 games due to injuries.

Randolph has been a slightly better scorer over the course of his career, but the difference is minimal, and the two are even on the boards. Randolph is a tougher presence inside, but Gasol is a far better passer.

Gasol has picked up the tendency to get himself tripped up mentally, but he has not be a divisive force in the locker room. Randolph was dogged by questions of attitude problems for most of his career; and while those have quieted down recently, there is a chance he could explode while trying to share the ball and shots with Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.

The Lakers must avoid this—at best—lateral move.