Lakers Rumors: Why LA Is Smart to Keep Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum After Nash Trade

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIJuly 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Pau Gasol #16 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers react after losing 103-100 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19 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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will send him to the L.A. Lakers in exchange for the Lakers' 2013 and 2015 first-round and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks.

Now the Lakers have one of the most formidable backcourts in the NBA with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, but their impressive starting lineup doesn't end there.

The Lakers also have one of the most talented frontcourts in the game with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

After landing Nash, the Lakers main focus now needs to be on keeping both Gasol and Bynum and not falling into any of the trade bait that could be offered for either of their services.

The Orlando Magic still have Andrew Bynum as their top trade target for Dwight Howard, as reported by Adrian Wojnarwoski. While Howard is a tempting option, he's not the center the Lakers need.

It will be challenging enough for the Lakers to adjust to running an offense led by a true point guard instead of running an offense that consistently begins with Kobe holding the ball out on the wing.

The last thing the Lakers need is to have to work two new players into their rotation, especially with the immaturity that exists within Howard and the way he could approach a potential trade to the Lakers.

Before they landed Nash, the Lakers almost made the same mistake by trying to trade Pau Gasol to the Hawks for Josh Smith. Luckily, the Hawks weren't interested in that trade because of the $38 million due to Gasol over the next two seasons.

It's not that Smith would have been a bad addition for the Lakers. It just would have been a difficult transition for the Lakers to make while also focusing on building chemistry with the addition of Nash in the backcourt.

The biggest issue for the Lakers heading into next season will be their ability to create chemistry between all the starting players, and that's easier to do without breaking up their twin towers.

Even though Howard might be a more athletic and more defensively-sound player than Bynum, the fact that Bynum has been with the Lakers for the past seven seasons is worth more to the Lakers' immediate success.