NBA Trade Speculation: Lakers Should Trade Pau Gasol to Toronto Raptors

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IJuly 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourth quarter while taking 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

While signing Steve Nash gave the Los Angeles Lakers a chance of contending in the West, they will still need to improve their second unit if they want to reach the NBA Finals next season.

Los Angeles could help their bench while continuing to have a highly skilled front court by trading Pau Gasol to Toronto for Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. 

Toronto recently gave up a first-round pick to acquire Kyle Lowry from Houston, meaning that Jose Calderon's days as the Raptors' starting point guard are over. Calderon would fit nicely in Los Angeles, as he is an excellent assist man and a very good shooter. He is an upgrade over Steve Blake and would become the Lakers' most lethal weapon off the bench.

Andrea Bargnani is not a good rebounder, but with Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace and Kobe Bryant in the lineup, Los Angeles shouldn't have a hard time securing boards. Bargnani plays very well away from the basket as he is a great three-point shooter for his size and can punish slower big man who guard him by attacking the basket. He should put up similar points per game to Gasol. 

Toronto would be interested in acquiring Gasol because Calderon is now expendable for them and would be a upgrade over Bargnani at power forward. With Jonas Valanciunas and Gasol, Toronto would have one of the best big-man combos in the Eastern Conference, and could challenge for a playoff spot in a weaker conference. 

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