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Anderson would be ideal for the Lakers' current roster.
No. 2 is a guy I have thought the Lakers should have made a hard run at for about six months: Ryan Anderson.
The fifth-year power forward out of Cal has three things the Lakers lack in spades: youth, three-point shooting (career 39-percent shooter) and consistent effort. The Lakers have been blasé for too many stretches of this season.
While I'm not putting that all on Gasol, whether it is his recently disclosed tendinitis in both knees or the drain from playing in the Olympics, Gasol has been less than all-out on the court so far.
Beyond that, the natural order of things has only intensified from 2012. What I mean is that Andrew Bynum slowly usurped the dominant position in the post, and that left Gasol, a decent outside shooter, left to fire away from 15 to 21 feet.
That is not his best suit, and often, Gasol is firing up low-percentage jumpers when the offense is stagnant. Compound that with his mediocre defensive skills and decreased speed, and he's a seven-foot liability when laboring.
By contrast, Anderson provides exactly what the Lakers don't have: a true floor-spacer that gives Howard and, to a lesser degree, Kobe Bryant operating room on the perimeter. In Mike D'Antoni's system, maximum efficiency is achieved when there are multiple shooters on the floor. Anderson's size and shooting would give L.A. a great component with Steve Nash and the improved Metta World Peace from outside.
Additionally, Anderson can rebound. Yes, Gasol does that well (9.1 RPG this season), but he also struggles to keep up with quicker and faster power forwards and has been a revolving door with his post defense this year.
Gasol is a better player, but I honestly think a guy like Anderson might be a better fit for this team as constructed.
The drawback is the discrepancy in salary (Anderson only makes $8 million versus Gasol's $19 million) and the fact that, being a rebuilding team with a No. 1 draft pick in Anthony Davis at the center position, New Orleans is probably not eager to go after Gasol.
Gasol would represent an upgrade over Robin Lopez at center, but without a third team, it would be hard for Anderson to wind up in Los Angeles.
All that aside, Ryan Anderson is not my No. 1 player. Here's why...