Steve Kyler of Hoops World reports the wide speculation of a trade that includes both Pau Gasol and Amar'e Stoudemire. This type of move would be certain to gain critics from both sides, but it would actually be beneficial to both teams.
Gasol has been the target of many trade rumors over the past couple of years. He is an incredibly talented player, but he has not been an ideal fit for this team.
This season, things have gotten worse.
After averaging at least 17 points per game in each of his first 11 years in the NBA, the power forward is averaging only 13.4 points per game. New coach Mike D'Antoni will make things even worse with his fast-paced offense.
Pau is used to laboring up the floor and coasting a little bit. In this offense, we have to put the motor on the first few steps we move up the court.
Even Gasol himself was discussing the fact that he would rather play with his back to the basket than be forced to make jump shots all game (via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN):
All my looks are jump shots. I would like to see something closer to the basket and not just rolling, especially when Dwight is there. But we'll see. We'll figure it out. We're just starting, pretty much. I'm not a pure jump-shooter. I can stretch the defense out and make a couple jumpers. But how I get going is by getting in the paint and creating off the post, things like that.
Unfortunately, this is how things will stay in D'Antoni's offense. If he wants to utilize his post-up moves, he will have to do it somewhere else.
Meanwhile, the Lakers should not want someone on the team who is not a good fit. They should look to acquire a big man who knows how to play well within the offense. Someone like Stoudemire.
The forward had his best years playing with D'Antoni on the Phoenix Suns as well as the Knicks. In the fast-paced offense, he averaged over 25 points per game three different times.
He is still recovering from a knee surgery, but he would be a great addition to the Lakers as they look to contend for a championship.
On the other hand, Stoudemire has been losing fans in New York consistently over the past year. From his glass-punching episode to his decreased production and constant injury problems, it might be time for a fresh start.
Even his head coach Mike Woodson would not commit to the veteran remaining in the starting lineup when he returned from injury, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.
Should the Knicks make this trade?
If the Knicks replace him with Gasol, they would get a great interior scorer as well as a defender that could take the pressure off Tyson Chandler on the inside.
It would also create some balance on offense with Gasol complementing Carmelo Anthony on the interior instead of competing for possession on the outside.
In addition, the trade would make sense financially. Both players have similar contracts at $19-20 million per year, although Stoudemire has an extra year remaining.
This would not only be a fair trade from a talent perspective, but it would fit perfectly with the needs of each team to make them better.
With everyone trying to compete with the Miami Heat, this is the best move that either side can make.