Pau Gasol is learning firsthand what happens when you struggle in L.A. The Lakers big man and two-time NBA champion has become the subject of never-ending rumors this fall as his production plummets and the Lake Show continues to struggle.
But Gasol isn't the only notable star being talked about in the rumor mill just five weeks into the NBA season.
Here we take a look at a pair of potential movers and analyze where their best landing spot would be in a trade scenario.
Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has been fueling trade rumors this fall thanks to some poor play under newly-hired head coach Mike D'Antoni.
Gasol is averaging just 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game over the L.A.'s last four games and could be on the move this season according to HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler, who says Gasol has been linked to the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics in the past.
Kyler goes on to mention that Gasol's lofty contract, which has two years and slightly more than $38 million remaining on it, is likely the biggest reason why teams aren't so passionate about acquiring the veteran big man.
Although it's highly unlikely that Gasol ends up in Beantown playing for the rival Celtics, that destination would be the best for Gasol if you ask me. He could fill an important need for Boston in the frontcourt while playing alongside future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, who would make up for Gasol's defensive deficiencies.
Gasol would also be a huge factor for the Celtics on the boards, where they rank dead last in the NBA this season. averaging a tad under 37 rebounds per game. Gasol is averaging nearly a quarter of that this year despite his woes.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni recently shot down Gasol rumors in the midst of Pau's struggles on the court, per Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina:
I don't get it. It definitely doesn't come from us. But it's like New York. In Los Angeles, that's what you guys do. That's good. You guys talk and most of the stuff is wrong. You get people interested. I'm OK with that.
It's understandable that D'Antoni is upset, his starting power forward is struggling, and his team isn't playing up to its potential. But unless Gasol becomes more effective in D'Antoni's offensive system, it will only be a matter of time before the Lakers become more desperate to move him and his massive contract.
Maybe then Boston will reemerge as a contender to acquire the skilled seven-footer.
Derrick Williams is only in his second season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but so far the former No. 2 overall pick has not lived up to the hype. After averaging just 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season as a rookie, Williams is averaging just 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds on a dreadful 37.5 percent shooting from the field this season.
HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler recently speculated on the notion that Williams could be moved this season if the right deal comes along for the banged-up T-Wolves:
With so many injuries, it’s unlikely the Wolves try to force something in the next 30 days. But once Kevin Love returns to the lineup, Williams could be the next chip cashed in Minnesota.
If the time comes this season for Minnesota to move Williams, his best potential landing spot would be in Charlotte with the Bobcats. There are a lot of young players in Charlotte already, and Williams could bring a scoring punch to the Bobcats' frontcourt.
Charlotte is only averaging 95 points per game this season, ranking them 20th among the 30 NBA teams.
Although he's undersized for a power forward, Williams can create matchup problems for opposing forwards, and in Charlotte, he would be able to develop under little pressure while playing for one of the NBA's most notoriously bad franchises.
This way, the T-Wolves could cut ties with underachieving draft pick by getting some prospects in return. And for the Bobcats, they would be acquiring a young player with loads of potential to add to their core.
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