After 25 games, the Los Angeles Lakers stand at an abysmal 11-14, hardly the start that most NBA experts and fans envisioned after the Lakeshow picked up Dwight Howard and Steve Nash during the offseason.
As of right now, it is easy to see the Lakers making the playoffs, but I would be shocked to see this team seriously contending for a Western Conference title. Obviously, this can be attributed to the absences of Nash and Pau Gasol, both of whom have played fairly little this season.
While Nash is definitely a keeper, Gasol does not seem to gel well with Howard and has struggled in action this season. For this reason, I think that Los Angeles should at least consider dealing him.
Washington stands at a putrid 3-17, due in part to the absence of John Wall, who has yet to play this season due to a sustained knee injury. However, it seems like the Wizards would be in line for major roster changes, possibly by getting rid of big contracts.
This is a possible trade between Washington and Los Angeles that should be considered.
Los Angeles Lakers RECEIVE: Trevor Ariza and Nene
Washington Wizards RECEIVE: Pau Gasol
This move helps out both teams. Here's why:
Los Angeles could use a player who can feed off of D-12's post presence while also being an above-average player on the perimeter. Nene performs both of these roles and is almost two years younger than Gasol. He had flashes of brilliance as a Wizard, and looked like a much better player when given the opportunity to play with an above-average point guard in Wall.
When Nash comes back, Nene would get the necessary looks to flourish in the offense. In addition, Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense matches up well with him as he runs the floor exceptionally for a big man.
Ariza gives the Lakers something that they could really use: a defensive stopper. While he is not as effective as he was earlier in his career, the UCLA graduate is still better defensively than the majority of the Lakers' roster and would be welcomed back to Los Angeles.
For the Wizards, they dump a large amount of cash and aren't really risking anything. If Gasol doesn't pan out, they can flip him in a year because his contract will be expiring. On the flipside, he could gel with Wall when he comes back and give Washington a legitimate chance at making the playoffs next season.
At the end of the day, this trade is a rare win-win for both teams.
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