Lakers Trade Rumors: Team Should Start Being More Receptive to Potential Deals

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 28:  Pau Gasol #16 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers react to a foul call during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on December 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 104-87.  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

It is an understatement to say that the Los Angeles Lakers have been disappointing this season. It is time that something is done to rectify this situation.

After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason, this team was expected to dominate most of the NBA. Unfortunately, the team is currently 15-16 and would be on the outside looking in for the playoffs.

While the team already made one major personnel move—head coach Mike Brown was fired after five games—it is time to make another one.

Unfortunately, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld reported that there is no trade on the horizon for the Lakers:

RT @jaysway52: Nash says Lakers running out of time. Any rumors on what trades they maybe considering? --> Nothing with legs... 

— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 2, 2013

 

He also mentioned on Twitter that the team is not looking to move Pau Gasol:

RT @ken_marks_esq: Have you heard ANYTHING on the Gasol that makes any sense?--> Keep hearing best chance to win is with Gasol not trade

— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 2, 2013

 

This is a mistake for an organization that has a lot of pressure to win this season.

Gasol is in the midst of the worst year of his career, and it is mainly due to his inability to fit into the new offensive system.

The forward has never averaged fewer than 17 points per game, but this season, that number is down to 12.7. His .417 shooting percentage is also way below his career average of .518 due to his increased number of jump shots.

While the Spaniard is still one of the best frontcourt players in the NBA, he simply does not fit into what this team is trying to do. 

Instead, the Lakers should start looking at potential options that will make the team better. This could be in the form of more youth, more shooters or simply more athleticism.

A few weeks ago, it was smart for the organization to deflect any trade requests. The team was struggling, but that was mainly due to injuries to Steve Nash and Gasol. It was impossible to truly evaluate the team without its full lineup.

Now, the team that was projected to start the season is finally healthy. If the record does not improve with the current roster, it will be time to find new players that will improve the record. 

Los Angeles is not a team built for long-term success. Four out of the top five scorers are over 32 years old, and the final one, Dwight Howard, could leave the team at the end of the season.

The Lakers need to win now. They cannot afford to waste this season if there is a chance to improve the team through a trade. They must start listening to offers and negotiating moves that are necessary to improve the squad.