Amidst a tumultuous and disheartening season, trade rumors have been kicked around seemingly every day with the Los Angeles Lakers. During times like these, every fan thinks they know what's best for the team and is clamoring for a shake-up.
One thing is for sure, and that is that this current Lakers team is not working. While they have preached that it would take time for them to mesh together, they are simply too talented to be playing like this. Something has to change.
Of all the rumors that have been proposed, there are in fact a few that could definitely help move this team forward while also completely shaking up the energy.
Pau Gasol for Josh Smith
The Lakers reportedly turned down such a deal recently and might be regretting it now.
With Smith planning to obtain a max contract this summer, he is likely too rich for the Hawks' blood. If LA were to bring him in he could immediately alleviate many of the defensive woes that have plagued this team. It would give Dwight Howard someone to take the pressure off of him in the paint. Steve Nash and Kobe would also have a nice player to counteract the Lob City movement of the Clippers.
With Atlanta wallowing in the fifth to eighth spot in the East, they have likely hit their peak with the current roster they have. They, much like the Lakers, will need to shake things up, and unfortunately it would come at the expense of their best player. Smith could revitalize a stagnant team in the Lakers.
Even if this trade didn't pay immediate dividends, it would definitely help LA past this season. In what could be Kobe's last season, next year this team could wreak havoc on the entire league with Nash running point and having two athletic, superstar big men on the front line in Howard and Smith.
Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, Brook Lopez to Minnesota, Kevin Love to LA
While this is the ultimate rumor and has little chance of occurring, LA would be wise to push for it.
It is no coincidence that this team ended up going south after the acquisition of Dwight Howard. While it is obviously a team sport, it is so rare that an NBA team brings on a player of that caliber and falls from title contenders to sub-.500.
Shipping Howard out and getting a superstar like Love in return before Howard possibly leaves in free agency would be the wise move. Love would flourish in D'Antoni's offense with Steve Nash much like he has with Ricky Rubio. It would not improve the team defensively, but then again they have played very little defense to begin with.
If LA did this, the immediate future would be difficult, as they would be without both Love and Gasol for at least the next four to six weeks. If they could tread water over that time, they could make a daunting run once the two of them return and still sneak into the playoffs. At this point, just getting in should be their biggest priority, because as we've seen, anything can happen once the playoffs start.