The Chris Paul Trade: Why the Lakers Benefit from Its Death
Chris Paul has been designing an exit strategy out of New Orleans after finding no success at running into a championship.
First, he expressed desire to join Carmelo Anthony at New York, but recently, he found himself dreaming of working side by side with Kobe Bryant and fill in the need of the Lakers for a pure and youthful point guard.
Talks have circulated and the deal was done, which involved a three-team trade that should have sent powerful Laker forces Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets respectively.
While the Lakers should have received Paul, the Hornets, in addition to Odom, would have acquired versatile guard Kevin Martin, center Luis Scola, point guard Goran Dragic and a future draft pick. Pretty massive.
The terms have been agreed upon by these three teams and all set to go by Friday when owners complained about the transaction. David Stern, being RATIONAL enough and being too GOOD a commissioner, killed the deal and buried it with force, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
An agent told that Stern won't allow players to be selective of their destinations after what happened to the Carmelo drama last season.
But behind the reasons every involved citizen possesses, though it might be awry, the Lakers should feel blessed that the deal didn't come to life. Here is my side of the story:
First, the Lakers should give up premier players in Odom and Gasol for Paul. This should not work well with them. The depth of the Lakers' bench has been powered by Odom for a couple of seasons now and seeing him go would only shore up the second unit.
Pau Gasol has been one of the most versatile big men in the team's history. He made his impressive share on the Lakers' back to back feat two seasons ago. He is a veteran leader and follower who sparks the inside when Andrew Bynum hurts himself most of the time.
Giving up Gasol should be very painful for the Lakers. For the past seasons, these two beasts have been vital in making the Lakers a team to beat and giving them up would surely shake up their golden land.
Secondly, when you look at the Lakers line up minus Gasol and Odom, the four and five positions are very vulnerable and sickly. The Lakers, I may say, would go for Paul, Bryant, and maybe Metta World Peace at one, two, and three, which makes sense obviously.
But when the lines get deeper, the Lakers end up having inexperienced players in Derrick Caracter and Ater Majok at four. Having Andrew Bynum play center is most of the time a jigsaw that the coaching staff must solve and it involves his health and his vulnerability to injuries.
In addition, Bynum is their last standing pure center. With Bynum out, which I'm sure will happen for maybe 20 games, the Lakers would be pounded inside and they may have the only choice of accepting bullets after bullets.
Chris Paul surely gives their backcourt a deep reason to celebrate, but losing guys in the inside might not help at all. Significantly, the Lakers will lose a huge amount of energy coming from the bench, no...from the roster, actually.
The Mavs taught them this lesson when their bench outscored the Lakers en route to a 4-0 sweep in last year's playoffs.
What the killed trade should have brought was hope for New Orleans and a new force for Houston. Bringing there a bunch of hard working and talented guys would make them sure winners of the deal.
As for the Lakers, I'm pretty sure Luke Walton won't play the power forward and center position when the need arises.
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