LA Lakers: 5 Trades That Aren't for Chris Paul or Dwight Howard
An offseason that started with a lot of promise has quickly turned into worst-case scenario for the Lakers.
Hours after officially ratifying the CBA, the Lakers looked to be the new home of Chris Paul. Instead, David Stern pulled a "basketball reasons" excuse out of nowhere and vetoed the trade. After a little more trying, the Lakers backed out, but not without repercussions.
Lamar Odom, hurt that the Lakers wanted to trade him, was dealt to Dallas for a first-rounder and Tyson Chandler's trade exception, presumably to get ready for a run at Howard.
The Magic, however, have pulled Howard off the trade market and the Lakers are left in disarray. What could have possibly been a summer where both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard came to year purple and gold has turned into Josh McRoberts, Jason Kapono and Gerald Green being the only new additions.
However, that isn't to say the Lakers can't still make a big splash in the remaining offseason.
The Trail Blazers are rumored to be shopping Gerald Wallace around to teams, mainly Orlando in a three-team deal involving Dwight Howard going to the Nets. However, that's not to say they wouldn't part with him with another team.
The Lakers DO have two first-round picks and possibly two second-rounders.
One possible deal could be Gerald Wallace and a second-round pick for Metta World Peace, Devin Ebanks and a first-round pick.
I've always been a fan of Wallace. He's a great glue guy, can play many different positions and is a tough player. He also has the possibility of being an expiring contract next year, as he has a player option.
The Lakers would give up World Peace, who would add more defense for an already solid team, and Ebanks, who is a young player than Portland doesn't have many of.
Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand
As you can see, the Lakers' main target in these trades should be athletic small forwards. Iguodala is a great defender and very much fits the athletic category.
The trade in full would be Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand for Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Dallas' first-round pick.
Elton Brand is another player the 76ers have been trying to move, mainly because of his huge contract. The Lakers have never let money be an issue and would take on Brand's huge contract here.
For Philly, they get a PF who can anchor them better than Brand ever did and also add a veteran forward who can provide toughness they lacked against Miami in the playoffs. The first-round pick is just icing on the cake.
The biggest weakness for the Lakers with this current roster is starting PG and backup SG. With Curry, you'd secure both spots.
The trade would be Stephen Curry for Steve Blake, Andrew Goudelock, both 2012 first-rounders.
The Warriors part with Curry, but certainly get enough in replacement. They solve their problem of sharing the ball between Curry and Ellis by bringing in Blake, who is certainly a pass-first player. Adding Goudelock, who has unreal range, is icing on the cake. The two first-round picks in this draft would make up for them giving theirs away to Utah.
For LA, they don't help much defensively with Curry, but they get a much better scoring option, a great young PG and someone who could even play spurts at the 2-guard with Kobe on the bench. Plus, he's only scheduled to make $11 million over the next three years, a huge salary cap relief.
Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic
Clearly, the Rockets were ready to part with these three for Pau once; what would stop them a second time?
The trade in full would look something like Pau Gasol, Luke Walton and Dallas' first-round pick for Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic.
The Rockets get one of the top-five PFs in the league to pair with Patrick Patterson and Jordan Hill, both young guys who need playing time. They also get Luke Walton, who fills a weak spot the Rockets have at small forward. The first-round pick certainly doesn't hurt.
For the Lakers, they get a great haul here. While they lose a very versatile big man, they get more than enough to replace. Considering they'd turn Marc Gasol, Javaris Crittenton and a couple firsts into Scola, Martin and Dragic, I think they'd win.
Scola is underrated and would fit well defensively with Bynum. Martin would be a great sixth man and Dragic could even take over the starting spot.
Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Marcin Gortat
First, let me explain this trade...
Phoenix gives up Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Marcin Gortat and receives Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake, Metta World Peace, Darius Morris and both first-round picks in 2012, conditional first-round in 2013.
This trade would work because the Suns would get a nice haul of players to start rebuilding with. Of course there's Bynum, but Darius Morris is a very hyped player who most think fell very far in the draft and has lots of potential. Then there's also the possible three first-round picks, the latter becoming a first if the Lakers make the Finals either year.
For the Lakers, this immediately becomes a team built for the present and disregarding the future. They give up the best piece of building for the future they have in Morris and acquire an aging Nash and Hill.Gortat is a throw-in there because, otherwise, the Suns have three centers.
This trade is easily the least realistic, but most promising for the Lakers making one last title run. A lineup of Nash, Kobe, Hill, Gasol and Gortat would be filthy.