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3 Hands the Lakers Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Deal Reviewed by Momizat on . Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala -- All incredible talents and players that could take the Lake Show in a new direction. Still, amid all Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala -- All incredible talents and players that could take the Lake Show in a new direction. Still, amid all Rating:
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3 Hands the Lakers Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Deal

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Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala — All incredible talents and players that could take the Lake Show in a new direction. Still, amid all the trade talk, rumors and speculation the Lakers players that have been linked with possible moves just seem to be too good to lose. Despite some problems this year, the Lakers frontcourt tandem of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom remain some of the best, most gifted players the league has to offer. So why is Los Angeles so eager to pack their bags and send them to LAX to hit the road like Ray Charles or fouled out Jack’s at STAPLES Center? Sure, the loss to this years champion Dallas Mavericks revealed some difficulties, but putting these players on the block, even two at a time for potential new players (no matter how good they are) just doesn’t seem right. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Let’s investigate why.

EXHIBIT A: PAU GASOL

The player that the Lakers fans seem most eager to get rid of is the one guy that took the Lakers from the basement to the high-rises of back-to-back championships. Now you don’t have to be called Alanis to know that that’s ironic. Gasol is arguably the most important Laker of the last five years, don’t you think? Sure, this year Pau’s play in the Western semifinals was not on full, but he was riddled with personal trouble. Now I know that these matters should be left at the door with basketball, as he should have been leaving it all on the floor, but still, sometimes things are too much and get the better of even the strongest minds.

That’s a key word right there, ‘strong’. Pau’s other ‘problem’ is that he’s been labelled ‘soft’ for nearly his entire career. The matter of this fiction however, is that just because he’s European and skilled doesn’t make him less able to bang inside with the leagues best big men. SLAM magazine said it best in a feature titled ‘Soft As A Rock’: “After his first Laker year loss to Boston Pau toughened up to the level of guys like Kevin Garnett and he can more then hold his own against hulking Adonis’ like Dwight Howard … just not in the trade market it seems.”

It’s also Gasol’s serious skill-set that helps him gas up the Lakers offense. Back in the day, Shaq was renowned for his perfect passing (probably because it seemed unusual coming from such a big body), but Pau’s precision is taken at read and even ignored. Plus from Olive Oil armed post-moves (those biceps have some Popeye spinach) to fancy footwork and a never back-down, post-championship attitude, this guy has it all. From strong dunks, stares and screams to a nice mid-range jumper, Pau’s unpredictable game is what gives the Lakers offense it’s most potency and power. How could you even trade the guy that helped the Lakers almost three-peat? Without him, forget about starting a new one.

Next: Keep the Candy Man in L.A.

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Number of Entries : 20
  • Luke Walton

    True, but how do expect to have the lakers compete with a point guard heavy league? Our perimeter defense needs to be improved namely at PG. I love Fish, but we need a new, young starting guard. This way D.Fish can have fresh legs and be able to shoot the lights out when we need him most.

    Unless Mitch can work a miracle (like he’s done before), we may need to trade one of our bigs to patch up this problem. I think the lakers would be championship bound with a new, speedy PG capable of cutting, a spot up 3-point shoot to round out the bench, and the majority of the other players in tact.

    • Laker Fan

      Luke, you need to move on

  • http://twitter.com/Diandra_M Diandra M.

    I agree.  I don’t think we need to trade just to be trading.  I think Lamar, Pau, and Drew are still great assets to this team.  And I really feel like Drew is gonna be a beast this upcoming season.

  • drose

    dumbest thing ive heard in my life… most important?

  • Latinolakerfan

    I still think Gasol is finished as a player, and if we can get a decent trade to bolster our bench before his time is up then why not? I don’t think we need to get rid of the Candy Man and I also agree that a healthy Bynum is just as good as any other center in the league if not better… But do we take the chance of Bynum ever being healthy for a full year let alone a few years or bring in a guy like Superman 2.0 who can deliver year in and year out? If we loose Bynum we gain DH so Gasol has a center who draws attention and will give him easier looks. If we get rid of Gasol then we can get a starting PG and have Fish come off the bench plus we can add a few shooters to our bench. I think that trading Gasol makes more sense than any but I would be ok with a Bynum trade. Either way, L.O. Should remain in the purple and gold!!!

    • Oldmanflow

      Trading Pau makes absolutely no sense. Yes the Lakers need a PG, but why would you give up one of the most skilled big men in the league for one? And how exactly does that strengthen the bench? It doesn’t; it acually weakens the bench. Who’s going to play back up center then? When Drew goes to the bench Pau slides over and LO plays PF. Trade Pau for a PG, then Lamar has to start and Fisher goes to the bench. Now you’re taking the best 6th man in the league and making him a starter while replacing him with an aging PG. Would you really perfer Fisher coming off the bench over LO? They can easily pick up a decent free agent PG without giving up one of their core players. Then you can send Fish to the pine and that really does bolster the bench. You also mentioned Bynum’s health concerns. We got Gasol when Andrew went down the first time, so why would you trade an All-star insurance policy for a bunch of bench players? Makes no sense. One more thing, do you honestly think Pau’s finished as a player at the ripe old age of 30?

      • Bij73

        lakers need to have a heady PG that  knows how to react to certain stops on their play.one PG that attracts the defense as well.Opening the middle would greatly help the lakers offense.

        • Oldmanflow

          I agree 100%, but giving up Gasol in order to get one is not the answer. Instead of solving a problem you’re creating more problems. Phil Jackson refused to play rookies. Mike Brown may have a different philosophy. We just drafted a decent PG and Steve Blake is capable of playing the point. He just might be more comfortable in a new system next season. Also, there’s always the posibility of piicking up a veteran free agent who wants to play for a contender. Mitch is always pulling a rabbit out of his hat so it’s really no need to panic.

      • Poloman77

        I respect your opinion but do not agree with you at all. Pau WAS the problem during the Lakers last run. He did not show up during Phil’s last go and obviously had no passion. He can’t be trusted when the moment counts (i.e Lakers vs. Boston 2008 and Lakers vs Mavs/Hornets. IMHO I think Pau should be traded while the Lakers can still get some value. Trade him for Chris Paul/Deron Williams and picks. Lamar can start and Drew can be the center. Drew can pick up the scoring slack in place of Pau.

        • oldmanflow

          The majority of the people on this forum believe Andrew can’t make it through an entire season without being injured. The reason we traded for Pau in the first place was because Andrew was injured. If you trade Pau for CP3/D-Will and Andrew gets hurt again, then what? We don’t have a backup center as it stands. Start Lamar and now you loose the anchor of the 2nd unit. Like I said before, Pau’s the best insurance policy you can have in case (god forbide) Drew gets hurt again. And I agree with you, Pau was a no-show in the playoffs. But at the same time you wouldn’t trade a brand new Mercedes Benz for a Hyundai because you had a dead battery.

        • Steve

          What do you mean, “when the moment counts, he (pau) can’t be trusted”? You mention the Boston series and the mavs. Both champs. And you conveniently leave out the fact that Gasol was instrumental in those two titles. Remember that? Lots of peope campaigned Gasol for Finals MVP. He was that good.

          No wonder everybody hates Laker fans. I’m embarrassed to be associated with fans like you who have this ‘what have you done for me lately’ attitude.

      • poloman77

        Good car analogy. But what would you do if he disappears again? It has happened before as I mentioned with Boston in 08 and this past run? He wilted big time and failed the Lakers when we needed him most. Yes, I appreciate the back to back titles BUT failing the way he did is borderline unforgivable.

        • oldmanfow

          I understand your concern, but this is a team sport. Gasol wasn’t the only player who didn’t show up in the 2nd round. Besides Andrew and Kobe, who else showed up? The bench was absolutely nonexistent. The “Killer B’s” looked like the Killer Fleas, Artest couldn’t hit a shot to save his life (he blew an uncontested dunk for God’s sake), and Fisher looked like a fish out of water. The team as a whole looked flat, tired and uninspired; that’s to be expected when you go deep into the playoffs 3 straight years. They peaked too soon and ran out of gas. Not to mention whatever the hell was going on inside the locker room. They had all sorts of problems going into the playoffs that had been building all season long. I believe they became complacent and started to believe that “flip the switch” bs. The level of intensity needed  to compete in the later rounds just wasn’t there. With that being said, to answer your question about future disappearing acts. If it happens, then make him the 3rd option and feed Andrew the ball down low. That’s what they should have done against Dallas instead of continuing to feed Pau hoping he would snap out of his slump. If that doesn’t work then bench him, start LO, and now you still have an All-Star caliber player coming off the bench, who can back up Drew, and stabilize the 2nd unit. Keep in mind that fact that Phil is gone and on his way out the door he took his “Triangle Offense” with  him. They’ll be running an entirely different offense next year. Once they get a legitimate PG, they can run pick & roll like everybody else in the league.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T25GSDTFRBNX6WZGKYBNGHDMRQ Margarite

      Bynum gettig injured is getting old! You may never see him injured again.

    • Poloman77

      Agreed. Pau needs to go.

  • Sophoqyute23

    let us start we our rookies. i know they can give us the solutions in our problem.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T25GSDTFRBNX6WZGKYBNGHDMRQ Margarite

    Bynum is going to be the man! The Lakers getting a point guard will give Bynum the opportunity to expand his game to another level. Derrick Fisher was Kobe’s point guard he never gave Drew the opportunity, he very seldom passed the ball into the paint. With a real point guard you will see Bynum dominate the paint. Judging Bynum game without a point guard is a mistake.People talking about trading Bynum for Howard have no clue what the hell they are talking about. Watch this year when he become the focus of the offense Bynum is going to surprise all you non believers. Howard is good but in the long run Bynum will be a better player

  • http://LakerNation lkrfan

    I agree with you regarding all three players — we need them all, but we need a good point guard; hopefully that doesn’t put any of them at risk. I have a question though; am I crazy or did Mitch not say that the rumors regarding Lamar being offered for a trade were totally untrue? Even so, I’ve read you and other writers still reporting that these offers actually took place.
    Are you saying that Mitch is not being truthful?

  • lawyerguy

    I was one of the first to reject the theory of “blowing this team up” when Magic made that statement after we got swept by the Mavericks, the team that went on to eventually win the Championship. I can see absolutely nothing to be gained by getting rid of Bynum, one of the league’s two true centers; Gasol, the most talented big man in the league; or Odom, arguably the most gifted player in the league who can play all five positions. Yes, we do need a PG who can help at the perimeter defense and upgrade the perimeter shooting, but not at the risk of losing either of the three big men that are being discussed as potential trade bait in this article. And I agree with the comments of an earlier poster here that if Drew is saddled with a PG that can penetrate and dish there’s potential to dominate and help return the purple n gold back to hoisting a few more OBrien Trophies before it’s all said and done.

    • oldmanflow

      I couldn’t have said better myself. That’s exactly the point I was trying to make.

  • trutothebone

    i do not care who gets traded between pau,bynum,or lamar,lakers need to reinstate trevor,and bring dwight and chris paul onboard thats the only way lakers is ever going to win a next championship.i have been a laker fan from inside my mothers womb,i am now 51 years old,i miss majic and kareem days we would have never been humilated so,not no four game sweep,this was a real hurt,i felt so ashamed in front of my coworkers,buss needs to get it right now,and let his goal be to surpass celtics in championship wins.

  • Pudgy21

    @Margarite: Which Andrew do you expect to step up injured Andrew or Elbow Andrew? 5 years is more than enough time to establish yourself as a dominant Center. It usually takes 2 at the most. But being that you haven’t had 1 injury free year, guards tend to shy away from passing the ball to him. Let’s face it we always cringe when its time for him to come back down from a dunk or a rebound. You can almost take bets on what part if the season he will miss. Where Dwight Howard is now is where L.A. was hoping Andrew would end up. You’ll never get there if your team doesn’t trust you. That’s why they play as if he wasn’t there, just getting prepared for the inevitable. Howard to L.A.

  • JOJO

    Now this topic confirms that NOT ALL BASKETBALL FANS understand the game! I don’t know if Tim Harvey was actually able to watch the Lakers-Mavs games or even the last 4 years of the NBA but his assessments suck bigtime. Gasol will never learn to block a Barea shot or even jump higher than 6 inches because he has altophobia… And Odom, maaaaaan… If he has been lazy all his life, are you hoping he will be positively different next season?… But, if Bynum will learn to be healthy until the playoffs, maybe the Lakers will last until the 2nd round… Unless they are able to get Derron and Ariza to play with Kobe and Bynum. That’s gonna be a different story.

    • oldmaflow

      Maybe I missed something, but wasn’t Lamar Odom just named the NBA’s best 6th man. The last time I checked they dodn’t give that award to lazy people. LO would be a starter on any other team in the league, he just happens to be on one that’s loaded with talent. He is by far the most versitile player in the game. How do you call someone capable of playing all 5 positions “lazy?” I certainly hope he doesn’t come back different next season because I would love to see him win it again. While you’re at it, can someone explain to me how you “learn to be healthy.” I understand you can eat right, exercise, and things of that nature but how do you stop someone from falling into your knee, or landing on someones foot and dislocating your kneecap. Karl Malone missed a total of 4 games his entire career before joining the Lakers and even he got hurt. Sh!t happens, it’s the nature of the game. Maybe you’re right, NOT ALL BASKETBALL FANS understand the game!

  • J

    Firstly…”tandem” refers to a pair. He keeps referring to the “tandem” of Bynum, Gasol and Odom.

    Second, Odom the most skilled Laker since Magic?? Um, I think Kobe Bryant might have a word or two to say about that. The most versatile, maybe, but the most skilled, definitely not.

    Thirdly, there seems to be a lot of unnecessary metaphors, cliches, and cliche-sounding-but-aren’t-even-real-cliche sentences here. “Iron men that shouldn’t be considered as dented tins”??? WTF?

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