Now that the NBA off-season has officially begun for the Los Angeles Lakers, the rumors are starting to circulate in the City of Angels with superstars Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum potentially on the trading block once again for the Lakers.
Even though there is a chance that Bynum could get dealt before next season, Gasol is the more likely of the two star big men to get shipped out. One of the main reasons that the Lakers might have finally had enough of the Spanish forward is the lack of toughness and ability to play with some physicality in the paint.
Ever since the loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals back in 2008, Gasol has had trouble playing physically on a regular basis. Gasol has proven his doubters wrong with some strong physical play at times, but he’s been extremely inconsistent playing at that level and his time in L.A. may very well be over because of the inconsistency.
Apparently, Lakers coach Mike Brown is growing tired of the lack of physical play in the frontcourt and might like to add a big man with a playing style compared to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins according to Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register:
“He is like the heart and soul. He’ll start behind you (on defense), he’ll push you out, he’ll get out front, he’ll root you out, he does it on every flipping possession. What he is basically is the right offensive guard. Durant is the quarterback, Westbrook the running back, James Harden the receiver. But what Perk brings to the table, you can’t replace.”
It’s hard to argue with Brown on the Lakers’ lack of a player with a mindset like Perkins. With that being said, a priority this summer may be upgrading the frontcourt with player that won’t back down or let physical play take them out of the game.
There’s no doubt that the Lakers’ front office are already planning big moves with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak saying that changes will be made in the offseason. It is uncertain at this point in time how drastic the changes will be, but if last off-season is any indication of how far they’re willing to go then a blockbuster trade is almost certainly on the horizon.