Lakers Nation Roundtable: Should the Lakers Trade Pau Gasol?

Lakers Nation Roundtable: Should the Lakers Trade Pau Gasol?


This week’s Lakers Nation roundtable is short and sweet, but anything but simple: should the Lakers trade Pau Gasol? It’s been a hot topic lately, so we had our writers give their take on the topic.

Elizabeth Benson (@Gobibs): The trade talk surrounding Pau Gasol has been rampant for the last season and has picked up steam this year. To put it simply, I do not think the Lakers should trade Gasol right now. First, in my opinion there are no realistic options out there in the market that hold equal trade value for Pau. Gasol is a solid shooter and remarkable passer for a big. Second, for the past couple of games, I have seen adjustments made by Mike D’Antoni to the rotation and to roles that have been productive. This is essential in my mind to get Pau more touches in the low post, where he is best.

These continued adjustments may take a little time to fully kick in since for almost a year and a half, former Laker coach Mike Brown moved Pau away from the basket, forcing him into a primarily mid-range shooter. Pau is capable from mid-range, but it’s not beneficial for him or the team for the long-term if he sets up shop at the perimeter. Third, I do not want to see Gasol traded from the Lakers until Steve Nash returns and they have some real playing time together. I think it is wise to wait and see what the Nash/Gasol combination can do together and how their play affects the team’s play. Therefore, I believe a Pau trade at this point is just too premature. Personally, I believe a more clear answer would appear near the trade deadline.

Daniel Mulitauopele (@DMuli08): Pau’s struggles have always been, to my understanding, mental. For someone who was once slated to be a doctor, it isn’t a reach to say that Pau might be an overthinker. And overthinking can spell doom in a game that centers on rhythm, timing, and aggressiveness. I don’t doubt that Pau is still a world-class baller, and I think his teammates believe the same. Adding in another unknown in a bag full of them doesn’t seem wise to me at this time. I think that when things become more stable, Pau’s already overactive mind will calm down a bit and let him just ball.

Jabari Davis (@LA_SportsTalk): My first instinct is to mention the absence of Steve Nash. Gasol, of all players, would benefit from the play-making ability of Nash. That said, the mix of players still has a “square peg, round hole” feeling now that Mike D’Antoni’s philosophy is being introduced. Due to his system’s absolute necessity for athletic/quick shooters at multiple positions, (then) Yes. I know it sounds a bit harsh and maybe even somewhat heartless, but I assure you it does not come without a heavy heart.

If you’ve followed my articles you know I have been the leader of the “use Pau properly” pack. I faulted the system(s) Mike Brown attempted to run. In walks Coach D’Antoni, and we were introduced to another system Gasol simply does not fit within. Let me be clear, Pau Gasol has been a fantastic part of the second half of Kobe Bryant’s career. My answer should not be taken as forgetting about all Gasol has done for the organization. It’s a matter of taking the next step to not only solidify this current roster’s championship aspirations, but further positioning themselves to be financially and strategically prepared for once Bryant decides to hang the Nike’s up for the last time. While I would much prefer for them to be able to maintain the Bryant/Gasol pairing throughout this run, I realize the current system simply doesn’t fit the parts, and Gasol is still the most viable and valuable trading asset.

Andrew Ungvari (@DrewUnga): The short answer is no and that’s because it isn’t a question of whether or not they should trade Pau but rather what can they get back in return? The perfect player would be someone who can do the things that Pau is being asked to do but hasn’t been able to do on a consistent basis, namely knocking down mid-range shots and making defense pay for double and triple-teaming

If it’s not too late.

Dwight. However their options are limited. Power forwards who can knock down 17-footers don’t exactly grow on trees. So if we’re talking about getting back Chris Bosh or David West, of course I’d be okay with trading Pau. But there’s a better chance of me suiting up for the Lakers this season than either of them. But If we’re talking about a knucklehead like Josh Smith or the oft-injured Amar’e Stoudemire then I say no way.

The bottom line is this team’s number one priority is winning a championship this season and next. I can’t see them making any kind of deal that could blow up in their face. It would have to be a deal that is practically guaranteed to make them better and presents very little risk. This is another instance where Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss should only make a move that makes them better and maintains flexibility post-Kobe. The Lakers will never trade Kobe. They have no plans to trade Dwight Howard or Steve Nash. They only have a couple first-round picks between now and 2019. That means Pau is really the only decent trade chip they have and sometimes the best trades teams make are the ones that don’t happen.
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): Well, this is an easy one for me as I recently wrote an in-depth article on why the Lakers should not trade Pau Gasol. Essentially, Gasol’s game isn’t exactly fit for Mike D’Antoni’s fast paced offense. I truly believe had the Lakers hired Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol would be flourishing once again, but the Triangle offense might have hindered Steve Nash. However, I don’t believe that all is lost with Gasol, either.  Right now, Gasol is playing away from the basket and, as Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times noted, is basically stuck on the perimeter delegated to shooting jumpers; which is not his game, either.
Why do I think the Lakers still need him? Because I don’t care how many points you can score by running up and down the floor, you still need a solid half-court game for big games and playoff games where the game slows down a bit. Kobe has an elite skill-set in every aspect of the game, and Pau Gasol has an incredible skill-set in the post—namely in half court sets. Dwight Howard is solid too, but doesn’t possess all of the skills—shooting, facing up, posting up, utilizing both hands, and passing—that Gasol does.
So how can Gasol be effective? First, D’Antoni needs to realize his personnel. He has an older team, and even if they trade Pau for someone faster and more athletic, it won’t be his Phoenix Suns of 2006. Additionally, the greatest exhibition of a run and gun team—the “Showtime” Lakers—featured great athletes, but also featured a slower, older seven-footer in the form of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It can work with a player like that in the lineup (I’m not comparing Gasol to Kareem’s greatness by any stretch, but just their athletic ability).
Therefore, D’Antoni should at least run a couple sets for Pau in the post to let him go to work and get comfortable, while putting Dwight on the perimeter briefly. Once Gasol gets double-teamed, have Dwight cut for an easy basket, or if the double never comes, Pau can easily work one-on-one against almost any defender in the league if he’s in his groove, and/or if not, Dwight will be right there for the offensive board. Secondly, Gasol should face up more, but closer to the basket a la Tim Duncan. Again, I’m not comparing Gasol to Duncan’s greatness, but Duncan is old and slow and is still effective in a somewhat upbeat offense.
At the very least, the Lakers shouldn’t trade Gasol because unless they can get back another skilled seven-footer, they’ll be giving up a lot of size since Dwight Howard is an under-sized Center at 6’11” (although he’s probably closer to 6’10”). Size has been the one constant advantage the Lakers have boasted over the league in recent years, and it has won them championships. Additionally, when Steve Nash returns, perhaps Gasol will be put in better position to make plays and/or score, instead of being delegated to picking and popping far away from the basket.
  • Guest

    You don’ get rid of good/ great players to get “pieces”. You get a coach who knows how to use, make adjustments, and get the best out of the star players you have. Y’all t like “Paus” are easy to come by.

  • logan12th

    You don’ get rid of good/ great players to get “pieces” that fit a system, because systems don’t win championships, talent does. You get a coach who knows how to use, make adjustments, and get the best out of the star players you have. Y’all talk like “Paus” are easy to come by.

    • Marty Susman

      Great player maybe 5 years ago, not now. You might also remember the last Phil Jackson year & he was slow then & has never recovered to the way he was when we got him….

      • John Caygill

        Wrong…Gasol is still a great player. I would have him come off the bench like Odom did or when Howard needs to come out. Gasol is a legitmate 7-footer and he loves the paint…He scores at a high percentage when he is in the post…Didn’t you watch the olympics when Gasol played for
        Spain…Thats where he excels!

      • Daryl Peek

        Wake up man and stop buying into the, make Pau a scapegoat for all the Laker issues. If Pau was so bad now how did he almost single handedly beat the USA all-stars in the olympics just three months ago?

      • Daryl Peek

        Kobe was slow against the Mavs that year, LO, and everyone else on the team also. Phil looked disinterested the whole season.

  • Rasheed

    Daniel Buerge answer is “NO”. Pau stays in L.A!!! Until we find better deal for Lakers!
    Solution: He is little slow, soft, and old now. Coach should limit his minutes for him or make an offense where he is utilized to his potentials. Sitting one of the best player in the game on the bench is a worst thing a coach can do. If Coach is incompetent in utilizing the players then he doesn’t deserve to be the coach of L.A Lakers.
    If he runs back and forth on the floor without integrating in plays, eventually fatigue factor kicks in. Two things results from this, he will not perform well and also get more frustration fouls. Similar analogy applies to Dwight D12 also.
    I see this two players always struggle when they are not involved in the game. It is coach’s job to utilize the best players in the NBA.

    It is coach Mike D’Antoni’s job to find a way! Just like Pau, Mike D’Antoni is also getting paid $$$ millions of dollars to Coach!
    Lakers have plenty of talent.
    Don’t find a way scapegoating Pau if Lakers don’t perform well.

    Any new addition to Lakers minus Pau would still be the same issue.
    Coaching!!! Coaching!!! Coaching!!!
    Coach have to come up with a plan to work things out and he should not try to run away from problem.
    Also, Nash (the coach) is still out from the game. Let him come back and see how Lakers roll.
    Don’t blame the players in this case, you can only blame the Coach.
    Lakers are loaded; they just need a better coach who can utilize all players to their best potentials.

    Another underlying issue which people don’t discuss is:
    Should Kobe focus on MVP ladder? Or Should Kobe focus on 6th ring?
    Unfortunately, he cannot have both. If he tries to go for MVP ladder he will be hurting his team by jacking up too many shots, rhythm goes out. Turnovers, fast breaks, chemistry issues develop. Although his initial percentage looks good but it will not be same by the end of the season, it is likely to go down. (Even if he tries to go for MVP, I am not sure he will make it by the end of the year because of other young talented players like KD, James and others…)

    At present logic says Kobe will not be getting MVP (It can change if he plays team game, his game will become easier and he will rise in the MVP ladder). So what is left for Kobe to focus on? Simple, 6th ring. How is that possible? Simple, by involving his team mates in the game.
    He has matured and taking high percentage shots and he only tries to take over when teammates struggle. This is a positive sign so far in the season. I hope Kobe make wiser decisions as time goes on.
    It is all up to KOBE!!! What Kobe wants?

  • Alex

    this bullshit men stop this stupid trade rumors and let the guy play.. once we loose couple of games we get this heating point; we have to fire this coach, no we have to trade this player. Let the team f****** bond together. quiet frankly in disappointing in LN 4 posting this rumors. I love Pau Gasol its sad to see him getting this rumors again. STOP!!! We Laker Fans have to give Pau some confidence and appreciation, because every human needs to here that there doing good and there appreciated, The guy has done more then enough 4 us 2 Championships. SO LETS CHEER PAU ON! NOT BRAKE HIM!

  • Guest

    LN is a shit starter im not coming back

  • Kin Al

    hmmm let’s trade pau gasol for andrew bynum…hahahahah

  • dynamic.swami

    They should trade Pau Gasol, regardless how talented he is. He doesn’t fit well in the court with Dwight Howard hogging the post. Yes, they won’t get equal value (they never will) but just look at the James Harden deal (OKC arguably got the less talent but Kevin Martin fits well in OKC, and OKC is still a powerhouse team without Harden). IMO, they should get Andrea Bargnani in exchange for Pau Gasol. Andrea Bargnani, Landry Fields, Linas Klieza for Pau Gasol, David Ebanks, Darius Johnson-Odom. (this theoretically works after Dec.15, 2012 and if David Ebanks agrees on this trade due to his Early Bird Rights). This will benefit Toronto greatly since they unload Fields’ disastrous contract and got Pau in exchange for Bargnani. Bargnani will thrive in D’Antoni’s offense since he doesn’t have to rebound the ball, be a spacing 4 and shoot the lights out on 3-pointers and this also will benefit LAs bench since Klieza, Fields have average 3-pointers though defense will be a problem but since Howard is at their back and protecting the rim, it won’t be an issue.

  • Bean24

    Well said!!!…dont trade PAY!!

  • honestly

    pau is sucking this year coz his knees r done IN MY OPINION.. he’s slow, teams target him, and he cant jump anymore… we’ll still b able to beat average teams with him but if we’re going against OKC then we’ll need to move him. having nash in there against OKC or the spurs is bad enough but to have a 7 footer who feels pain everytime he jumps is just too much. better trade him now b4 his arthritis gets worse and become chronic… arthritis also ended Steve Francis’s career who was one of THE most athletic PGs in league history

  • ATL One

    Dr. Rasheed Syed, you and you’re postings are just like your picture…GAY!

    • Rasheed

      Why you don’t directly reply to me, instead of posting like this.
      You are lucky I was able to read this message, otherwise, I would have missed it.
      Thanks for reading my post(s)…why are you taking me seriously? If Lakers do good I write good. If something goes wrong I write bad. I am not a Lakersnation writer.
      You are the only one so far who seems to have problem with me! Other don’t seem to have problem with me.
      I am sorry to disappoint you…I didn’t intend to write the post for you specifically in my mind.
      Next time, I’ll consider writing one liner.
      I have nothing against Gay people but in your case your name says “Alternate One”: Indirectly it is suggesting you are not man, you are alternate, Gay…

  • RealLakerFan

    I dont think most of you are looking at this from a business point of view. Bottom line is gasol isnt the same player. Us laker fans love and appreciate Gasol, but you cannot ridicule the fans who see the big picture that apparently laker management sees as well. 14 & 10 and absolutely no defense is not worth $20 million a year especially with a looming luxury tax. His presence is not felt half as much as it used to be and if the money was coming out of your pocket I guarantee you would take this into account. Of course you dont trade talent for system players. But no other team in the league has FOUR superstars. Miami has 3 and a good mesh of effective role players and young players, lakers have 4 good players 3 of which who are aging and a cast of supporting players you dont know what to expect from night in and night out. You need consistency, and you make a move for Pau while you can before he looses most of or all of his value, and before he might have an injury that turns away all potential suitors. I promise no fan is gonna wanna see $20 million dollars sitting on the bench injured. Gasol does not even go into the post and go to work like he used to or like we would want him to when dwight goes out of the game(kill the bringing him off the bench hopes). He’s the only big on the floor and hes still passive or shooting set shot jumpers. There is a reason nobody will give up equal talent for him(not even knuckehead josh smith), he just isnt the same player and is only going to get older. It would be in the lakers best interest to get younger and more athletic while trading pau for players who better fit Dantoni’s system. Having 4 superstars can be a blessing and a curse..especially when 4 of your starters like and are more effective in the post(metta kobe dwight & pau). If laker fans truly want another ring in LA, we have to stop speaking off emotion and living in the past. The lakers are going to score regardless whether they have pau or not especially with Nash healthy, but defensively and consistency wise is where they desperately need improvement. That is the difference between a Ring and a deep playoff run.

  • Hierophant

    Lakers should not get rid of Pau Gasol. He’s an exceptional forward who is consistently pretty good. Although he’s not the biggest or most intimidating player, he still provides lots of production in the low post. Gasol provides a deeper depth that the Lakers need. They should really shop for more point guards. Isiah Thomas from Sacramento would be a great addition. Sacramento has a log jam of point guards that the Lakers could utilize. Have fun shopping!