The trade rumors continue to circulate around the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers supposedly dangling Pau Gasol once again in order to find a better fit at the power forward position for Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system.
The ideal fit for this position would be a forward that can stretch the defense with an ability to consistently be a force from beyond the arc. Reportedly, one player that continues to get mentioned as a potential candidate for the Lakers in a trade scenario with Gasol is Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets according to Mitch Lawrence of NyDailyNews.com:
The name that keeps coming up for the Lakers is Ryan Anderson, the Hornets’ long-distance shooter who was once a Net and later played for three seasons with Howard in Orlando. He’d be perfect. But first, they want to see if Nash can jump-start Gasol.
The current Lakers squad has yet to reach its true potential with Steve Nash yet to make his return to the floor after suffering a leg fracture in the second game of the year. Without Nash running the show at the point guard position, there’s no telling if Gasol is truly the right fit as the team’s starting power forward.
If Gasol continues to struggle in D’Antoni’s system even after the return of Nash, there’s a good chance the Lakers’ front office will pursue a trade for Anderson or a player with a similar skillset.
Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks has been tied to the Lakers as of late with talk of a potential swap for Gasol. This trade rumor has since been refuted with no talks between the two teams taking place. Amar’e’s contract is enough to discredit the rumor with the Lakers not looking to take on the enormous salary remaining.
Anderson is an intriguing option on the other hand at 24-years old with a deal that is comparable to Gasol’s, but with three more years on his contract opposed to one remaining on Gasol’s deal. Anderson is owed $8.3 million next season, $8.4 in 2013-14 and $8.5 the in the final year of his contract.
The reigning NBA’s Most Improved Player is coming off a career year with 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc for the Orlando Magic.
In 15 games for the Hornets thus far, Anderson is already making an impression with career-high numbers across the board shooting 42 percent from deep while averaging 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.