As the March 15th NBA trade deadline quickly approaches, many fans of the association are expecting a blockbuster trade from the Los Angeles Lakers.
While most Lakers fans agree that the team needs new talent running at the point guard position, is it really worth it and necessary to part out one of the big men to get one?
With Andrew Bynum emerging into an All-Star this season and quickly becoming the go to big man on offense, the Lakers other big man, Pau Gasol, looks to be the odd man on his way out.
Previously included in a controversially vetoed trade this off-season that would have landed All-Star guard Chris Paul on the Lakers, Gasol has been rumored in many trade scenarios for much of the season since then. Most intriguing of these rumored trade scenarios include either the Lakers receiving: Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics or both Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Gasol.
Although Gasol has been the hot topic of many trade rumors surrounding the Lakers this season, the Spaniard is quietly putting together a great season. Averaging 16.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season, Gasol is still putting up numbers as arguably the third option on offense.
Along with Gasol’s respectable production this season, Pau has also been very professional and loyal to the Lakers even after they tried to trade him.
After Kobe publicly stated a couple weeks ago that he wants Gasol to remain a Laker, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Gasol wishes to remain one also.
So, we got March 15th, the [trade] deadline,” Gasol said as he made his way to the team bus after the game when reporters caught up to him to pass along Bryant’s remarks. “That’s what I’m thinking [about]. Hopefully we get to that day [without a trade]. Obviously if something was told to me before, it would be good, but I’m not trying to force things. I’m not trying to force a team, ‘If they want to trade me, trade me tomorrow.’ Because obviously I still believe in our team, I believe in our city and I believe that we can continue to be a special, special team and a successful team.
Since joining the team back in 2008, Gasol has brought only good things to the city of Los Angeles. After three straight NBA Final appearances along with back-to-back NBA Championships in his first four years with the team, Gasol has undoubtedly help put the Lakers back on top as one the NBA’s elite teams in recent years.
But like every professional sports league, the NBA is a business and the Lakers must do what’s best for the team.
With the hiring of Mike Brown as head coach this past summer, along with the NBA shifting to more guard play as of late; the Lakers desperately need a point guard to fit this system. But is trading Gasol the answer?
If the Lakers do in fact decide to deal Gasol for a guard before the deadline, they will have to be getting elite talent in return. The Lakers, without Gasol, will not only be losing a very skilled low-post player, but would also be essentially giving up their height advantage and opening up yet another hole to be filled.
While it is hard to say if the Lakers actually need a major change or just a minor tweak, they could definitely use some kind of help. With so much uncertainty surrounding the team, one thing is certain – with Bryant now at age 33, the time is now for the Lakers to make their run. The only question is, will Gasol be a part of this run?