As reported on Saturday, apparently the Lakers are interested in trading Pau Gasol for the Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith.
I, for one, think that would be a terrible move for the Lakers; as would any trade involving the departure of the Spaniard.
Although Gasol hasn’t put up the type of numbers Lakers fans are accustomed to seeing (a season average of 14.0 points on 42.5 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists), Gasol is still an intricate part of the team.
Josh Smith’s numbers (a season average of 15.6 points on 41.3 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists) are also a regression from his previous seasons, which could motivate both teams to make a trade for a fresh start for each player.
Additionally, Smith is considerably younger than Gasol at almost 27 years of age compared with Gasol’s 32 years.
Just a week ago, Gasol’s future never seemed so secure as Phil Jackson was poised to once again take the helm as head coach, with Pau set to once again be a focal point of the Triangle offense.
However, the Lakers did a complete 180 and hired Mike D’Antoni whose fast-paced, run-and-gun style of offense generally requires a certain brand of player.
Gasol doesn’t necessarily fit that brand, and Smith does.
However, I would urge Lakers management to not make a serious mistake by trading away their seven-foot power forward.
Perhaps Smith, or any other athletic power forward would fit the fast-paced offense better and make it look prettier, but it may not be the best option for the team in the long run.
It could be a benefit during the regular season, but what about in the playoffs when the game slows down?
Next Page: The Skill Set