The Pau Gasol trade rumors have been going on for the last year or so, but with Gasol a poor fit in new coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the rumors are getting very hot. The Lakers are playing well as of late, but that does not change the fact that Gasol is a bad fit for the team. The Raptors have long been rumored to be interested in Gasol and the Raptors have a lot of pieces that could entice the Lakers to moving their All-Star big man.
Mike D’Antoni’s system is best when it includes a sweet shooting power forward and the Raptors happen to have one of the better ones in the NBA, in Andrea Bargnani, who they are very willing to move. Bargnani has played center most of his career, but is simply a power forward, who has been playing out of position and although he has his weaknesses (rebounding, defense), he is the perfect player for their system. The Raptors on the other-hand are desperate for inside scoring and have needed a go-to post player since Chris Bosh left. So a trade is possible.
Bargnani is nowhere near good enough for the Lakers to trade Gasol for him straight up, but as previously stated, they have other pieces that could sweeten the deal. The Lakers have multiple needs, youth, athleticism, perimeter scoring and bench scoring in general and the Raptors have enough of those pieces to get a deal done. The Raptors’ first round pick (8th overall) this year, Terrence Ross could be thrown into the deal. Ross is a great athlete, shooter and scorer and the Lakers have absolutely nothing behind Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace on the perimeter. Ross could be a fantastic long-term fit with the Lakers, starting off on the bench, but hopefully working his way into the starting lineup in the next few years. He has great offensive potential and would look great in Los Angeles. Seriously, when is the last time the Lakers had a young player of his caliber? Or even a lottery pick? If the Raptors were to throw in John Lucas, whose streaky scoring and sparkplug energy would also help the Lakers’ horrid bench, the Lakers would have to consider it, especially if the Lakers were able to dump one of their poor contracts. So here is the trade, in all of it’s glory, that could help both teams move forward and would give both teams exactly what they need to improve their rosters.
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Andrea Bargnani, Terrence Ross and John Lucas III
Toronto Raptors Receive: Pau Gasol and Chris Duhon