When the Lakers pulled off the trade that sent Gasol to Los Angeles for practically nothing, the Memphis Grizzlies were in an entirely different place. They wanted to trade Gasol to completely revamp the team, get younger, and clear some cap space. At this point in time, teams aren’t so inclined to want to give up anyone of value, and if they are, I’m sure their first thought isn’t going to be, “hey, how about we let this player fall on the lap of the team that’s one two of the last three NBA titles!”
Face it. Nobody is going to give the Lakers an impact player for nothing.
To start the season, it was all about Dwight Howard. As Andrew Bynum continues to progress on both ends of the floor, and the Lakers offense has become stagnant on a variety of occasions, all focus is now on acquiring a point guard.
Enter Rajon Rondo.
Now, I’m sure it all sounds nice in theory, Rondo is very good at what he does and if he were able to shoot consistently well, the Celtics may not even have him on the trading block, but in practice it could backfire on the Lakers. There are plenty of reasons why the Lakers shouldn’t pull the trigger on this trade. You could get traditional; you never want to trade big for small. Perhaps maybe a little analytical; the greatest percentage of baskets are made within three feet of the basket and not mid-range. Yes, I realize Rondo is great at weaving into the seams and into the painted area, but then again, he usually kicks the ball out to a jump shooter for the presumed assist. News flash, the Lakers have two consistent jump shooters. One named Kobe Bryant, and the other Pau Gasol, who of coarse you’ve already traded.
Then there’s the last; nix it on a hunch. Look, the Celtics are still the Celtics, and Danny Ainge is still the guy that waved a white towel in front of J.J. Hickson’s face in 2010 when the Celtics took on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. You can’t trust the guy. Even in the business of basketball, a little skepticism couldn’t hurt. We’ve heard the stories about Rondo being a prima donna, so why put yet another complex personality on Mike Brown’s plate?
Perhaps the safer move would be to add a decent point guard, say a Ramon Sessions or Raymond Felton, to compliment the Lakers as they are. While that doesn’t quite give the Lakers the depth they so desperately need to remain consistent, it’s not going to cost them much to find out. This late into the season, however, integrating another player into the already dysfunctional Lakers offense, could just derail the progress Mike Brown’s steady rotation, after he meticulously tinkered with it all season long.
After you’ve considered all possible trade scenarios, and go ahead and assume that Howard is still in the conversation if delusion is your thing, there’s not a single trade that makes the Lakers the hands-down favorite to win it all in June (or wait is it July?).
Next Page: What adjustments do the Lakers, Mike Brown have to make?