The trade speculation surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the NBA off-season is a hot button topic with numerous trade scenarios circulating around the league involving Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Both players have been on the hot seat in Los Angeles over the past few years with superstars Dwight Howard and Chris Paul becoming available via trade.
The consensus as of right now is that Gasol will be the one big-name player on the Lakers traded to another team before next season. One trade target that the Lakers have been rumored to be interested in is elite point guard Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets.
Williams is set to become a free agent if he opts out of the final year of his contract with the Nets. If this happens, the Lakers have been labeled a possible destination for the perennial All-Star in a sign-and-trade that would almost certainly involve Gasol in exchange. The Dallas Mavericks are another likely destination with Williams being at the top of their free agent wish list.
Even though the trade rumors in Los Angeles continue to create a lot of buzz and excitement for next season, Lakers Executive Jim Buss made it clear that the team won’t be pursuing any blockbuster trades in the off-season in an interview with T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times:
No major free-agent signings, no blockbuster trades?
“No,” he says.
Buss also commented about a potential Gasol trade and a change that will be made in order to get the Spanish forward back to form next season:
So you don’t agree with those who say the Lakers must turn Gasol into two or three players via a trade?
“No,” he says. “I think changes are going to be made moving Pau lower to the basket. We can improve that way with a change in coaching strategy rather than a change in personnel.”
At this point in time, the Lakers are going to stand pat with the current roster without any substantial moves being made before heading into the 2012-13 NBA season. Whether or not this stance by Buss and the Lakers’ front office stays this way over the next four months or so remains to be seen.
With seemingly endless trade rumors involving Gasol and potentially Bynum, it’s hard to believe Buss about the Lakers keeping the team intact. After making an attempt at a blockbuster trade for Chris Paul back in December, it seems as though anything is possible and that “no” may very well mean “yes” in the coming months in terms of making substantial moves.