Context: This week there has been some talk of a potential trade between the Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers centering around former Lakers center Andrew Bynum, and current Lakers center Pau Gasol.
With Bynum on the trading block (due to unspecified violations), the Lakers have surfaced as one of the primary suitors that would be open to dealing with the Cavaliers.
As of now, trade talks between the two teams have stalled. This does not necessarily mean that the deal is dead, but perhaps it indicates that the Cavaliers are going to look at other options to see what other teams are offering.
The Cavaliers would like to get a deal done by no later than January 7th, as Bynum’s contract would then become guaranteed.
Because the deadline is so sudden, a case can be made that the Lakers could be rushing a deal, and aren’t maximizing the value they can get from Pau Gasol.
Ultimately this lead us at Lakers Nation to ask this question: is A Gasol-Bynum swap the right move?
Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on whether they thought a Bynum-Gasol swap would be appropriate.
I presented the poll question:
Hey Lakers fans, do you think a Gasol-Bynum swap is the right thing for the Lakers to do? #LakersDebate
— Ry (@JustRyCole) January 2, 2014
Here are some of the responses:
@JustRyCole Yes but only if the Lakers get an asset or two in return.
— Ryan Kelapire (@RyanKelapire) January 2, 2014
@JustRyCole Only if it comes with another player/future pick #LakersDebate
— John Ledesma (@JohnnyNBA) January 2, 2014
@JustRyCole Not a fan, but it has to involve picks or an asset. If that all comes together, then yes… make it happen.
— Joseph Duruaku (@RealJoeDuruaku) January 2, 2014
Reports indicate that if the Lakers were to complete a successful trade with Cleveland, Andrew Bynum would be released, as that would allow the franchise to save up to $20-million dollars in cap space.
It’s understandable why the front office would want to cut costs. This team is in no position to contend, so why have a payroll that would indicate otherwise? However, Pau Gasol is not just a player that you simply ship off. This is something the front office will have to come to terms with.
Gasol has an expiring contract worth roughly $19.3-million dollars, and still holds value as a veteran big man with a unique skill-set. If the Lakers are going to trade him, they should make it a priority of theirs to bring in some valuable assets in return. They aren’t doing that with this deal.
Even in an underwhelming season, Gasol can be of good use to any NBA team he’s on. The last thing the Lakers need to do is jump to get something done just for the sake of it. It wouldn’t be smart and could impact this team in the long run.
By bringing in Bynum (just to release him), along with a throw-in, the Lakers aren’t maximizing Gasol’s worth. Cleveland might be hesitant to give up a draft pick, or a young asset, so it’s important that the Lakers don’t rush to get something done, even if it saves cap space.
On other the hand, if the Lakers can bring in a young player that has potential, along with a draft pick, this could be a deal that jumpstarts a rebuilding process for the future.
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