Lakers Rumors: Trading Pau Gasol for the 3rd Pick in the Draft?

The 2012 NBA Draft officially gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Fri. June 28 and trade rumors continue to swirl around the NBA with some big-name players potentially headed elsewhere as the clock ticks down to zero leading up to the first pick by the New Orleans Hornets.

It’s no surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers continue to be mentioned in trade rumors with Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol at the center of it all. World Peace has been linked to a potential trade that would give the Lakers a late first-round pick in the draft. Talk of the Lakers acquiring one of two players from Baylor in Quincy Miller and Perry Jones III with this pick has started to gain some momentum.

Another possibility that the Lakers might be exploring in the upcoming draft is trading Gasol to the Washington Wizards for the 3rd overall pick via Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com:

“Back to the Lakers. If the Cavs are able to move up and nab Beal at No. 2, there’s talk the Lakers would be willing to make life easy for the Wizards and help them move out of the third spot. It would likely take power forward Pau Gasol. Far-fetched for now, but don’t be surprised if it’s something that’s explored in the right situation.”

As Amico suggests, this trade may be “far-fetched” for the Lakers as it is uncertain if the Wizards are willing to take on Gasol’s large contract or if there is any interest for Washington to make this deal.

Potential targets for the Lakers with the 3rd pick could be any one of the following players:

  • Austin Rivers, Duke
  • John Henson, North Carolina
  • Damian Lillard, Weber State
  • Dion Waiters, Syracuse
  • Andre Drummond, UConn
  • Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
  • Thomas Robinson, Kansas
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
  • Bradley Beal, Florida

Even though this potential trade may be stretch, anything can happen from here on out with the Lakers so limited in terms of free agency with the huge luxury tax to deal with moving forward. It does seem as though the Lakers’ front office is trying to make something happen before or on draft day in order to clear some cap space and acquire younger players. It’ll be interesting to see if any moves are made by Los Angeles in the coming days.

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