The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the more aggressive teams in free agency and rightfully so as the 2020-21 season features several title contenders who will look to dethrone the reigning champions.
Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka was able to infuse the roster with youth and talent after trading for Dennis Schroder and agreeing to deals with Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Pelinka also managed to find a suitable replacement for Danny Green after coming to terms with Wes Matthews on one-year deal.
The loss of Dwight Howard to the Philadelphia 76ers left a hole in the middle of the paint and the Lakers cannot expect Anthony Davis to man the center position for the majority of the season. However, Marc Gasol has emerged as an option for Los Angeles and they appear to be in a strong position to sign him, but may need to make a more attractive offer than just the minimum.
In order to do so, JaVale McGee’s salary would need to go out in a trade and according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, it appears the New York Knicks could be open to a deal:
The Knicks have emerged as a potential trade partner for the Lakers in a JaVale McGee deal, league sources say, as LA explores its various options
If talks progress, New York would surely require at least one additional asset from the Lakers to take McGee into salary-cap space
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 22, 2020
The Knicks are in the midst of a rebuild and with ample cap space could be a dumping ground for unwanted salaries. Because McGee is an expiring deal, it should not take too much to send him to New York and the cost would be something along the lines of a second-round pick.
Should a trade be made, Pelinka can then offer Gasol a salary at around $4 million and a legitimate chance to chase another ring. Landing the Spaniard would go a long way in helping the purple and gold repeat.
How Gasol would fit with the Lakers
While not quite the same player he used to be, Gasol is an intelligent player who is a stout post and help defender. While he does not possess the same athleticism Howard has, he is well-positioned at all times and rarely makes mistakes.
Offensively he is a legitimate outside threat when given space, and would open the floor even more for LeBron James and Davis.
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