Other than Dwight Howard, Lakers forward Pau Gasol has probably dealt with more trade rumors this season than anyone else in the NBA. After being traded to the Houston Rockets back in December (before having the deal nixed by the league), Gasol has been the centerpiece of seemingly dozens of proposed trades.
The latest involves Gasol ending up in Minneapolis as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Some of you may remember earlier this season when Gasol and the Timberwolves were linked together in a possible deal involving Minnesota forward Kevin Love. However, after Love signed a four-year, $60 million extension with Minnesota all trade rumors instantly vanished.
Now it looks as if the Timberwolves are trying to lure Gasol away from the Lakers with another piece of trade bait – Derrick Williams. The rookie forward out of Arizona was the second overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, and has a history with the Southern California region.
According to Fox Sports’ Chris Tomasson, Minnesota is still looking to add another strong forward to their roster, and Gasol could serve two purposes with the Timberwolves.
In other news involving NBA big men, a source said Wednesday that Minnesota continues to pursue a possible trade for Lakers forward Pau Gasol, dangling rookie Derrick Williams, who is from the Los Angeles area, and draft choices. The only players considered untouchable by the Timberwolves, who are seeking to add a veteran by the trade deadline, are Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves believe it could be enticing for Gasol to play on the same team as fellow Spaniard Rubio.
Obviously this is just speculation right now, but it seems to be another trade that wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Lakers. Williams is a strong young player and has a bright future ahead of him, but getting younger isn’t really the Lakers’ biggest problem right now – especially at power forward.
The truth is, the Lakers have a team that is built to win over the next two years, maybe three depending on the health of Kobe Bryant. Why would they sacrifice their second best offensive threat in an attempt to get younger? By doing so, they would practically be mortgaging the remaining years of Bryant’s productivity.
This would be a very surprising trade if it indeed went down. The Lakers may get good value in return for Gasol with Williams and some draft picks, but that isn’t necessarily the move they need to make right now.