Blog Entry

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 5:51 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-cp3

As NBA teams race to spend their Mid-Level Exceptions on the likes of Kwame Brown, Jeff Foster and Samuel Dalembert in free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers lay back in the cut, holding two of the league's premier big men -- Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum -- on their roster. Both players have questions about their long-term fit in L.A. and both ended their 2010-2011 seasons in disappointing fashion. Add up the ever-present demand for quality big men and the Lakers' surplus of potentially ill-fitting low-post parts and it's a recipe for trade rumors galore.

Indeed, Yahoo Sports reports that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, who is eligible to sign an extension this season but reportedly desires a new team and/or bigger stage, has been the subject of recent conversation between the Lakers and the Hornets involving Gasol or Bynum. 
The Lakers and Hornets talked several days ago, league sources told Yahoo! Sports, but it was one of those circuitous conversations that left the sides unclear what it would take to get a deal done, and the talk ended with no formal offers. The Lakers and Hornets expect to speak again this week, sources said. The prospect of Pau Gasol as the primary player going to the Hornets won’t be acceptable, sources said. The Lakers will ultimately be willing to let New Orleans pick its player in the deal – Bynum or Gasol – but New Orleans is determined to get quality, and quantity, in a deal.

Bynum has privately been heard to say this offseason that he wants his own team, and the chances of him getting that – in New Orleans or Orlando – have never been higher. Years ago, Kobe Bryant wanted Bynum moved for Jason Kidd, but Bryant’s been insistent all summer that he still believes in this core, isn’t interested in wholesale change.
The Hornets face the prospect of rebuilding their entire roster from zero should Paul eventually communicate that he wants out and if former All-Star forward David West signs elsewhere in free agency. If you're the Hornets and you're aiming for a slash-and-burn rebuild, you want to shed center Emeka Okafor's 8-figure contract that potentially runs through 2013-2014 in any Paul trade, and the Lakers have a handy piece in facilitating that thanks to forward Lamar Odom, whose contract is only fully guaranteed through this year.

Emerging from the Chris Paul fracas with Gasol locked in through 2013-2014 or Bynum through 2012-2013, a chance to re-sign Odom, loads of cap space to build a roster and whatever other tertiary trade pieces L.A. can scrounge up (money, future draft picks, etc.) wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for New Orleans. Not by a long shot. The preference is probably for Gasol, despite the fact that he's 31, but either player gives you a platform to build around. Other potential suitors -- particularly the New York Knicks -- can't make an offer that's even in the vicinity. As for Gasol not being enough as the centerpiece? Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams both moved last year without anyone nearly as good as Gasol being part of the return package. Once that leverage kicks in, demands crumble.

Meanwhile, for Los Angeles, it would mean better roster balance, more room for the remaining big man to breathe and a dynamic playmaking point guard to extend the career of All-Star guard Kobe Bryant. It would amount to a gigantic upgrade at the position of greatest need while taking a step back at the position of greatest depth. If included, Okafor would be one of the best reserve big men off the bench or could be flipped in another deal. For roster chemistry reasons, the Lakers probably want to ditch Bynum instead of Gasol, although contractually he is a better value as long as his knee issues don't recur. Parting with either one is a no-brainer if it Nets Paul in return.

The Lakers are built and paid to win now, and Paul brings that promise to any team he plays on, especially one that's already as loaded as the Lakers are. If there's a risk, it's that both Paul and Bryant have issues with their knees, but pairing two of the game's top-8 players, not to mention elite competitors and most marketable faces, would make this a risk well worth taking.

The Hornets should slow play this so as to maximize the total package for Paul. But the main pieces are there: a centerpiece player in return, financial relief and the odds and ends that go into dealing with a team as loaded as the Lakers (picks, millions in cash, etc.). It's difficult to imagine that another team can make as compelling of an offer without totally demolishing their team's core or identity. Swing a trade like this, and the Lakers as potential contenders don't skip a beat, at least for the next two or three seasons.

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Coaching has been a problem for the Lakers since Phil Jackson retuned. All Jackson did was ride the bench and grin or grimace and let the boys play. Hardly ever did Phil call a strategic timeout or bench an unproductive player. Case in point; Derek Fisher is one of the oldest, slowest point guards in the NBA and should have came off of bench except in the playoffs. Instead, he gets beat on defense over and over all season long while averaging around 3 - 4 assists.

Bring in new blood and shed everyone it takes to get it. Odom, Bynum and Gosol are average at best without Kobe hitting the game winners. Last season Kobe missed a lot of game winners as the Lakers were blasted by Dallas.

As for Mike Brown, the Lakers had to hire someone Kobe accepted because the divas rule the NBA. Brown can do no worse than Phil unless he acutally gets involved in the game flow. Loser Lebron had to blame someone for his failure to lead so Brown took the heat.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:21 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Doesn't matter who the Lakers try to get because the issue will be whether or not Mike Brown can up his coaching ! He arguably had the league's best player in Cleveland and couldn't git r done plus I can since Kobe and Brown having spats on the sidelines then Kobe will whisper to Magic and boom Brown is out !

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:37 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Ge it done CP3 and DH12 is on top of my wishing list.

Since: Jan 2, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:29 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Andrew Bynum, Morris and 2012 and 2013 1st round picks to Hornets for Chris Paul and Okafor. Then, Pau Gasol &  Lamar Odom to Magic for Dwight Howard. This way if you have to take on a bad contract let it be someone (Okafor) capable of taking up space and cleaning the glass while your young stud center rests on the bench. Also, ship the 2 players that stay on the court to the East and the fragile one to the West...just sayin'.

    Please don't take on the contract of Hedo just because he made 41% of the treys in 2011.  Sign Jason Capuno to jack the rock off the bench and ask Barnes to cover his and Fisher/Blake's man too. At the time the bench hits the floor it would be to protect the lead, not try and get one.

    Then, go sign a FA  defensive minded PF/C who is capable of scoring in the post, but is in the lineup to clean the glass and set the picks for the scorers on the floor. Okafor can still rake the boards and play above-average defense. That alone is better than Gasol replacing Bynum in the post where his defense is as vanilla soft as his skin.

    Alas, the dream team is assembled and the ball is in Miami's court where the King must take notice. Riley will counter any Laker movement, but if Tinsletown acts swiftly the Heat will feel the effects of the  changing tide on the opposite coast. Check out projected "Lateshow" lineup:

  1. Howard-C
  2. Okafor-PF
  3. MWPeace-SF
  4. Black Mamba-SG
  5. CP3-PG

      1. FA-C
      2. Caracter-PF
      3. Eubanks-SF
      4. Barnes-SG
      5. Fisher/Blake-PG

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:00 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

You dont leave the Lakers to go to the Knicks.  Assuming Paul got there, he would never leave.  Thats why Kobe is in no rush to leave, Magic stayed, and stars came from all over to be on the A list.

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:26 am

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

If you don't think that Paul is not going to sign a contract extension in La then you havent been watching basketball for the last 30 years.

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:19 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Jim Buss has some weird man love thing for Bynum so he's not going anywhere.  He has many flaws, his attitude, health, shot making ability, toughness......I have no idea what JB sees in him I think is overrated as a big man.  Gasol will be the one to go in a trade, Gasol has his issues too; too soft, chokes in the big game.  CP3 would do great in LA, he and Kobe make for a great pairing and set up LA for a championship run.  I just hope the Lakers do not have to give up much other than Gasol for an aging CP3.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:52 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

chris paul has it made go to the lakers for a half season try to win a championship with mike brown on the bench . Then bounce to the knicks in the offseason play on the new dream team. I hope the lakers are smart enough to get a commitment from him.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:24 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

I know you think Paul is going to the Knicks...and if Paul could get his choice he'd want to go there.  However, New Orleans controls Paul's contract and they don't want Paul to leave them for free agency empty handed.  NY just doesn't have the pieces to offer New Orleans enough in a trade for Paul.  That's why the Lakers make the most sense.  New Orleans can get Bynum in a trade and still be respectable and possibly make the playoffs.  The Lakers are in the drivers seat for Paul or Howard because they can dangle Bynum in a trade offer.  NY's got nothing to dangle because they want to keep Melo and Amare together.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:22 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

I wouldn't trade Paul for both of those guys and a first round pick.  They are both flawed.

Cav4life:  Your comment is correct.  I am a Laker fan and I see flaws in both Gasol and Bynum.  Still, the league's general managers and coaches are in love with seven footers.  Both Gasol and Bynum are skilled and will be recruited by most NBA teams.  Paul on the other hand is a superstar.  If he ends up in the purple and gold with KB24 they will be a tough pair to match up with.  However, personally, I don't see anything like this happening. 

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