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: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:37 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

How'd I wish Lakers get rid of Bynum, Artest, Barnes, Walton and Fisher.....these are garbage players. lol....sorry if i hurt some fans but i'd like to see dwight and CP3 in the Lakers rooster.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:15 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Your opinion would be wrong as you're a laker fan and over value your own players like all fans including myself do. Would you tell me i was an idiot if i said this article is legit and it was reporting that noah, deng, gibson and a pick were going to the magic for howard? Probably and thats a better offer than what the lakers could put togeather. Trust me I'm a bulls fan and the bulls think Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are going to land them the second coming of Jesus (Just kidding thats obviously Tim Tebow). Bynum hasn't played in more than 65 in a season any of the last 4 years and Odom (32)/Gasol (31)are not what a team wants in return for a superstar like howard or paul. If the Lakers were able to get either with that offer it would be the NBA working their magic to get a superstar in LA (don't get me wrong I'm not excluding the bulls from this as the 1.7% chance that landed the D.Rose was quite interesting as well). Bottom line is, if the clippers made an offer with picks, eric gordon, deandre jordan and so on for howard/paul, that deal gets done over anything the lakers can offer in a heart beat. If paul/howard get to free agency that's a whole different story

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:13 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

considering u already have derrick rose thats an assanine statement typical cubs fan

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:08 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

I say Make the Deal at least we'll be in better shape than the Cavs
It's more likely the best deal they get for Paul, I rather see Paul play for the Bulls then anyone else

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:41 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

You better not be teasing me Mr. Golliver.

BTW Slammin6 those lethargic bigs your talking about have 2 rings each. IMHO they could be essential peices to another teams hopes of making a run at the championship. Chris Paul and the Hornets have no chance as it is right now and The Hornets would be even worse off if Paul left and they didn't trade him while they could.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:31 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

U made me lolz

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:12 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

Typical NBA scam job of Lakers offering lethargic "big" men for a real good point guard.  NBA sucks!

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:56 pm

Lakers talking Gasol or Bynum for Chris Paul?

I say Make the Deal at least we'll be in better shape than the Cavs

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