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90'sNBARocked
02-07-2012, 06:53 PM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-2-rondo-for-gasol-a-possiblity


The Los Angeles Lakers lost their second-straight game on Monday night, a late collapse to the Philadelphia 76ers, to drop to 14-11 on the season.

Los Angeles is in the middle of a difficult six-game road trip with stops ahead in Boston, New York and Toronto. While they’re an impressive 11-2 at home, 3-9 away is an issue. The Lakers are just not a good team outside of STAPLES Center.

What’s the solution? Will the return of Steve Blake (rib injury) make the difference? Would a small move catapult the Lakers back to elite status? Is there a big play to make?

General manager Mitch Kupchak may have inadvertently leaked one target to reporter Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.

To the question, what would he like to address before the trade deadline (March 15th), Kupchak answered:


“Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we’d love to do it … but that’s not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it’s better than what you have. That’s all.”

First, a tiny bit of background. Kupchak has a history of being somewhat of a “literal” speaker. He’s not the kind of GM who will flat out lie to media, but rather chose not to answer the question directly or indirectly.

You might call that a “tell.”

One example would be Kupchak mentioning at a season ticket holder event (prior to drafting Andrew Bynum) that there was a high school kid he’d hate to see on another team. Later, he made a similar comment about a 17-year old.

Bynum at the time was the only 17-year-old, high school kid in that class. Kupchak all but spelled it out before the Lakers took him in 2005 NBA Draft.

Applying that logic to the Trudell quote, there is exactly one 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard in the league.

Rajon Rondo.

Note: “ball-handling guard” is triangle-speak for a point guard.

Additionally, sources have told HOOSPWORLD that the Boston Celtics do have interest in Gasol for their All-Star point guard.

The Celtics have the potential for sizable cap room this summer but there is no true sense that Dwight Howard or Deron Williams would be within their reach.

The list of options after the top two stars is not especially impressive. The Celtics have almost no one inside to play next to Kevin Garnett, who is in the last year of his contract.

Jermaine O’Neal still starts for the team but is not exactly high impact and might be the salary ballast to make a Laker/Celtics trade possible. To be fair, Brandon Bass has had a solid year as a Celtic, but Boston is looking for a more significant inside player.

Gasol has two years on his deal after this season which happens to line up when Paul Pierce’s is set to expire.

The Celtics have shopped Rondo on a number of occasions. For a number of reasons, sources say Boston does not intend to rebuild their roster around Rondo.

The drop off from Rajon to second-year player Avery Bradley (a capable defender but not as experienced as a playmaker) may not be as significant to the Celtics as the void in the middle that Gasol would fill.

Boston could consider bringing back veterans Ray Allen and Garnett, while using their remaining spending power to improve at the point. Alternatively, they could renounce the rights to their free agents and come up with at least $11 million in cap space.

But would the rivals swap All-Stars? The two teams have dealt in the past, notably the Gary Payton/Rick Fox/Chris Mihm/Chucky Atkins/etc. trade in 2004.

Would the Lakers go big for small? Didn’t they try to go two bigs for small in December?

Taking Kupchak at his word above, “We’d love to do it.”

When the Lakers parted ways with Phil Jackson, instead of striving for continuity, the organization went in the opposite direction, cutting ties with the coaches, training staff (except institution Gary Vitti) and even Assistant General Manager Ronnie Lester.

If the team truly believed that the postseason letdown against the Dallas Mavericks was based on the fatigue of three-straight trips to the Finals, the Lakers would have hired Brian Shaw to follow Jackson and kept the same roster with some minor improvements.

That didn’t happen. The team decided it was time to rebuild, offering Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for Chris Paul. When the deal was scuttled by the league, LA furthered their move against continuity by dealing Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for an $8.9 million trade exception (and first-round draft pick, top-20 protected for many years).

The team remains fully committed to Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, although there’s no denying interest in Dwight Howard.

The Lakers are deficient at small forward this season but they are loaded with bodies and the three is arguably the easiest position to fill.

If there was a true building-block point guard available for the Odom exception, the Lakers would naturally have interest but the market instead appears to be Ramon Sessions, a steady, solid point guard who doesn’t shoot particularly well (especially from three).

While the same can be said of Rondo’s outside shot, the difference between the two as impact players is significant.

Other options at guard include Gilbert Arenas, Johnny Flynn and Kirk Hinrich . . . among others. None are big enough upgrades for the Lakers to make until they give up on bigger and better options.

When it comes to trade assets, if Bynum isn’t on the table, Gasol may be the team’s only path to solving the gaping need at point guard.

In the Trudell article, Kupchak acknowledges the obvious, “You could say to yourself the area where we’re lacking the most is in the backcourt.”

The trade exception and a first-round pick may bring back enough to improve the squad but to put the Lakers back in elite company? Unlikely.

Additionally, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is more restrictive to big spenders than the prior deal. Gasol at about $19 million almost has to go if he’s the third to Bryant/Bynum.

The Lakers won titles with Bynum as a distant fourth to Bryant, Gasol and Odom. The combination of Bynum and Gasol has always had its deficiencies, despite the height advantage. Those flaws are on full display and as Pau ages further, may never improve.

According to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, Gasol admitted Monday that the team may opt to make changes if the current road trip does not improve.

“That might occur, regardless,” Gasol said. “I don’t know. It’s totally out of my power. But there’s always a sense that if something was going to happen before, something might still happen until probably we get to the (trade) deadline. We won’t know for sure. We’ve just got to try to forget about that, put that aside, and try to continue to play as well as we can without being affected by any of that.”

Of course if Kupchak is to be taken literally, he did say in the earlier quote, “That’s not likely in February.”

The Lakers may covet Rondo. The Celtics may be interested in Gasol, but the league in general is still feeling out what’s to come.

March 1st is significant because players who were signed to contracts over the summer are finally eligible to be traded. In the context of the Lakers/Celtics, perhaps Kupchak has designs on Bass instead of O’Neal as filler. The Lakers would have Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts along with the big coming back from Boston (and the Odom trade exception to add to the mix).

Perhaps the Orlando Magic opt to deal Dwight Howard . . .

There’s a rush to improve but how many deals league-wide have gone through recently? In about three weeks, look for that to change.



It’s also unclear where Indiana will spend their money but at $2.7 million under the salary floor (and $14 million below the salary cap), they’re going to be cutting a check to the league after the season if they don’t bring on some payroll. A source indicates that Indiana would probably look elsewhere.

Additionally, Smith wants to be a primary option offensively. He’s not going to get that on the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks or Pacers.

CableKC
02-07-2012, 06:57 PM
So, who will run the point if Rondo is sent out to LaLaLand?

Some combination of Dooling/Fisher/Avery Bradley?

idioteque
02-07-2012, 06:57 PM
It would be a terrible trade for the Celtics if it went through as proposed.

90'sNBARocked
02-07-2012, 07:00 PM
I think it means Rondo can be had

cdash
02-07-2012, 07:01 PM
So, who will run the point if Rondo is sent out to LaLaLand?

Some combination of Dooling/Fisher/Avery Bradley?

In the article it mentions Avery Bradley.

xBulletproof
02-07-2012, 07:09 PM
In the article it mentions Avery Bradley.

That article also mentions the Pacers are under the salary floor as reasoning for going after JR Smith. It's sad when people on a message board know more than someone paid to do it for a living.

QuickRelease
02-07-2012, 07:13 PM
I think it means Rondo can be hadFor a high level big man.

ilive4sports
02-07-2012, 07:18 PM
Don't see why Boston would trade Rondo for Gasol. Doesn't make sense. They already have an old overpaid PF, why trade for another one?

And why would Boston help LA improve so much?

Pacer Fan
02-07-2012, 07:30 PM
Don't see why Boston would trade Rondo for Gasol. Doesn't make sense. They already have an old overpaid PF, why trade for another one?

And why would Boston help LA improve so much?

Cause Celts went 6-2 while Rondo wasn't playing. Cause Rondo will not win a Championship for them. Cause Pau, Garnett, Pierce, Allen and whoever they want to throw in there at PG will do better as a team. Cause Celts can do another trade for a pg like Ramon Sessions for example. Cause Pau is not old and is worth his contract that ends when Pierces ends. 2 yrs. Cause Rondo is overrated.

xBulletproof
02-07-2012, 08:17 PM
I couldn't take seeing people on websites say that the Pacers are under the salary floor so I emailed him, and he corrected the article.

CableKC
02-07-2012, 08:38 PM
Additionally, Smith wants to be a primary option offensively. Hes not going to get that on the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks or Pacers.
Where on Earth is Smith going to be the primary option on the offensive end?

The only place that JR Smith will be the primary option on the offense end is if he signs with China again.

Doddage
02-07-2012, 08:39 PM
Where on Earth is Smith going to be the primary option on the offensive end?
Bobcats maybe. That team has next to no scorers.

90'sNBARocked
02-08-2012, 02:54 PM
So we are NOT needing to pick up an additional pplayer to meet minimum payroll?

billbradley
02-08-2012, 02:57 PM
So we are NOT needing to pick up an additional pplayer to meet minimum payroll?


UPDATE: James Posey’s amnestied salary counts towards the Pacers’ minimum salary so they are sufficiently over the cap floor.


.

yoadknux
02-08-2012, 03:03 PM
I was initially against us getting Rondo, but I came up with a trade that gives us Rondo without giving on any core pieces and I think he fits perfect.
LARRY! GET RONDO ;)

Mackey_Rose
02-08-2012, 03:09 PM
I was initially against us getting Rondo, but I came up with a trade that gives us Rondo without giving on any core pieces and I think he fits perfect.
LARRY! GET RONDO ;)

Whatever it is you came up with, I'm the sure the Celtics will be all over it.

Ramitt
02-08-2012, 03:45 PM
Whatever it is you came up with, I'm the sure the Celtics will be all over it.

I am sure. To get a player of that caliber, it has to hurt atleast a little.

QuickRelease
02-08-2012, 03:49 PM
I am sure. To get a player of that caliber, it has to hurt atleast a little.
Which makes you wonder why he's available at all? Especially with the Big 3 nearing the end of their championship window. Why isn't Boston looking at Rondo as a piece they can build around?

Gamble1
02-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Which makes you wonder why he's available at all? Especially with the Big 3 nearing the end of their championship window. Why isn't Boston looking at Rondo as a piece they can build around?
Maybe because he's worn out his welcome. Thats the only answer I could come up with.

yoadknux
02-08-2012, 03:59 PM
Whatever it is you came up with, I'm the sure the Celtics will be all over it.
nice sarcasm. Check the trade and tell me what the Celtics say :)
http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=69498

Mourning
02-08-2012, 04:00 PM
Whatever it is you came up with, I'm the sure the Celtics will be all over it.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Mackey_Rose
02-08-2012, 04:12 PM
nice sarcasm. Check the trade and tell me what the Celtics say :)
http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=69498

They tell you drop dead.

They are trading away the best piece in the deal, and get probably the worst return.

Great for Indiana and Phoenix. Horrible for Boston.

yoadknux
02-08-2012, 04:55 PM
They tell you drop dead.

They are trading away the best piece in the deal, and get probably the worst return.

Great for Indiana and Phoenix. Horrible for Boston.
Yes, horrible for Boston. I guess they don't want to contend.
How does GASOL (PF/C) make Boston better than NASH and GORTAT?
Can't wait to hear your logic.

spreedom
02-09-2012, 11:42 AM
They tell you drop dead.

They are trading away the best piece in the deal, and get probably the worst return.

Great for Indiana and Phoenix. Horrible for Boston.


Great for Phoenix how? They get mediocre prospects (DC2 and Hans) and two picks that are destined to be in the 20s and they give up their two best, underpaid players.

Boston gets WAY better with this trade.

yoadknux
02-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Great for Phoenix how? They get mediocre prospects (DC2 and Hans) and two picks that are destined to be in the 20s and they give up their two best, underpaid players.

Boston gets WAY better with this trade.
DC and Tyler aren't great prospects, but they shed 2 long contracts of Warrick and Frye, and Suns get also 2 first round picks. I can list many players that were selected 20+ but still were good players. Like Lowry, Rondo himself, Batum, Ibaka, Anderson, W. Chandler, and many more.

Mackey_Rose
02-09-2012, 12:23 PM
Yes, horrible for Boston. I guess they don't want to contend.
How does GASOL (PF/C) make Boston better than NASH and GORTAT?
Can't wait to hear your logic.

Gasol for Rondo doesn't help them any more, and I never said it did. They are both horrible deals for one of the best young PG's in the NBA.


Great for Phoenix how? They get mediocre prospects (DC2 and Hans) and two picks that are destined to be in the 20s and they give up their two best, underpaid players.

Boston gets WAY better with this trade.

Phoenix shouldn't expect to have Nash after this season. He'll surely go somewhere else. If they can get two 1st round picks for him, and two prospects (no matter how mediocre) it makes sense.

trey
02-09-2012, 01:20 PM
Which makes you wonder why he's available at all? Especially with the Big 3 nearing the end of their championship window. Why isn't Boston looking at Rondo as a piece they can build around?

Rondo isn't a player you can build around. He's extremely overrated. You can't build around a guy that can't even shoot.

spreedom
02-09-2012, 01:48 PM
Phoenix shouldn't expect to have Nash after this season. He'll surely go somewhere else. If they can get two 1st round picks for him, and two prospects (no matter how mediocre) it makes sense.

If I was the Suns, I wouldn't trade Gortat alone for the two picks the Pacers would be offering, let alone throwing in my franchise player and the only guy on the roster that sells tickets.

TBH I don't think the Suns should trade Gortat even if they decide to rebuild. He's easily a top-5 to top-10 center and for the production he gives, his contract is excellent.