Could The Los Angeles Lakers Trade Gasol Or Bynum?
In the past two seasons, the Lakers have fallen short of the champiosnhip after being eliminated in the second round (Dallas, Oklahoma City). Of course the Lakers, like most NBA teams, were victim to the detrimental effects of the shortened season due to the lockout.
Over the past several seasons, criticism has surrounded Laker bigs Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Both have had influential roles in an assortment of games, but media and fan criticism has not ceased. Based on the past two seasons, it seems most logical to trade both or one of the Laker bigs in order for the team to vie for championship contention.
Andrew Bynum joined the Laker organization after being drafted 10th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. The seven-foot center has become a fixture in the lineup since 2006. In his Lakers career, Bynum has averaged 11.7 points (higher this past season). However, Bynum's inconsistent play is hard to ignore.
Bynum has been plagued with injury throughout his six seasons with Los Angeles (left knee-2007; right knee-2009). Ironically, his behavior on (see: Game 4 of 2011 second round versus the Mavericks) and off the court is reminiscent of his play style. Though Bynum did receive honors and was selected to the All-NBA Second Team, inconsistent play and on-court behavioral issues may be hindering the Lakers franchise from transforming into a once-again dominant force in the league.
The Lakers’ other seven-foot center/power forward, Pau Gasol, was acquired by the Lakers from the Memphis Grizzlies in early 2008. In his first three seasons with the Lakers, Gasol helped lead the team to three trips to the NBA Finals, resulting in two consecutive championships (2009 and 2010). Over the span of over ten seasons in the NBA, Gasol has averaged 18.7 points per game. Yet, during the 2011-2012 season, Gasol averaged 17.4 points per, the lowest of his career.
Gasol has received numerous NBA honors including three All-NBA team and four NBA All-Star selections. Bu it would not be surprising if Gasol is traded in the off-season before or instead of Bynum. Bynum has somehow found a way to secure tenure on the Lakers' roster. Gasol is seemingly always on the chopping block, with his suitcase packed and by the front door.
This offseason, the Lakers need to make clear and coherent decisions. Since Kobe Bryant has approximately two years left, the team shouldn’t shy away from making some gutsy trades and acquisitions. Last season, L.A. was willing to practically do away with the entire starting lineup (except Bryant) to bring in Chris Paul (before the trade was halted by David Stern).
If either or both big men are traded, the Lakers to more than make up for the void. They could possibly bring in another well-known player to regenerate the Laker offense or drastically change the bench lineup.
Either way, the Lakers need to become better acclimated with the coaching scheme of head coach Mike Brown. Gaining team chemistry once again may be the best remedy for the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, with the influence of L.A. bandwagon fans, don’t be shocked if Brown is ousted after a "subpar season."