At 8-9 as they begin a stretch of playing seven of their next eight games on the road, the Lakers are a team searching for answers and a team desperate to put the right mix of players around Dwight Howard in order to entice him to stay in Los Angeles after he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. Veteran NBA scribe Sam Smith of Bulls.com has suggested a deal that would send Gasol to Toronto for Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, which would give the Lakers a big man who can hit the outside shot along with a point guard (with an expiring contract) to fill the void created by injuries to Steve Nash and Steve Blake.
The firing of Mike Brown after a 1-4 start (without the services of Nash) proved just how dire the situation is viewed, and Charley Rosen of SheridanHoops.com has provided new insight into the reasons why Jim Buss made the move to hire D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson.
“The interest is coming from the Lakers, not New Orleans,” the source told SheridanHoops. “Mitch (Kupchak) would prefer to keep Pau, as would Kobe. Jim (Buss) would prefer to continue cleaning house, and bring in players able to fit a more fast-paced style of play.
It should come as no surprise to hear of Jim Buss’ desire to obtain players to suit D’Antoni’s offense. Reports have been surfacing about Jim Buss strongly favoring an offense closer to the “Showtime” era to a more slow and methodical (Triangle) approach.
Again, none of this should come as a shock, as Lakers’ brass was willing to part ways with both Gasol and Lamar Odom in pursuit of Chris Paul just prior to the start of the 2011-12 season. While Anderson may lack some of the all-around offensive skills Gasol possesses, he would seem to be the perfect fit as the prototypical “stretch-4” player within D’Antoni’s system.
Personally, if I were Lakers’ management, I agree with Mark Heisler: Move Gasol to the second unit while awaiting the return of Nash, and utilize Antawn Jamison as he starter. Not only would that open up the floor for the starting unit by placing Jamison opposite Dwight Howard, but it would provide an opportunity to play Gasol out of the post off the bench.
|2012-13 Regular Season||15||32.8||6.4-13.9||.459||3.3-7.8||.427||1.1-1.3||.842|
|2012-13 Regular Season||17||34.8||4.9-11.8||.420||0.1-0.4||.286||2.6-3.4||.759|