We said it before, the Lakers need to make a move if they want to get past the second round next year.
And while no move seems imminent, the Lakers are testing all kinds of trade scenarios out there, according to multiple reports.
Maybe the most interesting is with the Hawks, via the twitter of Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
The Atlanta Hawks have been pursuing Pau Gasol, The Times has learned. Nothing imminent, but Josh Smith would be key piece going to Lakers.
Separately, Lakers interested in Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, would be open to trading Pau for Top-5 pick and right package o’ players
A Gasol for Smith swap (there would need to be other players to make it work) is interesting, but does it make either team significantly better? The Hawks would get the better player but the Lakers would get the shorter contract (Smith has just one year left).
I don’t see the Lakers jumping into the draft’s top 5 — which is where they would need to be to get Kidd-Gilchrist, or even the top 10. It may be the Lakers pipe dream, but no team is in the top 10 is going to give them a pick and an established, quality player for Gasol. Doesn’t work for the other teams.
Unless… What if the Rockets are able to parlay their three picks (numbers 12, 16 and 18) into a top 10 pick, then they could trade the Lakers Kyle Lowry plus the top 10 pick for Gasol? Rockets GM Daryl Morey has had his eye on Gasol for a while (remember the scuttled Chris Paul trade?). However, ESPN sources deny this trade scenario is in play.
But Gasol is not the only guy the Lakers are shopping, but it might not work. From ESPN.
The Lakers might have an even tougher sell with Metta World Peace, who also has been shopped in order to gauge his trade value. While the Lakers would be looking for considerably less, such as a late first-round pick or perhaps some cap relief, World Peace’s contract obligations (two years, $15 million remaining on his deal) — combined with a 15 percent trade kicker — might prove too much for another team to bear.
My guess is still the Lakers don’t make a move until this summer, but they will make a move.