As the trade deadline approaches Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times thinks the Lakers should trade Pau Gasol while they can still get something in return for him. Gasol in the last year of his contract and the Lakers with little financial flexibility after extending Kobe Bryant seem to be parting ways after the season according to Bolch. Bolch suggests a few trades the Lakers should look into. First, the Nets to see if they can acquire injured Brook Lopez for Gasol. Next, the Grizzlies to pair Pau with his younger brother Marc Gasol in exchange for Zach Randolph. If neither are interested, Bolch suggests contacting the Rockets for Omer Asik. Finally, Bolch states the Hawks have coveted Gasol for some time and he thinks they may be willing to part with Paul Millsap in order to fill the gap created by an injured Al Horford. If all else fails, Bolch prompts the Lakers to at least get draft picks for Gasol and avoid “a bleak future”.
A few other notes around the Western Conference.
- Although Andre Miller is one year removed from being called one of George Karl’s all-time favorite players, Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune believes we have seen the last of Miller in a Nuggets jersey. With a new coach in town and the Nuggets resurgence since Miller’s departure, Luhm thinks it is inevitable Miller’s absence will soon become permanent.
- Courtney Lee didn’t need to prove anything to the Grizzlies front office for them to want to trade for him says Michael Cohen of The Commercial Appeal. Lee had already done that five years prior when training for the draft with his former agent Jason Levien and his former development coach Stu Lash. Levien, now the CEO of the Grizzlies, and Lash, now the Grizzlies director of player personnel and basketball development, both admired Lee’s hard work ethic and defensive prowess when they represented him five years ago, prompting them to bring him to Memphis.
- While no one hopes for injuries, they have proven beneficial to Jodie Meeks‘ playing time and wallet. Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times writes that Meeks is halfway to hitting bonus incentives in his contract that will pay him $200K. Meeks has playing time bonuses that are triggered for averaging both 20 minutes and 25 minutes a game. With Lakers players down with injury, Meeks has been averaging 31.6 MPG so far this season.
- Not every wise transaction has to involve athletes, as John Canzano of The Oregonian points out. Canzano inspects the transactions Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has made regarding GM Neil Olshey, president Chris McGowan, and head coach Terry Stotts. In fact, Canzano predicts Allen will extend Stotts’ head coaching contract before the All-Star Game. Stotts contract has a team option for next year but nothing beyond that.