With the NBA trading deadline fast approaching, cell phone use around the league are at an all-time high with teams busy emailing and texting their latest offers. One of the busiest mobile phones is the one held by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. The Lakers are involved in several trade talks. Here are three possible trades Kupchak and the Lakers should consider:
1-Trade Pau Gasol and a first-round pick to the Hawks for Kirk Hinrich and Josh Smith.
Why the Lakers should do the deal: They get a younger PG with Hinrich who is just 31 and hardly washed up. Hinrich isn’t the fastest PG in the league, but he is a solid veteran and a respected defender. He is the son of a coach and has a high basketball IQ and would be a good player for Mike Brown in his halfcourt system. Hinrich is also a pass-first player and Kobe Bryant wouldn’t have a problem playing with him. He is also a capable outside shooter, making 37.8% of his 3-pointer’s in his career, and last season he made 39.9% between Atlanta and Washington. His career assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.6, which is solid for a PG and an drastic upgrade over what L.A. has this season.
Josh Smith is a younger and more athletic PF than Gasol. He plays great defense and would be a solid third scorer behind Kobe and Andrew Bynum. He can post up, but he can also step outside and hit the three as well.
Why the Hawks should do the deal: Hinrich has fallen out of favor in Atlanta with Jeff Teague playing well. They are looking to move his contract. Smith needs a change of scenery and Gasol gives the Hawks a top-five PF who could team with Al Horford (when he returns from injury) and give them a better 1-2 punch in the frontcourt.
2-Trade Bynum to Philadelphia for Andre Iguodala and Spencer Hawes.
Why the Lakers should do the deal: Jim Buss really likes Bynum and may not be willing to do it, but this gives the Lakers a lockdown defender in Iguodala. Iggy is also a very good player to run the offense through at the point forward position. He made the All-Star team in the East this season and is averaging 5.4 assists per game. His versatility has been compared to Bulls great Scottie Pippen. Iggy’s playmaking skills will mesh well with Kobe and Gasol, and he’s also a good third scoring option. He’s averaging 12.5 points, but making a career-high 38% on 3-pointers – a definite need for the Lakers because they’ve been awful shooting threes this season. Hawes is a slight downgrade from Bynum, but he is a solid rebounder and passer for a big man. Before getting hurt, he was having a solid season.
Why Philly should do the deal: They get rid of Iguodala and move Evan Turner to the starting lineup. Turner, the Sixers’ first-round pick in 2010, hasn’t been getting much playing time because he has Iguodala in front of him. Bynum is an improvement over Hawes and he’s from New Jersey so it’ll be a homecoming for him. With Elton Brand declining, it makes sense for Philly to upgrade the center position and become better in the low post.
3-Trade Gasol, Luke Walton, and Andrew Goudelock to Philadelphia for Elton Brand, Lou Williams, and Jodie Meeks.
Why the Lakers should do the deal: PG is L.A.’s biggest weakness and they get a fast young PG in Williams. Williams helps L.A. against the quick PGs in the West such as Chris Paul, Tony Parker, and Russell Westbrook. Dealing Gasol opens up more shots for Bynum.Meeks is a solid outside shooter that can provide some depth. Getting rid of Walton’s contract would be a huge victory for the Lakers.
Why Philly should do the deal: Losing Williams would be a blow to the Sixers’ backcourt, but they still have starting PG Jrue Holiday and an up-and-coming in Turner. Gasol is a significant upgrade over Brand.
Darren Jacks is a contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.