The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have held discussion about a trade that would involve old teammates Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Wait, what? Yes, this is very real.
The deal between the former NBA Champions is not imminent, or even close to being done; however, both sides are mulling it over before the January 7th when Bynum’s deal would become guaranteed for $12.25 million.
Obviously, you have a ton of questions. It’s ok, so do I.
Here is the deal: By trading away Pau Gasol, and going into full tank mode, which I’ve suggested over and over again, and then waiving Andrew Bynum before January 7th the Lakers would save themselves more than $20 million in salary and taxes.
The Bynum-Gasol swap would have to include a least one more player to make the deal work. If the Lakers are going to rid themselves of Pau Gasol and waive Bynum then they should make sure to get a young player and a draft pick.
What is the ideal structure of a Gasol trade to the Cavs? I’m glad you asked.
Yes, that is Dion Waiters. If I’m the Lakers I’m also attempting to get Cleveland’s first round pick in 2014. The Cavs are a vulnerable team who are desperate to make a playoff push this season. If you’re Mitch Kupchak and you’re going to take heat by trading away Pau Gasol then you need to make sure you’re making the best trade possible. By getting Dion Waiters and a first round pick you are getting fair value for Gasol at this point in his career AND you are saving the Lakers a ton of money AND you’re furthering along the tanking process. This is genius!
I understand that a ton of Laker fans don’t want this team, or any team, to tank a season. I don’t want it to happen either. But if the opportunity presents itself sometimes you just have to take it. The 2014 draft is the best in a decade and the Lakers have the chance to blow one year for another fifteen years in contention if they get the right guy. Sounds like a good deal to me. Tank City! We Want Jabari!