Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers' early exit from the NBA Playoffs to eventual champions the Dallas Mavericks, trade speculation has been on overload as to what changes the team needs to make.
New rumors have been swirling that the Minnesota Timberwolves are willing to deal the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and a package for Lakers power forward Pau Gasol.
If you think the Lakers will make that trade you are delusional. In a weak draft, the Lakers would never accept an unproven player in exchange for Gasol.
Another potential Wolves-Lakers trade makes almost less sense: Kevin Love, and salary cap filler, for Gasol. Again, the Lakers seem to be shortchanged for a veteran forward who has career numbers of 18.8 points per game, and 9.1 rebounds.
Though Gasol had a poor post season, the Lakers shouldn't be in a rush to deal him unless they can get better value in exchange.
If there is a trade involving Gasol it will probably include potential free agents Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. Both players have not expressed a commitment to signing a contract extension with their current teams, and both want superstar talent around them.
If the Lakers are looking for a shake up, Paul and Howard are the way to go -- not a draft pick or a young player with an expiring contract. It's far too early for the Lakers to acquire a young player who will be a major contributor next to Kobe Bryant. The 2011-2012 season is certainly not a rebuilding year for the Lakers, and that means holding onto a big man who probably still has a lot left.
As for Minnesota, the smart deal to consider is to trade down in the draft to create more cap relief, and perhaps add players to the bench. The Timberwolves will be adding Ricky Rubio to go along with Love, Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, and Wesley Johnson.
It would be ideal for the Timberwolves to land a big man, and young center Enes Kanter might fit the bill. However, the Jazz appear to be interested in taking him with the third pick, and may not be interested in swapping their third pick for the second pick.
The NBA Draft is on Thursday. Minnesota should be looking for more plausible options than Gasol, and need to consider finding the right starters to play alongside their young roster.