Lakers Trade Rumors: Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala on Their Way to Los Angeles?

on June 27 2012 10:25 AM
Josh Smith
Josh Smith probably won't finish the season with the Hawks. Reuters

There is expected to be a lot of trades in the hours leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft.

A number of stars, including Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Luol Deng are expected to be on the trading block.

The Lakers could be one of the biggest players during the draft. They had a disappointing finish to this past season, and could be looking to shake up their team.

Here are a few players that the Lakers could trade for within the coming days:

Josh Smith

Smith is one of the best-rounded players in the NBA. He's a good scorer, rebounder and defender. The big man has been a staple of the Hawks lineup since 2004, but he could be on his way out of Atlanta.

The 26-year-old asked to be dealt before the trade deadline, but Atlanta chose to hold onto him. The Hawks decided to make a run in the playoffs with their current group, but were bounced early in the postseason once again.

The Lakers are in a somewhat similar position with Andrew Bynum. Bynum became more of a focal point of the offense, like Smith did with the Hawks, but the team had an early playoff exit for the second straight year. Both Bynum and Smith have just one year left on their contracts, and neither team wants to lose their star player without getting anything in return.

Bynum has never demanded a trade, but he's said that he doesn't care whether the Lakers trade him or not.

It really doesn't matter to me. I'll play anywhere, said Bynum after a playoff loss to the Thunder.

Los Angeles would have to get a lot in return for Bynum in order to move him. He established himself as the best center, other than Dwight Howard, in the league last season. He's only 24 years old, and has the potential to be a great player for years to come.

Smith, however, also had his best season in 2012. The Hawks forward averaged 18.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this past year. He led Atlanta in all three of those categories.

L.A. would probably have to get more than just Smith in a potential deal. Adding in point guard Jeff Teague might get the job done. The Lakers have been desperately looking for a competent point guard for the past couple of years. Atlanta might also have to throw in their first round draft pick, but such a deal would work under the current salary cap rules.

If Smith still wants out of Atlanta, Los Angeles could be his home next season.

Andre Iguodala

Iguodala is likely on his way out of Philadelphia. Reports say that the 76ers would like to deal the small forward this summer. The problem for Philadelphia is that he makes about $30 million over the next two seasons.

Iguodala was a big reason why the 76ers almost advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals this past year, but he's probably not worth what he's getting paid.

The same can be said for Pau Gasol. Gasol is set to make close to $40 million over the next two seasons, despite declining production. He averaged a career-low 17.4 points per game in the lockout-shortened season. He was even worse in the playoffs, putting in just 12.5 points per contest on 43.4 percent shooting.

The Lakers and 76ers both have overpaid players who they are looking to move. Why not just trade Gasol for Iguodala straight up?

The trade would work under the current restrictions of the salary cap. L.A. was reportedly interested in acquiring Iguodala a year ago, so there's a decent chance they'd agree to the deal. They want to move Gasol, and have been looking for a defensive-minded small forward.

Acquiring Gasol would improve Philly's frontline, which could be a lot weaker than it was just a few months ago. Elton Brandon is making over $18 million, and the 76ers might use their amnesty clause on him. Spencer Hawes is a free agent, and he'll likely will be playing elsewhere next year.

A swap of Gasol for Iguodala would help fill a major need for both teams.   

It woulde be unlikely to see the Lakers trade both Gasol and Bynum. If they traded for either Smith or Iguodala, the other deal would probably be off the table.

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