After a disappointing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA playoffs this year, the Los Angeles Lakers will scour the trade market in hopes of improving an aging roster.
The Lakers have their sights on a few players with Pau Gasol the likely trade bait. Gasol, who posted his career lows in points, blocks, and field goal percentage with the Lakers last season, has been blamed for many of the Lakers problems and is looking for a change of scenery, according to reports.
Trade Gasol to Memphis for Rudy Gay
One possible landing place for Gasol is the Memphis Grizzlies, where he'd have the opportunity to play alongside his brother Marc Gasol. It's unclear what the Lakers could get in return for Gasol, but a package could include either Zach Randolph or Rudy Gay. Gasol would likely relish an opportunity to play with the Grizzlies again, while the Lakers can potentially improve the team's poor chemistry.
Trade Gasol to Chicago for Luol Deng
Another proposed trade would have the Lakers sending Gasol to the Chicago Bulls for a package that included forward Luol Deng. Deng recently admitted to seeing truth behind rumors that he'll be traded after he went against his team's advice and decided to play in the Olympics with the British national team, despite a wrist-ligament injury. The latest rumor has Deng being traded to the Golden State Warriors for a first round draft pick, but the Lakers are expected to be players.
Trade Gasol to Philadelphia for Andre Iguodala
Gasol has also been discussed in a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers for Andre Iguodala. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Sunday that the 76ers organization will neither confirm nor deny that they have discussed a deal for Gasol. The 76ers could benefit from a talented big man like Gasol -- Elton Brand is on the tail end of his playing days -- but it's unclear how much interest the Lakers would have in bringing back Iguodala.
Acquire Deron Williams
The trade that the Lakers are believed to be most interested in is also the one they have the worst chance of completing. The Lakers have a lot of interest in adding Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, but don't have the cap room to sign him outright. The Lakers would have to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Nets, but it is believed that the Brooklyn franchise has no interest in trading for Gasol. The Nets could be interested in Andrew Bynum, according to reports, but he has not been made available by the Lakers.
Pairing Williams with Bryant and Bynum could give the Lakers a more effective Big 3, but the latest reports indicate that Williams is only interested in signing with the Nets or the Dallas Mavericks.
Trade for Lamar Odom
The other player that gets the most hype in Lakers trade rumors, Lamar Odom, is also unlikely to become a Laker. It's unclear how much interest the Lakers even have in Odom, but the main reason he won't be joining the team is because of a rule in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that forbids a player from returning within a year to the team that traded him away.
The Lakers traded Odom to the Mavericks in December so they would have to wait until then to reacquire him, which is doubtful to say the least. Odom, if he is released or traded, is more likely to end up with the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Clippers.