That is, of course, Mitch Kupchak makes a draft-day move to shake things up.
Rumors are constantly circling around the purple and gold, but the latest rumor involving Pau Gasol seems to have some legs. According to the L.A. Times, the Atlanta Hawks essentially gift-wrapped power forward Josh Smith in exchange Pau Gasol, a deal that was apparnelty presented to the Lakers shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated them in the Western Conference semifinals.
If the Lakers are really still hellbent on dealing Gasol, then this seems like a pretty good deal, especially since the salaries don’t match up, Atlanta would be forced to include Marvin Williams or Zaza Pachulia to make the deal work. Furthermore, although Smith isn’t as long as Gasol, he’s a much better all-around athlete and superior defender. And on top of all that, Smith, 26, is five years younger than the Spaniard.
So what’s not to like about that deal? Nothing really—except the fact that the same L.A. Times article indicates that the Lakers are infatuated with Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. And why wouldn’t they be?
In short, the guy is a proven winner.
MKG won a state championship in 10th grade and a gold medal at the FIBA U-17 World Championships the next year. Oh yeah, he also won that national title this past season. And check this for a stat: He has only lost 10 games in the last four years. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Wildcats last season, he’s 6’8″ and is a beast on the glass.
However, for this to happen, Kupchak would have to convince a team with a top-five pick to take Gasol—not exactly an easy task.
Actually, it’s probably an impossible one. Unless they get some sort of miracle offer, the Lakers should keep the Hawks on standby with that offer.