February Trade Rumors: Pau Gasol to Raptors

The NBA trade deadline is on February 21st, for all of the arm chair gm’s out there this means it’s time to fire up the trade machine. In honor of this we are going to try and post about 21 trade rumors before the deadline on the 21st. These will be rumors from well known sources, or trades that we think just make sense. Make sure to check in for the Rumor of the day all month leading to the deadline.

 Source: Marc Stein Weekend Dime
 The Trade:

Why for Toronto:
The Raptors have been bad for a while. They are tired of having to build through the draft, then hoping they convince their high draft picks to stay. With the Rudy Gay move, they showed that they are willing to trade young players and take on salary in order to bring a max level player into Toronto.

Pau Gasol would give Toronto a post presence to combine with Amir Johnson. A lineup of Lowry, DeRozan, Gay, Johnson and Gasol is a playoff worth roster. To boot they don’t have to pay Bargnani to run three point line to three point line. With the Boston Celtics struggling due injuries the Raptors see a prime opportunity to head back to the playoffs, and Pau Gasol is just the player to lead them there.

Why for LA:
If the Lakers truly are committed to Mike D’Antoni’s system (for what reason I’m not sure) then this move will help them both now and in the future.

Andrea Bargnani hasn’t lived up to his number one pick billing. He has always been a good scorer, but the other phases of his game have never developed. In D’Antoni’s up tempo spread offense a player like Channing Frye was a valuable contributor. Bargnani is similar player but a much better scorer than Frye and should find a niche in LA.The Lakers also get Valanciunas, as a future center product.

Stein mentioned that the reason the Lakers needed to keep Pau was to protect themselves in the event Howard left. In this deal they would obtain a scoring starter now, as well as highly regarded prospect to play center in the future. On top of all that they would be saving $3.5 million in salary during a year in which they will struggle to make the playoffs.

Please leave comments on what you think of this trade, any trades you want our take on or any other question you have. Check out the second piece in our trade rumor series here and the third piece here


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