The LA Lakers are going through some tough times as they deal with injuries this season and after the Pau Gasol trade fell through for Andrew Bynum, the team may look to other deals and some names that have come up includes Evan Turner or Thaddeus Young from the 76ers.
According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Sixers are looking like willing trade partners and with Turner scoring nearly 20 points per game and the fact that he is just 25 makes him a solid option, while Young could bring the team some depth. This season he is averaging 18 points and six rebounds and could be a solid pickup as well.
Here is a look at the Lakers from before the season and how Gasol needs to be the key. The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a fundamentally important season for the future of the franchise after losing Dwight Howard to the Rockets in free agency and while the team is dealing with Kobe Bryant coming back from a serious injury, they still have one player in Pau Gasol that should be able to get things right throughout the year.
Gasol has been mentioned in trade rumors for years and after losing Howard, it is almost impossible that the Lakers will trade him. While Gasol is older and has more wear and tear than Howard, he might be better for the Lakers and Kobe Bryant than D12 ever was. Howard is an amazing talent and an amazing rebounder and a great athlete, but there is something missing in his personality that made him not mesh with the Lakers or Bryant last season and that is why LA will be better off without Howard this season.
While the Lakers may not finish with a better record than the Rockets in the regular season this year, chances are they will play much better than they did last year and one reason will be a rejuvenated Gasol. The star appears healthy this summer and if he can keep that up through the season, the Lakers should operate much more smoothly than they did last year. Last season the team went 45-37 despite ranking sixth in points per game and fourth in rebounding and while some of those numbers may dip, Gasol should be in a situation now where he can put up numbers like 18.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and a 52-percent shooting, which are his career averages.
Gasol is better than Howard at handling the media, controversy and trade talk and now that Howard is gone, all of that should get even easier this year. Trade talk has dominated Gasol at times earlier in his career with the Lakers, but not once did he let that bother him on the court. Howard was constantly asked about his future and he let it get to him and that hurt the Lakers last season. Gasol is better overall shooter than Howard and he also is a champion already, something that Howard has never done and may never do due to his attitude issues and immaturity.
That is one reason why he got along with Kobe and another reason is his loyalty. Kobe knows that Gasol knows what he needs to do to win a championship and he knows that is his top priority and not wondering about where he will play next year or if the fans like him. Another area where the team will be improved without Howard is at the line, as he is just a 58 percent shooter, which is pathetic. Gasol has made over 74 percent for his career and Howard has only gotten worse. Gasol averaged 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds last season and while he has put up better numbers in his career, he should get back to that now that Howard is gone.