Ever since Mike D’Antoni took over in Los Angeles, rumors have been swirling about a possible Pau Gasol trade.
And since that time there has been a ton of speculation that Gasol could be headed to the Big Apple in exchange for Amar’e Stoudemire. Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld touches on the speculation that Gasol and Stoudemire could be trading places, but I’m here to tell you just exactly how much of a chance a deal like this could get done.
No chance. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not happening.
That’s the funny thing about the rumor mill is that any player can be dealt to any team and while this would be a positive deal for both teams, it won’t happen.
I think Gasol would be a better fit on this Knicks team then he currently is in Lakerland. In addition, I think Stoudemire, in D’Antoni’s system, paired again with Steve Nash, would give the Lakers another explosive scorer to take some pressure off of Kobe Bryant.
But there is one major roadblock that will prevent these teams from even discussing a deal- Stoudemire’s contract.
That contract has three years and close to $60 million left on it and no team, especially the Lakers is going to take on that type of financial commitment for an often injured star on the backside of his career.
Stoudemire’s contract is worse than Gasol’s big figure and could be the worst in the NBA right now. With the new CBA, teams don’t want to get into the tax paying luxury tax. Most teams have avoided doing so and Jim Buss didn’t make any major moves last season to improve the Lakers because he didn’t want to take on money.
He’s not taking on $60 million of Stoudemire.
Then there’s the Dwight Howard situation.
Howard remains unsigned for next season and if the Lakers want to retain the All-Star center, they won’t be adding $60 million of payroll.
Gasol has two more seasons left on his deal for $19 million this year and a $19.28 million season next year. That’s hardly an attractive number especially for a team playing for anything, because those teams are at the luxury tax line or already over it. With the new CBA, teams can’t take on salary at will.
If the Lakers move Gasol, it will be to get younger and more athletic. The Lakers don’t have youth and traded all of their draft picks away to sign Nash. Ultimately Mitch Kupchak will want to bring in a capable body to replace Gasol and some quality youth to make the Lakers younger and deeper.
That is something the Knicks can’t really help with.
The Knicks have the same problem and to get the Lakers or any other team to take on Stoudemire’s contract they will have to sweeten the pot. The only player on the Knicks’ roster under the age of 27 is Iman Shumpert and he isn’t going anywhere.
The reality is that the Knicks don’t have the trade chips to get the Lakers to take on Stoudemire’s contract.
It’s real easy for everyone to say just trade Stoudemire when he’s healthy, but in reality his contract is pretty much untradeable and if they could get someone to take it, they wouldn’t receive anything close to value for him anyway.
Gasol for Stoudemire sounds nice, but it just won’t happen.
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