Lakers, Kings, and Grizzlies may have the answers to each others’ problems

The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling, so are the Sacramento Kings (soon to be Seattle-bound Sonics??), and the Memphis Grizzlies are already thinking ahead by wanting to trade Rudy Gay for more manageable financial assets. So what do you think of this possible trade scenario:

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 6.00.39 PM

Lakers win because:

  • Get two young and dynamic, and defensive-minded scorers in Gay & Evans… and lord knows the Lakers NEED defensive-minded scorers.
  • Set themselves up for Dwight’s future with 2 guys (1 locked up now, the other after the season if he does well).
  • Gay is a solid swingman who can learn from Kobe, while Evans learns from both Nash and Kobe as a combo guard.
  • Gets the team younger and faster immediately instead of waiting with further uncertainly.

Lakers lose because:

  • They entrench themselves in D’Antoni’s run-n-gun style by getting rid of Pau.
  • Lose on some of the interior presence they had with the Dwight/Pau twin towers (though they didn’t seem to work well under Mike D anyway).
  • Unsure how Gay & Evans will respond to playing behind Nash & Kobe this season.
  • Nash might be okay letting Evans start with Kobe, but no way Kobe lets Gay start over him.
  • Maybe an Evans-Kobe-Gay perimeter might be workable, with Metta or Jamison at PF.

Kings (Sonics) win because:

  • Get the mentor for DeMarcus Cousins they sorely need in Pau.
  • Even create a dynamic finesse/power duo in Pau/DeMarcus.
  • Open up PG logjam with Evans and give Fredette and Thomas more playing time.
  • Clear out longer, heavy contracts of Salmons and Thompson.
  • Get a serviceable backup to Cousins in Haddadi.

Kings (Sonics) lose because:

  • Have to take on Pau’s hefty contract this year and the next.
  • Turning 3 players into 2, really with 1 of them (Pau) serving as a contributor.
  • May need to slow down their style of play with Pau in the rotation (might actually be a good thing).
  • Still need to figure out if Keith Smart is staying head coach, and how he will use Pau with Cousins demanding the ball so much.

Grizzlies win because:

  • Get rid of Rudy Gay’s big contract and don’t need to take back as hefty contracts in return.
  • Jason Thompson is having a great season and his relatively cheap 5 year contract ensures he maxes out at just $6.8 million 5 years from now.
  • Salmons’ contract actually goes DOWN to $7.6 million next season (2nd year of contract) and then to just $7.0 million in the final, 3rd year, which is actually a team option so they can just cut him and save from paying him.
  • Move Haddadi who, in the past, has complained openly about his role with the team. Gives other players a chance to back up Marc Gasol & Z-Bo.

Grizzlies lose because:

  • They must break up the Gay-Marc Gasol-Z-Bo core to save money (luxury taxes) soon.
  • Losing Gay means more of the scoring load falls on Marc, Zach Randolph, and Mike Conley Jr., as well as one less speedy perimeter defender in Gay.
  • Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph usually play together, so getting a backup to one or both now falls to new guy Jason Thompson, and others still on the team when Haddadi is traded.

Overall, I think this is really a win-win-win for all 3 teams, despite whatever the ESPN trade machine says. As I just told a good friend I chat with often:

Grizz need to save money, can’t afford to keep Gay, get a cheap young rising star and an old guy they can cut soon.


Kings need a mentor for Cousins NOW, and someone older to get the young’uns to play nice. Also, Evans has no future with 3 other PGs taking his mins.


Lakers need perimeter defense and scoring, and need to win NOW while Kobe and Dwight are together. Also not afraid to spend (except to re-hire Phil).


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