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Lakers not moving Gasol after Nash trade. Nor should they.

Jul 5, 2012, 12:55 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol walks off the court after a season-ending loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA western conference semi-finals in Oklahoma City Reuters

Once Lakers fans realized that they had not imbibed so much on the Fourth of July that they hallucinated their team had signed Steve Nash… well, first they went and got another drink.

But not long after another question came up:

Do we keep Pau Gasol or still try to trade him?

Lakers management has already answered that, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Pau or Bynum trade the next shoe to drop after Nash? Not so fast. Source tells me Lakers intend to keep core intact to play with Nash

Now, even if you were going to trade him that is what you would say, trying to keep value up. We know for sure Gasol does not want to be traded, he said so a Twitcam video chat. (Hat tip to Marca and Hoopshype for the info.)

“It would be a huge honor to play along side Steve. Obviously, I’ve know him for many years now and he has been one of the lead point guards in the league for as long as I can remember and as long as I played in the league. It would be a true pleasure to play with Steve and he is one of the best point guards ever to play the game and still has a lot of juice in him.”

The Lakers shouldn’t trade Gasol. Not yet anyway, see how this works out. (Note, that in no ways applies to a Dwight Howard deal. That you still do.)

First, with Nash at the point having two large bodies in the paint to block shots and deter drives is a good thing. The Lakers got better with the Nash trade but their perimeter defense didn’t.

On offense, Nash’s ability to hit the three will space the floor in a way the Lakers desperately need — last season and in the playoffs teams collapsed on the Lakers and dared the to win with jump shots. Second, Nash and Gasol on the pick-and-pop could be a deadly combination (the Lakers need more point guard pick-and-roll in their offense now, with Gasol and Bynum).

Basically, the Lakers offense, which was good before, has the potential to be a real force of nature. Now, they need some creativity from Mike Brown and his staff. And they need time to adjust and get used to one another. The Lakers had a good pick-and-roll point guard in Ramon Sessions last year but would go away from him for long stretches of Kobecentric offense last year. There needs to be a balance.

And all of that takes time to work out. All we are saying, is the Lakers should give that a chance.

  1. Chris Ross - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Is Gasol not the perfect pick and roll partner for Nash?

    • censoredpost - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      I agree but will Brown run that? He misused Gasol All last yr. Either he changes up the elbow stuff or we get conflict in the team. I guess with names like this he has no choice. I just don’t want to hear fire brown all year.

      • chrmngblly - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        I totally agree with you about not wanting to hear, “Fire Brown” all year—I prefer for him to just step down gracefully.

      • allmyteamsareterrible - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        Yeah that’s because Mike Brown is a bad coach. Call the talent around LeBron whatever you want, but if you watched his time in Cleveland there is no way you can tell me he is a good coach. His rotations and lack of anything that could even be misconstrued as an offense have been readily apparent for some time.

        I can not for the life of me understand why the Lakers did not hire Shaw, who atleast has promise, and instead went for Mike Brown, who has none. Let’s be honest, Kobe is thinking the exact same thing.

      • tashkalucy - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:58 PM

        I lived in LA, saw the Showtime Lakers and the Phil Jackson I and II Lakers.

        I lived in NE Ohio and saw the Mike Brown Cavs.

        The 3 Laker teams played as a team. The Cavs team had their moments, but I never saw anything resembling a team for more then a game or two here or there. And what I saw of the Lakers last year, they looked like the Cavs – with everyone on offense other then the main man (i.e. Kobe / LeBron) standing around looking confused about what they were supposed to be doing a good deal of the time.

        I like Mike Brown. I met him a number of times. He’s a nice guy, a fun guy to be around, and will be the best defensive assistant in the NBA once he gets this head coaching bug out of him. But he is no Tom Thibodeau moving from being DC to HC.

        You have a situation developing with the Lakers as they had in 1981 when Magic had to speak for the team, go up to Dr. Buss, and explain that what Westhead had them doing was inhibiting them from being able to play as they were capable of playing. At the time Magic took the heat for getting Westhead fired. And in the confusion (the press thought Jerry West would coach, he didn’t want to so they got Pat Riley from the microphone next to Chick Hern’s) a Hall Of Fame coach was born. Something similar will need to happen before the 2012-13 season starts, because Steve Nash is simply not going to be able to run that team on the floor if Brown is calling the plays and making the substitutions. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • caseybojangles - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      yes, gasol is the perfect pick partner with nash. nash is an expert executor with the pick and roll and it would be crazy effective.

      the problem? gasol being the perfect pick and roll partner for nash isn’t perfect for one kobe “i will take any shot regardless of game situation or who else is on the team and definitely shoot the ball 30 times a game” bryant

  2. themars211 - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Unfortunately I can not control my destiny but I would love to stay with the Lakers and will fight harder to try to win another ring.”

    That quote from Gasol says it all for me. He should fight hard anyway to win a ring, not just because Nash is a Laker now. I’ve watched this guy pretty much be a non-factor the last 2 playoffs. Sometimes he is too mild and meek for my liking. I understand that he is a “finesse” player as far as his style of play but he can still be agressive. Be more assertive and stop deferring.

  3. loungefly74 - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    i say keep Pau now! (unless getting howard is involved somehow)yes…getting nash changes everything. i know skeptical folks will find faults but hey, its a great upgrade. everyone on the team will benefit. i’d rather have teams doing outside jumper due to the weak perimeter defense versus them driving hard to the paint with only 1 big (assuming Pau is gone) waiting to meet them. coach brown now has a full off season to adjust and he knows his players better now. we all know its the stars in the league that make the ultimate difference…not the bench as so many folks like to think (latest example: Heat vs OKC). sure, i know the Lakers still need to get some key bench guys but we still have a lot of FA period left…im sure the Lakers will do what they can…but man! getting NASH? Heck yeah!!!!!!!

  4. hwatt - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    well then who the fck is gonna take Boozer

    • zeedoubleyou - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      The amnesty clause

  5. coalnation - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I can’t wait to see this team in action.

  6. SmackSaw - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    He’ll be an alley oop machine.

  7. infectorman - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Nash = Old
    Bryant = Old and a shell of his former self
    Gasol = Soft AND Old
    Bynum = talented but an enigma
    Artest = out to lunch and getting old rapidly.

    Thunder will own this team…..AGAIN. It’s over LA-LA fans…Over

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      I’d rather have an Old Nash, Old Kobe, Old & Soft Gasol, Mentally insane Ron Artest and Crazy stupid Bynum over 9/10ths of the teams in the league.

      This would be great if they’d just bring Phil back for one last dance and go after Kobe’s 6th ring.

      • acdc363 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Totally agree.

      • cornbreadbbqred - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        “Dad, dude who was doin’ Sis is not coming back anymore, is he? You promised!”

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      ………………………………..

    • therealhtj - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Look at OKC fans already running scared. You were just a few bounces better, finally, last year than the Lakers. Put in an actual NBA caliber starting point guard on the Lakers and you inbreds already know who wins that series.

      Watching max offers fly in for the likes of Hibbert and Gordon – guess who those max offers are going to next year? You guessed it peckerwood – Harden and Ibaka. And your podunk little market in no way affords 3 max deals much less 4. That wasn’t a cat getting murdered the other night – that was Sam Presti letting out a primal scream.

      I congratulate you on your brief moment of success. Savor it because that sound you just heard was the window slamming shut.

      • heat256 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Sorry, Laker’s window is much smaller than OKC’s, even if Ibaka and possibly Harden leaves. The best thing OKC can hope for is that teams look at their Finals performances and decide the market isn’t as robust for them. If Jones develops into a viable player for OKC, they can trade one or both of them and get good picks. I’d expect them to S&T them anyways, just to get something. Nash solves a big issue for the Lakers, but the unknowns are how their defense will suffer and whether Kobe will truly be OK with sharing the ball and playing off it. His history isn’t exactly the best in that regard, but who knows. I see them as able to get out of the West, but with OKC still the best and getting better, don’t go crowning the Lakers champs yet.

      • infectorman - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Not a Thunder fan.

        But beating a team in 5 games in a best of 7 series ain’t simply ” a few bounces better”.
        Its the next best thing to a sweep. What series were you watching?

        Steve Nash is gonna make that much difference? A 39 year old guard? Try again.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        OKC humiliated the Lakers. To suggest Nash will turn the tables on OKC is why Los Angeles is just NY City on the west coast. Even the Celtics finished the season on a higher level than the Lakers. Ask Mega World War (Ron the Lunatic Artest): he’ll tell you where arrogance gets you: Southern California!

      • stayhigh_247 - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:18 PM

        @jimeejohnson
        nah hold up son, if D Rose doesn’t go down with an injury, Boston doesn’t make it out of the 2nd round. They caught an overachieving Sixers team that shouldn’t have been there in the 1st place. LA ran into a hot OKC team with a much better bench. To call the Lakers, New York west is absurd, the Lakeshow has always remained relevant. What have the Knicks won in your lifetime? Stop hating!

    • thanhnugent - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Durant = Young and choking
      Westbrooks = Young and choking
      Harden = Young and choking
      Ibaka = Young and choking
      Perkins = Young and choking (well he’s got a ring playing somewhere else…)

      Don’t f**king talk about owning us because you haven’t earn the right yet. We own you, and we own 16 big rings…

      • willsolo - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

        “We own you, and we own 16 big rings…” WE? Do you play for the Lakers?

      • stayhigh_247 - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM

        well said, thanhnugent

      • thatkidmichael - Jul 6, 2012 at 1:59 AM

        I’m a die-hard Laker fan, and I’m really excited about Nash coming to L.A., but all these comments saying OKC sucks is just pure ignorance and give Laker fans a bad name. They beat us 5-1 this year, and while Nash is a huge upgrade, I still see L.A. having a hard time getting by OKC(Not saying they won’t, but it’ll still be hard). Fact of the matter is, OKC is a team on the rise and we can’t ignore that. And to say they choked, really? They are YOUNG. Smh

      • infectorman - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        Ba HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

        “Young and Choking”?????

        Exactly. !!! 2 Freakin ROUNDS after they dispatched of your Old worn out Fakers.,
        You know what you can do with your 16 Banners?!?!?!?!
        Fakers are D.U>N> DOne!!!!

        OKC came within in a c-hair of sweeping your overpaid, over exposed, over-rated Hollywood Flash Team.
        Sit down!

    • hunter808 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Say what you want…. The Thunder are skinny jean wearing rookies that are going to choke again by the hands of men next season

      • scalfor3 - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        durant>kobe

        suck it, laker fans

  8. herkulease - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Of course not. Why move Gasol now?

    They’ll see how Nash, Kobe, Pau and Bynum work out this year.

    Gasol though can still be moved after this upcoming season. His 19 million expiring contract is bound to get some offers from some GM/Owner who looking to cut payroll.

  9. chadinkc30 - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Please move Bynum! Gasol better not be soft as fck still either…

  10. maddogg911 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I hear shaq is coming out of retirement and joining the lakers

    • cornbreadbbqred - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Now that is just dumb-ass hating!

  11. cornbreadbbqred - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Tee-hee! The writer stated something was contingent upon creativity from Mike Brown and his staff. Whoaa!!!! Hopefully not like it went in Cleveland!

    • danfrommv - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      I agree Mike Brown is clueless about the offense. That is why Kobe & Pau started designing plays for him in the 2nd half of the year. And that is why Steve Nash said he will discuss how to run the offense with Mike Brown. Hopefully these veterans can teach Mike about offense.

  12. shravaka - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Folks, there are many intangibles that are not being considered here… There is a reason Steve is so admired and respected by his former team mates and fans alike. Beyond his proven skills and two MVP’s, Steve brings an “energetic” to his environment that augments and enhances everyone he is associated with. Simply ask the fans and former team mates in Dallas or Phoenix, and listen to their responses.

    So beyond the obvious refined third dimensional skill set expertise Steve brings to the table for the Lakers, there is a multi-dimensional energetic affect that stats and conventional opinions can never take into consideration. So yes, the Lakers might be wise to stand pat with their current roster and watch what happens when Steve can bring his brand of proven magic which augments everyone’s production around him.

    When the Lakers are down by one, with little time left in the game, and Kobe is being double teamed to prevent him from winning the game…. Just watch. Steve is money in these situations and will knock it down. Just ask the folks in PHX and DAL…

    One thing is for certain… The Lakers will be the most watched and followed team in the NBA next year. If the current Lakers roster can “adapt” to the changes Steve brings to the table, a championship is highly probable. Hopefully they will follow Steve’s example of humility, set their own ego’s aside, and allow this wonderful talent to augment their own game. And just maybe, the fans in LA and around the league can learn something from his example.

  13. lakerluver - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Wondering what all the ignorant Kobe/Lakers haters will say now about elite players not wanting to play with Kobe.

  14. omniusprime - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Keeping Gasol and Bynum will be important for the Lakers to have continuity into the future and a good frontline. Getting rid of that Clown Brown as coach would be very helpful as he just doesn’t have a clue, just like any idiot sports pundit like Mike Helin thinking that the Lakers should give away anything to get DipStick Howard. The Lakers need to get rid of Steve Flake and find a better guard solution, someone much younger and willing to play defense because Steve Nash certainly won’t.

  15. pop562 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I see a lot of trash talking from OKC fans on the Lakers now…thought their fan base would be humble because they finally have a sports team to root for…but before you bash on the Lakers any further, win at least one championship. I was rooting for the Thunders to win the finals but they couldn’t handle lebron and he finally got his first ring.

  16. deconstructingdavid - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    When did the Oklahoma City Supersonic Zombies fans suddenly get the right to talk all this noise about the Lakers? Congratulations on being able to hang your “Western Conference Champions” banner from your bare rafters next season. You guys should just be humble and revel in the fact that you have two young superstars with seemingly no ceiling. You guys should appreciate that the rest of the league sees you as the “Anti-Heat”, a home-grown team bolstered by shrewd front office moves. There’s a lot of respect for the Thunder around the nation because of what the team’s done on the hardwood. Keep on spouting all this noise before you guys actually win something of significance (conference championships don’t count; the Lakers have won 25 of those since moving to LA and we ZERO banners commemorating them), and the only respect you’ll get will be from the 600,000 OKC residents.

    Does the Nash deal put the Lakers over the top in the West? Of course not. any reasonable Lakers fan will admit that. What it does, however, is give the Lakers more than a puncher’s chance. The biggest hurdle the Lakers have now isn’t age, it’s overcoming Mike Brown’s coaching. The Lakers won a division and advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs with one armed tied behind their backs because of Brown. The Lakers were lucky to get one win in the series against the Thunder, but every game except the game 5 clincher came down to one or two possessions in the closing minutes. Nash will never be able to guard Westbrook, and no one can really guard Durant. What Nash brings to the table is an increased capacity for the Lakers to go toe-to-toe offensively against an explosive team like the Thunder, then hope that the wisdom and experience of a veteran squad can make the plays in crunch time. Last year, once the Thunder went up by double-digits, the Lakers weren’t built to catch up. Next year, the Lakers will actually have an offense.

    People don’t think Kobe can play with a real point guard or with another star? How soon people forget the 2008 Olympics. He let the kids do their thing, then took over in the second half of the gold medal after Spain made their run and cut the lead to 2 points. Kobe will be just fine playing alongside Nash.

    The player the Lakers need to move isn’t Gasol, it’s Bynum, and that’s only if Orlando makes the logical move and trade Dwight Howard. Howard’s preternatural defensive ability will help mask Nash’s defensive deficiencies, and will anchor what could be a stellar team defensive unit. The Lakers, as constructed, will at least make a series with OKC more competitive, but if they can land Howard too, look out.

  17. pop562 - Jul 7, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    Durant is the new kid on the block and he’s good but come on Kobe has 5 championship rings and Durant has none…let’s stop with the comparison. At least compare Durant against another small forward like Lebron James.

  18. buffedwhiteman - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Lakers = 2012/13 NBA Champs!

  19. buffedwhiteman - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Lakers NBA Champs 2012/13.

  20. buffedwhiteman - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Steve Nash = 2 year Laker champions.hip run

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