On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly turned down a trade offer from the Toronto Raptors. What type of talent was on offer? Forward Andrea Bargnani, point guard Jose Calderon, and forward Linas Kleiza were all on the table, according to ESPN sources.
ESPN also reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves were keen to unite Gasol with compatriot Ricky Rubio. Keeping Kevin Love, the Timberwolves were hopeful of a trade centered around Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic.
The Lakers reportedly pulled out of all trade talks on Thursday, refusing to trade away Gasol until injured point guard Steve Nash had a chance to play with the Spaniard under Coach Mike D’Antoni. The Lakers may not have been patient with former coach Mike Brown, but the Lakers are dead-set on seeing how this Lakers team plays with all four superstars on the floor at the same time.
When referring to the Lakers’ roster of Gasol, Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard as four superstars, the fifth starter, Metta World Peace, is often overlooked. Aside from being the driving force in beating the Boston Celtics in game 7 of the 2010 NBA finals, World Peace has a resume worthy of being the fifth superstar.
Metta World Peace is one of only six players in NBA history to record 12,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 1,000 3-point field goals, and 1,500 steals. The other names on that list are Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Reggie Miller, and Kobe Bryant. All five of the other guys on that list are guaranteed hall of famers, and recording those numbers displays World Peace’s ability to play effectively on both ends of the floor.
Although the Lakers’ big three are undoubtedly Nash, Howard, and Bryant, the other two starters, Gasol and World Peace, are two players that most NBA teams would consider using as first or second options. The Lakers may boast a big three, but when purely analyzing on-the-court abilities, the Lakers possess five stars on the roster.
The Lakers made the right decision to be patient with Gasol. Perhaps, all the patience with Nash’s injury and Howard’s rehab has spilled over to Gasol’s trade talk.
Nash should be close to a return, and once he is back, there will be no more dress rehearsals. It will most definitely be “Showtime” for the Lake Show.