L.A. Lakers: The Good, Bad and Ugly of a Pau Gasol for Josh Smith Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't make a move to acquire a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, which means if they hope to truly make a deal that impacts their roster, it will likely occur during the approaching free agency period.

There has been plenty of speculation concerning what steps the Lakers might take to improve the team, and most of that discussion has centered around forward Pau Gasol.

Gasol's second straight disappearing act in the postseason has left the talented big man with the unfortunate status of the Lakers' star most likely to be dealt. And the fact that the team is actively shopping Gasol has opened the floodgates of different trade scenarios.

One of the most intriguing and legitimate Gasol rumors involves a deal with Atlanta for disgruntled Hawks forward Josh Smith, as first reported by the LA Times.

A potential Gasol-for-Smith deal would offer many positive boons for the Lakers. But do they outweigh the pitfalls that could accompany the move?

When it comes to acquiring equal value for Gasol, a trade for Smith is probably as close as the Lakers could ever hope to get, outside of a deal for Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.

Acquiring Smith would also mean the Lakers were able to replace an older star with a younger one, and enhance the overall athleticism of the roster in the process.


Smith's ability to play on the perimeter would create even more space for center Andrew Bynum in the middle. And while Smith may not be a great perimeter shooter, he is good enough to garner attention from opponents.

Point guard Ramon Sessions would also benefit from Smith's presence, especially in the open court, where Sessions' speed would finally be matched with a player that can consistently get up and down the floor and finish at the rim with authority.

Defensively, Smith has the ability to be a monster when h...

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