Lakers News: Latest on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and More Buzz from LA

The Los Angeles Lakers have been the most controversial franchise during the first quarter of the 2012-13 NBA campaign. Their early struggles, after an intense offseason that generated so much hope, have added to the intense scrutiny the team is receiving.

Let’s take a look at the latest rumors and news concerning this slumping franchise—currently off to a 10-14 start—as we enter the second quarter of this tumultuous season.


Lakers Declined Atlanta’s Trade Talk

In news that might just hurt L.A. fans to hear, the team brass reportedly rebuffed an inquiry from the Atlanta Hawks about a possible Josh Smith-for-Pau Gasol trade.

According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, the Hawks were interested over the summer—but highly unlikely to pull the trigger on any deal at this juncture.

Gasol has largely been ineffective under coach Mike D’Antoni, whose system revolves around outside shooting and athleticism from every position. The 32-year-old Spaniard isn’t renowned for his touch away from the rim and has been battling tendinitis in both knees.

Smith has helped the Hawks to an incredible start and surprisingly has them in contention after shipping away Joe Johnson this past summer. He’s only 27 years old and has some of the most impressive hops in the league.

Unfortunately, L.A.’s decision-makers figured the Princeton offense would be the system of choice for their team, not D’Antoni’s run-and-gun style. Things changed quickly, and it’s clear in hindsight that the Lakers should have pulled the trigger on any deal highlighted by Gasol for Smith.


More Players Available to Move

While the Lakers may wish they had swapped Gasol for Smith, they still have a chance to tweak their roster prior to February’s trade deadline.


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