Lakers Rumors: LA Was Right to Reject Pau Gasol-Josh Smith Offseason Trade Offer

Rumor has it that the Los Angeles Lakers were offered a trade in the offseason that would have netted them talented Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith but cost GM Mitch Kupchak four-time All-Star Pau Gasol.

Kupchak and the Lakers were right to reject the deal, which was reported by Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, who also included what he would offer if L.A. could orchestrate a trade involving the two players right now:

Gasol and Chris Duhon ($3.5 million) for Atlanta power forward Josh Smith ($13.2 million) and point guard Devin Harris ($8.5 million).

The Hawks called this summer to inquire about a Smith-for-Gasol trade.

The Lakers said no thanks.

They would probably be a lot more receptive now.

Here's the biggest reason Gasol wasn't expendable: He was such a key cog in two NBA championship teams. Preseason expectations firmly dictated a championship-or-bust discourse about the 2012-13 season since the Lakers added superstars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the roster.

How would it make any sense to trade off one of the game's premier power forwards for what would essentially be a player who has never played to his full potential nor passed the second round of the playoffs?

This is a classic case of hindsight being 20/20. Until the Hawks' exceptional start to this season and the Lakers' implosion, it wouldn't have been possible for L.A. to justify a Gasol-Smith swap.

Even now, it seems ridiculous. Gasol hasn't had any time to acclimate to a completely new offensive scheme and hasn't been able to play with Nash. It has been emphasized by Ric Bucher that Nash came to Los Angeles largely because of the opportunity to play with Gasol.

Now that Nash's former head coach, Mike D'Antoni, is manning the bench for the Lakers, the situation has gotten even better. The problem is, Nash has been injured for all but one-and-a-half games, and Gasol is out.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers