Lakers Trade Rumors: Why LA Needs to Trade for Josh Smith

The Los Angeles Lakers have had discussions with the Atlanta Hawks about swapping Pau Gasol for Josh Smith.

The Hawks, according to CBS Sports, turned down the deal. The Lakers wanted more than just Smith in return.

As Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported:

In addition to Johnson, the Hawks have been open to moving forward Josh Smith though they’ve resisted offers so far. Apparently the Hawks balked at a potential deal with the Lakers for Pau Gasol because L.A. wanted another major piece to go along with Smith. That would leave the Hawks with less than six players under contract, less talent, and no short-term cap relief because of the $38 million and two years remaining on Gasol’s contract.

That major piece, according to Charles Dunson of the International Business Times, was point guard Jeff Teague. With Steve Nash in town, however, the Lakers don't need Teague. 

The Lakers need to re-focus and get their priorities back on track. Smith is a necessary piece.

For one, Smith is 26 and entering the prime of his career. He's super-athletic and can guard multiple positions. 

He's also a better player than Gasol. Smith averaged 18.8 points last season, along with 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

Gasol, on the other hand, averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. In the playoffs, Gasol struggled, scoring only 12.5 points per game.

Gasol, at 32, is on the downswing of his career. Smith is much more athletic and is an exciting player to watch. His spectacular dunks would be very popular in LA.

Now that the Lakers have acquired Nash, they don't need a point guard. They can focus on the Smith-for-Gasol swap.

It's highway robbery for the Lakers. While Atlanta wants to dump salary, they would take a step back into rebuilding mode if they trade Smith. W...

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