Los Angeles Lakers: Why They Should Trade Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets

The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. This was the second-straight second-round exit for the Lakers, as they were swept out of the playoffs last season by the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks.

Such a fate in the playoffs is unacceptable in the eyes of the Lakers, and their fans and the trade chatter about who should go and who should stay will only get more intense as we near the start of the off-season on July 1.  

A popular name that is mentioned frequently in trade talks is Pau Gasol.  

Gasol was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. He helped the Lakers reach the Finals in three straight seasons and win the NBA Championship in 2009 and 2010.  However, he is coming off of another poor playoff performance, averaging just 12 PPG and 9.5 RPG.  

His 17 PPG and 10 RPG are solid numbers for an NBA player, but the 17 PPG were a career low and his 50-percent shooting from the field is also a career low.  

He was officially demoted to the third option on offense this season, and appeared to play passively and almost seemed disinterested at other times.  Because of his two-straight poor post-season performances, fans have been calling for him to be traded since the beginning of last off-season.

One team that has shown significant interest in Gasol has been the Houston Rockets. 

The Rockets are on the brink of becoming a playoff team, but have been decimated by injuries the past few seasons and lack a true star to carry them to the playoffs. Gasol would provide them with that star.  

Houston has a talented backcourt with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin, and also has Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee coming off the bench.  They acquired defensive-minded centers in Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby to anchor their interior defense, but neither provide the offensive abilities...

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