NBA Trade Speculation: Should Kobe and LA Lakers Pursue Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol?

Should the NBA lockout void the entire season—an occurrence that is becoming increasingly likely—the Los Angeles Lakers' pursuit of Dwight Howard may go down with it.

Without a season, Howard will instantly enter free-agency next summer, and Los Angeles has no cap room to sign him. Could the Orlando Magic still opt to deal him? Sure, but they will not have the luxury of choosing where, which puts the Lakers at a disadvantage.

That being said, Los Angeles has other avenues it can explore to ensure they contend for the remainder of Kobe Bryant's career while planning for the future.

Enter the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis' top priority, whether it be this summer or next, is retaining Marc Gasol, but should he show any inclination to play elsewhere, they may be open to a sign-and-trade.

Los Angeles has a big man in Andrew Bynum to offer in return, but he arguably holds more of a low-post presence than Gasol at this stage. However, Bynum has remained inconsistent, and Gasol is clearly on the rise, making him an interesting prospect.

A straight up deal is unlikely to benefit the Lakers, which is why Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo could be thrown into the equation. Gay spent most of last season on the bench, a year in which the Grizzlies turned heads, and if the right deal came along, the team could be open to moving him.

Groundwork for a deal could involve the Lakers sending Lamar Odom and Bynum to the Grizzlies for Gasol, Gay and Mayo. The Lakers receive a strong center in Gasol and an answer to their small forward woes in Gay. Mayo's consistency and overwhelming defense is an added bonus.

While the Grizzlies may be reluctant to engage in any major deals after last season's success, it could be out of their hands if they cannot re-sign Gasol. This deal provides them with a dominant center in Bynum, and level-headed veteran leadership—sorry, Zach Randolph—and ...

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