NBA Trade Rumors: Pau to Grizzlies Makes No Sense, Won't Happen

Clint EilandAnalyst IJanuary 19, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Lately, the talk has been about how the Lakers are determined to trade Pau Gasol, and one of the teams that is supposedly in the running is the Memphis Grizzlies.

Boy, where do we start with this one?

The Grizzlies have found themselves in quite the dramatic offseason, having already been the focal point of the Rudy Gay rumors and a possible ownership change. This whole Pau to Memphis business is just the icing on the cake.

Though, if we're going with the cake metaphor, this icing isn't even real (Okay, not the best choice for a comparison.)

Pau Gasol once played for the Memphis Grizzlies, and it was a pretty good time. After all, he was with us for seven years and set numerous franchise records. I'd be lying if I said Memphis doesn't have appreciation for him.

But the idea of trading somebody like Zach Randolph or Rudy Gay for Gasol is quite frankly, ridiculous. 

First, let's get the least likely one (Gay to the Lakers) out of the way. If Rudy were to be traded to the Lakers, they would have to pay the $15 million price tag he comes with. Even if they accepted that, Memphis is still screwed in the long run.

After all, what benefit would Memphis get? If we have Pau, we would have three outstanding guys at two positions, and no answer at the positions we actually need help in. The Lakers could conceivably give Memphis a few extra guys like Steve Blake or *shudder* Metta World Peace. But neither of those are upgrades, or even replacements for Mayo and Gay.

The Randolph trade is where it is actually kind of interesting. A one for one trade of two guys that would supposedly bring energy to their teams.

Sure, it seems good on the surface, but let's go deeper into this idea.

Randolph was injured this past season for six weeks, so he was not able to put up the numbers he was accustomed to. But when he was healthy, he was in discussion as one of the top power forwards in the game. He was averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.

On Gasol's side, it was pretty much the same story. Even though he averaged lower numbers than usual, he was still productive. An early playoff exit is the reason so much talk about moving Gasol is going on though. 

Statistically, they are pretty equal. The main reason for a trade is how both would fire up fan bases and add to their respective teams. But even this has flaws.

Zach Randolph in the Lakers system is not a good fit. Randolph is known as a guy who likes to take shots, and passing is a secondary option. Randolph with Kobe Bryant would not work too well. 

Pau in Memphis would bring back memories of glory, but it wouldn't exactly spark the fan base to new levels. Randolph has been one of the leaders of this Grizzlies team, and through his leadership and physical play, he has brought excitement to Memphis.

Gasol is known for being kind of soft, and that will not fly in Memphis. Even his own teammates would complain about him, and nobody wants that. 

Memphis has their core of Gasol, Randolph, Conley and Gay locked up, so splitting them up now would be foolish. They are Finals contenders if they add one piece to the puzzle, so trading away a guy who has helped you tremendously to get to the point you are at today is not feasible.

I think we can attribute this rumor to the "Good headlines" category. Randolph and Gay aren't going anywhere.