Lakers Rumors: Latest on Pau Gasol for Josh Smith Trade and More Buzz from L.A.

Alex KayCorrespondent INovember 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Josh Smith #5 of  the Atlanta Hawks shoots over Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 14, 2012 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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers became the most polarizing team in the NBA when they acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard this summer. If they were able to acquire those two players while being over the cap, imagine what they could pull off during the season.

By quickly firing Mike Brown and hiring Mike D’Antoni as coach, the organization has left itself open for a number of trade rumors and plenty of speculation as to what could happen next—if the team were to drop a handful of games.

Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting buzz being generated out in Lakerland right now.


Possible Smith for Gasol Swap

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Lakers brass have held discussions on ways to entice the Atlanta Hawks to trade them Josh Smith for Pau Gasol. 

Smith is six years younger than Gasol and brings a tremendous amount of athleticism to the table, plus is widely known to be one of DH12’s closest friends in the league.

However, while the Lakers would likely do the trade in a heartbeat, Atlanta isn’t willing to give up their best player so easily. The Lakers don’t have any first-round picks to package, and there is no way that the Hawks would only consider Gasol in exchange for Smith.

Smith is in the last year of his contract, so there is a chance that he informs ATL team brass that he would like out. Rather than losing him for nothing, there’s a possibility that they trade him before the February 2013 deadline.

We’ll keep you updated right here with the latest on this potential megadeal that could see the Lakers shaking the NBA landscape once again.


Matt Carroll to L.A.?

The Charlotte Hornets made a “splash” by flipping Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Hakim Warrick last week. The Bobcats wanted to get bigger inside and add some athleticism, and dumped the $3.5 million expiring contract of Carroll in the process.

It doesn’t seem like the rebuilding Hornets want any part of the former Notre Dame guard either, and are currently working toward a buyout with the nine-year veteran, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Word is Hornets & Matt Carroll working on buyout after CHA dealt Carroll for Hakim Warrick. Possible free-agent shooter for Lakers' radar?

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 16, 2012

Stein also speculates that if he’s bought out, the Lakers could potentially bring Carroll in as a shooter to space the floor in D’Antoni’s offense.

Carroll is a career 41.3 percent shooter from the field and nails 38.4 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. He’s averaged 6.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists during his NBA tenure—mostly as a role player or deep bench option.

At the veteran’s minimum, there is no reason for L.A. not to consider the 32-year-old sniper.


Nash’s Potential Return

Janis Carr of The Orange County Register has found that superstar PG Nash is not expected to return to action until at least Friday, Nov. 23—when the team travels to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies.

Nash has already missed seven games, and is likely to miss a handful more before recovering enough from a fractured left fibula to get back on the court.

With D’Antoni now calling the plays for the Lakers, it would benefit the team greatly to have the two-time MVP running the offense in which he found so much success in.

As soon as there is information out on when exactly Nash will return, we’ll have it here on B/R.