Lakers Rumors: Dealing Pau Gasol for Ryan Anderson Wouldn't Make LA Contenders

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

Dec 3, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings (3) passes as New Orleans Hornets power forward Jason Smith (14) and shooting guard Roger Mason Jr. (8) and power forward Ryan Anderson (33) defend during the first quarter of a game at the New Orleans Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have bigger struggles than Pau Gasol, but people like to think that moving the All-Star big man would instantly transform the team's starting lineup into one cohesive unit.

That's not the case. Gasol certainly doesn't fit the Lakers' current plans, but the Lakers' No. 1 target wouldn't solve the Lakers' current issues.

According to Sheridan Hoops' Jabari Davis, "Ryan Anderson is the No. 1 target of the Los Angeles Lakers if they decide to trade Pau Gasol, an NBA source tells"

Davis' report also mentions that there are complications, but let's focus on the players and current makeup of the Lakers.

Yes, Anderson would fit D'Antoni's system. He's a three-point ace, and his 6'10'' frame makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

He's averaging over 17 points per game for the Hornets this season and nearly eight rebounds. It's not like he hasn't been productive in his new home, but his old home makes him attractive to the Lakers as well.

Anderson was very successful as the power forward next to Dwight Howard in Orlando last season. Because of his shooting ability, he pulls players out of the paint and allows Howard to work down low. But, can he make free throws? If he can't, then there's really nothing he can help Howard with in his new home.

Anderson is a fine complementary piece, but he's not going to make the difference for Los Angeles. He would provide a different look than what Gasol does; however, that doesn't mean that that new look is going to put this team over the top.

This move is far from a guarantee. As Davis' report mentions, Anderson can't even be considered for a trade until Dec. 15, but Gasol seems to shoulder much of the blame all the time.

He's definitely part of the problem, but that doesn't mean you just move him for anyone. The Lakers aren't going to win unless Steve Nash is healthy, and even then, it's going to be difficult without a competent bench to relieve the older starting lineup.

Anderson is an interesting player, but he's not the answer.