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Trade Prediction – Houston, Phoenix, and L.A. Make A Deal

Here’s what we know about the Lakers: They need a point guard. Badly. So badly that they might even miss the playoffs without one.

Here’s what we know about Houston: They need to turn their bench full of young talent into a difference maker.

Finally, here’s what we know about Phoenix: They need to trade Steve Nash soon if they want anything in return for him. Otherwise, there’s a good chance he’ll walk away for nothing this summer when the Knicks offer him the full mid-level.

So, why not put together the following trade:

  1. Gasol and a pick to Houston
  2. Scola to L.A.
  3. Thabeet, Flynn, Courtney Lee, and a draft pick go to Phoenix
  4. Nash goes to L.A.

Here’s why this works:

LA gets a point guard while still keeping a starting PF – it’s the perfect 2 for 1 move for them, and all it costs is a PF they don’t really need anymore and a future 1st rounder.

Houston turns a decent PF on a long contract and three players that they probably weren’t going to keep anyway into a very capable PF/C.

Phoenix gets to test drive three young players AND they get a future 1st rounder, and even better, they give Nash a real chance at winning a title. If they present it to their fans correctly, the Suns franchise can come out looking really good here doing right by Nash.

Potential Problems:

  • The owner in Phoenix refuses to trade Nash
  • Houston decides to hold on to Scola. They could package Dalembert and Patterson or Hill instead, but that would deny L.A. a starting caliber PF and might break this deal
  • L.A. could decide that holding on to Gasol is the best way to make a trade for Dwight Howard, or perhaps even Deron Williams if Howard is sent to Dallas

There are lots of moving pieces here, but as of today (Feb. 8th, 2012) it seems very likely that either Bynum or Pau Gasol (or maybe even both) will be traded this season. If Bynum is moved, it will only be to acquire Howard. If Gasol is moved, Houston seems like the logical destination…and they have pieces that would likely entice Phoenix to make a deal of their own.

Of course, you could work a three team deal with Gasol going to Houston, Houston sending pieces to NJ, and NJ sending Williams to L.A. too if you assume L.A. or Dallas can secure Howard…it’s going to be an interesting trade deadline.

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