The Lakers aren’t the Lakers only because they’re in L.A., the city has great weather and a lot of plastic women, and the team has tradition. They’re the Lakers because while many other teams chase their tails for 12 months a year, and then blow it up and start all over again, L.A. has a plan and are patient enough to let it grow. The fact they’ve gone this far without Kobe flipping out and pulling one of his weapons of mass destruction from out of his closet seems to indicate they know what they’re doing and have let their franchise player know everything is going to be okay. Of course, this basically means Pau Gasol is gone. No matter what Jim Buss says, Gasol is a likely goner if the Lakers are looking to make a big move. The problem? L.A. might be asking for too much in return. Sources around the league continue to say the Lakers are asking for both picks and a player for Gasol (they really want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), and with the Black Swan’s contract still larger than Boris Diaw‘s waistline (two more years with $38 million owed to him), that’s a lot to ask for. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the Hawks are aggressively trying to pry Gasol away from L.A. for Josh Smith. This could make some sense. Smith checked out of the ATL a while ago, despite having the best season of his career there last year. And Gasol just needs a change of scenery and a chance to get away from Kobe’s eye missiles. If only Kobe could convince Smith to stop taking long twos, this could really work out for them. Instead, Smith will probably take even more bad shots just off following the Mamba’s lead. On second thought, this is a bad idea … The Lakers are also dangling Metta World Peace on a line to see if anyone will take the bait. Unfortunately for them, Isiah Thomas is no longer an NBA GM … Speaking of Josh Smith, he and Rudy Gay are the Houston Rockets’ backup plans if they’re unable to snatch Dwight Howard out of Disney World. They made another move yesterday to move farther up the draft board, and now their starting point guard sees the writing on the wall. Kyle Lowry expects to be traded in the next 24 hours. There is a problem though. The team most interested in trading for him – Toronto – believes they have a chance to get Steve Nash and they don’t want two starting-caliber point guards. It’s kind of funny watching Houston operate right now, basically offering anyone on their team for a chance at two or three lottery picks so that MAYBE Orlando will trade them Howard and then MAYBE he’ll eventually agree to sign there … Hopefully you’ve seen this Jus Fly dunk, but you’ve probably never seen it like this … And Baron Davis told the New York Post that even though the dislocated kneecap he suffered in the playoffs will likely knock him out for all of next year, he still plans on coming back to the Knicks the following season. Almost two years off for Lumberjack Davis? By then he might resemble Jabba the Hutt. For real, Davis is a great dude. Hopefully he gets back … Keep reading to hear who is fighting over Tyreke Evans …
While it appears the talks indicating Tyreke Evans could be traded along with the No. 5 pick in the draft are dead, Sacramento’s formerly finest King still has 11 NBA teams interested in him, according to Jason Jones. Playing out of position (at least in his eyes) this year, Evans wasn’t happy in Sacramento and would like to be somewhere he can run the show and do his mini-LeBron stuff. The team won’t offer him an extension and he’ll instead become a restricted free agent next summer, and of those 11 teams, Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Toronto, Memphis and Philly are all reportedly interested in trading for him now. Evans has that Ben Gordon outlook right now: He doesn’t care if you trade him to the worst team in the league, as long as he’s not playing off the ball … And as far as draft rumors go, all bets are off. It’s an all-out feeding frenzy right now. Let’s see if we can round it up in a few words: Jerry West wants Dion Waiters, the rest of the Warriors want Andre Drummond … Somehow, it feels like Waiters has promises from half the lottery … Chicago likes Harrison Barnes but won’t trade Luol Deng … Charlotte wants to trade down to take Thomas Robinson. Cleveland wants to trade up for Bradley Beal. Washington wants to trade up and down for either one of them. They’re all trying to out-trade each other … Houston just wants to dance and trade with anyone … The Bobcats are also looking to trade Tyrus Thomas. Wait, no one cares about that one … Then, there’s this: OKC might be looking into trying to obtain Bradley Beal. Andy Katz reports the team met with Beal and Sam Presti actually told the two guard OKC was interested in moving up to get him. This could mean nothing at all, or it could mean OKC is more worried than we thought about eventually paying James Harden and Serge Ibaka … Amar’e Stoudemire told ESPNNewYork.com he’ll now be spending time this summer with Hakeem Olajuwon to learn the nuances of the post game. Between Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron and now STAT running to learn from Olajuwon, why doesn’t some team just SIGN the Dream? He could get buckets on 50 percent of the league right now, or at least anyone on New York’s roster … And should NBA fans start saying prayers, asking for Ray Allen to not sign in Miami? We don’t want this to get unfair … We’re out like Lowry.
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