After the Lakers flamed out in the playoffs for the second season in a row, people figured the team would make significant personnel changes. The common thought has been that either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol would be traded, and that it was Gasol who was most likely gone.
Gasol was dealt to Houston in a three-way trade before the season began, but he remained in LA after the deal was overruled by David Stern. Gasol was distracted by trade rumors all season, and a report recently stated that the Lakers were committed to trading him this offseason.
Jim Buss says otherwise.
Buss told the LA Times that chances are “very good” that Gasol, Bynum, and Kobe Bryant are all with the team to start next season.
Instead of a trade, Buss envisions changes regarding the way Gasol is used.
“I think changes are going to be made moving Pau lower to the basket,” he told the Times. “We can improve that way with a change in coaching strategy rather than a change in personnel.”
This was one of the areas Phil Jackson criticized during his interview with HBO’s “Real Sports.” He said the extra use of Bynum took away Gasol’s usefulness.
I’m not sure if I believe Buss. The Lakers have been swept in the playoffs the last two seasons and have fallen behind the Thunder. Buss knows that, and that’s why he tried changing the roster before last season. I’d be surprised if he didn’t try to do the same thing again, regardless of what he says.
Chest bump to I am a GM
Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE