From: Andrew Hova
Date: 8:21 pm, November 27th, 2012
Subject: Amar’e for Gasol? Oh please make it sooo
This was an e-mail I received last night as I got off of a plane. In a panic, my fingers couldn’t light up Twitter fast enough. I was stricken with my worst fear come to light–not so much that the Lakers were close to trading Gasol, but rather that New York Knick Amar’e Stoudemire would be the quarry.
I searched and searched, but all I saw was speculation. There weren’t any solid reports, just rumors floating around that a swap of the two disaffected power forwards could be a possible deal going forward. Both men aren’t entirely happy in their current environments and roles on their current squads, and more importantly, have largely underperformed the last year and a half. Switching the two wouldn’t be an entirely far-fetched idea, based on various factors of their ages, contracts and personnel redundancies on the Lakers and Knicks, respectively.
That being said, there isn’t a scenario where this trade would be anything but an outright disaster for the Lakers.
At this point, such a pact is purely rumor-mill material. But just to nip this one right quick, there’s no way that LA should or would pursue this deal as a one-for-one switcheroo.
1). Contract length and cost
First and foremost, this is a money issue. Pau is owed just a bit over $38 million for this season and the next. Amar’e on the other hand, is scheduled to receive over $64 million in salary over three seasons…without insurance due to his balky knees. Yes, both players might be in a simple need of a scenery change, but doing so for the sake of an extra year and nearly $26 million dollars just isn’t worth it. More importantly, this would nearly cap out the Lakers in the summer of 2014, when Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Blake come off the books to the tune of $60 million dollars. Amar’e’s prospective salary would shutter the possibility of bringing in another free agent swingman to pair with Dwight Howard (if he’s resigned this summer), Steve Nash (under contract for 2014-2015) and perhaps Kobe Bryant on a short-term deal.
In terms of sheer money, this deal is so ludicrous that Chris Bridges couldn’t even sanction it.
2). Pau Gasol is better than Amar’e Stoudemire
This is a much bigger and longer argument, but even in a down year, there’s little doubt in my mind that Pau Gasol is a far more effective player of the two:
Stoudemire 2011-2012: 17.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 bpg, .483 FG%, 17.7 PER
Gasol 2011-2013: 16.6 PPG, 10.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.3 bpg, .488 FG%, 19.5 PER
Aside from points per game (in which Pau took 1.6 less shots per game), it’s clear that Gasol is the superior guy at this point. He’s more efficient and athletic than Amar’e, and in regards to his offensive skill set, is vastly more versatile. Stoudemire is rapidly becoming more and more an outside jump shooter, as his explosiveness has wilted like Ramon Sessions in a big spot.
Amar’e is largely a one-trick pony at this point–he can score, but without the variance in which Gasol can and also sans the more impressive rebounding and assist numbers. It goes that without saying that Stoudemire is one of the league’s worst defensive players, whereas Pau is at least adequate.
But what that last bullet left out was that Pau aggregated all those statistics in 80 games, where the Knicks forward only played in 47 games in that
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