Sixers-Lakers Preview: Take Our Players First

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers still have Thaddeus Young The Lakers still have Pau Gasol. Trade for our power forward first, prospective buyers!

It's weird to see the Lakers in a situation in Feburary where they're trying to possibly shed assets rather than add them. Los Angeles are tied for 7th in the lottery right now at 17-32, and things are looking pretty bleak to the point where Kobe won't be able to save them.

LA doesn't have many assets to begin with (they can't trade a first round pick until 2019), but what they do have is veteran power forward Pau Gasol. Gasol's in the stage of his career where he's like your dog that only has three good legs and can't see out of his right eye anymore, but you still love him anyway. He's averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a night, but shooting well below his career average. The Phoenix Suns, a likely suitor for Thaddeus Young, has engaged Los Angeles in trade talks over Gasol but are concerned with his health. He'll miss two weeks with a strained groin.

For Phoenix, it makes some sense for them to opt for Gasol over Young if they're looking to add another piece. He's on an expiring contract, while Young's locked in for another two years, and flexibility is key for the Suns. The issue comes when whether or not Gasol can be healthy enough to push Phoenix over the top as they make a run for the playoffs.

There's really no point in keeping the Spaniard on for the sake of winning, but they may need him to help field an actual team. Going into Wednesday's game against Cleveland, Los Angeles dressed just eight healthy guys. After Nick Young went down with a knee injury and Chris Kaman fouled out, the Lakers just had six. Then Jordan Farmar went down with a calf injury. All of a sudden, they had zero subs, and Kaman was sprawled out on the bench taking a nap. They would end up winning, but later learned Nick Young will miss at least two weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his knee.

Philadelphia will have a little less swag in it come Friday night.

As for the Sixers, their story remains the same. Keep the losses coming, and hopefully a few trades too.

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