ESPN Insider: Why a Millsap-Gasol trade works

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Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in Eastbourne, England.
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Here’s another trade idea involving Pau Gasol. This time, it comes from ESPN’s Insider:

Here’s the framework of a deal (Note: Players are paired with the years left on their contracts and 2012-13 salary): 

Lakers receive: Millsap (one, $8M) Mo Williams (one, $8.5M), DeSagana Diop (one, $7.4M),Raja Bell (one, $3.5M)

Jazz receive: Gasol (two, $19M), Kemba Walker (three, $2.5M), Ben Gordon (two, $12.4M),Earl Clark (one, $1.2M)

Bobcats receive: Jefferson (one, $15M), Kanter (three, $4.5M), Chris Duhon (two, $3.5M),Darius Johnson-Odom (one, $0.5M)

Millsap has been linked to the Lakers for a while now, but it’s mostly been by fans who’d like to see him in Los Angeles.

At 27-years-old, Millsap is a solid player – over the last two seasons, he’s averaged nearly 17 ppg and 8.2 rpg – though this season his scoring numbers have dipped a little at 14.7 ppg.

Some of that is due to less opportunities as the Jazz try to get Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter more court time, and he also has to share a roster with veteran Al Jefferson.

You can see why the Lakers would be interested in Millsap, as he can spread the floor and is even shooting 45% from three this year.

The Lakers may be turned off by his current contract situation, though. His $8.6 million deal expires in the summer and he’ll want a new deal. He isn’t a max contract player, but he’s going to want more than the $8.6 million he’s currently earning this season.

As discussed before, Los Angeles’ plan for a long time has been to have lots of cap space in 2014 so they can chase one, or maybe even two, of the top free agents that year. Giving a long-term deal to Millsap could disrupt those plans.

I’m not sure whether the Lakers would be able to get Mo Williams in this trade – and I don’t think the Jazz would want to move Enes Kanter – though if the Lakers could somehow get their hands on Millsap, he’d definitely fit in with what they’re trying to do.

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