Over the past week, the Los Angeles Lakers have been taking considerable steps in trying to shop around star power forward Pau Gasol.
Josh Smith could be on the move before the NBA Draft.
According to ESPN, the Lakers are looking to trade with any of the lottery teams with the intentions of acquiring a top-10 selection in this year's draft. Besides a pick, the Lakers are also looking to add an established veteran in a potential trade.
Although nothing has been officially reported, there are rumors that the Atlanta Hawks are very interested in Gasol, and are willing to give up former Slam Dunk champion Josh Smith. Smith had his best year as a pro this past season, leading the Hawks with 18.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
In finalizing a deal for Gasol, the Lakers would negotiate to receive the 23rd overall pick along with Smith. Such a deal could potentially save the Lakers over $8 million in cap space.
As of right now, however, the team with the most wiggle room to acquire Gasol is the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets have made numerous deals that allowed them to gain three first-round picks. Houston's moves have has suggested that they plan on rebuilding, and a veteran like Gasol could be very beneficial to the Rockets as both a player and a mentor to the rookies this year.
Even though the Rockets hold several picks in the first round, the Trail Blazers and the Hornets also are at an advantage with two picks each.
The Hornets, who, by lottery, won the first overall pick, will most likely choose Anthony Davis with the top selection. Besides the first pick, they are also set to chose a player at 10th overall.
With this pick, they can add depth to their roster by selecting a player like Austin Rivers, former Tar Heel John Henson or Meyers Leonard from Illinois.
Portland is looking to recreate the success they attained in the 1990's, when they made the playoffs every year. They acquired the sixth-overall pick from Brooklyn in a mid-season trade for Gerald Wallace.
The Blazers needs a lot of work to mold a successful team, but their situation at point guard is their biggest concern. There's a good chance they'll take a point guard with their first pick. Damian Lillard and Tony Wroten Jr. are likely high on their list.
Portland also has the 11th pick in the draft. The Blazers will likely use this to add a big man to their roster. Baylor's Perry Jones III, Tyler Zeller from North Carolina and the underrated Jared Sullinger are all potential candidates to play right away and strongly improve the Blazers defense.
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