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Monday, December 16, 2013
Opening Tip: Chandler for Gasol?

By Ian Begley

Here's an item that could be of interest for Knicks fans as the trade deadline approaches.

From ESPN.com's Chris Broussard:

"Sources say the Lakers are interested in … center Tyson Chandler. The Lakers did not inquire about Chandler when they called about (Iman) Shumpert, but they are weighing whether to propose a Pau Gasol-for-Chandler trade, according to sources."

Purely from a financial perspective, a deal for Chandler and another player such as Iman Shumpert would make sense for the Knicks.

It would allow New York to get Chandler's $14.5 million dollar salary off the books in 2014-15. Gasol is a free agent after this season, so the Knicks wouldn't have to worry about paying him after this season. Therefore, a Chandler-for-Gasol package would give the Knicks some money to spend in free agency this summer, assuming they choose not to re-sign Gasol.

There's a clear downside here, though.

Swapping Gasol for Chandler would have a negative impact on the Knicks' defense this year. New York has allowed 92 points per 100 possessions in Chandler's four games this season. The Knicks are giving up 106.6 points per 100 possessions with Chandler off the floor.

The Lakers are allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions with Gasol on the floor. When Gasol is off the floor, Los Angeles is giving up 99.3 points per 100 possessions.

Of course, this isn't an end-all-be-all measure of each player's defensive ability. There are other factors at play when looking at each stat, including the other four players on the floor with Gasol and Chandler.

But it's safe to say that the Knicks' defense would take a serious hit in a Chandler-for-Gasol swap.

And that brings us to our question on Monday: If you were Steve Mills, would you trade a package centered around Tyson Chandler for Pau Gasol?

Up now: In addition to his reporting on potential Chandler-for-Gasol trades, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reports that the Lakers have inquired about Iman Shumpert.

One player who teams haven't been calling about is J.R. Smith. Smith has struggled mightily with his shot. Mike Woodson says he "desperately" needs Smith and Shumpert to find their shooting touch.

Carmelo Anthony agrees. He's hinted in recent days that he said he'd like to get some more help from his teammates in the coming games.

What's next: The Knicks will take on John Wall and the Wizards on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Question: If you were Steve Mills, would you trade a package centered around Tyson Chandler for Pau Gasol?

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