Mac Engel

June 23, 2014

Remember Lam Lam? Stay away from Gasol

The team needs a player who can help solve the problem, not somebody like Pau Gasol.

The last time the Dallas Mavericks made a deal with the Lakers they landed the most unproductive Kardashian of the lot, which says so much considering how little they have contributed to society.

This ex-Laker was more unproductive than Bruce Jenner, Kimmy or Khloe.

I’m talking about, of course, Lam Lam.

The Mavericks’ trade to acquire Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers in December 2011 should have left a permanent scar so deep that team owner Mark Cuban and president Donnie Nelson would be justified in never talking to the Lakers again.

The acquisition of Odom was sold as a heist, yet it soon turned out Lam Lam was a Trojan horse dressed as a Kardashian.

The Lam Lam fiasco was so big, reality TV may not have believed it.

Now, it is 2014 and, according to various reports, the Mavericks are pondering the possibility of adding another forward the Lakers no longer want — free agent Pau Gasol.

Pau is Spanish for “done.”

If the Mavs want to do right by their best assets — Dirk, Rick Carlisle and Monta Ellis— they are better off to add a player rather than a name. This includes passing on Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, whom even Dirk has conceded won’t come here when he tests free agency.

The 2014 NBA Draft is Thursday, and rather than speculating whom the Mavericks could have selected with their first-round pick, we are again confronted by the never-ending specter of the Lamar Odom trade and two picks in the second round.

The Mavs’ first-round pick this year was part of the Odom trade. It is the 21st overall selection and belongs to Oklahoma City.

According to NBADraft.Net, the Thunder is projected to select Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III at that spot. has the Thunder selecting Michigan State’s Adreian Payne. And Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has the Thunder taking UCLA’s Zach LaVine.

Maybe all three will be bums, yet all three are more attractive than the soon-to-be 34-year-old Gasol.

If we were talking about the Gasol named Marc, who plays for Memphis ... different story.

Pau Gasol may not be a Kardashian, or another Lam Lam, but he is yet another veteran who does not fit on this roster, and does not fix the problem. The fact the Mavs were the only team that gave the eventual NBA champion Spurs a series by pushing them to seven games suggests maybe they just need one more player to make a little bit more noise next year. Pau is not that player.

The Mavs need a rim-protecting center, not another taller small guy who gets hurt and plays the same spot as this team’s best player — Dirk Nowitzki.

Adding Pau Gasol is the equivalent of Antoine Walker, Antawn Jamison, Raef LaFrentz or Lam Lam. I would throw Shawn Marion into that group, but The Matrix proved he could more than carry his own, and was one of the bigger reasons this team won the NBA title in 2011. Pau is not the right player for this team, especially at this stage of his career.

Seven years ago when the Lakers stole Gasol away from the Grizzlies to the dismay of every team in the league, this acquisition would have been a coup. Now it just looks like trying something for the sake of trying.

It looks like the Mavs are saying to Carlisle, “Here — you’ve done more with less so here you go.”

Few NBA teams prefer rookies less than the Mavs, who continually court veterans who know what they are doing rather than go through the painful process of developing younger talent. The philosophy won them one title, and kept them competitive for playoff spots.

We know ’Melo, or any celebrity A-list free agent, is not coming here, and we have accepted it. The likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams not coming have made us hardened to this reality.

As long as the Mavs insist on adding veterans, at least add a guy who doesn’t play Dirk’s spot.

At least add a guy who has a few good years left who can fix the problem, rather than one who enjoyed his best years in LA.

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