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Bynum, Gasol on trading block?

The Lakers seemed to be happy with their decision not to trade Pau Gasol, but now that Kobe Bryant is out for six weeks, they seem to be putting Gasol back out there. They've discussed one potential deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which would exchange Gasol for Andrew Bynum. The Cavaliers would receive a veteran to complement Kyrie Irving, while the Lakers could waive Bynum in order to save more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. Not exactly a standard blockbuster trade for the Lakers, but when your playoff hopes are slim, sometimes you have to look to the future.

Which team would get the better end of this potential trade?

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  • Do the Lakers need to receive at least one other player to make a potential Pau Gasol-Andrew Bynum trade viable?

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  • Would the Cavaliers be a playoff team with Pau Gasol?

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  • All else being equal, what would be a better trade for the Cavaliers?

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  • How confident are you that Andrew Bynum can be a productive player in the NBA again?

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Kobe Bryant out six weeks

Just when it looked like Kobe Bryant was starting to show flashes of his old self after his comeback from an Achilles injury, calamity: The Lakers legend has a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee that will sideline him for at least six weeks. The Lakers are in a tough spot -- they're 12-13 and would have faced a tough road to the playoffs even with Kobe at full strength. Now they face an interesting decision: Do they go all-in this season and try to tread water until Kobe comes back, or do they bet on him still being an elite player come next season?

  • What chance do you give the Lakers (12-13) of making the playoffs with Kobe Bryant likely missing six weeks?

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  • Will the Lakers ever be title contenders again with Kobe Bryant?

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  • How many more years does Kobe Bryant have left as an elite player?

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  • What should the Lakers do with the remainder of their roster?

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Pa Gasol has been a key part of the Lakers for years, and it looks like he'll remain with the team for the immediate future. The Lakers have reportedly decided not to trade him, at least for the moment, as they're happy with his play in recent games. Gasol is averaging 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, with a 21-point performance on Tuesday night. This could all be just a smokescreen, however -- the Lakers are 12-13 and might need to make a significant move if they want to stay competitive in the brutally tough Western Conference.

Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:

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AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

What's up in Western Conference?

If the Minnesota Timberwolves were in the Eastern Conference -- like, say, their neighbors the Milwaukee Bucks -- they'd be fourth, with an 11-12 record. Instead, the Kevin Love-led team is in the West ... where it's 11th. And just half a game out of 13th. Tough conference, eh? Which teams will come good?

Which team will win the Northwest Division?

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  • Which team will win the Pacific Division?

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  • Which team will win the Southwest Division?

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  • Which team will win the Western Conference?

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  • Which of these teams has the best shot at making the playoffs?

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Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant rusty in return

Eight months after a ruptured Achilles ended his 2012-13 season, Kobe Bryant made his 2013-14 debut Sunday against the Toronto Raptors. But it wasn't the triumphant return many Los Angeles Lakers die-hards had envisioned. Bryant played 29 minutes, scoring nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, dishing out four assists but committing eight turnovers in a 106-94 Lakers loss (he did grab eight rebounds). Is this a worrying sign, or just rust?

What do you make of Kobe Bryant's season debut Sunday? (9 points, 2-of-9 FG, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 turnovers in 106-94 Lakers loss)

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  • When will Kobe Bryant return to form?

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  • Will the Lakers (10-10) make the playoffs?

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  • What do you make of the Lakers signing Kobe Bryant to a two-year contract extension worth $48.5 million?

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  • How many more years does Kobe Bryant have left as an elite player?

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