You bring up Amares 2011 stats where he averaged 1.9 blocks to me those numbers are irrelevant in the present. In 2012 he got 1 block a game. Much like his 2010 1 block a game. So in other words in 2011 he overachieved and played out of his mind (which he did). Not to mention that since then Amare has been MORE injury prone and now 2 years older in a body that is already as it is broken down. No matter which way you put it, even if he averages 20-10 this year his still a major risk because of injury and those darn knees. Much like why I wanted Bynum out so badly for Howard was because I KNEW last year Bynum overachieved so damn much and it was a miracle he lasted (Lakers sold High and got Dwight Howard).
Honestly, there are a lot of factors when it comes to getting blocks. I don't really consider a player a good defender, even if he does get blocks...so when I see Gasol get one, or Amare, it doesn't mean all that much to me. But, for to explain these factors a bit more...last year, Tyson Chandler was the defensive anchor down low, so Amare wasn't going to get enough contests at the rim. The year before, Chandler was in Dallas, and Amare was playing center for most of that year (when Mozgov was pulled after 14 starts). You wouldn't think one extra block a game is significant, but Ibaka was getting a half a block more than Amare (on average) that year.
My real problem with Amare is, its still a lateral move. Ill play with it a bit here for the sake of argument lets say I agree with you and we get Amare, yes he might be a slightly better fit. But you just shook up a team in the midst of a championship chase. All for a marginal if not lateral move? Is his fit offensively so much better for his liability on defence. Not to mention Amare is going to be out for a full another month. How will he look this year? How long till his at full strength? Can this team afford another massive QUESTION mark.
I can't say we are in the midst of a championship chase. We don't have an offense yet, and our chemistry sucks. We are winning, or staying in, games...solely based on our one-on-one play.
The gap between Amare and Gasol's offense...is much larger than the gap between their defense (and I think they are the same, defensively, but even if they weren't...it's close).
Why are the New York Knicks playing BETTER right now without Amare?
Why are they playing better without Jeremy Lin?The Miami Heat were 14-3 without Dwyane Wade last year.
Carmelo is at his very best at the four. He becomes far more efficient, has the ball in the post, and doesn't have to share the wealth with Amare, who is also best at the four. You can't take two players like that, in that particular offense, and expect them to play with similar interests. That's not saying they are both the same player, but Amare had no way of feeding off of Melo (because Melo never passes the ball), and likewise, Melo couldn't feed off of Amare because Amare looks to score just as much.
Here, Amare would be stuck in the P&R, or he would be getting easy baskets because of Kobe and Dwight. We wouldn't dump the ball down low to him, like the Knicks were doing.
At the end of the day your comparing Amare from 2012 against Pau Gasol from the 2013 season. You have yet to see Amare from 2013 because his yet to play a game because of his injuries, there is no way you can justify that move, because at the end of the day you cannot justify your assumptions of what kind of player his going to be. TO me knee injuries are by far the worst for an NBA player. Right now 2012 Pau Gasol is about 5x better than 2013 Pau Gasol. But we know that. We dont know anything of Amare 2013.
Well, we didn't know anything about 2013 Dwight Howard, either...especially the Howard that missed most of April, had offseason back surgery as a 265-pound center, and coming here for Andrew Bynum...who just came off of an all-star season.
Even funnier, remember...there was talk that Howard wouldn't be ready until mid-December, and at one point, we figured we wouldn't have him for the Christmas game, and it would be until January. Premature talk, but it was still out there, being reported by credible media sources.
So in conclusion are you willing to make a move that has so many question marks, that will undoubtedly make you pay more in 2014, and at most a slightly "better fit" on the offensive end? Im not sure if I would be willing to take that risk. The way I look at it is if your going to trade Pau. You improve by a lot. Just like Dwight for Bynum. It was a no brainer BETTER move. Why should I risk this season based on IFs (Amare playing like 2011, Amare gelling with the team, Amare being a better fit, Amare suddenly not being injury prone).
If we trade Pau, we aren't going to improve by a lot, unless the Hawks deal Josh Smith. There isn't much more out there. He's a $19 million player that is going to be 33 years old at the end of this season, and with extremely-harsh tax penalties coming up next year, I'm pretty sure most teams are going to cringe at having to pay $1.50 or $3.75 for every dollar of that $19 million ($4.75 if you're a repeater, which is asinine). Some teams will be looking at Gasol as a $48 million player, max of around $71 million for non-repeaters. Hard to deal that contract, even if it's an expiring.
The downsides to it is:
1) We lost chemistry and team will need to adjust and gel again
2) We hinder our 2014/2015 cap situation as Josh Smiths contract expires this year
Again, we have no chemistry, and inserting Josh Smith (replacing a soon-to-be bad fit in Gasol) will only help, no matter what.
As far as our cap space goes in 2014...if Kobe doesn't retire, we won't have much to work with anyway, with Dwight, Kobe and Nash on the roster (all three, no other players, could equal up to $45-50 million, and that's if Kobe takes a paycut of almost 50% of his salary).