Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gasol for Gasol: Lakers to move up in the standings with Grizzlies trade

Paul Gasol for Marc Gasol.

Marc, the younger of the Gasol brothers was the 48th overall pick in the 2007 draft. And though he is not yet playing in the NBA (Marc is playing for Akasvayu Girona in Spain.) The younger Gasol is four years younger and an inch taller (at 7-1, 280 lbs.) than his more famous All-Star sibling.

Even Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson found this aspect of the Pau Gasol trade amusing when he said, "that's something you haven't seen before."

But seriously.

The acquisition of 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year Pau Gasol (career averages of 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 476 career games with Vancouver and Memphis) by the Los Angeles Lakers tonight clearly gives their front line a shot in the arm upon the return of 20-year-old center Andrew Bynum (who injured his left knee last January 13 against...guess who? The Memphis Grizzlies).

This would give the Lakers a starting five of Fisher/Farmar at point, Kobe at the two, Odom at shooting forward, Gasol at power forward, and Bynum manning the middle.


It's like a big "thank you" prize by the Grizzlies.

"I'm sorry we injured your center. Here is our All-Star."

But I exaggerate.

The Grizzlies, amidst another losing season currently pegged at 13-33, wanted to clear cap space. Move their disgruntled forward. And it just so happened that the Lakers had the largest expiring contract currently in the league by the name of Kwame Brown.

Throw in fillers like rookie Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol, cash considerations, and two first-round draft picks (in 2008 and 2010) and Voia! You get Pau Gasol and a 2010 second-round selection.

Kobe Bryant is sure to love L.A. now more than ever after this deal.

"I have to take my hat off to (owner Jerry) Buss and Mitch for going forward with this," Bryant said. "Now it's up to us to go out there and work hard."

Bryant added.

"Now it's time to walk the walk."

Walk the walk. Much like the Boston Celtics this season, the Lakers have no excuse to lose.

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