The Lakers have reportedly made a roster shaking trade sending Kwame Brown and his expiring contract, Javaris Crittenton, and two first round draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for Pau Gasol
Many Laker fans have been clamoring for such a trade with the thinking that what the Lakers really needed was a legitimate power forward that could help propel the Lakers to another championship, or at least be in contention to go to the finals. This season Pau is scoring 19 PPG, with 9 RPG, while hitting 50% from the floor. This move allows the Lakers to permanently move Lamar Odom to small forward, and when Andrew Bynum returns, they will have one of the most formidable front lines in all of basketball.
Moreover, in a recent report out of Spain, Pau's brother is reportedly one of the dominating forces in the Euro league playoffs and is a candidate for MVP. The Lakers drafted Marc Gasol in the second round last summer. One has to wonder than when they drafted Marc, they did so knowing that Pau was going to be their primary target all along. However, the Lakers had to send the rights to Marc in the deal. They also did a sign and trade with Aaron McKie to make the salary numbers work. There is also cash considerations involved and the Lakers receive a future 2nd round pick from the Grizzlies. Certainly having both Gasol brothers together on the Lakers roster would have made quite a story, especially with them being on the floor together at the same time. Now, that will never happen.
This seems like a great trade for the Lakers. They gave up Kwame whose contract was expiring anyway and has been on the butt end of endless jokes by Laker fans because he has never lived up to being a #1 pick in the draft, and we gave Caron Butler to get him, which was a big mistake. Critt, is a future star, but he was the Lakers 3rd PG and rarely used. And as for giving up a couple of future 1st round draft picks, well, the Lakers future is now while Kobe is in his prime and we are definitely not rebuilding.
Rejoice Laker fans, Kobe's wish has come true. When we get everyone healthy there will be no excuses anymore. We have all the pieces in place, We have all the horses to make a run. Hopefully we will be peeking into Chick Hearn's refridgerator over and over again.