LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers bolstered their banged-up frontline Friday with a key acquisition — 7-footer Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers gave up Kwame Brown, rookie Javaris Crittenton and two first-round draft picks for Gasol. The Spaniard is certain to help a Lakers team reeling from recent injuries to inside players, including blossoming center Andrew Bynum…
The Grizzlies will get the Lakers’ first-round draft choices in 2008 and 2010; guard Aaron McKie, signed earlier Friday for salary cap purposes; cash considerations, and the rights to Gasol’s brother Marc, a 2007 second-round pick of Los Angeles.
The Lakers also receive the Grizzlies’ second-round pick in 2010.
Interesting deal. You have to figure that the Lakers are going to have a good team for the next few years. Crittenton is young (21 last December), and could develop into a good guard. He hasn’t played many minutes, but his per minute numbers aren’t that bad. His turnovers are a bit high, but he can score as his pts/40, ts%, eFG, etc. would suggest. Crittenton is a decent rebounder for the guard spot. You’d like to see a shooting guard that can hit the trey, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to develop that talent.
For Memphis, it’s a decent rebuilding move. They get an expiring contract in Kwame, a young player, and a pair of firsts. The elder Gasol is scheduled to make $14M-$18M per year for the next 4, and he hasn’t been able to make Memphis a winning team. They’ll be just under the cap next year, but well under the cap 2 years from now. And the Grizzlies still have lots of young guys to build around: Conley, Gay, Warrick, and now Crittenton. If those guys can make a nice nucleus with a guy like Mike Miller and the draft picks, then it could be an ideal situation for a superstar free agent signing.
Meanwhile the Lakers get a guy to fill in for the injured Bynum, and can team up with him when he returns. Phil Jackson can either shift Odom back to SF, or use Gasol off the bench as a 6th man. It’ll be interesting to see how Gasol does in Los Angeles. He puts up good scoring numbers, but as New Yorkers discovered with Zach Randolph, scoring isn’t the whole story with big men. Of course if Bynum can provide the rebounding & scoring (and it appears that he does) then Gasol’s flaws might be covered. At worse he’ll give more production that Kwame Brown. And L.A. won’t be under the cap for as long as Kobe is there.
Probably a good move for both teams.