Lakers Acquire Pau;_ylt=AtZ4K5Z_H8NUbnS.tBO4G.S8vLYF?slug=ap-grizzlies-lakerstrade&prov=ap&type=lgns

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.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

46 thoughts to “Lakers Acquire Pau”

  1. The difference between Gasol and Randolph is that Gasol is reasonably unselfish and actually passes the ball and Randolph does not. Gasol is a pretty bad defender but I think he at least tries which is more acceptable than what Zach does. I can’t see Gasol as a 6th man either. The way Odom’s been playing this year, he’ll be the one coming off the bench if they don’t want to play him at small forward. Hollinger thinks these guys can win the title if Bynum comes back at full strength (if) and I don’t think he’s wrong. Great trade by LA.

  2. Since this trade doesn’t involve us, and only effects the Knicks as far as the Lakers now being officially closed as a possible Eddy Curry/Jamal Crawford/Zach Randolph trade partner, I am going to ask a somewhat off-topic question:

    If a team buys out a player, can an agreement be negotiated where the player being bought out agrees to exercise their player option to walk? Aka– if the Knicks buy out Eddy Curry, can a caveat to the agreement be that he opts out in 2010? I’m not sure how it works legally, but even if an official agreement can’t be reached, can a suitcase full of cash be delivered to his doorstep the day he opts out of his deal to “spend more time with his family?”

    Just wondering.

  3. A counterpoint to their young core (of which Gasol was part at only 27!) is that if they couldn’t be any good with him why would they be better without him? It’s not like he was keeping anyone special out of the lineup, and I’m just not seeing him as Zach Randolph Pt. II. Gasol’s passing, court sense and attitude are all superior- and for all the talk about him being a loser, his National Team success is more than Zbo’s had.

    I’d agree that Memphis looks on paper like an interesting set of prospects, but there’s so many teams which seem to have that much and so few of them which really develop into a contender. They may have cap room soon, but what player of stature is willing to take possibly less money to play in Memphis, off national TV, in an uncertain ownership and management structure, for a team which has never mattered? From, say, Elton Brand’s perspective is this any better than the Clippers? The key for the Grizz from a sports perspective is the draft- if they suck their way to Michael Beasley, then yeah, this makes a lot of sense and they have that centerpiece to build around. If they don’t, and end up drafting OJ Mayo with the 4th pick or something, you’ll probably be writing a post just like this about some other team acquiring Rudy Gay in 3 or 4 years when he gets too expensive. They just got nothing of substantial value back for Gasol- those draft picks will be in the 25th-or-worse range, Marc Gasol is said to be a spare part at best, Crittenton was generally regarded as more expendable than Farmar by the Lakers, and as for the cap room….

    That’s what hacks me off about this, actually. I think it’s a total poisoned chalice for Memphis fans, and honestly a bit of a middle finger raised at them. Given the rumors of the team being shopped, it’s hard for me to not read this as an owner deliberately crippling his current team in a fire sale (Swift was traded as well, rumors are that Miller’s next) and making it as cheap as possible to facilitate a sale. Meanwhile the Memphis fans who’ve bought tickets get to watch Darko and Kwame, the draft bust All-Stars, get dunked on for the balance of the year. With all the trade talk that Gasol elicited, it’s hard for me to believe that the owners didn’t prioritize cap room/cheapness (with all its issues) over player value in making this trade out of all possible trades.

    It just smells, to me, of a non-basketball agenda.

  4. “The key for the Grizz from a sports perspective is the draft- if they suck their way to Michael Beasley, then yeah, this makes a lot of sense and they have that centerpiece to build around.”

    The Gizzlies still have 2 games against the Knicks, 3 against the Timberwolves, 2 against the Clippers, and games still against the Heat, the Sixers, the Bulls, and the Bucks– all of those games are must lose for them.

    A healthy Kwame Brown should help their quest for ping pong balls…

  5. The bright side of this, I hope, is now Chicago will have to look elsewhere to improve their interior scoring. I think the potential for a Randolph to Chicago trade just went up slightly.

  6. “The Grizzlies still have 2 games against the Knicks, 3 against the Timberwolves, 2 against the Clippers, and games still against the Heat, the Sixers, the Bulls, and the Bucks– all of those games are must lose for them.”

    didn’t we learn from last year’s draft that being in the top 3 of ping pong balls doesn’t really mean that much?

  7. howzabout Fred Jones’ expiring deal, Malik, and Dolph Morris for Miller?

    I do prefer that the Knicks dump salary, but I like Miller’s game, and this deal still keeps the Knicks on pace to be under the cap in the summer of 2010.

  8. Brendan, I think you’re right that this is partly a business move, but not necessarily in a bad way.. And it’s not a bad basketball move.if you suck this bad WITH a guy making that much money, what’s the point of having him? I think their long-term future is bright – conley, gay and a #1-3 pick this year is a terrific nucleus… Plus massive cap room to bring in a 4th, even 5th big time player by 2009… I’d rather have that than our 32 win team any day.
    And if you have 8 or 9 mil to spend it’s not hard to get someone better than pau.(Love the trade for la, tho, too – when you’re as close as they are, you go for it).

    I don’t like miller for us, at all – don’t see any point in bringing in a player older than 25 or 26, unless they’re a) a truly great player, b) cheap ie movable later, or c) both. Is he really a better scorer or passer than nate robinson? Or even crawford?

    I mean, his deal is gone by 2010 but the proposed bait of jones n rose could probably bring something more worthwhile, like a draft pick (with a bum to match salary).

    That’s a really interesting question abt.a theoretical curry buyout… Could we essentially pay him all 4 years in salary, in just 3 years? I never heard of that coming up, but my gut tells me its probably a no-go — otherwise it’s a pretty big cap loophole for the dolans, cubans and allens of the league.

  9. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’d certainly rather have the Grizz core than the Knicks, but…does that say much? I would also argue that 8 or 9 mil doesn’t always bring a better player- PER likes Gasol as the 26th best in the league this year in a down year for him, WOW says 50th in the league through the first half. That’s not easily replaceable, especially from a small pool of free agents who face significant team-specific disincentives to sign with Memphis.

    One effect of this trade is that it’s likely to make Memphis an even less attractive free agent destination, which increases the risk of wild overpayment even if ownership puts the money out there. What are the odds on them offering Josh Childress $10 million per, you think?

    What I also perhaps should have emphasized with what I said was- why this trade? Why not the Tyrus Thomas package Chicago was said to have offered many times? Why this far away from the trading deadline, instead of seeing how bidding developed? What I come up with is that this was the best money offer available, and it lets the team selling process begin in earnest.

    Caleb, overall I think I mostly differ from you in thinking that the free agent route is going to be really tough for Memphis from their current position.

  10. I agree with Brendan,
    It’s really hard to make a free agent splash in a small market when the league gives the player incentives to stay with their team. That’s why you see very little big time free agent signings- when you do see an important move, it’s in a sign and trade where a team reluctantly has to let a player go and get’s what it can in return. I think they need to rework this system so it’s more like baseball and easier to move people. I know the cap is a big part of that.
    Anyway, is Curry playing tonight? Lee’s already got 7 boards in the first quarter…

  11. also, not so sure the T.Thomas package is better than having Critt… unless you get first round picks from the Bulls who will definitely be seeded better than the Lakers.
    Memphis won’t be in the playoffs until at least 2013 anyway- their division is brutal. They could actually use Curry now though.

  12. The small knicks lineup looks good, but Fred as small forward? what is zeke smokin’? He is so stubborn about not starting balkman- why? At least go with Jeffries…

  13. Whoo, came home, turn on the tv, and they are showing a Lee transition dunk, pretty sweet. (ok, kind of an awkward, wierd dunk, but I will take it)

  14. I have no problem with playing “musical scrubs” but if we trade any of our real bait (Nate, Lee, Balk, draft pix, less so Jamal, Morris, Chandler) for anything but a franchise player I will personally wait in an alley for Isiah. Pau’s team sucks without Kobe, Pierce’s team sucks without Garnett, etc. Nobody goes to finals without a syud and Knicks havent had one since Ewing. We finally are in position to get one in a year or two if we don’t squander trade bait on mid-level guys like Calderon or Gasol.

    After getting torched for 8 points by Aldridge, Lee had a very solid half. What does everyone think of that stat that he gets a higher % of his shots blocked by anyone in the league? I saw three horrible ones during Utah game.

    Zach is way better than Curry. Replace Fred with Balk and you have my favorite Knick lineup: Zach, Nate, Jamal, Balk, Lee. I can watch those guys untile the right trade comes long. Nate is my fave, he’s a freak athlete that must be a nightmare to guard. Liked the Roy-Nate thing before the game.

  15. Q needs to have elective surgery on his elbow…Balkman can handle it, maybe see Chandler for once. I wish I was Aaron McKie in all this….I hope to see Darko explode for 14/16/5 blks in 40 min more often.

  16. Amazing stuff from Balkman tonight. So active around the hoop. Just had a great stuff on defense.

  17. Great d by Balkman on Roy…

    Crawford has stunk up the joint this quarter….

    And how do you end up with Zach shooting a three on an important possession? Crazy…

  18. It’s just insane. How many times do we have to give Crawford (6-24 from the field) the ball with 8 seconds left in the 4th quarter and have him huck one up. What the hell?

    Will be a miracle if we win this…

  19. Motherpucker….

    This Outlaw character, the legend grows. Balkman was defending the entire team, but outlaw hit it anyway…

  20. OVERTIME’D!!!!

    Another of those games where I get the sense that the Knicks only have a lead until the other team realizes they might need to put some effort in of the night. Which is better than them winning with no effort I suppose, but not by much.

    In my capacity as also-a-Nets-fan, I’d just like to say that I would totally do Kidd for Outlaw straight up if the money worked.

  21. NY sure is a lot more fun to watch with no Marbury, Curry and Q. now if The Smiling Weasel would just let Chandler and Morris play and rest Crawford occasionally, we might be onto something here.

  22. sure, it’s sad when Z-Bo is the only turnstile on the floor, it’s much more aesthetically pleasing to have matching ones, inside and outside.

  23. How awesome was it to watch Balkman/Nate/Lee last night? I swear, the heart of the team seems to be taking over when all the dead beats are out sick/injured. You might not like his D, but you have to give credit to Zach…..he’s an offensive machine. The most effective lineup is:


    I can see it now why Curry can’t come off the bench. He thinks he’s the franchise superstar. I think if he had any sense of his own game, he’d realize that, in the best interest of the team, he can’t play with Zach on the floor at the same time and the right thing would be to volunteer to come off the bench! What are the odds of that?

    Can someone tell me what’s wrong with Morris and Chandler? Are they too raw still to get a shot at this point?

    Who needs Q?

  24. “How awesome was it to watch Balkman/Nate/Lee last night? ”

    awesome and infuriating all at once, that we haven’t been able to see that more this year, especially Balkman.

  25. Its never awsome when we lose. Nothing is awesome. Cheers to the Lakers for get Pau…thats going to be a great lineup. Who are defenders going to double…? Kobe,Pau,Bynum….Kobe hit the open J everytime…Bynum dunks it easy everytime, Pau can go inside outside with ease. Great move. Now thats how an organization should make moves. Now what can we do to change things in NYC?

  26. If Memphis is really looking to shed salary I would offer them Marbury for Miller, Cardinal and Darko. It would put them one year away from being completely free of non-rookie contracts.

    As for us the contracts are still shorter than Randolph, Curry, Jamal and Jeffries. Cardinal is useless but Miller is a fantastic offensive player both with his shooting and his passing and Darko while pretty bad on offense is a good defender who blocks over three shots per 36 for his career.

    It would give as our first pure shooter since Houston and our first shot blocker since Camby.

  27. I am a Darko fan…I have him on 2 fantasy teams so I hope he can step it up with Pau gone…

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