Pau Gasol Traded To Lakers

Kurt —  February 1, 2008

The Memphis Commercial Appeal is reporting that Pau Gasol has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and first round picks in 2008 and 2010. If this is true, this is a huge win for the Lakers. Updates will be flowing as they come in.

UPDATE# 1: The LA Times now confirms it.

UPDATE — Pau Gasol Scouting Report.

I’m doing this on the fly and there likely will be more updates as the day goes on, but here is your first blush.

He is 7-0, 260 and has that beard made famous by Serpico.

On offense, Gasol has the kind of well-rounded game that seems to come out of Europe. He is shooting 50.4% (eFG%) overall — 55% of his shots are classified as “Jumpers” and his shooting 40% on those, very respectable for someone his size. In close his shooting percentage jumps to 66.3%. He can pass the ball well — 13.7% of his possessions used end in assist for someone else. He doesn’t turn the ball over much (just 9.4% of possessions). He moves well without the ball.

So far this season he as asked to defend opposing centers almost exclusively, according to 82games.com. Those centers are shooting just 48.5%, with a slightly above average PER of 16.8. Gasol is not a great rebounder, but he doesn’t need to be when the Lakers have Bynum and Odom on the floor.

Here’s how Henry at TrueHoop saw it this morning:

As Kurt Rambis explained the other day, a key element of the triangle is that, thanks to spacing, movement, and observation, every Laker should be eligible to receive a pass at all times.

That lets the offense quickly identify and attack weak spots in the defense, wherever they may be. And a mobile seven-footer who can turn just about any defensive mistake into a bucket would be an attractive option to mix in with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. As the ball moves around that offense there are an infinite number of ways the Lakers might end up with a good shot.

While Andrew Bynum is out, Gasol becomes the go-to big man, who might keep the team afloat in the tough Western standings. When Bynum returns, the triangle and all the attention defenses pay to Kobe Bryant just might keep the Lakers from the Zach Randolph/Eddy Curry double post conundrum. One of them would have a makeable shot every time down the floor. A system with actual ball movement (as distinct from New York) might help the scorers actually get the ball when and where they can use it.

UPDATE #2: According to ESPN.com, Aaron McKie is part of this deal to make the salaries match, and will be bought out. Man, I need his retirement plan. Also part of the deal is Marc Gasol, the younger brother of Pau, making it the very rare trade of brothers.

UPDATE #3: I’ll be throwing up links all day, here’s the thoughts from personal favorite KD at Yahoo:

My initial thought? The Lakers are going to win a championship.

My second thought? The Lakers are going to win a championship.

Why can’t I break away from that thought? They probably won’t win a championship, but it’s an argument I’m having a tough time talking myself out of right now.

Gasol can play. He can really, really play. He’ll be perfect in the apex of Los Angeles’ Triangle Offense, hitting cutters with passes and making it easier on himself to score in the low or high post as opposing defenses try desperately to keep up with all the off-ball movement.

Gasol can’t defend much, but in a long-armed lineup with Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant, and Derek Fisher; this won’t matter.

Another favorite TZ (Tom Ziller) has great stuff up over at Fanhouse.

The front court lineup now in Memphis: Kwame Brown, Darko, Jason Collins. Wow that’s a lot of guys who can’t score. And poor Crittenton is now on the back of a bench of a team with too many guards. That roster is going to see a lot of shakeup.

UPDATE #4: Damn, it’s a good day to be a Lakers fan. Just enjoy this. Moments like this are what make being a fan so much fun.

Just wanted to say that.

UPDATE #5: First, John Hollinger weighs in, says this is better than any Kidd deal, and call the Lakers the favorites in the West when healthy. It’s an insider piece, so pay for it, but here are the two key graphs for me:

Yes, he’s a little soft. He’s also one of the quickest 7-footers in the league and can shoot, handle and pass. That last item is important — he’ll share the ball and play nice with Kobe, and he’ll be very effective from the high post in the triangle while Andrew Bynum takes the low block.

As for the soft part, that should be a lot less of an issue now that he’s finally surrounded by big guys who can handle the dirty work. His softness was a much bigger problem on a Memphis team laden with other softies than it will be if Andrew Bynum and Ronny Turiaf have his back

And now a quick thought from commenter James Hastings:

“When was the last time a team’s worst player was traded for another team’s best player?”

Kurt

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310 responses to Pau Gasol Traded To Lakers

  1. whoo.. this is really fun..
    im a SUPER fan of LAKERS here in the philippines and when i heared the news that pau is traded to LAKERS!
    there is only one word to describe it all..

    CHAMPIONSHIP!

  2. i cannot wait for the game.. i cant even sleep.. ;)

  3. It was time for the team, to have a new player like Pau.
    I mean, a scorer, rebounder, a very complete player, beside Kobe

  4. Can’t wait for us to gel. It’s only the matter of time until we win it all. The Suns are probably crying now and Marion will want out before being humiliated by the Lakers at next meeting. I do feel sorry for Nash and Hill, they are great players but Amare and Shawn are such … lol good luck trying to match up against the Lakers. Short armed 6-10 Amare against very long 7-0 A.B, long 6-7 Shawn against long 7-0 Pau and 6-8 Diaw or Hill agaisnt long 6-10 L.O. lol they might say they’re gonna run us out but how they’re gonna run without getting rebounds lol. Gonna run without the ball? Plus Kobe and Fisher in the back court. That is one scary line up there, It’ll be a failure if we don’t win championship for any year to come. We’re capable of winning it all considering the Spurs is getting a little old and slow but don’t count them out yet. The Mavs is getting lost. The Suns was never in the equation. Celts are awesome but they’re not deep enough to run the whole season. I do like them, very passionate team. The Pistons might be the only team that can match up with us in the front court and back court. Again our bench is way better compared to theirs so It’s still in our favor to win it all. What do you guys think.

  5. man this a great time to be a laker

  6. Great week for me, new born baby and second but not less important, my Lakers have improved to a title contender with a great deal. Needless to say that Kwame had that one coming is almost like he hates playing basketball, total apathy, like VC in Jersey, it is just painfull to watch, but Gasol in the other hand, great all around player, reliable, forget about the softness, you can trust him to the task. I heard someone regreting about Javaris, i will mourn his lose but to be fair it was for a greater cause, i’ve been a Laker for 25 years and i’m only 31 i’ve seen a lot and i don’t think that every problem will solve just by getting Gasol, hell, i don’t even think the championship is at reach, not just yet, not at this point, we have to see development, injuries and performances, let’s just have faith in them and embrace any effort by our team, we can afford speculations, who knows? i might just forget my fears tonight. Greetings from Mazatlan Mexico fromg the biggest Lakers Fan (at least in Mazatlan), godspeed boys.

  7. soulbossanova09 February 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    No #293 He will not opt out of his contract after 2008-09. Why? Like #294 said “he should be happier than a pig in **** the way things are going”. And Happier than Michael Jackson at a daycare center.

    But yes #298 that does seem like a reasonable um… lineup but I have the feeling Odom will stay at the four and Vlad will get the other foward position. I have a feeling that the Lakers will punish with points today. And to do this Vlad needs to play that “3″ and L.O. needs to be the swingman he is at that “4″.

    The Lakers will try everything in the best of their abilities, Kobe’s and Pau’s to Punish the Nets [NOTHING Personal]. But they want to make a statement tonight with this debut. And if they do live up to the expections without Bynum? THEN {WITH} Drew in three weeksor so, The Lakers will be simply amazing… Watch and see.

    I am the same “crazy” one that all of my colleagues and some 600 friends which most said I was crazy for going for the Giants. But look what happened. Kobe, I know, I know that you were going with the Pat’s but. …. Hey the Giants and Eli wanted it more. That D-Line wanted it more.

    And in the same token you always wanted it more and proved that your whole career so far. ..And in this second half, you will show ‘em.
    They are all just believers that parade around as senics. And they know that they should follow their realistic selves as well as that are rooted in terse and belligerent idealism.

    SEE YOU IN THE 2008 NBA Finals Kobe!

    R. Sainvil

  8. #296, Marc Gasol is Spanhish Professional League MVP, averaging almost same points and more rebounds, than his brother… Showing unbelivable improvement from last year to date…
    Greetings from Spain! Go Lakers Go!

  9. Though I am a die hard Lakers fan… the SUNs are not rolling over and playing dead yet! Looks like Shaq is heading back west if all goes well with his physical on Wed. I’m sure the Diesel will be motivated enough with an attempt to put an end to the P & G dream with Nash by his side.

  10. what’s gonna happen to walton, ariza, and radmanovic when odom moves back to 3? theyre gonna have to get rid of some of them if the lakers plan to keep gasol in the long run. phil jackson likes walton, and radmanovic sometimes gets lost. maybe he’s the one to go. ariza has a player option for next season and i wonder if he’ll bolt if there aren’t enough minutes after odom. GO LAKERS!