February 01, 2008
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.
We don't know how the Lakers will adjust their lineup, Odom might come off the bench to dominate the ball a bit (and, really, that's what we want from him) while Phil Jackson keeps the oft-injured Luke Walton in the starting lineup.
Losing Kwame Brown (sent to Memphis with Javaris Crittenton, a 2008 first round pick, and a 2010 first round pick) hurts the Lakers defensively, but watching Kwame's 30 minutes a game be sopped up by Gasol's 38 will be quite nice for Laker fans. The defense will slide. The offense, already potent, will go way, way up.
So what do you think? Where does this put the Lakers amongst the Western elite? How does Phil Jackson run the rotation once Bynum comes back? And does Memphis need cap relief this badly?
UPDATE: Rumors are floating that the Lakers have sent Marc Gasol's draft rights to the Grizzlies as part of the deal. Marc Gasol is Pau's little brother, and although Marc spent his high school years in Memphis ... doesn't that seem a little cruel?