NBA: Grizzlies trade Pau Gasol to Lakers

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pau Gasol

On Friday, the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association agreed to send forward-center Pau Gasol and their 2010 second-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Kwame Brown, rookie point guard Javaris Crittenton, and two first-round draft picks in 2008 and 2010.

Also sent to Memphis were Pau's brother Marc Gasol, and Aaron McKie, who was signed by the Lakers the same day.

Lakers General Manger Mitch Kupchak said, "Pau is a proven player of All-Star caliber in this league who can score and rebound and he's still a young player. We feel this move strengthens our team in the short term as well as the long term."

The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper, also reports that Grizzlies forward Stromile Swift will be traded to the New Jersey Nets for center Jason Collins in a deal expected to be finalized on Monday.

Gasol is averaging 18.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season, while Brown has a season average 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.The move officially ended the former number one over all pick's dubious stay in Los Angeles. In his two plus years with the Lakers, Brown never was able to play consistent enough to please the front office. The ability of Los Angeles to acquire Gasol for Brown, Crittenton and two future first round draft picks has some around the league scratching their heads. "How can the Lakers get Pau Freakin' Gasol and not give up one of their nine best players," fumed NY Post column contributor William Mcknight.

Unbalanced trade or not, the Lakers now will head into the second half of the season as one of the strongest teams in the elite team heavy Western Conference.