Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Deal of the Century???

Recently, a very good friend of mine (and savvy NBA-mind) analyzed the now infamous Pau Gasol-trade. As lopsided and ridiculous as it was (with the Grizz owner even questioning GM Chris Wallace’s move months later), when you look at it after the 2008 NBA Draft, it really isn’t as lopsided as it may have seemed. In the end, I think both teams got what they wanted.

Come on everyone, let's do the CHEST BUMP!

Obviously it favored the Lakers, especially en route to a Western Conference championship; however, the Grizzlies (whose biggest crime was actually trading him to a Western Conference elite) aren’t the massive idiots we might’ve thought they were.

When you consider the MASSIVE cap relief they have, the “steal of a deal” to nab O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love/Mike Miller (yes, several other “contracts” were involved) and the foundation with Rudy Gay and (either as their PG or trade bait) Mike Conley (Jr.).

Perhaps someone was watching a little too much Space Jam when they drafted "the Kwame" #1 overall.


Anyways...let’s re-examine the deal.

What the Lakers got:

Pau Gasol
18.8 pts 7.8rebs 3.5asts. 58FG% 1.6blks
16.9 pts 9.3rebs 3.1asts. 53FG% 1.9blks (Playoffs)
Contract: 3yrs and nearly $50 million left

Note: True, Gasol might have been the missing piece to a Western Conference Championship, but he was exposed as very Odom-like (soft against stronger competition) once KG & Co. came calling. However, it’s likely that the Lakers (depending on what moves are or aren’t made) are pre-season favorites this season in a potentially transitioning West (goodbye San Antonio, Dallas, & Denver & hello Portland). Time will eventually tell, and only with a title or two, when the Lakers analyze the Gasol deal.

What the Grizz got:

Kwame Brown (expiring contract)
Note: Could be serviceable at only 25 for a smaller veteran contract.

How many lopsided blockbuster deals does this guy have left in him?
Credit: Lakers Topbuzz

Javaris Crittenton
Note: Young, inexpensive PG allows them to add depth in the frontcourt with possible trade of him or other PGs (i.e. Conley & Lowry). Several teams, including Orlando, were said to be “high” on him as a backup PG.

Aaron McKie (expiring contract)
Note: Player development coach in the future.

Darrell Arthur (rookie)
Note: Could fill low-post need as a potential starter at the 4-spot as early as mid-season. He has incredible value after slipping in the 1st-round and then being dealt as part of the pick received from the Gasol deal.

Marc Gasol (2007 2nd rounder)
Note: Utility PF in the mold of a banger and garbage man with ever-refining post skills. He seems ready to play full-time in the US and could garner significant minutes, especially over Darko.

Want an early preview of Pau's younger brother Marc? Forget the Vegas Summer League. Instead, check out Spanish Olympic Basketball. El Nino!!!
Credit: ADN

2010 1st Rounder (likely a very late pick)
Note: There is value to be had here with trades or potential talent that slips a little too far (i.e. Donte Greene) or international talent that can be anticipated down the road (i.e. Serge Ibaka).

With this move and also the moves made on draft night, the Grizzlies are nearly $15 million under the salary cap. They have more spending power than any other NBA team, especially next season, when more than a few teams with money now – Clips, Warriors, & 76ers – will be feeling the crunch.

It also can be said the Grizz could, but probably won’t, target names like Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, or Andre Iguodala in a jam-packed restricted free agent market.

Considering that they now have that aforementioned talented young nucleus of Rudy Gay, Conley and OJ Mayo (who doesn’t believe he’s a star-in-the-making), it is a reasonable assumption to say that Chris Wallace didn’t really do a terrible job.

Especially, even with growing pains, the team is able to target a franchise-player early in next year’s draft. Names like BJ Mullens, Demar DeRozan, and a certain “Man CrushGriffin might be just the talent needed to take this roster back into playoff contention.

Yes, even out West.

I suppose Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo might be well-suited to see Griffin on the Grizz in '09.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Side note…did you know!

To get Joe Johnson, the Hawks technically only gave up Boris Diaw and Robin Lopez!
Of course, by taking Marvin Williams, they gave up on this guy…and this guy!


Fannation said...

Nice effort, but probably wasted. The conspiracy theorists will write off Crit because he hasn't done anything (yet) even though the kid is the equivalent of a guy going into his junior year of college.

They'll write off the 1st round picks as worthless because they're late picks (forget about the fact there are dozens of guys in the NBA right now who are solid contributors, some even all stars, picked late 1st round or even 2nd round.

They'll dismiss the other Gasol as worthless because for many of the reasons they write off Crit.

And, they'll completely ignore the fact the Grizzlies ownership wanted to trim payroll, and Kwame's $9 million dollar contract was among the biggest available that was expiring this summer.

Paymon said...

Here's my issue with bad teams in smaller markets trimming payroll. While I understand, the reason for trimming payroll should not be just to cut your losses. It should be to free up funds to go after bona fide superstars. That begs the question: Which superstar would join Memphis as a free agent signing?

Nick12345 said...

after getting arthur, i actually like the deal for memphis. it still favors LA but now i dont see it as the worst trade ever type thing.