Why LA Lakers Have Never Found a Pau Gasol Trade They Like

Pau Gasol has become an urban legend of sorts, destined to haunt the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Spaniard has routinely been involved in trade rumors, but the Purple and Gold simply have not been able to pull the trigger on a deal involving him. It’s a fascinating twist of fate because he was once upon a time one of the most coveted assets in the league.

Heck, one could argue he still is, provided he comes at the right price. Determining his true value has been a complicated task for a front office that saw Gasol rescue it from first-round playoff exits.

How did the Lakers get here?


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The Memphis Grizzlies were going nowhere fast. The season prior, they had won a mere 22 games and compensated Gasol like a star. The best players in the league do not allow their teams to dwell at the bottom of the standings, and yet, that’s exactly what happened.

Then again, Gasol only appeared in 59 games during the 2006-07 campaign, which could serve as a reasonable explanation for Memphis’ struggles. Fast-forward to 2007-08, and the Grizzlies had only secured 13 wins by the end of January.

Management decided it had seen enough and traded away Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers for what was initially viewed as scrapheap. L.A. gave up the immortal Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010.

Many around the league hated the move because it altered the competitive balance in the Western Conference. Gregg Popovich offered his thoughts to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix:

What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension. There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I'd like to elect myself to that committee. I would have voted no to t...

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