Three years and $49 million dollars just went off the books for the Memphis Grizzlies. Pau Gasol was traded to the L.A. Lakers Friday for expiring contracts, draft picks, and salary cap flexibility. In the midst of another dreadful season for the Grizzlies, it was time to do something and so its good bye to the face of the franchise...Pau Gasol.
After 7 seasons, he's packing his bags for Tinsel Town part of the THE BLOCKBUSTER trade of the year in the NBA. The Lakers threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Grizzlies and they took it.
1. Center Kwame Brown the NBA's number-1 draft pick in 2001, but has been a bust for the most part.
2. TWO First Round Draft Picks in 2008 and 2010.
3. Rookie guard Javaris Crittenton, the 19th overall selection from Georgia Tech.
4. Rights to Pau's brother, Marc Gasol, who is playing in Spain right now.
5. And the rights to Aaron McKie, who is not in the league right now but the Grizzlies can write off for salary cap relief.
Noticeably missing from the list is a star player. General manager Chris Wallace explained.
"This isn't rotissiere league. You don't just trade for a Tracey McGrady that rarely happens. You have to put a lot of parts together."
This deal was all about the future and the flexibility it provides. If they don't re-sign Brown at the end of the season, they'll have tons of cap room to play with in the free-agent market...in addition to the draft picks.
There's no doubt the Lakers will immediately get better while the Grizzlies will have to see how it pans out. Wallace says Travaris Crittenton was the linchpin in the deal with his ability to help the Grizzlies out immediately in the back court.
"It gives us 3 quality guards and we're just gonna lock them up and let them battle it out and keep the best two."
In any event, it's CHANGE, something fans have so desperately wanted.