A little more on Gasol, because I will just get angry if I think about how much Glenn values Scal. I'm still surprised there was low interest from other teams regarding Gasol. I can understand the hesitation, but sometimes it's worthwhile to pull the trigger. Gasol has had a PER over 20 every year since 2002. He's a big guy, fully capable of playing center when you're in a pinch. There are few like him; he's a poor man's Tim Duncan in the best sense. And he's only 27. So, yes, definitely a team like the Lakers would aggressively grab him. But why weren't more teams at the Grizzlies' auction?
The overriding reason has to be wariness of Pau's salary; including all of this year Gasol is due about $63 million till 2011. That's a serious sum. But he may well be worth it - year after year he has played at an All-Star type level. Now obviously if his current back troubles are more than just a splash in the pond, we should be hesitant. But if Gasol is healthy, I feel as if more teams were foolish in not going after him. Take Minnesota for instance. Yes, they suck. But if they traded Theo's expiring contract, Gomes (or Craig Smith), this year's second rounder, and next year's first rounder that probably could have had Pau. All of a sudden you have a combo of Jefferson and Gasol, which would be offensively devastating. Add to that the top five pick from the upcoming draft and you're seriously onto something. Or take a team like the Wizards. Many of us think that Gilbert does not maximize the potential of that team; which is one reason that the Wizards are performing rather well without him. So why not trade him to Memphis for Gasol? It's not as crazy as it sounds (especially if picks are tossed in to allay the deal.) The Wizards would have a scary front line, and Memphis would have a dynamic star they could resign in the summer. Or turning the circle again, let's looks at the Suns. They could have traded Marion and Atlanta's first rounder for Gasol. Phoenix gets bigger and locks up an All-Star talent for a few more years. Meanwhile Memphis gets a player adept at Iavaroni's system, his cap-friendly contract, and a decent pick.
I'm not saying any of the above suggested trades were necessarily the right trade to make, just implying that there should have been more options for the Grizzlie to sift through. Yes, the Lakers needed to make this trade - but getting Gasol could have significantly helped several other teams in the NBA, and been beneficial to the Grizzlies as well. Clearly trade ideas are a dime a dozen, but it is helpful to do this exercise to realize how common it is for teams to fail in taking calculated risks.