June 5, 2008
A couple of days ago, Michael Heisley joined the rest of the world and questioned the wisdom of the Pau Gasol trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.
There is another way to look at this trade.
Trading Gasol, a seven-foot all-star, for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, and a pair of draft picks can't be called a fair trade—all other things being equal.
And there's the rub. Because all other things aren't equal.
The Grizzlies suck. With Gasol, without Gasol, whatever. They suck.
Gasol wanted OUT of Memphis. He asked for a trade in '07.
They tried to trade him then, but the league determined that they couldn't take such an expensive risk on a guy who couldn't get the job done.
By "the job", I mean "the rings". Heck, forget the rings. Just get to Round 2. Heck, just win a game in the post season. But Gasol had gone 0-12 in his playoff career.
No one was willing to take that $50 million risk. That's how much is left on Gasol's three-year contract. That doesn't even include the $14 million he gets for this year.
Chicago was willing to trade Memphis Thomas, Nocioni, Griffin, and a couple of other dudes. But these guys couldn't even get CHICAGO into playoff contention.
Heisley knew that with the Chicago trade, he'd be stuck with the same bill and the same lackluster results.
Would you pay the same for five hot dogs as you would for a prime cut of steak?
Memphis decided it would be better to dump the high salary and hope for better luck in the draft. They may be right. But that remains to be seen.
The way I see it, the Lakers took a risk on Gasol. When they gave up draft picks and a pair of young guys, they basically traded the future of the team to win in the present day. Match that with the fact that they picked up a hefty luxury tax and this trade seems as dangerous for them as it was for Memphis.
And another thing:
Michael Heisley has been trying to sell the Grizzlies.
There have been no credible offers.
That seems to be a recurring theme in his life...
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