The Lakers made a huge trade today, acquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, and two draft picks. Gasol immediately takes the Lakers to another level. He has superstar talent. He's a 7-footer who can run the floor, pass, rebound, and he has some great footwork in the post.
Gasol has not hid his desire to leave Memphis, and he did struggle a bit last year with a broken foot. But good NBA players have a tendency to be great when they're happy. Gasol isn't cheap, but his contract is in line with a player of his ability. He does commit a few too many turnovers, but it's not a major issue. Losing Kwame Brown won't upset too many people in Los Angeles. Crittenton has upside, but he was expendable with Jordan Farmar's considerable improvement this season. The Lakers first round draft picks were probably going to be late anyways, so losing them isn't too problematic.
When Andrew Bynum comes back from injury, the Lakers will have a front line of Bynum, Gasol, and Lamar Odom, which should be as good as any in the West. Add Kobe Bryant to the mix, and you've got a special team. Now the one question is how quickly Gasol can learn the triangle and adjust to Phil Jackson's system.