Pre-emptive update: Sh*t. Plan B: Marc Gasol!
(This is an idea, not a rumor.)
We've touched on Andrei Kirilenko and Nene. We'll get a power forward to replace Chris Webber one of these days, dammit!
Three blog posts have massaged the following:
- Sam Amick mentioned the Kings have been said to have wondered aloud about how to get Pau Gasol. (At least that's how I take the post.)
- A Memphis radio personality who has a good track record with regards to the current Grizzlies regime thinks a fire sale is pending. The team's been on the market for a while, and the theory is that a team with less salary obligations might be more attractive to buyers.
- If Henry Abbott can engage in daydreams, so can I. (Also: Henry wouldn't be engaging in daydreams just for the hell of it. If he didn't think Gasol had a place reserved on the trading block, he wouldn't be writing about possible trades for Gasol.)
L.A. Lakers get Ron Artest and Shannon Brown, and trade away Kwame Brown, Sasha Vujacic and Charlotte's 2008 second-round pick..
Memphis gets Kwame Brown's expiring contract, Sasha Vujacic (also expiring), Cleveland's 2008 first-round pick, Charlotte's 2008 second-round pick (via L.A.), and a conditional future first-round pick from Sacramento (protected in the top 25 in 2008, top 20 in 2009, top 15 in 2010, top 10 in 2011, top 3 in 2012, unprotected in 2013), and trades away Pau Gasol.
Cleveland gets Mike Bibby and trades away Ira Newble's expiring contract, Eric Snow, Shannon Brown and its 2008 first-round pick.
Sacramento gets Pau Gasol, Ira Newble's expiring contract and Eric Snow, and trades away Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, and a conditional future first-round pick protected for the lottery until 2011 and protected for the top 3 until 2013.
Memphis has been said to want to pair Brian Cardinal's unwieldy contract with Gasol in order to cut salary. It's probably not going to happen. The slew of picks make up for that. Memphis doesn't have a 2008 second-rounder, so they'd end up with two firsts and a second this June and a future pick from a currently rebuilding team... along with the cap space from Brown and Vujacic. Assuming Memphis goes through with the current rumor which has NJ picking up Stromile Swift for an expiring contract and estimating the impact of Damon Stoudamire's buyout, Memphis would go into this summer with about $40 million in payroll tied up for 2008-09. They'd have more cap space than any other team in the league.
The Laker defense is weak at one position: small forward. Trevor Ariza is out for a while, Luke Walton has been gimpy, frontcourt injuries have forced Lamar Odom into mostly power forward minutes. Artest would contribute much more than Brown has, and Shannon Brown is -- at the least -- another body to hack Tim Duncan a bit. The Lakers would save a touch of money this season, and the payroll for 2008-09 and beyond would be unaffected. They have their own 2008 second-round pick, and given the window Mitch Kupchak's working with its unlikely they'd keep both come June anyway.
Cleveland gets Mike Bibby without taking an extra albatross, basically gives up a low first-round pick and the unused Brown for the benefit of shedding Eric Snow's contract next season. However, this also places them about $7 million further into the luxury tax in 2008-09 (with no effects beyond that). Is that $14 million (the extra salary from Bibby plus the penalty) worth two (more) serious (but still doubt-inducing) shots at a ring? Or, said another way, is that $14 million worth keeping LeBron happy this summer?
Sacramento gets the star power forward and basically gives up both major trade pieces, a future pick (which will only hurt if the Kings continue to suck through 2013), and any sort of pending salary cap flexibility. The team would, however, likely escape the luxury tax in 2008-09 and beyond, depending on Beno Udrih's salary and whether a Hydra can be vanquished.
Superstars aren't cheap, I suppose.
Who balks? Kupchak? Memphis? You?