My Lakers fan friend JT has been trying to impress upon me the idea that the seemingly one-sided Gasol trade that brought Pau to Los Angeles has been widely misinterpreted and that Marc Gasol is a badly underrated player. I think he may be right. Compare what Marc is doing this season to what Pau did last season (Pau’s only played in two games so far this year):
You could make the case for Pau, but he’s not clearly superior. Add in the fact that Marc is five years younger and makes $13 million less per year, and I think you’ve got a compelling case that Memphis is better off with Marc. I think there’s also a strong case that LA made the right move. Adding Pau-in-his-prime to Kobe-in-his-prime put them in contention for rings in a way that a not-ready-yet Marc wouldn’t have. But this looks like a reasonably savvy move on Memphis’ part.