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Lakers Nab Chris Paul, Say Adios to Pau Gasol and Lamar Kardashian Odom
After the ground breaking reporting by ESPN that the Lakers wanted both the New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, it looks like the Lakers got half of what they wanted. Chris Paul is now a Laker on the day that NBA players officially ratified the new collective bargaining agreement.
In part of a three team trade also involving the Houston Rockets, the Lakers will send forward Pau Gasol to the Rockets and forward Lamar Odom to the Hornets. Houston will send guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and forward Luis Scola to New Orleans.
Paul is in the last year of his contract and is due to make $16.4 million. The 26-year old guard led the NBA in assists per game in the 2007-08 season with 11.6 and 2008-09 season with 11. Paul in his career averages 9.9 assists per game to go alongside 18.7 points per game.
Paul was rumored to be going to the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics as the Hornets, in receivership of the NBA, tried to wade through their ownership uncertainties.
With a new offensive system for the Lakers under head coach Mike Brown that, unlike the Triangle Offense under Phil Jackson, values a strong point guard to run the offense, Paul shores up a position that is either old with Derek Fisher or not that good with Steve Blake.
Now the Lakers will need to focus on their front court players. Because center Andrew Bynum is suspended for the first five games of the season, the next players on the depth chart are Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff. It looks like there is a sudden need for big guys for the Lakers. *coughDWIGHTHOWARDcough*
Too bad the Angels already have Albert Whats-his-name.