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The trade: Houston sends Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson to the Lakers for Gasol.
This was the trade I mentioned in my "How to Fix the Lakers" column. It's just a logical fit for everyone.
We know that Houston GM Daryl Morey loves Gasol. He was ready to give up essentially this package for him in December, and that shouldn't change now. The Rockets need a star, and this is their best chance to get one.
For the Lakers, it fills a big need without creating another one. Luis Scola is a lot like Pau Gasol, he's just not as good. They wouldn't have to completely retool the offense to fit him in.
In Kevin Martin they'd get something they've lacked without Lamar Odom—a true sixth man. Martin could be to them what Jason Terry is for Dallas and James Harden is for Oklahoma City; someone who plays 30 minutes per game and gives them major production.
Unlike Odom, though, Martin wouldn't have be a part of L.A.'s big-man shuffle, so there would be no confusion over who plays crunch time. Martin can play with Kobe and be a valuable second perimeter option.
Patterson is no star, but he gives the Lakers something they desperately need: depth. At this point, they can't turn down adding good players. That's why this trade makes sense. It gives them three good players who fit what they want to do. For a team that revolved largely around three guys this season, that means a ton.
This is the easy trade. Everyone knows it's out there for the taking. The pieces fit. Logically, it should happen. But in the NBA, logic doesn't always win out. Watch for one of the other teams, or perhaps even a mystery team, on this list to make a play for Gasol. What we do know is that the Lakers are going to get something valuable for their Spanish star.