In one of the juiciest offseason rumors to emerge thus far, the Memphis Grizzlies have reportedly offered to trade Zach Randolph and another piece to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol, according to Peter Vecsey of the New York Post, via Twitter:
Memphis, by the way, says a source, is offering Zach Randolph, another solid citizen, for Pau. Rudy Gay, as of now, is not available— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 27, 2012
This is a fascinating development on many fronts.
First of all, two playoff teams don't just swap All-Star power forwards every day. This would send seismic shock waves throughout the Western Conference, as the Lakers are a perennial title contender, while the Grizzlies have been a scary dark-horse contender each of the last two seasons.
Both clearly needed some retooling after early playoff exits, but a potential trade of this magnitude—particularly on the Grizzlies' end—was highly unexpected.
Randolph has had plenty of off-court issues in the past, but he was an unstoppable force in the 2011 playoffs, when he averaged 22.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. He suffered a torn knee ligament that hindered him this past season, but at just 30 years of age, he likely has years of productive basketball ahead of him.
Gasol has been equally valuable in Los Angeles, helping lead the Lakers to consecutive titles in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Although he has become a scapegoat for their recent troubles, Gasol has averaged at least 17.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in all four of his seasons with the Lakers.
If this deal goes through, Gasol would return to his former team and play alongside his brother, Marc, while Randolph would form a menacing frontcourt duo in L.A. with Andrew Bynum.
Nothing has been made official yet, but we will have all the latest updates for you when they become available.