The reigning NBA champions are about to pick up the first overall draft pick.
Relax. It's not what you think it is. Sources have confirmed that the Los Angeles Lakers are about to be involved in a three-team trade that involves the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets.
The deal has not been finalized, but the Lakers would send first-round draft pick in 2011 and backup guard Sasha Vujacic in return for veteran big man Joe Smith, the first overall pick in the 1995 draft.
Most Lakers fans only get excited when they hear potential trades involving big name players. They're unable to truly understand the concept of role players. That's exactly what Smith is.
However, he's not going to be just any role player. He's going to be the role player who helps improve their chances of repeating as champions.
The Lakers are not completely invulnerable. Their lack of defensive athleticism at the point guard spot is one problem. The other problem is the lack of depth on the front line.
Pau Gasol has been used entirely too much this season. The team hasn't had any choice. Theo Ratliff and Andrew Bynum were injured. Derrick Caracter is a rookie.
What Smith provides is another body for that front line. He's the guy that the team has needed all season. He's also the guy that the team was unable to find in free agency.
Most people will overlook this trade, but I can guarantee you that Gasol is going to bed tonight with a smile on his face.
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