O.C. Register: In a now-it-can-be-told admission, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak acknowledged that the trade late last season that brought forward-center Pau Gasol to the Lakers resulted in the Lakers giving up less than the Memphis Grizzlies originally sought.
Kupchak explained the particulars of the request made by the Grizzlies in a recent Q-and-A on lakers.com.
In that blockbuster deal, that essentially helped catapult the Lakers to the Western Conference title and into the NBA Finals, Gasol was acquired Feb. 1 in exchange for center Kwame Brown, veteran guard Aaron McKie, rookie guard Javaris Crittenton, two future first-round draft picks, and the rights to Gasol’s younger brother, forward Marc Gasol, whom the Lakers used a second-round pick in the 2007 NBA draft to select.
The Lakers had a pair of second-round picks last year. Gasol was selected 48th overall, eight picks after the Lakers drafted Sun. The younger Gasol spent the 2007-2008 season playing in Europe.
In the end, the Lakers were able to hold on to Sun, primarily because of the scouting report that assistant general manager Ronnie Lester prepared for Kupchak, after Lester evaluated Sun in Singapore, a month before the trade was consummated.
So, instead of wearing the black and blue colors of the Memphis Grizzlies, Sun will be in purple and gold, after signing a two-year guaranteed contract last month with the Lakers.