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ESPN: The Lakers must be falling over with laughter by now.
In the wake of their acquisition of Pau Gasol — a trade that cost them nothing of value — two of their biggest rivals for Western Conference supremacy responded by dealing key pieces of their core for Eastern Conference legends in their mid-30s. First, of course, came Phoenix’s deal for Shaquille O’Neal last week, and now the Mavericks have jumped in with today’s close-to-completion deal for Jason Kidd.
This isn’t nearly as bad as the Shaq trade — let me get that out of the way up front. But it has the same whiff of panic to it, coming as it did after the Mavs suffered consecutive whippings at the hands of second-tier Eastern teams, and following Mark Cuban’s insistence that Dallas wouldn’t unload half its team for Kidd.
But that’s exactly what they’re about to do. Dallas is about to send Devin Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, DeSagana Diop, Devean George, Maurice Ager, cash and two first-round picks to New Jersey for Kidd, Antoine Wright, Malik Allen and a second-rounder. (Technically it would be two trades, with Wright for a No. 2 as a side deal in order to meet league roster requirements).