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Westsider Rider

Monday, February 04, 2008

A quick break from the countdown to Signing Day

Yes, I've been neglecting the site for a while, I just didn't feel like I had anything new to bring to the table aside from all the news that is regularly being reported. Besides I didn't want to get too worked up over how Terrelle Pryor could potentially determine the fate of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry for the next few years. Good news is we did receive a commitment from Terrence Robinson last night and if his clip below doesn't get you excited I don't know what will.

That said the exciting news broke from out here in Los Angeles as the Lakers made the blockbuster move to acquire Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies for essentially nothing, giving up Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittendon along with Aaron McKie and two first rounders. It does hurt having to give up Javaris as he is very exciting to watch but with the emergence of Jordan Farmar this season, he became expendable.

Obviously getting an All-Star caliber player is huge, but to do so without giving up any of our key assets makes it even better. In addition I believe, as many do, this will free up Lamar Odom as it will relieve him of any pressure of having to be the #2 guy and will be the 3rd scorer until Bynum comes back at which he could be the 4th. Now is a 4th scorer worth the contract he has right now? That's another question we'll ponder at a different time. This immediately throws the Lakers back into the championship mix, those of us optimistic folks out here had already thought we could compete with the emergence of Bynum this season, but this legitimately puts us in the conversation across the league. The two keys will be how will Pau acclimate himself to the triangle? Something I don't think will be a problem and how/when will Andrew come back and will he be at full strength? With a healthy lineup this team is as loaded as any in the league now and throw in the depth across the board this is a team that no one will want to face come playoff time. An exciting week is ahead as Gasol's debut will be tomorrow against New Jersey, then National Signing Day is on Wednesday. I'm still holding out hope for Terrelle Pryor and hopefully he will realize that Ann Arbor is the best place for him.

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