2. Trading for Pau Gasol: February, 2008: Before Andrew Bynum suffered a season ending knee injury in the middle of the 2007-08 season, the Lakers were off to their best start since trading Shaq in the summer of 2004, and most importantly, Bynum was starting to play like the team hoped he would when they drafted him 10th overall in 2005. Bynum was then averaging career highs in points (13) and rebounds (10).
After their big man went down, things looked bleak for the remainder of the season. Then on a chilly night in February of 2008, Mitch Kupchak pulled the proverbial rabbit out of his hat, acquiring Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies. Amazingly enough, Kupchak didn’t have to part with any key players to land the All-Star forward. The Lakers gave up Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, the rights to Pau’s brother Marc Gasol, and first round picks in the 2008 and 2010 drafts.
Gasol helped lead the Lakers to three NBA Finals and back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, in addition to being an integral part of the team’s newly formed “Big Four.”
Next Page: Ding-dong, the Dwightmare is over