The Lakers just got dangerous again.
Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
The Lakers are finalizing the trade with the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets. Under the terms of the deal, the Lakers would send Gasol to the Rockets. The Hornets would receive Odom, Rockets guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and forward Luis Scola, league sources said.
Let me get this straight. The Lakers managed to KEEP Bynum, Kobe, and Artest....while gaining Chris Paul. Whatever you may think of Chris Paul, get ready to hate him. The Lakers are set up to be competitive for the next few years (barring injury), and Chris Paul will be the epicenter of the team while they beat up on the more inexperienced Thunder. Throw in the fact that Chris Paul used to be Oklahoma City's darling, the fact that most OKC fans hate Kobe, and how we lost to them in the 2010 playoffs and you've got a new rivalry on your hands.
Of course, I don't think the Hornets got off that badly. They did get two younger stars in Kevin Martin and Luis Scola, both of whom are excellent scorers. They also get Lamar Odom, who should be an easily tradeable asset. Of course, they lose the only reason their franchise was even moderately relevant while also having lost Darren Collison a year ago. Sorry guys, Jarrett Jack can't run a team.
The Rockets appear to be making a power play here. They give up the younger Scola, but in return, they get someone who can play as a true center, something they've lacked ever since the departure of that one tall guy who made Charles Barkley kiss a donkey. I wouldn't make the Rockets a contender just yet, but they just got the best player they've had in a few years.