Even though most people didn’t realize it at the time, Marc Gasol was a key piece of the Pau Gasol trade back in 2008.
According to an interview Pau did with USA Today, the Lakers were looking to trade Marc before the start of the 2007-08 season for cash, a move that would’ve undoubtedly hurt L.A.’s chances of pulling off a trade with Memphis:
[pullquote]”He was dominating the (ACB) league, and that was right after he got drafted (48th overall) by the Lakers,” Pau Gasol said. “So I was telling the Grizzlies to please try to get him, try to get him over, get the rights from the Lakers somehow. I remember at the time, before the season started, the rights were up for grabs and (the Lakers) were asking for money, cash. And my brother played really well, I kept insisting with the Grizzlies to get him, to get him. So I tried to get him, and in the end they got him — through me.
“It was kind of ironic. But I’m happy that things worked out so well for both of us.”[/pullquote]
Luckily, the Lakers hung onto Marc and ended up sending him to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Pau. The Lakers of course went on to three straight NBA Finals appearances and won two championships after the infamous swap of the Spanish brothers.
If L.A. had moved Marc elsewhere before February 1, 2008, they likely wouldn’t have won those championships in 2009 and 2010.