Pau is 32nd all-time in PER (one spot below John Stockton, and ahead of Gervin, Drexler, Iverson, and Rick Barry), 56th in Win Shares (ahead of Baylor, Hal Greer, Dr. J, and Artis Gilmore), and 71st in rebounds per game (well ahead of Shawn Kemp, Alonzo Mourning, and Tom Heinsohn). He carried a 2006 Grizzlies team that featured Mike Miller and a 34-year-old Eddie Jones as the second and third best players to a 49-33 record, putting up 20-9-5 while Memphis played at the slowest pace in the entire NBA. Two seasons later and he transformed the Lakers from a how-the-hell-are-they-leading-the-west team to a legitimate contender that pushed the Celtics to six that June. Now fast forward to right after the 2010 finals. Pau Gasol had just finished off a magnificent season, punctuated by a 19 point, 18 rebound, 4 assist performance in Game 7 against Boston in which he was the best player on the floor and cemented his place as the second best big in the world. His nine fourth quarter points were just enough to salvage a game in which Kobe missed 18 of his 24 shot attempts. At 30 years of age, he looked nowhere near decline, but instead looked like he had plenty of productive, All-Star level seasons left to play side-kick to Kobe, win a few more titles and build on his already borderline Hall of Fame resume.
The difference between then and now is that in those first Laker seasons, the Bynum - Gasol tandem was broken up by Lamar Odom, and I feel the Lakers should have expirimented with more Gasol/ Clark front lines. In only 23 minutes together, lineups with that tandem on the court outscored opponents by 7.1 points per 100 possessions, with above average defensive rebounding stats. Thoughts on keeping or trading Gasol?