First of all, the Lakers got an absolute steal in this trade. The Lakers have so much depth that they can slide players to match up well with nearly every team they could possibly face (given that Bynum comes back in good health).
They will crush teams like the Warriors and Nuggets, and with Ariza to guard the wings and Pau to help score inside, they should match up even better with the Suns and Spurs. This trade makes them the most talented team (aggregate) in the league. That may not pan out until next year, since Bynum is hurt and even Phil Jackson will struggle to seamlessly transition the team to fit around a new starting power forward.
This should up the urgency for other teams that consider themselves title contenders.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are basically putting themselves in position to sell the team. If they want to get a big free agent, they definitely can, but speculation is that the ownership will sell before adding salaries.
Expect to see Mike Miller gone within the next two weeks, probably to the Eastern Conference just for dignity’s sake. There are rumors that Kwame Brown will be bought out, which from their perspective makes sense since their goal is definitely not to be good (though Kwame won’t make them that either). The Grizzlies would save money on any deal that Kwame signs this season with another team. The most surprising thing with the Grizzlies is the lack of relevant young talent that they got. Crittenton is talented but doesn’t fit with them, and the Lakers two first round picks aren’t likely to be any good.
The Grizzlies are set at two positions, the PG and whatever position Rudy Gay plays. They have no starting quality players at any other position. Darko has turned out worse than his low expectations even made for. Warrick is a free agent, and there’s no reason for him to stay. JC Navarro is out soon as well. In two years, they’ll have Conley, Lowry, Gay, Darko, and their draft picks. Though if they can trade Darko, they probably will. The estimate for their cap space going into this off-season is roughly $12-14 million.
Lakers’ Depth Chart:
PG: Derek Fisher / Jordan Farmar
SG: Kobe / Sasha Vujacic
SF: Lamar Odom / Luke Walton / Trevor Ariza
PF: Pau Gasol (getting minutes at the 5 too) / Vlad Radmanovic / Ronny Turiaf
C: Andrew Bynum / Chris Mihm
Scary, just scary.