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Monday September 22, 2008 11:08 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 3, Pick 2 - Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers
So far this team has the best point guard and possibly the best fantasy player out there in Chris Paul and arguably the most dominant center in terms of doing what he is good at in Dwight Howard. The turnovers will rack up quickly on this team, but who cares about turnovers, right?

The choice in the war room is to add a big man who can pass the rock, thereby giving both CP3 and Superman a little backup.

Round 3, Pick 2: Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers

Here is a comparison between Gasol’s time with Memphis and the Lakers last season.

With Memphis: 39 GP, 50.1 FG%, 81.9 FT%, 18.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.1 3pg, 0.4 spg, 1.4 bpg, 2.1 topg

With Lakers: 27 GP, 58.9 FG%, 78.9 FT%, 18.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 0.0 3pg, 0.5 spg, 1.6 bpg, 1.6 topg

Though only a small sample size, it appears apparent that Gasol is a clockwork kind of guy. The scoring, passing and hustle stats are pretty much mirror images of each other despite the change of scenery. There was a time when Gasol was a bit suspect from the line, but he has corrected that. He will never lead the league in rebounding, but can be relied upon to grab his 8-9 boards. And though I’d never focus on turnovers in picking a player, his less than two turnovers since donning the purple and gold give hope that he can negate the effect Paul and Howard have on that category.

The Lakers are expecting Andrew Bynum to return to full strength this season. Gasol has yet to line up beside Bynum in a game. Add Lamar Odom to the mix and the Lakers have perhaps the best front-line in the league. But how much Windex can there be to go around? Cleaning the glass can be thankless work, and who could blame Gasol if he decided to let the young buck do the dirty work? Then Gasol could flash his point forward skills a little more; last year only Boris Diaw had a higher assists per game average from the PF/C positions.

Admittedly I would have been tempted to draft Deron Williams; a CP3/Deron combo at PG would have been sick. Gasol fits well, though. A lower tier point guard like Andre Miller or Devin Harris should be available later on, while efficient big men who can pass are few and far between. You could even sub out Howard for Gasol if you need to salvage the team’s free throw percentage during a close match-up.

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