I started out disagreeing with you and probably everyone else on this forum. But then I did a little bit of reading and found out some nice facts. Here is my comparison of the two [all stats are based on the last three years]:
Gasol ($63 million spread out over four seasons) - O'Neal ($64 million over three seasons.)
Gasol (19.7 PPG on 51.9%) - O'Neal (21.3 PPG on 45.4%)
Gasol (0.6 Stl and 1.9 Blk) - O'Neal (0.6 Stl and 2.3 Blk)
Gasol (2.4 PF) - O'Neal (3.6 PF)
Gasol (3.5 Ast) - O'Neal (2.3 Ast)
Gasol (6 Seasons, 437 total games) - O'Neal (11 Seasons, 682 total games)
You can be the judge of the stats yourself, but it looks like Gasol is a better deal for the Lakers. Either way, we would be getting a player that immediately improved the team. And probably have to trade Bynum/Brown to get them.
I like how you think every team that is dealing with The Lakers will jump on a deal that is unfair to them but leaves The Lakers with the better end of the trade.
There is no way Memphis will trade Lamar for Gasol straight up. Like Indiana, they will be wanting Bynum too. Because of the way Memphis got screwed in the draft lottery, they will be looking for a big man with potential if they are going to give up Gasol. But unlike trying to trade with Indiana, there is a good posibility LA can get some good players out of it. I've made a trade senario regarding Memphis in one of the topics which I think is very plausible.
Re: Artest. Why would Sacramento deal with a team in the same division. Especially one that they have a bad history with? Luke for Artest? Just try to think like Sacramento. Do you think you will accept that deal? If you will, then your an even worse GM than Mitch. Which is saying a lot.
Just a thought, but with the front office of Memphis being completely reworked this year and Gasol stating to either improve the team or trade him. I think the Lakers have a good chance to acquire him for what they want to trade. Something like:
Draft pick *
*Start out not overing pick, then a second round pick, finally change to our #19 pick if its the only way to close the deal.
Before you say this is unrealistic, think about it. If Memphis trades Pau Gasol they are moving into a rebuilding year, this will mean they will definitely want to trade Stoudamire (age 33). In return they get young player Bynum (future building block), Vujacic (age 23, small contract), Cook (age 26, Filler), and the draft pick if we can afford it.
The Lakers get Pau Gasol, keeps Kobe happy and we get an awesome low-post power. also, Damon Stoudamire is a veteran point guard with a 14.0 pts career average and 6.4 assist average.