The Lakers waited up to the wire before making multiple major moves Thursday to beat the NBA's trade deadline.
The team's most shocking play came when longtime Laker Derek Fisher was sent packing to Houston. In return, the Lakers are receiving third-year forward Jordan Hill.
Fisher, the team captain who won five championships in Los Angeles, is considered by some to be the heart and soul of the Lakers. He's spent 13 of his 16 seasons with the Lakers.
"Wow. Didn't see this one coming," said Brian Kamenetzky of the ESPN blog Land O'Lakers, summing up the feelings of many fans. "On the court, frankly the Lakers lose very little losing Fisher. The transition comes in the locker room. Beyond being Kobe Bryant's most trusted ally, Fisher was the ballast to Kobe's incredibly strong personality."
The team also filled a huge need earlier in the day by acquiring Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for Luke Walton and former UCLA Bruin Jason Kapono.
Sessions is widely regarded as a talented young point guard. It's a position the Lakers have desperately needed to fill, even as players like Fisher attempted to step up to the plate.
Meanwhile, fans have taken to the Twitterverse to rage against the Lakers machine in the wake of the Fisher trade.
There have been a whole lot of Lakers but a select few who can say they personally beat the Boston Celtics.— Roland Lazenby (@lazenby) March 15, 2012
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchack held a press conference shortly after the decision was announced, maintaining that the trade was tough but necessary.
“There’s nobody that I would trust or that we would trust with an open shot than Derek Fisher," said Kupchack. "But we felt from a defensive point of view and maybe giving us some speed and quickness on the offensive end, we thought Ramon would be the person.”
The Lakers currently lead the Pacific Division by two games over the Clippers. Their next game is Friday at home against Minnesota.
This story has been updated.