Polls and Trades

Kurt —  November 22, 2005

First off, the latest Blogsphere Poll Rankings for the NBA are up over at yaysports.com. Detroit is now on top, with San Antonio, Dallas, Cleveland and Indiana rounding out the top five. The Lakers are ranked 22nd in the league, which is one spot below where I had them in my poll.


Losing five of the last six has Laker fans looking for what is wrong and — as is often the case — looking for trades that can fix some of the problems. I’m not someone who likes to speculate about trades, and this early in the season all that’s out there is speculation, I prefer to link to the guys who have the inside contacts for that kind of thing.

Here’s the problem with the Lakers and trades right now — they have little anyone wants.

There are two things NBA general managers want in trades: talent or cap room flexibility (last-year contracts or draft picks).

The Lakers have only a couple last year deals people would take on — Devean George ($5 million) and Slava Medvedenko ($3 million). Together they get PJ Brown, but why would New Orleans make that deal? They can do better, big men are in demand. It doesn’t help that George and Slava are banged up right now. (As a side note: I get why they did it — how do you gamble $30 million in savings — but cutting Brian Grant this summer through the “Alan Houston/Jerome Williams” exemption cost the Lakers they one guy that had value as a last year contract, but he would not have been tradable to next summer at the earliest.)

Then there’s the question of talent: Who on this Laker roster would other teams covet? Maybe Chris Mihm to a degree, but the Lakers would have to get a big in return that is better, and teams mostly want size rather than to trade it. Teams may ask about Bynum now, but the Lakers aren’t making that move. Nobody is touching Kwame.

The only other answer is to end the Lamar Odom experiment. I seriously doubt 10 games into the season Phil Jackson is willing to write him off, but he is one guy still with value around the league. Maybe, maybe in the off-season if everything doesn’t work out the Lakers consider it.

But that’s just speculation. And I’m not going down that road.