The Next Step

Kurt —  December 6, 2007

We’re almost 20 games into the season, and there have been some exhilarating ups (like last night’s win in Denver) and rather jagged downs.

And through it all, here’s what I think we’ve learned about the Lakers — they are a solid second-tier team in the Western Conference.

Which is an impressive sign of growth (and better than many national experts thought). However, how the team got there may be different than many imagined — this is a team right now with a superstar (Kobe) leading some fast-emerging young talent (enter Andrew Bynum) and a number of guys who are good role players who fit the system. It’s a good, solid, deep team.

So how do you take that next step to contender? Well, you need a key second “star” to mesh with Kobe and the up-and-coming Bynum.

I kept hoping that Lamar Odom would be that cog, and I’ve wanted that for as long as he’s been here. He’s hard not to like as a person, always seeming humble and personable. As a parent myself, my heart ached for him last year, and still does. I wanted so badly for him to succeed.

But I’ve finally come to accept Lamar for what he is — a good, but inconsistent player. Fragile. At times brilliant. Other times absent. At both ends of the court. A guy with good numbers at the end of the night but not one I think the Lakers can count on to bring the Lakers to the next level.

Lamar’s recent struggles to adjust to playing the three — what he said was his natural spot before the season — highlight this. Here are Lamar Odom’s offensive ratings (points he’d score if he used 100 possession) the past five games: 85.3, 85.7, 98.3, 76.8, 75.6, 100.3. Those are bad numbers, to put them in context the Lakers season offensive rating is 110.8, and Kobe consistently is 120 or higher per game, he’s efficient. For the season Odom using 16.6% of the team’s possessions when he is on the floor, down by 18.9 last year, a sign of his uncomfortableness and passivity.

Last night, in the fourth quarter and the game tight, Odom got two chances starting with the ball out on the wing to create something with a bit of a mismatch on him, because Denver was trying to deny Kobe the ball. Both trips were empty and ugly. The Lakers went back to Kobe, and he came through.

It’s not just that game, this recent streak, but rather more than two seasons of pulling for Odom to step up that I’m giving up on. I’m not unhappy with Odom, I’ll still root for him as hard as ever, I’ve just come to a Zen-like acceptance that he is who he is. And who is he is not who the Lakers need.

If that is the case, I see two paths the Lakers could take to become contenders in the next couple of years (and not risk losing Kobe):

1) Trade Odom and filler to bring in a true number two star to this team. That player would likely have to be a four, someone to provide toughness and defense that Bynum is inconsistent at right now, but there may be other options I’m not seeing.

2) Trade one of the young point guards, Kwame Brown’s expiring contract and filler at the trade deadline to bring in a high quality player who can compliment Kobe, Odom and Bynum and make the Lakers a contender. I’m not sure if this player is out there yet, but the season is young. (This was always the theory with the now likely dead Jermaine O’Neal talks — from my perspective you needed Kobe, Odom and the JO of old to compete, so to offer Odom and Bynum for JO was a lateral move. Right now, with the way he is banged up, there is no way we should give up Bynum for JO.)

There are other paths.

3) Trade Kobe for young talent and let Bynum, Farmar, Crittenton, Walton, Ariza and Turiaf and the young players brought in grow together into a powerhouse in a couple years. I’ve never liked this plan for one simple reason — you just don’t trade a Kobe in his prime. First off, it’s a stupid business move because season ticket holders and sponsors would revolt. But even basketball wise, who can you get that will really fill that void on the court. The hardest part of building a contending basketball team is getting that one transcendent piece — your Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett guys. The Lakers have that in Kobe and have him in his prime. You build around that, not let it go.

4) Wait and see how the existing team grows and if it can reach the next level on its own.

If I were the Lakers front office, I’d be thinking about and putting feelers are out there for options one or two. This team is close, it’s growing and coming together, it just needs to be nurtured and one more key piece added. But if not I’d wait, because option four is more likely be successful than three.

Kurt

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137 responses to The Next Step

  1. What team wants Odom though? I think we’ve been overrating him all along and I don’t see how he gets moved for someone legitimate with just filler, but in any case I think this team becomes a contender if he gets dealt for any real PF…

  2. What if we trade Odom for Gasol. We get rid of Odom, who is a bad fit for the triangle offense. Odom gets to go to Memphis’s high octane-phoenix suns offfense where he can be Magic Johnson. We get Gasol, a big man with passing, rebounding, and scoring ability. A perfect fit for the triangle.

    Then we develop with Kobe and Gasol giving a one-teo punch and the DEEPEST front line in the league.

    A couple years down we will have a front line of Gasol and Turiaf at the 4.

    And bynum and MARC GASOL at center. marc has been awesome in Spain.

    This front line is beefy and the best in the league hands down.

  3. 1>2>4>>>>>>>>>>>>3 would be my order of preference, with 3 not really an option.

    1 was something I really hoped for, really really hoped for. AK47 or Shawn Marion or Artest or maybe even Bonzi or Zach or whatever. Artest would be my favorite at this point.

    The reason I don’t like 2 is because we are packaging a useful 5 and a promising and useful 1. Two of the more difficult positions to fill, and I really don’t see anyone out there who would be significant upgrades there. Kidd for Kwame and Farmar, perhaps? Just don’t see it though.

    Problem with 4 is that I really don’t see a ring coming out of this group. I don’t anyone outside of Kobe will ever be an all-star without the benefit of a great team record. But then again, if we can have solid contributors all around, just enough to punish other teams for focusing on Kobe, this may do it.

    Trading Kobe, at his prime or even afterwards, is downright silly. Kobe can be a Reggie Miller even after losing four steps. Well maybe not four, but he’ll find ways to contribute just like MJ did for the wizards. We won’t pay him the same kind of money, but he’ll be better than Horry ever was, i’d think. And we all know how farfetched ‘building a young core’ is.

    Then again, if we could get LeBron or maybe TD for Kobe straight up, trading may not be bad either. Especially if you can stomach a ultra motivated Kobe coming to you 2-4 times a year.

  4. If I was running the FO (thankfully I am not, I don’t think I would be very good at it) I would put out fillers to see what we couuld get for Odom + filler (maybe a draft pick too). If something came up that couldn’t be passed up then I would take it, but otherwise just wait to see how this current team matures in the next two years.

    I don’t know who is available or who wants Odom. I think it would have to be someone who was strong defensively. That would be the first priority. I think it would have to be a SF or PF. I don’t think the list is very long either. I’d take a gamble on Artest at this point, but I don’t think SAC will trade, especially not to the Lakers. Sac is a sub-500 team with him, but without him (and Bibby, and Martin) they are as bad as the T-wolves. There was an interesting article at hoopsworld showing some statistics of the Kings with and without him, the difference was quite large. (I don’t have the link right now).

  5. Great thoughts as always, but I don’t see (nor does the rest of the league) Odom as a big name anymore. I think he has squandered any hype he may have built up for himself in Miami when he started to come into a “prime” of some sort.

    If the Lakers want to make any sort of deal in the near future, its going to involve Bynum plain and simple. At this point, last season I said, “Hey this Bynum kid may be something special” and we all know how last season turned out.

    J. Kidd is on the table. Rumors aside, he probably wants to play with Kobe, and frankly I think its worth the risk to send Bynum now ( i did not feel this way last season). Kobe and Kidd together could be something magical. Also, Kidd would make the game come easier to Odom, who historically has always seemed to need the ball fed to him to succeed rather than be a spot up shooter.

    So in short, I say we take the chance now and get Kidd and make a run over the next two years while we have Kobe. I would be very surprised if kobe stays in LA when he becomes a free agent. All signs point to him leaving sooner than later, so I think the front office needs to just get on board with that and use what time they have left to make a run…Kidd may not be the right answer, but he is AN answer to a question the front office chooses not to address.

  6. Great summary of the situation with Odom Kurt, and great site by the way. I completely agree with your appraisal of Odom and the Lakers.I tend to lurk and read the insights of others here, but I’ll unlurk for the moment.

    It seems to me that there are two players that are in some sense available who, if swapped with Odom, would make the Lakers a much better team defensively, and much smarter overall. Those two players are Ron Artest and Jermaine O’neal. It may not be that far-fetched to think Odom wouldn’t fit nicely with those teams, both of which feature new coaches trying to employ a run-n-gun offense. I think part of Odom’s problem is that he plays best with the ball in his hands. He’s clearly not effective off the ball.

    I wonder if Indiana might not reconsider dealing O’neal for Odom and Kwame if they hit a major losing streak before the trade deadline.

  7. There is no way I would move Kidd for Bynum and here are my three reasons. 1) Trading old for young is not good, but trading very old for very young is really unwise. 2) Trading big for small is not usually smart. 3) And this is the biggie — I don’t think Kidd will fit well in the triangle. He didn’t before, and both he and Kobe need the ball in their hands to be the most effective. The both create. Outside of the fast break, I think the Lakers would be no better off than with Odom.

    And, if you want to ensure Kobe leaves in two years, get rid of Bynum and bring in Kidd who will be gone in two years. What is the motive for Kobe to stay?

  8. The Dude Abides December 6, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I think both Kobe and Bynum are untouchable. If Kobe wants to leave in a couple years, there will be a young, talented team awaiting either LeBron or DWade, with the odds more in favor of Wade. The Laker weakness is at the forward position, both the 3 and the 4. As great as Kidd is, I think he’s a lousy fit for the triangle. He can’t shoot a lick, and we do have some speed at point in transition (Farmar). A trade of Bynum would mean that the Lakers would become New Jersey West.

    If we are really looking for another option, it would have to be something like LO and Vlad for JO, or LO plus Kwame’s expiring contract for JO. Something like this could happen if Indiana falls well below .500 and JO gets antsy, and LO persists in his inability to mesh with Kobe. It’s really too bad, because someone like LO is really easy to root for.

  9. I wouldn’t trade for Kidd, mainly because I wouldn’t use trade assets to fill a non-existent hole. PG is not the most pressing need the Lakers have. Not by a long shot.

    Lamar’s value is low enough now, that I doubt there’s a deal the Lakers would do. Any team trading for him would be in a buy low mindset.

  10. I suggest we wait until January to panic. During his Laker career (prior to this season), Lamar Odom has averaged about 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists a game. That sounds like a pretty good player to me.

    I agree, this year, he has significantly under-performed but he is coming off injuries and was not physically able to start the season. It just may be that by mid-season, we have the old Lamar Odom back. Let’s see what we have then.

  11. Are we allowed to indulge intrae talk here? I usualy appreciate the culling of such talk as it can swell to ridiculous proportions and ends up being a bunch of pipe dreams.

    But I agree with most of the points you made here, Kurt, except I can see moving Odom (and Kwame) for Kidd (not Bynum under any circumstance). For Odom’s sake, I think moving him to most places would demoralize him to much, but NJ is close to his home. He’d have a role like he had in Miami where he flourished. The nets would replace the ball handler they’d be giving up plus getting a great rebounder and Kwame for their frontcourt.

    I can see reasons why Kidd doesn’t fix our specific weaknesses (including the triangle/kobe issues), but at some point I believe that’s over-thinking it. He’s another guy absolutely driven to win with experience. He’d help infuse the entire team with that drive. He’s got a great basketball mind so I’d hope he could learn the offense. We can play fisher at the 2 more often alongside Kidd or Farmar to get them all time and keeping each of their minutes down. And Kobe has to concede that the team did what they could. He can’t say they didn’t give him the weapons to succeed if he still leaves in 2 years, in wich case, we let Kidd walk at the same time and are, what, 30 million under the cap?

    Maybe this is more pipedreaming, but it seems like every party gets something positive. (I won’t mind if you edit it)

    Anyways, I agree with the analysis of Odom completely. I feel for the guy, but everybody on the team is benefitting from the new ball handling system (where everybody is involved) except him. Whether Odom does well or not seems to have no bearing on whether we win or lose. He and Kwame can be a great asset for trading. Kurt- if not Kidd (disregarding the migraine story), who do you see as potential teams or targets to shoot for.

  12. Don’t trade Bynum to get Kidd, but trade Odom to get Kidd. It doesn’t fill the biggest need, but it addresses the second biggest need, which is perimeter defense. Kidd will bring easy baskets with him; he would optimize a player with Ariza’s skillset, would be great at getting Vlad the ball at the right time and place, you know he would do a much better job of getting the ball into Bynum, and his arrival would rejuvenate Kobe. It would probably leave the team a little thin (assuming that there would be at least one other player involved to make salaries match), especially after the Ariza trade. But a risk that would be worth taking.

  13. The problem is, you can’t trade unless you have something valuable to offer. What we can hope is that other teams see Lamar as a victim of a system and teammates that don’t mesh with him. But even if they think that’s the case, they won’t likely admit it and demand less in return. Besides, team willing to make such amends are either: 1. Young and in need of some ‘consistency’ 2. Championship teams needing to address a specific hole.

    Unfortunately, Lamar is neither consistent nor is he a specialist. So I honestly don’t see him going anywhere until he becomes consistent or develops a skill that can be used reliably – and when he does, we’ll have little need to trade him ;)

  14. I still think trading Lamar Odom for Gerald Wallace from Charlotte was a fair one .. Only MJ squashed the deal the last minute.

  15. 10. I wouldn’t make a move now either, unless a good one came along, and they almost never do before the start of the year. But if you’re thinking of doing it, you may plant a seed or two.

    11. Yup, this thread (and this thread only) is open for trade talk.

  16. Wow Kurt, you really opened the floodgates with this one. Wasn’t it us that ended up vetoing the Marion trade? Something maybe worth revisiting.

    That said, I got no problems with 4. If something great comes along for Odom, go for it. If not, I definitely wouldn’t force anything. This early season stuff could still be him regaining his form post-surgery. And it’s not like we’re not having success with him struggling. If he puts it together (which I realize is a familiar refrain, but still), we could make some noise. Specially now that Hollinger’s practically guaranteed we’re going to the playoffs.

  17. I think we may be undercutting Lamar’s trade value just a bit. I agree that his buzz is lower than it has been at other points in his career, but F.O. guys don’t look at things the way people writing on Laker fan forums do. We have seen his recent troubles night-after-night in a vacuum of our own making–the GM’s haven’t. Taking a longview look at Odom, his ist still a viable trade option in many organizations. F.O.’s will like his all-around game and his playoff performance, not to mention very respectable career statistics in points, rebounds and assists. Everybody knows the triangle is not the right system for him, but other teams will be willing to bet that their system will suit him better. And, to be honest, they may be right about that. Many have suggested that he would flourish in Phoenix. Similarly, he might play better with other high octane (less structured) offenses like Denver or Golden State.

    Having said all that, it will still take a lot of creativity to move Lamar for someone who actually makes us better. Let’s hope the Ariza move is a portent of some newfound competence in the F.O.

  18. PJ needs to move Lamar to the 4. He needs to stop protecting him from injury at the 3. Give him less minutes. The depth of this team greatly improves once LO hits the 4. You have Walton, Ariza, and Vlad as back-ups at the 3. You have Odom, Turiaf, and Vlad as the back-ups for the 4 (assuming Vlad will play both positions).

    Try this experiment for a few games and watch what happens. Odom gets less looks from behind the 3 and gets more mid-range jumpers, free throws, and lay-ups. His efficiency will improve.

    We don’t have a defensive specialist at the 4 right now. With Turiaf injured that leaves us with Vlad and LO.

  19. I’m home! :)

    I would like to congratulate Kurt for entertaining popular demand. May I just say that proposing for changes will always be normal for the fan base, except this site has taken it to the next level.

    The biggest trade pieces that we have are the same from the off-season up to now. (Kurt made a thread about this…)

    Top of the list has to be Drew Bynum. The whole league is noticing him now and it won’t be long til he gets that Al Jefferson-kind of money next summer. I hope we can negotiate for cheaper since he isn’t Al Jeff yet.

    Next would be Lamar Odom – but since his slump, I bet the other GMs would want to hit Mitch downright middle for his balls too! Trading up using Lamar would not be easy, but its still possible.

    Then there’s Kwame’s 9M bomb that explodes at the end of the season. Teams will always want this much off the books but remember Kwame is more than just an expiring for us… he is our best interior defender as well.

    May I add that since that off-season “assets” topic, Jordan Farmar has since made a name for himself. The league is starting to notice his stellar play.

    If I had my way, I am in no way trading Jordan and Drew. I would explore the possibilities around Odom, Kwame and Crittenton (being our very good spare PG). That’s 23M right there of star, expiring and future combo.

    Lets then talk about the possibilities:

    1. Upgrade – means we can offer that same package for one “higher” tiered player. Choices are Pau Gasol and Jermaine Oneal as the others may be out of reach… Jason Kidd is very possible on this list as well.

    2. Downgrade with variety – instead of having the multi-faceted Lamar Odom in your lineup, have 2 players that fill out the role of 3 and possibly at 4. Possibilities include Sacramento (Artest and KT) and Golden State (AlHarrington and Pietrus and Wright).

    3. Invest in more young talent – I heard Josh Smith and Andre Iguodala are seeking compensation? These two names could very well be lured from their respective teams. Atlanta has since wanted to “upgrade” and Philly has struggled with their front office.

    4. Find a home for Lamar and take it from there – as I’ve said, many teams could use Lamar as the facilitator of their team at the same time being thier 3rd option. Chicago could use him to support Deng and Gordon, we can take any 2 of Nocioni, Ty Thomas and Joakim Noah.

    Phoenix may also be interested. Nash is aging and when he sits, it would be such a luxury for them if they had ball handling relief from one of their bigs. Shawn Marion easily comes to mind, however, a package along Diaw and Barbosa could fit the Laker’s needs at the moment. Leandro becomes the second in command in scoring and Diaw adds the toughness down low.

    The point is, there can be ways to deal with this. We could also see if Lamar can be traded after the season before the draft. Then again that’s too far away. We can always “explore” many other options depending on how the teams and their GMs do.

    Just my 2 cents.

  20. I believe anyone questioning bringing in Jason Kidd for basically any package that doesn’t include Kobe or Bynum doesn’t follow the game outside of Lakers-dom particularly closely….Kidd remains at 34 one of the 2 best pg’s in the leauge, still better than Deron Williams and Chris Paul, a tad behind Nash on a list (I’d put it at 1. Nash 2. Kidd. 3. Parker 4.Davis 5. Paul 6. D. Williiams, if you’re asking) —– he also doesn’t look for his shot first, and thoroughly understands the brilliance of Kobe, after their perfect harmony in Vegas. A Kidd, Kobe, Bynum nucleas would be incredibly dynamic, as Kidd would immedietly figure out Bynum’s strengths at a young age and maxamize them….

    Also, Kidd is owed 20 million this year and next, a contract that would conveniently come off the books when he’s 36 and Kobe’s potential FA year comes up, which after two years of being a contendor would give the Lakers incredible financial and personel options…..

    Would the Lakers win the championship?….I’m not sure, but they’d have a better chance than they would now, a much better chance….I think the dedication to winning Kidd and Kobe would share would allow them to beat anybody in a series……

    A package of Odom, Walton and Farmar would be a good move for Jersey, they’d still be a competitive team with Odom, VC, and Jefferson, with Farmar and their coming off injury pg Marcus Williams sharing point minutes with Jordan….

    It would be sad to see Farmar go, but again, at this point, he is not close to the talent that Kidd is, and, again, the Lakers would have tremendous cap space in two years to re-tool…….

    A No Brainer

  21. 16. Maybe I’m wrong about this, butt I don’t think the Odom/Marion deal got to a veto point? I mean, Odom was not healthy at the time, so the Suns would have been pretty foolish to make that trade then.

  22. Lamar is a good player, no doubt. But, if people want to see him perform up to their high expectations, he really needs 1) the ball in his hands, in 2) an up-tempo running system. I say, sure, trade Odom as the principle piece for Jermaine, Gasol, Kidd, or maybe even Artest. Yet, for Jermaine, you’d hope to give up Kwame, since O’Neal will replace the defense we forfeit in that transaction. For Gasol, you’d like to move guard, and keep Kwame for a defensive role, but Memphis is stacked in young guards. For Kidd, Crittenton looks like the piece attached to Lamar, in his limited minutes, he is big in terms of potential, a thing which the NBA goes gaga over.

    Yet, the reason why I am not too big on Artest, is essentially because he is a 3, and we have two really good ones: Walton, and Ariza. Somehow, Walton plays better as a starter. Ariza, I am on the train, bandwagon, whatever. Off the bench, I’m all about it. My point is, and this is also my opinion of the root at why Odom might be the odd man out, because with another piece, Walton is solid enough of a player to hold down starter’s minutes consistently. He is good with Kobe, and plays well with the rest of our core, he knows the triangle quite well, and he is simply solid enough to hold down starter’s minutes consistently. If there is any reason is why Odom is possibly expendable, it is due to the quality of Luke Walton’s game. I don’t like Artest as a Laker too much simply because, I don’t know how much 4 he could play, so he would likely force Walton to the bench, which is a place I think is not beneficial to him as a player. In theory Walton off the bench sounds good, but somehow, I think he is meant to start.

    Kidd would be nice, but Phil is really good with point guards like Kidd. Think Payton. Different type of player, but down the road it was Fisher taking his minutes, and rightfully so. Kidd would have to alter his game to a good degree to fit into Phil’s plan, and he is a good enough of a player that you would hope he could. Yet, it doesn’t seem that far fetched if come playoffs, Fisher is getting the big minutes.

    Through the moving a piece to contend option, only Odom for Gasol or Jermaine would get the Lakers contender attention. Bynum, and Kobe, are not players you trade.

    If, however, somehow, our team as it stands now, gets it done (and by that I mean wins a ring), Kupchak will suddenly be everybody’s favorite guy in LA.

  23. * I meant Phil is NOT really good with point guards like Kidd…

  24. diadaro…

    With Kidd around, Bynum and Turiaf’s potentials increase exponentially to a point that they “learn” to move on their own, being able to “read and react” accordingly.

    Kobe, in all his greatness is no teacher. He does things well on his lonesome and perhaps playing with Kidd will eventually hone his leadership and people skills.

    I am torn on my boy Farmar here. I’d much rather pass up on Crittenton’s potential than give up on Farmar this early. Imagine Jordan will become having honed his skills with Kobe, Fish and Kidd!

  25. I like the idea of Odom and Brown for Kidd in 11. I would definitely not trade Bynum or Crittenton at this time.

    New Jersey gets a $9M expiring this summer and a good player who may fit better in their system. If Odom doesn’t play well next year, they clear $14.5M the following summer (2009), which is a decent year for free agents. But they lose a top level point guard. They would have to hope Odom’s passing skill partly makes up for that.
    On the other hand, Kidd only has about 2 years left at an All-Star level. And with Boston and Orlando emerging as top teams in the East along with Detroit and maybe Cleveland, New Jersey’s window to win a championship has closed. It’s time for them to plan for 2 or 3 years down the road and later, when Boston and Detroit are old and no longer contenders.

    The Lakers would get Kidd who brings that winner mentality along with the obvious improvement at point guard which will help everyone on the offensive end (Triangle or not). Just like Sam Cassell did for the Clippers. Sam’s the reason the Clippers made the playoffs. Defensively it probably hurts the team overall. The down side is you’re going for the “win now” approach and (like Sam) Kidd will only be able to play limited minutes after a couple of years. Crittenton or Farmar will have to be ready to play at a championship level by then. And the Lakers will have to give Kidd an extension by 2009 or he can walk. Hopefully for less then $20M.
    It also leaves the Lakers very thin in the frontcourt. But it tells Kobe (and fans) they do care about winning a championship.

  26. Bill Simmons has an interesting trade in his blog – basically a 4 team trade involving LA, NJ, ORL, and MIN.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/blog/071206

    interesting proposal, though i don’t really like it. Who steps up in vlade’s place as the shooter? we already traded cook away, now giving up both vujacic and radman? granted, LO has been chucking 3s, but we need someone who can actually make a few. Also, I’m just not sold on the idea of a big time point guard in the triangle – the triangle tends to take the ball out of the point guard’s hands and doesn’t really allow them to control the game (witness gary payton’s struggles, and the lack of a marquee pg on those bulls teams). then again, ARE YOU KIDDIN ME, SHIP HIS A** OUT! IT’S JASON KIDD WE’RE TALKIN ABOUT

  27. For what its worth, Bill Simmons tried…

    Let me point out what’s wrong with this proposal:

    1. Orlando is not bargaining their expirings to take on long-term ones esp if its redundant. This is the first assumption that Simmons missed, Radmanovic is the last thing Orlando needs. However, if you sent them a decent combo guard to replace Evans or Bogans, you may start talking…

    2. Minny is not sending Telfair away just to have Mad Dog off its payroll. There are plenty of ways to get rid of him and losing Telfair would not be one of them.

    3. New Jersey will want Odom and/or Bynum in any deal involving LA. This is the premise of the deal-that-almost-was last year.

    4. Lakers do not need Kidd as much as they needed him in the offseason.

    Therefore, I like what Simmons did but he did miss on several “needs” the teams were looking for.

  28. Kurt,

    I like and respect Lamar, but see him as a misfit. Right now my only choice would be to trade Lamar, but it could require other players. I believe that Western Conference deals remain extremely unlikely (Phoenix, Sacto, Denver, Warriors, Mavericks, Houston), but I’ll mention one that is conceivable because it could be spectacular for the Lakers.

    My dream deal (for the Lakers) still involves Memphis. The only way there is any deal with Memphis is if they decide to clean house and go young for next year. Their dismal record is beginning to challenge last year already (as expected)–so they may be getting realistic.

    Memphis already has an expiring contract of $5.8 milllion and some other dangling options. This would give them another $9 million below the salary cap and allow them to be one of the few teams that could acquire a major free agent next year.

    I’ve thought of several versions.

    Odom–Brown–Crittendon

    for

    Gasol–Miller–JC Navarro

    That could get us an NBA championship!

    Choice 2

    Odom for Gasol

    Gets them someone who plays more their new style of game.

    Might also be Odom +Critt for Gasol + Navarro

    Eastern conference candidates for trade (more likely, so I’ll mention more):

    Wizards (idea from Kwame a): Odom for Antawn Jameson. He has an expiring contract. We may need to add a “filler.”

    Pistons: Odom for Rasheed Wallace

    Better match for for offensive styles–Odom is younger

    Indiana: Jermaine O’Neal for Brown and Odom.

    Gives them an expiring $9 million.

    Knicks: Odom for Zach Randolph

    Same salary, but Randolph is for 4 years and Odom for 2 years. Homecoming for Lamar.

    I don’t see how deals for Joe Johnson (Atlanta) or Gerald Wallace (Bobcats) could happen.

  29. You have to give to get. We arent trading Bynum and Kobe so we will have to package Odom and Farmar to get something back that makes a difference. Thinking you can trade Odom and filler for anyone who will make the Lakers better is unrealistic. Its going to cost Farmar in the deal and whether it is worth trading Farmar is another story, but I wouldnt let his inclusion hold up a deal.

  30. Regarding J. O’Neal generally, I believe he is washed up and no longer productive on a consistent basis. He doesn’t strike me a championship caliber player, much like Lamar doesn’t. We would be getting a player that is injury prone, coming off injury and inconsistent. An injured jump shooting seven footer that isn’t a very good rebounder with no lift doesn’t interest me. Bynum is our big and I’m happy with that.

    Regarding J. Kidd my analysis is his is a player we try to get, but don’t break the bank doing it. He is the fierce competitor we need, and he would make everyone on our team, especially our big men, better. My package would be Odom, Critt, and Vlad Rad. Lakers gets a great point guard albeit he is expensive and aging. New Jersey gets a verstile player in Odom and they do much better in a different system and close to home, a solid young talent in Critt, and a top three point shooter. New Jersey may be willing to do it to move a disgruntled player. Another Kidd proposal is Brown, Critt, Vlad Rad, and a pick for Kidd and a scrub. I actually like that better for the Lakers but I don’t know if NJ would go for it.

    I haven’t seen Gasol play much so I don’t have an opinion on him.

    As much as I like Kidd, my preference is to go after Artest. Artest is a tough SOB and I think he solve A LOT of our problems. My offer would be

    Odom and Critt (and possible a pick) for Artest and Sharif

    Lakers get a great player in Artest but take on his mental risk. Sactown gets rids of Sharif’s terrible contract and picks up two nice players in Odom and Critt. Getting Critt would allow Sac to move Bibby’s contract and I think Critt and Martin would make a very strong 1 2 punch for many years to come.

    Our lineup

    Fisher/Farmar
    Kobe/Ariza/Sasha
    Artest/Walton/Vlad Rad
    Odom/Turiaf/Vlad Rad
    Bynum/Brown/Mihm

    Artest makes our team MUCH tougher defensively and he woud be our go to second scorer, thus freeing up Lamar do everything. Odom to me is more effective at the 4 spot. His versatility creates match up problems for other teams at power forward (Spurs, Phoenix, etc).

    I think that lineup competes for a title this year and the next two years. We’d have offense, defense, strong starting, unit and a great bench.

    Of course, all this is just silly talk, but fun nonetheless. I love to hear feedback on my proposals. Sorry for such a long post.

  31. As of now, my 3 untradeables are Kobe, Drew and Jordan. I fancy Farmar as the next best thing in PG. He could very well be the class of 2006′s best PG and could conceivably be the next Tony Parker 3-4 years down the line.

    Dr Ray, you know I share the love for Pau. It used to be Bynum + Kwame + sweeteners for Pau and now we have decided that its Odom we are trading. I think Memphis will give us a headache in asking for Bynum and Kwame instead (our favorite deal in the off season) plus of course Crittenton and some picks.

    On your proposal, since JCN is almost atached to Pau, LA would need to send a future 1st (to replace what Memphis lost to WAS). Mike Miller is a stretch as he still fits their style as you mentioned.

    Oh and in case you didn’t know, Memphis fans treat Gasol as a prophet. They ask for Bynum + Odom from LA and yet they say it might not even be enough. Imagine?

    As for the West guys, I still think GS and SAC are ideal partners. GS does it for the obvious reason – Odom is an upgrade over Harrington. They also fancy JCritt as Baron’s successor since his flash and wit remind us of the younger Baron of Charlotte. The only thing in question is how they add a filler to this. I personally like Brandan Wright and Mickael Pietrus as the ones added.

    Sacramento might do it for 2 reasons:
    a) Ron Artest is a headcase and will likely leave if he is given the right atmospehere and salary (cough LA cough)
    b) it is a chance to get rid of Kenny Thomas’ atrocious contract which by all means ruin their chances of rebuild.

    For this package and this alone, perhaps the addition of picks and or Crittenton (which they very much like too), the Magoofs may consider trading with LA.

    In the end, I rank the probabilities of teams trading for Lamar according to this:
    1) Golden State (Brandan Wright is the deal breaker)
    2) Sacramento (contingent if we accept KT)
    3) New Jersey if indeed Kidd is unhappy (which he obviously is)
    4) Phoenix (the risk of losing Marion to free agency)
    5) Chicago (if we accept Nocioni + Noah + Duhon)
    6) Washington (if we added Critt)
    7) Memphis (if we worshipped Pau like they do and give them Bynum, yuck!)

  32. Sorry guys, I meant to say Brown, Critt, and pick for Artest and Sharif, not Odom. Making our line up

    Fisher/Farmar
    Kobe/Ariza/Sasha
    Artest/Walton/Vlad Rad
    Odom/Turiaf/Vlad Rad
    Bynum/Mihm

    Although if Kwame would grow a brain and actually work on his game he could play power forward. Then I would consider moving Odom/Critt for Artest/Shariff making our line up Fisher/Kobe/Artest/Brown/Bynum. This is a very attractive deal for Sactown.

  33. An interesting trade proposal sprouted up on the lines of trading for Kidd…

    LA gets: Jason Kidd
    trades: Odom, Kwame, Crittenton

    Philly gets: Kwame, Crittenton
    trades: Andre Miller

    NJ gets: Andre Miller, Lamar Odom
    trades: Jason Kidd

    If I was a net fan I’d do it. Dre Miller is the poor man’s version of JKidd but they add Odom to their core (to play 4 or 3 if RJ is moved) without losing or gaining salary.

    Philly does it for sure. They are on rebuilding mode and might just buy out Kwame (to save on the salary) and we will pick him up for the 1M we have left on the MLE.

    LA basically trades Odom + Critt + 1M for Kidd. We can pick Kwame back up and have him back until he recovers and in time for the playoffs. Perhaps Kidd would make Kwame look better?

  34. I don’t want to start getting into specific trade scenarios because thats what the trade machine is for.

    but to address Kurt’s response about trying to get Kobe to stay. The way I look at it, Kobe is gone in two no matter what happens. I don’t think there is anything that can be fixed.

    In 2009, Kobe will opt out, either take a paycut and go play for Dallas, or take a massive contract(give up on winning agin) and go play in NYC and continue to put up legendary numbers. With that in mind, I think they should pull the trigger on Kidd.

    I totally agree with 11 about Kidd not necessarily making sense on paper, but he has those superstar intangibles that will just make everyone better. The infusion of excitement and experience J Kidd would bring could help this team break out of the second tier and into the upper tier.

    And it would be wishful thinking to send lamar for kidd, and hold onto Bynum.

  35. 29. IMO, giving up Odom, Kwame and Critt is too much and the theory that Philly would buy out Kwame only to have use resign him for $1 million seems far fetched. Of course, you may know something I don’t.

    Our line would be:

    Kidd/Fisher/Farmar
    Kobe/Fisher/Sasha
    Walton/Vlad Rad
    Turiaf/Vlad Rad
    Bynum/Mihm

    I don’t like that. Very weak on defense and not strong off the bench.

  36. Knicks top Forbes list, Lakers second.
    ======================
    For third straight year, Knicks most valuable franchise

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks’ struggles on and off the court didn’t keep the team from remaining the NBA’s most valuable franchise for the third straight year, according to a list compiled by Forbes.

    The Knicks were valued at $604 million, up 3 percent from the previous year despite a spate of losing, an embarrassing defeat in a sexual harassment lawsuit, and continuing questions about the future of coach Isiah Thomas.

    The NBA’s marquee franchise also had a league-high $196 million in revenues for the 2006-07 season while topping the list with negative $42.2 million in operating income after going 33-49 and missing the playoffs.

    The Los Angeles Lakers decreased in value 2 percent, down to $560 from $568 million, but remained second on the list. The Chicago Bulls were third with a value of $500 million and a league-best $59.3 million in operating income. Detroit and Houston rounded out the top five.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers showed the biggest jump in value among the top 10 teams, increasing 20 percent to $455 million. They jumped from 10th to seventh.

    The Dallas Mavericks, who were third on last year’s list after a 15 percent hike in value following their first NBA finals appearance, dropped to sixth. Phoenix, Miami and San Antonio completed the top 10.

    Even at the top of the NBA heap, the Knicks wouldn’t crack the top 10 in the NFL, where the No. 1 Cowboys were valued at $1.5 billion and the No. 10 Jets came in at $967 million, according to the list of NFL franchises Forbes released in September

  37. If any of you are sans plans for New Years Eve, you can hang out with UPS/Twinkletoes/the cake thrower himself
    http://youbeenblinded.com/party-with-kwame-brown-on-new-years-eve/

  38. 28- I really like that one, if we could switch Farmar for Critt.

  39. 29- We still have Ariza. Our bench would be solid:

    Farmar
    Fish/Sasha
    Ariza
    Vlad
    Mihm

    Also, we could sign PJ Brown or Chris Webber for another big off the bench.

  40. 28. I’m going to pretend you didn’t suggest Randolph at the end of that :-)

  41. If we did Odom for Zach Randolph. could we play Zach at the 4, and keep Kwame/Bynum at the 5? This is the only way I’d do it.

  42. Kurt, I’ve been reading the site for a couple of months now and its brilliant. Thanks for your hard work. Also a big thanks to those that comment. You folks make the site great.

    To reiterate a the theme of the comments already made, Kobe and Bynum are completely off limits. You don’t trade a superstar in his prime and you don’t trade a talented young center with considerable room for improvement (the reasons for both have been beaten to death in the comments already).

    So it comes down to suggestions involving trading LO and-or Brown/Farmar/Crit/Ariza/Turiaf/sasha (young player pu pu platter). Both are reasonable options. LO for all his inconsistency is still very talented and his ability to gather double digit rebounds and initiate the break/dribble drive to the hoop is a relatively unique skill set (I think only LeBron has the dual ability – maybe Kidd). Similarly, while none of the youngsters are stars, or even solid starter quality, as a group they offer intriguing possibilities and cap relief.

    As for what they could get in return, I think the Lakers are not getting any superstars. I realize that this has been mentioned before but they should be looking for aging, overpaid players. I think the LO for Gasol suggestion is great but I can’t really see the griz making this trade. Gasol is still an all-star in his prime LO is just not all-star quality. Also while Gasol is clearly much more of a half court scorer than LO and would balance Kobe in a way Odom can’t. It takes time to learn the triangle offense and throwing in Gasol would take time to adjust. It doesn’t seem to make sense if the goal is to be competitive this season.

    That said the two options are JO and Kidd but aging stars with hefty contracts. IMO JO is a much better fit for the Lakers than Kidd. The Lakers already have decent PG play from fisher and farmar. And they are both the type of complementary shooters the triangle relies on as opposed to kidd who likes to create off the dribble and doesn’t really have a consistent outside shot. Also the Lakers seem to have trouble with quick PGs, although Kidd is a good defender, he will also struggle in this role.

    JO is much more of a piece we need. He is a strong interior defender. He still has the strength to post up down low and finish in ways K brown can’t. But he can also hit the 15′ shot to free up bynum at the low post.

    Though I think it doesn’t make much sense to give up LO to get him. LO is an excellent rebounder from the small forward position and while inconsistent, would be a perfect third option – do all the little things player. Also as he has done in the past he can shift from the PF role when he starts with walton, to the SF role if the Lakers want to finish the game with JO and BYnum as the bigs.

    The truth is that it might be hard to put together a good enough deal. My suggestion is the Javaris C – K Brown – Ariza (and use mihm and Sasha to balance the K’s) package along with a number one and a number 2 pick. I still don’t think this is enough.

    But if it could work, it leaves us with a veteran team than can compete.

    FIsh, Kobe, Walton, LO, JO with Farmar, turiaf, rad man, and bynum off the bench.

  43. Some excellent trade ideas have been floated, but I doubt any of them are going to come to anything, for the reasons already offered. It’s just too big of a risk for the teams involved at this point in the season.

    I would argue that Free Agency is the best place for the Lakers to address their needs. They appear to have a team building team chemistry and their unhappy star appears to be dealing for now. Unless you can cook up a deal with Kwame’s expiring contract to address a specific need, don’t do it. Let’s see how we do in the playoffs, and then after Kwame’s contract expires, look for free agency to provide the needs that a playoff run will reveal. I suspect that what will be revealed there will be different than in years past wtih Bynum’s and Farmer’s maturation. And Lamar does show up for the playoffs.

    Is there somplace on the web that can show us upcoming free agents?

  44. Great write up Kurt. I feel the same about Lamar too. I think that we should send him back to Miami for Udonis Haslem. He’s strong ,just as young at 27 and has a great midrange shot and scoops up the boards with the best of them. Lamar would be an upgrade to Miami because Riley would use him to Lamar’s strengths and it sure beats watching Jason Williams. I’d be interested to see what you thought and if this could be possible. But I think he is what Phil has been asking for. Someone that can provide the muscle.

  45. Here is the NBA Free Agent list for next summer. BUT, remember the Lakers are over the cap, the most they can offer is the mid-level exception (just shy of $6 mil a year). And they’ve got to think about clearing some space to pay Bynum in a couple years.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=2008FreeAgents

  46. Hebisner,
    The Lakers are way over the salary cap; when Kwame’s contract expires they will still be over the cap, so it won’t provide any more free agent room. All they will have is the MLE next offseason.

    To get something from Kwame’s contract, they need to trade him midseason. He will also likely be available to resign (at a presumably much lower salary).

  47. 30. I agree I think Artest solves the problems and is worth the risk. We would still be weak at the PF position but Artest and Kobe would be the best SG/SF defensive combo in the league (maybe since MJ/Piippen) and he can guard versatile forwards like Nowitzki. But I just don’t think Sac will trade him but taking Sharif’s long bad contract and giving them a young talent PG with potential and possibly a draft pick might persuade them.

  48. One follow up.
    While Indy would never do it, the ESPN trade machine allows JO for brown + sasha (cap relief) + crit + two #1′s (prospects) and vlad (necessary to make the K’s match). I’d throw in Ariza, but he has trade restrictions.

    Glad this trade talk is a one time exemption. Its fun a couple of times a year, but it is so speculative and unlikely that I do miss the actual talk about what’s happening on the floor.

  49. Farmar is not good enough to be a sticking point for a trade occurring. He is not that quick, and not big enough to make up for his lack of quickness, so his potential is not that great.

  50. I posted this trade a few days ago – and am sticking to it.

    LA trades:
    - Bynum
    - Walton
    - Kwame
    - Vlad Rad

    Toronto trades
    - Chris Bosh
    - TJ Ford

    LA Starts
    - Fisher
    - Kobe
    - Odom
    - Bosh
    - Mihm

    Toronto starts
    - Calderon
    - Parker
    - Vlad Rad
    - Bargnani
    - Bynum

    Why it works:
    Toronto has a long term problem at both at PG and PF. Bargnani’s natural position is PF and so is Bosh’s. At some point one has to go. Same deal with TJ Ford and Jose Calderon (who’s contract ends this year). Calderon is a bigger and steadier playmaker (Ford is fast but sometimes out of control). They can’t pay 2 starting PG’s so one needs to go.

    With Bynum/Bargnani/Calderon Tornoto can build around a talented, young group of players who could actually make the playoffs now…lose in the first round but would not be horrible team.

    LA? Bynum and Kobe are too far apart age-wise to work together to contend. (10 years). Kobe will be in his late 30′s when Bynum is in his prime. With Bosh Kobe gets another all star who can play in the low post and outside to free kobe from double teams.

    At first glance it looks crazy for Toronto but long term – a good move..

  51. I wanted to clear that I think Odom + Critt for Artest would be worth the risk. I think that might make it worth it for SAC to trade with a division rival. And since Odom is playing mostly the 3 so far this season that is a huge upgrade, but Sac is just horrible without Artest, though they are still bad with him.

  52. 50. There is no way, NO WAY, Toronto trades Bosh. That’s as dumb or dumber than trading Bynum, and Toronto has the best GM in the game. Bosh is the focus of that team’s future.

    51. I can tell you that Tom Ziller (Sactown Royalty, Fanhouse, Ballhype) would do that trade and you wouldn’t even have to throw in Crit.

  53. 43.

    I agree that trading LO completely resets the season. However, a deal that includes brown and some spare bench parts is not that drastic. ANd if the Lakers try to trade with Ind. or Sac. one would assuem they are building for the future.

    RE: Artest

    He’s probobly more available than JO and he’s certainly cheaper. Therefore he’s probobly easier to trade for, but he’s also getting a step slower, completely clogs up the offense and is an extreme head case.

    I agree he’s an amzing defender and that he would be an asset to the Lakers but trading for him is just to great a role of the dice. Even if he plays to his potential he’s still only one step from doing something unimaginably dumb. This is the same player that derailed a potential championship team in Indy.

    And as mentioned above he’s not as good as he used to be. He’s considerably heavier and slower than he was during his DPOY days. And he takes numerous ill advised shots destroying the offensive flow.

  54. I’m sure we could get Artest without trading any major pieces (Odom/Bynum).

  55. No deals.

    I must say I’m a huge LO fan, but I’m also getting very tired of waiting for him to blossom, but….

    [1]He improved last year, before he got injured.

    [2] He’s got that dopey star shaved into the back of his head. It’s his intention to become an All-Star caliber player this year. I still think he can do it.

    Instead of a quick fix trade, I’d like to see much more of a team focus in making sure LO gets quality shots and a quantity of them, forcing him to develop more of a scorer’s mentality.

    Let him keep messing up for awhile. He’s not comfortable yet. The new position is obviously playing a part in his poor performance so far.

    He’s picked himself out of his slump. Let’s see where he goes from here.

  56. For those that are curious,

    JO averages 15/8 on 42% shooting. He will never be an all-star again and I don’t think he’s what the Lakers need given how productive Bynum is. Plus JO is always injured. He is 81st in NBA Eff. This is like Lamar Odom all over again.

    Artest averages 22/7 (reb.)/4 (ass.)/2+ (steals) on 48% shooting and 46% from three (that will go down). Artest is 17th in NBA Eff. He is one of the best defenders in the NBA and can guard guards and fowards. He also brings the pain every night (assuming he isn’t suspended!).

    53. David, we should have you negotiate the trade on our behalf to get us a better deal! I disagree that he is a step slower (he is only 28), I agree with your other points.

    50. I woudn’t even trade Bynum for Bosh straight up. Why do we need Ford when we have Fish, Farmar and Critt? Plus, no team is ever going to win anything with Mihm as the primary center.

    Kurt, everyone talks about what a nice guy Odom is. He does seem friendly and I sympathize with the tragic death of his son, however, he is also a drug user that lives at strip clubs and LA party’s. Maybe instead of getting lap dances he should be working on his jumper and free throws at $13 million per. He’s not the type of person I want my children emulating by any means. Ship his a** out.

  57. I think the best PF’s that Odom could bring back in a trade are Udonis Haslem (Riley loves Odom but he’d have to throw some pieces back) or maybe David West from New Orleans? I could see Odom being a good fit next to Chris Paul

  58. I agree with you on everything but the following:”
    Trade one of the young point guards, Kwame Brown’s expiring contract and filler at the trade deadline to bring in a high quality player who can compliment Kobe, Odom and Bynum and make the Lakers a contender.”

    I’m not sure that we need players who can compliment Kobe, Odom and Bynum as much as we need players who can complement them. Saying things like “You are good!” and “You look great!” to those guys may help team morale, but I don’t think it’s worth as much as a filling a needed role and fitting in with the skills that are lacking on the team.

  59. 57- I like West too, but he fits New Orleans too well. He hits that 17-19 ft shot that is always open from the pick and roll with Paul, a shot we all know Odom hits with maddening inconsistency. Haslem may be interesting, he is a perfect tri PF, hits the mid-range with accuarcy and rebs, doesn’t need plays called for him. What would work salary wise with that, who else would Miami have to include?

  60. I think the Lakers should wait.Let kwame’s contract expire and sign a quality free agent .There was way too many injuries last year to evaluate this team.Be patient and make a move next year and keep both Lamar and Andrew.

  61. 58. AAAARRRGGGHH! I can’t believe I did that. This is why you shouldn’t edit your own stuff.

  62. I think the only way we move Odom for a player who is better is if we take back a bad contract (i.e. to get Gasol take back Cardinal, to get Artest take back Kenny Thomas) and include draft picks.

    I’m all for it, I’ve been a big Brian Cardinal fan for years.

  63. I don’t think I would trade farmar or even vlad. Our bench chemistry is a huge source of strength for us this year. Farmar is the true spark on our bench. He brings as much or more energy as Turiaf, plus he plays so smart for a young player that you’re giving up a lot more than potential by losing him (just look at his percentages- nearly 50% from the field, over 40% from 3- unusual for such a young kid to play so under control). After the relatively small trade for Ariza we saw the team chemistry take a hit. Next thing you know we’re losing to the Bucks and Nets. Trading Farmar takes the heart from the team to me.

    Vlade, on the other hand just fills an important gap for us. Strong outside shooting with the bench. PJ just recently noted the importance of the 3 in today’s game. Vlade’s value to the team is bigger than his value as an individual player I think.

    Chemistry is the kind of thing that you can’t rpedict and can’t overestimate the value of, particularly to getting the most from your role players. I’d rather not make any trade than ruin that.

    On the other hand, if we have a chance to get a Kidd or a JO (presuming he ever gets healthy), those are the kinds of things you can’t pass up easily. I’d give up Odom and Kwame because I don’t think they effect the chemistry of the scrubs as much. They may each be popular, but as high paid guys, their separture would shake the remaining guys less.

  64. 60, lakers are still over the cap even without Kwame’s contract..unless they plan to resign him there’s not many other options but to trade him

  65. 59. I did a little research on Haslem and he actually turned down money in 2005 to resign and stay in Miami for 5 years. West signed a 5 year contract in 2006 with the Hornets so these guys are quite comfortable right now. At least West is. I don’t know how Haslem feels being in last place but he won a championship there plus he was born in Florida and went to college in Florida. His ties run pretty deep I would think.
    But there are a some potential free agents that could do the job. Omeka Okafor, Artest, Elton Brand. I’m sure there’s more but I’m not the statistical junky or have the insight an nba scout has being around basketball all the time. But really there is no excuse for the FO to not get the perfect fit for the triangle except for Kupchak’s lack of deal making in my opinion

  66. I was thinking much the same thing as your post; Lamar isn’t the star Kobe has needed. One could make the argument (and I do here http://mcbias.blogspot.com/2007/12/betrayal-of-kobe-bryant.html) that the Lakers have shortchanged Kobe ever since he signed that contract in 2004. I still can’t believe that for the most expensive seats in the league, the Lakers are only 13th in player salaries. 13th for the second-largest city in America?!

  67. Reality check. The Lakers aren’t going to trade Kwame he is there strongest defensive presence and we all see how pg’s are blowing to the hoop past Mihm and Drew. Kwame is limited offensively yes, he has hands of stone yes, but he is a strong defensive presence, sets screens, and does much of the dirty work that makes the triangle work. Getting Gasol for Kwame leaves a huge hole in the Laker defense.

    Lamar – number don’t always tell the story, yes he gets his 16-10-5 over the course of a season, but how many layups and open 3′s can one guy miss at critical times. Lamar and Crittendon are your trade bait.

    The Lakers need rebounding and low and mid range scoring from the 4, so any trade has to involve a player who can provide that for you. In the 9 championships Phil has won he has always had that see Horry Brian Grant etc.) so any trade the lakers make has to bring that kind of talent otherwise its redundant and a waste.

    Haslem or Gerald wallace seem like the most logical fit, and both the Heat and the Bobcats are in need of Lamar’s type of talent.

    Let’s give Jimmy B. kudos on Bynum he was right the kid is a stud and is going to be a star. Untouchable and i think even Kobe is recognizing that. I think Kobe’s comments and Phil’s this past off season about his lack of intensity, his work ethic, and the fact that he was nearly traded has really motivated Drew and we all should be proud of his growth and effort.

    The Laker’s are closer than we thought, if they stay healthy and continue to grow in consistency, this could be a break out year. But clearly lamar is not working and is in fact the most viable trade piece and option.

  68. 67) KenV,
    “we all see how pg’s are blowing to the hoop past Mihm and Drew.”

    And they don’t when Kwame was in there? He is the worst of the three when it comes to moving over and playing help defense on a penetrator.

  69. I think that trading Lamar Odom would probably be the best course of action for the Lakers. Trading either Kobe or Bynum is absolutely not a good idea in any sense from a business standpoint and a talent standpoint. Odom, regardless of the way he is underachieving this year, is still young enough and talented enough to be a nice asset to any team that he is traded to, granted that he will get the chance to play his game which he is more effective at when he has the ball in his hands and can act as a playmaker and set up guy. It would be like when the Blazers moved Scottie Pippen to the point guard position some years ago and that team flourished because of Pippen’s playmaking ability and his size against opposing players. i agree that the Lakers need a 4 or 3 more than any other position so with that said I think they should make a trade with Sacto for Ron Artest. Adding Artest would be the best option for the Lakers because he is a top 5 talent at SF. He is a great defender much like Kobe and having 2 defensive specialists on your team would make guarding the top notch western teams that much easier because defense wins chamionships, just ask San Antonio. He can guard any position on the floor and on the offensive end he is a beast/bully bruising player that the Lakers have lacked since Shaquille O’Neal last played for them.

  70. the other Stephen December 7, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    no freaking randolph. but artest.. artest is a real man.

  71. the other Stephen December 7, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Lakers scrubs kick ass!

  72. 68- I agree with you that Kwame’s help d is always late, but his on-ball pick and roll d is the best of all our bigs, and his one-on-one man d in the post is best of all our bigs. If he’s not traded he will help our D, the trick is for Phil to know when to use Kwame for D and Mihm for O. Regardless, Drew will get his 25-28 mins a game.

  73. I think the FO feels the same about Odom as we do. That is why they got Ariza. They’re just looking for the right situation. I think the best option would to trade Odom straight up to a team whose system he would fit better into to for a guy, whose not fitting in so great into current team’s system but fit better into ours. This is a win-win and it shouldn’t be that hard to find.

  74. It’s so unfortunate that Artest is in the same division let alone conference. Like Phil said (or at least what I thought I heard him say), the Lakers need some toughness b/c the team as constituted is a pretty finesse-based squad. That is why a lot of us to this date, still complain about the Caron for Kwame trade. Caron is a tough player.

    Although the past is the past, it serves some purpose now. If Lamar is traded, we MUST bring back some tough and gritty players. No more finesse-based guys. That is why I’m not sold on JO b/c he lacks toughness and his body is too fragile. Also, while he chucks a lot of mid-range shots, how will his presence stunt/inhibit Bynum’s game if JO is taking up most of the inside shots?

    I would prefer to get Artest…but it seems teams are reluctant to trade within divisions. I would not like to give up Critt in the process. I believe he is going to be one heck of a player…

  75. Bobby,

    Why choose between the two players. Why not try to get both JO and artest.

    Three team trade:

    Lakers give up odom and brown to indy. Crittendon, sasha and their 1st round pick to sac. Get back Artest and JO

    Indy gives up JO, and david Harrison gets back Odom and brown

    Sac gives up artest gets back Crit, sasha, harrison and the lakers #1.

    Truth is there is no way that sac makes this trade because that is not enough for artest. But if you squint, and consider that they are getting a good young guard in crit, 2 expiring contracts in sasha and harrison, plus a #1 (yes, admittedly its a crappy pick) and they are only losing a player who is a FA at the end of the year … OK they still don’t make the trade, but it sure would work out well for the Lakers and Indy.

    It’s my one day a year for this ridiculous speculation, indulge me.

  76. I agree with everything Kurt said about Odom. As much as I love the guy it’s been 3+ years of the same stuff and we just have not improved enough with this roster to justify continuing on the same path of a Kobe/Lamar pairing.

    If anyone reads Hollinger, they know that Kobe/Farmar/Bynum lead the Lakers in PER. They should be kept by any means neccessary.

    Kidd, JO, Artest, and (to a lesser extent) Gasol are all available and are the caliber of player that we should be looking for to help this team contend. Artest is the best fit for the Lakers. He plays the same position as LO is a better scorer and a superb defender. Kidd is the next best option. He is another great leader and has proven that he elevates the play of his teammates. Gasol is the next best, followed by Jermaine. The FO should just identify who is the best fit and try to get that guy. Like I said, I try to get Artest (problems/warts and all) and make Phil earn that extension money. This is why he’s paid $12mil a year.

    All I know is that Critt, LO, Kwame are all expendable. Kwame misses 20 games a year. We all realize his value to this team, but when you miss a quarter of the season every year, how valuable are you, really? Critt is going to be a real player in this league. His PER is higher than LO’s (although he does not get the minutes to qualify), but right NOW, Farmar is better and showing that he has a bright future as a player. And Kurt has already explained why we can/should trade LO. So package any of those guys and get another player who fits better. Whether another team cooperates is the bigger question, b/c homers or not, we all think we have some good trade pieces. And I don’t think we’re all wrong.

  77. From the Akron Beacon-Journal’s Brian Windhorst (Via True Hoop)

    “First of all, after talking to some NBA executives today, the word Nets president Rod Thorn is putting out there is that he’s not interested in trading Kidd right now. Obviously that’s fluid and things would change if Kidd came out and demanded to be traded. That hasn’t happened yet.”

  78. Just a note about Artest, since there has been much talk about him in this thread. I love Artest as much as the next person, and think he brings exactly what the Lakers need. But the problem is in his head Ron thinks he should always be the first option on whatever team he is on. He’s happy and content in Sacramento right now, because he is the man on that team. In Indiana, much of his beef was with the fact that everything went through JO. If he was able to come here an accept being second fiddle, then Odom for Artest would be a great move. It makes the Lakers tougher on both sides of the ball, makes them a more solid defensive team, and unlike Odom, Artest will not shy away from being aggressive on offense. But again, it’s all about mental state. Lamar is one of my favorite players in basketball, but if he’s gotta start being more aggressive. That’s what all of his problems come down too. He settles for jumpers too much, and doesn’t go to the rack enough throughout the game. Sometimes, I think he’s still worried about that shoulder. After he goes to the hole and gets hit, you always see him kind of test out the shoulder afterward.

  79. Also, did you guys notice that Rambis is growing the 80s stash back?

  80. I don’t see how JO would help us. He’s injured all the time, he doesn’t shoot a high percentage for a big man. His PER is only 14.58 (from the KnickerBlogger page).

    Kidd doesn’t fit the triangle that well, and he’s a PG, which isn’t exactly a position of need for us anymore. We’d probably have to give up a lot for him, and he’s already 30 something. Besides, he’s probably not on the table, as Kurt notes.

    I think we need to get a forward. Gasol would be nice. Artest might work. I don’t know who else fits. I really wish we kept Caron. He’s tough. He’s a legit #2 scorer. He played well with Kobe. They had good chemistry. Maybe we can just trade Odom for Caron. He does have a 23.8 PER…

  81. Miami sends Shaquille O’Neal back to the Lakers for Kwame Brown (and his expiring contract) and Lamar Odom.

    Okay… okay… stop laughing. It’s absurd – or is it? Miami STINKS. I mean they are really horrible, with pretty much no sign of it getting better anytime soon. Shaquille is a shadow of the player they traded for a few years ago. This trade essentially reverses the Shaq trade. Miami gets to get back a guy Riley really likes in Odom, and expiring contract in Kwame and a guy who can effectively play the center position (from a defensive standpoint) on that Heat team as they try to make a run for the 7th or 8th spot in the east. They also get out of paying a seriously declining Shaq for the remainder of his contract. With Kwame off the books next year, and Odom off in a couple it’d put them in the free agent market to try and get some talent around Wade.

    The Lakers get a guy who knows the triangle and can still add a level of toughness to the paint. The one-two punch of Old Shaq/Young Bynum would be a killer. Hopefully they would also get a guy who would clearly see that this is Kobe’s team… okay, okay… let me stop. It’s insane. It will never happen. Too many egos in this one. There’s a certain symmetry to it though.

  82. 81. Shaq has been absolutely aweful this year. Here is a great example of how bad he has been. Its sad considering how good he used be be.

    peaking of O’Neal, how did he do last night against the Blazers, who are without Greg Oden? Basketbawful: “Another sorry performance for the self-proclaimed Most Dominant Ever: 8 points (3-9), 7 missed freethrows (in 9 attempts), zero assists, 4 turnovers. Most telling, however, were the 5 personal fouls that limited him to 21 minutes of action. Shaq looks slow and terribly clumsy. He can’t stay in front of people, and he can’t move his feet. It’s like his body just won’t listen to his brain anymore. And the saddest and most pathetic moment came at the very beginning of the game, when Shaq made one of his signature awkward lurches to the basket and headbutted Joel Przybilla, then fell on him and drove the basketball into his face. Przybilla got knocked out of the game for a while, but he returned in the second quarter and did a good job containing Shaq when the big man was actually in the game. Yes, it’s officially gotten to the point where Shaq can’t overpower Joel Przybilla.” Barkley muttered that perhaps O’Neal would be suspended for that. Portland’s Mike Barrett sure thinks he should be. It looked mean and painful. (Shoddy replay.) But on the off-chance that the whole was just some bumbling mistake, it would be terrible to suspend him for aging ingracefully.

    link:
    http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop

  83. Slightly Less Tipsy December 7, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I could do this all day… so I’ll stop… but before I do:

    Ben Wallace and Ben Gordon for Kwame/Odom/Vucacic and a 1st rounder.

    This seems fair from a basketball point of view, but probably not from a marketing point of view (with the Bulls getting the shorter end of the stick).

    I think this makes both teams slightly better though. The Bulls can’t sign everyone (and Ben Gordon turned down their last offer) and they get a great team guy in Lamar and a very willing shooter in Sascha (who’s contract is also expiring). The Lakers get a scorer in Gordon and a solid defender (if an aging one) to replace Kwame.

    It works salary-wise, but that Ben Wallace contract is not very good. I guess if I were the Lakers I’d do this if Kobe liked it (Kobe LOVES Ben Gordon).

  84. jonesonthenba:

    I kinda recall Artest saying that he thought highly of Kobe, infering that he would not mind being his teammate. Does anyone else remember that.

    My only other concern for Artest is his want of a larger contract. But if we were to aquire him, I would not paying him what we pay LO, IF RonRon plays up to his career standards.

  85. I’m surprised it has taken so long to figure out Lamar Odom was a bad fit.

    I’m amazed at how many people talk to me about how well Lamar Odom fits in the Triangle – the passing, shooting, ballhandling and overall versatility.

    He’s a horrible fit in the Triangle and always will be. He needs the ball in his hands, not touches, but dominating the offense. He needs the ball for 4-8 seconds at a time to create something. He is at his best when the floor is spaced out for him, when he’s the big forward, and he’s allowed to exploit the weaknesses in the opposing team’s defense. You can’t do that in the Triangle. So Odom immediately is playing a style of basketball that he has never been succesful doing, this is already and inconsistent player and now you’re denying him his strengths …. how is that going to play out? Well we’ve all seen and it’s been badly.

    LA has to trade Odom. On who might want him?
    -NY might be willing to end the Zach-Curry experiment although trading Zach would be choosing the wrong guy.
    -NJ might be willing to give up Jefferson – that would shore up the perimeter defense but interior play would still be far too weak
    - Denver for one of those bad contract big men, likely target Nene
    - The Indiana Jermaine trade is always interesting but he seems to be slotting in nicely to that offense (as his conditioning has returned) and looks like he’s a firm fixture once again or at least until Indy fail again which is unlikely to happen before the trading deadline.
    - Pursue the Marion trade. Largely a lateral move but Odom clearly needs to go. Marion upgrades the defense.
    - Seattle for Wilcox and Collison or Wilcox and Kurt if unwilling to include Collison. Odom fits into their plans, by reducing the contract lengths and keeping cap space available for two years. Also takes a lot of pressure off of Durant.
    - This is the one I like the most, Odom for Jamison. Jamison is a FA next year and it looks likely he is no longer in their long term plans. Washington are not convinced by their present trio and will struggle to acquire a high level talent. LA would get a player who fits much better in the triangle. He gives great outside shooting and some punch in the low post. The defense will take a knock … the best part is he is an expiring contract along with Kwame which would vastly increase the timetable on LA’s upcoming flexibility.

    Less appealing trades
    - Miami for Haslem, William’s contract, a pair of first rounders
    - Cleveland for Gooden, Hughes. Might need to add someone on LA’s end also like Luke Walton (that contract will be a problem at some stage)

  86. There is one thing everyone is over-looking… It’s called the Team’s overall value… I think everyone who has read this is in agrement that Odom has a much bigger potential than he actually shows on the court with the Lakers because of all the reasons that we have already analyzed… He is a very talented player–would be all-star material in half the other teams.

    So… We don’t trade him… We can’t… Basketball teams could be compared to stock-broker companies with the players playing the role of stock…When you buy stock, do you do it with the intention to sell it at its lowest point? No, no you don’t, nope, that would be preposterous; right? Therefore, it’s simple… If we trade Odom now, the overall value of the team will go down once again… People get over-excited with trade talks and think that a trade can take their team to the next level just like that… That’s pretty much what happened with Caron Butler. We have an already-proven talent in our hands who doesn’t work well with the triangle… What do we do? We trade him for an unproven center who could potentially be good, but turns out to be mediocre–Kwame… Now I look at Butler and want to cry… Why was that a horrible trade? Because we bought stock with potential (Caron Butler) we brought its value down a considerable amount and then we sold it for way less. If we keep doing that we’ll be driven further and further away from that title contention goal…

    In conclusion, although I think Kobe is currently the best player in the NBA, it’s probably better for the team to trade him rather than trade Odom! That is, if we stop dreaming and do the simple math… Prime years for a future top hall-of-famer, stock can’t get much higher than this… Or Jordan Farmar… I personally don’t think Farmar is ever going to be starter material and he’s going through a period of very good form–great time to sell…

    Now I’m not proposing a trade… I definitely want to keep watching Kobe on the Lakers struggling to reach more than the first round of the play-offs but putting on a great show in the process, rather than watching a team like the spurs… (and by that I meant boring). What I am proposing is take the 2nd best player of your team and try to work around him a little like other teams do with their top-caliber players (e.g. Utah with Kirilenko). When it comes down to it, that’s what we have to work with… We have to make the best out of our top players! Maybe run the offence a little bit through him… I don’t know, I’m not a coach nor am I claiming to have the insight of one… My main point is that we should try to upgrade his value again. Then we can talk about trades that make sense and do not hurt our overall value…

    Finally I would like to recap by saying… PLEASE DO NOT TRADE ODOM AT THIS POINT…

  87. Krasp- I might agree with you, but I would not discount moving him closer to the deadline if he doesn’t show a better ability to find his spots in the offense

  88. I have a concern with acquiring Artest simply because, though he may indeed be willingly deferential to Kobe, I see him becoming frustrated at the level of commitment the team has for Bynum. Sure, it works out fine for now with Kobe our 1st option, Artest number 2, and Bynum third, but what about Bynum’s development? Eventually I imagine the team would like to see him confidently a second option and forseeably down the road able to take the team on his back for stretches at a time, even become the 1st option if Kobe leaves or as Kobe declines. I just wouldn’t want Artest’s arrival to derail Bynum’s development.

  89. Artest would fit nicely to the Lakers system, but it doesn’t address our weakness at the 4. At least Lamar as inconsistent as he is can play both 3 and 4 and cause mismatches. It is to early to see what his value is to the team because of all the adjustments that Phil has made this year. Our team is the second youngest in the league with a lot potential to improve. Phoenix and San Antonio as good as they are can only continue their dominance for possibly a year or two with their aging role players and stars. As for now we must witness growing pains and chemistry issues until Phil molds his team into the way we want him to.

  90. Lamar Odom+the trade exception (if it’s still available) for Jamison would make sense…though the thing is that Jamison has been having a great year, and I’m not sure the Wizards want to trade him at this point. And from the Lakers POV, what happens if Jamison walks out on us? Do we get under the cap?

  91. I think we should stand pat until the end of the season… and then? I think we should stand pat some more. Why?

    Kobe should and will be placated by the improvement of this team in this season. That’s right. I said it. We are inches away from consistent play. Inches away from this version of Lakers showing us there best. I don’t want to make a prediction on where we will end up at seasons end because frankly? None of us know what shape that’ll take.

    However, Although I would love to dump L.O. he is part of this version of the Lakers… and I believe that we have a chance to make “ginourmous” leaps and bounds this season.

    Plus? (I can’t even believe I’m writing this!) The F.O. looks like they actually know what they are doing for a change. Ariza trade looks to be panning out… ALL the draft picks are performing beyond or next to beyond their projected abilities. To me? This feels like a squad, not unlike 1980, in that (again not saying in terms of championship or talent(s) it’s being built to eventually withstand the retirement or loss of it’s scoring cornerstone, In that case – Kareem.

    Keep everybody togther unless Sac wants to trade “straight-up” for Odom… Kidd? Kidd is old. Albeit one of the greatest but an older greatest. The triangle does not suit him. Not so easy for him to get to the hoop. Crappy jump-shooter. JO? Too injured, too often. Games in decline.

    But for my Money? It’s 5 years from now…

    When Farmar, Critt and Bynum form the core of our “Generation Next” of Lakers… that’s gonna be sweeter than giving up on one or more of them now so we can get a soon to be “ex-all-star”.

    Also, Kwame comes off the books – - we are proving we can win without him at this very moment. He either pans out or we get what we need with the MLE… or split on Kwame and go after some declining vet ala Grant Hill… whatever.

    Lets just let them develop… it’s not a sprint…it’s a marathon.

  92. My pipe dream is actually Odom and Critt + 08 1st for Artest and Haslem. That pretty much solves our 3 and 4 with Bynum at the 5.

  93. Along those lines…

    LA sends:
    Odom to Miami
    Sasha Vujacic to Miami
    Crittenton + 08 1st to Sacramento
    Kwame Brown to Sacramento

    Miami sends:
    Haslem to LA
    Ricky Davis to Sacramento

    Sacramento sends:
    Artest to LA
    Kenny Thomas to LA
    Darryl Watkins to LA

    What does Sacramento get? 2 huge expirings plus Crittenton and LA’s 08 1st in exchange for Artest headcase and KT9′s horrible contract.

    Why does Miami do it? Odom is the versatile PF who is an upgrade over Haslem and it takes pressure of Wade and Shaq to be the lone stars of Miami.

    Why LA does it? Apart from KT’s horrible contract, Haslem and Artest are your bruisers at 3 and 4. They are tough, skilled and hard-nosed to defend night in and out. Couple that wih Kobe, Farmar and Drew, we actually are contenders. I would move Ronny to play C at this point.

  94. It would be nice if the Lakers can get Okafor for Brown, though that would be impossible. Phil envisioned Brown to be a 10 pts and 10 reb type player…..instead we divide that by two. Okafor on the other hand stats this year are nice 12pts 11 boards 2 blocks and 1 steal for good measure within 33 mins per game. The only identical statistic maybe his Shaq-like ft percentage.

  95. 91 – I think that young core dream is overrated…it’s not a given that everything will go as we envision.

    93 – I like that trade for us. Even though Thomas’ contract is ugly, it doesn’t run past 2010, so it’s not too much of a risk. Though that will leave us with three power forwards, including Kenny Thomas. How could we find time for Haslem, Ronny, and Thomas? If we’re going to be paying that much, we might as well use them…wouldn’t want to have another Brian Grant on our hands.

    Not sure if MIami would be too thrilled about that idea. Unless Dorrell Wright steps up, that’ll leave a hole on their lineup.

    94 – The Cats wouldn’t even trade Okafor for Lamar.

  96. I would personally give Michael Jordan 20 dollars if sent Okafor in a deal for Brown..and I KNOW he needs the money and wished he had Kwame Brown back on his own team..

    I’d hope a deal centered around Odom would be enough to get Okafor, but I’m pretty sure before the draft Charlotte declined sending their 1st round draft pick for Odom, so I doubt they would trade their franchise big man for him

  97. 96 — Weren’t they sending out Gerald wallace, then the deal collapsed when GSW offered the J-Rich deal?

  98. Kenny Thomas’s contract becomes vauable next year. It will be of 2yrs remaining and 15M. The following year, it becomes more enticing. A hefty 8M expiring contract on our hands.

  99. @Kurt: I haven’t finished reading all of the comments, but, Zach Randolph ias having a ridiculous season thus far. He is average 19 and 14.5 I think. I’ve been to a couple Knicks games and Zach is just a beast. He is a better defender than he’s given credit for as well. His biggest issue is shot selection. He tends to shoot too many 19 footers at times. Granted he can hit them all day, but when he’s off, there’s no one to rebound cuz it’s him and Curry. I really thought the Lakers should have tried swinging Kwame, maybe a future pick, and filler to Portland in the offseason because I think Zach would compliment Kobe a lot. And a Bynum/Zach pairing wouldn’t be bad either.

  100. Its interesting how everyone always wants to make a trade. I agree with a comment that Steve Kerr made last year in regaurds to the Lakers, and that was some of the best trades, are the one you don’t make. That he would stand pat with the team the Lakers have now and let it develop, and that was before he became a GM.

  101. 95. But if you trade ‘em? You never know.

    100. Exactly.

  102. 99. My main concern with Zach has always been his defense, he’s great on offense, but I just don’t think he provides the defensive presence the Lakers need. Remember this:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/nba_experts/post/Players-who-have-more-or-as-many-blocks-as-Z?urn=nba,56560

  103. I Think Jason Kidd Should End Up In Orlando…They Could Send Jameer Nelson, Brian Cook, Hedo and Reddick for Kidd…That Allows Jersey To Get Younger and The Magic Can Make A SERIOUS Run In The East With Kidd, The Only Problem is Jersey Already Has The Young PG From Uconn But Either Him or Nelson Is Great Trade Bait…I Think a 3 Way Trade With Benefit the Lakers, 76ers and Knicks…Send Lamar Odom and Sun Yue To Philly…Marbury, Reggie Evans and David Lee To The Lake Show While Sasha Vujacic, Kwame Brown and Andre Miller Go To The Knicks…The Knicks Get A Point Guard In Miller While Fixin The Marbury Problem, The Lakers Get 2 Great Roll Playin 4Men and a Point For The Next 2 Years While Philly Gets Odom To Run With AI and Can Finally Move Louis To The One Spot

  104. Also If Anybody Can Tame Marbury Its Phil Jackson!!! If Phil Cant Do It Then Marbury Doesnt Belong in The League…With Kobe Goin To The Whole, Reggie Evans And David Lee are Double Double Threats Everynight at The 4 Spot Plus Lee Adds to The Young Team We Building…Hes Only 24 So Bynum, Lee, Ariza, Javaris and Farmar Are Our Future 5 With Bangers Like Gasol and Turiaf Comin Off the Bench!!! We Could Even Get Ricky Sanchez In the Trade And Add Him To Our Future!!!

  105. #103,104 – I don’t know what is worse out of your two comments:

    a) The Fact That Every Word Starts With A Capital
    b) Lakers should get Marbury
    c) “Kobe Goin to the Whole”

    Damn hilarious!

  106. More on Gasol.

    Last year, the Memphis team collapsed and started a house cleaning operation. Pau Gasol was almost traded to Chicago, but it didn’t go through.

    This spring, Pau was indicating that he would like to be traded.

    The team brought in a new coach and manager to turn things around with a “Phoenix style” offense. They even managed to get and sign Pau’s former teammate from Spain, Juan Carlos Navarro–JCN. He’s found a significant role as the backup shooting guard this year already.

    The team has apparently collapsed again, and Pau’s stats have dropped off as well. Pau prefers to play in a structured offense.

    Lamar Odom would seem to be made for the type offense that Memphis has started. He’s always been uncomfortable with the triangle.

    The Chicago papers are already rehashing the Gasol misfit situation in favor of a trade to them, but don’t seem to have the right pieces. Last year they refused to part with Luol Deng. This year, it may be the same, and they may not have any place for JCN.

    The Lakers have traded their backup shooting guard, Mo Evans, so they potentially have a place for JCN.

    If they really want him, the Lakers have a serious shot at Pau Gasol. He’s a consistent scorer. His post oriented offensive game would complement Kobe, Andrew Bynum, and the other Lakers. He can play defense well in the context of good team defense–as he has proven in Spain. He’s the missing 4 that the Lakers have been looking for.

    I hope that we go after him.

  107. Kurt,

    Just a suggestion, but why don’t you add the Lakers Widget to your blog (see Lakers.com under Multimedia section). I think it would be a good tool for you to have during game days.

  108. Marbury should be with a Capital NO. If we do make changes, we should make improvements on the PF position. Turiaf is an adequate Pf that hussles his ass off, but is not a starting level 4. We need someone that is a banger like Okafor or a Ben Wallace two years ago. The Lakers have plenty of offence, though not reliable at times, but can’t close off games because of their defence. Even if we make trades now for aging superstar like kidd or even a hard head like Artest, at what cost of our depth for the future? Phil’s Triangle offence takes time to learn and requires precise execution. The only reason why he opted for an extension is because he knows the potential of the current team for the future. There is no way possible that this team can compete againts San Antonio possibly even Phoenix within the next two years because of their execution on both ends of the floor. On the other hand Steve Nash is 33 going on 34. All the Spurs important role players are over 36, while age will catch up to them the Lakers will continue to improve year after year. Phil see’s that and maybe even Kobe.

  109. Not really convinced Kidd is the answer :
    Fish PPG 11.6 | APG 3 | SPG 1.1 FG51% in 26min.
    Kidd PPG 11.3 | APG 10.4 | SPG 1.7 FG38% in 37min
    & can’t see him slowing down AI, Nash, CPaul, TParker plus giving up Farmar who’s been the difference maker in several games would change the complexion of the second unit (and entire team). So… SEAN WILLIAMS should be included in any trade the Lakers make for Kidd. Really, I’d try to trade for Williams even without getting Kidd. I think Miami would be one of the few teams that would want Odom (and that he’d be comfortable going to). With that in mind:

    Miami gets:
    Lamar Odom

    New Jersey gets:
    K. Brown
    Jason Williams
    J. Farmar
    Lakers 2008 1st Round Pick

    Los Angeles get:
    J. Kidd
    S. Williams

    Lakers Lineup

    Kobe/Sasha/Karl
    Kidd/Fisher/Crittenton
    Radmanovic/Ariza/Walton
    Sean Williams/Turiaf
    Bynum/Mihm

  110. I guess I understand now why Kurt hates trade specs…

    Its because of 103 and 104. LOL

  111. The Dude Abides December 8, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Warren, I’m sure that Kurt gets a lot of comedy relief about comments like 103 and 104, but I’m also sure that it gets old after a few similar comments. One thing I can say is that reading 103 and 104 got the hardest laugh out of me in the past few days.

  112. The Dude Abides December 8, 2007 at 9:23 am

    105-yes, too funny. Lakers give up Odom, Sasha, Yue, and Kwame’s expiring contract for…Evans, Marbury, and Lee? Great, we trade two starters and a bench guy who can shoot for David Lee, a nut grabber, and a nut job. Somehow I don’t think Mitch will make that trade…just a hunch.

  113. WOW….Whatever happened to patience being a virtue?? First of all, trading Bynum is ludicrous. He is our future!
    Second the Lakers are gelling quite well. Bynum is only going to continue to improve. Farmar has proved that he IS the 2nd point guard that can provide that spark off the bench. Same goes for Turiaff. We upgraded from Cook to Vlad Rad, and dumped Evans (a little more talented Dev George) for Ariza. Has anyone watched the way Ariza plays? He is the defensive presence we’ve been lacking, not to mention he can push the ball on offense. Sasha’s playing with confidence too.
    Bottom line, we have a deep young talented team. They know what they need to do. Kobe said it himself, that before he was the only one pushing in practice. Now there are other guys who are pushing hard. Give it time…His teammates will make Kobe a believer. Their play will convince Kobe to stay.
    Remember when we had the DREAM TEAM in L.A.? Kobe, Shaq, GP, and the Mailman???? First year together we go to Finals. Then they breakup…I guarantee that had they one it that year, they would of all stuck around to win one more the next year. My point is, we shouldn’t jump the gun on this one. Give them time. Everyone is healthy. Ariza, Vlad, will make impacts soon.

  114. 106 — There’s just no way the Lakers get Gasol, unless we give up Drew…which won’t happen. Chicago already has a better offer in place…and they’re in the East. If Gasol is traded, the Grizzlies rebuild…there’s no reason for them to take back a 13 million-worth question mark.

  115. So how unrealistic is THIS trade?

    Lakers to Clips
    -LO
    -White “Kobe”
    -Sun Yue
    -Future second rounder

    Clips to Lakes
    -Corey Maggette
    -Tim Thomas
    -Al Thorton

    If the clips scrap this season due to injuries and just look at next, this is their lineup (assuming injuries heal by next year)

    Livingston / Cassell
    Mobley / Ross
    Odom / Patterson
    Brand / Powell
    Kaman / Williams

    That’s a tough lineup that i think plays well together.

    And the Lakers THIS year:
    Fisher / Farmar
    Kobe / Vujacic / Ariza
    Maggette / Walton/ Ariza/Thorton
    Turiaf / Thomas / Vlad Rad
    Bynum / Mihm / Brown

    Our starters are solid and the bench is any combination of AWESOME.

    Defense:
    KB
    Ariza
    Maggette
    Bynum
    Kwame

    Last Second Team:
    Fish
    KB
    Sash
    Walton
    Vlad Rad

    You can have so much fun with this lineup.

  116. (114) anoni,

    You are clearly are a black and white thinker. This situation is a lot more complex than you suggest.

    First of all, Memphis still has not made the decision to consider a trade with anyone. At least publicly they still are committed to the team they have. It’s just that the numbers continue to go in the wrong direction and speculation is starting up–especially considering last year’s collapse.

    What Memphis needs the most are:

    1. players that can run and improvise.

    2. players that are big

    Odom meets both requirements, and he only has 2 years left on his contract. Gasol only meets requirement 2 and he has many years left on his contract. Average points per game and other stats are similar between Odom and Gasol–as are injury risks. They make almost identical salaries.

    The only player that fits the “new” Grizz who is from the current Chicago team is Luol Deng (who will become a free agent). Even if the Bulls trade Deng, they need to come up with $13+ million to make the trade work. Nocioni, who at least helps make the numbers work for Chicago, is a scorer more in the mold of Miller, but not as good on the boards: nothing like Gasol.

    Just like the situation for Kobe, Chicago won’t really be in the trade game until the end of the season.

    I’m sure that other teams will get in the game (if it happens), and the right Eastern Conference offer could clearly beat the Lakers–but a within conference deal is not impossible if it fits the circumstances.

    I think what would tip the balance in favor of the Lakers would be to offer someone attractive with Odom and take veteran “rookie” JCN with Gasol.

    Unfortunately, that guy would probably be Crittendon.

  117. OK, I have to jump in here too. In my mind, the “untouchables” are Bryant & Bynum. Everybody else are “sorry to see you go, but this a business” guys, especially Farmar and Lamar.

    Depending on how the Lakers are looking around the trade deadline and the Pacers and Queens suck, I like the following four team trade (Pacers/Cavs/Kings/Lakers):

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=981~617~25~61~615~512~601~796&teams=23~11~13~5~13~11~11~23&te=&cash=

    The Lakers and Cavs would have to throw in a couple of picks each to sweeten the deals, but the contracts work and cases can be made for each team:

    1) Pacers get two power forwards for one – Odom and Marshall, both of whom would thrive in O’Brian’s system, picks and save a couple of million.
    2) Kings get Brown and Snow, picks, and save at least $10,000,000, or more if they buy out Snow.
    3) Cavs get Bibby, without touching the roster core.
    4) Lakers get O’Neil, Artest and a serious luxury tax bill.

    Yeah, I know wishful thinking (the GM incompetency around league is frightening), but the deal makes sense for each team, both long and short terms.

    In a couple of years the Lakers are either working on another championship, or sickeningly under the cap with good pieces to take a crack at signing Magic LeBronson.

  118. re: point 1) “Thrive” meaning – Odom would be a better power forward in O’Brien’s system than O’Neil is.

  119. If I’m to start a team from scratch, my 1st two picks would have to be: 1) A stud center 2) A PG to go along.

    This is why Farmar and Bynum for me is not to be traded. Add in the equation the best player in the game, Kobe, you have yourself needing just the right forwards to round up your roster.

    The things we need are dime-a-dozen. Its not to say that we actually don’t need them, but the point is, there are plenty of forwards to choose from IF you already have these 3 in your team. Imagine if you could add a defensive forward to go along?

    I have this wild idea that Utah might just trade us AK for Kwame and Radman. Radman has since lived up as a good shooter and Utah might feel now is the best time to trade AK when his stock is not low.

  120. Ak would be nice, but the Lakers are just aquired Ariza whom Phil presumes to be their defensive stopper of the future. The Lakers best bet would be Pau Gasou who would be a complementary second option to Kobe. His interior threat will be helpful to our outside shooters. Plus I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing along side his brother in the future.

  121. I think the Lakers would be giving up too much in that trade for AK. The benefits defensively are great though. A line up of Farmar, Kobe, Ariza (SF), AK (PF), and Bynum is excellent if Drew’s defense improves in line with his performance the past couple games.

  122. No way Utah gives up AK. They are a top 4 team in the west, so why would they want to miss it up.

  123. hmm..I don’t know..Sasha AND Odom? that’s tough..i don’t even know who this charctter is that we’re getting back

  124. 123,
    DoneDeal wins. Thread over!

  125. LOL. I was surprised why Lamar Odom was even included. LOL.

  126. Mike in the Mountain West December 9, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I think there is an extremely high probability we trade Kwame before the the trade deadline of February 21. His expiring contract is especially valuable this year because next year’s free agent class is so good and so few teams are going to have cap-space to go after them. This means that those few teams that have some cap-space will have a really good chance at landing good talent for cheap.

    I think one of the best deals (that are also realistic) would be Odom and Brown for Gasol, Cardinal, and Navarro. The Memphis get a ton cap flexibility for the future with Brown coming off this year and Odom’s 14 million coming off next year. Plus Odom will probably play well in Memphis because they are up-tempo and he’ll be the first option.

    We get a really good player at a good price and shed enough salary to bring us under the luxury tax. I think getting Gasol at that price is worth taking on Cardinal’s contract.

  127. damn yall ate me up at103 and 104 but i stand by my statement that Orlando should make a run for Kidd while NY goes after Andre Miller and like i said if anybody can get the best out of Marbury its Phil Jackson. Still we dont need help at the 1 spot as much at the 4 so Lee would be a great pick up especially if we dont give up Farmar or Javaris…mix Lee with Kobe and the young company and he could be a double double player every night for the next few years. Maybe the Lakers could send Lamar, Sasha and Kwame to NY for some garbage player like Malik Rose and his expensive contract, David Lee, Marbury, Randolph Morris and Renaldo Balkman…worst come to worst, all the players that the Lakers receive will have their contracts expire in the next 1-2 years…

  128. i like Odom and Brown for Gasol, Navvaro and Cardinal but i think the Lakers must throw in some extra and bring Mike Miller to LA cuz with Miller starting at the 3 and Gasol starting at the 4, the Lakers can really spread the floor while letting Kobe do his thing and if worst comes to worst, he can swing it out to the shooters

  129. Mike (127),

    It’s a great, low risk deal for the Grizz. I think that their team would immediately improve. Lamar might not score as many points, but he would make more assists and at least as many rebounds. Memphis would suddenly have size and defensive presence to go with their athleticism. They would want to sign Kwame for the next year at a reduced salary anhd still have money left over to sign or do a sign and trade. It could make them contenders!

    The Brian Cardinal of a few years ago was a scrappy player similar to Shawn Battier, but a bit bigger–and a great 3 point shooter. Unfortunately, he was out for most of last season and is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

    I don’t think I’d do the deal if Cardinal was part of it.

    However . . . . .

    It sounds crazy until you look at team balance, salaries, and style, but the Grizz have a player to add instead of Cardinal that could make the Lakers title contenders.

    They might be willing to unload Miller . . . . .

  130. The Dude Abides December 9, 2007 at 6:00 am

    128–the best of Marbury is still a 4 out of 10. Why should we take on his ridiculous contract? That’s for the Isiah Thomases of this world to take on. Randolph Morris can’t even get on court for the Knicks. For the Knicks! And Balkman and Rose are very good as long as you don’t need shooting or passing and they don’t get in the way of any of our spot-up shooters. Maybe we can put Balkman at the half-court line when Stephon runs our offense so he can defend against the fast break after Stephon’s missed three or turnover.

    The Knicks don’t have any player that any other team wants except for David Lee, who isn’t worth giving up an Odom or even a Vlad Rad.

  131. as much as i’d like for the Lakers to instantly contend, there’s always a catch to that. You can go the patient-mode, where you can have a core that sticks (SA and DET) and gives you a chance every year, or you can go the now-or-bust way like the Heat and the GP/KM Lakers.

    For a franchise like the Heat, now-or-bust works just fine, but for us Lakers, we want continuous excellence, so it may be best to just sit still and see if we can get something out of this group next year.

    The league is only going to get older, but our core is really young so we’ve got the edge there.

    Of course i’m all for getting that one piece a-la detroit with sheed, but I don’t see that ‘one piece’ out there, esp since KG has been taken by the Celtics.

  132. I would burn all my Laker sh*t, take up witchcraft and use the “black arts” to curse everyone in the Laker organization, including the Laker Girls, saving the most heinous, painful, evil bit of disgustingness for Phil, Mitch and the Buss family were Marbury to ever, ever put on a Laker uniform and step between the lines. And then, then I’d move to Sacramento and start routing for the Queens!

  133. its crazy how you guys act like Marbury is his cousin Sebastian Telfair!!! Fisher would still be on the squad but yall would really rather have Kobe kickin out to Sasha and Fisher instead of Marbury for an open jumper?!? yall would really rather have Fisher tryin to penetarte a defense instead of Marbury?!? you wanna put your faith in Fisher matching up with Tony Parker or Steve Nash instead of Marbury against Nash or Parker?!? Marbury is a ball player and with Bynum in the post, Kobe on the wing and Phil on the bench i know for a fact he wont be throwin up any J Will type of shots from 35 feet out!!! Plus Marbury only has 2 years left on his contract so once his is up, Farmar will be around 23 years old and ready to go.

  134. #134
    The answer to your 1st question = yes.
    2nd question = yes
    3rd question = yes

    Now stop with the Marbury stuff……..he’s a loser. It doesn’t matter how much “skills” he has………he’s a selfish loser.

  135. Lakers don’t need a scorer who needs the ball to be effective. They have that in Kobe. They need somebody of the Raja Bell – Bruce Bowen mold, a player who can spread the floor on offense while shutting down the opponents’ best scorer.

    Sure we got Ariza, so that need has been addressed somewhat, but more defense never hurts, and tends to be much cheaper than more offense without threatening chemistry.

    I hope Critt sees how Ariza instantly earns minutes and focuses on defense. He’s got enough offensive skills, so if he could just try specializing to become a stopper…

  136. just coming back here since it’s the only post allowing speculations…

    Can we get Brand? Is it possible? Likely? How would the team look like with Brand in place for Kwame/Odom?

    Fish / Farmar – Bryant – Odom / Ariza – Brand – Bynum?