Do The Lakers Need To Make A Trade?

Kurt —  January 26, 2010

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When a team is not reaching its potential around the trade deadline, there is a temptation to want to “shake them up” with a trade.

The Lakers are not reaching their potential. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 1-2 on this road trip. They played better against a Toronto team that plays well at home, but it was still a better overall game from them than we have seen recently. It’s one of those things I notice in baseball (not sure if the stats would back me up) — when a slumping hitter is about to break out of that, they seem to go through a phase where they start hitting the ball hard but still make outs. They drill the ball but right at the shortstop, or the centerfielder robs them of a home run. Is that where the Lakers are?

Or, do the Lakers need to be shaken up?

That is always risky — shaking a team up for the sake of shaking things up rarely works out. It’s about needs, value and fit. For both teams (meaning don’t think that there are teams lining up to get Sasha Vujacic right now).

What if the Pistons called and offered Jason Maxiell for Adam Morrison’s contract. That’s what the guys at Pistons Powered asked me in an email, and I have to say it is tempting. Maxiell is going to make $5 mil a year for four more years. He is playing poorly this season, but is that a question of a bad team and no defined roll, could he return to the quality backup four he was the previous couple seasons? The 2008 Maxiell would be a good deal at $5 mil, this year’s version makes that a long-term problem.

I doubt Buss would do it; he’s not going to take on long-term salary for a role guy like that. But what do you think would work? Know that the Nets said Devin Harris is not on the block (they are not going to trade him until they have John Wall in camp, and with the worst record they would only have a 25% chance of winning the lottery). Nobody in Toronto, nobody with connections there, thinks Bosh is on the market.

What could the Lakers do to shake things up? Or should they?

Kurt

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111 responses to Do The Lakers Need To Make A Trade?

  1. Kurt, I’m assuming this is more philosophical rather than “ESPN Trade Machine 2.0?”

    If so, I do think a change is necessary but only because I’m looking at the Lakers summer predicament vis-a-vis signing an upgrade at the PG position. Fish, Farmar, and Brown (I know he holds an option, but he’ll probably try to parlay this year into a longer term contract) will all be off the books this summer. It appears that Farmar is not in the Lakers’ long term plans. Fish will probably be re-signed for a greatly reduced price.

    Brown’s decision to test the market may greatly affect our summer plans. Lakers don’t hold his Bird rights, so if he commands, let’s say even $3mil, that would count against our MLE. If we have no MLE, how can we possibly upgrade our PG? The only plausible option would be to dangle Sasha’s then expiring contract to lure a free agent.

    That being said, I believe there are options at the PG spot which are available right now (name is synonomous with the popular choke- preventing manueavuer). Teams are shedding salaries at unprecedented rates to be in a position to bid for the numerous superstars this summer.

    The Lakers do not need to participate in the 2010 derby, and as such, should take advantage of this time, given the teams’ financial constraints to sign any upgrade to the PG spot, and make all moves to upgrade now, because they may not have another opportunity for a while. I appreciate the Lakers’ luxury tax hell, but put it this way, if the Lakers cannot upgrade the PG spot, or are forced to sign Farmar to a long-term contract because they can’t sign any free agents, then the FO has passed on a great opportunity.

    The core of the team (Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, and Artest) are locked for several years. Why not try to lock a PG up as well?

    I know the Lakers may be reticent to have a core player be introduced to the triangle so late in the season, and the obvious luxury tax concerns, but this summer may present even worse options.

    So yes, we could use a shakeup, lest we be subject to a summer shake down.

  2. Can they bench Kobe for a few games? That’ll shake things up a bit!

  3. I’ll leave the early speculation to the others for now, but I have to say that analogy to slumping hitters is fantastic — I think there is actually an advanced baseball stat for that (they really have stats for everything, and usually good ones), though I can’t remember what it’s called. Something to do with hard-hit line-drives.

  4. The answer lies in what’s needed and what’s available to fill that need. What L.A. could use the most, in my view, is an outside shooter who can open up the inside space more than is currently the case.

    Sasha filled that role perfectly in 2007-08 and that’s what Mitch was paying for when he offered up the new deal after the loss to Boston. Unfortunatley, the former Machine has not met anyone’s expectations.

    Given the financials, it just seems very unlikely that a good trade will emerge. And dealing for a deal’s sake isn’t wise, so my guess is these are the Lakers we’ll take into the playoffs, for better or worse.

    Can anyone in Denver convince J.R. to pout and sulk even more so the Nuggests would be willing to give him away, just to rid the clubhouse cancer? Short of that scenario (and I’m kidding – I know that won’t happen) I don’t see who on the market fits the Lakers’ needs at a price they could afford, in terms of tradeable assets as well as cap concerns.

  5. Ammo and Sasha for Heinrich. Gets the Bulls cap space for 2010 and a shooting guard who expires in 2011. Gets us a combo guard who can spread the floor and play D.

  6. of course, i think they need more depth in the bench and i think the tradable players are bynum that doesn’t plays defence as he should and hasn’t that chemistry with odom bryant and gasol he could have.

    another tradable player is brown, he’s not bad at all but he has market and with him and vujacic lakers could make some deal.

    last of all i’ll try trading artest, that plays out of the triangle offense and maybe also out of any play at all. i’d like to have ariza back instead…

  7. or… Ammo and Fish for Heinrich. Bulls waive Fish and we re-sign him for the minimum. He comes back fresh for the playoffs coming off the bench.

  8. Travis (and others). Nobody wants Sasha. That deal would likely require Farmar and a future pick. And it still may not be enough. And then Buss would have to take on the salary.

    You know who I like that is cheaper: Ramon Sessions. And he is running the triangle up in Minny.

  9. Sadly, after almost five seasons with Bynum, I have to say that it doesn’t seem to be working. Would the Lakers not be better off with a more defensively-minded center, a Marcus Camby type? Bynum is a great offensive player, but he is too insecure and stats oriented for this Lakers team.

  10. We really don’t know how good this team can be because of the injuries to Kobe, Pau and Artest. I’d hold off unless a “can’t miss” deal hits the Lakers in the face.

    Anyway, unless Kobe’s finger gets substantially better in the next two and a half months, this team is not winning a title.

  11. Priorities 1, 2 and 3 are not mortgaging the future (ie. Bynum for a three-month wonder) to win this year. Kupchak has done a magnificent job thus far–no one knew Marc Gasol was going to be that good, that fast, and there’s no way the Lakers make the 2008 Finals without Pau–so I have confidence.

    The Lakers have assets, like Morrison’s expiring deal, to perhaps package with Sasha (only to a team DESPERATE for outside shooting), who only has 2 years left on the current deal at a reasonable price. Granted, the deal would have to be a Stephen Jackson-style “unloading the malcontent” in order to take Sasha’s deal based on how he’s played this year, but it could happen.

    For instance, say the Bulls go on a 9-game losing streak and Kirk Hinrich (to pick a name and situation completely at random, wink-wink) gets into a fistfight after a game with Derrick Rose. Hinrich’s gotta go, and the Lakers dangling two outside shooters, one with an expiring $5 million deal, suddenly doesn’t look too bad.

    That said, I’d be fairly opposed to a Bynum-for-anyone deal unless it was a positive robbery: As in sign-and-trade for Bosh to lock him up, plus Calderon for Ammo or something else similarly ridiculous. Something, mind you, that likely won’t happen. The league is still angry about the Gasol deal that happened two years ago, even if both teams benefited precisely the way they wanted to–Lakers got a ring and two Finals appearances, Griz dumped salaries and got a stockpile of young (read: cheap) talent.

    I like the nucleus of the team, and I’d hate to see someone that’s a key contributor to a team that until two days ago was leading the league wire-to-wire for the best record get moved just to “shake something up”. But if we can get 110% value for the trade, it might have to be done.

  12. I seriously doubt anyone will agree to Fisher. It is well know that he moved to LA not to play for the Lakers but to get the best possible health care for his daughter’s eye cancer. If he is traded away from that medical brilliance, I can picture him retire on the spot so he won’t have to move or long-term commute. And so can every GM in the league as well.

    As for shooter, wasn’t Artest supposed to be that, and isn’t Kobe usually one of those? I’m in agreement with inwit, that to make panic-move right now because injuries to our starting line-up create the illusion of a desperate need for change, is more likely to come back and hurt us down the line.

  13. 4) I think getting 2007/2008 Sasha back would solve a lot of our offensive problems. Its pretty sad to see how far he’s fallen.

    that being said, we sure could use another shooter. then again, we’re good enough to win it all without one. A lot of the things we need are things we had last season, and its just a matter of the team finding its groove again.

  14. 1) Keyon Dooling and Jarvis Hayes for Adam Morrison and 2rnd pick – Lakers get defensive PG/SG who can shoot the 3 and is on the books for the next year @ 3.5 million and solid 3string SF defender (Hayes) who comes off the books this year

    nets get more cap and draft pick

    2) Farmar+Sasha+Powel+1st rounder for Jeffries+toney douglas+jordan hill

    we pretty much swap sasha for jeffries. Toney is a baller,

    NY saves 5mil iin cap and gets Dantoni PG (Farmar)

  15. Do the Lakers NEED to make a trade? I guess this all depends on your definition of “need” in this case. Bottom line: how likely is Buss to take on extra financial obligation when the team has an excellent shot of making it to the NBA Finals with a reasonably decent chance of winning once there? Probably not very likely.

    If Mitch can find a move that improves the Lakers this year while still allowing them financial flexibility in the future, he obviously would do it. But there just aren’t many moves out there that are like this. Mitch has been very deft the last few years in doing this (i.e. Cook/Evans-Ariza in 2008, Radmanovic-Brown/Morrison in 2009) so it’s not out of the question, but it’s very difficult to do.

    So while the Lakers could stand to improve, I don’t think they need to hit the panic button and shake things up for the sake of shaking things up, nor do I think they will.

  16. Kurt -

    I’m a huge fan of Sessions, but do you think he’d work out well in the Lakers’ system? He’s struggling badly in the Triangle this year in Minny, having his worst pro season by far. He’s a pick-and-roll, drive-and-kick kind of PG and seems to fight the system, much in the way that Farmar does at times. What makes you think he’d be more successful here?

    That being said, he’s young, he’s talented, he’s a pretty decent defender/rebounder and his contract is very reasonable. So it wouldn’t be the worst idea. I’m just not sure he’d be any better or different from Farmar in the Lakers’ offensive system.

  17. Major midseason trades rarely lead to a championship the same season. Outside of Rasheed Wallace in 2004 I can’t remember the last time it happened. And that entire Piston’s team was an exception to the rule.

    Trading Bynum right now counts as a “major” trade. He is the starting center. If you think he his having a hard time playing in the front court with Gasol imagine someone who is unfamiliar with the Triangle. Also, moving Pau to center permantly is not a good idea.

    Picking up a sharp shooter is a great idea. But can one be had for Morrision? I don’t know. Even though many are ready to ship Farmar out, I’m not. This team needs to improve. But the Lakers need a bona fide Triangle-style PG in return who can hit the open jumper, learn the Triagle extremely fast, and halfway stay in front of his man. If that player (whoever it is) can’t be had, then the Lakers need to stand pat. There is no sense in moving players just for the sake of moving players.

    I really feel that if a title is going to come this year then this group will simply have to figure it out.

  18. Last month a trade scenario was mentioned that has stayed in my head since. Someone mentioned Bynum and Farmar for Heinrich and Noah of the Bulls. At first I thought it was ridiculous to give up on Bynum, but since that suggestion I have been watching Bulls and Laker games with that in mind. From what I see, that trade can solve our most glaring weaknesses; PG defense, outside shooting, and some hustle and tenacity under the basket. As mentioned before (9), Bynum has not worked out like we wanted. He comes off as lazy under the rim most of the time and I question his maturity and attitude. I like the guy and always pull for him, but frankly, I just don’t think he is a winner. I like Farmar also but hes not a good fit for the triangle. People have said on this site how much they like Heinrich as a triangle PG, but the more I watch the Bulls, the more I like Noah’s effort and intensity. The guy does not have the greatest skills, but he’s always in the right place, makes the hustle plays, and his intensity is contagious. Not to mention he was a centerpiece of two national titles in college. Noah’s a winner, he does what it takes to win. This is exactly what we need down low with the game on the line. Yes Bynum is a better scorer and is bigger, and has better potential, but we have scorers and post players. What we need is someone to take the hard foul, to get in someone’s face, grab a rebound, and fight for a loose ball like it is their game in the NBA. To me it seems like a win/win, each team fulfilling some needs and not increasing payroll.

  19. I still think that if the Lakers don’t make a move to improve the PG position, especially in this climate where everyone is dangling players to be competitive for the 2010 summer, when and how will the Lakers EVER improve their PG position?

    Hinrich is a big investment, but he represents a current improvement and also prevents the Lakers from having to scrounge for a replacement in the summer. Hinrich would most likely contribute positively to the current push to repeat, and would also (albeit for 1-2 years) solve the Lakers’ PG situation.

  20. I agree with everybody who thinks this team needs to figure itself out without a trade, unless a steal becomes available. So, stick Odom on the inbounds general manager and see if maybe Trevor can time a passing lane just right for a slam dunk. Otherwise make a quick foul and see if the other team blows free-throws. So many things can happen between now and June. In other words, there is plenty of clock left in the game.

    One last thing. Who do you think got the more valuable lesson, the Cavs that they can beat the Champs or the Champs that they need to bring a bit more to the game in order to beat the other elite teams?

  21. Kurt,

    I’m a big fan Sessions, but I don’t think we have the pieces to get him. Minni doesn’t need expiring contracts.

    What about Lou Williams? There is a lot of speculation that Philly would do anything to dump salary, so our various expiring contracts could entice them.

    Chalmers would also be good for us.

  22. I think it is too late to get a good guard unless we trade away Bynum. This is probably not happening though.

    Nobody is going to offer us a better guard than Farmar would be in the next 3 months in exchange for him or Morrison. The only plausible one listed has been Hinrich. But this would be a big gamble. He has an expensive contract and is shooting under 40 percent. If he doesn’t work out then we are pretty much screwed.

    There are multiple underpaid guards in this league and a lot of them are free agents this summer. Our best bet is to just wait till then and hope a couple get lost in the shuffle, rather than taking on a bad contract for only a slight upgrade.

    About Lou Williams- this guy is pretty good. Getting him for an expiring contract would be a bigger steal than the Gasol trade. I would be willing to trade Bynum for Williams and Young.

  23. Having no ‘roll’ certainly doesn’t help ;)

    Honestly, I’m not into any trades mid-season, since that sends off the wrong vibes (we’re not good enough).

  24. Davis,
    On first blush I don’t like the trade. After thinking for a while I do see it’s value. The Lakers have always had a ‘Kurt Rambis’ type in the forecourt during their winning seasons. Last year that man was Trevor. Lamar simply doesn’t fit that bill and his name is inconsistent.

    By getting rid of Bynum’s contract we would not change our salary structure that much. Let me think a little longer, but it looks better the more I look at it.

    I also agree that if the Lakers are to make any trades in the next 1.5 yrs, now is the best time.

  25. If Buss was willing to take on Calderon or Hinrich I would definitely go that route

    Personally I’m not as fond of Sessions as many are, as I think there’s a reason he wasn’t even given a qualifying offer as an RFA

    But many on the stats side of basketball like Hollinger LOVE him

  26. If Chicago is looking to just shed salary to make a play for Bosh, Amare, or Wade next year and get no better offers the Lakers could potentially get Heinrich and Johnson for Farmar, Morrison and Sasha. This would give the bulls about an extra 5.5M in cap space this off season.

    But such a trade is unlikely because I don’t think Chicago is going to trade Heinrich for nothing but an extra 5M in cap space for a chance at Bosh (though a Bosh Noah Front court wouldn’t be too shabby) or Wade. Especially since that would leave Chicago with 7 players, whomever they draft, plus Bosh or Wade and not a lot of money to fill out the roster. It would reduce the Lakers payroll this year by about 1.1M though they would have to pick up a minimum salary player to have 13 players on the roster. But tack on Heinrich’s large contract for 3 more years.

  27. Sessions is a cheap PG to acquire, but my biggest issue is that his jump shot isn’t anything to write home about. However, he is a very smart player. His numbers may not show it, but Kurt Rambis has raved about his ability to run the triangle. We need to improve not only defense at the PG position, but 3pt shooting. Most importantly though is that the PG position needs to make smarter decisions.

    Hinrich would thus appear to be our best option. Although his numbers are down for the year, since he has started he has put up pretty solid numbers. However, I am not entire sure that Mr. Buss will want to pay Kirk $9 million next year and $8 million in 2011-2012 with our current payroll situation.

    Any mid-season trade involving Bynum will not occur unless it is an outrageous steal. Jim Buss is not going to let Bynum be traded away as Bynum was his pick.

    I think the team needs to settle down and get back to the things that it does well. We know this team can play defense extremely well, but this teams offense last year was absolutely unbelievable. We smashed people’s faces last year with our offense. This team has too much talent offensively to be middling at 11th in offensive efficiency. I cannot effectively diagnose what ails the Lakers offensively, but one thing I know for sure is that Kobe needs to stop shooting 20+ times a game. He shouldn’t have to do that with the offensive firepower we have on this team.

  28. If the Bosh-Bynum trade did happen, and if LeBron threatened to walk from the Cavs, could a Bosh-LeBron sign&trade give LJ max money and a fist full of rings?

  29. I wonder what GM would say no to this deal first; Noah/Hinrich for Bynum/Farmar. My hunch is that the Lakers would say no, but what if the Bulls threw in a first round pick or an expiring contract?

  30. There are 29 other GMs who would love to see Mitch make a stupid move by dealing Bynum elsewhere, especially for someone like Camby (who has what, maybe one, maybe two seasons left in him?) or Noah, who’s less talented than David Lee, and we saw how many teams were clamoring to add him last summer.

    When Bynum gets the ball frequently, he delivers. And when he doesn’t get the ball, he’s not as effective. It’s that simple.

    He had a rough stretch in December, but look at the stats: in 15 games that month there were only four nights in which he touched the ball enough to get off more than 10 shots from the floor. And he scored in double digits in each of those games.

    This month he’s taken 10+ shots in10 of 14 games and is averaging 17.2 points.

    The Lakers just need to do a better job of integrating him and Pau, ideally at the expense of Kobe taking so many shots, even more so while Kobe’s finger is not 100 percent. Play inside out and good things happen. The Lakers have gone away from that of late, and we’ve seen the results.

    In a couple, maybe three more seasons, Kobe won’t be the dominant star he is today. And with Bynum and Pau, the Lakers will be in a perfect position to lessen Kobe’s role and expand those of the younger post players, similar (but in reverse) of how they transitioned from Kareem to Magic as the focal point in the ’86-’87 season.

    If Bynum were the focal point of a team’s approach, he’d be among the top scorers in the league. And I truly believe that will be the case in L.A. in the not-too-distant future.

    To bail on the kid now because he’s not everything we want him to be — at 22, with really no entire seasons played — just seems shortsighted.

    People wanted to trade Kobe when he was in his first couple of seasons because he was “immature.” People called Magic a “coach killer” and said his selfishness ruined their season in 1981, when he should have taken a back seat to Norm Nixon, some said. How would the Lakers have looked had management jumped the gun at those times?

    I wish people would recognize the things he adds to the team more than nitpicking on what he doesn’t do as well as we’d like.

    You just don’t dump 22-year-old centers with great hands, a solid array of post moves and playoff experience simply because they play like they’re 22 and don’t always hustle the way they should. He’ll grow and mature, and look out NBA when that realization comes.

  31. >the wrong vibes

    yeahbut, what if we’re not good enough and everyone knows it? (or, who’s afraid of the Lakers right now?)

  32. Steve Blake?
    Ramon Sessions?
    Some of the Golden State PGs not named Monta? They can shoot the 3.
    Kapono is languishing on a bench.

  33. Interesting post Chris J, but one major point of contention is we should stop pretending there will ever be a point in time where Kobe defers and starts taking less shots, he couldn’t do it with Shaq in his prime, (which was like a grizzly bear that learned how to play basketball). That’s a small critique on Kobe, but not really a knock since he’s so good. Kobe will always think he’s the #1 guy, that’s just part of his DNA.

    Now I like Bynum but the Laker’s need to think in a 3-4 year window on what players will maximize Kobe’s effectiveness while he’s still in his prime. I think Bynum will be very, very good but I don’t think Bynum’s offensive minded play meshes well with the Lakers right now. Especially since he’s a space eater, which limits Gasol’s effectiveness.

  34. The Lakers don’t HAVE to make a trade, but of course it makes sense for the GM to work the phones in case something surfaces.

    We can be sure Kupchak is doing just that.

    For example, an Artest for Ariza trade would be golden! We would get younger and quicker in one move. (oh wait …)

  35. Sessions is only ok on defense and doesn’t shoot threes very well at all… which is kinda exactly not what we want from our PG. Sure his salary is nice, but I wouldn’t make a move for Sessions.

    The key to making any sort of solid move with Ammo’s EC is dumping Sasha’s contract onto some team (a la VladRad last year). Getting rid of Sasha’s $5M salary figure next year makes adding some figures like Devin Harris’ $9M, Jose Calderon’s $9M, and Kirk Hinrich’s $9M to next year’s salary a lot more palatable.

    Here’s something to chew on. The Suns seem to be going nowhere fast, and Robert Sarver is notoriously cheap, even when the Suns were a 60-win team. Would he be willing to give up Leandro Barbosa for Ammo’s EC? The Suns save $3M in salary and tax this year, plus Barbosa’s $14.7M over the next 2 years (he has a player option for the 2nd, which he’ll certainly pick up).

  36. Do we “need” to make a trade? I don’t know… that depends. Do we “need” to win a championship? If we do then we “need” to make a trade to upgrade the worst PG position in basketball. We had the worst starting PG in the NBA last year and we still won a championship. But most likely if Fisher wasn’t suspended against the Rockets we don’t even win that series. And if Nelson was healthy in the Finals we most likely don’t win the championship. And if you guys want to nitpick over if player “a” is a perfect fit for our team you are silly. Any PG we bring in would be an upgrade over Derek Fisher.

    P.S. Kirk Hinrich would be a great pick up if this was 2005. Lets get players who are in their primes now.

  37. The point of any trade (unless your sole goal is to only dump salary) is to win the trade – i.e. upgrage your roster on some level. We did this with Ariza, we did this with Shannon, we did this with Pau. So, if our biggest need is PG (or in some eyes, maybe a 4th big man) than the goal should be to give up someone we don’t use (or use sparingly or is utterly replaceable due to a duplicated skill set already on the roster) and get someone that we *will* use (not *can* use, but will use). Of players that fit that bill (ones that we could trade) are: Sasha, Ammo, Powell, Mbenga. That’s the list. (You can potentially add Farmar to that list, and his value is probably as high as it will be all season, but we use him now and if he’s in any deal we need to trade for a player to fulfill his role or promote someone to do so that is already on this team – is that player WOW? – I have my doubts.) Show me a combination of players that we can put together in a package and obtain a need and I’m for it. If we can’t do that, I say stand pat.

    As for possible targets: I like Hinrich, but he’s battled injuries the past two seasons and his shooting has dropped off in all relevant categories this season (FG%, 3pt %, FT %) and I fear that being nicked up over the past two seasons and trying gut it out has caught up to him some. I do like his defense though – especially on SG’s and some SF’s. I think if we had a closing lineup of Kirk/Kobe/Ron/and 2 of LO/Pau/Bynum, we’d have a lineup that would be truly difficult to score on.

  38. Hinrich definitely looks like the best fit, although the obvious mitigating concern is Buss’ willingness to take on his contract. I actually think Chicago wouldn’t be overly opposed to a Farmar, Vujacic, and Morrison package for Hinrich and Johnson, as the Bulls are starved for outside shooting, and need to move Hinrich or Salmons for 2010 cap space.

  39. Also, sorry for the extra post, but in response to Darius’ concern about Hinrich’s numbers, he’s been playing hurt/sick for a good chunk of the year, and is just starting round out into form. The disparity between his January and November or December numbers indicates as much.

  40. Like dancing, you need a partner to pull a trade. Our biggest problem is that we really don’t have much tradeable assets that other teams want. Although teams are looking to shed salaries, we also don’t want to add too much salaries either. Furthermore, trading Farmar isn’t the best option when you consider it DOES TAKE time to learn triangle offense. That means, our only tradeable assets are Ammo, Sasha, and Walton, none of whom are attractive to other teams. Sure they’ll take Ammo’s expiring contract, but will they give up a useful player whose salary fits? Why would anyone want to help the defending champions if you are in the same division or conference? Our only trading partners are Eastern Conference teams, but very few are willing to take on Sasha or Walton’s longer contracts. That just means trade seems next to impossible, at least trade that will help team on the floor. More likely move will be moving Ammo’s contract for 2nd round choice or something to save money like we did last year. The Lakers have no one to trade with because we have nothing attractive to give up and they’re not willing to move any of the major pieces (Kobe, Pau, Odom, Bynum, and Artest)

  41. Seriously though, how awesome would Artest for Ariza be.

  42. Let’s think about adjustments from within, since everyone agrees they are likely to be the ones the FO and Phil count on and /or are truly available.

    Proposal : start Farmar-Kobe-Artest-Pau-Lamar

    That is a lineup that I feel could score, run, defend, and rebound. Pau and Lamar were the frontline on a world championship team very recently. They are by far the most effective front court combination we have offensively. I know the lack of a pure 5 hurts us defensively, but I feel that it’s worth it if it brings us back to a top 1 or 2 offense.

    Curiously, I’ve found a bit of a disconnect re: Farmar. I hear the overall criticism of the Lakers is that they are not as pure a triangle team as they have been in the past…….and yet Farmar gets yanked for not running the triangle. Why is he the only one taken to task for this? The Lakers struggle offensively because they don’t have a non-Kobe guard who can score consistently and their starting bigs don’t mesh well…..Both of these problems are seemingly addressed with this lineup, plus….

    It gets us to a Bynum-Fisher-Brown-Walton second unit…
    Fisher would be a solid player coming off the bench for 15-20 minutes a game, and Bynum would be the unquestioned focal point of the offense, which he needs to be to get shots. Fisher and Walton would provide stability and flow. In essence, we’d be flip flopping the effective pace-switching we had the last two years (i.e. we’d now have a fast starting 5 followed by a deliberate, structured 2nd unit. Lamar or Powell would be the 4 in this scenario

    The major argument against this is patience: Laker fans against this would primarily be arguing that come playoff time Bynum will be the guy we want him to be in terms of playing with Pau and being a defensive force……and being a true seven foot space eater provides benefits that are far better than having Gasol-Odom as starting bigs.

    I just feel that what the Cleveland mini-series taught us is that against a stronger, bigger front line, the solution is not to go with the strongest, biggest front line we can muster, but rather with one that will create matchup problems for Cleveland.

    Shaq is too big for Bynum….but Bynum is not too quick for Shaq. Pau is too quick for Z, if given space to operate, space he has with Lamar on the floor but not Bynum.

    Also, Farmar will make Mo Williams work much harder on defense than Fisher will, imo.

    Again, as Kurt repeatedly stresses, it’s about patience. In a perfect world, the Machine would find his game, Bynum and Pau would gel, Farmar would embrace the offense…..I just feel like it’s getting pretty late in the game to hope for these “evolutionary” changes to occur and that the tactical one outlined above would improve our chances with the current roster, given the unlikeliness of a galvanizing personnel move by Mitch.

    *Some might feel that this is too Cleveland-centered an approach…and I will concede that point, at least until we finish playing Boston….

  43. The Lakers problems are solely on the defensive end. If the Lakers are going to make a move, it has to sure up a defensive weakness. The main weakness is perimeter defense at the point guard spot. The only one available right now is Hinrich. However, I’m not convinced trading Farmar will be the right move. Farmar still has to improve in some areas. But I’m a Farmar believer. He has the skills and has been playing really well ever since he’s been given extended minutes. His worse game over the last month or so, he only played 12 minutes in that game. However, Lakers could trade Farmar and resign him in the summer.

    Also, Bynum is not the issue as many others believe. Bynum has actually been consistent. Bynum’s defense is actually better than he’s given credit for. Did anyone see how well he defended Bosh. But Bynum is often put in no man’s land because of the poor perimeter defense from the point guards, especially when teams run the pick and roll against Fisher. One screen and fisher is completely out of the play. That leaves Bynum guarding a point guard and his man. What do we really expect from bynum when the Lakers as a team play poor help defense. Stu Lantz touches on this point every single game. You have to help the helper. They lakers don’t, especially Lamar. Lamar has to improve his defense. Don’t believe me, look at who opposing teams attack when Lamar is in the game.

    With all that being said. The lakers need to just wait it out unless they can get Hinrich for Brown, Powell, and Morrison. Not even going to mention Fisher because trading him is out of the question and we all know that unless the lakers are sure a team will buy him out and lakers could resign him in a month.

  44. Are we sure Kobe is still in his prime? I think he’s lost a step or two on his drive and cannot get to the rim at will like he used to and that’s why it’s always jump shots at the end of games to win games but not driving to the hoops?

  45. This seems a lot like Phil Jackson’s game management strategy.

    When the Lakers go through a lull during a game, Jackson usually give the players a few minutes to try to figure their way out of it before calling a timeout and/or making a lineup change.

    I think Phil and the Laker management are looking at this stretch of games in the same way. They’ll be patient and wait for the players to right the ship on their own.

    Sure, the Lakers have looked disjointed, but there are promising signs (Bynum’s better play of late, Farmer/ShanWow being more effective, Luke Walton is back, etc.) going forward.

    Given how most players struggle to integrate into the Triangle offense, I think making a trade is a risky proposition.

    I think one thing that could help is if Phil would ‘shake up’ his coaching a bit.

    Bynum not hustling enough on defense? Put in M’benga. DJ has shown he can handle significant minutes.

    Kobe taking too many shots? Sit him down and put Walton in. Yes, you lose a lot of offensive firepower, but the ball moves and the offense flows, so other players get their games going.

    Bynum and Gasol not working on the floor together? Start Odom and move Pau to center. Make AB-17 the focus of offense off the bench for a while.

    I know why Vujacic and AdMo don’t get playing time, but what happened to Josh Powell? Offensive rebounding, hustle, and a pretty good mid-range jump shot all seem like things the Lakers could use right now.

    There are ways to mix and match the Lakers existing talent that could get things going again. None of the trade scenarios I’ve heard to date (except Bynum for Bosh or LeBron) seem to improve the talent base enough to make a difference.

  46. Also, I waffle on trading any truly good player unless he’s either a) A bad fit, b) a head case, or c) we’re clearly getting a better player back that makes our team better.

    When the Bosh rumors surfaced, I thought that he could be that type of player. But in the games right after the Bosh stuff came out, Andrew played very well against the Spurs and Dallas (two potential playoff foes) and I thought different. Then he had two stinkers against the Cavs and the Magic (two more potential playoff foes) and I became concerned again. In the end, I have my concerns about Drew, but he’s so young that I really don’t know what his ceiling is.

    If I was doing an honest breakdown of his game and had a list of +’s and -’s, I would say that:

    +’s: true Center with excellent size, very good hands, array of post moves, legit scorer, good (but not great) rebounder, adequate shot blocker, still room to improve as a player

    -’s: average to below average defense instincts, questionable motor, flashes of disinterest when not scoring, can sulk when things go against him (refs, missed shots, etc), marginal *feel* for passing, can be foul prone

    Basically, I see a player with a tremendous skill set and questionable mental make up. And then I ask myself if the mental part of his game will improve with age and….I don’t know, but hope it will. That hope is what makes me want to keep Andrew. All that said, if you want a superstar caliber player back or multiple good players that help championship level teams (players like Bosh or a Noah/Hinrich combo + a pick), Andrew is the only guy that nets us that.

    In the end, I agree with the statement that T. Rogers made (#17) that in season trades aren’t that successful. And I would add to that that they’re likely even less successful when you give up a major contributor (even if you get one back). The Pistons gave up Bob Sura, Zeljko Rebraca, Lindsey Hunter, and Chucky Atkins to get ‘Sheed – so this deal did not include anyone of consequence off the Pistons roster. The only in-season trade that I can remember that actually led to a championship for one of the teams was when the Pistons traded Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre at the 1989 trade deadline. The Pistons went on to win the title that season with Aguirre starting at SF. Essentially, not only does it rarely happen, it happened on a team where the Pistons ended up getting the younger player, the better player, and the player that was less a head case and more of a team-first guy.

  47. There is no way I would want to trade Bynum for Noah. Noah’s offensive ability is not even close to Andrew’s. Noah is a great defensive big man, but Bynum is a better offensive big man and is improving on defense. Noah will be a great defensive center, but he will never be the number one option on a team. Bynum has that ability. While I do think we could use Hinrich, I do not think that the Bynum + Sasha + Farmar for Noah + Hinrich, is the way to go achieve getting Hinrich.

    Bynum is not even close to peaking as a player. I mean the kid is only 22 years old and is going to improve from year to year. Bynum has serious potential to be a dominant force in this league, while Noah I do not think will be able to do that.

    Additionally, we have to look further down the line to see what happens when Kobe retires. Say the trade goes through and Kobe retires in say 5-6 years. In 5-6 years I would rather have Bynum than Noah. Noah while a great defensive player is not even the same stratosphere as Andrew as an offensive player. It is pretty much incomparable.

  48. No trade required. The lakers need time to play as a unit. Give them time and a strong run will come. Shifting any players now will destory chemistry and be negative.

  49. Don’t forget that last summer, when they signed Artest and Odom, the word was that Ammo’s expiring contract lessened the long term fiscal impact of the signings. Is Buss now going to add more salary long term by trading Ammo’s contract. Don’t bet on it.

  50. trading bynum would be the biggest mistake ever. he is young, very skilled and basically allstargame ready if not for gasol who takes up too many possessions from him, thus taking him out of his flow. obviously, having gasol is amazing, as he is a great teammate and also very effective at what he does. but i think bynum has shown that he can deliver the stats and has the desire to be great if given the playing time and opportunities. he is just a young player who still needs the ball a lot to get into a groove and be effective. half the league would break their leg to get him. he might even be the most wanted center after superman right now because of his talent, age and contract. it would be very stupid to give up on him.

    as for kobe not being in his prime anymore (#43), i beg you to play a pickup game with a broken finger and a strained back. i want to see you drive for a layup knowing that another hit on your finger might hurt so much you wont be able to tie your shoe after the game. kobe is playing hurt, and is still amazing. paul pierce would be off to some wheel-chair race by now while #24 is still delivering gamewinning shots. its been 3 this season already… without going to the hoop. anyone else in the league who could pull this half crippled?

  51. Can someone tell Bynum to throwing his hands in the air every time he is called for a foul? Makes him look like a whiner.

  52. bench kobe, let him heal, let other players develop. will kobe’s efficiency improve the longer he plays with a broken finger?

    else, pull the trigger and see who we can get for bynum.

  53. Sorry to harp on this, but I feel adamant about this topic. Don’t we all agree that when it’s said and done, Farmar is essentially a rental until the end of this year? Aren’t we also in agreement that Fisher’s objective skills have declined, and a replacement will have to be found next year? And isn’t it also true that Shannon Brown may get offers this summer as he is starting to improve, and may leave LA or ask for more $$$?

    I understand the Lakers’ mindset of “improving within” and PJ’s “live in the moment” mindset. But isn’t the Lakers’ championship mindset now to four years? And seeing that we will be way above the salary cap for the foreseeable future, it will be tough to significantly upgrade the PG position via free agency. Therefore, if we have a chance at Hinrich, isn’t that really worth doing it if it’s Morrison + Farmar?

    Also, the names bandied around in this post (Dooling, Sessions, Chalmers, etc.) may be good players. However, do they have the maturity to step right in and contribute? I think Hinrich has the right mindset and adds toughness, defense, and shooting. He’s more “Fisher-warrior” than any of the other PG options out there.

  54. I don’t think a shake-up is necessary, but I don’t see Farmar as the long-term solution at PG, and I don’t think they will ever get what they want out of teh Bynum-Gasol duo. So if the right players are available, trading some combination of Bynum, Farmar, and Morrison would be reasonable.

  55. Bynumite,
    “Bynum is not even close to peaking as a player.”

    What we do know is that he is not close to reaching his potential, but those are two vastly different statements.

  56. DY – Just so you know, Shannon Brown will not be off the books this summer unless he decides to go somewhere else. He is under contract for one more year with next year being a player option year.

  57. #51. Lesha,
    I won’t argue that Bynum could benefit from more touches. However, they shouldn’t come at the expense of Pau considering that Bynum (20.24) already has a higher usage rate than Gasol (19.46). If anything, Kobe (33.55) and Farmar (19.32) should be giving up some of their possessions to our big men.

  58. And for the rest, Bynum is not going anywhere. Jim Buss’s project player is what Bynum is and he will not trade him. Bynum has a lot of skill and ability once he gets his head right and in the game for 48 min.

  59. I wouldn’t move Bynum for the packages they could probably get.

    Hinrich would be OK–he is almost 30, which puts him on the same timeline as the core, but OTOH, I think the team needs a little more youth and quickness (and Hinrich is not a great shooter). I was opposed to the Artest/Ariza “exchange” for this reason. Also, I do not think that Buss would take on Hinrich’s contract.

    Blake is not really all that much different than Fisher, and I can’t see Portland trading anyone–even Steve Blake–to the Lakers. I like Sessions, but he is not a “triangle guy” and I think Minnesota will hold on to him until they know what is going to happen with Ricky Rubio and/or they win the lottery and can draft Wall.

    I am, in a way, more interested in what the other contenders do, and which ones do something, than in the Lakers’ trade possibilites since I think a Lakers deal is kind of unlikely. There will be a couple of big moves which may the landscape among the top 6 teams.

  60. “alter” the landscape–had trouble with edit function.

  61. 57. Shannon holds a player option for the 2010/11 season.

    http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm

  62. 32) Goldenstate is interesting. Nellie likes guys who jack up lots of shots. How bout a Sasha/Ammo package for somebody up there?

    I just hate to waste $10million on two guys who are of no value to this team.

  63. Someone mentioned that Kobe shouldn’t have to take 20+ shots per game. That’s correct, he doesn’t have to. But we should all know by now that if you give him the opportunity he will do it anyway. That’s why Phil keeps telling the rest of the team not to defer to him too much, because when they do, their deference in combination with Kobe’s shoot-first mentality combine to a downward spiral into a live-by-the-kobe-die-by-the-kobe 4th quarter.

    Kobe will keep shooting if he keeps getting the ball. It’s up to the others to move it and share it.

  64. As far as Bynum’s “potential” goes, who knows if will ever come? He has a history of injuries, and with his attitude, he may never be much better. I’m just saying, to get something you want or need, you are going to have to give up something worth value. The trade would not be just for Noah, but Noah and Hinrich. The combination of these two make us a more solid unit for the next few years. Hinrich could be a much better shooter than he has shown given all the wide open looks he’ll get in our offense. We dont need a center that needs the ball a certain amount of times to be effective, but one that can GET the ball and score on offensive put-backs, and play some inspired D. Yes Bynum is the better player, but hes not what we need to win right now, and isnt that what we are trying to do? We have basically got to the finals without him the last two years, and now that he is healthy, hes not making much of a difference… just saying…

  65. #17, #47 (Darius & T.Rogers) : Mid season trades that led to a championship.
    1995 Drexler, Rockets.
    No way the Rockets win that year without Drexler. Just a look at the regular season standings.

    Though it endorses the consensus : Teams don’t win championship with a mid season trade unless they seriously win the trade with a talent upgrade.
    Of course, the fact that 10 championships were won with the triangle does bias the stats (as the triangle usually requires longer familiarity with the offense – leading to rare mid-season trades)

  66. #62 DY

    That is what I said, he is the only one that can decide to leave at the end of this year so he will be on the books for next year. Why would Shannon even think of leaving after the Lakers win the title again this year.

  67. #67 -

    Money. See: Ariza, Trevor.

  68. 68. My exact sentiments, with brilliant brevity. AFTER Shanwow wins the dunk contest, releases his first line of jumpsole shoes, etc., he’ll be asking for more than $2m. If Lakers decide to pay him, it’ll come out of any MLE since we don’t have his Bird rights. Try signing an “upgrade” at the PG spot for $1-2m after letting Farmar go. Ergo, the time to upgrade at PG is NOW.

  69. 65. you said “We dont need a center that needs the ball a certain amount of times to be effective, but one that can GET the ball and score on offensive put-backs, and play some inspired D”

    Well Ariza and Odom were the guys to do that last season. Well I think we all know that Ariza is gone. And while odom has still been really good on the boards, he hasn’t been getting any put backs or easy baskets around the rim this season. Lamar has turned into a jump shooter (not a good one either). Last season he took 103 3-points, this season he’s already taken 107. Also, Lamar is also shooting 42% from the field a drop of 7% from last season. If Odom starts getting aggressive again around the basket I think he’ll get those put backs and his energy will increase on the defensive end. Lamar has to be that hustle guy on both ends of the floor that every is saying the lakers need, NOT NOAH.

  70. #66. Barath,
    Great catch on Glide. 100% correct on that one and I can’t believe I forgot about that trade and subsequent championship run.

  71. 45. While the most quantified impact of the broken finger is Kobe’s FG%. The unreported effect is that he actively avoids driving to the rim now. Every foray to the rim invites defenders to swipe at the ball going for the strip and aggravating the finger.

    46. Over the last dozen or so games, Vujacic has played the best that he has played in his career. No bonehead fouls, no forcing up quick shots, hitting open ones, good ball movement, pesky defense. He just gets no PT. Perhaps for a good reason in that Farmar and Shannon are ahead of him but it is no longer because his play is so terrible unlike Powell. If Farmar, Fish, or Brown is out due to injury, I fully expect Sasha to do well this time around.

    Upgrading the bench does not improve championship chances at all. If an impact player is not on offer, the best play is let the expiring contracts lapse.

    I don’t understand why a player who is as explosive as Brown is cannot penetrate and finish at the rim, causing havoc. 48 inch vertical, hands like baseball mitts, comic book character muscles and he’s exclusively an outside shooter and occasional fast break dunker?

  72. 70. But with Odom you will never get a consistent level of play night in and night out. He has proven that over his entire career, so you cant expect an apple to turn into an orange. Counting on Odom to be inspired is a gamble in itself. Odom’s game has gone to the likes of an aging jump shooting player in the likes of Kobe. The days of going inside is far and between.

  73. The team just needs to find the hunger and focus again. I think a trade involving a starter (Bynum, in this case as everyone is harping about) would significantly lower our chances of winning the title this year. The chemistry and learning curve of the triangle doesn’t come overnight. Gasol’s high basketball IQ allowed him to integrate into the offense midseason with ease.

    Hinrich would be great, though the injuries are concerning. I used to think he would be the 2nd best PG to run the triangle. Billups, IMO, would be the ultimate PG to have run the triangle in LA (only in my dreams). His Def, passing, and shooting would make the Lakers nearly unstoppable.

  74. Darius, was the Mychal Thompson mid season pick up through a trade? I think that was critical for us on that Championship run, he was our answer to McHale.

  75. I say trade Ammo, Walton and Sasha for Gilbert Arenas. Then void Arenas contract and resign him for $5m. Then hope the Wizards waive Walton and resign them.

    Once this trade is done, then in the offseason do a sign and trade involving Arenas for Lebron.

    Problem solved. Now I just need Obama to call me so I can fix this health care and budgetary mess.

  76. Wow. Why are we even discussing this? We haven’t played great ball (yet) and we are still at the top of the west. Yes, we still have a lot of road games left, but we will be fine. I wouldn’t make any trades this year. Our team simply needs time to play together with everyone healthy. Sit Kobe for 2-3 games and get him back to at least 85% and then we’ll be fine.

  77. Darius (#47),
    “..tremendous skill set, questionable mental makeup…”

    One of the real problems with the Lakers is that they have two (2) of this type of player among their key players.

    We can win with one, but two??? As he ages, Bynum really needs to operate on an even keel or he will just be another Lamar Odom. We can’t afford to be constantly wondering if either of them will have a good game each night.

    I love both of them for their talent and character, but we need a consistent tough guy down in the trenches.

  78. eh Kurt, isn’t today a game day? and I believe a 4PM pacific start, that’s like 25 minutes… ;)

  79. @ #75 Mychal Thompson was a mid season pick up. He was traded to to the Lakers for center/forward Frank Brickowski, center Petur Gudmundsson and a 1990 first-round draft choice in the 1986-87 season to help defend Mchale. So it was a trade that helped to win a championship

  80. Game preview up. Better late than never…..

  81. The argument in favor on holding on to Bynum all seems to stem from his array of post moves. I agree that a young center with good hands, good length and a variety of post moves is something that you do not come by too often. HOWEVER, we do not need Andrew for his offense. We have Kobe who takes a heck of a lot of shots and Pau who should be shooting more. We need Bynum to be our defensive anchor, challenge everything around the rim and rebound anything in the near vicinity. He does not fit that need. I’m not just saying that based on my observations; seriously, how many times has Phil literally said “yes, Andrew had a good game, got some good looks, but what we really need him to do is rebound and defend”… ? It seems like every other day!

    The kid is not interested unless he’s scoring and we’ve got enough weapons in that regard. I, too, keep hoping that he’ll “get it” but I’ve become more and more doubtful. He doesn’t seem to have much fire, much heart, much competitiveness. Personally, I don’t think he loves the game. He started playing ball in what, high school? It seems like he started playing when he grew like a freak and saw basketball as more of a career opportunity. I think his lack of effort and focus stems from that.

    We all love basketball here, when did you start playing? As soon as you can lace up your sneakers right? Same with the rest of the squad I’m sure.

  82. How about trading Ammo and Sasha for Tayshaun Prince. This gives the Lakers a backup 3 who can shoot the 3 and play defense. Can you imagine a lineup of Kobe, Artest, Prince, LO, Gasol?

    Detroit would do this to free them up from Prince’s contract and saves them money for next season as well.

  83. @#81

    Yes, that was definitely a mid season trade that resulted in the title, but I’m not saying that mid-season trades don’t result in championships. I am referring to our current roster and system.

    The triangle is not easy to learn, so any new additions to the team would hinder the overall chemistry.

  84. I would be happy trading Sasha and Ammo for just about anybody

  85. I do think the Lakers need to make a move the PG position is not something that can wait until the off season to be addressed. I would not trade Bynum as I see such a move short sighted – in a few years we will desperately need his offense.

    Since this is a rare opportunity to share trade proposals how about this. Philadelphia has supposedly put Igoudala on the block and is seriously looking at getting out from underneath his long term contract. If this is true would expirings in the form of Morrison/Fisher/Farmar be of interest to them? I think Igoudala would be a nice fit on the perimeter for the Lakers. Think back to the championship teams with Harper and Shaw at the point for how this would look on the court. The plus is that Igoudala is in his prime with Harper/Shaw on their last legs.

    Now what isn’t known is if the Sixers are using Igoudala as a sweetner to get rid of Dalembert or Brand. Obviously, a larger deal like that, would not be in the Lakers best interest.

    If the Lakers do sit tight and not make a deal what might be available this off season. I had a friend who mused about Gilbert Arenas. Should his contract be voided and he becomes a free agent would be forgo a larger dealer else where to rehabilitate his image with the Lakers? Would the Lakers be interested? Gilbert is from LA.

  86. #87

    I think an Arenas-Artest pairing would destroy the internets.

    In all seriousness, I really hope not. Phil might like the challenge, but I don’t see the Lakers needing any more low-efficiency scorers. And I believe the Sixers could get MUCH more for Iggy. As someone mentioned before, teams must be wary of making lopsided trades with the Lakers after the heat Memphis took (even though that trade has worked out pretty well for them)

  87. Dunk Specialist January 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t think understand what Bynum really does. No he is not one of those guys that seems like he is going all out or reaching his potenial. But I think you all underestimate him. Does he make mistakes, yes. He is a 22 year old center who didn’t play ball until high school. Oh and you put him in probably the most confusing offense in the league. Bynum doesn’t score a ton of points, but shoots a high % and hits his FT. He blocks shots at a 1~2 a game. His rebounding is a problem at times but only because he hasn’t figured out how to do it with Gasol in. Look at his numbers once Gasol sits out. He rebounds very well (8-10) and scores (17+). He is also the only Laker besides Artest that bangs into people. He and Gasol together are the reason teams fear the Lakers. Once you put a non-score like Noah in you get better in somethings and worse in others. Why would a team take that risk after winning a championship? Bynum will get better as the year moves along and he and Gasol get to play together more. Plus I think Drew was really trying to make the allstar team. It seems to be well known that he feels pressure from fans to be a superstar and is trying to justify his salary (and you can see most people want to trade him for not living up to their expectations). Drews problem is he cares and listen to what everyone says. But he is a 22 year old, so what do you expect. Besides how many shots and rebounds can he get. Gasol/Odom are going to take some of the rebonds and Bynum is at best third in shots (though I didn’t look it up). If they did trade for say Bosh, would people be happy with Bosh if his line was 15ppg 9 rpg 1bpg. No, I don’t think so. They would be saying that Gasol and Bosh are too similar and that the Lakers need a true center. Stats are going to go down when you play with players that need the ball. Look at Artest who is way down in every stat from last year. Some people are complaining but most give hima past because they know he is a defensive player that stats can’t show. And Bynum does a lot that just doesn’t show up in the stats. Everyone always panics, but the truth is teams that know they are going to contend start losing focus in the middle of the season. It isn’t the same thrill and challenge as the playoffs. Oh and every team comes after you. I remember the Shaq/Kobe Lakers winning mid 50 games (this team is on a better pace than that) and winning the championship. In fact if you look at those teams and the Phil Jackson Bulls teams they have much in common. The first year the win big, build up their confidence and take the title. The next year they play well but don’t live up to the year before until they enter the playoffs then destroy teams. The year after that age starts to eat at the team and they win but have started to degrade. I would say next year they should think about a trade before there age shows, but this year nothing but a minor move (if Phil thinks its best). Really fans need to be patient and learn from the last 20+ years (earlier than that the league was really different when you had teams that like 5 HOFs). Sorry for the long rant but I felt it needs to be said because everyone seems to be acting like this Laker team is out of the playoff picture.

  88. 87) that’s a super lopsided trade. a backup PG and 2 scrubs (one of which has a bad contract) , for arguably their best player.

  89. #84 -

    Have you watched Tayshaun Prince play lately? Yuck!

  90. Does Mike Miller know how to pass with his feet on the ground? Both of his turnovers off the jump pass.

  91. Regarding Kobe losing a step, he has. That doesn’t mean he is no longer extremely effective. But the combination of his lost step and his finger (and back if that is still bothering him) makes him less effective right now. He doesn’t slash as much as he did just two years ago. And that was noticeable even last season.

    Also, if you look at the midseason trades that were mentioned (Drexler, Thompson, Wallace) it kind of proves my point. Those are three trades over a 25 year period. That means that much more often than not major midseason trades rarely yield the desired results.

    Now if Mitch is working more of his undercover magic then more power to him. But for now, these guys need to figure it out. Think about Jerry Buss’ position. Lamar put the organization through all that hoopla last summer and, as another poster noted, he has become a lot more inefficient this season. Buss is paying big bucks to Phil, Kobe, Pau, and Bynum. Those guys need to figure it out.

    Lastly, I don’t like the concession that Kobe is just going to shoot when he wants to. No, if it is negatively impacting the team he needs to pull back. He is not a gold fish that can’t stop eating if fed. He is one of the best basketball players in the world who just so happens to be a very intelligent man. Someone in the organization needs to get the message through that his excessive shooting is making the task harder for everyone else.

  92. is there a precedent for a player “growing” into the game, as so many here wish and hope for bynum?

  93. cjm -

    Sure. Josh Smith this year is a great example. Talented bonehead finally figured it out. Stopped jacking up terrible 3s, plays within himself… he’s like a different player this year. After several years of showing flashes, he’s finally put it all together, and, IMHO, is the Hawks’ best player.

  94. Look Bynam is not going anywhere. Like Joel points out, Fisher lack of defense puts him in a bad spot. On offense he is right now one of the top 3 in the league. The problem is Fisher and Artest. You know the guy who was out drinking in Georgetown last night but was to sick to go to THE WHITE HOUSE. Dump this guy before he blows up.

  95. I am in awe at what some people on this board are saying. Trade Bynum, who is a 22 year old center with the MOST potential out of ANYONE in the ENTIRE league? The guy is the most efficient player i have seen play a game. In 07-08 he had a TS% of 66% and a eFG% of 63.5%, last year and this year TS% of 60% and eFG of 56%. He is an efficiency MACHINE. And the guy is 22 years old.

    If i was creating a franchise for the future and someone said, who would you rather have, Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum, i would select bynum. Howard’s game is based purely on athleticism and zero skill, while Andrew’s is based on little athleticism and a whole lot of skill AT THE AGE OF 22! What is wrong with you people? I thought that it was either a joke or a Bull fan hiding out as a laker fan throwing out a trade of Hinrich/Noah for Bynum. You know Hinrich is shooting one of the lowest FG% in the entire league, at least for a player that plays? Do you guys know that his PER is at 10 right now? 15 is AVERAGE. Bynum for the last 3 years, from 20-22, has had a PER ranging from 20+-22+.

    I mean, i am at a loss for words. I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would want to trade a future FRANCHISE player like bynum for a couple of scrub role players.

    Bynum’s traits are the type you need for a future hall of famer. He is 22 years old. By his peak, which will be his mid to late 20′s, he is going to be an unstoppable force. And you want to trade him? Someone who bases his game on athleticism, like Howard, will peak at 25. Someone who bases his game on skill, like Bynum, will peak in his late 20′s and still be dominant well into his 30′s.

    We are talking about the future of our franchise. And you people want to throw him away like trash…ignorance like this i have never seen.

  96. I am in awe that you could overrate Bynum so much.

    We’re going on 5 years now and he hasn’t even managed to earn a starting job. Everyone with eyes can see that Odom/Gasol is much better than Gasol/Bynum. I’m not certain, but I’m fairly confident that no player ever has gone on to be a superstar that achieved so little in their first 5 years. Bynum is not likely to be the first.

    Instead he will probably be a part of the long line of injury prone, underachieving big men who play well enough every fifth game that they are awarded an undeservedly large contract. It’s one thing to chalk up his injuries to freak occurrences. But it is much harder to ignore that his attitude and instincts are simply not those of a champion. This is unlikely to ever change.

  97. I looked through every team in the NBA and came up with one good trade that actually has a small chance of happening.

    Lou Williams.

    Philadelphia is desperate to dump salary and Williams still has 3 years remaining on his contract. They like Holiday and have cut Williams’ minutes so they think he is expendable. We should offer them an expiring contract, or see if there are any players on our team they like that we could include.

  98. Trading Bynum is foolish. Lakers fans are so quick to bail on players. I’m a lifelong Lakers fan, and I’m excited by the prospect of Bynum and Gasol trading touches in the post for the next five to ten years. Why trade a developing 22-yr-old 7-footer who has solid footwork, soft hands, deft touch, can shoot FTs, and has demonstrated the ability and desire to learn how to better operate in the post?

    As for Farmar, I believe he’s a solid PG who may never fully emerge as a starter for this team, but who provides a valuable change of pace and scoring ability off the bench. With that in mind, the LA front office should look to improve our starting PG position, but not at the expense of blowing up our nucleus.

    Besides, LA’s been doing alright so far with PGs blowing by the tenacious (and clutch) Fisher. Derek has certainly lost a step, but he knows the offense and can be counted on in crunch time.

    What this team has lacked this year is continuity; key pieces have been sidelined by injury. It’s January. In a month or two, provided people get and stay healthy, this will be a cohesive, lethal unit.

  99. This is not a knock on any individual commenter here, but it seems like it needs to be said:

    When we discuss Andrew Bynum and his “five years” in the league, we have to keep in mind that his first year was as a 17-year old rookie. He was still learning the game and barely played any minutes in actual games that year. The year after that was his first year as a professional NBA player, at a time in his life when most of us were in a complete state of emotional and mental chaos, still trying to mature.

    The year he was going to be productive and become our rising star, ended in January with a devastating knee injury. The following year ended the same way. So we’re talking about a guy who is the same age or younger as most rookies, who may have been on the roster for five years but who actually has played actively for maybe two of those five.

    I guess what I’m saying is, to look at Bynum and say that he’s had five years to prove himself and since he didn’t he should be traded, ignores a lot of important factors that have to be taken into account when you evaluate his play this year.

    Trading him at this point makes no sense. Aside from all else, we’ve spent five years developing and grooming his talent and as soon as it finally starts to give results, we send him away? Nah.

    Trading Bynum will solve nothing. As I’ve said before in this thread, I don’t believe trading anyone at all, is the solution to the problems the Lakers have been having this season.

  100. I would agree that Bynum is just beginning his NBA career at this moment (most players are at 22 anyway), his first 5 years were as a teenager practically, and then the injuries set him back also in his development. He is also signed at a good rate for a very decent 7 footer in this league. Who would replace him if we lose him, Gasol is not a center, he is a Power Forward, that has been made clear around here, you want Mbenga to start as our Center, I think not. Yeah, this thread is an example of why I appreciate Kurt’s law-of-the-land with this trade stuff.

  101. Kurt, I just tried to leave a comment here, but all of my info was blank I believe, is it stuck in limbo somewhere. If you can retrieve it great, just add my information to it, otherwise I will come back later and write it again.

  102. ADAM MORRISON FOR NATE ROBINSON
    FOR INSTANT OFFENSE OFF THE BENCH
    FARMAR & VUJACIC FOR MONTA ELLIS OR FARMAR & DRAFT PICK FOR NATE ROBINSON.
    MORRISON & FISHER & VUJACIC FOR JAMISON
    THE STARTING LINEUP BROWN, KOBE, JAMISON, GASOL, BYNUM BENCH BMENGA, ODOM, ARTEST, NATE ROBINSON.
    MAYBE LAKERS COULD SOME HOW WORKOUT A DEAL FOR BEN GORDON

  103. Jojo, caps lock is on buddy. Those trades aren’t happening, by the way, but first let’s deal with the cap lock issue.

  104. I’m really not sure a trade is an absolutly necessity, but I also think it wouldn’t hurt if we shored up the PG position or added an athletic wing player who could shoot and defend.

    The only person I’d give up Bynum for is Bosh. For everyone who says Gasol is not a real center, well, just how many “real” centers are there in the league that will cause us problems? Bynum hardly played in the playoffs last year and had probably zero crunch time minutes, but yet we still won. And we went to the Finals the year before with no Bynum after January, and I still maintain would have won if we didn’t blow that 20+ point lead in Game 4. I honestly would love to see Artest (or Kobe or Odom), Bosh, and Gasol playing D up front.

    That said, if it’s not Bosh, I’d keep Bynum. His energy, aggressiveness, and interest on defense/rebounding has been up and down his whole career, and maybe it always will be, but I think he’s better than anyone else we could get (except Bosh). And like a bunch of people have already said, he’s still only 22.

    Regarding the PG position, I am in favor of trading for Heinrich (for Morrison + Sasha or something to that effect). I don’t see how that isn’t a total win for us (at least in terms of players changing teams). Whether Buss is keen on paying the extra tax next year or not is another story. It’s still just one year and I think this really sets us up nicely. Even if Heinrich isn’t great on offense, I think his defense, length, and athleticism offsets it.

    One intriguing name I’ve seen rumors about lately is Corey Brewer from Minnesota. He’s improved his shooting and offense overall this year and kind of reminds me of Ariza. I’d definitely kick the tires on that one depending on what else Minnesota would be trying to pawn off on us…

  105. Dave, like i said, ignorance like this i’ve never seen…

  106. yes…luke walton!!!

  107. we need to upgrade pg position or else well get burned in the playoffs ala aron brooks, mo williams, rajon rondo, jameer nelson, etc.

    some names: Hinrich (who fits the bill most); Jose calderon (great but really expensive); luke ridnour (dont think hes available but hes cheap and solid); maybe harris (doesnt fit but intriguing); golden state has two greats in monta and curry (gs is always open to trades). Nice to dream but frankly ANYBODY would be an upgrade over fish; farmar is not our pg of the future and doesnt fit the triangle well. Plus we have too much dead weight; too many players making money for sitting (phil only plays lamar, brown, and farmar off the bench) Changes need to b made, this team needs a (positive) shake up while theres still half a season for new player(s) to adjust and while teams are desperate to shed salary.

  108. trade sasha powell mbenga and morrison for amare.have bynum come off the bench with odom.
    starting 5-fisher kobe artest gasol amare!

  109. btw way.second unit-farmer brown luke odom bynum!

  110. trade….uh yea!! the lakers look like a good playoff team but dont look like they can pull off another title this year, people dont realize that Trever Ariza was the key to our success last season…he was very athletic that had a nack fot the passing lanes,hitting the open shot,and creating his own offence. He was like the Scottie Pippen of the Triangle offence. Ron Artest as much as i like him is not a good replacement for Trever, he has no athletasism, no speed, no consistant outside shooting, and he realy does not even look like he should start over Odom. i would love to get Ariza back but Mitch realy droped the ball on this one. we need a Ariza like player, who can slash and just be a compliment to Kobe…Josh Howard,Jarvis Hayes,Ariza,James Posey…. the Lakers need that kind of player..Ron Artest is strong but has no legs!! Lebron would blow rite pass him in the finals…you have to match Lebrons speed, streangth dosent matter when you have no legs.