Welcome To Rumorville

Darius Soriano —  February 8, 2011

The last two plus weeks before the trade deadline are always the most active when it comes to proposed deals, leaks, and misdirection. Teams are consistently working the phones trying to improve their teams’ prospects for the current and future seasons while simultaneously working the media to try and gain leverage in accomplishing these goals.

Today, we’ve seen the perfect example of this with the latest report that the Lakers are “in discussions” with the Nuggets involving a trade for Carmelo Anthony. Chris Broussard (who has a good reputation in being on top of such matters – he was one of the first reporting LeBron to Miami) has the scoop:

The Lakers and the Denver Nuggets have had preliminary discussions about a blockbuster trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles, according to league sources. The Lakers’ package would be built around Andrew Bynum.

When you dig deeper into the column though, you get a better sense of how close this deal actually is (or in this case, isn’t):

It is believed that the Lakers have not yet made an offer for Anthony but that the two clubs have merely had discussions. (emphasis mine)

And more:

The Lakers’ front office is not in full agreement on dealing Bynum…Jim Buss, son of owner Jerry, was in charge of the franchise when Bynum was drafted with the 10th pick in 2005 and has consistently resisted any attempts to move him, including a deal for free-agent-to-be Chris Bosh last season.

So, really, this seems like some smoke but not a lot of fire. In reality, I see this leak more as a way for Denver to gain leverage in any deal that they do ultimately strike in sending Anthony away. Denver knows that once the Nets dropped out of the ‘Melo sweepstakes, they not only lost their best offer but they also lost the deal that they could leverage all other deals against. The most recent offer from the Knicks (in a reported three team deal involving the Timberwolves) reflects that as the Nuggets would have received marginal talent back, fewer draft picks and young players, and only a big salary savings to show for losing their franchise player. 

When viewed from this perspective, it makes perfect sense that the Nuggets would try to engage other teams into talks, discuss more desirable pieces (in this case Bynum, and then use those talks as leverage to other teams as evidence that the offers that come in need to be better than the one they’re discussing. This isn’t to say that “talks” aren’t happening or havne’t occured. Mitch Kupchak said that he’d be more than willing to engage teams in trade talks just  a week ago. 

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However, why these talks are out there is a different subject than whether or not the deal is a good one. Forget the extra pieces that would likely be involved so the Nuggets are happy with the final outcome (it’s been widely reported they want to dump bad contracts – see Harrington, Al – in a Melo trade) and just  deal with a straight up swap of Melo for Bynum.

Does this make the Lakers a better team? That’s a complex question that needs to be looked at from both the short and long term.

At Land O’ Lakers, Brian Kamenetzky touches on both angles, but has this to say about the short term prospect of swapping the two:

Doing so in the middle of the season, even for a more established star like Anthony, makes a three-peat for the Lakers less likely. Short the highly improbable scenario of swapping Bynum for another high-end 7-footer, removing him from the equation and integrating (likely) another A-list wing or backcourt scorer, Anthony or otherwise — reworking how the Lakers operate on both ends of the floor — fundamentally changes LA to the point it would be tough to jell in time to go all the way.

If the goal of any trade is to win this year, a blockbuster deal involving Bynum isn’t the best route. It’s more the emergency-chute option, and despite legitimate concerns about the Lakers, they’re not at that point. They haven’t even jumped out of the plane, yet. The Lakers remain elite as constructed and prominent in any credible championship conversation, and I firmly believe this core deserves a chance to keep the streak alive.

Brian does, however, go on to say that he’d likely pull the trigger (go read the entire piece for his reasoning – it’s well thought out). In an email exchange I had with Reed, he also said that he’d do the deal:

I understand the fit issues, but in the end I’d do it. The key question to me is — what gives you the better opportunity to win titles over the next 5 years. I think healthy Bynum is a better fit this season, next to Kobe and Pau, but we’ve never seen healthy Drew in the playoffs. And, I think we need to start thinking a little about what happens when Kobe slows down, which he is already doing (he isn’t closing in the final minutes against great teams like in the past). Melo + Pau is a really nice combination. So, I like Melo over Drew over the next 5 years.

Personally, I see both sides of this (and Reed’s point about long term planning is a key one) but continue to lean towards keeping Bynum. For one, the Lakers’ size is one of their biggest strengths and any deal that diminishes that without bringing in a quality big to supplement Pau/Odom is not worth it to me. And while I don’t want to get too picky, it would need to be a big man that is skilled enough to play in the Triangle, is defensive minded, and is less a health risk than Bynum. Guys like that don’t exactly grow on trees. And if we’re only talking Bynum/Melo in this trade, who steps into the back up Center role for the Lakers? Ratliff is injured, Joe Smith barely plays in blowouts, and Caracter hasn’t yet earned the trust of the coaches.

Second, I think pairing Kobe with another high usage wing is somewhat problematic. Both can be prone to inefficient shooting nights and both do a fair amount of work out of the triple threat where they are prone to holding the ball, waiting for a potential double team, and then attacking with their own shot if the second defender doesn’t come. I envision there being some harsh growing pains as those two learn to play off each other while still involving Gasol at the level he’d need to be for the offense to still run smoothly.

Third, there is the issue of team composition. Right now, the Lakers have a trio of bigs to rotate between PF/C, four wings to alternate between SG and SF (with a healthy Barnes), and two point guards. If Melo comes in that dynamic shifts. There’s the issue of who picks up minutes at back up Center that I already mentioned, but how do the SF minutes get divided. I know that Melo (or Barnes/Artest) could play PF in spot minutes to relieve Odom, but all of those guys are natural SF’s and none of them are viable options at SG. That means you’re really not getting a lot of minutes for 2 of the top 8 players on the team (Artest and Barnes).

In the end, I don’t see a deal like this happening, but I do see the value in exploring it. I’m not on board. But reasonable arguments do exist that would be for it. What are your thoughts?

Darius Soriano

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166 responses to Welcome To Rumorville

  1. this is a leak by melo’s camp, not the nuggets. makes no sense for denver to leak if they know that the lakers are not big on making deals in the public, especially given jim’s attachment to bynum. I’m surprised the nuggets weren’t interested in pau. He’s a better fit for their style than bynum. On a separate note, it does not look like the Lakers were bluffing about considering a trade. Don’t know if they would do it, but they’re serious. Nice title for the post, though. You could recycle it until feb. 25.

  2. There are two places that I don’t feel that Melo really fits and that’s in LA and in NY. Both the star in those locations prefer Robin to their Batman. Carmelo, is not quite a Batman, but he shoots like one. He is high volume and needs the ball to be effective. There is no way Kobe shares the light like Wade and Brawn. Plus, what you give up on Defense will make the Lakers ordinary. NO WAY would I make this trade. The only thing that I would offer is Ron (and I’m not thrilled about that), Luke and any combination necessary to make the deal work. That way, we keep our defensive look somewhat but add scoring as we cut down Kobe’s minutes.

  3. I just want everyone to keep in mind regarding planning ahead against future teams that nothing is guaranteed and it’s rather foolish to plan on facing this team or that team.

    The Cavs made the same mistake two years ago in the offseason by planning their decisions on the fact that they believed they would face Orlando in the ECF with all certainty and in the process forgot about a certain green team.

    So just because the Lakers have Bynum for Boston does not mean they cannot consider going another route (Melo for more athletic teams like Miami) because there is no guarantee they’ll face them. The most plausible idea is to put the most well rounded unit on the floor that you can, which has the best capability to adapt to playing any type of team they face. That’s where the issue with this debate lies, which route do you think the Lakers will be better off from?

    Flip, the Nuggets want young talent and have all season regarding interest in Melo and Bynum fits that bill perfectly and they also realize the Lakers would never part with Pau. Pau is integral and Bynum so far hasn’t proved he is. Chris Broussard said on ESPN news that the Nuggets approached the Lakers about this trade.

  4. There are actually several options other than Melo or making a major overall this late in the season.

    *First Jarvaris Crittenton is playing in the D-League. He knows the system since he played in it for two years. He can be signed outrightly. No trade necessary.

    * Second you have OJ Mayo (old three strikes who has been demoted to the second string (bench mob), got beat up over a $1,500 debt by his teammate Tony Allen, and then got a 10 game non-paid vacation from the League Office for taking a banned substance (power drink my ass) who can be had if we take Haseem Thabeet with him. This can be had for Luke Walton and the trade exception. What you think we would take your stiff without you taking ours??? You have got to be kidding.

    * There’s Jamario Moon who is not playing that many games or minutes for Cleveland. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind the rescue. Trade exception or combine the trade above and you get rid of Joe Smith/Theo Ratliff.

    * Josh Childress is getting absolutely no burn in Phoenix. Taking his longer contract for Luke might be attractive to both teams. Or the Lakers might be stuck with something they thought was impossible, a contract actually worse than Luke’s.

    * Lastly, there’s Aaron Brooks who is wearing out his welcome in Houston. Kyle Lowery and Kevin Martin are playing great and Courtney Lee is their guard defender. So Poor AB has nowhere to play. We’ll gladly remedy that situation for the trade exception and one of our bigs or rookies of which Caracter is both.

    Wala, now the Lakers are years younger, way more athletic, and better prepared to Fight On (sorry USC and Lakers are neighbors). No trades involving Ron Ron, LO, Bynum or God forbid Pau.

  5. Bynum’s role on the team now is complementary, while Melo is used to being a featured player.

    Bringing Carmelo onto the floor with Kobe and Pau immediately relegates one of them to a lower role on the team, because Melo is going to be an offensive threat in the pinch post that would be almost unstoppable. he has to be a focal point of the offense on that area of the floor or you’re not getting the most bang for your buck.

    This has to be a play for the future, and the Lakers still don’t need to make the play. Although Kobe is aging, he’s not over the hill yet. This season is one to play out, and see if the run will be ended. Next year, when Bynum has a team option hanging over his head, is the one to make the call on trading him.

  6. #1. The reason that I point to Denver leaking this (and not just Melo’s camp) is becaue the Nuggs need this leverage most. They want to make a deal but their best offer is now gone. Why not publicly discuss other options to try and get the Knicks to up their offer? Denver is the team that most needs to regain control of the negotiations. I see the Lakers as more of the lever to get the Knicks thinking of offering more than a real partner in a trade.

  7. Darius my whole reason that this should be considered a viable rumor rather than just a leak is because if you were the Nuggets wouldn’t you rather have Bynum over anything the Knicks potentially have to offer? I mean the best the Knicks can offer are Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, or Landry Fields. I think anyone would rather take Bynum over any of those 2 guys, especially if the Nuggets feel Melo would sign off on an extension in LA.

  8. WILL IT HAPPEN?

    I don’t think it is going to happen, either. I can’t see Jimmy Buss or Phil wanting to do it. Phil is actually a defensive coach in many ways and does not like mid-season deals. Not sure about Kupchak or Jerry Buss.

    Also, it is hard, for obvious reasons, for me to picture the Denver front office wanting to put Carmelo Anthony alongside Kobe Bryant in LA. If it backfired–longer/new Laker run, Bynum unable to stay on the floor–it would be a competitive and PR disaster for Denver.

    I do think FWIW that Kobe would want it done, and that Pau would probably be opposed.

    SHOULD IT HAPPEN?

    Tough call. I am ~53-47 against. I like Andrew a lot, but I do not trust his knees and he has already, at age 23, lost a lot of quickness from the repeated injuries. Opponents would, as BK notes, have a very hard time dealing with Odom, Gasol, Anthony and Bryant simultaneously.

    The Lakers would likely be able to get a second-tier big man for 2012 to shore up the front line.

    For 2011, it would make it harder to beat Boston and maybe Dallas. Maybe Miami. But I do not see the Lakers as title favorites as they are now, anyway.

    What I think many of us in Lakerland want to see, of course, is Bynum + assets parlayed into Dwight Howard after the 2012 season. If there is going to be any chance of that, the Lakers probably need to keep Bynum. Add that to Bynum’s defensive and post-season value, I don’t think I do it.

    Caveat: who else from Denver or a 3rd team might be in this deal if it is really seruiously discussed.

  9. Even if this is a ploy to get the Knicks to offer more, what pieces would they be? Gallo + Chandler, plus picks? That still is inferior to a Bynum-centered (no pun intended) trade because Chandler is a restricted FA and I’m sure Denver is eager to haggle over his new contract. Also, Bynum’s contract is only guaranteed for next year, so they can get out of it if Bynum is not what they want.

    I do think the FO has to take the future into consideration. If the new CBA allows another “Allan Houston” amnesty, we’ve got some players in mind. But Kobe is aging, and naturally, he’s going to have to change his style of play. Melo would be the perfect bridge to the future and I would then love to see Kobe 3.0, the devastating facilitator/closer.

    Rumors like this get me excited, but honestly, I don’t see this trade going down.

  10. This is Melo stirring the pot. The Knicks have always been in the driver’s seat and that’s not going to change. Unless Dolan screws it up, and he might, the Knicks organization is quite aware how badly they have screwed up their team with horrible trades, and they don’t want another one. The problem with NYC is that Dolan and Isiah are close, which is a problem for those who support Walsh. There is no interest for the Nuggets to play this out in public because the Nets situation was a fiasco. They have no leverage by showing their cards – especially with the trade deadline so close. It’s Melo making their life difficult. This only underscores to me how serious the Lakers are about considering a trade. That kind of public statement (Kupchak’s) is a controlled message because it’s public. Leaks like this one only benefit those who think they aren’t getting what they want and want to stir the pot. The only guy who wants out is Melo. The Nuggets want to keep him or get fair trade value (whatever that is). If everyone knows what you want, you rarely get it in a trade unless you hold all the cards.

  11. Honestly if we all think this rumor mill is bad right now, let’s just imagine how bad it will be if the Lakers lose the next 3 straight (tough) road games. However it will tell us alot about what kind of team we have.

  12. Not Charlie Rosen February 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Two reasons it’s a horrible idea (and clearly a case of Denver calling Mitch and asking “Bynum?” and hearing back “hell no”):

    1) Melo plays worse defense than Ron, and worse defense than Barnes, and worse than Kobe, and probably about equal to a focused Shannon (though he might have a few inches and pounds over UPS). So ignoring our loss in the middle by trading Drew, we give up on the one area we still need to improve upon: defense. Who sits, when Durant or Lebron or Manu or name-your-wing is going off on us and we need to shut him down?

    2) What’s the constant problem we have with our offense? Stagnation…isolation on the wing (generally Kobe). And that’s the only thing Melo excels at: isolation on the wing. He won’t improve our passing, or our spacing, or unselfishness…he might be the _worst_ possible fit to make sure our offense is humming the way it needs to.

    And I just can’t imagine any amount of “might turn out better down the road” being worth the implosion that would hit us in the here and now.

  13. Ill say it again..
    We need size and defense to beat boston in a 7 game series. Without defense and rebounding we will not win it all this year. I am a fan of melo’s game and I know that Kobe and him are good friends. They got along really well during the USA run, but we need the size. and thats what Bynum gives us.

    You cant teach size.

  14. For me, it basically boils down to which player can do more with less.

    Bynum has shown that he doesn’t need the ball to impact the game. Melo has not.

  15. I think this is going to happen.
    1. Bynum is better than anyone NY/NJ can offer.
    2. Kobe and Melo are BFF’s. on that olympic team they were clearly the 2 best players.
    3. The Lakers basicly won the last 2 chips w/o bynum.
    4. when you run out Melo,kobe.pau,lamar who gets double teamed.
    Do it Mitch

  16. Lofan, but what if we don’t face Boston? What if we face Miami? Planning against just one team is a fatal error, you need the most well rounded group on the floor. I don’t know which lineup that will be, all I’m saying is we can’t assume we know who we are going to be facing.

  17. Good read!

    Apart from what I said earlier, I must also admit that I would really miss seeing plays like the one yesterday when Kobe found Pau, who faked a jumper and threw the alley-oop for Drew.

    To me, well executed inside passing is the crème de la crème of basketball.

    Also, apart from keeping Pau’s minutes in check, Drew makes his defense about 50 percent better. I can already envision how people would be complaining about Pau if we traded Drew.
    “He’s so soft!!! We should have traded him and kept Bynum!!”
    (When Pau elects not to foul, in order to be able to play his regular 45 minutes;))

  18. First off, I believe that Bynum is not the long-term answer for the Lakers. He has only been healthy for the entire season once in his career. Plus he had a major knee injury in high school. He is not built for the long haul. Just look at the way he runs down court. He plods down the court more than runs down it. It’s just a matter of time until he sustains another injury. He is not somebody we can reliably build our team around for the future.

    Secondly, I think we should trade Bynum while he still has relatively high trade value. Even if we only get 80 cents on the dollar, I think we should make a trade while we still get something valuable in return.

    All that being said, I do not think we should trade for Carmelo. Like many of you have said, we most likely will face Boston in the Finals and we need the size more than we need more scoring. We beat Boston last year with almost identical teams. Except now we are deeper at bench and have a healthy Andrew (hopefully). They have a healthy Perkins. We are both a year older. Let’s have at it. Plus do you want to spend the next 10 years rooting for Carmelo as our cornerstone. I do not.

    Some of you have suggested in the previous thread to trade for Carmelo and then sign D-Howard in 2012. We cannot simply sign D-Howard. We are already over the cap. To acquire Howard, we would need to do a sign and trade with Orlando. They would need something significant back in return. The obvious trade chip is Andrew Bynum since we won’t need him if we get Howard. I believe we should hold out for this trade. New York (D-Howard’s other desired destination) could not offer anything close to Bynum. The Lakers would be a ridiculous team with D-Howard. I mean Orlando is a contender every year and they have garbage surrounding him. How good would this team be if D-Howard is surrounded by Kobe, Pau and Odom compared to J-Rich, Turkoglu, and Brandon Bass?

    Don’t pull the trigger Mitch. Be patient and wait until next year and trade Bynum for D-Howard (if the new CBA allows for it).

  19. Lou…
    You make a good point. That lineup is ridiculous. but Jim Buss wont let this trade happen. Its gonna be a sad day when Jerry Buss is no longer in charge..

  20. #4, I’ve noticed Josh Childress warming the bench myself, but his contract expires 1 yr after Kobe/Pau.

    I don’t think Kupchak wants any major contractual obligations past 2013-14.

  21. I agree with Lou. The lakers got minimal contributions out of Bynum that last three years and they are the back-to-back champs. In fact, when was the last time Bynum was on the floor late in an important game?

    I’m not trying to take anything away from the kid but at this point Bynum is a luxury item that we aren’t sure will be there when it matters (health wise)

    The lakers will be giving up something on defense for sure, but I don’t know how teams guard Carmelo in the pinch post with Pau down low and Kobe on the wing.

    Lastly, doesn’t Denver have to take this deal? Im mean I’d rather take a limping, injury prone Andrew Bynum if I were Denver than whatever the knicks are offering.

  22. It’s not often you get a chance to get one of the five or ten best basketball players in the league entering his prime. Not sure how you can turn that down even if it means perhaps being less formidable in the short term. If they can add Brown and Barnes to the trade and get the Birdman, as well, it’s a no-brainer.

  23. i am really conflicted about whether this would make the lakers a better team or not…

  24. Reign on Parades February 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I would only jump on a trade of Bynum for one of the top three best players to build around imo: Durant, Howard, and Chris Paul

    Durant will never ever be traded

    Howard will never be traded unless Orlando’s hand is forced

    Chris Paul can’t be traded until the NBA finds a buyer. This one really appeals to me though, mainly because it seems feasible outside of the ownership issue.

    Thus, I don’t really want to humor any Bynum trades that involve getting a star player as I think the best move outside of getting one of those franchise cornerstones is simply to stick with a 23 year old game changing 7 footer with a world of talent.

    The only other trade I’d consider is one where we’d get multiple pieces back like Hibbert, Granger, and Collison from Indiana while also dumping off dead weight like Luke Walton

  25. Jim Buss is openly against this move, so I don’t think there is any way it gets done. Also, I agree that this would be a desperation move as reguards this season, and I don’t think the Lakers are at that point.

    The only way that this deal would work for this year is if Kobe volunteered to play point guard. While this could potentially work, and would be fun to see, I don’t think that Kobe wants to relegate himself to “second banana” status, even as the orchestrator of the Lakers offense.

  26. The Wandering Chicken. Those are my exact thoughts.

    This guy is ELITE, one of the top 5 players in the league when he is interested, which he would be in LA. Melo is 26 years old, I repeat 26 years old. He is only scratching the surface of how great he could be. And saying he cannot play in our system is crazy, he is so talented that he could adapt just like Kobe had to when Pau came here. The league is turning into teams with multiple all stars and the Lakers should do this deal for the future.

    I’m honestly surprised more people don’t want the deal done. I have tons of friends who are big NBA watchers who say they would be terrified of the Lakers if we get Melo. Nobody I know is afraid of Bynum, he just hasn’t given anyone reason to consider him a true threat. Go to the Nuggets fan site, they want Bynum they thought they were going to get a crappy deal back and now they may have a promising player.

  27. I agree that changing this up on the fly has a number of issues.

    There is no promise of next season.

    Miami will get better but their biggest weakness is their size.

    Boston’s D is designed to make you want to go iso and take a bad shot. Melo would make that easier.

    The Spurs have advantages at a few positions but the Lakers’ size will bring an attrition factor that I think Melo won’t.

    Artest brings on D similar value as Melo does on O. Why exchange one for the other when we will also weaken our D from the 5. I just don’t get the sense of that at all. Why thin out the 5 to create a logjam at the 3?

    Gasol should not be made to man the 5 to the degree that the loss of Bynum would require. He is only now coming out of his stupor that I think is a result of him playing out of position.

    Finally, this only makes some amount of sense for the team if they would be able to acquire a certain athletic big who specializes in defending the rim and rebounding, but can finish around the rim with force. Further clue, he is available as a FA in 2012. But, even that doesn’t make sense seeing that with Melo, Kobe and Pau already working the max (and Kobe being well past that) the new CBA could force the Lakers to move one of those players, and certainly wont let them chase a fourth max-type guy.

    I think we go with the guys that have won 2 in a row and know the system. Lets keep the guy that fit the definition of what it takes to win in the NBA, skill and size.

  28. +1 to comment #18

    be patient… for the BIG KAHUNA (d12)

  29. @7 I would definitely take Galinari and Fields over Bynum if I was the Nuggets’ GM but I don’t think NY would part with both players.

    This is clearly a “leak” from Carmelo/Nuggets. I don’t think there is any way the Lakers do this trade b/c it certainly doesn’t make them any better this year and probably makes them worse. Melo is a better player than Bynum but we are already log jammed at the wing (especially w/ a healthy Barnes). I don’t like this team’s chances with Ratliff/Smith/Caracter as the 1st big off of the bench.

    The trade does make them better for the future but do you really think they are going to make this kind of trade in PJ’s last season when they have a chance to win the title as currently constructed? If the lakers could some how sucker the Nuggets into giving up Chris Anderson w/ Melo then it makes the idea intriguing but that is unlikely.

  30. Ok, lets say the trade happens.. going through the West, who is going to guard Durant, Ginobli, Caron, etc? Melo is an average defender at best. Looking at Finals opponents in the East, Melo would have to have guard Lebron or Pierce. And then if we do face Boston, how do you think Pau is going to hold up against Shaq and Perk? Y.. I.. K.. E.. S.. Pau is a phenomenal player, perhaps the best all around big man in the game, but he wilts under repeated physical pressure and that is not an opinion.

    Now, look at the offensive side. Melo is an isolation heavy scorer, and we have some guy named Kobe who needs the ball in his hands often as well. It is already a struggle night in and night out for Pau to get his touches and to keep him aggressive and plugged in, how is that going to pan out with Melo now needing touches?

    In a vacuum, Melo > Bynum, of course. But the piece needs to fit in with the larger puzzle, and Bynum is a much better fit with this squad.

    Now.. if, and I haven’t looked at the numbers, we were able to get Nene in return as well, ala Artest & Bynum for Melo & Nene, that makes things much more interesting.

  31. plus, I think an interested Melo is perhaps a top 20-25 guy, not top 5. You need to play D to be considered that high.

    Players better then Melo, just off the top of my head and in no particular order.

    LBJ, Wade, Durant, D. Will, CP3, Kobe, Pau, Westbrook, Howard, Rose. You can argue Blake, Love, PP, Amare and a number of others are as good or better.

  32. If the Lakers continue to prove they cannot beat the elite of the league, I really think the trade needs to be done guys. I understand the forseen weaknesses it would bring the Lakers, like less size and weaker defense. However, Melo is a great player and is very good in the clutch. With Kobe getting a bit older it would be huge to have another big star. If Melo can somehow bond in the offense, this Lakers team will be awesome. We would be talking about things coming so much easier for Bryant and especially Pau who gets tripled team every time he gets the ball some games. I aint saying do it now, but if this Lakers team bombs this road trip, especially against the better teams, I say go for it if it is open.

  33. Camelo can shoot, no question about it,but it’s not hard to defend him, he is slow. If we are talking at championship level,Artest can defend him, but Artest can’t defend Kobe,D-Wade, LeBron James. The most important is Kobe, does he want to pass MJ with more than 6 rings or he wants 25, 30 mil a year? If Kobe wants more rings, he should ask Lakers to pay him 18, 20 mil a year, so Lakers can sign good players. One thing makes sense for me is trading for Camelo this year,next year Camelo will sign with NY, Lakers will have extra money to sign Dwight Howard.

  34. While I’m enjoying everyone’s well made points, I think we need to hold off on calling Melo a top 5 guy even “when interested”. He’s not.

    In some order that list is Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul, Howard (or Durant). Even after that you’ve got guys like Dirk and Deron. There’s a reason that Melo has never been a 1st team All-NBA performer. He’s not as good as those other guys. His defense (while improved from his early years) is only okay and his rebounding isn’t what it could be on a nightly basis. He’s a scorer supreme, but Laker fans of all fans should know that scoring is only one aspect of the game because we’ve consistently defended Kobe for being “more than just a scorer”. Melo is a tier below.

  35. @Lakers8884 I’m with you. I’ve been a big Bynum supporter and do believe he was instrumental in the Lakers’ victory over the Celtics. Size has been one of our greatest differentiators and parting with him has seemed like a mistake in the past.

    But, this is Carmelo Anthony. It’s not swapping Bynum for Bosh as was thrown around a bit last year. This is trading a talented, if oft injured, player for one of the very best and most unguardable players in the entire league. I know the adage that you don’t trade size away, but this isn’t exactly an “all things being equal” scenario.

    And @Skyhook33, I share your concern with Kobe playing alongside Anthony. But would there be a more surefire way for Kobe to cement his legacy as among the handful of best ever players if he transformed his game in his mid-thirties to be a 20-point/10-assist guy? Wouldn’t that put the nail in the coffin of the argument that he’s just a high usage chucker? And provide a serious point for “best ever” talk? That’s not saying he’d do it, but I’d love to watch this experiment.

    There seems to be some concerns around co-existing, but with Anthony we’ve got a far more complementary set of stars than the Heat do. You’ve now got arguably the three best low-post players in all of basketball in Pau, Anthony and Kobe — all of whom are able to step out to the mid-range and/or 3 point line. And the pick and roll options here are just insane. Add Odom to the mix and I’m not sure how any team could defend the Lakers in crunch time. That’s four matchup nightmares. And you can throw in Fisher or Artest as needed in the fifth spot. Maybe it causes some problems now, but post-Triangle, well, you’ve got yourself a lot to work with.

    Okay, I talked myself into it regardless. But, as I said before, if the Nuggets want to shed more salary and open cap flexibility, adding the Birdman and his 4 years for the expiring contracts of Barnes and Brown works. There is absolutely no way you don’t make that deal.

  36. I hear you, Darius, but I think we’re splitting hairs a little bit. He’s definitely one of the 10 best players in all of basketball. In any case, he’s an absolutely elite player. And he’s 26 years old.

  37. I agree Melo isn’t a top 5 player, but I put him in the same catagory as a Dirk, Gasol, and D-Williams. Guys who were/are miscast as the number 1 guy but would be devestating as a number 2 or 3 option.

    There are definitely risks but I just think right now if I’m Miami or Boston I feel good about beating the Lakers in a 7 game series. You put Melo on this team and all bets are off.

  38. I don’t like the Melo for Bynum trade for all the reasons everyone has mentioned. However, with the trade exception, the following deal works:

    Bynum, Walton, and Artest for Anthony and Nene.

    Nene could replace Bynum at center (he’s physical, not quite the defender, but scores at an efficient clip with a decent jump shot).

    There wouldn’t be a logjam at SF any more. Anthony starts, Barnes off the bench. Barnes is playing better than Artest anyway at a fraction of the salary.

    LA gets rid of Walton and his horrible salary.

    I don’t think LA should play for D. Howard given the uncertainty of the CBA rules…but LA could make a run at trading for him in 2012 if rules stay similar. LA could trade Nene and another player for Howard, using a similar strategy (better to get something in return than lose Howard for nothing).

    That could give LA for the 2012-2013 season a lineup that included Howard, Gasol, Anthony, Kobe, and possibly Odom.

  39. Darius, I respectfully disagree with you, talent wise he is at least a top 10 player. And he has the tools to be better at only age 26, he is 6’8, very long, strong, and quick. Already has a midrange and postup game mastered (Lebron has neither), defensively he could be better but how do we know he hasn’t just been average defensively because he is on a Nuggets team that plays sporadic defense? And how do we know he couldn’t play within an offensive set, rather than the chuck it up isolation style in Denver? My whole thing is he is such an elite athlete and still so young that his best years are ahead of him. I can’t say Drew has anything mastered yet, and I truly feel being the true 2nd option big man behind Gasol only hinders his development.

    After his playoff series against the Lakers two years ago he was being touted as a top 5 player. Then someone like Kevin Durant comes along, and Melo has an average season on a team he doesn’t want to play for. We forget how talented he really is when he is motivated to play.

  40. I would love the deal, but let’s look big picture. Does this deal bring us closer to a championship?

    No, we have a good small forward in Artest, he has room to improve and has the talent. It’s really a matter of effort and discipline within the confines of the Lakers strategy.

    Look at the past 3 NBA Finals Matchups.

    2008, we drastically needed size and toughness to battle the ferocity the entire Celtics brought.

    2009, Bynum was able to contain Howard and not allow him to go for crazy numbers. Really Howard was quite pedestrian.

    2010, Bynum was able to battle the Celtics. Even though he was injured he was still able to gather some rebounds and get those easy baskets in a heated defensive matchup.

    With Carmelo our potential for offense reaches an A.

    Our defense then shifts to a B at best.

    With Bynum our offense can be an A.

    But our defense also has the capacity for an A.

    Long term it hurts our finances, short term it hurts Kobe’s ability to still be in his prime and win a championship.

    The only reason why I’d do it is because of Bynum’s injury history.

    You can’t build a house on a 7’0 shaky foundation. He can be a secondary player, and that is the perfect situation for him.

    The rigors of being the franchise player would likely be too much for his fragile body. And YESSSS we can now call his body fragile.

  41. I think of all the trade rumors that have been tossed about since Pau came to the Lakers this is the first one that actually made me stop and think about it.

    I honestly feel a bit 50/50 on it. I agree that there’s 90% chance that doing it sacrifices this season for next, but assuming that half a season plus however long the offseason is allows the coaching staff to integrate Melo’s game into the offense and find a decent backup for Pau could be a good way to go to prevent the league from becoming Miami’s for the next 10 years.

    I don’t know that I do it. But damn, I really, really think about it.

    Kobe and Melo have played together in the Olympics and have a mutual respect for each other that could allow them to coexist, but it would take half a season to get there (see Lebron/Wade).

    This is why Mitch makes a lot more money than I do.

  42. It’s worth exploring because it could lead to a multiple player for multiple player scenario (thinking Nene here).

    Straight up swap, ‘drew for ‘melo? Nope!

    There’s something else to consider beyond the thinning of the Laker front line should this deal occur.

    As was pointed out, C Anthony is a bit of a head case. (I’d call him a crybaby). Bynum has outgrown that – maybe ‘melo never will.

    I hope they sit tight and see what might be available in 2012. (Hint: he has very big arms and skinny legs).

  43. Travis Y.

    Bynum played no part in slowing down Howard, if anything he got 2 quick fouls and was gone. That was all Pau Gasol.

  44. Bynum has hit his ceiling. He’ll never be a franchise guy. Period.

    Make the trade. If not for Carmelo then for SOMEONE. trade him while his stock is high and people haven’t figured out he just isn’t that great. Good? Maybe. Mediocre? Possibly. Great? Certainly not.

  45. I can’t help but break out of the Zen “focus on now” mentality. This Lakers team will be salary capped out for the next 3-5 years. Just fast forward to this point next year. Bynum’s 2012 team option is on the table, his idiotic agent is screaming for max $.

    Do you think teams will offer us a better deal than Melo in 2012, assuming Bynum doesn’t get hurt (knock on wood) this year or next? Mitch Kupchack will have a make/break decision with Bynum in 2012, having to once again balance Bynum’s “potential” with his track record of injuries.

    With Carmelo, you don’t have to worry about these things. You now know the basic core of the team (Kobe, Melo, Gasol, maybe Odom) and you can acquire other personnel to fit this core.

    In either case, be thankful Lakers fans that right now we are mulling over keeping Bynum or Melo! Think of our brethren residing in Cleveland.

  46. The solution to keep Bynum healthy,is not difficult, Bynum should develope more outside shooting like Duncan, Ewing,…,don’t play like Shaq, Howard , Bynum can use his size to control the lane, rebounds (7,8 rebounds a game), but no block shot.

  47. If Bynum can regain the athleticism he had in previous years the Lakers wouldn’t even consider this deal. They wouldn’t have a Center on the roster and would have only two quality big men. However, Like I posted a few days ago… I’m worried Bynum’s best days are behind him at just 23 years of age. There was a time a couple years ago where Andrew was the best young player in the NBA and he was given the nickname “Beast”. Stricken by numerous injuries he no longer is capable of dominating a game without even getting low post touches. There was a time where Drew could move around the court like a 7 foot SF. Remember that dunk against the 76ers? The guy just turn at the freethrow line took a step and dunked it. Those days might be over and if you can give up a good Center to get a great SF I have to think long and hard about it completing this deal. We would then do what Miami did. Scrape the bottom of the bowl for washed up Centers to finish off the roster.

  48. Trading Bynum scares me, but Khloe and Lamar’s perfume commercial scares me even more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk9Ap4nBiOM

  49. Wow, this thread has quickly become an excercise in revisionist history and the love of a good jumpshooter.

    I like Melo as much as the next guy but claiming that Bynum has reached his ceiling or hasn’t contributed to the Lakers champinionship runs is foolish. Tell me, do the Lakers win last year if Bynum opts to have his surgery and misses the rest of the post season? How about him coming back for the ’09 playoffs (when he was still clearly battling leg issues) and gutting it out through the Finals?

    Careful what you wish for, Lakers fans. Throwing away a viable big man, even for the best scorer, doesn’t mean you have a better *team*.

  50. I saw we trade Bynum for Eddie Curry.*

    *That has about as much chance as happening as Melo for Bynum.

  51. i agree with darius. it’s way too early to say bynum has peaked, but the injuries give me pause. And bynum on one leg was pretty good for what we got. and do you guys really think pau can hold his own against other centers? that’s not really his strong suit.

  52. The question is, would the Lakers be a better team with Anthony or Bynum. We arent trying to say Anthony is in Kobe or Lebron’s catagory Darius. That is not an easy question to answer. I honestly think this road trip should tell the story of what we should do.

  53. All the talk about waiting for D howard in 2012. reminds me of when we were waiting for Amare to be a free agent a few years ago. Who knows what Bynum will be then. If the Lakers make the deal now then we are set for another run. Also Bynum in Denver getting a bunch more touches he will avg. 20/10 I think no problem, So a win for him as well. I do not think the Lakers want to look like they did after Shaq left, which was garbage.

  54. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned Phil’s masterful coaching. That’s the X factor. Yes, in Denver, Melo is just an elite jump shooter with no interest in D. But I think he has the potential to be a superb defender & rebounder while staying an elite scorer. All he needs is the right coach and culture. Do you really think teammates like Kenyon Martin, JR Smith and Chris Andersen are a good culture? Please. The more I think about it, the more I see Melo for Drew as a robbery. Drew has proven one thing – he can’t stay healthy. We’re on year 6 of waiting for him to be the guy we wish he would be. But he isn’t, and likely won’t be (see: Walton, Bill).

  55. Agreed Joe, these next 4 games should really tell us how valuable Bynum is. Because against Boston they negated Bynum with Shaq/Perkins in LA two weeks ago and against Orlando Bynum typically can’t stay on the floor because he gets into foul trouble.

  56. Igor,

    Great point about the coaching. And one thing about Melo he is a winner, respects Kobe. and more importantly Kobe respects him.

  57. First of all, I think some of you are grossly underestimating Bynum’s role in those 2 titles, especially the last one. In 2010 he averaged 1.6 blocks and 6.9 boards in 24 minutes. Now those aren’t great numbers, but take him out and you’re either giving those minutes to Mbenga/Powell or you’re overworking Pau and Odom. We know how that formula worked out in 2008.

    With that being said, my biggest issue is that I just don’t think Carmelo is that great of a player or a very good fit. In this offense, with Kobe and Pau on hand, he won’t get the volume of touches he needs. I don’t see him as a guy who becomes more efficient in a reduced role, and we all know his deficiencies in any area of the game not linked to scoring. On top of that I’m not convinced he has it in him to lead a team to a championship down the road.

    Obviously Anthony is better than Bynum in a vacuum, but in my opinion he is not a superstar, and therefore not someone you pull out all the stops to get regardless of cost, team fit, etc.

  58. Joe,
    I was simply responding to the comments saying that Melo is a top 5 player. If you scroll up, you’ll see them.

    On a side note, why would these 4 games matter in terms of answering these questions? It baffles me how large scale judgements are made off small sample sizes/specific games. If anyone is really convinced that the Lakers are a better or worse team after these upcoming games than they are today, they’re kidding themselves.

  59. Anyone have any idea where the Lakers team is right now during this rumor talk? Are they on the road in Boston already? Are they in Miami for r/r? Did they fly back to L.A. after last night’s game?

  60. To me the most interesting thing in all this is what Frank Isola is reporting in the NY Daily News…
    Namely that Jim Buss vetoed the Bynum trade muh to the dismay of Kobe and Phil on Sunday

    http://twitter.com/FisolaNYDN

  61. It’s not just these 4 games Darius, it’s been the whole season they have underachieved (nobody can argue there) and the reason these 4 games will be crucial is because the trade deadline is fast approaching so if the Lakers have a poor showing and the same patterns of struggling are still apparent it gives even more credence to the idea of the trade.

  62. Even though I’d do Bynum-Melo straight up (for all the reasons mentioned), I doubt that’d happen (again for all the reasons mentioned).

    I think more will be on board if we get a big man. Nene is not going to work since his salary is too huge and we have no short term high salary contracts to offer. Plus he only has 2 yrs left, Denver will probably like to keep him as a trade asset.

    Birdman on the other hand has a smaller but longer (4 yrs) contract, so Denver would be more willing to give him up. Plus, he fits in the trade exception (that cannot be combined with players).

    In that case, Denver will probably want to stick Harrington in as well. But we have no salary to match it unless they’re willing to take Ron or Luke, both extremely unlikely. (plus we really don’t have any other sweeteners outside character and a couple 2nd round picks)

    The only way I see a trade for melo go down is if a third team that wants Ron gets involved. And if Bucher is to be trusted, they’d trade Jackson or Wallace for him.

    Bottom line:
    Lakers in: Melo, Harrington, Birdman*
    Lakers out: Bynum, Ron, Character

    Nuggets in: Bynum, Character, Wallace/Jackson
    Nuggets out: Melo, Harrington, Birdman

    Bobcats in: Ron
    Bobcats out: Wallace/Jackson

    *Sasha’s trade exception

    Harrington is at least as good as Character can hope to be. Birdman will do for the short term. Ron is a luxury with Melo(O)/Barnes(D) combo. The only issue for us is the crazy payroll we’ll carry. But we were heading into payroll hell anyway and Birdman is almost definitely worth his contract and who knows maybe Harrington will show why he was a key signing last offseason.

    Nuggets get rid of Harrington’s contract, gets Character for cheap (they wanted to draft him), and Wallace/Jackson to fill in while they rebuild.

    Bobcats get what they wanted.

    The salaries are all ok (but for some reason I can’t get trade exception to work on the espn trade machine.) Who says no here?

  63. #59. The Lakers flew into Boston this morning and have already landed. Joe Smith relayed on twitter that him walking around Boston in a Lakers sweatsuit has drawn some dirty looks. Ha.

    #61. This goes back to the question of trust and how much any one fan wants to extend towards the team. This year is similar in a lot of ways to last year. Injuries to bigs, Kobe being up and down, an inconsistent Ron. In the playoffs, though, team specific game plans and the resulting improved execution (along with good match ups) led to a Finals appearance. Against the C’s, the Lakers battled and came out on top. If that carries no value to a fan, then go ahead and disregard it. I happen to think experience, coaching, and the atmosphere/inherent strategy of the playoffs mean this team will be a tough out for anyone.

  64. Lakers8884,

    C’mon, rewatch that series. These are Howard’s point totals for the series:

    12, 17, 21, 16, and 11. He avg’d 15.4 for the Finals. There was no denying Bynum was able to bang with Howard on a broken wheel nonetheless. If Bynum didn’t play Gasol would have been in foul trouble and would have allowed Howard to get to his spots on the floor much easier.

    I mean c’mon you really think Pau Mr. Soft Gasol would be able to handle Howard straight up for the entire series?

    Be grateful that we have a 7’0 to spare and that we have the tools to compete if we get deep in the playoffs.

    This is just a move by Denver’s front office to gain leverage, they are now realizing the Feb 24. deadline is their best chance to get value, and they needed to improve their position as Darius and Kurt have said in the past and present.

    Think about why stories are broken. Who has more to gain? Do you usually see a Lakers trade out in the open before it gets accomplished?

    There’s a certain Boston game this Thursday and I’m sure that is something the Lakers are focusing on. If they falter again, these trade rumors may gain momentum.

  65. thanks Darius! Lakers in beantown already….interesting….

  66. Last year we were waiting for Bynum to be traded for Bosh. Last year it happened around the begining of January. This time its in February.

    We are not trading a 7 foot 285 lb. center who’s 23 years, and has shown he has the potential of being the best center in the league. Yes, injuries have happened. But the guy was tough enough to play in the finals even though he was injured, and made a huge difference.

    Melo guarantees us nothing. We have a team that beat two very good teams in the finals last year. The time to win is now. We have a chance to win 3 chips in a row. That must not be overlooked. When Barnes is back, we will be deeper, have more energy off the bench and more rest for kobe and artest. That is all we need. This team is going to be considered one of the best of all time when it is all said and done. And Andrew Bynum, if he can stay healthy, will be the key.

  67. Joel,

    I think “Birdman” Chris Andersen would give us 1.6 blocks and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from Bynum since he gutted it out last year but count me in on the side of people who think some Laker fans are overestimating Bynum’s value.

    If you quantum leaped 19 year old Andrew Bynum (before he hurt his knee the first time) in this equation there isn’t 5 people in the league I would trade him for, but this Bynum is an injury prone, slow twitch guy who’s 23 but plays like a guy in his 30’s. When healthy he’s still a top 5 center, but there are a lot of “when” and “if’s” when talking about him.

  68. I get what you are saying Darius, I was one of the fans that would have traded Bosh for Bynum last year if I had it my way (I think he would have been a better fit for the triangle). BTW I don’t think Kobe has been that up and down. I have trust in Phil and the team, I think where I along with many other fans that are considering the trade is in the trust of Bynum’s knees.

    I should have rephrased my comment, the next 4 games will only intensify the need and pressure to either get a deal done or keep things the way they are (whether a deal is needed or not). Just the simple fact that the trade deadline is approaching and all these rumors are swirling around will only intensify and make people question Bynum’s worth whether the sample size is large enough or not. If that makes any sense.

    And Travis I watched the series, go look at Bynum’s stats. He was barely on the floor at 18.5 minutes a game. And he had 5 fouls in 4 of the 5 games. He was not in game shape yet having just come back from the injury and he could not keep up to speed with Howard. Yes indeed Pau softie Gasol did the dirty work in stopping superman, as much as people don’t want to admit it. Go back and look at games logs of Bynum against Howard, Bynum typically averages 4-5 fouls a game and has very reduced minutes.

  69. Bynum is still recovering from knee surgery, to say the Bynum we see right now is his ceiling is silly. Now to say Bynum is never gonna string together enough healthy seasons to justify a near max deal, that is fair. And I think the scale must be balanced, on one side, his size, defense and ability to score inside, on the other, the chance you can never move him for an elite player if he were to suffer another major knee injury.

    Still-I find it near impossible for Jim Buss to trade his most prized project

  70. I am so sick of people saying how this year is like last years. The Lakers have more deeper problems this year just due to the upgrade in competition. And anyone who can’t get that and sees no difference between this year and last year is the one kidding themselves. 50 games into the season, 0-5 to the elite with four bad loses and the Lakers play still has no meaning at all to some people

  71. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) February 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Just going to throw this out there…

    Think of how Pau Gasol was perceived when the Lakers traded for him. Now think of how he’s perceived now.

    Pau was soft. He didn’t play any defense. He couldn’t be a franchise player. He wasn’t one of the top-25 players in the league. He’s a one-dimensional scorer. Etc.

    Essentially, some of the talk from this thread is very similar. Players can develop other skills in different situations. In Memphis, Pau had to be the first, second and third scoring option on the team that he was on. He had to stay on the floor. Defense was secondary on his list of objectives.

    Here? Well, we still want him to score, but being surrounded by other players that can score removes some of the burden. Going from Memphis to LA, no longer is he a borderline All-Star. He’s described as “the most skilled big man in the league”. He’s become an above-average defender. Heck, he’s now a two-time champion who was able to face KG down in the finals.

    Who is to say that Melo doesn’t have a similar ability to transform his game when given a new situation? Think of the headcases he has on that team he’s currently on. Chris Anderson? Kenyon Martin? J.R. Freaking Smith? Before that…Allen Iverson?!

    Do you think being on the same team as Kobe and Pau and Phil might make a difference? In the Olympics, Melo was lights out good.

    Now imagine that Melo improves his defense, and his additional scoring removes some burden on, say, Kobe. Do you think Kobe might become a bit better of a defender as well? Anyone remember the Dobermamba from the Olympics?

    And the price is an injury-prone Bynum who has not made any sort of major contribution to our last couple of finals appearances anyway and may already be breaking down.

    The real question is this: Does LA see Bynum as a franchise caliber player down the line? My thought is NO. If you don’t see him as a franchise player, then eventually you cut your losses and deal him while his value is high BEFORE everyone else decides he isn’t a potential franchise player.
    The thing is, you don’t get a player of Melo’s caliber without being willing to give something good up. Trades like the one for Pau are the gaping exception, not the rule.

  72. #63 Thanks Travis…you are right on. Bynum gets no respect from too many. He is a tough kid whose guts helped the Lakers beat Boston–at the risk of greater serious injury. He’s only 23! A rookie really.

    Some said the Lakers won two titles essentially without him??!! How about we LOST the one title without him (08)

  73. Got the trade exception to work…

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=66funae

    EDIT: this is in reference to my earlier post… just noticed it is still awaiting moderation.

  74. Travis,
    Bynum Against Howard since 2008
    12/20/2008 Bynum 5 fouls in 12 minutes.
    1/16/2009 Bynum 33 minutes, however Dwight had 25 points and 20 Rebounds.

    2009 Finals Game 1 – 22 Minutes 4 fouls
    Game 2 – 16 Minutes 5 fouls
    Game 3 – 23 Minutes 2 fouls, Dwight with 21 and 14.
    Game 4 – 16 Minutes 5 fouls
    Game 5 – 17 minutes 5 fous

    2009-2010 Regular Season
    1/16 – Bynum 22 minutes, 2 fouls Dwight scores 24 and grabs 12
    3/7 – Bynum 20 minutes 5 fouls

    Bynum in effect has only been able to stay on the court against Dwight for one game, and he didn’t really slow down him that much in that game. He has been injured or recovering from injury in many of these games, however the stats say what I was trying to explain to you.

    If anything in the 2009 Finals the Lakers team defense, of Gasol and guards/forwards doubling down on Howard slowed him down and caused him to struggle.

  75. Igor @ 54 – “Drew has proven one thing – he can’t stay healthy. We’re on year 6 of waiting for him to be the guy we wish he would be. But he isn’t, and likely won’t be (see: Walton, Bill).”

    I see Bill Walton won two titles when just somewhat healthy. I saw with my own eyes what he brought to the Celtics during his title run with them. They were a monster team, one of the best I’ve ever seen, with him on the roster. (And I hate the C’s by the way).

    My point is, a team is, ideally, truly greater than the sum of its parts. Bynum provides that element. I’m not so sure ‘Melo does.

  76. I think the only way the Lakers swing this trade is if theres a third team involved or a second trade following it that lands the Lakers a back up center. The Lakers front office is smart enough to know that pseudo-center Pau with Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff is not gonna get it done in the playoffs. On the bright side for the Lakers, trading for Melo would give them three above average small forwards. That would give them the option of turning Artest into perhaps a Boris Diaw or Brenden Haywood level big man that could be serviceable off the bench. Just a thought, but I don’t think they make this deal without another one following it up immediately to fortify the center position.

  77. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) February 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    @76 – Adam

    You’re echoing Hollinger.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=Bynum-Melo-110208

    This really is the most intriguing trade rumor I’ve seen in a long time. It can make a lot of sense depending on the other pieces. I understand the thought process that trading Bynum without getting SOME SORT of big back or an upgrade at PG in return is a tough sale for Laker fans, but as the two principles in a larger deal….?

    Jose Calderon and Melo being the pieces the Lakers get back, along with Chris Anderson, pretty much checks off every box on the Laker wish list.

    Improvement at PG? Check!
    Massive upgrade at Small Forward? Check!
    Reasonably good big man back? Check!

    What would LA give up? Bynum obviously. Artest? Probably. If not him, then probably Barnes. And then the Sasha trade exemption.

    I’d have a very hard time saying no to that.

  78. I actually think a much better fit than Carmelo would be Andre Iguodala, considering he’s a much better defender and doesn’t need the ball to be effective. He’s also cheaper ($12M vs $17M for Melo) and won’t command a max contract like Melo will.

    If we can’t unload Ron Artest in any Bynum/Melo deal and get back a quality center (and by quality, I mean something like Gortat), then I say no deal. The on-court flaws aside, the financials leave us much worse off with Melo instead of Bynum.

  79. 67

    I’m not particularly concerned about Bynum’s value right now. What I’m saying is that he was absolutely a contributor to the 2010 title, even if that contribution was curtailed by injuries.

    More importantly, I’m just not sold on Carmelo individually or as a good fit for this team, regardless of who is traded to acquire him.

  80. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) February 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @78 – Zephid

    But what is Bynum going to command in a couple of years from now when his contract comes up? A year from now, the option on Bynum is $16M if I remember right. (Not that big of difference than Melo at that point.)

    And then two years after that, you have to make a choice. SOMEONE is going to come along and offer Bynum a max or near-max deal because big men like Bynum are rare and they always get overpaid.

    Basically, I’m not so sure that Bynum is THAT much cheaper for the Laker books than Melo is both next year and a couple of years from now.

    And then you also have to imagine the rest of this plausible scenario.

    Starting Lineup:

    Jose Calderon
    Kobe Bryant
    Carmelo Anthony
    Lamar Odom
    Pau Gasol

    Unstoppable offensively. Calderon is terrible as a defender, but he’s no worse than Fisher or Blake and a massive upgrade offensively along with an excellent outside shooter. You lose some upfront defense and rebounding, but gain a ton of extra ball movement and offense by playing Gasol and Odom together.

    With Melo in the starting lineup, you also hope that he’s so damned athletic that when surrounded by an actual sane support system as opposed to what he’s had in Denver, he can become a good defender. Lebron was a terrible defender at first and has overcome that. Heck, Gasol was a bad defender initially as well.

    Now we go to the bench…

    PG: Fisher/Blake
    SG: Shannon Brown
    SF: Either Artest or Barnes…whomever isn’t involved in the trade
    PF: Either Gasol or Odom
    C: Either Gasol or Chris Anderson

    This unit improves you defensively. Adding Chris Anderson into the mix gives you a serviceable big who can play either position, and is a great help defender. Either Artest or Barnes can help protect leads, and probably enjoy being more of an offensive option off the bench than they are currently with the present starting lineup.

    Shannon Brown as a backup SG has been more than workable, and in a pinch you can bring back either Kobe or Melo if scoring is lacking.

    Now think of crunchtime situations. The Laker problem in these situations is twofold:

    1. Nobody other than Kobe can really create their own shot or setup their teammates.
    2. Everyone else in the universe knows this.

    But with Melo? Whole new ballgame. It throws uncertainty around who the ball is going to go to for your opponents, which opens things up for both of them. Gasol and/or Odom are free to be rolling to the hoop when their man doubles off of them to help on Kobe or Melo.

    Having a second guy who can create in the clutch, and actually doesn’t get scared of taking clutch shots, and this is a scary team in crunch situations.

  81. This trade still does seem far-fetched but it is awfully fun to talk about. I understand the concerns about losing Bynum and agree that his performance last year helped considerably in the Lakers’ victory over the Celtics. But any trade of this magnitude isn’t without risk. And this one has plenty assuredly. But I guess I just see the value of this trade over the long term to be worth taking that risk.

    The Lakers haven’t been as successful as they’ve been over the years because they’ve been risk averse. People forget how controversial it was to trade Norm Nixon for Byron Scott. Or even to swap Vlade for some 17 year-old kid. The Lakers have been consistently great in part because they’ve been bold.

    Much of this team’s success – both now and later – rests on the shoulders of Kobe Bryant. I think Carmelo Anthony could relieve much of that burden.

  82. Wow, Hollinger’s three-way trade idea is a real doozy. There’s like 37 players involved. No chance that happens, and not just because Fish is involved.

  83. You people talk like Bynum is the ultimate center and can in no way he should be traded. Really? Bynum is not even a star yet. He is not a consistent scorer and is not even a great defender/rebounder considering his size. Surely injuries may have a lot to do with that, but I don’t think we are really going to get much more out of Bynum come playoffs than what you see now. Anthony may not be top 5, but I know he can take over a game just as much as anyone in the league and he is extremely clutch, that is the kind of stuff you need come playoffs.

  84. Serious question: How does Melo help the Lakers defense and rebounding? LA, right now, is the top offensive team in the league. Is improving on that side of the ball really that important?

  85. Setting aside the possibility, advisability, or chances of a deal happening, it’s worth keeping this in mind: Denver is desperate not to let him walk for nothing, so they’re in a terrible position. However, Carmelo is desperate to be dealt now so he doesn’t have to walk at the end of the season, where he’ll likely lose tens of millions with a deal under the new CBA. Since everyone knows he’s desperate, he’s killing his own value, so the 50-point game and these rumors are both calculated to increase his value.

    Conditions are ripe for the sort of trade that would probably cripple Denver, but they’d be more crippled if he walked. I don’t envy their front office right now.

    So, that in mind, I just spent an entertaining few minutes with the Trade Machine working up some completely insane deals, sending Denver crappy (but expiring) contracts and trying to rescue Nash from the Suns. In the interest of keeping everyone’s eyes from rolling completely out of their sockets I won’t share them, but it was fun.

    I bet there’s a few tense team flights today.

  86. I personally believe Kobe would object to this trade.

    For one, what is the Lakers’ biggest strength that everyone always mention? The Lakers’ trio of big men, of course.

    Second, Kobe still wants to be the man. In the beginning of the season, the Lakers were rolling and Pau was dominating. That was when talks of Pau being more valuable than Kobe started, along with praises of Pau’s MVP play. There was actually a point (or game) in time where you can actually pinpoint the transformation of Kobe, when he literally started firing away to get himself back in the top 5 in PPG.

    That’s my opinion, anyways. Kobe is a better all around player, no doubt, but Melo is a better offensive player.

    As for Bynum, I’m hoping that he can finally stay healthy for playoff time. We are already ahead with an uneventful road game in Memphis in January.

  87. Well rebounding remains to be seen Darius, however one of the Lakers biggest issues is against teams like Miami where they have matchup issues on the defensive end. Bringing in Melo gives them a strong athletic guy who could give Lebron a run for his money. Heck an inspired Melo could do a solid job on Durant and Pierce too, he is athletic enough and like people have been saying on here he hasn’t really played in a defensively sound system. Having him here solves issues against the more athletic teams that play small ball, I agree though that against the bigger frontlines there would be more trouble. On a side note on rebounding Carmelo averages more rebounds than Bynum does.

    JM I disagree, I think Kobe would sign off on this in a heartbeat, it will prolong his career by getting a guy like Melo. But if you want his thoughts Kobe will be on the Mason and Ireland show at 2 pm, I’m sure they’ll ask him about it and he’ll dance around the question. Behind close doors I bet Kobe is begging to get it done, after the Olympics Kobe and Melo became BFFs for life.

  88. Darius, from my perspective, it’s a question of the future. Do the Lakers want to pass on opportunity to be formidable for years to come or make a run this year and maybe the next one? They’ll certainly be a worse defensive and rebounding team in the short term (assuming Birdman isn’t part of the deal, although I happen to think that is the best move for both squads). But taking the burden off of Kobe is a huge advantage in the years to come.

  89. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

    Much like the Bynum for Bosh banter last year – this is ridiculous. I assure you it wont happen. Like FBG pointed out, when do we ever hear a “rumor” of what Mitch is about to do. I don’t recall ever seeing something called in the press before he did it.

    Besides – the Lakers defense is what needs the most help. I agree Bynum isn’t the answer either – phil always says his upside is his defense – which we rarely see. He’s in pain again already this year and agree he should be moved, but it’s not going to happen for melo.

  90. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) February 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    @84

    Darius, I don’t think JUST Melo for Bynum improves you in defense or rebounding WHEN BYNUM IS HEALTHY.

    But I also wonder if that is all of the Laker problem. Lakers were 18-7 without Bynum. They’re 18-9 with him. If you can, say, get a Chris Anderson back in the Bynum trade then I don’t think you lose THAT much defensively.

    There’s also the presumption that Melo can’t improve on defense. I look at Gasol when we first traded for him and Gasol now as an example, or even the strides that Lebron has made in that area. I think Melo, put in a better situation with less headcases around him, and with the influence of Kobe, Gasol, Lamar, Phil, etc. can become a better defender.

    I also have a serious concern that the Lakers need to add athleticism to STAY a good defensive team. Jerry West, who, lest we forget, is probably the best talent evaluator in the league, thinks that the Lakers are just getting too old and that they won’t be able to play good defense much longer unless they get an injection of athleticism.

  91. Let’s see what we lose:
    Drew’s rebounding – Melo’s rebounding = Net rebounding loss.
    Artest’s defense – Melo’s defense = SF defense loss.
    Bynum’s C defense – Pau’s C defense = C defense loss.

    What we gain:
    Drew’s scoring – Drew’s touches * Melo’s eFG or TS or whatever = scoring difference
    If Melo gets touches that were meant for Gasol and Kobe, do the same thing for above.

    Honestly, if we are to trade Bynum, I’d go for Marc Gasol ;) If he’s as smart as his brother, we’d have even more chemistry.

  92. Reign on Parades February 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Kobe is friends with Melo and greatly respects his abilities, and is probably well aware of how little Bynum has actually contributed to the teams’ championship picture in the past. I don’t think he’d object, to be honest.

    That doesn’t mean we should pull the trigger on this even if Kobe is pushing to get Bynum’s ass shipped out again

    Darius is right about the notion of Melo being a top 5 player and I’d take it a step further and argue he’s not top 10, only Brandon Roy’s knees and a few other guys getting older probably mean Melo now is top 10 by way of attrition. I haven’t given it too much thought.

  93. Wow, open up the trade floodgates and there are lots of different opinions and ideas here at FB&G today, and this is a great entertaining thread for sure. I say keep our 7 foot 285 pound Center with good hands (who are very rare), if we are to think about a three-peat. Jim Buss killing any Bynum trade kind of ends all of this talk anyway, right? I do like Carmelo Anthony though, do not get me wrong, but the Lakers do not need him, they need a Bynum with healthy knees for the next decade of so, if that is possible.

  94. When has Bynum ever really controlled the boards? Don’t we always complain about how we wish he would rebound and block shots more? The majority of the rebounding on this team comes from Gasol and Odom.

  95. Darius @ 84, here’s a serious answer to your serious question: Improving offense is not what the Lakers need. They need the abilty to dig deep and grind it out come playoff time. Assuming they make the playoffs, of course.

  96. Reign on Parades February 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    88. Bynum controls the paint which is a lot more important than controlling the glass. Guys who try to contest/block every shot are out of position for a lot of rebounds, which is why Amar’es numbers while fantastically bad for a Center, should be taken with a grain of salt before damning the man. Amar’e isn’t a concession player at that end any more, although he’s not as effective as he needs to be. Conversely a lot of rebound monsters like Kevin Love, Z-Bo, and Reggie Evans can’t protect the rim for their lives. But I digress.

    Straight player for player these are the only guys I think a “Bynum for” swap would significantly help, roughly in order and without regard to health:

    -Dwight Howard
    -LeBron James
    -Chris Paul
    -Deron Williams
    -Kevin Durant
    -Dirk Nowitzki

    Probably forgetting someone but that almost reads like a top non-Lakers list in general. Not that I’m saying Bynum is a superstar, but I am saying we’ll need a superstar impact at a position of need to replace what we’ll lose by trading him. On that note I think only LeBron, Paul, or Deron could be more valuable to the Lakers than Pau Gasol is and maybe not even those three if you consider how even more valuable Gasol is when Bynum is hurt.

    That being said, I won’t pretend that Melo isn’t a star talent who would help the Lakers in some ways:

    -Foul drawing: self explanatory
    -Size and length on the perimeter: I think it’s more important to have you size and length on the interior but still, even as much as people are knocking Melo’s defense let’s not forget that he’s still young, long, and strong. Plus if you saw him in that ‘Cuse zone defense, well, I just think he could be good defensively in the right situation. And Los Angeles is a good situation, although not quite as good without Bynum.
    -Star power + youth: The thing that makes Melo a not-so-good fit in my mind is that Kobe basically does almost everything Melo can (creating ones own shot in a variety of ways in particular) and he can actually run an offense when not playing Kobeball. Melo only knows how to play Meloball, but I think he could adapt to a team system and he could be the face of our franchise when Kobe’s star fades. Essentially, because of the redundancies, the less valuable Kobe becomes the more valuable Melo becomes.

    But I’ve seen this team with just Gasol and Odom manning the front lines and it’s almost like perpetual small ball because Gasol is a PF/C and Odom in a past life was considered a SF. A legit C is a great thing to have and they’re few and far between, why give up the one we have unless it’s for a total game changer?

  97. Well, well, well. I say move Bynum if we can get Melo and a backup big of any quality. I would have traded Bynum for Bosh when that was a possibility and I would do this trade now because, quite frankly, we don’t know how long Drew will stay healthy. That’s the billion dollar question. Anyway it probably won’t happen, but if it is possible then do it.

  98. Darius,

    Regarding the rebounding difference, it’s not fair to compair Melo to Bynum directly. Rather, it’s who Melo would replace (or take a large share of minutes away from) and who’d replace Bynum. Using Hollinger’s trade scenario (and yeah, that seems unlikely to me too, but just as an example), Melo would replace Ron, and Odom and Anderson would be the guys replacing Bynum’s minutes. Melo’s career rebounding rate is better than Artest’s, and this year, it’s a huge difference of 12.8 vs. 6.1. Anderson has virtually the same rebounding (slightly better) rate as Bynum, this year, and in his career. Melo’s rate would probably come down if he played for the Lakers w/ Gasol, Odom, and Bryant, but the difference in rebounding between him and Artest is significant. While the defense will probably suffer, I’m not so sure rebounding would.

  99. I really like melo’s game and think that right now he is probably the deadliest pure scorer in the league that isn’t named kevin durant. dude can seriously fill it up. but, as other people have mentioned, there are serious concerns with him involving his ability/ willingness to play defense and his need for many touches on a team that already has a lot of great scoring options…personally, though interesting, I would not want this trade done because I feel like it changes what’s unique about us: that we have 2 legit 7-footers in our starting lineup with an extremely long and talented big coming off the bench. We are just about always the bigger team on the court and this is a real advantage, especially come playoff time when the pace slows. Also, our 3 bigs are extremely talented and have completely different skill-sets so the flexibilty they afford is unparalleled in the league. Giving up the one true center we have (not including ratliff because he is not a serviceable option to play heavy minutes) for melo makes us legitimately thin up front with pau taking on the primary center role. Personally, I am not comfortable with this and I can’t imagine how anyone else could be. Whether or not Drew is the piece that the lakers will build around in the future once the kobe/pau days are gone is yet to be seen, but the lakers are squarely in “win-now” mode and I believe that this team with Bynum, as opposed to Melo, gives us the best chance to win now. They did it the last 2 years and if you think the evidence from this regular season trumps the evidence from the last 2 titles then I really don’t know what to say to you other than, “i disagree.”

  100. The grass is always greener on the other side… Until we put the larry o’brien trophy on our lawn.

  101. I would only do the trade if all 3 conditions are met:

    1. Kobe OK’s the deal; players have *feel* for the game and teammates in the locker room. If Kobe feels he can share the ball and make this works, the trade may turn out positive.
    2. We get a serviceable big man back; no way Pau can get through a deep playoff run starting @5.
    3. Coaching staff believes that 30 regular season games will be enough to work this out.
    I like Melo’s talent, very few star player can be a threat just about anywhere on the court like Melo. Unfortunately this is not about talent alone. I’m leaning towards getting Melo if the 3 conditions are met, especially the 1st one.

  102. If the deal inolves Nene we become beyond a super team.

    Nene is a decent defender with added athleticism over bynum and a decent jumper which would help maintain space for the triangle while allowing us to maintain a 3 headed monster at the C/PF position.

    Before I was fairly adament that trading character should be out of the question because from what I have seen if he gets burn he is equal or better than paul milap but character added with ebanks, luke and ou trade exception should be enough to get nene added into the deal.

    this would give us a starting five of

    fisher
    kobe
    carmelo
    pau
    nene

    with odom, ron, barnes, and shannon off the bench.

    on certain night kobe can guard PGs and move Ron to the 2 which besides a lack of depth a C would make us huge at every other position with every single player being able to play his man in the post.

    In the long history of the lakers it has always been a shift between lead guard and star center thus why Jim is probably so against moving bynum but fielding this type of team would just be insane.

  103. One thing Bynum has proven to me is that he can’t stay healthy. This reeks of the KG for Shaq, Dirk for Shaq rumors back in 2003-04. LA should have taken those deals but they ended up crapping away Kobe’s prime and getting LO, Caron and Brian Grant they lost all trade leverage. Now they are about to crap away Kobe’s last years bc the C can’t stay healthy. Pau is gonna have to play the 5 either way. I trust Mitch’s judgment but he should think long and hard about this trade.

  104. So, we spend three years with two really good big men (and LO), cause the other contendors to stock pile big serviceable bodies to combat us, and then we trade away one of our bigs (and major advantages) and allow the monsters we’ve created to give us a taste of our own medicine by throwing big bodies that we will no longer be able to defend against?

    I’m sorry, Melo can go elsewhere, unless he gains 4 inches and 50 pounds

  105. 94

    “I would not want this trade done because I feel like it changes what’s unique about us: that we have 2 legit 7-footers in our starting lineup with an extremely long and talented big coming off the bench. We are just about always the bigger team on the court and this is a real advantage, especially come playoff time when the pace slows. Also, our 3 bigs are extremely talented and have completely different skill-sets so the flexibilty they afford is unparalleled in the league.”

    To add to this point, by trading for Melo you’re giving up this advantage while still failing to address the one glaring weakness (PG) that has plagued the team for years. On top of that, you’re now asking Carmelo Anthony to be your defensive stopper in place of Ron Artest. Good luck with that.

  106. When did Nene come part of the deal lol? Though I would actually trade just Nene for Bynum honestly, I think Nene is a more competive tough player who actually does not have a bad offensive game.

  107. The hard thing to ponder for Kupchak is… the window of opportunity to get Melo is now or never. You could bring him in and build a super-super team to contend with the Miami Heat (who we know are going to get much better after they flesh out that roster). Or you can take your best shot at the threepeat this year and ride this thing as far as Kobe can carry it. We all know Kobe will eventually lose the mojo to be the alpha-male on the squad. And we also know Gasol or Bynum will never fill that gap. When Kobe loses his ability to dominate, will we be able to get another player like Melo for him to pass the baton to?

    A Melo trade would carry huge implications for the future of the Lakers. It would leave obvious short-term holes in the frontcourt, but Mitch could flesh that out eventually. The question is whether the title is within reach this year without a shake-up.

    If the trade rumors don’t wake everybody up before the Boston game Thursday, I’d get serious about pulling it if I were Kupchak. The Boston game will be a real barometer for whether or not this team has it anymore. Not saying they have to win, but it’s gotta be a serious improvement over the game in January.

  108. Joel who said Melo has to be a defensive stopper? We would ask him to be a multifaceted player, not one dimensional. Who says in crunch time Phil couldn’t run out a lineup of Kobe at PG, Ron at SG, and melo at SF. That backout lineup defensively is better than anything we could offer right now.

    This is my last thought on this whole idea, if you look at polls on places like sportcenter 70%+ of sports fans that vote would trade Bynum for Melo. This either means one of two things, A)- the people here that don’t want to trade for Melo are smarter than the average sports fan or B)- We as fans are too close to the issue and have no unbiased opinions on what to do. With all that being said I have heard one consistent thing from fans from different teams and different team blogs and that is that teams would be TERRIFIED of Melo coming to the Lakers, as currently constructed nobody is afraid of facing LA with Bynum.

  109. Please, please, please stop this, “the one glaring weakness (PG) that has plagued the team for years” nonsense. We are weak at PG because the triangle doesn’t work well with a ball-dominating PG. This frustrates the entire way we play.

    If you want to postulate the end of the triangle – fine – but, until then please just be quiet.

  110. #98. Kirk,
    I’m not comparing Anthony to Bynum in that department. I’m asking how trading Bynum improves those areas and while I asked the question, I already have an opinion: it doesn’t.

    I can talk up Anthony as much as the next guy. While stat heavy analysis leads to questions about his efficiency and how good a player he actually is, I think his ability to score the ball is rare. I also agree that he can improve defensively as I’ll rarely make the assumption that players can’t improve when the talent and love for the game is there (something I also think of Bynum, btw). So, I don’t need to be sold on the virtues of Anthony.

    What I need to be sold on is how he helps the Lakers *team* more than Bynum does. So far, no one has done that selling. It’s just how I see it. I’ll admit it’s an intriguing proposal and it’s a close call that deserves time to consider. But, in the end, I’m still in the camp that if you were to look at the Lakers right now with a PF/C combo of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom and a SF combo of Artest, Barnes, and (sometimes) Kobe I’ll take that group over a PF/C combo of Gasol, Odom, Ratliff/Smith/Birdman? and a SF combo of Anthony, Artest, and Barnes. Just how I see it.

    Looking to future is why this deal is most intriguing but even considering that I feel that we should cross that bridge when we come to it. For all the hand wringing about who follows Kobe as the next great Laker, I find myself thinking that the Lakers always seem to find *someone*. Whether it was a trade for Kareem, getting their hands on the draft picks that turned into Magic/Worthy, signing a FA Shaq, or trading for Kobe the Lakers have usually been able to find a guy that can carry the mantle. Is that putting too many eggs in that basket? Maybe. But I’ll roll the dice with this core – one that’s gone to three straight Finals and won back to back championships – than break it up now in the middle of a run.

  111. Out of curiosity, if the deal were actually Bynum-Barnes-Brown for Anthony-Anderson, as I’ve seen speculated elsewhere, would any of you turn it down? And if so, why? The only reason I can think of is money.

  112. Wow, I guess there was a lot of pent up demand for trade speculation.

    Darius, you’ve opened Pandora’s box – will you be able to close it?

  113. #108. All of the smart, basketball analysts that I’ve spoken to (people who I trust and who have no interest in whether the Lakers win or not) think swapping the two players weakens the Lakers. I had a long conversation with a Boston fan that really knows the game and he told me that he’d much prefer Melo on the Lakers vs. Bynum due to fact that the Lakers give up size and add an isolation scorer that elite defenses typically find ways to limit. And while I don’t know any smart Heat fans (that’s not meant as a zing, it’s just I don’t know many Heat fans in general) I’d imagine they’d like to see less Bynum (like they did on Christmas) rather than having him active.

  114. #112. Yes, as I’m the guy behind the scenes that reads every comment and can moderate things as I see fit. Also, I trust that this community of commenters are respectful of the commenting guidelines and things will fall back into its normal way soon. I mean, we play Boston on Thursday, the Knicks on Friday, and Orlando on Sunday. We’ll be back to talking X’s and O’s very quickly. Today’s report demanded some dialogue but this will blow over. If it doesn’t, comments will be moderated and deleted. And I won’t apologize for it either.

  115. Darius-110

    I’m with you, to an extent, on the “cross that bridge when we get there” conversation for who follows Kobe. The thing that concerns me is that the Heat, once they get their roster balanced and find a new coach, are probably going to dominate at least 4 out of the next 6 seasons….. Unless Melo, Durant, Howard, D-Rose, D-Will or CP3 find a way to form or join in on an elite team. I’d rather one of them join the Lakers, and Melo for Bynum might be the only way that happens.

  116. Darius, it’s true that the Lakers always seem to find someone to be the “next guy” but it seems to me that with Anthony now, it allows us to preserve Kobe for a longer period of time by reducing the burden on him. He simply shoulders far too heavy a load to maintain his level of play for much longer. If we are confident that Gasol and Bynum can mature into that (and fast), then maybe it doesn’t make sense to make the trade. I’m a huge Gasol fan, but I’m just not confident he or Bynum is that type of player. I don’t see either being Magic to Kobe’s Kareem. And we’ve got a lot of time and money wrapped up in this team as currently constructed. How many more runs do they have left in them?

  117. #116. My thing is that Kobe has already been averaging his lowest minutes since his first couple of seasons this year. Before Barnes got hurt he’d only played 40 minutes twice. The Lakers are already starting to cut back and are using their assets (and spending wisely) to build a team that can compete even with Kobe playing less. It may not be a 65 win, “we’re clearly the best team in the league” team but it’s a good one that can compete for titles for 2-3 more seasons. Personally, that’s all I’m looking for and then we’ll look for the next thing when it’s time. The Lakers can’t and won’t be on top forever. It’s why I savor these moments so much.

  118. 109

    Excuse me? Where did I mention a ball-dominating PG? Are you seriously telling me there is no way to upgrade on Derek Fisher at that spot without while executing the triangle successfully? Fisher is an erratic shooter, a slow-footed defender, a poor finisher at the rim, and a mediocre decision-maker. That has nothing to do with the triangle, those are his weaknesses as a player.

    I am perfectly aware of the fact that a Deron Williams or Chris Paul would not be ideal in the triangle and I don’t need your condescending self to point it out to me. That doesn’t mean there is no way to improve at that position (Kirk Hinrich being an example that is often mooted).

  119. Darius, I just think Bynum is very much overrated and does not help the Lakers as much as you and other fans make him out to be. The Lakers record with Bynum this year is virtually the same as without him. He really is not a great defender or rebounder for his size. He does clog the paint a bit but idk….on top of everything I said, he really is not a very tough or competitive player. I don’t think we are good enough to beat the elite with Bynum obviously, and even though there could be some weaknesses with Melo, there are also some big advantages. the guy can just flat out score. I think having him will open things up for Kobe and Pau. Less double teams on Pau especially. I know you talk about the Lakers already having the best offensive efficiency, but against the elite teams with good defense, our offense has really struggled at times. Not to mention, he is super clutch too. Lots of close games in the playoffs and I would take my chances on the team that has Melo and Kobe down the clutch. Lastly, I don’t think Melo is going to come over trying to take over the team, I think he is the kind of guy who would just rather do what he needs to do to win.

  120. Darius,

    I’d like to add something to your statement about Kobe’s minutes being down. A lot of people are (relatively) down on Kobe this year because they claim that his production is down and he’s starting to “lose a step”, but if you were to look at his stats per 48 minutes, you’d see that he’s leading the league in scoring based on this rate.

    Also, if Kobe can save his legs, come playoff time Kobe will continue to be the monster is he can maintain the same scroring pace.

    I just thought I’d add that in because your statement on Kobe’s minutes reminded me of this.

    (Btw, if you do need to moderate, there’s definitely no need to apologize, because you’ll be doing all of us a favor – so thanks in advance)

  121. Fair enough. I savor these moments too. Where we ultimately differ however is in our confidence that the Lakers can compete for titles for another 2 or 3 years. This year, yes. Next year, maybe. After that I think time will have caught up with Kobe. It’s true that his minutes have been managed much better. But I think it’s more than managing minutes, it’s relieving him of having to carry the team when it matters. I just don’t think he’s going to be able to do that for much longer.

  122. What’s the likelihood of Bynum making it to the end of his contract without another injury? Depending on how you answer that, and on how the Lakers answer that, will determine if you are in favor of this trade or not.

  123. Speaking of the PG position, someone hurry up and invent a time machine so we can acquire Ron Harper from 1996. Perfect Triangle point.

    Plus, he’d be cheap: “Hey Ron, come to the future. Check out this iPhone….”

  124. 108

    OK, that’s an interesting crunch time lineup if it happens. I think it’s a safe bet however that Melo and Kobe would eat up the vast majority of the minutes at the wing spots, which means one of them has to guard the other team’s best SG/SF for most of the game. Kobe can’t take on that role at this point in his career (and he wouldn’t be able to handle most SFs anyway) so that leaves Melo. Needless to say I would not be wildly optimistic about that scenario.

  125. #119. Color me surprised that you’re down on an individual Laker or the team’s overall chances. One of these years, you’ll be right. Also, I’ve not once mentioned chemistry or roles because that stuff normally works itself out. What I did mention was the X’s and O’s associated with having another high usage wing and how that could potentially affect the offense. In the end, there’s a good chance the offense would be better but that’s not a guarantee.

  126. 1) It’s almost impossible to get Nene in a Melo deal. We CANNOT combine the trade exception with another player. Birdman however fits in the trade exception, hence my proposal from before (comment 62).

    2) We cannot trade Brown without his consent. And given that he took less money to go for another run with the lakers, I don’t see why he’d agree to a deal to a rebuilding denver of all places.

    3) Nobody wants Luke. Seriously. Nobody.

  127. Darius, I am not really trying to say Bynum is a bad player. He has some good talent and is long as all get out. I just don’t think he is what everyone makes him out to be. Some people think the Lakers chances of winning a championship all depends on how well Bynum plays. Bynum is usually not even out their on the court at the end of games…

  128. Bynum for Melo is interesting in its own right, but I don’t think this alone works for the Lakers. If we’re somehow able to swap one of our extra SFs, and since we know Walton is untradeable I’m specifically talking about Artest, for a solid backup big then the Lakers are improved. Would an Artest-Haywood swap sit easier with everyone here? He’s a true center but also a true backup, and Dallas is still searching for a good replacement for Caron Butler.

  129. I personally want Melo for Bynum for all the reasons stated by the pro-Melo camp.

    I don’t think it’ll happen simply because it’s Phil Jackson’s last stand, and he probably would rather not want to teach Melo about the intricacies of the triangle and mediate the distribution of shots between Kobe and Melo.

    If anything, any major moves would be made in the offseason, after the new CBA is ratified, after we know if there is going to be a new season, and if/when Phil retires. The core of this team has taken us to 3 Finals, seems to me that Phil may want to leave the “party” with the same people he came with.

    If Melo is somehow traded to us, I guarantee you Mitch would find a way to swap Artest out since he would not be a happy bench player. Nice turnout on this thread!

    Darius, so when is the annual Kirk Hinrich thread scheduled? :-P

  130. Couple of points:

    1. I am not convinced Andrew helps all that much against Miami in the event of a Finals meeting with them. As Tom Haberstroh pointed out this week, Miami’s three-headed center rotation is not nearly as bad on D/boards as some think.
    2. The Lakers cannot base everything on a hypothetical matchup with Boston that may never happen. People talk about Miami and Boston, but if we are talking how it would affect matchups, focus on SA, DAL and OKC.
    3. I really like Andrew, but he plays, as noted, like he is about 31. Add that to the injury risk and you can see a case for this–I would take Anthony over the net three years, I think.
    4. To me, it comes down to two questions:
    a) Can the Lakers move Artest if they add Anthony?
    b) Can they get a serviceable big back that Phil will play 15-20 MPG?

    I said earlier in the thread that I was 53047 against. If A and B above are “yes”, then I am 50/50.

    But again–I seriously doubt this goes down.

  131. Geez, wasn’t it last week that there was a consensus that the Lakers would never trade Bynum?
    I love the idea of trading him now while he still can get off the bench, rather than waiting till he Yaos out of the league.

  132. Lakers8884,

    You being a Laker fan I would have assumed you saw the 09 Finals. When Bynum was guarding Howard, Howard grew frustrated because Bynum’s size was difficult to shoot over. Bynum was able to body Howard up early and often. After taking the brunt of the initial force Pau was able continue the major task of defending Howard and did an admirable job.

    Both of them did a great job bodying Howard. However, if Pau had to do that for the entire series, I guarantee you he would not have had as big an impact on offense.

    Having Bynum take the defensive load off helped Pau.

    I don’t know why we can’t acknowledge his effort and HUGE contribution to the championships.

    This is basketball not fantasy. The Lakers think big picture, playoffs, and Finals.

    Not points or having 4 Lakers in the All Star Game.

    Now if you could say we would certainly win 3 of the next 5 championships but lose this year that would be interesting. But just adding Melo and losing Bynum would not put us in that position as Darius has stated. Marginal improvement offensively and definite loss in defense.

    The Lakers don’t want Melo but it was fun to speculate today wasn’t it Laker fans?

  133. JFlynn is finally putting up some nice #s for the Wolves, and Telfair is a capable backup – the Wolves are on a two-game tear on the road with this combo!

    so, my point is: Luke Ridnour could be available. (I know, last year I was positing Sessions as our point guard.. at least Ridnour can shoot the 3.)

  134. Is it me, or is trading the 2nd best Center in the NBA for it’s 3rd best SF not a great idea? Especially when you domt have another Center on the team and you aren’t getting one in return.

  135. @38 Ethan

    If we can’t package Luke and Ron with Bynum for Melo AND Nene this deal does not get done. Be happy with Wilson Chandler, Ronnie Brewer and the 24th pick.

  136. Speculation abounds. All a ploy. And irresponsible headline-writing from Broussard.

  137. My question is, if the Lakers front office believed that the current Lakers as constructed are good enough to win the title again, why haven’t they put a stop on this trade talk already? Either they don’t have as much faith as they did before, or Nuggets’ owner paid Jerry Buss to gain leverage on the Knicks.

  138. Listen, I like Carmelo. But he isn’t a superstar player. He is an elite scorer who cant do anything else very well. If you are playing with Kobe you better be able to do so e other things because shots are going to be hard to come by. He isn’t a great athlete like Lebron who can defend and rebound and create shots for others. Don’t get me wrong… He is still the 3rd best SF in the NBA. But that’s just not good enough.

  139. I can just imagine David Stern praying on his knees for this Melo trade to Lakers. Imagine in 2011 NBA final, you get Kobe/Melo/Gasol vs LeBron/Wade/Bosh, the rating will be crazy. What would happen to the rating if you get Spurs vs Celtics in the final?

    As much as a basketball purist would love to see the team game operates like a symphony, this league is still marketed based on match-ups and stars vs stars as major selling point.

    To save this league from blocking itself out next season, Mitch should pull the trigger. Stern and the Players’ Union should pray that Lakers and Heat go against each other for the Championship. With the record setting rating, and hopefully the league will have enough revenue sharing to save the small-market teams.

  140. Regarding Bosh for Bynum:

    Lakers8884 wrote on January 10, 2010:

    “Kurt, I agree with everything you’ve just said but . . .
    Hypothetically if the Lakers do not do well for the rest of this month and we start to accumulate significant losses on the road and towards the start of February, would you start to entertain the idea? –

    Defensively we may lose something (although I think very little) because Bynum inconsistently brings his effort to the game and as good as he is he doesn’t bring it enough to this side of the floor. And I expect Bynum never will, kind of like how Shaq barely ever did his entire career. Bynum wants to be a scoring machine, so why not let him do it in Toronto.

    BOSH is a true gem of a prospect, the man can go head to head with any of the best PF’s in the league, including a healthy more youthful KG when I saw their matchups. Defensively if anyone remembers in the Olympics on the redeem team, Dwight often was benched for Bosh because he was more reliable and solid down low for the team. Dumping AMMO’s contract would be a plus and sadly if we have to roll the dice and lose Farmar, then be it. Bosh is a franchise player and actually reading the rumor made my pants wet. He is too intelligent and too athletic and talented to say he can’t integrate into the triangle as well as Gasol did (plus how much triangle do we even play lately). We would win the next 4 championships EASILY. This also leaves someone for the Lakers to depend on after Kobe retires to play with Gasol, and dont mention how bad the Raptors are or any of that crap the guy would give 1000% effort for a chance to win a championship.

    Make the trade Mitch it’s a billion dollar lottery ticket

    The main thing about this Bosh trade is while not many may consider it seriously right now, if things do not go well this month and our record starts to slip alot and we fall to the middle of the West. You have to consider looking at this trade seriously.

    I’m gonna give the team a chance until January 31st on the road against Boston to see how good we are, and if our record does not hold up and we falter down the stretch. I will write a personal letter to Mitch saying pull the trigger on this trade and make it happen. It would be a Valentine’s Day gift to all Lakers fans for this trade to go down.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I bet Kobe would trade Bynum for Bosh, he knows what Bosh can bring to the table and he doesnt seem to trust Bynum that much.

    76. You hit the nail on the head, and on top of that the Cleveland game showed we are incapable of guarding more athletic teams, by adding Bosh our defense would become much more versatile too and we wouldn’t have trouble with guarding teams as much. (although we will still have trouble guarding PG’s)

    And 78. I guess what alot of people are saying is with our current talent level in the NBA we dont need a true center, and we wont need one seeing as how the NBA is gearing towards more versatile big men and shying away from traditional centers.”

    I point this out because just like last year, a lot of people were saying that we weren’t good enough to win the Championship. We weren’t talented enough. We wouldn’t be able to beat the Clevelands. We weren’t great against teams over 500.

    Things worked out then. Without Bosh. I have faith that our team is talented enough. That our team as constructed has great chemistry. That the team, come playoff time will understand their roles. And their defense will get stronger. It’s exciting to talk about the possibility of another elite scorer, but we don’t see it. Bigs are more rare. Serviceable Bigs even rarer.

    We’re not #1 right now. We don’t need to be. We just need to be the better team come playoff time.

  141. IMO bad idea for the short term. We’d be short 1 big and an effective big at that. Also there’d be a huge logjam at sf. Now in the same Broussard article (he may be reliable, but as I recall Stephen A. had the “decision” before him…) he goes on to declare that Lakers had talks with Bobcats of Artest for Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace and that Michael Jordan was amenable to those talks. It was shot down b/c of Artest. Now I still trust Artest for his defensive ability and I truly think this team as currently constructed will be alright in the end, but if we are to make a move it should be something more along these lines. Part of what makes the Lakers great is 3 bad ass big men. I’m not willing to sacrifice that especially with all of the unknowns regarding the CBA and our potential ability to make up for the lost depth in the long run.

  142. This is a fun thread – a lot of well articulated pros, cons and sidebar proposals. The marquee trades are alway fun to speculate on but I can’t see anything Melo/Bynum actually happening. And, if Denver can juice this thing enough to get more than Manny, Moe or Jack out of an actual trade partner, then more power to them I guess. Regardless of where you rank Melo, he’s a franchise player and I can’t remember the last time a guy of his level got devalued so fast, due primarily to front office ineptitude. Whatever ends up happening will be labled ‘blockbuster’ in an attempt to save face… and the components that wind up in Denver will be gone before too long. As for the Lakers, I wouldn’t mind picking up a shooter somehow. Somebody on the fringes that won’t cost us much in money, trade or risk.

  143. Travis Y. Seriously, you are still harping on this? Did you not see that Bynum was barely on the floor against the Magic? What more convincing do you need? I watched the Finals clearly more than you did. I even own the games on iTunes. The statistics show Bynum has no effect on Dwight, the player that bothers him is Perkins, there is no
    comparison.

    Ray I’m not sure why you’d bring me into this from last year, I stand by that comment completely. I’d rather have Bosh than Bynum (better fit for the triangle). Yes Bynum helps against Boston but he doesn’t help against more athletic teams if anything he is a defensive liability. You can argue either way both sides have their valid points but just because the Lakers got a favorable road to the finals last year doesn’t make my comments wrong.

  144. Ray, Bynum averaged 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds last playoffs in less than 25 minutes. Yes he was injured towards the middle of the playoffs but in many games he was a no show as far as contributions and had trouble staying on the floor. I am pretty sure Bosh would have contributed just as much and he has no health issues and he is a big man. If anything being in Miami has shown he is a gem of a player and has the capability I saw on a good team in January of last year. Bynum struggles against more athletic teams that is a fact, in the Suns series of last season when he played he was effective but the trouble was the pace was too quick for him and he either was in foul trouble or a non factor (yes he was injured but he looked the same against Miami this year)

  145. No need to go too much in detail with this speculation, but Busboys4me has a list of interesting prospects in post #4:

    * Jarvaris Crittenton
    * OJ Mayo
    * Jamario Moon
    * Josh Childress
    * Aaron Brooks

    These guys might be had for the trade exception or even be swapped for Luke’s deal. Maybe not, we won’t know, but the point is that this might be closer to the kind of additions the Lakers are looking to make.

    I think the only probable shakeup in the core would be a trade of Artest, if the FO believes he is seriously disgruntled.

  146. On a side note… the leftovers in Denver, if a Melo trade goes down, might be more interesting for the Lakers.

    Nene, K-Mart, Billups etc… I could find some nice tweaks for the roster in the scrap heap.

  147. There is no need to blow up a squad that has been to three championships. If they don’t win a third, so be it. They’ve earned the right to make a stand. Bynum makes us unique. He made Boston go out and get their ghosts. Let’s get back healthy and see if it was good enough.

    Thanks TheDane. If anything, add a guard with some defensive quickness and an ability to hit a shot and all this nonsense goes away. We don’t need another ineffective scorer. We have enough of those already.

  148. Melo for Bynum. This is a no brainer! Come on man! How many of you will be crying if Bynum blows out a knee. The Celtics win because of great team D not just because of their size. No D can stop Kobe, Gasol, and Anthony. UnFNbelievable!!

  149. if only marc gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, i would seriously go for trading bynum and melo now.

    but since, he’s a restricted free agent and i don’t see how lakers could get a new skilled big. (he’s not gonna be easy, but we have his big bro – imagine that!)

    anyway, i agree with Darius and the rest, I am not comfortable with trading bynum and melo straight up, unless if we get an serviceable big in return too (Nene?)

    The downside is too glaring.

  150. To all those that speak of Howard the more interesting pick up would be Deron Williams from Utah who will be available at the same time. He definitely fits the triange better than CP3 because he doesn’t have the knee issues, is a better finisher, and doesn’t need to probe like CP3 and Nash. The other pick ups that I mention in 4 help the now, he would definitely ensure years of continued success.

    For those not understanding Wala (Voila)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S8CDOBASN4

  151. @137
    Q

    The Lakers aren’t putting a stop to these rumors because they might want to play this card in the future as well. The nuggets are obviously using this as leverage in a deal w/ NY or NJ. Mitch wouldn’t pull the plug on these rumors because if the Lakers intend on doing something similar down the road, he would expect the same. It’s very much the unwritten rule.

    Plus, it might light a fire under Bynum and the rest who’ve been mentioned, and why cull something that might prove motivational.

  152. Darius, I just want to point out that while it may be your opinion that Carmelo is not a top 5 player in this league, you cannot say definitively that he is not. I am not alone in this thinking. On their radio show yesterday Mason and Ireland both said that Carmelo is a top 5 player. Really the argument comes down to where do you value strengths and weaknesses more (which could be debated for hours).

    As I mentioned earlier after the series against LA two years ago analysts all over were claiming he was.

    You mentioned Dwight and Durant as two of your top 5. You could argue Carmelo just as much as those two players for several reasons. Dwight Howard can dominate the game defensively, however offensively he is not capable of dominating and especially against good defensive teams like Boston he struggles. Durant is pretty much the same player as Carmelo just with different strengths. Durant and Melo are probably on par as far as defense and rebounding go. Offensively they have similar games, they both excel in the midrange area, while Durant is more effective from 3 and Melo excels more in the post. This is not to say that your viewpoint is anymore wrong or right than mine is, I am just merely stating that the matter is not so black and white as you made your statement earlier by saying he is definitively not a top 5 player. Everyone has their viewpoints and with so many top players in this league cases can be made for many of them as to why they should or shouldn’t be included.

  153. I’d be more than happy with the trade if the players coming back are Carmelo and Billups (that would solve the PG problem). Lastly, re the back-up C if Bynum is gone, did some forget that Lamar took Tyson Chandler’s starting job during the FIBA World Championship? The competition certainly wasn’t worse than the back-up Cs in the NBA and Mr. Out Of Position put up 10.2 and 10.8 in the elimination rounds. He doesn’t need take up all the minutes when Pau is on the bench, but he can take some. Almost forgot, but Travis, we must have seen a whole different series, since Bynum was next to useless on Howard, and if you would actually watch the games, yes, there were times when Lamar was guarding Howard and did a respectable job.

  154. Would not trade defense for offense. Height is something that cannot be thought. If we are going to trade Bynum we should trade him for another big like D. Howard or Mark Gasol. Love to see Gasol Twin Towers on a laker uniform.

  155. IMO, these are the overriding conditions to be met for any trade:

    A) We can’t trade Bynum for Melo, straight-up. This leaves us with too little depth up front and too much depth on the wing.

    B) If somehow a deal goes down involving Bynum for Melo, we have to trade Artest. Artest has already rumbled about not closing games, and he won’t be closing them with Melo around.

    C) If we trade Bynum for Melo and move Artest, we have to get a capable Center in return. This is unless you think Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith can fill the void (in which case, you are crazy).

    If these conditions can be met, I’m all for a Melo for Bynum trade. For those citing Melo’s defense, I do think that defense can be taught. Just look at Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in Boston, who were terrible defenders before KG and Thibodeau arrived. After those two came, Allen and Pierce have become excellent wing defenders and really key to the Celtics great defense.

    For those thinking Melo will ballhog too much, especially with Kobe on the floor, keep in mind that the Triangle often boils down to getting the ball to Kobe in isolation in the triple threat. Both Kobe and Melo showed that they were quite capable of playing off the ball on Team USA, so I do not believe Melo’s high usage rate will interfere with Kobe’s play.

    And for those citing Bynum’s absence affecting our defense, I would have to agree with you. There is pretty much a downside to every non-Gasol trade. Whether Center X and Pau will be able to cover for Bynum’s absence is debatable, but there’s a strong possibility that our paint defense will suffer. However, if you consider the fact that Bynum has never been healthy in the playoffs, you might think that a hobbled Bynum will not lock down the paint as well as expected.

    If the three conditions above can be met, I think a Melo for Bynum trade (along with an Artest for capable Center trade) gives us a better team with very little downside risk. However, since capable Centers are very rare and much less likely to be traded, I sincerely doubt that a Melo trade will go down, or at least one that will benefit the Lakers.

  156. Lakers8884,

    I bring that up to show that you have a desire to make our team better last year as well. I assume with the desire to ensure that we wont win a championship as constructed. For example, you said last year as well to see how the match-up with Boston during the regular season to determine whether or not we need to make a trade of our team. Also, to call our road last year a “favorable” road to the finals seems to forget how hard the run was last year.

    Also, I wanted to see if you made the melo trade on nba 2k11 to see how it worked out.

    My point is that we won’t know whether this trade makes us better or worse at all. I do know that our team as constructed makes difficult matchups for all we face. Also, this group has made 3 CONSECUTIVE NBA finals appearances, winning the last two. Are we as fans so afraid of falling short with this team?

  157. This is not about a ”Laker Big” being traded for a ”Scoring Small Forward”…

    This is about ”Uncertain Knees” vs ”Carmelo Anthony”…

    Everybody keeps saying ”We need Bynum, We won Championships with Bynum”… And we lost in 2008 coz Bynum was not around… That’s exactly why I’m for trading Carmelo to the Lakers… coz of the exact reason we lost in 2008, coz Bynum was injured…

  158. Spartacus,
    ” Height is something that cannot be taught”

    Neither can healthy knees.

  159. Darius,

    If you want to boost traffic on this site, I suggest you drop the Xs and Os and just go with a series of trade speculation threads. The mantra could be “we don’t talk basketball, we only talk trades.” :-)

  160. Darius,

    Here is another problem with your “cross that bridge when we get there” stance. The new CBA. Will it install a franchise tag in the NBA? If so, all the superstars we speak of in 2012 (DWill, Howard, CP3, etc) will be virtually impossible to acquire. Will it introduce a hard cap, making it a lot harder for the big market teams to get several superstars onto one team? Will there be additional limitations that may prevent him from assembling the type of teams the Lakers were able to get in the past?

    Maybe Mitch is taking this into account as well IF he is even considering making a Melo-for-Drew swap, or any other deal that may weaken us short term but give us a better chance long term.

  161. Guys guys… please cut Nene and Luke out of the picture. NOT going to happen. (RE 62, 126)

    I think the majority of people would agree with Zephid (155). Not sure if Birdman fits his criteria of “capable center”.

    Again, Denver doesn’t want Artest, so a 3rd team has to be involved that can give Denver either a young prospect or shorter contract. Denver will also want to dump Harrington (who does NOT fit in our trade exception).

  162. #159. You have the early front runner for comment of the day. :)

    For everyone else, I’m all Melo’d out. Today we’ll be getting back to actually talking about the guys that are on the team.

    One of the main reasons that I’m moving away from it is quite simple, the LA Times has an article up today that essentially cites $ as the factor that kills this trade. Remember, Bynum is set to make $31 mil over the next two seasons and with a team option on the 2nd year. Melo wants a 3 year $65 mil extenstion that would kick in after next season (where he’s already set to make more than Bynum). Remember any additional salary over what Bynum was set to earn that Melo will earn counts double due to the luxury tax.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-trade-20110209,0,3713794.story

  163. I’d watch out for a legendary Mitch Kupchack smokescreen here. Trades like Artest to Charlotte, our bi-annual raid of Memphis (Mayo) seem more likely than a major shake up like Bynum for Melo.

    If Phil was slated to be here for a few more years, I can see it. But I think he wants to finish his run in LA with the same core of Kobe-Gasol-Odom-Bynum-Fisher and let the FO worry about life after Phil next season.

    The arguments centered around “building for the future” are also persuasive, but the extra $ that Melo will get seems prohibitive to me. We would have 3 players in 2012 combining for over today’s salary in Melo, Kobe, Gasol.

    I’m telling you, watch for Kupchack’s off-hand, he may be maneuvering to sucker punch some other team.

  164. Aren’t the Lakers actually playing a – you know – game tomorrow or something?

  165. Lots of great comments but I have to be harsh on some of you who are so fixated on size. Please be honest … how many of you would have taken Oden over Durant? Talent wins (talent and size is even better). Some of you would be hemming and hawing if we were going to do this for Paul or Williams or even maybe Wade. I mean guys you are being flat out ridiculous. Hell Melo averages almost as many rebounds as Bynum (in playoffs their averages are not even close with Melo destroying him). Melo is a top 10 player in the league. Does it hurt Lakers slightly this year? Possibly but please even healthy Bynum is not the next great center for the Lakers. And he is NOT HEALTHY. How many big men have recovered and had fruitful careers after similar injuries as Bynum? Please post someone/anyone so those of us doubters can feel there is a possibility that Bynum can be relied upon for the future. Look at poor Yao who IS COMMITTED but body has failed him.

    Again lots of great points by all but one other complaint. Some have suggested that by trading Bynum this proves that Jim Buss failed in his pet project of selecting him in the draft. NO! This proves that pick was a huge success. To think that Bynum could yield a top ten guy in the NBA is absolutely amazing and completely successful. DO IT (and Ethan and others stated try to swing Nene too somehow!).

  166. Yes, I’m very late….but just had to leave my input. I thought the post by Arhithia @ 104, wondering about the sense in building a team with such talented bigs which other teams have sought to counter, only to destroy it and then find ourselves inadequate to deal with teams which we essentially created. I thought Joel’s post @ 105, questioning the wisdom of handing off the defensive stopper role to ‘melo, was also fitting.

    I thought Darius’ question @132 also summed up the essential crux of this problem: how would the acquisition of Carmelo improve the Lakers’ D and rebounding?

    For me, it’d be a cold day in hell before I’d trade a 7’0 280 lb., 23 year-old with great hands and offensive skills, for an offensive threat when we already have the ultimate finisher-and a similar player in that he needs many touches.