Los Angeles Is Where Leverage Lives

Darius Soriano —  December 6, 2011

The trade and free agent rumors are coming fast and furious. Every “available” player is now seemingly being linked to the Lakers. Just taking an inventory, here are the names that I’ve read the Lakers are interested in acquiring either via trade or in free agency (includes potential amnestied players):

  • Dwight Howard
  • Chris Paul
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Baron Davis
  • Rashard Lewis
  • J.J. Barrea
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Aaron Aflalo
  • Shane Battier
  • Delonte West
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Jason Kapono

Granted, all of these names in some way, shape, or form make sense. They’re either some of the best players in the league or fill skill and/or positional holes for the current Lakers team. In a lot of ways, the Lakers would be well off to have even one of them, much less two or three of them.

But lets forget the names for a second. After all, if the Lakers actually acquire a player, we can analyze it at that point. Instead, lets focus on how names end up being reported in the first place.

Leaks of information almost always come back to establishing some sort of leverage. Whether to increase the dollar amount of a contract offer, to sweeten the pot of players included in a trade, to play agents or teams off each other…there are countless reasons information ends up in the hands of the media to be reported to the masses. I mean, teams, agents, and players are all looking for the best offer for them and however they can get there is fair game.

Relating this back to the Lakers and the names listed above, this is the perspective that needs to be taken into account when considering whether any acquisition is really possible. Do you think it’s more likely that the Lakers could actually acquire both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul or that there’s been some sort of leak to play parties off each other in order to execute a favorable deal? Do you think it’s more likely that the Lakers sign all those FA wings or that the information given to the media is being used advantageously to get a client a better offer?

Remember, this isn’t the first time the Lakers’ name has been dropped in a trade a rumor. Last season it was Carmelo Anthony. The year before that it was Chris Bosh. Right now it’s Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Give it enough time and Deron Williams name will pop up too.

The Lakers have the types of assets to make a deal; this much is not debatable. And, like every other team in the league, they’d surely have interest in acquiring the best players currently lacing up their sneakers. However, the internal workings of how a trade actually gets done is rarely broadcasted to the masses. At least, not with this Laker team; not with Mitch Kupchak running the show.

And this is where leverage comes into play. From a team’s standpoint, a trade will always be about getting the best asset possible while giving up as little as possible. From a player’s and agent’s standpoint, it’s about getting to the most desirable destination while getting the maximum amount of money. The information that is given to the media is meant to help accomplish those goals from whoever is doing the leaking.

Understand that right now the Lakers are a natural target for anyone and everyone. As mentioned earlier, they have the trade pieces to placate an opposing team’s wants in a deal. As a free agent destination the Lakers are also prime real estate as a championship contender with a fixed contract to offer that other teams will have to exceed to acquire any given player. Using this information as leverage in the whirlwind market in front of us is also the natural maneuver.

So, take a step back and see these rumors for the leverage seeking moves that they are. It doesn’t mean that a deal won’t happen, but as history has proven – especially with this Lakers team – it surely doesn’t mean it will either. At this point we’re all best served avoiding the circus. I know I will be.

Darius Soriano

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74 responses to Los Angeles Is Where Leverage Lives

  1. I agree with the basic premise that trade rumors in the media are most likely attempts by parties to gain negotiating leverage, however the more interesting question is: Who profits (i.e., gains leverage) from such a rumor?

    Answer: NOT the Lakers. CP3 and D12 might love the idea, but I can think of 31 other teams, including the trade partners NOLA and ORL that must have thrown-up a little in their mouths at the thought.

    So who’s pushing such a rumor? Someone in the greater NYC area maybe (given that NY homer Broussard “broke” the story)…? NJ appears to be a serious candidate to land D12 and we all know the CP3 NYK connection… If I’m NOLA or ORL I start dealing with those teams 10 times out of 10 if I think I might otherwise be facilitating a CP3 & D12 to LAL supertrade.

  2. Here’s another thought – this could also be Mitch sending smoke signals to Orlando & NO that Bynum + another Laker body are available for a trade for either superstar; first team to agree gets it. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/23956/sources-lakers-want-both-howard-and-paul

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think I would trade Drew for CP3 (who happens to be my favorite PG in the league). You don’t trade big for small; at least not when the big is plenty talented.

  3. Lakers ALWAYS fly under the radar. Definitely seems like another team (NOLA, ORL) are trying to up the offers for Paul and Howard.

    The market value has been set, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more is surrendered.

    Paul and Howard are both under contract and both teams will likely hold out for the best deal possible. Nothing will happen for the Lakers this season and I couldn’t be happier.

    I want this team to have another shot at a title and hope that the last embarrassing loss propels them towards a strong campaign.

  4. Always take the 7 footer with massive potential, no matter how injury prone, over the smaller and more skilled player.

    Sincerely,

    Greg Oden and Sam Bowie

  5. I definitely believe there is lot of smoke blowing in the wind when it comes to these trade rumors. I have always taken Lakers related rumors to mean the Lakers ARE NOT interested in whomever is the rumored player is. However, things are different this time around. Looking into the future at a CBA that will punish them for spending the Lakers may see this as their chance to get their next franchise player now.

    I believe the Lakers really want Dwight Howard. I actually believe those rumors. Howver, the rumors surrounding those others players seem over the top.

  6. Igor Avidon,
    The one thing that has been constant for both Jerry West and – even more so – Mitch; they don’t broadcast their actions. Since Jerry Buss is also an experienced poker player, I don’t see he or his children doing any talking.

    As mentioned in the thread, the Lakers are a destination everyone else will use to their advantage, so why would the Lakers contribute to this? They can simply use quiet, backdoor channels and accomplish much more, a-la the 1 year discussion with Memphis for Pau Gasol.

  7. Trades involving superstar players like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul usually happen later rather than sooner. Teams keep thinking they can get more for their superstars than what they can really get. Remember when Kobe wanted out? The Bulls weren’t even willing to include Deng in the deal. The Hornets and especially the Magic will most likley hold on to their prize pieces until its obvious they can’t get the packages they think they deserve as the trade deadline approaches.

  8. Dwight has stated he wants to play with Kobe, and Matt Barnes recently told ESPN that Dwight wants to be traded to the Lakers, claiming that his source was none other than Dwight. The Dwight rumors are not leaks from unknown sources….but confirmation from the most reliable source possible. I fully expect Dwight to be a Laker this season.

    Trading for Chris Paul, on the other hand, is nothing but a rumor at this point, similar to the Carmelo and Bosh rumors from last year. IMO, I think the Lakers have a better shot at Baron Davis.

  9. magic ceo (not otis smith) resigned today, or was forced out. hmmmmm.

    it’s impossible to know anything at this point so we just have to sit and wait until the trade is finalized and announced. duh :)

    surprising that no major trades yet, or even minor trades. no ammensty clause takers either.

    regarding CP3, it seems impossible for him to come to LA given the league owns the hornets. can you imagine the howls around the league if that happened?!

  10. Neither a trade for Howard or CP3 seem likely to me. It just seems like other teams could offer more. I think CP3 ends up in LA but not on the Lakers. The un-protected 1st round pick from Minny that the Clips has to be pretty enticing for a team rebuilding.

  11. #8. Uh, the new CBA hasn’t even been ratified yet. Tough to make any official moves without that.

  12. Most, if not all teams, will not trade for Dwight if he is unwillingly to sign a new contract. If Dwight maintains his stance of wanting to be traded to the Lakers, Orlando will have no choice but to trade him to the Lakers, even if other teams offer more.

  13. #8 & #12. Where has Dwight gone on record and said he wants to be traded to the Lakers? I’m pretty sure, that would be news. I’m not talking about a third party relay by Matt Barnes, I’m talking about Dwight Howard making that clear to the Magic.

    Based off several reports, Howard hasn’t really told the Magic anything. So I’m not sure how fans would know more than the executives for his team:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/06/report-dwight-howard-has-not-told-magic-his-intentions/

  14. #14. I’m quite aware of that quote. Everyone is. Answering hypothetically to a question of which player he’d like to play with is quite different than telling his GM “trade me to the Lakers”, wouldn’t you agree?

  15. I haven’t gone on record stating I love ice cream… But ask all my friends and they will give you the same right answer.

  16. 15,

    Yes, but I don’t think this is grasping at straws. Dwight would love a big city for his big personality, and he wants to win. Those aren’t my assumptions – those are understood facts gathered from his statements in the last few years.

  17. @13,

    Perhaps I am jumping the gun a bit, but I am taking Matt Barnes for his word. He is a friend of Dwight’s and a former teammate, and is claiming that Dwight told him personally that he wants to be traded to the Lakers. Now, if the comments were from someone’s agent, or an unidentified source, I would naturally question the rumor, but I don’t see what motivation Barnes would have to make this up. Dwight’s comments about wanting to play with Kobe over any other player only confirms Barnes’ statement. Sure, nothing is official yet, but until Dwight makes an official statement regarding which teams he would be willing to sign a contract with, I will continue to assume that Barnes is telling the truth.

  18. When it comes down to it the biggest point is who Dwight is willing to be traded to with attractive enough assets. Bynum + Odom are attractive enough assets compared to say what someone like the Knicks can offer. Guys like Howard and Paul hold all the power when it comes to trades just like Carmelo did, it is just a matter of time before they get traded to the teams they want to go to. And if the Lakers are willing to take back one of the horrendous Magic contracts (Hedo) then who in their right mind wouldn’t do that deal on both sides. If you are Orlando you get a true big in return for your own along with a dependable big man and you get an ugly contract off your books, and if you are the Lakers you get the best big man in the NBA. And if you are the Lakers and don’t do that trade and you have the option you are crazy, Howard is and will always be better (and more healthy) than Bynum. I think it’s a matter of time before he wears the purple and gold it just makes too much sense. I will agree about the Chris Paul rumor being nothing more than a move to gain leverage because you are right the Lakers don’t have the ability to get both.

  19. Heretic that I am, I don’t know if it is a good idea to get both Howard and Paul. It really strips out the Lakers and leaves an unbalanced team.

    According to salaries the trades would probably be something like…
    A) Howard/Turkoglu for Bynum/Odom/and maybe MWP.
    B) Then a Paul for Gasol swap

    This would leave the Lakers with…
    PG – Paul, Fisher, Blake, Morris
    SG – Kobe, Ebanks, Gou…
    SF – Walton, Barnes, Turkoglu
    PF – Caracter???
    C – Howard

    Our strong front line simply doesn’t exist – as a matter-of-fact it is our glaring weakness. This is not a good sign for a team wanting to compete for a championship. Our guard situation is so crowded that we are at a real disadvantage in the trade market.

    Finally, our salary situation is horrid beyond the 2nd year, when the new CBA limits really kick in.

    Sorry, people, I doubt either the NBA or the money people would let this combination of trades happen.

  20. Any mention of Bynum would have to take into account his injury history, and would have to determine his current physical condition,at least thru the 2 pre season games. His history is given,his future a big ? It might come down to Bynum and Odom for Howard and Turk,yes or no. I`m 50/50 on this,and first want to see more of Bynum 2012 version. No on Bynum-Paul trades.

  21. In times of uncertainties and insecurities among NBA players, where do they prefer to be? Of course, in the Championship calibre team, huge market and known for security and happiness for a professional athlete. This team tamed a wild Artest or multi-tatooed and angry Barnes turned to be a kinder and better citizen. If you are Howard, CP3 or DW what is common among the three? Youth and talented players that Lakers have a gaping hole to fill. These stars are looking at two things: 1) playing with Kobe now; 2) eventually, replacing Kobe in the future. Will they achieve that scenario in NY or NJ? No, because they have not won nor intend to contend a Championship for decade and in the next decade. Why not Celtics? Hard to understand Ainge’s kind of thinking. How about Lebron & Co.? Nobody wants to be attached to a talented loser. Therefore, they all want to come to Los Angeles where playing basketball is just a side job. (ask Luke lol!)

  22. I love Chris Paul but find it funny how so many fans are willing to just dump Bynum at the very thought of landing CP3.

    They’ll cite Bynum’s past injuries as cause but totally overlook the fact that Paul just two years ago missed nearly half the season and is playing on a knee that’s basically bone-on-bone.

    The Lakers are better off keeping Bynum and beginning to transition the team to the point where he becomes the focal point, or at least option 1A over the next season or two. Kobe can’t last forever, and the smarter move long-term is to explore what can be dealt for Pau rather than play along with these crazy “Paul and Howard are coming to L.A. rumors.”

    Just my two cents… I know other see Bynum’s value as less than I do.

  23. In a perfect storm, everything that could happen, happens. With a bit of creative thinking, every NBA player could be traded/acquired for some other NBA player(s)/terms.

    This week is the perfect storm for speculation.

  24. “Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide has resigned after nearly 20 years with the NBA club, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

    Vander Weide, 50, made the decision to step down just days after making a drunken, early-hour phone plea to Magic superstar Dwight Howard, in the hopes of keeping the dominant big man in Orlando.

    The longtime NBA executive admitted to Bright House Sports Network that he may have been intoxicated when he called Howard at 1 a.m. to let him know how much he wanted to keep him in a Magic uniform.”

    pppppplleeeeaaasssseeeeeeee!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…dwight? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pppllleeeaaassseeeeeee

  25. For all those complaining of Bynum’s injuries, what worries me about Paul is his knee injuries. He may have staggered through last season, but many observers at live games with Paul noticed how he was really dragging his hurt knee out there. Bear in mind, if he’s with the Lakers, conceivably, he’s playing an extra 15-20 games a year if we go to the Finals. I think Barkley said that a playoff game is worth 2 regular season games due to intensity, etc. Can Paul last beyond the next 5 years, and are we willing to commit close to $20m/year for that?

    Howard on the other hand is a different story. IF we lose Bynum + Odom for him, it’ll be a step backwards in terms of depth but a quantum leap for the team’s future. Howard will be a fertile ground to recruit the next generation of Lakers stars. Plenty of intrigue, but I doubt we see movement on Howard until Bynum serves his non-pro rated 5 game suspension, and shows on the court that he’s worthy to be traded for a once in a generation player like Howard. That puts us around the trade deadline, where I think we have a 50% chance of getting DHo.

  26. @26: Ha, it would be interesting to see if, upon Bynum’s return, Kobe starts mysteriously feeding Bynum with assist after assist, to hype Bynum’s scoring stats . . . to make him better trade bait.

  27. Great comments as usual from the FB&G forum gang. But to summarize the one thing that you can make book on: D (Superman) Howard will be a Laker this season. CP3 – not so much. Howard is a dominating defensive force. If we can get a bit of an upgrade at point (sorry Fish), we’ll be fine. Barnes IS a friend of Howard and I believe what he said. Howard needs a big stage and despite what they say in NYC, L.A. is the biggest. Lakers forever!!

  28. 140ChrViolation December 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I think the CP3 + Howard rumor serves the Lakers’ interests. The Lakers have the best asset to trade for one of these superstars. What they want is to be able to get either of those superstars (Howard preferred, I suspect) without giving up much more then that. The Lakers have the stronger hand and the more options they have the more leverage. I would do what I could to not have to give up LO or take on a contract like Hedo’s. Having the CP3 option out there lets could allow Mitch to get the player he wants and maintain the frontcourt depth that makes this team special. Also, if Hedo comes he might eventually have to be amnestied. My opinion, Lakers need to keep the amnesty option and use it on Kobe when his contract hits $30 mil a season. The tax on that will be close to $100 mil and no player ever was worth that under this CBA.

  29. If, and that’s a gigantic *if*, Howard really wants to be a Laker, all he has to do is tell the Magic that he will not resign and he will only accept a trade to the Lakers. That’s the only scenario where the Magic would be willing to take Bynum + any combination of the following trade “scrubs”: 1. Fish (if he can be waived), 2. Walton (assuming he takes a medical retirement post trade) and 3. Blake. These are the only fantasy trade scenarios I can see that the Lakers cannot walk away from. Otherwise, asking for Bynum + LO or Pau and LO for ANYONE will leave this team looking like the Nicks. I suspect that the Magic are willing to play hardball now as far as trades, but once that trade window begins to close, if Howard does give an ultimatum, I bet god ol’ Mitch could work something out.

  30. 29- The Amnesty provision can only be used on players signed by a team prior to the new CBA. If the Lakers take Hedo (or even worse Arenas) they will be stuck with his contract.

  31. I would hate to trade any of our 3 big men, but I think Dwight is the only guy in the league I would want back for giving up Bynum. And I would hate to see it happen, but packaging Odom in that trade to take on Turkoglu’s contract would probably be worth it. I’m not sure if either LA or Orlando would say no to that trade.

    However, I disagree with trading for Chris Paul. Not for Pau, and not for Bynum. Giving one of them up for a point guard makes us very thin up front, even with a possible Howard trade in the fold. I firmly believe that a Gasol/Howard frontcourt would win more games than a Paul/Kobe/Howard trio with no clear Power Forward and no backup Center.

  32. Here’s my thoughts on why landing both CP3 and Dwight Howard is at least non-negligible, meaning we should not dismiss it entirely. My reasoning involves assumptions regarding team and superstar game theoretic behavior, and conditional probabilities.

    First, why can superstars pick their destination? My claim is game theoretic: the two players in this game are 1.) the superstar and 2.) their team.

    The team has 3 choices:
    1.) trade their superstar to the Lakers,
    2.) trade their superstar to another team, or
    3.) keep their superstar.

    The superstar has 3 choices:
    1.) sign an extension with their current team,
    2.) sign an extension with their new team, or
    3.) forgo an extension and enter free agency.

    Now, let’s operate under two assumptions:
    1.) First is the assumption that no other team will trade for a superstar assuming that superstar declares that he won’t sign an extension with that team (which is reasonable). Under this assumption, by declaring he won’t sign an extension with any team other than the Lakers, the superstar is de facto eliminating his team’s choice to trade with any non-Laker team.

    2.) Second is the assumption that no current team will keep their superstar and lose him for nothing in free agency (again, reasonable). Under this assumption, by declaring he won’t sign an extension with his current team, the superstar is de facto eliminating his team’s choice to keep him.

    Thus, the team is left with only one game-theoretic choice: trade him to the Lakers.

    Therefore, if Howard gives strong inclination that he wants to join the Lakers (which he may or may not), there is a very strong chance that he can force his way to the Lakers (for some package probability involving Bynum and Odom).

    I think we can all agree that while at this point no one knows Howard’s exact intentions, there are strong, reasonable signs that he wants to come to LA. Therefore, the probability that he lands in LA this year is at least non-negligible.

    Next, in order to get CP3 to wish to come to LA, I invoke what I call the “Ray Allen” effect. Note that in the early summer of 2007, the Celtics were similarly acclaimed to have “no chance” of landing KG, because KG didn’t want to sign an extension there. However, once Ray Allen was traded to the Celtics, Boston became a much more attractive option to KG, and he eventually pushed for a trade.

    So, hypothetically, assuming that the Lakers do trade for Howard, I can very easily see the Ray Allen effect causing CP3 to seriously push for a trade to the Lakers. Given his similar situation with the Hornets as Howard’s with the Magic, CP3 can eliminate all of his team’s logical game-theoretic choices to trading him to the Lakers simply by declaring he won’t sign an extension with any other team. This implies that the probability that CP3 joins the Lakers, given they have already traded for Howard, is non-negligible.

    Since the probability that Howard joins the Lakers is non-negligible, and the probability that CP3 joins the Lakers given Howard joins the Lakers is non-negligible, conditional probability tells us that the probability that both Howard and CP3 join the Lakers is non-negligible.

  33. Rusty Shackleford December 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    My prediction is that a trade (if it happens) involving Dwight Howard and the Lakers happens it will be sometime during the season. Not before games start. It would behoove Orlando to get one last look at what they’re trading for prior to pulling the triger on that deal.

  34. According to reports, Bynum will come in looking like a real beast.

  35. @33,

    “The Ray Allen Effect” on Chris Paul sounds very reasonable. Chris Paul and Dwight are close friends and talk frequently. According to Rotoworld, they have had been talking about ways to become teammates for the past year, so I would not be surprised if Paul demands a trade to the Lakers once the Dwight trade is finalized.

  36. also, theoretically, kobe may be willing to give up some salary if he knows it will lead to another “super friend” joining him. gasol in particular should be leaned on to give up salary, as he has proven to the league’s full satisfaction that he is not a $17M man (I believe that is his salary this year).

  37. Oh s**t. I thought Zephid was dead. Welcome back.

    Z – I’m not sure the first assumption is true though. Based on credible reports (unless they’re just smokescreens), Dallas and Houston have been clear about willing to trade for Paul without promise of an extension, they just have no real assets. And word is Ainge (a notorious gambler) is willing to do the same. Although word is Demps is not high on Rondo, if Paul is only willing to sign an extension with NY or LA, and we decide to trade Bynum only for Howard, then Boston becomes the most likely destination. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paul end up in Boston. The other factor is that most reports expect Paul to be traded before Howard.

    I realize you said how low the probability is. It could happen. But as horrifying as it sounds, I think there’s a higher probability Paul ends up in Boston than LA. Upon which, to quote a certain Celtics hack writer, I will promptly light myself on fire.

  38. I know D. Howard is an upgrade over Bynum, but is he really worth us taking on Hedo’s horrible contract and giving up Lamar? We’ll be 4 deep at the 3 (Metta, Luke, possibly the new shooter, EBanks, Hedo), and thin at the 4 and 5.

  39. 39) I would guess that any trade that brings in Hedo would also be accompanied by a trade or amnesty of Metta, with the intention of bringing in a backup Center or PF.

  40. Zephid great post couldn’t have written it better myself, the fact is the superstars hold the cards in these scenarios. Just look at what happened with Carmelo. If they make it clear that the Lakers are the only place they are willing to be traded to and sign an extension then getting both is not out of the realm of possibility, although I think getting Dwight is a done deal it’s just a matter of when it happens.

  41. This is my assessment on the matter and I beg everyone to indulge me:

    1. The Lakers need a change this season to get to the top. As currently constructed, we are good but not great. As is, we are a ruined bunch. Agree or not, thats my opinion.

    2. The Lakers are too good to lose still, but we are also too old to win it all.

    Which leaves us with 2 options:
    a. trade to greatness (Howard, Cp3, both)
    b. trade to get depth, maximize youth (Ellis, Lee, others)

    Basing it off on these rumors swirling like a firestorm, I think the Howard scenario is no longer a pipe dream. And while I go back to my philosophy lessons in trying to catch up with Zephid, I do, but still disagree. Ergo, Dwight Howard has become a foregone conclusion and only a matter of time he dons #12 on Purple and Gold.

    But its also best to understand the machinations of such deal (granting). Its best to understand the Orlando Magic POV in this matter to “justify” atleast the moving of D-How to LA. And they are:

    1) Get a core piece back
    2) Moving Arenas’ monster contract
    3) Moving Turkoglu’s monster contract

    They would actually prefer to move Arenas to LA rather than HEdo, but then again we also have to understand the workings of such principles called “leverage” … the Magic know that if they insist on Arenas being the filler, that such a deal might be lost.

    LA on the other hand, owns the leverage in such deal, but understands that it has to satisfy atleast 2 out of the 3 justifications of the Magic POV. Therefore we decide to take on the shorter and smaller contract in that of Hedo, esp that we will be needing the frontcourt size later on.

    The question then becomes – what if Orlando insists on making it GASOL + BYNUM for DWIGHT + HEDO. Thats when I start to have a problem with. Sure we secure our future, sure we get Dwight, but we also pawn off Kobe’s 3-4 remaining years and by that time’s done, D12 would have been 29.

    Would you still do it if it costed Gasol AND Bynum?

  42. ^^ Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  43. Let’s not forget Bynum’s missing the first 5 games due to his idiotic and thuggish takedown of the speedy Puerto Rican. I personally can’t possibly imagine anything going down in terms of AB for Howard until Bynum’s active again.

    My guess is that Howard goes somewhere – quite possibly LA – immediately prior to the trade deadline. For all kinds of reasons, I think ORL needs to at least give a shot to convincing DH12 to resign, or minimally, convince their fan base they are doing all they can rather than quickly acquiescing to Shaq 2.0 and making the Lakers huge favorites for the foreseeable future.

    CP3′s (and NO’s) situation is more desperate– I think he’ll move somewhere before the season begins, most likely a team in the east. Question: do all the NBA owners get to vote on the trade as the team is league owned? If so, one could imagine a lot of ‘nay’ votes if LAL really emerges as a legitimate suitor.

    Zepid makes a good point with the Ray Allen effect; unfortunately, circumstances will likely result in Paul moving first (and not to us), so I don’t think it will come into play in this situation.

    To this end, and getting squarely back on-topic, I think the Lakers are themselves responsible for the rumors that they are chasing both players, operating under the goal of trying to free up DH sooner rather than later (hoping that ORL fears the Lakers may trade pieces they want to NO if they don’t act swiftly).

  44. An interesting rumor swirled like this back in February 2008… that rumor involved trading Andrew Bynum for a then 34yo great PG Jason Kidd. I stayed up until 12PST (3am in the Philippines) just to see “STAYING” posted on the ESPN headlines.

    Back then it wasn’t actually JUST a rumor. The 2 sides actually talked and discussed, and in the last minute, the deal was cancelled/vetoed by Jim Buss. Kobe had been famously quoted with the “ship his a$$ out its J-Kidd” comment and the rest as they say, is history. Both guys went on to win championships on different teams over the next 3 seasons following such non-deal.

    Now, Kobe has changed his stance. He isn’t saying “trade his a$$ of, its CP3″ but instead he wants the core kept. But my honest guess is its not Bynum he wants to keep, its Pau. And why wouldn’t you? I am advocating the d12 deal simply coz I believe we need such defensive/health upgrade and consistent threat down low… the cp3 deal, if it involves Pau/Blake for Cp3/Okafor, not so much.

    What would be ironic tho, is if Kobe said go, and management said no… now Kobe says NO, management will say GO.

  45. I, too, think Paul goes first. This means Howard probably won’t be traded until near the deadline.

    That being the scenario, I see Bynum coming out of the chute like a real lion this year. His obvious desire and conditioning should play a part. If this happens, then the Lakers may think twice before trading for Howard.

    If we don’t trade, then – IMO – we stand a much better chance of keeping Pau in two years and in having a deeper team over the next three years. A deeper team will certainly be to our advantage this year, when we will probably need to go 10 deep on the bench. Next year we will still be able to use an amnesty provision and we will be in a much deeper position to move ourselves into the future.

    Stop thinking like fans – about the next 3 months – and try to look at our problems trying to maintain a championship team into the future. It is still the team that will make the most difference when making a championship run.

  46. the only way we get cp3 is if he only wants to be a Laker, and no other team will do. in that case he plays the year out wherever, then comes to the LA without any trades being needed.

  47. I get why everyone’s talking about Howard and CP3 now… but it’s just so front and center that I have a hard time really buying into it. The Lakers always seem to fly under the radar when they’re actually about to pull the trigger. Glad to hear about the Kapono activity, hope it works out. A pure shooter for vet minimum’s the kind of deal we need. I read about Banks, Powe and McCants coming in for workouts… not particularly excited about any of them. Very curious to see who else comes in – camp’s on Friday? That’s crazy. Bring on the week-to-week option deals.

  48. Have any of Drew’s detractors formed ulcers?

  49. Craig W,

    You do not EVER think twice about trading an injury prone big men who may never reach his full potential for the BEST big man in the league if presented the opportunity. You can ask anyone who isn’t a Lakers fan and they will agree, people outside of the Lakers organization don’t believe in Bynum like they do Howard. This isn’t thinking like fans, this is thinking for the present (while Kobe has gas in the tank) and for the future (to build around Dwight). You know what Dwight will give you night in night out, with Bynum you really don’t know, it’s like the wind you never know which way it will blow.

  50. Will the Lakers contend for Championship with Howard and CP3? Leave Kobe, Metta & Barnes and the rest of the young recruits, Lakers will be a better team. If Bynum, Pau and LO are gone but we get these two sought superstars Woweeee!, I’m not a betting man but you can withdraw your money and bet on these three super blue chips, they are enough to put Lakers on the top. There are two kinds of basketball fans in this blog 1) the dreamer who says that anything is possible with the Lakers, why not gamble your aces for royal flash ; 2) The naysayers who are contented on two pairs and continuous development of one card, waiting for a full house afraid of losing two pairs. We can all analyze all day that Bynum, Pau and LO are too precious to lose, yeah maybe true if we are trying to attain Championship in blogging. However, I think there is passion in every Championship when fans get excited for the change for the better. D stands for durability in the Center; CP3 solves XYZ dilemma of the Lakers.

    Let’s meet change with change because the window of Kobe in Laker uniform may be closing in three more seasons. Go for it Mitch, strike while the iron is hot. Let’s just anchor love and passion to contrarian and analytical fans.

  51. @22 – Hi Edwin. Excellent comment.

    @32 – Travis, you hit the nail when you say that you “firmly believe that a Gasol/Howard frontcourt would win more games than a Paul/Kobe/Howard trio with no clear Power Forward and no backup Center.”

    The thing is, if we’re looking to land DH, this is a piece if cake. If he says “I wanne be a Laker”, they have no options really. They should get Bynum and be thankfull for what they got. If we throw Odom into he mix, I’d be disapointed; don’t think we need to do that (again, Orlando is in a dead end…)

    Now, if the Lakers are in for BOTH DH AND CP3, then things might change a bit. First, we’ll have to put Gasol in the mix (having Odom or not in the pie). That’s my least favorite side of all this trade talk. I like the guy. Also, we’d have to do a different deal, like Bynum for CP3 and Gasol for DH. Will Orlando accept such offer? Again, they have no options really. What about the Hornets? Are they getting Pau Gasol, all good?

    That’s why I’ll be VERY happy just to have DH for Bynum (and maybe Odom, I love his bball but I have a feeling he will not be the same Lamar from last season). Kobe + Dwight + Pau!!!!!! I know, we need a PG. We’ll figure out something.

    Cheers

  52. Craig has an excellent point. Getting D Howard at the expense of Bynum with a combination of Paul or Lamar will kill us long term.

    I will repeat what I said earlier, while I am not a Bynum fan by any means, I don’t like the idea of packaging him with Odum or Gasol for any player. I would love any trade involving Bynum + Fish/Blake/Walton for D Howard – but that will never happen.

    Oh, and I don’t know why, but I see nothing but issues with CP3, Kobe and Bynum sharing the ball – so I don’t even want to go there at the expense of anyone who is not a starter for this Laker team.

    The more I think about this, the more I think I need to get excited about the Lakers signing guys like Jason Capono and maybe picking up a scrub or two during the amnesty period. Oh, and hoping that Luke finally does the team a solid by taking a medical retirement.

  53. Seriously doubt a Chris Paul/Kobe Bryant backcourt even if the stars align making a trade for CP3 possible.

    It’s a cliche, but there’s only one basketball on the court at a time. Chris Paul needs the ball, period. Kobe, well …. it goes without saying.

    Like Manny P, I’m hoping for a clever pick up or two that helps the team modestly. Like Aaron, I agree we don’t need a world beater PG, just one that isn’t awful (sorry, Fish).

  54. Apparently, the Magic CEO left because he drunk-dialed Dwight and begged him to stay.
    No, I’m not making this up!
    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/12/06/orlando-magic-ceo-resigns-days-after-allegedly-drunk-dialing-dwight-howard/

  55. @52

    “Go for it Mitch, strike while the iron is hot. Let’s just anchor love and passion to contrarian and analytical fans.”

    I’m printing this and putting on a frame as I post this comment!!!!

  56. in the upcoming week or two, the least we hear and read about CP3 and D12 to the lakers, the higher chance that something “might” be going on.

    looking back, mitch always does thing under the radar, i.e. the gasol deal, vladman deal, sasha deal; the more its on the paper, the less likely such a deal would happen.

  57. Even if Bynum and Howard were players of equal value, Howard’s pristine health record would tip the balance strongly in his favor. Pau is outstanding, but he is 31 and is owed nearly $60M.

    Howard is a far more valuable commodity than either of them.

    Yes, I watched the 2009 Finals, too, but if the Lakers have a chance to get Dwight Howard, they need to do it.

    Personally, I think Paul will go to the Clippers or the Warriors (he may not STAY, but I think he will be traded to one of the two), and Howard will go to the Nets, unless:

    Grant Hill leaves PHX
    Steve Nash in turn demands a trade
    Otis Smith pulls off a three-way that gets Nash to Mousetown.

    In that case, I think Howard would be kept, he would play out the year, then leave in FA.

  58. If your trademark is flying under the radar, blatant bluffing can also serve you very well. ;)

    I think we’ll see Dwight in Laker uniform this season, and it will become very dangerous to travel to orlando with a Laker uniform.

    As for CP3, he has choices to make, and he could just as well play this year out as a non-Laker but end up with the Lakers next season. He could play with the Mavs or the Rockets, and if the above teams don’t win it all or come very close this year, he’ll have enough motivation to join us in the next.

    Still, I believe Mitch when he says ‘the current roster can contend.’ That’s my belief too, and that is a VERY good stance to take when everyone else is eager to trade.

  59. Chris Paul is probably the best point guard since Magic and Dwight is by far the best center in the league. If we can get both of them and keep Kobe, no matter what, we come out ahead guaranteed.

    These players will find a way to work together. Kobe is a winner at his core, and if he has the best PG in the game on his team, I’m pretty sure he won’t make life difficult for him.

    CP3 lobbing dunks for Howard or Kobe Dwight pick and roll or Kobe actually getting OPEN jumpers due to CP3 penetration?

    I mean extremely unlikely that this will actually happen but its okay to have a wet dream now and then

  60. Wow, what a thread, over 60 comments, must be a rare trade one.

    @33, Zephid, good to see you again, and Thursday I have my college math Statistics Final, so you made me feel at home with your comment here at FB&G. I would think that the team will basically stay put, unless a good deal for Howard comes the Lakers way.

  61. Hi, this is my first time posting here but I’ve been an avid reader ever since. I, myself am not inclined in the Bynum deal plus LO/Gasol. It would deplete our greatest strength. We should check to see how our coaching strategy works. I would push for a Bynum/Howard swap instead. Bynum is 2 years younger than Dwight.

  62. Do you trust Bynum’s knees? If not, trading him now is a no-brainer. If so, keeping him is a no-brainer.

  63. I must say I have seen a lot of potential in Bynum, and loved seeing him push Dwight Howard around at times. But he is not reliable, and if Bynum or Bynum + Odom can get it done… then Im all in.

    CP3, Kobe and Pau on the other hand, I don’t see how that would better than what the Lakers already have. I love CP3, but these three players seem like a very awkward match.

  64. I say get Dwight and Turkoglu, send Bynum, MWP, Walton, Caracter and whatever Orlando wants besides Odom to them (draft picks, cash, one of the rookies) and get on with the season. A point guard will be had through the amnesty waiver or trade exception. Lastly offer Luc Richard Mbah Moute whatever we can to start at SF and then we have another championship caliber team.

  65. I love CP3 to death myself, can’t deny that like most of you, I also salivate at the proposition of having Cp3 and D12 on the same team WITH KOBE.

    But unlike most of you, the world-beating PG I seek is not the same as yours. I believe we need a better PG, not necessarily the best one. Let me be the #1 Gasol defender for this blog who forgets how he has transformed our team from pretender to contender overnight. Sure he has his limitations in physicality, but he makes up for that in finesse and intelligence.

    That is why I advocate for us to trade for Dwight ONLY. Keep Gasol and Kobe, add Dwight, get ourselves a much better (and alooooot younger) PG. Then you can run a million plays off the limited Mike Brown offensive playbook and still look like Phil never left us.

    Get Dwight, keep Kobe and Pau. The mini MLE becomes a sexy and coveted exception just about every PG in the league would pay to sign.

    Forget not about our Vujacic TPE as well, thats big enough to pick up Jarrett Jack. Just sayin’

  66. ^^ Your comment is awaiting moderation. What was I expecting? LOL

  67. The thing about Dwight is that he does not need the ball much to be effective and useful. He’d be a healthy Bynum focused on defense that doesn’t gripe about the lack of touches.

    We’d be sacrificing some offense, but in a team with Gasol and Kobe, you only need to be able to get some gimmes and clear up the board, which Dwight can do well enough.

    As for CP3, he gives us a ball handler who can seriously get Kobe to play without the ball, which would be a nightmare in so many levels, especially if the one handling the ball is CP3.

    Still, I’d be hesitant to trade Gasol who is one of the more talented 4s around, and he’d be in his element with Dwight at C. With our defense being able to funnel players into Gasol and Dwight, PG should not be as big of a problem so not sure if there’d be need to address the PG spot. Healthwise, I think Gasol will hold up better, and even without an elite Kobe, having Gasol-Dwight would be enough to entice talent that could flourish.

  68. If the Lakers can get D12 /Turkoglu for Odom/Bynum it’s a nobrainer. I don’t know where people are getting that Bynum is so much better offensively than Howard. Howard has averaged 18.2 points per 36 for his career whereas Bynum in his best season averaged 17.8 per 36.

  69. I will repeat the sentiment b4 it gets out of hand: we do Bynum + Odom but not Bynum + Gasol. That’d be suicide.

    And after you get Dwight, you stop and find yourself some form of PG upgrade, via mini MLE or via Sasha TPE and you can ballast all your 1st rounders to get a better PG. Not exhaust w/e depth is left on your team for CP3.

  70. 52,

    Thanks Magic Phil, there are too many LT clones here. While I love Socks if DH is not on the market, undoubtedly we need Socks as a bait to get a bigger fish. Bynum is like a peanut brittle, so sweet to have in your team but those knees & bones are just brittle, in short B in Bynum stands for brittle. On the side of Howard, he needs to know how to shoot straight but we have those kind of Centers in the past from Wilt to Shaq, they can be trained in that aspect. What you need in a Center is passion to win games. What you are getting in Howard is durability, must we emphasize that D stands for durability. If you played basketball from grade school with those popular 3 on 3 for too long and an avid follower of the sport for the last 50 years, this deal is no brainier, even those hoopsters at Venice Beach will agree with us. Bynum, LO & Pau vs. Howard, Kobe & CP3, no match, Pau will utter ” no mas, no mas.”

    We all love Pau and LO, again they’re important chips to get an established PG. It is a prerequisite in feeding DH in the middle, and Kobe on the outside and it creates a perfect triangle that resembles to a pyramid, perfect on any sides.

    Of course, this is a dream. Where else can you dream except in LA where dreams comes true in Hollywood and if you fail, you still have Disneyland where you can wish upon another star. Ho, Ho, Howard….

  71. The trade dealine will not pass without Howard sporting that Purple & Gold. Lets just get that out the way. The question is, besides Drew, who will be heading to Orlando. If it’s a choice between Pau and LO, as much as it hurts me to say this but, ‘we’ll catch up to you n Orlando LO and thanks for all of your past contributions.’ In my opinion Hedu, while not having the all-around skill set of LO, can off-set/diminish the loss of LO. Like Lamar, for his size, Hedu’s a good ball handler and imo, a better perimeter shooter. If, for some reason, the Magic insists that we take back Arenas instead of Hedu, deal off. Won’t even begin to entertain the thought of acquiring CP3 because that’s a pipe-dream and I would rather hold on to Pau.

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