June 1, 2007

Like Lotto, You Have To Be In It To Win It

So 24 wants out of LA? Or he wants to stay? Or he's getting nothing but hand at home, so he's calling all these radio stations all day, just to talk? Well, everyone and their mother is talking about possible deals for Kobe right now, and that's all well and good, but what about his other concern? Are the Lakers going to get better? How?

Their roster: (player, contract duration, money owed)

Lamar Odom
2 more years - 13.5mil and 14.5mil

Yeah, right. They're not trading him. What can you get for him? Average scoring, average rebounding, above-average money. And he's two years away from coming off. Unless you're talking about trading with a team who's almost there and just needs a push over the edge (Cleveland, I suppose), what can you get in return that doesn't screw up your team worse than it was with Odom on it?

Kwame Brown
One more year - 9mil


Vladimir Radmanovic
3 more years - 5.5mil, 6mil, 6.5mil (then a player option for 7)

What the hell does he do? Why would you take this guy? 6.6 ppg? He's just a mid-level guy, which means he's not tradeable, because there's 20 of these guys every year on the market.

Chris Mihm
Free agent

He missed almost all of last season with ankle surgery. Career 10ppg scorer. Maybe you could sign and trade for a dumptruck, but only if it was half-full.

Andrew Bynum
Two more years - 2mil and 3mil, then he's a restricted free-agent

They won't trade him... for some reason they are sold on the kid. This is like the Wolves putting Foye up on the block - it would only happen for AI or guys like that. And LA isn't really in the running for guys like that.

Luke Walton
Free agent

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Luke is steadily improving - assists, rebounds, points, minutes; they all went up last year, by a lot. He's 27 years old, and is entering a delayed peak. Of course, he's not on the Lakers payroll. They could sign and trade, I suppose. If you packaged Walton with Bynum, you'd be getting somewhere...

Jordan Farmar
Rookie - they've got him for 3 more years, for cheap

He played in almost every game last year, and improved slightly. He's got a long way to go, though. He represents potential, and that doesn't go a long way in trading for big pieces.

Brian Cook
Two more years - 3.5mil and 3.5mil (with a player option after that for 3.5)

Sure, he's only making 3.5, and his contract isn't a killer, but he plays 15 minutes a game and isn't improving. He's a nothing. You could get his production from anyone in the D-league.

Maurice Evans
It doesn't matter

Walking garbage.


Ok, so that's the long and short of it. Who do you trade on this team? Well, let's see... you could put Bynum and Farmar together, sign and trade Walton, and that might be somewhat attractive, for a mid-level guy. Of course, that would leave you with total putrification. You could throw Odom in the mix to get the overall salary up, and go after a huge contract... but putting Kobe on the floor with another huge contract might sound good, however there will be no one else AT ALL on the team. Think about that. Whoever you traded those guys for, Kwame Brown becomes the third best player on the floor. And Smush Parker the 4th best. So yeah.

Face it, the Lakers are in the same boat as the Wolves, albeit with much more manageable contracts. At least the Lakers can move some smaller pieces around, and bundle them together. At least other GMs wouldn't laugh openly in their face if they tried to package their players together. "Yeah hi, this is Kevin in Minnesota, hey how do you feel about Troy Hudson? (laughter rising) Well, what if we put him in a deal with Marko Jaric? (rising) Hmm, I guess we could put Mark Blunt in a deal too... (full-on guffawing) You know what, if you absolutely have to have it, we can include Ricky Davis too. (doubled over, vomiting, screaming "make it stop")

Anyway, there it is.

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