The Los Angeles Lakers actually have quite a few trade options before the March 15th deadline.
Yes, the Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place: their only enticing trade assets are the superstar trio they want to keep. Their usable role players have either too long or too cheap contracts, so packaging them alone is problematic.
Still, with a little creativity and a nearly $9 million trade exception from Lamar Odom’s departure, the Lakers have some interesting choices at hand.
Signing re-treads like Gilbert Arenas or Morris Peterson might prove a little helpful, but ultimately won’t have any greater impact than bringing in Troy Murphy, Jason Kapono or Josh McRoberts did.
If their lack of small forward athleticism is seen as a major problem, I recently suggested turning back the clock with this reasonably priced deal.
Los Angeles would be stronger were they to address point guard and small forward with those bargain basement deals. However, none of those ideas are splashy enough to put the Lakers back into clear contention.
It’s no secret the Lakers want Dwight Howard, but they don’t want to give up Andrew Bynum AND Pau Gasol. The Orlando Magic don’t want just either/or. Prying Deron Williams away from the New Jersey Nets has produced similar results.
Los Angeles also has these potential “Plan B” options.
If willing to part with Andrew Bynum, (and possibly a lesser pick or player), the Lakers could address their point guard problem AND acquire a fantastic big-man prospect by importing Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe from the Detroit Pistons.
As Bleacher Report’s resident NBA GM, I’ll venture something even bigger.
This mega-deal might seem far-fetched, but it actually gives the Lakers everything they want—an improved cap situation for the Atlanta Hawks, a reasonable All-Star substitute for the Nets and more than the Magic might get otherwise.
Of course, the Los Angeles Lakers could simply stand still and ride this uninspiring roster through the rest of the season.
Yet, the organization can definitely spice up the plot if willing to change the actors.
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