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NBA Trade Rumors: Don't Expect the Lakers to Trade for Superstar

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  (L-R) Troy Murphy #14, Pau Gasol #18, Derek Fisher #2 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers react on the bench during the final moments of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 102-90.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterMarch 2, 2012

As it usually is, talk of what the Los Angeles Lakers might do at the trade deadline is being blown way out of proportion.

The Lakers have been linked to some big names this season, most notably Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo.

It's becoming clearer that they're not going to get either of them, or any other superstar player for that matter.

The latest batch of updates may be the most definitive batch yet, and they come courtesy of Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD

There are two things worth noting in Kyler's report. Much to my relief (tired of writing about it), Kyler has this to report:

The Lakers are not in the hunt for Orlando’s Dwight Howard according to sources on both sides, so don’t get your hopes up of Howard being a Laker in the next two weeks.

Good. Talk of Howard ending up in purple and gold has gone on long enough, as far as I'm concerned. It was definitely a sexy possibility, but it never was as realistic as it should have been. It's apparently dead now, and I'm fine with that.

If the Lakers are going to make a move for a star, Kyler notes that it will be for a star point guard. That's not exactly news, but Kyler notes that the Lakers aren't as desperate to part with Pau Gasol as people think:

Laker sources have been adamant in their assessment of Pau Gasol… The team still views him as an All-Star level player and the only way they would move him is if they got another All-Star in return.

The Lakers understand Pau’s price tag is scary to a number of teams, but they say they have gotten enough offers on Pau to know they could move him if they needed to, but they are not ready to move him unless it returns a real proven point guard.

Rondo is a player who would fit the bill, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports said on the "Dennis and Callahan" show on WEEI on Friday that the Lakers and Celtics never discussed a Gasol-for-Rondo trade that they were reported to have discussed.

BOSTON - JUNE 10:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers disruptes a shot attempt by Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celltics during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
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Beyond Rondo, there really aren't any star point guards on the market, and even Rondo's status on the trade block apparently isn't what it's being portrayed to be.

If no additional star point guards find their way to the trading block any time in the next two weeks, we can take it for granted that the Lakers will still have Gasol on their roster on the other side of the March 15 trade deadline.

Kyler notes that the Lakers are likely just going to use the trade exception they got for Lamar Odom in a trade, and he's not the only one who has suggested as much. Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote on Friday that the Lakers inquired about Jose Calderon, but his salary is too big to fit under the exception. 

Calderon is good, but he's not a star. The same goes for guys like Ramon Sessions, Will Bynum and Luke Ridnour, who are all on the Lakers' radar, according to Kyler.

All of this hearkens back to what Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told Lakers.com in early February. He said he would love to acquire a "25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard," but he admitted players like those are hard to come by in trade season.

My gut tells me the Lakers are going to make a move, most likely for a guard who can play the point. The Lakers are not as hopeless as people are making them out to be, but they definitely need help at the point. It's Kupchak's job to find that help.

But he seems to have gotten people's hopes up with the failed Chris Paul trade, and the Gasol-for-Rondo rumor made it sound like Kupchak hadn't given up hope of bringing in a star point guard.

The reality, it seems, is not nearly as interesting. The Lakers will do their best to acquire the best player available, but that doesn't mean more star power is coming to LA.

 

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