Lakers Trade Rumors: Shaq Back to Lakers?

Ryan WardCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2009

This trade would be one hell of a stretch, but anything is possible in professional sports these days.

It was a surprise enough to see the Lakers making a trade for small forward in Adam Morrison in exchange for sharp-shooting Vladimir Radmanovic, but it would be huge to see Shaq in a Lakers uniform again.

Then again, it could be a disaster.

About a month ago Shaq said he wouldn't mind going back to play for the Lakers under Phil Jackson and alongside Kobe Bryant.

He even said the whole Kobe/Shaq feud was due to the media building something out of nothing.

He probably finally came to the realization that the Phoenix Suns aren't going anywhere and the Lakers are the favorites to come out of the West for the next two, three, maybe five seasons.

Although Shaq said he was up for the idea of playing in LA, the possibility of it actually happening seemed nearly impossible, especially with Andrew Bynum becoming the dominant force in the paint.

After Bynum went down recently and with the constant trade rumors in Phoenix, Shaq coming back to LA might not be so farfetched as it once seemed to be.

The real question is what will the Lakers give up in return and will it be worth taking on Shaq and the baggage he might bring to a championship contender.

The trade buzz flying around in Phoenix right now is that no one, besides Steve Nash, is untouchable right now. The biggest barginning chip and trade bait the the Suns have to play with is All-Star Amare Stoudamire who could drastically improve any team he may go to.

Other players possibly packaged with Stoudamire are Leandro Barbosa, Matt Barnes and Shaq as an outside possibility due to his big contract. If Shaq does get traded again it will have to be in either in a huge blockbuster three way deal with Stoudamire involved or a separate deal altogether.

The Lakers trade rumor involving Shaq would include Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm and DJ Mbenga headed to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the center that helped bring three championships to LA not all that long ago.

Will this trade go down?

Probably not. I really don't see the Lakers throwing Shaq into the mix and getting rid of Lamar Odom while he is playing so well.

Then again, Odom's value may not get any higher than right now and if they were to move him this would be the time with his contract up at the end of the season.

Should the Lakers make this trade?


Pau Gasol is obviously no center and waiting for Bynum to recover again may result in the same outcome when it comes to playoff time.

Shaq is a proven winner, playing better than he has in years and he knows Phil Jackson's triangle offense better than any center in the league, including Andrew Bynum.

The problem is losing Lamar Odom. Without Odom, the Lakers might be more exposed than they are without Bynum. Odom brings somewhat of an X-factor to the Lakers, where he can play any position and is as versatile as they come.