Last season looking at the Los Angeles Lakers lineup, I'll admit, I wasn't all that impressed. They had a few question marks on their roster as far as I was concerned such as Andrew Bynum (a young but powerful semi-experienced center) whom Kobe Bryant ranted about in a negative fashion during the '07 off-season.
Could he measure up to the premier Center's in the league and assist Kobe Bryant in his hopeful push towards an '08 NBA World Championship title?
Bynum did show off his skills and became a powerful force down on the low post. That is, until he dislocated his left knee cap in the third quarter of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The burden of carrying the team to a championship was now fully back on Kobe Bryant's shoulders, or was it?
In a blockbuster trade after Bynum's injury, the Lakers acquired some help for their star player by trading for the Memphis Grizzlies stand out Center, Pau Gasol.
Now, of course, the Lakers HAD to have given up at least one big name for such a trade to go down.
Nope. The Lakers, in turn for Pau Gasol, shipped Kwame Brown (huge bust), Jarvis Crittenton (who?), and two-first round draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies. Fair? Not quite. Kwame Brown has done squat since entering into the NBA, Jarvis Crittenton, at the time a 20 year old rookie who averaged about 14 minutes and 5 points a game. There may be some potential with him but, I highly doubt there is much potential in an organization such as Memphis (sorry Grizzlies).
The Lakers also gave up 2 first round draft picks. Sounds good, right?
Not when they come from the Lakers! Come on Memphis. You gave a guaranteed scoring center with decent defensive skills for two late round draft picks? The Lakers, as far as I'm concerned (and as they have proved), won't be in the draft lottery for a few hundred years (okay, maybe not THAT long but, you catch my drift). Bravo to the Lakers General Manager, Mitch Kupchak, for the incredible steal.
Along with that jaw-dropping trade during the season when the Lakers season seemed very dim, Kupchak intends on bringing back Ronny Turiaf, a solid role player, and Sasha Vujacic, an energy filled all-round ball player.
Kupchak doesn't seem to want to stop there.
The latest rumor in the rumor mill is a trade that will involve the Lakers Lamar Odom (along with some others I'm sure) for the Sacramento Kings Ron Artest.
Just when you think, "How can the Lakers lose in '09?" They may in fact score Ron Artest as well.
I have no idea how much of a possibility this is right now but, with that in-season trade the Lakers pulled off last season ('08), how can this NOT be a possibility? Salary cap issues of course over shadow a bunch of deals in the NBA these days but, it's still a possibility with the Lakers, I'm sure.
If this does go down, tell me, how will the Lakers NOT win the NBA World Title in '09?