NBA Trades: 10 Players Los Angeles Lakers Could Pursue to Solidify Title Hopes

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2010

NBA Trades: 10 Players Los Angeles Lakers Could Pursue to Solidify Title Hopes

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    The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a hot start this year. They're 12-2 and look to be the clear favorite to take home the title in 2011.  

    While the roster looks to be pretty complete on the surface, there is a slight issue. Considering the injuries of Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff, the team could really use some more depth in the frontcourt. 

    There have been reports about a few free agents they are looking at to address the issue, but they may also trade for a backup big man in the next couple months.

    This article will present 10 players that could fill the Lakers' need up front.

    Many of these players could be acquired through trades involving Sasha Vujacic, who is playing on an always-valuable expiring contract.

Jeff Foster

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    Foster is a decent interior defender, and he crashes the glass well. For his career, he averages nearly five offensive rebounds, and 12 total rebounds per 36 minutes of playing time.

    He is on an expiring contract, and the Lakers would send their own expiring contract to the Pacers to get him. They'd likely have to part with a draft pick as well, as the Pacers probably wouldn't be too excited to take on Sasha Vujacic on his own.

Troy Murphy

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    The New Jersey Nets are looking to unload Troy Murphy, and he would be a very nice fit for the Lakers behind Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

    While he's not a stellar interior defender, he does rebound very well and can stretch the floor with his ability to knock down outside shots. 

    He has career averages of 12 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. His career shooting percentages are 45 from the field, 39 from three-point range and 79 from the free-throw line.

    The Lakers would send Sasha Vujacic and his expiring contract along with Luke Walton and a draft pick to the Nets. New Jersey would be extremely hesitant to take on Walton's bad contract, but getting a draft pick along with him makes it possible...barely.

Jake Voskuhl

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    The Lakers' interest in Voskuhl has been rumored for a few weeks now. It seems like a bit of an odd choice on the surface, but he may actually be able to help them down low.

    For his career, he's averaged 10.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per 36 minutes. Outside of giving Pau Gasol a few minutes to rest each night, Voskuhl wouldn't be required to do much for the Lakers.

    Reports say he's been keeping himself in shape, hoping that someone would pick him up.

Paul Davis

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    Another player that the Lakers are rumored to be interested in is Paul Davis. He is currently playing professionally in Spain, so he's in game shape.

    Davis was solid in college as a member of the Michigan State Spartans, but his NBA career featured little, if any, production.

    As is the case with most of the guys on this list, he wouldn't be required to do too much.

Nazr Mohammed

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    Mohammed would be a great backup center for Pau. He could be difficult to pry away from the Charlotte Bobcats, considering he's started all 13 games for them this season.  

    However, if Los Angeles gives up Sasha's expiring contract in addition to a draft pick, the Bobcats just may go for it.

    So far this year, he's averaging 8.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 52 percent from the field.

Nick Collison

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder actually have quite a bit of depth up front with guys like Jeff Green, Serge Ibaka, Nenad Krstic, D.J. White and rookie Cole Aldrich.

    Collison is the team's highest-paid player, and he's also the second-oldest player on the team. He's not a part of the future for the Thunder. He would fit in nicely with the Lakers, though.

    He works hard on both ends of the floor, and does things like set screens and go after loose balls. He could play a little center and power forward for Los Angeles.

    Once again, a deal for this player would likely call for the Lakers to give up Vujacic and a draft pick.

Joel Przybilla

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    This one seems a little less likely, considering Przybilla's history with injuries. Fragility is exactly what the Lakers are trying to overcome, so gambling on this player seems a bit irresponsible.

    When he is healthy, he can be a very effective backup center. For his career, he's averaged 11.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes.

    What the Lakers would need out of him is solid defense and rebounding, and he can provide that when healthy.

    Another reason this particular trade is less likely to occur: The salaries of Vujacic and Przybilla don't match up. The Lakers would have to part ways with one of their minimum salary guys, and it would likely be Derrick Caracter. I just don't see that happening.

Mehmet Okur

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    Okur could be a very good pick-up for the Lakers. It's always good to have someone that can consistently convert shots from the perimeter; it's especially nice when you can get that out of a center.  

    Big men who can stretch the floor with their jump shot open a lot of things up inside for slashers like Kobe Bryant.

    The Lakers would have to give up Vujacic, Luke Walton (maybe even Artest in place of Walton) and a draft pick to pry Okur away from the Jazz.

    The Jazz may not go for this deal because they need depth up front as well, and they're looking forward to having Okur return to their lineup.  

    Plus, taking on Walton's contract (which has three years left on it) is a bad business move at this point.

DeSagana Diop

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    Here is another possibility involving the Bobcats. Like many others on this list, he doesn't provide much offense, but he can contribute on the other end.  

    Diop's best skill is his ability to block and contest shots. His defense would be the only reason the Lakers would go after him.

    Once again, Los Angeles would probably give up Vujacic and maybe even a draft pick for this big man.

Chris Andersen

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    Phil Jackson has dealt with some interesting characters in the past. Andersen is coming off an injury, and he may look a little out of place among many of the current Lakers, but he would undoubtedly give it his all every time he took the floor.

    He rebounds and defends very well inside. Plus, his effort endears him to fans.

    Again, the deal would involve Vujacic and possibly a draft pick.

Crazy Trades

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    In my opinion, the Lakers lineup is set, and they really don't need to do anything significant to the roster.

    That being said, it's fun to play around with some of the crazy possibilities. This is the NBA, after all, and we've seen some wild deals in the past.

    Here are some interesting moves to think about (or maybe just laugh at).

    Deal 1: Denver Nuggets get Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and Sasha Vujacic for Carmelo Anthony and Chris Andersen.

    Deal 2: New Orleans gets Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor (this one was actually somewhat reasonable a couple months ago).