There is no question that when Andrew Bynum is healthy and playing well the Lakers are nearly impossible to beat. He is easily the team's most physical frontcourt player, and is the Lakers' only core player still waiting to hit his prime. With that being said, Bynum has rarely been at full strength the last few seasons due to a series of unfortunate knee injuries.
Thankfully for the Lakers, they have been able to win championships with a less-than-perfect Andrew Bynum. So, this has many Lakers fans wondering: Could the Lakers afford to trade him and still remain in position to win their third straight championship?
The Lakers' weakest position is point guard. One of the biggest names circulating trade rumors this season has been Steve Nash. What if the Lakers made a move to trade Andrew Bynum for Steve Nash? Here are three pros and cons for the Lakers if the blockbuster trade were to go down.
Nash would provide reliable point guard play and three-point shooting: Steve Nash would provide the Lakers with their best point guard since Magic Johnson retired in the early '90s. He would instantly provide the rest of the team with better looks at the basket, as well as consistent three-point shooting, which has been a weakness of the Lakers the last couple of seasons.
Steve Nash is more of a sure thing: At this stage, fans would know what they were getting with Steve Nash. Nash would be instant gratification as opposed to all of the question marks and debates surrounding Andrew Bynum. Bynum has showed flashes of brilliance, but it is also a possibility he could suffer another injury at any time. Bynum is in the point of his career when he should be hitting his peak. However, all of the injuries have kept him from truly busting out of the gates.
Lamar Odom could greatly benefit: In light of all of Bynum's injuries the last few years, Lamar Odom has gone back and forth between starter and sixth man. For the most part, Odom has done this graciously, but I am sure he would prefer starting when push comes to shove. With Bynum out of the picture, Odom would not have to worry about going back and forth anymore.
Steve Nash is aging quickly: If I were writing this two or three seasons ago, I would say the Lakers should do whatever they could to go after Nash. However, Nash is not getting any younger, while Bynum is only a 22-year-old. It wouldn't make sense to risk trading a player you could build around for the next decade.
Steve Nash is not a triangle offense point guard: We have seen Nash flourish in the elusive seven-seconds-or-less offenses in Dallas and Phoenix. But how would he do in Phil Jackson's triangle offense? Outside of getting a lot of three-point shots, playing in a more traditional offense would rein in Nash's strengths considerably.
Bynum is the team's X-factor: The Lakers' claim to fame the last few seasons has been their depth and size in the frontcourt. If Bynum were to leave, the team would suddenly not be so deep and big. Who would back up Odom or Gasol? Not to mention, Bynum makes up for the physicality that Gasol and Odom sometimes lack. The Lakers would be surrendering their most physical post presence, and the player that is the difference for them between being a really good team and a great team.
As nice as Nash would look wearing the purple and gold, I think it would be too risky to trade Bynum. He is till too young and has too much potential to trade for an aging player. With that being said, what would you do if given the chance? Keep Bynum? Or go after Mr. Nash?