Los Angeles Lakers Trade Scenarios: 10 Moves To Win It All
The Los Angeles Lakers are two-time defending champions.
They are second in the Western Conference with a 34-15 record.
However, the team has struggled with bouts of inconsistency. They will likely need to make a few changes if they are to end head coach Phil Jackson's final season on a high note.
Here are a list of 10 proposed moves to help lift the Lakers to the pinnacle of the NBA for the third straight year.
Ron Artest Wants a Trade? He Should Get One
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ESPN.com has reported Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest wants to be traded.
His agent says this not true, but a move could be beneficial to both the Lakers and Artest.
Artest is not having his best season.
His defensive and overall rebounding numbers are down significantly from his norm.
He can usually be counted on for around four to five defensive rebounds and five to seven total rebounds per game. This season, he is averaging 1.8 and 2.9, respectively.
Also, every season of his career, Artest has put up double-figure points per game totals. This year, though, he is averaging 8.1 PPG.
What's more, Artest is shouldering the bulk of the blame for the team's woes, particularly on defense.
Deserved or not, such criticism makes for an unhappy player, which can result in decreased production.
Less playing time will also stunt a player's numbers.
Artest is playing 27.8 minutes per game despite typically playing around 40. In the Lakers' overtime win against the Houston Rockets, he played four seconds in the fourth quarter and not at all in the extra session.
This is a sign the Lakers are not pleased with Artest and perhaps would like to move on.
Artest is a veteran with a reputation for tenacity on defense. Many teams could use his presence on the court. The Lakers would likely have at least a few takers willing to spare some helpful pieces to augment L.A.'s championship hopes.
Plus, his play could be reinvigorated by a change, much as Sasha Vujacic's was after being dealt to the New Jersey Nets.
One idea? Artest to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson. The latter can be streaky, but he is close to a 40 percent three-point shooter this season.
Move Injury-Plagued Andrew Bynum
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A few seasons ago, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant proposed the team trade young big man Andrew Bynum. They did not listen; perhaps, they should have.
Bynum can be a strong offensive presence when he is healthy. But that is just the problem—he is not healthy enough.
Just 23, he already suffers constant health issues with his knees.
His size and youth would undoubtedly net the Lakers a lucrative return from a team willing to take a chance that he will remain healthy long enough to realize his potential.
The Lakers ought to try shopping Bynum around for a more experienced big man that can help the team right now.
Bring Back Marc Gasol
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The Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol was property of the Los Angeles Lakers until they moved him in the deal to acquire his brother, Pau Gasol.
The Lakers should look into getting the younger Gasol back.
Recently, ESPN.com's Daily Dime asked their readers to submit trade ideas to help the Lakers. They then presented the ones they considered "most intriguing."
One of the proposed deals was Lakers Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to Memphis for Gasol and Zach Randolph.
This deal would be good for both teams. Gasol and Randolph could both help the Lakers, but the Grizzlies would be getting a respectable return.
Perhaps the best result of this deal would be having both Gasols in purple and gold.
Each is a talented player in his own right. Pau is one of the league's best.
As teammates, though, both would likely feed off a healthy dose of sibling rivalry. It could boost their energy levels and provide them with a little extra incentive to perform as each tries to one-up his sibling.
Furthermore, the brothers have a good relationship. Each is familiar with the other's style. They would surely play quite well together.
End the Love Affair with Shannon Brown
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Los Angeles Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown was a mere add-on in the trade of Vladimir Radmanovic for Adam Morrison.
Since then, the organization seems to have fallen in love with him and dubbed him the heir apparent to superstar Kobe Bryant.
Local advertisements in the L.A. market for Lakers games feature Brown prominently.
During games, he is often the player shown the most outside of the action and the one the announcers get most excited over.
He is often the first off the bench and has even started in Bryant's place more than once.
Brown has done nothing to deserve all the hype he gets.
It is apparently his supposed "highflying" dunks that earned him the adoration, but his dunking is nothing special.
The league is full of guys who can dunk. The Lakers have other players on the roster who not only are better dunkers than Brown but are also more skilled in every aspect of the game.
Brown often ignores an open shot or open teammate in position to score in favor of pushing his way to the hoop, no matter how bad the situation is for this.
He frequently misses easy shots and turns the ball over in attempts to show off.
He often forgets his defensive responsibilities. When he does "guard" an opponent, he just stumbles around like a headless chicken and/or winds up fouling somebody.
In addition, the Lakers style of play has been hurt by Brown's presence. At times, they have even forgone the famed triangle offense because he could not adjust to it. In many games, Bryant has either been moved to small forward or left on the bench to accommodate Brown.
Brown's attitude is also a problem.
Many times, he has been shown during broadcasts glaring at a teammate or displaying looks of arrogance when he did nothing of note.
Besides, his performance in the Slam Dunk contest proved he cannot even be counted on to dunk well.
Get Kirk Hinrich Already!
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Since last season, there have been countless rumors the Los Angeles Lakers want to/should trade for guard Kirk Hinrich, now playing for the Washington Wizards.
LATimes.com reports "[t]he Lakers and Jackson have always coveted" Hinrich. If this is true, they should look into putting an end to the talk and actually make a deal for him, perhaps one involving Shannon Brown.
Hinrich would be a marked improvement over Brown and could be counted on for solid production off the bench.
He is an intelligent player who would certainly help out on defense as well.
Free Luke Walton
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Luke Walton has been with the Los Angeles Lakers for all eight seasons of his NBA career. He and the team might be helped by a change.
Since he gave up his place in the starting lineup for Trevor Ariza in 2009, Walton has seen his minutes slashed, playing a career-low 8.8 minutes per game. Last season, he played 9.4 MPG, the second-lowest mark of his career.
Perhaps consequently, perhaps not, Walton's numbers have suffered.
Walton could provide a younger team with experience and a veteran presence.
The Lakers should be able to get at least a little something in return.
Add Samuel Dalembert for Defense and Size
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The Los Angeles Lakers most talked about issue has been their defense.
The Sacramento Kings Samuel Dalembert could definitely help the Lakers out defensively.
He is averaging close to two blocks per game in slightly less than 21 minutes per game. In a recent start against the Boston Celtics, however, he blocked five shots.
He also has the size the Lakers need with only Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom as big men who play on a consistent basis.
Replace Matt Barnes with Anthony Parker
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Los Angeles Laker Matt Barnes is injured and has not done much even when healthy.
L.A. should get another small forward that is healthy and would be more help to the team.
More specifically, they should pursue the Cleveland Cavaliers' Anthony Parker.
Parker is a solid player. He is consistent on defense and a good shooter from three-point territory.
Plus, the Lakers would not have to give up much for him.
Make the Dwight Howard Rumors a Reality
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Countless rumors have Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard coming to the Lakers—maybe this season, maybe next.
The odds of the Lakers pulling off a trade for Howard are slim, but such a move would be a huge help to L.A.
His 22.4 points and 2.2 blocks per game would be very valuable to the team, as would his size.
The entertainment value he provides on and off the court would also be welcome.
Ideally, a move would involve Andrew Bynum, and Howard would take his spot in the Lakers' starting lineup.
Bring Back Key Missing Members of the Last Two Championships
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If any of the players who were part of the Los Angeles Lakers championship runs for either of the past two years were available, L.A. ought to try and bring them back.
They all had something to offer and usually played their role well.
Some of the ex-Lakers definitely will not be back this season, but many would be helpful if they were still on the team or were to make a return.
The Lakers should have kept Trevor Ariza in the first place instead of letting him go to the Houston Rockets. His replacement, Ron Artest, was a valuable asset last season, but not keeping Ariza never made sense.
Another hometown boy the Lakers should have kept is point guard Jordan Farmar, now with the New Jersey Nets.
Also with the Nets, Sasha Vujacic has been given significant playing time, his stats have also seen a significant increase. He has also been valuable to the Nets in ways that do not appear on a stat sheet. Perhaps, he could have provided the Lakers with such contributions if they had been willing to give him enough minutes.
D.J. Mbenga and Josh Powell provided size and defense off the bench and were said to be great clubhouse guys. Mbenga is also a deceptively good shooter.
The main reason, though, for the Lakers to bring them back or others is the team played better and more cohesively, seemed to be having more fun and had better chemistry when they were all on the roster.