The rumor mill is alive and well after ESPN's Chris Broussard broke the news that, according to his sources, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets have entered into preliminary talks regarding Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, the most highly sought after player in the league today.
Anthony, who wants to be traded from the Nuggets, has been rumored all season long to heading over to the East Coast, namely the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets, who earlier this season called off any trade possibilities.
Now, however, it seems that the Lakers may be in play to acquire Carmelo in a deal that would include Lakers' center Andrew Bynum, a former top ten first round pick in 2005.
Bynum has shown promise of being a solid basketball player; injuries however may prove to get the better of Bynum's career.
Laker forwards Lamar Odom and Ron Artest have also been rumored as possible trade bait, but reports however have also surfaced that the Nuggets are not interested in Artest.
A third team could be called on to help complete the deal to get Carmelo to the Lakers.
Although these are just rumors, one thing that does prove true is the fact that the Lakers are actively seeking help, which further underlines a bigger issue they are facing: The fact that the Lakers don't feel they are good enough to three-peat as NBA Champs.
At 36-16, the Lakers play in one of the weakest division in all of the NBA. The Pacific Division and the Central Division each have only has one team above .500 (the Lakers and Bulls). The Lakers are up 10 games on the second place Phoenix Suns, yet they sit 7.5 back from the first place San Antonio Spurs, whom they have lost twice to this season.
Against elite teams like the Spurs, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, the Lakers are 0-4.
With the exception of a one-point loss thanks to a last second tip in by Spurs forward Antonio McDyess, the Lakers have lost by scores of 13, 15 and 16.
Although there are still roughly 30 games left to play in the season, the fact that the Lakers are entertaining talks to acquire a four time All-Star before the All-Star break speaks volumes to the simple fact that the two-time defending champions do not feel they are good enough to win a third straight NBA Title.
If this trade falls through, the point would be completely validated.