The rumored Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony trade is stirring up debates all across the country but one man isn't convinced that such a trade would help the Lakers.
His name is Phil Jackson.
Understanding the art of team chemistry is something that few understand as well as Jackson and his recent remarks to the Los Angeles Times speak volumes about the importance of Andrew Bynum to the Lakers' rotation.
Jackson said, “I’m a big believer in size, look at the difference Pau (Gasol) made to our team. And Andrew, while limited at times, has already made a difference in our season so far...it has brought us championships.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum is former Lakers GM Jerry West, who mentioned on talk radio that the Lakers are a team in constant need of star power.
If the Lakers can’t find a legitimate superstar to take over for Kobe Bryant, the Staples Center will turn into a ghost town. The possibility of trading an injury prone Bynum for a sure thing superstar is certainly intriguing.
When analyzing trade scenarios such as this, GM’s look at the current landscape of the league and mix it with a dose of historical precedent before making a decision.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak remembers 2005 when Kobe Bryant was struggling to lead the post-Shaq Lakers; that small ball team didn't even make the playoffs.
Three years ago, without Bynum in the NBA Finals, the Lakers were dominated by the big front line of the Boston Celtics.
There is no question that Carmelo Anthony is a gifted scorer but this proposed trade would force the Lakers to move Gasol to center thereby eliminating the massive size advantage LA enjoys over its opponents.
I’m with Phil Jackson on this one.
Size is a scarce resource in the NBA and the Lakers would be smart to retain their premium. Consider the following 5 reasons why the Lakers shouldn’t trade Andrew Bynum:
As good as the Spurs have been in the regular season, you cannot win an NBA championship with 6'6" DeJuan Blair at center. Bynum would clobber him in a seven game series.
Pat Riley would have gotten more bang for his buck if he could have found a 7 footer to go alongside Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.
Watching the undersized Heat will be interesting in the playoffs.
There's a reason why the Celtics went out and signed Shaq...they were willing to do anything and everything to increase the size of their front line.
It wins championships.
The Oklahoma City Thunder won't be legitimate title contenders until they find a big man who wants to bang.
With Bynum the Lakers own the Thunder in a seven game series. Without Bynum, anything could happen.
The Lakers have an edge over every team that tries to play a true power forward at the center position.
That edge is Andrew Bynum.