L.A. Lakers: A 3-Way Trade Could Help Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose to 2012 Finals
Derrick Rose, the current 2011 NBA MVP, and Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, were unable to lead their respective teams, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, to the Finals this year for various reasons, but perhaps the biggest factor was health and fatigue.
Rose had carried the Bulls the entire season, and with a strong Miami Heat defense, he could not bear the load alone. For Kobe Bryant, three straight Finals appearances, a bad knee and team chemistry issues allowed the Dallas Mavericks to sweep the Lakers as they shot lights out from three-point land. The New Jersey Nets were not a playoff team this year, despite the splash that new owner Mikhail Prokhorov made. They simply didn't win games and did not put fans in the seats.
The Bulls need a second option that can score, the Nets need to get a winning combination that can put fans in the seats, and the Lakers need some speedy legs and outside shooting.
A three-way trade between the Bulls, Nets and Lakers can be the solution to all three of the teams' problems. It is rumored that the Bulls are looking to trade Carlos Boozer, and this may be an opportunity for the Lakers to snag a shooter and some speed and familiarity. For the Nets, it gives them a chance to win some games and get some attention and a winning roster before the eventual move to Brooklyn.
Here is the NBA Trade Machine link for those that like to see the numbers crunched.
Los Angeles Lakers Get Jordan Farmar and Kyle Korver
Who the Lakers Get
Kyle Korver and Jordan Farmar
Who the Lakers Give Up
Steve Blake and part of Sasha Vujacic's trade exception
Why the Lakers Should Do This
The reason the Lakers are in this trade is really just to make the salaries work out on both sides, but they can really get some needed assets if they play this trade right. The Lakers need two things—some athleticism and outside shooting—and this gives them that.
L.A. gets Korver, who puts in eight points a game and is a great long-range shooter to come on to the Lakers. He would help spread the floor and, after being under the Bulls defensive system, he is a pretty good defensive player who can help out the bench defensively as well.
The other player they get is Jordan Farmar, who many fans actually miss after trading him initially. What the Lakers get by bringing him back is someone who is familiar with their team, and helps chemistry, while also getting a player who can run around and chase players and even move around on offense.
If anyone has been paying attention to him in New Jersey, he hasn't been jacking up as many bad jump shots and has calmed down in terms of turnovers. He is averaging 10 points and five assists for the Nets and would be a welcome addition to the team even though his numbers are bound to go down.
The Lakers lose Steve Blake, a player who never really found his place on this team running the triangle offense, and playing with players like Kobe, Odom, Pau and Bynum, who all made him more passive offensively. In going to Chicago, he fits the mold of a backup that they need—a gritty veteran PG who can come off the bench and give Rose a rest.
In Chicago, the Bulls will want him to look for his shot in their spread-out offensive scheme. His defense, which fans saw signs of in L.A., will be able to bloom under the Bulls' intense team defense system.
The Lakers lose a part of the trade exception from Sasha's contract, but get some much-needed assets. This trade is great for the Lakers because it really allows them room to move to a better offensive system, especially off the bench—their greatest liability. Plus, it should help some chemistry issues they may have.
Chicago Bulls Get Brook Lopez, Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake
Who the Bulls Get
Travis Outlaw, Brook Lopez, Steve Blake and Stephen Graham
Who the Bulls Give Up
Kyle Korver, Carlos Boozer and John Lucas
Why the Bulls Should Do This
It seems the Bulls would look to trade Carlos Boozer for someone with more speed and scoring punch. With Brook Lopez, they get a player who is going to give them 20 a night, and although he pulls down fewer rebounds, the Bulls have Joakim Noah for that purpose. This would really give the Bulls a young core that could develop together, and the Rose/Lopez combo can be great with Lopez's ability to get up compared to Boozer.
The Bulls also get Travis Outlaw, who makes up for losing Korver, and puts in 10 points a night along with Blake, a backup to Rose, and a scrub to make the salary work.
In Blake and Outlaw they get two players who help the team develop offensively off the bench. Blake is much like Korver and should hit some threes and hand out assists, but the real gem in this trade is Outlaw, who has shown sparks of being a great scorer. Someone like Ben Gordon or John Salmons who can score 16 points a game and help Rose out coming off the bench, or even possibly starting next year.
Again, the biggest thing about this trade is the infusion of youth the Bulls get. Lopez and Outlaw are two great young players, and with Rose, Gibson, Asik and Noah, and vet leaders in Deng and Kurt Thomas (if they keep him), the Bulls become a scary team that can run the floor, spread it and play defense. Losing Boozer isn't that bad seeing as how he didn't fit in well with the system, he is basically an expensive rebounder.
This would really give Chicago a huge window. The Bulls would have a chance to grow together and become an excellent team. After getting the best record in the NBA and making it all the way to the Eastern Conference finals, there is much potential in this team and in this system. Young players developing under a defensive system with an MVP in Derrick Rose may be the perfect formula for the Chicago Bulls to challenge LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat to get to the NBA Finals.
New Jersey Nets Get Carlos Boozer, Devin Ebanks, John Lucas and a Trade Exception
Who the Nets Get
Carlos Boozer, Devin Ebanks and John Lucas
Who the Nets Give Up
Jordan Farmar, Brook Lopez, Travis Outlaw and Stephen Graham
Why the Nets Should Do This
The Nets are the linchpins of this trade. Statistically speaking, they may not get much in this trade, but the biggest thing that they need to do at this point is get people into the seats and create some excitement for the move to Brooklyn. In Brook Lopez they have a star, but he is still rough, and the Deron Williams/Lopez dynamic never seemed to fully develop into what people thought it could have been.
What the Nets get in this trade is the tried-and-true formula that the Utah Jazz had in reaching the playoffs year after year in the Boozer-Williams combo. There is great chemistry between the two and they know each other well. It is a proven formula to win, and that could put some people into the seats of an ailing Nets franchise that can't seem to make any moves despite having the money.
They lose some players who could be great in the system (Outlaw and Farmar), but they do also make some cap room to possibly land a free agent this summer like Wilson Chandler, Ronnie Price (from the Jazz, helping chemistry) and maybe someone like Tayshaun Prince. With these acquisitions, the Nets could be a solid team built in the Utah Jazz mold. A team that could possibly make the playoffs in the weak-bottomed Eastern Conference instead of a team like the Pacers.
Many fans would like to see Dwight Howard in a Nets uniform, but with rumors swirling that he wants to either stay in Orlando or go to Los Angeles, that may not be a safe bet. The Nets need to move forward instead of simply waiting for a chance to get Howard. The time to grow the fanbase and create excitement for the move is near.
If the Nets can make some money and then wait until 2012 when they can bring in another decent veteran free agent like Elton Brand, Vince Carter or even someone like Gerald Wallace, that could make the team an even more dangerous team. A starting five with Boozer, Williams, Wallace and Wilson with a bench of Prince, Price, Brand/Carter, with Vujacic and other role players around them can easily be a playoff team as the Nets transition to the new arena.
For the Nets it is more about the future than about winning now. They need to lay the foundation of a winning team for when they move to Brooklyn. A Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams core with a good veteran team of hungry players can make them playoff contenders.
Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant: Opposing Legacies
Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant are two different players who are at different stages of their careers, yet the goal is the same: an NBA championship. Rose is looking to win his first, and bring a title to the city of Chicago for the first time since Michael Jordan. On the other side, Kobe looks to get his sixth ring and tie Jordan in terms of titles.
As these two start next season, we can only wait and see who will come up as a winner. In the NBA there can be only one team to win the championship, and in losing it this year, holes were exposed in both teams. If these holes are filled, perhaps the Lakers and Bulls can reach the finals and help Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose add to their legacies.
What is your take on this issue? Comment below on how you think the Lakers, Bulls, and Nets can improve this NBA offseason.