This year, the Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Since then, trade speculation has begun. Analysts and fans believe that the Lakers need to get more athletic and younger so that they can contend now and in the future.
Recently, I started experimenting with different trades on ESPN's Trade Machine that involve the Los Angeles Lakers. I was able to create a trade that would send both Dwight Howard and Monta Ellis to the Lakers.
Unfortunately, the ESPN Trade Machine doesn't let people use draft picks in their trades. So, I added the draft picks myself.
Lakers receive: G Monta Ellis
Warriors receive: PF Lamar Odom, PG Steve Blake, 2011 Second-Round Draft Pick
The Lakers have apparently shown interest in trading for Ellis. The Trade Machine says that the Lakers' projected wins is -2 while the Warriors' projection is +3.
I don't necessarily agree with this analysis. I believe that Golden State wants a lot in return for Ellis, so I believe Odom, Blake and a draft pick will suffice. Just a side note, the Lakers have a lot of draft picks (four picks in 2011, three in 2012, three in 2013).The Lakers benefit from this trade because they have a replacement PG for the future.
Although Ellis is more of a scorer, he is becoming a pretty good passer, too; he averaged 5.6 assists in 2010-11. Also, Derek Fisher can provide some guidance for Ellis. In addition, Ellis' superb scoring ability can take some of the load off of the aging Kobe Bryant. Ellis also fits new coach Mike Brown's defense-first philosophy as he averaged 2.1 SPG in 10-11.
Golden State benefits because they get a great PF in Odom who can pass, rebound and score. Also, they get a backup PG in Steve Blake. In addition, they get a draft pick, which they can trade or use wisely to get a solid player. Most importantly, this trade will allow Stephen Curry to blossom.
Lakers receive: C Dwight Howard
Magic receive: C Andrew Bynum, Two First-Round Picks, One Second-Round pick
Dwight Howard recently stated that he is going to be a free agent in 2012.
If the Orlando Magic do not sign another threat that could take some of the load off of Howard, there could be problems. Howard cannot do it by himself and if the Magic fail to make it to the Finals, it is very likely that he'll walk away during free agency. To avoid this, it's best if the Magic trade him so that they get something in return. If they trade with the Lakers, they get an All-Star caliber center as well great draft picks.
To many, it may seem that the Lakers are giving away too much. However, the first-round picks are probably going to be pretty low—in the 20s. If this trade happens, the Lakers will have another great center to follow the likes of Kareem and Shaq and the Magic will avoid a LeBron James-leaving-Cleveland type of situation.
Lakers' Projected Lineup after trades:
PG: Monta Ellis
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Ron Artest
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Dwight Howard
This is a pretty formidable lineup. Great offensively and defensively.
Will it happen?
Realistically, these trades are most likely not going to happen. The Magic are going to try their best to keep Dwight Howard and it's possible that the Magic will only trade Howard if the team accepts Arenas' bad contract too.
There are several reasons why Golden State wants to get rid of Monta Ellis, and one of them is that he's somewhat immature. That kind of immaturity may cause problems in LA. Also, Monta Ellis' score-first attitude may cause problems, especially with Kobe.
In addition, the Lakers bench is already weak and will get weaker, which will be a very big issue.