With a ridiculously stupid NBA lockout looming in a couple of days, it looks like we’ll have plenty of time this summer to catch up on magazines, newspapers, books, gardening and speculation over possible trades that could bring the Lakers some much needed help in the backcourt and on the front line.
We continue to hear the same rumors about just who the Lakers could and should trade for. Unless Jim Buss and company decide to “blow up the team,” as Magic Johnson so eloquently put it, the Lakers will be hard pressed to trade for and bring in Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala or Kevin Love.
All of these superstars would bring something special to the team that has too much time now to ponder what went so wrong last season when it all ended in a flame out at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.
But the chances of any such trades occurring seem remote because L.A. would need to jettison core players like Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and/or Lamar Odom in order to work a deal. A number of such probable deals could involve a couple of these A-list starters, not something the Buss family wishes to do.
Stranger things have happened: witness the Pau Gasol trade in February 2008 that drew the ire of Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, the 1996 trade with Charlotte to acquire the draft rights to Kobe Bryant and the pressure packed signing of Shaquille O’Neal also in 1996. All three moves came out of left field and sent shock waves through the rest of the league.
And so, it could happen again.
But in the meantime, there are a handful of possible trades that may not look as glamorous but that could help the Lakers regain some of the steam they lost after three consecutive trips to the Finals and back to back World Championships in 2009 and 2010. They might still need to unload one of their stars, such as Odom, but you always have to give up something good in the NBA to get something good in return.
These are trades I think the team should seriously consider. They could prove to be the slight tweak that this stellar club needs to get it back into serious contention next fall.