NBA Trade Rumors: Best Move for the Los Angeles Lakers Is No Move at All

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 18, 2010

BOSTON - JANUARY 31:  Kobe Bryant  #24 the Los Angeles Lakers shakes hands with teammate Lamar Odom after Odom was fouled during a game against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden on January 31, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Lakers won 90-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash /Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Recently I have been disparaged for my belief the Los Angeles Lakers should forgo involvement in NBA trade activities and focus on continuing their bid for a repeat with the roster they have.

Although the counterpoints to my opinion have been delivered in an intelligent but fierce manner, I choose to stand on my faith through the strength of lessons the past has left for us.

Anyone familiar with the organization is aware that the Lakers were constructed by Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson, with winning championships and consistently being competitive as the primary focus.

Los Angeles has a superstar in Kobe Bryant as the alpha and omega piece,and he is surrounded by talented players with playoff experience who have performed their best when the need has been greatest.

Pau Gasol is a star in his own right and his intelligence and versatility in the post complement's Bryant's play on the perimeter. Gasol and Bryant give the Lakers one of the more formidable 1-2 threats in the NBA.

But it doesn't end there. There is a wealth of talent spread throughout the roster, like Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Ron Artest, all players who are capable of contributing on both ends of the floor.

The bench has been criticized, but it is the same bench which came through for the Lakers in the playoffs last year. It's also this same unit that is starting to show signs of cohesion now.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Shannon Brown has shown enormous growth since his playing time has increased, and Jordan Farmar is finally becoming comfortable with his role on the team. Paired with Brown, they serve as a potent spark off the bench.

The Lakers have some issues with chemistry and complacency, but the attitude is familiar and the chemistry issues can be assumed by Jackson, a coach who has turned strong personalities and dysfunctional players into multiple champions.

He is cognizant of what type of team he has. The performance of his team in the absence of Bryant has proved to be a valuable teaching tool for him, and a chance for his team to gain more confidence.

My biggest concern over this year's team was the ability of Artest to assimilate into the Lakers scheme. Half a season later, he appears to be comfortable, and his play on the defensive end of the court has been stellar.

The Lakers are the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, with the second best record in the NBA, and their reluctance to make a move shows they are content with the direction in which the team is headed.

It's no coincidence the only major move of the season thus far has been made by the Cleveland Cavaliers. As they are perceived as the primary obstacle for a Lakers repeat,obviously they felt they had to improve to bolster their own chances.

Glancing at that trade, is it really necessary for the Lakers to act to counter it, and does it really thrust the Cavaliers into the spot as favorites? I question that theory.

The player who I felt leveled the playing field was shipped away in the deal, and the Cavaliers lost crucial length, which clearly bothered the Lakers in the teams' two previous meetings.

More importantly, the Lakers have something else: the benefit of having reached the pinnacle of the league's mountain top with virtually the same roster, and the knowledge of what it takes to return.

Criticize me if you will, but I would rather face the remainder of the season with a team which has proved it self and has been baptized in fire, rather than risking the damage that may lie in tampering with a championship product.