Los Angeles Lakers Trade Rumors: 10 Deals That Will Get Them Back to NBA Finals

Pat Mixon@patmixonSenior Analyst IFebruary 7, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers Trade Rumors: 10 Deals That Will Get Them Back to NBA Finals

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03:  Pau Gasol #16, Andrew Bynum #17, Kobe Bryant #24 and Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers head to the bench after a time out trailing the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Staples Center on February 3, 2011 i
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The trade rumor madness surrounding Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers has reached a crescendo. We’re talking Mount Everest in the build up, the fantasy, the rumors. 

    It’s understandable. The doom and gloom that is the press attention to the Los Angeles Lakers continues to boil over after Kobe Bryant and company keep losing to the elite teams in the NBA like the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.

    Everyone’s calling for change. And, from the legit to the outrageous, it seems like everyone’s got a plan to fix LA, from the so-called experts to the diehard fans to the downright dreamers.

    The biggest jokes of all are all these trade rumors having any legitimacy of happening. People forget little things like the salary cap, the other team even wanting what LA is offering, etc.

    The list of phantom and fantasy trades that LA can make to bring in that new star and make everything different keeps growing.

    So, I wanted to make this list the final, end all, be all, LA trade rumor list. We’ll take a look at fantasies, outside chances, the possible maybe department and end with some cold-hearted reality.

    That’s right. Isn’t it time for a little reality in all this trade rumor madness?

    Here are the 10 trades that could possibly fix LA and get them back to the NBA Finals next June.

Fantasy Time

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    Here are some fantasy/dream trades.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors stands at midcourt during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Who

    Lamar Odom.

    How

    We have no clue, especially since the salaries don’t even come close to matching up. Golden State would have to throw in all kinds of other players to make this work.

    Why

    Great for the Lakers, of course. You get a quality point guard and outside shooter who is young. He’ll roll with the Lakers now for a few more titles, then partner with Andrew Bynum for Lakers 2.0.

    Reality

    There is no way this trade happens. Golden State would never make this move, in its division and for Lamar. Maybe for Bynum, but not Lamar. Plus the numbers don’t work.

2. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 05:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 99-95.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Who

    Ron Artest or Lamar Odom.

    How

    The salaries come much closer on this one than most on the rumor mill list, but that is only part of the story. Why would Phoenix trade one old guy for another old guy? Great for the Lakers to get an MVP point guard, but Nash has so many miles on his tires, so he’s only a short-term move. 

    Why

    Not really sure how LA gains on this one. Sorry fans. Makes no sense.

    Reality

    To get an old guy and give up defense and length. The Lakers don’t even need a traditional point guard in the triangle.

3. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 7:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets drives against Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 7, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Who

    Andrew Bynum or possible a package of Ron Artest and Lamar Odom.

    How

    The GMs could probably get the salaries to work on this one.

    Why

    Sounds good, doesn’t it? Paul is young, explosive and gives LA youth and energy. You give up Bynum or the Artest/Odom package.

    Reality

    New Orleans isn’t going to make this trade. Not this year. No way. Only Bynum could possibly be of interest to New Orleans and his ongoing injury struggles makes this one complete fantasy. Try again.

4. Deron Williams, Utah Jazz

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    SALT LAKE CITY - MAY 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz in action against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2010 at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Who

    Bynum or possible the Artest/Odom package.

    How

    Again, the numbers actually come close on this one, because D-Will makes solid money and so does Bynum. There would have to be another player on the Laker side if it went down with only Bynum.

    Why

    Why is right? Why would Utah even consider this trade? For LA, makes perfect sense.

    Reality

    Keep dreaming. This one is probably the biggest fantasy of all. Utah hates LA and I don’t see the Jazz trading with the Lakers. Ever. Even if everything worked, which it doesn’t.

5. Kirk Hinrich, Washington Wizards

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    WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 18:  Kirk Hinrich #12 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Miami Heat at the Verizon Center on December 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and o
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Who

    Bynum, Artest/Odom or just Artest.

    How

    Hinrich makes like $14 million. The numbers don’t work unless LA gives up the farm.

    Why

    Not really sure why this is even a good trade for LA. Phil Jackson has liked Kirk for years and he would be a great fit for the triangle, but that’s as far as it goes. The Lakers already have Steve Blake and the point really isn't LA's recent issue.

    Reality

    How could this trade even happen? Why would LA give up anything good for Hinrich? Okay, if you can steal him for nothing, maybe a draft pick and a rookie or even Steve Blake, but the numbers don’t work. 

Outside Chance

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    Here are some of the trade rumors that have an outside—I'm talking outside—chance.

6. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

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    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets collides with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Who

    Bynum or the Artest/Odom package. Believe it or not, I’ve even heard a possible Pau Gasol for Melo on this one.

    How

    The numbers come close to working when LA throws in the guys we just mentioned.

    Why

    Why would Denver ever trade with the Lakers? For LA, sure it’s a nice fantasy. Imagine. Give up old or injured player to get a young and athletic one. LA even maintains some length (especially if Bynum stays) and is still loaded.

    Reality

    Denver’s not going to trade with LA. Doesn't make sense for the Nuggets. They don't need a center or older players. I’d love to see Melo in LA, but it's not going to happen.

7. Andre Iguodala, Philidelphia 76ers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers passes the ball around Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at Staples Center on February 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Who

    Bynum or the Artest/Odom pair.

    How

    The numbers are close, so this is okay.

    Why

    Youth for old in Artest makes sense, but you lose defense. If you trade Odom or Bynum to make this happen, you lose length, which is pointless. And, Philly wants to get something on any trade (remember, there are two sides to every trade), so Philly may be open to a quality package, especially Bynum.

    Reality

    Not going to happen. You give up massive D at the 3 spot to get Iguodala. He’s young so that is nice, but this one is fantasy, as the Lakers would have to give up too much and it wouldn’t be worth it for Iguodala. They'd lose height for marginal perimeter. It would be more worth it to lose length in the Melo trade (still dreaming).

The Maybe Department

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    Here are some of the trade rumors that actually have some merit.

8. Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors

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    LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 5:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors drives around Derek Fisher #32 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 108-102.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Who

    Steve Blake, rookie and/or draft picks.

    How

    The numbers could work if LA uses its trade exception.

    Why

    Calderon is a quality player on a losing team. If LA can make the move and not give up important pieces, it could make sense.

    Reality

    Doubtful. LA can’t get Calderon without giving Toronto something good, like Artest, and that would be a terrible move. Toronto isn't stupid. It's not going to serve up a Spanish gift for LA. Nice try on this one, but not going to happen.

9. Carl Landry, Sacramento Kings

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03:  (L-R) Carl Landry #24 of the Sacramento Kings is defended by Lamar Odom #7 and Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on December 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defe
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Who

    Ron Artest and draft picks.

    How

    Off the bat, the numbers aren't that far off, but they could work with a little finesse, a player to be named later or picks.

    Why

    Landry is a banger and plays with heart and energy every second of every game. He’s a injection of life that the Lakers need during the regular season.

    Reality

    It's not worth losing Artest and his defense for Landry. Sure, LA is playing listless hoops during the regular season, but to give up Artest isn't worth the move. Also, why would Sacramento make this trade? I don't see any reason from its side.

Reality

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    Here's the trade to make that is based in reality...

10. No Trade

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers h celebrates after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User e
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Who

    No one.

    How

    Don’t do it.

    Why

    The Lakers are the two-time defending champs. They are bored. Sure, they aren’t playing well this year, but they are actually better statistically in many categories, especially defense. They might have slipped back to the rest of the pack, but they still have one of the league's top four records.

    Reality

    The Lakers are all about the postseason. The regular season is a marathon and only used to get to the playoffs. For LA, it all comes down to winning four out of seven games.

    So, don’t rock the boat. There are no truly realistic trades that could happen to make LA better. Stay the course and keep the team intact as is. They will get it done. Keep the faith and don’t give up. Jump off the trade bandwagon. You can do it. Really. Trust me. And, trust the Lakers.

    Want to learn the details of Kobe Bryant’s legendary work ethic? Or why Kobe considers himself a “talented overachiever” or an “outcast” for much of his life? Check out the new book, The Kobe Code: Eight Principles For Success—An Insider's Look into Kobe Bryant's Warrior Life & the Code He Lives By, at www.PatMixon.com.

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