L.A. Lakers: Do the Defending Champs Need To Make a Deadline Deal To Repeat?

Stephen PattersonCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 14:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a call against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the recent struggles of the Los Angeles Lakers, there have been countless reports to surface suggesting there might be a trade on the horizon in Tinseltown to shake things up as the team prepares to for the second half stretch heading into the postseason.

The Lakers have reportedly made or fielded calls about trades involving a large number players varying from the Charlotte Bobcats' Stephen Jackson to the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony. Most of the trades being discussed are more than minor tweaks, and a majority of them involve moving at least one starter. 

While some of the moves that have been discussed probably sound good to the Lakers, I don't think any of the players being linked to L.A. will be able to come and have a positive season-altering effect on the team.

Don't get me wrong, obviously the addition of someone like Anthony or Jackson would be a positive for the Lakers. But at the cost of Ron Artest or Andrew Bynum, how much help would either of those guys really be towards winning a third consecutive championship?

Most L.A. fans would gladly exchange Bynum for Anthony, and while they may love watching Kobe and Melo scorch defenses at first, I'm not sure they would have the same feeling of enjoyment while watching opposing big men trash their team in the paint and on the glass without Bynum patrolling down low.

The Lakers would be foolish to part with their seven-foot enforcer for a smaller player, especially when they aren't overflowing with size.

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While Artest may cause teammates, coaches and fans an occasional headache or two with his antics, his lockdown defense would be greatly missed in postseason. Unless Artest actually made a trade request, I can't picture the Lakers moving him before the deadline either.

Although trading someone from the starting line-up may be a bad idea for the Lakers, a smaller move to improve the quality of the bench might be something they should consider. They could clearly use another point guard, and another big man would also be beneficial for them.

Whether or not they to decide to improve the bench likely won't alter their title hopes too much; however, making a deal that would break up their current core of starters would likely have a very negative effect on the chances of there being a third straight title in Lakerland.

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