NBA Trade Rumors: Top 5 Rumors Circling L.A. Lakers During Lockout

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJuly 8, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: Top 5 Rumors Circling L.A. Lakers During Lockout

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    The NBA lockout leaves us with plenty of time to twiddle our thumbs and imagine the possibilities. Under normal circumstances, we would be knee-deep in rumors that would send stars across the country to a new team. 

    I am here to save you from the darkened doldrums of the lockout with some rumors to ponder and discuss. The best part is that they all have to deal with one of the most storied and dramatic sports teams of all time.

    There really is no other perfect team to pick apart during this lockout offseason. There is always a title at stake. This team is always on the lookout to trade up to secure that their club is deep into the next postseason playoffs. 

    You also have a cast of wonderful characters. From the sinister Black Mamba to the lovable goof, Ron Artest, this team is familiar with melodrama and soap opera-like personalities. 

    Here we will break down the top five rumors that are circling the Staples Center at the moment. Some would greatly diminish the team's chances to compete for a title, and some are downright strange. 

    With this team, you can't discount any of them. One thing is certain, the Lakers want to win. Sometimes that need blinds a club into tweaking the roster when none is needed. That is why I am confident that something drastic will be done when the lockout is lifted. 

    The NBA draft proved to be fueled with Lakers rumblings. Those same discussions will continue after a new CBA is ratified. 

    Here are the trades that will keep us warm during a cloudy offseason. We don't have much, but at least we have trade rumblings and innuendo to keep us fat and happy. 

    The Lakers may be dormant for the time being, but that doesn't mean the talks stay quiet. Here are the top five rumors surrounding the Lakers. 

5. Mickael Pietrus to the Lakers

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    Here is one that is fresh off the pile of rumor and speculation. Lakers Nation reports that Kobe Bryant is quite taken with Suns slash guard, Mickael Pietrus. 

    He told the French Magazine L’Equipe the following: 

    Phoenix didn’t use me, but that’s their problem. I’m going to continue working. The only thing I care about is winning a title.

    A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.

    This is of course very speculative and in no way a solid trade rumor. However, it makes sense. The Lakers may not have to give up much to land Pietrus who was underused by the Suns last season. 

    This may be a favor they can do for Kobe Bryant to alleviate the damage done by not consulting him on the Mike Brown hire. Either way, it is great food for thought. 

4. Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown for Monta Ellis

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    This one had some legs ahead of the NBA draft but died a slow, suffocating death. I see the Lakers reviving talks once the lockout is lifted. 

    I could see right off the bat why the Warriors were not completely enamored with this trade. The most obvious is that they lose a prolific scorer for two bench players. 

    Granted, Odom would be starting on more than half of the NBA teams out there, but he just isn't the type of player you count on to get you buckets every night. That isn't his game. 

    For the Lakers, this would make more sense than you would think. Ellis and Bryant would kill teams in a new Mike Brown offense that opens the floor and still incorporates the bigs. 

    I don't see this one happening in a million years though. 

3. Lamar Odom for Andre Iguodala

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    Here is a deal that makes little sense for the 76ers, and immense sense for the purple and gold. Iguodala would provide a youthful spark to an otherwise stagnant team. 

    For the 76ers, they would be getting an enigmatic player in Lamar Odom, who only seems to have found his niche with the Lakers. Odom serves a very specific purpose, and a trade may render him a stagnant mess on another team. 

    The only worry here is that the Lakers would be getting a great player to anchor the second unit for a reigning sixth man. 

    It seems like a bothersome way to land the same type of player. What I do like, is Iggy's scoring and defense. He is committed to both sides of the ball and would be of more help if the Lakers moved him into the starting lineup. 

    The Lakers would get stronger in this deal, but I don't see the Sixers taking the bait. 

2. Pau Gasol for Kevin Love

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    At the draft, the Lakers were rumored to have been talking about a Kevin Love and first-round pick for Pau Gasol trade. To many, it made a whole lot of sense. 

    The Timberwolves would get a proven veteran, something they sorely needed, and a star who knows how to win the big games in Pau Gasol. 

    The Lakers would get two young players to bridge this aging ship with the next iteration of the purple and gold. They would also get the best rebounder in the game in Kevin Love. 

    Those rumors went nowhere at the draft. 

    You can bet that they will once again surface when the curtain goes up on this lockout. The Lakers would not go for a straight one-for-one trade. You can't send off one All-Star with a couple of rings for an up and coming player, no matter how polished he looks. 

    If the Timberwolves sweeten the deal, Love could be a Laker next season. 

1. Dwight Howard to the Lakers

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    We obviously have to talk about the elephant in the room who also happens to be the best defender in the NBA. 

    The Magic and Lakers are inextricably intertwined for the offseason. Everyone with a pulse knows Howard will opt out. It even caused LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke to demand the Lakers get a shiny new big man. 

    The sad fact for Lakers fans is the Magic are stubborn to a fault in keeping Dwight Howard. They seem content to hold on to him, even if an Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is the best deal they will ever hear. 

    The Lakers are all set on big men, but Howard would still improve the low post. He is a punishing defender and would flourish in a Mike Brown system. This would be an amazing trade that would benefit the Lakers without question. 

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