There is speculation that Chris Paul is headed to Tinsletown with Pau Gasol going to the Houston Rockets. Lamar Odom will go to New Orleans with a group of players supposedly including Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic. Plus, everyone’s favorite most exciting trade piece (wait for it….) picks.
From the onset you probably think “oh, this is great for the Lakers!” or “Lakers are going to win another title!”
It’s fine to think that, but when you look at it a second time it might not seem as jazzed up as it might be. Think about this, the last few years the Lakers have changed the landscape of the game with their size on the front line. Teams are rushing to the phones to acquire big men like shoppers running out on Black Friday to get a new blender. GMs and coaches are sacrificing in other areas just to get big on the front line to compete with the Lakers. Now the Lakers are essentially sacrificing that, which is fine, because they enter a new dynamic or play style.
Andrew Bynum is a good player, one who might be dealt to the Magic as a centerpiece for Dwight Howard. But now all those teams who rushed out to get big on the front line are going to be salivating when the Lakers come to town. They will have headaches back court wise, but in the front court… Man I just don’t see how Andrew Bynum alone is going to win you anything. Chris Paul and Kobe are great, don’t get me wrong, but really? The Lakers just witnessed the Heat fail to win a title WITHOUT a real big guy. Say what you will about Chris Bosh, but he’s no Dwight Howard. And on that note, maybe the Lakers are going to ship him to Orlando for Howard. But with what? Luke Walton? Metta World Peace? Orlando isn’t going to take that trade unless Jerry Buss magically buys them too (pun intended).
Back to ‘By Himself’ Bynum. The Lakers traded Odom and Gasol for a point guard. Chris Paul is probably the best in the league, but still. Dealing Odom and Gasol to the Magic for Howard makes sense. You still have two top-tier big guys after all is said and done. But now after sending Odom out in the deal you are absolutely barren in the frontcourt. Bynum can and will hold his own with most guys, but it’s a little puzzling that the Lakers aren’t getting much front court help back. The Lakers are saving some money here by sending out some 28-30 million with Odom and Gasol and getting only 16 and change back with Paul. So, maybe there is some wiggle room for them to go get another big. Maybe Emeka Okafor’s obnoxious-ish contract is following Paul in tow to LA. If Okafor isn’t involved that leaves the Lakers some cap space to get another post player, but they likely won’t find one with the talent of a Gasol or Odom.
This puts an interesting light on David Stern seeing as some people might criticize him for making this deal because he and the league own the Hornets. It’s also puzzling as to why Stern hasn’t moved the Hornets himself. He did promise Seattle an NBA team within 5 years of the Sonics moving. It’s coming up on five years soon-ish…
You know who’s the most excited about this potential trade? The Mavericks, Celtics and Heat. The Mavs probably will lose defensive anchor Tyson Chandler and the Heat have no bigs at all. And now the Celtics don’t look as much of a fool for trading off Kendrick Perkins. As it is, the landscape of the NBA might be changing once again.