Laker trade talk 2011 is heating up and Chris Broussard of ESPN is the one fanning the flames. One of the hottest trade rumors being bandied about by Broussard is the Denver Nuggets trading NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony for Laker center Andrew Bynum. The proposed trade has not be substantiated by anybody in the Laker brass and the local Laker beat writers such as Kevin Ding of the O.C. Register are reporting that no plans to move Bynum are in the works for the Lakers.
Every year around this time trade rumors ranging from reasonable to completely ridiculous run rampant on sports TV shows, sports talk radio, and especially and probably most irresponsibly, on the internet. All it takes is a Twitter account, an imagination and an unnamed source to get one of these rumors to go viral.
What we usually end up with once we pass the trading deadline and all of the dust settles is either inaction or minimal player movement involving some of the lesser known players in the NBA. Major blockbuster trades are just too hard to assemble and complete with all the complexities of the cap, trading guidelines and negotiation process; therefore, we seldom see these big trades come to fruition.
The Lakers currently stand half a game behind Dallas for 2nd in the West and are just one modest winning streak away from catching the other teams ahead of them outside of San Antonio; for this reason, and because of the rarity of blockbuster trades, I don’t see a major shake up with the Laker current roster prior to the deadline.
A smaller and more realistic acquisition can be had by the Lakers by them utilizing the $5.48 million dollar trade exception they acquired in the Sasha Vujacic for Joe Smith trade earlier this year. They wouldn’t need to involve a third or fourth team to complete some elaborate trade. It would simply take another team to want to unload a player’s contract straight up for the $5.48 million trade exception from the Lakers. The other team is free of the commitment for their player, will save money, and the Lakers get a piece that will hopefully fit nicely in their championship puzzle.
Here are a list of players that make no more than S5.58 million (which is the most that a player can make to qualify for the trade exception) this season and have at least one more year on their contract making them an attractive contract to dump.
Also, I named players that can help with some of the Lakers areas of weakness such as athleticism, outside shooting, guarding the quick points and/or lack of youthfulness.
Next: Help from the Kings?