No NBA fans can overreact quite like Lakers fans.
It’s not like the team has won back-to-back NBA titles with this core group (oh, wait…). They are struggling in January and the GM mentions maybe they should consider a trade and suddenly message boards are filled up with ways to move Ron Artest for Kevin Durant and a rash of other impossible ideas. Also, Lakers fans, you do not want to pair Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. Stop trying. Trust me on this.
Fortunately, the people in charge in Los Angeles are more level headed then much of the fan base. Phil Jackson was very logical when discussing the idea of a trade at Tuesday shootaround, as reported by Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Times.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson acknowledged that the “door’s open for business” regarding possible trades involving the slumping defending NBA champions…
“It was a good calling card that Mitch threw out there,” Jackson said Tuesday.
The Lakers probably won’t make wholesale changes via multi-player trades the same way Orlando did in December, Jackson said.
“We’re obviously not happy with the way we’ve played recently but…the reality is we have a team that’s pretty experienced and knows how to play in the playoffs, so I doubt if we do a multiple-[player] change,” Jackson said.
The Lakers are not trading Andrew Bynum (really the only big chip the Lakers could move). Nobody is taking on Ron Artest’s three years and $22 million, or Luke Walton’s two years and $11 million. The only guys you could move are Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes, and they have smaller salaries that would not bring equal talent back.
What Kupchak did is fire a shot across the bow of his players. Kupchak is pretty direct and honest, he probably will talk trade, but to say that to the media came with a message to the current group of players.
The Lakers will talk trade, but don’t actually expect anything to happen.