They just lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s inconcievable. So you’d have it right if you thought Lakers fans were talking about trades today. And by talking about we mean obsessing over and demanding.
Not going to happen.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said as much at the unveiling of the Jerry West statue outside of Staples Center on Thursday. He called a trade unlikely.
Why? Two reasons.
One, the Lakers don’t have any tradable assets. What they have a bunch of guys over 30 locked into long term deals — Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Steve Blake, Derek Fisher. Those can’t really be moved. Nobody wants Luke Walton either. Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown would draw interest but you couldn’t get anyone back nearly as good for what they make. The only tradable asset L.A. had was Sasha Vujacic and they already moved him for Joe Smith and some second round picks (and some financial savings).
Andrew Bynum? Please. Stop it. The Lakers are not moving him (he’s a favorite of Jim Buss, and he calls the shots). And while we’re at it, trading Bynum for Carmelo Anthony would kill the Lakers shot at a title this year because their already spotty defense would become dramatically worse. I mean, unless you want to see the Spurs in the finals.
Secondly, this is a team that has won the last two titles. Talk to scouts and executives around the league and they see the Lakers as bored enough to lose to the Cavaliers but talented enough to wake up for the playoffs and still win it all. It’s going to fall to Phil Jackson (and Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher) to wake this team up. But they are a sleeping giant that the rest of the league hopes keeps napping.