Of course they feel that way. Suddenly reports coming of New York writers are saying that the Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum rumors that sprung forth today are really about the Knicks.
Because it’s always about you, New York, isn’t it? Always.
First we have Alan Hahn at Newsday who writes:
A person with knowledge of the situation said Carmelo-Bynum talks actually took place last summer and nothing materialized beyond the initial discussion. The Daily News reported that Lakers executive Jim Buss, son of team owner Jerry Buss who feels strongly about Bynum’s potential, rejected such a proposal. The Los Angeles Times posted a story on its website that cited a Lakers source calling the original ESPN report “inaccurate.”
New York based Ken Berger of CBSSports.com is more direct (like a good New Yorker should be):
A third person connected to the situation said he found it “suspicious” that the Bynum-Anthony scenario would become public so soon after it was publicly revealed that the Knicks have found a willing participant in the Timberwolves to contribute to a three-team scenario that would send Anthony to New York. That person said he received some signals early last week that the Lakers and Nuggets were at least considering entering into Bynum-Anthony discussions.
“Someone is trying to scare New York,” the person said.
Thing is, they’re right. Part of this is obviously a ploy to gain some leverage on the Knicks, something they lost when the Nets walked away from the table. The Lakers could be that leverage.
Before the Knicks offer included two of the three of Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields, plus a pick they would trade for, and the expiring deal of Eddy Curry. Now, it’s Wilson Chandler and Eddy Curry in a less-thrilling package. The Nuggets need that Lakers leverage to get another player in back in the deal.
But would the Lakers actually do it? Is there any real threat there?
Depends on how the Lakers front office is thinking. If the thinking is to win this year, then this move hurt them. Figuring out how to integrate Anthony into the triangle offense with Kobe will take time. How Ron Artest would react to coming off the bench at the three and having fewer minutes could be an issue. Most importantly, Andrew Bynum is the defensive anchor of the Lakers and that is their weakest area. Anthony is not a good defender. The Lakers would improve an offense already best in the league but hurt a defense that already may be a stumbling block to a title.
But if the Lakers are thinking about three years from now, when Kobe would 36 and Anthony would be just 29, it makes some sense. Anthony would become the building block for the Lakers future, to build the post-Kobe Lakers around in a couple years, with the team being very good in the interim.
But would the Lakers risk sacrificing the now for what might be down the line? Especially when they will be a draw to future free agents as well (they can play out this cycle then look to the future).
Maybe the Lakers are thinking that way, but with Jim Buss (son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the guy at the top of the Lakers player/personnel pyramid) being a huge backer of Bynum, this seems unlikely. Buss pushed to draft and keep Bynum, he’s not going to abandon him now. There already have been reports Jim Buss shot this deal down.
But if the Nuggets are having those talks, no matter how serious, it makes sense for them to leak the info. Just to prod the Knicks and show they have leverage.