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Lakers share mixed perspective on trades made around the NBA

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It's a time period the Lakers and many of their fans don't like to revisit. The 2004 NBA Finals, you know, the one where the Detroit Pistons upset the Lakers and denied them their fourth championship in five years.

But Coach Phil Jackson brought up that season in context with the latest trading deadline. After Rasheed Wallace was traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Pistons acquired the current Boston Celtics forward in a three-team trade involving Boston and Atlanta. The effect was felt instantly that season, resulting in an NBA championship.

Jackson didn't see any of the trades this past week bearing the same magnitude. And the Lakers made no moves before the deadline, meaning they'll look to defend their NBA championship with nearly the same roster as last season's, with exception to the essentially off-season swap with Trevor Ariza to Houston and Ron Artest to L.A. Nonetheless, Jackson still kept an eye on specific moves from the perspective on how it could affect the Lakers in the postseason.

Jackson seconded the viewpoint of General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who recently told The Times' Mike Bresnahan that Dallas' acquisition of Washington forward Caron Butler and center Brendan Haywood will be significant. The Clippers trade involving shipping defensive specialist Marcus Camby to Portland also caught Jackson's eye because the Trail Blazers (32-15) are slated to face the top-seeded Lakers (42-14) in the first round of the playoffs.

But there was one trade Jackson initially refused to discuss, that one involving Cleveland's acquisition of forward Antawn Jamison from Washington for center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. A little bit of prodding revealed Jackson's true feelings.

"I don't know what that does for them to tell you the truth," Jackson said. "They're going to get Ilgauskas back and it's going to be one of those scenarios we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, then you get another player, then that player retires and they pay him off. Then he comes back in 30 days. I don't know what that does for the league. I think it's kind of a weird situation."

The Lakers themselves weren't as analytical regarding the trades. Forward Lamar Odom was pretty honest why he didn't want to dissect the latest transactions.

"If somebody got better, I wouldn't want to admit it," Odom said. "I wouldn't want to tell them and boost their confidence."

Odom maintained the stock I'm-only-worried-about-the-next-game-in-front-us attitude regarding the trade conversation. Although it's understandable he may not want to talk up other teams, the bigger narrative is that teams, such as Dallas and Cleveland, are stocking up to bolster their championship chances. That gives one added layer of pressure for the Lakers to defend their turf, as if they haven't been trying to do that already.

"We're considered a deep team," Odom said. "We got a lot of guys who can play. If you feel like you need to compete, we're one of the teams you need to compete against."

Although opponents may depend on these trades providing them a push come postseason play, the Lakers will depend on their championship experience last season. At this point, one quality isn't superior to the other. But as far as the Lakers go, it's understandable they didn't make any moves even if there are valid concerns regarding the point guard spot, their outside shooting and their injuries.

There are salary cap implications to consider, as well as how quickly a new player could adjust to the triangle (just ask Artest; he's still learning). Staying healthy is something the Lakers will want to maintain, but the two other problems (point guard play, outside shooting) are areas the Lakers are capable of correcting or at least masking the leaks.

Because of the aforementioned problems, Lakers guard Jordan Farmar admitted many members of the team (presumably on the reserve list) were unsure this week how long their future with the Lakers would last.

"I'm sure there's a lot of guys here who feel they should be playing more and getting more of an opportunity and not getting our chance at all," said Farmar, who is without a doubt also talking about himself with that statement. "So you never know with those situations what could happen."

Yet, despite any frustrations, Farmar is glad everyone stayed on board.

"We're the defending champs. We don't feel we need to change much."

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com.

Photo: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak didn't make any deals before Thursday's trade deadline. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (34)

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Hope Kupchak makes Z an offer just to piss off the Cavs. You never know, he might bite.

I once coveted Pau Gasol . . . that turned out well

I now covet Steve Blake . . . . MAKE IT HAPPEN

Farmar really needs to quit whining and let his play speak for itself. He shouldn't air out his dirty laundry in public. It seems that he still has some growing up to do.

On another front, I agree with PJ that it's very strange that Dennis Rodman was left off of the HOF ballot this year. Of course Rodman was very strange himself...but he was also one of the best defensive basketball players I've ever seen, and that includes his rebounding skills. Sure, he was one-dimensional in that respect but what a dimension it was, whatever dimension it was in! At the very least he should be considered, he should be on the ballot!

From Utah:


"(Deron) Williams frustrated by Brewer trade


After the Utah Jazz traded his good friend Ronnie Brewer, Deron Williams seemed to hint that his exit from the franchise could be sooner rather than later. Speaking with reporters the day after the Jazz sent Brewer to Memphis for a protected first-round draft pick, Williams expressed frustration with the trade and hinted that he was ready to leave as well: "That's why I signed a three-year deal."


If Deron Williams refuses to re-sign with the Jazz, and a sign and trade becomes necessary, I'd really consider signing a defensive specialist at center (Dalembert or someone like that) and trading Bynum for Deron. Yep. I really would, so long as we can get a some length and heigth to play center/PF.


Wes

It looks like Cleveland hit the jackpot in the trading deadline. 0-12 for Jamison in his Cav debut, in a 17-point loss to the Bobcats. That look on Princess Jimmy was just priceless.

I know it's the nature of the beast and that each year we have to deal with this crap on the blog, but I really wish everyone would stop complaining so much. It's near pathological.

We are clearly the best team in the West.

We are improving as a team.

And 85% of the posts on this blog are by people claiming that the Lakers exhibit a level of incompetence slightly better than the New Jersey Nets.

It's madness.

It is so alien to my sense of awareness that it is truly unsettling

My mind reels at the concept that these chicken littles may actually have struggles in their lives to negotiate. How do they wake up and get through traffic in the morning, if decidedly leading the Western Conference causes them so much personal angst?

Laker Tom writes an optimistic post and 65% of the bloggers here scream to have him flayed alive. What the heck?

It's just nuts.

I'm a big Lakers fan and it is utterly weird to me that I go to a LAKERS blog and find so many people complaining and so few people actually happy to be discussing the Lakers with fellow Lakers FANS.

I mean, come on, guys. Get a grip.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Upon reading T.J. Simers' article about the Clippers going for LeBron James...

I have not heard a single fricken thing about the slightest possibility that LeBron James might be interested in being a Clipper.

I've heard him remaining a Cav, perhaps going to Chicago, perhaps going to New York. That's it.

His mom is basically happy to be chilling in a crack house. There simply aren't enough crack houses in Playa del Rey. Should wouldn't know what to do with herself.

There is no way, no how that LeBron James will ever be a Clipper. If "The Donald" Sterling actually wants to improve his team, he might want to begin consulting reality before making decisions.

Go Clippers!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Wow...7 comments and one calls Lebron "Princess" while another says his mom lives in a crack house. Laker fans have got to be the classiest in the NBA.

That being said, the Jamison trade looks horrible for the Cavs. Forget about the 0-12, did you see his defense? Cavs were -17 with Jamison on the floor.

Obviously, if Ilgauskas gets bought out and then returns to the Cav's then they have a pretty nice piece in Jamison for nothing. Did anyone catch the Wizards game last night though? I thought two things when watching the end of the game on NBAtv, first that the Clippers once AGAIN messed up and gave away a good player in Thornton, someone who I really liked since he came into the league. Secondly though I saw that they were giving this group a standing ovation in Washington, very proud of the fact that this group of new faces, led by new acquisitions Josh Howard and Al Thornton put a beat-down on one of the teams in the NBA, the Nuggets who had just come off a win at Cleveland. A standing ovation in Washington DC, I couldn't believe it.

I think there is a chance then that Ilgauskas stays in Washington, at least their fans were very happy by the effort that this group gave and maybe they want to let big-Z play for them. Even if he does get bought out by the Wizards and cut, the Mav's have already expressed interest in bringing him in (obviously to exploit his 7'1'' frame against a possible Laker matchup in the conference finals). Zydrunas wasn't given much playing time in Cleveland this year, Shaq taking that primary big-man role away. Zydrunas might very well look to a new team where he is more needed than to return to the situation he was in, where he was anyways going to be leaving most likely at the end of the season .

OK, that being said, the Cav's now have a team that might be better suited to win in the East, but less suited to play against a long team like the Lakers all. Ilgauskas would have been a better fit to be paired alongside Shaq in a finals matchup against the Lakers than Jamison would be. It's more of a matchup that helps them against such forwards as the Magic's Rashard Lewis than it is to help them against the Lakers.

That is why this move to me is a mystery. Unless they are CERTAIN that Zydrunas is getting bought out and returning, this is a move that helps them only in the east. Against the Lakers they'll be wishing they still had big-Z.

So, again, UNLESS Ilgauskas does return after a buy-out, this trade is going to ultimately hurt them if they do face the Lakers in the finals...

Movers

Dallas upped their game. Not enough to beat the Champs. Bouncin' into Denver, who are makin' a believer out of sane fans, and Dallas would be a tough road to the finals.

Jacks says he doesn't know how the move benefits "them", the NBA, not Cleve.
The answer he dare not speak: the King is a piece closer to becoming the King with a ring which benefits the NBA.

Gotta sell the show, Kobe or Melo vs Lebron. Can't keep sellin the man as the face of the league if he doesn't perform at the end. That doesn't mean that the rules that allowed the Z zig zag was put in place for this year, but the home office approves.

p ang,

"Hope Kupchak makes Z an offer just to piss off the Cavs."

Agreed.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Here's hoping that Big Z signs with Atlanta if he's bought out by the Wiz. Atlanta is sorely lacking frontcourt depth - Horford and Pachulia are not enough. Big Z would give them a true center to support a very good Al Horford. Atlanta could make some noise in the playoffs.

Could anybody explain me , please , why Kobe had not joined the team on the bench , during the last 5 games ?

EJK,

"Here's hoping that Big Z signs with Atlanta if he's bought out by the Wiz."

I don't think it's going to happen.

Word is on the street here in Miseryville that Iglauskas is the one who went to management and proposed the trade. Not because he wants to leave the Cavs, but because he saw it as an opportunity.

Z is something of a sacred cow here because he's a pretty selfless player and has played more games as a Cav than any other player.

I'm 90% certain that Iglauskas will be returning to the Cavs, which basically sucks.

Let's hope the 30 days of longer playing time wears down Shaq for the playoffs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

LA Guy,

"Wow...7 comments and one calls Lebron "Princess" while another says his mom lives in a crack house."

She actually lives in a mansion. She's just more comfortable being in a crack house.

I see your point. I've actually thought about some of the things I've posted about LeBron and his mother and questioned whether or not I should have made such things public. I don't think you questioning my "class" is out of line at all. Again, you have a point.

It's just the more I learn from first hand accounts of what's going on with LeBron Inc. the more disturbed by it I become and I guess I feel like I need to shout out a warning to world, but, perhaps, it's not my place to do that.

Truth be told, the positive side of LeBron James is that despite his mother and the incredibly impoverished and negative environments he grew up in, he has become a success in almost every aspect of his life except being a cool person.

So, perhaps I should cut him some slack.

It's just seeing the dark forces of the Darth Stern/Nike/Gatorade Matrix get behind this guy who is funadmentally a jerk bothers me so. I just don't like the example he creates for kids.

I, unrealistically, want my obsessive narcissistic sports heroes to be paladins... and that's probably immature on my part.

I don't know.

I like the Lakers. They're rad.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Al,

"why Kobe had not joined the team on the bench , during the last 5 games ?"

I could not begin to answer that question.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

If D. Fish was so valuable would Utah have let him escape from his contract?

Its time for Farmar to get his chance.

Mark,

Can MB, BT or you ask Phil Jackson (10 rings) if D. Fish can adjust and contribute his "intangibles" from the bench and during practice like the Bulls say Lindsey Hunter does?

LA Guy,

I'm going to go there one more time even though I'm not sure I should...

LeBron's mom is basically a thin, little crack-addicted version of Mon'ique in the film "Precious." The FACT that you have a multi-BILLION (yes, BILLION) dollar brand in LeBron James controlled by a real-life crack-addiction version of Mon'ique in the film "Precious" is utterly terrifying and fascinating to me.

Let's say Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman (really?)... whoever, some white player was THE brand of the NBA and his mother regularly showed up at high school games screaming the "N word" at the top of her lungs and this brand revered his mother and made all his future decisions based upon this person. I think people would find that a bit weird, distasteful perhaps, and it could disrupt the potency of that brand.

Well, that's the case with LeBron James, but in reverse. And it goes on and nobody makes a comment about it.

I don't know if it is sustainable.

Now that Tiger Woods has fallen as the biggest brand in sports, LeBron James is now the biggest brand in sports, perhaps in the world.

That's huge.

But when one looks behind the curtain, there's a lot going on that's unsavory. So, to me, it just looks like a situation that is perilous from a marketing, media, and business standpoint.

Also, keep in mind the cult-like status of this guy here in Ohio. It's almost creepy.

What's going to happen when the house of cards falls? How will it effect people here in Ohio who worship this guy and use him as the standard for success?

I don't know, but it does concern me.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Todd,

"If D. Fish was so valuable would Utah have let him escape from his contract?"

Because his daughter was dying of cancer.

{Jon K. shakes head in disbelief.}

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

LA Guy,

Okay. One last thing. {"I CANNOT HELP MYSELF!" Said like Peter Lorre in the film "M"}

Now that LeBron James is the biggest sports brand in the world, let's think about that for a moment.

The guy hasn't won anything but an MVP. Steve Nash has twice the amount of MVPs as this guy. He hasn't won a single Championship. Nothing.

That's the equivalent of Tiger Woods being made the single biggest brand in the world without winning a majors tournament.

Doesn't that seem odd to you? A bit artificial, perhaps?

We have David Stern already declaring that this guy WILL BE the Greatest Player Of All Time.

Huh? Really? Why?

He's REALLY going to retire with more rings than Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson or Kobe Bryant? Really?

RIGHT NOW this guy is the biggest sports brand in the world and he hasn't won anything.

Something is fundamentally wrong with that.

And he's controlled by a skinny little real-life version of Mon'ique in the film "Precious."

If that's not bizarre, I don't know what is.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K,

"The guy hasn't won anything but an MVP."

Make that 2 MVPs by the end of the year. There's no question he's gonna win another one this year. And probably several more after that. The new decade will probably belong to LeBron and Durant, with Melo not too far behind.

Jon K,

Utah WOULD NOT have released Deron Williams today or Carlos Boozer three years ago in the same situation as D. Fish.

If AK47 had come to Jazz 2 years ago begging out they would have voided AK47 and his big money in a heart beat.

My point is that Utah felt D. Fish's contract exceeded his contribution with D. Will on the team D. Fish was expendable and not tradeable.

If Lakers waived D. Fish today who would pick him up for their playoff roster?

Jon K:

Lakers are always first and formost.

I did not think LBJ was the 'da 'kind at 1st either. After a few years he shown he has the chops. Easily one of the best we have ever seen. Valid argument that he has no rings yet. I seem to recall something similar to MJ in his early years. I am a fan of Steve Nash's play as well, but it is not fair to compare him LeBron.

The Cavs have a full roster of 15 so if Iglauskas is to go back to the Cavs then they have to dump someone off the roster.

Great take John K.
"RIGHT NOW this guy is the biggest sports brand in the world and he hasn't won anything.
Something is fundamentally wrong with that."
I TOTALLY agree- the only thing that makes sense is that Stern, the NBA, and the BronBron camp deemed him "The King" just so they could make a marketing goliath out of him.
The true "King" of the league right now is Kobe and anyone who knows basketball would agree. Yes Kobe in the final phase of his career, but he has four rings, can still win games all on his own, and many critics still consider him to be the best player on the planet.
So sick of hearing about LePrincess- let him catch up to Kobe, surpass him, and then he might be able to be called "King James." Oh, and by the way, by the time Kobe's done, LePrincess will have to win at least five or six titles to be comparable.

Jon K,

I usually like everything you write but I think you went a bit too far saying Lebron is the top sports brand in the world. Maybe is the US now that Tiger is going down. But the world is much more than the US.

For sure, some soccer players are ahead of him (Beckham, Messi, CRonaldo), tennis players (Federer and probably Nadal), maybe Usain Bolt is ahead of him, Michael Phelps could be as well and what about Mr Live Strong?

Lebron is just a kid that needs to prove a lot in this world to became someone respected as a sportsman not only by basketball fans but also by general public as well. This is something only accomplished by a very few basketball players.

Todd, You DO know the reason that Utah let Fisher out of his contract was because his baby had a rare cancer of the eye, right?. He did not feel that he could get the specialty care that the baby would require in Utah, so he opted to come to L.A. where there are specialists for that disorder. Utah let him out of his contract and the Lakers picked him up for a lot less than was on his contract in Utah, but he didn't care because his baby's health was his only concern. Check the archives of the internet for complete details and accuracy, but that pretty much sums it up.

1) there's no guarantee that the wizards will buy out ilgauskas, as the wizards made a subsequent transaction to get them under the cap. besides, there was some bad feeling between the organizations - out of spite, the wizards might not buy him out (if they do) until after march 1st, in which case ilgauskas would be ineligible for the playoffs.
2) why isn't smart to take advantage of the rules? it's not like jackson doesn't use rules to his advantage whenever possible. in this case, he comes off a hypocrite as far as i'm concerned.

First, lebron has got to grow up. I am not a fan of his but, he has to show some maturation. His game is getting better but, he has to learn how to be humble. 2nd, If I can understand Kobe, He does not like sitting on the bench, because it is hard for him to watch those games and not play. He would probably be a player coach and right now that is not needed with the team trying to get confidence. that is my take on that. Celtics will not beat us in a 7 game series. I want someone to quote me. Lakers and Boston rematch is coming. They are they only team that do not have to learn to play defense to stop us. They weakness is the inability to score at times and the lakers have a player that can demand the double or triple team to get scores during that drought. cleveland will not be able to handle celtics defense. lebron will go to the foul line, because celtics play defense but, defense will top great offense. kobe didnt win crap until gasol and bynum and ariza got the defense assignment together. well people that is my opinion but, we know what they say about opinions.

As a diehard Laker fan I have always held a little 'hater' in me when it comes to Lebron. In the back of my mind always hoping he would not live up to the expectations heaped on him. The MJ and Kobe comparison and who is better at what age, etc. I have to say after seeing Lebron's 'More Than A Game' I am no longer a 'hater' of Lebron. I now appreciate his talent for what it is - God given. Kobe the son of a former NBA player was given every avenue to succeed. LeBron did not know his father. His mother's problems did not keep her from wanting for her son what she could not give him at the time - stability. To her credit she didnt abandon LeBron, but placed him with a family that she knew in the long term would be better for him. One of those families had a father figure for LeBron that guided him and his friends from childhood to become successful adults. A truly remarkable story and documentary I would highly recommend to all.

lew,

Very nice commentary on LBJ. I haven't seen the documentary you're referring to, but I did recently read "The Blind Side" about Michael Oher and his struggles to pull himself out of poverty and into the NFL. There're probably many people around here who have seen that movie, although I haven't yet, if they haven't seen "More Than A Game" and to me it sounds somewhat analagous.

I'll try catch both of these flicks when they become convenient for me to view and I will heartily recommend to everyone that may even be remotely interested to read "The Blind Side". Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the book is better than the movie and I expect that to be the case this time as well, although it sounds like they've done a fantastic job with the adaptation.

Once again, thanks for the astute and thoughtful commentary.


Posted by: CyberCosmiX | February 20, 2010 at 09:32 AM

Did anyone catch the Wizards game last night though? I thought two things when watching the end of the game on NBAtv, first that the Clippers once AGAIN messed up and gave away a good player in Thornton, someone who I really liked since he came into the league. Secondly though I saw that they were giving this group a standing ovation in Washington, very proud of the fact that this group of new faces, led by new acquisitions Josh Howard and Al Thornton put a beat-down on one of the teams in the NBA, the Nuggets who had just come off a win at Cleveland. A standing ovation in Washington DC, I couldn't believe it.

I think there is a chance then that Ilgauskas stays in Washington, at least their fans were very happy by the effort that this group gave and maybe they want to let big-Z play for them.
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CyberCosmiX

The fans in DC gave a standing ovation for the effort, as much as the win(s). The fans here have had to suffer for 2 straight seasons with a very disappointing lack of effort from the team despite what,on paper at least, was supposed to be a contending playoff team led by the so-called big 3 of Arenas,Butler, and Jamison. Unfortunately, they failed to live up to the hype and after the whole Arenas gun in the locker-room incident GM Ernie Grunfeld decided to totally revamp the roster suprisigly with the exception of Arenas whom it was assumed the team would buyout. Now, Grunfeld is saying that Arenas isn't going anywhere and that if he wants to play again it will be in a Wizards uniform. This inspite of Arenas saying he no longer wishes to play under Grunfeld. I kinda think Ernie is punishing Gilbert by keeping him in Washington for causing the organization so much embarrassment. It'll be interesting to see what happens once Arenas finishes seving his suspension.

The Mavs got a steal in acquiring Butler, and more importantly Brendan Haywood who will greatly shoreup there frontline, and I think they wanted him to at least try to match up with the Lakers but, it will all be for naught cause we know they have to go through L.A. to get to the title. Not an easy feat as I'm sure you well know.


Posted by: hatercreater | February 20, 2010 at 04:57 PM

"2nd, If I can understand Kobe, He does not like sitting on the bench, because it is hard for him to watch those games and not play. He would probably be a player coach and right now that is not needed with the team trying to get confidence. that is my take on that"
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I couldn't agree more.


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