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The value of doing nothing before the trade deadline

47516146Plenty of concerns surrounded the Lakers as the trade deadline approached. Worries over the team's complacency and health remained ongoing issues. And fans clamored for the team to add speed, particularly to their backcourt.

The Lakers did nothing, a perhaps boring twist during a time when trade speculation and the excitement surrounding the possibility of adding a new player to the roster runs rampant. But very few fans had worries about the roster on June 17, 2010, when the Lakers secured their 16th title and put themselves in position for a second three-peat. Plenty of variables went into that repeat effort, including Ron Artest's unpredictable heroics, Kobe Bryant making up for a poor shooting night with grit and hustle, Pau Gasol's aggressiveness, Andrew Bynum's willingness to grind through a knee injury, Derek Fisher's clutch play and Sasha Vujacic's Game 7-clinching free throws. But there was one more: the same team that entered 2009 training camp was the same team that clutched the Larry O'Brien trophy.

So as the trade deadline approaches on Thursday, it's necessary to ask if the Lakers should repeat that same formula. There's certainly varying opinions, with both General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Phil Jackson saying they don't expect the team should make a trade, while Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson tweeted before the Lakers' 104-80 victory Wednesday that the "Lakers need to make a small trade before the deadline to make a run for the playoffs." And there's fans clamoring from both sides. Some insist the Lakers need to upgrade their roster, look for that blockbuster deal that will put them over the top while finding someone, of course, who'd like to absorb Luke Walton's contract. And then there are others who believe the Lakers have the necessary pieces for a three-peat, but they just need better consistency from their current players.

Even with Kupchak's contention that it's unlikely the Lakers will make a trade, he gave himself enough wiggle room by saying his job as a general manager is to make and receive phone calls. So it's not entirely clear if the Lakers' roster will stay intact. But it should.

Sure there are plenty of issues plaguing the Lakers. There's Artest's career lows in points, shooting percentage and minutes, as well as inconsistent defensive performances. The Lakers' bench, outside of Lamar Odom, has been far from reliable. And, of course, there's the scrutiny over Fisher that pops up every regular season, only to quell once the playoffs begin. But to replace those parts now would do more harm than if these three variables continued to plague the team during the postseason.

Jackson rarely likes for teams to add players in the middle of the season, knowing there's an inevitable transition period that takes place just when teams are supposed to appear in postseason form. Fans may point to the Lakers' blockbuster trade in February of 2008, when they acquired Gasol from Memphis for Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton, two first-round picks and the rights to Marc Gasol, who the Lakers drafted with a second-round pick in 2007. But those kind of deals rarely happen and it came under difference circumstances. Then, the Lakers were looking for that one piece to make them a championship-caliber team. Now, the Lakers are trying to keep their main lineup intact, while remaining open to making various tweaks.

That doesn't mean the Lakers roster is perfect. It would've been better for the Lakers to secure DJ Mbenga this offseason than sign Theo Ratliff. Jordan Farmar leaving the Lakers for New Jersey was mutually accepted because of his want for a larger role, Steve Blake offered a different problem by deferring too much. And even though the Lakers' post presence in Bynum and Gasol serves as a distinguishable advantage against most teams, they and the team have both been equally inconsistent in making sure they fully use that strength.

But there's frankly few options, especially with the Lakers having a $91-million payroll. Those wanting a spark to the team can look forward to Matt Barnes' expected return in mid-March, a presence that's provided the type of energy and effort the team needs to avoid stagnant play. Other than that, the Lakers have the necessary parts to make it work. Their nucleus has already given them two consecutive titles. And even if the results haven't always proved to be pretty, there's no reason that same personnel can't produce a third.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Mitch Kupchak, in his ninth year as Lakers general manager, assembled most of the pieces of the 2009 and 2010 NBA titlists, and weathered a few storms along the way. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

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So I'm reading Marc Stein's Power Rankings and this is what he had to say in his Laker comments.

"The concern is not that Kobe played too hard and burned up more precious fuel Sunday night. The concern is that he went so hard after the All-Star MVP nod because he secretly fears it's the only trophy he can win."

We all know what Wade and Amare said as well with their Kobe didn't pass the ball crap. Pure Jealousy! The guy's going for 6 rings and do they treat him with the same respect and admiration as MJ, heck no! Remember Kobe's first all star game when Jordan got the MVP award. He balled out and his team won but no disrespect by other players back then. I don't get it. MJ was the biggest ball hog of all time! Even Bulls fans will admit to that. Why the jealousy for Kobe? I just don't understand it.

I guess that means he's doing something right. He's winning!

MM.. i guess this is really the only picture you must have of mitch kupchak!

MM sums it up in a nutshell:
"But there's frankly few options, especially with the Lakers having a $91-million payroll. Those wanting a spark to the team can look forward to Matt Barnes' expected return in mid-March, a presence that's provided the type of energy and effort the team needs to avoid stagnant play. Other than that, the Lakers have the necessary parts to make it work. Their nucleus has already given them two consecutive titles. And even if the results haven't always proved to be pretty, there's no reason that same personnel can't produce a third."


yellofever: "MM.. i guess this is really the only picture you must have of mitch kupchak!"


Hey Mitch is always working behind the scenes that it's hard to track him down for a photo

Over several years of posting on this board,
I think I've had one, maybe two of my submissions refused...
and even then, I was emailed by the moderater and given an
explanation why.

Today, for some reason, already two of my posts have not shown
up on this board. Perhaps it is due to a technical glitch, perhaps not.

If not, and for some reason, you found them too objectionable
to post, please explain why...and please be email will be fine.
There was no vulgarity, no racism, there were no threats...


Sonnybelfast - It must've been a technical glitch. Feel free to try to repost again


Thanks for the prompt response


If three peat is decided based on how your GM looks in the blog, perhaps no GM can match Mitch K. He has the looks of cool dude like a cucumber unlike his predecessor who is always in jittery aiming for perfection.

Lakers will three peat but.....or if they will not play with the switch. It's conditional based on show cards of this amazing team which entertained doubts throughout the season.

I think the Lakers need to acquire another veteran role player in order to make another championship run.

I'm thinking back to 2001 and the infusion of energy, sharpness, execution...just basketball "life" that Fish brought to the Lakers when he returned from an injury. If I remember correctly, we won the last 8 games of that regular season before storming through the playoffs. I'm hoping Barnes' return has a similar effect.

a somewhat offensive comment by somebody pretending to be MVP888 still exists without getting deleted on at least two threads, but you banned Practice Season Police?
Posted by: phred | February 23, 2011 at 06:04 PM

i think you have the wrong police.. PSP and blog police are different bloggers.. MM banned blog police. i hope im right!

Another added value of doing nothing this may leave us better positioned to do something next year when Orlando will be forced to trade Howard for something.

Being a bit presumptuous you say? Maybe, but I'm not the only one. (No hommage to Lennon intended.) I live in Orlando, and virtually every caller and sports radio host here has already conceded D. Howard to the Lakers. What's more, he is saying NOTHING to express any committment to the Magic beyond this season. He was pressed about it again tonight, listen to his response if you like.

By not taking advantage of some super NBA players like Melo or Williams, the Lakers have lost any chance of booking for the future. Melo scored 27 points and over 10 rebounds in his first game with Knicks. When was the last time Bynum scored over 15 points ?? or had over 10 rebounds ?? Melo does this every game while Bynum is a question mark prior to each game. Watch the Portland-Lakers game (Wed nite)and keep ur eye on Bynum performance. It's a total joke. But if Buss and Mitch and coach Jackson say everything is fine in Lakerland then I guess it is ??

Lakers need to get Gerald Wallace. He is playing really good ball right now and he seems to be part of a trade talk between charlotte and portland.

we do need a reliable and streak shooting point guard. and why not trading ANDREW BYNUM for DWIGHT HORWARD NOW. its a good trade and reasonable for the MAGIC.

"It would be better off if Nobody has name or ID, and just express their opinions rather than react to each other. That way, there is Nobody to react to or respond to, just purely opinions are to be expressed. It can also eliminate the negative emotions resulting from his or her thoughts or opinions. By nature, opinions and beliefs are limited perspective. They can never be the absolute Truth. So it's no use trying to prove that my point of view is more right than other's point of view. The subject is simply viewed from different perspectives. That's all. Thus, instead of resisting other points of views, if one can integrate (accept) all different perspectives, one can get closER to the Truth. Also, in the end, all of vicious and baseless comments will lose their powers because (only) Nobody will react to Nobody's comments. It's a paradox."

Since I have a few hours before I head to class, I wanted to address something that I found strange (if you don't, feel free to scroll past).

There *are* such things as logical truths, so this whole notion of no such thing as an absolute truth is shortsighted. Consider for example that no human being is able to be *literally* in two spatio-temporally different places at the same time and in the same exact way. Try as one might, they *cannot* be in Des Moines, IA and Grass Valley, CA at the same time in the same exact way. There are plenty more of those kind of truths, and their truth-value is not contingent upon a misguided notion of a "perspective".

With respect to the debates that happen on this blog (or, more specifically, when someone makes an empirical claim, i.e. "Kobe is better than an 80% free-throw shooter for his career"), there is a way to figure out whether the poster is saying something true; fortunately, statistics are kept that would show whether this empirical claim is true or false. Therefore, there is use (or utility) in trying to figure out whether a claim made is true or false.

I'll be very vocal about this whole notion of "integrating or accepting all perspectives" and how that gets everyone "closER to the Truth". First of all, accepting *all* perspectives is a terrible idea; if one were seriously to commit to that, then people on the blog *would* have to be ok if someone posted their "perspective" detailing how they thought certain members of the blog fall under the referent of racial/gender epithets. They'd also have to "accept" a number of other unsavory scenarios and be fine with that. Now, that may be acceptable for the person who posted the above quoted comment, but may I remind you that the LA Times has terms and conditions for posting here - hence there is an inherent non-tolerance of things that violate the terms of service.

And lastly, in terms of thinking that a "paradox" was posted, when you stop equivocating the term "nobody" with both a proper name ("Nobody") and a mass noun "nobody", you might be on to something. Maybe.

trade bynum for d.horward now.

trade bynum for d.horward now.

if eddy curry buyout in minnesotta...then pick up curry small amount...

I read Marc stern power ranking, he wrote all praises to his favorite players, but for kobe another insult, don't worry folks kobe's nothing to prove... in the end the blessings come with the lakers... Marc stern is a bias writer... he's more of a fan to other players... no need to read his power ranking ignore...

MM....what's the chance of the Lakers going after Troy Murphy once he's released, or trade Luke for him? We need rebounding energy, as well as someone like Murphy who has range...we may as well send Caracter to the D-League. Who knows if Theo is ever going to make an impact or not?

MM...what about troy murphy after he is released?

Thanks MM, finally a level headed assessment of the Lakers' current situation. Sportswriters and other alarmists need something to keep their interest during the regular season just as much as the players. The annual faux-panic over the Lakers' regular season underachieving is a lonstanding Laker tradition (a gift to blathering sports pundits).

The players can't actually say "we just don't care that much until the playoffs", (though it is sometimes apparent in their body language), but the next time Kobe says "it's a marathon", remember that he (and Fish) have been down this road five times before (seven, counting the two times they couldnt finish), and they'll be ready for battle come April. MM is right, the Lakers are intact!

Yeah I think a small trade or picking up one of the many buyouts that's about to happen in the next couple of weeks. Jason Kapono-Shooting, TJ Ford- speed, even Baron Davis (If bought out).

Reggie Evans to me, would be a decent grab ....(pun intended)



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