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Sizing up who's tradable on the Lakers

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If it's not for basking in the Lakers' championship glory, a favorite blog activity among the comment threads seems to be the following whenever the Lakers lose: Sizing up trade scenarios involving a opposing team's player that just lit up the defending champs and sizing up trade scenarios involving all of the league's superstars.

That approach might be fun, although impractical for several reasons. Assembling an All-Star team isn't realistic both for cap-space purposes and chemistry issues. The nostalgia for picking up the unknown player who looked like an All-Star against the Lakers will probably prove as fleeting as the next game. But that won't stop the speculation from brewing, with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak telling both The Times' Broderick Turner and NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper he'd consider making a trade, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson telling The Times' Mike Bresnahan "the door's open for business" and ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi highlighting Magic Johnson's sentiments that a trade may be necessary.

As tempting it is to speculate, it's fairly pointless. Bresnahan and Turner will surely provide any pertinent details on ongoing developments. In the meantime, below is my take on who would be tradable. These thoughts are none but my own.

Kobe Bryant: This isn't the 2007 radio tour and doesn't warrant any further discussion. Bryant is remaining a Laker.

Pau Gasol: He's perfectly epitomized the Lakers' inconsistency, particularly when you note the drop in performances from November, December and January in points per game (20.3, 16.3, 16.8) and field-goal percentage (54.1%, 49%, 50.8%). It's not just the numbers that define Gasol's inconsistency, but the lack of hustle, energy and passion that's plagued him ever since logging heavy minutes during Andrew Bynum's absence. Gasol has improved since Bynum's return, but he's nowhere near where he was at the beginning of the season. He's tradable, but would the Lakers really want to give up the signature piece that got them over the hump en route to three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals?

Ron Artest: No doubt, the Lakers can't afford the one-for-10 effort on offense and the defensive performance that spurred Paul Pierce to score 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting in the Lakers' loss to Boston. Artest would only fit in as a complementary role and could be attractive since the Lakers acquired him using the mid-level exception, but his inconsistency yields little trade value.

Derek Fisher: This would be misguided on several fronts. His 37.6% mark from the field and veteran presence gives him little trade value. But remember why the Lakers value him so much. He hits big shots in playoff games, he provides a good example in taking charges and making deflections and his locker room presence serves invaluable in making sure the team doesn't fracture apart.

Andrew Bynum: The Lakers' defensive rotations and paint presence has improved since his return to the starting lineup. He may have disappeared against the Celtics, but trading him away is shortsighted. No one will pick up Bynum because of his injury history, with the recent development that he has a bone bruise in his left knee.

Lamar Odom: Odom would surely attract a lot of offers, but he's been the Lakers' most consistent player. He embodies the team concept and can really fit in anywhere, whether it's off the bench, in a starter's role, cleaning the glass, providing a post presence or spreading the floor.

Steve Blake: His shooting percentage severely dipped from November (41.7%) to December (33.3%), although it spiked to 43.8% in January. Still, ever since experiencing that shooting slump, Blake's 48 field goal attempts in January compared to the 69 he took in December and 60 he took in November shows his reluctance to shoot. It's partly good because Blake knows his strength lies in passing and partly bad because confidence remains an issue. He hasn't exactly wowed Lakers fans, but he hasn't played egregiously enough to be traded.

Matt Barnes: His eight-week absence has clearly showed how much the Lakers miss his grit, tenacity, speed and ability to adapt in any situation. Many teams will surely like the energy he provides off the bench, but the Lakers should realize this too.

Shannon Brown: Brown also hasn't quite recovered from his initial hot start, where he shot 48% from the field in November, shooting 40.2% in December and 43% in January. Still, for a team that has struggled keeping up with fast and young teams trading away one of those type players isn't smart.

Theo Ratliff: A genuinely nice guy and a positive locker room presence. But his age (37) and left knee injury makes him neither a reliable minutes eater nor a tradable asset.

Luke Walton: It seems like some Lakers fans can't wait until his three-year, $16.7-million deal expires because of his injury history. The team respects Walton's team-first mentality, understanding of the triangle and willingness to fight through adversity, but he holds little trade value.

Joe Smith: The Lakers acquired him in a three-team trade that sent Sasha Vujacic to New Jersey and Terrence Williams to Houston, a move that was strictly financially motivated. Vujacic is making $5.5 million in the last season of a three-year, $15-million contract he signed in 2008 with the Lakers, while Smith's salary is $1.4 million this season. Smith is used to this routine, this being his 12th NBA team and all, but it's doubtful the Lakers would get much in return.

Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks: Both have lots of potential and raw talent that needs to be developed, with Caracter continuing to monitor his weight and Ebanks fine-tuning the nuances of his offensive game. But both have tremendous attitudes and a great work ethic. It's not guaranteed the Lakers wouldn't re-sign them after this season and they would both provide a good presence for a rebuilding team.

Verdict

Kupchak's recent comments should serve to jolt the team awake, if nothing else. Unless a blockbuster miraculously pulls through, there's no reason to shake up this team. They just have to execute better. Kupchak shared that sentiment last season when he opted not to make any trades before the mid-February deadline.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told The Times' Broderick Turner and NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper he'd been open to making a trade. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / September 29, 2009

 
Comments () | Archives (63)

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@LTLF... Excellent points. I had forgotten about the trade exception. I’ve just lost faith in Pau that combined with Ron’s, Derek’s, and Steve’s problems leave me worried not only about this year but the next two or three years. Denver needs to get “something” for Melo is they will go down hard and Pau Gasol could find their more run-and-gun style with Nene as center to be a good fit. I have not heard of any better offer from any other team. Let’s see how Pau responds tonight against Houston.
..........................
TOM

MM

Very nice analysis, mirroring LakerTom's. The best thing about all this is that Mitch Kupchak, for a very rare occasion, decided to light a little fire of his own even though it's contrary to his personality. It certainly isn't out of context for Jerry West or Magic Johnson to say something and Philip always enjoy offering his vagaries in response to any question.

Here's the perspective that I would like to offer and which I have previously stated:

Winning a third consecutive title is difficult on many different levels. Do you realize that the only time in NBA history that a team won 3 straight titles after losing in the NBA Finals was when the Celtics won in 1959-61 after losing to the St. Louis Hawks in the Finals in 1958? Then they reeled off 6 more consecutive titles of course, but that's a different story all together. So any way you slice it, this is a mother of a mountain to climb and the Lakers are making it that much steeper for themselves. When Kobe was asked before the season the one word to describe this season, he said "patience."

But hey, February just started and the real season is still 2 1/2 months away, so anything can happen. However, based on history alone, the odds of a three-peat under the circumstances really are NOT great. However, this team really isn't THAT old and they do have a thing called know-how which they demonstrated in the 2010 playoffs after they sputtered at the end of last season. So with that ...

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!! What the hell. :)

MM- I have to disagree. This article says that no one on the Lakers is viewed as trade-able. To me, many teams would still take a chance on Bynum, and Steve Blake could be an attractive back-up to some teams then Caracter is like a pitching prospect in baseball, he could develop into something and teams like size. What it really comes down to, is are the Lakers willing to take on one more big contract that they could use with the trade exception. If the answer is yes, then there surely could be some movement.

I think this trade speculation as jibber jabber of the worst 'it must be february sort,' but given the age of this team, i see any trade as giving up younger players and taking on salary. but not very much salary, and we don't really have much in the way of younger players, so like i said, mostly jibber jabber.

I like LTLF's points, he has blind spots in some respects but I always learn from his posts.

Oh, i'm just going to go out there and say that yes, if we wanted to trade Pau we could probably get anybody from him whose name doesn't rhyme with 'Lames, Furant, Hondo, Wade or maybe a couple other guys i can't think of. Of course, we would be insane to trade him.

But give LakerTom credit, like in his 'we don't need to re sign Lamar Odom' bit, when he goes crazy, he goes crazy in a big way.

Love the trade breakdown MM.

The only expiring contracts for this year, Joe Smith & Theo Ratliff, add up to a paltry $1.7-mill.

Barnes and Shannon have contracts expiring next year, but only add up to around $4-mill and both have outplayed their payscale (heck, Barnes was supposed to go to Toronto on a $10-mill/2-yr deal but they messed up their salary cap numbers and couldn't do it! So we know he is worth at least double his pay!) The two rooks expire next year, that is around another $1.7-mill or so. Definitely not much to work with in expiring contracts.

Hate to say it, a couple of Lakers are nearly untradeable in Ron Ron (3 more years after this at around $7-mill/yr) and Luke (2 more yrs at around $6-mill/ea). Fisher's age and 2 more years remaining mean he's probably off the table as far as other teams having interest. Blake has 3-yrs left at $4-mill per.

Should be interesting to see what the Lakers could do. I would love to see someone come in and infuse some new-blood, but not in panic mode. I'm torn between letting this team try for a three-peat, realizing this is a veteran team that has a right not to be 'up' for 82 regular season games. However, my eyes don't deceive me, Pau has been off and Ron Ron too.

Anyways, all this Laker trade talk makes for some fun debates if anything!

- - -

LRob: No doubt that Pau, save for a couple games, totally outplayed KG in last years Finals. I also think that the C's will be in the Finals again, they have that look to them. Without Pau, the Celtic bigs will come at the Lakers in waves, the Lakers would lose a lot of depth in the frontcourt.

LakerTom posted some great stats above regarding Ron Ron/Melo vs Pierce. I would be less concerned overall about losing Ron Ron than Pau when it comes to the C's as there is no way Paula could contain 'Melo while 'Melo could do enough to slow up Pierce. That matchup would be a win in my eyes.

Now, the motivated Pau we saw during most of last years Finals, that is what we haven't seen this year. What is up with Pau? Ron Ron too. Both of them. I also happen to be a big D-Fish fan, but if we can get Billups in the deal? Well, Fish could be our experienced vet off the bench, anchoring the Killer-B's and acting like this teams version of Ron Harper or B-Shaw.

As for playing alongside Kobe, I can see it working out alright. This is unlike Miami with their greatly overlapping talents and skillsets, along with similar ages and the supposed biggest-piece joining an established lesser one. Kobe is top-dog, alpha male and hands down leader. That wouldn't change. 'Melo is also very close with Kobe, who is much like a mentor to him. This is a nice apprentice-master type situation, very much unlike what happened when Shaq was here. At 26, Melo is in a great spot to ease into the primary scorer in a couple of years.

Yes, the C's are the biggest worry, but the Pau we saw on Sunday, the Ron Ron we have been seeing thusfar this season - those are bigger worries.

I really believe all of this is pretty hypothetical as this trade almost certainly wouldn't happen (the Nuggs simply want things the Lakers can't give them). Good call on the C's. I would make that trade if I were GM, and cross my fingers that injuries/age/playoff loss would mean we don't see them in the Finals.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

CCX,

you wrote: Enjoyed what you wrote hobbit. There is a good writer in you that we get glimpses of, hopefully we can see more of that in the future rather than the query/retort one that hyper-focuses on minutiae...

my response:

1. Glad you liked the story.

2. So let me get this straight. You like the fiction, but when I give an opinion
that is based on fact and supported with links/quotes to support my
opinion .... You don't like it?

Ok. So instead of this being a blog about basketball ... it's a creative
writing class.

great. thanks for telling me. If I had known this earlier I wouldn't have
bothered ever learning anything about basketball.

Lakers can beat the Celtics with the current roster.


Paul Pierce killed the Lakers last Sunday, why? Artest was injured, MAtt Barnes was DNP. When this two are healthy Paul PIrece will have problems.


Even with Gasol being soft at times and Fisher missing and letting Allen get his, Lakers can still WIN if Paul Pierce is shut down.


By the way, KOBE PLAYED AN EXCELLENT GAME, BYNUM PLAYED WELL and Odom played well except unncessary foul at the end of first half.


BUT, IF YOU WISH TO TRADE PAU GASOL, I WILL ONLY TRDAE HIM FOR an IMPROVEMENT!!!! Pau is an all-star..... Melo is a SUPERSTAR, one notch better, SO HELL YEAH! IF NUGGETS wants it, yeah sure.


Bynum/Ratliff/Caracter
Odom/Caracter/Smith


I believe Caracter can hold his own against Perkins and Big Baby.
While Bynum can handle Shaq.
Odom/Ratliff/Joe Smith can take KG/JO.


Bynum/Ratliff
Odom/Caracter/Smith
Melo/Artest/Walton
Bryant/Barnes/Brown
Fisher/Blake


LOOK!!!!
SF, MELO, ARTEST
SG, KOBE, BARNES


You take out Melo and Kobe and you have Artest and Barnes coming off the bench, that is a hell of a perimeter rotation...


Lakers can GET ANOTHER 7 footer over the summer as BYNUM's back up.


People, that's Kobe and Melo like Lebron and Wade BUT with Bynum, Odom and Artest!!!!


Bottomline, LAKERS WILL HAVE ""TWO"" Superstars instead of ONE.

hobbit, it is pretty clear to read through the lines with what you write. Again, single-minded obsessiveness is tedious. I will leave it at that.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

So finally you all agree with me that we need to trade some players away? Where is that Kobe234 dude? He called me a poser and a troll for saying the same thing as Mitch is saying now.

keen observer: "So finally you all agree with me that we need to trade some players away? Where is that Kobe234 dude? He called me a poser and a troll for saying the same thing as Mitch is saying now."

-

Personally, I wouldn't make a move simply to make a move. But, if we could land Carmelo Anthony, well that is a player worth making a move for...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

BYNUM/CARACTER/MELO as your future frontline will never ever get a SOFT LABEL. That's like winning chmapionships right now with KOBE and Odom, and winning more after Kobe and Odom retires.


Pau
Gasol
for
all star
please.

TODAY SEXY CALENDAR GIRL IN:
http://sexxy-calendar-2011.blogspot.com/

sup all,

busy, busy, busy....But all this trade talk is exciting.

But the point is, MK was trying to get us going w/ this trade talk, I don't think thats is doable at any perspective.

Tonight we'll see the effects of MK "trade-talk"; we'll play like champs, not chimps.

Cheers.

MM

I beg to differ on two accounts:

U said artest inconsistency yields little trade value... DISAGREE.. For his midlevel sized contract there could be plenty of teams that would vie for his services looking to upgrade defensively. No doubt his game would also improve offensively in a system other than the triangle where he's not the 4th option.. And its easy for lakernation to take things for granted when times are tough but think what life for kobe would be without artest... double duty on both ends guarding the likes of pierce and melo again like in 2008.

U said luke holds little trade value... Let's get real here so allow me to rephrase.. Luke holds ZERO trade value!! And that's a fact and even jack would agree!

I never said the Lakers didn't have tradable parts. I said Lamar, Pau, Shannon, Steve, Barnes, Devin Ebanks, and Derrick Caracter are tradable. But I don't personally think the Lakers should do anything

If you can get Carmelo
You get Carmelo

Some have said two jackers can't play on the same team

Miami- James, Wade
Boston- Pierce, Allen

Now those were/are 2 jackers


Interesting stuff coming from Pau's stalker Ricky

Pau having problems with Kobe and Phil

Nice article, MM. I have a feeling that no one is going anywhere.

Hey, does anyone remember one year in the 80's when the Lakers won the title, and the next year, Kareem started the season very soft and un-motivated (kinda like Gasol now maybe). It was a big story, and it was reported that Riley finally had to have a meeting with Kareem to "re-motivate" him.

The point being: This is not the first time that Laker players have been complacent after winning a title. I hope Kupchak's trade talk has lit a fire under the Lakers. They gotta get that sense of urgency sometime this season.

Still, the playoffs will tell the story. Can't wait.

Hey, last year during the season, Doc Rivers took Celtics cash and hid it in the ceiling of their locker room at Staples. He told them that the only way they would get their money back was to ensure that they made to the finals and returned to Staples.

Question: Do you think Doc hid any money in the attic last Sunday?

I don't think there will be any trades...

But I'd love the see MK going after Stephen Curry. GS will not keep him plus Monta Ellis for too long...

Justa thought...

LakerTom,

You mentioned guarding KG is really a problem right now based off of the one game Sunday. Wow. Sunday night I watched the game a second time to try to get a better grasp of what happened. Here’s what I charted on the 9 fgs KG scored:


One was over LO in low post. One was on Pau in the post and two were in transition. The other 5 were spot up jumpers off of good ball rotation. (1 over Drew, 2 over Pau, one over Fish and the other one I lost track of…lol). Maybe that basket was before the network switched over to the game. Anyway, I’m not that concerned about KG’s scoring and I don’t think he’ll shoot 75% next time they play. The Lakers lost the game first and foremost because of Ron Ron’s poor defense. The Lakers need better defense to beat Boston and I believe the current squad gives them the best chance. Of course, if they can get something for nothing via trade I’m all for that.


I didn’t check out the head to head stats you posted on Melo, Lebron and Ron because I already knew how that matched up. (I’m not trying to be a smart aleck or appear to be super knowledgeable, but just stating a fact). I was surprised that you were surprised. I make it a point to follow marquee matchups. That parts of what I love best about the association. Ah, the beauty of NBA League Pass.


But my biggest surprise in this whole feeding frenzy that last few days is that you’ve given up on Pau after 3 straight trips to the finals. I didn’t think that was something I’d hear from you based on what I’ve read from you the last six months. Color me shocked.

Finally "bloggers" jumping on board to trade talks. I am so sick of the regulars calling others trolls for wanting trades.

This team has won 2 titles and it appears that many players are happy with their 1 or 2 rings. I want to see players show up for every game and play hard - watching the Clippers is more entertaining than watching the super talented lakers play like crap.

I don't know much about trades but I am sick of watching Gasol play like a sissy. Trade him - for Melo any day!!!!

They blew it by not getting Shaq. They needed to get rid of bynum and his weak knees. this dude is never going to make it a full season.

the celtics are loaded and they have the depth at every position - hate to say it but if they can be healthy in the playoffs they are going to win the ring.

Come on mitch - be creative and get some new players who want to be the "special forces" like Jon K mentioned. Play hard or get out of LA!!!

Denver was willing to trade Anthony long ago – to the Bulls – for Noah. So evidently a high-quality center was preferable to anything the Knicks or Nets had to offer. A package of Bynum and Artest (with, say, Walton and Ratliff thrown in for salary-match ballast – plus Caracter or Ebanks as a sweetener) in exchange for Nene (to become the Lakers’ third Big) and Anthony might be the best deal the Nuggets can get. Yes, Bynum may become a monster center in the future, but the Lakers's window of opportunity for another title is closing fast. Now's the time.

CCX,

you wrote: hobbit, it is pretty clear to read through the lines with what you write. Again, single-minded obsessiveness is tedious. I will leave it at that

my response: So Kobe's single-minded obsessiveness to win a championship
is tedious?

no.

my single-minded obssessiveness to learn more about basketball is
tedious? yes.

other people's single-minded obssesiveness with their pet issues is
tedious? no.

ok. thanks for informing me.

Hate to say "I told you so" but I did! The Lakers bigs were PUNKED by the Celtics bigs just as I predicted. Of course that wasn't hard. If the mercurial Kings bigs could do it to the Lakers bigs well...

Let's face it folks. No matter how talented you all think of the Bynum-Gasol-Artest-plus-Odom (from the bench) front line, there is still one thing wrong with this bunch: they are S-O-F-T.

Yes and that includes Artest. Thanks to Jackson's zen crap, Artest has gone soft. He is no longer the fearsome thug that he used to be.

First off let's forget once and for all the pipe dream some people have of trading away Lakers crap such as Luke Walton and expect All-Star in return. It doesn't work that way. To get good players in return we have to part with good, or at least potentially good players.

IMO a choice has to be made between Bynum and Gasol. The two seven-footer while sounds good on paper is really redundant and comes at a great cost: speed.

I also say fuggetaboutit too to those who thinks LAL can get Carmelo. That's another pipe dream and I don't think it's that great an idea either. Carmelo is just going to compete with Kobe for shot at GREAT expense: defense.

What the Lakers need now is NOT more offense. They need DEFENSE and TOUGHNESS. And also SPEED which is an important part of the DEFENSE. An offense maybe able to do without speed but there is no way you can have a good defense without decent speed.

The best solution is for LAL to give up either Bynum or Gasol in return for another big who does not necessarily have to be a scorer but will have YOUTH, SPEED and TOUGHNESS.

Let's not bury our head in the sand and ignore the PAINFUL REALITY: the Lakers bigs have ZERO, ZILCH, NONE chance against the Celtics front line. The Lakers were LUCKY and I mean LUCKY to win a game 7 last year with Perkins out. They will NOT be as lucky this year should a miracle happen and they somehow get by the fearsome juggernaut SA Spurs to get back into the Final again.

PS: Nothing was as demoralizing as seeing 6'8 Glen Baby Davis PUNKED 7'0 Andrew Bynum for a 3-pt play with his muscle. Sad, sad, sad...

Mr. Kupchak...

Let's make these trades...

Steve Blake, Ron Artest and Derek Caracter for Battier and Brooks

Shanon Brown for Arron Afflalo

Joe Smith for Kwame Brown

Luke Walton & Devin Ebanks for Trevor Ariza

This keeps our nucleus together and brings in younger players who are hungry, long, fast and that can defend. I don't think Barnes is going to be 100%. In Kwame we get a big who can clog the middle, knows the system.
Battier is a sharp guy who will pick up the triangle.
BTW...this works in Espn Trade Machine.

Lineup:

Fisher/Brooks
Bryant/Afflalo
Battier/Ariza
Gasol/Odom
Bynum/Brown/Ratliff

@Truth – Good points about the Chuck Wagon. I can tell you right now Pau will not be backing him down. In fact I haven’t seen anyone on the Lakers and not many in the league back him down. What Pau need to do is face him and make quick moves. Or beat him to the spot, catch and shoot over him. When Pau has more physical defenders on him, the Lakers have to get him the ball on the move…instead of him being stationary and trying to back the UFC types down.


@Staples 24 – You’re counting on Ratliff, Joe Smith and Caracter to be key contributors in the finals. Yeah right. Your post would have had more credibility if you said hey we can’t match up the C’s big men but we’ll outplay them on the perimeter.


@Psycorp – Did you say that Zen made Ron soft last year when he wrestled Pierce the floor to begin the series? Or when he held KD in check vs OKC this season?


PAU, BLAKE, SMITH, & RATLIFF FOR MELO & CHAUNCEY
……………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………
DENVER; Melo ($17.1M) + Chauncey ($13.2M) = $30.3M
LAKERS: Pau ($17.8M) + Blake ($4.0M) + Smith ($1.4M) + Brown ($2.2M) = $25.4M
TRADE EXCEPTION: 125% of 25,4M + $100K =$31.8M,
the maximum total annual salaries that the Lakers can accept in a trade for $24.6M in players.
…………………………………………………………………….
Denver gets the most skilled big man, $3.6M in expiring contracts, and a PG to replace Billups rather than getting nothing if Melo goes free agent. They also reduce annual salaries by $4.9M.

Lakers get a “real” starting point guard and superstar small forward to extend Kobe’s championship window but end up paying $4.9M more in annual salaries, which equals $9,8M with luxury tax.
……………………………………………………………………
LAKERS 5-PEAT CHAMPIOINSHIP ROSTER:

PG – BILLUPS, Fisher
SG – BRYANT, Barnes
SF – ANTHONY, Artest, Ebanks, Walton
PF – ODOM, Caracter
CE – BYNUM, Ratliff
…………………………………………………………………….
TOM

*************CORRECTION*****************

PAU, BLAKE, SMITH, & BROWN FOR MELO & CHAUNCEY
……………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………
DENVER; Melo ($17.1M) + Chauncey ($13.2M) = $30.3M
LAKERS: Pau ($17.8M) + Blake ($4.0M) + Smith ($1.4M) + Brown ($2.2M) = $25.4M
TRADE EXCEPTION: 125% of 25,4M + $100K =$31.8M,
the maximum total annual salaries that the Lakers can accept in a trade for $24.6M in players.
…………………………………………………………………….
Denver gets the most skilled big man, $3.6M in expiring contracts, and a PG to replace Billups rather than getting nothing if Melo goes free agent. They also reduce annual salaries by $4.9M.

Lakers get a “real” starting point guard and superstar small forward to extend Kobe’s championship window but end up paying $4.9M more in annual salaries, which equals $9,8M with luxury tax.
……………………………………………………………………
LAKERS 5-PEAT CHAMPIOINSHIP ROSTER:

PG – BILLUPS, Fisher
SG – BRYANT, Barnes
SF – ANTHONY, Artest, Ebanks, Walton
PF – ODOM, Caracter
CE – BYNUM, Ratliff
…………………………………………………………………….
TOM

hobbit, single-mindedness in tearing down players, bloggers, whatever. Single-mindedness in a negative vein. You know that. Stop playing the fool.

I could deal with Ricky being single-mindededly positive. I have no problem with Ricky saying Pau is the greatest Laker ever, because that is done in a positive way. If he came on daily rants saying Kobe sucks, posting articles about it, pointing out his off games, posting cynical messages about other bloggers support Kobe, well then I'd be sick of that too.

What I can't stand is the annoying, unrelenting bashing on certain players or bloggers, whatever it may be. Negativeness is nothing that will go away, but the mind-bogglingly numb way you seem to roll out with bash-post after bash-post is pretty amazing given the way you posted years back. You're better than that, I know it. Seems like nowadays you only post knee-jerk reactions to LakerTom supporting Bynum, or tear down Drew. At least, that is a big portion of your posts.

Whatever. You do what you do, just don't expect your unrelenting negative posts to fly by, whether you sugarcoat them with your 'I am learning basketball' feigned naivety or not.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

>>>Bynum is a young 7 footer with a high ceiling.

So was Greg Oden. Nobody wants to trade for a slightly more healthy Greg Oden.

CCX

I love you, man!

... or rather, they might be willing to trade for Bynum, but they won't likely be willing to give up a star for him.


@LROB

1. I agree that KG is not going to kill us on offense. It’s his defensive domination of Pau that is the big worry. I contend that Pau’s tougher performance in the 2010 Finals was more due to KG playing on 1 leg than Pau toughing it up. In fact, the key basket he scored on the hanging traveling jumper at the end of the fourth quarter was really a typical Pau shot, fading away rather than attacking the rim.

2. “But my biggest surprise in this whole feeding frenzy that last few days is that you’ve given up on Pau after 3 straight trips to the finals. I didn’t think that was something I’d hear from you based on what I’ve read from you the last six months. Color me shocked.”

I would characterize my giving up on Pau the result of an unmotivated off season effort to improve his game and strengthen his physical ability combined with over a half season of consistently diminishing performance on the court and lack of motivation or ability to accept responsibility for poor play.

Bottom line, I am willing to trade Pau Gasol to get Carmelo Anthony, whom I believe would revitalize the Lakers and extend Kobe’s and the team’s championship window, plus the chance to get Chauncey. The Denver situation is ripe for the picking and a unique opportunity to upgrade the team much like when we traded Kwame for Pau. I doubt that I could support trading Pau for any other player who is on the trading block despite my loss of confidence in his heart and will to play tough. Melo is why!Fair enough?
…………………………………………………………………….
TOM

LakerTom: From your trade scenario to Stan Kroenke's ears. I tend to think if they took that trade, they'd run their GM out of town, however if you are willing to explain your scenario to them on behalf of Mitch Kupchak, well all Laker fans would be indebted to you, lol. We still gotta get 'Melo to sign his extension too.

If the Lakers pulled off that trade, well I say scrap the plans for the Jerry West statue and put up Mitch's in his place!

It would be interesting to see what happens as the trade deadline nears and they still have 'Melo and Billups. Hope Kupchak makes a call to Denver.

Lakers better act quick though. Ran across this article, perhaps it means the Knicks are starting to get serious in landing 'Melo:
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/rumors/post/Knicks-reportedly-hiring-former-Denver-GM-Warken?urn=nba-314559

Anyways, I'm onboard with that trade, hate to lose Pau but he hasn't been himself this year, L.O. seems equally capable to put up the numbers he's been putting up. All I know, that starting lineup is hella-good! Man oh man, the thought of 'Melo and Kobe playing together - wow!


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Some thoughts....

Basically, MM's list showcases just a few Laker players who are valuable trade assets. While being a good player and also having trade value is not necessarily the same thing, I think an objective look at the roster leads one to an even greater appreciation of Kobe Bryant.

He's the straw that stirs this drink. Kobe is the only player on this team that other players fear.

Secondly, I think the rule changes regarding the "respect the game" issues have hurt Pau quite a bit. Referees now have been empowered to "T" players up for the slightest disagreement a player may have. This has, in turn, led to much more contact being allowed, especially amongst frontcourt players. I can only imagine what the playoffs are going to be like. Finesse players like Pau are being shoved around on a regular basis by players with much less skill, but bigger bodies. Pau's lack of commitment to weight training has come back to bite him, big time.

One could even make the case that the specific change regarding technicals was aimed at L.A. A dominant Pau gives the Lakers a much better chance to defend their title. This beat up and frustrated version that we are seeing lately? Not so much.

Recent history reminds us that when the Lakers were threepeating at the turn of the century, the dominance of one Shaquille O'Neal induced the NBA rules committee to change the existing rules and allow zone defenses. That change, plus an increased emphasis against dislocging an opponent by lowering one's shoulder, which was one of Shaq's signature moves, changed the landscape of the NBA by negating Shaq's dominance. Shaq was never the same player. I think that in some ways, the allowance of more contact this year is having a similar effect on Gasol.

I don't know what the solutions to the Lakers' problems are. I do know that it is awfully hard to beat good teams when your starting SF is outscored by almost 30 points by his counterpart on the other team and you are getting very limited production from any backcourt member not named Kobe.

Carmelo? That's the stuff dreams are made of. Melo and Kobe could play together, of that I have no doubt. Great players find a way.

All in all, a very interesting season. Threepeating was never going to be an easy proposition. Not with every team in the Association tooling up and taking dead aim at The Show. I'm going to stayed tuned and support my Lakers down to the end. They have as good a chance to win it as do the rest of the contenders. Either they'll win it or they won't. We shall see.

GO LAKERS!!!
17 IN '11!!!

MM Please break down Lukes impact against Boston with the same shot by shot blow by blow that you did on Kobe!

LRob- yes Ron has gone SOFT this year. It took a while but the Zen crap has finally worked its way to his brain. While he might have held Durant in check earlier it could be argued that Durant just had an off-night shooting. It doesn't take a genius to see that Durant is nowhere the power player Pierce is. It is EASY to be physical and bump Durant off his stride but it takes a lot more to do the same to Paul Pierce.

You seem to have forgotten a winning Laker tradition: they always had an "enforcer" to physically keep the other team in check. Remember Kermit Washington? then they had Kurt Rambis then Horace Grant then Rick Fox... truly fearsome enforcers who personified dirtiness... eh I mean toughness. And of course they had Shaq the ultimate thug in his heyday.

See? it is no coincidence that TOUGHNESS = WINNING.

I was listening to John Ireland interview Rick Fox awhile ago. Basically he said what I am saying in my post at 04:46PM. Like the Lakers in 2002-03, this squad is making it's FOURTH consecutive run at a title. That team, he pointed out, did not make it to the Finals because the wear and tear had taken its toll on many of the players. He also pointed out that players can "age" overnight and that it usually starts to manifest itself about midway through the schedule. He feels that this is what we might be witnessing with this team.

Stephen A, Smith, who will have a 2 hour spot between 6-8 PM PDT very soon on 710 AM ESPN opined similar to what Brian Shaw has been saying that the Lakers simply aren't mean enough after all this winning. He felt that part of it what was what Jerry West, Mitch and Magic have been saying, but really felt more that the Lakers were simply "flossing" themselves too much in the glitz that comes with being a winner in LA with all our distractions. He felt more, as many of us do, that the Lakers need to reach deep down and find the fire from within. He's generally an objective NBA observer in my viewpoint, so I think his approach is very practical. Like me, he believes that unless the Lakers can find that fire, no trade would make a difference anyway.

OK So I would like to take a moment out of my own personal insanity to address how insane that all this hoopla sorrounding a trade really is. First of all what strikes me the most is that a number of prominant Laker Comanders are coming out of the woodworks and saying that we would like to make a trade. The question is what is the motive in doing this? Are trades done through the media these days? Mitches motive in making all of this public is completly clear bu the likely scenerio is that he's not pleased with how the team is playing and wants to stir the po to boost the play of his current roster. In this case he is not planing on making a trade and he's hoping for the best of the the current roster. In my opinion THe Lakes might not win this year unless Kobe is able to take his MOJO to the next level and get some real help. I mean three straight Finals and wining the last two. How hungrey can they be at this point... It's all about the individual during the regular season for the LAKE SHOW currently and that's OK. Keep some Drama in LA and let's see how this season turns out. It may end in heartbreak for all the DIEHARDS out there.

OK So I would like to take a moment out of my own personal insanity to address how insane that all this hoopla sorrounding a trade really is. First of all what strikes me the most is that a number of prominant Laker Comanders are coming out of the woodworks and saying that we would like to make a trade. The question is what is the motive in doing this? Are trades done through the media these days? Mitches motive in making all of this public is completly clear bu the likely scenerio is that he's not pleased with how the team is playing and wants to stir the po to boost the play of his current roster. In this case he is not planing on making a trade and he's hoping for the best of the the current roster. In my opinion THe Lakes might not win this year unless Kobe is able to take his MOJO to the next level and get some real help. I mean three straight Finals and wining the last two. How hungrey can they be at this point... It's all about the individual during the regular season for the LAKE SHOW currently and that's OK. Keep some Drama in LA and let's see how this season turns out. It may end in heartbreak for all the DIEHARDS out there.

Mr. Kupchak...

Let's make these trades...

Steve Blake, Ron Artest and Derek Caracter for Battier and Brooks

Shanon Brown for Arron Afflalo

Joe Smith for Kwame Brown

Luke Walton & Devin Ebanks for Trevor Ariza

This keeps our nucleus together and brings in younger players who are hungry, long, fast and that can defend. I don't think Barnes is going to be 100%. In Kwame we get a big who can clog the middle, knows the system.
Battier is a sharp guy who will pick up the triangle.
BTW...this works in Espn Trade Machine.

Lineup:

Fisher/Brooks
Bryant/Afflalo
Battier/Ariza
Gasol/Odom
Bynum/Brown/Ratliff

Posted by: Tari

No GM except for Kupchak would make any of these trades. Do you even watch the games ?????

What's with all this confounded logic? I'm not sure there's a trade machine that could configure this but I'll put a wish list in for Smush, Tractor Traylor and 'Toine Walker. Might as well add Shaq. Call it the rolling thunder lineup. Anybody got a problem with this? http://twitpic.com/3vjha8

So I just put together a trade that would be able to make the Lakers the team to beat in the West.

It is a three-team deal, but would benefit 2/3 teams right away. The three teams included would be the Lakers, Hornets and Nuggets.

In this trade the Lakers would get (hear me out):
PG Chris Paul
SF Carmelo Anthony
C Emeka Okafor

Nuggets would get:
PF Pau Gasol
C Andrew Bynum

Hornets would get:
PG Steve Blake
SF Ron Artest
SF Al Harrington
C Chris Anderson

And financially this trade would go through under each teams Salary cap.

>>>So I just put together a trade that would be able to make the Lakers the team
>>>to beat in the West.

Yeah me too.

The Lakers trade nothing for ...
oh, let's see...
nothing.

San Antonio may think they are, but the truth is that the Lakers already ARE the team to beat in the West.

888: Right back at'cha bro, much love. Unfortunately, as you know, being positive around here is much like sunlight and garlic is to vampires, they scurry around and makes them crazy. When you come on here and defend D-Fish, Luke, Phil and others, well it makes a lot of people short-circuit and go into attack mode.

Yourself, LakerTom and others catch a lot of flak in your points of view. I'm only one blogger, and I don't agree 100% with everything everyone says, but unless people start rising up and pointing out those that dwell in darkness, only post negative, baiting, bashing things well the blog will degrade. It has in the past, and I don't want to see that happen again. If we want this to be a decent place, one in which we can agree to disagree, debate but be civil then we all have a responsibility to play a part in making that happen.

I'm just happy to be part of a nice community of Laker fans. It's not an asylum where we are all given meds to suppress our thoughts, but we can't have these ongoing attacks go unnoticed, overlooked and ignored. Anyways, I understand you and appreciate that you are around to help make this place what it is - the best Laker blog on the 'net.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

MM, please don't be afraid to write the truth in your blog entries.

"Luke Walton: It seems like some Lakers fans can't wait until his three-year, $16.7-million deal expires because of his injury history."

You honestly think Lakers fan can't wait until his contract is up because of injuries? If yes, please try to understand the fan base you are writing for. Just write the truth: he is a very below average NBA player. He cannot shoot. He cannot finish. He cannot defend.

Justin L...

Why in the world would the Hornets agree to that deal?? Don't forget the Hornets are owned by the NBA in an effort to keep the team in New Orleans. A trade like that and the Hornets may as well start swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bynum has a bone "bruise". Where did bone "spurs" suddenly come from?

Mr. Kupchak- I would recommend trading Ron Artest.

The Amount of money he is earning this year and minutes of putting up high school numbers is why he should be traded. This season he has been inconsistant with staples center fans BOOING at him. Make a huge trade (similar to Orlandos) with the dallas mavericks. And Send

F Ron Artest, F Luke Walton, C Theo Ratliff to Dallas, F/C Joe Smith to New Orleans

G Rodrigue Beaubois, G/F DeShawn Stevenson, F Peja Stojakovic, F Trevor Ariza, C Brendan Haywood come to LA

This trade is what i believe the lakers will become a finals contender. We will get a better bench, 3 point shooting, and much better defense

C- Bynum, Haywood, Caracter
PF- Gasol, Odom, Stojakovic
SF- Ariza, Barnes, Ebanks
SG- Bryant, Beaubois, Stevenson
PG- Fisher, Brown, Blake

Shannon will get more minutes, bynum will get rest, blake will most likely be out of the rotation

I think that Ron Ron is a bigger un-tradeable asset than even Luke is. A 31-yr old defensive forward with a checkered past, who has lost a step on defense, two-steps on offense with three-years left on his deal at $7-mill+/yr? I hope that he starts rounding into form because I can't see him going anywhere...

- - -

888: Interesting thoughts about Rick Fox, Stephen A. I think both of them are good, level voices. Is Stephen A. going to do a local show or is it syndicated? I'd love to see him come to L.A. and do a local show.

BTW, does anyone remember Arnie Spanier and his 'Ohh... Laker Fans!!!!' rants on the old XTRA Sports 1150? I remember him coming to town, the Lakers winning a title every year he's year (Shaq-years). He never could get over on the Lakers, lol...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

@LakerTom - fair enough. I'm a Melo fan. Although it would toss this season out the window...it would extend the Laker championship window by a few years providing they got another big defensive minded player.


@psycorp - I wouldn't call anyone from 2000-2002, or 2009 team an enforcer.

I want to make it perfectly clear that the only reason I am willing to consider trading Pau Gasol is the opportunity to get Carmelo Anthony. I wouldn’t trade Pau for any other player out there who is on the block. But Denver’s problem is our solution and trading Pau et al for Carmelo and Chauncey could instantly turn our two biggest problems – Pau’s soft play and Fisher’s subpar play - into solutions.

LRob was right and wrong to be surprised that I would jump on any trade bandwagon, especially considering my generally unwavering support of the players we have and trust in the front office. In a way, he was right because I rarely bail out on a Lakers player. In fact, I’m probably more guilty of supporting them too long than not supporting them. I’ve even once supported Kwame and Smush.

In this case, LRob is wrong because it is ONLY the chance to dynamically upgrade the team because another team is in a tough spot that motivates me to talk trade. I’ve done this before actually, recently when the Hornets were shopping Darren Collison and I played with trading Lamar for DC & Okafor. I still think that Collison would have been a great fit as the Lakers point guard to follow Fish.

And believe it or not, if Dwight Howard announced he wanted a sign and trade to LA, you would have to be stupid not to consider trading Andrew, even if it might come back to haunt you. I’m hoping that Drew will silence the doubters before something like that happens. Big men take much longer to develop unless they’re prodigies like Dwight. In a way, Drew reminds me some of Robert Parrish. If and when he gets truly 10o% healthy and has fully grown, he is going to a handful to deal with.

Finally, if the Lakers decide not to trade Pau, I would support it 100% right or wrong because the Lakers front office obviously are the experts with inside access whom I trust implicitly. One thing I am 100% sure of though is that Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak most definitely have had or are going to have a conversation about trading Pau for Melo and the temptation of Chauncey. It would be a bold stroke of a move with Jerry Buss’ signature clearly on it. A move to upgrade to a title five-peat.
………………………………………………………………….
TOM

PAU is the PROBLEM!!! He's passive, weak, lacks passion and heart, and plays like a small-forward. Last year we were able to cover-up his passive play with a strong and determined Kobe and inspiring play by Bynum, and tough play by Artest. Those guys have taken a step back for reasons we can understand (Kobe and Bynums surgeries, Artest fragile mental state) and Pau is scared to step up. He has taken two steps back this year and needs to be traded.

Pau and Artest for:

Deng and Noah
David West and Ariza
Carmello and Nene
Dwight Howard
Favvors, Vujacic, Lopez
Bogut, Maggette

888: Interesting thoughts about Rick Fox, Stephen A. I think both of them are good, level voices. Is Stephen A. going to do a local show or is it syndicated? I'd love to see him come to L.A. and do a local show.

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | February 01, 2011 at 07:19 PM
======

Local. They mentioned the 6-8 PM time slot for AM 710, and it sounds like it's starting soon.

CyberCosmix,

you wrote: hobbit, single-mindedness in tearing down players, bloggers, whatever. Single-mindedness in a negative vein. You know that. Stop playing the fool.

my response: So. you haven't been paying attention. If you ask other
bloggers, they'll actually agree with me. You haven't been paying attention.

This is what I have been single-minded about:

I have been single-minded about the Lakers striving to be the best they
can possibly be.

The Lakers will only go so far as the frontline takes the *because* the
highest-percentage shots occur near the basket. I have said this *since*
we got Pau Gasol.

I have been single-minded about our players need to play with desire. Our
players need to hustle. Our players need to play defense or we won't win
the championship.

I have been single-minded about being accurate regarding the play of our
characters and what is needed for us to win.

I have been single-minded about comparing opposing views and validating
or in-validating my opinion.

I have been single-minded about asking direct questions to get a better
grasp of this game.

*99.999%* of everything that I have written will fall into one of those
areas.

I repeat. *Everything* that I've written falls into one of those areas.

How do you know that what I'm saying is true? Because the GM of the Lakers
just publicly spoke about a trade. When is the last time he's done that?

I am currently watching NBATV and McHale just said that Mitch's comments
about a trade are the most startling/dramatic thing he's ever heard Mitch say.
The time frame was ~ 7:15.

However, .... aren't you one of those bloggers who was saying what a great
defensive asset Bynum was and how the Lakers championship depended
upon him?

Is it tearing down a player to say that Pau Gasol is playing soft? Did PJ say
he was playing soft?

How have I torn down D-Fish?

How have I torn down Ron Artest?

How have I torn down Luke Walton?

How have I torn down Shannon Brown?

How have I torn down Steve Blake?

re: tearing down other bloggers. Besides LakerTom, KobeMVP888 &
possibly yourself, name one blogger I've torn down and that includes Ricky.

you also wrote:
What I can't stand is the annoying, unrelenting bashing on certain players or bloggers, whatever it may be. Negativeness is nothing that will go away, but the mind-bogglingly numb way you seem to roll out with bash-post after bash-post is pretty amazing given the way you posted years back. You're better than that, I know it. Seems like nowadays you only post knee-jerk reactions to LakerTom supporting Bynum, or tear down Drew. At least, t

my response: What I can't stand is people who out right lie. What I can't
stand is people who attack me and then get mad when I fight back. People
who won't actually clarify things when there's a misunderstanding. People
who won't admit if they were wrong.

And for the record, you have *NOT* heard me jump on a bandwagon and
ask us to trade for anybody. i.e. Trade this person. You have heard me
say that if we can get Melo we should.

Which is more negative:

Trade Pau or Pau is playing soft.


Why didn't you get off your butt and stop people from tearing me down if
that sort of thing bothers you so much? Why didn't you step in for KB Blitz?
Did you do anything to stop the Luke Walton bashing?

you also wrote: Whatever. You do what you do, just don't expect your unrelenting negative posts to fly by, whether you sugarcoat them with your 'I am learning basketball' feigned naivety or not.

my response: So let me get this straight. You've never met me in person.
You don't know anything about my family or my upbringing. What possible
context do you have to determine if I'm telling the truth or trying to be
deceitful?

So here's another question:

If I was right about the Lakers needing to play defense, hustle, rebound,
play tough, & get HCA ... what possible grounds do you have for thinking
that I'm trying to be deceitful about anything that I've told you/written?

pau play like a softie? trade pau for carmelo?(assume its possible)
are you guys out of your mind? who is going to replace the center position if andrew bynum get injuried again? what about those blocks and rebound pau provide? regardless of how inconsistent pau is, he is still more consistent than carmelo anthony, who misses more than kobe.

kobe lacks size, he needs a big man, not another SF or guard who will be doing exactly what he is doing. and remember, phil runs triangle, not a pick-n-roll game; not everybody can master the strategy in a game or two

PAU is the PROBLEM!!! He's passive, weak, lacks passion and heart, and plays like a small-forward. Last year we were able to cover-up his passive play with a strong and determined Kobe and inspiring play by Bynum, and tough play by Artest. Those guys have taken a step back for reasons we can understand (Kobe and Bynums surgeries, Artest fragile mental state) and Pau is scared to step up. He has taken two steps back this year and needs to be traded.

Pau and Artest for:
ALDRIDGE
Deng and Noah
David West and Ariza
Carmello and Nene
Dwight Howard
Favvors, Vujacic, Lopez
Bogut, Maggette

There aren't any viable trade options after they gave away Sasha for cap savings. They have to see how far the current squad takes them this year and probably the next.

Otherwise, Drew has proven to be too much of an injury risk to resign him, and even when not injured he plays tentatively out of fear of being injured. Dump more salary and do everything to get Dwight Howard in 2012. He'll want to play for the Lakers as long as they don't sign up SVG as Phil's replacement.

Im gonna copy all this coments and paste them at the end of the season. Many of u will regret of what u said about Pau Gasol, i cant believe u are really LA fans, this blog looks like Celtics blog, bashing our players.
in few weeks u pass from saying Pau is the best power forward in the game to all this blames?, many of u have some sort of personal hate to him for some reason i dont understand. His numbers have been good, and his assists have increased to almost 4 per game, which is massive for a power forward. He almost made a record being the 6th man in the NBA history making 11000 points , trespassing Shaq. He had to play massive minutes when the season started and we all knew he would suffer physically till going back in the end of the season, but now everybody looks surprised he is not playing like a god! u all over react. Last year Celtics where also playing badly, everybody saying they where old, and then they got to the finals!i hate all this kind of bashers that dont know a shit about basketball. Pple who joins the easy way of the winners, and then leaves the train when things aint going good. U should be ashamed to be Lakers fans

A package of Bynum and Fisher would hopefully bring some interest from other teams. Throw in Walton as a freebe also. Bynum is too weak as a player and Fisher is done. The lakers can afford to get rid of them and should put them on the bloack by end of trading deadline. Bynum is not the savior everyone throught he would be. If he gets bumped during the game he moans about injury and gets a week off and no one says a thing. He is worthless as a player.

BEDO has no fuc$%&g clue about what he's talking about!!!

Now on to more pressing issues.

Chuck Hayes can't be considered anything without first being acknowledged as being a GROSSLY undersized (6'8" maybe) center. Let's not get too excited about the somewhat gaudy numbers put up by Odom, and especially Ga-SOFT.

PAU is the PROBLEM!!! He's passive, weak, lacks passion and heart, and plays like a small-forward. Last year we were able to cover-up his passive play with a strong and determined Kobe and inspiring play by Bynum, and tough play by Artest. Those guys have taken a step back for reasons we can understand (Kobe and Bynums surgeries, Artest fragile mental state) and Pau is scared to step up. He has taken two steps back this year and needs to be traded.

Pau and Artest for:
LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE

Deng and Noah
David West and Ariza
Carmello and Nene
Dwight Howard
Favvors, Vujacic, Lopez
Bogut, Maggette


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