The Lakers may be able to trade Andrew Bynum straight up for Carmelo Anthony? Surely you jest. Gregg Popovich might have something to say about that. If you don’t recall his reaction to the Pau Gasol trade, here it is…
“What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension,” Popovich told SI.com. “There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I would have voted no to the LA trade.”
Two titles later will history repeat itself? The terms of the deal would work out financially and within the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, but talk about changing the landscape of the NBA. This move could be catastophic and not because it could greatly improve the Lakers chances of winning another title. It really justifies a need for contraction.
There are currently 30 teams in the league and 16 playoff spots. But if this deal goes through, you can practically ink the Lakers into the finals if you haven’t already and you can pretty much limit the playoffs to six spots.
Five of the seeds would belong to the Spurs, Celtics, Heat, Bulls, and Lakers. The sixth seed would consist of a contraction team, most likely comprised of say something like… Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul? Do you see how the regular season is meaningless at this point?
All existing mediocre teams and cellar dwellers would need to contract. If you can’t put three all-star calibur players on the floor, your franchise need not apply to re-enter the league.
Better yet, why not just have a weekly NBA all-star game? Let the fans vote the players in each week. Have a selection process like the NHL recently did with their fantasy draft.
Professional basketball might as well become sports entertainment like WWE Raw and Smackdown. You could stage the outcomes because lets face it sometimes the game is boring. A blowout is only fun if you happen to be a fan of the team that’s winning. Nobody wants to see the Cleveland Cavaliers play the New Jersey Nets.
In all seriousness, the arguments can be made to justify or rationalize this trade. Andrew Bynum is a potential superstar. He’s only 23 years old and a 7-footer that actually possesses an offensive skillset. Conventional wisdom dictates you don’t trade a big for a small, so the Lakers get the short end of the stick so to speak right?
Ahem. NOT!!! Andrew Bynum has had major injuries on both knees. He has missed an average of 26 games during five full seasons with the Lakers and has less than stellar career averages of 10.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
And though there’s no statistic to measure heart, like Dan Majerle once said, “There oughtta be a stat for desire.”
How many championships are won based on potential? He’s not a franchise player and does not possess a killer instinct. He’s not your go to guy when the game’s on the line.
Carmelo Anthony is all of those things. A younger, bigger Kobe who also wants the ball in his hands for the last shot and is more clutch than “The Black Mamba”, himself. His 24.7 ppg career average dwarfs the Laker big man’s output. He maybe giving up four inches to Bynum but nevertheless he’ll get you 6.3 rebounds a contest and is only 26 years old. He’s not only a franchise player, he’s a top five player that is ready to receive the baton any time Mr Bryant is ready to pass it.
That might be the biggest hindrance to the deal. Is Kobe willing to pass? Is he willing to share? Carmelo may be a close friend but the Lakers are Kobe’s team. Kobe didn’t just want to win championships, he wanted to win them without Shaq. Is he willing to concede that he needs Carmelo’s help? Which one of them is batman and which one is robin?
Chemistry is not the issue as long as Kobe and Carmelo are willing to put aside their egos and choose to be unselfish. They have already played together on a gold medal winning olympic team. Time on the court together is overrated. The Heat righted their ship after 17 games into the season. The Lakers still have 30 games remaining on their schedule.
What makes this proposal more outrageous is that Denver has the opportunity to sweeten the deal but they’re reportedly not interested in getting more in return. They may not want Ron Artest and the money owed on his contract, but why not Lamar Odom? He’s having a career year and his nine million salary is very reasonable and can be offset by unloading Al Harrington on the Lakers. This deal would make more sense, but not as much for the Lakers unless they don’t believe they can win a championship this year and realize they need to invest in the future now.
Jerry West and Magic Johnson may have been onto something after all. Too old to stay good for much longer. They need to make a trade. If you don’t trust in the Laker royalty then who can you trust?
Want another added perk? The addition of Carmelo Anthony catapults your team back to the No. 1 spot on the Forbes list for most valuable NBA franchise, ahead of New York, whom you would be stealing Carmelo from. Does it get any better for the “Real Evil Empire”?
How about adding a little irony to this new development. Phil Jackson would prefer to wait and see how the Lakers perform against Boston and for the remainder of the road trip before making any moves. If the Celtics and the Knicks are victorious against the Lakers in the next few days, they may be directly responsible for their own undoing. This might really be the most opportune time for Boston to have five rotation players out with injuries.
The Knicks on the other hand have more control over their own destiny. Denver’s participation in trade talks with LA is mostly likely a ploy to gain leverage. The Knicks can simply take the bait and still come out ahead. New York wants Anthony and Carmelo wants to be a Knick. Everybody wins.
Except the Lakers of course. The trade deadline is February 24th. Wonder if the Melo-drama lasts till then.