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Great Yahoo! Article...

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#1 mamba818



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Posted February 20, 2009 - 05:15 PM

The trade, like most of those made in these scorched-earth times, was a straight salary dump. The Los Angeles Lakers sent backup center Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies for a conditional second-round pick they almost certainly will never see. They also gave the Grizzlies cash to pay for Mihm’s salary, essentially making a rent payment for room on Memphis’ roster.

And in return?

The Lakers saved more than $2 million in luxury-tax payments.

This is what qualifies as a smart deal in today’s NBA. Thin your bench, pay another team to take your player, get nothing tangible in return and save your owner enough money to remodel the living room in his waterfront home. Apparently, even Jerry Buss can’t sell enough $2,500 courtside seats to hand his GM a blank check in our withering economy.

This is also what makes the Lakers the biggest winner at this season’s trade deadline. Not because of what they did, but because of what everyone else didn’t do. None of the Western Conference’s contenders made a single move to close the gap between them and the Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs thought they had a deal all but done for Los Angeles Clippers center Marcus Camby, only to see it unravel at the deadline. The Portland Trail Blazers boasted for weeks about how Raef LaFrentz’s “super” expiring contract could land them a top-level player. LaFrentz’s contract was so super, in fact, that Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard decided to put it under his pillow at the deadline.

The New Orleans Hornets tried to make a trade, only to have it voided 24 hours later. If Tyson Chandler can get healthy, they might be better for it. Even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban didn’t pull the trigger on a move.

Back East, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers also stood pat. Among the contenders, only the Orlando Magic made a basketball trade, acquiring Houston Rockets point guard Rafer Alston.

Too many teams were too reluctant to take on money. The Mavericks and Spurs both had interest in Sacramento’s John Salmons, but the Kings were unwilling to assume even the partial $2 million guarantees of Jerry Stackhouse and Bruce Bowen.

“It was brutal out there today,” one Western Conference GM said after the deadline passed, sounding as if he had just slogged through a blizzard.

The Lakers, who had earlier chopped into their bench by trading Vladimir Radmanovic to the Charlotte Bobcats in another cost-cutting move, didn’t need to go shopping. If they’re fortunate, they’ll welcome back center Andrew Bynum before the playoffs.

And if they don’t?

Thanks to a weak trade market, thanks to the inactivity of their peers, the Lakers are already looking comfortably down on the rest of the West.

#2 Guest_Nissan_*


Posted February 20, 2009 - 05:16 PM

Please quote 2-3 paragraphs and post a link to the article. Thanks.


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