Well this settles it.
L.A. Times: It’s the busiest week of the regular season, the cellphone-minute-burning, deal-making period from the All-Star game to the trade deadline.
The Lakers have been making and taking calls, but they’re still not expected to be big players before the Thursday noon deadline.
The Lakers and Chicago Bulls are at a stalemate in talks for reserve guard Kirk Hinrich. The Bulls want to part with Hinrich’s contract (two more seasons after this for a total of $17 million), but they will take back only expiring contracts. The Lakers, definitely conscious of how far they are over the luxury tax, have an expiring contract of note in Adam Morrison ($5.3 million) but they want the Bulls to also take Sasha Vujacic, who has one more season at $5.5 million.
The Bulls have turned their attention to other teams, leaving only a small chance of a trade with the Lakers. Hinrich, 29, was averaging 10.2 points and 4.4 assists coming into Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are well aware of what Dallas has done and what Cleveland might be doing with its roster. The Cavaliers have been rumored to acquire one of several power forwards: Indiana’s Troy Murphy, Washington’s Antawn Jamison or Phoenix All-Star Amare Stoudemire.
“We pay attention to it,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “If Stoudemire gets traded, that’s going to affect us.”
As in, Cleveland will be tough to catch for the league’s best regular-season record.
Dallas, however, didn’t do so well in its first game with newcomers Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, acquired last week from Washington. The Mavericks lost to Oklahoma City, 99-86, with Butler scoring 13 points.