Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown. The steal of the century. The trade that made every NBA General Manager, basketball analyst and blogger across this great nation scratching their heads and wondering why? Why on earth would the Memphis Grizzlies give up a premier power forward for THAT? Couldn’t they have gotten a better a deal?

Truth is, they probably couldn’t because most teams were not willing to go over the luxury tax for him. The Lakers took that risk and it has certainly paid off as Pau in his first nine games helped lead us to a 8-1 record. Not all is roses in Laker-land though, as the trade has also created a new problem. What to do with Lamar Odom?

Ever since Lamar came to the Lakers there have always been question marks on his game. Arguably one the most talented and versatile forwards in the game, he has been plagued with inconsistency as he was called on to play sidekick to Kobe Bryant. To that end he has been a disappointment, but with the ascension of Andrew Bynum his game began to flourish as our third option. With the spotlight off of him, he is able to rebound and pass to his hearts content, adding the odd bucket here and there. This role has resumed with the acquisition of Pau.

But, and this is a big but, when Bynum comes back Pau Gasol will move to the power forward position which will force Lamar to play the small forward; a position that contrary to Lamar’s insistence is not one that seems to suit his abilities very well. Another is an issue of expense. While he can definitely put up solid numbers as our fourth/third option, at 14 million a year he is going to be very expensive for what he does, especially since his key strengths (rebounding, passing and mismatching) will be sort of a wash with Paul and Bynum on the team.

Also to consider is the Lakers payroll is currently at $72 million (which is well over the cap) and it’s only going to get bigger with the expected extensions for Farmar and Bynum. So the big debate right now with Odom is whether to keep him and see if he can hack it as out small forward option or trade him for a more traditional (and hopefully cheaper) small forward.

My personal stance on the issue is to keep Lamar.

I know there are serious issues with his game. His jump shot makes me want to cry. His help defense on shooters (which consists of him running at them with his arms up in the air) is threatening to nobody. He seemingly blows at least three lay-ups per game. He never jumps on rebounds (that might seem somewhat nitpicky seeing as how he’s tapping 10 rebounds to himself per game, but it’s still a problem.) Now while all that’s true, ask yourself this: who in the NBA with Lamar’s ability would not only be content as the fourth option, but would flourish? Who would consider that ideal? Right.

Also, to consider is the health issues of the Lakers. Over the past few seasons the Lakers, Kobe excluded, have shown that they have all the toughness of a Fabergé Egg. Having a versatile forward like Lamar would be extra insurance that we avoid a situation like what happened in the 03-04 season.

The money issue is big concern and will continue to be one for years to come, but since in my opinion keeping Lamar pretty much guarantees a few rings I would think they will make that money back. On top of that, we will have a lot of money coming in from our newfound Spanish fan base. However, In the spirit of debate, if I were to get rid of Lamar these would be my top seven choices (get it? Because his number is seven. Oh never mind.)

1. Stephen Jackson

Personally I feel the best possible small forward for this Lakers squad, if the Lakers could have their pick of small forwards, would be Captain Jack. He can score in a multitude of ways, he is a very good passer, he can shoot the three and he’s a fantastic defender. He is also a great leader who can take a backseat to a star, which he has displayed during his tenures in Indiana and Golden State. The only knock that could possibly be put on Jacko is that he’s kind of a head case, but according to most published accounts from his coaches and teammates that doesn’t effect the team chemistry as most will sing his virtues as an ideal teammate with a heart of gold.

Chances: There is about a 0% chance that Golden State is gonna trade Stephen Jackson. On paper though, adding Odom to the Warriors would be an intriguing combination due to the fact that they are in dire need of rebounding and Odom is one of the best rebounders that can run and gun this side of Shawn Marion.

2. Caron Butler

I think everything that can be said about the benefits of having Caron have been said, so I won’t bother reiterating them since what he brings is pretty obvious. The one caveat I would have about bringing in a guy like Butler is that he is too talented a scorer for the role he would play. I feel like getting a Caron would be overkill.

Chances: Zero again. The Wizards trading Caron? Please.

3. Shawn Marion

If anybody can match what Odom brings to the team and then some it’s the Matrix. The most impressive aspect of Shawn’s game is his ability to dominate the game without dominating the ball and that is precisely what would benefit the Lakers the most with Bryant, Gasol, and Byno on the floor. HOWEVER, Shawn doesn’t like playing without the ball anymore. He wants to be the focal point. A big reason he wanted to leave Phoenix was he didn’t want to be the third option so I don’t think being the fourth option would be particularly appealing. That and he wants $20 million per year.

Chances: This is a possibility. Riley really likes Odom and there are some reports saying that Marion is not in Riles’s long term plans. The money thing would really kill it though.

4. Let him walk

The most un-sexy option for the fan, but from a business standpoint the biggest deficiency in Lamar Odom is perhaps not his game, but the fact that 14 million for a fourth option is pretty ridiculous. Add in that we have two starting level small forwards in Walton and Vlad Rad locked up to fairly long term deals, letting Lamar walk would probably not hurt the team too much and save them a ton of money.

Chances: I think this is the most likely possibility if there is going to be any change in Lamar’s status.

5. Ron Artest

I’m not a huge fan of a Ron Artest move. On paper he looks like exactly what we need and he certainly can be, but he is a lunatic. Unlike Stephen Jackson who‘s like a thug with a heart of gold, Ron Artest is just crazy. He also has a tendency to try and take over games and ignore the coach to follow his own agenda. We already have one guy who does that; two would just be chaos. However, if anybody can handle Ron Artest, it’s probably Phil.

Chances: This seems very possible. Unless of course we are trying to pry him from Denver or some team other than Sac-town.

6. Richard Jefferson

RJ has really proven himself this year to be a pretty dominant scorer who’s great at playing off the ball (or at least playing off Jason Kidd.) That’s not really what we need, but I put him on this list anyway because he’s best friends with Luke Walton. Salary wise he makes about a million or two less than Odom, but that won’t be enough to offer the Lakers the cap relief they would want. However with Jefferson on the squad, Jerry Buss can finance a reality show starring Luke and RJ. That would make up the luxury tax easy.

Chances: I have no idea. I’m gonna say low, but there are reports that nobody in New Jersey is safe and they do need a good power forward more than a good wing player since they are seemingly stuck with Half-Man Half-a Season .

7. Corey “Baby Oil” Maggette

Close your eyes and imagine: Corey Maggette and Derek Fisher. Imagine the buff-ness. Imagine the shiny-ness. Imagine the flopping….ness. Does Maggette offer what we need? Probably not, but a starting lineup featuring Derek Fisher and The Eel, Corey Maggette, would be a pretty beautiful thing for the NBA. Just imagine all the money the Lakers would make with all Johnson & Johnson baby oil endorsements.

Chances: Seems possible. I wouldn’t do it if I were the Clippers though since I think they need a scorer off the wing more than an inconsistent rebounding machine, but if this trade were to go down I can definitely see it benefiting both teams.

  • Lakers4Life

    Keep Lamar .. Championships cost!!!

  • Kobe 4 Life Nikkas

    keep him hes good man

  • xtro

    Keep Lamar. Only let him go for Artest if possible.

  • xxv112002

    Keep Lamar. Get rid of Walton, Mihm & Mbenga in the off-season. Sign a free agent Center or someone who is a capable banger. Try to acquire Grant Hill.

    Shawn Marion does not fit the Lakers style. I see him fit in more with the San Antonio Spurs. I mean, WOW. Just picture him playing alongside Tim Duncan, Manu, Bowen & Parker.

  • BleedsPurple-N-Gold

    I think you guys are expecting to much of LO. He’s never going to be a Pippen because they don’t even have the same style! Plus LO is a great rebounder! 12-10 a game! That’s not bad. As far as defense goes, You guys knows he gets at least 1 BS call per game because of his length.

    But here’s the thing when you guys watch him play. He tries! He has lots of emotion when he plays. Even Kobe said so. He is very emotional. He been guarding the top PF’s for years before Pau has come and personally I think, He has no where to go, but to improve.

    Stop comparing him to Pippin or other SF’s. He’s a new breed. The dude is 6’10′ with HANDLES, length, and passing abilities.

  • Mitch

    lol. i was laughing out loud for about five minutes straight to that bit about the maggette and fisher baby oil buffness.

  • demon432

    why wouldnt odom resign for say like 7 mill a year? is any other team really going to pay him more than that?

  • Keep Odom

    Very good article Terry. As fans it’s easy for us to say to keep Odom but if the Buss family got rid of Shaq in part to make Kobe happy and the other part was defenitely financial Odom is defenitely not safe. There is only two things that can save Odom from being traded. The most important is if we win a Championship. Which is looking pretty good right now. Second, he has to show during the playoffs that he was a major contributing part to us winning. Remember, championships generate money! There are a lot of players who can replace that position and the solutions is defenitely not Walton. My solutions is to trade Walton for that small forward who can actually replace what a Small Forward should do. But I would defenitely keep Odom if he is a big part in us winning a championship.

  • awesomerob24

    Keep Lamar

    Trading him would be a huge mistake

  • Mitch

    don’t forget about Ariza. i think he would do a fine job starting at sf.

  • B

    Nice article. In regards to Lamar, we should keep him. Easy for me to say.

  • Kobe08-09

    keep him win a ring sign all players and sign Odom low price, he wll take ti cuz he will get more rings and sign Bynum and ever one elese then trade Luke for 1st rounder there goes our Money promblems

  • lkr4lfe

    My opinion as well would be to keep lamar and try to dump salaries a different way. Maybe get rid of Mihm and Luke or Mihm for someone that cost less but is a consitent defender and descent shooter. There are different ways of cutting down on salaries without having to get rid of our core or future players (Farmar, Turiaf, Sasha). I think if we didnt give Mihm an extension since this is the only year of his contract we would be able to cut 2.5 mil which wouldnt effect our team at all,if we a sign and trade with Mihm and packaged Luke or Radman in a deal is another way to get a descent player and cut costs. Lets face it, we have enough injury prone players to pay as it is we don’t need to keep another that may never be healthy again.
    Those are my thoughts. Though you could argue that we wouldn’t be as deep if we lost luke or Radman but I guess that depends on who we get in return. Losing Mihm won’t hurt us at all since he hasn’t done much for us for the past 2-3 yrs.

  • Short Diezel

    What free agents are available when his contract expires?

    Personally, I think we should keep him and put him as the Power Forward in the 2nd unit along with turiaf, radmon, sasha and farmar.

  • Kobe08-09

    1st Round- 1.Lakers Vs 8.Nuggets Result: Lakers in Game 5
    1st Round- 2.Suns Vs. 7.Rockets Result: Suns in game 6
    1st Round- 3.Noh Vs. 6.Spurs Result: Spurs in game 6
    1st Round- 4.Jazz Vs 5.Dallas Result: Dallas in game 6

    2nd Round- 1.Lakers vs 5.Dallas Result: Lakers in game 6
    2nd Round- 2.Suns vs 6.Spurs Result: Suns in game 7

    3rd Round- 1.Lakers vs 2.Suns Result: Lakers in game 7

    Finals- 1.Lakers vs 1.Boston Result: Lakers in game 7

    What you guys think

  • lkr4lfe

    I would like that as well, however I think we should wait to see how well he heals and how he feels before we take that jump. We need a SOLID, HEALTHY, Backup for Pau and Drew.

  • sepehr

    This article is severely flawed, how can Stephen Jackson fit in the triangle and play alongside Kobe, Pau and Bynum. Jackson is known for shooting recklessly, he will not fit in the lakers system. Lamar fits perfectly in the lakers system right now, he is a 3rd or 4th option where he can do the little things such as rebounding, posting up smaller 3′s, getting assists.

    The thing that people need to realize is that the NBA is not the same as a playstation game, you can’t have the best player in every position and expect to win. You need role players and the only person on this list who is close to a role player is Artest.

    We need a player who can sit back and focus on things other than scoring, and Lamar fits that role right now. He is already working in this system and will do better when he won’t have to guard big power forwards.

  • Tim

    i think itll be Lakers vs Detroit in the Finals where Lakers win in 6 and the 3rd round has Lakers winning in 5

  • DCLAKER

    Trade Walton for Maggette(He’d love to cross the street)in the off season and KEEP LO. LAMARSTAYS.com,FORGET ARTEST!!!

  • http://wtf.com jt

    There is no one like LO in this leauge. I have been frustrated with him for so long but i always ask myself who can we replace for LO he can pretty much match up to anyone. And with the pressure off he seems to be doing well. The only negative is his huge salary, i doubt he will take less to stick around.

    I would put 3 more players in that list that i personally like

    1.andre igoudala
    2.jamario moon
    3.josh childress

    i think moon will be FA next year?

    anyways like someone said, i like Trevor and if he continues to step his game up and develop a solid jump shot then I wouldnt mind locking Trevor for much less than what odom makes.

  • http://letsgolakers.com Mr.81

    We don’t need to get rid of him…geez….

  • GM

    let me throw another name in there…..

    Gerald Wallace.

  • lakerfanjapan

    The question i have is can Lamar odom extend with the lakers while taking a pay cut?
    Because i think Larmar loves playing for the purple and gold and would agree to do it, but i don’ know if that is allowed with the league offices???

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #27202 Will Be Quoted Here]

    fu-ck grant hill you’re fu-ck-en stupid!!!

  • xxv112002

    Just looking at the 2008 Free agency, Man there’s alot to choose from. Right now im looking for the best banger/defensive role player that will suit best for the Lakers. Here are my picks for the ones that we can acquire for cheap. Some of them are stars that we might acquire for cheap. But will depend on them whether they choose money or trophy. Hell, if we once got Malone & Payton. Anything can happen.

    Elton Brand – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Solid player when healthy. Known bruiser. Can replace Bynum in games. Or you can rest both Bynum & Gasol and put in Brand & Turiaf to do the dirty work.

    Jermaine O’neal – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Same as above. Only plus is he is known to be Kobe’s bud and is also tired of losing.

    Austin Croshere – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Solid help defense. Has a nose for rebounds. loves to bang. Has an outside shot. Hustles. Phil would like to have this guy.

    Kwame Brown – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    I know alot of you will hate me for this. But I believe Kwame is the best one we can acquire for cheap. My reason: No one else wants him. He Knows the Triangle better than the ones above. He wants to prove himself. He knows the guys = chemistry. He’s a capable banger and that’s all we need right now. Post up defense is solid. And he is known to be the main guy to be traded for an all star player! Haha.

    Kurt Thomas – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Defensive presence. Can shoot the baseline shot. That’s why San Antonio got him for this year. Hopefully he comes to us for cheap.

    Robert Horry – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    He might be old. But you all know what he can do. Need I explain?

    Rasho Nesterovic – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Tall center that can clog the middle. Hell if San Antonio acquired him before, why not us? And unlike Mihm, Rasho plays. Haha.

    Now the Small Forwards (Or players that are capable of that position):

    Gerald Green – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Young. Quick. Was a slam dunk champion. Upside is he’s not consistent. He’s a slasher but suspect outside shooter. Not really a capable defensive player. The reason is his lack of experience.

    Bonzi Wells – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    Dont know if we can get him for cheap. To me, he sucks. Watching him play is like watching Devean George play. Fat overpaid small forward that has an attitude. Dont even know why I added this bust here.

    Maurice Evans – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    I know we all miss him. Here’s our chance to get him back. Putting him in small forward doesn’t really have to change his game. He’ll still work the arc, pass, slash & rebound here and there. He’ll be a great fit not only because he adds the chemistry to the team, but all we need for our small forwards is to play solid defense which is his specialty. And to run back to defense to stop the fast breaks which is important. Love to see this guy coming off the bench for us again.

    Grant Hill – 2008 Unrestricted Free Agent
    This dude we need. He seems to be healthy nowadays. He might not be an all star but he proves he can still play with the best of them. I remember Phil wanting this guy.

  • BigGameJames

    The thing about LO is that he’s the best team guy and compliment to KB you’ll find in the NBA, period. Zero baggage, all about the team — none of the guys on your list really can say that. Plus, with that length we’ve got three guys in the starting five who together about 21 feet tall.

    But don’t listen to me. You want to see what Lamar is all about, check out this interview with him:

    http://www.lamarodom.com/index.php?q=node/256

  • Tim

    we should keep Odom and just strengthen our bench, our starting lineup is the best in the nba, now to get the best bench in the nba? lets sign Grant hill after this season to backup Lamar and we should be able to keep Sasha, Ariza, and Ronny

  • xxv112002

    MILO
    Feb 22nd, 2008 at 2:20 pm Click this link to quote this comment in your reply

    xxv112002 on February 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm said:

    Keep Lamar. Get rid of Walton, Mihm & Mbenga in the off-season. Sign a free agent Center or someone who is a capable banger. Try to acquire Grant Hill.

    Shawn Marion does not fit the Lakers style. I see him fit in more with the San Antonio Spurs. I mean, WOW. Just picture him playing alongside Tim Duncan, Manu, Bowen & Parker.

    fu-ck grant hill you’re fu-ck-en stupid!!!

    Dude why you hating? He IS a small forward. He WAS an all star. Did you even watch the Lakers/Suns game? If not. I’ll tell you what he put up: 17pts 10rebs 2blks 8/13fgm. Do you even know his stats this year? If not again. I’ll tell you: 14.8ppg 4.7rpg 3.3apg. Now tell me, does wanting to have this guy on the team makes me stupid? If yes then I guess you’re saying Kobe & Phil Jax is stupid for wanting this guy before also?

  • xxv112002

    Tim
    Feb 22nd, 2008 at 2:43 pm Click this link to quote this comment in your reply

    we should keep Odom and just strengthen our bench, our starting lineup is the best in the nba, now to get the best bench in the nba? lets sign Grant hill after this season to backup Lamar and we should be able to keep Sasha, Ariza, and Ronny

    Thank you. At least some people here are using their brains.

  • DCLAKER

    JO,AI(THE OTHER ONE FROMPHILLY),C.MAGGETTE.I think Brand would wanna start and I Maggette wouldn’t mind coming off the bench or being thrown into the starting line up every now and then. JO JUST WANTS TO WIN,NOW so that’s a no-brainer. Forget(just imagine I’m saying the other “F” word here)Grant Hill,with the exception of Marion,NO EX-SUNS PLAYERS,especially ones that wanted to be there,Marion DIDN’T! The “other AI” is someone Kobe has spoken highly of a couple of times live on TV(along with Maggette)plus his defense has gotten a whole lot better,athletic,etc.

  • jamez

    Keep Lamar is the only sane idea. Letting him go or trading him would be a bad situation for the Lakers. I’d rather trade Vlad-Rad and Ronny, for Chris Andersen of NO. But i doubt NO would go with that, since they already have a sharper shooter in Peja.

  • DCLAKER

    JOSH SMITH anyone!

  • xxv112002

    BigGameJames

    That was a cool video. Thanks for the link. What people see in Lamar is the huge salary and the averages he put up every year. First of all, the Lakers didn’t sign him that huge salary. Miami did. Secondly, What people need to look at is the small things he does for his non all star teammates. Having two all stars in one team really puts a lot of pressure & sacrifice on the rest of the team. Lamar is one of the guys that’ll distribute the ball whether you suck or not he’ll pass it to you because he believes in you. He’s one of the boys that’ll kick it with you outside the courts unlike the stars. With him on the team makes others feel welcome. You know. Others other than Kobe & Gasol. And he steps it up in Playoffs. He has heart. He brings chemistry. He makes basketball fun for the other guys.

  • LAL4LIFE

    Lamar’s best position is at the small forward. He can play Point Guard for crying out loud. Keep him. He has been playing excellent for the past 9 games and Lakers “fans” still want to trade him. Look at the team’s record and yet some of you want to add STEPHEN JACKSON?!?!?! LOL
    Thats some way to throw off the teams great chemistry.

  • DCLAKER

    I don’t think we want to trade LO, it’s just his contract could be a problem and plus you have to check all avenues(free agents).I feel we want LO to be a Laker4life but this is a business 1st.

  • bryan

    KEEP LAMAR and resign him for 8-10 mill.. would he take that deal? in my guess, yes. he loves this team and has said before that he wants to retire a Laker. plus, he’s rich enough.

    when marion was w/ phoenix… there was no doubt that he was the third best player on the team… yet he made more than both amare and nash.. it wasn’t the lakers that gave odom the contract… it was miami.. when he was the go-to-guy for that team.. he flourished there as well… but now he has a new role w/ the lakers and he’s doing quite well..

    also, odom steps up his game tremendously in the playoffs.. don’t be surprised to see him put up big numbers in the post-season..

    i’m excited! GO LAKERRRSSSSSSS

  • 1ofMany

    The trade deadline is over! The team is playing AMAZING! Why is this type of article even posted??? No other team in the league, or their fans, would be complaining about haveing LO as a 4th option. Maybe he wont be able to lock down a Melo or Lebron after moving to SF… but really, who can? Can we give the trade/keep keep LO articles a rest already.

  • Jak

    Ok. Breaking News: Barry from San Antonio has just been released by the Spurs, and as per league rules, there is a waiting period of 48 hours for any team to sign him. Does Mitch know about this? I think we need to get Barry. We are not losing anyone, so why not add another veteran player in our young team?????? Barry can shoot 3s, we mght use him sometime. Please sign him.

  • JayC22

    How much over the cap are we? Kwame’s 9 mill and Java’s contract takes out about 10 mill of Gasol’s 12 mill salary. So how are we so far over the cap???

  • Sam

    we have to keep odom. He’s gotten 3 triple doubles since gasol has been part of the team. His jumper may be slightly scary, but i notice that he’ll take a few steps toward the basket when he can an take higher percentage shots that go in for him. I also think that Bynum or Odom could come off the bench if need be. I think Luke Walton has been dissapointing this year. He showed much more promise last season but I don’t see a lot of improvement….a matter of fact, I think he’s taken a step back. Odom provides the team with chemistry, and when an injury happens, Odom is very capable of stepping in and making something happen. I remember when we started last season w/o kobe and how well he did. 14mil may be a lot for a 3rd or fourth option, but that’s an unbeatable line up.

  • erickson

    [Comment ID #27205 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yes….

  • erickson

    [Comment ID #27255 Will Be Quoted Here]

    didnt he get traded to sonics?

  • varsityoptimism

    lamar is averaging 14 REBOUDS since Pau arrived! KEEP LO! TRADE TALK IS OVER!!!!!!

  • Michael_23

    Someone has a lot of time on their hand to make this article. This article is meaningless right now. Focus on the games at hand this season and worry about your off season acquisitions later. This is not the time to be talking about any trades or free agents. The trade deadline has just past and the Lakers and it’s fans are just concentrating this season and a game at a time.

    I know it’s good to think about the future and long-term haul. Hey we can think that way unlike the Suns and Mavs who only have a year or 2 left before they collapse in age, but we need to focus on the task at hand and winning a championship this year with the group we have now.

  • DCLAKER

    Not for me,this time around I’m beating Kobe to the Punch.I’m already shopping for(after WE WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP)FREE AGENTS in the off season.There’s still some things,especially when LUUUUKE is on the floor that don’t sit well with me.LO STAYS,LUKE GOES……TO ATLANTA FOR JOSH SMITH(wishful thinking but Turiaf/J.Smith and Ariza off the bench backcourt and Farmar/Sasha or,OH MY F!@#$% GOODNESS).

  • Darkblaze

    I was told by e-mail that this topic has been discussed to death! Well what do you know, here is yet another article pointing towards the same thing. GG!

  • Envision4

    Why did we ever resign Luke to that ridiculous contract? We can’t get rid of Luke… nobody would take him even if it’s for a 10th round draft pick.

  • LakersFirst

    I think this article is severly flawed.

    First of all, LO will continue to play the power forward position for the rest of the reason because when Bynum does come back, the Lakers aren’t going to just throw him into the starting lineup. Bynum will come off the bench to replace Pau at the center position. The Lakers are going to want to ease their 20 year old center back into the lineup, so Pau won’t be immediately going to the 4 spot.

    Even into the playoffs, the Lakers will probably use Bynum as the backup center because that will add to the depth of their center position. The Lakers would start with Pau but then when he sits down, they will would bring in the power of Bynum, this would given any opposing team a headache, not to mention bring depth to the center position, with Mihm (injured) and Mbenga as the only other options for center.

    For next season, the Lakers will probably start Pau (power forward), Bynum (center) and LO at the 3, at the same time. It’s going to take time for the Lakers to figure out how these three should work together and instead of trying to rush and figure it out now, they probably will take their time and figure it out in the offseason. The trade deadline for LO’s contract would be next Feb, so the Lakers have time to figure out if the starting five of Pau, Odom, Bynum, Kobe and Fisher will work.

    People think that LO will be traded in the offseason, however, people forget that he makes $14.5M next year, so even if the Lakers were to trade LO, they will have to trade for at least 75% of that value, so no matter what, the Lakers are paying their luxury tax next year. Because of this, there is no urgency to trade LO. Yes, they may shop around a look to trade LO for two players who would each make slightly less (preferably one with an contract that expires next season), but they are not going to trade LO without thinking about it long and hard (unlike most people here who scream TRADE, TRADE, TRADE).

    With regards to the author’s comment about the salary of Farmar and Bynum, when they are signed to an extension, their higher pay will hit the books AFTER next year (1st starting with Bynum as Farmar won’t be ready for an extension until after the 2009/10 season), when LO’s contract is done.

    Lastly, with regards to the players that he mentioned, here are my thoughts:

    Stephen Jackson: Yes he’s cheaper than LO, but the Warriors won’t send him here. Jackson is just as important to that team as Baron Davis (notice this year, they started winning games after he came back from his 7 game suspension). The Warriors need a center and will most likely look to trade Al Harrington for a quality center (Andris Biedrins doesn’t cut it).

    Caron Buter: To the author’s point, why would Washington trade him?

    Shawn Marion: He played the 4 at Phoenix, and with Haslem injured is playing the 4 at Miami. Marion is exactly like LO, small forwards that have been forced to play the 4, when their natural position is the 3 but because they’ve been playing the 4 for so long, they’ve become better power forwards. Not to mention, Marion wants a HUGE contract, which is what he was demanding from Phoenix. The Lakers would not give Marion the contract he’s looking for.

    Let Him Walk: Yes, the Lakers could very well let him walk as they have 3 other small forwards in Walton, Radman and Ariza. If the Lakers do trade LO, they would probably do so for perhaps another power forward or another shooting guard (the Lakers have enough small forwards).

    Ron Artest: He too wants big money and knows he is way under paid. He’ll want at least $10M/year, which the Knicks would probably give him in a sign and trade with Sac.

    Richard Jefferson: He’s going to make $13.2M next year, $14.2M the year after that, and then $15M in 2010/11, so there is no saving money in getting a guy like Jefferson. Also, I think at this point, Jefferson is the only untouchable guy in NJ.

    Maggette: He is opting out of the Clippers because he wants MORE MONEY. He too is probably looking for at least a $10M/year contract, so he wouldn’t help the Lakers financially either.

    At the end of the day the Lakers won’t make a rash decision as so many here do. They will take their time and be patient. LO will finish this season at the 4. Next year, assuming he isn’t traded in the offseason, will move to the 3 and the Lakers will see how it works. If it doesn’t work, they can trade him for players that play other positions, or they can resign after next season for a smaller amount (maybe the MLE if he really wants to retire as a Laker) or let him walk as they have 3 other small forwards contracted (of course after next season they will have to make a decision and resign Ariza if he plays well).

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #27231 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Don’t forget Malone and Payton were entering their twilight years, they had made their money and had zero championships, so that is why the Lakers were able to get them for cheap. However, I would like to correct some of the errors you have regarding some players.

    1. Elton Brand: He is NOT an unrestricted free agent. He can opt out at the end of the season, but I see him choosing to stay with the Clippers and trying to prove to the NBA that he is 100% after the injury as next year he will be in a contract year. I think he knows if he opts out after this season, he may not get as good of a contract as GM’s in the league will doubt his ability to play after rupturing his achilles.

    2. Jermaine O’Neal: He too is NOT an unrestricted free agent. Like Brand, he can opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but the fact that is going to make $20+M dollars for the next season makes it highly unlikely he will opt out, especially because no GM is going to give him anywhere near that much money with him being injured for the last 2 years.

    3. Maurice Evens: He doesn’t play small forward. He plays shooting guard and doing very well in Orlando (he earned a starting spot).

    4. Grant Hill (not really a correction). Grant Hill will most likely resign with the Suns, depending on how the Shaq experiment goes for the rest of this season.

  • DCLAKER

    What about AI(The other one from Philly)and Josh Smith?

  • KB24 RULEZ!!

    Get Rid of lamar,Get Marion..Artest is a Headache for us..like the author of this article said,artest is crazy inside the hard court..there is no pissibility that phil could handle this man..also artest could lead the lakers into another brawl that will suspend not only artest but the whole team!!!

  • bc18

    [Comment ID #27221 Will Be Quoted Here]

    how come you always do this: “(action:such as get, keep, get rid of, etc.)(Name of player).com in full effect!!!!” oh yeah and it has to be in all capital letters also…is this like your signature comment??? lol

  • bc18

    [Comment ID #27231 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i cant believe you would put kwame here lol and its a KNOWN fact, kwame DOES not want to prove anything to anyone…he sucks

  • drake hunter

    Also to consider is the Lakers payroll is currently at $72 million (which is well over the cap) and it’s only going to get bigger with the expected extensions for Farmar and Bynum. So the big debate right now with Odom is whether to keep him and see if he can hack it as out small forward option or trade him for a more traditional (and hopefully cheaper) small forward.

    The Lakers have the best team in the NBA right now and are solid at every position and have no weakness at all at any position. Can we expect to have a small payroll with so much talent on the roster. Of course not, and the salary cap should be the last the the fans need to worry about. The stress belongs to Jerry Buss and if he’s cool with it, then why do we care that Jerry Buss is willing to pay a possible 4th option on the team $14 mil a season. The Lakers are winning and playing great basketball and as long as the Lakers put a winning product on the court theres no need to keep playing general manager. Stop all the talk of trading Lamar or Walton or Mihm. The Lakers are so deep and everyone knows their role. We can’t expect Walton to put up 15pts and 10 rebs a night as a reserve because thats not his job so stop expecting so much from him. Who cares how much money he makes, we’re not paying him Jerry Buss is. If you win, they will come, and the Lakers are the biggest draw in the NBA today. Keep Lamar, he’s fine and I’m sure when he’s a free agent he will take less to stay with us and win championships ala Rick Fox. Come on, it doesn’t take a genius to know when you got a good thing and the Lakers are definately a good thing. They are built to win a championship for the next 5 years with the exception of maybe an upgrade at the point when Fisher retires. Why do we need Corey Maggette or Caron Butler? We have Lamar, Ariza, Walton, and Radmanovic who all can play the 3. Is every player suppose to score 15-20 pts a night. We have Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum to carry the team. As long as everyone knows their role, which they do, and keep playing the way they are, the Lakers will be fine for a long time!

  • willow

    Forget everything else! “baby oil” Maggette??? I can’t believe I actually closed my eyes and imagined that scenario with D-Fish. I can see them now with all that oil drippin off onto the court and all the guys slippin and slidin all over the place. It’s like watching a Benny Hill show…with Phil as Benny Hill.

    I say my choice would be No. 7 just for the sheer comedy of it.

    LMFAO!!!!

  • Phant0M

    HOMO^?

    LOL jk/jk

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #27301 Will Be Quoted Here]

    DrakeHunter: I have to completely disagree with the following statement you wrote:

    “Can we expect to have a small payroll with so much talent on the roster. Of course not, and the salary cap should be the last the the fans need to worry about. The stress belongs to Jerry Buss and if he’s cool with it, then why do we care that Jerry Buss is willing to pay a possible 4th option on the team $14 mil a season.”

    The reason fans should be concerned with the salary cap is because if the Lakers go so FAR over, it is hard as hell to get under it (look at the NY Knicks for crying out loud!!).

    As frequent visitor of this web site, I have read time and time again, about how many people were frustrated with the Lakers FO for the past 3 years for not “making any moves” (and Drake you were one of them), but fans didn’t understand WHY they had a hard time making moves… IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE SALARY CAP!!! For example, don’t you remember, the Lakers had Brian Grant’s contract from the Shaq trade. Well even though they waived him as their exemption waiver, the Lakers still HAD TO PAY HIS CONTRACT, which still was counted towards the Lakers payroll, so the Lakers were stuck and couldn’t make any moves. Being over the salary cap straps a team from getting good players.

    Furthermore, when you’re so far over the luxury tax, you have NO flexibility to sign free agents (only the MLE and vets minimum).

    Another reason to be concerned about going over the salary cap is injuries. If high paid players have MAJOR injuries and aren’t the same, then you’re screwed. Just imagine if Pao tears his kneed up next year (knock on wood so this doesn’t happen) and he’s never the same, the Lakers are paying him $15-$17M for the next 4 years, and his contract will prevent the Lakers from getting a great replacement player.

    Even though, you don’t pay their salary, Laker fans should be concerned about the Lakers getting WAY too over the salary cap because being over the salary cap can cripple a team for years, like the Knicks, who have been crippled for the past 5 years all due to the the salary cap.

  • iLakers

    [Comment ID #27231 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Who are you?

    Why in the hell would you recommend us picking up KWAME BROWN. Did you not watch the games when he was here. That guys sucks and i’d rather be one man down than have him on my bench. He just takes up space…he’s like dead matter. I know you saw the game where he was booed (at Staples) and instead of showing us what he was really made of…well, actually he did show us what he was made of…a weak minded punk with height and girly hands.

    And i don’t miss MO Evans, i don’t think he fit well in the Lakers system.

    But KWAME BROWN…omg…NO!

  • Phant0M

    Kwame,
    PLEASE NO..

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #27239 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yes and he rejected the Lakers offer so for you to bring him up is stupid! as far as im concerned the Lakers are fine the way they are right now.You also have to remember that Hill is plagued with injury, i could almost bet that one more will drive him to retirement…

  • MILO

    One more thing if you are as smart as you say you are then why dont you know that MO is a guard and that Kwame is “the shit stuck under my shoe he’s the smell inside the van” ha ha ha! (SUBLIME)

  • xxv112002

    Excuse me Mr. or Ms MILO.

    But if really read my post as you said you did. Maybe you overlooked some of the words I posted about Mo Evans. I know he isn’t a Small Forward. That’s why I wrote this:

    “Now the Small Forwards (Or players that are capable of that position):”

    Still don’t get it? Lemme show you my my explanation in large caps so you’ll understand: “OR PLAYERS THAT ARE CAPABLE OF THAT POSITION”.

    Still don’t get it!?!? Well good luck with that.

    Regarding Grant Hill. He rejected the Lakers offer because the Lakers were offering him the MLE and the Suns also offered him a starting spot. He also rejected the offer because back then, the Suns were winning. We weren’t. So that’s why he rejected the Lakers offer. That was before. Lets talk about the future. Now that he is going to be a free agent in 2008, why not look him up? If the Lakers looked up Chris Webber last year (even if he’s also plagued with injuries) why not Grant Hill? And don’t think the Lakers will not look at his resume when his contract expires. Because THEY WILL. Sorry if I’m being REAL with you. I’m not like others here playing fantasy GM.

    Now let’s move on to the “Infamous Kwame Brown” post. Man, I knew ya’ll were gonna gang up on me with this. Haha. But lets be real though. He is a capable banger in the post. Phil Jackson said “we’ll miss Kwame because he knocks people around”. That’s what the Lakers need. I know there might be no way in hell we can acquire Jermaine O’neal or Elton Brand. I know they either stick to their contract or might even sign with another team that is willing to make a better offer. I know Kwame sucks. Then take advantage of it. He knows there is no way in hell he’ll get another contract. Especially for the same amount. We can pay him the Veteran’s. He also brings familiar chemistry since HE IS ONE OF THE GUYS. But enough of him. I’m not saying he is the best choice. I’m saying he’s the best one we can acquire for cheap.

    Oh yeah, regarding Elton Brand & Jermaine O’neal being Unrestricted free agents. Well if you look at this website:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=2008freeagents

    They listed them at the Unrestricted. Meaning they have an Early Temination Option. Which means also they are UNRESTRICTED.

    Restricted means they cannot escape. Unrestricted means they can. Haha.

    “Kwame is “the {Profanity isn’t allowed on theLakersNation.com — Please go back and edit your comment. Thank you.} stuck under my shoe he’s the smell inside the van” ha ha ha!”

    Shlt happens. Haha. Peace!

  • drake hunter

    LakersFirst (Change) (Close): I have to completely disagree with the following statement you wrote:

    Another reason to be concerned about going over the salary cap is injuries. If high paid players have MAJOR injuries and aren’t the same, then you’re screwed. Just imagine if Pao tears his kneed up next year (knock on wood so this doesn’t happen) and he’s never the same, the Lakers are paying him $15-$17M for the next 4 years, and his contract will prevent the Lakers from getting a great replacement player.

    You cannot sign a player to a high paid contract and be worried that if he gets injured then you’re screwed. If that was the case every player would be on one year contracts because every player would apply to the concept of possibly getting seriously injured. You sign a player to a high paid contract based on his talent and skills. You cannot predict the future on who’s going to get injured during the season. If they do get injured then yes you’re screwed, but the same rule applies for every other team and player in the league. If your owner is willing to pay a high contract to have a good player at every position on his team in order to win it all ala George Steinbrenner, we should be happy not worried. The Lakers are playing so good right now and their freakin crazy. Just sit back and enjoy the rest of the season!!!!! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! The Lakers are playing great basketball and people are still trying to do moves or trades in the offseason. As Laker fans, we’re spolied, and the Laker Organization knows that so they went and stole Gasol to please the fans and the organization. Lets everyone take a break now and just watch the Lakers beat every team trying to compete with us. Mitch and the Lakers have done their job, now its our turn as fans, to cheer this team on!!!!!

  • mr.laker19

    Nice, I like this article a lot. But the number one guy is some one you dont even have on your list. Josh Smith. I know the money doesent work but if we could get this guy we will have the best team in the league for the next decade and a half. He cant jump, rebound, defend, a very underrated passer and much like Odom he is a triple double waiting to happen every night. And he doesnt need to dominate the ball to score. Only thing he needs to work on is making his jump shot consistent and extending his range. I also would add Gerald Green to your list some where.

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #27388 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Again, you fail to understand…being over the salary cap can potentially cripple a team for years!!!

    You state that a team “signs a player to a high paid contract based on his talent and skills”, which is true but what if the combination of high paid players is not working and the team isn’t winning. What does the team do then? (look at Denver and Dallas, especially Dallas with them getting desparate. Denver is another example)??? Obviously that team is going to want to move some players and bring in new talent, however that will be very difficult to do and can take years to alter the roster because the team could be so far over the salary cap.

    Why would it be difficult, 1) being over the salary cap, you can’t attract free agents because you couldn’t offer them anything but the MLE of the vets minimum (NBA RULE: when a team is over the salary cap they can’t offer anything but the MLE or vets minimum to free agents 2) It will be difficult to make trades with another team because if your team has high paid players with huge contracts, and the players are not producing. No team is going to want thoes players or their expensive contract (unless the contract is expiring).

    I’m not saying the Lakers should make any moves but you’re saying that we shouldn’t be worried about the Lakers being over the salary cap. Of course I don’t pay their salary so it’s not my money, but as a Laker fan, if suddenly this Laker team backfires and can’t make a run in the playoffs, then I’m concerned about the Lakers ability to change their roster if needed, not because the FO isn’t intelligent to do so, but because by being so far over the salary cap (which is a possibility in the future), the Lakers will have to wait until contracts expire to alter their team, which by then all the “spoiled” Laker fans will be b*tching like they did over the offseason and talking sh*t about the FO, which so many of you did.

    Lastly, the Lakers already went through the situation of being over the salary cap and took about 2 to 3 years to finally get near or under the salary cap limits (remember the Brian Grant contract we had to endure which prevented the Lakers from making runs at free agents) and I remember you were one of those “spoiled” Laker fans b*tching about the FO.

  • DingleBerry

    lakers first your the bigest biatch on this site…

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #27433 Will Be Quoted Here]

    This coming from a f*g who calls himself “DingleBerry”.