When a team plays poorly there are always some options that the GM has at their disposal. They can trade for some players, look to the free agent market for some sort of spark, or maybe the coach is to blame. In the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Kupchak really hasn’t been left with any except to trade one of our All Star pieces.
The Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown, only 5 games into the 2012-13 NBA season, and soon after hired Mike D’Antoni, completely snubbing 11-time World Champion Phil Jackson. So that makes it very difficult to fire D’Antoni to hire yet ANOTHER head coach. The Lakers would then have three head coaches on their payroll, with two of them at home laughing at how the Lakers can’t seem to get their act together.
Kupchak has been pushed to this point by the poor and lackluster play by the Lakers thus far this season. I feel (as I know many of you feel also) that there needs to be a change; I truly wish that the Lakers organization had hired Phil when they had the chance, but that didn’t happen, and we will have to look elsewhere now. Trading seems to be the only logical thing to do at this point and there are a few players that would be perfect center pieces, most notably Dwight Howard.
There has been the idea that Dwight isn’t truly happy here in LA, and his true home lies in Brooklyn with the Nets. The Nets know this and have since began looking for a possible trade scenario that would land Howard in Brooklyn. However, the Nets’ GM Billy King has been looking for a third team in which to facilitate this trade, and most recently, that team had been the Minnesota Timberwolves. The possible trade called for Howard going to Brooklyn, Brook Lopez to Minnesota, and Kevin Love to Los Angeles, with some other smaller pieces thrown in to make the trade work. More from that trade scenario can be read here.
Unfortunately, Kevin Love has since been sidelined for 8-10 weeks due to re-injuring his broken hand. That kind of makes this trade impossible as Los Angeles doesn’t want an injured Kevin Love for All-Star Dwight Howard, even if his performance has been sub-par recently. The Nets will continue to find a suitable third team for the trade, as they clearly want Dwight Howard on their roster so they can make a strong playoff push.
Personally, I feel our problem isn’t Howard or Gasol and trading them would make things worse at this point. That said, as I noted earlier, a new head coach isn’t an option. D’Antoni is a great head coach for a team that can mesh with his system, but the Los Angeles Lakers are NOT that team. As long as D’Antoni is head coach and Jim Buss is still running the organization, the Lakers cannot be successful with this current roster.
Trading Dwight is the best option that the Los Angeles Lakers have right now and receiving a great couple of pieces in return would be best. After such a thrilling off season and excitement building up to this season it kills me to say that we need to trade the player the Lakers worked so hard to acquire, but it has to be done.