Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus chimes in with the latest Kidd/L.A. rumors as well as provides us with new tidbits about it…
Hoopsworld: Lots of rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers have been bouncing around recently, specifically in regards to Jason Kidd and Jermaine O’Neal. What’s interesting is that both players make the same $19,278,000 salary this season.
The Lakers are currently on an upswing behind the play of developing center Andrew Bynum. While the New Jersey Nets and Indiana Pacers wouldn’t make a deal in earlier talks without the inclusion of Bynum, it’s become apparent he is simply untouchable.
In Jersey, Kidd would love to make a move to play alongside a player like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. Facing a mediocre product, declining attendance and an unhappy superstar, the Nets are open to making a change.
Similarly a source says the Pacers aren’t averse to moving Jermaine O’Neal for similar reasons (though O’Neal has been more of a good solider).
While both teams want value in return, financial relief is a considerable factor.
The problem the Lakers have is coming up with enough expiring contracts to trigger a deal. At this point that may not be possible with either New Jersey or Indiana without a third team’s participation.
Considering how well the Lakers are playing, they’re not willing to do a 5-1 swap, crippling their depth to take on an overpaid star. Even if they decided to package sparkplug point guard Jordan Farmar with the expiring deal of Kwame Brown, the Lakers simply don’t have enough short contracts to make up the gap.