Special thanks to Justin Page for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to TheLakersNation.com. Again, if you write anything Lakers related and you think that it deserves to be put on the Lakers Nation please e-mail us at articles@TheLakersNation.com.
The word is out and the rumors are swirling on where Jason Kidd will land if he gets traded from the New Jersey Nets. Lakers fans and media outlets seem to be on the same page, both would like to see Kidd join the Lakers.
I, and I’m sure you as well, have read article after article about what the Lakers need to offer to pry Kidd away from the Nets. Most of those articles have been written by experts, some by loyal fans. But the one thing that remains constant in those articles is that people are not being realistic about the Lakers acquiring Kidd.
Let’s break this down. First and foremost, “Team president Rod Thorn has admitted to receiving numerous proposals involving Jason Kidd, but is unlikely to pull the trigger on a deal unless he gets an overwhelming offer. Although sources have indicated the Lakers may be interested, they may be reluctant to give up the player the Nets want most, Andrew Bynum, despite coach Phil Jackson’s recent harsh criticism of the 20-year-old center’s conditioning.”
Bynum will not be involved in a trade involving Jason Kidd. Period. The Lakers wouldn’t give up Bynum last year for Kidd, so why in green’s earth would they do it this year when Bynum’s value has skyrocketed to 10.9 points per game and 9.7 rebounds in only 26.1 minutes of work per game. That’s unrealistic. It’s not happening, nor should it. Mitch Kupchak made the right decision last year.
Bynum’s a 20 year-old center who will be a perennial all-star in two or three years once he’s in the kind of shape to play 35 minutes a game. Can you imagine the kind of numbers he’s going to be putting up? He could be ours for the next 15 years, and some of you want to trade him for a 34 year-old point guard who’s going to have a great two or three more years?
Plus add in the fact that Bynum’s 2008 salary of $2.1 million is nearly one-tenth of Kidd’s 2008 salary of $19.7 million. What’s that mean? They not only would have to give up Bynum, but also Kwame Brown’s expiring contract, Radmanovic, and filler.
Next up: Lamar Odom continues to be mentioned in trade talks for Kidd because of his $13.2 million contract. But trading Odom for Kidd is almost as ludicrous as Bynum being involved in the discussion. Do you realize what this kind of move would do to the Lakers front-court? This is a guy who when healthy is going to get us 15 points and 10 rebounds night-in and night-out, and clog up the painted area.
So we’re going to take away a key low-post threat and a player with a solid 15-18 foot jumper in order to bring in a point guard? That would be insane because underneath we’d be relying on the injury prone and uncoordinated Kwame Brown, Mihm’s inconsistent play, and Turiaf.
And remember, this isn’t last season. The Smush Parker era is over. We are getting absolutely superb play out of the point guard position. At this point, you really couldn’t ask for more. We have a consistent veteran leader in Fisher, and a young spark plug in Farmar coming in off of the bench. Look at these numbers:
Fisher: 26.4 minutes, 11.8 ppg, 3.0 asp, 2.3 rbg, 50% fg, 40% 3pt, 94% ft
Farmar: 20.6 minutes, 9.8 ppg, 2.9 asp, 2.8 rbg, 49% fg, 42% 3pt, 66% ft
Those are outstanding numbers. We’re getting nearly 21.6 points per game, 5.9 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and both of them are shooting a staggering percentage from the field, three-point line, and free throw line (Fisher is 55-58 from the free throw line). Do you as a fan not feel extremely confident in the current Fisher-Farmar combination? I’m ecstatic about it. Fisher’s scoring 11.8 points on 8.1 shot attempts a game, and he’s a great player to have on the floor in the final six minutes. He plays smart and hard defensively, doesn’t turn the ball over, makes sound decisions, and shoots an excellent percentage from the charity stripe.
The future looks even brighter at point guard. Farmar’s going to be an absolute stud in a couple years. And this is a player that many people wanted to throw in as icing on the cake in numerous off-season deals. He has the confidence, work ethic, and tenacity to make a significant contribution this year and become a great player in the very near future. And don’t forget about the young rookie Javaris Crittenton. He’s going to be a special player a few years down the line if he establishes a consistent mid-range jumper.
Speaking of Farmar, at age 21 he counts $1.0 million against the 2008 cap; while Fisher at 33 counts as $4.3 million. And people want to bring in the 34 year-old Kidd’s $19.7 million contract? Remember that the Lakers would have to grant him his wish and offer him a one year extension to his current contract (two years remaining) that would pay him over $20.0 million when he’s 36 years-old).
Now don’t get me wrong, Jason Kidd is a great player and I still think he has another two great years in him (possibly even three). But to say that this is the move that’s going to get the Lakers back to the championship is outrageous, and to be truthful when you look at his numbers and what we’d have to give up, trading for him would be just plain stupid:
2007 average: 36 minutes, 11.4 ppg, 10.4 asp, 8.7 rbg, 37% fg, 33% 3pt, 81% ft
For all of you with your hands up in the air getting ready to say, “but we can give up Crittenton, Radmanovic, Vujacic, and so on and so forth.” Get over it. Maybe in NBA Live’07. If the Lakers want Kidd, the Nets are going to require Jordan Farmar. There is no way in hell their taking a bunch of lower tiered players for Kidd.
Just look at last year. Thorn wanted Bynum, Brown, Vujacic, Farmar, and Cook. So all of the sudden he’s going to take the Lakers third string rookie point guard as the heart of the deal? Crittenton’s trade value is diddly-squat so keep on dreaming if you think that has any chance of happening.
If the Lakers make this deal, in addition to Farmar, they’d also have to part ways with Kwame, Radmanovic, and probably Vujacic. The Nets would most likely accept Kwame as part of the deal because of his expiring contract. A third (and maybe even a fourth team) would then have to join the deal by taking Radmanovic and Vujacic to make the trade work financially. That’s the type of realistic deal Kupchak is discussing with Thorn. Not a deal involving Odom, Bynum, Crittenton, Rambis or Gary Vitti.
When all is said and done, I strongly believe that Kidd will not be traded to the Lakers. Farmar and Bynum will remain with the Lakers for a very long time and it’s getting to the point where both are less likely to be traded than superstar Kobe Bryant. That’s how much the Buss family and Kupchak like these players, and as Lakers fans, we should be thankful we still have them with all of the pressure that was put on the front office to make a move.