UPDATE: Here are some of the Lakers reactions to the Melo-for-Bynum rumors:
Kobe: “They’re rumors, so we don’t really deal with the unknown. That’s (Bynum) our biggest strength… our size.” (via Kevin Ding)
Phil: “I haven’t given it a second thought … I haven’t even entertained it.” (via Mike Trudell)
Bynum: “I just keep playing. That’s all I can do. It’s happened before … I just have to keep playing basketball, can’t worry about it.” (via Mike Trudell)
Artest (on Charlotte rumors): “That’s a rumor? That’s not my expertise. My expertise is defense.” (via Kevin Ding)
By all indications, a Melo to L.A. deal seems to be quite a long shot…
UPDATE: It’s been about 24 hours since news broke of a potential Bynum-for-Melo deal. We’re still not sure about everything going on behind closed doors, but here’s the latest on what we do know for sure:
- Sources are saying that the Lakers have not made an official offer yet.
- According to Ric Bucher, the Lakers front office is divided on dealing Bynum, namely Jim Buss, who drafted Bynum back in ’05.
- There are conflicting reports (via unnamed sources, of course): One source told ESPNLA that the deal was off and would not happen; another source said talks have continued. We won’t pretend to know who’s telling the truth.
- Anthony and his wife LaLa Vasquez purchased a home in Los Angeles last summer, leading to speculation that Carmelo would be likely to sign an extension to stay in L.A.
- The Nuggets are also talking with the Knicks and T-Wolves about a potential 3-way deal that would send Carmelo to New York. According to the New York Daily News, MSG chairman James Dolan and Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke have directly entered the negotiations, a sign that discussions are likely getting serious.
- The Lakers did in fact reach out to the Bobcats about dealing Artest (potentially for Wallace or Jackson), but Charlotte’s interest disappeared when Ron publicly confirmed he wanted to stay in Los Angeles.
OPINION: Sifting through the ‘Melo to L.A. rumors has been quite a task today. Everyone has an opinion – or two, or three…
So, here’s mine… well, kind of.
As I mentioned on my Twitter this morning, you make trades specifically to fix holes and cover weaknesses. So far this season, and despite their size advantage over most opponents, the Lakers issues have been directly related to their inability to defend the paint and control that area of the floor.
Does ‘Melo help the Lakers plug that hole? Absolutely not.
Secondly, you have to think about the Boston Celtics – the favorites to come out of the East. If you take away Bynum’s presence (if healthy) vs. Boston, the Lakers (even with Anthony) become a jump shooting team. The Celtics will dominate the paint, win the battle on the glass (decisively) and neutralize Gasol much of the same way they did a couple of Sunday’s ago, and back in ’08.
Having said that…
I’m not in the “Bynum is the future” camp. In what world do athletes knees get stronger and more reliable as time goes on? If ‘Drew is having regular knee issues (and surgeries) in his early twenties, what are the chances that will magically stop happening in his mid-late 20’s? 1/1,000? 1/10,000? At some point, you have to stop citing potential and examine what’s right in front of you.
Can you imagine a day when the Andrew Bynum led Lakers go deep into the playoffs behind his dominance?
So, the question really is: Do you trade an injury-prone, but talented, big guy for a bonified 26-year old superstar? If that is the deal being offered (complete speculation of course), I think, well… 49% No, 51% Yes, and I can still be convinced one way or the other.
I can, however, be close to 100% sure that, despite all of today’s fireworks, the Lakers will still be playing well into June… without Carmelo Anthony.
Jim Buss — the son of owner Jerry Buss and the guy who is the real day-to-day head of the Lakers basketball-side operations — turned down a Carmelo Anthony for Andrew Bynum trade, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily Times. He says that Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant were dismayed.
To eliminate any confusion, there are no reports thus far that the Lakers have turned down this morning’s offer specifically. Stay tuned…
(Read the original report after the jump)
BREAKING: According to ESPN, the Lakers have officially inquired about Carmelo Anthony. Per Chris Broussard, the package would be built strictly around Andrew Bynum. Sources insist that the Nuggets simply aren’t interested in Ron Artest or Lamar Odom.
It’s worth noting that the Nuggets are also in talks with Minnesota and New York regarding a 3-way deal that would land Anthony with the Knicks — meaning this story could simply be Denver trying to gain some leverage in those discussions. I can’t see too many scenarios where the Nuggets would gift wrap their superstar to the team that has beat them up for the past few years.
However, this is the NBA, and crazier things have happened…
We’ll be keeping tabs on this story throughout the day, so tune it to our Facebook and Twitter for updates as they become available. You can also keep up with the latest Carmelo discussion in our Forums.