Special thanks to A. Ibrahim for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to GetGarnett.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at GetGarnett@gmail.com.

During this off-season there was a word that served as a factor to all Lakers involved individuals especially the fans. That word is pressure.

All Laker fans know that the starting point was the Kobe media frenzy. I must admit that the Lakers accomplished nothing during the post-Shaq era and are yet to prove themselves as the best franchise the Western Coast ever known. They have been waiting anxiously for a move that would transform their team from pretenders to contenders.

The pressure is now higher than ever on the Lakers’ front office. This “mess” of an office never did what it takes to maintain the image and reputation the franchise once had. As Kobe said, “we are still at ground zero!” That is absolutely true.

Not to mention, the departure of Kevin Garnett to their archrival, the Boston Celtics from Minny’s Timberwolves without them being able to make a move.

Now is the time, the Lakers front office must make a move to put things back to normal; Kobe is not satisfied with the Lakers management for one bit and is going to opt out when he gets the chance if nothing changes soon to restore the team to be title contenders.

The Laker fans have always dreamt to see Kevin Garnett in the famous purple and gold uniform, but that dream has turned into a nightmare when Kevin McHale the Timberwolves VP alongside his buddy Danny Ainge the Celtics’ GM finalized one of the biggest trades in NBA history by sending Garnett to Boston in return for five players; thus, making the Celtics a contender in the wide open east.

However, not all hope is lost. There still remains a player of that caliber that can save the Lakers and get them back to be a formidable team and that player is Jermaine O’Neal.

O’Neal has told the world media that he would prefer to be a Lakers or Nets player IF the Pacers do decide to enter the rebuilding phase. Other than that, his main interest is to remain with the same franchise that made him what he is today.

With these comments out and time is running out, O’Neal such as Bryant, holds the cards. He can opt out of his contract next year and become an unrestricted free agent, therefore, can sign with any other team of choice. If that ever happens then the Pacers would get nothing in return for their superstar.

Now the pressure is on the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird to make a move. Bird said what he was saying all season long, that if the right deal were to be offered only then would he deal his player. However, Bird knows perfectly well that if he does not deal his superstar player this off-season he might not have the chance to do that again.

Bird’s asking price for O’Neal was forever high to other teams and, as a result, would not make any deals. O’Neal did mention what is it like to do business with Larry Bird in one of his interviews, stating that Bird was a tough man to deal with and would gut the team he is dealing with. Bird must now realize that he cannot keep O’Neal under his power for long.

Another point that he must take, and probably does, into consideration is that O’Neal is an injury-prone player and that lowers his value in the trade market. Furthermore, if he does decide to hold on to O’Neal ‘til the start of the season any early injury to his superstar can end his chances of dealing him before the trade deadline.

The Lakers front office, on the other hand, is not willing to trade both their promising young center Andrew Bynum and their second best player Lamar Odom. They think that this price is way too high for O’Neal. For once, it seems that they have made the right decision. Dealing both of them means that the Lakers did not go far in their pursuit of creating a contender.

They still need Odom to form a deadly trio (similar to Boston’s only better). Bynum needs his tutor Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Everyone knows that without the Lakers immortal Bynum won’t be half as good and promising as he is today.

The pressure is on all of us as we wait for what the remaining days of the off-season holds for us. Will the Lakers trade Odom and Bynum for JO or will the Pacers decrease their asking price? Who will crumble under pressure first Kobe, the Lakers, or the Pacers?

  • gugy

    BRING JO NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • double

    The Pacers will crumble!

  • foxxy

    KOBE HAS ALREADY SPOKEN…DO SOMETHING AND DO IT NOW….SO LETS SEE WHAT THIS WONDERFUL LAKER ORGANIZATION HAS LEFT IN THEIR BAG OF TRICKS!!!! THE BALL IS IN THEIR COURT!!!!!
    MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!!

  • foxxy

    I HOPE MAGIC IS TRYING TO GET SOMETHING DONE UPSTAIRS…HE MAY BE THE ONLY ONE WITH BRAINS!!!!! PLUS HE KNOWS WHAT IT IS TO WIN!!!!!

  • foxxy

    WORK IT FOR US MAGIC…I KNOW YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael_23

    This is old news …

    Why is this still being mentioned?

    I can’t forgive the Lakers FO when Cupcake says during the exit interview that this team will be top contenders next season and nothing happens. Cupcake says that no one is untouchable except for Kobe and ‘NO ONE’ has been traded yet. Every team is doing trades and free agent signings except the Spurs and Lakers. They don’t need because they believe they are too good. As for the Lakers, Mitch! Make the big trade, or even little trades to get better before the pre-season so the new guys can get used to the triangle. Besides signing Fish, Mihm, and Luke, get someone who can help Kobe “consistently” through 82 games and playoffs.

  • BEC

    Like I and many have said before our defensive holes are huge, especially dribble penetration. The fact that Kobe has to do so much on the offensive end leaves a big hole in our backcourt defense because KB has to roam on D to save energy, I think a consistent second option on the offensive end will work wonders on our team (JO can do that or step up LO), KB is DPOY caliber defender and its a shame he has to save his energy for offense, he can effect games with his D, and knowing Kobe hed love to shut down Nash, Parker, and Wade but he cant. Our interior defense doesnt seem too bad, it can hold up, Kwame actually can defend Bynums got length and size, its really a matter of motivation and heart for them really.
    I think the key thing for the Lakers is to really get that second option for Kobe, someone who he can really trust, getting better balance on our offense will really help our D, and that alone can make us contenders.

    Like many have said, Kobes not going to decide whether he stays or not, the Lakers will decide that, whether they decide to build a contender or not. Promises were made to build contenders to Kobe to us fans and they need to keep those promises.

  • nyla

    Pressure’s on the Pacers. They can lose Jermaine O’Neal and get nothing in return if he opts out this summer. Kobe can be unhappy if we don’t get JO, but he’s under contract for 2 more years and can do nothing but hurt his shaky image if he sits or demands a trade.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    Nyla you are 100% correct. The pressure is completely on the side of the Pacers.

  • gugy

    Nyla, it’s true,

    But also the Lakers need to please Kobe to some extent. Let him really mad is not a good idea. The Lakers need to make a move to make the team much better this season and that way kobe will stay. Let the team fail again will just accentuate the current crises we are enduring.
    So there is also major pressure on the Lakers FO to do something.

    Hopefully Pacers and Lakers will land a deal for JO sooner than later.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    I found this article on Free agents that we can still aquire.

    Could Posey be one of the remaining FA’s in the pool to join the Lakers if we acquired JO?

    Bear in mind that in this article I’m suggesting that we got Jermaine without giving Lamar. If we did manage to pull of such a trade, it would bring together Kobe, Lamar and Jermaine; quite a deadly trio. But, due to sending out 4-5 players for O’Neal, we’ll have some roster spots to fill. So, my question is; Could we end up picking some very nice free agents if we had the Big 3 in LA?

    James Posey
    When the Miami Heat signed Penny Hardaway, I was 80% sure Posey’s roster spot was taken. When they signed ex-Laker Devin Green just minutes ago, I was 95% sure.

    James was already rumored to be looking around other teams, Los Angeles included, and I don’t really see Posey in Heat’s plans now, so wouldn’t L.A. be a nice destination for him? He could take the SF position, sending Lamar to the PF where he has played mostly for the Lakers, and have Jermaine at center.

    Posey would bring the defense that our team lacks, and could also knock down that open 3 from Kobe and Jermaine’s double-teams – he’d be a nice pick up to say the least, but the only problem would be the money. We could give him the remainder of the MLE, maybe to a 1-year contract, then sign him to the full next year. But, he’d have to make a choice: money or rings?

    Chris Webber
    When Chris left Philadelphia, The Lakers were a team he took a look at. But, apparantly we couldn’t give him enough minutes, and so he went to Detroit. However, now he’s starting to become desperate for a ring, so why not join Fisher, Kobe, Lamar and Jermaine in the starting 5? With guys like Luke, Mihm, Evans and Turiaf coming off the bench, we’d be a pretty deep team. If Vlad picked up where he left off in the 05-06 season, even better.

    There’d be no problems money-wise with Webber. We can sign him to the minimum to a 1-year contract and see how things go. He’d bring some nice veteran leadership, something we lacked last year, and could be a very valuable role player.

    PJ Brown
    I’ve always hoped this guy could become a Laker before he retires, and if we had the Big 3, he may just choose to spend his final year here. He’d be a solid starter at the center position and once again, bring some great veteran leadership to the younger players of this team.

    He played great last year with Chicago in the Playoffs (remember that 20-point first half?) and I think he could do the same here, even if he only played 10-15 minutes a game to take the slack up from Mihm and Turiaf, I think PJ would be a solid addition to this ball club.

    Final Thoughts
    This is obviously another dream, and for this to come true we need to get Jermaine O’Neal in a Lakers jersey, with Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant at his side. However, if this did happen and we finally cracked Larry Bird, I think there would be quite a few free agents on the phone to Mitch and the Lakers.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    I did this on the trade machine and it works we lose odom but keep bynum here goes and looks good

    1.Lakers out:Brian Cook,Lamar Odom, Jarvis,Kwame Brown,Vladimir,Sasha

    Lakers in:Jermaine O’Neal,Mike Dunleavy, Marcus Camby

    Pacers out:Jermaine O’Neal, Mike Dunleavy

    Pacers in:Vladimir Radmanovic,Kwame Brown,Lamar Odom, Jarvis Crittenton

    Nuggets out: Marcus Camby

    Nuggets in:Brian Cook, Sasha Vujacic

    This works try it and it looks good

    Point:Fisher/Farmar

    Shooting:Kobe/Evans

    Small:Walton/Dunleavy

    Power:JO/Turiaf

    Center:Camby/Bynum

    Now this would get the job done in the west we have defense and the offense and wow this would be a good team with others coming off the bench Mihm and Coby Karl on the bench to can work O’Neal on power and move camby to small and start bynum at center anything could happen and if bynum dosent pick it up there is always a trade in middle of season for kidd or someone

  • LAKERSCHAMPSO8

    ED,
    u a smart man but camby for sasha and cook denver not gonna except that… and i would not give crittenton..but keep jarvis and if that trade possible get camby and that would get the job done…

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    Just in case you guys want to know, I really hate Bynum and I love Odom, BUT if this is going to help the Lakers win a championship than I guess we need to do it, because even though I love Odom, I LOVE Kobe even more and we need to keep him happy. Odom just know that IF you do get traded I will always have a lot of respect for you and your game, you will be missed by many Laker fans, cause you show a lot of pride when you put on a Lakers jersey, it just sucks that that SOB Bynum is going to get picked over you. Mad respect Odom, mad respect.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    So, Larry Bird won’t do the deal because he wants Lamar and Bynum. How about this trade I’ve cooked up:

    Lakers send:
    Vladimir Radmanovic, Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar.

    Pacers send:
    Jermaine O’Neal, Danny Granger and Jamaal Tinsley.

    We take the bad with the good by having to take on Jamaal’s bad contract, but we also get rising star Danny Granger, and of course O’Neal. The Pacers get a trade perfect for rebuilding – a mixutre of an expiring, a great player and some young prospects.

    Our Line-Up
    Fisher/Jamaal/Javaris
    Kobe/Evans/Javaris
    Granger/Luke/Evans
    Jermaine/Turiaf/Cook
    Mihm/Turiaf/Cook

  • lakaluva

    In the famous words of Kobe… “Ship Bynum and Odoms azz out”!!!

  • nyla

    [quote comment="11520"]Nyla, it’s true,

    But also the Lakers need to please Kobe to some extent. Let him really mad is not a good idea. The Lakers need to make a move to make the team much better this season and that way kobe will stay. Let the team fail again will just accentuate the current crises we are enduring.
    So there is also major pressure on the Lakers FO to do something.

    Hopefully Pacers and Lakers will land a deal for JO sooner than later.[/quote]

    Oh, I agree on that. If we get JO without giving up Lamar, do it. But giving up him and Bynum doesn’t make us better. Kobe would have to be pretty unreasonable to not understand that and I’d be really disappointed.

  • LAKERSCHAMPSO8

    ayo ed thats a nice trade but maybe not take on tinsley bad contract in stead just get granger and oneal for lo,AB,brown and cook or radman… i mean i dont im just trying but LA front office should try a little harder.. but we’ll see

  • lakersfan17

    I swear i don’t want to trade for O’neal and send Odom i could give a crap about Bynum but a trio of O’neal/Odom and Kobe will be great.

  • dave1003

    Hey guys a lot of people are under the impression that O’neal can opt out at the end of the season, but he’s actually under contract until 2010 w/o any opt out clause.

  • kobe24mvp

    he can opt out after this season,but if he doesnt than yes he is under contract for 2 more yrs after this season.

  • http://www.myspace.com/regg66 rpouncy14

    JO. come 2 L.A.