Pau Gasol For Deron Williams? Crazy But Possible

The Los Angeles Lakers always seem to be in the middle of every trade rumor. Ever since their season ended, the rumors have been coming fast and furious. Most of them have been ridiculous but one has surfaced that actually makes sense.

ESPN’s John Hollinger discussed the possibility of the Brooklyn Nets doing a sign-and-trade deal that would send Deron Williams to the Lakers for Pau Gasol.

After two disappointing post seasons, Gasol may not have the trade value he once had, but he is still one of the most skilled big men in the league and would fit nicely with Brook Lopez. Williams has already stated that if the Nets don’t get Dwight Howard, he’s gone so they might as well try to get something for him.

As much as I like Ramon Session, Williams would put the Lakers back in title contention. (Kind of the way Chris Paul would have. Thanks again, David Stern.) This would be the One Big Trade every Lakers fan has wanted. Everybody would finally be happy.

Whether this trade ever happens is beyond me. But it is one of the few rumors that I have heard that makes sense for both teams.

One thing seem certain, and that is Pau Gasol has probably played his last game in the Purple and Gold.

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Dwight Howard Is NOT Coming to the Lakers!

Sorry Lakers fans, Superman is not coming to save the day.

No sooner did the Oklahoma City Thunder bounce the Los Angeles Lakers out of the second round of the NBA playoffs for the second year in a row then the trade rumors started.

It seemed that everyone, and I mean everyone, was not pleased with Andrew Bynum’s lackluster performance in Game 5. And if his four rebound effort didn’t make them angry his “I’ll play anywhere,” locker room comment after the game sure did.

Of course, everyone wants to trade Bynum for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. I’m here to tell you that is not going to happen. Dwight Howard does not want to play for the Lakers. I spent the better part of last night trying to explain that to all the broken hearted Lakers fans on Twitter, but they just wouldn’t listen.

Howard has made it pretty clear that he does not want to play with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. In fact, the only reason he signed on for another year with the Magic is because they threatened him with a trade to the Lakers. It was reported after this season’s trade deadline that the trade was agreed to between the two teams.

And why would you want to trade Andrew Bynum anyway? I know he can be a bit immature and stubborn at times but his upside is so great you would be a fool to trade him. The only center who might be better than him is Howard and he’s not coming. So what are your choices? Tyson Chandler? Joakim Noah? Al Jefferson? None of those guys are even close to Bynum’s skill level.

Not only is Bynum going to stay, I think you will see the Lakers build a team around him. Kobe is on his way out. He has maybe two or three seasons left in him. And those aren’t going to be high level seasons.

Whether you like it or not, Andrew Bynum is the future of the Lakers.

Should Kobe Go For The Scoring Title?

Kobe Bryant needs 38 points against the Sacramento Kings tonight to win his third NBA scoring title. There is a very good chance he can get those points but should he even be playing?

The Lakers have locked up the third seed in the Western Conference and conventional wisdom says that Kobe should be rested for the playoffs.  But I get the feeling that Kobe wants this scoring title. And whatever Kobe wants, Kobe usually gets.

And that leaves Coach Mike Brown in a difficult situation. If he keeps Kobe on the bench he runs the risk of upsetting Kobe and if he plays him and Kobe gets hurt he’s going to be vilified by the fans and talking heads alike.

I think this scoring title does mean a lot to Kobe. He’s 33, been in the league for 16 years and it seems like he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder this season. He wants to prove to all the critics and haters out there that he is still The Man. He wants to show that he is just as good, if not better, than the new crop of NBA superstars.

Winning championships is still the most important thing but getting another scoring title at this point in his career would be a nice little extra. Kobe will only play for a few more years (maybe two or three) and there has to be a sense of urgency in Kobe’s mind. He may only have one or two more legitimate shots at winning another championship.

For a game that should mean nothing there is a lot of drama surrounding it. For one more night all eyes are going to be on Kobe Bryant. And I’m sure he wouldn’t want it any other way.

Metta World Peace Gets 7 Game Suspension!

NBA commissioner came down on Metta World Peace with a seven game suspension for his elbow to the head of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden during Sunday’s game.

I think it was a fair decision. I was hoping for a five game suspension but I was also fearful that Stern would come down with a 10 game suspension. After all the media hype and the talking heads calling Metta a “criminal” along with other names, I thought they might suspend him for the rest of the season.

Metta’s past certainly was taken into consideration with this suspension. But it could have been worse. Think back to last year’s playoffs. Andrew Bynum got suspended for five games for his elbow on the Dallas Mavericks’ JJ Barea.

So Metta gets two extra games because of his past. I can live with that. The elbow was uncalled for and there had to be some punishment.

So this means that Metta will be out for all of the first round of the playoffs. And depending on how many games that first round goes, he may be available for the second round. And if the Lakers hold on to the 3rd seed in the West their opponent could very well be the OKC Thunder.

If that’s the case it will be interesting to see MWP and Harden greet each other before the tip off.

Are the Lakers Better WITHOUT Kobe?

How dare I even ask that question, right?  Of course the Lakers aren’t better without Kobe Bryant. But they are winning without him. And beating good teams, too. They have won their last four games, three of them against playoff teams.

Since Kobe has been on the bench Andrew Bynum has been a monster on the court.  He followed a 30 rebound game against the Spurs with a 30 point game against the Nuggets. Can those numbers hold up once Bryant comes back into the lineup? Some people think they can’t.

This reminds me of when Linsanity hit the New York Knicks. With Carmelo Anthony out, Jeremy Lin energized the team and led them on a great run. The fear in every Knicks fan’s mind was that Melo was going to come back and screw everything up.

That is the fear some Lakers fans have right now.

Can Kobe Bryant come back and be a complementary player to this team? Would anyone even suggest this? I seriously doubt that Mike Brown would approach Kobe with this suggestion.

But if the Lakers are going to contend for a 17th championship that’s exactly what Kobe is going to have to do.

He’s going to have to become a more efficient player. The days of jacking up 30 shots a game are gone.  He’s going to have to make due with 18-20 shots per game. He’s needs to pick his spots.

Kobe desperately wants to win that sixth championship ring and the window for him to do that is rapidly closing. His ego is going to have to take a back seat when he comes back. If he truly wants that sixth ring, he’s going to have to let the rest of the team win it for him. He will have to trust them to win it for him.

Right now this Lakers team is giving him every reason to trust them. Let’s just hope he does.

Come Back To LA, Lamar!!

Lamar Odom is looking for a new job. The Dallas Mavericks have given up on him and most of the sports writers are writing off his career.

I’m not one of those writers. I think there is only one place for him to go to revive his career and that is The Los Angeles Lakers.

Lamar belongs with the Lakers. It’s the only team he feels comfortable with and it was the team that he played the best for. After all, he was instrumental in the Lakers’ back to back championships. He was even Sixth man of the Year last season. And he is still the most versatile player in the league. Name me one other player that can play all five positions. I’ll wait.

Now, whether the Lakers will be able to get him back is another story. While he is no longer with the Mavericks, he is still under contract. Dallas can trade him to any team this offseason. The question is, after Lamar’s lackluster season, will any team want to trade for him?

Dallas can always release him and then he will be on the open market.

The real question is do the Lakers want him back? Kobe Bryant has gone on record saying he would welcome Lamar back. So hopefully that will have some sway with Lakers management.

I truly believe that if Lamar came back to the Lakers we would see the Lamar of old. He would be the x-factor that the Lakers desperately need.

If Lamar comes back to the Lakers, they can easily contend for another championship. And in the end that’s all that matters.

Andrew Bynum: The Ego Has Landed!

Why, Andrew? Why do you do this to me? Why do you make me look bad? I have been a huge fan of Andrew Bynum since he first signed with the Lakers. I defended him when Kobe wanted to “ship his ass out.” I was in his corner through every injury-shortened season. When everyone wanted to trade him I was the one saying he is going to be an All-Star and soon to be best center in the game.

But all that is now in jeopardy after his antics last night against the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mike Brown benched Bynum after he took a very ill-advised three pointer in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. That’s right; the dominating, 7-foot center was taking three pointers instead of posting up on the block and throwing down dunks.

To make matters worse, when Andrew came back in he played a few listless, uninspired minutes and found himself back on the bench. This time for good.

While on the bench he mugged for the cameras and refused to get up to join team huddles. He was the only one.  When asked why he did this he replied, “He (Brown) took me out of the game. So I just sat where he put me.” Its smart-ass answers like that that make you look stupid and lose fan support.

I think Andrew has been feeling himself a little too much lately. It’s like the success he has experienced this season has gone straight to his head. He is beginning to think he can do whatever he wants and it’s going to be all good.

I would like to think that the benching would have straightened Andrew out, made him see the error of his ways. However, after listening to his presser after that game all I saw was a petulant little child who is only looking forward to the next time he can shoot another three.

Andrew Bynum needs to understand that Lakers fans have endured quite a few seasons of his underachievement but have still stuck by him. Now that he has finally lived up to his potential he needs to understand that he is not bigger than the team.