Tick-Tock: Lakers’ Brown must win now

Mike BrownOn paper, the Los Angeles Lakers have one of the best starting line up’s the NBA has ever seen. By adding  two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash and three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard, the Lakers added to an already stacked team that includes Pau Gasol and one of the best to ever play the game, Kobe Bryant.

Last season was a disappointment.

In a shortened season, the Lakers finished with a losing record away from the Staples Center. (14-16) Even though they won the Pacific Division for the 33rd time and earned the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, they were outrun by a young, up and coming team in the Thunder during the semi-finals.

Many of their shortcomings were put on the shoulders of first-year head coach Mike Brown and for good reason. It’s not easy to replace a legend and unfortunately it’s not going to get any easier this season.

During his introductory press conference Brown stated “We don’t play for second here, it’s as simple as that.”

The pressure started at that moment and now the lofty goals for the Lakers continue. While Brown had his excuses from last season there are none to be heard of this year.

Off to a slow start, the Lakers can’t afford to not gel in a timely manner.

With injuries to Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard getting back into shape the Lakers haven’t had the game experience yet.

What must worry Lakers’ fans, Last season the rotations Brown used took too long to mesh together and at many times he would randomly pick a player to give huge minutes to out of thin air. Brown must find the rotations to use and quickly.

The truth is if the Lakers are unable to unseat the Heat and bring home a 17th Championship the season will be a failure and Mike Brown will be the scapegoat.

Lakers get Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard and Andrew BynumThe long national Dwightmare is over. According to multiple reports, Dwight Howard will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as early as tomorrow.

In the proposed four-team trade the Lakers will send Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers and Philly will send Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets. The Orlando Magic will get multiple players and first round draft picks from all three other teams.  Read more…


Lakers to move Gasol and World Peace for draft picks?

Metta World Peace

With the NBA Draft only a few days away the Lakers trade rumors are flying fast and furious.

The latest involves Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. It’s no secret that the Lakers are trying to move Gasol. He’s been the fall guy for the Lakers’ post-season woes the last two seasons.

According to reports Los Angeles is trying to trade Gasol to the Washington Wizards for the #3 pick in this year’s draft. That seems a little farfetched since the Wizards have just signed Nene and Emeka Okafor and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have three big men with three big contracts. But you never know.

The next rumor involves trading Metta World Peace for a late first-round pick. This one has a slightly better chance of happening than the Pau trade. Teams may look at MWP’s late season play (minus the elbow to James Harden’s head) and think he may be worth it. The only snag may be the fact that MWP is owed nearly $15 million over the next two years.

Apparently the Lakers have their eye on Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague. They definitely need a point guard but I’m not sure they need a rookie point guard. No matter how good he is. (Is it already time to say goodbye to Ramon Sessions?) Read more here…

Is Pau Gasol headed back to the Grizzlies?

Pau GasolIt’s well known the Los Angeles Lakers want to trade Pau Gasol. Every week there is a new trade rumor regarding the two-time champion and this week is nothing new. The newest (and most interesting) rumor is the Lakers sending Gasol back to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Having Pau team up with his brother, Marc Gasol would be pretty interesting. They teamed up on the Spanish Olympic team back in 2008 and gave the US team a good challenge in the gold medal game.

But who would the Lakers get back in return? Rumors are that it could be Zach Randolph. That would be the best case scenario for Los Angeles. Randolph is the polar opposite of Gasol. No one will ever accuse him of not being aggressive enough or passing up open shots.

It would be great to see Z-Bo in the Purple and Gold but I’m not sure Memphis will be willing to let him go. Even for Pau. Read more here…

Pau Gasol for Deron Williams, crazy but possible

Pau GasolThe 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. Read more here…

Pau Gasol to the Bulls makes no sense for the Lakers

Pau GasolAnother off-season, another round of Lakers trade rumors. This time its Pau Gasol getting traded to the Chicago Bulls.

Of course its just a rumor but the Lakers are looking to trade Gasol. In fact, they have already trade him this season. Only David Stern un-traded him.

This most recent trade rumor doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Lakers. This first scenario involves Pau for Carlos Boozer. I don’t see the Lakers willing to take on Boozer’s huge contract when they are trying to lighten their payroll. Plus, Pau is a much better player than Boozer. The drop in talent will be too great.

The next scenario involves Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton in exchange for Pau. I like Den but the inclusion of Hamilton sours the deal for me. The Lakers need to get younger and with Hamilton, they get older. Read more here…

Los Angeles Lakers: What’s next, Pau Gasol gone?

Kobe Bryant

With Pau Gasol, despite his previous two lackluster playoff performances, the Los Angeles Lakers have a hot trade commodity. The rumors getting the most buzz include Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, and Kyle Lowry of the Houston Rockets. Smith is a guy who can step right into Los Angeles’ offense and make a direct impact. He’s coming off of a career year, and while I’m not the biggest fan of his, Atlanta also has a decent amount of role players that would go into this trade, allowing the Lakers to add to their bench. With Kyle Lowry, the Lakers get what they wanted in Ramon Sessions. Sessions was decent in the regular season, but didn’t even come close to living up to expectations in the postseason. Lowry would give the Lakers the point guard they want, and if they add Luis Scola into the mix, LA would have just about as much talent as anybody in the league.

Los Angeles is in a tough spot right now. Last year, the Lakers got to the Conference Semifinals and were swept by the eventual NBA Champion, Dallas Mavericks. This year, they get to the same spot. Only this time around, they win one game, but against an emerging powerhouse in the Western Conference whose ceiling only seems to be rising. The Oklahoma City Thunder is the present and the future in not only the Western Conference, but the NBA. The only team stopping the Thunder from starting a potential dynasty is the San Antonio Spurs. Read more…


Is Pau Gasol for Rajon Rondo possible?

Pau Gasol

Pau GasolIt is well-known that the Los Angeles Lakers are desperately searching for a point guard and the Boston Celtics seem to be stuck in rut, but is removing Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo from the equation the right answer?

Rumor has it the Boston Celtics are on the verge of trading Rajon Rondo and if an NBA team is going to re-build they have to start with their most valuable piece, which is Rondo.

The problem is the Celtics shouldn’t be looking to re-build they should be looking to re-tool and get back on top.

For the Lakers, Rondo would be the ideal point guard and has the approval of star Kobe Bryant based on his work ethic.

The Lakers would take over his three-year contract and in return they would obtain a top five point guard, who can pass and create opportunity for Kobe and Andrew Bynum.

The Celtics would obtain Pau Gasol’s two-year contract a $19 million per season and Danny Ainge will still have the cap space created by the expiring contracts of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and others.

The immediate concern for the Lakers is the known health problems of Andrew Bynum. Let’s face it, as much as Lakers fans have turned on Gasol it was his presence along with Kobe Bryant’s that won two NBA Championships.

If the Lakers are going to trade Gasol the health of Bynum must be a thing of the past or the they are right back to where they were without Gasol.

If this trade were to go through it would mean a number of things for each team as Dwight Howard stated that if he were to be a member of the Lakers he would want to play with him, not traded for him.

Could this open up a possibility of Gasol going to the Celtics and then during the summer the addition of Howard to Boston?

Power shift in Los Angeles?

Chris PaulA few weeks ago it seemed like business as usual in the NBA. For the Los Angeles Lakers business was about to become very interesting. Chris Paul was all but announced as the new Lakers point guard until David Stern blocked the trade that would have had Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol in different uniforms for the upcoming season. It is to be assumed that the Lakers would not have ended with Paul, but that they would have more than likely landed Dwight Howard as well-in exchange for Andrew Bynum. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard would have been on the same team.

Imagine that for a minute. The NBA’s best center, best point guard, and best overall player on the same team. By the way, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are in their prime. This Big 3 would have made Miami’s Big 3 look like a JV squad. The Lakers would have once again been the toast of LA and would be heads on favorite to take it all for the next several years. However, due to Basketball Reasons, (which is just a nice way of covering for small market owners who are jealous of big market dominance) this move never happened. Instead Chris Paul finds himself in a Clipper uniform paired up with a rising superstar in Blake Griffin.

It’s obvious who the losers are in this one. The Lakers, which are used to dictating what they want and usually getting it, à la Kareem, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kobe, and Shaq, now find themselves as the afterthought in LA. At least for the time being. Then if that wasn’t enough, they traded away the Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom for basically nothing. So now the Lakers seem to be on the downward slide in the eyes of many while the Clippers are on the rise.

How soon we forget about the aforementioned Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba is still the best closer of the game. Don’t be surprised if he drops 60 against the Bulls on Christmas Day just to prove a point. That point is simple. LA is still a Laker town. It doesn’t matter who the tenants of the Staples Center have on their roster. The Clippers made great moves to make their team better no doubt about it. However, it seems like the Clippers are getting the same type of hype the Miami Heat got after signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh along with Dwayne Wade signing an extension during the summer of 2010. Are the Clippers the West Coast version of the Heat? We’ll have to wait and see. However with the hype, it seems people forget about the rich history of the Lakers. In their 60 plus years as an organization, the Lakers have only had five losing seasons. Since their start in 1970, the Clippers made the playoffs 7 times. Things will seem to change over the coming years for the Clippers but the proof is there. Bottom line is this; the Clippers are nothing more than paper champions until they start putting up championship banners at Staples Center. Clipper fans and new found fans alike need to understand this. The last count of championship banners was Lakers 16, Clippers 0. So is there a power shift in LA? It seems to be that way on paper. But paper doesn’t win championships. Playing basketball does.

Terrance Shumake is an NBA team writer for Shatter The Backboard and can be contacted at TShumake@TheSportsBlitz.com