The Los Angeles Lakers have done it again. They pulled off a big time trade that landed Chris Paul while sending Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol away to the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets respectively. The initial reaction I'm seeing on Twitter is a lot of doom and gloom -- oh, no, the Lakers did it again. But I'm not so sure this deal is as good as some seem to think, especially in the short term and especially if they can't some how also get Dwight Howard.
I put together a more detailed analysis of the trade here. I looked at it for each team and broke down the salary numbers. The long of the short of it is this: I don't see the Lakers being better with Kobe, Paul and Bynum than they were with Kobe, Odom and Gasol.
What made the Lakers so damn good was their size. Kobe was great, sure, but the Suns beat the Lakers when it was Kobe and Kwame Brown. Add Kobe to those three seven-footers with compatible skill sets and whamo! Rings.
Now, if the Lakers can still manage to flip Bynum for Dwight Howard it's game over. But we are a ways away from that.
In the mean time, Bynum's knee is still a question long term. Chris Paul missed half the season two years ago and played with a giant brace on his knee last year and he wasn't the same guy and Kobe went to Germany for some kind of plasma therapy on his knee.
That's a lot of knee issues along with the obvious time it's going to take them to gel. The Lakers now have Bynum up front and then....(crickets). So, let's no rush out and panic over this deal just yet. K?
[Update by Seth Pollack, 12/08/11 7:11 PM MST ]
It would appear the other NBA owners didn't agree with me that this wasn't a great deal for the Lakers so they apparently nixed it. High comedy right there, folks. Any guesses which owner(s) bitched the loudest?
Twitter / @WojYahooNBA: The NBA has killed the pro ...
The NBA has killed the proposed deal to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports.
Remember the good ole days when Steve Nash would lob the ball in the general vicinity of the rim and Shawn Marion or Amare Stoudemire would go up and throw it down? Remember Grant Hill lobbing the ball to Jason Richardson on a back-door cut? Remember Jared Dudley throwing down 10 vicious dunks last year? (Neither did his teammates.)
Yup, that guy is going to be running in the back court with the Suns this year according to multiple reports.
Brown is more than a dunking machine, however. The problem is (and the reason he only commanded a one-year, $3.5 million deal) is that he's not shown much else.
The first few months of last season, Brown shot 44% from behind the arc through the end of December and then shot 26% for the rest of the year. Did he cool off and regress to his norm? Did he have an injury? We don't know.
More than just his three-point shooting, Brown looked like a legit basketball player early last year and not just an athletic freak. But like his hot shooting, that seemed to fall off as well. Again, we don't know why.
But it is encouraging to know that we at least saw a period of time when Brown could be a good team player. If the Suns can coax that out of him and get him to play consistent, team ball this will be a fantastic signing. If not, it's pretty low risk.
This seems like a good deal from all standpoints. The Suns want to save money for 2012 so they weren't going to make a run at Arron Afflalo or Jason Richardson (remember him?) so they nabbed Brown early in the process.
It's hard to say how much impact he'll have but there's really very little down side to the (reported) deal and a LOT of upside...like these: