Kupchak, Lakers Not Expecting Any Moves

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped a game to the Phoenix Suns tonight and appear to be falling further away from their status as overwhelming Western Conference favorites from just a season ago. 

After a failed attempt at a blockbuster trade for Chris Paul before the season, and a flurry of trade rumors involving Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told SI.com's Sam Amick he does not expect any big moves this season.

Despite popular opinion, a trade for Dwight Howard is hardly a cure-all for this Lakers' season. Howard's biggest strength is his ability to anchor a defense, and the Lakers are already quite formidable on that end, at fourth in the NBA at points per game allowed. 

Their frontline of Bynum and Gasol is still perhaps the best frontline in the league and quite capable of generating high efficiency looks from the post and drawing double teams–and in Gasol's case, passing better out of those double teams. Howard might augment some of that, but his presence still leaves the Lakers woefully lacking. 

Bryant already largely underutilizes Gasol and Bynum in the post, and according to previous reports, would look to do the same with Howard. The Lakers troubles remain on the offensive end. 

The Lakers need to make some moves on the fringes of their roster. Replacing underproducing veterans like Fisher or World Peace with merely replacement level players would do wonders for the Lakers offense. Guys like Ramon Sessions or Aaron Brooks would provide significant upgrades. 

Unfortunately, it appears the Lakers seem intent on standing pat. 


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3 thoughts on “Kupchak, Lakers Not Expecting Any Moves

  1. cseehausen

    The Lakers should be gunning for Steve Nash, anyway, not Howard. Their real need is at point guard, not center.

    Trading Bynum for Howard is a marginal upgrade, and because Bynum’s contract is expensive and only lasts through next season, you probably have to give up more than just him to get Dwight. At that point, is it really worth it?

    The biggest upgrade the Lakers can make is at the 1, where they’re getting such horrifyingly bad production that it’s dragging down their entire team.

    That’s where Nash comes in. He’s somehow having one of the best seasons of his career at age 37, so he clearly has some good gas left in the tank. Trade for him and sign him to a two-year extension to close out his career and win another title or two while Kobe is still an elite player. I would start by looking for three-team deals along the lines of the vetoed CP3 deal–send out Pau Gasol for the parts to trade for Nash, but make sure to get a replacement power forward in the deal.

    For that matter, something like Luis Scola + Steve Nash to LA, Rockets parts to Phoenix, and Pau Gasol to the Rockets would make sense.

    • robtoast

      Howard is a long term solution for LA. Kobe isn’t going to be around much longer and they need another Super Star to fill in his shoes.

      Bynum and Gasol aren’t at that level and probably will never be, so why not go after someone like Howard who fits the build. This would also allow LA to entice a young PG like Deron Williams to come play with Howard/Kobe. Eventually Kobe retires and Howard/DWill become the face of the franchise.

  2. Conjecture101

    the term “replacement level” is really a baseball term. It doesn’t translate to basketball. I keep hearing people say Lebron is having the most efficient season in NBA history. His team is the most talented in NBA history. Basketball offense relies alot more on cohesive units than baseball does. You can’t just mindlessly use baseball terms in reference to basketball. PER is just a calculation of conventional stats anyway, so i don’t understand why people are starting to use it so much.


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