Why are we all shocked? Did anyone really think that The Lake Show wouldn’t revamp the cast and draw every eyeball away from that soap opera down on South Beach? The Showtime Lakers are back. I grew up a Lakers fan, but I will admit that Miami is the sexiest city in America. The Lakers though may now have the sexier roster.
The Lakers have a storied history of getting the guys they want on the cheap. Real damn cheap. The Lakers got Pau Gasol from Memphis for peanuts and a Happy Meal. Yes, you will say “Look at Marc Gasol.” Point taken, but look at him when the trade was made. He was drafted by LA solely on his potential and nobody knew that he was going to be the center he is today. LA got two titles out of Pau before Marc arrived at the level he’s playing at now. Remember how the Lakers acquired Kobe Bryant? Vlade Divac was the catalyst for that trade. Yes, Vlade was a VERY good center at the time. When’s the last time we heard from Vlade though? I remember seeing Kobe yesterday playing for Team USA.
I don’t understand the logic behind this trade for Orlando. Rob Hennigan took over for the fired Otis Smith in an impossible position to succeed. I can’t really blame him, but really, why didn’t he take some of the better deals? Your team would have been better off with Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks, that I can promise you.
Here’s how the teams fared from this blockbuster.
1.) Lakers – Obviously they are the gigantic winners from this. You get Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum and a draft pick of someone who probably wouldn’t make the team to begin with. Oh yeah, it is lottery protected so the Magic can’t get a good player. They also get a good back up point guard for Steve Nash in Chris Duhon. The Lakers gave up a valuable asset for an even more valuable one with out giving up Pau Gasol. Unbelievable.
2.) 76ers – They come away smelling like a rose. The 76ers are a team that was stuck in the doldrums. They were good, but were not good enough to win a championship with their current roster. They were stuck treading water. In the NBA that’s the worst place to be. You either want to be contending or the worst. Being stuck in Limbo is the death sentence for a team. That’s where Philly was. With the best big man in the East now in Philly they are the second best team in the conference. Yes, they have bypassed Boston as the second fiddle in the East. They also have what Miami doesn’t have, a premier big man who can dominate on both ends of the floor. I really like Philly and giving up Iguodala for Bynum and Jason Richardson is a small price to pay.
3.) Nuggets – Denver gives up a very solid player in Arron Afflalo and a decent player in Al Harrington. Igoudala is a solid upgrade. I really like him as the best glue guy in the league. He’s a great wing player who can do a little of everything plus he can lock down elite players. Denver is a winner.
4.) Orlando – Regardless, they were going to come out as the loser in this deal, but they could have had it a little less rough on them. They get pennies on the dollar for their trade. Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, a guy in Moe Harkless who will be out of the league in five years, Josh McRoberts (really?) and Christian Eyenga, who should be cut. Yes you get first round picks, but they are all lottery protected so they will never be anything great. Plus in the Lakers pick you are probably looking at the last pick of the first round. Great value. Why teams always fall for the Lakers’ draft pick is beyond me.
The regular season games of the year will be January 17th when The Heat travel to Hollywood, then when Showtime rolls down to South Beach on February 10th. As T.O. would say, “Get yo popcorn ready!”