Blog Entry

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 6:22 pm
The's Eye On Basketball team got together to debate the merits of a potential trade between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angelescarmelo-anthony-lakers Lakers that would swap Carmelo Anthony and Andrew Bynum. Posted by Ben Golliver.

This morning, we noted a report that the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers were discussing a possible swap of forward Carmelo Anthony and big man Andrew Bynum. Good idea? Bad idea? Other? We thought we'd talk it out. 

Matt Moore: So apparently there's some interest from L.A. Am I the only one who thinks this is madness? You just won back-to-back titles! You have the deepest, most talented roster in the NBA, and that includes Miami's Triad and Boston with umpteen bajillion HOFers (when factoring age). I just can't fathom why you would disrupt what is your biggest strength, your size and length, in order to add a high-usage star who may wind up busting your chemistry and who doesn't help you match up against Boston any better. To me, this is some desperation tinkering. I've never been a big Bynum guy, not since Tex Winter questioned his work ethic. But the facts remain. Big, study, super-tall dude who dunks and gets offensive rebounds. It's pretty simple: tall guys are good at basketball. Sure, Melo's a star, and a wiz offensively, but is that what's going to deliver L.A. the three-peat? 

For Melo, though, I feel like this is a dream. New York's home, sure, and it's the market he wants. But no one turns down a chance to play for L.A. (well, besides Raja Bell, who's awesome for not needing that kind of glamor). This gives him all the attention he wants, he knows L.A. will constantly work to build a championship around him after Kobe retires, he gets to play with his friend Bryant for the best coach of our time, and the weather's nice! This is like pouting about how you don't like your toys and your parents buying you Disney Land. 

Royce Young: Is this the trade crap Mitch Kupchak was hinting at last week? Trading for Carmelo Anthony? 

I guess if you want to catch the attention of your team, talking about landing the biggest fish in the pond is a good way to do it. 

But like you said, Matt, why does this make sense for the Lakers? They've never been about the long-term. It's a season by season thing for them. They always have money, they always have the Hollywood draw, so they're always going to be able to get players. In terms of winning a title THIS YEAR, I don't see how Carmelo improves them for that. 

The Lakers won the title last season because they had Andrew Bynum, and an Andrew Bynum that wasn't 100 percent. He's a difference maker on that team. If this is a move to try and find Kobe Bryant's heir apparent, that makes some sense, but Melo wouldn't be accepting that role for another three or four years. By that time, he'd be up for another extension. Short-term, it doesn't make sense for them to do, which is what the Lakers are all about. 

Ben Golliver: I tend to agree. Given the relative age of the Los Angeles Lakers' key pieces and their salary cap situation, this is clearly a win-now team, even more so than usual. For all the panicking of late, the Lakers are still one of the top two or three favorites to win the title. The risk in trading Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony, first and foremost, is one of timing rather than production. Bynum has been injured this season and in past seasons, so the Lakers are used to making due without him. They'd vastly prefer to have him available, especially against the Celtics in the Finals, but a Pau Gasol / Lamar Odom frontline is more than capable. A Bynum trade would be felt more deeply further down the road, as the rest of the Lakers continue to age and more is required of their talented, young big man.

But, for now, the biggest issue would be: Could Anthony and Kobe Bryant figure out a way to play off each other and get enough shots/touches to make things work this spring? Would they be able to do so without compromising what Gasol gives L.A. inside? Anthony's introduction into the offense would turn LA's usage rates upside down, and his strength in isolation situations might take some adjustment time to integrate into the rest of the triangle offense. 

This would be an even more complicated version of the LeBron James / Dwyane Wade dynamic, as neither Bryant not Anthony is a natural born play-maker, and L.A. isn't likely to default to heavy pick and roll usage like Miami has this season. There would be no training camp and preseason to iron these things out. This would be wholesale change, on the fly, in the middle of a playoff chase that L.A. is already leading. Even given Anthony's age and his ability to take over the alpha dog role from Bryant as Bryant continues to age, the issue of timing -- and how it compromises this year's title run -- would give me serious pause if I'm L.A. We saw how Miami struggled out of the gates this fall. If you're Phil Jackson or Lakers management, do you really want to start that struggling, get-to-know-you process in March? 

Matt Moore: Great point, Ben. Chemistry adjustments are always difficult, and that's before bringing Kobe Bryant into the picture. This team needs to be really careful about things because there have already been flare ups in the team. This isn't a close, bonded team, it's one that walks on thin ice around Phil and Kobe. And you're bringing in a guy who hasn't had the coolest head or the smallest ego in his career. 

And for Denver, what possible good does this do? I continue to be stunned that they walked away from Harris-Favors-3-No.1s. That's an obscene package for one player, even a superstar, if you're not looking to take on major salary. Now they're looking at Bynum only? That's $15 mil next season. You're going to be paying $15 million for a triple-knee-injury still-raw center whose never had to carry a franchise in any meaningful capacity? How much lower is Ujiri looking to drop value, here? What's next, trading Melo for Stephen Jackson, straight up?

Royce Young: That's my main question too, Matt. Does this really improve both teams all that much? 

A healthy Bynum is definitely a building block piece. He's something you go for. But he has constant questions surrounding him and his knee. 

And how does Melo fit in with Kobe? How are there possibly enough shots for those two to be happy. If Ron Artest was frustrated with Kobe and Pau Gasol hogging too much offense, he's really going to hate playing with Melo and Kobe. 

Matt Moore: And all this is before we start to look at La La Vasquez and Khloe Kardashian on the same team, along with Monica. It's like a superego superstorm.

Ben Golliver: Basketball wives aren't exactly my forte, so I'll let that one slide (for now) to say that I'm not crazy about this trade for Denver, either. Picks, youth, money and flexibility would be much better. But I'm not dead set against the idea of Bynum on a team that's been known for physical, hard-nosed play and solid rebounding. I think he's a building block piece who, although you have to pay him and manage his injury situation, can keep you in the playoff race for years to come. If you can find a way to weasel some picks in a related trade and dump Chauncey Billups on someone, this could become the NBA trade equivalent of settling for the ugly Kardashian sister. Did I just make a nearly-relevant pop culture zing? Let's end it there.

Since: Apr 18, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:47 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

I do not like this trade possibility! The Lakers are a franchise that has just about always had a prime time big man. Is Bynum prime time right now? No, he isnt. However, Bynum is just now entering manhood. Has anyone thought about the fact that maybe Bynum's 17 year old body needed some time to adjust to the stress and rigors of a grown mans game. Right now, Bynum isnt a big stat sheet stuffer because his ROLE on this championship team is to defend. His days of being more of a scoring threat are yet to come, hes only 22-23 years old!  We are the Lakers, another top flight free agent will come our way in the years before Mamba's retirement. I just dont see the Anthony deal working out with so little time to get team chemistry right before the playoffs. Melo' needs a large volume of shots, like Mamba. Can you see Kobe taking a back seat to anyone in a tight playoff game. No, one can. Bynum can be effective with 8-10 shots a game and be the defensive presence that we need. In conclusion, the Lakers are battling their biggest opponent right now, boredom. If the Lakers were to make a move that can help them, it should be to get Artest out of LA and find a unselfish point guard to help Fisher and Blake. 

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:35 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

It has also been mentioned that Melo is New York would basically be a second coming of the Phoenix Suns. All offense and no defense will only get you so far in the playoffs. If Melo wants Championships, you're gonna need to join a team like The Spurs, The lakers, The Celtics, the Pistons, The Bucks, The Bulls, etc. Spotlight you will have in NY, not championships.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:29 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

People are not seeing the big picture here. With a true big in Bynum, I believe Denver could trade a very valuable Hilario Nene for a proven player and possibly picks. Nene has already said that he wants to be traded, to LA in fact.

Could there be a Hilario Nene + Carmelo Anthony for Lamar Odom + Andrew Bynum trade looming?

So for the future, you would be looking at Billups, Bynum, J.R. Smith, A proven player in the trade for Nene (Odom?), and Birdman for depth. Don't forget Kenyon Martin for the rest of this year. Sounds like a plan to me.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:47 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

and why is everyone talking about a building block to a team that is trying to three peat. A BUILDING BLOCK.   This team is already built. To win championships that is why they won the last 2. What a joke. We really need new sports sites cause these sites write trash especially the 800lbs monkey espn. This is a joke. 

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:44 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

another made up deal so denver can get more from the knicks. We seem there options chandler and a pick. That is all the knicks are offering. They bring other teams into the mix. Another thing why would he sign with the lakers. He only wants the knicks cause it is his home town. You guys said the same things about the new jersey deal. His agent also said the knicks only. So who do we beleive these sports writes that just want you to read there storyy so there employers websites get more hits or his agent??????? CBS SPORTS NEED TO LEARN HOW TO REPORT  THE NEWS NOT MAKE THE NEWS.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:32 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Speak the truth my dude!!!

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:03 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Carmelo to L.A., what a deal. I think a lot of people down playing this trade are hoping it doesn't happen because they understand that the Lakers would be dominate for years to come. I like Bynum, I think he is great inside but we don't need three big guys inside if we get a great scorer like Anthony at the three. Anthony can also play inside as well. Seems like this round table discussion has been down playing just how good Carmelo Anthony is. One thing I agree with is that for this season, and this season only, Bynum inside gives us the best chance to win. Only cause of our team chemistry and the triangle is so hard for new guys to be plugged in, but I'll take a chance on this one. I guy with Anthony's talent may be able to fit right in. If we get Anthony we may be able to win this season and for sure the next three seasons. Anthony would be a great building block towards our future, plus come on, he has had no serious injury issues like my boy Bynum. So that makes it even more important to make this trade. Odom and Gasol can handle heir own inside, screw Boston, Boston will get another injury and lose to us in the Finals again exclaiming we have never beat their starting five. Which is funny, didn't we beat their starting five three games out of six in the same series? Sorry Beantown, couldn't help myself. Hurry up and make the deal so we can get going Kupchak!
I also have been seeing a lot of Laker fans exclaiming trades involving Fish and Ron Ron. Oh how the feeble minds forget. Ron Artest won the NBA finals last season for us. Game 7 he was the MVP of that game, without him it would have been a green summer. He shut down Pierce in the Finals and Durant in the opening round. Fish, I shouldn't even have to comment on him. These two guys will never seem important to us in the regular season. Artest's defense in the playoffs is important to us as well. Laker fans should not be so damn forgetful. 

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 7:59 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers would benefit the Lakers more than Andrew Bynym would the Nuggets, but not this year. Melo is one of the premier players in the NBA but as we Laker fans remember from 2002-03 it's hard to have too many individual stars that have not had enough time to find a way to co-exist as a team.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2011 7:51 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Carmelo a Laker? Is that good for L.A? Bynum a Nugget? Is that good for Denver? That's the question.

What the Lakers have always tried to accomplish is to get to the finals and win championships. For those people that play against Bynum, they know he's a force to be reckoned with in the paint. Without him the Lakers would have little chance to repeat as champions. Removing Bynum and inserting Carmelo isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just may mot be the best way to win another championship this year or anytime soon. Carmelo is a great player. Bynum is still just a good player with a possibility of being a very very good player. But good, bid, long, strong, centers are hard to come by; a lot harder to come by than quality small forwards. I don't think swaping these two works overly well for the Lakers except to keep the team strong in the future instead of an expected drop off as Kobe heads for the barn. Carmelo taking Kobe's place as Kobe ages, that works, but it would probably be harder to win a championship than with Bynum. And if the Lakers give up Bynum, Gasol moves full time to the center position and Odom starts, which isn't bad but who's Gasol's back-up; who's Odom's back-up. The Lakers only have an aging Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith for these spots other than going small with a newly acquired Carmelo, or using Artest or Walton. Odom would probably have to be the back-up center. It worked in the World games. He started at center for the USA team but that's not championship caliber size for the NBA. Odom moving back down to his natural position at small forward would be different. On more thing to consider, Kobe and Carmelo are similar players, both need the ball and there's only one ball in a game.

I can sort of understand how this works for Denver. A lot of people see Bynum as a valuable possible future big time player. He's well known, has played on a championship team and he's a game changer. But does this mean that Nene moves to power forward or just becomes Bynum's back-up. Now that is a heck of a combo at center. But here's the deal for Denver: They are going to loose Carmelo, no matter what at the end of the season. And they won't recieve any compensation. They only have perhaps three possible trade partners. Denver has few options. Getting Bynum in return for Carmelo sounds a lot better than getting some maybe players and a bunch of draft picks. Draft picks are down the road and they are often times a bust but this is also how a franchise rebuilds. 

For L.A. the trade is a gamble for this year but probably assures them a continuing good team in the future instead of a drop off as Kobe ages and retires. For Denver it would mean that they made a respectable deal under the circumstances and Denver fans would be OK with that. Besides Bynum at times is a monster in the paint especially with a good point guard to get him the ball because he has hands, good footwork, is a decent passer, a good defender, and good moves around the basket. 

Since: May 24, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:48 pm

Roundtable: Carmelo Anthony to the L.A. Lakers?

Terrible trade, think the Lakers need a PG more than another scorer, and who rebounds in place of Bynum?

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