The talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers is that of turning the team over and over and moving major assets in return for players with more youth and athleticism, and players who can fill the void left by — ha! — Derek Fisher at the point guard position.
Pau Gasol is one of those major assets, but Andrew Bynum’s name is going to perennially be on the trading block for a superstar, too.
At least, that was what the rumors were. If you were getting giddy over the Lakers making some big-time acquisitions, well Lakers’ owner Jimmy Buss would love to burst your bubble.
So you don’t agree with those who say the Lakers must turn Gasol into two or three players via a trade?
“No,” he says. “I think changes are going to be made moving Pau lower to the basket. We can improve that way with a change in coaching strategy rather than a change in personnel.”
“We will try to sign Sessions when the rules allow beginning in July,” he says. “And improve the bench.”
No major free-agent signings, no blockbuster trades?
“No,” he says.
No major free-agent signings? Bye-bye, Deron Williams. No blockbuster trades? Bye-bye, Kyle Lowry, Andre Iguodala, and every other asset that Pau Gasol would have netted.
Say goodnight to your dreams; you knew this would never happen, and now you’re sitting at home, in your bed, wondering why you’re alone, why no one loves you, and why every time you say “hi” to that girl you like, she rolls her eyes and continues to ignore you, and WHY WON’T SHE ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EXISTENCE?!?
The point is, Jim Buss obviously thinks this core is championship-material, and there seems to be differing opinions among the Lakers’ fan-base, including between myself and head honcho Chris Shellcroft.
While some seem to think the Lakers were a legit ten points away from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead over the OKC Thunder in the Western semis, other see it differently, thinking we were thoroughly outplayed in the final minutes because the team lacks a talented-enough core to make a run for a title.
Both have merit, and we’ve discussed them at length in multiple contexts. The point is, though, that none of what we say matters. If Jim Buss refuses to sign off on deals involving any of the Lakers’ big three, then we’re sticking with this core for at least another year.
Is it the right move? That’s up to you. There’s no doubt that making Pau Gasol play a more paint-oriented game will help, and there’s no doubt that adding more-than-marginal talent on the bench will be a major boost, but some may not think that is enough, and it’s fair criticism.
Either way, your dreams of acquiring shiny, new big-name players is dead, and you can now cry yourself to sleep.