As far as trades go, things need to work for both teams. Goals may be different for each team, but at least the trade should lead them in the direction to that goal. In this case, a rumor floated for a straight Jodie Meeks for Jerryd Bayless swap.
From Ric Bucher: Jodie Meeks for Jerryd Bayless
Does this work for both teams? First, let’s look at the contracts.
Jodie Meeks makes roughly $1.5 million while Jerryd Bayless makes just over $3 million this season. Both contracts are due at the end of the season. This actually makes things appealing for the Lakers. Assuming that the rest of the roster has their contracts renounced, leaving Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young, and Robert Sacre on the team, this opens up an extra $1.5 million in cap space to help acquire another star player. Granted, the team would be gutted. Pau Gasol, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Ryan Kelly, Shawne Williams, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, and Steve Blake would all be off the team. If anything, trading Jodie Meeks gives the Lakers the flexibility to keep one of their current players.
Memphis, on the other hand, is paying extra money for consistent play. Quincy Pondexter is coming off of foot surgery, injured since December 7th. Jodie Meeks provides consistent energy on defense, handling point guards for the Lakers, while being aggressive attacking the hoop and creating spacing offensively with great 3-point shooting. He would he a great fit around the Grizzlies post play. They’ll get the spacing they need and still be able to hold fort defensively in ways that Jerryd Bayless can’t provide.
Bayless for the Lakers, likes to attack the basket. He likes to isolate and create plays for himself, whether it’s all the way to the rim, or a pull up shot from 20′. Shot selection is questionable, leading to field goal percentages across the board that are below average. There’s some hope with a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio, but I don’t think the Lakers are that desperate for point guard play.
While last season was a bit of a struggle, the real tell of a player is when he’s able to dedicate himself to the game. This past offseason, he got into better shape, refined his ball-handling abilities, and is more consistent behind the arc. The difference from last year to this season is tremendous. He’s part of what makes this team click well, and for a short time, was the leading scorer for the Lakers at nearly 15 points per game, before Nick Young took more responsibility. Jodie Meeks fits seemlessly into Mike D’Antoni’s system. While the Lakers may not look as competitive for a championship, they can be a competitive team against the 29 other NBA teams and fight well.
We’ve seen the starting line up change roughly 14 times this season. The Lakers have put up with a lot of injuries from multiple players. Admittedly it’s a bit selfish, but, can we keep the one guy that has been consistent all year-long? Jodie Meeks won me over, and I want him to stay.