Lakers: Ranking the Team’s Top 5 Worst Decisions Since 2010

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Feb 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Western Conference guard Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and guard Chris Paul (3) of the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter of the 2013 NBA all star game at the Toyota Center. West won 143-138. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Breaking Up The Team In 2011

By now it’s been talked about so much that we should all know the story. LA trades for All Star point guard Chris Paul. David Stern vetoes trade for “basketball reasons.” Lakers are livid. Chris Paul is livid. Los Angeles Clippers get Chris Paul.

That said, the issue with this scenario is that it shouldn’t have ever gotten to this point in the first place. After winning two straight championships in 2009 and 2010, the Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Playoffs. No big deal right?

The right move would’ve been to just add a few new pieces to refresh the team, and try again next year. Instead, the Lakers attempted to practically gut their core in hopes of trying to land Chris Paul. The original trade offer had Paul coming to L.A., with Gasol landing in Houston, and Lamar Odom landing in New Orleans.

Basically, the Lakers were going to send two supremely talented 7-footers away for a skilled, but unproven 6-foot guard. Not to mention the fact that Odom was coming off a year in which he won the Sixth Man of The Year award.

Although the trade didn’t go through, Odom was so deeply hurt that he demanded a trade anyway and was later dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. Essentially, they still lost Odom, but gained nothing in return and Gasol was also offended, but chose to remain on the team for as long as he was allowed to.

Obviously, Paul would have been a great addition at the point guard spot but not at the risk of cutting up the core that had been to three straight NBA Finals.

For example, Magic Johnson won five NBA Championships with the Lakers during the 1980’s. Although the Purple and Gold lost three times in the Finals during that decade, there was never a point in which they tore up the team after a loss.

Instead, they retooled, assessed their weaknesses, and let their continuity be the guide for their success. That’s how they managed to be a dominant force for ten years, rather than just three.

Next: 1. Keeping Jim Buss Around