Tag Archives: Andrew Bynum

Should The Lakers Tank?

Lakers Home Court

Staples

It’s been a tough month since the return of Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers. Prior to the return of their superstar the Lakers were contending for the 8th seed in the Western Conference with a revitalized young roster playing a more exciting brand of basketball. Upon Bryant’s return the Lakers struggled incorporating their star back into the lineup. Less than two weeks into his comeback Bryant suffered another injury, putting him on the shelf for six weeks and sending the Lakers into a tailspin. Since Bryant returned on December 8 versus the Toronto Raptors the Lakers are 4-13, including a current streak where they’ve lost nine of ten games. The poor run of play includes STAPLES Center losses versus Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Utah. The Lakers are now third from last in the Western Conference, just two and a half games up on last place Utah. Even with the return of Kobe Bryant the playoffs are unlikely for the Lakers this season, giving Lakers management some big decisions to make regarding whether or not to hold a fire sale before the trade deadline. The presence of one of the greatest college draft classes in years has once again brought up the possibility of teams ‘tanking’ the season in order to get more ping pong balls in the lottery. The NBA’s system doesn’t guarantee the top draft pick to the worst team but the weighted lottery does give teams with the best record a higher chance of a low draft pick. Right now the Lakers are well-positioned to not only have the flexibility to add a max free agent after next season, they should be in the running to draft a potential future All Star in next June’s draft.

Should the Lakers tank the second half of the season?

They’ve earned the slack: The Lakers have continually put a winning product on the floor for decades, avoiding the full rebuilding process that many great franchises have gone through. Next to perhaps the San Antonio Spurs it’s difficult to find another NBA franchise that has had such continued excellence over the past 20 years. For that reason the Lakers have earned a bit of slack from their fan base.

The upcoming draft is important: Next June’s draft features one of the best crops in years with several potential All Star talents. A poor finish can mean a top five draft pick. Kansas center Joel Embiid and forward Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky power forward Julius Randle, Duke forward Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart and Arizona forward Aaron Gordon should all be available in June’s draft and are potential difference makers. The selection of a top draft pick combined with the targeting of a key free agent could rebuild the Lakers roster quickly. This June’s draft is important since the Lakers traded their 2015 first round pick to Phoenix as part of the Steve Nash trade. It’s hard to imagine a proud franchise like the Lakers tanking the second half of the season, but if they are going to tank this is the year to do it.

Pau Gasol

Gasol

They need value for Gasol: The Lakers would be wise to deal Pau Gasol before the trade deadline. The potential Cavaliers trade which would have sent Gasol to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum (who would have been waived), fell through and the Bulls ended up making the deal. The Lakers need to determine quickly if Gasol is not in their long term plans. Dealing him and getting a package of players or an expiring contract to waive would help Los Angeles avoid the luxury tax while potentially picking up a player or draft pick. With the February 20 trade deadline fast approaching the Lakers should find a suitable place to ship Gasol, getting some value in return. Even with a player option for next season it’s questionable whether he would want to return. Letting Gasol walk for nothing next summer would free up cap space, but wouldn’t give the Lakers anything of value for a top ten NBA center.

Kobe Bryant Lakers

Kobe

The Lakers decision to re-sign Kobe Bryant to a 2 year/$48 million deal does limit their options over the next few seasons. At best they have the opportunity to sign one max free agent. Next offseason Kevin Love will have the ability to opt out of his contract and the former UCLA big man may be interested in moving back to Los Angeles. A good draft pick this year combined with moving Gasol for an asset and leveraging the Lakers remaining cap space well could give the Lakers the ability to contend after next season. The most important thing now though is to maximize their draft value this season.

By:Chris Michaels.

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Is Pau Gasol For Andrew Bynum A Postive For Lakers

Gasol Bynum Trade

Gasol Bynum

With the Lakers struggling in a tough Western Conference and Kobe Bryant on the mend from yet another injury the NBA rumor mill is swirling once again regarding a potential Pau Gasol for former Lakers center Andrew Bynum. It’s been a difficult year and a half since Bynum was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers in the massive four-team trade the sent Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers and Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. The talented former Lakers center, when healthy and motivated a top three NBA center, has battled injuries and a lack of motivation the past two seasons. The Cleveland Cavaliers took a chance on the enigmatic center this offseason and it hasn’t quite worked out in Cleveland. On the surface the deal doesn’t make sense due to Bynum’s recent injury history and poor attitude, but a couple of interesting factors may create a deal that can benefit both clubs. Here’s a look at the positives and negatives of a potential Gasol for Bynum trade.

Positives for the Lakers: The deal would move Gasol and get some potential value for him, while helping the Lakers avoid a stiff luxury tax penalty. In making a decision like this the Lakers will need to decide whether or not Gasol is in their long term plans. It’s been an up and down year for Gasol in Los Angeles, who’s played at a level that doesn’t reflect is overall career. His motivation and interest has been questioned at times, especially when Bryant was injured. The Lakers have a $20 million option on Gasol for next season. If the decision is to not bring the big Spaniard back it’s important to maximize the value the Lakers get in return for Gasol, with the double benefit of having his expiring contract. Unfortunately for Los Angeles they wouldn’t necessarily be getting the same player they dealt two seasons ago. Bynum has had chronic knee injuries and has publicly stated that he could retire early due to knee problems. His motivation and attitude has also been extremely poor. If the Lakers are confident that Bynum’s knee problems won’t be career shortening, and a return to Los Angeles will improve his outlook, the move would make sense. Due to the contracts the Cavaliers would have to include another team or add another player to the deal. Bynum’s contract is only partially guaranteed for this season, so the Lakers could make the trade and then choose to waive Bynum. If the other asset they get from Cleveland is a solid one, Los Angeles would save a great deal of money and avoid punitive luxury tax penalties in the future while picking up an asset and creating cap space for next season. They could conceivably be a player for Bynum after this season, with the expectation that the former center will catch on with another club should the Lakers/Cavaliers waive him.

Negatives for the Lakers: Does Bynum have anything left in the tank? By virtually all media reports the big man has been a cancer both in Philadelphia and Cleveland. The Lakers have experience with his quirky personality and likely have some confidence they can turn around his attitude. The big factor is his health. Bynum may never regain the form he showed in Los Angeles or ever be able to give the Lakers the amount of minutes they need. A trade for Bynum should only be explored if the Lakers truly want to not bring Gasol back and when they’ve exhausted all potential high value trade options for Gasol. The decision to trade for Bynum and release him is interesting, but it also signals to the fan base that they feel they are not contenders this season. That decision makes sense in a tough Western Conference, but is never a popular message to send to your fan base.

By:Chris Michaels.

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Should The Clippers Pick Up Andrew Bynum?

Andrew Bynum

Bynum

As recently reported and confirmed by multiple sources, the Cleveland Cavaliers have suspended their 7-footer center Andrew Bynum indefinitely. The reason the Cavs gave officially was detrimental conduct and the experiment Cleveland decided to attempt seems like it will finally have a short term. Although the Cavs are searching for a team to trade Bynum to, the interest from around the league seems to be low. One of the teams that has reportedly shown some interest is the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 26-year old has appeared in 24 games this season with the Cavaliers uniform and in 20 minutes per game he averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He also shot 41.9 percent from the field, which is much lower than his career one, 55.7 percent.

Of course, Bynum is not even close to the player he used to be during the last season he played with the Los Angeles Lakers. After a missed season in 2012-2013, it was uncertain if Bynum would even be able to play basketball in a professional level again. Thankfully, the Cavaliers saw him getting back healthy and providing a small dose of help in the team at center. However, it seems like Bynum doesn’t really want to focus on playing the game. A league source stated that he never really liked playing basketball at all.
The Cavaliers will have to decide what to do with Bynum by January 7. That’s when his contract gets guaranteed. The 26-year old center is in the books for $6 million this season. It might be difficult for the Cavs to find a team to deal with, as some teams might want to try their luck during the summer and sign Bynum as a free-agent.

Clippers Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum

If the Los Angeles Clippers decided to acquire Bynum, then he could serve as the backup center for DeAndre Jordan. At present, Byron Mullens and Ryan Hollins are the two backups for the Clippers at center. Although Mullens can be considered as a solid backup center, he is definitely not a classic center, a big, strong body who can dominate inside. On the contrary, he is a player who can work also from mid-range. Hollins on the other hand has very little offensive skills.

That’s why, the Clippers could find some room for Bynum. Although he is not the All-Star player he once was, Bynum seems like he has some fuel left in his basketball tank. He could provide an upgrade on offense and give vital minutes for Doc Rivers. Especially when the game is on the line and the Clips’ opponents choose to “hack DeAndre” that’s where Bynum could prove out to be valuable.

In addition, within a team that is coached by Doc Rivers, Bynum could find a chance to change his mindset. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but if there is a team that he fits into, then the Clippers are the one.

For now, it doesn’t seem like LA should hurry to make a move. After all, it might not be even a good idea to land Bynum or if they do, the expectations should be low.By:Chris Michaels.

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The newest Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers

Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers

Four years ago at the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers made what was considered a blockbuster move — they traded a package centered around Marc Gasol (although at the time we thought it was Kwame Brown) for Pau Gasol. Pairing him with Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to three straight finals and two NBA titles.

After tonight, Pau Gasol may be offensive option No. 4 on the Lakers.

To what is certainly the frustration and consternation of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and other owners (nice competitive balance), the Lakers have had the best offseason they have had since 1996 (getting Shaquille O’Neal and drafting Kobe Bryant). The Lakers were able to work trades for both point guard Steve Nash and the most dominant center on the planet today, Dwight Howard.

The Lakers are now the team best positioned to challenge the Miami Heat for the NBA title, they can match up in raw talent. And with real strengths at point guard and center — the two weakest links of the Heat — Los Angeles may well be the best team in the NBA.

Acquiring Dwight Howard is another bold move for the Lakers, just what we’ve come to expect from a franchise that measures success in championship rings.

So Howard is coming off back surgery and might not even be ready to start the season? So what? The Lakers don’t do Novembers. The Lakers do Junes. This is who they are.

Stay Tuned, this could be an amazing season in Los Angeles.

Preview Heat Vs Lakers Staples Center

Game Preview: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center March 04, 2012 12:30pm

On Sunday, March 4 2012, the Miami Heat are scheduled to travel to the Staples Center to take on the LA Lakers. Of course, the first thing that comes to the minds of fans is the fact that LeBron and Bryant will be playing against each other.

LA Lakers felt that way when they had the pleasure of meeting Kobe Bryant, and fans of the Miami Heat felt that way when the team acquired Dwayne Wade. Any time these two teams meet on the court, there is electricity in the air and sparks around the basket.

That leads to an argument that will go on for a long time: Kobe or LeBron? This past weekend, Kobe Bryant took a hit to the face from Dwayne Wade as he went in for a layup. Bryant somehow was able to finish the game and break Michael Jordan’s record for the all-time all-star scoring title. Unfortunately, because of Dwayne Wade, he broke his nose as well. The team doctors are being very careful with Bryant’s status, and have him listed as day-to-day. On top of sustaining nasal fractures, he suffered from a concussion as well. Bryant will undoubtedly be ready to play against the Miami Heat on Sunday. Will the other members of the Lakers be prepared to step up and teach Miami a lesson?

When the Lakers have Kobe Bryant in the lineup, they are automatically considered a dangerous team. Which is why the team should do everything they can to back the all-star up and protect him from hard fouls. Wade said that he apologized for the foul he had on Bryant, but it is still unacceptable to foul someone so hard in a game that means nothing. As a result of Wade’s thoughtless action, Bryant now has to go through a long process of check-ups and examinations in order to get back on the court. As the PTI crew said earlier today, it should be expected that the Lakers will not be welcoming to the Heat on Sunday.

How will the “big three” of the Miami Heat respond to the scrutiny that they are now under? Will Kobe or LeBron have the better game? Will aggressive personalities like Ron Artest retaliate against Wade? Is this the beginning of a more heated rivalry between the two teams? Perhaps this is the surge or spark the Lakers need in order to start winning.

Any game against Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Heat is meaningful for the Lakers. This one took on added significance after Wade mugged Kobe Bryant on a drive to the basket during the All-Star Game, causing some serious damage to his noggin.

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Mavericks 91 Lakers 96 (recap)

Dallas Mavericks 91 Los Angeles Lakers 96

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:30 PM
Location -   American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Officials -   #24 Mike Callahan, #30 John Goble, #60 James Williams
Attendance -    20577
Mavericks Vs Lakers Tickets averaged from $40.00 to $500 a ticket. We stock Lakers Tickets for all home and away games.

LAKERS 96, MAVERICKS 91: Pau Gasol had 24 points and nine rebounds Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as visiting Los Angeles got past Dallas in the start of a difficult back-to-back trip.

Kobe Bryant had 15 points, but was just 4 of 15 from the field for the Lakers, who are just 6-11 on the road and travel to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. The Thunder are an NBA-best 14-1 at home.

Gasol had 16 in the first half for the Lakers, making their first trip to Dallas since the Mavericks eliminated them in the Western Conference semifinals in 2011.

Derek Fisher came up big for the Lakers late in the fourth quarter and scored 15 points. Matt Barnes had nine points and nine rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks (21-13).

Vince Carter appeared to be on his way to a monster game with 18 first-half points, but he scored just two in the second half. Jason Terry scored 16. Brendan Haywood grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Lakers went on a 12-0 run for a 42-28 lead in the second quarter, but the Mavericks stormed back with a 20-6 run to tie the score at 48 at halftime.

The teams stayed even throughout the third quarter and deep until the fourth before Fisher’s 25-foot 3-pointer and drive to the lane gave the Lakers an 89-82 lead. Bynum made it 93-86 but Terry made a deep 3-pointer and Nowitzki tipped in a shot with 27.1 seconds remaining. Matt Barnes made two free throws and Fisher added one for a 96-91 lead.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Former Laker Lamar Odom missed the game with what coach Rick Carlisle said was an excused absence to attend to a family matter in Los Angeles. Carlisle said Odom would rejoin the Mavericks after the All-Star break. … Dallas owner Mark Cuban has no sympathy for the Lakers, but said he does miss Phil Jackson. “Phil was smart,” Cuban told the Los Angeles Times. “He was fun to mess with, knowing that he’d come right back, return volley, and I’d return volleys like a good tennis match. The volleys went on and on. They got more intense. I really miss that. … You don’t often find the perfect bucket boy.” … Dallas was just 8 of 32 on 3-pointers.

Lakers Vs Thunder Tickets for their February 23rd matchup at the Chesapeake Energy Arena are still available.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks – Preview

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
NBA / Western Conference
American Airlines Center, Dallas TX
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012. 9:30 PM EST

Analysis of the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers, currently 19-13 and trailing the Clippers in their division, were a tough team to read in the first half of the season. They started out well, winning 9 of their first 13, before dropping 4 of their next 5. The emergence of C Andrew Bynum has been offset in many respects by the slumping play of PF Pau Gasol. Star SG Kobe Bryant helped set up a players-only meeting this past Monday with the intention of making the 2nd half of the season a much more consistent (and better) effort than the 1st half, and they showed what they were capable of with a convincing win over the Trailblazers later that night.

Analysis of the Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are a hot team right now, winning 7 of their last 8 with the only loss at an even hotter Knicks team. During that time they’ve taken down the Clippers, 76ers, and Celtics and, following a questionable start to the season, have established themselves as one of the elite squads out West. The Mavs (21-12, second in their division behind the Spurs) have a tough 2nd half of the season to look forward to however and must keep their winning ways going if they want a favorable seed in the playoffs. We stock Dallas Mavericks Tickets for all American Airlines Center games.

Key Players
Los Angeles Lakers: PF Pau Gasol
The Lakers live and die by Kobe Bryant each night, but without a steady effort from Gasol and Bynum they’d be on the outside looking in playoffs-wise. Gasol will have an especially important game here as he’ll be matched up against Dallas’s star PF Dirk Nowitski. Gasol is averaging a double-double now with 17 points and 11 boards each night, and he’ll have to both match those numbers as well as limit Dirk’s if the Lakers are going to win.

Dallas Mavericks: SG Jason Terry
Terry is a fantastic scorer and is a threat every night to put up 20 or more points if left unguarded. When he’s on the floor he’ll have to try and slow down Kobe, something that is a whole lot easier said than done. A couple big 3-pointers from Terry and a couple big defensive stops on Kobe will be crucial for the Mavs to win on Wednesday.

Key Statistics
Rebounds:
The Lakers two big men, Gasol and Bynum, anchor the best rebounding team in the league (averaging almost 46 rebounds every night). While the Mavericks are also a decent rebounding squad (pulling down 43, 7th in the league), the Lakers will try and crash the boards as much as they can knowing it’s one of the few areas where the have an advantage. If the Mavs can limit the Lakers’ rebounds they’ll easily secure a win at home.

Prediction
Kobe Bryant created a few shockwaves this past weekend with some remarks about the rumors the Lakers were considering trading Bynum away. While controversial they also let the aforementioned slumping Gasol know that Bryant had his back, and their play on Monday showed that the Lakers of the past few seasons might be emerging again. While the Mavericks on the road will be an extremely tough test for the Lakers, I think they win it with their newfound team confidence.

Prediction = Los Angeles Lakers: 92 – Dallas Mavericks: 86

The Lakers will play the Mavericks at the Los Angeles Staples Center on April 15th, you can purchase Lakers Vs Mavericks Tickets for that game now.