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Lakers: Andrew Bynum Is Untouchable

By 05.26.11
Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum (photo. Jeff Forney)


If it’s left up to the Lakers vice president Jim Buss, Andrew Bynum isn’t going anywhere. He will not trade him, wouldn’t trade him for Carmelo Anthony or any other star wing player. And don’t hold your breath L.A., if Buss has his way, he won’t even trade the inconsistent center, the same guy who played an average of 51 regular-season games during the past four seasons, for Dwight Howard. Can someone slap him, please?

This doesn’t even end with just Bynum. As Yahoo! Sports writes, the Lakers are Jim Buss’ baby now, and that came to fruition during the hiring of new Laker coach Mike Brown:

Jim Buss is running the Lakers now, and this is a frightening proposition for everyone. Bryant doesn’t have a strong sense of Brown, sources with knowledge of his thinking said. He hasn’t offered a blessing or a condemnation. Brown was an Eastern Conference coach. He’s something else too: Jim Buss’ way of pushing far from Phil Jackson, passing over longtime assistant Brian Shaw, and staking claim to his own guy. He’s the insecure and largely incapable son of an iconic owner, the older brother of Jeannie Buss, the far more competent sibling to run the franchise.

Yet, Jerry Buss is turning these Lakers over to Jim, and that’s the reason sources say he conducted the search with his father and general manager Mitch Kupchak assisting him. Now, Jim Buss has two guys in the franchise: Brown and Andrew Bynum. In fact, Buss has made something clear within the Lakers, sources say: Bynum is untouchable in trade talks.

You see this with companies everywhere, all over the world, every single day. Relationships fry and the company suffers, so someone decides to start over. And when they start over, that means clearing the table of everything that represents the old regime. That’s almost undoubtedly why Brian Shaw wasn’t hired (too similar to Jackson and the triangle). That’s probably why Bryant wasn’t consulted in the hiring of Brown. And it’s absolutely why Bynum is considered untouchable now.

Yahoo! Sports continues:

For now, this could include a sign-and-deal for the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard. The Lakers are Howard’s preference, but they don’t have salary cap space to sign him. They’ll need a deal that includes Bynum to the Magic, but there are those seriously doubting Jim Buss’ desire to make such a trade. After all, Bynum was Jim Buss’ discovery, his pet project and believes Bynum will ultimately resonate as the son’s personal Lakers legacy.

If it ever came to that point, with Howard ready to join L.A. and Buss being hesitant, I’m assuming the V.P. would eventually cave. He would have to. But still, it’s a new day in L.A. and Bynum, scorned as the baby for so long by Bryant and Jackson, is now at the head of that. He’s probably happy. But I’m not certain everyone else around the organization is.

Jim Buss put out a warning: this is now my team, my franchise. There was never a stronger indication that changes are forthcoming. This should be news to Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, as any big potential changes will almost certainly involve them. And from the looks of things, changes are on the way.

What do you think?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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TOPICS#DWIGHT HOWARD#KOBE BRYANT
TAGSANDREW BYNUMDimeMagfeatureJim BussLatest NewsLOS ANGELES LAKERS

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