With the trade deadline less than 24 hours away, we’ll be combing through every trade rumor that comes across the wire and bringing it right to you. But in addition, we’ll also be hitting you up with some suggestions for various squads around the League (after clearing trades through ESPN’s Trade Machine, of course).
About two weeks ago, we proposed that the Lakers address the loss of Andrew Bynum until April at the very earliest, by going out and dealing Lamar Odom (and some peripheral pieces) to the Knicks for David Lee.
While that might help them on the glass, Lee’s rebounding probably isn’t worth taking on Eddy Curry‘s bloated deal, which is a prerequisite for any trade that involves giving up Lee according to Donnie Walsh.
But if the Lakers want to win now, they should go out and fortify their front lines. Here’s how they do it:
* Trade Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm, and DJ Mbenga to the Suns for Shaquille O’Neal
All-Star Weekend proved that reuniting Shaq and Kobe isn’t impossible. In fact, the Diesel would provide L.A. with exactly what they need right now – someone to fill in for Andrew Bynum, someone who can be an intimidating force in the paint, and someone who knows the triangle.
But O’Neal would do more than work as a half-year mercenary in Los Angeles. He’s said that once this contract expires, he’ll retire. And his best years came as a Laker, so why shouldn’t he hang it up in L.A.? And in the remaining year and a half that he has on his deal, he could do wonders as a teacher for Bynum. He could possibly win two championships, and equal Michael with six rings.
And from the Suns’ perspective, they have basically come out and said that they want to move Shaq’s monstrous contract – $20 million this year and $20 million next year. In exchange for O’Neal, Odom and Mihm combine to erase about $16 million from their books after this season, and they’d have to pay DJ Mbenga less than $1 million until the end of the ’09-10 season.
The biggest problem for Phoenix would be that they’d effectively take themselves out of title contention with this move, and would effectively hang their division rivals a key to the Finals. But if they’re not really going to compete for a championship this year, are the finances of this move attractive enough to persuade them to go through with it?