Mar 18, 2011, 1:42 PM EDT
Back at the trade deadline, plenty of Lakers fans were willing to ship Andrew Bynum out the door in a trade. In March, as he has gotten healthy, he has averaged 12.6 points, on 64.2 percent shooting, plus 14.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Now, those same Lakers fans would never dream of moving him. Why would you even think that?
And you wonder how Lakers fans end up on these lists.
Fortunately for those impatient Lakers fans (and occasional impatient superstars) Mitch Kupchak is a calm and steady hand on the wheel of the franchise. The team GM does not overreact to small bumps in the long road.
And while Kupchak gets calls about Bynum, he has no intention of trading him, he told friend of this blog Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
I’d say I get 10 to 15 phone calls a year about Andrew. I’ve called teams that have young, developing players myself. I don’t think that’s going to change. Certainly if he had played as well as he’s playing now for the last three years, teams would realize that, well, the Lakers would never trade him. But he’s had stretches where he’s played well and stretches where he hasn’t, and he’s been criticized, and I think general managers look at (those weaker stretches) and think maybe this is an opportunity for me to come in through the back door, let me make a phone call. And I understand that, and don’t think that’s going to change. But having said all that: when Andrew is healthy, and he plays like he is playing right now, you are hard pressed to look at anybody in this league and say, ‘I would trade him for that person.’
Anybody. If he’s healthy at this level he’s at, you’d have to think about anything. In other words, you may not trade him for anybody. If he helps your team and he’s what you need, and we can advance in the playoffs, then why would you take a chance and do anything? A lot of it is the right fit, the right personality for a team, and I think we have a group of players right now that are unselfish in the big picture, I really do.
Mitch Kupchak plays his cards pretty close to the vest, but he’s a straight shooter, too. If he says something, he means it.
So those Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum trades you’ve been dreaming up Lakers fans? May want to put those on hold, if not trash them outright.
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