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Jim Buss heading Lakers may mean no Bynum trade

May 26, 2011, 7:19 PM EDT


Among the favorite pastime of some Lakers fans is a game called “Where can we trade Andrew Bynum?” Kobe Bryant has even played this game before. Bynum has been offered up in deals ranging from Dwight Howard to a rack of shootaround basketballs.

Those games may be over.

One thing the hiring of Mike Brown as coach has made clear is that the good ship Lakers is now captained by Jim Buss (son of longtime owner and poker legend Jerry Buss). And what was Jim’s big Lakers claim to fame? He was one of the early champions in the draft process of Andrew Bynum. He is a Jim Buss favorite.

Which leads to this note from Adrian Wojnarowski, of Yahoo.

Now, Jim Buss has two guys in the franchise: Brown and Andrew Bynum(notes). In fact, Buss has made something clear within the Lakers, sources say: Bynum is untouchable in trade talks.

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. Buss’ loyalty will be Bynum and Brown. These are his guys now.

Two thoughts here. First, the Lakers should be hesitant to trade Bynum for just about anything. There just are not young, defensive presence centers like this out there and if you don’t think that matters a lot go watch a Dallas Mavericks game with Tyson Chandler. In an era where you can’t touch guys on the perimeter you have to have somebody who can defend the rim. Bynum does that.

Right now Orlando has no interest in a Dwight Howard for Bynum deal and until we all see a new Collective Bargaining Agreement this talk is all moot. That said, if a deal like this could be worked out, the Lakers would be foolish not to think about it.

One other little note on Jim Buss: What made Jerry a great owner is that he let his basketball people make the basketball decisions. He set parameters, he got in the very big things (signing Magic Johnson to an extension, forcing the Shaq trade) but for the most part he stayed out of the way. Jim would be wise to follow that counsel.

  1. chargerdillon - May 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Most dominant defensive bigman in the game…..or the guy who’s had several knee surgeries already in his young 20’s.

    Jim Buss do not let your ego ruin what could be a several championship winning run.

  2. smoothaswilkes - May 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Kurt – Nice work here. Miss ya on FB&G but Darius doing a great job.

    I’m having a hard time with all the speculation re: Jim Buss. I mean the dude has been pretty much a hermit from from day one on the job. I’m sure there is some acrimony in the Jackson vs. Jim camps but, really, what has Jim Buss done to warrant the speculation that he is ruining the Lakers franchise? Mike Brown was an unexpected choice for most Laker fans but if you look at what he brings to the table, I get it. How about a post on what makes Jim a troll to Lakerdom? Is it fear of the unknown? Tangible evidence seems lacking. When Bynum was drafted seems to be the watermark from Jim taking over, yet, here we are with the MB hiring. Is it more Laker fan sky is falling or something deeper? Even that Woj article seemed half cocked to me. What’s your take?

  3. bravin4evr - May 26, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    If he is too stubborn to get rid of a frequently injured player for the best defensive big man in the league, then Jerry your letting the wrong person run this team. Make this trade and don’t think twice!

    • smoothaswilkes - May 27, 2011 at 2:27 AM

      Make that trade? Didn’t know it was on the table.

      If offered, yes, make the trade. It’s the right move, depending on the peripheral players involved. To speculate that it’s on the table and accuse JB of being stubborn is a different thing. How about waiting to see how that plays out first.

      Look the Lakers need youth and athleticism. Bynum fits that description and has the potential to be the future alpha dog post-Kobe. Given the new coaching situation, it seems to me that Gasol is the guy to trade, even though his value is low, to let the future big dog move up the food chain or we’ll never know what he can do or if he can run a full season without getting hurt.

      Either way this upcoming offseason should be very interesting for the Lakers. Can’t wait to see how the assistant coaches fill out and what moves are made to upgrade starting PG and the bench.

      • davidly - May 27, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Good points. As long as we’re speculatin’, I think Gasol for Paul is a net win over Bynum for Howard.

  4. randysavage4ever - May 26, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    How much money is Dwight Howard going to want to re-sign?

    The Lakers already got Bynum under contract for a while…


    Last time Lakers got a center from Orlando it was Shaq…

  5. Milton Galfas - May 27, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    I wonder if the Lakers will even make the playoffs next year?

  6. davidly - May 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I like ‘Drew. I like his game. I really like how well-spoken he is, especially for a baller straight out of high school.

    But if Orlando can’t avoid this, I don’t know how the Lakers could pass it up. Howard has missed exactly seven games in seven seasons. Bynum has missed an average of 30 games each season in his six years so far.

    That said, I love the idea of loyalty and would respect that if that is all it is.

    Still, from a x’s and o’s perspective, LO is the only player I would place off limits; you can plug him in anywhere – 1 to 5, starter for 40 minutes, or off the bench for 20 – and he doesn’t complain the slightest inkling of a bit. Lamar is the Laker’s MVP, imo.

  7. tiffshorse13 - May 27, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    You like Drew. Hmmm. When Kobe came out of high school, he was expected to perform immediately. Excoriated when he airballed that shot in the playoffs his first year. By the time Kobe had this many years under his belt, his singular work ethic, talent and drive distinguished him on a veteran team.
    Drew has had his chance. He’s NEVER played or will play an 82 game season. Dwight Howard is a monster, never soft, never a liability that sits on the bench in the 4th quarter after so many years in the league. Make that trade and make it fast.
    Pick up a slasher/cutter (oh, for Trevor Ariza or Caron) and a fast PG. Get RID of the dead weight, Walton and Blake I am looking at you. Leave Lamar (he is a special player that should be a treasure!), Pau, and Kobe, of course.
    Look, Orlando should do a sign and trade. They get another 7 footer or they can wait and Dwight will walk and they will have nothing. He does NOT want to be there. They have a choice-get something valuable in return or wait and get screwed. Which is what Jim Buss is doing to the Lakers now. At least if we do a move like this and try to get rid of some unwanted contracts, we will have some power in the post to counter Pau’s “finesse” (softness), and I mean it from a 32 year Lakers fan. Pau is skilled and valuable, but he IS soft and Dwight counters that beautifully. If we can make this deal, the window widens again…alot. Jim Buss has already screwed up with the Brown decision, let’s see if he gets this right.

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