I Like the Misery, I Like this World

Great post on the power of Bonzi over at freedarko, which captures a lot of the reasons I've been hoping the Lakers consider using the MLE or part of it to get him in L.A. If we could then get Artest with Kwame+picks+filler, I'd be officially stoked. I am well aware that neither of these moves help our most immediate needs at point guard or center, but just don't care. After watching Golden State and Utah recklessly throw the concept of positions in the air, I'm hoping the Lakers take the plunge. If they can top it all off by getting Jermaine O'Neal for Bynum/Odom/filler, it would be an extremely compelling team at the very least.

The frontcourt of JO, Ronny, and Mihm would be dangerously thin, and this puts a lot of faith in FarmarSuperstar at point. Nevertheless I'd go through with these deal because we gotta:
  • Appease Kobe. All 3 of these moves would go a long way to cooling off Kobe. Artest apparently at some point expressed his desire to be a Laker to Kobe and management not acting on that (or Boozer or Baron) seemed to be one of his bigger gripes. Kobe's been friends with Jermaine since they came into the league together. Peter Vecsey has already theorized that management's plans to acquire JO were what caused Kobe to relax his demands mid-day. And as FD pointed out already, Kobe would love a guy like Bonzi on his team. These moves are all risky, but they're the kind of swing-for-the-fences attitude that it seems like Kobe wants to see from front office.
  • Ease his burden. All 3 of these guys can help bear the scoring burden on nights when Kobe doesn't feel like killing himself to get 50. But more importantly, Artest helps ease Kobe's defensive duties by letting him escape some of the tougher assignments, and finally having a legitimate shot-blocker with Jermaine would go a long way to helping some of our defensive woes at other positions.
  • Put on a show. Because of a geographic quirk, the Lakers (but not the Clips) are required to be entertaining. And with Bonzi, Artest and JO riding with Kobe, the Lakers would be thrilling to watch on and off the floor. Trying to navigate all those personalities would be one of Phil's toughest challenges yet. The potential storylines could be hilarious and awe-inspiring.

I guess I'm not too worried about the PG situation because I think there would be enough versatile guys available that Phil could find creative ways to make it work. When Farmar's not on the floor, I have no problem with letting Kobe carry those duties. There were times last year where it felt like Smush or Shammond were out there simply because the staff felt like they needed someone with PG next to his name on the floor. I think the depth of the frontcourt would only really become an issue against teams like San Antonio (and eventually Portland) that still play two legitimate big men. The presence of Artest would probably make Luke expendable, so maybe we sign-and-trade him to bring back a body. Although losing Luke and Lamar could be dangerous for our ball movement and stifle the triangle.

Obviously each of these moves faces serious obstacles. Now that Adelman's in Houston Bonzi isn't nearly as up for grabs as he could have been. Sacramento is still deluded into thinking a rivalry exists and will be hesitant to dump their problem child to us, especially for the crap offer of Kwame and picks. Getting the contracts to work with Indiana probably means them taking on Vlad which would be hard to swing; plus they seem to want to include Tinsley in the deal which would almost certainly require Kwame's contract.

Nonetheless, I think some variation of these deals remains possible, and I wouldn't mind if Bonzi is the starting point. Sign Bonzi, then make a run at Zach Randolph with Kwame's contract, and let the headcases go wild. Who wouldn't be intrigued by the Farmar/Bonzi/Kobe/Lamar/Randolph lineup? Let the madness take over.

1 comment:

Ben Q. Rock said...

It'd be hard for me to hate the Lakers if they got Jermaine.

TANGENT: Most of my hatred for the Lakers, and for Kobe in particular, stems from the 2000 Finals. I try not to let it show, but the Pacers are my second-favorite team and Reggie is still my all-time favorite player.

Anyway, he'd be much more effective in L.A. because he wouldn't have to touch the ball on every possession; he shot a relatively low percentage this year because he was forced to shoot too often.

Oh, and Jameer Nelson and some draft picks are yours if it means we can take Luke Walton off your hands.