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A lot of Laker fans and "experts" seem to think that the Lakers are going to make a big trade in the offseason, most likely involving Odom or Butler. My question is--Can we be a legit playoff team if we don't trade Odom or Butler but instead build through the draft and FA?

Before Rudy left and Kobe went down we were 6th seed in the west despite Vlade and George being out and despite all the new faces. Some might attribute that to our relatively easy schedule, but I really think had those bad things not happened we would be in the playoffs.

So would adding a few pieces be enough to make us a top team in the west?

I don't even think we would have to get superstar players either. Maybe Duhon with the MLE and Shelden Williams in the draft.

Mihm/Vlade (healthy)
Odom/Williams
Butler/George
Kobe/Jones
Duhon/Atkins

I think a healthy Vlade and Duhon, who are both very good passers, along with Williams' defense could do a lot to help us.

Is something like that good enough?
 

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Beware of Elbows
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We could only get by without a trade if we....

1) Drafted a starting PG (Paul, Williams, Felton, Jack) with our lotto pick and signed a good PF/C with the MLE (Griffin, Chandler, Brown).

OR...

2) Drafted a good PF/C (Williams, Taft, Simien) with our lotto pick and signed a starting PG with the MLE (Jackson, Watson, Duhon).

We HAVE to let Luke Walton, Tierre Brown and Tony Bobbitt go and we need to hang onto Vlade to backup Mihm.
 

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I think we have no choice but to make a trade.. we have 5 SF's (4 under contract for next year). I also think Buss is not thrilled about getting killed in the papers every day and will order Kupchak aka Dr. Do Nothing to make a move.

If we do not make a trade we will again not make the playoffs. Other teams are getting better and the GSW may be in the mix next year. I also expect the T'Wolves to be back in the playoffs.
 

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Damian Necronamous said:
We could only get by without a trade if we....

1) Drafted a starting PG (Paul, Williams, Felton, Jack) with our lotto pick and signed a good PF/C with the MLE (Griffin, Chandler, Brown).

OR...

2) Drafted a good PF/C (Williams, Taft, Simien) with our lotto pick and signed a starting PG with the MLE (Jackson, Watson, Duhon).

We HAVE to let Luke Walton, Tierre Brown and Tony Bobbitt go and we need to hang onto Vlade to backup Mihm.
The Lakers can't sign those F/A without getting rid of cap, so in other words they have to make a trade. Unless they just keep they're team this year and waive some of the players on the roster now for their rookies.
 

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Because BBF needs a hero
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Damian Necronamous said:
We HAVE to let Luke Walton, Tierre Brown and Tony Bobbitt go and we need to hang onto Vlade to backup Mihm.
I agree. Sadly though, at this point I'd almost rather see Vlade start over Mihm. Rather he even scores or not, it seems like he gets the offense fired up. Mihm is to damn inconsistant for my tastes. Its sad when you got a 39 year old player, who practically uses a wheelchair to get to the court and plays a better game than the majority of the games your starting center does.

That game agisnt the sonics is the best Laker ball I've seen since early this year. And its because they played as a team, and played defense. And I think alot of that is vlade. Ever position, on the Defensive end I heard him steaming "GET BACK, and he even was telling players like Butler to follow his man. And most importantly.. HE was calling changes... This team for the life of them dont commumicate offensive rotations to there teammates, so when they happen its like unless the guy is looking with his eyes behind his head he has no clue a rotation is happening. Vlade, from the old school knows that much at least. Tell your teammate of an offensive move, get your team to rotate to the open man. I say hang on to vlade for another year, and if possible one more after that. While working on a decent PG in the draft and a decent Center in the the leauge.
 

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I don't know if Shelden is the answer at the 4 right now, or ever for that matter. If I couldn't make any trades, here's how the starting lineup would look:

Atkins/Sasha/Felton or Jack
Kobe/Bell
Odom/Butler/Jones
Griffin/Grant/Slava
Mihm/Vlade/Cook

Acquire Jack or Felton in the draft. Eddie Griffin with the MLE. Raja Bell with the LLE.
 

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i dont think shelden will even declare. Anyway, yes we can get by, but phil jackson is not walking through that door.
 

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Well every scenario you guys have that doesn't involve trading has Caron Butler as the 6th man. I think he deserves more than that, but even more disturbing is that with his recent play, LA should be able to package their draft pick for a proven semi-star.
 

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Had we played any defense at all this year we could've made the playoffs. Some of that has to do with having terrible defenders like Atkins, Odom at the 4, but I think most of it was poor coaching. That said though, other teams are going to continue to improve, so we're going to have to not only keep up with them, but make more progress than them.

The only players who aren't guaranteed to be here next season are Luke Walton, Tierre Brown, Tony Bobbitt. That leaves us with:

PG: Atkins - Vujacic
SG: Bryant
SF: Odom - Butler - George - Jones
PF: Grant - Cook - Medvedenko
C: Divac - Mihm

So that's 12 players with guaranteed contracts. We have 3 draft picks, one of which will get a guaranteed contract. So that makes 13 players. You have to figure at least one of the 2nd rounders will earn a spot on the team, so that's 14.

Realistically there's no way we can get by without Mitch pulling off some deals. The only way we could even think about not trading anybody is by hitting homeruns both in the draft and in free agency; and by homerun I'm talking of the grand slam variety. This would involve a player expected to go high slipping to us and a FA we're thinking we have no chance at deciding to come here anyways. Something along the lines of...

PG: (Chris Paul) - Atkins - Vujacic
SG: Bryant
SF: Odom - Butler - George - Jones
PF: (Stromile Swift/Tyson Chandler/Kwame Brown) - Grant - Cook - Medvedenko
C: Divac - Mihm

or

PG: Atkins - Vujacic
SG: Bryant
SF: Odom - Butler - George - Jones
PF: (Chris Taft) - Grant - Cook - Medvedenko
C: (Eddy Curry) - Divac - Mihm

We have a better chance of trading players and getting something decent than expecting those players to sign with us and for those rooks to slip to us.
 
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