The Los Angeles Lakers are still one of the most controversial teams in the NBA, and it seems that the talk surrounding potential trades and other transactions isn’t going to quiet down till the Feb. 21 trading deadline passes.
With Pau Gasol out for an extended period of time and L.A. still far from being a serious title contender (and at 25-28, not even a great bet to make the playoffs), it seems that many fans are clamoring for the organization to do something drastic.
Let’s take a look at some of the rumors flying around and thoughts from some Lakers officials on possible deals in the immediate future.
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger is counting the Lakers amongst those interested parties, as the team could certainly use another big body with Gasol out at least a few more weeks.
Amundson is a veteran player that most recently contributed to the Indiana Pacers’ solid playoff run in 2012. He’s spent seven seasons in the NBA, with career averages of 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.
At 6’9”, 225 pounds, “Sweet Lou” Amundson isn’t going to impress anyone with his physical stature, but he has a ton of heart and hustles hard during his limited minutes.
He’s not likely to command much more than a veteran’s minimum salary, so the Lakers should certainly continue to weigh using the disabled player exception they received from losing Jordan Hill for the season.
Lakers Not Rushing Into Signing
While some might feel Amundson should be signed immediately, it seems that the team brass isn’t going to pull the trigger anytime soon.
As per ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne, a source close to the situation is reporting that the organization plans to “sit tight” and see how Dwight Howard’s shoulder holds up before doling out a 10-day contract or a deal that would keep a potential free agent like Amundson, Kenyon Martin or any other available veteran on the roster for the remainder of the season.
Antawn Jamison has certainly stepped up in a solid way recently, contributing a nice 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over the last five games. Earl Clark has been playing big as well, piling in 13 points, pulling down 8.4 rebounds and swatting 1.0 shots in that same span.
With these contributors making up for Gasol’s absence, perhaps coach Mike D’Antoni is getting some leeway to keep another post player off the roster in order to play a smaller, more athletic style of basketball.
Speaking of D’Antoni…
Coach D’Antoni Doesn’t Approve of Any Transactions
There are certainly benefits and drawbacks to bringing aboard a new face via free agency or swinging a trade at the deadline, but Mike D’Antoni believes the negatives outweigh the positives at this point in the season.
According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, the veteran head coach had this to say about a potential transaction:
It would add somebody who doesn't know what they're doing and it could take awhile. You're playing games you have to win and we might not even play them. That's a hard thing.
D’Antoni recently met with GM Mitch Kupchak to discuss the state of the organization’s roster last weekend, and it seems they came away with the consensus that no moves are to be made.
Unless another injury happens or the Lakers stumble significantly in the next week leading up to the deadline, don’t expect anything drastic to go down.