THE VECCHIO FACTOR SAYS...
Yes, I'm saying it, Andrew "Big Baby" Bynum is a BUST! And his benefactor, LA Lakers VP, Jim Buss, has NO clue!!
In his 6th season, Bynum's regular season career averages are 23.7 minutes per game (mpg), 10.4 points per game (ppg), and 6.7 rebounds per game (rpg).
In the playoffs, his averages are worse!
Try 19.6 mpg, 7 ppg, and 5.2 rpg!!
And the worse part is he's getting "20-10" money, 13.8 million this year, and 14.9 million next year with a team option for 16.1 million in 2012!
Jim Buss sure knows how to spend his daddy's money on his "pet-project" who in the recent loss to Cleveland, played 22:29 minutes, scored 6 points, took 6 rebounds, had 5 fouls and 3 turnovers.
And the Cavaliers didn't have a starter over 6 ft, 9 inches!!!
Here's the real deal. The Lakers turned down a trade for Carmelo Anthony because Jim Buss, the owner's son, does not want to part with his "binkie toy," Andrew Bynum.
Because of his stubbornness, Buss, who holds the title of Lakers VP of Player Personnel, recently rejected a deal for Anthony, who would gladly sign an extension with the two-time defending champs.
Sources say that both Kobe Bryant and head coach Phil Jackson are in favor of a deal for Anthony.
What everyone who reads this article should know is that beneath the guarded, secretive, Laker Kingdom, there exists a power struggle between players, coaches, Jim Buss, his sister Jeanie, and Laker management..
Bottom line, Mitch Kupchak's hands are tied. Knowing him like I do, I would bet that, after 6 years, he might just have had enough of the "prospect," Andrew Bynum.
A few more years, at Bynum's pedantic, paltry, pathetic career averages, and he will become a "suspect!"
In contrast, former Laker Elden Campbell's career averages were 24.7 mpg, 10.3 ppg, and 5.9 rpg, eerily similar to Bynum's.
Numbers don't lie. Fact is, Bynum is a tier 2 center!
With this in mind, the saying "strike when the iron is hot" never holds more true for LA than now.
Trading for Carmelo Anthony would give the Lakers another reliable scorer, someone who is able to open up the offense, stretch defenses, and create "match-up" problems with his mid-to-long-range game as well as his excellent post-up game.
It would also free up Kobe from the pressure of having to carry the brunt of the scoring load every night, giving the Lakers their own "Big Three," and positioning them to bring in Dwight Howard in two years.
Watching this Laker team, there undoubtedly is a disconnect between the team and the front office, namely Jim Buss, that has festered into a dissension that permeates from top to bottom in the Laker organization.
Why else are the Lakers experiencing such uneven, uninspired, disjointed play?
I have advocated trading Bynum since last year when I urged Laker management to trade Bynum in a package for Chris Bosh prior to the trade deadline.
That was also a trade Kobe and Phil wanted to make, but it was rejected by Jim Buss.
Who is Jim Buss, other than Jerry Buss' son?
What does he know about player personnel?
As author Roland Lazenby said in his article, "Lakers Must Get Front Office In Order," on Truehoop.com, "in the case of the Lakers, it's ludicrous to think of Jim Buss as a personnel guy. I don't know Jim Buss, but I do know that he should study hard how to be a good owner. He is not a personnel guy and he should not sit anywhere close to the GM's office."
And here is Lazenby's most telling assessment, "Jim Buss is not and never will be a personnel guy and I think he's the complicating factor."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jim Buss IS at the root of the present Laker problem. Simply stated, he may demand it, but he doesn't command the respect of Kobe Bryant OR Phil Jackson.
Lazenby goes on to further say, "Jerry Buss has earned respect as an owner. But owners have to let the personnel guys sort out the talent. Jim Buss drawing his identity as the guy who drafted Andrew Bynum...that doesn't float."
More from Lazenby, "Tex Winter has long said that the Laker organization had some difficult decisions coming, because Andrew Bynum is just too young to do what the organization needs. That's the tough choice."
Adding his final comments, "Jerry Buss is at an age where it's transition time. I don't know if anything can save it. The ideal thing would be for Jim Buss to stand up and say: I'm going to let the personnel people do their job. We're going to clear up the front office picture, and re-establish the trust that the players have a basketball person running the show."
Could this be the reason why Phil is "hanging them up" after this year?
THE VECCHIO FACTOR believes it is a major reason. PJ has had enough of Jim Buss' no talent meddling!
Folks, the Lakers franchise is at a crossroad. In my last Bleacher Report article, "Los Angeles Lakers: An Open Letter To Lakers Owner Jerry Buss," I laid out, from a team and player performance perspective, why the Lakers must trade for Carmelo.
What I didn't say then, but am saying now, is that it is imperative that they MUST resolve the Buss family, upper management, power struggle that threatens to send the Lakers into a deeper dissension, which could potentially bring the Laker Kingdom down to the level of the rest of the NBA!
And it starts with Dr. Jerry Buss over-riding and over-ruling his son, the 47-year-old "prince in waiting," Jim Buss, and trading a big body with minimal skills and bench player career stats, Andrew Bynum, for a superstar," top-10 NBA starter with elite skills, Carmelo Anthony!
THE VECCHIO FACTOR