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Old 07-14-2005, 05:23 PM   #12
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Originally posted by tobynosker
Uh oh...I see a buckeye post blaming Kobe Bryant for the sign and trade deal to bring Kwame Brown in as "the next great Laker center."

In a previous thread I said "Los Angeles is still a major market team with a lot of history that can draw free agents to their organization...players like Kwame Brown could see great intrigue playing with Bryant." In all honestly, Kwame Brown will fit in nice in Los Angeles. Hopefully, he doesn't have to deal with expectations that he cannot live up to like he has for the last four seasons. Why are we so quick to call out Kwame Brown for being such a disappointment? Brown is always the first route people take when arguing for an age-limit in the NBA, because he hasn't lived up to expectations of a number one overall pick. It was the decision of Washington Wizards General Manager Wes Unseld, Doug Collins and Michael Jordan to select the kid number one overall in the 2001 NBA Draft? They were the ones that made the poor business decision in bringing in a young, unproven talent with a terrible attitude.

Regardless of Brown's numbers and attitude, I understand Lakers management decision in taking a chance on the young 23 year old, rather than gambling on Chris Mihm and Vlade Divac for another season. While Brown will never be at the level of Jermaine O'Neal, isn't O'Neal sort of the exception to the rule? I mean, the guy finished second overall in the MVP voting during the 2004 season. Brown will never be an MVP-type player, but the Lakers already have an MVP-type on the floor. They needed a youthful center that can provide 13 points and 8 boards a night when called upon. Brown hasn't done that yet in his career, but again he is 23 years old and a better option than Mihm or Divac.

But, with all that said, it's still a terrible trade. First, because they wasted a draft pick on Andrew Bynum. Their wasn't but one decent center in this entire 2005 NBA Draft, and he was taken first overall. This was a draft filled with a lot of talent at the guard and forward position, and Los Angeles failed to capitalize on that.

Secondly, Caron Butler could have been a strong role player for years to come next to Kobe Bryant. And, I think Butler would have had a better chance at becoming a better player alongside of Bryant and under Phil Jackson than he will in Washington where they have now lost Larry Hughes and Kwame Brown. He was a great third option behind Bryant and Odom. I see him being called upon too often in Washington. Certainly it's not a bad trade on Washington's part trying to fill that scoring need left by Hughes by bringing in Butler, while also dumping the baggage of Brown, but I still see Caron looking for another place to play whenever his contract is up.

Thirdly, who is now going to fill the open hole left by Butler being traded? The resigned Luke Walton? Jumaine Jones? Try and play the rookie Von Wafer?

And finally, why would you trade away Chucky Atkins on top of it? Hopefully from the initial reports, the Wizards will want Devean George over Atkins, because it would work better for both teams. Otherwise, who is your point guard in Los Angeles? Tony Bobbitt?

I have to assume that Phil Jackson, Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss have something else in the works, otherwise this team has filled a need while accumalating two more.
I think you hit it when you mentioned that Kwame never should've been the #1 pick in the first place and that those expectations were thrust upon him, perhaps unfairly. However, there had to have been a reason for all that hype, right? Regardless, whether he was picked 1st or 5th, everyone is justified in calling Brown a giant disappointment. To think that Kwame will be rid of those expectations of having to live up to being a #1 pick is somewhat, but not altogether true. You have a whole new set of expectations when you put on a Laker uniform. Especially when you've been touted to have as much talent as Brown and when the Lakers gave up two quality starters to get him. A whole new set of problems, right there.

Lakers are bombing at every turn since after since hiring Phil (how ironic). Caron Butler never exactly had a place on the team and his future in LA was in doubt since the time of his arrival, but surely you could get more for him than this. I'd be happy to see Devean's contract unloaded and can only assume that Chucky's name is on the table A) because the Lakers are severely handicapped financially and need to dump salary and B) he doesn't jive with Kobe (that second part is actually true - not just a conspiracy theory). Who knows what the free'd up cash can get them. Vujacic looks likely to be the man who would steps in at point guard, but is he ready? Questionable.

I expect Divac will retire before the season starts, but in all honesty, at this stage of the game, I feel far more comfortable with Mihm in the starting lineup than Brown. I also don't believe Brown has proven that he can play center in this league, especially in the West. Hell, I feel more comfortable starting Turiaf at PF than I do Brown. Kwame is a bench player at best, right now. If Phil whips him into shape mentally, maybe he becomes a regular starter. But these dillusions of All Star games are, well, dillusions.

I sure hope you're right and the Lakers have another move planned, because the roster looks worse now than it did last season. Yay. We've added a project and a selfish bust while getting rid of a quality scorer and a servicable point guard. Go team.

No question Washington comes out looking great on this one. I think Butler won't have any trouble filling the scoring void left by Hughes, but his defense compared to Hughes is desperately lacking.
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