LA HAS PLAN AT READY FOR KIDDNAPPING NET
By PETER VECSEY
December 23, 2007 -- THE Lakers are angling to shoplift Jason Kidd, a Western hearing aide claims, for a couple draft picks, Kwame Brown's expiring contract ($9M), Jordan Farmar ($1M) and Vladimir Radmanovic ($5.6M with an additional $19.2M over the next three seasons). Not unexpectedly, the Nets aren't interested in assuming Radmanovic's long-term guarantee. There's nothing not to love about Farmar, yet New Jersey already has a promising, young caretaker in Marcus Williams.
Another time-tested source believes the Cavaliers (Drew Gooden) and Mavericks (Erick Dampier) are in better position to provide the Nets with frontcourt help, but neither team nor the Lakers can offer more than the Nuggets - an almost-rehabbed Nene or Marcus Camby vs. Kenyon Martin. According to my hall monitor, coach George Karl urgently wants Kidd to free Allen Iverson to concentrate exclusively on scoring. Aside from one of the two aforementioned big men, Denver is prepared to kick in Linas Kleiza and JR Smith.
Over the past year or so the Lakers have had designs on three players we know about - Kidd, Kevin Garnett (prior to being beat out by Boston) and Jermaine O'Neal. If Jackson's juggernaut is unable to pry loose Kidd, you would think the focus would be back on the Pacers' forward/center who definitely can be had, and it's not as if Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird are asking for anything outlandish.
The plan is to dump $44M off Indiana's cap in the next two seasons, contingent, of course, on Jermaine proving to Lakers' management he's healthy enough to man up regularly alongside Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. Good luck on that, though he hasn't looked so shaped up to run the break since he began lifting weights.
The Heat's $130M gamble ($40M left over the next two seasons) on Shaquille O'Neal harvested an instant title. In all likelihood, that'll have to satisfy owner Mickey Arison. Jerry Buss, ahem, owns eight championship rings. If he wasn't willing to reinvest long-term in Shaq, whose dominance was responsible for three of those, why would we think he'll gamble the kind of money we're talking about on Jermaine?
Vecsey does seem to have the goods on the Pacers a lot. However I think this column is about as accurate as the one last Summer where he said JO to LA for Bynum and Odom was about to happen.
This time he thinks we get neither Bynum or Odom ? If that were the case I'm sure other teams would have more to offer than LA's junk.
The other thing that interested me was his statement that the plan was to "dump $44M off Indiana's cap in the next two seasons . . . "
That means dumping JO. The thing is it's not easy to 'dump' that much money. Looking at LA's player salaries, if you leave out Kobe, Bynum, and Odom, and go by the premise that $44m has to be dumped in two years, which excludes adding Walton, Radmanovic, and Fisher. Also that the Laker's would have to keep two point guards. Then that means the Lakers would HAVE to trade these six players for JO. Vujacic, Mihm, Karl, Brown, Crittenton, and Turiaf.
That means we would have to cut 4 players, and LA would be down to nine. The Laker's would then have to sign several players just to comply with NBA rules on roster size. (Basically 12)
No doubt they would resign any Laker's we dropped. Still, as they say on MythBusters, "This Myth is Busted."
It is interesting that Vecsey thinks the Pacers want to dump JO and his salary.