As we play out the final days of the 2011-'12 NBA regular season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In many cases, its akin to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. We are seeing that some teams trash is another teams treasure. Clubs continue to use the amnesty clause to rid themselves of the un-wanted, with the same players welcomed by others through free agency. With most of the premiere players already re-settled, transactions from here to opening day are mostly role players as teams round out their rotations.
Just one caveat, the deal is "pending league approval" The Los Angeles Clippers caved in to the demands of the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. After breaking off the talks saying the demands were just too high, the Clippers went ahead and made the deal anyway. The hold up in the deal was which guard the Clippers were going to trade to the Hornets. Los Angeles wanted to move Eric Bledsoe, while New Orleans was insisting on Eric Gordon. Bledsoe's recent injury complcating matters even further, but the Clippers gave up in the end.
Has Dwight Howard finally made up his mind? First he was demanding trade as free agency opened. Then, as recently as yesterday he began hinting that he was happy in Orlando and it was his favorite place on earth! Now, Howard again leads the NBA news cycle as New Jersey has aggressively entered the sweepstakes in what could be a four-team mega deal. Where are the Lakers in all this? They are rumored to have focused on Chris Paul in the realization they cannot land both.
Chris Paul and Kobe in the Lakers back court? The three team deal between Houston, New Orleans and Los Angeles is dead. Well, maybe not Los Angeles, just the Lakers. As the LA Times first reported, the Clippers jumped into the fray, withdrew and are now back negotiating. Since the Hornets are owned by the NBA, the Clippers continue negotiations with the NBA front office. While Paul may still be on the move, Dwight Howard now appears happy staying in Orlando. The recent news has Kobe wondering why thus far all the Lakers have done is lose Lamar Odom?