NBA Analysis: Should Lakers Make a Trade Now?

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The situation: The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling against elite teams in the NBA. This season, they have a couple of 3-game losing streaks, and are getting beat by athletic teams. The team's defense is as inconsistent as Ron Artest's shooting.

Therefore, the Laker should make a deal.

Mitch Kupchak is open to it. Lakers legend Magic Johnson embraces the idea.

But should they do it?

The way I see it, the Lakers are playing like the 2002-2003 team. This was the team that was coming off a three-peat and virtually sleepwalked though the regular season. The result? The team barely made 50 wins in the regular season and got their asses handed to them by eventual champion San Antonio Spurs. The 2010-2011 Lakers are demonstrating a similar pattern.

The Lakers did not make a trade during that awful season and logic tells us that if the Lakers are following a similar trajectory this season, then not making a trade will lead to a similar conclusion: a playoff exit.

Even if a deal is the solution to the team's ills, who is the one to go?

The most attractive assets right now are Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. But I don't think the Lakers front office would be willing to trade key parts to the Lakers' championship machine.

If a deal is to be made, it would be one involving Shannon Brown, Steve Blake, or Luke Walton. As far as market value is concerned, Shannon Brown is the highest among the three. It also helps that Shannon Brown has his contract expiring after this season.

If the Lakers were to make a trade before the deadline, I suggest going for an athletic wing defender who can cover guards and small forwards.

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