The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks are three of the most prominent franchises in the NBA. Nineteen games into the NBA season, they are also all in the market for big trades that they hope will change their current trajectories.
Los Angeles has gone 10-9 without Kobe Bryant, who missed the first fourthish of the season with a torn left Achilles. He plans on returning today against the Toronto Raptors, however, that is unlikely to solve the vast majority of the Lakers’ problems. Their mediocre run thus far, which in all fairness has been a pleasant surprise given the circumstances, has been the byproduct of role players stepping up. With Bryant hogging the spotlight and the ball, roleplayers’ production will decrease.
Ever since this summer, L.A. has been rumored to be interested in bringing in a guard. Some reports said it was a pass-first point guard; other said Mitch Kupchak wanted a combo guard. Either way, though, it’s clear that all involved recognize that Steve Nash is done. The only way the Lakers can acquire a guard at this point is for Pau Gasol, maybe. They have no other tradeable assets on the roster.
The Miami Heat are 15-5, the defending champs and one of only three Eastern Conference teams with a winning record. They don’t fit the description of a team that needs to make a big trade, however, according to ESPN, that’s exactly what they’re looking for. Dwyane Wade’s most recent injury pounded home a point that everyone should’ve understood heading into the year: Miami needs a younger backcourt. It’s unclear what Pat Riley and Co. can ever offer at this point, but where there’s a will there’s a way.
Meanwhile, the Knicks have been one of the league’s saddest stories so far. Through eighteen games they’re 5-13, and things don’t look like they will get better anytime soon. Numerous reports have surfaced saying that Carmelo Anthony is planning to skip town this summer, and those reports have led to speculation that New York May try to move him.
For what it’s worth, Anthony says he’s not thinking about leaving the Big Apple.
"As far as me leaving, I'm not thinking about that,” he told Newsday. “I'd be selfish to think about that at this point, with us losing and going through the situation that we are going through. It'd be selfish on my part to my teammates and to the organization to even have that thought come across my mind.”
Stay tuned, it’s going to be an interesting few months.