Many NBA observers as well as fans of the Los Angeles Lakers believe that the club needs to shake up the roster if the club hopes to contend for an NBA Title in June. Lakers Vice President of player personnel Jim Buss does not subscribe to that theory according to the “Los Angeles Times“; in fact the son of Team Owner Jerry Buss thinks that his club will be just fine. He told the paper “I think we have a championship team, and that’s without making another move. I’m not as worried about this team making a run for the championship as maybe everybody else is. I know people are shook up and especially after Lamar left, but give it time.”
The Lakers tried to pull off a three team trade with the New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers while sending Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to Houston. The deal was vetoed by the Association, resulting in Odom getting upset and Paul eventually landing with the Clippers.
Odom felt so betrayed by the deal that Buss told the paper the club had no choice other than to trade him to the Dallas Mavericks. He said “He told us he didn’t feel he was going to be a Laker anymore even if he played with us. He said the same thing in an interview after he went to Dallas. We had to do it; we lost him. I’m sorry the trade was leaked publicly before it was completed. It wasn’t our fault, but we lost him mentally. But it’s a business; decisions have to be made. Lamar felt deeply hurt he was being traded. I’d feel the same way. It was a bad day and we expected him to miss practice because it was a bad day. I’m sure Pau was upset too. But it was more than that with Lamar.”
On the subject of decisions; there has been a rumor making the rounds that there could be a deal in the works that would send Gasol and center Andrew Bynum to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard. Buss scoffed at the suggestion and replied “Where does this stuff come from? You’d have to be kind of silly to give up two All-Stars like that for Howard. Zero truth to it. We have never been asked for Andrew and Pau and we’ve never offered them. I think they know we’d either say no or they would sound crazy for asking. I believe in this team. Our job is to always look to improve, but I really like this team. I personally believe now that we have the team that we will be playing with all season long.”
The Lakers started out the campaign 0-1 as they fell to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. They play Monday night as they travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings.