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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jermaine O'Neal Trade Commentary And Suggestion

Jermaine O'Neal recently said that his top two destinations are to the Los Angeles Lakers or to the New Jersey Nets, with the Lakers getting the nod over the Nets. Indiana has said that they want Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum for O'Neal. That is too much talent to give up, so the Lakers have not made that deal.

Larry Bird knows that the Lakers are desperate to get Kobe help, and that this is the Lakers' best opportunity available since Kevin Garnett is unavailable after going to Boston. With that said, Bird wants both the multi-faceted talent of Odom and the potential upside of Bynum if he is going to give up his star player.

What Bird needs to look at is the fact that O'Neal may start losing value as time goes on. O'Neal may be a star, but it takes one injury to significantly lower his value, causing any chance of trading away O'Neal to be pulled of the table. Then what? O'Neal walks away at the end of his contract with the Pacers not getting anything in return. It doesn't even have to be during the season that O'Neal gets hurt. We just recently heard about Elton Brand rupturing his Achilles tendon during a routine workout. If a similar injury happens to O'Neal, the Pacers are left with nothing.

The Lakers won't budge on giving up both Odom and Bynum. The Pacers will have to recognize that fact, and take what they can get. What do I suggest for a trade that is fair for both sides? The Pacers get Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Jordan Farmar for Jermaine O'Neal. With this deal, the Pacers still get Bynum that they wanted, an expiring contract with Brown, a good shooter in Radmanovic who will definitely do a lot better this season than last season since he was injured, and a nice young point guard in Farmar.

Are the Lakers giving up a lot? Yes, but in the end, it's worth it to get a great player like O'Neal, plus being able to keep Odom. A trio of Kobe, Odom, and O'Neal would be a very solid team, and would definitely help the Lakers get a higher seed in the tough Western Conference than they have in the past few years, maybe even getting the Lakers to the NBA Finals, and getting the Lakers and Kobe the next championship that they have been waiting for.