Laker rumors have received more attention in LA lately than the best team in baseball, the LA Dodgers. Most of these rumors have been surrounding the twin towers in Gasol and Bynum, but Stephen A. Smith, and many other highly regarded NBA analysts have stated Odom’s interested in returning to the Lakers. As for Ariza, the Hornets are in cap space mode and Ariza will be their second highest paid player next year earning $7,258,960. Though I’m sure most people don’t follow Hornets rumors, Ariza has been a hot topic in trade rumors lately in the Hornets’ effort to completely rebuild around the plethora of draft picks they have.
For those who follow the Laker rumors closely, the Lakers still have the 8.9 million dollar trade exception they received when they traded away Odom. For the Hornets, if they were to sign Odom to the veterans minimum, they would be able to swing Ariza and Odom to the Lakers for the trade exception, and potentially a second round pick or two. This would then create a ton of cap room for the Hornets AND give the Lakers two exceptional role players who are very familiar with the Lakers players. This also gives the Lakers a reason to amnesty Metta World Peace, and get his 14+ million dollars off the books, and allow the Lakers more room under the hard cap (maximum amount of spending on players), to resign Ramon Sessions, or go after other point guards like Steve Nash or Raymond Felton in free agency.
Let’s be realistic here, a complete overhaul in player personnel that has Gasol and/or Bynum being shipped out for new players is a process that will likely take over a year for it to start paying off in potential championships. EX: the Miami Heat. Now lets face it, Kobe Bryant doesn’t have too many more years at his current playing level, so an adjustment period with new players may not be the best direction. However, adding guys familiar to the Lakers like Odom and Ariza won’t take much of an adjustment period and the Lakers will be more than capable of being ACTUAL contenders next season. This scenario is just one of many that have been circulating around the Laker Nation, but in my opinion I think it is one that should be heavily considered.