To get an idea of what to expect from this new addition let us examine the track record of the Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak while at the wheel of the organization since the departure of Jerry West. I will not include the Pau Gasol donation from the Memphis Grizzles because trades don’t get much dirtier than that in the NBA, so that aside he brought in old dogs Gary Payton and Karl Malone (who couldn’t finish the 2004 finals), traded away Shaq (who won the 06 championship), traded for Kwame Brown (I still for the life of me cannot figure out why), let Robert Horry walk (onto long time rival San Antonio to help them win two titles), and finally traded for Trevor Ariza.
What’s amazing 토토 about this list of transactions is that the only un-questionably successful move was trading for Ariza which is now almost nearly negated by the fact that they let him walk only weeks after winning a championship with the guy. Payton, Malone, and Kwame were all simply failed experiments of Kupchak’s but the most obvious move was when he traded away the most dominant center of all-time and only received a small amount of redemption with the winning of the 2009 title. However, if for any reason the Lakers didn’t win the title this year Odom more than likely would not have been lucky enough to receive the $33 million dollar offer he did from LA and likely would be in playing in Miami with his bride to be at which point the big red stamp of total failure would ultimately have landed on the Shaq trade. With exception of the Ariza trade Kupchak’s moves have been mediocre at best, but in Ariza there was a real diamond in the rough; a player who’s just getting into his prime, who comes up with big plays (WCF game 1 steal with 30 seconds left that arguably saved the series for LA) and big shots when his team needs them most, a true role player and defense/team first kind of guy, and as if that wasn’t enough he shot a staggering 48% from the arc in the playoffs. Artest was essentially traded for Ariza because the two swapped teams and have nearly identical contracts so apples to apples you’re getting a guy who is 24 and possess many qualities of a dynasty piece for a 29 year old drama queen who shot 27% from the arc in the 2009 playoffs.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for the Lakers and the guy wearing number 37 is going to have a lot to do with the outcome. There are many factors working against the Lakers this season such as the bulls eye that’s now drying on their backs, the new contract their often emotional/inconsistent 6th man Lamar Odom was just awarded as well as his off court activities which are sure to occupy his mind, the impending depature of Phil Jackson, how long Kobe will demand the ball until he defers to a younger more efficient Gasol? Many uncertainties face the Lakers but the very flammable Artest may well be the element that blows the roof off of a new dynasty, or he will be just another poorly timed failed experiment in the Kupchak laboratory. We shall see.