Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why the Lakers need to win game 7

By Sean Mackey

The Los Angeles Lakers miraculously forced the first NBA Finals game 7 since 2005 last night when they blew out the Boston Celtics 89-67. Kobe Bryant had 26 points and 11 rebounds. Pau Gasol was one assist shy of a triple double tallying 17 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists.

For Chicago Bulls fans, this was a game that needed to be won.

While our new coach is the main assistant for the Celtics, that doesn't mean we need to root for him until next week when he's introduced to the media. Bulls fans should root for a Los Angeles Lakers championship. A Lakers loss Thursday night could force ripple effect throughout the NBA and a huge shakeup in LA. The most likely scenario being that our original free agent target, Chris Bosh would be traded to LA for Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. Bosh is really the key to free agency. He's the sidekick that every great player wants. While it's hard to pinpoint where exactly he'll go next season, the Bulls need him more than LeBron or Dwayne Wade do.

Bosh is most likely going to want to participate in a sign & trade situation which will give him a max deal that includes an extra 30 million he couldn't get from any other sort of deal. The Bulls can offer Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng plus multiple draft picks (which isn't bad). Miami doesn't have the goods for a trade. If Pat Riley couldn't get Keyon Dooling for Beasley, he's surely not going to get Chris Bosh. New York has zero assets. New Jersey could offer Devon Harris plus some filler if they're feeling crazy enough. The Rockets & Mavericks have some tradeable pieces but when it comes down to it, the Lakers have the best package to offer.

Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol along with Ron Artest & Luke Walton for Chris Bosh & Hedu Turkoglu would work. This is a trade that could become a reality if the Lakers lose game 7. Jerry Buss is going to be pretty angry if he's paying for a team that's underachieving and he's going to have to re-load. While I'm not sure if Pau Gasol & Chris Bosh could co-exist, it would be worth a shot to get the often banged up Andrew Bynum out of town. This trade would keep the Lakers as contenders for the next five seasons. It would also ruin 2010 free agency.

As much as I respect Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, the Pau Gasol trade was bizarre and changed the Lakers into title contenders. Pau was a guy the Bulls were in active trade talks with for almost 2 seasons. The Bulls would have offered one of their core players for Gasol (Deng or Gordon) plus some garbage and probably multiple draft picks. The Grizzlies wanted both Deng & Gordon and at the time that wasn't a good deal (however, if Pax could have done that last season he would have pulled the trigger in a second). Instead, the Grizzlies took the contracts of Jarvis Crittenden & the rights to Pau's brother Marc. The Bulls were offering better talent yet the Lakers still got him for tooth picks and a few happy meals. A Bynum for Bosh trade would be the 2nd screwy trade the Lakers had pulled off in 3 years and this time, Bulls fans will be legitimately mad about it. We're not going to be happy with Joe Johnson. We want Bosh....and that LeBron guy seems pretty decent too.

Go Lakers.