My dearly loved Lakers are in a position to make a big-time trade this off-season. Again.
This time the potential Laker-to-be is Sun’s forward Shawn Marion. Marion is a certified star with 20-10 skills and the ability to leap over small buildings.
After eight productive years in the desert, Marion apparently wants his fair share of the pie – very understandable since heralded teammates Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire are big enough stars to keep even Rosie O’Donnell from stuffing her face with apple cobbler. Marion and Kobe also have a friendly relationship and, more importantly, Los Angeles has a bigger pie than Phoenix.
The logical trade offer would be a straight up Lamar Odom for Marion deal. According to an ESPN report, their salaries are close enough and Odom has similar star ability.
Which raises the question, why would Marion succeed where Odom has failed?
To be fair, it’s not entirely Odom’s fault the Lakers haven’t won a championship during his three years with the team. No reliable big man, lackluster teamwork and shoddy defense are the responsibilities of the entire organization rather than just one player. But as good as Marion is, is he that much better than Odom?
Both players are versatile forwards who can score and rebound. Both players are in their prime (Odom will be 28 in November, Marion recently turned 29). Odom is the superior playmaker while Marion is less apt to disappear. And despite his ugly shot, Marion is the better three-point shooter and all around marksman. But put their stats side by side and it’s basically a wash.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers made huge waves this summer with rumored involvement in trades featuring Kevin Garnett. That kind of trade would have made an immediate, noticeable improvement in the Laker’s championship aspirations. As good as Marion is, he is no Kevin Garnett and therefore his addition won’t help Kobe and Co. get any closer to hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the year.