I wasn’t planning on writing a new post today, but then this article showed up on my Facebook newsfeed: http://www.lakersnation.com/lakers-rumors-team-willing-to-trade-draft-pick-for-kevin-love/2014/03/28/.
I feel it is very important that I go on the record about my feelings about this rumor. First off, I would like to say that this is only a rumor. There were also rumors that Kevin Love was going to come to the Lakers at the trade deadline and that did not happen. I was completely on board with us making a trade at that deadline, but I am not OK with this possible trade.
We are positioned to get a top 5 pick. That is rare in Lakers history, and this is a historic draft. I am not on board with us trading a potential superstar to another team so that we can rent Kevin Love for the year and then hope he stays. We tried that already, remember how that turned out?
I will admit that I supported the Dwight Howard trade, but those assets we traded for him were not nearly as valuable. Also, he was demanding a trade for a year, so Orlando was unlikely to let him reach free agency. Unlike with Dwight Howard, there is a very real possibility that Kevin Love becomes a free agent and or stays with Minnesota.
The Lakers have the opportunity to get an all star two summers in a row (hello new big 3). Instead upper management feels pressured by Kobe. Seriously? NOW they feel pressured? This is not the first time Kobe has expressed his opinions about the management, and there are easier ways to appease him.
One of my lessons my teacher taught me in Negotiations, is to find the things that cost you nothing, but mean a lot to the other party. Kobe was not just complaining about the record. He was complaining about D’Antoni, not being consulted on major moves, and transparency. Those problems are very easy to fix.
First off, fire D’Antoni this summer, which it appears that the Lakers already plan to do. Next, apologize to Bryant for not giving him a heads up about trading Steve Blake. While Kobe shouldn’t have a definite vote on players, he should at least be made aware of the trades before it hits the media. Next, organize regular meetings with him to discuss the status upstairs. That will also help with the transparency issue. Lastly, develop a relationship with Kobe. Dr. Buss was famous for taking his players out to dinner, especially Magic, but Jim has not done this with any of the players. Jim needs to have a better relationship with his superstar. This will make Kobe feel appreciated (with his ego, $50 million only goes so far), and it will decrease the likelihood of Kobe lashing out in the media.
If the Lakers take those steps, I guarantee that they will see a much happier Mamba. I understand that Kobe will not be “happy” unless they are winning, but if you keep him involved in the process and explain the path, he will be more patient.
Trading the potential new face of the Lakers is a huge mistake. I personally believe that Kevin Love will be sporting the purple and gold. However, I also felt that way about Dwight Howard which just goes to show that you shouldn’t gamble on something unless you are prepared to lose.