Buying out contracts, and selling some different starters to Phil Jackson


Readers’ questions for our Lakers beat reporter Broderick Turner.

Question: After a big hullabaloo was made about the Lakers/Grizzlies trade of Pau Gasol, why isn’t there a huge outcry over the trend now where players are traded from teams and then bought out of their contract only to return to their former team? Aren’t these types of prearranged deals with the player waiting out the 30-day waiver period and returning to his former team a form of corruption?

Rodney Hazel

Trinidad and Tobago

Answer: Wow! Corruption?

I had to look up the definition of corruption and this was what I found:

Corruption: dishonesty, immorality, irregularity, unlawfulness, illegality.

Funny, when Lakers fans think something might adversely affect their team, there is corruption, like the rest of the NBA is some dishonest government.

Yeah, I know you’re not happy that after Cleveland traded center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison that Washington probably will buy Big Z out of his contract, which would then allow him to return to the Cavaliers.

Ho-Hum. Shed a tear.

Or as professional athletes love to say these days, “It is what it is.”

Q: Tell [Lakers Coach] Phil [Jackson] that I want him to start Shannon [Brown] over Derek [Fisher], and that 7 million Angelenos feel the same way. Also, [Ron] Artest needs to sit and start Lamar [Odom] again. He looked like he was walking on glass.

[Gasol] must have partied too much in Dallas, he looked hung over. His left-handed shot has been shot the last two weeks. I still haven’t seen Adam Morrison make a shot in two years.

Mike Dills

Apple Valley

A: Sure, Mike, I’ll get right on it. I’ll tell Phil to sit down the guy (Fisher) he’s won four NBA titles with, and to sit down the guy (Artest) who has hit big-time shots in the playoffs.

You’ve got a lot of wishes here. Sit Artest down, Start Lamar, Have Pau get past his hangover.

Next week, some Lakers fan will want to sit Andrew Bynum.

This isn’t fantasy basketball, where you just sit a guy, start another guy.

Q: All those e-mails about these Lakers winning without Kobe [Bryant] just makes this much more obvious in terms of “what to do when Bryant comes back.” You stick Kobe back at the point guard position! Yes, that’s right, the point guard position, and start molding the team that can actually win a few [titles] in a row, championships that is. You sit Fisher and now you have a very solid backup point guard, you start [Brown] at the off guard and see how he blossoms with this solid lineup. You go with the tri-towers of Pau, Lamar and Andrew, and Kobe starts his second career as the next Magic Johnson. That’s right! Even though Kobe is a few inches shorter than Magic, he would still be a nightmare to guard at that position, and then you’ll have the team that can, or rather should, build a 20-point lead, and if that bench can’t keep that lead, well then [Jackson] is the one to look at. Just think, Kobe extends his career and we win a few more and now Kobe would be in the MJ stratosphere

Francisco Aguilar,


A: Point guard, huh?

Big frontline, huh?

Not going to happen.

But a nice thought.

As skilled as Kobe is, he is a scorer. He looks for his shot. He’s a monster when he attacks the defense.

He can still get assists while playing the shooting guard spot.

And those little quick point guards would continue to have a field day against such a big team.

Hey, if Kobe wins a few more championships, he’ll be mentioned among the greats anyway.

Readers can e-mail our beat reporters with questions about the Lakers and the NBA, but please put “Q&A” in the subject field.