Lakers are unlikely to make a major trade this season

Anything can happen before the Feb. 18 deadline, but the team probably
doesn’t want to spend the big bucks on top of an already huge payroll.

Two seasons ago, with a massive expiring contract of $9.1 million and a
charming penchant for fumbling entry passes, Brown was the Lakers’
ticket to success when the Memphis Grizzlies, dying to cut costs,
gladly took Brown, six weekday passes to Knott’s Berry Farm and a
two-night stay at the Buena Park Good Nite Inn in exchange for Pau
Gasol.

Can the Lakers pull off another stunner before the Feb. 18 trade deadline? Probably not.

They have some expiring contracts to make an offer (Adam Morrison at $5.3 million, Derek Fisher at $5 million and Jordan Farmar at $1.9 million), but most teams insist on the deep-pocketed, large-market Lakers taking back players who don’t come off the books until after next season at the earliest. The Lakers gladly devoured more than $50 million in salary in the Gasol trade, but they’re tending to be more financially prudent the rest of this season thanks to a league-leading payroll of $91.3 million and an additional luxury-tax hit of $21.4 million.

Can’t blame them for that. Jerry Buss has shown Lakers fans the money, undoubtedly, and is already in luxury-tax territory next season by committing $83.7 million toward only eight players for 2010-11.

There are still five weeks until the trade deadline and anything can happen — remember, Andrew Bynum’s knee injury in January 2008 led the Lakers to pull the trigger on Gasol — but I don’t predict anything major at this point because I look at other teams’ backcourts and see nothing but more years and more money.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-spw-lakers-qa16-2010jan16,0,1050939,full.story

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