This is interesting. I'm always amused by the little conflicts over at Lakertown, especially when they relate to things that we've seen with the Clippers, and given the fact that they're talked about endlessly on AM570.
So the only significant Laker news, it seems, is about whether they will be bringing Lamar Odom off the bench. Lamar, in a contract year and accustomed not just to starting every basketball game he's ever played in, but also being the focal point of the offense because of his ball-handling and size--or that's the way that it was before he started playing with Kobe, at least--isn't happy about this turn of events.
I didn't really see it coming myself. LO is a natural SF. But, as it turns out, the Lakers have a bit of a glut at SF, especially when Kobe plays about 65 minutes a game at SG.
Let's remember that these are all high class problems that the Lakers have, and we're not worrying about them. Rather, we're interested in the complications of their situation to see if their chemistry might go awry, but with Jackson at the helm it's unlikely.
At any rate, the talk is that Ariza might be the starter at SF. It's worth remembering that Bynum wasn't the only injured player on the Lakers roster, as Ariza was on the shelf until the last series. He seemed to play well and bring a lot of energy to his one short appearance, and then he was gone. I also thought that Ariza exercised his option, or whatever it was, with the Lakers, awfully quickly. His value might be a little bit higher than what he's getting paid, but he was coming off an injury. The interesting thing is that I'm only hearing about Ariza as a starter, with no discussion of Radman or Walton. This makes some sense, except for the fact that Radman and Walton are the guys who are getting paid and who will be around for awhile longer.
The other moving parts here are Ronny Turiaf and our own Josh Powell. Turiaf is gone to GSW of course. Apparently Phil isn't so interested in putting Powell into the rotation and making him Gasol's back up right away. You start Ariza, you bring in Lamar for either Bynum or Gasol, Radman and/or Walton come off the bench, and with Farmar/Fisher you've got your Laker rotation, more or less.
But the trick is for Odom to go along with this. Kind of reminiscent of the good old Maggette/Ross days, isn't it.