2011 L.A. Lakers: To Trade or Not To Trade? History Holds The Answer

The Lakers beat the Celtics on February 10th, proving to their critics, fans, and themselves that they still were a team to be reckoned with amongst the NBA elite. They sent a message: those seeking a championship would have to go through the Lakers to get it.

Apparently flexing their muscle against the Celtics was enough for them. They eased off the accelerator, losing the final three games of their annual 'Grammy trip.'

Two of those three losses came against lesser opponents, the Bobcats and the woeful Cavaliers, and were characterized by listless, disinterested play.

This is not the only time this season that the Lakers have put together a streak of uninspired games. The latest stretch of poor-play is part of what has become a recurring theme for these Lakers, who are playing the most inconsistent basketball since acquiring Pau Gasol in 2008.

The normally reserved Mitch Kupchak recently said the Lakers would likely not be making a trade before the trade deadline.

His announcement came on the heels of the poor end to their latest road trip, and conflicted a previous one in which Kupchak said he would be open to making a trade. Kupchak's earlier statement came just after a loss to the Celtics in Los Angeles, but I'm sure that he didn't make the later one in response to the Lakers victory in Boston.

Earlier this season Kupchak dealt away the Lakers best trade asset, Sasha Vujacic. Vujacic was no more sought after than other Lakers players, but his expiring contract made him attractive. This trade was a cost-cutting maneuver, saving them approximately $8 million, and corresponded with the return of young center Andrew Bynum. Kupchak wanted to be sure Bynum would be able to return before pulling the trigger on the Vujacic trade.

Would he or Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss have green-lighted that trade had they known that early-season sporadic Laker play would continue when Bynum returned? ...

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