Los Angeles Lakers: Panicking or Trade Talk All for Show?

Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Melo. Ron Artest for Stephen Jackson.

I have been scouring trade rumors and reports all week long trying to determine what is really going on. The one thing I can come up with—no one really knows what's going on.

So, are the Los Angeles Lakers serious about trading their oft injured center with a bright future?  What about their enigmatic and sometimes volatile defensive small forward?  How about their MJ-esque, but aging shooting guard?

All of these questions intrigued and concerned me.  Why does a two-time defending championship team have so many question marks surrounding them?

Let me start by saying this—when any fan hears a rumor of a terrific All-Star caliber player possibly joining their team, the heart begins beating a little faster.

When your team's superstar player is only concerned with winning championships, you don't doubt that an adjoining superstar talent would be welcomed and embraced.

You begin envisioning the new franchise player—a young, exciting new building block with which to keep your team competitive long after the current cornerstone is gone.  No offense to Kobe, but he's not getting any younger.

For Lakers fans, many have at least appreciated the effort that the still young Andrew Bynum has given.

His sacrifice during this past National Basketball Association Finals was heartwarming, if not heroic.  No one can say he has no heart or is only concerned about his own personal career.

However, we have to be realistic.

What has been a "promising" career has not lived up to its billing.  "Potential" is not something that a fan wants to keep hearing over and over again.  Eventually, Lakers fans want a player to really "become great."

The injuries to Bynum have been unfortunate, and no, not his fault.

But his career has nonetheles...

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