NBA Trade Deadline 2012: The One Trade the LA Lakers Must Make

LAKERS TRADE: Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks, $8M Trade Exception, Mavs & Lakers' 2012 No. 1 Picks

TRAIL BLAZERS TRADE: Ray Felton, Jamal Crawford and Kurt Thomas


This trade simply needs to be made for the sake of both franchises.

I'm breaking my own rules set in this article a bit, as this is technically two trades; the Lakers' trade exception cannot be combined with other players. However, it is essentially a single trade between two teams.

The Lakers would trade Steve Blake and Devin Ebanks for Jamal Crawford with a follow-up trade of their trade exception and both of their first-round draft picks for Ray Felton and Kurt Thomas.

This is as close to a no-brainer trade as it gets for the Los Angeles Lakers. They are a solid team this season, but nowhere near as good as they were two years ago—the last time they won the NBA title.

The Lakers have three main weaknesses: point guard, small forward and frontcourt depth. This trade would solve all three problems in one fell swoop.

Ray Felton is a quality starting point guard in this league and the Lakers would be vastly improved with him running their team.

Jamal Crawford is certainly better than any backup shooting guard the Lakers have on their roster and could actually start at the position for the Lakers, allowing Kobe Bryant to move to small forward, greatly upgrading that position as well.

Kurt Thomas is far superior to any backup big man the Lakers currently have, and his warrior mentality and professionalism would be well received by the Lakers.

As for the Portland Trail Blazers, they are not going to win the NBA title this year, or even make the playoffs, in all likelihood. They are also going to lose the trio of Felton, Crawford and Thomas to other teams in free agency this coming offseason.

This being the case, the Blazers...

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