NBA Trade Rumors: Where the Lakers Stand in All the Signing Speculation

On the eve of this year’s Free Agency deadline, I had to think back to last year and the Lakers’ dilemma.

Do you remember how everyone was on pins and needles?

Would Kobe opt out and become a free agent?  Would the Lakers be able to sign Lamar Odom?  Would he take a salary cut?

What about Trevor Ariza?  Would he sign for the mid-level exception?

It is really amazing how everything worked out a year ago.

Kobe Bryant did not opt out and toward the end of this season, he signed a new three-year deal.

Lamar Odom fell for one of the Kardashian girls at the same time he and his agent were holding the Lakers and all of us fans hostage, just to keep the drama going.  Would he or wouldn’t he?

Finally, he said, “I do!” to both Khloe Kardashian and Mitch Kupchak.

Trevor Ariza wasn’t so lucky.  His agent tried to play the same merry-go-round game that Odom’s agent played.  It didn’t work.  Ariza was gone in a New York minute and found himself in Houston.

Ron Artest might have said, “Thank you very much, Trevor.  I think I’ll take that mid-level exception your agent just turned down.  Have fun in Houston.”

So, as it turns out, despite all the rigmarole, in the end Ariza and Artest traded places, and that was that for the 2009-2010 Lakers.

Of course all season long, fans kept checking the Rockets’ box scores comparing Artest with Ariza, who was having the best season of his career.

For many fans, it looked as though the Lakers had been burned in the free agent swap.  They didn’t like the fact that Ron-Ron was coming up empty on many of his three-point shots.

In fact, by the end of the regular season, as Artest took a pass beyond the arc all along and straightened, you could hear fans shout, “No,...

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