'Melo to the Lakers? Not a chance

'Melo to the Lakers? Not a chance

Published Feb. 9, 2011 9:59 a.m. ET

By Matt "Money" Smith
FOXSportsWest.com | PRIME
Feb. 9, 2011

Relax. Take it easy.
Mellow out.

There's no question members of the Andrew
camp felt like they were kicked in the pants with the
news, scratch that, with the rumors, that he might be headed to Denver
in a move that would see the Lakers
acquire perennial All-Star Carmelo
. If you've ever been around the Lakers' players, you
know how important it is to them from a competitive standpoint to continue playing for the team.

But much more crucial is that they
make their multimillion-dollar salaries in the city of Los Angeles.

Denver is a nice city, and a place many of us would be comfortable
calling home, I can't imagine Bynum and his stable of automobiles finding it an exciting place.

The only positive to
come from the nauseating rumors that have absolutely no basis in
reality is the hope there is motivation and a sense of urgency from
Bynum himself. It's time he played with more passion, played through
pain and used that massive frame he was blessed with to dominate games
like a man with his skill set ought to.

The timing couldn't be better,
with the Celtics
up next on the calendar. I like Kendrick
; he's a bull of a player. But it's time for the
Lakers' "star in waiting" to acquit himself better when going against a
guy who's little more than a physical presence and also two inches shorter
and about 10 pounds lighter than Bynum.

To all
the people out there passing around pictures of Carmelo in a Lakers
uniform and screaming about what the starting lineup would look like,
why can't you apply the same recency effect that leads to you
celebrating Kobe Bryant as the greatest player who ever lived?

Ask yourself
what happened the last time a Lakers trade that was played out in the media went down and
the public was well aware something was happening.


It was all the
way back in 2004, Shaquille
, and it was a complete disaster. Since then, Caron
was moved for Kwame
, and we never saw it coming. Brown was then moved
for Pau
, and it was so surprising that most didn't believe it
actually happened. Even minor moves from general manager Mitch Kupchak that saw Vladimir
and Sasha
exchanged weren't even a blip until the Lakers had
already completed the deal.

It likely makes the news
of a Bynum-to-Denver exchange something that was planted by the

What's their motivation? They need a better deal for a
potential Hall of Fame scorer than a couple of extra parts and a single
first-round pick in the upcoming draft. They need the Nets
package back: a quality young player and a pile of draft picks.

With 'Melo all but insisting he will be playing in New York for the Knicks
come this time next season, New York GM Donnie Walsh has no motivation
to improve his offer. Why would he when all other suitors are scared off
by the possibility they would give up too much for a half-season
rental.  But the Bynum news and the subsequent embracing of
it by Anthony's representatives opens that door a tiny bit.

Might the Clippers
be more inclined to see whether Chris
, Al
Farouq Aminu
and two first-round picks, their own and the
Timberwolves, would be of interest? Could the Bulls
revisit a package of Luol
, Taj
and two draft picks, their own and the Bobcats?
Both teams are located in cities where 'Melo has indicated he would sign
long term.

I don't expect those deals to get done, just like I don't
expect the Lakers to land Anthony. What I do expect is the Knicks to
improve their offer, and land Carmelo sometime in the next two

So to all who are hitting the refresh button
every 30 seconds while surfing the Web, hoping the headline "Carmelo to
LA" shows up, just relax, take it easy and mellow out.