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[NBA] Gary Payton and Rick Fox traded to Boston


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Friday, August 6, 2004

BOSTON -- The rebuilding Lakers, in need of a big man since trading Shaquille O'Neal to Miami, had to give up Gary Payton to get one.

Los Angeles resumed its makeover Friday by trading Payton and Rick Fox to the Boston Celtics for Chris Mihm, Chucky Atkins and Marcus Banks.

The Celtics also received a conditional first-round draft pick and cash in the deal and sent a second-round pick to the Western Conference champions.

The teams were once among the NBA's fiercest rivals, but Boston has fallen on hard times since winning its 16th championship in 1986. Since then, the Lakers have won five titles and lost three times in the Finals, including this year's five-game upset by the Detroit Pistons.

The Lakers then traded Shaquille O'Neal to Miami and replaced coach Phil Jackson with Rudy Tomjanovich. Derek Fisher left for Golden State and Vlade Divac, Los Angeles' center from the early '90s, was brought back for another stint.

Payton and Karl Malone took large pay cuts to join the Lakers as free agents last summer, each All-Star hoping to win his first championship.

Despite struggling through his first year with the team, the 36-year-old Payton exercised a $5.4 million option to come back for another season.

A nine-time All-Star who averaged 18.3 points per game over his first 13 seasons, Payton averaged 14.6 points -- his lowest since the 1992-93 season -- and a career-low 4.2 assists in the regular season last year. He averaged 7.8 points and 5.3 assists in the playoffs.

The 36-year-old point guard's departure is just the latest in a series of radical offseason changes in L.A. In the weeks following the Lakers' loss to Detroit in the NBA Finals:

# O'Neal accepted a trade in early July, with Los Angeles receiving guard Caron Butler, forwards Lamar Odom and Brian Grant and a future draft pick from the Heat.

# Tomjanovich succeeded Phil Jackson as coach, but only after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski turned down the Lakers' multiyear offer. The Lakers announced three days after losing to the Pistons that Jackson would not be returning

# Kobe Bryant flirted with the Clippers as an unrestricted free agent before re-signing with the Lakers for more than $136.4 million over seven years.

# Fisher, frustrated with losing playing time to Payton, opted out of the final two years of his deal and signed with the Warriors.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1853576

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This trade is clearly to free up some money in the Lakers salary cap.

There is no other way they would trade these two quality players for Mihm, Atkins and Banks.

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Ok...so...we have a team in the West with no point guard and no quality center.

PG - ?

SG - Bryant

SF - Butler

PF - Odom

C - Grant

Good luck :laugh:

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Uh banks and atkins are both PGs.

Uh...Banks and Atkins also average 2.8 assists/game between them.

You think Marcus Banks and Chucky Atkins can compete with guys like Sam Cassell, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Mike Bibby, Andre Miller, Jason Terry, or Speedy Claxton? Please.

Both those guys are liability on defense and the Lakers have nobody inside who can shut down the lane (I'm sorry, but Vlade Divac just doesn't do it for me). You can run the high pick-and-roll all game long on them. And on defense, all you have to do is play zone, clogging up the penetration lanes from Kobe and forcing the Lakers to shoot outside. They have no offensive rebounding presence. Butter.

I can see the Lakers winning games if they force the tempo and play Kentucky-style basketball. Press on out-of-bounds, fastbreak every chance, and trap the guards on the perimeter forcing turnovers. But, their bench is pretty weak if the starters get tired, and I doubt Vlade can keep up.

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Look at it this way...If they were in the East, they would be a top 4 seed...

In west, they will be in a dogfight for the 8th seed, and I dont think they will make it IMO

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The Lakers are trying to build a young and fast-paced team. I think thats the reason why they chose Kobe Bryant over Shaquille O'Neal. Now without Shaq, the Lakers will surely lose to Houston Rockets. There'll be no more Rockets-Lakers rivalry, cause the Lakers aint worth the rivalry.

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Look at it this way...If they were in the East, they would be a top 4 seed...

In west, they will be in a dogfight for the 8th seed, and I dont think they will make it IMO

HAHAH good point all you east fans have it easy I mean look at last years playoffs how and the hell does a team like boston get in???

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One more thing and for all you that think the lakers will be a crap team for years to come thats so funny b/c did they win all those titles for being stupid no i dont think so and every team has to do rebuilding its not like the lakers are the yankees and can just keep buying everything in sight but even the yankees had their time in the 80's

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