The Lakers have a couple big checks they want to write this summer, to free agents Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom. To do that, they need to free up a little cash.
Which explains this trade.
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired forward Adam Morrison and guard Shannon Brown from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic, it was announced today.
Morrison, currently in his 3rd NBA season out of Gonzaga, was selected third overall by the Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft after earning unanimous First Team All-America honors and garnering multiple National Player of the Year awards his senior year. Named to the All-Rookie Second Team following the 2006-07 season, Morrison appeared in 78 games as rookie including 23 starts, averaging 11.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 29.8 minutes while earning T-Mobile Rookie of the Month honors for November 2006.
Since then, Morrison has been a disappointment. And he is not as good a player as Radmanovoc is right now — so far this season Morrison is shooting just 36% from the floor (Radman is 44.4%), Morrison is shooting 33.7% from three (Radman is 44.1%) and, at least by reputation, he is a considerably worse defender than Radmanovic. Which is saying something.
Many Southern California hoop fans will remember Morrison as the guy crying on the floor after Jordan Farmar’s UCLA team eliminated Gonzaga from the NCAA tournament three years ago.
A year after that incident the Lakers signed Radmanovic to a five-year, mid-level exception deal that pays him about $6.5 million for two more seasons beyond this one. Morrison makes about $1.5 million less and has one fewer years on his deal. Because the Lakers are in the luxury tax and playing double for those salaries, this will save the team about $18 million.
That’s some serious cash, and worth saving since none of the players involved was going to see much playing time anyway. Radmanovic lost his started small forward spot to Luke Walton, and Trevor Ariza has been the team’s best player at that position. With the emergence of Josh Powell, Radmanovic was not needed at the power forward spot either. So he sat.
He’s get a lot of playing time in Charlotte. Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown will get very expensive seats to Laker games.