Lakers Trade Chris Mihm To Memphis

For the second year in a row, the Lakers have made a trade deadline deal with Memphis.

But this year’s is not a big deal, and there are no Gasol brothers involved. Just little used Lakers center Chris Mihm for a second round pick.

It’s been a tough few years for Mihm. In the wake of the Shaq trade, Chris Mihm was actually one of the most solid Lakers. In the 04-05 season he started 75 games, averaged 10 points and nearly 7 rebounds, and played solid defense. More importantly, he hustled every game for a team with some players (Smush Parker for example) that took nights off or just pouted.

But he injured his ankle partway through the 05-06 season, and he has never been the same since. He has barely played this season, and when he has (like last night against Atlanta in a blowout) he looks like a less athletic version of the guy from five years ago.

“The last two years have been difficult and frustrating for Chris in coming back from his ankle injury,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in the team's official statement. “But Chris has handled himself with true professionalism the entire time. With the depth of our roster, especially at the center position, Chris has not had the opportunity to play that he deserves. At this point in his career, and especially as someone who will be a free agent this summer, we felt it was in his best interests to go to a team that would give him a chance to play.”

This will save the Lakers several million dolars — the rest of Mihm's $2.5 million salary for this season, plus another full $2.5 million in luxury tax (the Lakers will pay the tax this year, but the amount is calculated at the end of the season, so Mihm will not count against the Lakers salary numbers).

This move will have no impact on the Lakers rotation, Mihm was playing little more than garbage time. Josh Powell has asserted himself into the rotations since the injury to Andrew Bynum, Mihm has had no real impact. The Lakers could be a little thin up front if Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom went down while Bynum is still out, but they would be in trouble if they needed Mihm to play significant minutes anyway.

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