Kwame is the Wrong Way
It's been reported that the Lakers are interested in acquiring Kwame Brown from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Caron Butler, another player, and possibly a draft pick. Say what?LAist has trouble believing this is for real. We have no problems with the Lakers trading Caron Butler. He's a one-dimensional scorer with little interest in defending, plays a position where the Lakers are stocked, and he's LA's most tradable commodity because his salary is low. We get that. We're also fine with the Lakers adding in a Chucky Atkins or a Devean George to match salaries in a trade. And we'd love to see the Lakers add a decent big man.
But Kwame Brown?
No number-one overall draft pick has ever accomplished less in the NBA than Kwame Brown. For every Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett that succeeds in making the high school-to-the-NBA jump, there's a Kwame Brown or Jonathan Bender who bombs out and gives them a bad reputation.
The Wizards reportedly have given Brown a $6.9 million offer sheet as a starting ponit to help facilitate a sign-and-trade deal. What on earth has Kwame Brown done in the NBA to deserve almost $7 million?
During the playoffs, Brown was suspended seven games by his own team for pouting over decreased playing time, missing a practice, and claiming some kind of stomach illness. He has some injury history, and he's been out-of-shape at times. In 2002 he was charged with driving 120 MPH, and later that year was arrested for DUI.
Last year he averaged seven points and less than five rebounds a game, in his fourth season.
And teams are dumb enough to give this guy $7 million a year? It's times like these when NBA owners have to look in the mirror and think before writing huge paychecks. You can't just pay someone on talent alone.
Trading for Kwame Brown is a huge risk for the Lakers. Maybe he'll turn out like Jermaine O'Neal or Tracy McGrady, high school prodigies who realized their potential on their second NBA teams. But that's really wishful thinking. Reportedly, Brown's demand for a third guaranteed year (as if he deserves more than three guaranteed minutes), is holding up the deal. Let's hope it does.
So the trade has now become a reality. The Lakers will send Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins to Washington for Kwame Brown. As we've said before, Butler and Atkins are tradable commodities, who weren't particularly valuable this year. Butler is one-dimensional, and Atkins is undersized and constantly chucks up threes. But acquiring Brown seems insane. We haven't seen any indication that he'll come through and ever be a decent NBA forward, let alone the all-star he was once expected to be.
Ten years from now, when we go back and evaluate Mitch Kupchak's tenure with the Lakers, this is one trade that we'll measure him by. This is his ballsiest trade ever.