Adam Morrison a Laker; weirdness ensues

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 7, 2009 at 11:40 PM

Whoa. The Lakers traded Vlad Radmanovic to the Bobcats for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown. A Vlad trade is not unexpected -- he wasn't getting any playing time, and Phil Jackson has made no bones about his frustration with his play in the past. In terms of skills, Morrison is probably inferior to Vlad. He's a scorer who doesn't score that well, a shooter who doesn't shoot that well. Vlad at least has always been a deadeye shooter, and, when his head was in the game, was capable of making off-the-ball cuts to score at the rim as well.

Where Morrison might have an edge is focus -- the guy is notoriously competitive, while Vlad is prone to mental lapses that look like they stem from a lack of concentration, especially on defense. Now, Morrison's no defensive stalwart, but the Lakers play a system defense where he can be asked to fill a role rather than need to shut down his man one-on-one. The question is whether he can be a useful spot-up shooter, hitting the open jumpers he'd get from the defensive attention that other guys draw. Color me dubious, given his percentages so far in his career.

That said, the tiny downward move in terms of on-court effect may have been deemed worth the value of getting Vlad out of the locker room -- Vlad has started for this team in the past, and never looked particularly happy on the bench while getting DNP's. Phil and Mitch may have made a determination that Morrison was more likely to accept the "almost never plays" role and made the trade for those reasons.

Shannon Brown isn't going to make an impact, but in the event the Lakers don't waive him, he's a Phil Jackson guard in his body-type, at least: 6'4" and over 200 pounds. Phil does love those big guards.