The Lakers front office traded Steve Blake at the last minute. They would argue that the trade was necessary to avoid paying the luxury tax and to create some additional space in the salary cap.
Because Steve Blake is a 34 years old age, had a 4 million dollars contact and had suffered injuries last season one of which required abdominal surgery, and this season rest for hyperextended elbow, the front office decided that he will be too expensive to resign for the production they expect and anticipate.
Despite my great appreciation for Steve Blake’s game and tenure here in Los Angeles, I think that resigning Steve Blake would be too expensive unless he agreed to a discount which he should not accept to take.
This trade and the reaction it created, especially from Kobe Bryant, the franchise player, should make Laker fans ponder on what they lost.
What did the Lakers lost in this trade?
By trading Steve Blake the Lakers lost a terrific competitor. This is first and foremost what Steve Blake is all about, competing. In fact, Kobe Bryant mentioned in his Tweet that Steve Blake is “Psycho Competitor”.
Second, the Lakers lost a skilled backup point guard. Steve Blake has a great deal of skills. Because he is a not athletic point guard such as Russell Westbrook, John Wall or Derrick Rose, to perform in this league Steve Blake has relied on ball handling, passing and shooting skills to make a name for himself. His ability to direct the second unit offense was remarkable, but his ability to step into starting lineup and produce double digits points while running the offense was equally impressive this and last year.
Third, we lost a shooter. Steve Blake can shoot the basketball beyond the arc. In fact, Steve Blake is a 39% shooter from three point territory. As he demonstrated on a number of occasion most notably at the beginning of this season at Houston he can step up to take and make big shoot in clutch time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDbgNF8cWQg (source: the NBA)
Fourth, we lost a player Kobe had a great deal of respect and appreciation for. The Black Mamba is the ultimate competitor, so he recognizes players with a similar mental fabric. Comparably to what he saw in Derrick Fisher, to some degree, Kobe Bryant saw in Steve Blake a competitor with a high basketball IQ, that was dedicated to his craft and to the Lakers, and that Kobe appreciated. Additionally, I think it is fair to say that Kobe enjoyed a friendly relationship with his back court mate, one that extended beyond the court, so this could also have contributed to the unhappiness felt and expressed by the Black Mamba.
Ultimately, the Lakers lost a veteran player that was very capable, competitive and skilled. In exchange, they got nothing more than two young unconfirmed guards and financial relief in preparation for next year’s rebuilding.
All I can say to Steve Blake, as Laker fan, is thank you. Thank for competing every night you were on the court with this legendary uniform on your back. Thank you for your efforts and dedication to your craft. Laker Nation will not forget you for once a Laker always a Laker.
Good luck in the bay era, and Thank you.