Lakers trade Radmanovic for Morrison

In one of the most random trades ever, the Lakers and Bobcats traded disappointments.

The Charlotte Bobcats traded managing partner Michael Jordan’s first draft pick on Saturday, sending struggling forward Adam Morrison and reserve guard Shannon Brown to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

Jordan’s first major decision after becoming part owner with the final say on all basketball decisions was taking Morrison with the third overall pick in the 2006 draft over Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and others.

Morrison and Brown were never a good fit. Morrison’s defensive deficiencies didn’t mesh with Brown’s style, and Morrison had failed to hit shots consistently, struggling in a starting role the past four games after small forward Gerald Wallace suffered a partially collapsed lung and a broken rib against the Lakers on Jan. 27.

Morrison, who cut his trademark hair short before this season, will get a chance to crack the Lakers’ rotation and become an outside scoring threat. Morrison, who averaged a national-best 28.1 points for Gonzaga in 2005-06, missed all of last season after tearing a knee ligament in a preseason game.

Morrison, due about $5.3 million next season in the final year of his rookie contract, was averaging just 4.5 points while shooting 36 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range.

The deal also gives the Lakers some salary-cap relief. Radmanovic is owed $6.5 million next season and $6.9 million a year later in a player option.

Since he plays so little (and for the Bobcats), I haven’t seen much of Morrison since he entered the league. His PER (6.02) is brutal and his career shooting percentage (37%) is equally awful. The Lakers are rolling the dice that the guy just needs a change of scenery. He’s a decent three-point shooter (33%) and if he can get his confidence back, maybe he can help his new team. After all, he’s just 24 and still has a little upside.

With this trade, Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak rids the team of one of his worst signings — Radmanovic. He’s a good shooter, but he’s completely lost defensively and can’t be trusted on that end of the court. Morrison may turn out to be equally as bad, but the Lakers get out of the last year of Radmanovic’s contract, which runs $6.9 million in the 2010-11 season.

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