Tuesday , Jan , 15 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Risky Business: L.A. Lakers Relying On Kwame Brown To Replace Andrew Bynum

I thought he was done. Or close to it. But the basketball gods have given Laker Kwame Brown another opportunity to prove he’s a legit NBA center. One thing is certain. It’s now or never. And Brown must take full advantage of the minutes stemming from Andrew Bynum’s unfortunate injury (the third year pro is out for eight weeks) …

Risky Business: L.A. Lakers Relying On Kwame Brown To Replace Andrew Bynum

My AM Take: I thought he was done. Or close to it. But the basketball gods have given Laker Kwame Brown another opportunity to prove he’s a legit NBA center.

One thing is certain. It’s now or never. And Brown must take full advantage of the minutes stemming from Andrew Bynum’s unfortunate injury (the third year pro is out for eight weeks).

Failure to seize the day will result in the post joining Michael Olowokandi and Pervis Ellison as first overall picks who never panned out.

Of course, money matters. Brown is in the final year of his contract. Unrestricted free agency is around the corner. A good two months as a starter increases his market value and lands him an extension come July.

Of course, Brown’s trade value matters, too. Some solid performances make him more than an expiring contract and could allow the Lakers to trade him when Bynum is about to return.

Then there’s his team. L.A. is a surprising 26-11 and seem poised for a Western Conference breakthrough. They need Brown to fill Bynum’s shoes and keep the good times rolling.

If he stumbles, reports indicate the Lakers could turn to veterans Chris Webber and P.J. Brown.

All parties benefit from Brown succeeding. Last night against Seattle was a good start -10 points and 10 rebounds in 39 minutes. The alternative is joining Olowokandi and Ellison in infamy.

Can Brown really replace Bynum? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts or hit us up in our .

The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA, appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe.com. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee. Click here to get his AM Take and subscribe to his blog.