Fast Break

Kurt —  May 30, 2005

Some mostly Laker-related thoughts for a three-day weekend.

• I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about the apparent slow movement on coaching and other decisions within the Laker organization. Is the Laker front office a rudderless ship right now (which is what Eric Pincus said he heard), or is this just the pace of things while we wait for the NBA playoffs to end? Is Los Angeles a city of impatient people? (Watching how people drive on any trip on the 405 would lead you to say yes.) I really think it’s a matter of not being used to not being in the playoffs — we’re used to the season ending and the draft being a few weeks away, things moving very quickly. Now there is this long waiting period where little if anything appears to be happening, so we’re nervous. We’re still a month away from the lottery, so it seems too early to panic.

• One thing that does worry me, which was part of a comment thread below where others expressed the same concern: Do the Lakers even have a Plan B if Jackson bows out? What’s the plan if after the upcoming summit if Jackson decides to sit out a year?

• One decision that has been made, the Lakers are going to host training camp in Hawaii again this fall. I’m already hinting to my wife we should take a fall vacation and I hear Hawaii is nice that time of year… (Is there a time of year Hawaii isn’t nice?)

• Apparently the Lakers worked out Charles Villenueva of UConn this past week. He and Chris Taft combine to create the biggest question in this draft — these guys have high lottery talent but played their last season in college with NDBL motivation. I’m leery of taking a guy who didn’t step up in college, especially the NCAA Tournament, and neither of these two did. That said, remember a few years ago Amare Stoudemire dropped to the ninth pick because people were concerned about his motivation coming out of high school. Sometimes the light bulb goes on. Do you draft the guy who could be very good but has motivation issues, or the guy who gets the most out of his talent but doesn’t have the same skills?

• One ESPN mock draft has the Lakers taking Sean May at 10, which fits right in with the above question. I’ll be trying to do some more detailed draft stuff upcoming, but May worries me. He’s only 6-8 and not a shot blocker — he’ll be a fine pro but I see him as a career sixth/seventh/eighth man whose great college game never really translated to the NBA — not what the Lakers need.

• The Lakers also are supposed to have worked out Raymond Felton.

• If you can’t wait for some draft talk, there’s a great look at potential draft picks in the front court over at Knickerblogger.

• Apparently Seattle point guard Antonio Daniels wants the full MLE and to start (according to the NY Post). I think Daniels, a 6-4 point, would be a great fit in the triangle (if that’s what the Lakers run next year). The Lakers should consider that price. He’ll get that somewhere, maybe Utah or Cleveland.

• The Champions League Final where Liverpool beat AC Milan was one of the most entertaining matches I have ever seen.

• I really hope you are not buying your Laker tickets on eBay.

Kurt

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