Fast Break:

Kurt —  August 15, 2005

Things are moving slowly, and not just because I’m back on dial-up until the DSL gets hooked up at my new place later this week. Things are slow in Laker land with little action — even Eric Pincus has resorted to playing fantasy basketball with the Lakers.

Commenter DC is frustrated and I think there are a lot of Laker fans with him. I agree in one sense — this team, as of right now, is not very good. Even trying to keep cap space open in two years, there are some big holes to fill for next year. Where I give Mitch credit are two areas: 1) he shouldn’t be giving the big, long contracts to the current free agents out there because they just don’t deserve them, right now the market is tight and people are overpaying; 2) he’s taken a couple of two-year flyers (Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum) and if one of them pans out the Lakers will be in better shape in 2007.

The question is, when the Lakers finally get under the cap, who can they really go get? As of right now, I’d say the much discussed Amare Stoudemire or Yao Ming are big long shots to leave their current cities. But it’s impossible who will be available in two years, that’s several lifetimes at the speed fortunes turn in the NBA.

Some other notes while we wait for other shoes to drop.

• That Sam Cassell trade is a smart one by the Clippers. Shawn Livingston shows flashes of brilliance and is the point guard of the future, but last season showed just how frail he still is (talk about a guy who needs to eat steaks and hit the weights every day). At age 36 Cassell is not the Cassell he used to be, but like Robert Horry if you limit his minutes he can still be big when you need him. Plus, Livingston picks up pointers for a couple of years. The Clips, if they can stay healthy, are a serious contender for one of those last couple playoff spots in the West (that may not sound like much, but first this is the Clips so that’s a step up, and second the Lakers are in the same boat right now, in fact the Laker boat has more holes).

• Took an afternoon off from unpacking Sunday to head out to Dodger Stadium to take in a game — and it was a great game to choose. Pedro Martinez flirts with a no hitter, the Dodgers win and the game takes just 2:09. Every day at the ballpark should be that much fun.

• Shareef Abdur-Rahim going to Sacramento makes them better — he’ll take over the role Chris Webber could no longer fill. However, the Kings are still a team that gets, 50+ wins, makes the playoffs but will not contend for a title — unless Bibby and Peja become better defenders on the perimeter (and they won’t).

• Doesn’t moving feel like an adult version of Tetris?

Kurt

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