Fast Break

Kurt —  October 7, 2005

Just a few thoughts as the Lakers slave away in what likely aren’t fun practices. Of course, they are doing that in Hawaii and they’re well paid so you can’t really feel bad for them.

• The Lakers cut Vlade Divac loose yesterday, something that was not a surprise. He told the LA Times his back hurt him after every hard workout, a sign that he could not play even the back-up minutes the Lakers need out of him. Which is too bad, I hope he gets to play a little more in Europe.

• If you want an update on where the lack of Vlade leaves the Laker roster, Eric Pincus at Hoopsworld has it.

• The biggest news in the NBA was the recent trade of Eddie Curry to the Knicks. There are some great breakdowns out there, I think the best is up at 82games and was done by friend-of-this-site Kevin Pelton, and he thinks this could work out in the long run for the Knicks. Personally, I tend to side with Knickerblogger, who isn’t so sure:

Isaiah’s obsession with other team’s players has led him to acquire guys like Jamal Crawford, Jerome James, Tim Thomas, and now Curry. Jerome James came from a playoff team, but since he barely played, his contribution to their success was dubious. The 2004 Bulls won 23 games, and Isaiah has 3 of their starters (including Antonio Davis) on his roster. Do these sound like the players you would be targeting if you were a GM?

I like the idea of a Sweetney/Tyson Chandler front line in Chicago, I think they can do damage in the East. Sweetney is certainly a scoring dropoff from Curry, but a full year of Luol Deng and the maturation of other young players on that team should make up for the offensive loss. But, the Bulls get a better rebounder and defender, and they stay young.

(By the way, said the Lakers offered Chris Mihm, Vlade’s expiring contract and a pick for Curry, which the Bulls might well have taken, but the Lakers were only offering Curry himself three years at $7 million per, while the Knicks gave his six years at $10 million per. Frankly, I’m glad we missed out on that one.)

• One thing I’ve always admired about Kobe is how he comes to camp in incredible condition every year. This time he’s dropped about 10 pounds and worked on his quickness in the offseason, and since he (hopefully) will spend less time creating the Laker offense through penetration, he will take less of a beating and the added quickness will be a bigger help than bulk.

• Phil Jackson said it is possible Andrew Bynum could spend some time in the NDBL this season. This may well be Jackson doing some through-the-media motivation, but I can see Bynum spending some time down there — at some point the kid needs to get in games and that’s not likely to happen, at least much, at the NBA level. If you send him down for a month and let him get some time on the court it will help his development. As he can go up and down a three times this season, one stint down there is understandable.

• Those of you who live in the Bay Area will be able to catch the Lakers first preseason game against the Warriors from Hawaii, it’ll be on Fox Sports Bay Area at 10 p.m. Oct. 11. For those of us who live in Los Angeles, we can read the box score the next morning.

• In case you haven’t seen it, just in time for the season the official Lakers web site has a new and improved look.

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  1. If I had to make a guess on Bynum right now, I’d say this is a Jackson ploy to get Bynum to bust his ass in training camp. No matter what, I think he’ll spend some time in the D-League so the Lakers can see what they have in real games since he’s not going to get extended run in the NBA. That said, I don’t think there’s any way he spends a huge amount of time there. Especially with the lack of big men on the Laker team, they’ll most likely have him back up training under Kareem and getting a very few minutes per game. It seems like a wasted investment in Kareem if they don’t have Bynum working with him in practice, plus you want him around to learn the triangle. I can see sending Bynum there to play 10-15 games or so.

    I’m pretty happy the Knicks got Curry if it means that as a result he doesn’t come to the Lakers. True, big men are slow to develop, but I think after 4 years the league has a good idea what they’re getting with Curry. You can bet that if GMs across the league truly believed in Curry as a potential superstar, they would’ve been lining up to take a swing at him, heart condition or no heart condition. Seems like a typical crazy Isiah trade with tons of risk and minimal chance for reward.


  2. man, phil should be payin me.

    glad to see the organization rethinking bynum’s development. he should probably go down there for at least the beginning of the year, since after every preseason there’s usually a couple guys on the roster the lakers don’t want to cut and would like to see in real-time game situations to make more informed decisions about them.

    although i wouldn’t be surprised iff bynum stays, and i think he’ll probably be getting some playing time on a regular basis to learn on the job.

    phil also said he’s going to probably play odom at the four some and even at the five, which makes me tingly. he was such a good rebounder at power forward last season. and why not give him another whirl at center, since his defense has sucked at every position so far?

    the advantage it could possibly create would be very suns-like.


  3. This time around, I’m just going to talk about Eddy Curry (no considerations on Odom). I was actually happy at the possibility of having him in the Lakers roster, but at the expense of Mihm+a future pick is too much.

    I don’t believe Mihm is an outstanding player, but you can adjust the triangle around a center who doesn’t compromise anyone. Mihm, can block, rebound and sometimes he even drops 20 points in the game (just give him minutes). His fundamentals are better than many other centers around the league (many are overrated) and if he gets enough minutes, he will be very usefull. So, a direct trade for Curry wouldn’t be bad. But giving a future pick for him is just stupid.

    We’re ok with almost every starter (Aaron at point is the thing I hate…). Let’s not mess it up!