Notes at 3 a.m.

Kurt —  June 15, 2006

You can tell the draft is getting close by the volume and insanity of rumors are starting to fly all over the Web. DraftExpress, which has some of the best player breakdowns and the seemingly most logical mock draft, got into it this week with a few doozies, such as KG to Sacramento for essentially a 10-pound bag of shit.

There are some Laker rumors in that story as well and I’m not really going to get into refuting all of them, save to say the Lakers are not going to trade Odom for Chicago’s two first round draft picks in an poor draft year. Look at it this way — when was the last time Phil Jackson said, “Man, I’ve got too many versatile veterans on this team, I need some kids.”

That said, the rumor mill does have Jackson liking Brandon Roy. I get that — I’ve said here since before March Madness that I liked him and thought he’d be a great triangle fit. But if the Lakers go after him, I expect it will be with Mihm (who in a radio interview the other day Mitch K. basically referred to as the third center) and fillers, not Odom. You just don’t trade a top-30 NBA player for a couple of rookies.

• Jones on the NBA has been watching Kareem Rush workout and says he is fit and ready to play somewhere. He also says that the Bickerstaff comments about Rush’s work ethic were bullshit.

• Hoopsanalyst has started a series of draft breakdowns, starting by looking at the thin point guard class. Plus, there is a statistical breakdown of the Euros expected to be picked in a couple weeks.

• About the NBA Finals: Commenter John in Vancouver made a good comparison — was the Heat’s win in game 3 the “Kobe game” from the 2004 NBA finals? You remember, the one where he tied the game by hitting a three with 2.1 seconds left in regulation then took over in overtime to give the Lakers their only win against the Pistons

Count me in the group that thinks the fact it took a superhuman effort from Dwayne Wade for Miami to just eek out a win against the Mavs is not a good sign for them.

• The Lakers increased ticket prices again this year. In other news, the sun rises in the east.

• I don’t come to these type of decisions quickly, but I think it may be time for Bruce Arena to go as head coach of US Soccer. The game plan he employed against the Czechs was odd at best, and apparently the players were quite confused by it. Why are Beasley and Donovan are being put in more defensive positions?

Arena deserves a lot of credit for building the core of US Soccer up to what it has become, but he is not the man to take it to the next level. The US needs to look for its Phil Jackson, someone who can come in and mold the assembled talent into something more than the parts. Arena appears incapable of that.

Kurt

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29 responses to Notes at 3 a.m.

  1. Let me point you to one more thing, a great breakdown from the coach in the truck on Wade in the NBA finals. This was mentioned in the comments before, but this is one of the best things ESPN.com has done in a while.

  2. Great thoughts as always, but I have to ask, why the increase in 4 letter words? Maybe from being up so late? I thought you discouraged comments with them. I’m just curious.

  3. Honestly, when I write like that it’s because I’m being lazy. I’m of the mindset that there are, usually, better ways to express yourself (save for when you hit your thumb with a hammer). I do discourage it, not so much to eliminate it as to make sure it doesn’t become widespread, and the best way for me to do that is by example.

    So, note taken Patrick. I’ll try to curb my natural affinity for being lazy.

  4. I thought the same thing in regards to the Wade-“Kobe game” comparison. The one young(-er) player willing a bunch of old veterans to one thrilling victory while everyone tries to convince themeselves that the deeper, better team won’t dominate the rest fo the series.

    I hope Kupchak can trade up to get Roy with Mihm & change. Im also an advocate for marcus banks, i like the sound of a Kwame-Lamar-Roy-Kobe-Banks lineup.

  5. The Lakers hate their fans yet you guys keep stepping up to take the abuse. Two significant ticket increases since the last championship. By the time they get back to the finals, a seat in the 300’s is going to be $200 face value for game 7.

    Why would the Bulls give up the #2 for Mihm? Myopic much?

    Odom/Mihm/1st round pick for Duhon(Gordon)/Chandler(Sweetney)/1st rounder(Roy). Both teams get better now and both get even better in 2 years.

    US Soccer may have already had its PJ in Bora.

  6. chris henderson June 15, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve been thinking about these trade talks with Chicago, and at first I was against moving Lamar…the Mihm scenario felt better to me, I agreed that it was dangerous to “count on” Kwame just because he finished strong last year.
    but then I began to remember how many times I was yelling at my TV when Lamar would do these silly finger rolls when he shudda been SLAMMIN IT!
    and, some of those games where LO had a brain fart, (Sacto) costing us a game, and usually about 3 to 5 games after that cause it took a while to get over it.
    I think we have 2 guys who lack any kind of “killer” instinct. lamar, and kwame, both have moments of brilliance…and both have moments of “where am I?”…and it’s killer to be on a team with 2 starters with this mentality.
    one has gotta go…
    I think we’d be better off without Lamar, especially if we get one of Chicago’s good point guards, and with the #2 a good power forward from the draft. (I’m not that up on all the players, but I’ve read this was a possibility)
    then we make use of the MLE, LLE for some badly needed verterans for leadership, have guys like Smush, Bymun, Turiaf coming off the bench to gain playing time/experience for they will be a part of the Lakers future…
    and we will have an improved team next year, have a shot at a decent season, might surprise a few people…
    and the following year, with LO’s salary off the books, and Grants..etc..we can make some REAL MOVES..hehehe

  7. Odom top 30 in the league? I love the guy, but I think that’s a little generous. By Roland Ratings he’s a +4.4, which would put him somewhere in the forties. http://tinyurl.com/mb5p2

    Even if you don’t trust that, though (and who trusts any of those rankings) look at the list of names. I bet there are 30+ players you’d be happy to trade him for. And if you add the incoming rookies to the mix and let them play for half a season, maybe he bumps down a notch or two.

    Or, maybe we’re about to see the best basketball of Odom’s career. That could totally be the case, in which case I will look like an idiot for bothering to make this point at all.

  8. I first had called Odom top 50, but then went back and changed it because I thought he was better than that. That said, my unresearched opinion was based somewhat on potential and how I think he fits in the current Laker offense. I’m not sure that, ignoring salary issues, there are 30 guys in the league I’d trade him for, although there are guys who I think might be comperable but not as good a fit in the triangle.

  9. i think the lakers cannot trade lamar odom. he is the first, and may be the only, “impact-player” that is willing to play second-fiddle to kobe and his laissez-faire attitude (which i sometimes dont like) is a perfect compliment to kobes ultra-competitive nature. the lakers do need to make improvments, they can do that by trading mihm for either a shot-blocking 4 or a veteran guard, using the mle on whatever you dont get from the mihm deal and draft an athletic swingman to replace devean george. this team is not that far, dallas never figured us out during the regular season and if they are the standard, we should stand pat with odom, kobe, kwame and build.

  10. The basis of most of the disagreement over where to go from here seems to stem from a failure to agree on Lamar Odom’s true value to the Lakers. If Odom is merely a top-50 player to the Lakers, as some people contend, then the Lakers should certainly entertain offers for Odom.

    On the other hand, if Odom is a top-15 player TO THE LAKERS, as I believe, then the Lakers should not entertain offers b/c nothing that works for the Lakers will be available.

    Here are the only 8 players who I would trade Odom for, straight up:

    1. Lebron James
    2. Dwayne Wade
    3. Elton Brand
    4. Kevin Garnett
    5. Dirk Nowitzki
    6. Alan Iverson
    7. Tim Duncan
    8. Shawn Marion

    There are some other players, such as Sha

  11. [continued]

    There are some other players such as Shaq, Kidd, Yao, Nash, & Pierce who are arguably better than L.O., but who would not improve the Lakers. That’s how I get to “Top-15″.

  12. I can’t understand the logic of the people who want to get rid of odom… he is a nightly threat for a triple double. He is just not an agressive scorer like some of us want him to be. What we should look for is a 6th man instant offense type who can play two positions. Much like a stackhouse or a tim thomas in dallas. A one-dimensional (pure scorer) that can share duties with “Luke-the unselfish playmaker” at the SF spot. much like how toni kukoc and rodman shared the PF position during the bulls dynasty. To all you Odom-bashers, just think of him as your typical Pass-first PG/third option. He just happens to be 6’10” and can play ANY position on the floor. We just need a Ben Gordon, Stackhouse or Thomas type of a player and a few more veteran role players to complete the puzzle. I say trade Mihm, Cook, Sasha/26 pick to the bulls for the #2 pick and change, or Ben Gordon and change. That way, we can get our starting PG in Brandon Roy or Gordon

  13. man, im with you k_swagger8,
    the clue is the bulls and how much do they want mihm

  14. What would be nice is a player besides Kobe who can draw an occasional double team, that leaves Kobe open on the other side. And Kobe against single coverage, forget about it … Wade times ten. Odom is potentially that as he showed in the Phoenix series. The question is can he be that in the clutch. It might be better to get a player who is less consistent than Odom, but better in the clutch. Assume that if Kobe plays unselfishly like he did in Phoenix he can get a group of role players enough shots to stay in the game until the fourth quarter. Then, Kobe turns it on. Same story. However, now the teams just focus the entire defense on Kobe in the 4th quarter and dare the others to shot and they choke. What if there were another clutch player in the mix? It doesn’t have to be a triple double threat every night. It could be a 15, 5 and 5 guy who plays good defense and shoots for a high percentage when it counts. Who is this? I’d trade Odom straight up for him.

  15. Gordon would seem to fit that description

  16. Derek Banducci June 16, 2006 at 10:59 am

    The reason I value Odom so highly is that he led the Lakers last year in assists and rebounds, plus was their second leading scorer.

    You don’t just replace your leading assist man, rebounder, and second biggest scorer with the MLE or with a high draft pick. It just doesn’t happen.

  17. In case you haven’t seen it, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that Marcus Banks is signing with the Lakers. The information comes from legendary sports writer Sid Hartman, who has been with the paper since the 1940’s, and actually helped sign George Mikan to the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948.

    “The word is that Wolves free agent point guard Marcus Banks is headed for the Los Angeles Lakers. Two years ago, the Boston Celtics and the Lakers made a trade that had Banks going to the Lakers and Gary Payton moving to the Celtics. But Payton failed a physical and the deal was called off. The Lakers have been trying to land Banks ever since, and that is where he is likely to be when the 2006-2007 season starts.”

    I thought Payton resisted the trade, that’s why it was amended…

  18. Damn Gatinho, you beat me to posting that note by seconds. Good sign, the Lakers can’t officially talk to Banks until July 1, but it sounds as if the back-door channels have been open.

    And Payton did resist the trade, he didn’t want to uproot his family (alegedly).

  19. 82games.com has a new, interesting look at comparing guys in this draft to previous drafts and then grading them out for this year.

    http://www.82games.com/nbadraft2006.htm

  20. 14. About Odom being cluch: I think he can be if we give him the chance. The thing is, Kobe wants and takes most of those shots, and I think we all agree he should be option #1. But when he is shooting fade-away threes over double and tripple teams, it’s time for Jackson to start using Kobe as the decoy and getting Odom involved.

    From 82games, about shooting in cluch time (last five minutes of a game and overtime with teams within 4 points): Odom had an offensive rating of 105.9, Kobe 103.1; Odom shot 48% (eFG) Kobe just 39%;Odom shot 46.3% on jumpers, kobe 37.1% (and that accounted for 85% of kobe’s attempts); Odom drew a foul on 16.4% of attempts, Kobe 8.3%.

    Give Odom a chance here.

  21. What do you guys think of Banks?

    I’m not very familiar with him. I know he’s very fast, which would be great. But he’s small. Can he shoot the 3? In other words, is he going to fit the Triangle?

    And is his defense better than Smuth’s?

    Also, assuming there’s some truth to these rumors, what is it about Banks of all people that has Kupchak chasing him, of all people, for 2 years?

  22. I agree with the Gordon comments. Gordon is exactly what the Lakers need. A second scoring option that get’s most of his points from the outside and can guard PGs. Basically someone that can hit an open three when Kobe and Lamar draw doubles. Gordon is the best fit (in terms of balance of contract, age, and ability) out of all of the guys available, but Lindsay Hunter, Sam Cassell, and Jason Terry are also good fits. I don’t like banks because he is too small, not a good shooter, and not versatile enough. Brandon Roy would also be a good fit, but I don’t think the Lakers can move up to draft him. As well, Chris Duhon would also be a good fit. He reminds me of a young Derek Fisher. After Addressing the PG issues, they also need to stock up on token shooters. Guys like Rasul Butler and Kareem Rush would be great pick ups. I really don’t think they need to get rid of Lamar. I think he is key to their future success. The Lakers have a good front line. Their weakness is in the lack of shooters and the lack of a decent back court. If they can address those issues, they should have a good team next year.

  23. the signing of banks helps move this team more in the direction of the early bulls teams. 2 point guards, smush and banks, just like 2 point guards (one offensive, one defensive) armstrong and paxson. Banks will bring defensive intensity, ball penetration and depth, all qualitites necessary to compete at the top level. It also shows what we should do in the draft and with the potential mihm trade. I would draft an athletic 3 or 2 and try to trade mihm,cook and sasha for a 4. this team is making moves, ive liked banks since we passed him and josh howard over in ’03. a lineup of banks, kobe, odom, kwame and whatever we land for mihm is sounding real nice, smush and banks, watch out, terry and harris

  24. Maybe by Monday I can do a breakdown of Banks. in the short term, I think the answer is he can play good defense, he has done it in the past, but he has not done it consistently.

  25. I think signing marcus banks is step in the right direction for the lakers. But i’m still hoping they can somehow get ben gordon. Gordon is a much much more polished offensive threat than banks and has proven that he is a big-time clutch player that is willing and can win close games for his team. If the team is to sign banks, then we can use the other “young” guys as trade bait for veteran role players. I still say we let go of Cook and Mihm. maybe package them to some team for the need at the back up PF or scoring SF

  26. How do we land Ben Gordon? Is Mihm and 26 enough? We’d be going a little small, and we’d be a bit thin upfront, but this might work.

    PG: Gordon/Banks
    SG: Smush/Sasha
    SF: Kobe/Luke
    PF: Odom/Turiaf/Cook
    C: Kwame/Bynum

    And of course, many of these players play multiple positions. If we get a starting 3 with our MLE, then we can move Kobe back to the 2 slot. But Gordon is key. I’d part with Mihm for him.

  27. Chad ford released the results of the draft combine. Farmar Tested prety well, apparently he has a 42 inch vertical.

    has anyone done an statistical analysis to give the correlattion between jumping ability and reboundung?

  28. BANKS SUCKS

  29. Thanks Roper, that’s the kind of thoghtful analysis we strive for here.