Roster Moves

Kurt —  October 27, 2006

The Lakers have cut Von Wafer and Danilo Pinnock. Not a surprise, although I’m disappointed that Pinnock just didn’t shine in camp like I thought he could.

So, still on the roster are two guys for one spot, and who gets it says a lot about the Laker plans. On one side is hustling youngster Devin Green, on the other side is fading and injury prone Aaron McKie, who has a guaranteed $2.5 million deal for this year.

I’d been thinking it, but Eric Pincus said it well in a Hoopsworld piece:

Though the Lakers have historically been reluctant to make a mid-season trade, McKie’s salary could be useful should the Lakers find a deal. For example, if the Lakers were inclined to send out Chris Mihm in trade, the most salary they would be able to bring back would be $5.36 million. However Mihm and McKie packaged together would work for an incoming salary of $8.49 million.

Again, a deal is not likely, but Green probably won’t have a long list of NBA teams looking to sign him. Keeping McKie short term on the off-chance a deal comes together makes more sense, especially if the Lakers could then sign Green mid-season should a roster spot were to become available.

With the Lakers cap strapped and with no mid-level exception to give out this year, trades are the only way to get quality veterans. Which means keeping McKie on the roster makes sense. If Green is kept it means the Lakers may be looking to stay pat.

Kurt

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15 responses to Roster Moves

  1. Kurt,

    I’ve read similar analyses many times. Why does it have to be either/or? It seems possible in concept that BOTH McKie and Green could be kept, and others could be traded or waived.

    It seems that Farmar has played himself into minutes that may have been planned for Williams or Parker. Are their positions on the squad absolutely safe?

  2. In the case of Parker, even under the best “Farmar starts” scenario, you still would keep Smush. At his price he is a great backup point in the NBA, he’s just not a starter.

    With Shammond, I don’t think they can cut him or buy him out, or at least it wouldn’t make sense. I have to look up exactly what the case is, but after a quick look at the salary cap FAQ this is what think: because they gave him the bi-annual exception (formerly known as the $1 million exception) they have to keep him on the roster for the year. McKie can be bought out, although the money would count aginst the cap.

    Now, if I could just choose who stays and who goes…..

  3. Get rid of Mckie and keep Green. The Lakers accumulation of these over the hill and over priced veterans has to stop. The Lakers need to develop young atletic perimeter players that can play man to man defense. Relying on Kobe to be the defensive stopper is really dumb.

    I think Cooper might have been the last good defensive specialist to play for the Lakers.

  4. I just don’t say any point to keeping green other than out of respect to the kid. I think that’s nice, but it’s pretty clear he’s not going to add any more than he did last year. At least McKie is trade bait and supposedly a good presence in the locker room. Basically, I don’t think that roster spot will have much to do with anything as of tuesday (unless we use mckie in an important trade).

    I think the Shammond Williams pickup was weird.

  5. Hey Jeff, if you could contact me by email about how to post the preview I’d appreciate it. Thanks for the link by the way!

  6. Yea Gads! Everybody is trying to see how to change the rules, or change the Laker management short-term plans.

    It was mentioned in several earlier posts that Mitch’s approach is to pick up several cheap veterans in the hopes that one would stick. Smush was a successful result of that approach. S. Williams is this year’s attempt. When you do that you reduce the number of young, green players you can carry. Green and Pinnock are probably casualties of this. It is highly probable that the #14 & 15 players on rosters will never be better than occassional subs. That’s why clubs like to see some 2nd round picks play in Europe – they get to see how the player develops with no risk.

    This is the time of year you don’t like that approach, but it has worked for us in the past – Smush is certainly not a #14/15 on the roster. If McKie is kept you should look at the silver lining – the Lakers are considering the possibility of trading for a known, goo quality player.

  7. For anybody who missed the on-court post-game interview last night with Andrew Bynum, here it is (I think the kid was very realistic about his performance):

    “Kareem would tell me I played good in the post tonight, but on defense I wasn’t anchoring the paint, I let my team down, [the Nuggets] got a bunch of lay-ups that I shouldn’t have let go in the middle. I think Phil would have said the same thing. What they really need me to do is rebound and block shots, we’ve got Kobe that will shoot the shots and score, and we’ve got Lamar Odom, so that’s about 80% of the shots right here. We’re going to go far when Kobe gets back.”

  8. From Lakers Blog (insidesocal.com/lakers/):

    “In the third quarter, Bynum got more emotional than he has shown in his career. He had position and Sasha Vujacic could have passed him the ball. When Vujacic didn’t throw it, Bynum could be heard yelling, ‘Get me the (expletive) ball.’

    What did assistant coach Brian Shaw yell at Vujacic during the next timeout? ‘Get him the (expletive) ball.'”

    What’s funny is that when Sasha swung the ball around the perimeter, instead of going down low to Bynum, I said the exact same thing to myself b/c Bynum really did have great position down low and was yelling for the ball and Bynum was converting very well on the night.

  9. There could be a curve ball thrown. Suppose McKie’s value in the clubhouse is thought crucial for a young team. Green they want to keep for energy in practice and just to have around. So who could be cut? How about a position w/4 players-PG?
    The Lakers hold the option next yr on Sasha,so if they waive him,they’re out less than $1mil. My understanding is Sasha hasn’t been turning any heads in a good way,so maybe Farmer takes his backup spot and Why-Williams is the third PG.

  10. Forehead meet hand,hand meet forehead.
    Went from here to RealGM where I read headline about Lakers picking up Sasha’s option.
    DOH!

  11. Though I agree that Green appears to be the odd man out by waivers, I think there is another possibility that could keep both Green and McKie on the roster.

    Smush Parker is a great athlete who can improvise with the best. His stats from last year are better than many of the other point guards in the league. Last year, his athleticism and style were impressive. Since both he and Sasha frequently got lost on defense and offense, Smush seemed by far the lesser of two evils.

    This year, his approach to being a point guard clashes badly with Jordan Farmars–and the team clearly does better with Jordan. both on offense and defense. Shammond seems to be much closer to Farmar. Nobody is quite like Smush.

    It seems that Smush will more and more become the odd man out at PG. He’s probably the only PG of the four who is tradeable. His value is likely to go down with his minutes this year.

    He could be traded for a future draft choice–no?

    Didn’t lt happen last year at the crowded small forward position?

  12. How many young players don’t excel their first year?
    Almost all of them! They sit on the bench and learn. Keeping a young guy with some promise rather than holding onto a 10+ year injury prone veteran is a no brainer. Hoping McKie can be a key piece in a trade is delusional.

    The Kobe Shaq team fell apart when no new talent was developed to replace their aging supporting cast. It seems history might repeat itself as the Laker management fumbles around while Kobe is in his prime.

  13. Green is hands down the better player right now. But he will not contribute significantly this season. So do we keep the young guy, or the trade bait contract? I think we keep the young guy for this reason: It is more probable that Green would affect the team in a run for the title in a season or two than McKie’s contract will produce a trade that will get the team into title contention this season. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

    Also, with the way Smush has come back so far, any talk of trading him is wrong in my book.

  14. Hey kurt, I know this is a Laker blog… but Auerbach was an NBA god, he deserves an special post just for him

    rest in peace, Arnold “Red” Auerbach 1917-2006,
    16 NBA champs as coach, GM and President of the Boston Celtics

  15. I know, I want to do that. Finding the time may be a challenge so it may be short and sweet.