Short Term Fixes

Kurt —  March 10, 2007

The Lakers need a rainout. But since even Crash Davis can’t get the Lakers one, the team is looking at a couple other ideas, according to’s Chris Sherridan (insider). Let’s take a quick look at them.

One, starting Kwame over Bynum.

“Andrew didn’t get anything accomplished out there tonight,” Jackson said. “Andrew needs to just get off the front line and get out of that enemy fire for a while.”

I’m good with this change, Bynum is still young and shows up for some games and not for others, like Philly. Some time on the bench may do him good, and his scoring would fit well with what’s left of the second unit.

But what about Smush vs. Shammond. I’m still good with Smush starting, he tends to start games fast, but what about Shammond as the closer? Smush fades, Shammond’s defense would be a help late. Plus, if Shammond hits threes like he did in Philly (4 of 6 from beyond the arc) you don’t lose that much offense. By the way, Shammond was a team best +6 against the Sixers.

The other topic Sherridan discussed was bringing in Pippen. Pippen and Jackson have talked and things seem to be moving forward. Again, I’m fine with this although I’m not sure what kind of shape he’s in, what kind of rust is there. I really wonder how much he can contribute, he couldn’t help much is last couple NBA seasons, and that was a couple years ago. But with each loss I’m more willing to give it a shot.

The question is, how do you create roster room?

…in order to get an additional roster spot, the Lakers need to have four injured players sidelined at the same time for 14 consecutive days. Chris Mihm and Vladimir Radmanovic account for two of those spots, but Lamar Odom won’t reach 14 days until a week from Sunday, and Luke Walton is expected back before then.

Another option would be to waive Chris Mihm, who is out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery, and whose contract expires in June.

There is no chance of the league cutting the Lakers some slack, that’s not how they work. That said, I don’t want to cut Mihm, I’m concerned the move could make him harder to resign on the cheap this summer. Bringing him back provides many more options next year (for example, trading Kwame’s $9 mil expiring deal).

But that may be a small price to pay if Pippen can help right the ship this year and give the team some veteran leadership for one more year.