Positives To Look Back On

Kurt —  May 3, 2007

There’s a long off-season ahead, one that should prove to be interesting. But I’m going to take a few days before delving into it, and writing season wrap-ups, and reflect back on some of the positives from the past season. The things from the Lakers worth remembering and enjoying.

The emergence of Ronny Turiaf as the ultimate energy guy off the bench. Plus his dancing.

Lamar Odom’s heart.

Kobe, a guy I’ve seen play countless games and yet never ceases to make my jaw drop two or three times a game.

The flashes of what could be with Bynum and Farmar.

The way this team passed the ball and moved without it back in December — that is what basketball should look like.

Luke Walton’s emergence.

Kobe’s scoring streak.

Please add to the list.

Kurt

Posts

125 responses to Positives To Look Back On

  1. positives -kobe , walton and bynum

    without a point guard the lakers will never get anywhere. Everyone can see this except Mitch Cupcake.

  2. game 3. we showed some heart. we were clearly up against a better team, but didn’t roll over.

    the first half of the season. a lot fans will urge management to hit the panic button, forgetting that for a long stretch this team showed that at its peak they could be a second tier team. i’m not saying we don’t need adjustments (we clearly do), but without an injury induced-collapse, we coulda been a 4-5 seed, and up against the jazz or rockets, with a much better shot at playing in the second round.

  3. Turiaf, keep this guy.

  4. I like Farmar, he showed flashes of aggressiveness. I echo the sentiments re: Turiaf, but I wonder what it’ll cost to keep him…but I would try hard to keep him.

    I’m still waiting to see a healthy Radman, as well as hopefully a healthy Mihm. The Lakers should basically buy out their own hospital.

    Mo Evans was sometimes a breath of fresh air, hustling and playing hard.

    It’ll be a long summer…but basically, the Lakers achieved what they expected to.

  5. Smush Parker’s last days as a Laker

  6. When is all said and done, DYi was right, counting in the devastating injuries that REMOVED the frontcourt. We still would have had the problems in the backcourt, but our frontcourt could have handled it better and we would have won enough to get into the 2nd round. We wouldn’t have been a #7 seed.

    For this reason I think our summer concentration should be to sign ‘their own hospital’ and get a backcourt starter.

  7. Forum Blue and Gold was definitely the highlight for me this season. I don’t get to watch that much of the NBA, and especially the Lakers ,no cable. But reading this blog everyday made me feel like I had a front row seat. Much better than listening to sound effects from sports recap shows.

  8. Kwame’s one-on-one post defense.

    The guy frustrates the hell out of me on offense. He has hands of stone. And, yes, he’s overpaid. And sometimes his rotations on defense can be slow, and let’s not get started on the screen/roll (but let’s also remember the guards he was working with). But, but, but……in his two years in LA, Kwame has turned himself into an outstanding defender of big men in the post. He’s the Lakers’ best. Defending down low is the place where he best knows how to use his bulk and strength.

    I couldn’t believe it, but many times this year I missed (missed?!) Kwame Brown’s presence. I felt the team desperately needed the guy’s defense. And that may say a lot about the Lakers’ abysmal defensive “presence,” but we shouldn’t let that obscure the fact that Kwame Brown is, in fact, a very good defender on the block.

  9. Echo Josh and…
    When we get Chris Mihm back we have a shot blocker that can play either center or PF, send Turiaf back to his natural position, and allow more flexibility for Lamar (SF/PF anyone). Walton, if we sign him, can now both start and backup – our entire rotation situation is completely different. Now our frontcourt is better and Andrew can improve at his own pace and rookie salary. That is why we need to sign these guys.

  10. Other positives

    1. Mo Evans: he was a good pick-up, he plays hard, although not always under control. He could be a valuable 7th or 8th guy next year.

    2. Kobe’s health: remember early in the season some people thought he actually lost a step, ha.

  11. Kwame’s $9 million expiring contract. Kwame and fillers should be able to land a very solid player getting around $12 mil a year from a team looking for cap space. Who is that?

  12. I enjoyed the Lights Out setup at Staples Center where they turned the lights down on the fans. It’s also worth remembering that one game where the lakers played with only 8 dressed players. That made for a weird television shot of a very empty bench.

  13. I’m thankful it’s a deep draft, and for another year of entertaining baseketball. After watching nearly 20 hours of basketball last weekend, I still want more. I love this game!

    Guess I’ll root for the Warriors now.

  14. warren (philippines) May 3, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Ey guys, ever read any of the comments in a Marc Stein write-up? I get dizzy with all the cursing and man, these guys don’t even know the cap rules. I enjoy their idiotic ideas though… trade Bynum for KG! hehehe stuff like that…

  15. Do you guys think that Kobe has learned to “trust” his teammates given how the year ended? I sympathize for him b/c in some sense, he must feel so confused about what to do at times. I wonder if this year was essentially a wash with respect to Kobe’s “maturation” as to trusting his teammates.

    That being said, I hope the rest of the team gets healthier, stronger, and can avoid nagging injuries. Kobe will be playing for the FIBA tourney so he might be a little gassed for the beginning of the season, so people better get ready!

    BTW, what do you guys think about Grant Hill and the Lakers (for the minimum?) Most likely, he will either 1) retire or 2) play for Orl, but who knows?

  16. warren (philippines) May 3, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Positives:
    1. Mitch Kupchak
    2. Andrew Bynum
    3. Vladimir Radmanovic
    4. Kobe even called him and said “we need your shooting”
    5. Vlade saying he slipped and dislocated a shoulder??
    6. He even admitted what ought to be sent to Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
    7. Trade Kobe even though he has a no trade clause

    er… Negatives?

  17. nomuskles, I can’t believe I left off Lights Out, that was certainly on my list.

    And I thought about Mo Evans, I was just a little frustrated with him after the playoffs. Like most of the team. But he certainly is a the kind of veteran I think this team needs more of.

  18. Kobe speaking out… getting this ball rolling a quick as possible. Don’t know what will come of this off-season, but his push was needed.

    I’m greatful to Lamar… the heart and fire, along with all that skill… I’m proud to have him as a laker.

    I’m sad that he probably played his last game in forum blue. He will DEFINATELY be the cornerstone of any trade talk.

    On the other hand, with the way he played these last few games… and the next 2-3 days of “Lamar playing through injury and heartache” puff pieces that will float, we now have a shot at one of those ‘blockbuster’ assets that were probably beyond reality a few weeks ago.

  19. FB&G and the ‘LightsOut’ both need props. Keep up the good work, Kurt.

    ok… off to the ESPN TradeMachine. time to play “being mitch kupchack”

  20. I don’t want to echo what has already been said, but I would like to give out my recognition to Kurt for all the hard work put into this website and for a great season of Laker talk. Keep doing what you do, Kurt.

  21. Positives? I got 10 for you guys

    1. Kobe regaining some of his status…he truly is amaing and it is becoming harder for the haters to deny it.
    2. Shaq and the Heat were swept!!!!
    3. Lamar Odom…the biggest heart of any player!!! thru injuery and the loss of his kid…he had an amazing year.
    4. Brain Grant will be off the pay roll this summer
    5. Luke Walton coming into his own.
    6. Turiaf…nuff said
    7. Kobe is pressuring roster change…whatever that means we shall see this summer
    8. Last year Smush held the team together then died in the playoffs…and remained dead all year….sorry Smush…but…Good Riddance
    9. Kwame and the Birthday cake incident…
    10. There is always next year!!!!!

  22. Kobe’s image rehab, Lamar Odom’s humanity, Turiaf’s love of the game, Phil being challenged in new ways, th FB and G community

    The return to dominance is a slow plodding march. From ’88 (’91) to ’00-’03 was rough.

    Here’s to an off season personnel lightning strike and the emergence of developing players that brings us to an elite level before Kobe’s wheels fall off…

    Oh yeah, Go Dodgers!

  23. Question:

    When we have traded Caron Butler(All-Star in East) and ballhandler Chucky Atkins for Kwame Brown, do we still see that as a good trade ?

  24. The unforgivable mistake for Kupchak so far ..

    It was when he drafted Brian Cook ahead of Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard,

  25. Re: 23, I don’t think it’s fair to look back in hindsight to criticize him for that pick. If memory serves me right, didn’t the Lakers have an abudance of wing players at that point, and the Lakers had several PGs (which Barbosa was projected to be). Plus, Cook appeared to be that sweet-shooting big man that is important to every team.

    I don’t know if the Lakers have a 2nd round pick, but they can still find some decent talent around that point. Unless Kup is gonna be fired, or people are looking for reasons to fire him, I don’t know how productive it is to look to the past as it doesn’t currently help the Laker’s present.

  26. You have to keep Luke and Ronny, just for the fact that you are over the cap anyway so get the players you can.

    I did a whole rundown on my site (realistic rundown, that is) of what they could do.

    And remember PG’s don’t matter as much in the Triangle. As much as I think Phil Jackson is the wrong coach here, he’s here, so you have to deal with it. The players you get have to work in the Triangle.

  27. Although I feel bad that we didn’t get those players (barbosa and howard), Kupchack was picking a player to complement Shaq and Kobe. No Cook is not a great player. But he would have been a good compliment to the championship Lakers in that he could knock down an open three. That’s part of the problem with the Lakers championship runs. The Lakers brass really didn’t try to sign players or pick up star type players, because they didn’t really have to. Now it’s kind of starting to bite them in the ass.

  28. Salary cap question…

    Can the Lakers use their mid-level for another player, then sign Luke to another contract? Or do the Lakers have to use their mid-level to sign Luke?

  29. (23) — Caron Butler for Kwame Brown was a bad trade then, and a bad trade now. At the very least we should have gotten a draft pick or two in the deal (just like in the Shaq trade).

    (28) — We can sign Luke with his Bird rights, and use the mid-level to sign someone else.

  30. Lakers could use MLE and sign Walton to a contract, however that would put us over the luxury tax, therefore, we may be reluctant to do that, unless it’s for a free agent worthy of paying the tax.

  31. Postives –

    – Going back to it’s roots in Minneapolis, our franchise has the second-most titles (14) and most Finals trips (28) of any team.
    – We have been blessed with a non-stop stream of Hall-of-Famers to watch (Mikan, Baylor, West, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Shaq, Kobe), not to mention all of the countless All-Stars we’ve had.
    – We have the best player in the game today.
    – We have the best coach in the game today (if we get him “his” kind of players).
    – Jordan, Luke, Lamar and Ronny.
    – We know that history has a way of sending great players to the Lakers just when we need them.

  32. Also, I posted this in another thread, but I think it belongs here instead:

    Kurt, I want to second others have said about FB&G. Coming from a former journalism major, I consider your posts to be educated, knowledgeable, thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent.

    I only recently discovered your blog, and in a day and age where the Net is polluted with mindless ranting and venom, your posts are always a joy to read. Thank you.

  33. I think the lakers should definitely go after Grant Hill in free agency. He is the guy that would fit perfectly in the triangle plus he is not looking for a mega contract at this stage in his career. So the Lakers could probably sign him to the MLE and still keep LO and Luke while still having the flexibility to trade for Jermaine O’neal in exchange for Bynum and or maybe Kwame.

  34. What do you guys think about Steve Blake?

  35. I like Grant but the Lakers have to walk a fine line between adding veterans and adding injury-plauged players. Grant would be great, but considering our history of signings (Vlade, Mckie, etc.) we can’t get veterans on their last legs.

    Steve Blake is solid, he can help, but we need more help on the perimeter. We need what Houston got T-Mac, a guy who can lock down the opposing teams best perimeter player. Outside of our lack of a true low post offensive threat this is what i feel is the most glaring weakness on the Lakers, Pg problems included.

    Therefore I would start my offseason plan with going after

    1. a legit low post scorer (Jermaine O’neal? via trade)
    2. lockdown perimeter defender (James Posey? half MLE)
    3. pg (Charlie Bell? half MLE)

  36. Lights out, their great start, and Kobe’s 50 against Utah were highlights for me. I was at that game in great seats, and it was good to see him prove to the NBA early in the season that rumors of his fall off were quite pre-mature. I think he dunked on Kirilenko a few times in that game. He also has 30 points in a quarter in that game.

    (28)) Luke is a Larry Birds rights player (because he’s played 3 consecutive years with the Lakers), So the Lakers can sign him for any amount they want over the salary cap (within min and maximum salary restrictions..between 800K and 12M for a fourth year player) and still use their mid-level to sign one or more players.

    (33)I don’t think we need a traditional PG, we just need a person that can guard the position, and can knock down an open shot. Two players that are under the radar that are free agents we should consider:

    DeShawn Stevenson-6’5″ great shooter (40% from three) and a good defender. I think he would be a good starter next to Kobe

    Janero Pargo-Great Shooter from the PG Position. Not so sure about his defense.

    Triangle PG’s that we can get on the cheap:

    Julius Hodge: Went down to the D-League because he was involved in a shooting a couple of years ago. But he’s a 6’6″ wing guy with PG skills. He could play PG in the Lakers system. He’s been posting near triple doubles throughout the D-League season and playoffs. And it’s not like he’s some chump. Just like Josh Howard, he is a former ACC player of the year. A scout I know loves Hodge.

    CJ Miles: Like Hodge, a taller 6’6″ guard with PG skills. Doesn’t get a chance to play in Utah.

    The key with some of these stretches is that they won’t really cost any money to bring in. It’s worth a chance. Hell, we gave Aaron Mckie, Vlade Divac, Jim Jackson, Smush, and Shammond Williams roster spots. Why not these young cats?

  37. It looks like folks have already hit all the Lakers’ highs this season. I might add another point: The NBA has become a much more interesting league this season.

    We have entered a transitional era, which for me, is alway more entertaining than the status quo. The rise of Chicago and Cleveland in the East. Utah’s resurgence in the West. Portland, perhaps, is on the near horizon. The Nash-Dirk battles. This is a far cry from the LA or SA days. There is a lot of good ball right now. I love it.

  38. Rob, I’d rather have it the other way around if the Lakers were still winning championships.

    First time in a long time that both Shaq and Kobe are out of the playoffs this early.

  39. Drafting Cook ahead of those guys was a bad move, but is Kupchak the guy doing the scouting reports? Luckily the Lakers have gotten some decent talent in recent years (Farmar, Turiaf, Luke, Bynum), but before that, nada.

    Kwame for Caron. Not a great trade, but I don’t hate Kupchak for it. It filled a need.. We had ZERO chance to beat the Suns w/o Kwame.

    Positives:
    Farmar
    Kobe calling out management to get it together ASAP
    Odom’s game 5.

    If the Lakes resign Walton and pick up a decent PG I won’t be terribly dissapointed. That said, if Odom brings in a J. O’Neal or a Garnett I will be excited. If we can get either of those guys for Bynun and Contracts and KEEP Odom? I will buy a Kupchak jersey.

    This preseason I was really dissapointed in Bynum. His early play almost got me on the bandwagon, but I don’t see him being THE MAN on a team. Anyone think otherwise?

  40. The Lakers at this point in Kobe’s career can’t afford to take “chances” on young players at the pg positon! Thats part of the reason why they’re in this predictament in the first place. Mitch Kupchak needs to go after solid veterans and trade for a high quality player with some of the pieces they have. The core players they need to keep are LO, Luke, Kobe, Turiaf, and Farmer then if they can add a Steve Blake or Grant Hill through free agency and Trade for Jermaine they would have seriously upgraded they’re team without completely starting over from scratch. Lets face it guys the clock is winding down on Kobe’s career with Kobe having the option to opt in 2 yrs they need to win now and you won’t win if you completely destroy your team to take a chance on one high quality player! Also I think they have to except going over the cap in order to get the guys they need because they can only sign one veteran player to the MLE when they need about 3!

  41. This blog.

    The previews, the recaps, the sanity, the perspective, the humor, the insight, the love for the game … I love this blog.

  42. every year, it’s always depressing to see the end of the Laker season, and what do we have now…baseball, early season. I can’t sit through a whole baseball game, unless I’m there in person, or it’s post-season. the only sport I am an avid fan is B-ball, and it’s because of teh lakers, and the Showtime era…magic, Chick, et al, the rivalry with the Bird lead Celtics…

    this year, I found myself seeing the end coming, and maybe it was to better prepare for the inevitable, but i found the only sollace for the short “second season” we had was that there is no way Laker management can stand pat. something’s gotta happen this off season.

    I think it was during an off-season, yearning for some good laker news, that I discovered this blog. it seems like the LA Times pays little to no attention to what happens in the off season, while we all know there has to be lots going on.
    thanks Kurt, being a part of this Laker family has been fun, and I’m looking forward to reading what our options will be as we get into this hopefully busy off season.

    I know this is off topic for this post, but what do you guys think about Jamall Crawford, seems like he’s pretty far down the bench, a good shooting PG, any thoughts? we need another Ron Harper.

  43. I love Jamal Crawford but he had trouble running the triangle in Chi-town. Granted he is a different player now the Lakers don’t need a shooting pg what they need is a defensive minded pg that can hit the three a la Derek Fisher but quick enough to actually gaurd the quick pgs in the west.

  44. That piece put together by SportsAtRandom was pretty awesome. I don’t know anything about salary caps and trade rules so coming up with scenarios is beyond me, but it’s certainly well reasoned in terms of what could happen. I have to say though, Jamaal Tinsley and Brendan Haywood are absolutely not upgrades over the incumbents. I’m not even sure how much you gain by giving up Lamar for JO’Neal. Lamar contributes quite a bit to the team for far less money.

    Finding this blog and TrueHoop were highlights of the season for me. Kurt and Henry do jawesome jobs with the blogging and statfinding. I like that FB&G is mostly lakers fans, not supposed “experts” and blowhards.

    I didn’t realize we picked brian cook over Barbosa and Howard. That’s obviously a great job by San Antonio and Dallas. And while it hasn’t exactly panned out great for the lakers, it’s always a crapshoot when you’re picking so late in the draft. Not only that, plenty of other teams passed up on Barbosa and Howard as well–instead believing it more prudent to pick the likes of Darko Milicic, Michael Sweetney, Marcus Banks, Reece Gaines, and Troy Bell. So the Lakers were hardly alone in believing there were better players out there.

    The Lakers need to start hitting some home runs in player transactions–whether that’s the draft, trades, or free agency, it’d be nice to get it together and have a team that plays with pride and chemistry. If we need to sit through one more season like this till Kwame’s contract comes off the books, that’s fine with me. But then we better start winning with some free agents and a good draft pick or two. Please don’t let it be mcroberts. Let’s also hope Bynum makes some more progress over the summer! cheers!

  45. First of all, thank you Kurt.
    This was my first season “blogging”. This is the only blog I really check out and the posts from Kurt as well as all the comments from all the regulars are always wonderful. Thank all you guys for a fun season.

    POSITIVES –
    I gave Lamar a standing ovation in my living room last night. That guy has got some HEART. I truly respect Lamar for his effort this year when he could have just dissapeared. Definitely one of our brightest spots of the year has been Lamar’s effort.

    Luke Walton’s emergence as a solid player. I hope he stays with us. I think the triangle benefits his style of play a lot.

    Ronny Turiaf – I LOVE THAT GUY

    Jordan Farmar – all this talk about a new PG. I say just make Jordan work his ass off on his outside shot and footwork on defense this summer and he will be a solid starting PG next year.

    Kobe, I am honored to be able to have watched another one of your seasons in your prime. Years from now I will tell my grandkids about how I watched Kobe Bean Bryant give 150% every single night. Came through when everybody thought he had lost a step and retained his position as THE best player on the planet. As well as being the most critized player on the planet.

    Negatives –
    Sasha, Smush, Cook, VladRad, and Kwame… your lack of energy, production and the fact that all of you are playing worse now than last year really dissapoints me. None of you showed the pride of wearing FORUM BLUE AND GOLD.

    Here’s to a productive summer (hopefully) and the re-emergence of Laker domination in 08.

  46. I also love lamp.

  47. How about Earl Watson?

  48. KD in the house!

    Jamal would not fit in this system. We need some spot up guys like San Antonio has. Look who they surround Duncan with-Horry, Barry, and Finley. All clutch from the outside. Plus Crawford is going to make close to 8 mil next season. We don’t really have players to package that New York would be willing to take (especially when you consider that he might be Isiah’s favorite player), plus Jamal is one of the few Knick players that actually is locked into a reasonable salary. I don’t see them getting rid of him anytime soon.

    With all this talk about who to bring in, I completely forgot about Jordan Farmar. Don’t doubt that Jordan Farmar is going to come into next season very much improved. He’s been the first to arrive and the last to leave Laker practices all year. I know him, and I know he’s going to work his butt off this summer and come back a lot better than he was this year. He knows the Lakers are going to be trying to pick up a FA point guard, and is not going to give up his spot easily. Unlike Smush, he’s going to work on his game and make it hard for any mid-level PG to come in and take his spot. My money’s on him starting next year. If only were a betting man…

    Did you guys read Adande’s column on going small? I wasn’t buying it. Small ball hasn’t garnered one single NBA championship yet. PHX hasn’t gotten to the Finals and are going to have a difficult time getting there this year. Meanwhile Duncan and Shaq have gobbled up 7 of the last 8 titles.

  49. Skigi: I don’t think Watson can shoot well enough, he’s not a good fit for the tri either.

    pg/sg’s for the tri

    1. charlie bell
    2. mo williams
    3. steve blake
    4. janerro pargo
    5. chris duhon
    6.carlos arroyo

    these guys can shoot and defend, the prerequistes.

    KD- I love rug. ha.

  50. 38 – Jones, I agree with you 100%. I’d rather the Lakers won it all. But if they aren’t going to, I like to see the league open up a little bit. Besides, it’ll make that championship even more sweet if it comes against stiff competition.

  51. 48. Jones, I saw that Adande piece and came close to writing a whole post on it on the spot. It’s frustrating, because JA strikes me as one of the guys who generally gets hoops as a columnists, but that “lets go smallball” idea is stupid.

    Here’s my two big problems with that idea. First, teams that change styles to go with “what’s hot” are the teams with no identity, that never build players to fit the system. A lot of systems can win with the right players, and Phil has proven the triangle can win. Second, how many good PGs are there that can run that fast flowing system well? Nash, Baron Davis, Chris Paul and, um, I’m already running out of guys. There may be a few more, but the point is there aren’t many.

    Build the team to your strengths, don’t force the square peg in the round hole.

  52. I know I’ll get some flack for saying this, but Smush Parker should be given some credit for what he has given the Lakers over the past two seasons. If you remember, the starting “point guard” for the Lakers for the 2005-2006 season was supposed to be Aaron McKie with Sasha Vujucic as backup. Smush showed up as an invitee if I’m right. Since then Smush has had some great games but his problem was consistency. He might give you a 20 point 8 assist game and then come back with 5 and 3. Plus, Smush has become too much of a liability on defense and his confidency seems shot. Smush is definitely gone, but I feel he has done a good service for the Lakers as a stop-gap measure. He was never meant to be the solution at the lead guard. The real solution should have been Antonio Daniels or Derek Anderson, but Buss did not want to give them more than a two year contract. Also, Mitch should get some credit for not giving Smush his extension before the season.

  53. Also, thanks to all of you for the kind words. It really means a lot coming from you, it’s all of you that make this place fun and interesting for me. I learn a lot here.

    Thanks again for all the kind thoughts. Even KD ;-)

  54. warren (philippines) May 3, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Finding FB&G was like digging a gold mine by my back yard. Except for a few, the people that “live” here talk sense. I have to give it to Kurt. He is a constant gardener of the crops and the weeds…

  55. Anyone else watching the Dallas/GS game?

    That is the story of Davis’ career, brilliant when healthy but injury prone.

  56. Hey Hey, Kurt. Yea I am this Golden State & Dallas game. Great level of intensity and competition going on.

    If only there were not so many D-Wade and Barkley commercials in between.

    What a crowd they have there. Seems like the old Fab Forum & Boston Garden crowds. Have you been to a game there before?

  57. I’m watching. CLose game so far. i really have a hard time getting into the warriors/mavs series, though. I love the underdog story as much as the next guy, but the warriors aren’t really an underdog I can get behind. Anyone else feel the warriors are just unlikeable? I’m totally enjoying everyone’s jokes on deadspin about baron davis’s beard btw.

    As far as the Mavs go, I think the past two years I’ve come to respect Dirk’s game a lot more, especially that sweet fadeaway with the high release (unguardable). But Stackhouse seems to be the one who comes through in the clutch with some fire and spark. As slow as he looks, he almost makes me wish we had a player like him on the Lakers.

  58. Steven Jackson, en fuego….

    An 8 seed beating a 1 seed in 6 games, let’s see if this can happen. 12 minutes to close out the Mavs. But they have that look in their eye.

    Good stuff.

  59. Wow, Golden State just embarrassed the Mavericks. It’s one thing for the Lakers to lose to the Suns by 20+ points. That’s a 7 losing to a 2 on the road, but the league’s best team and best road team just got blitzed in a must-win game by an 8 seed. Just incredible.

    That’s going to be the most awkward MVP award presentation ever.

  60. Lakers would get out of the first round with Mo Williams. Maybe even get to the conference finals.

    I’d like to subtract Smush and Mckie, add Jasikevicius and Barnes.

    Man …

  61. The Lakers could learn something from the Warriors.

  62. 56. I have not been to a Warriors game in Oakland…. Paging Gatinho.

  63. chris henderson May 4, 2007 at 12:28 am

    i guess dallas can start talking trades now

  64. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Its but natural that the members of this family will be diminishing in number after the exit… But I hope you guys blog in at least once a day…

  65. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Off-season moves have started the day we exited the playoffs. Kobe’s statements were hard and tough and they were calling for urgency. We have no idea as to where it’ll lead us… For all we know, Jerry West could be back here too. Mitch Kupchak is very passive and unaggressive. Not so good for a High Market team such as the Lakers… aggressive and uptempo in both trades and offer sheets.

    I have been busy presenting options for our team – both major and minor ones and their probable path. Considering both camps’ needs and wants and throw-ins to make each deal, whichever might push through, posiible.

  66. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 2:26 am

    OPTION 1 – Minnesota.

    Though being in the same conference bothers its chances, should McHale and Kupchak come to terms, their deals should look like this: (IMO)

    KG, Mike James
    –for–
    Odom, Bynum, Vlade, Cook, and #19 draft pick.

    Pretty lopsided but Minny gets rid of James while acquiring Bynum and the #19 pick this year. Should be interesting.

    For minor deals, this could work:

    Vlade Radmanovic + 2nd rd pick.
    –for–
    Mike James

    Brian Cook + Sasha Vujacic
    –for–
    Mike James

    I understand that the deal for KG is a tough one. For Mike James, it could be a little easier. Obviously.

  67. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 2:41 am

    OPTION 2 – Indy

    This deal has a lot better chance of happening than the 1st one. Kurt has KG at 1 to 50. I agree. I’ll have this one at 1 to 20.

    Jermaine O’neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Ike Diogu
    –for–
    Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, Brian Cook

    This is option 2a. The deal doesn’t include Bynum but includes Kwame’s 9M expiring. The deal rids them of Jamaal Tinsley whom they are trying to part with. Ike Diogu I am throwing in to the Lakers favor.

    Jermaine Oneal, Ike Diogu
    –for–
    Kwame Brown, Bynum, Vlade Radman, Luke (5M)

    This is option 2b. No Lamar Odom might be hard to convince but it has Kwame’s 9M, Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum.

    Jermaine Oneal, Ike Diogu
    –for–
    Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Brian Cook, Vujacic

    This is option 2c. The ultimate but we are probably on the losing end. I’ll do it anyway.

  68. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 2:53 am

    OPTION 3 – NEW JERSEY

    Its been 3 moths since the Kidd rumors. Deadline passed in a lull. Talks may be re-kindled in the off-season as they would both have the camp to work chemistry with.

    Bynum, Kwame, Radmanovic, Cook
    –for–
    Jason Kidd, Nenad Krstic.

    I DO NOT APPROVE OF THE DEAL. First off, Trading big for small and Kidd’s health status and age. Krstic is a decent big man and relatively young, which is good, but Bynum and the 9M expiring can be better spent somewhere. Though the 1st five would go like this:

    Kidd, Kobe, Walton, Odom, Mihm/Krstic.

    Nice eh?

  69. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 3:02 am

    OPTION 4 – SACTOWN

    Maloofs are out of the question, They reside in the same Conference, in the same Pacific Division even. Far Far.

    Mike Bibby, Rahim
    –for–
    Kwame Brown, Vlade Radman, Jordan Farmar, Andrew Bynum

    I don’t know if I say yes or no to this one. There’s a lot to consider… I haven’t thought of it much. But for sure Kwame’s 9M will be asked of. I think giving Bynum might be too much.

  70. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 3:07 am

    OPTION 5 – PHILLY

    This is a personal opinion as I like Andre Miller among the PGs mentioned above for 5 reasons:

    1. Cheaper (1/2 of Kidd’s, 3/4 of Bibby’s)
    2. Younger than Kidd, playmaking fits the triangle better,
    3. Better shooter than Kidd or equal. Easier to acquire coming from the East.
    4. Philly has all sorts of needs. Maybe paying a part of their contracts might be included in the deal.
    5. He doesnt demand the ball as Kidd would.

    Andre Miller, Kyle Korver
    –for–
    Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, draft picks, cash.

  71. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 3:10 am

    I’m out guys. Be back later… Have at it. I accept and appreciate criticisms. It might improve my ideas. Who knows, Kobe might like some of these I’ve proposed. I’d like to keep Lamar in the process thats why I like #5 best. Hopefully we can get KG next year after he opts out.

  72. I feel that Jamal Crawford would be a sweet fit on our team. With the right motivation, he could be a good defender. Tall, super quick, and rangy arms. Not to mention, he’s a good shooter and has experience in the triangle.

    Wouldn’t it just be exciting to have a player with his type of scoring potential to take the ease off of Kobe’s shoulders? Jamal’s due for a 40 point explosion every year. Remember this past season where he hit 52 on the Heat? He was nailing shots from all over the court. When was the last time you expected any Laker besides Kobe to hit 40, or even 35?

    Perhaps an offer to something of Kwame for Jamal and Channing Frye? Frye was not happy with his decreased minutes and statistics due to the emergence of Eddy Curry. And Isiah surely needs some cap support with Kwame’s expiring deal.

    However, we do lose a little muscle inside with Channing’s weak power game, but he’s shown a good midrange jumper and offensive touch.

    All this does seem unlikely, but it’s nice to dream of a capable scorer at the point.

  73. Now’s the time! Call Mark Cuban–get out of bed, Mitch!

    I’m sure Cuban is ready to unload the entire Maverick team before sunrise.

    You could start by trading Smush, Cook, and Sasha for George and Harris.

    Sell Cuban on the Smusher as the missing stopper for Baron Davis. He’ll see it right away.

    He’ll want to trade Avery Johnson. Don’t give up Rambis. Remind Cuban of an opening for Avery with the Grizzlies–or that international team job in Pnom Penh, Cambodia. He’ll like that!

    Tell Cuban he’ll never be humiliated by Dirk Nowitzke again, because you’ll make Nowitzke a Laker, even if you have to give up Kwame to get the deal done. When he breaks into tears of gratitude, jsut say, “What are friends for.”

    Keep talking to him as you fly to wherever he is with a binding agreement.

    Once he signs, you can take a vacation. You’ve rebuilt the team.

    (see Warren, I can make fantastic trades too!)

  74. The Mavs are going to have to make some changes. What about Odom for Terry and Howard or if that doesn’t go, Terry and Stackhouse?

  75. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 9:00 am

    See, the Mavs are surely a confused team right now. Every cylinder was clicking till they met Nellie’s Warriors. Its hard to stay on the team, its hard to break them too. Talk about a dilemma worse than ours…

    Dallas has no cap room and nobody to trade. But if I get to pick one player and add him to ours, I’d pick Devin Harris for defense. Stack can surely work the Triangle too. But I never even thought of trading with this team. Hollinger had them win the trophy before the playoffs even started. If you had 3 guesseson who’d win, Dallas would surely be in it too.

  76. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 9:06 am

    I don’t understand why a Center who had just won the DPOY award is on the trading block. But what the heck, I’m probably the king-of-fantastic-trade/s-speculation right now, so I’ll shoot them in the head and give them:

    Kwame’s Big Body at center and his 9M expiring
    Brian Cook’s unreliable shooting

    –for–

    Camby’s contract and interior defense
    Evans’ hard fouling arms

    Might work for Denver… Surely for us. Veterans.

  77. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I’ll be conservative about this statement I’m about to make and try to incorporate the logic of it to my proposals.

    This year, while defensively we were shmucks especially at the PG spot, I must say we were a delinquent offensive team as well. One StevenLai has said there was no Laker expected to score 30 points in any given night due to the roster we had. This is the source of Kobe’s mamba mode. He does not trust anybody ans rightfully so.

    The Tri is supposed to create easy offense for all 5 players with the top having an equal opportunity with the sides. Endless cuts and spot-ups are to be flashed, somehow creating an open shot from any of the tri’s tip or create a mismatch along the way. This year, we were the straight line team. It was all Kobe because there wasn’t anybody else.

    PJ has never been a defensive coach. He doesnt insist on that as much as a perfect tri execution. However, he will take you out of the game if you stray away from the game plan. He allowed Kobe to do mamba as well because he of all people know that there isn’t anyone else.

  78. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 9:49 am

    2-step trade guide to improving without involving LO and AB:

    1. Walton + Radman for Andre Miller
    2. Kwame + Cook for Camby + Evans

    PG – Andre Miller / Farmar / Shamu
    SG – Kobe / Vujacic / Draft Pick
    SF – Mo Evans / Reggie Evans / Draft Pick
    PF – Odom / Turiaf / Draft Pick
    C- Marcus Camby / Bynum / Mihm

    These are less controversial moves for the team that’ll create instant impact. Maybe not a ring yet though.

  79. 64. Warren, this blog stays active through the offseason. Rather than make a rash “the sky is falling” post about the team, I’m taking a few days to let things sink in and then go at it.

    But I promise, we’ll be tracking the draft, off-season moves, the Summer Leagues (although, sadly, not Long Beach in person) and even some international hoop all summer. You asked about a post a day, the site averages about 6 a week during the season, that probably falls to about 4 a week in the off-season, depending on what is going on. And the comments never stop.

    We’ll be here.

  80. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I can envision Camby winning every tip except that with Yao Ming… Andre has the ball. He brings it up stops at the top of the three and passes to Odom in the strong side post. MoEvans flashes down the lane and cuts through the middle, sets a mini screen for Kobe and boom! 16 ft jump shot with Raja Bell scrambling for a block attempt.

    Next stop, defense. Andre spreads his arms as he engages on Steve Nash. Nash takes 3 secs of the clock and by now is at the 3 area. Amare sets a screen as Camby is closely behind. Nash penetrates in the left wing as Amare rolls to the basket. There is a Lurking Lamar Odom by the 8ft mark ready to take the charge as Amare quickly tries to pass off to a cutting Shawn Marion from the weak side. Evans seals the passing lane and deflects the pass, Camby picks the ball up for a pitch then its off to the races with Kobe for a fastbreak dunk with Raja Bell fouling him by halfcourt. 2 fts.

    Andre has the ball. This time, Kobe is at the strong post. Entry pass is spurned as Bell fronts him. He passes to Lamar by the weakside wing open for a three. As Lamar sets, Marion jumps to block the shot… an extra pass to MoEvans by the corner for an open three. (James Jones ran to double on Kobe) 7-0 Lakers.

    One more time on D.
    Nash crosses the midcourt easy. He passes of to Bell at the top, Bell passes to Amare on the weak post. As Amare pounds on the ball, Evans doubles him up and forces the pass. Marion is at the corner faking a three as Lamar chases him by the baseline. Marion squeaks through and has an open lay-up as Camby blocks his shot from behind hitting the backboard. Andre Miller pitches to an open Kobe who lays the ball up or draws Bell’s 2nd foul on the 2nd minute of the 1st. 9-0 Lakers.

    See, I can imagine these things too. And they’re no fluke.

  81. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Very Cool Kurt. As long as my gardener is around, we’d have no problem with Someone to flower the plants… I can be a weed at times :)

  82. Mo Evans’ early play was fantastic. I recall him being a great backup to Kobe. His mid-range game and play around the rim was inspiring. His numbers seemed to fall near mid season, yet I’ll remember his early play going into next season.
    Can’t say enough about Luke’s transformation into a vital player.

  83. Does anyone know off the top of their head, the last time a “superstar” was the subject of a trade between similar conference teams? Specifically, the western conference?

    Shaq-east to west
    Tracy-east to west
    Kidd-west to east
    Artest-east to west
    AI-east to west

    Exceptions
    Baron Davis-west to west
    Vince Carter-east to east

    I’m sure there are more, but this is for the limited proposition that super stars rarely get traded within conferences, for obvious reasons. It’ll be contingent upon KG to INSIST with all his heart to be traded to LA, and I don’t know if he’ll do it given his fierce (some may say stubborn) loyalty. Will he? Who knows, that is the most tantalizing question of this summer. I also wonder if KG’s will, should he seek to be in LA, is enough to convince McHale and et. al to be moved into doing so, even if it’s against their wills. Minnesota should know that they will NEVER get equal value for someone like KG.

  84. It seems to me that throughout Dallas’ playoff runs, Nowitski has proved himslef more of a second option rather than a first. Without cap space, the Mavs can’t go after a first option. It may be in the Mavs interest to trade Nowitski for Odom and Kwame. That Dallas team would still make the playoffs next year. They might even be able to trade Kwame’s expiring for a disgruntled player mid season, and build a Pistons style team with 4 or 5 second options. Terry, Harris, Howard, Odom, and say Camby could do some damage. In the meantime, Kobe gets a legitimate second option in Nowitski to play off of.

  85. Huge props to the golden state fans for being absolutely awesome. They stood for the entire second half of that game, even when the warriors were leading by more than 20 points. rare sight for an NBA game.

  86. Okay, this is a little nuts.

    First people, don’t overestimate how much people in the NBA want Kwame. He’s an expiring contract, but as a player he does not garner a lot of interest. He’s filler, not a key piece.

    Dirk is not going anywhere, Dallas may need another big scorer but he would play alongside Dirk. Dallas is not going to trade him, without him they are much farther from a title, they are without the one guy on that team who can score.

    And Warren, Denver is going to trade Camby, the defensive player of the year with three years left on his deal and an anchor for that team, for Kwame and Cook? No way. That is a huge talent downgrade for them.

    People, GMs are not stupid. They are not going to make a trade they don’t think makes their team better. And in the case of top or second tier teams, all moves are make with this question: Does it help me win a title? Think of it from their perspective too.

  87. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Due to Mitch Kupchak’s passiveness, I was trying to look for “other” options for this team.

    You are right that Kwame and Cook are a huge downgrade. I had just scanned Denver’s salary distribution and I realized they are 77M and Blake is on their plans. I do not know how to go around with it but they are in Deep Trouble Cap-wise. This is probably the only team other than the Knicks to sport 4 players with 10+ million while Camby is at 8. Oh even the Knicks have 2 8s, a 16 and a 20. New Orleans has 3 player with 10+.

    My contention on Denver is, 9M coming off the books is a huge help to this team. They can re-sign Kwame next year for a lot less than that while Camby remains for 2 more seasons at 8M each. If theres a better alternative for Denver apart from that of Kwame’s, it would be Theo Ratliff. But he is useless. Kwame can be used meanwhile.

  88. Warren… you’re on fire. A little out there, but I like your tenacity.

    on that note… I don’t see a lot of hope to get an allstar PF, mostly because there aren’t any that people are willing to hold a firesale on. Remember, you don’t get even money for an allstar… you either get forced to give him up with a “godfather” deal, or you sell him for 75c on the dollar (like we did w/ shaq) because you think he’s lost it.

    JO & KG are still in their prime, and perfoming like it. We would have to OVERWHELM the offer with tallent and value, and I don’t think we have the pieces to do so…

    So who has a mid-range guy we have a shot at getting… someone younger, unproven… maybe hasn’t gotten a chance to shine because of log-jams…

    either that… or shore up a few spots on the cheap… and then REALLY MOVE kwame and his contract in the middle of next season, when we might get a steal.

    what we can’t afford to do is let this year go by without getting full value for Kwame’s expiring contract, and probably Lamar’s near expiring one… we let the deadline pass with one or both on our books, and we’re done for… no piece to trade, and no cap room to sign.

  89. Sorry for answering my page so late. I was out of the house last night.

    Warriors fans have been dying for a winning team and should win an award for their hard core devotion over the past 13 years.

    That being said, most of them reside on the East side of the Bay.

    In SF and the Penninsula they are all wearing their brand new just bought 2 weeks ago Warrior hats and shirts.(They all jumped on the Sacto bandwagon in the early ’00’s but have since abandoned that ship)

    But in Oaklandd they are going nuts because they have actually stuck by this team through all of its non-sensical drafting, bloated contracts and bad trades. because they simply love the game of basketball.

    Briniging Mullin in has been the best thing owner Cohan has doen since he has been at the helm. And although it took Mullin a little while to figure out that he needed someone with a more nuanced view of the NBA and its machinations (Don Nelson), he has atoned for past mistakes (Dunleavy, Murphy contracts) with one blockbuster mid season trade.

    The building itself (what used to be the O-rena and is now The Oracle) is looking more and more like the Sports Arena (anyone ever go to a Clipper game when they played there? depressing). And when I’m there I always think of how lonely that one Championship banner looks hanging in a far off corner.

    But the fans who attend are knowledgeable and, as we have all witnessed, rabid.

    The good thing that comes out of all of this for me is that the folks up here will actually want to talk NBA now, not just change the subject to the NFL or MLB…

  90. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 11:45 am

    “When you are winning, everybody looks good.”

    This is the anecdotal story of the Dallas Mavs this year. A very impressive coach, an MVP in the house, and loads of role players “happy” to be where they are.

    However, as the gloom of Game 6 covered the Mark Cuban sky, suddenly they look awful. GS’s win was no fluke. Dirk struggled and so did all others. Maybe Avery was still immature to handle the situation as a coach. There is even a suggestion of Dirk to LA. Nellie now is the one that players would die for.

    The price paid would have been worth it for Cuban. If only last year’s title was so close yet so far, this year would have been it. Now they are back to square one like us. Well, maybe they are at step 2. I wasn’t convinced it was Miami’s to win last year. Dallas was clearly the better team. But there’s something in pressure that makes you cave in.

  91. Forum Blue and Gold was definitely the highlight for me this season. I don’t get to watch that much of the Lakers , eaast coast.

    As far as the Lakers, we should all remeber that before all the injuries started they were 20-11 thru 12/31/06.

  92. warren (philippines) May 4, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I was the crazy one presenting the 5 options as if they were achievable. But as I look at the Laker line-up day by day, as I stare by the salary distribution, KG is looking more impossible to me. It would take out at least 4 Lakers and a pick with Lamar going to Minny to complete it. That deal is almost as impossible to me as Minny would think.

    The JO deal would make better sense only if Odom is not included. Yes, I am refuting my own proposal. But then again, without Odom, again it would take 4 players and a draft pick.. But at least we get to keep Lamar this way.

    Just as I’ve said, the weight of Kidd’s contract bothers me. We’d be trading big-for-small. Its not a running team we are building here and Jason Kidd ain’t running that fast anymore too.

    The one with Sacto I couldn’t agree even if it was possible. Bibby is just not what we need. Neither can Artest be.

    Well I guess it’ll have to depend on what they actually do. I’d have to stop this madness of mine and not comment anymore. I think I need a break. I’ll see if I can rest for a while. But I’ll be around… Ciao guys.

  93. Calm down warren.

  94. Regarding Kupchak: From what I’ve heard from people who know him, he’s actually very interested in making deals–not passive, in other words–but he’s not very good at handling curveballs. Yet, anyway. He may just not be cut out for the deceptive wheeling and dealing world of general managership. I personally don’t think he’s as bad as he’s commonly made out to be, but that’s not saying much.

    Although people often say that the triangle offense does not place as much of a premium on the point guard position as more traditional offenses do, the practical side of the matter is that the opponents are not required to allow you to run the triangle unimpeded. In particular, zone defenses gave the Lakers a crapload of trouble, despite the fact that they increasingly got a steady dose of it. A good point guard is needed to help break that zone down, and discourage opponents from employing it. And a good point guard would also help with the mediocre Laker fast break. The team’s positioning on fast breaks is sometimes shockingly poor, and putting the ball in the point guard’s hand would help. I think players often think that you need to deceive–whence the no-look pass–but with a man advantage, you can still direct traffic and put the defense on their heels.

    And, that point guard needs to be a veteran, someone who can–not put Kobe in his place, exactly…we know he’s the man–but can stand up to Kobe and run the game from a strategic perspective, which would allow Kobe to do his thing without having the guys just stand around and not buy tickets to the game they’re watching. Ron Harper was perfect for this. Lamar, for all of his heart and ability, is just not that guy: He’s come out and said that there’s times when you just watch Kobe in awe. Well, OK, but not while the game’s going on, all right?

    I’m generally optimistic, but I too am concerned that the Lakers are not showing enough urgency in putting together the right kind of team to support Kobe. Hoping they can, as Stu puts it, “git it done.”

  95. Warren,
    I like how you want to improve this team so badly, but your proposals are as if your are playing NBA LIVE 07 with trade restrictions off and the ability to make the computer accept your trade.
    No team will give us a top notch player unless we give them an offer they absolutely cannot refuse. Nobody wants to give us a KG or JO and get dominated by us for the next 5 years.

  96. I like the ideas, but your flooding the blog with these. Quality over quantity.

  97. 92 – Well said, warren.

  98. What we need are:

    Defense at the PG position.

    A “dependable” and “consistent” second scoring option that is willing to move without the ball and get into scoring position once the defense has collapsed on Kobe.

    Lamar is great. But his understanding of the passing lanes as an off the ball scorer is just not there. He sees the passing lanes only when he initiates the offense. He is a fine third otion, and can play aggressively when Kobe goes cold, and this is how he should be used. Our second scoring option could easily be less versatile and valuable than Lamar. There must be a guy like that in the league that commands around $12 K, why can’t Kwame and fillers get that?

  99. With all the trade talk, I wonder about a clash withing the Laker organization making most of our discussions null and void.

    Kurt, you are closer to things than we are. Could you comment about the following ‘rant’ I have…

    Phil Jackson previously ‘helped’ Jerry Buss run off Jerry West. Phil Jackson seems to have actively played his own ‘guys’ (i.e. Smush and Walton) while Mitch was trying to get him replacements for starting PG and SF. Yeah, I know, injuries, but there was enough time that I have real questions as to whether Phil was working with the organization or actively trying to frustrate it. He does not have a great reputation in that reguard, but (like Shaq) he seem immune from criticism.

    I think the organization really has to make some coaching decisions and, perhaps, have some harsh words privately with Phil, before thinking through what they want in the way of players. After all if Phil stays, what is the guarantee that he will play any of the people Mitch gets for him.

    I know Phil wants to win as much as Kobe, but he also has an ego at least as big as Kobe’s. This can be a problem.

    Again, Kurt, could you please comment.

  100. Listen the real deal is that it takes years to build a contender. Yes the Lakers are ahead of the game, because they have Kobe and PJ, but look at the contenders right now. The Pieces didn’t just come together in one year for them. Patience is the key my friends…

  101. Any Laker fan who thinks that any player in the NBA ISN’T available (sometimes with bargain basement terms) under the right circumstances must have come down with temporary Alzheimer’s. But back to the future.

    Just this year alone, the Lakers had (or could have had) a realistic shot at Al Harrington (twice), Chris Webber, and Allen Iverson under favorable conditions. There probably were others we didn’t hear about.

    The Detroit Pistons are real masters at finding players that change them from pretenders to contenders/champions on the cheap. They certainly have not been doing it through the draft.

    I tried to write humorously about a fictional encounter between Mitch and Mark, but in many ways it is desperation, frustration, or persistence that lands players. Things in the NBA can change overnite. Remember how quickly we went from “Shaqled” to “Shaqless.”

    As I suspected, the win by the Warriors is already changing the perspective of the pundits. Keep in mind that defense, not offense is the quickest proven way to turn a team around–but too expensive, risky, and slow the “big man” plus two/three stars way (just ask Mitch).

    Don Nelson has found a way to meld old fashioned ideas of defense with A’Antonio style offense on the fly and, relatively speaking, on the cheap. What if they win it all?

    I believe that if the Suns win it all, there could be a paradigm shift in the NBA–but if the Warriors win it all, there WILL be a paradigm shift. That means different players will be traded and come available under different terms.

    Don’t do your speculating without adding in some perspective. Think of all the “teams” the Lakers could be–within and without the triangle. Make a “defense” team one of them. Think about “redemption” players currently out of favor; think about Billups before anyone knew; think flexibly–and pray that someone who really controls the moves in Lakerland has updated his risk/rewards probabilities to include an updated Bayesian future in his forecasts.

    Think cost/benefit with some of the extra benefits that come with being a Laker in mind. Consider that a player that may seem a liability to some may be a benefit to us. Think about what happened to UCLA when they stopped trying to recruit and pamper superstars. Remember how inconsistent they were?

    Even while rebuilding this year, the UCLA defensive team orientation gave them enough consistency to make it to the NCAA semifinals–even while their “scorer” was as inconsistant as stars of the past.

    Think before you speculate–and don’t be afraid to change your mind or consider the impossible.

    For example, given the 4-0 shellacking of the Heat, maybe Shaq will become available!

  102. I’m a little surprised everyone is talking about trades involving Kwame or Odom, and to an extent VladRad. All are going under the knife in the off season, not to mention Kwame and Odom have a long history of injuries.

    Potential or past play aside, teams trading for them aren’t getting reliable players in the sense there is a good chance they won’t be ready to suit up every night.

  103. Mitch’s first order of duty this summer should be to call every single team in the league and say, “we’ll give you 24 hours to come up with the best offer you can come up with for Odom, Bynum, VladRad, and our upcoming first round pick (#19).” Then make a list of the best offers and see what we are working with. Obviously we NEED the best player possible and that is the biggest offer we can throw out there.

  104. The sportsguy just mentioned it on his blog, and it goes right to the fear I mentioned earlier…

    We let the trade deadline expire with $15mm of expiring contracts stay on our books. We don’t need that cap room… we’re almost double that over the cap already (including B. Grant). keeping that expiring money did not help us…

    Your telling me than not ONE team in a smaller market with slim chance to make the post season wouldn’t like to clear some cap room and give hope to their fan base that they have a shot of signing a premere FA?

    Now what happens if this summer, and next Feb pass, and we still have Kwame’s $8m on the books??? We’ve wasted our biggest trade asset… again.

  105. I know you guys hate trade talk, but what are our chances of getting Mike Miller? I feel like he could be a guy that could help out as a scoring option.

  106. I think people can kind of get carried away sometimes with trade scenarios and not realize the the actual salaries for the players involved have to match up! Listen nobody and i mean absolutely NOBODY will take Vladimir with his contract! Our most tradeable assets are Bynum, LO, Kwame, Farmar, Luke, and Kobe. It would no make sense to trade LO and Bynum for JO because you would be giving up too much to get JO. LO is a boderline all-star and JO didn’t make the all-star team plus he’s coming off a major injury this year so his stock is at an all-time low where as with Lamar his stock is actually rising because of his versatility and playoff performance against the Suns. If a deal for LO is in place then that deal would probably be straight up player for player. This would not help either team a heck of a lot because essentially your getting the same production from both players. From what i’ve read the Pacers want young, up and coming players hence the interest in Bynum. In order to match the salaries of the players involved you would almost certainly have to throw in at least 1to 2 veteran players to make the deal work. In this case i think the most logical move would be to include Kwame’s 9mil expiring contract and a 1st round draft pick by doing this the Laker’s can keep their core team intact as well as add a solid post player too their roster. This benefits Indiana as well in getting the young talented player they wanted and also getting cap room flexibility to aggressively go after the free agents in next years class and also they could get a pretty good player in this years DEEP draft class.

  107. I like Mike as a scoring option defensively he’s a liability. If you can’t stop anybody it doesn’t matter how many points you can score. I think thats the difference between teams like the Spurs who win championships and teams like Dallas who don’t.

  108. Sorry, haven’t read all the tips, but had to add a couple; if they’re repetitive, well, not my claims then. Mo Evans played alright for us; obviously our depth at center; the development of Mr. Bynum (I’m excluding Jordan coz watching him a lot at UCLA, I wasn’t surprised at his confident play). We have a multi-headed center beast in the making, I think, and some possible trade bait if we so desire.

  109. 104. In one breath Sports Guy gives kudos to Golden State for taking fliers on players, then in the next breath questions the Lakers taking a flier. The only reason the GS fliers suddenly look good is Baron Davis is healthy. Not that they were bad moves, but it shows you how much a healthy roster means.

    Bynum is the big trade question mark. But people seem to want to trade Odom. He was one of the few Lakers who showed up in the playoffs, and he did it despite a lot of pain. JO, in my mind, is a small upgrade over Odom but not much of one, certainly not worth throwing Bynum in. If you’re going to trade Odom, you need to get A LOT back, and that likely won’t be coming.

  110. I agree with the fact that JO will not be a huge upgrade over Odom.

    Pros:
    – He has more impact on the offensive end
    – he can play both the center and the forward positions
    – he’ll help our shotblocking
    – help rebounding
    – help defense, post defense (Kwame is inconsistent)

    Cons:
    – JO is not a good passer
    – Triangle may be too much for him
    – succeeds in isolation plays…not sure how much of those he would get with the triangle and the isolations drawn up for Kobe
    – His last name would bring back bad memories :D

  111. 79. I’m one with Kurt here. I would rather have things fall the way they should rather than worry about anything now. The season’s not even over and there are a lot of things that could still happen. After the off-season, there is still the draft and some international competitions.

    Sometime after all these, we can start with the possibilities and hope for the best.

    Meantime, I will cherish all the positive things you guys have posted for this thread.

    Thank yout Kurt for this blog. It had been my refuge for the last two months when our team was struggling. Made things quite easier to swallow.

  112. curious as what people are hoping to see with the draft pick. i guess odds are it would be thrown in if there’s a blockbuster trade, but if we do keep it, who would you like to see in a lakers jersey? if nbadraft.net is any indication, there’s gonna be lots of talent still on the board at 19.

    go with another ucla star in afflalo? alando tucker is proven gamer and a natural leader. crittneton’s not a bad pg, but a lil fresh. brandon rush is pretty versatile and talented.

    i guess my personal hope is that acie law slips down to 19 (not a total stretch). i would completely trust a farmar/law combo to handle point duties. as young as they are, no one has as much competitveness and toughness at their age and position.

    what would you do (assuming we don’t trade it away)?

  113. Let’s consider 2 kinds of outcomes from the NBA playoffs West before they happen.

    San Antonio and Phoenix have been expecting to face each other in the playoffs. It is an almost historic confrontation.

    San Antonio will almost certainly attempt the complex defensive strategy that Kurt and Nate prescribed for the Lakers. They want a slow paced half court game. San Antonio believes that IF they and Phoenix have an equal number of opportunities to score, they will make a higher proportion of shots and rebounds-and win. They have Tim Duncan. It may be a 5-10 point edge. It’s all part of the classic “big man” approach that the Lakers embraced successfully not so long ago with Shaquille.

    In a fast paced game, the big man doesn’t have a chance to get in position. The first line defenders on a fast break are usually guards. If Phoenix can attack fast enough, they may have both a numbers advantage and a size advantage. Phoenix will look for up tempo opportunities to pull into the lead. It often happens for them when they substitute in Barbosa–as we’ve seen.

    Traditional basketball thinkers would still give the nod to San Antonio, claiming that good defense always stops the “run and gun.” Unlike the Lakers, San Antonio has veterans to bring in off the bench–even a great sixth man to counteract Barbosa. Except . . .

    One can play a half court game and make a fewer proportion of shots and rebounds–and still win. The trick is to take and make more threes.

    In conventional “big man” basketball, one tosses the ball to the big guy, and he scores or distributes it back for the 3 point shot . Phoenix can accomplish the same thing that a team accomplishes with a good big man with a good distributer. With both a half court and an up tempo game, all the numbers reverse, and Phoenix now has the 5-10 point built in advantage.

    Since San Antonio also has a penetrating guard and can go on up tempo spurts themselves and Phoenix can go inside with Amare and both teams can use their big guys to do the high pick and roll, strategic advantages can migrate in many ways. Still, Phoenix has shown that their 3 point fast paced team oriented approach can beat even the best “big guy” and superstar approach.

    Since San Antonio represents the best most strategically advanced form of the traditional approach with a great big guy, a clear victory by Phoenix leads in the direction of a new way to build a winning NBA team.

    The Warriors could have a very similar test with Houston–less clear with Utah. What makes them so interesting is that they transformed themselves on the fly into a potentially even more lethal variant of the Phoenix approach. If it can be done so quickly and works so well . . . . . .

    If San Antonio and/or Houston win it all, tradition is safe.

    If both the Warriors and Phoenix win, go on to face each other for the Western Conference championship, and the winner becomes the NBA champion–well, that could change the paradigm of NBA basketball.

    And–it could substantially change trade prospects for the Lakers in the off season.

    We can revist or disregard this post as the playoffs proceed.

  114. Chopperdave, the problem with picking 19 is that you’re not going to get an immediate impact guy, maybe a guy that in a couple years can develop into a role player, or if you’re lucky a starter in a few years. They have to take the best available player, regardless of position at that point. And, as much as I liked him as a college player, that’s a little high to take Afflalo.

    Dr.RayEye, believe it or not, I’d like to see Phoenix win it all. I actually picked them to beat Cleveland in the finals before the season started. As a whole, I’d like to see the tempo of games in the NBA pick up. And, by the way, the Lakers could do that within the triangle, Phil tends to shun that part of Tex’s offense but it is in the origional design. What I tried to lay out there was how the Lakers, as currently constructed, could beat the Suns. But I love watching them play, just not against the Lakers.

  115. That’s cuz Phil wants his teams to be a replica of the Red Holzman Knicks…

  116. Why does PJ seem unwilling to run an uptempo triangle? Any answers or ideas Kurt?

  117. “Lakers push Smush out the door

    Saturday, May 5, 2007

    Broderick Turner

    EL SEGUNDO – The Lakers already have made one decision, and that was to let Smush Parker know he won’t be back next season.

    “Smush is not someone that we are going to actively seek out to come back and play with us,” Phil Jackson said Friday.

    Parker started 162 straight games for the Lakers before he lost his job with two games left in the regular season; he didn’t play much in the playoffs. His attitude had been questioned by the staff and his teammates.

    A free agent as of July 1, Parker regressed in his second year in LA. He shot worse from the field (.436) and free-throw line (.646), and his points (11.1), assists (2.8), rebounds (2.5) and steals (1.5) all were down.”

    NANANANA NANANANA HEY HEY HEY GOOOOODBYYYYE

  118. ” Lakers push Smush out the door

    Saturday, May 5, 2007

    Broderick Turner

    EL SEGUNDO – The Lakers already have made one decision, and that was to let Smush Parker know he won’t be back next season.

    “Smush is not someone that we are going to actively seek out to come back and play with us,” Phil Jackson said Friday.

    Parker started 162 straight games for the Lakers before he lost his job with two games left in the regular season; he didn’t play much in the playoffs. His attitude had been questioned by the staff and his teammates.

    A free agent as of July 1, Parker regressed in his second year in LA. He shot worse from the field (.436) and free-throw line (.646), and his points (11.1), assists (2.8), rebounds (2.5) and steals (1.5) all were down.”

    NANANANA NANANANA HEY HEY HEY GOOODBYYYE

  119. Sorry for the double, the post didn’t show up the first time.

  120. When you look at the Rockets and see that they only have Yao and T-Mac and a bunch of filler, it’s easy to understand why Laker fans are calling for Kevin Garnett…

  121. Even though they lost, they were a fifth seed and took a very good jazz team to seven games…

  122. The problem with the Lakers drafting a player this year is that very few players coming out this year will be able to help the Lakers win next year. I don’t expect Phil to put too much stock in rookies although recently he has by playing Luke and Jordan but even with that said who could the Lakers possibly draft this year that could help this team win with the number 19 pick? Don’t get me wrong this draft class is deep with talented players but the Lakers are already stacked with young talented players they don’t need anymore what they need are solid veteran guys who know their roles and know where they’re supposed to be on the floor. I don’t see the Lakers drafting another gaurd or pg especially since they’re high on Jordan and brought in Maurice to back up Kobe maybe a center or pf but then your stuck with developing another guy for 2 to3 years! If the Lakers were smart they would somehow incorporate their first round pick in some sort of trade that could bring in a highly touted veteran player. Look at how dramatically the Warriors have changed with few battle tested veterans on their team!

  123. Kurt (114) and Luke: I agree that the pick most likely will/should be packaged, so I’m not going to get too attached to it just yet, but after Farmar (26), Ronny (37), and Luke (32), no one thinks we could get an impact player at 19, especially this year? I agree that youth has been a weakness of the team, but if we do end up hanging on to that pick, I believe there’s enough experienced upperclassmen to come in and help right away, yes even late in the first round.

    Afflalo would be the sentimental pick for me, but while I admit he won’t be able to create the shots in the NBA that he did in college, he was still one of the best perimeter defenders in the country, something that I think could translate still. Acie Law also was an outstanding defender at the point, something we need desperately. Just as two examples of the type of players that might be on the board at 19, both those guys have some solid experience behind them, and maybe more importantly, the type of competitive killer instinct that I think would mesh well with Kobe.

    Also, to 117, while I’m guilty of cursing at Smush through the TV as much as anyone, and am a little relieved to see him go, I hope everyone doesn’t forget that we paid peanuts for a guy who had previously averaged 10 minutes a game to come in and play arguably the most demanding position for the best franchise in basketball. Keep in mind, Smush started 80 games this season, beating out 4 guys making more than him (Mckie, Shammond, Sasha, and even Jordan!). According to 82games, last year he was one of the most underpaid players in the league. He came in and did way more for us than anyone ever expected. I’ll never forget the excitement I felt watching those four 20 point games at the beginning of the 05-06 season. Hopefully the frustrations he caused Laker fans (especially in the playoffs) don’t cause us to completely overlook the contributions he did make. I wish him the best, and sincerely hope he finds a place he can fit in and make the difference he’s capable of.

  124. Im not saying that there isn’t any talent left at the 19th spot what im trying to convey is that the Lakers don’t really need anyone coming out of the draft to help them win now! Yes they could use a Corey Brewer or an Acie Law or even Afflalo but those guys will need to develope over a period of time in order to make a significant contribution to the team and not to mention learn the triangle which normally takes about 2-3 yrs for the average player to fully understand how it works.

  125. Didn’t read all these, but noticed quite a lot of people thanking you Kurt, for running this website. I want to add my name to that number. I think, apart from Jordan’s blossoming and the play of our big men, none of which are that shocking to me, this website is probably the highlight of this Lakers hoop season for me. Thoughtful and accurate observations, imo, and lots of smart Laker fans out there…I really like this place; and thanks for your work, and that of Gatinho and any others who also help run the site, if I’m omitting anyone. Thanks again.