Free Agent Options

Kurt —  May 21, 2007

The NBA Lottery is tomorrow night (go Celtics) but that doesn’t impact the Lakers, picking 19th. The draft isn’t the fast way to improve this team.

Instead, let’s look at the available free agents at the point guard, plus power forward and center spots. These are spots the Lakers need an upgrade

But to do it with a free agent will be a challenge for the Lakers as they only have the mid-level exception (MLE) to spend. That is going to be about $5.7 to $6 million a year next year, for up to five years (that is what the Lakers used to get Radmanovic last summer).

The bottom line, the list of players the Lakers can afford is unimpressive and has you thinking trade. Here is a non-exhaustive list and some thoughts on the available guys (not including trades):

Point Guard

Good but too expensive: Chauncy Billups (Detroit), Mo Williams (Milwaukee). I’d offer Mo the full MLE, but the Bucks can and would match that. My guess is Mo makes between $7-$8 million next year, maybe more as there aren’t a lot of good free agent point guards and a lot of teams with needs there.

Please No: Chucky Atkins (Memphis), Gary Payton (Miami), Jason Hart (Clippers), Keyon Dooling (Orlando), Charlie Bell (Memphis). Especially if the Lakers end up having to give up Farmar in a big off-season trade, then someone like Bell, Dooling or Hart could be a decent backup if you can get them for about half the MLE for a couple seasons. But that’s it.

Guys I’d like (or at least live with): Steve Blake (Denver). He can shoot the three (41.3% two years ago, I’d throw out much of this years numbers), he stepped up pretty well in the playoffs, and his opponent defense this season was pretty good in Denver (opposing PGs shot 46% and had a PER of 14.8 against him, for comparison Smush let opposing PGs have a PER of 18). I think the combo of Blake and Farmar could be good, if the Lakers get a stronger defensive/intimidating precence in the paint. The question is will the MLE be enough to lure him out of Denver?

Guys not mentioned yet: Earl Boykins (Milwaukee), Mike Bibby (Sacramento). Bibby is only a free agent if he walks away from the two years, $28 million, which he would be an idiot to do because he’ll never make that on the open market. Boykins, love the energy, but just is too small as a starting PG defensively.

Power Forward/Centers

Good but too expensive: Chris Webber (Detroit), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland). Webber would be great offenisvie fit in the triangle but his defense is questionable, and he’s going to make more than the MLE. Varejao would be a great fit but he is a restricted free agent and no way Cleveland lets him go for the MLE.

Please no: Dale Davis (Detroit), Dikembe Mutombo (Houston), PJ Brown (Chicago). Motombo is 41 right now, Brown and Davis are 38. Just too old to play major minutes, and the Lakers need someone who can play minutes.

Guys I like (or could at least live with): Jamal Magloire (Portland), Mikki Moore (New Jersey). I don’t love either of these guys, but if in a trade you move Kwame and/or Bynum, you need another big body. These guys would fit the bill and likely bring more production, particularly on offense.

Guys not mentioned: Corrlis Williamson (Sacramento), Marc Jackson (New Orleans).

Kurt

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80 responses to Free Agent Options

  1. Kurt if the Lakers add..

    Blake or Mo Williams

    &

    Trade for JO

    how many wins can we look at next season?

  2. MATT CARROLL!!!

    This dude plays some D, shots the three, is tall for his postiion… Charlotte wants to keep him, but he would be a FANTASTIC fit with the Lakers.

  3. What’s wrong with Mikki Moore? I thought he had a good season.

  4. 1. We’d have to assume they keep Walton and everyone stays sort of healthy, but if they did all those things and made those two moves this team would be a contender, I think. Starting five of Blake, Kobe, Odom, JO and Mihm (or another center, but the defense would be okay because JO would take the opponents better post player nightly), the bench would have Radman, Mo Evans, Walton, Farmar and Turiaf. I like that. As for wins, that’s a little tough to say just because with two key new starters in the triangle I would expect the Lakers to start slow and pick up steam. They may win 52 but be peaking at the right time.

    But that is a lot of ifs.

  5. Good Lord! This is what we are dealing with!!!

    All of the players Kurt mentioned (with the exception of Billups) are nothing that is going to make us contenders. It doesn’t look as if we will be able to improve our team as drastically as we want to through free agency.

    I think we will have to wait until after tomorrow night (like Jim Buss said) so that other teams can see what pick they have so they can decide who they are willing to move or not move. Then we need to (in my opinion) make 2 trades like we did the Shaq-breakup summer where we made the Heat trade and another big trade with the Celtics that brought in 4 more new players.

    After we do something big like that… then we will need to use free agency to fill remaining holes.

  6. Good write up as always Kurt.

    I think the draft lottery is big for the Lakers because it’s going to determine what teams are willing to trade with them. For instance, if PHX ends up with Atlanta’s pick, they’ll have more ammo to trade for one of the players (KG, JO, etc) that the Lakers want. Or if Minn jumps into the top 2 somehow (although the odds are very much against this), they’ll likely be even more interested in trading the ticket for youth.

    What webber gets and where he ends up going will be very dependent on how well the Pistons do. I’d be surprised if they won the title and then let him go.

    I like Deshawn Stevenson as a combo guard/triangle point and possibly Stackhouse as a veteran pick up.

  7. I keep hearing Artest for Kwame (or Walton – boo!) talk…is there any truth to these rumors? or is it just blind speculation?

    I know it’s a lot of baggage, but if there is any team Artest will fit on, it’s the Lakers. Offensively he’s a quandry of good/bad, but defensively he’s a monster. Phil knows how to handle odd guys (Rodman, Bison Dele) and Kobe’s Alpha Dog enough to keep the teams priorities straight. And it’s not like LA is Milwaukee or some place. Isn’t that the best low cost solution for this team?

    Great article, btw. Definately think Blake is a great fit for the LakeShow. There’s no one else really availble for the MLE that’s worth it otherwise. I’d be pretty happy if the Lakers can snag Blake and Artest…with Mihm and Bynum back, the Lakers would look pretty formidable – but there’s still a lot of if’s there.

  8. I think skigi is sort of thinking along the right lines.

    After tomorrow night, a team like Boston or Atlanta become excellent trading partners. For instance:

    - If Boston picks first, they would likely grab Oden. This would make players like Kendrick Perkins and Ryan Gomes available. If Boston picks second (even better), they likely take Kevin Durant. This makes Gerald Green, Wally Sczerbiak, and Delonte West expendable.

    - Atlanta has a whole slew of players the Lakers could use.

    I think a trade is absolutely necessary given our current position. Now, a BIG trade? I don’t think so. Just a trade.

  9. Another great possibility would be with the Bucks. If they got Oden in the draft, that makes Bogut possibly available in a trade. That would be a great, tough guy to have on this team. The Luc Longley Aussie type Phil loves.

  10. grant hill

  11. Any trade for JO will likely have to include Odom just to make the salaries match, won’t it?

    So if we get him it’ll be more likely new PG/Kobe/Walton/JO/Mihm if we keep him.

  12. 3. Nothing wrong with Moore, I just think the Lakers need to make a big move at PG or PF/C. If they, for example, trade for a Jason Kidd then sign Moore I think it’s an upgreade. But Moore himself is not enough.

    And by the way, just read that Blake is looking for the MLE. So, maybe that is enough to get him. But if you bring him in there still needs to be a better presence in the paint at both ends of the floor.

  13. 11. JO does make a lot, but I’ve said before (in the comments) that trading Odom+Bynum for JO is too much, that the upgrade from Odom to JO is not so big as to warrant Bynum. If you can keep Odom and JO, you have a dangerous front line. The money does not match, so the Lakers will have to throw picks in this deal (and I don’t know how those work exactly in counting for salary in trade deals). If the trade is Kwame/Bynum/Cook and a pick or two (maybe Radman or, unfortunately, a resigned Walton is part of this deal to make the money work) then I would think it would go through.

  14. Kurt when Jim Buss said we will make big decisions after May 22nd can you enlighten the situation more as to what he meant?

  15. I may be in the minority, but I don’t think Blake will be much of an improvement over what we have. He’s focused on defense, really tries like Sasha, but he’s weak, so he’d allow guards like Baron Davis and Jason Kidd to overpower him.

    I just don’t see him as starting material. Farmar could provide much of what he provides on offense by next season, and I don’t think Blake is the solution at the 1 defensively. Lets not get dramatic just because Smush couldn’t guard an old man on a walker.

    …not to say that he wouldn’t improve our team…because he would. But I’m not sure if he’d improve our defense and if he really is worth that MLE.

    Maybe I’m wrong. If we sign him, I hope I am.

  16. Picks don’t count toward salary in trades so Lakers will still have problems matching salary in any trade for a marquee player.

    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#43

    Of course, the Lakers can always make any number of trades after signing their draft picks.

  17. Nice write-up Kurt. There’s also a really comprehensive look at the big picture of what teams can do this summer with FA over at a Dallas blog:

    http://www.dallasbasketball.com/morestories.asp?id=3862&NAV=1

    With that picture in mind, the Lakers seem to be in surprisingly good position to pick something up it looks like. Blake wouldn’t surprise me.

  18. First off, I’ve been lurking around for a while, and I’ve got to hand it to you, Kurt- great site and some great blogging :)

    With that said I’d have disagree with Webber signing for more than the MLE; only a couple teams will have cap space (not certain if Detroit has one of those clauses that lets them exceed the cap to sign him) to offer him much more, and none of them are in danger of contention. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ape the latest fad and sign with a contending team for the veteran’s minimum if he fails to win a ring with Detroit this season (he could also re-sign with the Pistons).

    Don’t forget he’s still on the books almost $20 mil next year from Philly, so he’s not going to be squeezed for cash.

    I don’t think it’s likely he’ll sign with the Lakers, and I’m actually pretty glad for that. His passing will definitely be an asset in the triangle but he’s essentially playing on one leg, and he’s pretty much immobile on defense (not that he was all that great in the first place- too soft). We can’t afford to hide him like the Pistons can.

    I don’t really see a great solution for us at point guard either (I agree that Billups and Mo Williams will be out of our reach barring a sign-and-trade we probably don’t have the assets for). I guess it would be a bit too much to hope for that Acie Law fall to us in the draft?

  19. Hey guys, what about Mo Pete? After the season he had, he might not be too expensive. Maybe we can pull off a one year min.

    Worth a shot. He’s a solid defender, and he can ball.

  20. Could this actually be true? Jerry West coming back? This from MSN:

    Home of the soaps
    Interesting media battle in Los Angeles, where Lakers VP Jim Buss went on talk radio to criticize Phil Jackson for criticizing his players in the media. His sister Jeanie, Jackson’s girlfriend and another Lakers VP, then criticized her brother for criticizing the coach in public. Sounds like they’re ready to move forward.

    Actually they might be: Rumors have the Lakers bringing back Jerry West in an advisory role to help faltering GM Mitch Kupchak.

  21. Hearsay, speculation, blah, blah, yada, yada. I’ll believe it when I see it. The media loves to create rumors out speculation. Remember the trade deadline?

    Jimmy Buss said on the radio that he would be open to hiring West in a consultant role if he wanted the position. I remember that. There was no interaction bewtween the Buss family and West that I heard or read.

    Off topic, I would love to see either Mo (Peterson or Williams) in a Laker uniform. Either one would be a huge upgrade.

  22. Jamal Magloire? No way I want this guy on my team. On more than one occasion he has been in the press whining about not getting enough touches. We need someone who will give maximum effort while requiring minimum coddling.

  23. A few things:

    14. Buss meant that May 22 (tomorrow) is the draft lottery, meaning nobody was going to make any trades until they found out if they had won the lottery, because with two potential superstars at the top of the board it changes everything for the teams that win it. And don’t. Once teams know where they are drafting they will start to look at options.

    15. Ca-born, I don’t think Blake is a defensive stopper, but he did well with Marcus Camby behind him. Which is why I said I think he and Farmar can do well with a defensive upgrade in the paint.

    16. Rhys, thanks, I wanted to look that up but didn’t have the time, I thought for some reason picks could count toward some small amount of salary. My bad. That makes things much more challenging.

    20. Jerry West and Phil Jackson had a power struggle, West left. He is not coming back, even as a consultant, with Jackson still the man with the power here. Buss can’t say “West will never work for us” because the fans (rightly) adore West, but Phil and Jerry will not be working together.

  24. And Volren, welcome. I’d love Law (or Connely) to fall to 19. But I’m not optimistic.

  25. What about Duhon? I know that the Bulls have a restritcted option to match for him… but he would be the upgrade we’re looking for, and worth a shot…

    I really hope that Law drops to us… no way he does though…

  26. What the lakers need to do is to determine who their core players would be aside from kobe. Lamar? Bynum, Farmar? then figure out how to suuround them with the right complementary players. First order would be try to get the “bargain” trades, which I think would be for Ron artest. If they could get artest for a bargain (sign and trade for walton) then that would be considered a steal. Then next would be to trade for the second star (Gasol, O’neal, Garnett). Odom could be dealt for any of the three. Next is to find the right veteran role players to complement the core using the MLE, or the vet’s minimum. If the team gets gasol and artest, veterans like Grant Hill, Webber, PJ Brown can easily be signed

  27. Also, the team doesn’t need more “young developing” guys like the players from the celtics and hawks. THey need veterans that know their roles. These are the perfect fit for Jackson coached teams. Get rid of those who complained with lack of playing time and contributed to the negative atmosphere in the locker room (Cook, Parker). and replace them with solid veterans like Hill/Harpring/PJ Brown/Kurt thomas. These guys will bring it everyday and give solid spot minutes in order for the developing guys (Bynum, Farmar, Turiaf) to still get significant playing time. The team needs consistent performances and these vets willl bring it everyday. THe team needs to have the right mix of developing stars and veteran leadership in almost every position except Kobe’s. So I say keep Bynum (C), TUriaf (PF), Farmar (PG) and pair them with veterans like Kurt thomas, PJ Brown/Webber to teach them and share playing time with them. They also need a finley/stackhouse type of 6th man to solidify the bench in order to contend in the west

  28. 25. Rico, you will find a number of us here who love the idea of Duhon. But, you have to trade for him (the Bulls would match any offer) and the challenge is finding what the Bulls want of the Laker roster not named Bynum (that’s too steep a price).

  29. k_swagger8, what are you going to do about a PG? do you think Farmar is actually ready for a full time starting role? otherwise, fairly good logic, me …I’m hoping we can add a Gasol, and a Blake level players this off season.
    it’s lotto day, let the fun begin! going to be an anxious couple weeks, that’s for sure.

  30. By the way, I like the Adelman hire for Houston (and, by extension, not for the Lakers). I think he picks up the pace some, opens the offense up for McGrady and with their front line the defense may not be #1 in the league but it’s still going to be top 5. They need some depth, but I think Houston just got better.

  31. 30 – And Adelman can continue to get beat by Phil Jackson deep into the playoffs as he has done historically. Even better.

  32. Also, count me with the people that thinks LeBron made the right play with that pass to Marshall in the final seconds against Detroit. Wide open look to win on the road, from a guy who can hit the three. If LeBron shoots Prince and his long arms are right behind on his shoulder and may get a piece of it. I think it was the right play, the supporting cast just let him down.

  33. 32) I’m kind of shocked it’s even being discussed as though there was any other choice. The fact that Lebron found him as perfectly as he did was amazing. The only thing people should be focused on from that game with Lebron is that he never made it to the foul line. That should never happen, especially on a night when your shots not falling. Criticize him for the 10-pt stinker he threw up in the first 47 minutes, not for what should have been the game-winning assist.

  34. I’ll say it again:

    Sarunas Jasikevicius.

    Or I wonder if : Sarunas Jasikevicius + a signed-and-traded Matt Barnes for Kwame …

    Lose the size of Kwame but gain two players with more hustle – and still have space to sign a Mikki Moore or PJ Brown to platoon with Walton and Barnes.

    Of course, I still like the ancient Othella Harrington (took my first screen name from him, so perhaps its misguided sentimentality) – Is Othella still in the league?

    Hmmm.

    Rampant speculation is fun.

    (Bizarro world thoughts below)

    And who’s older at this point, Mutombo, PJ Brown, or Roy Tarpley?

    Let’s bring Tarpley out of retirement!! C’mon guys – he’s learned the error of his ways … I hear Micheal Ray Richardson is unemployed (he’s only – what – 48?)

    Richardson at point and Tarpley at PF/C.
    Ahh yeah. If only we had a time machine and a detox ray-gun!

    OK – writing on 2 hours sleep is not good …

  35. 32-
    Good point Kurt. Lebron is getting KILLED in the media today for passing to Donyell. I say he did the right thing. Thats what he always does… he always drives and kicks to a teammate in the corner for a game winning three. I’ve seen Damon Jones shoot that shot a few times before.

    Thats what makes Lebron special, he is not Kobe or MJ or Wade, hes Lebron… he’s the one that will trust his teammates to come through in such big situations.

    If Donyell had made that shot, everybody today would be saying how Lebron is such an excellent decision maker to trust Marshall like that on the road.

  36. And Kurt-
    Do you think that if Minnesota gets luck and cracks the top 3 or 4 in the lottery… they will be more pursuaded to start the rebuilding process?

    I mean come on, look at their roster, do they really think that they have a chance at contending soon?

  37. 36 – I think they do skigi. With a lineup like this next year:

    PG – Randy Foye
    SG – Rashad McCants (should finally be recovered from surgery)
    SF – Ricky Davis
    PF – Kevin Garnett
    C – Roy Hibbert (if they draft him)

    Not too bad. They could even go the route of drafting Corey Brewer, and trading Ricky Davis and Mike James for other players (preferably Kwame Brown and Brian Cook, haha) and have a pretty good lineup as well.

  38. Re: Lebron

    The criticism should come concerning the play before that. Lebron gets the ball in the block and waits and waits and waits for the double to arrive.

    (This is the play where I screamed “Go!” at the TV.)

    When it finally does he kicks it to Z for a 15 footer that barely scrapes the front of the rim. Cavs get the off rebound and call TO to set up the Marshall play…

    I think Tayshaun Prince has a lot to do with how this series plays out. He seems to be in LBJ’s head…

  39. Lebron could have easily faked a pass and gone for the game-tying shot imo. Sheed quit on the play right before he made the pass.

  40. Gatinho: The only thing is that Big Z had been nailing that shot all game long. We’ve seen what inspector gadget (Tay Prince) can do to a superstar. I think Bron was just playing it smart.

  41. And I certainly feel like LeBron is starting to fall into that Kobe category, where no matter what he does, people are going to be critical of him. Unless of course he wins. Then people will call him a genius, no matter if he passes a ton or shoots a ton. I guess that’s when you know you’re great…when you lose (in the eyes of the media and fans) no matter what you do. I wrote a post about Kobe and this issue earlier this year:

    http://www.aolsportsblog.com/2007/02/26/kobe-s-quandary-gunner-of-facilitator/

  42. I admit I was laughing out loud when the Celtics got the fifth pick…oh the irony.

  43. Seems though the tanking didn’t help Boston or Memphis any. Bill Simmons is going to explode.

    I wonder who the Blazers will pick? WIth Aldridge already in the fold and Zach Randolph probably pretty untradeable, do you think they’ll draft Durant? Or take Oden anyway and try figure out to do with all their bigs later?

    I think the Blazers and Sonics will both meet their needs a little better if Portland picks Durant and Seattle picks Oden, though I guess Seattle’s situation also depends on if they resign Lewis.

  44. I’m happy the Suns don’t get that pick, that probably kills a lot of the speculation surrounding them. One way or another, Portland’s gonna be goooood. I personally would still take Oden. Some team will bite on Randolph. I’m a little bummed Seattle got a top-2, I feel like Yi was gonna work out great for them at 3rd or 4th. Memphis and Boston sort of have to blow up now right?

  45. 45. I agree, Portland is going to be very, very good in a couple years. Now, if the Lakers could just match that we can have retro 2000 again….

    And, I would still take Oden and see if you can play him at the 5 and Randolph at the 4. That’s a powerful front line.

    Celtics fans must be sick.

  46. Portland has numerous PFs,they don’t have a C,so….
    Seattle would prob gladly take Durant and use Lewis in sign/trade.(May I be first to suggest Kwame for Lewis? 125%xKwame = $11,450,000 first yr in extension. Maybe playing in LA will make up for extra $mil+/yr he might get elsewhere.) Altho it would be kinda funny if Seattle drafts another C.

  47. Portland Got The Number One Pick!!!

  48. I Say We Get Mo Williams And We Trade Bynum And Filler To Get Gasol Or JO

  49. warren (philippines) May 22, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Heres the deal. I was intently waiting for the lottery results and we were winners! Heres my opinion.

    Now that Memphis is drafting 4th, there is a greater probability that they will be dealing Gasol. With recent buzz about Larry Brown being the GM incoming for Memphis, that makes the Lakers likely trade partners. I have 2 scenarios:

    1. Kwame Brown, Andrew Bynum, #19 pick, Smush Parker (sign-and-trade, only 1st year guaranteed, 2nd and 3rd as team options) for PAU GASOL.
    2. Lamar Odom straight up for Gasol.

    Option 1 is likely because it has Kwame’s expiring, Bynum and the #19. Please note that Memphis does not have any other pick than the #4 they have. #19 might be good too.

    Option 2 is a slight upgrade but it hurts our payroll for 2 years more than that of Odom. However, the salary 2 years from now is the last thing we should be thinking of.

    Should option 1 push through, we could make a pitch for Artest. A sign-and-trade for Walton and salary fillers could work. Since Sacto is expected to pick a PF or a C, they’d likely prefer Walton.

    Should option 2 push through, I suggest we make a pitch for Marcus Camby. Kwame’s expiring + #40 pick in the draft. Please note that Denver is in the luxury tax level, needing to re-sign Blake, and has zero draft picks.

    In the PG category, which is a major problem to start with, we can make a pitch at Mike James for Vlade Radman + #48 pick. Or we can get Carlos Arroyo for Brian Cook or another variant of this deal. Mo Williams would be great but I think he is too expensive for us at this point.

  50. Should Lakers make a move to trade for
    Zach Randolph?
    how is the salary match?
    and what players?

  51. Please no to Zach Randolph. I don’t see him fitting with our system.

  52. Personally I think trading Odom for Gasol straight up is a bad idea. Gasol isn’t much better than Odom (I actually think he’s somewhat worse) and I really don’t see any improvement in the team if we trade them for each other.

    I also think trading Bynum and the #19 is overpaying…Kwame and Bynum and a filler or two and maybe a second-rounders would be fair for Gasol if he ends up on the block.

    I’m not too sure if even Phil can get through to Artest at this point. The Kings will probably be eager to get rid of him though. All the same I’d rather take the safe route and avoid getting him.

    I’d bet the Blazers will be happy to unload Randolph on us for Kwame’s expiring deal and filler. I’m not certain we want to take on his contract and mental issues though.

  53. Pretty funny read through the comments over at celticsblog:
    http://www.celticsblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=717&Itemid=33#jc_allComments

    There seems to be a sizable portion of fans utterly convinced that this was Stern’s way of punishing tankers (C’s, Bucks, Grizzlies). Not sure they understand it was MORE likely that they didn’t get a top 2 pick, still amusing though. And to tell the truth, I wouldn’t put anything past Stern these days.

  54. People that say that Stern had anything to do with that are idiots. The lottery is done in a room in front of team and league representatives (not the ones in the Studio). No one knows who won until the envelopes are opened, because the reps in the room have to give their cell phones, pda’s, etc to security before entering the room…

  55. I agree Jones, Tay is on my short list of guys I wish were Lakers. I think that because of Kobe and his criticism that guys like Wade and Bron may defer to a fault to avoid that same criticism.

    This is just a part of Bron’s learning curve. Just like he will learn to get to the foul line.

    And Rip City must be partying tonight…

  56. I don’t think we should do anything with our #19 unless it’s requested in a deal for KG. Trading the actual pick in such a deep draft for Gasol/JO really isn’t worth it.

    While the Lakers don’t want to rebuild but become instant contenders, I think they’re at least good two pieces away. That’s not even counting what we’ll potentially lose if we trade Odom or Bynum.

    If their 19 has a decent rookie season, it’ll be much easier in the summer of 2008 to move him for value because of the apparent ‘weakness’ of that year’s draft.

  57. Just to be clear, I was joking, I absolutely don’t think Stern tampered (this time at least, heh).

    And with respect to 51, I agree that Randolph is pretty expendable with Oden/Aldridge around, but even if Randolph was a good fit (which is definitely up for debate I think), I just don’t see us being the team Portland will deal with. They have zero interest in the “potential” of Bynum now. They need a 3, that’s really their only foreseeable weakness down the road. Maybe one of the 18 wings stocked at Atlanta. Luke Walton will not be the best offer they can get.

  58. The Lakers and their ‘Mega Trades’

    http://getgarnett.com/blog/?p=181#more-181

  59. Too bad the top two picks went to Western Conference teams. Portland’s talent level will be significantly upgraded; Seattle will be a tougher team should Rashard Lewis buck up and decide to play PF. There are teams that are ascending slowly but surely past the Lakers, it’s time to make some changes. I wonder if Atlanta will trade down and take Mike Conley, Jr. with a lower pick, b/c they need to understand that they need a PG, no more forwards!

    As for PGs in the draft, that means Acie Law will be taken earlier, and at best, Critterton and Pruitt might be around at 19.

  60. If I were the Sonics I’d look to go up-tempo some. With Ray Allen at the 2, Durant and the 3 and Lewis at the 4 you can really stretch defenses and score plenty. Those three are a good start.

    Portland will be playing in the NBA finals in the next 5 or 6 years. Unless management really screws this up.

  61. From Eric Pincus
    for HOOPSWORLD.com
    .
    .
    The big question is what do they do with Zach Randolph? After his amazing season he has salvaged most of his trade value. He’s still an off the court question mark . . . enough of a worry that the Blazers should sell high. Considering he makes $15 million a season for the next four, a trade makes a ton of financial sense.
    Portland needs a small forward to complete their puzzle. They’ll probably look at Rashard Lewis.

    Would or should the Lakers consider a Lamar Odom trade to Portland for Randolph and point guard Jarrett Jack? Is that a reasonable deal for the Blazers to make?

    Are they interested in Luke Walton?
    .
    .

  62. Kurt

    1. Who We Trade To Get Gasol?
    2. Do We Get Jason Kidd?

  63. Really, we should consider a sign and trade with Walton. WIth all the talent they’ll have on that roster, Walton is a good hustle, three-point, glue guy for them. And Randolph, though not providing much defense, will be an excellent low post scorer. If we get Randolph for Walton and maybe Brown to match salaries, we can use the mid-level on a PG, and have PG/Kobe/Odom/Randolph/Bynum as a frontline. And if Bynum can get better defensively we have three guys who can score consistently.

  64. Hey guys. Everybody is going crazy with Zach Randolph talk. The guy is a locker room nightmare. He has always been. Theres a reason that he is expendable. He has a HUGE salary and the Blazers are hoping someone would be dumb enough to take him off their hands and payroll.

    Lets not be those idiots

  65. Skigi

    Zack Randolph Be The Only Guy Available.

  66. I Mean Zack Randolph Could BeThe Only Guy Available.

  67. But even if he is, he’s not worth giving up Odom OR Bynum. For Kwame, maybe, but definitely not for for Odom or Bynum. Our team would not be any better.

  68. People, slow down. This blog is not going to become wild speculation central.

    Portland is not going to make a trade within the conference. Memphis and Indy are not going to make moves until a coach is on board. While Buss said start watching us May 22, there is still not a lot he or anyone can do. And, how many major trades do you remember before the NBA finals started? Or even ended?

  69. Skigi Bynum Might Be Worth Giving Up To Randolph.

  70. I Got To Agree With Kurt On That One. But Kurt Is The Pacers About To Say Stan Van Gundy Is Their New Coach Next Week Or Something?

  71. This lottery just opened up a boatload of trade possibilities. Check it out:

    - Portland: They need a salary dump with their current cap situation, and a reliable SF.

    - Seattle: Durant pick makes Rashard Lewis possible sign and trade bait. I would send Kwame, Bynum, and Vlad Rad for Rashard, and Wilcox/Collison. We could then resign Mihm and grab Magloire in FA.

    - Atlanta: Very young team, with two high picks. They want veterans. Also, picking Conley at #3 moves Joe Johnson to SG. This makes Childress, Stoudemire, and others available as well.

    - Boston: They’re pissed off right now. There are many possible trades to be had here.

    - Memphis: Also pissed off. We could strike a deal with a desperate team here as well.

    -

  72. What about trying to trade up four or five picks in the draft – trading ours and a future second or some combination? Anyone think there would be a much better player in the 12th to 15th pick area?

    Or is it “stick with 19, and hope for the best?”

    If there could be a way to sneak up and have a chance at a Joakim Noah or Acie Law, that might be the best move of all. I’d rather try to pull that off, at this point, than unload Lamar or Bynum for damaged goods.

  73. Just a thought:

    I don’t know how in the hell this would be possible, but can you imagine:

    Kobe at SG, Paul Pierce at SF, and Lamar at PF?

    The Lakers would outscore the Suns on a regular basis, I think. Not sure about the defense, but …

  74. I would definitely be willing to unload Bynum for the right price. Especially if it means keeping Odom. Could you imagine this lineup:

    PG: Jordan Farmar/ Veteran
    SG: Kobe Bryant / Mo Evans
    SF: Rashard Lewis / Luke Walton
    PF: Lamar Odom/ Nick Collison / Ronny Turiaf
    C: Jamaal Magloire / Chris Mihm

    That would be beautiful. And Seattle would be ecstatic to get Kevin Durant and Andrew Bynum in the same day.

  75. DR Two Questions

    1. Should We Go After Ron Artest Since It A Longshot To Get Rashard Lewis?
    2. Will Chris Mihm Be Healthy?

  76. Kurt my patience is really running thin when is something gonna happen :\

  77. I highly doubt anything happens soon. The shock has to wear off in Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Memphis, and Boston before they even start thinking about making roster changes for next season.

    It should be a very interesting offseason for many teams. I truly hope the Lakers make good decisions as an organization, but bold decisions.

  78. As for Steve Blake, I think he’s going to get paid more than he’s worth in a year with a bad PG free agent market.

    There is no way the dude is worth a salary starting with the full MLE. If the Lakers pay that it stinks of desperation.