Fast Break Thoughts and Links

Kurt —  June 1, 2007

• There’s going to be a lot of draft information flying at fans for the next three weeks. And it all can be particularly daunting for fans of teams like the Lakers — we’ve seen Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, but what do we really know about Rodney Stuckey?

Enter Rookiepedia, a wiki for incoming players from the fertile mind of Jeff at Celticsblog. This is a chance to find out about those names and guys you don’t know from people who did see and follow them. And, it’s the chance to provide a little insight yourself if you can.

I already love poking around this, and I’ll be there constantly leading up to the draft (whatever the Lakers do with the 19th pick). This has the potential to be the second best Wiki ever — nothing can beat Lostpedia.

• Chopperdave said it well in the comments — watching LeBron last night was a cure for the basketball blues the Lakers had put me in for a couple days.

• Detroit — and I’m looking at you Flip — when you’re getting torched by one guy for an extended period, you don’t keep running the zone defense said player is tearing up. No need for me to break it down, Kevin at Clipperblog did it better than I could.

• Great post over at Golden State of Mind saying the NBA has a “fan problem.”

• I’m shocked it took this long for someone to start the fire Mitch Kupchak site.

• If you want more Kobe talk, the guys at The Basketball Jones are going to be a lot smarter than the guys on local radio.

• Not much about the Kobe situation made me laugh, but this did.

• And so did this.

• Kurt Rambis is one of the final three candidates for the Sacramento kings job, although Tom at Sactown Royalty thinks its Terry Porters’ job to lose.

to Fast Break Thoughts and Links

  1. As great as LeBron played last night, watching that game was infuriating because of how Detroit “defended” him. You think you might want to run a double at the guy who has taken the last 43,921 shots? Maybe you’d like to rotate off of Drew Gooden in the corner and not give up uncontested dunks, Rasheed?


  2. I agree, and as Kevin said that is the flaw with the zone, you are stuck more in the structure. The Pistons have guys who can play smart defense, keeping them in a zone stifles that somewhat.


  3. Chad Ford floated the rumor of J.O’Neal (people need to include an initial in his name, seeing that name matched up with the Lakers or Kobe is still wierd) for Odom, Bynum and #19. He claims that the Pacers would be willing to include Marquis Daniels, Jamaal Tinsley, or Troy Murphy.

    I think Tinsley or Murphy work best. Murphy’s contract sucks, but so does Tinsley’s and I think it would be harder for the Lakers to find a new PF rather than a PG.

    Would it be possible for the Lakers to get Grant Hill, I have no idea what his price range will be, but with Odom gone he seem like he could fit into the point-forward role. Backed up by Walton, I would be less concerned about his durability issues and I’m not totally sold on Walton as a championship-caliber starter.

    Ford also mentions the Suns could be interested in moving Banks, could a Radmonovic-Banks deal work? A J.O’Neal-Murphy-Hill/Walton-Bryant-Banks/Farmar rotation sounds pretty solid to me.


  4. Sanchez101-
    Everything you said sounds very accurate as far as what I have been reading.
    I was a little skeptical as to whether Bynum and Odom would be too much for JO but if we fill our PG problem as well by acquiring Tinsley, that would be great.
    Forget Troy Murphy we have no need for that guy and his salary


  5. Wow, never knew how much Kupchak looks like John Malkovich.

    Yea, the LeBron game. I don’t quite consider this to be an outright classic everyone else is hyping. But it was damn good and will be remembered as his coming out party (unless they win the championship this year, then the hell with everything i say). This was a major shot of adrenaline right in the arm for the NBA. LeBron showed why the NBA has never seen an athlete quite like him and why all the hype was thrown his way in the first place. That was what was refreshing and worth remembering to me.

    What is glaring in LeBron’s game is it’s simplicity. LeBron just gets the ball 25 feet away, takes 2 steps back and charges the rim or pulls up and shoots. Bill Simmons is right, this is an offense that will never fully maximize what LeBron can do. That boy needs to make a living in the post (like Kobe on the elbow) if he is ever going to continue these kind of performances in the future against disciplined teams. San Antonio won’t fall for that over the course of 58 minutes. He’ll be trapped during crunch time all day.

    I thought more of the Pistons than what they threw up yesterday. You can’t let a bull run wild all game, eventually you have to trap him and round him up so he can’t continue to run free. What this performance did is what is being hyped all over the land. Game 5 just gave LeBron all the confidence in the world and like a true star, he went straight for the kill. Finally. For the first time in his career.

    Mike Brown, i feel, might be on his way out now that LeBron has reached this next level. He needs a coach that can run real plays for him and his team.

    But, he sure was amazing and he clearly needed a performance like that to get his game to evolve. We as Laker fans have seen a few of those before nights before from our stars. I don’t forget those and I’m sure Cavs fans are on cloud nine right now.

    I just hope LeBron realizes that his game will need to grow and become more versatile every year if he is truly going to become the ‘global icon’ he so desires. That, and he should probably stop saying ‘global icon’ and ‘richest man in the world.’ That won’t fly with his peers or consumers across the lands. Just be the best basketball player around and see where that takes you first. Game 5 was a huge stepping stone in that. I’m scared as well, as a non-Cavalier fan.


  6. That deal for JO seems pretty good but even if we also get Tinsely, I don’t think we should be just giving out the draft pick just to complete the deal.


  7. Rhys – I completely agree, but I just think that if we had not had our sights on KG for the last couple of years and JO’s name had just come out, we would be way more excited and willing to make this trade than we are now.

    We have been wanting to trade Odom, Bynum and the #19 for KG, so to do it now on JO seems like we’re settling.

    Jermaine O’Neal is a very good player. He puts up 20 and 10 on a bad team. Imagine what he would be able to do if he was motivated and had a light at the end of the tunnel (a ring w/ kobe and phil). I think JO would be a very good addition to this ballclub.


  8. I’d be excited for either. JO just needs to elevate mentally and I think the Lakers have a extremely bright future withing the next two years, especially if we can sign some quality veteran backups.



    All I gotta say about “Hacksaw” is that usually when I hear a rumor coming from him, its got some truth to it.


  10. People keep saying Brown’s gotta go, and I agree he’s not great, but do you really think Lebron wants anything else? I think he’s just fine with a passive coach that lets him do his thing. And while the Pistons D was pretty flawed, I’m not sure much would have made a difference. It didn’t look like he could miss anything. Reggie (for once) said it right: of his 18 shots maybe 7 of em were easy, the other 11 were damn near impossible.


  11. Kurt, great heads up about that rookie site, I feel kinda weird begging the Lakers pick a guy I have never seen play. There are some players that I have seen, don’t like and can comment on:

    1. Josh McRoberts- I’ve seen his name come up, he would be an awful pick for us, no true position in the NBA because his physical and athetic advantage would not exist on the NBA level.

    2.Marcus Williams- A soft sf with a malaise attitude. Without 10-12 lbs of muscle he wont see the court at all next year. Can’t create his shot against players equally athletic as him.

    3. Aaron Gray- Super slow, non-athletic C, could never even dominate college at 7’0+, also has only two moves.

    These are three guys i dont want us to pick.


  12. kwame a., I’m not a big Gray fan, but the reports out of the Orlando camp is that he dropped 20 pounds and has shown a solid inside game. Now, he’s not a first rounder in my mind, but I’d take a second round flier on him. If in a couple years he’s a solid inside guy who can give you 15-20 a night of not screwing up, that’s just fine.


  13. And re: LeBron, I want to watch the replay but my impression was he did not see what Kobe saw a lot of this season — the second he touches the ball send two guys hard at him and make him give it up. A true hard double. To me the Pistons tried to double once he made a move and by then it was too late.

    Not to take anything away from The King, he was amazing. I just think the Pistons should have handled it differently.


  14. Re Pistons-what the heck was Flip thinking? Why wasn’t Prince on him every freakin’ play?
    I read Dr Buss will be in China for next 3 weeks. If true,I would doubt there will be any significant moves made until he gets back. But there will be plenty of rumors-one site had the Lakers laying groundwork for O’Neal,trading for Kidd and asking about Camby.
    Considering how little depth the Lakers have in the bigs dept,I think it would be insane to trade away any combo of Odom,Bynum and Brown for just 1 big.

    I know this is not suppose to be a trade forum,and this is the last time i will abuse the priviledge. Assuming Portland still wants a vet solid citizen to mentor the kids I suggest the following:
    LA to Portland-Brian Cook.
    LA to Houston-Kwame Brown
    Houston to Portland-Juwan Howard,Shane Battier
    Portland to Houston-Jarrett Jack,Martel Webster
    Portland to LA-Zack Randolph


  15. LeBron had one heck of a game. Let no one belittle that. And it was probably an important game for his development. The thing is, though, a lot of the hype is just over the top. Best playoff performance ever, as some have tried to say? Give me a break. You’d think no one had ever seen a game like that. (And let’s just have some amnesia about the unspectacular games he had earlier in the series, shall we?) Even leaving Jordan aside, and Magic’s legendary 1980 game, I’ve seen what must be 30 games (not all playoff of course) that good or better from Kobe in the last 2 or 3 years alone. And of course even back as a 22 yo, Kobe had a 48 pt 16 board game to close out the Kings that year. Let’s not forget that .. oh wait, the media already did.
    Thing is, I actually like LeBron. I like most players. I just hate having all this hype stuffed down my throat without mercy, as if I were a goose being fattened up to produce foie gras.
    A lot of LeBron’s shots were indeed a high level of difficulty. Full marks for that. Funny thing is, when I watched the game, I was thinking, hey, he’s having a Kobe type game, fallaway and all. But dang, what was up with that Piston defense, were they too proud to double and trap or something? Once it got to the point where they saw LB wasn’t gonna miss, wouldn’t they want to to see if someone else would? Kobe would have been seeing doubles and triples the whole latter part of the game if he were getting that hot.
    I don’t get people who think these playoffs are boring. i’m enjoying them as a basketball fan, and I’m looking forward to the finals.


  16. 11) I couldn’t agree more about 1 and 3, and I wouldn’t be thrilled with 2 either. McRoberts is probably my biggest fear because his passing is pretty solid, so I could see someone talking themselves into thinking he’d be a good fit for the triangle. Even 20 lbs lighter I can’t see Gray being anything but a stiff (although in the second round I guess I wouldn’t mind). Speaking of the second round, one guy I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on is Sean Singletary. While his size (5’11”), health (just had surgery) and ball-handling are all obvious issues, the guy was fierce in college. I guess it’s likely he’d never make it, but I just feel like there’s a decent chance he could provide a nice scoring spark on a second unit.

    Is there a way to find out when players have try outs with the team? Reading the ‘Rolling with Leandro’ series at True Hoop has me more curious than ever about the process teams go through. I wanna know who we’re flying in for private workouts and what not.

    And re: 13, everyone’s probably right that Detroit could have done a lot differently. Trapping at half-court to get the ball out of his hands, sending the double (and triple) quicker, but after watching the highlights (again and again):
    dude’s flat out in the zone. A lot of these are either highly contested fade-aways that no amount of D is gonna stop or just ridiculously explosive moves past and through multiple defenders. With his biggest strength being getting to the rim, sending extra defenders at him when he’s at the top of the key in some ways is just opening up driving lanes for once he inevitably blows by you.


  17. Lebron scored 25 of their last 26 points starting in the 4th and through both OT’s.

    His teammtes were 0-10 over that same stretch. The 1 pt. being a free throw.

    Would the 2004 Pistons have let that happen? During those Finals, I think three Pistons were guarding Kobe when he got out the car at the arena.


  18. O’Neal’s contract — he is due $64.1 million over the final three years — will narrow the list of potential trade partners.
    Bird said he hasn’t “really had any talks with L.A., but this is the time it heats up” and he expects to hear from teams about several players.
    “We’ll move any player we think we can make us better,” Bird said. “Jermaine has been a big part of our success here over the years. He’s a very talented player. You would hate to give up on someone like that unless you get something back in return that’s very, very good.
    “We have a core group of young players on this team that are very good. We know we need a shooter, we need some other parts. If we can get in the draft, we will; if not, we’ll go out and get it in free agency.”
    The Pacers also want to acquire a player who can create off the dribble and a backup point guard. They could look for those types of players in a deal for O’Neal.

    When making a trade, the traded players’ salaries must come within 125 percent of each other — meaning O’Neal can’t be dealt for a much lower paid player to reduce the Pacers’ payroll. Also, draft picks have no cap value, so they can be included in any deal.

    Here are two possible moves:
    • O’Neal ($19.7 million) for Lamar Odom ($13.5 million), Andrew Bynum ($2.2 million) and Brian Cook ($3.5 million).
    • O’Neal ($19.7 million) and Jamaal Tinsley ($6.3 million) for Odom ($13.5 million), Bynum ($2.2 million) and Kwame Brown ($9.1 million).


  19. I try not to be the guy that throws up trades in Forum Blue and Gold. But this is something that I had to share with everyone.

    Do we have a consensus here that with or without Jermaine, the Pacers are going to be at best a mediocre playoff team and that it is time for them to rebuild with young players and cap space? Larry Bird is not saying that, but it’s pretty obvious that even with O’neal they are never going to be anything more than borderline playoff team, yet will never be bad enough to crack the top 5 of the lottery.

    Are we also of the consensus that the Lakers need to try and figure out a deal to keep Odom yet still acquire O’neal? Well here’s the deal I have prepared that allows the Pacers to cut 20 million off of the books at the end of the season, gives them one and possibly two first round picks, and Andrew Bynum.

    The Lakers send Kwame Brown (exp deal), Andrew Bynum (coveted young big), a re-signed (for one year at 4-5 million and a team option for another year) Chris Mihm, Cash considertations to cover Mihms deal (max they can send is $3Mil), and this year’s and possibly next year’s first round pick (lottery protected) to the Pacers for Jermaine O’neal.

    Benefits for the Pacers: Mihm, and Brown will be free agents at the end of the season giving the Pacers the cap room they desire. As well, they’ll receive a first round pick in a very deep draft (right now they don’t even have a pick), a possible first rounder for next year, and Andrew Bynum.

    Why would Mihm agree to it? Because he’s coming off of a terrible ankle injury and no one is going to be willing to pay him anything more than a minimal one or two year deal (Yes I’m leaving out the small Percentage chance that Isiah Thomas offers Mihm a 5 year full midlevel exception deal…but even that is highly unlikely…okay maybe not).

    Lakers starters next year:

    Walton/Vlad Rad
    Farmar/Mid-level sign

    Now obviously if Indiana is convinced they can still win it’s a terrible deal for them. But I’m of the opinion that being a middle of the road team is the worst thing you can do. Especially when your payroll is as high as Indiana’s in as small of a market as Indiana’s. It’s not like the Lakers with Kobe in Los Angeles, where even as middle of the road they are still going to sell $2000 front row seats, lead the league in road attendance and lead the league in merchandise sales. Indiana can’t afford to pay a near lux tax payroll for a team that doesn’t make the playoffs. Thoughts?


  20. warren (philippines) June 2, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Kurt, I had just seen on hoopshype that Houston is making Shane Battier available. Any chance we can get him? I like him better than Artest plus he knocks down the three with regularity. I think of him as the future Bruce Bowen.

    HIs salary is quite reachable and he is a shackle defensively.


  21. That’s a good point Warren.

    Since Houston just hired Adelman, I assume they’d want offense. They’d probably be interested in Cook, Walton, and Farmar. Apart from Bynum and perhaps Kwame? I wouldn’t bet on it, but they do need a big man. A Battier trade would let Kobe know that this team is [now] serious about contending.


  22. Derek Banducci June 2, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    On the topic of Lebron’s performance, when I watched the game my gut reaction was, “well that’s a nice performance.” Maybe I’ve been watching Kobe for so long that I’m desensitized to incredible one-man performances.

    However, I come away a lot more impressed after reading Marc Stein’s take, via quotation at [the 22-year-old part is what hooked me]:

    “But I sure like Marc Stein’s answer. He said that ‘On one hand, I can’t put it higher than the 18-to-20 range if we’re using the list as a guide, because LeBron’s eruption didn’t happen in the Finals and doesn’t automatically trump the other non-Finals moments in that top 20. On the other hand, I might be totally crazy. It was TWENTY-FIVE POINTS IN A ROW in crunch time … from a 22-year-old … in a game that all but put his team of no-names in the Finals. Can I get back to you?'”


  23. If we end up getting JO, I only wish we didn’t have to give up Odom.


  24. Renato Afonso June 2, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Here’s the thing about the Lakers and Mitch Kupchak… If the rumors are true, and we are really going after JO, can anyone please tell me what does he bring to the team?

    The guy likes the mid-range shot and what the Lakers need is a powerfull post up player. And his contract is prohibitive…

    I’d rather stick with a Bynum/Mihm combo at C than go after JO. Now, if the Lakers want some serious improvement, go after a PG…

    The JO+Tinsley possibility really kills me… We spent the second half of the season complaining about injuries on key elements, and now we’re considering bringing JO AND Tinsley in? Isn’t it ironic?


  25. I agree Renato. JO and Tinsley doesn’t spell championship pedigree to me. At least not that much more than a Odom/Bynum combo. Plus, you lose the future that Bynum could bring you. I know, we’re clearly thinking about the future here, but losing Bynum’s potential should bring us something better, especially if Lamar is attached to this deal.

    I’d like to see other options tried first before that deal goes to the table. A quality PG should be number 1 duty. Some extra muscle down low as well should be secured.

    But I do feel we’ll be back to square one with JO traded for Lamar and Bynum.


  26. Kobe’s Tantrum?: Did Kobe come off his meds? No seriously, who saw this coming? In case you were in a cave on Wednesday, Kobe Bryant started out on a whirlwind radio show tour, trashing the Lakers and demanding a trade. Kobe was set off by an unnamed source telling an LA newspaper that Kobe was the reason Shaq was sent away, and blamed the state of the Lakers roster on Kobe. Apparently the name of the source got to Kobe, who in turn flipped out – and rightly so. For years, Kobe has carried the water on the Lakers decision to trade Shaquille O’Neal, even though he had little to do with the decision. Shaq is not a Laker because of Shaq. During a preseason game, while Shaq’s camp was discussing a contract extension, Shaq made a thundering dunk, and while running back down court he turned to Dr. Jerry Buss sitting court side and announced “Are you gonna pay me now?” – That was the end for Shaq. Kobe didn’t drive Phil Jackson away – Phil did. He demanded $10 million per season to remain in LA. Dr. Buss felt he could get a coach of equal pedigree for less money, so Phil was sent packing. Kobe’s fury over the Lakers is justified. He chose to stay because he was promised a winning environment, and he has stood by and played good solider while the Lakers passed on trade after trade and free agent after free agent. All the while he was labeled selfish and the reason the Lakers lost Shaq. That came to a head on Wednesday. Phil Jackson called Kobe and told him what he needed to hear – that changes are coming and that Phil is 100% behind Kobe’s message: It’s time to get better. Dr. Buss called Kobe this week and mirrored what Phil had to say – the Lakers would be making some changes and brining in some real help. Jermaine O’Neal is said to be the first target – he’s gonna cost the Lakers Lamar Odom and the #19 draft pick along with Andrew Bynum. The Lakers are also said to be talking with the Kings about Ron Artest – he could be had fairly cheaply – and with Denver about Marcus Camby. Don’t be surprised to see a four team deal with the Lakers, Pacers, Kings and Nuggets. The Nuggets want to trim some salary, the Pacers want draft picks, the Kings want our of the Ron Artest business. There is a trade to be made, and it seems parts of a deal could happen before the draft.


  27. Well we all can agree that scoring points was not our main concern last season, stopping people from scoring was… so a starting frontcourt of Marcus Camby and JO would definetely solve that problem. Camby just won Defensive POY posting up about 3 blocks a game and JO puts up about 2.5 blocks per game. With Kobe on the perimeter and guys like Camby and JO behind him, our defense would improve dramatically.

    And its not like JO wouldn’t be able to match Odom’s scoring. JO would put up slightly better numbers and be more consistent at it.

    Here’s how we would look…
    1- Farmar / Cheap Free agent PG
    2- Kobe / Mo Evans
    3- Luke (resigned) / VladRad
    4- JO / Turiaf / Cook
    5- Camby / Mihm (resigned)

    That’s a solid core of consistent players in JO and Kobe with some key role players around them. And this doesn’t include any FA signings or draft picks.

    I say lets do it


  28. Sources have told WTHR’s Henry Wofford that Jermaine O’Neal has purchased a home in Los Angeles within the past 6 weeks. Los Angeles is one of the teams interested in trading for O’Neal. Reporter Peter Vecsey says the Pacers are close to completing a trade with the Lakers. Vecsey says Lakers forward Lamar Odom would have to be included in that trade for Jermaine


  29. .. I found this piece entertaining …..
    … Meanwhile, if Bryant thinks a Jermaine O’Neal trade will reverse the team’s fortunes, he must be kidding. Kevin Garnett, absolutely — and he’s the only one … Lamely attempting to revise history, Bryant claims he had nothing to do with Shaquille O’Neal’s departure. Technically, he didn’t; only Jerry Buss can make that call. But Bryant feuded with Shaq, couldn’t stand sharing the limelight with him, dreamed of running a championship team like Jordan and openly savored the fact that the Lakers had become his team. The prospects looked bleak, right from the start. Kobe is getting exactly what he deserved … What kind of roster stares Bryant in the face? Jackson said it best during the playoffs, saying “they have the brain power of slugs or earthworms.” … Great moment on the TNT broadcast: When Barkley’s cell phone rang, he looked at host Ernie Johnson and said, “It’s Kobe — he changed his mind again.”


  30. warren (philippines) June 2, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    JO will not bring 25-10 number for you. Perhaps only about 18-10. But he does bring a statistic that was missing with the Lakers roster and that is shot blocking. If indeed we land at Camby and JO, we should make a pitch at Battier too. I suggest we take Eddie Jones with the minimum and make him play point ala RON HARPER. We are a 5-man defensive lock. Nobody’s scoring on that 5.


  31. warren (philippines) June 2, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    I must note that Kobe was a step slower this year due to his injury. An injury like that makes you want to save your legs for the offense and not much on running back and blocking the shot (he used to do that very well). He also has taken tons of jump shots and no longer the mid range game and occasional post-ups he used to do. Next year will be a better year defensively.

    With a lineup of Eddie Jones, Kobe, Battier, JO and Camby, we are on top of the West let alone the league defensively. Yet we can score at will with Kobe and JO running the triangle, and Eddie Jones and Shane Battier can hit the three very well. This is the mark I’d like to make if I were serious in contending. I just think Battier is a championship caliber guy. Part with Walton and Sasha perhaps for Battier. Or he could be had with Walton and #40.

    I was always hoping a guy like him would be available, I just did not expect it was Battier himself. The coaching change in Houston did it. I hope we can sell Walton to Adelman. Walton is a good team guy who knows team conceot very well. And he can finish beneath the basket. I also think they are keeping Bonzi Wells. He thrives in Adelman’s plays.


  32. I heard Camby sucks at defending the pick n roll. If this is true, I’m not sure he’d really help our defense as much as we think he would.


  33. With respect to Jones’ proposed trade, on the one hand if we could pry JO away while keeping Lamar in any situation I’d be pretty happy I suppose. On the other, after trading our 3 centers for a PF and using the mid-level on a PG we could be kinda screwed. Do we really trust the C position to be split between Jermaine and Ronny with absolutely no third option? Any injury to our already vulnerable frontline would be brutal. I guess the possibility of having Kobe/Lamar/J.O’Neal out there together could be worth it, but that’s pretty risky.


  34. [Nuggets laughed at the Lakers offer for Camby]
    Word is the Nuggets laughed at the Lakers last week when they called dangling butter-fingered big man Kwame Brown for Marcus Camby. …


  35. Chopper Dave-

    As far as workouts, does a great job of recapping workouts, and alerting people as to what players are working out for which teams.


    If i were Denver I would laugh too if someone offered me a below average injyry prone player for the reigning dpoy.

    Kurt *or anyone)- What do you think of James Posey, I still feel he is a player we should target. He provides us with one of our most glaring weaknesses, sf defense, he can hit the three, he is a competitor and he isn’t afraid to take big shots.


  36. the most impressive part of that trade is how you got rid of 6 Lakers…who’s left? You might as well figure out a way to deal Walton and Farmar so we could have 11 new players..i don’t know if i can handle espn talking about teams needing chemistry to succeed every 15 minutes though..


  37. Heh…he got rid of 7 players.


  38. chris henderson June 3, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    i like Jone’s suggestion, ideally we find a way to keep Lamar and bring in someone like JO. we’re building a bit more of an inside/outside threat, shore up the D, an if it’s at the cost of Adrew and Kwame, I won’t miss those 2 at all.
    then we just need a PG with the MLE…
    I like that team.


  39. (38) I consider Cook and Vlad only 1/2 of a player..


  40. Just heard JO bought a house in LA in the past 6 weeks… It looks like this trade is going to happen…


  41. How can we get some more balance into the league? Can anyone really make the case that LeBron’s supporting cast is any better than Kobe’s? Perhaps they’re more consistent — which counts for a lot — but you really get a sense of the predicament we’re in when Cleveland goes the Finals and the Lakers have to pull off a miracle this off-season just to stay competitive with the Utahs, Houstons, and Golden States of the world (not to mention SA, Phoenix, and Dallas).

    Granted, we were keeping things interesting while healthy, but making it to the finals is a whole different story. Anything can happen. If Tim Duncan gets injured, things are arguably up for grabs. (See also: Karl Malone’s injury in ’04). Will it take a big trade or free-agent move, like the one Shaq made from Orlando to L.A.? Is LeBron’s presence enough to force teams to draw talent Eastward? I’d be interested in hearing others’ thoughts on these questions.


  42. 42/ I agree that the balance is very lopsided… and having the top 2 picks in the west will not help. but I don’t think that the presense of LBJ will “Force” the league to re-balance, the way it did with Jordan… or Shaq coming to LA. There is just too much power in the west, (and quite distributed) to make that a change right away…

    not only that… but the east has won multiple championships relatively recently… which takes a lot of the pressure off those clubs


  43. Phil Jackson is going into surgery to replace his second hip in the next week.

    Dr Buss will be in China for next 3 weeks.

    Do we still think that any significant moves will be made until both get back. Unless Mitch Kupchak has green light to act already ..


  44. warren (philippines) June 3, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    44. Unless deals are already in place and the July 1 date or draft day is the only thing keeping them from formally announcing it.

    33. I sure do hope its Kwame, Fillers and Bynum for JO, otherwise, its only a parallel move. Kwame and Odom for JO and Tinsley… How does that sound? We can save Bynum for later.


  45. I’d like to see the lakers pushing for JO (odom+bynum?) and Camby (kwame+cook+vujacic?)

    I’d like to see the lakers using the 19th pick to draft either Crittenton (if available) or Acie Law or Rudy Fernandez.
    you already know both PG’s Crittenton and Law but if been pushing for Fernandez.

    He’s a Vujacic who can create it’s own shoot ala ginobili, he is a shooting guard who can defend the PG, usually takes other team’s perimeter star.
    already a star in Europe at just 22 years old, World Champion with spain, ALL-ACB Team (stronguest league in europe) and leading his team (Juventut Badalona) in the semifinals of the ACB against Euroleague’s Final-Four team TAU (currently 1-1 and the series moving to badalona for the next 2 games).

    By the way, Los Angeles already know Rudy’s sister who is a rookie this year for the Los Angeles Sparks

    and after all that, a long shot more complicated:
    please fire Kupchak (by the way, got the chance to talk to him in my last trip to LA and didn’t impressed me as much as Kurt did) and hire Sam Presti


  46. Don’t give up Bynum to get JO. In the West, JO is a PF, we still need a center.


  47. Definitely get Tinsley, JO AND Camby.

    That trio will probably miss more games than Odom, Walton and Kwame did this year.

    Long live Kobe the GM.


  48. I’m confused at why the media believes that LeBron is playing with a bunch of “no-names”??? There are 4-5 players that can put up 30 points on that team in any given night. Don’t believe that? Here they are:

    Larry Hughes – great defender, excellent scorer
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas – 7 footer can score and pull down lots of rebounds
    Drew Gooden – Carlos Boozer light
    Donyell Marshall – is tied for the NBA record for 3 pointers in a game with Kobe

    Daniel Gibson is no Smush Parker. The only reason he was drafted late is because he was young. Sasha Pavlovic is a hustler and a scrapper. Eric Snow is one of the better defenders in the league… he doesn’t score but he can stop any superstar guard (see Vince Carter).

    There is NO comparison of this team to the Lakers. But of course the cover of Fox Sports says that “LeBron can teach Kobe” something. LeBron is “playing with a bunch of scrubs”. Pathetic bandwagoning.

    Let the Cavs be their own team. They put together a great roster over the last few years, and they deserve to be where they are. Don’t compare them to the mess in Los Angeles.


  49. To be fair, Lebron IS playing with a bunch of scrubs compared to the 2004 Finals Lakers…


  50. I partially agree with John R: Tinsley doesn’t fit the system and Camby is not a good one on one post defender, so I don’t like either of them. Plus both of them are frequently injured.

    J.O.’s defense and offensive ability make him a worthy target. As well, if you don’t count the last two games of the season, where the Pacers forced him to sit down, he really only missed 11 games last year. 05-06 was his only real injury plagued season, because 04-05 he missed a ton of games due to his suspension by the league, not by being injured.

    Although, I think he’d be a great pick up, I’d like to see the Lakers figure out a way to get that done without including Odom. This front office needs to learn how to get more creative and how to play hard ball. The Nuggets got A.I, one of the most marketable and talented players in the league for Andre Miller, picks and cap space. Why can’t the Lakers figure out how to pull of similar deals?

    The deal I proposed earlier with Bynum, Kwame’s expiring deal, Mihm re-signed to a one year deal, cash considerations to cover Mihm’s deal, this year’s first rounder, and next year’s first rounder (lottery protected) should be enough to get Jermaine, as it would replace him with a young coveted big man (Bynum), give them two first rounders, and free up cap space (and they are a team desperate for that).


  51. 51. I think JO is a PF, not a center. So, in your scenario, we would be playing Odom at the SF, JO at the PF, and Kwame at center. My question for you is does Kwame have the basketball IQ to share the floor with another big?


  52. 51. My mistake. We’re giving up Kwame in your deal. Then who is our center?


  53. DR,

    Talent wise, the Cavs might only be slightly more talented than the Lakers, but there are a few things that make them a much better team than the Lakers.

    -Role Players that aren’t afraid to take and make open shots (It’s a mentality that the Lakers role players just don’t have…while every single Cavs rotation player isn’t afraid to take and make open jumpers)

    -Comittment to defense and rebounding-The cavs are one of the best teams at both while the Lakers were TERRIBLE at both.

    -Consistent interior pressence (Big Z is better than anything the Lakers currently have)

    Sometimes I think fans are so caught up with names that they forget that most of the good championship teams have been teams composed of one or two superstars and a bunch of role players that know their role and aren’t afraid to step up and hit open shots. These teams usually play great defense, run an efficient half court offense that gives them an opportunity for second chance points (no run and gun), and consistently out rebound and out hustle their opponents (I mean look at the 2000-2002 Lakers…outside of Kobe and Shaq, it was just a bunch of smart role players that hustled on D, and hit their open shots)

    Last year’s lakers were injury prone, not able to rebound or play defense well (outside of Odom’s double digit rebounding) and had no one willing to step up and hit open shots. With players like Kobe, LeBron, and Wade, it’s pretty easy to build contending teams. It just takes a GM that is capable of building a team around those players that is good at doing all of the things I mentioned above (as well as luck to make sure that the team doesn’t get hit hard by the injury bug).


  54. Paul: J.O can/has played center and Odom would play the 4, like he’s been doing.

    With those two up front the Lakers would be solid defensively and on the boards. They also would be much better at chasing the pick and roll (something that has plagued them in the past) as both Odom and O’neal are active bigs that can and will get out and move their feet. On offense J.O would allow Odom to be a third option, something I think he’s more comfortable with anyway.


  55. Word is that the Nuggets laughed at us for offering Kwame for Camby. So much for that… looks like its back to dangling Kwame for Artest again. And to tell you the truth, I think I would rather have Artest than Camby. Yes Camby gets a lot of rebounds and blocks, but if we get JO then he will take care of the rebounds and blocks. I think if we add Artest it would be much more valuable to our team because of the D he brings to the table. With Kobe and Artest guarding the perimeter and JO watching their backs, teams would have a very hard time scoring on us.

    Come on Mitch, work those phones, earn the right to keep your job!


  56. Oh and on the Mihm sign and trade deal: Sign-and-trade contracts must be for three years or longer, but only the first season of the contract must be guaranteed. Basically although they would have to give Mihm a three year deal, with only one year guaranteed, the team trading for Mihm would esentially still have an expiring deal on their hands if the Lakers handled everything correctly, like in my scenario…


  57. If we have JO and Artest, we basically have the 04 Pacers (best record in the league that year…and one game away from the finals) but with Kobe instead of an aging Reggie Miller. But I’m not sure how anxious JO is to play with Ron-Ron again…


  58. this is crazy…we’re in bad shape with tradeable assests that no one wants, i say we just continue with the roster and see what happens, we had it figured out for a lil while, we may not have “big names” but we have a team whose core have been together for about 3 years meow, sure the west is deep as a champ, but you gotta figure, we’re not old, just roll with it, a solid PG with some triangle savvy is all we need. Trading L.O. is not the answer, not too many players out there as versatile, we just need to sign people and go over the cap NY style.


  59. Renato Afonso June 4, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Guys, guys, calm down… Do you really think that we will get JO and Artest anytime soon? We might get one of them, and I’m not sure if that makes me happy at all. I’d rather spend the MLE on a PG, get Shane Battier for Kwame+something (here’s where we need a real GM) and go at C with Mihm and Bynum.

    We took a huge chance in the draft two years ago in order to get Bynum, and if we don’t give him time, he’ll never develop!

    And Xavier, do you think that they will take Rudy Fernandez? I think they should, but let’s wait and see…

    TO ALL: Does a line-up of (insert MLE PG), Kobe, Battier, Odom, Bynum with a rotation involving Farmar, Evans, Walton, Turiaf, Mihm, Fernandez (or some other rookie) sound that bad?

    If the PG can actually guard someone, with the help of Battier we can become a really good defensive team! And that’s what’s lacking right now… Maybe we would be lacking some 3-point depth, but no team is perfect.

    We should be discussing the needs of the team, not talking about possible future trades that would make the other GM look stupid (only one Isaiah and one McHale)… just calm down…


  60. Renato –
    The problem with the lineup you mentioned is that Kobe is not down with it. That lineup is good enough to finish #7 and lose in the 1st round and nobody around here wants any part of that.

    The Lakers are not the Sacramento Kings or the Seattle Sonics, we don’t take 20 years to rebuild. Our players and fans will not put up with that.

    Its go big or go home around here.


  61. There’s no question in my mind that Lebron has the better cast. Larry Hughes vs Smush is a joke. Pavlovic vs Luke is becoming close to a draw if Sasha keeps improving. Lamar vs Gooden is the only match up clearly in our favor, but depending on the night, if Drew’s head is in the game and Lamar’s isn’t, it could go either way. Z vs Kwame is undoubtedly in their favor. After that, I’d take Varejao over Ronny, Marshall over Cook/Vlad, and Snow over Sasha. Mo probably edges Damon Jones, and Farmar vs Gibson is probably too early to tell.

    Jones is right though that the key is even if their role players aren’t putting up points, they’re coming up with stops, something the guys around Kobe can’t seem to do. You put Kobe on any roster in the East and he carries them to the conference finals I say.

    And regarding the JO trade, I still agree with Paul that giving up our 3 centers, counting on JO and Ronny to split time playing slightly out of position is risky.


  62. Renato Afonso June 4, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    That lineup, if healthy, is not for #7 and early exit. We were #3 and #4 before the injuries hit us.

    Get a PG and get Battier and team defense improves enough for us to be in the midst of the race again. We all know it, and even Kobe knows it…


  63. I’ve got this weird feeling that Michael Jordan wants to lure Kobe to Charlotte. Of any team that could make this happen, the Bobcats are the one’s. They are WAY under the cap ($27 mil) and could offer something very attractive in a sign and trade situation involving Gerald Wallace.

    I would HATE for this to happen. But this is how it would shake out:

    Lakers give: Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar, #19 pick

    Charlotte gives: Gerald Wallace, Ray Felton, Sean May, #8 pick

    The salaries don’t match, but Charlotte is in a position to eat salary since they are under the cap. This is definitely a possibility.

    Charlotte lineup:

    PG: Farmar/Knight
    SG: Kobe
    SF: Morrison
    PF: Okafor
    C: Brezec

    Lakers lineup:

    PG: Felton
    SG: Wallace
    SF: Odom
    PF: May
    C: Bynum


  64. Seems like a good time for a blast from the past…

    “I ain’t no GM,” Atkins said. “Ask Kobe. He’s the GM. It’s his team. Go ask him.” Atkins, who has grown increasingly frustrated in recent weeks, was asked to clarify if he was, in fact, saying that Bryant was calling the shots for the organization. “I don’t know,” Atkins said. “Last I heard they told me that (general manager) Mitch Kupchak was supposed to make the decisions around here. So you all going to ask him those questions, please.”

    JONES: The problem is, how can the Lakers play hard ball now?

    “So, uh, Larry, we are interested in Jermaine, what do you want for him?”
    “Hmm, well Mitch, I don’t know that we are interested in trading him anymore. We brought in a new coach. We feel like a new start. Hey, what do you want for Kobe?”
    “What will it take to make Kobe a Pacer?”
    “We aren’t really going to trade him.”
    “Ok, it was nice talking to you then, good luck with that..”
    “Wait, seriously Larry, we want Jermaine.”
    “Yeah, that’s what I hear. Why would we want to send you our best player? You send US Kobe.”
    “That’s simply not an option.”
    “I see. Hmm, ok, well we would possibly consider a bid that is built around Bynum.”
    “GREAT! Now we are getting somewhere…Ok, so Bynum and Kwame and…”
    “Whoa, whoa, hold your horses. You forgot Lamar.”
    “Lamar? We are giving you Drew and you know he is going to…”
    “Keep your projections. He is two years in. Compare to where Dwight Howard was two years in. Or where Jermaine was. He can’t even clearly beat Kwame for the starting spot. He has pretty much moved from prospect to, well, Kwame Brown territory.”
    “Look I can’t argue with that, but including Odom means it won’t really help.”
    “Sucks to be you Mitch, its not Jermaine running around acting like he’s got bipolar disorder. Give me a call back when you get serious.”

    “Hello, Isiah?”


  65. 60. It’s not clear if Rudy Fernandez is staying in the draft (hasn’t hired an agent yet) but yes, I definitlely think the lakers should go with him.

    Rudy and Ricky (the 16 years old phenomenon I’ve spoke to you in some ocasion) are arguably the best defensive tandem in Europe averaging Fernandez 2.20 and Ricky Rubio 2.30 steals per game in ACB league far from the 3rd best at steals who’s Fred House from TAU at 1.97
    Do that when you are defending the other team’s best perimeter player and you got a reliable defender.

    Add to the stats sheet 16.3 pts per game 3rd max scorer (top scorer was ALL-ACB TEAM JC Navarro at 17.3) 3.8 rebs, 3 ass and a floor leader attitude and you got what the lakers need

    the only question mark I’d put on him is his strenth. although strong, he’s skinny and needs to bulk up

    If jackson doesnt rely much on rudy as he usually does with the rookies he won’t suffer from lack of muscle (I repeat, not skinny but Nate Robinson would kick his ass in a punch fight) and will have a similar progression Bynum had from season one to season two phisically but much more ready to contribute.

    he’s been a pro for 5 years from now (he’s 22) and comes to the NBA with experience and ready to contribute


  66. I have to admit John R., that actually made me laugh a bit. But you have to agree, if Indiana is looking to rebuild, the package I put together works perfectly. Odom makes a ton of dough and doesn’t really help them become any better than they are currently with JO. If I’m them, I’m taking the picks and the cap space.

    Indiana should look to get rid of all of their overpaid vets for cap space and picks. They can send Tinsley to Miami for Jason Williams straight up. They can send troy murphy to Houston for Juwan Howard and filler. They can TRY to dump Dunleavy off on his pops for Maggette or anything at this point, but I highly doubt the clippers fall for that. But if they got rid of those three guys, they’d be in good the financial position by 2009 where otherwise they’d be over the cap.


  67. Chopperdave: Have you seen who starts in the middle for NBA teams these days? Other than Yao, Shaq (when he’s healthy) and now possibly Greg Oden, starting J.O in the middle is not going to be a problem. Especially if he is still playing next to Lamar, who has proven to be a very good rebounder from that position over the last few years. They definitely would need to find a solid back up, but they can do that via another trade or an FA signing. But don’t tell me you think the Lakers are better served wtih the three headed monster of Kwame, Bynum, and Mihm. Kwame will be coming off of ankle surgery and has proven he isn’t very good at anything besides throwing cake. There is a chance that Bynum will eventually be good, but right now it’s tough for him to stay on the floor (because of conditioning and foul trouble) for more than 20 mpg. And who knows what Mihm is going to be after missing the last 1.3 seasons. JO is a 6’11” power player that can score from the interior and the mid-range, rebound, defend one on one in the low post, and show and recover on the pick and roll. If you can get him for the package I’ve outlined, you don’t pass him up for fear of not having a back off. Big stiffs come a dime a dozen in the NBA.


  68. *back up…not back off…


  69. Like I said before, “if we could pry JO away while keeping Lamar in any situation I’d be pretty happy.” And it’s a good point about the lack of quality big men. It’s not so much that I don’t think JO can handle playing C as what happens when he goes to the bench. Lamar is already playing over-sized I think, Ronny really belongs at PF, our other backups (Cook, Vlad) act like there are sharks in the paint. And if we’re using MLE on a PG and have sent all our trade chips save Lamar to Indiana already, I’m not sure where the help comes from. There are bodies to be found, but they’re usually ridiculously overpaid in this league.

    I guess what I’m saying is I would definitely pull the trigger on your deal in an instant if it means keeping Lamar, but I’d worry big time about about the depth of our already fragile frontcourt .


  70. JONES @ 67:

    No question its a very interesting offer. It doesn’t leave them that much to build around, but they would be far under the cap soon. My concern as Larry Bird would be, who knows what that can pull into the cornfield.

    My main point is that any team the Lakers approach could (and should at least for negotiating purposes) take the stance of: screw YOU, YOU rebuild. As much as your trade makes sense for the Pacers for the basketball product, how does the trade with the Clippers for Maggette and cap space in ’08 not make the same sense for the Lakers’ basketball product:

    Cassell/Maggette/Williams and 2 first rounders for Kobe Bean.

    That leaves the Lakers where your trade would put the Pacers. But instead of Murphy, Dunleavy, Diogu and Bynum and some haggard strip clubs known for altercations involving NBA players to draw to, the Lakers would be building around Maggette, Odom, Bynum and the natural charisma of being the Los Angeles Lakers. That team is a free agent C or PG away which the Lakers would have money for in just one year.

    My kingdom for a phone tap at Staples.