Kobe and the Desperation Samba

Kurt —  June 14, 2007

With draft day nearing plus guys who could be a potential boost to the Lakers on the trading block — say Jermaine O’Neal or even Chris Duhon — fans are waiting for something to happen. Anything to happen.

But making any substantive move is going to be a challenge for Mitch Kupchak, Jerry Buss and the rest of the front office — and Kobe Bryant can take some of the blame for that.

There are some basic rules to follow in getting any deal done. Maybe you’re trying to buy a new car and negotiating with a dealer. Maybe you’re in a bar at 1:10 am trying to convince the blond girl she really doesn’t have to go alone to her apartment for the night.

Either way, right at the top of the list — do not act or sound desperate.

If you come off as desperate to buy the car, the dealer will not budge on the price. And women can smell desperation a mile away and run from it like gazelles on the African plains.

A couple weeks ago, when Kobe went on just about every radio talk show in America to vent his frustrations, he sounded desperate. He got the fan base to feel and sound desperate. He told the front office to act desperate.

And now, part of the Lakers leverage in negotiations is gone. Every GM in the league knows just how much pressure the Laker front office is to make a deal, so why not ask for everything they could possibly want — the pressure is on the Lakers to make the deal. Not Indy, they want to move O’Neal but they will have multiple offers. Not Chicago, they don’t have to give up Duhon. Not on any team the Lakers will talk to about a trade.

Kobe turned up the heat on the front office trying to force a deal, and I think we can all see why. But how he did it means all Laker fans may get burned.

Kurt

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72 responses to Kobe and the Desperation Samba

  1. Kurt – If your wife tells you, in front of the dealer, that she really wants a new car, but that she’ll divorce you if you overpay for a new car, I don’t think your bargaining position has changed much.

    It’s too bad the Lakers don’t want to divorce the diva, but the Lakers should be able to convince the dealer that making a bad deal is just as likely to lead to divorce as making no deal.

  2. The problem is perception. The bad trades/signings the Lakers choose not to make don’t make the papers, and so they get no “credit” for it in the forum of public opinion.

    If potential trade partners think they’re playing from a stong bargaining position and refuse to budge, then the deals we *don’t* make will be better than the ones we could have made. To the outside world, the team doesn’t improve. But internally, they know they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot, either.

    So let me start the “if the Lakers don’t make a big move, I trust the reasons behind that decision” movement.

  3. Kobe has painted a huge target on his chest throughout his career by venting to the media. He needs to handle personal/business matters behind closed doors.

    Taken a lesson from a certain Mr. Jordan. His problems throughout his life were just as bad, but he’s still a saint in everyone’s minds because he was a genius when handling the media.

  4. good luck to big shot rob tonight…
    i agree with truehoop, the season is way too long, let’s shorten it so that horry (and a host of others) don’t coast through half of the season to save themselves for the playoffs. while i hope the spurs win tonight, i hope lebron does something special ala baron davis on kirilenko

  5. Maybe there’s a solution to the whole thing. Look what Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld.com had to say about a 3-team deal with Indy and Denver which might net the lakers JO and Camby for LO, Bynum and kwame. Ok that’s in the fantasy world… but who knows… sometimes ad idea can really lead to something real! Not bad at all…

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_22331.shtml

    what do you guys think? And kurt… why don’t you try this idea in your GM simulation?

  6. @Giopurle – i don’t think this idea appeals to anyone unless they are a lakers fan… but sure, i say go for it.

  7. The worst thing that has happened because of this is that now there is probably no way we can convince the Pacers to make a JO trade without involving Odom.

  8. Kurt you expect something to go down as draft approaches?

  9. The only moves Kupchak has made are bad ones. That’s why Kobe is upset. Kobe gives 110% and the front office is managed by a bunch of fumbling, bumbling clowns.

    Between terrible use of the mid-level exception, poor and/or questionable draft choices, extending contracts for under achievers, total ignorance of salary cap considerations and bad trades, this franchise is being consumed by it’s own mis-management.

    All Kobe wants to do is contend. He doesn’t need much help, but he is getting almost none. Since Jerry West left management is weaponless.

  10. Tim, I don’t think anyone here thinks the front office has done a bang-up job the last couple of years, and I get Kobe is frustrated. We all are. But his last little tirade made the front office’s job even harder.

    8. I wish I knew.

  11. What happens if Lakers have no good moves to make? Let’s say hypotethically, JO and KG trade places, Duhon goes to the Heat or something, and Zach Randolph and Ron Artest go to NY. Does that mean every 5 minutes i’m going to have to hear about how Kobe Bryant is upset with the team and is demanding a trade? I don’t even think the Shaq/Kobe media circus will compare to what we’ll have to endure…

  12. The Lakers would probably be better off signing some quality veterans/role players, maybe sign-and-trade Luke to get back an above-average defensive player?

    Lakers weren’t all that bad last year, and after Kobe’s tirade, as mentioned everywhere above, management will have no leverage in any trade talks.

    Right around the trade deadline Kwame would be looking pretty good to a number of teams. Package that and some young excess, like Cook’s contract and you could get the disgruntled star “piece” that Kobe so desires.

  13. Just in time to support my point in post #1, the Lakers leaked to the LA Times that they’re not willing to trade LO & Bynum for JO.

    Here’s the link: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers15jun15,1,5058924.story?coll=la-headlines-sports

  14. On my previous comment, X the part on Cook. I just noticed that he was just signed to a multi-year contract extension. I guess that means the Lakers really have no good trade pieces outside their bigs and LO.

  15. Well guys as much as I would like to see JO in a Laker uni… GOOD JOB MITCH FOR REFUSING THAT PU-PU PLATTER OF AN OFFER FROM INDIANA!!!! Are you kidding me!!!! Odom, Bynum, AND Kwame for JO and Troy Murphy!! Wow Kurt you really weren’t kidding when you said we lost our leverage. That would be a horrible trade. We would be stuck with only JO and Kobe and no other trade assets. That’s the kind of move that if we had made it, Kobe would be GONE in 2 years.

    Come on Pacers, you gotta come at us better than that! We’d MUCH rather keep Odom and Bynum than make that deal.

  16. I understand where you’re coming from Kurt but staying silent doesn’t necessarily work as well. KG has been the model citizen, has all his endorsements, but is not winning or in a winning situation. He’s in the peak of his prime with no championship in sight especially in the Western Conference. Kobe tried to do the silent thing by suggesting, Baron Davis, Carlos Boozer, J Kidd, Ron Artest………. How is it that Kobe is the blame. Sometimes you have to put people in check. Especially when you’ve got insiders narking on you bringing up Shaq trade drama and the Lakers just turning their cheek resigning Cook, Sasha, and starting Smush. The Lakers are just not strong in the front office and they’ve let their history allow them to become complacent in my opinion. But I respect your opinion and hope that we can get back to winning instead of finger pointing.

  17. If the Lakers are not willing to include both Odom and Bynum (and they shouldn’t be) than I think they will be hard pressed to get O’Neal. The reason: I’m sure that Indiana will demand Bynum in any deal and there is no realistic way to make the salaries match without Odom. Before July 1, the only way to combine enoughs salaries for O’Neal without Odom would be to send Kwame, Radman, and Bynum (with some filler like Sasha). But, the Pacers would never take Radman’s 5 year deal. After July 1, the Lakers could send Kwame, Bynum, and Walton (and filler) in a sign and trade. But, there is probably no chance Walton agrees to sign with Indy and they already have a similar player in Dunleavy.

    So, the only ways to get O’Neal without Odom involve the Pacers taking Radman or Walton — and there is zero chance of either happening. The Lakers simply don’t have any other sizeable contracts to make it work.

    The critical issues then become whether (1) Indiana backs down and takes a package without Bynum (Odom, Kwame, #19 for Oneal and a bad contract?), (2) the Lakers back down and include both Odom and Bynum, and (3) Indiana includes enough talent to make including both worth it (Granger, Diogu?).

    I think (2) and (3) are unlikely, putting the pressure on Indiana to make the call.

  18. Here’s the answer to the Laker woes:

    1)trade Bynum for Artest.
    2)Move Radmanovic for Bonzi Wells
    3)either draft a quality PG or trade the pick for Duhon
    4)give the mid level exception to Kapono instead of Luke

    you end up with a starting lineup of :
    Duhon
    Kobe
    Artest
    Odom
    Kwame
    That’s a premier defensive unit. And you have 4 legit offensive threats. Lamar prefers to inititate, so Artest can be the #2 option like he would want to be.

    your bench:
    Bonzi
    Kapono/Luke/or basically any shooter
    Mo Evans
    Farmar
    Cook
    Seriously, that’s a lineup that #1 will thrive in the triangle which emphasizes post play and shooting. 2) is supremely tough defensively and on the glass. PLus, San Antonio really doesn’t see that roster.

  19. oh, and don’t forget turiaf and mihm for size and fouls off the bench

  20. 17. After July 1, it’s easy to trade for JO without including LO, VladRad or Walton. Bynum and Brown will make $11. 25 m. You only need $14.5m in total salaries to trade for JO after July 1. A resigned McKie for $3.25m (with $3m in cash going to Indy) would get you there. So would a combo of Evans, Sasha, and the player selected with the #19 pick.

    It’s also doable before July 1, if you throw in Evans, Sasha, and Farmar with Bynum and Brown.

  21. Toward the end of this season, some of Kurt’s bloggers spent more time speculating about trades than talking about Laker games. My Dr. Rayeye suggestions were to wait until the season was over. In the last games, Kwame was sometimes not able to play because of his ankles. Lamar was seriously injured. Mihm couldn’t play at all.

    At the end of this season, I suggested that the Lakers would not be in a position to trade until October, when all of the Laker “big money” bigs were healthy. To get best value in a trade, it would probably take the first months of the season to properly showcase Lamar, Kwame, and Chris.

    Meanwhile I suggested that anyone who wants to trade Kwame needs to stress his incredible potential. I even suggested that we say “Kwamee, Kwamee, Kwamee” over and over again to ourselves to remain in the mood. Dr. Rayeye has not really changed his opinion.

    Point to Kobe and/or Laker team weaknesses for strong Pacer demands if you wish, but health status may be closer to reality. If we want full value from our bigs in trade, we must wait.

    Meanwhile, Shammond and the Smusher are gone. We’ve got two frontcourt slots to fill . . .

    Maybe that’s where to start?

    Patience is a virtue that we do not all possess.

  22. warren (philippines) June 15, 2007 at 5:50 am

    We will all be working on scenarios that suppose JO is on the way. If Indy insists on Troy Murphy, it might be wise to trade them Vlade Radman. It is not a given that we should be on the losing end, it is but fair that we give them someone half of Murphy’s contract. If Tinsley is insisted upon, We can also trade them Brian Cook.

    If Mitch is wise enough, he could hold on to Kwame as a major consideration of the deal.

    LO + Bynum = JO +3.1M
    Vlade Radman = Troy Murphy +3.6
    Brian Cook = Jamal Tinsley +2.8
    Kwame will be the balancing figure. -9.1
    The #19 will be thrown in to increase consideration.

    All in all, its a LO + Byno for JO, taking in Murphy and Tinsley’s ugly contracts for Kwame’s expiring, Brian Cook’s semi-ugly, Vlade’s semi-ugly. I think that is fair deal for both camps, the #19 being the sweetener. 6 for 3.

    This is how deals are supposed to be done. Not that LA loses everything and Indy unloads everything. Troy Murphy is bad enough.

    If deals are done on this basis, it could be that:
    Odom + Byno + Cook = JO
    Kwame = Murphy

    I think it is still fair.

  23. warren (philippines) June 15, 2007 at 6:02 am

    It is a simple numbers game using positives and negatives. Suppose the other players are not involved, will Indy trade Troy Murphy to us in exchange for Kwame? Hell yea. It unloads them of 4 more yrs of problems.

    Will they trade us Tinsley for Cook and #40? I think so. Cook is easier to move around or worse, use than a Tinsley hurting your payroll w/out production + off court issues.

    Lastly, w/out either camp sounding desperate, suppose the salaries match, will they trade JO (who wants out of Indy anyway) for Odom, Bynum and the #19? I think so too.

    Its simple. It doesn’t have to be hard. Aside from the fact that Bird will not be Bird or any other GM for that matter if you cannot rip off Mitch, right? I say take him out. Put Jeannie Buss in as acting GM, do the trade, assign Mitch to somewhere in the Laker organization where he can continue to use kneepads and jaw exercises for Jimmy.

    Darn these people. Now that the Finals whitewash is over, can we get this done now? I need Buss’ number.

  24. Guys, maybe at the end of the day, the Lakers will stand pat. If the other GMs believe they have considerable leverage against the Lakers, and offer terrible trade scenarios, then maybe the Lakers will just see how valuable Odom and Bynum are and stay put. Ironic that this might happen, but the pieces that other teams are asking for might lend to this end result.

    But the obvious problem with Kobe’s venting to the public is that the obvious trade pieces, Odom and Bynum, know that they are absolutely fungible to Kobe. That’s a terrible feeling to have. So that leaves two general options: 1) trade in the context that you are completely in a disadvantaged position; 2) keep the status quo and have terribly damaged relationships between Kobe and the trade bait.

    Sorry for the lack of coherence, but that’s what kind of situation the Lakers are in.

  25. warren (philippines) June 15, 2007 at 8:37 am

    I am also looking at that scene. That perhaps the Lakers are better off not trading them away. Who knows? This circus could bring out the magicians in them. Bynum could show up and Odom would be the all-star. The #19 will be the biggest steal of the draft and Kwame will finally show up. Farmar will figure to be a starting PG under Jax and Evans will be a solid slasher off the bench not just jacking up threes. Walton will finally hit the 20ft jumper with regularity. And although they will still not win championships, Kobe will see that this is the team that he asked for. Something that contends. And after everything, KG decides to bolt Minny and finally get the “dream” together while signing for the MLE next year.

  26. The whole JO + Troy for Bynum, LO, and Kwame deal represents a tremendous windfall for Indy. Think about how restricted the Lakers will be if they have JO and Troy, they will be stuck with bad contracts for the next 4-5 years, whereas Indy will get two good players and a large cap space relief. I know that management is on notice to make a deal, but honestly, the Lakers have to look to the good of the franchise first, not necessarily only to Kobe since he has a proverbial golden parachute in a few years. We have to think strategically…if in the worst case scenario, Kobe leaves, what do the Lakers have? A slew of bad contracts and a departed star.

    If Kobe seeks help, make him do some work, convince KG to come to LA for what amounts to a paltry salary IF he opts out. Don’t mortgage the Lakers’s future for the next 5-10 years just for Kobe.

  27. LG Gold–

    Great points. But, I think you are multiplying O’Neal’s salary by .75 instead of dividing it by 1.25 to reach the salary total the Lakers would have to give to match.

    Before July 1, we use 2006-2007 salaries, and LA needs to give 14.54M (Oneal’s salary plus 100k divided by 1.25). Kwame and Bynum come to 10.318 — so they are 4.23M short. There is no way to fill that gap without Radmanovic or Odom — Sasha, Evans, and Farmar’s 2006-2007 salaries aren’t enough.

    After July 1, we use 2007-2008 salaries, and LA needs to give 15.85M. Kwame and Bynum equal 11.25M, so we are 4.6M short. Sasha gets a decent raise and we can include the draft pick (if signed) who will make about 1.25M. We can also include a signed and traded McKie and send cash to pay for his buyout (a good point). So, it is possible to bridge the gap if we include McKie and one or two of Sasha, Evans, and Farmar.

    So, before July 1, it is not possible without Odom or Radman. After, it is quite possible if Indiana agrees to take something like an expiring contract (Sasha or McKie) and a young player (Farmar or the #19 pick). If Indiana took Kwame, Bynum, Mckie, and Farmar/who we draft at #19, they would clear massive money as only Bynum and Farmar/draft pick would be signed after next season (and both are on rookie deals). It would also give L.A. two veteran stars to pair with Kobe in O’Neal and Odom.

  28. Reed: There is a way for the Lakers to still do this deal with all expiring contracts (other than Bynums)…I’ve posted this before, but here it is again:

    The Lakers send Kwame Brown (exp deal), Andrew Bynum (coveted young big), a re-signed Chris Mihm(for one year at 3-5 million or whatever it takes to make the deal work and no guaranteed team options for years two and three) , 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).

    *The sign and trade for Mihm would be required to be a three year deal (under CBA rules), however only one year has to be guaranteed, so essentially it would be a one year expiring contract.

  29. From the calculations you posted above, Mihms deal would have to be for 4.6M for the first year…

  30. I don’t even think I care anymore, I’m just tired of waiting. I wish the FO would just do something, anything.

  31. Right, so we do the trade after July 1 and substitute Mihm for McKie in the sign and trade/cash portion of a Kwame/Bynum/pick trade.

    Whether it is McKie or Mihm, the Lakers can send all expiring deals but Bynum and the pick.

    The problem: Indiana really can’t get under the cap for 2-3 years because they have so many awful contracts. So their incentive to take back a lot of expiring money has to be fairly minimal. Odom’s deal only runs for 2 years, so including him in a deal won’t affect their efforts to get under the cap.

  32. drraye- You are correct about our bigs (LO and Kwame) being injured, but the guy that we want (JO) is also undergoing surgery this summer. That essentially nullifies the problem because both teams are assuming risk. Hurt players have been traded before, it’s not a deal-breaker. A deal-breaker is asking for bynum,lo and kwame for jo and murphy.

  33. Reed you need a blog. You and I see eye to eye on a lot of things.

    I agree with you that with their current situation they might not have much incentive to try and take expiring contracts. However, if it is Bynum that they are really after then this an option for the Lakers where they can trade Bynum and not have to give up Odom too.

  34. The question remains…

    Who in their right mind would be after Bynum as the primary piece in a trade right now? Let’s put this in perspective: At no point in his first two years in the league did he clearly beat out KWAME BROWN to become the starter.

    If he was as good as advertised, or would ever be, the Lakers wouldn’t be trying to trade him right now.

    Even if the Lakers throw in the kitchen sink, after sufficient analysis, this is clearly a bad deal for the Pacers.

  35. John R: you know as well as anyone that teams fall in love with big stiffs all of the time. GMs around the league are in love with Bynum for some reason. In the case of the Pacers, they are just trying to dump salary on to the Lakers because they were dumb enough to take on Murphy and Dunleavy’s deals.

  36. …That’s why they are trying to play hard ball. They want Bynum, but know the Lakers really want O’neal, so they are trying to get Odom and dump a bad contract too…

  37. Lets look at the (possible) bright side in this situation. The Lakers are basically saying, “Ok, you guys know that we are desperate to please Kobe so you’re asking for a lot… But, we also know that JO really wants to come here and has voiced his desire to your guys, making you guys also a little desperate to make this happen. Therefore, you can NOT have Bynum and Odom. One or the other!”

    If this does work out and Indy gives in after a couple weeks, we would have JO and Odom with Kobe. That team has the potential to be deadly. We’re rolling the dice a little bit but if it works then Mitch will look like a genius for once.

  38. Also, another big subplot from this is that if the T’Wolves are paying attention right now, they will see that we really value Odom and Bynum and are not willing to give both up for a player as good as JO. Now, if we throw Odom, Bynum, Kwame, and the 19 to the Wolves for KG, our end looks a little bit more valuable to them.

  39. I would love to see Odom Lamar and Kobe play together next season. The would be a hell of a team….

    The Lakers need to call Arn Tellem and make him get involved. He’s so good at brokering these kind of deals. JO wants to be in L.A. and Arn is good enough of a deal broker to make that happen.

  40. *Meant to say Odom and JO…

  41. Good point Jones. Somebody from JO’s “team” needs to step in and tell Bird to lower his asking price or else its not going to happen. The Lakers need to pretend to shop Bynum to some other teams right now to make the Paceers panic. I wish we could start a rumor about Bynum for J.Kidd and get it into the media.

  42. The JO trade is just as dumb as the Kidd deal would have been. The Lakers would have to give up too much because of HUGE perceived value of each of these guys.

    I did a lot of thinking. If you go outside the box a little bit, I think there are a couple very good potential deals that would make a difference on this team. Here is what I came up with:

    Lakers trade:
    Luke Walton (sign and trade)
    Jordan Farmar
    Andrew Bynum

    to Atlanta for:
    Josh Smith
    Speedy Claxton
    #3 pick

    It sounds uneven, but it isn’t. We take on Claxton’s crappy contract. BUT, here is our lineup after the trade:

    PG: Conley/Claxton
    SG: Kobe/Evans
    SF: Smith/Radman
    PF: Odom/Turiaf
    C: Kwame/MLE (Magloire?)

    I LOVE the athleticism this would bring us. We also keep Odom in town with this trade. And Conley is a Chris Paul type of player. I love this Lakers team next year.

  43. Kwame A: I just hit you on your email…holler back when you have a chance…

  44. PLEASE don’t make a terrible decision and give up LO, Bynum, and the #19 for JO. I will hate our management more than I do already for being incredibly desperate.

  45. Hey guys, last night Johhny Buss went on the radio on am570 Joe McDonnell’s show at 7pm to clear up his comments that went public (the mypace thing) He basically said that he was just assuming that Kobe would be gone so he was letting his friends on myspace know what they should still respect and love kobe whereever he goes for what he has done for us here. He said it never meant “good riddance” kobe. He also said that his whole family was as sad as we were about Kobe’s trade demand and they have no intention on moving him. If you guys want to hear the interview, heres the link:
    http://www.am570radio.com/cc-common/podcast/single_podcast.html?podcast=LAKERS.xml

  46. Anybody see Chris Sheridan on ESPN. He mentioned he heard a rumor:

    Luke Walton (re-signed to MLE)
    Kwame Brown
    #19 Pick

    for

    Marion

    I could potentially see this deal because they would love Walton in their system, and having Kwame would actually be very significant becaue their main problem is that they have no great interior man-man defender.

    What do people think of having Marion and keeping Bynum and Odom for another deal or to keep?

  47. kwame a,

    I love that deal, and I’m trying to convince myself why the Suns would do it (you gave a couple reasons) but at the end of the day I think they are too close to a championship team to break it up now.

    However, Steve Kerr did cover quite a few Laker games this year and if you do watch the Lakers enough you do realize that Kwame Brown is one of the better man-to-man post defenders in the league (would be perfect to pair with Amare on defense) and can get up and down the court for a big man, so it might not be too far fetched.

    If the Suns feel that they have peaked with their current roster and their only competition is the Spurs, then this deal makes sense for them because they would be better equiped to deal with San Antonio.

    And I really like Marion’s game, so that’s good by me.

  48. DrewBoy- Also take into consideration salary-cap relief. Marion is due 16 million a year over the next 2 and Brown’s deal is expiring, the rookie deal will be small and Walton is a good long-term investment (also local fan fav from college and would agree to signing back in ‘zona)

  49. With PHX, despite what their saying in the media, they pretty much have to trade Marion or someone for Immediate salary cap relief. Why? Because 1) they are way over the salary cap and looking to have to pay about $90M in salary and lux tax fees next season. 2) Marion is going to be able to opt out of his contract at the end of this season and become a free agent. The Suns have no plans to give him another big contract (mostly because they can’t afford to). So if they don’t trade him now, they’ll lose him for nothing. I’m just not sure if they Suns let him go for just Luke the 19th and Kwame. Especially because they’d really be helping out a division rival. Even though, I’m a person that thinks the whole not trading with your division is a bunch of crap. If it’s a good trade, its a good trade, no matter who you do the deal with.

  50. 45. Here’s the thing about Johnny — how big a slack off do you have to be to be left out of the Buss family business?

  51. kwame a,

    The deal still wouldn’t give the Suns cap relief this year (wouldn’t they have to trade him to a team like the Bobcats and take back a fraction of Marion’s salary because Charlotte could absord the rest?).

    They do get the $9 million at the end of the season, so that helps.

    It just seems that they would be able to get a better deal elsewhere, like Boston for the #5 and Ratliff (although not sure that makes them better next season and lil’ Stevie’s back isn’t getting any better).

    We might have to include a 1st rounder in the future though, but I’d be willing to do that since more than likely they will be in the 20s anyway.

    Interesting, I don’t think anyone saw a Marion rumor coming.

  52. kwame a,

    This is probably getting too far ahead, but LO and Marion both expire in two years and Kobe has an opt out clause that summer.

    You could give this thing a ride for two years, go balls out (luxury tax be damned!) and if it just doesn’t work REALLY blow the whole thing up and start from scratch (with about $54 million in salary coming off the books).

    See, now I’ve convinced myself I want this to work, HA!

  53. I like the deal alot better for Indy with the Murphy salary dump. Without it, if I’m Bird I’m on the phone to Isiah and asking for Crawford, Lee and Richardson for JO. (I’m going to allow this trade speculation since the Knicks are definitely in the JO sweepstakes.)

    Is anybody going to buy Kobe’s former bodyguard’s book?

  54. but Kwame has trouble handling a normal bounce pass, Imagine him trying to catch a Steve Nash Whirling Special…

    not that I’m complaining… Adding Marion makes us pretty athletic… (but I hate his shot)

  55. John R,

    First, I would walk away from the table if Indiana doesn’t budge on the Murphy thing. I wouldn’t care what Kobe thinks.

    Second, what book?

    Oh, and I just had a funny mental picture of the look on Steve Nash’s face when he watches Kwame fumble yet ANOTHER one of his passes out of bounds.

  56. (53) John R.,

    Maybe you’ll get your wish and Kobe will be traded. I just read some of the quotes from that book. That is sure to cause a huge media frenzy once it hits the public. Another drama filled season for the Lakers.

    I personally don’t care about any players private/sexual life, just as I am sure you enjoy your own privacy.

    Shaq is mentioned in the New York Post as being involved with some prosititute in a case right now as well. Why do people care so much about this? It’s like Michael Vick and dog fighting. These trivial things have become bigger than the war in Iraq. If they’re guilty, great prosecute them. Don’t try them in the media.

  57. Come on John, you know that guy wasn’t his body guard. That was a guy that was offering to off the girl for Kobe and got arrested for it. But please, let’s not talk about off the court stuff/tabloid stuff. Go to deadspin, with leather, or the big lead for that. All I want to hear about is whether this Marion deal is real or not.

  58. Marion’s a beast- I find it too good to be true that all the suns might want is Walton, Kwame and a pick….if it works out though, Mitch will have pulled off a darn good solid deal- good step on the road to rehabilitating his image.

  59. (52) Drew Boy,

    Couldn’t agree more. That would be the ultimate deal for the Lakers.

    I still like my Atlanta trade, but I really like that one. The question is… are Kerr and the Suns dumb enough to do it?

  60. I don’t think Phoenix comes out too bad in the trade, actually they could become more balanced.

    Nash
    Bell
    Walton
    Diaw
    Stoudemire

    Barbosa
    Banks
    Pitakowski
    James Jones
    Kurt Thomas
    Kwame Brown

    That team is built to still run and put up points (in that system Walton is a viable 15 pts ppg player) and has Thomas and Brown for bigger teams in the playoffs like Utah/SA/Dallas.

  61. kwame a,

    They might even start Kwame in place of Diaw if it made sense defensively.

    I think it would be definitely saying “our style can only get us so far”, which wouldn’t be a total surprise.

    Plus, they could still run the way they like.

    I’m almost convinced it makes sense.

  62. Perhaps the Lakers would include Radmanovic, and the Suns include Banks.

  63. Hey guys, where did this Marion rumor come from? Is it for real or is it just somebody thinking out loud?

  64. Hey guys, I see on getgarnett.com that the rumor came from Chris Sheridan. I wonder how much truth it actually has. I personally do not think the Suns will help push us to the next level by giving us Marion. I would think that they would rather get less for him to move him out of their division.

    Also, getgarnett.com is reporting that Kobe ran into Pau Gasol in Spain and they had a little “chat”.

  65. skigi,

    It was from Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com on his chat today. He said he heard it mentioned.

    He’s more reliable than every sports talk radio host I’ve ever listened to. Freakin’ sensationalists.

  66. Sheridan is about as good as it gets from the mainstream. He ain’t no Kurt, but he’s solid.

    I heard Kobe ran into Gasol too, and that they both told eachother about their problems…maybe they came up with a solution. Nonetheless, if I were the Lakers I would be looking at the Phoenix deal, looking to get Gasol, looking to do something, if for no other reason than to show Indy that we aren’t gonna get railroaded into doing a stupid deal.

    I wish Ned Colleti was the GM of the Lakers, he’s doing it right, signing vets to win now and building youn talent through the system, kinda like S.A.

  67. The Phoenix deal would be sweet. Too sweet. Kobe and Marion play very well together in AllStar games because they both play in 5th gear all the time. I’m sure Kobe would be more than satisfied to have LO and Marion. The question is… are the Suns really that desperate to unload Marion.

    Sideplot, Marion didn’t like being 3rd wheel in PHX. Would he be any better here? If he isn’t happy behind Amare and Nash, would he be happy behind Kobe and LO?

  68. Get Marion and offer Cook and Sasha for Duhon.
    1- Duhon / Farmar
    2- Kobe / Mo Evans
    3- Marion / VladRad
    4- Odom / Turiaf
    5- Bynum / Kwame

    Great team already with two good trade assets left in Bynum and Kwame. Probably end up keeping Bynum and keep developing him and dangle Kwame at trade deadline time to get the extra piece we would need for a strong playoff push.

    Come on Mitch!

  69. skigi,

    I think Marion might be looked at kind of like a “savior” in LA. Whether we like to admit it or not, the recent events with the front office and Kobe have definitely left a bad and desperate taste in the mouth.

    Marion would be like the light at the end of the tunnel for some fans, a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

    I think he would be cool with that.

  70. I sure hope so. I would love to have the Matrix in LA

  71. Renato Afonso June 16, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I’m getting tired of Kobe… Really tired… Why don’t we just trade him?

  72. The point that no one here seems to be getting is that Kobe is still mad & anything short of Jerry West calling the shots for any impending roster moves will not satisfy him. Can you really blame him, beyond all the speculation being thrown around, does anybody here have faith that Kupchak and the other dorks can make any shrewd moves to put the Lakers back in the mix? I for one know that the answer is clearly NO!! Leave it to them and the Lakers will be screwed beyond repair, he knows it’s do or die & hence he is not backing down.. If this irks some of you dissillusioned faithful into the “Screw KObe, Trade Kobe” MODE..realize that when he is traded, you will have absolutely nothing but an UPTIGHT organization with the same kind of boring players….Kobe was lied to by Buss, and now Buss is trying to sweet talk his way back into his graces and trying to buy more time waiting for a miracle to happen. Sorry but what this team needs first and foremost is a real talent evaluator and someone to completely shakeup the roster and get rid of all the Kupchak garbage once and for all… This team needs a complete overhaul, not just a move or 2….