KG and other Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  June 21, 2007

Do you think the guys at Getgarnett.com are happy today?

• There appears to be at least a little fire with the smoke of a Kevin Garnett to Boston rumor. Nobody is covering this like the always-good Jeff at Celtics Blog.

Mitch Kupchak needs to be calling McHale, at least putting offers in the mix, and this is one move where I think throwing Odom in the deal seems wise (and maybe Bynum if needed). But I think the Lakers (with Kobe in the fold) have a better chance to sign KG if he opts out at the end of the season than if he gets traded. In a trade he is more likely to end up in the East. (I know some commenters on this site have questioned the conventional wisdom of “don’t trade a superstar within your conference,” and it’s worth questioning, but there is no doubt that the mindset exists.)

If I’m McHale, trading KG means a total rebuild (not a retooling ala the Lakers with Kobe — see, reading Free Darko is paying off) and in that case the idea of Jefferson (a real stud), the #5 pick and a little more is very tempting — very possibly more so than the better-but-older players the Lakers can offer.

We’ll be watching this.

• Trade watchers, how about this deal?

• One week to go to the draft, and draft night we will having a chat thread going here so we can all mock the Atlanta picks together.

• There was some support on this blog for drafting Javaris Crittenton, the 6-5 point guard out of Georgia Tech. Well, Kevin at Clipperblog has seen a lot of him and says “he’s not my guy.” And yes, he knows the Clips need a PG.

• One of the more interesting draft things I read recently was Chad Ford on the “tier system.” (This story used to be free, but they may have moved it behind the Insider wall.) The system works like this: Teams break down all 60 players on their draft board into groups of four or so, based on roughly equal talent. For example, the top tier in this draft has two guys, Oden and Durant. Ford said there is consensus that the second tier is Corey Brewer, Mike Conley, Jeff Green, Al Horford, Yi Jianlian, Brandan Wright. Within that tier you rank the players based on needs of your team — a team needing a PG may have Conley at the top of their tier, those needing a big may have Horford third.

The point is that on draft night, if there is a player left from a tier or two above where you think the draft should be at you take said player regardless of position. However, if everyone rated in higher tiers is gone and you are picking within your tier, you take the player based on position.

This system makes good sense to me — if your scouting is solid it can keep a team from over-reaching based solely on potential.

• By the way, the SB Nation and friends mock draft continues over at Indy Cornrows, with the first round almost complete. The Second Round will take place, likely at Bullets Forever. As a reminder, I took Stuckey in the first round (friend of the site Nate made the same pick at Fanhouse, I can only hope he falls to 19 in the real draft). I still have the 40th pick and have to see who is on the board then. I have traded the 48th pick in the draft to the New Jersey Nets for Hassan Adams, the logic being he is a decent defender on the NBA level and very athletic, something a little more solid than the risk of drafting at 48.

Kurt

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126 responses to KG and other Fast Break Thoughts

  1. Off topic a little: If you didn’t see this yet, the NCAA Competition committee voted to move the college three-point line back one foot, to 20 feet 9 inches. For comparison, the NBA three-point line is 23 feet nine inches at the top of the key and 22 feet in the corners.

    Not sure it’s a big deal, but thought I’d mention it.

  2. That’s sort of how I’ve felt about Crittenton from my limited experience watching him. I feel like you put 6’5″ next to PG (especially in a draft without guys like that) and the guys stock will rise. That said, if he’s on the board still at 19 we’ll probably roll the dice.

    Also enjoyed the tier article (although I can’t read it anymore). One of the things I thought was interesting was that the 4th tier had just about every guy I’ve been hoping will fall to us (I believe it was Stuckey, the Youngs, and Acie) while tier 5 were mostly guys I feel iffy about (McRoberts, shudder), and our pick is solidly in the tier 5 range. Guess it comes down to, cross your fingers hoping someone 14-18 screws up.

  3. 2. This is the guys that would be in the Lakers likely tier according to Chad Ford: Morris Almond, DeVon Hardin, Josh McRoberts, Gabe Pruitt, Jason Smith, Tiago Splitter, Sean Williams.

    I’m fine with Pruitt or Williams, probably be okay with Splitter. After that, um…..

  4. chopperdave: The nice thing about the NBA draft is that someone screwing up prior to the 19th pick is practically guaranteed.

    The Celtics possibilities for acquiring Garnett puzzle me. Celtics fans in general really do not want to give up Jefferson, but he seems to be the centerpiece to any deal along with the #5 pick. Seems like Ratliff or Wally is part of anything like that, but now the latest rumor says McHale wants to ship Jaric to Boston and try to snatch Green in return. What exactly would be the point for Boston to give up young guys like Green and Jefferson to acquire Garnett? Both him and Pierce are over 30. They have a pretty solid core of young potential, but they’re going to give up a significant piece of that for the chance to see Garnett and Pierce struggle to make the playoffs with all sorts of expectations laid on them?

    Not to mention the fact that Garnett can just up and leave after a year and that he’s got a bit of leverage with his trade kicker.

  5. Hardin’s pulled out, and I’d be ok with Splitter if he could play this year, but sounds like he wouldn’t be available till 08 at the earliest. Pruitt at 19 still seems like a reach to me, but your’re right that of that crop, it’s probably either him or Williams. (although I did enjoy reading Almond’s piece for True Hoop, not a great reason to draft someone)

    Josh McRoberts, here we come:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NElaIEymBb4&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwestcoastbasketball%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F

  6. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2912075

    A ray of hope? Garnett forcing his way where he wants to be?

  7. I just read that too, reed. That doesn’t instill confidence if I’m a Celtics fan.

  8. Another side topic, this time regarding ESPN.com. Is anyone else as fed up with this site as I am? Except for the Sports Guy and the NBA Trade Machine, everything is under the Insider curtain. I for one refuse to pay, and have switched to other sites for all sports news. It just pissed me off every day I’d click on a link on their front page, only to get 5 lines from the article and an ad to buy the rest. No thanks.

    I think the Celtics would be making a huge mistake in trading for Garnett. They’d get a rent-a-player for one year, and give up most of the team’s immediate future. Unless they could jettison Doc Rivers in the trade, it’s not worth it. Even if one superstar is all you need to make it to the finals in Divison II (the east). The chances of KG resigning there are almost non-existant.

  9. Is this KG FINALLY putting his two cents in about a trade? As far as I know, he has kept his mouth shut and been loyal as hell (listening Kobe?), but now, through his agent, it seems that, “Kevin is an extremely loyal person, and loyalty is not a common factor among pro athletes, but in this situation he understands he has to put his long-term considerations ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ long-term considerations.” – Andy Miller (KG’s agent)

    All this drama is making this one of the most memorable offseasons in Laker history.

  10. So, I’ll be holding my breath for two days…when KG announces he has asked to be traded to the Lakers I will exhale.

    Kurt- PG is an evolving position, and at this point in time in the NBA I do not think a “tall” pg is as valuable as they once were. The penny hardaway’s, larry hughes, doug christie’s all never turned out to be “true” pg’s and with the speed of the game increasing, these types of players end up being better at the 2. That being said, the clippers found an actual pg in Livingston and may get another with Jarvis.

  11. ESPN has edited the article about Garnett refusing Boston with the addition that KG has supposedly said he would like to go to Phoenix.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2912075
    Um, Haven’t we learned by now that all ESPN does is make up crazy rumors to draw attention to themselves? They come up with off the wall “insider” information and then they use another article 3 days later to recant their previous information.

  12. The KG rebuke of the C’s adds weight to something Dunleavy said this morning on 570. He said the Lakers need to trade Kobe NOW if they ever would consider it. As Kobe’s opt out approaches, the Lakers lose more and more leverage because teams will be willing to give up less and less with the threat of Kobe being able to just up and leave again. Pretty much, what KG just did to the Wolves today. The C’s package was actually pretty decent, and now it looks like the deal is unworkable. The stakes get higher every single day in the Kobe situation.

    BTW, When I had Insider last year (12/05-12/06) it was awesome and worth every penny. I did not renew it because I found their sales staff so awful that I couldn’t do business with them anymore. The content, however, was superb.

  13. Dammit, guess I didn’t need to hold my breathe 2 days, only 2 hours. Makes sense for KG, I’d like to play with Nash and Stoudemire too. Question is, does a Marion, Barbosa, Picks deal beat an Odom, Bynum, Brown deal. Rememeber, Marion can opt out after a year.

  14. This is why I never understood the big deal made out of Kobe’s no-trade clause. Any guy worth anything (even draftees like Yi or Steve Francis) can force what they want in this league. The quote about his “long-term considerations” does lend itself to the kind of extrapolating that us fans are apt to do, but it could just be in reference to his nix-ing the Boston trade, not necessarily forcing an alternative trade.

  15. kwame a.,
    from what I have been hearing all summer from the Suns, the only reason they would want to move Marion is to clear up cap space because he is going to demand a max deal and they cannot afford that with Nash and Amare on the team. Other than that reason, the Suns would be keeping Marion and trying to add an extra piece for a better playoff push. Adding KG’s contract would not benefit them if they traded him for Marion. For Amare, maybe, but even then why would the Suns move 24 year old Amare for 30something KG?? They have too much of a good thing going there with Amare and Nash.

    According to Stein, KG wants to play in a warm weather place and compete for a championship. LA has warm weather indeed and with him and Kobe, whos stopping us? The aging Spurs who we could beat with Shaq and Kobe no problem? The soft Dallas Mavs? The too small Suns? Kobe and KG would be favorites in 08!

  16. skigi,

    I can understand KG’s desire to go to Phoenix, he’ll be an instant contender. I agree that trading KG would signal a “rebuilding” rather than re-tooling, and for that reason I don’t think Minnesota would take anyone buy Stoudamire back from the Suns. Wouldn’t they want young prospects on rookie deals, draft picks and expirings?

    What would Phoenix offer, Marion, Thomas, Atlanta’s unprotected next year and #24 and #29 this year? I guess Marion only has two years left so that could work.

    I have to say, our package just doesn’t match up to anybody else’s, KG would specifically have to ask to come to LA.

    AND, if KG does go to Phoenix, doesn’t that make it even more likely that Kobe will go off the deep end and DEMAND a trade?

    Last thing, if anyone missed Ric Bucher on Bill Simmons podcast today, check it out, it’s a really good interview. When asked what the chances are Kobe is in a Laker uniform on opening night, Bucher replied “0% chance”.

    Hmm….

  17. skigi,

    The Lakers, for what they would have to give up to get KG would not be contenders next year. I don’t care how good Kobe or KG are, we would be very thin up front and have an extremely shallow bench.

    The only way I see the Lakers hanging in the West with Kobe is if they can swing a deal for Pau Gasol without giving up Lamar Odom. Kwame, Bynum, Sasha, #19 for Gasol and I think we have a good team.

    If KG goes to Phoenix, I think the Bulls would be more likely to up the ante to get Kobe. They would know that they could ride Kobe to the Finals and anything could happen once they get there (and all the teams out West had basically beaten the crap out of each other).

    The next week is going to be nuts.

  18. Phoenix is reluctant to deal Amare. If Amare isn’t in the deal the Laker offer is better, because it gives them a young big to build around. The Phoenix deal gives them Marion (who will opt out after a year), Barbosa (who is redundant to Foye) and picks, which may or may not be lotto.

  19. Drew Boy,
    I agree with your points. Minnesota WOULD be in rebuild mode and want young talent. But the catch is that apparently Marion has said that he does not want to play in Boston OR Minnesota, meaning he would opt out after a year on them. This scenario makes our offer of Bynum, Odom, Kwame, and the 19 a better deal because Odom could lead them for a couple more years and Bynum would be their future and Kwame would be their expiring contract. I’m not saying Minnesota should do this or should do that, I just think our offer would be just as appealing as the Suns and would recquire just as much attention.

  20. He’s not going to PHX unless they give up Stoudemire because Marion has an opt out after this season and will use it if he’s traded some place he doesn’t want to be. Unless PHX budges on Amare, the Lakers have a better chance to secure KG. Trade Bynym, Kwame, and Lamar for KG. If only Kobe would have held off with all of his ranting, maybe the Lakers would be in a better position to get the ticket. Wouldn’t be the typical L.A. story if out of all of this Kobe drama the KG/Kobe pairing finally happened? And you know Paul Pierce has to be pissed. By the Way, KG said he wants to play in a warm weather city. So it’s either Dallas, LA, PHX, Miami, Orlando, Golden State, Sac, or the Clipps.

  21. And as far as Bucher saying 0% of Kobe in a Laker uniform, that’s because he has probably only talked to Kobe. Kobe himself would probably tell us there is 0% chance of his return right now. If Bucher had talked to Laker front office, he would be saying otherwise.

  22. Jones- I am with you. To every Boston fan: ha.ha.

    It’s us or Phoenix. Garnett has done enough and has respected the fans and the org (cough- unlike kobe- cough) and can dicate where he goes. Phoenix, obviously, is the first choice, but if they don’t come right, the Lakers are in a good position. Phones should be ringing, discussions should be happening.

  23. JONES,

    Wouldn’t Minnesota want Marion to opt out after this season? Especially if they can get #24 and #29 this year and Atlanta’s unprotected first next year? Throw in Kurt Thomas and Minnesota clears over $20 million off the books and gets three first rounders. They obviously don’t get a young prospect back, but you can’t win them all.

    However, the Lakers package allows them to get a young center prospect and enables them to use the #7 on someone like Corey Brewer rather than Spencer Hawes, who they are reportedly looking to take.

    Needless to say, the next week is going to be fun.

  24. On bill simmons podcast today: the BS report (always a good listen to……todays version is on espn home page) Remember, Bucher is the journalist who first broke the Kobe story and seems to have great sources in either Bryant or someone very close to him, anyway, Simmons asks him If he had to bet his life, will Kobe be a Laker next year, Bucher’s response is “Zero chance. Even if they haven’t traded him yet, he won’t show up for camp” and then goes on to explain

    You’d imagine he wouldn’t be so loose with his reputation on such a premiere espn format if he didn’t know something tangible….

  25. JONES,

    Sorry to break this into two posts, I forgot my other point. The Lakers could also include Mo Evans in the deal and take back Marko Jaric who the Wolves would desperately like to get off the payroll.

    It would be a slightly desperate move on our part, but Minnesota gets rid of two bad contracts at once.

    Might be something that makes our deal more attractive.

  26. it seems that Bucher has Lakers front office sources, he’s used them in numerous previous articles about kobe and the Lakers and he, frankly, seems to cover the team better than anyone else at ESPN (he’s California based, unlike ESPN’s other nba writers Sheridan, Stein, Ford, or Broussard)

  27. I apologize for the rampant trade speculation, but it is the only thing to cling to as far as wanting Kobe to remain a Laker. Reality bites.

  28. Of the “contending” “warm” teams (using the terms liberally), only the Lakers, Phoenix, Golden State and Dallas have a reasonable combination of young talent and workable contracts. Miami, Orlando, and the Clippers really have nothing to offer. For Dallas or Golden State to complete the trade, they would have to give longer term contracts (and young players with less upside). That leaves L.A. and Phoenix. One thing working in the Lakers favor is that of those four teams, they are the only team that can offer all three of: valuable young talent – Bynum, a quality veteran “star” – Odom, and a large expiring contract – Kwame. Certainly an offer of Amare trumps anything the Lakers can give. But outside of that, the Lakers should be players in a bidding war. And the fact Garnett was so close to being traded (to the point he had to nix it) means that he now must go. There is no chance he returns to the team. The stage is set for the Lakers to make something happen.

    The questions then become: (1) why would Garnett want to come to a team that is falling apart at the seams with an unhappy star and incompetent/fractured front office, (2) is giving Odom, Bynum (and possibly Kwame) too much, and (3) would the deal placate Kobe?

    Also, despite the warm weather provision, I suspect Chicago gets seriously invovled. Garnett is from there, the team would contend, and they have the assets to make it happen.

  29. The Garnett/Boston thing is unsurprising. While KG himself may be thinking PHO or (I hope) LA, as I said the other day, Chicago makes the most sense, in terms of the Wolves’ needs and Garnett’s.

    As to the Lakers, I would give Minnesota Odom, Bynum, and any other non-Kobe player for Garnett without any hesitation. Getting Bryant and Garnett on the same team would, IMO, be worth almost any price, in the same way that Jerry West did whatever he had to do to close the Shaq deal.

  30. If Jerry West was still here, he would be swinging deals right now just to acquire what the wolves wanted in a trade.

    You guys remember when he traded away George Lynch and Antony Peeler for cap space to offer Shaq more money to sign.

  31. Kobe is coming to the bulls, so is K.G

  32. Jerry West would be able to trade three Laker Girls and the “Chick Hearn Court” street name sign for LeBron James, who would then sign an lifetime extension for the league minimum.

  33. Jerry West does not sleep. He waits.
    Jerry West counted to infinity – twice.
    Jerry West can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.
    Jerry West doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

  34. By the way, I think if Chicago gets involved they could move to the front of the KG sweepstakes. They have the young pieces and picks. And suddenly KG relents on the warm weather thing when he thinks he can win the East for a few years.

  35. Just realized that West is the Bill Brasky of GMs.

    Agree that hardly any price-tag is too much to ask for KG, and if the sale is on then Lamar/Bynum/Kwame should be competitive with any offer not involving Amare or the Bulls. Having 2 of the top 5 players in the league, where really one player’s individual brilliance can get you surprisingly far, is almost always worth the try. Will we get stuck in a loop where Kobe won’t be cool unless KG comes, but KG won’t come unless Kobe is cool?

    (Kurt must be sighing right now; we’re like school children that you just can’t keep away from the cookie jar no matter how many times you remind us, and even if we know it’s bad for us. This is identical to the speculation that was happening months ago, that if anything is less likely now than it was then. At least we’re trying to distinguish between what we want to see and what we think we’ll see I guess)

  36. Tell me again why the Lakers should trade Kobe???

    1) He will never dog it playing for the next 2 years. Basketball is his obsession.

    2) If we stay the course in developing young talent we will have an up and coming team in 2 years.

    3) Kobe lives in one of the greater places in the U.S. – Newport Beach – and his wife is from Southern California.

    4) If Kobe leaves we have over $20m to bring in another star(s). This would be to an improving franchise. This was the Spurs method when the resigned Tim Duncan – why don’t we do the same thing?

    We should keep Bynum and Farmar as they are solid future players. We should draft intelligently (we have done this over the last 2 years). Mitch needs to get some help in signing vets over the next 2 years – this is his greatest weakness.

    I suspect Rad will have a MUCH better year next year and we will stop all this complaining about him. He showed flashes that he could fit in – and that was with an injured shooting hand.

    Maybe us fans will be infuriated, but the Laker organization will be better off in the long run if the pretty much ignore all this ‘championship next year’ talk.

    Tell me again why the Lakers should trade Kobe???

  37. Haha, didn’t see Kurt’s posts before mine went up. The Chuck Norris or the Bill Brasky of GMs, either works

  38. jerry west would invent a cloning device to clone himself into an army of ass-kicking gm’s. mchale still wouldn’t help the lakers.

    as for the east-west balance: maybe this is what stern had in mind all along. once the star players in the west saw how rediculously easy it was to get to the finals from the east, they would force trades to the east.

    maybe i’m just bitter.

  39. 35. I’ve got no room to talk about Garnett speculation, I took part in a sanctioned blogers bidding war.

    My philosophy is not to put speculation in the main post, but a little of it is naturally going to be part of the comments, especially on a day like today. I wanted to reign it in when it got a little out of control a few weeks back, and this is not license to go nuts, but with KG and the draft, there is a lot to speculate about and little news.

  40. Kurt, your Jerry West facts reminds me of a few I wrote about Erick Dampier a long time ago:

    - Erick Dampier never plays defense, he only plays offense in the opposite direction.
    - Erick Dampier is allowed to foul himself to get to the free throw line.
    - Dallas tried to name a street near the American Airlines Arena “Erick Dampier Avenue”. Unfortunately, it had to be renamed since there were too many deadly car accidents on the street. No one drives on Erick Dampier and lives.
    - Erick Dampier once made two points on one free throw.
    - Erick Dampier likes to play bridge on his free time. By “play”, I mean swat, and by “bridge”, I mean “the shit out of Shaq’s ugly ass garbage”

  41. “and this is not license to go nuts, ”

    If by some miracle the Lakers actually get the Ticket, can we go nuts then?

    One thing no one talks about that interests me: if the Lakers will keep Walton. Any news about who might want him? I would assume he wants to stay.

  42. Thanks, Goo. That caused me to snort laugh at work. Everyone thinks I am crazy now.

    I can’t imagine the situation playing out any better for Garnett. For years he refused to demand a trade, preferring loyalty to his own desires. Finally, the team “agrees in principle” to trade him, and he swoops in and takes control of his destiny by using his opt out leverage to nix the deal. He can now force his way to an ideal situation without being the bad guy who gave up on the franchise. The T’Wolves hands are now tied. They passed the point of no return and must trade him. But Garnett has all the power.

    I agree the Lakers should offer both Odom and Bynum. While the tandem would not guarantee a championship and rebuilding around young players and cap space is attractive, superstars win titles and the Lakers would have two. It might not be enough, but it iis well worth rolling the dice.

    If Garnett is willing to come to L.A. and McHale would sanction the thought (two BIG ifs), I don’t see a better positioned team to win the bidding war. No other team can give young talent and take on bad Minnesota contracts in one simple deal. Let’s hope Kobe turns that iron will of his to accomplish a more friendly objective…

  43. To respond to the ‘why should we trade Kobe’ question- I agree that if he gets on the court and plays he won’t dog it like some people *coughVincecough*.

    That’s assuming he gets on the court though, and doesn’t simply announce that he won’t play. I know this is the worst case scenario, but he can make things even uglier than they are now if he really wants to, and I have a feeling Buss will be the one who backs down first in a confrontation.

    At any rate even if we keep him and get him to play I worry about the effect he could have on the kids if he vents in the background.

    If we’re focused on developing younger players we should be leery about the possible influence of a disgruntled superstar. Kobe’s never been famous for getting along with his teammates.

    I really don’t know if I want us to make a bid for KG at this stage of the game. Even if we get him we’ll probably have to absorb a bad contract like Hudson or Jaric (though admittedly Jaric seems like a Phil triangle sorta guy) while sending them Odom, Bynum, Kwame’s expiring deal, the number 19 and God knows what else since Kobe has blown any “we’re not desperate” smokescreen we may have had out of the water.

    Then what? We have Kobe, KG, maybe Mihm if he comes back from injury, Luke, Farmar, and Vlad Rad/Brian Cook. Outside of the first two that doesn’t sound much like a contender to me, even with Phil in charge. Even in the Shaq/Kobe era a lot depended on our spare parts, and I would MUCH rather have Horry/Fish/Fox/Harper, especially since KG is no Shaq.

  44. I listened to the Bill Simmons podcast with Ric Bucher and they brought up some very interesting points to the bidding war… Phoenix (reportedly, whatever that means at this point) is not willing to deal Amare for KG under no circumstances because they are NOT willing to pay the luxury tax next year. Any deal would HAVE to be centered around Marion (who has said he doesn’t want to play in Minnesota). As for the Bulls, the only way they could make the salaries match in a trade for KG (or Kobe for that matter) would have to be with a sign and trade involving PJ Brown or Nocioni. We can all understand why either of them would agree, seeing as to how they would be coming to play here in LA, not going to a depleted Minnesota team. Why would Nocioni or Brown agree to sign and trade to Minny??? All of these are factors that could be worked out, obviously, but the fact is that our offer is starting to look a little better.

  45. Comment #36 by Craig W. — June 21, 2007 @ 6:53 pm, I ditto Craig W. thoughts. Well written out! Thank You! Bynum as many of you know I’m sure is projected by 3 scouts to go #3 in draft this year if he went to college. http://www.denverpost.com/spears/ci_5618717
    To trade, Lamar, Bynum, or whatever combination of players is gutting out any chance of a “real run” at a championship. KG will only come and stay if Kobe is here. Too many factors involved in a situation that two players in their quests for rings may just be one year rentals due to opt outs and age. The Lakers will not have enough players remaining to win a championship in 08. It’s best to trade Kobe because like Bucher said, “Kobe has played his last game as a Laker.” Lakers best keep Bynum, Odom, Farmar, younger players and build for a run in 09-10 with free-agency pickups.

  46. From SI.com

    It appears Jermaine O’Neal will be in the Pacers’ training camp, which should be viewed as a positive for Indiana. New coach Jim O’Brien has a knack for bringing out the best in star players, mainly because he makes them the focal point of his offense. Yes, it’s just that simple.

  47. I love it! “Kobe has played his last game as a Laker.”

    Possible, but probably just rubbish. Again…why trade Kobe…because he wants us to???

    If we lose Kobe in two years we lose him. My bet is that the team will be much better and he may want to stay at that time. Hang in there…rebuilding is just not much fun. Oh, I forgot…you are all fans and fans just react. Try thinking this thing out as an ongoing business.

  48. excellent post Nate

  49. warren (philippines) June 22, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Ok my post did not go through. Must be the length of it.

    Since we are talking of Garnett, lets assess:

    Do we really want Garnett knowing the price to pay?

    Or if somehow, JO can be had w/o losing Odom, would KG still be a better option than a 3-pronged attack in Kobe, JO and LO?

    And Finally, wont a JO trade trigger KG’s interest in the Lakers next summer when the option is exercised?

    There is no point for another team to trade for KG when he is simply opting out. Unless an extension can be worked on, and the option is waived, KG has to be certain where he will be becuase that is the Stadium that will retire him 5 years from now.

  50. warren (philippines) June 22, 2007 at 12:13 am

    The post I wanted to go through was a collection of Indy fans thoughts about the Lakers-Pacers deal.

    I must say I was surprised that they too are anxious to get the deal done – and they do not count it for a loss if Odom is not part of it.

    Thats what we all have been saying – Indy fans do not appreciate Odom too, so why have him? They’d much rather have Kwame, Bynum, Farmar, #19 and future 1st.

    I say we do it.

  51. You trade Kobe cause he’s turning the “Rodman” corner of crazy selfishness. I feel like this is Kobe’s way of putting on a wedding dress in public…

    I mean who goes around telling the world that he’s going to Chicago?? I’ve heard this multiple times from multiple people around the net. There’s no way he wants to stay, he’s turned this into a public campaign of manipulation. I don’t want that guy around. He just wants to go East cause he thinks it’s easier to win there. Fine. Go. I’ve been supporting you for years, making excuses, defending you…screw that!

    What are his reasons for leaving? The Lakers aren’t winning? The front office is incompetent? No…Kobe says ‘trade me’ because the front office LIED to him??!?!? What a joke! Who stood by him during the Rape trial? Who got him a private plane to fly back during that time? I mean how can you abandon a front office like that?!? Ugh….

    I’ve been the biggest fan of Kobe since he’s been he’s been in the league, but he’s too old and too experienced to be this childish. What a terrible, terrible person.

  52. This discussion seems to rather closely follow a mock KG competition that included FB & G–a competition that we won. If one went from site to site, one realized that Boston wasn’t ready, Chicago was a year late, Phoenix was a year early, and the Lakers were just right!

    Will McHale take his best deal? Will KG come? Maybe next year–in Phoenix?

    Stay tuned.

  53. I realize Kobe wants out. So what! Kobe is going to do his best to win wherever he is. That has been his m.o. all his life. Why not for us?

    We have not been competent in signing vets over the last few years. However, we have drafted pretty well – compared to all the other NBA teams – over that same time.

    Dumping our future for J.O. doesn’t make sense, if you take into account our inability to sign quality vets. Kobe + JO and junk WILL NOT win the west.

    If we can’t win the west next year why dump all our developing players?

  54. Another advantage for the Lakers in this Garnett situation is that his agent wants to negotiate an extension for Garnett wherever he eventually ends up. PHX luxury tax situation makes it completely unlikely that they’ll be willing do anything like that…

  55. A few points:

    I checked out the KG thread at Celtics blog that Kurt linked to. About 1/2 of the posters were ecstatic that Garnett did not want to come to Boston. “Phheww” “We dodged a bullet” etc. The Celtics were basically helpless while Pierce was out last year, and while they have some nice young athletes, I think they are overrating them, and while I like Al Jefferson, I think they are overrating him, too. I can see why they would prefer to keep Jefferson and the 5, but I do not see a great team developing in Boston with the players they have now, no matter how young they are.

    I tend to agree that I would not trade all the bigs for Jermaine O’Neal. I would, however, trade Odom, Bynum and Brown for Garnett. Bynum may be a nice player in a couple of years, but he lacks the knockout “look at that!” athleticism that you see in the HS guys who make the jump and become stars. Odom is a nice player, but Garnett is far, far better, and Brown, while a useful big body, has the small hands which make it hard for him to catch and finish and has a slow-revving motor. And while basketball players do “develop” this is not baseball. Usually, you can tell immediately if a guy has a chance to be really good. As Hollinger and others have pointed out, “Most Improved Player” often means “Guy who was already pretty good getting more minutes.”

    Further, I think fans in general slightly underrate KG. As he has been playing in a small market, on bad teams, in the huge shadows of the Shaq-Kobe circuses, the Spurs, Mark Cuban, Stockton/Malone, the run-and-gun Suns, and Yao/TMac, I don’t think some people realize how good he really is. And while he is 31 and has a lot of miles on him, he has a unique, lean, strong body, I see him being outstanding for another 3-4 years.

    Such a trade would leave the Lakers thin, but it would be up to Kupchak to fill in the pieces. Mihm and Walton, if possible, and a veteran who could defend the point. and hit an open 3. But I think that useful third-tier free agents would be all over coming to LA if it were Kobe and the Ticket they were coming to play with.

    It is also important to look at the history of the league and the franchise. Yes, it is possible to win the title with a collection of very good players. Joe Dumars was part of it twice as a player and once did it as a GM. But the lessons of history are clear: teams based on several good players (Indiana, Portland, Sacramento) usually come up short against superstars. When you have a chance to put two guys like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett on the same team, you get it done. If the Busses, Kupchak and jackson are unable to fill in the blanks around them, so be it. I would take the chance.

    As I said several days ago, and Kurt and others said yesterday, Chicago is the obvious place for Garnett for a dozen easily identifiable reasons. And, while it is obviously foolishness to pretend we know what players are thinking unless they tell us, or to assume they are telling us something that is not really true, I find it hard to believe that “warm weather” is THAT big of a thing to Garnett. I think he’d want to get a ring.

    On the other hand, he has lived in Minneapolis at least half the year since the mid-1990s. ;-)

  56. JONES,

    I still think taking Jaric with KG might vault us to the top as well. As much as his contract sucks, I actually think he’s a quality player (bit overpaid but whatever) that would be a good big PG in the Triangle.

    So, you think Jim Paxson and company are taking PJ Brown and Andres Nocioni out to dinner right now, selling them on the beautiful state that is Minnesota? If they don’t agree to a sign and trade, the Bulls ain’t getting KG.

    I guess the ball is in the Suns court right now.

  57. I don’t see Phoenix trading Amare for KG. It might make them a little better but it is not worth trading a 24 year old who has not even reached his potential for a 31 year old. If I’m Minnesota I don’t trade KG to Phoenix unless I get Amare back. Apart from the Boston trade, which apparently will not happen, Chicago makes the most sense from Minnesota’s end. If you could get PJ brown to agree to a sign and trade (even if Minnesota just bought out his contract and he retired) package Deng, Thomas #9 pick. thats a good deal for KG. That gives chicago a good startinng line up but they would be really thin up front. LA also makes sense you might not even have to package odom in a trade either. You could go with Bynum, Brown, Walton (sign and trade), #19 (whoever we decided to draft), Mckie (in a signm trade and buy out) + filler. MInnesota gets a potential star in Bynum, a good all around player in Walton and a little over 10 million in cap space in Mckie and Brown.

  58. the one piece of speculation that does not ring possible to me is that of kobe not showing up to camp… and the statement that Buss would fold to that tactic. I don’t think so…

    if kobe doesn’t show up, trying to force a trade, we suspend him for “conduct detrimental to the team” … he sits at home, without pay. salary still counts against the cap… but we immediately have trade leverage back on our side.

    or maybe I’m too depressed about all of this (and not really holding out hope for KG) that I’m getting spiteful.

  59. Nate- If I’m the Lakers I seek a way to convey a message to Garnett’s agent, something along the lines of ” 4 year 60 million dollar deal, guarnateed”, and then have Phil and Kobe and Magic confrence call KG to seal the deal.

  60. I’m really scared Garnett goes to the Bulls, Kobe sits out and forces a trade, and we see Jamal Crawford and Channing Frye in forum blue next season.

  61. kwame a,

    I don’t think its smart to pay that much to KG as an extension.

    I honestly don’t know where I stand on the whole thing right now. Part of me wants to go for KG (and I think we could make a pretty good offer) and the other part of me is upset with Kobe and really feels that he doesn’t want to be here. If we force him to play or he sits or whatever, this whole thing seems to just tarnish my love for the game and franchise.

    I don’t know if we would be any better, and we definitely wouldn’t be as glamorous (us true fans don’t care about that any way), but I think I would be okay to trade Kobe and just move on with a new purpose.

    Chris Sheridan suggested Ben Gordon, Ty Thomas, Andres Nocioni sign and trade, Chris Duhon and the #9 pick for Kobe. I think we get good players here, and the cap space to go after our franchise guy in the next 2-3 years (that 2009 free agent class gets me happy).

    It just makes sense to me and I think it would get all the drama out of LA for a change. I’m just ready for all this to be over.

  62. Craig, I understand where you’re coming from…but if what we really want to do is rebuild then there’s no point keeping Kobe either- if we keep him then basically we’ll have him around for two years, maybe carrying the team to the playoffs and losing in the first round before he opts out and bolts.

    Admittedly there’s a lot that could happen before then (like our kids maybe getting their legs under them and bringing us close enough to contention for him to decide to stick around) but it’s certainly a good idea in this situation to at least explore what sort of assets we can get for him. There’s not much of a reason to keep him around if what we really want to do is rebuild after all, besides the short-term view of ‘selling tickets and making the playoffs’ which is all well and good but shouldn’t be the focus if we’re running a youth movement. I wouldn’t say that it’s just because he says he wants out, but it’d be stupid not take his frustration level into account when planning ahead too IMO.

    I want the front office to pick a plan (rebuild and go with youth or shoot for contention with Kobe) and make the right moves to go with that strategy. I don’t want to see them drafting any more 18-year old projects 3-4 years away from contributing if the latter case is the plan any more than I want them burning the entire MLE on 6-10 guys who loiter around the 3-pt line if they want to go with the former.

    If I were Phoenix I’d go right for KG even if I had to give up Amare.

    Nash won’t last much longer anyway, so you may as well go all-out to grab a championship while you can before he burns out. They seem to believe they’ll still be able to stay in contention when that happens with Amare, but I don’t see where they get their confidence.

  63. 62. I don’t think Kobe and Magic could do that, KG’s not a free agent and that would equal tampering…but hey…wink wink…

  64. DYi- Of course that phone call would be “non-basketball” related.

    KB: So, interested in spending more time in SoCal

    KG: Possibly, does Los Angeles offer me a chance to be happy

    MJ: Los Angeles has made me and Kobe happy at least 8 times (5 for myself, 3 for Kobe) and the pick-up ball is great

    KG: So you think me and Kobe, in a pick up game, would work well together

    PJ: Defintley, and I could coach the pick up game and assure you quality sidekicks.

    KG: Sounds good, let’s do it!

  65. I read an article from a Minn. columnist that basically said that the fact that KG is being discussed in trades, and refused to go to Boston, basically changes his relationship with the franchise to the point where he can’t go back there. He has to be traded.

    I kind of agree, and if true, there is no way in hell that Kobe plays another game as a Laker.

    Okay, I’m done with it for now. Hopefully we have something in place soon so I can focus on the draft rather than thinking about who someone else is going to pick at 19.

  66. JonesontheNba;

    You say, without any reason, other than Garnet didn’t want to go to Boston, that he won’t go to a “cold weahter city.” OK. I guess, except from what I’ve read, on numerous legit websites and papers, is that it would seem Garnett would accept a trade to Chicago or New York. And I’d imagine there’s a possibility of that, especially Chicago They have more to offer the Wolves and they’re in a different conference; only iin Lakers Blogs and fan things around the web is the real possiblitily of Garnett going to the Lakers being given much validation. McHale, I really doubt, will trade him to a team like the Lakers, who are a player like Garnett away from being another team that will make the Wolves more irrellevent in the west than tney already are.

  67. Danny- The TWolves are about to hand the Western Conference over to Phoenix, so I don’t think they are adverse to trading him within the conference. Also, based on his loyal dedication to the team, Garnett will weild heavy influence wherever he goes. As of now, yes, it seems he has no interest coming to the circus that has become the Lakers.

  68. “Nate- If I’m the Lakers I seek a way to convey a message to Garnett’s agent, something along the lines of ” 4 year 60 million dollar deal, guarnateed”, and then have Phil and Kobe and Magic confrence call KG to seal the deal.”

    So you advocate tampering. Check.

  69. kwame a.

    “As of now, yes, it seems he has no interest coming to the circus that has become the Lakers.”

    agreed. suddenly, it’s PHX and PHX only. and can you blame him? if i was KG i wouldn’t want to walk into this mess.

    i seriously wonder how screwed we are?

  70. I guarentee, if KG comes, Kobe ain’t leaving. If he does, he’s far stupider then I’d have ever thought possible. But he’s a smart guy. If mitch lands KG, it does three things.

    A. Makes the Lake Show, in opinion, somewhat legit. You cannot deny how powerful a KG/Kobe combo would be, and the fact that both of them DESPERATELY want that ring, and you got a lot of fire there.

    B. Kobe stays put, Lakers front office breathes the BIGGEST sign of relief in basketball history. See above comment- I think KG would be enough to get Kobe to stay.

    C. If Mitch wins the bidding against Phoenix and lands KG, The “Hang Mitch” calls will be subsided for a while. Don’t know of many members of the Laker nation that won’t give him a LITTLE bit of a break.

  71. John- I advocate an active attempt to rectify the situation before blowing it up. Also, you caught me, I was being completely serious with that proposal, thanks for pointing out the illegality of such a suggestion on a message board.

  72. Volren,

    The thing you forget is that we started this youth movement two years ago and our 17/18yr old draftee is now 18/20. He is two years closer to a productive payout for us. Farmar has a year under his belt and now knows the NBA. Turiaf has 1.5yrs under his belt. These are our young guns.

    We have players coming into the prime of their careers in Lamar, Kawame, and Walton. Perhaps we trade one or more of these players for an established star, but I wouldn’t touch our young guns – bad leverage in a trade.

    We should be able to get a good player with the 19th pick next week. I agree, we shouldn’t take any projects. However, we do have a reasonable nucleus for a team, whether we keep or trade Kobe.

    Trading Kobe should be based only on what we can get back. If we get 50cents on the dollar I would NEVER trade him – this is the scenario I think we are in at the present time.

    My point is that Kobe will put out his best effort wherever he is playing and I think that should be in Los Angeles. If I am right about the current young players, then we will have a much, much better team in two years and Kobe will make more AND be in a better position to compete for a championship with the Lakers. Remember Duncan will be two years older and the salary cap will have bitten Phoenix and Dallas pretty bad. We, on the other hand, may be able to resign Lamar at a slightly lower price as a 2nd/3rd banana.

  73. 69) Read Stein/ESPN.com’s column from yesterday on the situation. It stated that KG’s preference is to go to a warm weather city that has the ability to contend…

  74. I’d take another year of mediocrity if it meant adding KG next summer without losing Odom OR Bynum (or Kobe, for that matter).

    A starting lineup of Farmar (or MLE PG), Kobe, Odom, KG, Bynum sounds good to me.

  75. The “stand pat” scenario:

    Kobe sits out for a year because LA refuses to trade him.
    No KG deal works because KG refuses to go anywhere.
    LA is horrible next year.
    LA has #1 pick in the draft.
    KG signs for the MLE with the Lakers.
    Kobe sees Lakers being contenders.
    Kobe rejoins Lakers.

    Everybody is happy!

    Let me dream. I have domestic issues to deal with.

  76. KG, their might be an option! Did I hear that right on Sportscenter? There are no KG and Kobe together in LA right now (already explored), but if there is any movement to LA, it’ll be KG to Lakers, Kobe to Bulls, and the Bulls’ young players to Timberwolves for their rebuilding process. How sweet will that be when KG comes HOME to summer Malibu, Cali home and play with the Lakes Show? Let It Be? What a sweet deal that’d be for all teams! McHale sends KG west because they have a good relationship and KG’s feelings been hurt he was put on the blocks. Come Home to Lakers KG! KG can finish his career in Lakerland, where he lives in the summers. My best SELL from Lakers point of view is it’ll be HIS team with upcoming talents of Bynum, Odom, Farmar, Rad, et al., draft picks, etc…and He can lead his team to a championship in LA (Tinseltown, big market). He wants to go a warm climate place. LA is the Place! Laker management will then build around KG as he can lead the team to a championship and then being the mentor he is, lead the team over to the Lakers and defers over leadership of the team as he ages. Perfect large market MOVE! Good Move?

  77. Just finished the Bucher/Simmons podcast, and I lost a little love for my man Ric. These writers continually rip the Bynum pick in 2005 for what it represents, forgetting that Bynum at age 18 and 19 was actually heaps better than the players taken around him. I agree drafting a high school player with your first lottery pick in over a decade with the game’s best guard in his prime seems an anachronism on the surface … but who else are they going to pick? Pick Granger or Antoine Wright or Joey Graham or whomever else just because they’re 22? Fran Vazquez? Yaroslav Korolev?

  78. And, of course, the likely defense these writers continually throw out, “trade the pick for that (mythical) versatile veteran that could help right now (and would also have to be making about 1.9 million a year).”

  79. Discouraging Sean Williams news for the faithful like Jones:
    http://draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=2132

    I know I’ve never been high on him, but feel more certain than ever that this guy’s not worth the risk. If character/dedication issues are THE concerns about you, how do you be evasive and isolated? Seems like in his situation you have to accept any opportunity given to you to prove people wrong, which means going to every workout offered and being completely up front about psych tests. The whole thing just seems ultra-bizarre to me.

  80. If the trade with Houston doesn’t work out, I wouldn’t mind trading with Portland. It looks like they were pretty impressed with Durant today, and I could see them taking him at #1.

    Brian Cook and Sasha Vujacic

    For

    Jarrett Jack and Martell Webster

  81. 78. If that were to happen, I’d pay for Staples season tickets JUST so I could boo the living crap out of Kobe every single possession.

  82. If KG or Kobie had ventured into the world of adult learning, they might have been required to study “Ethical Reasoning” by Paul and Elder, 2003 (see http://www.criticalthinking.org ). They would have been taught to use their critical thinking skills to promote the “common good. ”

    If KG had applied these principles to his desire for a trade before publicly mentioning Phoenix, he might have discovered that both Minnesota and Phoenix would have to benefit for a trade to happen–not just him.

    Now that they know, Phoenix might be ready for KG once it had satisfactorally dealt with the contract of Shawn Marion–not this year. If KG wants Phoenix, he needs to wait a year.

    Kobe likewise might have tried to consider how the Lakers and Chicago could both benefit. It is clear that Chicago was not preparing to acquire him–nor were the Lakers preparing to trade him. Ethical reasoning would tell Kobe that he must wait for another year–at least–and hope that Chicago could somehow pull off a miraculous trade.

    Those who merely see things in terms of their own perspective need to change their point of view, They are required (by Paul and Elder) to consider ethical thinking as a foundation skill for a college education.

    Is there still time for Kobe to sigh up for summer school?

  83. arrticle in the Minnesota paper that says KG will not be traded to Phoenix, as the Suns simply can’t afford him; they have a Kerr quote. The article says that the Wolves now seem intent to trade Garnett, as they are making calls themselves…..hummmm (If they were willing to trade Garnet to Phoenix, why wouldn’t they trade him to the Lakers?)

  84. warren (philippines) June 23, 2007 at 2:09 am

    It doesn’t make sense sending him to PHX if the only reason McHale has is preventing the Wolves from irrelevance. They will be wiped out of the map as Phoenix will dominate the West.

    Unless McHale has a hidden agenda by not helping the Lakers, the Lakers can provide Garnett the extension he requires to still retire with a ring and rich.

    I agree with the extension, I just have 50M 4 years on my mind. That will be enough.

  85. Craig,

    What I was grousing about was that the front office couldn’t seem to make up their minds about what path to take.

    If we wanted to rebuild there’s no way we should have given Vlad the contract we did.

    If we wanted to contend off the bat we shouldn’t have drafted Bynum.

    As it is I’m not quite so optimistic as you are over the potential of the younger guys. Bynum could be something, though I’m not sure about the ‘franchise center’ stuff yet. Farmar is a bit too slow to be top-tier, and I don’t see much potential in Turiaf besides being a hard-working garbageman sort.

    Admittedly we won’t be able to get full value for Kobe from anyone, but if he does decide to sit out or something similarly drastic something is better than nothing. To be honest some of that is coming from the fact that I’m just sick and tired of all the drama that seems to surround him. Get me Tim Duncan anyday O.o

    Warren,
    Personally I think that preventing the Wolves from becoming irrelevant isn’t a real goal at all, mainly because it’s already happened. Phoenix already >>>>Minnesota pretty much, the Wolves shouldn’t care if they get better than the rest of the West for a while as they’re in no danger of contention. Especially when they know that Nash’s expiry date should be coming up soon in the next couple years.

  86. Did you guys read about Kobe and Mitch’s one hour meeting yesterday?

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers23jun23,1,4731242.story?coll=la-headlines-sports

    I wonder if theres any chance that the meeting was to tell Kobe, “Look, we have a legit shot at KG, but we’re not going to bring him in if you’re still going to leave. So what’s your opinion on this, if you’re down then we’re down!”

  87. skigi,

    I think it was more along the lines of “we’re exploring trades to have you shipped out, please just shut up.”

  88. die hard bulls fan June 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I have a source and he says Kobe is all but gone.

  89. I hope Mitch told Kobe that the lakers could make a deal but not if Kobe doesn’t help recuit.Do you have any doubt Nash is doing that for the suns?

  90. The key points in any BB superstar trade:
    the trade is always to a team that said SS wants ot go to. Shaq-LA,Miami; Kareem/Wilt-LA; Oscar Robinson-Bucks; AI-Denver. This can never happen if the team getting the SS is gutted.

    The sending team always, always, always wants to save money. It is never looking to improve. Otherwise it would not be making the trade.

    Since a SS always has a high salary the trade has to include salaries that can be dumped.

    So, though it sounds counter-intuitive, the thing to look for are old, crappy over-priced players at the end of their contracts. If Mihm comes off the injured list, watch out!

    -mca

  91. Ethical thinking is a bit like servant leadership. The best way to win for yourself is to think of the other guy first. Doesn’t sound like Kobe, does it?

    If Kobe found his way into Paxton’s world, he would find a workaholic blue collar guy who doesn’t like superstars much. Paxton had two big superstar guys. Now, one of them plays for the “Nooch” and the other plays for the Nicks.

    Some say that a guy like Paxton couldn’t get along with any superstar. He’s got a workaholic team that is no more than one good player away from an NBA championship series–but maybe a $5 million to $10 million player, not $20 million +.

    If Chicago traded for Kobe, they would send the Lakers multiple players, but the Lakers have no more than 3 slots–with three draft picks on the way.

    Now Phoenix could put together a great deal for Kobe, and Shawn Marion might not even mind–but Jack Nicholson would.

    The Lakers could stand firm for the next 2 years and watch Kobe walk away–leaving them with $20+ million to spend on a free agent replacement.

    Alternatively, Kobe could apologise to the front office and the fans, swearing he couldn’t do “it”–offering to do whatever was necessary for the team for next year–and hop on a plane for Minneapolis!

    Selfishness doesn’t have much of an up side, but servant leadership might have it’s perks.

  92. the Indianapolis Star is reporting that talks between the Pacers and Lakers have started up again. They are reporting that the Lakers were unwilling to part with Bynum in a trade for JO…………so, the Pacers decided to drop their asking price. They said that the new asking price for JO is:

    Lamar Odom + Luke Walton + #19

  93. Renato Afonso June 24, 2007 at 8:44 am

    L G, if there’s any truth in that story and the Lakers part ways with Walton and Odom, for JO I would be extremely disappointed… Plus, would PJ allow the player with the best knowledge of the triangle to be traded?

  94. 3-way trade. V-Rad to Charlotte, PJ Brown to Charlotte, #9 to Charlotte.

    Kobe to Chicago.

    Lakers get Ty Thomas, Hinrich, Nicocioni (sign and trade) from Chicago and Gerald Wallace from Charlotte.

    I don’t understand how offering the best player in the league is not enticing. People have been regurgitating bs if they think you can’t get equal value for Kobe. You won’t get one player equal to Kobe but you can get a package of players that give you more then Kobe does. If filling seats in Staples is the priority, the LAkers will sell seat (even the corporate kind) if they are winning. A good front office can get equal value for Kobe.

    With the trade I propose the Lakers D would improve tremendously. Odom would improve and with these young players coming in there would be talent to develop.

    Depth Chart
    c Bynum, Brown Mihm
    pf Odom, Turiaf
    sf Nicocioni, Thomas, Walton
    sg Wallace, Head (traded for Cook) Evans
    pg Hinrich, Farmar, Sasha

    and we still have the #19 to pick or move in the trade to Charlotte to make sure it happens. If Bynum develops into a good center the Lakers become a top 4 team in the West. Better then Houston, better then GS, better then Utah and possibly getting as good as Dallas, SA and PHX. If Ty Thomas becomes as good as he looks like he could this becomes a trade that makes the Lakers championship contenders for the next decade.

  95. Would Charloote give Gerald Wallace for VladRad, PJ Brown and a #9??? Don’t think so…

  96. Just heard that The Bucks are willing to re-sign PG Maurice Williams, a free agent, at $7 million to $8 million per, but he’s looking for a starting number of around $9 million to $10 million. If they can’t reach a deal, they’re open to moving Williams in a sign-and-trade. …

  97. That line up makes the lakers the knicks of the west.

  98. I hope everyone realizes that Kobe is not going anywhere. Everyone has an agenda. The media keeps talking about potential trades because it sells papers/creates more site hits. The Lakers told you they were going to trade Shaq, and they did it. They told you they aren’t trading Kobe, and they aren’t! The Lakers will try to resolve this relationship and fix this team. They didn’t do that with Shaq, because they didn’t want Shaq anymore (at least not a $25-$30M per season).

  99. disturbing that there is no news yet that the lakers have at least attempted to contact the twolves about garnett. also missing: any word that kg would play for the lakers specifically.

  100. Well said Jones.

    I find it interesting that shortly after the Garnett-Boston trade story went public, two things happened: (1) Kobe met with Kupchak, and (2) a new round of Jermaine O’Neal to the Lakers rumors started popping up on the web. In each of these new rumors, Indiana supposedly has dropped their asking price. One rumor involves Odom, Walton, and #19. The other involves Kwame, Bynum, Farmar, #19, a future 1st round pick, and McKie in a sign and trade. While I cannot imagine Indy taking the former offer, as it would involve Walton agreeing to play for Indiana on a team with a similar player (Dunleavy), the latter makes a lot of sense for both teams.

    I don’t want to sanction a round of groundless rumor-spinning, but I found the timing of the events interesting. Maybe Garnett going on the block indirectly gave the Lakers back their trade leverage. Indiana knows the Lakers have other interesting options to pursue and might be more willing to unload O’Neal for one of Odom/Bynum. If so, thank heavens Mitch did not panic and give both shortly after Kobe’s demands.

    Obviously reading things in an optimistic light…

  101. In addition to questioning the motivationis people have for telling the press certain things, Heisler’s article on Kobe’s “circle of trust” has me questioning more than ever the motivations of the press themselves:
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-heisler24jun24,1,6699778,full.column?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=5&cset=true

    I wondered where Bucher was getting his “the chances of Kobe returning as a Laker are 0%” stuff, just like I wondered last month where Steven A was getting his information. Where do you draw the line between using your insider status with the stars to gain information and gaining your insider status by using information the way that stars want you to. I’m not sure I could pinpoint exactly why, but the type of relationship that Heisler is claiming he once had with Kobe, and that he’s accusing Jim Gray, Steven A Smith, and Ric Bucher of currently having, makes me feel slightly uneasy about the whole process.

    I understand that famous people will manipulate the media to their own agendas; I guess I just naively would like to believe that most journalists wouldn’t so willingly participate in the charade. The way Heisler makes it sound, it’s not so much guys like Ric reporting what he believes the story to be, rather it’s like Ric is doing his bud a favor by relaying indirectly the crap that Kobe would look bad saying himself. Looking back to Steven A’s tirade on why “Kobe has a right to be upset” after their elimination, and it looks even more like that.

  102. Did anybody hear Kupchak on am570 today? The link to listen to it is over at getgarnett.com… but Mitch really didn’t tell anything. He would not say a single word about Kobe other than, “enough has been said about that topic” and he would not say who hes been looking at, all he said was “we’re committed to building a winner”. He mentioned we need a ballhandling guard to help Farmar but doesn’t think a rookie at 19 is going to address that need.

    Thanks Mitch, you told us everything we already knew. A Mitch imposter could have conducted that interview and we wouldn’t even know it. Tell us something buddy, the entire city of LA is sitting on pins and needles wondering what’s going to happen. Tell us something encouraging like we want KG, or we really think JO would be good here. All we got from Mitch today was “good times are ahead!”

  103. chris henderson June 25, 2007 at 12:19 am

    you really can’t blame mitch for not telling it all on an AM radio station. seriously, you have to know there are talks and they are trying to get things done, and while that is happening, as much as we want to know what it is…we won’t know anything until it’s a done deal, signed sealed and delivered, and anything before that is speculation, and just fun stuff to talk about.
    and if he did say something to tip his hand, he’d be tossed out of the office so fast his head would be spinning, this is like a card game, and that’s why Dr buss was so good for so long, a good gambler.

  104. warren (philippines) June 25, 2007 at 12:36 am

    LG, I heard that Indy rumor too. Admittedly, JO is wanting out so they cannot play hardball on us. While Kobe and his tirade is reasonably loud these days, other GMs in the league do not believe Kobe is at all traded or scouted.

    Therefore, the leverage is with us. While KG will provide us with the special kind of player we need, probably the best fit among all, a trade for him will also gut out the team.

    I like the 1st proposal, I also like the 2nd one for varying reasons:

    1. Luke + Lamar + #19 for JO would mean we keep Bynum.
    I do not really intend to “keep” him, just use him in another trade to get Yi Jianlan.

    2. Farmar, Kwame, Bynum is also a deal that is hard to refuse. Getting JO and keeping LO is the bomb. The 3-pronged attack will surely keep opponents at bay while JO provides the interior defense and stability.

    Either way, I’ll be a happy camper already.

  105. If we stay away from “pleasing Kobe” or “trading Kobe,” we might get down to basic Laker needs. Right now, they have three open slots (Shammond, the Smusher, and McKie). We have three draft pick that could fill those slots. But none of them would address our most pressing need: a veteran point guard. In the playoffs, Fisher reminded us what a veteran point guard could do.

    We have been like Goldilocks when we looked at point guard free agent possibilities: too expensive, not what we want–or not even close to just right. The only publicly discussed trade involved Luther Head from Houston. The Luther Head Bonzi Wells for Cook and Sasha sounded pretty good to me.

    Given the drama of the summer so far, the Lakers have even more reason to do what they probably intended anyway: be patient unless there is an unusual opportunity–at least until we know about the health of the big guys (VladRad, Kwame, Odom, Mihm). It could even happen after the season starts–or it could happen tomorrow.

    Who know? Indiana and/or Minnesota might decide to get serious!

  106. JONES,

    I also think that the Lakers learned their lesson with the Shaq deal, and it would have been better for them to let him walk for nothing than take back Brian Grant’s hideous contract.

    By not trading Kobe, and more so repeatedly saying they are not, they are gaining some leverage in the trading market.

    I’m curious as to why there has been zero Gasol talk. If they are not looking at him, or inquiring at least, I think they should. He seems like a great fit for this team and could be had without giving up Lamar Odom.

    I just think that bringing in someone (KG or JO or whoever) and giving up Odom in the deal is a lateral move. They are going to need more than Kobe-? to compete. It just doesn’t make sense to me to give up LO in a deal.

  107. Jones/DrewBoy- Also, you gotta remember the circumstances were different with Shaq. The lakers were scared of losing kobe in free agency, and whether he told them to trade shaq or not, it’s obvious they felt they had to trade him, and the next day Mr. Bryant signed his deal. Now its different, and they have to be cautious with making a quick decision.

  108. kwame a,

    Good point. And if what most people think is correct, that Andrew Bynum is someone the front office thinks will be a force in this league, and they’d like to build around him, giving him another two years is probably what they would like to do. I’m sure somewhere they’ve talked and said “If Kobe walks, we have Andrew with four years under his belt and a ton of cap space to put players around him with”. All the while they rule all NBA talk and Kobe puts butts in the seats. Not bad.

  109. 111. That is what I have been saying all along.

    Why does everybody feel that a player ‘walking’ after their contract is up is the worst thing in the world. With Kobe it will free up about $22-$24mil in two years.

    If the front office is right about Andrew, then both Kobe and Lamar will want to stay.

    This is not a trash personnel club and we should not be particularly desperate – concerned, certainly – but not desperate.

  110. And, to throw more cold water on any Laker trade talks, read this…
    http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-070624smith,1,5654789.column?coll=cs-bulls-headlines

    The Minni – Celtic – Phoenix trade makes too much sense. Someone has to really screw up for this not to happen.

  111. Craig- Agreed. Two seasons ago we were a good team post All-Star break. The reason why was the play we got out of the 1 and 5. Kwame was putting up 15 and 8, and Smush was doing what we want the pg to do-hitting shots and defending with energy. Adding players at those positions that can provide a solid consistent effort makes us a 50+ win team, although it doesn’t guarntee a finals appearance, or even a confrence finals appearnce.

  112. Craig W,
    Here’s an interesting paragraph from the article you posted by Sam Smith…
    “This is a deal that makes sense all around, especially now that Kobe Bryant has reopened a dialogue with the Lakers and speculation has the Lakers making an offer to Minnesota for Garnett. He lives in Malibu and he and Bryant are said to talk frequently, getting together recently to discuss playing together.

    But the Lakers don’t have the draft picks to entice Minnesota, and you can be sure the Suns wouldn’t want to see Bryant and Garnett together in their division.”

    Kobe and KG met recently? Is Sam Smith just making that up? How would a columnist from Chicago know this and not anybody from LA? I think this guy is just making this up to get some attention to his article.

  113. DrRayEye,
    As a Rockets fan in LA,Head is very questionable as a legit starting PG. His 3pt shot is excellent and he plays hard,but he has a hard time defending quick PGs and he has tunnel vision when trying to run an offence. His PG skills may be irrelevant if Lamar is running the O,but his D may be a problem unless he is part of an excellent team defense. That said,I like him alot because he isn’t afraid to take the big shot and he makes a very good combo 3rd guard.
    My opinion on Wells is unprintable-let’s just say I’m not a fan. I think it highly unlikely Wells will be traded for so little as a large section of Houston fans has an irrational belief he’s the savior destined to take the Rockets to the promised land.(One fan stated McGrady should be the third option behind Wells,and a couple others agreed.)

    But your belief the Lakers should be tweaking I agree with. For the PG spot,for now a committee seems the way to go-esp if Lamar is kept. Might I suggest some version of the Head trade,maybe Head for Sasha and swap the firsts. Then Radmanovic to Cavs for Eric Snow.
    Yes Snow is almost done,but he did decently in Playoffs and having a vet PG around to settle team when other team makes a run can be invaluable-just don’t expect major minutes from him.Just as important Lakers get out of Radmaovic contract and Snow only has 2 yrs left.
    Resign Walton and offer Stevenson $8-9mil over 2 yrs(prob overpaying,but it’s short term and there will be at least 2 bidders.) Brown,Lamar,Stevenson,Kobe,Head is a much better defensive team,w/Head offering reliable 3 pt shooting,and Farmar,Evans,Walton,Turaif,Bynum gives an energy bench w/Snow as the vet presence.No this team won’t contend this yr,but realistically will adding KG(who seems to want Suns) or J.O’N and losing Lamar give a team that could beat Spurs,Suns,Mavs,Jazz ?

  114. 115. “Recently” is a vague word. It could mean in the last 48 hours, it could mean in the last six months.

  115. Please don’t bag so much on Radmanovic.

    He is a consistently good outside shooter – when his shooting hand isn’t busted up – and he showed some willingness to go inside to score/board last year. Also, he was improving on guarding against the pick-n-roll – not a small plus for any Laker player.

    If he can’t produce I would dump him next summer, but we can’t get enough to justify his potential because of his surgery. He is potentially a good fit for what we will need next year.

  116. Kurt- What do you think the Lakers should do with that 19th pick, assuming they keep it. Do they have a need at a certain position, or should they go BPA.

  117. Wells wants to play for Adelman, stick with Rockets
    Associated Press

    Updated: June 24, 2007, 2:42 PM ET
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    HOUSTON — Veteran guard Bonzi Wells said a conversation with new Rockets coach Rick Adelman helped him decide to stay in Houston.

    “It was a perfect conversation,” Wells told Houston station KRIV. “He didn’t talk about my past or what happened last year. … I told him right then I am here. I am in Houston. This is where I need to be.”

    Wells’ agent has filed the necessary paperwork to keep Wells in Houston. Even though Wells had signed a two-year contract with the Rockets, he could have opted out of the deal this offseason.

    “I would run through a brick wall for coach Adelman,” Wells said.

  118. 119. New post coming in minutes that talks a little about this, but yes, at 19, BPA, Actually, I’m pretty fond of the “tier system” so you take a player that “fits best” within your tier but if a guy gets overlooked (you think, at least) you take him.

  119. kwame,
    If it were up to me, I would say the Lakers need to draft a hardworking bigman at #19. It is highly unlikely that we can find a starting PG at 19 so the next best thing would be to get a big man who prides himself on hustle and defense (like Turiaf). As long as he can catch a basketball then it will be an upgrade over Kwame. I’m thinking along the lines of a Paul Millsap type, somebody with a track record of being a monster on the boards.

  120. More free agent fodder…Chauncey just opted out of his final year contract.

    http://thestartingfive.wordpress.com/

    I know, we don’t have enough to sign him, but isn’t it nice to think of KG, Kobe, and Chauncey on the same team?

  121. Skigi- I agree. I like the idea of a bigman. Ideally I would want them to get Sean Williams, but knowing the Laker FO, they won’t touch a “headcase” unless said headcase was an established NBA player. For a rookie, I don’t see them taking that risk. I would want them to get Glen Davis in the 2nd rd, but he may not be there.

    In the first I would grab one of those swingmen that is bound to fall, whether it be Stuckey,N. Young, T. Young, or grab the brusing Euro Tiago Splitter, pay the buyout and bring in a guy that has some professional experience.

  122. 124, You and I are on the same page, as I said in the new post. I just can’t justify the risk of Williams in my mind (considering he hasn’t shown a maturity during the workout season the last few weeks). I’m good with Splitter, too.

  123. kwame a & skigi,

    I know a new thread will be up soon to discuss this, but at #19 I think we have to go for a wing defender (at the 3), an athletic big (Jason Smith or Sean Williams) or a scorer/shooter (Stuckey, Almond).

    I don’t think the Lakers even begin to look at a PG at that spot since they need a vet there, and another slow-footed forward would just add to our long list of those.

    Does anyone else have a sinking feeling that we are going to miss out on ALL the big deals floating around? That Suns-Celts-Minny three way trade makes waaaaayyyy too much sense for everyone involved.