Free Agency Day One

Kurt —  July 2, 2007

The first thing the Lakers did — one minute after they could talk to free agents — was something so obvious it could get overlooked, but it shouldn’t. They called Luke Walton.

Among the things it is clear the Lakers need to get to the next level is some quality role players to go around the stars (hopefully one more star) the team already has. Walton is exactly the kind of quality role player that the Lakers need more of. The numbers suggest that the Laker offense was not much more efficient with Walton on the court compared to him off it (0.3 points better per 100 possessions), but observation suggests that the offense may have been more balanced when he was on. The offense ran more smoothly, the passes moving more crisply. We know Kobe alone can carry the offense, but he seemed to need to do that less when Luke was on the floor.

In previous years, other teams were willing to let Luke shoot from the outside — in the 05-06 season he shot 42% (eFG%) on jump shots and 49.7% in close to the basket. But Luke worked on his shot — last season he shot 44.7% on jumpers and 61.7% in close. His three-point shooting improved from 32.7% to 38.7%. His PER jumped from 11.to 14.7. Bottom line, he made himself into an offensive threat.

This is also a good contract for a young role player — six years at $30 million. That’s enough money to pay his rent, even the South Bay, but not tie up the Lakers with a bad contract. Good moves all around.

Some other thoughts.

• Reports are the Lakers have reached out to Steve Blake, the former Terrapin PG. Of the guys the Lakers can afford, this is the best guy in my mind. He can hit the three — he shot 41.3% from there in 05-06. In this year’s playoffs, he was a +24.3 in the five games and shot 50% from three. On defense he is not a stopper but he is average — opposing PGs last year in Denver shot 46.6% (eFG%) and had a PER of 14.8 (right at the league average). In the playoffs, when he was on the floor the Spurs PG (usually Tony Parker) shot just 42%. Blake would bring some veteran PG presence to go with Farmar and maybe our new rookie.

• There had been suggestions the Lakers might go after former Bruin Jason Kopono, but instead he goes to Toronto. That’s just as well. The Lakers have plenty of guys who can shoot the three (including Mr. Walton), what they need to bring in are defenders. Kopono is not that.

• Coby Karl has signed to play summer league ball for the Lakers (in Vegas this summer, leaving Long Beach after decades there and just as I move back to the ciy; coincidence?). He is the son of George Karl and a star at Boise State with a great story. Glad to see him get a chance to showcase what he can do.

Kurt

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131 responses to Free Agency Day One

  1. Blake would be okay I suppose. We need to find a PG that can COME CLOSE to containing Nash and Parker if we’re looking to get past first round or semi-conf.

  2. as I said, I like the Walton news although I would prefere a 4 year 20M deal

    Steve Blake? I dont know… with already Farmar and Crittenton…
    I guess that if they sign him they will try to move one of our young PGs
    If not, I would try to target Magloire (if traded either Bynum or Brown) or Possey who can still defend and shoot

    PD. Kurt, they don’t feel comfortable with you arround in Long Beach… have you though of a Basketball trip to Vegas? where would they go???

  3. Blake is probably the best PG that is available at the price we are offering, not a perfect fit but better than what we have now. The lakers still need to address the defense in the back court, though I do not have any suggestions.

    Mihm is reportedly seeking a full MLE deal. Under normal circumstances that would only be slightly too high. But he has not played in over a year. I think he will have a hard time finding any teams willing to give him that large of a contract. I would think 2-3.5M a year is more realistic.

    Possey is a good defender and is an OK shooter but I am not sure where he would fit in. Pavlovic is similar to Possey as well and might be a better shooter, but CAVS can match any offer given to him (though they would be paying twice that because of the luxury tax). Magloire would add depth to the front court (especially if Mihm goes elsewhere) but I think he would require the full MLE and is not worth it. Mikki Moore is available for cheaper and would be good coming off the bench. that is if he has not already signed with NJ.

  4. warren (philippines) July 2, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I prefer Mikki Moore and Eddie Jones for the MLE. Mikki Moore doesn’t really strike me as a legit center but he scraps for the ball like crazy. Marc Jackson has been a stiffy lately, but for 2-3M, he might be available.

    The Bulls are also intent on trading away Andres Nocioni and seems to be interested in Mihm. I’m a little surprised but I think if they are that interested, we could sign-and-trade Mihm + fillers for a signed-and-traded Nocioni.

  5. warren (philippines) July 2, 2007 at 8:07 am

    The Lakers are reported to have offered a contract for Coby Karl, son of George Karl.

    If so, they are seem to be fond of players coming from life threatening surgeries. I.e Ronny Turiaf (heart), Karl (lymph nodes).

  6. We absolutely have to be thinking we’re shipping away one of our young PGs if we get Blake. I think he’s a great addition to the team if we get him, but definitely to the team that has a low-post guy who can draw doubles. I like the signing of Walton, he’s a good #4 guy or so, but I’d still much rather than Artest than him, cause, like Odom, etc., he can’t really defend. Lest we forget we were one of the most efficient offensive teams last year, but the defense was so horrid.

  7. warren (philippines) July 2, 2007 at 8:19 am

    The Lakers are playing hardball with Indy right now. It will only last for so long as suitors are finally showing up for JO.

    The Nets are coming into the picture with Richard Jefferson as the main bait. I still think this is a weak offer and is therefore counted as a mild threat.

    What scares me will be, if the Bulls entered the JO race. They can offer PJBrown (s&t 8M), Andres Nocioni (s&t 8M), Ty Thomas and Ben Gordon for JO. In all likelihood, JO will be the missing Bulls piece for ruling the East.

    Then we will end up whining and wishing we hadn’t played hardball and took the offer instead.

  8. I really like the Walton signing. It’s a good market value and a guy who seems to work well with Kobe.

    On another front, I think the entire league is waiting to see which big fish gets moved first, thus leading to a frenzy of trades.

    Just think, moving KG, JO, or Kobe would take two or three of the reported teams off the trade market. Since the Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Warriors, and Suns seemed to be linked to everyone, if one of them pulled the trigger on a trade it would lead to the rest falling in line.

    Who’s the first to move, that’s the big question.

  9. Yes, Walton will be a Laker. I think he is a perfect role player for this team.

    He’s a very good team defender and i would prefer to keep him over a guy like Ron Artest. You know what you get with Walton. Artest is too much of a wild-card.

    I am always sick of defending Walton all the time. His passing is the reason why we were called the “best passing team in the NBA” by i believe George Karl in what seems like so many moons ago.

    Just get some defense in here, please, for the love of god.

  10. The Lakers should sIgn Grant Hill to be their point guard

  11. I’m very glad we did the intellegent (and easy) thing, and re-signed baby Walton. I regard him as among the best role players in the league… and a natural fit for our game and team dynamic. I also get the impression that Kobe trusts him (don’t think Luke was on Kobe’s mind during his ‘quality help’ tyrade)

    One thing that has been mentioned a few times here (and endlessly on 570am): why would we look to KG or Oneil, just to appease Kobe? If he’s all about Me, myself & I, shouldn’t we ship him out and start over?

    I honestly don’t get the point of this oppinion at all… Kobe constantly gives us a great chance to win, and that is what the team is all about. Anything we get for Kobe would make us a worse team.

    The problem has long been that he can’t do it alone, and that is where his fustration comes from. Give Kobe a few people that can hit an 18 ft shot, and he will trust them.

    I think that we are not that far away from competing for the ring again, but we need to fill in the peices with quality, not a heartbeat.

  12. I never have understood the great desire by some to bring in Grant Hill. First off, he wants to play where he can win a ring and right now that is not the Lakers, which is why his list of teams includes a couple teams in Texas and one in Arizona.

    But is he the guy the Lakers should be paying $6 million? He’s a two guard, not a point, and duplicates what Kobe and to a degree Luke does. He is not a PG ball handler, last season 12.7% of his possessions ended in an assist, 13.3% in a turnover. And, let’s remember, how many games he has played each season since 00-01: 4, 14, 29, 67, 21, 65.

    He’s a good addition for a contender to bring some depth, but I don’t see the fit here.

  13. I have a question about salary rules if anyone can answer it that would be appreciated. What is the rule on signing veterans for the vet. minimum? Does it count against the MLE or does the league allow an exception for veterans?

  14. Signing Walton was a no brainer, and hardly challenging for the front office.

    Mihm asking for the MLE is a joke.

    Jason Kopono signed with Toronto.

    The Lakers reportedly aren’t willing to pay the MLE for Blake. I don’t think he’s the answer anyway.

    And signing a free agent that will play on our summer league team is not exciting.

    The Lakers weren’t even mentioned as a team going after Gerald Wallace. We could definitely offer something in a sign and trade.

    Standing pat seems to be Mitch’s best quality.

  15. Dime Magazine also mentioned that the Lakers tried to offer Phoenix Kwame Brown and another role player for Shawn Marion, and were basically laughed off the phone.

    Excellent business skills Mitch.

  16. Steve Blake alone isn’t the answer, but he is a quality point guard, a position of need. Gerald Wallace is another swing man and one who doesn’t shoot the three well (32.5% last year), but he is the answer? Wallace is a good player, but he just opted out of a $6 million a year deal to become a free agent, and the Lakers can only offer less than that. So how are they supposed to get him?

  17. Kurt,

    I hope to God they don’t pursue Steve Blake. I know he’s solid or whatever, but I think our PGs the past two years have led us to overvalue guys like Steve Blake and Mo Williams.

    PG is the one position where I don’t mind us letting our two young guys grow.

    The more time goes on, the more I think the JO deal would be a good one for us. However, the one thing I would like to see us do is offer the LO, Bynum, Kwame package, include Jordan Farmar and ask for Jeff Foster back instead of Jamal Tinsely or Troy Murphy. Since we’re sending out our entire front court, it’s important for us to get another big back. Jeff Foster is a hustle guy that I would love to have.

    I just think that having a post presence on offense would do wonders for us, and obviously JO’s defense is great.

    Plus, he’d be coming in with something to prove and I like that.

    I just think the KG trade isn’t going to happen, seems way too complicated/dangerous financially.

  18. Yay Luke!

    ok…now lets get KG in here and start the season already.

  19. (16 ) – As I mentioned, we could go after Wallace in a sign and trade. We don’t have the ability to use the MLE on him, but we do have pieces (Walton, Radman, Farmar, Bynum, etc.) that could interest them.

    Creativity is what the Lakers lack.

  20. (17) – Drew… are you out of your mind?!?! Odom, Kwame, Bynum, AND Farmar??? So basically all of our promising young players except Kobe.

    Desire for change is clouding all reason. There are MUCH better options out there. We need to seek out those options.

  21. Question relating to Mihm and the MLE. It still counts as the MLE, even when LA owns Mihm’s Larry Bird rights? I thought LA wouldn’t have to waste the MLE on their own player. Thanks.

  22. 19- you do not waste the MLE when signing your own player back. You can sign him for MLE money (i.e 5 million for 6 years) but it does not use up your MLE. Mihm asked for MLE (And I think he knows he’s not going to get it, just standard bargining by agent), but we can pay him MLE money and not waste the MLE.

    I swear, the people who wrote the Tax laws had a hand in writing the CBA. It can be just as confusing.

  23. The Walton contract is too long and too high, but hey its not my money. Signing Blake wouldn’t be terrible and probably is the best move they can make in free agency. Personally I’d rather sign Pargo and let Farmar start, then use the rest of the MLE on a big, because I feel that no matter what, Kwame will be traded this summer.

  24. 19. To me this offseason is really pretty simple. 1) Defense first. 2) We need veteran bigs and PGs. That’s the only reason I don’t see even doing a sign and trade with Wallace, he is a 6-7 swing man and we’ve got swingmen (Kobe, Odom, Walton, Evans).

    23. If you’re going to trade Kwame then the Lakers need to get another big in, so I could live with Pargo I guess. But then whoever you bring in as a big better be a defensive force.

  25. Questions:-
    1- why Denver doesn’t want to offer Blake their MLE? Actually heard that they are going after Chucky Atkins instead..

    2-Could we still S&T trade Mihm to the Bulls for Duhon?

  26. (comment posted by Reed)

    The Lakers are somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place with their free agent pursuits. They need to both bring in immediate, quality help and be careful to not ruin the team’s long term salary structure in case they need to rebuild without Kobe. I’m not sure they can accomplish both, meaning they have to go all in and sign free agents to lengthy deals and hope things work out with Kobe.

    Looking at past years free agent signings, they have great reason to be cautious in using their midlevel. Players that were signed with or near midlevel dollars last summer: Mike James, Vlad Radmanovic, Marcus Banks, Speedy Claxton, Jared Jeffries, Nazr Mohammed, Darius Songalia, Tim Thomas. That’s 8 midlevel-ish signings, 8 absolute busts, and 8 teams that would sell their souls to be unburdened from the contracts.

    2005 midlevel-ish signings: Zaza Pachulia, Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, Earl Watson, Stromile Swift, Cutino Mobley, Damon Stoudamire, Marco Jaric, Jerome James, Raja Bell, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Antonio Daniels. Scorecard: 12 contracts, 8 busts (I’ll call Zaza, Watson, Mobley, and Bell good signings; Abdur-Rahim and Daniels were mild busts).

    So, in 2 years, we have 20 midlevel-ish signings and 16 mistakes. A few other players got midlevel money in that time frame from their own teams: Gerald Wallace, Matt Harping, Udonis Haslem, etc. These usually worked out much better. Makes you think that if a team won’t spend above the midlevel on a player they can retain through Bird rights, they know the player isn’t worth it.

    So, as the Lakers court possible personalities such as Steve Blake, Papaloakas, Grant Hill, Mikki Moore, DeShawn Stevenson, Charlie Bell, etc., etc., they need to use a little caution and make sure they know what they are getting themselve into. Don’t throw 4 or 5 years and the full midlevel at someone just for the sake of it.

    For the record, I’m in favor of Blake (full midlevel) and Moore.

  27. Scorers, scorers, scorers!!!

    We need defense and rebounds, not more scoring. Gerald Wallace really doesn’t fit for us – too much duplication – so enough already.

    KG and JO are interesting because of they have defense AND are true #2 scorers for a team, not just for their scoring.

  28. Carter,

    “Creativity is what the Lakers lack. ”

    No, what the Lakers lack are tradeable assets and cap space. They are going to have to roll the dice somewhere, and that means parting with young prospects or Kobe Bryant.

    We’re lucky we’re not in charge of that decision in front of the Laker fan firing squad.

  29. (25) Mihm for Duhon (S&T) makes some sense. Chicago is interested in Mihm, and are interested in parting with Duhon. Duhon does not fit a Phil Jackson PG but he is a smart player, averqage shooter, and a better than average defender. We would then have to sign a Big man with the MLE (at least part of it). I am very much in favor of Moore, but from what I have read he is very interested in staying in NJ, even if it means taking less money.

  30. MUST READ !!
    ========

    Garnett to L.A. makes sense…Rosen Article

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/6978156

    “In lieu of any other possible deals, the Lakers are the Big Ticket’s best possible destination.”

    Good article but it still seems like a long shot to me

  31. (24, 27,28) – I do believe Wallace is a good fit for us. We need defense badly, and he is a top defensive talent in the league. He’ll give you lots of blocks and steals.

    Settling on Walton and Radman is a bad idea. They are BOTH defensive liabilities, and in reality a 6th man on any other team in the league. One needs to be traded, and one should stay as our 6th man.

    We DO have trade pieces. The problem is, we may need to take a step backwards in order to move forwards as a team. This means we might have to give up multiple players like Farmar, Walton, Bynum, or Evans in a package in order to get ONE starter.

    A lineup of Kobe, Odom, and Wallace is a scary one. To ignore this would be a mistake.

  32. Why would the Bulls do a sign and trade with Mihm and Duhon when they could just sign Mihm as a free agent, then trade Duhon in a separate move?

  33. By the way, in some comments on this site people have been quoting media sources as to potential trades/signings/whatever. That is fine, but please include a link too. Gr8dunk at 30 is a good example. This is Internet courtesy. Thanks.

  34. I think it’s a bit too much for Luke, but this is a minor criticism for me. To me, it’s a sign that Mitch still has his sanity. I like Blake a lot although to be honest, I’d rather commit that money elsewhere and go with JONES’ boy Farmar primarily at the point. I know this view might not be too widely shared, but like many of you, I live in the Southland….and the kid’s got something. Anyway, that said, I really don’t know what we do with guys like Sasha then if we get Blake too. I guess we let him go (not that I really mind, though I like his game and think he’ll be an asset if he goes somewhere else). But seriously, Carter, if we’re going to knock Mitch when supposedly his decisions are sub-par, we should give him full credit for making good moves when he does something like re-sign Luke.

  35. rumor has it (http://www.twincities.com/walters/ci_6256058?nclick_check=1) Portland is looking to move Joel Pryzbilla, now that they feel they have their big man situation handled. He has the same contract as Vlad Rad, dollars and years. What do people think about a straight up trade? Portland gets a swing player (they’re weak at SF), and we get another big man to cushion the impact of trading away Bynum and/or Kwame, to pair up with Mihm to start at Center.

    What do people think? That would leave us with Evans and Luke at the 3, which I’m okay with. I was always impressed by Mo whenever he got playing time last year. He didn’t play stupid because he was trying to impress the coaches, he played smart and within the system.

  36. The Lakers are fiollowing a very disciplined game plan: sign Walton, sign Mihm, sign a veteran point guard for the MLE or less (Blake). None of this interferes with the ongoing “sign a star or superstar” plan.

    Right now, we are aware of two immediate candidates that will require “heavy lifting” and some patience: Garnett and O’Neal. Hanging in the background may be Pau Gasol. Looked at in $millions, that’s Gasol for (way) less than $14, Jermaine for about $21, and Garnett for $28. (I know that different numbers have been proposed for Garnett).

    Right now, the T’Wolves are shopping Garnett around on their terms with predictable results. The T’Wolves, Garnett’s agent, and Garnett himself may realize that the poison pill is a deal breaker, and withdraw–or the price may drop to $22. Big difference. The Lakers are back in.

    The Lakers then negotiate a contract extension. The T’Wolves just need to then get young players, expiring contracts, and/or draft picks. They might not want Odom–or they might want to pass along some undesireable contracts of their own as part of the deal. If Garnett really wants to come, it can happen. If it does, I’m expecting slow freight.

    Jermaine at $21 is already at about the right number, but it could only be for one year. The real impasse is a difference of opinion about “value.” Jermaine needs to agree to a realistic contract extension–and Indiana/Lakers need to agree on a package.

    If neither deal happens, the Lakers may need to entice Memphis to part with Pau Gasol. That may turn out to be the easiest deal to negotiate, since the Lakers might have the right player(s) for them (Bynum to go with Conley) and Pau Gasol is not as expensive. The problems within the Memphis organization might either help or hurt. One wonders if Jerry West might be willing to help.

    The Laker players most likely to be traded are Bynum and Odom, but that could change if the blockbuster trade is not completed this summer. I think Kwame will remain a Laker into the Fall. Due to his injury last year and his recent operation (and the recent excessive comments of many bloggers since the season ended), his value has never been lower–which ironically keeps him here.

    I expect Kwame to be a remarkably improved player in the Fall. He was handicapped all last year and this is his contract year. Remember, the Laker coaches were recommending that his contract be extended even the way he was–this is his contract year–and he not only was a first round choice out of high school–he was #1. He’s about the right age to finally put things together.

    To treat Kwame merely as an expiring contract is a costly decision that can always be made. It is not the first decision. If the Lakers seriously want to keep either Odom or Bynum, they need to “sell” Kwame. He needs to look quick and healthy after his surgeries. That won’t happen in July.

  37. (34) – Re-signing players has been our specialty (see Vujacic, Cook, and Kwame). Signing outside players has not (see Radman, Shammond, Mckie).

    My biggest problem is, when your team is clearly having problems and the fan base is upset… why not make a couple little moves… stir up the pot. Trade Sasha for cash considerations. That would excite me.

    The other big market teams that struggled last year are very active right now (New York, Miami, Detroit). I don’t see the Lakers name out there right now with a deal that has a chance of actually happening.

    Just frustrated.

  38. Is Kwame still young enough to have a hand growth spurt?

  39. RUMOR OF THE DAY ..
    Pistons thinking about trading Rip to Seattle?
    http://blog.mlive.com/fullcourtpress/2007/07/pistons_thinking_about_trading.html
    Posted by Justin Rogers July 02, 2007 00:49AM
    Frank Hughes, Sonics Insider for The News Tribune, quoting a source from local radio station WXYT, says the Pistons are considering shipping Richard Hamilton to Seattle.

    My guess is that this is more likely to happen if Rashard wants out

  40. I think that resigning Mihm is important. As many have noted, the Lakers are likely to trade multiple rotation players for a second or third star. These deals all involve shipping out some combination of Odom, Bynum, and Kwame. If we use our midlevel on a big man (Moore, Magloire) to replace frontcourt depth, then we will be stuck with our young point guards. However, if we use our midlevel on a point guard (Blake, Greek) and resign Mihm, then we get two bites at the apple. I don’t think Mihm is incredible, but he contirbutes and having him and Blake/Greek makes more sense to me than just adding Moore/Magloire. And, I don’t think the drop off from Mihm to the available midlevel big men is that significant.

    I propose meeting half way with Mihm on his full midlevel request — give him more dollars than most teams but over less years. A one or two year 5M contract. Make him prove he is recovered. Then, if we need to rebuild, we aren’t stuck with him on the books. If he proves valuable, we keep his Bird rights.

  41. 36- Kwame’s value is low because he has not demonstrated consistency (both in terms of staying healthy, and in terms of actual production) at any point in his career except the last two months of the ’05-’06 season. That being said, he still could be moved, this summer, because he is a solid man defender and is an expiring deal.

    35- I would do that deal in a heartbeat, balances the roster and would allow us to move anyone from the frontline.

  42. 35- That trade does not work because of the base year compesation. I think if you trade him you have to match 120% of his contract or something. I don’t know exactly how it works and it may have come off as of yesterday. Someone can correct me if I am wrong.

  43. i agree Carter, but just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks is not the answer. Mitch is being a smart card player and not showing his hand too much. Patience….there’s no other way if we really want the team to do better.

  44. Mitch Kupchak has already stated that the Lakers will “sit back and maybe add a piece or 2″…..

    The Lakers will not make any major moves because their scared to pull the TRIGGER…

    The whole basis of Kobe’s exasperation!!!

  45. I don’t believe anybody mentioned C-Webb yet. How awesome would that be to have this guy at PF? You’d have an excellent rebounder, someone who wants to play for the Lakers, and one of the better passing teams in the NBA now.

    If we sign him, then Farmar’s job gets much easier. One of the things that gets overlooked on offense is how well he and Kwame Brown move without the ball. These players consistently get open. This would be a huge upgrade to the Lakers.

    I would then request that Kupcake sends Cook to Houston for Head + cash, or cash + a 2nd rounder.

  46. 44- pull what trigger? The Wolves won’t take our offer and Indy is trying to rip us off. Kobe or no Kobe, I’m glad the front office is taking their time in deciding what to do. Making a move to look “aggressive” is a terrible strategy that has ruined teams in every sport: Knicks, Yankees, Redskins and several others.

  47. 44. I agree w/ kwame, changes with no benefit (or master plan) will not do anything to make us better, short or long term.

    Is Cook for Head (love saying that) got any shred of truth, or just wishful thinking????

  48. In all honesty, I am comfortable with the PG spot on this team right now. If we could get a veteran in there to provide some leadership, the combination of that vet plus Farmar and Crittendon would be really good in the next couple years.

    The SF spot is the most average spot we have on the team. Luke Walton is an excellent role player/6th man for this team, but that is it.

  49. SF: Anybody giving Vlade any credit. Remember, his shooting had was injured last year and he is motivated. Also, he was starting to show something beside just a 3pt shot.

    I say we go after KG with everything we can. Other than that, however, I would try to get a 1-2 year fix at PG and see how Farmar and Crittendon develop.

  50. Fisher leaves the Jazz:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2924068

    Anyone know more about this? I guess the radio in SF reported that the Jazz cut him, but this sounds much more like him leaving for his daughter. If he does still want to play, I sure as hell hope the Lakers make an effort to bring him back. Of all the names thrown around (Blake, the Greek, Francis etc), Fisher fits better than any our need for veteran toughness. It would be great to have him around for Javaris and Jordan to grow up next to.

  51. Just to clarify, I’d be stunned if the Jazz actually cut him after all he’s done, that makes no sense. It definitely sounds like this was his decision, to focus on his family for a while, which i totally respect.

  52. if there’s one thing Fish trumps Kobe at, its his class. very respectful, great perspective on life and his role as a player and family man.

  53. First and foremost, I really wish the best for Fisher, his family, and his daughter right now. The game where he returned and came out of the tunnel during the Golden State series to that standing ovation was such a memorable moment.

    If he does not choose to retire, the Lakers should offer him the mid-level in a second! I absolutely love Fisher as a person and a player.

  54. Fish has always been a class act. I also am fond of him, even though I thought Golden State severely overpaid for him years ago. That said, the story says Utah released him from his contract, which is also a classy move on their part.

    If and when he comes back, I imagine he’ll go back to the Jazz first. But if for whatever reason that doesn’t work out, I’d love to get him back.

  55. Apparently he wants to “”pursue an opporutniy to play for a team that is located in a city that can provide the utmost medical facilities for his daughter.”
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_22566.shtml

    Gotta think that narrows the list to NY, NJ, LA, and maybe Chicago. I don’t mean to sound so selfish. I hope for the best for him and his family, but if he returned I would be overjoyed.

  56. I wish all the best to Fisher and his family. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how hard that would be. Fisher is a class act in every way possible. If he continues playing he will be a valuable player for whatever team it is.

  57. Kurt,
    Grant played out of position at the 2 because Orlando had no SGs. He didn’t have as many assists as he should have because the Magic had no shooters getting minutes outside of Turkoglu and Dwight fumbled away too many passes and got called for a huge # of bogus charges. For the past two yrs he’s actually lasted the season(2 yrs ago Magic sat him at end of season w/”concern over his ankle” so they could get better lottery pick.) (Can’t believe I’m defending the guy I wanted Orlando to send to Charlotte in old expansion draft.Yikes!) As a 20-30min/game 6th man he’d be pretty good,but if he’s not on a title team he wants starter’s minutes and I don’t think you can justify that-unless he signs for vet min,which I doubt.

    After considering the draft for a couple of days,I’ve come to a conclusion on KG. The Wolves have no intention of trading him this yr-or else McHale is the most incompetent GM in ages.
    Phoenix could have had a perfect package for him-Marion,Thomas,the 2 late firsts and the Atl 2008 first.Thomas as cap relief next yr,Marion to keep hope alive and sell tickets this yr,use the late firsts on Splitter and a gunner/project big. Is most unlikely Atl makes the Playoffs so that gives 2 more lottery picks next yr-and if Marion opts out,huge cap room for a yr a number of decent bigs will be hitting free agency and it will be close to time to bring Splitter over.
    Since they didn’t take that trade,I don’t think they ever intended to trade him. I believe they are talking to teams about KG in order to get their foot in the door for unloading their other players.(If a team was willing to take a Hudson in order to get KG,there’s a chance that team can talk themselves into taking Hudson by himself.)
    If you look at their team,they’re putting together some really nice pieces and don’t need that much help to be a suprise playoff team-another big big and a good vet PG. Since we haven’t heard publically from KG,we don’t know how serious he is about being traded and it’s quite posible they are asking to give them one more yr-and getting him angry and motivated for a monster yr by saying the Wolves were getting junk offers for him. Is he really only worth a stiff,a rookie and Delonte West? Is some kid and Kwame,KWAME BROWN!,all he’s worth?

    I still feel the Lakers aren’t going to make that monster trade and that once the roster is pretty much set,Mitch will get sacrificed and Kobe will kiss and make up w/the Lakers,w/the promise that if the team is struggling by Feb,everything is on the table.(Trying to replace Mitch now in middle of draft/free agency would be suicidal,so the Lakers will wait.)

    But to show what I know,for past couple of yrs,I’ve wanted the Rockets to trade for Cris Duhon-and thought he would be ideal for Lakers. Tough defensive PG who makes 3s. But recent stories out of Chicago about him being late for numerous practices because he overslept as result of his active night-life makes me re-think his suitability. Reminds me we fans don’t know too much what goes on behind the scenes and that’s why some obvious moves aren’t so obvious to our teams.

  58. 57. would it really be a bad thing if Mitch gets sacrificed?

  59. Sun Yue is still waiting to learn from coach Phil Jackson which position he can expect to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Sun, 21, has been billed as the first Chinese guard to be drafted into the NBA, but the 6-9, 205-pounder can also play small forward and admits he does not know yet where he might fit into Jackson’s triangle system.

    “My position has been a little blurry ever since I started my preparations for the draft,” Sun told Chinese reporters on a conference call. “But I do not think my position is that important to me. I prefer to play at guard, but it is up to the coach.”

    Sun was one of two Chinese players selected in Thursday’s draft. Yi Jianlian was taken sixth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, but appears unhappy with the idea of playing in Wisconsin and his agents have said they are seeking a trade.

    Sun has no such problems with the idea of playing in Los Angeles.

    “I feel good about being chosen by the Lakers,” he said. “After all, I have been playing with (former team Aoshen) in Los Angeles in the last two seasons and I have paid great attention to the Lakers.”

    Sun will meet up with Yi and China’s most famous NBA player, Yao Ming, in Dallas this week as the Chinese national team prepares to take part in the NBA summer league, starting with Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

    “Yao Ming is my model,” Sun said of the Houston Rockets All-Star center. “He is a very professional player who trains very hard.

    “Yi Jianlian is of one my peers and we get on very well with each other. I am glad that he has been drafted too. He will have a bright future. It is interesting that we will turn into opponents after being teammates with the national team. I cannot wait to play against him in the court.”

    When Sun gets to Dallas, he will meet up with China coach Jonas Kazlauskas, who had publicly said prior to the draft that Sun is too raw to make an impact in the NBA.

  60. Jerry West ain’t coming here – regardless. Don’t be so quick to dump Mitch. We would replace him with………who??? They would have the flexibility to do………what???

    Be careful; you’all might just get your wish and we could be in worse duck soup

  61. “Making a move to look “aggressive” is a terrible strategy that has ruined teams in every sport: Knicks, Yankees, Redskins and several others.”

    Isn’t that what Kupchak did when he traded Caron Butler for Kwame??? Any moves he makes will surely be the Lakers doom because this guy doesnt know what he’s doing!

    But on second thought maybe some of you are right, maybe going 42-40 every year and beng embarrassed in the playoffs is the way to go!!

  62. warren (philippines) July 2, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    May I preclude what I am about to say, that I will always be a Kobe-KG in LA fan, no matter what.

    However, in light of recent developments, the odds of landing KG has diminished. I do not really buy Golden State’s bid for KG, even if the Wolves like the package, that KG will want to “contend” there. I mean, Geesh. That team, as of now, are like a bunch of kids having fun. KG will not have much time to “have fun” anymore and I tell you, winning is as much “fun” as in all that running in GS. So LA will be the most logical choice for KG now that Phoenix has supposedly dropped out of the race.

    I must also say that either of JO or KG will definitely benefit Walton and Radmanovic’s games. With Odom at the post, there is no double team. Teams are not threatened of his post skills and therefore no double is commanded. Help defense with the likes of Camby will simply defend Odom’s moves already and therefore someone with a body like Corliss Williamson will already do the trick.

    With JO or KG at the post, a non-double will mean an automatic two, an and one or at least two free throws. And they have the stamina to do it all night long which forces the teams to collapse on the post player or focus a zone denying the poster from getting to his comfort zone. This move alone already frees up Kobe for the mid range, where he will hit the shot 2/3 of the time. An extra pass to the corner would spell the career for Walton and Radman.

    This is the design of Radman. Being 6’10, a corner kickout three would be impossible to defend. Plus a missed shot is taken cared of by either of KG or JO. Ultimately, Radman will be our Rob Horry and Walton will be our Rick Fox.

  63. warren (philippines) July 2, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    To add, Walton and Radman will be significant contributors once a post-up player in KG or JO is established. Then we would not have to look for “role” players to help us anymore, they are already here. All we need to do is have someone command a post double, and its elementary from there. Even a Zach Randolph would have done the trick.

  64. Rashard Lewis to sign with Orlando. Im surprised he didnt wait for a sign and trade to get more money. He seems to be all about the money. Cause you know, you can’t feed your kids on only $10 mil a year. (where’s Spree now?). So much for not wanting to be part of a rebuilding process, dude just didnt want to pay 8% or so in state taxes.

  65. i thought i put in the link, im not very good at these:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2924228

  66. 62-
    Excellent post Warren. I agree completely. If we have someone who commands a constant double team in the post, Luke Vlad and even Kobe for that matter would have a LOT more options. People forget that when Shaq was here, Kobe was NEVER EVER double teamed. Teams could not really afford to double Kobe up top because it would be an easy 2 for Shaq. With KG or JO here, they have the post moves and stamina like Warren said to go at it all night, freeing up Vlad and Luke for open 3s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vlad go off this year.

    As for D-Fish, I think I speak for every Laker fan here when I say:
    First and foremost, good luck to his family and his daughter. His daughter Tatum comes first before basketball.
    Secondly, If we can offer to Bring his family back “home” to LA and take care of his daughter at any of the fine medical facilities in town (UCLA and USC have excellent medical facilities) then the Lakers and their fans would LOVE to have D-Fish back home wearing Forum Blue and Gold.
    We can offer him the MLE and start him at PG and let Farmar and Crittendon learn from a true class act. Also, Phil and Kobe would both love to have Fish back in the triangle.

  67. warren (philippines) July 3, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Derek Fisher is reportedly “freed” from the Utah Jazz. We have been coveting him for the longest time since he left, here he is now. I’d offer him my full MLE.

  68. Renato Afonso July 3, 2007 at 4:51 am

    Fisher would be perfect for us. If we could sign him, then we’d be more free to negotiate one of the remainder PG’s.

    About Walton being a role player/6th man, well, I’m glad he is one. We need them if we want to go somewhere. Walton and Radman are not good on the defensive end but their shooting kinda makes up for it. And if we really need to improve our defense, then we can play Evans alongside Kobe…

    Anyway, I’m starting to like what I see (if we sign Fisher)… We’re covered from SG to PF, and probably PG as well. So we only NEED to get a C (in the form of you know who…). That’s why I’m against sending Lamar away for whoever comes in… We’d still have one empty slot to fill… (either at PF or C).

  69. Renato Afonso July 3, 2007 at 4:58 am

    Darko Milicic is available… That’s 6M in salaries right there. Anyone think he’s worth it?

  70. I write this as sort of a confession.

    Last year, Lee Klein regarded this form of thinking as Laker myopia–before he momentarily succomed himself–and I’ve got it bad. I give all of you permission to regard this as a sort of Walt Disney rant before Walt built Disneyland–complete with a G rated cartoon basketball movie. In this movie, Will Smith plays a Jeckyll and Hyde superstar on a hapless but wholesome team of locals–lured to sell out and discard all those who love him–by a hypnotist who keeps bringing out his evil Henry Hyde persona.

    Please, Dr. Rayeye, come out of it, let’s get back to reality!

    OK.

    I can sense the trade or trades to be made, and in my saner moments I approve, but let me get this out right now: there were moments when I passionately loved those “mediocre” Lakers last year, and, there I’ve said it: I LIKE THIS LAKER TEAM JUST AS IT IS RIGHT NOW!

    I was so proud of Lamar when he played through injuries that might have kept lesser players in the hospital. I loved Andrew, changing from boy to man in front of our eyes. I believed in Kwame’s heart when he resisted pain in a playoff game, even as so many had already made him into the Tin Man in the Wizard of OZ. With Blake replacing The Smusher, and Javaris joining Jordan, and all those bigs coming back from injury–even Chris Mihm–how couldn’t my heart be touched?

    My best moments last year happened when my Will Smith character was upstaged by hopeless role players, sometimes led by this shrimpy little kid from UCLA, winning against all odds against all those bad guys from Texas.

    But that was just a dream.

    OK. You can bring on one of those obligatory superstars, fresh out of high school ten years ago, with his obligatory bodyguards, and let him join Will Smith in his Henry Hyde persona–and bring us an obligatory championship.

    I’ll cheer.

  71. i’m glad walton decided to stay amongst the kobe drama. congrats kupcake, you did something right. another great addition would be D-fish. i loved him when he was in LA. he can hit the 3, plays decent defense, but he hustles like none other. and he’s also a great person. sure he’s older, but we don’t need him for too long, farmar and critt aren’t too far away from being starters.
    how bout trading vlad rad for posey in a S&T? would miami go for that?
    either way if we could get fisher, kb, luke, and either JO or KG. that’s a solid group of starters with some proven winners and role players. and not bad w/ farmar or critt off the bench

  72. drrayeye,
    You hit it all on the head.

    Until the team collapsed just before the all-star break, we all (well most of us) really loved this team of apparent over-achievers.

    Injuries not only exposed the fact that we don’t have many ‘starters’ on our club, but also forced us to play people minutes they should NOT have been playing – read Andrew Bynum.

    We do, absolutely, need another starter, but this is still a developing club. Our problem, as fans, is that we feel we have been burned and we want a new ‘cookie mix’ before we believe again.

    I would love KG or JO (I fear we would overpay for JO), but I will survive and remain a Laker fan if we can’t accomplish either of these objectives this summer.

    What I DO NOT want is for the Laker front office to flail around in an effort to satisfy our fickle definition of progress.

  73. D. Fish may be a great person, but, when he was here we were complaining about his inability to guard the small, fast PG of the league. He hasn’t gotten any better at this. This is one of our key problem areas and I doubt Fish would help us very much – locker room YES, court NO.

    Trading Rad for Posey would either be a parallel trade or even bring us back less. Rad really does have a better idea of the triangle than Posey does and Rad still fits our needs better – at 6′ 10″.

    Stop trying to change for change’s sake.

  74. What about Bynum, Kwame, and Rad for KG? I know that leaves us thin up front, but we can go with KG at center for a year. Look at Dallas and Phoenix, they have no true center, and they are doing just fine.

  75. 70- I think you got it exactly right. At the beginning of the season I loved watching the lakers. Yes they were overachieving but so what. They were building good chemistry. Odom looked like he was finally learning how to play with Kobe. Walton was doing a great job running the offense. The bench even looked good as long as Walton was out there making sure the offense was ran properly. We may have even had a better balanced offense when Kobe was out. Then people started to get injured, players started to get minutes they didn’t deserve. The team chemistry vanished. Kobe had to take one more and more of the offense. Would I still cheer if the lakers did not make a major treade? Yes. Would I cheer if they did. Yes. I would still cheer even if they traded Kobe.

    Craig W (73)- I agree trading Vlade for Posey does not accomplish anything. Posey is a better defensive player but Vlade is better offensively. Vlade can provide good shooting and offense of the bench. Especially if we traded for JO or KG. But I disagree about Fisher. I think he is a good defender. Not great, but good. He’s smart and he uses his strength well. Yeah he has a bit of a problem with the quicker guards but he’s better than anything we have right now and much better than Blake. If he came to LA I would think Jerry Buss would offer him a job for at least the vet minimum. Also our problem was not just containing PG’s; the problem was containing any guards. Everyone in the backcourt had a problem with containment, including Kobe. He seemed a step slower last year on the defensive end. Which might be one of the reasons he is so concerned about winning now. He might be realizing that he does not have that many years left at the top of his game. The guy has lots of mileage and injuries will start to catch up to him.

  76. @73–you’re right about DFish, and let’s not forget that. He had his defensive issues even back in the championship years, and he won’t have gotten better. What I’ve read about him and seen from him over the years inclines me to like him enormously as a person, but I don’t think he’s the answer as a player. Nostalgia wears rose-colored glasses. If he were the exact same player that he is, but had never been on the Lakers, would people be clamoring so loudly to get him? I don’t think he’s worth the MLE. He’d be a useful guy to have around, but for less money.

  77. Slowly getting more excited:
    http://blogs.sltrib.com/jazz/2007/07/farewell-to-fisher.htm

    ” I’m going to guess that Fisher winds up back with the Lakers. He was the conscience of their championship teams and is still beloved in L.A. The Lakers have a starting point guard job that’s open and there’s no learning curve for Fisher with the triangle offense.

    Fisher’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Fisher would not be sitting out next season and probably would sign during this July window for free agents.

    A list of NBA cities with retinoblastoma treatment centers: Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Memphis, Tenn., New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Toronto.”

  78. warren (philippines) July 3, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I’m all excited now. DFish? Now who would have thought. The MLE is expected to be around the 6M range and we could offer Fish 3M and another big man 3M too, say Mikki Moore?

    BTW, they are reporting that DFish will be expecting to sign around 10M 3-years.

    Fish can start for us, Farmar and Crittenton can learn. He is not a “great” defender but he is a good enough defender.

    Ever hear about the phrase “good things come to those who wait” ? Well that spells F-I-S-H for me.

    The D-Fish addition (pretty pretty please), will certainly stabilize Kobe’s emotions and it will intensify KG’s desire to be here this fall. We now have a COMPETENT PG to start and finish games for us. Give us 0.8 seconds and we will score 6pts!

  79. I would love to see Fish on the Lakers next year. I think he would bring cohesion to the locker room and a connection with Kobe that the others cannot duplicate – even if there is a little sandpaper.

    I just don’t want us to think he will add much defensive ‘stiffness’ to the team. He would be a guy Phil could put in when things are starting to go ‘south’ in a game – a point not to be minimized – and he definitely has the chutzpah to work with Kobe on an equal footing. These are things we really need on this team.

    Just don’t think he is going to be a large part of our starting guard needs for next year. Perhaps we should just adjust to this PG weakness while our two youngsters get some seasoning.

  80. As to where Fish will go for his daughter…according to this reader, Philadelphia makes the best sense. Look at the comment from IMJOERACER
    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-26-4/Think-Good-Thoughts-for-the-Fisher-Family.html?post=true

  81. If we do sign Fish, how about taking a page from Paxton’s Chicago model. Pay him more up front and less for later years.

  82. warren (philippines) July 3, 2007 at 10:56 am

    That could work, although the salary distribution that we have suggest that we need to spread it evenly. If we will be using part of the MLE to sign Fish, It means we have to do it as 3M on the 1st year, in order to secure another player for the other 3M.

  83. I think bringing Derek Fisher wouldn’t be much of an upgrade of on-court skills over Farmar or Crittendon. However, the leadership and character he would bring would be priceless.

    The contract he was released from was extremely bloated and I can’t imagine money being the deciding factor in his decision, but signed to a two or three year deal would be perfect. I imagine getting 15-20 minutes a night, helping coach the two young guys would be invaluable and wonderful investment.

    I also think it would give the Laker fans and city a HUGE dose of optimism and hope and everything that goes along with it. He’s kind of the spiritual and emotional leader we’ve been without since 2004 (earlier if you count the couple of years Shaq and Kobe went at it and everyone else got sick of their crap), and I’m venturing to guess that kind of guy could raise the level of everyone around him.

    I mean, if there’s one guy who could be there and get the most out of Lamar Odom, especially with what he’s been through, wouldn’t it be Fish?

    This is a no-brainer for Mitch. He should get this done.

  84. I’m good with Fish coming to town, he’d be welcomed back with open arms. But, for my money, Farmar starts and Fish comes off the bench because Farmar at this point is a better defender than Fish. Fish was a fine off the bench role player, but he is no savior at the point.

  85. $15 mil for Rashard Lewis? That’s ridiculous. Good player, but not worth $15 mil. No wonder it’s so hard to get good players these days.

  86. I think Fish would be a good bridge to the younger PG’s. We’ve been looking for some sort of “bridge” to the young guys to come off the bench and make sure the young guys aren’t thrown out to the wolves alone. Just for his skills as a player, Fish could be that guy. Signing him would also be quite the morale boost, and his leadership and clubhouse presence would really help the team.

  87. 85. It is a lot of money, but moving to the East and pairing his outside/inside game with Howard’s inside presence makes Orlando a big threat in the East. Without Darko you make Lewis your “four” and if they get some spot up shooters they look good to me. Well, for the East.

  88. All this talk about the great role players we have does not mean a damn thing if we cant get that second superstar. Luke wasnt going anywhere and Kupchak isnt a genius for getting him to stay where he wants to be. If Kupchak is good, he makes moves that make a difference which is something he has not done since hes been GM.

    I think Odom and Bynum for KG is more then enough for McHale. He wont get more anywhere else. We face the same situation with Kobe next summer so we need to make a deal now. If you have to throw in Farmer, I would do it. Crittendon will eventually be better then he will. Thinking we have enough talent to compete at this stage is naive. Its great to wait, but if you wait too long, you end up with nothing and next year turns into a nightmare that culminates in the trading of Kobe next summer. Then we are the Clippers.

  89. Wow, things may be coming together for our heroes. First, Fisher becomes available, we should offer him a 3yr/12million deal. Second, Posey is open to a sign and trade, Miami just lost Kapono, and as I have been advocating for some time now, James Posey is the type of player we need to put next to Kobe on the wing to protect him.

    Fisher/Farmar
    Kobe/Evans
    Posey/Walton
    Odom/Turiaf/Cook
    Bynum/Brown

    That team can compete next year, and we don’t have to trade Odom and Bynum, unless the right deal is there.

  90. 88. If Odom and Bynum were “enough for McHale” wouldn’t the deal already be done? Apparently it is not enough for him.

  91. KG sweepstakes:
    If Minni is going to trade this summer and LA has the most sensible offer for them, then what is the hurry. The owner will pressure McHale when he returns from his honeymoon. Time is against the Timberwolves more than it is against the Lakers. If we want to do the deal with some amount of talent left for ourselves we need to wait this thing out.

    If Minni is prepared to wait for the trade deadline next year there is absolutely nothing we can do, so why sweat it? You and I may think they are foolish, but we are not the ones making the decisions.

    This whole thing is now a waiting game. If we win, we will be extremely glad Mitch didn’t jump at all our pressure and wind up with Artest, or Kidd, or…..

  92. 89, what about Vlad Rad?

  93. Dan,
    I think she/he traded Vlade for Posey. I wouldn’t do it, but she/he would.

  94. 92/93: I (he) would trade Vlad Rad. Not because of Vlad, but because of balancing the roster. We do not need Vlad/Cook/Walton/Sasha. That’s four offense first players. As I have said, every contender has a pitbull wing-defender that can hit the 3 ball. We don’t. Posey can. Vlad may be able to get us Posey. If so, I’d do it, providing Kobe an enforcer and protection on the wing.

  95. 85- I Agree that is too much money for lewis. In the long rin the team will be hurt by that contract. With the way the salary cap is set up right now there are only a handful of players that deserve max contracts. These are true franchise players; Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, James in a few years. Rashard is a great player but nit a true franchise player. Teams that sign max contracts like that will ultimately get burned in the long run. I’m sure Chicago would love to have Wallace with a smaller contract.

  96. 47. Rico- There was some potential truth to this. Houston needs a PF. Not only that, but one who can shoot the 3 and rebound.

    I am thinking Analman would like to take a shot at Cook for Head, some basketballs, and a cheese pizza.

    I still think we should go after Webber. Perfect player for the triangle. Rebounds, post-up, gets open easily.

    Also, let Turiaf come in and play PF more often next season. He has a decent mid-range jumper, plays the post adequately, and gets lots of boards.

    Still think he can work on defense more often. When he goes up against a star player, he gets into foul trouble quickly.

  97. I love Fisher, and obviously he’s going through something horrible with his daughter.

    He is not, however, an upgrade for the Lakers. Last year, his PER/Opponent PER was 12.4./17.7 for Utah, while Smush Parker’s was 12.6/17.8. Both gave up an effective field goal percentage of about 46 or 47, while Parker shot much better than Fish did.

    At best, Fish would be a tick better than Smush, and that may be pushing it. Given that we all know Smush was a weak spot for the Lakers, and could be re-signed for less than 3 years and $10-12 million, I’m not sure why we’d want to sign Fish at all.

  98. 97. Smush is a locker-room cancer who chokes in pressure situations. Fish is a great teammate who thrives in pressure situations. If the Lakers do get him, hopefully he won’t be the starter, but I’ll be darn happy to have him as a backup.

  99. Let’s focus on Derek Fisher’s priority: saving his daughter’s life and/or providing her comfort. He got it right–and that doesn’t happen very often.

    If Children’s hospital, the Doheny Eye Institute, and/or the Jules Stein Eye Institute can help the most, we’ll be able to not only benefit from Derek’s moral lesson to all of us but we’ll have a Laker basketball legend bigger than life–gone from his LA home for far too long.

    If not, we’ll wish him well wherever he goes.

    Derek doesn’t seem to have Kobe’s skills, but Kobe doesn’t seem to have Derek’s morals.

  100. 97. there are qualities a basketball player can have that do not show up on the stat sheet. Fisher is a hard worker, a good defender (again not great but goof), he hustles, and he is a good teammate. I would not think 3 yrs 10M is over paying for Fisher. I wouldn’t mind having fisher share the PG minutes with Farmar and perhaps Crittenton. I think that would be an upgrade.

    But it is more important for him to go where his daughter can get the best care she can get. The good thing is that retinoblastoma is a treatable form of cancer. There is a chance that it can metastasize to other areas of the body, specifically the brain but if caught early the chances are small.

  101. Obviously the priority for Fisher should be his daugher, and I certainly wish him all the best dealing with such a horrible situation.

    Given the choice, I’d certainly take Fisher over Smush, but since spending $3 million+ even for one year of Fisher would preclude getting a starting point guard for the MLE, I wouldn’t want the Lakers to sign him. If he wanted the veteran’s minimum (no part of MLE) to be the 14th man on the roster, playing whenever he felt up to it emotionally, I’d sign him in a heartbeat. Of course, it’s not my money.

  102. 97) This is where I think trying to moneyball basketkball breaks down. If you think Smush Parker and Derek Fisher both have the same effect on winning a game, you’ve clearly never watched them both play. I agree he’s no savior, but he is a winner with a heart of gold we’d be lucky to have back.

  103. 102-Thank you exactly what I was trying to say.

  104. Renato Afonso July 3, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Stats are just stats (even the new improved ones) and it all comes down to what you see in a game of basketball…

    It’s about the little cur here and there. The ability to draw the key offensive foul. Going with the flow of the game… I mean, words cannot describe what goes on court when you play and the little things you get to see while watching a game live.

    Fish opponents may score a lot, but they have to work for their shots. Fisher knows how to play and tries the hardest. Smush had a very low basketball IQ…

    We shouldn’t EVER compare the two of them.

    PS: I actually think that Smush could have been a good player, if he had better coaches when he was young. He had the skills and the athleticism to be a great PG. But his decisions and (lack of) defense…

  105. For everybody here who doesn’t think Fish can be a savior… let me remind everyone about a little story…

    Back in 2001, the Lakers had just won their first Kobe-Shaq championship and the city was rejoicing. In the following season, Kobe came to camp determined to prove to everybody that he had gotten so much better over the offseason and he now considered himself on par with Shaq. There was that infamous game in December of that year against Golden State where Kobe and Antawn Jamison each had 51 points and the Lakers still lost in OT. The Shaq-Kobe feud was just beginning and the team was on the bring of falling apart due to the major alpha dog battle between Shaq and Kobe. That year, Fish missed like the first 60 something games due to a foot injury. The game he came back and played his first game of the season, he scored 26 points and all of a sudden the chemistry was back. The Lakers united and won their last 8 games and went 15-1 in the playoffs. Any true Laker fan who remembers this will tell you that the turning point of the season was Fish’s comeback (as well as Kobe’s injury where he returned from it and played team ball instead of 1-5).

    Although that was 6 years ago, the fire in the heart of Derek Fisher will never go away.

    I for one think he can be a savior.

  106. 99. Well said.

  107. Daniel,
    Re your #96,Head is the only 3pt shooter Rockets have on their bench and is very popular as well. Houston needs a PF who can guard Duncan,Boozer,Dirk,KG,Brand,etc. If Cook could do that,he’d be your starter.

    I see alot here that the Lakers offer is the best out there for KG. I respectfully disagree. Let’s compare the supposed offers. I will discount KG’s apparent pref for Suns-I know of no qoute from him or his agent to that effect,just “people/sources/friends close to KG”.When Kobe is discussing his plans w/totally random strangers,the lack of anywords directly attributed to KG give me pause.(Of course Kobe could have talked because he saw the camera,who knows?)
    Kwame vs. Thomas. Both are cap fodder w/expiring contracts. Kwame slight edge because he will prob give more in his 1 yr. In long run,so what?
    Lamar vs. Marion. O vs D. Lamar has better creating skills,but far more fragile. Lamar’s contract done in 2 yrs,Marion could opt out at end of yr. If Minn feels neither will stay,Marion is better choice as cap relief yr sooner,in fact in a yr when numerous decent bigs will be free agents. If Lamar could be talked into resigning,major edge to LA,but I rather doubt it. In rebuilding I’d want cap space sooner so overall slight edge Marion.
    Bynum vs. First Rd draft picks. The rest being pretty equal,this is the determining factor. Will Bynum be a dominant Center,or just another good one? If the Lakers thought Bynum could be a dominant Center they’d be crazy to trade away a decade of dominance to appease a 2G fast approaching that now notorious 12th yr.That several in Management are so willing to trade Bynum-as well as substantial # of fans-indicates to me that they don’t see Bynum as that dominant big man.(Portland just faced the same choice,potential dominant big or out-of-this-world talent and we know what they chose.) That Minn didn’t demand/jump all over such an offer tells me they don’t see Bynum as the next big thing either.
    W/the picks Minn could have stashed a pretty good Euro for yr or so and brought him over when the rest of their young guys are close to ready,used another late to facilitate a trade(Jaric and the 28 to Cavs for Snow?Cavs get another shooter for James and a pick,Minn gets vet to mentor youngs for a couple of yrs,then cap relief just in time to bring in the Euro.) And best of all they get to roll the dice twice in 2008 w/their own and Atlanta’a firsts.
    The Atl 2008 First,the stashing of a Splitter,the assist in unloading a contract all far outway Bynum,making a Sun’s offer superior to the Lakers.

    I still believe Minn has no intention of trading KG. They listened to offers,heard none that blew them away and are going to ride out the season w/KG and at end of yr let him walk and let KG pick whatever team HE wants.(I’ll believe this right up to the point they make me feel like an idiot and trade him :)
    If you look at the big trades the past few yrs,Orlando and the Lakers have struggled despite getting 3 starters off Playoff teams-and each got a borderline All-Star-as has Indiana which tried to get talent,whereas Toronto went w/cap clearance and picks and has been very successful and while it’s early for Philly,they look much healthier also having gone clearance and picks route. And early opinion on Seattle-Boston is Seattle much improved itself going the cap and pick route.

    Kurt,I know I post is too long and any future ones will be much shorter.
    Stephen

  108. 104. Here I go spoiling a post I was working on, but I think what the stats can tell you about Fisher the player is what Golden State and Utah learned by expensive experience — Fish is not a magical savior at PG.

    Some Laker fans see him that way, but Fisher has shown through his career that he is a great fit off the bench and he does the little things well. That lady part — the little things on the court, not to mention the big differences off it — is what separates Smush and Fish. Pairing him with the two young Laker PGs for three years (at a reasonable price, not his former contract) is a good fit in my mind. Fisher comes off the bench, shares duties and tutors.

  109. 107. Well said Kurt. Fisher by no means is a spectacular PG. But he would fit nicely on this team should he decide to move to LA and still want to play. His experience and leadership if nothing else would be a nice addition. 3 yrs at 8-10M is not too much to pay for him.

  110. 70 – Love it, DrRayEye! I’ll never forget the game in San Antonio in January where the Lakers beat the Spurs with a very balanced attack. January wins mean nothing in the grand scheme, but I argue with anyone who says we truly “overachieved”. I really believe that squad with a few upgrades can string together a season similar to the first 45 games and make some noise with better playoff seeding.

    A Garnett trade would be welcomed with open arms but that hasn’t manifested itself into reality, so why get our hopes up and judge this group of young guys by something beyond their control. There is only one KG!

    James Posey for VladRad would be a trade i’d do 10 out of 10 times. We need a defensive stopper so badly right now. I agree 100% with you, kwame a (i usually do). The amount of close games last year caught up with us and that usually fatigues our defensive effort first. A guy like Posey can increase our amount of convincing wins per season over VladRad in my opinion. But, who knows how feasible this is.

    Lastly, If Garnett is a no-go, let’s go for Pau!!! He’s younger and is a great post scorer. JO frightens me on many levels with his risk/reward factor. Are there any real scenarios that we could Pau Gasol without trading Lamar Odom?

  111. Renato Afonso July 3, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    110. Yep. If Gasol gets traded it will be because of his own demands. I believe that Memphis would like to receive Bynum and a contract for Pau.

    It would be something in the lines of Bynum+Kwame+2008 first rounder, allowing Memphis to buil a very young nucleous and complete it with a big free-agent signing from next year’s FA pool. As said in previous posts, they would have a conley-gay-warrick-bynum+the free agent. It would be a good deal for both parts.

    Ideally, they would include Mike Miller (for VladRad or with someone else) in order to get even more cap room and more draft picks, totally renewing the team and building a team to go against the Blazers, the Sonics and the Jazz in three years time.

    But again, Gasol must force his hand or else I don’t see them trading him.

  112. Renato Afonso July 3, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Going to make a utopian scenario, where Gasol ends up in purple… with Fisher signed.

    2007-08 LAL
    Farmar/Fisher
    Kobe/Evans/Sasha
    Walton/VladRad
    Odom/Turiaf
    Gasol/Mihm/Gasol

    This lineup would put us in the same category as the Spurs, the Suns and the Mavs, right away!

    Now, if Memphis plays it well, by 2009-10 they would have the following lineup (or something like it)

    Conley/Stoudamire (or some vet guarg)
    Miller (now 30…)/Jones (or a filler)
    Warrick/Gay/Cardinal
    Brand (FA, now 31)/Swift
    Bynum/ filler

    Remember, the Spurs are no more (no dominant Duncan), the Suns are no more (no Nash) and the Mavs are the Jazz from the late 90′s (almost there, but way past their time).

    The Blazers and the Sonics emerge as powers. The Jazz are contenders, and then there’s the old Lakers team, now with everyone past their 30th birthday but holding 2 rings from the years before… (call me a dreamer, I’m cool with it)

  113. Billups resigned with Detroit, according to foxsports.com.

    Interesting rumor at truehoops implies that San Antonio offered Duncan for the rights to draft Greg Oden…

  114. There is a lot of talk here about dealing with Memphis. Do we have any credible reason to believe they want to further shave payroll? They are significantly under the cap right now and will be next summer as well. Why would they trade their two polished players (Gasol and Miller) to create cap room when they are already so far under the cap? That sounds far-fetched to me. I think they are much more likely to retain Gasol and Miller and build around them with Conley, Gay, Warrick, and a big free agent signing.

  115. Bryan, if you consider the Lakers a Western power (maybe a stretch), that rumor could imply that the Lakers offered Kobe for the pick. Which seems a far far likelier offer than Duncan.

    And Billups’ agent is calling the news a “vicious rumor.” Who knows?

  116. Supposedly Varejao has a big offer from Memphis. He can play C,letting Gasol move to his preferred PF spot.

    Dave,same way I read it initially,but I’d be highly sceptical it was Duncan for several reasons. I also thought of Kobe,or possibly T-Mac. But more likely rumor put out by Portland to drive up price for flip/flop w/Seattle and to increase local interest.

  117. Lakers 1st Round Pick Introduced
    =====================
    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/070703_crittentonintro.html

    he wears number 1
    (someone should tell him about the last guy who wore #1 :-) )

  118. Interesting …

    Banks to play for Phoenix in Summer League

    PHOENIX — Phoenix guard Marcus Banks, who lost his spot in the Suns’ rotation during last season, will play for the team’s NBA Summer League squad in Las Vegas.

    Banks was supposed to be the backup to Steve Nash after signing a five-year, $21 million contract last offseason. But he never quite fit in to the Suns’ system and was out of the rotation by midseason.

  119. Cont.. , (Lakers 1st Round Pick Introduced)

    Crittenton was accompanied by his mother, Sonya Dixon, and 8-year-old sister, Shaniya Lee.

    “I’m very excited,” Ms. Dixon said. “I’ve never been to Los Angeles. I love Kobe, I love Phil Jackson. I think he’s going to do well here.

    “This is a perfect place for my son. He’s a good kid. He’s very competitive. Once he sets his mind to what he wants, he usually gets there.”

    Crittenton’s mother said she planned to move to Los Angeles for at least a year “and get him adjusted.”

    Asked what advice his mother has given him, Crittenton replied: “Just to work hard, do all the things I’ve done to get me here, not be distracted by women, bright lights.”

    good advice ..

  120. 118- sounds like they are trying to window shop him. He did not play much (if at all) last year so he does not have much trade interest. They want to show that he can still play.

  121. I recently read “The Show” by Roland Lazenby, and among the endless quotes spannning many eras, Derek Fisher came off as the most candid, solid articulate individual in the book.

    So, given the turmoil seeingly always surrounding the team, his presence/personality/intelligence might have great value. That said, I do not think he is more than a 15-minute a game player.

    I looked over Steve Blake’s stats and saw little to recommend him. When I actually saw Blake play, (three times) he looked OK–a bit better than the numbers.

  122. The Lakers should have never let Fischer leave, another Kupchak Blunder….Kupchak tried to replace him but failed HORRIBLY!!

    Get him back know, anyone who knows basketball can easily remember how many big shots he made in a Lakers uniform…..compare that to what is on the roster now and its a COMPLETE NO-BRAINER!!

    please no more “fools-gold” TALK about the young promise on the roster, lets stick to REALITY!

  123. Bulls reportedly still eyeing Grizzlies’ Gasol.

    One theory is the Bulls would be willing to send Nocioni, first-round draft pick Joakim Noah, backup point guard Chris Duhon and filler to the Grizzlies in exchange for the 7-foot Gasol, who averaged 20.8 points and 9.8 rebounds last season.

    Here is the link as well.
    http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/bulls.asp?id=328635

    If the bulls are talking to Memphis then I hope the Lakers are as well. Memphis will probably want Deng or Gordon probably both. I don’t know how true this is but if it is I would think that Bynum is a better prospect than Noah and might interest the Grizzlies more.

  124. I will forever defend letting Fisher go. Golden State gave him a seven year deal — that would have meant three more seasons from now — at starters money, remember he left $21 million on the table. I was happy for Fish but he is a backup PG and that was way to much money for him. Which is why Golden State wanted to move him and get out from under that contract.

    I’d welcome him back, but at a more reasonable salary.

  125. Kurt,

    you said, “Golden State gave him (Fisher) a seven year deal . . .at starter’s money.”

    Are we talking Smush Parker starting money, Jason Kidd starting money, Henry Bibby starting money, Chauncy Billups starting money, or Steve Blake starting money? I believe that’s a range of less than $1 million to about $20 million.

    Derek Fisher had already proven himself to be a team leader and an almost legendary clutch performer with the Lakers. Some say that he saved the championship Laker’s butt more times than is commonly known.

    Derek knew the triangle. He transformed himself to meet the requirements of the triangle. He was a true leader in the best sense oncourt and offcourt. He was such a critical piece at that time that he should have been worth MORE than the prevailing rate. That was established by the Warriors. When confronted with reality, the Lakers waffled, all but called the Warriors crazy–and punted.

    If the Lakers had been correct about Fisher, the Warriors would have been stuck with him and his “huge” contract. That was tested when the Warriors changed direction.

    His value was verified by the Jazz last year–even though he did not get the most minutes at point guard. Anyone who watched the playoffs saw that they got their money’s worth.

    Just as in LA, with the series on the line, Fisher took and made key three point baskets–especially against the Warriors. We all saw a scene from some Hollywood movie reenacted in one game when Fisher flew back from the East, arrived near the end of the game–and without warmup or anything walked unto the court and hit a key three. That alone was probably worth more than his salary. Without Fisher’s threes, the Warriors might have prevailed!

    What exactly is a “reasonable salary” for Derek Fisher?

  126. Golden State was bothered with Fish’s production long before they changed directions. I agree that on a playoff team Fisher has a place, a valuable place, and I’m a big fan of his.

    But he was getting $7 mil a year for the next three years, and that is too much for a backup PG, in my opinion. For the Lakers, I can’t see giving Fish the full MLE (which his agent told the LA Times that is what he wants) when you could get a better shooter and guy six years younger in Blake for that money. I would say at this point, anything more than $12 mil over three years is too much for Fish.

    I have a post coming about this, later today or tomorrow morning.

  127. DrRayEye,
    Do not forget any money pd to an MLE player is gonna cost the Lakers twice as they are getting very close to Lux Tax threshhold and still need to fill out roster. Unless the second rd picks make the roster the Lakers only have 11 under contract and can only offer mins,vet mins,the LLE and the MLE. Give the MLE to one player and the Lakers have almost nothing to offer other decent free agents. Look at the roster and your bigs are Bynum,Brown and Cook w/Lamar also playing the 4. That’s disastrously thin and needs to be addressed-and only having vet mins is not going to get anything than a very used vet.(It’s why I once suggested Radman for Buck’s Gadzuric-similar contracts and Gadzuric is a big.) It’s also a reason why I doubt KG is coming. Kwame,Bynum and Lamar for KG leaves KG and Cook as the entire Laker frontline.
    In the abstract Fisher is priceless,in the real world he’s only affordable to Lakers at a min salary.

  128. Stephen (127),

    The Lakers have so far released three players from last year’s team–Smush, McKie, and Shammond. They are obligated to Crittendon–which leaves two slots. They intend to leave one open–and they have one for the MLE. They’ve already re-signed Walton, and they intend to re-sign Mihm. Since these players are already Lakers, they don’t need any “exception” to do that. That would give us three “bigs” at center–we normally carry two. In addition to them, we have Turiaff, Cook , and Lamar as power forward. That’s at least 6 “bigs” up front.

    If everything goes as planned, the Lakers will have 14 under contract.

    They intend to spend the MLE as part of this plan–it just depends on who.

    Somehow, when they get to this point, they always try to chintz a bit on the veteran point guard position. It has had GRAVE consequences–especially in the playoffs.

    Fisher will not cost them more than they intended to spend–probably less.

    We would have to go quite far back to find a Laker point guard starter that was paid even the average amount for point guards–let alone the amount paid to Kidd. There are any number of point guards earning in the range of $10 million right now–and that number is likely to rise this year.

    You get what you pay for!

    Since not every deal has been completed yet, we don’t have the exact numbers, but the Lakers (with three centers) will have $18 million invested in the center, $18 million in the power forwards (3), #11 million in the small forwards, $28 million in the shooting guards, and (so far) $4 million invested in point guards.

    $6 million more for that position does not seem out of proportion.

    Steve Blake is being pursued by others besides the Lakers. According to reports, Steve wants the maximum MLE for five years–if he chooses us. We’re already starting to chintz with him. It’s a familiar losing pattern, but one can see why for Blake.

    The way things stand right now, Steve would back up Farmar and try to learn the triangle.

    When the Lakers have a special veteran like Fisher, they try to limit his minutes during the season and give him more toward the playoffs. They might make him the starter then.

    I’d see Fisher having an early season 20 minutes (sharing with Farmar), dropping to 10–bringing Crittendon in for 10 sometimes.

    This is all conjecture so far. We don’t know that Derek will even come if we give him the full MLE for 5 years!

    I think he would be willing to consider as few as three years (his previous term) at the MLE with incentives to get him the additional $1 million or more depending on how far we get in the playoffs.

    Why are we even talking about this? If we can’t pay Derek, I can’t think of anyone else on the Lakers that we CAN pay.

    Kurt, I’ll respond to your column if appropriate.

  129. Stephen, you forgot about Ronny.

  130. Tony B,
    Yes I did and I was going to repost and include him,but Turaif is a free agent and while it’s 99.95 he’resign,if some team waved a bunch of money….(And I didn’t want to repost so quickly.)

    DrRayEye,
    I was only counting players under contract,Walton and the first rd pick to get 11. Mihm is getting interest elsewhere,it’s not foregone conclusion he’ll sign w/LA.-and it would be most optimistic to think he’ll play near 80 games. Last time I suggested here Walton should bulk up a bit to play PF I was informed by several stalwarts here that Walton IS a SF.
    The players under contract,the rookie and Walton-and Turaif- are going to put the Lakers very close to lux tax-not a big deal to us,but for the Buss’ a very big consideration. Paying the full MLE to one player makes it very difficult to get a decent free agent as only small exceptions are left.

  131. Re: Marcus Banks – Lakers should trade Radmanovic for him. Rad for Banks & 2nd rounder.

    Done Deal. Do not see how Phoenix would refuse a 3 point shooter with size coming to their team.