Summer League

Kurt —  July 8, 2007

The Lakers start their Summer League play today, but this summer feels a lot different than the last couple.

The first, and most obvious, reason is the team chose to join the Vegas Summer League, which is now probably the hottest summer league going. (Pun intended.) The Lakers make it a lucky 21 teams that play their summer ball in Vegas, and that level of competition is hard to pass up (plus the reputation that the teams are treated better than they were in Long Beach).

But the other, larger reason is that the past couple of summers we got to watch a Devin Green or a JR Pinnock and say “I wonder if he can make the team?” The young “no name” guys playing along side Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar had a chance, albeit a slim one, to wear Laker colors come the NBA season. Not this year. The Laker roster is basically full and the team is not looking to take on more young projects in the spaces that are available. Farmar and rookie Jarvis Crittenton will be in Laker colors come October, and that’s it. There is no drama for us (there is for the other players as they try to get noticed by scouts and hook on, if not in the NBA, in Europe or the NDBL).

The Lakers start play at 7 p.m. tonight against the Nuggets, and you can watch the streaming video at this site. We’ll be following what happens in Vegas, but we’ll pine for the fun of the last couple summers while we do.

Kurt

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48 responses to Summer League

  1. Its one way to have a closer look at J-J-Javaris Crittenton to play less the pressure of a real NBA game. Farmar will be there to hone his skills more and perhaps to shoot a little better.

    It seems the Laker world is in a stalemate. No players are expected to be moved soon. The good, Kobe is staying as well. While we may have entertained the idea of “life w/o Kobe” here a couple of times, it seems “life with Kobe” is surely better.

    In another note, I remember Phil Jackson’s words in saying that something will surely happen. Not in those words exactly, but I do not believe he is merely referring to our guys getting better and recovering from injury. At least I hope not.

    I seek the wisdom of the highly respected bloggers here. Kurt, DrRayEye, Reed, chopperdave, etc. I have a few questions that seek your insights on.

    1. JO + Foster = Odom + Kwame + Crittenton
    2. Trading Kwame (more like his expiring contract) to 2-3 smaller ones that may contribute to our growth and improvement in defense.
    3. The Idea of Ron Artest for Kwame + Crittenton.
    4. The idea of Gadzuric + Yi for Kwame and Crittenton.
    5. Staying absolutely put, including re-signing Mihm.

    I will be changing my ID name from warren (philippines) to WarrenWeeLim starting today… Not that it matters to a lot of you, but just so you’d know. Thanks a lot.

  2. I have proposed several other trades in reference to question #2 that suggests trading Kwame and staying put on Odom and Bynum.

    Please do check it out and feel free to comment.

    http://lakers.topbuzz.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=42247#42247

  3. Warren. some of those trades make sense. I do not think the lakers could get Yi for Brown and crittenton, nor do I think they should. I think it will be at least a year or two before Yi can contribute consistently (if ever).
    The Kerilenko trade scenario is interesting. He would diffinitely add some needed defense. The Jazz if they are looking to move him might be interested in that trade as well if you put in Crittenton instead (you would have to wait 30 days after crittenton is signed). They will need a back up for Williams since fish is gone and Kwame will give them some depth in the front court as a back up and salary cap if they do not resign him. There is the same trade for Artest, I do not think it holds any truth but it might. Artest is a better basketball player but Kerilenko does not come with the baggage.

    I like the tyson Chandler trade but I do not think NO wants to trade Chandler.

  4. Hey, I’m excited about Sun Yue. Watch the archive of Memphis versus Team China. He has a few solid defensive plays and tosses out nine assists.

    Check out 4:30 left in the 3rd quarter. He recovers on a breakaway and blocks Mike Conley’s layup into the stands. 6’9″, can handle, and if he can play defense like that consistently, I can see Phil liking him as another “big guard”.

  5. Farmar and rookie Jarvis Crittenton will be in Laker colors come October, and that’s it.

    How do you know this Kurt? i would say their is a good chance Farmar is packaged in a trade. so i have no idea why you think both of them will be back. i think one of them will be traded and I’m banking that Farmar will be the one.

  6. Warren,

    I believe that you need to look at our “stalemate” (as you call it) in terms of the health (or should I say lack of health) of our “bigs.” Kwame and Lamar are recovering from surgery. Vlad/Rad needs time until the season starts to heal his shooting hand/shoulder. Mihm is finally recovered–but it’s been 11/2 years. Trading our bigs before they can prove their health reduces their value. We’d be “selling low.”

    In Kwame’s case, the uncertainty is so great other teams can’t value him at all.

    We forget that even though he had limited basketball skills and experience, Kwame, like Bynum, was drafted in the first round at the recommendation of Michael Jordan. However, unlike Bynum, who was devalued and even ridiculed for his lack of experience to #10, Kwame was drafted #1, due in part to proven performance in high school.

    Like Bynum, Kwame was rushed into the spotlight and generated great expectations. Like Bynum, Kwame has had great individual games, once scoring 30 points with 19 rebounds against the Kings. Despite not entirely fulfilling these hopes, Kwame was signed to ever increasing longer term salary contracts. Bynum’s contracts seem headed in the same upward spiral.

    The Laker talent evaluators, looking desperately for a quality big man, included Mitch Kupchack, Phil Jackson, and Kurt Rambis–all former NBA big men themselves. They agreed on Kwame. When he was switched to center in 2005, he began to fulfill promise. Even last year, playing on an injured ankle, Kwame retained the respect of the Laker coaches, and was the difference between winning and losing in the last days of the season. In the payoffs at Staples Center, Brown even heard the crowd chant his name: “Kwamee, Kwamee, Kwamee.” Laker coaches privately recommended extending his contract for two years.

    Still, his overall unexciting reticent performance while injured has restored older impressions. Kwame has been mercilessly slammed by sportswriters and LA blogsters alike. Emotionally, fans were more inspired by Lamar Odom, the only other tradeable Laker with a large salary.

    Most bloggers, including you, see Kwame’s salary and expiring contract as a necessary tool to better the team.

    I find it strategically unwise to trade any player at his low point–and Kwame’s stock can’t get much lower. Some would say that it can’t get much higher either. I personally believe that in the Fall, Kwame’s value will rise substantially.

    I’m sorry this has taken so long, but all of your proposed trades center on Kwame, a player that is virtually untradeable at this time.

    Even though many of the trades you are suggesting are interesting, they must wait until Kwame’s potential is reestablished. If Kwame’s performance builds on–or goes beyond–2005, the Lakers could carry out most of the trades you suggest.

    However, the incentive may be gone!

    The one trade scenario that you have suggested which may work right now is the trade for Pau Gasol–because Memphis does not care how well Kwame performs. Memphis would let Kwame’s contract expire even if he had a monster year just to drop the Memphis salary cap further–as long as they could build up a young team with Bynum.

  7. Renato Afonso July 8, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    4. I think Kurt was talking about the summer league only, meaning that the lakers only have plans for farmar and javaris in the near future (trade or no trade).

  8. I don’t know if anyone has seen this, but this is the most bizarre and hilarious interview I have ever seen. I know Kobe went a little “crazy” with his little Trade me/trade me not episode but at least we do not have Marbury on the Laker.

    http://slamonline.com/online/2007/07/the-stephon-marbury-video/

  9. Kurt, what about Coby Karl? If he turns out solid at SPL, he’d be hard to pass up.

  10. That game is actually on right now. 3:00, not 7.

  11. It’s the other LA team that is playing the Nuggets @ 7.

    If you missed it, Every Summer League game is being archived in its entirety @ NBA.com…

  12. Farmar just played about as bad a half of basketball as I’ve ever seen. Crittenton looked great.

  13. How likely is it to make a team and stick from summer league?

    Here is the round status of current (or likely) Laker players. The only undrafted Laker is Maurice Evans. Evans proved himself both in Europe and on 3 other NBA teams (incl. 5th man for Pistons) before he became a Laker.

    There are only two high #2′s–almost #1.

    A star * indicates that they were drafted by the Lakers
    (others obtained through trades):

    Kobe Bryant* (#1)
    Mo Evans (undrafted)
    Sasha Vujacic* (#1)
    Jordan Farmar* (#1)
    Javaris Crittendon* (#1)
    Derek Fisher* (#1)
    Vladamir Radmanovich (#1)
    Lamar Odom (#1)
    Ronny Turiaf* (#2–almost #1)
    Brian Cook* (#1)
    Luke Walton* (#2–almost #1)
    Kwame Brown (#1)
    Chris Mimh (#1)
    Andrew Bynum* (#1)

    Lakers in the top 10 AND first round in their draft year:

    Chris Mimh (#7)
    Lamar Odom (#4)
    Kwame Brown (#1)
    Andrew Bynum (#10)

    Note that it has been many years since the Lakers have had a first round #1 (James Worthy?) Bynum at #10 is the first recent Laker opportunity in the top ten.

    11 #1′s, 2 almost #1, and 1 undrafted

    Interesting?

  14. Gamewinner for Javaris? Not bad. Cue Lakeran for some ‘told ya sos’

  15. I wonder if Farmar had the flu or something. Nate, where are you?

  16. Crittenton looked great… i know it’s just summer league basketball… but 18 pts, 2 stls and no to… not bad at all… this guy can really penetrate and finish strong at the basket! Not to mention the game winner… let’s not get overhyped… since keith bogans once scored 38 there… but that’ a heck of a debut in laker colors! Jordan Farmar played really bad… maybe he was nervous because of the way Javaris was outplaying him. I liked Rodney White as well. Just hope we got the steal of the draft with Crittenton… maybe Farmar becomes more expendable in a trade (maye to the pacers for JO?)… but don’t give up on Jordan just yet. Anyway the warriors maybe got the biggest steal in Belinelli… 37pts… wow! I had told you this guy was for real… the closest thing to an italian version of Kobe… and he had about 30 pts vs. team USA in the last world champioship! Too bad he was gone at 19… but Javaris was a great pickup… at least it looks like it.

  17. Don’t be so quick to judge Farmar after this game. He had a ton of pressure on him with a new point guard joining the team.

    I still like Farmar’s smarts, his desire, and I like his leadership ability. Pair him up with Critt, and we’ve got ourselves a nice backcourt.

    Throw in Fisher, Webber, and Mihm and I like this team a lot better next year.

  18. 9. There’s just no place for him, there are 12 guys under contract right now, and the Lakers are only going to carry 14. If they split the MLE between two guys, they’re full. Sign one guy for the full MLE and resign Mihm. Pretty much every move they make they fill the 14. There’s just no room on the roster for another project right now.

  19. 5. Take a deep breath. What I’m saying is that none of the other guys outside Jordan and Jarvis will be on the team come the start of the season. Is it possible one of them will get moved in a deal? Sure. But none of us know how likely that really is.

  20. Guys, one Summer League game — good or bad — really means little in the grand scheme of things. Last season Bynum had some amazing summer league games and some clunkers, if you judged on just one game you’d think he was ready to start or should never play depending on the game you saw. The reality, proved out over the entire league, is that his conditioning and focus were inconsistent, something we did see during the season. Good on Jarvis for game one, let’s see if he can keep it up.

    Also, remember that the level of play in the Summer League is essentially the same as garbage time at the end of an NBA game. Each team has two or three guys who will be on their rosters in the fall and a bunch of guys who will be playing in Europe or the NDBL. The offenses don’t flow well and the team defense is pretty bad.

  21. 20) Completely agree, although Farmar really should be looking seasoned against a lot these guys. If you caught the Cavs game you could tell Gibson was on a whole different level than the NBA-hopefuls around him. Likewise for Aldridge/Diop/etc in the last game (speaking of which, why on earth is Diop here?). Still not a huge deal; I fully expect Jordan to bounce back with a strong performance next game.

  22. Kurt – Where’s the Bill Walton in you? J-Critt has showed the world that he’s going to be the most clutch player in the NBA. Portland is going to regret that they selected Oden over J-Critt. In fact, Portland should trade Oden for J-Critt ASAP, before the world realizes that Oden is in fact Bowie’s father and that J-Critt will be the true heir to MJ.

    And don’t forget that Sun Yue will be better than Magic!

    You heard it here first!

  23. Lg Gold I completely agree that Portland should trade Oden for Javaris. Maybe Mitch is bad enough at his job to do it too.

    Duncan was outplayed by Greg Ostertag in his first summer league game many summers ago. So obviously it means a lot.

  24. Well, at least we know Kwame is having a good offseason…

    http://youbeenblinded.com/2007/07/09/kwame-browns-lesbian-bar-rehab/

  25. This is off topic of the summer league but I wanted to see what people thought of this trade. It’s probably just a rumor though.

    Jul 8, 2007 7:49pm ET
    Next Summer, Sixers May Spring Into Action
    David Aldridge of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER writes, “Washington would send center Etan Thomas, in whom the Sixers have had interest, to Philly, while sending guard Antonio Daniels to the Lakers. The Lakers would then send forward Vladmir Radmanovic, who endeared himself to Phil Jackson by hurting his shoulder in a snowboarding accident and then lying about it, to Washington.”

    A Vlad for Daniels. Vlad seems like he would be a nice fit with the offensive style in Washington. He could just run the court and spot up for 3′s assuming Arenas ever passes the ball. Daniels is good defender when defending the point. Not a good shooter though (30.2% last season 3 pts). It would make sense if the lakers were acquiring another SF (Artest) or moving Odom to the SF position.

  26. Interesting analysis of Lakers-Bucks summer league game from yesterday (although it sounds like lakerfan wrote it)
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_22673.shtml

  27. 25-
    I would be on board 100% with that trade.

  28. I wouldn’t mind that trade. Although, if we brought in Fisher it wouldn’t make much sense.

    To me, Daniels is the equivalent of Smush Parker. I don’t know, maybe he has a better attitude. I personally would rather take someone like Stevenson from the Wizards.

  29. 25) funny that the lakers would go after daniels now. 2 years ago they didn’t want to give him the MLE over 5 years because of the 2007 plan. instead, they gave mckie a 2 year deal.

    at least that proposed trade would rid us of radman, last years’ MLE debacle.

  30. 28,
    I remember that, I think we offered Daniels and Mckie the same contract to whoever wanted to sign it first and McKie was the one who did because Daniels, like you said, went to Washington because he wanted 5 years not 2.

    My point is that we have all known about the 5 year plan since back then… apparently Kobe was not paying attention?

  31. Javaris’ game winner from yesterday
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lDTwlaRbBzQ

  32. I wouldn’t dump Vlad. I would trade him, just like any other player for the proverbial ‘right deal’. To be honest, Daniels doesn’t provide what we need. If we get another guard this offseason via free agency the only two people I would be looking at (assuming Mo Williams and Charlie Bell are off-limits) are D-Fish and Pargo. Other than that (and barring aquiring Tinsley or Jaric or Hudson) I would go with Farmar/Sasha/Critt.

    Vlad has something to prove, and is not a bad player, he just was hurt.

    P.S. I actually think Sasha can be valuable, and like having him as an option at the 1 or 2 as the 5th guard.

  33. I still think one or two of these guys (outside of Farmar or Crinttenton) might stick with the Lakers for next season. We all still anticipate the Lakers making a move, and if that deal is for a big name player (O’neal, Gasol, KG) the Lakers are going to give up multiple players just to make the salaries match. The Lakers will give up at least 2 (Bynum, Kwame) and would have to give up at least 3 guys to get KG. And if Mihm doesn’t re-sign (and the Lakers do jettison AB, Kwame, LO for KG or give in to Indy for O’neal) the Lakers only have 9 guys (OR 10/11 when you count the player(s) they get back in said trade) under contract for next seson. I know that the Lakers can still use their MLE or Vets exception, but there could be even more moves to shake up the roster where there are open spots for young players that can develop at the end of the bench.
    I for one hope Kolby Karl can stick around, he seems like a Luke Walton type of player only a little better shooter and less a rebounder. But hopefully the team can make a couple of trades to open up the roster some. They could use that space to take on a player later in the season, like a buyout guy or a street FA that can come in and play some minutes if there are injuries, etc.

  34. I was just randomly perusing the NBA Summer League games and Portland will be absolutely devestating in a few years. That frontline of Oden and Aldridge is going to be a killer. That said, I can see why some players are trying to make the exodus out of the western conference.

  35. Just a thought on the Summer League. I agree that doing well in the SL doesn’t translate to doing well in the NBA, but doing poorly through the SL must have a strong correlation to doing poorly in the NBA. I don’t have numbers at the moment to show this, but the logic seems sound.

    (NOTE: I am sure there are exceptions, but for the most part this must be true)

    So if some of the “promising stars” don’t do well during the Summer League…then you can pretty much right them off for the upcoming NBA season.

  36. To Brian P, that’s a big fat no. A disappointing rookie year doesn’t even mean you can write a guy off. Why would a less representative sample in non-regular season conditions?

  37. Subject: Crittenton>Farmar

    TOLD YOU SO!!!

    I agree with comment 35 and conclude Farmar sucks

  38. Is FISH BACK???
    ‘http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=2931193′,’121′

  39. Re: #25

    That’s not a rumor, actually. It is in fact a suggestion from David Aldridge.

    He proposes a complicated deal that also involves the Lakers sending out Kwame and getting Andre Miller. Why he thinks the Lakers want Miller and Daniels I’ve no idea, but it’s clear in the article that this is not actually being discussed by any of the three teams.

    Too bad too. I’d trade Vlad for Daniels in a heartbeat if the Wizards would do it.

  40. -36

    Chopperdave, you must have misread read my comment, I said a poor summer league would suggest that the “upcoming NBA season” would be poor as well. Not the persons NBA career.

  41. -37

    Thanks for agreeing with me, but my intention was not to say that crit > farmar. One game definitely can’t define anything. Now if Crit outplays Farmar the entire SL then you can start building a case that he may be better.

    I would still like to give Farmar the benefit of the doubt considering how much heart and hard work he has shown.

  42. 39- thank you for clarifying that. I did not read the whole article I just saw that little excerpt and thought it was interesting. But Daniels does not make sense, since it seems D Fish probably going to sign with the Lakers. But I would do that trade as well if Washington was interested and we were not getting another PG by other means

  43. Is the D-Fish story true? Or is it just BSPN doing what they do best?

  44. Coming Soon from ..
    =============
    ESPN: “The Los Angeles Lakers emerged as an instant favorite to sign Derek Fisher last week after Fisher asked the Utah Jazz to release him from the final three years and $21 million left on his contract so he could move to one of the half-dozen NBA cities with a treatment center equipped to handle his young daughter’s rare form of eye cancer. Call them virtual sure-thing favorites now. Fisher, according to NBA front-office sources, is no longer even considering other teams and is on track to re-sign soon with the Lakers — who drafted him in 1996 — barring an unexpected snag in negotiations.”

  45. Emphasis on “unexpected snag in negotiations…” I wonder how much money he’ll command given that he will most likely be the backup PG. Hopefully, for the sake of a competitive Lakers squad, he’ll ask for a veteran’s minimum. This will be an interesting collection of players, with Critt, Farmar, Sasha, and Fisher rotating in the PG spot. Someone’s gonna be traded.

  46. As much as I am starting to like Crit… if his stock rises a lot by playing well in summer league, maybe we can convince Indiana to take a Bynum , Crit, Kwame package for JO and let us keep Odom.

  47. 45 – I think Sasha is used more as a backup to Kobe now. Although he prefers PG he has been playing most of his minutes as a 2-guard.

    That being said Sasha probably will be thrown in as trade fodder if something does happen.

  48. I think I’ve thrown this question out to the Lakers’s universe a couple of times but no one seems to know the answer…what is Bynum up to this summer? I don’t think he’s in the summer leagues or is he?

    Since it appears like Kobe’s going to stay put…and I don’t know if a BIG trade will go down this year for a KG or JO, he remains the key player…