Some Dreams Do Not Come True

Kurt —  July 30, 2007

Lakers fans need a new impossible dream.

Part of being a fan is thinking with your heart, dreaming of the improbable, maybe the impossible. And Lakers fans fascination with Kevin Garnett was always based on thinking with their hearts, because once your head got involved the dream was quickly shattered.

The hearts of Lakers fans, and I have little doubt the team’s front office, loved the idea of KG as a Laker. But the chances the team would get him were always microscopic, and for a number of reasons — starting with being in the same conference and finishing with not having enough young talent to interest Minnesota. It’s hard to fault McHale for this choice, Al Jefferson is a better prospect, one who already has proven more, than Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers don’t have a young Gerald Green to sweeten the offer. Some fans clung to the fantasy that KG would just opt out next year and play in Los Angeles for the midlevel exception, but that never made sense — Boston is going to give him a $25 million a year or so extension, with the Lakers he would have made about $6 million. Yes he has a lot of money in the bank, but to leave around $95 million on the table? Would you do that? Seriously?

It was hard not to be tantalized by the dream, but now Laker fans need to get back to reality. This is a Laker team that is has some nice pieces — and one great one — but is a key piece or two away from contending. There is more than one way to get those pieces, but holding out hope for KG was really never a viable one.

The KG dream is dead, but that dream and one of contending Lakers are not one in the same.

Kurt

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72 responses to Some Dreams Do Not Come True

  1. Kurt,

    I’ve been reading FB&G since I packed up from Temecula, CA for college in New York last fall and I have to say – you always remind me how beautiful it is to be a fan of the LA Lakers.

    Regardless of the amount of work our team must do between now and (February really) to add that second all star body to our team— We fans will be there to analyze, critique and love the leaders of this organization and hopefully guide each other and them to title that we will all share in spirit if not in jersey sales dollars.

    On that note, KG – I wish you the best you skinny rich-azz guy, but you really turned your back on being the star of a new era.

    To JO, JCN and Gasol the elder – Just because Luke couldn’t use the force to lift his jet fighter out of the swamp doesn’t mean you guys can’t…. Let our reign begin!

    Long live FB&G!

  2. As I eat my plate of crow from predicting KG wasn’t going to be traded this yr,I have to ask,is Minn front office full of idiots? There’s no reason I can see that they couldn’t have made this trade earlier and obtained Boston’s #5 pick to boot.

  3. You know, now that the fantasy is over, I’m glad. As much as I want the team to win now, it is more satisfying to me to watch our players and team develope into a champion, instead of being presumed as the champion. If we had gotten Garnett and not won a championship, then where would we be? Nobody likes the team that is expected to win, and this move would have made us look like the Yankees of basketball – a team that doesn’t develope talent but one that can afford to buy it. Now, like mentioned before, we can focus on maybe a small move or two and/or learning to play like a team. How satisfying will it be when Kobe starts to make the players around him better, some young players step up, and we get some injury luck? If the first part of last season was any indication, we could contend for a while…

  4. How big do other people think McHale’s Boston ties and LA hatred play into this? I keep coming back to it, and I don’t see how Lamar/Bynum/Crittenton/Brown isn’t the better option.

    Brown’s contract vs. Ratliff’s is a wash. I’d take Critt as my guard of the future over Green or Telfair. Al is definitely better than Bynum now, but their ceilings aren’t that far apart. So far C’s have the edge, but then we still have our trump card in Odom. To me, Lamar is the perfect rebuilding guy. Not that old, not that expensive, perfect length contract, good leader, extremely versatile. Will help the youngins grow and help cushion the initial lean years before you get massive cap room in two years when you can see better what direction you need to head.

    To me this signals one of three things (if not a combo of all 3): 1) the don’t trade in-conference rule that I hate being held steadfastly, 2) Lamar continues to be vastly underrated, 3) McHale let his playing days influence his decision way too much.

  5. I should add a 4th possibility, being that Mitch isn’t that good at his job. Although when Ainge is the competition, I don’t see how he could be any worse.

  6. I’m perplexed by that line of thinking, that KG needs another $95 million when he already has at least that much. What the hell else does he need to buy? Ridiculous.

    Jerry Seinfeld walked away from a goldmine to save himself from the embarrassing fade NBC offered a mint to finance. Some things are worth more than money I think, especially when you already have a ridiculous fortune.

    So $126 gillion probably isn’t enough to buy KG a ring. I don’t see how Boston is going to be able to pay him and keep the stars they got and find the roleplayers they’ll need to defeat the West. Impasse.

    Oh well. I’d rather see what we got grow anyway. Love of Kevin aside, the whole fan reaction to last year sickens me. We’re a very spoiled city.

  7. If the Lakers couldn’t get him, I’m glad to Celtics did. As much as I root against them, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t respect them.

    What does that leave Boston’s lineup looking like? Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG and Kendrick Perkins starting, with Ryan Gomez (who I like alot), Scalabrine, Big Baby and Tony Allen on the bench? Interesting. They’ll be a small team, but outside of Shaq, that doesn’t matter in the east (or for the west, truth be told. The true Center is a thing of the past). I see them fighting for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs next year, first in their Division. Chicago and Detroit will be the top 2 sees, with Boston, Washington, and Miami battling out for the 3 and 4 spots. LeBron won’t be able to coast to a weak 2 seed again this year.

  8. OK….so who do we have to offer to Bosto…..I kiiiiiiiiiiiid, I kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.

  9. #

    Coby Karl is an insurance in case any trades will go down. At this point, its hard to imagine him actually being IN the roster.

    Now that KG has finally settled (I believe the rumors BTW), the Lakers will now have a better perspective on what to do. We should not be superstar-gazing at this stage, instead, we should be considering getting better. A lot of players can improve this team considerably without necessarily being superstars at this stage.

    Why not trade for Chris Wilcox? He can play PF as Odom slides back to the 3. Seattle is in no position to be contending anytime soon anyway… They can afford the wait for Bynum to go along with Durant and Jeff Green.

    Bynum + Cook + Sasha
    – for –
    Wilcox + 08 1st from Phoenix.

    Farmar / Fisher / Critt
    Kobe / Evans / Karl
    Odom / Walton / Radman
    Wilcox / Turiaf /
    Kwame / Mihm

  10. Renato Afonso July 31, 2007 at 1:06 am

    McHale is simply an idiot I think. It’s not like I’m mad at KG not joining us, but the simple fact that he could have gotten a better deal BEFORE the draft. Simmons already wrote a column thanking McHale for still being a great Celtic…

    I really don’t understand the trade from the Wolves point of view… Maybe McHale lost a poker game to his friend Ainge or something…

    Now we have the Leastern Conference finalists found (until Allen breaks his ankle in 5 different places) and this one actually has a shot at the title. His anyone going to double team KG with Pierce and Allen on the perimeter?

    Sorry for venting, but I’m still mad at this… I cannot see the Celtics contending again for free and us fighting for a playoff birth. It’s not supposed to be like that…

  11. Kobe would kick Mitch right in his crotch if he traded Bynum for Wilcox and not Jason Kidd..

  12. Sedale Threatt July 31, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Stephen,

    The reason the Garnett deal was not done before the draft is that KG did not want to play in Boston with Paul Pierce as the only other all-star caliber player. After the Ray Allen deal, it must have been easier to convince KG that he would have a chance to compete for a ring with Boston, given the sorry state of the East. Minny still did not get enough for return, but since Chicago was not interested, the Celtics offered the best combination of talent and salary cap relief. As for the Lakers, I may be one of the few people who believe this, but Kuptchack should not go all out trying to get another big name power forward. Gasol has not won a single playoff game in his carrer (and according to Darko Milicic is soft) and JO seems on the downside of his career (I know he is only 29 but still)-neither is worth trading Bynum and especially a healthy Lamar for. The Lakers should get a point guard at the mid-level exception and then wait for the February deadline to make something happen with Cake Brown’s expiring contract. I know that our roster right now is not competitive, but I do not see any potential deal that will allow improve it significantly.

  13. I still really like the Lakers as a team.

    Guys like Luke Walton, Odom, Turiaf, even Kwame have all grown on me to the point where they are untradeable when NBA 08 rolls out.

    Of course, it all comes down to number 24 in the end.

  14. So with KG apparently out of the picture, it looks like we will just be depending on health and chemistry to provide the improvement over last season, ouch. Does this make it inevitable that Kobe will opt out or want to be traded? It seems that no big moves can be made, unless I’m forgetting someone available out there with the stature of a KG, Kidd, or even Boozer. Lump in Artest, Vince, and a handful of lesser pieces rumored to be courted by Mitch and we have clear signs that the Lakers have lost some of their reputation as a franchise since no one wants to come here to be part of what used to be championship tradition. I guess the only hope is some miracle in play this coming season, or the Three Amigos plan in Boston doesn’t work and KG comes for cheap next summer. I dunno, too depressed to hypothesize…

  15. Well,

    The Celts got their dream–sometimes called the Chinese curse.

    We haven’t yet heard what it will cost–but it may be worth it for Celtics–no matter how much–even if it turns out to be a disaster.

    They’ve got the attention of the world. They’re the Celtics again. Or are they? I wonder what Red Auerbach would say.

  16. Warren-
    We’ve passed on Jason Kidd and JO because we didn’t want to give up Bynum–do you really think it would be worth it to trade him now for Wilcox?

  17. I was always hoping that KG would come to the Lakers, but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to work. I feel the main problem started when Kobe came out and started demanding changes now, which put the Lakers in the position of losing their bargaining ability with other teams. I think we could have at least got J. O’Neal without having to give up Odom if Kobe would let the process work.

    The irony of the situation is that Kobe went all over the media demanding to be traded and criticized teammates and the organization, but got nothing. Yet, KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, who all played for losing teams, didn’t openly demand trades or complain yet now their all together ready to take over the Eastern Conference.

    Also, those guys at GetGarnett.com are going to have to look for a new name.

  18. Let’s not despair. I’m sure the Lakers’ front office knew that this wasn’t going to happen. And for all those who ask why KG isn’t playing for the MLE, you really have to ask yourself, would you walk away from $100 million as well as a chance to play with Allen + Pierce as well as for the storied Celtics franchise? 10/10 people would say no.

    That being said, I think one of the keys is to find someone who can play a lot of minutes at the PF position, b/c it seems that Lamar gets hurt so often because he shouldn’t be banging down low so much. I don’t know where that leaves Walton, but it seems abundantly clear that Odom shouldn’t play as a PF unless he can significantly bulk up, which will inhibit his style of play.

    Let’s not lose hope. The days are dark, Kobe’s future is murky, but most of us feel that we just need a healthy Lakers team to show us what they can do over the course of a year. Kobe has laid down the challenge and guys like Bynum must now ante up, buck up, and respond.

  19. Why do fans say the Laker organization has lost its luster. There hasn’t been any luster since 1991. Players haven’t come here for less – they don’t go anywhere for less – unless they have an obvious, near-lock on a ring and are at the very end of their careers (Malone and Payton). Yeah, Gary got his ring in Miami, but he really wasn’t a shell of his former self and certainly couldn’t add anything to the triangle.

    Players will always go where the money is, unless the money is nearly equal and there is a location they prefer. We haven’t had the money for a long time and shouldn’t expect players to take less while we are trying to build a contender. We must be THE contender before we can attract anyone.

  20. I’m actually really happy Garnett went to the Celtics (and thank God not the Lakers). Three of the genuine good guys in the league and consistently top 20 players (Garnett was WAY underrated, but that won’t happen anymore), will get their chance in the spotlight to play together for a ring. I think this puts them right in the mix as the 4th best team in the NBA with Utah, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, etc. I’d have to say, with Detroit declinging they HAVE to be the favorite for the #1 seed in the East (lest we, again forget how good a player Pierce and Allen are too). But they don’t have the defense to contend with the Big 3 I don’t think.

    For the Lakers, I don’t know. I still feel like with Kobe it is a complete waste of time to watch middle-of-the-road prospects develop into solid NBA players while a once in a generation talent goes out and gives his all to win every night. I am of the (oft foolish) Bill Simmons school of either completely rebuilding (a la Seattle and Portland) or completely trying to contend (Celtics). I don’t see the point of fielding a 45 win team, a 7th seed, to lose in the first round every year. That’s what this team was 2 years ago, thats what it is last year, and that’s what it is now. If we were in the East it would be ok because we’d be a 50 win team with a Cavalier shot at getting far in the playoffs, but in the West you can’t pansy around or you’ll NEVER contend. Once SA and PHX fall with age, SEA, Portland, Utah, Memphis, and NOOCH will be aging, since they took the bullet and sucked for a few years, and they will be another crop of VERY strong contenders with better players than any of the young guys on our roster. I just don’t think standing pat makes sense.

  21. Well…the Celtics win the Eastern Conference…Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and KG…throw in Big Baby…and Point gaurd X….thats a pretty good team…and formidable in the East for sure. Geting thru any West team? I just dont know…

    I am sort of glad that this has occured….in a way…I truly beleive in Lamar!!!!

  22. “How big do other people think McHale’s Boston ties and LA hatred play into this?”

    I wouldn’t accuse McHale of anything, but I said from the start it was very hard for me to picture McHale putting Garnett in Los Angeles. I am not sold on the Celtics’ prospects; I think Jefferson will be pretty good, but I am not a fan of the rest of them. That said, I remain convinced that the rest of the NBA is not as enamored of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom as Buss and some of the posters here are. I can also see McHale wanting Garnett out of the East at all costs.

    Four other points:

    1. I think John Paxson will regret this at some point. Garnett could have put the Bulls over the top.
    2. As much as I hate to say it, this will be good for the league. I think the NBA as an institution is better off when the Lakers and Celtics are good–not numbingly dominant, but good.
    3. With the McHale-Celtic connection, the Celtics having been buried for years, the conference imbalance, and the need to get Tim Donaghy off the front page, the conspiracy theorists will run wild.
    4. I am not optimistic about the Lakers, and I still think they need to make big move in one direction or the other. I agree 100% with Kurt that there is a philosophical problem in the organization: Buss’ agenda appears to be to use Kobe to keep the team competitive while picking up young guys. I remain underwhelmed by the Lakers’ other players and by Kupchak’s talent acquisition patterns. I hope that the optimistic folks here are reading it better than I am.

  23. As I wrote yesterday, the Lakers couldn’t offer anything to compare to the Celtics either in potential or 07/08 cap space. Where they could trump the Celts was cap space for 08/09, since they could have afforded to take on two additional bad salaries for Lamar’s contract that would have almost completely cleared the decks for the T-wolves in two years.

    The Lakers may or may not have made such an offer, and if they didn’t, it wouldn’t seem terrible to me. It would have left them with a thin roster, no trading chips, with no salary cap room for a 1/2 decade, pus playing a huge luxury tax bill.

    Personally, I’d have gambled for one of the top 2-3 players in the game, but it seems a real choice, and I don’t think anyone could credibly argue that this would guarantee a ring.

    Assuming they did make the offer, I can easily imagine the T-wolves preferring the Celtic option for the obvious reasons:

    1) in Jefferson, they get a young player who has already become a top 10 big man in the league, better than any player on the Lakers outside of Kobe;
    2) in Green, they get an incredible talent who may or may not prove out, much like Bynum. You may recall the Lakers were looking at Green the year they drafted Andrew, and many rated Green much higher, given that Andrew had played so few games in high school.
    3) they get two young players in Telfair and Gomes at no risk–they are cheap, can be dropped next year, and were once highly touted;
    4) most importantly they get $6 million more in cap space next year than they would have from the Lakers, allowing them to rebuild more quickly.

    Honestly, even if McHale, 15 years+ removed from Boston still wants to help the Celtics and hurt the Lakers, he still has to answer to an owner who couldn’t care less about either team, and sure wants to make the best deal for the T-wolves.

  24. James did have a great post yesterday on this, here is the link:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2007/07/29/i-shot-the-logo/#comment-171762

  25. Garnett going East will be good for the league. Although I still take time to fathom how they can run with only 10 players left. With the aging legs of KG, Allen and Pierce, it is imminent that one of them might break a leg soon.

    Boston now is a 4th seed lock, possibly trumping NJ and Toronto in the Atlantic. I am just sad at how New York continues to be sorely in need of life.

  26. I once thought romantically that Kevin was about winning, exposure, and championships. All we needed to do was to prove to KG that we could win a championship with him–and he would sign. I took his reluctance to sign with Boston as further support for this thinking.

    Then I began to hear little details of negotiations that ultimately led Kevin away from the great teams he admired. It was all about money. The Lakers were the first. In addition to players, they soon found themselves asked to take back contracts AND pay a “poison pill” fee and negotiate a longer term term contract. When they didn’t like our players, we became involved in 3 and even 4 team trade possibilities. Similar things happened to the Phoenix Suns. If Kevin was primarily motivated by a championship, wouldn’t he look beyond payments to himself?

    It wasn’t that the Celtics were lucky cronies–it was that the Celtics were the only team that desperate.

    We may have been lucky to lose the KG sweepstakes.

  27. We need to face it, a combo of Ray Allen and Paul Pierce is better than Kobe. Kobe is only one guy, it’s as simple as that. If there was a way to go after KG without including Odom, I think KG would have been much more receptive to coming to LA as there would have been a much stronger foundation for winning. He could have forced his way here, and that would be that. But….no dice. Like many have said before, it was a dream scenario that we would ever land KG, and even though he is a top player, we would have given up A LOT to get him here. There was a downside…

    Now the Lakers must decide if there is even an option out there worth pursuing. Is JO worth what Indy would want in return? Can Gasol be pryed away from Memphis (this I truly doubt)? The Lakers need a big that can do more than clog the lane (Kwame) or just show flashes every 5 games of being elite (Bynum). But where will that come from? The only other big that I think could actually help the Lakers is Rasheed Wallace, but with Detroit re-signing Billups, I don’t think Joe D. will deal him. The only hope is that in year 3, Bynum makes the jump to become the player all Laker fans hope that he can be. A 15 pt. 8-10 reb guy who defends the paint and is an overall threat on both ends. That type of guy teamed with Kobe, Odom, Walton, Fisher can compete with the best teams by playing efficient, precise basketball on offense and tough, hardnosed defense. This is THEIR shot to prove that they can compete. I am looking forward to seeing what these guys have in the heart department. Everyone will count them out, it will be said that the Lakers did not make the major move that they needed. But I trust Kobe and especially Phil to try and get these guys to perform at their peaks. One healthy season for our core players to show what they are worth….personally, I can’t wait.

  28. I really wanted KG in a Laker uniform, but I am glad that he is somewhere else now and it is over with so we can move on.

    My problem now is with Kupchak. Let me explain my thinking…
    At the beginning of the summer, the Lakers and the Celtics were both teams that were a couple of the most traditional teams in NBA history and were both mired in mediocrity. The NBA clearly needs both to be good. Both teams were trying to “rebuild” but the fan bases were fed up with the rebuilding and want to win NOW. Both teams had a superstar who openly went to the front office and said, “make us better NOW or I want out!!”.

    It is now July 31st, and the Celtics have thrown the “rebuilding” process in the recycle bin and have brought in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to make sure that Paul Pierce sticks around and doesn’t ask to be traded. They sacrificed their future (Jefferson, Green) to win now because that’s what their fans want. Congratulations to Danny Ainge for bringing life back to the Boston Celtics.

    And what has Mitch done for us? Picked a project PG at #19, signed a 33 year old Derek Fisher to (maybe) start. And resigned Chris Mihm who was too injured to play a single game last season. He was told “no thanks” by Minnesota in a offer he made for KG, and he just said “ok then, thanks for listening, nevermind then” and just turned the other way instead of finding other ways to make it work (Boston would have traded G.Green and Ratliff to us for Odom. We then could have offered Bynum, Kwame, Ratliff, Green and picks for KG).

    Come on Mitch, get off your butt and give us something to be excited about!

  29. 26–Two points: 1) this wasn’t totally KG’s choice. Minnesota may have said, Celtics or stay. 2) Do the Lakers really offer a better chance at a championship given what they’d have had to trade?

    The post-trade roster comparison is:

    Farmer versus Rondo–slight win for the Celts
    Kobe versus Pierce–win for the Lakers
    Walton versus Allen–huge win for the Celts
    KG versus KG
    Mihm versus Perkins–given injuries, perhaps a wash, perhaps slight win for Lakers

    Given that KG’s now in the east, doesn’t he have a better chance to at least make the finals than he would with the Lakers?

    It seems plausible to me that the aquisition of Ray Allen made the Celtics a more interesting place to be for KG than it was pre-draft.

  30. Two thoughts: 1) To me the clear decider for McHale is that he didn’t want Odom, for whatever reason. Maybe he wants to go young, because Odom is the best player on the board. But he didn’t want him.

    2) If you’re the Celts, do you really want Doc Rivers coaching that team?

  31. skigi, don’t forget the high draft pick Boston had going into the off season, which netted them Allen, which netted them KG…
    I would say Ainge has done a very good job this off season, but it’s not fair to say Mitch did an equally bad job, the main difference maker being the draft pick Boston had over ours.

  32. Done Deal
    ======

    The youth movement is a thing of the past in Boston.

    According to the Boston Herald, the Boston Celtics have finalized a blockbuster trade to land Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves. In return, the Celtics will give up Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, and two first round draft picks.

    Two first round draft picks?

    And you think who is getting the better end of that trade???

  33. 2) If you’re the Celts, do you really want Doc Rivers coaching that team?

    I would wait a year and talk to Phil Jackson.

  34. And you think who is getting the better end of that trade???

    Depends on if Ainge can get cheap pieces. to finish the job. Right now, though, I say the Celtics.

  35. 30–he didn’t want Odom, because they wouldn’t compete while he had him, so Odom’s just an expiring contract with a later due date.

    28–obviously Boston wouldn’t have traded Green & Ratliff for Odom, since those pieces were necessary to getting KG. GIve Ainge credit here–he refused to get a lesser player to help someone else get KG, and got Allen to make Boston more interesting to KG. He even had protection on his bet, because if KG had gone elsewhere, he likely figured Green and Ratliff could have netted him someone else decent later.

  36. Here’s a different “spin” on the Garnett trade:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=TradeKicker101

    It seems to imply that the Celts and the T’Wolves navigated around a deal for Garnett to reduce/eliminate the $6+ mil. trade kicker subject to his agreement and a salary extension. Under that agreement, he would “only” receive a bit less than $24 million next year, with the “extra” $5 built into an extension.

    It is not clear that the money part has been agreed upon, nor is it clear how much, if at all, Garnett participated.

    Garnett may be out of the loop.

    Sounds like the financial difficulties for the Celts has already begun.

  37. So does this make the getgarnett guys failures? Or just the Lakers front office?

    Seems like the kind of deal the Lakers should have taken for Kobe, but then I suppose that is just one more missed opportunity. At least some teams are serious about rebuilding.

    How are the Lakers in the luxury tax with this squad?

  38. I put this up on GetGarnett.com.

    Check it out; great piece. Completely agree.

  39. franchise98bn July 31, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Just another Laker FO mistake. Looks like Kobe is gonna FORCE a trade out of LA and I’m totally behind him!

  40. John R.
    Sorry that the Lakers haven’t and won’t trade Kobe, but that is the fact you are going to have to live with as long as Buss owns the team.

    If Kobe leaves, he goes on his own. Truthfully, his options are getting worse and worse. Unless we totally destroy this team next year, I expect this is the place where Kobe will land (it’s the $ and the legacy).

    The Celtics have done what many Laker fans wanted the Lakers to do. Of course they had a #5 pick, not a #19 pick and that made all the difference in the world.

    Also, because Kevin McHale didn’t want Lamar doesn’t mean his value is less. In the T-wolves situation Lamar has less value than in another environment.

    I do agree we need a banger down low. However, I think we have some prospects that may help this year and Kwame’s contract that could help at the deadline. I don’t think we should overlook continued progress by both Andrew and Turiaf. We seem to have forgotten that Turiaf has only played NBA ball for a little over 1 season. Plus Kwame is more experienced in the triangle and in a contract year. It really doesn’ t look that terrible this year.

  41. Well, at least we’ll be sleepers in the West again now that we haven’t made any major improvements roster wise. I wonder if we’ll get another home-friendly schedule to start the season, we’re gonna need all the help we can get. I hope Kobe stays stubborn and hungry and believes he can still do it, but uses some of that passion to bring some of the other guys along, guys who BETTER be working their asses off right now to prove we do have a team worth believing in. A strong showing this year (2nd round would do it) would still make LA a desirable destination for next year’s FA’s, and is really our only hope of Kobe feeling like things could work here. Gary Vitti, this is your year, keep everyone conditioned and healthy, I’m doing my part by keeping my season seats and my fingers crossed. Go Lakers!

  42. I think, in terms of winning a championship, KG made the right choice of where to go. The Celtics with Allen/Rondo/Pierce/KG are better than the Kobe/Garnett Lakers. Plus since he’s in the East, he’s got a good shot of getting to the finals. In the West, the Kobe/Garnett Lakers would’ve still been clearly the 4th best team and might have had a chance to get through 2 of the Big 3. Now the Celtics will only have to beat 1 in the Finals (that is, if they can take out the Bulls/Pistons/Cavs teams).

    As a fan, I’m supremely disappointed. This team is still going nowhere. They are like the Celtics before this year, just slightly better. The Celtics were stuck in nowhere land, with a disgruntled star and some young players that were developing nicely. They were a lower echelon playoff team in their conference. But they lucked up this year, and why? Paul Pierce got hurt and they plummeted to a terrible record. If Kobe had gotten hurt last year and this team had won 30 games, perhaps they could be where the Celts are now (parlaying Bynum, Kwame, #5 pick, Farmar for Garnett) and have a trio of hungry vets. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and the Lakers are about to enter another year of a slightly better than .500 team with developing prospects, but just good enough to not get a high draft pick (unless our star gets hurt). I think Kobe may make more noise if the Buss’ don’t do anything. Remember folks, he DOES NOT want to go into another year with the average roster we have.

  43. The Lakers really don’t need another superstar, what they need is a few more solid complimentary players. But here is the problem. The salary cap, which has done a good job of containg the salary of superstars, has done nothing to curtail the salaries of reasonably good role players (witness, Rashard Lewis), So teams like the Lakers have their hands tied. They can’t go out and get a role player when they need one. In fact, they are stuck paying guys like Vlad, and Luke, 5, 6 mil a year. Those contracts add up.

  44. So did the Lakers just get to the Garden and the visitors locker room heat has been turned all the way up?

    KG to the green?

    I know Oliver Stone should be making a movie about this conspiracy and it will have Jack in it some how.

    The Lakers in my humble opinion had a better to offer, Bynum, Odom, Critten or a combination, say remove Odom add Kwame and another youngin Turaif, that is far better.

    McHale will be gone in a year and this sounds like Red is channeling McHale. The fix is in…

    Also I like little Karl but why would the Lakers not bring in a Ruben Patterson or Eddie Jones and sure up the defensive end which was the problem last year. This would make Phil happy as he is not a kid lover. Even a PJ brown could help them. I also think they could get a lot out of Chris Webber in the slow down triangle offense.

    It also has been really quite, the Lakers are now guard heavy, is this set up for the trade with the Pacers or is that completely dead?

    It is a great day I CAN HATE THE CELTICS again.

  45. i’m so fricking tired of mitch kupchak being an incompetent moron, it’s not even funny.

  46. We have chosen to overpay and when we do it bits us badly. Our two players who are paid more than they are worth are Kwame ($9M) and Lamar ($14M). These two really handicap us when trying to fill out the rest of the roster.

    This is why I place so much value on young, developing players who are contributing more than they are earning. Boston may be ok for the next two years (they will, however, be in luxury tax he$$), but they are really going to pay for all this in years 3-6 into the future.

    If only one of our youngsters really progresses next year (Bynum, Turiaf, Famar, JC) I think we can make some noise in the playoffs. I expect Lamar to come back strong, for Kwame to perform like it was a contract year, and for Vlade to really have something to prove.

  47. Renato Afonso July 31, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    44. At least that… We can hate them again.

    Now we only have to wait for Stern to fix the Lakers so that we get a Lakers-Celtics Finals which would no doubt be the most seen Finals ever.

    It’s a TV programmer wet-dream!!!

    So, I think that instead of waiting for Mitch to do something, maybe we should try and convince Stern to fix this… He’s all powerfull…

    PS: The Lakers will take the season series from Boston… write this down, as I will post it when it happens!

  48. John R..- I wouldn’t have traded Garnett for that crap package, but I get your point.

    If I were Minny (or if the Lakers trade Kobe) I would be looking at something like what Chicago offered for Garnett (allegedly) last summer. Tyson Chanlder, #2 pick and Luol Deng. That’s a young big, an ‘on-the verge’ all-star and a high-value draft pick. Minny got hossed, but hey, when I go back to Boston in the fall I can go back with hate in my heart…ah, everything feels right again.

  49. LD2K, thanks for that.

  50. die hard bulls fan July 31, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    kobe wants out again now that the trade for garnett went down and its not to the lakers

  51. Has it really come down to this? Hoping Kwame plays well in a contract year; Hoping Lamar gives us more than his career averages of 16 pts 10rb; hoping Luke can defend quick, athletic SF in the league (which he can’t do); Hoping Vlad can contribute anything; hoping someone will be dumb enough to take B. Cook and his contract off our hands? We have a good team with some good pieces but in the wrong place. Keep one or the other Cook or Vlad; Find an athletic SF and move dependable Luke to the second unit. He’d be a good canidate for 6th man of the year. If you’re going to keep Lamar, find another player that can play along side him and Kobe and give you 15 – 17 points and good defense a night (Artest is the only one).

    For all those who say Mitch is and idiot, you’re right!! He has drafted poorly the lase few years. Sure J. Farmar was a decent pick and JC was the best available, but wasn’t Sasha supposed to be the triangle PG of the future? We are still trying to recoop from that pick. Wasn’t Cook supposed to be a cheap version of H. Grant? I’m sure there are a lot of behind the seens stuff that goes on but dang!!! Give us a break Mitch

  52. No. 5
    ====
    With Kevin Garnett heading to Boston, his days of wearing number 21 are over.

    The Celtics retired 21 back in 1966 to honor Hall of Famer Bill Sharman.

    Jeff Twiss of the Celtics has informed RealGM that it appears Garnett will wear number 5.

  53. Now that all the worthwhile FA’s are officially gone (don’t start again with that JO crap), the only thing that matters now is to be sure the organization has Kobe’s trust… in what, I myself am not even sure, but something, some kind of commitment to still lay it on the line. Kobe had that mentality last year and it served the team well until all the injuries forced him to change his team-oriented play. If Phil can convince Kobe that this team is still good, and if the other players can step up and play to their potential (or anywhere close to it), then the results will show Kobe that his talents aren’t going to waste. At worst he knows he can leave in two years, so that’s two years to convince him otherwise, although if it’s the same scenario a year from now, maybe he won’t have to opt out since we’ll be looking to do a full rebuild and will likely trade him. How sad that would be, but expecting a trade or any significant help from the FO doesn’t seem likely any time soon, it’s up to the current roster to show they can play, that last year was only a glimpse of what a healthy version of this roster can do. Again, our hope lies in Kwame, Odom, and Mihm. Please step up, fellas, help Kobe help you guys. Kobe, show the world that you are a true winner, raise your teammates’ games as you raise yours, take them on your back and make them household names like Magic and Jordan did with role players. It’s more daunting than living up to the expectations of pairing with KG, but it’s all we got right now and I have to be optimistic that the Lakers aren’t so stupid to let it all go down the drain without a real plan. Stop the nepotism and get some real basketball minds in the FO immediately! Also, is it now time to start the Lamar-it-turns-out-we-actually-think-you’re-great-and-can-be-an-Allstar backtracking, or are we about to watch our two best players sleepwalk through the season knowing they don’t even feel at home here anymore?

  54. die hard bulls fan July 31, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    i said kobe is gone now so stop saying another year or two he leaving in the near future

  55. News
    ====

    The agent for Troy Hudson said Tuesday that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to buy out Hudson’s contract, making him a free agent.
    Hudson could be headed to Boston with his good buddy.

  56. die hard bulls fan-enjoy a first or second rd exit in the playoffs. Your small runt team can’t get past Clevland, a retooled Miami, or even an aging Detriot. You can hope that your team trades, but the Bulls GM is a chicken/and or smart and won’t mortagage the future. Kobe ain’t going nowhere (for now). Doesn’t need to be said again.

  57. 54. Wow, that would be even more of a coup if that happened. Although Troy is not really the type of guard to facilitate the big 3, but he can score better than the other “leading” candidate, Brevin Knight.

    While other teams are now salivating like the dogs they are about a supposedly newly available Kobe, it doesn’t make sense for he or the Lakers to want a trade now. This has been discussed repeatedly on this and other boards, but I guess all those JV teams in the East are shakin in their boots now that Boston’s lineup is almost Western Conference ready. That’s the funny thing, I’d actually be very confident about the current lineup (and not so hung up on KG) if the Lakers were an Eastern Conference team! But they’re not, which in a way is good as we don’t have to watch all that garbage basketball. But that cakewalk to the Finals sure is enticing…

  58. This is only my second post but at least their is some inteligence on this blog, thank you.

    I asked early about JO only because I figure the management woudl nto hold up to Kobe’s pressure and would try somethign dramatic.

    I was against then and no use crying over spilt mile but tell me again how dumb the trade for Kwame was, caron Butler hasn;t done to bad.

    The third year for high schooler (majority through out the Labrons and KG’s) is the make or brake year. I liekd Mihm never questioned his effort. With Bynum either commit to him and play him all season or dont but define the kids role. Kwame shoudl be trade at the dealine (how fitting dead line). If he could play power forward with any heart it woudl help a lot but he has none. I like Turiaff there anyway.

    But as I said earlier am I the only one that thinks a vertern like Patterson, Jones, PJ Brown or Webber coudl help a lot more then Cobe Karl?

    Also how much stock do you guys put into the triangle and Phil? What about Larry Brown, Kurt Rambis, etc (suggestions?) becuase I think what will happen is if it is a bad year Kobe will cause a trade and Phil will go into exile (leave Jeannie behind for us Phil) and we will be stuck with player who are tailored to play the triangle and we will not run it.

    I am not a hater, love the Lakers since I was 15 and am now 42. I will always watch as long as they ar ebing coached well and play hard.

    I think Odom makes a lot of money but with everything that happened last season and he showed up beat up, hurt and emotionally drained and was 3rd in rebounding for the playoffs says he has heart.

  59. D-Fish was on am570 today talking about his daughter, the current Lakers, Kobe and KG.

    Here’s the link:
    http://am570radio.com/cc-common/podcast/single_podcast.html?podcast=LAKERS.xml

  60. Just caught tail end of Boston Press Conference.
    KG turned down Boston originally because they would not have as much as a couple of other teams. Once Boston obtained Allen,it became a “no-brainer” to agree to Boston trade.
    Unsaid,but pretty obvious,KG never felt a Kobe/KG Lakers would have enough left after a trade to contend.

  61. A little addendum,saw repeat and KG mentioned he loved LA,but w/”the Kobe situation up in the air”… the Boston situation w/ray and Paul was a “no-brainer.”

  62. Basically there is no single target to blame for our inability to land Garnett. Kobe put a hand in by setting fire to the media with his demands. Mitch with his inaction/inability. Buss with letting his son have too much pull. But really, without Odom, Kobe and KG wouldn’t be able to do anything relevant. The big key to winning a championship with KG was to have Odom be the intangible #3 guy. The reason why we aren’t jumping for JO is because of the same reason. After reading Garnett’s recent comments about the Lakers, seems as if you have to blame Kobe just as much as some like to blame Mitch. Maybe if he didn’t emotionally implode (and if we actually had desirable assets) Garnett might have forced his way closer to his Malibu residence.

  63. Quick Question: Is Bynum and Crittenton enough to land a legitimate 3rd star to play WITH Kobe and Lamar? The salary restrictions are the only problem.

    For instance, if Indy is truly on rebuild mode, they would not need Odom. By all means, they will want 2-3 young players as part of the package and not a half-a-star Odom which does not make them a playoff team anyway.

    I also contend, that if we have to trade any PG, let it be Crittenton. His value is up there right now. I just cannot envision playing with Fisher as the starting PG with Crittenton coming of the bench. More so the other way around. That would be the Smush-defense-part2 for us…. we have to keep Farmar.

    At this stage, its best to explore the “rebuilding” teams needs and inquire if they might be interested in a Critt + Bynum future (not so bad if you ask me, esp in the East) and Kwame + Sasha’s expiring for their star. These 4 players add up to a total salary of 15M already.

    Crittenton PG, Sasha SG, Kwame PF, Bynum C. Throw in Radman SF and that is already a 1-5 lineup there.

  64. We must give Danny Ainge credit for courage and great strategy in landing KG. Once the financial terms come out fully, it may be viewed as an act of desperation. If it leads them to an NBA championship this year or next, it may be pure genius.

    On the financial front, the Celts are stuck with a KG salary of $24 million for next year–even after negotiating away most of the trade kicker. What almost any team would have LIKED to negotiate, would have been a reduced salary for the next year all the way down to the mid level exception–$6 million. That’s the fantasy number that some Laker fans were dreaming about for KG once he opted out and immediately cast his lot with us. At that level the Celts would be in a position to patch some of the obvious holes that will appear once the three superstars start playing together.

    Instead, KG apparently was hoping to negotiate the $5 million dollars given up back into future years, keeping compensation at $24 million per year or above. At that figure, the Celts have placed themselves in the rarefied atmosphere of the ‘Nicks–and their strategy: patch now, pay double, and pray that the chemistry works itself out, because there is no tomorrow.

  65. drray (64) I agree. This was a desperation trade. If it does not work out it saves his job for a couple of years if it does work out he will be thought of as one of the best GMs. I think the problem will be chemistry. They now have 3 players who are used to being the main guy on their team. They will all have to learn to play a different role and learn it quickly. I’m glad I am not their coach right now.

  66. the other Stephen August 1, 2007 at 11:07 am

    so let’s combine teams with the clippers to swallow up elton brand and corey maggette already. a super mega team for a super mega city.

  67. NEWS
    ====
    Kevin Garnett’s deal with Boston includes a five-year, $105 million extension, according to sources, which means that over his career Garnett has signed three separate contracts worth $100-plus million.

    The joke among league GM’s is that McHale only talks to two or three executives and in fact this is the second major deal McHale has orchestrated with his old team.

  68. Gr8dunk- I think that the New York Daily News, which has the figures you put up are wrong. Marc Stein explained the cap restrictions surronding the deal and detailed the contract year by year, a 3 yr deal worth 51 million. Not as bad as people thought, it’s also backloaded, something like 15, 17, 19. They have a small window, but I’d rather have a small definte window than a hollow pit of eternal “potential”.

    Lakers should be looking to package Kwame/Cook/Farmar. That could land us a real wing player to cover Walton’s defense.

  69. We really can’t evaluate Ainge as a GM until we see what other parts he can obtain given his salary restrictions. I don’t know if all the second round picks (Pruitt, Big Baby) can be resigned for above the salary cap. (do all 2nd round draft picks, irregardless of how many you have have Bird rights or is it limited to one player per team?)

    As for the Lakers, what we have is what we have. I highly doubt the Lakers will make any big splashes this summer. I know that we Lakers fans are getting desperate b/c all of our hopes have been dashed: 1) Yao and Amare were resigned; 2) KG is gone; 3) Kobe is demanding a trade, but the team is going to roll the dice and see how this squad will do. I don’t know, maybe Sun Yue will be the answer and become the Chinese reincarnation of Magic. Wow, that’s desperation…

  70. Have you been asking basic basketball questions about these new Celts?

    Well, they’ve got three superstars who add up to 26 +26+22=74 points. That should get it done. Each of them gets about 4 assists a game. Not bad. They add up top 13+6+4=23 rebound per game. Pretty good. So, that gives us a feel good sense of what to expect?

    Wait a minute.

    Each of them acquired those numbers as the superstar of a different team! Someone set them picks. Someone passed them the ball. Someone blocked out. How can they get those stats without any role players? If they ARE the role players, what are their roles–and how might that effect their numbers?

    Championships are won by defense. What are their defensive stats? Who takes on the “go-to” guy from the other team? Why should these defense guys play their hearts out to enhance the stats of teammates who have already used up money that would give them new contracts with more money?

    Now this is an 82 game season–not counting the playoffs. How many minutes do each of them expect to play, and who are their backups when they are on the bench? What if, heaven forbid, one, or as happened to the Lakers last year, all of them got injured at least for part of the season. What are the contingency plans?

    Now we have three veteran stars from three different systems. Is the Doc up to pulling a “Phil Jackson”–with half of his role players from last year gone? Who’s the captain, and whose team is this anyway: Paul’s, or Ray’s, or Kevin’s?

    And, by the way, has anyone tracked the history of teams that tried to buy themselves an NBA championship?

  71. yea- a team bought a title in ’06, when the Heat got Walker, Williams, Payton & Zo. Also, had there not been some (now coming to light) referee influence, the Lakers themselves bought one in ’04 when they got Malone and Payton.

    Stop hating on Boston because we didn’t get Garnett. They did a smart thing, those other players were never gonna develop, you cash in and try to win when you can, Lakers should take notes. Now they have a “window”, so does Phoenix, Dallas, Miami, SA, Houston. That’s not even counting Detroit, Cleveland, Utah. The Lakers aren’t terrible, but they ain’t contenders either. I’m sure Boston would rather be a contender for 3-4 years than hope all that crap they gave Minny developed.

    Also, Pierece is a natural leader, Garnett defers (see successufl season with Cassell and Spree). It’s already proven Garnett can thrive in a “big 3″, same for Ray Allen (see Cassell and Big Dog).

  72. drrayeye,

    while that line of thought is accurate for Pierce and Allen, I honestly think that Garnett is the ultimate superstar (with Nash, Kidd and Duncan).

    He makes players around him better and also does the little things like boxing out and set a pick for whoever.

    The point about buying an NBA championship is actually right… I don’t remember anyone doing it in one year… And they won’t do it as well. Remember that they have an easy trip to the finals, but beating the Suns/Spurs/Mavs is a different thing.