Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  July 7, 2008

Not much news today as we await the opening of the free agent signing period (Wednesday) and the Summer League (Friday for the Lakers). But, a few thoughts

• If you didn’t see the update on Sasha and Turaif — the Lakers made their qualifying offers but those two are trying to find another team to make a bigger, better offer. As was said before free agency started, they are in a tough spot — other teams don’t make offers to restricted players like them because they think (or know) the Lakers will just match it. So why go through the effort. It’s one thing to make an offer to Josh Smith that Atlanta may or may not match, but for a mid-level at best bench guy that’s not a priority.

So, we wait. It’s a business, which is not always about what is fair.

• By the way, still waiting to see the roster for the Summer League team, which starts play Friday. If you see it put it in the comments and I’ll add it.

UPDATE: Via the Daily News, here is an early version of the roster:

Cedric Bozeman … Former UCLA guard.
Joe Crawford … Second-round pick in last month’s draft from Kentucky.
Davon Jefferson … Forward from USC.
Coby Karl … Backup guard with the Lakers last season.
Marcelus Kemp … Undrafted guard from Nevada.
Yi Li … Forward from China.
Lorenzo Mata-Real … Undrafted forward from UCLA.
Here’s the Lakers’ summer league schedule (all games in Las Vegas):
Friday vs. Detroit, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion.
Sunday vs. Memphis, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion
July 15 vs. Philadelphia, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion
July 16 vs. Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center
July 18 vs. Toronto, 5:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center
July 19 vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center

• Let’s get to the important stuff — did you see the Nadal/Federer final? If not, watch it tonight on ESPN Classic, that was the most amazing tennis match I’ve ever seen. Unbelievable winners with the game on the line — that may have been the most impressive part. Like real champions they both kept upping their game with their backs to the wall. Somebody said in the comments that Federer may actually have helped his legacy with that match despite losing, and I agree. The greats need a foil (Magic had Bird, for example) and now Federer has his on grass. And it made Federer more human. I would love to see him win the US Open now.

• This shows up occasionally, someone suggesting the Lakers trade Vlad or Luke (sometimes for someone good). No team is going to take on one of those bad contracts, unless they are paired with some real talent or something a team does want. You will not be able to trade them as is, teams do not just take on bad contracts to help you out.

• I read a note today that said “Okalahoma City’s pick Russell Westbrook…” and it made me sick. I’d really like to pin down Jeannie or Jerry Buss on this issue and why they voted to approve this move. Why they thought it was good for the league?

• I think next season Portland and the Clippers (if Brand re-signs as expected) move into the playoffs in the West. The interesting question then is, who drops out? (Assuming teams remain healthy. We can expect one team to drop due to injuries.)