Landscape Changing

Kurt —  July 9, 2008

It’s time to talk free agents, both Lakers and everyone else’s. This post will be updated throughout the day (and into tomorrow) as signings are made. Also, the Laker summer league roster is expected to be formally announced today, so that will go up as well.

• Let’s start with the Lakers, the Warriors have offered Ronny Turiaf 4 years, $17 million. I love Ronny, but the Lakers cannot match that, the Warriors are overpaying for Ronny. (This is not the first time the Warriors have done this, remember Fisher left when the Warriors overpaid for his services, then they had to dump that contract on Utah.) If you’re Ronny, you have to take that deal, I’m all for a home-tem discount but one of 50% or more is a little steep. And while some here do, I do not think the Lakers match. Because of the Luxury Tax, the $4 million for Ronny is really $8 million, and that is too much for a 15-minute a game bench big.

But, I will always cheer for Ronny, and I hope he thrives up there. He will remain one of my favorite players just for his passion for the game and life.

• With Ronny out the door (the Lakers have seven days to match but almost certainly won’t) who do you get. There have been reports that the Lakers front office has spoken with Kurt Thomas’ representatives. He could be a solid fit off the bench, and he can hit that midrange jumper that works well in the triangle. Commenter Kwame a. has pushed Craig Smith, that could be another solid fit. There are a handful of other backup centers on the market I’d expect the Lakers to contact. I hope Mihm can be the backup center we need, but after the two years of injuries you can’t bet on that, another big body is needed.

• No word yet on Sasha, but it is not uncommon for players like him to see how the top-tier free agents shake out then see if he can get another offer from a team left scrambling. However, after losing Ronny I think the Lakers will match just about anything (unless it’s another overpayment like Ronny).

• Well, I still think the Clippers will be more fun to watch with Barron out top, but they have to be disappointed. Now how does Barron feel about going from a struggling team with a wide-open style to a struggling team with a button-down style like the Clippers offense?

• Philly is now in the second tier in the east in my mind, behind Boston and Detroit in my mind but capable of competing with Cleveland and the like. And, with a lot of young talent, they should improve the next couple of years.

• Maggette is going to get all the shots he wants now in Golden State. But I am very glad he did not go to San Antonio (the fact he went where the shots were rather than coming off the bench for a winner says plenty about him) (that deleted comment was unfair considering the money offered).

• Out West, so far the balance of power remains pretty much unchanged.

Kurt

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