Signaling and Game Theory

Bill Bridges —  July 15, 2008

This post is by regular here Bill Bridges.

This piece talks about why there might be a reason to match the Warrior’s outsized (we think) offer for Ronny. I’ve covered in an another post why from a purely economic theory point of view that the Lakers might not be impacted financially from signing Ronny.

The signing of Ronny also serves as a signaling mechanism to all other teams. In Texas Holdem, if you bet pre-flop but check after the flop, you’ve signaled that your hand is weak to the others (you can of course bluff, but let’s not focus on that for the moment). To signal to the others that your hand is enhanced by the flop (and induce them to fold), you have to bet or increase the bet. Consistent play establishes you as a player not to mess with. When you raise, you want to them to fold. Animals do this with colors and other displays to demonstrate to others “don’t mess with me and waste your time”.

Translated to game theory, you want to utilize a strategy that signals to your rivals to optimize your results whilst expending the least resources. Taking strong action to a rival’s actions forces the rivals to temper their actions in the future.

If other teams judge that you are unlikely to match offers made to restricted or unrestricted free agents, they are more likely to come after your players. This is the state that the Clippers live in. Sterling is judged as a cheap skate. He has previously signaled to his rivals that he is sensitive to price. Hence, rivals are likely to come after his players. Other cheap teams like the Suns suffer as their free agents (Joe Johnson, James Jones etc) are taken from them. Offers to the Clippers and Suns players are unlikely to be matched therefore the GM’s efforts are rewarded and not a waste of time and resources.

On the other hand, a strong signal to the rivals that all offers will be matched will make them less likely to come after your players. After all, if the Lakers match GS’s offer, Golden state will have wasted a week during which other free agents might be getting signed. This strong signal will ultimately result in teams feeling shy about signing Sasha, Farmar, and later, Bynum. Less competition for their own free agents will ultimately result in an overall lower cost of human resources for the Lakers in the long term.

Bill Bridges

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181 responses to Signaling and Game Theory

  1. Since Buss is an expert poker player – an apt anology.

    However, other teams play the game also. If the Lakers match Turiaf, others might think they are less likely to match Sasha – the luxury tax is beginning to bind. The real question is going to be Bynum next year, in conjunction with Ariza. That will set the tone for Farmar the following year and then Kobe and Gasol.

    This year the Lakers are in a peculiar spot – salarywise – because of the Gasol trade and Lamar’s large, expiring contract.

  2. Sort of off topic, but a Sasha note. AK over at the LA Times blog notes that Sasha has switched agents again, going back to Rob Pelinka. That has slowed his signing with the Lakers or anyone.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2008/07/that-explains-a.html

  3. Nice write-up … offers a convincing explaination of why the Clips get punked on a regular basis.

  4. Another off-topic, inside baseball (blogging) post, but I found this interesting:

    http://thebiglead.com/?p=6686

  5. Bingo T. Klown July 15, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I’ll go all in and say that the Lakers DO NOT match!

  6. See, this is where 2009 is a tricky year. In ’09, I believe Bynum will obviously be matched, Ariza will likely be re-signed as an up-and-comer (and a UCLA alum) and Odom is someone I definitely hope is re-signed. That’s why the Lakers a) can’t match Turiaf and b) can’t be too aggressive this year. Kurt Thomas, Garbo, and Mo Evans are all I request

    I wonder… I don’t put any weight into it, but is it possible Buss might say screw the luxury tax and let’s go for a potential dynasty? I only say that since he’s 74 and this will likely be the last series of great Laker teams he sees in his lifetime.

  7. I agree with 1, as in, matching Ronny sends a clear signal that the Lakers are in a weakened state to match Sasha. Not matching Ronny probably signals to the league that the Lakers are “all in” on Sasha.

  8. Both Bill and several posters have talked about “matching” an offer on Bynum. I think there is a qualitative difference in how you treat a potential star like Bynum and a role player ala Sahsa or Ronny.

    In the case of Bynum, you need to keep him happy and wanting to stay with the team. That means that this summer you start negotiations with him and his agent about the extention and you reach some sort of deal. This is what was done with LeBron and Wade, for example, they did not become restricted free agents that tested the market because the teams wanted to show those players how much they mattered to the franchise. It is a slap in the face to try to lowball him with a qualifying offer and let other teams set the market (which will be low if they are sure you will match).

    Ronny and Sasha are role players and there are other players that can fill their shoes. You make a qualifying offer, try to get a good deal, but worry a little less about keeping them happy. There are other Sashas, there are few Bynums.

  9. Kurt,
    I agree with you about Bynum. All you have to do is look across town to see how not to do things. I do expect the front office is talking to Bynum and his agent, however, I doubt we will ever hear of this. I also doubt Dr Buss/Mitch is starting off by low-balling the young player. I do feel they are probably trying to get a look at him before any final offer is made – meaning nothing will be finalized before the end of training camp, at the earliest. I suspect this will not insult anyone in Bynum’s camp.

  10. No limit hold em’ and the Lakers. I love it. But what about reading your opponents hands? In poker, it means studying your opponents mannerisms. In basketball, that means taking into account how close a team is to the luxury tax. The Lakers could match every offer that an opposing team made for it’s players and venture way above the luxury tax. I could call every bet in a poker game. Both the Lakers and myself would be feared, but we’d also be dumb.

  11. If I had access to Jerry Buss’ financial data I could make this and every other financial decision in a heartbeat. As presently constructed, I would be confident that the Lakers could advance to the second in the foreseeable future. Meaning the Lakers will profit from at least two playoff series in addition to the revenue I estimate during the regular season. In my opinion, Ronny would be instrumental in that confidence. My only concern at that point would be that I make more than my highest paid employee. Which means as long as I profit more than Kobe, I agree to exceed the luxury tax.

  12. 9. Craig, you and I are on the same page, I assume this has started but will go through the start of camp, there is no rush. I just wanted to point out the difference in methodology.

  13. Kurt (#8) that’s a great point and it also feeds into Bill’s point about the Clippers.

    The Clippers *spent* money, but only after Brand and Maggette had signed offersheets with other teams as RFA’s. Brand signed with the Heat and Maggette with the Jazz…Sterling found those deals palpable, and signed those guys by matching those offers (so as Bill pointed out, Sterling was viewed as cheap, so teams went after his guys. When he matched those offers, that view of him changed some, but the players that had those offers matched may not have liked that). And look what happened in the end: both Brand and Maggette left in their UFA year to sign with other teams…coincidence? Maybe, but don’t think that showing a half commitment by letting other teams establish the value for your player doesn’t impact player/team relations.

    I think the Lakers need to attack a contract offer for Bynum in a range that is fair. 12-14 mil per may seem a little steep, but it may take that to get it done (especially with Bogut’s extension setting the market). They don’t have to do this now, but ultimately, they need to let him and his agent know that they value him and set the market for him themselves in their own negotiations.

    Also, great post Bill Bridges.

  14. Rob Pelinka is Kobe’s agent. hmmmm….good sign?

  15. Here is text of a radio interview Dunleavy held after David Falk and Elton Brand interviews lambasting the Clippers. I heard the interview and came away feeling the Clippers did about everything they could do, under the circumstances. The circumstances being…
    1) The Clippers do have a rep around the league, even if they have been trying to modify it for the last few years.
    2) Elton Brand probably did prefer to play closer to home.
    3) David Falk really does dislike the Clippers and his ego just could not abide with the Dunleavy talking directly to his client; even if his client initiated the conversation.

  16. I have one question Kurt, What Lakers are going to do in 09-10 season when Bryant will get as much as 24 mill and Gasol 16 and with Bynums big contract, are they still going to sign Odom or we can expect a big trade in that season?

  17. 17. Good question. I don’t know that we can answer that question right now, we need to see how the Bynum/Gasol/Odom unit performs together. We need to see if Mitch can shed any of the more challenging long-term deals the Lakers have to save cap space. If this team does win a title, how much more of a financial hit is Buss willing to take?

    There are a lot of questions still to be answered.

  18. #17 & #18:

    This has been mentioned in another thread, but it is a possibility that Kobe takes less money after opting out. It may not save against the cap, but it would save against the Luxury Tax. Kobe could easily opt out after next season or the season after that (he has ETO’s after both seasons) and then re-sign for a max(ish) deal but still leave some money on the table. Duncan does this and look how well it’s worked for the Spurs. In those seasons, Kobe will be set to earn 24+ mil. Am I out of my mind to think he would sign back on for 19-20 mil? At the end of next season he’ll be, what, 31 years old? Couldn’t he sign a 5 yr. 100mil extension? It’s not like he’d be doing the team *that* big a favor, but that 4 mil per year could really mean 8 mil in salary + taxes for Dr. Buss.

  19. Sorry for the double-post, but right after that I went to Ball Don’t Lie and found this in their 10-man rotation:

    http://ballerblogger.com/2008/07/14/the-tim-duncan-rule/

    Basically, this says Kobe needs to opt-out and take less if he’s serious about his commitment to winning a title in LA. Pretty good read and the comments are good as well.

  20. Craig,

    When the time comes for us to sign Farmar, doesn’t Fisher’s contract expire at the same time (thus, we can effectively replacing Fisher’s contract with Farmar’s)?

  21. Thats a gud Article Darius, hope so kobe opt out after this season.

  22. here u can look at lakers contract for up coming seasons
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9168

  23. For those who haven’t read the Charley Rosen article on Artest:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8333122/Artest-to-Lakers?-Crazy-enough-to-work

  24. I’m definitely in the camp that favors matching for Ronny. I honestly don’t see much risk involved for the future. Ronny is tradeable.

    To me, it’s about keeping as many players from last year as possible for strategic reasons I outline below (taken from previous writeup). This, in my opinion makes it difficult for the Lakers to know what to do.

    Through trading last year, the Lakers have, in effect, made decisions for this year that relate strongly to the roles of Andrew and Trevor.

    Here’s the dilemma. The Lakers came close to a championship with Lamar, Pau, Vladimir, Derek, and Kobe, but the salary based transitioning strategy dictates Pau, Andrew, Trevor, Derek, and Kobe by next year, with Jordan for Derek the year after.

    Of course, all these things can change.

    Do we go with “what brung us” (at least another year), do we transition slowly, or do we go for the future right away?

    Last season, we went with the future AND with “what brung us” (and mortgaged our future with Pau in the process) and, by golly, BOTH seemed to work!

    Houston, we’ve got a problem.

    Whatever it was, we obviously want to bottle that chemistry from last year, age it, and meet/defeat the Leprechauns with our aged brew. That is not exactly what will happen. Considering our commitment to Andrew and hope for Trevor, our new brew for the coming season may be a little raw, but it will be strong and have plenty of hops.

    Given all the contradictory elements leading to the Lakers 08-09, I think that the Lakers are likely to give us a mix of last year and the future.

    It really all comes down to Andrew, doesn’t it?

    If it were me, knowing nothing about Andrew’s health or readiness, I’d go slow. I’d go back to the start of last year. If we use that rule of thumb, we open with a version of “what brung us” and bring in Andrew with “The bench mob.”

    My only change with the starting unit from last year would be to alternate Vladimir with Trevor from game to game. My “bench crew” would feature Andrew, Pau, Luke, Sasha, and Jordan–with Ronny (or Garby?) subbing in for Pau part way through.

    If Andrew appeared comfortable as part of the bench crew, I’d consider starting him–switching Pau to forward and Lamar to the “bench crew.”

    Given the complexities and uncertainties of bringing both Trevor and Andrew into the mix for 2008-2009, it would be best if the Lakers kept as many players as possible from the last few years together.

    If the Lakers feel that they have to trade for “toughness,” we’re talking about a trade/signing before training camp or a last minute “add a vet” at the end of the season. Mid season trades are not a Laker hallmark

  25. one stupid question, is there any chance that lakers are going to target L. James in 09-10 season

  26. 11. Talking to some Lakers front office staff the guy told me that Dr. Buss pocket is not that deep as it seems. Do I have to finish the post?

    I don’t really care about poker theories. I care about basketball and money, and I am still regreting not letting Radmanovic walk without a penny after the snowboarding “afair”. Do you think you could trade Radmanovic to anyone for an expiring contract or a 2nd round pick? no. Not because he’s not good, but because of his contract.

  27. I remember Kobe’s exit interview pretty clearly and one thing that struck me was his, “I’m not the richest guy in this building” comment. Dude views Buss as having more money to spend then he has and I think that is an attitude he brings to the negotiations table. The key issue is can the Lakers convince Kobe that they will only be able to spend what is “necessary” if part of the equation they consider is that Kobe is necessary.

    To be honest, I would be prefer to have LBJ on the team rather then Kobe. If that Brooklyn Nets weren’t so clearly his preferred team I might take my chances and angle the team for a run at him.

  28. Darius,

    Thanks for thay link. I’ve been saying this for the past week now, and it HAS to be an obvious fact to Kobe. His legacy is on the line, Championship or not. Dr. Buss put up, now the ball is in Kobe’s court.

  29. The Lakers are making a ton of money,all they care about is making the team better. Letting Turiaf go won’t do that.

  30. drrayeye,
    You make a good pitch. The problem is that by signing Ronny, the Lakers commit to that addition to the payroll for the duration of the contract – trades must bring equal value. Adding this to the question of “How deep are Dr Buss’s pockets?” and we can get to crunch time very quickly.

    If we think Kobe will demand totally max money, then I say go for it now, as we probably won’t have much of a tomorrow unless Bynum is a superstar. If we think Kobe will work with the organization to remain in championship form for decent run, then we must start tinkering now. Waiting will shorten our future window.

  31. 26. Mani, no way the Lakers get or go after LBJ.

  32. Craig,

    You need to remember that Golden State gave Ronny a frontloaded contract–which I think actually helps the Lakers. If the Lakers go to trade Ronny, his salary could be discounted, making him easier to trade each year–even next year.

    I’m having so much trouble thinking clearly about this year, I’m not ready to speculate two years down the road.

  33. Kamen and Camby are both true centers. Can they get one to play an effective PF? At least they can both run and this should help the Clippers running game next year.

  34. drrayeye,
    I agree the front loaded nature of the contract should help, after next year – which would be a real b*** if they also sign Sasha. The problem is what we have all been talking about – Vlade, Walton, Turiaf, Sasha all have those in-between contracts that just kill all flexibility without adding a starter. Clubs that are going to compete over 5-10 years need fewer midlevel contracts and more cheap contracts – vets at the end of their career or youngsters coming up.

  35. I’ve pretty much convinced myself that Turiaf is leaving. It’s tough for me to envision the Lakers taking all this time to just match the offer. I could understand if they are working on some sort of S&T (the way that Phoenix did with Joe Johnson) or if they were working on some separate deal to clear some salary in order to keep Ronnie, but since there’s absolutely no evidence to back that up, I leads me to believe that we’re going to let him walk.

    And, on a separate note, I really agree with drrayeye in that it really is about Andrew and Trevor. As fans, we have a lot invested in these players and the FO has a lot as well (though at different levels). Ariza is young and athletic enough, has shown he’s smart, and seemingly has the potential to be our starter at SF within the next season or two. And Andrew is obviously a player that the FO thinks is the next great Laker Big Man. They held onto him when trading him could’ve meant getting some really quality and also *name* players. So the Lakers and their fans really think that Ariza and Bynum can be major parts of championship teams in the years to come. I mean, whenever we were having trouble in the playoffs, we all said it’d be nice to have Ariza/Bynum.

    My point is that we’ll see how this upcoming season plays out and we’ll need to monitor several players (not just a certain lefty who will remain nameless). How these guys progress (or in Bynum’s case, recover) will give us a much better idea of what the team will look like for seasons to come. I happen to think that Bynum is going to recover fine and provide the same type of game he was playing when he got injured. As for Ariza, I’m still in a wait and see mode. He showed me a lot last season, but if we’re going to commit to him after next season (and ultimately, long term) I still want to see more. Unless he’s an improved shooter and ball handler, he’s a specialist. He’s a defender/slasher. I know we like him, but that’s what Reuben Patterson is. That’s what Desmond Mason is. That’s what Mo’ Evans is. Now, I like all those players, but those guys are role players (we’ve got a couple of those already at SF if you haven’t noticed). I want and hope Ariza is more than that, but he’s going to have to show me first. And if he doesn’t, him being here beyond next season is not something that is set in stone either. That might sound harsh, but based off the financials (and the performance of other players, of course) re-signing any of our players in their walk years in the next couple of years is going to be those types of decisions. Our core guys (especially true if Bynum gets a big extension) make too much money. Forget about Odom for a second….Kobe and Gasol make the maximum money available to them. In the ’09-’10 season Kobe/Gasol are owed 39.48 mil. In ’10-’11 they’re owed 42.62 mil. That’s a lot of money for 2 guys. This is just all stuff to consider when talking about Kobe, salary, payroll flexibility, Dr. Buss’ wallet, and the future make-up of the team.

  36. 34. Camby may not be at a position they need, but to get him for a second round pick is a steal. That gives the Clips a potential trading chit that other teams will want. Need or not you really have to make that deal.

  37. That really makes sense for the Clips. Not only for the reason Kurt just stated, but his game really does compliment Kaman’s. Camby is great at the high-post and on the extended baseline, making it so that Kaman can still operate down in the post. Plus, Kaman can guard primary post scorers with his size and Camby can roam on the weakside and block shots like he’d prefer.

  38. Good move by the Clips. Still don’t know if they are a playoff team, but it makes them formidable, Camby will work the high on the high-low with Kaman, but I think he will have a tough time sticking with PF’s on defense, and it will take him away from the hoop.

  39. One thing this does for the Clips (assuming he isn’t a trade chip) is allow Kaman to stay nearer the basket on both offense and defense. That means he doesn’t use as much energy and can play more minutes at peak efficiency. It means he can run half speed down the court and be the 5th man down the lane, because Camby can run out for dunks.

  40. by the way, camby makes the same amount of money as kenny thomas.

    did the clippers get a salary exemption when brand walked? how is trading a second round pick worth marcus camby?

  41. 42. Because the Clippers are under the salary cap they do not have to match salaries. That is only for teams over the cap, such as the Lakers.

  42. Does anyone know what Elgin Baylor does for the Clips?I mean, Dunleavy was the guy out in front on this whole Brand thing, just seemed kinda weird, he even said “I” offered Elton everything he wanteed. Also, I saw he was the one eating with prospective free agents, isn’t this all stuff Elgin is supposed to do?

  43. Interesting post Bill, I just don’t think the logic flies. If other teams see us overpaying for bad players without hesitation they can happily burn our cap into the ground by bidding on our players and not having to worry they may get stuck with them if they overpay.

    Kurt, you said something along the same lines as Bill, mentioning that if the other teams think we will match they will put in low offers. That logic doesn’t work at all, if anything they will put in high offers to either sign the player, or make us overpay. Any weakening of our team by overpaying is a gain for them.

  44. If you participated in an informal auction with your friends, you know that there’s always one or two guys out there who jack up the price knowing you will match, forcing you to spend more than you absolutely need.

    It’s not necessarily a good startegy in the NBA where such a move will effect the overall salary level, but if you are sure that the other team will match it and thus be bound financially, it may be worth a week. Of course you’re doing the other 28 teams a favor just to screw over one team, however.

    But yeah, such signalling could indeed be effective if 1) you also have the reputation to overspend and be able to afford it 2) you actually want the other team to think that you’ll match, when in actuality you wish them to take the guy off your hands.

    Honestly, i think all of the GMs and owners are ‘friends’ above all the hostility they ‘pretend’ to have, and they’re more likely to collaborate against players than they are to conspire against each other.

  45. To not match Ronny @ $4mm will make paying Walton $5.5mm all the more painful.

    Practice up Luke. I’m gonna be sittin’ low and lettin’ ya know.

  46. Bingo T. Klown July 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I totally disagree with the assessment of the Clippers being better. That team looks really unbalanced and lacks style chemistry.

    Baron, Thornton and Gordon like to run. Camby runs occasionally (but it’s getting harder with all that ganja in his lungs) and Kaman is stiff as a board. Something has to give. I don’t see either Camby or Kaman comfortable as a power forward, even if Camby likes to play the high post. I think the worry there is him thinking he’s Reggie Miller and jacking up too many 3′s.

    I think Kaman goes while his stock is up.

    And like I said before let Ronny walk – you can get any number of guys to do what he does for cheaper, though I like him a ton. Just too many so-so mid-level deals with the likes of Luke, Vlad and probably Sahsa. I have seen some decent looking bench bigs in the Summer League, even if Toronto hasn’t given Rod Benson any run.

  47. (37) Darius,

    Great post! I agree with your analysis about the future and especially Trevor at the 3. Anything is possible.

    Just one detail. We’ll have to wait at least a bit longer to find out about Ronny. If the Lakers decide to match, they will still wait to the end to punish the Warriors for making the offer. It ties up their money.

    If they’re not going to match, they want to try to at least sign Sasha first, so they don’t lose him. So the delay doesn’t tell us anything yet.

  48. #45. I don’t espouse consistantly over paying. And also, in this post I’m exclusively talking about keeping current players not signng other team’s free agents.

    The concept discussed is signalling and game theory. In context, a GM that consistently overpaid would be a poor player.

    A poker player who goes all in every hand would be a loser! I am talking about adopting strategies to win.

    In Game Theory, a player’s actions form an information set. This information set influences the behaviour of other players.

    Kupchak (whether he knows it or not) is playing a sophisticated game involving expensive assets, small community of rivals, intense media scrutiny, huge financial stakes, and rigid rules. My point is that skillful players can play this game to reduce competition and cost of resources.

    And drrayeye is absolutely right, the right play if challenged is to wait until the 11th hour to match even if this is the intent all along.

  49. Another very interesting post, Bill Bridges, I remember your post about the Boston defense, from the finals when Kurt was off for a week, and your comment using economic ecology methology (say that 3 times fast). Where do you come up with these ideas. They are ingenious indeed, I would have to say. I have to agree with JR (#45) opinion though, on this one.

    Yea, Camby to the Clip’s for basically nothing, not bad for them. Well I am, one third of the way through my book, Basketball On Paper and I will never watch a game the same way again (thats a good thing).

  50. 45) “think we will match they will put in low offers. That logic doesn’t work at all, if anything they will put in high offers to either sign the player, or make us overpay.”

    JR, the implication in Kurt’s logic is that the other teams don’t want to overpay, but also don’t want the Lakers to underpay. If they put in a high offer, they will get stuck with a contract for more than the player is worth.

  51. the other Stephen July 16, 2008 at 6:07 am

    the Clippers should have about 53 million on the payroll for this year with Baron and Marcus, with plenty of space to add on some free agents. Sterling surprised us when he loosed his pockets a little to sign Elton and Corey. he could very reasonably continue to construct a powerful team and still leave flexibility for the summer of Lebron.

    but is it really overpaying? does ronny turiaf have innate characteristics and a distinct relationship with the team in addition to his bare skill set and potential that may help us win a championship? basically, will Buss be paying for the intangibles? cause if there is a valuation for such a thing, you can hardly call it overpaying. ordinarily, we could call it imperfect information and a set of preferences resulting in loss. but is there really a supply of players who can replace ronny? if you can say that the unique qualities that our ronny brings don’t necessarily translate to a championship, then sure. that’s the bare question. but until then, there is a scare supply of ronny-like players, and no–it is not overpaying.

    also, while imperfect information permeates every level of decision-making, it is significantly reduced by the infinite and sequential nature of the game, meaning we see what players do and gain a reasonably good picture of what they still can do at every point. ronny has been on the big stage for several years now. there is probably little that the coaching staff, management, and even fans don’t know about him. scouts, too, limit what teams don’t know about other teams’ players, and incoming rookie players. so really, it comes down to not what we know about players’ skill-sets, but rather decision-makers’ preference for certain traits, that they in their wisdom know will contribute to profit, whether through winning or just basic marketability.

    darius is right too. it depends won whether the rest of the league is largely composed of hawks or doves, wussy misers or generous spenders.

  52. the other Stephen July 16, 2008 at 6:55 am

    i am interested in who you think could possibly immediately replace Ronny?

    i also wanted to add that just as in poker and the stock market, really any other market, instances in which you significantly outperform the rest of the market are both rare and short-lived. when you play the stock market, poker, or any other game involving gambling, it’s a general rule that you will only break-even in the long run. the few who make a killing will likely lose it if they don’t cease to be greedy or reckless, and either become more conservative or pull out altogether (think game shows). lightning rarely comes around twice. even in the NBA, dynasties are relatively uncommon.

    but because the game is sequential, and information is neither completely perfect nor imperfect, there will still always be implausible equilibria, or in other words, no optimal strategy for a player to consistently pursue. if you really wanted to come out ahead of the pack, you would not play optimally. you would have to recognize how and when other players are not playing optimally (if they are bluffing more than normal, you start calling more than normal), and capitalize upon that knowledge. you might even have to become vulnerable to induce them to not play optimally.

    the game is inextricably complex. when does a franchise truly win? after all, winning the championship is correlated with profits, but only to a certain extent. what it comes down to is that franchises are just rational actors, firms who are trying to turn a profit in the long run by making good business decisions. they will more likely than not act out of normal. but to give humans credit, they will shake it up once in a while, changing their beliefs or strategies, perhaps in the form of mortgaging away salary flexibility or overpaying, when they feel that it’s time to win it all to continue to make a profit.

    i don’t know. tell me what you think, cause i’m tired of typing.

  53. I agree with Kurt that from a strategic point of view, we should match Ronnie’s salary. However, I question whether we need to do that at all at this point since Sasha doesn’t seem to be getting many takers at his requested price. Seems to me that Shasha will get the best deal from the Lakers anyway. I guess the question to me is whether we can sign a free agent at this point that will provide similar numbers as Ronnie.

  54. MANNYp,
    “that will provide similar numbers as Ronnie”

    If the Lakers have reasonable health this season, Turiaf would get minimal time. That is the biggest issue with re-signing him. Do they want to gamble on Bynum, Gasol, Odom, and Mihm staying healthy?

  55. 48 – I don’t know if you watch Clippers games, but from what I’ve seen, Kaman can run the floor, and he can play as a PF. He just doesn’t look pretty while doing it.

  56. the other Stephen July 16, 2008 at 8:41 am

    56. yeah, he can run the floor..faster than brad miller..

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuzAbnr_4bY)

    hahaha i like to think that Kaman is better at the 4 as well. he has a nice jumper. but i think Camby is lankier and more mobile? i’m not really sure.

  57. Warren Addendum July 16, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Slight off-topic Kurt to lay my premise…

    You guys should all start playing in SIM leagues. While its usually a trade frenzy there, you also get to learn the mechanics of keeping a team in contention while staying under the “hard cap” or the lux tax as we call it.

    I for one built a team of Gilbert Arenas, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Tyrus Thomas and Al Jefferson with how ironic, the CLippers. My starters earn approx 57m with our cap set at 58.7m. Tyrus is on the final year of his rookie scale salary, Arenas is on the final year of the contract he signed years ago. Monta signed with me for the MAX and Al Jefferson is riding his extension already.

    I conveniently have a bench of: Josh Childress, Brook Lopez, Luke Ridnour, Sean Williams and Stephen Curry.

    Brook was taken as the 12th pick last season, Stephen Curry as 10th this year. Ridnour is earning the minimum, Chill signed for a single year MLE and Sean Will chose to resign for 3m per year for 3 yrs after I acquired him last season.

    http://bdsl-retro.com/rosters/roster24.htm

    The POINT I am trying to raise is that a team cannot continue to operate filled with 4 stars and 8 more rotation players. At some point, we have to concede some talent – and some salaries. Unless Lamar Odom decides to take a pay cut – happens in sim leagues only not in real life – there is no way we can keep him – as presently constructed.

    Kurt, I hope you let this through. It will be a nice illustration of how things work in real life – though its just in SIM. Again, all that crap of nonsense just to prove a point.

  58. I hope nobody takes this the wrong way but I am a little sick & tired of all the speculation talk. I read this blog mainly to find out how the Lakers are doing and during the offseason to see if they make any moves. I guess since Mitch is taking his time about any signings my frustration level is out of control. I love all the great posters here I just wish we could get some news.

  59. Warren Addendum July 16, 2008 at 8:57 am

    azzemoto, other laker sites usually give out the rumor/news, we discuss/diss it here.

  60. Haven’t seen this mentioned here, but Walton is having surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3488627

  61. busterjonez,

    the nuggets will be saving around $40 million over 2 years ( i think) including luxury tax by moving camby. the clippers are under the cap, so that’s why.

  62. azzemoto, we all wish there was some news. I watched the All Star game last night, which lasted so long I never got around to the tivo’d Summer League game from the Lakers. I guess I’ll try to get to that tonight.

  63. Also, I hope that Kobe is paying attention to this Brett Favre saga. If Favre can have Packers fans tired of his act, or the FO, and be willing to have him leave, then the same thing could happen here. This isn’t bashing Kobe, because I’m a huge Kobe supporter, but my point is after last summer, if he isn’t willing to concede something, then the same thing could happen,

  64. I know this has been mentioned before, but certain circumtances mellow the effect of the power play in signing Ronnie. Jerry Buss has never made an indication that he will go Cuban or Dolan in trying to win a championship. The man tries to play it as efficently as he can (see: pass on signing Shaq to a long term deal) Thus, if a team wants to give Sasha an offer sheet, they will, and may front load the contract as well since they would still percieve that we do not want to go too much over the luxury tax.

    I believe your post would work if the team was like the Clippers, that is, they had a history of being cheapskates. Then, if they repetedly matched offers when they say they would, the perception may start to change, as their policies would need to be radicaly changed. But for the Lakers the perception is already there, and I doubt this would do anything to change it.

    As for Bynum, as others have noted, we would prefer to sign him before to keep him happy. (Also, I hate to damper on the joy, but I’d like to note that we are all assuming that ‘Drew will be back to his All Starish form)

  65. #54. Yet the Celtics have 17 championships and the Lakers, 15. A total of 32 championships in 62 years. This indicates that the NBA is not efficient nor governed by chance (and I don’t mean game fixing by the league!)

    Warren Buffet and in his day, George Soros, out performed the market for decades.

    The fact is that the godfather of efficient market theory, Eugene Fama, recanted. Admitting that the markets are NOT efficient and that outsized gains are possible.

    In game theory, the Nash equilibrium may not result in strategies with the greatest aggregate payoff for the players. (In fact, collusion may produce the greatest payoff) This discrepency can increase as the number of actors decrease in a closed system (like the NBA).

    Anyway by the end of play Thursday, we will all know the answer. My point is that to “play GM” is not just being facile with the ESPN trade machine but a sophisticated game trying to maximize the payoff with multiple, uncertain variables. The Lakers have proven over time that they can play this game well. Let’s hope this continues.

  66. Post #1 hits the spot. Bill Bridges, your Game Theory is too general for specific teams and players. If we match Warriors’ offer to Turiaf, teams will more likely go after Sasha due to our increased salary, not less likely.

  67. When thinking about Ronny a little history is in order…

    First: Ronny has attributes that draw fans to him, thus his skills are not as important as other Laker players.

    Second: The Lakers recently signed a player the team considered valuable, because of his ability to fit in. Now the fans are all over the FO to trade him, but complain because his contract is too high (Luke Walton).

    Third: One of the main reasons Luke’s playing time decreased is because of the development of other players.

    When evaluating Ronny we have to remember these 3 things. Our players are young enough to have a good deal of development left in them and this makes acquiring more veteran and expensive talent less necessary. We don’t always see these developments because we are blinded by 1) the now and 2) Ronny’s energy and likability.

    Next year Lamar’s salary goes off the books and Bynum and Ariza increase. We still may be able to sign a PF to play backup at that time. Meanwhile, we surely have Lamar – who may vacillate between the 3 & 4.

  68. P.S. Next year’s free agents are a fairly good crop…leading to extra money being siphoned out of the system pretty quickly. This means there will be some fairly good buys later next summer.

  69. I hope we don’t overspend for Ronny OR Turiaf. Neither of those guys is worth what they’ll be asking for. I’d much rather have a better rebounder at PF and a better defender at SG. Thinking about Ray Ray walking right past Sasha for the game winning bucket makes me sick.

  70. Kneejerk,

    Yes, Ray Allen walked by him, and that was inexcusable, but I think you’re being over-reactive. While I don’t want to see them over spend for Ronny, due to their current sitation. It would not be over spending for Sasha. His role is and will be bigger than Ronny’s could be. He is tall, active, a decent defender, good ball handler, a great shooter (he needs to work on finishing), and young. You cannot find that in FA cheap.

  71. Shedding Walton and Radmanovich’s contract would be key. But are there any saps, er i mean takers??

  72. Walton’s contract has 5 yrs to run and essentially we are stuck with it for 3-4 yrs. Vlade’s contract has 3 yrs to run and we might have a shot at trading him at the end of next year, but probably two years down the road.

    Remember these when talking about signing Ronny.

  73. is tomorrow the Lakers’ deadline to match Turiaf’s offer sheet from GSW?

  74. Charley Rosen’s Artest article made me think about a couple of things.

    He assumes Artest will behave because Rodman behaved with the Bulls. But Rodman had established, during his time with the Pistons (and before any influence from Phil), that he was capable of sacrificing for the good of a team. There is nothing in Artest’s past that indicates he can do the same.

    It can be argued that the presence of strong authority figures (Isiah and Chuck Daly in Detroit, MJ and Phil in Chicago) kept Rodman in line. But regardless of the reasons, Rodman maintained his composure when he had a legitimate chance to win a championship. Artest has not done that either.

    Also, it’s ironic that many people in favor of trading Odom for Artest reason that Odom is incapable of changing to a more physical and aggressive mentality. Yet those same people think it’s a given that Artest can change his mentality to be less crazy (for lack of a better term). That’s irrational.

    Also, this is the first offseason in a couple of years that Odom hasn’t been injured, so he has a better opportunity to work on his game than he’s had in the past. He may not be able to improve, but it’s something to consider.

    Lastly, has anyone ever worn a Sasha jersey to a game? I did a couple of times and it seemed like the only other guy wearing one was Sasha himself. For the sake of my jersey’s relevance, I hope they’re able to resign him (but for a reasonable amount).

  75. Posey to the Hornets, 4 yr 25Million. Great pick up: championship experience, versatile defender and most importantly (playing with CP3) he can hit the open 3.

  76. That’s a great get for the Hornets. Bad for us, they just got better.

  77. Bill Bridges Bayesian approach to thinking about decision making is not only reasonable, but it helps us in these situations. We have a priori thinking (our evaluation of Ronny and Sasha) and a posteriori thinking (what the market says). They may not agree. The one thing that is critical in these situations from a decision maker’s perspective is flexible thinking.

    A good decision maker should always beat chance. The Lakers clearly have. In game theory, people seldom perform as well as the model because they get stuck in their assumptions. Business decision experts sometimes call this “anchoring.”

    Before free agent time, the Laker fans and front office attributed much more value to Sasha than Ronny, only to find Ronny return with a written offer in the range we might have expected from Sasha–and Sasha having no offer and changing agents.

    An “anchorer” would say that the Warriors presented a high offer. A Bayesian would say that we now have objective information about Ronny that contradicts our a priori attributions. Even though Sasha might still get the offer we expected to see, we know that a number of teams have made offers that now exclude them from the Sasha sweepstakes. His prospects have clearly declined since the start of free agency. His a posteriori status clearly hasn’t matched our a priori thinking.

    We need to be flexible enough thinkers to intuitively take these factors into account and adjust our expectations. Anchorers tend to go down with the ship.

  78. Kurt,

    Do you think the Hornets are good enough defensively, overall, to use Posey correctly? He’s a defender who works best, when he has good help defense behind him, because he can focus on closing out and preventing jumpers. I think it’l help them, but not enoigh for them to overcome their problems against the Lakers. they still have no one to check our bigs. Not Lamar, not Drew, nor Pau, and NOH team D isn;t good enough to allow Posey to limit Kobe. Just glad Boston lost him.

  79. drrayeye,

    re:”Before free agent time, the Laker fans and front office attributed much more value to Sasha than Ronny, only to find Ronny return with a written offer in the range we might have expected from Sasha–and Sasha having no offer and changing agents.”

    I think Sasha not seeming to garner interest is due to the fact that teams are sure the the Lakers WILL match, and would’ve chosen Sasha over Ronny if they had to choose. Taking Ronny away was realistic, and I don’t think stealing Sasha is. Nothing to do with Ronny’s value. No one else offered him a contract nor all of these game theory, business models or whatever.

  80. ****No one else offered him a contract besides GS. Nothing to do with all of these game theory, business models or whatever.

  81. This may be of interest to those who are concerned about cap limits. Before the Hornets signed Posey, they were at $74,789,590 according to ESPN trade machine. With Posey, they are very close to $81 million–and pretty well locked in. When they have signed all their players, they may be at about $85 million.

    I do not think that the Hornets can be accused of being over conservative.

  82. I can’t say I’d hate life if the Hornets win a championship. I love CP3 and of course Byron Scott.

    Go Lakers though.

  83. (80) (81) wondahbap,

    I can see that you are clearly not a Bayesian thinker and have internally established your own intuitive subjective expected utility values for Sasha and Ronny.

  84. the other Stephen July 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    54. thanks for the response, bill! i was wondering if you have a website?

  85. 80. Posey would have Tyson Chandler behind him, which is some pretty good help defense.

    I think it is too early to predict next year’s playoffs. I would say I expected a healthy Hornets team to be a top-four seed, and this kind of depth and veteran leadership makes that more likely. They are well positioned and should mature from last season. I don’t think, if everyone is healthy on both sides, they can beat the Lakers in a best of seven, at least on paper. But we are 10 months from the second round of the playoffs next year, so any predictions are not worth much.

  86. 81) wondahbap,
    The other issue is that value is relative. With the roster as it is currently, Turiaf is expendable (assuming reasonable health) and does not need to be replaced if he leaves. The same is not true of Sasha.

  87. I’m sorry to say this, but the Hornets are stacked. They have scorers at almost every position, they have interior and perimeter defenders, they have post offense, and they have Chris Paul and that deadly high P&R. Can you imagine a crunch time line up of Paul, Posey, Peja, West, and Chandler? Who do you leave to stop penetration? I understand that Peja and Paul aren’t the best defenders (understatement, I know) but West is decent and Posey/Chandler are pretty strong for their positions. I’m not shaking in my boots or anything, but those guys are (mostly) young, hungry players that just got a ton of experience in a brutal conference and have a lot of confidence based off of last season.

  88. 82- We don’t know that GS was the only team interested in Turiaf, just that that was the best offer out there. (“Best” might be relative, if Ronny wanted to stay on the west coast or something, but it seems pretty likely that he had other options to choose from.) There may have been other offers forthcoming that were dropped once the Warriors offer was known.

    I suspect there may be teams interested in Sasha, but they’re probably sitting on their offers at the moment to see if the Lakers are going to commit to Turiaf. (This is another reason that I think committing to Turiaf somewhat increases the chance that the Lakers lose Vujacic; it seems unlikely they can keep both at $4MM per.)

    The apparent improvement of Coby Karl might also lessen Sasha’s value to the Lakers, though of course it’s only summer league.

    I’m wonder whether Vujacic switching to Kobe’s agent is a “keep Sasha = keep Kobe happy” message or whether it’s just a random move. (Seems like Kobe and Sasha are competing for the same money in some sense, but you never know what goes on behind the scenes.)

  89. Drrayeye,
    No, I have estimated the Lakers expected value of Ronny.

    Exhelodrvr,
    I agree. That was my point.

    Darius,
    Yes, they will be very good. again.

    Kurt,
    I think Chandler is a good help defender, but I just think overall, Boston’s D helped Posey be that much better. that being said, that’s not knocking Posey or the Hornets in anyway. It’smore of compliment to Boston’s great overall D.

    Alex V,
    Good point.

    Of course, I don’t feel the Lakers should re-sgin Ronny IF they are intent on staying at the current salary level. Like Kurt said in a post before, it’s not our money being spent, but if they don’t mind paying the money, then I’m all for it. $4 million for Ronny seems very fair. But due to the current situation, ssming like it’s one or the other, then I would have to pick Sasha……

  90. The Lakers may be first thinking this through, then talking to Sasha.

    The first point: The Lakers are at 75,847,313

    They choose to be no more than $82, 000,000 after signing the two free agents.

    Perhaps they can sign Ronny and Mo Evans for $6,000,000

    How much more would they pay extra over $82,000,000 for Sasha?

    If Sasha accepts the qualifying offer to become a free agent the next year, both Ronny and Sasha together would cost $7,000,000. That’s still in range. A multiyear offer of $3,200,000 in the range of Trevor Ariza’s $3,100,000 would be about $7,500,000. Is Sasha worth the extra $1,500,000? Maybe.

    Let’s suppose the Lakers sign Garbo(?) instead? Would the Lakers lose anything with Garbo at $3,000,000 compared to Ronny? Even if they lost something, would it be better with Garbo at only $2,000,000. That would leave up to $5,000,000 to sign Sasha.

    What if they could get Garbo at $2,000,000 and Evans at $2,000,000 for a total of $4,000,000–or even both for about $3,000,000. That would beat their possible cap goal of $5,000,000 for two free agents. It would be in range of the qualifying offers total to Sasha and Ronny.

    Once the Lakers decide, they might come to Sasha with a multiyear offer starting at as much as $3,500,000. If he takes it, they might then not match Ronny. If he takes a one year qualifying offer, they might sign Ronny.

    If Sasha asks for more time, the Lakers may take Ronny and sign Mo Evans.

    I’m just speculating, but this is my outsider “flexible” read of current negotiations that may be underway.

    Best,

    Ray

  91. Wait wait wait, Garbajosa duplicates Radmanovic with little more help defense. Nice buddy, hard worker, good player, but not what Lakers need.

  92. Kurt-have you caught Bobby Brown in the summer league yet, according to truehoop he has been doin well. You always liked that guy.

  93. Posey seems to make the Hornets much better in the short term – they now have a guy to match up with the swingmen in the West. The Hornets were a top contender this year, and he adds a lot of depth.

    However, it seems to be a lot of money long term for a 31 year old. Especially one who is not a full-time 2 in the league, and definitely won’t start over Peja.

    Hollinger said it best:

    “And, as I mentioned, he’s a 31-year-old who will be handsomely paid ’til age 35. Nobody wanted to pay him this kind of dough when he was 30, and his production wasn’t any different last year — just the result in June.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=Posey_Hornets-080716

  94. RE: Posey

    Explain how he fills a need exactly? They have guys at the three for offensive and defensive purposes (Peja and Wright) and need more depth at the 4 and 5, but they decide to sign another 3? Julian Wright sees his playing time go down most likely, unless Posey can play the 2, and they still need more bigs. I just don’t know. I like Posey but I’d have thought maybe something like Kurt Thomas, Craig Smith, or someone would have been better. And they gave him 25 over 4 years…

    As for the Lakers, I’d rather have Sasha than Ronny. They need someone who can back up Kobe and also play the 2 when we go small with Kobe at the 3. Plus, with Bynum, Mihm, Odom, and Pau, assuming reasonably health, how many minutes does Ronny see? And Vlade/Luke can both play the 4 at times, so I don’t really see the need with Drew coming back. Would I like the have him? Sure, but I’d make sure to lock Sasha up first.

  95. (93) Xavier,

    I really don’t know anything about Garbojosa and if he fits in.

    I’m just trying to illustrate how the decision/negotiation process might work from a business point of view–considering every alternative, weighing cost/benefits, being flexible, always having a plan B. I’m looking at the salary cap and supposing they have some money over the qualifying offer to negotiate–but not much. Just for illustration purposes, I chose the mid-level exception range. Mitch goes to the team for guidance, but ultimately he’s on his own.

    Remember the stated goal from the team side is to sign both Ronny and Sasha. I’m supposing that from the head office, the goal is to spend below a certain amount. Mitch then does the best he can.

    We’ll never know what really happened in every detail-but it’s probably happening now.

  96. No matter how you slice it, LA-Portland-NO have the best young talent in the league and will be fighting hard for WCF honors for several of the next years to come. Jersey has done some nice things, Cleveland and Wash and O-Town can have a laugh, Boston is now old and they have their rings coming to them, but nothing spectacular elsewhere. Spurs are done. Don’t talk to me about Rose in Chicago or Beast in MIA until they play a few…

    I only hope the East doesn’t (1) get younger and better quickly; (2) these guys don’t beat each other up too much in the West to matter in the end; and (3) Jordan-Pippen-Rodman don’t come out of retirement to play with Del Negro. Otherwise it’s a 3-4 horse race with at least 3 of those teams in the big W. Hey, at least we’re relevant. This talk about the Spurs, Suns, Rockets, Jazz, etc…they’re regular season fodder when the big games come on. Denver just put a shotgun in their mouths and pulled the trigger for the Clips. Worst D in the tourney just got worse. Fun. And funny.

    The contract talk is compelling, but the pros will work it out and leave us to pick up the comments from their trail of pieces. Maybe we hate the moves, hopefully we love it, but not all of us will be cool with anything that happens in the long run. Part of being a fan. Good core, good extended family, good progress. The faces will change, the design of the rings will change, but the team trophy is the same. Let’s put another banner up in Staples next year and a few more before we again learn to expect it.

    Oh yeah, and I’ve been shooting with LO every day as I put a broom in his face…he’s nailing the jumpers and 3′s. Go Lakers!

  97. Bingo T. Klown July 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    you know it;s not the first time Mo Evans name has been brought up. Is there any information to suggest that the Lakers are interested in bringing him back?

    Not a big fan, since he seemed to get shot happy without the desired results. Not sure why we why should want him and why he would take a contract for less than Sasha.

  98. Fanalyst-make sure you make him finish 50-100 right-hand lay-ups too.

  99. Artest/Gasol/Bynum/Kobe another eight if healthy equals championship. Artest bashers beware he is about as talented a small forward as there is on both ends. We have seen the absolute best Lamar is capable it was the first half of game four of the finals, that was the absolute best he has played in his entire career and he no showed in the second half, even worse he helped give away that game. I think it would be a championship caliber team as it is now, but people that hate on Artest forget how great he was when he was last surrounded by talent. If Artest is facing the defense that Vladmir, or Lamar faces he will shoot over fifty percent from the field and give you great defense and hustle. Laker fans you really want this guy, even though I dont think we will get him, he is the perfect addition to any team that wants to contend.

  100. I’m very concerned about the Hornets. Given LO and Gasol’s struggles against Perkins and KG — and the fact that New Orleans had Chandler and West — I don’t know if we would have beaten the Hornets. Not to mention the struggles we had keeping Rondo out of the paint. If we couldn’t contain Rondo, how would we have fared against Chris Paul? And now they picked up Posey…

  101. New Orleans doesn’t have the personnel to bother Kobe as much as Boston did, has no answer for Odom, or Gasol for that matter. And their depth isn’t that great. I woulda been surprised if we needed more than 5 games to beat them actually. David West played about average to below average against the Lakers all year as well. Lest we forget the two blowouts we had against them (and I know one we almost gave the whole lead back but still). Not too impressed with NO actually. They’re good, but I don’t consider them title contenders.

  102. Did anyone catch the summer league game? I read the boxscore and read that Crawford hit a game winner but I’d love to know some details if anyone has them. And, at this point isn’t Karl a lock? He seems to be playing well (like how a 2nd year player who has gotten better should), and with his knowledge of the system, I would think he’s definitely has a leg up on everyone else.

  103. the other Stephen July 16, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    fanalyst, are you really training with lamar?

  104. Sorry for two in a row, but this really made me upset…

    http://assets.espn.go.com/i/teamlogos/nba/med/okc.gif

    It was on the NBA page on ESPN on the transactions page.

  105. 54. “when you play the stock market, poker, or any other game involving gambling, it’s a general rule that you will only break-even in the long run.”

    I don’t know about the stock market, but in poker that is absolutely not true. The top players in the world consistently make significant amounts of money, both in cash games and in tournaments.

    In blackjack, craps, roulette and other games where you bet against the house, the longer you play the more likely you are to lose. But in poker, where you’re playing against other players, the longer you play the more likely it is that the skilled players will rise to the top.

    Go back and look at WSOP results over a 10-year period. Not just wins, but final tables, cashes, player of the year standings and career earnings. I guarantee you’ll see the same names over and over and over again.

    83. I don’t know where ESPN got that $74,789,590 figure, but it doesn’t sound right. If you add up all the salaries listed on the Trade Machine page, they add up to a figure in the mid 50′s, not including cap holds for free agents.

    That number also isn’t consistent with the figures for the Hornets’ salaries listed on HoopsHype, DraftExpress and Storyteller. With Posey they’re closer to $64m, before deciding on their own free agents.

    90. Sasha’s agent used to be Rob Pelinka several years ago before he switched to Bill Duffy. Now he’s switching back. I’m not sure if the fact that Pelinka also represents Kobe has any significance or not. Since he has represented Sasha in the past, it could just be a coincidence.

  106. For guys who wanted some news on Garbajosa, i found this nice compilation of his plays in FIBA. The guy can definitely hit trey pretty damn well, knows how to put the ball on the floor, can finish at the rim, decent passer and plays hard not afraid to take a charge. He will play really well along side Pau. There’s another clip where he got two charges against Paul Pierce when he was playing for raptors. He will definitely be a good addition to our club at SF/PF if we could somehow nail him cheap. I heard rumor on hoopshype about him “Former Raptor Jorge Garbajosa has an offer from Khimki Moscow”. Seems like we need to move fast on him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhhbKYUvxow&feature=related
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=hAFehjkQurI

  107. For everyone who says Kobe NEEDS to take less to contend, I think you are all wrong. If there was a salary cap in the Michael Jordan era, would he have taken less? The answer is NO and neither will Kobe. He is the best player in the world and deserves to be paid like it.

    Odom is the one who will need to take a serious pay cut if he wants to stay on a championship caliber team.

    I just don’t think Kobe taking $4M less a year is going to determine this team’s future as an elite team. What will determine the Lakers future success is Mitch and Jerry’s decision making and willingness to sign the best players that complement Kobe, Drew and Pau; a pretty formidable nucleus whether Lamar resigns after 2009 or not.

    I hope Buss just opens up the check book, matches Turiaf, matches Sasha’s future offer, gives Bynum his raise and works on Odom’s pay cut. Keep this team intact and go back to the finals with home court!

    Great move by the Clippers and solid signing for New Orleans. The West gets tougher and the East…..waits for 2010 sweepstakes.

    Mr. Bridges, not to argue for or against your points, but you mentioned that the Lakers have won 15 titles, when in fact it has been 14 (5 in Minneapolis, 1 with West/Chamberlain, 5 with Magic/Kareem, 3 with Kobe/Shaq)…..Hopefully number 15 is coming in 2009!

  108. S.Nicholson,

    Michael didn’t back himself in a corner, so to speak, from a PR standpoint. Kobe did that last summer. The Lakers put up, so Kobe will have to, and it’s so obvious, that the Lakers probably will not need to even play that card publicly (it may even decide if they match Ronny, and they may be making Kobe aware of that). Everyone will be watching to see what Kobe does, and Kobe has come too far repairing his image to take 10 steps back seeming selfish. Now, remember, I feel this way because of the situation that was made. Should he be paid like the best? Of course. But Kobe made this an issue about contending, not money, so how could he not give the FO room to breathe?
    It’s true, Lamar will have to also, (IF he wants to stay a Laker), but he can leave or be let go if he gets a better offer (he CAN go for the better contract), but Kobe will have to concede a couple or few million also. Tim dincan has done it, and supposedly, so has….. Shaq. I think Gilbert is too aware of his public perception (like agreeing with the Wizards to sign at $111 mil, but saying he turned down $127 mill to sign Jamison and others……right. Nice media touch was what that was. Agent Zero looks golden. …Kobe take notes, you and the Lakers can pull that off too) At Kobe statosphere, it’s about legacy now, more than the money.

  109. Not training with Lamar, I was just kidding. If I were though, I would have to get on that right handed layup kwame a. requests. It’d be nice if he could finish a few of those next year (if he’s a Laker, otherwise keep missing).

    Is this the final day for Turiaf?

  110. 107… Obviously I count 08/09 as a championship. Don’t you?

  111. Bringing in a “warrior” won’t change things drastically, if the 4 other players on the court aren’t willing to mix it up and be physical. The Lakers don’t need a change in personnel, they need to change their defensive mindset.

  112. “…change their defensive mindset.”

    Wouldn’t Kurt Thomas help that for the bigs? The Lakers have 5.8 mil avaliable to spend in the MLE, why hasn’t Thomas been dangled an offer yet.

    The Lakers are about to lose Turiaf… he needs to be replaced. And you can’t bank on Bynum suddenly being the missing piece. He hasn’t played a second since he landed on Odom’s foot, the Lakers need to be going forward at this moment like they don’t have Bynum waiting.

  113. Warren Addendum July 17, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Troy, maybe Turiaf is gonna be matched.

  114. hey guys,
    with the signing of Posey, isn’t Pargo still unsigned???
    if we can’t find a deal with Sasha, wouldn’t Pargo be a good fit for us?
    seems like NOH is about maxed out…
    thoughts?

  115. 115. Warren

    Before I get onto the what if with Turiaf, the reason I say he will likely not be matched is because he has a ridiculous signed offer sheet. 4 yr/17 mil? I feel that’s too much

    But let’s say Turiaf is matched (and effectively screwing Golden State) I still say a Kurt Thomas type is in high demand. We all saw this team get run all over in the Finals by Boston. This team was exposed. Thomas would be a great fit as a #2 center who can also play some PF.

    Sorry, but I feel this team is one piece away from a title shot. And that piece ain’t Bynum. That piece is a veteran big man free agent pickup like Thomas, like Ratliff. Again, the MLE is avaliable… use it wisely to fine tune the team Mitch. I feel Thomas could be had a 3.5 mil per (Spurs are offering 3 mil per, if they offer more, they can have him). As for Pargo Chris, that’s a nice target as well. Some backcourt depth won’t hurt.

  116. a bit off topic

    i always thought salaries should match or somewhat be close to consumate a trade… what happened here?! did they use a $10mil exception?! since second round draft picks are non guaranteed contracts. also, why isnt anyone crying foul on this trade? they basically traded a defensive player of the year for a non-guaranteed contract (nobody)… yet, everyone said the gasol to LA trade was a a robbery. forget about giving up Kwame, they gave up a great prospect (crittenton) (marc gasol), and TWO future first round picks. yet some say now that the camby trade is a “great move”. everyone just probably hates LA

  117. S. Nicholson,
    I agree with your premise. Kobe is the best, and if anyone in the league deserves a max contract, it’s Kobe. He knows it, the Buss’ know it, and us fans know it. However, it’s been 10 seasons since the NBA instituted a salary cap. And in those 10 years, some things have been figured out. One of those things is that if, as the teams best player and highest earner, you take a little less money, that money can be used in other areas or give the team some flexibility to sign other players (while also lessening the payroll burden against the luxury tax). Duncan/The Spurs figured this out years ago, KG/The Celtics did this with his extention this past season, and I think it would be prudent for Kobe/The Lakers to explore that same option. It won’t be some scar on Kobe’s legacy if he doesn’t do it and decides he wants the most he could possibly earn. That’s his choice, and I wouldn’t begrudge him if he chose that. But, he could really help out the team and his teammates by going the other way on this. I think it should be something that he considers.

  118. 118 Swagger

    I think people are thinkng differently of the Camby deal for two reasons: a) Camby’s 34, Gasol’s 27 and b) The Nuggets were deep in the luxury tax and needed to cut salary. The Griz were looking to sell the team.

    Honestly, this has nothing to do with people hating the Lakers, at least in my mind

  119. Troy,

    The difference is the Pau trade kept/made the Lakers legitmate contenders, while at the time, giving up nothing (giving away their worst player actually), and supposedly Memphis had better offers. The Clippers were under the cap, and beside Memphis, the only team that was under, giving them leverage. Memphis isn’t willing to take on extra salary, while the Clips only have 8 men under contract. They could take it on, and the they still aren’t good. So Denver saves $40 million and the Clippers still suck. Hardly the same.

  120. Oops…not Troy

    120 was for k_swagger8

  121. guess nobody’s interested in discussing the possibility of Pargo…

  122. Chris, I’m not sure we need another PG this year.

    118, Salaries do not have to match if one of the teams is under the cap and can take on said salary, The Clippers were, can and did.

  123. Chris,
    I like Pargo, but he worries me some based off that last performance he had for The Hornets against the Spurs in the playoffs. When you’ve got guys like West, Paul, and Peja to score, how are *you* going to be the guy that is taking almost every shot in an elimination game? I like the moxie, but not the smarts in that scenario. If we lose Sasha, though, I think Pargo would have to be a consideration (based off the fact that he has experience with us and the fact that he can play some point and off the ball), but not before that point.

  124. Am I the only one who really, really hopes we keep Lamar and don’t trade for Ron “I’m crazy” Artest and Kenny “Kwame” Thomas???

    For 3 1/2 seasons, we were yelling at Odom to step it up. Finally, with the arrival of Pau, Lamar stepped it up. He found his rhythm. We made it to the Finals with Lamar as a HUGE contributor in the playoffs (except for the Finals).

    I think he has earned his stay. At the very least, we should let this group of Lakers start the season to see how they adapt to Bynum. If things look shaky, then we have Lamar’s expiring contract to dangle at the trading deadline.

    And lastly, PLEASE KEEP RONNY TURIAF!!!!! $4m is not too bad if you consider how much he brings to the locker room and the fact that if Bynum or Gasol get hurt this year, Ronny is the #1 backup we have for them.

  125. A little lost in all the Turaif/tax penalty discussion is the Lakers need a back-up big. You cannot be serious about going into the season counting on Mihm and Gasol going thru the season w/no injuries and just assume Bynum will be there for max minutes,82 games.
    So the Lakers have to decide if there’s a big out there who can play significant minutes in their system for less than what Turaif is offered. Unless you are talking about the vet minimum there are no significant savings in not signing Ronny.

  126. wondahbap,
    “…supposedly Memphis had better offers.”

    I don’t know where you get your information, but Memphis has repeatedly said they stated what they wanted and the Lakers were one of the only clubs who listened to what they wanted and reacted. Mitch was able to give them the largest expiring contract and draft picks. That is exactly what they wanted, regardless what you might think would be best for them.

  127. hey darius,
    thanks for your input. I was just thinking that if we match for Ronnie, then Sasha could well be gone.
    I mean, we all agree we need a back up big, and Ronnie is a great fit for us.
    Sasha has his value, but we can’t go into the 4 to 5 mil per year range.
    Pargo seems to me that he can play point or shooting guard, like you say, has been a laker, and with the Posey signing, I think NOH is going to be hard pressed to pay him very much.
    I recall some mid season games when we were commenting that it’s too bad we let him get away, I also seem to recall him having some nice shooting touch on the 3, and going off on us for 20 pts more than once.
    I think he could be a good replacement in case we lose Sasha, or maybe might even be a better fit for us, a bit more consistent maybe?

  128. Rony is a young, active big that, in today’s market, is worth what Golden State offered. Also he has trade value as paqrt of a package.

    Kurt Thomas has only a year or two left. After that you would need another big anyway.

    The problem is the backup at the 4 position. If the Lakers resign Lamar then maybe they don’t need Rony because he and Pau and play that spot, but if they want to move LO for a better fit at the 3 spot, then Rony would be needed (unless they have some other plan).

    Today will tell us alot about how the Lakers are thinking.

  129. Chris,
    I hear you there. And, I posted this thought a couple days ago, but, I think what we do with Turiaf is really going to set us up for how we move through the rest of the off-season. If we lose him, Sasha becomes an even bigger priority (continuity purposes + his value as an experienced Laker) and signing another Big also becomes a priority. If we match on Turiaf, payroll concerns rears it’s head again and we’ll then see what value the rest of the league and the Lakers put on Sasha.

    Overall, I like Pargo, but swing guards who can shoot some, while not abundant, are findable. There are still FA’s out there and there’s also a guy in Orlando, who went to Duke, who I happen to think can be aquired as well if we decide to go the trade route. Not that I’m proposing we do that, but it’s just an example of the types of things that are out there if having to replace Sasha becomes a reality.

  130. just keeping this Pargo thing alive for sake of a discussion…
    isn’t there also a value for us by taking away NOH’s primary back up to CP3?

  131. Does anyone know what sort of say/pull Phil Jax has with respect to free agency? I would think that would be a fascinating post to explore the interplay between this head coach, the GM, and the owner.

    We’ve been talking about free agency at mostly two levels (GM and owner), but for example, if Phil would be adamant about getting Artest, would that change things?

    Also, I know it’s 2008, but I believe Phil’s contract runs out after the 09-10 season. I wonder if that has any implications as to free agency IF the FO is assembling talent that would correspond to a specific coach.

  132. 132. If the Lakers sign Pargo, they’d have 3 under sized perimeter shootering point guards, only one of whom can play defense. Pargo would also over-take Sasha as the biggest gunner on the team. Imagine Pargo taking shots away from Kobe and Sasha. And imagine what Sasha would say to him “You are entering a world of pain. A world… of pain.”

    If you are talking about guards, I like Kenyon Dooling. He’s unrestricted, has a good J but more importantly, can take it to the hole and is one of the best defensive guards in the league. He’s also tall and long, perfect for the triangle.

    The guy who is really out at NO is Bonzi, who I think could do very well as a Laker. He instantly becomes the second best post player to Bynum – yes, better than Kobe , just. A tough defender. And unlike Artest, does not need the ball to be effective on offense. A bit of a head case, but if you want to challenge PJ with Artest, Bonzi would be easier. The second chance points with Bonzi and Bynum would be crazy.

    Also, what about trying to unload Mihm to Denver (for a second rounder?) to free up roster space and bring back MBenga or sign Craig Smith? Mihm becomes the back up center until Nene gets hurt, in which case he’s now the starter. His salary fits the now frugal Nuggs and I frankly don’t see a future for him in LA. Give me a beast like Smith who can bang some bodies instead.

  133. Until the Lakers decision today, we should continue to suppose that the Lakers at least want to start by bringing back the chemistry that got them there. If they don’t sign Sasha, the obvious candidate is Mo Evans, who already played that slot well the year before and was great in the playoffs for Orlando. If they don’t match for Ronny, they may be on a different page.

    We’ll see soon.

  134. Bill Bridges. Bonzi is an intriguing idea. He is a very talented player but seems to be lazy. But if you can get a motivated Bonzi, that was in shape, he could be the extra piece that a contender needs to get over the top. If you can get him for cheap than it might be worth the gamble. If it doesn’t work out, you can just pay him to sit on the bench or put him on the injured list.

    I think that Craig Smith has agreed to a deal with Minny (thought I read that somewhere).

  135. It’s official Craig Smith will remain a Timberwolves player.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9511

  136. Troy, I think that most Lakers fans do feel the Lakers were one piece away from a championship last year and that piece was a physical post defensive and offensive presence….Bynum. Would Allen have made that uncontested lay up with Bynum there? Would Pierce continue his lay up drills with an efficient shot blocker like Bynum? Would Powe have had All Star Game 2 performance? We will never know the answers, but I think nay to all three. This very well could have resulted in a Lakers Championship.

    I have to disagree that Thomas is the one that will get us over the hump to the promise land. He barely even played in the Conference Finals, while his teammates were bamboozled by the Lakers. He is old and is only going to continue to regress. I don’t think that he is capable of contributing quality minutes deep into the playoffs and for $3.5M I would much rather pay Ronny the additional $0.75M for his similar skill set, superior upside, infectious positive attitude and camaraderie with his teammates; not to mention his knowledge of the triangle, which can always be a wild card with some new players inability to adapt.

    Chris, if we do not secure Vujacic, I would welcome Pargo back. I think he would fit in very well and is a vet. That being said I would prefer Vujacic for his long term promise and superb marksmanship.

  137. d-ray: If we don’t get Sasha back, why do you think we would get Mo Evans (besides the fact he was here before, because by that logic we should bring back any player that has triangle familiarity)

  138. This is the most boring summer ever…..

  139. 140. Unless you are Ronny Turiaf. If the Warriors move Biedrins for Billups, he has a chance of starting for a Don Nelson team and rack up some good numbers. unconfirmed buzz around that the decision to match or not is due Friday, not tonight….

  140. 138. Jack (please catch the joke)

    The more I think of it, the more that makes sense. But I still think the Lakers need veteran backup bigs who can help Gasol and Bynum out. I feel that, if you have cap space to fine tune your team, you better use it.

  141. I have a question that will likely sound ridiculous but I think has to be considered. How do the Lakers judge Kobe’s value after he opts out of his contract? That is to say, is there a threshold at which we decide Kobe isn’t worth it and we save that money for the LeBron D-Wade free agency or look at a sign-and-trade? I realize Kobe is the best now but where will his game be in 3 seasons when he is 33 and in his sixteenth year in the league (that is a few more seasons of wear and tear than Jordan at the same age)? Are we going to be stuck with 3 more years a now average SG and $20M killing our salary cap? I think the Lakers need to be careful about just giving a max extension to him (just like Buss was cautious with Shaq).

  142. I’m not convinced Kobe opts out, either to take less money or get a super max. He may just stay put.

  143. Hey Kurt be honest and tell us with players u prefer to be a Laker from Kobe , James and Wade.

  144. Pedram,
    I’ve got to agree with Kurt. I’m not convinced that Kobe does anything but continue to work hard and collect his paycheck.

    The past speculation around a Kobe opt-out was because of his perceived dissatisfaction with the direction of the team. That would, seemingly, no longer be an issue. The more recent speculation around a Kobe opt-out has to do with is willingness to possibly take less money in order to free up some payroll space in order to field the best team possible. I think we all realize that if Kobe *did* take less money, it wouldn’t put us under the cap or even under the luxury tax line. But it might bring us closer to the tax line, enabling the team to spend on that one (or two) extra player(s), where Dr. Buss would feel comfortable extending the payroll.

    Based off the current make-up of the team, and Kobe’s perceived happiness with it, I would think that *if* Kobe did opt-out, it would be to renegotiate a slightly cheaper deal. Meaning, not quite the max (upwards of 25mil per, by the time that day comes) but not under market value either (like in the 20 mil per range). Really, the writing is on the wall. We are committed to Gasol, who makes the max. We are committed to Bynum, who will command near (if not full) max money. We seemingly have a commitment to Farmar, who will need to be extended the year after Bynum. And we have commitments to Luke and RadMan (though some wish we didn’t). Based off of that, we must realize that a Kobe salary at it’s current level (and assuming that all the aforementioned commitments remain the same) we won’t have much space at all to fill out our roster. Ultimately this will also be affected by how well we draft, what type of FA aquisitions we make and for what costs, but it is something to consider. But in the end, I think, Kobe should retire a Laker. He’s our guy…

  145. Craig W,

    As you can see, since you copy/pasted part of my comment. I said “supposedly . . . ” Whether or not Memphis took what was best for them, or exactly what they wanted, wasn’t my point. Nor did I dispute that, but it was reported that SUPPOSEDLY they turned down “better” offers.

  146. Don’t know if this has been posted before, but here’s a link to espn’s list of box scores and recaps for each of the Vegas summer league results.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=2008vegassummerleagueschedule

  147. Lets put the Lakers being in the Lebron sweepstakes to a rest. It would be nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get far enough under the cap by then to get Lebron. That is even if we let Kobe walk if he opts out. We would have to gut the team to such a degree that LA would not be an appealing place to play.

    I think it is comical that people even consider going after Lebron comical

  148. The Dude Abides July 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Here’s today’s latest trade rumors and ideas from Hoops World. Interesting stuff on the Lakers:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9507

  149. 109, 119. Not to be too nitpicky, but just to clarify – there was a salary cap during the Jordan era. The current cap was instituted in 1984-85.
    (http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#9)

    What was instituted in 1999 was the luxury tax and the salary scale.

    133. Last fall it was being reported that in the fractured Lakers’ FO Mitch and Phil were on the same page regarding the Kobe saga, that they were adamantly against trading him. Considering that Mitch has assembled a roster full of players who fit the triangle, I would guess that either Phil has a strong voice in personnel, or that he doesn’t need to have a strong voice because Mitch knows what type of players to target.

    On the flip side, in 2005 Phil was against drafting Bynum, and Mitch went against his wishes there. So who knows.

    134. I was thinking about Keyon Dooling yesterday too. I like his athleticism and defense a lot. He might be a good fit to bring in, but he’d probably cost at least $3m, something the team might not want to pay.

    140. There was a little story regarding some free agent named Brand. I guess you missed it.

    149. I agree it’s probably ridiculous to think that the Lakers would go after LeBron, if for no other reason than it might piss off Kobe. But if they wanted to, they could do it without being under the cap by offering the Cavs a sign-and-trade involving Gasol, who at that point would have one year left on his contract.

    Again, it’s a crazy idea, and it’s 99% certain not to happen … but it’s not impossible.

  150. Darius,
    “we won’t have much space at all to fill out our roster.”

    Your point is valid from the perspective of Kobe and his image. But from the point of the reality of the Lakers filling out a championship roster, it isn’t. Since they are significantly over the cap, Kobe’s salary isn’t affecting the signing of free agents. The only effect it has is on the profit margin of the team; as long as they are still profitable, re-signing their own players or not is up to them, not Kobe.

  151. Turiaf signed the offer sheet last Thursday, right? So that means we find out tonight whether or not the Lakers match?

  152. Oh god, Bonzi Wells? Be still my beating heart. He is 32 though, and I feel like his skills are decreasing rapidly. I just remember him killing Duncan, and being terrified of him the year the Lakers beat Portland en route to the championship. Anything more that a 2 year contract would be a mistake. But a $2 mill flyer? He might play for it…

    Pargo was a Laker before. Phil knows if he wants him on the team. However, I don’t believe we will get him, because Phil favors bigger guards.

    Mount Mutombo could be had. LA offers him a unique opportunity to extend his philanthropic efforts like no other place in the US. Hollywood loves stories like his…

  153. Bonzi Wells is the perfect cheap pickyp player. If he can be had for the minimum, I say go for it. 1 year, though.

    All I need to say is this team needs to find players to help replace Turiaf. I don’t care what is to be said by some of you, I am convinced the Lakers won’t match for financial reasons

  154. Honestly I think the Lakers should try to bring back Kwame as a backup. He’s still young and knows the system (plus he’s physical defensively) and we could probably get him for somewhere around 4-6 mil per year. I don’t think any team is going to offer him too much more than that. Plus factor in that THIS IS L.A. and he respects PJ I think its a great fit! Then if we can’t resign Sasha I’d save whatever money is left (because at that point you’re not going to sign a player that makes a difference anyway) and bring up Coby Karl to see what he can do.

  155. exhelodrvr,
    My point isn’t about Kobe taking less in order to get under the cap. My point isn’t even about getting under the luxury tax line. My point is that if we still have financial commitments to Gasol, Walton, RadMan, a re-signed Bynum, a re-signed Farmar, and a maxed out Kobe, it will be difficult to fill out our roster, just because of our financial commitments to those 6 players. I can’t talk hard numbers because Farmar and Bynum don’t yet have extensions, but those 6 guys *could* would put us over the cap and probably pretty close to the Luxury Tax line and it’s only 2/5′s of a full roster. So, unless we plan on filling out the team with 4-6 minimun salaried players or just go way over the tax line by using salary cap exceptions (like we did with RadMan) then I think my point holds true. Remember the end of the Shaq/Kobe era? We had Shaq, Kobe, Fisher, an oooold Malone, and a diminished Payton.. Our other rotation players were guys like George and Slava….we weren’t good enough to win a title. We didn’t have the depth, and it played out just like that when we lost Malone to his knee injury. Plus, we lucked out to even have Malone and Payton as they signed on the cheap to chase a title.

    My overall point is, and I don’t even know if this will be considered, much less happen, is that Kobe *can* take less money and he could help our payroll situation out.

  156. Do you think that it would be logical for Kobe to restructure his deal for less money considering that as a player you only have a limited amount of years at making a high salary? Lets face it Kobe isn’t 21he’s 29 going on 30 so realistically you can’t expect him to continue playing at a high level beyond the next 3-4yrs so why would you (as a player) take less money considering that this could be your next to last (max salary) contract? I understand your point about Kobe restructuring his deal to help the team win but lets be honest here the Lakers are one of (if not the top) money-making franchise in the NBA! So I doubt Buss is hurting for money. What it all comes down to is value if Buss sees that a player is worth the money that the other team is offering then he has no problem going over the cap he did it in the Shaq & Kobe era I don’t see why he wouldn’t do it now. It’s more about value than anything I mean the question you have to ask yourself is do you really want to lock in Ronny at 5+ mil a year for the next 4 YRS and then pay extra for it in luxury taxes for a player who sat the bench most of the time in the finals or would you rather bring a player that can actually make a difference for that same salary? Any GM thats worth their salt would probably choose the latter. This is not a knock on Ronny I think he brings a lot of intangibles to a team and he’s been a model citizen for the Lakers but for the amount we’d have to pay for him to stay, it just doen’t add up.

  157. Motumbo had to be talked into 1 more yr by his family. He’s not leaving Houston.(The Rockets and community have donated heavily to his hospital.) More importantly,he cannot play substantial minutes back-to-back.(Substantial being more than 10-15!) And he points out a Laker problem. Any vet who made the min last yr is going to have to be money whipped to leave his team because his old team would offer the same and familiarity,not moving family,etc. For Thomas-and Motumbo-it would involve leaving no-tax Texas for very hi-tax Cali. Since for these type vets the min is @$1.5mil,a team to entice them has to bid more-all of which counts against the cap. To get Barry away from Spurs the Rockets had to use their Bi-Annual Exception(@$1.9mil).

    Bonzi Wells would be an act of desperation. He came to Rockets fat and out of shape and mentally po’d because he turned down a nice deal and ended up w/one third of what he refused. He has lost a large amount of his explosiveness,has a hard time finishing around basket and never makes it thru a season w/out missing numerous games due to injury. One might consider that the coach who had him for that Spurs series couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

    Problem w/a salary dump of Mihm is price for that is including a First. The Suns set the market and recently Philly had to pay. The Clippers NEEDED a big man,so while Denver wanted to cut salary,the Clips desperately wanted what they had to give.

    Sasha fills 2 roles on Lakers,back-up to Kobe and 3rd PG. I imagine he’ll be re-signed along the lines of what the team was planning on. Turiaf’s offer was completely unexpected and may end up forcing the team into a trade it wasn’t contemplating.

    As far as the future roster,the next few yrs will prob see more draft picks make the team-which makes evaluating tlent crucial-and may involve more nimble moves than the FO prefers.

  158. any word if the lakers are matching turiaf’s offer from GS? the deadline is today right?

  159. swagger,
    Deadline is Friday.

  160. Does anyone have the official time when we have to match Turiaf’s offer by? I’d imagine if things haven’t gone down yet, it ‘s a done deal that he’s a Warrior.

  161. The Dude Abides July 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Clips just signed Kelenna Azubuike to an offer sheet, 3 years at about $3m per year. I’d include a link, but my previous attempt obviously disappeared into the ether that is FB&G’s spam filter. It’s on Yahoo Sports.

  162. Is it just me or does it say on Ronny Turiaf’s profile on Wikipedia that the Lakers matched the Warriors’ offer sheet.

    Go to the Offseason section of Ronny’s profile in Wikipedia and check it out for yourself.

  163. The Dude Abides July 17, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Jin, it looks like there was a subsequent edit to Ronny’s Wiki page. Now it just says that the Lakers have seven days to match the offer.

  164. 156. Really? Bring back Kwame for $4-6mil? Aren’t the Lakers close to losing Ronny for about $4.5? Please no more Kwame and definitely not for that amount. I’d rather have DJ Benga.

  165. Here it is FB&G from Wikipedia :
    ‘Offseason
    On July 9, 2008, Ronny Turiaf agreed to a four-year, $17 million contract offer from the Golden State Warriors. TheLos Angeles Lakers, had seven days to match the offer and decided not to match. On July 18, 2008 Turiaf officially became a member of the Golden State Warriors.’

    Good bye Ronny, I wish you the best in life.

  166. I like Azubuike’s physicality but never thought the Lakers would go for him. As far as Bonzi, give him a try out – if he’s lost it , too bad for him. If he still has it, he would be a cheap asset.

    Good luck to Ronny. Young players need PT, old players want rings. Those in between…?

  167. I can not believe that the LA Time this morning (8:30am ET) has no mention of the Ronny contract. Now we are quoting Wikipedia for info?…what has this world come to.

  168. I m really impressed with a PG from Croatia. His name is Zoran Planinic, PG, 6’6. I watch the croatia canada game today. He is agressive, good rebound and can shoot the three. What are the rules/salary to sign foreign players ?

  169. Last night AM570 announced Ronny was gone–but one of the announcers said he had been asked to meet with the FO, so something was going on yesterday.

    The silence we’ve all heard from the Laker’s organization and both free agents has been deafening.

  170. DrRayEye,
    Whichever way the Lakers go,if they’re po’d at GS,why not make them wait,tying up their cap room for s long as possible?
    And/Or,the Lakers are scrambling to get everybody to agree on what to do,trying to work out sign-n-trade,or just like the drama.

  171. Why do people keep mentioning bringing Kwame back? Are you nuts? He is not good at all. In any way. Benga is better than him. At least he can finish when he’s wie open. He actually dunks it instead of missing a lay up.
    Here kitty kitty.

  172. 170 In the summer of 2006, Planini? and the New Jersey Nets agreed to a buyout.
    On June 25th, 2008, Planini? signed a 2 year contract with the Russian League club CSKA Moscow. So my guess he’d have to buy out his contract with CSKA.

    Maybe the Lakers are working out a S&T. Ronny for a S&T Azabuike.

  173. so i guess its goodbye ronny. what does that leave us with? kurt thomas? lakers need a tweener c/pf, but mostly a PF. I think thomas fits the bill

  174. 174. What an intruiging idea, of bringing Azubuike to the Lakers. A much more athletic, scrappy, and great shooting 2/3 as a sign-and-trade with GS. Is that even permitted since Azubuike is already a restricted FA with a tender offer? Though Azubuike wouldn’t necessarily solve the Laker’s frontcourt depth, he wouldn’t be such a bad piece at $3mil per.

    I guess if any sign and trade happened, it means that Turiaf simply prefers not to be in LA and would want an oppurtunity to play more minutes?

  175. Um what is this talk of Azubuike S&T to the Lakers? I thought it was clear that he signed a Offer sheet from the CLIPPERS. That would make it impossible for him to be on any other team besides the Clippers or Golden State till at least December ’08.

  176. Brian is of course right… but lots of buzz about the Lakers trying to S&T Ronny… Maybe the Warriors want to ship us Harrington for Ronny + other (Farmar?).. who knows.. They seem to be shopping Harrington around with ferocity.

  177. New Post Up, one that will be updated once the Turiaf news is official.

  178. read this in Hoopsworld today-

    Having lost Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, the Clippers need dependable scorers and Azubuike certainly fits the bill. He’s already proven he can play with Baron Davis and is athletic enough that he should be able to contribute defensively.

    The move probably means Quinton Ross’ days as a Clipper are over. Ross is nowhere as explosive as Azubuike offensively but he is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league.

    Ross would be an ideal pickup for teams like the Lakers and Boston Celtics.

    … so what do you guys think of Q Ross?

  179. I like Ross but he duplicates Ariza and we have enough people at the 3 at the moment. If we didn’t have Ariza I would definitely sign him. Even if we lose Sasha, I don’t see Ross being able to replace Sasha’s shooting. So although I like Ross as a defender and solid role player, I don’t think he is a good fit for our team.