Turiaf, And More Summer League Thoughts

Kurt —  July 18, 2008

UPDATE: It’s official, Ronny Turiaf is now a member of the Golden State Warriors. Good on him. He is going to get paid and he is going to be somewhere he will get court time and a chance to really prove he deserves those minutes. I hope he does that. I think I speak for a lot of Laker fans in saying that wherever Ronny goes, he will remain one of my favorites.

On AM 570 today Matt “Money” Smith (who has some contacts as the Lakers broadcaster) said something interesting — part of the delay with making a decision on Turiaf is that the Lakers brass started having more in depth and serious talks with Sasha Vujacic’s agent. The reason was they could only sign one at these prices, they wanted Sasha but they wanted to make sure his demands were not unreasonable. That line of thinking makes a lot of sense. We’ll see if that comes to fruition in the next few days.

Also, the Turiaf move begs the question: Do the Lakers need one more big on the bench? If so, who can you get at a cheap price?

———————————————————————–

• Coby Karl continues to be the best player the Lakers have in the Summer League. We tend to think of him as a spot-up shooter but in this league he has shown he can put the ball on the floor, get in the lane and draw the foul. And he’s big and strong enough to still get the shot off while fouled. Also, against Philly, he played some pretty good defense on Thadeus Young.

• However, in the game against Philly (and apparently against Minnesota, which I have not seen) Joe Crawford has started to improve. He just looks more comfortable, picking his spots on when to attack and pass, looking more relaxed when he shoots. He also can get in the lane and score or draw a foul. I still think he needs a year in the D-League, but the fact he is finding a comfort level says something about his hoops IQ and willingness to learn.

• David Thorpe of ESPN.com in his chat this week, re: Coby Karl: “Literally, he’s become one of my favorite players. Yes, he can play in the NBA.”

• Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with Coby, but in a couple of years he could be a good guy off the bench in the NBA, a guy who can shoot the three and play reasonable defense. He’s not yet what Sasha is for the Lakers, but you can see that potential.

• If I were a team with a few open roster spots I needed to fill cheaply (hello Clippers?) and wanted a guy who was going to bring energy off the bench and in practice, I’d take a long look at Nik Caner-Medley. He’s not going to get a lot of NBA minutes, but he’s the kind of guy you might want on the end of the bench (maybe spending some time in the D-League).

• I’ve watched some other, non-Laker games as well and at some point will put up some general thoughts. But you have to be careful, I watched only the first half of the first Knicks game, and Gallinari looked terrible. He wasn’t adjusted to the style of play or the athleticism, wasn’t setting his feet under his shots and just looked a mess. But, aparently, he had a very good second half of that same game.

• Personally I would not have given James Posey that fourth year, but I get why the Hornets did it. I think Darius summed it up well in the comments:

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.

• This is a nice breakdown of FG% vs. eFG% vs. TS%. Bottom line, I tend to use eFG% a lot around here, because it’s easy to calculate quickly, but I really should use TS% more.

Kurt

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106 responses to Turiaf, And More Summer League Thoughts

  1. WC Rankings off the top of my head thus far:

    1. Lakers
    2. Hornets
    3. Jazz
    4. Spurs
    5. Rockets
    6. Blazers
    7. Mavs
    8. Suns

    I think the Rockets/Bazers could easily switch spots. I hate to say it, but it’s possible that the Hornets deserve the #1 ranking. They good. They real good.

  2. Hornets are going to be nasty, but I think a healthy Bynum/Gasol handle Chandler. Also if you go w/ the big Odom/Bynum/Gasol lineup, Gasol can probably put numbers up on West and w/ the interior help D we can probably contain him a bit. Should be another wild western conference race/even better playoffs this time.

  3. As to NO, notwithstanding some of the Lakers’ players’ proclivity towards getting injured, West, Peja, and Chandler have had episodic bouts of long injuries. In fact, the Hornets should be looking to bolster their front line as opposed stacking up their 3 position and locking Posey for 4 years. But nevertheless, I agree with everyone’s sentiment about the ascendency of NO. It’s an obvious correlation that NO performed so well due to the relative health of the team. So that’s always a big variable.

  4. The Great Googly Moogly July 18, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Posey went from underrated to overrated within a few months. He’s good but not THAT good. That move does not put NO over the top.

  5. Here’s a follow-up article to the one Kurt linked to. This one looks at shooting percentages of specific players. Very interesting.

    http://tinyurl.com/628uv5

  6. Posey certianly is good, but so was House for the C’s. I don’t think that he is everything that people are making him out to be. Would I swap him for Radmon? In a heartbeat, but that isn’t saying much.

  7. Posey is not the end all/be all, but he brings depth and a little wing defense off the bench to the Hornets. Those are two things they needed.

    4. Once again in a tight west, health will be key for all.

  8. Posey shot 50% from 3 in the finals. That’s how you get quickly over-valued.

    See Fisher, Derek and Warriors, Golden State

  9. Like The Great Googly Moogly says, Posey does not put N’Awlins over the top. Look, they’re about to lose Pargo and Wells. The bench is still horribly thin, but it’s a fantastic starting 5.

  10. NO will be tough in the regular season and into the early rounds of the playoffs. They just don’t scare me in a 7-game series. As Kurt said, injuries are likely to decide who gets to bang up against Boston for all the marbles. If we’re healthy for at least most of the year, it’s 65-70 wins and a 4-2 WCF victory over CP30 (the 0 is for championships that he’ll never attain). Sorry if I ruined the season for any of you….:-)

    Seriously though, Duncan/Shaq/Kidd aren’t getting any younger and there’s some new coaches in town for the latter two. The Rockets are irrelevant in any deep playoff conversation outside of the Houston area (maybe). Utah is Utah and they’ll hang around. The Blazers have talent, but they’re too young right now to go too far. Scary in a year or two though. The Hornets seem the only legit team to challenge LA on a serious level. Don’t worry about Chandler, Andy’s got 50 lbs on him. Go Lakers!

    No word on Ronny the Warrior yet I guess…

  11. Posey, may not be a world beater, but he knows his role and performs that to a very high level. No one asks nor expects him to start or be a double digit scoring guy. But they ask him to play good perimeter and great team defense. He provides toughness and doesn’t back down from anyone. He will make the OPEN jumper, and that’s what NO is going to ask him to do (and he’ll get plenty of chances off the playmaking of Paul). Is he a tad overrated? I don’t know….can you overrate contributions that lead directly to wins? I know when you factor in age and salary and tangible (statistical) contributions, the equation seems unbalanced. But we saw first hand how he can defend wing players and hybrid PF’s like Odom. Ask Dirk how it feels to have this guy draped on you for a series. He makes them better…and they were already pretty damned good to begin with.

  12. Is there a specific deadline that the Lakers have to meet on whether or not they will match Turiaf’s offer? Midnight out East? Business day?

  13. Maybe I’m wrong here, but doesn’t Coby Karl seem to be on the same path (maybe even ahead) of Sasha’s? I mean, Sasha was basically horrible his entire career until this year (and even started this year poorly). If the price gets too high for Sasha, couldn’t you see Coby Karl taking some of his minutes, if not this year then in a couple?

  14. I found this over at the Contra Costa Time….Ronny’s Waiting Just Like Us
    By Marcus
    Friday, July 18th, 2008 at 10:52 am in Uncategorized.

    Caught up with Ronny Turiaf this morning. He declined to talk about the Warriors since nothing is official. But guess what he was doing? Chilling.
    “It’s a normal day for me, playing with my daughter,” he said. “Only difference is I’m sitting by the phone waiting on a call.”
    Didn’t sound at all as if he knew what the verdict was, which means the Lakers aren’t giving any indication. This thing could play out until the final hour.
    FYI, it was reported that Thursday was the day the Lakers had to match. But it’s actually today. Turiaf signed the offer sheet last Thursday, but the Lakers didn’t get it until Friday. They have until midnight to match.

  15. I definitely could see Coby replacing Sasha’s production! I think sometimes teams (and fans) get overly sentimental about a player (ala Luke Walton) thats been brought up through their system. This is where we have to draw the line! You don’t mix personal feelings with business and the bottom line is although we drafted Sasha and can see the potential in him, if the ends simply don’t justify the means, then you have to let him go. If we can sign him for around 4-5 mil per than we keep him If not, then Coby can replace him and we’d save money (on both Ronny and Sasha) in the process for either the FA class next year (Artest) or another big this year to help us off the bench.

  16. I think Posey is a great pick-up for the Hornets. When the Lakers were potentially playing them in the WCF the main reason I felt confident is that they really had no one at all that could match up with Kobe. Posey’s D in the finals was obviously greatly helped by the rest of the Celtics, particulalry Garnett, but he is clearly a huge upgrade on D to Morris Peterson or Pargo in crunch time.

  17. In the early portion of the season, two seasons ago, Luke was shooting lights out from the arc. He lead the league in % for, I think, a few months and fell off a little bit later but finished respectable at almost 40%. We all know about the injuries, but this year he regressed to (at best) three seasons ago and (at worst) his rookie year. I know what a “contract year” player can put up with effort, but man…he seemed more and more like a bust with every missed layup and 10-foot jumper. I’ll echo Luke @ 16 above, you gotta be careful with the sentiment. I’d hate to see Ronny dancing on the sidelines in Oakland or Sasha wearing a red hair tie in Houston (or wherever, you can match the colors of the interested team) but over-paying for role players will have long term effects. So maybe they both walk. That sucks, we take a step back maybe next season. But, we’re still stacked up to at least 7-8 players and would have LO’s contract off the books and plenty of money to go shopping for ’09-’10.

  18. Lets hope that Posey is a contract year player.

  19. The Hornets overpaid for Posey (especially in terms of the years) but you have to give them credit for trying to WIN NOW.

    As a Laker fan, I was disappointed we didn’t get him. He’s exactly what the team needs (perimeter D, toughness, shooting range). Sad to see him sign with a key rival, for sure.

  20. Can’t wait until Posey slips and says that’s he’s the “Kobe Stopper…”

  21. guys don’t forget Portland and Memphis, they have new guns to. and Kurt i know Phill and everyone loves Javaris Crittenton and his game and specially he was Bynums best friend in team so are lakers thinking to bring him back or no? i hears that magics are after Javaris Crittenton, what abt Lakers, can we offer any player for him or no?

  22. Lakers have advantage against Hornets guys, we all know Bynum can guard Chandler preety gud and Odom can guard West, Ariza can guard Peja but problem is CP3

  23. i took a look at the Hornets’ opponent’s PER on 82games to see how the addition of Posey would shore up some of their weaknesses. By reputation, Stojakovic isn’t known as a great defender; and yet opposing 3s have a PER of 14 and a half. By reputation, Chandler is supposedly their top defender; and yet opposing 5s have a per of 18 and a half.

    Their perimeter defense was solid enough, I believe. I don’t see how Posey would improve their low post defense. The money may have been better spent on a defensive-minded backup center, like Kurt Thomas.

  24. 24

    I might agree, but I don’t think Posey will replace Peja, so you should look at how he improves their SG PER.

    And as for Chandler, I think he has a reputation as a great help-side defender, which you cannot measure position by position PER.

    I agree with the idea, though – they addressed some perimeter needs, but could still use an extra big or two (unless they think Wright and Armstrong can handle it).

    Maybe that is the biggest point I would make- other than Peja and Posey, they have a lot of young guys who you figure will get better next year. That’s pretty scary.

  25. I put New Orleans around the bottom four. Who do they remind me of the Clippers that made the run a couple years back. As alot of you pointed out you have an injury prone team there, but that’s no joke that is a seriously injury prone team. Posey is a great addition but who else do they have off the bench, they need way too much from Paul and West every night to win. If the Lakers, Trailblazers, Seattle, Minnessotta, Memphis, Golden State and possibly Clippers all being considerably better plus every other playoff team being just as good as last year I think lack of depth will hurt that team. There will be almost no easy victorys in the West. The Lakers will face injury concerns but their bench will be a lot more impressive in the regular season than it is in a seven game series. I see it like this:

    1. Lakers
    2. Spurs
    3. Portland
    4. Jazz
    5. Dallas
    6. Rockets
    7. New Orleans
    8. Phoenix

    And just like last year I think the team who finishes tenth is capable with some breaks of winning the conference, I just think New Orleans last year preseason was underated… This year unless some additions are made severely overated. The Spurs will be back near the top again this year, I see no reason to think they won’t.

  26. Ok, I’ll admit I haven’t seen any summer league games, but lets not get carried away with Son of George just yet. It is nice to hear he is playing well and deserves to be in the NBA, but this talk of him being able to replace Sasha is going too far. Sasha has developed into one of Phil’s go-to guys on this team. He has a tenacity matched by few, why do you think he is so hated by other teams’ fans? The confidence he showed this year being able to knock down threes in pressure situations, mixing it up defensively with some of the NBAs best (remember the Carmelo incident, and Manu in the play-offs?), shows he has come a long ways. It would take Karl quite a while to come close to that level of production, if it ever happens. My favorite line-up is the one in crunch-time with Kobe at the 3 and Sasha at the 2 (in fact, that is the subject of another post I have been waiting to write, on how to solve our small forward ‘issue’). While I would love to see Karl playing at that level in the NBA, he is currently playing againt guys who may not make the NBA. Karl taking some of Sasha’s minutes should not be an option for a team that is looking to win an NBA title.

  27. Greg,
    This isn’t a Hornets blog, so I’m not going to get into it too much, but you only need one reason to not overrate the Hornets. Chris Paul. This guy is amazing and controls the game better than any PG (even better than Nash, IMO). Players like Paul aren’t *flash in the pan* players that allow their teams to drop off or fluctuate wildly from season to season. This guy is going to be an MVP canidate every year he’s healthy. Add to the fact that the rules of the league making it easier for penetrating guards/players to rule the game and it spells trouble for the rest of the league. Realize too that the Hornets play at one of the slowest paces in the league, so depth becomes less of a concern as their players are playing a walk it up, control game that is the opposite of Phoenix and GS. They don’t need as much depth through the game because they’re not using as many possesions and aren’t getting as tired. Anyways, I don’t want to come off as the Hornet’s biggest fan, but honestly, they’re going to be right there next season.

  28. 25. Greg, the big difference between this Hornets team and the Clippers a couple years ago is Chris Paul. He’s already a top-5 player in the NBA. The Clippers didn’t have anyone like him.

    Second, look at the core players of each team – Paul, Chandler, West, Peja for the Hornets; Brand, Maggette, Cassell, Mobley for the Clippers (Kaman wasn’t the player two years ago he is today).

    I don’t see a correlation there. The Clippers of two years ago had one all-star and several very good role players. The Hornets of today have one superstar, one all-star, a borderline all-star and a very good role player.

    There’s absolutely no comparison between those two teams. If the Clippers had stayed healthy, happy and productive, they were never going to be more than a second round team. The Hornets, when healthy, are a legit championship contender.

  29. If the Hornets got Posey to “stop” Kobe, then they will disappointed when they realize that they don’t have KG and Perk behind Posey. Tyson Chandler is good, but NOT KG. for all of KG’s faults, one thing I will gove him credit for is he’s a player that does insire his teammates (good coaching by Thibodeau helps). Look at the players on that team. None of them were knwo (except Posey) as defensve players, yet they played well together, because KG had confidence in them and “talked” them up. It goes along way. NO will not be Boston. NO will not stop Kobe when they can’t stop Pau or Bynum.

    My thoughts on Coby are that he will end up being a productive NBA player. I can remember that at the end of 06-07, I thought Sasha was a dud. Then this past season…….he woke up. I’d like to see Coby do it too.

    If the Lakers are tuly going after Ron Artest, I’m glad they are trying to do it without Lamar in the deal (supposedly). Now all of a sudden, there are as much as 6 teams. If the Kings are trying to make a deal, maybe they should keep their mouths shut. No matter what kind of deal gets made with whatever team, I’m starting to get the feeling something is going to happen. Not necessarily big, but something. The FO seems to be biding time.

  30. OOps…forgot. No Ron Ron talk…..

  31. When you say the Hornets young guys are going to get better remember that our young guys are also going to get better. With improvement from Sasha, Trevor, Farmar, Bynum we will be a team to be wary of next year. That doesn’t take into account that both Gasol and Lamar could improve. I won’t talk about Kobe because I want him to rest and if Fisher slides off a bit, I think he has already proved he was worth the signing and I won’t complain. Now if Walton is healthy for the entire year and he gets back his shooting form, then we would really be gangbusters.

  32. The Clippers comparison was brought up because healthy both those teams were as good as anyone in the West, they were quickly forgotten about because they fell apart two years in a row mostly due to injurys partially just because they are the Clippers. I will not agree that the Hornets last year were any better than the Clippers the year they went six or seven with the Suns in the conference semis. David West is great but so was Vladmir that year, Brand was really good, so was Maggette, and CAssell was in his last good season. Kaman had in his first good year. There youngsters played well too.In fact I would wager that team was better than the Hornets. Definately 3 through 12 they were way better.

    I will not argue against Chris Paul, except that he is a little guy playing big minutes, so as I said this team can easily suffer the same fate. People made the same statements about Wade and it has held true Wade’s body is beat up and he has been injured for two years now. Peja, is a killer shooter especiabut he is always hurt and getting real old, Tyson only plays defense bottom line is West and Paul must play 70 plus games each to have this team win over forty. And they still need Peja, Chandler and Posey to be there. I doubt that will happen and they made a huge mistake by passing on Chalmers and CDR in the draft those guys would have helped that team tremendously.

  33. Please, I know its the summer, but it really is silly season to think Karl will do what Sasha did last year.

  34. Kwame. A,

    Did I say that? I said I’d like to see him improve like Sasha, not that he would this year, but eventually. Read thoroughly before you call people silly.

  35. wandahbap, I don’t think kwame a. was referring to your comment.

  36. all around me lakers fans (see: bandwagon) are up in arms … mitch has to do this, we need that, camby this, posey that, ron ron here, ron ron there

    Please … we were 2 games (arguably less) from pulling off an upset (yes I know the media picked the Lakers, but 07/08 as a whole was a major overacheivment) for the ages.

    I’m fine with standing pat, matching on Turiaf or Vujacic (yes I trust Jerry and Mitch) or if the match doesnt make sense plugging the hole(s).

    Bynum and Ariza were gone 1/2 the season. Obviously the half that mattered. So the way I see it, we’re already picking up 2 players. 2 really good players. Everyone now has another twentysomething year under their belt, together as a unit, in the same system, with playoff/finals experience.

    Odom’s contract, crunch play, and future in Phil’s game plan with Bynum/Gasol on the floor certainly has to be considered. I’m wondering how much poker bluffing is going on with the odom/artest talk.

    Remember when we first got Gasol and everyone thought Bynum would be back and the matchup combination possibilities that resulted? The really insane ones?

    Next season is going to be outstanding, injuries always play a key role in the fate of any team, I trust Jerry and Mitch to do what is and not do what isnt necessary to fine tune the show.

    Will Mihm re-emerge from the depths of injury with any capability? He’s not that old and I’m optimistic.

    Luke/Vlad – what an eingmatic pair these two are … perhaps the return of ariza/bynum will have an odom-like effect on these guys and they’ll space the floor consistently when they are out there thru lack of attention (to them)… one can dream I guess.

    The rest of the crew sans Kobe can take it up another notch … there’s certainly room for it.

    I’m assuming Vegas is taking bets on next season anybody know where to find a line?

    8-)

  37. fanerman and kwame a.,

    You might be right. I realized after. In that case, I apoligize for jumping the gun.

  38. I know we already beat the financial implications to death in this post and previous posts but……….I hope we keep Turiaf and Sasha.

    It would make everything feel right about this team…….

    Win (more) or lose (less) together.

  39. I think we better have sasha signed (given ronny is let go). i know we want him cheap and i know we have coby karl and crawford to make things a bit redundant (add vlad and luke and we really looked stacked by guys who share the same dimension of play). but if sasha goes for a reasonable price and i am banking on his growth as i do with say ariza, then we should sign him. he can shoot and defend and spark up (not as ronny though) but with his quiet play. the main thing in my head is though we are not going for a major shake-up (yet), we are actually losing guys on our bench and hoping 2 guards in summer league can get the job done. for this reason and some others i mentioned before (toughness, defense, experience and swagger), the FO has to be active. it’s a matter of when they do and what’s left when they do. we have to keep the team (starters and the bench mob) intact. losing ronny and sasha will be a big blow to this.

    i have no clue where the rest of our mle goes or if we are willing to use it at all. i maintain we need a kurt thomas big off the bench and an anchor to all those shooters we have. that anchor must be able to slash and post and perhaps this is where lamar can thrive. i have yet to see him lead a cast of jordan, sasha, radman, luke, mihm and say mbenga, but it is key. and for this i am in favor of seeing trevor with the big 5. he has to SHOOT better though. no doubt, LAMAR has to extend his range to no less than 18 feet consistently. his form has to improve and he has to deliver if he’s staying.

    as for the trade talks, let’s leave it to mitch. do or die, i know we’ll be with this laker team. it’s just that i hope the FO matches our enthusiasm by locking on this great promise. GO LAKERS!

  40. Goodbye and good luck, Ronny! Lakers fans will miss you.

  41. Adande is reporting that we won’t match on Turiaf…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3496084

    This doesn’t seem official, but maybe it is.

  42. Ronny is going to make GS signing him look very good. He shouldn’t foul as much, seeing that Nellie doesn’t stress D, and his offensive numbers are sure to go up in that offense, especially because he’ll play more mintues. He’ll definitely be worth the $4 million for them. Good luck, Ronny.

  43. (37) Chaos RR,

    I really hate to agree with anyone, but I’m with you 100% except–I don’t bet.

  44. Ronny can plug in 2 spots and we don’t need that next year. We will have Lamar backing up Gasol and Gasol backing up Bynum, with Vlade and Chris Mihm backing them up. Ronny was going to see fewer minutes from the Lakers. For GS he will see more minutes and be in a system that will not expose his weaknesses. Good for everyone all around.

    Ronny earned his money for the Lakers and we should wish him well. Perhaps we will see him again in 4/5 years (a la Fish).

  45. I keep reading people saying we need this guy or that guy for toughness and skill. To me it really doesn’t compute. We have quickly developing players and we want to bring in vets that will only stunt their growth and prevent us from paying them what they are worth. It is always better to develop your own and only bring in an outside stud when something drops in your lap – a la Gasol. That is what Danny Ainge did with the Celtics, however, he didn’t leave many of his youngsters behind so they will be starting over at the bottom in a couple of years. Notice that the Celtics did no resign Posey. For some of the same reasons we did not resign Turiaf.

  46. Okay I think you guys are a little to hyped up on Sasha! First of all he was NEVER clutch when the games were tight! He only really looked good when we had a sizeable lead in place. Oh by the way were was Sasha in the Finals? Where was his defensive prowess or magnificent 3 pt shooting ability? Listen I think Sasha has potential to be solid player in the league but I don’t want to overpay him on potential rather than actual production. You have to take into account that this was a contract year for him so it was in his best interest to put up numbers this year in order to raise his overall value. With that in mind it kind of makes you think about all those ill advised shot attempts he took with his teamates screaming at him. Its not uncommon amongst athletes in general to play well during a contract year then right after they sign the big deal they don’t deliver (ex. Luke, Vlad, Deavon G., LO you get the picture ) So you have to be careful about who you sign and at what price. Sasha’s market value in my opinion is right around 4-5 mil (maybe give him slightly more than Luke but anything beyond that is excessive. I’d say sign him to a 2-3 yr deal so that way we both win! If he proves he’s worth every penny and more he’ll get his big contract but if he flops then the Lakers aren’t locked in long term to another overpaid role player.

  47. Off topic, but what happened to the Angels fans? I’m a Sox fan, and I’m watching, and it seems like there are more of us than Angels fans there. Yeah boy!!! Manny just tied it.

  48. Either way, I love Ronny, and I am really glad that he got his, regardless of which team pays him next year.

  49. Shoulda never spoke. it’s a rout.

  50. I just updated the post with the official Ronny news, wishing him the best. Here is the other key part of what I wrote, to add to the discussion:

    On AM 570 today Matt “Money” Smith (who has some contacts as the Lakers broadcaster) said something interesting — part of the delay with making a decision on Turiaf is that the Lakers brass started having more in depth and serious talks with Sasha Vujacic’s agent. The reason was they could only sign one at these prices, they wanted Sasha but they wanted to make sure his demands were not unreasonable. That line of thinking makes a lot of sense. We’ll see if that comes to fruition in the next few days.

    Also, the Turiaf move begs the question: Do the Lakers need one more big on the bench? If so, who can you get at a cheap price?

  51. Here’s a funny one. I just came back from a date night with the wife – we went out to dinner at 9 pm in Brentwood, and just as we arrived at the restaurant, Mitch Kupchak and his wife walked out right past us, having just finished their dinner.

    Right before I left the house, I had been on this site looking for Turiaf updates, wondering if Mitch was maybe working late at the office trying to work something out for Ronny at the last minute – guess that answered my question!

    I think that was the right move for the Lakers, given the circumstances, but I will miss cheering for Ronny next season.

  52. I’m sad to see Ronny go…..

    I think he’ll flourish in GS and we’ll regret not signing him for a cheap $4 mill/year. I mean, I’d rather have Ronny than Chris Mihm and his $2.5 million contract. However, I understand the logic for not signing him given our current salary situation.

    In any case, its over……….and I’m sad. I’ll still root for him and cheer him loudly when he comes to the Staples Center.

    Now we better sign Sasha!!

    Btw, Ariza is going to be a star!!

    –aB

  53. As for another big, I don’t mind Mbenga. Doleac and Maagloire are out there too. Personally, I like Paul Davis from the Clips.

  54. I dont think Ronnys going to flurish in Nellies offense. Thats an High Octane offense, Run and Gun and Ronnys Body isnt geared towards that type of wear and tear. He was gimpy most of the season playing in the triangle which is quite different then Nellies. I really wish him the best. But honestly think he made a big mistake and wont get much playing time as the season winds down. Yeah I know the moneys good. But he just doesnt have the gas to run all season long.
    Good Luck Ronny your going to need it.

  55. Good bye, Ronny. We will miss you.

  56. Good luck Ronnie, you will be missed. I wish him nothing but the best. He was a great teammate and a pretty good player for us. I really hope he does well for the Warriors.

    As for Kurt’s question, I think another Big is a necessity. Mihm, Gasol, and even Odom have too extensive an injury history to gamble on getting through the season with only 4 legit Big men. Add to the fact that Bynum is still a question mark and I think it’s a no brainer. I understand that we can go small and play RadMan or even Walton in a pinch at PF, but that’s really stretching it for any more than situational instances in particular games.

    Based off the FA list, here are some players with some brief thoughts that could fit in as a back up PF or PF/C to play spot minutes if needed and be a practice body and end of the bench guy:

    *DJ Mbenga: C…based off last season, not the worst option. Has exposure to our team and played okay in his limited minutes as an injury replacement when both Pau and Drew were out late in the season. Played aggressive on defense (sometimes too much by going after the block too often) and proved he could catch and finish inside when given the ball at point blank range.

    *Kurt Thomas: PF/C…a guy that many have mentioned as a good replacement for Turiaf. Kurt’s a vet, has a defined offensive and defensive game, and is a proven pro. My only concern is his age and (potentially) his want to still be a contributor. If the Lakers have good health, he’ll battle Mihm for minutes and at this point I think I’d take a healthy Mihm over a 35 y/o Thomas. Especially considering that the Spurs barely played him against us and the Hornets in the playoffs.

    *Jorge Garbajosa: PF/SF…a very different type of player than Turiaf. A veteran that can shoot and play some decent defense. A Spaniard that would (seemingly) have a good rapport with Gasol. Not knowing his game too much, but knowing *of* him, he seems like a worthwhile gamble as he can do a few different things on the court and is experienced enough as a player to truly adapt to whatever role he’s issued. Although, again, he’d probably be fighting for minutes with a more established Laker (like Mihm as a Big and RadMan as a tweener SF/PF), so who knows what his minutes would look like. Plus he’s coming off a pretty serious injury that limited his games last season, so who really knows what kind of player he is at this point.

    *Kwame Brown: PF/C…some people hate this idea. I’m half and half on this. Kwame was everything wrong with what we once were. Just the sheer thought of him conjures memories that most every Lakers fan would prefer to forget. However, he’s a former teammate to most of the current team and from all accounts was friend of all the guys. As a big body that has a defined skill set, we could do worse. Plus, his role would not be nearly the same. I think that most of the let downs and bitterness that came from Kwame was that we actually depended on him. Next year, that would not be the case.

    *Austin Croshere: PF…in the same mold as Garbajosa, only more well known and without even a reputation of defense. He can shoot a little and rebound a little, but not much else. I only bring him up because I’m sure he’d be cheap and is veteran enough to be able to step in and give you some minutes even if he hasn’t played in 2 weeks.

    *Michael Doleac: C…A big body that can shoot the mid-range jumper and set a good screen. He’s also big enough to play adequate post defense and grab the rebounds that come to him (but not many others). Another veteran player that could give you spot minutes and is professional enough to not complain about not getting minutes. He was a serviceable back-up for the Heat just the season before last, but who knows if he’s got anything left.

    Those are all the players that I saw that are available and would probably be cheap enough for us to acquire. As I pointed out earlier, I do think we need another Big, just in case. I’d hate to be short handed and have to go to the street for a FA mid-season because we neglected this position and didn’t replace Turiaf with any body that could at least give us some minutes when called upon.

  57. Darius, Excellent post. Turiaf, you will be missed but we’re very happy for you and that fortune you just found.

    I honestly do think that K-w-a-m-e- B-r-o-w-n
    Yeah I said it – is the guy to pick up minutes on the pine for us. It’s not like he’ll be playing more than 10 maybe 15 mins a game (even assuming a catostrophic injury), as you said he’s familiar – and if i don’t recall, he had a mean streak to him from time to time.

    We could get him for a fair price and his presence would be diminished with his reduced salary and role on the team. Of the list you mentioned, he’s by far the best pick to give a contract of any sort to. Kurt Thomas – no, thanks anyways. He’s old, slow, and tired…He’s never even won a championship so screw his “veteranness”…

    Losing Ronny really puts a strain on us…frontcourt reduced..

    I don’t think the Lakers could have made the decision any clearer that they’re keeping Lamar…unless, of course – they will make the deal for Artest and *gasp* Kenny Thomas…then again, Artest is cheap (but how cheap next year) and Thomas has shown himself to have a repertoire. It would still fill the PF role that Turiaf did (and prob a little better, even considering his contract) and then we have that true SF…who knows, but I think this is the deal that just may happen – BUT if it doesn’t, I would be just as happy, considering Odom’s versatility and ability to rebound.

    Lakers in 08-09: 63-19; 1st place, Western Conference

  58. The Dude Abides July 19, 2008 at 1:12 am

    I’d take Garbo and Mbenga from that list, Darius. Also, re-sign Sasha, and retain Coby Karl. Then, I’d like to do something crazy, like sign Rod Benson…for his rebounding…yeah, that’s it.

  59. I believe that the Lakers remain reluctant to give away the chemistry they had last year, even as they allowed an important elixer, Ronny Turiaf, to head North. It appears that the real tipping point came when the Lakers realized how much Ronny needed his chance to play regularly with the Warriors combined with good news about Andrew’s health.

    The Lakers now turn to Sasha, but perhaps with a tighter pocket book. Sasha, like many other restricted free agents this year, has received no offer sheets to match, and teams that might have made offers have already signed other free agents. It is unlikely that Sasha’s agent can negotiate a salary too much more than the $2.7 million qualifying offer–especially since the Lakers have already crossed the luxury tax threshold.

    If the Lakers stick with their concern about team chemistry and knowledge of the triangle, they still have available backup free agents to negotiate with: Mo Evans, who held Sasha’s job until Mo was traded to Orlando, and Kwame Brown, who was the starting center last year. Alternately, the Lakers might sign no veteran free agents, allowing more summer league players to make the team.

    Whatever the Lakers do, they reemerge virtually intact as last year’s NBA finalist only slightly over the salary cap, ready to consider trades. Given that Lamar Odom has begun to emerge as a real gem on the trading market, the Lakers will be in the enviable position of negotiation from strength. At least until the season starts, the Lakers good chemistry “attitude” plus an expiring $14+ million contract should draw offers like bees to honey.

  60. Kurt, I will say “yes” to having a big men. Our frontline is still thin and though I hope we don’t end up with Boston’s big man (emphasis on big and wide) dilemma. From the list I take Kurt Thomas and Garbajosa —they have to be good at something defined and important to the Lakers. I like that they have experience and won’t mind holding the fort down. This is where mle can be expendable not unless we get a good 6th man from it. Both can fill the turiaf pf position so that a hopefully okay mihm can take center. i am viewing this on a 5 substituting for 5 lens so i expect lamar to be on the bench in this scenario instead of switching to pf or c…then again, it depends on the gameplan. i hope our mob 5 can be consistent and respectable or more than most of the mob 5s of other teams. coaching and skill are key and so i say let’s answer for the latter.

    Re: sasha, I say sign him for a reasonable price as mitch would have. If he goes loco, then we have to weigh in factors — experience against promise and all that. It will be such a loss if he walks because he has gained that year experience already whereas we expect guys like carl and crawford to be where he was a year ago, only that it is this season. then again, we also have a fiscal year to manage.

    In other matters, I think we have a lot of sfs. ariza off the bench or starting, then radman (moving to pf) and luke on sf are either enough or too much. we’re here to dominate and not just adjust to our opponent’s style. for this, we have to be sure who takes over what position instead of having dimensional players. =)

    GO LAKERS!

  61. forgive my grammar “big men”

  62. Darius,

    Regarding your comment about Kwame “As a big body that has a defined skill set”

    That skill set was missing wide open dunks by blowing bunny lay ups. I’d prefer Mbenga any day over him. I just don’t think it could work with Kwame because there’s too much bad history. We, as Laker fans, we’re ELATED to see him go. Forget Pau. I was happy to see Kwame gone.

  63. I’ll still be rooting for Ronny (whenever he isn’t playing his old squad, that is). Sasha should be an easier sign now and I’d be really surprised if he didn’t return.

    Please, please, please people…stop bringing up Kwame Brown. My God, every time I read something on him I puke in my mouth. wondahbap said it best “Forget Pau. I was happy to see Kwame gone.” Heck yeah. I would have traded him for a warm beer and a cold taco. Rod Benson is an interesting suggestion, I wonder if he has the chops? He’s a funny blogger…

  64. (64)Wondahbap,

    Right now, Atlanta is apparently “elated” that Kwame is even considering them. Just seeing someone with that size on the court got them excited.

  65. the other Stephen July 19, 2008 at 8:29 am

    goodbye ronny. maybe you’ll come back one day, just like derek did.

  66. wondahbap and fanalyst,
    Like I said, I’m half and half on Kwame, so I’m not going to go into some impassioned defense of the guy. We all saw that he had his issues on the offensive end (though he had some good moments too), so when I say “defined skill set” I’m referring to his individual post defense (rather than help defense) and his ability to rebound (both offensively and defensively). Combine those things with his big/strong body and his familiarity with the team and I think it’s worth a consideration, nothing more and nothing less. BTW, I don’t think that Mbenga is a better player than Kwame, I just think that they operate under a different level of expectations and are viewed through a different lens.

  67. Kurt, I can’t believe you’ve opened Rondora’s Box!

  68. Oh no, Kurt! Open the floodgates…

    If you want my honest opinion about this deal, it’s better than the other versions of an Artest deal. But there are still question marks (and I mean more than the Artest vs. Odom question and the chemistry/headcase/fit/etc questions that still linger). Can Shelden Williams actually play? He was a major reach as a top 5 pick and I have never been impressed by his game. Billy Knight struck again with that pick. If anything positive would come of this for Williams, it’s that it puts him in the same building as his fiance (Candace Parker). Also, is Douby anything more than an after work vice? Sorry, that was bad, but you catch my drift. Another guard? Will he play? Is he better than Karl or Crawford (although the answer is probably yes), I’m not sure. He is a combo guard that can handle the ball and score some, but I’ve never been impressed with him either. The only thing that appeals to me about this deal (outside of any Artest as a talent for us while other questions still linger) is that we exchange an expiring contract for other expiring contracts and that this season we would save money as the 3 Kings make about 2 mil less than LO. Realize though that this would be a 3 for 1 trade, and that kills our roster flexibility. Assuming a re-signed Sasha, this would put us up to 14 players and, while we’d still have an open roster spot, this would be our team. Williams would replace Turiaf, and Douby would basically replace Crawford (as it’s tough to imagine going into the season with a completely full roster).

    Overall, I’m still not sure. I’ve said it before, but I soured on Artest this past season. He used to be one of my favorite guys. But up in Sacto, he had the chance to be a leader. Instead, he broke the offense, took off plays on defense, and just didn’t step up in a way that shows he is a guy that in the end is *dependable*. Would that be different for us? Is it worth that gamble? Many would say yes….I’m not as sure.

  69. I think our FO is really high on Odom, and they know Artest is a major risk. They’ll only go for Artest on their terms – for some combination of Vlade, Luke, Ariza, Mihm. There are a lot of teams out there that love Odom, and a lot of teams that love his expiring contract. I think we can get a much better package for him in February.

  70. Darius,

    All jokes aside, you’re right about the different lens. i know you’re not pushing for Kwame, but he was, at times, a decent on the ball defender, although I don’t think Kwame is a good rebounder for his size. His help defense is not good, and it’s the help defense and rotation that we need to improve, not Kwame strengths. Man up, Lamar and Pau did a decent enough job defensively. Could Kwame come in just to bang? I don’t know if that’s him either.

    All the Lakers need in another big man right now, is a physical presence who defends decently and rebounds. That’s it. Not a scorer, or passer, just a worker.

  71. Kurt – True you may have opened a can of worms with the new trade scenario but this one is FAR more attractive for the Lakers.

    Sheldon Williams can be a decent replacement for Turiaf (possibly an upgrade) and Douby has the potential to be a solid role player as a scorer and spot-up shooter.

    My only question is that why would Sacramento do this? They don’t really benefit from this in my opinion.

    I’d hate to see LO go without know how the Gasol/Bynum/LO lineup work, but this trade would make up for a lot of my concerns. All the rumblings from the Laker front office and the agency world (some public and some not) indicate that Artest will be a Laker before the trade deadline in February.

  72. 60) Darius, I like you are 50/50 on bringing Kwame back. But, what we do not know is if Kwame would be willing to come back. He was booed incessantly before the trade and he may feel that he will not get a fresh start.

    A fresh start would consist of lowered expectations–see Mbenga–many have blamed Kwame for Michael Jordan, yes, Michael Jordan for picking him as the number one draft pick. I saw him in the summer league just prior to his rookie year and even I could tell that he should NOT have been drafted that high. At best he was a poor man’s Elden Campbell!

    With that being said I like his big body, his defense–not shot blocking, and certainly not his offense–he already knows the triangle and can pick up the rebounds that fall in his lap. We would also have 6 serviceable FOULS!

    Lamar Odom – We all have question marks abound regarding LO’s fragile crunch time abilities, however this year more than any before we have gotten out of LO the best fit for the triangle and our team. He has earned the right to return next year with an intact Laker team of Bynum, Ariza and maybe even a healthy Luke. With LO we came up two games short of a championship. Do we really want to risk team chemistry and knowledge of the triangle to bring in Artest?

    Funny thing, we are willing to trust Artest’s proclamation that he is a changed man just because he says so, but we are not willing to trust LO’s word. Who would you rather trust a man LO, who lost a child and may just be getting over the guilt of that and can now focus 100% on basketball. Or, a man that has been a head case since high school, was traded from the Pacers to the Kings for a second chance/change and is now ready to leave the Kings for another team for a third chance/change?

  73. Kwame… well, despite the fact that I hate him from the bottom of my guts… a deal for him seems to make some sense to a few around here.
    His defense is obviously a very obvious plus. And this time around, we know what we are liable to get from him. He isn’t expected to be the spearhead of the front court.
    But I’m afraid that isn’t enough. I mean, we shouldnt be paying a guy just to put a body in the lane. He can’t really rebound too well, and he doesn’t run the floor well and he doesn’t bring much energy. His D is decent, but his shortcomings on offense are egregious. Overall, I wouldnt back that move.
    I would have been happy with Najera, though he’s gone now. Garbo is a good option. I saw him play a lot the year before last, and he really impressed. Hes basically an upgrade on Ronny in shooting and D. Though hes not quite the same size, and hence not quite likely to get the same boards/blocks. Also, he doesnt post up much. (Though, Ronny didnt do that either). Overall.. I see more plus points in Gaarbo than most others.

  74. oh and Kurt— NOT HAPPENING

  75. Rohan, You are right about Kwame’s short comings. But he may be able to put out more energy in very limited minutes. Remember he would only get in the game in a blowout win or a blowout loss, or if the other thing happens that I will not mention. Think of Mbenga’s minutes this year and that was without Bynum and you will know what Kwame’s minutes will be like.

    I like his fit more and more. Najera would have been the perfect fit but at that time we were thinking of getting Ronny back.

  76. Ge Garbo from ESPN’ Marc Stein:

    “Khimki is also trying to sign Delfino’s former Toronto teammate Jorge Garbajosa, who is fresh off securing his release from the Raptors last month after an interminable contract wrangle stemming from a serious leg injury. But Garbajosa is expected to accept a similarly healthy compensation package from his hometown club in Spain — Unicaja Malaga — despite interest from the San Antonio Spurs. “

  77. Re: Big to replace Ronny:

    Though I have not identified anyone in particular, I think we need to first see how the roster pans out – who’s starting and at what position. While it is true that Gasol and Odom can interchange at PF position, there is a possibility that they are both starting. So the only way Odom slides over to PF is Gasol or Bynum go out (assuming Gasol slides to C). Basically it means that with our current line up either Gasol or Odom is ALWAYS on the floor, and thus a real likelihood that they will not be on the floor as much together. Mihm will never be a PF.

    Regardless of who we pick up, I think it needs to be someone athletic and versatile enough to be a back-up PF. because if the line-up is same except with LO taking over for Vlad at SF, then we actually do not have a PF on our bench.

    And I do take exception to anyone who thinks that Walton and Vlad can be your first PF off the bench that is just ridiculous and has been proven to be for naught in these players careers. Either would be at best a 3rd option at PF (not including when Odom or Gasol are both off of the floor.

    I think this knocks off quite a few guys from the prior list.

    And I am still not certain that Mihm can provide meaningful minutes; his good health and return to form is far from a given. And I would only accept Kwame as a replacement Mihm – I don’t want 2 stiffs.

    I realize we’re not looking for a ‘Benz just a reliable civic or escort.

  78. I don’t think we NEED an extra big, but it’d be nice if we could offer Kurt Thomas something like the vet’s minimum or up to 2 million at the most.

    The ideal situation for LA, in my opinion, is going with a starting lineup of Bynum, Pau, Ariza, Kobe and Fish, with LO being the primary backups for Bynum and Pau. We’d always always have one of the 3 on the court at all times and have LO playing with Pau or Bynum as much as possible. He’d be our version of Ginobili in a way as he could play about 30-32 minutes a night as a super-sub.

  79. Assuming Chris Mihm has recovered enough to play (a non-trivial assumption), the “additional big” is somebody who’s barely going to make the active roster. Whether you like Kwame Brown or not, he’s got decent defensive skills, and will probably find his 20 minutes anchoring someone’s second unit. (I expect he’ll end up signing for more than Turiaf got.)

    Given those restrictions, I’d really like to see Crawford make the team. Or some other young banger from the D-League. Someone that can learn from the experience, and maybe get better. Renting some old guy for a year (or more) doesn’t seem like it would help much.

  80. Hey, I’m gonna miss Ronny. He brings a such energy on the court. He is a very reliable player coming off the bench!
    I wish him good luck for his new life in Golden State!!!

  81. Getting back to the summer league post…

    I’ve now watched quite a few games and to me the Deron Williams and CP3 of this draft is Jerryd Bayless and Russell Westbrook. Mayo has looked good but spotty and Love has performed better than I thought he would be but having not watched much NCAA ball (living in Europe…), I have been very impressed by Bayless and Westbrook. Especially Bayless. The best on-ball defensive guard I’ve seen in the summer league. Blows by his man to the hoop and when he gets there has excellent body control to draw the foul. Like most youngsters, he stills needs to work on his J. But frankly, I was impressed once again that Pritchard was able to pick him up (plus Ike Diogu) for Jack and Brandon Rush? What a complete steal. Kopponen also has looked very good. Imagine Sasha w/o the defensive chops but who has excellent handles and can take it to the hole. Batum also has potential for Portland. I’m not sure that the Bulls picked the best PG in the draft.

    The Blazers are deep.

    Oden/Pryzbilla/LaFrenz
    Aldridge/Frye/Diogu/Batum
    Webster/Outlaw
    Roy/Blake/Bayless/Rodriguez/Fernandez/Kopponen

    A slight log jam at the guard position. Wish we could relieve them of the problem but can’t see how that gets done. On another note, wait till all of these guys start hitting restricted FA status all about the same time…

  82. The Lakers have long needed athleticism and the closest we have come is Ariza and Turiaf. To think that we will replace Turiaf for a big that is athletic is impossible unless we trade Luke or Vlad for a player that has potential (contract match) that has not yet been realized. And where or whom would that be?

  83. 79. rohan, you know I don’t want it to happen, but I felt an odd obligation to post that link.

    86. Bill, you know this, but summer league success is not a predictor of future success. It weeds out players that can’t cut it, but not much more.

  84. LAex V.,

    Kwame won’t sign for more than Turiaf. He’s damaged goods. After the trade, his stat line was filled with DNP/Coach’s Decision. I don’t think there’s a team out there willing to waste money on a body. He got his payday already, and won’t see another big one.

  85. Kurt.

    Of course. I’m calibrating the comments to the play in summer league only. Based on that, Bayless looks great. During the season, he might get no PT at all… whereas if he were on the wolves or knicks he might start.

    Oh and for my money, Speight is the most impressive big man this summer.

  86. Correct me if I am wrong, but the only reason to sign a big now is for insurance against injuries to the projected starters and bench players at PF and C positions. I was looking at who we have and if there are no long term injuries, there will not be any real minutes available for anyone else. Turiaf averaged 9.8 minutes in the playoffs and Ariza, Mihm and Bynum did not play for any real minutes, if any at all. I do not think we need anyone else, but then when you do not buy insurance in life, it seems like you need it. Kurt, that link you provided about you know who was interesting to read.

  87. Bingo T Klown July 19, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    83 – think about this way we only have Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Mihm for our interior positions: Mihm and Bynum only play C; Gasol can play C/PF and Odom can play PF/SF. 3 of these 4 guys have had major injury issues over the past couple of years. Further we still do not know what we can expect from Mihm and Bynum. We are hopeful that based on a limited number of games last year, Bynum will continue to head in an upward trajectory. Mihm is even more suspect since he has missed so many games and will need to figure out how to work himself into the game plan. He wasn’t the most mobile guy to begin with and now who knows if he is even mobile enough to play at this level. So we do NEED another big. Also as much as like what little we have seen of Ariza, I do not think he starts yet. I think if the season were starting today Vlad or Odom would have the starting SF. Before I put Ariza out there as a starter I would want to see some consistency on his outside jumper.

    84. I think Kwame would be acceptable except for the fact I think our biggest bench need is PF. I know there seems to be redundancy in PF/C position but I tend to see PF as a more active, athletic position, less post play, more rebounding and defense. I don’t know that Kwame is athletic enough but if he could be had for the right price and since he most likely wo’;t be playing more than 15-18 minutes a night I am not totally against him. He wont get any big offers but he’s probably gonna get more than what we can/should offer (as much or more than Ronny got).

    87 – I don’t think Ronny was that athletic? Maybe he wasn’t a stiff like other post players and gave all out effort but he had subpar rebounding skills (check his numbers). I don’t think we are going to get equal value in trading Vlad or Luke, partly because their respective values are at a low point in relation to their contract amount.

    RE: Summer league – I have watched summer league and I don’t think anyone on our squad warrants an outright roster spot. I guess we’ve signed Coby Karl, but really these guys are D-league material, for now at least.

  88. Warren Addendum July 19, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Kurt, I know this is a No-No but this is actually in relation to the “fiscal planning” that we have been discussing here all summer long.

    “Reversing” the Gasol trade thru Lamar is my advocacy and that proposal from the SacBee surely fits that mold. However practical or famous that is, I have a certain inclination to “look” for other scenarios that offer that.

    My idol Bill Bridges here mentions Portland. Well how ironic.

    Portland actually IS a fiscally-well-planned team since KP took over with all the blessing of Paul Allen. He has transformed the “jailblazers” into a decent young team (for now) and a scary dominant team (in 2-3 yrs). [edited for trade talk]

  89. FYI – On FSN Prime Ticket tonight between 8 – 12:30 is the Kobe 81 point game and Lakers Live about “Season in Review”.

  90. 92) “He wasn’t the most mobile guy to begin with ”

    Actually, Mihm was very mobile prior to his injuries.

  91. We need to consider too that even if Karl and Sasha are with the team next year (Coby is still only partially guaranteed for next season), we only have 12 guys under contract. We would still need to fill out our roster with 1-2 more players. Just for balance purposes, one of those players should be a player that can play PF. And like Turiaf, I’d prefer if that player was a combo type that could play both PF/C.

    #94: I agree, Mihm was a pretty mobile big man before his ankle troubles. It’d be really nice to have a healthy Mihm back next year. I wouldn’t expect him to be the same athlete, but he did have some skill/footwork around the basket and was decent with his interior defense/rebounding.

  92. I can not even come close to FB&G’s nomuskles, but here is what I have for KB08 81 point game.
    Kobe was in his zone.

    1st half – 26 points, Lakers down by 14
    9:20 3rd – 30 points 12 for 22 shooting
    6:20 3rd – 41 points
    9:47 4th – 53 points
    6:01 4th – 63 points
    4:24 4th – 72 points, most points in a game for Kobe 17 of 42
    0:43.4 4th – 81 points, 2nd most points in a NBA game 28 for 46 (Wilt had 100 of course)

    Mihm looked real good before his ankle injury, if he and Bynum return to pre-injury form we are set at the center position.

  93. 91.- sT, you need to realize that the bench is not as important in a playoff series as it is in the regular season. Minutes for teh regular starters are way up in the playoffs ( gasol went from 35 mins to 40 ).Thats why turiaf played just the 10 minutes.

  94. It’s difficult not to speculate about replacing Turiaf, but the Lakers are best off by playing the waiting game. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Lakers shouldn’t sign affiliated player Sasha right now, sign Coby Karl, and look to sign Sun Yue. That takes the Lakers to 13 players, perfectly positioned to do “something.”

    Meanwhile, unsigned restricted free agents without offer sheets are common, newly signed rookies make other players redundant, and some unhappy veterans get more unhappy.

    One “cure” to luxury tax suicide remains the expiring contract. For example, if Atlanta signs Childress and Smith for one year at the qualification offers, they may wish to trade Childress for an expiring contract this year so that they have enough non luxury salary next year to sign Josh Smith. Otherwise, they might lose both free agents when they become unrestricted. The unthinkable happens: Josh Childress is offered in trade on reasonable terms.

    “Doing nothing” with a well formed team in hand could allow the Lakers to wait out Sacramento, who may find the value of Artest dropping like a rock.

    Sometimes, the most difficult thing to do is nothing at all.

  95. Boobie Gibson signed a 5 yr, $21M deal. That’s more or less what Vujacic is worth.

  96. Bingo’s #92 hit the nail on the head.
    Bynum,Mihm,Gasol and Mbenga can all man the C spot,so there is plenty of depth there.
    At the 4,it’s Gasol and Odom-which incidentally is why he’s NOT getting traded this yr-and…? When Gasol has his annual 2 wk injury “vacation”,what happens if Lamar gets in foul trouble? Do you really want Radman or Walton guarding Duncan,Amare,West,Boozer,Aldridge,Dirk,etc ?

  97. New post up, wrapping up summer league with some Lakers stats.

  98. 101. I think Sasha is a much more rounded, useful player than Gibson. He should make more. Rumor is the Cavs just kept Boobie around because LeBron likes him (and what the King wants, he gets).

  99. Why don’t we just re-sign Mbenga and give him Ronny’s 10 min. a game. We don’t need an impact big, just a fill-in.

  100. Heres my deal, I don’t think the Lakers absolutely need either of these guys, but I really like both of em. But if I really had to figure out which guy would be harder to replace I would go with Rony. The Lake show is up to their neck in streak shooters, and for all his heart Sasha takes bad shots and other than hustle is limited on the defensive end. I am not saying I dont want him, what I am saying is that Rony to me seems a little more irreplaceable, you have the ultimate team guy, he brings good things out of Kobe. Having said that for all his fundamentals, hustle and shot blocking I also understand why the Lakers didnt pay him, the guy is a terrible rebounder. I still think if I was gonna pay either of the two I would rather have the ultimate team guy, and insperational story on my bench, good things tend to happen to good people. You want them around.