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.