Phil Jackson, Draft and Other Thoughts

Kurt —  June 24, 2009

SEC Mens Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal : Florida Gators v Auburn Tigers
It’s a cornucopia of stuff today.

Let’s start with Phil Jackson’s announcement that he may want to take some road games off next season and let Kurt Rambis coach them. I will say that once I started working for NBCLA.com this season and being credentialed, one of the first things I really noticed is that Phil Jackson is hurting far more than you see on the broadcasts. It is not easy for him to get around, and in person, watching him walk to the court and around the locker and interview room, it was far more evident how uncomfortable he is.

I think this is a great way to start the transition out of the Jackson era. Jackson not doing some of those back-to-back roadies, some of the taxing trips, missing eight games (give or take) is no big deal. The Lakers will have largely (or exactly) the same roster as this year, Phil has control of this team already, a few missed games will not hurt this. And it gives Kurt Rambis a chance to establish and prove himself. If Jackson is stepping into a consulting role (he’d never totally walk away) in the middle of a championship window the transition needs to be as smooth as possible (and the team should not dramatically move away from a triangle offense it is built to run).

A few fans balked at this because Rambis was not smooth as the coach for the one game he handled this year. But if you want to cut him out for losing one road game in Portland, where the Lakers haven’t won there since 2004, your criteria are a little to high. Rambis will get the chance to grab the brass ring, whether he does or not is on him. But he is a true Laker guy, he deserves the chance.

• This is one of those drafts that in five years is going to have fans of some (many?) franchises saying “How could you let Player X go by and draft some schmoe we cut three years later?” But right now, it’s so hard to predict who the schomes and who the stars will be. Outside of Griffin, there are major concerns in everyone’s game and to me this looks like a bunch of role players, especially once you’re past spot three or four. But a couple of these guys will step up over time, flesh out their game, and the GMs that pass on them will hear about it.

• The TrueHoop Network of blogs is hosting one large — Supersized! — live chat that night, and I will have a link to that up. The draft is not that but a deal for the Lakers fans but it will be a fun and exciting one to watch. And chat about. Also, check out the new TrueHoop Network podcast hosted by the brilliant Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm (and like every other blog in the universe) talking about the top few picks with the bloggers from those teams.

• There already have been and will be on draft night so many trades and moves that any mock drafts out there border on moot.

• I am holding out hope that somehow Nick Calathes drops through to us (not that optimistic, though). ESPN.com analyst David Thorpe told me he thinks Calathes will pan out to be the best PG in the draft.

• Long time friend of the site Xavier sent over some thoughts on two of the other Europeans that the Lakers are looking at. (For those that are new here, Xavier is a professional coach in Spain in the youth program that produced Ricky Rubio, he really knows his stuff and the European players).

Rodrigue Beaubois is a freak guy. He has the physical tools but still don’t know how to use them. Speed and athletic, with a superb wingspan, something like 6?10 or close (correct me if I’m wrong) measuring 6?2. Lacks of true PG skills and though being a good athlete doesn’t move his feet well on D. He plays in France, which isn’t one of the premiere leagues in Europe, so I haven’t seen him play against proven European players. Could be a project ala Sun Yue. Not worth of a 1st round pick if you want him to contribute but if he can wait in Europe a couple years.

The guy the Lakers should aim with its 42nd pick is Victor Claver. I was right with Marc Gasol, believe in me with this one. [Editor’s note, Xavier was telling me Marc was better than we all thought from the day the Lakers drafted him.] If Claver didn’t hurt this season, he probably would have been drafted in the early 20s. He’s not a star, but he really has the tools to be a good role player. At 6?10” is a PF able to move in both forward positions. Can finish at the rim at will and knows how to shoot the 3 (around 40% before injury) but lacks of shoot creation, most of his 3s come from spot up shooting. Slow defending at the wing but not rocky enough down the paint.

He’s pretty smart, doesn’t turn the ball over, mainly because he know what he cannot do and adjust to his role. Right now, after the injury I would not give up a 1st round pick on him, but that might be a blessing. Euros being projected in late 1st round prefer to be selected in the 2nd round because it doesn’t have the same salaries restrictions. They can stay in Europe and sign a better contract than a first round pick. Look at the contract Marc Gasol (former laker 2nd round pick) have in comparison to Farmar (1st round pick). So if Claver lived up to his expectations playing a year or two more in Spain, the Lakers wouldn’t be in the same situation Spurs are with Thiago Splitter, who’s not coming to the NBA because he’s a 1st round so his salary is determined, and he gets much much more money playing for Tau Vitoria.

Kurt

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197 responses to Phil Jackson, Draft and Other Thoughts

  1. I am going to allow some trade talk in this thread, as there will be a lot of trading going on. I don’t think the Lakers are going to do any to get a player, just to get out of picks, but we can talk about it. As always, within reason. Your five-team trade that has the Lakers giving up Sun and getting back Wade is not going to fly here. But have at it.

  2. Just curious.. why the White Chocolate pic?

    I’m looking forward to seeing what draft day holds.. if the lakers will be able to use the 1st round pick to trade to unload salary (yes, I know a pick has to be made first because of the Gasol trade).. or if they will draft someone overseas to stash.. or if somehow they draft someone that ends up on the roster next year which seems the most unlikely scenario of all.

  3. 2. The pick is Nick Calathes from his Florida days.

  4. I wasn’t too high on Rambis, because I really didn’t care for the defensive strategy we had this year. I though it was so-so. The player’s energy had something to do with the defense looking mediocre to subpar at times. When we played it, it was fairly good. So,I’ll give him the benefit of doubt. I’ll have to live with it and see what he can do.

    This draft got a little bit more exciting just because of the trades being made.

  5. I wonder what other teams are likely to want to stash a pick in Europe. Normally it would only be a stable team without much rookie playing time or roster spots. Perhaps the Spurs fit that profile.

    But in an unusually high-risk, medium-gain draft, maybe more teams will think about punting for next year and stashing.

    I’m basically wondering how much competition we’ll have for Calathes, Claver, Beaubois and others… Thoughts?

  6. 5. I fear a lot of competition. Less to do with playing time and everything to do with saving a few bucks this year by not having to pay a first round pick for a couple years.

  7. I’d like the Lakers to get Calathes if he falls far enough. He will be in Greece next year which will save money and then he can be brought over when Fish retires. But I doubt he falls that far. A lot of teams will consider him because they will not have to bring him over this year.

    You mean we are not getting Wade for Sun.

  8. Guess my concern about Rambis as a head coach “prospect” is not the single game he lost on the road vs Portland this year, but his lackluster 24-13 record in ’98-’99, plus what’s he done in the intervening decade to get ready to be a NBA head coach again? Not to knock the guy, because he’s a great part of the Laker legacy, but if he’s head coach material, why hasn’t he been a head coach sometime/somewhere/somehow over the past decade?

    Is he a superior head coaching prospect to Brain Shaw, for example? Or Kareem, for that matter.

  9. I think Fish becomes an assistant coach with the Lakers when he retires. Either that or Head of the Player’s Union. Or the former until the latter becomes available.

  10. I am a Florida grad and have watched every game that Nick played for the Gators and I can honestly say he is the real deal. Not crazy fast, but quick. Great vision and can handle the ball well. Needs to bulk up a bit, but who outside of Howard on draft day doesn’t need that.

    Unfortunately I don’t think that he will be around for us to snatch him up, but you never know.

  11. 8. R, I don’t think the job that Kurt Rambis did in 98-99 was lackluster. First, that was the strike-shortened season, so it was already a bit screwy. Second, he took over mid-season after Del Harris was let go after going 6-6. So Kurt is thrust into a very difficult situation.

    What was his biggest problem that year? He couldn’t get Shaq and Kobe to play well together. I am not faulting him for that. He has said he had sit downs with both of those players, and together, but those massive egos did not allow it. The only person that could was Phil Jackson (who came in next year) and that was because he came in as the guy with MJ’s backing and the six rings. (The guy Rambis has been learning from for another decade.) And Phil could only keep them together five years.

    No, he did not take the Sacramento job that was offering the worst head coaching pay in the NBA to take on a team in financial turmoil with a messed up roster. You want to blame him for that? That he was not given a chance in other places is moot to me, the question is can he get the job done here. I still think he deserves the chance. I don’t know for sure if he can do it, which is why I like this transition kind of step.

  12. On post-Phil. I think it is extremely unlikely (barring some new drama) that an outsider will come in to coach the team. No outsider will have credibility with the team (Coach K could win over Kobe, so he might be the exception), no outsider will know the triangle (see below), no outsider could keep Shaw and Rambis, who will leave for greener pastures, and Phil won’t consult for just anyone, causing an upheaval of the coaching staff.

    And basically, who are they going to hire? The best coaches are staying put (Sloan, Pop) or burn bridges too quickly (Brown, Skiles, Byron). I doubt anyone would trust Rambis to build a champion from scratch, but he might well be the best person to keep the machine moving. People talk like 24-13 is hideous, but that prorates just short of a 54 win season… which would have tied for second seed this year. Not bad for your first season taking over in the middle.

    I have no real way to compare Shaw and Rambis (and Fisher!), but they all seem like legitimate choices, and the only practical choices.

    On Triangle post-Phil. We need to stick with it for this core simply because our role players are selected to excel in such a system. It is *hard* to get normal players to complement an offensive superstar. Lebron this year couldn’t get the help, but his supporting staff was about as talented as the Laker supporting staff… the problem was the offensive scheme could be disrupted by single-covering him and making him shoot midrange and contesting everyone else. It was similar to the Bulls and Jordan pre-triangle. Jordan could score 60+ and still lose.

    It is possible that the Lakers can evolve away from the triangle slowly… even now, they don’t run it more than half the time and not in crunch time. But it’s still the best three-quarters offense to complement an offensive superstar.

  13. Marc Stein is floating a rumor out there that Memphis might be trading Darko to NY for Quentin Richardson. Now Darko has a $7.5M expiring contract and apparently, the Grizzlies will be okay with taking in Q-Rich’s $9M. What if the Lakers offer Sasha’s 2 year $10M contract and the 29th pick for Darko instead. Memphis will be receiving a comparable 3-point shooter and a draft pick for half the price split into 2 years. It’ll also be funny that Memphis will have the Laker’s pick 3 years in a row.

  14. Why do the Lakers need Darko? Why would the Grizz trade an expiring contract unless they wanted to move up in the draft? (Seems like they’re the team that needs to get rid of that $ by letting it expire.)

  15. The lakers can’t trade their pick this year…

  16. Sorry, forgot to mention, the my idea is not to get Darko but an expiring contract. The lakers would be saving overall about $5 ($2.5M cap savings, $2.5M luxary tax savings). This is especially significant in 2010, when Ammo and Fish’s contact runs out which could lessen the burden placed on Jerry Buss.

  17. Is anyone else giddy to see the wheels come off a little in Boston? Does Boston have to trade Rondo now that they dangled him and made a few character concerns public? I love it. I know that they brought a group of castoffs together for a title once, but it’s usually very difficult to mold a team together on the fly. If they lose Rondo and Allen I think they take a step back next year.

  18. #13. Yes, you are right. I meant to say draft a player Memphis would like and trade the player immediately to Memphis.

  19. Trade idea: If we only sign one of Ariza or Odom for some reason, then Morrison, Fisher, and Farmar for Hinrich. Chicago gets $10M in expiring money and a nice backup to Rose. Fisher gets bought out and comes back to us.

  20. I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I understand the Gasol/Splitter point. Is it, essentially, that late(r) first round picks’ salaries are guaranteed at a level that might be TOO LOW for the better european players and, as a result, those players choose to stay in europe where they can make more money, whereas, by contrast, a 2nd round pick has the freedom to negotiate a richer deal that would exceed what they get in europe? Is that right, or there another part to it?

    And do the Spurs not have any legal claim on Splitter by virtue of drafting him? He can just turn down any deal he doesn’t like, essentially functioning as a free agent?

    If I’ve got this right, I must say I’m still surprised that, if the money is close, the euros wouldn’t prefer to play in the NBA– the top dog league– just as the few american soccer players worth a damn often bolt for the european leagues.

  21. “If they lose Rondo and Allen I think they take a step back next year.” You think???

  22. I love how lofty our standards are as Laker fans… if you think that 24-13 is lackluster, you have been spoiled, tremendously spoiled.

    There were six teams this year that had 24, or fewer, wins for the entire SEASON.

    Rambis is a Laker, all the way to the bone. I like the idea of Jackson taking games off on a schedule, minimizing his discomfort and maximizing his efforts when he is here.

    Rambis will get a bit more face time, as a coach, and earn even more respect than he already has. The superstars might not love Rambis, but I would think that the role-players do, for sure.

    Hustle, Toughness, Aggressiveness, Winner? That is Rambis, it is what he was all about as a player, and now as a coach.

    In many ways, the 29th pick this Draft is a good thing. Mitch will not be judged too harshly, since he is picking up scraps in a medium to weak draft anyway.

    If his pick doesn’t pan out, everyone shrugs and says, “Well, 29th…what did you expect?”. On the other hand, if he drafts someone that contributes in the next 2 or 3 years, he is a genius.

    Maybe we will get lucky and Rubio will free fall all the way down to us… You know, none of the top 5 takes him, and then the rest all say to themselves, “Wait, he didn’t get picked by any of the top 5? Did we scout him, seriously? No? Hmmm. They must know something we don’t. Let’s just take who we thought we were going to get anyway… Why risk it?”

    Not likely, but wouldn’t it be nice…

  23. I see no problem w/ the Jackson/Rambis situation. Rambis has been learning from Phil for 10 years, I think he probably picked up a couple of things in that time. Plus his lockout season record really wasn’t that bad, was he the coach when we added Rodman? I can’t recall.

  24. I think Rambis would be a solid choice as Jackson’s replacement. 24-13 is a pretty decent winning percentage for anyone, particularly someone thrust into an awkward situation like that, so I see that as a positive for Rambis, not a negative.

    Not a big fan of players going from the roster to head coach in one step; although Fisher is a better choice than most for that.

  25. “Rambis deserves a shot.”

    I think that this is a very very dangerous statement. If this was an up and coming team, maybe. But this is a championship team with 3-4 more chances at the ring. At this point you cannot allow emotions to come into play and pick Rambis because he has been a good laker. With everything at stake, deserves got nothing to do with it! It’s who is the best for the job. If Rambis is the best then he should get the job, if others would fit better then they need to get the job.

    To pick Rambis because of an emotional attachment to the guy would be selling the team short and the fans short. You need to get the best guy for the job when the stakes are this high.

  26. Kurt – Thanks for the reply, what you say does make a great deal of sense. I’m sure Kurt will do an adequate job as a stand in.

    22 – Not sure I’ll cop to “spoiled” … that seems a bit harsh. Yeah I know the NBA, like any sports league, has it’s share of lousy teams – I watched several Warriors games this year in person. But I don’t see how that pertains to the Lakers.

    Yes, as a fan I do hope for excellence, and as Laker fans we have been priviledged. But “spoiled”?

  27. Great Googly Moogly June 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    ESPN.com is reporting that the Pacers are looking to get rid of Jarett Jack. Wouldn’t he be a good fit with the Lakers? He’s a heady, tall, gifted PG that will not have the cache to demand much in the Laker offense.

    I know PG isn’t at the top of the Lakers priority list but it’s pretty close to the top.

  28. How soon after the Lakers make their draft selection are they allowed to draft their rights to him? Is it immediate? B/c if it is, then that’s essentially the same thing as having the ability to trade the actual pick.

  29. Rambis or Shaw is the logical choice to succeed Jackson as long as the team is in the current “championship window” (which seems likely as this may be his last season). If you can, you’d like to keep the same system, since thats the one the team was built for and won with. I could see Fish retiring and being brought in as an assistant coach after this season. There are just some players whom you know will make good coaches (Fisher and Snow are two examples)

  30. NOOOO to Jarrett Jack. He’s is not a good player. He makes terrible decisions.

    Also, the Celtics are demonizing Rondo the way the Red Sox smear their popular players when they get ready to let them go. They are making it easy for the fans to swallow. No way the info being let out is released unless the Celtics do it on purpose.

    I do think that when they trade Rondo, it will be a good deal for the Celtics.

  31. Looks like the dubs and the hawks are doing a trade now:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4284512

  32. I’m not sold on Rambis as Phil’s eventual successor — I’m intrigued by Brian Shaw as a possibility.

    But like Kurt (Helin) I think the way to test Rambis’ mettle is through a shared coaching approach like that which has been proposed next season.

    Rambis’ record wasn’t stellar in 1998-99, but their were a lot of challenges with that team (many already noted) that would have been problematic for any first-team NBA coach.

    Let’s not forget Shaq’s constant harping that season that he needed a “thug power forward” to give him help up front, which led to the worst move the Lakers may have ever made when Dennis Rodman was inked late that year.

    Imagine trying to control a whining Shaq, a young 20s Kobe — neither of whom had yet known what was needed to be a champion yet saw themselves as greater than their then-accomplishments indicated — and then adding Rodman to the mix? Throw in a rookie Ruben Patterson, who I’m sure was a joy to coach. Gasoline on a fire, anyone?

    The lone voices of reason in the locker room were a young back-up point guard (Fisher), a quiet guy (Eddie Jones) and perhaps Rick Fox or Horry. None of those guys could command Shaq or Kobe’s respect at that point in their careers.

    That ’99 team was damn near uncoachable, I’d argue — evidenced by the fact that under Phil L.A. immediately began signing vets (Shaw, A.C. Green, Salley, Harper), and quickly ditched Rodman and Ruben.

    Despite those issues, they won a playoff series before being swept by the eventual NBA champion Spurs.

    For all of those reasons, I don’t think anyone should ’99 against Rambis.

  33. Hey. Call Chris Wallace and tell him we’ll ship Farmar, Ammo, Mbenga #28, and both 2nd rounders for #2 (Rubio) and Darko.

    Think he’d fall for that?

  34. I meant the #28 pick.

  35. One question: If Fish was a player/coach… how does the cap come into play…. does his entire salary go to player…. or coach… things that make you go hmmmmm?

  36. I don’t think Victor Claver will be around when the Lakers pick with their first second-round pick. Why not pick Victor Claver with the first round pick? Victor Claver or Jonas Jerebko works for me with the first pick. I think Danny Green, with the 42nd pick would be great value. With the last pick, Goran Sutan or Robert Dozier works for me. Tall lanky players who can shoot the three.

    Kurt, does Xavier have an opinion on Jonas Jerebko?

  37. The Dude Abides June 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    re Coach Rambis in 1999:
    One additional factor was that the Lakers picked up Dennis Rodman that season, and the team soon went on a ten-game winning streak with this lineup:
    C: Shaq
    PF: Rodman
    SF: Kobe
    SG: Eddie Jones
    PG: Fisher
    Key Subs: Elden Campbell and Robert Horry were the first bigs off the bench, and Rick Fox was the backup SF, but there was little depth at guard.

    They were headed for the best record in the league when they pulled the Jones and Campbell for Glen Rice and JR Reid trade, which destroyed whatever chemistry they had left, as Rodman went from being the center of attention for his novelty and inspired play, to being overshadowed by the new acquisition. When they lost some games after the trade, the Kobe-Shaq feud perked up again. Pretty hard to blame a first-time interim coach like Rambis for an atmosphere that featured a disruptive Rodman and a feud between your two biggest alpha dogs.

  38. #19 Reed,
    I’d love that idea as a fallback, but more so if it’s Odom that isn’t resigned. I think LO is the guy (and Walton to a degree) that can cover up for the fact that our PG’s aren’t one of our stronger groups of players. So if LO ended up being gone, I think we need to accelerate our search for a good PG – essentially trying to replace the talent level (and some of the skill set) with a player that can also play one of our weaker positions.

  39. Wondahbap – I bet if you switch Darko and insert Marko Jaric, Wallace would a agree to the deal.

  40. E-Roc,

    So would Jerry Buss. Only if Adriana Lima guaranteed her supermodel friends came with the deal.

  41. @Reed #19

    Morrison, Fisher, and Farmar for Hinrich.

    Creative, but three issues.

    1. Hinrich makes $27M/3yrs. That’s a ton of money and years for a PG who might not be the answer.

    2. I don’t get the love for him I see on the boards. Not saying it’s wrong, but I mostly hear that he’s a good defender, though not elite right now, a bad playmaker (no problem in the tri), a so-so streaky shooter (ugh), and an overdribbler (perhaps a problem in the tri).

    3. CHI likes expirings. But do they like Farmar and his upside enough to make this happen?

  42. 19/38. I love the idea of Hinrich in the triangle. But the reality, I fear, is that Chicago would ask for even more. It also really locks up the roster for a few years because of how much he makes.

  43. Supposedly Memphis is picking Thabeet with the second pick. I know this draft is not particularly strong, but Thabeet 2nd overall? They are trading Darko to NY so maybe Wallace thought they needed another Darko on the team. It won’t be quite as bad as taking Darko because there is no one in this draft as good as Melo and Wade but that would still be a bad pick.

  44. USA beats Spain 2-0!!

  45. Kurt,
    I don’t think Rambis is a good candidate for the head coaching spot. He was horrible in his first stint as head coach of the Lakers. And I don’t think He can command Kobe’s respect. He can’t teach Kobe anything he doesn’t already know. The only thing he has going for him is his familiarity with the triangle.

  46. How did the USA beat Spain? WOW!

  47. The US is better than they have been playing recently, and Spain was (I’m sure) looking past them.

  48. They will probably meet Brazil (assuming they beat South Africa) in the finals whom they already lost to 3-0.

  49. The Dude Abides June 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Jim Rome just blasted Phil for next season’s coaching proposal, implying that Phil wanted to take all road games off. Not sure what Romey sees here, as I’m under the impression that Phil will probably only take a few of the tougher roadies off.

  50. We own Spain right now.

    I betcha Kobe was rubbing it in to Pau.

  51. Wow, according to Adrian Woj, “There’s no chance Bowen returns to the Spurs if the Bucks buy him out as well. His relationship with Gregg Popovich deteriorated with his dwindling role a year ago, and that partnership is over.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AlekqlXrZN9mWXM7c07wHz.8vLYF?slug=aw-draftbuzz062409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    I always thought Bowen was a Popovich guy through-and-through. weird.

  52. If Bruce Bowen was bought out of his contract, would you all mind seeing play for the Lakers next year? Just curious.

  53. 50:

    Not to mention Bowen’s swan song published in the San Antonio Express–you don’t do that if you think you’re coming back.

    http://voices.mysanantonio.com/brucebowen/

  54. To help sign Odom/Ariza we can trade Bynum to OKC for Westbrook/Petro to free up cap space and pick up our future point guard.

    We also get a solid center to back up Pau. We might have to throw in Farmar or our 1st pick to make the deal happen.

    OKC can take the contract because they have the cap space. And they are looking for a solid big man. This may be even more likely if they pick up Rubio with their draft pick.

    I would hate to lose Bynum because he can be a dominant center but I believe we can win a few more championships with this trade, not to mention the financial flexibility we gain from it.

  55. P.S.
    I was holding on to that trade proposal for months, waiting for Kurt to allow the trade talk.

  56. To Kurt re #3…

    I’m laughing at myself for that… but geez.. looks a little like Williams, no?

    Maybe not.

  57. The Dude Abides June 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    56, I would hate that trade even if Johan Petro still played for OKC, which he doesn’t. I can tell you one thing: Sam Presti would hurt himself doing backflips for a week if we traded Bynum to him in return for Westbrook and a backup center.

  58. Adam Morrison plus whomever for:
    Tim Thomas
    Jeff Foster
    Luke Ridnour

  59. Here is some news on Phil Jackson if he comes back next year, it will be for home and away games. Kupchak talked to Phil this morning

    http://twitter.com/Lakers

  60. #32 Chris J made a interesting case for signing veterans for help on a championship team. In 2000 when Phil came to LA we signed proven veterans that could collectively as a whole make up for high priced help. Thats all that needs to happen this year, sign the 23 yearold TA and use the money you were going to pay LO to sign veterans. This helps the salary cap situation and it alllows us flexibilty in the long run because of the short term contracts given to these players. A mcdyess, birdman, k thomas, joe smith, t. ratliff, j magloire. If the lakers just signed two of these players they could sign another point, say m. bibby, since the birds just signed crawford. The situation we are in now with just signing two players(LO and TA), just seems to me we just need to take a look back on what brought us success in the past.

  61. Regarding the game between the US and Spain:

    The US did a nice job defending, and Spain didn’t have the best of nights. With 15 straight wins and 35 straight without a defeat, I guess Spain was due for a little bad luck. They made two crucial errors on D, which led to the two goals (the only two shots at goal the US had during the game).

    Being half Swedish as well, I’m happy for Charlie Davies who plays for my team – Hammarby. Hopefully this success will turn into more cash for us when we sell him (because as soon as a player succeeds in a smaller league like the Swedish one, he gets sold – that’s how soccer works).

    Sorry for the off-topic=)

    As far as the Lakers goes; as long as they resign Odom, Ariza and Brown – I’m happy no matter what happens in the draft;)

  62. He needs to just retire if he is going to do that,
    i mean if you hurt that much..and have won a lot already …sit down forever now.

    http://lakerscorner.net

  63. dave in hillsboro June 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    11, Kurt,

    There’s more that made the ’98-’99 season screwy for the Lakers:

    There was the mid-season trade of Eddie Jones for Glen Rice. Prior to that, there was a steady stream of rumors that the Lakers were going to trade Jones (then my favorite Laker), which almost certainly affected team chemistry, both before and after the trade. For one thing, it sent Kobe from the starting SF spot to the starting SG spot. I’m not saying that trade was bad in the end, but it definitely changed what the Lakers were doing mid-season.

    Also, that was the year Rodman played for the Lakers. It was the first year post-Van Exel, and Derek (not Ron) Harper started 29 games, in his final season in the NBA. Ruben Patterson was a rookie for the Lakers, who also had on their roster Sean Rooks, Corie Blount and Sam Jacobsen. That was just a flawed team, one that had dealt with a lot of personnel changes in a short period of time.

    I think Rambis deserves some credit for keeping it together as well as he did. And I think he’s likely grown as a result of serving under Jackson. I prefer to ease him into it this time, rather than throw him in the fire like 98-99. I support this plan.

  64. I can see a scenario where the Lakers trade up. They can use their trade exception to buy another first round pick; with this pick, they select Calathes. The rules then permit them to trade their original 1st round pick and their late 2nd round pick for an earlier 2nd round pick. The Lakers then pick up Beaubois and Claver.

  65. 56, last time I checked, Johan Petro was on the Nuggets. Perhaps you’re referring to the Johan Petro trade exception? Even then, the salaries don’t match up because Bynum is a BYC guy and his salary is going up to 12 mil next year. So unless we’re willing to take on Earl Watson and Chucky Atkins’ rotting corpse, that deal can’t happen. Still, if they throw in the #3 pick, I’d do the deal.

    That being said, I wouldn’t mind trading Bynum for Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Marko Jaric’s dead body and the #2 pick.

    Either way, we get a PG and a big guy, by picking either Rubio or Thabeet with the picks.

  66. The real issue for Rambis as head coach is whether he has the respect of the players and, above all, of Kobe. Whoever follows PJ has a more than likely chance of losing the players quickly. If the players (and Kobe) believe in someone in house – then that is the way to go. I think it has to be someone along the lines of Coach K. as long as Kobe is around though.

    Not a lot to add to the draft discussion – though I am intrigued by the Rondo issues in Boston. I am not as gaga over him as some seemed to be during the playoffs – but I did think he was probably their best player on several nights.

    My big trade idea is Magic, Kareem and Rambis for Lebron.

  67. I believe that salary cap rules would preclude a straight up Sun-Wade trade. However, a common practice is to include other players in the trade so that salaries match.

    The Lakers could add in Sasha, Derek and Adam Morisson and the salaries would match. Also, I think it is a little unreasonable to trade Wade for Sun straight up, as Wade outperformed Sun in the Olympics (I know, small sample size alert!). However, Morisson was drafted 3rd while Wade was drafted 5th (4th if you take out LeBron), so that’s an upgrade on pure potential. Can Miami throw in a draft pick to even this out?

  68. The Dude Abides June 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    69. Firewalker

    +1

  69. Meh, I’m not thrilled at Rambis taking over. Take it as a bad gut feeling. That said, if we’re going to keep our current system, I can’t see any alternative than giving the job to either Rambis or Shaw. If we’re not married that much to the current system, then the coach I would want is JVG. We can always score with this team — the offense, as Kurt frequently says — is usually not a problem. Wherever JVG has coached, his teams have been fantastic defensive teams. This is the guy Thibodeau was an assistant to in Houston for a while, and we all know how good of a defensive coach Thibodeau is.

    As far as trades go, we need some sort of long-term replacement at the point. Hinrich seems to be the best player available that fits into the triangle, but his contract is really big for the kind of production he brings. Barbosa is another option, but his lack of defensive intensity scares me.

    Oh, and whoever said to trade Bynum to OKC for Westbrook and spare change is frankly out of their mind.

  70. First, since Kurt mentioned it big props to USA for beating Spain. Live in London so I get to talk more trash at work tomorrow for that one than I did for the Laker championship.

    But mainly just wanted to re-iterate my support of the idea of Phil Jackson not traveling to every game with the team next year. Why should he travel to any game at all other than maybe short Pacific Standard Time destinations, big “measuring the team” games against Orlando/Cleveland/Boston, and maybe away against the Clippers if he really feels up to it?

    NBA like it or not is really all about the playoffs (and the playoffs usually involve at multiple games and at least 4 days at any away location). Jackson can see almost as much on 4-angle HD video than he can from the bench, and he could probably even conference call in at halftimes. But I honestly don’t see any need for him to be present in the gym for away games in the regular season.

    In fact, how big a secret weapon would it be for the Lakers as an away-team in the playoffs to have Jackson present if he had only previously been present at home in the regular season? That’s plenty of confidence boosting mystique right there. Any anyway, look at some of those 90′s Bulls teams and the Shaq+Kobe Lakers — there were a lot of regular season underperformers there even with Jackson present.

    Phil’s genius is managing in the playoffs. If he can give us that, then that’s all we need.

  71. Am I an idiot for thinking JVG would make a good next coach for the Lakers?

    NOTE: please do not take post 69 into account when ascertaining whether or not I am an idiot.

  72. 62) That is a reasonable idea, except for Bynum’s medical history.

  73. From Draftexpress:

    -Multiple NBA teams believe that the Lakers have zeroed in on Nick Calathes as their likely target with the #29 pick, and will likely leave him over in Greece for one to two years until they sort out their salary cap situation. Calathes is an excellent fit for the triangle offense as a big point guard who can shoot and has an excellent feel for the game.

  74. Looks like the LAKERS dont want first round draft pick after all.

  75. What are your opinions on priorities?

    They may not be related, but would like to know how you value…

    1. Phil Jackson
    2. Lamar Odom
    3. Trevor Ariza

    In which order would you rank them in terms of importance in the next season, and maybe beyond?

    I’m more or less thinking 3-2-1, but that’s because I’m hoping we’ll see pre-injury Bynum next year as opposed to this playoff’s Bynum, and because I think we’ll be okay without Phil if we can keep this crew, compared to losing either of the two players above.

  76. from AP:

    General manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday that there was a “better than even likelihood” the team would get rid of its first-round pick.

    “There’s a lot of interest, absolutely,” he said. “Certain teams, they may want to preserve cap space for the next year or two and they may need to add players. A good way to add talent at a fixed price is to have a lot of draft choices and then you can still maintain cap space a year from now.”

    The Lakers are hopeful they will re-sign Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom, all of whom become unrestricted free agents on July 1. If so, that would bring the roster to the league-minimum 13 players, making it unlikely the team would add another player.

    “With our situation, you don’t want to draft players that can’t make your team because your roster’s full,” Kupchak said. “So we may look to move or to exchange our draft picks for future picks or whatever we choose to do.”

    With point guard Derek Fisher approaching 35, Kupchak acknowledged the team has been preparing to find his successor. Leading up to the draft, the team has worked out about 30 players.

    “We have Jordan [Farmar], who’s had moments when he looks like the guy who could assume that position and Shannon Brown did a great job as well, but I think that position in the future is still undetermined,” Kupchak said. “We need to figure out who is going to take over that position when Derek retires.”

  77. 74. You’re not crazy, but… JVG is a good announcer (when not in geek mode). His teams have always been awful on O. How can a team with Tmac and Yao be so poor offensively? I don’t think that offense always teaches itself, especially with a star to unbalance things.

    Also I question a lot of the things he suggested during the playoffs and Finals. Off the top of my head, he suggested playing Kobe all game and running every play through him. He was against the Lakers taking the ball out full court for what ended up being Fisher’s 4.6. I am not convinced that he can really handle Kobe and the rest.

  78. Looks like there might a trade of the 1st round pick…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4285133

  79. Oh no…no big props to U.S. for beating Spain. Not cool.

    Well, I guess the Phil-Rambis coaching discussion is pretty moot because Mitch put the kibosh on that pretty quickly.

    I think Sir Helin should take over the job, personally.

  80. I thouhgt this bit of info from the Kupchak trade pick piece on espn is quite interesting:

    “…With point guard Derek Fisher approaching 35, Kupchak acknowledged the team has been preparing to find his successor. Leading up to the draft, the team has worked out about 30 players.”

    “We have Jordan [Farmar], who’s had moments when he looks like the guy who could assume that position and Shannon Brown did a great job as well, but I think that position in the future is still undetermined,” Kupchak said. “We need to figure out who is going to take over that position when Derek retires.”

    It also sounds like MK is trying to sign all 3. That would be awesome. I think that if we’re able to sign Odom, Lamar and Shanon then the Lakers are set. The Lakers will be ok with the 3 pgs we have currently. They’re not great, but serviceable. They’ll have to play according to matchups and WOW and Farmar still have room for improvement. I see WOW as having more potential than Farmar and hope we can keep him.

    If Farmar doesn’t step up this season I imagine that he’ll be packaged as trade bait.

    Any thoughts on the espn piece?

  81. I can see why Kurt usually severely limits trade speculation …

    Even thought Bynum’s durability can be fairly questioned, (in fact he seems to have glass knees) I sure wouldn’t trade him!

  82. Was Houston really bad on offense with JVG, or was that a pace thing? Genuine question, not rhetorical.

    My think was to bring a defense-oriented coach since the team is an offensive powerhouse, and the current assistants are probably capable of coaching this experienced group on offense.

    Then again, Phil always implies that there are more layers to peel away n the triangle, so I’m rooting for PJ to ride this one for maybe two more years.

    Isn’t Coach K as old as PJ?

    As someone who has followed Pepperdine basketball since the days of Dennis Johnson and Marcos Leite (big Brazilian who had great skills but liked to travel), I can assure you that we do not want Paul Westphal. And I have it on good authority that Pautl WestHEAD isn’t interested in coaching the spoiled brats in the NBA and NCAA ever again.

    Hey, Kobe, wasn’t Bill Russell a player-coach? If you really want to be considered the GOAT….

  83. 78., Im thinking 3-1-2, for the simple fact that Bynum and Gasol are being paid alot of money next year between the two for a high price role player in LO, which makes him expendable. Next year Gasol will get those 15 to 20 shots that he pleaded for in the playoffs. We cant give up on Bynum when he is just 21 and the freak injuries he’s had makes you think he plays for the other team in LA. He will be our center for the future so please no more trade talks involving him your making me sea sick. Kobe will play better next year for the simple fact that he just wanted to show the world that he could do it without Shaq. He got his ring and all the HATERS off his back, a more relaxed Kobe trusting his team to make plays.

  84. 85. Maybe I was exaggerating a little to say JVG’s Rockets were awful. Let’s consider JVG’s last year, 06-07. For a team that started TMac & Yao with decent spot-up shooters Battier and Sura, I would expect them to be better than 15th in offensive efficiency. Pace made those Rockets seem worse – they were 20th in raw points per game.

    But still… for perspective, compare the 06-07 Lakers who were 4th if off eff with a lineup of Kobe/Smush/Odom/Cook/Mihm-Kwame.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/NBAOff1-20.html

  85. Shannon Brown —i think we must resign this kid. He is clutch and has all the tools to become a great PG. Remember that he only played 18 games pre-playoffs with the Lakers. In my opinion, his play was far superior than Farmar. With experience this kid could really shine. Plus he has great size/strength and athletic ability. Plus his shot is spot on. With time, this kid could be the PG of the future. Plus it won’t take much $$ to keep him.

    JVG –are you people nuts? Talk about the complete antithesis of Phil Jackson. This guy is the bizarro world’s PJ, the complete opposite. Who can forget during the Knick vs Heat game when he jumped on Mourning’s leg while he was in a brawl, lol. Who can see PJ doing this, lol.

    This team will coach itself with Kobe and Fisher there. Plus the veteran players Odom and Gasol. This team knows who they are –who their leaders are, what game they play, what weaknesses/strengths they have, etc. Hopefully, as long as Kobe is there he will be the law. Kobe has grown out of that child like stubborness that he had a few years ago. Who can forget him not taking many shots during that playoff game in ’04 (i think) after everyone was talking of his ball hogging.

  86. I think the only thing that matters about whether Rambis will be a good fit for the Lakers is Kobe’s approval. If Kobe doesn’t buy into the system, the system is doomed to failure. If he doesn’t trust the coach, we won’t be able to play our best ball. Personally, I’m intrigued at the possibility of coach K in LA.

    Please don’t start any comment with “lets trade Bynum for..” He’s not going anywhere.

  87. @81 : Can’t trade first round pick, by the rules.
    Can draft someone and then trade rights to him. But this is unlikely to happen:
    At pick 29, there are few specific players who a team would take who would wow another team sufficiently to make it worthwhile.
    (Small exceptions: Blazers, salary dumps, team B locked out of draft etc …)
    Not sure if they can trade this year’s first round for a first round next year by the rules.
    But have to imagine a lot of teams interested in doing that financially.

  88. I don’t believe Mitch would trade the player chosen 29th. You can save money by taking any of the Euro players available or Nick Calathes, and have them stay overseas for a year or two.

    That Shaq trade is decent. The Cavs still need a dependable player next to James, preferably a PF.

  89. Now Shaq will have played with Kobe Lebron and Wade

  90. Shaq maybe able to hold his own against Howard but he’ll clog up the paint for LeBron. Plus, he needs the ball to be effective which means taking away possessions from LeBron as well.

  91. I’m surprised that the trade went through. And before draft day? Wow.

  92. LMAO

    the league is so desperate to try and match the Lakers!

    We all know that we’re repeating, it’s just a matter of “when”.

    this may appear to be a great trade but I dont buy it. Shaq is not the same as before.

  93. 94 – I think that’s the point. They just need somebody to take away the ball from LeBron at this point, not people who are only effective with him dishing.

    Now if Shaq wins his 5th with LeBron, does LeBron get stuck with “can’t win without Shaq” label?

    Kobe is laughing hard today.

  94. Hopefully Mitch is trying to trade the #28 and #42 to move up a few spots in the draft to get Calathes. It’s such a perfect scenario – keep him in Europe for a few years until Dfish retires while he gets some solid experience.

  95. j. d. hastings June 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    How bout that Pacific Division? Today alone we hear about TWO trades by division rivals where they sacrificed 17+ppg scorers for stacks of beans… Actually scratch that, a bean just won finals MVP. Shaq and Crawford got traded for squat. Just to save money. Meanwhile the other 2 teams in the division- 1 has the first pick in the draft because they suck and the other was ROBBED of the first pick by the lottery.

    The Lakers could end up clinching the division in January…

  96. I’m with Harold actually on this one.

    On some level, Lebron’s one hope for avoiding a Kobe “can’t do it as the main man” label might be to lose this coming year, ditch the old man, and get a great second banana like Bosh in 2010. Careful what you wish for.

    Going to be an AWESOME season either way. Can’t wait to see what Boston does now.

  97. The media hype next year is going to be a fever pitch. You know Shaq will be motivated if it means getting a ring. I really think this benefits Cleveland though. What they’ve missed all this time is a solid post presence who can open up shooters. Orlando in particular took advantage of this by leaving Howard free to roam on defense (as he didn’t need to guard Varajeo or Wallace). Now, I doubt even Howard has the strength to guard Shaq in the post. As for driving lanes for LeBron being closed, I think that’s overrated. It’s not like Cleveland is uptempo or anything, and cutting lanes will be available from a big soaking up double teams.

  98. Shaq trade finally happened…start up the Kobe vs. Lebron AND Shaq hype machine for next season.

    It will be interesting to see what this does for both Lebron and Shaq in terms of legacy should they win the title – although that’s assuming a lot and you can’t predict what the Cavs do after Shaq’s contract is up (although a run at resigning Lebron as well as snagging Bosh seems likely).

    I had a feeling this trade would happen, it made too much sense for both teams, I was just hoping it wouldn’t because I thought the Kobe vs. Lebron was already sickening enough as it was.

  99. Cleveland is a desperate team after the early elimination last year, so they made a desperate move. But not a bad one. Sure, Shaq is a shadow of himself, but he is still better than the corpse of Ben Wallace, and the rest of the package was the other Sasha, a second round pick and some cash. So, basically nothing.

    Shaq creates some problems because it makes it easier to pack the paint on the Cavs. Shaq will not stay healthy for an entire season. And he could always go Shaq and demand the ball. But he still can be a big body in the paint that is better than what they had last year. Is it enough to beat a healthy Orlando or Boston though?

    As for JVG — he has never had an offensive team higher than 14th in the league in offensive efficiency and most were 20 or lower. Basically, his best offenses were average. That will not sell in LA.

  100. Odom for Rondo (and some sort of salary filler)

    Think about it. We got a lock down defender (to stop parker) who can run the p’n'r on his own so kobe can play off the ball more. The celtics get rid of rondo, and add a nice 6th man piece to their weak front court.

    I know rondo’s a headcase, but we know he can win a title….plus, we wont have to play against him.

    or we trade farmer for eric maynor

  101. What I don’t like about the Shaq trade from Cleve’s perspective is the short-timed-eness of it all. Let’s say Cleve loses again in the ECF or even in the Finals, does Lebron really feel that Shaq provides a long-term championship-contending viability? For that matter, even if they win a ring in 2010?! Unless they just dominate next season, I don’t see why Shaq wd be advantageous in keeping Lebron. unlike even Amare (or Bosh, etc), there is no way that Shaquille, conceivably, cd keep getting better and better…

  102. Although i guess the flipside is: if Shaq works out, they can re-sign him and, if not, they clear a ton of cap space to go after another superstar, but then again, how many more losses will Lebron accept before he moves to the bright lights of Manhattan (not shaking hands along the way…)?

  103. Wow, how the Suns have fallen. And to thunk I despised them so just a few years ago. Thanks to owner Sarver for singlehandedly destroying that team. Unlike most people, I think that run and gun Suns could have won it all if Sarver hadn’t sold off all his draft picks. Then to drive off Pringles, toss a rookie coach into the fire and dump him, that was the death blow. Bringing Shaq in merely sent it from tragedy to farce. Anyway, as entertaining as those Suns were, it’s still fun to see them behead themselves.

    It’s amazing how the echoes linger on from the crazy panic trades that followed our Pau trade (nobody expects the Spanish Acquisition!).

  104. Couple points:

    1. Everyone should take a good hard look at Reed (#19)’s proposal. I really think it has some merit. Solves our only weakness which is the PG spot and gives Kirk a year to groom under Fish before he takes over. An alternative trade I’d be willing to do is to trade Farmar for J. Critt straight up. I still believe that J Critt would be a solid fit for the triangle.

    2. I believe that Rondo trade rumors is all posturing by Danny Ainge and the Celtics to drive down the “value” of Rondo so that they can sign him to a long-term contact relatively less than his perceived worth.

    3. Shaq to Cavs definitely scares me. The Cavs are just 1 player away from getting to the Finals, and with Wally $13 million coming off the books, I think they can find another player (i.e. AI, Matt Barnes, Eddie House, J Kidd, etc.). Shaq did average 19/8 for the season and I still would classify him as one of the Top 5 center’s in the league (Bynum, Duncan, Yao, Howard, Shaq). Plus he’s a veteran champion who knows how to win and can still intimidate a lot of players. The most dominate frontline player and perimeter player on the same team! That’s crazy!!

  105. I’d ask for a trade if I’m Steve Nash. Jump off that sinking ship fast!

  106. aB,

    Like Kurt said, Hinrich eats up a ton of salary space. $10 million is a lot for a guy who is definitely a solid point guard, but definitely not even a borderline All-Star one. My preference would be to draft Toney Douglas.

  107. Mitch’s talk is confusing. On the one hand, he says he plans on trading the first rounder, but he also acknowledges the need to find a Fish heir. Likely some misdirection, and I really hope Mitch holds onto that first rounder. I honestly think Calathes is a better fit for a non-triangle offense where he can dominate the ball more, but he’s still a great prospect. Beaubois is too far away in my opinion, and I’m not sold on his offensive game. I’d rather not have a glorified Earl Watson.

    Before, I was intrigued by Claver, but after hearing what Xavier had to say, I really hope Mitch picks this guy up.

    I’d love Hinrich as well, but I doubt Chicago takes that. PGs of that level are a rarity, and even though Chicago’s looking to make room for Rose, I think it’s likely they’ll get better offers. Maybe with some picks included.

    What ever happened to Crittendon? Still on the Wizards?

    I said this earlier, but I’m interested in a storyline no one’s mentioned yet – how big a part did Phx’s training staff play in Shaq’s resurgence? He may have been dogging it a bit, but the guy had legit hip bursitis that really limited him in Miami, and Phx’s training staff has rejuvenated Nash and Hill as well. I’ll be interested to see if he can stay in top condition in Cleveland. If he can, the Cavs are definitely dangerous. Shaq as a role player on an already elite team that plays a half-court offense is an intimidating thought. They’ll match far better than Shaq and Phx did.

  108. Bigger tragedy: the implosion of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers or the dismantling of the 7-seconds-or-less Suns?

  109. That’s going to be one big puppet!

    The set-up for Cleveland is not bad, a one-year chance with no real financial implications. Having Williams, West, or Gibson out there with Shaq, LeBron and a PF is pretty potent. Ideally Varejao would be a solid mid-range shooter, but I see him only effective on putbacks when Shaq draws two defenders. Maybe Joe Smith can have a solid season next to Shaq.

    The big question is how Ilgauskas will handle this. Shaq will start, you can’t really play them together since they both are really slow, plus you always have one huge liability defending the pick and roll on the floor. LeBron will have a lot of gaps to fill, but he’s probably one of the best guys to give it a try.

    But how do Shaq and LeBron do the battle of pre-game intros now that they are on the same team?

  110. chibi – Interesting question. I’d say the Lakers were a bigger tragedy, because that was a potential dynasty that (with a better supporting cast) could have rattled off several more championships.

    Others would argue the Suns were more “tragic,” because they were a title-worthy team that couldn’t bring Phx its first trophy ever. I’m probably just a homer.

  111. Cleveland know if they don’t win it this year, they might lose LeBron. Hence, Diesel. Not saying it’s a great move but Ferry’s desperate. And let’s be honest, Shaq is an upgrade over Zippy.

  112. somebody enlighten me and relieve me of my fear…

    Can PHX, if they successfully buy out Wallace, make a run at Ariza and/or Odom?

    Basically, can they field Amare, Odom, Ariza and Nash, is what I’m asking :(

  113. 116 – I was about to say it depends on how much they buy out Wallace for, but I just realized that they have an option on Nash’s final year that isn’t being calculated into next year’s $62 million payroll. Although Pavlovic is only guaranteed 1.5 mill, and even if they buy out Wallace for (just a guess) $10 mill, they should still be over the cap (but under the tax). So although I could be wrong, it looks like they won’t be landing any big FAs. Especially with the cap likely being lowered. Also, I think they’d have the inside track on Barnes, who really does most of what Ariza does, so I’m not sure why they’d make a run at Ariza. I think Odom’s out of their reach.

    Plus this is Robert Sarver we’re talking about. If their midlevel’s available they could make a run at Ariza regardless of their cap situation, but Sarver won’t allow that if they’re in danger of hitting the tax again.

  114. No… Phoenix can not do squat… They are in shedding mode… They are trying to trim as much salary as possible. They have a horrible contract (Richardson), Injury prone superstar who is disgruntled (Amare), Deteriorating former back-to-back MVP who is unhappy (Nash), free agent that is in the James Posey/Trevor Ariza class (Barnes), two very raw and unreliable rooks (Dragic and Lopez), some youngsters with no real potential (Tucker, Amundson), on good player with a reasonable contract (Barbosa), bunch of spare parts, an owner who cares about the income statement more than winning, GM who pretty much screwed everything up, third coach in little more than a year…

    That team will be quiet for quite some time. I think they will try to ditch Amare and/or trade Nash to NYK for David Lee (sign-and-trade) plus No.8 pick (to go after Evans, Flynn, Jennings type young PG).

    I do not think we should worry about Phoenix trying to make a run at Ariza or Odom. They simply do not have money to throw around

  115. Some reactions by would-be contenders. Spurs getting Jefferson if they could find a way to be efficient (and with Popp, that ain’t a long shot) is scary. Depth will remain an issue though but that would only hurt them if our guys off the bench play better, way better than last year if possible.

    That said, Shaq, Lebron, their guards, Z off the bench with so many bigs plus harold’s doomsday scenario is more scary esp to Orlando and Boston. If wally is off the books and they get a potent scorer or wing man off the bench with gibson and z, that’s scary. The East really looks exciting now. I thought it could not be. Orlando is now forced to get turk and gortat back and imo unload a guard for crying out loud for a good big man.

    I will not wear a grin until LO AND TA are re-signed with brown as bonus are musts. that said, we are still the team to beat when healthy and complete. this team has YET to peak, remember. it is young and growing. hunger is key now. a bonus for me is to unload a bench mob member and picks to get either a ridiculously high pick for a pg or an up and coming youngster that could be our legit 7th man. this is only possible if we get lo and ta back. that’s sick. having someone like rubio (i know am dreaming) as a 7th option behind a beastly bynum (more muscle man!) pau lamar ta fish and of course kobe!

    if only hinrich were a tat cheaper! GO LAKERS! exciting!

    kudos, no overreactions yet!

  116. Remember people, Shaq is not replacing Big Z’s minutes (27 per), he’s replacing the 23 per game of the corpse of Ben Wallace. Even with today’s Shaq, that is a huge upgrade.

    But does anyone really trust Mike Brown to make this all work?

  117. I’ve been thinking about the hinrich thing for a really long time, because conceptually it works really well. I haden’t seen him play much until I was hooked to the Bulls/Celtics series. He did solid job on Rondo AND Pierce in the celtics series and can hit an open shot. That defensive versatility plus ability to hit open shots (he’d get a lot in LA) would make him a great addition.

    Salary is the biggest concern, but to be honest, I think the only way we get him is to trade Odom, solving the salary concern.

    Not sure if we want to trade Odom yet, but if we find during the year that a) bynum is developing well and b) fisher, farmar and brown aren’t cutting it, I think it’s worth making the deal.

    also, Ariza isn’t leaving LA for the midlevel, so no worries there.

  118. Kurt – But there will be some natural conflict, because both Shaq and Z can only play the 5, right? Or do you think Varejao will play solely at the 4 and Shaq/Z will evenly split minutes at the 5?

    I can’t see Shaq happy with anything less than 27-28 minutes a game.

  119. Also, I’m curious to see how Blake Griffin’s family will handle tomorrow night. Will he keep them at home, to avoid witnessing the carnage firsthand? Will they be subdued the entire night because they know what’s coming, or break into dramatic tears the moment Stern announces the pick? Will Blake already be wearing knee braces?

    I don’t believe in curses, but I’m just hoping this kid, whatever kind of basketball player he becomes, can stay healthy.

    And, in 4 years, when he’s ready to bolt the Clippers, if he prefers to stay in LA and wants to play for a contender…

    I’m greedy, I know.

  120. I think one possibility for the Lakers to consider is making salary shedding deal with Memphis or Oklahoma City. These two teams have a ton of cap space, but I do not think they will use it this year. So pretty much they will just play mediocre for another season sitting on a lot of cap space to try to get some decent pieces in 2010.

    So if it that is their plan, their main motivation right now must be to get as much trade assets and long-term pieces as possible. I know this is all very hypothetical, but I do not see a FA this summer who is good enough and willing to play for OKC/Memphis.

    We do not have much to offer them in terms of long-term prospects, but we could definintely give them a package of Farmar, Morrison. 2012 pick (since we can not trade our 2011 pick) and 3 million in cash for some second rounder. This deal can go down as either team is under the cap and there is no worry about salaries not matching. The real question then becomes is Farmar and 2012 pick (definite late first rounder) enough of a long-term prospect for either team to help LA completely lock and load for at least 3-4 years to come. They might want us to give some more picks or take back a bad salary (which we are obviously not willing to do).

    What do you guys think?

  121. valid point on mike brown making all this happen. something about his demeanor tells me he ain’t ready to handle all this yet. hope he doesn’t disappoint NOR surprise.

    on rondo: is this really going to push through? never knew this much about his contribution behind the cam.

    anyhow, we have 3 pt guards. 1 of them is staying to mentor the pg of the future. i don’t see the need keeping 3 pgs if we have an sg who can play point. we will have to make a choice bet brown and farmar (and this is not guaranteed for the long term so all the more move 1 of them) sasha is getting expendable by the minute too. knowledge of us having draft picks makes me think that we can get a marginal pg as prospect or move those picks for a higher one OR package the picks with the player for a high pick or a legit role player off the bench. i think we need a speedy and explosive sg who can shoot. jr smith comes to mind but cmon i know kurt that’s a long shot. plus denver has found new faith in him. maybe there’s a poor man’s version of him. am not that well-informed. that sg plus our pg of the midterm plus LO, luke and powell/dj is pretty imposing to me.

    short of saying, if we are to win the trophy this year granted cavs, spurs and other up and coming experiments turn out well, we do not have room for big bench letdowns.

    things are getting tougher by the year. glad we took down 09.

    also hope kobe signs in cheaper.

  122. 104-
    The problem with that proposal is that Rondo can’t shot a lick, which is obviously an issue, and even more so in our triangle offense.

    And also, who here would really advocate a Bynum trade? I can’t imagine why we would want to trade him given his youthfulness, combined with the flashes of dominance he has displayed. I am quite surprised and a little disappointed that people here are proposing trades for Drew. Imagine if we were to trade him, only to see him develop into the 20-10 guy he undoubtedly has the potential to be. He has yet to reach such a plateau as of now, but let us not forget his torrid streak during January, and how it took him a few months to build an appropriate rhythm/sense of timing to enable that dominance. We should not be so quick to shun him/assume that he will not live up to potential he has displayed, and subsequently regard him as little more than trade-bait. Bynum has shown he may well be the future of the franchise, and he should be regarded as such.

  123. As if Kobe vs Lebron as a finals match up wasn’t big enough hype on its own, now it’s got to be Kobe vs Lebron AND Shaq? Credit to the Big Aristotle for always finding a way to play on championship contending teams featuring the best young penetrating playmaker in the world at the time. But I bet Pau wins that matchup convincingly as he can frustrated Shaq in all the ways Shaq hates to be frustrated — working on rebounds, being a permiter threat on pick-and-rolls, and being quick enough and brave enough to get in position to get Shaq to make offensive fouls.

    I think it’s one of those weird situations where on paper it just has to be a big upgrade (especially since it’s replacing Ben Wallace’s minutes), but I still don’t think it makes the Cavs better than us. Shaq’s only a defensive asset when he’s got a big strong center to body up against that has no perimiter game (ie, Dwight Howard). But he was already defensive liability as far back as 2004-5 when he played for us (doesn’t work hard against players that hussle on both ends, doesn’t defend bigs that can shoot jumpers, and worst of all he guarentees his team will be shredded by pick-and-roll because he certainly can’t switch to guard the ball-handler and again, he can’t defend the pick-setter if the guy has an 15 foot jumper), and I don’t see how he’s any better on that score now.

    Add in the fact that he’s a turn-over machine, whoever defends him can camp the lane on Lebron-iso’s because he has no shot, he’s a liability at the foul line, and these are all known problems before we even get into the unknowns like how he will fit into the current Cav hardworking defense-first and one-nation-under-Lebron chemistry.

    Hopefully we’re not eating our words this time next year, and I really do like the guy and want him to succeed in every way possible that’s not at the Lakers expense. But bottomline is I don’t see this being the missing piece for the Cavs. I bet they have a poorer regular season record than last year and don’t look really all that better in the playoffs. Maybe they beat Orlando, but if we bring the same team to next year’s Finals, they don’t beat us.

  124. Kurt.

    Absolutely. Even after a 66 win season there were rumors that Brown was out after the disappointment of the ECF. If they don’t make the finals next year with Shaq, Brown is probably done.

  125. The Shaq trade is interesting. It is certainly an upgrade over Wallace, but does it make them good enough to win it all? SHaq is what, 37 now? Can he stay healthy the entire season? It does give them someone that can at least put a big body on Howard, and make him work on the defensive end.

    How long before Shaq says that Lebron is the best player hes ever played with?

  126. i’m not so sold on the Shaq trade.

    On offense, it really locks up the Cavs interior. Their attack used to be so potent because they could space the floor with Big Z and Varejao popping off PNR’s, while having two shooters on the floor at all times (West, Williams, Gibson, Pavlovic). This left Lebron with a ton of space in the middle of the floor to operate. The only reason this failed was when a single wing defender was able to hold his own against Lebron (Pietrus), and the rest of his team was athletic enough to help off their man and recover (Howard, Lewis, Lee). Now, when Shaq is in the game, he can’t do anything when he’s more than 8 ft from the basket. This takes away half of the lane, giving Lebron half the space to work with.

    On defense, I don’t see how this helps the Cavs against Boston and Orlando. Assuming Dwight Howard learns at least one legitimate post move (not that stupid looking running hook he’s got now), something like a spinning, bank-hook, or a 10 ft jump shot, Shaq’s not going to do the Cavs any good. He’s just as slow as Big Z, and his lateral movement is just as bad as Big Z. The only plus is that he takes up more space. And there’s no way that Shaq helps the Cavs against KG and the Celtics.

    Much as I love Hinrich’s game, his contract is too expensive. I like Reed’s idea, dealing for Hinrich using Ammo’s EC, Farmar, and Fish, but only if Ariza or Odom bolts. Not only do we save some cash from the deal, (Fish+Ammo+Farmar = 12 mil, Hinrich = 9.5 mil), but Hinrich’s deal is also front-loaded, so it goes down 500k every year.

    I absolutely loved Hinrich’s defense on Paul Pierce in the Chi-Bos series; anyone who can shut down the Wheelchair Man is good for us in my book. Plus, he shot a very solid 40.8% from three last season, so he’s almost perfect for the triangle. And he also solves all of our team’s defensive PG issues. Couldn’t be a better fit, but his contract is much too long and much too expensive.

  127. Kurt: Brown was the Coach of the Year (and PJ won that prize only once)…

    Hahahahaha

    Hilarius

  128. 42.
    I’m not that worried about Hinrich contract. Paxon did something excelent, Hinrich contract decrease instead of increasing. That means that each year its cheaper, while other players increase, so it balances.

    Hinrich is the kind of triangle-made player. He’d be the kind of guy I wouldn’t mind the lakers to trade for.

  129. 36.
    I’m sorry, I don’t know Jerebko enough to give you a solid opinion not based on american scouts reports

  130. cleveland still a couple of players away but if they get barnes and rasheed I will get a little worried, but not convinced anyone on cavs can defend kobe or gasol

  131. 20.
    Let me get this right.
    Marc Gasol was drafted with the 48th pick the 2007 draft. This year, a year later to his draft selection, is playing his rookie season and is getting 3M this season in a 9.78M contract in 3 years. Dominique McGuire was selected the 47th and is getting 0,7M this season.
    That same year, 2007, the Spurs selected Tiago Splitter with their 28th pick. First round picks have the security that they have a guaranted contract if they want to play for the team that drafted them but their salary is determined by their draft selection. the 28th pick of that draft was determined to earn arround 1M for his first year.

    Second round picks do not have that security, they are given no guaranted contracts, they have to earn their place on the team. The team that drafts them have their rights, if they want to go to the NBA they have to play for that team or have their rights traded to another team, thats all the power the team has (which is kind of a big power).

    If I’m not wrong, a second round pick, if he doesn’t sign with the team that drafted him (no guaranted contracts included) during the 1st year after being drafted, can be offered more money than the initial stablished by the CBA if the team has enough room in the salary cap.

    The thing is that in the US the players don’t have a professional career behind them, they don’t have teams willing to pay big money for them. International players do. Moreover, guys like Marc Gasol and Tiago Splitter do have teams both in Europe and NBA who want to pay them more than what a 7th pick (close to 3M) would get acording to the rooke scale contract.

    That’s funny, because the Spurs cannot pay him that much money because the CBA says that if Splitter wants to play in the NBA will have to earn 1M his first year. When he was selected he wasn’t a big deal, a nice prospect, just as Gasol, but they’ve developed their game in Europe and are now quality players. I would even say that Splitter is at the same level as Gasol or even better, but he’s not in the NBA and thats because he was drafted in the first round.

    That said there is a possibility that Splitter can come to the NBA as soon as summer 2010. 48 minutes of hell takes a look at this possibility:
    http://www.48minutesofhell.com/2009/04/23/tiago-splitter-news/

  132. One more ridiculous trade from me:

    Morrison, Farmar, and the player chosen at 29 for Leandro Barbosa and Jared Dudley.

  133. hey kurt.. how do the recent trades w/the cavs warriors and wolves affect our chances of keeping ariza/odom?

  134. Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes that the Cavs may next make a run at Rasheed with their MLE to get that 4 who can stretch the court from downtown. If we thought resigning both ariza / odom NOW was important, wait until that happens (if it does)…

    if that doesn’t happen, why not play lebron at the 4?

  135. Shaq to the Cavs
    thanks Shaq, you’ve helped us solve all our problems… how?

    well, don’t we all remember that pre-season game in Hawaii, Shaq was in contract negotiations and it as not going well, he does some monster dunk and yells at Dr Buss in front of EVERYONE…
    “Pay me MF!”
    Dr Buss has a long memory.
    Now, we have Kobe, Phil and Dr Buss all HIGHLY motivated to have another opportunity for some sweet revenge, by beating Shaq paired with LeBron in next years finals, (if it all plays out right).

    way too many sub-plot storylines for this one not to become the all time soap opera of the NBA, which means “ratings” which means advertiser dollars, which means more profits to the NBA, and especially the teams in the Finals. (so, besides getting his revenge, Dr Buss also makes more money while doing it)

    Bottom line, this trade of Shaq to the Cavs is all the reason Dr Buss needs now to dig deep into his wallet and pay the free agents, keep this team together, and REPEAT, and beat the Shaq/cavs in doing so.
    ahhh, revenge, sweet. (best served cold)
    thanks Shaq.

  136. I like the Shaq trade. I think Lebron is smart enough to understand that this means he needs to improve his outside game better and, after watching Kobe win a ring doing just that, we will definetely see him trying that more this next season. This means that we need to get ready for the canned “Lebron wroked harder than ever in the offseason to improve his game” articles.

    As far as the east, I think this definetely forces the Magic to resign Hedo and provides Howard with the opportunity to teach an old Shaq a little bit of humility. Those will be some fun matchups to wath next year.

    As far as the rest, I think this trade is going to send many wanna-be contenders with 2010 free agents (like the Heat, Raptors) into a panick. I expect these teams will make a flurry of moves to keep up with the Cavs. I think the biggest benefactor of this will be Gortat. While I think the Magic will try to retain his services due to the Shaq trade, I think the value for a decent, strong center in the eastern conference just skyrocketed. Talk about the right year for him to be a FA!

    However, I think the biggest impact in terms of rivalry here is for the Celtics. Perkins is a decent center, but he cannot hang with Shaq. This move makes things very hard for the Celtics. Remember that it took three solid all-stars to get them a title. Even with KG and Pierce, trading away Rondo and Allen now will set them back significantly against the Cavs and Magic – unless they get one all-star in return (which is unlikely). On the other hand, if the rumors are true, keeping Allen and Rondo does not align with their plans to lure a big time free agent in 2010. I know Ainge said he did not plan to make any moves, but I think he may be changing his mind after this trade.

    As far as what this does for the Lakers chances at a repeat, well, I don’t see this as an issue. We play the Cavs two times a year and they are not part of the Western Conference playoff picture, so I don’t see them as a threat. As far as the finals… well, that’s just too far away to worry about for now.

    One last thing: I bet $100 that the NBA is trying their best to reschedule the Lakers against the Cavs for the X-mas day game.

  137. President Obama suggested to Phil Jackson that the basketball problem might not be supporting cast for LeBron, but lack of system for the Cavs.

    Less politely, it’s not the supporting cast–LeBron himself may be the problem–not the solution. Maybe Phil could explain it to the Cavs.

    If that’s true, Shaq’s combustable contribution could be like poring gasoline on a fire–chemistry could become very foul very soon.

  138. I don’t know that Shaq being in the middle will be too much of a problem for Lebron. Someone else pointed out that this will be the fourth title contender for Shaq where he will be the middle anchor for a penetrating wing player (Penny/Kobe/Wade/LBJ).

    Shaq knows how to play with a player cutting inside, and still has the strength, footwork, and acumen to make the defense pay if the opposing center rotates off of him to defend Lebron – and we all know that Lebron has the passing skills to get the ball to Shaq as well.

    I don’t know if this will win Cleveland the ring, but I think it’s a step in the right direction for them. A better inside presence for almost nothing and that – assuming they don’t extend him, which I expect they won’t – will free up $21M in cap space next season to allow them to pursue Bosh.

    It’s the right move, and from a financial standpoint may even work out better than the trade would have worked had the pulled the trigger on the mid-season Wally for Shaq trade. The biggest question (obviously) is whether this enables them to lure Lebron back in 2010 with promises of acquiring other members of the vaunted FA class for that year.

  139. Drrayeye,

    I have to disagree. I think Shaq will be motivated to play. He just got a golden opportunity to cement his legacy in the NBA. He now has a chance to be the guy with whom the three best guard/forward players of this generation (Kobe, Wade, LeBron?) win their first championship.

    He has to do this. And if he does not try to take advantage of such a perfect opportunity to be really one of the greatest… Even big papa can change :)

    Unless he gets injured, which unfortunately is quite likely and expectable

  140. Update ok, when I first clicked the link had it being the Knicks buy the Lakers pick at 29
    Now it has officials believe the knicks bought a late first pick either grizzlies at 27 or lakers at 29……..go figure.

  141. “New York Knicks officials are telling peers they have purchased a pick late in the first round. NBA executives believe it is either the Grizzlies’ pick at No. 27 or the Lakers’ at No. 29.”

    Or they bought Memphis’ pick….
    What does this mean if true anyway? Why not just pick someone and send him overseas?

  142. sorry for the double post…

    “At this time of the year there are always trade rumors, and one involving the Lakers has them shopping backup point guard Jordan Farmar. The Lakers contacted the Houston Rockets about acquiring Farmar or buying the Lakers’ first-round pick, but the Lakers were turned down, according to two NBA sources who are not authorized to speak publicly about their team.”
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers-nba-draft25-2009jun25,0,3742544.story

    -so the Lakers are you looking to get rid of Farmar. Who’s the PG of the future then? ShanWow?

  143. Victor Claver, Jonas Jerekbo, Nick Calathes, or any other player with upside >>> money saved.

  144. It should say any other Euro player.

  145. Just as a technicality, remember the Lakers cannot sell the pick itself. By league rules they will have to make the pick, but then can instantly sell the rights to the player they choose.

  146. 147, yeah I read that yesterday as well. I think selecting a guy like Calathes would’ve made Farmar’s restricted status moot next year. I guess saving the money now was important. I would’ve liked to have seen if Calathes was there with that pick, but that has been increasingly unlikely as a plausible scenario.

  147. Shaq and LBJ. Very intriguing. It’s not a slam dunk success or failure either way… there are a few unknowns.

    1. How well can Shaq/LBJ play the two-man game? This will basically determine if the Cavs O goes up or down.

    2. I am not convinced this makes the Cavs better against the Magic. The big mismatch was their big shooters against the little Cav perimeter. Furthermore, the Magic will roast the Cavs (again) with the high PnR. Shaq can probably play Dwight roughly even.

    3. I do guess it makes the Cavs better against the Lakers. Shaq gave us trouble on the Suns. Yes, Gasol can step out for elbow jumpers, but some days that shot isn’t falling.

    4. In general, LBJ having someone else to create a shot will allow him to rest more on-court and on-bench. I imagine the two will get along fine.

    5. How is Mike Brown going to handle it when Shaq doesn’t hustle on D? Does he have the stature to make Shaq listen? Or will Shaq sabotage him like he did Porter?

    What an interesting season it will be.

  148. I heard somethin abt the lakers drafting their 1st round pick for new york and tradin for money

  149. Regarding the Rondo thing in Boston, I finally heard a scenario that makes sense to me. The suggestion is that Doc Rivers wants Rondo moved because he is tough to deal with, so he and his people are making hay. But Ainge has no intention of making the trade. That just seems somewhat logical to me, Rivers being willing to cut off his nose to spite his face, and Ainge seeing the bigger picture. That said, it’s still speculation so take it for what it is worth.

  150. Shaq will start. They didn’t bring him over to come off the bench. Ilgauskus, if he doesn’t retire, just lost his spot.

    To all the people mentioning the Shaq Lane Clog, yes, you’re right. Lebron will not be able to just put his head down and attack the basket from the arc anymore. Expect more jumpshots from LBJ when Shaq’s on the floor and then Brown will spread it and play LeBron at 5 when Shaq sits.

  151. PeanutButterSpread June 25, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Apricot –

    There is no way the Shaq trade makes the Cavs better against the Lakers.

    Assuming young Bynum regains his playing form when the Cavs and the Lakers meet up, the Cavs will have to deal with the three headed monster of Pau, Drew and (hopefully LO) to nullify Shaq, leaving TA/LO to guard Lebron.

    There’s still Kobe – who no one but LBJ on the Cavs can guard.

    All the Cavs wing players disappeared against the Magic and they will disappear against the Lakers as well.

    And if I remember correctly, we only lost once to the Suns with Shaq out of the five times we met them. that’s hardly “struggling” against them.

  152. The Shaq trade is pretty great for Cleveland. How the Suns don’t even get a 1st rounder is pretty nuts.

    I do, however, still think they will have trouble w/ Orlando in the playoffs. Orlando proved that they can win w/ a jump shot first offense. It didn’t work in the finals, but w/ the cavs back court/sloooooooow 4 spot they will still be able to get their shots whenever they want against Cleveland.

    Aside from 1 great game Dwight Howard wasn’t the reason ORL beat CLE. Howard/Shaq will most likely play to a near draw.

    It will be interesting to see what happens regarding Rasheed. Between Shaq/Lebron/Rasheed/Mo Williams I think you might be getting into “too much ego” territory and it might turn out to be an absolute disaster.

  153. On Celtics: I understand trading Ray but if they move Rondo because he and Rivers don’t get along, that’s a big mistake. If anything, Rivers should go. It was Thibodeau’s defensive schemes that put them over the top. Give him a shot.

  154. just tried this trade in the trade machine

    lakers aquire: kirk hinrich, arron afflalo

    chicago aquire:luke walton, adam morrison, amir johnson

    detroit aquire: sasha vujacic

    lakers gets a good triangle pg and another project with potential, get rid of sasha and luke’s long contract, save about 1 million to sign LO or TA

    detroit get rip to mentor sasha to run off screens, sign big free agents with ton of cap space

    chicago gets a smart player in luke, a banger in johnson and adam morrison is just there to make the salary match

    lakers–>better pg, get rid of farmar
    detroit–>building a new team
    chicago–>get more experience, bigger bodies, solve guard problem

  155. According to ESPN, the 29th pick was sold to NY for $3M! That’s a lot of money for the second to last pick! The LA Times articles said that the pick was only worth approximately $800K to $1M.

  156. lakers can get rid of farmar after the trade for peanuts

    just some wishful thinking

  157. actually farmar can go to detroit and the trade still works…wow

  158. Didn’t Amir Johnson get traded to Milwaukee for Oberto?

  159. Can we interpret selling the pick as a sign the Laker will retain Odom and Ariza?

  160. ah…shizz…forgot…= =

  161. Is the $3 million considered an exception or something different?

  162. I’m confused…I thought the lakers can’t trade their pick until they draft someone. Why does the latimes say they traded their pick for $3 mil and a 2nd rounder in 2011 for their 29th pick???

  163. I think the Cavs ought to move Lebron to the 4 spot, like the Magic have done with Rashard Lewis. He has the strength to contend with other 4s in the paint, plus the speed and explosiveness to create mismatches on offense. If they can flip varejao and/or big z for a floor-spacing swingman like vince carter or crash wallace, that’d be a terrific starting 5.

  164. 167. They cannot trade the pick but what they do is drafting who the Knicks ask for, and then trade the rights

  165. espn has a report listing 25 invitees to the Team USA minicamp July 22-25 in LV. Out of all the invitees, I really feel that Brewer, Millsap, Korver, Thad Young, Ariza, DJ Augustin, and Glen Cry Baby Davis don’t belong. Out of all of them, the only one’s who have a remote chance of making the team, IMO, are Durant, Roy, and Granger.

  166. Shaq steals the spotlight again. Yes, Kobe did it without me, but now I’m getting traded to the Lebrons on draft day.

  167. This Shaq trade will be a bust just because Charles Barkley likes it. That’s all there is to it.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/danpatrick/

  168. @172,

    Really? I thought the Rockets were high on having Brooks as the future point guard.

  169. @172, rockets would be scary of this trade goes through. image a lineup with
    YAO,
    Stoudemire/scola
    Batier
    artest
    barbosa(?)

  170. Great draft for Lakers!

    #29 goes to Knicks.
    $3M goes to Lakers.

    Kupchak rules!

  171. agreed. $3M for #29 is miraculous work.
    GM of the year!

  172. wil, i’m pretty sure that’s the kind of trade that kurt was talking about when he said:

    “As always, within reason. Your five-team trade that has the Lakers giving up Sun and getting back Wade is not going to fly here. But have at it.”

    This isnt NBA Live for the XBox. Just because the trade machine allows it doesn’t mean it’s a good trade for anybody. Why on earth would Chicago want Luke and Ammo for Heinrich? How about instead shipping Ammo, Sasha and Luke over to Cleveland for Lebron! The trade machine probably gives that one a thumbs up too.

  173. I could see Chicago doing it for a salary dump, but besides Ammo we don’t have the players to pull it off, I also highly doubt we take on any more salary which Heinrich has plenty of.

  174. Thank you New York. We’ll let you win in the Garden this year.

    Why would NY pay so much for that late of a pick? On balance, we save almost $4 million with the pick as we also don’t have to pay the $800k to the rookie. That’s a big chunk of somebody’s salary next year.

  175. 156. PB, I’m not saying the Cavs will be better THAN the Lakers, for the reasons you listed. I am saying that Shaq make them better against us than they would be without him.

    Shaq v Lakers last year:

    11/20. 15 pts, 9 reb, 6-12 in 27 min. (not bad for a team trying to jell early in a new style)
    12/10. DNP
    2/26. 12 pts, 7 reb, 2 blks in 21 min (solid, but we blew them out early, no Bynum)
    3/1. 33pts, 7reb, 3ast, 13-18, (6 TOs, fouled out, no Bynum)

    With a healthy and topnotch Bynum, Shaq will not be a problem. With a bad Bynum, Shaq will give us problems like on 3/1 and might force us to double-team.

  176. Martin if we can’t get Lebron for that maybe we can get Durant for Ammo, I’m sure that works in the trade machine too.

    3M seems like an aweful lot for the 29th pick. Maybe someone lost a bet to Jerry Buss.

  177. 178.
    The trade Wil mentioned is legit though. It may not go through but it is definitely being talked about. John Hollinger even mentioned it his chat today. If that goes through Houston will be very very dangerous.

    It is basically Brooks for Amare and Barbosa. (TMAC hurt houston more than helped)

  178. Okay, now a potential trade I am actually afraid of (RJ to Spurs and Shaq to Cavs don’t fill me with terror).

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/206331-mcgrady-for-stoudemire-trade-on-the-verge

    McGrady, Landry, Brooks for Stoudemire & Barbosa.

    HOU would start Yao/Stoudemire/Artest/Barbosa/Lowry. Scola and Battier off the bench.

    If Lowry learns to hit a consistent jumper, that could be a terrifying lineup. Ballhandling would be a weakness, but that’s a lot of firepower.

  179. new draft post up

  180. 180, apparently they really like Jack Mcclinton for whatever reason.

  181. 169.

    They can and have traded the pick. What you can’t do is trade consecutive future picks. In fact, as the knicks are over the cap, trading the player would have required taking back 85% of the salary.

  182. j.d. Hastings June 25, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Shaq trade positives:

    -They gave up nothing to get him.

    -They now have a player who can score in the post. (or they can play their shooting big man)

    -If he demands any double teams that is good for Lebron and all their shooters

    -A big body who apparently doesn’t like the idea of Dwight Howard dominating.

    -In theory someone with championship experience

    Negatives:
    -I don’t hink Coach Brown is terrible, he’s just all about Defense, like JVG. When he tries to get shaq to defend the p/r he’s not going to be happy (if this is the real reason they lost to Orlando, watch out)

    -What you get from Shaq often depends on the strength of the coach’s personality. If Shaq doesn’t respect the coach, you usually have problems. Brown is very much in the mold of the coaches Shaq doesn’t respect.

    -Despite his primary role on 3 title teams, Shaq is too immature to provide the championship experience role of a Ron Harper or Derek Fisher. In fact he may damage their chemistry and force Lebron to police SHAQ more often is Shaq does have issues with Brown.

    -Does shaq in the lane attract more defenders, closing off Lebron’s routes to the rim? Shaq + Verejao = 2 big men with no real range, so you can have 2 defenders in the lane waiting always, right?

    -How does Cleveland guard Pau and Odom? If Cleveland tries to take advantage of Shaq against Pau, that just takes the ball out of Lebron’s hands, so I’m cool with that. And if Shaq can’t run back on D, that’ll open things for us even more. And this isn’t even asking for anything from Bynum.

    In the end, the negatives are based on possibilities and ifs, while the positives are set if they get a healthy (and motivated) shaq. So I think its a net plus for them, unless it ruined their chances to get someone even better. The fact is they weren’t far from winning it all last year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they won it all this year. Whether Shaq would be the difference will be seen during the games.

    But so much more of Cleveland’s fate could be decided by:
    -KG’s ability to return to form
    -Whether the Celtics trade Rondo and/or Ray Ray
    -Orlando’s ability to keep Trukoglu, get Jameer back to all star form, and Dwight to continue developing
    -Los Angeles keeping it’s Free Agents and staying hungry, healthy and interested.

    IF those 3 teams come back weaker next season, the Cavs may not have even needed Shaq…

  183. @Zephid,

    I think part of the deal with the invitees is to build a pool that can be used as a practice team as well as develop players who will slip into the varsity team. That said, Thad Young has an outside chance of making Team USA one day.

  184. It seems that people are tryiing to convince themselves that this is a bad trade for Cleveland and Shaq. When Shaq is motivated and winning, all the other distractions are out the window. Shaq has not been to the playoffs since the HEAT won the chapionship. Lebron J made 2nd class NBA players on the cavaliers roster better, so why dont you think he’s not going to do the same for Shaq who averaged 18 n 8 in Phoenix.

    With that being said a lot of teams in the league are gunning for the title. This creates a domino affect in GM offices trying to one up the next to kiss that trophy. The LAKERS need to sign TA, find a way to get rid of LO for a legit point guard(HINRICH,BIBBY). Replace LO’s production with some tough, jump shooting veterans and we will be fine. We have a gigantic bullseye on our back. If we keep the same team, all these trades are beginning to close the gap. Which inturn will expose our two true weaknesses, point guard and toughness. Please Mitch make some moves we need the shock value of a draft day trade. I can’t wait till next year.

  185. This just in Vince to the Magic , this is getting crazy.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4287197

  186. 191. I am amazed that the Lakers still have fans questioning their toughness. After beating a Houston, Denver and Orlando team that tried to out physical them, we still have people who think the Lakers are soft? Amazing. I’d put out the counter arguments, but frankly if you can’t see it now what’s the point.

    And getting rid of LO would be a huge error.

  187. 191. You’ve been advocating dumping Odom ever since the parade. I don’t get it. You’ve mentioned guys like Joe Smith, McDyess, Kurt Thomas, Jamal Macgloire(!), and Birdman as possible replacements and I don’t think all of those guys combined could give us what Odom does. You’ve mentioned pot smoking and absent mindedness and every other possible negative that either no longer apply or have little affect on the overall strength of this team. I would think after everything Odom has done over the course of the last two playoff runs, especially in the WCF and Finals in clinching games that fans would understand his value. I guess it’s like Kurt said (though, about our “softness”), if you don’t see it now, I don’t think you ever will. Odom is a major key to our success and can’t be replaced by washed up role players.

  188. Every team that played LA in a physical way in the playoffs(Houston,Denver) gave them problems. Toughness and point guard were our achilles heal all year. We played the Magic in the finals, which happened to have an non standard PF who wanted to shoot jumpers. LO is a honeybun, Boston took him to school in 2008. Good all around player, but wouldnt want him in my foxhole when we have to battle even tougher teams next year who know our weaknesses.

  189. 194. Its about considering 2 replacements at PF to save money in getting a legitimate point guard. Your fooling yourself if you think Derek F. is gonna play like he did in the playoffs during a full season next year. Home court will be even more crucial next year than this year. LO numbers could be matched by Mcdyess and Birdman at 1/4 the cost. I see fools gold and we as LAKER fans will be the ones hurting because we gave some big contract to LO and lost site of our main objective. That is to remain competitive in a ever changing league with salary caps and salary dumps, which means any team can rent a superstar for one year. All I’m saying is let’s remain flexible with cheaper veteran free agents, and not get caught next year with our pants down holding the 2009 trophy.

  190. 196. I think you’re claiming to think long term while still being pretty short sighted. I agree that PG is a concern moving forward, but jettisoning Odom in an attempt to fix that problem is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Odom’s role is much more crucial to team success than what our PG provides. Yes we need to look for Fish’s replacement, everyone agrees there (even our GM). But I don’t think ‘Dyess and Birdman give us any distinct advantage over Josh Powell (except for Birdman’s blocked shots, which do come at the expense of good rebounding and individual post defense) at this point in their careers. You’re making it sound like Odom isn’t a major contributor and that PG is some enormous need when it currently isn’t anywhere near the need that we’d encounter if we had to replace Odom. Like I said, I do think we need to find a long term answer at PG, but not at the expense of our long term solution to our front court depth – which just so happens to be one of the major reasons (outside of Kobe) we just won the title.