Lakers Draft Day Trades Abound

Kurt —  June 25, 2009

NCAA
In the first round, exactly what was supposed to happen, happened. The Lakers selected Toney Douglas, who very soon was traded to the Knicks for much needed cash (rumored to be $3 million) and a future second rounder (2011?).

The second round, the Lakers took an American in the Ukraine — Patrick Beverley. Then, just as we were learning about him, the Lakers traded him to the Miami Heat for a future second rounder and more cash.

It’s all about the cash — we want Ariza and Odom both back.

With the 59th pick, the Lakers took Chinemelu Elonu — a 6-10 F/C out of Texas A&M who likes to bang and has a real NBA body, but who apparently is very raw. Let’s be honest, this is the kind of guy the Lakers likely bring to Summer League and in as camp fodder, but who will likely spend a year at least in the D-League before making an impact. The Lakers front office is saying he can compete for a job, that they had him the 34th best guy in the draft, but to get a roster spot he is going to have to beat out DJ Mbenga or Josh Powell, two proven pros with some diversity to their games. And they are guys who know the system. Elonu has a real uphill climb. The fact of the matter is, the Lakers are not going to pay the luxury tax money for some guy to learn on the job, he has to prove he can contribute.

No, the Lakers did not take Nick Calathes, the one guy a lot of us wanted at 42. But to be honest, we wanted him because he is a known quantity. He played at Florida and worked out with David Thorpe (who promotes his guys hard). But the fact is, we never really see any of these guys. We don’t really know, it’s all second hand stuff. So, we need to trust the judgment of the Lakers overseas scouts.

Kurt

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96 responses to Lakers Draft Day Trades Abound

  1. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=DraftWatch-090608

    Good article showcasing Beverley’s performance at the Eurocamp. I think it’s a solid pick. He has a chip on his shoulder, he’s a solid defender, and is definitely a good value pick at #42.

  2. Spurs just took Nando De Colo at 59 I’d like us to get Ahmad Nivens a real hustle type pf or patty mills if he’s still there.

  3. Beverly was apparently on a team with other college guys that beat Chris Paul and Lebron in a pickup game a while back. That’s pretty cool.

  4. Dang portland got him

  5. Actually at #59, I want Paul Harris. Let’s see what Kupchak does.

  6. Ouch. Blazers grab Patty Mills. That could be a huge get for them.

  7. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    The funny thing about Minny’s picks (besides choosing four point guards wtf?) is that Rubio and his family are now saying it’s better than 50-50 that he stays in Spain for at least one more season.

  8. Yup, we have to trust our international scouts, and frankly I think we have some excellent ones.

    I’d heard Nivins’ stock had been rising, so I’m surprised to him here.

  9. Adam Silver could rival Jeff Van Gundy for botching international names. That was a masterful job.

  10. beverely traded to heat future second and cash.

  11. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Damn…now we don’t even get to keep Beverley.

  12. Beverley to Heat for a future pick and cash. Interesting.

  13. Lol maybe we should have waited a bit before posting this.

    I think we were just starting to get excited about Beverley too. More money!

  14. So who do we pick here? And how long do they remain a Laker?

  15. We traded him to miami

  16. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I know it’s imperative to sign all three of our free agents…so, we’ll take the money and run I guess.

  17. Where do you see that trade? I’m disappointed by that…

  18. They announced it at the Draft.

  19. Chad Ford said earlier that the Heat were really hoping for Beverley. In hindsight, this could have been a really cunning, subtle move by Mitch. If he wasn’t really interested in Beverley or anyone else but heard Miami was, he swiped Beverley and turned it into a pick that will likely come higher in the 2nd round, plus some more money for re-signing our guys.

    So if Mitch really wasn’t high on Beverley or anyone at 42, it could be a subtle way of turning nothing into something.

  20. Hmmm…I wonder how much cash. It’ll be pretty amazing if all the cash the Lakers get is pretty close to Ariza’s annual contract.

  21. I wonder how much cash the Lakers received from the Heat.

  22. texas a m….elonu this guy blocks a lot of shots supposedly.

  23. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    OK, I’m just going to refer to this guy as Elonu.

  24. chinemelu elonu at 59

  25. I like that he’s hard-working, excellent offensive rebounder and efficient. Sounds like a decent pick!

  26. Jay said this guy could have been a 1st round pick with another year. Sounds a lot like Gasol…

    The guy will probably be given a chance to compete against Powell, we’ll see if he makes the team. He’s not international, and Mitch already talked about the 13 players, so my guess is he doesn’t make the team. Could be wrong though.

  27. Wah. I’m sad we passed no Beverley. I can understand the $3 million for #29, but did we really need to give up on Beverley? *sigh*

  28. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    23, 24. adrian, now you’re just showing off

  29. sorry…i didn’t saw you posting earlier…if you take a look you’ll see that we osted at the same time….so i don’t know what your problem is

  30. Somewhat unsatisfying to end draft night with a couple of future picks, a pile of money and a big guy that does not even look stashable.

  31. adrian,

    I think he was praising you for spelling his name correctly.

  32. don’t mind not picking up any rookies this year AT ALL. we’re championship caliber already anyway, AND we’ve got strong young players already in the mix. let’s get to november already…

  33. 31. i apologize then

  34. Mark Jackson’s draft winners: the Magic, for getting Vince Carter, and the Clippers, for drafting Griffin. Cutting-edge draft analysis right there.

    Interesting that Nivins wasn’t drafted. A lot of teams that could use a rebounder/defender with raw offensive skills.

  35. nivins was drafted

    3 picks before our last pick

  36. Not sure if everyone caught it but at the draft they indicated the Vince Carter trade was an indication Hedo was not going back to the Magic…so he is out there with the potential to be picked up by someone.

  37. The Dude Abides June 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    This week’s winner is the Spurs. They got rid of some flotsam and jetsam for Jefferson, then had Blair fall to them at #37, then got McClinton and de Colo with their other two 2nd round picks. Who cares if Blair’s knees give him problems five years down the road? Their object is to win right now while Duncan and Manu can still run a little bit, and they got a guy who was close to the top ten a few weeks ago.

  38. 35 – Thanks, I missed that.

  39. Mike Trudell via tweet at Lakers draft HQ is saying that the Lakers thought Elonu was the 34th best player in the draft and they are going to give him the chance to compete for a roster spot. So, the rookie has to beat out DJ or Powell for a spot. That is a real uphill climb.

    Also, Morrison has said he is playing summer league. At least he is showing he wants to work on his game.

  40. j. d. hastings June 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Its easy to dream up a lot of possibilities for many of these guys but just like when watching summer league or preseason, we’re mainly just teasing ourselves with dreams of potential. What % of any draft actually become contrubting players? And this is a weak draft. The fact is the kinown quality of what our cash can get us is probably worth more than anything we could have picked up. Just as Powell and Mbenga, who’ve proven they can hit the occasional 12 footer while banging and rebounding, have more proven skills than 75% of any draft class.

    I’m just upset at San Antonio grabbing Blair and Griffin’s brother (to obviously try to persuade Blake to go there when he bolts the clippers )

  41. LA Times updated their article. Apparently, NY gave the Lakers $3M and Miami gave $1.5M. That’s a good chunch change to help sign the Laker’s free agents.

  42. This year was supposed to be a weak draft, and even in ‘strong’ drafts, there are just too many hits and misses, and we’re definitely NOT guaranteed anyone who can contribute right away like Ariza or Odom.

    It kinda amazes me that we talk about the economy and Mitch still find ways to get cash for as unproven a commodity like draft picks.

  43. 1.5 mil for Beverley is a nice amount for the 42nd pick. I like.

  44. all this earlier grumbling about not getting this guy or that guy, or trading away after we (only realized after the pick and did a little research) felt we got one who could contribute…
    stop grumbling!
    doesn’t this prove one thing???
    that the Lakers are not planning to bring on any rookies because…
    they intend to resign all their free agents!
    isn’t that exactly what we’ve been hoping for ever since getting the championship?
    as mentioned above, the draft day sales (trades for cash) have probably brought in 2/3rd’s of Trevor’s salary for next year. bonus!
    and, we’ve still got the mid season trade opportunity to try to either move dead weight (like Sasha was this year, but let’s hope he finds his groove back) and/or look for a back up PG, or PG of the future that fits within our cap room.
    over all, I’d say “Well done Mitch!”

  45. Confused on Miami’s end. They’ve already got a great young defensive PG in Chalmers. That money could have gone to a veteran player to help Wade now.

  46. What boggles my mind about the trades is that not only did we get truckloads of money, but we also got the 2011 second round picks of the Knicks and Heat. The Knicks pick ought to be a pretty good one too.

    Once you accept the premise that you’re selling the picks, they did a phenomenal job.

  47. We should thank Portland for setting the market for 3 million for any first round pick. They bought a ton of picks this year too.

    I bet we see more trades throughout the night. I would not be shocked to see the Lakers sell off the rights to Elonu as well.

  48. 47 – Really, the Knicks threw in a 2nd rounder? With Mitch’s track record in the 30s, that could be big.

    That’s a really interesting note from Mike Trudell. Unfortunately he’s likely still raw, so even if he does end up being a better pro than Powell or DJ, there’s not a huge chance of him making the team this year. Should be fun to keep an eye on, though, just to see if the Lakers staff potentially discovered a steal passed on twice by most teams.

  49. I also think that they did an excellent job! I really like this MItch Kupachuck guy. This proves that Ariza and Odom, plus one Brown, will be back next year unless the unlikely happens and one of them gets overpaid. With those three back the big question in my mind will be Bynum. With this dude get his athleticism back or not? In these playoffs i didn’t really see him jump off the ground more than 1 or 2 inches and his lateral quickness has definitely suffered. We need Bynum to be a monster on the boards and a defensive man in the middle. Also with regained athleticism, he won’t foul out in the first quarter.

    Also i have a question regarding Morrison and Sun. Can these guys contribute to the team? Morrison was a great college player, and he seems as though he would fit nicely in the Lakers offense. Can these guys contribute going forward?

    Also, will we be able to get rid of Sasha. Even at his “best” he is not a guy I like. What are everyone’s thoughts regarding Morrison/Sun/Sasha, and whether Bynum will be renewed?

  50. I was at the Wynn in Las Vegas yesterday and there was some type of private NBA event being held at club Blush. I saw Fisher in the event and I took pictures with Walton, Farmar and Ariza, who were on their way to a club together with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Then I bumped into Bynum who was at the cage with Maurice Evans, and Bynum was nice enough to take a picture as well. They all seemed genuinely appreciative of the congratulations we offered and they were really nice guys.

    I didn’t really have a point, except that this is a great group of guys and I think that this draft went as well as it could to get cash for the teams goals of keeping this team together. Hopefully other teams are convinced that we will re-sign Ariza and don’t create too high of a price tag.

  51. I love the cash in exchange for the picks. And I’m still waiting for Kupchak to pull another good trade by getting rid of Farmar and Sasha somehow. But can anyone explain to me the logic behind NY and Miami paying so much for those pics? As I understand a rookie in the first round is guaranteed about 800k. Why pay 3 million for the pick??? And the 42nd pick goes for 1.5??? Will that pick even make the team?

  52. Meh, if we’re getting $1.5 million for Beverley along with a future 2011 pick, then I guess it’s fine. The three guys I was high on before the draft were Douglas, Calathes, and Beverley and Kupchak was ironically drafted two of them. I guess two picks and $4.5 million is probably worth any projected upside from these guys.

  53. At the end of the day, we’re a team in the middle of its championship window and can’t afford to waste roster spots on projects. It sure sucks the fun out of playing fantasy GM, though.

    Kaveh brings up a good point. Although Bynum played well in spurts, if he can regain his midseason form, it’ll be essentially like adding another player. Much like last year, we have an elite team that has the potential to improve internally.

    Kaveh – With Morrison, even if he regains his shooting touch, the question for me will be his defense. He just needs to avoid being a black hole, so that any contributions offensively aren’t offset by flaws defensively. To be quite honest, I can’t see him getting much PT if he doesn’t improve drastically in the offseason, he looked far too robotic and stiff in the time I saw him. I highly doubt he’ll be contributing this season.

    I haven’t seen Sun recently, so I’m not sure how he’s improved. Doesn’t strike me as ready to contribute, though. I’m not sure where he’s at defensively. (Idle thought: it’d be nice if he could develop a Cassell-like post game to take advantage of his length as a PG). I almost wonder if Sun, with some serious growth, would be better at the backup 2. There’s a bigger need for a good backup 2 than even a backup PG, and he has the size to play there. Don’t think he’s anywhere close, but again I haven’t seen him recently.

  54. #52. Both the Knicks and the Heat are teams that are saving up for FA’s in the class of 2010. They’ll happily pay to grab cheap players that may pan out (like our 29th or 42nd pick) – while understanding that those are guys they’ll still have the rights to when they’re trying to fill out their roster. I mean, going into the 2010-2011 season (and without factoring in this years draft picks), the Knicks (if they don’t extend the contracts of Nate and Lee) will only have 18.16 mil in contracts and that’s including the team options on Wilson Chandler and Galinari. If the Knicks can find a taker for Curry or Jeffries, that total will be even less. And when you look at the Heat, they’ll only have about 30 mil of contracts and that includes a team option on James Jones for 4.6 mil (not likely to be picked up). Now, you’ll be able to add at least two or three draft picks to those teams’ rosters, but the point remains. They want young cheap players and cap space to lure one (or more) of the marquee free agents in the summer of 2010. Mitch Kupchak said as much when he spoke on the value of the 29th pick and why he was looking to deal/sell it.

  55. 50-

    I think Kurt said that Morrison is going to play in the summer league in Vegas.

    For Sun, he was recalled to come back to China to prepare for the FIBA Asia Championship coming up in a few weeks, so no summer league for him. ( He really didn’t have a choice in the matter)

  56. A great part of being a fan is analyzing, arguing, discussing and speculating about the sport and team we follow. Some of that fun was taken out with the Lakers selling off two of the three picks and keeping just the second to last pick of the draft (who probably won’t make the team). However, the truth is the draft is a crap-shoot; the Lakers have the luxury to take themselves out of that hit and miss game that sometimes takes several years to know the score. All the teams in the lottery, and most in the league, are still trying to figure out what works while the Lakers already have the winning formula. The $4.5 million they got today won’t be stashed in Dr. Buss’ bank account, it will used to go after proven players and keep a championship team together for many years to come while most of the league waits to see if their investments will pay off.

  57. I can’t help but feeling very good about the Laker’s situation. Supposing that they sign Lamar, Trevor, and ShanWOW, they will have all thirteen players under contract from last season. That number includes a potential rotation of players 10 deep–and three projects: Morrison, Mbenga, and Sun Yue. The remaining two slots can be left open for emergency signings brought on by injuries–or end of season veterans to help in the playoffs.

    No other team in NBA basketball is nearly so focused, with such great team chemistry.

    I honestly like every player on the Laker’s current roster exactly as they are–with their ups and downs–projects and improvements. They almost certainly will learn better and better how to compensate for each other as teammates. That’s part of the chemistry.

    That doesn’t mean that the Lakers as a team can’t improve–or they couldn’t make a key trade during the preseason or season. The point is that they don’t need to. Shannon Brown has become the missing backup PG trainee for next season–giving the Lakers real depth and compitetion not seen since the days of Crittenden. Everything else is solid.

  58. I like the fact that the Lakers just got cash for their draft picks and have no new contract commitments were taken on. No player was probably going to play at all that we would have taken anyway and now maybe this helps us keep our own free agents and a championship caliber team intact.

  59. This team is ready to repeat…….I repeat, This TEAM is ready to repeat, Just Sayin

  60. The Dude Abides June 26, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I think Sun is the 14th guy, so if the Lakers only carry 13, then I doubt we pick up his option. In the big picture, selling the picks for the kind of scratch that was reported is a good deal for the team, because all signs point to our three unrestricted free agents returning. After all that, now my only regret is that Atlanta got Gladyr at #49 before we could take him. Oh, and I’m still pissed about Blair going to the Spurs.

  61. How did Blair fall all the way to SA in the second round? I know he is undersized and had some knee problems earlier, but the guy is a beast on the boards. I could see him averaging 10+ rbs a game either starting or coming off the bench. He was a great pick for the Spurs. I just can’t believe he fell that far.

    Why 3 PGs for Minny. I guess they are trading someone. Rubio or Flynn to NY would be my guess.

    GS now has a Mona Ellis clone but a better shooter in the back court. Neither one is a play maker. Should be interesting to watch though.

    I feel bad for Griffin though. Thats a giant mess he getting into. Hopefully he can stay injury free until his rookie contract is up and get away from the clippers.

    Memphis drafted Diop/Dalembert at #2. The only thing Thabeet has going for him is that he is really tall.

  62. don magpantay – manila, philippines June 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    hopefully the 4.5 million cash from picks will be spend as additional to lamar odom

  63. All – being a Laker fan here in Texas (and also being an Aggie like Elonu) I can tell you that Elonu will bring it every day in practice and in the Summer League. Like most, I don’t think his odds are good of making the team this year, but he has all the defensive tenacity that Mbenga has and is a gym rat to the Nth degree. I have seen him play many times and have met him twice. He is a nice dude who will work his tail off. If we’re all about saving money and either Powell or Mbenga aren’t guaranteed, why not sign him to a one year deal if he proves himself in camp and save some $? Anyway, for the next to last pick, this guy will bring it on the defensive end and not overdue his limited offensive game. He’s raw, but with some coaching from the Cap, he could be a very serviceable big man.

  64. I probably would’ve taken Robert Dozier over Chinemelu Elonu. ‘Ol well. Re-sign Odom and Ariza, along with another veteran free agent.

  65. ESPN’s Chad Ford is out of his mind. He gives the Lakers the lowest grade of every team in the draft calling the Lakers’ trades “short-sighted.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=DraftGrades-090626

    1) I LOVED the Lakers moves. ~$5 mil. in cash (7 mil in cap savings) for D-League/Euro-league talent. Guilty of piling on here, but this draft was a shambles—I won’t be surprised if 50% of these first rounders are out of the league in 5 years. Kudos to the Lakers for exercising savvy and forbearance, it is hardly short-sighted to opt out of one of the three worst drafts in the last 20 years to position yourself for a dynastic title run.

    2) Ford loses all credibility for failing to recognize this. I think I would have preferred a different 2nd round pick, but the only excuse I can make for Ford is that he’s an ESPN homer and the Lakers just stuck their thumb in ESPN’s eye by failing to do cartwheels over this year’s lackluster draft.

  66. http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2009/06/25/20090625spt-sunsdraft.html

    Reports that the suns will be trading Amare for Curry, Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Bellinelli

  67. Wise gloat, that trade makes sense for PHX (more than the trade for McGrady). It only makes sense for GS if they can get Amare to agree to an extension and they are sure that his eye problems are not going to end his career short.

  68. @58

    I agree with you. If I were a fantasy draft guy or a PER freak like Hollinger, I would break each Laker player down like this: The only guys who we shouldn’t expect equal or better contribution from next year is Fish. and maybe Sasha, although I’d like to think that if he keeps getting PT, Sasha will come back around.

    We know what Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Luke, Powell and probably Ariza and Farmar are going to give us next year, and I like what all of them did this year (even Jordan before his injury).

    The guys who are really going to make this team a dynasty are Bynum and SB. Both of these guys are capable of doing exactly what we need to make us unstoppable. If they begin to realize their potential in this system, there will be a lot more titles coming to LA.

    but all in all, the only concerning questiong marks are Fisher and Sasha, so you have to feel good about that situation.

    And let’s be honest, we won’t get any takers for any combination of Farmar, Morrison, and Sasha that will make us any better. I’d imagine Mitch is out of “favors” from other GM’s after stealing Trevor and Pau.

  69. From the LA Times Laker blog, a quote from Mitch I think sums up the thinking well on whether the picks in this draft could have been a hedge against losing Ariza/LO/Brown:

    “Not the free agents we have. We have three free agents, Lamar (Odom), Trevor (Ariza), and Shannon (Brown), and I don’t think any of the guys that we could have got at 29, 42, or 59 today can beat them out. Not even close. So to draft a player, whether it’s guaranteed money or a pick at 42 that has great value, unless it’s a guy that you can stash overseas- and we had a couple of those guys, but they were gone by the time we picked- we thought we did the best thing to manage the value of the assets going forward. We were able to get two forms of compensation, something that can help us this summer, and then (picks) that with either one of these teams that may be okay.”

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2009/06/final-thoughts-on-the-lakers-2009-draft-all-hail-cash-considerations.html

  70. Wiseolgoat-If I were Steve Kerr I’m saying yes as quick as humanly possible. That’s a steal, probably because I’m not that much of fan of Amare. I actually think Suns get better if they can add a go-to scorer. If Amare leaves, I’m sure Nash would be next.

  71. 66. Sparky

    +1

    I about choked on my eggs while reading this (um, that’s literal, not some sort of euphemism–just making sure I’m not misinterpreted). A “D”? He justifies it by saying “good teams have to restock at some point.” Um, yeah. This is not that point, Chad. Your colleagues at the evil 4-letter will surely inform you that this team just won a title.

    Besides, would it have been good re-stocking to add Tyler Hanbfough (or however you spell that) at the expense of re-signing Ariza? Because last time I checked they were the same age, and one of those guys was asked to come to camp with team USA.

    This is not a Phoenix Suns-esque selloff. The Lakers have to prioritize with limited resources. Bynum, Ariza and Farmar are all young enough to be considered future players. Trivia question (with unverified answer): How many current NBA players have started for a championship team at the age of 23 or younger? “Answer”: like 7 (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Kobe, Trevor, and ‘Drew). OK, maybe there’s more. Probably. Whatever, get off my back, man!

    Oh, and the Clippers get an “A” for selecting the one guy anyone anywhere would have picked. Yes, nice work Clippers. I’m sure the Lakers would have sold that pick.

  72. I don’t know how much SanWOW will command, but if it’s more than $1 million, I think Mitch may let him go. It’s not a great result, but Lamar and Trevor are more important.

  73. I believe that the Lakers will make offers to all three free agents immediately. What will be most interesting will be the details: # of years, spacing of payments, contingencies.

    Hopefully all three sign close to the offers terms and we move forward, but if the Lakers end up with longer negotiations, it is most likely to be Lamar.

  74. Let’s not forget that the 4.5 million dollars we drafted have an incredible amount of upside potential in this deflated market. In 5 years, I see our 4.5 mil having fulfilled its potential way more than Brendan Jennings.

  75. The Nuggets just got a lot better with the addition of Ty Lawson to back up Billups. He’s quick and could give us problems. We need to figure out our point guard situation

  76. PeanutButterSpread June 26, 2009 at 11:29 am

    All in all, it was good work by Mitch to get some cash to spend on our free agents.
    We still ended up with a player, and from what I’ve heard seems like a good kid with a tremendous work ethic (something we all know Kobe likes) and is athletic and long – reminds me of Trevor. I like that we keep finding these athletic and long guys – hopefully, if they can’t keep Elonu on the roster, we might be able to develop him in the D-Leagues or something.

    While our point guard position is still the weakest (assuming we get both LO and TA back), there’s still at least Shannon Brown, who in my opinion, has the defensive skills we need in a PG. So if we can still re-sign him, we should be good.

    I’m not sure why the Lakers would make a trade after winning a chip. Keep the roster together as much as possible, give them a chance to repeat. Even if they don’t win next year, they might win the following year and so forth. Just look at the Spurs, they kept their core intact and have four Championships, albeit none of them were consecutive, But that’s my point. They were threats every year with that core and the Lakers can be like that with Kobe, Drew, LO, Pau and TA.

    that’s why I’m not sure why Orlando would make such a big trade for VC instead of re-signing Hedo. sure VC is still a good player, but there potentially messing up their team chemistry that was established last year by adding VC and subtracting Hedo. I mean, at least last year’s Lakers were mostly intact in this year’s championship run except for Vladi (who we’ll hardly call key here).

    So here’s to hoping Lakers re-sign TA, LO and UPS, because this Lakers team deserves to have at least 5 years together to make runs at the chip.

  77. I’m scratching my head over the Magic aquisition of VC. It seems so dumb I suspect Van Gundy had a hand in it.

    Shaq to Cleveland makes some sense but I doubt it’s anything that need worry us Lakers fans. Check this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/sports/baseball/26rhoden.html?em

    Now, if only the Celtics would please deal Rondo my happiness will be complete.

  78. The Lakers will have the same team next year, just wait and see!

  79. I can’t except that the Lakers need money so badly that they are giving away picks. If we didn’t want to carry more than 13 players we could have drafted guys and stashed them in europe for a couple years. I guess Jerry Buss lost too much money in Vegas at the Poker Tournament when he should have been in Orlando as his team won its 15th championship. This is the highest groceing team in the NBA by far we are talking about, the Lakers shouldn’t have to sell picks like the Suns. Its very sad. Laker fans might have to start thinking about an ownership change towards an owner with deeper pockets. Because the Lakers and their fans deserve to have an ownership group that can sign its picks and re sign their core players on top of using its mid level on a PG. This Lakers team isn’t the Orlando Magic with no holes. The Lakers currently have the NBA’s worst starting PG in the NBA in Derek Fisher. If the Lakers don’t think Shannon Brown can be an average starting PG than they should be doing everything they can to bring in one. These are the Los Angeles Lakers we are talking about here people. If I have to watch Derek Fisher make the likes of Aaron Brooks, Ramone Sessions, Jason Terry, Nate Robinson, Steve Blake, Mike Conley, Andre Miller, TJ Ford, Russell Westbrook, Rafer Alston, Raymond Felton, Beno Udrih, and Sebastion Telfair look like HOF’s for one more season I might become a Clippers fan.

  80. New post up, by Zephid.

  81. Very well played Mr. Kuptchak. Very well.

    I hope this gives the team the flexibility to sign Odom, Ariza AND Brown. We need all three to get through an ardous 82 game season.

    Well, now that the cash has been paid and the draft pick dust has settled, it looks like our tradeable assets for next year are:

    Farmar (1yr left @1m)
    Morrison (1yr left @4.1m)
    Powell (1yr left @854k)
    Mbenga (1 yr left @880k)
    Sun (1yr left @400k)
    Walton (4yrs left @4.4m/yr)
    Sasha (2 yrs @4.5m/yr)

    In looking at this list, I see a lot of 1 year contracts – which are great for tradeing – but, unfortunately, not a whole lot of cash associated with them.

    I see that Walton will retire in 4 years because no one in their right mind will pay him anything close to what he’s earning right now and, besides, he’s a Walton so he’ll end up with a career ending injury (or series of them) right about then anyway.

    The only enticing contracts are Ammo’s at $4.1m/1yr and Sasha at $4.5m for two years. However, Ammo’s contract may be worth to the Lakers more as an expiring deal than anything else. So he’s probably not going anywhere for now. The only trade scenario I can imagine Mitch making would involve both Ammo and Sasha in exchange for a a young and fast PG with lots of talent, making in the neighborhood of $4 to $8m a year, with no more than 3 years left on his deal, and playing for a team that either (a) wants to desperately reduce its cap to sign Lebron/Wade/Bosh in 2010 or (b) is throwing in the towel and settling for rebuilding mode. Oh, and even then, Sasha is also our only backup SG (not to mention that he and Kobe are BFFs), so any trade would have to return not only a quality PG, but a decent backup SG. Oh, and let’s be real here, who, besides a list of will-never-be-traded guys like Chris Paul, Beasley, Rose would fit the bill here?

    Assuming we resign LO/Ariza/Brown, then I don’t think the Lakers will do anything this year. On the one hand, that’s a bit frustrating as a lot of us (myself included here) are convinced that the biggest weaknes for this team long term is the PG spot and, with Fish’s expected retirement as a started after next season, we are very concerned that Farmar does not have what it takes to be the Lakers PG of the future. Then again, the Vic the Bric part of me thinks that maybe next season both Farmar and Brown will benefit tremendously from playing together, eventually becoming the best 1-2 PG punch in the league. Ah… to dream!

  82. Aaron, you are exactly the Laker fan that gives the fans of this team a bad name. I really thought you were going for some kind of sarcastic point before I realized you were serious. I rarely am this direct on this site, people should have a variety of opinions, but this borders on idiocy.

    First, your team just won a championship and you piss all over the owner? The owner whose team has won four titles this decade? Nine since he took over the team?

    I am sure you do not run your life the way you want Buss to run this team, that or I am glad I am not trying to collect on your debts. This is a business, first and foremost, and Buss should make a profit on it, and he should not overspend. Remember, every $1.5 million rookie really costs $3 million with the tax. Why should Buss pay an extra $3 million for someone who is not going to contribute? So you can have fun on draft night? So you can feel better?

    I think everyone knows a transition needs to be made at PG, but you again come off as both spoiled and foolish bashing Fisher like this. The guy stepped up when it mattered. He plays better than you give him credit for, but there is no quick and easy answer.

    Bottom line, for the sake of all of us, please do become a Clippers fan.

  83. Kurt,

    There is not one NBA scout, coach or analyst who thinks the Lakers should want to go into next season with Derek Fisher as the starting PG. If you are one of the few people that think Derek Fisher isn’t a huge liability while on the floor then I am very surprised, because you are a knowledgeable NBA fan. Forget about Fisher’s dreadful offensive numbers in the playoffs… where he kills you is on defensive end of the floor. Lets take Derek’s most famous game of the playoffs as a perfect example, game 4 of the NBA finals. Derek almost single handedly blew the Lakers big 4th quarter lead by letting the injured Nelson get into the lane and set up Howard inside and Magic shooters outside. Thats not even taking into consideration the fact Derek couldn’t make a shot the entire game. I never claimed ever that Derek couldn’t make clutch shots, and he stepped up and hit the two biggest baskets of his career. Thats doesn’t mean all of the sudden he is an OK starting PG because he hit two jumpers. A broken clock is right how many times a day? Derek’s locker room presence will be felt just as much from where he should be… on the bench.

    As far as Buss goes… any owner making so much money off the Lakers would be able to pay the contracts of Mitch, Phil, and the players. The championship belongs to the GM, the coaching staff, the scouts, and the players. And Jerry’s son for pushing the team to draft Andrew Bynum. I don’t know the Lakers financials, but I am guessing Jerry could spend more money and still turn a profit. This is an LA Lakers team who is about to contend for several more championships. And I am well aware of the dollar for dollar luxury tax. I hope you do not fall into the myopic Lakers Fan category who think that just because we won a championship it means we can’t get better or don’t need to get better. After all, the Spurs and Magic just got a lot better… the biggest basketball franchise in the world I think would try and do the same.

  84. 84.
    I’m sorry Aaron, but Kurt’s right.

  85. 84

    I second Kurt’s post. The Lakers have been the most successful franchise in North American sports since the Buss Family took over. That is certainly not a coincidence.

  86. Aaron (84)

    If you are a real student of the LA Lakers, you would know that the Lakers history of small guards predates Derek Fisher, perhaps starting with “Stumpy” Gail Goodrich–but including Nick van Exel and Coop.

    When Derek left the Lakers as a free agent, the team ended up with a series of less than spectacular players including Chuckie Atkins and the Smusher–who you would probably be supporting right now if he were appearing for the first time: taller, more athletic, and a great shooter.

    When Derek came back to LA from the Jazz, it was with a drop from a guaranteed salary to a team about to collapse. With a defensively oriented Jazz team, Fisher did fine, because he was part of a team that bought into a an aggressive switching system.

    Derek Fisher means team to the Lakers. One reason that the PG position was so understaffed this year was the injury to Farmar, requiring Fisher to play far more minutes per game than he should have–and wear down. Next year, things will improve as Fisher plays far fewer minutes and Bynum controls the middle better.

    You seem to be missing the obvious–the Lakers style of triangle basketball does not require a conventional PG. Fisher, properly supported, will almost certainly be the answer for next year. Shannon, with years of experience, is far better than the Lakers deserve at his salary–and arguably much better than any PG in the latest draft. His role will grow.

    If you intend to remain a Laker fan, you better get a grip on Laker history, and Phil’s strategy. For instance, don’t you think it might matter that Derek and Kobe joined the Lakers long ago as rookies?

    Hey! The Clippers just got the #1 player in the draft and drafted a great 1st round PG last year. Maybe it’s time for you to jump on the bandwagon of the Clippers–next year’s NBA champs?

    I think that your analysis might fit in well with them.

  87. No need to apologize… if you guys are really happy with Derek Fisher at PG and wouldn’t like Buss to give the go ahead to Mitch to let him draft, trade for, or sign a PG than you are in luck… because it doesn’t look like Buss is letting his GM do any of the above.

  88. Aaron,
    Still bashing Fish, I see. Honestly, you’re a broken record with this stuff and it truly is tiring. No one would claim Fisher is the best starting PG in the league, but he’s certainly not the worst – as you claim. I also think everyone would agree that we are going to need to transition away from Fish, but we shouldn’t just cut the cord or demote him completely. Either you’ve never played on a real team before or you truly undervalue leadership and don’t understand the dynamics of team unity and chemistry.

  89. Darius,
    You are the man…and I won’t rest until the Lakers bench Derek Fisher. Im not bashing Derek Fisher… Im simply echoing the analysis commentators and scouts have been giving nation wide for the last couple seasons. I love Derek Fisher… he is amazingly clutch. Unfortunately he is an awful PG that gets outplayed by every other PG he goes against. I mean the icing on the cake was when an injured Nelson dominated him in the 4th quarter of game 4, easily driving past him and setting up Howard inside and the Magic shooters outside to get the Magic back in the game. And I hate to repeat myself… but we all know how bad his offense was the last 4 months of the season. I love his leadership thought… and his locker room presence. I actually would like it even more from the bench.

  90. Aaron,

    So drafting a rookie point guard is somehow a solution to our PG problem? I’m a big fan of Toney Douglas and Patrick Beverley and know that neither of them can come in immediately and contribute as well as Fisher can, largely because they’re going to be lost in our system, which is infamously difficult to learn for rookies. No one here is saying that Fisher is an ideal point, but if you think throwing low picks in a horrible draft into major minutes for a championship contender is going to help, then you’re sadly mistaken.

  91. Aaron, who made clutch shots and which team won game 4?

    Hint: It wasn’t Nelson and it it wasn’t the Magic.

    In fact, wasn’t it Nelson that was victimized by the worst PG in the league?

    Doesn’t say much for Nelson or the Magic.

  92. 91,
    I never said a rookie PG was going to help the Lakers this year. And the odds of a player picked late in the draft helping you is under 10%. But if you don’t draft anyone the odds of a player helping you ever is 0%. And like i said… the Lakers have the MLE to use and 10 milling in expiring contracts that are very valuable in Fisher and Morrison. I would like to see Buss be OK with making 300 million dollars next year instead of 400 million and let his GM make the moves to bring in a PG.

    92,
    I wish you guys would read what I write. I said Fisher made two huge clutch shots. But like I said, he was the reason the Lakers blew a 10 point 4th quarter lead and let the Magic take a lead late in the game. If Fisher wasn’t on the floor the Lakers most likely win game 4 easily. He hit two huge shots and Im thankful he did… that doesn’t excuse the 10 shots he missed beforehand and the pathetic defense. As far as Nelson being victimized by Fisher… the injured Nelson made a huge mental mistake and didn’t take away the three point shot from Fisher and Fisher made a great shot. Kareem Rush made 6 huge shots in the close out game of a western conf finals for Los Angeles… he still is a bad player. And in OT Nelson doubled Fisher because Fisher lets face it… isn’t a good player, and Fisher made a wide open shot to his credit. Listen people… Fisher made two great shots, but lets realize they were only two shots in one game. At one point in his career he was an average PG who could spot up and shoot and draw offensive fouls. Currently he doesn’t bring anything to the floor and he is even slower than he used to be. His best qualities are he is very likable and a good guy to have in the locker room, both things he can bring you from sitting on the bench. Ask the people in Houston… as Jon Hollinger said, if Fisher didn’t get suspended in semi finals the Rockets could have played the Nuggets in the conf finals.

  93. I totally agree with 93., in that Fish is a good glue guy but his days of difference maker for extended periods of time are over. Every team watched how A. Brooks in the Rockets series gave us problems we didn’t have an answer for. Why you think Gundy#2 pretty much threw caution to the wind and played Jameer for extended periods of time? It’s because he knew a quick point guard who can penetrate and break down our defense was more dangerous than any weapon he had on the team, including Superman. The LAKERS would have been in deep trouble if Jameer would have been 100%. Even Denver caught on and traded for speedy T. Lawson on draft night. It will be a waste to sign TA,LO, and WOW ,if we dont address point. If our point is allowing continuos penetration and cant hit a jump shot on a consistent basis we might as well forget about repeating.

    So what’s the the answer to the problem. If we are not going to use our MLE on a point, then we have to consider not signing one of our top free agents. If we cant sign who we want because of salary cap issues, then somebody has to be sacrficed for the good of the team to free up cap space. It seemed I was the villian when I posted before about not signing a particular player. But you know what the individuals who were all bent out of shape, did not have a legitimate answer to the problem. My understanding it was a lets wait n see what happens. It might be to late for that when the season is halfway in the books. Let’s be proactive and not reactive to the situation. So I post the question, is our waiting around to see what happens with the point postion a dangerous game of russian roulette, with an obvious ending(SOMEBODY HAS DIE)?

  94. All this quibbling about Fisher ignores the basic element in the discussion — how to manage your assets. Going into the draft, LA had 13 signed contracts, a need to improve at PG (starting or back-up), and a need to manage future cap years. While weak, the current draft was deep in PGs and was there a better option than selling the 29th pick for $3.0m?

    (edited for trade talk)

    As for Elonu, he is probably beat out Mbenga or Powell and save LA another $1.0mm in salary & cap. Right or wrong, LA is reacting for cash. One must recall that it was the thinning of the bench that cost us a chance at a 4-peat. We traded for Murray and ran short of players.

  95. 95,
    If you dont’ want to have more than 13 guys on the roster then draft a euro and keep him there for a couple years. But don’t waste picks!