Waiting For Godot. Or Free Agency.

Kurt —  June 29, 2009

LA Lakers Trevor Ariza at LA Dodgers game.
Right about now basketball fans will listen to just about anything “to hold the terrible silence at bay.” So, here are a few thoughts to fill the void.

• First, as is a bit of an annual caution, here is my primer on the trade and free agent rumors you will hear swirling over the next months: When an insider gives a rumor to a reporter, they are doing so with an ulterior motive. Always. And what is being told that reporter may be anything from the entire truth to an entire falsehood, or some level in between (i.e. just telling them part of the story).

There are about 8 million reasons for this. An agent may tell Ric Bucher something to help his client gain some leverage in negotiations. (Say player X is heavy in negotiations with one team, when the agent gets a feeling out call with moderate interest from another team. Why wouldn’t the agent tell a reporter about that second call, let the first team read about it and hopefully drive up the price?) Often, there are different factions within a front office and one faction may leak their plans to gain fan support vs. another faction. Agents or front office people may tell something true as a sign of good faith to a reporter they like and so they believe them next time when the use the same reporter to gain leverage. And that list of reasons goes on and on.

When you look at what is in the media — for example, sudden reported interest of the Lakers in Jason Kidd or Nate Robinson — think about who gains from the information released. That almost always tells you where it came from. In those cases, it sounds to me like the player and his people are leaking this to gain some standing.

• The news about Yao Ming maybe being done for all of next season — if not longer — is bad for basketball. Bad for us as fans who don’t get to see him play. Not many guys over 7 feet, let alone 7-6, with that kind of well rounded game.

• Why I think we’ll see a better Jordan Farmar next year — contract year.

• As for defending little point guards, a popular topic in Lakersland these days: The Lakers have had their best success not with small and quick but with bigger and longer. Look at it this way, under today’s rules Tony Parker could not defend Tony Parker, Jameer Nelson could not stop Jameer Nelson. Defending these guards with bigger, longer players allows some room for mistakes with good recovery. They Lakers had some of their best success this season when Trevor Ariza was switched to a PG. Just something to think about.

• If you want to relive the Lakers season and Finals run again — and why wouldn’t you? — here is a good tribute video.

• Here is a great — but long, 20 minutes — recap of the Lakers path to the title.

• Part two of a tribute to Magic well worth reading.

Kurt

Posts

106 responses to Waiting For Godot. Or Free Agency.

  1. The one big flaw with the Godot reference is that Free Agency will arrive. But I liked it to much to let it go.

  2. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Jordan Farmar in P&G next year. The fact that Mitch is actively shopping him already makes me think that he’ll find a taker and gain cap space before the season starts.

  3. Am I right that we will find out Wednesday if Kobe has opted out? (July 1 deadline.) Or perhaps we’ll find out on Thursday. Some actual news to look forward to this week…

  4. 2. Where is the credible source saying Farmar is being shopped? This is what I mean about thinking about sources. I saw the link in rotoworld and Real GM, which came from some place with “NBA sources.” The same one talks about selling the 29th pick. Now, if you were trying to negotiate with the Lakers for that 29th pick sale, wouldn’t you try to get more in it by asking for Farmar (or someone else)? Also, those sources ended up being not even close on the dollar amounts. Do you think those sources are from inside the Lakers? What would their motivation be?

    It is possible that he would be included in a deal that rids the Morrison/Vujacic salary, but actively shopped seems an overstatement.

  5. 2 –
    I haven’t seen any solid sources stating that the Lakers are actively shopping Farmar. Can you point me to those articles? I am pretty sure the Lakers main focus is Ariza/Odom/Brown. After that trio we will most likely stay pat.

    If we don’t resign one of Odom/Ariza then it is more likely that we will get a minor shake up of our roster.

  6. 3. Yes. Kobe has until Wednesday to opt out. My guess, and it is just that, is that he opts out next summer, then instantly resigns with LA. But it will happen this year or next.

  7. I don’t understand all this buzz about Farmar, he only makes around $2 Mio…..
    Adam Morrison makes 5 Mio and doesn’t contribute at all

  8. Speaking of agendas, I’m not sure what Henry Abbott’s agenda is with this blurb:

    “UPDATE: The man who has recently been called one of the greatest owners in sports, and who famously keeps the company of extremely young women. It’s gotta be the hair. ”

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bodog/3662980423/

  9. Kurt: the other flaw is that, although Sasha/’Estragon’ remains, ‘Vladamir’ was traded midseason for Ammo and ShamWow.

  10. 8. I like that the photo lists Buss as a “professional poker player.” I’m not sure that is his main source of income.

  11. One of the more interesting free agent stories, IMHO, is the situation in Atlanta.

    Crawford, Johnson, Flip Murray, and Teague are a decent cadre of guards. So, Bibby’s services may no longer be required.

    If they don’t extend a qualifying offer to Marvin Williams, they could sign a big-name free agent or a couple of solid role players. I believe they’re a serious threat to make a play for Ariza.

    Is Ariza superior to Marvin Williams?

  12. I like the idea of Ariza guarding the PG. You could have a line up of, Ariza, Kobe, Walton, Odom Gasol/Bynum. I believe Phil put that out there at one point during the finals. Its a line up that can switch on almost any play, Its long, agile, 4 players are good in the post, and there are 3 can handle the ball and initiate the triangle.

    I also do not think Mitch is actively shopping Farmar, and I think he will have a better year next year. But I don’t think he is the answer at PG when Fisher retires. I just don’t think he fits the triangle very well and would do better in a more open system.

  13. Yahoo sports is reporting that Yao could miss next season or longer

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-yaorockets062909&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

  14. 13. If thats true that would be why there were inquiring about Amare.

  15. I don’t want to bash anybody, but james in the previous post said he doesn’t see how JKidd would be an upgrade over Fisher. Are you kidding me?

    We’re talking about a guy who recently started for the Redeem Team. Yes, JKidd is no longer the premier PG of NBA, but he is still very effective. He has improved his spot up 3pt shot and has always been able to play defense, especially getting steals. Fisher may be a better shooter (only marginally) and a better charge taker, but to say that JKidd is not an improvement makes me wonder if he’s ever watched a NBA game. In the long term, Kidd is not much of an upgrade as he will only have 2-3 years left in the tank and he can’t check Parker, CP3, or Deron Williams, but neither can Fish. At least, Kidd can guard a 2, if necessary, unlike Fish.

    I love Fish for his effort and character, but he’s no JKidd. Jason Kidd will make our team better even if he didn’t score because he’ll move the ball much better than Fish ever will. Plus, all those fast break opportunities with Ariza, Kobe, and Lamar will result in layups or dunks every single time, unlike Fisher who always seems to make the worst possible decision or worse goes for PUJIT!

    If we can get JKidd, we should. I just don’t think he’ll take the veteran’s minimum right now.

  16. Here’s my big issue with signing Kidd — he’s old. I want the Lakers to find a long-term solution there, and Kidd is not that. He’d still work in the right system for a year or two.

  17. 15,

    Kidd will command more then the midlevel, and the Lakers have enough problems with trying to resign their own free agents.

  18. Kurt,

    It seems very unlikely that the Lakers will make any trades or acquisitions until they have signed their free agents.

    I also see it unlikely that they trade either Morrison or Farmar until after the season starts. Morrison could develop value beyond his expiring contract. Farmar may or may not become the heir apparent to Fisher’s starting slot, effecting the Laker’s interest in him for the future.

  19. Has anyone read the espn insider article from Bucher saying why artest should go to LA? Is he talking about the clippers?

  20. Drrayeye, I’d take it a step further and say that it’s unlikely the Lakers will make any trades or acquisitions even after they resign their free agents. Like the Vladrad trade last year, if they can make a cost-cutting move and still get some talent back maybe. But that’s it.

  21. 4. Kurt

    There was the Houston rumor in the LA Times that Broderick Turner posted, for one.

    It just makes too much sense – even though, he only makes $2M next year, when you add in luxury taxes, it’s a $4M savings – and let’s face it – Farmar is the only player that theoretically would garner much interest as a pure salary dump type situation.

    Morrison may be attractive in February – in a Chris Mihm type situation (Lakers trade Morrison & Cash to a team for cap space).

    But Sasha still has two years left on his contract at $5M per year. What team has interest in that?

    If the Lakers are trying to clear space to sign Odom & Ariza, they trading out Farmar’s salary is the only real play they have right now.

  22. By the way it should have said “THEN” trading out Farmar’s salary is the only real play they have right now” in my last post.

    But you make a good point in Post 20, Kurt – maybe there is no rush – they wait until the deadline to trade away contracts (Farmar & Morrison package, for example).

    My only issue is, if they bring Fish, S. Brown, and Farmar to camp, how is playing time going to divied up? Now that they’ve won a title (with contract years being upon us), is everyone going to be so willing to sacrifice?

  23. 21. If the Lakers trade Farmar, they have to take back as much salary as they give up. Farmar is still under his rookie deal, he is not the place you save money, and his deal expires. It just doesn’t make sense to me because you save little and they need the extra PG on this team.

    19. In a post listing the FA class, Bucher lists Ron-Rons attributes, what kind of team that would be a good fit in general, then suggests: Lakers, Rockets, Celtics, Cavaliers. For the record, the other guys he thinks would be a good fit here are Kidd and Linas Kleiza. None of those three are happening.

  24. Kurt, I agree….JKidd is definitely not a long term solution. He is OLD.

    Trading Farmar doesn’t make sense to me as he provides a decent back up minutes for fairly low price. If he improves, we have option to match any offer, and if he doesn’t, we can let him walk. I just don’t see the downside to this, as we can win the title without him playing at his best.

    Signing ShanWOW would be great, but at what price? I hope he doesn’t expect more than 2 mil a season.

    I really like what’s happening around the league. We can stand pat and not lose too much ground as our team can get better simply by being together another year. Plus, Trevor, Gasol, Bynum, and even Farmar still have a LOT of room to improve.

    I think we have a great chance to repeat if we can bring everybody back, most definitely including PJ.

  25. I asked this question last week and no one bit: does anyone who’s seen Morrison play believe he could somehow be turned into a contributor for the Lakers next season?

    I don’t watch college basketball so I never saw him at Gonzaga, and few on the west coast (or anywhere for that matter) ever see Bobcats games. I have no exposure to form an opinion on whether he can play at the NBA level.

    I ask because Phil & Co. have a track record of getting some plus effort from retreads. While I doubt Morrison will ever merit the high draft position, does anyone see him playing any kind of meaningful role on the floor for L.A. – even as a specialist of some sort?

    Or is his contract simply dead weight until it can packaged as a part of a larger deal?

  26. Fisher is too old, and Brown is too much of a question mark, for the Lakers to get rid of Farmar at this point as part of a salary dump. If, as part of the deal, they get an upgrade a PG, they might consider it, but they are competing for a title, and the Fisher/Farmar duo is enough to get the job done this year. Fisher/Brown – that’s a question mark. The might consider it if Brown does pretty well in the first half of the season.

  27. 23. Kurt

    If the Lakers trade Farmar to a team with cap space, or to a team with a trade exception, they can trade him for a future second round pick, so they won’t be taking any salary back.

    Losing his contract off the books saves the team $4M, when you factor in the luxury tax. Not huge, but it appears the Lakers have an overall salary number in mind, and Mitch is trying to hit it.

    Also, considering the triangle is an offense that doesn’t require a conventional point guard, carrying Fish and Shannon Brown next season will work just fine. You have Kobe, Lamar, and Luke Walton who can all handle “initiator” responsibilities if the Lakers go to a big line-up, too.

  28. Chris J,

    Morrison played reasonably well for North Carolina until he was injured. He was not fully recovered last year.

    There are many who still believe in his potential in the NBA. It’s even possible that the Lakers might want to keep Morrison beyond next season–but I believe that the intent has been to use his slot as an expiring to dump salary as a worst case.

  29. The risk/reward for trading Farmar for nothing is too high. Let’s assume that Mitch trades Farmar for nothing and removes his $1.9M contract. If the Lakers resigns everyone, they would only have 12 players under contract. To sign someone else would cost approx. $800k – $1.1M. In the end, that’s only a savings of $2.2M – $1.6M for a scrub that won’t crack the lineup.

    So in the end, if Farmar is traded for nothing, then all the Lakers get is at most $2.2M and a benchwarmer. If the Lakers keep Farmar, they get a solid and possibly improving backup PG plus the continuatlity of a championship team for only an additional $1.8M. I’d take the insurance of Farmar versus minimal gains from trading him for nothing.

    As a last food for thought, $4M in an estimated $120M payroll is only 3%. Possibly hurting the Lakers for only a 3% effect is quite a hugh risk.

  30. Chris J, ask me after summer league (which Morrison has said he wants to play in for LA, we’ll see if that happens). That and Chinemelu Elonu are the lone bits of interest in the Lakers summer league plans,

  31. RE Ammo: If the Triangle is good for any type of player, it’s good for shooters. The Triangle, when run properly, provides spacing and the type of ball and player movement that gets defenses off balance while also making recovering to shooters a difficult proposition. Morrison came out of Gonzaga as one of the better shooters in the country – 50% FG, 43% 3pt FG, so one would hope he could find a niche. The question remains though, will he actually make open shots? Is his confidence gone? Will we even have the minutes available where he can find his footing and get into a rhythm? Normally, as Zephid pointed out the other day, end of the bench players are veterans that have been around the block once or twice and are more prepared when there number gets called after long stretches of not playing. Will a youngish Ammo be able to do the same? WOW was able to, but are we asking too much for that to be the case with two young players? And, will he play enough defense to earn time? Even if he’s not a great individual defender, will he learn the scheme and be a good enough team defender? Lots of questions there…

  32. Contract year usually equals career year. If the lakers trade Farmar it would seem to make sense that it’s when his value is high(er) & they give him another look as the potential PG of the future.

    Going into the season with just Fisher & Brown doesn’t make sense to me.

    Also, if Kidd’s not the long term solution at PG, who would be?

  33. Great point about trade rumors and who benefits from them. Reminds me of how cops investigate murders. They always start with the person who stands to gain the most.

  34. The Dude Abides June 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    The Lakers don’t want to go into the season with only a one-year older Fisher and Shannon Brown as their two PGs (and that’s if they re-sign Shannon), even though they can be very flexible with Sasha as the 3rd backup PG. We all saw how well Jordan plays with the starters in our Game 3 win of the Houston series. Fish is also an injury risk in his final season, so if we traded Farmar, our only option would be Shannon/Sasha as our two PGs.

    I too am now curious about going with a big lineup at the end of games, and even right before halftime too. Kobe/Trevor in the backcourt, with LO, Pau, and a healthy and active Drew on our front line? That could very well be a shutdown defensive lineup, and we’ve all seen how well LO and Trevor can shoot the three in high-pressure situations. The presence of this lineup could potentially lessen any negative impact of poor PG play next season (another reason not to trade JF).

    PS: resign and re-sign have opposite meanings. Sure, we can figure out what the writer says when he misuses “resign” in a sentence like “I hope LO resigns with us.” But the meaning of that sentence is actually closer to “I hope LO leaves the Lakers,” which is the exact opposite of what the writer intended.

  35. 33. KneejerkNBA, I thought the police just followed the evidence. Damn, television has lied to me again.

  36. A great list of super cheap free agents can be found at:

    http://www.probasketballnews.com/story/?storyid=610

    My favorites include:

    CJ Watson (age 25)
    Gerald Green (age 23)
    Royal Ivey (age 28)

  37. Jason Kidd is definitly not the answer to our point guard problem. Don’t get me wrong, because JKIDD is one of the best PG in his generation. It’s just the LAKERS need someone who is younger, and with playoff experience. To me M. Bibby would be better for the job. He is five years younger, and has playoff experience with the Queens and the BIrds. Atlanta just traded for Crawford and drafted J. Teague, so its evident they dont plan on bringing him back. Bibby’s at the stage in his career where he knows he only has maybe two or three years left of high caliber ball. He probably wouldnt ask for a ton of money to go to a team he had a chance to win a ring with.

  38. The Dude Abides June 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    37. I don’t believe Bibby is an upgrade for us overall. He is a major defensive liability on both on-ball defense and team defense (thus, a huge defensive downgrade from even Derek Fisher), and he is only a slight upgrade on offense considering that we use the triangle. He is slower on the fast break than both Shannon and Jordan, and finishes at the rim about as well as Fish. The only way he can help us is with spot-up shooting, but we would have to substitute on the fly after he releases his shot, and you can only do that in hockey.

  39. Totally agree on the effectiveness of defending small and quick with tall and long. Not just Ariza, but Odom, who has shown his proficiency at keeping all manner of small quick PG’s on the perimeter. He’s not perfect at it–no one can be–but I do see a lot of guards who get Odom on the defensive switch and have absolutely no clue as to what to do against him.

  40. Im talking about players we can get on the cheap. If the price is right, he would be someone who can come in,run the offense and shoot a high percentage of jumpers and free throws. I didnt say he was the next best thing since slice bread. This was only in compariing bringing J.Kidd to LA.

  41. 38,
    Yes the Lakers shouldn’t get Kidd because he is too old and the Lakers almost have a complete team with young players outside of the PG spot (Gerald Green could be a great fit). But to say Kidd’s defense is worse than Fisher’s is going a little overboard. And to say that Kidd finishes around the rim as poorly as Fisher is really a slap in the face to Jason. Los Angeles is a young team that doesn’t need to sign Kidd for a year to shore up the PG position because Shannon Brown right now can play better D than him and can shoot just as well from the outside. And he can slash to the basket better. Those are really the only things you NEED from your PG in the triangle. Kidd’s talents as a true PG would be lost in the Lakers offense much like Gary Payton’s were.

  42. Just to throw some numbers at this: Last year opposing PGs shot 47.1% (eFG%) against Fisher and had a PER of 16.7. Bibby allowed opposing PGs to shoot 48.3% and get a PER of 17.7. Kidd was the worst of the group, 48.5% and 21.

    So, of that group, Fisher played the best defense last year (in part that was guiding people to help, but that is a part of defense).

  43. Who can guard Tony Parker? Not many but it is probably more about thinking what he is going to do and getting there. Ariza could do it but occasionally the smart PGs like Paul and Kidd have too.

    The better strategy might be to figure out how to cut off his pass option to Duncan. Playing him real loose, sagging especially when Duncan is in position and wants to ball makes sense to me.

    Who can stop Aaron Brooks? Half the teams in the east have either figured it out or lucked out. If his 3 isn’t falling he isn’t much trouble. And he finishes inside at 47% FG. That is a below average shot. Don’t over-react and fear it.

    Yeah the rules have made it more of a threat but the little man threat is often over-rated.

  44. At this point in there careers, I would say that Fish is a better defender of PG’s than Kidd. Now, Kidd can play defense against other positions – SG and SF. But in defending the smaller, quicker PG’s, Kidd is poor. This is where Fisher’s lack of height plays to his advantage. Because of his lower center of gravity and the fact that he’s always been a player that has good instincts in picking up charges on the man he’s guarding, Fisher is still a guy that does a decent job of steering players towards help. (whereas Kidd has always been a better stealer of the ball and a guy that picks up charges when rotating to help on another defenders man), Now, that’s not to say that Fish doesn’t get beat outright. That happens plenty. But, that happens to everyone – the best defenders included – when you’re guarding some of the quickest players in the game.

  45. Kurt are you going to summer league?

    Is summer league games aired on TV? Can we watch them anywhere besides attending?

  46. Guys, realistically we have 2-3 years window. And Kidd would be all right for at least two seasons. Playing in triangle offense would lessen his responsibility and should lenghten his career. He would be a perfect solution – if we take money out of the picture.

    Kidd is simply too expensive. Lakers can’t give him even MLE – and there will be a lot of teams with offers at MLE level. And he would be an overkill. Give me Odom and Ariza back, make sure that a thunder doesn’t strike three times in the same spot (yo, Bynum, take care of your knees) – and I like our chances against any team in NBA. We are that good.

  47. 45. Yes, I will be at most of Summer League (although I will miss the Lakers first two games). I will have first hand reports on whatever there is to report. (I’ll have stuff on the Lakers but overall impressions as well from other teams.)

    NBATV does show some Summer League games, but like one a day at best, and I’m not sure the Lakers are a big draw because they have no recent high picks. All the games will be online but you will have to be some kind of NBATV.com paying member, I’m not sure of the details.

  48. Free Agents:

    If you had asked me half way through last season, I would have passionately insisted that it was more important to re-sign Ariza than Odom. Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, I had felt Odom lacked heart/focus, and he didn’t have “champion” makeup. However, lately it as become fashionable to love Ariza, and I think there is danger there. I have a feling that someone (Portland?) will make a big run at him. Based on what he has said recently, I think that Mitch has the huevos to take a pass.

    I’m not sure this is all that devastating. If Mitch can get someone like (the apparently-never-to-be-mentioned-by-the-media-again) Marion on the cheap, we’ll get a reasonable short-term replacement (more O, less D). That could create some flexibility to do something at the point. Who knows?

    After the championship run, I think I value Odom higher than in the past. He showed considerable heart/focus in the postseason. Most important, with the three-headed beast in the frontcourt (Odom/Gasol/Bynum), the Lakers have 48 minutes of top shelf interior presence. This is a huge asset for a team with an elite wing player. In fact, it is akin to what they had with the Shaq/Warm Body interior earlier this decade, when Shaq basically played 48 minutes in the playoffs. Keeping these three together makes the Lakers very stron inside, even as Bynum continues to learn his trade.

    As surprising as it is to me to say this, I think Odom needs to be priority 2 (after making sure we don’t overpay anyone).

  49. My guess is that the Lakers will go after ShamWow because he will come at a cheaper price (and shorter contract length) than J kidd. If ShamWow goes elsewhere, then I think the Lakers should look at Nate Robinson.

  50. That’s why I think Farmar has the problems with the triangle. He’s a colt that wants to run and gun. He is better in a wide open type offensive set with a little less bounderies. J.KIdd is typically the same type player with that wide open full court style.

    Everyone seems to agree that this may be Farmars last year. Considering that he doesnt like the offense and there are plenty of teams in the league that run a more wide open offensive set. Why are the LAKERS going to allow him to pout and give off bad vibes, when he can be dealt for a player who wants to compete for a championship team. His worth is not going to increase that much because he would have to get way more shots to do that and you know who is not going to allow that. He might average 4 to 6 more points if he started. Lets get the ball rolling before the Knicks or Phoenix trade for one of those young point guards drafted.

  51. As much as I like Kidd (hey Cal!) I don’t think he’d come to us at a reasonable cost. It’ll be like signing Gary Payton – still a decent talent, again push a decent Fisher to the bench and again a bad fit for the system that doesn’t make the most of the player’s talent.

    Not sure how Kidd does against the pick and roll, but I figure his strength will let us recover from some situations, and he’d be much better in the break… I guess I’m saying that he will indeed contribute, no doubt, but it won’t be a huge improvement. I’d much rather see Shannon develop into a Fisher type – a player who knows his limits and plays his part without trying too much.

    And again, sure we have trouble with fast PGs, but that’s because everyone else does too, and we’re okay as long as we have the long limbs to bother assists after than penetration. Who cares if TP or the like waltz to the paint at will if Bynum/Pau is waiting there, and we have Odom, Kobe and Ariza covering the other guys? Basketball is a game of percentages, and that’s a pretty good way of lowering the other team’s percentage.

    Also, I think we’ll see Ammo grow a bit, as he won’t be asked to be athletic in any way. We had Luke shoot 40% from the 3 before, and Ammo can surely match it. He could be our Vlad without the spacing out, although he has that vacant look on his face…

    All in all though, we should be solid with Kobe/Pau/improved Bynum, and the other piecees, if we can’t get them back, we’ll be able to find productive enough players to fill that void.

    We do have Kobe and Pau, people. That’s a pretty good starting block, something I’d take over LeBron and Shaq.

  52. 50. Where do you get that Farmar is giving off bad vibes? The Laker locker room got along very well this year, and Farmar was a good mix in that. Plus, he is not the guy who controls that locker room, he is way down that list.

    Finally, as has been stated, this is Farmar’s contract year. He is not about to do anything that gets him marked as a locker room problem because it will cost him money down the line, with the Lakers or on the market. He will be just fine.

  53. Wow sad news about Yao. Here’s hoping he’s back on the court as soon as possible. He could be the worst person alive and it’d still be a joy to watch that size with those skills, but the fact that he’s such a class act, and a funny dude, makes you want to root for him even more.

    Love the point about length being most effective guarding quick PGs. Length alone is obviously not enough (so no one in the Ron Harper mold), but long, athletic, quick wings like Ariza. Another example is Marion, who did a fantastic job against Parker while with Phx.

    By the way, I thought Phil’s greatest quote ever was destined to always be his “It’s hard out here for a pimp.” He may have topped that one recently on Conan O’Brien: “Real men do it twice.”

    Well said, Zen Master.

  54. 42

    Kurt, I’m very hesitant to accept those numbers as conclusive proof that Fisher played better defense than Bibby and Kidd. There are too many variables involved (help from teammates, defensive scheme, etc) to boil it down to opponent’s eFG% and PER. Besides, I’m pretty sure Kidd spent a lot of his time guarding SGs instead of PGs.
    With that being said, Bibby could never guard anyone and Kidd has been getting torched by smaller PGs for years. I think Kidd still guards wing players pretty well though.

    Personally I don’t think either player is the answer, but with a gun to my head I would still go with Kidd.

  55. Farmar wants to start, he sees Fish on the floor as some old man standing on top of the hill who want let him by. It is resentment when you think you are better than the man that is starting in front of you. Always thinking in your head when is it going to be my turn, makes for a disgruntaled employee. YounG Farmar gots game Im just afraid he will have to be on another team to reach his true potential.

  56. While the PG position needs to be upgraded so that we can maintain competitiveness, hopefully the Lakers can do it from within. If I were the Lakers, I’d hold off on making any changes *for now* and see how ShanWOW does with a full training camp and half a regular season before the trade deadline. If he and/or Farmar (contract year) can elevate their play and reliably back-up Derek, great. If not, then we should deal at the deadline. It’s not like the team isn’t strong enough to play sufficiently well until the February cut-off. Our current dollars are better spent re-signing our free agents.

    As of now, I’d stay with Fish as a starter for basketball reasons. Not because of “human” considerations or gratitude. Fact is, DFish is one of the team leaders, a unifying and stablizing force in the locker room, and probably the heart and soul of the team along with Lamar. He proved he could hit the clutch shot when it counts in the playoffs and has Kobe’s trust. His current contribution to the team appears to be sufficient to warrant him playing out the remaining year on his contract with the Lakers.

    The bottom line is that we need to make the PG decision a dispassionate rather than an emotional one. For me, that means keeping the 3 players we have now, but not being afraid to reassess in 6 months and try to upgrade if necessary. I am satisfied if the Lakers stay the course as long as it’s not a reflexive decision to keep the team together for sentimental reasons.

  57. 55. My issue with you saying Farmar sees Fisher as an impediment and that will cause him to sour is that it is what you believe Famar is thinking, but you are not presenting any evidence. That he would become disgruntled to the point of his game worsening is your speculation. I have seen Farmar in the locker room. He was frustrated at times this year getting his role defined, but by the end he was on board. He make some quality contributions in the playoffs.

    I hope he sees Fish as an impediment to his starting, because Fisher is. If Farmar wants to be the starting PG, wants to stay a Laker, the brass ring is there to grab. He just has to want it and to do it. I had hoped he would last year but he did not. That, however, is a far cry from thinking he should be traded.

  58. Who is Royal Ivey? I’ve heard the name but never seen him play. Obviously he’s not gunning for the Hall of Fame, but as we’ve seen with Shannon, the triangle can make players out of people who didn’t fit with other teams.

    I started thinking about this after the point Kurt made about length defensively at the point, like with Ariza. Ivey is 6’4″ with a 6’11″ wingspan (remember how excited we were getting over Beaubois?) and is described as a “terrific on-ball defender who often shadows the ball in the backcourt.” Can anyone confirm this?

    Could he be the solid defensive PG (relatively speaking) with decent 3-point range (35%) that we’re looking for? We’d get him for cheap, but he may have more value in our system than with other teams (like Brown, or Walton).

    He seems to have the physical tools to at least compete with Farmar and Brown, especially defensively.

    Here’s what they said about him, from the link someone shared above:

    A five-year veteran, Ivey started 66 games at point guard for Atlanta in 2005-06. His future is as a backup, but he added more consistency to his 3-point shot with Philadelphia last season and is a terrific on-ball defender who often shadows the ball in the backcourt. At 6-3 and 200 pounds, he also can body up to some shooting guards and use an edge in quickness. There are plenty of backup point guards with bigger reps that don’t have the same skills as Ivey, who won’t cost much more than the $854,000 he made last season.

    Thoughts? I know it seems like a reach, but let’s keep an open mind. Plus we’re all bored.

  59. 58:

    Besides having one of the best names
    in the league, Royal Ivey can play.
    A very good low-budget player who
    would help this team. Good look’in out.

  60. So you think all that frustration was from him not knowing his role? He already had his role defined from the beginning of last year. His role was to back up Fish and run the second unit, that has never changed since he got their. What is confusing about that? Only If he thought he had a chance to start and began to think he was better than the person in front of him would he question his role on the team.

  61. ShanWOW >>> Ivey

  62. Heck, if Smush can be the STARTING PG on the Lakers for two years in a row, anybody can. I am bored, indeed already…

  63. i haven’t read all the comments so I’m not sure what the current Farmar debate is, but I did notice that the time Farmar complained the most last year (when he actually met with Phil) was in the middle of his awful slump, when he did absolutely nothing to warrant more playing time. So if, at that point, he believed he was better than Fish, he was sorely mistaken. During that stretch Farmar was slumping, Fish hadn’t entered his awful-decision-making mode yet, and was still less TO-prone than Farmar.

    61 – Shannon probably is better than Ivey, but that’s not really the question. Fish is getting old, and we need to find a good 2-PG combo. If Farmar is indeed traded or signs elsewhere, and even if Shannon does show himself to be starting material (skeptical), we’ll need a solid backup. Ivey may fit that role. For that price, it may be worth a shot at least. We’ll probably have some hits and misses before we find the right players.

    I like him already:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_X3DT-aRCXRg/Rx_Z6c8fPPI/AAAAAAAABcg/pfYY4gezUe4/s400/royal+ivey+13.jpg
    http://www.thesharkguys.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/royalivey.jpg

    I guess I’m just curious if anyone who’s seen him can verify if he’s the type of defender we’re looking for, or if it’s hype.

  64. I’ve liked Ivey for a while. Good on the ball. Weakest link on offense–but not weak.

  65. The Dude Abides June 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    41. Aaron, you really need to read my comment #38 again. Then you can ask Kurt to delete your comment, because it had absolutely nothing to do with my comment.
    In other words, Bibby and Kidd are two different persons.

  66. Hmmm, the perfect PG for us would be someone who is tall, shoots the ball well, especially from three, and is quick enough to defend smaller point guards reasonably well. Sounds a lot like Sasha Vujacic, circa May 2008. It may seem crazy, and unlikely given Sasha’s place as Kobe’s back-up, but I don’t think it’s completely out of the question that Sasha can come back, improve his shot, get more focused on defense, and be a solid PG for us. Call me crazy, but I honestly think it could happen.

    At least I hope it could…

  67. Trading Farmar with his ROOKIE salary is just blame dumb. If you can get a package deal with Sasha, then i’d go for it, but somehow i just doubt anyone would be that stupid.

    Morrison, i haven’t seen play yet, but he is the most interesting candidate for a major surprise in my opinion. Remember that this guy was picked 3rd in the ’06 draft! The same draft which Brandon Roy (a great player from my UW) was picked 6th, Farmar was picked 26th and Shannon Brown was picked 25th.

    Of course there are high potential players in all sports which fail miserably. I remember all too well my Seattle Seahawks picking Rick Mirer 2nd overall in the draft. This lunatic loser was one of the worst players of all time in the history of the NFL, and perhaps in all of sports itself. The only player in all of sports which i remember was even worse than Mirer was a swimmer in the last olympics –he was from some African country which had no swim team and had never competed. The guy barely could finish the 100-meter freestyle. Of course this individual must be given props for trying to overcome such odds, but on a pure performance level he is the only player in all of sports which could be recognized as being worse than Rick Mirer.

    Anyway i’m digressing on how horrible Rick Mirer was….even though Morrison could be a full of potential lost or a misread by the draft “experts” of ’06, logic tells us that “there is a chance.” This guy definitely HAD potential, and he’s only been in the league for 2-3 years, including 1 year with injury. Sometimes it takes players with no injuries 4-5 years after college to mature into good players! So are we being too harsh on the guy? Isn’t it reasonable to expect a guy with such potential to still be able to mature into a very good player? I think that there is some hope for this guy. It all depends on how much he wants it. Maybe working with Kobe will give him some insight into how hard you must work to be great, even with Kobe’s natural physical talents? Maybe he’ll say if Kobe is working so hard after 4 championships, becoming one of the greatest players of all time, should he (Morrison) work just as hard? I can only hope so.

  68. From Mitch Kupchak before the draft
    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2009/06/mitch-kupchak-on-the-upcoming-draft.html

    “I think with Derek (Fisher) approaching 35 years old, we’d like to sort out that position going forward. We have Jordan (Farmar) who’s had moments when he looked like the guy that might be able assume that position and Shannon Brown came in and did a great job as well. But that position in the future is still undetermined. We need to figure out who is going to take over that position when Derek retires.”

    Reading into this, Mitch hasn’t decided who the point guard of the future is. If that’s the case then he isn’t going to trade away one of the players who might become the Laker’s point guard of the future.

    Personally, I think Jordan and Shannon played well during the playoffs although Jordan had a bad regular season.

  69. Our PG position –unfortunately, anyone thinking of Kidd should rethink their position. This guy is far past his prime and would be an absolute disaster in LA. We need just a few things at the PG —a great shooter, athletic, and a good on the ball defender. Kidd has none of these. I think that Fisher is a disaster now, but Kidd would actually be move DOWN from fisher! Kidd has no shot at all, no athleticism and the kid cannot play any defense.

    The problem with Fisher is that he is just too old. He is a horrible defender at his age –just horrible. He is not athletic at all –again, it’s the age. And his shot has been falling off drastically. Shannon Brown, in my opinion, would be a great person to re-sign. This guy has all the tools! Athleticism, size, shooting, and most importantly, the mental toughness to act under pressure. This guy would be the best option going forward if we are looking to train someone for the future. Jordon Farmar also has many of the tools, but he lacks two important ones. He does not have the size or athleticism of Brown and he lacks the mental toughness. Farmar can be a liability at times with his turnovers and lack of killer instinct. His basketball IQ must also be questioned. Shannon Brown showed us all what he could do last year –and this was while not knowing the offense after only 18 regular season games. Can you imagine Brown after 2-3 years of play time? With Fisher there, Brown can only get better. And he fits perfectly with this team.

    We need to keep Brown and Farmar. Give both of them major minutes next year and bring Fisher off the bench for a very limited role. Hopefully Brown can take over the starting position.

  70. Zephid – I used to wonder the exact same thing (still do, actually). But there’s something about Sasha at the point – I can’t quite put my finger on – that bothers me a bit. His ball-handling, maybe? Or maybe his decision making. I know when Farmar was out and Sasha played the point this season, as a fan I was often on the edge of my seat, always hoping he wouldn’t try to do too much. Whereas with Fisher (until the last couple months), I always felt like there was a steadying influence on the floor. With Sasha there’s a little more fear and uncertainty when he’s handling the ball. Not sure if that makes sense at all.

    That was probably the least basketballish analysis on this site in recent memory. It’s probably just an image/reputation thing, really. (Although I do worry a bit about his foot speed. Ariza does a better job keeping up with quick PGs than Sasha). But I, too, used to think/hope that Sasha might be able to succeed Fish down the line as a big Phil-type PG. But even though he played PG in Europe, I just can’t see him handling the role well. Not entirely sure why, more of a gut thing.

  71. Chibi – I think Marvin Williams is superior to Trevor Ariza.

    I like a D-Leaguer named Dontell Jefferson. When Larry Brown praises you about your defense, that means you’re doing something right. Jefferson can’t shoot three well, but he has pretty good offensive tools such as getting to the basket. I like Royal Ivey too.

    BusterJonez – I’ve always been a fan of Gerald Green. He has always been known for his terrible shot selection and lack of on defense. I still think he can turn into a solid player, if he continues to take that step forward after what Rick Carlisle and his staff did with him, and working with John Lucas. Green definitely has the goods to bring some energy off the bench. He’s definitely a bargain.

  72. Kidd is not the solution we are looking for, but to say that he is not an upgrade over Fisher in short term is simply ridiculous. Have you played basketball? There’s reason why 30 year old veteran is usually more effective on the court than a 21 year old.

    Experience and Understanding of the game. Kidd has it. Brown and Farmar don’t quite have it. Also, just because Payton bombed with the Lakers doesn’t mean every veteran guard will have a tough time with the triangle offense. Payton needed ball in his hand to be effective. Kidd doesn’t. If you see the Mavs play, Kidd doen’t have to dominate the ball to make impact on his team. He is so good at being at the right place and knowing where to go with the ball, he can be effective even in triangle offense. Remember all those times when we’re screaming at Fisher or Brown to dump the ball to Kobe, Bynum, or Gasol and he couldn’t. Kidd will be able to with his height and superior passing. I don’t think Kidd would play more than 25-30 minutes if he were to sign with the Lakers. More realistically, he wouldn’t sign for anything less than MLE, which rules him out for us. But if he can be had for veteran’s minimum, we would be stupid to turn him down. If he had our long frontline behind him protecting the rim, he can do a decent job on the quicker PGs. The Dallas frontline of Dampier, Nowitzki, and Howard are not known for being able to protecting the rim very well.

    What’s the point of arguing about Kidd being able to play PG for the Lakers anyway? He’s too expensive. But if he were on the Lakers, he would make the team better, not worse. Kidd can make everyone around him better, even Kobe.

  73. #72

    +1!

  74. I’m with those who don’t want Kidd. We’ve got one old point guard already. We don’t need another, nor do we need to pay big money to Kidd when we just won a title with the imperfect trio L.A. now has.

    I’m hopeful Farmar can turn it around. Young point guards don’t blossom over the course of their early career, and Farmar’s numbers are comparable to those of Fish and Steve Nash at similar stages in their careers. And Jordan played reasonably well in the playoffs, plus he’s cheap. No reason not to give him one more year.

    I appreciate the Morrison feedback. Maybe he’ll find his touch and be the outside shooting specialist, a la the Radmanovic role? If he works hard and can get over the mental hump, maybe there’s a chance he’ll contribute something on the floor next year too. Time will tell.

  75. E-Roc,

    Put down the pipe. No way is Williams better than Ariza. Yes he is a great athlete, but Ariza is a unique player that doesn’t fit the traditional mode.

    And for those talking about Ivey – well, he’s a Texas longhorn I think and the last few we’ve had haven’t worked out (see Mihm & Maurice Evans).

  76. Gr8 Scott – You may not have watch enough of Marvin Williams.

  77. 60. The role confusion for Farmar was that in preseason he was told to lead the second unit in getting out and running, but when teams started to adjust to that Farmar consistently made bad decisions about when to push and when to pull up and run the offense. He kept getting in trouble with the coaches and his minutes cut (and his confidence took a hit) because he could not find that rhythm. Particularly after Ariza and Odom went to the first unit due to injuries. But by the end of the season he had a better feel for what the coaches wanted and his decision making improved in this regard.

  78. Sportsguy Hate June 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Let’s get one thing straight. Adam Morrison is not going to all of a sudden get playing time – except in the Summer League. There’s already a logjam to get on the roster. He might not be as bad as his lack of PT might suggest, but I don’t see how he’s as good as his #3 draft pick status either.

    As far as the PG situation. Forget about Ivey, Kidd, Bibby, etc.. If you don’t believe in Farmar, maybe Sun Yue can provide the depth? He should be familiar with the triangle at this point…and he was obviously good enough to stay on the roster. I’m not sure how but he did.

  79. snoopy,

    I think the thing about Sasha is his ball handling. If you pressure him in the back court, it takes him to long to get the ball to the front court and initiate the offense.

    I’m sure his decision making isn’t great either, but its the late getting into the offense thing that really stuck out for me (check out our first game against the cavs for what I mean….I think it was that game anyway)

  80. The eFG% and PER numbers for Kidd against PGs is a bit off because Kidd rarely guarded PGs last year in Dallas, as he was most frequently paired with Terry and Barea, both of whom don’t have the size to guard SGs. I personally think he would fit in just fine, but the problem is that the salary he would command is simply too high. Maybe a one-year midlevel offer would be palatable, but he’s already said he’s not going to pull a Payton and take a one-year deal to win a championship.

    As for our PG situation, it’s a lesser concern right now in comparison to resigning our free agents. There’s practically no one on the market we could reasonably afford that would be an upgrade over Fisher, so Farmar is probably staying. Only way Farmar leaves this summer is Kupchak packages him with Morrison’s expiring to get rid of Sasha’s contract. I concur with Kurt and others that the allure of a contract year will have Farmar playing his best. The only two ways off the top of my head the Lakers could reasonably improve the PG position is by trading for Hinrich (Farmar, Morrison, Vujacic) or Barbosa (Farmar, Morrison). Hinrich’s salary is a tad bit too large for his solid, yet not spectacular production and I’m not sure Kerr is willing to part with Barbosa at the moment. All this goes back to a key point that if we’re going to trade bad salaries (i.e. Walton, Vujacic), we’re going to have to take bad salaries in return. Unless we’re willing to take a player with a big contract who can contribute like Hinrich or Barbosa, there’s not a whole lot of point in throwing up trade rumors.

  81. Open Question:

    With Shannon Brown a restricted free agent. At what price or contract length do you think the Lakers wouldn’t be able to re-sign him (Assuming Odom and Ariza are top priority)?

    I’m kind of worried a team will offer Shannon a $3 million, plus or minus $1million, contract.

  82. kidd shot 40% from 3 the last 2 seasons more importantly if he does join up w/the lakers it’ll be a short 1-2 year thing where he’s along for the ride/ring.. wouldn’t hurt to have more veteran savvy and leadership on the room.. as well as another player whose willing to stand up to kobe and run the offense when appropriate..

    PLUS. if the lakers move away from the triangle post phil to a more up-tempo style.. then jordan farmar IS the PG of the future.. and who better to mentor him then one of the best fast-break-running PGs in the last decade? last thing we need is farmar throwing up PUJITs as well..

    the bottom line (as bucher put it) is for how much and how long? if its the veteran’s minimum for a year or two it could be like boston n marbury.. low risk-moderately high reward.. the lakers would be dumb not to. and why wouldn’t he? he’s certainly had his payday (2nd highest earner in the league last season).. and he wouldn’t be the first veteran to join up w/a contender for a shot at a ring.

  83. People, Kidd is not coming here. BCR and others noted it — Kidd has said he will not take a one or two year little deal at the vets minimum for a run at a title. He does not want to try to be Gary Payton. And if he wants a full payday, even the MLE, then the Lakers will not pick him up.

    One note on those stats I put up earlier: 82games.com breaks that down by position. Kidd did a better job on two guards but when matched up with points he struggled defensively. And with the Lakers, we don’t need another player to guard the two spot, we have plenty of those.

    Honestly, I really don’t enjoy this time of year most years, and especially this year. It’s the time to play armchair GM, and people come up with moves more for the sake of making a move than really having a big picture view of the team or the plans. It’s times like this I love having Buss and Mitch at the helm, with a steady hand, because they have a vision they try to follow through on and don’t just make random moves to stockpile talent. The Clippers have stockpiled pretty good talent on paper, how has that worked out? There is an art to being a good GM and owner. We are fortunate.

  84. The Dude Abides June 30, 2009 at 1:39 am

    83. Amen, Kurt. The other thing that cracks me up is all the speculation about Coach K coming here after Phil retires. The knattering knabobs of knuckleheadism on ESPN were all chattering about it today. Yeah, the Lakers really want to bring in someone who doesn’t run the triangle, thereby forcing the GM to trade the team’s personnel who don’t play as well in other types of offenses.

  85. 83 – Are you trying to say Bill Simmons wouldn’t have been a good GM in Milwaukee? Blasphemy!

  86. Shannon’s size, athleticism (especially on defense), and toughness are all upgrades over Farmar, though he may not be as quick (not as important in the triangle). Also, though Farmar can get hot and knock down some tough shots, I think Shannon is more consistent as a spot-up shooter in pressure situations (like Fish).

    Therefore, I am in favor of trying to include Farmar in a Vujacic (his strengths are redundant and weaknesses becoming more obvoius) or Ammo salary dump because it is evident that Shannon can be our long term solution at the point (witness his stellar play through the playoff run, especially the Denver series.

    Also, if we think about matchups, Shannon definitely is our best answer to Jameer and Chauncey, who figure to be the opposing pgs on our most daunting opponents.

    There was someone earlier in this thread who said the Lakers only have a 2-3 year windown- I disagree.

    Depending on Bynum’s progress, we have a legitimate shot at the next 4 or 5 championships at least.. Pau, Kobe, and Odom are still only in their early 30s/late 20s, Trevor is young and on an exponential growth curve, and Bynum is of course the x-factor. His development into a top 5 NBA center, the potential for which we’ve seen before injuries in the last two seasons, would allow this team to compete for rings into the near future.

    It’s a great time to be a Laker fan.

  87. The Lakers vision is clear: bring back the team that won the NBA championship as little over the luxury tax threshold as possible without compromising the future.

    That leaves the Lakers with two dramas this season: 1. signing three free agents, and 2. reducing the luxury cap payout without compromising the championship or the future.

    Until Lamar, Trevor, and Shannon are signed, and the terms are known, our chrystal ball for the future will be so cloudy we will not be able to project any transitions at all. That means we fans need to like the team that won us the championship: they are the only players we can expect in Lakers uniforms for sure.

    One thing emerging rather clearly from our discussions is that the Lakers current situation at PG is more than satisfactory–if we consider the alternatives. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.

    What hasn’t emerged clearly is the peril that the Lakers are in when emergencies arise–and they always do–so deeply into the luxury tax. When Andrew went down the first time, the Lakers were able to respond because they were not much into the luxury tax and they had a large expiring contract (Kwame) to trade. Before Andrew Bynum went down the second time, the Lakers had already gone wildly into future luxury tax hell by agreeing to a radical increase in salary for this upcoming season for Andrew Bynum.

    If Kobe or Pau go down, the Lakers no longer have big expiring contracts to bring in an emergency player to save the season. The best they could offer, assuming multiyear contracts for all free agents, would be the expiring contracts of Morrison and Farmar–about $7 million–and very limited draft picks.

    The Lakers are very unlikely to “spend” these expiring contracts on trades early in the season because they would no longer have even those expiring contracts to put a significant emergency trade together.

    If the Lakers are relatively unscathed by midseason, they may “spend” these expiring contracts on a salary dump–to reduce the luxury tax.

    That may be the only significant transition the Lakers make this season–and that is downstream and iffy.

    Love the ones you’re with.

  88. sorry kurt.. don’t mean to play armchair GM.. but its just whack to say kidd isn’t a upgrade over fisher or that the lakers shouldn’t make a run at him *if the price is right*. the man is agamer and would-be winner, nevermind his the selflessness, veteran influence or ability to command kobe’s respect (which if u think isn’t important to this team’s make up see fisher, derek).

    im sry i didn’t see the link abt him nt wanting to be like payton.. (where is that btw?) i know its a long-shot.. but hey so was kwame for that guy.. what his name again? something-gasol?

  89. Doesn’t anybody remember 2001 and how absolutely amazing it was to have Tyronn Lue on the team when we had to guard Iverson in the finals? He made his whole career in that series.

  90. Snoopy,

    Don’t know about that. Two things could happen:

    1. He’ll trade his entire Bucks roster for half of the Celtics team.

    2. He’ll trade himself to Boston.

  91. 88. Mike, I’m not mad at anyone or anything like that, it’s just not my thing. Kidd is a legitimate topic, I just don’t think the quality of upgrade would be worth the expense it would be. I still think the Lakers need a long-term solution at PG. I mean, I like Andre Miller too but he is also 33, he is not the answer.

    89. Lue had one good defensive series his entire career, he just timed it well for Lakers fans. Watch him now, he is a craptastic defender, I would rather have Fisher three years from now than him. But that was a great series.

  92. The Lakers just need to comcentrate on signing Lamar and hopefully Ariza. If some team offers Brown 2 or 3 million a year we should give him a hearty thank you and a pat on the back as he leaves. Farmar is still young, has shown flashes of starting point guard ability in the last two years, has reportedly matured into a hard worker in the off-season and was still recovering from a knee injury at the end of the season and playoffs. Let’s give him a bigger window to succeed before we throw him into some salary dump.

  93. Another bargain player would be Joey Graham, who is now an unrestricted free agent after the Raptors renounced their rights.

  94. I get as antsy as the next guy when the off-season comes. But this off-season that feeling is tempered by the fact that we won the title. We have one of the best teams in the league and other teams are trying to catch us. Personally, that feels good. Yes we should be exploring options of improving our team. But that must be balanced with the financial realities of next season.

    So, with that in mind, I’m interested in seeing how Farmar bounces back next season. I’ve been critical of him over the past season, but he’s still young, is seemingly very competitive, and (as previously noted by many) is in a contract season. I also want to see what Sasha does next year. Mitch only gave Sasha a three year deal for the exact reason that we still didn’t know if he was for real or not. Going into year two of that deal is he going to step up or stay a step behind, regressing to a flat line trajectory of development? To me, these two players (outside of our three FA’s that I hope to retain) are our most important off-season “acquisitions”. I refer to them this way because last season, we didn’t get too much out of them while relying on them for key roles. If they can improve next season and get back on the track that they showed in 2008, I don’t think we’ll need to make any deals or obtain any new players. We’ll once again have the deepest team in the league with 10 very good players. But a lot is going to depend on what Farmar and Sasha do in the off-season to come back next year as contributors.

  95. I love playing virtual GM. I might close my office door and spend the entire afternoon on the trade machine.

    I’m also glad my ADD-induced desires to tinker have no bearing on Mitch’s decision-making, as I trust him with my fan-life.

  96. Kurt, Darius…well said.

    I, too, don’t think Kidd will be coming to the Lakers, but we can all dream, right?

    That said, I think the best thing for the team to do as the FBG experts have said is to just bring back the same team.

    Right now, Vujacic, Morrison, and Fisher have no trade value other than that their contract will expire soon (Vujacic in 2 years). There’s no way we can give up both Vujacic and Farmar or Fisher and Farmar for unproven talent. Even if we could get a decent PG in return, I’d rather have Farmar/Fisher, who know the system and been with the team, than a guy who will have to learn and adjust. Furthermore, a guy who would be an improvment will definitely cost a lot more, i.e. Hinrich.

    Seriously, who would be an ideal PG for us in our system in the league right now? Bibby? (please!) Robinson? (maybe)…very few young or even veteran PG would be willing to take reduced role as Fisher has been doing. Our PG’s role is to defend and knock down open 3′s. We don’t need an $8 mil or more type of player. We could get by with MLE or lower type of players, since we’ve committed most of our money on Kobe and our 3 headed frontcourt monsters.

    When Farmar and Sasha play at high level, which they have done so sporadically in the past, the Lakers are truly scary. We need to wait and see if they can be consistent this season.

    Still, it would be a sight to see Kidd running fastbreak with Kobe and Ariza on the wings. SIGH~

  97. Anyone ever thought about Jannero Pargo? He knows the system. I’m just sayin…

  98. New post up — thoughts on Ricky Rubio from Xavier (a coach in Spain).

  99. To the guy who wanted Jason Kidd, I’ve been in Dallas for the last four years, and I’d say stick with Fisher. Kidd’s 3-pointer was a little better this year than in past years, but it’s still shaky. Kidd gets more layups blocked than anyone (with the possible exception of Fisher). His vaunted assists are inflated because the man just doesn’t shoot and so he’s not a scoring threat, which at least Fisher is. In short, the only thing he brings to a team is veteran leadership (which is GREAT), but the Lakers already have that in Fish. Keep Fish and you won’t be missing anything, and Fish already knows the offense, the coaches, is a steadying influence on Kobe, etc.

    By the way, Kidd was on the Olympic team yes, but he was there for leadership and his experience in past Olympics, not his play.

  100. Funny thing is I live right across from the Godot playhouse in midtown nyc….

    Maybe I should see it.

  101. Also, to the guy that wanted Gerald Green, there’s no doubt he’s got incredible talent. The buzz in Dallas says the reason he’s not getting on the court is all upstairs. He can’t seem to pick up the offense and make good decisions on the court.

    So, I’m sorry, but it’s way past time for him to get it. I don’t think the triangle is a good fit for Green. No thank you.

  102. 94. Darius

    +1

    Seriously, the possibility of bringing in outside talent only exists if we lose Trevor or Lamar. Even then, the luxury tax implications probably mean we are bargain shopping. On the plus side, this is the year for bargain shopping, most likely. Teams are reluctant to sacrifice next year’s cap space, and want to reduce expenses in a tough economy. This has allowed San Antonio to take advantage of Milwaukee, for example.

    If we lose Ariza, free agent options are headlined by Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Grant Hill, Ime Udoka, and Matt Barnes (assuming we only look at 3′s)

    If we lose Odom, the 4′s include Rasheed Wallace, Drew Gooden, Chris Anderson (the unrestricted guys that are better than Powell–maybe).

    So the 3′s look like a better group than the 4′s, but they may well be out of our price range. And nothing looks better than bringing back the champions.

  103. In the second video of the Lakers’ “path to the title,” I noticed how many times a Lakers player would give up a flashy dunk for themselves to another player in situations that did not call for a pass.

    That’s team chemistry.

  104. 102. I think that management is actually looking at the possibility of losing either losing TA or LO, but not both. If one of the above asking price is to high Mitch will not just leave a blank check on the table and tell them to sign it. With Kobe, Gasol, and Drews salary taking up 74 mil next year, the likely hood of signing both is getting bleaker. Teams this year are making moves to make themselves better able to make a long playoff run. I know everybody wants the same team back, but at what cost. If LO ask for 8 to 9 mil is he worth it? Maybe with the Bucks not offering Charlie V. a contract, this will make other suitors put LO as 1B and make Charlie 1A. The talent you listed above are proven players who if surrounded by other stars will be able to play complementary roles, maybe not as well as the player they are replacing, but I think would do a fine job. This season has had so many highs, I think its time as LAKER fans to start preparing for the lows if they come.

  105. Does anyone know our summer league roster? I heard some guys that went undrafted have joined the summer team. If anyone knows who will be playing on it (all the players) and could post it in the comments, it would be very much appreciated

  106. The Lakers have not released the roster for Summer League yet. But undrafted and guys from Europe are the norm, with one or two NBAers. At best in the Lakers case.