Andrew Bynum vs Future Hall of Famer

The Dude Abides —  July 26, 2009

Hello, fellow FB&Gers. Kurt has given up trying to figure out why the site’s spam filter hates me so much, and has given me moderating privileges in order to let my posts through easier. Yes, my handle is The Dude Abides. As one might guess, my favorite comedy is The Big Lebowski, and I like to sprinkle in some quotes from the movie every so often in my comments here. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve swiping my dad’s transistor radio from the garage every afternoon I got home from school, hiding it under my bed, then turning it on to listen to Chick call the Laker games after I’d been sent to bed. I started doing this during that magical 1971-72 season, with the 33-game win streak and the first LA Laker championship.

Anyway, there’s been an ongoing discussion on this and other boards about the merits of one Andrew Bynum. I’d like to compare Drew’s numbers with the numbers of a Hall of Fame center who was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996. This comparison is at similar stages of their careers. What should be taken into account in this comparison is that Drew played approximately 1.5 to 2 full seasons of high school ball and zero college ball, while our Hall of Famer played either 3 or 4 full years in high school, one year of frosh college ball, and three years of Division One NCAA ball. Also, Drew hardly played any minutes in his rookie season. So to compensate for these factors, I’m comparing the stats from Drew’s third and fourth seasons to the Hall of Famer’s second and third seasons.

Bynum, 3rd season, Age 20
Gm Min/G   Pts     Reb      Ast     Blk    FG%    FT%
35__28.8__13.1__10.2___2.2___2.6__63.6__69.5

Hall of Famer, 2nd season, Age 24
Gm Min/G   Pts     Reb      Ast     Blk    FG%    FT%
82__24.0__12.5___8.3___1.2___1.5__47.2__62.5

Bynum, 4th season, Age 21
Gm Min/G   Pts     Reb      Ast     Blk    FG%    FT%
50__28.9__14.3___8.0___1.8___2.2__56.0__70.7

Hall of Famer, 3rd season, Age 25
Gm Min/G   Pts     Reb      Ast     Blk    FG%    FT%
76__31.7__17.2___12.1__1.5___2.9__49.9__69.8

So, the Hall of Famer made a big leap from his second to his third season. Also, bear in mind that in both of these seasons shown here, the HOFer’s team did not make the playoffs, and he was one of the two main weapons in his team’s attack during his third season, finishing second in points per game (but first in pts per 36 minutes). A couple years after his third season, this Hall of Famer was part of arguably the most lopsided NBA trade of all time, going from the Warriors to the Celtics along with Kevin McHale, in return for Joe Barry Carroll. I’m talking of course about Robert Parish.

Now, we saw that big jump in Parish’s stats from his second to his third season, and we see that he averaged 17.2 PPG and 12.1 RPB in his third season vs Drew’s 14.3 and 8.0 in his fourth. However, if we calculate points and rebounds per 36 minutes, the gap is closed slightly, with Parish at 19.5 and 13.7, and Drew at 17.8 and 9.9. In addition, Parish was basically the first option on offense for the Warriors, with Drew being the third option behind Kobe and Pau. Also, at these comparable stages of their careers, Parish was four years older than Drew and had eight years of pre-NBA experience to Drew’s two. So, let’s give Drew some time to develop (and more importantly, to get healthy). While the odds are against his having a career as great as the Chief’s, he sure has the potential to develop into a consistent All Star.

Well, that’s my first post. I promised Kurt that I wouldn’t abuse my new moderator privileges, but his mailbox is full so I’ll make that promise here. Also, there’s no way that I’ll let Walter have anything to do with this site. That guy is way too volatile….and profane.

Bert R, aka The Dude Abides

The Dude Abides

Posts

170 responses to Andrew Bynum vs Future Hall of Famer

  1. Interesting comparison, Dude, and one that Bynum bashers ought to consider. We are talking about a 21 year old guy with limited basketball experience, and despite this he puts up numbers that are quite good given his limited playing time and experience.

    Too many people focus on Andrew’s numbers in the immediate aftermath of a major injury, while ignoring what the kid went through to ensure that he was actually able to return. Anyone who thinks that the Bynum of this year’s playoffs is the Bynum of the future is simply ignorant of the facts. The facts are that, when healthy, Andrew Bynum is a guy the Lakers can go to in the low post, and when teamed with Gasol and his versatility, the Lakers have the best and most dominating post game in the NBA.

    Barring injury, there is simply no reason the Lakers can’t count on a consistent 15 points 10 boards next year, with so much more to offer in the future. Moreover, Andrew offers the potential to have simply dominating games (see his 42 point game last season, which blows Lamar Odom’s career high out of the water).

    Too many people are swayed by LO’s versatility and think that this is what sets the Lakers apart. What will set the Lakers apart next season is the presence of two seven footers who can both post up and score as well as any big guys in the league. Moreover, this dominant low post presence will be surrounded by a clutch shooter (Fish), a far better scorer at the 3 position (Artest) and the best player in the game. And that’s just on offense.

    On defense, noboby will have the length to contend with Bynum and Gasol, and with Kobe and Artest the Lakers will have the best perimeter defense in the game. With all of these weapons, it is easy to see why Jerry Buss is unwilling to commit such an ungodly sum to re-sign LO for 4 years.

  2. I like the comparison in this way: Bynum is not Shaq, he is not Kareem. But Parish is a good comparable: A guy that was key cog of a multi-championship team. Not Kobe, not a guy that can get you a long way on his own, but a guy that with a couple other parts can be part of a very good team.

  3. Kurt, I think you are right, but I think it is important to leave the statement in the present tense (as you have done).

    It is probably safe to say that Bynum will not become a Kareem-type of player (as in the greatest scorer of all time) but the jury is out on just how good he can be. Considering that very few big men establish themselves until the second half of their twenties, Andrew has many more years ahead of him to develop his game. I certainly don’t rule out the possibility that he becomes the best center in the league. Shaq’s most dominant years came in his late 20’s. Give Andrew another 6 years to gain strength and develop his game and he could well become what Shaq was: a guy who (when teamed with a fantastic perimeter player) led his team to multiple titles.

  4. At least Bynum’s housebroken.

  5. @4 LOL

    @ Dude, I think Bynum’s %’s provide a really good indication that young dude has the potential to bring more to the table then Parish, if not necessarily the longevity.

    @3 Unless something changes (a trade or crazy savvy draft pick), Bynum is not going to have a fantastic perimeter player paired with him.

    [Edited for trade speculation]

  6. Kurt, Your Inbox is full (message: mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded), it is the funniest thing, an e-mail I replied to you three days ago just came in today with that error message (strange the time delay) and then when I created a brand new one to send. I got that message again. Anyway, I guess just cleaning it out will fix the problem.

  7. P. Ami,

    Kobe has spent years working on all aspects of his game. He is a cold hearted assassin when the game gets tight. He is fanatical about his diet and conditioning. His teammates do enjoy the space he creates for them to play.

    …and he is only 30.

    Oh I forgot, that’s the real reason you would trade him – he is getting too old, with too much mileage on his legs.

    The only player even close to his class is Lebron, but you are going to bet that Durant will also be that type?

    I have been watching NBA basketball for many, many years. The Lakers are spoiled as an organization because they have had so many great players.

    The Kobe’s of the world do not come along so very often – just ask the Chicago Bulls, and they have had many fine players.

    Let’s just enjoy him until he hangs them up. He will fill our gym and everyone else’s until that time comes.

  8. Aaron,
    From the previous thread:
    “As a starter two years ago Bynum avg 20 ppg and 14 rebs”

    No, he didn’t. Not sure where you’re getting your stats.

  9. It’s all about Bynum’s health. If he stays healthy, he will at a minimum be a very solid NBA player, with the potential to be a great one. He needs to stay within himself and the system, though, and realize that he is not one of the primary options offensively, and let his offensive game develop at it’s own pace.

  10. What people forget about Socks is that he is a main reason why Phoenix realized SSoL was not going to work by playing strong in the second game and again on Christmas of 2007 season.

    Socks had 28 p, 12 rebs on 11-13 shooting and IIRC, 5 blocks in the XMas game. Phoenix’s window was closed that day and Phoenix knew it and started screwing with their team.

    BTW, Bynum is a better FT shooter than LO.

    Dude, have a White Russian for me and tell Walter to get over Nam, man.

  11. 6. (And others who sent me an email recently and got a bounceback): I get those emails. It’s a weird bandwidth thing with the host, but the bottom line is I have a forward on those emails that go to a gmail account where I can handle my multiple email accounts (personal, blog, etc) in one place. So, even though you get a “returned” email, I am still getting them. And responding. And trying to get the bandwidth thing sorted out.

  12. 10. Keith, Drew destroyed Amare in that game. Remember that spin move and dribble drive and dunk from the top of the key? Thing of beauty.

    Walter won’t get over ‘Nam until he stops babysitting his ex-wife’s Pomeranian whenever she goes to Hawaii. In other words, never.

  13. Mike in the Mountain West July 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    If Bynum can stay healthy he’ll be a beast.

    In the 12 games prior to his injury he averaged 20 points and 8.5 rebounds. Then when he came back for the last 4 regular season games after having been out for over 2 months he picked up almost right where he left off with averages of 17 points and 5 rebounds.

    The biggest change was the number of fouls he was committing. I take from that his defensive timing was still off and he wasn’t all the way back athletically.

    I’m hoping that with a full summer and camp he’ll get that back. If he does watch out.

  14. Good to finally see what your comment was last night after all, The Dude abides. You just have the worst luck with the spam filter here it seems like, but not anymore now. We or at least I tend to forget how little Andrew has played basketball in his life injury free. I am looking forward to him having a great year next season in full health, hopefully. I do not think he is injury prone, both of the Laker injuries were just bad luck/timing, I would say. I mean, Kobe falling on his knee is probably not going to ever happen again and his unfortunate/weird landing on Odom’s foot is also not going to repeat, if ever. Well, I do hope LO is back as a Laker though; Andrew just has to watch where he is landing.

    “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” – Aristotle

  15. I’ve been making Bynum/Parish comparisons for awhile now. I don’t see Bynum being Kareem/Shaq/Wilt/Hakeem type of center, but I believe he’s capable of being a lower tier HOFer like Parish, especially as a 3rd option alongside Pau and Kobe.

  16. Good to see some love for Andrew today. Prior to his injury this year, I suspect that any GM in the league who knew he had the top draft pick would have selected Bynum were he available. I don’t see this year’s injury as cause for concern. This wasn’t a Ming-like injury that just occurred while running. Andrew got slammed very hard by Kobe Bryant. I don’t think an MCL tear under those conditions is something that suggests “injury prone”.

    Moreover, the professionalism that Bynum showed in dealing with this enormous disappointment and working very hard to come back for the playoffs demonstrates the kind of work ethic that fans should embrace. He kept himself in great cardio shape (super hard to do for anyone with a knee injury, much less a seven footer). Combined with his coachability (ask Kareem), I think the ingredients are there for a truly dynamic career.

    Of course, the proof is in the pudding and he will have to live up to these expectations, but I am willing to bet that a year from now fans will be talking about Bynum as a guy who can carry the load for this team in the years ahead. There just aren’t many young, traditional centers any more, and Bynum shows the best technique of any of them (including Dwight Howard).

  17. His game may grow, but he still lacks the swagger. Look at Farmar, a consummate confidence guy, and look at Bynum, a sad puppy with a dejected look whenever something goes wrong.

    All I want to see is Bynum man up on the court. Stop slumping the shoulders and pouting, get back into the game with a new fire. And don’t act like his age is relevant to his (lack of) psychological development. It’s his personality, sure, but I would like to see him be intimidating at least somewhat.

  18. 16. You might want to ask Gerald Wallace’s rib what it thinks about Bynum’s intimidation. Or Lebron’s forearms. Give the kid some time to develop. He’s part of a championship club now, and that automatically gives him some swagger.

  19. Craig W.

    I see your points and I’m not really looking for a FO job. I’m just saying, from what I’ve seen of Durant, I would make that trade and considering salaries Durant will not be making as much on his MAx as Kobe does on his.

    Besides all that, I would put more money on Durant being the best player of his generation then in LBJ. Nothing against LeBron but Durant is built to be a basketball player and he is already as skilled an all-round scorer as LeBron. He keeps putting muscle on (which it looks like he has since the end of last season) and he’ll be a terror on the other side of the ball, too. I think a Durant-Bynum combo in 6 years would be better then a Bynum-Kobe combo at any time aside from maybe this coming season. I could be wrong and I’m not trying to instigate a trade debate. It’s just where I be.

  20. Everything about Andrew is IF IF IF. Yeah the kid has good potential, but so do other players in the rest of the league. What we do know is: 1) his mental game is lagging his physical game (he can play well, but he has to play hard through whatever is thrown at him instead of getting frustrated at non-calls) and 2) both knees have been injured in the two years when he’s been given significant playing time. I hope that when it’s all said and done, we’re not comparing Andrew to Bill Walton (though Bill did get a ring the one year he stayed somewhat healthy)

  21. P. Ami,
    There are a few, very few, players that teams just don’t trade – regardless – Jerry West, Magic, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird. I just feel Kobe is in that category. It is not just the skill, but also what the name means to the franchise. If you traded Lebron for Kobe straight up the Lakers franchise would still suffer a huge loss.

    I was not really trying to put down Durant and also think Durant-Bynum would be a terror in a few years.

  22. P. Ami, Durant being better than Lebron? You and Ron been hanging out? I would take that bet a thousand times with all the money in the world.

    I don’t understand why people say things like this honestly, I was told by a friend once he’d trade Kobe for Chris Bosh. I don’t like Lebron all that much but at least give him his due.

  23. Warren Wee Lim July 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    http://basketball.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/60802/20090726/source_odom_leaning_towards_heat/

    I have honestly grown sick and tired of all these rumors. If he does choose Miami (which I know his camp is only driving up the price) then let him. Its time to call the bluff on this one.

  24. Oh FYI I realise you meant in the future, but it just sounds just as ridiculous to mel Same thing when people were saying Bynum would be better than Shaq, and I was like, are we talking about the same player here? Lebron has a real shot at best of all time never mind his generation (if you believe in those things of course).

  25. 16, check out Bynum’s exit interview. There’s a lot of grit growing in him…

  26. Just to be safe here, I’m holding this debate as an exercise rather then thinking this could happen.

    Craig,
    Suppose you could trade 31 year old Magic for 22 year old Logo. Or what about 35 year old Jordan for 21 year old Legend? Does the fact that an all time great player began his career and then played his prime somewhere really decide for you to not get another all-time great as he is sniffing the greenest parts of his prime? Especially when you have a center with the potential to be one of the best of his time and he would be seeing his prime at the same time as the perimeter guy you could trade for.

    Yet again, not saying that anybody I am talking about is on the block. Just saying.

    JR, I get where you are coming from. I think Durant could be an all-time great and there is an intangible something I see in Durant that I just don’t see in LBJ.

  27. Agree with the Parish comparisons. I’ve been saying since the start of summer that with Kobe getting older, the closest model for next year’s team might be the 80s Celtics.

    Kobe/Bird – the savvy, ultra-competitive assassin
    Gasol/McHale – low-post maestro, long-armed defender
    Bynum/Parish – solid third wheel, shot-blocker
    Artest/D. Johnson – defensive specialist
    Fish/Ainge – shooter, solid veteran
    Odom/B. Walton – unselfish big man off the bench

  28. I think LO’s camp leaked the yahoo report to put PRessure on the lakers FO

  29. the other Stephen July 26, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    some hopeful news amidst all the agent posturing of the past weeks.

    “the belief among those who know say Odom will remain in Los Angeles and will make it official soon.”

    http://lakers.freedomblogging.com/2009/07/26/odom-to-miami-dont-bet-on-it/20959/

  30. At the beginning of this year, didn’t we have a comparison of Farmar’s numbers to Tony Parker’s early numbers and see parallels? :-(

    Potential’s great to talk about, but it’s another name for what a player hasn’t accomplished yet. It is fun to discuss though. And I agree, if we’re going to extrapolate based on potential, I think Parish is a very good choice.

    Gooden to the Mavs. I really think this makes the Mavs…no, no it really doesn’t change things at all.

  31. Sadly drew doesn’t play like a HoF, so inconsistent and in a sense insignificant( compare his +/- to Odom)…

  32. Snoopy — not too long ago I put up a post that compared Farmar’s first three seasons vs. those of Nash and Fisher. They were very, very similar… So we can take these numbers however we care to, I suppose.

    That said, Bynum’s already shown a lot of polish and physical talents that aren’t common in a player at that age. He’s got amazing hands for a big, and his spins and up-fake moves are way, way beyond what we’ve seen in a lot of more experienced players. None of that involves potential.

    When he’s healthy, he has shown great hops to go up for boards, and for alley-oops. Again, not potential. And any teenager who gets dunked on by Shaq and runs right back up the floor, drops a killer spin right back and then gets in Shaq’s face has the attitude I want behind me if I’m a Laker guard playing D.

    The only question Bynum’s yet to answer is “Can he stay healthy for an entire season?” I’d like to think his past two seasons were ruined by freak events, not something chronic a la Yao or Bill Walton or Sam Bowie.

    If Bynum is healthy and playing at past levels, he’s a borderline All-Star next season. Without Yao, he could be the best C in the west; I think Nene Hilario will be in the mix too (and I can’t believe I just typed that).

    If Bynum’s playing at a solid level, he’ll get the refs’ respect and suddenly all of those joke bump fouls that put him on the pine 75 seconds into his most-recent games won’t be an issue.

    We all know a hand-check by LeBron or Kobe will be ignored 1,000 times more than it’s called, but let some third-stringer do the exact same thing and it’s a foul before the ref can blink.

  33. Simmons’ latest anti-Lakers screed is classic BS (and I don’t mean his initials).

    “I know for a fact he routinely broke plays on offense and is still a handful behind the scenes, and the Rockets buried every 2008-09 story that would have made this patently clear.”

    Wow, that’s some sourcing there Mr. “Journalist.” He then proceeds to suck up to his pal Daryl Morey, which makes me suspect — if Bill even had a source — that Morey would have been the one throwing Artest under the bus, if only because he’d have the motive.

  34. I don’t want to turn this into a Lebron thread, but the guy has not shown me yet that he will be the greatest of all time.

    Lebron’s game, thus far, is based purely on athleticism. Don’t get me wrong, he has improved in major fashion on his outside jump shot, and other things. But those parts of his game are more average than not. Lebron’s game, which i think is the most unstoppable in the league (not better than Kobe, but more unstoppable in isolation), is based on his unbelievable athletic ability with other skills thrown in at average or above average level. That said, I think that Lebron is the greatest athlete that i have ever seen in my life, in any sport. A 6’8″ 260 pound guy who is lighting quick and super fast. Nothing like him in history.

    But skill wise, he is a far cry from Kobe. Whether we are talking about shooting, dribbling, foot work, passing or whatever. He is improving no doubt, but he is still very far behind in the skill contest. I think that Carmelo’s game is of higher skill than Lebron.

    And the most important aspect of basketball, understanding the game, he is still far behind the likes of Kobe/MJ. I’m talking about what you do to make the players around you BETTER. The players on Lebron’s team looked like absolute SCRUBS this last year in the playoffs. Why? Because they are standing around while Lebron goes 1 on 5. Do you think that his teammates are really scrubs? I don’t. I think that his teammates are actually pretty good —the CAVS regular season record is proof. 1 person cannot win you 66 games.

    For Lebron this is the absolute peak of his athleticism. His athletic ability will start to drop off. Luckily for him his skills will continue to improve with hard work. And his understanding should improve the most.

    Taking it all into consideration, will Lebron be better than MJ or Kobe or Magic or Kareem or Bird or Wilt or Russell, etc? I think he will be in the same group, but will not surpass MJ. He will be top 5-10 just like Kobe is now (in my opinion).

    Kobe has a chance to get in the top 5 if he wins 2 more rings. Right now he is top 10 in my opinion.

  35. @ #12
    Dude, Drew was great the whole game. D’Antoni was talking him up. SSoL died that day. BTW, would you trade Drew for Amare straight up? Interesting question.

    @ #16
    The dunk on Shaq!!! and running down Aaron Brooks is a show of grit.

    @ #19
    IIRC, Bill Walton played 80 games for Boston in 1985-1986 won a ring and Best 6th Man. As Chick would say, “Walton’s healthy school’s out.”

  36. If there is a Amare for Drew swap, most GM would go for it if they get Amare.

    And how did Lebron vs Kobe get into this? ( though i say why do people care so much, they each have their own unique point and beside they play different posible… Comparing Wade vs Kobe is more fun haha.)

  37. Anonymous,

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Andrew has lost his swagger. He was in a very tough spot this past season. Not only did he have to come back from a major injury (again), but he had to do it on a team with Championship or bust aspirations. A team so good, they managed 65 wins without him. He ha enourmous pressure on him.

    The contract, the fact that he takes about 20 games to get in groove, the injury, and team chemistry were all major factors in his Playoff struggles. Plus, many people claimed he was the missing piece? He had to try to live up to that? Under those cicumstances? There are probably only a few guys in the NBA tough enough mentally to handle that situation, and even still, they aren’t 21.

    As long as he’s healthy, he’ll be fine.

  38. omg, Bynum as Parish, Pau Gasol as Kevin McHale, and Kobe as Bird?! We’re like the bizarro-80’s Celtics.

    On a more serious note, I like the comparison. I agree that Bynum’s superstar potential is there, but is limited by health and drive. He’s not an all-star fresh out of the box like Shaq or Kareem were, but with some hard work and good mentoring, along with a little luck and good health, he could mature into a blue-collar Hall of Famer. Much like Parish.

    That being said, I’d like to see Andrew rebound more with his feet than his hands, get his shooting release a little higher (maybe not Rasheed or KG high, but so that he isn’t pushing the ball toward the hoop with his arms), and get a little more lateral movement to contain penetration. A lot of this predicates on his knees being healthy. Perhaps that’s another reason to bring back Odom, since having Odom will take some minutes off Drew’s young knees.

    Frankly, we all talk about Drew’s development and Odom perhaps getting in the way, but we’ve yet to see if Drew’s body can actually hold up for an entire season. Yes, his injuries were freak accidents, but we have no idea if he had real, chronic knee problems from the wear and tear of an entire 82 game season, simply because he’s yet to play starter level minutes for an entire season. If he can get through a whole season without any freak accidents or stress fractures, I’d feel better about his heatlh.

  39. I wouldn’t trade Drew for Amare straight up. Amare is a good offensive player, explosive in the open court, great rolling to the basket, and is developing a good mid range J. But he is not a good rebounder and is non-existent on the offensive end. No way would I trade for Amare if I were a GM and I wanted to win a championship.

  40. Andrew’s improvement will basically depends on his health. the comparison with parish is a brilliant idea..though, most people want andrew to become a future franchise player of the lakers..he will not be close to the cap or shaq…

  41. Okay, we are done with the “would you trade Bynum for X” discussion, we do not get into that kind of speculation on this board. I am being a little more lenient because it is summer and there is less to talk about (save the tedious at this point Odom talk), but we are not going to start doing random speculation around here. It stops.

  42. All this Ariza and Odom stuff has been a real buzz kill, considering they won it all.

  43. Bynum is more aware than any of us what it will mean to him and our team if he is able to stay healthy and contribute for a full 82 game schedule. That said, even if he is healthy, his numbers won’t truly show what he could do if he was the main offensive option because he will be the 3rd go to in most cases. His rebounding and defense are what will truly set him apart. And next season he will start earning the big extension he signed last year so we’ll see if he is of the mindset to show our FO that it was money well spent. If LO does not return, his productivity will be under a microscope moreso than KB or Pau because Drew will likely be left with the second unit to give them some offensive stability.

  44. I have to admit the stuff about Artest running around in his underwear is concerning. If he truly does have “mental” problems (and not just playing into his reputation) then this is the time of his life where it would start to really manifest and start to hinder his ability to function. Add in the additional pressure and focus of playing in LA and competing for a championship and it’s gets worse.

    I guess we’ve had this debate though.

    As for Bynum, I think its conclusive that when he is healthy and feels comfortable he produces at a very high level. He has done so the last 2 seasons. In my opinion the only question is can he stay healthy? Sometimes players are just always getting “fluke injuries” to the point where they start to seem not so “flukey” I hope this is not one of those. You can’t emphasize enough though how young he is. If Bynum puts together 2 strong injury free seasons these last 2 will seem like distant memories.

    I love the kid and I hope he succeeds as a Laker.

  45. i had high hopes with him coming back from injury strong in the last few games of the regular season (26.8 mins, 17.3 pts, 5.5 reb, 1.0 blk).

    however, he completely disappeared in the playoffs (17.3 mins, 6.3 pts, 3.7 reb, 0.9 blk). he looked lost, tenative, and always reaching for stupid defensive fouls. granted, phil was playing a tighter rotation w/ a shorter leash, but his ineffectiveness was disappointing. i don’t quite buy the timing/conditioning arguments as his initial games back were very good against playoff opponents (DEN, POR, UTA).

    its easy to say nerves but if so, then i don’t think very highly of his focus and maturity- he not only had the entire last season to see the intensity of the playoffs, but this was over a 23 game stretch in these 2009 playoffs. that’s 28% of a regular season, a long period in which to acclimate to the playoff environment.

    bynum can have all the physical tools, but if doesn’t have the mental makeup to excel in the playoffs, his value is far lower and trade speculation isn’t out of the picture for a team trying to win in a 2-3 year window.

    i guess we’ll find out next year whether he can live up to the hype/hope.

  46. re: Artest, Simmons pretends like Mitch, Phil, and the FO didn’t spend anytime vetting the decision. As if they just woke up one morning and said, “hey, let’s sign that crazy guy from the Rockets!”

    I am sure the FO did their due diligence on this. Doesn’t mean that the move will be 100% successful, but I am sure they knew the risks when they made the decision.

  47. Even if everyone had returned, the Lakers would be transforming themselves to meet new challenges. A healthy Bynum will further contribute to that transformation–playing more minutes in a well defined role.

    Bynum may be a starter next year on a slower paced more power oriented team. Question is, will he also be a closer?

    Will the Lakers have an uptempo “bench mob” next year? Maybe not. If so, what role, if any, would Andrew play on such an alignment?

    As we get closer to the season and have a clearer picture of who will be doing what, I’m sure that many other questions will arise.

  48. There’s at least some good news this morning.

    John Ireland was on Colin Cowherd’s morning show during the spanning the globe segment.

    He said he spent the weekend talking to multiple sources that have made him “very confident” that Lamar will re-sign with the Lakers.

    He said the most important factors in the decision are that the current Laker offer is more money (which I assume trumps the state tax issue) and that Lamar really doesn’t want he or his family to have to relocate.

  49. 48. That’s what I’m hearing as well. Basically, thirdhand info that Lamar’s long-time girlfriend (who is mother of his two children) wants very strongly to stay in LA. For some reason, I don’t believe it’s the Clippers.

  50. I will say this… I don’t know what # option Andrew Bynum will be next year but if history is a good indicator Bynum will be the #2 option next year as he was last year when healthy behind Kobe. For that 2 week stretch where Andrew started getting his strength and stamina back after knee surgery (right after he took off the old knee brace) Andrew was the clear cut 2nd option right behind Kobe and ahead of Gasol. That is where Drew’s potential is. For that stretch he averaged 26 points, almost 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks in just 31 minutes. We all know what he can be when healthy. 2 years ago the Lakers were the #1 seed in the west before they traded for Pau Gasol with Bynum being the catalyst. Let go of your short term memories. Remember what Bynum is when healthy. Again… if you want to question his durability that is more than fair. After all… he is 0-2 in staying healthy as a starter. But to question his productivity as a healthy starter is kind of moronic. If you judge him by his play in the playoffs on one leg covered in a steal 3 ton brace after sitting out half the season than be my guest. All I know is without Bynum we lost in the finals to a team that started Kendrick Perkins at center… and with Bynum at 50% we beat a team that started Dwight Howard at center. Maybe you guys will have to wait till next year to figure it out… but hind site is 20-20.

  51. I don’t know if Bynum would be the No. 2 option consistently next season. Gasol’s too good not to get his touches, and Kobe’s the clear No. 1.

    Over 82 games, plus four playoff series, you’re going to need different guys to carry the load at different times. If L.A. can get 15 ppg and 10 rebs over the course of the season from Bynum, with the 30+ or 40+ point efforts every so often, the Lakers should be in great shape.

  52. It’s really hard to know what to expect of bynum next year. One troublesome trend is his performance drop when last years playoffs started. One gets the feeling that he kills poor competition while shrinking in big moments. The regular season matchup against Dwight Howard last season comes to mind.

    On the other hand I recall a regular season matchup against the spurs in which healthy drew outplayed Duncan in a lakers route which warranted an obituary on the spurs title chances from ja adande.

    My take is that while drew doesn’t have any ceiling on his skills and physical talent, he has yet to show that he can “sense” what kinds of things his team needs from him at certain moments. Lo is great in this regard. He changes tempo and focus depending on what the opposition is attacking with. Drew didn’t really do that in the playoffs except in the finals where he simply did a good job of making Howard work and using his fouls wisely.

  53. here is a good reminder of what bynum can be

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9efsJwJxYEk

  54. By the way, I was told this morning that the Odom thing likely would be over in 48 hours. I took that with a grain of salt as I was told the same thing last Wednesday. But now a lot of people seem to be reporting that timeline.

    I hope so. This is almost like attending a baseball game about to go into the 13th inning, you almost stop caring who wins so long as it just ends.

  55. Kurt,

    People are reporting a timeline, but not which way LO is leaning?

    How can they know one without the other? (serious question)

  56. 55. LA people are saying he is leaning LA. But I don’t think anybody feels comfortable predicting LO right now is why. Things are quiet again (save for the lean Miami leak, which was pretty clearly an effort for leverage). Different people hearing different things third hand, so people stop guessing.

  57. Aaron,
    I think Gasol will probably be the #2 option next season, but not necessarily the #2 scorer. Points and “touches” will be affected by what the opponents defense does.

  58. Odom would have to basically go back on his comments of giving the Lakers the hometown discount.

    With his statement about giving the lakers that discount, theoretically the Lakers should be able to resign Odom for the same or less than what Miami is offering.

    Since reports indicate the Laker’s offer is higher, it should be a no-brainer.

  59. The bright side of not resigning Odom would be that Bynum will get more minutes to develop this year.

    Phil likes that Odom/Gasol lineup at the expense of Odom.

    If I had to choose I’d keep Odom 100 times out of 100, but I have my bright side perspective waiting in the wings.

  60. Andrew’s game is such that he discourages opponents. As he reduces his fouls he will take charge of games. That is the reason he would be #2. The ball would still go through Gasol more, but Andrew would be the endpoint of the play.

    Incidentally, that why he got the big raise.

  61. Buss -what is wrong with you?

    That’s what I want to ask Jerry Buss. Even though I’m a big supporter of Lamar Odom, I have continually thought that the Lakers had options, that they should not make an outlandish deal to LO, for say 4/40 or 5/50, etc. Or even 4/45. But the Heat are offering 5/34 –if Buss does not wish to beat out this offer, the guy is making a horrible decision! I mean come on, LO is worth more than 5/34! Buss should definitely beat out this offer, if he cares about championships.

    I do not think that we will be able to win next year without LO. All the other teams have loaded up. The Magic even gave Gortat 5/35, a player they didn’t really need.

    I’m not saying that it is a bad business decision by Buss. Perhaps the lakers are better off financially if LO leaves. This is what i’m beginning to suspect. However, us fans who are not paying the salary, should do all that is within our power to push the front office to re-sign Odom and beat the Heat offer.

    It is definitely the better basketball decision, even if it may not be the best financial decision. We need to somehow put some pressure on Buss and the FO to beat out the Heat.

    A repeat is on the line here. Buss is probably satisfied with his ring this year. But c’mon man, us fans are not. Give Lamar an offer which he is worth. Give him 5/40 and beat out the Heat offer.

  62. So if LO re-signs with LA, do you think he will have a bad attitude? Im just concerned about his ego and how fans will react to him after this is over. Some fans are really upset that he made comments about wanting to play for LA, but when it came time to show with actions, it was all talk. I said from the beginning that LA should have been looking at cheaper alternatives for LO. I felt that way because, for one I never really liked LO’s inconsistent game, and two I figured his asking price was going to be way to high. LO and Hedo have a similar game and once Hedo signed his new contract, LO felt his contract should have been of equal or higher value. He was making a big mistake in that assessment, Hedo had several teams wanting his services, LO on the otherhand had no such suitors. I understand that if I was in the same situation I would want to maximize my value as well, but at what cost to myself and image.

  63. Chandler for Okafor apparently going to happen:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4359609

    Sounds like a very lateral move if you ask me, with NO having a slight advantage because they’re getting a player with healthier toes, but that’s about it.

  64. I think the fact that LO tweeted today for the first time in weeks might be an indication that he is ready to sign.

  65. Lamar’s destination is changing by the minute. Jim Hill is blogging that things are not looking good at all.

    http://cbs2.com/sports/lamar.odom.lakers.2.1103577.html

    This needs to end, one way or the other.

  66. Kaveh,

    How can you ask what is wrong with Buss?

    It was the Lakers who stepped up with the better offer. More than LO could possibly get from another team, and to top it off, it will really cost the Lakers $18-20 million. Plus, they essentially got the player (Ron Artest) LO was involved in trade rumors with for free, and sill offered him a contract.

    What is wrong with LO is the question?

  67. LO knows that he hasnt dedicated much time working on his craft, all that partying and candy diet will catch up to him at some time. As he gets older the athleticism is going to fade away, thats what his upside is. In 3 years you will definitely see a decline in play, so LO wants to lock those last 2 years up as an after thought collecting his pay check on the bench.

  68. I agree with p ami. The fact that LO was twittering for the first time in weeks makes me think he has made up his mind. Either that or he was blazin’ with D Wade. Or both.

  69. it drives me crazy when people talk LO that paying 9 per is really like paying him 18 per because of the tax. I think one should spread the damage around. LO is worth 9 per. Spread the so called tax hit to the crappy contracts like luke, sasha, and to a degree bynum. We’d be paying the tax because of those lousy salaries as well. Not just LO. In other words, if we didn’t have the horrible sasha and luke contracts we wouldn’t be in this mess and LO would be signed. Blame the bad contracts for the tax hit, not the reasonable contracts.

  70. 57,
    We can say all we want that Gasol will get more touches next year… but the facts are the facts. When Bynum was healthy last year and took his knee brace off he got more touches, more points, more rebounds, and more blocks then Gasol. So I could only expect with another year under his belt Bynum will be even better next year and if healthy will again be the #2 option behind Kobe. If last year a healthy Bynum, albeit for only a few weeks (the kid needs to be healthy longer than that for heaven’s sake) was the second option… I can’t see why he wouldn’t be that again next year when he should be even better. I don’t see how you can argue that logic. Now if he gets hurt again… throw everything out including his career.

  71. Watching that Andrew Bynum video makes me believe, even more, that he is not quite ready to take the load. He is *not* dominant. That is the exact stuff I remember him doing. Dunking off of other peoples moves or put-back dunks. I love the kid. He’s good. Maybe even really good. He’s not, however, dominating his competition. #2 option? Are you kidding? To be the #1 or #2 option you better have a ton of low post moves that you can use one-on-one. At the moment Bynum feasts on what other players are giving him. I really really hope that he steps up next year and scores 20 and 10 for the whole year, and stays healthy, and stays out of foul trouble, and he doesn’t start pouting. I want Odom for the match up problems he causes other teams and for insurance for AB.

  72. This is from Hollinger on Bynum (written some time ago, can be found at espn.com)

    2007-08 season: Can you imagine how badly they’d be skewered if they’d gone ahead and traded him for Jason Kidd? Bynum was in the midst of a huge breakout year at just 20 years old before a knee injury ended his season after just 35 games; nonetheless, he was so good prior to being hurt that it seems nearly certain that he’ll be one of the game’s top centers within a couple years.

    Pre-injury, Bynum was among the best centers in basketball in nearly every category, but the lead item is how accurate a shooter he was from close range. Bynum shot 62.6 percent overall and 64.3 percent on inside shots (see chart); both figures were good for second in the league. And thanks to his sweet touch and solid foul shooting, he led the league in true shooting percent age at a sizzling 65.9.

    Best TS%, 2007-08
    Player Team TS%
    Andrew Bynum LAL 65.9
    Amare Stoudemire Phx 65.6
    Brent Barry SA 65.5
    Josh Childress Atl 64.7
    Erick Dampier GS 64.5
    Source: NBA.com/hotspots. Min. 100 shots
    In addition, he ranked in the top 10 at his position in both blocks per minute and rebound rate; and he was a good enough passer to finish 12th among centers in pure point rating. About the only quibble was his low usage rate, which is another way of saying that he probably needs to get the ball more.

    Scouting report: Bynum is a huge center with soft hands and a nice touch around the basket, and that combo is a killer in the post. He likes to set up on the left block and shoot a short jump hook with his right hand, and with his size he’s able to get deep position easily. What makes it even more devastating is that he’s a skilled and willing passer out of double teams who should only get better with more experience against doubles.

    As a defender, Bynum is great around the basket because of his size — he can block shots, controls the defensive glass and is difficult to post up against, though one would like to see him throw his weight around a bit more. However, he struggles to defend the screen-and-roll and opponents typically seek to attack him that way.

    But the biggest concern going forward is with his knee and general conditioning. Bynum is listed at 275 pounds and is almost certainly much heavier in real life; it would help both his game and his knee if he was able to shed some of that baby fat. As for the knee, it was supposed to be a minor injury at first but kept him out of action for half a year, though he’s reportedly back to full strength heading into training camp.

    2008-09 outlook: If Bynum is healthy and in shape watch out, because those appear to be the only two things that can keep him from becoming an All-Star center. He’ll have to figure out how to share space down low with Pau Gasol and he may see fewer touches than a year ago, but his rare size-skill combination will inevitably make him a tantalizing option in half-court settings.

  73. I agree with Post# 23. If Odom goes to the Heat, I don’t see how it’s that much different than when James Posey decided he wanted to get paid and ultimately left the C’s. There’s some people in here who act appalled at the idea that he could fathom leaving. Ultimately, this is all a business, get over it.

  74. Lamar would start in Miami, would he not? Maybe that is a consideration along with a guranteed 5 year contract, who knows, but I also agree with Warren Wee Lim. If he wants to go, just let him.

    “Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement” – Henry Ford

  75. Wade in LA? He must have gotten wind that Lamar is leaning towards LA. I still believe that Lamar will soon be a Laker; he’s pulling a Mo Williams (like he did on Riley) and trying to use another team to gain leverage. But Mo went to Miami and was wined and dined, Lamar hasn’t even gone that far. Unless Wade offers him something extraordinary and groundbreaking, I think we’ll see him as a Laker very soon.

    Okafor and Chandler is interesting. Of course if Chandler is healthy it’s not as bad as it seems; at their best, they’re similar players, one more athletic and the other more powerful. From what I’ve seen, I think Okafor is at worst a very solid center (especially when it comes to the non-offensive stuff) and he’s been sort of hidden in Charlotte. I think his play will get more recognition this year in NO.

  76. I simply don’t get the Okafor-Chandler trade. It’s a semi-limited offensive center with good defensive skills for a completely limited offensive center who can only score on dunks off pick-and-rolls with good defensive skills. It reeks of a Larry Brown move to make a trade for the sake of making trade. Charlotte’s offense is going to be just horrid next season.

  77. I get Okafor/Chandler on one level — Chandler has two years left, Okafor five. So, I get taking on the smaller deal. The reverse confuses me.

  78. Seems like a decent trade for both teams. The effects won’t be great, but I think it improves both the Bobcats and the Hornets. Bobcats get a real shot blocker – they had three similar in physique centers who stayed grounded for the most part (Okafor/Diop/Mohammed) Hornets get some much-needed muscle that can actually produce both points and rebounds down low (Wilcox, Ely and Armstrong had the body but not the skills to merit court time)

  79. 77 – That’s a good point, I was only looking at yearly salaries ($10.5 vs 11.8 next year) but I forgot Chandler’s deal is 3 years shorter. That’s a ton of money, and, well, it’s Charlotte, so…I guess this move makes plenty of sense. The cheap team got cheaper and the playoff team got the better player.

    The only thing that confuses me – the Hornets seemed to be in cost cutting mode last season. Seems like they wanted to dump contracts at every turn. Change in philosophy? They probably didn’t see Okafor becoming available and, if the FO was high on him, jumped at the chance.

  80. Oh, and Janis Carr summed up perfectly what I was thinking:

    The talk (at this moment) is Lamar Odom is “leading strongly toward accepting” a 5-year, $34 million deal from Miami. From conversations I’ve had, I’m convinced that those reports are nothing more than agent posturing.

    Even the fact Pat Riley flew to Los Angeles this weekend still doesn’t change the fact Odom wants to remain with the Lakers. (The Heat president owns a house in L.A.)

    Ramona Shelburne of the L.A. Daily News said that “theories and facts change from day to day.” But the belief among those who know say Odom will remain in Los Angeles and will make it official soon.

  81. LO going to Miami just doesn’t add up for a couple of reasons:

    First, it appears the whole Boozer to Miami idea is probably not going to pan out during the summer. So, LO signing in Miami would mean having a glut of PFs (LO, Haslem, sometime Jermaine, and Beast-ly).

    Second, let’s not kid ourselves, but LO is a power forward, not really a small forward anymore. Even if Boozer did get traded to the Heat, and Haslem or Beast-ly was traded to do so, LO would have to either play small forward or come off the bench, which he already does for the champion Lakers.

    Third, there has to be hesitation on the part of LO to sign a 5 year deal in Miami, when Wade has yet to re-up himself for a long term contract. Although it’s most likely Wade remains in Miami, why would LO want to be “lost in Miami” should Wade leave next summer, especially when the core Lakers roster will be around for a longer time period. I’m sure Wade is in town to assure, off the record, that he has “intentions” to re-sign with the Heat.

    It just doesn’t add up, even from a non-monetary standard. Guys like LO, can still get a decent contract even when they’re 33, 34 (see R. Wallace).

    But then again, this is LO we’re talking abou!

  82. Aaron,
    You can’t take 15 games and accurately extrapolate an entire season from it. Bynum is still too slow and deliberate when he gets the ball, and teams will adjust to his offensive game. To this point, they haven’t had to do that. Once he develops his game, he could be the #2 option on offense, but he isn’t yet.

  83. Ricky,
    “I think one should spread the damage around. LO is worth 9 per. Spread the so called tax hit to the crappy contracts like luke, sasha, and to a degree bynum.”

    That’s irrelevant at this point, because those contracts are already in place, and nothing can be done about them. That is not the case with Odom.

  84. Colin Cowherd’s reporting that the Lakers have further lowered their offer to LO mid-negotiation…sure hope this isn’t true (unless LO accepts anyway)

  85. At this point, no one knows anything. These reports are getting absurd.

    Let’s talk about something interesting, like trying to get Smush back to run the point.

  86. We’re at the point where we care what Colin Cowherd says about this? He’s a week behind the times — the Lakers lowered their offer from the first one that was pulled off the table, but that’s it. Nobody sane is saying anything else.

    God, i just want this to end. I really hate this BS.

  87. I agree Kurt.

  88. Though I really want LO back.

  89. Dwade’s twitter – http://twitter.com/dwadeofficial

    “http://twitpic.com/bx8ft the beginning..look who’s jersey is waitn for them in mia(no 7)”

    This is getting more nerve-wracking by the day…

  90. There’s 2 ways to distibute info: Hold the formal press conference annoucing the (Re)signing or distribute something else . All this something else (Dwayne) only adds up to posturing.

  91. Business negotiation has elements of the game of ‘chicken’ in it. That has gone on since negotiation began.

    The rest of us, watching this spectacle, are horrified as the parties seem to be totally destroying each other. Get over it; it is part of the process.

    Let’s go back to talking about Andrew – that’s what this thread started out talking about.

  92. I would rather have have 21 year old Bynum with his developing skillset than any other center in the league – I thought he might Dwight Howard look silly in the playoffs. With the center position (the hardest to fill with quality) theoretically secure-we will have players beating down the door to play here even after Kobe’s retirement.

  93. made not might

  94. If LO is willing to take the Heat’s offer just because it is for 5 years, the Lakers should match Heat’s offer plus about 5% to make up the difference in tax benefits
    for FLorida.
    The Heat’s offer is for the Full MLE which is as follows:

    2009-10 $5,854,000
    2010-11 $6,322,320
    2011-12 $6,790,640
    2012-13 $7,258,960
    2013-14 $7,727,280

    Total: $33,953,200

    An equivalent offer from the Lakers means multiply everything by about 1.05 since the home games in Florida will not be taxed at the california rate of about 10%. So about half the games will not be taxed so it averages out to about a 5% overall difference per year:

    2009-10 $6,146,700
    2010-11 $6,638,436
    2011-12 $7,130,172
    2012-13 $7,621,908
    2013-14 $8,113,644

    Total: $35,650,860

    Now, you can offer this in reverse also, so that the amount of money LO makes in the future goes down so his trade value stays high:

    2009-10 $8,113,644
    2010-11 $7,621,908
    2011-12 $7,130,172
    2012-13 $6,638,436*
    2013-14 $6,146,700*

    Total: $35,650,860
    *Player option
    To really make it look good, make the last two years a player option, so if LO think he can make more, he can opt out.

    This way everybody wins! Lakers were already willing to give L0 30 mil over 3 years. The above contract means you basically get LO for 2 extra years at about 2.6 mil per year.
    Isn’t LO worth 35.6 mill for five years which means an average of about 7.1 miilion per year?

  95. i totally agree with Radmd. FO just needs to offer a slightly better deal over the 5 years than miami or anyone else can offer and make the last 2 years a player option.

  96. Bill K., I think with D Howard, Bynum did a decent job (particularly considering he was playing through leg pain), although it was Gasol that really frustrated Howard, I think because the Magic thought they could dominate that matchup and couldn’t.

    But Howard might be the only young “true” center I would rather have than Bynum. Oden? Not close to sold. Who else really wows you? Bynum did get a contract based on potential, but with young bigs you have to go that route. I think the deal that was struck was fair to both sides.

  97. I would normally prefer a semi-bruiser with a good shot to a bruiser with a semi-shot, if that makes sense. Duncan rather than Shaq.

    Bynum has always struck me as someone whose shot is good and will improve so that he won’t be a FT liability and will only get more comfortable moving back from the basket some.

    I thought Bynum handled Howard well on his own – Gasol handled well when the double team came to strip the ball that Howard was holding too low.

    Regardless – I definitely think Bynum has shown flashes of defense ability that would lead one to believe he will be a bigger plus on defense then negative in the long run.

    I also think Bynum is very intelligent and well-spoken and will become a very good ambassador for the Lakers and NBA as he gets older.

  98. “… and well-spoken and will become a very good ambassador ”

    memories of that f-bomb (was it an f-bomb?) that he dropped on tv during an after game interview come to mind. lol :)

  99. Brook Lopez seems like a pretty serviceable young center. Less upside than Bynum (he’s the same age but was just a rookie last year) but he’ll be much cheaper than Bynum for the next few years since he’ll still be with his rookie contract.

    Since Bynum’s being compared to Parish (vs. Kareem and Shaq) a good contemporary to compare him to might be B. Lopez.

  100. One thing I don’t think I’ve heard discussed when talking about player finances is how playoff pay is factored in. Is it correct to assume players are paid at the same (per game) rate over playoff games that they are over the course of the season? If so, and of course I understand that playoff success is not guaranteed, Odom could be looking at as much as an extra quarter or half a season of basketball games / pay through playoff games by signing with the Lakers. If Wade does not in fact re-sign with the Heat, the discrepancy should be even higher.

    I haven’t seen it discussed, but if finances are so important to Odom, it seems like it should be a relevant consideration when comparing one team that has made back to back finals appearances to one that failed to make the playoffs or was eliminated in the first round the previous two years.

  101. 99. Besides D. Howard and G. Oden, of course.

  102. Jefferson

  103. Kareem is right, Al Jefferson is also the real deal. I am a huge Bynum supporter (and frequent defender), but I think if I had to start a team with a young center, the list would looks something like this:

    1. D. Howard (come on, defensive player of the year, huge upside).

    2. Andrew (has shown a work ethic and commitment in improving his game each summer, and by returning from two serious injuries).

    3. Al Jefferson (very close to Bynum, and maybe with more exposure to him I’d move him up a slot).

    4. Perkins (huge distance between #3 and #4, but Perkins is a solid meathead who will be a good compliment if surrounded by good players).

    5. Oden (jury is still out on his health, but I still think he could develop nicely if he stays healthy–and if he does, he leapfrogs above Perkins).

  104. Bigs are given contracts based on potential and no other young center in the league has as much of an upside as Andrew Bynum.

    Bynum displayed all of the potential that the FO in visioned prior to his first leg injury, but had he continued to develop slowly instead of a glimpse of his potential during those 35 breakout games, the conversations regarding Bynum would be far more positive.

    I thought that the kid possessed a little something after Shaq made disparaging remarks regarding his education and he met Shaq on Christmas day. That one play when he dunked on Shaq, pushed him out of his way screaming, still gets me hyped!

  105. I made an argument for Bynum being worth the $ back during the leadup to the finals when Drew was getting bashed. Basically, we know we need a true center if we want a dynasty-capable team. Gasol is a PF at heart. All other options out there were not appealing. No free agents, no trades available, and our draft position was way too high to get a Lopez brother.

    And when you look at the rest of the league, even a hobbled Bynum is better than all other true Centers in the league besides Howard, Yao, Nene, Kaman, and Shaq (unless it’s the 2nd day of a back to back). All other starting C’s have either less talent, or less left in the tank (Perkins, Camby, Dampier, Gortat, J.Oneal, ect.)

    So basically, $15M per year for a player that is now competing with Nene and Chris Kaman for the Western Conference All Star C position next year is a good buy.

  106. and also, Al Jefferson is a Power Forward, with a torn ACL to boot.

  107. Simmons’ recent article is up to his usual standards when discussing the Lakers. He mentions several times that the only thing that Artest can do is guard bigger small forwards and that he gets torched by quicker 3’s. The problem is that even if what he’s saying is accurate (which I’m not conviced of), many of the top challengers to the Lakers have powerful small forwards as a primary offensive weapon (Melo, Pierce, Lebron). Also, if Artest struggles with a quicker small forward, the Lakers can easily shift Kobe onto that person.

    I’m also very skeptical about his story of Artest coming onto the bus in his underwear. I find it very hard to believe that an unbelieveable scene like Artest sprinting onto a bus filled with random people before Game 7 of a playoff series would occur and not be leaked to the press until now.

  108. I just hope that Drew is working hard on strengthening his quads and hamstrings this summer. Once he gets his legs under him, his natural ability will flow, his movement will improve so he won’t have to reach so much, and he can stay on the court without fouling. One thing I’d like to know is how much weight work on his lower body he does during the season. One of the keys to keeping his knees healthy is continuous strengthening.

  109. 100. Zach, the players are not paid at the same rate during the playoffs as the regular season. The playoff money comes from the league (not the teams) and is in a pool. Essentially, from that pool the teams get paid based on how far they advance. I just found the numbers, the NBA paid the Lakers a total of just shy of $2 million for winning the NBA Finals. Broken down, that works out to about $150,000 per player for the playoffs.

    So, while not nothing, it’s not huge for a guy making $8 mil a year.

    It should be noted that the rumored deal for Odom from the Lakers carries incentives to boost his pay based on how deep the Lakers go in the playoffs.

  110. That explains it then. Thanks for the information Kurt, I had no idea that was how it worked.

  111. By the way, if you have a full roster of and you get bumped out of the playoffs in the first round, you make about $8,000.

  112. One of the cool things about the current championship was that it was accomplished without the kind of contribution from Bynum that most of us thought would be necessary to win it all. And this was against the only team whose center I would rather have!

    Jefferson is only 6-10, and my memory was that Bynum pretty much smoked him head-to-head. He’s basically Amar’e-like statistically, and he’s 3 years older than Andrew. And I’d definitely take Oden over Perkins–but not over Bynum. Poor Portland.

  113. Do you think Tracy McGrady takes his $8,000 and drinks away the tears each time his team gets bounced from the playoffs in round 1? Or does he not care enough?

    How many Peachy Rings can $150k buy? That’s gotta give Lamar some serious incentive. Seriously LA, just hand him a candy bonus and be done with it. Lifetime supply of Peachy Rings for another championship. I think that’d hit home with Odom.

    I’m never going to get over this. This league needs more incentives-based pay.

  114. B.Lopez already has better footwork and a much better feel around the rim than Andrew. Lower ceiling, yes, but at this point he’s at least just as good Andrew in his own right.

  115. Igor, you aren’t serious are you? Brook Lopez is nowhere near as developed as Andrew. Not sure what “feel around the rim” means, but if it means excellent hands, the ability to use right and left, and the ability to take lob passes and throw down over any other center in the league, then I’m not sure how you could ever say that Lopez is superior to Drew.

  116. Have you watched Brook? He knows what his options are beyond just his length and strength inside. And he’s very good at finishing inside. Andrew looks lost in inside traffic, relies on trying to overpower people on his way up. Too often I see Andrew either travel in congestion or not utilize his feet to his advantage.

  117. The incentive is LO desire to play for a winning team. He has sat on his hands for to long. He will now make less money than the first offer on the table, and possibly coud be playing for an inferior team(MIAMI). He has to be kicking himself at this particular moment. If LA offers him a little more than the Heat, to offset the no state tax in Florida, what else is attractive about Miami. The point is, there is nothing, and anybody who has been following this situation from day one knew that LO didnt have much leverage.

  118. And yes, Brook does have great hands (certainly not any worse than Andrew’s), he can use left or right hand to finish either soft or hard. He’s a bit more vertically challenged than Andrew, but after Andrew’s knee injuries, they’re about at the same level in that regard.

  119. Igor, I believe you’re discussing the post-injury May/June 2009 and post-injury Nov/Dec 2008 Bynum, and not the Bynum we saw in the months immediately preceding his two knee injuries. The pre-injury Bynum was far superior to Lopez in almost every way.

  120. Igor – I think you’re ignoring Andrew’s work in Dec 07/Jan 08 and Dec 08/Jan 09 (i.e. just before his injury in both seasons) in your analysis. In those admittedly small samples, which came after AB started to get some consistent run (in the first year) and shake off the rust (in the second year), he showed both tremendous hands and footwork. That same footwork was missing in these playoffs, and I have to blame that on the fact that he wasn’t recovered from his injury.

    I like Brook Lopez quite a bit, but he’s not in the same class as a healthy Bynum. He may be neck-and-neck with a hobbled Bynum, but hopefully that player is gone.

  121. Looks like I posted the same thing as the Dude, but I’m held up in moderation….

  122. Brook Lopez has a nice offensive game, but he is not nearly the defensive presence in the paint nor the rebounder that Bynum is. Brook actually pulled down zero rebounds starting in a Summer League game in Orlando, and I can tell you that some people who saw him there were not signing his praises in Vegas. He can score, but you have to want to rebound or play defense.

  123. As for Simmons’ latest, another entertaining read (AF is one of my favorite movies), but again completely misses the mark with regard to the FB&G.

    1) He praises Ariza for his 45% 3FG shooting, yet ignores the fact that Ariza had made all of 9 threes in his entire career prior to this year. The Lakers have already been burnt by giving big $$ to a player having a career shooting year, and at least with Sasha they had a whole season of hot shooting to go on, and not just a limited playoff run. Simmons also completely fails to acknowledge that, aside from hitting the wide-open trey and finishing in transition, Trevor has *no* offensive game to speak of.

    2) He calls Ariza the best perimeter defender of swingmen in the league. What? Sure, he had some timely and dramatic steals, but’s let not get crazy. I loved watching Ariza as much as anyone, but he struggles big time with physical SFs. He got abused by Melo in the WCF, and he can’t guard LBJ or Pierce either. News flash – those players are the stars of their respective teams, and those teams happen to be our biggest rivals for another ring.

    3) He mocks Artest’s shooting while ignoring two big things: 1) He’s a career 40% 3FG shooter who is going to get open look after open look after open look playing with Kobe, Pau, AB, etc. 2) He was forced to be the man on a bad Sacramento team and an injury-riddled Houston team. Being the only offensive option on a bad offensive team is going to wreak havoc on your stats. He won’t have that problem in LA.

    4) He takes his friendship with Rockets GM Daryl Morley a bit too far in passing on those “crazy RonRon” tidbits and refusing to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, Morley may have had an ulterior motive in letting that stuff out.

    5) Really? Ariza to Houston is a much bigger upgrade than Artest to LA? Really? A team that now has no offensive focal point just picked up a player who has no offensive game and whose only decent numbers were put up when he got repeated wide open looks? Meanwhile, the other team just shored up its defense against its top competition while at the same time preserving its ability to hit wide open 3s?
    C’mon Bill…

  124. Igor, not to beat this to death after The Dude said it, but you seem to be comparing Brook to the Andrew Bynum of this year’s playoffs, and not the Andrew Bynum pre-injury. If you could tell me that Drew will never progress beyond the guy we saw in the playoffs, I would trade him straight up for Lopez in a heartbeat.

    However, unless you know something I don’t, I think it is reasonable to assume that Bynum will spend this summer rehabbing his knee, gaining strength in his legs and polishing what is already the best low post game (fundamentally) of any young center in the game.

  125. One team source confirmed Monday that Lakers owner Jerry Buss, after pulling his initial offer off the table on July 14, is now offering “less” than the original three-year, $27 million deal that he withdrew when Odom pushed for a fourth year. Another source maintains that Odom’s preference remains returning to the Lakers after helping them win a championship in June but cautioned that he is prepared to return to Miami and reunite with Wade and Riley if nothing changes this week.

  126. 125. Gr8dunk, do you have a link or an on-air source for that tidbit?

  127. wow. LO and TA are writing the book on how to lose out on a great situation by playing hardball with your contract negotiations. Bonzi Wells couldn’t have done it any better.

    I just don’t understand how a couple million dollars a year is worth throwing away a once in a lifetime shot at being part of a dynasty. (when you will average at least $7M for a decade and a half)

    Odom wants LA. Trevor wanted LA. Both might miss LA because they thought they were worth top dollar in a slumping economy, and to a team that simply put, has other options.

  128. AB contributions in the last two season before injury were above average and in some games near dominant. If it wasnt for such freak injuries his position amongst active centers in the game would be top 5. Injuries limited his mobility last year in the playoffs, making him foul prone and hesitant when making post moves. At the beginning of last year he came back hungry and ready to destroy his competition, I will expect nothing less of him when the season begins this year. We will definitely need his size and scoring on the inside if LO is thinking of leaving. Between him and RonRon I think they will be more than able to make up for the production LA has lost in FA.

  129. In the discussion of young centers I think that Biedrins and Bogut should both be rated above Oden.

  130. you gotta throw Marc Gasol in that conversation as well. Some where above Oden.

  131. gortat > oden?

  132. LO knows his skills will be on the decline in the coming years, thats why his persistence of wanting a 5 year deal is crucial to him. At 3/30 mil he would have been a free agent at the age of 33, the teams wanting his service this year were 1 or 2 at the most. Imagine how many teams are going to be begging for his services then. Absolutely none, and those that do probably wouldnt be offering more than 3 to 4 mill a year. Take the hit to your ego LO and get this over with. LA fans will still love you.

  133. You can’t take Bill Simmons seriously when he rants about the Lakers. That should be banned on this site just like speculatory trade talk.

  134. How come the FO hasnt countered LO’s camp leaking information regarding his talks with Miami? What if LA leaked talks with other teams about using expiring contracts(Ammo and Young Farmar) to acquire a PF. You think that would change his song and dance? Maybe the FO already knows that LO is full of s###, and is not going to let such a golden opportunity pass him by.

  135. @131, yes.

    Oden: Not mobile, no post game, injury prone

    Gortat: Mobile, no post game, not injury prone, performs in pressure situations (playoffs)

  136. there’s been talk of LO going to miami for 3 years and becoming a free agent afterward. is there any way of predicting what the salary structure will be like in the free agent arena in 3 years after the new cba?

  137. Not letting LO off the hook here, but Jerry Buss has to know that he can only low-ball LO so far. Going way under the Heat’s deal of $34 mil/5 years is flat-out a lose-lose for us. Yes, I haven’t owned any 5-star sports franchises lately, but shooing Odom out the door just kills us, imho. There are no viable replacements for him. I’m not saying to break the bank for Odom, but letting him go to Miami and getting nothing in return is pretty much a near-worst case scenario. At that point the only mitigating factor is that at least LO doesn’t go to a title contender. At the end of the day our bench is still pretty much a wreck w/o Odom. Argh.

  138. Much as we complain some do with Bynum, it is a little early to put Oden in a box and say he is this or that. We have yet to really see what he can do healthy for a season. And i’d rather have his potential than Gortat, personally.

  139. First, the $30M/3yr offer is off the table. Second, turning down that offer for a $35/5yr deal seems dumb on the very face of it.
    1) Playoff money and exposure.
    2) Legacy and later $ based on that, even if not from the Lakers
    3) Related to 2) in that all he has to get is $5M over two years, after his 3 are up with the Lakers to break even (actually, with the time value of money he would make more with the Laker offer).

    If Odom even considered taking $35/5 over $30/3, then he was really not being too bright. My guess is that he wanted to wait for Portland and didn’t consider the downside to this decision.

  140. BS seems to enjoy trying to ‘jinx’ the Lakers such as when he ‘predicted’ they would destroy the keltics in the FInals.

    So, I’m actually okay with him obsesively hating the Lakers off season moves. Since what he says about the Lakers is usually the oppossite of what he really thinks.

  141. It just amazes me how this situation has gotten this far out of hand.trying to figure out what is on one person mind is taxing. LO could write a book or do a reality tv show about what he was truly thinking about during this entire process. If he did, I dont think he would have a logical reason for some of the decisions he has made this summer.

  142. Craig W #139, you nailed it precisely. At this point, I think LO is conflicted. The Lakers first offer was a truly fantastic offer. To hit free agency again at age 33 (rather than 35) after being a super valuable reserve whose career is extended by the reduced minutes but not diminished by them, well that would be a fantastic situation.

    Having made a guaranteed $30 million in those 3 years, plus realistically having at least one, and possibly as many as 3, more championship(s) would make the 33 year old LO a truly sought after free agent. The idea that he couldn’t get a 2 year/$4 million deal (to equal what he’d get from Miami over the next 5 years) is just ludicrous.

    So, the Lakers made an offer that guarantees nearly $10 million more over the next 3 years than what any other team has offered, and LO finds himself in the position of not having the first Laker offer anymore. He gambled (big time) on a richer Portland offer and he lost (big time). Now what does he do?

    By taking the Lakers current offer (reportedly of $25 million over 3 years), he goes down as the bonehead who held out for $5 million less money. If he signs with Miami, he is the guy who spurned $30 million over 3 with the best team in the league for an extra $5 million over 5 years. Again, bonehead.

    At this point, I think he is just struggling with the fact that he is, truly, going to look like a fool the moment he announces his decision. So, he isn’t making one.

  143. Playoff pool is approximate:
    Best conference record- $277,604
    !st round $161,168
    2nd Rd $195,337
    3rd Rd $322,792
    Champs $1,948,042
    A little over $2.9 mill divided by how many shares the players vote to give out.

  144. Andrew Bynum was given significant court-time the last two years, and both years he had his knees injured. I don’t care about potential when it’s never lived up to (way too many guys came in with a bright outlook and never lived up to it for whatever reason) Brook Lopez played in all 82 games in a rookie season, averaged over 30 minutes a game, gave a solid 13ppg/8rpg/2bpg and shows signs of room for considerable growth.

    Kurt, you mention Brook Lopez grabbed 0 rebounds in the first summer league game. His season average paints a much better picture. Also, I remember Andrew being accused by Phil (and others) of not wanting the rebounds badly enough. I’m no Nostradamus, but I firmly believe that Brook’s game after four seasons (where Andrew is now) will put him as the second best center in the East and quite possibly second best in the NBA ahead of Oden and Andrew (given both of those guys’ history of getting injured)

  145. 143, why is there $ designated for the team with ‘best conference record’? how is that responsible for any additional revenue (other than, I suppose, the potential for more home games)?

    Also, certainly the team that loses in the Finals makes more than the two teams that lose in the semis, right?

  146. 116) That’s what 4 years of college can do for you, plus always, always always having someone just as big as you to play against. Don’t you think?

    Andrew has yet to play 4 years of basketball since high school!

  147. 145

    Brook only played two years of college ball. And some would argue that NBA experience would be more valuable than college (I would be one of those)

  148. #143

    Those are the numbers for the Lakers this year (I did this w/in a week of the Finals). Best overall record gets a higher number. I recall $1.2 mill for the Finals loser. I believe all of the other numbers are fixed based on just playing.

    Why more playoff money for being #1 seed?

    Don’t know but would hazard a guess that it is an incentive/reward to the players.

  149. Per Siler & Luhm

    http://blogs.sltrib.com/jazz/2009/04/saturday-report.htm

    “The rest of the breakdown: Best record in the NBA ($317,263), Best record in Conference ($277,604 each), Second-best record in conference ($223,126 each), Third-best record in conference ($166,563), Fourth-best record in conference ($130,900), Fifth-best record in conference ($109,074), Sixth-best record in conference ($74,394).

    Teams participating in first round ($164,168 each), Teams participating in conference semifinals ($195,337 each), Teams participating in conference finals ($322,792 each), Losing team NBA Finals ($1,290,821), Winning team NBA Finals ($1,948,042).”

  150. The Dallas Mavericks announced the signing of free-agent forward Tim Thomas on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

  151. 144,
    Lol. Even Brook would tell you Andrew is better than him after Drew schooled him this year head to head.

  152. #86

    You wrote:
    “God, i just want this to end. I really hate this BS.”

    I want it to end too…unless that is, LO goes to Miami, in which case I hope this drags on and on. Why? Because without LO, the lakers will not win the championship next year. The 3 teams in the east will eat our lunch without LO.

    I know that I’m a big LO supporter, but I just do not get it —why more laker fans don’t understand HOW IMPORTANT LO is to our team. LO is the 3rd most important player to the Lakers. The 3rd! And that’s a 3rd behind the best player in the NBA, and a top 10 all time player in Kobe, and Pau who I believe is a top 10 current NBA player.

    And it’s what LO brings that is sooooo important. He is a chemistry guy. A guy who makes a team a team. I’m not talking about his locker room stuff, but his on-court game. His defense is the most important –LO is a major reason why we stopped the 2 best players from the Magic in the finals last year. If we didn’t have LO, D Howard would have went off on us, as well as Rashard Lewis. His length and speed is an incredible benefit.

    Also, he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to do damage. He moves well without the ball, and gives our team an extra target in the post. Not a normal post player, but one who can dive accross the middle and catch the ball within 10 feet of the hoop. At which point he is an excellent passer or a nice finisher with that little jump hook he’s got.

    I’m a guy who says that the Lakers still got options even without LO. Like a trade to get a versatile PF at next years deadline, etc. However, we either need Odom or someone of his ability. Without that, we have a very small likelyhood of winning next year.

    That’s why i do not understand Jerry Buss. Why does he reduce the offer to LO? Why let emotions get in the way? Just offer him 5 years at 38m and be done with it! As long as it is higher than the MIA offer, then i’m fine with it. Even if LO declines and chooses to play at Miami for less money, that’s fine –nothing we can do about that. But if Buss and the FO do not give a better offer than the MLE to Odom, that’s got to be a crime.

    Especially when we have a chance to win 2 more rings in the next 4 years! Just pay the man his money and let’s get on with it…c’mon Buss, do it.

  153. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281125013

    That’s the box score for the only game they played head-to-head this year.

    Brook: 17pts, 10rebs (5 offensive), 3blocks, couple of assists and a steal.
    Andrew: 15pts, 6rebs, 1 block, couple of assists.

    You tell me who got the worst of that match-up. I remember that Brook missed a bunch of shots because Andrew hacked him constantly (5 fouls) and he went to make 5-6 free throws. That’s a rookie playing a 4-year vet.

  154. Bynum,

    I’m a huge Bynum supporter. I think that Robert Parish is not Bynum’s ceiling at all. This kid has yet to grow into his body. Comparing a 21 year old Bynum to a 25 year old hall of famer is simply not fair or valid. Bynum at 25 will be far more superior than he is now. Not only will he get stronger and less injury prone, but he will increase his skills (shooting, drribling, passing, etc) and his understanding of the game.

    This is all dependent of injuries of course. Regardless of how “accidental” these injuries have been, Bynum may indeed be injury prone. That said, if this kid would simply put in the work at the gym (and with trainers), perhaps lose a little of that baby fat, his injury rate/probability would fall drastically.

    Assuming that Bynum stays healthy, the sky is the absolute limit with this kid. The only thing about this kid that is not out of this world is his athleticism. Nevertheless, his touch and feel for the game is so outstanding, that i have incredibly high hopes for the guy. $14m per year was an absolute STEAL, just for this potential. I think everyone underestimates this guy, especially now after the way he played in the playoffs.

    Bynum will be an allstar next year. Watch and see. Hopefully he can get some work out tips from Kobe to get that body turned into a tank.

  155. The Lakers new offer is said to be a three-year offer in the $25 million range with possible performance incentives included in the deal that could push it north of $27 million, if the Lakers reach the NBA Finals again.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13450

  156. That Hoopsworld story is deliciously vague:

    “There is no timeline set on a deal, but it does seem like things are coming closer to conclusion and something could happen in the coming days. ”

    Amazingly decisive! You’ve gotta love the 24 news cycle, and the need to fill the vacuum.

  157. From Ramona Shelburne of the Los Angeles Daily News:

    “Hear that? No, don’t turn the volume on your computer up. It’s just in the air. Crickets. Loud, persistent crickets. As the world turns … As Lamar Odom watch continues into its 29th day. I called up Lakers spokesman John Black this afternoon just to get an on-the-record quote of the day. In the offseason, few sources are willing to speak on the record except for guys like Black, who are paid to do just that. We both had a hearty laugh when I asked if he had any updates today. ‘There’s absolutely nothing new I can tell you on that,’ Black said. Well, can you tell me if the Lakers and Odom’s camp have continued to talk? ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘They’ve been talking on a regular basis. That’s all I can say.’ And there, ladies and gentleman, is your daily Lamar Odom update. Officially speaking.”

  158. 152. You are fairly new around here, so you don’t know me that well. But two things will be clear as you hang around: 1) I fully understand just how important Lamar Odom is to this team and I have been one of his supporters, I have said that you have to accept who he is as a package (the good and bad) but that his +/- shows how valuable he is; 2) I hate the soap opera around my team. Some of that soap opera can be avoided by the rules of this blog, but some like this incident can’t. And the obsession and speculation over the daily drip of information from this negotiation (when was the last time you read something that actually moved this story forward?) just bugs me. So I want it to end because to me this is not basketball, this is business, and I wanted to start a basketball blog.

  159. To be fair, there are alot of questions that are going to be asked if they cannot reach an agreement.

  160. #153 – Igor;

    Actually, if you dig a little deeper into the box score, I don’t think Lopez did better than Bynum.

    Sure, he’s got the better individual statistics, but he also shot 6 for 15 to get there (instead of 6 for 9 for Bynum). Furthermore, he was a -20 on the night, while Bynum was a +20, leading their respective starting lineups in good and bad.

  161. 158. Right on. Isn’t this a thread about Bynum?

    Igor,

    It’s cool. You like Lopez over Bynum. It’s a reasonable position. It is also reasonable to like Bynum over Lopez. Both sides need to stop trying to prove it. It can’t be done.

  162. 154. “Comparing a 21 year old Bynum to a 25 year old hall of famer is simply not fair or valid.”

    kaveh, the whole point of comparing Parish and Bynum at the same point in their careers is to show how similar their stats were despite Parish’s much more extensive basketball experience, which illustrates Drew’s potential to be great. You’re the first person in this thread to imply that this comparison is unfair to Drew. I emphasized in my post that at this same point in time in their NBA careers, Drew had two years of pre-NBA experience to Parish’s eight, while Parish was also four years older. The only thing that could prevent Drew from having a career like Parish’s would be his future health.

  163. #158 Kurt,

    I’m not sure why you take my posts so seriously every stinking time –i think you’ve replied to me on numerous occasions saying: “you’re new around here so…”

    The first line of my post was a JOKE. The joke was that i want this LO stuff to be over, as long as it is not bad news (LO goes to Miami) in which case i’d rather it take as long as possible (me not knowing, so i still have hope).

    The rest of my post was not directed at you at all. If you don’t like the joke i understand. But getting offended at every single one of my posts is kind of extreme.

  164. New post up, talking PGs

  165. New Post. Yay!

  166. 161.

    That was kind of my original point – Brook is just as likable as Andrew as of now (and for me personally, in the future) depending on what you’re looking for in the player.

  167. ESPN reporting LO will resign with Lakers 4 years 33 million!!

  168. I”ll see you guys In June 2010 for the parade!! I am so relieved!! I went from the ultimate high with the Lakers finally reclaiming the crown to the ultimate low of hearing about Michael Jackson passing all In the span of a month!! and then to top it off real concern that Lo, might sign somewhere else. I’ve had a crazy 8 weeks!! now I can be happy again Let’s go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!