Thoughts On The Lakers’ Draft

Darius Soriano —  June 25, 2010

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Heading into the draft, we all thought there was a need for a back court player (preferably and PG or a combo guard that could handle the ball) and potentially a big man (preferably a Center).  However, picking at #43 and #58 doesn’t afford the luxury of cherry picking positions and usually leads to just swooping up the best player available on a team’s draft board.  And if that player fits a need too, then great.   So when the Lakers’ picks came up in the mid, then late, second round they did just that by grabbing WVU’s SF, Devin Ebanks at #43 and UTEP’s PF, Derrick Caracter at #58. 

Ebanks is a pick that has grown on me the more I’ve seen of him and the more that I’ve read.  When the pick was announced my first thoughts were questions about if he’d make the team at all and if he did whether or not he’d ever see the floor at a position where Ron, Kobe, and even Odom will all see time next season.  However, after hearing Mitch Kupchak talk about Ebanks and how he may fit on this team, I understand more of why he was chosen when there were potentially other prospects on the board that filled more pressing needs.  Mitch talked openly about how Luke Walton’s back injury is an issue that is still up in the air and may affect his ability to reclaim his pre-injury form next season.  And if that’s the case, back up wing goes from slight need (in a replacing Ammo kind of way) to a much bigger need (in a we don’t want Kobe and Artest playing 40+ minutes a night kind of way). 

All season long the Lakers saw the effects of not having a capable (and healthy) back up SF on the roster.  And if Ebanks can end up being a guy that can play 5-10 minutes a night, it would go a long way towards ensuring that some of the Lakers main wing players don’t get worn out.  This isn’t to say that Ebanks will definitely fill this role, but he’s a talented young player that is capable and he’ll be given the chance to show that he can step in when he plays in Summer league and (hopefully) at training camp.  On a side note, it’s been mentioned many times but this kid is a dead on ringer for Ariza. Same build, similar skill set, and he even wears #3.  In the linked to interview, Kupchak mentions some of the similarities and differences between Ebanks and Ariza, but it’s clear that the Lakers are hopeful Ebanks can develop into an Ariza type of player that plays good defense and works on his shot to the point that he’s a capable threat from outside.  If the Lakers’ gamble pays off, we may look at Ebanks as a guy that fills a variety of holes in the Lakers roster as he’s a guy that can get out and run in the open court, can finish above the rim, and can provide some slashing in the Lakers half court sets.  With Farmar likely gone and Shannon potentially joining him, the Lakers could use an infusion of these particular skills and if Ebanks sticks on the roster, the team will get them.

As for Caracter, he seems to be a boom or bust type of pick.  However, that’s the exact type of player that you take at #58 in the second round.  If he shows he’s on the right path and plays well you’ve got a potential contributor for a very small investment; if he doesn’t perform, he gets cut and due to that small investment the team can go in a different direction without having to second guess.  Caracter’s undoubtedly a talented player that has the requisite offensive skills to play in the NBA.  By all accounts, he’s got good hands, strong footwork, a wide frame that he uses to effectively earn post up position, and even possesses a face up game out to 15 feet.  He’s also a very good rebounder on both ends of the court.   I mean, his college stats from his Junior (and most recent) season – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 56.7% shooting in 27 mpg – show a player that is efficient and worth taking a flyer on. 

However, there are some red flags with Caracter.  He reportedly clashed with Rick Pitino while at Louisville and showed questionable work ethic on the court and in the classroom to the point that he ended up transferring to UTEP after his Sophmore year.  He is a bit undersized, has struggled with his conditioning and weight, and there have been reports that he’s an immature player that isn’t the most solid of locker room presences.  Obviously these are all qualities that are difficult to take onto any team, but coming to an organization that is as structured and led by quality people as the Lakers can be a postive influence on a player with these question marks.  However, it will be on the player to show that he’s matured to the point that he warrants sticking around. 

Both of these players have NBA level talent, however it will be a matter of how they develop and if they have the work ethic to improve their respective games to the point that they can stick on the roster.  Mitch has already said that both players will be invited to training camp and both are expected to play on the Lakers summer league team.  And while both are long shots to be contributors (and Caracter may even be a long shot to make the team), I’m happy with both of these picks.  It’s never easy filling in the gaps of a top heavy roster and when attempting to do it from the mid/late second round of a draft with questionable depth, it’s even harder.  But I feel the Lakers have done well for themselves by drafting players with good skills and live, active games that could end up adding a dimension of youth and bounce to a team that, while not old, wasn’t getting any younger (especially if Farmar and Shannon leave).

Darius Soriano

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to Thoughts On The Lakers’ Draft

  1. BTW, reports surfaced that the Lakers were going to sell the draft rights of Caracter to the Denver Nuggets. However, those reports were coming out of Denver as they were very interested in picking up this player. However, the Lakers decided to hold on to Derrick for the time being and see what they have in him.

    Also, I’ll try to update this thread if there are any updates on any Lakers’ Summer League invites. We’ve already read about Crittenton, but there are still some names out there that may be worth a look that went undrafted. We’ll see if the Lakers try to get any of those players to play for them in Vegas.


  2. Also, I mentioned this last night, but we should understand that the Lakers may not have drafted a guard but FA will be a place where they explore their options on bringing in another lead ball handler. It would have been nice to have the option of grooming a young player at the point, but the Lakers are a veteran team that’s built to win right now and would be much better served going after a veteran (ala Blake) that can step in and play right away rather than drafting some young guy that won’t ever see the court. Plus if Crittenton ends up working out, the Lakers may already have that developmental prospect at PG on their Summer league team.


  3. Do we really need the “veteran” if we re-sign Fish? Wouldn’t it be in our best interest to get the “younger” talent now while we still have the expereinced squad around him to teach and show the proper work ethic? I was hoping that Fish staying provides a mentor/student relationship for a young talent.

    What do you think?


  4. This is duplicative from what was said in the last thread, but helps me visualize where the team is.

    From hoopshype, the Lakers have 7 players under contract next year- Kobe, Ron, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Sasha and Luke.

    -Add Powell and DJ as cheap emergency frontcourt depth and we’re up to 9. Even if they don’t keep these 2, they need 2 big men for backup right?

    -Add Ammo, who may not get a better offer than the Qualifying and maybe they keep him as trade bait? That would put us at 10. (do I understand the QO here? is Ammo definitely out?)

    -If they keep Fisher (I assume they’ll try) that’s 11. Even if they don’t they need at least 2 guards to fill out the depth chart (asuming Sasha gets more time).

    So that’s ~10-12 roster spots more or less set.

    How much room is there for both of these draft picks? Maybe they give Character a shot at pushing Powell for that spot (and Walton insurance)? He’s undersized, but that’s not uncommon at the 4 these days. It sounded like Ebanks is a good bet to make the roster.

    I also expect to see them taking good looks at the summer league to find some good camp invites with real shots at making the team.

    The Walton revelations really make things complicated. There could be a lot of change in the bench next year.


  5. #3. Taylor,
    I’d actually prefer a veteran right now just due to the fact that this player is going to have to play for us. Fisher’s minutes should be in the 20-25 range nightly and that leaves another 25-30 minutes a night at PG. I think we’ll need a veteran to soak up those minutes even if Sasha plays more PG next season. Plus, while I don’t want to put all my eggs in this basket, I do have high hopes for Crittenton. The Lakers drafted him at #17 and did not want to part with him in the Gasol deal. I know he’s been through a lot since he first departed the team (and seemingly hasn’t grown much as a player), but I think putting him back with this specific group of guys could help him trememendously.


  6. 3- Taylor I think there are a lot of “vets” around who are still young, but have proven they are professional enough and have a track record the team can evaluate. Its kind of a misleading term since technically a 22 year old with 3 years experience is technically a vet.

    Whereas going for a rookie without that track record can net you some great talent but is a role of the dice personality-wise. That’s how the Lakers ended up with Smush at point. For a while he seemed like a God send, then…


  7. We need somebody to play 20-24 mpg, so it’s not the time to take on a project. We need an established PG.

    I say: give me Blake and Miller and I will be happy. Just think about Miller stretching the field (48% from behind the line!) and rebounding. Hang the banner already and let 29 teams to play for the 2nd place.


  8. #5/6

    I agree to an extent. I am one who would love to see Sash get a lot of those minutes (20 or so), leaving only 5-10 which, I believe could be soaked up by a new addition. I think the “22-24 year old vet” is a great idea. I know a few of the names for PG we’ve been floating around are the younger vet, and that I support. I’m against bringing in the 30 year old just to take minutes away from Fish. That wouldn’t do much for our future once we lose our core vets. I’m trying to think of someone to be bred to play with Bynum. Not sure if his name is even known yet…


  9. @ J.D. Hastings — under the rookie contract salary scale, Ammo’s qualifying offer would be something like $6.7 million for 1 year; the Lakers won’t be offering that. Instead, they will renounce his rights, allowing Ammo to become an unrestricted free agent (he would be a restricted free agent, meaning the Lakers would have the right to match any offer he receives, if the Lakers made the QO).

    The way I see it, Lakers have 7 players under contract for next year (I’m guessing ShanWow opts out for more money and years somewhere else), are likely to re-sign Fish, and maybe will keep one of the DJ/Powell duo. The rest are gone. That means the Lakers have at least 4 roster spots to fill, assuming they only carry 13 players again, like last year. Ebanks and Character may fill 1 or 2 of those spots, the rest will be free agents.

    From reading the last several posts on here, it sounds like one or both of DJ and Powell won’t be back because the minimum salary for players of their experience is ~$1 million, while the minimum for a rookie is <$500,000 (and the actual cost to the Lakers of all salaries are doubled because of the luxury tax, making the difference between DJ/Powell and a rookie twice the amount of the difference in contracts).


  10. #4. JD Hastings,
    Both Farmar and Morrison are technically restricted free agents. Their qualifying offers are the contract dollars associated with securing the right of first refusal if those players sign with another team. So, if the Lakers make the qualifying offer to both Ammo and Farmar and those guys sign contracts with other teams (say Farmar signs a 3 year, $10 mil deal with the Pacers, the Lakers could match that offer *if* they extended the qualifying offer to him).

    However, it’s widely assumed the Lakers are going to renounce the rights to both players as they likely don’t want to get stuck paying those players (especially Ammo) the money in that qualifying offer contract. Because if the Lakers extend that offer and that player doesn’t sign with another team, the player will then play for the Lakers next season at that qualifying offer salary and then become an UFA after next season. This is what happened with David Lee and Nate Robinson with the Knicks. The Knicks extended the qualifying offer to both those players and those guys decided they’d just sign that offer and become UFA’s after this season.

    In all likelihood, the Lakers will renounce the rights to Ammo and Farmar, make decisions on Powell and Mbenga, see what Shannon decides (opt in/out), and then work to re-sign Fisher. That would leave the Lakers with a guarantee of:

    Kobe, Artest, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Sasha, and Walton; while working on Fisher (player #8), seeing what happens with WOW (potentially player #9).

    That leaves 4 roster spots (minimum) and two of those could potentially belong to the rookies, the 3rd could be Powell or Mbenga, and the 4th could be the FA PG (Blake?) or wing (Bell?).


  11. Hey, is it true that Caracter is from Queens with ties to Odom and Artest?


  12. I meant “unrestricted free agent” in the first paragraph of my post. Darius explained it much better than I did, in any event.


  13. #11. Ebanks is from Queens, not Caracter. Apparently Mitch asked Ron about Ebanks (Ron said he remembered/knew him) after the topic came up in a pre-draft interview conducted at the scouting combine in Chicago between the team and Ebanks.


  14. Just doing some payroll calculations:

    With the 7 Lakers under contract for next season plus the signing of the two draft picks and assuming Fish and Powell re-sign for the minimum, the Lakers will have a payroll of ~$84.4 M.

    Add in the luxuary tax of ~$16.4 (based on the reported threshold of $68M), the Lakers will have a total payroll of $101.2 M for only 11 players. This does not include Shannon or any players signed for the Mid-Level exception. Any way you shake it, Dr. Buss will have a payroll either the same or more than this past season. Tough decisions ahead.


  15. Caracter is from New Jersey, and it looks like he went to high school fairly close to where Drew spent his junior and senior years. Drew went to St. Joseph’s in Metuchen for his last two years, while Caracter went to St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth for his freshman and junior years, with his sophomore year at Scotch Plains-Fanwood and his senior year at Notre Dame, a prep school in Massachusetts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bynum and Caracter had crossed paths at some point along the way, likely playing against one another in HS, and perhaps playing for the same AAU team. Drew is about six months older, so he may have been a grade ahead, which would mean that Drew’s senior year at St. Joseph’s would have coincided with Caracter’s junior year at St. Patrick’s.


  16. i was sorta surprised by the ebanks pick at first. when the draft crew said he would guard opposing pgs or the best player, i also immediately thought of ariza. same build, same strengths, same weaknesses (must improve his shooting).

    overall, i like the pick. if walton’s back issues persist, then we’re gonna need another backup sf.

    i guess this means we’re definitely gonna look for another pg in free agency


  17. Apparently Mitch asked Ron about Ebanks (Ron said he remembered/knew him)

    I think he more than likely asked Jerry West since his son played for WV and he most likely watched every one of there games this year.


  18. Now that I think about it, I’d rather keep Shannon for $3-4 mil instead of blowing the MLE on Blake or Felton. Shannon can hit the open shot – he’s not terrible – so it’s not a huge discrepancy in shooting, probably on average less than half a point a game (vs Blake, vs. Felton it’s the same). Plus Shannon can finish in the lane & is a more versatile defender. Lastly, he’s shown flashes of a midrange game (it’s not great, but he can hit it) – he can create a shot and use his athleticism to get a better look for himself. I think Shannon, Vujacic, & [Kobe,Artest,Odom] or [Kobe,Artest,Ebanks] at 1,2,3 could be better solutions to the more available minutes at the point. This is all assuming if Fish returns, that is, which should be a higher priority moneywise than a FA PG, or at least these two.


  19. thisisweaksauce June 25, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    As a shooter at wing, who would you guys prefer, Mike Miller or Kyle Korver? They’re both unrestricted free agents. Me? I think it would be hilarious to have Korver, simply due to the fact that he looks just like Ashton Kutcher. They would do comparisons every home game. Are there any other names out there, in terms of shooters? I know the JJ Redick is a restricted free agent, and it looks like Orlando wants to keep him.


  20. Darius, asking Ron-Ron about someone is… I don’t know, at least he’ll get Ron’s honest opinion.

    Regarding the roster spots, and assuming that ShanWOW, Farmar and Ammo are definetly gone, we must first see what happens with Powell and DJ. I believe that Josh will stay because of his work ethic and Kobe’s influence. Also, he allows to stretch the floor with his jumpshot. Fish is not going anywhere…

    The glaring needs have been stated, but I think that Ebanks will cover one of them. We need to get some rest on the wings and he may just be able to do it.

    Personally, I would be happier with Crittenton than with Blake. While Blake seems like a great fit, Javaris as actually been groomed by our system a while. We have 96 minutes to be filled by our backcourt and I can totally see Fish taking 20, Sasha taking 25, Javaris 15 and Kobe 36 (No, Kobe won’t play less than that). It is indeed better to groom a PG for when Phil and Fish retires. Someone to pair with Bynum as a Laker. Actually, I’ve been saying we need a PG since forever… Farmar ain’t it, maybe Jarvaris can be in this system.

    The other need we have is at Center. Just a big body who grabs rebounds, blocks shots and gets offensive rebounds and putbacks. Someone to play 8-10 minutes a night and give you some garbage points.

    Ideally, you get:

    Fish, Kobe, Sasha, Jarvaris (or other PG) to cover the backcourt

    Luke, Ron, Ebanks, Odom, Powell, Gasol, Bynum, backup center to designate.

    That’s 12 roster spots right there. Someone got hurt and need backcourt help? Use the D-League for cheap replacements!!!!

    We’re in a good place. We won two titles and the otehrs must adjust to us while we can keep our core intact and lower 8even for just a bit) or cap situation.


  21. @thisisweaksauce I’d rather have Korver. Miller seems passive most of the time. Korver has a more aggressive mentality. Plus, Korver has had more playoff experience.


  22. These rookies actually have a real shot of making the team, and in Ebanks case, actually playing. So it’s really up to them to do what it takes to get better. There have been low drafts picks that have been able to contribute, e.g. Marcus Thorton. Ebanks is in a really good position because he can earn a few minutes with just his defense and working hard, then grow from there. Ebanks has a real opportunity because Luke probably won’t be able to contribute anymore with all his back problems. Luke hasn’t really been able to contribute since he signed this contract 3-4 years ago. From his ankle to the back. It’s safe to say, if the lakers can get anything from luke it’ll be a plus, but they won’t depend on it. Ebanks also has a good chance at earning minutes because I’m not buying into Odom playing small forward. On defense he can’t defend the small forward position nor space the floor offensively. If he could’ve he would’ve been getting minutes at that position in the past 3 years and Phil quickly decided it wouldn’t work. However, it can depending on the opposing small forward (a guy like Battier who doesn’t handle the ball, nor a great slasher) and if a pf like powell is in the spread the floor. Or if the lakers were to bring in Chris Bosh. Not speculating on any trades, just saying that in order for Odom to be effective at the small forward the lakers will need a PF that can space the floor or draw a double as Pau would move over to the Center position. However, I digress.

    Caracter is most likely a guy they’ll send to the d-league, and call up as insurance if Bynum gets injured. The lakers already have a log jam upfront. I think they’ll keep Powell but not DJ. Both draft picks have some character issues. But Caracter’s work ethic and attitude is more up in the air. He has a nba body. So where he goes will depend on his work ethic because from looking at the youtube video and other clips, he’s already pretty good offensive player.


  23. #14. According to ESPN’s salary data, Korver is currently making just over $5M and Miller is making nearly $10M. I don’t think Miller gets anything close to that on his next contract, but I also don’t see either player coming to the Lakers for the portion of the Laker’s MLE that the Lakers would be willing to pay to fill that roster spot.


  24. weaksauce-

    I’d take Kutcher** I mean Korver over Miller but not Redick if he slips out of Orlando’s grip. I think that I like Korver more because he seems really comfortable as a role player. I’ve seen Miller try to take over the game quite a few times because he seems to want to be more of an on ball guy. On the other hand Redick is also a guy that likes to be on ball like Miller but I would trust him to produce alot more than Miller would so I wouldn’t mind it. Redick is a great shooter but he is also more than that. His athletisism has blossomed in the past couple of seasons and he can really finish on the drive. They would all be HUGE upgrades from AMMO (assuming his salary is what we are going to use for one of these guys.) So none of us should feel unhappy if we get any 3 of them.


  25. RE: 10

    Darius injecting a little reality into the discussion. I talked about this in a previous thread, but I’ll reiterate: the only guys who are guarenteed to be back are:

    Odom (ignore the trade speculation – he’s staying)
    Bynum (who won’t be traded for Bosh this summer for loyalty (and monetary) reasons)
    Sasha (who might be traded mid-season)
    Luke (who is untradeable, and should do the front office a favor and retire, rather than playing 10 games a season while collecting a full season’s worth of paychecks)
    Fisher (the Lakers will figure out a way to resign him.

    That leaves 5 roster spots open….4 if Shannon Brown decides not to opt out (which I doubt).

    I don’t see Powell or DJ being brought back (though, Powell has a better chance just because of his connection to Kobe). Why pay your 12th and 13th guy $1.5M, when you can pay $500K (the cost of a second rounder).

    I think the remaining 5 roster spots will fill out as follows:

    1) Ebanks (I love, LOVE the pick. The guy was projected as an early 20’s first rounder just 2 months ago – you can’t teach “bonefied defensive stopper.” Ariza couldn’t shoot when he entered the NBA, either, and he turned out just fine).
    2) Crittenton – seems like it’s destined to be, right?
    3) Caracter/or Summer League Invite PF/C who performs better than Caracter in training camp (Zoubek?)
    4) Raja Bell or Steve Blake type third tier point guard
    5) Vet Big man (Kurt Thomas?)

    I think if the Lakers sign Bell, the plan will be to use him in that triangle point guard role where he’ll be more of a spot up shooter (like BJ Armstrong on those old Bulls teams), so there won’t be a need to bring in a Steve Blake type.

    I also think the Lakers want to re-create a run and gun unit with Crittenton at the helm.


  26. I think I can talk myself into the Ebanks pick. He looks so much like Trevor, it’ll be like we kept Trevor and signed Artest last year.

    I’m not sure how Caracter fits into this. He’s not going to get much playing time, being behind Gasol, Bynum, and Odom, and so he won’t have that good of a chance to develop.


  27. Not to familiar with Ebanks, but from the clips, it definitely looks as if he can be an ‘Ariza Type’ player for us. Extremely athletic but, once again, only judging from the clips, needs to improve his jumper & ball handling skills (especially his Left).

    On another note, as far as Free Agency is concerned, I would love for us to take a long look @ Jermaine O’neal. Always respected his Skills (Good back to the basket game, finishes @ the rim with either hand, can hit the 10-15 ft Jumper & can definitely block shots, once again, with either hand) and Court Demeanor (Doesn’t back down from Anyone). A legit 6’11 who, even though he just completed his 14th year, is the same age as Kobe (came into the league 2gether). I know that in past yrs he’s been prone to injury, but he’s been relatively healthy over the past 2 seasons. Last year, (70 gms played) he posted excellent numbers (13 pts, 7 boards & over a block per game) while playing a lil’ over 28 mins per game. Shouldn’t be hurtin’ for money considerin’ the fact that he pocketed over 23 mil last season & if my memory serves correct, he’s never even sniffed a Championship Ring up to this point of his career. Maybe, with some luck, we can get him on the Cheap. Just a thought.


  28. It’s been noted by several people how eerie it is that Ebanks is a dead ringer for Ariza. Same game, same physical makeup, same freaking number for crying out loud. But I can’t believe no one has pointed this out: both players were drafted at #43 overall. *cue Twilight Zone music*

    I love this pick for the Lakers. Passion, athleticism, and a love for defense cannot be taught. Shooting can be. Perfect pick at #43.

    Caracter is a great pick too. One of the only stats that translates over well from the NCAA to the NBA is rebounding, and this guy is a beast. It seems he cleaned up his act quite a bit while at UTEP, so there’s hope for him yet.

    I’d like to see both make the squad as the #12 and #13 guys.

    In free agency, I wish the Lakers would take a look at CJ Watson. I don’t know why he’s never in the conversation at PG. He’s a youngish vet at 25 who shoots well, tries hard on the defensive end, takes care of the ball and can actually finish around the rim and draw some fouls. He also can play the 2. I think he’d be a perfect fit and I doubt he’d cost much more than $3mil/year.

    My ideal team for the Lakers next year would look something like this…

    Fisher/(CJ Watson)

    So rather than spending all the MLE on one guy like Felton, split it between two guys like Watson and Bell (3.5mil and 2mil) and give the vet minimum to a backup C. The only question mark really would be backup SF, but Kobe, Bell, Odom and Vujacic can all play the 3 in spots.

    This all assumes the Lakers are willing to spend the MLE, which is probably a big assumption, but I hope they use it wisely to fill in some gaps. With the right pieces and a healthy Bynum, this team really can be better than the 2010 version I believe.


  29. I love the Ebanks pick. He is a first round quality pick at a second round pick price. He will fit seamlessly into the SF position, and can also be used as a long and athletic defensive stopper against perimeter players.

    Re: Korver/Miller, and about “shooters” in general, remember that AMMO was considered a very good shooter, as was Sasha. Rather than taking someone who just shoots standstill 3 point shooters, I’d rather have a person who is capable of being a good 3 point shooter but also has the ability to do other thinks like facilitate, take the ball of the dribble. For that reason alone, I think Mike Miller is a better player than Korver (more rebounds and assists too, as well as a great shooting stroke).

    However, Miller won’t be coming to LA, unless he wants to take a massive pay cut and eschew being a starter (like in Orlando). If Sasha and Luke had a baby together, that would be Miller (great shooter and facilitator, and would have Sasha’s former long hair to boot!)

    I think the off season has started on a good note so far.


  30. Zephid,
    If Bynum is healthy, there won’t be any time for him, but he could still do D-League.


  31. 29, combine their contracts and you get the same price as well!

    30, yea that’s true. If anything he may be a great practice player, really pushing our starters during practice like Mbenga seems to do.


  32. i think DC creates some good chemistry.

    Drew or Pau will draw the opposing teams’ best post defender, and he can feast on so-called power forward. Offensively, he is going to be a match-up problem.

    If he can hit that horace grant baseline midrange jumper? ooh hoo hoo hoo.

    I’m probably being too optimistic. I do think our pieces will enhance Caracter’s strengths and diminish his weaknesses.

    One of the things Phil enjoys is the challenge of developing an uneven, unpolished team. Maybe Mitch’s plan is to entice Phil by adding a handful of knuckleheads. J-Critt and Iverson are probably next.



    Shaw given permission to talk to the Cavs. Because it’s a long shot? Or is PJ coming back for certain?

    As for the draft, I haven’t seen either play, but Ebanks being rated as a first rounder really can’t hurt us at #43. Caracter, well, if Denver wanted a 2nd round pick so bad, that can’t be bad either.

    Also, in all honesty, if they can just replace the playing minutes of Ammo / Powell, it’s a success, considering how much they cost. I don’t think that’s a daunting task at all, even for 2nd round picks, so I’m pretty cool with what we’ve got.

    Anything extra, is really gravy.


  34. Funky Chicken June 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Darius, I must have missed the Crittendon news. Is he going to be part of the summer league crew?

    I really liked that kid when he was here and the only part of the Gasol trade that bothered me was losing him. I have wondered if the Lakers didn’t get lucky by Critt’s misfortune over the last couple of years, because he has been buried behind other players that his teams have been more committed to. I think his upside potential is huge, particularly if he can learn from a savvy vet like Fish and play with great players who have great work ethic.


  35. with our star players getting older, isn’t this the appropriate time to cut down on minutes and expand the rotation to 10 men?

    of course, the lakers will not want to sacrifice wins for player development.

    so, i think the best plan is to expand the rotation gradually, so that by season’s end the lakers enjoy the benefits of depth: rest, versatility, camaraderie, cohesion, confidence.

    i think a case can be made for *not* adding another traditional point guard to the roster. LO is more often than not our triangle point guard, so a traditional point guard creates a redundancy.

    we don’t need a quarterback. we need a cornerback.


  36. Presumably, Mitch will put out feelers for cheap vets who want to come to the Lakers for cheap.

    I would add a few UFA names that might also work if they were to come on the super cheap: Larry Hughes, Roger Mason, Shaun Livingston.


  37. Funky Chicken,
    Yes, Javaris is going to play for the Lakers Summer League team. There was a note about it in an article that was linked to in the comments the other day…

    If you scroll down, there’s a note about Javaris and how he’ll be suiting up for the Lakers in Vegas.


  38. Harold,

    I saw the news about Shaw as well. In some ways the longer Phil hangs around the more capable replacements we lose. Granted, there is no true replacement for Phil Jackson. But I would hate to see Brian go to another team. We have already lost Rambis to Minny.

    Even if Phil does come back we know it will only be for a year, maybe two. The best replacements for him may all be gone by the time he finally does call it quits.

    Interesting stiuation the Lakers are in.


  39. J.D. Hastings June 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    JDS and Darius- thanks for explaining that for me I wasn’t sure if LA was already committed to that QO, so it makes more sense now.

    The rumor I heard (forget where) was that Shannon would opt out. But the source also valued him more than I do (I think it was a non-kurt from PBT)

    Mark Heisley had a report today speculating that the team will try to move Odom to save money, but I’m not trusting that until it looks more likely. Sounds like the team has a lot of decisions to make that all affect each other ultimately.


  40. #40. I think Shannon surely opts out if only to get a longer contract that goes into the next CBA. As it stands now, his current deal will expire right before an impending lockout and who knows what limits will be put on contracts at that point. If Shannon can get a 3-5 year deal with 8% raises (from another team, or 10% from the Lakers) why shouldn’t he try? I mean, if I were him, I’d be looking for a 4yr/$15-20mil deal. Will he get that from us? Unlikely, but he should be shopping around. The guy was a mid 20’s first round pick that never had his option picked up and then ended up taking the Lakers bi-anual exception for only (you know, relative to other pros, not regular people) $2mil last season. He’s probably made less than 10 million in his entire career. Bynum made more than that last season. In the end, I would think he wants to get some more financial security as his career plays out and is extended.


  41. Regarding Shannon, if no team is willing to offer him anything substantial, I wonder if the Lakers will offer him a 2 year deal at the same salary.

    That would give him the security through the possible lockout while rewarding him with an extra year. Also gives the team flexibility still since it doesn’t tie them into anything long term.

    I’m just really wondering how many teams will chase after him for any kind of a long term deal. He really hasn’t proven much and still has the potential tag on him.

    He can’t run the point, shot isn’t consistent enough to be a SG and he’s not a lock down D guy by any means. He’s an athletic energy guy at a position that requires some kind of scoring.

    He’s a good fit and potential for this team but what makes him attractive to other teams?


  42. It sounds like I am in the minority, but I do not want to see J Critt back with the team long term. I was unimpressed with him for the short time he was with the team and have been VERY unimpressed since. I just don’t see him becoming the point guard we will need going forward.


  43. 43. Sometimes all it takes for someone like Critt is to get regular rotation playing time, especially when the players out on the floor with him are not a bunch of knuckleheads like the 08-09 Grizzlies and the 09-10 Wizards. He’s familiar with the triangle from the point position, as he ran it in high school and for five months with the Lakers. Signing him for the minimum and giving him some playing time in the first 20 games of the season to see how he does is a low-risk move.


  44. 42. I agree regarding Shannon. I don’t think any team will offer him anything above $2.5m/yr, but you never know. I don’t think the Lakers should give him anything above $2.1m/yr, unless it’s a two or three-year deal with 5% raises from year to year.

    With Fish, Critt, and Sasha, IMO the PG position is adequate. I wouldn’t mind it if the team split the MLE between one experienced big and one tall, athletic player who can handle the ball, though.


  45. Shaun Livingston. Maybe not the greatest outside shot but I’d take a risk on his knee because the kid can expertly distribute the rock and he’s eager to show his improvement. Let some of that Fisher poise rub off on him and it’s gold. The starting line up still would lack a bit of quickness though.

    I’m curious as to where Farmar thinks he could start a full season if not L.A. He’s had access to the car keys to a winner for years now and has continually slammed his head into the wall. He has made no commitment to defense nor getting his players off within the system. And whenever he’s faced up a Bruin that have come after him, he’s been dismantled. It’s a bit frustrating because the excuse is that the system doesn’t play to his strengths. During his professional tenure, the system is a proven back to back winner. His strengths aren’t.

    I’d like to see at least one of the rookies make it to the roster because the Lakers are fairly pondering without Farmar’s speed and Boston showed how the age can creep up on you before you’re prepared to finish the race.


  46. Mark E. (formerly known as Mark) June 25, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Ebanks! That’s Ebanks for God’s sake!
    I love Mitch for making a pick like this!

    Ebanks will be a defensive player (like Blair was for the Spurs) and will have two of the best defensive minds in this league, Kobe and Ron, to develop him more, imagine that!

    Ebanks will be a great spot-up shooter, ala Ariza, and maybe Kobe will teach him the same technique he told Ariza two years ago.

    Overall, this is a steal, and I don’t know why few people are even wondering how the heck Ebanks got this low. They will see, they will see.

    Now if only we could get Darko…..


    On a side note, the Bucks are getting stronger by the minute, just added a good player in CDR (Nets). Won’t be surprised if they go past second round…


  47. 42. Shannon was offered more money/years from Indiana last year, but turned them down. They may go down that route again as they’re desperate for a pg (not that Wow is an ideal pg.) There will be some teams looking to make a splash, but if he opts out and can’t find a deal I too would be surprised to see the Lakers offer him what he got this year. As to the addition of Critt making the pg position adequate, I say lets not get ahead of ourselves. I was and am a firm believer in Critt especially when he was drafted, but nobody knows how his games going to come around. He’s far from a guarantee. I’d agree to bring him in at the minimum and then sign a guy like Blake or Bell to play the point in the triangle. Bell will come cheaper.


  48. at 43: I’m excited about J.Critt as he looked very good when he was playing with the Lakers; If I remember correctly, he was starting to cut into Farmar’s minutes quite a bit until the Gasol trade went down. Not that he’s going to play 48 minutes, but his per 48 minutes numbers in 22 games before the trade were: 20 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, and the negative 6 turnovers. Right in line with Farmar and Fisher’s per 48 numbers, except for the turnovers, which were obviously substantially higher, but may have been more reflective of a player trying to learn the system or do too much more than anything else. Plus he’s 6’5″. And Mitch and Phil don’t draft chumps at 17.

    I agree that he’s not been at all impressive since leaving, but I think we all know by now the system and organization have a lot to do with how a player is able to perform. Think of the disappointment alone going from the Lakers to the Grizz to the Wizz. bleah.

    What I mean to say is, he was looking like a guy that was going to develop into a good player for the Lakers those 22 games before the trade, and now a couple of years on the skids so to speak, and probably his lowest point in life after getting waived by the Wizz because of the Arenes BS, he’s got chance to prove his basketball worth in an environment he found comfortable before.

    And If it don’t work out, it’s only summer league.


  49. There will be a lot of money available this offseason. A lot. So I think somebody will offer Brown too much, and he need accept it.

    As for Miller – he’s a long shot but he was verbal that he would like to play for a winner. Playing in Minnesota and Washington can make it to a player.

    The question is – is he ready to play for a winner for $2M a season? He isn’t worth more for Lakers. But he would fit. Great shooter, very good rebounder, no ego (he was aksed by Wizards to be more alpha dog, to shoot more – and he refused).

    Another thing: I think Lakers should take Celtics way next season and play Bryant 30-32 mpg. Same thing with Gasol – no 40+ minutes games anymore. Lakers could easily win the playoffs starting from #6, just like the Rockets did years ago.


  50. @47

    Shaun was a stud. Then a nuke hit his knee on a non-contact play on a non-awkward landing at the age of like 21. That makes me extremely wary. There is no harm in working him out, but I think the athelticism that made him really special is likely gone since he’s been signed and cut by at least 2 teams in the last few years, after the entire year of having his knee re-assembled.

    I’m worried about him not just being injury prone, but catastrophic injury prone, particularly because his injury occurred at such a young age.

    For the minimum only, I’d consider a workout and signing. I’m very worried he can’t defend top PGs at all, let alone with a team defensive scheme that you always need these days anyway.


    I share the opinion that there’s potential and things that looked good from Crit. He may fit really well with us and I like that we’re considering it. I had mild regrets about letting him go. Those mild regrets were easily assuaged by the fact we were getting Pau Gasol, of course.


  51. @51

    I like Miller a lot. I’ve seen him play some very spirited defense against Kobe. Solid all-around game, perhaps a little injury prone. If we have Sasha, it’s tough to get Miller as I feel he duplicates much of the same skillset (shooting, SG position, defending run around the screen guys). He does rebound quite a bit better.

    If we can unload Sasha, I’d love to have him for like 3-4M/yr.


  52. I’m curious as to where Farmar thinks he could start a full season if not L.A.


    Maybe Indiana. The problem with Farmar, as discussed here many times, is that his skillset does not fit the triangle.

    I am hopeful that Ebanks can be a 10-12 minute a game guy, backing up Artest.


  53. i don’t have very fond memories of j-crit, but he’s got a lot of potential. i think he has the physical tools to be a tony allen level defender.

    there were never any vet pgs in memphis and washington to show him the ropes. there will be one in los angeles(i hope).


  54. Also, I am not convinced that Brown gets a better offer elsewhere. I like him as a fan, but he has a very odd skillset. Essentially, he is a slashing/jumping 3 with the height/reach of a short 2. He jumps very, very, well, of course, but has very poor court vision, unimpressive handle, and an inconsistent shot.

    So, I am not sure another team offers him a 3-4 year deal, unless they just like the fact that he played here and has the jewelry. I think Brown is 9-10 rotation guy; nothing more.


  55. @55

    It takes only one team thinking high of Brown. And usually there is this one GM who has hot $3M in his hands. I think everybody could show tens of worse contracts than let’s say $14M/4 for Brown. All it takes is one GM with love in his eyes.


  56. Whoever would choose Korver over Miller clearly hasn’t watched enough of those players. Miller was named to Team USA because he’s a team player, has an elite skill, and plays his ass off. He’s also a much better slasher and a far superior defender than Korver. And he possesses a good bball IQ. Nuff said.

    This draft seems to indicate that either Crittenton will stick, or Sasha really is going to play more PG for us (or that Shannon will actually opt in) Either way, I’m fine with this, there will be some affordable FA options for us to attract.

    I like this Ebanks kid. He doesn’t seem as athletic as Trevor is, but he’s also beefier and seems like a better rebounder. Hopefully he can be a legit contributor right off the bat. I don’t like the news about Luke – but does anyone know how insurance deals with long-term injuries like this? I remember hearing about insurance companies paying a player’s salary due to him being injured. Does anyone know if this will be the case with Luke should he be shelved most of the season?

    Also, wasn’t today supposed to be the day Phil announces whether he’s staying or not?


  57. Now, I’m not in any way being positive about this but check this out:

    This is not a rumor or anything. But if Shaq could go back to LA and follow all the protocols on this article, this would be BIG-TIME.

    And please, before any of you make comments on how washed up Shaq is, just read, read the article so as not to make fun of yourself by not doing so and commenting on a topic without reading the details. 🙂

    Darius, Zephid, and all the old-timers, any thought on this?


  58. @ 58–

    Don’t see it happening. Darius may delete this, but if I had to guess, Shaq winds up in Miami, alongside two max FAs.

    William Wesley, one of LeBron’s handlers, was quoted as saying “We’re going to Chicago and Bosh is coming with us.”

    As noted on the other thread, Ebanks looks a lot like Trevor. Hope he can play like him.


  59. Also, wasn’t today supposed to be the day Phil announces whether he’s staying or not?


    I heard the 27th–Sunday.


  60. #60. In his exit interview, Phil said he’d make his decision by next Friday (July 2nd). Could be sooner, but I think that’s the date. We’ll have some thought on that up next week. Also, I don’t delete everything. 😉

    #58. I’d have to say no to Shaq. Sorry big fella, but latch on with another team. I’d probably warm up to it if it happened, but I wouldn’t push for it at all. I’d rather the Lakers go younger or at least get a guy that’s comfortable playing the role that’s needed (not playing every night, but ready to give his 10 minutes of all out play when called upon).


  61. 58, Shaq’s not going to do any of that.

    Our 4th big will play at most 2 non-garbage minutes per game (1 at the end of the 2nd quarter, 1 at the beginning of the 4th). If one of our bigs gets hurt, he might play 5-10 minutes per game. Otherwise, the biggest benefit of our 4th big will be making our guys work in practice, making the team better in subtle ways. Shaq will not do any of that.

    Shaq won’t be happy coming off the bench, especially not behind Andrew Bynum, the guy who did this to him. He won’t work hard in practice. And he won’t be a positive factor in the locker room.

    If Mike Miller wants to join us for half the MLE, I’m all for it. But I doubt a guy making $9 mil a year, a former Team USA member goes that low.

    The much bigger issue is getting a back-up / starting PG to spell Fisher. Fisher could barely play 30 minutes a game during the regular season last year, and he’ll play at most 25 minutes per game this coming season. That means we need a point guard to take on the other 23 minutes at that spot, and I’m not comfortable giving that many minutes to Javaris Crittendon.


  62. #7,

    If you’re talking about Mike Miller then by all means, please send him to the lakers god almighty. But let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen. I had Miller on my fantasy team last year so i know what type of player this guy is, and he is a stat stuffer. Very efficient and would mesh very well with this team. Tall, has length, an absolutely deadly outside shot, and who knows with this team might learn to play some defense.

    But let’s be honest, there is no way it will happen. How will we get Miller? He is a very good player and will cost a lot of money. Money which the lakers do not have (want) to spend.


  63. Darius, Zephid, thanks!

    That’s what I thought as well. I’m not really into Shaq coming back, but just for the sake of him staying in the Lakers and retiring here makes totally sense, provided he plays or not.

    Although, I really think, the ego will never give up on the Big Fella. But, anyways, thanks!


    Another question here, if Darko opts out of Minny, how could we get him here? I’m really sold into this guy. Let’s hope he signs a minimum contract with us and he’ll be no liability, that I promise.


  64. will luke do the right thing ad retire? i doubt it


  65. Link to an interview of Ebanks done at the Chicago combine by J. Givony of Seems pretty aware of limitations and role he would need to play in the NBA although he does say he sees himself as an All-Star in 5 years. But all the guys have given that same answer to the question of where they seem themselves in 5 years.


  66. Shaq didn’t exactly endear himself to Miami on his way out of town either. So I don’t know how quick to welcome him back there they’d be either.

    As far as Farmar goes, I think he’s the kind of player who would put up some pretty big stats somewhere else and look good as a starter fantasy wise, but would hurt his team with bonehead turnovers and bad defense. Like a Marbury (not saying he’s at that level) or Zach Randolph. I think the Lakers coaching staff pretty much feels he’s uncoachable and is done with him. He’s never been a great fit for the triangle, but I think that may be more because of stubborness or maybe a lack of basketball i.q., than a lack of physical skill.


  67. did anyone not watch shaq playing this year?! he’s a tub of blubber, and looks like he has to wear a diaper under his kit. he’d make a decent mascot…maybe.


  68. I do believe shaq can work.
    If you think about it, Andrew is only capable of averaging 30 mpg, so Shaq can take 18 min, which is about right at this point in his career. Gasol can take 35mpg, and Odom will take 13mpg on PF, and IF he is dedicated to increasing his speed/agility this summer as he mentioned in his exit interview, he can have 13mpg on SF from Artest leftovers (Artest is prob 35mpg guy).
    Then, we can have Sasha backing up Kobe and Fish, and perhaps another pg. So it’s a 9-man rotation (5 frontline players in SF, PF, and C, and 4 backcourt players in PG and SG).


  69. cjm, I doubt you’ll even score a point on him, more so walk straightly after he dunks on you.
    To be honest, Shaq is still a good player and he still demands double teams. We were watching different CAVS games, maybe.


  70. Renato Afonso June 26, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Some of you mentioned Shaun Livingston… How could I forget him? I would LOVE to see Shaun Livingston in a Lakers uniform. I’ve always liked him and while he will not be a superstar, he is long enough to hide his defensive weakness’ with his long arms. If he could develop a consistent 3 pointer then I’m all for it!

    Who’s after him nowadays?


  71. before kobe helps shaq get another ring, he will rip off his shooting hand.

    having mike miller on the team would be a major upgrade. if he is willing to accept half of what he got last year, the lakers might pull the trigger. he could give kobe and ron a break… always loved his skills and he always competes.

    minnesota is shopping jonny flynn… any thoughts on that?


  72. The players have changed. Everything points to LBJ and Bosh joining Rose and Deng in Chicago. What that means is the Bulls will win the next 8 championships unless the Lakers spend the full MLE to bring in a average starting PG. And even then I would still bet on that Bulls team.


  73. I love Ebanks pick. He will play this year for 5 to 7 minutes per game. Critt is key to where Lakers go next with PG. Lakers know him do they think he can fill that role of being Derek’s replacement? Then search is over and done. Irony on Farmar is this – Phil very well may retire. Do the Lakers stay with the triangle? Not sure then all of sudden it makes sense to possibly keep him?? I love Shannon but let’s be honest he has questionable basketball IQ can not play the point and is more of a tweener SG/SF than PG (as stated earlier by someone else full kudos). So I would not pay him more than what he gets now. The team is doing everything to cut costs and lets be honest it almost cost them a championship. The refusal to trade Ammo to pick up a shooter last year almost did them in. Since they did not use their biggest trading chip then it is hard to see them do anything this year but pare down contracts so expect Fish only if he will take vet minimum. DJ is even probably too much money. Luke retiring would be a god send but doubt it will happen. Bosh trade (if even considered) will not occur cause of long term money/contracts. Now economy sucks but Lakers revenue has clearly not dropped. Seats all taken and money is clearly flowing in but Buss wants to limit luxury tax which he pays a lot to say the least so no Bosh, and very little bench (do not be surprised if Lakers do not even use full MLE this year). As for Bosh, we need to make a move for him since it is clear that Miami or Chicago could get him and LeBron together! By getting Bosh we have won the arms race by removing a valuable piece from the board. My only regret is that lamar played so badly in playoffs that we cannot unload him to Toronto instead of Andrew. But again doubt it will happen. Money saving time unless jeanie can keep whispering in her Dad’s ear, “one more to tie Boston and two to overtake them” possible but doubtful unless some more money is spent… I think when all is said and done there will be one other “super” team in the east, we will have a very raw bench so it’s good that Pau (and hopefully Kobe) did not go to the worlds this year, and OKC will be much improved. So in for I think a somewhat rough year with a lot of minutes for our starters. This year Odom can’t be a luxury and needs to earn his paycheck, and win 6th man. And biggest question is who will coach and what system will we use?


  74. I saw Tom Penn (ESPN’s proclaimed “capologist”) on ESPN and he made this cogent point. All these teams trying to have 3 max players beware. The new CBA may have a more punitive luxury tax. As it stands, it’s a dollar for dollar penalty right now, but he believes that it could be a tier system where after a certain point, it could be 2 dollar per dollar penalty or even more.

    If teams get 3 max players, their respective salaries increase every year, to a point where 3 max salaries accelerate up to $70 mil in a few years! Therefore, all these talks of Bosh to LA are simply untrue and moot. We literally cannot afford 3 max players and no one knows how punitive the new CBA will be. It’s great to have the triumvirate of LBJ/Bosh/?, but you will literally have to pay for it and you will be salary capped until kingdom come.

    I have no problems with the front office being “thrifty” (can’t say they’re being cheap, look at how much salary they pay out). Hopefully, Ebanks pans out to be a solid role player, and that we find some gems out there for cheap.


  75. 50-

    Two things:

    1) I completely disagree that the lakers can win a championship as the #6 seed. HCA does matter, especially in the finals. And the fact that Houston’s run was a rarity should tell you something.

    2) And Kobe is never going to consent to playing 30 minutes a game.

    3) Miller is worth more than 2 million to us. I don’t think he’s going to settle for only part of the MLE anyways, so it’s a meaningless discussion. But he’s worth a lot more than the vet minimum to us if we could get him, imo.


  76. i think they still should of choosing a guard. it was players that averaged some effective point . all though they did’nt average 20 points a game but they did average 13 points and stuff like that. i think that many points can help you win a game i mean fisher does’nt even score that many points a game about the same. they were still some good guard out their . just poor drafting.


  77. they could good scottie reynolds, sherron collins players like that. at pick 58.


  78. @ 68,

    I know, but Miami is going to need to fill out the roster after they get their two max guys, and I think Riley will be back on the bench. They need a 5; Riley likes vets and big names, and Shaq as we all know likes the spotlight, even if he only has a piece of it. Also, Miami is in effect starting their team over again, even if they still have Wade, so I don’t think the past would matter so much.

    As to Mike Miller: he might conceivably come here for the entire MLE, if, like Artest, he really wants to be a Laker. Don’t see it happening, though. I expect that the team will add Blake, and then try to add a 5 at the vets’ minimum, use Ebanks to back up Artest unless Ebanks bombs badly in summer league/training camp, and that will be the team. I think Blake will have Farmar’s job, playing about 24 minutes a game instead of 15, and Javaris Crittenton, obviously a favorite of Kupchak’s, will have Brown’s roster spot, with Vujacic getting Brown’s minutes. The comments Kupchak made about Walton’s back were significant, IMO.

    The Bosh thing seems unlikely, as I think he will go to Chicago or Miami with Wade or James. It is, however, possible, in the wake of the Hinrich deal, that Wade AND James will go to Chicago together as Jordan/Pippen II. If that happens, then I do think Bosh’s agent will seriously approach the Lakers, and also Mark Cuban (remember Bosh is a Dallas native) will try to use Dampier’s contract and some other maneuvers to get Bosh to replace Nowitzki.


  79. @74,

    I agree on many levels. I think given the way Cleveland lost (in 6, conference semis, two blowouts and two other 9-10 point losses) James’ #1 thing now is going to be landing where he thinks he is most likely to be hoisting the O’Brien Trophy and shaking hands with Bill Russell next June. Had the Cavs lost a seven-game barnburner in the Finals, I think he would have stayed. Had they won, I think he would have either stayed or gone to New York. Now, I think he will go to Chicago or Miami with either Wade or Bosh.


  80. Phillip has some links up on the draft. More info on the guys that we hope to make the squad.


  81. 41- Darius
    Very well put about Shannon, that is exactly how I see that playing out.

    Wonder if Korver would take $2-3M, otherwise it looks like Bell. I’m sure Kupchak is casting his rod into the “come here cheap and win a ring” pond.

    Love what I’m reading about Ebanks. I would imagine him working hard and being a Luke Mbah A Moute tough defender type of player.

    Then develop his jumper and go from there.

    On B. Shaw interviewing with CLE, no way we lose out on him, b/c he’s going to wait for P. Jackson to make his decision. If PJ resigns, then B. Shaw will start to get serious with other suitors. His first choice is to coach LA. We have to wait for one week, b/c after Lebron signs EVERYTHING will be revealed, like our coach for next season.


  82. yeah, Aaron, why don’t we just get it all over with now and crown the bulls champions for the next 8 seasons? why even play out the seasons? because, i mean, “everything points” to LBJ and Bosh going there so it’s all over. i mean there’s no way we can win so why don’t we just focus on cutting costs and rebuilding for when all the bulls will be leaving their primes…it must be totally exhausting to constantly think that the sky is falling. we just won our second championship in as many years. we are the best team and we have our core intact. we have some areas to address but i have faith that we will address them accordingly. IF that bulls team were to be assembled it would be a heck of a team, but we’re a heck of a team too with the rings to show for it. it’s undoubtedly a great time to be a laker fan. please enjoy it.

    regarding the draft, i agree with many of the previous posters regarding ebanks; i love the pick. as some have said, point guard and center may have been greater needs for us but at 43 taking the best available player is the best strategy and it seems to be the strategy we took. in addition, when we basically swapped artest for ariza i liked the move because i thought that what artest would add to the team through his physicality, toughness, and offensive skill would outweigh what we lost in ariza’s length, athleticism, and energy. at season’s end, i still believe that the addition of artest improved us as a team but that, at times, we really missed the length and infusion of energy that a slasher like ariza brought. if, and it is a big “if” because it seems as though ariza got to where he was/is offensively through A LOT of hard work, he can effectively develop his offensive game i think ebanks could be the same type of player as ariza in the same type of role thus adding another tool to our toolbox of players and diversifying what we can do on the court. any time you can take a guy that late that could potentially add a dimension to your team, it think it’s a great move. i am extrememly hopeful that he sticks and develops into the type of player he is capable of becoming. my hopes for caracter are not as high but he seems to be a good pick at 58 and good enough to potentially make the team as a cheap 5th big with his offensive ability and rebounding skill. that’s all you can really ask for at 58.


  83. Rumor: Miami is considering handing Michael Beasley to Boston for Rasheed Wallace’s contract, which counts as an expiring with Wallace retiring. This would give Miami enough money to sign THREE max players, and they would then try to get Wade, Bosh and James.


  84. we are going to be better next year, just by having andrew and kobe healthy again. artest will play better too; probably much better now that he has his ring and all the pressure is off. even pau seems to be improving his game, even though he has been in the league 10 years. all in all i think it is the other teams who need to be worried, not us.

    my gut feel is that odom will be traded to bring in a quality vet at PG (maybe at another position) without increasing the pay-roll.


  85. DY,
    I agree. Not trying to state that Buss is cheap but think it unlikely he will spend more money this year. Heisler article in LA Times today agrees unfortunately that the Lakers may not even use MLE.


  86. @85

    There is no way that LJ and Flash can play on the same team. They both are used to having the ball in their hands.


  87. There is no way that LJ and Flash can play on the same team. They both are used to having the ball in their hands.


    Naw. I doubt it happens, but they could certainly do it.