Fast Break Thoughts…A Week Of Waiting

Darius Soriano —  June 28, 2010

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Welcome to the longest week of our lives, Lakers fans…

*Phil Jackson is set to make a decision on his coaching future at the end of this week and honestly the waiting is going to kill me.  In the same way that Cavs fans are wondering if Lebron is going to stay or go, I’m wondering what Phil is going to decide.  Last week he said he’s leaning towards retiring, but recently also said that his 13 total championships (11 as a coach, 2 as a player with the Knicks) may be an unlucky number to stop at.  So, as like everything else with Phil, who knows what his decision is going to be.  I’m hopeful that he returns for at least one more season as an unprecedented 4th three-peat as coach is an achievement that he has the inside track on.  But as a fan of the Lakers, I’m selfish like that.  I want the best chance possible for the Lakers to win and that means a team led by Phil.  However, all we can do now is wait on his decision.

*If Phil does indeed step down as head man, the two names out there as potential replacements are Byron Scott and Brian Shaw.  Both of these guys are qualified head coaches in this league, but I’d definitely lean towards Shaw.  As Wondahbap detailed over at Silver Screen and Roll (with some opinions from other folks including yours truly),  Scott is a coach that has had good results as a defensive minded coach but often faltered with a grating style and  suspect offensive schemes.  I don’t think Scott is a bad coach (the Lakers could do much worse), but I think the continuity that Shaw would provide is an invaluable ingredient towards continuing the Lakers current run of success (an idea that Kurt over at PBT also makes quite well).

*However, if the Lakers really do want Shaw they’ll (potentially) have some competition for his services as the current Lakers #2 has been granted permission to speak with the Cavs as a candidate to fill their vacant head coaching post.  Uh, I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to keep Shaw in house.  Even if Phil does return, I’d like to keep Shaw on the Lakers bench as a potential replacement whenever Phil does call it quits and so here’s hoping that Shaw stays in LA regardless of what transpires with Phil.

*The other big deadline looming is the beginning of free agency on July 1st.  And while the Lakers don’t have the cap space to pursue the big names of Lebron, Wade, Bosh, or Dirk, there will be things for the Lakers to consider when the clock strikes midnight Eastern (or 9pm Pacific) on Wednesday.  It’s now being reported and confirmed by his agent that Shannon Brown will opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.  My two cents on Shannon are good for him.  He’s now been a solid contributor on a team that won back to back titles and he’s looking to parlay that into a more secure financial future.  Remember, Shannon’s a player that was drafted late in the first round, never had his 3rd and 4th year options picked up and ended up playing for the bi-anual exception this past season.  He’s made about as much money in his career as Luke Walton did this past season.  So, I don’t blame him for trying to maximize his value, especially since after next season the collective bargaining agreement will likely affect the structure and pay scale of player contracts.  He really should try and get a good contract now.  The Lakers will also have to deal with the UFA status of Derek Fisher.  Not to mention making decisions on the restricted status of Ammo and Farmar (likely renouncing the rights to both players) and whether or not they want to offer contracts to Powell and Mbenga.  Lots of decisions around Laker land right now on what the composition of the roster will be next season.

*If the Lakers did have some money to spend on the big name free agents, it’s at least good to know that they’ve got the owner and the franchise that players would want to play for first.  This is where Dr. Buss really does deserve credit as he’s a smart business man that has truly capitalized on a great market (look at the Knicks and the Clippers as examples of how this can go wrong), has allowed other smart people to do their jobs, and has been loyal to current and former players while also not allowing himself to be walked on by any one.  Just a great, great owner.

*Lastly, I’m thinking of doing a mailbag every once and while but would like some feedback from you guys on whether or not this is something that you’d like to see.  I’d answer questions about the Lakers or the league in general and turn them into a post either once a month or every other week depending on the volume of questions.  Is this something you guys would be interested in?  Let me know in the comments.

Darius Soriano

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83 responses to Fast Break Thoughts…A Week Of Waiting

  1. Darius,

    I think that would be a fantastic idea. You seem like you have a good pulse on the team and your insight would be very beneficial in my eyes. Keep up the good work. Lakers fans in Texas are few but we keep marching along. Keep up the good work….

  2. Mailbag fo’ sho!

  3. I’m down. 🙂


  4. Mailbag? Yes. I think that would be a pretty, pretty, pretty good idea. When are you going to start podcasting? That would be a great idea.

  5. i am interested in Lakers news at all times, and league news if it is “juicy”. LBJ news is not “juicy” to me, however, as I don’t care what team he loses on.

  6. Mailbag would be cool.

    Since FA came up in this post, I hope it won’t be too much to bring up a couple of thoughts on that.

    With Tolliver and Hunter coming loose in GSWland (although I like the idea of Watson, it seems that Lakers can’t offer him anything that the Dubs wouldn’t just accept on their end seeing he is a RFA) I wonder what they are worth on the open market. Obviously DJ and Josh play roles in practice and a few minutes here and there in games, but those two former Warriors seem like upgrades to me.

    I wonder how much of a pay cut Mike Miller would take to come to a champion. Brining him in for 25 minutes a game to fill the swing positions would be perfect. Dude understands the game and is skilled all around. He’ll get rebounds, excellent vision, can shoot from deep and is a smart defender. I’d rather get him then Raja Bell (although I respect the hell out of that guy) or McGrady (I’m just not convinced his ego would handle it, or his knees).

  7. Hey mail bag sounds great, it would definitely be beneficial.

    Keep up the good work Darius, Laker fan from Sac!

  8. Great thoughts… Great idea with with the mailbag scheme… And yes, I’m counting down the seconds until PJ, Free Agency, and LAL roster filling news begins! Since it was already a long week in NBA/ Lakers news, (Jackson leaning toward retirement and Shaw speaking to the Cavs making the front page) This is probably going to be the longest two weeks for a Laker fan.

  9. I think a mailbag would be great, I know I’m saying crazy things by stating I enjoy reading simmons mailbag even though he is a diehard celtics fan his mailbags are pretty entertaining. Lakers need Phil only the Zen master can truly manage all of the strong personalities of this current roster and losing him would be a huge blow to the lakers chances at a 3 peat!!!! Come back Phil for atleast one more fantastic ride!!!!

  10. I think Phil should retire, he had everything, and his health is not good. Lakers should realize one thing, Phil can’t coach forever. Lakers should hire a young coach to coach this team. People don’t know that if you want to win champion ship, Lakers must have home-field avantage, it means Lakers coach and players have to concentrate a lot on 82 games in one season. If Doc Rivers can win championship, Brian Shaw and Bryan Scott can win with the help of Lakers, how to sign good players, how hire good assistants.

  11. Why BShaw and not Jim Cleamons? He has also been by Phil’s side forever, appears to be more defensive minded, and also is clearly ‘tougher’ than Shaw, so perhaps less easy for the players to discount/less likely that kobe will be (perceived as) the phantom coach, like LBJ was in cleve. He also seems like the smartest of the bunch, at least in terms of interviews I’ve seen, and I would include Rambis in that group as well.


  12. This feels so much like the Odom drama last year… where we all checked FB&G everyday waiting for “something” to happen. At least PJ has set a semi time limit to let the lakers know. Mail bag idea is great.

  13. What’s to say you can’t have dual coaches (like having co-captains), or is there something that does? Phil can coach home games and play the consultant role (as Tex does) and Shaw can do all the travel and away games as a transition period to full time head coach in following years.

  14. Since I didn’t Reggie’s Mailbag on TNT this year, this would be a nice replacement.

  15. mildly pro mailbag. Why not give it a shot and see what happens?

  16. NBA TV right now: 4th quarter of Game 7

  17. I would just like to say that I WANT J J REDDICK ON THE LAKERS. Lets go cupcake, make it happen cap’n.

  18. Mailbag – I think it’s a good idea – especially during the summer. Give it a shot, maybe bring in some topics that wouldn’t have time to be addressed during the regular season.

    13 – This idea was thrown around last year – not something Jackson would ever do, as he said. Messes with chemistry. What if there was a higher win % at home/road – would create too much potential drama.

  19. mailbag would be great, it would enhance interaction on this site.

    just have to steer away from certain topics.

  20. do the mailbag. please.

  21. @13, 18. Actually, I’d like to see a modified version of this. I’d like Phil to come back, take a small salary cut, and have Brian Shaw coach the team (with Phil’s telephone input) on the two-week Grammy road trip in late January/early February. It would give Phil some physical rest on the toughest, most demanding road trip of the season, and give B-Shaw a little bit of head coaching experience. Win-win for both sides.

    PS – pro-mailbag

  22. Pro-mailbag.

    This will be an interesting couple of weeks, to be sure. I want Phil back, but I want his decision fast one way or the other, because I would much rather have BShaw as the new head coach rather than BScott, for many reasons.

    On the player front, I’m not all that bummed about ShanWOW opting out. As Darius said, he hasn’t made very much money in his career, and he needs to maximize his income now while he still can. And I don’t really think it hurts the team all that much. While his highlight reel dunks were always exciting, he didn’t bring all that much to the table in terms of shooting, ballhandling, or playmaking, and his defense was never as good as I thought it should be. He can certainly be replaced.

    OTOH, I’m not sure what to make about Heisler’s article in the LAT yesterday basically saying that the Lakers were looking to deal LO. I can’t imagine that to be the case, after AB went through a 3rd season with a fairly severe knee injury, but if Dr. Buss is really feeling the financial push I guess it could be.

    That also makes me wonder about what moves, if any, we’ll make in FA. I’m assuming that both Brown and Farmar are gone, and if Heisler is right that means that they aren’t going to use the MLE or the LLE, which is a terrible mistake. We desperately need a new PG – preferably one who can start and let DFish play limited minutes, but a serviceable backup at the very least. If we fail to fill that need *and* deal LO, then we are in serious trouble insofar as going for a 3rd consecutive title.

    But I just can’t believe it. I can’t see the Lakers letting the window on Kobe’s last 2-3 years as an elite player close this early.

  23. How about not just mailbag, but mailbag *roundtable*? 😀 If not, just mailbag is awesome too, since more people in a post is going to require more work and coordination. So long as we can avoid sending in 1000x trade scenarios?

  24. I’m in total agreement with you Darius in regards to who should be our next coach if Phil decides to step down. B. Shaw has quietly paid his dues over the past 5 yrs (I believe) and has definitely earned the opportunity to pace the sidelines in Staples Center as the Head Coach of the Back 2 Back World Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Just love the sound of that). Nothing ‘gainst Byron Scott, who I know still Bleeds Purple & Gold, but enough with the ‘Recycled Coaches’ Theme. Just as Monty Williams & Tom Thibodeau are getting their chance to Show & Prove, B. Shaw should be granted the same allowance. Hopefully, it will be with us and not some other Organization. And as far as the Mailbag Idea, I’m wit’ it.

  25. #24. Tra,
    I think you’ve made a good point about recycled coaches. The thing is, Scott’s a known commodity that has had both good and worrisome results in this league. He likely does deserve another chance, but I think with this specific group of players and at this specific time the Lakers have a better in-house option. I don’t want to disaparage Byron, I just believe there are a few too many factors that work against him with this team.

    Also, it looks like the mail bag idea is gaining steam. I’ll mention this in another post as well, but if you’d like to ask a question for future mailbag posts, you can email me by clicking the link in the righthand side bar and in the subject line just write “mailbag question” and fire away in the body of the email. Like I said, depending on the volume of questions I’ll do this either every other week or once a month. But we’ll see how it goes. It’ll be a summer pilot program.

  26. Loving the mailbag idea. Dr. Buss is the best owner in pro sports, I know he’s looking to cut payroll, but he’s also a very competitive guy and if the Heat field a “Super” team of LeBron, Wade, & Bosh, Dr. Buss will probably do anything to defend his title.

    It looks to me as if the Laker’s will have 4 openings on their 13 man rooster next year. Brown, Farmar, Morrison, & Mbenga are out. And I would like to see all of the slots filled w/ vets.

    My projected L. A. Laker for 2010-2011


    pf: Gasol
    sf: Artest
    sg: Kobe
    pg: Steve Blake

    Bench (in rotation):
    c:Big Z (15-18 mins, still effective)
    pf: Lamar
    sf: Raja Bell (really more swingman)
    sg: Sasha (he’s earned a shot after the Finals)
    pg: D-Fish

    11th & 12th man: Powell & Walton
    13th: still working on it

  27. I think Phil should retire now because of his health. I don’t believe he should wait until its to late and his health is really bad. After reading the Rudy T article a while ago, and George Carls battles, it may just be best for Phil to either retire or take a decreased role. If Phil doesn’t want to retire, I think buss should strongly considered the “part-time” coaching as Shaw will handle the away games. If not Phil can take on a role as a consultant as Tex winter. The lakers are expected to play another 100+ games and Phil has struggled to get through the past two seasons. So now may just be the right time. I know its a rare opportunity to complete a 4th 3-peat, but if he’s not up to it, I don’t want Phil or anyone to sacrifice their health. If Phil thinks he’s up to it, he’ll definitely be welcomed back.

    Regarding Shannon Brown, the lakers will miss his exciting plays, but his production can be replaced.

    I also read the Mark Heilser, article. He’s speculating that the lakers are looking to move LO. If the lakers are, they are obviously looking to re-sign Powell and get some depth by trading LO. But with 5 open roster spots and the MLE they can keep LO and get miller/bell and Steve Blake/Crittendon.

    *I also think the mailbag would be a good idea.

  28. Thumbs up on the mailbag idea.

  29. I don’t think it should be understated how strange it would be for the back-to-back champs to implement a new *system* next season, never mind who the actual coach is. B-Scott is not a triangle guy, obviously, so to me it’s a big stretch that he would take over the reins unless management became desperate.

    To me, this simple fact could force Jackson’s hand — he’s going to have to make a decision before B-Shaw leaves for Cleveland. To me, one of those two guys is our next coach – period.

    You gotta think Cleamons is pulling for B-Shaw to Cleveland and PJ for one more year. He would stand to do what B-Shaw did last year (move up to #1 after Rambis left).

  30. Brian,
    I don’t think we are looking to trade Odom to dump K… we are looking to trade Lamar because he has never worked hard to improve and has been losing athleticism every year for the last few seasons… he is being paid more than he is producing. Having said that… due to the points I listed above I doubt there will be many suitors for Lamar at this stage in his career with the contract he has.

  31. Mailbag? Outstanding idea! I was all set to talk myself into sticking around for the summer league, and that just settled it.

    One more in favor of the mailbag!

  32. Mailbag – yes!!

  33. yes. Terriffic idea. one thing i would like to see is everytime an nba draft happens too. And i had thoughts writing the league. when that player gets drafted from a university out that city. he should automatically stay within that city and play for the that professional team within that city!!!!!!!!! Can this ever happen?

  34. things are starting to get crazy with Lebron rumours, steven a smith says lebron, bosh going to miami with no source or evidence already, going to be ridiculous come thursday, hope it isent strung out too long

  35. im all for the mailbag

    i really enjoyed the day-after finals chat the site had. i know we cant have a live chat all the time, so a mailbag here and there would probably be the next best thing

  36. The mailbag would be a great idea.

    After thinking about it maybe it would be good for Phil to call it a career now. I really don’t think this is a ploy for more money. I think the man is truly concerned about his well being. I would rather see him retire than see him deal with the kinds of issues George Karl and Rudy T have dealt with.

    As to trading Odom, I can’t see it unless they can get another quality big. With Drew’s questionable health the Lakers need a big that can fall into the starting role quite easily. There aren’t many bigs like that floating around. If there ever was a trade for Bosh (I know it won’t happen) Lamar is the guy I would like to see go, not Bynum. (Forgive me for the trade spec, Darius).

    Say Phil does retire. The thing I am thinking about most is the Lakers in a post-Triangle era. They have run the offense for a decade. How different would this team look without the Triangle? Would Fish’s value decrease in a more traditional offense? Would Kobe look a little more mortal in an offense that doesn’t give him the spacing to operate? Would Artest look better on offense? How would the pursuit of new players change if the Triangle is scrapped?

    Darius, you know much more about the mechanics of the game than I do. If we were dealing with life without the Triple Post Offense how would that impact the team’s competitiveness next season? I know that is a pretty broad question. Any feedback you give would be appreciated.

  37. I think the mailbag is a good idea, especially for the off season as a way to keep everyone involved and the discussion going through the long dark summer.

  38. Big rumor circling via Artest that TMac wants to sign with the Lakers for the minimum and Mike Miller also signing to play with his good buddy in McGrady . Initially people are excited about Tracy as the 7th man teaming up with Odom to help a Lakers bench… but I can see TMac in a Ron Harper role (too many similarities to count as they both were star shooting guards hit by serious knee injuries) starting at PG.

  39. Now you talking, getting t.mac and miller. well if fisher is going to start i hope t. mac doesnt mine. but if shannon brown gets a bigger salary somewhere else. t.mac can get some good time. if fisher goes t.mac can get a whole lot of time. im sure jordan farmar will feed off a lot of energy with his high flying heroics.

  40. Maaaaiiiilllllbbbbaaaaagggg!

    I’m all for Phil returning for an attempt at a quadruple 3-peat, but only if fulfilling one more season would mean a little discomfort and not exacerbating his health deterioration.

    If Phil retires now, who could blame him as Laker Nation would surely not begrudge Phil living his retirement with some sort of mobility. After all he has to be healthy enough to sit in a boat and fish for hours.

    Its to late in Kobe’s career for the Lakers to bring in a new system, so if Phil Jackson does not return the head coach will be either B. Shaw or Jim Cleamons. Because the Lakers will need a triangle coach, then maybe a position could be created for Phil Jackson that would still have his valuable input, but not cause the wear and tear of a demanding season.

  41. Aaron,
    You need to post a “not safe for work” warning before posting that kind of news. I need a cold shower now.

  42. darius,
    great idea for the post. especially for times like now when were all searching for any lakers related news. keep up the good work

  43. Hi Darius,

    It might be helpful if the mailbag idea you propose could be expanded to the roundtable copncept that others have suggested.

    Here’s the suggestion I have for replacing Phil–now or (better) next year (I also posted this on Kurt’s blog):

    Let me throw out a wild card. Though I also prefer Shaw over Scott, The candidate that might be the most effective replacement for Phil should probably be considered for next year, once the expected lockout is over:

    Derek Fisher.

    Derek knows both the system and the players as well as anyone–and is a natural coach. He’s already the coach on the floor, sensitive both to the fine points of the game, and the need to pull motivational levers.

    If he were selected this year, it might help Jerry Buss out of some Laker financial difficulties: offering Derek a three year contract for about the same amount as Phil earns in one year. It would leave enough money to hire a worthy PG starter from the free agent pool–and Derek would be in on the decision.

    Before you laugh me off, think about it.

  44. I think the reason that we were so successful in the PJ era(other than Kobe and Gasol) is because we ran a system that looked for players who weren’t necessarily successful in other systems.

    Even Kwame was moderately useful, and we were competitive with Mihm, Cook, Parker, Divac, etc., pushing peak PHX like OKC pushed us, with less talent.

    Fisher and Walton are others who probably won’t be as useful elsewhere (though Fisher had his role in Utah).

    So if we ditch the triangle, our role-players suddenly are exposed, and we have to bid for the same players that others do, which is never wise unless you have the eye for overseas talent that San Antonio has.

  45. Oops, meant Radmanovic, not Divac.

    Also, I think the reason CLE is interested in Shaw is precisely because of this… they can’t be competing for the same type of players that every other team in the league is and be successful…

  46. me a laker fan is prepare for lots of changes and i feel it in my gut. phil give it up. your health is important. shaw you got the job. fisher your staying. shannon brown you got alot of talent so go ahead and choose the teams. go shopping shannon brown. farmar you can still see minutes want you stay. odom lakers need to trade you and mcbenga and powell and farmar if necessary to get point guard and a awesome P.forward. I see the lakers doing a 4 player for 2player deal or dont be surprise if its only a 4player to 1player deal. give the reserve pguards more time to prove plus lakers drafted a pf from utep and a pg from the VA. so now the roster is full. good bye odom. guarenteed!

  47. the triangle in cleveland? no way.

    they have the personnel to space the floor, and they (might) have a dynamic playmaker. but if shaq leaves, there’s no post prescence through which to run the offense.

    lebron wants to win, pronto. how can they expect lebron to be enthusiastic about participating in what amounts to an experiment? how seriously can he take management if that’s their plan?

    i believe the cavs are just interested in crafting options for lebron, which explains their interest in shaw. the cavs want lebron to know that they are willing to tear up the floorboards for him by hiring shaw and implementing the triangle.

    and they also want him to know that they could go with ponderous taskmaster and ass-kisser byron scott. here’s a curious contrast reminiscent of ex-coach mike brown: a guy who’ll try to squeeze everything out of the rank and file, but loves pampering and indulging his superstar.

  48. Darius, great idea!
    Here’s my first question: Is there a possibility of players like Sun Yue, Joe Crawford, Tony Gaffney, etc… from past several drafts being picked up for next year?

  49. IMO, Scott is too interested in being in the spotlight.
    Even though he had some playoff success there always seemed to be “personality issues”.

    On the other hand I see Shaw as being more low-key, and with a veteran club I see more of a cooperative venture while maintaining the triangle offense.

  50. Hopefully Phil comes back. Our team is flexible in terms of being able to counter and adjust to any style (as the 2010 playoffs showed) so I think we can be successful with a new coach and a new system. Still, our best system by far has been the triangle. I am a huge skeptic of Shaw and I would actually prefer B.Scott if we had to find a replacement this summer. While Shaw may know the triangle very well and he may be liked by players, he has not led a professional team to anything yet.

    What is the availability of Tony Gaffney? The team seemed to genuinely like his existing skills, potential and work ethic in his short time here. No way he costs us more than 1.5mil.. between him and Ebanks, we could have a nice choice of wing help for next year and many years ahead.

    I don’t like trade rumors about Lamar, but he certainly didn’t make a strong case for himself in this year’s playoffs. He seems more expendable now, which makes me think the rumors may have legs.

    In the end, we need to trust Mitch & Co. They’ve given the team what it has needed to win the last two championships. I’m sure they’re hard at work behind the scenes making the necessary phone calls.

  51. 47/49–sun yue is playing for the wizards’ summer league team, and gaffney is playing for boston’s team.

  52. I cast my vote on the Mailbag as a yes. I like the idea of Fisher as a coach, why not?

  53. Dear Darius,

    As a die-hard Lakers fan living in Israel for the past 40 years, I can’t tell you how much LBG means to us. A voice of reason and professionalism. Keep up the great work and do the mailbag – something to battle the post championship doldrums until the new season.

  54. 21. Dude, I’m with you. Phil should be this year a coach of coaches. Let Shaw coach with Phil mentoring him. That’s the only way to ensure the triangle following PJ after he retires. Bringing Scott, and I do not dislike him, would mean a turnarround in our basketball philosophy.

  55. The T-Mac/Miller is gaining steam. I said before that T-Mac is good at the right price. And the vet’s minimum is waaaaaaaaayyyy better than the right price.
    Plus if Miller signs at MLE and Raja at vet’s, then let’s go rings.

    AMEN, Darius. It’s Mailbag Time!

  56. mark e. where did you pick-up that t-mac and miller is gaining steam insight? giggling at possibilities….oops innocent look as darius passes by.

    mailbag? go go go! LAKERS!

  57. oh allow me to explain my giggles. it’s just the fresh start, the fresh mandate and all those teams on a mean streak to challenge us anew. i want these lakers locked and loaded as ever with less of these injuries (if if i know) and more of consistency.

    and with this lbj-dwade-bosh scenario heating up (and likely dying a quick death if trends hold), teams might just want to boycott any beasley trade…save for…the lakers! (not pushing this discussion)

    evil grin! let them challenge us…GO LAKERS!

  58. if the rumors are true that bosh wade and lbj all intend to sign with the heat, does that force the hand of dr buss to do bynum-bosh sign and trade? i can see the lakers beating wade/lbj but not all 3

  59. chibi,
    “but if shaq leaves, there’s no post presence through which to run the offense.”

    You don’t need a dominant inside presence – Chicago’s teams never had that.

  60. No to Byron Scott. Mike Miller was a fantasy team hero for me last season. He’d be a good guy. Don’t we need point guards?

  61. LBJ/Bosh/Wade would be a fun spectacle if nothing else. They would need to amend the NBA rules to allow multiple basketballs on the court for it to work.

  62. Regarding the TMac and Barbosa rumors, isn’t the goal for the year to get younger, and not older AND injury prone?

  63. I really hate the idea of losing Bynum, I really like this kid, but I have the feeling the Lakers would trade A.B for Bosh in a sign & trade if Toronto also accepted Walton. The money would work and getting out of that crazy Walton contact may make it happen.

  64. I say, let LBJ/Wade/Bosh team up. These playoffs have shown that it takes a team, not a collection of stars, to win it all. How clutch were Fisher, Artest, Pau, and obviously Kobe during the playoffs? Boston had a deep bench and it single handedly won a game in the Finals.

    Miami, if they get these three guys, will rue the day they extended DWade by six years; he will be 35 by the end of his contract. How many 6’3″ guys whose game is primarily predicated on sheer speed, deadly quickness, and making darting forays into the paint, ended up being dominant past age 32? Very few.

    And tell me who will fill out their bench roster? Alonzo Mourning? Glen Rice? Gary Payton? Seems like that’s all they will have left to fill out their roster. They may have to raid the Globetrotters lineup as well.

    I hope we keep our core players intact. We have a great thing going. Let all the Chi and Miami fans drool over their shiny new toys. We’ll just look at our recent and very shiny Larry O’Brien championship trophies.

  65. Does anybody know how the TV revenues are dispersed? How much is split up among all the teams in the league, and how much more do the teams who are actually televised get? I am assuming that a LeBron + 2 other “great players” team (whoever they are and wherever they are located) would likely get a bunch of games televised, which would presumably offset the higher salaries the team would likely be paying.

  66. Doubt Bynum is going anywhere, for Bosh or anybody else.

    The issue that makes some fans want to trade him – his injury history – will also make other GMs wary of him. Sure, the Rapts want to get “something” if Bosh leaves, but not “anything”. By the way, it seems Bynum has worked out pretty well the past two seasons; well enough to earn two rings.

    On second thought, maybe Mitch can work a deal with Portland. They seem to have a fondness for damaged bigs …

  67. I want to have this same feeling next year: everyone scrambling under the shadow of the Lakers’ trophy.

  68. What does everyone think about Randy Foye? It looks like the Wizards are going to let him walk.
    He’s a big 1/small 2 who isn’t really a point guard but certainly can be in the triangle. He actually shot over 40% from 3 a couple years ago, and was over 36% percent every other year but last, when he was still a reasonable 34.6%.
    I haven’t seen enough of him to know how well of a defender he is, but what does everyone think? I would guess he won’t demand much on the open market.

  69. Ugh…Shaw “likely” to be named Cavs coach…

    I really, really hope that they can all figure out how to make sure he doesn’t go, then have Phil leave.

  70. Don’t go BShaw! I don’t want to be stuck with Byron Scott….

  71. drrayeye: You stole my idea, man. Excellent idea to make DFish the coach – he’s a natural leader, has Kobe’s respect, and I think he could still play while coaching.

  72. WOW. Way to make me look like a fool, Shaw! Man, I did not see this coming.

  73. Mailbag is a great idea. Here are a few ideas for future topics:

    1) What’s the true value of Odom? Paying LO or RA $8m might makes sense if we only had one, but now that we have both?

    2) Can you quantify how much influence does a coach have on his team’s performance? How much premium does he deserve over the average coach? Could Doc have won with as the Lakers coach?

    3) Ideal FA that would fit in the triangle offense (and budget)?

  74. Never fear, Lakers faithful!

    The LakeShow once won a title with a guy named Paul Westhead as coach. (You could look it up if you doubt it)

    As long as they stay away from both Van Gundys, they’ll be fine.

    73 – I wish they’d take a run at Doc …

  75. We’ll have some stuff up on Shaw/Cavs in a bit, but please understand that this is not yet confirmed. Multiple sources have differing opinions on where this is at in the process (some have said he’s the new coach, others are saying there is not yet an offer) and all of it can make your head spin if you follow it too closely. I think it’s best to take the wait and see approach.

  76. Ugh…if that LA Times story is true about B-Shaw and Cleveland. Ugh…Dr. Jerry and his fixation on Showtime could very well mean the team doesn’t make it out of the first round next season. Say it ain’t so, Brian!

  77. I truly doubt BShaw signs until Coach Jackson makes his decision. I’m sure BShaw’s first priority is staying in LA. He’ll be able to say, I’m getting offered X amount of dollars. Make me an offer that’ll keep my coaching talent here.

    In our worst case scenario where Jackson and BShaw leave we could still ask Cleamons or Hamblen to step up. Then use Fisher as the motivational force, which would keep the stability of the triangle set.

    Unless Buss decides to relive his Showtime dreams and throw away the triangle, not the smartest of options considering Kobe’s mileage.

  78. #59–i don’t think varejao is a triangle guy. he’s not a wennington or cartwright, with range out to 20 ft. and he doesn’t really have a back-to-the-basket game like shaq.

    the more i think about it, though, the more ilgauskas and shaq could make it work as a platoon. if they can be re-signed.

    and they don’t have to dominate. they just have to play a role and create space.

    #68–from what i saw last year, foye tried a little too hard to “get his” and it blew up in his face. i thought he was selfish, and worried more about his next contract than winning games.

    he is probably going to get something similar to shannon brown, i’d guess: $2-3M per.

  79. first, love mailbag. The first question I’d ask is “how serious do you think Buss is about saving money versus making the team better?”

    Second, don’t want Byron. I’d take Shaw, Fisher, or even Coach K (who might be inclined to leave after his latest title, couldn’t ask for a better team, and had success with the Olympians).

    Third, at the risk of engaging in idle speculation (minus the “our worst guy for their best guy”/salary cap violating ridiculousness), I have thoughts on personnel. I like Blake because he is solid at the three point line and takes care of the ball, but not sure about his D. I wonder how much of a salary cut he is willing to take at age thirty. My kid played tee ball in the same league as miller’s kid, so he has some sort of local connection (Westlake Village). Good instant offense there, but again with the pay cut.

    (edited for trade speculation.)

  80. @exhelodrvr/65 – The national TV contracts are signed at the league level and are divided evenly between the teams; local contracts aren’t shared at all. (For comparison, the NFL now shares (almost) everything and baseball has partial sharing of local revenues.) It’s indirectly tied to the CBA, so it’s likely to be an issue next year (if not before).

  81. I would personally be more interested in a comments synopsis than a mailbag, when appropriate.

    Sometimes it’s hard to read through *all* of the comments, even on an interesting subject, such as the recent talk about possible free agent signings. It would be nice to have a round up of the consensus and good ideas when a lot of churn is happening in the comments. I happened to have the time this last week, but sometimes I don’t, and would be nice to have a post saying “we’ve had a lot of discussion lately regarding free agents, and the consensus seems to be that we need some backup big men and guard help, with the names mentioned in our price range being…”

  82. I’m starting to resign myself to the idea of not having Phil Jackson around next year, but I hate the idea of abandoning the triangle.

    Turning a team whose key players are all over 30 into a running team doesn’t seem like a plan for success. But even settling back to become (yet another) pick-and-roll team seems like a big step backwards.

    Jackson said last year that he wasn’t interested in some sort of part-time gig (when the press was talking about something like having him coach only home games). I think he made the point that it wouldn’t be fair to the new coach trying to take over (or maybe that was my projection). It seems like he would really want to be fully involved or else commit fully to something else and move on with his life.

    I would hope that Shaw would hang around if he were promised the Laker head coaching role (even if he has to wait a year). These sorts of succession agreements must be harder than they look, because they seem to be so rare. Probably because there are lots of egos involved on both sides of the contract. (For all we know, Jimmy Buss wants the next coach to be his personal selection.)

    My hope is that a lot of this “let’s go in a completely different direction” noise is being generated for somewhere inside the Laker camp to try to pressure Jackson into coming back one more year to protect his team. But it’s a pretty thin hope.

  83. Shaw is a smart guy, and you actually have to be happy that he impressed others. This gives you a gauge of the talent we have, and that we shouldn’t lose. Here’s hoping that everything works out in our favor, and for the long run (not just for next year).

    As for Fish, he is somebody you want as part of your organization, whatever his role may be. He still has some ball left in him, but I would hope he becomes somebody who can stay with the Laker organization after his playing days are over. A class act.

    *This is a long week*