Your Official Lakers’ Free Agency Thread

Darius Soriano —  July 1, 2010

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With all due respect to Lebron and Wade, the biggest free agent of them all has made his decision on his plans for next season. Phil Jackson will return to coach the Lakers for one final year.  Phil said simply:

“Count me in.  After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

It goes without saying that this is fantastic news for the Lakers.  For the rest of the league? Not so much.  Phil has been at the top of the pyramid and the orchestrator of 11 championship teams and his unique style and leadership has meant a level of success that has been unmatched in the history of the league.  I think Phillip sums up the situation perfectly in this email to me:

The signing of Phil Jackson is obviously huge. Not only will the Lakers set out on a quest to three peat with their core players still in tact, the coaching staff will be back as it was also. Now, all of the Phil Jackson and Brian Shaw questions have been answered, we’re just waiting to see what pieces will be added to fill out the roster for next season. No matter what happens in free agency with other teams, the Lakers will still start the season with the best 1-6 rotation, a back-to-back Finals MVP and the best coach this league has ever witnessed. This eliminates a slew of potentially distracting story lines that would have plagued this Lakers team if Phil Jackson did not return this year, they’ll just have to take the court and take care of business. This situation couldn’t have worked out better for the Lakers. As long as they play the free agency period safe, it’ll be hard to find any flaws with the way the Lakers handle this offseason. More than anything else, I’m just glad he’s back and I’m ready for another title run.

As Phillip states, this now sets up the Lakers perfectly for the rest of the off-season.  They now have their head coach back and know exactly what their offensive and defensive systems will look like.  This continuity now makes it clear what types of players should be targeted in free agency and allows potential additions to make an informed decision on what the future entails with this team.  I think this also sets up a clear succession plan for Shaw to step in after next season and for this upcoming year to serve as a bridge to the future where Shaw can take an even bigger leadership role while still sitting at the side of Phil.

I really can’t think of a better way for Lakers fans to celebrate the beginning of the free agency period.  Phil’s coming back, the Lakers have their championship core in tact, and there are still many valuable (yet still low cost) free agents on the market to recruit and potentially add to a team that should be the favorite to win their third straight title next season.  Wow.  My holiday weekend just came early.

-Darius

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It’s not really a free agency signing, and it’s far from a done deal, but I still think it’s significant: The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in negotiations with Kevin Durant to extend his contract through the next five seasons for $80 million. Now THIS is a deal that makes sense. Not only is he 21 and the current scoring champion, but he is the face of a young and up-coming franchise that has a lot of promise. Keeping KD around for the next five seasons not only keeps their playoff team together, but it gives their fan base something to hold onto in the same way we received a sense of star-security every time Kobe extended his contract. This is a great move by the Thunder. They have until October to finish negotiations, but I doubt it will take that long. Durant loves playing in Oklahoma City and they love having him out there.

– Phillip

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I’m absolutely floored by the Grizzlies decision to give Rudy Gay a max deal. I can understand wanting to bring him back, he’s 23, can score with the best of them and is awfully athletic and the small forwards on the market are far from desirable (LeBron is not in their market), but seriously, you don’t give max deals to guys who don’t make the playoffs. Anyone can NOT make the playoffs. Rudy Gay would best be served as a complimentary player for an actual max-deal type player, not the top dog himself. Not to mention that he’s had a questionable work ethic and has been a black hole on the offensive end his whole career. He doesn’t have the same will to win that you’d expect from your teams best paid guy (re: Kobe Bryant). I think this move is way too reactionary to Gay scheduling meetings with other teams. Having him back is huge, but for that much money is ridiculous. Yes, someone else would have offered him a max contract, but let that other team deal with that problem. Way too much of the Grizzlies cap is going to be taken up by Gay for this next half decade, really limiting what they can do to build their team. They had been doing a great job of putting that team together – as of right now, their building process has basically stopped unless they’re willing to take on the luxury tax. Just a terrible move.

-Phillip

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To me, this John Salmons deal for Milwaukee is huge. This was a team that played extremely well after his acquisition down the stretch of the season and will now have him locked up for the next five years. This deal makes even more sense knowing that they just picked up Corey Maggette about a month ago. They are now looking at a very solid eight man rotation with Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Maggette, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Andrew Bogut, Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova. This team takes a significant hit without John Salmons so extending him was huge. Salmons has made a difference at every stop he’s made in this league and should, at the very least, be on the all star ballot this season. He’s very deserving of this extension as he is one of the least talked about players in the league who is making a positive difference on his respective team. I love this deal for Milwaukee. It’s not a done deal yet, but Milwaukee isn’t going to let Salmons go.

-Phillip

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With thoughts on the Darko signing, I introduce Zach Harper, the creator of Cowbell Kingdom and Talkhoops.net. He is also a regular contributor to Hardwood Paroxysm, Raptors Republic, A Wolf Among Wolves and the ESPN Daily Dime – not to mention the biggest, and only, Timberwolves fan that I know. He basically owns the internet and is a great writer, it was only a matter of time he wrote his peace here:

I’m not opposed to Darko Milicic being on the Timberwolves but it’s the terms that put him on this team that bother me. First, to sign someone to a four-year deal when they’ve never even had one good full season is really ridiculous. These are the kind of signings that kill future cap space when teams need flexibility. Second, with the addition of Nikola Pekovic from Europe, the Wolves now have too many players in the frontcourt for their liking. Since no one will acquire the unnecessary contract they already gave to Ryan Hollins, their next move will most likely be shipping Al Jefferson to a team for 40 cents on the dollar.

Trading Al Jefferson wouldn’t be a bad thing if they hadn’t killed his trade value during the week before the NBA Draft with offering him to everybody who has ever been a part of a basketball organization. And this is what the Darko signing does for them. It not only gives them a bench player for the next four years but it also justifies trading one of their best players for a pitiful return. This wouldn’t be so bad if they had taken DeMarcus Cousins in the draft but instead, they’re completely shaping their roster in an imbalanced and inefficient way. Darko’s signing just symbolizes this and that’s why it’s a bad signing. It’s a reminder of missteps and the bad things to come.

-Phillip

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At this point, we have already seen three baffling deals/offers: Atlanta giving Joe Johnson a max contract, six years, 119 million; Milwaukee giving Drew Gooden 32 million over five years; and Minnesota giving Darko Milicic 20 million over four years.

Joe Johnson has only been offered that contract, nothing is official yet, but it was something that was expected, but still shocking. With so many teams with cap-space trying to woo Johnson as a sidekick in hopes to bring in LeBron James, a lot of us expected Johnson to receive a max deal – but not back with Atlanta. We’re talking about a 29-year-old guard whose best season saw his averages at 25 points, 4.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds. At best, Joe Johnson is a second option on a really good team – as a first option, he has failed to produce a conference finals appearance. He is a good scorer and one of the league’s best shooters, but by no means should he be making more money per season than a Lebron James (who can only make that amount of money by resigning with Cleveland). For Atlanta, this would be a horrible, horrible deal. I don’t even see Johnson playing at his best for another three years, much less six for 20 million for each of those years. If it happens, it puts them in a position to make the postseason for the next few years, but nothing more outside of that.

The Drew Gooden deal is the least shocking. This will be the eighth team that he has been employed by within the last year and a half. He isn’t the smartest big man in the league, but he plays hard and seems genuinely interested in his team’s best interest. He has decent numbers per 48 minutes (18.9 and 13.7). Milwaukee definitely needed some help at the power forward spot, especially someone with Gooden’s size, so it’s not a terrible fit. But then again, this is a guy who has played for A LOT of teams in a short amount of time. He seems to frequently get lost on the defensive end, which seems counter productive to what Scott Skiles is trying to do with the Bucks. But if anyone can improve the defensive play of a player, it’s Skiles. If it doesn’t work, Gooden’s contract isn’t too terrible that they can’t move him at some point down the line.

Thoughts on Darko coming soon. And I JUST read that the Bucks have reached an agreement with John Salmons to keep him there. Thoughts on this also coming soon.

-Phillip

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The day that so many have been waiting for is finally here.  Last night the phones started (officially and openly) ringing and discussions began with selling points and recruting occurring in an attempt to woo that coveted target into committing.  And today, we plan to try and cover it all for you.  We’ll obviously keep you in tune with what’s going on with the Lakers and their goings on with everything free agency related, but we’ll also try to keep you tied in with updates from around the league.  Today is one of those days that it’s fun to be an NBA fan as all the movement and rumors keep us locked into what every team is doing.

First, there is some Lakers news to report.  Last night, the Lakers officially renounced the rights to Jordan Farmar who is now, officially, an unrestricted free agent.  Farmar is now free to sign with whomever offers him a contract with no concerns about the Lakers matching the offer and keeping him handcuffed as a 7th banana in an offense that does not suit him.  Reports are already surfacing that the Pacers, Knicks, and ‘Blazers are showing some interest in Farmar but may not be offering anything more than a one year deal.

And while the Lakers look like they’ll be losing one point guard, they’re actively trying to retain another.  The LA Times is reporting that when the clock struck midnight (on the east coast) the Lakers reached out to their own Derek Fisher tyring to get him to commit to returning to the Lakers.  The report states that they still may be a bit far apart on a dollar amount on the contract, but I think it’s fair to say that both sides are looking to continue this pretty successful relationship.  In that same report, it’s also mentioned that Brian Shaw withdrew his name from cosideration for the Cav’s vacant head coaching gig and is looking to return to the Lakers (in a role that is yet to be determined – assistant to Phil? Head coach?).  Shaw stated that the Cavs were looking for a decision before free agency began and he was not prepared to make up his mind on that timeline.  So, it looks like the new coach of the Cavs will be Byron Scott.  As a guy that was supportive of Shaw staying with the Lakers and Scott not (potentially) replacing Phil Jackson, this is good news to me.  We’ll see how it all works out in the end, but I wish Byron nothing but the best of luck with the Cavs.

Around the rest of the league, nothing major has happened yet as none of the top flight free agents have made up their minds.  However, there have been a few head scratching decisions.  Richard Jefferson opted out of the last year of his contract (love this headline from Dwyer), leaving $15mil on the table to become an unrestricted free agent.  Uh, wow.  That’s a lot of coin and I hope RJ knows what he’s doing.  Also curious was the Bucks decision to give Drew Gooden $32mil for 5 years of service.  Many liked Gooden in this market, but the full mid-level is awfully steep for a guy that I thought would be offered (maybe) $2-3mil for 3 years.  Plus, it looks like the Hawks are set on offering Joe Johnson the max they possibly can in an attempt to keep their best player in the ATL for a long time.  I can kind of see the logic of wanting to keep Joe (he’s been very good for the Hawks), but at that price for that long?  Again, curious decisions all around.

So stick with us throughout the day as Phillip and I will try to keep you tied in to the happenings from all around the league.  Any Lakers news will surely see an update in this thread – we’ll update at the top of the page – and if any deals from other teams tickle our fancy, you’ll get some choice words on those too.  Enjoy, as commenter DY called it, the NBA version of Black Friday as all these teams go shopping.

Darius Soriano

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200 responses to Your Official Lakers’ Free Agency Thread

  1. I hope Mike Miller signs here for Pau and Warren.

  2. Hey guys, I’ll be updating the website as deals happen from now until about 1pm. If you have any questions about any of the deals, feel free to shoot. I’ll be answering questions and getting you updates until Darius takes over this afternoon.

  3. Farmar might do well at Indiana.

  4. I am really excited. Personally rooting for miller, blake or bell, t-mac if cheap and a solid big.
    But, with this FO, you never know. So many surprises over the last couple of years, it´s really hard to tell what mitch is up to.

  5. If Gooden can draw that kind of insane offer, maybe Shannon Brown was correct in opting out. I was doubting if he’d get anything beyond the 2.2 he had. But that’s just some stupid money thrown at Gooden.

    If Brown does get a 3-4 year contract at 4 or more a year, then more power to him.

  6. I saw a post about wanting Ray Allen. First and foremost, him and Kobe have gone way back in the “I’m not quite fond of you department.” I think that alone is a dealbreaker.

    He is a shooter though. And he probably would be a decent fit…there’s just the C’s and the bad blood going against him. But man can he shoot…Which means we need Kyle Korver instead (according to K Bros.) I’m much more for that.

  7. We gotta make a run for CP3!!!

  8. You can keep cp3, i’ll take collison! I really think that the Hornets want to get rid of cp3 pretty bad. They understand that Collison is probably just as good, if not only a little worse and is making chump change. If they can get some quality talent for CP3, it would be a wise move by the Hornets. Also, who really knows what cp3 will be like. After his injury last year he wasn’t close to the same player. Will he ever be the same? I doubt it.

  9. Taylor: The Lakers definitely do need a shooter, but Ray Allen is out of the question. They’ve shown interest in Golden State’s Anthony Morrow (who shot at a 45.5 percent clip from behind the arch last season) and I think he would be a great fit coming off of the bench. It spreads the floor for the second unit, which will make Lamar Odom much more affective. Getting guys who can score with Kobe on the bench will be key for the Lakers in the free agency period. There really is no need for starting caliber players like Chris Paul or Ray Allen.

  10. Morrow would be great, but I think the Warriors will match what we have to offer.

  11. Mojo: We’ll have some thoughts on the Darko signing within the half hour.

  12. I’m on the Morrow bandwagon. Once I checked him out after people put his name out there mid-season, I’ve been all for it. But, right, I would not endorse Jesus Shuttlesworth.

  13. re: Korver, I don’t like him as a pick up if he commands more than $2mil a year because of: 1) his age (29); 2) just came off a bad injury last year; 3) one-dimensional player (3 pointers, long 2s); and 4) defensive liability.

    re: Morrow, he’s already being sought by other contenders who are more willing to use an entire MLE on him. Lakers will not. Furthermore, as pointed out, GSW will do the cruel thing and match offers to keep him in the basketball purgatory know as “Golden State.”

    Additionally, Mike Miller will probably not be here; he will command IMO $6-8 mil for 3 years plus.

    We absolutely need help at the PG position, but that’s going to cost us a minimum of $2-4 mil. That leaves us with next to nothing re: outside shooters. I don’t think the team will really look at shooters and the Dude endorsed “Swiss Army Knife Dorell Wright.”

    We will probably use the veteran’s minimum for a Joe Smith/Kurt Thomas player, re-sign Fisher, and then watch the rest of the league bow down at the altar of Lebron. IMO, Lebron never will win an NBA championship because he’s received his “crown” already: all this attention.

    “Pride goes before the fall…”

  14. No way in hell that Kobe and RayRay could co-exist. They truly hate each other.

    Loving the idea of Dorell Wright to play the point for us. Also would love to see either Mike Miller or Kyle Korver here in LA.

    Still very intrigued with T-mac coming into town on the cheap. He’s still got something left in the tank on a part-time basis.

    My money is on Bron-Bron heading to the Nets. Why?
    1. It would absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt be his team.
    2. Jay-z factor.
    3. Bringing hoops to Brooklyn.
    4. He is probably the only person in sports that could be bigger than the Yankees in NYC.

  15. These GMs should never complain about players making too much money. They give these guys the contracts then turn around and complain. There is no way Joe Johnson is a max player. No way. His deal reminds me of the insane deal Washington gave Gilbert Arenas. And look at the money Minny and Milwaukee are spending. Look at the players they are spending it on. Drew Gooden? Really? Granted, Gooden didn’t get a max deal. But $30 million?

  16. Regarding Ray Allen, setting aside the animosity between him and Kobe, is he really a shooter at this point of his career?

    His numbers have been declining steadily the last couple of years. His playoff performances have been uneven to say the least. Even in 08, he had a pretty bad post season run until he managed to shake free of Sasha in the Finals.

    This regular season, his numbers were bad. The postseason numbers were all over the place. Some absolutely horrendous games along with the occasional gem. The track record for 34 year old SG’s in his mold isn’t great. They tend to decline pretty rapidly at his age.

  17. DY-
    IMO, Lebron never will win an NBA championship because he’s received his “crown” already: all this attention.

    “Pride goes before the fall…”

    God I hope you’re right… He is the greatest physical talent that I have ever seen and I love watching his highlights, but I can’t stand his antics and truly wish for him to fall into the Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing category of ‘greatest to never win a title.’

    I’m sorry if that’s petty of me.

  18. I completely agree with Zach on the Darko signing. Kahhhhhhn! Usually, I think of the silly season as the time right before the trade deadline when rumors get started and people float names that don’t even make sense to trade sides. But, so far, this free agency period has been the silly season with some of these contracts that are being handed out. I have yet to see one reasonable deal signed. Here’s hoping the Lakers are immune this foolishness…

  19. Not interested in Ray Allen. He is too old. With the prospect of losing both Farmar and Brown the Lakers need more youth. The core of this team is a bunch of 30 and up guys.

  20. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

    For what the last thread was worth, Randy Foye for half our MLE. 3-yr deal with 3rd year as partially guaranteed. I’m sure the Wiz won’t be intent on playing with Wall, Hinrich, Arenas and RF.

    The other 2.7M or so left, offer it to Raja Bell.

    Trade Sasha for Ronny.

    Forget Mike Miller gay hair.

  21. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I did wonder the same as you guys on what Mr. Kahn is doing… I could imagine Rambis’ face right now.

    But the point is, the Wolves recognized they are not landing a big time FA. They are also in admission that they are not the best-positioned cap space team. So they make all these projects where they also trade Babbitt (16th overall) for a long-ish contract like Martell Webster.

    Rumor has it Big Al Jeff has played his last days as a Wolf.

  22. BTW, I actually work with someone who has known Foye since their childhood days, and actually ran some pick up hoops with Foye in Newark, NJ. My co-worker said Foye (as of two weeks ago) was in terrible shape, was hanging with the “wrong crowd” and getting mixed up with bad elements from his childhood days. In sum, my co-worker is actually a Lakers fan, he wouldn’t touch Foye at all. Just some inside info about Foye.

  23. The thing about the Darko signing is this: There is NOT a huge market for Darko, not at all. He wasn’t TERRIBLE for the ‘Wolves last season, but then again, he is still just Darko. They probably could have gotten him for 75 percent of what they gave him for one fewer year. This just effs up any kind of future plans and potentially sends Jefferson out of the door. The deal just doesn’t make much sense at all. But then again, when was the last time David Kahn was on the winning end of a respectable deal?

  24. All in for Morrow, Miller, Korver ( in that order) they can spread the floor and allow LO to penetrate and run the 2nd unit. As far as the PG situation. Must re-sign DFish and take a look at SBlake or Ridnour. Not big on EWatson.

  25. I think that teams spending this kind of money for the top free agents helps the Lakers, because it means that there will be less money available for the people that the Lakers are realistically going to try for.

  26. I think we should consider throwing a veterans minimum or a little more maybe at kurt thomas….hes definitely not young and spry anymore but he could be a great fourth big off the bench and hes a smart and could knock down that ten to fifteen footer to space the floor well…also i was wondering what everyone thought about lamar and the potential rumors (every year it seems) of him leaving? im sure u guys heard adandes cp3 and emeka for drew, lo and sasha deal althought im sure that wont get done

  27. As the first person on this site to bring up Morrow as the LAL FA MLE signing to be the PG next to Kobe in 2011… I am the leader of this bandwagon. He is a younger, better, and more athletic version of the now 29 year old Mike Miller. And I think we all know that any player would be happy to accept a starting spot alongside Kobe, RonRon, Gasol, and Bynum in Los Angeles. For what the Lakers need at PG (shooting/defense) a small PG would be silly. You need a shooting guard.

  28. JCritt playing for The Lakers Summer Leage. Might earn a spot on the roster for cheap

  29. I think we Lakers fans have to understand the market and budget. If we sign a Blake/Ridnour/Foye, that will be it regarding usage of the MLE. There is no $ for Morrow, Miller (especially not), Korver, since they wouldn’t play for a minimum. Essentially, here’s how it would break down. If the Lakers address their biggest need for PG by getting Blake/Ridnour/etc., the MLE is done. Shopping will be limited to the bargain basement bin (i.e. Joe Smith, Kurt Thomas, Escalade, dude who is tearing up the YMCA 35+ league).

    So when you make an educated suggestion, bear in mind these realities. Thanks.

  30. good point, DY. Also, because we’re in over the cap, double the proposed salaries first and then think about whether you would do the deal.

  31. My God David Kahn is running that franchise into the ground. His moves are unbelievable. I am waiting for the inevitable max deal of Rudy Gay to top it all of for Minnesota.

    Morrow will be a great fit as a back up 2/3. The Lakers 100% need a guy with his ability off the bench. An instant offense type of player who is unreal from 3PT land. I am just uncertain of how much money the Lakers would be willing to throw at him in addition to picking up a new PG. I mean an off-season of Morrow + (Steve Blake/ Dorell Wright/Another quality starting PG) would get pretty expensive and financially difficult to pull off since the Lakers have such a limited resources.

    I like the idea of bringing in a Battier-type player to play off the bench in addition to an instant-offense player.

    Here are my hopes for the Lakers lineup next year:

    C: Andrew Bynum/Tony Battie (Veteran’s Minimum)
    PF: Pau Gasol/Lamar Odom/Josh Powell
    SF: Ron Artest/Devin Ebanks/Luke Walton
    SG: Kobe Bryant/Anthony Morrow(3.5 Mill of MLE)
    PG: Derek Fisher/Chris Duhon(1.5 Mill of MLE)/Sasha Vujacic

  32. DY, while I understand that a lot of things some of the commenters have discussed do not work under cap rules, you have to understand that not a lot of people are knowledgeable of all of the ins and outs of deals made at this time of year. This is a post where Darius and I are just going to let rumor discussions go. There are going to be comments about unlikely scenarios, you’re just going to have to bare with us for the remainder of the day.

  33. 30. No problem. I’ve just been reading stuff by Larry Coon. LOL. Mr. Coon knows his stuff and I think it helps fans have more realistic dreams!

  34. Funky Chicken July 1, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Just one thought on Ray Allen: while I think it is highly unlikely that Allen would ever come to LA for what the Lakers would offer, if he and Kobe can coexist (perhaps a very big “if”) then the Lakers would be crazy not to sign him.

    All the talk about Allen slowing down in the playoffs seems to leave out the fact that he played in an offense where he ran (and ran and ran) off picks to get his shots. That kind of effort is nearly super-human, and there aren’t a lot of guys in their prime who can do that game after game and still knock down shots.

    In LA, those shots would come off the set offense, and would be the result of the ball going inside then out. Allen’s legs would be FAR fresher, and he would be deadly in that role.

    It’s pure fantasy, of course, because he’s not coming here, but for those who think he isn’t “good enough” to be a Laker, that’s plain crazy….

  35. heard another name rumored to LA. Matt Barnes. Should the Lakers seriously consider signing him?

  36. I, for one, am reserving judgment on everything until Phil makes up his mind. I am certainly relieved that Shaw is back in the fold, but there is still a lot of uncertainty if Phil retires.

    We all assume Shaw would be the frontrunner to replace him, but we don’t know for sure that it would go down that way. And if it did, do we know definitively that he’d run the triangle? And does anyone know for sure what his relationships with the other assistants are? Are we sure they’d stick around without Phil? Even if they do, can we really still run the triangle effectively without Phil or Tex around?

    It just seems like a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty that directly affects the personnel decisions.

  37. Memphis is giving Rudy Gay 82 million over five years. COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Mr. Wallace has done it again. Thoughts on this in a few.

  38. Phillip –

    I like the Bucks resigning Salmons, and I think they overpaid for Gooden, but I understand why they went after him. Who do you think they’ll get to backup Jennings now that Ridnour is most likely gone and Bell was traded to the Warriors?

    Also, any news on Shannon getting firm offers from other teams?

  39. I’d actually like Elston Turner as our backup C over Tony Battie. Younger, cheaper (League min vs Vet min) and just plain better. Morrow’s probably out of our price range since he’s in “So-underrated-he’s-overrated” zone now. Keyon Dooling could be a good backup option. But I think he’s leaning towards the Magic.Any idea how good a marksman Rob Kurz is? I faintly remember him going off in a 4-5 game stretch last season.

  40. While the salary cap limitations obviously hinder the Lakers, their best chance of getting 2-3 good veterans (my top choices would be Kurt Thomas, Steve Blake, Raja Bell, Dorrell Wright, Mike Miller, or Anthony Morrow) would be to convince them to come for less money to win a ring or two with 1 of the 2 greatest franchises in NBA history. Many of these players have made tons of money in their career already. If winning and history is important to them, this might just happen.

  41. RE Morrow: Living in the Bay, I’ve touted this kid plenty myself and would really like to have him. However, he’s a restricted free agent that was offered the tender by the Warriors who will now have the right to match any offer he recieves. So, be prepared to pay up the nose to get him on board and I doubt the Lakers are willing to do that – remeber too, a midlevel deal at $5mil per is really $10mil per for the Lakers. The Dubs will match any reasonable offer (like they did with Azubuike last season) and I think the Lakers should move on to players with no strings attached rather than doing the tango with the Warriors on Morrow.

  42. Ethan,
    “Many of these players have made tons of money in their career already.”

    A very high percentage of pro athletes (forget the number, but it’s around 50%) are broke within 5 years of retiring. For most of them, the amount of money they have made so far isn’t part of the equation.

  43. Devo, I can see Milwaukee doing the same kind of thing the Lakers are doing: just looking for a reliable PG to back up Jennings. Someone who isn’t going to be a defensive liability and someone who isn’t going to turn the ball over. Jennings is young and will play 32-40 minutes per night, they just need someone to fill in for a few minutes a night to not give up leads or momentum.

  44. when the kobe/gasol era comes to an end, i hope to god that the lakers front office dont hand out ridiculous, cap-killing max contracts to players that aren’t real stars

    this rudy gay and joe johnson contract are bad for the nba

  45. Phillip – Aren’t we looking at doing the exact opposite in terms of minute distribution? I mean get someone who can sop-up 30-35 mins and allow Fish to play 13-18 mins? Or maybe a 28-20 split. In any case playing Fish for more than 25 mins a night ,at age 36, might not bode so well for us.

  46. RE: Johnson and Gay contracts – I don’t see how Stern can turn around with a straight face and tell Billy Hunter, “The owners/GMs are not the problem. The player’s contract demands are.” I mean Darko at 4 yrs/20 mil with a lockout looming? Jesus Christ, Kahn’s the new Isiah Thomas!

  47. To emphasize what exhelodrvr said, during the last block out it was noted that a lot if not most of the mid-level to low level paid players live paycheck to paycheck. They want to live extravagant lives, get lots of cars, pay for an entourage, buy houses for their parents etc and really just don’t save their money.

  48. Anand — Yes, the Lakers will be distributing their minutes at the PG spot completely differently than Milwaukee will. What I was trying to say is that both teams are looking for the same kind of reliable PG, but the amount of minutes say a Steve Blake would play would definitely vary with the team he’s signed to. Not saying that they’re in direct competition for Blake right now, by hypothetically, Milwaukee would be able to offer more money for a Blake-type player while the Lakers would be able to offer more minutes and a shot at a ring.

  49. Phillip – My point is the Bucks would be much more interested in a Darrell Armstrong/Kevin Ollie type “Old Vet”. 35-36 year old, more into learning the coach’s playbook, solid habit, teach the young ‘un type vet.Kinda like the Kurt Thomas of PG’s. Whereas we would be looking at a “Middle-Age Vet”, who can still play 30 minutes a night, high bball IQ, wants a ring type vet.

  50. Come to think of it, Fish would be a perfect backup guard in Milwaukee!!! /jk

  51. Darius,
    You are sooo living in 2004. The MLE is now 6.5 not 5.0. So if the Lakers offer Morrow or someone else the full MLE it would cost them 13 million… a full 6.5 million more. But you can also look at it that Kobe is being underpaid… so that is 6.5 million that should be going to Kobe anyways ;)

  52. Anand — Milwaukee will not seek an older PG just because there are few minutes to be offered. If they have the opportunity to sign Steve Blake over a Kevin Ollie, they’ll do that in a heart beat. Point guard is one of the positions where you’d much rather be young than old. Fish gets away with his age in our system because we run the triangle and he has two seven footers behind him to make up for his defensive lapses. In Milwaukee, his limited athleticism and skill set wouldn’t work, and you can say the same for pretty much every old point guard. With a PG like Jennings, Milwaukee is going to move him around a lot to utilize his quickness, and they’ll want to bring in a PG who can run the same offense, or at least come close to running it. Having that “old vet” type player works much better with bigs than it does with guards, there just aren’t too many Sam Cassells out there. So while I wouldn’t be surprised if they did sign an older PG, I don’t see them actively seeking one just because the minutes offered will be far and few between. Foul trouble or injuries can have the back up playing huge minutes, and you don’t want your back up being someone who hasn’t played more than 25 MPG in half a decade.

  53. Aaron,
    The MLE hasn’t been determined yet. It’s set by when the Cap is determined. It’s why the dollar amount on a lot of these contracts really won’t be set (and can’t be signed) until July 8th. My $5mil figure was just a number that I threw out there to demonstrate the cap hit (I should have been more clear). However, from everything I’ve read, the MLE will come in somewhere between 5.4 and 5.6 mil – which is very clost to last year’s MLE which was 5.8mil in year 1, as the cap is supposedly going to go down or stay flat for next season. So, 6.5? Sorry man, it’s not going to be that high – likely ever.

  54. any_one_mouse July 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Morrow can’t handle the ball – he can shoot it though. Miller can do both, and is just a better, more productive version of Walton.
    Hinrich would be great. I can’t imagine that the Wizards would want to keep him, Wall (who they will play a lot), Arenas and Foye. He’s prolly the easiest to move though. The only way it would work is via a sign-and-trade. But I’ll stop myself before suggesting anything that will get edited :)

  55. STEIN_LINE_HQ:
    Lakers just announced that mega free agent Phil Jackson will be back next season

  56. Lakers.com has reported that Phil Jackson will return. No numbers were in the story, but he will be back.

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/100701philjacksontoreturn.html

    MUCH more on this later.

  57. marc stein just reported (via twitter) phil jackson is coming back for next season

    thank god

  58. @57

    That must be right…Twitter feeds are blowing up! ; )

    I hope it’s true. Good catch.

  59. Phil says he’s coming back for one more season.

    Let’s get him a ring to ride out on!

  60. A re-Phil for LA!

    Sorry, I know its corny. It’s the first thing that came to mind.

  61. Phils coming back!

  62. PHIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Phil Jackson is back, Lakers now have that extra incentive to send him out with the 3-peat

  64. Yes! Phil is back! Great news for the team and us fans! I’m liking our odds of Shaw being our head coach in waiting too….

    Something tells me that we will make some sort of trade or do something crazy in free agency. I think T-Mac is coming for the vet min. Bwahaha ;)

  65. any_one_mouse July 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    what does Phil mean by “the last stand”? Is this his farewell tour?

  66. mikeinchitown July 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    so that must mean shaw is officially the successor in waiting. yeah, i’d take the future value of the lakers job one year removed vs. a massive unknown in the cavs too.

    the certainty of the one year gives everyone a chance to test stuff and get it right. i think this sets up nicely for shaw to succeed.

  67. My guess as I said earlier: Phil told Shaw “one more year” and Buss told Shaw he gets the job in ’11-’12. So Shaw pulled out of Clev. Not hard to figure.

  68. Best free agent pick up this offseason? Not LBJ, Wade, Bosh, et. al. It’s Phil Jackson! Welcome back, and this team will make it an epic final stand for Phil!

  69. YES!!!! 4th of July weekend just got better!

  70. It looks like PJax might not be traveling with the team, giving Shaw an opportunity to lead the team on the road. I’m not sure how well this will work, but I think I like this more than the prospect of him not coming back at all.

  71. Phillip – Didn’t Phil talk about doing that last year (or the year before) with Kurt Rambis coaching on the road and ultimately decided against it?

    Having two coaches seems like a bad plan to me. Too many cooks spoil the broth…etc.

  72. Wow, with Phil back, everything feels much more comfortable.

  73. Rob, yeah, it was last season. I think it was Jerry Buss who ultimately said no to that idea. I don’t know what changed his mind for this season but it looks like that’s how things are going to be this season. I imagine toward the end of the season Phil will start going on trips with the team to get ready for the post season. Again, I’m not sure how it’s going to work. It’ll be interesting to say the least.

  74. I’ve updated the top of this post with some quick thoughts on Phil’s return. We’ll obviously have more on this over the next few days.

  75. I haven’t read anywhere that says Phil will mostly be coaching at home. Who’s reporting this?

  76. #77. Rob,
    I’ve not yet heard that either. We’ll keep everyone posted on that should news break.

    However, from what I’ve heard Phil’s actually against the idea of him not traveling with the team or his role being reduced in that way. In his exit interview, he mentioned that he joked about that last off-season and the media ran with the idea to the point that Mitch and Dr. Buss had to comment on the matter as it not being something anyone was interested in. The one thing I have heard is that when the Lakers travel to Europe to play exhibition games in the pre-season that Phil likely will not travel to Europe for those contests in Spain. But, that’s all I’ve heard about him not traveling with the team.

  77. The Dude Abides July 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Philip, where did you read Phil wouldn’t travel with the team? I’m already on record suggesting that Shaw coach the team on the European road trip in October and the Grammy road trip in January/February.

    Anthony Morrow is a restricted free agent. I don’t believe he would sign an offer sheet for much less than the MLE, and I think the Warriors would match any offer up to and including the full MLE.

    I think Ridnour is headed to the Knicks. He just seems the right fit to run D’Antoni’s offense.

    I also don’t believe Blake or Felton would settle for less than the MLE. This is why I keep pounding the table for Dorell Wright. I think the team could get him for a few years at half the MLE, and he could learn the triangle from a few different positions.

    I’m also not a big fan of Earl Watson. If you sign a small point guard who other teams can shoot over, shouldn’t he able to shoot or drive himself?

    I’m on board for a Crittenton signing at the minimum salary, and then signing a veteran center if DJ leaves. IMO, DJ would be better than guys like Joe Smith, Steven Hunter, and Tony Battie. The only useful free agent big out there who would sign for half the MLE might be Anthony Tolliver. He’s Powell’s height, but he’s stronger around the basket and is a better shooter.

    I think Jermaine O’Neal would be the best big man free agent signing, but I don’t believe he’ll go for less than the MLE.

    I think both our draft picks will, and should, make the team. Caracter might be a taller version of Big Baby and Craig Smith. He has solid fundamentals.

  78. What do people think about signing Big Z to a vet’s minimum? He’s a great 10-12 minutes bench player who can space the floor with his shooting?

  79. This was the first story that I saw about Jackson not wanting to return:

    http://matt-moore.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/22925824

    I’ll have to locate the second one. But it essentially said that he mentioned wanting to not travel in his interview. I opened and closed a lot of stories about Jackson, so if I find the other one I’ll get it to you guys right away.

  80. 81. Wow…but that not wanting to travel with the team quote could be from a few weeks ago. His sentiment might have changed, and I read somewhere that he is going to have knee surgery over the summer in order to avoid another prosthetic.

  81. 80. DY, that’s an interesting idea. The problem is that if we only offer Big Z the minimum, that’s something the Cavs would also offer. He’s a Cavalier lifer, IMO.

  82. I would imagine that since Phil not coaching on the road was a non-starter last time he talked about it, that the same would be true now and Jerry Buss wouldn’t go for it.

    Could be just a negotiating ploy by Phil to get a little more $$$ for this season, but if not then it may be time to give the job to Brian Shaw.

  83. 83. For financial disclosure’s sake, are you Dorell Wright’s agent? ;-)

    Big Z is the type of player who may actually take a vet’s minimum since he’s 35, and IF LBJ leaves Clev., what’s in it for him to return there and basically consign himself to be on a lottery-bound team. Furthermore, he’d retire without any rings. Worth making a call to truly find a big-man backup who’d actually be servicable in limited minutes.

  84. I’m not completely sold on that CBS post stating that Phil doesn’t want to travel with the team. That’s the only site that I’ve seen that’s reporting it that way and there’s not a quote from Jackson saying that this is his stance. I think this may be an idea that’s held over from the statement that was given last season that has since been explained in other interviews.

  85. 85. LOL…blame Snoopy for piquing my interest in Wright last fall. I think he has the potential to give the team a devastating perimeter defense when he’s paired with Kobe and Ron Ron. I keep hearing Jeff Van Gundy in my head, commenting on a future blocked shot by Wright on the opposing PG’s jumper: “That’s just not fair! The Lakers add this guy to a defense of Bynum, Gasol, Artest, and Bryant? They were ridiculously long last year! Now look at them! That’s not even fair. I quit.”

    You could be right about Z. If LeDouche doesn’t re-sign with the Cavs, I think Z would be a great get for the Lakers at the vet’s minimum. I’d choose him over Tolliver, DJ, Joe Smith, etc. I definitely think the front office should at least explore the possibility.

  86. the darko/pekovic is a good thing for the lakers. it drives up the price of thiago splitter, whom the spurs are hoping to bring over.

    i’ve been trumpeting josh childress over gay. gay is more talented and his potential is greater, but i think childress is a rock. there aren’t too many efficient wings in the league, and childress is one of them. i’m surprised the bucks didn’t go after j-chill.

    lastly, i’m elated phil is returning. he’s the best.

  87. I am now officially lowering my expectations. Check out Kurt’s FA update: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/07/probasketballtalks-top-25-free-agents-tracker.php

    Mike Miller a hot commodity. Blake with an “interesting battle” for his services, and Spurs, Celtics, Lakers, Blazers all looking at Morrow.

    Also, can we please stop talking about Ray Allen. Please. http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/weighing-ray-allens-value/

  88. 62. I like the “re-Phil !” idea. In light of the corny cover pages the LA Times has been coming up with, I can see them doing one with a Lakers championship cup, and PJ’s face beaming, above on the spigot, with your Re-Phil as the headline.

    We get just a LITTLE BIT younger and fresher this year (with a 3pt shooter in the mix), and we’ve got our cadillac team barrelling right down the road again.

  89. The PhilHarmonic Orchestra?

  90. I’d be shocked if Phil decides that he won’t travel with the team. Phil is the alpha-dog of alpha-dogs and I’m sure his struggles with coaching another year hinged on whether or not he could travel with the team. It’s hard to believe that he would put together yet another team with Mitch and not coach them for 10+% of the regular season.

    I think it would personally be a bad example to set championship expectations while not coaching for a good stretch (and critical stretches) of the season. No coach should get that pass and no team deserves a coach that would grant himself that pass. I’m sure Phil knows this.

  91. Darius,
    Damn… I was hoping to get around 6.5 when I sign my MLE deal with the Clippers

  92. Phillip-Yep from a pure talent perspective Blake over Ollie is a no-brainer. I mean Ollie was a backup to Eric Snow, for crying out loud!! but I just have a sneaking suspicion that Hammond might have pulled off A Too Many Cooks type of scenario. Ilyasova, Delfino, Mbah a Moute these guys are Skiles’s type of players. Maggette and a returning Redd not so much. And you add Salmons to that mix and Bogut’s gotta get his, that sounds a lot like Skiles’ second year at Chicago. This is where a Darrell Armstrong/Fish would earn his paycheque.

  93. Could this be a sign of the apocalypse for Mavs fans??

    http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=2105958

  94. #93. Aaron,
    If you go to Minny, Kahhhhn! may just give you that $6.5mil. He’s generous, I hear.

  95. Why does ESPN have that Lebron Watch graphic on their NBA section? Shouldn’t it read FARMAR WATCH? Is he not the BIGGEST FA this season?

  96. lmao #96 Darius FTW

    I agree, Kahn is just atrocious. How did he get this job with so little experience? He’s the Vinny Del Negro of GM’s. Advice to Glen Taylor – when choosing a GM, steal away the assistant GM of a good team. It’s a good strategy, I promise.

    Haha Dude’s right, I was the one who first mentioned Wright, but Dude’s man-crush has now exceeded my own. I still like Wright but I’ve become less convinced over the year he could play the point on offense. But for the right price I’d still love him.

    So the Lakers strategy so far, apparently, is to chase Blake with Watson as a backup plan. Feelers out to Morrow’s agent, but that’s unrealistic – the guy’s a restricted FA, and Golden State would match any offer we can afford. Looks like Mike Miller’s off the table, as he’s drawing interest in the 7-8 million range. No word on T-Mac or Raja Bell.

    I think Mitch is wisely going after PGs first. Looks like the Lakers FO is smitten with Blake, which surprised me a little – but I guess he is the best option out there. It’ll come down to if he’s willing to take a paycut (4-5) to play for a ring.

    Fisher’s agent might be posturing, but he’s out of his mind if he wants close to $5 million again. I was hoping to get him around $2, but now it’s looking like it’ll get done around $3-3.5-ish. I love Fish, but the less we pay him, the more we can pay a PG of the future.

  97. Since Morrow will be difficult to pry away from the Warriors, what are people’s thoughts on Steve Novak as our 3PT shooter off the bench. I haven’t seen him get a lot of run, but he is a great shooter.

    As a SF/PF he can stretch the floor a bit more and he will definitely come very cheap. Defensively, he is not very good at all, but I wouldn’t expect him to see extended stretches on the floor.

    Just another 3PT shooter out there that is cheap.

  98. MannyP13,
    Farmar’s going to Minny for 6 mill a year because he loves the triangle and they didn’t draft any guards this year.

  99. Would love to see Ant as a Laker.

    He can shoot the lights out, and that’s something our heroes badly need for the three peat.

  100. 98,
    I don’t know how difficult Morrow would be to pry away from the Warriors. They have been trying to lower their K and might not want to commit 35 million to an average guard when they have no chance of winning right now. Add to the fact Morrow would be most likely be pressuring Golden State to not match the Lakers offer since he would die to be the Lakers starting PG for many reasons. The least obvious being that starting alongside Kobe, Artest, Gasol and Bynum would make him look a lot better than he actually is. Imagine such a great shooter playing with guys who are going to get him so many open shots? His value around the league would be so inflated he would really cash in for his following contract. I mean just remember what the Warriors gave Fisher who 2 weeks into the season was benched in favor of Speedy Clackston?Having said that the odds are probably 70% that the Warriors would give him the MLE. LOL.

  101. 98. Yeah Snoopy, but what about on defense at the point? Have you seen the YouTube video from a few years ago of Iverson trying to take Wright off the dribble?

    CROSSOVER FAIL BLOCKED SHOT IN YOUR FACE PLUS THE REBOUND

    It’s really about whether or not he can learn the offense. The tools are there, he’s not a bad ballhandler and he’s a decent outside shooter.

  102. Snoopy,
    I don’t think they are looking to get a “PG of the future;” they just want someone who won’t screw things up for the next couple of seasons.

  103. 104,
    They are trying to get a guy who can defend and shoot from the outside for the next 3 years. The only guys who can defend PG’s are normally SG’s or a PG who is 6-4 ala Gary Payton or Jason Kidd.

  104. @98, Snoopy…Fisher’s agent is the same as Kobe’s..hehe

  105. I really do hope that the Lakers bring back Josh Powell also.

  106. I really like this thread and look forward to more analysis from Phillip. That is all

  107. http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=16675
    nice hoopsworld article about PJ coming back!

  108. kc – I assume you are joking about Josh Powell.

    Everybody knows Ammo is the franchise cornerstone.

  109. This Joe Johnson deal is Allan Houston all over again. We know how well that turned out.

  110. wagesofwin just came out with their free agent rankings. it likes dorrell wright a lot.

  111. I’m still hoping for Steve Blake-please, not Earl Watson. That’s a step down from Farmar.

    What did Josh Powell do so wrong? Plays for peanuts, decent outside shooter, one of Kobe’s main guys..why not bring him back if he’s willing?

    I thought Gooden played well for the Clips, but a 5 year deal? That’s crazy. Hadn’t thought of Novak, may be a good idea as the free agency cupboard dwindles down.

    The owners need someone to save them from themselves.

  112. 113. The only good thing Powell does on the court is sometimes hit open jump shots. He’s not a very solid rebounder at either end, he has trouble finishing at the rim (including making dunks), and he is a glaringly bad defender, especially when he is matched up with a first-stringer or a decent bench player. Opponents frequently went on scoring runs against the Lakers whenever Drew, LO, and/or Pau got in foul trouble and Powell had to be subbed in. I remember looking a lot at the +- stat in the box scores, and in many games Powell seemed to be the only player with a negative, while the starters and the rest of the bench mob would all be positives. Also, if the Lakers keep Caracter instead of Powell, it would knock off about $500,000 from the team’s payroll, plus another ~500K when you count the luxury tax.

  113. I’m convinced. Steve Blake for any part of the MLE. Dorrell Wright for the rest. Fish for 1 yr/$3M.

  114. And at this point in their respective careers, I’d rather have Farmar than Watson.

  115. we’ve got the biggest Phish in the pond.

    now go get the next Fish.

    yeah, that stunk, but hey ;)

  116. Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports says that Lakers met with Mike Miller and offered 5yrs $30million.

    http://twitter.com/goodmanonfox/status/17535044214

  117. Has Kupchak ever mentioned Dorell Wright being on the radar?

  118. @113. Wow…adjusted wins per 48 minutes has Wright as the 3rd best free agent wing player, behind only Mike Miller and Josh Childress and ahead of Paul Pierce. I’m not sure how that stat is calculated, but it must take into account Wright’s good shooting, low turnover percentage, and decent assist percentage. I wonder if it takes defense into account, and also whether or not the player is facing starters or bench players. That stat has Wright producing about 70% more wins per 48 minutes than Blake.

    @118. Wow. I thought Jerry didn’t want to blow the MLE on just one guy. I’ll take Mike Miller any day :D

    @119. Nope…one of the reasons I’ve been mentioning him so much is that I was hoping some reporter or blogger with access to the front office would bring up his name. But neither the Kam bros nor Kurt over at Pro Basketball Talk ever replied to one of my comments in their posts.

  119. This is hilarious:

    http://docfunk.blogspot.com/2010/07/nba-free-agency-day-one.html

    I particularly like the Farmar bit.. poor Jordan.

  120. For an inexpensive veteran big man, how about Kwame Brown? Kwame has the length, he has the strength and physicality, he has the defense, and he already knows the triangle. This time around, he won’t have the pressure to score, or to be a starter, and could just relax and focus on his strengths (similar to Lamar after he went from second option to sixth man). With the right direction, Kwame could turn into a Perkins type role player for this team. He would add physicality to our front court. Similar to Artest, he would have a chance at redemption if he helped bring home a threepeat. By all accounts, all of his teammates loved Kwame (off the court) when he was a Laker (not to mention he was one of the more entertaining interviews in the league). If he is willing to take a paycut, I think he would be an ideal backup on this team.

  121. #120, I thought you are kurt’s left or right hand:) shoot him an email maybe?

  122. If that Fox report is true, which I doubt, that means Lakers are gambling into going into the season with Fish, Sasha and Critt as their PG’s? That just doesn’t smell right to me.

    If they were going to blow the entire MLE on one guy, odds are it’s a vet PG.

  123. The Miller rumor is interesting. I too feel like this is likely a ploy from Miller’s camp to drive up his price (i.e. “pay me more than the mid-level or I’ll sign with the Lakers”) but from the Lakers’ perspective, it’s actually a deal that could work well. The key is Sasha, though. In the LA Times (via TrueHoop) there was an article on Sasha playing more PG and in a pinch, Kobe, Miller, or LO could be the primary ball handler/offensive initiator with Miller on the floor. Theoretically, the Lakers could go with a Miller/Kobe/Artest/Gasol/Bynum lineup (or sub LO for Pau or Drew) and have Miller guard the PG (if he’s not a threat) or have Kobe/Artest defend the PG (for limited stretches) and that would be that. Remember, the Lakers have happily put Kobe on Westbrook, Rondo, Billups and have deployed Artest on Tyreke Evans, Deron, and other big PG’s. Or if the Lakers really wanted to, they could switch every P&R and just funnel all penetration to a second big who’s defending the paint as the Lakers have some of the better defensive bigs who are capable of defending perimeter players for single possessions (LO, Gasol).

    I’ve said all along that Miller is a pipe dream, but I actually think that he’s the best fit as a combo wing/guard out of all the players that are out there. I still don’t think the Lakers get him (I don’t think they spend that much money), but if they did I’d be ecstatic. Even more than if they happened to pry Morrow away from the Dubs. Remember, Miller is a veteran, has made his money and has been upfront about wanting to play for a winner. Stop me now before I talk myself into this anymore than I already have…

  124. @122

    The way your write that, it’s almost like it wasn’t a complete joke. Haha. If you substituted “Kwame Brown” for PF/C vet looking to take the minimum, that would be a great fit.

    Kwame can never come back…he’s been banished worse than Simba in the Lion King…except he’ll never be able to be king…(I figured it was a day with “re-Phil” and the like…so…yes…I went there.)

  125. I’m on board with Mike Miller as well. It’s almost like they won’t have a specific PG if Fish is on the bench. Just a bunch of wings who can shoot and move the ball around. The question is, is Miller as quick as 32-37 year old, bum-kneed Ron Harper?

  126. I would love to land Mike Miller. I think back to the proficiency of the triangle in 2000 when we had G money Glen Rice on the wing knocking down shots (especially in game 2 of the Finals against Indiana when Kobe left with a badly sprained ankle).

    I think this offense in particular, with these players, would go to another level with a sharp shooter like Miller.

  127. 125/Darius: I agree about this being a ploy. I think the agent is targetting a team with enough capspace to give Miller more than the MLE, say 5yr/$35M. Clippers? Sacramento? Washington?

    He’d be a good fit for the Clips.

  128. The length of the contract for Miller makes me skeptical. I understand mgmt wants to win now, but it seems like they would go for a shorter deal. For that kind of money, it seems like Morrow would be in reach, who is younger, but probably has more upside and could still contribute right away.

  129. You know kobe he dont forget anything like he said in his presser after game 7. LOL
    thought this was interesting if we sign mike miller.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQTWMVCJnG0

  130. im a bit conflicted about the mike miller rumor

    mike miller is definitely a good fit and probably the best option out there in terms of free agents we have a shot of getting

    however, thats a lot of money, especially when there are a couple of other holes we need to fill

    but then again….

    odom and mike miller off the bench!?!?! i think we can manage with crittenton and sasha filling up the other guard spots

  131. meanwhile, folks on another board are going nuts. already assuming a 4-peat. oh well, it is nice to dream!

  132. I don’t even want to get my hopes up re: Miller, he is the ultimate embodiment of what a love child between Walton and Vujacic is…smart BBIQ and dead eye shooter. Is it beyond the realm of possibility? Not really.

    Be still my beating heart. But Miller is serious about playing for a contender, and being that this may be Phil’s last year coaching, maybe he’s contemplating being a part of a legendary and epic team making that “final stand.”

    BTW, Channing Frye seems to be getting paid a million dollars per 3 pointer he missed against the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Nice one Suns.

  133. i can’t count the number of times shannon brown and farmar stalled the offense because they couldn’t make a post-entry pass. miller’s a tall, deft passer. he’ll definitely make the offense run smoothly.

    miller’s game doesn’t really depend on athleticism. he should age gracefully. my one concern is his injury history.

  134. Darius,

    You have not mentioned “chemistry,” but Mike already has years of playing with Pau Gasol, and almost instantly would fit in with the Lakers schemes.

    We need to hope that Miller is this season’s Ron Artest. with Sasha as the odd man out.

  135. I think the Miller rumor is a ploy also. Landing him would be a good pipe dream for sure. And if you look at the subpar franchises he’s played for the duration of his career, he *has to be* itching to win. And I would hope that Pau is telling him what it’s like to win. And he should know that being able to play with Pau again would be like picking up a bike. Having Bynutestbrysoller would be a killer five on the floor. Pipe dream.

  136. Darius,
    I of course would love to get Mike Miller… but I don’t think he could defend PG’s and you don’t want to have a 32 year old Kobe having to defend PG’s. Thats why it is so important that the Lakers bring in a SG like a TMac who can start at PG so that Kobe doesn’t have to defend Westbrook and Rondo again. I belive we would be bringing Miller in to play back up SG/SF. Artest tweeted a few days ago that he was going to get TMac to come to LA for the minimum and that TMac would bring his best friend Mike Miller to come also. Who would have thought that you can believe RonRon? Boy how things change. So I think in that situation if it does happen… that the Lakers would be looking at TMac to start at PG.

  137. i like miller but if we replace farmar and brown with miller and more sasha then we are really short on penetrators

  138. McGrady???
    Miller???

    I’m so excited!

  139. I’m as big a T-Mac fan as there is,but his defense on PGs would make Fisher look like Defensive Player of Yr.
    As a 6th Man who could run the offense while Kobe rests(the Lakers prob want to reduce Kobe’s minutes during regular season)and could act as faciliator in small-ball(Artest at PF),T-Mac would be ok,but good heavens he can’t guard PGs at all!

  140. colorado laker July 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    pg problem solved…..trade Odom and Sasha to Denver for Billups.

  141. Andres Garcia July 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Agreed 139. TMac can’t defend pgs. Like him as secondary facilitator/scorer as part of the bench but post microfracture TMac cannot guard pgs. Pre microfracture Tmac couldn’t.

    I’d be shocked/thrilled with Mike Miller. Didn’t even really think he was an option. No way we get Miller and TMac.

  142. Just thinking…

    Are we confident that we bring in a PG to start? Wouldn’t the learning curve on the triangle be too steep to be a serviceable starter right off? Could a PG pick it up in the off-season and manage? I’m sure ideally we could put them on the 2nd squad and ease them in…but is starting even realistic?

  143. This is unbelievable. Buss must have given the go ahead AGAIN! I’m not going to get too excited…no, not yet….not until we sign MIller….but if we sign Miller, man oh man, what a team we will have! WHAT A FREAKING TEAM!

    I had Miller on my fantasy team last year and he was so productive. Boards, assists and points, not to mention an absurd 45%-50% from 3pt range. I remember one game last year he was 7/7 from 3pt range, if memory serves.

    This guy will get you rebounds, a lot of points and will stretch the floor like no other as he is one of the best 3pt shooters in the league. Oh yeah, and he is like 6’10” or so. But the best part about Miller is that he is not at all the selfish type. He will get you a bunch of assists and sees himself more as a playmaker than anything else.

    If we get Mike Miller, count Buss and Mitch as on board for the 3-peet! After that, we just need little ole Craig Smith, perhaps the most efficient player in the entire free agency! 60% TS%, 57% FG% –these are Bynum like numbers, we are past Pau like numbers and on to Bynum like numbers.

  144. Sorry to double post but Wright would give Lakers alot of what Ariza did but he has had injury issues.

    Blake was ripped in Portland for his D. He’s not that bad,but he’s not that good either on D. He moves the ball but makes incredibly bad decisions on the break. Deadly open 3pt shooter. One of those players that will every now and then show something that makes you think he’s more talented than he plays.

    Agree w/those who think Mike Miller would be perfect in Triangle. Again someone who has trouble playing a whole season. A great teammate type.

  145. from HOOPSWORLD


    Jackson’s return will undoubtedly assist the Lakers in trying to re-sign Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown. They’re also said to be interested in Steve Blake, Anthony Morrow, and Raja Bell. Jackson’s reference to this being his last stand is telling for his assistant Brian Shaw. Shaw was involved in the mess that became the Cavaliers head coaching search but they ended up going with Byron Scott. Shaw has taken over as the lead assistant since Kurt Rambis took the Minnesota Timberwolves’ job and is likely going to be Phil’s’ eventual replacement.

  146. #140

    PG problem solved!! Yes, thank goodness…now the much larger problem of the best defense in the NBA turning into an average defense surfaces! Uh Oh!

  147. 122.

    That’s an automatic ban for life from FB&G.

  148. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I’m lukewarm on Mike Miller getting signed (not yet its just an offer or so) for that much and that long, but I must admit that that is a heck of a bargain still for Gay Hair.

  149. Both of the Colangelos are officially done. Bryan just gave $34mil over five years to Amir Johnson. This is a player who hasn’t lived up to ANY expectations whatsoever. This is the official ‘CB4 is done here’ signal from Toronto.

    By the time the big name FAs make up their mind, all the cap space will be eaten up by the Drew Goodens and Amir Johnsons of the NBA. Oops.

  150. @114, fair enough Dude, hadn’t thought of the defensive end regarding Josh Powell.

    Kwame-interesting thought, strictly defensive however with those hands of stone. I always liked the guy, not his fault he was picked #1 overall by the genius Jordan. Don’t think fans would go for it, unless they all of a sudden got hearts of Forum Blue and Gold. He actually played fairly well for part of his stretch here, until the famous meltdown game, missed dunks everywhere. Is he that much worse than Kendrick Perkins? Definitely a strong body, and he knows his way around a cake.

  151. Kwame’s O makes Perkins look like Hakeem Olajuwon down on the offensive end. Please stop with the Kwame suggestions, those aren’t even funny as jokes :)

  152. I know I know! Let’s solve the PG problem by signing…

    Smush Parker!

    Really, I think we should do it, just so PJ has a ‘challenge’ to stay around for another season.

  153. Warren @ 146 -> Mike Miller = “Gay Hair”?

    I thought Sasha owned that title hands down last year and for all time.

  154. 151,

    Kwame makes a good sense. You can laugh all you want, but if you want someone who can body against centers just for the sake of bodying them, you got Kwame Brown. And if he signs for maybe $2 mil, I wouldn’t mind.

    He is a warrior and some people really have selective memory. His last stretch with us was ugliest to say the least, but that’s because he was a starting center, forced by Kobe to play the best.

    Becoming the 3rd or 4th man on the C rotation, Kwame can now play without the pressure. He is an above average defender and has picked up some lessons during his stint with the Pistons.

    Tell me, DJ Mbenga, Josh Powell, or Kwame Brown? Exactly.

  155. Smush and Kwame are both frightening ideas, but I think people have actually seriously proposed A.I. (!) Coming off the bench, no less. I guess some people don’t pay attention …

    At least, with Re-Phil there’s no danger of either Van Gundy coaching here (shudder).

  156. here is the ESPN article on lakers interest in Mike Miller:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5347642

  157. Just realized that PJ’s return not only gives him the chance to go for his fourth threepeat, but the ONE, the 17th that will match our championship total with the Celtics.

    Wow.

    I’m betting that this has crossed his mind as well.

  158. For all of you suggesting the return of Kwame, just don’t. DJ is vastly superior to Kwame at both ends of the floor, without nearly the experience. Kwame could help the team only one way: post defense. He was terrible at help defense, terrible on offense, and his poor hands and decision-making would directly lead to 10 to 20 fast break points for the other team each game. That alone cancelled out his superior post defense.

    That was an awesome Doc Funk post!

  159. Kwame brown and Smush Parker o lord. Those names should not be mentioned and be the blueprint on how not to use you athletic and physical gifts to succeed at in the NBA. Both HAD a ton of potential but never and will never live up to it. I wouldn’t even want those guys as the 12th and 13th rotation guys. Phil hates smush and kwame makes 98.9% of laker fans cringe. I much rather see shaq back in a laker uniform. Hell bring AC or Horace out of retirement.

    Now more realistically I would like to see a veteran big like a Kurt Thomas. And a versatile wing like mcgrady or a combo of Blake and bell. I’m not sold on morrow or korver. They are two one dimensional guys that can’t defend.we can’t forget that the lakers won two championships without a sharp shooter. I like bell and Blake because they are both good defenders and mcgrady is a dynamic player that can do a lot of things on the floor, even now. So if they can sign Blake and mcgrady/bell I’d be happy. Let’s not forget about Sasha I think he’s going to earn some time in the rotation

  160. i think kwame would be a good fit for the celtics. they like their bigs to set picks and get back in transition. that’s kwame.

  161. Now kwame to the celtics is definitely a good idea. And I may have nightmares tonight and kwame and smush being in the starting in game 7 versus the celtics instead of pau and fisher

  162. the other Stephen July 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    is it just me, or have ALL the free agent signings, even including the most recent ones (channing and amir), been way over the top?

  163. the other Stephen July 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    haha…i wish jordan the absolute best wherever he goes, but this–this is too funny:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CqDk4jAv_Y4/TC1ENgVeQ5I/AAAAAAAAEk0/BY5i5-Mu5Aw/s1600/10.jpg

  164. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=freeagentmoves-100701

    Hollinger wrote about such… and he predicts its only gonna get worse. And I agree.

  165. Real gm website is reporting lakers offered mike miller 30 mill over 5 years and has to accept by tonight. If it’s true I hope he does sign. I wouldn’t mind mike miller off the bench with abt 25 minutes a night backing up Kobe and Ron.

  166. Anyone thinks that Phil already knew Mitch’s offseason moves before he re-signed?

  167. 166.

    If the Lakers do indeed sign Mike Miller, then WOW. The only things remaining would be to re-sign Fish, successful surgery and recovery for Bynum + Kobe, and bring in J-Critt as the backup PG. Powell + DJ I don’t think will be going anywhere. If all of this speculation comes through, awesomeness could ensue.

  168. Good business, if the reports of us offering Miller that amount on a deadline is true.

    Strike when nobody else is, and offer something that shows sincerety.

    Good business, really. You show appreciation while nobody else is, and PJ returns just in time as well. Not to mention that we’re the defending champs.

    I don’t know, but that kind of an offer is hard to refuse if you’re interested in winning.

  169. I gotta question for anyone with extensive knowledge on the reality of the Laker’s free agency situation…

    If we sign Miller with the MLE and Fish for whatever’s left… Can we still get a back-up center and a minimum pg like critt or some other non-drafted no namer? (*plus retain at least one of our draftees*)

    I mean, that is what it’s going to take to have a minimal roster right? Especially if you’re counting on Bynum to go down for at least an 8-10 game period of the next season.

    C Bynum, DJ/ or replacement
    PF Pau, Odom, maybe Caracter
    SF Artest, Miller/ or MLE demander, Walton, maybe Ebanks
    SG Kobe, Sasha
    PG Fisher, Critt/ or no name non-draftee

    As you can see, it will take both our draftees and a guy like critt just to make this a 13 man rotation. Getting Miller with th full MLE is going to be like trading Farmar, Brown, and AMMO for Miller himself. While this is not a bad trade talent wise, it kills our depth of bodies we can utilize in an 82 game season.

    So basically my true question is… Does this mean we are going top heavy with talent and a REALLY light bench or does Dr. Buss have even more extra dough to bring in another solid bench guy on top of Miller?

    Thanks to anyone who clarifies.

  170. Uh.

    Mike Miller would be just fantastic for that price.

    He is like a Luke Walton, only he is one of the leagues best shooters, a little more athletic and rebounds really well… how about that, its like the Luke we all love – jus without all the glaring weaknesses that makes him a fringe NBA player.

  171. #170.

    We’re over the Salary Cap, so after the MLE is used up, we would only be able to sign players for the minimum based on their years of service. So yes, the bench is likely to be light.

    If the Miller offer is real (hope it is) it is probably a sign that the team will do what it needs to to retain Fisher, DJ and possibly Brown.

    I believe the other Salary exception for a non-roster player would be the bi-annual exception, but believe we used it up on Shannon last year.

  172. 170. Past the MLE, we’re looking at minimum contracts. If I understand correctly you can’t use the bi-annual in back to back years. We used that last year on Shannon Brown. Which is why imo, while Miller is a very good addition, i’d like to see the mle split up between 2 quality players. However, lets face it Drew freakin Gooden and Amir Johnson got 30+ million dollar deals. With an abundance of teams looking to add pg’s (Indiana, New York, Miami) guys like Blake and Ridnour are going to get overpaid. Beyond the MLE, we can sign guys to veterans minimum deals which go up depending on years of service. So we’d be looking at guys in the 1 million range. Think J Critt, K. Thomas, Anthony Tolliver, Chris Hunter, perhaps Chris Duhon, wishful thinking with McGrady.

  173. Jeremy,

    I think you’re much more likely to be looking at the top heavy scenario if they sign miller. Expect a three man rotation at the 2-3 similar to that at the 4-5, with artest, Bryant, and miller where bynum, gasol, and odom play now.

    The others, such as Walton, player x, and player y can pick up the slack.

    The money will be needed at point guard. A couple possibilities are: we can spend whatever we want for fisher and brown, and could possibly trade sash and his expiring contract for a $5 million dollar point, including sign and trade possibilities. The other option is, as you pointed out, a minimum guy. This doesn’t make much sense, though, considering the minutes (more than half, I’d think) that player will have to play.

    Best guess at point is fisher, and either brown or a guy we trade Sasha for (which could occur during the season). Who knows, that expiring contract has potential, to be sure.

  174. To get a shooter of Miller’s caliber in this offense? Lordy. Like someone else said, Miller is basically Luke Walton with hops and a knockdown jumper from outside.

    I think if we get him, we could seriously be looking at a starting him at PG a la Ron Harper – all he has to be able to do is bring the ball down, pass, and screen. He has the ball skills to do that. On defense, we just play SST, and funnel everyone inside. With his length he can play off of the little guys while still being able to challenge their jumpers.

    Then you bring Fish and Sasha off the bench, and you sign Critt for the minimum as a practice player.

  175. @JeremyLA24

    If Miller is biting on the full MLE, it sounds to me like Shannon is being resigned, and that Fish is taking a min-contract.

    That could result in a twelve man roster like this:

    Top 8 – main rotation: Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Artest, Miller, Fish, Shannon

    Next 5 – end of bench: Sasha, Walton, Powell, Caracter/vet-min, Critt/Ebanks/vet-min

    That gives us this depth chart:

    Bynum, Pau, Powell
    Pau, Odom, Powell, Caracter/vet-min
    Artest, Miller, Odom, Walton, Ebanks
    Kobe, Miller, Shannon, Sasha
    Fish, Shannon, Sasha, Miller, Kobe

    Problem is depth at center, so maybe the main backup PG keys will be handed to Sasha, and Shannon sign-and-traded for a backup C!?

    But Odom and Miller add playmaking ability to the roster, while Kobe can defend all PGs for stretches if need be.

  176. So basically we are going to have to keep our draftees and get (1 of) Critt, Brown, or an unknown pg just to keep the essential 13 man roster. Although Miller is a strong addition, I have to admit that worries me. I was really hoping we could have landed a 3 point shooter at the pg position and just had a cheap athletic guy at SF to spark our bench (Ariza type). Now we are going to be a really old team with the wild Brown/ Farmar duo gone. It’s not the direction I imagined we were going to take but at this point, I trust Mitch’s decisions.

    Thanks for the insight all.

  177. I expect Miller and Sasha to play some point during Fisher breaks. Miller would be an excellent Triangle Point.

    Ebanks looks to be an athletic wing in the Ariza mode that would make us younger if he makes the team.

    While we’re relatively young, it’s probably better to pair experienced players (ie Miller) than a rookie who would need several years to get up to speed.

  178. It seems to be Miller time:

    http://foxnewswomenanchors.com/ht/lakers-sign-mike-miller/

    Where do we stand?

    We’ve got Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Bryant, Fisher, Odom, Walton, Vujacic, Miller, and 4-6 empty slots.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have candidates. At summer camp, we will have 2 draft picks (Ebanks and Character), and Crittenton, a former draftee. At this point, many members of this year’s championship team (DJ, Powell, Brown, Ammo–and even Farmar) remain unsigned. There have been candidates mentioned that might sign for the veteran’s minimum (McGrady, etc.).

    This group is the most likely to yield our 4 (to six) additional players.

  179. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2010 at 1:55 am

    The idea of the triangle is to have many inter-changeable parts… this is the part where Mike GayHair Miller fits very well. Oh and did I mention he was a dead-eye shooter?

    No he can’t play PG but SG/SF is his forte.

    I wish the Lakers could somehow “buy” Nick Calathes from Dallas…

    Oh and Fisher has birds therefore we need not worry about sharing him the MLE pie. Shanwow will probly get a career in CHICAGO, as will Farmar in INDIANA.

  180. 142,
    I think you would be surprised. The best player Phil started at PG at defending PG’s was a 35 year old Ron Harper playing on one leg. TMac is an inch taller than Harp but even longer and more athletic even still after the knee surgery. I think you would be surprised to find out that TMac is most likely the most capable defender amongst the other PG FA candidates the Lakers are looking at.

  181. 180, 182. I’m for signing Miller, but that link that says we already signed him is not a sports news site. Anyway, he could see time at SG, PG, and SF. He would be Shannon’s replacement.

    We would then have to sign J-Critt at minimum salary to replace Jordan, bring back Fish at 1yr/$3m, and keep both our draftees.

    We would then need to sign a veteran big man at minimum salary. Since it’s the minimum we’re looking at, and judging from the wild overspending going around the league, we could be limited to one spot given to Steven Hunter, Tony Battie, Mbenga or Powell, or some young athletic big such as Ian Mahinmi. I doubt Kurt Thomas signs for the vet’s minimum, but you never know. Since he’s been in the league for so long, his minimum salary would probably be in the $1.5m-1.7m range.

    If it’s down to those choices, bringing back Powell should be at the bottom, along with signing Hunter. We really need a backup center more than a backup PF, so Powell’s too small, and Hunter is too injury prone. That leaves Battie, Thomas, Mahinmi, or DJ. Out of these four, Mahinmi has a lot of potential but he never cracked SA’s rotation. Apparently his bball IQ is pretty low. He could get lost in the triangle, and if that’s the case, Thomas should be the top priority, then DJ, then Battie.

  182. Why Mike Miller? I think there were two glaring weaknesses the Lakers had last year that Mike helps address.

    The obvious one is that when other teams challenged the Lakers with a zone defense, there was no Laker that could reliably hit the outside three to break down that defense. Now there is.

    The other is the Lakers inability to get the ball to the big man–especially Pau Gasol. In Memphis, Pau and Mike worked a great two man game–and Mike has carried on the ability to serve as a point forward ever since.

  183. If we do have a deal for ShanWOW, it would count against the MLE, so it would be contradictory to have Miller on board for the MLE AND ShanWow.

    Something tells me that the Lakers are already banking on keeping Ebanks and Caracter. Furthermore, Fisher will be back. IF it’s true, Miller solves a couple of weaknesses: bench play, having additional facilitators especially on the bench, and a dead-eye shooter. I could see a true “big” closing lineup of Kobe, Miller, Artest, Odom, Gasol.

    Also, if we do sign Miller, it absolutely means Phil wants to give Sasha some run at the PG spot (with Critt if he makes the team).

    I’ve said all along, this next year may be a team focused on “redemption” for certain players: Critt, (Ebanks and Caracter to a different extent). Having a Kwame back would fit squarely into that motif. Now, bringing back Smush, that’s not about redemption. For Kobe, it would be more about revenge!

    Phil’s return truly is the biggest free agent pick up. He is the proverbial light that draws all the moth free agents to LA.

  184. Oh, and by the way, poor Trevor Ariza (notwithstanding his $30+ mil he will earn). His name is being bandied around in all sorts of trade rumors. First, he jumps off a championship team, and then Houston openly uses him as trade bait. Sadly, I hope he’s learned the quintessential lesson of the NBA: players are fungible. Good luck to him, as he may very well find himself as a Toronto Raptor.

  185. If he accepts the offer, then this will do wonders for Artest and Kobe. Artest can’t play out his contract playing as many minutes as he did last year. There was no one to bring in reliably behind him at the 3 except for Kobe.
    So even if all he does is spell Artest, it actually helps keep Kobe’s minutes down as well.
    But a 3 man rotation at the SG/SF slot of Kobe, Artest, Miller in which Miller plays both positions would be GREAT for Kobe’s longevity. You could play each guy 32 minutes a game and always have 2 of them on the floor!
    Likely Kobe will do a little more and Miller a little less, but Mike Miller just might become the guy who allows Kobe to break Kareems record and surpass Jordan’s 6 rings, by keeping Mamba’s minutes reasonable and his legs fresh.

  186. I thought April Fool’s Day was in April.

  187. Paul Pierce resigns with the Celtics… 4yr $61M deal.

  188. One thing that’s overlooked in all this Miller discussion. For all the doom and gloom about Laker finances and complaints about Buss being cheap from the rumors that he wasn’t going to allow the MLE to be used, this offer proves that all that worry was for nothing.

    Buss has proven time and again that he’s a good businessman. He’ll spend the money if it’s worth it. But he won’t blow money just because he has it.

    If Miller doesn’t sign this offer then you know Mitch has other targets in mind and will still have the MLE to use if they’re worth it.

  189. There are conflicting reports about whether the Lakers even made an offer to Miller, so it remains to be seen whether mgmt will use the full MLE.

    As for Miller, even if this offer is real, I’m guessing that money is still his #1 criterion. Of course, it depends on the difference between this alleged offer and the next best offer. If it’s a $1mil difference a year, maybe he goes for the ring. If it’s $2 or $3/year mil difference, which adds up over several years, I think he probably takes the money.

    Unlike Artest who had something else to prove and had some big paydays earlier or even T-Mac who some huge paydays earlier and has some desire to prove that he’s a great player, Miller doesn’t have that much to prove and hasn’t had huge paydays. No one expected Miller to be a great player or carry a team, so he probably isn’t as concerned about his legacy the way that LeBron is.

  190. Dude Abides / Igor,

    I understand your reservations regarding signing Kwame for the minimum. The Kwame era was not a pleasant experience for most of us (myself included), and I agree that “Kwame’s hands of stones and decision making led to fast break points for the other team”. However, the difference this time around is that Kwame would NEVER be relied upon for his decision making on offense. Remember, Phil was forced to use Kwame as our offensive post presence due to the lack of options in the post. Against Phoenix in the playoffs, Phil actually had the team force feed Kwame in the post. With this version of the Lakers, Phil probably wouldn’t call a single play for Kwame all season long. Kwame could simply focus on playing defense, rebounding, and beating his man down the court on a fast break (the man can still run well for a center). Many of Kwame’s liabilities would be masked with this team. He could easily provide some valuable minutes (while Bynum or Gasol rest) against centers like Dwight Howard, Perkins, Shaq (who is rumored to be going to Dallas), Nene, etc. (all teams the Lakers may see in the playoffs). Plus, how entertaining would this team be with both Artest and Kwame on board?

  191. I’m digging the Miller rumors. I expect more teams to use the zone next year after the moderate success the Suns had. With a lineup of Sasha at PG, Kobe at SG, and Miller at SF, no team would dare use the zone against this lineup. I am crossing my fingers that this rumor is legit.

  192. From David Aldridge on NBA.com

    – The Lakers are shooting down reports that they offered Wizards free agent swingman Mike Miller a five-year, $30 million offer, telling at least one prominent agent that they have not given Miller an offer or a deadline to accept it. Los Angeles is looking for bench depth after guard Jordan Farmar opted out of his contract, and the 30-year-old Miller is one of the premier shooters available in free agency.

    Reports Thursday said that the Lakers had told Miller he had until midnight Thursday evening to accept the offer, which would be slightly less than the expected mid-level exception for next season.

  193. Geez, what hope do the Lakers have of signing Mike Miller when guys like Amir Johnson and Drew Gooden are getting big bucks?

    J. Critt could fill Farmar’s shoes just fine-bigger, and still quick as a cat. I would assume he’s “lived and learned” from his time with the Gun-Toters, ah, Wizards.

    My gut feeling tells me Odom will be gone. I love his rebounding, but you could sense Phi’s frustration during the finals with his inconsistent play. Could he be Robin to LeBron’s Batman?

  194. Can someone say something bad about picking up Miller?

    I don’t know enough about his game in particular to do that. All of the posts here have been very complimentary, besides leaving us with a lack of funds for filling the rest of the holes. I want to be excited, but I don’t want to do it without knowing the full story. Darius? You’re usually good at seeing both sides. What about his game/style/attitude might be negatives, besides the size of his contract.

    Anyone? Thanks ; ) I want to get excited from seeing the whole picture and not get wrapped up in the initial surge.

  195. Scouting report on Miller from DraftExpress.com from 2008

    Also, he’s had injury problems. Last yr. 54 gms played. has never played a full season since his rookie year in 2001.

    NBA Scouting Reports, Southwestern Division (Part One)
    May 15, 2008
    Overview: Miller has quietly developed into one of the most versatile and efficient offensive threats in the game. Miller is a multi-faceted offense threat, good with the shot, the drive, and the pass. He often plays more than one position during the course of a game, including a point-forward type role in some stretches. Miller is best suited to be a team’s 3rd option, where his overall floor game can benefit the team greatest. He is capable of explosive scoring games, but not consistently enough to be a first or second option.

    Offense: Miller is one of the best shooters off the dribble in the NBA. His ability to shoot off the bounce extends out the 3-point range as well, thanks to his picture perfect mechanics, quick release and very high arc. Unlike most perimeter players, Miller utilizes the pull-up game to great effect, in addition to being outstanding coming off screens. He has plus size and length to go along with excellent ball-handling skills for the wing. Miller is not great at getting to the free throw line, but maximizes his possessions with excellent efficiency and strong playmaking, although he’s just a little bit turnover prone. His basketball IQ is superb and he’s extremely unselfish, allowing him to make quick decisions with the ball and find the open man with no hesitation. Nearly half of his shots come from behind the arc, but he hits them at such a high rate that it’s extremely hard to argue with. He gets to the basket at a decent rate, thanks to his solid first step, and is a very good finisher once there, more-so due to his superb skill-level and smarts than any incredible explosiveness at the rim. He is much better going right than left, though, something that smart teams like to take advantage of.

    Defense: Miller is a non-descript defender at the wing. He’s often criticized for being soft, but he’s more average than anything else. Miller gives up an above average amount of points at the wing, but opponents don’t shoot extremely high percentages against him. Miller’s biggest weakness on defense is his lack of physicality. His foot speed is better than advertised, but he isn’t fast enough to simply play off his man and try and react to his initial move. Miller attempts to use his size and length to disrupt his opponent’s shots, giving space to drive and reacting to his moves. He is better guarding small forwards than 2-guards, although offensively he is mostly used as a guard.

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Mike-Miller-3607/#ixzz0sXrU6RrH
    http://www.draftexpress.com

  196. 197- main negatives, from what I’ve heard about Miller, is that he’s not terribly great at defense one on one, and can be a tad injury prone.

  197. All i want is Bosh… Pipe dream… but would look great in purple and gold. Need to get rid of scrubs like Odom and Walton and Sasha… Could always do a sign and trade with memphes for Rudy Gay! Do it Mitch.

  198. I am switching locker rooms at Staples. Just agreed to 4 years for $16 million w/ the Lakers:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5350443

  199. watching movies or tv Hip Hop Clothing series is my hobby,while practicing written english is my goal