Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  July 30, 2010

June 10, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02195866 Boston Celtics player Tony Allen (R) tries to stop a drive against Los Angeles Lakers player Shannon Brown (L) during the first half of game four of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 10 June 2010. The Lakers lead the series over the Celtics 2-1.

*It’s Friday and there still isn’t any word on whether or not the Lakers are going to bring back Shannon Brown, however, Land O’ Lakers have taken the liberty of breaking down all of Brown’s possible options along with the pros and cons of each one. As Chibi mentioned in the last thread, “[it] seems like there’ll be a bit of a minutes crunch at the swing position. If you’re an agent, that could significantly impact a client’s value the next time they become free agents.” Shannon Brown will have these kind of arguments presented in front of him, and he’ll definitely get more minutes with the Cavs or Knicks, but that also comes at a costly price: the opportunity to continue winning. We should know Brown’s decision within a week.

*I really enjoyed this piece, which is also from Land O’ Lakers, on the way the Lakers have slowly changed the image of the franchise from 2008 through this offseason. This shows just how committed the Lakers are to winning championships. Even after winning a title, the Lakers don’t remain content with their basketball team, and just like we’ve been hearing about Kobe for the past 14 years, the Lakers off season has been doing what they can to make the team better. Last season, the Lakers addressed their toughness issue by bringing in Ron Artest. This off-season, they’ve addressed their need for a steady handed back up point guard and more consistency off of the bench. With the signings of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, the Lakers have addressed those issues and more. It’s all about who can improve in the NBA, and even as two-time defending champions, the Lakers have improved once again.

*Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times has a piece about how the attitudes of Lakers fans on Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Media features comments from readers before and after the signing of each ball player. It’s a pretty interesting post and we really get to see how much putting on the Forum Blue and Gold changes the perception of players.

*Lastly, I ran across this piece on Magic Johnson’s business success after basketball from HoopsAddict.com. The piece is featured in Success Magazine’s August issue and really highlights Johnson’s business mind. Here’s a small piece of the feature:

Armed with that anecdotal information as well as statistics about the demo- graphic he believed he could open for Starbucks, Johnson requested a meeting with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. He showed Schultz that the minority population in America is growing at a rate seven times as fast as the majority population and that African-Americans now spend almost $1 trillion annually. Latinos, America’s largest minority at 15.1 percent of the population, have a spending power in excess of $980 million.

“I asked him if he wanted to leave all that on the table or if he wanted to reach those populations with a partner who under- stood them,” Johnson recalls. “He went to his board and we joined forces.”

Now Johnson’s company owns 125 Starbucks franchises, “and our per capita spending at our stores is outstanding. We proved everyone who said that minorities wouldn’t spend $3 for a cup of coffee wrong.”

Phillip Barnett

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23 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. That article regarding Shannon’s other possible destinations made a lot sense.

    Personally, I think wherever he winds up going to, it’s going to be a good situation for him through and through. I can only hope that his growth as a basketball player will only continue on wherever he goes.

  2. question..
    can the lakers do a sign and trade with portland for rudy fernandez?

  3. 2, yes it is possible they can sign Shannon and trade him for Fernandez, in the same sort of “possible” that they can trade Luke Walton for Derrick Rose, straight-up: The numbers work out; the sense does not.

  4. The question about where Shannon Brown signs stems from the belief in himself.

    Let’s look at recent Laker history. Farmar, Ariza, and Fisher all left the Lakers for greener pastures. Each player (and especially their agents) believed that they deserved more minutes, which equals more $$$. Each wanted to prove their worth and earn that big payday to provide for their now amoeba-like growing families.

    Now, Brown definitely wants to take care of his family but does he believe he’s ready to carry the mantle?

    Farmar has always had the belief that he could be the starting point guard in the NBA, he just hadn’t found the right opportunity.

    Ariza finally transferred the scary “p” word into some actual results in his final season with the Lakers. (psst potential)

    Fisher had more success than Kobe when he first became a Laker but becoming the everyday starter was finally taken away once Payton was brought in.

    Now you look at Shannon, has he really produced enough results for teams in the NBA to consider him a starter? Well in an offseason where players like Hakim Warrick are getting $4M+ a year, SG Ronnie Brewer to a 3-year, $12.5 million contract, and a ridiculous Wesley Matthews getting 5 yrs for $33.4M I would have thought Shannon would definitely get a starting gig considering his production last year.

    Well I guess that’s why I’m not an NBA GM.

    Shannon has to start doubting himself. No one knows what he’s been getting offered, but assuming he’d received an offer for around $4M, the going market rate, he’d have signed. Since he hasn’t we can assume two things, teams don’t value his skills and pay him his money or he really wants to stay a Laker and wait out the market.

    I love Shannon and would love to sign him for $2M, assuming the Lakers wouldn’t want to sign him for anything more. The other side of me respects the job Shannon has done and wants him to get his big pay day. He’s served the Lakers admirably and has paid his respective dues on 2 championship teams. I really have no idea how teams haven’t offered him a salary starting at least at $3M/yr.

    He played his heart out for the Lakers and beat up on their competitors, now like my good friend Teddy KGB would say to all the other teams in the NBA, “Pay the man his money.”

  5. if shannon leaves, which players out there make the most sense for the lakers? i don’t think young, developing players are the answer. the question is, which veterans out there fit our system?

    i compiled a list of about fifteen players, and i whittled it down to six. statistically, these guys all take care of the ball quite well, but where they differentiate themselves are in the areas of 3pt shooting and athletic/defensive ability. I tried to rank them according to the best all-around player, so here’s my list:

    1. delonte west: yes, he’s has off-the-court issues. the one thing that really jumped out at me about this guy is that he seems to step up his level of play when his team his down, or things are a little chaotic. that’s when he is in his element and when his play is brilliant.

    2. keith bogans: good combination of veteran savvy, 3pt range, and effort on defense.

    3. earl watson: a point guard, but his length(6’7″ wingspan) allows him to play as a 2 guard. underrated defender, but not a great 3pt shooter. earl the squirrel is a crafty veteran.

    4. roger mason: good 3pt shooter with some clutch-shotmaking ability. not a good defender.

    5. tracy mcgrady: possibly the best fit, but something of an unknown quantity.

    honorable mention goes to kyle weaver: a defensive specialist and good passer with enough size to guard SFs, but limited offensively.

  6. If Chicago is not willing to take McGrady, I’m not sure if we should either. Not that we can’t control him, I’m sure we can, but I think we need players who understand their place and role.

    Just finished reading “when the game was ours,” and it was interesting reading. With Artest in our fold, the book’s relevance is pretty high – kinda ironic-funny-destiny.

  7. You could do worse than Keith Bogans…

  8. I like Brown, fun to watch, lots of energy. But look at what he did all year, no big deal.

    Blake and Barnes are better shot makers. Lakers still struggled guarding anyone at the point, thank g-d Aaron Brooks does not play for Boston, or they would have swept us.

    Losing both he and Farmar will hurt, need to replace some of that speed, little guy D. Lowry would be nice, Shine on Delonte.

    Brown by the way, too many bad jump shots, too many turnovers, no body pays a little guy who turns the ball over(Unless your name is Iverson)

  9. 5

    I would love to have Delonte West [i]if[/i] his bipolar disorder could be managed. Under normal circumstances he’d be the best guard on the roster not named Kobe. However, as someone who has a relative with bipolar disorder I know it can very difficult to deal with. The fact that the Cavs were willing to trade such a good and inexpensive player is a bit of a red flag to me.

    I’m not sure why you think McGrady is the best fit. We don’t even know if he’s good enough any more to justify more than say, 20 minutes per game, and it’s hard to see a player with his reputation accepting such a diminished role. These fading stars are usually the last to know that they’re past it.

    Weaver looked decent to me in his rookie year but if Brown goes elsewhere I’d prefer another shooter to fill out the roster. Blake will help but outside shooting still looks like it could be a trouble spot next season. Mason would be my choice, assuming last season was just an off year for him. If a team tries to zone us to death a la Phoenix it can’t hurt to have another 3-point threat on the roster.

  10. What happened to the html tags on this site?

    Edit: Never mind, I posted it wrong.

  11. Travis Y.
    I don’t think putting Fisher in your analysis is relevant. Fish was offered an insane amount of money to go to the Warriors – I believe $42M – and couldn’t afford not to take the money. He left $20M of that on the table when he was allowed to renounce the contract to tend to his daughter – he lost over $5M of that by signing with the Lakers. This is not somebody who fits the norm very well.

  12. Craig W.

    Read Fish’s book, he came up stronger than Kobe during their first year. He started 36 games in his second season and was putting in the work to get results on the court. That reinforced his belief that he could be a starter someday.

    Time elapsed and it always seemed like he was being passed over or ridiculed in the public. When he finally signed with the Warriors he said it was due to his chance to make his mark in the NBA and the Lakers just couldn’t give him the minutes that he craved his entire life.

    Of course the money mattered but for a competitor like Fisher he wanted the minutes. I included Fisher because he had the belief in himself and desire to get starters minutes, just like Farmar and Ariza.

    Does Shannon have that inner confidence?

    I don’t think so. That is the difference.

  13. I read somewhere the Knicks can only offer Shannon $2.6 Million a year, does anyone know if this is true? And what is the most the Lakers can offer him?

    I like Delonte West . . . If he didn’t have his issues, always been impressed by his game but I tend to think management would rather go with less of a gamble and that includes keeping Sasha.

  14. gr824 broke it down pretty well-

    Either the Lakers can give him a new contract as an Early Bird free agent, which would be a contract equivalent to the NBA average salary [ which is at least $5.2 million per season and could be the entire MLE value ] for at least two years OR they could use part of their MLE to get him cheaper [ no longer an option with the two recent MLE signings ] OR Shannon can come back and take the veteran’s minimum for a single season and play to secure full Bird rights for next summer …

  15. Off topic, disappointed in the lakers championship DVD. The special features are so weak. Last years DVD had partial games, among other things. This years had nothing worthwhile. Disappointing considering they could have done so much more with the lakers celtics

  16. DREAM SCENARIO…

    Lakers trade Sasha to NY for Ronnie Turiaf, and still sign Shannon.
    (not a real money saver, but minutes…)
    this means Sasha’s minutes are no longer an issue, and can go to ShanWow, and we have Ronnie for a back up 4/5

    do it Mitch, (well, actually this one would be on Dr Buss, cause it’s gonna cost!)

  17. 15, I felt the exact same way. The first half of the DVD was basically the same footage shown on the ESPN “The Association” Special on the Lakers except without Andy Garcia’s incredible vocal work. Truthfully I expected much more for such an important event in the franchise, I’d almost just rather have that ESPN special if it ever comes out on DVD and just buy the individual Finals games on itunes.

  18. Funky Chicken July 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Shannon’s fate lies in the size of the Knicks’ offer. If the Knicks go as high as $4 million per year, Shannon has to take it. Sure, he loves L.A. and will be sacrificing a shot at winning for a few years, but the Fisher analogy is actually perfect. In retrospect, nobody claims that Fish did the wrong thing by chasing Golden State’s money. Moreover, Fish went to a G.S. team that already had Baron Davis, so it wasn’t as if he was going to be a starter there–unlike Shannon’s opportunity in NY.

    Shannon has never made more than $2 million a year, and he isn’t likely to do so if he re-signs with the Lakers. Moreover, looking ahead 3 or 4 years to the next time he is a free agent, will he be better positioned for free agency by signing with LA or with NY? To me, this is an easy call. In LA he will be a backup for the duration of his contract. He will get limited minutes, and will almost always be among the worst players on the floor.

    In NY, he’d have a great chance at starting, playing alongside Stoudamire, and playing in Mike D’Antoni’s video game offense. Clearly, he’ll have no chance at winning in NY, but for a 24 year old kid with 2 rings in the bank, a chance to get rich, live in New York, be a starter in the NBA, and put up the kind of numbers over the next 3 years that will make him FAR more desirable (and rich) when this contract comes up, well that’s a no brainer.

  19. 18. Funky Chicken,
    I agree that Shannon will almost always be a back up (behind Kobe) if he stays with the Lakers. But, I also think Shannon’s situation needs to be looked at in both the short and the long term. Next season, there will be a crunch on minutes (especially if Sasha sticks around and earns minutes). However, after that Brown’s situation would likely improve. Sasha’s deal expires after next season and Barnes’ contract is a player option for the season after next (and Matt could easily opt out to look for a bigger pay check if he has a good year and the Lakers win the title – ala Posey with the Celtics from a couple years back). So, the roadblock to significant minutes really isn’t that big. For sure Sasha will be out of the mix beyond 2011 and Barnes may not even be a backup SG (I mentioned this before, but his questionable handle and high turnover rate don’t make Matt an ideal back court player in any system – especially the Triangle). So, if Shannon is really looking ahead he could easily be a 20-25 minute player in two seasons and a major contributor to a team that is in the hunt for a title every year. And, if the Lakers can pay him what the Knicks can offer (which they can) he may be best off just staying put in LA.

  20. Darius, I agree people seem to forget he had some great games this season when Kobe was injured or not playing well. Everyone remember the home game against Orlando when Kobe was struggling and Shannon came off the bench and had one of his best games of the season? The guy is so young and so athletic that he may not have tapped into his full potential yet, and working under Kobe the next few years he could hone his skill and become the starting SG and a big time contributor after Kobe retires. I see Phil wanting to reduce Kobe’s minutes during the regular season more (and having the ability to do so with a more solid bench) so Shannon could see even more playing time this year than he has in the past. I may be partial because I like the kid alot but while he may be young, other than Bynum he has the most potential to get better and improve his game drastically.

  21. Darius, you surely know more about the Kincks’ cap situation than I do. I thought I had seen reports (or maybe just speculation) that the Knicks would offer Shannon about $4 million/year. Is that wrong?

    If the Lakers can offer Shannon comparable money to what the Knicks put on the table, then my analysis would probably be different. I think the overall development of Shannon’s game is likely to be greater if he competes for starter minutes on an up tempo team, but that might be outweighed by the experience of playing with and learning from what might be the best shooting guard of all time (and a shot at rings doesn’t hurt).

    I’ve been operating under the assumption that Shannon would have to choose between money (NY) and winning (LA) and given that choice, his age, and the fact that he already has 2 rings, it seemed more likely (and reasonable) that he go for the money. If the money is the same, or similar, between the two offers, I think LA’s chance of retaining him is much greater.

  22. #9/Joel: i like delonte as the best fit; mcgrady is my least favorite option.