Lakers Off-Season Nearly Complete

Darius Soriano —  August 3, 2010

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208512 Los Angeles Lakers' head coach Phil Jackson points during a play against the Boston Celtics during the second half of game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79.

The calendar has turned to August and news surrounding the Lakers roster is starting to dry up.  However, there’s still some news to report and we’re here to give you the most updated information we can…

*For those concerned about the hold up in Phil actually signing his new contract to coach the Lakers, fret no more.  Mr. Eleven Championships has finally put pen to paper to return as head man of the defending champs.  And while there aren’t a lot of details about the deal (really, there aren’t any details in regards to years, dollar amounts, incentives), we can all breath a bit easier now that Phil is officially back pacingsitting on the sidelines and stoically not calling timeouts as the Lakers pursue another championship.  Not that I was ever concerned about his return.  I will, however, be waiting on any information about the actual terms of the deal whenever those are released.  Is it a one year deal as expected?  How much (if any) of a paycut did Phil take?  Do incentives still exist for winning the championship?  Curious minds want to know.

*Phil’s assistants – Brian Shaw, Frank Hamblen, and Jim Cleamons – have also all been brought back into the fold.  And special assistant Chuck Person has had the “special” lifted from his title and is now just a plain ol’ assistant coach.  I’m happy for the return of “The Rifleman” as he did a lot of good work behind the scenes(h/t to Land O’ Lakers) and got a lot of good ink during the playoffs for helping Kobe refine the release on his shot due to his busted index finger.  On a side note, Person was a player that I always liked during his playing days.  He may not have been much of a defender, but he was a fiery competitor that could fill it up from anywhere on the court. 

*With the coaching staff now settled and back in full, the last questions have to do with who (if anyone) will fill out the Lakers roster.  The Lakers are still in talks with Shannon Brown’s agent about a return of WOW and I’m hopeful that something can be worked out so that he does indeed return.  I’ve noted (and we can all agree) that Shannon has holes in his game and that he’ll likely never be a starter on a team the caliber of the Lakers (especially not with #24 in the mix).  However, his athleticism and want to play the right way are excellent traits to have on a team and I think he’ll continue to make strides in his development to the point that he can be a steadier contributor in future seasons.  Plus, as we’ve discussed, Sasha’s contract runs out after next season and Matt Barnes’ deal has a player option after next season.  It’s quite realistic that the Lakers could be looking for another back up on the wing after next season and Brown could easily be that guy if Sasha/Barnes do in fact leave.  If the Lakers really like Shannon (and it seems like they do), it seems like a good idea to make a commitment to him now so that in another year they’re not right back where they are now – looking for a back up for Kobe.

*Speaking of Sasha, there have been reports recently that the Lakers are looking to get rid of his contract.  One report had the Lakers looking to trade Sasha for Delonte West in a deal that would save a couple million dollars (including the luxury tax payment) as West makes less than the Machine.  This led to speculation that the Lakers would add another head casein the talented, yet troubled combo guard.  However, now that West has been waived by the T-Wolves that rumor can go away as West is a UFA and can’t be traded for any longer.  All that said, I think we should point out (as Kurt did) that any acquisition of West would likely have led to the Lakers waiving the guard who only had a partial guarantee on next year’s contract.  That would have saved the Lakers some real money and freed up both the cash and minutes that Shannon probably craves from any of his suitors.  Anyways, now that any deal for West is dead the Lakers are likely still trying make a move with Sasha though no one knows if they’ll actually make progress on that front.  It will be interesting to see, however, if the Sasha’s status with the Lakers influences any of the ongoing talks with Shannon’s agent.

*The Lakers still have not signed either of their rookies to contracts, but I have not heard of any snags in that department and anticipate that both Ebanks and Caracter will be signed to deals at some point before camp begins.  As I’ve expressed before, I’m high on both of these kids as talents and think that Mitch got two steals at points in the draft that don’t typically produce NBA caliber players.  And while I hesitate to take too much from their summer league performances, I believe that both of these players have enough ability to step in and play moderate minutes in a pinch as they both have a maturity to their physiques and games that could translate to the NBA right away.

Darius Soriano

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to Lakers Off-Season Nearly Complete

  1. i read somewhere that caracter played so well in SPL that he was getting some overseas interest which might mean $ that the lakers couldn’t (or more accurately wouldn’t) match. anything to this, or is this just propaganda put out by his agents trying to get their client a better deal?

    further, i know 2nd round picks’ contracts aren’t guaranteed, but does that freedom extend in both directions (i.e., can the player just bolt? certainly not to another NBA team, right?)


  2. #1. The Lakers own Caracter’s draft rights. Even if he signed a deal over seas, the Lakers would hold his rights (just like Marc Gasol) and would be able to sign him whenever he came back. However, to my understanding no one has offered Caracter a contract and I believe the Lakers will likely get something done for this upcoming season.

    Also, 2nd Rd. Contracts: It’s not that the contracts aren’t guaranteed, it’s that there isn’t a pre-determined scale for the deals. The contracts can be set up as non-guaranteed deals (as a lot are) or they can be set up for higher dollars (fully guarnteed) than what first round prospects get (like Dajuan Blair got from the Spurs). It all depends on what the agents and the teams agree to. This is why it can sometimes be advantageous to be taken in the 2nd round (or even go undrafted) because your contract isn’t necessarily restricted in the same way that a 1st round contract is.


  3. thanks, darius, makes sense. so just so I fully understand the concept, a 2nd round draftee has the freedom to play anywhere in the world outside the NBA, but his NBA rights are what are controlled by the team that picked him, is that correct? makes sense given the CBA is between NBA teams and the NBA players union without some kind of global noncompete clause in place.

    everything i’ve seen about caracter suggests he may have a real role to play (in very limited minutes of course) on this team. this in contrast to say, JP’s or even the beloved mbenga’s minutes last year. an excellent offseason for mitch, maybe in a quiet way his best (when you factor in a difficulty quotient of having so little to work with).


  4. although it’s true that “it seems like a good idea to make a commitment to him now so that in another year they’re not right back where they are now – looking for a back up for Kobe”, it’s also just as valid to keep getting guys on short deals in order to retain flexibility just in case a great deal in the tradition of Mcadoo, Woolridge, Fox, Shaw and the like.

    And now that I’ve mentioned Shaw, since we know there will be a new coach next year, it might be a good idea to leave as much flexibility as possible at the edges of the roster for that coach.


  5. I think Shannon has been a little bit screwed by players like Derek Fisher, Rony Turiaf and Trevor Ariza. All those guys left great LAL teams for big money on other teams and have really struggled. Other teams are wising up to this and see Brown as a guy who like Ariza didn’t get any PT until being traded to Lakers teams top heavy with talent but with guys like Smush Parker, Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, and Vlad Rad starting. Teams are very weary of signing Lakers role players with no history of productive basketball outside of Los Angeles. And I don’t know if they are wrong.


  6. Just found out I’m deploying next week (in the U.S.A.F) for 4-6 months. Hopefully I’ll have chances to follow FB&G from time to time but I’m going to end up missing the X-Mas game and possibly the All-Star game. Well, I guess that’s why they call it serving your country. The upside is that March through the Finals are all mine!

    root our team on for me when the season starts. I’ll be stopping by a few more times in the next week and then try to check in while I’m in “the sandbox.” Proud to do it for you all.

    Jeremy- die hard Lakers’ fan


  7. Jeremy – thank you (and all active/former service men & women) for protecting us and our country and allowing us to rant about the game we love.

    Don’t be surprised when our Xmas game is Lakers/Heat (announced later tonight).


  8. thisisweaksauce August 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm


    Thank you for your service. Good luck to wherever you deploy (Afghanistan, I’m guessing?). Let’s hope that the Lakers will continue to keep your spirits up and be a good diversion when times get tough. This is from someone in a sister service. Hooyah.

    (For anyone wondering, I’m in the Navy.)


  9. Jeremy, thank you for serving and protecting our country.

    March through Finals would be good for blowing off steam after your return.


  10. #3. lil’ pau,
    Technically, by my understanding, any player can play anywhere (even first round picks) but the team that drafts that player retains the rights to that player (for how long, I’m unsure but it’s for a good amount of time). So even a first round pick can play over seas – Ricky Rubio for example.

    That said, arrangements for drafted players to play over seas are typically made between both the player (and his representatives) and the team that drafted him. The Lakers did this with Marc Gasol and teams do it every year with players they draft (in both the first and second round). A notable exception to this is what Josh Childress did when he was a restricted free agent and didn’t want to play for the Hawks for the qualifying offer so he left for Greece. However, even in that case, the Hawks retained his rights due to his restricted status and now that he’s back in the NBA, he had to be signed and traded to the Suns by the Hawks and could not just sign with them outright due to his status as a player whose rights were owned by the Hawks.

    #4. I agree to a point. However, if the Lakers can get Shannon to agree to a reasonable deal, they’ll still have places on their roster (who knows what happens with Barnes, Walton, or even the rookies) to be able to sign an impact player. Again, I’m not saying sign Shannon at all costs, but if something fair can be worked out it should be explored.

    #6. Jeremy,
    Be safe, man. And please stop by the site when you get the chance.


  11. JeremyLA24,

    You’re a part of the team that I root for most.


  12. JeremyLA24,

    Thank you for your service. You’re a hero in my book. Stay safe and God speed.


  13. 6.)

    Good luck, be safe. I can assure you we aren’t that important here compared to what you’re doing. It’s greatly appreciated.


  14. Heat at Lakers Christmas Day. Best Present Ever


  15. Thanks for all the support…

    I’m Going to United Arab Emirates to perform my duties as an aircraft mechanic. Luckily there is minimal hazard in the duties and location of my mission but nonetheless, I’m proud to pull my weight.

    Yes Darius, when I get some down time I’ll make sure to check in and let everyone know how it’s going.

    I’m just hoping there’s a court, a ball, and an air pump. (everyone always forgets the air pump.) Thanks again to all. Especially weaksauce, for joining a branch I wouldn’t survive in. (I can barely spend an hour on a boat at sea let alone months upon months.)


  16. JeremyLA24

    I was a crew chief on F-16s. Good luck brother. Stay out of harm’s way, and come back safe.


  17. Shaq close to becoming a Celtic:

    I know many here (including Darius) feel differently, but let me state what I acknowledge very well might be a minority opinion: ‘F*** you, Shaq!’

    Thank you for permitting that.

    Meanwhile, you’ll see me at the Boston game with my old jersey with #34 crossed out and Bynum’s name written over that of the traitor.


  18. Jeremy,

    Peace and a safe return, brother.


  19. Never posted here before but I have a question for my fellow Lakers fans. Did anyone read Hollinger’s Offseason Winners and Losers on I refuse to pay for ESPN Insider so I’m wondering if he really did count L.A. among the losers. The pic always had Kobe above the title. If he did, what was the reasoning?


  20. Dear Shaq:

    Thank you for signing with the Celtics. With your track record of destroying franchises after you left the Lakers I can’t wait for you to bring your doom on this one. Ah, how I look forward to the daily rumors about KG feeling disrespected, Perkin’s complaining about his role, you complaining about your touches, and Rondo complaining about the lack of chemistry in the team. Thank you.


  21. 20: awesome… but first we can look forward to him savaging LBJ and saying that Rondo is the best guard he’s ever played with.


  22. @19.

    Hollinger’s rationale was that because the Heat rose up to become “co-contenders” with the Lakers, the Lakers lost the right to be the sole claimant to top team in the league (whatever that’s worth), and thus were an offseason loser.

    Essentially, it was a sad ploy to try to get Laker fans to sign up for Insider just to read the article. A friend of mine almost did before I told him about Hollinger’s argument. Hopefully you’re weren’t tricked in the same way.

    And, Jeremy, be safe.


  23. I like the Big Shaquisition for the Celtics. He’s going to be replacing Rasheed Wallace, so let’s look at it in that context.

    first, Shaq can still single-cover guys like Dwight Howard.

    second, Miami can’t really match-up with Shaq. They’d have to play Ilgauskas, and then Boston would just sub in somebody who can run the floor and destroy him in transition. Want to sub out Ilgauskas? Here comes Shaq.

    third, Cs fans begged Rasheed to play in the post all season, something he really didn’t do until the Finals. you subtract all of sheed’s 3 pt heaves, and add Shaq’s high percentage low post attack, and you get a more productive bench.

    in summary, shaq is superior to sheed.


  24. Good luck, Jeremy! Have a safe deployment!


  25. I’m not sure where you have been for the last 5 years if you get riled up by Shaq signing with Boston. The guy asked for and received a trade out of LA a long time ago, and with that his loyalty to the Lakers ended. Instead of outrage that he joined “the enemy”, I am more interested in the following points:

    1. If he is only getting the vet’s minimum, isn’t it odd that he didn’t go back to Miami to play with the Heat (or did his perpetual bridge burning in Miami & Cleveland make that a no-go)?

    2. Why not Atlanta?

    3. For all his flaws, this guy was the starting center on the team with the league’s best record last year. This makes Boston better, and makes the Eastern Conference playoffs that much more intriguing next year….


  26. 25.)

    From my understanding (I believe I read it somewhere and didn’t just make it up in my head), the Heat made a statement that they weren’t going to go after anymore “high-profile” guys that may mess up whatever chemistry they think they have. I think in the same breath they ruled out Shaq by name, and probably TMac, among others.


  27. How many Christmas day games has Kobe Bean Bryant played? Are the games in correlation to the number of rings that he has won?

    Does anyone have any information on this?

    Good to have the coaching staff in tact and the retention of the “Rifle man” Chuck Person. If Kobe is not going to do any corrective surgery (aware that its too late and may no be repairable), then its good that the Lakers keep him on the team, so that he can make adjustments to Kobe’s shooting release as the season drones on!


  28. Not sure if Shaq is “good” pickup for Boston. If it came down to Rasheed or Shaq I would take Rasheed. At least he can step out of the lane and hit a jump shot. And he still has an excellent low post game. Those open lanes make Rondo more dangerous on the drive.

    I think picking up Shaq means Boston has some doubts about Perkins. Still, when you consider Boston’s system, Perk is a much better fit. Shaq has NO lateral movement now. I can’t see how this helps the C’s defense. This is espcially true when you consider the loss of Tony Allen.

    Deep down, in a dark place far away, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Shaq. Even so, I can admit that dude is done. I can already see Miami putting LeBron at the point and running Shaq off the floor.


  29. @chearn,
    The Lakers have payed on 25 Dec every year but 2 years Kobe has been in the league. 1997-98 and in 1998-98 (strike year when no games were played until Feb) were the only years the Lakers did not play on 25 Dec.
    Lakers have played on Christmas Day every year since the 1999-2000 season.
    basketball-reference was my source for the information.


  30. I don’t see how Shaq will be getting much in the way of minutes once Perkins is back and healthy though. He’d be stuck fighting for minutes with Perkins/JO and fighting for touches with everyone else, not to mention being paid much less than either of those guys, which has to eat at him.

    Then again it seems like the only team willing to offer Shaq MLE-level money that I’ve heard of is ATL, which he doesn’t seem interested in, probably because they’re not really in title contention and he won’t be pushing them over the top at this stage in his career.

    As for the hate for Shaq and the idea that he’s disloyal- I don’t really get it. I mean we all probably appreciated him for what he was when he was here, but let’s not forget his career track has been that of a mercenary nomad.

    He bolted Orlando and his souring relationship with Penny to come here, where things escalated to the point that he got shipped out, except he was fine with that since he got D-Wade.

    Then he gets traded again (burning his bridges in Miami as he went), then again to Cleveland. Maybe those weren’t strictly his choice, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t against getting out of the stagnating situation in Miami or in joining up with LeBron later on.

    I will always appreciate his contributions to this team and I’m in favor of his jersey being retired one day because of his undeniable contributions to the Lakers, but he has always been about Shaq first.


  31. Shaq will test Ubuntu, that’s for sure.

    I like it, really, and as much as I appreciate what he did for our Lakers, I do really want to know if he can manage to alienate every single big name player on the league that he has played with before retiring.

    Also, I’ll have fun watching Shaq make an effort to defend the pick & roll…

    Plus, it’s funny how Kobe was the villain and Shaq the likable one, and now the roles are so utterly reversed.


  32. RE: #19 Brandon,

    “What, you ask, did the Lakers do wrong? Nothing — in fact, they shored up the point guard spot with Steve Blake and got a tough gamer for peanuts in Matt Barnes. And, of course, they coaxed Phil Jackson to stay on the bench for one more season.

    All that would have made the Lakers overwhelming favorites to repeat as champions next season, except for a little thing that went down in Miami. With the Heat looking like a super team, the Lakers find themselves downgraded to co-favorites at best, through no fault of their own.

    Had James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aligned themselves in any other combination with any other team, that wouldn’t be the case. Thus, L.A. lost ground this summer, even though, in narrower terms, it won with the additions of Barnes and Blake. ” -Hollingers


  33. I’m just curious, who would fellow Lakers fans here like to see management pursue if Shannon bolts for New York or Cleveland? There really aren’t many glamorous names left on the market that’s why I would love to see Shannon coming back.

    However, with that being said if he does end up leaving I don’t think it would be a bad idea bringing in Delonte West. Yes the guy is having some issues off the court but when his mind is right he is a heck of a player. He is one of the reasons the Cavs won so many games the past 2 years (among others). Plus with such a strong team and coaching staff here I believe they could help him through his issues and get his head back into the game. He is actually a better fit for the triangle than Shannon is in my opinion. He can hit the 3, create for others and even has a nice post up game even though he is undersized for a SG, defensively he is pretty solid as well. It’s really a low risk, high reward move in my opinion because if we did sign him we could keep Sasha till around the trade deadline and use him as insurance in case Delonte doesn’t snap out of his funk and just store the troubled guy on the bench. And if Delonte returns to his form we could just trade away Sasha’s expiring contract. (Also allowing us to see if the Machine regains his shooting form in a contract year by the time the trade deadline rolls around).

    The pipe dream for me is Rudy Fernandez because I think the guy has loads of talent but there is no way Portland gives us that guy.


  34. Are we still quoting Hollinger here??? Why???


  35. harold, I think your characterization of Kobe previously being the villain to Shaq’s likability is probably accurate with many, but I never saw it that way. To me, Shaq was always just a spoiled child who didn’t honor the game the great players do. There has literally never been a player blessed with his combination of size, strength, and agility (not even Wilt), but with all of those blessings he was a guy who was content grabbing 10 to 12 rebounds a game.

    He often reported to camp out of shape, routinely blamed his teammates when things went wrong, never improved aspects of his game that are easy to improve with a little effort, and generally just “got by” on his overwhelming size advantage. Many Laker fans were blinded to these things (or just willing to overlook them) while Shaq was helping deliver championships, but these things never escaped my attention and made me understand that Kobe was the one to “side with” in their little feud.

    Now, as the years go by and Shaq is no longer capable of dominating or even contributing on a championship team, all we are left with are the flaws, and people are starting to see what was always there. I think he makes the Celtics better given the injury to Perkins, but this is likely to be a sad ending to a career that fell short of what it could have been.


  36. Let’s wish the Big Leprechaun, Shaq Paddy, all the best on his new team.

    OK just kidding, let’s not.


  37. shaq’s next quote “rajon rondo is the best player ive ever played with” or “win a round ring for rondo”


  38. Who would have thought that Shaquille O’Neil would become a Leproholic and join the dark side?

    I wonder how much slashing Lebron and Dwayne will do against an end of season Celtic front line of Big Baby, Perk, and the Giant Lep–all camped out around the rim?


  39. mitch we really need this two rookies to be sign with the laker cause they are gonna help us in the long run they are talented,long,good foot work,good shooting and good defender….make it happen…pls..


  40. Funky Chicken, it took me a while to get around liking Kobe, because he always came off as being too arrogant and childish… 😉

    Also, to be perfectly honest with you, if I had the skills and body of Shaq and dominate so easily without putting much effort, I probably wouldn’t have either. Although I at least would have tried to maintain a lean figure… which, I guess, is kinda false too since I’ve let myself gain 20 lbs since college…

    Anyway, now I think this is something to ponder about:

    If we meet Celtics in the finals this year, with Shaq on their team, AND they beat us… do we retire Shaq’s number?

    Is 3 championships with us worth more than one he cost us as a member of the most hated franchise?

    Is it worth so much more that he deserves his number retired?


  41. The edit thing is funky and won’t let me add to it, so spam I go:

    A twist to the last question; if Shaq helps Celtics hoist another banner at our expense, do you think that will make him worthy of number-retirement at Boston?

    If so, will we see a player who may have his number retired by the two greatest franchises in NBA basketball, who are also the bitterest rivals?

    Of course to see this thing play out, we’d have to lose to the Celtics, but still, it would make for an interesting story line.


  42. Just returned from Afghanistan and am a big laker fan. I think the signing of Barnes was a good move. Looks to me like the Lakers got even better than last year, they brought defense to the bench. As a marine I love challenges ( to an extent) but I look as the fantastic three or what ever they call them in Miami jus gets the competitive juices of Kobe fire up. I think he and the Lakers are going to try and prove something this year. I still can not believe LBJ is going to take a back seat to Wade I will believe it when it happens.


  43. Shaq seems to have a knack of making teams better–by leaving. It all started in his earliest days with Orlando–who reconstructed themselves as NBA championship finalists–ironically, with the best center in the NBA.

    Shazam moved to Lakertown–already a team of great champions–and cashed in while renaming himself almost daily.

    The Great Aristotle moved back to Florida and soon became the great Walrus on South Beach–until he was traded to the Valley of the Suns–and became the Great Cactus. Then on to Cleveland where he became Joker to the King.

    Since they were reconstructed, the Lakers have now been to 3 consecutive NBA championships.

    The Miami Heat have now reconstructed themselves and risen up in the East.

    The Suns have almost immediately become competitive again–since the Armadillo left the 4 Roadrunners.

    With Cleveland, it’s too early to tell.

    As a Celtic, is the Suumo Wrestling Lep the Diesel that drives Boston over the top–or a Trojan Horse, still secretly loyal to his beloved Lakers? Or?


  44. Oh Shaq, the “Big Bridge Burner” (Triple B is what I call him). I don’t get it. When Perk returns, Jermaine, Triple B, Rasheed (he’ll come back, simply too much $ to walk away from, and Sheed was simply being emotional after a tough loss, see Favre, Brett), Big Baby, and KG will all be battling for minutes. I don’t see how the Celts will assuage Jermaine, after signing him to a MLE, about getting playing time. There is no doubt he was told that he would get ample playing time.

    So here are the litany of problems:

    1. who starts? It will be the battle of the O’Neals.
    2. once the starters are established, who sits? (Sheed, O’Neal)?
    3. once Perk returns, does he return to his starting position or will he be unceremoniously bumped out due to his injury?
    4. If Perk starts, which O’Neal gets benched (meaning 2-4 minutes a game)?
    5. when Triple B starts complaining about minutes and touches, who can handle his outsized personality and ego?
    6. when Triple B’s TV show expands to him challenging Spanish matadors, how will the Celts’ FO deal with that?

    On the positive side, I’m glad that the Celts are recruiting some Irish-surnamed players (O’Neals). This will inevitably lead to an arms race in the East, let them duke it out. All this intrigue should make for a fun season!


  45. What’s Shaq going to call himself in Boston? The Big Tea Bag?


  46. #22 and #32 – Thanks. I figured Hollinger’s “logic” was something along those lines. I gave up on that guy a couple years ago when he picked the Jazz to win it all b/c his math told him they’d win. No other “expert” gave them a shot.

    And no, I didn’t pay for Insider. I pay for enough stuff already.

    As for Shaq, I think he’ll do what he’s done for the last couple teams he’s played for. He’ll clog the lane, complain about touches, and be exposed on D. It really is a shame how his career is ending considering how dominant he was years ago.


  47. @29 Glove-Thanks for that information! So, Kobe has been a marquee player on one of the biggest regular season scheduled games in the NBA! I think that the Christmas day games deserves a category in factoring in an elite players status.

    I’m sure that Shaq may have the same number of Christmas day games as Kobe, seeing as how he has played with three of the top players in this league.


  48. drrayeye,

    it took ORL over 10 yrs to get back to the finals. Miami ha not got out of the first round since he left. and the Lakers took 4 yrs to gt back to the finals, so your post makes no sense.


  49. 44 Sheed has retired for sure, but the Celts are trying to sign and trade his salary before he technically “retires.” If Perkins returns this season at all, it will not be the same Perkins as years past. Jermaine O’Neil has not had a solid season for many years, so he must be considered an experiment.

    So the Giant Green Teabag is likely to get ample PT.