Around The World (Wide Web): Saturday Reading

Darius Soriano —  May 14, 2011

From Bill Simmons, When I think of Phil Jackson, two guys come to mind: Young Phil and Old Phil. Young Phil was skinny with dark hair and a goofy mustache; he looked like he came from another era, like someone Larry Dallas would bring over to the Regal Beagle to meet Jack Tripper. Old Phil didn’t look anything like Young Phil: white hair, a clean-shaven face, a heavier frame, and a body that was scattered in nine different directions. Still, Young Phil and Old Phil had one thing in common: They kept their cool at all times. That trait defined Jackson as a coach. He couldn’t be rattled. He never overreacted. He measured every response, thought out every media barb, dealt with every player with the same steady hand. These past 20 years weren’t exactly easy for Jackson, even if the narrative has morphed into “Well, anyone could win eleven titles with Jordan, Shaq and Kobe!” In 1992, a best-selling book called “The Jordan Rules” nearly imploded the Bulls. In 1993, his best player disappeared for 18 months. In 1997, the relationship between Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Bulls general manager Jerry Krause became so contentious that Jackson asked Krause to stop traveling with the team. In 1998, Dennis Rodman started partying so much that Jackson and a few others had to have a makeshift intervention. In 2001, Shaq and Kobe’s relationship started to deteriorate, a three-year spiral that bottomed out when Kobe was accused of sexual assault. In 2005, his general manager traded his second-best player for Kwame Brown. In 2007, Kobe spent the summer and the first month of the regular season desperately pushing for a trade. Jackson managed everything. There were times when he failed — the 2004 Finals, most notably — but you could never say he lost his cool.

From Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t LieThe last time Phil Jackson left the Los Angeles Lakers, the team was chafing under his guidance, and abandoning its defensive and offensive principals. 2003-04 was a tough, soap opera-y go of things, and Jackson wanted out. The team, though it preferred him staying, wasn’t exactly broken up about it. The Lakers, looking for veteran guidance, then hired former Rockets player and coach Rudy Tomjanovich. He had led Houston to two titles just a decade before, and he was itching to get back on the sidelines after Jeff Van Gundy usurped him in Texas. He was a vet, he knew all the players, and he was more than comfortable on a sideline. He kind of stunk as a Lakers coach, though. His isolation style didn’t sit well with the players who had worked through Jackson’s ball movement offense for several years prior, and both Rudy T and the Lakers amicably parted ways midway into 2004-05. So why would Rick Adelman be different?

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: After the Los Angeles Lakers of current vintage exited the playoffs disgracefully, in more ways than one, it behooves us to travel back in time to remember this franchise the way we should, as one of the classiest and most successful in the league.  No era epitomizes that style and grace from the top down better than Showtime.  Behind Magic Johnson’s charismatic smile, and Pat Riley’s can do anything attitude, the Showtime Lakers were the toast of the NBA.  They won five championships in eight years, and they did it without having to make any sacrifices in either substance or aesthetic.  Their winning got people’s attention.  Their style made them stand out.  Their stars made them adored.  But it was their love for each other, and their commitment to the team, that gave them class.

From Mike Bresnahan, The LA Times: My editor called with the chance to think like an NBA general manager for a day. I jumped at it. Can’t be that difficult, no? The assignment: List five trades that would help the Lakers, would not be laughed at by an opposing team and would be allowable under the NBA’s complicated trade guidelines.The trades target the Lakers’ need for speed in the backcourt, better shooters and/or a backup center who can rebound and block shots. Next season’s salaries are listed for comparison’s sake. Keep in mind that teams don’t like giving long contracts to players who are not superstars. Translation: Nobody is barging through the Lakers’ doors and demanding Ron Artest(three more years, $21.5 million). So, here are the hypothetical trades:

From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Even when the Lakers were playing well and a title felt possible, “Dwight Howard to L.A.?” was a common talking point among media and fans. So you can only imagine the traction this topic has gained since the Lakers were unceremoniously bounced by the Dallas Mavericks one round later than the Orlando Magic were eliminated. The din has grown so loud, Howard recently tweeted complaints about the Orlando Sentinel trying to “push him out of” town. (Sentinel writer Mike Bianchi acknowledged the paper’s speculation about Howard’s future, but correctly noted how several outlets, including ESPN, have also busted out Tarot cards.) Like it or not, the big lug has officially reached “water cooler” status. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the commonly asked questions regarding a potential acquisition of Howard by the Lakers.

From Mike Trudell, Basketblog: To further translate, Bryant has been selected by a panel of selected media members as a top two guard in the NBA for 60 percent of his career, and as one of the top six for 86.7 percent of his years. Shaquille O’Neal used to join him as the center on the first team in the early portion of Bryant’s career, while Pau Gasol has now been there alongside him for the past three seasons, in 2009 and 2010 on the third team, and now the second team in 2011. Yet another selection brings Bryant still further into elite status, just two behind record holder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15). Karl Malone and Shaq are next with 14 total honors, with Kobe and Tim Duncan next with their 13. Duncan was a third-team selection in 2010, but did not make the cut this season. Malone’s 11 selections to the All-NBA first team are the most, with Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Pettit, Bob Cousy, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Michael Jordan next with 10 apiece.

From J.A. Adande, To a man, the players insisted they could get back to the Finals next year with the roster intact, while Jackson said they need an infusion of speed and Kupchak kept his options open. Players also spoke in favor of assistant Brian Shaw’s succeeding Jackson as coach, although that’s something that could be beyond the powers of anyone who came inside the stuffy, crowded room in the Lakers’ practice facility and spoke into the microphones and recorders. Executive vice president Jim Buss, the son of team owner Jerry Buss, will be the point man on the coaching search, and with Jackson revealing he hasn’t spoken to Buss all season, the coach apparently won’t have any influence on the matter. Kupchak will, but it’s worth noting that the last time the Lakers hired a coach other than Jackson, Rudy Tomjanovich in 2004, it was Jim Buss’ call. Jerry Buss always prefers up-tempo teams, and Jackson said that next season’s team needs to be faster to get easy baskets, but the roster as constituted isn’t set for that. None of the top three players — Bryant, Gasol and Andrew Bynum — would benefit from running. The Lakers are in no rush to hire a coach, not when it could be many months before there are actually games to play because of the pending lockout. After Jerry Buss shelled out more than $90 million for a team that played only five of those lucrative home playoff games, don’t expect extra expenditures. As reserve player Luke Walton said as he struggled to carry some belongings to his car without so much as a bag or box, “Cutbacks, man.” While the players cleared out their lockers, I cleared out my digital recorder, searching for audio clues from throughout the season in the search for what went wrong with the Lakers. The answers could be found in a select few days during the season, starting with Day 1.

Darius Soriano

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  1. I’ve linked to articles that have outright trade speculation in them, so feel free to discuss those mythical deals and others in the comments of this post. It’s the weekend, so go wild.


  2. When moving forward this offseason there is one thing we all need to remember. Lamar Odom has not been a good playoff performer for the Lakers when he isn’t playing the Suns. It’s the best kept secret in the NBA actually. Lamar Odom was the Lakers fifth best player this post season behind Ron Artest. Odom is an angular, thin, small, and finness PF. Those types of players traditionally have not faired well in the physical playoffs. Strong guys like Artest and Bynum are usually the ones who can play better banging around in the playoffs. And those guys just happened to take a leap forward this spring. So when thinking of a guy to trade of our core group Odom should be the guy we look to move.


  3. Hm. Watch game 7 vs. Boston or game 5 vs. Orlando and tell me the Lakers win those games without Lamar.


  4. #2. Interesting that you’re willing to say that Artest was the better playoff performer this season or that he took some sort of step forward ahead of Odom when Ron played terribly against the Mavs. And not to discount Ron, but his series against the Hornets can almost completely be attributed to the fact that he was guarded by Belinelli nearly the entire series.

    This isn’t to say that Odom was tremendous these playoffs as he clearly wasn’t. Last season he had good games against the Jazz and Suns and the year before he absolutely killed the Jazz and stepped up with crucial performances against Orlando. This year was Odom’s best regular season but he did not perform well in the playoffs. But, besides Kobe and Bynum, I can’t name any Laker that actually played well over the entire playoffs (and even they both had some very down games).



  5. I know, I know… Kobe has a trade exception. To me, the biggest issue the LAkers have, right now, is that Kobe is diminished as a player and has a personality unsuited to handing off batons. We could waste 2-3 seasons with Kobe diminishing and unwilling to make the adjustments.

    Would Kobe be willing to be traded to Philly- Iggy, Nocioni and Holiday in return?


  6. Right now, we read more articles about Lakers, i got a picture why the Lakers did not played well in the playoffs.
    1) Bill Simmon wrote:” Phil’s instincts was telling him no, but his heart was telling yes”. Phil returned because he think Kobe has one more year left. I wrote on this blog last summer, i thought Phil shouldn’t come back, i saw Ron Artest won game 7 for Lakers not Kobe, Phil should knew that better than anyone.
    2) Odom said that the Lakers playing cat and mouse games all season.
    3) Bynum said we need pratice together more.
    4) Kevin Ding of OC register wrote that Lakers did not pratice well because Kobe wasn’t there.
    We got the picture very clear why Lakers failed. In the playoffs, you had to play harder, Lakers can’t. The wrong strategy of Phil because he thinks Kobe has one year left, he can dominate the game by himself. Game 1 against Dallas, i saw Kobe took the shot first, i knew something was wrong.


  7. @5 I am very concerned about Kobe ability to adjust in the coming years as well.

    His comment about drew needing to “fall in line” really bothered me, and if he seems serious about always needing to be the #1 option as long as he is on the team then something does need to be done.

    Kobe’s attitude and ego is preventing Bynum from developing and hurting the team.

    Further, if we were to trade for Howard or some other superstar in the future, who is to say that Kobe would be willing to give up shots then?

    This is the primary reason that I don’t want to see Shaw as a coach – because he is too friendly with Kobe and Kobe would just have his way with him.

    What do you guys see for the future? Do you think the new coach will keep letting Kobe dominate the ball if its hurting the team, or will Kobe be the one that has to “fall in line”?

    As Bynum said, we don’t need to be concerned about “legacies”, we need to be concerned about WINNING.


  8. @2

    I have to call you that one as well. Lamar was pivotal in game seven last year. They don’t beat Boston without him. I think Lamar finally ran out of gas during this playoff run. That was the result of playing ball all year with no rest.


  9. @Dustin, All those quotes sit with me in the same way.

    Also, I would rather get a true PG and perimeter defenders, with a bit of outside shooting, rather then give up on the size advantage.

    LO was not the problem. I think fatigue coupled with a lack of cohesion. The cohesion issue, I guess, is the problem with practice. Fatigue can be answered with the obvious, having played lots of basketball over the course of 4 seasons. All that said, I think the Shaq move was done at the right time. I think the no-trade clause in Kobe’s contract is going to be a probleem for years to come.


  10. Darius,
    As you can re read… I wasn’t only talking about this years playoffs… Lamar has under performed his entire Lakers career in the playoffs. His game just doesn’t translate to a playoff environment. This year with his improved jump shot I thought it was possible he could finally maintain a high level of play heading into round one… Unfortunately with the pressure amped up his shot failed him once again. And of course Artest didn’t play as well in round two… But he was still the only Laker to play defense and close out on shooters. And when he did get the rare opportunity to go at Marrion one on one he actually scored at will. Unlike Odom who couldn’t even exploit Peja. This isn’t a bash Odom party. Not at all. I’m just correctly pointing out that of the Lakers top five players he routinely is the only one that always takes a step back in the playoffs. Its a reality that many fans choose to ignore… But it’s a reality none the less. And he isn’t a Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, or Andrew Bynum where if his offense is off he can play great defense on the other end to add something to the game. The Lakers clearly need to improve… And while my first choice would be to add an athletic, big, guard who can shoot and defend next to Kobe via the MLE and a back up Center via the draft… If we need to make a trade the first guy the Lakers should move based on the last four years of playoff basketball is Lamar Odom. When it comes to the little things like boxing out, rotating to shooters, and playing quality defense Odom has routinely left us wanting. Forget about the fact Lamar has faded in most playoff series with the increased physical play the spring tends to bring.


  11. I love Artest’s game but if the triangle is staying, he shouldn’t. It kills everything about his offense. If Golden State wants better defense as they’ve claimed forever, take him and ship out D Wright and whoever else will make the salaries match.


  12. It has always been a concern as to whether Kobe would be able to adjust from taking 20+ shots a night to taking 15 shots a game and acting as more of a facilitator. But let’s not act like he’s all of a sudden just an above average player. The Lakers can still win a championship with Kobe as their best player.

    As much as I would like to see the Lakers make a move for a PG I am not sure it’s going to happen. Bynum is Jim Buss’s prized possession so I doubt he would get moved for anyone short of Howard.
    As bad as Pau was in the playoffs, he is too good to get moved for anyone short of an elite PG (Westbrook, Rose, Williams and maybe Paul b/c of injury issues) and I don’t think any of them are available. Williams seems the most likely but I think Prokhorov is too savvy to let an elite young PG go for a 30 year old skilled but soft big man.

    Odom might be the easiest player to move given his fairly cap-friendly contract but again I don’t think you can get a really good young PG for an aging PF.

    Just say NO to Dunleavy!


  13. Hmmm…that Mike Bresnahan article talks about trading Odom and Walton for Biedrins and Dorell Wright. Weren’t a couple people on this blog advocating the signing of Wright as a free agent last summer, and instead we signed Blake?


  14. 11 – No way in hell Golden State takes on an aging, slowing Artest when they’re not even a playoff team; they’re trying to build for the future. And they’re especially not giving up their FA stud who had a breakout shooting season in his first year with the team.


  15. 10, Don’t forget, you’re the one who said that Odom would benefit from a summer with Team USA, that his lack of offseason conditioning would help him. And don’t forget that it was I who said that Odom was older and had a strong probability of wearing down in the playoffs. Glad to see that I was proven correct and you were once more proven wrong.

    You need to seriously re-watch Game 7, and not just stare at Artest’s biceps the entire time. Odom was easily our best one-on-one defender, team defender, and help defender. It wasn’t close. And his per-minute numbers are almost exactly the same in the regular season as they are in the playoffs, every year, so you’re wrong there again.

    The only reason we would trade Odom is because he has the most value on the market. Artest’s value is almost zero, because it’s clear to the rest of the league that his offensive game relies on offensive rebounds and others creating opportunities for him, and he struggles horribly against the pick and roll on defense. Why else would absolutely no one in the league be interested in him for only $6.5M per year? Gasol and Bryant have much to long and expensive contracts for them to be highly valued, and Bynum is pretty much untradeable under Jim Buss’ rule, although something like a CP3/Okafor offer would be almost too good to pass up. Odom has the best combination of skill, durability, and a good contract in trade. Whether we can get equal value for him, though, will be difficult.


  16. #7 Dustin, don’t you think injuries are preventing Bynum from developing? He has yet to play a full season with everyone else on the team, and it shows in how he is viewed by teammates. I honestly don’t understand the criticism of Kobe here. He had a very good season and a pretty good postseason. I don’t care how good you are, not a single player could have beaten these Mavs without help from teammates. They absolutely dominated the Lakers. It wasn’t as if the team was 10-more-points-from-Kobe away from winning the series. He could have averaged 40 a game and they would still be on vacation right now. Back to Bynum though. It didn’t help that he waited an extra month to have his knee surgery and going to the World Cup instead. Everyone knew full well that Andrew was a slow healer. You think his teammates were happy about that? Kobe and Pau are still better than Bynum, at this point. I don’t think making Bynum the #1 option is good for this team right now, considering you can only count on him for half a season.


  17. I respect Bynums heart, but I fear his knees. So many are blaming Kobe not bring their for not practicing hard as a team this year, Kobe included, but aren’t Bynums weary knees another reason for why they couldn’t practice hard? And, for what its worth, I can’t remember Pau and Bynum ever having to great games together. I don’t really understand this Jim Buss obsession with the guy, although he may turn into a good player, if he wouldn’t trade him for a franchise level player like CP3 then he’s out of his mind.

    I guess my point is, isn’t relying in Bynums knees equivalent to hoping, 4 or 5 years ago, that Kwame could develop good hands?


  18. And wow, aside from the Bynum/Howard trade (excluding Gilbert Arenas), how do any of those other trades make the Lakers a better basketball team…. Without a serviceable big to replace Odom, aren’t we then relying in Gasol to again play 40+ minutes per night, which obviously wore him down….


  19. Zephid,
    Odom has value in the sense that he is underpaid, so the Lakers are not going to get fair value in return for him in a straight swap. But they might be able to combine a bad contract with him and get something good in return.


  20. Zephid,
    Who was proven right? Did he not have the best year of his career with the Lakers? You really think all of the sudden when there are breaks between games and more breaks during the game he just all ofnthe sudden got tired? And anyone who says the word defense and Lamar Odom in the same sentence has been doing too many wipits. Odom has many great qualities as a player but defense is not one of them. And Odom had a nice game seven… I mean of course not close to the performances of game MVP Ron Artest and the almost 20-20 game Gasol put up.

    And you dont think Artest has trade value? The Bobcats wanted him straight up for Gerald Wallace but Artest didn’t want to of course play there. And I just don’t believe you don’t realize Artest offensively is still a potent one on one offensive player. He proved again this year when given opportunities not many can guard him. His downside is he isn’t good playing off the ball for the first time in his career.


  21. Odom’s performance this year was superb, but he is probably one of the most valuable trading pieces the Lakers have. And, Warren speak your peace in this trade talk thread, it is open season now.


  22. Warren Wee Lim May 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I advocate for Jeff Van Gundy as head coach.

    I advocate that we convince Brian Shaw to stay as the special assistant coach to our offense.

    I advocate that we actually trade Lamar Odom, Luke Walton and Steve Blake to New York for Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf and Bill Walker.

    I call these the 3 advocacies in trying to make my point in future posts that do not necessarily become speculative.

    C: Bynum – Turiaf – Caracter
    PF: Gasol –
    SF: Artest – Barnes – Ebanks
    SG: Bryant – Brown – Walker
    PG: Billups – Fisher –

    The lineup has holes, but that’s what the MLE is for. We get alot older, we lose the “advantage” we have with Odom. But guess what, we replace our very able 6th man of the year with a lockdown defensive 3-balling champion that basically changed the culture in Denver and brought fire out of the bigs there. Pau and Drew would be picking apples in this offense we run, esp with the defense JVG provides.


  23. Warren Wee Lim May 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    ^ When that does go through, Artest could be swapped in for Walton, a 2nd and 3M cash.

    LA embarks on a defensive approach, highly dependent on the JVG hiring, and actually creates a semi-plan for Dwight Howard come 2012 with all the salaries being shed in the deal.

    Might I also mention that MDA would looooooove to have Odom and Artest in the team to support Melo and Amare. They’d be running the super run and gun team that MDA has always dreamed:

    Speedy PG like Nash (Blake)
    Defensive SG who can score (Artest)
    Stud SF (Melo)
    Rebounding and Handling Point Forward (Odom)
    Stud C (Amare)


  24. How would a potential season-long NBA lock-out affect current player contracts? Are the contracts “suspended” until play resumes or are they active despite a stoppage? Anyone?


  25. There are some NBA guys that can drain threes but can’t shoot free throws very well. And many guys are very good free throwers, but you just know a three-pointer isn’t in their repertoire.

    So how about a little rule change that introduces a bit of strategy?

    When fouled in the act of shooting behind the three-point line, the fouled team has the option of either TWO free throws of the standard method OR just ONE free throw from ANYWHERE behind the three-point line. The single three-point free throw would count 3 points. You foul me at the top of the arc and I could take my free throw from the corner if I wish. The other players would continue to line up along the lane no matter which option was chosen, with a set amount of space allowed around the single three-point free throw shooter.

    Other than advancing the ball (or not) after a timeout, or selecting a free thrower when an opposing player can’t continue, is there any other common usage rule where a team gets to make a strategic choice? And of this magnitude?

    But best of all, once Charles Barkley utters it, folks will refer to it as the three-fro.


  26. 20, now you’re just completely making up lies. Odom, when he’s healthy and energetic, is our best team defender and best help defender. There’s a reason why all our best defensive 5-man units this year featured Odom. Please get some facts to back up your assertions, not just your own biases.

    And that “trade” with Artest for Wallace? It was the Lakers who contacted the Bobcats, and Charlotte was mildly intrigued for a moment purely to get rid of Wallace’s contract and also because of Michael Jordan’s stupidity. Do you actually seriously think the Bobcats thought Artest was even close to an equivalent player to Wallace?

    As for Artest being an offensive savant the way you’re making him out to be, just re-read this post on FB&G from just this past December. Strange, no mentions on how Artest is good in isolation. Even one mention that he’s especially bad in isolation. Interesting.


  27. IMO, the most obvious need is a new starting PG. I love Fish but it’s time. Now comes choices – you can either go with a complimentary player who feeds existing options 1,2 & 3… or you can open things up with somebody young and dynamic who’ll create off the dribble, etc.. All of a sudden you’re looking at how that plays into a very large and not particularly fast tandem of Andrew and Pau.

    When it comes to our bigs, Odom’s a guy who can fit in with a quicker game. Jim Buss probably won’t want to trade Andrew so Pau starts looking like the odd man out.

    Now comes the Artest/Barnes/Walton situation. Barnes is worth more to us as a player for 1.9m (if he exercises his option) than a trade piece. Luke’s contract will be hard to move. Artest? Hard but not impossible.

    Then, there’s the draft and our usual MLE and vet min.

    Is there any way we can pry Deron away from New Jersey for Pau? Is there any possible way we can get Dorell Wright (at $3.8) without somehow involving a guy like Odom or Pau? Bresnahan references the difficulty in getting an undervalued player like Wright without taking on Biedrins’ contract but what if #11 above is right – is there any way GS would swap for Artest?

    A starting lineup of Andew, Odom, Wright, Kobe and Williams would be a good team. Not mind-blowing and no guarantees to advance beyond where we are now but solid. Tell you who else I’d like from NJ – Lopez. Again, very undervalued at $3m next year and it’s highly doubtful they let him go unless there’s a name player coming in that helps them fill seats. Tell you what, let’s just give them Pau and Andrew for their entire roster, haha – they only have $39m on the books for next year anyway.


  28. @ #16 Yes, Bynum’s injuries have indeed stunted his development a bit, but that isn’t the primary point I was trying to make.

    The point is that Kobe’s continuance to dominate the ball is going to cause problems in the future – no matter who we bring in. Kobe needs to be more of a facilitator, move off the pall, and take his shot within the context of an offensive system.

    Aside from that, regarding trades, here is what I would love to see:

    – Keep Bynum. Only trade him if Howard becomes available.

    – Move Gasol for an elite starting point guard. Ideally Williams or Paul.

    These, along with obtaining some shooters and serviceable bench players would be ideal.


  29. The simpler move would be acquiring Ray Felton and Afflalo (S&T) for Odom/Caracter, but I don’t think Denver bites. It’s more realistic than GS taking Artest, however, since Denver may want a solid 4 to replace Martin. But I don’t think they take on Odom’s deal when he’s peaked already, considering they’re building for the future. Plus, I think they can get more value for Felton.

    If we do trade Odom, one guy I’d like to target is Taj Gibson. You could do worse for a backup PF, and I think he’ll match up very nicely with Dirk. The problem is, the guys we have to trade are far higher in value than Gibson, or lower. If the first deal (Odom/Caracter for Felton/Afflalo) did go down, then I’d push for Shannon Brown for Gibson (and CJ Watson if they’re willing to include him). A more equitable trade, and we end up better off for it.

    You have to look at the other team’s perspective. If GS is rebuilding, why would they want Artest at this age? Assuming they can make some noise in 4-5 years, Artest will be done by then. And it’s not like he brings veteran leadership to a young locker room. I’m not discounting the stupidity of the new owners, since we haven’t seen how smart (or not) they are, but it would be very foolish for them to give up Wright without getting a valuable young piece.


  30. @24

    During the lockout players are not paid, but the time on their contracts still elapses. According to Ric Bucher NBA players don’t start getting paid until November. If the lockout carries into November they start missing checks. That money is simply lost, and they don’t get it back.


  31. @ Matt — Before any fan goes on again with this “Bynum delayed surgery to watch soccer” line, please read this L.A. Times article from last fall. The story just isn’t true.

    And where do you get the idea that his teammates don’t respect him? To a man, they’ve all indicated they realized what he did for the team, gutting it out on one leg in 2010 when he could have easily shut it down after the Thunder series.

    @ Cdog — You can rightfully express concern over Bynum’s injury history, but to suggest Jim Buss was crazy for not being willing to deal Bynum for Chris Paul (provided such a deal was ever really discussed; I don’t remember that being the case, but anyway…) seems to overlook that Paul’s also got a fairly serious history of injuries as well.

    Lets just hope that Drew’s injury history is really more a case of bad luck than anything… The 2008 and 2009 injuries really were freak collisions which could have hurt anyone.


  32. If we are going to throw out trade scenarios let’s make sure they are realistic. They can’t be totally one sided in favor of the Lakers. There is no point in even discussing trades like that. Also, most teams are not giving up bigs for smalls. Unless the smalls are Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or even Brandon Jennings don’t expect to get a solid 6’9″ and taller front court player for Shannon Brown or Steve Blake. It’s just not happening.


  33. I think most of you guys are overating our trade pieces (like most fan bases always do).

    We have 2 tradable assets: Drew and Pau. That’s it. I love Lamar and I m sure if the team wants to trade him there would be many teams in line, but we are not getting no one near as good as him back.


  34. the other Stephen May 15, 2011 at 12:11 am

    zephid layeth the smack down.


  35. Wow, I get to go wild!

    Gasol, Bynum and Brown for Howard, Nelson and Turkoglu. Leaves the team with Kobe, Nelson, Hedo, Lamar, and Howard to start.

    Or if you want to scale the trading down, Bynum and Lamar for Howard and Nelson. Leaves the team with Kobe, Nelson, Ron, Pau and Howard to start.

    According to that ESPN trade machine thing, well, Hollinger apparently says that both of those trades would add 9/10 wins to the Lakers and 9/10 losses to the Magic, though I find that difficult to believe (don’t think that the Lakers would do that well and I really can’t see the Magic doing that bad with the first trade).

    If we scaled down further and did a Lamar for Nelson trade, Hollinger apparently says +1 win for the Lakers and -1 win for the Magic.

    Lastly, would love that first trade, leaving the team with, well, after the team makes two other moves and provided some other events come to pass:

    C-Howard, Kwame Stone Hands Brown (check Kwame’s line this past year, which would do well on a per minute basis for the backup C)
    PF-Lamar, Hedo, Josh Powell type (Lamar would be first soul to sub out, with Hedo moving over to PF for a bit, leaving the Josh Powell type to play only limited minutes at PF)
    SF-Hedo, Ron (see above and so somewhat more time for Ron to placate his ego, and also Ron can have more time against the likes of Durant, etc.)
    SG-Kobe, Ebanks (see the exit interview reports wherein Ebanks reports that the team wants him to improve his shot so that he can play the 2, which would be good, since he will defend well and with his height and athleticism will otherwise create a matchup problem for the opposing 2)
    PG-Nelson, Blake

    Would help if Barnes opts out, Fish retires gracefully after a word or two with Gil Meche, and Luke Albatross Contract Walton becomes 12th and last man on the bench. Which leaves us with the mystery man, player no. 11, presumably a SG, so the team can hedge its bet on Ebanks.

    For an almost forgot, my “dream team” eliminates the risk that Lamar or Pau is moved, Bynum goes down, and so goodbye season. Also eliminates the whining factor, as Lamar tends to defer and Nelson and Hedo will be fine not taking all that many shots, leaving plenty of “touches” for Kobe and Howard. If Kobe is sincere about what his condition is expected to be next year, he could revert to take-it-to-the-hole Kobe, though not with him driving to the hole with the ball, but instead him driving to the hole without the ball and one of our point forwards (Lamar and Hedo) giving him the pass from the wing on Kobe’s way to the hole (Hedo averaged a tad over 5 APG this past season (was a better PG and the Laker’s PG)). By the way, I also prefer the first deal as the inclusion of both Bynum and Gasol means that the Magic will still have a C worth something should Bynum go down and so maybe easier for them to make the trade.


  36. Bill Simmons should never be allowed to write an article on the a retiring Laker coach. In reality, the entire column was about worshiping Jordan and subtly backhanding Kobe. I’m very glad ESPN quickly took down the article as their featured headline.

    This was a great collection of columns though, Darius. I still think we need a younger coach with both composure and fire (Byron Scott would be my top choice if he was available).

    Check out my writing on Lebron James’ Journey and the Underperforming 2007-2011 Boston Celtics when you get a chance!


  37. OK I’ll bite.

    Trade Pau to New Jersey for Deron Williams and Kris Humphries. Deron would do wonders in the triangle or whatever derivation we will run and Humphries is a younger more energetic post player who doesn’t get bullied. Don’t forget the Kardashian angle to boot.


  38. Add to my suggestion above that we take Travis Outlaw and his 5 years of hell contract for Luke Walton and it just might work. We would immediately become younger, more athletic, and deeper. Wow almost all our problems solved with one trade. Who knew!!!


  39. I don’t think there’s any way we get back equal value for Pau. The teams that will want to take him on are teams that already have a clearly established #1 (if the teams are smart). We saw in Memphis the limits of a team built around Pau. Secondly, a team like NJ that’s building for the future won’t want a player about to enter his thirties. Third, Pau’s trade value right now is the lowest its been in years, whereas Drew’s is likely its highest. Not advocating that we trade either of our bigs, but he would be the traded piece if we want to bring back CP3 or Deron Williams.

    Think about if Mitch was as knee-jerk as us. We’d be praying Jermaine O’Neal retires as Bynum and Odom tear it up in Indiana.


  40. A couple of points:

    Simmons: The Simmons column was very good. He doesn’t really think of Phil as a Laker, so he respects him. The only “Simmons being Simmons” part was when he talked about Game 7 of the 2010 Finals.

    Trades: I do not think Gasol would be easy to trade with his age and salary. The Lakers’ assets are Odom and Bynum. According to the Trade Machine, both of these work:

    Bynum for Howard straight up. Don’t see Orlando doing that.

    Bynum and Odom for Howard and Turkoglu. Orlando might do that. Not sure the Lakers would, though.

    Free agents: don’t see many UFAs that would fit/help/be cheap enough. Two off-the-wall thoughts for 20 mpg shooters: Michael Redd and yes, Sasha Vujacic.

    PGs not guys I like: Sebastian Telfair, Earl Watson, TJ Ford.


  41. Another trade that works:

    Gasol and Odom for Paul and Okafor.

    Odom and Bynum for Paul and Okafor also works.


  42. kehntangibles May 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    @35 – Excellent article that debunks the Celtic Big 3 era. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’m actually kinda surprised that the Celtics don’t have banners for every championship They Would’ve Won If… There probably isn’t enough space in the rafters for all of those.


  43. Zephid,
    You clearly have an agenda here. I just don’t understand what could inspire you to jeopardize your basketball integrity. I mean I just can’t imagine you really believe what you were typing. You would be the only person including Lamar who thinks LO is a good defensive player. His one in one defense has been poor the last four years (since he lost his quickness) and his team defense has always been a weakness as he continuously sinks into the lane leaving shooters wide open for no good reason. You think Peja was the first shooter to be left open? I mean Odom has made Big Baby Davis look like Charles Barkley. As fas as Lakers team defense… The only person who statistically males a difference was Bynum. Of our popular lineups the only player who made a statistical difference was Andrew.

    I also domt think it takes a scout to understand Artests strengths and weaknesses on offense. He was very effective yet again in the post amd at the elbow on the ball. Where Artest has struggled is playing off the ball and sitting in the corner spotting up. That’s something he doesn’t have much experience in doing after being a number one or two option on offense for his entire career.


  44. I want to advocate a trade for iguodala. we need athleticism, he has it. Iggy is a very good defender and has some skills on offense too. on the court with kobe and pau, he could really blossom as an offensive threat. odom and blake for iguodala would work, but I am not so sure if I want to loose lamar.


  45. If the modified franchise tag (very different from the NFL one) comes through in the CBA, they’ll most likely abolish sign and trades (at least for the tagged player). That’ll further limit our options, for those dreaming of Howard or Paul.

    I agree, I’d love to see Iguodala on our team (yes, he’s not a good shooter, but he’s as good a defender as Artest, plus more mobile offensively). And I’ve heard Philly’s looking to trade him. But they’ll be looking for a nice young piece + cap relief. I wouldn’t give up Bynum or Gasol for Iguodala, so I don’t think we have the pieces.

    Someone said it best in an earlier thread: all our assets are very high level or low level assets. There’s not really any in-between. Secondly, guys like Odom (or even Gasol) don’t make sense for very young, rebuilding teams that are many moves away from making noise. If Barnes and Shannon opt in, they’ll be expiring contracts, but not worth a huge amount. Let’s hope some GM somewhere is incredibly high (literally and figuratively) on Ebanks/Caracter.


  46. Watching Memphis, after getting used to Pau Gasol, I’m always amazed by just how physical Marc Gasol is. His physicality has given Kendrick Perkins fits this series, not the other way around.


  47. My favorite part of the Simmons article is when he starts interviewing himself. It’s amazing how many of Phil Jackson’s unvoiced (!) thought are exactly the same thing Bill Simmons thought. It’s like they didn’t even need to talk. It’s almost fun to read someone talking about athletes with diminishing skills, even as they morph into the next Bill Plaschke.

    Any trade that doesn’t bring speed and athleticism to the Lakers is just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. (Alternatively, I think Shaq is available, and could help us with the title on the senior circuit.)

    I wouldn’t trade Bynum for Howard, but if we’re going away from the triangle (on purpose this time), it might not be a bad idea to start thinking about luring a FA point guard. (Someone needs to keep Magic Johnson’s legacy alive.)


  48. @ Chris J.,
    I was referring to the Zephid trade of Bynum for Paul and Okafor, so I have no idea if it was discussed for real or not.
    Deron Williams isn’t going to be traded for Pau and Bynum, NJ just gave a ton of assets to get Williams this year, and they need to sell tickets (well, maybe) next year. Andrew Bynum won’t sell tickets to the same degree, especially if he misses 20+games a year. Neither would Pau btw

    Honestly, until the lockout is resolved, couldn’t we all see the Lakers do absolutely nothing, including not signing the MLE, because they can’t possibly know the salary cap implications of next year. Tough to shoot the moon that way.

    We know the Lakers need to get better – in the end they were swept and always left the fans wanting more this year – but they may stand pat, or worse… Dump salary, if they think they will get screwed by taking on salary next year.


  49. 43, awesome, you countered my post, which included statistics, sources, and citations, with a bunch of rambling nonsense. This is just further evidence that from the very beginning, you’ve been incapable of a rational conversation. After 2 and a half years of putting up with your trolling nonsense out of respect for the integrity of all commentors on this blog, I’ve finally reached a safe conclusion that you add absolutely nothing to any rational conversation on this blog. Thus, it is clearly safe to ignore all future posts made by you without fear of missing on any intelligent points. Congratulations.


  50. I wish the Lakers could have kept Marc Gasol, it is to bad he is in Memphis now, he should be another Laker big. Of course, he would be the backup center, but what a backup he would be…


  51. The two teams that were competing to make it to the WCF are young teams with one or two vets who are specialty players. GS’s old regime were responsible for overpaying Derek Fisher, Ronny Turiaf, Corey Maggette, etc. They are still paying for Biedrens and Spaceman Rad. The new ownership hasn’t put its stamp on the franchise yet. Likely? eg. Otis Smith was clown enough to give the Wizards a get-out-of-Arenas card. Artest’s contract is far less onerous and he can still produce. It isn’t likely but I don’t think it’s too far fetched.

    I’m down on Felton. I didn’t like him crying about starting once he was traded. I certainly don’t like him if it means losing LO. Lakers would probably be fine with picking up Sascha over the Summer for a year while keeping an eye on Deron Williams. Too bad Farmar was too hard headed.


  52. @49

    He might’ve been the deal breaker for us to get Pau, and I don’t think we would’ve won 2 championships with Marc instead of Pau. But yes, Marc has developed into a very nice player


  53. I would love to see Jason Thompson from Sacramento in a Laker uniform. He is accustom to both starting and coming off the bench. He can get physical, but can also shoot from the outside. A back-up point guard say Blake might be what the doctor ordered if the Lakers promise to vote positively on Sacramento’s team move.


  54. Wow. Looks like Shannon’s mental mistakes don’t just stay on the court. I won’t post the link here since FB&G is not about gossip, but check Shannon Brown’s Twitter if you want to see his latest stroke of genius.


  55. Great, the Bulls take the 1st game convincingly, hopefully this is a sign that Miami will not make it out of the East.


  56. Pau to the Suns for a re-signed Aaron Brooks, Channing Frye, and their #1 pick. Not sure that it works financially.


  57. Funky Chicken May 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Watching the Bulls play defense about as well as any team ever has, it is clear to me that more than trades, the Lakers need a defensive-minded coach who can inspire his players. Tom Thibodeau has turned defensive slackers like Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and now even someone like Kyle Korver(!) into excellent defenders.

    Imagine if Pau Gasol played defense with the nonstop intensity of a Joakim Noah. Add that to Andrew’s apparent commitment to D plus Kobe and Ron and I think the Lakers win next year’s title going away. But a little more speed in the backcourt wouldn’t hurt either….


  58. Damn Snoop. I never knew tweet was so low class like that. Shannon shouldn’t even be in position to put his business out like that.


  59. Thibodeau might be a good head coach for Lakers. J/K


  60. Warren Wee Lim May 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Funky CHicken – thats even more reason that the Lakers should hire a defensive head coaching genius Jeff Van Gundy and rehire Brian Shaw as his lead assistant who covers the Triangle like no other.

    Did you know that JVG is actually Thibodeau’s mentor? Imagine what he can make of this already-seasoned championship squad.

    Swap in Billups, Turiaf and Bill Walker from NY for Odom, Blake and Walton and you got yourself the best defensive lineup in all of the league.


  61. The only thing I like about Jeff Van Gundy as Lakers coach is I wouldn’t have to listen to his idiotic commentary as a network flack.

    The downside would be his truly remarkable stupidity would be translated into complete and utter catastrophe visited upon my beloved Lakers. Geez, ‘cmon, the Lakers have better options than that. I mean, even promoting Shaw and continuing to pretend to run the triangle would make more sense!


  62. Zephid @ 49 – touche’


  63. I like the JVG as an option for coach.

    I don’t see a single player anywhere near the level of Andrew Bynum having come to Utah in exchange for Deron Williams. Also, I think Orlando and New Orleansare in much worse situations then the Lakers. The Lakers are a championship caliber team that basically need their young guys (Ebanks, Caracter) to add a little something to the mix next season and probably a small move to add some more athleticism to the mix. I’m still pretty sure that the athletic deficiencies are part and parcel with the fatigue factor. The Lakers needed time off and with a lock-out they will be getting more then enough. So, the Lakers can pretty well sit still and contend.

    Neither Orlando or New Orleans is in as comfortable a situation as the Lakers. Both have a year with their super-stars and it seems the trend these days is to move these guys rather then lose them outright. Denver and Utah are in better positions then Toronto and Cleveland.

    If Bynum is to be moved, there is no reason to move him without getting Howard or CP3 in return. Otherwise, never mind. You don;t need to take on Turkoglu or add LO to the mix. Those teams need to get value for their super-stars while they can, the Lakers can sit still.

    I would still rather move Kobe, but that no-trade clause is keeping that from being a realistic option, unless he thinks he is going to contend somewhere else. Maybe this works.

    It would certainly move a Lakers’ hole from the 1 to the 2, bu I think 2s are easier to find. The team execution on both ends would be much better with CP3. This move defuses the issue with Bynum’s growth, and Kobe might be sold on how this adds 7 wins to Orlando.


  64. Zephid,
    Fortunaltey many on this site actually read and learn from my input. You use the word “trolling” for the same reason you often hear the word “douchebag”… it is trendy vernacular. The difference here is “trolling” doesn’t apply to me.

    My record speaks for itself. Weather it’s predicting a Celtics victory in the 08 Finals or two Lakers Championships the following years my basketball knowledge is second to none on this site. Am I brash? Yes. Cocky? Of course. Most of the time right? You bet ya. Do I answer my own questions to seem smart? Most of the time. But hey… If the Heat don’t win a championship this season then I will know exactly what it feels like to be wrong for the first time. I started the campaigne for TMac to be our starting PG, I predicted Ariza would go back to being the bad NBA player he was before he came to LA, I was the first to say Andrew Bynum if healthy was the Lakers second best player, and one of the few commentors on this site to make myself. The list goes on and on.

    The one time I might have been wrong was when I said the Lakers should have been starting Brown or Farmar. Fishernproved me right except for a special fourth quarter of Game 3 in the Finals. There is a good chance of course that if Fisher wasn’t on the floor Ray Allen doesn’t set an NBA record for threes, the Lakers gets e production from the PG spot and the Lakers go to Boston up 2-0. So I won’t say I was definatley wrong;)

    I just think it’s time you (like the rest of the readers here) start appreciating the brilliance you’re introduced to on a daily basis.

    You’re welcome…

    P.S. You need stats? Darius put some nice ones up recently. The Lakers defense was exactly the same no matter what combination of players. That is as long as Bynum was on the floor with four others. When both Gasol and Odom played together this was a very average defensive team.


  65. And P. Ami, who exactly do you propose we play at SG? Shannon Brown? One of the PG’s? Matt Barnes? That’s just not a good idea. We’re not in danger of losing Kobe, and there’s no way we’ll get equal value – and he won’t waive his no-trade.

    Also, what’s the point of covering a sizable weakness (PG) by sacrificing a massive one (SG without Kobe). Defeats the whole purpose.


  66. Warren, Funky: as long as Kobe’s playing, we’ll always have a defensive weakness (on most nights) these days.


  67. 63. New Orleans would laugh at that proposal. And they’d be right.

    And, Kobe Bryant is not being traded; nor should he be, in my opinion. Setting aside the obvious reasons why he won’t be traded, he wouldn’t bring back what we’d be losing in letting him go.

    Until we have a coach, trade speculation isn’t very compelling.


  68. This trade here will address all of our weaknesses:

    Pau Gasol and Devin Ebanks for Angre Iguodala, Jru Holiday and Jodie Meeks. The money works here.

    The Lakers get the athletic wing they need, a quick point guard and a shooter. And the sixers get a go-to guy. Who says no to this deal and why?


  69. Rudy,
    Do you trust Bynum’s knees?


  70. @ #67, Poland: “Until we have a coach, trade speculation isn’t very compelling.”

    Total agreement. Also, to add on to that statement, until an agreement is reached n regards to the Collective Bargaining Situation, we need to hit the Pause Button about trades.


  71. @69 – I trust Bynum’s knees more than I trust Gasol’s heart and toughness. The only way we can upgrade this team is to trade 1 of our 2 bigs and I was uninspired with Gasol’s playoff performance this season. I would gladly give up Gasol if it meant getting back Iguodala, Holiday and Meeks.

    And I understand that it’s difficult to make speculation until a new Collective Bargaining agreement is reached, but this is rare that we are allowed to do any trade talk on this blog. Just thought I’d take advantage


  72. Lakers fans, let’s not get snippy with each other about the team. I know it’s been a while since we have felt so low about the team, but it’s not worth tearing at one another.

    The problem with the Lakers assets is this: we don’t have any middle-class assets that anyone wants. We have a lot of bad ones, and higher-class assets (Bynum, Pau, Kobe) that make it difficult to obtain an equal trade.

    Also, other teams see that the Lakers are on the ropes so to speak, suffering a sweep in the post season. I doubt they would willingly offer us another Gasol 2008 type trade.

    Also, I am firmly of the Charles Barkley school of thought that one of the three bigs have to go. If you keep Bynum, then you have to allow the kid to develop into the #2 spot, since Gasol appears to no longer be willing to fight hard for post position. I understand his injury history, but it is both a luxury and a detriment to Bynum’s growth to sit him in the 4th quarters.

    If you want to pursue Howard, you similarly have to move 2 of the 3. Howard is durable, and will play many minutes so at the very least, it would take Bynum + Odom for that.

    I think the halcyon days of having 3 great bigs is gone. We have capitalized on our size advantage, but the glaring holes at the perimeter spots are too big to ignore. The opportunity cost of having our awesome frontline was starting Fisher instead of [insert athletic PG who can shoot, dunk, steal, etc.] Good team management is about correcting imbalances and we have a major talent imbalance between our backcourt and frontcourt. It will be painful, but it will take the moving of one of our bigs to get some backcourt talent.

    I like any proposed trades to Philly because they suffer from a similar imbalance: too many perimeter players. I doubt they give up Jrue Holiday or Thaddeus Young, but Iguodala/Lou Williams may be available. I worry though about Iggy’s knees as he will need surgery/time off. He lacks a consistent jumpshot and if his athleticism is waning, time to move on.

    Atlanta has some great perimeter pieces, but severely lacks in the frontcourt. I’ve been hearing that Josh Smith may be moved. Also, due to the emergence of Teague, Hinrich and his REDUCED salary (now $6.5 mil) would make him available. So a Gasol for Smith/Hinrich may make sense. A frontcourt of Gasol and Horford…that’s kind of scary. A Hinrich, Kobe, Smith, Odom, Bynum lineup would be my optimal solution to our current ills.

    The Warriors also could use a big man, so a Odom/filler for Wright/filler may be do-able.

    Although Denver has a relatively superfluous PG in Felton, I’m not that thrilled about him. However, if Denver is willing to swap Felton for Odom (plus fillers), I’m not principally opposed to that since Felton > whatever point guard we currently have.

    I’m not thrilled about a NYK trade yielding us Chauncey. I cannot fathom a Chauncey/Fisher backcourt (combined age of almost 70). Though, Artest or Odom may relish the idea of going back home. But do they have anyone we want? Fields (makes too little but is valuable), Douglas, Turiaf? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    So in all, we Lakers fans have to be realistic. Offseason moves to shore up our biggest weakness (perimeter positions and shooting) will cost us a beloved big man. If we somehow make the Howard trade, then we won’t be able to really upgrade our perimeter. That is the opportunity cost of that move. Also, it is apparent that the much feared day of Bynum outgrowing his proverbial “talent cage” has come, and there is genuinely a threat of a catfight for the #2, and even #1 position.

    Lots to discuss here…and much work for the Lakers FO ahead.


  73. @Poland,

    What did Utah get in return for D. Williams, that was any better then what that trade gives New Orleans?

    Part of my thinking, in sending Kobe to Orlando, is that he would have to buy into the possibilities of what that move could do for his legacy. If the Hollinger stats are right, the trade brings Orlando’s record to 61-wins. That is championship caliber. Plus, he gets to go to war against the Heat and wrestle Florida away from them. I’m not sure the proposal I put out there is as poorly thought out as you make it seem. If you ask me, “do you think it will happen”, I would answer no. If you ask me, “should it happen”, yes I do. Throw CP3 on a team with the bigs we have, and the efficiency of the offense would go through the roof. They could run the wishbone and CP3 would improve upon the Lakers’ system, and he is an all time great defender.

    Shannon Brown as our starting SG would be horrible. No question. D. Fish as our starting PG has leaked well into similar territory. So yes, I would trade Kobe’s declining years for CP3’s prime, any day.


  74. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

    DY, you are wrong. Fisher + Chauncey > 70 years old.

    About the NY proposal… we give up a convenience (Odom) in exchange for a true need (Billups). And while Chauncey is not the 2004 version, his leadership, defense, size and range make him almost the perfect Tri PG.

    Why did NY pick his option up? Its not because they need him per se, but because it was part of the agreement that he agrees to go to NY and that 14M expiring contract is a very valuable trade piece.

    Chauncey adds what the Lakers desperately need – a veteran leader with range and has emphasis on D. And in case you forgot, Mr. Big Shot has the heart of a champion – something this team is all about.

    I can guarantee everyone here that Pau Gasol will be a better version next year. You can stake everything I am on that point. If we indeed made the trade w/ NY, Turiaf becomes our defensive PF/C and it gives DC (Caracter) a chance to showcase what he’s made of.

    Under the same proposal, we also give up Walton and Blake for Walker. This is an underrated guy who can be a Dorrell Wright for us, and he will easily replace Shannon Brown with athleticism… best of all, he has range that Shanwow didn’t have.

    Steve Blake would become a very good piece under MDA’s system. He would be a quick pass-first PG in that team that runs with Amare and Melo with Odom as point-forward. NY also frees up more time for Landry Fields and Toney Douglas to run MDA’s preferred system.

    Odom and MDA are 2 guys that would connect well with each other.


  75. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    In order to maximize the Lakers’ chances of repositioning, the NY proposal is exactly what they need.


    1. Add Billups’ range, defense and leadership.
    2. Remove the 2012/13 salaries of Walton and Blake, something they’d need to do sooner or later.
    3. Enable the Lakers to use its MLE (since there is no more salary to worry).
    4. Increase leverage in contract negotiations with Shannon Brown, heck we might not need him w/ Bill Walker on board.
    5. Add a guy whom Kobe would not question the decisions he makes and gives us a viable last-second shotmaker.


  76. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Oh and Van Gundy didn’t exactly say he won’t take the Lakers job.


  77. What kind of loyalty does this town have? Kobe’s skills are diminishing, so we TRADE him? Tim Duncan’s skills have slipped a bit too, yet SA is not in discussions to trade him! Proponents that wish to trade Kobe, are the same people that advocate that a player play for the Lakers for less money. Actually asking where a player’s loyalty lies. Such hypocrites!

    If a team is not asked nor made to play defense, they generally will not (see NY and the past season of the Lakers).


  78. 73. Yes, Utah got upside, youth. In your trade, NO gets two players who have already hit their ceiling–Jameer is a top 15 point guard, let’s say, and Reddick is a nice bench rotation shooter. If I’m NO and trading CP3, I’m doing it to rebuild and get young–with draft picks and young guys with potential.


  79. Warren, I live in the NY/NJ area, and have caught a lot of Knicks games. I like Chauncey, but the 2003-2009 version. Right now, he’s too banged up, doesn’t play one ounce of defense, and takes way too many questionable shots (would make Fisher’s PUJITs look like good basketball shots).

    I think Chauncey adds to our imbalance, and we would have used one of our best trade pieces to simply magnify our lack of PG/perimeter defense.

    I would really give ATL a call about J.Smith/Hinrich for Gasol…(since they originally drafted him back in the day!).


  80. 71) Rudy,
    Gasol was a major factor in three straight Finals appearances and two titles. He had a very unfortunately-timed two month slump, but you may want to look at his performances vs Howard and in game 7 vs the Celtics before you completely write off his heart. In those same three years, Bynum had limited contributions. So at this point, to trust BYnum’s health over Gasol’s heart is a poor choice.


  81. I don’t think Kobe is going anywhere.

    Why would a team take on his declining skills, huge contract, and his other baggage? In fact, I suspect, as do a number of others, that Kobe will become even more problematic an employee (or whatever it is he is exactly) as he ages.

    On second thought, he might go to a big market team looking for box office. Like NY (oh wait they have ‘melo and ‘amare); Chicago (nope they have Rose), or Miami (never mind …).


  82. I’m not jumping off the Kobe bandwagon. I caution all those who are contemplating it. Yes, his athletic skills are declining. Sure, he makes a ton of money. Agreed, his contract makes moving him impossible and also he owns a no-trade clause.

    I reckon Kobe will be fuming this summer, and will return with a vengeance we haven’t seen since post-2008 Celtics debacle. I didn’t see the clenched jaw from him much this year. I think he knew, given all the documented bickering/changes in the lockerroom, that this wasn’t the year (though he competed to the end).

    Maybe he’ll get a true “star” to pair with like Howard, maybe he won’t. But the man will put in the same amount of ridiculous hard work no matter what. You can take that to the bank. Kobe stays.


  83. You forgot about Boston! Ha! Kobe in green with Rondo passing him the ball and making his ability to score easier…adding years to his career all the while saving his bone on bone knee problems!


  84. Around 1983, there was a large groundswell to trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was 33 and the team was coming off a playoff sweep (albeit in the Finals). He had been The Man for years, but everyone agreed his skills were declining, and the team needed to get younger and more athletic. People groused that at the end of close games, the Lakers were too predictable, in that they’d just throw the ball to Kareem every time.

    He wasn’t a favorite of the media, who pushed for the shakeup as well. “The rumors of my decline are greatly exaggerated,” he snarled at them.

    As we all know, Kareem was not only dedicated to personal conditioning (at a level beyond almost all of his contemporaries), but he was all about winning basketball games. He learned to adjust his style as the seasons piled up, and had plenty left in the tank to win key games down the stretch. The Lakers went on to go to the Finals 5 of the next 6 years and won 3 titles. Once he was gone, it took the team over a decade to win another one.

    Any of that sound familiar?


  85. @80 – Not sure where you stand with keeping the team as is or making changes. If we are to make any kind of roster moves, the only pieces we can trade (Kobe has a no trade clause) that anybody would want are Bynum or Gasol. I understand Bynum has health issues, but you mean to tell me you would feel comfortable having Gasol as our starting center?

    Every team will play him very physically after watching the New Orleans and Dallas tapes. Gasol cannot be effective as our primary center.

    The bottomline is if we are going to make any moves we have to get rid of one of the bigs. There’s no way around it. And at this point, I’ll take Bynum’s upside and injury habits over what Gasol is likely to give us moving forward.


  86. For those who advocate trading Kobe, how could this be when n reality, the only individual who can make this possible is staring back @ him n the mirror every morning.


  87. Thank you Jodial

    Okay lets put an end to the trading Kobe discussion. It’s not going to happen. Kobe has a no trade clause and unless the lakers can get Durant or Rose for Kobe any trade wouldn’t even cross Mitch’s mind any way.

    I’m a proponent of trying to get Dwight to LA. Although the lakers really need some athleticism on the wings, it pretty much unlikely. But as logical as the Howard trade seems, it’s not as easy as it seems. Although Bynum for Howard straight up works, I doubt Orlando goes for that unless it’s at the trade deadline, Howard has made it clear that he’s not going to resign with Orlando or any team they are looking to trade him to except the lakers. But if the lakers are going to trade for Howard, they need to so in the off season so that have a full training camp, preseason and season to develop chemistry.

    With that being said, in order to get Howard in the summer, the Lakers are going to have to take back either Gilbert’s or Hedo’s toxic contracts. To make these trades work likely have to bring in a third team or trade a combo of bynum andgasol, or bynum, odom, walton/artest.


  88. @85) All season long Gasol disappeared against physical teams, Denver plays him that way and he welters.


  89. @87, Joel

    I completely agree with you and Jodial re: the Kobe trade ideas. It amazes me that anyone would seriously consider that. It’s easy to say he’s older and declining, but there is no way you get back value in such a trade. Not to mention trading your franchise player because he is getting older is just disloyal and wrong. Rebuild around him? yes, but discard him? No!

    As for the Orlando trade you proposed(Dwight & Hedo for Bynum/Odom/Walton) I like it! I’ve thought all along that this is probably the most realistic trade that the Lakers can make with the Magic. As much as a straight-up swap of Drew for Dwight is attracive, I firmly believe Otis Smith will make the Lakers “pay” for acquiring Dwight. And really, it’s not such a bad trade, especially if the Lakers could (1) force then to include Ryan Anderson in the deal to replace Lamar on the bench and (2) use the rumoured CBA Amnesty clause to wipe Hedo’s contract from the books. I would hate losing Lamar, but Dwight, Kobe and Pau combine for a talented lineup and ultimately make the Lakers a better team than they are now.


  90. 85) Until Bynum shows he can stay healthy, they would be better off sticking with Gasol.

    This wasn’t a new discovery by New Orleans and Dallas – that has always been the approach towards playing Gasol. He was in the middle of a slump; combine that with overall lackluster play from the rest of the team.

    I think a resurgent Gasol is at least as likely as a healthy Bynum next season.


  91. @89 You should remember that trading our franchise player Shaq while he was still in his prime was a smart move.

    While your point about being loyal to a franchise player sounds good in theory, we must remember that this game is a business. As such, keeping Kobe on the team until he has no value, especially if he causes problems with other players, would be a negative for the team.

    In sum, we need to do whats best for the team, not just a player and his legacy.


  92. I still like and support every current member of the Lakers, and believe that they could have won a championship with the right team chemistry this year, but this year is gone and that elusive chemistry was never completey there.

    The most obvious chemistry issue relates to Kobe and the rest of the team, but it is not the only one. As Jerry West foresaw, Pau and Andrew diminish each other. Ron Artest, despite his individual greatness, grates against the triangle–which neither Kobe nor Lamar play anyway.

    Making Kobe part of the Laker team concept may be impossible without Phil, since it didn’t happen even with Phil, but it must be part of any decisions concerning next year’s coach.

    Here is my highly speculative scenario of how things might go down:

    First, I think that Luke will retire–or get bought out. Theo and Joe will retire–but be on standby if needed.

    Derek Fisher will become the Laker coach! He’s the only one with any chance to generate the necessary cohesion for a Laker victory. It frees his salary up as a player and costs no more as a coach, saving the organization $7 million.

    The salaries of the four vacated slots above are at least $10 milliion more.

    The most tradeable asset that the Lakers have is Andrew Bynum, but he must be traded big for big–and the player the Lakers get in return must improve team harmony. Since the Lakers will have multiple slots to fill, Bynum could be part of a multi-player package.

    Should Dwight Howard be available, the pressure on all sides would be hard to resist. One deal that might work would send Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkaglu to LA for Bynum, Artest, and Walton (who would be bought out and retired). Although this seems attractive to both sides, I’m not sure how the chemistry would work out for either.

    Another trade that might be interesting would be Andrew Bynum for Biedrins and Curry of Golden State. I could see that as a win and improvement in chemistry on both sides.

    That’s for starters and totally blue sky.


  93. any_one_mouse May 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Wow! A lot of hand-wringing going on. Here’s where I stand:

    I think we are over-reacting to a bad loss to the Mavs. Remember, these are the same Mavs that we thumped in the regular season. Yes, a sweep was a shock, but that was a combination of Dirk getting hot, Terry/Peja shooting lights out, and our team playing a little too lackadasical. There’s also the potential of discord in the locker room, or whatever it was that was affecting Gasol.

    I honestly don’t think we don’t need to make any changes (other than shedding Luke’s contract – yuk!). We are good enough to win a championship as constructed. Has everybody forgotten the 17-1 streak post the ASG? We had the second-best record in the West, and beat every good team in the league (Miami excepted).

    Our strength is in Gasol/Odom/Bynum. No team can compete against that when we are motivated. That is more on the coach that anything else. Unless, we are getting Howard back, we should not move any of our bigs.

    Yes, we can add some athleticism to the perimeter, but it’s *much* easier to find a guard than a skilled big. And so, no, we shouldn’t trade big for small.

    Billups is done. Though not as done as Duncan (that had a nice ring to it :))

    I don’t know if Fisher will stay on now that Phil isn’t around to protect him. I think Mario Chalmers is a good candidate to replace him. He is an adequate defender and has the moxie to hit big shots when we need them.

    So, with that in mind, the only trade I endorse is the Bynum/Howard – *if* Orlando/Howard are ready to do it. This is not something we control, but to stir the pot, we can offer to take on Arenas’ contract back. Something like Howard/Arenas for Bynum/Walton/draft picks/filler.

    Arenas isn’t the player he was, but I think (hope?) that it has something to do with him coming back from injury more than anything else. If he got back to 50% of what he has, he would be an upgrade over Brown (albeit, a very expensive one). Anything better, and he could be our starting PG. He won’t be able to defend many people, but with Howard in the middle, we won’t need to.

    Pipe-dreams aside, I sincerely believe getting the right coach will right a lot of the complacency that crept in towards the end of the season.

    PS: Trade Kobe? Yeah, right!
    PS PS: Lamar a bad defender? Not a chance!


  94. My two cents:

    -I have nothing (theoretically) against trading Kobe. As he showed in 2007, this is just a business. But because of his no-trade clause, I can think of only one situation he’d accept: trading him to the Bulls. I doubt Chi gives up Noah even for Kobe, so we’d be looking at a package of Deng, Gibson, Korver, Asik, Watson. Role players, enough to make a strong bench. But not exactly getting equal value in return. So we’re hamstrung on that front (although I think Kobe would waive his no-trade clause for the chance to play with Rose and Noah, and Chicago solves their gaping hole at the 2).

    -Billups at this stage of his career is vastly overrated. DY is dead on. He doesn’t play solid D anymore, and his Big Shot reputation literally came off one shot. He’s far more likely now to chuck up horrible transition threes that end up bricks, more often than not. He does bring veteran leadership, but he sounds oddly like Derek Fisher at this point (better, but not by as much as his reputation would suggest).

    -All the evidence points to Arenas being nothing more than a cap albatross. As good as Howard is, we’d be taking on arguably the worst contract in the league. And it’d cripple us for many years. Meaning very little flexibility and likely some Sasha-for-Joe-Smith salary dumps as well. Giving up 2 of our bigs AND taking on Arenas’ contract seems a bit overkill.

    -Iguodala would look great at the 3. He definitely has offensive flaws, but he’s superior on that end to Artest, and arguably as good as Artest defensively. But unless Jrue Holiday or Young are included (not happening), a straight up AI-Bynum or AI-Gasol trade isn’t worth it.

    -As others have said, what won us 2 titles was our 3 bigs and the complementary roles that they play. If Pau Gasol is backed up next year by Caracter, chances are we’re looking again at heavy minutes and wearing him down. I’m leery of panicking and disrupting the balance we have right now.


  95. Also, one tiny move we should make: take a flyer on Kelenna Azubuike. If he recovers from his injury, he becomes a better version of Shannon Brown. And adds some much needed athleticism.


  96. We just need two quick small guards fast and athletic, shouldn’t be too hard to find right? and the rest of the team to come back hungry, i’d really like our odds.


  97. I personally like the idea of 76ers as trade partners. They have a couple of assets that may be of interest to us, and I think a trade that can benefit both teams can be made.

    Here the 76ers accomplish several things: they get an All-Star 7-footer, dump Brand’s contract and free up offensive opportunities for their two young wings (Thad Young & Evan Turner) while having a defensive ace vet to teach them the ropes on D.

    Lakers get: rid of Luke’s horrendous contract, one of the most athletic wings in the league who is easily a top-5 wing defender in the NBA, a serviceable big to come off the bench and a young point guard with great athleticism and upside.

    The Lakers could probably also pry away Speights for a first-round pick and/or Caracter. Maurice didn’t play well this year, but flashed great promise in his rookie campaign. Buying low here could be a great investment.


  98. @91) I agree that teams shouldn’t ruin their business just to protect a player’s legacy, but there is a right and a wrong way to treat an aging player.

    The Shaq comparison is hard for me, especially because Shaq wasn’t a Laker for his entire life, he didn’t grow up with the Lakers and his work ethic and dedication left a lot to be desired. So even though he won 3 championships for LA, and was an incredibly dominant part of Laker history, there’s a difference when you compare his situation to Kobe, to Tim Duncan in San Antonio, to Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston. I know it may not be great business sense, but I hate seeing great players jetissoned by the teams they gave half a lifetime to building.


  99. I like the idea of Jerry Sloan as head coach, he is definitely a veteran, and we would not be wasting any time with him at the reigns, like we would with a rookie coach. I guess this is like trade talk?


  100. One thing is certain: Kobe is not going anywhere. It is OK to muse about it, but given that he is owed 83M, including 30M in 2013-14, and the NBA may have a hard cap coming, no one would want him even if the Buss clan considered it–which they will not.

    The only big thing that may happen is a Howard deal. No one knows yet if there is any chance of that.


  101. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Igor, do you honestly think Philly would trade its 3 stars (despite Brand’s contract) for Gasol and Artest WHILE taking on Luke Walton?

    Cmon man. Gasol is more of an albatross coz its longer and bigger. And while he is better, it doesn’t do anything to Philly.

    Oh yeah and the bust Evan Turner and Thad Young will carry that team to a championship…


  102. While it’s all subjective.. in my opinion Pau is far more valuable than any of the three players Sixers would send back. He’s in his prime, his contract is VERY fair given his All-Star and All-NBA talent, and he is locked up for a few more years. Sixers are giving up a second banana player, a mediocre big who is atrociously overpaid and is over the hill, and a prospect point guard that isn’t as great as they had hoped.

    We (Laker fans) keep beating the drum that skilled seven-footers are far more valuable than any other position in the NBA, and I feel that this trade is fair precisely because of that. Sixers have a logjam at the wing spot, and their best player right now is an overpaid defensive wing whose offensive game is average. I think this trade is fair.


  103. Annie – I get where you’re coming from, but don’t forget if Mitch and Buss were a tiny bit weaker, Kobe would have forced his way out of Los Angeles in 2007. Kobe said then that it’s business only. Reports were Buss felt betrayed, especially after how he’d supported Kobe during the Colorado episode. Loyalty goes both ways.

    I actually agree with you; I want to see Kobe retire a Laker. I was too young for Showtime, so I basically grew up on the early 90s and then the Kobe Lakers. It’s hard for me to imagine the Lakers without Kobe. I’m just saying if the Lakers did trade Kobe (which won’t happen in real life), I’d understand their vantage point.


  104. Kobe didn’t give half his life to the Lakers. Kobe got paid good money to perform for the Lakers.

    Annie, you seem to have forgotten that Hakeem did not end his career as a Rocket.

    I agree with Snoopy, Kobe treats this game as a business, why should we have any special loyalty to Kobe beyond his value as a player for our team?

    All I can say about Mo Speights, Brian Cook could teach him a thing or two about how to play defense.

    Igor, obviously this is all pretty subjective, but I don’t see how you can argue that Holiday has disappointed anybody. He is a fantastic up and coming player. Plays D like a mother, has a decent and improving shot, and is getting the hang of running an NBA offense. Next year should be a big one for him. I don’t hate that trade.


  105. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Igor, Jrue Holiday is a top flight PG in the making. While he is not on CP3, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook category, he certainly is on the next level of that and one of the brighter spots in Philly. This comes with understanding the Philly side of things (lots of Philly guys from my sim league) and not just our own.

    They are sending Elton Brand, who sucks only because he has a max contract… but you replace that with Gasol whose contract is BIGGER. Granting Pau Gasol is leaps and bounds better than Brand, do you think the difference to that translates to Iguodala and Jrue Holiday WHILE taking on Walton and Artest?

    Methinks no. If you propose this to Philly boards, they’ll give you a resounding HELL NO.


  106. If you propose this to Philly boards, they’ll give you a resounding HELL NO.


    It’d be a little nastier than that. Again: Odom and Bynum are this team’s trade assets. With a hard cap on the table, it would be tough to move Pau’s contract.


  107. Wow!!! Some of you guys are just……Wow!!! Kobe will not be traded. No way no how, he will be a washed up has-been as a Laker but he will be a Laker for life period. He is not at the TMac or Vince Carter border yet.

    We will not trade our bigs unless we get bigs in return. We will not trade Lamar Odom after watching what happened to Orlando and Boston when they traded their glue pieces (Hedo who since came back, but only in spirit and of course Perkins who was their only real tough guy). Odom does too much for this team and most of it isn’t in the box score.

    The Lakers actually need another big as a back-up for Bynum in case of injury or foul trouble or again if Pau develops a case of the cramps (his time of the month). We need a big who can play physical, is big enough not to get pushed around, and tall enough to provide the same dynamic as Pau and Drew. Players who come to mind are Andray Blatche (Washington), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland), or Jason Thompson (Sacramento).

    To get more athletic or better shooters there are several possibilities. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee) is a defensive nightmare for most players, Earl Clark (Orlando) has alot of the skills that Lamar has but doesn’t get any playing time, Tayshaun Prince (Detroit) is still gifted, and Kelenna Azubuike was a dynamite player for Golden State before his injury and his shooting would be a boon for the Lakers.

    As far as a point the only choices are OJ Mayo (Memphis) who again will be expendable when Rudy Gay comes back and whichever point guard Denver doesn’t want.


  108. @Snoopy2006. Also, Chauncey makes 4 times what Fisher currently makes, which is unfathomable.

    Like I’ve said earlier, the FO has 2 important personnel decisions. First, is the team going to keep its 3 bigs and perpetuate the imbalance of having a strong frontcourt at the expense of the backcourt. For the record, we cannot significantly upgrade our backcourt unless we trade one of the 3 bigs. There is no silver bullet at the point available for the minimum, or in a swap for Artest/Walton, etc. To cure that imbalance will require extracting a pound of our own flesh.

    Second, the FO will have to find the appropriate coach to help Kobe reconcile his declining athleticism with his feeling that he is the alpha dog, #1 option on the team. (Currently, Kobe is undoubtedly that on this team).

    I believe if the team does not reconcile these two things, we Lakers fans may witness this team going through NBA purgatory with the new fast and furious Heat, Bulls, and Thunder.


  109. @104) Sorry, I should have clarified what I meant about Hakeem. I know he ended his career with Toronto. My point was it was hard seeing Houston trade him once he was past his prime.


  110. Walton and Artest have smaller contracts than those of Iggy and Brand (both in terms of length and amount of money owed) and Pau’s contract is justifiable considering he’s actually a very productive player. Keep in mind this is a trade between two GMs, not two fan bases. Those two are very different.


  111. Igor – I’m all for trading Pau to the Sixers as I already proposed a similar trade, but I think you are dreaming if you think the Sixers would take back Artest and Walton. That’s just not going to happen. Unfortunately we are stuck with these 2 for the long hall.

    I’d say my trade makes more sense in giving up Gasol and Ebanks for Iguodala, Holiday and Meeks (shooter). We would just have to draft another big who can rebound, play solid D and most importantly show on the pick and rolls and get back to his man well (something Pau Gasol is terrible at).


  112. Philly might actually be interested in Pau, if they want to take the next step. But it’s very unlikely they give up Holiday. If any player on their roster is untradeable right now, it’s Holiday. I could see them trading Louis Williams in package with Iguodala, but I’m not as high on Williams.

    Boston actually has better trade chips. Allen, Garnett, O’Neal (Jermaine) will all be expiring contracts. So they could realistically snag someone from a team looking for cap relief.


  113. Warren Wee Lim May 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Igor, the GM actually lives in Philly too.

    I don’t see it as even in the works, could you see your team trading your top 3 players for an even bigger contract that doesn’t even make them better.

    Lou Williams, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Pau Gasol, X sound really championship material?

    And with Artest and Walton in the mix along with Gasol’s humongous contract, how is that rebuilding as well?