On Pau Gasol & Trade Rumors

Darius Soriano —  June 21, 2011

It seems that even the seriousness of the ongoing CBA negotiations can’t stop a good trade rumor from taking root in everyone’s mind. In case you haven’t heard, there have been reports that the Lakers and Timberwolves have talked about a trade. The terms of said discussion aren’t entirely clear, but the rumors say that they involve Pau Gasol, Kevin Love, the number 2 pick in this upcoming draft, the Mall of America, and some of those lakes left behind when the team moved to L.A. from Minneapolis.

In all seriousness, Eric Pincus reported that while a deal was unlikely, there were actual discussions about an exchange of Gasol for some of the Timerwolves’ assets. There was then speculation of what assets the deal would include and everything from the #2 pick to Kevin Love to several medium sized contracts for role players (and a combination of all) were floated as options. If you’d like a nice summary of the evolution of the reports, Dexter Fishmore covered it well here.

However, today Ken Berger of CBS Sports has stated that any Gasol/Love swap is not going to happen.  So, nothing to see here, right?

Yes and no.

The fact that rumors are swirling around the Lakers right now is nothing new. Los Angeles is a major market and the Lakers are a marquee franchise with attractive trade pieces that can be used to bring in other teams’ players. Be it a juicy rumor or a legitimate discussion about swapping players, the Lakers are one of the few teams that’s viewed as a viable partner across the league in a deal with any team.

Plus, the fact that the Lakers’ season flamed out so dramitcally only adds to the intrigue of them wanting (needing?) to make a deal. And with that intrigue comes more speculation that a major move is on the horizon even though the key players from the front office (namely GM Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss) consistently speak about the Lakers being happy with their core players.

With the team’s poor showing in the playoffs at the crux of the argument that the Lakers need to make a deal, it’s no wonder that Pau Gasol has surfaced as the main candidate to be traded. After all, Pau was the Laker that played so poorly this post-season and thus he should be the player to fetch new pieces to keep the Lakers in contention.

I have a problem with this perspective.

First, though, a disclaimer: I have no issues with the Lakers making a good trade; a trade that improves the roster for both short and long term contention. There are ways to make that happen and without getting into specifics now, I do believe there are viable options out there to be explored. Actively looking at options to improve the team is one of the first priorities for any front office and the Lakers brass would be doing the organization a disservice if they stubbornly stuck to their guns and didn’t explore what deals could be made.

That said, the overwhelming willingness to dump Gasol in a trade is perplexing to me. While he wore down this season, he’s still the one player the Lakers have that rotates comfortably between PF and C. He’s the one big man that shows skill both on the wing and in the post. Early in the year he was the Lakers best player and he again was an All-NBA performer (2nd team) and an all-star. He’s the best option of a PF in the entire league to play on this specific Laker team.

There is a counter to this argument, though, and Reed made it well in an email exchange:

I think that the decision to trade Pau would have nothing to do with on the court problems. There’s no question he fits in perfectly next to Kobe and the rest of our core given his versatility, length, skill, etc. But there’s also no question that something off the court went seriously wrong with him and the team in general last season. Was that 400 games in 4 seasons, or something deeper? We don’t know, but I imagine that Kupchak and Buss do. But we can’t blindly assume that the team was just tired and everything will be better after a long summer. There really might be deeper conflicts in play — I trust Kupchak to figure that out. If, of course, he is still running the show in light of Jim’s emergence.

Zephid adds another point about a potential deal of Gasol:

While I believe this team has found a great chemistry between Pau and Kobe, I do think that removing Pau from the equation will free up the paint for both Kobe and Bynum to operate more effectively.  We saw in the beginning of 09-’10 that Kobe and Bynum both played great in the post when Gasol sat out the first couple weeks.  They had room to maneuver as well as better post touches.  But when Gasol returned, Kobe was forced to return to the perimeter, even though at this point he is at most an average three point shooter, and Bynum touches decreased drastically. While losing Gasol, his ability to create baskets as well as opportunities for others will surely hurt, I think our offense could probably be better with improved spacing, more shots for Bynum, and more efficient shots from Kobe.

Everything said above is valid and worth thinking long and hard about. However, I’m still of the mind that the Lakers hold on to Gasol. Skilled seven foot big men with smarts that have come up big in the biggest moments don’t just grow on trees. If you trade a player like that, you do so for someone that’s clearly better, not for depth or somone who’s not as good but “younger” or “cheaper”. Those variables should be part of the equation, but not the determining factor.

The Lakers are in an interesting position in that they’re clearly still a contender but suffer from how their playoff losses stained their credibility to still win as is. The front office has to walk a fine line in attempting to strike a balance between change for change’s sake and change to actually improve the roster. How this is accomplished is out of our control, but I caution against any “grass is always greener” mindsets that start to creep in. Especially as the rumors ramp up coming into this Thursday’s draft.

Darius Soriano

Posts

93 responses to On Pau Gasol & Trade Rumors

  1. I’m going to allow some leeway in the comments pertaining to trade talk. The draft is always a time when deals are made and the Lakers – however unlikely – could still be part of that mix.

  2. The Lakers would never get equal value (to the Lakers) back for Pau. Should just wait it out and see who they can pick up in free agency and in the draft. 4 second round picks… Can we get the Spurs to pick our players for us? :D

  3. While I would be hesitant to trade Gasol (the guy was pretty important for 4 straight finals appearances and 2 titles) the trade rumor for Love was pretty interesting.

    Kevin Love is a fantastic rebounder and can spread the floor (I think he shot a higher percentage from 3 than any player on the the Lakers last season, but only 3 attempts a game). Something like Love, milicic, #2 or #20, + filler would have deserved a serious discussion.

  4. Darius – I really don’t understand why you would be opposed to trading Pau Gasol. Yes I agree he is a very valuable piece to the Lakers success, but he and Bynum are the only viable trade assets that we have and we all know Bynum isn’t getting traded.

    So the only way to improve this team is to trade Gasol or get lucky in the draft by finding a diamond or two in the rough.

    And I know many people probably just jumped on the lets trade Gasol bandwagon after his poor showing in the playoffs, but I’ve been been hoping for a Gasol trade for a couple years now because I feel if the Lakers aren’t careful, in a few years they are going to end up with a bunch of 34-35 year olds who make too much and are untradeable.

  5. All of the above is food for thought. The rumors probably got extra play due to Minny’s penchant for talking to the media… Lakers have undoubtly floated a number of scenarios with other teams – it’s just that they’re usually very tightly wrapped. Mitch wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t explore his options.

  6. #4. Just to be clear, you’ve been “hoping for a Gasol trade for a couple of years now”? You understand the literal interpretation of that was that you’d have liked to have traded Gasol after the Lakers beat Orlando for the title and sometime between when they beat Boston, right?

    Also, if you don’t understand why I’d be opposed to trading Gasol, I’m not sure we watch the same games or value players in the same way – irrespective of whether or not Bynum will or won’t be traded.

  7. I doubt Minny would offer Love and #2.

    But if they offered something like Love, Flynn, Filler and #20.. We have to consider that right?

    However, the ‘Trade Pau’ movement is reaching epidemic levels here in L.A.

  8. Renato Afonso June 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I have to agree with Darius on this one. I’m all for trading anyone on the roster as long as we improve. One could consider going “younger” or “cheaper” if we weren’t a contending team right now. In such case, going “younger and cheaper” would place us in contention after the young players were “groomed” by us. But that is not the case…

    Right now we’re talking about trading Gasol for Kevin Love. I hope that people understand the following, if such trade should happen:
    – Love is a terrible on ball defender and an even worse help defender. He just cares about getting the defensive rebound. One may argue that Bynum can help you on that, but I seriously doubt they would only play together.
    – Love cannot play C nor can Odom. Instead of having a three man rotation like we have, we would be stuck with Bynum going for 40mpg and Love and Odom splitting the PF minutes.
    – Love doesn’t have a go to move neither in the low post nor anywhere on the floor. Yes, he can shoot and he has some serious range, but I don’t see how he’s an improvement over Gasol on offense.

    So, I fail to see how would our roster improve right now, no matter what other pieces you put around Love in this trade. Again, if the problem is the upcoming CBA and the need to cut payroll, I would understand it, but maybe we should be looking at other players in this roster who need to go in order to cut salary (Artest, Barnes, Walton…)

    Now, if you really wanted to go completely wild on this thing, then consider how could we trade Gasol and still improve our roster. Can you get into that trade machine and figure a way of trading Gasol and Artest and bringing in Steph Curry(or some other supreme shooter, name not important) and Kevin Love + backup center + fillers? Even if that means seeing Odom playing more SF minutes, then I’m all for it. But truth be told, no one would bait on that and fix 3 of our 4 roster needs in one trade, right?

  9. in an interview earlier this year, kupchak talked about how teams over the years have repeatedly made offers for bynum when there was talk of him being unhappy, or when he was injured, etc., hoping to exploit an unfortunate situation and extract a really good big man.

    this is what’s happening now with pau. teams are praying kupchak has become as hysterical as the media/some laker fans.

  10. I’m with Darius on this one…You don’t trade Pau Gasol period. The Lakers just need to beef up their perimeter players and this team can win another title with the core that it has.

    Relax everyone…Lakerdom will be just fine!

  11. Gasol and Bynum are indeed the L’s “only viable trade assets.” There is no market -none- for the likes of Artest, Barnes, Walton…

  12. The window for this team is the span of Kobe’s high productive years left (2, 3, 5?). Gasol can help you win now, Love couldn’t even win a title with Westbrook at UCLA.

  13. I’m not advocating trading gasol, but if the right deal comes around I wouldn’t be against it. I’m well aware of what Pau is capable of and what he’s meant to the reemergence of the laker org. But there are some legitimate concerns regarding Pau’s game.

    1. He looked extremely slow defensively. I’m not sure wether is was from fatigue, hamstring issues, or he’s just that slow now.

    2. As skilled as he is, he looked flat out bad toward the end of the year and in the post season. His strength is his overall offensive versatility, but he increasingly became a one dimensional spot up shooter. He looked like he could never get off a decent shot in the post and looked reluctant to attack the basket. His lack of aggressiveness and hesitance decreased his ability to make plays for others and it really hurt the lakers.

    3. How well would an emerging Bynum and Pau mesh. It was just fine when Bynum was the clear 3rd option. Despite what Kobe says, it isn’t so clear if Pau isn’t the Pau we know.

    Pau became inconsistent at times and a flat out liability in the playoffs and if thats going to continue, then the lakers should look at their options. If this rest/slash summer with Spain brings pau back i’m all for keeping the team the way it is.

  14. What about Bynum/Howard? Is this something that is going to be stopped by Jim Buss or would the Lakers pull the trigger. ( I would)

  15. A lot depends on Brown’s feelings on continuing the 3 for 2 rotation with the bigs. If he wants to do that, the one person they can’t trade is Gasol.

    Other factors in their decision: Was the second half of the season the new norm for Gasol, or will he go back to his All-Star level play? Can Odom be counted on as a starting PF in a traditional rotation? How much do you trust Bynum’s knees? Will the front office even consider trading Bynum? How big a factor is saving salary?

  16. The problem with any trade for Pau Gasol is it leaves us with Bynum’s unsteady knees. Gasol’s value over the last few years has been his ability to slide to center and remain very effective. If Andrew Bynum had trustworthy knees I wouldn’t balk at the idea of considering a Gasol trade. As it stands now I can’t see it. Gasol, even with his recent issues, is still worth more than most other players in the league. Plus, he is seven feet tall. Seven footers don’t grow in trees. The Lakers need to be VERY careful with any trade proposal involving Pau Gasol.

    Now Bynum for Howard would be a no brainer.

  17. So Joel Meyers is out as television play-by-play guy, being replaced by Bill MacDonald (Fox Sports pre/post game guy).

    Spero Dedes is out as radio play-by-play guy, being replaced by John Ireland (KCAL sideline reporter and ESPN radio host).

    I wish Spero was moving to television, as I’m pretty indifferent towards Meyers. I’m glad Ireland is getting a shot at radio, but I like his radio show and I don’t want him to tame his opinions on his show just because he’s now the objective play-by-play guy.

  18. I’m hesitant to trade Gasol because of the reasons Darius and others mentioned, but, if the offer was Love/#2/Flynn/filler or Love/#2/Webster/Filler or either of the two scenarios with the #20 instead of #2, you have to seriously consider it. The trade I’d like to see instead is Gasol to Philly for Iggy, Williams, and Hawes (or something similar with the main proponents being Iggy/Hawes). That would add athleticism, shore up the perimeter D even more, and add a young big to ease concerns over Bynum/losing Gasol.

  19. The Wolves came out today amd said like most other teams they do not want Gasol. He is too old and is being paid too much. They said the only player they are interested in on the Lakers is of course Andrew Bynum. The only way I trade Gasol to the Wolves anyways is for Love, the 2nd pick, and Flynn. Love is half the players Gasol is. He can’t create his own offense, play defense, or move laterally. The Lakers get shorter and less athletic at PF and Kevin is the type of player that struggles in the postseason. He is a hustle player who’s advantages are taken away when everyone else is hustling as well.

  20. On Bill Simmons Podcast today, Chad Ford says that for the Lakers to get Howard, they would have to give up Bynum, Odom, AND Gasol.

    He says that Orlando has all the negotiating power since all the teams that Howard wants to go to have no cap room in the summer of ’12 and if he becomes a free agent, Orlando still might make the most sense for him and give him the best chance to win.

    Then Chad Ford says he would still do this deal if he were the Lakers! He says that the Lakers will probably be in big trouble with the new cap and new CBA rules. This trade would get them out of trouble and allow them to (somewhat) compete now. And then be in great shape when Kobe retires to sign big name free agents and build the future around Dwight. Wow.

    These new broadcast teams are horrible. What happened to Joel and Spero?

  21. “like most other teams they do no want Gasol”

    Wow, really? You really think most GMs/teams wouldn’t take Gasol in a heartbeat? Remember the league wide backlash/jealousy when the trade that landed us Gasol went down?

    I read this blog daily, comment rarely, and ignore comments like that often, but that one is a bit too over the top. I, like most fans, was disappointed in Pau’s showing in the playoffs this year, but don’t forget he is reason 1A why we went to the finals three years in a row and won the last two.

    Ridiculous.

    Aaron, would you trade Bynum straight up for Howard?

  22. Lakers announce Billy Mac (tv) and John Ireland as play by play announcers for next season. I’m disappointed for Spero whom I thought would get promoted to TV or at least retained on radio.

  23. 21,
    Most NBA teams are losing money and can’t afford max players who aren’t number one options, are over thirty years old, and can’t play good defense. Even though Gasol is a top five PF teams aren’t interested in giving up young talent for him. That’s just the reality of the situation.

    Would I trade Bynum for Howard? Of course. Although Howard doesn’t have the offensive game of a Bynum or the height… He is good for 80 games a season.

  24. The key with Pau was if his horrible playoffs was a physical problem or a chemistry/emotional problem. If it was an off-the-court problem then we need to trade Pau because bad chemistry destroys basketball teams more than any other team sport.

    If it’s a physical thing, I’d go one more year with this current team, with the hope that Bynum is the guy that showed up after the all star break and Gasol quantum leaps back into himself

  25. i’m not going to miss joel meyers. i never liked the guy.

  26. 1st & foremost, no way do I trade ‘The Big Spaniard’ for Love. The main reason being is that we would be downgrading significantly. Pau is better offensively (Post up game, elbow jumpshooter, ambidextrix …) & defensively (even though, one can argue that neither plays exceptional D. I’d prefer Pau). Though Love is several yrs younger, Pau is physically superior to the un-athletic Love. Granted, Love is a better rebounder and long range shooter but that doesn’t compare to Pau’s Championship Heart/Mettle. Also, name the last time Love played in a game of any real significance … On another note, it’s a proven fact that LO was comfortable backing up Pau, but would he have the same attitude if forced to a secondary role behind Love?

  27. When was the last time that LA made a trade that was widely reported before it happened? Kupchak is very good about not tipping his hand. Also, Kevin Love is not and never will be close to the player that Pau is.

  28. Gasol is a super valuable asset to this team. I’m gonna go Bill Simmons on you guys and give you a list of players I would trade Gasol for, heads up:

    Dirk, D.Howard, D.Wade, Lebron, D. Rose, Blake Griffin (maaaybe), and Durant. That’s it. Wait, maybe Marc Gasol. But that’s assuming Pau is forever going to play like he’s been eating cat food.

    Also, if we picked up Love without giving up Odom, would he even start? I doubt it. I think Odom is the better player. Love stacked up his numbers playing for the TWolves.

    Oh and for the record, I would give up Bynum AND Odom for D. Howard. He’s the real deal and would give us everything those two don’t (durability and consistency)

  29. Rusty Shackleford June 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    @25 – Same here.

    Bring in Gary Payton. Did you ever see him and Chris Webber on NBA TV? It was like they went out drinking before they went on air.

  30. Was it not the last few years that all of the trade rumors were with Bynum, now after Gasol has a bad post season they have turned towards him. I think the same thing happens now, nothing…

    “The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.” – Alan Saporta

  31. Everyone asking about Spero…he’s going to the Knicks. Apparently the Lakers and Dedes had a verbal agreement in place. Spero backed out b/c Lakers wouldn’t allow him to do NFL and college basketball as well, which the Knicks are allowing him to do. Here’s the link….

    http://lakers.ocregister.com/2011/06/21/new-lakers-voices-bill-macdonald-john-ireland/56131/

  32. This is dumb. Let’s deal with the Laker problem not create NEW ones. Our bigs are not the problem. Mitch dumping Powell and Binga which left no back up and caused Pau to get tired, that’s a problem.

    Having the lowest rated starting point guard and the worst percentage shooting backup point guard is a problem.

    Fix the problems and leave the bigs alone. Also be nice to find a team in China to pick up Walton’s contract!

  33. Besideds the Pau/T’Wolves thing….the Lakers are involved in other talks. Report that they and the Kings are going after Felton. Although Kings may strike a deal for the 7th pick. Also Bucher reported that the Lakers were trying to buy a first rounder, as were the Heat. No link, saw on the scroll this morning. I think them buying a trade has to be for a point guard. With guys like Shumpert and Morris moving up, maybe they’ve targeted someone they really like. In regards to Julyan Stone, can a guy being talked about as undrafted a week ago climb into the first round?

  34. Well I like Gasol he’s soft but still very good. We need to figure out a way to get Howard because he’s way better than Bynum even though Bynum is a beast. We need Defense and a point guard and try and peice something together for Felton. This way we get a superstar who can carry the team when Kobe leaves and a point for the future.

  35. #32: They can send him to play with Marbury and the Dragons in Taiyuan, lol.

    As for the people saying they’d only trade Gasol for Love + the #2…

    Not only is a deal for Love already considered a long shot (as well as poking more holes than our roster than it would fix), but you think we can swing the #2 pick as well?

    Wow, just wow. A lot of homers out there, I don’t know anymore :/

    As far as valuable trade pieces go, if it makes the team better, then pretty much everyone’s on the table. That’s just being fair. Even Kobe.

    Obviously the likelihood of trading Kobe is still astronomically improbable, but the same goes for our bigs – except Odom, really. And if you want Dwight, we need Odom to stick around.

    He’s our most valuable big right now, not Gasol. Not Bynum. Sixth Man of the Year. Career season. Contract year coming up.

    And obviously, you wouldn’t flip him for anyone without a all-star PG and/or serviceable big coming back.

  36. One thing to consider is that as I said in a comment in the previous post, any Love/Gasol trade must include at least two other prominent Wolves players, including Flynn, Ridnour, Webster, Wes Johnson, Darko, or Nikola Pekovic in order for the money to work. Pick any two of those guys, add in Love, and then give up Gasol; that’s the trade that needs to be considered, not Gasol for Love straight-up.

    No, Love is not nearly the offensive or defensive player that Gasol is, but imagine getting Love, Webster, and Ridnour from the Wolves for Gasol. Those are 3, 40%+ shooters from three point range. Our floor spacing would be immaculate, probably on par with the Mavericks.

    Don’t like giving up so much size? Replace one of Webster or Ridnour with one of Darko or Pekovic. Are either of those guys particularly good? No. But are they good enough to be backup centers for 15 mins per game? Absolutely.

    And even if you want to trade for the future, take Flynn, Wes Johnson, and Love. They’re all guys under 23 and still developing. All were top 5 draft picks in the last 3 years.

    So for all those discrediting anyone pushing for a Gasol/Love trade, you have to remember that it’s not Gasol for just Love, it’s Gasol for Love and 2 other solid NBA players that fill pretty big Laker needs.

  37. @20 – did Chad Ford seriously say that? I like him as a writer but that’s nutty. I wouldn’t give up Pau, Bynum and Odom for any one player, period. And as far as a new CBA, any hard cap would definitely include some sort of amnesty for existing contracts. There’s just no way around it. No matter what angle you take on labor negotiations, at the end of the day, the major market franchises control the league. Teams like Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Orlando and Miami, aren’t going to sign off on a deal that requires them to break apart their own rosters.

  38. The NBA is composed of large and small market teams. The only way out is to get some additional revenue sharing – somewhat leveling the playing field between big and small – and provide a reasonable spending base to control owners like ‘The Donald’.

    This solution is not on the players at all.

  39. @35: Love, Webster and Ridnour are not even close to on par with Kidd, Terry, and Dirk. If they were, the Wolves wouldn’t be so terrible.

    @36. Ford is probably saying that because he’s implying that in order for Orlando to agree to give up Howard, we would have to take on a bunch of Orlando’s bad contracts (such as Turkoglu and Arenas)

  40. Yusuf @ 2 – “Can we get the Spurs to pick our players for us?”

    That’s an excellent idea!

  41. 32

    I agree with your post on Luke, Lakers are chained to his contract till 2013, yet he is just a bench player. How did they solve Grant’s contract in ’05 or Vlade Divac or Chris Mihm? I hope there is way out clause in that contract since he frequently gets injured too. How about giving him some office assignments instead as a scout, PR assistant etc with a negotiated contract, I think Luke wll do the Laker a favor by volunteering to restructure his presence than being the subject matter in all blogs. His non-activity will also be part of his reputation as the son of the HOF’er who played in NBA, practically sat/depending on his long contract. The new CBA should solve this kind of dilemma.

  42. Every team that loses/doesn’t win a championship looks for a scapegoat. The Heat fans want one (hence the questions by Riley today backing up Spoelstra to stop that rumor as soon as possible). For the Lakers, it’s Pau. Some of the criticism is definitely deserved: He was missing from the Playoffs for whatever reason. He wasn’t there. His points per game went down (though I’ll attribute some of that to Bynum actually being 100% healthy for this post season) and his rebounds went down a lot. Pau still led the team in blocks during the playoffs and he led the team in assists (3.8/game). So of course he will be the scape goat. But that’s heat of the moment talk.

    If we lost the past two years, there’s a good chance bynum would have been the scape goat (get anything for him, he’s always injured, he can’t help us in the playoffs). So this year it’s Pau’s turn.

    Unfortunately, Lakers fan (sports fans in general actually) are used to going to the finals. Are used to winning. A lot of my friends on facebook can’t stop making comments about their hate for Laker “bandwagon fans.” My question is: how can we be bandwagon fans when the team has made the finals 7 times in the last 10 years or so. So we want to win. Sadly, we never know til it happens. Lots of people on this site comment on the strength of other teams and the Lakers inability to beat any one of them. However, I dont think anyone pictured the Dallas Mavericks to get past us, or the Heat for that matter.

    The worst part about our team right now is the uncertainty. We don’t know the style of play. We don’t know how the coach will handle our games. Will we have a gameplan besides defense and iso-kobe offense? We won’t know any of this until the games are played. If at that time, Pau doesn’t fit, then Laker fans should consider trades for him. But right now, unless you’re trading for a top 5 player (Dwight for example), then it should not be considered.

  43. Like I’ve been saying all along, it will take a pound of flesh from 1/3 of our bigs to substantially improve our PG position. If you are ok with losing 1/3 bigs for a point guard, so be it. If you feel like the Lakers can get a good to very good point guard without sacrificing 1/3 of our bigs, then you are being unrealistic. I think it’s as simple as that. Sure, we may get lucky with some 2nd rounder PG panning out, but that is the exception to the rule.

    The Lakers have been fortunate to win 2 championships despite having a great imbalance re: the PG position. The philosophical question is whether you want to keep the bigs at the expense of point guard play, or do you want to sacrifice one of them?

  44. 31

    This is the responsibility of Jeanie Buss, too bad to hang on John Ireland and Bill McDoanald. These are only reporters and fillers for commercial purposes. I think John is better in reporting than being an analyst. He is bias on so many things if you listen on his afternoone show.

    I have two guys in mind who would benefit the listening public and both are ex-coaches, one is Fran Fraschilla, he covered the recent FIBA Basketball tournament for USA. Color broadcaster, I like the analysis of Coach Miller of ESPN. Fans will be served more if you have an *independent-minded* broadcasters than listening to homers who just know how to sell commercials.

  45. 38, didn’t say they were better players. I did say they were better 3P shooters, and that is definitively true. I’d ask that you read my comments more carefully before making generalizations.

    Here’s the stats to back it up (regular season numbers):

    Ridnour 44%
    Webster 41.7%
    Love 41.7%

    Kidd 34%
    Terry 36%
    Dirk 39%

  46. @43……..it does say that the contracts of the radio/tv guys are only for one year in duration. They could very well go for bigger/better name guys. I just can’t picture Ireland as anything other than sideline/afternoon talk show guy.

  47. Eh, even if all I was trying to do is space the floor, I’d still rather take any 3 players from Dirk, Terry, Kidd, Peja, or Barrea over those 3.

    3Pt% numbers don’t tell the whole story about their ability to provide “floor spacing”. All of the Mav’s perimeter players can also penetrate and dish, which made them so effective at keeping defenses off-balance. Webster can’t even penetrate the Minnesota starting 5. And no matter what, I’d be reluctant to trade the 2nd best power forward in the league for 3 guys who couldn’t manage 18 wins last season.

  48. Magic
    West
    Kareem
    Shaw
    Ronnie Lester
    Mychal Thompson
    Spero Dedes
    Training staff
    Video guys
    Scouts

  49. In my opinion we have a logjam in the front court. We have too many guys are at their best in the post. (Pau, Bynum, Kobe, Odom, Artest) It’s a lot like the situation with the Heat. You have 2 guys (Wade & James) whose games are too similar for them to be effective in the playoffs. One of them has to change their style of play to get better next season.

    So, for the Lakers, either one of our big 5 drastically changes their style of play, or we trade one of them for a player who better complements the offense. The former option is less likely because I don’t see Kobe’s finger getting better or Gasol/Odom developing a spot-up 3 point shot as part of their game. Artest may be able to find a better shooting groove in a new system, but his big body is better suited for banging down low. If Steve Blake or Shannon Brown doesn’t bring some balance in the spot-up shooting department, we are gonna have to relinquish one of our big 3 in the frontcourt (since nobody wants Artest) to get better.

  50. I am firmly against the gasoline for love+scrubs deal. Even gasoline for love + the number two isn’t enough, because the number two pick would be Williams, and while he may be a good player, he won’t get minutes over love/odom/Bynum andnwould be a defensive liability in comparison to artest.

    I say try to purge dwill from the nets, because he has been reported to hate it there and man that guy is a special player. But that’s all just fluff talk anyways.

    Last season Pau’s precipitous decline in production started just after that last regular season Mavericks game. I believe right around that time he had a pretty bad ankle sprain, and yo could tell he wasn’t as confident on both ends of the court with the ankle that didn’t really get better.

    And Bynums overrated, in the three years we went to the finals he was not a big contributor on either end (the year we beat Boston he was our Kendrick Perkins). Dont get me wrong, I give him credit for gutting it out and playing hurt, but that’s the thing, he’s always always always hurt. Every blocked shot I see him get makes me wince for the landing (and that’s a scary proposition to have as a fan). Also notice that the moment he started playing relatively well, the Lakers, after experiencing early success, began to have a ton of on court chemistry issues. They didn’t know who their best five guys were, and never really could play them together anyway (Kobe, artest, odom, Pau, Bynum) because they dont match well on both ends of the court.

    Bynum wanted touches. Kobe wanted touches. Pau deferred. Odom tried to act as a floor spacer. It made it too hard to run a fluid offense and from that a good defense, which is why the lakers struggled to score so often this season.

  51. Gasol, not gasoline. Stupid iPad and auto type…

  52. 49

    To compound the problems they really lacked speed, starters were partly injured throughout the season and poor shooting % . They were overconfident too, dependent on that imaginary “switch” that can easily be turned ON during the playoffs. Kobe was depending on his teammates while his teammates were waiting for Kobe to explode. Artest & Odom became nuttier with their social adventures forgetting to hone up skills. There’s cockiness from the b2b Champs during interviews that they are unbeatable because of PJ, Kobe etc with highly discriminating myths that Western teams are inferior to Lakers in 7-game series. Most of the fans got on with this bandwagon who kept on repeating as cheerleaders that Lakers are really unshakable during to the playoffs. It was this lackadaisikal attitude that led to defeat and even the 11-ring Coach lost his luster and imagination in beating the 3rd seed team Dallas. Meanwhile the Dallas team were riding high in pouring 3’s from Barea, Kidd, Terry, Peja and Kirk just buried the Lakers overconfidence.

    I hope they learned from these mistakes. It is the same mistakes in wars whether it was during napoleonic wars or WW II. Once complacency sinks in, then ineptitude follows that leads to defeatism.

  53. First of all, we can not relinquish any of the big three (Bynum, Gasol, Odom) because the lose of one is what cost the team last year. If anything we need another big in case one of our bigs goes down again. The perfect player for us is Varejao. He doesn’t back down, he hustles, and he can play both positions. The question is can we get him? I don’t know. It depends on what Cleveland does with the 4th pick. There are bigs that they can get to replace him because JJ Hickson has gotten a taste of the starters role and may be the starter again next season. Trading Varejao for draft picks on shorter term contracts may be enough for Cleveland to consider trading him. His is their 3rd highest contract and he is extremely limited offensively.

    Varejao could only be a backup for us because of our offensive limitations at the point guard and small forward positions. Neither Ron Artest or Fisher are threats because of advanced age, limited physical capabilities, and lack of shooting prowess. Three non-offensive players on the floor at one time allows the defense to concentrate on the two only scorers and pretty much shut those options down.

    The Point Guard situation can be remedied by trading Steve Blake, Caracter, and a draft pick to Denver for Raymond Felton. He would immediately become the starter and Fisher the back-up. Players like Azubuike and JR Smith would be excellent additions as scorers off the bench given their ability to hit the three and the athleticism that JR posseses.

    The draft for the Lakers offers good choices to address our defensive issues. There are six or more guys that can make the team or be good development players.

    These are my choices:

    41) Travis Leslie – SG/SF – Georgia – Senior:
    41) Iman Shumpert – PG/SG – Georgia Tech – Junior:
    41) Jimmy Butler – SF – Marquette – Senior:
    46) Justin Holiday – SF – UCLA – Senior:
    56) Greg Smith – C/PF – Fresno State – Sophomore:
    58) Julyan “JuJu” Stone – PG – UTEP – Senior:

  54. Mychal Thompson not leaving–read that somewhere but it was incorrect.

  55. The Point Guard situation can be remedied by trading Steve Blake, Caracter, and a draft pick to Denver for Raymond Felton.

    ___

    There is no way Denver even considers that. Rumor is that they are thinking about trading Felton to Sacto for the 7th pick.

  56. I guess fans just think the Laker organization controls everything. Did you read the information about the changing of announcers?

    Spiro wanted to do NFL and college stuff while also being the Laker prime TV guy. The Knicks were willing to let him do this and he is from N.Y. End of story.

    As for the Lakers, they wanted people on a one year deal because they have the Time Warner changeover next year and wanted to guarantee that there would be no conflicts with Fox or CBS (KCAL) people. Billy Mac works for Fox and John Ireland works for KCAL.

  57. There’s a story that Minnesota might be considering getting Steve Nash for the #2 pick. David Kahn might actually be the stupidest GM of all time; Kupchak should call him NOW and offer Joe Smith for the #2, since, after all, he was the #1 pick. 50/50 chance it works.

  58. Darius – “if you don’t understand why I’d be opposed to trading Gasol, I’m not sure we watch the same games or value players in the same way”

    Actually, I value Pau Gasol very high which is why I think he is the only player on our team that we are able to trade that we can get anywhere near equal value for. I and I would have to believe most Lakers fan don’t think we can come back next year with the same roster and win a championship. And trading Gasol or getting extremely lucky in the draft is the only way we can actually improve this team.

    So once again, I don’t understand what your reluctance is to trading Pau Gasol. Sasha Vujacic was a part of the championship teams as well. Did you disagree with trading him away too?

  59. “The Point Guard situation can be remedied by trading Steve Blake, Caracter, and a draft pick to Denver for Raymond Felton.”

    So Denver will give up one of their best trade chips for a player who disappeared during the season and most notably, the playoffs, and is also owed $12 mil and is north of 30? Oh, then I’m sure Denver wants a guy who has a pending assault charge in New Orleans and had apparent “character” issues for a starting point guard.

    I don’t understand how people think that the Lakers will get a starting level point guard for our garbage. There is a reason why we have trotted out Fisher, Farmar, Blake over the past few years. Other teams want one of our three big men, and the front office has declined. That is the minimum asking price for a starting-caliber point guard. We may be stuck with Fisher/Blake next season because the front office is unwilling to let go of one of our bigs, which serve as an advantage.

    But I always remember what Barkley said about our 3 bigs: at any given moment, you can only play 2 of them and during crunch time, one of them sits. Bynum is a rising phoenix, will he be content sitting on the bench this year?

  60. @58 Craig W., lately I just read the comments for comic relief and reinforcement in my belief that reading comprehension and logical thinking is sadly lacking in the general public.

  61. The Lakers aren`t going to trade Gasol or Odom,because the other teams think the Lakers are desperate after the playoffs,and will just offer crap in retrurn. PG remains a problem,but it will have to be addressed in the draft,FA,or involve other players on the roster.

  62. #60. Your point would be stronger without your last paragraph. Equating what Gasol contributed to those championships vs. what Sasha contributed isn’t a comparison worth anyone’s time.

    Also, there are trades to be made that don’t include Gasol that could certainly improve this team. Bynum, who’s younger, still has upside, and is a piece many around the league value (even w/ his injury history) could fetch a nice player in return, I’m sure. Odom, who has a favorable contract and is quite productive as either a starter or bench player, and is a proven leader (both on the Lakers and for Team USA) is the type of veteran big man a lot of teams would want. To think those two players couldn’t be traded together or separately for value that could help this team is a narrow view.

    And, for whatever it’s worth, I’m someone that thinks the Lakers can make minor changes to this roster and win next season. I think a core group of Kobe/Gasol/Bynum/Odom can get it done. Especially considering we’re not sure *how* Mike Brown will deploy the players. Will he play the big frontline together more? Will he close with Bynum? Will he play a big back court (Kobe/Artest, Kobe/Barnes, Kobe/Ebanks) that could potentially defend better than line ups with Fisher/Blake? Any of these open questions could turn into wins that ultimately set the foundation for more success next year. Yet, everyone wants to talk trade.

    To add to this point, there is no silver bullet deal that guarantees anything. Before the playoffs started, the Lakers were the favorite and the Mavs were supposed to lose to the Blazers. That’s not how things went, obviously. I’m consistently surprised (though I shouldn’t be) that fans take the stance that a team will or won’t win based off roster composition before the games are actually played and we see whether or not things fit, what works, and what doesn’t.

    The difference in so many contests is one or two plays at crucial moments of the game. Those plays can come from any player on the floor and we’ve seen the Lakers (just as we saw the Mavs this year or the C’s in 2008) make them to win. Phil Jackson always said the game can change on a trifle, yet I find that too many look for the solution that somehow guarantees a result.

  63. 64) “The difference in so many contests is one or two plays at crucial moments of the game.”

    Agreed. Despite playing noticeably below what they are capable of, the Lakers were not that far behind Dallas – they could have won the first three games. Similar to the 2008 series vs Boston. Unless there are internal issues that absolutely can’t be addressed, they are better off making minor adjustments to the existing roster than making drastic changes.

  64. Darius,
    What I would do to see a lineup of Kobe, Artest, Odom, Gasol, amd Bynum? The answer of course is… Kill Derek Fisher

  65. #35 – Actually the Lakers own a “team option” for Lamar Odom for the 2012-2013 season at about $8.2 million. I don’t see how the Lakers don’t exercise this option.

  66. Darius, do you feel that Bynum/Gasol can work together next year? I think the championship chances for this team revolve around this question. It’s obvious there is tension between the two; Bynum feels he should be the #2 option, but Kobe feels otherwise. Gasol seemed displeased at Bynum for taking so long to recover from his injury at the beginning of the summer. Bynum showed through his play during the playoffs that he may not be willing to sit on the bench during crunch time, to which Kobe and Gasol retort that Bynum’s always injured.

    It seems like a revolving conundrum. Here’s to hoping Mike Brown can solve it.

  67. If LA does trade one of its three bigs(Odom, Pau, or Bynum) it would have to be for a top point guard in the league Players like DWill or CP3 would offset the lost of one of the three. A penetrating guard who can create their own shot as well as create shots for teamates would do wonders for the offense. The thought process of trading a big for another dominant big(DHoward) creates the same problem that the current roster has.

  68. I would do the trade for Love, Flynn and the #2 pick. I know many people have not seen him play but Enes Kanter is going to be the best player out of this draft class. Last summer I got a chance to see him take on guys like Demarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson in UK’s practice facility and he ate them alive. He is NBA ready and in a few years will have the same type of game as Gasol except with youth to his advantage. If people are worried about a logjam downlow we could always trade Lamar/Love in return for some more perimeter youth. It’s a no brainer to me but not many people realize the potential Kanter has. Everyone was so high on Jared Sullinger this past year but when he played against Kanter two summers ago, Enes destroyed him as well. And if you want to see what physical shape he is in you should read about how he was the only big man EVER since the Combine process started to last the intense 20+ treadmill workout that guards typically struggle with. He followed UK last year even though he couldn’t play and still improved his game under Calipari. Even if he went next year in a deeper draft he would still be a top 5 pick. He will be a cornerstone in the franchise that drafts him. Just my two cents but most people haven’t seen the guy play.

  69. the problem isn’t *only with lacking viable trade assets – the L’s are a {ahem} veteran team, which complicates trading for younger and quicker players due to salary matching.
    (see rumored trade(s) with T’wolves)

  70. #62 Whether the general public or fans in general have low esteem in logical thinking and thought process, well is this not the objective of having a blog? It is like an orchestra in tune with the music but producing different sounds. However, blog sometimes are out of tune with common knowledge because of the multitude of opinions coming from diversity of the market and individual preferences. In my own POV, I’d exert a little tolerance and understanding on anything that does not fit.

  71. #72, frankly most of the time, it’s very difficult to understand what you’re trying to say or the point you’re trying to make. And I’m not unfamiliar with reading opaque academic tracts or allegorical writing.

    And I’m still not sure what you mean in your first sentence. The public and fans don’t value logical thinking? Is that what you’re saying because that’s how it reads.

    I have no issues with differing opinions. But I respect ones that have a grounding in reality and logical reasoning. I may not agree with the conclusion drawn, but I can at least respect how it was reached.

    I was drawn to this blog years ago because of the high level of intelligent discourse. Not people who immediately think their opinion is fact and draw wildly illogical conclusions.

  72. It seems to me that a lot of commenters are analyzing the hypothetical Minnesota trade inaccurately. For the most part, those opposed to the trade are arguing that Love isn’t as good as Gasol. Who would argue that point?

    The issue is that in trading a great, but 30 year old player coming off a simply horrendous playoff run, you add a 22 year old all-star power forward AND the #2 overall pick (someone reasonably expected to become a star) AND added bench depth in the form of Michael Beasley or Darko (one of which has to be included in order to make the salaries work out)–and possibly even Johnny Flynn as well.

    In other words, the Lakers get younger, more athletic, and a lot deeper, without increasing payroll. This doesn’t mean that you automatically do this deal simply for these reasons, but why such a deal should be attractive is pretty obvious to me.

    Moreover, there is the additional issue of whether or not Pau can be the same valuable player that he has been if he is playing alongside a healthy and emerging Andrew Bynum. To me, that is very much in doubt. To date, I think that Pau has been at his best when playing alongside Lamar, where Pau is the center. We simply don’t have a large enough sample size to evaluate how well Pau can play with a healthy Bynum, but I think it is reasonable to conclude that he won’t be the same all-star caliber player if he’s losing post touches to Bynum (which will and should happen).

    If I could get an upgrade at PG (which I think Flynn or Ridnour would be), a 22 year old all-star PF, and a young star in the making like Derrick Williams in the draft, and all I have to give up is Pau Gasol, I’m doing that deal without hesitation, with the belief that I’ve made my team better for the short term AND the long term….

  73. The only trades that make any sense at all for a team as good and old as the Lakers is one that actually makes the team better…and there are really only two ways to make trades that make your team better; one is to take on salary, which we cannot do because we have no expiring contracts; and second is to give up youthful potential for proven veteran talent. Trading Gasol doesn’t fit either of these.

    Given this, the only trade that makes any sense to me would be Bynum, and it would still be extremely difficult to actually make the team better. If we were to give up Bynum, we’d have to greatly improve our chances of winning it all for the next two or three years in order to make it worth giving up his assumed many years of excellence ahead of him.

    Given those parameters, I only see one instance that fits – Nash/Gortat (or Lopez) for Bynum. That would seem to be a stronger line-up, but it’s still a crap-shoot.

  74. We still have a 5 or 6 million TE from the Sasha trade to use though correct? So we technically could take on some salary if something attractive presented itself.

  75. No. Trade Exceptions can’t be combined with other players.

    Usually the way that taking on salary works is as in the Gasol trade, where the then-current year salary amounts were similar, but Kwame’s deal was ending, while Gasol’s had more years on it, so we were taking on the salary of those additional years. We have no expiring contracts to do this right now, so we can’t take on more salary.

  76. @ 74, Snitch:

    Quick question: Hypothetically speaking (since Minn has already stated that they’re not interested in such a deal), lets say that we were able to pull off this trade (Pau for Love, Flynn/Ridnour & the #2 pick/Williams), where do you suppose we fit all of these players? We would be looking @ a roster that consist of 3 point guards (Fisher, Blake & Flynn/Ridnour) and 4, possibly 5 small forwards (Artest, Barnes, Walton, Ebanks? & #2 pick/Williams). Very unbalanced, to say the least, and we can’t just assume that we would be able to move other pieces/contracts (Walton, Blake, Artest …) to make this work. Other teams are not jumping in front of each other in an effort to assist the Lakers.

    Also, as I stated/alluded to earlier, who starts @ power forward? The All Star, K. Love or the 6th Man of the Year, L.O. And finally, if Drew goes down with his customary injury, who replaces him in the middle?

  77. 78, I can solve this equation

    48 PG minutes:
    20 Blake
    20 Ridnour/Flynn
    8 Fisher (less?)

    48 SG minutes:
    32 Kobe
    12 Ebanks
    4 Barnes

    48 SF minutes:
    24 Artest
    10 Williams
    14 Barnes
    -1000000 Luke Walton

    Problem solved!

  78. Pau is quite skilled on the court (when he’s not pouting, getting pushed off the block, shrugging his shoulders or loping down the court behind the play), but he’s not a leader off the court. He pretty much lost any credibility on that this year. He’s the second highest paid player on the team and among the smartest. I don’t think guys like that should fall off like that in a year, especially since he took last summer off, and even had phil whispering about his early season play as mvp-like. But who says Bynum will be healthy all year? We’re definitely moving into a post-kobe era, and someone has to step up and lead the team in that direction. It can’t just be the new coach. It’s gotta be a player, and Pau’s just too timid, too sensitive for that role. I’d take the minny trade in a heartbeat, but you still have to answer those chemistry/leadership issues.

  79. Mychal Thompson provided that additional big man with versatility. Can the Lakers find another player similar player to Thompson with these skills. Let me provide some players names: Ronny Turiaf, Jason Thompson and Andris Biedrins. These players would give the Lakers additional assistance at the power forward and center positions. This was a major problem with the Lakers and with that additional big man; Pau Gasol would not have been used extensively for prolonged periods. Jerry, Mitch and Mike do not be sleazy; bring the quality talent in there are some more holes to be filled, small forward Tyshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey are good additions. Non-performers such as: Barnes, Brown, Ratliff, Smith, Walton are veterans with experience. Caracter and Ebanks are in there first NBA season. Keep Ebanks; Caracter needs to be released or traded to another team (personality problems). Please let move forward in a fashion like Mark Cuban did with the Mavericks. A big, strong and powerful team built around finesse and good quality scoring from all positions. Follow this example as a good model.

  80. @ #79, Zephid:

    “-1000000 Luke Walton” – I’m definitely with you on that. Lol!

    But regarding the 48 SG minutes, either you overlooked him or you’ve already came to the conclusion that ShanWow is opting out of the final year of his player option contract?

  81. It works in the trade machine:
    Bynum and Odom
    for
    Howard and Redick

  82. Renato Afonso June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    To all people still talking about the Love (+whoever) for Gasol trade, I really need to understand your reasoning for this…

    Do you believe that it would really translate in a better chance of winning right now? Do you analyze a trade by the stats of each player? And have you seen Kevin Love actually play? The guy doesn’t care about defense, he cares about rebounds, period. I fail to see how our title chances improve by having a worse defense and not improving on our FG% (Gasol still is a good player). I’m really speechless with what I am reading…

    A few years ago, before Bynum blossomed and Gasol came to the Lakers, a lot of guys here were talking themselves into an Odom+something for Garnett and at some otehr point, for Jermaine O’Neal. Both were lateral moves, as adding another star player wouldn’t solve the problems with the rest of the roster. This is even a worse situation right now… We need better PG play (which we could get from the trade, but still would be an average NBA player), we need better SF play (and Artest is not going anywhere) and we need better 3pt shooting without hurting our defense or our depth.

    Maybe the Lakers could and should explore some 2-3 zonal defense from time to time with the LO-Gasol-Bynum on court alongside Kobe and a decent shooter. Maybe Mike Brown will be able to find a rotation that maximizes the production from our bench. While Gasol faded, he was not the reason why we didn’t win it all… And while it would be very difficult to trade anyone who isn’t one of those three players, trading one of them just because we cant trade the others doesn’t seem very smart. Wasn’t this team good enough to win two titles and cruise to a 2nd seed out West? Maybe a coaching change was what we needed, and everybody knows how maddening the PJ’s rotations could be…

  83. Funky Chicken June 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    @78 TRA,

    I actually think the number of players the Lakers would get after a trade like this (which, as you pointed out, is not going to happen…) is precisely what makes it a reasonable deal for L.A.

    True, the Lakers would have 3 point guards, but they carried 3 during the playoffs this year, and it’s pretty clear that neither of the 2 on the roster are the answer for that spot.

    The logjam at the 3 spot is not as bad as you described, in large part because I think that if that trade went through and the Lakers picked Williams at #2, they would not re-sign Ebanks and Barnes would likely be Kobe’s primary backup at the SG position, leaving only Artest, Williams and (ugh) Walton at the SF spot.

    I would personally start Love over Odom, in part because I think LO has proven himself to be a success off the bench, and I think the 2nd unit would be an incredibly athletic and fast group with LO in the mix.

    To make the salaries work, the trade would have to include either Beasley or Darko, and while Beasley is clearly the better player, Darko would fill a more important need as a backup center. With all of that, the first unit would be:

    Blake/Fish
    Kobe
    Artest
    Love
    Bynum

    The second unit would be:

    Blake/Fish & Flynn/Ridnour
    Barnes (and Shannon if he opts in)
    Williams
    LO
    Darko

    That team would be able to legitimately go 10 players deep, which is precisely what they needed to be able to do to compete with Dallas. I don’t think a minor tweak will allow them to beat the Mavs. Dallas has an excellent formula by going 10 deep and running opponents into the ground, so by the time the 4th quarter comes around they are fresh and their opponents are gassed….

  84. Wow….many different views and a lot of good reads here. I must say it was very entertaining to read it all.

    I won’t take credit for mentioning Minnesota’s PG’s as a possible target weeks ago but I guess I’m doing it anyway…lol.

    Look for the Lakers to find a PG somewhere folks. We need to get better there and Mitch knows it. He will continue to probe for options to upgrade the position.

    I favor two former UCLA PG’s and if any deals could be worked to get them then pull the trigger Mitch. Jrue Holiday would be the ideal solution…the kid is a player I’m telling you. Doubt if Philadelphia would be that crazy to give him up with any deal bringing Iggy also.

    The more likely scenario is trading for Baron Davis who don’t be fooled folks has some game left. I believe a properly motivated (&healthy) BDizzle who would not have to play monster minutes might work out better than it sounds. This also opens up the possibility of getting one of the Cavs forwards also. With Hickson, Jamison and Anderson V. somebody has to go. However, you only make this trade if you feel you can come back and win with this core right now.

    I also want to issue this warning … watch the movement of Michael Redd. If he decides to sign with the Mavs then folks that might give them what they need to repeat.

  85. For all those that forgot…..
    @robinred and DY

    Felton bitched and moaned that he was not the getting his starter’s minutes in Denver (chemistry issues) and Denver is committed to Ty Lawson at the point. In addition, the Lakers drafted Caracter at the behest of Denver who were going to trade for him. For some reason the trade fell through. Blake is (was) the perfect back-up. He doesn’t complain, he just does what is asked of him. So Denver would save money, get someone who wants and is capable of playing back-up, and alleveate a potential chemistry issue. I don’t see an issue.

  86. Robert @ 81 – “Mychal Thompson provided that additional big man with versatility. Can the Lakers find another player similar player to Thompson with these skills. Let me provide some players names: Ronny Turiaf, Jason Thompson and Andris Biedrins.” Sorry, Biedrins couldn’t carry M. Thompson’s jock strap! The guy is a stiff. If you think Gasol is soft, Biedrins is an exemplar of softness. His old coach, Don Nelson, said “boo!” to him and the dude fell apart! I live in the Bay Area and I’ve seen Biedrins underperform year after year. He is utterly pathetic.

    Turiaf? I like the guy, but again any comparison to Mychal Thompson is solely for laughs.

  87. How about Odom/Artest for Iguodala/#16.

    Thoughts?

  88. @89….That’s being revised now Odom/Walton for Iguodala straight up…..my only apprehension with that is the Bynum factor, ie who steps in at pf if Pau has to go to Center in the event Bynum goes down? If we can get past that trepidation….that’s a decent trade for both sides. Iguodala can guard pg’s on occasion as well, might by us some time in that avenue.

  89. First off, what I’m about to say isn’t intended as a knock on any member of the new coaching staff. It really isn’t. But in all honesty, if we go back 6-9 months, would anybody here agree with the premise that the reins to Kobe, Pau, Bynum and Odom (as a unit) would be handed over to Brown, Kuester, Boylen and a stripped down/new support staff? I know this question doesn’t go directly to what gives us the best chance for a championship. It doesn’t address specific player changes that help that cause. I do however, think it’s unrealistic to expect that all of the major changes take place on one side of the court. Changes will most likely reflect longterm cost savings and a desire to have the new staff work with a team that isn’t wholly the product of a previous coaching regime.

    To put it more simply, despite Mitch’s earlier assurances, we may well be looking at a rebuilding process with Kobe and Andrew as the centerpieces.

  90. Renato Afonso June 23, 2011 at 5:45 am

    @90

    Getting Iggy for Odom/Walton is somewhat weird… Are we going small? Are we going to get a backup PF for the veteran’ minimum? Are we going to give minutes to Caracter? Sure, having Iguodala, Artest and Barnes to play SF would be an insane luxury. You could even get Iguodala some burn at SG and rest Kobe more. Lots of question marks there…

  91. Renato Afonso June 23, 2011 at 5:45 am

    And where did you read that?

  92. Darius awesome answer to #4, I agree with you fully.

    A player I don’t think many people are talking about is Michael Redd. He is going to have a chip on his shoulder, he would be willing to play for cheap to increase his value once again and him and kobe have a pretty decent relationship. He is a knock down 3pt shooter and he could really help our bench. I think this is the type of player we need to be looking for. We shouldn’t trade our greatest asset our length. It’s not our big’s fault that kobe is not healthy or wants to operate in the paint more then they do, if Gasol or Bynum had the ball in their hands as much as kobe or if Bynum was in sayyyy Brook Lopez’s situation in New Jersey where he was the franchise player then he would average 25 and 10 easy. You don’t trade away skilled seven footers. The only way you do is if there are chemistry issues, trust issues, internal conflicts amongst players. we STILL have a great team and what happened this year in the playoffs had nothing to do with basketball or legs or anything something shady happened internally. If we are going to make improvements we shore up our bench, we improve our shooting, and we improve at the pg position. We can do that if we draft a young prospect like Nolan Smith’s name has been thrown out there. We have Trey Johnson who many people don’t know tore up the D league and when he got the chance to actually play I liked his game. I actually believe Odom is the player the lakers would look to move if they could. I would never want to trade him but he is 31 he just came off an arguably all star year. His value is high so if we can trade Odom for sayyyy a Ramon sessions and a draft pick I think that would be a better move then trading away either of our 7 footers. That being said I want this team to come back I want to hope that it was just fatigue I feel that also tinkering the line up could change things as well. Maybe start Matt Barnes, conserve Ron’s legs for the playoffs…start steve blake….save fisher. Then come off the bench with 3 exeperienced players. Fish, Ron Ron, and Odom? Or start Odom because he spaces the floor better with Pau and they play so much better together? Bring Bynum in to dominate the second unit and get his touches. We can balance things out too. Bynum and Kobe also talked about coming back stronger physically. So I expect both of them to be more explosive.

    so in conclusion I don’t think you need to blow up the core unless someone slept with someone’s gf or something. You need to go after players like Michael Redd, players with a story and something to prove who fit your teams needs. 3pt shooting, someone who can create his own shot etc.

  93. Odom ducked successfully with the trade winds but that’s the message for our reality star. He is the player with values Lakers would love to dangle. Derrick Williams must have a lot of potentials, imagine Minny getting a 6’10 veteran vs. 6’7″ young rookie, that’s rolling the dice on part of JB. Our present set up can still compete with addition of a nimble PG and outside shooters but if Dwight and CP3 becomes available and it would take the triple towers to get them in any combination, Mitch don’t hesitate at all. Take it. Dwight, Kobe, CP3 (or D’Will), Artest plus young role players, any Coach would go for those dream starters compared to Odom, Bynum, Gasol with Kobe & Artest. The latter is lopsided imbalance compared to the former.