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Phillip Barnett —  June 22, 2011

From Brian Kemenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: For r the record, I don’t believe a deal sending Pau Gasol to Minnesota, whether for Kevin Love and the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s draft; the pick and whatever flotsam, jetsam and magic beans with which the Wolves would try to entice L.A.; or any combination therein is going to happen. Accepting any offer not including Love would be monumentally bad for the Lakers, and while far be it for me to tell David Kahn how to do his job, I’m not really sure how shipping out the draft choice, Love and whatever other pieces required to obtain Gasol and make salaries match makes much sense from his end, either. Strip away Love, and even if you believe Gasol the superior player (as I do), how much does he improve a 17-win team? Even if he and Ricky Rubio instantly developed a chemistry so profound the great Venkatraman Ramakrishnan wept in appreciation, unless Rubio really is the second coming of Magic Johnson, the Wolves are, what, a 30-win group for the next few years, by which time Gasol will be past his prime?

From Arash Markazi, ESPNLA: The Los Angeles Lakers announced their new broadcast teams for the upcoming season and both the radio and television crews will have new play-by-play voices. Spero Dedes, 31, who had been the Lakers radio play-by-play voice for the previous six seasons, will not be returning. “We allowed Spero to miss several Lakers games from time to time over the past few years in order to do national events for the NFL and college basketball,” said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Tuesday. “However, for our TV play-by-play position, we insist that that person not miss any games because we feel it is important to our fans to have consistency and continuity and to have the same announcer for all games.

From Chris Sheridan, ESPN: NBA players and owners each made new financial proposals Tuesday at a three-hour collective bargaining meeting, emerging from the discussion cautiously optimistic that progress was being made. The current CBA expires June 30, and the two sides are trying to prevent an impasse like the one that has stopped NFL business. The union made the first proposal, asking to retain the current “soft” salary-cap system but with a half-billion dollar reduction in salaries — $100 million in each of the next five years in a proposed five-year agreement, according to a source who was briefed on the negotiations. The owners, who are asking for a 10-year agreement, then came back with a counterproposal of their own. Owners offered what they called a “flex cap” system that would earmark at least $2 billion per season toward player salaries.

From Ben R, Silver Screen and Roll: Looking at the draft is almost a whimsical activity nowadays because the Lakers’ front office has hardly relied upon it in recent years as a method of gathering talent, much to the chagrin of Laker fans who happen to be fans of college basketball. Nearly all of the major additions to the team since 2008 have been through free agency and trades, which earned the team two championships in three trips to the Finals, but also has created some of the problems that manifested in the Lakers’ inglorious exit from the playoffs at the hands of the recently crowned champion Dallas Mavericks. In any case, with the draft approaching, it behooves us to look at the Lakers’ position in the draft and how they can possibly improve. After the jump, I’ll cover how the Lakers ended up in their current draft position, what needs the team needs to address, whether in the draft or elsewhere, and some of the prospects that the Lakers could be targeting in the draft.

From USAToday.com: Defending champion Spain included Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in its preliminary team on Tuesday for the European championship. Ibaka, who was born in the Republic of the Congo, is still waiting to become nationalized by Spain before the championship begins on Aug. 31 in Lithuania. “We hope he can play, even though we are not sure that he will be able to,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. “We are in the phase of waiting for the paperwork to go through.” Ibaka played for Spanish clubs for three years before moving to the NBA in 2009. According to Spanish media reports, he maintains a residence in Barcelona. Ibaka could form a formidable front court alongside Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and his brother Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, who returns after missing the 2010 world championship.


Phillip Barnett

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