Talking Point Guard Upgrades, Or Lack Thereof

Phillip Barnett —  July 25, 2011

Over the weekend, Silver Screen and Roll had a couple of great posts on the Lakers and their current point guard situation, and more importantly, how to solve it. While I understand that the Lakers problem is at the point guard position, I don’t think it’s a problem that the Lakers should exactly go out of their way to solve considering that both upgrading through free agency or trade both have their own pitfalls to overcome. While I’d like to see an upgrade at the top, I wonder if it’s going to be too difficult to make this happen considering that the Lakers are seeing frontcourt depth and a backup for Kobe with a natural ability to score. The Lakers are going to be looking to try and make a lot of small tweaks to their roster, and I’m not sure if upgrading the point guard is the most important issue at this point. However, I recognize that it is an issue and this section from Dexter Fishmore really hammers it home:

But Fish is a lion in winter. He turns 37 next month, and his abilities are in decline. For a guy whose only offensive role the past few seasons has been to knock down open looks, his shooting numbers are unacceptably poor. He can’t beat anyone off the dribble. On defense, he lacks the lateral mobility to check even average point guards, to say nothing of the elite PG’s the Lakers face in the playoffs.

To make matters worse, the Lakers are abandoning the system that allowed them to mask many of Fish’s shortcomings. In Phil Jackson‘s Triangle offense, Fish was a semi-viable option because the system neither required nor could even really accommodate a classic, ball-dominating point. The Lakers won’t have the same luxury under Mike Brown. His playbook calls for the point guard to assume a more traditional playmaking role, of which Fish is simply incapable.

How do the Lakers upgrade, though. As they’re currently sitting, they’re dishing out about 91 million in salary already. Picking up through free agency will not only be costly monetarily, but could be equally costly to the Lakers chances on the court considering the not-so-high-profile crop of free agent point guards on the market this year. While there is some talent in free agency, all of it will likely come at a price that the Lakers ultimately won’t be able to afford, all things “new collective bargaining” considered. What about through trade?

Emile Avanessian wrote convincingly about the Lakers acquiring Ramon Sessions through trade when he wrote:

Thus, the Lakers will likely have to try their luck in the trade market.

Let me direct your attention to a 25-year-old point guard whose 2010-11 Adjusted PER of 21.05 (all statistics via HoopData) dwarfed the average for both the league (14.17) and his position (15.71), was good for 23rd in the NBA (minimum 40 games played) and seventh among lead guards, trailing only Russell WestbrookDerrick RoseChris PaulDeron WilliamsSteve Nash and Tony Parker. The 4.54 Adjusted Win Shares he contributed were also well above average (3.44 for the league, 3.72 for point guards), and better than the totals for Jameer Nelsonor Jason Terry.

Meanwhile, his 24.21 usage rate was 49th in the league. In 26.3 minutes per game, he averaged 13.3 points and 5.2 assists (a Tony Parker-esque 18.1 and 7.3 per 36 minutes played) and shot 46.6% from the field. His 55.9% True Shooting Percentage trumped the league and point guard averages (54.5% and 53.6%, respectively) and he got to the free-throw line more than your average NBA’er (0.55 free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt, vs. the league average of 0.298). Was he able to get his own shot? You bet: just 28.5% of field goals were “assisted,” compared with 36.9% for point guards leaguewide.

But again, this ultimately forces the Lakers in a tough position considering that no teams are going to give up efficient talent without some kind of return, and nine times out of 10, that return is likely going to be size  – an advantage that took the Lakers to three consecutive trips to the Finals. Do you give up your biggest advantage for a Ramon Sessions-esque talent. Some might say yes, just so we don’t have to watch Derek Fisher start for another 82+ games, but it’s hard to imagine any situation where that is the right move.

For next season, the Lakers just might have to play some of their young guys a lot more than what we’ve seen since, well, Kobe and Fish were the young guys. The Lakers drafted Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris, two guys who both have ball handling experience despite their very different skill sets. As of right now, those two might be the Lakers most viable and realistic options unless teams are just waiting to take on Ron Artest’s and/or Luke Walton’s contracts. The point guard might not be the most thrilling part of the Lakers team (which it hasn’t been since Nick Van Exel), and I’m okay with that. Some will disagree completely, but I think adding depth to the front court and finding another wing who can get his own shot off are more important issues the Lakers need to take care of for the next season.

Phillip Barnett

Posts

43 responses to Talking Point Guard Upgrades, Or Lack Thereof

  1. I agree with you in that we need to upgrade our frontcourt just a slight bit though. There was something obviously mentally wrong with Gasol in the playoffs vs the Mavericks and also vs the Hornets. D-Fish is definitely a few years past being a starting point guard but since our old Triangle Offense didn’t require much focus on the point guard position, he scraped by. However, now I think we need a legitimate defensive point guard. I think Morris and Goudelock are good bench options and will support our starting cast well eventually, but obviously they can’t come in and fill the big shoes of Derek Fisher or follow in his legendary footsteps, so to speak. I think if they can somehow trade/clear up space for a guy like Chris Paul, they’ll be in great shape. I don’t know that they will need another legitimate big because front office is not parting ways with Bynum and Gasol is due to rebound for a better year. Hopefully, Shannon Brown infidelity rumors won’t resurface and haunt this club anymore than it apparently had, after Brown came out and said btw…I am not having an affair with Gasol’s hunny. haha. All in all, if we can trade for CP3 and get a swingman forward, athletic Trevor Ariza-type player, slasher/athletic freak…that’ll be a sufficient tweak to help us get back to the Finals again and compete with the Bulls!

  2. Renato Afonso July 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I think that the depth to the frontcourt is quite easy to solve. We have LO, Bynum and Gasol who will take most of the minutes. Then, maybe, Caracter will get some burn with Mike Brown. And we also have the Joe Smith/Theo Ratliff veteran center. There were plenty of names thrown around and one of them would be more than enough.

    Regarding the backup for Kobe, I don’t think I can give a proper input right now…

    Regarding the PG situation, I think you forgot that Blake is a pretty serviceable PG who just didn’t seem to adapt properly to our offensive scheme. If Phil was still the coach, then who could be in the look for a new point guard but… he is not. We’ll have a new playbook and I believe that Blake will be the starter and Fisher will come off the bench. Also, our (maybe just one of them) rookies will get some more burn. Now, dumping Luke Walton’s or Ron-Ron’s contract would be awesome…

  3. The enemy of improvement is so often perfection. The Lakers don’t have to give away quality players to bring in a better PG. Fisher ranks below most back ups using any possible tool comparing players. Most anyone is an upgrade although there is no perfect solution outside of Deron Williams.

  4. Nice post at this time of the summer, for our biggest problem going forward. It would be nice if both Morris and Goudelock could contribute off the bench as regulars. Have any second round picks ever done this before? Of course, the core players would be there in this case to support them. I do think the switch of Fisher and Blake would be best in the new system that Brown is going to bring to the Lakers. Man, I missed this blog while in Baja California for a Marine Biology class this last few weeks, swimming with Whale sharks, they are as big as our front court.

  5. Rusty Shackleford July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I really have no idea what the hell the Lakers should (realistically) do. It seems like a wait-and-see approach may be the most likely. Wait and see how Steve Blake works out this year. Wait and see if the rookies can contribute. Wait and see if Pau Gasol can rebound from his crash-and-burn from last season. Wait and see if Fisher can defend pg’s . . . . . just kidding on that last one.

    If Steve Blake can come in and contribute enough to make due then I’m fine with that. If one or both of the rookies provie to be serviceable (which would be very unexpected at this point in their careers) then they may be able to eat up enough minutes to get by. Especially if the shooter can play some minutes at the 2. Regarding Pau – if he doesn’t bounce back and is still slogging up & down the court with that zombie look on his face then I’d definitely be willing to see what we can get for him; even if it doesn’t mean getting any size in return. If Mitch doesn’t ship his ass out the fans might run him out of town.

    I’m really interested to see what Denver is advertising as far as trades go. Look at all that depth. A deal featuring Lamar, Andrew and Nene is my dream deal. It won’t solve the pg problem because Denver doesn’t wan’t to give up Ty Lawson (clearly, as they traded Raymond Felton to Portland for a 35 year old Andre Mill who I would love to have but isn’t worth $8 mil/year at that age). That being said, they could pick up depth at the 2 & 3 if they could get either either Wilson Chandler or Gallinari along with Afflalo for a 2/3 player. I didn’t do all the contract research so there may be some glaring contradictions that would make this idea not make sense.

    Also, how the hell is Kenyon Martin making that much money?

  6. With only one player(#24) who can create their own shot on the roster currently, it wouldnt matter if LA had four 7 footers on the inside. Send PG help immediately.

  7. Has everyone forgotten Trey Johnson. He has a good probability of being signed and can play a few minutes a game, having NBA game experience. No, he isn’t a complete solution, but this thread is about partial solutions.

    We have 2 rookies and one fairly young player to plug into a probably vastly different NBA landscape. IMO, it will definitely not be easier to sign any PG who can help us out in the next season played.

  8. It does seem that even a less than so-so PG would be an upgrade over Fisher, but didn’t the team try that last year with Blake?

    How’d that turn out?

  9. sT – Swimming with Whale Sharks?!

    That sounds really amazing. Have you heard of Mauricio Handler? (off topic I know but indulge me a minute here!)

  10. I’m totally behind a play for Sessions but we can’t give up size, we don’t have enough of it. #2 mentions Theo, Joe Smith and Caracter but I’m doubtful that any of them will be asked back. Theo and Joe just don’t have anything left and Mitch sounded very iffy on Caracter in an interview. That leaves our main three – Pau, Andrew & Lamar and regardless of draft-time trade talks, I’m having a hard time seeing movement there.

  11. @R – Yeah, I was like 2 feet away from a medium to large sized one (40 footer), swimming right accross from his gill slots, which were like 3 feet long, for about 25 seconds or so down in Bahia Baja California, where they come this time of the year. This was a life changing experience for sure, and I have already had many of those – lol.

    I had to Google, Mauricio Handler, he sounds like the type of photographer with a great job indeed. Darius will let us go a little OT, won’t he ?

  12. @R – Well when underwater with him he seemed 40 feet, but probably was more like 20-25 feet. When my above comment in moderation gets approved you will read what I said.

    Yes, lets give Trey Johnson a shot at the team, he seemed like he can fit in.

  13. None of the point guards currently on our roster are good enough to contend for a championship. Period. Fans are delusional if they think otherwise. Derek is too old to start, Blake disappears in most games of any significance, and rookies will get eaten alive out there.

    The urgency is to take advantage of Kobe while he’s still near his peak. I like Sessions but don’t know if I’d give away any of our three bigs to get him. If losing one of Lamar/Pau/Drew is necessary, we should aim higher than Ramon. Work your magic Mitch.. work your magic.

  14. Call me boring, but I see improvements from within as our best bet. As mentioned, the trade market is tight, and free agent market is off limits with the impending new CBA.

    With the new system, Blake should do better. Fish can provide backup for 10-15 min and the rest can go to morris and goudelock. For SG, has everyone forgotten about the promising 2nd round pick from LAST draft? He looked good with the limited time on court last season, don’t see why he shouldn’t get a shot at more minutes.

    With a healthy bynum (always feel uneasy when i put those two words together), there’re plenty of front court players to go around, especially with caracter getting more time. The loss of Smith and Ratliff are insignificant since they hardly clocked any minutes last season anyway.

    I’m with Darius when it comes to giving our current lakers a chance before doing anything.

  15. Renato Afonso July 26, 2011 at 3:37 am

    9. I meant Joe Smith/Theo Ratliff type of veteran players, not necessarily them. Dan Gadzuric was a name thrown around recently and I would be happy with someone as good as he.

  16. Igor,
    “None of the point guards currently on our roster are good enough to contend for a championship.”

    Not true, as the Lakers have shown. The rest of the team has the capability to make up for the PG weaknesses; the question is whether or not they will. They didn’t last year, they did the previous two years.

  17. 13.

    The competition in the league is simply too close for LA to offset its PG shortcomings with the way things have been handle in the past. The thought process of just throwing a warm body at the 1 spot and hoping the rest of the team will cover is over. This team has reached its peak, back2back chips, 3 straight NBA Finals. The only way to go is down, unless the team finds a way to help #24 carry some of the burden. He simply cant consistently bail this team out night in and night out over the course of a long NBA season.

  18. 1. We won’t get Sessions unless we give up a front court piece.

    2. We won’t give up a frontcourt piece for a non-”superstar” PG (ala CP3, DWill) so we won’t get Sessions, or any substantial upgrade at the PG position.

    3. The TPE is so overvalued right now because there are a ton of teams with a TPE, and better future #1 picks that they can offer.

    4. Clev., if they’re going to move Sessions, will need to get a starting SG/SF in return. We don’t have anyone like that they will take (no to Artest, Walton, Barnes).

    Fisher will show up to camp, and due to his commanding personality, may wrest the starting position from the meek Steve Blake. But I don’t fault him, if no one else on the team can knock out the lion, for better or worse, he’s the king of the PG jungle.

    The SG back up position is also one that needs to be discussed. It seems we won’t have anyone better than a Trey Johnson, or may have to take a complete gamble on injured guys like Michael Redd (probably too expensive) or Kelenna Azuibuike.

  19. If Walton leaves for medical reasons,I could see signing a FA SG. Otherwise, just a big man FA signing to backup Bynum and Gasol. It will be interesting to see how Brown decides on PG minutes.I can see Blake starting with the backup minutes going to whoever can play decent D and keep their turnovers low.The 2 rooks might surprise or might need more time to develop.

  20. 15,

    The reason why we won the two years prior to last was because Fish still had something left in the tank. It’s pretty clear he’s on empty now. He may still be a decent back-up, but he no longer should get starter’s minutes. This is coming from one of his biggest fans and defenders for the last 3 years, btw.

    It’s really strange to see fans’ need to cling on to previous years. Age does matter in this sport when you’re on the wrong side of the 30′s.

  21. If the lakers go into next season (assuming there is a season) without upgrading the PG position they will NOT compete for a title. Period.
    Things like a backup for kobe and a 4th big can be worked out but this offseason will be a failure on Mitch’s part if a new PG is not signed/traded.

  22. I’m not sure how well Kobe will react to playing without the ball in his hands for the majority of the game. He’s not the best at running off screens, and generally only used them to get into his spots in the Triangle. Most times, he seemed to run at half speed, catch the ball in a good spot, then go to work in the pinch post. Had he gone full speed, he may have gotten an open shot or had a driving lane to the basket, but I think he feels that his post game is a more efficient use of his energy.

    So if we transition to a system with a ball-dominant PG, where does that leave Kobe? He’s not very good at making 3 point shots, being the 2nd worst 3 point shooter on the team with at least 2 attempts per game. Even wide open shots he tends to hesitate, waiting to see if the defender flies by, hoping to draw a foul or get a driving lane. Without the Triangle, he’ll also probably operate much less often in the post, where he has been deadly effective for most of his career.

    In transitioning to a PG-focused offense, we force Kobe to primarily adopt two of his weakest attributes (run through screens and hit three pointers), while largely taking away his greatest strength (his ability to make and create shots from the pinch post).

    So, for all the glory that the fast PG’s in today’s NBA receive, the championship teams that won with strong PG play have been ones whose pieces fit around that PG play. With Boston, Rondo ran an offense with arguably the greatest screen runner and shot maker of all-time, Ray Allen, and 2 guys that could create their own shots (Pierce and Garnett). With Dallas, Barea, Terry, and Kidd attacked from the point, but were only able to because Nowitski drew so much attention of the opposing teams defense. Those driving lanes were large enough for Shaq to dribble through. Plus, Dallas flanked Nowitski with guys like Peja or Brian Cardinal, three point specialists.

    We’ve seen that PG-focused attacks can work, but they’ve only seemed to work when the pieces fit around the PG. Here in LA, where our best shooters were Fisher and the inconsistent Steve Blake, the pieces don’t seem to fit quite as well, at least not on paper.

  23. I agree that an upgrade at PG is needed. The question is whether that player is on the roster or not. It’s doubtful Fish will be any better next year, from a statistical standpoint, than he was this year. Blake, however, does have room to improve and I think we’d all be disappointed if he didn’t play better next year than he did this past year. Now, will that be enough of an upgrade to truly improve the position?…

    If you don’t think an internal option (Blake, Fisher, or the rookies) can play well enough to be an upgrade next year, then you must start to consider how to acquire that player you think will upgrade the team. The free agency crop is wafer thin. Making a deal means giving up talent at another position (likely a big man) and could potentially weaken the team in another area. Also, the Lakers – from a league wide perspective – aren’t really dealing from a position of strength in terms of making a deal. Everyone knows they’re weak at PG, everyone knows they flamed out in the playoffs, and everyone will ask for the Lakers best *available* (whatever that means) players in order to give up what will likely only be a league average PG.

    Now, some would argue a league average PG is all the Lakers need to compete. And I’d agree if you’re looking at the current roster as it stands today. But if you have to remove Odom to get that PG that changes the equation. That’s just an example, but you can see where I’m going with this.

    Long story longer, it’s not going to be so simple for the Lakers to find this upgrade they seek.

  24. There are less palatable options out there in free agency, like TJ Ford. Obviously, Ford isn’t an ideal player (bad 3 point shooter, turnover prone, not very big), but that’s sort of the caliber of free agents at the PG spot.

    As to trades, you have to look to teams with over-stacked PG spots. A few come to mind. Milwaukee has at the PG spot: Jenning, Urdih, Livingston, and Dooling. I think Livingston or Dooling would be available.

    Cleveland has Irving, B-Dizzle, Gibson, and Sessions. I think the team will employ a lot of 2 PG lineups because they have little options at the 2 spot. But Gibson may be available. I think Clev will move Sessions, but for a starting caliber shooting guard or small forward. They wouldn’t dump him for late 1st round or 2nd round picks for a starting caliber PG.

    Detroit has Brandon Knight, Stuckey, W.Bynum, Rip Hamilton, and Gordon manning the 1/2 spots. I think Bynum may be available.

    Houston has Lowry, Dragic, and Flynn. Don’t see why they would keep Dragic and Flynn as backups. I’d rather keep Dragic.

    Indiana has three: Collison, G.Hill, and AJ Price. Price is a cheap player who may be available.

    NJ has DWill, Farmar, Uzoh, and S.Gaines. The latter two would be available.

    Portland (though we never trade with them) has Felton, Elliot Williams, Nolan Smith, P.Mills, and A. Johnson. That’s 5 pgs.

    So, the “realistic” trade options, notwithstanding Darius’s observation that we have few assets outside our bigs, is pretty slim. Nor is the free agency route any better. But I’d rather not sign someone like TJ Ford for 5 years just for the sake of change. We may very well have to endure another full season of PGs having a field day against us, while the young neophytes (Morris and G-Lock) hopefully improve their game enough to be a rotation player in the next season or so.

  25. Darius,
    I don’t think we will be going after a league average PG. Those guys are really good. There are so many good PGs that if you look at the list average ones include Tony Parker and Jameer Nelson. We are looking for the 20 to 30 range. That’s the range where Ramone Sessions is in. Those guys can be had without giving up Kobe, Bunum, Gasol, Artest, or Odom. You can get bad NBA starting PGs like Sessions for a couple bad draft picks, cash, and a bench player.

  26. Drafting fresh blood has been mentioned to bolster the PG position. I have a related question: If the league is locked out for the entire year, how do they determine the draft order in an upcoming draft if they don’t have current records to base the draft off of?

    I find it unfair to use last years records and redraft based on that.

    Anyone know?

  27. Reading the posts it seems Sessions is dueable depending on the price. Don`t think there will be any moves until pre-season games,and Brown can see what he has at PG,and what Clev wants in return.

  28. 25: I read somewhere that the draft is done by something like an average of the last 3 year records for each particular team.

    I welcome any input/correction to my memory.

    Bye.

  29. Given how poorly Blake played last year, it is counter-intuitive, but if the Lakers don’t make an add, I think Brown should do the following at the 1:

    Blake 25-30 minutes
    Fisher 10-12 minutes
    Morris or Goudelock 5-10 minutes.

    And I think Blake should start. With a new system, Blake has a better chance than Fisher does to be adequate at the 1.

  30. First question I’d like to ask: when will this lockout end? Will there be a preseason or ’11 Season?
    Second, what will contain in the agreement of new CBA? Will they waive one player from each team? That could be the source of our PG at a minimum salary. Third, I think we should bet on Trey & Darius first before going to same-same old Fisher & Blake. It may be a gamble and would undergo rookie mistakes but it’s much better than going with slow, low FG% Fisher. Fisher is like a matured tomato plant, no matter what fertilizers used, prunning methods applied, keeping the soil moist, it would no longer bear fruits compared to a young blooming tomato plant.

  31. 19) Igor,
    The biggest differences between last season and the previous two seasons are Gasol’s slump, Kobe’s physical issues, Artest drifting, and the weaker play of the bench. Fisher’s dropoff, if any, was about in 5th place.

    Now if you want to assume that items 1-4 are not going to improve at all relative to last season, then the Lakers aren’t going to be able to compete, period.

    If Gasol gets back to his form from the two title teams, and Bynum stays healthy, this roster is one of the top teams in the league for another 1-2 years.

  32. I would rather see the front office focus on the overall problem of aging per se, then becoming too preoccupied with a particular position (PG) or a particular player (Dwight Howard) like most fans are calling for.

    If there is an opportunity to deal for a player like Kevin Love for a veteran like Gasol, which would add a similar talent level and at the same time bring considerably more youth in the age differential dept that’s a huge positive for the team moving forward.

    Also with that deal there’s a good chance that MInn would be forced to add another player to the deal which could bring more material to package a deal elsewhere possibly for a PG.

    Dealing Gasol or Odom as primaries for similar talent levels but younger players would improve the team whilst allowing it to remain competitive at a championship level .

  33. The Ramon Sessions prospect is not as bad as everyone is saying. Maybe a deal including Caracter and other draft picks may be enough. Sessions only makes $4.3 million and that is reasonable to make an offer for.

    If the new CBA includes an Amnesty Clause the allows the owners to rid themselves of one contract, look for Luke to gone from the Lakers and a possibility of Baron Davis being axed by Cleveland. If that’s the case he is far better than anyone we have and he will probably still be paid his salary so signing him for the Veteran’s Minimum might be an option.

  34. Sessions is the best play for PG. Having a slow 37 yr old starting PG will not cut it if at least 1 championship during Kobe’s remaining 3 years is the goal. Worst case is Blake starting, Morris as backup, D-Fish saved for playoffs. Kobe handles the ball alot anyways, with versatile Odom more than capable to create when necessary.

  35. what if gasol is spent, mentally? i think he is close to being done with bball. if this is the case, and the front office knows it, then maybe they can trade him for some nice pieces, before the rest of the league figures it out.

  36. Kobe at point? New emphasis on playmaking, triple doubles and one on one defense.

    Not much left for Kobe to prove playing the same role – other than he can fight father time. I wonder if a new challenge in a play maker role, letting others score the ball might be the answer to the Lakers hole at the point

  37. Renato Afonso July 27, 2011 at 1:57 am

    34. I think that line of thought is a reach. He isn’t done with bball.

    35. You seem to forget how turnover prone Kobe has become. He simply lost a little bit of handle in hte last couple of years. Maybe it’s due to the injuries in his fingers, but I simply don’t see that as a viable solution, at least not for a full game…

  38. 36. Good point on turnovers. Fingers may be a part of it. Also, as great as Kobe has been, he’s always had a propensity to force the game a bit. I just wonder if a new role might be a good thing.

    He’s aging, a new round of stars is emerging. James, Wade and Durant, etc.

    Does Kobe still try to produce at same levels at 2 spot – carrying the scoring load and at times forcing things? Or would a new role with the emphasis of distributing the ball cause him to focus on protecting the ball and take some of the pressure off him that may of led to turnovers?

    I also wonder if a new challenge such as double digit assists, might help him shape his game as he continues to age. Defining a new role that potentially leads to titles versus fading at the 2 spot relevant to Wade and Durant. I just wonder if Kobe can accept dwindling status relative to being the guy at the 2 spot or the guy in the league.

    I’m not sure and wouldn’t know without seeing it in action for a prolonged period. We’ve all seen him with the ball in his hands, but in a scorers first mentality.

    You are correct in that Kobe has become turnover prone and that would obviously be an issue for the primary ball handler. That would have to change.

  39. for a man of gasol’s intelligence (how many other nba players were first year medical students?) playing bball day in day out must be mind numbingly routine. given he has two championships already, and an olympic medal, just what is left to motivate him? love of the game has to be weighed against all the crap he has to listen to and read about…

  40. Kobe’s a scorer. Maybe the best one on one player ever. You don’t ask a guy like that to become a distributor. If he’s going to remain a Laker for the rest of his career then you have to continue to find ways to accentuate his scoring.

    Maybe playing the 3 would be less demanding in certain respects and wouldn’t change his attack mode on offense demonstratively.

    Whatever. I wouldn’t look to change his basic role as a contributor unless you really want to screw things up.

  41. 30,

    Totally agree on EX’s observations. In addition to what he said, I think the attitude or team’s mojo was also affected. There is no urgency and hunger, it was more of complacency that we have No. 1 player, the No. 1 Coach and the team that won two Championships with Fisher as the PG. They overlooked that other teams were improving from Westbrook to Eastern power teams’ PG while Lakers are just tweaking their line up and some of their players are going on lackadaisikal with reality tv, rapping and Hollyweird things.

    Will that change under Mike Brown? It must for them to look inward on other needs. Everyone should change their ways and mojos to bring back that competitive spirit, there should be no let down or complacency that someone will do it for me.

  42. #14 – Renato – sorry, misread you on the center position and totally hear where you’re coming from.

    #29 – Edwin – I hate to be a pessimist but I think there’s a real chance that we go without a season, or at least, have a drastically reduced one.

    #31 – Dave – Personally, I’m against trading Pau or Lamar unless we get a quality big in return. I understand the point you’re making about going for quality and the future rather than being driven by position. Still, bigs should be hoarded and protected in my view. Good ones are too rare and valuable.

  43. I agree Dave M that preservation of the Bigs is a priority.

    I would not be interested in breaking up one of the components of three-headed-monster in exchange for a point guard or a small forward for instance (unless it were Derek Rose or Kevin Durant which will never happen).

    But I wouldn’t be adverse to listening to a deal involving either Pau or Lamar if it brought Kevin Love in exchange along with another player or two.