Whatever The Next Move, Lamar Odom Trade Tough To Live With

Darius Soriano —  December 12, 2011

 There aren’t many bigger Lamar Odom fans than me.

Over his 7 year tenure with the Lakers he had his ups and downs to be sure. Fans – including me – wondered if his head was always in the game. We wondered if he could ever fulfill his amazing potential. We wondered why he seemingly disappeared in some games only to impact the next one with his all court game as only a handful of other players can.

I could literally write a thousand words on the virtues of Odom’s skill set. How his malleable game made it so any contributions that were needed could be delivered. How on one possession he was sweeping the boards like a dominant big man and only seconds later he’d be leading the fast break like a guard, high stepping before making a pass that only players with elite vision and feel could make. How he’d defend the post on one play and then switch out to guard the wing on another. How on any given possession he’d find the creases in the D like a slasher, shoot the ball from the wing like a sniper, or post up like big man. How he could initiate offense or be the ball handler or the screen man with equal effectiveness in the P&R. Lamar Odom could do it all and often did. Even when he didn’t it was usually to blend into his team; to give what he thought was needed. Some nights that meant doing less. It’s the part of his game that some people despised, but the part I learned to love.

Not to mention he was a leader. He held the locker-room together like a true glue guy. He organized team dinners and brought in his personal chef during training camp. He took on a bench role only to be shifted back to the starting line up and then back to the bench based off need, with nary a peep. When Fisher andKobeplayed good cop/bad cop, it was Odom that was the big brother with an open ear and the right words to say to keep everyone loose. AsKobesaid, Odom “knows how to bring everyone together”. For all the talk of this being Kobe’s team or all the clips of Fisher motivating the larger group in the huddle, Odom’s leadership was just as vital even if it was not so front and center.

And now he’s gone. Shipped off to the rival Mavs for a first round pick and the ensuing salary cap space and trade exception.

I’m going to miss Lamar. He was my guy. My southpaw with the versatility of an all time great and the demeanor of a player that just wanted to fit in and help the team. He was not a superstar player, but his value to the Lakers was that of one. I was sad when the news broke he was traded. I’m sad now.

——————————-

The reason Odom is gone will never truly be known. 

Was it a salary dump? The Lakers have long been one of the highest payroll teams in the league and have been above their (rumored) salary ceiling of $100 million for a couple of seasons. With revenue sharing ramping up and the Lakers looking to contribute hefty sums of cash back to the NBA, was now the time to cut back on spending?

Will the Lakers use the trade exception to acquire another player (or players) of need to help balance out the roster and fill in the existing holes? Even with Odom and his versatile skill set in the mix, the Lakers possessed an unbalanced roster with a real need for another big man and help at shooting guard to back upKobe. Could LA use the trade exception to help fill some of those needs? 

Was it because he requested a trade after being distraught over being included in the proposed Paul deal? When discussing his amnesty from the Knicks, Chauncey Billups had an interesting quote about leaders having the ability to be as disruptive a force as a settling one should they choose to be. Were the Lakers concerned about Odom not bringing his normal unifying nature after the latest attempt to trade him? Could Odom, in his current state of unhappiness do more harm on the locker-room than good?

Again, we’ll likely never know.

What we do know is that the Lakers, today, are a weaker team than they were before this trade. They’ve given up one-third of their vaunted front court trio for a future draft pick. Besides all the qualities I expressed above about Odom’s game that the Lakers will miss, on a more simplistic front they’ll miss his ability to soak up minutes with above average play. Forget the dazzling plays and all the ways he could awe us, he was also dependable. We knew what to expect from him. Even if he wasn’t producing the stats, advanced metrics show he helps win games.

He’ll now be doing that for another team.

Maybe another move is on deck. Maybe the Lakers use his trade exception for a point guard or another big man or to absorb salary in a block buster trade. Maybe they use his salary savings to justify a future acquisition that will mean the Lakers fork out even more payroll in the seasons to come. With a revamped tax and harsher penalties only a few seasons away, the Lakers should not be criticized for using foresight in this area.

Whatever the next move, though, we have few answers to the many questions swirling in our heads. Odom was a Laker. A valuable one. He’ll be missed. Severely. And while it may all be part of the bigger plan, that’s hard to deal with today. At least for me.

Darius Soriano

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162 responses to Whatever The Next Move, Lamar Odom Trade Tough To Live With

  1. Good post.

  2. I forever defended LO to some of my friends who just looked at boxscore and thought he was overrated.

    I’m going to miss him. Agree that the team is now weaker without him and I’m waiting for the next move to justify his departure and salve the wound of his loss.

  3. This feels worse than the breakup of the team in 2004. I’m gonna hate see LO ball out in Dallas.

  4. Losing L.O. was bad enough, but now that the Clips trade has fallen through as well, this trade ruled out any chance of CP3 and Dwight for good.

    I would have been happy to keep the core to start the season and pick up what peripheral pieces we could throughout the season, but no blockbuster trades and no Odom? Another David Stern screwjob.

  5. Chris Paul should be a Laker and the Laker’s should sue. Furthermore, with Paul’s knee, it is important he land on a team with top notch trainers and sports medicine people. This ain’t the Clippers. Their players are always getting injured. If he gets iunjured over there, he ought sue David Stern directly.

  6. Well said. Lamar Odom is a Laker for life in my book.

  7. ESPN says Paul to the Clippers has ‘collapsed.’

  8. Trading lamar and pau for cp3 was business. Trading Lamar for a trade exception was obviously personal on both ends. The lakers should have took time to attempt to smooth things out before shipping him out at the blink of an eye. Every time Khloe and lamar nut commercial came on I blurted out “for nothing” (as in trading him for nothing). Something could possibly come out of it but I’m not getting my hopes up. There are a bunch of teams out there sitting on trade exceptions so I don’t think they are valuable trading chips.

    They lakers need to just forget about dwight at this point because it looks like nothing going to happen in the next few days and sign a back up pf and center. With Odom gone and Bynum out for the first 5 games that leave Caracter and Gasol. They need a pf more than a center. Not sure who is available to use that trade exception on. So it looks like their only free agent options are Josh McRoberts or Kris Humphries(not trying to be funny but he would be a decent back up). At the center position I think they should bring back DJ Mbenga for the vet’s minimum if they can after a pf is signed.

    The lakers are clearly worse than they were a few days ago. It time to figure some things out and be ready for the opener.

  9. Whew! What a ride this has been: getting Paul, giving up Gasol and Lamar, getting Paul and Dwight!!!, Paul falls through, trade Lamar for nothing, Dwight unlikely …

    Let me off, I feel sick!

  10. People have to get over the idea that keeping this group in tact is going to result in more runs for the title with just a few small tweaks. It’s nonsense!

    Make friends with reality. Jackson is gone. The triangle is gone. The time for bold action is now.

    Gasol and Odom will never again have anywhere near as much trade value as they do at this precise moment.

    If Mitch held onto them for another year their value would plummet 25 to 40% with the Lakers getting beat again in the conference semi finals.

    The new coach wants a substantial upgrade in the backcourt to implement his system. Give it to him.

    And for chrissakes, stop obsessing over Dwight Howard. Trading the number 2 center in the league for the number 1 center doesn’t advance the cause.

  11. LO will always be one of my all time favorite Lakers (this from a fan whose first Laker memory is arguing the Kareem trade on the playground).

    A sad day indeed to see him go. Even if it’s a necessary step in a series of moves that ultimately makes the team better, it’s still sad to see a favorite go.

    I actually think that we will know why he’s gone, sooner or later. If it is the first in a proverbial set of dominoes falling, that will be evident in the next week or so. If it’s a salary dump, we’ll know that once the trade deadline passes, or at the very latest, the trade exemption expires. I am quite dubious that the exemption will be used to fill holes after a Howard trade, or any other blockbuster.

    A cursory look at the salary list around the league gave me the following big men with the right salary on teams that might entertain a salary dump: Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, Diop, Gooden, Nocioni, Al Harrington. How not having Odom on the roster, then adding one of those names (or someone similar that I happened to miss) facilitates a blockbuster trade eludes me.

    Right now, the whole think is just baffling.

  12. nice post.

  13. robinred,
    From the previous post:
    “Not saying you’re wrong. Just saying I think sending Odom–to fricking Dallas, no less–was done way too hastily, even with the short schedule.”

    I agree totally – at this point it seems out of character for Kupchak, which makes me think it might have been a Jim Buss move.

  14. Maybe we now know why Jerry Buss was in the hospital.

  15. Years from now when Kobe is retired we are going to look back and see this as a missed opportunity.

    Kobe still had some left in the tank, and instead of making the team better or just the same, it started retreating.

    Jerry Buss made the decision to go all in when he resigned Odom to his 3 year deal. This was the approximately the last of Kobe AND THE LAKERS shot at a title.

    If the Lakers lost this year, Odom could be granted his $3M and be on his way. This was a risk worth $18M to Jerry Buss, so what has changed?

    Odom had his feelings hurt? Give it some time, tell him that they would explore trades to make the team better. Not just hand him over in a second. Absolutely Jim Buss’s fault for the way this was handled.

    If they had just given Odom some time and had his teammates reach out to him, we could have weathered the storm and competed this year.

    Now everyone is scratching their heads and wondering, “wait weren’t we supposed to be the favorites this year?”

    It looks like they’re in rebuilding and retreating mode. ABSOLUTELY DUMBFOUNDING.

    This is just another example of a cost cutting move from Jim Buss.

    First it was:
    – letting go of long time scouts
    – letting go of equipment managers
    – employing his brother to be a scout
    – clearing the triangle coaching staff
    – now clearing out Odom’s $9M salary

    It sure looks like we’re going broke. What’s the deal?

    Younger Buss knows that we’ll still make the playoffs, he’ll still sell out all of his games, he’s still going to be receiving the $3billion from his tv contract, and he’s now guaranteeing that the Lakers make him a profit. Sure sounds an awful lot like Donald Sterling and less like Jerry Buss.

    Going for profits over championships.

  16. jim buss is going to do for the Lakers, what dolan did for the Knicks. bet on it. it’s a very old story, and it always has the same ending. look for mitch to be moved out soon, so a more compliant GM can be moved in.

  17. Whether for personal reasons or to set up D12, there is no reasonable explanation for the haste of the LO trade. I don’t get it. First the Brown hire, now this.

    If you cheer for a team for 25 years, it’s because you respect and trust the team as an organization…this stuff is threatening that trust.

  18. Forgive me guys… but sometimes I have problems with language… What can a team do with a trade exception?

    Can somebody tell me that?

    Regards

  19. Pato,
    The team can take on a contract in the value of the exception without having to send out any salary in the trade.

  20. Thank you Darius!!!

    So… Lakers can pick any guy in any team for 8.9 million a year?

    Or only in the middle of a trade?

  21. Darius,

    were it me, I would not have traded Lamar to the Hornets in the first place. I would have tweaked (a la Kupchak) rather than “blown up” (a la Magic Johnson).

    Not only was the Paul/Howard strategy high risk, but it was arrogantly announced in advance, rather than carried out with stealth–and it has “blown up” in a bad way.

    We knew that the new CBA would ultimately force us to dismantle the team as we knew it, but we weren’t expecting dynamite.

    Perhaps even before Gasol arrived, Lamar was a Laker on borrowed time. With Gasol as PF and Bynum as C, he had no regular position. Partly because no team would trade for him, and partly due to recurring injuries among the bigs, Phil helped Lamar evolve into a remarkable 6th man.

    The Lakers still have about $20 million in baby fat to work off–and two years to do it.

    I don’t believe that Howard really wants to come here, at least in the near term, so I’m thinking about Kwame once again backing up Bynum, using our exemption to get Paul Millsap, and relying on amnesty for our pg.

    I hope that Jimmy and Mitch are thinking the same way.

  22. I rule over this Domain! In the future I shall construct the greatest rivalries the NBA has ever seen! New Orleans versus Cleveland, Utah versus Charlotte!

  23. Also Sacramento versus Minnesota!!!!

  24. Looks like the two superstars we wanted will both stay on their teams for the entire year (or at least till the trade deadline). Stern is making sure CP3 can’t go anywhere, and D12 is being his usual bipolar self.

    Right now, there’s only one thing we can be sure of: we will be getting another big. Either through a free agent signing, a trade into the exception, or a player-for-player trade.

    Personally, I would love Varejao for that TPE. Given that Brown already expressed interest in bringing him in (http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/22/report-brown-wants-lakers-to-get-anderson-varejao/) such a move seems to make sense.

  25. If anyone believes Howard really doesn’t want to leave Orlando imidiatley well then I have some land in Florida I want to sell you…

  26. I think Prokhorov running for Russian President is just another ploy to get the Nets Dwight Howard.

  27. This is probably a dumb question but can we sign a free agent with the trade exception or can it only be used in a trade. And why would a team give away a quality player to us for nothing? Especially to us the Lakers (even though we did the same thing to the freakin mavs)

  28. any player on the nets, will be a potential target of the owner’s political enemies back in russia. the horse head scene in The Godfather ring any bells? it may sound like a joke, but that’s how those guys roll. just do a google search on “polonium”.

  29. This is a very good post, but I think it is important to have a longer memory.

    I, too, am frustrated by what happened with the CP3 trade and subsequently not getting equal value for Lamar. However, let’s remember that Lamar Odom had his best season in YEARS last year.

    Last year was literally the first season in a long time when Odom was actually consistent. I’m not always a huge fan of Hollinger, but he had a point when he said that Lamar’s season last year had “fluke” and “regression to the mean” built all over it.

    Ultimately, I still think we could have gotten SOMETHING better for Lamar than we got, but I’m also remembering back a little further than just LAST YEAR when Lamar was one of the most frustrating Lakers on the team with his consistent habit of drifting for weeks and his mental weakness.

    Not saying that I don’t think he got a REALLY raw deal and that I am not VERY concerned with how this offseason is being handled by the Lakers, but I don’t want the entire history of Lamar in a Laker uniform to be painted a rosier picture than it actually was.

    Lamar was, overall, a good to very good player. Last year, and last year alone in a Laker uniform, he was a GREAT player. But that was a one year blip in what was, otherwise, an “above average” Laker career.

  30. #29. Without Lamar in 2009 or 2010, the Lakers don’t win the championship. Nor do they make their run in 2008. Maybe you replace him with a different player and the results are the same. But I don’t have a crystal ball to make that claim.

    This isn’t to say that he was the only player contributing to that success. Kobe and Pau obviously should get the lion’s share of the credit as they were the pillars the team was built on. But I’ll always believe Odom’s personality and skill set meshed perfectly with them as a low need player that could play off of them better than most other players of his talent level. It takes a special individual with a team-centric mindset to take on a supporting role the way that Odom did.

  31. Mark my words:

    1. Lamar was a pure salary dump, to spite the owners who protested the trade.

    2. The Hornets will not trade CP3. They will let him walk away at the end of the Season. The NBA will then announce that it is shrinking by two teams. The Hornet’s will be one. The second team will be the Kings, who presently owe the city of Sacto at least $77m and the NBA itself $75m. The Maloofs are also struggling financially, so the league would be within its power to take control of the team or force them to sell out.

  32. #27. It can only be used in a trade. That said, if there’s a FA the Lakers are looking at, they can always seek out a S&T with the team that still owns that player’s rights. Without trying to speculate and purely as an example, Kirilenko comes to mind. He’s a FA but the Jazz still have have his Bird Rights. If the Lakers want to sign him they could reach out to Utah and say “we’ve got this TPE and AK is amendable to signing with us via conversations so we should do a S&T”. This is essentially what the Celtics were going to do w/ David West (before West signed with the Pacers).

  33. @Darius Soriano

    Not arguing your point. I don’t have a crystal ball either. But the same point could be made that, without Trevor Ariza, there’s a championship we don’t win either.

    I’m very disappointed with how this has all played out and losing Lamar like this, rather than for a real, tangible asset that ups our chances of winning again before Kobe deteriorates too much further, is a huge blow.

    I’m only making the point that right now we’re angry and hurt and only remembering the GOOD things that Lamar brought and not the innumerable frustration points and games when he clearly didn’t bring it.

  34. Kobe, Pau, Bynum as the core. Yes losing Odom makes us weaker, but if thats the core of the team, that’s still pretty good. Odom was a luxury to have, and unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury anymore. But Bynum is the second best center in the league, Pau is still a top 5 PF (who had a bad playoffs last year, but has been amazing since we got him), and Kobe will still be Kobe.

    I’m not going to vilify the front office just yet. The best thing about the league is we have no clue wants going to happen.

  35. I’m a bit puzzled about the negative comments directed at Buss and his supposedly negative motives towards maintaining the Lakers – he did, after all, (try to) trade for CP3??!!

    Also, can someone confirm that the only way we can get either Chris Paul or Dwight Howard is through a sign-and-trade. We can’t get one or both if they make it to free agency because we’re over the cap right?

  36. 1. Lamar was a pure salary dump, to spite the owners who protested the trade.

    ____

    Uhh, no one was more vocally against the trade than Cuban was. Odd way to “spite” him.

  37. Mitch just said the Lakers can still bring in “two big acquisitions.” I think we know who those two players are.

  38. Bring in two more trade exemptions?

  39. @ 37

    Gilbert Arenas and Anderson Varejao.

  40. Mike Trudell (http://twitter.com/lakersreporter) has some optimism-inducing quotes from Kupchak along the lines of what Aaron just referred to:

    “Kupchak: Odom moved because he requested trade. Went to DAL because L.A. didn’t want players/salary back (to keep flexibility”

    “Kupchak: “We will look to add to this team.” Kupchak pointed out that only player w/a no trade clause in his contract is Bryant”

    “Kupchak & his staff have spent 14-18 hours a day (per team spokesman John Black) figuring out the new CBA, making calls, etc. etc.”

    “One thing with the new CBA, the amnesty clause, is not something L.A. plans to use this season, per Kupchak”
    (probably waiting to see how things with MWP, Blake & Luke pan out this year)

    And my personal favorite:
    “Mitch Kupchak: “We are pursuing big deals right now. That has not changed. More than one big deal.”

  41. I’m still in shock that the “next” move hasn’t been made yet. Is there any legitimacy to the speculation that Jim Buss is running things, wants to make a bold statement to the players and the league, that he runs the Lakers and wants to rebuild? Is Kobe really untouchable for trades? I just see a disconnect between Kobe and management, and yes I know he isn’t a part owner, but I’m still amazed they aren’t running “anything” by him at this point. This current situation only leaves me with questions that don’t look like they’ll be answered anytime soon.

  42. ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    One source close to process tells ESPN that NBA does not see talks w/Clippers as over. NBA still “hopeful” CP3 fate will be “resolved soon”

  43. Someone above makes a good point. we should give the front office the benefit of the doubt. It’s not as if they are doing nothing, they TRADED FOR CP3! It’s only this current craziness which no one foresaw that got in the way. It’s probably a bit much to assume that they would have plan B figured out with 24hrs.

  44. Also let’s keep in mind that we still have either the best or second best front line in the league (Amare-Chandler being the other). If Bynum remains injury free the loss of Odom only brings us back to earth a bit.

    I think we still have enough talent to win a championship but not enough to be favored right now. That’s not so bad…..

  45. ESPNChrisPalmer chris palmer
    Dwight Howard on Orlando (via @NBATV): “I love this place and there’s no place I’d rather be.”
    11 minutes ago

  46. Aaron – Mitch said two “big” acquisitions, but then said the “Big Three” (kobe, paul, andrew) will remain unchanged.

    Could this mean that we are making a run at Chauncey? Who would the other “big” acquisition be? Arenas? What if Baron Davis and Richard Jefferson are waived?

    Also, if we pick up one of these guys, is this waiver/exception we just got on the Dallas deal only good for a trade situation?

  47. We’ll never know? I hope that’s not true. I enjoyed watching Lamar’s up and down game, but he always rebounded. He will be missed, to say the least.

    Why to Dallas, why so soon?

    Please-no Agent Zero, no Baron. Ugh….

  48. Now it is known that LO asked for a trade because of the Chris Paul trade debacle. LO thought he would be a Laker for life and was deeply hurt that the Lakers were going to trade him.

    None of this would of happened it it wasn’t for David Stern and his incompetence. This man is a menace to the league he serves, and he should step down.

    He has hurt the integrity of the Lakers franchise by what he did and I hope there is a way to sue the league for his ridiculous style of management.

  49. We did just sign Elijah Milsap, Paul Milsap’s little brother. Maybe this is a precursor to us going after Paul???

  50. Two days after announcing the trade of Lamar to a TPE, there is no blockbuster trade. Laker fans are now in punk.

    Mitch has to make some moves and do something with his TPE 8.9M from Lamar and 5.0M from Sasha. What is Plan C?

    DH deal will take sometime because Magic decide to hold on the trade and will try to surround DH with good players as he has requested. “Howard said that he did speak with Magic trade acquisition Glen “Big Baby” Davis and said if the Magic are willing to make changes to win a championship that he would be receptive to staying in Orlando.” Superman is not only childish but also fickle!!!!!!

  51. where is dan gilbert’s email complaining about balance? from what i see, dallas, who is last year’s champion just added another top notch player to their roster via trade.

    what a cry baby. too bad you will never deliver your promise of delivering a championship to cleveland.

  52. billups just claimed by Clippers.

    Seems like it’s going to throw a wrench in Orlando’s plans. Does that mean it’s an opening for Mitch?

  53. This has got to be the craziest offseason in this league’s history.

  54. Sounds like Dwight Howard needs to go to a team with a psychiatrist. Dude wants everyone to like him so much; all he’s doing is confusing the world.

  55. With the CP3 to the Clippers trade now off, and with Howard “softening” his trade stance, there’s a chance that both guys will either be available as free agents after the season, or at a reduced price as we near the trade deadline this year.

    For those having difficulty understanding the focus on Howard, it is simply because not only would he bring the best (by far) skills at that position to the Lakers but his his presence on the roster gives the Lakers the best shot at either of the two best PGs in the league–CP3 and the guy nobody is talking about this summer, Darren Williams. DWill has not signed an extension, and you can be assured that he will not unless Howard is in a Nets uniform by next season.

    As for L.O., yes, it is a loss, but I don’t see this as the catastrophe that people are making it out to be. The Lakers have no shot at a title with their (former) roster if Bynum is not healthy, so everything rides on his health. If healthy, Bynum will be playing a much more central role (with more minutes) under Brown than he did under Jackson, which immediately reduces the # of minutes L.O. would have played. That, combined with the fact that it was highly unlikely that one of the more inconsistent players in the league (LO) was going to replicate the best season of his career, by far.

  56. I agree with Travis.

    Jim Buss could be the issue here.

    We are avoiding salary, luxury taxes, and in the process we are going to avoid the NBA finals.

    Dwight is a fading dream now. Paul is a distant nightmare.

    They might just dump MWP with the amnesty move.

    They will have no Lamar, no Ron, bruised egos, and a new coach.

    Kobe is supposed to play out his last couple years in that enviornment?

    I am hoping that Mitch will pull the rabbit out of the hat here, but I am fearful that we could be in full rebuilding mode soon.

    We went from a dream team of Kobe-Paul-Howard to a nightmare of a disgruntled Kobe being content with filling the Buss family pockets and padding his stats while not having any chance at a ring – all in a week’s time.

    Please someone tell me I am wrong and show me the light.

  57. I have something that I’d like to add about the LO trade that I’m almost hesitant to write because I love the Lakers so much, but….

    I view the idea that LO was traded to satisfy his impetuous, emotional desire to leave (as opposed to being a carefully thought-out part of Mitch’s agenda) to be somewhere between a red herring and utter nonsense. Obviously, the team could have tried to mollify LO over the next few days– Mitch could have had Kobe call, there could have been public apologies, etc. But instead, the opposite happened: they moved him immediately, ostensibly in deference to his anger. Why not wait a couple of days for him to cool off? After all, think of the patience with which they handled Kobe’s trade demands…

    To my way of thinking, the answer can be found by thinking back to the time when Mitch led up to trading Shaq– after the Detroit loss, Mitch took questions from the press postgame (odd in itself– when has that ever happened either before or since?) and started talking with absolutely no provocation about how Kobe was untradeable. This was odd, because no one was suggesting otherwise or asking questions that would lead to that response. After repeating that same statement something like 5 times, a reporter dutifully asked if Shaq was also untradeable and Mitch ‘reluctantly’ hemmed and hawed, then finally answered in a mealy-mouthed fashion without really answering but making it clear to everyone watching that he was not. Inevitably, Shaq got pissed off (and was clearly *hurt*, just like LO) and demanded a trade, which Mitch kindly ‘obliged’.

    To me, this is basketball politics at it’s most clever and insidious– there’s no way to trade a beloved guy like Shaq against his will without upsetting the fan base, so the strategy was to ruffle his feathers until he gets pissed off and demands a trade which now looks like it was his idea, then management ‘reluctantly’ goes along with it because they are so accommodating and care so deeply about the happiness of players they are about to lose.

    In this case, I’m not suggesting the grand conspiracy that the whole CP3 thing was some kind of ruse to upset LO, merely that the front office had likely discussed trading LO for cap relief/flexibility even before pursuing Paul and, in the aftermath of the Stern debacle, saw an opportunity to deal LO and make it about his emotions, not about the cruel nature of the business.

    This is why I believe the trade was executed so swiftly (also very unusual for Mitch): they had to get it done before LO calmed down, apologized and returned to camp, something that was bound to happen sooner rather than later given that Pau was such a professional about it and had as much reason to upset as Lamar.

    I love the Lakers and I think Mitch is a very good GM, but these are mindgames worthy of the Zenmaster and, imo, we’ve seen this exact trick before. Whether this ultimately is about cap relief or part of an attempt to get a huge name will play out in time (actually, it’s not even necessarily the case that this has even been decided by managment– an either/or situation is pretty good from their perspective), but it is clear from me (and is even clearer now that we know more details of the CP3 offer), that there was a plan afoot to turn LO into a TPE (it could have been NO’s, if not Dallas’) and, in fact, Mitch used his emotional reaction as a strawman. It is indeed a kind of evil genius– make the player feel and appear responsible for a difficult decision really made by others without his knowledge.

    * * *

    I have faith in Mitch, but it’s crazy out there right now and not sure anyone can do more than throw out bait– this could all be revisited around the trade deadline (although it still seems more likely to me that paul will be moved by then).

  58. Back to original topic…LO was definitely a fan favorite! Sometimes true fans get attached to players and find the business aspect difficult to accept. It will be tough to see LO in another uniform. I had similar feelings seeing the likes of Turiaf, Ariza, and even Sasha have to go. As a youngster I was devestated when my favorite Laker Norm Nixon got traded. But as it’s already been said these things always seem to work out in the end. I have faith in Mitch that he will deliver…

  59. remembering the 3th quarter of 2010 game 7 nba finals…where lamar and ron-ron taking over

  60. vhan Yes – I remember well.

    Love both of these guys.

    LO is gone and RA (MWP) is a short timer.

    No way Jim Buss is missing out on that salary dump.

    Sorry to be a pessimist, but this Odom thing has me in a funk. I can’t see the logic no matter how I slice it (other than to make more money).

  61. looks like josh mcroberts is headed to memphis.

  62. Funky chicken has is about right. If Bynum is healthy the Lakers are contenders and if he isn’t then they would not be with or without LO.

    The trade is devastating because of my feelings towards Lamar but basketball wise while weakening its not the end to championship hopes.

    we need Bynum to be healthy, Kobe to be healthly and Pau to be energetic come playoff time. Would also help if Barnes, Blake and rest of bench is consistent.

    Seriously as it stands right now we are probably the 4th or 5th best team (Heat, Thunder,Bulls & maybe Celtics) but by no means so far behind any of them that we couldn’t win. Just look at what Dallas was able to do by getting hot at the right time. Remember this was a team that people had pegged for getting upset in the 1st round.

    Again sky isn’t falling, just some dark clouds

  63. Robert, let’s step back a minute and put the current roster in context.

    Coming into this season, Vegas oddsmakers had the Lakers as the #2 best odds to win the title. No doubt losing L.O. is a blow, but if we have a healthy Andrew this year, this squad still has as good a chance of coming out of the west as anyone. There just aren’t many teams with three all stars in the starting lineup, and a bench with Kapono, Barnes, and Fisher/Blake is still pretty decent.

    They clearly need to add some depth in the front court, but Bynum will likely play more minutes this year under Mike Brown’s offense, which will be the easiest way to overcome the loss of L.O.

    If they can add some backcourt help through free agency, they should be a title contender, and the upside is that they’ll be able to compete for two of what is now looking like three likely superstar free agents (Howard, CP3, and DWill).

  64. I think there is still a beef on MWP muscles compared to Luke Walton. If you are talking of amnesty, Stern or Gilbert cannot stop the Lakers on this one the choice is really obvious.

    To top it all, Mitch has no more eyes nor ears, remember Ronnie Lester and the Lakers scouts were all terminated prior to lockout.

    He could be just depending on blogs and rumors at El Segundo Pizza Parlor. lol! Well, just in case he doesn’t have the list we’ll post here the available players per team. We are all now the assistant of Mitch working for free for the Buss Family.

    http://hoopshype.com/free_agency.htm

  65. sorry, nix mcroberts to mephis.

  66. The CP3 trade fallout made the FO have to make a swift move considering LO’s time in LA. A disgruntle player will never get max value on the market because other teams know you have to part ways. I loved LO for everything he did while representing the purple and gold, but his emotional state was about too cost the team. The end result of this fiasco is the only way that judgement is justifiable, until all the chips have fallen where they may, fans should just relax and see where this ride takes us.

  67. Funky,

    Lakers will have nowhere the cap space to bid on those guys as FAs. That is why the team has been in the middle of all this stuff going on now.

  68. They will be over the cap until Pau and Kobe are gone.

  69. lakers should push for arenas or baron davis if they can’t get paul. As the current roster, they just need an above average PG, and Arenas (no one bidded on him during the amnesty period) can come in cheap and is way above an average PG (even after his surgery). He is a very real possibility to help the lakers, and as long as he can come in to play 25-30 min/night, averaging 12pts, 5assists, that’s way better than any PG on the lakers roster.

  70. Funky + Jeremy: I agree with your very sound logic, however I will counter with this: If you are the 4th or 5th best team in the league (or the #2 according to odds), then that is the time you add a piece or two to put yourself over the top. you do not subtract by making a rash (yes hasty and rash) move like they did with Lamar. So now we are a notch down, rather than rising up to win the title. Are we going to miss the playoffs? – of course not, but Miami just added Shane B to their roster and we just subtracted Lamar. Sorry, but like you probabaly have, I have been rooting for these guys for decades. It is all about beating the other good teams come playoff time. Watching the playoffs for the past few years, I would not conclude that Drew needs more minutes. Between injuries and fouls we are lucky to get what we have out of him. Dumping Lamar is inexcusable. If we could have gotten the Trade Exception big enough for Hedu, then it would have been OK, but we did not. The TE’s are not cumulative. Has anyone asked why Cuban would have done this, if he knew it would help the Lakers get Dwight? Answer: He doesn’t think this helps us get Dwight, because it doesn’t. Trust me – I was not desperate coming into this year. I would have been fine with the roster we had. We would have had about a 30% chance to win the title with that roster (which is huge). The roster we have now (sans LO) we have very little chance. The Lakers were slow last year and Lamar was one of their quicker guys. This could get very ugly. Dwight doesn’t look to be moving soon, we have 5 games without Drew to start the year, and we have a new coach. Start off 2-3 and watch how pessimistic this board gets then. I will seem like a raving optimist compared to what everyone else will be like at that time :)

  71. Robinred, my assumption is that whether by sign and trade or merely not exercising their option on Andrew next year, the Drew for Dwight “trade” will happen without affecting payroll to any large degree.

    That leaves the addition of an elite PG. If a sign & trade for Pau is acceptable to either NO or NJ, then that’s how they add the PG that they wanted this season.

  72. Speaking of Odom, Dallas is amassing players (Delonte West and Vince Carter). Are free agents not picking up Mitch’s phone calls? Is the team considered poison? I mean a bunch of these players signed for the minimum. That is a bit disconcerting to me.

  73. Robert, I actually agree with you. Coming into this season I was not among those who sided with Magic in saying that the roster, as then constructed, could not win a championship without major tweaking.

    To me, the most sound move would have been to do nothing regarding current players, then bank on the fact that one of three guys would get waived by their current teams and be willing to come be the starting point guard of the best starting 5 in the NBA: Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis, or Gilbert Arenas.

    Each of those guys has flaws, for sure, but each of them is currently better than any PG the Lakers have had in a very long time–and would come cheap and without the need to dump any current players. The addition of any one of those guys, plus supplementing the roster with a shooter like Kapono would have given the Lakers the best roster in the NBA in my estimation.

    All I’m saying now is that everything I just described is on the table right now, minus L.O. That’s a big loss, for sure, but I’d consider two things before throwing in the towel on this season:

    1. L.O. probably was not going to replicate the best year of his career even before the CP3 trade came up, and certainly not after it fell through.

    2. The trade exception they just got could allow them to sign a pretty darn good backup PF.

    Based on that, I’m still pretty optimistic that this team will contend for a title (assuming health, of course…). I trust that Mitch is not yet finished, even if it seems unlikely that there will be a huge deal. It’s just that, like you, I don’t really think a huge deal is all that necessary for this team. More now with the loss of L.O., but still not critical.

  74. I have to admit, I have spent the past few days, including far too much of my weekend, experiencing the full continuum of emotions that (many) Laker fans have endured:

    Excitement–we have a chance to get Paul?

    Trepidation–do we really want to give up LO and Pau to get Paul?

    Rage (the special kind, borne of complete powerlessness)–we all know why…

    Disbelief–Really? We let LO go for that?

    Mourning–We really let LO go….

    I think it’s time to reload our outlook and take a step back… and I hope we all will…

    Let’s assume that no more “big names” are coming…

    Let’s assume we are going to fill the roster spots with what we can get, and Paul will stay in NOH or go elsewhere….and D12 stays in ORl or goes elsewhere….

    I for one have hope…

    LA had a big advantage in recent years–the power of experience and continuity–same basic lineups, same system, (mostly) same results–rings and perennial contention….

    However, there is the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt” and while I don’t think last year’s group was hating each other, there were cracks in the facade last year that were starting to show…Bynum getting frustrated, Pau seeming to be frayed beyond repair in the playoffs, Kobe seeming to finally be on his last legs….and dare I say, Phil seeming to be a bit resigned, if not complacent?

    Last season seemed to be on “autopilot” (cue PJ saying ‘when to the playoffs start’ after a midseason loss….)

    Now–

    New coach,

    new system,

    (maybe) a rededication to defense (we’ll see)

    maybe a little bit of “everyone is against us” (laced with a little one of kind rage from you know who)

    maybe some quality burn for rookies/youngsters in volumes of minutes unheard of for this franchise in over half a decade…

    At the end of the day, everyone is learning on the fly in this mad, compressed, disorienting pre-season…

    I for one am looking forward to seeing if

    Bynum can (finally) take the next step

    If Pau can get the redemption I hope he desperately wants

    If Kobe can keep defying time and prove he still has “it”

    If Fish can still be–that unquantifiable thing he is

    If Blake can flourish in something other than the triangle

    If the youngsters can take advantage of an opportunity they wouldn’t have if pJ was still here

    If the team as a whole will be reenergized and, maybe a little “edgy” knowing that no one (except kobe) is untouchable…

    I’m going to give it a chance….I hope we all do…

  75. DY, is that the most reasonable line of thinking? that the lakers are being inexplicably shunned?

    they don’t have meaningful minutes to offer 2-guards because of kobe. as for pgs, there are three here already. there’s always room for a starter quality pg, but there aren’t any available, except for maybe rodney stuckey.

  76. 1) Why DH now says he wants to stay in ORL?

    Just a smoke screen?

    2) Why ORL GM is not taking Bynum + TPE + Draft picks for DH? Is there anything better out there? Is that Stern will veto this one as well? And why?

    Many, many questions.

  77. 79. Chibi. If your conclusion is right, then why did we just add a fifth small forward in Kapono (and yes he can shoot, but he is number five)? How about the minimum salary back up big? There is something giving free agents a pause. I truly hope I am wrong about it, but we are now into day 5 of free agency. Last year we were able to get Barnes for very cheap.

    Has mitch talked about using the mini MLE?

  78. our 3pt shooting last year was mediocre. i feel like kapono addresses a need.

    as for bigs, agents and players are waiting for the first domino to drop: dwight and/or nene. when teams with capspace use all theirs up, then teams with the mid-level are going to come into play. finally teams with the mini-midlevel like us will pick over what’s left.

    some of those players can be signed-and-traded, too. there’s an opportunity(or multiple opportunities) for that kind of transaction b/c of the odom trade exception.

  79. Methinks LA is planning to buy Mo Williams from them Clips.

    http://warrenweelim.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/there-are-other-deals-to-be-made/

  80. Wow. Mavs added Delonte West and Arenas.

  81. Anyone else think Mitch’s statement that “we’re pursuing big deals” is a little weird? Mitch’s trademark is flying under the radar, keeping things under wraps.

    This feels more like he’s playing a PR game than anything. I can’t imagine Mitch saying that if he actually thought we had a legitimate shot at Howard or another star (considering the other owners’ reaction), he’d want to work quietly.

    It’s out of style for Mitch. It’s almost like they’re reacting to the heat of the Odom deal and trying to tell Lakers fans that they’re at least trying to get a big move made.

    My guess is we won’t see the Odom trade exception used right away. I really think Mitch/Buss just wanted flexibility under the new CBA so they could use the TE closer to the trade deadline, when an opportunity arises (read: cash-strapped team wants to dump a quality player). I’m not sure they’ll rush using the Odom TE at this point.

  82. I’m so depressed.

  83. Nice poker move by Neil Olshey. He knew the league has no one else to deal with. If they really intend to trade Paul, he knew they’d come crawling back to him.

  84. I’m not too worried about Dallas picking up Gilbert Arenas and Delonte West, both well known head cases.

    That team will need all the locker room leadership LO can provide, and then some.

  85. Great post, and I am also depressed…

  86. FWIW, I think lil pau’s assessment is really intriguing. I was gone this summer and missed a lot of the trade rumors … looking back through them now, it makes sense. Lamar was first dangled for Iguodala. Then Mitch tried to get the #2 draft pick from Minnesota for Lamar, even though Kahn wasn’t interested at all.

    It looks like Jim Buss (most likely) didn’t value Lamar as much as we do. We’re treating this as though it was very hasty, because we’re believing the cover story of Lamar’s trade request (while it was a factor, that doesn’t explain why Lamar was shopped all June).

    Mitch doesn’t let players push him around. If Jim/Mitch really wanted to hold onto Lamar, it would have been easy to have Ron/Fish/Pau talk him down. Or give him a few days to cool off. They jumped at the chance to trade him before he had a chance to back off his trade demand.

    For whatever reason, Jim/Mitch have been trying to trade Lamar last June. This wasn’t necessarily a “hasty” decision. They consistently tried to get value for him (Iggy, draft pick, CP3). When no one would bite, and Lamar demanded a trade, they likely saw an opportunity to trade away the most popular locker room player while minimizing anger from the players. We’ll never know, but there’s definitely merit to that argument, when you look at how the FO traded Odom in June.

  87. Lamar is a Laker. In a sense that he plays “Lakers bball”. I became a Laker fan because of Magic Johnson and the beauty of his game. Lamar is another player that fits the “graceful-style” of bball. The way he carries the ball to the basket reminds me of James Worthy sometimes, pure graceful moves, 2 steps then let the ball go smooth to the basket.

    The only thing that cam explain this trade is the fact that Lamar demanded to be traded. Nothing else really makes sense. Salary dump? For the above paragraph, I’d just keep him forever.

    Finesse, maybe? I just love to watch players like Lamar, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Deron Williams, Ginobli…

    Now Lamar is no longer a Laker.

    BUT…Is the TPE from Dallas bringing DH to the Lakers?

    Mitch, please answer!

  88. @ 90

    This bizarre move indicates that Buss doesn’t value Odom, but Odom has been on the block because of his contract/skillset–it is a solid value.

  89. The less minutes Bynum and Pau have to play,especially with so many back to backs, the better. Which means we now need two quality bigs to eat up minutes,not just one. The real story behind Lamar will slowly come out over the next few weeks or months. The new coaching staff must be just as frustrated as the fans.

  90. We have a smart team, one that can definitely outsmart Mark Cuban. If we dealt Lamar to Cuban, it must’ve made sense – and I think it does if, now more than ever, salary flexibility is a big thing.

    Think about it. Once the new CBA settles down after this mess, teams are going to figure out that cutting salary is VERY important. The Lakers, not only with deep pockets, also have a TPE to dangle – which means that we’ll be in a very advantageous position later this season.

    Problem with this of course is that we are about to kill Kobe’s window, but this becomes moot if Bynum is as healthy as he has been reported by Ding to be. Bynum, at his height, is a very close #1B to Howard’s #1A, and being an offensive threat means that it saves Kobe more than DH could (Kobe finds his defense only in the 4th anyway).

    The other thing that’s intriguing is our complete lack of movement regarding amnesty players. Or at least nothing that actually netted us one. It means that we have a bigger plan in place that is not affected by firesales going on around us.

    I’ll miss Lamar, but if Bynum is healthy, he can more than help us stay afloat during the regular season (minus the 5 that he’s suspended for), and we’ll definitely see teams realizing they have to shed salary once their playoff dreams are shot.

    So we should be looking at bubble teams with contracts worth 8.9 mil or less… and see what we can land then.

  91. I think the Lakers has probably done analysis on the next draft where they see huge value in gaining another first round draft pick.

    As for the NBA not letting CP3 go.. one has to wonder if Stern has any issues with DFish on CBA talks. So is this some sort of retaliation by Stern?

  92. Lamar, laker for ever!!!

  93. 91,

    Hello Magic Phil, I for one thought that the reason for the haste in pulling out from the re-worked deal at the middle of the night last Sat. that Mitch has been given an assurance of DH trade if he does these things. First, they want a replacement Center + whatever cash to be raised to absorb Hedo.

    Little did we know Mitch was just working on haunch, on emotion of LO and the pressure from the Buss family to reduce salaries below luxury threshold. He jumped on the gun on LO to Dallas. This is similar situation when an angry Shaq requested for a trade, he immediately picked up Brian Grant, Butler and Odom as an exchange. Where is the GM who is cool under pressure? Nada, it’s back to panicky moves that provide Cupcake results. It’s bad PR to Laker fans because people were searching for any creativity on the hasty moves that turned into waste today. The Paul deal is gone and Howard deal is dicey and F/A available are being grabbed by teams with below salary cap. Perhaps, Mitch needs another F/A who would volunteer to play with the Lakers for a song or for a dollar like what happened to Mailman and da Glove in 2003. Who are the players who volunteered to play for the Lakers? Barnes, Kapono, Artest where there is no need of negotiation or competition. Where is the GM who will entice, motivate, sell the Laker image to F/A’s at large? That is not style of Mitch. We have faith in Mitch but he should never trust his gut feeling again without iron clad insurance that – trading LO would immediately translate to Howard move to LA. If the chances were 40-60, then hold on LO until he overcomes his anger by Christmas Day.

    Mitch just said that he’s working on some big deals that will not involve Kobe, Bynum and Gasol. That is his word, let’s see if there will be any changes before Christmas Day.

  94. There is an obvious replacement out there for Odom: Anderson Varejao. His deal has four years on it and he is 29; Cleveland would probably like to get rid of him. He can play the 4 or the 5 and is a high-energy guy. He is a Mike Brown guy, and he fits within the Odom TPE.

    It would be kind of funny if the Lakers’ first two deals after The Veto were with Cuban and Gilbert.

  95. Daroius may delete that one as trade spec, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

  96. Sup Edwin,

    Did Mitch said “not involve Kobe, Gasol and BYNUM???

    So then we can write DH off…(snif)

    I still have hope that by the 25th Bynum will be gone and Howard will be in.

    I can dream…

  97. Warren,

    Saw your Mo Williams thing. With the Clippers claiming Billups, that could make Williams available.

  98. I really hope Warren is right about Mo Williams coming to us, because its a sore sight when the Clippers have a better looking roster than we do.

    Billups, Gordon, Butler, Griffin, Kaman/Jordan looks pretty damn exciting. Especially because they have young depth on their bench.

  99. Williams might be available if the Clippers get Paul, but I think Anderson Varejao is more available.

  100. I love Odom but this is about keeping the Lakers competitive in the present and the future. Odom was valuable in the triangle offense, but I’m inclined to think we can get a comparable or better replacement backup PF. Will that replacement PF have the same skillset as Odom? Probably not, but Odom was a luxury we can afford not to have in Brown’s offense. Additionally, Odom had his best year last year, and unlikely to repeat the performance, especially in a new offense. At 32 years old with $8.9 mil, it would be difficult to find a trade of equal value. Why not get a 1st Round Pick as trade bait? Personally, I’m sure Mitch could have gotten a better deal, but as a matter of loyalty, traded Odom to a contender after Odom got upset.

    So we lose one of the most versatile Forwards in the League. Again, it’s a luxury we no longer need in Brown’s offense. I actually take it as a good sign that the Front Office is confident in Bynum’s knees, and that Bynum is improving and maturing as a player. If Bynum is healthy, it will be Bynum (or Howard) and Gasol playing in the closing minutes of games. Paying 8.9 mil for an aging bench player (no upside), that no longer plays the 4th Quarter doesn’t make any sense.

    This definitely isn’t a salary dump. There is (or at least was) a plan and backup plans, and financial flexibility is part of those plans. Execution is now key.

    Optimistically, I see the Howard trade still in play, Howard is definitely leaving after the season, not matter what he is saying in the interviews, so ORL must trade him. But we shouldn’t give up too much for Howard. Bynum if healthy, can be a superstar, not as dominant, but more skillful under the Captain’s tutelage. If Gasol is involved, we must get equal value.

    And to a lesser extent Paul is also still in play, if LAC doesn’t pull the trigger. The HOU/NO/LAL trade can be revived sans Odom. I’m sure Demps would rather have Odom, but Stern certainly doesn’t and would prefer DAL’s Pick. A few more tweaks, and Stern must trade, lacking a better deal elswhere (unless the Warriors up the ante).

    Going forward, I believe Mitch definitely has some other options as well. The Front Office has a track record of being sneaky quiet. The fact that Mitch publically announced that he has 1 or 2 “Big Moves”, at the risk of further damaging the nervous psyche of possibly traded players, means he will be making some moves sooner or later, and he wanted to reassure the angry mob of fans. I believe the next credible rumor about the Lakers will be:

    “Blockbuster Trade: An Agreement Has Been Reached Between The Lakers And…”

  101. Robin,

    While I like Varejao and would love to have him in LA, I don’t like his contract very much (4 years, 7.7mil this year). I also don’t think Gilbert, after the leaked email, would even dare talk to Dr. Buss about business. But I don’t know, I’m open to reconsider my judgement on his contract. Does anyone think it’s not too bad a contract?

    Even if the Clips don’t get Paul, they may still want to trade Williams. They have Billups for way cheap, and he’s a proven winner, unlike Mo. If I’m Dr. Buss I’m thinking about trading Odom’s TE for Williams straight up (8.5mil this season). It’ll give us one season with a decent PG, with Fisher as a backup and Morris as third string. I would also trade Mo (his contract is for 2 seasons) before next season, in order to acquire Deron Williams, whom I like a lot more than Chris Paul due to his longer lasting body. Sorry folks, but if we are truly serious about the future of the organization then we have to think about durability. DWill will have a longer career than Paul.

    If the Lakers don’t make it to the Finals this year it won’t be the end of the world. Most fans agree that Kobe will still have at least 2 more years performing at near elite level. Even if we don’t trade for Howard this year we’ll sign him next off-season, along with Deron Williams. Meanwhile, if we acquire Mo we can still try to contend this season and who knows, we may get far. And if we don’t it’s ok, because we’ll have more rest for the following season, when we can make a real run at a title with Howard and DWill, in a season that will definitely not have an asterisk on it in the history books of the future.

    All this movement (and lack-there-of) to begin the season has really drained us. It has gotten some of us a little down and anxious. But fear not, Lakers fans! There’s always calm after the storm.

  102. (1) Re the trade exception discussion, sorry, my bad.

    (2) “We have a smart team, one that can definitely outsmart Mark Cuban. If we dealt Lamar to Cuban, it must’ve made sense – and I think it does if, now more than ever, salary flexibility is a big thing.”

    I would posit the opposite. The Mavs have salary flexibility while substantially upgrading their roster. Lamar can be bought out at the end of this season for some number under 3 mil. Until then, the Mavs enjoy his services luxury tax free. Delonte West signed on for 1 year. Vince Carter signed on for 3 years, but only this year is fully guaranteed. Their roster looks like:

    C: Haywood/Mahimni/Wright
    PF: Nowitzki, Odom
    SF: Marion, Carter
    SG: Terry, Fernandez
    PG: Kidd, West

    And they can flip Odom for Marion and run the 2nd unit small, at least when they are facing the Lakers and the mighty D. Caracter as 2nd unit PF.

    They’ve managed to make themselves rather competitive while still allowing themselves the option to be enough below cap to sign one of Howard, DWill, or Paul this off-season.

    Unless something well and truly drastic happens, I can see them winning a playoff series against the Lakers. I had thought that the Mavs were toast this year, what with that gaping hole at C, and Butler out, Barrea out, and Stephenson out, but Haywood looks at lot more serviceable when Lamar can sub in for Marion at SF on the 1st unit and West and Carter can join Marion on the 2nd unit. When I considered the Mavs toast, I hadn’t envisioned any of that. I again stand corrected.

    Now back to salary flexibility, the big lie here is that Lamar cost that much. He didn’t. As I said, he can be bought out for just under 3 mil at the end of this season. That’s why the number above that someone posted, 34 million, is simply wrong. The number for Lamar if he finishes this year and then is bought out, is 8.9 x 2 + 3 = 20.8. And they could conceivably flip him later on before the trade deadline, to some team looking to simply make the playoffs this one year, and if they did that, they wouldn’t be on the hook for this year’s luxury tax as that tax is only paid based on team salary at year end. So some other team that needs Lamar to make the playoffs might take him for whatever is outstanding for this year salary, the 8.9 luxury tax, and 3 mil to buy him out as well, assuming he’s a rest of the season rental. And so I don’t get that same sense of urgency that Mitch spoke of. I just don’t.

    I otherwise understand now why Darius doesn’t have the trade speculation, since people all over the world have been positing any number of PFs to sub in. But who else is there who even comes to Lamar and will fit within the trade exception? Kirilenko? He earned in excess of 15 mil. David West is doing 2 for 20. They can settle on Carl Kandry, say 5 mil a year over 3 years, or he can pull a half David West and do 2 for 10. He’ll give the team 11.5, 4.5 and 0.8, which is about 3 points less than Lamar, half the rebound total and some fraction over 3.0 for Lamar versus Landry’s 0.8 assists. He’s not even comparable. And we’ll see how Landry does as the clubhouse glue.

    Then there’s Varejao. Makes even less sense than Lamar. He’s earning 7.7, 8.4 and 9.1 over the guaranteed last three years of his contract (with a team option for a fourth at 9.8). If the Lakers wish to save money, I would suggest that keeping Lamar for this year, then buying him out, would be cheaper than Varejao. And so everyone knows, see that 8.4? Odom will be taking a pay cut next season, if his option is exercised, and so down from 8.9 to 8.2, so Varejeo will be more expensive than Lamar next year.

    And for one more, Mo Williams, yes, they’ll save the 8.5 mil in luxury tax on his salary, but he has a player option for 8.5 mil next year as well, and so he too will be earning more than Lamar next season (the savings is 8.5 less the 600K that is the 300K diff in salary x 2, or 7.9 mil).

    To sum, I hope that with the team picking up a Time Warner deal reportedly worth 3 billion dollars over 20 years, that the team didn’t kick Lamar to the curb over a measly 7.9-10.1 mil, with 10 mil representing 1/15th of the average yearly value of the deal, i.e., 3 billion/20 = 150 million divided by 10 mil = 15). And so I’ve heard enough of the doublespeak and after due reflection, maybe we might waterboard Jimbo and Mitch and find out the real reason for Lamar’s absence.

    Almost forgot, but consider the Mavs roster again. What with 12 games in 18 days to start and 6 in 11 to finish, well, that’s the Lakers schedule anyway, and it not getting a whole lot better in the middle, this is the season when roster depth well and truly matters. Probably rather more than the difference between having Chandler and Haywood at C, what with the rest of their roster. As I said, I thought they were toast. But what with Lamar, Carter and West, I well and truly stand corrected. And, again, as I said, they get that with the option of disposing of all three at season’s end to have enough cap space to sign a biggie. Meanwhile, Mitch speaks to “big deals”, after giving them talent, depth, and flexibility.

  103. I am not a huge Billups fan, but I always felt like he would have been a great fit for this squad and for the triangle. I don’t know now, he isn’t a great defender anymore.

    But it is kind of stressing me to see all the other teams pick up all the pieces out there, while the Lakers are loosing pieces.

    I love Kobe’s attitude throughout all this though. I think it is good for the team that he has been so open about the situation, that he is as confused and frustrated as the rest of them, while still expressing confidence in the team and management.

  104. E, if the Clippers aren’t getting Cp3 then that deal is probably off. Not saying its a rumor of any sort, its just me saying thats the best value for your money at 8.9M TPE.

  105. The Lakers have never made moves because they were worried about money. If the new CBA is so bad against big teams, then we as fans have to accept that our team is no longer going to make moves because of the talent involved. That is the only way you can justify trading Odom for what they got.

    I am still amazed at the lack of legal threats by the Lakers against the NBA. The team made a great deal to get CP3 and it was vetoed. Now other teams have stepped in and the cost is actually higher. It seems like a team is going to have to pay more then the Lakers did to get Paul which is all the more reason we should be threatening the league. I just dont see Paul being allowed to walk so the league can devalue the Hornets.

    The Lakers got screwed and their aggressiveness put everyone else on notice and now teams are stepping up and the Lakers will get left out in the cold.

    I am not mad at management for their approach as they made a great deal to get CP3. I am now mad at their lack of standing up to the NBA and trying to see if they can fix it or now take a whole new approach. Odom was a salary dump.

    As for Odom, his credibility is gone. Very few players have a right to be upset when they are traded for a player like CP3 and he has to understand. Yes he signed a discounted deal, but hes a pro and is paid well to deal with it. Gasol seems to be handling it. If anything he should have been happy he gets to stay in LA. Instead he demands a trade and the Lakers reacted harshly.

    If you remember the years in the early mid 90s when the team was in transition and looking for that next superstar, we were relatively mediocre until Shaq arrived. This is where we are headed now because there are not enough pieces to get to replace LO and to get those extra players we need to compete.

    If this team starts poorly, it will all implode and I would hate to see Kobe become upset as that will just speed it up.

    The NBA needs to be held accountable for messing up the Lakers trade strategy plain and simple.

  106. Warren (104),

    Great analysis! A few principles to consider in this new CBA world:

    1. Love the one you’re with

    2. Money always matters

    3. Less is more

  107. In some weird way it gave me hope to hear Kobe talk about that he liked his chances… sometimes less is more, and now the Lakers clearly have to fight harder and depend more on each other!

    Maybe this is the chip on their shoulder they need, and these moves won’t result in further moves before the summer.

  108. Unless Mitch is able to pull off some “big moves” to shore up the team’s weaknesses (PG, frontcourt depth), I think this group may have hit their proverbial end of the road. Why should we expect anything different from last year when they are 1 year older, lost the 6th man of the year and are playing in a shortened season that features double-digit back-to-backs? Penetrating guards will continue to live in the paint, running teams will continue to beat the Lakers in transition, the Lakers will continue to have problems shooting from the outside and Kobe will likely have lost another step.

    I will be a fan whether the Lakers go 46-20 or 20-46 this upcoming season but I feel that Mitch should consider shedding salary and accumulating draft picks and prospects unless he is able to make substantial moves that can put the Lakers in a realistic position to compete with Miami, Dallas and OKC.

  109. Long-time fan, so I should know the answer to my own (dumb) question but….

    Does anyone else think that Ron can provide some limited run at the “4”….? Are there other “thinking outside the box” solutions to frontcourt depth questions we are all missing, assuming no “big” moves (i.e. Howard) are coming….?

  110. Ron can guard the 4 spot. I am certain he will have quite the duty wrestling ppl there. He has the girth to survive it.

    Aside from the glaring needs at the 4/5 backup spots, I still see Aaron’s favorite position to smack – PG. Partly coz its true and partly coz he’s a red meat eater (hates Fish).

    Part of me wishes CP3 to LA (Clippers) went through so Mo Williams could then become expendable.

  111. @ Warren

    Nelson in ORL is also on your “list” of obtainables with a salary that “fits…”

    But I can see why Mo would be a better “system fit” given who our coach is…

    Has anyone received word on how Morris looks? Seems pretty tough to expect much from a rookie PG….even though in my previous posts I noted I hope Ebanks, Morris, et al get a chance to show their stuff this year….

  112. The NBA hosed the Lakers with their veto (at least until the trade deadline).

    The FO might have a master plan, but they can’t do anything without a dance partner. But what incentive do these teams have to deal with the Lakers this early? Any of these big trades will likely be relegating our trade partners to re-building status–they’re not winning this year and have all the time in the world (unlike the Lakers).

    I don’t see any way around it, but these dark days are bound to continue until the trade deadline.

  113. @mindcrime

    Kobe also has mentioned Ebanks as the one to eat Odom’s minutes, and says he has been working with him around the clock!

    So maybe some co-op on the 4 between Artest and Ebanks is in the works!?

  114. If the Warriors were willing to pay Kwame 7M this ssn, there is no reason we can’t use the Mavericks 1st + 3M to trade out Luke Walton.

  115. We’re going to start to cut down on the trade speculation moving forward until there’s something new to discuss. The same *Dwight, Paul* scenarios are well known and there’s nothing new. Also, the *we should trade player X* or *someone will want player Y* won’t stand either. No one knows any of that stuff and is the essence of speculating. When there’s a qualified report, we’ll discuss it. Until then, there are plenty of other boards to visit where you can talk the next miracle deal ad nauseum.

  116. The key domino hardly anyone’s talking about is Nene.

    Nene reportedly has a tentative offer from the Nets, but as you might guess that deal’s on hold until the Nets know their DH12 status. The Nets, in essence, are in a game of chicken and will have to pull the trigger on Nene (and thereby cede Dwight to the Lakers) if they can’t close the deal on Dwight this week…

    http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/12/13/top-free-agents-still-wait/

  117. Darius, you have done a wonderful picking up where Kurt left off, but this is the time of year where speculation is rampant, and frankly a big reason why us Laker fans flock to the boards. Even with being linked to ESPN, this board has been able to maintain a high level of intelligent posts, and back and forth commentary. It’s your call if you want to shut down trade speculation on this board, but I think a lot of us would rather do it here than have to wade thru mountains of flames and mouth breathers elsewhere.

  118. @ Slappy

    Varejao does in fact “make less sense than Lamar.”

    But Lamar’s gone, and Varejao makes more sense than Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks at the 4.

  119. Bean,

    Kurt never allowed trade speculation talk here either.

    I’m fine with that.

  120. mo williams? do you recall him being demolished by rondo? he made rondo look so good people started calling him the mvp of the celtics. and that was 2 yrs ago.

    we don’t need more offense. we need better perimeter defense and rebounding from our wings.

  121. Realgm.com is reporting that McRoberts is close to deal with Lakers. I hate Duke and all its players but this may end up being a decent deal for $3M/per

  122. I hope this isn’t considered trade speculation; all I want for Christmas is Deron Williams in a Lakers uniform.

    In some ways, I’d like it better than CP3, if only because Williams is bigger and stronger, therefore may have a longer career. Especially considering the possibility that Chris Paul has lost a little something due to his injury.

  123. #122. Bean,
    It’s appropriate at certain times but not *all the time* and we’re approaching that point. When there’s new news, we’ll be on it. But, at this point, is there anything else to discuss?

    I just chatted at the DDL for an hour and there hundreds of “Chris Paul?” “Dwight Howard?” “Who are the Lakers going to get?” questions. At some point, the team that’s here has to play the game and we’ll focus on that, not the speculation about who’s coming next. At least until there are new reports to dive into.

  124. I hope this isn’t considered trade speculation; all I want for Christmas is Deron Williams in a Lakers uniform.

    In some ways, I’d like it better then CP3, if only because Williams is bigger and stronger, therefore may have a longer career. Especially considering the possibility that Chris Paul has lost a little something due to his injury.

  125. Good take on Josh McRoberts perhaps, he could bring back his Duke mojo where he was scoring double digits. Let’s populate the Lakers with young breed who maybe in the pipe dream but they can be trained and could run with the full bred stallions. We saw a old Laker team last year who lost energy, could not even stop Barea and players have 1001 reasons why they lost the mojo because of their proverbial switch. Perhaps, it’s really time to work again and work for every possession now that PJ is gone, the triple towers were reduced to two and no more big names coming until end of their contracts.

    Darius, I know you’re not in the speculation business but I believe dreamin’ and fantasizin’ of what could have been if…. is a good therapy for Laker fans after throwing away a good player for money. If there are no hard news to quote, then fans could just play with fantasies. It may be an idea that will awaken a sleepy FO.

  126. What in the world is going on in Laker-land? Giving Odom away to the defending world champs? Really???

    http://theklowntimes.net/2011/12/12/what-in-the-hell-are-the-lakers-thinking/

  127. Josh McRoberts??

    What would he add? His offensive game is very limited and I don’t exactly think he was remembered in Indiana for his defense either. I sure hope this isn’t a part of what Mitch called “big deals” coming.

  128. Any other sources have the McRoberts report out there? If so, anyone mind giving me a decent breakdown of his game? I only saw him play a couple times and thought he was an absolute scrub.

    I wonder which annoys Darius more: trade speculation or people spamming their own blogs on here.

  129. David Brickley: “Lakers Have Signed Gerald Green” -Twitter

    David Brickley: “Lakers Have Signed Gerald Green” – Twitter

    I don’t know how true is this but they worth investigating. Yes Rudy 133, these could be the little steps but a sure big deals to Mitch as form of cover up’s from avalanche of misfortune. He goes on young players who would like to dream with the Lakers.

  130. What would he add?

    ___

    No offense, but this comment and others have made me think that some people have not yet internalized that Lamar is gone. The Lakers’ back-up bigs at the moment are Chris Daniels and Derrick Caracter. McRoberts may or may not be the best option, but he is young and has some skills.

  131. I’m looking into the Green signing. Initial reports called it a “chance to compete for a roster spot” so I’ve the feeling it’s not guaranteed.

    As for McRoberts, nothing is confirmed yet but I’ll have some thoughts up on him as soon as I can get the skinny to give an informed report. My initial thoughts on his game are that he plays hard, attacks the rim on offense, is a good defensive rebounder, and passes reasonably well for a big man. Basically, he sounds like a good fit if the price is right. He could easily play 18-25 minutes a night with the current front court LA has.

  132. David Brickley: “Lakers Have Signed Gerald Green” – Twitter

    David Brickley: “The Lakers have also signed my SDSU Aztec Alum Malcom Thomas” – Twitter

    Here are two more signings reported, I don’t know if they’re true but it is worth investigating. Yes Rudy 133, those are the little steps that Mitch want to take as big deals, at least they are young breed of players who would like to dream big with the Lakers. You may never know if they pan out given the exposure and playing in front of Jack Nicholson.

  133. Actually for the 2nd line on my previous post, should read this way:

    David Brickley: The Lakers have also signed my SDSU Aztec Alum Malcom Thomas Twitter

    Here are the young breed who would like to dream big with the Lakers. I hope they’ll make it as well as Trey Johnson.

  134. Robinred – yes I understand that Lamar is gone, but when the GM makes a statement that “big deals” are upon us, you’ll have to forgive me for not booking finals tickets after hearing we might get Josh McRoberts.

  135. big deals are upon us,

    ___

    I think the “big deals” line obviously means that the Lakers are in the hunt for Howard. Howard has said he might extend with four teams; the Lakers are one of the 4.

    My response was based on the “what would he add” part of your comment, and Darius addressed that specifically in post 137.

  136. #140. It seems fans only hear what they want to hear. Mitch also said he expects to keep Gasol and Bynum the entire year and that a big deal would need to materialize for it to be made.

    So, which part do you want to focus on? The part where he said that a deal needs to present itself and that he expects to have the core of this roster the entire year or the part about big deals? I think the latter is the more headline worthy quote but it’s the former that’s most likely.

  137. Don’t knock on J.McRoberts, Lakers fans.. this is a diamond in the rough, when it comes to bench bigs. The kid’s gotten better every season, and he has a solid all-around game. He may become the perfect role player for us.

    Gerald Green’s signing is just for a shot at a roster spot (is what reports say). If his head is in the right place, he could be gold. Mitch is definitely looking for bargain values and low-risk/high-reward players. I like it.

  138. marc spears/y! reporting josh mcroberts signed for mini-mid level(2.5M) for 2 yrs.

    good.

    green and thomas are just training-camp invites. their contracts are non-guaranteed.

  139. “It seems fans only hear what they want to hear”….

    I’m going off of what Mitch actually said. I’m not speculating or paraphrasing. Yes he did say that the core is likely to stay in tact but you’re assumming then that big deals cannot big made if that’s the case. I disagree. There are valuable players we can get with the trade exception.

    Josh McRoberts is similar to the lame pickups Mitch has had in the past.
    Samaki Walker, Theo Ratliff, Smush Parker. I’m sorry but we have to do better than Josh McRoberts to fill out the roster.

  140. We can expect to see more and more players like Josh and Gerald in Laker uniforms:

    follow the money–less is more.

    Will there be a Taco unit this season?

  141. Individuals need to do their research on Josh McRoberts. Definitely a useful piece and just what we needed: A young, athletic big who’s extremely energetic. And according to reports, the price we’re getting him for is workable.

  142. 3 Shades of Blue (Grizz blog) had a post up about McRoberts that seems to no longer be available. Pulled it from Google’s cache, here’s some more insights & advanced stats on J.McRoberts:

    “McRoberts has decent size, 6’10” in his shoes (6’8.75” without) according to DraftExpress.com. He has good pedigree having played for Coach K at Duke, was the top rated player in the country coming out of high school and Chris Wallace loves highly rated high school players. John Hollinger, master statistician for ESPN and creator of the PER ranking system, had this to say about McRoberts. “A quick-leaping, lefty power forward with explosive hops and great court vision” That sounds great.

    Unfortunately, that isn’t where Hollinger quit writing. He went on to say “Mediocre shooter but will fire set shot if left open, turnover prone, below average defender, needs to improve strength, quickness.” Is this the guy the Grizzlies need to back up Z-Bo?

    McRoberts did post an impressive 16.08 PER last season (anything above 15 is considered above average) and was 5th among all Power Forwards last season in True Shooting Percentage and 4th among PF’s in assist rate. The boy can play ball. However, opponents averaged an 18.7 PER when he was on the court so defense is something sorely missing from his game.

    McRoberts is something of a reclamation project as well. Coming out of Duke McRoberts fell to the 2nd round of the draft and eventually found himself in the 2008 D-League showcase where he did little to distinguish himself. One scout described him as seemingly floating up and down the floor aimlessly “with his thumb up his [rear end].” Not exactly a glowing endorsement but that was 2008. By 2011 McRoberts had resurrected his career and actually started 51 games for the Indiana Pacers.

    In the games he started he averaged 7.6 PPG on 53.4% FG shooting and grabbing 5.6 RPG in 23.7 MPG. Those are solid but not outstanding numbers. He also averaged 2.3 APG which is not bad at all.

    Strong, physical power forwards give McRoberts a difficult time. For instance, in two games against Memphis and Z-Bo last season he averaged just 2.0 PPG and 3.0 RPG.”

  143. heh. dallas created a logjam at guard, and now a miffed rudy fernandez is sent to denver. take that!

  144. #146. So, I ask, why not continue to be patient and let the process play out? And, to be fair, this team needs back up big men and McRoberts is better than every single one the Lakers have had on their roster not named “Odom” for the past three seasons. He’s better than Joe Smith, Theo Ratliff, and Caracter.

  145. Mitch also said he expects to keep Gasol and Bynum the entire year and that a big deal would need to materialize for it to be made.

    ____

    No offense, as none intended to Rudy, but Kupchak has to say this–just like Stern has to say the other owners had no influence on the Paul veto. Kupchak can’t say, “I expect either Pau or Andrew or both of them will be gone in about a week, and we are killing ourselves trying to get Dwight Howard. ”

    It may be that they are not trying that hard to get Howard, but Kupchak’s statements about the issue at this point don’t mean much.

  146. Thanks for the McRoberts breakdowns. For the mini mid-level, not bad (for comparison, Kwame just signed for $7 million. In other news, Lacob swears he’s ready to put together a winning franchise. He swears.)

    Let’s hope he can give us some energy off the bench. I miss Ronny.

    136 – Is Caracter gone? I thought he was still on the roster.

  147. #152. The bigger point is, don’t cherry pick statements and then ask where all the action is.

    Anyone that’s followed the league knows that deals take time to cultivate and in a quickly advancing off-season putting that time in becomes difficult. Mitch also said that but no one seems to be quoting that part of his interview with the press.

    All I ask is that fans have a level head about the process. Fwiw, I too assume Mitch is working on deals. I think if a desirable trade presents itself he’ll make it. But, wringing your hands every day about the deal that isn’t made does little to add to the coversation besides another complaint from someone that has no clue as to what’s going on behind the scenes.

    One reason I think the Lakers got out of the Paul bidding (at least for now) was the public nature of the negotiations. Mitch has always worked behind the scenes to make a deal and it’s my thought that having every detail leaked to the press b/c the deal was being made with the NBA got a bit old.

    Ultimately, there are soundbites and stories to be written off them. But, my overall point stands: a deal will be made if one presents itself that actually improves the team. But it could very well be that both Bynum and Gasol are hear for this season and beyond. Would that be such a bad thing?

    As an aside, does anyone really think Mitch isn’t working his tail off to try and find more assets to build the strongest team possible? If so, I’m not sure you know much about how front offices work or about the Lakers, in general.

  148. hear, hear

  149. Remember McRoberts from the playoffs last year–apart from his “thug-ish” meltdown during the IND-CHI series, he played pretty well for a role/bench guy, and, more importantly to me, especially when evaluating a bench guy–played effing hard, which is just what this team needs after last year’s (at times) sleepwalking routine (in certain games). I agree with DS, he is better than DJ, Powell, Character, or anyone else we have had for a backup 4 or 5 since Turiaf probably (I would definitely take that level of performance by the way).. other than the dearly departed LO.

  150. question: if we acquired a player with the TPE we got for LO, can that player be packaged immediately in another deal? I think sheed ended up in detroit right after he got traded in ’04 (to atlanta?), so just wondering if that’s possible.

    if it is, isn’t the TPE more flexible to be used to build mitch’s “big deal” than LO’s contract?

  151. Very good article. Though I don’t agree with the effusive praise of Odom in the article and in the posts, he was a very good player for the Lakers who was very versatile. He also took a pay cut to stay with the Lakers when he signed his extension. He deverved better than this. But, his value was one of the reasons he was always in the trade discussions too. He will be impossible to replace given the financial terms of the CBA. Unless Kupchek has something serious coming up, it was an atrocious move.

  152. Yay i got to break news to my laker bretheren!

  153. Thanks Chibi for the link on McBobs and Igor for your insight.

    Giving this young people to PT with the Lakers with the like of Kobe, Pau who have international experience, I think they will learn in due time and apply some remedies on their game. We tend to judge on their past as the mirror of the future, sometimes a player could learn from the masters and may even suprpass them during practices. It also boils down on inspiration, let’s take on James Posey, he used to a mini superstar with Celtics and a mainstay with Hornets but as time goes by, he becomes a fading journeyman. Same with Darren Collison when he was with Hornets, he was playing superbly with CP3 now just another PG with Pacers. I hope Josh McRoberts with the Lakers together with Kapono, just give the Lakers fruitful 10 minutes with rugged defense and rain of threes, Kobe & Gasol will provide the rest of the points.

  154. Thanks for everyone’s contributions and insights.

    I have been reading this board in search of hope.

    I watch ESPN hoping to see that the Laker blockbuster deal is iminent, but when I don’t even see the Lakers in the headlines, it depresses me.

    Stern screwed the Lakers no doubt, but the Paul deal was not that great unless it was the stepping stone to the Dwight deal. If it was, then Stern screwed us out of the next dynasty.

    That being said, we did not need to over-react and trade Odom. I am with Kobe. The explanation does not make sense. He was worth more to us than he was to the open market.

    What Mitch did not take into account was the three year window for Kobe.

    Kobe is my ATF. However he is mortal and more than 3 good years is tough to ask from this point.

    So, how do you mortgage a team’s season like Mitch just did? He said himself, that he is not breaking up a champion. OK – true enough – but what is he adding to create a champion?

    I go back a long way with these guys. We were high with Wilt/West/33 in a row. Then we went low even though we had Kareem. Then Magic came and we were high again; then Magic left and the 90’s were the worst in Laker history; then Shaq/Kobe came and a 3 peat ensued, then Shaq and Phil left and we got 81 points and that was it, then Phil came back and Pau came and another B2B; Now what?

    Let’s see if we were charting this – I would say: ____________

    Jim Buss answer: We have alot of realtives fighting over this pie, let’s make the pie bigger: Good bye LO, Good bye MWP, tooooo high a price for CP3, Kobe will sell our arena out for the next 3 years and then we will give him a good send off.

    Sorry – I am upset. I am normally not like this.

    However, I want Kobe to demand some answers, he has limited gas in the tank and the Lakers are worried about luxury taxes.

    When ESPN is questioning who the best team in LA is, you know there is trouble in LALA land.

    Somebody – please tell me I am wrong !!!!!!!!!

  155. Listen….gail goodrich was a top player when he was traded, as was shaq….magic and kareem retired…so did the logo….we move on and still win. I still believe CP3 will happen, and maybe DH will come via FA…This turn of events showcases my issues with lamar…too emotionally fragile, and unprofessional. There have been many bad losses last year and in every one of them he was front and center as one of the main culprits. So despite his talents, he also had the tendency to disappoint us. If he is happy in dallas, then good for him. Good luck selling a reality show in texas

  156. Hey Doc:

    Since you obviously know Laker history:

    Please refer to the Lakers results in the next few years after: Goodrich, West, Shaq, and Magic. you could be looking at some of the longest dry spells in Laker history.

    I do like your optimism. However the optimism in your last post was based on “I still believe CP3 will happen”. So please reaplce that with something else to give me something to look forward to :)