Bits and Pieces

Dave Murphy —  February 24, 2012

I personally would have stuck with the power game in the third quarter last night but what do I know? Regardless, the Lakers split the mini road trip with a win against Dallas and a loss to OKC. I’ll go with the half-full glass, heading into the gathering of stars. Let’s hope the team and organization come back from the break focused, and free from all possible distractions. When diamond rainbow unicorns roam the earth.

From brilliance to carelessness, Helene Elliott at the L.A. Times, writes about the Lakers, sliding into the All-Star break.

Mike Bresnahan at the Times says the team looks fairly fatigued heading into the break. This is shocking news.

Completing our LAT trifecta, Mark Medina gives us five things to take away from last night’s loss.

Andrew Bynum will get an oil change on his right knee, so says Kevin Ding at the OC Register.

Ian Thomsen at Sports Illustrated looks at Coach Mike Brown’s growing pains.

Undressed by the best in the west is how Dexter Fishmore at Silver Screen and Roll describes last night’s loss.

Dave McMenamin at ESPN writes about Sam Presti and the art of burning CDs for Coach Mike Brown.

Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk looks at last night’s Lakers/OKC game as a changing of the guard.

Nothing to do with our beloved Lakers but Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie reports that J.R. Smith was fined more than $1 million (about a third of his salary), for missing some practices in China. So… there’s that.

And finally, I can’t resist Matt Moore’s sublime article for CBS Sports, about LeBron’s penchant for having his steak cut up for him at restaurants.

***

There’s bound to be plenty more news around the cyber universe but after the last link, I really have no desire to proceed further. Enjoy your weekend, sports fans.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

Posts

113 responses to Bits and Pieces

  1. Avidon: (@1 two threads back): You mention that the team needs to be blown up, + you apologize to the KB lovers. Well I am the biggest KB lover on the board (at least tied) + I am willing to entertain that option as well. I love KB, but I loved the Lakers 1st. I do not want to mortgage 3 yrs, just for scoring records. I will enjoy them and root for them if that is all the team gives me.

  2. Dave (from prior): I think my definitions of our options are similar to yours. The bottom line for me is whether we can realistically win the title from now until 2014. Realistic means you are 1 of the top 3-4 teams (04 Pistons aside). Last year’s Mavs tied for the 4th best record in the league. We are not close to that now. If we can’t win, then we need to go the Avidon route, or at least steer towards that. The last thing I want is a half hearted effort from now until 2014, followed by a re-build. With regard to your examples: Obtaining Lowry or Rondo. That might not be a bad move, but I would look at it towards re-building. That move does not get us a title now. If we do a move like that, as I said, it would be short term white flag (although not necessarily a bad move – per your earlier comments that teams have to go through this every few years). However if you go down this path, it is a slippery slope and soon you are at Avidon’s or Buzz Lightyear’s nuclear option. Why keep high priced guys around if they aren’t getting you a title and are not part of your long term plan?

  3. Robert,
    For the record…I’m the biggest Kobe fan here. Unless someone here feels like I do that Kobe is the second best player of all time behind Jordan. but I think Kobe has at least one or two years of still being Kobe. But I also agree with Phil Jackson who so beautifully wrapped up the greatness and weakness of Kobe being Kobe, “I don’t want to coach Kobe when he stops being Kobe.”

  4. Aaron: Review my posts : ) I have already said a few times. MJ and KAJ are the only 2 you can put in front of him. And yes, I can live with MJ only. Also, I think Kobe “could” have another extension in him. My dream is 20 yrs. If we got someone, like let’s say D12, then yes – 20 yrs + KAJ is in reach. If we surround him with a non-contending roster – who knows? Does he retire after 18 or go elsewhere?

  5. Robert,
    Okay… Then you think as highly of Kobe’s game and career as I do :)

  6. Everybody Kobe bashes and says the team doesn’t stick with what a with a working “game plan” into the later part of the game. But, when your game plan is totally dependent on three starters, and you don’t give those starters any rest, they simply aren’t going to have the energy to execute in the later part of the game with any consistency.

  7. I am a bit puzzled that people are just now jumping on the rebuild bandwagon after last night. If you have watched this team at all this year, you would have known that the margin of error was slim to none. It was the 4th game in 5 nights, the 2nd of a back-to-back, they have been horrible on the road, Kobe is in a shooting slump, the Thunder are one of the best (if not the best) at home in the league and the Thunder are fast and athletic. Need I go on?

    The Lakers are a solid team and that is it. No better, no worse. I know it’s hard to accept for many Laker fans but this team will likely flame out in the 1st round or possibly the 2nd round if they receive a favorable 1st round matchup.

  8. not related to much but i hope TNT keeps chris webber as a commentator…he wasnt bad at at all (i actually liked him)…anybody but reggie

  9. Why blow it up at this time? Ya we looked old and tired last night but you don’t play 4 games in 5 nights in the playoffs.

    We finally have reached the all star weekend and starting around the 1st we will begin to see the players that will be available. For instance, I think Nick Young can be had. He signed his one year offer sheet so he could become unrestricted this summer. He doesn’t like Washington and will more then likely walk. The Wizard will probably want to move him for something. Draft picks?. does anyone think he wouldn’t help? That’s just an example of what can happen over the next few weeks.

    Like I said before, this team has 3 stars. They need another guy who can create offense and a shooter to spread the floor. We have some decent role players but we need a couple of guys that allows them to stay within their roles and not have to try and do to much. I actually think we need shooters even more then a PG. With a couple of shooters teams can’t sit in the paint and it opens it up for the bigs and allows more room for Kobe to penetrate. A shooting PG of course would be perfect.

    Lets just wait and see who becomes available before we write this team off.

  10. Speaking of rebuilding……

    I am a bit puzzled as to how people can jump on the rebuilding bandwagon SO FAST. How quickly we forget that we went to the WC Finals last year, that we have a new coach, tons of new players, and a new offensive/defensive scheme.

    Perhaps you “builders” are one of these new generation types that grew up in a world where broadband was ubiquitous, MTV only played reality tv shows, and is used to getting everything they want now, and fast. However, those of us who remember the good old says of 24k modems, printed newspapers and when MTV actually played videos will tell you that this franchise got to be the greatest Sports franchise in history by being PATIENT and not making fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decisions like the ones you suggest.

    Ironically, what is most annoying about these “rebuilding” comments is that if the Lakers were to truly go into “rebuilding” mode, none of you would stick around for the requisite 5 to 10 years it would take for this team to hit bottom, get lucky in the draft and build back up to a contender. I mean, if you are panicking now when the team is a 5th seed, imagine how you will act when the team is really bad.

  11. That move does not get us a title now.

    ____________

    There is no one move that accomplishes that. It would take 2-3 moves, working in sync and having a geometric effect.

  12. How quickly we forget that we went to the WC Finals last year
    ____

    Actually, they didn’t.

    The problem with your position (other than the unnecessary sarcasm) is the Lakers’ team age and payroll. There isn’t much point in having a team with nine guys over 30, 7 of the 9 rotation players over 30, the highest-paid player in the NBA at age 33 and one of the five or six highest-paid at age 31, and a payroll that is $30M over the tax line and will be again next year–unless that team is a serious, top-tier title contender. This team clearly isn’t, and clearly wasn’t before the season started.

    So, some of us have been discussing what to do about that. That is also a topic on the minds of many repected Lakers-watchers in the media, as their recent writing shows, and is on the minds of some of the players, as their professional futures will be directly affected by the decisions made. If you don’t want to talk about it, don’t. But most people who care about the Lakers do, I think.

  13. MannyP — The Lakers didn’t make the Western Confernce finals last year; they were swept by Dallas in the second round,as and looked like crap for long stretches against a New Orleans team that was very, very thin. This is not a title contender; not now.

    Unrelated – Matt Moore should win an award for writing that LeBron piece. Very funny.

  14. Paul L: I am not jumping on: A) Not until 03/15 at least B) I mentioned this long ago as an option (just ask rr).
    Manny/Michael: Not throwing in the towel, this is just discussion. As I have stated – I have no interest in being the 6th best team. If we can be in the top 3-4 then I am there, if not we must “consider” re-building.
    Manny: In my case, I have been with this team since Wilt – I started young : ) I suffered through the late 70’s + 90’s and will never abandon this team, no matter what. Talking about options does not make anyone less of a fan.

    ALL: I am not giving up !!! We have until 03/15 to fix this !!! But I mean FIX it – not bandaid it (rr: yes it might take mutiple moves).

  15. http://www.csnne.com/blog/celtics-talk/post/Source-Rasheed-Wallace-to-sign-with-Lake?blockID=657492&feedID=3352&awid=5449335149484906289-932

    I said Lakers should sign Rasheed Wallace looks like it’s happening.

    With this signing one would think Gasol may be getting traded

  16. Wallace is another big with a 3 point shot. Would be a good add. I don’t think this has anything to do with Pau. This team needs a 4th big in the rotation to cut down on Pau and Andrews minutes. For whatever reason Brown has lost confidence in McRoberts or perhaps McRoberts gets traded.

  17. I don’t think there’s any real surprise in the increase of “blow the team up” comments. Last night might have been the 2nd game of a b2b, on the road, against the best team in the conference, but it also may have provided clarity for a lot of people.

    The Lakers, as currently constructed, have absolutely no chance at all at getting past OKC (consider that the Thunder was also on the 2nd night of a b2b, and was without at least two guys who get good minutes–Sefalosha & Maynor). This is a team they may well face in the 2nd round, meaning a 2nd consecutive 2nd round exit (probably at best), and that is one of the worst places to be.

    Teams that consistently make the playoffs but lose in the 1st or 2nd round have a tough time improving as much as is required to become a championship team. At that level, you draft low, and you have a roster that likely limits your flexibility cap-wise.

    So, if last night made clear to some that the Lakers are clearly not a championship team, the idea of blowing the team up to avoid mediocrity is totally rational. I’m not advocating this approach; I’m just saying it isn’t crazy to go the Miami route (great, then awful, then great) rather than the Atlanta route (always above average, never elite).

  18. Funky,

    Nice points. Collison didn’t play last night, either.

  19. Manny: If you look at who my first post is addressed to it is Avidon (he is a mod) and it was he (+others) who suggested the re-build @1 a couple threads ago. So if you have issue, you can address your complaints to Darius or Avidon.

    Also – we did not go to the WC Finals last year. Perhaps you should more PATIENT and check your facts before you post : )

  20. An interesting thought on obtaining Wallace. Cleveland is only 1 1/2 out of the 8th seed in the west, even with Varejao out for the year. McRoberts is the same kind of energy guy as Varejao. McRoberts for Sessions anyone? Bet it’s crossed Mitch’s mind.

  21. Funky: Your last paragraph is perfect!!!! That is what I mean by no desire to be the 6th best team. Atlanta has been 6-15 for 30 years : )

  22. Wallace is beyond done. This better not happen. He is a 41 year old that has. Ever taken care of his body. And stop with the blow up the team talks.

  23. rr, good point. Forgot about Collison (who actually has played well against the Lakers). Makes it that much worse….

    Robert, thanks, and I dread that kind of mediocrity. As a Bay Area native, I probably would have grown up a Warriors fan had they had even one legitimate title-contending team in the last 30 years. Alas, they didn’t, and I fell in love with Showtime….

  24. @Robert – I wasn’t referring to you – just surprised when I got home last night from the game at how many people were waking up to the reality of the 2011-2012 Lakers. I hope just as much as anyone else that they are able to make move(s) by March 15 that will make them contenders.

    I do not think that Rasheed Wallace is the answer to any of the Lakers problems. He likely has nothing left and will just be holding a roster spot which limits the ability of the Lakers to use the trade exception to acquire Beasley or Sessions.

  25. Paul L: No issues. Yes, the reality is not new, as you state : ) With regard to Rasheed, I think rr will agree that he falls into the category of “problem child”. Although he “could” help which only shows our desperation : )

  26. The Lakers recently took over the Knicks as the most valuable franchise, and signed a $3 BILLION dollar tv deal last year……. and some fans want to rebuild because they are concerned about future payroll and luxury taxes?? Hilarious!

    A team that has one of the few super stars in the league (Kobe) who was playing at an MVP level for most of the season, does NOT rebuild…they add pieces.

    A team that has one of the top front courts in the league does NOT rebuild.

    A team that just added close to $200 million in income per year does NOT rebuild.

    A team that gave Kobe a promise that they would provide him with a contending team when he re-signed with the team does NOT rebuild.

    A team trying to maximize the last few years of arguably the greatest Laker of all time does NOT rebuild.

    The Cleveland Cavs, with no chance at the playoffs, no superstar, several solid young prospects, limited budget, inability to draw top free agents……rebuild. The Lakers do NOT rebuild, they contend. You do NOT rebuild when you have the second best Big 3 in the league, you add pieces.

    A team that is only a few pieces away from being a true contender does NOT rebuild.

  27. Please no Rasheed Wallace. No more old, past their prime players. The Lakers need speed and youth. Why not bring Buck Williams back if they are out to pick up old bigs.

  28. Right on LT, you see the big picture. Everyone seems to want to bring in some big star when that is not what this team needs. We have stars. If Wallace is signed it means to me that McRoberts is gone. It will be the 1st move with probably 2 more to follow.

  29. Robert: touche.

  30. This Rasheed Wallace report has to be a joke, right? And those of you who think he could help are being sarcastic, right?

    Maybe the Lakers could get Gary Payton to man the point. Is Shaq available? Dennis Rodman would help too. What about Steve Kerr and Scotty Pippen?

  31. Maybe I am missing something, but what is there to “blow up”? What is Kobes trade value? Seriously. Would you trade him for the equivalent of what we got for Shaq? Who would take him that would make it worth trading from a value standpoint and the negative feedback from Kobe? The Nets? Knicks? If you are not getting a long term piece in return for Kobe, I dont trade him and who out there is close to a title that could provide such a return to make it worth it both on and off the court. Surely you dont amnesty Kobe unless you have two big name free agents signing here.

    It was only a good trade for Pau Gasol that brought us back quicker then we would have otherwise. Without that trade, Kobe probably would have left and we would still be rebuilding with two less titles. We didnt get Gasol because we were blowing the team up. Those deals are hard to come by and this is not the 80s where we built a dynasty through trades and amazing draft picks which resulted that are pretty much impossible to make happen even by todays standards.

    I wonder if we would have traded Magic in 92 or 93 if he had not got HIV. I cant believe we would have. Did the Celts trade Bird near the end? I think great teams manage the end of their superstars careers very carefully and the only way you let one go is if the player wants to go. This is not football or even baseball where maybe you can get away with it on occasion.

    The only deal out there involves Gasol for Rondo and that does not make us better this year does it? It still does not solve the Kobe situation. I dont think the Magic gives us Dwight for Andrew and if so does that make us contenders now? The problem is still the same as long as Kobe is here.

    Absent some dumb trade by another team with us which is as unlikely as ever to happen, the Lakers will only stay at the top via free agency. As much as we dont want to be a fourth seed, no LA Lakers fan wants us to go 22-57 so we can secure a top two pick the following year for a player who is not guaranteed to be a superstar. Ask Portland how that works out.

    We need to invest in scouting more so then ever and rely on Mitch, who to me is a good GM, to make the deals at the right time. Blowing the team up is just a way to voice frustration but not necessarily the way to return to the top, protect your fan base, and also maintain the happiness of aging superstars which if handled properly, in the long run will attract free agents to the team thus leading to more championships. We cant win it every year but it sure is fun watching Kobe, who to me is only behind MJ as the greatest of all time and it is closer then you think for the top spot. Id let him play it out. If he bitches and demands a trade because he is upset you cant get Chris Paul for Metta World Peace then and only then do you let him go. It has to be on his terms, not the teams. Hes earned that and if he wants to leave then let him.

    If we can add even one decent player before the deadline, we are not as far behing OKC as you might think. I would rather watch Kobe try to will us to a playoff series win then to blow it up and deal with a bad team while the Clippers become the hot ticket and we pray some early draft pick is the next great Laker. You cant rebuild a team without a willing trade partner and who out there is willing that would make it worth our while?

    The Lakers are not cursed like the LA Kings and we see how blowing things up have worked for us in hockey since we let Gretzky leave for crap rather then try to make it work with him even as he was coming to the end.

    Be careful what you wish for Laker fans.

  32. Rasheed gambled away all his money to other senior citizens at the adult daycare center he attends, so now he’ll make pro-rated vet’s min to pay off debts.

    In other news, Clippers curse may have been transferred onto the other Staples team.

  33. My bad… you are all right. no WV finals last year. I guess being an old man has its downside when it comes to remembering things…

    Still doesn’t change the fact that you are all panicking for no reason and that it is COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL to be arguing that the team needs to be blown up this early in the season, given the contracts on this roster and the lack of trading partners.

    My suggestion to you young bucks is the following: turn off the PS3, stop texting for a minute, stop daydreaming about D12, Dwills or any other player with a D as its first initial and, instead, read LT MItchell’s post above – s l o w l y – and think about the impact of becoming a bottom dwelling team for the next few years.

  34. okc plays a very aggressive brand of defense. they aren’t whistled for it at home like they are on the road, i figure. that being said, the lakers controlled tempo for half of the game. i’m not discouraged by the loss at all.

    the sheed signing is a surprise. i could see both sheed and murphy playing together, opening up driving lanes for a new pg with their outside shooting.

  35. The Lakers wouldn’t bring Sheed in if they didn’t think he was capable of giving us 10 minutes a night. I am looking at this as the 1st move. I would be willing to bet that McRoberts will be moved. Hopefully to Cleveland for Sessions.

  36. Rasheed Wallace is a better option than Troy Murphy. Gasol is getting moved for sure he’ll be a rotation player. It was a report earlier about LA and Wallace talking. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

  37. Michael H,

    I floated that scenario to Robert in an email about two weeks ago. Didn’t put it here due to trade spec policies. Hope you are right.

  38. George Best,

    They would likely trade Pau for expirings, either not re-up Bynum or build the next team around him, and then use the Amnesty clause on Kobe.

    If they go that way, it would likely occur next year, prior to the new luxury tax rules kicking in and to the summer of 2014, when, as of now, Kevin Love and Chris Paul among others, can be FAs.

  39. Let me ask you a question. How many of you guys were scared bleepless when Bynum landed awkwardly last night and was a little gimpy? I thought he was a goner for sure.

  40. LT & George, you both lay out the arguments against a radical restructuring of the Lakers (aka “blowing them up”). You both also explain, persuasively, how the Lakers are not that far away from being a title contender.

    Being close is why the team hasn’t done anything radical so far. But once the trade deadline passes, the next opportunity to make major changes will not likely pass without those changes happening. If anything should be clear from the ownership “changes” over the last year it is that Laker management does not share the “we’re making huge money from Time Warner so let’s not worry about the salary cap” mentality.

    Moreover, not all “close” teams are equal in their ability to get over the hump. The Lakers have over $80 million in salary tied up in 7 guys next year (assuming they exercise Bynum’s option). That’s the big three, plus Fisher, Blake, MWP, and Walton (Miami, by contrast, has 11 guys under contract next year for a total of about $77 million).

    Think about that for a minute. The Lakers are WAY over next years cap, and way into luxury tax land, with arguably only 3 legitimate starters accounted for. How do you fill in the other 5 roster spots with the kind of talent and depth needed to get over the top and be a contender?

    The real genius (and some would argue primary motivation) for the CP3 trade was that it would have saved the Lakers a lot of money.

    This is the problem that Mitch faces. If they could add Ramon Sessions for draft picks alone, and Beasley for the TPE, then yeah, I’d say they are a title contender. But it still doesn’t deal with the intermediate term cap issues–and that is not a roster they could bring back next year (after Sessions opts out of his deal this summer as he has apparently indicated he will do).

    We lost out on Billups because we were ineligible to make a waiver claim (by being over the cap). We lost out on Kenyon Martin and JR Smith because they both could get more money from other good teams.

    So, adding better players through free agency or the waiver wire isn’t likely to happen. This leaves only improvement by trade–which essentially means you are relying on a one-sided trade in the Lakers favor. Now, if there was a pro-Laker Kevin McHale style GM out there willing to do for us what McHale did for Boston, let’s make it happen. Otherwise, I’m curious how we seriously get this team into title contention this year and beyond given the realities of the cap.

  41. Manny: It’s all good – we are all Laker fans in what is a frustrating year.

    All: This is why we need to go ALL IN now. We have different versions of what that is, but let’s do something to win now. Adding Rasheeds, Gilbert’s, and other cast offs are not going to punch our ticket to the finals. Although I am not totally against some of them, because we have nowehere to go but up with our bench : )

  42. There is absolutely no way the Lakers will amnesty Kobe. It is not an option. Everyone in the world knew he wouldn’t be in his prime by the time he makes $30m a year, but the Lakers gave him an extension for a reason. Without Kobe the Lakers do not win their last 5 championships, plain and simple. Without Kobe the Lakers aren’t the Lakers. Staples isn’t filled every night, the organization doesn’t sell all that merchandise, they don’t make the extra money with extended playoff runs year after year. He is a lifelong Laker who will retire as the greatest Laker, will have a statue outside Staples, will be a unanimous first ballot hall of famer and probably will go down as a top 5 player of all time.

    You do not amnesty a player like Kobe, bottom line.

  43. rr @40: Excellent synopsis of how to do a re-build (we could also do this earlier and save a year if we wanted). For all those looking to avoid that – like I am – come up with a plan to put the team in title contention. Then don’t tell us -tell Mitch, and then help Mitch convince Jim to execute it : )

  44. is why we need to go ALL IN now.

    _____

    Actually, if the Lakers really do sign Wallace (and I have not seen it confirmed by any LA sources) that should give you a sliver of hope. Wallace would be a tactical add to make (assuming of course he can actually play 15 MPG at age 37) if you were adding Howard since Wallace and Murphy could, theoretically, give you a floor-spacing 4 on the floor with Howard more or less the entire game (and Howard could cover for them defensively).

    We should all avoid being too linear about this; it’s a chess board. Jim Buss was thinking a move ahead when he got Paul, based on the idea that Paul would lead to Howard.

    Wallace, if this is actually true, is likely a small shift of a piece in preparation for larger ones.

  45. The current Lakers roster does have potential to get to the Finals, but they need to both:

    1) Get a little more from the PG position and from the bench. This is not out of the question, and considering the capabilities of the “big 3″, and the easier schedule in the playoffs, it won’t take a whole lot more production from the bench and the PG to be a contender

    2) maximize the output of Gasol, Bynum, and Bryant. To do that, Kobe needs to be willing to stop trying to be the dominant offensive force on the team, unless that is what the defense is giving them, and to do that soon enough that the team can get used to that and adjust to it, and Bynum and Gasol need to play with more consistent effort/focus. I don’t see this as being very likely.

  46. exhelo,

    The Lakers are 30th in TOs forced and 27th in 3p%.

    They are 21st in opp ORB, so that might fit the focus issue.

    But as to “maximizing production,” Bynum’s USG is way up from last year, and as usually happens when a guy’s USG spikes, his efficiency is down. Pau’s USG is identical to last year as well, and his efficiency has taken a dive as well. In short, there is no reason to believe Pau and Bynum can do better–unless the Lakers can get a PG who can get them some cookies, and/or another guy who can pull opposing defenses out of the paint.

    Kobe does need to play more off the ball and closer to the hoop and take fewer long jumpers. Brown needs to deal with that better. If they get a decent PG and Kobe doesn’t adjust to that, then I will join the people selling the Kobe’s-selfishness-is-holding-the-team-back narrative. Up to now, I have not seen a good case made.

  47. Funky Chicken

    Jerry West stated that he didn’t anticipate very many moves at the dead line because he felt there were too many teams looking to dump salary and not enough willing to take it on. I believe the Lakers will be a player because of that. I don’t think it will be as hard as you believe. When your widow is only 1 1/2 years anyway, why not rent Sessions for a championship push. If he opts out this summer and we can win a ring with him, it’s worth it. Besides at 4.6 mil he would really have to light it up to get much more then that. And if he were to light it up, then you look at him as a future piece.

    This team blows itself up after next year anyway. We currently have 3 very good player. And I believe that both Pau and Kobe will continue to play at a high level at least through next year. With Andrew and Pau we have a match up nightmare for every other team in the league. With a couple of shooters added to the mix, to open up the middle, this team will be a contender.

    We don’t need anymore stars, just a couple of guys to make what we already have work better for a year and a half.

  48. Rondo in a lakers jersey would be so cool.

  49. sbdunks @45: I love your post. Yes – statue, and two jerseys on the wall (8+24). He is already top 3 in my book. However let’s get him #6 and if we can’t, then we must set him free. I want him to retire a Laker, but not in the fashion that Steve Nash has been doing in Phoenix. KB deserves better. Let’s make this team a contender, not a pretender, just so Kobe retires here.

  50. as rr said in #47, signing Wallace probably signals that they plan to trade both bynum and pau for howard+(nelson?) + ?

  51. I’m surprised that Sheed would ever consider signing with the Lakers…but Sheed @ 37 is still probably an improvement over anything we currently have to grab some minutes from Pau. And he’s a crafty defender. I like the acquisition, if his attitude is in check.

    And I totally agree with all the posters who are anti-“blow it up”…even talking about Amnestying Kobe is beyond ridiculous. Kobe leaves it ALL on the floor every time.

  52. 49) rr,
    When Kobe plays off the ball, and everyone moves without the ball, they are almost unstoppable on offense, because Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum are so good offensively. But that is a relatively rare occurrence. With no Odom, and decreased bench and PG production, they can’t afford to give up any of the potential of the big three – whether it’s too selfishness, not running the system properly, or lack of focus. The way the offense was being run during most of the first half against Portland should be the norm, and it isn’t. (Note that obviously the shots will not always be hit at that rate.) But as many others have noted, it’s unlikely for players to make that type of change at this point in their career.

  53. Michael H, I tend to agree with the idea that making a play for Sessions, even if only for a half season, would be worth it if the price is McRoberts or just draft picks. Using the TPE for him might be a bit excessive.

    The issue that the FO is facing is not just what to do this year, but what to do next year and beyond. There are a number of short term moves that could allow the Lakers to compete for a title this year–all of which include an upgrade at the 1 & 3 positions. However, is such a roster sustainable for NEXT year? I don’t think so; not with $80 million wrapped up in 7 guys (three of which are garbage).

    Using the amnesty on Kobe is obviously unlikely this season, but to think that it is off the table in the future is to ignore realities. In refusing to bring back MJ, Pippen, and Phil, the Bulls essentially “amnestied” all three of them (all Hall of Famers) rather than pay the price to come back for what would clearly have been another great shot at a title. That stuff DOES happen.

    Thirty million for an aging player on a non-contending team is exactly the situation you use the amnesty. Is it “disloyal” to Kobe? Perhaps, but no more so that Kobe going on a rant and asking to be traded. It’s business, not love, and you can be darned sure that the younger Mr. Buss does not intend to overpay a guy based on that player’s past accomplishments (see, e.g., Odom, Lamar).

    rr laid out the most likely scenario involving an amnesty of Kobe: (i) not next year; (ii) after moving Pau for expiring deals; and (iii) after committing long term to Bynum or Dwight Howard. That makes the Lakers a real player in free agency in 2014, and an immediate contender for years to come. I’m not saying I want it to come to that, but what other scenario has the Lakers competing for a title in 2014, 2015, and 2016?

  54. “rr laid out the most likely scenario involving an amnesty of Kobe: (i) not next year; (ii) after moving Pau for expiring deals; and (iii) after committing long term to Bynum or Dwight Howard. That makes the Lakers a real player in free agency in 2014, and an immediate contender for years to come. I’m not saying I want it to come to that, but what other scenario has the Lakers competing for a title in 2014, 2015, and 2016?”
    —————-

    If the Lakers don’t amnesty Kobe next year as you state (in a piggyback of rr) why amnesty him at all? The following season is his walk year and the Lakers financial commitments in that following summer (2014) are zero as of today. Obviously, that would change with an extension for Bynum (or a trade for a player with a long term deal/extension w/ that player) but the facts remain the same.

    The Lakers, as constructed right now, are already players in the 2014 FA market. No need to make any moves (not even trading Gasol) if that’s the goal. I was going to write a long post on this but here are the key points:

    *The Lakers currently have zero financial commitments to any players in the summer of 2014.

    *That will likely change with an Andrew Bynum extension (or a trade of him for another player) and the drafting of any rookies whose contracts last that long.

    *What’s unknown is how much the Lakers want to save on the escalated luxury tax that starts in the season after next. This needs to be repeated: No one knows this.

    *The real key is getting underneath the luxury tax for the 2014-15 season when the Lakers would be repeat luxury tax payers. But, as mentioned before, they’re already set up to do that because Kobe, Pau, Blake, and MWP’s deals all fall off the cap that season.

    *At that point, the Lakers would be in position to work out contracts with Kobe for less money (if that’s what both sides want) AND chase another max level player while also filling out their roster up to the salary cap, plus have the “room” exception and the bi-annual exception.

    Basically, all this talk of amnestying Kobe is off base unless you want to compete in the FA market one season sooner and considering Kobe is likely to still be performing at a reasonable level, there’s no point to do that. Especially when you consider the PR hit the Lakers take by cutting one of their franchise greats and how that would potentially create a negative ripple effect on other FA’s (who would trust the Lakers as a model franchise if they’re willing to cut Kobe?) and the fan base (why support a team that cuts its best players?).

    I wish fans would think some of this stuff out before they shoot off at the hip with ideas on how to improve the team w/o seeing the entire chess board or mentioning how little a move actually affects the team positively.

  55. Aloha Darius

    Great post. So many people are posting as if this team will be in salary cap hell forever and ever. Blowing it up now would be silly because the next great free agent class is 2014 and I we are constructed to take advantage of that. The only moves that anyone should be interested in are moves that can improve our chances of winning this year.

  56. Darius: I liked your post, except for the ending. If you read this thread, it is filled with excellent commentary about the Lakers, so I do not think there is too much shooting from the hip. For myself, I am not ready to “blow it up”, but I might be if we do not do something good b4 03/15. My question for you is this: If we can not show Kobe a roster that is a real contender, then what is going to happen? Is the FO + KB going to make some agreement to get him scoring records as long as he keeps his mouth shut? Doesn’t sound like Kobe. So the key will be if Mitch can assemble the contender, which is easier said than done, as you have pointed out. So what if he can’t find the trading partners, then what? That is where the amnesty could come in, with mutual agreement. This would not be done against Kobe’s will.

  57. Darius –
    I agree on amnestying Kobe being ridiculous because of the reasons you pointed out. However, from what I’ve read the 2014-2015 free agent class isn’t very promising.

    Off the top of your head do you know of any top free agents who would be available around that time?

  58. Funky,

    The Bulls blew up their team, and how long did it take them to get back into contention? A decade?
    Be careful what you wish for buddy.

    You make valid points regarding the difficulties of turning this team into a contender, not only for this season, but for the next several years……. but turning a solid big 3 into a contender by adding a few pieces is not nearly as difficult as blowing up this team, getting rid of a superstar in a league with very few of them, and trying to rebuild from the ground up, especially with limited young prospects and draft picks.

    As far as amnestying Kobe, Kobe is still one of the biggest draws in the NBA, and he earns more income for the team than he makes in salary, so from a purely “business” perspective, it would not be a wise move. I won’t even get into the PR nightmare that this would cause, as well as future superstar free agents being turned off by the team’s decision to get rid of arguably the greatest Laker of all time.

    In a few years, most of the contracts will be off the books (Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Luke, Artest, Fish). The team can worry about rebuilding than, but for now, we have a superstar playing at an MVP level and two elite 7 footers. The time to contend is NOW, assuming management adds a few pieces, or makes a big trade before the deadline.

  59. Darius, I didn’t see your post until after I commented. My apologies for mirroring your points.

  60. Darius, this may be your blog, but your post comes off as incredibly arrogant and condescending. I think there are a lot of posts here that don’t fall into the “shoot off at the hip” varieties.

    What is Andrew Bynum’s cap # in Kobe’s “walk year”? Is it $20 million? If you can sign the league’s 2nd best center for less than that per year, then Kobe’s $30 million salary can be removed a year early with great benefit to the team. By keeping him through the duration of his deal, the team will have, at a minimum $45 million to $50 million committed to two players. Good luck assembling a roster that competes for a title with that.

    You seem to dismiss the attraction of competing in the FA market a year sooner. Why? Because Kobe is competing at a “reasonable level?” What level is that? Surely worse that today–which is a level that doesn’t make this team a contender with its cap issues.

    As for “working out a contract with Kobe for less money,” well, I’m not sure what chess board you are looking at that says that’s likely.

    Bottom line: I don’t see many people here saying “here’s how it has to be” but you seem to be reading things this way. I happen to think that there is a way to improve the team’s intermediate and long term competitiveness that includes use of the amnesty on Kobe at some point before his deal runs out. You apparently disagree, and I guess on this blog that makes you right and me wrong….

  61. I don’t understand the Sheed signing. On the one hand, it’s great that we have someone who can play both C and PF… then again, didn’t we have Odom for that? Also, I’m not sure I’m loving the idea of both Sheed AND Metta on the same team.

    What do you folks think the FO was thinking (or smoking, depending on how you look at it)?

  62. KenOak,
    To be honest… This is how far I’ve come mentally with Bynum in the last 2-3 weeks. I don’t think he is gonna get tackled from the side or come down on someone’s foot and twist his knee. I’ve come a long way. When he banged knees with Gasol I didnt even think twice about it. And what’s crazy is they didn’t even discuss it in air. All it took him was dominant play for a half of a season for people to forget this guy can go down at anytime based on 2 and 3 seasons ago?

  63. The decision to amnesty a player is a financial one. Kobe brings an enormous amount of revenue and media exposure to a mega-market franchise. The Lakers will get every last dollar they can from marketing him. Believe it.

  64. @MannyP – The Sheed rumor (can’t call it a signing yet because it hasn’t been vetted) is getting more attention due to his rep than what he’d bring to the table. He represents a veteran big man with a ton of playoff experience. He’d give them some depth after the All-Star break. That’s it. Signing him doesn’t preclude anything else. The team could very easily cut another player if needed (if a PG becomes available for instance).

  65. Funky is talking sense @ 64 with regard to the cap. In 2014, we have $61 million committed now. “If” we trade PG and amnesty MWP, this goes down to $34, but guess what, that does not include AB. If we extend him (I am guessing $18), that puts us up to $52 (and that is just for KB, AB, and Blake). So that leaves about $9 million for the other 9 guys. You do the math : )

  66. Funky – I think this will be the third time I have addressed the Kobe amnesty issue and I have yet to hear an intelligent response to the issues involved.

    1. Kobe generates enormous income for the Lakers – who is the sure thing free agent that will replace him?

    2. Having undercut a guy who gave everything for every game – what free agent will want to come to the Lakers, especially if they continue to look like they are bungling clowns?

    3. Are you (as Lakers owner) willing to pay Kobe 25 million so he can go play for Cuban (or someone else?) You may have cap room, but you are still on the books for most of his salary. So in a sense you are still taking that much of a cap hit.

    It is just dumb. Now maybe Jim Buss is that dumb, but I doubt it. A more likely scenario is that he is going alienate Kobe enough that Kobe asks for a trade.

  67. Robert,

    The Lakers have been over the cap and have had one of the league’s highest payrolls for years, and still make the highest profit in the league. The value of the franchise has also increased on a yearly basis, and they are curremtly the most valuable franchise in the league. Couple that with an additional $150 to $200 million a year from the new TV deal, and I think it’s fair to say that the team’s payroll will exceed $61 million in 2014′ and will continue to pay luxury taxes for the foreseeable future. We are not the Cavs. YOU do the math.

  68. Lt mitchell: Nobody is saying the Lakers will not make money : ) What Funky was pointing out and I was backing is that until “after” 2014, we are in a financial bind. This means we can’t sign FA or pick up amnesty players etc.. Yes – we “could” go over the cap and pay taxes, but you must do that within the rules. The way that happens is that you extend players on your roster. You can’t pick up players beyond the cap and pay tax. That is not allowed.

  69. has this site has been invaded by LA Times commenters?

  70. VoR: “A more likely scenario is that he is going alienate Kobe enough that Kobe asks for a trade”
    I agree that that is the more likely scenario. In fact that is exactly how my “nightmare” ends. Kobe makes $30 in 2014 so he is literally untradeable. So, the only way to accommodate his request would be, the word you do not like to hear : )
    Let’s avoid this by surrounding KB with a contending roster, and we have until 03/15 to do just that.

  71. #60. Kobe’s negotiated the only no trade clause in the NBA. He has tremendous leverage over where he goes and who he plays for. Why exactly would he agree to be amnestied and give up that leverage voluntarily where he would then be able to be claimed by any team under the cap? Chauncey Billups threatened retirement because he wanted to clear waivers in order to choose his own team in free agency but you think Kobe’s going to agree to being amenstied where a team like, say, the Bobcats could claim him?

    #61. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all have player options that summer. Theoretically, all 3 could be free agents that summer. Not saying signing them is a guarantee or possible or whatever, but that’s just an example of players that may be available that summer.

  72. #64. You’re right, this is my site. You’re also right that there are a lot of comments that are thoughtful. That said, any comment that discusses amnestying Kobe that doesn’t address any of the potential negatives while also stringing together several hypotheticals that all must break the Lakers’ way isn’t very big picture, imo.

    And, while I mentioned Kobe at a lower salary, I also said “if that’s what both sides want”. If that’s not what both sides want, the Lakers will have upwards of 30 million in cap space with at least one key asset (Bynum, his replacement) in tow.

    I’m not trying to be a prick here. But I’m trying to have folks see all sides to everything, not just their own side.

  73. VoR,

    Not sure if you’ll find this intelligent, but here goes:

    1. Laker fans will continue to sell out Staples to watch great basketball, and any number of max contract type players could allow the Lakers to be contenders if matched with the other kind of talent you can get when you clear cap space by losing Pau’s and Kobe’s contracts. Moreover, this decision would be largely motivated by the desire to put a better product on the floor–one that wins more games and hosts more playoff games than would otherwise be the case.

    2. I find this argument to be completely absurd, and one that flies in the face of recent history with none other than Kobe Bryant. What two organizations are most known for disloyalty and bad treatment of players? Probably the Clippers and the Bulls–for dumping MJ, Pippen, and Phil after 3 straight championships (and 6 of 8) without letting them go for a 4th. Which two teams has Kobe expressed the greatest desire to join, first as a free agent, later via trade? Yep, the Clips and Bulls. Somehow their reputation for poor player treatment didn’t dissuade the best player in the game (at the time) from wanting to join. Now you’re telling me that the historically most desirable team in the league will have trouble attracting guys to cash max contract checks? I don’t see it.

    3. Best argument of them all (resistance paying a guy to play elsewhere) but the answer is yes if the owner thinks that by doing this he can field a more competitive (e.g., moneymaking) team. Funny that you mention Cuban, because that is precisely what this owner is doing with LO this season, so I hardly think you can rule it out in the future.

    Finally, as to your characterization of an opposing view as “dumb” I’ll say to you what I said to Darius: that’s arrogant and offensive. Folks can disagree without name calling and rudeness. I happen to disagree with your opinion on this amnesty issue (in that it should be on the table, not that it definitely should be used), that’s all.

    So, I’ve tried to address your questions, so now why don’t you answer mine: if you are committing $50 million to Kobe and Bynum (and $20 million more to Pau for two more years), how do YOU fill in the roster with enough talent to contend?

  74. Darius, that’s funny, because that is what I was trying to do (show different sides). You presented one side and appeared to conclude that your opinion was THE answer and pretty much dismissed the alternative. Unless I read it wrong….

  75. From the one other thread:

    “You realize we’ve won a championship since Farmar departed don’t you? Maybe we should go revisit the Eddie Jones for Glen Rice trade while we’re at it huh? Give me a break!”

    Here’s the roster for the last championship year:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/2010.html

    As noted in the Totals section, Farmar played in all 82 that season.

    The same misguided souls who speak to blowing up the team now were the same misguided souls who spoke to blowing up the purportedly under-performing bench back then. They are wrong in both instances. And you make it seem like ancient history.

    09-10 champions
    10-11 last season
    11-12 this season

    The bench turned over in its entirety save for Luke. Goodbye DJ, Powell and Farmar after the championship win, Sasha 11 games into the following season, last season, and this past off-season goodbye Lamar and Shannon. And hello McStiff, Murph the Smurf, etc. Nothingness. That’s the sum total worth of the bench revamp. Nothingness.

    And do you not realize the implications of your own statements. Pau’s too old. So why would any team not on the precipice of championship trade young talent for Pau? And beyond that, he’s not an expiring contract either. So maybe they get back Fox, Horry and Shaw, which would be okay if they had Shaq, but they don’t, as they instead have Mr. Oil Change.

    And it isn’t personal and so I don’t “hate” Andrew. I’ve simply done my time representing the plaintiff in the personal injury action and the employee in the work comp matter, and so I’ve some familiarity with those needing the oil change. He is, and no matter whether we say freak injury or injury prone, damaged goods, as it were. That’s just the reality. And as such, he is more susceptible to further injury as his knee is simply not in the same structural condition as a healthy knee. And so you get the point re the oil change, did you read the one quote from the manufacturer? “the only treatment that can give you up to six months of osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain relief with a single injection.” See that word there beginning with the “o”? Not good. And note the pain relief, so palliative, and not curative. And there’s what the manufacturer says and what the studies say, here being that it’s a mixed bag. And you can read this:

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00212

    So he’s got middle age/old person’s disease, since most humans suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee are age 45 and over. And so you know, I’m not at all unhappy that with him on the team, they aren’t the Showtime Lakers. He ought to be walking up and down the court whenever possible. Matter of fact, if the team was looking to lengthen his shelf life, they’d pressure the ball on the other end, so he’d not have run back quite so fast and much, so less impact/stress on the knee. And, relatedly, most attribute Kobe’s inability to drive to the hoop on his hands, but that isn’t entirely true. He himself spoke to his own bone on bone scenario and so his knee(s) isn’t moving as fast as it once did. And that’s why Kobe went to Germany, to be treated for his knee osteoarthritis. And perhaps Andrew might want to visit Germany as well:

    http://www.oarsijournal.com/article/S1063-4584%2808%2900209-4/abstract

  76. Darius,
    You take some of the people on this site too seriously. They don’t beleive much of what they say. Wait till Sunday when we see Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and Andrew Bynum play together to get worked up.

  77. 49) rr,
    When Kobe plays off the ball, and everyone moves without the ball, they are almost unstoppable on offense, because Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum are so good offensively.
    ___

    1) If this is true, it is a coaching problem.
    2) I don’t think it is a good idea to assume that the Lakers’ best half of the season represents a norm they could reach all the time if they just wanted to. All teams go up and down, even within games.

  78. Aaron: You just depressed me with that cloaked reference to the “V” word.
    Darius: We love this site. That is why we are here. I love it because of the disagreements, not in spite of them.
    All: We should enjoy the ASG, because as soon as the horn goes off, it will be the beginning of a very important chapter in Laker history.

  79. has this site has been invaded by LA Times commenters?

    Feel free to change the subject and provide insightful commentary on other aspects of the team.

  80. 79 is an informative, if depressing, post.

  81. RR @ 83 – your suggestion doesn’t work. I and others have tried numerous times, but all threads degenerate into a few commenters talking about nothing but trades, what nows and what ifs.

    Funky @ 77 – although I disagree with your assessments, you did answer the questions, so I will take a stab at yours.

    There are two paths that make sense to me – which to take is simply how you choose to play your cards.

    1. Ride out the big three and try and fill in a couple of better pieces around them. Small tweaks that you hope will improve the bench and PG spot.

    2. Trade either Gasol or Bynum for a couple of good players with smaller prices tags and hope that is enough to get Kobe and the big that remains to the playoffs.

    To me the reality is that barring injury Miami is going to win and if you do not have a stacked team, you wont catch them this year or next. The Lakers best chance is with the big three and getting better production around them (sit Fish, tell MWP to get better or sit down) and, as I think Exhelodriver said, get Kobe to change his style to better maximize the strengths of the team through ball movement and the bigs.

    Just my two cents on it.

  82. Midway through the season I’m impressed with the team’s record but the roller coaster ride has not been fun

    Mike Brown C :has kept his game face with all this turmoil. Defense may not be as good as advertised but we’ve seen glimpses of lockdown defense. Needs to get Kobe the ball closer to the basket.

    Kobe Bryant B : definitely didn’t see this level of play coming has done everything he can to keep Lakers afloat. Hopefully he gets help and Brown hasn’t run him into the ground. There is the olympics this year we may be seeing the last elite elite level season.

    Pau Gasol B : Professional. His game is still there and defense has been suprisingly good. Although his salary makes him expendable I’ll always look at Pau as a Laker.

    Andrew Bynum A : 17, 13 2 blks. a game has been a force and efficient. Ever improving sky is the limit. With a few more shots he may can reach the 22-25 PPG.

    Derek Fisher D : Old reliable in clutch situations but is 1 part of the reason plays 3 on 5 most nights.

    Metta World Peace D : Play has gotten better as of late 35% on 3s in Feb. Can’t keep getting cooked by Durant.

    Bench F : Last in the league. No reliable guy to come in and knock down shots every game. Definitely need an upgrade.

    Lakers C

  83. I and others have tried numerous times, but all threads degenerate into a few commenters talking about nothing but trades, what nows and what ifs.

    And what do you think people should talk about instead? As I have tried to explain to the people who complain daily about the site’s supposed “decline”, the comments reflect where the team is at this moment. The players themselves are talking about trades; so are many respected people in the media. “What now” is the most relevant question facing the Lakers at this time.

    Tactical and strategic adjustments can have a marginal impact on this team. but the talent is simply not there, but if you want to talk about those aspects, I think you can do so without complaining about those who don’t.

  84. Post 57 should be permanently linked to in this sites header.

    I remember bitching to my dentist about losing eddie jones years ago. He smiled and said something about the Lakers “always know what theyre doing” and to look at the bigger picture… That was like 5 titles ago…

    I know this has been a trying season, but being a Laker fan is generally a joy. Theres gonna be some tricky years. Being in the top 10 in the league instead of top 3 or 4 isnt the end of the world. Especially in this mockery of a season for this league.

  85. I agree with Anonymous @87. If you review Laker commentary on other Laker sites, general sports sites, or basketball television, they are all talking about roster and change. They talk very little about how the Lakers play the P+R or other game tactical. I think the convo on this site is actually much more balanced than most. Most of all though – if you don’t like what someone is saying, either craft a rebuttal or ignore them, do not launch a personal attack.

  86. VoR, it’s funny that we can go back and forth in disagreement about one thing (amnesty as an option) yet agree on virtually everything else.

    I view amnesty for Kobe as the final (but possibly necessary) option, after minor tweaks like trying to add Sessions & Beasley, and moving Pau for a more significant upgrade at the PG spot. In this, it seems that we agree.

    Where we disagree seems to be what we do after those moves either don’t work or if we can’t make them (as they both require willing trade partners with useful trade assets).

    I’m not sure I’m ready to hand the next two titles to the Heat, but I agree that they’ll be tough to match. But that’s kind of what makes the argument for something more than a tweak. If the Lakers can’t win a title for the next two years even with the big three, then it wouldn’t seem crazy to shake up the big three to build for the future.

    Personally, I hope they can add a better PG and SF by the trade deadline with just picks and the TPE. With that, we take our chances this year, but if it isn’t enough, then what?

  87. Great sign Wallace? Another old, slow player to go with a old slow team. Change the name to the to the LA Legends. Imagine Fisher, Metta and Wallace on the court at the same time. They might not get the ball past half court in time.

    We need a NBA PG and we are getting a retired player not hood enough to make the older Celtics.

    Brilliant move the season is saved!

  88. Ken: There are quite a few things I have heard about Rasheed, but I do not think anyone has ever claimed that he is not “hood enough” : )

  89. 1/2decaf: Any team that would be under the cap “could” bid on an amnestied player. So for example, if it occurred after this year, one of the teams in the best position would be the Mavs. It is funny how a Mavs example puts a different spin on things than a Bobcats example – true? : ) Darius – let me know if my understanding is incorrect.

  90. Just my opinion:

    1. NEVER trade or amnesty Kobe. NEVER. Having a LEGEND retire as a Laker is PRICELESS!!!! He will be a Laker for as long as it takes. We can talk about his shot selection, ego, whatever…We’ll deal with him until the very end.

    2. Wallace to the Lakers is a RUMOR. Probably created by an agent or a desperate journalist. There will be plenty of rumors from now until March 15th, so don’t jump into any conclusions. Besides, Wallace to the Lakers is a joke. Nuff said.

    I feel we’re in a good position to negociate moving foward. Fingers crossed.

  91. 1/2decaf: LOL. Cuban is a very large part of my “nightmare”. He is a leading player for D12, DW, SN, and yes anyone amnestied. With regard to the later, Billups and V Carter are the only two claimed thus far. Anyone (including the Bobcats) “could” have gotten them, However the Clips and the Mavs got the players. Funny how that works out : )

  92. #98. Carter wasn’t amnestied, he was waived outright and then he signed with the Mavs as a FA.

  93. Darius: You are correct I should have only used Billups in my example. However my point is that it is no coincidence that these type of guys end up with decent teams. I assure you that the notoriously cheap MJ is not claiming anyone expensive/old in Charlotte : ) With regard to the end of your post:
    “he signed with the Mavs as a FA.”
    That is something that is soon to be in print next to a number of names : )

  94. 96,

    I totally agree with you Magic Phil, even though the Big 3 are the only players with trade values and consist the major part of the salary cap, stick with them till their contract expires. Continue harnessing skills from the role players, find ways to speed up the game by adding a young who could lessen the burden on Kobe and our present PG’s. I still have high hopes on our 3 pt shooters like Blake/Murphy/Kapono/G-lock, they are the keys to our success. The games is always winnable when they’re connecting but when we compete on track and field, that’s our Achilles heel. Will Sheed and Arenas addition be good for the Lakers? Why not, anybody who could shoot straight to the basket is a good addition. We’ll not know until it is tried. Will the addition of Ramon Sessions and Beasley are the players that we need? I think those are positive additions than going for a complete revamp without something in return. My only question, if they add four new names, who will they cut?

  95. Funky,

    That is a legit point. What I would say, though, is rather than focusing on “we can’t beat Miami” the focus should be on creating a team that is conference-finals quality. I don’t think you can throw in the proverbial towel because Miami has James and Wade (I know you’re not saying that, exactly). Yes, Dallas beat them last year, and CHI or OKC might do it this year, but for the next 2-3 years the championship conversation starts with Miami no matter what the Lakers, or any other team, does.

    Now, whether adding guys like Sessions and Beasley creates that “Final 4″ team…hard to say. The West is very compressed after OKC–I can picture many teams in the WCF depending on matchups, injuries, trade deadline adds, etc.

  96. Not Charlie Rosen February 25, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Just wanted to jump in with a quick point on a post made way back in the discussion (yeah, I’m the kind of guy who’ll let a conversation go on for a while, then ask about something said an hour ago).

    I think it was #77, pointing out how the two teams with the greatest reputations for mistreating players–Clippers and Bulls–have recently been swamped with great players, so reputation doesn’t appear to amount to much. But…

    Clippers: drafted Blake Griffin; drafted DeAndre Jordan; traded for CP3 (fuuuuuuuuuuuu); traded for Mo Williams; “won” Billups in the amnesty sweepstakes; signed Caron Butler

    Bulls: drafted Rose; drafted Noah; drafted Gibson; traded for Deng; signed Boozer

    So out of all of those great players that went to those teams, only two actually chose to play there; the rest were either drafted or traded without their consent. And of the two that “chose”, Butler signed with the Clips after seeing CP3 go there, and there isn’t an athletic wing in the world who wouldn’t join CP3 and Griffin nightly on the court, even if the team was owned by Satan, not to mention it was a bit of a homecoming (he’s often said how his time with the Lakers was a highlight in his life). And Boozer…well, the guy signs for money, period, no shame…remember the Cleveland/Utah shenanigans…again, he’d sign with Satan himself (probably right after being baptized) if the dollars were there.

    The reputation of a team still counts for a lot, which is how Dallas and the Lakers and the C*****s get serious consideration from every free agent, regardless of the money available, while places like Toronto, NJ and Golden State get high-priced mercenaries who don’t place winning a ring above their personal stats and how that will affect their next contract.

    Which is why all this debate is interesting to me, but ultimately frustrating: what matters most over the next few months and years isn’t whether or not we amnesty KB, or trade this guy or that guy, it’s how we conduct our business, maintaining the Lakers’ aura. The Odom trade was the first chink in decades in the “man, but I’d love to play for the Lakers” armor, and the next few moves we make–regardless of what they are–will either restore the players’ faith in the Lakers–meaning not just the team here, but everyone FA who has a choice to make and sees the Lakers have a mid-level, or veteran’s minimum, or whatever to offer–or will widen that hole and start to unravel the mystique until the Lakers aren’t anything but the Dolan/Isaiah Knicks West.

  97. rr/Funky/Edwin: No change on my end, I am on board with the “improve the 1+3 plan” as a back up to my D12 pipedream. I think the key for the 1+3 plan, is whether we can get the players to which you refer, without dealing 1of the Big 3. As far as Gilbert/Rasheed/etc, I am game for that as well, except I have concern, because MB has not handled MWP well. He does not have the PJ psychology talent.

  98. Since we are stuck with the worst offensive coach in the league…we have to find somebody…anybody who can dribble without turning their back to the basket.

    That’s 90 percent of the problem…watching Fish, Blake and the rest of the clowns trying to force feed the post or the wing is sickning.

    Kobe has lost his handle due to injury, the triangle at least hid the fact we haven’t had a ball handler since van exel. I’m not a big fan of speculation. I believe its on Mike clown Brown to maximize what he has…and stop forcing his trash offense on a team that doesnt have the personnel.

  99. the other Stephen February 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

    103. Dude, that could also be rephrased as Hitler bets with the Lakers :(

  100. NCR,

    Fair points, but, basically, guys who have established themselves and can get the money and playing time regardless, or older guys who already have a lot of money and may prioritize other things, go to where they think they can win as long as they are going to get paid–even if the owner is a guy like Sterling or Dolan.

    You mentioned Dolan…but the Knicks have added Stoudemire, Chandler, and Smith the last 18 months. Anthony wanted to go there because of location.

    I sort of started this ball rolling, and, like Funky, I was not saying that the Lakers will or should amnesty Kobe after the 2013 season. But in view of these facts…

    1. Neither Walton nor MWP has been amnestied.
    2. The new luxury tax kicks in prior to the 13/14 season.
    3. The Lakers are ALREADY on the hook to Kobe, Pau, MWP and Blake for about 60M that year, and that number will obviously increase substantially if they keep Bynum.
    4. A team lead by a 35-year-old Kobe and a 33-year-old Pau, burdened with ~11M going to a 34-year-old MWP and a 33-year-old Blake seems very unlikely to contend.

    …it seems to me that the option is on the table on Jim Buss’ long-term chessboard.

    Whether is SHOULD be is another question, but I don’t see it as some crazy, outlandish idea.

    I do doubt that it will happen.

  101. MB’s offensive strategy is obviously in the vein of management’s ideology for the team going forward. Look for the transition from triangle basketball players to players that fit the mold of MB’s offense.

    Jim Buss hired MB. JB was sick of the triangle, so get used to MB’s offense. There is nothing wrong with the offense. The Lakers starting five start the game with crisp ball and player movement, utilizing the high-low offense with the bigs. As the game wears on and the starting five become fatigued, they revert back to the triangle, or give Kobe the ball and stand around waiting for him to make something extraordinary happen. And Kobe, will always oblige.

    The bench is not talented but on nights when their shots are falling, one can see how the offense would look, as the players and the ball is moving to get an open look on offense. These guys do not have the problem of reverting back to the triangle, because they were never steeped in the offense.

    Change is coming!

  102. I just sent Hitler to all of my friends :)

  103. There is a lot of talk about an aging Kobe and an aging Pau and how we should amnesty one of them and start to rebuild. I guess I am just not that concerned about their ages.

    MJ was 36 years old and playing at a high level when he won his last ring. While I am not saying that Kobe will be able to do that, I look at Kobe’s conditioning, work ethic, and sheer will. I would never bet against him playing at a high level through the end of his contract.

    As far as Pau is concerned, bigs generally play at a higher level longer then guards and wings. I see no reason that he couldn’t continue to play at a high level through the end of his contract. I mean he has even elevated his defense this year. You usually do not see a player improve an aspect of their game at 31.

    When you consider that Andrew has not even reached his ceiling yet, I am still convinced that adding a couple of decent role players for the next couple of seasons will keep this team a legitimate contender. Yes we will be slammed one season by the luxury tax but the new T.V deal also kicks in and I think Dr Buss (don’t think for a moment he will not have the final say) will do whatever it takes to win.

    It is clear that the Lakers have a plan, and it is the right one.

  104. Who is the best big man in the NBA?

    Roy Hibbert says Bynum is more efficiant in the low post and plays more consistently but when he wants to be Dwight is more dominant.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7611045

  105. 105,

    Robert, there is a strong chatter from all hoop sources that ‘sheed joins the Lakers. Will he be a 3 on starter or a 4 on the 2nd team? Who will be dislodged by his coming? Metta may be a useless cog in offense but still a great enforcer in defense. I also favor Barnes who is very active player in moving without the ball goes for long rebounds, follow ups and fast breaks. We can’t say much about ‘sheed until he gets on the floor but he could help in the perimeter, rebounds and in resting our big men. DH is really becoming a pipe dream so that’s one reason why Gasol should not be moved without guarantees in getting something better in return.

    With regards to Mbrown, he’s still a low key Coach with a MidWest mentality doesn’t have any say (strong influence) on players coming in, no say in protecting his players from F/O or owners’ intrusion nor strong chemistry with his starters that they really listen to his instruction. If you’re going to the battlefield with Mike Brown as the General, he’s not acting like Patton or MacArthur but just a lowly Sgt.-Major following instructions. lol!

  106. Michael H: Always nice to hear your optimism. I think Kobe could go 4 more yrs for a 20 yr total (that would require a 2 yr extension). That and PG’s longevity are not the question. The question is can we surround them with enough to win a title. I am hoping we will, but it is easier said than done. The FO had a plan, it was killed, and yes, they have a new plan now. Will it be executed? (everything is not under our control).

    All: I will be very disappointed if we trade PG and do not get back immediate value. However, I am also not saying for sure that this isn’t the best move for the future. Many optimistic types preached “Patience” in preseason. Re-builidng (which I am not “yet” ready for) takes years of Patience, and some optimists don’t like it, perhaps because they are imPatient : )

  107. Who is the best big man in the NBA?

    _____________
    Dwight Howard.

    BTW, Aaron, I notice that you had no comments on Slappy’s post about the significance of Bynum’s needing this knee injection, which included Slappy’s familiarity with the issue on a professional level and a link.

  108. @101 – Sup Edwin.

    I was talking about Kobe…Pau and Drew can be traded (I’ll miss Pau as much as I miss Lamar and Shannon but…)

    But Kobe is a “statue-at-Staples” player, he will stay with us forever.

    And I can’t believe people are taking the Sheed rumors seriously. It is rumors-season, we’ll hear all sort of stuff for 2 weeks, let’s get used to. There’s rumors everywhere, like Calderon for TPE + GLock + draft pick. This one, at least, match the numbers, but I’m not sure how desperate Toronto is to shave some cap space.

    Anyway, rumors are rumors.

    There’s also the rumor that the Lakers are off the hook for DH12.

    See? We’ll read all sort of weird things for the next 2 weeks. Enjoy.

  109. Aloha Robert,

    It really isn’t that hard being optimistic when we do not need that much. Like I have said before, we need a shooter, for the 1st unit and someone who can create offense for the 2nd. They do not need to be stars. Now I am not as concerned about PG as most on this blog. Kobe is the facilitator of this team anyway. The offense runs through him. A ball dominant PG is not needed. Someone who can hit an open 3 is. Look at all the open looks D Fish gets from 3. Now imagine a guy hitting 40%+ of those open looks. Spread the floor and watch Andrew become a 20+ a night scorer. Spread the floor and watch Pau get more touches inside where we want him.

    And a creator for the 2nd unit makes our other pieces better. Barnes has more opportunities slashing to the basket. Murphy gets more kick outs for open looks. Andrew and Pau get more lobs off of penetration. A rotation is like a machine, with different moving parts. That’s why I stay positive. We already have the Defense required to win a ring and the rebounding required to win a ring. We have the big 3 so all we need is a little more offense to make it all work.

  110. Edwin: I am willing to try Sheed. No clue what it would mean. He could be a replacement for PG, a backup, + it also “could” be a sign of something bigger. It could be the 1st in a series of tiny moves.

    With regard to your assigning the rank of SgtMaj to MB: I guess that would make MK a Col, + of course would leave the General rank for Jimbo. We will see if he becomes like those generals you mentioned. Stern gave the Lakers a Pearl Harbor day, now let’s see if Buss can respond before D-Day 03/15).

  111. rr)
    I didn’t see his post. I responded to the dude when he put up the headline. If its something to prevent multiple knee surgeries after fixing cartridge like Kobe had to do every four years than this a great preventative measure.