Winning, Rotations, & The Rumor Mill

Darius Soriano —  March 1, 2012

The second half of the season is upon us, and so far the results are promising. The Lakers took down the T’Wolves in convincing fashion with a true team effort. Some thoughts on that game and where the Lakers go from here…

  • Kobe’s mask was the talk of the night with fans wondering if he’d stick with it the entire game and what type of mask they’d like to see him wear instead (it even prompted a tweet to me that produced a hilarious picture). But beyond the comic relief, Kobe’s play is what stole the show. The 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists were stellar and the way he attacked off the dribble and in the post was noteworthy. Via the MySynergySports twitter account Kobe did a lot of his work of cuts, post-ups, and in transition while only working in isolation twice. Considering how often we request Kobe to work off the ball more, last night’s play was a welcomed sight.
  • Also important to note, though, is that Kobe’s performance may go down as him simply “playing through injury” again, but I don’t see it that way at all. This wasn’t a sprained ankle or a bad wrist, after all. Kobe suffered a concussion in the all-star game and needed to pass several neurological exams before being cleared to suit up. The fact that he was able to do so is great, but I’ll also admit that it’s a bit scary to think that a guy could suffer what is, essentially, a brain trauma on Sunday and play in a full contact basketball game on Wednesday. There’s an aura of toughness that surrounds Kobe, but I must say at certain points during the game, I was a bit uneasy with him being on the court (though still in awe of what he was accomplishing).
  • One of the moments when I was most uneasy came when Mike Brown decided to insert Kobe (and Pau) back into the game with a 19 point lead and a shade over 6 minutes remaining. While the bench had given up some of the lead and the momentum was shifting, I was concerned that a fully cooled down Kobe and Pau were brought back into the fray to close out a game that was still seemingly in hand. At the time, my reaction was frustration.  The fact that Kobe, coming off a concussion (and what he described post game as a “constant throbbing” at the base of his head and neck) was put in the game was only part of it. The other part was a strong feeling that Brown needed to get on his reserves and motivate them to play better, not yank them in favor of the starters. There will be a time when Brown will have to rely on his reserves to play well and not have the starters come in to save the day, and I thought last night was an opportunity wasted to show some confidence in that group. A chance to truly coach his team in what he needs from them slipped by, and from a long-term perspctive, that concerns me. Leads me to believe Brown is not a fan of Royal Jelly.
  • The other reason the decision to not let the reserves finish the game was a sour one relates to the fact that the bench actually did play well last night. As mentioned earlier, this game was a total team effort even though Kobe went off and the Bynum/Gasol duo played well and were the obvious focal points. Every available Laker played, only two didn’t score (Ebanks and McRoberts), and the others contributed in all facets of the game to help build the Lakers’ lead up in the first place. So in a season where Brown’s decision making about rotations and distribution of playing time have been sources of frustration, last night continued the trend.

Ultimately though, it’s hard to complain too much in a contest the Lakers won by 19 points. Yes, the tenor of the contest changed when Kobe was cleared to play while Love was a late scratch, but those are the breaks in this league.

————————————

Of course, a single game isn’t necessarily the only point of focus for the Lakers right now. Reports of trade rumors are rampant and the speculation is only starting to warm up. Now that players who signed contracts during the off-season are eligible to be traded, the expectation is that more deals will come to fruition.

How this affects the Lakers remains to be seen. As discussed in this very good post at Land O’ Lakers, the Lakers reportedly turned down a deal for another mercurial small forward with some scoring pop. A deal like that sounds nice on the surface until more details come out about what the other team wants and what the Lakers are willing to give (and willing to spend).

My two cents on the trade deadline are this: the Lakers are obviously looking to upgrade the roster. From the beginning of the season and what’s transpired on the trade front this isn’t really a question, but while fans want action now, the team must still make the right deal, and not just any deal. Identifying what the right deal might look like is different from an outsider’s perspective than what those inside the organization may think. Maybe there are salary considerations – especially when measured against  the improvement likely to be made. Considerations of assets (draft picks, young players) are also surely important, as the team only has so many bullets in the chamber to fire in any given trade.

This is why, in my opinion, the team has not yet made a move. The right deal must include the player (or players) that make this team better, while giving the team the most bang for its buck and also maximizing the assets the Lakers have to give up. Finding the deal that does all those things isn’t always easy.

All this being the case, maybe a deal won’t be made. I think we’re all a bit hopeful something is done to improve the team, but the fans’ definition of improved may differ from that of the coaches or the front office. So until the 15th of this month, we wait. Wait for the deal that may or may not come; wait for the team to play at the high level they’ve shown they can reach on a more consistent basis than they’ve been able to show for most of this year.

Darius Soriano

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60 responses to Winning, Rotations, & The Rumor Mill

  1. another bullet point from the game was Bynum going over to KB24 who was on the bench to get congratulated for a dunk. thought that was great.

  2. @1 – What a difference a Synvisc injection makes! It looked to me like Drew was getting higher on his jumps than any time since his first knee injury (prior to Pau joining the team).

  3. I’m not in the make a trade camp…i would like to see rashad mccants on a 10 day contract. Maybe a Gilbert arenas signing…gerald green maybe…just somebody who can get a fast break bucket a couple times a game.

    I think the playoff style will suit the lakers better

  4. I’ll abide with the Dude. That alley-oop in the first half was reminiscent of the 2007-08 Andrew Bynum, and the Worthy-like spin move was great as well. Too bad the third quarter started, and Drew saw the ball often enough to get off a whopping zero shot attempts in nearly eight minutes of play. He only got three shots in the second half, making two of them.

    As to the rumor mill, please, God, not Rondo… I can’t think of a more overrated player, nor can I think of a guard who would fit in worse with this roster than that guy. He’d have no one to run with and no perimeter shooters to free up for open looks by penetrating.

    Defenses could just pack the paint, with double-teams for Bynum and a logjam should Rondo try to come inside. The offense would revert to even more kick-outs to a wide open Artest, and we all know what that would lead to. No thanks.

  5. I would love to hear some proposed moves from the moderators of this board. I know that you (the mods) are not in the speculation business, but I think you guys really know what you are talking about and could do a great job of educating the rest of us.

  6. After all that talk from Mike Brown promising to reduce Kobe’s minutes, he puts Kobe in the game with 6 minutes left with a 19 point lead, at home, against a team playing on a back to back, without Love, in Kobe’s first game back from a concussion??? This is mind boggling. The minutes caught up to Kobe in February, and he looked absolutely exhausted heading into the All Star game, yet Brown continues to overplay Kobe any chance he gets. Brown is obviously under immense pressure to succeed, and following in the footsteps of the greatest NBA coach in history can’t be easy….but it’s frustrating to see him coach in such a desperate fashion. He is turning into the west coast version of the “Master of Panic”.

  7. @3 – Good point about the playoffs. The Lakers’ style is certainly made for playoff competitiveness. However, getting home court advantage is key since they suck on the road (so far); regular season success matters, too!

    Bynum looked really spry last night. So did Kobe. Wish the players could have 5 nights off more often :)

  8. #5. I’ll write on this in the next day or two. I’ll leave it at that.

  9. Before he ran into ‘Drew, Pekovic had actually been on quite a tear, basically bullying smaller/weaker C’s to the tune of 17/9 or something like that. Time after time last night, Bynum just obliterated him on one-on-one coverage; it was actually kind of sad to watch as Pekovic is about the same strength as Bynum, but not nearly as tall or fast. His main points were Vs. Pau and also whenever Drew left him on help defense.

  10. I really don’t think we can take too much from this game, especially since Kevin Love didn’t play and we’ve beaten Minnesota like 18 straight times. How they play Sunday will go a long way for our confidence.

    As for the rumor mill after hearing about us turning down Minnesota’s proposal, I’m at the point that I don’t see us making any moves. Hope everyone is satisfied with Gilbert Arenas and Rasheed Wallace.

  11. From my point of view, I am amazed at how well Kobe played last night. Considering that he spent most of the day undergoing physical and mental tests, his performance was incredible.

    Bynum looked real good. His smile after several plays told me he was feeling great as well.

    Am I the only one that can’t tell Clipper Darrel and Cedric the Entertainer apart?

  12. @11 – A 19-pt victory led by 31, 8, and 7 from a guy who suffered a nasal fracture and a concussion three days earlier is unworthy of any individuals earning “A” grades?

    How about a guy who shot 6 for 9 from the floor with 13 rebounds, three blocks (and many more altered shots), and a steal? The key was completely shut off by our two bigs for much of the game, as was Minny’s heretofore effective P&R. Granted, it was the second night of a B2B, but everyone in their rotation played 30 minutes or fewer against the Clippers, and there was no travel the night before from one city to the next. Love’s absence was undoubtedly a much more important factor, but as fifthrune above said, Pekovic has been tearing up the league this season. His PER is 22.17 after last night’s game, which is still higher than Bynum’s 21.98. Minny’s centers were only remotely effective when our PGs or wings didn’t help the helper.

  13. Darius,
    Common man… I bleeped out the swear word ;). And that “family unfriendly antidote” came from a fifty year old married couple. Just too hard and too funny to not share with the world.

    Dude,
    Agan we agree. But you said you were grading based on players abilities. Fisher can’t pass. He isn’t expected to. And we agree Love is a bad defender. But of Gasol had the samegame against Love as he did against Williams I would give him the same average grade. As bad as Love is he is still a better post defender than a rookie SF forced to play PF against a all star seven footer.

  14. Dude,
    Couldn’t agree more re Bynum’s agility and explosiveness. My question is why? Is it the days off or the injection. The injection should not help his knee short term. All it does is help prevent arthritis. I’m thinking he is finally in game shape and the rest helped strengthen his legs after all the work done in the off season and season.

    Also as I’m sure you know… Most Centers are spoon fed easy baskets by their PGs or for Shaq is was young Kobe slashing to the basket and dropping off dunks for the big man. This is how average big men get most of their numbers. Again… I’m not telling you anything you don’t know but it appears many in this site don’t understand that. I mean look how many easy baskets does Derek Fisher get Drew (sarcasm).

  15. Btw… In regards to Bynum just embarrassing the Russian Kwame… In a Kobe like moment in the second half after another ugly offensive low post trip down the floor for the Big Russian, Bynum just starred down Rick Addelman with a serious smirk as if to say “are you really going to keep trying to test me in the low post?”

  16. could do a great job of educating the rest of us.

    ___

    The mods are all knowledgeable, but they are not alone in that status on this board.

  17. Couldn’t agree more re Bynum’s agility and explosiveness.
    ___

    Might have had something to do with the fact that Pekovic and Milicic aren’t exactly Hakeem Olajuwon in terms of quickness around the rim.

    But rest + injection probably played a part.

    Minnesota’s wings, obviously, do not match up well with Kobe.

  18. I have to admit that I have never heard the term “Royal Jelly” before, but the concept had definitely crossed my mind when I saw Kobe and Pau waiting to check back in. I would have liked seeing Mike Brown call them back to sit down, and then challenge the reserves to step it up an earn more playing time. I am definitely of the opinion that someday soon we will be forced to play Kobe and Pau less and lean on these guys more.

  19. I have a theory that Bynum paces himself, you never see him sprint…?
    Also what in the world is going on with Rasheed Wallace and the Lakers? He hasn’t been talked about it hasn’t been on ESPN, but it was right there. DARIUS whats going on!

  20. chris y: Darius may have a different view, but I believe the Lakers are frozen on all fronts as they continue to pursue D12. They don’t want to do anything until they see what is going to happen with D12. The problem even I see with that, is that they may remain frozen for the bulk of the next 2 weeks, and it could prevent other deals. Preseason it was a “V” by Stern, now Otis/Dwight could run the clock out on us.

  21. Many on this board favor a plan that keeps our Big 3 and upgrades our 1+3 slots. I think the Beasely sitution could be because we are “frozen”, but it also could indicate that the FO has no desire for such a plan. The main issue is $. We have an $88 payroll as we are now with $80 of that somewhat locked in for next year. Adding salary by trading picks and the TPE for players, could take us close to triple digits. I am not a Jimbo fan, but no owner would do that unless you had a “significant” chance at a title.

  22. Robert,
    The plan is always to get superstars (the best players available). That’s what wins in the NBA. If we can’t get the best players then we will fill in the holes at PG and then to a lesser extent SF (it always frustrates me anyone compares our PG problems to our SF problems. Artest still plays good defense and Barnes has a league average PER.

  23. Aaron: Once again we have much in common, and we just articulate it in different ways. I agree with Superstars (hence D12); I also agree that we need Artest playing well to have any shot against the elite teams. Barnes is the only salary bargain on our roster. However – my point is that I do not think we will add salary while only marginally improving our chances. If we get the superstar, then by all means we will use the TPE and our picks to get others. But without the added superstar, Jimbo may not want to add salary. Therefore we might stand pat, or we might trade a PG for a PG – thereby not adding.

  24. rr: You are absolutely right. My bad.

  25. Lakers problems are low scoring, bench, pace of game, low force turnovers and fatigue.

    With better ball movement scoring may increase from night to night but players will still stay at their averages. Lakers are old and slow playoff basketball favors our roster but teams will find a way to score 100 points at least 3 times in a 7 game series.

    The low forced turnovers is a major problem the reason our defense is good is our 2 7 footers. Teams have trouble getting shots in the paint hence our low opp. FG%. But not getting turnovers means every possession counts that much more and the offense has been wildly inconsistent. One of our big 3 will eventually lose some steam happens last year to Kobe. Who will step up for them?

    A move has to be made Lakers have too many defiencies to overcome to win this year. With this roster Lakers can’t win 4 out of 7 vs OKC, LAC possibly SAS, DAL.

  26. 6, if you followed me on twitter, you could see all the trades I bring up that Darius shoots down.

  27. Robert,
    Then that’s the only place we differ. I think no matter what we will add slalary and fill holes… Even if we don’t end up adding a superstar. And I don’t think we would add players the FO feels “barley” would help our chances.

  28. Zephid,
    I would spend your energy somewhere else. I was never into the proposing trades thing because who knows what GMs are instructed to do by their owners and what they’re looking for. Four years ago my friends laughed at me when I guessed that the Grizzlies would want just expiring contracts for Gasol in order to shed his contract. I said he could be had for garbage. I was right. But I had no reason to think that in particular. It was an educated guess. I do love though to let people know what I feels would be a good or bad trade for all teams involved. But that is more just discussing/comparing basketball players and teams. That’s why I strongly agree with Darius and am so anti proposed trades on any site or any forum. It just seems like a giant waste of time to suggest trades unless you have connections to the FO. Which I do every time I walk by Mitch at the Staples Center and each time hope he offers me an assistant GM job ;)

  29. I think the FO turned down the Beasley trade (if true) because they feel that PG is the biggest issue. Right now the Lakers are trying to see if they can swap Gasol for a top level PG, someone like Curry, Rondo, WIlliams or Lowry. If they can’t do that they may need the TPE to get a PG.

    I didn’t see much of the game last night, but it was nice to see a blowout win. The Lakers have been pretty good at home all season, but bad on the road. That has to do with the poor quality (therefore inconsistent) role players. Not sure how the Lakers address that going forward.

  30. Not Charlie Rosen March 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Was pretty clear that–and I think the FO even said this–adding Beasley for a draft pick doesn’t remove any salary from our roster, just adds it, and since we’re over the cap already, that doubles the cost. Beasley is not worth 12 million (6 mil for him, 6 mil in tax). I have a feeling that a Beasley for Luke trade would’ve been accepted and signed so fast it’d have made Minnesota’s head spin.
    Now, for a real superstar, I think the Lakers would be willing to take on the extra tax…someone who, like Kobe, actually brings far more value to the team than their salary…Howard, D.Rose, LeBron (note, those aren’t players who could realistically come to the Lakers, just players the FO would consider paying double [salary + tax] for, since their value to team income is greater than that).
    Anyone less than that, we’re going to have to ship out as many dollars as we take in.

  31. Funky Chicken March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Aaron, re: your comment in #15 that the injection should not help Bynum’s knee in the short term. Actually, that’s exactly what the injection should do, and we should all be wary of assuming that Andrew will be feeling like this for the rest of the season.

    As a multiple knee surgery veteran, I’ve had the synvisc injection (in fact, I had a series of three of them, one per week for three weeks). I can assure you that after experiencing pain while doing nothing more than walking, the moment I walked out of the doctor’s office after the first injection was the first time in 20 years that I was able to go down steps without pain. Truly, it felt like a miracle. If you haven’t suffered chronic knee pain, you have no idea how bad it is. After a while, you no longer remember what it is like to move without pain–and the first steps post-injection are like you are floating on air.

    I was not the least bit surprised by how spry Andrew looked, and by how happy he was throughout the game. Sadly, this tells me that he is likely to be suffering from a lot more pain than any of us knew, and I promise you that the rigors of an NBA season will erode the benefits of the injection before too long.

    For me, the benefits lasted for about 6 weeks, and disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived after I went rollerblading on a rough surface. The doctor told me that the repeated vibrations helped disseminate the fluid more quickly than would otherwise have occurred–as would repetitive running, which is kind of hard for an NBA player to avoid.

    The upside is that there shouldn’t be an impediment to Andrew getting another shot come playoff time, but we should all be very clear about the benefits of a synvisc injection: it is a procedure that allows temporary relief from osteoarthritic conditions, but does absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem. Sorry, not trying to be a buzzkill….

  32. I know this is a Lakers blog but Kevin Durant continues to impress in that subtle way Duncan did for years. Durant & Lebron may be the new Duncan & Shaq rivalry.

  33. Robert,

    (from last thread)

    I am neither an optimistic nor a pessimist. In my view nothing this team can realistically do will make it a favorite to win it all prior to 2014. Miami, OKC and the Bulls will run the table for the foreseeable future.

    My version of a blow-up is sending Pau off for young complementary pieces and picks. I would even look into unloading Drew, simply because I don’t trust knees. I do think our two big men can fetch quite a bit of young talent and picks that will set us up for a much brighter future.

  34. Royal Jelly only works if you have a coach that is very secure about his job, like Popovich or Sloan pre-Deron.

    Also, Royal Jelly is not that easily administered as playing time is a very limited resource. It works in rare circumstances such as a blowout or when you’re intentionally resting your starters (Pop!).

    But MB reinserting the starters, especially somebody who just got back from a concussion, is unforgivable in my book.

  35. See these easy looks Spoelstra is getting Wade. Mike Brown has to put Kobe in the same position.

  36. Avidon, I totally agree about unloading Bynum. My train of thought is Kobe has what maybe 2-2.5 good years left in him? If I were the front office I would get every ounce out of him that I can, maximize veteran players like Pau and Kobe so that when 2014 comes around the team can start from scratch. I like Bynum but don’t love the kid, and can’t see him being the centerpiece on a title team (maybe he could have before injury but not now). I just don’t trust his knees and I would never build a franchise on a shaky foundation like that.

    My thinking is similar to what Danny Ainge is trying to do with Rondo, he’s using his most attractive trade piece (which he thinks he cannot build around like I think of Bynum) and trying to get something that can carry Ray, KG, Pierce off into the sunset and let their contracts expire on the books (except Mr. Wheelchair won’t). In fact I think if the chips fall where they may and Ainge can swing a Rondo for Deron Williams trade before the deadline if NJ can’t swing D12 coming there, I think it would be a major heist and put that team in contention again because I think that offense needs a guard that can shoot and not just pass.

    This is merely a made up scenario on my part with absolutely no rumor or source to lend any credence to it but I would offer the Bucks some sort of package with Bynum for Andrew Bogut, Elyasova and Brandon Jennings. The Bucks are rumored to make Bogut available and Jennings is an LA native (one of the more underrated PGs in the league), and contrary to what people think he would NOT have a problem playing with Kobe, and he is looking to join a major market.

    Plus I would really just love to see Pau in the post again primarily, I think his struggles are due to where MB puts him on offense and due to Bynum’s emergence. My idea may sound a little crazy but I just am not sold on Bynum being that star to carry LA into the post Kobe era.

  37. @14 – Aaron, that was me. Trust me, everyone would know exactly what that lady said. This isn’t Yahoo Sports ;)

    @16 – That is awesome. I love to see Drew develop that attitude. Now I just want to see him use the glass more often on his jump hooks!

    @18 – You might see it as disinterest, while I might see it as white swanism.

    @21 – All of that talk originated from Sheed’s camp. The Lakers have never even worked him out. I think he would be classified as a “Plan D.”

    @32, 33 – The Lakers turned down the Beasley offer because Minny wanted both of our 2012 first-round picks. Agreeing to that deal would have meant no reliable upgrade at PG.

    @34 – Thanks for that valuable piece of personal experience. Drew could theoretically sit out the final game of the regular season and get another Synvisc injection instead, which would ready him for the playoffs.

  38. King Lear has nothing on Jerry Buss.

  39. one reason the lakers do not force a lot of turnovers is b/c they are under instructions to not gamble for steals.

  40. That’s a bit of lazy journalism there by Dwyer, whom I usually like.

    Here is an interview with the Lakers European scout Antonio Marceiras, who has worked for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and is good friends with, and was to referred to the Lakers by, Ettore Messina
    http://www.heinnews.com/basketball/nba/one-on-one-la-lakers-european-scout-antonio-maceiras/

    Also, Darius has posted this previously, but Anthony Givony who runs draftexpress.com, one of the most prominent scouting websites, has defended Chaz Osborne’s ability:
    “As someone who attended dozens of NBA scouting events over the last 8 years, I can say Lakers scout Chaz Osborne is just as professional.. and as hard a worker as any scout you’ll come across. His background might be different, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do his job well” @draftexpress 02/21/12

    So, sure, Chaz is Jim’s buddy, and he can make a hell of a martini, but that’s not the whole story, and has nothing to do with ability. Just like the Lakers aren’t JUST scouting the NCAA, they have an experienced European scout. I’ve also read somewhere he worked for the Spurs at one time as well? I’m not sure if anyone has any knowledge of that?

    oh and, hat tip to Chibi for finding and posting the Marceiras interview.

  41. @39, 42 – Jerry chose…………..poorly.

  42. Pau for Lowry or Rondo is a terrible idea. An engaged Pau is, in my opinion, better than Bynum for our team. Using the TPE to get a solid PG and keeping Pau/Bynum is a far better option than trading Pau, blowing up chemistry for a ‘star’ PG. Curry or Deron might be worth more than Pau. But they aren’t worth more than Pau and a solid new PG using the TPE, which is what we should do. Thoughts?

    Also, those pointing to his lack of effort or ‘white swanism’ – put yourself in the shoes of someone who truly hasn’t been told hes here to stay, someone who really might be shipped out anytime in the next two weeks. Would you be as engaged? We should tell Pau he’s our guy, he got us two rings, and put that blasted TPE to use!

  43. 46, E,

    I am a huge believer in Curry even with his ankle issues. My opinion is LA can’t get enough back in a Pau trade to make them contenders but with a Bynum trade they might be able to contend with a bunch of pretty good pieces.

    This is another idea I had but I would call up Sacramento and put out feelers for guys like Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Cousins is the type of talent that if put in a great situation he will succeed and be a star, kind of like John Wall being stuck in Washington with crap around him. Tyreke can slash and score and when he develops a consistent jumper he will be tough to stop. Plus these guys have cheap contracts and haven’t warranted earning a big contract yet so the front office can keep their payroll down. But I am with you on Curry, he would be ideal to pair with Kobe.

  44. Lazenby has long been on the side of Jeannie Buss. Jeannie has been much more savvy in handling the media than Jimmy. There’s been a serious push in the media led by Lazenby to constantly demonize and discredit Jimmy the last year or so. Ever notice how all these stories all come out at the same time, it quiets down and then another wave begins?

    I think the jury is still out on Jimmy. I’m not convinced that he’s proven anything with his leadership so far. But at the same time, I’m highly suspicious of the agendas behind all these attacks. I’m thinking Jeannie’s making some kind of power grab. It’s always been a battle between her and Jimmy for the future of the franchise. I think the current set up is not tenable after Jerry passes on and both the kids know it.

    Dividing it in half with Jimmy handling basketball and Jeannie handling everything else, they are going to clash. What we’re probably seeing is a battle for the future of the franchise and Jeannie is exerting all her weapons to try and convince Jerry he chose wrong.

    Meanwhile all Jimmy can do to prove himself is build a winner. He does that and wins the power struggle, he probably manages to oust Jeannie into a non decision making role and just collect checks.

    That’s what I think is going on with all these stories coming out.

  45. Ken from Newport March 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Mr. Mitchell

    I brought up the Jim Buss scouting situation 2 weeks ago and got lambasted my the moderator. Interesting since my info comes from inside the Laker organization as opposed to 600 miles away.

    Truth is no longer the issue here. Which is why I have chosen to keep real info to those who really care to hear it. Authorized Laker sites and Laker radio and fans who want to not live in the Polly Anna world.

    Enjoy the zjim Buss years.

  46. No way Cousins is moving I think Tyreke Evans can be had they have Thomas and Jimmer who produce. Get Lowry and Pierce package deal would be nice is my idea. Don’t know if i’m allowed to speculate so I’ll leave it at that.

  47. Jim Buss has pretty much always believed that scouting is overrated. Here’s the Sports Illustrated article from 1998 that Lazenby, Dwyer, and Berger have all used for research:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014465/6/index.htm

    All I can say is that it’s pretty scary if you’re a Laker fan, knowing what has transpired over the past year. I would love to see Jeanie come out on top in the power struggle, but I think she torpedoed her chances by getting involved with Phil.

  48. My guess–and that is all it is–on the Buss thing is that both sides are true:

    Jeannie Buss (and Phil) is a media source for a lot of the attacks and wants Jim’s position.

    Jim Buss is an amateur bon vivant type who will hurt the organization long-term.

  49. Kevin, I don’t see how Cousins is any less likely to be moved than Tyreke if you’re getting a guy like Bynum in return. I know Cousins is very unhappy there and would prefer to be playing for a winning franchise. The Bynum for Cousins is kind of a wash as they put up similar numbers the real kicker would be trying to sneak Tyreke out of the deal. It wasn’t too long ago that Cousins was being brought up in trade rumors. Don’t know what it would take to get both of those guys but these are the types of teams I would be calling. I mentioned the Bogut, E Ilyasova, Jennings thing earlier basically as a trade for next year since Bogut is hurt and most of the time mid season trades don’t ever translate to titles with the exception of the Pistons in 2004.

  50. Lakers8884: Cousins is injury free and a cornerstone franchise type guy. his attitude is his only problem Bynum has far bigger issues. Tyreke has regressed it seems and SAC has a ton of PGs he may be had for the right price. I doubt it happens tho

  51. You’re exactly right that’s the type of guy Cousins is but as constructed that team isn’t going anywhere but mediocrity. Cousins doesn’t want to be there, he’s just keeping his mouth shut about it right now. You try to approach them and say hey Andrew can be your franchise center we just don’t think he and Pau can work together and we are going to do what San Antonio has done and build around our older players maximizing their talents. See if they bite is all I’m saying.

    I don’t know what the front office is doing nor should I speculate, I just have a problem with this D12 or bust scenario some people have on here. While I would love to have the guy here, the roster still have problems at every position but SG especially if Pau leaves.

    I have a problem with trading Pau because he is a relatively injury free big man while Bynum is the exact opposite. Say we trade Pau for a guy like Lowry and Scola, okay great well what happens if Bynum gets hurt. We are left with Kobe, Lowry and Scola? Hard to see that team making the playoffs at all. I would rather depend on Pau than Bynum, especially when Bynum has much more trade value on the market. Not to mention unless something changes, this might be the highest trade value Andrew has coming off his first all star appearance, especially if another injury pops up. We all saw this Lakers squad without Bynum almost beat the Bulls Christmas day, without him they may not be as great defensively but I think offensively they become much more fluent with Pau in the post. You can post pieces around Kobe and Pau still to maximize their last few years.

  52. Avidon @36: Thanks for the response. The reason I pursue this discussion, is because it is a pre-cursor to any trading. You must have a plan, and in your case, you have concluded that we can’t win the title no matter what, so we make moves to improve the future. I am not there “yet”. On 3/15 we better be looking at one of two things: A) Contender B) Younger/Cheaper/Bright Future. If we are looking at a 6th place team with an $90 million payroll, we will be repeating what the Celtics did in the late 80’s, and it will be worse due to the new CBA.

  53. Come on guys. Cousins for Bynum? The Lakers are in “win now” mode (at least they should be) as long as Kobe is on the roster. Cousins has loads of potential for the future. However, that won’t materialize anytime soon. The kid has A LOT to learn. His game is still raw and his attitude is even more raw. He is a “project” if I ever seen one. The Lakers don’t need projects right now. They need players who are ready to contribute to potential title runs.

  54. agree, no way on Cousins. watching the OKC game last night, I have no idea what ORL is thinking, if they aren’t trading D12. That team doesn’t have a prayer of closing games in the playoffs. it seems like they didn’t score in the last 4 minutes. without a shot maker like KB24, there is really little D12 can do in the last 5 minutes because of free throw issues and lack of offensive moves.

  55. @#58 Dude,

    I’m not defending Jimmy Buss here since I’m not happy with what I’ve seen. But a 14 year old article as main basis of research? A quote from 14 years ago before Jimmy started working more regularly in the front office?

    If someone were to look back at some of the things I said in my career 14 years ago, I guarantee I said a lot of tremendously stupid things that I don’t believe in today.

    It’s exactly this kind of stuff that makes me really suspicious of the coincidental release of all information. I too would much prefer that Jeannie take over the franchise. But let’s not forget she’s not infallible either. She fought against Phil coming in.

    Jim and Jerry despite their run ins with Phil the first time around still brought him back. I’m not a polly anna fan but I’m not doom or gloom either. Just trying to figure out what’s going on with a relatively open mind.

    I try not to be manipulated too much by the media games power brokers play. One of the worst things fans do is fall into confirmation bias. Just read and believe the news that confirm their current beliefs without question.

  56. 34)
    Thanks for the info on the injection. I was just spouting off what I had read but you def have a better idea than anyone else simce you got the shots yourself. One thing I would like to correct you on… Bynum didn’t have the injections for the reasons you did. You got them to relieve pain… Amdrew said he hasn’t had any pain this season in his knees until he collided knee to knee with Durant.

  57. #62. I’ve read that the Time Warner contract was negotiated (at least partially) to help ease the strain of the estate tax hit that will come at some point. (Besides the fact that it’s just good business.)

  58. Aaron, I have heard Bynum downplay the extent of his pain this year as well. However, I’ve found that to be less than credible based on his more limited mobility and noticeable limping, and when I saw how much more spry he looked on Wednesday (where he had the first really impressive lob-dunk of the year) it confirmed what I have suspected. His knee hurts.

    The way my doctor explained it was like this: everybody has a sac around their knee joints. Those sacs are filled with a natural lubricant called hyuralonic acid which, along with cartilage, are what provide the cushioning of bone on bone impact. Some people, especially those who have suffered knee trauma, have limited amounts of this lubricant, which can lead to increased pain and wear and tear on the cartilage. So, the primary benefit of the shot is an immediate (though temporary) relief from the pain from bone on bone (or bone on limited cartilage) impact. However, there is some partial benefit in reduced wear and tear on cartilage but, like the pain relief, that would be only temporary.

    I read a bit about this before agreeing to go through with the injections (seemed risky to be injecting a foreign substance into my body…) and while the known adverse impacts are limited, the shots were always described as a temporary measure to buy more time before undergoing a more invasive procedure (my doc talked of either a cartilage transplant, or ultimately knee replacement–which seemed crazy premature to me, since it’s something my grandfather had when he was 40 years older than I am).

    I’m no doctor, and I surely am no expert on this, so maybe there are other facts I’m not aware of, but when I had it about 3 years ago, it was pretty much just a way to relieve pain and I was told that it could give anywhere from 1 to 6 months of relief (I fell in the middle of that range).