The Rumor Mill

Darius Soriano —  March 5, 2012

Welcome to the Rumor Mill, a place to talk about all the rumors, innuendo, and speculation about potential Lakers moves as we approach the trade deadline. In this space we’ll offer up links to reports, opinions on the speculation of the day, and anything else trade related that crosses our minds. This may or may not be a daily feature at FB&G, but we hope it can serve as a place to capture the craziness. As an aside, this feature will only run through the trade deadline this season. So, get comfortable but don’t unpack all your bags yet. ‘Cause just like the circus the trade deadline represents, this post will be on its way to the next town in a couple of weeks.

“The Lakers are in need of a point guard.” – Kurt Helin, ProBasketball Talk

Kurt’s not wrong, of course. The Lakers’ relative weakness at the PG spot has been well documented this season and last. And with Mike Brown’s hiring bringing a new system that requires more than a sideline entry and standing in the corner waiting for a spot up chance from its lead guard, the Lakers’ need for a more creative man at the “one” is on everyone’s minds.

If you clicked the link above, you’ll see that the Lakers are looking at rectifying this issue and are having “exploratory talks” with the Trailblazers about Raymond Felton. The full report is brief, but mentions Steve Blake as a player that would likely head back to Portland.

Of course, a straight swap of Blake for Felton doesn’t work (their salaries aren’t close enough in value with Felton making nearly double what Blake does) so there would have be other pieces involved (McRoberts’ salary would fill this gap, for example) or a more complex deal involving the Lakers’ TPE from the Odom trade with the Blazers sending an additional player (or more) back in the trade also possible.

For what it’s worth, the Blazers may be looking to dump other players, as a report now has them actively shopping Jamal Crawford. The Lakers aren’t listed as one of the teams showing interest in Crawford, but thinking about him on this team certainly is interesting. I mentioned before that a more complex trade could happen with the Odom TPE, and here’s an example that could work should the Lakers sweeten the deal with a draft pick. That’s the type of deal that gives the Lakers a viable PG and another wing option that allows the flexibility of playing Kobe at SF if neither Ron or Barnes are playing well.

Of course, all this is speculation to the nth degree. The latter scenario has the Lakers taking on over 5 million in salary this year (though potentially shedding payroll long term), something other reports have claimed they’d like to avoid.

Furthermore, any deal still comes with risks attached. Right now, chemistry is building with this team. And while their overall talent is still (likely) deficient, they are showing that real strides are being made. The players are starting to believe in themselves and their coaches and that’s an intangible that’s difficult to measure. I’m not saying the Lakers can go on a 2011 Mavs-like run, but I do know that many people picked the Mavs to lose every playoff series they played in mostly because their talent didn’t stack up. Four rounds later, they hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy. Again, not saying the Lakers can do this, but it’s fair to point out that these things have happened.

Going hand in hand with this question of chemistry is that time is short. Earlier today, hoops head and Lakers historian Roland Lazenby tweeted some ideas that were quite thought provoking:

Best case for the Lakers is to stay with Blake, see what happens down the stretch. No time to make anything else work in this short season. Biggest argument for the Lakers goes beyond point guards. Mike Brown has gotten this team to settle a bit finally. Not the time to mix it up. If another deal like the Chris Paul deal presents itself, yes, the Lakers will have to move. A middling deal in a short season? Nah. A deal in the middle of the year could trash Brown’s progress+break down confidence in him as a coach. Bad playoff loss could do the same. Debate over point guards+Lakers personnel could go on ad nauseum. That’s Jim+Mitch’s decision. Hard spot they’re in here with the choices.

Now the last point Lazenby made is a key one – the Lakers are in a tough spot. By the time the trade deadline comes, they’ll likely have choices at their disposal to either make a change or stand pat. Neither option guarantees the Lakers anything, and both offer pitfalls of coming up short and the repercussions of that.

Beyond what Lazenby said, though, there are also real X’s and O’s challenges that come with any trade. We’ve already said that PG is an important position in this offense, so what happens when it gets disrupted by a trade with only 30 (or less) games left to play? Can that new PG pick up the offensive schemes? Can he run the show with that much talent to keep in line at the top of the roster?

There are no assurances a trade helps. Of course, there are no assurances standing pat leads to the improvement many seek, either. There’s inherent risk in both options and both sides must be weighed.

All I know is, I’ll be happy when the deadline comes and goes and we can find out what this team will be when it’s all said and done. With the team playing well now it’s harder to see a move happening, but at the same time, it’s times like those - when the deal comes out of no where – that are both the most and least surprising. Especially with the Lakers.

Darius Soriano

Posts

152 responses to The Rumor Mill

  1. Darius – previous thread you mentioned “giving up” – presumably you were giving up on talking sense into trolls or perhaps one troll in particular. I think that’s an great idea! The next step is what to do about such folks – without naming names of course. I know of at least one forum that has a handy dandy feature – it allows one to block posts by a particular person other users may find annoying.

    Just sayin’

  2. I’ll take Ray Felton and Crawford :) Ray is out of shape so I don’t think he will be the player he was in the past until next season. But Crawford is still playing at a high level.

  3. … may find annoying because, for example, they think they are the smartest person in the room.

  4. There is one guy whose constant ridiculousness has been hard to bear on this forum of late, but I’m not one who advocates banning someone for expressing an opinion, ill-informed or otherwise. It’s easier just to look for said person’s name and ignore his comments.

    Lazenby makes a good point about disruption — but the caveat there is there will be additional seasons after this. I am pleased with Pau’s play this year and would not advocate dealing him for just anyone, but if the Lakers can add a solid, younger PG — but not Rondo, who is overrated beyond belief — and potentially shed some money in the process, that route may be the wiser move. (This very thought again makes me angry over the vetoed Chris Paul deal, but I digress…)

    One hates to suggest throwing in a season when who knows how much longer Kobe has left on the floor, but realistically, the new CBA was as unfriendly to the Lakers as anyone, and this team has to reload with some younger talent. If dealing a Pau or Blake gets Mitch closer to that goal, I’d live with it – the odds that this roster can beat Oklahoma City in seven games are not good, and that team isn’t going to be any worse in 2013 or 2014.

    Two things I would not do: A) take back Odom, as he’s unrealistically pining for and B) trade Bynum, for Howard or almost anyone else. The kid’s a keeper.

  5. The funny thing is I haven’t said anything anyone really disagrees with me on. I’ve said Gasol is declining and is no longer an elite All Star PF. Saying he is behind the likes of Bosh, Kevin Love, Aldridge, Blake Griffin, and Dirk is something the NBA coaches agree on this year. Just four years ago he was the best PF in the NBA in my opinion. I realize as some have said on this site I’m not a “homer.”. And I’m sorry for that. But nobody who isn’t a Lakers fan would say or think Gasol is currently better than those players listed above. However it could be suggested Dirk is not the player Gasol is when considering other aspects of the game not scoring related. That I will listen too.

  6. My take on the FO and trades.

    1. If they could, they would trade Pau for an All-Star (Rondo)/near All-Star (Lowry) and a role player or two with expiring contracts. That way, the team gets a meaningful return, gets the services of 1-2 role players, then saves the $ by not re-upping or re-upping these players at a better price.

    2. I think the FO would like the TPE to not be used.

    3. I believe the FO is looking to trade McBob, and may also be trying to convince a team to take Luke since he has an expiring K after next year.

    4. If the above scenario went down, and let’s use Rondo as an example, though the chances of him coming are very low, the Lakers would get an All-Star, and an expiring K role player in Bass/O’Neal. Then they pocket the savings from the TPE. So by the summer time, the team would save anywhere from 6-8 million off of Pau’s contract, as well as the $9 m on the TPE. They would save approximately $9m more on the luxury tax. That is the ultimate (non-Dwight) scenario in my opinion.

    Houston provides another package, albeit a less financially/talent level wise comparable one. Even assuming the Lowry/Scola for Pau rumor is true, at least the Lakers get a near all star and a rotation player for the price of Pau. But this would still be a costly package b/c Scola has several years left.

    But I’m less convinced the team takes on additional salary via the TPE. The best non-Pau asset is McBob, and possibly Luke (for a player with a K longer than his). Pretty small margin of trading in my opinion. Or we can just sign Gilbert Arenas. :-)

  7. hard to believe that Pau was the best PF in the NBA 4 years ago (2007-2008) when we traded for him. Garnet/dirk/duncan/bosh/stoudmire(sp.) were all still very good then.

    feeding trolls…

  8. People have called me out for stating a few years ago Fisher was a giant liability. People have called me out for suggesting Artest is better for us than Ariza. People have called me out for declaring LeBron is a better player than Kobe. People have called me out for stating last year in the second half of the season Andrew Bynum is better than Pau. People called me out last year in the ore season when I predicted the Heat were a better team than the Lakers. Those are the only things I remember saying on this site where people killed me for saying them with conviction.

  9. 6)
    Yes. That’s debatable. I felt at that time Gasol was better than all those players. Duncan was already in decline and Bosh was the same player he is today. He wasn’t better then. Gasol was better then though and was better than Bosh. And I felt and still feel Gasol was better than Dirk as Dirk was and is only a scorer/shooter. Gasol could do it all. Amd do it all very well. When they matched up ack then Gasol outplayed adirk head to head more often then not. Amare I will give you. Amare at that point could be argued was as good if not better than Gasol. But I would go with Gasol because he was a better defender and passer. And in their primes Gasol and KG I feel were dead even. Four years ago though I feel and felt Gasol was the better player.

  10. At this point, a trade involving someone in the rotation stands a pretty good chance of making things worse due to lack of time to work the new player in for the the old player. Getting someone with just the TPE gives the coaching staff more flexibility – if it doesn’t look like it is going smoothly, they can easily go back to the old rotation.

  11. Can that new PG pick up the offensive schemes?

    ___

    I don’t see any reason to believe they are exceptionally complicated. Sessions is already familiar with them to an extent, one assumes.

    I think a few people, including Lazenby, are overreacting a little to the Lakers’ recent wins. The team’s basic personnel issues are the same, unless MWP starts averaging 12-14 a game and being a beast on D every night. Blake and Fisher are who they are at the ages of 31 and 37; familiarity with the offense will/are help/ing a lbit, but that’s it.

    As far as Robert’s argument that Buss won’t jack up the payroll for a puncher’s chance against OKC–that may well be true. But there are too many caveats to make a Howard deal a great idea. The argument for a massive Howard deal is that he would provide an anchor for the franchise–IF he stays. There are several arguments against it, although I would understand if Buss did it.

    What makes the most sense to me, unless Orlando actually trades Howard here for Bynum and a pick or two, is McRoberts and Morris for Sessions. Sessions has a player option next year which I doubt he exercises, so Buss can let him walk if he likes. Even with the luxury tax payment, it wouldn’t cost all that much and it MIGHT make a difference in post-season, at least in terms of ROI.

    Don’t know if Cleveland would do that–they would probably want a pick as well and Bresnahan reported that the deal was held up over a pick.

    But I will be quite surprised if the Lakers get out of the second round if they stand pat.

  12. Felton is a cancer there are so many reports out of Portland that the locker room is toxic. Crawford is a calm guy and Felton is the only new person there. McMillan is shuffling him in and out the lineup I say NO thanks. Only way is if we get Crawford or Wallace too. The only reason it’s thinkable is because he’s on a expiring.

  13. by trading felton to the lakers, the blazers create a TE large enough to trade for steve. of course, a couple of top 55-protected draftpicks would have to be included.

    (Editor’s Note: The Lakers are well over the cap, so they cannot absorb Felton’s salary and generate a TPE for the Blazers. Also, a TPE is only created in a non-simultaneous trade, -Zephid)

  14. Actually Aaron, I’ll say Pau is better then bosh. Pau destroyed him the last time we played. There are 2 sides to the ball. Give me a guy that plays better defense, passes better and rebounds better over a guy that only scores two points a game more.

  15. I have a good trade idea: how about Lakers trade their exemption along with Steve Blake, Josh McRoberts and a first round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon and Leandro Barbosa, and Aaron Gray. The Lakers get the point guard they so desperately need in Calderon, a solid option on the bench in Barbosa, and an extra big body in Gray. The Raptors will take Blake off your hands, get a solid big in McRoberts and a first round pick. It all works out for both teams.

    (Editor’s Note: You don’t trade TPE’s, you absorb other players into the contract. As constructed, the trade does not work financially because the Lakers can absorb at most Barbosa’s contract of 7.6M, and Calderon+Gray are more than 125% of Blake+McRoberts – Zephid)

  16. 5, the fact that you think no one disagrees with you is probably the root of the issue.

  17. Aaron, One other thing. We all know th D Howard is a flake and the odds of him being moved is slim. And if he isn’t moved the Nets are not going to move D Will. So from the names and deals that we have heard are out there who do you feel we could trade Pau for that gives us a better chance of winning a ring this year?

  18. there are a lot of unhappy players in portland, many of whom become free agents next season or have the option to do so. there’s a minutes crunch, and benchings, and that’s making these guys upset because that kind of thing drives their value down. under normal circumstances their agents can lobby for trades but with an interim GM in place and a murky FO situation I wonder if there’s really nobody for them to turn to. if their backs are against the wall, that may explain why that contingent of players are in revolt or locking horns.

  19. MichaelH: that’s the problem Dwight isn’t sure what he wants to do. Melo, cp3 had no problem making it adamant they wanted out. He has to make up his mind so the process can move along.

  20. Chris J @ 4 – The feature I’ve seen doesn’t involve banning, but an individual user can choose to block a person or persons he/she wants to ignore on an individual basis. The effect is that the annoying person simply … vanishes.

    But you are right; anybody can choose to ignore trolls by simply skipping over comments by annoying persons, which is what I’ve been doing with two commenters recently who think they have all the answers. I think it helps keep my blood pressure in the normal range!

  21. oops. my mistake, re: felton/blake/TE.

  22. Michael H: “better chance of winning a ring this year?” That is not the only question the FO is asking. They are also asking: Can we win a ring this year?

    I do not think the FO will simply add salary to move our chances from 3% to 8%. If we can get ourselves to lets say 20-25% to win it all (in other words – top 3 teams), they will spend as much as they need to.

    Let’s see if we use the TPE for anything other than a blockbuster. Our picks only have value when coupled with the TPE and us adding salary.

  23. What about Jarret Jack. I think he would be a better fit than Felton or Hinrich or Sessions.

    He has a nice mid range game, tough on D and is a leader. He closed out Dallas last Friday…thoughts?

  24. that’s the problem Dwight isn’t sure what he wants to do.

    ____

    I think he wants to play with DWill. The issue is whether that will be in Brooklyn (blingy market, bad team) or Dallas (good team, one star there, but less blingy and cap issues).

  25. rr: That doesn’t seem to be the case. If it was the process would begin to trade him to NJ. Orlando thinks they can keep him no way they let him walk like Shaq did. Melo made it known he wanted NJ, cp3 made his demands known, Dwight isn’t sure. Just hope Lakers don’t miss out on opportunities.

  26. It’s honestly much more annoying to have to wade through the dozen or so posts in every single new topic whining about how they don’t like a particular poster. Someone believing firmly in their own opinion? Doesn’t make them a jerk. Even if they use a little hyperbole to make their points or make a logical leap that you don’t endorse. Informed disagreements (the way they have been occurring for years on this website) make great reading, while the move by certain posters to try to completely silence a solid contributor who has some unpopular opinions is just pathetic. And throwing around the troll label? Come on, he’s been coming here for years and is a Laker fan. Not everyone who disagrees with you is trolling.

  27. I totally agree with Exhelo, no way Jose in trading Steve Blake for headache Felton “a trade involving someone in the rotation stands a pretty good chance of making things worse”.

    Too late to alter the chemistry that is improving between Blake w/kobe, Bynum, G-luck and Murphy. Perhaps, the FO is just trying to put that trade as another trial baloon because they inquired all kinds of PG from the outside like: Arenas, Iverson, Alston. On those on the trading block: Sessions, Calderon, Hinrich, Lowry, Rondo, Williams, Nelson, Nash and finally Felton. Lakers are trying to confuse the league so as not to block those players being mentioned. As I said in previous thread, let’s add but don’t subtract on players that are surging. Move the players who are static on the bench. Worse will come to worst where no teams would like to help the Lakers (although we don’t know the FO report on this player), let’s go with Arenas up to the end of the season and add also ‘sheed in the 2nd unit. For minimum salaries, you never know whether these old reliables could help the team. If they don’t pan, then we’re back to where we are, I think the league is still fear what the purple and gold can do in the playoffs.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/los-angeles-lakers-legit-title-contenders

    BTW, LO would like to bolt out from Dallas and return to LA. I think he can be acquired too at minimum.

    “Howard Holding Up Trades
    Ric Bucher on how the Lakers pursuit of Dwight Howard is holding up other deals and Lamar Odom’s desire to return to LA.” – Ric Bucher of ESPN

  28. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    #26: +1

  29. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Also, I thought Lamar cannot be acquired by LA, unless he is waived by Dallas? At least through the end of the season?

    If that is not true, I’d love to offer Dallas Luke + Josh to get LO back :)

  30. D12: I still am hopeful + here is why. The team that owns D12 on 03/16 will have his Bird rights. Further it behooves D12 to not sign an extension now, and then re-sign with the team that has his Bird rights. If we trade for him, + then he leaves, he will be leaving close to $30 million on the table. Not quite as much as if he stays in Orlando from the beginning, but more than Cuban could offer him. I think the hold up is over the package. Orlando wants AB/PG/TPE/Possibly a pick(S) for D12/Hedu/Jameer. We are probably offering AB/TPE/Pick for D12/Jameer. That is the stare down.

  31. 26,

    I will second to what Matt said, banning a poster is not a good idea especially if you live in a democratic society where speech freedoms are protected. Secondly, accusing someone as a troll because of just being funny with his posts is not a friendly approach in the social forum for Laker fans. I just believe that everything can be solved by being reasonable by offering some suggestions that will improve smoother communications without necessarily being resentful, appear belligerent and/or egotistically arrogant.

  32. And in case I have have not already made it clear – I make the deal Orlando wants. The time is now. D12 is a once a generation player and his destiny is to be a Laker. Mikan/Wilt/Kareem/Shaq + D12

  33. okafor and ariza for luke, blake, fisher, and mcbob.

    use TE on sessions.

    sign sheed and arenas.

  34. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    And finally, +1 on the “no to Felton” movement as well. He is a poor shooter, and will be ineffective in spacing the floor, which is what we need to improve.

  35. @27 The Lakers cannot sign Lamar this season even if Dallas were to buy him out. There is a provision in the new CBA that prevents teams from reacquiring a player that was bought out by another team to prevent this type of thing. The “Ilgauskas Rule” if you will. The only way for the Lakers to reacquire Lamar would be via trade w/ the Mavs and you can bet that wont happen.

  36. As an fyi, I’m not in the habit of banning commenters from the site. I’ve only done it once or twice and that was for people that didn’t respect the commenting guidelines repeatedly over a long period.

  37. 32,

    Robert, everybody in this site would like to have Howard but he has been acting like a “hard to get prostitute” who could not decide whether he wants money, love or engage in gossiping on who is the No. 1 player if he joins a team.

    Secondly, if he doesn’t join the Lakers, I think we are getting the best out of Bynum especially w/ his character in trying to do his job without being affected by rumors. Sometimes a stable character could re-direct talent in the long run.

  38. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Ben Gordon is someone I’d love to see on this team. He is only playing 20 min a game right now for Detroit because of their logjam at guard.

    Yes, his contract is onerous, but if we can get him for a poo-poo platter combination of {Walton + Fish + Draft pick}, it would help Detroit shave some money off their payroll, and we aren’t giving up anything of consequence.

  39. Edwin: You are of course talking sense, but Howard will fit in well: Wilt/Kareem/Shaq:
    They all had personality oddities, “other interests”, nicknames/name changes, + less success than they should have – before they came to us.
    Besides – just let me dream for 10 more days : ) However, we ARE getting him.

  40. i don’t want howard.

  41. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Would Orlando really just let Howard walk away? I mean, with Brook Lopez going down, aren’t the Lakers the only team they can trade Howard to, and get something back in return?

    Now, what happens if they do? Would DWill want to stay in Jersey, go home to Dallas, or come down to LA to play with Kobe and Dwight?

    Yes, the next couple of days are going to be very interesting for sure.

    One thing is for sure – if we are trading for D12, we should not be taking on any of Orlando’s junk as part of the process.

  42. Definitely against us acquiring Felton or Kirk Hinrich, two expensive and overrated players. For some reason, Hollinger has Hinrich listed as a SG. I think he’s more of a combo guard who comes off the bench and plays both guard positions. Either way, his PER is 7.18, which is 74th out of the 79 qualified SGs in the league. His TS% is .425! That is horrible. And while his defense has always been his strong suit, he’s suffered a series of injuries over the past few seasons that, combined with his aging, have taken away a step.

    As for Felton? Meh. Why take on a bloated salary for a short and fat locker room cancer with a PER of 10.45? If you thought Fish’s rebounding has been weak (8.0% defensive rebound rate), then get a load of Felton’s 6.5%. These guys are too short, too slow, and too bolted to the floor to get rebounds unless they’re right to them. With the number of long misses on threes and long twos generated by our interior length, the importance of having a PG who can grab 10% or better of defensive rebound opportunities is often overlooked.

    I’m in the Sessions for the Dallas draft pick camp. His presence on the floor would open up easy scoring opportunities for every single one of the other four players on the court. He also has a DRR% of 12.6, which would be a huge improvement over both Blake and Fisher. The number of shots he takes at the rim would not only be a massive improvement over our PGs, but would also open up easy offensive rebound opportunities for our two excellent seven-footers.

  43. chibi: You are supposed to be letting me dream : ) but since you are not : ) Your trade above:
    “okafor and ariza for luke, blake, fisher, and mcbob”
    In spite of the fact that you have tried to empty our garbage on the Hornets, you are still $4 million short, So to make it work, let’s replace McR with MWP.
    Either way – Mitch would need to bring Vito Corleone + Luca Brasi to get the Hornets to agree to that : )

  44. Zephid,
    Because I go by actual things said. For instance Darius didn’t disagree with anything I wrote. Now he did disagree with the pretemd things Darius thought I said about Pau Gasol. But nothing I as ally wrote Darius really disagreed with. I just said he has slipped athletically and all those guys that made the all star team ahead of him are better than he is. Now maybe he was talking about something others had wrote but I didn’t see Anyang anyone else wrote that said anything other than that either. Get it?

  45. Addendum to No on Felton: the guy functions best in the open court. He’s lousy in the half court offense, which is what our veteran team will be running for the vast majority of possessions.

  46. Dude,
    Agreed… Kirk is a has been. Ray is out of shape.

  47. 26 & 31 – Speaking for myself, I didn’t accuse anybody by name of being a troll, at least not on this particular thread. I did use the term recently after a tr … I mean individual, unfairly (in my mind) labelled someone else as such. Trolling relates to intent, and who can possibly understand another’s true intent?

    As far as banning goes, I don’t recall suggesting it here on this forum. Maybe somebody else did and I missed it. Hope that clears up any misunderstandings.

  48. Robert: D12 aint coming here. I wish he would (or could), but that just is not happening without the Lakers taken on significant baggage. Sorry, pal.

  49. any_one_mouse March 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    @35 (Paul) – Thanks for clarifying the LO/Dallas situation. Are you implying that Dallas can actually trade LO back to the Lakers?

  50. #44. Nice of you to speak for me. But since you seek clarification, I don’t think Pau’s a worse player than all those guys listed. Considering both offense and defense, I prefer Pau over Griffin and Aldridge and it’s close with Love. Numbers tell part of the story but so does the role a player is asked to play by his coaches. This is the part of the equation that’s seemingly getting ignored but it is what it is at this point. As I mentioned in the other thread, I give up.

    Before I do give up though, I’ll add that I don’t care what the coaches think, really. Not when it comes to voting for things like all-star teams as they rarely do that stuff themselves. They staff that out to someone else (typically a low level assistant).

  51. Also, it is true that Orlando risks losing a lot by letting D12 walk away – but doesn’t D12 also lose an obscene amount of money by walking away from Orlando (I thought someone said like $30 million if he’s given a max contract by Orlando over what he can make with the Nets or Dallas)???? Also, isn’t Orlando over the cap? so if they lose D12, they would theoretically be under the cap for next year – the same year they have some horrendous contracts coming off the books.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Orlando owners could be thinking: “If D12 wants to walk away from $30m, then screw him. Let him walk away from that. In the end, we end up saving millions in salary and could be looking for a windfall in draft picks in just one more season.”

  52. Darius,
    Okay. Now I know you actually disagree with me. Thanks for the clarification. You never stated that before. As you know last year and in the offseason I said Gasol was better than Love and Blake. Unfortunately is see Gasol now struggling a little bit to get off his own shot which now puts him in the love category. While Blake Griffen and Aldridge got even better Gasol got worse. That’s what I see.

  53. MannyP: You and Chibi are being so mean to me : ) Just leave me in my dream world : )
    In any case, I think you will agree with me that it is ironic that the rest of the board is talking about trolls + who said what to whom, while Robert + Manny P are “speculating” about D12 : )

  54. #54. See, I look to 2009 and 2010 and say that Pau should have nothing left to prove. Last season’s playoff performance was unfortunate for a variety of reasons. But one of the major ones is how it’s seemingly tainted Gasol in a way that makes it seem like he’s less a player than he is or that he’s not reliable. In both Dallas games this year he’s played excellent D on Dirk (and in the 2nd game was tremendous on offense). Against Boston he was a monster on both sides of the ball. Look at his game log from February (which was a tough month for the team in terms of schedule) and see how he performed.

    It’s simply frustrating for me that folks continue to view Pau through this prism of him not being good enough. On twitter earlier I compared how he’s viewed to how fans viewed Odom. Pau’s essentially molded his game to provide whatever the team needs and in doing so fans seem to appreciate him less than ever before.

  55. Only thing more appealing to Orlando from NJ is picks. Bynum would be by far the best player they’d get in a deal, but those picks from NJ and taking contracts i’m sure Lakers won’t take is the difference.

    Miami didn’t have Bosh and Lakers needed 17 from Metta to win. Lakers haven’t turned a corner their just playing better together. It’s still not enough to win it all. Scoring and athleticism are the reasons why Lakers won’t win 4 out of 7 vs OKC, SAS, LAC, DAL. Those teams have deep enough rosters to make up for a star player’s bad game. Lakers don’t know what there going to get from night to night.

    Quick fixes won’t work and C level players won’t enhance our chances. Have to make a splash.

  56. I can’t speak for you buddy, but I am a troll. :-)

    Anyway, I hate to poop on people’s dreams (yeah, a dream pooping troll), but I think that Lazenby is right: absent a CP3 like opportunity, it is unlikely that we see any trade in this shortened season. This rings particularly true after taking into consideration the potential salary slam the Lakers will face if they take on additional salary. At this stage, the best option is to remain put and see what deals are to be made in the off season. With D12 and Deron up for grabs, the Lakers can move some pieces around even if they are not the teams to get D12 or Deron.

    Oh, and the team can always try and convince Dfish and Luke to retire!

  57. Manny: In all seriousness – much of what you say has merit. We will not lose D12 to NJ. The Magic “might” do exactly what you say. This is what I call “pulling a Cleveland”. They will lose out + he will go to Cuban. With us they could dump Hedu and Jameer. JN has one of the worst contracts in basketball with a player option for $9 next yr. Hedu is due $12 next yr. If we throw in picks, it is a no brainer for them, but then again – do they have the brain? And does Jimbo have the fortitude? We will see.

  58. It’s “FORUM Blue And Gold” – not “AARON Blue And Gold”. My two cents is that all the “meta” isn’t necessary, whether from posters or from Aaron himself; it’s not about who agrees with Aaron, it’s about the merits of the substantive discussion – which is why people come to FB&G: the quality of substantive discussion. Let’s not let the side dish of continual self-aggrandizement distract from the plausible commentary in the main dish of his comments.

  59. #52. Griffin is a sieve on defense. His rotations are terrible and he’s often lost on that side of the ball. One of the reasons the Clippers ceiling as a contender is as questionable as it is is due to the fact that they don’t defend well and in their starting lineup it’s Blake (and now Foye or Williams – whoever starts) that are the weakest links.

    Now, Blake is a force on offense with his quickness, athleticism, and explosiveness. But, as you’ve said hundreds of times before on this site, basketball is a two way sport with two sides of the ball. I simply can’t give Griffin a pass for being a sub-par defender.

    As for LMA, his D and rebounding need work too. His scoring is up and his repertoire on that side of the ball is expanding. But Pau does more for the Lakers on that side of the ball than LMA does for the Blazers. Pau’s a key offensive initiator and scorer. He holds the ball (on some sets) more than the PG’s in setting up the action. And, he’s an active passer out of the post in a way that gets his teammates going (Blakes big 3 pointer yesterday when the Heat cut the lead to 4 was the perfect example).

    This game is very simple, but it’s also very nuanced. Lot’s of gray area in how a player can impact the contest. Pau, for all the warts people want to point out, is still doing so much for this team in both tangible (stats) and intangible ways. It’s to the point where the fanbase that underrates him the most is the one that roots for the Lakers.

  60. @56 – I’m a lot more optimistic than you are regarding our Western Conference chances. With the way the Lakers have been playing, if it continues through the rest of the regular season, I believe that our guys would only be underdogs against OKC. We still match up very well with DAL and SAS (it’s old guys vs. old guys).

    As for the Clips, I don’t see Jordan and Griffin being able to contain Bynum down low or Pau up high and down low. The Clippers also missed out on JR Smith after Chauncey went down, and I don’t see Foye as a sound defensive option on either Ron-Ron or Kobe. I also can’t see a Vinny Del Negro-coached team advancing deep into the playoffs.

  61. Darius,

    I think people don’t appreciate Pau’s contributions because as you said, they are nuanced. It’s like in baseball – people don’t value the 5-tool glue guy that does everything the team asks for nearly as much as they do the slugger that leads the team in HRs/RBIs/OBP etc. even though he might be an error-machine in the outfield. Like it or not, sports fans generally flock to the flashy plays the and players that make them.

  62. Dude: fair assessment and all true. I’m rooting for more wins because Lakers are dominant at home. But we would agree those teams have more scoring punch than Lakers. I know Lakers defense is elite but when they have to score 100 points can they do it. What happens when Marion gives Kobe problems in a 7 game series? I just don’t see the scoring punch to beat those four teams 4 times out of 7.

    I agree the only true threat is OKC. I can also see Lakers losing to all 4 of those teams in a series.

  63. Darius,
    I have been on this blog almost from the beginning and it seems we Laker fans always need a scapegoat each year.

    Several years ago it was Walton, then Lamar, now Pau. This never seems to end, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over the fact that fans don’t seem to appreciate Pau.

  64. Don @ 59 – right on. I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask commenters to do some self-editing. Is it too much to ask a few basic courtesies?

    A. Follow commenting guidelines that are posted on this site.

    B. Share opinions, thoughts, analysis and data without saying things like “what nobody understands” or everybody is missing the point,” or “if you really understand basketball.” There is no need for that. Let your points speak for themselves.

    C. Don’t repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and…. I think you get the point.

    Just my two cents.

  65. Orlando is a complete mess when it comes to their financial situation. Not only do they have Hedu and Jameer, they also have BB Davis and Richardson locked up to multiyear deals through 15 as if they are future cornerstones. Combine all of that with the fact that their SuperStar wants to bolt town, and you have a franchise as desperate as the Lakers – we are a match made in heaven.

  66. #53/robert–it does work
    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6oyjfdk

    it’s basically a salary dump. it saves the hornets $20M.

  67. Darius @60,
    I agree with everything except I think you overblow how bad Griffen is on defense. He is an average defender at worst this year. His rotations on defense and how fast he can make them are his best defensive attributes as he is super quick and unfortunately for him and the clippers isn’t very long. He can never be a good defensive player because he isn’t longs all enough at 6-8 to make up for his tiny TRex arms. I think you overblow Gasol’s defense. While he is a plus defender the guy has never made an all defensive team for a reason. He is a good defender but has never been a great. He uses his length effectively though on that side of the ball.

    As for LMA… You are right. Gasol does more for us offensivley. That’s because he is our only true PG. The Blazers have guys to pass the ball. But we need to be honest… Besides his passing what does Gasol do anymore that’s great? He isn’t a great scorer anymore. I just don’t see that kind of athletisim where he can dominate one on one match ups like he used to be able to do. He can’t dominate defensivley like Bynum. He isn’t a guy who dominates the boards. Yes… He is an above average player at every aspect of the game except three point shooting. And even there he can make a few. He just isn’t the star player he has been his entire career where he used to be able to carry teams for entire games. That all changed midway through the season last year. He has become a great role player as apposed to the great player he used to be.

    I also feel like you don’t take seriously enough what Gasol did through two playoff series last season. He went up against two bad teams defensivley at the PF spot and just was awful. To me that shows that he is soft for letting personal matters get in the way of playoff basketball or it was a sign of his athletic decline. Maybe it was both. But I think it was not a suprise that the team imidiatley was shopping him after that and eventually traded him for CP3. Since the trade was revoked it has been apparent to everyone they were actively shopping him again.

    We can disagree on this as I’ve thought as you know so much of Pau Gasol through his entire career. He will go down as one of the best PFs of all time and in my opinion he was as good as KG in KG’s prime. But I’m not afraid to admit when players get worse. I’m not afraid to admit when all time great Lakers get worse. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am. I think while Gasolmis only 32 the problem with him is he never took seriously weight training and was never a workout nut. If he did those two things he would still be in his prime.

  68. Dude: I would be foolish to think lakers don’t have a chance with our big 3 and experience. Just this is the same roster as last year and teams have gotten better. Opposing teams will take one of our 3 out of a series through game planning and who will step up for Lakers.

  69. Pau can do everything: handle the ball, pass, post up, shoot, set up other players, play defense and rebound, etc., and do it beautifully. When he is having a workmanlike game it can be easy to think he is not doing much.

    The fact that Kevin McHale, and many others around the league are working the phones trying to swing a deal for Pau should speak volumes about his value.

    Also, lets not forget he is a good teammate and a winner.

  70. chibi: I stand corrected – sorry. I did not check this in the machine. However with the 8 win differential, I think that would be where Luca would be needed : ) Also, Fish is literally not tradable for several reasons + Nobody wants Luke : ) However, you are thinking of alternatives to the present roster + that is a good thing !!!!

  71. Pau has proven himself to be a more valuable asset than Bynum for three+ years, and yet many here would trade him over Bynum hands down. I like Pau. I’m not going to excuse his shortcomings, but he’s worth more to this team than Bynum: he plays two spots, has sturdy knees, is a better passer, shoots better and has a higher bball IQ.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, I think the Lakers should stand pat for now. I think the market will be better in the offseason.

  72. Since this is the rumor mill, I have a question for those of you that understand the inner workings of the NBA and the CBA:

    Supposedly, Odom wants to come back to LA and, specifically, the Lakers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only way that can happen is via free agency this offseason, right? I mean, the Mavs can’t trade him back for the TE and if they release him, he can’t sign with us, right?

  73. Funky Chicken March 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Why is it so unacceptable to say that Pau isn’t the same player that he once was? He’s not. Nobody (that I’m aware of) diminishes Pau’s role in the 2009 and 2010 championship runs, but how long does he get to live off those seasons before it is acceptable to note that his effort, on the court activity, and results are not quite up to that standard?

    Comparing criticism (if that’s what trade talk is) of Pau to criticism of Lamar is unreasonable. Lamar was a career-long underachiever who lived up to his potential a grand total of one time–last year. It was entirely predictable (and predicted) that LO would dramatically fall off this year, when he didn’t have the forced discipline of playing summer ball. I was among those who criticized Lamar for his incredible inconsistency. I see none of that with Pau. In fact, Pau is in many ways the anti-Lamar. He has worked on his game in the offseason (unlike LO), can use both hands (unlike LO), puts up consistent numbers game in game out (unlike LO), and handled the CP3 trade with incredible class (unlike LO).

    What is now being said of Pau is what is said of almost all NBA players: he’s 31, and he’s not the guy he was when he was 28 or 29. Now, when you’re the best 7 footer in basketball a few years ago and you decline a bit, you’re still among the league’s best big men. Again, I see nobody challenging that claim.

    The idea I keep seeing is that for this team, THIS version of Pau may not be the most effective use of $19 million (just like the version of Kobe in 2 years will not likely be the most effective use of $30 million). What is so objectionable about this? It doesn’t demean Pau’s contributions to the Lakers by pointing out his current value any more than it demeans Derek Fisher to say that he’s ridiculously overpaid for what he brings to the table at this point of his career. Derek is a great guy and a great Laker, who contributed mightily to the last two titles. That does not, however, in any way lessen the need to move him out of the way for an improvement. For some reason, that sentiment doesn’t seem to elicit the same reaction as the idea that possibly trading Pau now might be a good move, while he still has tremendous value given his obviously still high skill level.

  74. @69 – Kevin, I think both DAL and SAS have gotten worse from last season. The Mavs lost both Chandler and Barea, two guys who gave us a lot of trouble in the playoffs. I see Pau playing a lot better in any series with DAL than he did last year, because of the extra incentive of redemption. The Spurs have gotten older, and might be less healthy overall for the playoffs. Can Manu and Parker stay healthy enough to pose a significant playoff threat? I don’t think so.

    Obviously, compared to last season, the Clips are better, Minny is better, Memphis is better, and OKC is better. However, both Denver and Portland are worse. Ultimately, I see this Laker team as winning the division and earning either the #2 or #3 seed. Once the postseason starts and the pace of the game slows down (plus more rest between games), the Lakers will be a tough load for any opponent to overcome.

  75. Aaron: your a funny guy as good as KG in his prime lol. Put the pipe down son. I agree with almost everything else you said

    Dude: your right I like our chances but too much is made up of the Miami game. They have dominated Lakers and didn’t have a true post player. I may have more faith when lakers beat a top tier team full strength.

  76. The Lakers financial model is markedly different under Jim Buss. Regardless of how anybody feels about that, it’s quite obvious that the organization has gone through a significant shift – its operations are leaner and its income is greater. Some of the spending curbs have to do with the anticipation of steeper penalties and revenue sharing under the new CBA, and some (IMO) have to do with the knowledge that it’s a family business and will be passed down at some point in the future. This isn’t news to anybody of course – I only point it out because I think any acquisition, big or small, has to pass the spread sheet test these days.

  77. Dude: As usual – your thoughts are logical + your conclusion is not outlandish. However, you are presuming that Manu+TP will be broken down by the playoffs, while your counterpart in SA is probably saying the same about us : ) And what is he saying about whether the Lakers have gotten better/worse? For sure he is saying older : ) We need to get past the Mavs, Spurs, Clips of the world, just to have a shot at OKC, who will have home court. So if you are saying “puncher’s chance” – then yes.

  78. Completely agree with Dude regarding Hinrich and Felton. Kirk is no longer a viable starting PG, and Felton is a poor fit. The best thing about those two are their expiring contracts.

    - Lowry is also overrated by Morey and Lakers fans alike – he’s not even in the top 10 at his position. His contract is fantastic for his production, but he won’t get us to championship level. I’d ask for a boatload in order for me to give Pau to Houston.

    - The only realistic net-positive trade scenario I’ve heard so far regarding Pau is the swap for Rondo (I don’t consider Pau-for-Deron rumor real). Everything else would not be worth it unless it brings all of the following: youth with potential, first-round picks, and cap relief (dump Luke).

    The closer we get to the deadline, the more I think Pau stays. There is just no trade out there that improves our team. He is still one of the most valuable big men in the league, regardless of what some trolls think. If we didn’t have Drew on the team, Pau’s numbers would probably be several points higher in every statistical category. Unfortunately waiting longer will probably only lower Pau’s value.

    So what’s going to happen? Possibly a minor adjustment trade for depth (McRoberts for combo guard? I’d love to get OJ Mayo) or signing (Arenas). And then cross our fingers. All of them. Toes included.

  79. @(73) MannyP Here is what the CBA says about a traded player returning to the team that traded him if released by his new team.

    If I understand this correctly, Odom cannot return to the Lakers this season if he is released by Dallas.

    2011 CBA: If a player is traded and subsequently waived by his new team, he cannot re-sign with his original team for one year following the trade or until July 1 after the last season of the player’s contract, whichever is earlier.

  80. Manny: The odds of LO coming back to the Lakers are worse than the odds of a Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries reunion. More importantly please realize this. The Lakers will sign zero FA this summer and they may not even sign any after 13 (think about this for a moment – cause it is true). However if you must know how the Lakers “could” get LO: First Dallas would ditch him, then nobody else wants him, then we “could” sign him for the min. The first 2 of the 3 actually could happen.

  81. 81,

    I believe that rule was instated after Ilgauskas got traded to Washington in 2010 only to be waived and end up back in Cleveland 30 days later.

  82. I listened to the SportsGuy podcast with Cuban. He was explaining that the reason he didn’t sign Chandler was because the new CBA is likely to re-price contracts downward and they are seeking flexibility.

    Might have been a bluff, but it did make a lot of sense. If you sign a big contract now, with today’s idea of value, you will be stuck in years 3 and 4 of the CBA with no real options in the event of an injury or to add one more guy when the value is re-priced lower.

    I think this could be what we are seeing with the Lakers. The TPE won’t be used, and if Pau is traded it will be for someone with lower salary + expiring contracts.

    In the other Rumor thread, I mentioned the possibility of DW, Beasley and AR from MIN. Here it is:
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7upk5xb

  83. My only question in regards to trades is what are the Lakers waiting for? Why is it necessary to wait until March 15th to make the deal? Do we really feel like someone is going to cave and just give us a point guard at the deadline?

    I just feel like if you’re going to do a trade you would want to make it as soon as possible so that the player(s) can get acclaimated as soon as possible.

  84. If we’re talking trade rumors, am I the only one not enamored with Derrick Williams? Maybe I haven’t seen him play enough. But I don’t see a future All-NBA player, or someone worth trading Pau for, in any case.

    I’d trade some filler for Felton (maybe), but I wouldn’t trade Blake. Blake’s inconsistent, but when he’s on, he has a good chemistry with the rest of our players and plays the point as a true (if unspectacular) PG.

    I might also be the only person in this forum who actually thinks we have a better chance against OKC than Dallas. I just think Dallas matches up very well with us, and we have no answer for Nowitzki. On top of that, we seem to have no one that can cover Terry effectively. OKC is a better team than Dallas overall, but I just think we match up better against them. While Durant’s improved and Artest has slipped, we still retain one of the only defenders who has a chance at making Durant work hard. Brooks has to either play an offensive zero in Thabo or subject James Harden to Kobe’s torture chamber in the post. I still don’t like Westbrook’s judgment, and think he’ll shoot his team out of a game at least once or twice in a series. I probably have a very different perspective than most though.

  85. Still of the belief that:

    1. No way do we trade Drew, Pau and Picks for DH12, Hedu and Nelson (slotted into our TPE). Reasons being that DH12 has given us no indication that he wishes to resign with us, Hedu’s contract is atrocious, his game is obviously on the decline and he’s a terrible defender. Nelson is having a bad season and has admitted that rumors of DH12 wanting to team up with a better PG is affecting him mentally. Jim n Mitch need to stick to their guns: Bynum and Picks for DH12 or Nothing. We keep it moving. Remember, with our obvious improvement from earlier n the season, Otis not having any offers that can trump ours and the fact that they might b on the verge of losing him for nothing, we have the leverage.

    2. What I prefer is for us to maintain our Big 3 and make changes that might seem minor (compared to a Blockbuster), but n reality, would b Major for us. Possibly, as another commentor mentioned, Josh Mac and a pick for Sessions. Also, since he’s obviously being shopped, J. Crawford for Steve Blake. A move such as this would cement us as the favorites n the West and put us n title contention n my opinion. Only Miami would b clear cut favorites over us n a 7 game series.

  86. @80 – Great post Avidon. I agree with you on every point.

    @84 -tviper, I thought the same thing listening to Cuban. I don’t think he was bluffing at all. I am sure if he can get a top 5 talent he will – but otherwise the numbers just don’t make sense and there will be a repricing when the escalating tax kicks in.

    I think the Lakers need to bite the bullet and rent a PG for this year and make a run. In the off season, Pau will probably be gone and the rebuilding will start.

  87. Snoopy,

    Ditto re: Derrick Williams. He is a Marcus Fizer 2.0 to me. The only player worth Pau on that team is Love, and that would be a stupid trade for the T-Wolves.

    However, disagree about us not having anyone to guard Nowitzki. The year that W’s eliminated Mavs in the first round, analysts noted Dirk’s inability to deal with Matt Barnes’ pesky D.

  88. I’ve been saying it all along Pau is getting moved by trade deadline. Now is the time FO already traded him once then traded Lamar to Dallas for a pick. This is all about 2014 luxury tax penalties. If not for 4 bad contracts he would be staying.

    Drew makes 12 mil if Lakers don’t get Dwight they have to pay Drew the max. Can’t afford to pay Kobe, Drew and Pau all max money then full the roster out. I also feel if Miami doesn’t win this year they’ll get broken up. Lockout is doing what they set out to do have competitive balance.

  89. Tra: Please reconcile your first paragraph with your second. If “we have the leverage”, then Orlando will cave and take your mini offer, as opposed to my “kitchen sink” offer. However you then talk about keeping the big 3 as your preference and also like that is the more likely occurrance. So rather than saying “we have the leverage”, are you not really saying that we will walk from the deal and allow them to “pull the Cleveland”?

  90. Would just like to point out that, despite everyone falling all over themselves over Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and how magical a season the Clippers are having compared to the old and crumbling Lakers, the Lakers are now in first place in the Pacific Division.

  91. Maybe I’m living in the past, but what Pau did for us in 2009 and 2010 earns him my implicit trust and I really don’t see him having regressed since. His head may not be screwed on right, but other than Kobe, nobody else on our team really brought it every day.

    I would include Fisher and Luke on the list of players who bring it everyday except that they have so little to bring ;)

  92. Snoopy, just for the record, I don’t see a future all-nba player in DW and certainly not on Pau’s level. That said, he is young and athletic and would be a nice starting stretch 4 to pair with Bynum in MB’s system, while at the same time saving significant $ this year and the next 2.

  93. Despite the fact we complain so much, we have to admit things are looking brighter at this point. Maybe it’s just me but does anyone else see some similarities between this laker team and last season’s mavs?

  94. Because of our W yesterday and another L for Clips, Laker are now ahead by 1/2 game w/ similar number of losses. CP3 and Griffin could not carry the team. I believe that is the important of the Lakers having Kobe plus the twin towers. Improve the landscape but not the three pillars which is the foundation of the team. Don’t rebuild while Kobe is still with the team because rebuilding would destroy momentum and the morale of the team. Look at the Season 2014-15, I think only Bynum will have an extension if he’s not traded this season, the rest is zero. That’s the time to rebuild and I think Kobe will re-sign at a lower salary if he hasn’t opted for retirement. It is a possibility, he would play in China or EuroLeague after his stint with the Lakers.

  95. I really don’t care what trade the Lakers make just as long as Fisher is not starting Msrch 16 and on.

    Another zfisher game Sunday. Gives up 4 three pointers by his man. Three turnovers, 4 fouls. 3 points in over 25 minutes.

    You can not be a contender playing 4 on 5 on offense and 5 and 4 on defense. Fisher is by far the worst starting player in the NBA and the difference between first round and out and playing for the WCF. Don’t give me junk about the two games he scored more 10 this year. 2 out out 36 is pathetic.

    Anyone is a improvement. ANYONE!

  96. Pau’s been a great Laker and I’d venture one of the best passing big men of all time. He reminds me of Luke Walton’s old man in that respect.

    The way he seemingly instantly picked up the Laker’s offensive sets when he first arrived in LA was revelatory. We’ve been lucky to have him to root for.

    I’d love to see him retire a Laker, although not expecting this to happen.

  97. #92.. I would agree except we have no one coming off the bench to fill it like Terry does. Our bench is tough and hard-nosed but lacks folks who can create their own offense. The game slows way down in April, May and June. Perfect for what this team wants to accomplish smash mouth half court basketball like the Celts did in 08? I think we are two minor pieces away. it’s gonna be fun!

  98. I know 2 things for a fact.

    1) Come March 16th, Derek will still be wearing a Lakers uni.

    2) Come playoff time, Derek will make a couple of career highlight plays in the form of a gigantic shot or a much-needed defensive stop.

    Yeah we need a better starting point guard. But nobody we can realistically get will be as big as Derek will be in the clutch. Nobody.

  99. @97 Ken O – While I’m hoping for a Sessions pickup, I don’t see anything else available that would help us in an incremental trade. Acquiring Felton or Hinrich would be a lateral move at best, and far more likely to be a disaster. I can’t believe that the FO is actually in talks about acquiring Felton, who makes $7.56 million this season and is a short and fat locker room cancer that needs to play for a fast-paced team.

    As for Hinrich, he couldn’t hit a bull in the rear with a bass fiddle and he’s lost a step on defense. His PER is barely above 7.0, which is horrifyingly bad. Even Fish’s crappy PER is in the 8.5 range.

    I think breaking up our big three would likely end up being a huge mistake. I know the front office is waiting on Dwight, but I just don’t see him coming here. All the leaks coming from Orlando are saying that he won’t extend his contract with the Lakers if he’s traded here, and I don’t believe that Jimmy Buss would part with Drew if Dwight doesn’t want to extend. My guess is he stays with Orlando for the rest of the season.

  100. Just a note. Banning anyone who has not violated posted rules may be questionable as this is a public forum.

    Although if I had a vote I would collectively laugh at anyone who uses the word “troll” unless he is under 14 or in protective custody.

    Just guessing but that is probably not a business owner, graduate with a Master’s Degree or a member of a local Mensa Group.

    Probably really good at video games though!

  101. Kevin Love is a beast his ceiling is crazy high. He’s putting up Moses Malone and Kareem type numbers in his 4th year. What a talent. And they say the east produces more talent than the west. HA!

  102. /darius,

    Ths is a very well reasoned post. I especially agree with your comments about Pau Gasol. This does not appear to be a good time for a major disruptive trade. Chemistry has been gurgling and bubbling among the Laker 14, bonding has taken place, and missing mojo showed up in that shoving match against the Heat.

    I know that many on this blog would like a 3 that could body and intimidate Durant and James, score when needed from almost any spot on the floor, with playoff experience in clutch situations, capable of getting key steals with the game on the line like Ron Artest used to do–wait: we’ve still got Ron. He just changed his name this year to MWP–but he’s back!.

    I know that many here would like Fisher only playing in certain key closeout moments–like he did to the Heat with that unconventional scoop shot on Sunday. Steve Blake seems to be holding down minutes in that pg slot pretty well, but I could see a bit more help.

    Who could come in at PG who already knows the Laker big three but could provide extra speed, better shooting, and is a true pg?

    The only pg I can think of who could almost instantly fit in–without disrupting chemistry–is Jordan Farmar.

    He knows where the Lakers locker room is at Staples. His salary and Blake’s salary are identical ($4 mil), and Jordan’s future does not look bright behind DWill with the Nets.

    There’s been no talk about it–but it would make a lot of sense.

  103. I am really hoping that we do not trade Blake for Felton. Felton’s game has really fallen off since he left NY. And for me I want to add a PG and Keep Blake to run the 2nd unit. Of all the guys out there Sessions makes the most sense. If it costs us that 1st rounder from Dallas, I am ok with that. 1st that pick is heavily protected and they don’t really have to give it to us for 5 years. And 2nd, this years draft maybe one of the deepest but it’s not real deep with PG’s. Sessions is probably better then anyone we can draft.

  104. “Considering both offense and defense, I prefer Pau over Griffin and Aldridge and it’s close with Love. ” – Darius

    PERFECT!!!

    Pau x Griffin? That’s a joke…It happened twice, Pau owned the kid BAD!!

  105. Well with the Clippers losing to the T-Wolves tonight the Lakers are now 1st in the Pacific. How could a YOUNG and ATHLETIC group like the Clips trail a bunch of old fogey’s like the Lakers in the standings? A real head scratcher. At least that defensive dynamo Griffin held Love under 40.

  106. Pau is better than Griffin. Simple. Much better defender, similar rebounder, much better passer, much more versatile offensive game. Yes, Blake is a physical specimen and can dunk like no one’s business. But until he can take and make the 15-18 footer with confidence, he can be well-guarded by someone with more length… like Pau.

    As for Pau for Rondo – no thanks. One of the main problems we have on this team is that we can’t shoot from the outside. So why add a player who is actually afraid of doing so? We actively *beg him to shoot* whenever we play him! Yes, he’s a great passer, a fine defender, and can be a one-man fast break at times. But he’s not worth giving up Pau.

    Seemingly the only viable move at this point is Sessions. He can’t shoot from the outside either, but at least he wouldn’t cost us Pau, and he would give us more opportunities at the rim.

  107. Brian,

    While your right that for his career Sessions hasn’t been much of an outside shooter, it looks as though he has worked on it. He is shooting 42.6 from 3 this year.

  108. Farmar has occurred to me as well, and I brought him up here once. McRoberts and Ebanks for Farmar might appeal to the Nets.

  109. I like that idea drrayeye..

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=85xmut4

    McRoberts and Morris for Farmar.

    Farmar’s stats: 21mpg, 10.3pts, 47.5%fg, 46.3%3p, 93.5%ft, (TS 60.4%!), 18.61PER

    New Jersey cuts $1 million of its cap, gets a good young backup for Humphries and/or a cheap replacement if Humphries bolts next year and a cheaper backup PG in Morris. A project PG, granted, but cheaper and younger.

    We get a 25 year old point guard who can penetrate and dish, hit from the outside and free throw line, has championship experience, knows most of the roster, and STILL has a shot to become the Lakers starting point guard of the future. He’d be learning the new system, sure, but he won’t be coming to it fresh from the triangle, he’s had a season and a half under Avery Johnson, learning daily from Deron, in a PG centric offense, which is much more similar to what we’re running than the triangle.

    I have a sinking feeling that somehow he’d still be playing behind Fisher though. I wish I was joking.

  110. Rondo is evidently shooting better this year as well, although he – and Sessions – may yet revert to mediocrity or worse.

  111. @rr 110, I’d swap out Ebanks for Morris if NJ insisted on it. Or throw in a 2nd round pick with McRoberts & Morris. I’d like to hang on to Ebanks if at all possible, he’s our one promising young guy next to Goudelock.

  112. Why not bring back Sasha from Turkey while we’re bringing Farmar back ;)

    Farmar couldn’t crack the rotation before, I don’t see him spelling the role now…

  113. They simply need to find a way of adding Beasley and Sessions.

  114. Farmar would be a good pickup but I’d rather have Blake. If you make a small move get someone with upside like Evan Turner he’s out of the Philly rotation and has the same agent as Kobe. Or Lou Williams, Nick Young if there available maybe even Stuckey he fits in the trade exception. I hope a 1st isn’t used on a rental or scrub like Beasley. Barnes has proven his worth

  115. Farmar couldn’t crack the rotation before, I don’t see him spelling the role now…
    ___

    Farmar was in the rotation, actually. He just didn’t start.

    The Triangle is gone and so is Phil. Farmar, like Sessions, is not a Triangle PG–that is why Sessions had lousy numbers in Minnesota under Rambis. Farmar is in his prime, and Fisher is even older. Also, Farmar, as much as people complained about him, was more productive, even in the Triangle, than Blake has been.

  116. I think NJ will keep Farmar as insurance in case D-Will bolts. Looking at Jordan’s shooting stats, I’d say there is a strong chance of regression to the mean in the second half of this season.

  117. Steve Nash has to be a very loyal dude to not be tempted to hop on the 10 to LA. I pray he comes to his senses.lol

  118. “scrub like Beasley. Barnes has proven his worth”

    Friend, in the picture dictionary, the definition of scrub is a smiling Matt Barnes. And while Beasley is adjusting to not starting and it shows in his stats, for a team looking for shooting from distance, I’d take his .418 from 3 over Barnes’ .283 every day of the week and twice on Sundays for the doubleheader, as it were. And the team needs souls who can at least try and create their own shots. Career-wise, Beasley is 13.7 FGA in 28.5 minutes while Barnes is 6 in 21.1. Beasley is also 9 years younger than Barnes, so he might actually get better while Barnes is pretty much all that he’s ever going to be (Beasley is 23 years old, so back in the day, this would be his first season after 4 years of college). Maybe playing with some souls like Kobe, Pau, etc., can help mature him and refine his game. From a piece this past December, LeThug (Wade) on Beasley:

    “Michael is an unbelievable talent,” Wade said. “And he can erupt any game, any moment. The ability that he has to use both hands around the basket, finishing. His jumpshot. He has all the tools. With Michael, it’s just going to take him to continue to grow at the game, and get to a winning environment, and start understanding what his team needs from him. I mean, he’s a good player. He’s one of the best young talents that we have in the game. But he has the potential to be a great player. If he wants it. And that’s what we always told him in Miami. So we’ll see.”

  119. Sorry, forgot to add that this is what the team would want Beasley to grow into every game:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM1PsCY-DOo

  120. 119,

    An expert probing PG like Nash/Rondo would do wonders for our offense. We don’t have anyone creating opportunities off the dribble. If we did, our 3-PT % would go up due to significantly better looks, the bigs would get easier buckets inside, and Kobe wouldn’t tire as much from not having to facilitate.

    But Nash isn’t going anywhere.. especially not to a division rival.

  121. Just watched the game again from a download.

    In this game, even though the Lakers played pretty well, I think it is obvious that a little crispness and timing is still missing in the offense.

    It often takes them 8-10 seconds to get anything going at all, and the passes are delivered just a fraction of a second late, which gives a good defensive team like Miami time to recover.

    Part of the problem was at times bringing the ball up, which just took to long for both Fisher and Blake against Chalmers.

    There also didn’t seem to be much in terms of counters to good fronting defense. The Spurs often run great weak side screen plays, where the ball gets swung to the open man on top, who finds the fronted post-player from a better angle.

    But I really like what I saw, and think the Lakers are showing contender quality.

  122. Whoever said we should somehow get sessions and beasley hit the nail on the head. I know there’s no way this happen, but if we got Crawford too, we’d have some scoring off the bench.

  123. If we’re getting Farmar at the expense of Morris and Ebanks, then we’re trading our future and going back to the past. We’ve not seen the best of Ebanks and Morris yet, the latter is a rookie who have some potentials. There is a fascination of our past players from LO to Farmar to Sasha to ShanWow but is it not enough evidence that they didn’t pan out with other teams? Anybody wants Smush Parker, Tierre Brown since we have sentiments of the past. If they’re that good, then Farmar should have been a starter with the Nets before D’Will arrived. Rondo or Lowry are great take but at the expense of a rare 7 footer best of the imports, not a good idea.

    I think the best deal will be Sessions or Arenas on a cheap + ‘Sheed on the 2nd unit. Continue to develop the perimeter threats in Kapono and Murphy, Goudelock and Blake already got it and it’s just a matter of motivating the old glories to get involve in the surge. Use McBob to support the Laker enforcers tandem from MWP, Barnes and McRoberts. McBob wants to help but he gets into foul trouble. You need bodies and courage to support defense during the playoffs.

  124. As the days go by, and the possibility of “do nothing” or “only tinker” becomes larger, it occurs to me that the LO debacle could prove very costly. Not interested in debating why it happened, but if we had LO now, even at 75% of last year’s level, our options would be so much better. If we end up using the TPE wisely or in a blockbuster, then it could be fine, but if we do not, then that little rash maneuver (both sides) could be very clostly.

  125. 124,

    There’s one guy who is happy with the TPE and 1st rd draft pick, yes Jim Buss, he saved 17.8M. Supposing LO is with the Lakers with his current PPG including reality TV baggage and that imaginary cocky switch he loved to devour, I think Lakers would still be the same team that was eliminated in the playoffs. Just a little patience, there are many players who’d like to come to the Lakers but no idea how to join and also earn their bread. Once we get into rebuild mode by 2014-15, you’ll see an avalanche of application with purple and gold.

    My dream PG’s but will never happen…in this order: Deron Williams, CP3, Monta Ellis, Steve Nash and Jose Calderon. These PG’s are explosive players who can produce, facilitate and blend with any team.

  126. 77) dave m,
    “its operations are leaner and its income is greater. ”

    They’re a lean, mean, money-machine!

  127. Edwin: You could be right about Jimbo. However, the LO contract was not long term anyway. So if savings is the issue, using the TPE now, to add back that salary would be odd would it not? Unless my dream is still alive : ) And I am hoping it is !! I agree with you on 14-15, and KB could even re-sign. However I am not yet ready to mortgage 3 years : )

  128. Dave M/exelodrv: I think you are correct about the spreadsheet and the financial emphasis, however there is an intangible on the spreadsheet. The cell is called “Title Chances”. The percentage that is filled in by judgment call, dictates how much you will spend. We will spend big $ for a good shot at a title, but we will not spend big $ for a marginal shot at one.

  129. Ken O,
    “You can not be a contender playing 4 on 5 on offense and 5 and 4 on defense. ”

    Of course, people said the same thing in 2009 and 2010.

  130. 128) Robert,
    I think they would spend if it gives them a reasonable shot at the title this year, but not if that comes at the price of additional obligations next year.

  131. Acocording to”Rumor Central” at ESPN, the holdup on Howard is that he wants to go to Brooklyn (people should remember that he wants to go there, not New Jersey) but he wants to go as an FA. The Stern/Silver line about “leaving 30M on the table” is a bit overstated, because the contract after the FA contract can be loaded up. But according to this that is irrelevant to Howard anyway, as he and his people believe he can get an Adidas deal that will be Derrick Rose-sized and be the centerpiece of a Brooklyn-Adidas marketing campaign if he signs there. Rose’s package with Adidas is worth 250M.

    So, according to this piece, he wants to go to BKN as an FA so they can keep their assets. Then, once he gets there, they can trade Lopez for a 3 and other stuff, sign a 2 (maybe Ray Allen) and have a lottery pick to use.
    IOW, Howard prefers not to be traded.

    OTOH, Chris Broussard says that some of his sources say Howard is still open to being a long-term Laker.

    Robert,

    Your point about Howard being an anchor for thr franchise if the Lakers got him and he chose to stay is a good one, and one I think people lukewarm on Howard should acknowledge more. But in turn I think you should acknowledge that kitchen sink for Howard is not a “titles” strategy short-term, either.
    As we have covered, the “tweaks” vs “titles” paradigm you have constantly connected to getting Howard simply isn’t there. What Howard would do is improve the future outlook.

    Short-term, given Kendrick Perkins’ history of single-covering Howard, I am 99.9% sure that OKC would not be stressed at all about Howard coming here in exchange for Bynum and Gasol.

  132. Of course, people said the same thing in 2009 and 2010.

    ____

    Kobe and Pau were younger then, Odom was here, and the Lakers’ bench, maligned as it was, was better then.

  133. exhelodrv: Agreed. However that ties Mitch’s hands a bit. He can only receive expiring contracts and we in turn have none of those to give : ) Well, actually we do have 1, and that is another reason why the D12 plan works : ) Let me dream : )

  134. Still don’t get the Sessions Beasley combo. Lakers are a post up team Sessions would still be a 5th option. Our big 3 won’t concede the offense to sessions, maybe a elite pg. Beasley is overrated I just don’t see the benefit of that. Barnes and Blake have chemistry if you break that up it should be for a sure thing.

  135. Sessions can attack off the bounce and get to the rim, and Beasley can create offense on his own. Blake can’t do the former and Barnes can’t do the latter.

  136. 132) Robert,
    “However that ties Mitch’s hands a bit”

    It would be very helpful to know what Mitch’s actual budget is, wouldn’t it?

  137. Edwin Gueco-

    Ummm one of these things is not like the other…

    “My dream PG’s but will never happen…in this order: Deron Williams, CP3, Monta Ellis, Steve Nash and Jose Calderon. These PG’s are explosive players who can produce, facilitate and blend with any team.”

    Jose Calderon does not belong in the same breath as those other pgs. Having said that- he would be an upgrade for us, yes.

    Let’s not take the Pau Gasol love too far guys. He’s been great for us, at times, but if the right deal comes along you have to flip him. If we could get Rondo and Bass for Pau, then I would take the deal. If we could get D-Will for Pau, then I would make the deal. Other than that though, I would keep him and try to use other resources to get a PG and a bench scorer.

    By the way- All of this trade talk is ignoring one thing. If we trade Pau and Bynum goes down, then what the hell do we do? That is the biggest reason to keep Pau.

  138. exhelodrv: One section of that spreadsheet that would be unpopular. We could trade Pau for picks + younger players, thereby nuking 12, but not a bad move for the long term. I would not do that, but it is an option.
    rr: One possible issue is our picks are declining in value. In 12 we have a Mav prot pick + our own in the 1st, with Chicago’s pick in the 2nd (the NBA equivalent of Mr Irrelevant)

  139. Funny article about “making your teammates better,” by David Friedman.
    http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/

  140. rr: Just saw your other post. Yes I acknowledge that the D12 plan is speculative in the short term. We would be dependent on Hedu and/or Jameer playing well, which is well – speculative. So agreed.
    With regard to the D12 reports, if you believe the Brooklyn thing, then why would the Magic accomodate that + “pull the Cleveland”. Why not trade him for whatever you can get as a rental? Answer: Evil Empire

  141. KenOak,

    I share with your views on Pau, will not trade for a PG because it’s a demotion in height. I just like Calderon team up with Pau, he may not be in class of the four I stated but he could be a ticket for being more competitive. If Agent Zero could still be the Arenas we used to know, well he could rent him up to the end of the season.

    Right now, the strong rumors that Lakers are really on hunt for Sessions or Hinrich. I think one of them might don the PG by March 15th. I also think that they’re just waiting for Magic to decide on Howard, whatever happens it would be at a Laker advantage to just go for a PG and that’s it.

  142. #144. I’m not out to change people’s minds. You seem rooted in your beliefs and that’s fine. I’m more than willing to admit where players are lacking but I’m also willing to look at some of the potential reason’s behind it as related to what’s happening on the court. You seem to take the approach that you can dig into peoples heads and unearth who comments were directed at while taking the approach that what matters most is what happens today (or most recently). This tells me exactly where you stand and how you come to your conclusions. Which, is fine. Good day.

  143. , then why would the Magic accomodate that + “pull the Cleveland”.

    Recall that Cleveland landed Antawn Jamison in 2010 and many people thought he was the last piece. I think Orlando is trying to get a perimeter player to go with Howard. If they don’t have one by March 14, they may pull the trigger and move him. But it will be a last-minute thing.

    As a semi-aside, there have been NO trades that I am aware of since March 1. As was the case with James in 2010, some writers are suggesting the league is basically on hold for Howard.

    Also key to remember that the new CBA did not eliminate sign-and-trades–they can perhaps still get something for him this summer.

    ___

    Hinrich has declined quite a bit, as mid-range players who lack athleticism often do at 30-32 (the Lakers, of course, avoid this problem by never signing role players to long deals ;-) so I am not enthused about adding him. Even with the attitude and conditioning issues, I would rather try Felton. Sessions is my first choice among those three.

  144. Robert,

    The TPE and 1st round draft pick is reserved for your dream player. What I’m just worried are the additional baggages that goes with it from Hedu, Jameer. We go back again to Square One learning the MBrown Square Dance. It could hamper the chemistry that is developing who are already learning the dance, perhaps the addition of Howard would improve the 5. I don’t know, lately I’m willing to take the risk on Drew and Pau because it’s just two years road show, after that we could reinvent the wheel how we wanted it.

    What Howard is missing is the vision of the future and the Laker tradition wherein the Center is the focal point in building dynasty. From Wilt to Kareem to Shaq where can you find such history in other teams? Secondly, if he wants the money by 2014-15, Kobe & Pau’s salaries will be gone, it could be all about howard. Thirdly, if D’Will does not join the Lakers, then CP3′s contract would be expiring next season, he could join the Lakers too in two year’s time. Unfortunately, the brain of Superman is not that super, he just looks the grass where it’s greener.

  145. 1/2decaf1/2regular

    What does Pau have left to prove? Since signed in mid 08 season Lakers have gone to 3 out of 4 finals. Check out those postseason numbers.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gasolpa01/gamelog/2009/#stats_playoffs::none

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gasolpa01/gamelog/2010/#stats_playoffs::none

  146. mikeinchitown March 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    curious if there is a deal to be had w/milwaukee.
    1. jennings has been unwilling to commit long term there, wants a big mkt, LA native. plus the bucks can offload…
    2. stephen jackson. he’s has been a malcontent (admittedly, that could cause problems here as well, but foregoing that for a sec). can he be a serviceable starter for two years- i think he can be upgrade over the artest/barnes combo.
    3. throw in drew gooden, a very serviceable PF.

    swap the above three for pau…
    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=8xwj8r4

  147. @mikeinchinatown Intriguing deal. I think it’s a good deal for both teams if in fact Milwaukee assumes Jennings will leave after his rookie deal is up. I haven’t watch Jackson in a while but looking at his numbers he appears to be washed up and would be at best a marginal improvement over world peace. Gooden is very erratic but can shoot the midrange shot which would fit well with Bynum and Kobe in the post. Gooden’s contract on the other hand is awful….

  148. Have another telling stat for the Gasol doubters

    These rosters were horrible but the turnaround is amazing.

    Lakers 04-05 34-48 No Playoffs
    Lakers 05-06 45-37 1st Round exit
    Lakers 06-07 42-40 1st round exit (Kobe trade demand)
    Lakers 07-08 57-25 Finals appearance (The team was playing well b4 the trade)
    Lakers 08-09 65-17 Won Finals
    Lakers 09-10 57-25 Won Finals
    Lakers 10-11 57-25 2nd round exit

    Bringing Pau in revitalized the franchise he should also get credit for that. It was just a one man show before showed up. Can’t argue with results.

  149. To me with the new Cba, the kitchen sink trade for Howard would mean we will never have a chance at another ring in the Kobe years. Besides Andrew and picks is still the best the Magic could do for Howard. I think it comes down to would Howard want to stay here. Does anyone truly believe it would stay without Pau or another top player here? I don’t think he would. My greatest fear is we wait to long and the guys that could be added for a playoff push will be gone.

  150. Kobe’s “wasted a year of my life” comments sound like … he wasted … a year of his life. I’m not sure how anyone can read Pau anywhere into that. But armchair psychology is always challenging.