The Rumor Mill: Using The TPE

Emile Avanessian —  March 6, 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.

That on any given night (or afternoon) the 2011-12 Lakers are capable of overcoming even the stiffest competition is simultaneously thrilling and disconcerting.

Despite the occasional foray into disarray and the occasionally terrifying deficiency of on-court firepower, the Lakers carry on, not only trudging forward, but excelling. Given its composition –top-heavy, veteran-laden and deliberate with possession – this squad is clearly one built for postseason ball, where the significance of front-line size is magnified, and that of roster depth diminished.

However, the Lakers, winners of 23 of 37 games this season, including an almost-league-best (along with Miami, OKC and Memphis; Chicago is 9-1) eight of their last ten, find themselves a half game ahead of their Staples Center roomies in the Pacific (and for third in the West), two games behind the second place Spurs. They have won 17 of 19 at home, 16 of 23 against some rock-solid Western Conference opposition and, at 5-3 (the Clippers are 3-3) boast the Pacific’s best division record. Not bad for a team with little more than a passing interest in this regular season.

As impressive as it has been, we (well, management) must resist the urge to allow the Lakers’ success thus far in 2011-12 to mask a rather urgent need for reinforcements. Whether or not you feel a franchise-altering blockbuster is necessary – and if so, whether said blockbuster would entail bidding adieu to Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol –there is one deal to be made that will bolster this Lakers team, either in the form of an upgrade at the point or quality depth elsewhere (anywhere) on the roster.

As you are no doubt aware by now, in parting ways with Lamar Odom just days before the season tipped off, and received precious little in exchange, the Lakers acquired a traded player exception (TPE). In short a TPE resembles a “deferred multi-team trade,” allowing a team that is over the salary cap (as the Lakers are) to acquire like-priced talent at a future date (TPE’s often expire after a year) for a player dealt today. In the Lakers’ case, this TPE allows for the absorption of up to $9 million (Odom’s $8.9 million salary, plus $100,000, per CBA rules) worth of salary, with minimal loss of on-court productivity. Perhaps even more than the aforementioned blockbuster that would put pen to paper on the next chapter of the Lakers’ superstar legacy, this exception will play a vital role in determining whether these Lakers are able to realize their championship aspirations.

A few ideas regarding possible directions in which the Purple and Gold could go:

Ramon Sessions ($4.2M this season, $4.5M player option for 2012-13) for a 1st round pick

Sessions has been, and continues to be, one of the most logical cost-effective fixes available for Lakers’ most glaring weakness. He is not Chris Paul or Deron Williams, but Sessions is a young (26 in April), productive (15.4 points, 7.5 assists and just 3 turnovers per 36 minutes) NBA-caliber point guard that will solidify the already-dangerous Lakers’ status as a contender in the West.

One potential concern is that he will cost the Lakers some assets, and has the ability to void his deal this summer and will cost more to re-sign. Given the win-now mode in which the Lakers are firmly entrenched, this is more than a worthwhile risk. Plus, is Sessions arrives and plays well enough to gain any serious leverage in contract negotiations, chances are it’s been a pretty solid spring in Lakerland.

Francisco Garcia in exchange for a pair of 2nd round picks, with Sacramento taking on Luke Walton

Maybe not the first name that comes to mind, but ‘Cisco Garcia is a quality NBA veteran that can fill multiple roles for this team. He is a combo guard, but with a point guard lean, does not dominate the ball (20+ USG just once in six years) and historically has shown a nice touch from the outside (just 31% on 3-points this season, but at least 35.6% each of the past five, including 39%+ three times). In addition to easing the Lakers’ pain at the point, however, Garcia (who is 6’7”) would provided depth on the wing, either two spelling Kobe at the two or playing alongside him in three-guard/wing (with Matt Barnes, MWP, Goudelock or Blake) units.

Most importantly, this is a deal that makes sense financially as well. Garcia’s contract pays him $5.6 million this year, $6.1 million next season and has a $6.4 million team option for 2013-14. For the rebuilding Kings the acquisition of Luke Walton (who is making $5.6M this year and $6.1M next) is a cap neutral way to nab a pair of second-rounders without breaking a sweat.

Jason Thompson in exchange for a 2nd round pick (maybe a 1st rounder at gunpoint)

An interesting deadline sleeper. Depending on your perspective (I really like him) Thompson is potentially a fourth starter or excellent bench contributor going forward. Thompson has turned in a solid effort in relief of (and more recently starting alongside) DeMarcus Cousins, scoring in double figures 15 times, grabbing 8+ rebounds 14 times and posting six double-doubles despite seeing the floor for just 24 minutes per game.

Additionally, he is a restricted free agent this summer (qualifying offer is $4.1M, though he’ll likely command more), and with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in line to get PAID in the summers of 2013 and 2014, $12M+ per year committed to Marcus Thornton and Chuck Hayes for the next four years and another lottery pick on the way, it’s unlikely that Sacramento will be committed to signing him long term.

Amir Johnson in exchange for a 2nd round pick (maybe just simple salary absorption)

Is Amir Johnson the difference between the Lakers and the Larry O’Brien trophy? Probably not. What he is, however, is a young (25 on May 1), athletic big that is productive (10-10), will hit the offensive boards (11.9 ORB Rate) and has range to (generously) 15 feet – in other words, quality depth.

Plus, the fact that he is signed to a lengthy, iffy-but-manageable ($6M, $6.5M, $7M next years) contract with a lotto-bound team set to welcome a pair of top-ten picks (2011’s #5 overall Jonas Valanciunas, plus an addition from the 2012 class) to next year’s squad will suppress the cost of acquiring him.

Paul Millsap in exchange for a 1st round pick

This is the dream scenario.

With Utah quickly fading from playoff contention, the development of the last two #3 overall picks will become a priority, as will showcasing Al Jefferson (owed a prorated portion of $14 million this year and $15 million next season) for (hopefully, if you are a Jazz fan) a future cap clearing deal.

From the Lakers’ perspective, Millsap is an ideal fit – an efficient offensive threat (22.62 APER on just 22.9 USG, per Hoopdata) and solid rebounder (22.2/11.4 ORB/DRB Rates) that is still fairly young, having just turned 27, and has the capacity to play All-Star caliber ball for prolonged stretches. What’s more, Millsap (owed the remainder of $6.7M this season, and $7.2M in 2012-13) is an ideal complement to the Lakers’ current front line, able to step outside (43.2% from 10-23’) when Bynum is in the paint and capable of banging down low (72.4% FG on 4.5 FGA at the rim) when Pau is operating on the wing.

Ok, guys, let’s fire up the mill! Who knows what coming days will bring for the Lakers, but these are my thoughts on possible ways to strengthen the team going forward. Looking forward to your feedback on these ideas, as well as any that you’ve been kicking around.

Emile Avanessian

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91 responses to The Rumor Mill: Using The TPE

  1. These are some interesting ideas. Much more palatable than the clip I foolishly clicked on to the above right, featuring bonehead Ric Bucher talking about trading Kobe! I would say there would be “zero percent” chance of that happening, if Bucher himself hadn’t made the phrase “zero percent” meaningless back in ’07.

    In no way am I under the illusion that the current squad is on the fast track to a title as currently constituted, but I don’t think they’re as far away as some think. I much prefer a couple of well-placed and subtle additions to blowing up the roster. I can’t believe how hard people are dumping on Pau, who is still playing really, really good ball amidst all the rumors and adjusting to a new role alongside Drew.

    Say what you want about Pau. The guy’s delivered in the clutch many times in the biggest games – multiple NBA finals, Olympics, European championships, etc. I’m sorry, but can Chris Paul or Deron Williams say that?

    Paul & Williams are truly great, but the last NBA team to win a title with a team whose dominant player was an elite point guard was the Lakers in ’88, and those guys aren’t Magic Johnson. Size kills, especially in the playoffs.

    The only argument you can make for some of these Pau-for-PG moves is getting younger, which is fair, but that’s not what the Lakers should be about right now. It’s got to be all in with Kobe for the next couple of years, and the best shot at that is lining him up with veterans he trusts in the most important positions. (That doesn’t mean D-Fish playing 25 min a game though!)

  2. i like the 1st to scenarios coz the TPE will go to a guard. Thompson , Amir and Millsap are solid players and could be a solid contributor esp Millsap but the team is already loaded with 4 and 5. we really need is a guard or a wingman which is the best case for Sessions and Garcia. i really like Millsap but i don’t think he wants to be a 6th man.

    the team looks solid now with the emergence of MWP and strong showing of Drew. our bench just need to play more consistently. ill still pull the Beasley trade for Luke but with only 1st rounder.

  3. It’s interesting to see ESPN and other news outlet/sports blog tote the line that Lakers should trade Pau to pick up quality PG/SF… but did people forget that once we shore up the PG/SF spot… we’ll be ultimately weaker at the PF spot since having already traded Lamar and not having a legitimate PF starter?

    Sorry, that was a rant.

  4. Would love to get Milsap for a 1st. That would be great. Only if Utah took back salary which we can’t offer much and how many minutes would he get?

    Sessions doesn’t fit to me Lakers aren’t a PnR team and his outside shooting is suspect. I would give up a 1st for Nick Young or Lou Williams someone who can knock down a open shot and add scoring punch off the bench.

    If I couldn’t get Rondo or Williams and made up my mind I’m trading Pau and don’t want Scola’s contract. I’d make a offer to Philly they are in a funk and may want to shake things up. Give them a 1st this gives them the flexibility to resign Hawes and still be competitive. Get some young pieces for the future and a project for Kobe. Unlikely but a good haul

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7u45wkw

  5. I don’t think much of the SAC players, especially Thompson. Milsap is the obvious best option, but I don’t know why UTA would let him go for a couple of picks.

  6. I think Sessions is the best choice – addresses the needs for this roster, over the next 1-2 years, at a relatively cheap price.
    What is the likelihood that they could get someone potentially better than Sessions in the draft, and when would that person be a real contributor? Draftees aren’t going to help during the Kobe-Pau years.

  7. I have a good idea: send LA’s trade exemption along w/ Steven Blake, Josh McRoberts and a its first round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, and Aaron Gray. Salary wise, it’ll match and will benefit both teams. LA gets the veteran guard that Mike Brown has been craving for along with a excellent scorer off the bench in Barbosa just in time for a playoff run. Aaron Gray is basically for salary cap filler. The Raptors in turn will get a veteran presence at the PG that would temporarily place Calderon’s while they get a seldom used big man in Josh McRoberts that would certainly get more opportunities in Toronto.

    You may balk about giving up the Lakers’ !st round pick, but in all honesty, it’s going to be a rather low pick anyways. also with Barbosa’s contract coming off the books, the Lakers can still sign a solid veteran free agenct that would be more usefull than having a roster spot filled by a rookie that probably would not get any solid minutes anyways.

    Sounds good, don’t it?

  8. raheel @3: That is more than a rant, it is a real issue. Those Pau for a PG trades usually end up with us having a combination of Murphy/Rasheed/and possibly some other very old player as our #4. You plug one side of the boat by tearing a hole in the other.

  9. There is no trade listed here or elsewhere that will make the Lakers a championship team this year unless that trade includes or is supplemented by another move that nets a PG. Adding depth to the front line is something the Lakers should worry about only after addressing their enormous need in the backcourt.

    Jodial, I don’t think anyone advocating an improvement at PG (even at the expense of Pau) would agree with your suggestion that it would be that PG who leads the Lakers to the championship. The Lakers will be led to the title by Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, whose jobs will be made MUCH easier with a better PG. So, “getting younger” is not the only argument to justify moving Pau.

    A good PG makes everyone’s jobs easier. He breaks down defenses and gets easy, open jumpers for wing players, creates lobs and layups for bigs, and creates easy baskets on the break. These are all things that the current Laker roster lacks. No doubt that losing Pau would be a big loss, but the idea here is that adding all the benefits listed above would be net gain for the Lakers. That may or may not be the case (depending on the trade–and I’m in the “just add Sessions” camp), but there’s surely more to the idea of trading Pau than just getting younger….

  10. Milsap would be awesome for several reasons. You can literally trade Gasol for a PG like rondo if you trade for Milsap. I’m always in the camp of improving as much as you can. I say even if you trade Gasol for a PG and you bring in Milsap you still have a weak spot on the bench. You need to still get Beasely to add scorin pop off the bench and a guy off the bench who can create his own shot from the perimeter.

  11. Thanks Darius for more details about TPE, I wish you could also devote a thread on Arenas and Wallace playing condition.

    From the players enumerated above, I like Sessions or Garcia or Milsap. The last 2 are not PG. We need a facilitator to free Kobe from acting as a PG, we need an improvement of Fisher.

    I don’t know if you’ve read it, Marco Bellinelli stated that he would like to play with Kobe before retiring from NBA. He’s also a streak shooter, maybe he’s close to Asst. Coach Messina.

  12. Kevin,
    Actually the Lakers run a heavy PG P and R offense. That’s why they went out to get CP3. Brown said he had to adjust the offense because we didn’t have a PG who could run the P and R. That’s one PF th reasons we have been trying to bring in P and R PGs. Brown needs that kind of player to correctly run his offense.

  13. I say go for Sessions. Throw in Walton as trade bait. We all know Walton is done. No way that guy moves to Cleveland. He would retire first.

  14. Millsap would be great (plus his little bro plays for the Lakers Dleague affilliate IIRC).

    But I see a .01 % chance Utah “helps out” the Lakers like that and I seriously doubt Jimbo would take on the salary.

  15. If we don’t get D12, then we must at least move forward or things will get ugly. Adding players at 1+3 for the TPE/Picks/Garbage will be moving forward. Trading Pau in a non-blockbuster “could’ be a good move, but it won’t look like it to many. The FO needs to care about what KB thinks. On 03-16, KB’s view of our chances for a title must be up from where they are now. Pau for a PG will be debatable as to whether it does that for 2012.

  16. Aaron: Lakers have only run PnR 10% of the time this year. They run isolation and post up a lot. Kobe recently said Lakers aren’t a pick and roll team. Have to play to their strengths if you keep the big 3 and sessions can knock down a open shot I’m all for it.

  17. This same team with Phil Jackson, Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom last year was a 2nd round exit.

    Replacing them with Mike Brown, Ramon Sessions, Michael Beasley. How will this make the result any different?

  18. Kevin,
    Sorry… Maybe you didn’t understand what I wrote. Their offense says Mike Brown is a heavy P n R offense. Unfortunately says Mike Brown they haven’t been able to run their offense because they don’t have any P n R players. Their wish is to get a P n R PG so they can run the offense Mike Brown wants to run. The reason Brown wants a P n R PG sp badly is because we have all the components to run a devastating PnR. Two skilled athletic bigs amd a Kobe Bryant on the weak side. We would be pretty redic with a talented PnR PG.

  19. Kevin, the Lakers don’t run PnR as much because they don’t have the PG to do it. An effective PnR play requires a guard who can pressure defenses off the dribble AND knock down jumpers if left alone. We don’t have that.

    With Kobe, Pau, and Andrew, we have exactly the right pieces to effectively run a pick and roll if we had a guard who could execute it.

    As for your comparison with last year’s team, I’m not sure how you don’t see this year’s version of the Lakers (with Sessions & Beasley) better than last year’s. They are already a better defensive team than last year, and adding those two guys makes the Lakers arguably better at every position on the floor.

    PG, much improved. with Sessions over Fish.

    SG, Kobe is healthier this year, and adding Beasley allows Barnes to back up Kobe, radically improving the 2nd unit defensively over Shannon Brown.

    SF, MWP (rounding into shape) and Beasley is a much more effective rotation than Ron & Barnes last year.

    PF, hard not to improve on Pau’s playoff performance last year, and he’s clearly playing better this year even with the trade cloud over his head.

    C, Bynum is a much improved player, and has absolutely nobody in the Western Conference who can match up with him (recall that they were ousted by Dallas, who had Chandler–and Tyson probably plays Andrew tougher than anyone…).

  20. Aaron: Yes – your craziness is catching on. Everyone thinks there players are awesome. Not just on this site, but all over the NBA: Rondo is a keeper, Ellis is a keeper, and the Magic may decide D12 is a keeper. As I said before – nothing gets done and Cuban and Riley laugh.

  21. The Lakers aren’t a heavy PnR team because we have no point guards capable of running it. Add even someone like Sessions, and we’d probably see a lot more of it.

    I still have a feeling the team is going to move Pau for financial and talent upgrade at the PG spot reasons. I can see the team looking to net a player at 1/2 of Pau’s salary who is a near-All Star level player, along with an expiring contract or two. Then they would keep the TPE, thereby saving the team $9m in actual salaries this year, as well as $9m in luxury taxes. Next season, another $10m would be off the books from Pau’s contract. That’s how I see this team moving forward financially speaking.

    If money was of no concern, then it’s a no brainer to keep Pau, trade for Sessions with a 1st rounder. But I’m getting the distinct sense that Pau’s contract is just too bloated for this team, even with the new TV deal.

  22. sessions.kobe.mwp.gasol.bynum

    arenas.goudelock.barnes.murphy.wallace

    world champs

    we need some vet ring chasers.

  23. 16,

    Aaron, who is Earl Bloom, the OR staff writer? If you take a survey of Southland sportswriters, I’m sure they will take Howard over Bynum. That’s given. However, the devil is in details what Howard deal entails at the end of this season; what Magic wants to go with the trade and do we still have money to acquire a PG?

  24. Aaron, Funky Chicken: Sessions said he’s opting out for free agency Lakers should keep their picks for a rental. You guys are making it sound like Sessions is chris paul lol. He’s a average PG who has floor spacing in Cleveland (they shoot 36% on 3s as a team). Why change the whole offense to accomodate a average player. Kobe is still going to call for the ball in post up situations and get it because Lakers are a post up team. Unless Rondo comes Lakers will be a heavy post up team.

    Beasley has to be the most overrated player in the league. He has no major strength. He can score but how consistent is he and he’s seeking a huge payday should keep picks for rentals. Lakers are looking to dump salary i.e Blake, Walton but if it costs picks no way.

    Nick Young, Lou Williams can really help not Beasley.

  25. I like the Millsap idea cause then it wouldn’t be as hard giving up Gasol, the warriors are looking for a big man, we’re looking for a point guard. Maybe we can swing a trade for Steph Curry if we’d be willing to take on a bad contract like Biedrins. In this scenario we would be sending out 20 million and taking back 24 million, so it wouldn’t be that big of a cap hit but we would be improving the team a ton.
    Obviously there would be a number of draft picks involved.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7vnwspg

  26. Getting Millsap and then trading Gasol for a PG would be too much change if the purpose of the moves are to maximize the chances at a title this season.

  27. nick young game reminds me of kobe I like him.

  28. Pay attention to the end part of exhelodrv’s post @27: Many on this site are presumming that the Lakers sole objective is to maximize the 2012 chances, when in reality the complex spreadsheet has other objectives on it as well: A) Taxes/Buss family profit B) Future cap room C) Post 2014 planning. Not sure how good Mitch is at spreadsheets, but this one could have some complex formulas on it : )

  29. I love to buy low and sell high. I see a lot of buy low deals available on the Kings. They tend to get pretty high draft choices but their organization does not develop them fully for some reason.

    If the Lakers do trade a big to get a PG, the Kings would be a team I would go to for front court depth. I like Thompson as a 4/5, JJ Hickson as a 4 and Donte Green as a 3.

    In fact, if the Lakers did go all in for DH and shipped both our current bigs out, I think we could get Thompson and Hickson rather inexpensively to fill out our front court.

    Thompson is a more known entity. He would be a very nice addition either as a starting 4 or a backup to the 4/5. Hickson has all the talent on the world but has not shown it on the court consistently. My only concern in acquiring him is that Brown was his coach for his first two years (in Cleveland) and there may be a bias against him. Green is getting plenty of minutes but it hasn’t clicked for him yet. I think he is close to putting it all together and would be a monster defensively and offensively from the wing (he’s 6′ 11″).

    The Lakers are in a unique position in that Kobe can provide the extra level of focus that other organizations simply do not have the ability to offer. I believe that much of Kobe’s value is sharing his desire to win – both by example and by not putting up with half hearted efforts by teammates. He raises the bar so high for himself that it can not help but be raised for his teammates.

    These are young players have been in an environment that does not put a premium on winning.

  30. Can we please, collectively as a fan base, stop bringing up Arenas and Wallace? Any interest in them has to be based purely on name alone. The are not the same players they were X amount of years ago.

    Arenas: In his 49 games in Orlando last year he shot an abysmal 34.4% overall and 27.5% from behind the arc, with a PER of 8.6. Obviously, by the numbers, he wasn’t shooting well and he clearly lost more than a step if you watched him on the court. Can’t shoot, can’t penetrate and also a liability on defense. If he had any on court value at all, why haven’t any of the other 29 teams signed him? I haven’t even read a rumor about any team even thinking about taking a look at him. Mitch saw him workout how long ago? Obviously he was not impressed.

    Wallace: Sheed hasn’t been in the league since June of 2010! He is a 37 year old big man who cannot be anywhere near NBA game shape. There hasn’t been a single mention of him by anyone who covers the Lakers. Just a single report from a Boston beat writer who claims the interest in Sheed is based off of a “decent showing in a Pro Am tournament in North Carolina over the summer”. Please read that sentence again for effect. It seems pretty obvious to me that this imminent Sheed/Lakers signing was stirred up by Sheed’s camp in order for the Celtics to take a look at him. Which they didn’t. No one has.

    Yet somehow adding Arenas and Wallace will push over into contender status? C’mon now, we need actual NBA players, not ghosts of NBA players past.

  31. Funky chicken,
    Great minds think alike

    Kevin,
    An average NBA PG is exactly what the Lakers need. If we traded for sessions it would be to keep him long term as our starting PG or back up PG moving forward. I doubt Sessions would want to leave LA as there are no other starting spots available in this PG ritch league.

  32. Kevin, Beasley’s game log from last season:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/beaslmi01/gamelog/2011/

    Note 11-10 versus Sac and 11-12 versus the Knicks. Sure, neither of those teams was all that last season, but you don’t drop those numbers on anyone in the league unless you have talent.

    Here’s what it could be:

    Bynum, Pau, Ron, Kobe, Blake/Fish

    Bynum/Pau, Murphy, Beasley, Goudelock, Sessions

    I understand that some might want Sessions to start, but I would prefer him on the 2nd unit, so the second unit can have a legitimate get to the rim penetrator. Would have Beasley doing the same and Goudelock with the occasional sweet floater. And Murphy, Goudelock and Beasley can shoot from distance. And there will be plenty of space down low for Bynum/Pau to do their thing in the post.

    And, Kevin, some want to add spare parts. I want to add the guy who can drop 17-31, 16-29, 10-16, 12-25, 14-23 and win a series for you. That, by the way, is the five game stretch that includes the above-noted games against Sac and the Knicks.

    And don’t get me wrong, as he’s more than capable of putting up a bad Kobesque 7-20 and 7-22, as you can see from the game log, but hopefully he doesn’t have quite the ego that Kobe does and can learn that when the jumper ain’t failing, time to take it to the hole and leave the bombing from distance to Murphy and Goudelock.

    And Sessions works because he can get to the rim. Right now, Kobe is the only soul who can do that. And here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZQsuO-pOJk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcAq7p6tdQQ

    See those take it the hole dunks there? Fish simply can’t do that and that’s never been Blake. And when I said that Sessions plays with the 2nd unit, I didn’t mean to say that he doesn’t get the majority of the time at PG, but simply and only that the 2nd unit needs a penetrator and so he plays with the 2nd unit and also some time with the 1st unit as well.

    Lastly, re last season, as I’ve said prior, there was Kobe on a bad leg (ankle) and Pau not in his right mind. As I also said, review again games 1 and 3 of that series, a 2 point and a 6 point loss. Both those games were winnable with but a difference of 5 plays or so. Again, and that was with Kobe on a bad leg (which not only meant that his O wasn’t per usual but also that he got torched by Terry) and Pau not in his right mind. So healthy Kobe and right mind Pau and they likely go into game 4 in Dallas up 2-1. That was the reason to not panic, but they panicked (there’s no denying that). And as much as I don’t like Jimbo, not all his fault. Recall that somewhere in the preseason or very early on, Jerry said something about how last season’s team was perhaps the best team in Lakers history. I thought that was rather debatable at the time, and still do, but if that level of expectation, when you combine that with not seeing that Kobe’s bad ankle and Pau not in his right mind could seemingly be cured, the team went into blow up mode with Pau and Lamar being shipped out for CP. As someone said above re the boat, well, I said the same myself some weeks ago, but you don’t a fill a hole by creating a new one, and so filling the hole at 1 with CP while creating a gaping hole at 4 with the loss of Pau and Lamar didn’t make much sense to me (for purely basketball (and not monetary) reasons, to borrow from Stern). They could have instead simply went for a less spectacular upgrade at PG and one more decent scorer for the bench (see who might have been subbed in for McStiff for the mini-mid-level at PG).

  33. I’l sign off on acquring Sessions and Milsap. :0)

  34. With regard to any deal we do (small or blockbuster), you can bet on this. We as Laker fans are going to look at the deal with skepticism. Why? No owner wants to be the guy who helps us. So there will be no deals where we clearly get the better of it. We are going to have to pay through the nose or simply not deal at all. We are the Evil Empire – wear the name with pride !

  35. We forgot the option of not using the TPE in order to save money

    It’s not like we used Sasha’s TPE

    Any Laker fan who thought that the huge multi billion dollar Fox deal would do anything but pad the Buss family account was delusional

  36. With regard to talk about a Rondo for Gasol trade. This might sound great to some, but it really doesn’t make much sense for the Celtics (not a Celtics fan here, in fact, I hate them).

    Rondo has more upside, and a longer career ahead of him than Gasol who has already peaked. Adding Gasol to the Celtics would be a step back for them as it would not improve their long term outlook on winning……I don’t think Ainge would be that dumb.

  37. My dream scenario:

    trade pau for deron w.
    1st round pick for milsap
    TPE/pick for session or other avg pg
    a little minor upgrades elsewhere

    (either bynum or howard is fine)

  38. Count me on board with the acquire Sessions & Beasley train. If the FO is worried about Sessions walking next year, where would he go? Who has a PG hole bigger than us with a chance to compete for championships in one of the most attractive NBA cities in the US?

    I’m hoping the reports of the declined deals for Sessions & Beasley mean two things: first, that the FO is actually interested in both of them and its not just speculation and second, that the FO thought the initial price was too high and is now playing hardball with Cleveland and Minnesota.

    For those that think Dan Gilbert won’t do anything that would help us out, remember that his tirade to Stern was based on money; he was upset that the Lakers were shedding payroll and therefore would be paying less money to teams under the cap. If we absorb Sessions’ contract, not only will Gilbert be off the hook for his contract, but it’ll put us that much more over the threshold and therefore will be paying more money to teams under the cap. So essentially, Gilbert will be double dipping at our expense.

    Gilbert doesn’t have to pay Sessions for the remainder of the season, gets more luxury tax money, atleast a pick, and maybe a serviceable player in McRoberts, all for a player who is going to walk at the end of the season anyway. If you were Gilbert, why wouldn’t you make that trade?

  39. RoP: Not using the TPE is on Mitch’s spreadsheet as an option. See post 29, letter A above.
    sbdunks @31: Accurate and amusing. However we still may end up with one of these misfits.
    Sessions: Nobody has yet told me how the Lakers are going to get Gilbert to help us (other than to completely overpay for this guy).

  40. It’s just funny to think Beasley, Sessions can replace Odom, brown and that takes Lakers closer to a championship.

    1/2decaf1/2regular: Kobe and Pau needed each other. Pau is still averaging 17-10-3-1 50%

    Kobe wasn’t good last playoffs either only Bynum had any impact. But I’m grateful for what he’s done just time to move on from this big 3 era. Maybe one year too late

  41. (36). Big picture?

    The Memphis playoff results don’t mean much in this context, since Pau is on a completely different team now, in a completely different role. Besides, you could make a similarly dismal chart for, say, Dwayne Wade’s playoff performances from 2007-10.

    2008, Pau was a big part of reaching the Finals, but the Celtics were a better team with a deeper front court. 2011, Pau played badly, and had plenty of company (though to be picky, it was a second round loss, not a first round loss).

    And finally: you can’t just gloss over “2009 champions, 2010 champions” like that means nothing. I can give you a long list of NBA stars who didn’t win two titles. Pau wasn’t just along for the ride for those two banners.

  42. sbdunks: Wow – are you reading my mind by posting my answer before I asked the question? ; )

    “If you were Gilbert, why wouldn’t you make that trade?”

    Answer: Evil Empire

  43. Haha, I agree Robert, nobody wants to be the team that gave the Lakers the pieces to put them over the top. But I gave my best guess as to why Gilbert might make the deal. Sessions is walking, they have their PG of the future in Irving, they save money while also getting more money out of us and atleast a pick in a deep draft. It helps us, but not at the expense of the Cavs. They aren’t going to be contenders for atleast a couple of years, if at all; it doesn’t matter if we win now, they are playing for the future.

    Oh, and something I just thought of while writing this response… any help Gilbert gives us in bolstering our team increases the chances of us beating the Heat in the finals. You know, his old buddy Lebron’s team.

  44. I’m with ROP. The Odom move was a pure money saver. I hate it when people assume that a few million dollars in savings is not a big deal to the Buss. Let me tell you folks, I don’t care how rich you are, a million bucks saved is a big deal.

    This is why I think the only way we see movement will be under two scenarios: (1) a CP3-like opportunity where we pick up a markee player but do not take on too much extra salary and (2) we pick up a role player in a straight salary and years-left-on-the-contract swap.

    So forget about Wallace and Arenas or any of the ex-Chinese league free agents.
    It ain’t happening. No way the Lakers pay increase their salary cap liability for these dinosaurs. Along the same lines, forget about Beasley. The ODOM TE is worth 9 million in saved salary + 9 million in cap space taxes (i.e. $18 million). No business man in his right mind would take an $18m savings and turn around and pay $9m instead (that’s a $27m shift in position). The only way we get Beasley is if the Wolves take back almost the same amount of salary back – and that ain’t happening. The same goes for Sessions, Garcia and, perhaps, Millsap.

    I think the more realistic scenario is that the FO does NOTHING right now and then they look to make moves int he offseason, including trying to talk Fish and Walton into retirement. But again, given that Fish and Walton are no idiots, why would they retire and leave millions of dollars of guaranteed cash the table???

  45. Trade gasol to Houston for scola,Martin and dragic…this is what I’ve read Houston is offering…pull the trigger…

  46. I keep hearing that the TWolves are trying to get Pau by the deadline. I am up in the air about such a deal because I’m not sure about what they would send back.

    As I mentioned above, I like to buy low. And I do beleive that the TWolves have some pieces that I would buy on sale, if I could: Beasely, Randolph and Ridnour.

    However, I don’t know what they have that would motivate me to trade Pau. Of course, I’m assuming that Love, Rubio and Pekovic are off the table.

    Would the Lakers bite on a deal that was centered around Williams and Beasley? I’m not sure I would.

  47. The Miami win was fool’s gold. So were Metta’s 17 points he scored. The championship team last year lost in the 2nd round.

    We all were in DENIAL last year about the team’s championship status when the signs were there. Let’s not get fooled again.

  48. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    We disagree here. Gasol has been a great player in this league for over a decade. Those playoff series losses had to do with the help around him until last year. That series he had against Boston was poor because he was playing Center against a true Center. So of course he couldn’t score down low. He was playing out of position. When he was matched up against KG when Perkins was on the bench Gasol had his way with Garnett.

  49. Kevin: You are of course correct. And don’t forget what happened after the ASG last year. We were all chanting 3-peat. We have 9 days for change : )
    sbdunks: You have sound logic, + I have used similar logic as to why the Magic will trade us D12. I mean why wouldn’t they? Do they want him to go FA and get nothing? Answer – Evil Empire

  50. Funky Chicken March 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Kevin, your position appears to be that there is nothing the Lakers can do that will make them a title contender this year, is that correct?

    The Sessions deal has so many supporters because it is the only deal we know of that allows the team to retain the big three, while still improving the roster. If you cannot understand how taking an average NBA point guard and surrounding him with radically above average talent (Kobe, Pau & Drew) represents a major upgrade over last year’s team (led by the league’s worst starting PG who does absolutely nothing to pressure defenses–or guard opposing PGs) then there’s obviously not much any of the rest of us can say to clear it up for you. But I’ll try one last time….

    With Fisher, opposing PGs can lay off him and cut off passing angles into the post. Fisher can’t run the break and get easy shots for teammates, is no threat to beat them from distance, and he has no capacity to beat anyone off the dribble or create a shot. That, in turn, eliminates any need for the other 4 defenders to leave their men and help out against Fish. So, what does that mean? It means that every other Laker player is left with a defender glued to them, since those defenders have no need to leave them.

    A guard like Sessions can beat his man off the dribble. If you want to see how disruptive a penetrating guard can be, just watch how opposing guards break down Laker defenses. What saves the Lakers is their incredible interior defense, which is possible because of the presence of two seven footers who are excellent at protecting the basket when they play together (note how many layups the 2nd unit gives up when Pau is playing center as opposed to when Bynum is in there, much less when Drew & Pau play together). No other team has the defensive presence in the middle that the Lakers have.

    Breaking down a defense forces help defenders to rotate over. That defensive rotation creates mismatches and open looks, either at the rim for big guys, or on the perimeter for shooters. It’s not as if the Lakers’ shooters are all terrible; it’s that compared to their counterparts throughout the league, they get relatively few uncontested shots. That’s because we have no creator with the ball.

    Is Sessions CP3? Of course not. Does he need to be if he plays with the Lakers’ big three? Not by a long shot.

    If the Lakers do nothing more than add Sessions they will be a much, much better team. They are already the third seed in the West, and with a decent PG they can likely catch the Spurs for the #2 seed. OKC will be tough no matter what the Lakers do, but I’d be happy to take my chances against the Thunder with a lineup of Sessions, Kobe, MWP, Pau, and Drew.

  51. 46) Manny,
    “But again, given that Fish and Walton are no idiots, why would they retire and leave millions of dollars of guaranteed cash the table???”

    Good question – if the team buys out a contract during the offseason, does it figure into the salary cap/taxes at all for the following year? If not, then doing that would save the team money.

  52. FunkyChicken: That’s my position unless you can swing a big deal for Rondo or Williams Lakers chances are slim to none. So instead of giving up picks for band-aids. Trade Pau for young talent who you can still compete with. The Philly trade I posted earlier seems logical.

    The time is now to rebuild look at what Boston is going through. Only by some miracle trade they’ll suck for the next 5 years. Lakers have to reload. Get Bynum some young pieces to grow with he’s in his prime in 2 years.

    Just look bad at when teams waited too long to make a move. Horrendous history there

  53. Aaron, so you are asserting that Gasol cannot score against “true centers” and is playing out of position anytime he is playing center rather than power forward?

    That’s odd, because during the finals the following year he did quite well against Dwight Howard, the consensus best center in the league, and the DPOY 3 years in a row and counting. Here are the numbers:

    Gasol 18.6 pts on 60% shooting with 8.4 rebs
    Howard 15.4 pts on 48.8% shooting with 15.2 rebs

    Gasol held Howard to almost 9% below his career field goal percentage while Howard “held” Gasol to 7.9% ABOVE his career field goal percentage

    Now before you go off and say oh no, that was Bynum who held Dwight in check, you’ll remember that Bynum was hobbling around on one leg and averaged 6 pts and 4.2 rebs in only 18.8 minutes a game that series. Dwight was matched up against Gasol during the majority of that series.

  54. @56 – Here’s the link you were looking for:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201006170LAL.html

    If you don’t want to click on it, here are Pau’s numbers for Game 7 vs Boston in 2010 compared to Garnett’s numbers:

    Gasol: 19 pts, 18 rebs, 4 asts, 2 blks
    Garnett: 17 pts, 3 rebs, let me repeat that 3 rebs 3 rebs 3 rebs 3 rebs 3 rebs

    Boston defensive rebs: 32
    Lakers OFFensive rebs: 30

    Final Score: Lakers 83 Celtics 79
    One more link:
    http://tinyurl.com/6ww2s9l

  55. @Funky Chicken, great post there @52. I think some are severely underestimating the impact of swapping our league worst PG with an average PG who can penetrate, dish and shoot. Great breakdown man.

  56. SBDunks,
    You’re joking right? I mean you saw the finals right? Howard was being double teamed the entire series and Pau didn’t score one on one in the post at all against howard. Common. You know this.

  57. I’m not joking, the numbers speak for themselves. Gasol was the primary defender on Howard and vice versa. Howard was doubled, but so was Gasol.

    Who didn’t score one on one in the post against who? You had Howard twice on there, just trying to follow along.

    My point is, is that Gasol was able to cancel out Dwight’s effectiveness in that series. So he is able to hang with centers, although Dwight is undersized height-wise.

  58. SBDunks,
    Gasol was never doubled and we only tired to go into Gasol against howard like three times the entire series. It was not a one on one match up. I mean it’s comparing apples to oranges. The numbers don’t speak for themselves as Gasol was really never really matched up against Dwight. Bynum started at Center and played twenty minutes on one leg. When Gasol was matched up with Dwight the lakers sent constant double teams and Gasol didn’t great job flopping and taking charges when Dwight decided to spin away from the double and attack the basket.

  59. It’s not a slam against Gasol. He isn’t a Center he was never a Center. He is a PF. I mean KG is the same size as Gasol and he never has even been asked to pay Center in his career. There is nothing wrong with being a PF. Duncan has been a pretty good PF in his career. He gets mad when anyone even says he can play Center. Why? Because he has a PFs game and a PF body. Just because you’re seven feet doesn’t make you a Center just as Dwight Howard’s only 6-10 and isn’t a PF.

  60. Go to NBA.com
    You will see a picture of D12, with a caption “For Sale or Rent”
    I am translating this to:
    Our odds are going up.

  61. Funky Chicken March 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Kevin, I would agree that if you think the roster in its current form cannot compete for a title short of a top 3 point guard, then a total re-write of the roster might be the way to go.

    So, in that we agree. We just differ on whether the Lakers are at that stage, as I still think that an average PG would make a disproportional impact on a team that even in its current form might beat all but one team in the western conference playoffs.

    The Thunder’s speed and depth makes them an incredibly difficult matchup, but there isn’t another team in the west that I don’t think the current Laker team can’t beat in 7 games. The only other team (besides OKC) ahead of them in the standings, despite an atrocious road record that is already starting to improve) is San Antonio, and I don’t think anyone can reasonably say the Lakers cannot get past the Spurs in a playoff series.

    So, for me, a couple of minor tweaks is all it will take, which is why I favor the Sessions move. If it fails, it isn’t as if the Lakers have lost their ability to blow the team up. Sessions will likely opt out, and Beasley’s deal is up after this year. The only loss is the loss of two picks that are likely to be low first rounders (not exactly a place where the Lakers have shown much ability to land great players).

    None of this is to say that I think Pau is untouchable. On a previous thread I was pretty outspoken in defending the idea of trading Pau if the right deal came along. To me, the best deal including Pau is the hypothetical trade to Houston for Lowry & Scola. DWill would be an amazing “get”, but I don’t see that trade happening, and it would leave the cupboard bare at the PF spot….

  62. Gasol was never doubled? We only went into Gasol against Howard three times in the entire series?

    Howard averaged 42.6 mpg, Gasol 42.4 and Bynum 18.8.

    Who exactly was Howard defending for the 23.8 minutes a game when Bynum was on the bench? If we didn’t go to Gasol against Howard, that would mean that Gasol averaged his 18.6 points on 60% shooting in only 18.6 minutes against whatever PF he was matched up against.

    The numbers don’t lie man. I’m not interjecting any opinion into this discussion whatsoever. It is strictly off the numbers and the numbers say Gasol scored more points more efficiently than Howard did while being guarded by Howard himself.

    Edit: I just saw your post @65. I agree with you that Gasol is a natural PF, but that doesn’t mean he absolutely cannot play center. Not only can he, but he did at the highest level against the best opposing center.

  63. Howard was not defending anyone. That’s my point. Go download those games. We knew Gasol was worthless offensivley against Howard. The only thing Howard was defending was the pick and roll with Kobe and Gasol. We knew Gasol was not going to be able to attack the best defensive player in the NBA. Phil Jackson isn’t a moron. If Gasol couldn’t score against Perkins he def wasn’t going to be able to score against Dwight Howard.

  64. @69 – Pau made a bunch of his lefty jump hooks over Howard in that series. In Game 5, Howard only made one FG in the 22 possessions he was single-covered by Pau. Granted, the team mixed up its defenses on Dwight throughout the series, but Pau played him to a draw toward the end.

    Yes, Pau is a natural power forward, but if he were the team’s starting center, at this point in his career he’d still be one of the top three or four centers in the league.

  65. FunkyChicken: Agree with your post.

    If you don’t trade Pau now then when do you? He goes to the olympics this summer teams will wait to see if he’s fit. Then low ball offers start coming in because of age and mileage. Have to resign Bynum. Can’t do that with all 3 still on roster.

    Quite a quandry.

    Like Darius said anyone dismissing or minimizing Pau’s impact on his past and current teams don’t know basketball. Had it not been for his 1st half offensive rebounds….

  66. 70) The Dude – I agree. Pau is a better center, relative to the competition, than he is a Power Forward.

  67. Aaron, what do you mean Howard wasn’t defending anyone? That doesn’t even make sense. And Gasol was worthless offensively against Howard? So how did he average 18.6 on 60% shooting?

    @70 Dude, synergy? I wish I had access! Can you provide more numbers from that series please?

  68. Last year synergy had Gasol much worse offensivley and worse defensivley at Center. So I wouldn’t go to synergy if you’re looking for answers.

  69. What do I mean Howard wasn’t defending anyone? Haha. I already explained it to you. He didn’t have to guard anyone in the post. We didn’t go to Bynum or Gasol in the PST against Howard. How did Gasol score? Again… Already explained that. The pick and roll with Kobe and Gasol was very effective. Plus Gasol was being guarded by SF Rashard Lewis for 20 minutes a game.

  70. Guys… We have already went over this in the offseason. Does nobody remember? When the synergy stats came out showing Gasol was much worse defmesivley and offensivley when going against Centers.

  71. Here is the ESPN scouting report on Pau Gasol…

    Gasol played some of the best ball of his career over the first month of the season and finished with career bests in PER, free throw percentage and turnover ratio. While much of Gasol’s progress has been so incremental that you’d have to stare through a magnifying glass to notice, his improvement as a midrange shooter over the past two seasons has been fairly dramatic. Additionally, he’s been able to cut his turnovers by relying more on this shot, which he now makes with uncanny accuracy.

    Gasol hit 48.7 percent of his long 2s and 46.2 percent of his shots beyond 10 feet last season. And it wasn’t a small sample — he tried 413 of them. That keeps the ball out of traffic, and led to the third-lowest miscue rate among centers (I have Gasol ranked with the centers because he played slightly more of his minutes there than at power forward, given the lengthy absence of Andrew Bynum). Additionally, he remains an exquisite passer who ranked fifth among centers in pure point rating.

    Defensively, Gasol’s stats are solid overall, but there’s a stark division between his results at the 4 and the 5. Gasol struggles when he has to play center because he isn’t physical, but his length and mobility makes him a plus at the power forward position. 82games.com shows some of this via opponent PER, which is much worse when Gasol plays center. He won’t foul, posting the third-lowest rate among centers, and has improved his effort on the boards considerably since the Celtics punked him in the 2008 NBA Finals. That said, he’s primarily a finesse player, and Andrew Bynum’s presence helps him considerably.

  72. Ok, so what you are saying is that Gasol did not score at all against Howard, but rather scored his points against whatever PF was in the game. That works, except for the fact that Howard and Gasol were on the floor together for 23.8 minutes a game while Bynum sat. So during those 23.8 minutes a game, we didn’t go to Gasol, our best low post scorer at the time, at all and he got all of his 18.6 points in his 18.6 minutes matched up against a PF. Yeah, seems logical. I’m presenting facts here, the numbers, which you are refuting with such “facts” as…

    “Howard didn’t have to guard anyone in the post”
    “Howard wasn’t defending anyone”
    “Gasol was worthless offensively against Howard”

    I’m proving to you, with the numbers, that Howard WAS guarding Gasol when Bynum was on the bench and Gasol scored well and efficiently.

    I’d like to recycle two quotes by Darius here, paraphrasing…

    1. Anyone dismissing or minimizing Pau’s impact on his past and current teams don’t know basketball

    and more importantly…

    2. I give up.

  73. When Gasol was in his prime you could play him at Center like when Amare used to be able to play Center because he could use his quickness against bigger Centers. Now… Gasol can’t out quick many Centers so he loses that advantage when playing at the 5. He ends up getting banged around and pushed away from the basket. Obviously Owu has this problem against some strong PFs as well. As you see now with amare and Pau they both can only really be effective at PF now.

  74. SB Dunks,
    Who are you talking to? You make up things I’ve said. Haha. It’s pretty funny. If you want to creat a fake person to discuss basketball with that’s fine. But if you want to have an educated basketball discussion you have to listen to what I say. I said Gasol scored a bunch when howard was in the game. But mostly it was off pick and roll action or when Rashard Lewis was guarding him.

    As for what Darius said… Where have I diminished what Gasol has done for our team? Have you heard what I said about Gasol at all? I’ve said he was the best PF in the game for all of our championships. Is that diminishing what he has done for our team? Hahaha. I don’t think so.

  75. Here is the ESPN scouting report on Pau Gasol

    Gasol’s stats are solid overall, but there’s a stark division between his results at the 4 and the 5. Gasol struggles when he has to play center because he isn’t physical, but his length and mobility makes him a plus at the power forward position. 82games.com shows some of this via opponent PER, which is much worse when Gasol plays center. He won’t foul, posting the third-lowest rate among centers, and has improved his effort on the boards considerably since the Celtics punked him in the 2008 NBA Finals. That said, he’s primarily a finesse player, and Andrew Bynum’s presence helps him considerably.

  76. #77. That scouting report was based off his 2011 campaign (as it was part of this year’s player profile).

    So, just to throw some numbers out there: Gasol’s PER as a PF last season was 25.4. As a C it was 24.3. The difference there is marginal, at best. On defense, his PER against as a PF was 13.5 and as a C it was 16. So, as Hollinger noted, based off last season, he was better guarding PF’s.

    THIS season, his numbers are as follows: PER as PF 20.6, as a C 21.0. On defense PER against as a PF 13.6, as a C 11.0.

    I’m not even going to make an argument here. I’m just going to let the numbers sit there.

  77. Haha… Have you seen Gasol against starting Centers this year? I’m sure you have noticed. He doesn’t play against them. Gasol is going mainly against back up Centers with Bynum being healthy. We can go on and on but you won’t find over ten percent of scouts who will tell you Gason is even close to as effective playing Center. I’ll stick with scouting reports. The reason you won’t make an argument is because you agree Gasol is much better playing PF. Is that so bad? He is a freaking PF. I don’t see people upset that KG who is the exact same size can’t play Center as well. He actually never even played Center in his career. We don’t ask Kobe to play PF. This is silly.

  78. I see this site becoming too homer friendly. We have to be able to see our players for who they are. Even great players like Gasol are not perfect and can’t play every position on the floor with the same effectiveness.

  79. I make up things you’ve said Aaron? Are you referring to the three quotes I listed at 78?

    “Howard didn’t have to guard anyone in the post”
    3rd sentence on your post at 75

    “Howard wasn’t defending anyone”
    First sentence of your post at 69

    “Gasol was worthless offensively against Howard”
    Fourth sentence of your post at 69

    Please show me one line that I’ve made up of yours. Just one, I’d love to see it.

    In regards to people diminishing what Pau does for us, I wasn’t necessarily directing that at you. I know you are well aware of Pau’s value. I agree with you that Pau is a natural PF and he is more effective in that role, because he is able to hit from range and is a deft passer from the elbow. I’m not arguing with you there, I’m merely pointing out the fact that Pau was able to hold his own at center against the best center in the league at the highest level, the finals.

  80. yea KB – dont let him back off you at the 3 line – make him pay

  81. would help us out, remember that his tirade to Stern was based on money; he was upset that the Lakers were shedding payroll and therefore would be paying less money to teams under the cap.

    Partly. Quoting Gilbert now:

    ___________

    “I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).”

    _________

    Yeah, Gilbert was thinking about the money, but mostly he, like Stern IMO, was uptight about the Lakers getting Paul and Howard.

    His ending:

    “When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?”

    __________

  82. Answer – Evil Empire

    ___

    Like I said, they may well believe that they can keep him. You may think they are kidding themselves, and you are certainly not alone, but this thing is not ALL about the Lakers.

  83. #55. Buyouts count against the salary cap/taxes.

    Some players may agree to a reduced buyout, so that they can work elsewhere. With Fish&Walton, this is unlikely. (If bought out, Fish *might* want to go title hunting in Miami, but it’s unlikely that Miami’s offer for Fish would (re) open; also it might to some very small extent dim the chances of Fish in the LA front office)

    Others may choose to accept a slightly reduced buyout just so that they don’t have to travel/suit up.
    Fish & Walton, being basketball lifers, it’s unlikely that this will be a big reduction.

    A buyout will free up a roster space, but it’s not like LA has a dearth of roster spots and too much talent.

    https://webfiles.uci.edu/lcoon/cbafaq/salarycap.htm#Q63

  84. Fish could choose to devote himself full time to business/family affairs, but he has already shown himself adept at balancing family, playing and player representative, so I have to think it won’t count for much.

  85. Pau is never going to have more trading value than he does now and he is only going to get older and worse. Houston wants him bad. Trade him for Scola, Dragic, Lee and Hill. Shrinks the payroll while significantly upgrading the guard position (with reasonable contracts) and getting some talented bigs that can support Bynum. Then to make dreams come true, get Kobe to renegotiate so we can sign Deron Williams, which would allow Kobe to move to small forward. A starting five of Bynum, Scola, Bryant, Williams and Dragic, with Artest and Lee coming off the bench is a real team.

  86. Charlotte 100, Orlando 84
    Detroit 88, Lakers 85

    Might push someone to do something, you’d think.

  87. Okay, how can we get Steve Nash to the Lakers? Let’s make this happen.
    What about: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=86mknpa