Fast Break Thoughts: The Trade Deadline & More

Darius Soriano —  March 13, 2012
  • The trade deadline is in two days(!) and the reports of potential deals are starting to heat up. As a general rule, it’s always good to remember to take the reports you hear around this time of the year with a grain of salt. Right now, rumors will be more about leverage than anything else and while I don’t doubt “discussions” are happening all around the league, that could mean two low level staffers making calls to each other as much as it could mean two GM’s with the ability to pull the trigger hammering out the details to a deal likely to get done.
  • Speaking of trade reports, the Lakers are still being linked to multiple teams in their pursuit of a point guard. However, it’s the same names that we’ve been hearing for weeks: Sessions, Felton, and Lowry. At HoopsWorld, Alex Kennedy states that the order of preference is still Lowry, Sessions, then Felton and that makes sense as that’s the order most people would rank the players in terms of quality this season. Whether or not a deal gets done remains to be seen but if I was making a wager, I’d say Lowry is not a real possibility while a deal for Sessions or Felton will be dependent on how much Salary those teams are willing to take on in a deal. Both players can be absorbed into the Lakers’ TPE but my general sense is that the Lakers want to trade contracts and not just take on more salary at this point. Will Cleveland take back a player and add payroll? Will Portland take back multiple players, including one of LA’s bad contracts? This is what it may come down to as we approach Thursday.
  • Don’t look now but the Lakers are gaining separation from the Clippers in the standings. The Clips fell again last night (this time to the Celtics) and have now dropped 4 of their last 5 games. This has the Lakers one and a half games up in the Pacific Division and in 3rd place in the Conference (a half a game up on Memphis – tonight’s opponent).
  • Last night, Ron tweeted this: “Wow I’m shooting 40+ % from three over the last 15games. Keep leaving me open… Thank you…”. However, that’s actually not an accurate stat. In the last 15 games, he’s actually 17 for 46 which is 37%. But while Ron’s math was a bit off, that’s still a huge improvement from earlier in the year where he made 7 of his first 44 three point shots (16%). Let me add this though, what really matters to me is that Ron’s engaged on defense as his D is what really seems to fuel the rest of his game. Against Boston (and Miami), Ron was playing against players who demand defensive attention (not to mention the games were on national TV) and he stepped up his game to match the opponent. With that boost on D, his focus on O also improved and it led to good games. If the Lakers can get more of that Ron, they’ll be a much better team than they’ve been this year as he’s making an impact on both ends of the floor by playing tenacious defense and hitting some of the open shots the opposition will continue to give him.
  • A look at Boston’s late game collapse” is a headline I’ll click on every time I see it.
  • Getting away from the NBA game for a second, it’s about to be March Madness again as the tourney starts this Thursday. Who would be interested in a FB&G bracket challenge? Let me know in the comments.
  • Lastly, the good things that athletes do off the court rarely gets recognized. You may see a blurb a nice thing they’ve done every once and a while but that’s it. With that in mind, Steve Blake and his wife Kristen are raising money to fight cancer after having that disease hit too close to home over the years. If you want to help them out in reaching their goal, you can do so here. This really is a good cause.

 

Darius Soriano

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53 responses to Fast Break Thoughts: The Trade Deadline & More

  1. I’d be interested in a bracket challenge, its always fun to see how wrong my guesses are.

    Lowry would be great (especially from a contract size to production value) but I don’t think the Rockets will trade him. But maybe Kupchak has a voodoo doll of Morey and can make him accept a trade, though a walton for Lowry trade may be too obvious.

  2. I do not ever remember this much buzz in Laker Land leading up to the trade deadline. I guess its the combination of playing below expectations and having players that expect nothing less than a championship. Will definitely be glad when this passes and we can focus on basketball again. Oh yeah, please do not trade Pau, would love to see him play with the Lakers till he is about 40.

  3. Don’t want to see Pau go.

    My hope is he’s still there and we somehow get one of the point guards listed while shipping away talent not needed so we can see his name up in the rafters.

    Bye.

  4. I had a feeling it would be this much buzz after getting swept last year and dwight to LA rumors right after that.

    I would be fine if we just picked up sessions,arenas,sheed.

  5. Quick to read super informative posts like this are one of the reasons why i love this site

  6. I still say our best new PG would be to just start Steve Blake, I think starting would give him a whole new lease on fife (see jeremy lin)
    he’s quick, very good passer, not bad on D, I’d prefer him over Felton, (and so would the Blaizers)
    this way we get to keep pau!
    and Fish comes off the bench for some clutch shooting, and runs the second unit, as they lack leadership.

    good plan all the way around

  7. It is not over yet, but I am not liking what I am seeing in the news right now. There is little talk of blockbusters, + the only news is the fact that we are coveting Sessions. I would not mind Sessions, but will be disappointed if that is all we do. And even there, I am skeptical that Cleveland will be willing to deal fairly with the Evil Empire. I still have 2 days to dream: D12 or Bust !

  8. It was reported Lakers don’t want to give away TPE nor 1st rd draft. Would not trade Gasol to nobodies? I wonder what then would be the feasible moves that will give us a PG. Felton for Blake whoaaa…..changing a cool guy to a trouble maker. Guessing what Jimbo will finally decide is much harder than guessing the winners in the NCAA March Madness. “He just wants his cake and eat it too.”

  9. LBc,

    I second to your choice. I wonder what is the hang up in getting Arenas and ‘Sheed, no competition in those oldies and I think they still have the juice to help the Lakers good for three months only. Why wait for the last minute, even if Howard gets in, it’s still a good deal for minimum salaries unless of course Mitch knows something that has not been revealed by scout rumors. So far, nothing is said about Arenas and ‘Sheed that they could no longer play.

  10. If Arenas or Wallace had anything left in the tank, the Lakers would have made a move already. The lack of action there speaks volumes.

  11. Sessions lack of outside shooting scares me a bit. Jordan Farmar could be had for cheap. Knows how to play with Big 3, fast, shooting % is much improved, and has guts to take big shots. Both can’t play D.

    Still hoping for Beasley as stretch 4.

  12. 11,

    Chris, I think they’re not making any moves until DH deal is finalized. Nobody wants to blink because it involves several players in the roster especially if Orlandoo includes the garbage tails of DH. The think if those oldies are still OK and waited too long, maybe other teams like Heat will get ‘Sheed or another team in need of temporary PG would go for Agent Zero. Well, both of us don’t really know what’s going on, without any link to gossipers and rumor mongerers, wish Darius has input on these two players.

  13. “It was reported Lakers don’t want to give away TPE nor 1st rd draft. Would not trade Gasol to nobodies?”
    —–

    If that is really true then the Lakers are not trying to make any deals. There is no way they make real adjustments to the roster (major or minor) without either giving up the TPE, a first round pick, or trading one of their main pieces (Gasol, Bynum, or both). Signing veterans minimum type players won’t really address their needs.

  14. It was reported Lakers don’t want to give away TPE nor 1st rd draft.
    __

    If this is accurate, then I think that they will wind up doing nothing.

  15. The thing with waiting on Howard to move is he may not move at all. With less than 48 hours to go it may be safe to write off Dwight Howard moving. And if he doesn’t move now are the Lakers going to stand pat and hold all their chips so they can play this same game of chicken in the offseason leading up to July 1st? I hope not.

  16. Just letting you know that you should open up a bracket challenge for FB&G readers. I already made mine and it’s called “Fire Ben Howland”, obviously!

  17. Still don’t get why Dwight wants to go to Jersey. Their the Clippers of NY just wants to be global and flashing cameras in his face. That media will eat him up I know he sees how quick they turned on Melo. They still won’t get past Miami.

    Keep the picks not worth getting sessions for a 1st. Crazy couple days coming up.

  18. I’m worried we are gonna trade Bynum for Howard and Bynum is gonna have five straight healthy years and be the best Center in the NBA. But I’ll take my chances.

  19. Marc Stein saying Bulls are trying to get involved with Pau which seems strange considering how good their chemistry is.

    I really dont like Boozer so unless we get Watson and Deng as well i dont see why we do that

  20. Jerry Buss would swing for the fences and bet on the guy with the most upside (Bynum). But I don’t think Mitch and Jimmy have those kind of guts and I dont blame them.

  21. I think my first option would be to just pick up Sessions or another starting caliber point guard and some kind of bench scoring. (Beasley?)

    Second would be to move Gasol for a really really good PG like DWill or Rondo.

    Doing nothing shouldn’t even be on the table, however. Hopefully we make some kind of move. I think Jerry Buss would take DH12, Aaron. He would make the Lakers the most money. He’s got that “IT” factor that Shaq, Magic, Kobe have had over the years. Bynum, as good as he is, doesn’t have that yet. He may very well get it.

  22. 12/AG, Sessions is shooting 43.3% behind the arc this year, which is clearly better than all of our guards. Also, there have been no reports that Farmar is available, although he is pretty much exactly what we’d be looking for, so I agree with you there.

    11/Chris J, thank you for that. I don’t get the clamoring for Arenas and Sheed considering no one has seen either play. You cannot reasonably expect either to be in NBA game shape, let alone be solid contributors. If they had anything left in the tank, teams would be interested. No teams have been at this point, so do the math.

  23. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    To be fair Farmar was very young and did out play Fisher every year. Phil Jackson just loved Fisher.

  24. Farmar would be good in this system. But I think, as Dude Abides said, that NJ will likely keep him in case Williams leaves.

    Also, minor point, but Howard wants to go to Brookyn, not Newark.

    __

    I’m worried we are gonna trade Bynum for Howard and Bynum is gonna have five straight healthy years and be the best Center in the NBA.
    __

    Howard is better than Bynum, by almost every metric. He is also quicker and has a much better health record. Bynum has more length and is a little taller, but Howard is the better player. Also, I will be extremely surprised if Orlando trades him here straight up for Bynum.

  25. #25, we won two titles with him as the lead pg off the bench. we don’t need CP3, if they hold onto Big 3. He’s better now.

    #22, I saw this awhile back re Jordan: http://netsarescorching.com/2012/01/30/hoopsworld-farmar-morrow-on-the-block-for-cap-room/

    Smaller sample size than JF, but didn’t realize Sessions shooting was shooting that high of percentage this year, that’s encouraging.

    I also wouldn’t mind adding Morrow, both could be had for the tpe.

  26. TPE + 1st Rounder: These do have something in common. It is called taking on salary. I am hoping there is no moratorium there.

    rr @15: If that report is correct it could literally be coming down to D12 or Bust !!

  27. Yes, the same Farmar. The same Farmar who is 25 years old, quick, and is averaging 10.7 ppg, 3.4apg, while shooting 44.9% behind the arc, 46.7% overall and 89.5% from the free throw line. Oh, with a 18.43 PER for good measure, all while playing behind Deron on a fairly crap team.

    I understand the hesitancy, considering he had his shot to overtake Fish, but you’ve got to take into account the context. He was here when the Lakers were still running the triangle, and didn’t need a prototypical point guard, they just needed a faux shooting guard (like Fish) who could bring the ball up the floor, dump it into the high post and stand around the arc.

    Now the situation is reversed. A prototypical guard is exactly what we need in MB’s system, he’s come out and said so himself, and that is NOT Fishers game, obviously.

    Do you also remember when Phil loosened his reigns on Farmar and let him run the second unit outside the confines of the triangle? Phil saw Farmars skills and realized that he could be much more effective in a non-triangle offense, so he let him loose. That was the Bench Mob era, and the last time our bench was solid. Those would be the same skills that would be utilized in MB’s system now.

    Ninja edit: Nice find on that article AG, I stand corrected. Hopefully, they are still available. We need all the PG options we can get, so Mitch doesn’t have to overspend on Sessions or whomever. Although, like rr said and The Dude originally brought up, I can’t see why NJ wouldn’t hold on to Farmar as Deron insurance.

  28. Mitch: I think this thread is a microcosm of the impossible job he has: Keep Pau, Keep Big 3, Don’t add salary or use the TPE, don’t trade the picks: However, make us a winner, so we can get back to rooting for the Lakers.

  29. I think my first option would be to just pick up Sessions or another starting caliber point guard and some kind of bench scoring. (Beasley?)

    Second would be to move Gasol for a really really good PG like DWill or Rondo.

    Doing nothing shouldn’t even be on the table, however. Hopefully we make some kind of move. I think Jerry Buss would take DH12, Aaron. He would make the Lakers the most money. He’s got that “IT” factor that Shaq, Magic, Kobe have had over the years. Bynum, as good as he is, doesn’t have that yet. He may very well get it.

  30. With the Lakers, Farmar had minor attitude issues and always seemed just a tad too erratic to get it done. (I think this despite my really wanting to like him, an L.A. guy and rare nba jew like me – – the jew part, not the nba part).

    But the triangle’s gone, he’s seen other things and – okay, most importantly – I seem to recall seeing that his 3point % numbers look awfully different from how they used to (i.e., better!).

    So, what the heck, why not?

  31. rr,
    The metrics had Bynum the better defensive player the second half of last season btw. Bynum is also a better low post player and passer. Howard is much better in the PnR on both sides of the ball (best of all time) and is also much better in transision. Howard isn’t as good guarding big centers in the paint as he is 6-10 but is much better guarding PFs consistently. Howard also has a better motor in the regular season (one of the best of all time). So it’s up to personal choice on what your team needs and what you want from your center. All this is not including health which is the biggest factor. Shaq and Chris Webber said they would rather have Bynum because they like guys who can score in the low post and make free throws so you can go to him at the end of the game. But it’s def personal choice. I would rather have Howard because he is a LeBron like machine who never gets hurt.

  32. but farmar is not starting material and not a 30 MIN a night guy so dont think he can help us much.

    ___

    Out of the Triangle, he would be a league-average starter IMO. I would much rather have him than Blake.

  33. McRoberts/Morris/pick for Sessions works. McRob is only signed through next year. My guess is that Gilbert does not want to do that, though.

  34. Well, if we’ve learned anything from the Kupchak Years, Gasol isn’t going to the Bulls. If it leaks, it’s fake or dead.

    So, assuming it’s fake, who’s trying to fake out whom? The Bulls, by feinting toward upgrading their frontcourt and trying to make Miami or OKC freak out and make a panic deal to counter?

    I love these cases of cui bono whodunits. That’s sort of repetitive, you know what I mean.

  35. The rumor that the Bulls want Gasol is just the latest comical chapter in this trading period. Everyone wants someone, but nobody is willing to pay for it. I wonder why nothing is getting done? : ) Cuban, Prokhorov, + Riley are laughing (list amended just for you rr)

  36. Robert, totally agree. Who wants Boozer and that contract? Answer, nobody. The ESPN boys are really grasping at straws.

  37. last year with the nets (prior to deron trade) farmar played for about 60 games and couldnt earn the starting position..

    ___

    He was trapped behind Devin Harris, who was well thought-of at the time and to an extent still is. Harris, recall, was once traded in a deal for Kidd, and then was traded in a deal for Deron Williams and was given a hefty contract.

    Sessions might be a better choice than Farmar. It is arguable. I would put Farmar ahead of Felton, though.

    But there is no reason to think Farmar is on the block.

  38. rr,
    The metrics had Bynum the better defensive player the second half of last season btw. Bynum is also a better low post player and passer. Howard is much better in the PnR on both sides of the ball (best of all time) and is also much better in transition. Howard isn’t as good guarding big centers in the paint as he is 6-10 but is much better guarding PFs consistently. Howard also has a better motor in the regular season (one of the best of all time). So it’s up to personal choice on what your team needs and what you want from your center. All this is not including health which is the biggest factor. Shaq and Chris Webber said they would rather have Bynum because they like guys who can score in the low post and make free throws so you can go to him at the end of the game. But it’s def personal choice. I would rather have Howard because he is a LeBron like machine who never gets hurt.

  39. It is a sentimental journey on Jordan “Micky Mouse ears” Farmar…..good if he’s mentioned being available. No mention of Farmar at all in any site because Nets are not sure what will D’Will decide at the end of the season.

    Robert, it is really a mission impossible for Mitch – to be Championship contender, profitable too, rebuild w/ Kapono, Murphy, Goudelock and McRoberts protect trade picks whether 1st & 2nd, no amnesty on scrubs and lastly protect Bynum without DH signing long term contract. As you said, they think they have the best roster of all season and have the best coach who could settle for less because he has the gift of the best basketball mind today.

  40. Not Charlie Rosen March 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    AG – Saw a similar article about Farmar today; if the Nets decline all options, they’re about 11 million under the cap this summer, and need to clear another 6-8 million to give DH the max free agent deal, and Farmar’s one of the two best candidates.

    And I would love to have him back. Sessions is clearly the first/best choice if Pau’s not on the table (which I hope he isn’t), but Farmar’s a much better fit than Felton or the like.

    Yes, he didn’t do great under the triangle, but was able and willing to change his game to fit while he was here, which says a lot about his character and work ethic (a few honest comments in interviews aside). Plus he knows all the key players here, loves the city, would love to be back in the hunt for playoffs and/or another ring…

    And I keep thinking back to the series with Houston 3 years ago (first of the back-to-back), when Fisher was suspended and Farmar had to start and had one of the best games of his career (33min, 12pt, 7ast, 5rbs, 2stls, 1TO), clearly one of the leaders in that game that brought us a win. Can’t expect that every time, but when given the opportunity and a role that plays to his strengths, he’s definitely an upgrade over what we’ve got.

  41. @46/Robert

    Well of course the Magic want the Lakers back in the discussion. If you are going to lose the best center for nothing, you might as well take a shot at grabbing the next best center (they are separated by an increasingly small margin FWIW).

    That being said, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be a sad man come Thursday at noon. But we’ll still have the Beast Bynum =)

  42. @47/EG: I admit that Farmar idea is partly born out of sentiment, sentiment for a team that won back to back championships. Okay, fine I’m also a Bruin alum :)

  43. Orlando has few options at this point. So it is no surprise they want the Lakers back in the mix. There is no way the Nets offer is better than LA’s offer. However, Howard’s refusal to sign an extension should offically kill any talk of him coming to Los Angeles. The Lakers can’t let Bynum go only to see Howard walk to Dallas or New Jersey in the off season.

    Let that guy stay in Florida.

  44. sbdunks: My largest concern all along has been Orlando “pulling the Cleveland maneuver”. If they decide to trade him – I think he is ours !!!

    Mikan – Wilt – Kareem – Shaq – D12

    The dream is alive !!!!!

  45. But it’s def personal choice.

    ____

    If it were that close, I think Orlando would trade Howard for Bynum. If they actually do that, I might change my mind. Shaq and Webber are talking heads trying to get eyeballs, and Shaq appears to like tweaking Howard, so I take that with a grain of salt.

    _________________________

    @rr.. Maybe he’s been a victim of poor circumstances but hard to make that argument now as a 6 year vet. there’s a reason both Phil and Avery both have him on a short leash…he’s also very temperamental and tends to sulk when things don’t go his way. Also inconsistent outside shot with questionable decision making.. Just too many red flags and an unproven playoff track record to boot

    ________________

    Farmar is not a Triangle player, and Fisher is an institution in LA and was one of Phil’s guys. Devin Harris was condsidered a borderline All-Star type PG. Now Farmar is behind Williams. There has never really been a clear route to playing time for him in any situation he has been in. He’s not great, but he would help the Lakers a lot more than Blake does.

    By the logic you are applying to Farmar, Blake should also be penalized heavily for not taking Fisher’s job under either Jackson or Brown.

  46. No chance we send ORL Bynum at this point IMO. Maybe earlier in the process, but they blew their chance at Bynum (if he was ever available). My bet is on making them take Pau or nothing. Would love to see D12 next to Bynum even if it is for only the remainder of the year.

  47. tviper: I love it. I brought up the Bynum/D12 combo earlier in the season + I was lampooned by the board. I like the way you are thinking – because the point is that if the Magic decides to trade – we are their call.

    My deal: AB/TPE for D12/Jameer

    Jameer is a huge upgrade for us. In fact I want him to be included.

  48. Howard is 6/6 from the floor and has 7 REBs, 3 ORBS…with three minutes left in the first quarter.

  49. Bynum and Dwight together? Who guards stretch 4’s? If you thought teams packed the middle against us before, then wait until we trot that lineup out there!

    Do not want Jameer Nelson. He is not all that great right now.

  50. Jameer is not great – but is an huge upgrade for us (which is sad). OK – I was trying to be reasonable – but if you want the total pipedream, then: The Magic take AB straight up for D12 (maybe we throw in a pick); Then we get Sessions for the TPE/Pick.

    KB/Sessions/D12/Pau/MWP

    Now that is a contender.

  51. Miami blowing them away now…Howard stuck on 12 pts.