Changing Of The Guard: Lakers Acquire Sessions, Trade Fisher

Darius Soriano —  March 15, 2012

The trade deadline has come and gone and it’s bitter-sweet to be sure as the Lakers added a player that should help them a great deal but traded a player that has meant so much to their organization for so long.

In a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers acquired the point guard help they’ve sought, adding Ramon Sessions. Sessions has a variety of useful skills that will help this team. He’s a penetrating guard that can work in the pick and roll both as a set up man and as a finisher. When he turns the corner he’s a threat to get all the way to the rim to finish and that skill alone means the defense will need to make hard choices in terms of helping, especially those players guarding Pau and/or Bynum. He’s also a very good passer that reads plays ahead of time, meaning he rewards his teammates that move off the ball and dash into open space by hitting them on time with passes that allow them to finish easily. Basically, he’s a PG in the truest sense and for a team that’s moved to a more traditional offense this season, his skill set is a nice match for this team.

Of course, Sessions isn’t the perfect player and there’s a reason the Lakers could get him in the deal they did. Though he’s making over 40% of his three pointers this season, historically his jumper is shaky. If teams don’t respect his ability to hit the open J, the already dicey spacing exhibited on many Laker possessions will only be worse. This can be off-set somewhat by his ability to attack off the dribble because when defenses don’t close out he can hurt them but getting into paint or forcing help when he puts the ball on the floor, but he’ll need to make defenses pay with his jumper to truly be the player the Lakers need on offense. Defensively, his reputation is also of someone that doesn’t have good instincts and will make mistakes on that side of the floor. He’s not known to navigate screens well and his thin frame allows him to be overpowered by stronger guards. Of course, defending the elite class of PG’s in this league is a team effort and if Sessions can be brought up to speed on that side of the floor he may end up being a neutral defender. Which, if he’s helping on offense as much as he’s capable of, will be a net positive in the end.

Where Sessions acquisition would have caused the most issues was how he got integrated into a lineup that already had Derek Fisher and Steve Blake at his position. By my math, without trading or demoting one of those players, the Lakers had one PG too many and would need to sort that out. The Lakers, though, must have been thinking the same thing when right before the trade deadline came to pass it was announced that the team traded Derek Fisher and the Mavericks 1st round pick acquired in the Odom trade to the Rockets for PF/C Jordan Hill.

At this point, it’s safe to assume that the Lakers simply did not want to deal with the politics of demoting Fisher, a player whose voice is respected in the lockerroom and who provided leadership as both a veteran and a champion. Fisher is a prideful player and while his play has been in decline, he was still a key figure that his team rallied around when times got hard. With Sessions now in the fold and Steve Blake not dealt away, Fisher suddenly became the least productive player in a three man PG rotation and would have surely been the player whose minutes got cut.

But how do you ease him out of the lineup? How do you tell one of your leaders that his time as an on court performer is up and that he must recede to background while other, younger options take his minutes and his role? The fact is that for a first year coach and someone that doesn’t have nearly the clout in the locker room as the player he’d be demoting, there’s no good way to do this. At least not one that doesn’t risk a divided locker room with players potentially taking sides. The easiest thing to do, then, is to trade that player away and save yourself the difficult conversation and potential repercussions of demotion.

And so, the Lakers have traded away one of their leaders. Derek Fisher contributed to 5 championship teams. His shots against the Magic in game 4 of the 2009 Finals that forced overtime and then won the game will live forever. As will his game 3 performance against the Celtics a year later that clinched the game and put the Lakers up 2-1 in a Finals they ultimately won. Add in his historically hot shooting in 2001 that helped carry his team to an unprecedented 15-1 record in the playoffs and Fisher is a Laker legend. He’s on the Mt. Rushmore of Lakers role players. And now he’s headed to Houston for a serviceable big man.

There was a changing of the guard today for the Lakers. They’re probably better on paper than they’ve been in a year and a half and that’s certainly worth something. However, they’re certainly also lighter in the leadership department and definitely in the intangible qualities of having a guy on board that’s not only been there before but made sure the team left with the hardware. As I said earlier, it’s a bitter-sweet day to be a Lakers fan.

Darius Soriano

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237 responses to Changing Of The Guard: Lakers Acquire Sessions, Trade Fisher

  1. Fish – I wish you all the best. You’ll forever be a Laker to me.

    Aaron – I guess you’re happy now.

  2. Fisher’s abilities had faded, but dude always had heart..and a pair of big brass ones in big moments. The early rumor was that Houston may buy him out, so I wonder if someone else picks him up for the stretch run or he retires.

    As I said in the last thread, if he’s done as a player, pick him the hell back up as a coach. He’s part of the Lakers family.

  3. This is all madness. Should I be happy? Sad? Dwight Howard has brought the apocalypse on the NBA.

    Worst-case scenario: Houston buys out Fish and he signs with the Heat and beats us in the Finals with a game-winning 3. In 0.3 seconds.

  4. Yes; very bittersweet. My two sentimental favorites jettisoned this year for cost-savings (LO and Fish).

    But cost-savings are important, I guess.

    I know it will be easier to take the first time I see Sessions turn the corner and dunk on someone.

  5. I’m just shocked they would do this but I understand completely. We’ve all been clamoring for an upgrade on the 1 and we got it.

    I have no idea what Jordan Hill’s going to do yet (I’m not sure if anyone is actually big on him) but maybe he’ll flourish here as a back-up big. Pau and Drew need to rest more, anyway.

  6. Losing Fisher hurts on an EMOTIONAL level, not on a BASKETBALL level. With Sessions and Blake on the roster he shouldn’t even see the court more than a couple minutes.

    The FO made themselves the bad guy so that MB wouldn’t have any problems with the squad by sitting Fisher.

    We are all very sentimental in regards to Fisher now that he is gone, but would anyone on this board like him taking minutes from Sessions and Blake if he was still here?

    All that being said, I really hope he returns to the organization in some capacity once he retires. Heck, I’ve been telling my friends that if Fish ran for mayor of LA he’d win in a landslide, no matter his political leanings.

  7. mt. rushmore of laker role players:

    1. fish
    2. coop
    3. kurt rambis
    4. lamar odom

  8. Laker fans will certainly miss the intangibles Fish brought to the team. A true class act and forever respected by me.

    I get the basketball move, but still have to shake my head at the decision. When the game is on the line, you need Fish’s steady hand and leadership.

    Will truly be missed.

  9. For politics sake, the Lakers needed to trade Fisher. The guy is too proud to give up his starting position, and he’s too embedded in the organization for MB to bench him. Lakers got the PG they needed in Sessions, and they needed to push Blake as the starter and Sessions as the backup, which would force Fish out of the lineup. Much as it sucks to lose a great locker room leader and really the only balance to Kobe’s will, he needed to go, and the Lakers got a former #8 pick (that they can cut after this year), in exchange for Fish and what would have been a 20+ pick.

  10. 1, it’s ok, Fish gave Aaron plenty of beatings in ’09 and ’10.

  11. I’m not at all happy about the Fisher trade. I’m sure no one in that locker room is either.

    I hope Sessions is what everyone says he is. has huge shoes to fill.

  12. Very sad to see Fish go, but Jordan Hill will be a much better backup big than Murphy, especially on defense. Our lineup looks like this now:

    C – Bynum, Hill, Murphy
    PF – Gasol, McRoberts, Eyenga
    SF – Artest, Barnes, Ebanks
    SG – Kobe, Goudelock
    PG – Sessions, Blake, Morris

    It sounds like the direct trade with Houston was the backup plan to the Minny-Portland-Laker three-way trade, but Fish (not Blake) was the Laker who would have gone to Minny or Portland with Beasley coming here.

  13. i never though they would have the cojanes to deal Fish, how we appraise the trade really comes down to how Kobe and takes it. I maintain that Blake should start and Sessions off the bench

  14. Fisher had worn other uniforms before; in previous stints with Golden State and Utah. He knows as much as anyone else that it’s a business. In that respect, I’m at peace with the trade as it gives us some big man depth and youth and possibly puts us in a better financial situation to make another move next year.

    But I’ll certainly always treasure Fisher for the great moments he’s brought us and for the zillions of things he’s done that you’ll never see in the stat sheet. Let’s not insult Fisher by discounting those; because without him we don’t have 5 rings. Maybe 3, maybe 4, but not 5. Every championship team needs a guy like him.

    There are several reasons why the trade makes sense for us. But going forward I’d like to see the Lakers engineer a ceremonial deal in a year or so that lets him retire as a Laker. It’d be a small gesture that meant a lot and would be fittingly emblematic of all the little things Fisher did for us that turned out to be so much more. And that’s what really gives me pause – Jerry Buss’ Lakers would’ve done that. I’m not so sure that Jim Buss’ Lakers will.

  15. Well said Darius..

    Fish’s driving, crashing layup against the Celtics in 2010 finals is probably my favorite shot of all time, absolutely fearless.

  16. Bye bye fish. Thanks for all the memories! I think it will prove to be a good thing in a lot of ways. Lakers got out from under some bad contracts, got younger and faster, and never had to drag Fisher through the dirt.

    I like Hill, I think he is our 3rd best big, and who knows, he might even be a keeper along/behind Bynum. Wish we had landed Beasley too, but all in all I think it was a great deadline.

  17. Mihms The Word March 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    What a day. I’m curious who is gonna say no to Kobe now when he demands the ball, cause Fish was the only one with the cahones to do so. Hope he comes back to the lakers at somepoint, as a coach or in some other capacity.

    @3 If he goes to the heat I will stop watching basketball until he retires, because I refuse to see him wear that jersey. I feel sick just thinking about it…

  18. Sharky H Towers March 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    4- ummm Mr. robert horry is on that list. Id put him 2 at least.

    Tough day. Losing fish for beasley would have been better, but keeping pau was the most important part.

    This saving money business is pretty tough to take as a fan thhough…

  19. Our team won big time at this deadline. I have to say that all of the chicken littles on this board have to be feeling a bit relieved. I mean, cupcake and jim buss who have been derided all season did right by us fans and for the club. They shed salary, got younger, and upgraded across the board.

    I have so many good memories with fish that Darius, your description, bittersweet, hits the mark. Point 4. 2010 Celtics. Countless clutch moments. But man am I happy with our team now. Would I rather have kept Fish and dealt with the tremors of demoting him… I can just imagine fish starting, sessions in second, and Blake (at 4 mil a year) sitting. I think they made the right decision as a franchise, and hill is no slouch, as Aaron and others have pointed out.

  20. Excellent work, Darius. I think your reasoning is probably right. I also think it is possible that there is an unofficial agreement to bring Fish back next year.

    When does Houston play here? The fans will blow the roof off the building.

  21. @7 – Don’t forget AC Green and Robert Horry
    @9 – I really hope Blake only starts the first couple games as we integrate Sessions. Ramon should be the starter, as he could end up being a real gem. Jordan Hill needs to be Drew’s backup instead of Murphy. If he excels in that role, he could end up getting all of Murphy’s and McRoberts’ minutes at PF as well.

  22. when does our Odom trade exception expire? Are we gonna use it?

  23. 15. Mile August

    I don’t think I will ever forget the crashing layup with pierce, garnet, and Big baby(?) smashing into our little general.

  24. chicken littles

    __

    I think you meant to say, “People who knew in November that the team would need upgrades to be a serious playoff threat.”

  25. 22. JAMES: Expires in December.

  26. Fisher’s magic moments 0.4 remaining against Spurs and 2009 Championship against Magic. He helped the Lakers greatly in soothing restive nerves following the ’07 rants of Kobe. Fisher replaced Smush, followed by Ariza and Gasol. Lakers went back to the Finals for three consecutive years and got two titles. However, these last two years we all saw what Fisher can do. He has some good moments but most of his games showed his way out of the league which just a matter of time. Lakers should move on, so they opted for a big body and younger player in Jordan Hill without taking into consideration the sentimental relationship with their co captain. Mitch can just do so much with clear instructions to cut salaries at the same time upgrade the team with younger players.

  27. when does our Odom trade exception expire?

    ___

    December–they last one year. I doubt that it gets used.

  28. So long Fish,thanks for everything!

  29. I second Horry as one of our greatest role players. Slava Medvedenko is not far behind.

    My impression on Hill was that he’s a bit like McRoberts, but a better rebounder. But his PER is definitely higher than I expected; I haven’t seen a ton of him. My question is – if MB plays Murphy over McRoberts for his shooting/spacing, despite McRoberts being a better player, will he give Hill the time? Hope so.

    17 – agreed. But Fish did flirt with Miami before signing his last contract with us.

    Wizards get Nene. WoW.

  30. @7 – I would think Horry, Fox, and AC Green need to be on that list as well.

  31. 6, “Losing Fisher hurts on an EMOTIONAL level, not on a BASKETBALL level.”

    perfectly put. not sure about losing the 1st rounder, but after the emotions pass, I feel better about the team today than the one we had yesterday. time heals all wounds.

    we play in houston on 3/20 and fish returns to staples on 4/5.

  32. re 22
    The Odom Salary Dump Exception will expire in December 2012.

    Overall, the moves today help the Lakers. But it also fits in with the grand scheme of the Lakers shedding salary. From the to-be CP3 deal, to Odom, Sasha, etc., all of these moves were made in part to cut the overall payroll. I would be very surprised if the Lakers use the trade exception.

  33. doesn’t our tpe expire sometime next season?

  34. Fish may have been slow, but he knew how to get around screens and he could defend the big guards in the post. Sessions can’t stay in front of players, and he’s weak. Fisher could guard Wade and other 2-guards in the post after a switch. Sessions can not. Fisher could chase Chris Paul around a screen. Sessions can not. And we all know the man has ice in his veins.

    We needed an upgrade over Fish. We did not get one.

    The Lakers are much worse now.

  35. Zephid,
    Being the least productive starting PG in ’09 ’10 wouldn’t be described as giving me beatings. Yes he it three very clutch shots in those two season. And had a great fourth quarter in Boston. However, that doesmt make up for statistically the worst PG play during that span. One could argue the Lakers wouldn’t have won their on game in Houston getting to the Finals without Fisher being suspended for that one game Six innHouston. He has been the worst starting PG in the nba by all accounts for the last three seasons. Please don’t rewrite history and tell us that’s what happened.

    Additionally I am more sad than most he is gone. I did a write up about six weeks ago when the writing was on the wall Fisher was not long for the lakers rotation. He was a clutch shooter and hustle player on five Lakers championship teams. He will be missed by all of us.

  36. Who knows what Chaz would’ve done with a 20+ pick anyway?

  37. @ mikeinchitown

    “mt. rushmore of laker role players:

    1. fish
    2. coop
    3. kurt rambis
    4. lamar odom”

    How quickly you forget my friend, please add:

    5. Horry
    6. McAdoo
    7. A. C. Green

    In addition, if you told me the Lakers would be able to pull off trades moving both Fish & Walton w/o moving Bynum or Gasol AND get better, I’d think you was smoking something.

    Loved Fish, but I’m a Laker fan 1st. This is better for the club. Lakers have become younger & more athletic in a few hours.

    Fish, Walton, & Kapono out. Sessions, Hill, & Eyenga in. Sweet!

  38. Although it improved the team,sorry to see Fisher go,and not only because of history. The league is filled with athletic PG`s who have great stats, but in the clutch turn the ball over and miss shots. We still lack a backup #2 who can create and make shots.

  39. @Mihms The Word
    I strongly doubt that Fisher was the only one with the nerve to tell Kobe to stop shooting so much and start passing us the ball. What made Fisher different is that when he said it, Kobe listened to him. He’s not going to listen to Troy Murphy if he says the same thing.

  40. Like many here, I get the basketball reasons for sending Fish out, but I am truly saddened by this trade.

    When my brother texted me to say that the Lakers had traded for Sessions, I was happy. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch with my coworkers.

    Then I got a follow-up text as we paid the bill and my brother asked about the Fisher trade. I practically needed to sit down.

    Emotionally, this is crushing and I actually find that I’m both sad and angry about this. It doesn’t feel right or fair.

    I also worry about the emotional impact of this on the team. They’re losing a person that they have all rallied around in big games – a leader and friend for everyone. I think that the team cohesion could seriously suffer with this trade.

    God, I thought I felt bad after the Odom trade. I don’t think I realized how important Fisher being on the Lakers was to me.

  41. NBA TV reported that we could have had Beasley in a three team trade by sending Fisher to Minnesota but we backed out. I’m thinking everyone would have preferred Beasley over Hill.

  42. 28. I really am bemused by the Nuggets in this trade

  43. Dude,
    “A real Gem” is exactly the perfect language to describe who this guy is a player. He has been hidden on very bad teams. He is a legitimate starting NBA PG with major upside. Major. He has all the tools and is long with a nice muscular frame. He just looks like an NBA PG. maybe I’m just too vain.

  44. The Lakers let go a piece of their heart and soul today with the trade of Derek Fisher. Fisher and Kobe Bryant came in together as rookies with Lakers in 1996-97 and have won 5 NBA championships as teammates. Fisher a tough player made several big shots and plays during the Lakers title runs. Fisher’s play has declined and with three PGs on the team would likely see his minutes severely reduced. Perhaps the Lakers did not want to bench Fisher with all he has done for the team over the years and this was the best way to avoid a very sticky situation. He will be missed for all the intangibles he brought to the team.

    Derek Fisher top plays
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcTrLfyAMbk

  45. Frank the Tank March 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    UGH We actually chose Hill over Beasley? WEAK. Must have been for Salary Reasons. Still. Couldve spent a little more and had a serious upgrade at the 3 spot as well. Oh well.

  46. Best wishes to Fisher, if you can play PG under Phil, you are very good. Fisher is an example of a player with limited skills when he came to NBA, but he has heart,working hard to improve his game, we had good memories with Fisher.

  47. 39,

    James, according to Nuggets tweets on Nene, Nuggets had a buyers remorse in re-signing Nene who was frequently injured. However, why Wizards? Maybe Beasly could have been a better exchange, well that’s why it farfetched for us to become GM because we don’t know the inside mechanic in balancing many factors like: salary dumps, players proned to injury dump and scout prospecting.

  48. Cognitive dissonance.

  49. Windhorst just added that in the Sessions deal, the Cavs have the right to swap their Heat pick for our pick; it’s not our choice like we thought.

    James – agreed. For Washington, a decent move. They got a good player and got read of a headcase in McGee. Denver just gave out that huge contract and now shipped him out for some … potential, I guess. George Karl has to be ripping his hair out. He’s loved his unselfish team and now he gets another dim bulb to deal with. Maybe the positive culture around the Nuggets changes McGee, who knows.

  50. Maybe the reason we wanted Hill over Beasely is because we don’t have a back up legitimate Center. This guy can defend and block shots. He is a Rony Turiaf type but much younger. We already have a league average back up SF in Barnes. Yes it would have been great to get that scoring punch off the bench. But we have a heavy PnR offense and two skilled seven footers. We didn’t really need a SF who could get his own shot but couldn’t create for others now that we have a PG who can create for himself and others. We have Bynum and Kobe who will get all those ISOS Beasly needs to be at his most effective. His ex coach (Kurt Rambis) said on 710 ESPN last week Beasly needs perimter ISO touches to be effective. So I can understand why Jordan Hill (who has a better PER btw) is the better option. We can always use that TE this summer.

  51. Moving Fisher was a business decision. Fisher is a pro’s pro and will understand this. For anyone feeling sorry for him, remember he left the squad on his own accord in 2004 to GSW for more money. He left Kobe’s side, in his prime, and left us with a void that we filled with Smush Parker.

  52. My preference would have been to keep Fish and send Blake and perhaps get a little more back. This would have retained Fish’s leadership and last second shooting in a backup role. Of course, as Darius stated, the “politics” of a Fish demotion may have been difficult. However – so might be the “politics” of trading him. Want to hear the KB take on all this.

  53. Won’t miss Fish as our PG. It’s like a burden lifted.

    Great person, outstanding leader in locker room / union. Great, great Laker.

    Some ice veins shots, but also reminds me of the outfielder who badly outplayed the ball, then makes a crowd pleasing dive to catch the ball.

    Won’t forget that Shaq-era year when he returned mid-season from injury and (uncharacteristically) shot lights-out from 3 and everywhere else through the rest of the season and the playoffs. Go figure !
    —-
    Mt Rushmore of scrubs has gotta consider the ol’ folks too, say, Kermit Washington (err, pre-punch of course). Even ol’ Don Ford! (nah, not really, ugh)

  54. Get younger save cap space. Time to make a run at the title.

  55. I’d heard from here and other sources that Beasley was a potential chemistry problem, so that could very well have played a factor. That was something that made me worry about him being a Laker.

  56. This is a April fools joke right?

    Someone took two of cheerleaders Walton and Kapono and gave us back a starting guard who can run and jump!

    Then you expect me to believe someone took Fisher who on his way to breaking the all time record for most career scoring games against him in one season.

    I must be dreaming! Jim Buss you went from lame duck to King of the World in one day.

  57. Crushed about Fish. There will be a time in the playoffs when we will wish he was still here. Whether it’s to hit a huge shot, calm the team in a hostile environment, or to physically check the other team. Thanks for everything Derek, hope to see you back with the Lakers organization in any capacity.

    Clips got Nick Young for Cook & 2nd rounder. We couldn’t top that offer to give Kobe more rest and get bench scoring? Wow.

  58. I agree with every single word of this article. Not only the place Fish has in Laker history, but also the reasoning and explanation for why the trade needed to happen and the chemistry risks.

    Combined with the Sessions trade, I love everything the Lakers did today to improve themselves.

  59. Zach @32, if you don’t think that Sessions is an upgrade over Fisher, or that the combination of Sessions & Hill isn’t an upgrade over Fisher, Kapono, and Walton, then I can only conclude that you haven’t watched basketball since 2006.

    The Lakers got a lot better today. I would have preferred to have seen the Lakers give up Morris or Ebanks rather than a 1st round pick, but losing what was undeniably your third best PG in exchange for what is now your best big man off the bench is not harmful at all from a basketball standpoint.

    I agree with all of the sentimental talk about how great Fisher was for this organization, but the fact that he was, by far, the worst starting PG on a playoff caliber team cannot be disputed or ignored. He routinely got destroyed on defense (or did you not watch as recently as last night, as Jarret Jack torched him for 30 points), and added virtually nothing on offense except for the occasional clutch shot. Well, you know what? With a (much) improved PG running the show, a team with Kobe, Pau, and Bynum won’t be in as many situations where they will rely on a clutch shot.

    Moreover, unless you think the Lakers were going to bench TWO point better point guards in “clutch” moments from here on out, when was Fisher going to get the opportunity to step into that role?

    It’s a tough business, but this decision makes sense from a basketball AND a business perspective. Hill can be dropped at the end of the season if he is not what we want. Fisher would have been on the books for $7 million (including tax) next year. That is a heck of a lot of money to pay a guy to sit at the end of the bench, or for sentimentality.

    The Sessions trade, by itself, was masterful. The Lakers unloaded 6.1 million of 2013 salary for probably the worst player in the league, and dropped Kapono–whose value can only be seen as zero. Walton and Kapono had combined for a grand total of 75 points this season. Hill, by himself, has scored more than two and a half times that amount, and many people here are bashing him as terrible….

  60. jordan hill is still kind of raw, but his best quality is that he’s a mobile big man, i.e. he runs the floor. with our defense he may be able to help us convert stops into transition baskets.

    i like nick young as a player, but not on the clippers. he’s going to take shots away from CP3, which is not a good thing.

  61. 45

    Glove, Lakers wanted Beasly up to the last seconds but it didn’t go thru for one reason or another. Reasons for the collapsed talks will come out later. Personally, I prefer Blake than Beasly. As I said earlier, we could still pick up some good players who will be waived without absorbing their salaries.

    Lakers are now on youth campaign with Bynum, Sessions, Goudelock, Morris, Eyenga, Hill. This is just the beginning. Very soon, we will acquire the superstars who would be taking the shoes of Gasol and Kobe. I don’t know if anybody could ever replace Kobe who keeps on going despite of injury and fatigue but Lakers already shed salaries to anticipate the future without sacrificing much the competitive spirit. Essentially, Championship teams are a mixture of veterans and young players. Will this be true for the Lakers? It remains to be seen but IMO, we are better in the days to come compared to last week’s roster.

  62. I don’t know….sessions can’t check anyone either….unless he generates some fast break points against the second team…it will be a downgrade come playoff time.

  63. My all-time Laker-highlight daydreams will always, always include a generous helping of Mr. Derek Fisher.

    And yes, the trade hurts the heart a bit.

    But, I can see why the Lakers had to do it. Benching him wasn’t going to be good for anyone in the clubhouse.

    Come on, now, people. Did anyone see any way in the world Mitch was going to be able to jettison Luke’s and Fisher’s contracts this year? – let alone unload Kapono?

    I wasn’t sold on Beasley, either, and not just because I have major concerns about the guy’s head and commitment. I just don’t think the team’s biggest problems were at the 3. MWP makes me scream at the TV fairly regularly, but he does a lot of things to help the team win, and I’m fine with a rotation of him & Barnes heading into the playoffs. I do think the team needed help at the backup 4 – I’ve been saying that for weeks – and if Hill can siphon some of the minutes away from Murphy (who played 13 minutes last night without taking a shot), great.

    I thought Mitch did an amazing job today considering how ridiculous the NBA landscape was. He shed salary and albatross contracts, got younger and more athletic, addressed problem areas, kept his 3 stars, kept his big trade exception for the offseason, and gave the team an upside it just hasn’t had.

    All the best to Fish and Luke, who were true Lakers and helped the team hang multiple banners. Jason Kapono…brother, I’d have to say I rank your Laker career just below J.R. Reid’s.

  64. So sad to see Fisher go on an emotional level. Though his play might have deteriorated, the Lakers are going to miss his leadership. He was like having an assistant coach on the floor, and more over Fish was the only guy who can say @#$!% you to Kobe’s face and have Kobe sit there and take it.

    Kobe’s probably going to take it hard, and will be extremely demanding upon Sessions no doubt, as he should be, and pressuring him to come through in big moments like Fisher has.

  65. Kelly Dwyer is an idiot Robert.

  66. Called this about a week ago. This is even more about politics than previously mentioned.

    “Recently the players had lobbied Coach Mike Brown to reinstitute some of their principles from their former offense. A source says Fisher was a big part of that movement.”

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/lakers-continue-transition-with-fisher-deal

    -edit-

    Also, I rarely disagree with this blog’s writers, but..

    “Defensively, his reputation is also of someone that doesn’t have good instincts and will make mistakes on that side of the floor. He’s not known to navigate screens well and his thin frame allows him to be overpowered by stronger guards.”

    Sessions is a good defensive PG. I have not seen much of him lately, but when I did get League Pass (4 years prior to this year) I saw that he was a very solid defender.

  67. Funky Chicken has a masterful explanation of things at comment number 62.

  68. I second that, Jim C.

  69. This needs to be re posted by Ken….

    KEN wrote on March 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    This is a April fools joke right?

    Someone took two of cheerleaders Walton and Kapono and gave us back a starting guard who can run and jump!

    Then you expect me to believe someone took Fisher who on his way to breaking the all time record for most career scoring games against him in one season.

    I must be dreaming! Jim Buss you went from lame duck to King of the World in one day.

  70. Maybe the reason we wanted Hill over Beasely is because we don’t have a back up legitimate Center. This guy can defend and block shots. He is a Rony Turiaf type but much younger. We already have a league average back up SF in Barnes. Yes it would have been great to get that scoring punch off the bench. But we have a heavy PnR offense and two skilled seven footers. We didn’t really need a SF who could get his own shot but couldn’t create for others now that we have a PG who can create for himself and others. We have Bynum and Kobe who will get all those ISOS Beasly needs to be at his most effective. His ex coach (Kurt Rambis) said on 710 ESPN last week Beasly needs perimter ISO touches to be effective. So I can understand why Jordan Hill (who has a better PER btw) is the better option. We can always use that TE this summer.

  71. Jim C@69: I am not saying that I agreed with all of it, although I would have preferred to keep him.
    They better have at least spoken to KB about this.

    Kevin@261 prev: I hope you are wrong – but that does not look good on paper. Don’t show that to KB.

  72. I’m really interested to see the real Spurs offense now. With Sessions playing the Tony Parker role. I’m very excited.

  73. Also, I love still having Pau on the team. He is going to help win some big games this season. Let’s all give him some credit for playing ball like a pro through everything he’s been through till now this season.

  74. If you believe that any point guard other than nash or Paul will do anything except throw the ball to Kobe….well…there’s this bridge for sale

    LOL@ thinking some guy named sessions will control the lakers offense….that’s a good one

  75. KBros saying on the radio that Fisher might have been shipped out because he isn’t the team first player people think he is. That he might have sulked and not been okay with not playing behind Sessions and Blake. Hmmmm. I just can’t believe that.

  76. I have no complaints about how the FO took care of business today. I am not convinced Bease was worth the price (in dollars).

    Sad to see Fish go, but as so many have said, it needed to happen for his sake and for Brown’s sake. Finding him minutes or parking him on the bench were both bad options.

    Dropping Luke and Derek’s contracts was a great move.

    I know nothing about Hill so I have no idea if he is an upgrade over Murphy, but that would be a real plus. Eyenga, I am guessing is just filler.

    PG position now seems to be ok, but Sessions fans on this site are going to hear it if he doesn’t deliver.

    The one curious piece is going to be Glock backing up Kobe. Kobe is a cyborg for sure, but he heeds his minutes cut. Can Glock really step up, especially come playoff time?

    Finally, I am curious to see if the young and athletic bench can do some damage now.

  77. #70. I’ve spoken with Cavs bloggers who watch that team every night. He’s thought of as a poor defender. Today I listened to John Krolik (who’s one of the young, bright NBA minds covering the league who also runs Cavs the Blog) on HoopSpeak Live talk about Sessions’ defensive game and how it’s simply not very good. I do try to do my research when writing such things and if you’ve followed this site (or what I write in general) you’ll know that I don’t haphazardly criticize players.

  78. Reaction- The central question is “Did the Lakers improve as a result of today’s trades?” I believe they did. Nonetheless, I have immense respect and thanks for what D Fish has done for the Lakers in his long run with the team and wish him the best. I hope that he returns to the Lakers down the road as a coach.

    But not only did the team improve they did so by adding significant CBA salary flexibility. And retained Odom’s TPE, eliminated three bad contracts (Fish, Walton & Kapono) and several upcoming expiring or team option contracts for next year. These factors allow for significantly improved options during the off season. Obviously the loss of two #1’s in the draft hurts, but the addition of three 24(ish) players for three exiting 30+ makes the team both younger and more athletic. The new CBA is the villain here not the FO as it relates to Fish & LO. Now it remains to be seen whether we are good enough to get out of the West and back to the big dance…

  79. I will reiterate….sessions is worse than fisher defensively….he’s undisciplined….and misses rotations. AND he can’t stay in front of anybody.

  80. Hate to see Derek go. But this is the new landscape the current CBA has created. It is all about cheap, young players and players with expiring contracts. I have no doubt Derek will return to the Lakers in some capacity in the future.

    Going forward I believe the Lakers will be better. How much better remains to be seen.

  81. minnie backed out of the beasley deal. kaaaaaaahn!

  82. Salary Savings: The salary savings really do nothing for us from a basketball perspective, unless we later use the TPE as a result. Why? We are not going to be under the cap until after 14. There is almost no way for us to be. So salary savings only help save on taxes and increase profits. I like the Sessions deal, but sending the pick along with Derek was a bit extreme.

  83. @Aaron/73
    Unless Mitch Kupchak personally shows unquestionable proof that Jim Buss was the mastermind behind today’s trade, full credit goes to Mitch and no one else. Jim Buss remains a spoiled and short-sighted brat until he proves otherwise. :)

  84. Sessions, Hill, & Eyenga, better, younger, more athletic, & less expensive than Fish, Walton, & Kapono…nuff said

  85. Love Fish and always will, but this was a niiiice upgrade for our team!

  86. For those who weren’t yet aware, one of the 1st round picks traded away (Fisher trade) came from Dallas, and it is not guaranteed until 2018 (top 20 protected each season). There’s a decent chance that if the Lakers had held on to the pick that they would not have been able to use it for a very long time.

  87. So everyone clamoring for Sessions you have him. I’m looking for how well is his spot up shooting. And his drive kick ability off a kick out. I’ve watched Cavs game and he’s effective because Cavs have 3 point shooter and a stretch 4 which gives him space to operate. Curious to see how much better he makes the Lakers.

  88. @82, 84 – Nobody can defend worse than our two PGs did last night. Jack torched Fish (as he does every game), and Vasquez torched Blake. I’ve seen both good and bad reports on Sessions, while Fish’s defense on other PGs is among the worst I’ve ever seen in my many years of watching the NBA.

    I also haven’t seen Ramon’s defensive rebounding ability mentioned much (outside of myself) . He’s one of the best rebounding PGs in the league, and we all know about our team’s poor defensive rebounding, especially off of missed threes.

    In addition, when the other team is taking the ball out of their own basket a lot more often, it’s going to be a lot tougher to score on us in transition.

  89. Darius,
    That is the word that he isn’t a good defender. People also called Lebron a bad defender his first few years. And while he wasn’t as great as he is now… He was still adequate as a 18 year old. I’ve seen sessions play a lot this year. He isn’t DWill or Rondo… But he better than CP3 on that side of the ball. Let me know what you think of him defensivley after a few games. In my opinion he is passable.

  90. First – the Sessions deal is awesome. I’m a bit sad to see Luke go, but it’s a trade that makes sense.

    Second – the Fisher situation. Questions about locker room politics should not come up at the deadline. Management knew they were looking to upgrade, Brown knew it, Fish knew it, everybody on the team knew it. Period. These are things that should be discussed, and I’m hoping they were. Fish may be a proud player but he is also a co-captain, a team leader, and not incidentally, a major factor in the Lakers organization (not to mention the league) actually having a season.

    In a situation like this, a conversation has to take place. Management and coaching should lay their cards on the table, tell Fish that they’re trying to improve the team, ask how he feels about this. Fish is an adult, and very capable at looking at the big picture. He managed to take a very pragmatic approach during a long and painful lockout. He accepted some concessions that are far larger than his minutes for the rest of this season. Again – just my own personal opinion that a players association president who gave up 6 percent of BRI is able to deal with sacrifice.

    So. I’m hopeful that candid discussions occurred and that this did not come as a surprise to Derek, or to Kobe. This has not been the easiest of seasons. We all know this. We don’t need for it to get weirder on the back end of the season. I’m hopeful that it won’t.

  91. Damn Dude… I almost don’t like you anymore. I don’t think we have ever disagreed on anything ever. Weird. That means you have nothing to offer me in terms of changing my mind on anything if we already agree on everything. We will find something to disagree on.

  92. Missy,
    I agree. I always give more credit to the GM.

    Kevin,
    Yes Sessions will have less space to drive the paint and dunk on teams. You won’t see all those highlights of him dunking on teams like this Cavs seasons. But he will get a ton of assists throwing it up to Bynum for Dunks. If Kobe can get to the basket and dunk I’m sure Sessions won’t have too much of a problem.

  93. @Aaron – were Kbros saying that maybe Fish isn’t the team-first player, or that from their own observations, he isn’t?

  94. I think my earlier comment came off as too harsh RE Sessions’ D. I haven’t called him a poor defender. I only speak to his reputation. If you look at things like PER against (which is not a defining stat by any means) he’s solid.

    Ultimately though, as I wrote in the post, if he can pick up the schemes and be a neutral defender, he should be net positive. I think that’s fair.

  95. Okay, Ramon Sessions is not the second coming of Basketball, a Franchise Savior, or the next Magic Johnson.

    But can there be any doubt, any at all that he will be more useful on the court than Derek Fisher has been for far too long now? Better than Blake, better than Goudelock, that we can argue about. But as FunkyChicken was saying earlier: Anyone who doubts that Sessions is an upgrade over Fisher can’t have been paying attention to either of the two players since at least 2006.

  96. nice write up darius. sad to see fish go, but it’s a business. nice job by the front office to make the trade. very little time to really mesh and adjust to the loss of fisher, but let’s hope it works. could not be happier that 1) dan gilbert ok’d the sessions trade – i think it was a steal for the lakers 2) howard stays in orlando and screws up the mavs plans for at least 1 1/2 seasons. here’s hoping that deron williams comes to la!

  97. sessions will get to loose balls and long rebounds quicker than fisher. he may not dive for them and sacrifice his body the way fisher did, though. you have to take the good with the bad.

  98. Also as a side note: this whole Dwight Howard shindig reiterates why I have never been an advocate of moving heaven and earth to acquire him (especially as well as Andrew has been playing). He strung out his team and the rest of the league with his whole will-I-or-won’t-I this season, and I just don’t see that he’s got the makeup of a cold-blooded winner.

    He’s undoubtedly a great center, but he’s not Kareem, Shaq, or Hakeem, which is who he’d have to be to justify some of these proposed trades. His one time to the Finals, he clanked two free throws with game 4 on the line, either one of which would have iced the game, tied the series, and robbed Laker fans of two of D-Fish’s all-time highlight shots. I’m cool moving forward with Drew and Pau.

  99. Also, I think Dave M. makes a very good point in comment #95.

  100. Hmm, how about this Aaron? I’m glad we kept Bynum instead of trading him for Dwight, even though he drives me crazy sometimes by loafing on offensive rebound opportunities and slow rotations when defending the rim.

    In addition, Pau Gasol is still a top five PF in the league (at worst), and is still a top five center in the league when he plays backup center. I would not have agreed with a Pau-Deron trade because Pau is injury insurance for our beasting young center.

    There you go, young grasshopper :)

  101. In Mitch we trust. It’s obviously always sad to see fan favorite players move on but after the emotion wears off and the dust settles we are usually better off in the end. Losing players like Ariza or Turiaf in recent history is tough. Who remembers even further back losing Eddie Jones, Vlade or Norm Nixon. Life as a Laker fan goes on. Hope today’s moves pay dividends, if not it’s a part of the business…

  102. I’m freaken floored right now. We traded D-Fish away?! He deserved to retire as a Laker. :(

  103. I’m glad Lakers have a big to take minutes away from Pau and Drew. Sessions will have to adjust not having the ball all the time he’s the 4th option on this team. Nothing has changed just replaced Sessions with Fish.

    Synergy says Sessions is 22/49 45% in spot up shots

    As the PnR ball handler the play is 36% success rate.

    Nice but small sample size. He had shooters in CLE he doesn’t here.

  104. I’m voting with Jodial @ 104.

    And the dude @ 106: ” … because Pau is injury insurance for our beasting young center.”

  105. I think there will be buyers remorse come playoff time….we have 3 players who want the ball all the time…and now added a fourth who needs the ball to be effective.

    Drive and kick? To who? Do you believe Kobe is going to stand on the wing? More spot ups for MWP?

    I’m intrigued…I don’t think it was the right move, but I hope I’m wrong.

    But if he can’t get right fast Kobe will destroy him and Mike Brown

  106. do we all agree that Hill is at least better than Josh Powell? If so happy days

  107. It’s a little amusing at the number of people criticizing Sessions’ defensive abilities, but apparently ignoring the deficiencies of the guy who just got traded. There’s a reason why average guards have career nights against the Lakers. It’s because Fisher has not been a quality defender for a very long time, and it is quite a stretch to say that the Lakers will be worse off defensively by adding a quicker and taller PG.

    Jordan Hill does fill a need. The current crop of reserve bigs is woefully thin, and come playoff time, this will be a nice addition.

    One thing is clear: the Lakers are going to be active in free agency this summer, because they are going to have a lot of roster spots available, but dumping Walton’s contract just gave them a much better shot at re-signing Sessions if the kid is as good as some of us think.

    Finally, the Fisher trade may also convey a sense of realism among Laker management. The current coach had not, as yet, shown the ability to move Fisher down on the depth chart. Clearly, Blake was taking more and more minutes (particularly in crunch time), but this was long overdue. With so little time left this season, expecting this coach to move Sessions into the starting lineup (and Fisher to the end of the bench) was probably not realistic, and they just solved that problem in a cold, but effective (and cost-saving) way….

  108. I am extremely pleased with today. I have been advocating Sessions all year. I’ve been following him closely and noticed that in the games he started he was very effective. He is better then any point guard we could have drafted in the 20’s.

    The sleeper in the deals today for me was getting Hill. The articles I have read was calling the Fisher trade a salary dump but I do not see it that way. Hill is more of a five then a four and will be much better playing center then either McBob or Murphy. Perhaps with his addition we can shave more minutes off of drew and Pau.

  109. Darius,

    – So the Lakers gave up two first round picks this year? That seems like it will hurt – deep draft and Lakers have not had a first in awhile now.

    – Are we sure Jordan Hill will actually play? My initial read is that he is pretty terrible – high foul rate, poor defensive rebounder. Hard to believe he is better than Murph and McRoberts (which is saying something). Am I wrong here?

  110. marques,
    I don’t think you understand what Sessions is for us and who he is. He is a true PG. yes the ball wil be in his hands to start the offense. Haha. That’s what a PG does. Mike Brown wanted to run his offense. An offense the Spurs ran. We don’t have Tony Parker or Avery Johnson. Now we do. Sessions will set up the offense and many times run the PnR with Gasol with Kobe on the weak side and Bynum near the basket. Wow. This can be a rediculous PnR offense.

  111. @115 – If the Mavs keep playing like this for the rest of the season, they won’t have one of the ten best records in the league, and thus they would keep their #1 pick.

  112. Hill’s play has been underwhelming everywhere he has gone. While there is some upside left, I don’t expect much from him – at least not this season. So don’t get too excited, Lakers fans, he is not much better (if at all) than Murphy or McRoberts at this point.

  113. Kevin,
    Sessions wasn’t the top option on the Cavs. He is a true PG meaning he isn’t an option at all. His job and what he does best is to get your top options the ball in the right places at the right time. And that is something Sessions does very well. As we have all seen in the first half of the year Kobe is not a PG and doesn’t want to pay PG. Kobe bragged out with CP3 he would do what he does best. Just stand around and shoot. Well… Sessions is not CP3 but he is a damn good ball distributor. He will be running the offense and handling the ball a lot to get the Lakers into their offense. This is not simply replacing Fisher with a sessions. This is changing our entire offense. Brown admitted he couldn’t run the offense he was brought into run because we didn’t have a guard who could run the PnR. Now we have that and we will now be running very different sets. Everyone should just enjoy.

  114. Sessions is not a perfect fit–this is why Hollinger gave the trade an A- rather than an A.

    But having a PG like him will help, and Blake is still here.

  115. One more thing – Jordan Hill has very good rebounding numbers. His OffRR is 11.7 (Bynum’s is 10.9) and his DefRR is 27.1 (Bynum’s is 28.0). He is a solid backup center, and could permit MB to cut down on Drew’s minutes. Granted, his offensive rebounding numbers are greatly aided by playing alongside two penetrating PGs in Lowry and Dragic, while Drew’s ORR has been lowered by playing with two PGs who almost never take shots at the rim. However, a DRR of 27.1 is very, very good.

  116. FunkyChicken,
    Are you remembering names today of those not fully supporting these move like we are? We will remember and we do judge people ;)

  117. Marques @109
    He is at the very least a threat to get to the rim which is something that we haven’t had at the point guard position for years. If he can get by his man, it means that someone has to rotate over. This could mean some drive and kicks, but it will also mean lobs for Bynum and Pau once he beats his man.

    It will mean better pick and pop opportunities for Pau. It will mean easier entry passes into the post because he can actually blow by his defender.
    It will mean that the ball will need to be in Kobe’s hands a little less which is better for the offensive flow.

    This was an upgrade all the way around…I’m just sad to see one of my all-time favorite Lakers to be gone.

  118. Aaron

    No I understand perfect….but i also understand when Kobe runs across the lane and demands the ball as he does every game and has dime for 16 seasons, sessions will be useless.

    I live in reality, I guess you thought carmelo was going to stand on the wing too…

    So your telling me Kobe is going to watch while sessions runs pick and rolls…when he’s already giving up plays to bynum….that’s laughable.

    I could care less how good he is…4 of our starters are essentially post players and three need the ball….

    If he’s the back up…it works….as a starter he doesn’t compliment the team.

  119. Btw… Here is the scouting report on the other guy the Lakers got from the Cavs. I have done research and he is actually a 6-6 SG and not 6-7 SF. Just like Trevor he can’t guard SFs but is great against PGs and SGs. He might come right in and back up Kobe. He seems to be a more athletic version of Trevor Ariza. A guy that can slash and defend but has no basketball skills.

    + Pogo-jumping project wingman who needs more reps to refine raw skills.

    + Makes spectacular shot blocks and dunks but has few ball skills. 

    + Must improve defensive fundamentals and add strength. Decent shooter. 

    Well, he can jump. Eyenga’s first pro season showcased that ability, if nothing else, with jaw-dropping blocks far above the square and some breathtaking dunks. If he gets into next season’s dunk contest, “Skyenga” may very well win. 

    Unfortunately, he’s very raw as a basketball player. Eyenga can shoot a little and was solid on midrange jumpers (41.5 percent on 2s beyond 10 feet), but he struggled to make 3s. His worst attribute, however, was an inability to draw fouls. You’d think such a good athlete would draw a few by accident, but Eyenga averaged a pathetic 0.09 free throw attempts per field goal attempt, the third-worst among small forwards. 

    He’s also a weirdly bad rebounder for such a good leaper; apparently he and Ryan Hollins were taking classes on this. Eyenga was just 50th in rebound rate among small forwards. 

    Defensively, Eyenga can block shots — only seven small forwards swatted more per minute — but is still hugely mistake-prone. He surrendered an 18.7 PER to opposing small forwards, according to 82games.com, while his Synergy stats were off-the-charts awful. Nonetheless, his potential is greatest on this side of the floor; if he’s a quick study and makes incremental progress with his jump shot he could be a solid rotation player.

  120. Great write-up, and I really hadn’t fully factored the politics angle of who’d lose the minutes, and how that would play in the locker room, but it makes sense.

    A secondary angle of this is that with Fisher gone, the axis of the Kobe-anchored Lakers shifts a bit, with Bynum a clear #2, growing into a #1.

    With Fisher still on the team, Kobe could always fall back on the “5-rings me and Fish have won together.”

    Now, it’s a bit of a changing of the guard, albeit while keeping a great nucleus, with good chemistry intact – i.e., Kobe, Bynum and Pau.

  121. I wonder if Mike Brown is going to try to mold Jordan Hill into a Varejao-type player?

  122. If he’s the back up…it works….as a starter he doesn’t compliment the team
    __

    Not perfectly, but he is a far better player than Fisher or Steve Blake.

    I do think we will see Sessions/Glock/Barnes/Murphy or Hill/Bynum pretty often on the second unit.

  123. Let the Christian Eyenga era begin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY85U8qzgeE

    Then again, I was wowed by the Josh McRoberts Youtube highlight reel…

  124. With Fish getting traded we all thought it was a possibility but never a reality. Now we all know Kobe can be amnestied I wouldn’t put that past Jim at all.

    Aaron: How many times will it take for Kobe to stand in the corner while Sessions runs PnR for him to call his own number? While an upgrade this isn’t a top 10 PG lakers acquired.

    I am on full board for the championship even with some doubts.

  125. We are definately better off than when we started the day. Whether that is good enough – time will tell.

    Side note: Only 1.5 yrs after back to backs, we are down to four players with rings.

  126. Even if you assume that Fisher was totally devoid of value under any circumstances, (and I’d disagree) the Fisher deal is still lousy as a salary dump. Given all they received for the pick that went to Cleveland, and the value of picks this year generally, the return from Houston is very poor in terms of salary relief.

    Talent-wise, while I like Josh McRoberts II, since they don’t play the Josh McRoberts they already have, assuming that the second McBob (which is what Jordan Hill basically is) is going to have on-court value… is a bit of a reach.

    I’d give the Sessions deal a solid A, though I think people are over-estimating how valuable a point will actually be to this team. But the Fisher deal looks a like a D at this point. And given that they didn’t address their biggest need- which is perimeter shooting- and may have actually exacerbated the problem (though probably not enough to worry about) the day doesn’t end up much more than a lazy C. With the potential for a much lower mark when people realize that on-ball defense isn’t the only defense that point guards provide.

    I’ve been patient with the team all year because I thought the prudent course was to make some deals at the deadline. And I was willing to wait before worrying. Having seen the deals, I’m not overly impressed.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  127. A journalist covering the Cavs on ESPN 710 said Sessions averages 17 and 11 as a starter this year. He says Sessions is so good and will put up similar numbers as a starter with the Lakers. He also said the SG we got with him is a freak athlete who if obtains some skills will be a good bench player for us. Very encouraging.

  128. Kevin,
    If you don’t think Sessions will get Kobe the ball you don’t think Sessions is as good as people that have watched him. “He attacks the basket at will and does a great job hitting open players when the defense collapses” says this Cavs reporter on ESPN

  129. sorry to lose Kapono and Walton – hahaha!

  130. Friday April 6th the Rockets comes to LA. Talk about an emotional night…

  131. Now round 2 begins, who will be bought out or waived. We still have one roster spot open, perhaps a shooter could fall into our lap.

  132. Aaron: CLE has a PnR offense and many times he was the 1st option when in the game. Lakers have a post up offense Lakers aren’t going to run pnr with the big 3 on the floor. So he’ll essentially have the same role as fisher. Let’s just hope he keeps his foot off the 3pt line.

  133. I trust Mike Brown can coach Sessions to defensive adequacy more than I trust Fish could improve his athleticism to defensive adequacy.

    And I loved Fish, a guy who remained one of the best 500 basketball players on earth for 14 years when he probably wasn’t even one of the 5,000 most athletic guys playing basketball. If Carmelo, Glenn Robinson, Harold Minor & Antawn Walker, etc. had his toughness, dedication, smarts, & leadership, they’d be Hall of Famers.

  134. Michael H.

    You have to consider that Fisher was traded when Mitch realized that Blake would still be a Laker. He avoided Fish being embarassed to be the 3rd PG and only Houston was in need of Fisher, actually the Rockets were interested more on the 1st round draft pick. I heard on 710, they might just buy him out too. If it’s Houston, then they will only offer Hill not Flynn or Lowry for our old Fish. Hill is an upgrade in terms of age and height. We don’t know how he could help the 2nd unit. If he doesn’t pan out, Lakers have the option to drop him next season. If you were Mitch and Jimbo, consider the savings Lakers got from removing Walton, Fisher and Kapono, I heard it’s about 5 million and most important Pau and Bynum were not traded. The landscape of role players were improved on speed and it remains to be seen whether talent goes with it too.

    It could be hurt more financially for the Lakers if Fisher and non-playing players occupying a roster space, a salary cap space plus all the new CBA penalties while just sitting on the bench next year. In restrospect, it’ll also hurt Fisher psychologically as President of Players Union who is now being replaced by a young PG.

    BTW, somebody ask why Beasly trade it not go thru, Minny just withdrew from the 3 team deal. Perhaps, they’re worried on Crawford’s recent injuries. Portland Blazers owned by Paul Allen was trading the whole team, that’s what you call overall. I wonder how we fans would react if that was done to the Lakers.

  135. Kevin,
    I’m sorry I wasnt more clear. The Lakers have a heavy PG PnR offense. That’s why they traded for CP3 before the season. Mike Brown wanted to install a Spurs offense. That meant PnR with Avery Johnson/Tony Parker and the bigs. We were not able to run our offense Brown said because we didn’t have a PG. That problem is fixed now. Again….trust me… Just sit back and enjoy great basketball.

  136. Our own Ken was just on ESPN 710… He represented us well. It’s a great day to be a lakers fan. This SG we got from the Cavs will be useful too. Great athlete. Like weirdly great athlete. We got a lot younger, a lot deeper, a lot more athletic and a lot better. 

  137. Kevin,

    Again, when Brown was interviewed 2-3 weeks ago (it was linked here) he specifically said he changed the offense because Blake and Fisher can’t get to the rack and dish. Brown said he “changed his play cards” etc. He said the Lakers don’t have a “breakdown guy.” The Lakers were 16th in the NBA in ORTG with what they had. It is almost impossible to be an elite team with an ORTG that low.

    For people worried about “chemistry”, I assume Blake will start for awhile which is a + in and of itself. Sessions will play a lot with an improved bench. Fit matters, but I will take talent first. Sessions can do things Fisher could not. He is better than Fisher, and it is not like Sessions is an SG stuck behind Kobe.

    Kobe will have to play off the ball more and his USG will need to drop a little. It is Brown’s job to deal with that, so there is more pressure on him now in that regard. As Darius suggests, it may be that the FO traded Fisher in part to take additional pressure off Brown.

    Sessions is not a ticket to the Finals. But he is an improvement–possibly a large one.

  138. Aaron: The offense the Lakers run is the SA twin towers offense. They run some of the cleveland PnR sets. But with Bynum, Pau, Kobe on this team I don’t see Sessions having the ball in his hands the way paul, lowry, parker, westbrook do. He’ll contribute though. I’m on board I feel we have enough to win a championship.

  139. Ramone Sessions has just walked into the Lakers starting PG spot looking at four all world players around him in the starting lineup. Kobe, Artest (defensivley) Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Many around the league think Sessions is a very good starting PG hidden on bad teams. We now will see for sure :)

  140. Mitch just said on the radio he was indeed concerned with how Fisher and the team would react with Derek being benched. He said its always a very difficult spot when that happens. I’m not reading between the lines when I say that is the main reason Fisher was traded.

  141. Kevin,
    That just isn’t true. I’m sorry.The Lakers are not running the Spurs offense yet because we didn’t have a PG. the Spurs for their part posted up their bigs a lot. Half the time it was via a PnR and half the time it was a straight post up. But if you watched Spurs games it was a heavy dose of PnRs with their quick PGs.

  142. 128 – Yeah, Youtube scouting tends to have some holes.

    If we’re trying to solve our PG problem and we need to get younger and more athletic, here’s a good-sized PG who looks pretty athletic based off this montage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NENJ8_lC6Ew

    If you watch him pick Nash’s pocket around 1:40 and his slick move on the fastbreak, I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say this guy reminds me of the next Rondo.

  143. Just watched Mitch Kupchak’s presser. The closing question was along the lines of, when Fisher gets to the end of his career, can you see a situation when he comes back and re-signs/retires as a Laker?

    Mitch: “When he GETS to the end?”

    Damn…cold-blooded!

  144. It’s time for Kobe to show that he can win a ring without Fisher.
    He is also now the only link to the Shaq era Laker championships

  145. Kevin-
    Aaron is totally spot on here. The Spurs were running high PnR all day long with Duncan and Tony Parker and even Avery back in the day. Then they would also post their bigs.

    Mike Brown even admitted in an interview that he could not implement his full offense because he lacked a pg that could run the PnR. We’ll be okay…This just means that now Kobe doesn’t have to run the PnR every time.

    Really loving these trades today! Were they a home run? Nah, but we patched up a big weak spot at pg and now have a backup big that can spell either position. Hopefully this means no more 40-50 minute nights for Bynum and Gasol.

  146. God. I just got Smush rolled.

  147. Jodial – holy crap did Mitch really say that? That sounds so uncharacteristic of him. Anyone have a video link?

  148. Ok then, you have your breakdown player, no more excuses for MB. Lets see if you can actually coach offense.

  149. Looks like Darius is right and there is some evidence behind session’s reputation as a defensive liability:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/816483-nba-power-rankings-ranking-the-starting-shooting-guard-for-every-nba-team/page/4

    I hope that it is just a reflection of him being on bad teams, but it is a little bit alarming. Fisher could not stay in front of his man but to be fair, did fight through screens well and drew a lot of offensive fouls with illegal picks and charges.

  150. Pau has posted a video on YouTube saying he is happy to stay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAzA8lV3dZw

  151. (154, Snoopy) Mitch was very generous with his praise of Fish, and said lots of warm things about him and all he has done for the team…but yeah, he did say that. He followed it up by saying, “He’s 37, with one year left on his contract, which I expect he’ll play out…anything is possible…” – but basically, he just told it like it is.

  152. I don’t think Sessions will be a GREAT or even GOOD defender, but he will be better by virtue of having an opportunity to be more aggressive due to 2 7-footers behind him.

    I just hope he doesn’t depend *solely* on that.

    Bye.

  153. I’m glad that he is still a Laker. Good video.

  154. Short and to the Point:

    Thank You ‘El Presidente’ Derek Fisher for all of your contributions to the Lakers Organization. You will be missed and hopefully this same organization can bring you back n the near future n some type of Coaching / Front Office Capacity.

    Thank You Jim and Mitch for:

    1. Not caving into the initial demands (Drew & Pau) of the Magic for obtaining D. Howard. Very smart move.

    2. Dramatically improving our Position of Weakness (Point Guard) without jettisoning out Pau or Drew.

    3. Accomplishing what I thought was the impossible, shipping out Fisher, Walton & Kapono WITHOUT bringing back a bad contract. Or two. Let alone, n one day.

    4. Taking the Bullet for Mike Brown n regards to having to demote / bench the ‘Team Captain’. Don’t believe he would have had the testicles to do so himself.

    5. Shedding Salary, getting Younger and DEFINITELY more Athletic (lets be clear, Luke & Kapono were probably the least most athletic Small Forwards n the League).

    6. Allowing us (with the acquisition of Sessions & Hill) to stay as far away as possible from Arenas & Rasheed.

    Job well done Front Office. Job well done.

  155. Mitch live interview with Mason and Ireland AM710 @ 515pm.

    Bye.

  156. KenOak,Aaron: Totally agree with you guys. Just don’t agree with Fisher’s dismissal. I’m on board with this team. Let’s hope they continue the great chemistry and great play.

  157. I hope it works

    But last I recall ” I eat first” doesn’t sound like a person willing to wait on the weakside and watch PnR action.

  158. Anyone else catch this tweet by Jeanie Buss?

    http://twitter.com/#!/JeanieBuss/status/180376984302522368

    “Where is ‘for basketball reasons’ when you need it”?

  159. Skills are fine, I’m worried about the chemistry.

    Mitch pointed out properly “”If we get over the emotional toll, we have a chance in the West.”

    Bye.

  160. ramon sessions will be running screen roll with drew and pau instead of offensive powerhouses like ryan hollins, semih erden, luke harangody, anderson varejao, antawn jamison, and tristan thompson.

    how awful for kobe to catch the ball off a drive and kick. the indignity of having to attack a scrambled defense. if he doesn’t drive down wide open lanes to the basket, he will have to shoot 3s with his feet set. horror!

    i bet kobe loves it when it takes 18 seconds to get into the offense and he receives the ball with 6 seconds left on the clock. don’t change a thing!

  161. While there was no blockbuster for the Lakers, there was solid improvement. Also good was the fact that nobody else at the top made any moves. Heat, OKC, Bulls, Spurs, Magic, all added nothing. Also Cuban’s plan was thwarted. Everyone got this one wrong: Some had him in Brooklyn, Some in LA, Some had him as FA after the yr (then Dallas or other). Nobody predicted this.

  162. Those who say that drafted players don’t help the Lakers seem to forget one of our better bench players is GLock who was a 2nd round pick in last year’s weak draft. What would a 1st round pick in a good draft have brought them this year?

    However, if Sessions plays as well as he did in Cleveland AND they re-sign him, then that trade is a success. Since he’ll be starting for the Lakers, I’m hoping he’ll want to stay. My only fear is potentially throwing away a 1st round pick in a strong draft class for a half-season rental, which would put the Lakers in an even worse position next season. 

    Similarly, if Hill can give Pau or Drew more rest as a solid second unit back-up, then that’s a good trade as he has a team option for next year.

  163. Robert: The Magic effectively added Dwight for another year. I’d say of all the teams, they came out the best at the end of the day, considering all the unpleasant alternatives they were facing.

  164. reading conflicting tweets about sessions’ availability for friday night against minny. supposedly he doesn’t need to pass a physical to play. anyone know if we’ll see him fri nite or sun?

  165. Scott – I am looking at this from the standpoint of our chances this year. As was discussed yesterday, often teams will add a piece to put themselves over the hump for a title (McAdoo, Thompson being examples). The Heat was talking about adding Kaman at 1 point. A move like that by OKC, Miami, or the Bulls (they coveted Gasol), would have been huge for them. I am glad it did not happen.

  166. @36 lol…and i absolutely will miss DFish no laker fan wont….i believe we are a better team now i hope i am right

  167. NBA.com report says Luke was sent to cleveland too and we got d-league regular Christian Eyenga…is that true?

  168. 156,

    Bleacher Report is the equivalent of NATIONAL ENQUIRER in sports writing. I have never read anything worthy of attention on there. They listed Ramon as a SG. Come on now.

  169. @174, Yes this is true.

    I wish Fish all the best, but its an upgrade in the short term. My only misgivings is the fact that we don’t have any first rounders anymore. This is exactly what we’ve done in the past. While they’ve been low picks, its the easiest way to get some young talent on the roster. If Sessions opts out, then we’ve effectively gotten nothing to show for the trades past this year and down 2 picks. We did get a couple of contracts off the books, but those contracts would have ended after next year anyways.

  170. @ken 2.0 – We sent Luke, Kapono, and our own 1st round pick in June to Cleveland for Sessions and Eyenga.

  171. Is Jeanie mocking Dan Gilbert / Stern with that tweet, or her brother? If you look at her page and notice some of the other things she’s re-tweeting, I’d wager a guess she wanted Fish to retire a Laker and isn’t happy about the move.

  172. oh wow kapono too…interesting thank you for clearing that up for me

  173. I hope this means we will see a more athletic and energized Gasol going forward

  174. I think that she was tweaking Gilbert there because we were effectively shedding salary in that trade which is one of the reasons, for vetoing the CP3 deal, he listed in that letter to David Stern.

  175. My first reaction was…

    HOW ON EARTH DID THEY PULL THIS OFF?!

    I’ll remember this season as the season when we lost our two more defining characters of our team, Lamar and Fisher (and I guess Luke too) but that’s just sentimentality.

    Basketball wise, wow. Kapono and Luke?!

    This isn’t Kwame for Gasol, but considering there was a Marc Gasol involved in that trade, this is pretty amazing.

  176. #161 – nice synopsis.

    Glad we got a good PG now.

  177. Does anyone know when we can expect to see Sessions in the lineup?

  178. @Aaron You’re not right… yet. im not saying you’re wrong, you might be right that Sessions is the guy that gets us over the hump but you could be wrong. Talent wise and physical capability wise, he is an upgrade on Fisher. but being the most talented doesn’t always produce championships (see Dallas v. Miami, 2011 Series.). As of right now, you’re not right yet.

    Can you hold back until we see Sessions plays a few games before we see how we are?
    Also, if he is a very good starting point guard, why were his teams always so bad? I dont understand that logic.

    i dont care much about his supposed defensive liabilities. teams dont stop PGs one on one anymore. you stop PGs with team defense.

    we are more talented than we were before. Mitch did amazing with getting rid of bad contracts (contracts he did, so he had to fix it). but it makes NO SENSE to say that moving Fisher to a back-up role was going to harm this team more than trading our one true heart guy. and i dont care what anyone says, it is a business, but its not JUST a business. this hurts as a laker fan.

  179. @MannyP
    Sessions might play Friday but most likely will play Sunday against Utah.

  180. Tra @ 161, great post man. I agree with every point. Mitch & Co proved a lot of doubters wrong today.

    han @ 171, Mitch was just on Mason & Ireland and said that they are probable for Sunday. Not impossible for tomorrow night, but more likely Sunday. I believe that all players in a trade need to pass physicals in order for any of them to be eligible to play for their new teams.

  181. I think Jordan Hill was an underrated acquisition. He’s almost a starting-level PF/C who is really going to bolster the 2nd unit from a defense/rebounding perspective and allow Murph to slide outside of the paint and stroke the 3 ball instead of banging down low. Even better, he adds some contingency if we get involved with a trade in the offseason involving Pau or Drew.

    I don’t know much about Eyenga, and we already have a SG/SF who has spent time in the D-League, but maybe Mitch knows something we don’t. He found Shannon Brown and Trevor Ariza, maybe he found another athletic freak with potential to thrive in LA.

    Throw in Sessions as a 6’3″ PG, and we’re the biggest/longest team in the NBA from 1-5, with no real weak spot defensively. Not to mention, we now have the antidote to the Zone D that shuts down our post-oriented offense. Then, we have a bench with a top 10 bench player in the NBA at center and at swingman, a veteran PG/PF combo, and some athleticism when we need it. Gotta feel good about that.

  182. The Bulldog will be a coach in L.A. soon
    Good Luck Fisher!!

  183. I’m positive that Jeannie was mocking Dan Gilbert and his shedding of salary in a trade that didn’t do him any good from a basketball point-of-view.

    As for getting Sessions – I’m ecstatic. Getting a starting caliber PG for a bag of chips is incredible. He’s not the perfect PG, but he’s going to be so much better than what we’re used to it’s going to seem like it. Think about it people – he can actually create his own shot, get to the rim and finish, but he still likes to set up his teammates. He’s going to make Kobe so much more dangerous by taking primary ball-handling duties away, and letting Kobe work to spots away from the ball. I don’t care if he’s a bad defender – Fish was a bad defender, and has been for years. The net impact on the team is going to be exceedingly positive.

    Sad to see Fish go – he’s responsible for so many great memories. But the truth is he’s been washed up for years, and this season he has been a mere shell of his washed-up self. I wish he would have retired last year, but we all knew that was not going to happen.

    I’m not thrilled with giving up both draft picks, but Sessions is still young, and we’ve already made the team much more younger and athletic with these moves. And we’ve significantly improved without giving up any important pieces.

  184. As much as I loved Fish, both these trades are absolutely fantastic ones. Not only did the Lakers save about $17M next season (counting luxury tax) by getting rid of players who are, at this stage in their careers, absolutely awful, they actually got serviceable and useful players back.

    Seriously, how often do you see trades where you send out dead weight and a couple of low value draft choices, save a bunch of money, AND improve your team all at the same time?

  185. Not Charlie Rosen March 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Alright, getting some thoughts straight in my head:

    – Will miss Fisher something fierce. If there was ever a player who should be considered the exception to the Lakers’ rule of “only HoF players get their jersies retired”, it’s Fish. I’ll probably (definitely) tear up when Houston comes to LA in April (assuming he doesn’t go the buyout-retire route).

    – I’m not missing the draft picks, honestly. For their own pick (to Cleveland), Mitch said multiple times that they didn’t think they could find a player that late in the first round as good as Sessions, and excepting the once-every-5-or-6-years-Tony-Parker-at-28 fluke, I’ll trust his evaluation and instincts. And the Dallas pick (to Houston) was conditional, and unlikely to come our way for several years, making it more words on paper than an actual asset.

    – Hill sounds like insurance; if he fits in well, suddenly “gets it”, and does what we need him to do (10-15 minutes backup banging and rebounding), it’s an improvement; if not, we’re no worse off than we were before since we still have McBob and Murphy.

    – As for the “Sessions running PnR vs. Kobe needing the ball” question, one of the plays they’ve been running a lot lately has been a 1-2 PnR with Fish and Kobe, which has been working well (at least to my eyes, don’t have play-by-play stats to back it up). I think we’ll see a lot more PnR with Sessions, but not just with the 2 bigs, but also with Kobe–replace Fish with a young, athletic guard who’s great at the PnR and a threat to go to the rim hard every time, forcing the defense to choose between showing to prevent him driving–and leaving Kobe open–or rotating off of one of two 7-footers near the rim to close the driving lane (Clip’s will have to give up the Lob City moniker if that happens)…I see a defense frantically scrambling every time.

  186. I love the Fishy Fry even more than Sasha did. But this comment on the Hang Time blog made me laugh –
    “Fisher stole 400 games of basketball from the fans. What goes around comes around.”

  187. Uh oh, sounds like Stephen A. doesn’t like the trade hahaha. He’s starting off on a tirade

  188. One thing worth remembering when people say that the front office was heartless trading Fisher away is that he himself left the Lakers the first time around to take a ridiculously high Golden State offer.

    It’s not like the front office are the only individuals who do things for money related reasons.

  189. So what’s Cleveland getting out of the trade? Expiring contracts?

  190. Dan Gilbert should be vetoing his own trades. He just gave away a solid PG for the pleasure of taking on Luke’s atrocious contract and adding a late first-rounder. Brilliant.

    I have to admit I was shocked by the Fisher trade, but unless there’s some backlash in the locker room it does make Mike Brown’s job easier. Sessions, as others have articulated far better than I can, should be a major upgrade, especially if his three-point shooting from this season holds up. Hill could be useful as well – I haven’t seen a lot of him but he seems like a good athlete who can run, jump, board, and finish. Remember, Pau and Bynum were pretty much the only guys on the roster who could play the 5.

  191. Darius (or anyone),

    There’s a question I haven’t heard anyone answer yet. A team can’t trade their 1st round pick in subsequent years, which is known as the Stepien (sp?) rule. Yet the Lakers apparently did just that:

    1) Traded 2011 pick to give away Sasha
    2) Traded both 2012 picks for Sessions and Hill

    How was this possible? Thanks for any clarification on this.

  192. Harold: Sessions was gone from them after this year so they get a 1st rounder effectively for nothing (to them). They are in more danger of being under the salary floor than over the cap, so they don’t mind taking on Luke’s salary. They can also flip him next year as he’ll be an expiring contract.

  193. And one clarification re the Beasley trade falling apart at the last second: it was not the Lakers that pulled out. Minny did, because it didn’t want to take on Fisher’s salary (and age) for next year.

  194. Jim C.

    Stop making sense and let us be mad!! Just Kidding. A good trade. Getting rid of three of our four worst players makes losing Fish worthwhile.

  195. Can someone summarize hollinger’s grades for put deals

  196. Good Moves today. Fischer will be missed, but he will always be a Laker. He’s retiring in a year anyhow. Now we have a fighting chance this year.

  197. I know “Hollinger” is a dirty word to some here, but:

    “…In a Western Conference where everybody save Oklahoma City has shown considerable warts, these moves make the Lakers a legitimate threat to reach the Finals. I’m not sure I could have said that with a straight face 24 hours ago.”

  198. Lakers A-
    Cleveland D+
    Houston B+

  199. Raydiaz1238,
    Deron Williams is a pretty good PG and his team is awful. I don’t need to touch the flame to know is hot. I don’t need to see a game to know Session’s will make a world of difference for us

  200. rr#205, how about Clippers? A- too?

  201. Thanks rr

  202. Hollinger excerpt:

    I understand the sentiment in L.A. regarding Fisher’s departure, and you wish it could have been handled more delicately. But in terms of the business side, this was a no-brainer. Fisher has a player efficiency rating (PER) of 9.01 and Blake’s is 8.87; among point guards with at least 750 minutes, only Orlando’s ridiculous Chris Duhon has been worse. Fisher barely scores half as often as he did in 2007-08, his first season back in L.A., and with a lower true shooting percentage and more turnovers. His 3-point shooting, his “specialty,” has also fallen to 32.4 percent.

    Replacing that dynamic duo with a point guard with a 16.44 PER provides a massive shot in the arm. Per minute Sessions averages nearly twice as many points and provides huge advantages in assists and rebounds too. There’s no way this won’t translate to the Lakers’ win total, even if he is less productive in their system than he was in Cleveland.

    Similarly, Hill isn’t exactly going gangbusters — he gets pushed around on defense pretty easily and he is often out of position. Big picture, he’s something of a “4.5” who lacks the skill for a 4 or the beef to play 5.

    But compared with Murphy, this guy will look like Bill Russell. Hill averages 13 points per 40 minutes, nearly double that of Murphy or McRoberts, and his 13 boards per 40 minutes is also an improvement of more than 50 percent. Playing off the ball, running and finishing — he can do those things, and likely won’t have a major adjustment coming to the Lakers.

  203. 198,

    The Stepien rule says teams can’t trade first-round picks if they could be left without one in consecutive years. The rule looks only to the future — teams that traded their 2010 picks can still trade their 2011 picks. But teams that already have traded their 2011 picks can’t trade their 2012 picks. Once the 2011 draft is complete and a team’s 2011 pick is no longer a future pick, it is free to trade its 2012 pick.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/tag/_/name/draft-picks

  204. It must be a terrible feeling for veterans like Kapono and Walton to be traded together with the 1st round draft pick. It hurts more on Fisher who has been with the Lakers since 1996, then came back in 2007 to be traded to Jordan Hill, Jordan who? together with the 1st round draft pick. Don’t know whether Cavs or Rockets were really interested of our players or the unknown draft picks. It is a sign of saying goodbye to NBA. Fans are now bading goodbye for those sweet memories, players get older, life goes on in NBA business.

    What is scary is after Kobe and Gasol? Will they spend to acquire talent or just keep the team afloat for profit.

  205. Robert,

    How about your dream player of D12? the 12 means a dozen ways of changing decisions and on the trade day, he decided with Orlando for 2 more seasons. Good decision but where is his credibility to NBA teams? Whether a teammate or from a GM, who would ever trust the fickle-minded Super Howdy?

  206. 200 Brian,

    I think you were referring to the Blazer on Fisher’s contract. When the 3 team trade deal was not moving, Minny was more worried on the health of Crawford, the player that they’re acquiring. Lakers offered Fisher to Blazers for Crawford straight up and Blazers turned it down because of additional one more season on Fisher’s contract. If it were an expiring contract, we could have gotten Crawford. That could have been a fantastic acquisition for the 2nd unit.

    Mitch does not want to waste salaries, he was really determined to unload Fisher if they have already two PG’s. I think if Blake was traded then Fisher will still be here, just my speculation.

  207. What a coincidence that three former Lakers, members of Laker Scrubs of ’06, ’07 were traded today – Kwame, Cookie and Luke. They still have values as fillers.

  208. Edwin: Of course I am a little disappointed, but I am reasonably satisfied with what we ended up with. What we received is decent (needed Sessions), + while I liked LW, losing his contract was good. Did not want to lose Fish, would have rather sent Blake. Kapono is out of my sight – so that is good. D12 handled the situation poorly + of the major players involved, we came out pretty good (Mavs, Nets were losers). I will move forward cautiously optimistically : )

  209. If we don’t win it all, this year will be remembered as the year we threw away our locker room.

    No Phil, no Odom, no Fisher and no Walton.

    Wow.

    But if we can somehow move past that chemistry in the locker room part…

    Wow again.

    How did this exactly work? We kept our big three, we shed some really bad contracts (though they would’ve been trade assets next year IF we were thinking about taking on even MORE salary), we traded an ancient Fisher for a young Sessions…

    Somewhere, Cuban and Popovich are really mad… except of course, we don’t know the kind of chemistry issues this will cause.

    I just hope it doesn’t steer Kobe off his current course of trusting Bynum more.

  210. 216,

    Harold, we can also interpret in another way. If Lakers stucked with slow-footed players, benchwarmers – there maybe good camaraderie in the locker room, on the bench and on the plane during road games. On the other picture, if Lakers will continue losing on the road or win a road game through OT’s, undue exposure on our Big 3, very soon that camaraderie will be converted to sour gripes that Mitch did not provide any help at the time they needed it most. As they say, winning cures all ills.

    I hope Fisher will come back someday to the Lakers as an Asst Coach or as a Laker FO assistant or scout. His basketball mind and his leadership in the union collective bargaining is an asset to any franchise.

  211. Warren Wee Lim March 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    To Derek and Luke: Thanks for the memories. I shall never forget what you’ve contributed for us… through thick and thin.

    To Laker fans who are more emotional rather than rational: get a grip. The Lakers owned the trade deadline.

    Consider what you gave up and what you got, its like the Lakers used 2 late picks to pick 2 very solid 25yos… while dumping Kapono, Walton and Fisher’s contracts.

    I miss Fish already… probably more than the next guy… but this move by Mitch Kupchak = BRILLIANT. Hat tip.

  212. One other thing the trading of Fisher will do for LA is allow Drew to have a bigger leadership role on the team. Bynum has never come off to me as one to swallow his tongue. He has been very candid when asked difficult question about the team or himself, when there is no right or wrong answer. Not throwing teammates under the bus, but putting the onus of bad team performances on his back and what he could have done better to help this team improve..

    As long as Fish was on the team him and Kobe voices would have carried the most weight in the lockerroom, now is the time to see if the kid has the goods to carry the torch.

  213. Man o man I keep thinking what a FANTASTIC trade! Thank you Sam Gilbert (you are still a pathetic simulation of a human being, however).

    There must be a catch – it seems too good to be true. The Lakers evidently shed salary, definitely shed non performers, retain their Big Three, get younger and more capable. What’s not to love about this move?

    Oh, I know, I know, Stern was acting as the “super GM” of the Hornets or some such utter nonsense when he killed the CP3 deal. But seriously, he won’t mess with this deal will he?

    Regarding Derek Fisher, I seriously think the world is his oyster. He’s going to have a fine career in management in one form or another, inside or outside of Basketball.

  214. Reading some of the comments that says Sessions isn’t a top 10 PG etc. Well when you have a top 2 center , top 2 shooting guard and top 5 PF you don’t need a top 10 PG. You just need a good one and now we have one.

  215. Frank the Tank March 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Now we just have to hope Miami doesn’t get Kaman. That would just be unfair.

    Also, RE Sessions:

    On April 14, 2008, Sessions scored a then career-high 20 points, adding 8 rebounds and a Milwaukee Bucks franchise-record 24 assists against the Chicago Bulls in a 151-135 home loss.His double-double performance was also the first “20-20″ with points and assists in Bucks history. On February 7, 2009 in an overtime loss against the Detroit Pistons, he scored 44 points On April 1, 2009, Sessions recorded his first career triple-double against the Los Angeles Lakers scoring 16 points with 16 assists and 10 rebounds.

    This is with crappy teams. The kid can ball. I can’t wait to see him on the floor.

  216. I was just telling my friend how it “sucks for the Lakers to do Fish like this”. My friend responded “Aaron, they have paid Fisher to be the Lakers starting PG for three years while being the worst PG in the league. He owes them.” That changed my mind on this. Does it yours?

  217. Michael H,
    You might want to add that being the 25th best PG is basically being the 7th best Center. You’re damn good if you’re the 25th best PG in today’s nBA. And Sessions might turn out to be a top 15 PG. He is 25 years old and was averaging 17 and 11 in games started this year. The only reason he is available is because the Cavs had the number one pic in the draft this passed summer.

  218. Steve Blake makes more money than Fisher and we know what Fisher does in the playoffs. Blake has been a bust so far in Lakerland. Nobody knows how Sessions fits in with this team.

    Celtics traded Perkins and everyone thought Celtics got more athletic and dynamic. Celtics haven’t been the same since. Will adding Sessions mean Lakers will avg. more than 92 points the rest of the way? Fisher was way undervalued by Lakers fans.

    And the fact everyone says Fisher wouldn’t of accepted a lesser role or no role don’t know that. Nobody asked him you can’t assumed he would’ve caused trouble.

  219. Aaron you a wild dude, you know you made up an imaginary friend to throw a shot at ole Fish one last time. Your crazy man, but it is true and pretty funny.

  220. ThaNCDon,
    Haha… I swear that just happened. I swear. But I am crazy.

  221. Btw… The people I thought would be happy about these two moves are… I am not suprised. Btw… For the record I did a write up six weeks ago on this site on Fishers time in la and thanking him for it when I knew the writing was on the wall. We knew he wouldn’t play again after the trade deadline. I don’t know why people are amazed he won’t be playing again for us. We of. Course though thought he would still be on the bench.

  222. Frank the Tank March 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakersnow/la-sp-ln-lakers-were-close-on-beasley-20120315,0,5069202.story

    Looks like we had Beasley and Minnesotas owner backed out last minute. I’m still a little bummed about this, I feel like that would’ve been a bigger upgrade than Hill but oh well. At least we have a backup big, we shall see if he can play.

  223. The way I figured it is we just gained 40 points a game. The 15 we get from Sessions and the 25 we lost from who ever Fisher was trying to guard.

    Fisher, Walton and Kapono were the three nicest guys on the team.

    Yea that’s right nice guys finish short of the basket.

  224. I’m very intrigued as to how Kobe will react to all these trades. He might not say it thru the media, but we will see it in his actions for the coming games on 1) what he does on the court and on the locker room as for Fish’s departure 2) being the leader on and off the court, how he welcomes/integrates sessions as being the primary ball handler and decision maker on the court.

    As for Sessions, the defensive scouting report mentioned about him was with his former bad teams and as a shooting guard. I think with more rim protection, better overall team defense, he will become an average to above average defender. On offense, with 3 all-world passing options, I believe his assist #s will increase, as well as his ppg ave, since defenders will have to stay home on drew pau and kobe. more driving lanes and spot up options for Sessions

  225. Thanks Fisher. Your jersey will soon be up there among Magic, Kareem and Worthy.

    Moving on, what a great deal, Mitch!!!!

  226. Sessions will be getting some intense instruction in the Brown defensive playbook. Hope he proves to be a quick student. Hill and Pau might form a good combo, with complementing strengths. Still a spot open for a good shooting #2 who can play tough D. Ebanks has been a big disappointment here.

  227. Beasley and Sessions both?

    That would have been interesting.

    What the Lakers ended up with is pretty sweet, though.

  228. A fond memory:

    Aaron wrote on June 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I think everyone here knows how surprised I am that Fisher could hit those shots………. with those grapefruit sized balls hanging down between his legs!!!!! This wasn’t Fisher hitting a couple wide open spot up clutch shots as we’ve seen so many times from him before. This wasn’t Fisher taking the big time charge late in the game. This wasn’t Fisher getting the big steal (ala Artest knocking it off Big Baby). This was Derek Fisher taking over the entire last five minutes of the ball game like Chris Paul. He was taking it to the basket, coming off of pick and rolls, and pulling up for tough 15 footers. This wasn’t Fisher playing like a good NBA PG, this wasn’t Fisher playing like an All Star PG, this wasn’t Fisher even playing like a Hall of Famer. This was Derek Fisher playing like a legend. In one of the biggest quarters this historic Lakers franchise has ever seen… we saw Derek Fisher play one of the best quarters a Laker has ever played. At a time when Kobe wasn’t Kobe… Derek Fisher was.

    … I will never again say one bad thing about him… I was wrong

  229. Derek… Thanks for finding that. I remember writing that like it was yesterday. All of that was true except for me saying I was wrong. Haha. I wasn’t. I was just being a prisoner of the moment. If Sessions was on the team them we win game one with Ray Allen not torching Fisher and we don’t need that forth quarter by Fish. But everytng else was exactly that. Spot on. . But that was the best performance By a role player of all time. By far. Thanks for finding that.

  230. Marques, I think you are right to a certain extent. How can a PG that needs the ball be effective and coexist with Kobe? I highly doubt Sessions will duplicate his stats in Cleveland here, but one thing that Sessions will help with is be the playmaker when Kobe is out, and this will help run the offense better when Kobe goes out, in turn letting Brown play Kobe fewer minutes. I am always amazed at Kobe’s conditioning, but with the compressed scheduled this year, even Kobe is going to run out of gas, as he has several times this year, if he has to play the entire second half of every game and initiate the offense constantly, like he just did with memphis and hornets. So, I expect Sessions’ best moments will be when Kobe is on the bench, hopefully now for more than 12 minutes on average. Kobe will still get the ball and initiate the offense 70-80% of the time when he is on the floor and Sessions the other 20%-30%. Even though 20-30% may not sound like much, at least we now have a PG who can penetrate and dish. I cannot remember the last time Fish or Blake went to the basket for a layup or drew the defense for a classic PG dish. I just hope Brown plays Sessions mostly as the PG when Kobe is off the Floor, not Blake. Let’s face it, until now, Kobe was effectively our PG when he was on the floor, except for the first few seconds when Blake or Fish brought the ball up the floor. But some of that is due to Blake and Fish not having PG skills, and the rest of it due to, well, Kobe being Kobe, a ball hog with tremendous skills you cannot ignore!

  231. Celtics haven’t been the same since.

    Sure. Because they got a guy who is worse than Perkins and didn’t cover Perkins’ position. The Lakers got a guy better than Fisher is and plays the same position.

  232. 230 LOL seriously funny,

    “The way I figured it is we just gained 40 points a game. The 15 we get from Sessions and the 25 we lost from who ever Fisher was trying to guard.”

    Hate to see Fish gone, but he’s a businessman he know’s this is a good move himself. He will return, Lakerland loves and respects him but as artist Rose Royce says “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

    We need another ring!

    I like the Sessions aquisition :} In fact can’t wait to see him start. No offense to Blake but he just doesn’t appear to be a starter in the NBA but great backup guy. He still has room for great improvement and seems to have huge determination. So anything possible for him.

    This will be much better for Kobe, and makes Gasol feel more loved, and Bynum feel like the rising King.. So we have a lot going on here. Here’s how I see it.

    Kobe 10/22 shooting 30points
    Bynum 10/15 shooting 25 points
    Gason 8/16 shooting 20 points
    Sessions 6/12shooting 15points
    Artest 4/9 shooting 10points

    Bench 5/15shooting 12 points

    Lakers 112 points per game…….SHOWTIME!!

    NO I DIDN’T MEAN SHOWTIME LIKE MAGIC DAYS!!! But better than the fisher/blake bengay show..

    I’m pleased… little ole me is pleased Mitch and Buss/

  233. kswagger @ 231 – I’ve been thinking Kobe is gonna be EXTRA fueled to face teams now. He’s lost his running partner from back when Biggie was still with us. I’m feeling some deep loss about Fish’s departure. I had resisted the anger I’ve seen from many on this blog to dump Fish coz I believed he’d earned the right to go out on his own terms. However, this year I’ve also been yearning for Sessions. I think he’s a great acquisition and takes us right into the highest echelon of teams of the NBA. To get Jordan Hill also, while divesting ourselves of the Luke contract and Fish’s contract, are incredible.

    I am a little unhappy about the trade of Fish. I don’t think Fish would have taken a demotion badly. He’s too much of a man to take such an important decision so immaturely. If he was truly so deluded that he thought he deserved the starting PG position on the Los Angeles Lakers, he would truly have been insane. I think Mike Brown didn’t have the cojones to talk to him, as Brown doesn’t have the cojones to encourage Kobe not to “Go Kobe” when the Lakers go down big. Phil had the cojones, Brown doesn’t. I think Fish would have taken it like a man. And if Fish had taken it like a man, the rest of the team would have fallen in line.

    All that said, kudos to Derek. He’s 7 months older than me and so I’ve always felt an affinity to him. He always had brass rocks and while I’ve been tough on him this last year, his contribution to the Lakers over the years will not be soon forgotten. When the Rockets come back to the Staples Center April 2, I know I’ll be teary-eyed. From your clutch floor leadership in those early ’00s championships to the gutty contributions of the ’09 and ’10 championships, thanks so much Derek Fisher. You’re truly an admirable man.