Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  May 23, 2012

I freely admit that I haven’t been reading a ton of basketball over the past few days. I’m just not ready yet. It was a season born under a bad sign, with bumps and roadblocks and departures, but the team made some runs at it and there was reason to believe that it could win more games than not, in a series. Thanks to Darius for sending me some choice links to include, and to him and everyone else at FB&G for a lot more than that. Here’s the bullets:

Ramona Shelburne at ESPN, on what drives Kobe, and his dwindling inner circle. This one’s gold.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss at The Classical, writes about Andrew Bynum and the evolution of his running style.

There’s a number of exit interviews at the Kamenetzky brothers’ Land O’Lakers site, but I found the Jordan Hill piece especially interesting. His season was a unique one, inserted into the lineup at the very tail end of the season but he immediately became a factor.

C.A. Clark’s Lakers/OKC series review at Silver Screen and Roll.

Mike Bresnahan at the L.A. Times writes that the Lakers’ roster options are limited.

Steve Fryer at the OC Register takes a closer look at positional needs.

Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports says that Kobe’s ready to bet the house on the Lakers’ future.

There’s still basketball to be played, of course. Tim C. at Pounding the Rock, writes about match-ups with OKC.

The seasons come and go, and to each a unique rhythm. This one was closer to a series of aftershocks on a Richter scale. From a mass exodus to a new coach and staff, from lockout to the blockbuster trade that wasn’t, and from departures to arrivals – 2011/2012 had a certain oddball sense of character and I won’t soon forget it.

- Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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122 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. -Has anyone asked Bynum if he liked playing with Kobe this season? Some how I believe his answer would be “no”.

    -Has anyone asked Kobe if he respects Bynum? I also believe this answer is “no”.

    This off-season will be very interested.

  2. On Bynum (carried from the previous thread):

    –Reminder: Bynum is almost the same age as Kevin Durant. He’s older than Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka. He’s outgrown the “kid” label. Stop babying him. He is what is he is, but he definitely should be held responsible for his actions.

  3. in my business of animation, we have to deal with some talents that clearly have the “genius/or crazy” aspect to themselves. we find that these extreme personalities usually find themselves working for the lower level, independent studios, and not a part of the high end studios, (like Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks). the majors don’t need or want to take a chance to maybe get the genius, where they’ll more than likely get the nut job instead.
    I found myself thinking of Bynum this season like those high risk guys, will he show up, or not? when he does, it’s pure genius, when he doesn’t not only is it maddening, it usually winds up hurting the rest of the crew/team in other ways, it destroys team spirit… chemistry.
    I think it’s time for him to go. especially now when his value is still perceived as pretty high. the Lakers could get one of the top PG’s in the league, or another Center combined with a solid shooter, for Bynum.

    we still have many good parts. I think pau could be better with Drew gone, at least he shows up to work with a professional and classy attitude, every day.

    needing another strong, rebounding PF?… got him, resign Jordan Hill.
    need a solid shooter? got him, get G-lock to get himself ready for next season.
    strong wing man, Ariza-like? got him, resign Ebanks, get him ready.
    these guys are young, talented, hard working, and they don’t break the bank.

    we’ve still got lots of good parts.
    cut the cancer out.

  4. Over the last couple of threads there were a lot of people upset with Andrew’s remark that he will play anywhere. Personally I wasn’t. In the interview he also said he would like to stay a Laker but it’s out of his control.

    Fans seem to demand absolute loyalty from their players. But how about the players? Andrew knows he has been shopped over the last year. From what I understand The Howard for Bynum deal stalled at the trade deadline when Howard said he wouldn’t resign in L.A. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Andrews it’s a business and I’ll play anywhere attitude. Because that is the truth of the matter.

  5. Is it possible to construct a roster around Kobe to win a championship next season?

    If not, then trading Kobe has to be considered given his salary cap implications. Kobe has a no trade clause so he would have to agree, but there may be an eastern conference team like Boston (for Rondo) to whom it might make sense.

    Lakers must explore all options to field championship team next season.

  6. The Lakers aren’t going to trade Kobe, regardless of whether he’s still a No. 1 talent in the latter stages of his career. He’s still a better player than the vast majority of the players in the NBA, but he’ll need more consistent help to get the job done. This isn’t 2006 anymore.

    We can never forget that the Lakers are all about marketing and Hollywood hype. Kobe’s name alone will sell tickets/gather eyeballs among the TMZ set, and that has extreme value to the Buss family and Time Warner’s new TV venture. It’s not just about basketball, and never has been with this franchise. Laker fans want to win, but they also want stars. Kobe is still that star, and will be until he retires or leaves on his own.

    I don’t know what the solution is to put the Lakers back in the mix, and thankfully, no one is paying me to resolve that issue. But to suggest that Kobe won’t finish out his contract in L.A. is pure folly, unless Kobe himself asks to be dealt somewhere because he doesn’t believe he can get a sixth ring in L.A. Based on his comments this week, he’s nowhere close to that point.

  7. Wow. All those articles were great reads.

  8. I think Aaron has done more to turn people against Bynum than Bynum himself. Like rr said on the last thread, let’s keep some perspective. He’s continually added to his game and the simple fact that he can’t be single-covered anymore means that if you surround him with 2-3 elite shooters, that’s a strong team alone. I’m not saying you don’t trade him if the right deal presents itself – just that equitable value is going to be very hard to find.

    I don’t know why people were upset with the recent Bynum comments either. His attitude all along has been that he’ll play anywhere. It’s the same relaxed attitude that allowed him to deal with multiple trade rumors without it affecting his psyche.

  9. Bynum hasn’t grown or matured in the past 2 seasons as a person or mentally as a player.

    Two years ago he was quoted as worrying about his numbers and statistics rather than doing the little things to help the Lakers win (like Phil asked him to do). He still worries about these same things, he felt he had a great season and felt satisfied by making an all-star appearance but he never once voiced his frustration that he couldn’t even be relevant in the playoffs. Get him out of here.

    Put Pau back in the post where he is comfortable, pair him with a stretch PF and he will be back to normal. Maybe not as efficient as two years ago but he will be fine (at least for Kobe and Pau’s last 2 years).

    Using Pau as trade bait won’t elevate this team past a second round exit, the Lakers didn’t get any great offers for him last year and they still won’t. Compared to Bynum who has his greatest value ever, who can haul in a superb package to put around Kobe and Pau. This whole situation reminds me of what I told my friends a few years ago about Rondo after the epic 7 game Bulls Celtics series, he basically averaged a triple double and the whole world was high on him. His value was the greatest it was ever going to be, sure he puts up great stats but he can’t take you to a title without a Big 3 surrounding him. The Celtics made a mistake by not trading him then because since then the Celtics have shopped Rondo around with little success because the GMs in the league recognize he’s a pain in the butt and a headcase (with no jumpshot). Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    Let’s maximize Kobe and Pau’s last few years and then when their contracts come off the books, start from scratch and rebuild. And for those thinking Kobe is going to play until he is 40, you aren’t considering the guys pride. Sure he wants to be great forever, but he even told Stephen A Smith in an interview that he isn’t going to play forever (he even said he wouldn’t want to play averaging 18 points or less per game), when the time is right and he feels he’s in to far decline to come back he will call it quits. The man doesn’t want to tarnish his legacy by playing several years not being one of the top 2 players on a team, turning out mediocre to poor seasons by his standard.

  10. Just got back to read the idea of “amnesty” of our only duck that lays the golden eggs. Where will be the Lakers be in this season if he does not consistently produce 25pts+ per game. Think about it, will the Lakers amnesty the legends of the past if that clause was allowed in the past. Only anti-Kobe Laker haters would suggest such measures. Trade him if you want to but amnestying is just plain insane that will be inscribed in Lakers legacy.

    I recommended yesterday that we could try to find a suitable place for our 2 bigs in order to improve this team. I cannot reveal my own formula since Darius has restricted in naming names. However, you have to look at the expiring contracts for next year who are Superstars too, one of them was already mentioned by FoxSports, the others have one more season to go with their contract. If you were the GM of that team, are you willing to lose this marquee player without something in return? I think Mitch K. can do that. He’s a miracle worker if he’s given permission to do so, his greatest trade was getting Gasol for Kwame et al and now his next mission is how to jettison the albatross contracts for something greater in return. If Mitch was able to unload Luke, then I think he would do a better job on players with values in other teams.

    Darius, I read your comment to Renato, I know your policy guidelines and avoid those fantasy trades with mixture of speculations, fantasies and dreams due to salary caps restrictions however, it is also difficult to discuss about the Lakers in the post season without discussing some ideas of trades. I think we have already rehashed what failed in this season in so many threads, we are just dumbfounded in limbo in whining on dead horses. The truth is that they were already defeated, can’t bring them back life for 3rd year. The mass media has already started speculating about the Lakers perhaps, you can review your guidelines and see how we can converse with fellow fans on the future roster. In a way, it is also a therapy to our early exit.

  11. Perhaps this is a stupid question, given the money involved, but could any of you foresee a circumstance where Kobe asks to be traded or amnestied? What if Kobe really did conclude that the Lakers had no hope for another championship in his playing window and that it was time to move on?

    A trade may not make sense, as it could hurt a new team, so would Kobe ever ask for the amnesty option? That would be an extreme approach, I know, but I wonder what is going through his head. He’s extremely intelligent, I think, and must be looking at the same limitations as the rest of us are. Maybe he’s even reading through this site…

  12. Here is the problem with putting Pau in the post, he gets pushed out way too easily. I think we sometimes play up Gasol in an attempt to shoot down Bynum. The Pau of 2008-2009 doesn’t exist anymore. While we all remember McGee out hustling Bynum lets remember that small PF’s like Landry and Scola routinely overpower Pau on the block.

    Pau at center sounds great when we are upset with Bynum. It sounds great until he actually has to play center against a half way aggressive post defender.

  13. To say Bynum was Lakers best big this year is not easy to say.

    Pau 17 pts 10 reb 3 ast 1 blk 50%. Combined pts and ast = 23 pts as a third option. A position where he was told to fit in and did just that. Pau struggled all year and I think he has legit excuses but Kobe called him out and he responded both times. Pau’s a professional.

    Bynum 18 pts 11 reb 1 ast 1 blk 55%. Combined pts and ast = 20 pts as a 2nd option. Being the 2nd option Bynum thrived many times. Showed how dominant he can be and set records this year. Imposing size is his biggest asset.

    Really hard for me to see who had the better year. Based off praise it’s one guy. Based off production it’s the other. The numbers look about even.

  14. Kobe Alert: KB was named 2nd Team All Defense. It was his 12th overall All Defensive Selection, which is 2nd only to T Duncan. Kobe, KG, MJ, + GP share a tie with 9 first team selections. Last game KB scored 40+ pts for the 13th time in the playoffs. This eclipses Shaq + ties him for 4th with Wilt. It was his 88th 30+ game (only MJ more). During the game he hit his 2000th FG (Shaq + MJ). He also went by MJ to be the all time leader in FGA’s in playoff history.

  15. teamn: can definitely see that happening if he doesn’t hear what he wants to hear in his meeting.

  16. Edwin,
    I really don’t see the need to reevaluate the guidelines that helped set the tenor and establish this site from the beginning. As an aside, every time there’s a slew of trade speculation comments it turns into fans bickering about why a team would or wouldn’t do a deal. I don’t like that, so I avoid having it here. No one’s stopping fans from going to other sites to talk about those things.

  17. @Chris J’s point is well taken – Kobe’s worth to much to the franchise from a business point of view, to consider parting ways. Not to mention the fact that he’s still one of the premiere talents in this league. The organization has two big chips to play, Pau and Andrew. The first point of business is the draft. I would be stunned if the organization doesn’t look to trade into it.

  18. Kobe would never ask for amnesty, he can’t control where he would go. Can you see him playing for Charlotte, the team with a 15-67 record, and him shooting 7-25 night after night with Michael Jordan watching?

    People need to ease up on Bynum a bit. Denver and OKC put big effort into keeping him from going off offensively and the high pick and roll attack keeps him out of rebound position and from anchoring the defense.

  19. inwit: Aren’t elite players supposed to be able to handle whatever is thrown at them. Bynum is the biggest player on the court every game nobody should be able to stop him from what he wants do.

    trogers: with Pau at center every player on the floor is an option. the lineup that got Lakers back in the game 5 vs okc was Pau at center w/o kobe or drew. Pau can do it.

  20. inwit: Perhaps Darius knows more about this, but I think rules could be a little vague here. Basically, NBA players are not supposed to dictate where they go, but they do (see LeBronze, D12, etc). So the recipient team still needs to sign an amnestied player + what if said player refuses? Perhaps a sign and trade? Further, the Mavs are on the list of teams that could sign him directly. I do not think this is happening, but it is more interesting to talk about than signing a journeymen PG as our big move for the year : )

  21. Inwit/Robert,
    Teams under the cap place the bid and it’s on the player to report to the team that wins with the highest offer. The player has no choice.

  22. Funky Chicken May 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Snoopy, I think that you are missing the part of Bynum’s comments that included the phrase “I don’t care.”

    When asked what he thought his long term prospects in Los Angeles were, Andrew said “I don’t care, I will play anywhere.”

    The fact that “I don’t care” is consistent with the way he played during the playoffs (showing up late for a game, playing multiple atrocious games effort-wise, smiling and laughing after a devastating loss, etc), I think there’s more to this statement than just a passing “whatever.”

    Why not respond with “I hope I’ll be here. This is a great franchise, and it’s where I want to spend my career”?

    No, I think it was pretty clear from watching his comments that he was what he usually is–totally honest. He truly doesn’t care where he plays. It’s not about winning championships or being a part of history and tradition; it’s about just getting paid and cashing those checks in any of the banks anywhere in the country.

  23. Edwin: I hear you. I love Kobe. Trust me – all options need to be on the table – cause this situation is dire. I said that in pre-season and I am saying it now. I do not want to waste time being a 2nd tier team if that is only going to be followed by a re-build. rr is correct that a re-build is necessarily a panacea, however I do know we can’t repeat what we did this year (keep the core and add journeymen, youngsters, and problem children to the roster).

  24. Darius: I agree – that is the rule – but what if the player simply refuses to play for the team – then what? Perhaps a sign and trade – this is where it gets vague and why the NBA has rules named after players : )

  25. At this point, Bynum is a better center than Gasol, but that’s not the point. The twin tower theory sounds good on paper, but the liabilities it creates were exposed in these playoffs. If we want to see this team improve, lets first look at the major weaknesses this team has. WITHOUT BYNUM, the following positive outcomes would likely happen:

    - Lack of team speed would be less of a liability. The Lakers would be able to get some occasional transition buckets, their transition defense would improve, along with their P&R defense. In the playoffs, these were the main weaknesses that the opposition continually and successfully attacked and took advantage of.

    - Another major weakness on this team was giving up offensive boards, which is a direct result of lack of hustle and speed. Who is the slowest Laker who also has a problem with hustling? Hmmmmm.

    - Without Bynum, Pau goes back to working closer to the basket. The beautiful chemistry that Kobe and Pau once had could reemerge without Bynum crowding the paint and demanding touches.

    - More post opportunities for Kobe and Artest as well. In other words, the skill sets for Kobe, Pau and Artest would be more fully utilized without Bynum.

    - With the ability to play at a quicker pace, Sessions’ skill set would also be better utilized, not only in transition, but in the P&R, where he is most comfortable.

    - Team chemistry would also likely improve without a player who does not join huddles, blatantly disrespects his coach, and worries more about his stats than team success.

    - —- I’m not going to speculate on who we can trade for Bynum, but just his exit alone would help the efficiency of ALL the starters on this team offensively, while also addressing the team’s major weaknesses to a certain degree – transition defense, pick and roll defense, giving up off. boards, and lack of hustle. Even with the team aging, WITHOUT BYNUM, I would not be surprised to see an improved Kobe, Pau, Artest and Sessions next season.

    In other words, trade this cancer away, and I can see this team in serious contention next season.

  26. Kevin: I don’t disagree regarding Bynum, but I do think there was more fustration than quit in what we saw. When the other team makes a big part of their game plan to keep you uninvolved on both ends of the court, it take maturity and experience, on both a basketball and emotional level to keep trying to find ways to contribute. I think he could have done much better with it, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t agree that he quit or he didn’t care.

    Robert: My understanding of the amnesty clause is that the first team in the “draft” that agrees to pay your whole salary gets you, and next it is the team that bids to pay the most on your salary, with your old team picking up the rest, but without it counting toward their salary cap. But I’ve beem wrong before ….

    But since I am in moderation I will add to your new comment that if the new trade wants to sign and trade Kobe, why should the Lakers give another team that option for cheap?

  27. Adam Morrison sighting, go here to see how he continues to reinvent himself ala Rodman or Madonna.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/adam-morrison-looks-great-everyone-182021912.html

  28. inwit: Thanks for the discussion. As you know – I am a huge KB fan + also a huge Laker fan. I want rings for both as soon as possible. What we did this year is killing KB’s chances and delaying the Laker’s chances. The backdrop of my feelings is that we can’t repeat this until KB retires (“6th best”). So the “A” word is a way to give KB a chance and expedite the Laker re-build. Trust me – I want him to be a Laker for life and have a chance for rings. However if we can’t give him a chance for that – we must set him free. The sign and trade scenario (waiting to see if Darius knows how that would work) is one way to make sure KB ends up on a contender, because – no he does not want to play for MJ. He wants to be like Mike – not play for him : )

  29. I have received a third email from Abbott, this one a very lengthy harangue/scolding which appears to be a form letter he sends Lakers fans (not that I would blame him for that, given the volume of email he probably receives). It was rather intense; and if we take it at face value, the whole Kobe-at-Crunch-Time thing is truly a big deal to the guy.

  30. Robert,

    There is virtually no chance that Kobe is going anywhere. Any S/T wouldn’t work easily because Kobe literally will be making several million more per year than any other NBA player. Heck, even Pau makes more than Kevin Durant, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade.

    If the Lakers are going to “futz around”, as you put it, they need to work on their futzing skills, because as SA has shown, not all futzes are created equal (that is of course in some ways a coaching issue). I would guess that there are San Antonio versions of you as a fan that wanted to shut things down and reboot after the Spurs’ last two early playoff exits.

    To be clear here, I will not freak out if the Lakers blow things up. But I seriously doubt that it will happen. I think Bynum will only go if Howard or MAYBE Williams comes the other way. The main issues will be Hill, Sessions, and what they try to do with Pau.

    But I would caution you strongly against conflating all players under a certain level as being of the same value. As it turned out, Sessions’ O did not outweigh his D. I think that is partly Brown’s fault, partly Sessions fault, and was also partly unavoidable, so you were more on track on that issue than many people here, including me, were.

    But one of the Lakers’ weaknesses under Kupchak has been the back end of the roster. They get the big things right. The small stuff needs work, and whatever happens with Kobe, Bynum, and Pau, the small stuff will matter in this new CBA–a lot.

  31. rr – Please post the letter!!! I would love to see what that loud mouth has to say.

  32. It doesn’t really matter if you have two 7 hooters or one, if you can’t spread the floor you can’t fully utilize size inside. Now Kobe has his shooting streaks from time to time but is rally average from distance. The Lakers had no one else. Nobody was afraid of Metta, Sessions, Blake and Barnes. And for good reason. Zero consistency. Put a few shooters on this roster and the result would be very different.

  33. rr – Please post the letter!!! I would love to see what that loud mouth has to say.

    _____________________________

    Manny,

    I think it would be bad form to post it on a public forum, but if you want to email me (I think Darius has an email for me–not sure it is up to date) I will be happy to send it your way.

  34. inwit: Fair enough. His frustrations led him to not care with then led to him quitting. He’s been a solid player regardless for Lakers this year.

  35. Funky – I can understand the frustration with his loafing and inconsistency. That’s legit. I just don’t see the point of getting upset at 3 little words. Would you have been happier if he kissed the logo on the floor and said he’d die on the court for the Lakers? His attitude has always been this way, and I don’t understand why one quote has seemed to set fans off.

    Maybe a better way to say it is this – if Bynum came out and said “This is a historic organization, and I want to stay and fight for as many titles as possible, whatever it takes” – I’d call BS. That would be completely incongruent with his actions this year, and I prefer to judge him off his actions. He’s always talked a good game, and hasn’t always backed it up. I have problems with his inconsistency and lack of foot speed and immaturity wrt team huddles, and I can understand why some want to trade him for those reasons. I don’t see why a meaningless quote should play into that.

    LT Mitchell highlighted some excellent positives to trading Bynum. My only question – while getting Bynum out of the way would undoubtedly increase the efficiency of the starters, would it be enough to elevate us to championship status? Do we want our offense relying on an increasingly creaky Kobe, Artest, and a Gasol who now (as T. Rogers pointed out) seems to get pushed off the block by half the PFs in the league? (I guess this depends on the piece Bynum brings back). Or would it be better to find role players that better complement Bynum and Kobe? I don’t know the answers; I don’t think there are any clear cut ones.

  36. Robert: If another team took Kobe in amnesty, does his no-trade clause travel with him too? Probable, as his contract is still valid, the only change is who pays him.

    Even if it was feasible to amnesty Kobe, you are getting nothing but cap relief in return (imagine the uproar on FB & G then!). But what can you get from a trade? Bloated contracts on beached whales? 1st round draft picks from division champions? Remember Kobe wouldn’t go to the Bulls if Deng went to the Lakers.

    For better or worse, we got to see Kobe’s glory years, now we get to see a superstar, in denial, fighting the losing battle against time.

  37. Why do we still argue the world is flat. The facts are in… Kobe is not even close to the most effective clutch time players in the NBA in his career. Now… If he played smarter I’m sure he would be ranked number one. Unfortunately he hasn’t. So his crunch time effectiveness is pretty poor compared to other star offensive players who make better decisions. Truthfully I don’t even know what Abbott feels he needs to argue with inferior intellects (rr not being one). The argument has been settled. It’s better for anyone (even Kobe) to shoot good shots and pass out of double teams all while playing in the offense that the team played for the first 44 minutes of the game. There has been too much statistical evidence the last twenty years in support of Abbott and it really isn’t all that close.

    Speaking of the world being flat… There isn’t anyone in their right mind who compares Andrew Bynum to anyone not named Dwight Howard. Every way we meassure NBA players/big men says Dwight Howard is Andrew’s only equal. That’s that. To compare a finesse PF who gets left wide open for two entire playoff series’ so to help out on the before mentioned seven foot All NBA Center is just herecy. You just can’t compare Pau to Andrew Bynum anymore. Not only do they play entirely two different positions, but one guy is over the hill and can’t create many looks in the post against defenders like Al Harrington and Nick Collison. You just can’t even compare these two Lakers anymore. It can’t be done.

  38. inwit/rr: I think you both know – I want Kobe to stay here. Where would I be without my Kobe Alerts? That said I do not want Kobe to play for the “6th” best team for the rest of his career. So let’s do something about that. Unused TPE’s, and journeymen point guards are not what I had in mind.

  39. rr: Of course your Spurs reference is correct. Their FO has trounced ours in the last couple of years. The only thing I can say is that the Lakers have never played small ball in the FO successfully. We make blockbuster deals and have superstars who win titles (all 16 of them and all 31 Finals trips were Superstar led teams). The Lakers have never been a come from behind, win from the back of the pack, type of team. And I don’t see us pulling a Pop and turning low draft picks and a MLE into a title. Magic Johnson was/is right.

  40. Wow. The whole countdown crew thinks PAu played his last game as a Laker. Hope that’s not true. Otherwise Lakers are stuck with j. o’neal.

  41. Funky Chicken May 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Snoopy, the problem with AB’s comment is that it removes any doubt that this kid cares. It’s not that it is the first evidence of lack of caring (it’s the latest in a long line), but it is the fact that it removes any shred of doubt that Andrew Bynum truly does not care about being the next great Laker.

    While it is certainly arguable that this conclusion could have been drawn earlier, it was also arguable that he DID want to be a Laker and that he was just a spoiled and lazy guy, who has been emboldened by the front office’s love of him to just “do my thing” while still wanting (and assuming he’d be) a Laker.

    I was positive that his attitude was bad long before his postgame comments; but I was not positive that he didn’t care about being here. Now I am.

    Aaron, comments like “there isn’t anyone in their right mind who compares Andrew Bynum to anyone other not named Dwight Howard” are what draw the ire of many here. There are a lot of people in their right mind who think that several players in the NBA would make the Lakers better if traded straight up for Andrew Bynum. Most of those guys aren’t available, mind you, but there are several players in the league, and likely dozens of combinations of players whose presence on the Lakers would more than offset the loss of one guy who doesn’t know how to pass out of a double team, get more than 4 boards in a closeout game, get open against a (single) fronting defender, or play hard in every single playoff game.

  42. Nice to see Allan Iverson get some love from the Philly fans.

  43. I’m surprised you didn’t mention or link to Sam Amick’s article about Deron Williams having the Lakers 2nd on his list after the Nets…
    You said you only mention roster changes from legitimate sources and I think this qualifies lol

  44. Kobe will not be amnestied, so why continue to entertain that idea it’s not happening.

    As far as the trades, I think we all should have learned how rare and difficult big trades are. Before last season i as many others were expecting a Howard for Bynum swap. It didn’t happen and don’t expect it to. Something big may happen but it most likely won’t. So many rumors are going to pop up but 99% will never come into fuition. Just today deron Williams put lakers on his “list” of teams. Last summer I would have been excited, now I’m like not again.

    The most likely thing the lakers can do is trade pau and package him for a 2 or 3 solid contributors. The lakers aren’t trading Bynum unless it’s for a star caliber player.

    But as many said the twin towers don’t work, but if you had a choice between a declining pau or an immature Bynum most would choose the latter. Mason and Ireland were saying that pau is more of an 5 than 4. But do we really want pau as our center??? He can’t establish post position against undersized power forwards.

    The lakers realistically need to resign the young players they have and see of they can get some 2 or 3 quality players for pau, preferably someone who can actually shoot the ball.

  45. Joel: I realized the Lakers would not win the title this year, during the pre-season, yet I “entertained” the idea of them winning it all season long : )

  46. For me speculation doesn’t start from players putting the Lakers on their “list”; that’s not enough. I don’t care about a list. I care about teams have substantive talks about a player. Sometimes that happens in the open (as it did with Howard this year). A lot of times – especially with the Lakers – it doesn’t. I don’t waste my time on things unless they’re worth discussing. A players’ list isn’t, in my opinion.

  47. I recognize that Pau has not played as well the last two seasons as he did in ’08-’10, and may never be that player again, but I actually think he may be at a point in his career where he will be more effective as a center than a power forward. In fact, I think he is out of position as a 4.

    Everyone talks about him getting pushed around, but I think his biggest problem now is matching up with 4′s who are simply faster and more athletic than him. I think he would see fewer of those matchups as a 5, and playing as a true center – not to mention one who could stretch defenses to take opposing 5′s out of the paint – would allow him to play longer at a less athletic level.

    I see no reason Pau couldn’t continue to thrive in this league as a Vlade Divac-in-his-prime type – and Vlade was a very effective player. We know Pau can still hit the boards, he just grabbed 16 in his last game while our “dominant center” snared 4.

    Moving Pau to the 5 and letting him rekindle his chemistry with Kobe, taking advantage of Bynum’s trade value now to grab a top point guard and a tough, blue-collar 4 who will smack some people around – just one way to go, but I’d like the chances of that team.

  48. I love Snoopy2006′s point about not making too much of Bynum’s comments. Remember, Kobe once nearly threw away a season with the bad chemistry he caused in part by his teasing people with the very idea that he might bolt to the Clippers as a free agent. It was a total power play, and in the end he got what he (thought he) wanted: no Shaq, and no Phil.

    Kobe then pulled a similar move in 2007, telling everyone he wanted out only a few years after saying he felt safe in his purple and gold armor and wanted to be a Laker for life. (Fans booed Kobe in the 2007 home opener, remember?) He backed off that tirade only after the Lakers got off to a hot start with an up-and-coming Bynum, Vujacic, Ariza, etc., and then based on that solid start, the team felt confident enough to make the move to land Pau once Bynum went down. Again, things worked out Kobe’s way.

    Tides change, as they say, yet today no one slams Kobe for those “disloyal” comments, so why slam Bynum for being honest about his feelings now?

    The Spurs are proving teams can rebound around older stars if they surround them with the right pieces, and the pieces the Lakers need are guys who can spread the floor through consistent shooting, plus one or two guys who can break down the D with some slashing and penetration.

    A single guy who does all that is usually an All-Star, and likely not feasible for L.A. right now. But adding one or two shooting specialists — Steve Kerr kick-and-pop types — and one or two young guys who can drive the lane with impact, that isn’t such a tall order. Hell, Goudelock may play a role in addressing both needs in time.

    The Lakers aren’t that far off from getting what they need. Let’s give Mitch a summer that isn’t ruined by a lockout, and let Mike Brown have time to really put in a system in a preseason camp, before we carry on about blowing things up.

    You’re never going to get a fair return for Drew, and if he had some better shooters/drivers around to open things up, this could be an offense similar to the mid-90s Rockets or the early 2000s Lakers – great inside presences surrounded by guys who will kill you in they’re left open by double-teaming the center.

  49. You do whatever you can to get Deron Williams it’s that simple.

    On a side note how would anyone in their right mind want Shaq to be their GM? The guy is by far the least objective analyst, makes more rash decisions out of emotion and can’t let personal agendas be set aside. He would run a team into the ground within a week of making roster moves.

  50. The Lakers will be looking to make a blockbuster trade this summer. The Lakers FO KNOW they have to shake this team up… the failed Chris Paul trade is evidence of that. It’s inevitable.

    To the people that say we need to go after this player or that player, it’s really very simple–if we do land a star player, the trade has to be to our benefit. That’s the Lakers FO mode of operation. The Lakers FO has been very good at building a cast around our stars before, and at acquiring star pieces, so I personally have all the faith in the world in them.

    And after this second round exit, I think legitimately, what we need right now is another star to add to our core.

    I believe Kupchak will be looking to add another star. We don’t want to be stuck in mediocrity (sort of like the Eddie Jones/Van Exel years). We either get another star or we don’t. I trust Lakers FO will be smart and try to do so.

    The Lakers are not going to give up Bynum unless the trade is just too good to be true.

    Gasol is out, bank on it.

  51. Even if Bynum is retained no one is addressing how the Lakers are going to hold off the running teams when they’re constantly playing 4 on 5!

    To equate Kobe’s threats to bolt to the Clippers are unfair. Kobe had ACTUALLY done something for the Lakers when he began his tirade.

    Andrew has been with an elite organization for seven years and has played for one of the greatest coaches ever, yet he still doesn’t understand what it takes to be a champion.

    Yet, everyone makes derisive remarks about Lebron James; a player that joined the league just as young but with far more expectations. Bynum sat on the Lakers bench and marinated for seven years, he should have been prepared to cook any big in the league, seeing how there are so few and lead the Lakers in at least one round of the playoffs.

    I’ve said all along that Bynum deserves no consideration for his comments or his antics until he’s been the no. 1 or no. 2 option that led the Lakers to a playoff series win. Has he done that, yet?

  52. Robert,

    Kobe’s contract is untouchable at this time unless he commits a heinous crime like OJ, maybe that can be considered. Well, I also believe the amount given to him viz-a-viz salary cap rules was bad, they should have foreseen today’s dilemma. Well, the negotiations came after the rant and Lakers just won a Championship so Mitch put a very enticing contract. It should have been the Shaq last contract w/ Heat 20M/year for 5 years, that gives an allowance to attract more Superstars.

    However, I trust Mitch and just focus on expiring contracts, one of them is your fav., those teams holding those players will make a move or else they lose the player without anything in exchange. Lakers have the best players with values to other teams but does not work here for one reason or another.

    Our biggest drawback this year was abrupt change of management from Buss Family/Mitch and PJ to just Jimbo/Mitch (period). So many things have changed which you often raised, the coaching staff, the scouts and the system. A lot of basketball experts could not fathom the truth, how come our two bigs are out-rebounded, out-hustled by 6’10″ PF’s. In my lifetime, I’ve seen Wilt, Kareem, Shaq who dominated the post and they are only one, here we have two bigs. Do they still listen to their Coach? Were they confused of their assignments? Maybe. they’re demotivated as mere role players under Mbrown system. It is possible in a school that an intelligent student who is bored with the class and not motivated by his teachers and counselors becomes a trouble maker and yields dam*-dam* grades.

  53. I find it amazingly gunny when someone calls others inferior intellects and that same person said on this site:

    Spurs out in 1st round
    Lakers will sweep Denver
    Lakers will beat OKC
    Andrew is by far the best center in the NBA

    That dear Aaron is like Boozo calling Chucko a clown.

    Honk honk

  54. Ko, we could add to that list of Aaron’s brilliant statements:

    -Tony Parker is an average to below average PG
    -Kevin Love is the most overrated player in the league
    -Ron Artest would shut down Kevin Durant/Artest is still the best defender in the league
    -The lakers were hiding Goudelock (the last guy to barely make the roster) so that teams wouldn’t ask for him in trades
    -He even insisted that he would create his own blog and take half of Darius’ followers (which is the most hilarious one out of them all)

    Seriously how can anyone take this guy seriously. Pure entertainment value. The Skip Bayless of ForumBlueandGold

  55. Trading Andrew Bynum for Deron Williams would be STUPID! PG’s are much easier to get than centers. Bynum is 4 years younger.

    Almost as bad as when people said trade Bynum for Jason Kidd. Lakers would look stupid almost immediately when Bynum had monster games.

    Bynum should be traded for a big man or not at all.

    How stupid was that?

    Basketball axioms risky to violate.

    Don’t trade big for small or young for old.

    Never do both. Like a Bynum for D.Will trade would be.

  56. StepUp

    Had me rolling!

    Should have his own book published.

    Great Sports Pedictions from Aaron.

    A one page book including photo and forward from Charles Barkley.

  57. >>>Never do both. Like a Bynum for D.Will trade would be.

    how about trading Jordan Hill for D.Will?

  58. 55. How many great centers are in this league right now? Maybe 2 counting Dwight and Bynum?
    You are exactly right, they are hard to come by but you miss the point.

    No longer is this a big man dominated league, this league is dominated by wing players and guards. That is a fact. The bigs that will dominate in the future will be more mobile stretch bigs. In fact you could argue that PF’s are becoming more important. Last year the Mavericks won with Chandler who is really only a defensive player but who is very mobile & athletic. This league gets more and more athletic every season, you see a guy like Anthony Davis coming into the league. Few people realize how athletically gifted he is, he played guard some in high school and could have scored 30 points a game in college if Calipari had let him shoot more. The NBA has become a league of speed and athleticism, the power and grind games of the old are fading.

    Also when you factor in that youngsters are focusing more on outside shooting and things like that it makes sense that bigs like Andrew are hard to come by. Many high school kids try to have more versatile games than Drew has by the time they enter the NBA.

  59. One thing is true. I said Tony Parker is an average NBA starting PG and the stats backed me up the last four years. PGs in the NBA are very good. Being an average starter has gotten players like Mo Williams into the all star game. The others are basically lies or truths. Kevin Love is vastly overrated. He can’t play defense which is half the game. He can’t create his own shot which is big of you’re the best player on your team. I’m just the weirdo who thinks defense is half the game. But I get it… It’s easier to make things up about a person and argue with that fake person. Smart. And not every prediction will be right… For me I’m lucky 9 out of ten ones are.

  60. The Orlando Magic hiring Shaq as their GM would be phenomenal. He’d immediately try to trade Howard for Goudelock (because clearly there’s only 1 Superman) and then try to arrest Alex Martins when he tries to explain salary matching to Shaq.

    Don’t know why I think Williams is a bit overrated. He’s a very good PG, but I’ve never seen him in the Paul/Rose class. As bad as that NJ team is, was Paul’s NO team really that much less talented when he dragged them to a far superior record? D-Will is excellent – I’ve watched him very closely since I went to his college games at Illinois, and I’m definitely a fan – but I’m not sure you chase him at any price.

  61. A little bet… Everyone who thinks Bynum will be traded needs to call me “Sir Aaron” after the offseason when Bynum isn’t traded because Mitch isn’t a complete moron. The only player you trade Bynum for is LeBron James or Dwight Howard. That’s it. End of discussion.

  62. Kevin Love is viewed by many NBA experts as the best power forward in the league, who know more than you ever will Aaron.

  63. Predictions I meant.

    My book is out now.

    How to misspell words on iPads.

    My book Is 10,000 pages long.

  64. Aaron it seems that your record is actually 0 for 9 counting all of the predictions you made that Ko and I totaled. Multiple people on here will validate that you have said all of those things at one point or another. Own up on your own words don’t hide. If I were you and with your love of Bynum I wouldn’t make that bet because you may jinx him with your track record and get him shipped out of town.

  65. Aaron

    The issue isn’t about your opinions which are sometimes right sometimes wrong. It about your delivery. Talking down to people and showing arrogance loses you respect you might have earned.

    Much like your boy Andrew(ie I don’t need Kareem) you should consider other people’s opinions as there are some very smart people on this site. You might actually learn something. I talk to NBA ex-players often and some say Kobe is the problem other say dump Andrew. No one knows. Surly not you based on your recent predictions.

    Try respecting others and you might get respect back.

  66. how does an average point guard have more mvp votes then Kobe Bryant this year? cuz he’s not average aaron!!!!

  67. to clarify….mvp first place votes

  68. “We were still changing what we were executing, so that had a lot to do with it,” Bryant said. “Normally, we know exactly what we’re going to do. I’m used to the triangle [offense] where we know what we were going to do. This was something where we are still trying to guess through it.”

    That’s what Kobe said about MB systems after more than 4 months. Kobe now faces the tough part of his life, Lakers for life in MB system or 6 rings in some where else ? I though the trial angle offense is complex offense, now i know MB offense is so complex, Kobe with 5 rings still guessing this offense. Does it means MB will win more championships than Phil ?

    When Phil first came to LA in 2000, Lakers did not play trial angle offense yet, but the Lakers with some new players still won championship. Good coaches no matter where they go, you saw the result right away.

  69. 48) jodial: +1

    treylake: Lakers would be getting the better player in that deal. Shaq didn’t bring back a C. LO & Caron were the centerpiece of that deal. The league is changing Only 2 teams left in the playoffs has a true center out west.

  70. @58 agree NBA is dominated by guards and wings. Also agree, Lakers are not going to trade Andrew Bynum for anyone not named Dwight Howard.

    Trading Bynum seems more a response to his petulance than a sound basketball business decision.

  71. I know many of us already have Bynum on a plane shipped out to furthest team in the Western Hemisphere. But as others have noted there is no way Buss trades Bynum for a mediocre player or package of players. No matter how much we think he needs to go, someone has to step up with a deal the Lakers actually want. Ditto for Gasol.

    Talking heads in the media have him all but traded. First I want to see the team that is comfortable with his on-court production level for the cost of his contract. Until that team materializes he goes nowhere. And that team still has to offer the Lakers pieces they actually want.

    Instead of thinking about how bad we want certain players gone we need to think about who may actually want them and what they can provide in return. Fans think because we are angry with Bynum and disappointed with Gasol they can be automatically cashed in for better players who meet our expectations. More often than not it doesn’t happen that way.

  72. PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION GUYS !! Thx !!

    We have a 9 million dollar trade exception from the lamar trade. Can we use that to sign a player to a deal with 9 mil or less salary for his his first year?

    Can we divide it up? use it to sign two players for 4.5 each?

    can we include it with another player in a trade? Like TPE plus gasol for howard plus filler?

    When does it expire?

    I know we only have a mini mle plus the vet min, so hopefully we can use this tpe to sign players as well…

    If not, what exactly can we do with it?

    Thanks !!!

  73. I try to read Bynum’s mind, why he acting weird. I think of little kid, when we don’t give them candy, some will yell, some will cry. A player has the right to choose their own career , some can’t shoot so they can only be defensive player, others can score so they want to be offensive player.

    I think that Bynum thinks 7 years sitting on the bench enough for him, now it’s time for him to shine. Maybe in his mind he wants to score more to test his limits, so when he did not get that chance, he is getting crazy. I hope somebody will talk to him, let him know his times will come, the important now is getting better, learning the tricks in the NBA.

    Rudy (ex-Houston coach), still working for Lakers, he said that he believes Bynum will become a very good center in the future, now he said it looks like you see your kids growing up with headaches.

  74. I can think of many packages of players that I would trade Bynum for.
    Give me a tough, defensive rebounder with an actual motor to play the 4-5 and an athletic 2-3 that can actually hit open shots and create his own shot off the dribble and the Lakers would be WAY better off than having a temperMENTAL center with a 4 cylinder motor that doesn’t start half the time.

  75. Just to clarify: I am a firm believer in the truth of not trading big for small, on general principle (which is why I wasn’t a fan of Pau-Lamar for Paul). I have always rooted hard for Bynum, and believed in his game, and I fully realize that guys who can grab 30 rebounds and block 10 shots don’t grow on trees.

    It may well be that the Lakers keep Bynum, and that it works out beautifully – some of the best moves the Lakers have ever made were non-moves (not trading Worthy, not trading Kobe). That would be great, if it plays out that way.

    Generally, I am a fan of continuity, and not one to clamor for change for change’s sake. But: the Lakers really, really need to look at the whole picture with Bynum. There are a LOT of red flags there. It’s only my opinion, but I think it is just too simplistic to say he is untouchable by looking at his PER, or his position, and ignoring all the other stuff that comes with him.

    Let’s forget about his history of injuries, or his franchise-shaming cheap shot ending to last season, which left his team high and dry to start this season. Let’s just look at some of his schtick once he started his All-Star campaign this year. Loafing through multiple games (by his own admission), playing with inconsistent effort, taking goofy 3-pointers and laughing when his coach benched him, ignoring his teammates during time-outs, playing a generally half-assed playoffs (which included bonehead bulletin board material statements that veered dangerously close to Tracy McGrady foot-in-mouth territory), all capped off by an invisible performance in a close-out game…any one of those would be irritating, but all of them put together?

    That’s a real tough decision Mitch & co. have to make. I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but just personally speaking, it’s a lot easier for me to root for and believe in players who play hard and who want to be here.

  76. @ 61.

    Mitch is not going to trade #17 because he’s Jim Buss’s boy toy and gets a pass for having no heart. It has nothing to do with talent.

    So there will be no reason to call you sir aaron, or to take that bet, because its a guarantee they won’t trade him.

    Are they – and you wrong – to not want to trade him?

    Absolutely. He’s an injury prone big man who’s had now 1 good season, doesn’t try hard in playoff games, and can be easily stopped with a double team. He was single covered the whole OKC series and could only make the other team’s scrubs pay – but not their starting center with a busted hip.

    His value is high due to his “potential” – but people who watch him game to game know that he probably played his absolute best last season, for the 1 out of 3 games that he bothered to try.

    Oh – he also mailed in game 5 of the OKC series for no reason whatsoever, when Kobe/Pau and the rest of the team were killing themselves.

    Stop comparing him to the Dwights/Kobes/Lebrons/Dwades of the world. Those guys are franchise players who can put a team on their shoulder and make their team special.

    Its ok that he’s an above average center.

  77. I forgot to add: High-fiving fans after getting kicked out of a game, then getting tossed again the very next game against the same team, both games ending in losses.

  78. jro@72: I will let Darius explain all the details to you, but in general, you do not sign players with TPE’s, you use them in trades. The most common way would be trading a draft pick and using a TPE for a $9 million player. However: A) This means you need a tradable pick – which we do not have B) This means you want to take on $9 million in salary – which Jimbo doesn’t.

    So: your last question:

    “If not, what exactly can we do with it?”

    Answer – we can let it expire on the 1 year anniversary of the LO dumping (just like we did with the Sasha TPE).

  79. I’ve always given Bynum credit for his play but say he’s no franchise player. It’s never a good thing to put your hands in another man’s pocket. But we’re fans we analyze everything this is part of our gig.

    In 08 Bynum got a 4 yr/58 mil extension (exactly what Marc Gasol just got). Honestly, How much of that did he earn? Out of those 4 years Lakers got 1 1/2 max (’10 title run, this year). His next deal will be 5 yr/80 mil. How many GREAT years can Lakers expect to get? Given past history not all 5, but if front office feel it’s a full 5 they’ll do it. That’s a major gamble on a player who has more questions than answers. Lakers usually spend that type of money on sure things.

  80. @5 – yes…hell yeah. Did you see what he did last game?

  81. “Sir Aaron”, huh?

    heh heh heh

    My take? GO SIXERS!!

  82. Then you ask yourself Which Big men have lived up to their deals this decade?

    Yes- Duncan, Garnett, Dwight, Dirk

    No- E. Curry, J. O’Neal, Boozer, A. Bogut, E. Brand

    Will they- Z. Randolph, Stoudemire, NeNe, M. Okur, D. Lee, A. Breidris.

    I may be missing some if so help me out. It looks good before the deals but not many actually live up to it.

  83. Aaron I remember when the Lakers traded for Sessions you assured us we would be “happy”.

    Well I’m not. Please fix this :0)

  84. For two consecutive years, under vastly different coaches, the combination of Bynum and Gasol has proven to be ineffective against fast and athletic teams. Now it should be clear to all that our height V speed experiment has failed.

    Irregardless of who shoots the ball on offense, in the end it is the inability to defend and rebound (with 2 seven footers) that has led to our demise above all other factors. I guarantee you that the Lakers will trade one or both of these players.

    By far I believe that Gasol is most likely to leave. If you watched him closely in this years playoffs it is easy to see that he has trouble holding post position and effectively maneuvering against more athletic players including those that he towers over. And on the defensive end he was even worse. His individual defense was ineffective against almost any player he was up against and the lack of athleticism made his contribution to team defense anemic.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big Bynum fan either but he is young and still has the strength and athleticism to have and impact on both ends of the floor when his head is right. Furthermore, I believe the Lakers will only trade him if Howard is available and this does not seem likely.

  85. 74,

    Of course you can think a few packages you would go for. But the other side has to be willing. Who is willing to work with the Lakers in a major way? Who is willing that also has talent the Lakers need that can put them over?

    The goal is to become a true contender again. At this point people just seem to want to ship players out because they are angry with no consideration for the team that will be constructed as a result.

  86. Andrew is long and strong, but not really athletic or explosive and he doesn’t have a motor on offense or defense. He’s not a great rebounder or defender.

    Until he proves otherwise, he is fool’s gold undeserving of max money and #1 option in a title contending offense.

    Trade him while he value is high and reload.

  87. If it takes Bynum to bing in a top notch PG (CP3, D-Will level), then try and see if you can lure a quality big in the same package and go for it.

    I don’t care about 5 years down the line, I care about the next two.

  88. So for the next season (correct me if I’m wrong):

    Gasol = $18 mi
    Bynum = $11 mi

    Is that right?

  89. Bynum’s option is for 16.1M next year. Kobe will make 27M next year.

  90. Fans think because we are angry with Bynum and disappointed with Gasol they can be automatically cashed in for better players who meet our expectations.

    This is a good point, and although I still think bringing in Sessions was the right move, he was more or less an example of that exact scenario–and he didn’t meet expectations (although IMO most people were never really angry at Fisher himself since he always did the best he could).

    Bynum is very good. Pau is still good, and I suspect he has not lost all that much to age and would look better on a different team. We all need to remember that in discussing what these players’ futures with the Lakers may or may not be.

  91. I don’t hold a degree in psychology, but I seem to remember reading something about the power, respectively, of “primary” and “recency.” It’s tough to overcome a first impression, and equally, if not more difficult, to overcome recent outcomes (“what have you done for me lately”).

    I try to remind myself of this regularly, but have been guilty in the past few days of falling victim to the “primacy” and “recency” that we all are experiencing with young master Bynum

    Primacy–early in his career–a slew of injuries, leading to the belief (yet to be determined as to its accuracy) that he is “injury prone.”

    Recency–I don’t need to recapitulate all of the comments many have made about Drew’s recent comments and uneven playoff performance.

    Those two things are causing some (myself included) to ignore all of the good things that Drew has done in the “in between” that make an automatic one-way ticket out of town come heck or high water a dangerous knee-jerk proposition.

    I won’t back down from my position that Drew is no franchise player–at least he hasn’t shown it yet–and won’t back down from my position that he has so many red flags that any scenario moving forward that includes making him “a” or “the” centerpiece of the team is fraught with peril. But it would be foolhardy to dump him now, when the wounds are still fresh, when the “recency” is holding sway, and when at the end of the day, this is a business, and the best business decision, weighing all risks and potential rewards, is being patient, and seeing how he plays next year.

  92. If Drew isn’t a franchise player – which he isn’t – then the Lakers should be trying to pay him 16 million a year.

    Simple as that.

    Sometimes when you trade a player you get 70 cents on the dollar at the face value trade. But then the team plays more together. Plays with more heart. Plays like they care.

    Then the team can do something special.

    Their may or may not be a good deal out their for a guy like Drew – I’m no GM and not in the inner circles.

    But having heart and passion for the game and your teammates has to matter as well. Paying 16 million a year to an injury prone player with no heart is a massive New York Knick-Isiah Era type of mistake – not a Laker move.

  93. jro – Can’t use the TPE to sign players. The TPE allows you to trade for players without worrying about salary matching. In that sense, it can be split up. We can trade for a $4 million player and still have a 4.9 TPE remaining to use in another trade. But we can’t use it to sign FAs (although it can be used in sign and trades, I believe). And it can’t be combined with any other players in a trade. Once we trade for a player, a new TPE in the value of that player’s contract is created for the other team. I think our Lamar TPE expires in December, someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    The full truth is a bit more complicated: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q80

    mindcrime – excellent post. It’s always interesting when people bring other fields into their posts (e.g. Cdog wrt the Jordan Hill news) and FB&G becomes a place where you learn about more than just basketball.

  94. Fellow Laker fans thus is so simple it’s silly!

    Smart teams with smart coaches saw the change in the NBA last year. Running, good shooting, quick teams. The double post reliant on 7 footer days are over. The Lakers missed the wake up call.

    Dallas saw it last year. Pops saw it and retooled. OKC figured it out. Heat and Riley knew it.

    Two years in a row a team without a real center will win the banner. Lakers are living in the 80,s and 90′s. Today speed, PG and outside shots win.

    Trade one, trade both but put away the disco ball and the bell bottoms Laker FO and get into this decade. Before you become a relic!

  95. One reason I complain about Pau playing in the Olympics is because he plays every summer leading up to the Olympics in all of the qualifying games and rounds. No human being can play basketball in a demanding and scheduled manner year round.

    Moreover, as Pau is getting older he needs to add strength and muscle to his frame in order to maneuver effectively in the NBA against younger and more athletic players.
    Pau needs the summer to work on his body and time to relax his mind so that he can come back refreshed and invigorated. This is a no brainer for Pau this is something he can do effortlessly.

    Far more difficult is the notion that Andrew can:

    1) Grow up. 2) Care about the team. 3) Listen to and respect his coach. 4) Have a meeting with the GM when asked. 5) Play consistently. 6) Rebound. 7) Play defense. 8) Want to pass out of a double team. 9) Not try to be a 3 pt shooter when he’s unpredictable in 4 feet from the basket. 10) Join the team in game huddles. 11) Read and react on offensive and defense. 12) Hustle back on defense. 13) Get down the floor on offense in less than 10 seconds, more than just a few times a game. 14) Play with Kobe. 15) Defend the pick in roll. 16) Create offense in the pick in roll. 17) Thirst to be successful for the Lakers!

    These 17 reasons need be contemplated before there’s a decision on no. 17.

  96. Ko, you do remember that the Lakers traded Pau and Lamar for CP3, right? So how did they ‘miss the wake-up call’?

    Also, I’m not at all sure I agree that the Lakers size still couldn’t be a formidable advantage, so long as they have perimeter shooters to force defenses not to collapse and clog the paint… and believe me, Jason Kapono not withstanding, it’s a lot easier to pick up a JJ Redick than a Gasol or Bynum.

  97. T. Rogers was right when he said: let’s trade Pau Gasol but there should be a team wanting him for that huge contract.

    Bynum is logical in the trading block because Lakers have the team option whether to sign him long term contract or sign/trade him now.

    Of course, Mitch will take the high road of the best scenario – trade both if you believe Lakers have the best exchange based on Lakers future and salary caps advantage. However, trade one of them may become the best alternative to achieve a well balanced roster.

    A no change as raised by Jodial, would place us in a quicksand at 1st or 2nd round position or may fail to qualify in playoffs. Remember other teams in the West are seeding high draft picks acquisitions while Lakers will continue to disintegrate just continuing with a lone wolf offense, a roster with combination of a bunch of tortoises and few monkeys (fable) and another year of MBrown coaching.

  98. Lil Pau,

    Yes, we were Stern-ized at the start of the season. What happened next? No moves on that dormant TPE and same-same Pau. We got the final answer during the play offs.

    Another great acquisition and exchange in the mid year but we were still lacking some pieces to be really competitive. It manifested during the end of the season where we struggled against Memphis, SA and OKC and non contenders in the East. We could have improved by filling out the 15th player from players that were waived and F/A’s. Other teams added help while we went on as-is as with faith that Lakers would defy the odds. Experts were right, Lakers will struggle to pass Nuggets and will be defeated by OKC. No need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out, isn’t it?

    What I’m saying if you didn’t get CP3 at the start of the season or failed in trading Beasly or Crawford in the mid year, will you just stop there?

  99. Funky Chicken May 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    In “Sir” Aaron’s world, Tony Parker is an average point guard, and Andrew Bynum is the most dominant player in the league.

    I think that pretty much says it all.

  100. I say move Gasol and Bynum, we won’t get enough back for Gasol to compete for a title and Bynum doesn’t seem comitted enough to take the reigns when Kobe decides to bow out. His energy level is up and down and he is far too inconsistent. As for Pau, I love the guy and I think he compliments Kobe well. With that being said, he has to go as well because he and Kobe as a 1-2 punch isn’t enough to get it done either. It was enough, but those days are over. Bynum can net us another superstar player whether it be a superstar guard or a superstar center (we all know who I’m talking about.) Gasol coul get us back two to three solid role palyers from a myriad of teams who could use his services. We need help on the peremeter in the worst way and it killed us that Kobe was the ONLY player that creat his own shot. Let’s move our two tradeable assets and build depth around Kobe while he’s still here.

  101. Long time lurker; first post.

    @96

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that a team without a real center won the title last year.

    The Mavs had Chandler – who was arguably the difference maker for that team. Look how much his absence hurt the Mavs this year – and how much his arrival in New York bolstered the Knicks.

    Chandler, of course, is the anti-Bynum. I’d even go so far as to say that he’s more of a “real center” – at least in terms of what you’d like to get from that position in today’s game – than AB. Someone whose primary focus (and passion) is for defense and rebounding; a legit last line of defense against those quick, pesky PGs; not worried about his “touches” yet who nonetheless is a credible threat as the “dive man” on the p ‘n’ r.

    I happen to think Chandler is criminally underrated, Exhibit A being the conventional wisdom that the upper tier of centers in the NBA is only two deep, DH12 and AB. Bynum may be 10x the offensive player but he can’t hold Chandler’s jock as a defender. And given the prevailing trends in today’s league referenced by Ko @96, I think I’d much rather have the latter than the former.

  102. Agreed, Chandler is absolutely a real center in every sense of the word. Most noticeable is the fact that the Mavs offense dropped without Chandler, much more so than the defense. Creating your own shot in the post is not the only way to score. Chandler’s fearsome finishing ability as the roll man on the PnR tilted opposing defenses and changed the complexion of the Mavs’ offense.

    There’s been several logical calls not to give up on this core, but to rebuild the supporting cast the way the Spurs have done this year. It’s an intriguing possibility. But when I watch the Spurs unbelievable play, what stands out the most to me? The fact that they very rarely make mistakes. Not only do they have elite shooters, but the spacing and movement is so precise, so well-coached, that it perfectly complements the elite play of Parker. To be quite honest, we don’t have a Popovich. I’m not sure we have a defined offensive system where you can easily plug in cast-offs and role players and give them clearly structured roles. SVG does an excellent job of molding offenses around his personnel, but we have MB for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case, using the Spurs formula this season may not be a practical goal.

  103. snoopy– we also don’t have a FO that is able to find diamonds in the rough like a kahwi leonard, let alone manu or TP. Mitch is a very good trading GM, but a big part of the Spurs’ success comes from drafting, which is a place we are not competitive with Buford (to be fair, only OKC is in that class).

    I don’t want to contribute to the Mitch bashing – I think there’s a real argument he’s the 3rd best GM after SA and OKC (and yes, I am aware of the bottom of our bench) – but what SA has done is nothing short of incredible and requires many things we don’t have– a FO great at finding talent in the 2nd round, a superstar without ego who is willing to defer not only touches but even a fundamental team identity/style/pace, a brilliant coach who is particularly great at giving each player a specific role, etc…. I’m not at all sure Matt Bonner is a better player than Troy Murphy, for example, but Bonner will see real minutes in huge games while Murphy rides the pine. The good news, to the extent that there is good news, is that the Lakers’ future (at least for the rest of the Kobe era) will be determined by primarily with what Mitch gets for Pau and/or Drew– this plays into Mitch’s strongest attributes imo. Once Kobe is gone, then how we drafted along the way becomes paramount and things may not be so rosy then…

  104. Lakers management needs to ask themselves this question:

    Barring any future major injuries, is Andrew Bynum a Hall of Fame type player?

    Me, I wouldn’t bet the franchise on it. I don’t think it’s in his makeup to have the focus and dedication required over the rest of his career.
    Does he work hard on his game? Yes. Is that enough? Hell no.
    It’s about having the desire to master all facets of the game and the APPLYING
    ALL THAT KNOWLEDGE 100% OF THE TIME YOU ARE OUT ON THE COURT.
    And Andrew does not do that.
    We see glimpses of it.
    He disappears far too often and for far too long.
    Great HOF players may disappear for a quarter(at most and very rarely) but never for entire games.

    At best, Andrew can be compared to former Cav center, Brad Daugherty. Nice player. Multiple All Star.
    At worst, he’s the second coming of Joe Barry Carroll.

  105. Hey Edwin,

    Don’t forget that we had a deal for Beasley in place when the T-Wolves backed out of the deal with 7 minutes left before the trade deadline. Since Mitch is a great GM he had a plan B and picked up Jordan Hill. Which turned out well but we needed a scorer more.

  106. There is another way to move Kobe: buy him out.

    Kobe’s $25MM salary is likely to cost the Lakers $50-75MM after taxes, so it might make financial sense. If the alternative is that the Lakers are going to spend the last years of the Kobe era in the mediocre first-round-elimination land, this would break that cycle sooner. Kobe can decide whether he’d rather put up numbers or chase ring number six.

    I’m not saying the Lakers should do this, but it is an option. It seems like this would be the path that would advance both Kobe and the Lakers (though separately) towards their next championships. But I suspect that current management would be quite happy to follow long-time Clipper model, where filling the seats (and the cashbox) is more important than hanging banners.

  107. If Poppovich was the Lakers’ coach, I would speculate that the following would have happened this season:

    - He would have limited Kobe and Gasol’s minutes to keep them fresh for the playoffs, similar to what he did with Duncan and Ginobli. He sees the big picture, and unlike Brown, he would have been willing to sacrifice a few wins to reduce their minutes.

    - He would have given consistent minutes to Goudlock, Ebanks and McRoberts (perhaps even Morris and Murphy as well), developing them and giving them confidence during the regular season to prepare them for the playoffs, similar to what he did with Leonard, Neal and Bonner.

    - He would not have put up with Bynum’s immature, lazy and selfish behavior, and would have benched him any time he did not run back on defense, or refused to hustle for boards, or refused to join team huddles, etc. If that didn’t work, he would have strongly advocated trading him. Team chemistry is of the highest priority for a big picture coach like Poppovich.

    - He would have realized early on that the main weaknesses on this team was transition D and P&R D, and would have tried to address these issues throughout the season, whether by strategy, or making trades at the deadline.

    - He would have insisted at the beginning of the season that the offense should run through the team’s best playmakers with the highest basketball IQ, Kobe and Gasol, instead of trying to force the offense through an immature big man that can’t handle double teams, knowing that come playoff time, Bynum would see plenty of double teams

    -

  108. We all talk about how Pau needs to be playing closer to the basket. And I agree that he would be more effective that way, as he was when Bynum was hurt and he was our 5. What do you guys think of the idea of Pau coming off the bench as Bynum’s backup. Bynum could be fresh all game… and Pau can get his touches close to the basket.

  109. People seem to be forgetting that D12 does not want to play in LA. The guy had the option to be traded here but the front office didn’t pull the trigger because Dwight wouldn’t sign a long term extension (according to Stephen A Smith).

    Plus trading for him doesn’t solve any of the problems LA still has, sure they would be better defensively and have a player that tries non-stop, but he and Pau would still not mesh well. The Lakers would still have PG issues, athleticism issues on the perimeter, a horrid bench and no shooters. D12 doesn’t make sense in a Bynum trade, you either trade Bynum for several pieces or you don’t trade him at all. But once again this gets into the whole “who needs a Center,” “what would they be willing to part with,” which is why speculation makes no sense. For example the Lakers best hope is that DWill wants out of NJ and that they’d be willing to give up a player like Lopez. Darius this isn’t speculation or rumor or anything I am just throwing out an example of some thing people need to consider. I have nothing to back me up saying DWill wants out or that they would give up Lopez.

  110. - He would have found a way to incorporate Sessions’ skill set, rather than neutering everything Sessions is good at, like what Brown did.

  111. @ 108 – Or Bynum could come off the Bench as Pau’s backup.

    Better to not reward the player with starters minutes who doesn’t try in playoff games.

    Haha

  112. Step up,

    I completely disagree. The main weaknesses on this team were lack of team speed, poor transition D, poor P&R D, and giving up offensive boards. Dwight would drastically improve this team in those areas.

  113. Mitch ” I don’t see us being under the cap anytime soon”. Strong statement.

    LTmitchell. I agree. Having 2 7 footers didn’t change the fact Lakers gave up 12 off. rebounds per game this year and guards weren’t deterred from owning the paint many games.

  114. And on the other hand, if Ron Artest doesn’t go Rambo on Hardin, the Lakers beat the Nuggets earlier, get some rest, have more left in the tank down the stretch in the 4th of games 2 and 4 against OKC, and right now have either won the series or are preparing for game 7 on Sunday.

  115. I think some moves hinge on what Sessions does. And Blake, McRoberts, Ron what happens with them. One has proved his worth but is still overpaid. Those guys hurt more than Kobe. imo

  116. Congratulations to Kobe Bryant for making the All-NBA first team for the seventh straight year and his tenth overall and to Andrew Bynum for making the All-NBA second team.

  117. http://4hoopsheads.com/2012/05/24/kobe-bryant-and-defeat/
    Post I wrote on Kobe and how he has handled defeat.

    In response to ppl bashing Bynum I’ll say that there were times in the OKC series and th season in general where Kobe and the other guys completely ignored him in the post. A lot of times they’d get him the ball he’d get double-teamed and pass the ball. And they would NEVR try to re-post him. That’s what you do when you have a great post player, you re-post him! Shaq always was hit with double team but the lakers were fully-comitted to getting him the ball. These Lakers don’t do that and Andrew gets frustrated and doesn’t try as hard. He deserves some flack for that but they have to get him the ball regularly.

  118. 107,

    You can’t assume Pop would have had any more success this season with this roster. Most of those guys who are producing for him have been under his wing for a minute now. For the Lakers, giving guys like Ebanks, McRoberts, Murphy, Goudelock, and Morris more minutes would surely have provided more rest for the big three. It also would have sacrificed games in a tight Western Conference race. It takes time, experience, and mistakes on the floor for most young players to get better. How many Laker fans have the patience to wait that out while games are being lost?

    Plus, Paker, Ginobli and Duncan fit together perfectly. With those three there is a slashing ball handler, a spot up shooter, and post player. With the Lakers big three Gasol and Bynum are redundant and Kobe wants to overlap them even more by playing in the post himself. There is simply too much of the same no matter how talented they are.

    Another coach may have squeezed a little more juice out of this team. But at the end of the day the talent and skill set was never there to win a title.

  119. Lil Pau

    I tell all my sales people I don’t want to hear what you “tried” to do, only what you did.

    Every move in life must have a plan B, if not your going to spend I lot of time going fishing!

  120. watching some of drew’s interviews is like watching an unfiltered stream-of-consciousness exercise, as if he’s thinking out loud to reporters, who in turn draw their own conclusions and shape their stories using whichever snippets of his unedited thoughts they feel will raise the most eyebrows. don’t know of anyone who hasn’t said carelessly foolish things at random when they’re 25.

    drew knows the lakers need to improve, that he is one of our two assets to make an impactful improvement, that he may be gone in the near future if mitch can get dwight, dwill or whoever else the lakers want for him, that this is a business where loyalty only exist when it’s convenient. knowing that, what he said isn’t all that different than what someone would say in a regular job, where he or she is one of two employees that a poorly performing company designate for a layoff. just a way for him to cope with his reality.

    he averaged 18.7 pts 11.8 reb in 35 minutes playing in 60 out of 66 games in a lockout-shortened season with a compacted schedule, a big jump from averaging 11.3 pts 9.4 reb in 28 minutes in 54 games in a regularly-scheduled ‘10-’11 season, and good enough for all-nba 2nd team. to me, his 10 pts 4 reb in the last game looked less like an absence of effort from a guy who doesn’t care, but more like the effort of a guy who hasn’t played a full season healthy since ‘06-’07, whose body has not acclimated to the demands of a full season with him promoted to the number 2 option, while taking on a new system (he grew up in the triangle like kobe did), new coach, new teammates, etc. this summer, forgoing the glory of winning a gold medal with team usa in the olympics, he’s opting to take care of his knees by doing the kobe procedure in germany. that’s a good way to start ‘12-’13.

    in 2009, LO, ariza and shannon brown got hot from the 3, and fish hit two impossibly improbably 3s in game 4 of the finals, and we won. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the opposite would’ve happened had they shot the way they did in the regular season. after the okc series, ron was still optimistic, repeatedly mentioning in interviews that we could’ve been up 3-2 heading home for game 6 if only a few little things changed. little things like crunchtime execution, defensive identity, and ways to put role players in position to hit opportune shots, like back in ‘09. trial and error over the course of a full season with training camp, in a system we’re comfortable with can change that.

    with the new cba, lakers most likely will never be as sexy as okc. unless someone makes mitch an offer he can’t refuse, I see us keeping drew and pau, and making tweaks instead of blockbusters, to come back next year and try to win it the ugly way.

  121. I just saw Roy Hibbert and D. West (the 4th and 5th best player on the court) give Miami all they could handle.

    Why?

    Because bigs that play well have a greater effect than wing players and pgs of the same level.

    We watched Bynum and Gasol stink it up… but if they had played well and with the intensity and desire of, let’s say, a metrics-challanged Kobe… well… I honestly believe SA would be in for a surprise in round 3 :)

    That’s more then Daron Williams could do for us.