Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  June 13, 2012

As Darius wrote yesterday, the Heat and the Thunder have been on a collision course all season. Game one was terrific last night. One of the things that I enjoyed most was watching Fish play – 25 minutes, 3 of 5 shooting, and all the little five-rings things. If he gets number six, I’ll be very happy. Without further ado, some links:

Andrew Kamenetzky from the Land O’Lakers, offers a forum with Dave McMenamin and Kevin Arnovitz, about Ramon Sessions.

Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports has a wrap-up for the OKC loss with a great Russell Westbrook quote about Shane Battier, “He was trying to punk me.” And then there’s the post game video, Russ in his red glassless frames and Prada shirt with cars and dancing people. Pure gold.

Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’ Lie considers the decision making process that Derek Fisher went through after buying out his contract from Houston.

Also at BDL, Dan Devine writes about charitable causes, Kobe Bryant, and H-O-R-S-E.

Ken Berger at CBS Sports has a David Stern interview thing.

Alex Dewey at Gothic Ginobili, on LeBron’s long and unfathomable journey, with a Chekhov framework.

Tom Sorensen at the Charlotte Observer, feels that Brian Shaw is the best candidate for the Hornet’s coaching vacancy. The other members of the final three are Jerry Sloan… and Quin Snyder.

Ramneet Singh at Lakers Nation reports on Lakers assistant Ettore Messina returning to Europe, where he’ll be the head coach for CSKA Russia. It was great having him here, but you knew it wouldn’t last – the man is a bonafide legend in the Euroleague.

Beckley Mason at True Hoops has the flops of the night – Chalmers vs. Fisher.

***

Other than Messina leaving and Snyder being on MJ’s short list, there really isn’t much in the way of Lakers news to write about. Or if there is, it hasn’t filtered down to the world according to Dave. If anybody hears anything really choice, post it here. I’ll be sure to snake it and call it my own.

- Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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58 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Did anybody hear commissioner Stern on the Jim Rome show just now? Dude sounds wacked out.

  2. Supposing the Lakers have Kobe, Dwight and Deron, IMO we will just be matched with OKC, that’s how good they are with young legs. D’Wade and Bosh suddenly became older and satisfied with jump shooting and less activity in the low post.

    Fisher is also doing great with OKC, he fits in that system where he’s not the PG but a SG who could bury the three when D & W are double teamed. He cannot do this with the Lakers because he was expected to defend PG’s, distribute the ball and the source of outside shots productions too.

    I still believe Hill was the better choice, only he and Sessions become F/A’s again. We can attribute their contributions to the Lakers got to 2nd round. However, Lakers do not have the firepower to be at par with OKC’s role players: Ibaka, Perkins, Collison, Harden, Mohammed, Daequan Cook.

  3. Edwin:

    The one question mark is whether or not OKC can keep the team that they presently have together. I don’t think they can. I agree with your general statement that this Thunder team is incredibly deep and the supporting cast behind their big three is amazing…

    …but there are some big time looming financial issues there. Will they be able to hold onto Harden? Ibaka? Who will they choose to pay vs. who will they have to let go?

  4. So it seems we have a number of people now who think that even if we hit the lotto (DW + D12), then we are still not good enough or maybe just barely good enough. Keep in mind, this is if we hit the lotto, cause landing both of those guys would be just that.
    Edwin: Since you feel this way, I ask you, this: What if we don’t land those guys (the more likely scenario)? Should we nuke this thing, or should we toil away in mediocrity, watching films of yesteryear, while we count our blessings that we had a good team while it lasted?

  5. Intelligent comments on the Heat center around the fact that they have been playing every other day for quite some time and Lebron is playing major, major minutes in all of their games. Dwayne Wade is a bit gassed and injured and Chris Bosh is still trying to get in condition after an injury. With that analysis, the remaining members of the Heat are just barely adequate. The match-ups favor the Thunder.

    If you think about it, the Lakers are in a similar situation. We have to improve our role players to improve the team. Our issues are how to play and improve our existing youth, not rearrange the stars’ deck chairs.

    This is as much a coaching issue as anything else and this is where I hate to see Ettore Messina and possibly Snyder leave the team.

  6. The Thunder will not “have” to let anyone go. Even in this new world, teams can almost always retain their own players if they “choose” to pay up for them (including taxes). The Thunder could “choose” to let some of their players go due to financial reasons. To bring this home for the Lakers, we “chose” to let Ariza, Shannon, LO and Sasha go. We “chose” to replace them on the bench with guys like Murphy, Kapono, McRoberts, and Hill. How this reflects on the FO is up to each of us to decide. We can “choose” : )

  7. Say…if we get DWill + getting rid of 1 of our 2 slow guys, we’ll be fine. And if Bynum plays on “defense-mode” (30 blocks against SAS?), then we’ll be more than fine.

  8. I don’t see how OKC can pay the extremely punitive tax and keep the current squad. Choices will have to be made. OKC is not a major market and their ownership will not have the $$$ to keep everyone. If LA doesn’t have it, OKC certainly doesn’t. I don’t see guys like Westbrook, Harden and Durant taking major pay cuts for the rest of the squad. They’ll have to find young, capable talent that can quickly mesh with the current core (whoever the FO chooses that to be). The Spurs have been very successful at that.

    It’s sad to say this, but after hearing the Rome/Stern interview, we really need a new commissioner. You really don’t know if the new one would be better than the last, but Stern just seems tired – mentally and physically – but is still in love with the power of being a tyrant.

  9. OKC may not be able to hold on to all of their players, but it will apply to just about every team out there, and the truth of the matter is that Durant and Westbrook are as good as any duo while being much younger and thus cheaper.

    So they do have an inherent advantage over other teams like us. We have Kobe who can still hold his own, but at a much higher price. Thankfully we also have deeper pockets and more willingness to spend, but fact is that it will be hard for us, or anyone else to match them on talent-per-dollar or age basis.

    Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t be competitive or be able to field a team that can beat them in a seven game series, so enough with their grass being greener.

  10. I might have been the one to begin this thread about even if the Lakers were to hit the lotto and obtain DWill and DHoward that it would not be enough to get out of the West.

    My main point was really this: we have been spoiled by how productive Kobe has been in his 30?s. I’m not sure that DWill and DHoward will be able to duplicate that. This is important because those two players will be in their 30?s in 2 or 3 years. Look at DWade, the miles have already begun to show on him and he just turned 30. In 3 years OKC’s core will still be well under 30 and will still be running us into the floor.

    Others are pointing to the new CBA and stating that it won’t allow the Thunder to keep all of their players without going into the punitive tax zone.

    To this point – OKC is currently not a tax paying team. Their clock does not start until next year and I believe the heavy tax fees don’t hit until you have been over the cap for 5 consecutive years. Someone who is up on the new CBA can confirm or correct this thought. However, if this is true than OKC has a long window of opportunity in front of them.

  11. D Will alone would make Lakers much better. He’s a impact player and is rotting on a horrible team let’s not forget how good he is. He single handedly brought Nets back earlier this year vs Lakers before Kobe’s heroics.

  12. http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/18865627/report-nets-f-gerald-wallace-plans-to-opt-out-of-contract-test-free-agency

    Things like this are helping our chances of getting D Will. Unless Billy King bends over backwards for Wallace’s agent.

  13. 8 – You get taxed the very first year you go into the tax zone. What you’re referring to is the repeater tax, an additional fee on top of the normal luxury tax. It’s all speculation at this point – maybe the owners are willing to dip into the tax to keep their team. Who knows?

    I enjoyed the Rome-Stern interview. As Stern is getting ready to ease out the door, he seemingly does not care about letting his true personality shine through. He’s the professor who’s started coming to campus in his birthday suit and flipping off the students days before his 65th birthday. I thought he took far too much offense to a legitimate question, and while I think those of us not involved in the legal field may not truly grasp the connotations of his reply, he should be aware he wasn’t speaking to an audience of lawyers. He’s smarter than that.

  14. Just wondering what numbers some of you are anticipating with OKC? Next year they have $47m on the books and the only major FA hole is Russ – I’m sure they can make that work and fill in a few other vet minimum slots (Fish and Nazr are FA’s, etc.). Harden’s not a FA in 2013/14, but I don’t see it as a huge obstacle. What’s the cap next year anyway? I thought it was somewhere around $61m with luxury kicking in around 70 but I may be wrong. True, the 1.5 per 1 kicks in 2013/14 but I just don’t really see this team as being in as tough a spot as some.

  15. rr : from last thread: Of course I am venting : ) And the Veto was huge – but it is not a valid excuse for ineptitude. Lastly – I do have ideas: I would go all out for DW or D12. I would continue to pursue the championship if I could get even 1 of them. If not – I would not “futz”. I would nuke this thing down to scorched earth. Trade for youngsters, picks, rights to overseas players etc. You are correct that this has no guarantees. Which is why you must do it down to scorched earth. You get as many picks, young players, etc as you can, because they are like lottery tickets. You must have a lot of tickets to have any chance at of having a few that pay off. As a more specific example: Call the Russian and see if he is interested in adding superstars rather than subtracting them. He has high picks.

    We will not do any of this of course, because it is painful, and we can avoid the excruciating pain in exchange for a slow drawn out sinking of the ocean liner which began on Veto day (I must credit a very smart guy for somewhat predicting this).

  16. Sorry for the late response Jim C and Robert.

    Jim C., for next season only Westbrook Nazrand Fisher have contract issues. Perhaps, they can let Fish go and re-sign West to 3 year starting at 12M. They can still have this line up intact for two more years.

    Rob, I don’t mean that if D’Will and your Dwight are not with Lakers, we’re done for good. There could be change of scenery, players, ambitions like what happened to the Mavs this season. I’m just saying on how they performed last night, it was Showtime OKC. I don’t know what adjustment ES can do, this team are not the Celtics who are old and measured in their moves, Heat team are dealing with gung-ho players who can turn around any game at any moment. They have proven this consistency against Mavs., Lakers and Spurs. They made those experienced teams very old in this playoffs.

  17. Robert

    We need 5 or 6 new players with at least one being a top PG to compete with OKC. Where are they going to come from? China, Cuba, Mars.

    This FO decided Murphy, Kapono, McRoberts and a few d-leagers was enough.

    What makes anyone think Jim Bust is able to or willing to spend the money to be a top team again.

    The players we let go tge past few years were way better then the stiffs we got in return.

    I am not hopeful for next year and we know this current team is overpriced and under talented for today’s NBA.

    Sorry but it’s what I see.

  18. I’m in favor of Lakers making a play to try and get in the lottery top 10 preferred. And since Lakers FO seem to have no interest in keeping picks. Dangle a pick and Ron or Blake to take some dead weight off this team. That’s where I’d start.

  19. Luke and Ron are the 4th and 5th highest contracts Mitch has given out.

    http://hoopshype.com/general_managers/mitch_kupchak_2.htm

  20. 19,

    That’s a very interesting list. Does not seem like there are any great value signings on there except for maybe Ron & Lamar in ’09 (I’m not counting Kobe/Pau/Drew contracts since they were indispensable and commanded that money at the time of their signings anyway). Many, many duds on there. Wow.

  21. Robert,

    Well, I don’t really see Howard and Williams as “ideas”–those are sort of obvious. If you are advocating holding onto Bynum until Howard’s fate is settled, or if you approve of trading Bynum for Williams if they have the opportunity, then those are specific positions, and fair enough. The “rebuild” stuff we have covered.

    Kevin,

    I am OK with the concept of trying for a lottery pick, but:
    a) Actually discussing it concretely would likely involve creating a hypothetical, complex three-way deal, which is hard to do.
    b) We are not allowed to do that on this board even if it were easy.

    So…like I said to my buddy Robert via email, I think it is a worthwhile concept but sort of a dead-end topic. After we know about Sessions, and once Williams’ FA cycle officially starts, we will have a little more to work with.

  22. Avidon: I’d throw in Brown and Barnes due to length of contract. But you’re right not much value at all. Then you add in all the 1st he’s traded away. Many strikeouts but he hit a grand slam with the Pau trade. That singular move is saving him.

  23. Kevin,

    Correct. I have said a few times that Kupchak/the Lakers get the big things right: trading for Gasol, picking Bynum in the lottery, picking Kobe over Shaq, bringing back Phil. On the smaller stuff, Kupchak/Lakers are a very mixed bag.

    Same thing happened this year: they got the big move (Paul) right, but the McRoberts and Murphy signings, even with their limited options, were questionable, and the Kapono signing was just foolish. They also often have overcommited to role players: Vujacic, Radmanovich, Fisher, Walton, Blake.

    And of course there is the Mike Brown decision–which may be a case of getting a big thing wrong.

  24. Luke was overpaid then, but almost justifiable given the circumstances. He was, if I recall correctly, sometimes even better than Lamar and shot nearly 40% from the 3 around that time.

    Ron worked out for one championship which justifies just about any signing.

    Pau was a steal that Mitch worked out, which, again, translated to 3 finals and 2 championships.

    All in all, sure he had duds, but overall, he really can’t be faulted for signing some duds when he has helped sign key pieces for two championships.

  25. rr: So Lakers should just make it easy on themselves and swing for the fences. Again.

    4 and 5 year deals should be out of the question given Mitch’s past.

  26. 4 and 5 year deals should be out of the question given Mitch’s past.

    Well, I think the CBA will more or less put an end to 4-5 year deals for role players anyway. I think all third and fourth-tier veteran players will be getting 1-2 years for the most part from now on.

    Kupchak should get some credit for:

    Trading Brian Cook and Mo Evans for Trevor Ariza
    Trading Radmanovich for Shannon Brown (and Ammo!)
    Getting decent value from Farmar, Walton, Turiaf, and Vujacic picks
    Getting Odom in Shaq deal (although that was pretty much all he got).

  27. Jim C., for next season only Westbrook

    Westbrook has already signed a max extension through 2017. The issues for them will be Ibaka and Harden–Durant and Westbrook are locked up.

  28. Dave,

    You wrote Hornets but meant Bobcats. Because if Monty Williams is available, let’s trade coaches.

  29. If we believe that Kobe will successfully face his mortality, the Lakers may be able to win the NBA championship with relatively minor changes for the next two years–supposing the team gets its mojo and team chemistry back. It would be up to coaching to establish and maintain team balance.

    If we believe that Kobe plans to perform as he did this season, I believe that he might be able to win an NBA championship–but not even with a substantially reconfigured Laker team (trading Gasol or Bynum for whatever).

    What might allow the Lakers to ultimately retire Kobe in a Laker uniform, would be to amnesty him this year to somehow end up a Bull for his two remaining salary years.

    This would allow the Lakers to instantly begin transforming the team rather than waiting for two futile years.
    After two years away, Kobe could return to the Lakers with a reasonable salary to a transformed youthful team.

  30. You wrote Hornets but meant Bobcats

    Supposedly the Charlotte franchise is going to try to get the Hornets logo back and go back to the teal and purple unis, and NO is going to have a new name and logo.

  31. Barring something cataclysmic, Kobe will not be amnestied this year, and there is only the very slightest chance he will be amnestied next year. And, if it did happen, the Bulls would be highly unlikely to get him.

    It has been explained before, but we need to remember that the Lakers would be on the hook for whatever part of his salary the new team didn’t bid to cover, an amount that would be something like 20M per year. I find it almost impossible to picture the Buss Family paying Kobe Bryant $20,000,000 to wear another uniform.

  32. Warren Wee Lim June 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

    As much as I admire the man in Drrayeye, I think he is mislead in assessing what the amnesty does/allows us to do.

    First off, the Lakers without Kobe are a mess. His salary off the books also means the Lakers have… (drumroll pls)… ZERO cap space. So what’s the point? Him coming off the books do not signify 30M cap space. Its trimming 30M from your payroll which, after deducting, still is somewhere in the 58M range.

  33. Warren Wee Lim June 14, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Kevin
    Giving up 1st round picks for salary relief is dumb. That’s essentially what happened.

    Beasley was on an expiring as well he was going to be a free agent. Lakers were looking ahead to the future. Harsh 2014 luxury tax penalties more so than Sessions and Hill being a part of it.
    =========================

    Kevin,
    I love how you put this. You want the Lakers to improve yet you want the Lakers to not mind its terrible contracts and not mind getting youthful promise in the process.

    The trades we did this year that landed us both Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill were excellent trades. Most often, you trade a 1st rounder with a bad contract just to get rid of it. What we were able to do is trade bad contracts for late 1st rounders AND receive talent in the process. That you have to laud. For me those are 2 excellent trades “considering the circumstances.”

  34. Warren Wee Lim June 14, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Kevin
    Aaron: If Lakers plan on resigning Sessions we are in serious trouble. He is a back up PG has been his whole career. Lakers traded two valuable 1st rounders and were one game better than last year.

    Why would you trade over 200 games of playoff experience, 5 rings & 1st rounder for a backup PG?

    Making it to the Finals 4 consecutive years happened once in the history of the NBA. The 2011 playoffs you can excuse being the odds are so largely favored in not making the Finals. Boston, this year, on the other hand made minimal changes and were one game from the Finals.
    =========================
    Kevin,
    Congratulations you are on a streak. I once more would like to correct your thinking.

    Boston has been running with Avery Bradley instead of Ray Allen, Brandon Bass instead of Jeff Green. The thing with them is they got extremely lucky Derrick Rose got the ACL injury, and Rondo has improved so much. The relationship between their changes and ours are not linear or comparable.

    The Lakers are very fortunate to be having Sessions for Luke Walton. If you realize the contract situations between the 2 and their status as players you would be very surprised that the gap is more than a late 1st rounder.

  35. Warren Wee Lim June 14, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Snoopy from the previous thread:

    The reason why OKC looks so awesome right now is that their players have the same age range (1-2-yr difference) and they can afford such a team because most of them are on the rookie scale contracts, namely James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

    Sam Presti was very wise in targeting players like Kendrick Perkins, who, aside from his contributions on the court, has a salary structure that would support the kind of team payroll they have.

    Durant got his maximum contract extension last season, meaning this is the 1st year of his “superstar” salary years. Westbrook just got his last summer, and will start that next season. Harden and Ibaka have 2012/13 season to stay on their rookie scale contracts before they are due their worth. That said, OKC has this year and next as their window of opportunity to snag 1 or 2 rings.

    Starting this July, James Harden will be eligible for extensions and you can make sure his camp will work on him getting slightly less than max as that starting salary. If talks do not translate into a contract, chances are Harden will become RFA (restricted free agent) and is still bound to OKC on that year (any contract tendered by other teams OKC has the right to match). In 2013/14, when Harden’s “star” salary kicks in, will create a crossroad for that team.

    I have not even mentioned Ibaka yet, who from the looks of it, is due Andrea Bargnani contract. And by this time Durant is due 18.8M and Westbrook somewhere in the 16.4M range.

    So unless OKC suddenly has other sources of income, I do not think they will be able to keep all 4 of Harden, Ibaka, Durant and Westbrook beyond 2013.

  36. rr: I am already on record on this board and in e-mails: In order to get D12 or DW – everyone is on the block except KB.

    By the way, I wrote many times during the year that you must be one of the top teams to make the Finals. Many took the “anything can happen in the playoffs attitude”. Well here we are – Miami and Thunder. Pre-season – everyone’s Big 3 was Thunder, Heat, Chicago. So 1 of them got a major injury and the other 2 are in the Finals. This is what almost always happens. You can’t finish “6th” and make the Finals. “Anything can happen” – it just usually doesn’t.

  37. WW: The trades were “OK” at the time. The fact that RS was somewhat of a bust, and JH played only at the end made them less attractive. “If” we re-sign both and they play well, then the trades will look better. That said, these are deck chairs on the Titanic. We have a gaping hole down below and we are sinking. Moves like RS and JH are like choosing the song that the band is playing on deck.

  38. Warren Wee Lim June 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

    My mantra is that the better team always wins. Sounds cliche but it does happen and turn out that way, like it or not. We had a puncher’s chance all year long, guess we punched out. Or punched a brick wall if you’d like to put it that way.

  39. RR,

    The league should take the next step and give New Orleans back the Jazz name. Then they can create a new name and logo for the Utah franchise. There is no cooler name in pro sports than “New Orleans Jazz”. I’d buy merchandise with that name on it.

  40. LA and Boston were on top of the league from 2008-2010. Since then both teams have done nothing with their core team and other teams have gotten better. Boston did get extremely fortunate this year, however they also have a better bench than ours. So while neither team’s recent FO activity should be applauded, they have managed to not go as far backwards as we have with regard to their peripheral players. They also have a much better cap situation.

  41. Warren Wee Lim: Trading 1st round picks for bench players I wouldn’t call “excellent”. Those players decide their futures they may very well be on other teams next year. All the players Lakers were linked to all were FA’s this summer. No coincidence they weren’t trading for talent it was for cap relief. Lakers didn’t receive any picks back. In fact they owe Cleveland a 1st in the future.

    Fisher and Luke weren’t worth their contracts. But were back to square 1 with Blake and Ron for two more years at the same money as Fisher and Luke. What did we actually accomplish? Trading a “bad” contract and a 1st would be Jefferson for Steven Jackson. That’s trading for value. Not 200 games of playoff experience and 5 rings for a career backup.

    Lakers are donating their 1st round picks of late. Just giving them away.

    Sasha, 1st rounder for Joe Smith, 2nd rounder (Darius Morris)

    Lamar Odom for 1st rounder

    Derek Fisher, 1st rounder for Jordan Hill (FA)

    Kapono, Luke, 1st rounder, future 1st for Ramon Sessions (PO), Christian Eyenga

    So far Lakers were on the losing end of all these trades. And all of them saved money.

  42. Warren – I’m aware of all that, that was my general point…the OKC window is not open for the next decade, unless the owners are willing to go into the tax (I’ve seen nothing yet to indicate they will or won’t). I suggested they could clear a bit of room by getting rid of Perkins because Perk plays a great role only against the Lakers and Howard’s future team. He looked out of his element for a great portion of the Spurs series because his greatest strength – post defense – is not needed. If Duncan and Garnett can man the 5, Ibaka can as well. I doubt it’ll happen, because I’m not sure Ibaka’s ready to take on that burden, but Perk’s salary could be better spent as the Lakers continue to fall from grace.

    Hope to see more Wade on Westbrook tonight. The matchups in this series are phenomenal.

  43. Robert – I think Rondo improved as a player which helped Boston’s cause. Fish didsn’t exhibit as much upside 2008-2012. :)

  44. As an aside, interesting that so many folks here and elsewhere not only have decided OKC is a champ this year, but will be for years to come.

    Reminds me of “not one championship, not two …”

  45. “So far Lakers were on the losing end of all these trades. And all of them saved money.”

    Kevin: Indeed you are on a roll. I had forgotten that we also shipped a pick with Sasha. So since Joe Smith never played and we did not use the TPE, we basically traded Sasha and a 1st round pick for Darius Morris ! Genius !

  46. R: True enough. However our Big 3 is comparable to their Big 4 even with that. Their bench trounces ours, and that was not true in 2010.

  47. Trades that save money and bring in superior talent are smart trades. The fact that fans want to argue this baffles me. This isn’t a fantasy league where there aren’t consequences for being a high payroll team. Don’t get me wrong, I’m of the opinion that giving up 1st round picks is dicey, but I’m also aware that 1st round picks make guaranteed money and if the choice is acquiring a player (like Sessions or Hill) who can contribute now and (potentially) for the long term, that guaranteed money may be better spent on those veterans – especially for a team that’s supposed to be contending for a title. Team building is not easy, the fact that fans seem to imply it is in the comment sections of a blog gives me the giggles.

    What I’ve learned is that fans want what they want. And then, if the team does take that direction and the moves don’t work out, they’ll then complain and slough the blame onto the actual decision makers. Such is the life of being a fan where no one holds them accountable for the things they say behind a keyboard.

  48. A lot of folks here seem to think that trading 1st round picks for Sessions and Hill was a waste. Let me remind you that the draft is a crap shoot. Both Sessions and Hill worst case senario are quality back ups for a contender and starters for less talented teams. Really thats all one can expect picking later in the draft. Let’s not forget Hill was a 8th pick only 3 years ago. So I tend to believe that they were good trades especially since we were able to dump salary. Giving up guys like Walton and Kapono that can’t play for a guy that can is a win.

    Perhaps expectations were a bit to high I’m not sure but for me the deck was stacked against Sessions. He was asked to come in and run a team and he got one real practice. That was it. Then he hurt his shoulder. Then he was asked to slow his game down. Then he was asked to play off the ball, something he had never had to do in his career. All with only ONE practice. Lets wait to see how he looks after the coaches figure out how to use him and he has a full training camp to get integrated into the system before calling him a bust.

  49. As a fan I don’t imply to know everything and rarely if not ever do I play the role of GM. I simply go off what Lakers FO has done and give my opinion of that. All fans weren’t asking for minimal changes I felt the team as constructed could go farther than the 2nd round with different philosophies on defense. I couldn’t of been more wrong about that. I also never felt bringing in a PnR PG to a post up team would ever work.

    I just don’t see what positives could come out of breaking up a tandem that has produced 5 titles. And having two 1st round picks and using them on something other than a superstar. I’m sure those picks would look very appealing on draft day.

    All this is revisionist history. Everybody views players and trades differently. With the moves that were made to be one game better than last year I don’t think was worth it.

  50. For all of you who think Boston was so good this year, look at the teams they beat in the playoffs:

    The Hawks, and The Sixers. Seriously, look at them, those teams are terrible.

    Sure, they pushed the Heat to 7 games, but that series would have been over in 5 with Bosh healthy.

    Boston would have been 1st round fodder in the West this year. They wouldn’t have stood a chance against OKC, SA, LAL, LAC, DEN, MEM.

    They would have had a shot against Dallas. And they probably would have struggled mightily with Utah because of the two bigs.

    Also – The Sessions and Hill trades were good trades.

    Fish was giving this team nothing, and gave the team nothing in last year’s playoffs as well. He also isn’t getting “starters” minutes on OKC like he would have been here. And Hill was necessary to beat Denver and brought forth solid minutes against OKC, unless of course you all had a strange belief that the McRob/Murphy combo would have done better.

    Sessions played well and then shrunk from the moment. Not the first time its happened to a player on the Lakers, won’t be the last. If he comes back next year he will be a valuable player to have.

  51. I’m pretty sure most on this site understand the Sessions and Hill trades were at worst good trades. The odds of getting players as good as Ramon and Hill at the end of the first round is slim to none. A great talking point was hit on in “The Forum”… Is Kobe willing to pass the offensive torch to the more efficient and more dominant Andrew Bynum?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/31380/the-forum-offseason-moves

  52. I forgot the source, but I read somewhere that there’s over a 66% chance that a 20-30 first round pick will be out of the league in 5 years.

    I do believe Mitch is better than those percentages, but these aren’t lottery picks we traded. There are good players found late in the first round, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Even if you do find a Farmar in that range, young players in that draft range are rarely NBA-ready. Management went all in for Hill and Sessions to try to get one this year, and I respect that.

    When our team looks old and slow, I understand the hope and desire that a 24th pick will suddenly come in with explosiveness and athleticism and change the dynamic of our bench. It’s just that the odds are stacked against finding an immediate contributor in that low range.

  53. Sessions and Hill both showed promise. Unless you get lucky with a 20 something draft pick, those were good deals. Even if one or both leave, dealing with the new salary cap structure was grounded in reality, to be able, at some point, to really rebuild.

    It’s not easy to build a championship team, just ask the Heat.

  54. I never said trading for Hill and Sessions were not good trades. I said they weren’t “excellent”, “trading 1st round picks for cap relief is dumb” and “Lakers traded two 1st rounders to be one game better than last year”.

    I was of the thinking Lakers traded Lamar for a 1st now they have two picks. Now a big move is coming. They opted to trade for role players and cap relief.

    Having a contender and trading picks in the 20s is the right thing to do. Trading them for role players and not a superstar is where we disagree.

  55. rr: I am already on record on this board and in e-mails: In order to get D12 or DW – everyone is on the block except KB.

    Well, that’s fine, but all that means is “Bynum is on the block” unless there is a three-way.

  56. Trading them for role players and not a superstar is where we disagree.

    No one trades superstars for picks in the 20s unless there are other good players in the deal. As noted, getting guys better than Sessions and Hill in the 20s is rare. Given where the Lakers are, it was reasonable. Also, we need to remember that at that moment, SA was not considered an elite contender. The Lakers were trying to get in the conference Finals and take a shot against OKC–IOW, to be where Boston was.

    That said, the pattern is clear, and the Lakers need to keep some picks going forward.

  57. rr: True. Picks make a package look much more appealing you never know if a team likes a player late in the draft.

    Sessions is 26 how much better will he get? A Sessions Blake 1, 2 punch has championship written all over it.