Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  June 20, 2012

I’m not going to write much in the way of wraparound bumpers today, and will keep the links Laker-centric. Darius will have a post coming up a little later that explores team direction, especially in regards to some of the newest theories being floated. In the meantime, read and enjoy:

Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers, considers the question of Kobe Bryant’s salary.

Mike Trudell at, takes a look inside the world of the Lakers video coordinator.

T.J. Simers from the L.A. Times  has an interview with Jim Buss that’s pretty interesting, especially the part about adjusting coaching to Pau, rather than trading him.

Kevin Ding from the OC Register, writes about Phil Jackson’s recent HBO interview.

Actuarially Sound at Silver Screen and Roll, channels Robert Frost’s ‘Road Not Taken’ as he examines trade scenarios.

Here’s the Dave McMenamin report for ESPN GO about Ramon testing the market (also covered here yesterday).

This is from a couple days ago, the Matt Moore article for CBS Sports about Pau Gasol/Memphis Grizzlies rumors.

We never know of course what’s really going to happen with player personnel. Mitch Kupchak keeps things pretty wrapped up until the trigger’s pulled. One of the tidbits from the Buss interview was the acknowledgment that he wants to trade up into the first round. If the major pieces are standing pat, what combination will pry a first rounder loose?

Dave Murphy


to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Warren Wee Lim June 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    1st post! I guess we’ll win today…

    Interesting storyline as well.


  2. I really have no idea why Jr. would give an interview to during the finals, before the draft and before July 1. It really makes no sense. I’m not going to bother parsing his public statements – but given how hard they pushed for CP3, keeping Pau and Bynyum seems like an about-face. Not really crazy about him saying what Kobe wants either. I certainly don’t believe that’s exactly what Kobe said. And what I found most disappointing is that he doesn’t really seem to know a lot about basketball. The game is getting faster and the lakers are getting slower. How are you going to address that? What about outside shooting? What about the possibility of 2 coaches leaving after 1 year? Is that something significant or just bad luck? Another problem is that TJ Simers is a freaking idiot, and as a columnist he chooses what to write. But doesn’t Jr have a brain? He can try steer the conversation as well to something more interesting than Magic’s comments or PJ.


  3. Timing is sketchy. Is there a Jim Buss vs Phil Jackson war of words going on here?

    It’s role players (Mike Miller, Ron Artest, Caron Butler) and borderline stars (Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire) that hurt teams payroll the most. Not the cash cow Kobe.


  4. I hope not. What a waste of time. You would think Jr. would be smart enough to let PJ talk. I would hope Jr is smarter than that.


  5. Warren Wee Lim June 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I’ve actually listened to Jimbo talk and he isn’t X and O but he isn’t the idiot you make him out to be either. The recent moves in 2011/12 season, despite your critical disapproval, has been very much positive.

    Teams stick together to succeed. And even though I still advocate to make a pitch for Deron Williams, the Lakers have never played the media-leverage game when it comes to trades. Saying the Lakers need to be quiet and will not be making too many moves improves our leverage in talks with other GMs, which is far more important than whats released in mainstream media.

    How many of the deals that we’ve actually made, from Pau Gasol to Trevor Ariza to Sasha Vujacic to CP3 to Jordan Hill have anyone had any idea about?

    I thought so.


  6. Warren Wee Lim June 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Consider me a staunch defender for Mitch, but PJ saying Bynum’s development affecting Pau is not a secret or a mystery.

    Jim Buss saying that the Lakers are unlikely to make big moves doesn’t contradict that at all.

    Contrary to popular belief, I still think an executive that knows how to balance his business with our pleasure is still a heck of an executive. I mean, things could be, and could have been alot lot worse.


  7. Murphy, McRoberts, Kapono, Beasley, Hill, Sessions, Rudy T, Mike B, Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, Smush Parker, Jim Jackson, Aaron McKie, Von Wafer, Laron Profit.

    Those are role players that were signed during times it has been on record where Jim Buss has taken over the Lakers. His track record says were in trouble. Phil knows it.

    “The Lakers have a great organization,” Jackson said. “They have a great chance to move forward simply by their attachment of their name, the fact that it’s always been a dominant team, it’s the marquee team with the Celtics in the league. So they’ll be fine. They’ll go fine. Whether they’ll be successful or not, that’s another story.”


  8. the lakers need dept a pg small fd and speed jim buss is collecting money and not caring bout the lakers and as for magic his loyaltys lay with the heat an Pat saying baby bron bron is the best player on the planet bron bron can’t shot consestantly from 18 ft out what flaws do Kobe bukets Bryant have?his game is polished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  9. What ought to be clear from watching the Finals is that what ails the Lakers is not the absence of top-line talent. The Lakers’ big three is as good as any other trio in the league. Where LA comes up (enormously) short is with the supporting cast and bench.

    Where would Miami be right now without the play of Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers? If not watching the Celtics represent the east, then probably down 3-1 rather than up by that margin. In other words, by virtue of guys that nobody was talking about before the playoffs, Lebron will go from a guy “who can’t win a title” to a guy who just got the first of what might end up being many–not because of what HE did (which has been awesome) but because of what two role players have done.

    The trio of Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum is as good a top 3 as there is in the game, and plenty good enough to win a title if surrounded by guys who can contribute. I’m not sold on the Gasol/Bynum pairing, but what the Lakers need to be able to do is count on one or two other guys every single game, and this roster just doesn’t offer that.

    Although Buss’ comments may be more a reflection on the difficulty of actually pulling off a deal for Pau that improves the team, it is possible that he (and Kobe, if Buss is to be believed) think that the team can add a couple of dependable role players even with the current cap/no draft picks handcuffs. If so, this will be a quieter offseason than a lot of us were hoping for….


  10. Saying you’re not going to make a trade is making a statement. Why say anything at all? Once you open your mouth, you tip your hand, especially given the lakers recent moves.


  11. To get Okafor and Ariza all the Hornets have to give up is Lewis and the 46th pick?

    Say it isn’t so?


  12. What Funky Chicken said…


  13. Gasol/Bynum hurts Lakers defensively more than offensively. No fastbreak points for Lakers with two centers jogging up the floor and more for other teams with 2 centers jogging back on defense.

    New Orleans pick and Washington picks are out the question now. Lakers best option is to trade into lottery. Still holding out hope.


  14. I agree that the timing of the Jimmy Buss interview is very confusing.

    He essentially was a recluse for so many months after taking the reins from his dad – refusing to talk to the media.

    Now, weeks in the midst of one of the most important off season’s he decides to talk with TJ? In my mind it would have made sense to just remain silent.

    Let’s hope that this is just to bait those GM’s that had their hearts set on pursuing Pau or Andrew. “Oh my God – they’re off the market! Quick, get Mitch on the phone and tell him we’ll sweeten our offer!”

    However, he could simply be a straight shooter. There will be no major moves. By stating this now he calms the nerves of Pau and Andrew who may be fearing a trade out of LA.

    The team will play out the Kobe era and allow his and Pau’s contracts to roll off the books. Andrew then becomes the centerpiece of the post Kobe Lakers.


  15. Would anyone here have taken those 2 for Pau?


    Not me. Okafor and Bynum would be even more redundant that Bynum and Pau are, and while I love Ariza, having him would be sort of like tripling Matt Barnes’ salary and giving him the same job.

    They are both athletic guys with some defensive skills, and I think since Washington is trying to get a respectable team on the floor, it was an OK move for them. But it wouldn’t have helped the Lakers.


  16. Fuckychicken,
    You’re partly right… But in the bigger picture… You’re wrong. The Lakers big three isn’t good enough to win a title in this new CBA world. You need LeBron, Bosh, and Wade. You need Westrbook, Durant. If you haven’t noticed it’s hard to afford a big three and also afford good complimentey pieces. So that means your big three needs to be all top 10 or 15 players.

    Basketball like life is a compitition. You need to have a better team than Miami to win a title. It’s almost that simple. Kobe Bryant was not a top ten player last year statistically. He shot 43 percent and had his worst true shooting percentage of his career. He also is no longer an elite defender. Pau Gasol was even worse than Kobe in PER. The highest rated player on the Lakers was Andrew Bynum and he was also the only player that demanded the full attention of opposing defenses.

    So while the Lakers big three was and is far better than the 4-8 rotation players on the roster are they good enough to win a championship in today’s NBA? The answer is probably no as teams are handcuffed in obtaining quality role players if they are paying for a big three. Gasol and Kobe are two of the most overpaid players in the NBA mostly because they are old enough to be paid more than young, greater NBA players. The Lakrs can’t trade Kobe… So they have and wil continue to try and trade Gasol hoping as I do that trading big for small will allow the Lakers to steal a better player from a team desperate for size. The Lakers need Kobe Bryant to be the third or tied for second best player on the team to beat a Team like the Heat. Last year he was statistically the second best player with Gasol third. The Lakers need to bring in a player as good as Kobe for Gasol (Iggy?) if they want to win a championship. That can happen in a league where money and height matters. Teams will like the fact Gasol only has two years left on his contract while smalls that aren’t number one options like Iggy have five to six years left on giant deals signed before the new CBA was completed. The dream of another championship can be real. With a top end player aquired for Gasol, a solid mini MLE, and a 8.9 TE still to be used… The Lakers are still in this thing if they spend the money and spend it wisely.


  17. Apparently Lewis will be waived, opening up possibilities for us. Interesting trade. Nene and Okafor? In the new, sleeker, faster NBA? Interesting. Ariza next to Wall makes sense.

    10 – Without looking at our payroll, I’m not sure who we could have given up to salary match with Okafor and Ariza, and I don’t think Okafor’s massive contract is the answer to our woes anyway. Would just cripple us further.

    Jim Buss is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. When he was silent, everyone piled on him for not speaking to the media. Now that he’s speaking to the media, we complain about the timing of it and how suspicious it is. I don’t want to stay pat, but I don’t have a problem with Buss saying it because you never want too seem eager to trade and cut off your negotiating power. I just hope he doesn’t actually believe it. I am glad he recognizes that Pau was badly misused as a glorified Brad Miller this year. I’m not sure there’s an easy coaching answer, though. Buss isn’t playing his hand this early.


  18. Aaron, I disagree. Kobe was clearly, clearly the best player on the court for the Lakers during the OKC series. It’s not even debatable. Bynum was horrid and it’s no big surprise—he had very little room to operate due to the lack of a serious outside threat to space the floor. What the team desperately needed was outside shooting and Sessions to be the point guard you think he is. Those two factors alone would have swung the series the Lakers’ way. As is, with an absolutely *terrible* bench crummy performances from Bynum and disappearing acts from Pau, the Lakers were still in all but one of the games and close to winning them. That alone pretty much says the Lakers’ “big three” is better than you think it is. Stats, top ten measurements blah, blah—basketball games are about matchups. OKC’s big two does not outproduce the Lakers’ big three, but Harden consistently outproduced the bench and therein lies the problem.

    Which is not to say that I would necessarily be opposed to a Gasol for Iggy swap…


  19. Josh,
    Sorry… I thought I deleted this post and posted on the newest thread. You want to talk about one series? Probably smarter to look at the whole season including the playoffs. That would make more sense. But just in the OKC series it was obvious Bynum again was the Lakers best player as Ibaka was sent over to double Bynum and not Kobe. Again… You’re what the defense says you’re. Let’s not even talk about the two fourth quarter double digit leads Kobe almost single handedly blew by himself. Kobe is not the Kobe we used to know. That said he is still a very good player. He just happens to not be the best player on his own team anymore says every advanced statistic we have today.


  20. Warren Wee Lim June 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    For the record, you cannot beat Aaron’s love for Bynum, despite his mishaps, his mischiefs and his misdemeanors…

    I therefore come up with a conclusion that Aaron is actually Andrew Bynum’s …. mother.


  21. Why would Ibaka be sent to double Kobe? Ibaka’s not a perimeter defender and Kobe didn’t spend most of the series in the paint. Bynum was double covered because he’s the biggest guy in the paint on either team and if he’s single covered by weak defenders (or injured ones), he feasts on them. A totally healthy Perkins, while not big enough to stop Bynum would have been strong enough to single cover him. Ibaka was sent to help because it was absolutely necessary given the situation. On the other hand- if one Laker perimeter player besides Kobe had shot well with any consistency, the double coverage would have ended quickly. Double coverage is a luxury teams are able to use when the opposition can’t buy a bucket from range and their inside threats are easily neutralized by it. Consistent outside shooting would have changed the entire tenor of the series, the playoffs and the season by and large.

    This is why this “advanced statistic” stuff often turns out to be balderdash. You can’t divorce numbers from context. Kobe certainly made some end of game errors—-he also was the only real and consistent scoring threat the Lakers had during the entire series and really, the entire playoffs. How does Kobe get the responsibility for “single-handedly” blowing double digit leads when no one else on the squad is:

    A. making buckets
    B. stopping their man

    The series in a nutshell: Kobe goes to the bench in game 5 and the lead completely evaporates.