What Did You Expect Jim Buss To Say?

Darius Soriano —  June 20, 2012

After a second consecutive season of not advancing past the conference semi-finals, Lakers’ fans are looking for roster changes. In fact, they’re expecting them. Going into next season with a roster that’s only slightly tweaked is a plan that doesn’t have a lot of support. None of that may matter, however, if you listen to Jim Buss. He says the Lakers may not make a major move this summer. The L.A. Times has the scoop from their latest sit down with Jerry’s son:

What are the chances of the Lakers starting the season with Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all in Lakers uniforms? “Very good,” says Buss. So you don’t agree with those who say the Lakers must turn Gasol into two or three players via a trade? “No,” he says. “I think changes are going to be made moving Pau lower to the basket. We can improve that way with a change in coaching strategy rather than a change in personnel.” No moves? “We will try to sign Sessions when the rules allow beginning in July,” he says. “And improve the bench.” No major free-agent signings, no blockbuster trades? “No,” he says.

If you’re surprised at this, you shouldn’t be. The Lakers have some hard choices to make this summer and one of their options is to work around the edges of this roster to try and bring in better supporting talent. That approach is a gamble, but is it any bigger than the risk of trading a core player for another piece (or multiple pieces) that may or may not work out? I don’t have the answer to that but I can see convincing arguments on both sides that make sense.

That said, while fans are sure to jump up and down about these statements I suggest looking a bit deeper and remembering back a year.

After last season’s defeat at the hands of the Mavs, Jim Buss said almost the exact same thing he’s saying now. He said that he liked the talent on this team, that he thought they could compete for a championship with this core of players, and that expecting a major change (even in the face of high profile critiques – cough…Magic Johnson….cough) shouldn’t be expected. Then, right on the eve of training camp, the Lakers traded Lamar Odom (the reigning 6th man) and Pau Gasol (all-star & all-NBA performer) for Chris Paul. Basically, what Jim said in public meant little to what was going on behind the scenes.

This is important to remember right now. When Jim or Mitch come out and say that they like their team, those statements work to accomplish two things. First is to show confidence in the players that are currently on the roster; to show a belief in their talents to help the team win. The second, and just as important, thing they accomplish – or at least try to – is to reinforce the value of those players on the market.

The last thing Jim was going to say was “Yes, we’re looking to make trades. Yes, I think trading Gasol would be the way we’re going to proceed”. The reason, of course, is that once those words are uttered, leverage is lost. There’s no way the Lakers would get proper value in that scenario. So, what we have is Jim saying what needs to be said in public. What’s going on behind the scenes could be (and probably is based off other whispers) entirely different. This is the way the Lakers operate – especially since the Shaq trade where the chief complaint was that they didn’t receive enough talent back for the game’s best Center.

In the meantime, we all must sit back and wait. And while I think we should take Jim at his word on a lot of what he’s saying – the team will try to re-sign Sessions, they will try to get a higher draft pick, coaching adjustments can lead to a better utilized Gasol (something I agree with) – we must also understand that not everything that’s said should be taken at face value. Some of what’s said will be smokescreen with ulterior motives attached.

Wether this means a major trade is made or not remains to be seen. But I don’t think we’re getting the answer to that right now, before the draft and free agency has even started.

Darius Soriano

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to What Did You Expect Jim Buss To Say?

  1. “What Did You Expect Jim Buss To Say?”

    Exactly what he said. What else? “We’re getting Deron Williams!”? No way to SAY that. Actualy, he can say “we’ll get a bit slower and old but it is what it is”.

    Blockbuster trades are made in the back stage not in broad daylight or live radio.



  2. I don’t think anybody really expected Buss to say anything different than what he did. However, I think a lot of people didn’t expect him to say anything to an LA Times reporter at this juncture.


  3. “What do you expect Jim Buss to say”

    Something similar to what Mitch said at the exit interview. Re: Mitch – “When you lose before you think you should have lost, you have to open up all opportunities.”

    Jim Buss is essentially saying Pau is staying and will be moved closer to the basket. I agree with that. But if he trades him how can we believe a thing this guy says?


  4. Took the words right out of my mouth, completely agree. From the last thread:

    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.

    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.

    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.


  5. What I would like Jim Buss to say is that he has met with Bynum and that he will not spend another season ignoring his coach. What I would like the Lakers to do is get 2 point guards who can attack the basket. The teams left standing are the ones who can score in the paint. It helps to be able to keep in attack mode even though your point guard is getting a rest.


  6. One note on the Finals … it still puzzles me that Brooks doesn’t have Durant bring the ball up from the backcourt more often down the stretch. Maybe he’s worried Durant’s handle would wilt under Lebron’s pressure. But despite recent articles lauding the aesthetic brilliance of Durant requiring so few dribbles to score as much as he does, the fact that he plays more like a 6’10” Ray Allen than a Kobe or Wade hurts him down the stretch. I’ve never seen a superstar struggle to get the ball in such crucial possessions. There was a play late in Game 4 where “tiny” Wade was able to deny the entry pass. Westbrook wasted a good 8-9 seconds trying to get Durant the ball, then finally gave up. Then he looked to the other side of the floor for another few seconds, didn’t see anything there, and finally had to hoist up a contested midrange shot with the shot clock running down. And then Westbrook gets slammed by the media for a play where Durant (or his bigs setting the screen) didn’t execute.

    It doesn’t happen all the time, but there are definitely some key stretches where Durant struggles to just come and get the ball. If I were him, I’d come out and take the ball in the backcourt – but that takes him away from his comfort zone of moving without the ball and coming off pindowns. There’s a downside to his style of play.


  7. Reposting from a previous thread so I can be part of the fun here.

    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.

    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.


  8. Add relatively minor improvements due to more familiarity with the system, and between the coaching staff and players, and reasonable improvement for some of the younger players, and this Lakers roster is as good as any, if healthy.

    It’s much more likely that they will be able to seriously contend over the next two years by essentially “standing pat” (perhaps using the TPE if they can find a partner) than by taking significant chances with trading one or more of Gasol and Bynum.

    Whether or not they are willing to take the tax hit that that would entail is another question.


  9. this Lakers roster is as good as any, if healthy.

    Kobe will be 34, Pau and Blake will be 32, and Metta will be 33. Sessions, if retained, might get marginally better if Brown can back up his words about coaching D and if he is utilized better, but Sessions is already 26. Ebanks might get better, but his ceiling is basically Trevor Ariza. Bynum is 24, but he is already slow and has seven years in the league. Morris will get better, but he will probably never be an NBA starter. Goudelock is a four-year college guy; I think he is an NBA player, but he is basically Jennaro Pargo or Eddie House.

    Durant, Harden, Westbrook, and Ibaka are all younger than anyone likely to get major PT for the Lakers next year.

    As to Buss, I pretty much agree with Kevin. The best thing for Buss to say right now is “no comment”, but if he wants to talk, then he should be 100% vanilla: “We are happy with our core, but we are always looking to improve.” Rinse and repeat.


  10. The problem of saying one thing and doing the opposite, he will lose credibility next time he speaks. They will always 2nd guess the Jimbospeaks. How come his illustrious Dad is loved by Laker fans? Because he meant what he says and say less when necessary, he lets his GM and Coach do the basketball thing while he just makes crucial decisions.

    With Jimbo and PJ, it’s like going back to grade school when they quarrel on whose turn is it? In their case, it’s a battle of egos when the truth of the matter Lakers missed the WCF for two consecutive years. How come the late Chick Hearn, Vince Sculley, Jerry West, Jerry Buss and the late Gene Autry are well respected sports people in the Southland because they loved their teams as well as their fans over and above their egos and treasured coffers. Of course, they maintain their own ego in check too with their role but it blends well with sports fans. With Jimbo, you are in doubt what is real and what is for the media and what is for Mitch Kupchak’s consumption? You just learn the historical truth from grapevine and rumors which often creates dissension and bad PR..


  11. “Basically, what Jim said in public meant little to what was going on behind the scenes.”

    as an owner at this stage of the game, more important than getting a message out via the media to the public, is to get one out to his players and his potential trade partners. buss’ straight-shooting tone works toward comforting those worrying about being traded. to other gms and owners, there’s an insinuated “unless the deal is too good for us to pass up” at the end of his every sentence (indicated by what darius mentioned: the stealthy way of how the cp3 trade went down is typical lakers trade protocol).

    there’s no need for buss to placate fans. or magic. we’re still gonna follow lakers blogs. magic still has his staples statue.


  12. Jim Buss may be a heck of a poker player because he’s very hard to get a read on.

    You see the cp3 trade and think he knows what he’s doing. Or these names that are forever linked to him: Murphy, McRoberts, Kapono, Beasley, Hill, Sessions, Rudy T, Mike B, Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, Smush Parker, Jim Jackson, Aaron McKie, Von Wafer, Laron Profit. And emphatically say he has no basketball knowledge whatsoever.


  13. the only teams to worry about w/r/t sessions are POR, PHX, and NOH, because every other team w/ cap room has a point guard. I figure at least one of those teams will draft a point guard, and I think steve nash re-signs.


  14. After all the drama failed CP3 trade caused I am not surprised that Buss didn’t get into any kind of details about anything. why invite more drama with his players?


  15. Kevin, whats the point of listing a group of lesser players like that, as if it somehow means Jim Buss has no basketball knowledge?

    You can literally do the same thing with every single GM/owner/team in the league. You do realize that don’t you? If you don’t believe me, try me, name a team and I’ll make a list of bad players/coaches from 2004 on and pin it to an owner just like you did. Likewise, it’s just as easy to make a list of good players and attribute it to Jim as well.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m rooting for a different team than some of you frequent posters who just repeat the same thing over and over. We are all talking about the Lakers, correct? The team that has won 5 championships in the last 12 years, more than anyone else in that time period? The same team who has won 9 in the last 30 years, again, more than anyone else in that time period? 16 overall?

    I understand as Laker fans it’s championship or bust. That’s the mindset of the entire organization, from the owner, GM, players, all the way down to us. But you have to have perspective.

    We are the premiere franchise of the NBA, hands down. But we cannot win every year. We cannot sign every good player. We cannot be right on every draft pick. These decisions and deals are not made in a vacuum. There are a plethora of things that influence each and every decision and signing, and there are 29 other teams that are trying to best us in that regard at all times.

    When it all comes down to it, this organization has done an excellent job. Better than anyone else. The championships speak for themselves.

    So while some of you choose to keep repeating the same list over and over: Jim Buss, Mike Brown, Murphy, Kapono, McRoberts, I’ll just respond: Jerry Buss, Phil Jackson, Kobe, Pau, Bynum just as easily.



  16. Blogs are a way to blow off steam. The problem comes about when we think we actually do know what we are talking about and then criticize the organizations because they don’t seem to be listening to us. This is compounded when we get our information from ‘talking heads’ who are rated on how much reaction they can stir up among the fan-bases.

    There is a reason they don’t listen to us. This organization has a good track record.

    Perspective. Patience.


  17. sbdunks: Jim only has a short stint making decisions. I gave you facts about his personnel and mentioned the veto. If you want to get on me for bashing Jim Buss at least let me get my money’s worth. That was a soft post compared to others I’ve posted.


  18. Jim killed a lot of Lakers fans dreams in one article. Telling fans your not making any significant changes to a team that has lost in consecutive 2nd rounds will not bring positive reviews.


  19. Jerry Buss, Phil Jackson,


    Jerry is seemingly not that involved anymore and seems to be in poor health. Phil is gone, and the new CBA has changed the landscape. Several others, like Ronnie Lester, are gone as well.

    IMO those defending the FO based on the past need to acknowledge these realities. Those trashing the FO daily need to acknowledge the impact of the Paul veto and wait and see what happens next month and down the road.


  20. rr: Wait and see approach are fair with a new regime. The veto hurt but the front office can’t hide behind that forever. They got all those players back and made other moves that didn’t pan out the way they wanted.

    The Hornets were in the same position and they have come out great with this recent trade. It’s still yet to be seen with Houston.

    Lakers are a no excuses team. Kobe doesn’t get a pass for that turnover, Pau for his inconsistency, Bynum for his laziness and not the front office for questionable deals.


  21. Strong hire by the Magic. Obviously the jury’s still out on Cho, Demps, and Hennigan, and Ferry wasn’t great, but if these 3 pan out as top-notch GMs, it makes you wonder what the Spurs [and Spurs-offshoot (Presti)] do exactly to train such top-flight executives. Do they have an eye for hiring managerial talent, or do these guys develop most under Buford? Probably some combination of the two.


  22. @18, what makes you think that Mitch is not talking DWill at this very moment? We don’t know.

    I have faith on the FO. DWill or not, they’ll do what’s possible, just like this season.


  23. “What Did You Expect Jim Buss To Say?”

    I’m sorry
    I’m not qualified
    I was wrong (many times)
    I resign


  24. Moving Gasol lower to the basket, it means Bynum move away from the basket ? or MB did not have experience with twin towers ( like people said he had when he was in San Antonio). After 10 games or 25 games coach couldn’t make adjustment, so Lakers have to wait for another year ? That’s why i don’t like coach who was video coordinator.

    The bottom line is winning or saving money ? will Bynum wants to stay after next season ? we will see.


  25. sbdunks: “Perspective”
    My perspective is that everyone on your first list (Jimbo, MB, Murphy, Kapono, McR) are recent = not so good additions. Everyone on your second list (PJ, Jerry, Kobe, AB, Pau) are great, but were obtained a long time ago. Let’s add Jerry West and Wilt while we are at it. We are a proud franchise and we have lots of accomplishment. That does not guarantee future success. Just ask the Celtics what happened from 1986 – 2008. I will tell you what happened. They lost a great coach, they held on to their aging core too long, they did not pick up any young talent, and the ownership of the team past from one generation to the next. Sound familiar yet?


  26. I didn’t know Rudy T was a scout on the Lakers. Can’t say Jim Buss isn’t loyal to his guys.



  27. Warren Wee Lim June 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I fully expected you to own those words. Pin that tail on your behind and not on Jim Buss or Mitch.

    The bottom line is MAKING MONEY, not saving money. That’s the part you’re missing in all this. In order for the Lakers to make money, we have to save money now, get some flexibilities working our way and be a good team because good teams make money rather than lose it.

    If we continue to hoard marginal talents that will not get us any closer to a championship, then we are LOSING MONEY instead of MAKING MONEY. In the process, there is no savings. In the world of business, its not how much expense you spend, coz when it pans out its called Investment. Inversely, its not about how much money you earn but its about how much money you make and keep that matters.

    In the end, I’d like you clowns to have a sense of perspective and not let your ignorance and lack of business acumen get the best of you.


  28. This is one of the reasons the Lakers FO is in a pickle. Not their fault… Had no reason to thinj there was going to be a hard cap a couple ears later…



  29. WWL: So let’s see in your last few posts, you have stated: “I’m amazed at the intelligence (or lack thereof) of these posters”. You then called another group of posters clowns and ignorant.
    So they are ignorant and clowns because they do not agree with you?
    In any case – Stop the name calling – period. It is disrespectful.


  30. The one part of that Buss interview that few are mentioning: that was the most candid statement I’ve seen that the Lakers are definitely trying to move into the first round (and not just higher in the 2nd round, as I thought Kupchak was implying).

    From Sam Amico’s Twitter:

    “Lakers “making real push” to get into 1st round of NBA Draft, says EC exec. Word is they like the Baylor guys: Perry Jones & Quincy Miller.”


  31. not the front office for questionable deals.

    I’m not giving them a pass for Kapono. McRoberts and Murphy were better in concept but “questionable” for sure. But let’s face it, if Buss had pulled off the Paul thing, we would probably be having a very different conversation, even if they had lost to OKC.

    Hill and Sessions–we can agree to disagree, for the most part.

    My point here is not that you and Robert are totally wrong, or that Craig and sbdunks are totally wrong. I just don’t see it as cut/dried. We need to see this FO over the next couple of years or so.


  32. MagicPhil: I sure hope Mitch is trying to bring a superstar to LA. Won’t happen until after July 1st can’t have contact with players until then.

    Robert: I agree. Replacing Kobe’s impact financially and production wise when the time comes won’t be a easy job. Have to start the process earlier than 2 years from now. Can’t make the same mistake as that Boston team.

    Perry Jones is a Center. Lakers have two of those already unless………


  33. Snoopy,
    That does intrigue me as well. However, finding a partner will be difficult unless a team just wants to sell a pick. Another option would be to try and absorb salary of an unwanted player and ask that a pick be included in that deal. That, though, is unlikely imo. As I’ve said several times, building a winner is never easy and the Lakers don’t have a lot of assets beyond their big three. That makes the choices very difficult.


  34. rr: I commend you for always looking at the glass half full.

    Sometimes panic and hyperbole is much more fun. lol


  35. that Boston team.

    That team suffered two huge setbacks with the deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis.

    Another way to look at that team, as I pointed out the other day, is that they are a good example of why the “nuke it” idea is questionable. Regardless of when they should have “started the process” they spent a long time in the wilderness because even with lottery pick after lottery pick they didn’t put together a really good team for 20 years, partly due to bad judgment and partly due to bad luck.

    So, if they had gotten rid of Bird, McHale, and Parish in 1990, there is not really any reason to believe that would have necessarily changed things for Boston. Garnett was not on the block until 2008. Successful rebuilds involve a combination of lottery luck and intelligence, whenever you start them. The argument is that Bynum and Gasol have more value now than they will later, but that doesn’t mean that they can be moved TODAY in such a way that will dramatically speed up the arrival of the next Lakers top-tier team. In fact, depending on circumstances, it might be better to move them next year when Pau is is an expiring and Bynum’s deal is up but he can part of an S and T.


    My main thing is that is try to keep it even-handed as much as I can. In preseason, I was loudly stating that the team did not have the talent to seriously contend. That is still the case, and given the Lakers’ payroll, team age, and salary structure, that is a bad situation. But Lakers fans, collectively, have never–literally never–been through a full-scale rebuild, and as I detailed the other day, they are dicey.

    Also, while Robert is 100% correct when he says Warren should not be calling people “clowns”, I do think it is important to realize that asking the Busses to pay Kobe Bryant around 20M a year to wear another uniform post-amnesty is a lot to ask, and without amnestying Kobe, there can’t really be a rebuild in the full sense of the term.


  36. Mitch and Jim buss may be the FO, but I think even a blind man could see that Mitch is infinitely more skilled than Jim. I think Mitch is a great gm. I thought he did amazingly well in a strike shortened season where he got screwed by Stern, lost Lester, the scouting staff and other assets, combined with a new coaching staff and a new boss who is hellbent on being different than PJ.

    Knowing how careful Jerry west was, I would think that if it was up to Mitch, he would have interviewed all potential coaching candidates before deciding on MB.

    I think when people dump on the FO, they should keep those things in mind. I cannot believe that the philosophies of Jim and Mitch are a perfect match, but they’re working it out. Let’s hope Jim listens more than he talks.

    Because when he opens his mouth, I really wish he would keep it shut.

    The timing of this interview is questionable as others have pointed out – do we really need to hear him during the finals? The column itself is pretty useless, and to talk about magic or pj or Kobe is a waste of time. I mean does anyone think Kobe would like his talks with Jim buss to be public? Look how long Kobe took last year to even discuss the hire.

    We had, what 72 games to make the twin towers work – and it wasn’t under ideal conditions, but it wasn’t

    So why waste everyones time repeating the status quo?

    Most people with some knowledge of basketball can see the same patterns in the last two years – especially in the playoffs. So I don’t think anyone is drinking Jimmy’s lakerade.

    If pau has a tremdn


  37. If pau has a great Olympics, that would be the best thing for the lakers this summer. It either increases his trade value, or helps the staff find ways to keep him at that level during the season.

    Because the twin tower model was not that great.


  38. I contend that Pau loses the ability to play effectively deep into the NBA playoffs, due to his propensity to play with Spain every summer. Pau is aging rapidly due to playing year round competitive basketball leading up to an Olympic year.

    This reason more than anything may make the case to trade Gasol sooner rather than wait for his contract to run out.


  39. rr: Sad and unfortunate circumstances also contributed to Boston’s prolonged sub .500 team for about 20 years. We will never know how good they could’ve been.

    With this Lakers team a SG, C, C combo will not work defensively more than offensively. And after 16 years of manning the perimeter by himself seeing Kobe this year struggle against 3 headed monster backcourts (Denver, Okc, Houston, SA, Memphis). It’s time to take the burden of having to produce at a high level every night off Kobe. He needs his minutes lowered and his role of having to produce decreased. Surronding him with Sessions, Blake, Morris, Goudelock will not do that. And mini mid level type player will not provide that either.

    This draft is loaded with talent we haven’t seen since 03. The upside on some of these players is tremendous. To help start the rebuilding process would be trying to get into the lottery.This is the time to get younger.

    Pau’s value is as low as it’s ever been. I said at the deadline given his age and that he’ll play in the Olympics teams will try to low ball the Lakers. His value with a expiring will have as much as Lewis’ just had. Only bring back subpar over paid role players.

    Contending? Paper contenders are what the Lakers are right now. It’s hard to picture this team with the same core players beating the WC champions.


  40. His value with a expiring will have as much as Lewis’ just had.


    Highly, highly unlikely. Like a lot of Lakers fans, you are way off on Pau. He is not going to land Deron Williams, but he is a valuable player. Add that to the cap space his contract ending will create, and someone will probably want him unless he gets hurt. Teams in the second tier could get him as a piece to make a run and then let his deal expire. Lewis is a fringe player being paid like a superstar. Pau is a very good player being paid like a superstar. Huge difference.

    As far as the draft: maybe, but there is only one sure thing in this draft, and that is Davis. And, teams with lottery picks probably wouldn’t want Pau. That means a three-way–hard to set up. Some lottery teams would probably want Bynum, but it would need to be one that he would re-up with. May be hard to set that up. And, if you moved Bynum for a player or two and a lottery pick, you would have a lot of explaining to do to Kobe. I mean, Harrison Barnes and Terrence Jones look really cool on scouting reports and on youtube and everything, but Kobe will likely not be that impressed. And it is very speculative to say that ANY player in this draft, even Davis, will be better than Bynum. Davis might be Garnett. He also might be Marcus Camby. You simply don’t know. Neither does anyone else.

    There are no easy answers here, as Darius said.


  41. Also, Okafor and Ariza are both decent players. They just have bad contracts, which is why, obviously, NO moved them.


  42. Warren Wee Lim June 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

    FYI I have not called someone out in particular regarding my comments, its more like a grenade where whomever is near the blast radius gets hit. Or in this case, whomever is affected.

    To be saying Mitch traded 2 1st rounders for Sessions is ignorant. It is because it is. For what its worth, not knowing something is ignorance. So get your facts straight (whoever posted that) and then you are informed.

    A clown is someone thats funny. In this case it does sound a little offensive. But when you look at it from the context of what I said, calling someone an ignorant clown is a challenge more than an insult. To be called ignorant of something I definitely do not take as an insult if it means to be corrected.

    Never did I mention that just because we have different points of view that you are ignorant. Saying that is ignorant. Saying that some of these posters lack the intelligence (regarding the facts of the details of the trade, etc) means the same thing as ignorant.

    Then you connect the word “clown” as in someone who finishes and impromptu privilege speech only to find out that he got his facts all wrong.

    Go get your facts right.


  43. Darius – Yeah, I was sitting there trying to figure out what any team would want off our roster, and even with my darkest tinted Lakers goggles on, the only logical answer I saw was they might be using Gasol to try to move up (as part of a larger deal). Our assets are horribly limited. But I disagree slightly with rr – there are teams with high draft picks (Houston, Minnesota) who could reasonably have interest in Gasol, making it unnecessary to set up a 3-way.

    Kevin – I see Perry Jones as a PF, despite the height. According to 1 scout, he has the lowest self-esteem the guy’s seen in years. Not sure if that’s a great fit next to Kobe.

    Okafor is a solid player and Ariza is a passable one (who becomes solid if his role is limited properly). But egads, that is going to be one awful shooting team. Wall, Okafor, Nene, and Ariza on the floor together? Not much spacing there.

    At least they have Brian Cook. Clearly, Grunfeld has a plan.


  44. danielinparis June 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

    (edited for trade speculation) I think what you get back for Gasol is middling, and despite his flaws, Gasol is still a top 20 player in this NBA, and you’ll almost certainly downgrade, at least in the sense of getting that kind of all star player back. I just don’t know what teams would be willing to take on Gasol’s salary to get them over the top, especially teams that would have legit talent to offer back.
    Bynum’s talent and size and youth are pretty irreplaceable, but the Lakers, in its salary and aesthetic structure, is focused around Kobe until his contract runs out. (edited for trade speculation)
    For me it just makes sense that Bynum would be the player the Lakers have to depart with to get an elite return that would set up themselves to be a real contender in Kobe’s last chapter.


  45. As frustrating as hearing what Jim Buss said was, the analysis and reasoning Darius put behind it strikes me as spot-on.


  46. *The logic that Bynum should be traded because he can fetch more than Gasol is exactly why the Lakers are trading Gasol and not Bynum. The Lakers could have traded Kobe instead of Shaq because Kobe could have gotten more in return but as always teams trade the lesser player.

    *People have been stating like its a fact that Jim Buss is not as smart as Mitch. To be honest… If I had to choose I would bet that Jim is smarter as he is the offspring of a very intelligent business man in Dr Jerry Buss and Mitch is an ex athlete. I have spoken to Mitch many times as his wife and kids sit one row in front of me at Laker games and Mitch sits 8 rows behind me. He isn’t a moron but he isn’t exactly splitting atoms either. In a stunning twist for most of you Jim also has more executive basketball experience… His entire life. Mitch spent his youth and adulthood playing basketball… Jim has spent his entire life examining it and being around the people examining it.


  47. Just a random thought. Chauncey Billups is a free agent.

    Of course, if I really could have all money and cap considerations waived I suppose I fill in the point-guard blank with another name.

    Just the same, if he comes back fully healthy he’s a rare skill player with Finals success on his resume.


  48. …and if Darius enlightened you on the statements of Jim Buss… Haha I guess that’s why he is here to a certain extent. To state the obvious on occasion. No GM has ever said he is going to make trades and trade player X or bring in player X. That would be extremely counter productive. If he did he would be fired right away. That would be the dumbest thing any GM ever did. Unless he was like me or Kobe and wanted a challenge. “I’m going left for a pull up… Bang!” Sorry, that was Mike Breen doing a Kobe impression as he is playing pick up and calling his shot.


  49. Jim Buss has not spent his entire life around basketball. He’s actually failed at a few business ventures, some of which were supported by his father.


  50. Trianglefan,
    Jim Buss did some force racing ventures etc. All the while he was still basically in the family business. Just like Jerry Buss was flying around the world pkaying poker tournaments and chasing young tail… It doesn’t mean he still wasn’t involved heavily in basketball operations.


  51. I don’t have much faith in Jim Buss, but I can only hope that his father will have enough influence on him that he won’t burn us into the ground. I also hope that Jerry West will be able to help Mitch and influence Jim from afar. (Pipe dreams I know….)

    I still claim that our best option is to trade our biggest asset and get absolutely most that we can for him. His stock is about as high as it can be after his first full season without injury.

    Then roll with Kobe/Pau/player X until Kobe and Pau’s contracts come off the books. Then we can sign Kobe for a couple more years at a much much better price and move forward. After 2014, in that scenario, we would only have whoever we get from our biggest asset on our books and be in a position to lure some big free agent names.


  52. rr: Superstars on expirings rarely if ever are traded teams let them come off the books.

    Suns traded Shaq ($20 mil expiring) to cavs and got Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, #46 pick in return.

    Washington traded R. Lewis ($22 mil expiring) for Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor

    Rockets traded Mcgrady ($23 mil expiring) in a 3 team trade received Kevin Martin, Jordan Hill, Hilton Armstrong, Jared Jeffries.

    Max contract expirings don’t bring back nearly as much value. That’s a myth.


  53. @Aaron-“Jim is smarter as he is the offspring of a very intelligent business man in Dr Jerry Buss and Mitch is an ex athlete.”

    Do you realize how insulting this is to all athletes everywhere? Since when is intelligence predicated solely upon what your parents did? Magic Johnson is a multi-millionaire and his father was a refuse collector! So, what’s your point.


  54. That’s a myth.


    Those deals were all under the old CBA. Also, you don’t really want player value for Gasol anyway–what you want, it appears, is a couple of draft picks, and some bad players with big deals to make the money work. That is probably doable, although tricky.

    Another thing that’s a “myth” is that blowing up your team gets you back to the top. You have an idea here–not an answer. Big difference.


  55. (Houston, Minnesota)

    I actually tried to to post this last night, but had a computer issue. Those are the only two lottery teams that would want Pau. Houston has the 14 and the 16. Minnesota I think 8th or so.


  56. Minnesota’s pick now belongs to the Hornets as part of (I believe) the Chris Paul trade. So, the Wolves no longer have a lottery pick.


  57. rr: I was replying to your assessment Gasol has more value a year from now. That’s not the case.

    The smart logic is to let the contracts come off the books and wait for the 2014 FA class. If Miami wins they are not opting out they’ll stay the whole 5 years. I don’t see any game changers in this list.


    In 2013 Lakers won’t have enough cap space to outright sign a superstar unless they make these bad contracts on the team magically disappear. The time is now to get younger if Bynum is the centerpiece. I don’t agree with Jim Buss suggesting the core 3 coming back intact.


  58. My answer is to surrond Kobe with youth and someone better than him. A team with someone better than Kobe on it has a chance to beat anybody. And players that equally play as hard not self proclaimed loafers.


  59. @ Kevin (and by extension, Aaron, because Aaron has raised this point as well)–

    Ok if the point is to get someone “better than Kobe” who is that player that is (a) available; and (b) can be gotten for what LA has to offer?

    Frankly, I think the list of players that even qualify as “better than Kobe” (and it will be an argument-filled list) is pretty short, before you even get to (a) or (b).


  60. Mindcrime_

    Actually, the player doesn’t need to be better than Kobe. He just has to have kobe’s respect and trust.


  61. kehntangibles June 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    …except the list of people Kobe would respect/trust is even slimmer than the list of stars who are arguably or demonstratably better than Kobe. 🙂 I mean, we all love the guy, but that’s how he is.


  62. mindcrime: very short list.

    I would have no problem with Jim and Mitch making me look like a fool for questioning them.


  63. At this point the Lakers probably do need a player better than Kobe on their roster. For the Lakers to win another title with Kobe they will most likely have to go through Durant and LeBron. Those guys are better than Kobe now. And that gap will only widen over the next couple of years. Kobe as a second option would be lethal. But I am not sure the fan base or Kobe would ever accept that.


  64. @ 30… If that scenario comes to fruition, I’d take Quincy Miller over PJ3 anyday.


  65. Chearn,
    Magic Johnson is a moron. He is very likable and has a great smile and is very personable. I wouldn’t want him coaching my team let alone running it.


  66. My answer is to surrond Kobe with youth and someone better than him. A team with someone better than Kobe on it has a chance to beat anybody. And players that equally play as hard not self proclaimed loafers.

    Well, sure. That would be great–have a younger team and a Top 10 player. Not sure how you think that could be achieved, however.


  67. This “find a better player than Kobe” stuff is totally nonsensical. First of all, there aren’t any available. Secondly, why aren’t they available? Because there are only about 2 or 3 players who even belong in that discussion at all and realistically, that’s Lebron and Durant.

    The Lakers do not need a better player than Kobe, they need a jack-of-all-trades Pippen type player on the perimeter and they need consistent outside shooting. Kobe is still 1st option material- he doesn’t need to be relegated to second option for a non-existent first option. That type of discussion is not even productive because the names being bandied about are either unavailable (Lebron, Durant) or not even close to being superior to Kobe (D-Will, who as great as he is, let’s not forget, was pretty much a perennial loser with a decently loaded team in Utah). However, if you want to talk real second options (which Gasol clearly isn’t any longer), D-Will is the perfect number 2 option for Kobe offensively, a perfect defensive perimeter companion (imagine D-Will, Artest and Kobe manning the perimeter) and of course a real PG who isn’t going to stain his drawers in the playoffs ala Sessions.


  68. Buss said exactly what he is suposed to say. This article is spot on.