Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  June 29, 2012

The first annual FB&G handicapper’s special was won by Darius who picked the best name on the board, Darius Earvin Johnson-Odom (#55 via Dallas). Congratulations. We got us an athletic, dead-eye 6’2” shooting guard. As for my own prognostications, I am apparently clueless. I was somehow of the mind that we might need a POINT guard, and was delighted when Scott Machado fell all the way to #60 (he of the 9.9 APG last season and pure point guard skills). And then Adam Silver stepped up to the mic for the closing ceremonies and announced that we’d taken Robert Sacre – a big Canadian by way of Gonzaga – who’d been destined to play for the Pacoima Palookas in the West Coast Boom-Boom League. Welcome aboard, big guy.

Mike Bresnahan from the L.A. Times writes about Darius & Robert.

Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll writes about Darius & Robert.

Kevin Ding of the OC Register writes about Darius & Robert.

Janis Carr reports of the OC Register reports on…. Minnesota’s continued interest in Pau Gasol!

Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk looks at three winners and three losers.

Dave McMenamin at ESPN says that Mitch Kupchak says that there’s more to come. We hope so.

There may be more Lakers news out there. I’m sure there’s more Lakers news out there. But, I can’t find it. Next stop is free agency, about 36 hours from how. According to one of the links above, we’ll be active. And then comes the long hot months and summer league and maybe we’ll bring in some of the guys that fell off the board if somebody else doesn’t get them first. As for my man Atomik, there’s always next year.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy


to Friday Forum

  1. I was talking of the Minny’s interest a couple of days ago now it has already surfaced on their avid interest of chemistry for Pau and Ricky. Mitch should insist on Kevin Love straight up and hold the fort from there since Gasol has a trade value with other teams. They should build a team around Gasol and Rubio and let the Bruin go back home.

    Supposing they counter for Beasly, Derrick Williams plus Ridnour, is this enough to let Pau go?


  2. you’re nuts if you think minny would let love go for pau.


  3. If it happens within the next few days, the lakers will probably take the non-guaranteed contracts of Martell Webster and Brad Miller, in addition to Derrick Willams and either ridinour or JJ barea plus one or two future number one draft picks. They will then turn around and waive Webster and Miller and save themselves about $10.9 mil and probably not go after Ramon Sessions any more. It is not ideal but it may be the best salary-dumping deal they get along with a so-so PG and potential future star in Williams (not likely though as he is a poor defender and average rebounder) and some draft picks in the process. But I think they have to do it quickly as the non-guaranteed contracts of Miller and Webster have to be dealt with very soon or they become guaranteed.


  4. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas described him Johnson-Odom, “a really hard worker who goes after it.”

    “You’ll like this kid,” Kupchak said. “You’ll like him a lot. He plays really, really hard. Ridiculously athletic. Powerful. Physical. Very, very aggressive. Competitive. He’s fun to watch and I think he’ll be a really, really good player leading into training camp.”

    I have also heard Johnson-Odom described as fierce and relentless. G-Lock and him are both great shooters but Odom plays D. It’s funny if we still ran the triangle both G-lock and Odom would work as lead guards. Considering where we drafted I have a good feeling about this kid.


  5. Here is what the greatest salesman said about his valuable players with trade values:

    Kupchak said; “the core group of Bryant and 7-footers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum could contend next season without major changes. Trades could be impossible to pull off this summer, if the run-up to the draft is any indication. “I think if this group is kept intact, and we’ve got some work to do with existing free agents, I don’t see why we can’t be in the hunt next year,” Kupchak said. “All you want in this league is a chance to be in the hunt. If you’re one of five or six teams at the end of the year that have that feeling, that, ‘Yeah, we can do this. We’re playing our best basketball.”

    In other words, what he’s saying I’m not in a hurry since other teams are calling, wheelin’ and dealin’ I will stick with my guns up to the last second. It could be Pau to the Nets or Bynum to Magic. Calderon is being waived by Raptors so it’s possible to just add a PG shooter.

    Lakers got Darius…..Ervin Johnson….and Odom under one player DJO, Lakers got everything that they wanted plus Sacre Coure as theirown version of basilica. Therefore, Lakers can afford to wait to the last second. hmnn!


  6. The Lakers tried to trade Gasol exactly when they should have… that trade was blocked by Stern and now teams know Pau is on the downside. It might mean the Lakers need to keep Pau and just use him as a Kwame like expiring contract at next seasons trade deadline. That might be where he holds most of his value now unfortunately. There are worse things than having to hold onto a 6th or 7th best PF in the NBA. The problem is how do the Lakers add talent now. It obviously is the Lakers thinking to bring in a stretch four to play next to Bynum… that might be hard to do effectively if Pau doesn’t have enough trade value. I am though still holding out hope for Iggy


  7. Aaron is corect – trading Pau last year was the right thing to do. His value equation has diminished significantly in the intervening year. Which is why – if you are going to improve the team via trade – that trading Bynum is the (most likely) only way to get a needed talent in return.

    I say ‘most likely’ because every now and then another team is desperate or not thinking logically before making a deal. Would Minnesota trade Love for Pau. Not in a million years, right? Well, what if we kicked in a 1st round pick, in a draft after Kobe retires? Or, agreed to take back a bad contract? Now you may have Kahn and Co. listening. For some reason the Twolves did not give Love a max contract extension so maybe they like him but don’t love him (pun intended).


  8. I am interested in seeing what free agent values will be this year under the new CBA. Stars will continue to be paid well but how about the other guys? I am reading things that question if OJ Mayo will even get full MLE money. If you are a Michael Beasley or a OJ Mayo, do sign sign with a team under the cap, (which means they are bad) for say 5 mil? Or with the Lakers for a two year deal with a player option for 3 mil? You have a year to prove yourself and opt out the next year. This could be a very real way to upgrade the team if we can’t find a major trade.


  9. What’s with the infacuation with Beasley? Dude was the #2 pick and has been a average nba player since drafted. He’ll spend more time in despensers than court. He’s Derrick Coleman.

    Iguodala just sold his home. You can feel it in the air. Minny’s pushing hard for Pau and it seems he’s the one going to be moved. How about Iggy and Williams? Lakers wanted a vet player and a top pick well there it is.


  10. Kevin

    Whats up with the infatuation with just star players? The Lakers also need shooting and depth. Beasleys a good player that shoots 38% from 3. He was way better then anyone else we brought off the bench last year, including Hill. And at only 23 he still has a lot of upside. Think of guys like Jermaine O’neil, guys that were high picks but took several years to develop. If you can bring him in at mini mle money it would be a great pick up.


  11. MichaelH: That may be true. He was the best player off Minnesota’s bench and found his way into Adelman’s doghouse. If he comes at the mini mid level it’s worth a gamble but Lakers haven’t had the best of luck signing SF’s at big contracts.

    J. O’Neal was superior in defense but lacked passion. I often compare him with Bynum. Beasley plays without a plan. He couldn’t fit in Spoelstra’s and Adelman’s system. Third time may be the charm.


  12. Michael H,
    Because Star players win games and championships. It is much easier to bring in an average player who can make shots off of stars getting double teamed. When it comes to championship rosters you want to start top down. Bring in your Lebron, your Bosh, your Wade… and then find cheap and easy role players that fit in like Chalmers, Battier, Haslem etc. Just like the Lakers did with Shaq and Kobe. It is easy to find average players like Fox, Fisher, and Horry to surround them. The goal is to get the best star players possible that generate shots for others and take away shots on the defensive end. Those are the tough guys to get. Think about it… how many guys get double teamed very often down the floor? There are less than five right now in the NBA. How many guys can hit wide open shots off of those double teams? Hundreds. Supply and demand.

    Re: Trade Talk
    The Lakers luckily already have a guy in Bynum who does get guys wide open shots… so they don’t necessarily need another one of those guys… however it would be nice to bring in a guy for Gasol who doesn’t need other players to make him better but at the same time can play well off of Drew and open things up for him. If there was no CBA most likely you keep Pau who is a good NBA starting PF although no longer an All Star type of talent. Unfortunately his skill set over laps with Andrew Bynum a little bit and the Lakers cannot afford that type of redundancy. More over with a big like Bynum who dominates in the low block and attracts multiple defenders teams historically have been better with floor spacing PFs. I am sure guys like Milsap and Baragnani are on the Lakers radar. Kevin Love will never be traded. Teams don’t trade star white american players. It doesn’t happen. If Pau is traded it will be for an elite athletic wing like Iggy if a solid stretch four (Milsap) is also available for something other than Pau… or a good floor spacing young PF like Baragnani.


  13. Aaron – was your reference to Bargnani just pulled from the air or have you heard of any substantive rumors about him being on the block?

    Andrea is a great offensive player. He doesn’t rebound a lick and he’s not the super aggressive. However, if you are looking for a stretch 4 he is a great fit. I travel to Toronto often for business a great deal and have watched him play often.

    He’s quick for a 4 so that proposes matchup problems for traditional power forwards. I think he could even guard some 3s.

    If Bargnani is really available – the Lakers should pursue him.


  14. Aaron,

    First of all Aaron, I was responding to Kevin’s comment about Michael Beasley and that is important to focus on more then just stars but role players as well because you need both.

    And 2nd. you are kidding right, it’s “easy” to get quality role players? You really believe that, when the best we could do last year was McRoberts, Murphy and Kapono? We have 3 star players, with proper balance and depth could have been a real contender. Miami won this year because their role players stepped up and opened things up for James and Wade. Last year they didn’t and Dallas just played their match up zone and walled off the paint.

    Oh and by the way there was nothing AVERAGE about Rick Fox and Robert Horry. Both were stars for other teams and quality role players for us.


  15. Jose Calderone just became an option for the Lakers:

    Not a great defender, but true PG with decent outside stroke (38% career 3’s). Will the Lakers make a bid before trading Gasol to Minnesota?
    Personally, would take him easily over Sessions any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Is the MLE at 3.0 mil enough to claim him off the waivers?


  16. I have a comment in moderation. But Lakers need production not upside. Adelman had to sit Beasley so Rubio and Love could play to their potential.

    The idea seems to be Lakers can turn his career around the way we did Odom. Odom had a career year in Miami before being traded for Shaq and had a skillset only a handful of players in the league have. No Thanks on Beasley.


  17. Why didn’t the lakers pursue the mo Williams deal? He would instantly solve a lot of our problems of spacing, 3pt shooting and bench production.

    Sessions would be moved to the bench and all we need to do is look for a gm dumb enough (Kahnnnnn\Billy King) to take on Steve Blake and his contract.


  18. 2nd. you are kidding right, it’s “easy” to get quality role players?


    Nothing is easy in the NBA. But it is far easier than getting stars and stars are still what gets it done–that is why Daryl Morey, who has done a fine job getting role players and has put together a decent team with low picks and no stars, is doing everything he can to get Dwight Howard, even though Howard supposedly will not sign an extension in Houston.

    If there is one clear lesson in the history of the Lakers franchise, it is in the value of superstars. Pat Riley learned this lesson and has leveraged his advantages in Miami in applying it.

    Also, while Kobe, Pau and Bynum are still a good core, there are issues with them as discussed ad nauseum: two of them are old, all three of them are slow, and all three of them need the ball near the basket. If Kobe were 28 and Pau were 26, they might be good enough to offset the overlap, as has happened with the younger cores in OKC and MIA. But Kobe and Pau will be 34 and 32, with HIGH mileage, when camp opens this fall.


  19. @radmd – thanks for posting that link. Calderon is a very intriguing situation. I honestly don’t know whether what we have to offer would work – he’ll get some play, I’m sure. But, the fact that he’ll still collect his $10m next season from the Raptors should ease his pain, no? I’m assuming it’s fully guaranteed.


  20. “If you’re one of five or six teams at the end of the year that have that feeling, that, ‘Yeah, we can do this”
    This statement shows the futility of the effort coming from the Laker FO. The Lakers of all teams know that you must be one of the top 2-3 teams to have any realistic chance at winning the title. The fact that MK is stating that the 5th and “6th” teams are in the hunt is pitiful for a Laker GM.


  21. Robert-if you are this angry now, I can’t wait un Tim the season starts!


  22. dave m,
    You’re just waiting for the chance to say “Oh, Sacre blew that layup!”


  23. Griffin, Jordan, Odom frontline is scary. Reminds you of the 3 headed monster Lakers had. Good move by the clippers.


  24. Todd,
    I was just thinking that would make sense for both teams as the Raptors love foreign players and their big Italian isn’t a number one option but can play off Bynum perfectivley while Gasol only has a year left on his deal after this one and would be a better PF than the one they already have as he can play in the mid post. it just seems like a win/win (if Toronto or a third team can throw in another quality player). I have not heard anything about this being a possible trade. I was speculating on deals that would make sense for both teams. And I did predict the Pau trade for Kwame’s expiring deal 6 months before it happened… So it would be fitting if that happened.

    Michael H,
    By the time Fox and Horry were on the Lakers they were the definition of average. Check their PER’s if your eyes didn’t tell you the same thing. Horry was a good player his first few years in the league but his laziness let his Pippen like athletisim fade quickly.


  25. Clippers top 8: Paul, Griffin, Jordan, Bledsoe, Butler, Odom, Billups, Gomes. Slowly but surely Clippers are stocking more talent and passing Lakers by as currently constructed.

    I hope Darius Johnson Odom can be Lakers Bledsoe. Similar size, body types, both play hard. Would help Lakers out in talent department.


  26. ex, I’d like to be able to say Sacre blew my mind. I won’t be holding my breath. They got somebody for Bynum to body up in practice.


  27. If Calderon is amnestied, how do we have a shot? Teams under the cap will surely bid. They get first dibs.


  28. Clippers has 1 objective: To beat the Lakers at home. Being the #1 team in LA. That itself would already increase revenue by a large margin. If they can nab a finals appearance, good. If not, beat the Lakers itself would be a step ahead.

    I’m intrigued by the lack of wiliness from other players to come here to LA. What’s going on? Don’t want to play for the Lakers and live here?


  29. The top 2 Funniest post I’ve ever read here:

    “and I did predict the Pau trade for Kwame’s expiring deal 6 months before it happened”

    “Followed closely: to Bynum is in the same league as Wilt”

    Blew my mind reading it!


  30. Lakers have no chance at Calderone. Only teams under the cap can bid on amnestied players.


  31. Calderon is up fo $10.5 mi next season. Should we pay $10.5 mi to our starting PG? Maybe. Sessions is…well, Sessions and he declined the $4.5 mi offer (plus the HONOR to wear P&G) from the Lakers.

    If Calderon promise me that he will hit a bunch of 3s (40%-42% is good), then he’s in.

    Still, $10.5 mi…


  32. I know I’m wishing but imagine if our GM manage to bring Steven freaking Nash in with that mid level exception, wouldn’t that make any Lakers day. He fit perfectly on this team, a pass-first PG that can shoot three that have the basketball IQ to mesh fast and already have the respect of others player. But I’m dreaming too much.


  33. Right, can see that amnesty wouldn’t work. Colangelo didn’t outright say amnesty though, only that he was looking at all options to make the team better. They only have $41m on the books… obviously covet Nash… have also been interested in Pau. Who knows?


  34. I would love for Calderon to join the core 3 he’d be a perfect fit. Initiate offense and shoot the lights out. We brought someone hear two years ago to do that.


  35. the raptors are bringing in their top pick from last year, lithuanian center jonas valanciunas. i don’t think pau makes sense in toronto unless bargnani is on his way out.

    if pau is headed to minnesota, i’d ask for wes johnson, derrick williams, webster, and miller. on top of that, have minnesota sign-and-trade beasley. problem is webster and miller have to be traded and cut soon or else their contracts become guaranteed.

    i wouldn’t mind barea either. he’s got more heart than sessions.


  36. We are all talking about Nash and Jose… But the question is… Is it smart to put any resources into any ball dominating PG with Kobe on the team? One of the few times I have been incorrect was when I predicted Kobe would let Ramon play PG. it can be argued when a bigger name comes in Kobe will let that player play like a Nash. But Ramon played just as well as Nash and Calderon (even better) when he joined the Lakers starting lineup before Kobe asked Mitch and Mike Brown for control of the offense back. All persenell considerations have to do with how much control the Lakers are going to give Kobe (or let KB have). If he is going to play SG then fine… Spend valuable resources on a PG. if not… And he is going to play the PG/SG role like he did all last year (save for three weeks when the Lakers offense was on fire) then it’s probably prudent to sign Ramon as a back up and find a spot up shooter to start at PG.



  37. Chibi,
    Bargnani might very well be on his way out of Toronto. He has a giant contract that doesn’t end for many years. And for a PF who plays on the perimeter and can’t really generate offense for his teammates (as the number one option) let alone offense for himself… It would seem Andrea would have more value on the Lakers playing off of Bynum while Gasol would have more value getting more one on one touches in the high post as he is a much better one on one player than Andrea. It just seems like an obvious trade for both teams. The Raptors get out of the Italians long gigantic contract and get a star player to run their offense through for a couple years and the Lakers get a young stretch four to play next to Bynum for a decade.


  38. Btw… OJ Mayo just opted for free agency… If Kobe is going to keep playing PG… Mayo would be the perfect big defender/slasher/spot up shooter to play next to him. Offer him the mini MLE just in case this new CBA pushes everyone’s monetary value down enough and OJ wants to play back home in LA. If Kobe no longer is going to play PG than Mayo is the perfect scoring punch off the bench.


  39. 3 guys I think are realistic free agent targets are Dominic McGuire, Kenyon Martin, and Anthony Tolliver.


  40. Calderone is guaranteed to make 10.5 million for 12-13. So if he is amnestied, any team can make a bid to claim him, but whatever salary he is offered by another team, will be deducted from the 10.5 million he is supposed to make from toronto’s salary total. Toronto will be on the hook for the difference not the entire 10.5. I believe the Lakers can offer upto the MiniMLE of 3.0. Obviously, other teams that are under the tax level can make higher bids. Last year, the Lakers did make a bid for Billups, but the Clippers knowing that the Tax teams can only offer 3 mil, made a bid for 3.5 and won. So, I would expect a similar situation for Calderone. Lakers would have to get lucky and not have competition from Non-Tax teams, which is unlikely but not impossible.


  41. Just pull something out of my rear end.

    Love might very well be on his way out of Memphis. He has a giant contract that doesn’t end for many years. And for a PF who plays on the perimeter and can’t really generate offense for his teammates (as the number one option) let alone offense for himself… It would seem Love would have more value on the Lakers playing off of Bynum while Gasol would have more value getting more one on one touches in the high post as he is a much better one on one player than Love. It just seems like an obvious trade for both teams. The Grizzlies get out of his long gigantic contract and get a star player to run their offense through for a couple years and the Lakers get a young stretch four to play next to Bynum for a decade.

    This is not rocket science; these GMs/you guys are just plain stupid.


  42. Pau Gasol is a center, not a power forward and that is the problem with him as a Laker. We don’t need centers.

    And for those who don’t believe that is true, let me ask you, what position do you think Pau was playing prior to last season when he and Odom were getting the lion’s share of minutes as the Laker bigs? It sure wasn’t power forward.

    Clearly Odom wasn’t playing center when the two of them were on the floor which was most of the time as Bynum played far fewer minutes than either one of them during the title runs.

    We found out last year what happens when Gasol becomes the permanent power forward.

    He has no reliable ranged shooting ability outside of 10 to 15 feet.

    He’s always been much more at home in the low post. He’s slow and has poor lateral movement and loses a lot of his effectiveness playing away from the basket.

    He can give you a few minutes at power forward without his weaknesses being terribly exposed and that worked during those years with three headed monster.

    But in the end, he’s a CENTER fellas.

    That’s why Minnesota is chomping at the bit to acquire him. Because they would play him at center next to Kevin Love who is a legitimate power forward.

    That’s why Houston wanted Pau. To play center beside Scola and their young power forwards.

    I like Pau and would argue he has good value left for 3 to 5 seasons even, but AS A CENTER playing beside a quality power forward.

    Don’t kid yourself. There are a lot of teams that would become instantly better with Gasol playing center for them. Some teams would become a whole lot better.

    You think Pat Riley wouldn’t love to have Pau Gasol as his CENTER on that team, with CB at power forward?

    Do you think the Thunder wouldn’t be a much, much better team with Pau as their CENTER as opposed to Kendrick Perkins?

    Gasol would be fabulous in New Orleans next to their rookie all-world power forward.

    It’s the teams with quality power forwards who are without quality centers that want Pau.

    Especially the teams with young power forwards who could really benefit from having a veteran CENTER with championship experience.

    Teams that already have quality centers, are not going to be interested in dealing for Pau Gasol.


  43. Dave,
    Is Amare a Center? Is KG a Center? Is Kobe a SF just because that’s where he played when Ariza or Sasha was guarding SGs? Pau played Center because we didn’t have another option. There is a reason Houston was trying to bring in a true Center to play alongside Pau when they made that three way trade. Pau Gasol’s best position was PF but in his athletic prime he could use his quickness to effectively beat slower bigs for short stretches. Any player that gets pushed around at PF against 6-7 guys isn’t a Center. Everytime Bynum left the floor Stu would imidiatley state everytime that now the Lakers dont have a Center on the floor to protect the basket. Stu knows basketball. Pau Gasol was a great finesse PF. He is now a good finesse PF. Finesse PFs are not Centers.


  44. And yes Riley would love to have Gasol at Center because he is a better Center than Haslem or Bosh. That doesn’t make you a center. Teams need Centers. If GMs felt Gasol was a Center t would be easy to trade Pau even at 31 years old. The reason it isn’t is because teams don’t have as much of a néed for a PF as more teams have good PFs than good Centers.


  45. And Scola was going to NO in that trade. He wasn’t going to be pkaying next to Pau. They were trying to get Nene and Dalambert to play Center next to Pau.


  46. Aaron is talking nothing but nonsense. No way you believe some of the stuff you type. lol

    McHale was the new coach. He wanted a McHale/Parrish 2.0 with Gasol/NeNe. Pau is a center won rookie of the year at C. Won 2 NBA titles as a center.


  47. Aaron: you definitely know hoops. Just some of my opinions are for trolling purposes and some of yours are too.


  48. Kevin,
    Sorry sir… Not true. Gasol won two titles as the back up Center. The Houston Rockets publicly said they wanted Pau Gasol as their starting PF.