On Free Agency’s Eve…

Darius Soriano —  June 30, 2012

It’s no secret that the Lakers need to improve their team. Draft night came and went with the Lakers grabbing two experienced college players that have some promise, but should not be seen as solutions to this problem. The Lakers need more than two rookies, they need contributors that can improve the talent base of the roster.

With the draft in the rearview mirror, the Lakers move on to phase two of the improvement plan: free agency. They’re not armed with many resources but the ones they possess can net them some talent if used appropriately.

First on the agenda is figuring out the players whose rights they still hold through Bird exceptions. Ramon Sessions tops this list and Mitch Kupchak has openly stated that he’ll be calling Sessions’ representatives at midnight tonight to make his pitch. Both sides would like Sessions to re-up so this will mostly come down to what’s most important to Sessions. Does he want big money? A long term deal? He has some leverage over the Lakers due to Steve Blake being the only seasoned PG on the roster with Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock offering potential at the position (in vastly different ways, I should point out) but not much else at this point. I expect the Lakers to move quickly on Sessions and to put the ball in his court to make a decision on how he’d like to proceed. His decision to opt out was a difficult one and now he’ll have another on his hands in navigating the market to find his value.

Second on the list of in house targets that can be retained is Jordan Hill. The Lakers have the luxury of being a bit more patient with Hill as his price is essentially fixed. The CBA states that when a player on his rookie contract has his team option declined (as was the case with Hill; the Rockets declined it before he was traded), that he cannot be resigned to a higher dollar amount than what his option year was to pay him. So, whether Hill stays with the Lakers or not he knows what his earning power is. This makes negotiating simple and allows the Lakers to profess to Hill that they like him while also informing him that they’ll be patient in their approach with him. (Update: I’ve since learned that Hill can sign for more money with another team should they offer him a contract more than the declined player option amount the Lakers are limited to. Also, Dave McMenamin tweeted that Golden State may show interest in Hill – with the ability to spend up to the full MLE – while reiterating that there’s mutual interest between Hill and the Lakers for him to return.)

Moving to outside the organization, the Lakers are armed with few resources. They have the mini-mid level exception which will be valued at approximately $3.1 million dollars and will look to use it on a priority target. In past seasons the Lakers went after the guy they wanted quickly – Radman, Ron-Ron, Blake, and McRoberts were all signed relatively quickly to their mid-level deals – and I anticipate the Lakers will try to do the same this off-season. The list of FA’s isn’t extremely promising, but there are names on the market that can help the Lakers.

As I’ve said, one of the Lakers biggest needs is finding a wing that can play shooting guard to back up Kobe and, potentially, play other positions in order to give the team lineup versatility. They could also use another big man, as relying solely on what’s in house (without Hill, their only backup bigs are McRoberts and recent draftee Robert Sacre). My ideal scenario is the Lakers targeting a wing early with their mini-MLE and then using their veteran exceptions to sign another big (and potentially another wing besides their initial target).

The hope is that the Lakers can find young players that’s ready to contribute right away but those are few and far between, especially in the Lakers price range. OJ Mayo, Nick Young, and Lou Williams are examples of guys that the Lakers would want, but will surely find higher value contracts than the Lakers can offer. So, I’d look more closely at veteran players that are past their prime but still able to contribute meaningful minutes (in other words Jason Terry types). We just saw how impactful players of this ilk can be (see Battier, Shane), so snagging one could be of great benefit to the Lakers.

Ultimately, unless there’s a major trade, there won’t be any big fireworks for the Lakers this evening. They’ve been doing their due diligence on free agents and surely have a few in mind that they’re targeting. Maybe tonight brings a key signing or two or maybe it will be early next week. But, we’ll have some new Lakers to talk about soon enough, I’m sure.

Darius Soriano

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165 responses to On Free Agency’s Eve…

  1. I would target Danny Green with the mini MLE. He’s young (mid 20’s), comes from a winning system (Spurs), can play the 2/3, and he produced (40% from 3). Question is if he’ll come for that amount and leave the Spurs to do so. Other albeit less desirable options include Marco Bellineli, Carlos Delfino, Rudy Fernandez (restricted), CJ Miles just to name a few.

  2. Odom back to Clippers. That will silence those who were pining for him to return to the other team at Staples.

  3. Seeing Odom to the Clippers, KG returning and all the teams stock up on bigs. It would be crazy to trade one of ours but that’s the only scenario where Lakers can possibly make themselves better. We could just swap Bynum for Howard. Bringing in mid level FA’s along with practice won’t get us past Okc. Have to explore every trade possibility that brings in a star player. The best player can not be Derrick Williams or Beasley.

    I really like the idea of Hill returning and wouldn’t mind Barnes too. Here’s where the dilemma comes the Lakers need to develop young players. Many posters like Morris espicially Aaron. He won’t develop if he can’t get on the court and that won’t happen with Sessions and Blake on the team. Morris, Goudelock, Johnson Odom, Ebanks should make the team and get rotation spots. We saw Spoelstra stick with Cole, Karl had plenty bigs but gave PT to Faried, Pop finds a way to play rookies. Time to develop rooks let mid level role players walk. When was the last time the Spurs payed a mid level deal?

    The goal should be to get younger, faster and more athletic at all costs. If Brown is going to be here 3 years give him projects to develop.

  4. Besides Sessions, the priority should be finding a starting SF thru trade who can shoot the 3 without giving up AB or PG. The exemption could then be used for best available player at any other position.

  5. Pau for a combo of Derrick Williams & Beasley would be fine if the Lakers can add JR Smith at the mini MLE and Rashard Lewis at the vet’s min once he gets waived….

  6. I love the in shape Metta at the small foward position. His shot looked better once his legs were under him and his energy was better over all.

    First priority of free agency should be to give Ramon Sessions a 4-5 yr deal and get him into that playbook and working on his catch and shoot ability asap. Unless D-Will is coming, he’s the guy.

    Next move would be to extend Jordan Hill. It usually takes a few years for a big to come into his own and Hill is beginning to do that. He shouldn’t be so quick to jump at some other team’s offer to start him and relish the opportunity to learn behind All Stars and play for titles. Promise him that if he continues developing in two years he’ll start beside Bynum. He was the added post energy that was missing.

    Mid-level exception – C.J. Miles. Perfect backup behind Kobe and Metta, still young and can shoot it from behind the arch.

    Use the trade exemption on Jason Terry. He’ll be looking to sock it to Cuban and just might take a paycut to do so. He can be the perfect backup to Sessions and play alongside Kobe at crunch time unless Sessions is absolutely on fire. Terry’s addition means the amnesty clause for Steve Blake’s 4 mil.

    I would listen to deals for Pau, but not just accept anything. Gasol did average 17 and 10 as a third option after all.

    I think this year Kobe goes back to the 25 per game range w/ less minutes a better Metta, and a better bench. Bynum nees to go from 21 per to 23 per.

    The bench:

    Terry, Miles, Hill, McRoberts, Ebanks, Morris, and Goudeluck

    The starters:

    Mamba
    Sessions (improved)
    Pau
    Bynum
    Metta ( in shape)

    This team can beat both S.A. and OKC if playing together.

  7. @ funky chicken – Kobe playing with Beasley and JR Smith? No other player on the roster would get a shot opportunity. LOL.

    Beasley and Smith are knuckleheads and they don’t compliment each other or the current Laker starters.

    How about Jet Terry and CJ Miles? Humble dudes that can shoot and want to win.

  8. There are not many good teams with full MLE available. I would target young guys that can contribute now but still have upside. Offer them a two year mini MLE with a player option for the 2nd year. They get a year to prove themselves and play for a winner. Personally I would rather take 3 mil for a year then 4 or 5 and lock in with a bad to average team for 3 or 4 years. Especially if I believe I’m better then a MLE player.

  9. Not a lot of playmakers out there. There’s the diminutive Bo McCalebb, the italian league mvp.

    Who’s going to make Sessions a contract offer? Portland and Phoenix both drafted PGs. Who’s left? Dallas? Brooklyn? Orlando? I think Sessions can be had for 3yrs/$15-18M.

  10. Darius, possible future topic once we have a pretty good idea of next years rooster: “which individual in the Laker organization is under the most pressure next season? Coach Brown? Jim Buss? Kobe (& his salary cap killing contract)? Bynum (maturity issues)? etc, etc.

  11. Reading and evaluating all the possibilities…

    I was just wondering IF, just IF Bynum decided to play DEFENSE. I mean, he can score; Ibaka scores, right? Sometimes, I know, but he has Durant, Westbrook and other guys that can score points. And his contribution to the defense end is very good.

    You all remember the game against SAS when Bynum got 30 boards. We crushed our opponent and guess why? Bynum 30 boards!

    Every time Bynum plays good defense we win. This kid annoys me when he says “I need more touches”.

    Get your boards, blocks and THEN ask for the ball. That, by itself, would have a bigger impact than getting any player available. Mitch is right when he says we can contend with the roster we have.

  12. Cam we do a sign and trade for the exception? If so i would say mayo should be our top target – good defense,shooting, playmaking, clutch and can play both guard positions.

  13. Disclaimer: This idea may sound ludicrous, but why not entertain it for a minute? Here we go…

    If the Lakers are not able to turn Pau and Sessions into Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow, then I think the next best move (assuming Pau must absolutely be moved) is to turn Pau into Derrick Williams.

    If there’s a way to keep Pau (which would be VERY fine by me), then how about making a serious pitch for Steve Nash and Grant Hill as a package deal?

    You’d have to give up on Sessions. And you’d have to amnesty Blake or Ron Ron, but why wouldn’t you want Nash and Hill to run with Kobe for these next 2 years? It’s a HUGE gamble against father time, but all 3 of those athletes have been beating that dude up for longer than they should have.

    In a best case scenario, you get 1) brilliant defense on the wing 2) best shooter in the game 3) two great locker room personalities to inject more collaborative energy into the Lakers’ culture 4) the best possible PG coaching for Morris, Goudelock, etc 5) one guy who offsets Mike Brown’s offensive shortcomings 6) guys whose asking prices should be reasonable making it more likely to lock Bynum up lock term.

    Ludicrous. I know.

    But why the hell not?

  14. Lakers main competition since Pau arrival in 08(Den, SA, Okc, Dal). These are their records vs those teams in the regular season and the playoff record is versus the whole west confernce.

    07-08 RS: 12 – 3 Playoffs 12 – 3

    08-09 RS: 11 – 2 Playoffs 12 – 6

    09-10 RS: 8 – 8 Playoffs 12 – 4

    10-11 RS: 7 – 6 Playoffs 4 -6

    11-12 RS: 9 – 5 Playoffs 5 – 7

    Downward trend. Lakers are contending for the west not a championship. This core 3 are paper champions now they are no longer a championship team.

  15. @13 – Maybe because Bynum is not playing with a defensive mindset?

    Just asking…

  16. MagicPhil: I’d say that and Pau was playing center. Many of our key players were in their primes. And a combination of Lakers getting older and other teams getting better.

    Lakers went from way ahead of the pack to in the middle of the pack and fading fast.

    Getting better starts now. I hope for a big offseason.

  17. MannyP: I find that the more angry I get when the Lakers are doing poorly, the more I enjoy it when they do well. At present I am projecting a 5 peat starting in 2019.

    BigCity: Most pressure on Kobes: He is the only one who cares.

    Kevin: I am with you, but can you get Jimbo on board?

  18. Too many flaws with this team right now to be thinking about how to correct them all with one offseason.

    I think they have to think one major move at a time right now.

    If they could move Pau to Minn for Derek Williams and Pekovic, that would be a terrific start.

  19. I’ve updated the Jordan Hill section of the post with some information I got from Larry Coon. Essentially, Hill can sign with with another team for more than the amount the Lakers can sign him to (which I believe is around 3.8 million). The salary limit only applies to the Lakers and, more specifically, to their Bird Exception on him.

  20. @ 20 Darius:

    Couple of points:

    1. I am assuming Kupchak and Buss knew that…but it is counterintuitive, and that is the first time I have seen it anywhere. I am sure Coon is right, of course.
    2. That makes the trade look worse and adds specific credence to the Buss-bashing. I have been OK with the deal because I figured they would keep Hill since they could match his highest offer in spite of being over the cap, and I would just as soon have him as a late 1st-rounder given where the team is now. But trading for a guy whom you specifically CANNOT match salaries on even though he is your own FA…well, that’s different.

  21. 20 – That’s a really strange rule. I guess it makes sense to hamstring the player’s team for refusing the team option, but you’d think there would be an exception in the case of a mid-season trade. Seems like it’s unnecessarily punishing the receiving team.

  22. Love Pau Gasol, but if they can Pekovic that may be a good thing. He’s a beast, and only 26…

  23. Calderon’s going to get claimed by teams looking for pg help. Golden State has already talked about the need for a backup veteran guard, as has Portland, Detroit, etc..

    Rashard Lewis is much more likely to clear and he’d be a good target. I think Sessions is getting resigned and our PG rotation will be largely unchanged. Got to take care of Hill and then look at the wings. I sincerely doubt the LO trade exception gets used unless its for someone on a 1 year deal.

  24. Darius,

    Maybe you have the answer. I have watched the video on Johnson-odom. I have read different scouting reports etc. The guy seems to be Shannon Brown with a much better jump shot, better motor and crazy as it sounds better hops. So why did he fall into the late 2nd? I understand that he is short for a shooting guard but he has a 6′ 7″ wing span and 41″ vertical to make up for it. Am I missing something else here? Even say he is a stud on D which is usually the problem for a short shooting guard. Have you heard any other negatives? If being six two is the only problem, we got a steal.

  25. I just don’t get it. I though Sterling was supposed to be business savvy and never overpaid for anyone. How do you sign off on a trade in which a top trading chip in Mo Williams coming off one of his best years and having only one year left on his contract, for LO, a headcase (admittedly, a talented one), who had the worst year of his career at the age of 32? Why not wait for LO to be bought out by Dallas and then sign him for much less, and trade Williams for another player or first round draft pick? Are they that in-love with LO that they could not take a chance on letting him become a Free agent and sign with another team, ie the Lakers? Are they that certain that LO will turn it around that they were willing to give up their best trading chip in Williams?
    I know LO only has one year on his contract so they are limited on the commitment but, I think the Clippers could have had their cake (LO) and eat it too (get more for Williams) by just waiting out on Dallas to buy out his contract, especially the way LO left the Lakers and the Clippers the only other option left in LA.
    They have officially traded away their best sixth man for 2011’s best 6th man, who arguably was the worst sixth man of 2012 paying him over 8.0 million!

  26. Personally I don’t want to trade Pau. If there was one person I want to go, it’s Bynum. But since everyone soooo in love with him. Someone here even called him in the “same league as Wilt (really???!!) for crying out loud, here are my…

    Fake trades for Pau: (note: i didn’t match salaries)

    1. Josh Smith, tmac – it solves our “too many post players on one team” & J smooth could be our rich mans odom. Tmac would solve our sg guard of the bench woes and can play point during clutch situations to stretch the floor.

    2. Lowry,Scola and/Martin/Parsons/ – we get a decent pg, a banger and enforcer in Scola who won’t complain about not getting touches, and maybe a rookie contract of Parsons or some other rookie they want to throw in.

  27. Warren Wee Lim June 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    If not for a homerun deal, go sign Rashard Lewis and Jose Calderon to 2-yr deals.

    Re-sign Sessions and Hill. Re-sign Barnes and Ebanks.

    5: Bynum – Hill – Sacre
    4: Gasol – Lewis – McRoberts
    3: Artest – Barnes – Ebanks
    2: Bryant – Goudelock
    1: Calderon – Sessions – Blake – DJO – Morris

  28. Anything over 5 million for Sessions is crazy. And I don’t want to see any Walton years on him either. 4 max with a TO. He’s close to a known quotient who might improve slightly on defense. His “no prior coach expected defense” line doesn’t lead me to believe that he’ll develop enough of an understanding and drive for it. He has zero understanding of positioning, angles or how to use his body and hands on D.

    Blake needs to be sent packing. He might be the world’s greatest dad but he’s had two years now to show passivity is what he thought he was hired to do. Maybe he’ll break out of it next season. That should be on another team.

    Hill is going to be the trickiest. I would guess he would take a little less money for more years. I still haven’t seen enough of him to warrant a long term commitment. Those mid-season trades would be nasty salary dumps if the F.O. screws the pooch this off season. Mike Brown needs to prove me wrong because I’m still seeing him as Del Harris 2.0.

  29. Robert: I think Jim is on board seeing the deal he had vetoed. My only hope is he doesn’t keep the asking price that high. We don’t want to get totally screwed but not doing nothing means you get nothing.

  30. What the article on Calderon failed to mention is that another route to the Lakers is a trade of Pau/MWP/Blake for Jose/Bargs/DeRozan, as proposed by SportsGuy. Makes sense for both sides, but Jose won’t be playing with Pau, Nash will be!

  31. Reality check people. I’ve been a Laker fan for a long time, since ’65. For the 1st time that I can remember, the top free agents are NOT interested in becoming Lakers. If we are to believe what we hear, neither D-12 nor D-Will have any interest in becoming a Laker, for years the #1 destination of free agents.

    And don’t mention salary cap as a major reason. Front offices know what to do to make these things happen. Don’t mention quality of team, Lakers were not championship quality caliber when either Shaq or Kareem expressed interest in going to L. A.

    So it makes you wonder…why are these guys not even showing interest in playing for the Lakers? Could it be Laker personnel? Do these guys not want to play with Kobe? It can’t be Bynum or Gasol, because more than likely one or both of those guys will be part of any trade (or sign & trade) to acquire one or both of them.

    That means only “no trade” clause, $50+ million cap killing salaried , ball hogging, inefficient shooting, quickly fading, “I eat first” Kobe remains. Hmmm, is this just a coincidence?

    Just asking…because I know the answer, unfortunately :-(.

  32. Robert wrote on June 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    rr: Let’s talk about the future. You mention “if they keep Hill”. Hill has some unusual restrictions on him in terms of what the Lakers can offer him.

    rr/Darius: Are you telling me I scooped both of you by 29 days on this one? : )

  33. http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8117913/sources-blake-griffin-intends-sign-extension-los-angles-clippers

    Clippers are doing all the right things. WIth cp3 going to Dodger games it’s only a matter of time before he signs his extension.

  34. Sources: Dwight Howard accuses Orlando of blackmail, wants trade to Brooklyn BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  35. ok, who is Mitch on the phone with?

  36. Robert,

    I knew that the Lakers could only offer Hill that amount, but I read in several places that no one else could offer him more, either. If you knew that wasn’t the case, then I missed your saying so.

    The Lakers have no future until 2014 unless they amnesty Kobe before then or unless they get Howard or Williams. Your idea about trading Pau for “youngsters” is unlikely to be possible without 3 or 4 teams involved, unless you are OK with a possible Derrick Williams deal. Look, I understand at this point that every day that Buss doesn’t

    a) Resign
    b) Publicly announce he is nuking the team
    or
    c) Trade for Howard

    Is for you ust more evidence of his negligence and foolishness. But most people’s clocks are different than yours is.

    Kevin,

    You may be right about the Clippers, but they have already lost Neil Olshey. We will see.

  37. The fact that tbe Lakers obtained two players for 2 1st round DC fully knowing these were rent a player moves tell me that Jimmy and his band of horse betters is a bigger fool then we thought. That get them one more playoff win then last year.

    It’s no longer about WINNING!

    It’s about preserving Jimmy money when Jerry
    passes. It would be historical if Dad writes his
    son out of the will for killing the goose.

    I can almost guarentee they move Pau not for equal value but ONLY to cut millions off payroll. Look for more Kapono, Murphy, McRoberts stiffs and see the Clippers pass the lakers in wins and attendance.

    You heard it here first.

  38. Michael H.

    Golden State and friend West about a new position. Not making that one up!

  39. rr: Reverse the sequence of “b” and “c” so that they are in my order of reference : ) And if I did not misunderstand, your realization that the Lakers have a limitation on the Hill signing, takes you one step closer to my views on Jimbo? With regard to Pau for youngsters: That would be part of a “nuking”. What we totally agree on is that even a nuking is difficult now that we have put ourselves in this completely untenable position.

  40. Suprised we haven’t heard any extension talk with Bynum. If it was set in stone you’d think that would be close to done already. I forgot his agent is David Lee who has been impatient with Lakers FO in the past. He’ll advise Bynum FA is the best way to go. This means Dwightmare turns into Bynumare for us. Ahhhhhhh!!!!

  41. rr: The numbers of the anti-Jimbo fan club are growing on this board. And this board could be one of his last safe houses, as the rest of the net seems to have already turned on him.
    BigCity@33: Kobe has been here for 16 years and has had plenty of people sign here during is tenure. The current management triad of Jimbo/MK/MB has been experiencing the “anywhere but LAL” syndrome with potential players. That is your cause of the problem you have so correctly identified.

  42. Serious question to Robert & Ko: if every comment is going to be one that bashes the front office, would you mind not commenting as often? The repetitiveness is tiring. This board isn’t a safe house for anyone, it’s a place where I hoped nuanced discussions would live. That’s harder and harder to achieve with the same points by the same people made every comment thread.

  43. I should add, I don’t care about disagreements with what I write or my opinions. Those disagreements often drive good discussion. It’s the repetitiveness that’s harder and harder to take after a full season (and counting) of it.

  44. Here is the situation:

    Howard wants trade to the Nets
    Nets don’t have the personnel to get that trade go thru
    What do you think will be the best move of Magic?

    Lakers should focus on this chip first before making any other moves. If Dwight becomes a Laker, the best move is to retain Gasol, take Calderon as a PG on MLE and the rest on all other players who want Championship on minimum or 8.5 TPE.

    On our own FA’s, i think Sessions can be retained for 3 years and may lose Hill to Minny’s caps space.

  45. The subject matter called for thoughts on what the FO was planning on doing. Point of fact I believe I have only commented 2 times in 2 weeks on the FO as I have been out of town.

    It’s hard to judge the future of the team without bringing up what may be the biggest problem.

    If you consider 2 post in 2 weeks about Jim excessive then I have to wonder why?

  46. Ko,
    Fair enough on the frequency of comments. That said, Sessions and Hill have yet to move on so we’ll see how that turns out.

    As for saving money, you’ve said many times that you’re a businessman so it’s hard for me to believe that you’re not more tuned in to the realities of the new collective bargaining agreement and how that, combined with the newly instituted revenue sharing play, will affect all teams payrolls moving forward.

  47. Corollary to my post on #46…
    Dwight is busted for not getting a trade preference and plays with Kobe and Pau for one year.
    When his player option comes at the end of next season, he has been accustomed to playing in front of Stars, near his fiancee’s residence and competing for the WCF Finals plus the dream of taking void in contracts with Kobe and Pau last contract year in 2013, don’t you think he would be play to be a sucker for another year provided he becomes the face of the franchise in 2014?

    Nothing personal but just plain economics.

  48. Ko,

    You maybe right on your rumors but there are certain things that will happen in daily living – death and taxes. We just have to go around Jimbo and MB and make the best out of it.

  49. Darius: First off, – I don’t really disagree very often : ) Why would I – we are both avid Laker fans? The last two times I addressed you directly, I asked a question, about FO accountability for “inaction”, and then I ribbed you and rr about Hill. I am guilty as charged with regard to the FO belong my main topic now – however it is the off season, so we are not playing : ) During the season, as you know, I love to talk about Kobe and general Laker history (the good part of it). Also, as others have pointed out – I am in strict complicane with the no speculation rules : ) And I think it is safe to say some others are pretty repetitive as well, with Andrew Bynum being the greatest thing on earth, being the topic of about 300 posts per month : )
    Since you want nuanced, I will positively participate in any discussion that is taking us closer to a title (even if that takes a long time).
    All of that said, I will comply with your request, and I will tone it down – except if Jimbo does an interview of course : )

  50. Anybody know why Pau is basically forced to play in the Olympics? I know he’s one of their star players but it seems unfair he can’t say I need to rest because I have a contract obligation.

  51. Complaining about Jim Buss being the owner is like complaining about Donald Sterling owning the Clippers – an exercise in simple futility.

    If that is your problem, either get off the Laker bandwagon, or stop repeating your complaint. We all have heard it. We may even join you in celebrating if the Lakers are sold – I won’t, but many others might.

    Since the Laker colors are Purple and Gold, you might as well complain about that. Yeeeeeeeesh! Opps, sorry, Forum Blue and Gold – thanks to Jack Kent Cooke – the last Laker owner.

  52. True Darius but when your brand is being devalued by another brand vastly improving and becoming more exciting, that is the time to go on the offense. Not hide your head in the sand.

    When tbe beer market becomes more competitive I need to raise the stakes to keep my customers.

    The Lakers are in jeopardy of becoming the “other”team in LA. Dr Buss can not be pleased.

  53. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–lakers-free-agent-jordan-hill-to-meet-with-timberwolves.html;_ylt=AisdkyUFm1RaZDUXvwiH.Aa8vLYF

    It was fun while it lasted. GS are going to be aggressive and Hill may Minnesota’s backup plan if they don’t get Pau. Both can offer more than the Lakers. Who may the Lakers get to replace him? Maybe Reeves Nelson who can spare the vets duties of rookie hazing.

  54. I hear Mel Counts, Kwame Brown and Elden Campbell are available.

  55. Ko: Those are JB 2nd tier guys. Chris Mihm, Medvendenko and Snowbaord Vlad are on speed dial.

  56. Robert,

    I knew about the limitation on Hill. But as I said, I didn’t know it applied only to the Lakers and I don’t think many people did, at least based on what I have read.

    Also, when you come up with specific ideas, let me know by email. I pretty much know what your general position is.

  57. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Hard to imagine some Laker fans still want Dwight Howard… esp ones that are super high on Andrew Bynum.

  58. And this board could be one of his last safe houses, as the rest of the net seems to have already turned on him.

    The rest of the net being on your side is not a point in your favor. When it comes to opinions on sports and on pretty much anything else, I try to do two things:

    1. Take the long view.
    2. Focus on specifics rather than on emotions.

    The two big specifics in terms of player personnel against Buss are Kapono, and if he leaves, Hill. I am not thrilled about Brown but I want to see year 2 under him. I am also not comfortable with the churn of scouts, Lester, et al, but again–that is a long view issue.

    The rest of your case against Buss is not persuasive (and, no, I don’t want to hear it again).

    By the same token, however, the knee-jerk defenses of the FO we see sometimes, as well as the stuff about “cohesiveness” and “practice time” and “implementing the system” or fantasy posts about guys coming here for the vet min making a huge difference are not very persuasive, either, and should also be dialed back IMO.

  59. Hmm, when I was looking at stats it got me thinking, it is posible to get Dorell Wright, he had a bad season, his salary is manageable, GS drafted Harrison Barnes, and best of all he can shoot three.

  60. WRT Calderon: every team with cap space will have the opportunity to bid on him if he is amnestied, and even if no one wanted him, he would need to come here for the mini-MLE.

  61. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Let me take you back some 7 months before the season began. The Lockout was finally over and the team executives can once more buy new Ermenegildo Zegna pinstripe suits paired with IWC Da Vincis. When mommy and daddy finally decided to meet halfway to get the proverbial ball rolling, one team stood out in the crowd and once more reminded the whole world who owns Showtime.

    The Los Angeles Lakers had acquired the league’s best point guard! Thats right, CP3 is coming to town baby.

    If you wanna read more about this, please check: http://warrenweelim.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/lakers-doing-the-math/

  62. Warren,

    I’m not really super high on Bynum if you were commenting on my post, I just believe that the only way to part with Bynum is if Howard is the subject of the trade. As such, you don’t leave the Laker post vacant. It may be a complicated deal since Dwight is a wishy- washy player who kept changing his mind everyday, however this decision has to be made by Magic to protect their own interest. Who else in NBA to gives them maximum advantage if they don’t grab Bynum.

    Lakers has to secure the future in post Kobe era, they have to continue filling in their roster with veteran superstars and young promising stars. That has been the formula of several Championship. If the Dwight derby or D’Will move does not pan out, then it will take again a long time to reach the Championship stage. Being a huge market with lots of prevailing “ratings” interest from media and fans perspective, Lakers cannot avoid the limelight of being a low profile team. It goes with the territory or else the pressure could mount to expulsion from LA. Nobody, not even the powerful owners can really alter the LA tradition and aspirations to any sports team representing this city. Raiders and Rams tried to control SoCal and they eventually left undeterred. Even Kings and Galaxy as minor teams interest compete for positioning in LA. Dodgers, a moribund enterprise after winning World Series in 1988 was able to command a hefty 2.2 billion junk sale from a junkie owner.

    Having said that, Lakers should establish priorities what they wanted in this free agency season. Let’s reiterate, this team is not Minny or Grizzlies or Wizards or Blazers or Mavs that they will grab anybody who is available. There should be plan for the future in replacing important pieces. Lakers cannot rebuild its prestige with Ebanks, Morris, Glock, Sacre, Odom as the future face of its franchise, they have to put a prominent Star as the centerpiece of the much storied team. Amen

  63. Griffin moves forward with the Clippers while CP3 stalls in the negotiation. Paul knows the heartbeat of the City and this league after playing in front of LA crowds for one season. Winning Championship with Clippers is a long shot and getting a favorable deal with Sterling for a very long time will never happen especially if GM’s and Coaches don’t really trust Sterling. Therefore, if the marquee PG’s don’t come to LA, I’m positive CP3 will be in purple and gold next season this time without Stern’s interference. Paul smells the gold mine in the vicinity by just being patient.

  64. Hibbert getting max money. The market for Bynum is set. I for one am very apprehensive about giving his knees a max contract. Lakers need to consider traing bynum if the right deal is available.

  65. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Hibbert being offered (and quite possibly matched) the max offer definitely establishes the market value for centers like Bynum. His injury history, while freakish, is definitely a concern. However, you do not trade him unless its the “homerun” deal you seek.

    Nicolas Batum also getting 45-50M is just a crazy amount to be paying an unproven player like him.

  66. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Edwin, I wasn’t really looking at you as opposed to the other posters here to defy logic and sense and whose objectives are merely to troll the front office or our next starting PG.

    Unlike them, you I find quite sensible to talk to.

  67. No franchise avoids mistakes – they are the norm. The key is to occasionally get it extremely right. The Lakers are a franchise that has been able to occasionally get it extremely right. Stop and think about how seldom we have done extremely well.

    In the mid-70s we traded 5 players for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Then we were mediocre until the 1979 draft when the new owner got his way over the old owner and we got Magic Johnson instead of Sidney Moncrief.

    In 1996 Jerry West/Jerry Buss made a tremendous gamble by trading away their starting center for the 13th pick in the draft. Then Shaq – surprisingly – signed with us and Jerry could put away the pistol at his head.

    In 2008 Mitch Kupchak quietly completed a trade he had been working on for almost a year and in came Pau Gasol.

    Finally, in 2011 the trade for Chris Paul was made. We all know how that one turned out.

    Our own history shows us there are very few home-runs any franchise can make and the Lakers have been better than most. To expect these things to appear on command is not only silly, but delusional.

    The facts are that we will probably make a couple of steps forward then fall on our face before we turn the corner this time. To scream about ownership because there are missteps is to fail to understand the sports business – actually any business. This is the reason I want to preach patience, not because I don’t care.

  68. Interesting thread on the Houston Rockets Clutchfans message board involving a strong rumor about a four team blockbuster trade with the Lakers at the center of it.

    Other than the fact that it would involve four teams, the deal actually makes good sense for the most part.

    Apparently the source on this has been fairly accurate at predicting recent moves by the Rocket front office. Take it for what it’s worth.

    So here goes:

    Minnesota sends out derrick williams/nikola pekovic/martell webster/darko milicic/future 1st
    Minnesota receives pau gasol/morris/brockman

    Lakers send out bynum/gasol/future 1st
    Lakers recieve lowry/scola/dwight howard

    Houston sends out lowry/scola/lamb/morris/tjones/ppatterson/brockman
    Houston receives bynum/duhon/webster/milicic

    Orlando sends out dwight/duhon
    Orlando receives lamb/tjones/ppatterson/derrick williams/pekovic/2 future 1sts

    Pretty interesting. I could certainly live with this deal that would bring us Howard, Scola as a backfill at power forward and Kyle Lowry who is the point guard I think that Mitch actually wanted before the trade deadline and before he was hospitalized.

  69. Hill: We may still yet retain him and I think we should try. The limitation was a lose/lose. He does well and we are iced out of the market. He does poorly, the limitation is N/A, because nobody wants him. With his injury and uneven performance – we are right between those two.
    Long view: I agree with this. for example – as you know – I am very moderate on MB – while others repetitively bash him. I also take the long view on players, and hence do not bash or hate on players (again others do this repetitively). This works two ways in that players, coaches, and management do not get credit for that which was accomplished before their arrival. The team gets credit, but those individuals do not. In fact it raises the bar for them. MB is not measured against the typical coach – he is measured against PJ and Riles.

  70. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Dave, as of this point, any talk of trading Bynum for Howard is DOA to me. Assuming Dwight’s back is back to 100% which I doubt, he appears to have a more serious condition (head).

  71. I have confessed my guilt to the board, with regard to being repetitive. However, one thing you can give me credit for is consistency. Many here do not exhibit that. One week – we have a contending roster – and the next week, there are calls to nuke it. One week KB is the greatest ever – the next week – he is selfish and the reason for all of our woes. Regardless of how you feel – changing opinion dramatically based on a game, a series, or even a season can be detrimental. For example, I wanted significant change in pre-season last year. Many said we should stand pat and let them play the games. Now some of those “let them play the games” types are calling for significant change. OK – you are entitled to change your mind – but I think it is evident that change now is more difficult than it would have been a year ago. Whatever we do, we need a plan that we stick to, and not something that changes dramatically because Hill gets one good game, or RS has one play where he outruns everyone, or on the other side, let’s not go overboard when AB has one of his lazy games or when KB shoots us out of a game. Repetitiveness and Consistency – there is a fine line there. I know where I stand – where do you? : )

  72. Hibbert went to FA, Howard wants FA, Bynum is definitely going to FA. We’ll start the season with uncertainty and not knowing if all our players are in it to win it or in it for themselves.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Bynum is coming off an extension (4yr/58). Is the next step what the media is throwing out there with Chris Paul 5yr/100? If that’s the case FO needs to change their priorities asap.

  73. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 8:52 am

    If Roy Hibbert gets +/- 17M per season, Pau Gasol is not so overpaid anymore.

  74. @69……as good a rumor as any, but it fails to take into consideration Lakers actually needed to slash salary to avoid the every looming increasingly punitive luxury tax that kicks in after next year. Basically from a salary standpoint they’d be the same where they are now.

  75. Lakers have bigger fish to fry than trying to deal Pau. You don’t hear much noise regarding Bynum and Lakers. You’d have to think they would take offers for him. They traded Shaq for Lamar, Caron, Grant. It’s a deal out there for him. Does Jim Buss value Bynum for than Jerry valued Shaq that he won’t trade him for nothing other than Dwight?

  76. @72: There’s really nothing in this deal that prolongs the current cap crisis unless you believe the Lakers are on the brink of holding a “going out of business” sale with their main assets.

    Between Bynum, Gasol, Kobe, Ron – Ron and Blake which is where all the expense currently resides, the decision point on all of them is no more than 2 years away.

    The FO could sit on their hands and do nothing for the next two years and the cap crisis would take care of itself for all intent and purposes.

  77. Thanks Warren for the clarification.

    Latest news according to A. Wojnarowski, Magic are now listening to all teams in moving Howard out of Magic.

    While Dave’s scenario may be in the discussion, it is just to complicated to make four teams happy especially Magic will be left without a legitimate Center in those trades. Some interesting trade rumors wherein Nets are re-signing their FA’s Gerard Wallace for 40M deal, Brook Lopez and chasing Joe Johnson too in order to entice D’Will to stay. On the other hand, Rockets are also offering Scola and Lowry to Nets and Magic. Lakers are acting as the uninterested party in these negotiations yet everyone is aware that they have the most coveted pieces their slow foot Centers, still skilled 7 footers on the table.

    There’s a possibility for Calderon coming to LA because of Raptors GM Colangelo have avid interest in getting Nash. if Calderon is amnestied & comes in to the Lakers that is a signal that Pau will be retained and a possibility that more Spanish players may join the two in the future. Lakers are also interested on Josh Howard of Jazz. Beasley and R. Lewis were waived by their respective teams. Lakers just have to wait and see how the cookies crumble while continue re-signing Sessions and Hill

  78. @70 – That leaves ORL without a big guy…

    All those 4 teams trades are very difficult to achieve but very enterteining, my favorite is:

    Lakers Trade: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, future No. 1 pick and $3 million cash
    Lakers Receive: Dwight Howard and Deron Williams

    Magic Trade: Dwight Howard
    Magic Receive: Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake and the No. 16 pick

    Nets Trade: Deron Williams (sign-and-trade)
    Nets Receive: Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson

    Rockets Trade: Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson and the No. 16 pick (from Knicks)
    Rockets Receive: Pau Gasol, future Lakers No. 1 pick and $3 million cash

    Again, for enterteinment purposes only.

  79. Warren Wee Lim July 1, 2012 at 9:38 am

    The Lakers can stay cOmplacent and still win the season by waiting for fallouts. The veterans that are potential amnesties want to sign with us are hindered by other teams’ ability to claim them but we have to keep the right attitude to entice guys like Rashard Lewis to inject offense to our bench.

    Though lowkey, its a much more high reward move than trading laterally.

  80. One more thing and then I’ll shut-up for awhile.

    Winning more championships in the last decade and making more finals appearances than anyone else and only being two years removed from that, leaves me ecstatic about the performance of the franchise.

    It’s much more than any fan of any professional sports team has a reasonable right to expect.

    I’m totally okay with the fact that the star and centerpiece of the team is an aging 34 year old who can no longer take the team to the promised land but is loved and revered by the fan base that wants to see him finish out in a glorified fashion.

    I’m resigned to the fact that this reality isn’t conducive to winning championships again anytime real soon.

    Can they put entertaining teams on the floor? Yes!
    Will it be fun watching him go for the all-time scoring record? Of course!

    But he can’t do what he used to be able to do even though the team is still built around the necessity for him to do so in order for them to compete for championships.

    There is no Magic Johnson set to take the reigns from Kareem in the case of Kobe. And I’m not sure he would have it any other way.

  81. @80 – “That leaves ORL without a big guy…”

    Magic Phil, No it doesn’t.

    Pekovic is a young, strong center coming off by far his best season. He just isn’t the experienced perennial all-star that Gasol is and that’s what Minnesota desires to put beside Kevin Love.

  82. Since some trades are posted I’ll speculate here a bit. Blake/McRoberts/Eyenga for Calderon. If Nash signs in Toronto not going to get much more than that for an expiring.

    I’m not in favor of trading both Bynum and Pau. One or the other.

  83. I enjoy the possibilities being discussed–most every possibility has been mentioned–except the one that probably happens. Regardless of who comes or leaves, I believe that everything still depends on how Kobe deals with his mortality–and how Brown manages the team.

    If things go well, the Lakers will vie for a championship. If they go bad, I can imagine Kobe asking for amnesty.

    These certainly are–and will continue to be–interesting times.

  84. drrayeye-
    “If they go bad, I can imagine Kobe asking for amnesty.”

    This makes zero sense. I can’t see any situation where Kobe asks to be amnestied. If he did that, then he would end up on a team like charlotte. A team that is under the cap and has no chance of winning a championship. Kobe will finish his contract out in LA. (I know that this will tick quite a few Laker fans off.)

    Kobe wants championships more than anything else.

  85. I could imagine Kobe clearing amnesty, getting picked up by Chicago–and playing for the championship. Two years later, I could imagine him coming back to the Lakers.

    With Kobe amnestied, the Lakers could reconstitute a team. It would be win-win.

    In these times, the unthinkable can become inevitable.

  86. Well, I can see why Paul Allen was (reportedly) such a hard-ass during lockout talks. He was trying to save himself from himself.

    Dwight Howard has serious mental issues. The “blackmail” he’s talking about is the fact that Orlando told him if he didn’t sign, they’d trade him to LA. It’s called being under contract, Dwight. You don’t get to dictate everything. For people advocating trading for Dwight, that should also tell you just where his head’s at regarding the Lakers – that he viewed a trade to the Lakers as a real threat and “blackmail” and might even pursue legal action through the union, not that he has a case. You really want to gut our team for a rental?

    I strongly disliked Howard’s cartoonish/diva personality long before the season began, when everyone was trying to ship out Bynum and their mothers to get him, and I dislike him even more now. I hope Hennigan trades him to Charlotte and lets him stew there for a year.

  87. Just an FYI….Rudy Fernandez did not get tendered and is now an unrestricted free agent. I wouldn’t mind this pick up at all….might go back to Spain though.

    Ken Berger ?@KBergCBS

    The Nuggets did not extend a qualifying offer to Rudy Fernandez, making him an unrestricted free agent, league source says.

  88. So you think that kobe would clear amnesty instead of getting picked for pennies on the dollar by some team that would make at least 5 times what his contract would cost them in
    jersey sales, increased ticket sales, and viewership?

  89. I was watching NBA TV last night and David Aldridge seems convinced that there will be some form of 3 way deal with the Lakers, T-Wolves and Rockets. He said it makes to much sense from all 3 teams perspectives not to happen. I have thought that for awhile now but the question becomes who goes where.

  90. Business picking up….

    Adrian Wojnarowski ?@WojYahooNBA

    Y! Sources: Lakers, Magic have contact about possible trade talks for Dwight Howard. http://tinyurl.com/7n3hgn5

  91. Dwight Howard trade still would hinge on Howard. Lakers have made it clear that they will not trade for him unless he signs an extension. And with this guy, the way he has been all over the map, you need him to sign on the dotted line. You can’t take his word on anything.

  92. D12: Obviously, the back injury and his recovery need to be verified, otherwise that is an added gamble. However, the extension gamble is a gamble we already have. AB and his agent have not even started the saga yet. Both AB and D12 have one year, both are immature, and both will play this out for their own benefit and everyone else’s detriment.
    Kevin: We discussed this months ago, and be ready for the KB-AB feud. Soon the media will pick up on this, and compare it to the KB-Shaq feud.

  93. darius: we know it’s a sunday but here we are, july 1st waiting on some laker moves, big and or small just so we can hash and rehash over what a smart and or dumb move laker management/ownership has or is about to hand down to us laker faithful.

    having said that, too many white guys on the team already? not since larry bird has there been a five tool player; ie. shooter, passer, rebounder, defender and dribbler. add to that, tenacity, hustle play, court awareness, ability to fill the lane and overall basketball intelligence. in a nutshell, one of the greatest overall basketball athletes in the history of the nba. few can argue that.

    so here we are, trying to locate a few good specialists; shooters, defenders, shot blockers, pick and roll artists, etc. each nba team is made of specialists; the successful ones have the better specialists coupled with at least one overall four or five tool player.

    i still believe you can’t teach height. i also believe you need to teach height and height needs to learn how to play the nba game; to find a signature move or two on offense; hook shot, semi hook, the dunk, the bank shot and on defense; be it the ability to block shots, rebound, box out and above all, the ability to move your feet. stamina is key here and requires a lot of personal work.

    so, mitch kupchak and jim buss and everyone else involved in making laker moves; make your moves so we can stop me and the likes of me from rambling on and on and on.

    Got it? Get it?

    Go Lakers !

  94. KenOak: I agree that KB wants titles more than anything or more than anyone else does. He also wants to retire a Laker. That said I do not think it is fair for us to keep him, under the guise of attempting to win a championship, if all we are doing is biding our time, waiting for him to retire. I do not want KB to be used as a ticket seller/record breaker with no chance at a ring.

  95. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7p2glad

    ron artest *or* blake/mcroberts, derrick williams, wes johnson, and the non-guaranteed contracts of webster and miller to orlando; gasol to minnesota; turkoglu and howard to los angeles.

  96. Robert: You already know the media will try to create a headline. Kobe/Shaq part 2. Biggest decision this summer isn’t amnesty Kobe, cap space, trade Pau. It’s how do the Lakers FO view Bynum? I think we’re on the same page with Bynum.

    Orlando and Lakers are in a similar situation with their bigs. Both have to much power one is holding their franchise hostage and Bynum feels too entitled. Best thing to do is swap with fillers.

    Houston has nice pieces to offer but that’ll take years to figure out what you have. Hennigan got a franchise player, Durant, and went from there.

  97. Robert,

    Where are you getting this feud from? What is your source? Everything that has been written up to now has been how Andrew and Kobe really bonded over this last year, with Kobe standing up for Andrew at every oppurtunity and Andrew now viewing Kobe as a big brother. So where is the article? Love to read when it all changed.

  98. Michael H: I am not referencing a specific source, though there is plenty out there on this. My feeling is that AB wants this to be his team and to have things built around him, while KB is not redy to give up his alpha position. We read about this last year as well. That said – I believe AB and his agent will use this in a D12 (I agree with your comments about not being able to trust his word) type manner during negotiations. How do you think this plays out? Do you think we simply sign AB to an extension – sans drama at all?

  99. Michael H/All: Everything I say on here should be prefaced with “in my opinion”, as should most everything everyone else says : ) If any of us choose to quote someone like you did with Aldridge is an earlier post – that is fine, but most of those talking heads do not have such a great track record. I can pull hundreds of things on the net from last year, where D12 was ours, Pau was traded, AB was traded, etc. -all from reliable – quotable sources. I would put my prediction track record against any of them, but then again that doesn’t say much : )

  100. Under the new CBA isn’t it financially more prudent to avoid extensions and instead re-sign with your team in free agency? Not sure if Bynum’s injury history will cause him to value immediate security or not, but even if he denies an extension I’m not sure that’s a huge cause for alarm.

    96 – That trade is just awful for Orlando. Not sure why Lakers fans are so high on Derrick Williams. The Lakers didn’t want to trade Gasol for a Williams package, no way Orlando bites on that even if there’s picks involved. Houston can put together a much better package with Lowry, multiple picks, Parsons, and Martin (who can be flipped for some value).

  101. Robert

    Yes, you sign him. What drama was there really with Andrew? Some immaturity, so what. Is saying ” i will continue to shoot three’s(which he didn’t)”even close to what Howard has subjected the Magic too? Now he wants to sue! Unbelievable.

    The other big difference is Bynum wants to be a Laker, Howard doesn’t. Period. Andrew has been very pragmatic stating he will play anywhere. He understands it is a business. But he also has said every single time that he would prefer to stay with the Lakers.

    As far as money, it is a non issue. Roy Hibbert has just been offered a max contract! That is the market for talented big men. The Lakers will do the same because that is his market value. There will be no agent hostage holding because he will be offered that market value.

    So in the end who do you go with. A guy that has repeatedly said he WILL NOT SIGN WITH YOU. Or with a guy that wants to be a Laker. Both are all stars and the money is going to be similar.

  102. On twitter a few days ago MWP hinted at a big trade with a team in Texas and a certain storied franchise.

    @Dave, could this be the deal that MWP spoke of?

    One never knows what deals the Lakers pull off until the deal is locked in by all involved.

    I’m just waiting for the deals to be finalized.

    So excited for the Lakers!

  103. Lets have a recap:

    Roy wanted to be a Laker – declined;
    Sixers interested of Pau for Iggy – ignored;
    Hawks interested of Pau for Smith – Lakers wanted one more player, so Hawks balked;
    Minny interested of Pau for Beasley, Derrick W etc. – just plain discussion
    Rockets joined the Minny trade with Lakers offering Scola and Lowry – just plain discussion

    Lakers are inquiring about Josh Howard;
    Lakers are inquiring about Dragic – Price is too high
    Lakers are interested of R. Lewis who was waived by Hornet & interested to join a contending team, Lakers can only offer minimum or mini MLE;
    Lakers are interested of Beasley who has been waived to come in at minimum;
    Lakers interested of Jonny Flynn – just an inquiry;
    Lakers interested of Calderon once he’s amnestied – just waiting
    D’Will is imagining before of becoming a Lakers – still a fantasy
    Magic is now discussing possibility of Howard trade with Lakers, not Pau but only Bynum – subject to long/one term contract;

    Latest, Lakers inquiring about Nick Young – too pricey;
    Lakers inquiring about Brandon Rush – a possibility

    In a nutshell, Mitch is working with all kinds of scenarios but it all boils down on where will be his two bigs as major chips fall into what square? I could imagine Kobe is acting as a PR guy in fielding answers that he will pass the ball to them if they join the Lakers. hoho!

    I like our chances today because our chips have values compared to the impossible mission of Mitch before in offering Kwame, Smush, Walton, Cook and Mihm that they were truly great laker players. lol!

  104. Whoever is paying Hibbert max money will pay dearly. You give players 15+ to take you to the next level. Hibbert is no franchise player he’ll get better but he won’t be franchise player better.

    Randloph, Lee, Stoudemire, Curry, J. O’neal, Boozer, Brand, R. Lewis, NeNe, Biedris, Scola, Bynum (TBD). These players didn’t or will not earn their deals.

    Bosh, Dirk, Pau, Garnett, Duncan, Howard. Very few bigs earn their max deals.

    They say you pay for size no matter what but you rarely ever get in return what you give out.

  105. 101, would dwight re-sign with a capped out rockets team featuring turk, scola, and dragic?

  106. Robert,
    I want Kobe to spend his entire career in LA and retire as a Laker and only a Laker. Even if that means he retires with *only 5 championships.

    Why will the Lakers pull the trade on Bynum for Howard? Howard will put people in the seats and sell jerseys like Kobe. He also happens to be a better player, but…anyway look where Howard is on these jersey sales lists. Howard has that “it” factor that belongs in a Laker uniform.

    http://chicago.sbnation.com/chicago-bulls/2012/6/21/3105888/nba-jersey-sales-2012-derrick-rose-kobe-bryant

    Also, notice who is still #1 on those lists despite being a “declining player on his last legs.” Kobe is still #3 here in the US.

    http://chicago.sbnation.com/chicago-bulls/2012/4/26/2977211/derrick-rose-jersey-sales-chicago-bulls

  107. My last thing on Bynum and Howard. It has already been talked to nauseum.

    Howard is a 3 time DMVP. Has played with stretch 4s his whole career and still owned the paint a way Bynum never has. Many say Bynum has a far better offensive game I disagree. Bynum’s size is his only advantage. Drew is still a top 5 big in the league.

    Let’s not forget Bynum quit on the Lakers 3 times. vs Houston when he got thrown out, warriors when he shot the 3 Brown let him back in the game and he half assed a FT. The next game he was benched and blew off a meeting with Mitch. None of Dwight’s problems come on the court. His last game with Orlando he had a 20-20 with a stiff back.

    I really see no comparison between the two production wise. If you want to judge based off potential that’s fair. Seven years in it should be worrysome potential is still being mentioned with Bynum. Name a Laker who 7 years in being mentioned as the next franchise player who wasn’t a sure thing.

  108. Stop and think about how seldom we have done extremely well.

    Yes, Craig, I know. So does Robert, and that is exactly why people are worked up–Howard and Williams and maybe Paul in 2013 are about to change teams. The Lakers have a long history of getting players like that. They did it again, and Stern vetoed it. As long as there is a slight hope of getting guys like this, people will talk about it. It is not “delusional” in the least, and is actually more in touch with reality than thinking that a full training camp under Mike Brown and a couple of low-budget FA signings will get SA and OKC quaking with fear.

    The other reason people are worked up is that they want either

    a) Kobe to have a shot to win again
    or
    b) the FO to start constructing the next team

    Right now, we are in between the two, so these are, as dr rayeye says, interesting times.

    I agree that some people overdo it and do not acknowledge the complexity of the situation. But talking about Howard and being worried are very reasonable responses to where the Lakers are right now.

  109. 105 – No, Dwight wouldn’t. And the Rockets have made it clear for over a year they’re fine with that. It’s a decent play by Dork Elvis. They’re trying to get out of middle ground purgatory. When Howard leaves, they go to the cellar and he gets to rebuild. But reports from all credible reporters have said the Rockets are very willing to trade without guarantee of an extension.

  110. Edwin: Nice post. By your account it’s obvious Mitch is exhausting all his options. Lakers FO didn’t plan to go into this past season as constructed. I’m sure there mindset hasn’t changed. Something big is going to happen one way or another.

  111. rr: Very well stated @109.

    “more in touch with reality than thinking that a full training camp under Mike Brown and a couple of low-budget FA signings will get SA and OKC quaking with fear. ”

    Perfect. As you know – trading superstars is very difficult. Nuking it is even difficult – all things considered. You know the word I use for your quote above, and that is somewhat the default option. People want to think that this might be successful, because hope springs eternal and since this is what we are most likely going to do, people don’t want to give up on it.

  112. Garnett: I saw quite a few posts about KG over the past few weeks, hoping he would be a Laker. Well, as most of you should know, he just signed for $11+ for a 3 year extension. This is $7-8 more than the Lakers could have paid him. Please copy the Garnett signing if you want to know what type of deal Nash will get. Those thinking these types are available for the MLE should re-evaluate.

  113. Kevin

    2 points. First Howard does not want to be a Laker. That should be enough to end all the discussion but for some reason guys on this blog do not believe him. I really don’t understand that.

    2nd. You stated that Howard has played his entire career with a stretch 4. Exactly, thanks for making the point for me. That is a huge advantage for a big man in the middle. It opens up the floor. He also has been surrounded by shooters. He still averaged just a little over a point a game more then Andrew as his teams first option. He probably could score more if the Magic could use him in the 4th quarter. But shooting 49% from the line keeps the ball out of his hands in crunch time. By the way, andrew shoots 82% in crunch time, 1st in the nba and he hits free throws in the playoffs.

    If your argument is that Howards D makes him more valuable then Bynum. Fine valid point. But there is no way to argue that he is better offensively because he just isn’t.

    One more thing yes Andrew has been in the league 7 years but lets review. Andrew had no business coming to the NBA when he did. He just had not played enough basketball. This translated into two solid years with his butt glued to the bench because Phil does not develop young talent. We all know what he thinks of rookies.

    His third year was a break out year. Kobe after saying he wanted to be traded earlier declared that with Andrew’s development they were now a contender. This was the guy that wanted Andrew traded a year earlier. Then he was injured.

    He picked up where he left off the following year but was injured again. This time an injury that would have repercussions for a couple of years.

    Then 2 years ago after playing into shape he led a 17-1 streak after the all star game. And this year his first as a featured player he was an all star.

    So even talking about expectations after 7 years in the league isn’t really a good argument because there have been so many circumstances. He has played healthy for 125 games now and showed no ill effects.

    So if you want to trade Andrew for Howard only see him sign with the nets in a year, fine, that is your opinion. I prefer to stay with the all NBA 2nd team player that wants to be here.

  114. I’ve got a crazy idea. It shouldn’t be. But it is. Dwight Howard is available for a season no team it seems want to trade away anything of value for a one year rental. It would make sense to dangle Pau Gasol to Orlando. Yes Pau is old but no team is offering a player of Gasol’s talent. No team. And Orlando could get out of Gasol’s contract a year after next. The Lakers could get the two best big men in the NBA on one team. Dare Dwight to leave LA and if he wants to we can ship him off to the Nets for what Brooklyn is offering. Dwight and Bynum might work after all. And the Lakers would be the best defensive team in the history of the NBA ;)

    And Kevin,
    Everyone now will remember you for this great error. Your judgement of Bynum will forever be your undoing. You have been on record with these comments. It’s too late for you. Andrew Bynum put up numbers last year in the NBA that only a half full of other Centers have ever done. I would re evaluate if I were you. You’re likley to be on the other side of history.

  115. NM… Just read the report that under no circumstances the Magic would take back Pau Gasol for Howard :(

  116. Kevin,

    Thanks pal, add another interest on F/A Louis Amundson. What does that mean? They’re anticipating Minny will beat them on Hill or possibly a trade one of the bigs or they want somebody to train Sacre. hoho!

    Howard is dead set in joining Deron at Nets thinking that the Russian owner would have a lot of rubles to pay them. While Nets have nothing to offer to Orlando and they’re just holding D’Will at bay to prevent Mavs so they’re trading all their role players including our beloved Farmar to Hawks in order to pair Johnson with D’will.

    The funny thing without saying, players are increasing their values when Lakers inquires about them. Sports media join the melee to the tune with Lakers soundbites whether Adrian W. or Ken Berger talking about Bynum/Howard because there’s increase in readership. At the end of day, hopefully Lakers could cash in all these talks. What a frustration for Mitch, the miracle worker might turn his efforts into into a bunch cupcakes again with all those conspiracy theories by all team owners including David Stern

  117. those reports continue to not make any sense.

    the rockets are going to sacrifice capspace, prospects, valuable contracts, and a lottery pick in exchange for another year of mediocrity and the dwightmare?

    they can retain all their assets and be terrible right now. look at that team. it’s an orgy of newbs and forwards.

    addendum: i guess the lakers tried to trade pau for josh smith and al horford, but got denied. damn.

  118. Honestly, I think all we do this summer is sign Calderon and/or R.Lewis. Calderon would be Mike Brown’s new Mo Williams and Lewis would be the next Jamison. Grr.

  119. @107,

    “I want Kobe to spend his entire career in LA and retire as a Laker and only a Laker. Even if that means he retires with *only 5 championships.”

    That’s exactly how I feel.

    Thanks

  120. BTW, why should we trade AB for DH? The guy said he’ll not sign an extension…Well, maybe AB will say the same.

    Are we that trapped in the corner?

  121. Michael H.

    Aloha, my friend from the other blog. True, Dwight does not want the Lakers because they don’t have much money, so his possible two year contract will be throttled by Kobe’s huge pay. Unfortunately, he has no say because he allowed the Magic to own him for two years. Therefore, Magic has the last say on this deal provided his back will back him up. That’s the only hindrance where Magic will lose him without something in return.

    Bynum is OK as-is but if both are healthy Howard is the better Center. Btw, both of them are calculated risks.

    Lastly, we’re not wishing for Howard or anybody but just joining the derby of rumormongers who enjoy their favorite brand of caffein on Free Agent day. So far, Lakers achieved only two prospects – Odom who is also named Ervin Johnson and Sacre. Whatever you have read are all wish lists from all sides.

  122. MichaelH: Dwight doesn’t want to be compared to Shaq that’s why he may not want to play for the Lakers. You make some good points but they are spaced out over 7 years. There’s no consistency. He’s there one year the next he’s not. he plays defense for 18 games he loafs the rest. Bynum has said he’ll play harder and he hasn’t done it. He also said “When I play defense we have a better chance to win”. How often does he do what he says?

    Kobe, Pau, Odom, Rambis, Shaw, Hamblen, Cleamons, Fisher, Phil, Jerry Buss, Mitch, Kareem, Magic. These are the guys Bynum has been blessed to be around his whole career. And he still hasn’t got the value of being a Laker and giving your all to the Lakers. Bynum may say he wants to be a Laker but he doesn’t display it like those names I mentioned did in their time here.

    The best player Dwight has played with is Turkoglu. He doesn’t know what winning feels like. Put him in a winning organization and situation. I gurantee he takes his game to the next level the way Pau, Odom did when they got here.

    Aaron: DH 2nd yr. 15.8 pts 12.5 reb 1.4 blk
    AB 7th yr. 18.7 pts 11.8 reb 1.9 blk

    It took Bynum 7 years to do what Dwight did in 2 years.

  123. Lakers fans know basketball but I continue to see vision being jaded because they wear purple and gold. Bynum never avg. 20-10, 1 time all star, missed more than half his career games, was a 3rd & 4th option on championship teams. But hey let’s throw the max at him.

    Bynum being in a Lakers jersey enhances his reputation. He gets the benefit of the doubt that some other players don’t get because he’s a Laker.

  124. Craig W @69/Dave @82: I promised Darius I would lighten up, so I agree with all of your historical references to when we have made key moves, or how we have exceeded the performances of other franchises. If you search this board, you will find I often reference our 31 trips to the finals and 16 titles. You will see that I do not think the Celtics compare as most of their titles were achieved in the age of peach baskets. You will see me rooting against teams like the Celtics and the Spurs so they do not challenge our success. I do believe in a little Laker destiny – so yes – some of this is just who we are and who we will always be. However, much of it is also attributed to some key owners, GM’s, coaches, and of course superstar players. The previous crossroads that Craig W refers to, are involving changing from one superstar to the next and those were important. What is a little challenging this time is that we have aging stars (sans AB), a new unproven coach, and a new unproven owner. The GM is the only place where you can bridge all those titles into the present, and even there Jerry West looms. So this is truly a little different, and I agree with Dave that given our success, we should tolerate some down years. How long is the question however, and given the Laker destiny to which you allude, how have we avoided these extended down times in the past (except for dreaded “90’s”)? Have we just been fortunate? Some good fortune I believe, but also much skill by the likes of Jack Kent Cooke, Jerry Buss, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, and Jerry West. I would love to add names to this list soon or even in let’s say the next 5-7 years. Do you think I will? : )

  125. Robert,
    Yes! But it may not be next year. I hope I am wrong.

  126. Can we tolerate down years? This is not Pheonix, or Wahington. I would rather see the team with 3 or 4 young players that can shoot and pay hard then what we have seen the last two years.

    Instead if pretending we can win it all let’s build and watch a exciting fast team not the slow, plodding Kobe goes one on 4 at the end of the clock.

  127. WRT Houston and Howard:

    I emailed Robert about this, saying that I remian convinced that Howard wants to play with Paul or Williams. If Houston gets Howard, I think that puts Williams in Dallas. Paul as of now is not signing an extension with LAC. Morey can then amnesty Scola, trade Lowry, and Martin’s contract runs out…plus he can have Hakeem work on Howard to stay. Also, Howard might like learning low post moves from Herman Munster, the Houston coach.

    Then, Morey can go after Paul in 2013. It might not work, of course, but I think that is probably how Morey sees it. I may be proven wrong, but ISYM that being with Paul or Williams is a bigger deal to Howard than being in a particular city. That is one reason Stern vetoed the deal here IMO.

    If Howard is not coming here, I actually hope that he and Williams do end up in Brooklyn. That would mean Cuban struck out.

  128. Chris Paul is not signing an extension and Howard wants to be traded. It seems to me that if the Lakers are clever they can arrange a multiple team deal that effectively flips Gasol and Bynum for Paul and Howard and then we would be where we should have been last year without Stern’s interference.

  129. You guys are killing me with this Howard talk. That guy is a diva if I ever seen one. More importantly, he is a diva who has made it plain he DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY HERE. How hard is that for fans to understand? The Lakers should never have to beg anyone to play here. If Howard is intimidated by the retired jersey’s hanging in the rafters then this isn’t the team for him. He’d get eaten alive by the LA media and the same fans here clamoring to get him.

    Also, count me as another who wants to see Kobe retire a Laker even if it means no more championships.

  130. No chance that the Clippers will voluntarily let Paul come here particularly since Griffin will sign an extension with them.

    I think Paul wants to see how the Clippers’ FO does, what happens with Howard, and what happens with Del Negro. If Howard and Williams sign long-term deals in Brooklyn, then Paul might re-up with the Clippers.

  131. Excellent piece by Andy Kamenetzky. I agree with about 95% of it:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/31488/a-purple-and-gold-crossroads-for-kobe-and-the-lakers

    Excerpt:

    “And in reality, the Lakers as currently constructed aren’t legitimate contenders, despite (knowingly false) claims from vice president of player personnel Jim Buss or general manager Mitch Kupchak. What’s more, any fix will be difficult. They have a mini midlevel and veteran’s minimum money available for free agents. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and a theoretically signed-and-traded Ramon Sessions are the only assets of any discernible value, and it’s debatable how much they’d fetch in return.”

  132. Kevin

    Bottom line, whether you believe Andrew deserves a max contract or not, that is what he will get. He will get one with the Lakers, he will get it if we trade him to the Magic, he will get it regardless because that is the market value of a skilled big man. You may not personally feel size matters in the NBA anymore but the GM’s obviously still do.

  133. Howard’s been in LA rehabbing for months now. We know Kobe is an alpha dog and hasn’t recruited star players in his career. But it would be disappointing if he hadn’t spoke with Dwight while he’s in LA.

    If Houston signs Asik and Brooklyn gets Johnson. Those options are gone and their aren’t many left.

  134. Kevin one other thing, what do you project Howard’s numbers as the third option playing with Kobe and Pau? Think he still gets 20 a night? Still thinks he gets as many rebounds playing with Pau? Andrew has had to compete with both Pau and Lamar, Howard competes with Hedo? Lewis? Anderson?

    You can not compare their stat lines, because their roles on their teams are so different.

  135. It’s a new day and age today’s stars want to be recruited. Nash has teams coming to meet him and he’s 38. Kobe has to get on the phone and recruit. Let players know you want to play with them.

    MichaelH: Howard would bring a defensive presence and a visible one in Lakers pocketbooks. Lakers have gotten worse as Bynum’s role has expanded. Just Saying.

  136. Size obviously still matters in the NBA:

    2007: Duncan
    2008: Garnett + Perkins/PJ Brown
    2009 and 2010: Pau/Odom/Bynum
    2011: Nowitzki
    2012: Bosh

    What has happened is that with the no hand-check, zone, and defensive three-second rules, and with the changes in players’ body types and the increasing importance of the 3pointer, we are not seeing as many traditional back-to-the-basket 5s, like Bynum and good perimeter play is more important than ever.

    But having good big men is still enormously important in today’s NBA. The problems with the Lakers are that all three of their best guys are slow and need the ball within 15 feet of the basket or closer to be effective, and their roster 4-12 is weak.

  137. Portland offered Roy Hibbert a big deal and Omer Asik has signed a deal with Houston. These both have a good chance of going through – however – successful or not they tie up Portland and Houston until 14 July. This certainly impacts any multi team deals the Lakers might be involved in with Chicago, Houston, Indiana, and Houston.

    The pants are getting tight for Orlando and Mitch is just waiting in the wings with a decent poker hand. We can all hope he keeps waiting as the other hands get played out for desperate GMs.

    Whether or not we fans like it, the Lakers don’t have to do anything and 2014 will bring them cap relief. This does mean we can afford to wait for the best deal for our club. I sense a frustration in the fan-base that is likely to make this blog unreadable for the next two weeks.

  138. rr: All those starting front courts were athletic non stationary players. Last time a brusing center won was 06 before then 02,03. Game has changed. Size matters schemes can make up for it Miami proved that. That’s basically a team full of wing players.

  139. Kevin,

    I pointed all that out in the post in detail. The game has changed, but not so much that you can’t win with Bynum. People said big men were passe when Jordan was winning, too. Then Olajuwon, Shaq, and Duncan lead teams to multiple titles when Jordan was gone.

    Also, “schemes” had very little to do with Miami winning and to the degree they did, the scheme change was James playing more like a big man.
    Basically, you win if you have the best players. That was true in the NBA in 1962 and it is true in 2012.

  140. Latest additional to Lakers interest are Billups and Hinrich. I don’t know where the aggressiveness of Mitch is coming from w/ only min vet and mini mle as his ammo.

    Everyone now is reporting that Lakers and Magic are discussing on the trade of bigs, it is either Pau plus 2 players or Bynum straight up. There is also multiple team trade brewing but not sure on details, perhaps Dave and Anonymous have privy on the details. Is it credible, no one knows except the parties involved. (I don’t know why Magic needs plus 2 players on Gasol when they have same salary, there could be additional trash included.) Lakers closest competitor are the Rockets offering Scola, Martin and Lowry or draft picks. There is no Center in the offer. Nets gave up on Howard because of previous historical distortion. Besides, there is an avalanche of calls on D’Will so they need to seal it by seeding the roster with a superstar, Joe Johnson plus Kirilenco. Mavs could be the ideal suitor for Howard but they have to give away Nowitsky. The billionaire is afraid of a fickle superstar perhaps, avoiding to be Odomized for the second time around.

    Bynum is agreeable of being traded to Orly, no word from Howard yet although he is here in LA with his fiancee, It is a possibility he’s reading this blog and evaluating the pros and cons on what Michael H and T. Rogers are saying…. just kidding.

  141. Kevin

    My argument isn’t that Bynum is better then Howard. My argument is that he is way to good to trade if Howard is not going to sign an extension. You just don’t throw that kind of talent away and hope that Howard changes his mind. If we traded for Howard and he walked, it would set us back years.

    As far as size not mattering, I will still side with NBA GM’s who still seem to think it does. Of course what do they know right?

    Miami struggled to beat a hobbled Boston team because Boston had a post game. Even Indy gave them trouble because of it. They ran over OKC because the Thunder doesn’t have one. We can’t match up on the wing with the Heat and Thunder nor can we make enough trades to do it either. I don’t think we are getting Lebron or Durant for Bynum. but we do have an advantage over them inside. With a little more balance you can exploit your advantage like Boston was able to do. And that balance isn’t going to cost us Bynum to get.

  142. Oops, I posted early before Howard called Adrian W of Yahoo Sports….

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–dwight-howard–i-ll-only-re-sign-with-one-team.html

    That could be a game changer unless the “wacko” changes his mind again tomorrow. This is like his FT’s.

  143. rr: schemes took Bynum out the Denver series. Schemes took West and Hibbert out the Indiana series with mainly Battier and LeBron. Coaching can win you a series it’s not all about who has the most talented players or the most size.

    MichaelH: The biggest misconception of being on the side of preferring to trade Bynum rather than Pau is I’m stuck on getting Dwight Howard in return. That’s far from the case. The consensus among Bynum supporters is Howard is the only player worthy trading Drew for. And that’s insane. IF Orlando trades him to Houston what big are they getting in return.

    Jerry Buss traded Shaq for a raw Lamar Odom, raw Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a pick. You read that right Dr. Buss traded a guy who’s 7’1 300+ lbs averaged 30+ pts 13+reb 3+ assists 2+ blocks arguably the most DOMINANT force during a 3 peat championship run for scraps.

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5397513/

  144. @143, Hi Edwin!

    Yeap, I just read that…

    Dwight, hi and BYE!!!

    I’ve been on Bynum bandwagon for many years, decided to jump out of it last season. Nothing specific happened, I just got tired to wait for him to develop into what Jimbo, me and you was expecting him to be.

    BUT, a trade for DH ( and I advocate for this trade before) is a NO-NO!!!! The guy made it clear he wants NJ.

    Good for him. He’s so “smart” making a comitment to a franchise with no history of winning just because he wants to play with DWill.

    What makes him think DWill will be there next season? Because DH is joining the team? DWill, DH and who else? Are the Nets a contender? Well, good luck with that…

    That makes me think of 2 things:

    1) Why players simply just don’t want to be a Laker?
    2)Does DH have any logic in his mind? What makes him think DWill will wait for him in NJ? The team, even with both of them, has no chances to contend for a ring. No depth.

    Bynum is not what I expected him to be, but getting DH for Bynum, at this point, seems to be stupid. The guy doesn’t want to be a Laker. Reasons? Who knows…

    Anyway, I’m cutting DH off of my list. Bad decision maker.

  145. Edwin you have some quality info. My best friend is top sports agent and dosen’t have all this. What in tbe world would we do with Bynam and Howard? That is much worse then AB/PG.

    My info says no way Howard comes here. Not with Kobe taking up 50% of cap. Scola, Lowery is a game changer for us.

  146. Coaching can win you a series it’s not all about who has the most talented players or the most size.

    A series? Maybe. A title? Rarely. Coaching matters in the NBA, but you don’t win the title without the horses. Most of the time, the team that wins has one of the five best players in the league. The Miami/Indiana series that you cited illustrates it perfectly. Miami won mostly because they had Wade and James, and Indiana didn’t. Miami had to to to some different looks on D because Bosh missed the series, but Wade and James carried them.

    I recall after Dallas won in 2011 there was a lot of talk about Dallas’ “stagger screens” and also about their advanced stat analysis being such a huge key to their success. The Tyson Chandler left, a few guys showed their age, Odom cratered, and they were done in RD1.

    All of these things–tactics, stat analysis–do make a difference. But I think for the most part they make the difference between 41 wins and 47 wins, or between losing 4-3 and losing 4-2.

  147. I find it somewhat condemning of Kobe that none of the superstars want to join the lakers. We would still have a viable championship team and they would still get paid if acquired via trades but yet they still don’t want to come. It seems like even Pau and Bynum are indifferent at this point about playing with Kobe.

  148. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

    From the famous words of my friend, I send this 3-word message to Dwight Howard: “Just Do It.”

    Oh wait, thats actually your competitor shoe brand.

    For what its worth, arguing whether Bynum is better than Howard is a moot point. Dwight Howard IS the league’s best center, perhaps even when injured. However, he has also flipped his mind off more times than my wife so I’d rather have the childish and healthy Bynum here if that were the only 2 choices.

  149. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 5:49 am

    ICYMI: http://warrenweelim.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/lakers-doing-the-math/

    Here I talk about the guide to the Lakers’ path to trading.

    Also, look for the Lakers to use TPE to take on more salary this year, but shed more of next season.

    2014 is a real cap space plan.

    Kobe 2yrs 10M per year extension perhaps?

  150. Agreed with Warrens post. Dwight seems to be involved in a lot of controversy where he denies being involved, such as SVG firing, saying he wanted traded last year and then denying it. Denying saying he used the term blackmailed nite. Notice he didn’t deny gerrymandering a trade this time around…yet. I don’t think getting Howard is a major improvement if Drew keeps his head screwed on straight.

  151. Martin + others,
    Trying to find the internal reasons stars wouldn’t want to play for the Lakers is just so much mumbo-jumbo. It is too easy to let your prior biases direct your answer to the question.

    The most probable answer has nothing to do with the players – it has to do with the Laker’s financial situation. The Lakers have one player taking almost $30m out of the pie for the next two years, they simply have to get below the salary cap in 2014/15, they already have probably the toughest alpha dog in the NBA. Any player’s agent will tell them this is not a receipt for them to get paid for the next 3 years, at least.

    People, it’s not personal, it’s just business.

  152. *pure speculation*

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the trigger is pulled on Pau to Houston for a couple of pieces or some other deal with a third team. I *would be surprised if the move is made to swap centers with Orlando. It could happen, but I don’t know that our
    FO is going to take the risk of losing Howard after one season. They will also hold Orlando’s feet to the fire since they are in such a bad position. At the end of the day- they will not get a better single player than Bynum for Howard, but will that be enough?

    Here’s a question. If we make the move for DH12, does CP3 sign an extension with the Clippers? Does he try to force his way onto a team with Howard?

  153. People on here who want Kobe amnestied should end up with finger cramps after typing such heresy. 5 championships in 12 years not enough for you? If Kobe never wins another championship in L.A., I appreciate the championships that he did win. Have some respect. Kobe’s earned the right to be in L.A. with the Lakers as long as he wants. Plus he beat Boston! Never forget, Kobe beat Boston.

  154. Dwight Howard is the only player any analyst says the Lakers should trade Andrew Bynum for. It’s that simple. It’s not just Bynum supporters. In fact… Everyone outside of LA is a Bynum supporter. My Chicago friend said the only people he has ever spoken to that do not feel Bynum is in the same league as Dwight are Orlando fans and Kobe fans. That’s it.

    Most people will tell you Bynum has far greater potential based on games played, age, skill, size, and height. The fact that Howard had career altering back surgery makes it almost silly to trade Bynum for Dwight until Howard proves he can still be the same player. But for Pau… That trade I like ;)

  155. Magic Phil & Ko,

    Just read your post this morning regarding the fickle-minded diva. With his statements to Adrian W. that he will sign with one team only and on others, he will just go through it for one season, IMO there is a violation there on contracts and agreement. He is contractually obligated to do what Magic wants to do whether to trade him or retain him. Since his wished destination on Net is not beneficial to Magic in absence of parity in the trade, Magic has the right to offer him to others teams. However, with his statements he essentially destroys any negotiation with any other team. Therefore, it will limit the bargaining power of Magic. As such, he should be subjected to fines or the contract itself becomes a protracted legal battle. His agent should caution him from making those impulsive interference which could also affect his career.

    If you were the Lakers, Rockets and also Nets, is this guy credible with his commitment with future contracts? If he can renege his relationship with current team, what would prevent him from doing it with their team if his wishes were not granted?

    Lakers got involved with feuding marriage of convenience. Whatever one party suggests, the other remains recalcitrant with tantrum and recommend the opposite. I think we are better of with Andrew Bynum and wait for his full maturity than trusting a fickle superman or super bust!

  156. For the record, I’m glad Kobe is on our team but I am a laker fan before I’m a Kobe fan.I’m grateful for what he has done and we don’t win the titles e did with out him. Yet while I appreciate what he has done for us, he was also paid handsomely for those contributions. Therefore while I am glad he is still here, I will be ready to move on to the next chapter in Lakerdom once he moves on. I just think it is curious that all of the superstars are tagging up but not when Kobe is involved.

  157. 154–What if Kobe himself wants to be amnestied? You can’t imagine that happening?

  158. On the other front, since CP3 has stalled his contract extension with Clippers, Lakers should revisit that botched trade last year with Hornets by asking Clippers to trade CP3 to Lakers for Gasol. Because if Paul would do what Dwight wants to happen i.e. play only for one season then the Clippers would lose a player without an exchange. Rather than doing it in February, Clipper should do it now if Paul continues to delay any offer of extension. Clippers should maximize his trading advantage while he’s still in their possession and get something in return who will be committed to the team, look for the Griffin type of player…hoho!

  159. Wouldn’t he still count against the cap? We just wouldn’t get drilled on the tax. That was my understanding. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to amnesty Metta because we are losing him for nothing other than tax relief. His salary still counts towards the cap.

  160. I’d be shocked if Kobe wants to be amnestied.

  161. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Amnesty – players that have been amnestied in this regard DO NOT COUNT against the cap or tax anymore. Except that you still pay them real dollars.

  162. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Players that are qualified to be bought via our TPE: (excluding rookie contracts)

    Marvin Williams
    Zaza Pachulia
    Jordan Farmar
    Anthony Morrow
    Johan Petro
    Tyrus Thomas
    Desagana Diop
    Matt Carroll
    Rip Hamilton
    Kyle Korver
    Ronnie Brewer
    CJ Watson
    Anderson Varejao
    Luke Walton (LOL)
    Daniel Gibson
    Shawn Marion
    Brendan Haywood
    Vince Carter
    Arron Afflalo
    Al Harrington
    Chris Andersen
    Corey Brewer
    Kosta Koufos
    Timofey Mozgov
    Rodney Stuckey
    Charlie Villanueva
    Tayshaun Prince
    Jason Maxiell
    Jonas Jerebko
    Will Bynum
    Andris Biedrins
    Dorell Wright
    Luis Scola
    Kyle Lowry
    Shaun Livingston
    Jon Brockman
    Dahntay Jones
    Lamar Odom
    Caron Butler
    Ryan Gomes
    Mike Conley
    Tony Allen
    Mike Miller
    Udonis Haslem
    Mario Chalmers
    Joel Anthony
    James Jones
    Shane Battier
    Beno Udrih
    Drew Gooden
    LR Mbah A Moute
    Mike Dunleavy
    Martell Webster
    Brad Miller
    Darko Milicic
    JJ Barea
    Luke Ridnour
    Nikola Pekovic
    Jarrett Jack
    Jason Smith
    Toney Douglas
    Renaldo Balkman
    Kendrick Perkins
    Thabo Sefolosha
    Daequan Cook
    Nick Collison
    Gled Davis
    JJ Redick
    Jason Richardson
    Chris Duhon
    Quentin Richardson
    Thaddeus Young
    Marcin Gortat
    Josh Childress
    Channing Frye
    Hakim Warrick
    Jared Dudley
    Wesley Matthews
    Shawne Williams
    John Salmons
    Marcus Thornton
    Francisco Garcia
    Chuck Hayes
    Travis Outlaw
    Matt Bonner
    Amir Johnson
    Linas Kleiza
    Devin Harris
    Paul Millsap
    Mo Williams
    Raja Bell
    Earl Watson
    Trevor Ariza
    Andray Blatche

    Thats it.