Is Dwight Howard Really An Option? Yes And No.

Darius Soriano —  July 2, 2012

Free Agency has begun and with it, the rumor mill is running at full speed. The Lakers haven’t been active in the sense that they’ve gotten anyone to agree to a contract, but they’re reportedly showing interest in several players – both their own and ones from other teams.

This activity shouldn’t surprise anyone – the Lakers need to improve – and with their limited resources a shotgun approach that canvases the league in search of upgrades is one way to try to fill those holes. Plus, Mitch Kupchak has expressed his desire to hit a homerun this off-season and that requires aggression.

The player whose acquisition would most equate to hitting it out of the park is Dwight Howard. On Friday he met with the Magic’s GM and reiterated the fact that he’d like to be traded. Reports then put the Lakers in the conversation as one of the teams that would like to trade for him. However, since then, reports also state that he only wants to be traded to one team – the Brooklyn Nets – and that they’re the only team he’d commit to long term (either through a contract extension or as a FA when his contract expires). So, this would theoretically put the Lakers out of the equation. After all, if he won’t sign a contract extension with the Lakers (or re-sign with them after next season), the point is moot.

Theoretically.

Long story short, the team that owns Dwight’s Bird Rights is the team that will have the inside track to keeping him long term. The CBA has effectively done two things concerning player movement: First is that it’s made extending current contracts less lucrative than becoming a full fledged free agent and then using your Bird Rights to re-sign with your current team. Second, the CBA has made the difference in Bird Rights contracts and non-Bird Rights contracts bigger, meaning it’s more lucrative than ever before to stay on with the team that holds those rights.

If you had any doubts about this, look at Deron Williams’ stance right now. He’s reportedly deciding between staying in Brooklyn or leaving to play in Dallas. The difference in the contracts the Nets can offer versus the one the Mavs can offer is an extra year and roughly $25 million. Even though a star player can recoup that extra year in his next contract, the proverbial bird in the hand of that extra money and year right now is going to be appealing to any player. Which would explain the reports that Williams is leaning towards staying in Brooklyn.

As for Dwight, what further makes his proclamations about being all in for the Nets complicated is the fact that the Nets are reportedly interested in acquiring other players whose contracts will effectively remove their cap space moving forward. They’ve already inked Gerald Wallace to stay on for the next four years (at $10 million a year) and have Luis Scola and/or Joe Johnson on their radar as well. If either of those deals were to go through, there’s a strong possibility that the Nets wouldn’t have the cap space to sign Dwight outright next off-season. Said another way, if Brooklyn really is Dwight’s preferred destination the need to get there now via trade is very important because getting there as a free agent next summer may not be possible unless he takes less than the max (and potentially way less).

All these potential issues conspire to give Dwight’s next team (even if it’s not the Nets) the leg up in keeping him long term, making the prospect of a Howard rental less daunting. That said, should a team still take that risk?

Last off-season I examined a potential trade for Dwight and all of those positives remain true today. While I remain a Bynum believer – his skill set, size, and improvement trajectory are all impressive – there’s no question that Dwight is the better player. If player A is a multi time all-star, 1st team all-NBA performer, top 5 MVP finisher, and 3 time DPOY while player B is a one time all star and has made the all-NBA 2nd team once, there’s no debate.

But even with all these factors potentially making a Dwight acquisition more than a worthwhile risk, the question still remains if the Lakers should make their push to get the best big man in the game. And that’s where things get murkier. Howard is currently recovering from back surgery – which is still a very big question mark for a player whose athleticism contributes to so much of his success. His recent PR gaffes speak to a person who either gets bad advice or has a hard time sticking to decisions he makes. We often vent about Bynum’s maturity issues, but it seems Howard has some of his own and he’s an even longer tenured player with more experience dealing with the demands of being an NBA superstar. When you combine these factors with his strong intimations that he’d prefer to play in Brooklyn long term (and, by inference, not in Los Angeles) those are a lot of variables to overlook if making him a priority acquisition.

How the Lakers weigh the pros and cons of trying to go after Howard aren’t known. Are they dissuaded enough by him preferring to ply his trade in New York? Does his back worry them? What about his recent run of regrettable flip-flops? Or, maybe they trust in their franchise history and the fact that they’d be able to offer the most money next off-season. Most free agents look at two things: where the most money is and what’s the best situation. When the former is in the Lakers’ favor, it’s been some time since the latter wasn’t also right at (or above) any other teams’ status.

My gut tells me Dwight finds a way to get where he wants. Superstars normally do. But the Lakers must still have the discussion as Dwight’s that good a player and having him means you have one of the best 5 players in the league. That can’t be ignored.

Darius Soriano

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173 responses to Is Dwight Howard Really An Option? Yes And No.

  1. This reasoning makes no sense. If the Lakers can compel D12 to re-sign w/ them, just b/c they acquire his Bird rights, then why can’t Orlando?

  2. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 9:49 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.

  3. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Composite, because he doesn’t want to be in Orlando anymore.

    Apparently he does not want to be in LA either. Weird, Strange but true.

    I cannot deny his skills and ability, but at this point in time, I doubt trading Bynum for Howard, given everything else that we almost HAVE TO absorb in Hedo, is much of an upgrade anyway.

    In a vacuum, a 1:1 deal Bynum for Howard still makes me second guess – but my nose chooses Bynum.

  4. Composite,
    The point is as much about his bird rights as the team he’s like to play for instead. And, I honestly believe if the situation w/ Orlando were repairable (which by all accounts it’s not) they’d hold onto him the way the Lakers did with Kobe going into the 2008 season.

  5. @Martin

    Players in the NBA today are of a different ilk, they’ve grown up playing on all-star travel teams. They sit around dreaming of playing in the NBA and playing with each other.

    The problem with Kobe is that he’s a tweener. He’s between the old school basketball players and this new group of basketball players. Add to the fact that Kobe was never outgoing and social with players as they entered the NBA then you have a player (Kobe) that this new core of basketball players are not clambering to play with.

    He’s pretty much old school to these young players. They want to play against him and beat him, not play with him. Anyone on a team with Kobe will get marginal credit for a win, a conference final or a championship.

    Ahh, but if they play against him and win they get all the accolades plus the glory of having beat one of the greats.

    Kobe has no contemporaries playing in the game today that are relevant. They’re all second fiddles on their teams, if that. Think: Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill, Michael Redd, Cory Maggette, and Jerry Stackhouse. Ray Allen will always be able to shoot, but he and Kobe are rivals. Now, if Kobe could convince Ray Allen to join the Lakers to go after Miami instead of joining Miami…. Ray Allen is just old school enough to take on that challenge.

    Players today would much rather play in low expectation organizations (see D-Ho…maybe). The Lakers are not an organization that one joins to win 40 games a year. It’s an organization where they are expected to win championships.

  6. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Love what Chearn said.

  7. Darius,

    I would also opine the way you put it that a trade for Howard would mean a lease of a player for one season only.

    For that matter, supposing the trade goes thru Lakers would not also want to commit a long term contract on a player who just had a back surgery. Perhaps, they will just go with 2-3 yrs at most in order to clear the contract if his stay does not pan out.

    What I said in the previous thread, Howard is being immaturely impulsive with his careless statement and candidness on what are his plans in the future as sort of retaliation to Magic moves. It reflects on his character which create an impression that he is an unreliable franchise player. Any team would be apprehensive in putting their franchise a virtual captive of a fickle minded superstar, the investment is not worthwhile in the long run.

  8. If the Nets get Johnson and Asik signs with Houston. The only competition next summer if Lakers traded for Dwight is Dallas, Boston and Chicago. Dwight wants to be in a winning situation if the Lakers put him in one the chances of keeping him go up.

    I for one don’t believe everything that’s been said about Dwight. Now days everything is exaggerated. He said before the season started he wanted a trade to Brooklyn he’s never waivered.

  9. Great analysis Chearn. I think your correct but it’s also amplified with Dwight Howard in the sense that he’s already being criticized for basically stealing Shaq’s persona, following Shaq to LA would just amplify it.

  10. Good point chearn. The only reason I brought it up is to ask this question: name another star we can convince to come to LA to play long term while Kobe is here. I don’t think it can happen so we should change our approach and go after smaller ‘parts’. Why not revisit the Houston trade from last year. Scola, Dragic, and Kevin Martin solves a lot of our issues. We get a PG, A PF got the next two years plus a scorer off the bench. This doesn’t destroy the cap and allows us to compete the next two years during kobes window

  11. I don’t know why Kobe is involved in this trading mess. I think Mitch is just working hard in inquiring to every player available that will help the Lakers. No player has mentioned anything that is about Kobe except fickle Dwight in the past.

    Ironically, all players have money objectives and they’re affected by the luxury caps issue of the Lakers which prevents them from getting to Lakers minimalist posture. Any huge trade must go thru Gasol, Bynum and Tpe, other than that they just have to accept the vet minimum and mini mle. Well, all medium stars players are all looking for security under the new CBA rules. They don’t really care whether they will play with Kobe or anybody. The old vet who may be approaching the sunset of their career without a ring would want to join a contending team like the Lakers.

    However, Mitch will not decide today on 2nd day of trading, he will exhaust all alternatives and evaluate the offers and applicants that will fit to Lakers overall advantage.

  12. I don’t think going after DHoward is worth our time. Dude is going to opt out, plus, if I remember correctly, he may not be ready until after the season starts – making him a partial season rental.

    One thing is clear, by publicly expressing his desire to go to Brooklyn and leaking out that Brooklyn is the only place he will sign an extension, he is basically taken out any chance of a Bynum for DWills trade.

    So, like it or not, Bynum is not going anywhere. I for one do not like it. I think he is fragile, immature, lacks professionalism and is lazy. However, I recognize his skill set and understand that the Lakers cannot let him go.

    Although I think Pau has more value to this team than Bynum, the reality is that the Lakers may be better served long term by trading him and getting some solid complementary pieces. This saddens me, but its the reality I think I need to begin to live with.

  13. @ Chern,

    Kobe has contemporaries who are still very effective players, they are Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, & Paul Pierce. And as you know they all play together and as a TEAM went further than Kobe in the post-season this year.

    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, the 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 the 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, $57+ million cap killing salaried , ball hogging, inefficient shooting, quickly fading, “I eat first” Kobe remains. Hmmm, is this just a coincidence?

    So is Kobe the problem or the solution. Just asking…because I know the answer, unfortunately :-( .

  14. Two things have really soured me on D12.

    One, his behavior the last 18 months. As immature as Bynum comes off at times, Dwight’s behavior has been inexcusably unprofessional. This is not a knock on his personality, but rather something to note in terms of his approach to his job.

    Two, his recent back surgery. Bulging discs took Luke Walton out, and his game never relied on athleticism. Dwight’s game is almost entirely reliant on his athleticism. What remains if his otherworldly athleticism is taken away from him?

  15. 1st, I lLove what Chearn said.
    2nd, if I was the Lakers GM, I would trade Bynum for Dwight if I had the chance.
    @Warren, the salary difference between Howard and Bynum is 2.8 mil, LA doesn’t have to take back Hedo

  16. Well, no doubt about it whatever they will say about Kobe, the decision made in 1995 to acquire Kobe was one of the best decisions made by this franchise. His influence to the team helped in generating 5 championships and 7 visits to the Finals. When Lakers were winning nobody was talking about Kobe’s ball hogging, inefficient shooting etc. they all ride with Kobe.

    Second point, why would the action of one player hamstrung the performance of the team? Where is the Coach who would sit him down and design a play for everyone? The moral of the story, they asked Kobe to do the impossible tasks at the end of every possession or the last quarter and if his shooting were bricks, it’s not about the team but about Kobe.

    Thirdly, the Lebronites are busy roasting Kobe because the unselfish Lebron got his first ring. It’s now about Lebron bandwagon and Kobe’s fault why Dwight or Deron could not be included in the Lakers roster. Deron cannot join the Lakers if his team Nets would want to retain him. Dwight has other reasons and it is dangerous to interpret the mind of Dwight because it changes everyday.

  17. Lakers will not get the calls, that’s why nobody wants to come to LA. The NBA is in control now and they say it’s time for the Joker to be the king. Every player knows that, they just don’t say it to not get fined.

    And that’s why EVERY FA “is considering” going to MIA.

  18. I feel like I have seen that post by BigCitySid before. Weird.

  19. Dwight will be super motivated next year regardless what team he’s on. He’s been getting torched for a year now. Looking at recent history star players being portrayed in the media as soft/selfish/washed up ball out the next year. Whoever gets Dwight will be getting one motivated player.

  20. BigCitySid,
    You and I are apparently contemporaries – I started following the Lakers after they drafted Jerry West. I, however, put the following comment near the end of the last thread…

    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.

  21. BigCitySid, since you have been a Laker fan since ’65 I will respect you and not call you names. Kobe isn’t the reason why free agents don’t want to come to LA. In case you have been asleep the last 2 years, there was a lockout and the new CBA has changed the way Business is done in the NBA. Why would free agents flock a team that has ONLY $3 MILLION TO SPEND??? Also, do you think players around the league didn’t notice the salary dumping the Lakers were trying to do last season??? Are you ignorant of the fact that the Lakers ownership is one of the few that doesn’t have deep pockets?? Hopefully as a fan since “1965” you realize that this is the only business the Buss family has. You are not in Dwight Howards head to know what why he doesn’t want to come to LA. Has it occurred to you that the owner of the Nets is a Billionaire?? Do you know how much extra money he can help Dwight make??? If you are an up and coming star, the Nets are the team to be on and one of the reasons is that they are owned by the Richest Owner in the league(trust me on this, Paul Allen isn’t as Rich MP) If you hate Kobe just come out and say it. Don’t hide behind senseless conjecture. If you want to blame Kobe for getting paid a salary that was negotiated in good faith under the terms of the last CBA and that is way less than he is actually worth then I guess there is no way anyone can change your hate for Kobe. Knows this though, Kobe is 1st team all NBA. He was the best player on this team last year. This is America, and we don’t knock people for money they rightfully earned. The man has earned his salary (in fact he is highly underpaid).

  22. #13…You already posted that verbatim and it was nonsensical the first time aroun. It doesn’t need restating. It’s also beside the point—-all these other poor ringless guys who don’t want have to play second banana to Kobe (you know, the guy with 5 titles, still the hungriest, most obsessed, hardest working player in the NBA)- Kobe’s contract is not his fault, he can’t restructure it and there was NO WAY the Lakers weren’t going to give their franchise player, the guy who is going to end his career top five all time with a statue next to Magic’s, a lesser contract. Considering how much money he’s made for the Lakers and the entire NBA as the only guy in the last decade worthy of carrying the “Jordan Mantle”, he’s severely underpaid.

    He EARNED his right to “eat first”.

  23. Here’s the big question that I don’t seem to see asked very often: will upgrading from the second-best center in the NBA to the best center in the NBA put the Lakers over the top? I’m not sure what it does to improve any of LA’s holes, since the post isn’t any area of need.

    It certainly doesn’t seem worth the risk that Howard comes with (both from a contract and an injury perspective).

  24. Say Dwight doesn’t come to the Lakers CP3 stays with Clippers and Deron in Brooklyn. Lakers decide to build around Bynum. What star do you pair with Drew? It took Lakers 4 years to find that guy for Kobe after Shaq.

    Josh Smith? Make a play for Harden in 2 years? Surrond him with role players?

  25. Anonymous (comment 21), like BigCitysid your contemporary, I think you might be slowly losing it. The Lakers don’t have to be under the salary cap in 14/15. You do realize that getting under the Cap doesn’t translate to success right?? Free Agency isn’t the only way to improve your team. Maybe you and BigCitySid need a refresher course on the current CBA. Even if Kobe was making $15 million a year the Lakers would still only have the $3 Million mini midlevel and veteran min contracts to offer. Hopefully you realize that your statement “Any player’s agent will tell them this is not a receipt for them to get paid for the next 3 years, at least” is completely senseless.

  26. Regarding DHoward’s back. Will any team acquiring him get to give him a medical exam and or get to see him play before pulling the trigger on a deal?

    It seems to me that all the trade speculation is based on how he played before the surgery. What happens to his value if his back is deemed to be a an issue that could hinder his future performance?

    I ask because it is assumed that the only way the Lakers could get DHoward is if we offered up Bynum. If his medical diagnosis is not 100%, does that allow us to put Gasol for DHoward deal in play instead? Or, would teams be expected to absorb the risk and roll the dice on DHoward’s future health?

  27. andythesaint, if the Lakers had a Healthy Dwight Howard instead of Bynum the Lakers would have won the NBA championship. That is the gulf between Dwight and Drew. Andrew Bynum is poorly conditioned and that costs the Lakers both on offense and defense. In fact, Ramon Sessions would have thrived playing along a Center who actually can run up and down the court instead of a center whom he has to wait for. Having Dwight on this team would also have reduced Kobe’s usage rate drastically simply by the teams ability to score more in transition.

  28. Craig and Chearn are mostly correct here IMO. I think the 2008 Redeem Team experience was a big deal for some of these guys, and some of them want to keep having variants of it. Paul, Howard, Williams, Bosh, Wade, and James are all more or less the same “generation.” Kobe isn’t part of that and has always been a loner in any case.

    And, Craig is probably right about the money. Even if guys don’t like Kobe, they would come here for the money.

    The problem with guys like BigCitySid is what I call Abbott/Simmons Syndrome. Guys like this really don’t like Kobe, which is OK, but they

    a) Try to justify that analytically
    b) Assume that everyone else, including other NBA players, think about Kobe as much as they do and feel the same way about him.

    So, guys like Sid focus on Kobe too much and miss the big picture. Shaq wanted to be involved in the entertainment biz and he LIKED following Mikan, Wilt, and Kareem. The Lakers went 53-29 the year before they got him and had some decent talent. Kareem was born in NY and went to college in LA, so he wanted to be either there or here.

    Williams in the same way is from Dallas, and may wind up there.

    Finally, if people think that the Lakers have lost their pull with FAs, they might want to look higher up the chain than Kobe. This team is being run by Jim Buss and coached by Mike Brown. That is a little different than what people are used to.

  29. Rusty Shackleford July 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    So what happens next season if the core of this Lakers team is stiil the same (Kobe, Pau, Bynum) and Bynum shows little improvement or even a step back? Obviously the team and Bynum’s agent would be in talks regarding an extension. But at what price? If my eyes weren’t deceiving me I think I saw a headline about Portland offering Roy Hibbert (I like the guy’s game but not for…) a max contract. If there are teams crazy enough to throw that kind of money around it may not be a possibility to keep Bynum. Then all the Lakers would have to show for their investment in him would be 8 years of waiting for potential to blossom.

  30. Joe the Lakers need to be under the cap by 14/15 because of the repeater tax. If the Lakers had roughly the same salary that they did last year through 2014/15 season they would be paying around $70 million in luxury taxes. The Lakers are not going to do that, no matter how good the team is.

  31. Under the situations right now Lakers needs could be fulfilled by any of the following: (This is based on what is rumored on Lakers inquiries:

    PG –
    Calderon
    Billups
    Hinrich
    Ridnour

    (Only one PG out of 4 in consideration)

    Backup PG
    Sessions
    Blake (already with the team)
    Morris ”

    SG Brandon Rush
    Nick Young

    SF/PF
    Beasley
    Rashard Lewis
    Louis Amundson
    Hill

    Derrick Williams

    Therefore, without going for Howard or trading our three bigs, just execute medium level trades plus TPE it is possible to get some of those players and improve Lakers chances. Don’t you think so?

  32. Leo, of course teams would get a chance to examine DHoward medially before finalizing a deal. I’m not sure that he’s recovered enough to be involved with a “workout” (or if his agent would allow him to do so).

    I believe that the medical exam would likely come back that he is or will be healthy enough to play. However, the diagnosis will likely not be such that it provides any guarantees that he will be 100% of his old self.

    In other words the Magic will still demand a premium in return for him and any and all risk will be born by the acquiring team.

  33. BigCitySid and other Kobe bashers, Ric Bucher is reporting that Dwight wants to be a Brooklyn Net because he wants more say in decisions for the franchise, something the Lakers wont give him. So keep talking trash about Kobe. Keep ignoring the fact that all of the NBA was stunned that the Lakers didn’t consult the most Venerable of current NBA Stars before hiring a Coach. Or that they didn’t inform him of any of the trades they pulled the last 12 months. Ignore all that and keep talking trash about a Man who has brought this franchise 5 rings. You think NBA Star players aren’t saying to themselves, “If they could do that Kobe, why wouldn’t they do that to me”?

  34. Lakers are competing with the star power of Blake Griffin for at least the next half decade. Mostly fickle Lakers fans own the lower bowl. Sterling is liking how things are playing out for the Lakers. Bynum vs Griffin.

  35. Rusty,

    I think it is 99.9% certain that Bynum, barring another serious knee injury, will get a max deal or very close, either here or elsewhere. Whether it should be the Lakers who give it to him is an open question, but teams will still pay for quality size.

  36. Ryan, there is a difference between the “Luxury Tax Level” and the “Salary Cap”. Lakers only have to get under the “Luxury Tax Level” to avoid paying the Luxury tax. They don’t need to go below the Salary Cap to do that.

  37. rr,
    I can tell you for a fact BigCitySid is right. My good friend is with a sports agency. Every player I’ve spoken with said nobody wants to play with Kobe anymore. They respect him… But all say the same thing… “Kobe isn’t fun to play with. He never was. But before he would pound the ball and get double teamed and would get his teammates shots. Now he doesn’t get his teammates shots so there is no reason to go to LA.”

  38. “andythesaint, if the Lakers had a Healthy Dwight Howard instead of Bynum the Lakers would have won the NBA championship.”
    —-

    Joe Atlanta,

    You can’t be serious with the quote above. Switching out Bynum for Howard does nothing to address the lack of speed on the perimeter. Westbrook, Harden, and Durant would have still eaten the Lakers up. Dwight’s defense can’t cover that much ground.

    Plus, switching out centers does nothing to address LA’s dismal outside shooting. With no shooters Dwight would have never seen the kind of space here he saw in Orlando. He would have had a player sitting in his lap every time down just like Bynum.

    Last thing, Howard was injured in the later part of the year. He would not have even been on the floor in the series against Denver which mostly means a first round exit. We are starting to over value Howard the same way we are over valuing Williams.

  39. Aaron,

    Whatever. Unless you are willing to give up names and quote people directly (and I can see why you wouldn’t be) there is no reason at all for me to believe you, and what we are talking about here is a group of 26-28 year-old stars, that want to be on the same teams and can, for the most part, pick and choose who they play for. For reasons outlined ad nauseum (cap, Brown/Buss, age) the Lakers don’t fit that.

    Finally, we will never know what would have happened with Howard if Paul had come here. Even if these gusy all hate Kobe, my guess is that Paul’s presence would have overridden that.

    Second, third, and fourth-tier players, OTOH, will generally go where the money is and where they can get PT. The Lakers have none of the former and except at PG, little of the latter. People may not like Kobe, but money and PT are money and PT.

    As to the idea that you have inside information from sports agents, I suspect if that is true, that it comes from people who represent Andrew Bynum–because as I have said before, you talk about Bynum as if you are his agent.

  40. rr,
    Yes, Dwight Howard was only willing to play in LA if Chris Paul was here pkaying PG. it’s not rocket science. Nobody wants to play with a ball stopper who no longer attracts extra defenders opening things up for his teammates.

  41. Good point, Chearn @ #5. Case in point when Raja Bell spurned Kobe during free agency signings in the past.

  42. rr,
    And also yes… I won’t give up the agency or the pkayers names cause I don’t want to get my friend in trouble. I will throw Shane Battier under the buss though since he was the last player I spoke to (unrelated to my friend and his agency). Battier said nobody wants to play with Kobe when I was trying to get him to LA six years ago while at a bar on sunset.

  43. @ Aaron

    I think the notion that Kobe doesn’t open things up for his teammates was pretty thoroughly debunked by the precipitous drop in Pau’s and Drew’s FG% and overall efficiency when Kobe was out near the end of the year.

    And by the way–the “ball stopper” you are talking about was second among shooting guards in dimes per game–I can live with a “ball stopper” at SG with that stat

  44. People act like everybody was falling over backwards to play with Jordan back in the day. If I remember correctly, A LOT of players did not like Jordan because of his hyper competitiveness. In fact, had Pippen not willingly taken a backseat to Jordan, I’m sure we would be looking at a Michael Jordan with less than 6 championship rings.

    Kobe is just like Jordan: Love to have him on your team but must be a pain in the rear to have as a teammate.

  45. Warren, Darius –

    Here’s my confusion.

    D12 doesn’t want to stay in Orlando. He’d rather take less $$ and leave.

    So, let’s say ORL trades D12 to LA, but he’s already said he doesn’t want to come to LA.

    If he’s willing to take less $$$ and leave Orlando, why wouldn’t he be willing to take less $$$ and leave LOS ANGELES?

  46. Let’s stop blaming Kobe he’s not the problem but will be part of the solution.

  47. I see Joe Atlanta has already provided a spirited Kobe defense, so I will just concur and state that the greatest Laker is not the problem.

    Further – I see rr has made the following statement: “if people think that the Lakers have lost their pull with FAs, they might want to look higher up the chain than Kobe. This team is being run by Jim Buss and coached by Mike Brown.”

    No need for me to bash the FO after that succinct reference.

    This all makes it easy to be the new friendlier Robert: Go Lakers

  48. MindCrime,
    So that’s how you got your name. It’s a mental criminal offense to think the way you do.

  49. Composite,
    My reasoning was/is that if his list of teams he’ll play for is only “The Nets” then he’ll have an issue getting there if they no longer have the cap space to sign him. So, that makes his Bird Rights more important b/c he’ll now only be choosing between teams that weren’t on his “list” AND taking less money. Whereas, if the Nets could still sign him outright, he’d be giving up the money, but not giving up his destination. That’s why I said it’s a combination of his Bird Rights and the team he’d like to play for no longer being an option.

  50. and by criminal offense I mean I don’t think there is anyone who thinks Kobe is getting extra defenders thrown at him like he used to. And who doesn’t think Kobe is a ball stopper?

  51. rr @40: Aaron does talk about Bynum like he is his agent, which explains why he is bashing Kobe “repetitively” at
    38, 41, 43, 49, + 51. This is a preview of next year. Only AB’s agent will be a lot more annoying.

  52. Yes – Kobe is a ball stopper – that is why he has 12 All NBA Defensive selections including 9 First Team Selections.

  53. We just sign Darius Morris!!!!

    Our problems are solved…

    /s

  54. Darius (and anyone else weighing on this issue),

    If the CBA gives “Bird right” teams the ability to make a significantly more lucrative offer, then why is Orlando “forced” to trade D12? Especially if Nets (or other preferred destination) have no cap room?

  55. @ Aaron:

    Respectfully, man, you are the one whom has made “efficiency” and other stats the be all end all of discussions on this board in annointing Drew as the best player on this team and the potential second-coming of all manner of all-time-great big men. I find it somewhat humorous that, when confronted with statistics that fail to fit your narrative, you are reduced to namecalling. (By the way-the name is a shameless steal from one of my favorite rock albums of all time, but I digress).

    Do I agree that Kobe isn’t gettting defenders thrown at him “like he used to….”? Of course I do–individual defenders are constantly getting bigger, stronger, quicker, and better than the guys who Kobe faced in the beginning, and he isn’t as strong, quick, or good as he used to be–time always wins after all–but that wasn’t your statement–your statements were that (1) Kobe doesn’t create shots for his teammates and (2) doesn’t attract extra defenders–those are absolute statements (and factually false ones, might I add), not comparison with halcyon days past—

    Regarding the “ball stopper” discussion—the “chicken vs egg” nature of that debate is at least a decade long, and neither you nor I are going to resolve it today–suffice to say that Kobe holds the ball too long at times, and Kobe also gets “teammate grenades” lobbed at him at times….Darius and other mods have broken this issue down better than I can anyway, so I’ll leave it to them

  56. RT @Chris_Broussard: If Hawks-Nets deal goes through, Nets are no longer in race for Dwight Howard. Cap room for D12 will be gone.
    23 minutes ago

    There is also an article up at ESPN quoting Howard, saying his “wish list is one team”–the Nets.

  57. “Dwight blew it in March”. A Nets source to Chris Broussard

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8124182/brooklyn-nets-land-joe-johnson-trade-atlanta-hawks-sources-say

    Nets & Hawks agree on a deal for Joe Johnson, essentially killing any Dwight to Brooklyn scenario. They’ll have no cap space to sign him outright after this season, nor do they have any assets to trade for him this year.

    Serves Dwight right. Although I have no idea why the Nets would rather have Joe Johnson’s horrible contract than Howard.

    EDIT:

    Dear Dwight,

    A list with only one name is not a list at all, but rather just a single name.

    Sincerely,
    The Dictionary
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/list?s=t

  58. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–nets-near-deal-to-acquire-joe-johnson-from-hawks.html;_ylt=Ak6uXbEzxC4BBnAg.SLQ0oq8vLYF

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt!!!!!

    Everything is breaking right for the Lakers Espicially if Deron goes to Brooklyn.

    Hawks look to be having a firesale. Go get Dwight and Smith NOW!!

  59. Battier said nobody wants to play with Kobe when I was trying to get him to LA six years ago while at a bar on sunset.

    ___

    Guess Battier doesn’t hang out with Ron Artest. Seems odd, given how similar they are.

    Like I said: money and PT are money and PT.

  60. it looks like the nets and hawks have agreed on a deal contingent on a few things. They realize that trading for Howard is a long shot because the magic don’t want what the nets are offering so they decided not to wait on him.

    If the deal goes through can the Nets trade Johnson to Orlando. If they can, I still don’t see Orlando wanting Johnson’s contract because it will hinder rebuilding efforts.

    This also may reopen the trade possibilities for Josh Smith because they have some extra players they could sweeten the deal with for gasol.

  61. Composite,
    Orlando isn’t forced to trade him. As I responded to you earlier, if the situation had any hope of being repaired I think they’d try to keep him. However, you can only be told so many times that “I want to be traded” and deal with the ramifications of that (a fractured locker room, strained chemistry, the prospect of losing an elite player for nothing but cap space) and decide that it’s better to keep the player on the team.

    Orlando is now seeking to trade him so this is moot, really. I don’t know where Dwight will end up. Maybe it’s Houston (as Hollinger suggests), maybe it’s with the Lakers, or maybe it’s a team that we don’t yet know. But I think whichever team ends up with him now has the advantage to keep him since this Joe Johnson to the Nets deal looks like it’s going to happen.

  62. The gamble is worth taking now. Lakers are already coming to bat with the bases loaded. Knock this out the park Mitch.

  63. Go get Dwight and Smith NOW!!

    ____

    It would make sense, if ATL and ORL would do it. Smith’s and Howard’s deals both run out after this year. In 2013, if they wanted to stay, the Lakers could keep them. If they didn’t…amnesty Kobe and you are well under the cap in July 2013.

    But that is a huge IF up there. Rob Hennigan probably does not want his first big move to be putting Dwight Howard in a Laker uniform.

  64. Robert,
    I’m not bashing Kobe. He is a ball stopper and the best SG in the NBA since Wade is hobbled but is no longer one of the top ten best players in the world and can no longer be the best player on the championship team (made obvious by the fact he no longer gets double teamed.

    MindCrime,
    Bynum’s PER was higher (more efficient) in the few games Kobe missed… Although the sample size was very small. Since Bynum isn’t a PnR Center and doesmt rely on teammates to get him shots it shouldn’t really matter if Kobe is on the floor with him since Kobe no longer gets double teamed and no longer breaks down defenses off the dribble. The only thing that will effect Andrew’s effectiveness in a possitive way are guys
    who can shoot well from behind the arc (not Kobe) and guys who can get into the lane and set Drew up for easy dunks (not Kobe).

    rr,
    Exactly… RonRon is the crazy guy who wanted to play with Kobe. And for that I will always love him.

  65. Kevin – I still don’t see how getting DHoward without any other change in personnel makes us a better team. Look, I dislike Andrew Bynum’s attitude, but would a straight up swap really immediately solve our issues?

  66. It will be interesting to see what happens to both Howard and Smith. If the Nets do trade for Joe Johnson then that will take Howard out of their immediate plans. I could see us chasing either Howard or Smith but not both. With both we would still have the same weaknesses. While defensively we would be better, we would struggle offensively. Howard needs the floor stretched to be effective. And Smith is also more effective inside. He is not a good jump shooter. Pau and Andrew are our only real trade chips and one of them would need to be moved to bring back multiple players to balance the team. Personally I still think we will trade with the T Wolves or Huston. We have already turned down the Hawks deal for Smith.

  67. @ Aaron–and his shooting percentage was abysmal by comparison–maybe the easy shots weren’t as easy to come by in the ball hog’s absence…..

    Frankly, I cannot fathom that we are having this argument still on this board (maybe on an ESPN game thread you will see the Kobe-bashing and Kobe-cannoizing insanity, but folks are usually a little more even keel here)–this isn’t some “absolute right/absolute wrong” debate–not everything is so easy–Kobe is great–AND Kobe is flawed. This isn’t a zero sum game…

  68. MannyP: When Mitch was talking about a home run he wasn’t talking about a one move. The veto as many have said was a package deal for cp3 and dwight. Lakers are looking to do something big.

    I’m assuming it’s still an option. If Lakers trade for Dwight they can not be so greedy and revisit this deal.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/19459036/report-hawks-turned-down-pau-gasol-josh-smith-trade-due-to-lakers-high-price

  69. Howard is much quicker and more mobile than Bynum is, and plays better team defense, if, of course, he is healthy.

    One thing to look at: last year, the Lakers were dead last in the NBA in TOs forced. Bynum’s career steal average is 0.5. Howard’s is 1.0, and was 1.5 last year. It is a small thing, but it matters. Bynum is a good rim protector, but Howard is much more disruptive. And the Lakers sorely need disruptive defenders.

    It doesn’t solve everything, though, and while there is a gap between a healthy and engaged Howard and Bynum, it is not Grand Canyon-sized.

  70. D12: As much as I wanted D12 last year – he wasn’t the answer to all of our issues. However, if he is healthy, he would upgrade us more significantly than any other single action, sans getting Deron or Nash.

    mindcrime: Is that Queensryche? – I just saw them not too long ago.

    rr: If Nets are out and the D12 list is one team – does that mean he is retiring? : )

    Magic Phil @54: I felt the same way last year when I saw headlines last year that we signed JM, TM, or JK.

  71. rr: If Nets are out and the D12 list is one team – does that mean he is retiring? : )

    ___

    I have no idea what it means; I don’t see why Williams would commit to this team:

    1 Williams
    2 Johnson
    3 Wallace
    4 Humphries
    5 Lopez

    That is a pretty decent team, but it is a 4th-5th seed with no financial flexibility–IOW, the Lakers or the Hawks, more or less.

    Howard is from ATL–maybe the Hawks are going to try for him, like I said in the email.

  72. @ Robert–Guilty as charged–one of the ultimate “musician’s bands” and one of the first world tours to really incorporate multi-media into live rock performance (the “Livecrime” tour supporing “Operation Mindcrime” in the early 90′s) I love me some Geoff Tate–although recently the band parted ways with Geoff tate and Todd LaTorre has taken over as frontman–sad really–Tate had one of the coolest voices and an unbelieveable range…..

  73. #69 D12′s #2 option is Dallas.

    Apparently the Lakers are just “in the mix” with the 28 other teams.

    Frankly, I don’t want Dwight Howard. I’m holding out hope for Iggy and a better PG.

  74. Trade for Dwight and trade Gasol for Scola/Martin/Lowry (or Dragic if possible). Maybe throw in Morris or Goudelock.

    Lowry/Kobe/MWP(or Hedo)/Scola/Howard with Martin off the bench is clearly a better team than what we have now. Also, people forget that Howard is only two years older than Bynum. Lowry is only 25. Lowry’s salary is cap-friendly, Martin’s contract is expiring, and Scola’s contract is cheaper than Gasol’s and only one year longer. Stop giving away draft picks, and our future shouldn’t be too bleak.

    Also, I think Howard’s injury gives us an advantage in these trade talks. He’s a risk on some level.

  75. #69 D12?s #2 option is Dallas.

    __

    Perhaps, but he is quoted today as saying his “wish list” is one team and Orlando can move him to any team they choose.

  76. I don’t really get why people want Dwight to come to LA, our problem is PG and 3 pt shooting, adding Dwight will upgrade our Center but that doesn’t change the fact that we still need 3pt shooter and a defensive PG, in some extend adding Dwight will lead to more issue when it come to getting new personnel added to the roster.

  77. I don’t really get why people want Dwight to come to LA, our problem is PG and 3 pt shooting, adding Dwight will upgrade our Center but that doesn’t change the fact that we still need 3pt shooter and a defensive PG, in some extend adding Dwight will lead to more issue when it come to getting new personnel added to the roster.

    The best solution is trade either Bynum or Pau for two or even three solid contributors. The Heat for example have three 16 millions players that is like 12 millions less than what Lakers three allstars combine, or one more solid players.

  78. Lowry shot 40% last year. And Scola grabbed 6 rebs and has bad knees. Houston doesn’t want Pau anymore they have gone young. And we shouldn’t want those players.

  79. Toli is spot on above. Swaping Bynum for Howard is the least effective way of upgrading the team. Swaping Gasol for two or three quality players (as someone noted above) would seem to be much more effective.

    What good is having Howard when teams will simply clog the lane against him the same way they do Bynum now? What real difference are people expecting this guy to make? If LA’s shooters are still firing blanks at the rate they did in the playoffs then Howard won’t make one bit of difference.

  80. 79 — Bynum also has bad knees, and Kobe. That’s what happens in the NBA–players get hurt, players have issues with injuries.

    Rebounding shouldn’t be much of a problem with Dwight Howard on our team.

    Kyle Lowry is an upgrade over what we have now. He’s a better defender than Sesh, and possibly has a higher ceiling.

    Houston wants to win. And they don’t like tanking (plus they don’t own their 2013 pick, though it is lottery protected). I’m sure they’d still appreciate Gasol, especially considering his contract isn’t too long. So they’d have a flexible future.

    Depth is an issue on our team, and I think those Rockets’ players would help in that department, so I don’t see why we “shouldn’t” want those players.

  81. TRogers: What quality players would Lakers get in return for Pau? Please don’t say Williams, Beasley, Ridniour that takes Lakers furthur out of contention.

    The Pau deal was a once in a lifetime deal. Lakers aren’t making out like bandits in future deals.

  82. There’s no doubt that our chances to land D12 just went through the roof. To answer the question of “why D12,” the answer should be simple–if you can essentially trade a borderline all-star for a sure-fire hall-of-famer in his prime, straight across, you did it EVERY DAY of the year (as much as I love Bynum–ORL does too).

    If we land D12, you don’t move Pau until you get D12 signed and locked-down. Pieces like Toronto’s that would add depth and three-point shooting would then look pretty nice in a Pau swap…

  83. LBc, he is not that player today. NBA players who are in their primes don’t care that Kobe scored 81 points in 2006. They are thinking about right now and the next few years.

    Kevin,

    Those guys don’t put the Lakers over. But Bynum for Howard is basically a lateral move. That means a second round exit next Spring.

  84. The new chatter is Atlanta getting into the Howard sweepstakes. He is from Atlanta and his best friend plays there. Ferry I currently clearing cap space, so even if they can’t swing a trade they will be able to sign him next summer. Howard, Horford, Smith and Teague would be a powerful line up. Unless they send Horford to the Magic for him this year.

  85. Great trades for NJ. They will have a hell of a lineup next year with Dwight. I mean wow. Second best team in NBA. Close to Heat. Heat just have the best player ever so they have the leg up. The Nets Russian owner has money to spend.

    T Rogers,
    Well yes and no… You don’t need shooters around Howard if you are just going to throw it down to him in the post as he doesn’t get double teamed very often in the paint because he isn’t dominant with his back to the basket. But you do need shooters around Dwight for him to be effective on offense because he is a PnR Center who needs space to operate when he rolls to the basket. Teams would just collapse the paint on the PnR ad force Dwight’s teammates to shoot from the outside.

  86. Aaron, I pray the Lakers trade Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum. I honestly do. Lets see how far a team with Bynum as a #1 option will go. (Also to get you off this Blog and on to the Orlando magic Blog). We are talking about an Andrew Bynum that got out played by Javale McGee and got out muscled by Perkins. I do not believe for a second that Shane Battier had a conversation with you however lets assume you are right. Why do I care what Shane battier says??? Derek Fisher who is the Players Union President loves Kobe like no other. Players who dont want to play with Kobe are lazy players. You sound like the dumb people at my place of work who get mad at others who are hardworking, Andrew Bynum is a slow lazy player who has had only one good season. When (not if but when) he gets injured next i need you to come on this blog and apologize for your mental analysis. Andrew Bynum has knocked knees. Please show me 5 great centers (with long careers) with knocked knees?? If the Lakers have a trade for Dwight Howard they would be insane not to pull the trigger. Andrew Bynum is over rated, plain and simple. Also if Mike Brown is going to stay Coaching Andrew bynum isnt the center for this team. We all forget that just 2 years ago Phil Jackson suggested putting Bynum on the same 24 mins count that the Houston Rockets put Yao Ming.

  87. Adrian Wojnarowski ?@WojYahooNBA
    Asked prominent GM: Who’d you rather have in deal for Dwight Howard – Bynum or Horford? A: “Horford, ‘cause I know he’ll play every night.”

    here is our best or 2nd best center in the league

  88. Aaron, I guess despite your many ties to NBA Player agents you have no idea how player acquisition works. Please how in the world is Dwight Howard going to end up on the Nets next season??? By signing the Mini Mid Level Exception???

  89. Just listened to Bucher on 710. Sounds as if the people he’s talking to feel Lakers are overvaluing their players. “They seem to be looking through purple and gold lenses”.

    That goes hand in hand with cbs saying Hawks turned down a swap because Lakers were asking for too much. Or Lakers turning down a deal for Rondo that LA Times reported.

    I bet Jim is handling the calls. Mitch knows fair value and good deals.

  90. I find it amazing that Atlanta is able to get rid of Joe Johnson and arguably the 2nd worst contract in the history of the NBA (Rashard Lewis has to be the worst) plus uber-failure Marvin Williams and his equally bad contract and we still have Pau Gasol. Now that Utah has front court players Williams, Jefferson, Milsap, Favors and Kanter is there any way we can replace Gasol with one of them (Milsap) and obtain Lowry? Houston is getting rid of Scola, has already signed Asik so Pau will definitely fit into their plans. All they need to do is ship Kevin Martin to Utah and we all have the teams we desire. Pull the trigger GMs!!!!

  91. Aaron said: “Well yes and no… You don’t need shooters around Howard if you are just going to throw it down to him in the post as he doesn’t get double teamed very often in the paint because he isn’t dominant with his back to the basket. But you do need shooters around Dwight for him to be effective on offense because he is a PnR Center who needs space to operate when he rolls to the basket. Teams would just collapse the paint on the PnR ad force Dwight’s teammates to shoot from the outside.”

    This analysis by Aaron is all you need to know about his IQ. Andrew Bynum is not a PnR Center but he is a mental midget when it comes to figuring how to deal with defenses collapsing on him and you saw Denver have great success doing that against him. Collapsing defense isnt a unique ploy employed against only PnR center.
    If you understood basket ball you would understand that if a Center simply sprints up court, he will get the ball in deep position and that eliminates all the nonsense you are saying.
    There is a reason why Shaq got less effective as he got heavier and slower.
    An active center equals a highly effective center; case closed.
    Your idol/darling Bynum couldn’t beat anyone in a foot race and that is his greatest shortcoming (next to his legs) and thats why the Lakers would be foolish not to take the faster and more agile center if the trade presents itself.

    Dude, suggesting that Howard needs shooters to succeed is like saying a car needs fuel to move. Did you watch the finals? The Heat won cos of shooters. Did you watch the playoffs last year?? Dallas trounced the competition cos they were shooting lights out.

    Please stop stating the obvious. Go to your agent friends for better material.

  92. Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum makes little sense for Los Angeles.

    It is certainly a move that would supply the Lakers with the exact problems as this past season. Aside from Dwight being a better athlete than Bynum, it’s clear that Bynum’s offensive arsenal far outweighs Howards.

    Bench support is the key for the offseason. Kobe, Bynum and Pau are solid. MWP helps on the wing and hopefully Sessions gets re-signed.

    Blake is a solid backup who can stretch the floor and if Jordan Hill can return that is a solid core. After that, there is nothing which leads us to the true weakness of this team.

    Let’s hope management keeps their eyes on the target and doesn’t get caught up with trades on the east coast.

    Bench support, bench support, bench support. Solid role players who can play valuable minutes and offer the first unit some rest.

  93. Kevin: Love the last sentence of 90. I am trying to reduce such statements of my own – but I believe I can cheer others without breaking my pledge to Darius.

    Joe Atlanta: You must have missed it when half the board thought we were going to get KG for the MLE : ) And some are still hoping for Nash under the same.

    D12: Stating that D12 does not solve our shooting issues is not very profound, because if we do not trade for him – we still have the same shooting issues. Trading Bynum for Howard has nothing to do with 3 pt shots.

  94. Anyone thinking that playing with Kobe is not a pain is just plain crazy. He is in search of a sixth championship to cement HIS lore. As a team mate, you are not playing for the love of the game, you are playing for a purpose, Kobe’s purpose. As such, you are yelled at, scolded, basically broken down and told that you don’t know how to play the game and then you watch this guy go out and make wild plays one after another. He will take long jump shots over bigs that have perfect position. You watch him freeze out players who have missed two shots when he has missed 10 in a row, you watch him take shots while another player is on fire. Kobe is an old school dinosaur and today’s younger players don’t want play under that kind of pressure.

  95. “D12: Stating that D12 does not solve our shooting issues is not very profound, because if we do not trade for him – we still have the same shooting issues. Trading Bynum for Howard has nothing to do with 3 pt shots.”

    So what’s the point of letting valuable time pass and valuable players get picked up only to persue a guy who addresses none of the team’s biggest needs? By the time a deal gets done any decent players that could have been put around Howard through a Gasol deal will be off the market. That is even moreso since it seems the Lakers are over valuing Gasol.

  96. To add to the notion that players don’t want to play with 24… I think, before, players were intrigued to play for Phil Jackson. Now, no one wants to play for Kobe (this is Kobe’s team, not Brown’s).

  97. As to Aaron newest claim to inside.
    .
    My 20 year best friend is with CAA. That all sign a confidentality agreement to NOT discuss any pending deal nor negotiations about agency personal. I guarantee that they are not going to jepordise their job and career for some guy blogaholic in LA who brags he makes half of his income from betting.

    No way, no how and I will bet real money on that. Enough with BS coming from a mail clerk or tbe valet who parks the cars.

  98. BusBoys: As stated repeatedly above, and for the last 16 years, the Kobe discussion has no end and there are Haters and there are Overzealous Fans like me, with very little in the middle. That said we have had many players come here during Kobe’s tenure. D12 is in fact the only significant player who “might” not want to come perhaps due to Kobe. CP3 did not seem to upset for the 1 day he was coming here. In fact he was pretty upset at the veto if I remember. The main issue we have is cap space. Star players do no come for the MLE. As rr stated – it is about money and we do not have any due to our cap situation. We can only change significantly by trading.

  99. Jesse P, you are delusional if you think players wanted to play for Phil Jackson. The Triangle is a complex system that even Gary Payton hated the year he came here. Stop speculating. Stop making inaccurate assumptions. How can you say a team that has only the 3mil exemption and veteran min is not getting free agents because of Kobe??? And to add to all that the Buss’ dont have deep pockets. smh, come on people

  100. Robert that’s true but I feel it’s also true that a team led by a owners son with zero history in the game and a coach who has proven in Cleveland and here that the “star is the king” and the coach is their towell holder has a great deal to do with not wanting to come here.

    If you were a star would you come to a team who primary goal is to”cut payroll” and it’s offense is controlled by one player?

  101. Robert just to add to what you said, no one can say for a fact that Kobe is the reason why D12 doesn’t want to come to LA. Ric Bucher said it was about having say when it come to decisions is the reason he doesn’t want to come to LA. Also, people forget that with the New CBA only true deep pocket owners will attempt to cross the Luxury tax threshold to acquire players. In opinion if I were Dwight I would want to go to New Jersey for 2 reasons; 1. The owner is the NBAs Richest and most powerful, 2. Expectations wouldn’t be as high.

  102. “Kobe is an old school dinosaur and today’s younger players don’t want play under that kind of pressure.”

    I think that sentence says it all. It defines the difference between comfort and commitment. It is the committed players who win championships – see Lebron. Dedication and genius in any line of work or play is always hard to get along with. Magic had a smile, but look away and you got a bullet to the back of your head. Kobe doesn’t work the media – neither did Kareem – but that has nothing to do with his work ethic or his ability to drive others to win. If you don’t want that kind of pressure, then I don’t want you on my team – period, end of discussion.

    Even Lebron had to decide whether he wanted to be more like Carmello or more like Kobe. It is not about being nice, it is about being good. Incidentally, being good doesn’t mean nightly visits to ESPN highlights – see Tim Duncan.

  103. Ko, how many players control the Clippers offense??? How many players control the Chicago Bulls offense??

  104. Damn, Scola deal to Brooklyn just died.

  105. One other thing on players not wanting to come to the Lakers. Over the last week I heard both D Will and Nash say the same thing. They both said that they both hated the Lakers so much because of the battles they have had that it would be weird for them to play for them. That seems reasonable. How many years in a row did we eliminate Utah? Maybe it’s just to hard to go play for your hated rival.

  106. 96 — Why wouldn’t players want to play for the greatest coach of all time? Others have said players have come to the Lakers simply because of the honor of playing for the Lakers, you don’t think players would want to play for the greatest coach of all time? A winning coach, that knows how to get to the promise land? Everyone knows winning a ring with the Lakers earns them big money (e.g. Ariza), and of course, Phil knew how to get to most out of his players…

    Players know that this current team, on the court, is basically being run by Kobe. They know this, even we know is. C’mon, we SEE it, with our own eyes. We saw all of Kobe this season, a lot of shying away from the system. A lot of Kobe not letting Sessions do his thing. A lot of Gasol/Bynum not getting rewarded in the post. All of our opinions could be interpreted as ‘speculation’, but you can’t tell me this team is run by Mike Brown’s system. Unlike the Phil Jackson days, when PJ at least had some control of the team with his system.

  107. Why anyone would trade Bynum for Howard after a back surgery and reports that he doesn’t want to play for the Lakers baffles me. Bynum may not have the “motor” of Dwight, but he is incredibly skilled and I would not trade him at this point for anyone who would be available.

    Extend Bynum and trade Pau for a package of a stretch 4 and a PG (TOR) and lets go to war with the 5 time champ and one of the greatest Lakers ever. I stopped counting KB24 out a long time ago. He will deliver again.

  108. Playing with Kobe is not playing with anyone else now that Phil and Fisher are gone. There is no one here to real him in. No one to control his temptations to place his stamp on a game. Most are teams who a led by individuals who can take over games are place trust empower team mates to become winners and win games as a team. There is a difference in playing for a Tim Duncan led team, a MJ team, a Magic Team, or even a Bird led team. Kobe tends to try and win by himself. Even with Shaq, who was all world in all but the 4th quarters (no free throws) he had to stake him claim. The truth of the matter is without the timely contributions of Derrick Fisher, Ron Artest, Paul Gasol and Trevor Ariza, Kobe never gets the last two championships.

    Putting LeBrawn into the category of true winners is perposterous because he has only won one title. He is yet to be a force or a person who knows what it takes to win multiples.

    I am by no means a Kobe Hater. I consider myself a Kobe Realist.

  109. More than one Kobe realist post on this board. And I’m not into fantasy b-ball like so many others here. I’m for championships, not scoring titles. Kevin Garnett is just as hungry, just as old school, if not more, as Kobe. Yet he realizes he can’t do it alone. Something I don’t believe Kobe wants to admit. I’ll post a few interesting stats for those of you have “Kobe is God” syndrome. He’s not the 1st Laker to be a major part of 5 titles, Kareem, Magic, & Mikan did it also.

  110. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJvtHaDzO0w

    Wasn’t too long ago but it seems so far away.

  111. I am by no means a Kobe Hater. I consider myself a Kobe Realist.

    ___

    Perhaps, but that post is 95% standard Haterade. Kobe is the key part of the team; but the other guys, and the coach and the FO bear responsibility as well. The basic trait of Haters is that they make everything about Bryant. They’re wrong.

  112. stub·born

    adjective?/?st?b?rn/?

    1. Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so

    …Personally, I’m not saying it’s Kobe’s ‘fault’. I’m calling it like I see it.

  113. Lakers are making me pay for their new channel they need put a winning product on the floor.

    Kobe is about winning. He’s a scorer he plays to win and we’ve seen him win 5 times. Don’t get why his attitude towards basketball is questioned. He’s a warrior who’s played through all kinds of injuries pay substanial amounts of money to fly overseas and better his body so he can win for US FANS. He never cheats us. Get over it!!

    The better the teams Kobe has been on the less he’s shot go look it up. And Brown admittingly said “I gave Kobe the green light”. To get Lakers through the first part of the season because of no training camp. I don’t think Kobe is the problem. Not having a defensive presence from the 2nd best center in the league should be more talked about than a proven winner.

  114. JesseP: Want to show the definition of loafing, injuries and potential to Bynum.

  115. I’d be satisfied with a Lakers team that’s fun to watch the next 2-3 seasons until some massive contracts come off the books. Then, maybe they can build another contending team.

    Stated another way: (“forget”) Dwight Howard.

  116. Let me just say, and I think many others feel the same way…I’m a huge Kobe fan, I really am, I am even a Kobe-homer of sorts, as I still wholeheartedly believe he’s a top 3 player in the league…

    BUT, his style of play is not helping our offense. Kobe is our best scorer (and of course, one of the greatest of all time…trust me, I have respect for him) but he’s also a big reason for our ineffective offense. Whether that’s Brown’s fault, or Kobe’s fault, or both, it’s something that needs to be assessed…and something that I’m sure players/free-agents and their agents acknowledge. This new generation of nba players wants to play with their ‘buddies’, have fun with their teammates, play at a fast pace… not watch an older Kobe try to fulfill his ego.

    I agree that Bynum would solve a lot of our problems on defense if he exerted more effort. That’s true. But, also, we can’t just ignore Kobe’s failure to adjust and adapt because of what he has accomplished. We, just like Kobe, want to see the Lakers win championships. And, admittedly, things must change if that is to happen soon.

  117. You live with Kobe and die with him. For money the good out weighs the bad. That said if he wants to win another ring, he’s going to have to tweak his game a liitle. A little more facilitating, a little less long jumpers. Of course if we can aquire some shooters to spread the floor it will make that so much easier for him.

  118. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Lets put team direction here 1st before anything else.

    The team is “doing the math” as I have suggested in my post, and that means no contract beyond 2014 unless he is the Lakers next star for the decade.

    Dwight would fit into that, but with all thats been shown, overblown overhyped or not, its not good. Bynum is not the all-world center you want him to be, but he is just a tad behind Howard. So lets stop imagining deals here that do not cut the current payroll, or cut 2013 payroll coz any Dwight deal would most certainly involve Hedo.

    Next, consider team needs.

    We need a starting PG. Ramon Sessions could very well be the same guy. But we have limitations in as far as we’d chase him for. My guess is 5-6M per year tops. 2-yr deal with a 3rd year unguaranteed money.

    We need a shooter/starting SF. Depending on your opinion regarding MWP, it would seem to me like Rashard Lewis starting at SF will do more wonders for the team. But thats just me.

    We need a backup big, we’re hoping its Jordan Hill. On a same scale contract length as that of Sessions to keep our 2014 plan alive.

    Anything else is just chatter. Reporters would love to include LA in any discussion because it immediately increases viewership/comments.

  119. Warren Wee Lim July 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Oh and to follow up on what I think Sessions will get, if there is such a thing as a front-loaded contract thats 10M – 4M – 2M of some sort, that will be it.

  120. I have a comment awaiting moderation, but to add to my last post, there’s a general notion that we need to ‘unconditionally love’ Kobe, for a lack of better words, because of his history, and because he’s the best player on our team. I think, sometimes, it’s best to honestly assess our players, especially our best player, because success starts with him. If he’s doing the right things, it’s contagious… for example, Tim Duncan is that type of player, he has adapted to his new and faster team, and has been more successful than if he had tried to force the issue. Kobe is not that type of player, but this is when his expected maturity should come into play. He’s our team’s leader, he has to realize the need to adjust.

  121. It’s simple:

    When the Lakers win, it’s because of the other players, Shaq, Pau, and Fisher.

    When the Lakers lose, it’s because of Kobe. The Lakers can’t recruit veteran players because no one wants to play with Kobe. Kobe’s a ball hog.

    The same bombastic posturing that rears its head after every early flame out by the Lakers.

    One minute Kobe is responsible for running an all-star center off the team, the next he’s not even involved in the hiring of a new coach. You say Kobe has too much power over the team and the offense and the next you want him to recruit players to the team.

    And, you call Dwight Howard fickle.

    Personally, I think it’s Kobe’s fault that the Lakers aren’t in the lottery every year and missed out on the chance to draft Anthony Davis or Michael Kid Gilchrist. If he’d stop improving his game every year and just signed his contract and came in out of shape, the Lakers might have had a chance at drafting Lebron James or Kevin Durant.

    I guess we’ll have to wait for him to retire to find out what our next franchise player will be about.

    I know one thing he wont play with mangled fingers and bone on bone pain in his knee. Boy, I can’t wait.

  122. No… when the Lakers win, Kobe is definitely a big part of that. When they lose, let’s be honest, he just might have been a culprit…his forcing the issue, or not giving other players opportunities just might have messed with our chances at succeeding. He’s a winner, no doubt about it, and he should definitely be appreciated. But time’s not slowing down for Kobe, and he’s going to have to do the inevitable if he wants to win his sixth ring…

  123. Chearn,

    Brilliant. What a wonderful way to describe the situation like it is. Thank you

  124. I was wondering on the Day 2 of free agency why is the topic about Kobe? among laker fans? Can’t understand this blog community penchant for debating about nothing, to and fro – everyone wants to be a historian. Many of you here are too young to analyze Baylor, Russell, Big E and Oscar Robertson. Perhaps, if you want to engage in debates, try to talk about the past who can no longer play the game and not about the present who are still active and playing. You might eat your words if Kobe gets another Championship with dummies. At this point, whether you like Kobe or hate him; you love FO and hate them; prefer Dr Buss than his prodigal son, jimbo….live with it. “If you can’t have what you love, you have to learn to love what you have.” Move on.

    Anyway, can we just focus on the trades and discuss what is best for the Lakers?

  125. Chearn you said it all.

  126. Life is so easy when you can blame one person for all your troubles (insert Kobe or Jim Buss here). The ESPN way of looking at the game – statistics and highlights – makes things just so straightforward.

    I am so thankful all of us on this blog – and this is one of the best in the NBA – have absolutely nothing to do with running the Lakers.

    It is fun to be a fan, but admit it, we are all so caught up in the latest fad. Big men aren’t really important in the ‘new’ NBA, because Lebron’s team won. Pleeeeease – that was the most dominant player currently in the NBA in that series. You don’t think that had something to do with it? We won’t win copying the Thunder and/or the Heat. Play to our strengths and fill our weaknesses. Stop trying to rearrange the deck chairs of our area of strength – our bigs. Trading #2 for #1 in the big department does us absolutely no good next year – same result. We need to fit our team around our coaches and strengths, not simply change faces.

  127. Amen Chearn, music to my ears after all this nonsense was spewed

  128. I’ll post a few interesting stats for those of you have “Kobe is God” syndrome

    Clever.

    Here is reality on Mr. Bryant:

    Kobe shoots the ball too much from time to time; as noted, he needs to cut back on the long Js. Due to aging and his hands, it is harder for him to take people off the dribble than it used to be. This is readily apparent from both the eye test and the numbers. His USG last year was aronund 35, it should probably be around 32.

    Why did this happen? Several reasons:

    1. Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown, both of whom had USGs around 20 in 2011 (Brown was at 22) were no longer on the team and were replaced by lower usage guys (McRoberts, Murphy, Kapono, Barnes, Blake, Ebanks).
    2. Mike Brown’s system, in Brown’s own words, needed a guy “who can get you something off the pick-and-roll.” That guy was supposed to be Chris Paul. The veto left Kobe as the primary ballhandler and only creator.
    3. When the Lakers did acquire a P/R PG, his USG dropped and he played poorly late. This was partly on Sessions, partly on Brown, and partly on Kobe, and maybe Pau and Bynum. But I would put it first and foremost on Sessions himself and on the coaches.
    4. Kobe does occasionally jack up shots he really shouldn’t, in part probably due to his personality. People who focus enitrely on that, however, are, like Bill Simmons, guilty of long-distance mind-reading.

    He has slipped a bit like all players do at his age, but he remains a very valuable player. His contract is a problem, but:

    a) So are Pau”s, Metta’s, and Blake’s.
    b) Old Man Buss approved the extension. Your quarrel is with him if the contract upsets you.

  129. We need to fit our team around our coaches and strengths, not simply change faces.

    This would be an OK plan if the Lakers had about 15M in cap space.

    Howard is better than Bynum, and, unlike Bynum, might lure Paul here in 2013 if he decided he liked LA after all. That is why it is worth doing it if the opportunity arises.

  130. Fine, keep ignoring the truth. Just don’t complain when Kobe’s chucking up long-two’s and ignoring the open man in the post. It’s not helping us win, and I thought that’s what we Laker fans were all about.

  131. Fine, keep ignoring the truth.

    ___

    Abbott says stuff like this a lot; he said as much to me in email.

    Like you, he doesn’t get that “the truth” is complicated and has a lot of gray areas.

  132. Ko: “with zero history in the game” LOL

    Edwin: Good point: Why is this discussion about Kobe? Answer – because the KB discussion has been the same for 16 years.

    Chearn: Great Stuff!

    WWL: Not picking on you, but rather responding because we are likely to do something like you wrote. So we sign RS + JH, then we get R Lewis, and voila – contenders? Sounds more like “8th” to me.

    R: We have come off 2 seasons out of the Finals. You are saying that 3 seasons of “fun” would be OK – bringing the total to 5. Then “maybe” build a contender, which will take how long? Our longest streak out of the Finals is 9 years – during the dreaded 90′s. Looks like we are setting a goal to challenge that : ) You could be right.

  133. I understand your guys’ point, and I agree with a lot of it. Though, there’s some things I def. do think should be addressed… Kobe’s game being one of them.

    With this team, as constructed, Kobe has to adjust/tweak his game if we’re going to win. I just don’t see how that’s not understandable. This isn’t a Phil Jackson team, where PJ kept Kobe under some sort of control, and used his triangle system to involve the role players in the offense. This is a Mike Brown team in which Mike’s attitude on offense seems to be “okay Kobe, just do you, I’ll watch”. As a comparable scenario, Just like the iso-heavy NY Knicks will be stuck in mediocrity with ‘Melo running the offense, our team as-is is not getting the most out players outside of Kobe. Someone said it earlier about a different situation, but fittingly to my point, perhaps we’re looking at our team through “purple and gold lenses”.

    rr–You might just be an Abbott-hater. The basic trait of Abbott-Haters is that they go to the extent of trolling Abbott through e-mail.

  134. Sorry – the “90′s” streak was only 8 years, and we had a streak of 6 years during the the 70′s. During the other 52 years of league history, we made the Finals 31 times. I don’t know about you, but I feel “entitled” to a Finals visit at least every 2-3 years at a minimum. Nine years out of the Finals would be rediculous. In the wise words of Ko: “This isn’t Phoenix or Washington”

  135. rr–You might just be an Abbott-hater. The basic trait of Abbott-Haters is that they go to the extent of trolling Abbott through e-mail.

    My long post about Kobe is stuck in moderation. If and when it appears, if you have specifics to refute it, bring them on. So far, you have not shown me much except emotions and assertions. Kobe does need to tweak his game, but if Kobe needs to be “controlled” etc, then you need to be looking at Buss and Brown as much as at Kobe.

    As to Abbott, it was funny; I sent Abbott an email saying I was cancelling Insider (even though he is not on it). Mine was one sentence.

    His response, however, which I suspect is a form letter he sends to Lakers fans, went on for three screens. He mostly just ranted, and refused to admit the possbility that he might be a little biased about the issue. Told me all I needed to know.

  136. Mitch may not have been just talking like a GM when he said it’s a possibility the core 3 comes back. He’s only made 1 trade in July as GM with Lakers. That was the Shaq trade 8 years ago.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/executives/kupchmi01x.html

  137. Like you, he doesn’t get that “the truth” is complicated and has a lot of gray areas.

    I explained what happened with me and Abbott in a post that is stuck in mod. I can give you literally 50 examples of Abbott’s bias and how it affects his work.

    As to Kobe, my long post about his game is also stuck in mod.

  138. Now that D Howard has added Dallas to his “list”, I think his list is wherever D-Will signs.

  139. What has to be admitted about Kobe is Mike Brown not installing an offense and giving Kobe the “green light” didn’t help last year.

    Although at times Kobe gets the ball in the post and holds it until he finds his shot. There are as many if not more instances where he gets the ball with 5 seconds on the clock. And has no other option other than to shoot.

    Shaq was GREAT at sealing his man and always having a foot in the paint. We all see Bynum and Pau get pushed out to about 15 ft. Why throw it to a center 15 feet from the basket when your a guard and you can shoot it from mid range.

    Kobe is a scorer and will always be a scorer. That’s why he will score 30,000+ points. It’s in his DNA to score. Guys like LeBron grew up playing on a court with other guys Kobe has admitted growing up in Italy he worked on his game alone. “I’m more of a one-on-one player LeBron is more of a pass first guy”. He’s admitted it himself many times so why can’t we accept it and move on.

  140. rr– Well, I have no bias whatsoever. I can assure you of that. And I don’t really care what Abbott has to say, regardless. Henry Abbott… you brought him up.

    I was trying to make my point out of the principle that we’re trying to make something out of the roster as it is now. If we’re going to try this ‘twin towers’-Kobe deal again, we’re going to have to make Kobe more flexible. Of course, the only ones who can make Kobe more ‘flexible’ are Coach Brown and, well, Kobe himself.

    It’s going to be a difficult task for Coach if this roster doesn’t have any major changes this summer. We must find ways for the front-court of Gasol/Bynum to work, and must also find a scoring balance between Kobe and our bigs. Perhaps training camp will help… I hope so.

  141. Also, just read a post of yours rr…if Brown’s offensive system relies on a Chris Paul to work, then it’s not a very good offense. Perhaps Chris Paul’s star power would have convinced Kobe to let him be the ball-handler and creator…because we traded for a point-guard and Kobe didn’t trust Sessions enough to let him take on that role.

    There were many moments when Sessions would give up the ball to Kobe and Kobe wouldn’t show him the ball again, and he’d have his way on offense. Maybe it was partly Sessions/Brown’s fault, but Kobe def. took the role of ball-handler/creator and ran with it.

  142. So Kevin,

    You are saying Andrew and Pau gets pushed out to the free throw line? Or 15 feet out on the base line? Do you know where you are talking about there? Thats closer to the 3 point line then the hoop. You are really saying they get pushed out that far? Really? I never knew Andrew was taking all those mid range jumpers.

  143. MichaelH: Our bigs don’t catch the ball where they dribble and their making a move to the hoop. They dribble to get into position instead of getting into position before the post pass.

    Maybe they should get some tips from Kobe on how to get post position. Or they could get Kareem to sh…. oh wait

  144. Kobe is an all time great NBA player. He has a unique style, really a one on one style, which polarizes fans and will make aging a very interesting adjustment for him.

    Bynum is a big, talented guy. When.properly motivated he can dominate a game, especially with defense and rebounding. Too often he saunters up the court in transition, both ways. Sometimes he just disappears.

    Pau is long, talented and not very strong. He is unselfish, sometimes to a fault. And he is being forced to player farther from the hoop than he should.

    And none of these guys is the problem. They are all all star caliber players.

    Lakers are weak at SF (too slow, can’t shoot, facing long, young , talented guys all over the league). They are weak at PG (the upgrade to Sessions still leaves the Lakers with a guy who can’t defend or shoot). They have no bench. And they don’t have (or don’t run properly) a system on offense that maximizes these guys strengths.

    So they are forced to deal some of these guys. To upgrade team speed. To upgrade their outside shooting. To add depth.

    But to think that Bynum is not a great center to have. That Gasol is not still a very effective PF. That Kobe is a problem at PG. That is an emotional fan response.

    The Lakers need to make deals, and maybe they need to ask for more than these it’s are worth, to replace the guys they trade AND add depth, speed and scoring.

    It’s a tough job for Mitch.

  145. thats why the Lakers would be foolish not “to take the faster and more agile center if the trade presents itself.”

    Look, I’m not Aaron’s biggest fan, but Dwight Howard underwent a discectomy to repair a lumbar disc that was exuding the nucleus pulposus. The success rate is usually somewhere in the low 90s with a 1 to 6% complication rate. Which leaves out, of course, the possibility of recurring herniation, given that his disc is simply no longer what it was.

    So you get what happened to him, picture a jelly doughnut with the jelly leaking out of the doughnut (extrusion). That’s what happened to him. And leaking pulp was either impinging on the exiting nerve root or was irritating the nerve root (a chemical irritation), and so he didn’t get better with rehab and needed surgery. Here’s another type of surgery, when the disc is bulging (not a true herniation as there is no leaking of the pulp), which gives you a view of the relevant structures:

    http://vimeo.com/25268380

    Again, note the picture there and picture the jelly inside leaking out. That was Dwight.

    Here is a longer piece concerning an actual surgery of his type:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L70lN4IoPrk

    Note the Dr.’s, “when I pull she’s gonna feel it in her legs”. That because the lumbar nerves, with a nerve root exiting on both sides of the spine at each level, innervate:

    http://spinaldecompression-orange-county.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/dermatome.jpg

    So as you can see, she’ll feel something in her leg, just where depending on which nerve root is going to be impinged by his pulling (one of L2 through S1).

    You can watch the remaining parts, 2 and 3, via the links on the sidebar there.

    And, here, if you wish to see an exposed nerve root, here at L4-5:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCbEWgHay0

    And so rather than treat Dwight as the old Dwight, I’d prefer that the team wait a year and make sure to have him have a new MRI for review purposes (since they would presumably be signing him to a long-term contract). In the meantime, we simply don’t know enough to say that he’ll be what he was, since we just don’t know what his post-operative history is going to be.

    Lastly, and by the way, those folks at Iwai have a slew of interesting vids on spinal surgery, for those of you whose life dream is go grow up to be a surgeon. Related to Dwight, but on the other end, i.e., the neck, here is a cervical endoscopic discectomy, to relieve a C6 nerve root impingement owing to a herniation at C5-6:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMvvQdA5Cn4

    Gotta love our friends at Iwai…

  146. Laker fans are impatient. I love that. But realistically, when you build a team that makes multiple runs at titles, and wins some, at the end you have a team that is aging out, overpaid, and thin. Rebuilding takes years. Let’s look:

    Boston. – 22 years between titles and then only got 1

    Chicago – 14 years and counting

    Detroit- 14 years between titles and then only got one

    Philly – 29 and counting

    Houston – 17 and counting

    New York – 42 years

    San Antone – 5 years

    The Lakers have been amazing. 11 years from Showtime to Shaq/Kobe and only 3 years between Finals trips with Kobe/Pau/Lamar. IF they pull off the deals to get back next year, it would be an amazing feat.

  147. Tom Daniels
    Expertly and exactly put and 100% correct. Post more often as there are too few out there who see the true picture of what this team is and needs.

    Slappy
    Holy back ache! Major research and profound. I sure hope someone sends this to Jimmy and then a copy to every team in the NBA. Anyone would have to be a fool trading major parts or investing a mult-year on this guy if all above is true.

    Dwight appears to be his own personal ponzi if he knows this and he and his agent are trying to defraud owners. Loyds of London beware!

  148. Instead of worry about Dwight, imagine Bynum with his extention, which have a high chance of being max.

    salary in 2013-14
    Kobe Bryant $30,453,805
    Pau Gasol $19,285,850
    Andrew Bynum 18-20 mil

    65.7-67.7 mill in 2013-14 for three players

    sooner or later we will have to trade one of them off just to balance out the salary……….another reason why I think they will trade Bynum or Gasol this season….

  149. There is still a chance that Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard could become a member of the Brooklyn Nets, according to league sources.

    The Nets and the Orlando Magic are discussing a trade that would send Howard to the Nets for Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and the Nets’ first-round picks in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, sources said.
    ==

    Via Chris Broussard

  150. I am glad Mitch is more qualified than me or anyone else here to orchestrate the future of this team. I hope he gets lucky and get a deal that helps improve this team

  151. Robert@133 – The alternative to accepting a “fun” but not very competitive team may be depression, coupled with excessive drinking. :0)

    (Speaking for myself only, of course.)

  152. i remember the good old days when this blog had a variety of commentors who shared the blog in a way where the discussion included a wide variety of opinions, and it was not dominated by a few folks who felt it was necessary to comment to each and every comment. I know it’s your right to do this, and I guess it’s my right to feel less enthused about visiting and participating… I miss the good ol’ days

  153. Toli,
    The key to look at in the financial scheme of things is 2014/15, not 2013/14. That is when the repeater tax kicks in. While luxury taxes escalate between now and then, things get really ugly after that and the Lakers need a couple of years under the cap. This probably means the team will go through a bad cycle just as Kobe’s career is ending. This is probably inevitable. What it means today is that the Lakers will be extremely careful about any contract over two years in length.

  154. Warren Wee Lim July 3, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Bynum’s extension doesn’t have a “chance” of being max, it WILL BE the max.

    BTW, I believe we will be witnessing Kobe signing an extension next season but something that of the 10M per season range.

  155. Ko,
    Everyone knows how serious Dwight’s back surgery was. This isn’t a secret. The media is just dumb and because Dwight didn’t get hurt with one single play and collapse on the court for everyone to see and it wasn’t a ACL or Microfracture surgery they don’t realize how serious it was. But trust me… Everyone in the league knows Dwight might never be the same player again.

  156. Orlando is using the Nets for leverage there not overpaying for Brook and Humphries for Dwight. There trying to up other teams ante.

    There risk in trading for Dwight as there is with keeping Bynum. Bad back vs bad knees? Bynum did have to get a shot in his knee during ASB. And is getting the Germany treatment also. At 24 years old.

    I still don’t get why we had the lockout outrageous deals are still being given out. Star players continue to control their destiny.

  157. Thank you Kevin. Its funny how people want to ignore the fact that Bynum has never been healthy. The Orthokine treatment wont help a player like Bynum much because of his overall physique as well as his work ethic. Yeah doing the procedure is a great 1st step, but Kobe is constantly working on his body and that’s why he can maximize the benefits of Orthokine treatment. Gilbert Arena had the same procedure and where did that get him??? Keep in mind also that no Center has had a long career with the kind of body that Bynum has. I would rather rent Howard for 1 year and win the Championship than keep Bynum for the rest of his career. There isn’t any evidence to show that Bynum is going to be healthier going forward.

  158. The Magic are getting low balled. Mostly because Dwight is smartly letting everyone know he will only pkay for one team. If I’m the Magic I wait and see if Dwight recovers fully behind the scenes and if he does I would just keep him. There is no FA in basketball. They are all indentured servants thanks to the new CBA. They can’t get paid nearly as much switching teams and only a hand full of teams are ever under the cap.

    Kevin,
    You can’t compare Bynum’s past injuries to Howard’s current injury. There is no comparison. None of Bynum’s knee injuries were career altering as they weren’t an ACL tear or a Microfracture surgery. Dwight’s back surgery is by definition career altering.

  159. I for one am hoping the the Nets acquire Howard and overpay in the process. This will help set a high market price for Bynum. The Hawks desperately wanted Howard – would they be interested in a package centered around Bynum? Would the Lakers be open to receiving Smith/Horford/Teague?

    A starting five of: Smith/Horford at the forwards, Pau at center and Kobe/Teague in the backcourt works for me.

  160. The difference with Bynum and Howard’s injuries is we have seen Bynum post injury. No one has seen Howard play at game speed post back surgery. Howard is a great player who relies heavily on his athleticism. If his ability to move is even moderately impacted he will not be the same player.

    Of course, someone will take this as a ringing endorsement of Bynum. It isn’t. It’s just pointing out the Howard we remember may not be the one some team is going to end up with.

  161. I initialy would have said NO for DH, but Kevin Ding has a point:

    http://www.ocregister.com/sports/lakers-361883-howard-bynum.html

    I, as some here, would rather capitalize on Kobe’s last years instead of rebuilding now chopping Kobe’s head et al…So even 1 year rental would do it. Then we ended up without Howard (in case he does not feel in love for the LA glamour) and Bynum.

    Then what?

    Those 2 guys are always in the spotlight, always…More than Kobe, Wade or….nah, the Joker is #1 in the media, but DH and Bynum are #2 and #3 in articles, rumors, etc. And I’m so done with both of them. Having all the cap space DH will leave behind is not that bad.

  162. Tom Daniels’ perspective on the Lakers is mine as well. (#145/147)
    We have 3 great players, a so-so coach, and a challenging cap sitch; they need bench help, and will do what they need to do to address it all. And, yes, we’ve had a great, great run of success over the years, which is wonderful, and we should “expect” it…but can’t really _expect_ it.

    And chris h’s perspective on this blog is mine as well. (#153)
    I don’t post much, but this blog used to have a wider range of thoughtful analyses of the game itself, etc., rather than tabloid chest-beatings of who was “right” and such.

  163. Lets just remember that Howard played through his injury last year – and still was the better player than Bynum.

    Bynum probably reached his peak last year – wildly inconsistent with some good and bad games/team cancer/no heart/can’t play P&R defense/tries to shoot over double teams/ can’t have him on the floor with fast teams/a less than special passer/ and dominated in the playoffs by Javale McGee.

    Javale McGee. . .

    Oh – and a complete non-factor in the OKC series.

  164. Im not Bigcitysid I rooted against the Lakers in 69 and 73 didnt become a fan until after they lost to my Knicks. However i have been a fan since 75. I love Kobe, I think he is the best baller since MJ. The truth is as time marches on his skills are diminishing. Simple truth. There is a grain of truth in the fact that this new generation of “kids” are elitist and selfish. They want the rewards without the work. Look around you in society, our athlete are a reflection of the world around us. LeBron will not get 5 rings. In fact now that he has “his” we will find out a lot about his inner drive and mental makeup. Kobe is old school. He isnt going to bring in the wild bunch to fight his battles. He will be that old gun slinger who will go down guns blazing going out “his way”. As a old school dude i respect that. but recognize that this generation doesnt want to be compared to him. They dont want to be criticized for not working as hard as he does and not leaving it all on the floor which would happen. Once Kobe calls it quits, the doors will open up again for LA and FA’s.

  165. Todd, I don’t think the Nets have enought to pull off a DHoward trade. Their offer is not really that strong. With that being said, if the Rockets overpay for DHoward, then the Atlanta deal you propose looks doable.

    Obviously, I’m basing this on the fact that DHoward would stay in Houston due to the extra money associated with the Rocket’s owning his Bird rights.

  166. Bynum quit 3 times this past year with ZERO remorse. How would Bynum and Brown relationship work going forward?

    Bynum was already given a max deal in 08 off potential. Same would happen if Lakers signed him to an extension.

  167. Don Ford/Ko/Tom Daniels/R: Since the perspective outlined above is very reasonable, my questions are this:
    1) Are you guys saying that we just sit back, look at our banners and say: “It was good while it lasted”? (while drinking of course as R said).
    2) Are there not moves we can make to reduce this down time? And might not those moves make us worse in the short run? As opposed to keeping ourselves firmly in “8th”.
    3) How did we get 31 Finals appearances in 66 years? Was this luck? Or can we conclude anything about our collective current performance vs. our historical norm, if indeed we go a decade without a whiff of success? If a company were profitable for 66 years and then went in the red for 10 years – would this not prompt some questions? Any accountability for this, or are we going to say it is the Veto, it is bad timing, we are trying the best we can? Would that fly in the corporate world?
    4) Doesn’t the FO need to make a conscious decision what the plan is? Win now? Rebuild? Or the dreaded – keep us competitive, but not quite contenders – AKA “8th”?

  168. CDog,
    If it was my site I would ban you for saying McGee dominated Bynum and I would think you got off easy.

    Andrew Bynum against constant double/triple teams averaged 16.7 PPG on 51 percent shooting while pulling down 12.3 RPG and swatting away 4 blocks a game.

    Javale McGee while being left wide open averaged 8.6 PPG on 43 percent shooting and pulled down 9.6 RPG and blocked 3.1 shots a game.

    So yes… McGee did dominate Bynum… except the opposite.

  169. If the biggest problem for the Lakers is Kobe Bryant, A guy who finished 2nd in the Regular Season in scoring ( his choice BTW ) and averaged 30 points per game in the playoffs, 45 in the last game, and the nanno second he went to the bench Game 5 vrs OKC, a close game turned into a blowout.

    And if Andrew Bynum who is a childish, moody, often injured, often lazy player is the answer to the problem. You better start asking different questions. Bynum IMO is your classic underachieving waste of time and flesh. I would trade him for some salary relief, a couple of ball racks and some floor wax.

  170. Why not take Josh Smith for Pau and DH for Bynum straight up?

    Let’s go get another ring!

    Nuff discussions.

  171. @ Aaron –

    First two games of that series, McGee was getting his playoff legs. Game 3 is where he took off. But being Javale – he was certainly inconsistent.

    But….

    Bynum got most of his stats in non-McGee minutes. He had significant difficulties with McGee on the floor. The eye test made that apparent, as McGee could sprint back from defense to offense, while Bynum rarely did. Superstar centers don’t allow players like McGee to go for 16pt/15Reb (game 3) 21/14 (game 5), both losses, in playoff games.

    While Bynum forced the double team, he couldn’t “handle the double” teams so its not like it did the Lakers much good.

    But you can go ahead and ban me.

    All I’m saying is the comparisons b/t Bynum and Dwight even being close are ill founded. Not when Bynum can be dominated in playoff games by JaVale McGee.