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Fast Break Thoughts

With free agency in full swing and the repercussions starting to set the landscape for how the Summer may play out, there’s plenty to discuss…

  • The Dwight Howard situation has been complicated greatly by the Nets’ trade for Joe Johnson. They no longer have the cap space to sign Dwight outright. And while they’re still working to try and trade for the league’s best big man, they lack the assets to make the type of offer that is likely to sway the Magic to deal with them.
  • With a trade to Brooklyn looking less likely, the team that trades for Dwight now will have the inside track to keep him. The teams that are (reportedly) still interested are the Rockets, the Hawks, and the Lakers. The Mavs would be interested as well, of course, but they lack the assets (like the Nets) to make a compelling offer. If you’re one of that Lakers/Rockets/Hawks trio, now is the time to truly evaluate what you’re willing to give up and push your chips into the center of the table. For the Hawks that may mean dangling Horford. For the Rockets that may mean a lot of their stockpiled young talent. And for the Lakers, that likely means Andrew Bynum. What package the Magic would prefer isn’t known, but all three would have their pros and cons.
  • From the Lakers side, even with all the risks associated with trading for Dwight, parting with Bynum for him is worth it. Lets remove the variables of injury concern and whether or not either will commit long term (after all, those concerns apply to both players). Dwight Howard is the better player. He represents an upgrade in nearly all ways (including star power). This really isn’t a worthwhile debate. The argument that the Lakers problem wasn’t their big men and that improving in that area doesn’t fix their problems misses the bigger point: you always want the better player. Always. Those that feel differently remind me of the Blazers and the decision they made in the 1984 draft when they drafted Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan because Clyde Drexler was already on their roster. Both MJ and Clyde had stellar careers and both went to the Hall of Fame, so obviously the Blazers knew they had a great talent. But Jordan was the better prospect and, to state the obvious, ended up being the better player. So, again, you take the better player and deal with the other stuff later. Whether or not the Lakers can make such a deal is a different story that depends on the Magic. But even with the risk involved, I’d support that type of move. As Kevin Ding said today:

It’s time for the Lakers to get back to the pioneer spirit that brought Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal together and enabled the Lakers’ brass to hold but not fold when Bryant was so frustrated he was bouncing off the planets before pulling the Gasol trade on the river. The Lakers need a healthy dose of gambling’s fear to bring out the best in them – and the prospect of trading for Howard and losing him for nothing in a year is certainly plenty scary. But the reality is that there are benefits awaiting the Lakers even in that worst-case scenario that could easily be explained by Dwight again being a loon who fails to listen to reason: What can you do if the goofy dude walks away from far more money from the Lakers because he wants to dress up like a cowboy in Dallas or curl all the way up into the fetal position in hometown Atlanta?

The Lakers have long been a patient team that takes strategic gambles on players with extraordinary talent. This could be another opportunity to make a bold move.

  • The rest of the free agent market is also taking shape and there are some interesting deals already out there. Bulls back up Center Omer Asik has been signed to an offer-sheet by the Rockets for 3 years/$24 million. Some might think he’s overpaid, but John Hollinger did a good job breaking down why that’s not the case (as well as shedding light on the loophole that allowed the Rockets to make an offer). (Insider article $.)
  • Speaking of Houston, it looks like they’re going to lose Goran Dragic in free agency. He wants $10 million, they’re offering $8 million and the Suns are offering $9 million. If Dragic does bolt, Kyle Lowry is likely off the trade market which means he and Kevin McHale are going to need to do some making up. After all, it was a conflict between those two that had Lowry on the market in the first place.
  • KG is staying with the Celtics and honestly, this is what’s best for everyone. For all my dislike of the C’s, KG’s been great for them and should end his career on his terms with the team he won a title with.
  • Roy Hibbert has signed a max level offer sheet with Portland. The Suns are potentially looking to make an offer to Eric Gordon for the max as well. Both players are restricted free agents so the Pacers and Hornets, respectively, will have the right to match those offers but that’s a lot of cash to throw out to players that likely aren’t worth that much. And, this is why the lockout bothered me so much. Arguments were devised with lines drawn in the sand over player compensation but here we are in the off-season following those battles with nothing having changed. Until owners realize that there’s not a max-level player in every free agent class their cries about losing money should fall on deaf ears. They’re willing to shell out the cash so let them. But don’t complain about how it affects your bottom line after the fact.


Reader Interactions


  1. Darius, I agree with you that the Nets and Mavs do not have the assets to pull off a DHoward trade. That leaves either the Rockets, Hawks or the Lakers in the mix (unless another dark horse emerges).

    Suppose the Rockets win the derby – like you pointed out it gives them a significant leg up to to resign him next summer. Do any of your sources indicate that the Hawks would want Bynum?

    I ask because I was intrigued by a previous post that outlined the assets the Hawks have. Smith/Horford/Teague seems like an overpay for our young center. I think the Lakers would say yes, to that offer – I’m not sure the Hawks would make that deal.


  2. Well, the NBA landscape has moved very quickly these last few days. I’m trying hard not to be critical of the Lakers, however, I simply don’t know what to think. Is the FO trying to get better? Or, are they simply staring at the punitive CBA tax penalty and saying, “no way we are paying that in two years – let’s roll the dice with Kobe/Pau/Bynum/filler and start rebuilding in 2014”. The new CBA and the veto may well have sealed the fate of this current Laker team.

    I heard Ric Bucher on the Mason and Ireland show yesterday. He basically said the Lakers are actively shopping Pau – but because they have over priced him there is no interest in doing a deal. He also alluded to the fact that Jim Buss holds his power close to the vest. While I am not a real fan of allowing the inmates run the asylum I think players such as Kobe deserve to be communicated with by ownership before they hear of major team moves in the media (eg: the Brown hiring). This type of management style does not sit well with the elite players – Bucher alluded to this being the reason why DHoward does not want to be a Laker.

    The flip side of this is that the FO is trying to hit a home run – waiting for the dust to settle. Maybe Brooklyn moved too fast on Joe Johnson and now doesn’t have the assets to make a DHoward deal. Maybe the Lakers are offering Pau knowing that ultimately they have to move Andrew but don’t want to lead with him.

    We’ll never know until someone writes a book – but this isn’t a whole lot of fun right now. Bucher did mention that the Lakers also have to think about the ticking time bomb that is Kobe. If the Lakers don’t improve does Kobe pull a Summer of 2007 and demand a trade of his own. Yikes.


  3. When has an NBA superstar not been traded to where he wanted to go? It doesn’t happen. Have people watched basketball before? The reason the Nets traded for Joe Johnson and went all in is because they are certain they are trading for Howard. The Nets were never going to sign Howard as a free agent. That was never the plan. He would make much less money and the Magic would get nothing in return. The Joe Johnson trade just made it more certain that Dwight was headed to Brooklyn via trade. I feel like there aren’t anymore smart people on this site anymore. Maybe it is the offseason. Nevertheless… the Nets are taking a giant risk since the odds are Dwight Howard will never be the same player again after a very serious back surgery.


  4. Darius: You have nailed the D12 situation. Not just because I agree with your conclusion that we should go for it, but your explanation is a masterpiece. The fact that the signing and the injury apply to both Bynum and D12. The fact that you always want the best player. And the fact that it does not fix all of our problems being irrelevant.

    All – please read this one – then if you are against this trade – which a reasonable person still could be – then respond accordingly, refuting Darius’ points rather than ignoring them.


  5. Loved the Kevin Ding article. It has changed my mind on the perspective on the value of a Bynum for Howard trade. However, we have to keep Pau for a couple of years to make this pay out.

    While we may now chide owners for being irresponsible about paying players, remember they did, absolutely, win that last CBA contest. And count on hearing the same arguments five years from now in the next negotiation.

    The problem with the Smith/Horford/Teague trade is the $11M the Lakers would have to give back to Atlanta. How would that work out?


  6. Aaron, if as you indicate the Nets are confident of pulling off the DHoward trade – what then do the Lakers do?

    I do not see Pau bringing back enough to move the needle. To me Pau is more valuable to the Lakers than to any other team. Slide him back to center where he’s in the top 5 of that position.

    This is why I would move Andrew. He is the only Laker that teams would overpay for. The Lakers can get multiple pieces for him which is what we need because we have a number of holes.


  7. Now, it’s Artest and Bynum for Howard? At least that’s what Hoopshype is reporting.

    Aaron – read the Lowe article on cnnsi that talks about how the Nets ability to trade for Howard just took a severe hit because of the European forward they signed with their MLE. Yes, DH12 could still force his way there, but would have to give up a significant amount of money to do so.

    And Darius – not sure if you already covered this, but what about the FT% disparity?
    As for the injuries, one difference is that Bynum just finished an entire season without injury, while Dwight is coming off a *back* surgery. Without having seen him in action, and the impact it may have on his athleticism, I can’t put them into the same bucket.


  8. Craig W: I liked your Godfather reference from the previous thread

    “it is not personal – it is business”.

    It seems to me that we are at an important part of the movie. The Don (Brando playing the part of Jerry Buss) is ill. Sonny (Jimbo) is now running the family. We are dealing with an unfriendly chief of police (Stern), and the other families are lining up against us (Cuban being Barzini and Gilbert being Tattaglia). The part of the movie cast that I can’t seem to replace is Michael Corleone. And since he saved the Corleone family in the movie – this concerns me. Is this Jeannie or unlike the movie are we looking at Don Sonny to be running things for a while?


  9. It is true that you always want the best player. But the injury historys are not the same. Dwight has a much worse injury history and present. Dwight Howard had the same injury/surgery that ended the careers of players like Larry johnson and Luke Walton. No player has ever been effected long term by the knee injuries Andrew Bynum had.

    Secondly, while Dwight Howard performed relatively similarly last year before Dwight got hurt… and Dwight was the much better player the last five years… that doesn’t mean even if healthy he would be the much better player for the next five years. Dwight is older, shorter, smaller, and less skilled. As always one needs to go by a cost benefit analysis. If the Lakers traded for Dwight the best case scenario is Dwight is the same player he was the last five years and is barley a better player than Andrew Bynum like last year. The worst case scenario is that Dwight as he has promised doesn’t want to play in LA and asks for a trade during the year. However, the likeliest scenario is Bynum takes another step up next year as a player and Dwight never fully recovers from a very serious back injury like most of the athletes before him.

    I was the one who before the HOward injury wanted to trade for Dwight because he was a safe bet. But if you want to swing for the fences then everyone should be wanting to keep Bynum since he has the most upside and potential. Ironic.

    Find a stretch 4 and get some bench depth and hope Bynum becomes a superstar next year. Also need to play with Kobe at SG and not PG


  10. Many comparisons come up with Howard’s back injury and David Robinsons. In 96 Robinson was 31 years old hurt his back and 6 days later broke his foot.

    Spurs got Duncan and the next year Robinson, 32 years old, avg. 21 pts 10 reb 2 ast 2 blk played 73 games. In 99 the lockout year they won a championship he played 66 out of 67 games and avg. 15 pts 10 reb 2 ast 2 blks at 33 years old.

    The next 3 years on the downside of his prime Robinson played 238 out of 246 regular season games. Averaged 14 pts 8 reb 1 ast 2 blk at ages 34-36.

    Dwight is 26 with no previous injury history.


  11. Kevin,
    Robinson admitted he was never the same after his back surgery. Everyone knew that. It robs athletes of their athleticism. The admiral was also 7-1 with skills to boot. If Howard suffers the same fate he would take a much greater hit in effectiveness at only 6-9 1/2 unless he moved to PF and developed hands.


  12. aaron – who exactly are the magic taking back from brooklyn that’d be worth more than bynum and filler? and if brooklyn can’t do better, why would orlando take the worse deal? if howard’s gonna leave anyway (which appears to be a lock), orlando only cares about getting the best pkg back. don’t see brooklyn being able to put together much of a pkg.


  13. Aaron: While I’m sure that’s true Robinson was 31 he was going to lose athleticism regardless. Couple that with a back AND broken foot. One could see why that happened.


  14. It will be interesting to see what happens. I lean in the direction of Aaron’s thinking on this. At the end of the day superstars do usually end up being traded to the teams they want. Plus, we are overlooking the fact Dwight has made it plain he doesn’t want to be here. Is it possible Dwight (after being traded to the Lakers) could torpedo the begining of the season to force the Lakers hand at trading him by next season’s deadline?

    I hear the arguements in his favor. But its more than just basketball. Having a star player on the roster who truly doesn’t want to be here can be toxic. I guess we have to wait and see how it plays out.


  15. Aaron: Darius made this point. Yes -D12 may never be the same – back injuries are like that. But so are knee injuries and one good (albeit lazy) year does not end that risk. So how is this different for either player? And the signing – not signing is also the same – and our outside shooting is still horrible either way. Darius nailed this – and believe me – he doesn’t like it when I agree with him this strongly – so I don’t do it too often : )


  16. Sign and Trade: With either Bynum or D12 we could do a sign and trade if they did not want to be here after next year. We can offer more money due to Bird rights. The situation is completely the same in both cases. They might re-sign, they might walk, or we could do a sign and trade. Whether it is Bynum or D12 these are the possibilities. They are neither arguments for or against this.


  17. This feels like another off-season with the Lakers in flux. Last summer the Lakers were in search of a coach. This year the Lakers are in search of a basketball system with personnel unsure of their role, let alone which players will actually suit up in the purple and gold.

    Once again the Heat, Thunder, Celtics, Nuggets, Bulls and the Spurs are all pretty set on their players and are implementing the means for them to improve. No doubt next year they’ll start the season as front runners.

    While the Lakers continue to search for a floor general and are uncertain as to which direction they’ll go with Bynum and Gasol (at least we are assuming that’s the case, not necessarily true though).

    This uncertainty puts the Lakers behind in creating defensive and offensive schemes and in the players bonding and generating some sort of continuity for the upcoming season.

    The off-season is when players work to improve their games, it’s also a time when coaches look at the personnel to develop offensive and defensive plays around.


  18. Scottie pipped had surgery to repair a herniated disk in 1988. So that’s one and only one person that recovered from that. He did have bad back pain on and off… But nothing that hindered his athletisism.


  19. Craig W:

    I think the salaries have to be within 25% of each other. Those three Hawks have a combined salary of approximately $25 million. With Andrew at $16 million the Lakers need to make up only $4/5 million to get within range.

    I’m not a capologist but that is my understanding of the basics should the teams want to go for it.


  20. The question for me isn’t do we trade Bynum for Howard. As stated above you always want the better player. The question for me is do you take back the bad contracts and give the draft picks that the Magic want. That is what killed the deal at the trade deadline and may again. I might consider taking back J Rich because he can still shoot but Hedo is done. And this is a team that will be in rebuilding mode in 2 years, so handing out future picks may not be the best move. For me Howard is not that much better. His presence alone would not elevate our championship chances. Throw in the fact that he maintains that he does not want to be here, it becomes a very risky situation for us. You can say we are in the same boat with Andrew, but Andrew has not said he doesn’t want to be a Laker. Howard has.

    Also as currently constructed he would struggle on offense here. He is not as skilled and requires more space to operate then either Bynum or Pau.

    Howard for Bynum straight up, maybe. Taking back a lot of garbage and giving up picks. No.


  21. Laker fans expect full trade value out of an Andrew Bynum with knee problems, yet are iffy about Howard’s back? That’s understandable I guess, but like Darius states, both players have injury concerns. I’m not a doctor, so I truly don’t know how bad Howard’s back is (hopefully not to the extent of a T-Mac), but Bynum’s history of knee issues is well-known and probably a bigger concern for the Magic than we realize.

    I want to know if Howard’s back is a legitimate concern though, because I haven’t heard of it affecting his trade value. All I’ve read is stuff on Howard having the lone Nets on his list, and the possibilities of him signing a big shoe contract in LA.

    Also, I was reading Magic blogs, and found a supposed trade proposal that Magic fans seemed to like. Don’t know if this is known already, but I’ll post it anyway–

    LA gets:



  22. Couldn’t agree more with the analysis. You roll the dice with Howard and dare him to opt out next year. It’s already reported that his shoe endorsement is worth double in New York and LA, add to the other endorsement opportunities, competing for a championship right away and the weather and I would be shocked if Dwight didn’t re-up long term.

    Actually the chances of Dwight not resigning with the Lakers under those conditions is basically zero because it would be unprecedented in modern American sports. Even Dwight Howard knows if he gets traded to the Lakers, he’s here to stay, his feelings about following Shaq or playing with Kobe be damned.


  23. Looking at Magic blogs for trade information is about the same as looking here for the same thing. Both sides are almost impossibly high in valuing their own players.

    Maybe we simply take both sides, divide the additional flotsam and jetsam in half and do the deal.


  24. I undersatnd that Jordan Farmar may be cut loose by Atlanta. Would he be a good fit for our PG hole? He would likely be a less expensive alternative to overbidding on Sessions.


  25. A year ago this trade would have been a no-brainer but a lot has changed in a year. Relatively speaking Bynum’s stock is on the rise with his first all-star berth and a healthy season. D12’s stock has plummeted by virtue of his back issues and his negative PR. I agree with the premise we take the better player. D12 was better last year just not sure he is better today, or more importantly tomorrow. I’m not a gambler by nature so I’d stick with Bynum on this one.


  26. 20 – I guess so. I just thought it’d be fair to see their side of it too. I thought the proposal they posted actually didn’t seem too bad, considering the only bad contract we take back is J-Rich. Duhon’s contract is almost identical to Blake’s ( though I would much rather keep Blake to be honest). It would hurt to lose MWP, yes, but if including him is the sealer, then by all means… Also, the picks would be second rounders, from what I read.


  27. It looks like the Howard discussion could be a moot point. Nets are offer 3 good young players 3 1st round picks and taking back bad contracts.


  28. Does anyone know if the Laker’s FO is really serious about getting better? If they acquire DHoward then they will need to be all in for the foreseeable future. This means they are likely going to be repeat tax offenders and in two years the penalty becomes something like $2 for every $1 over the cap.

    Hypothetically, if the Lakers had a $90 million payroll in 2014, which is possible – they have one near that amount currently, their tax bill would be something along the lines of $60 million. Will the Buss family pay that amount?

    I don’t see it anything that indicates the team is willing to go that route. Based on this reality, I think the FO stands pat and rides out the Kobe/Pau contracts.

    All of the rumors around DHoward etc. are smoke and mirrors. The team has no other alternative. We’ll be in the lottery after the 2014/15 season and likely for a few years there after.


  29. Michael H,

    With Joe Johnson and (most likely) Deron Williams the Nets make the most sense if you are Dwight Howard. With Gerald Wallace and a few low cost vets they could actually contend in the East.


  30. Aaron, comically arrogant as he is given how often he has been dead wrong, is correct on one level, in that people (me included) were a little too linear about the Joe Johnson thing, and that also includes Lowe, Hollinger, and Pelton.

    But Orlando can trade Howard anywhere they want to, and DeVos may well say “No” on a Brooklyn deal just on general principles.


  31. Bynum after ASB

    32 games 35.5 mins 21.2 pts 10.7 reb 1.4 ast 1.7 blk 2.7 TO 55% fg 75% ft

    W/O Kobe

    7 games 36 mins 23.1 pts 14.1 reb 1.5 ast 1 blk 2.5 TO 48% fg 69% ft

    Not Bad.


  32. It’s a good thing that the long lockout and incredible douchebaggery of the owners successfully prevented very good, but not elite, players like Hibbert from being given max contract offers!


    As it turns out, you can’t protect idiots from their own stupidity.


  33. Was listening to Ingram from hoopsworld on the radio. He thinks the magic should take the deal with LA straight up. His reasoning is that when motivated and playing hard Bynum is the best center in the NBA and as the 1st option he would be much better then Howard has been as the 1st option.


  34. Bynum is still the best offer that Orlando will see for Howard. The only question is if the Lakers will take back a poopoo platter full of Hedo along with Howard.

    Great thing about Hedo’s contract is that it will come off the books next year, right? It seems like this is a no-brainer for our FO if it is there for the taking. Even if Howard refuses to resign with us, then we could persuade him to do a sign and trade so that he gets max money from another team.

    How many jerseys does Howard sell in LA for one year?


  35. Read the Lowe piece. As Lowe says, Orlando is going to lose this trade no matter what they do.


  36. I’m not trying to make a point. Just posting numbers. If Pau missed some games I’d post those too.

    Kobe w/o Bynum

    29.1 pts 5.6 reb 5.1 ast 52% fg 40% 3pt 20 FGA

    Field goal % in RS was 43% fg 30% 3pt. Not having 2 centers gives perimeter players room to operate. Having spacing will be key for perimeter players next year.

    Sessions 2 games w/o Bynum

    21 pts 4.5 reb 10 ast 58% fg 33% 3pt


  37. Kevin-
    In all honesty, I never liked the idea of ‘twin towers’. Clogs the lane on offense and took Pau out of his comfort zone. Also took Kobe off the block more which lowered his fg%. Then we struggled all year to get back on defense.

    Time to move on either with one of our two bigs or Howard instead of both. Then pick up a replacement at pf.


  38. Bynum Best Month

    22.2 pts 10.9 reb 1.8 ast 1.9 blk 63/50/76

    Rebounds have gone up last 4 years

    7.9 – 8.3 – 9.4 – 11.8

    Fouls have gone down last 4 years

    3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 1.7

    Jim has been patient and he’s improved.


  39. All sports commentators/reporters are saying the best deal is Bynum for Dh straight up. Good for both teams.

    ORL is probably waiting for the Nets to get the 3rd team involved. If I was the GM, after all the drama, I’ll ship DH to the LAL for Bynum and end of story.

    Moving on.


  40. Barry G,
    That’s the thing… The Lakers can offer the best deal. Or the second best deal. The best deal for Howard is LeBron James. But nobody is going to offer a Bynum for a player that doesn’t want to play in your city and who also might never be great again. Hence the Magic are stuck with what the Nets are offering.


  41. Michael H,
    That Ingram guy is smart. But from all accounts the Lakers haven’t offered Bynum in any deal. If they would Orlando would take that in a heartbeat.


  42. Apparently, Mitch is talking to ORL FO (go Mitch!) but they haven’t ruled out the Nets.

    It’s a race and I believe we’re ahead by a nose.


  43. Lakers aren’t trading for Dwight.

    Q: Do you look back at that as a franchise-changing moment?

    JB: “I personally don’t. In [Bynum’s] second year, my dad said, ‘You know what? This might be a franchise changer.’ Because you could see his potential in probably his second year. Unfortunately he’s been injured, to show what he really has. But, as far as me looking back on a franchise changer, I don’t look at it that way. Obviously he’s going to be our center for a long time, but I just don’t look at things like that. Because, we’re always winning and we always want to stay on top. I don’t know how you change a franchise from winning to winning.”

    Q: You stated that you intend for Bynum to be your franchise center for the future, so his injury history and any attitude issues [aren’t] really holding you back?

    JB: “No.”


  44. Lakers have always “hit a home run” in the past. Then you realize who was in charge then and who’s in charge now.


  45. I wish we could use some or all of the TE to chase either Mayo or better yet Gordon. It would fill out our backcourt while taking care of the bench scoring aspect as well.

    Hornets get Mayo + Blake
    Grizzlies get LO TE
    Lakers get Gordon

    Mitch would, of course, have to convince Gordon to come back to LA.


  46. Kevin-
    I don’t know whether we will trade Drew or not, but I do know this. You don’t tell everyone what you’re going to do before you do it. If he told the entire world that Bynum’s injury or attitude issues were possibly holding him back from making him the “franchise center of the future,” then what would that do to his trade value? Everyone who came to the Lakers with a trade proposal would instantly have the upper hand.


  47. I’d love to have an insider’s view of what’s going on behind the scenes with the Lakers. I imagine it’s gotta be super cool to be there.

    I’m loving the discussions on here. Some are a bit repetitive and some are just looney, but it sure makes for an entertaining summer. I just hope our team can put together a decent squad so that we can watch some good playmaking, with the possibility of winning it all come next June.

    Thank you Lakerfans for keeping it interesting!!!


  48. Wow – the legions of people questioning the FO are certainly growing. Marcus at 2 and Leo at 28 – I wish I had answers to your basic question – however I have promised to be good – so I am keeping quiet.

    Also – Kevin at 45 with another throw down.


  49. What do we value more: the ability to knock down free throws in the 4th quarter and play a half court game, or the ability to run the floor and play at a faster tempo?

    The answer to that question, as much as anything else, will probably decide what the Lakers will do re: Howard.


  50. KenOak: Hedu and/or Jameer would both be upgrades for us as pitiful as that is. That is why I don’t understand why this was not done last year.

    PS: Two casinos last week – same day – literally the first hand at each – pockets k’s – instant double up.


  51. Dwill signs with the nets.

    With or w/o Howard, if anything the Nets are going to be mighty intriguing.

    I would put money now that Howard’s not coming here – even if the Lakers should trade Bynum for Howard in a heartbeat and then go out for ice cream to celebrate.


  52. Wow, what a tug-of-war.

    Deron signing with the Nets send a strong message to ORL: Let DH go! He wants NJ…oops, Brooklyn, so be it!

    Problem is that ORL FO would rather have Bynum over Lopez + scrubs + picks after the world is ended.

    Nets scored a goal. But the match is not over yet.

    We’ll see.

    Go Mitch!


  53. So we’re suppose to put the future of the franchise in the hands of an individual who:

    1. Is coming off of major back surgery.
    2. Has stated unequivocally that he does not wish to play for the Lakers. And has not waivered (which, considering the individual, says a lot).
    3. Has made it known that he will only re-up with 1 team (Brooklyn) and that if any other team acquires him, it’ll more than likely be for a 1 yr rental.

    Last off season, I was one who was in favor of a swap between Bynum and Howard. Straight Up. Definitely not the 14′ for 7′ that was being proposed by Orlando.

    As it currently stands, this is too much of a risk for an organization such as ours. While I viewed Howard as being the better individual player (mainly on defense), IMO, it was based on the fact that he was the superior athlete. His athleticism allowed him to cover much more ground on the court then Bynum can and taking into account that Drew is probably 3 inches taller, that’s saying alot. Will this still hold true after the surgery? To phrase the question differently, after his procedure, will he still be better than Drew?

    What can’t be underestimated is his desire NOT to play for the Lakers. Do we really need another disgruntled employee (along with Pau, who, until moved, is still part of the team and has had numerous reports this off season about being unhappy). There were several instances last season, before his back gave out, where his effort was put into question. More than likely do to the fact that he wasn’t happy with his surroundings. Whatever his reasons and there seems to be plenty (not wanting to travel the same path as Shaq, not wanting to play/be 2nd fiddle to Kobe and now the latest, which I feel is total bulls**t, wanting to have more of a say so within an organization), the bottom line is that he has made it abundantly clear that a Purple/Forum Blue & Gold Uniform is something he wishes not to adorn.

    Finally, lets say we consumate this trade, fail to accomplish our goal (championship) and he stands by his words and decides to leave. Where does that leave us? With nothing if chooses to disrespect us (highly unlikely) or forced to do a sign and trade. In which case, we would be loosing out on not 1, but the 2 top centers in the league.

    Tough call, but until we can see how Dwight looks on the court post surgery AND he changes his stance on the organization, I’d retain Bynum.


  54. I’m anxious for a “Dwight Howard approves trade to LA” headline to surface.


  55. @54 Tra – “…lets say we consumate this trade, fail to accomplish our goal (championship) and he stands by his words and decides to leave. Where does that leave us?”

    With cap space. A lot of cap space.

    And no center, don’t get me wrong; I know…But, as it is right now, do we have a chance? Even with Bynum, do we have a chance?

    You show concerns for the future of the Lakers…The future of the Lakers is NOW! Sending a message to all of us that they’re commited to a championship while we have the best SG of the league.

    This thing about Bynum being the future of the Lakers is, to say the least, scary. The guy is a 7 year veteran and I’m STILL waiting for…something I don’t really know what it is. Is he good on D? On O?


  56. I was looking to a video somebody here posted (last post) about the 2009 Lakers. That team was made of Lakers fans!!!!!

    Farmar and Ariza getting rings for the team they love? That’s how you build for the future. Too bad Farmar didn’t deliver at the level we needed at that point. And too bad we decided to get Artest for Ariza, although was a smart move, hence gave us another ring.

    But moving foward (DH or not, Bynum or not, Kobe or not), to build a future, the LAL need to get players that really root for the Lakers, which seems to be an easy task, once a BUNCH of players are born and raised in LA, assuming they’re not Clips fans.


  57. I don’t understand why everyone is in love with Andrew Bynum. We’ve watched him for 7 years and this last season was the best he’s ever done. He’s moody and his effort level is predicated on the amount of offensive touches.

    You can just tell that he’s tired of Kobe’s hold of the team and is ready to move on.

    Howard is 10x the player that Bynum is on defense. That alone makes us instantly better.

    If max contracts are going to Eric Gordon and Roy Hibbert, some owner is going to make the same proposal to Bynum.

    This means we are going to have to offer a max contract or lose him. I am definitely on the max out Howard side as he’s a star to lead the next generation of Laker fans. Bynum is no where near the draw that Howard is and doesn’t have the better overall game.

    Do the Bynum trade and sign a point guard that will penetrate and lob the hell out of the basketball next year.

    That will give us better ball movement and will make us less reliant on Kobe creating our offense.

    Just do it.


  58. I’m on board with signing Nash! He’ll be a pg that’s a coach on the floor and everyone will get in line with him controlling the offense. Yes, even Kobe. Kobe has never played with a pg that will make it possible for him to get easy buckets.

    I remember when Magic joined the Lakers he prolonged Kareem’s career by taking control of the offense.

    We don’t really need to worry about Nash’s lack of defense with everybody on the floor involved in the offense, they’ll gladly rotate over to help Nash with his man on defense. The big’s will happily swat away drives to the basket if they get pass Nash.

    Now get some offense off the bench and a wing defender to defend the 3pt line.


  59. David Aldrige just needed to post something; prob coz his boss was asking for an article. He, himself, said: “(Lakers)would only be able to offer Nash an exception starting at $3.09 million for next season. It’s unlikely Nash would take that, so a sign-and-trade deal would be a more realistic possibility.”

    Who on earth thinks Nash will do that?


  60. Magic Phil-
    Not saying that I want Nash, but couldn’t the Lakers use some or all of Odom’s TPE for Nash in a sign and trade?


  61. Hey Robert-
    That’s funny! A few weeks ago I had pocket KK and ran into AA once and then my KK lost to QQ about 10 hands later. I then had pocket AA get cracked by KK. This all happened within a 3 hour period. I was not a happy camper.

    I will say this- getting back to basketball. I think that we’re going to see something significant happen. I mean that I *hope we will!

    Wanted to add that if, somehow some way, we were able to use the TPE for a guy like Nash, then we could use Pau to get another piece like J-smooth or Iggy. *excuse my fantasy land.


  62. All these rumors tired of getting my hopes up for nothing with HOward, Smith, Rondo rumors. Nash for the TPE Lakers aren’t doing that.

    Lakers aren’t looking to get better they want to shed salary. Every move they’ve made has been to cut costs. Ron, Blake, Sessions, Hill, Murphy, McRoberts, Kapono, Ratliff aren’t signing of wanting to get better.

    Jim Buss has proven to be a penny pincher. Until we see otherwise I’m not believing these deals.


  63. Good Lord. If anyone still questions why Darius disallows trade talk, look at comment 46 and do not doubt the established ways of FB&G any more.

    DH12 will more than likely end up in NJ. As our resident troll stated, superstars get their way.

    Final note, for all the FO bashers out there – if the team was only interested in shedding money, we would have done last season what ATL did with NJ today. Pau would have been shipped out for a bunch of expiring contracts and quasi-promising youths. The opportunity was certainly there (Hou, Minny) but the Lakers didn’t bite. Patience and savvy are a sign of a great organization. Fans lack both, which is why most don’t get to run teams.


  64. Correct me if I’m wrong:

    1.Dwight’s contract expires at the end of next season.

    2.He can be signed and traded, which gives him more money (and possibly more choices regarding his next destination).

    That, to me, sounds like a no-brainer as long as you are sure that Bynum isn’t going to be a franchise player.

    I am sure that Bynum, while a great talent, doesn’t have what it takes to be LAL’s franchise player, so I have no qualms about letting him go.

    So, what we get, in essence, is a one year risk-free (again, other than that of having lost Bynum) trial for Howard. If his back is beyond repair, well, let him go. If he overperforms, great. If he doesn’t want to stay with us, negotiate a sign-and-trade.


  65. Avidon: Atlanta doesn’t have a Kobe Bryant on their roster. Lakers won’t go into wholesale mode with Kobe still around. Every single deal since Jim took over has cut salary. Jim track record is caca. No defending that.

    Two straight 2nd round exits we shouldn’t be showing patience. We should be trying to get better. Passing up on stars in their primes isn’t savvy it’s insane.


  66. Eric Gordon has signed a 4/58 offer sheet with Phoenix. Time for Stern to make the call.


  67. . Pau would have been shipped out for a bunch of expiring contracts and quasi-promising youths. The opportunity was certainly there (Hou, Minny) but the Lakers didn’t bite. Patience and savvy are a sign of a great organization. Fans lack both, which is why most don’t get to run teams.

    And, how, exactly, do you know that they won’t do this next week? As Darius always says, it takes two teams to make a trade, and Houston may still be in on Howard, and as I have said a few times, I do think any big moves will happen AFTER we know about Williams and Howard. Williams is settled; Howard isn’t. If Howard does indeed go to BKN, then I expect Morey and Mitch will talk some more about Pau.

    Reflexive FO-defending is is just the flip side of the bashing.


  68. I might be the only one that feels this way, but had we not dealt Lamar for nothing last off season, I think we would have beat OKC in the playoffs. We fell apart at the end of two games because our starters were exhausted because our bench gave us nothing. I heard Barnes was hurt but he was horrible in the playoffs. Brown had a bad rotation too. How can Ebanks go from starting for Kobe to not even coming off the bench?!


  69. 69, rr

    If they do it next week, it only means they’ve exhausted all other possibilities to improve the team and have moved on to the “get the best value possible while cutting payroll” stage. This FO got the best playmaker in the NBA before Czar Stern stepped in. You can’t say they’re not trying.

    On a more personal note, your bashing is far more repetitive and excessive than my defending. Just saying.


  70. @62 KenOak – Well, we can…but Nash will not accept it for 2 reasons.

    1) He can get better money somewhere else, or maybe playing for his hometown.
    2) He, like many great players, stressed his feelings that he hate the Lakers, therefore he will not playing for us. In his case, I forgive him; we knock them down many times (like The Cs did with us in the 70s) so I respect his feelings.


  71. Avidon,

    I personally don’t bash the FO all that much. Robert and a few others do, and I have actually tried to get Robert to tone it down, athough I both like and respect him. And I have brought up the Paul deal as a defense of Buss maybe 20 times–in that respect, you are picking on the wrong guy.

    But your response there is a perfect example of what those who seem personally offended by criticism of the FO do: unless you work for the Lakers, you really have no idea what the alternatives are and were, and what their intentions are. Buss, may, in fact, simply be looking to cut payroll. The Paul deal did cut payroll.

    And one more time: while Jim Buss knows more about running an NBA team than a fan does, the guy is not a basketball lifer who earned his position through an exhaustive executive search, and he is, according to all involved, taking a far more active day-to-day role than his father did. In that context, questioning him (in a reasonable way) is a very reasonable and intelligent response, and saying, “Don’t criticize the FO; you are just a dumb fan and these are the Lakers!” is not, as Darius likes to say, a nuanced approach to the issues.


  72. free agency question, please answer !!

    can multiple teams sign the same player to an offer sheet? like, i see that the blazers have signed (well not officially yet) hibbert to a max offers sheet and now indy must match, but can another team also sign hibbert to an offer sheet for say, the same amount or even more money? or can he only be signed to one offer sheet? Please answer if you know!!! Thanks!


  73. While traveling here in NorCal, got to update myself with insights here, thanks God the topic is no longer Kobe’s bad.

    Undoubtedly, Dwight is better than Bynum as a Center. Under this situation, Lakers are better of with Bynum who would sign a longer contract. Supposing Dwight is signed and stays only for one year then deja vu at the end of next season while Kobe and Pau are getting older with one more season to go.

    Therefore, the best scenario that Howard agrees to 2-3 years contract extension. I don’t really see of his reluctance to play in a established Cosmopolitan city. One, his promotional value is doubled compared to Dallas, Houston or Rockets. Second, his fiancee is resides here and chances are, he could raise his family in plush Bel Air or near the beach. Thirdly, Kobe’s contract will be expiring, same with Gasol, so in two seasons Howard owns the Laker kingdom, unless he gets into high noon melodrama with the FO or with Kb, I really doubt if that would happen. Another consideration perhaps, he is not absolutely convinced with Jimbo and MBrown, he’s a prima donna in Orlando and might be afraid to be treated like piece of meat here offered to any wet market anytime than be greeted as Superman hero of the franchise.

    When Lakers moved Shaq in ’04 and later tried to move Odom & Pau last season, in a way, those moves sent chilling insecurities to trust the head honchos here if he underachieves. That is expected from any high profiled public figure who works for an established organization in any major cities like NY, Boston and Los Angeles. In Brooklyn, there is less because they’re a new team with a foreign owner who is spending left and right to court Championship. Nobody knows much about Pokhorov, he comes from a communist country, they could always sequester his wealth.

    If I were Howard, I will try all avenues. First, I will be a consummate professional by abiding with my current employer. It is best not to burn any bridges, someday he might go back there. Second, try the Lakers formula which is good for Magic, even if Dwight is skeptical with management or uneasy with Kobe, it’s part of coming to maturity in doing things that are not preferential. This is a character builder. Thirdly, he can always opt out on his contract on the 3rd year as long as he maintains the stature as the best Center in the league, the demand never disappears just because he was failure as a Laker. If he were a success, his values moves up tremendously in advertising, movies with unmitigated prestige worldwide.


  74. anon @ 74 & 75 – thanks for elevating the discussion.

    Greatly appreciated.

    You are the sort of poster that makes me long for an “ignore” feature on this site.


  75. 65, Avidon:

    Exactly what is so ‘Lord-inducing’ about my comment at 46? You think NO wouldn’t take an offer of Mayo and Blake for Gordon? Or is it that Lakers wouldn’t be able to account for Gordon and Kobe in the backcourt?


  76. I mean, what exactly did NJ give up to get Joe Johnson? A bunch of expiring contracts!


  77. @83 Kevin_

    That’s scary. I’m up for this trade, but Plaschke is a Lakers hater, and agree with him sounds somewhat off…I didn’t read the entire article (not even a paragraph, sorry) because I don’t read Plaschke. But seems that he thinks Bynum for DH is a good deal for the Lakers.

    Well, good for him. I think it’s a good deal for the Lakers, but at the same time I don’t care about what Plaschke writes or thinks.

    Well, at least he’s not Bill Simmons (or is he?).



    Dont know if it is a good thing or not…

    but heres my two cents… we laker fans have the tendency of overvaluing players on our roster, like pau, drew & etc.; and that might not be a good thing with window of opportunities are closing one by one while other teams are already making major moves. by no means we should rush… just… need to be see value as it is.

    the move i would make: simply do a deal with the rockets by sending andrew over for lowry and scola and future 1st rd pick. they want a young star to build around, we need to fill more than several holes in our roster.

    pau move to the 5 (his natural position), get a savy and tough guy in Scola to help bang down low and a young future 1 with a lowered payroll.


  79. 82 – Their current backcourt is Gordon and Jack, yes? Even if Rivers pans out, they will need a third guard – in which case Mayo as a combo guard is a better fit than Gordon who is a pure 2. Now, Gordon is definitely the better player, but if you were NO and Gordon was on his way out, wouldn’t you want some sort of recompense?
    In any case, it looks like Phoenix just tendered him a max offer, so this might be a moot point.


  80. I’ve heard that, by joining the Lakers, DH’s contract with Adidas will sky-rocket, is that true (makes sense, once Nike dominates the LA market) ?



  81. “What’s more, Bynum wouldn’t nearly be enough to satisfy Hennigan’s desires for a return on Howard. The Lakers would need to send draft picks and absorb long-term money off the Magic’s payroll, sources said.”

    Hold on. The Lakers are supposed to take a chance on a player who will most likely force his way out via trade and Orlando wants picks and wants to give LA long term (dead weight) contracts as well?

    The fact Howard won’t sign an extension with the Lakers dramatically reduces his value to the team. The Magic are being greedy here. If the deal is done they need to be happy with Andrew Bynum straight up. The Lakers would be crazy to take on Richardson or Turk’s contracts just to get Howard.


  82. Hold On. I never knew this.


    That has been out quite awhile and was linked here. I am not sure it’s true, but AFAIK Kobe and Howard never denied it. If it is true, Kobe blew it and deserves serious criticism.


  83. WTH the hell was Kobe thinking?? That’s the alpha dog in him that’ll never go away. If I remember correctly it wasn’t until that Dwight/Kobe phone call that it was said Dwight wouldn’t sign an extension in LA. His choice was to sign in Brooklyn first. Kobe has to fix this I didn’t know that.


  84. rr: I heard about the rumored phone call but never saw actual quotes.

    If it is indeed true Bean messed up on this one.


  85. All this Howard love … I guess its because of all his Finals appearances and championships … oh wait … one Finals appearance … and his team got knocked out … by … oh yeah, the Lakers.

    Howard got his head handed to him in those Finals. And hasn’t been back since.

    And he’s a head case. With a suspect back (at best). And the Lakers should take back a bunch of lousy contracts to get him. Which they cannot afford.

    Got it.


  86. When Orlando was contending, was Howard even the first offensive option on that team? He is a great rebounder and defender, that is why he is so valuable. I remember Pau schooling Dwight in the Finals a few years ago.


  87. R: That year he was 23 carried a team on his back to the Finals. Orlando has never surronded him with the necessary talent to get back. We just saw a story play out like this with LeBron. Dwight will change teams and win rings. I hope he changes his mind and it’s with us.


  88. @94 – All this “Howard-love” is mostly what this trade can bring to the Lakers. Having DH with the Lakers can bring the “role-players” we’ll need to be a contender. Bynum, Howard…they’re both very good centers. But neither one can make a real difference; is what they bring to the franchise that we’re looking for. Players. Hope. Rings.


  89. 79,

    Eric Gordon just got a max deal offer, which would not fit the TPE in any way you try and squeeze it. With exactly two minutes of research that would have been clear to anyone. And that’s just the financial hurdle.


    When I said “your bashing” I was talking to the entire group of people who trash the Lakers organization for one reason or another. Jim Buss has had one year of running the team, and it was during a shortened season after a brand new CBA was implemented (which was aimed to hinder teams like the Lakers specifically). If you are not part of that group, then my apologies.


  90. I keep reading that the Lakers want too much for Gasol, as if this is a problem. Of course they want too much. You only trade him to get better. If the Lakers get fair value for Gasol they will not improve. So why make a deal just to make a deal?

    Bynum for Howard feels like it will improve the team. The whole team is slow. I would argue that, before the Sessions deal, the Lakers may have had below average quickness at all five spots.

    Howard’s next five years may just be equal to Bynum’s for all I know. But he will upgrade team quickness, and get a player who gives what he has night in and night out. That is an upgrade.


  91. 88– Kevin “Lakers Slip in Pursuit of Howard”

    I’ve been meaning to bring that up again, but decided not to as most here would label that as ‘speculation’, failing to realize that’s precisely what all these reports of Howard trade talks are–‘speculation’.

    The source is Jarrod Rudolph, whom supposedly is a confidant of Howard’s, thus is somewhat of a ‘credible’ source. He broke the story of Howard opting in on the final season of his contract, earlier this year. He works for RealGm, and in fact, reported the recent rumor of Lakers’ proposed trade for Dwight.


  92. I don’t think Kobe was wrong to suggest that at all. Dwight has no legitimate post offensive game and is clearly much, much better on D than on O. Gasol and Bryant are both eons beyond him offensively. Gasol as a THIRD option in his 30’s playing with an all-star center scores only a few less points per game than Howard. Pau also punked Howard in the NBA Finals in 09.

    Last I checked, Howard has zero rings as the “it” guy.


  93. Pau was in Howard’s shoes in Memphis, Moses in Houston, Shaq was in Orlando, LeBron in Cleveland. When you team great players with other great players you win rings.

    Recruiting players is hard espicially when dealing with young great players. Have to tell them what they want to hear. But Tyson Chandler. That’s Hilarious lol


  94. Re: Kobe did deny it last year.

    This is Peter Vecsey trying to get the ‘truth’ out of Kobe:

    “Please separate truth from fiction for me re: Howard stuff,” I emailed Kobe several days ago.

    “As far as what? I have no clue what’s even being said. I have a lot to deal with as it is,” he replied.

    I pressed on, nonetheless. I sent Kobe the story and asked him to confirm, deny or both depending on the paragraph.

    “omg! I’m not getting mixed up in this kiddy drama spit, bro. too old for that spit,” Bryant responded via email.

    “How do you think I feel at my age having to chase down this stuff,” I answered. “I understand your position. But if it’s untrue, any of it, and allowed to circulate throughout the league, which already is happening, I would think you’d want to say it’s not.

    “It’s not true,” Kobe responded.


    Well of course he’s not going to say “it’s true”. Kob went away from answering directly until Vecsey pretty much forced an answer out of him.

    Blabbering perhaps, I know… but just had to lay it out there and present the full story.


  95. 97. Avidon

    If you go back and read my post @46, you will notice that I included Mayo and Blake, not the TPE. And that will take you a lot less than 2 min….

    Yes, he did get a max offer from Phoenix – but I hope you agree that he is not a max-level player.


  96. Awww. A part of me is disappointed that Kobe didn’t say that. What makes it funny is in essence it would be true. I’m still in the keep Bynum camp but if we get “OTC” (Our Tyson Chandler) I’ll still embrace the team. In Mitch we trust…


  97. If only Knick trade Tyson Chandler for Bynum, I would take that deal anyday even if it mean that our future is doom.

    1. Tyson Chandler can play defense and will transform a team just by playing defense (NO, Charlote, Dallas and Knick(yes knick….))

    2. He is a leader and a huge energy booster to a team due to his team play.

    3. He doesn’t require the ball like Bynum or Howard.

    4. He is a champion and have a history of going to the post season.

    5. Know how to do pick and roll offense effectively.

    6. will balance out Kobe leadership….

    7. give Pau his post game back

    1. he can’t make his own shot
    2. he is injury prone.
    3. need a good pg to be effective
    4. old….

    Just imagine Tyson with Pau as a frontline,
    two mobile but tall basketball players that have a high basketball IQ and doesn’t hold the ball and stop the offense.

    Too bad that will never happen but I can dream :).


  98. @ 56, Magic Phil

    Understood. We would have Cap Space. But in essence, the only thing that Cap Space guarantees is … Cap Space. Cuban basically blew up his championship team to acquire enough Cap Space to pair Dwill n Howard along with Dirk. As it stands now, Dwill is headed to BK (with, in all likelyhood, Howard to follow) and what does Cuban have to show for all of this? Cap Space.

    Also, my post was definitely not an endorsement of Drew. I’ve been one of his harshest critics on this board. To the point where I nicknamed him ‘Slouch’ Bynum due to his lackidasical nature.

    I’m just of the belief that we shouldn’t be so adamnent about bringing in an individual who doesn’t want to be here. Especially when said individual is coming off of major back surgery. Too much of a risk and not ‘The Laker Way.’


  99. rr: With regard to bashing: I have been good lately. I have only been cheering others. And Kevin has picked up my flag with direct hits @64 and 67 most recently.

    Kobe has 5 rings and a host of other accolades and he gets bashed. Why should an owner be judged any differently than a player? The owner does not get credit for that which occurred before his arrival, I agree – let’s stop with the knee jerk we have 16 banners defense of the FO, because those are under different regimes. Further I don’t buy the “it takes 2 to trade defense”. While the statement is true, it is no different than a player stating night after night that he played well, and the other guy just played out of his mind. If this keeps happening, then the other guy is simply better than you. So if other FO’s are making deals and making their teams better and ours is not, then why should they get a free ride? Everyone in the country would love to have some of you guys as their boss. Here is the annual review: If the FO does well, then they are brilliant – if they do poorly, then it wasn’t their fault – it was the Veto, it was the other owners, and it was bad luck. Where do I apply for that job? Oh yea – in my case – I don’t need to apply – I just need to find a billion dollars to buy the team.

    rr: After I buy the team, and make you GM, trust me, my annual evaluation criteria for you will be a little more demanding than outlined above.


  100. Bynum is supposed to go Germany this summer to have the Kobe blood treatment on one or both knees. Taken together with the Howard surgery, there are enough medical questions, both short and long term to make any deal for Howard even more iffy. I would much prefer trading Pau,but not just to shed $$. There is now a real rivalry with the Clippers on many levels,and a wrong major move, or the belief the team is just trying to shed $$,will hurt.


  101. free agency question, please answer !!

    can multiple teams sign the same player to an offer sheet? like, i see that the blazers have signed (well not officially yet) hibbert to a max offers sheet and now indy must match, but can another team also sign hibbert to an offer sheet for say, the same amount or even more money? or can he only be signed to one offer sheet? Please answer if you know!!! Thanks!


    Roy Hibbert WILL sign to an offer sheet from Portland. If he gets matched, he goes back to Indy. If it doesn’t he goes to Portland.

    So how can he sign “another” offer sheet? He has basically made his bed w/ Portland, unless Indy decides to give him the same contract. Pretty simple really.


  102. Re: DWill staying with the Nets – I see a lot of parallels between the Mavs situation and the Lakers (although the Mavs’ is actually a bit advantageous because at least they have cap space to work with). High-powered younger free agents want to go somewhere where they see upside – and both the Lakers and Mavs remain chiefly dependent on superstars who are definitely on the downside of their careers. Hate to say it, but barring a miracle or two, I see both teams getting a lot worse before they get better again.


  103. As someone who has coached competitive sports from High School and up, the first thing I would do is get rid of Bynum. Name one franchise player EVER, that you wondered if he was going to show up and play hard? Selfish? Sure, Moody? OK, Crazy? Fine. But guessing if someone is going to show up…7 Years into his career? Means you gotta GO and go NOW!


  104. You know what’s telling. All these point guards are getting buzz Nash, Kidd, Lin. 2 are old and liabilities on defense the other only played half a lockout season.

    A 26 yr old in his prime PG is getting no love. Tells you what the league thinks about Sessions.


  105. Kevin at 95 – “We just saw a story play out like this with LeBron.” Fair enough. And, it happened in large part because players other than the Big Three contibuted rather than stand around drooling like they did the previous season!

    Check this out from Wojnarowski:
    “What’s more, Bynum wouldn’t nearly be enough to satisfy Hennigan’s desires for a return on Howard. The Lakers would need to send draft picks and absorb long-term money off the Magic’s payroll, sources said.”

    Absorb long term money even though they are already in a nearly untenable payroll situation vis a vis the upcoming CBA mandates. Further mortgage the team for a possibly marginal upgrade at a position that’s already a strength. Further damage the Lakers’ ability to acquire/retain role players who can do more than stand around and drool.


  106. Mark Stein is reporting that it is the Sun’s FO that won’t consider doing a sign and trade with the Lakers. I kind of thought that would be a strange move helping your rival out like that. I guess if Nash wanted to come here badly he could ask them as a favor since he has been so loyal over the years. But then I think he will be happy with the Knicks or Raptors so he probably won’t push it.


  107. Kevin – my impression/thoughts on Sessions do not change regardless of what the entire league (teams with cap space) think about him with all that cap space floating around.

    R – thats the reason I do not want Howard, simply because any possible deal is not straight up, but comes with ALOT of strings attached.


  108. Get DH already. Sell Bynum while his stock is high. It’s worth the risk. Just get the deal done and worry about the minor pieces later. We’ve commited to Mike Brown, a defensive minded coach. Therefore, give him Howard the best defensive player in the league and let’s see what he can do with him.


  109. Completely my own opinion, but a deal for Dwight has to (most likely) cut salary in the process, something which Orlando is not willing to take, and in fact, wants us to do in the 1st place.

    So if any team has cap space that welcomes MWP or Hedo in the process, the deal could be done. Other than that, do not bank on the Howard/Bynum swap to happen.

    That said, rather than hostage our team to such, despite the real possibility, I would much rather just make a pitch to Rashard Lewis, re-sign Sesh Ebanks and Hill, and call it a short season.

    We need 3-pt shooting more than we need the Bynum-for-Howard swap.


  110. WWL: What exactly are your thoughts on Sessions?

    Mine are he has the speed Lakers haven’t had at PG in awhile. He can finish strong at the rim. Sessions had some success with wings who can run the floor with him.

    His stage freight on the big stage was evident and his confidence was lost. His jumper is inconsistent. Not laying the ball up with his left hand resulted in easy blocks for opponents. He got nicked up a bit and his game fell off a cliff. And we saw his defense.

    Can he transform into a starter for the Lakers who plays 82+ games? Maybe but at 26 he is what he is. A backup

    Re Bynum: Bynum has mentioned he wouldn’t mind being the main guy somewhere else. Say he goes to FA (he’ll be a RFA) next summer. He works out in Atlanta in the summer. He wants out of LA and asks for a sign and trade. What happens then? This is not too far fetched.


  111. Kevin – “He wants out of LA and asks for a sign and trade. What happens then? This is not too far fetched.”

    What happens then? He gets it.


  112. Kevin,
    Teams all have good PGs. That’s why Sessions isn’t eying much interest. Jeremy Linn sells tickets because of his ethnicity. Steve Nash with his name and skin color. Both those PGs are very flawed (Nash due to age and slowness/and Linn because he just isn’t that good).


  113. R: You make it sound so easy. My point is Bynum can easily ask for a trade to a team who doesn’t have the assets Lakers would want. The same thing Howard is doing to Orlando.

    Aaron: Not every team. Just kind of odd his name isn’t being mentioned with the Lin, Nash, Kidd group. He’s drawing as much interest as Felton.


  114. The sad part about Orlando’s pieces. They would instantly be our 4th or 5th best players.


  115. Alex Kennedy is reporting that the Lakers are interested in R. Lewis. With his 3pt shooting ability and his length he would be a great addition! I think he´d look good next to Bynum, Howard or Gasol as a true stretch 4 or even as a long 3. Hopefully he´ll sign for what we have to offer!


  116. Kevin, I don’t mean to make it sound easy.

    Just trying to be real about it. Stars have leverage in the NBA. And I’m glad of it. At least Stern/the owners don’t have ALL the power. Just most of it.


  117. I have been frequenting Laker blogs since the K brothers started their blog on the Times. The one constant I have noticed is that a lot of posters tend to under value players on the roster and over value players from other teams. Thats why there was such an out cry to trade Kobe for a package of Chicago Bulls. That is why there were so many calling for trading Odom and Bynum for Jermaine O’neil.

    Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That is one of the things I appreciate about Mitch, he may have made a few signing errors but he has never made a really really bad trade.

    As it stands now, the Howard trade would be a bad trade. That’s why it didn’t go through at the trade deadline and why it will fail now. The Nets are offering 3 1st round picks, spread over 5 years. We will be in rebuilding mode in 2 years. The Nets are willing to take back the garbage. If we took back all that garbage, we would have less flexibility then we have now. All of this for a guy that doesn’t make us that much better. A guy that will not fix our current weaknesses. A guy that is rehabing from disk surgery, that may not start the season. And we have no idea what he will look like once he can play.

    Like I have said at one time I would consider Howard for Bynum straight up or even consider taking J-Rich back since it fills another need. But the more I think about it the more I am backing off that as well. Because I see more room for grow with Andrew. In his first year of being featured he made 2nd team all NBA. But with Howard, I think he has reached his ceiling because his game is all athletic and not really skill based. In two years Andrew would still be younger then Howard is now and maybe better.


  118. Lakers are good. Kobe will get number 6 the year he decides to retire. So next year they retool and in 2014 they win the ring.


  119. Ugh, why would the Lakers be pursuing Rashard Lewis? Lewis will be 33 when the season starts… In theory, a good stretch-4 would be a nice complement to either Bynum or Gasol in the post, but Lewis’ 3-pt % has plummeted over the past 4 seasons to a pitiful .239 last season. In comparison, the groan-inducing Troy Murphy made .418 of his treys.

    We really missed LO’s impact off the bench last season, and I hope the front office can do something to make up for that. It’ll be tough, but I really, really want us to go after Ersan Ilyasova: he’s young (25), and just had a break-out season averaging 13 and 9, with a PER of 20.55. He brings the kind of hustle and rebounding you want from the bench. As a fallback, even some one like Carl Landry (28) would be pretty formidable. Unfortunately, both are unrestricted FAs and probably out of our mini-midlevel price range. We’d have to swing a sign+trade and/or use part of our $9 million LO trade exception to acquire them, but dang, it’d be such a steal if we could… Do it, Mitch and Jim! We want ERSAN! *Clap clap clap clap clap*


  120. WWL: Finally we agree : )

    “but a deal for Dwight has to (most likely) cut salary in the process”

    I agree, because as Kevin has pointed out, all of our deals cut salary. My question is why? We are clean in 2014 as we all know. As long as we do not give people contracts beyond that point – what does it matter? I am speaking from a basketball perspective of course. If we are running this strictly like a business – then how do we keep up with Russians, Internet Billionaires, and the new young money?

    This is how it felt for everyone else in the early 80’s when the Lakers, Sixers, and Celts were the only ones who would spend money. The tax is worse than not having a cap at all. Only the rich can afford it.


  121. Kevin @123: Yes – that is what I have been saying all along. There is something else going on here. Hedu and Jameer would be total upgrades for us, and the rest of the league looks upon them as unwanted contracts (option in JN’s case). How is it possible that our offer is not the best? Oh yea – that cutting salary thing.

    All: Even if you are aginst the trade, then why are we qwasting time on this – with everything else on hold? We are clearly pursuing this, but we have to do it in an economical way – just like all the Pau deals. When other GM’s used to call Mitch is was like calling Neiman Marcus – now we are Walmart.


  122. Robert,

    Nelson would probably not be upgrade on Sessions; he is 30, short, and in decline. In addition, he almost got into a fistfight with Howard last year.

    As to the FO, look at it this way: Is Mark Cuban an idiot? His decision to let Chandler walk was exactly the kind of “I want titles” move that you like, but look where Cuban is now: Williams is a Net and Howard wants to be. Nash wants to be a Knick. I dislike Cuban, but he is a smart, active owner who is willing to spend. This sequence didn’t work out for him–at least not yet.

    So, one more time: had the league allowed Paul to come here, Howard might well also be here. Had that happened, Jim Buss would be a hero to most of the Lakers fanbase, you included.

    There is some evidence on your side. There is also some evidence on the other side, but not enough to know if the angry defenses of the FO that we sometimes see here are really warranted.

    Basically, you are like a prosecutor screaming at the jury every day during jury selection. Your case would be better served ISTM with more time spent gathering evidence.


  123. I have to admit that rr has an awesome point here. Cuban made all the “right” moves and he is coming up empty empty in his search for Deron and Dwight.

    And, just like rr said, if the Paul trade would have been allowed then we would most likely have Howard as well. Then we would all be hailing Mitch and Jim as heroes.

    I find myself agreeing with you a lot rr.


  124. I just wanted to say happy 4th to the FB&G faithful.

    Don’t let basketball get you too down. Keep it all in perspective.


  125. rr: This is not a court of law so fortunately the defendant is Not innocent until proven guilty. Those supporting the FO have less evidence than those attacking it. Facts: We have been ushered out of the playoffs quickly the last two years, we have completed no major deals, our cap situation is a shambles, and we have damaged our Laker family with moves against DF, LO, Ronnie, Brian, the scouts, PJ, and Jeannie. That is evidence. The evidence that I see in support of the FO is the Veto, we have 16 banners, we are the Lakers, we are trying, and it is difficult to make deals in the NBA. As a jury member – which do you find more compelling? : )


  126. I tried to not talk about the FO for few days, but I guess without games going on – the convo seems to drift to this. I have not banned myself for a while, so I will do so now. I am not posting again until Saturday, unless we trade for D12 at which point I will kneel and kiss Jimbo’s ring.


  127. Robert, I really like your comments, ideas, class, etc…But I’ll disagree on the FO. I think they did great considering the situation.

    By getting Murphy and Kapono, the FO clearly was trying to fix the outside shooting for us. Didn’t work (will never work if the coach doesn’t draw a play for these guys…).

    Then, by getting rid of Kapono, Fisher (who was not contributing at all) and Luke Walton for Hill and Sessions was a master shot. I can’t see how the FO didn’t do well. Not even mention the CP3 trade (that would have given us not only CP3 bt DH as well), that was genius.

    I’ll go for Josh Smith straight up for Gasol…or not. Gasol will be a MUCH better player playing with DH on the same team. But Smith will attract DH here, and make us a lot faster.

    Let’s see. So far, the FO is doing a good job IMHO.


  128. While I’m still a skeptic we’ll have our answers about the FO soon.

    Will the Lakers be buyers or sellers?


  129. The past 2 trades have teetered that line of trying to get better while shedding salary.

    The obvious plan is to lower payroll while acquring talent that hopefully makes the team better.

    With fans having to buy the new Lakers channel I can’t imagine Lakers would be in selling mode.

    New regime: Veto Paul trade, Odom for a bag of chips, Fisher for Hill, Luke for Sessions. Curious to see what happens next.


  130. Stevie Nash baby!!! wonder how Stern gets to veto this one…

    So Sessions practically a goner?


  131. This makes no sense. Yea Nash helps us on offense, but he’s probably a worse pick and roll defender than Derek Fisher was.


  132. You have to think this is a prelude to a DH trade… Howard has been wanting to play with Nash for a while, and this might just be his tipping point. Also, this may seem to be the end of Sessions, and probably Blake too. Since Nash will play heavy minutes, no point in having Blake play 10-12mins a game. Just give it to Morris/Goudelock combo and let them be taken under Nash’s wings. Trade Blake for a backup SG or future pick



    They used the TPE. Kobe swayed Nash’s decision.

    Front office bashers?
    Kobe bashers?


    Sure, he’s old and doesn’t defend, but when’s the last time we could say we had a good defensive PG? He’s a hall of fame caliber set up man, he’s going to take the ball out of Kobe’s hands and get it to the guys in their sweet spots.

    Excellent pick-up out of left field. Mitch and his under the radar magic.

    Anyone know how many picks the Lakers gave up?