The Other Shoe May Not Drop

Darius Soriano —  July 9, 2012

With the acquisition of Steve Nash, the Lakers’ landscape has shifted. They now have a point guard whose complete package of skills have been lacking in all of his predecessors and a floor general that’s respected as much as any other in the league. He alone makes the Lakers a better team. Kobe is happy, Gasol is happy, everyone is happy.

That said, with Nash now handling duties at the point, there’s a general feeling that the Lakers should get on to making their next move. And unless you’ve been hibernating, you know which move I speak of: trading for Dwight Howard. The bait would be Andrew Bynum (and potentially more) but that’s what a lot of people are clamoring for. After all, Dwight is the better overall player and whoever has him in-house when the season starts will have the inside track to keep him next year. So, no brainer, right?

Well, yes and no.

I’m all for the Lakers making a move for Howard from a talent standpoint. As I’ve written before, in the most simple terms he offers an upgrade. Improving on a strength is still improving and if you simply look at Howard as the best pick and roll big man in the league – on both sides of the ball, I might add – and add him to a team with Steve Nash on it, you’re coming out ahead.

However, that talent upgrade isn’t the only variable. The point is that the Lakers must still make a smart move for their franchise that effectively balances their desires to win now (and in the future) while being conscientious about their long term payroll concerns. Steve Nash effectively added $9 million of salary to the Lakers’ books for the next 3 years, dramatically raising their payroll due to increased luxury payments next season with even larger payments to be made the year after next due to hikes in the tax rates.

The Lakers must be cost conscious with how they fill out the rest of their roster. This team can’t be quick to simply add a bunch of payroll in a trade for Howard regardless of how much they may covet the big man. There’s no indication of who the Magic want to include in any trade of Howard but my assumption would be that they’ll be looking to off-load at least one (and likely more) of the Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glenn Davis trio. All three of these players are over paid and both Davis and Richardson’s contracts run the same length as Nash’s contract, giving the Lakers less financial flexibility in the summer they’ll need to get under the luxury tax line to avoid the harshly punitive repeater tax.

Beyond the financial concerns though, the Lakers surely also look at Nash as the man that can help get the most out of the players they currently have on the roster – including Bynum – without having to make another deal. After all, Nash is the poster boy for “makes his teammates better”. If he can help improve the games of Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum the Lakers have already upped their “talent” level without making another big move.

Of course there will still be other, smaller, moves to make. They’ll need a legitimate back up for Kobe (and maybe even an additional wing beyond that player), can still improve in the front court behind Bynum and Pau, and can still seek out specific skill sets (namely shooters and/or high caliber defenders) to round out the team. Working to improve the bench is as a big a priority now as it ever was since the Lakers are simply too thin to win as currently constructed.

But, in terms of big moves, the Lakers should be patient. Surely they’d like to have the best players at all positions. If they can exchange the number two player at one spot for the number one guy, they should explore that opportunity and see what it takes to make it happen. However, they can’t blindly rush into the fray without examining the long term consequences nor can they discount how Nash can have an impact on the players they already have.

And, in the end, what’s not being said enough is that the Lakers have a fantastic consolation prize in house. If Howard doesn’t come, they still have Bynum – with full bird rights intact. They may be trying to hit a homerun, but if they fail they’re not striking out, they’re hitting a triple.

Darius Soriano

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212 responses to The Other Shoe May Not Drop

  1. No interest in Shannon?

  2. Lakers are still in this. Orlando isn’t taking that mess of a deal.

    Maybe Lakers can get some players with S&T with Sessions or Hill.

  3. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Latest permutation of the Nets-Magic trade has the Magic getting Brook Lopez, Damion James (who?), Sheldon Williams (really?) and LUKE WALTON (WTF!!!) along with a bunch of picks. If that ain’t the poo-poo platter, I don’t know what is! Those picks aren’t going to amount to much – given that the Nets will be good after the trade.

    Nets get Howard, Earl Clark (backup 5) and J-Rich(to back-up Joe Johnson). That’s an awesome deal for them.

    I understand why the Cavs are doing this – anytime someone pays *you* to take Luke Walton off your hands, you do it! Did I mention they would also get a pick?

    Talk about player-power! Though, if I were DH12, I would be leery of the Karma gods.

  4. Maybe I’m going crazy, but this latest piece by Broussard makes absolutely no sense. Someone help me out here…
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8142542/sources-cleveland-cavaliers-help-brooklyn-nets-land-dwight-howard-trade

    He says that Orlando has no interest in Brooks, Lopez or Humphries:
    “Although the Nets have made Brooks available, sources say the Magic aren’t interested and he’s being shopped elsewhere”
    “But Orlando does not want Humphries or Brooks, so the Nets began looking for a third team to pull in to help push the deal through”

    Yet he finishes with this paragraph:
    “Orlando likes Lopez as a consolation prize to Bynum, and a package featuring the Brooklyn center and a slew of draft picks intrigues the Magic, according to sources”

    Uhhhhh??

    So Orlando doesn’t like any of the Nets players, so they are trying to involve Cleveland, but Cleveland can sign Humphries outright and who can Cleveland offer that is of any interest??

  5. So Orlando’s new GM first move on his new job is this??????

    I doubt anyone can explain this deal.

    Oh, the picks? You get a Durant-type of guy once in a million years…

  6. #4. The only player Orlando seems to like is Brook Lopez. The Nets have two other players (Marshon Brooks and Kris Humphries) who they’re shopping to try and move in order to get the needed assets to deal w/ Orlando. They’ve since approached the Cavs about taking on one (or both) of these players in order to help facilitate the trade. The Cavs would get a pick and the Nets would then send the rest of their roster to Orlando with their other draft picks to make the deal work. From where I sit, this isn’t a very enticing package for Dwight Howard but I’m not Orlando’s GM.

  7. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Fascinating read on the Nash-to-LA deal:
    http://tinyurl.com/7c558df

    Bill Duffy asserts “100%” that Nash would have stayed back in Phoenix if they had offered him 10M for 3 years *combined*.

    WoW!!

  8. @any_one_mouse

    My initial read on the Suns not wanting to offer Nash even $10M for three years is that they want to get bad, VERY bad, as quickly as they can so they can get good lottery draft choices and accelerate through the rebuilding process.

    Nash, even at this advanced age, kind of puts a floor under how bad his team can be. Worst place to be in the NBA right now is stuck in the middle between rebuilding and contending.

  9. If the other shoe does not drop the Lakers will be fine.

    Bynum is not completely devoid of common sense, he’s fully aware that a championship that he’s been instrumental in winning and along with “his numbers” will augment a raise in his next contract.

    Morris and Goudelock will be fine during regular season games, however, they will not be reliable in the playoffs or if the Lakers get there in the finals. Referees tend to swallow their whistle on fouls in their favor, but will call fouls against them with abandon.

    Kobe will always take the lead if there is a moment of hesitancy on the part of players on his team. Kobe’s usage rate has been a bat by which fans and the media have beat Kobe soundly about the ears and head with in order to make the point that Kobe will not relinquish control of the offense, as if he does his numbers will diminish. It never appears to be a problem unless the Lakers lose. With Nash on the team Kobe has a player that competes every night and has been around long enough to understand the ebb and flow of a basketball game. Kobe’s basketball life will be extended by a few years with Nash manning the offense.

    The Lakers roster as currently constituted is comprised of seasoned players or players with limited on the floor game minutes. The roster should be rounded out by NBA tweeners. Players that have been around long enough to understand what it takes to compete in a full season and have enough experience to warrant calls from the referees. Additionally, their desire to win a championship will infuse energy into back-to-back games, and/or games played against non-threatening teams. These are the situations that were a Lakers hamartia during the past two seasons.

  10. “Doctors: The main issue with Lopez’s foot is that it’s attached to a center who doesn’t rebound or score very efficiently.”
    -John Hollinger

    The old bald sage of advanced statistics may over-rely on them to the exclusion of anything else, but he does not lack for sass.

  11. Too funny to not repost…

    johnhollinger John Hollinger
    RT @JohnKrolik: Doctors: The main issue with Lopez’s foot is that it’s attached to a center who doesn’t rebound or score very efficiently.
    45 minutes ago     

  12. we are still going to be too SLOW for okc.

    hope mitch isnt done.

  13. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    @JimC –

    That’s a very good point. On the other hand, the Suns just brought in Dragic and have extended a $58M offer to Gordon. Neither of those seem to indicate a “tank-now” approach, right?

  14. wow now the clippers have stepped up as a fourth team in the potential trade.

    brilliant move by the clippers to keep dwight away from the lakers

  15. Hennigan is trying to make Mitch sweat. That’s all I can come up with.

  16. LBc, you dont need to be fast to play OKC. Lets not confuse controlling pace with matching OKC’s speed. No team can match OKC’s speed. If you control pace you limit OKCs fastbreak, if you hot shots you limit fast breaks. With a True Point Guard in house you can control pace and get the best shot on every possession. Its that simple. We lost to them in the playoffs because our point guards sucked and our supporting cast didnt hit shots.

  17. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    MarShon Brooks for a non-lottery pick is a good deal for the Clips.

    So, in a nutshell, Orlando gives Dwight away for a crappy center and a bunch of picks, none of which will prolly be in the lottery.

    Wouldn’t they just be better off keeping Dwight on the roster, and letting him walk (away from a substantial amount of money) at the end of the season? Sure Dwight is rich – but 25M is still a lot of money!

  18. Darius, yeah, not enticing at all.

    Cleveland can pick up Humphries on their own if they so desired, so the Nets will throw them a pick for the right to pay a player they obviously don’t want, which would most likely be a first rounder. So Brooklyn ships Brooks, Humphries and a first rounder to Cleveland, who is Cleveland sending over to Orlando? They have no assets.

    It just doesn’t make any sense on its face. It has to be a move to get some leverage against the Lakers. Dan Gilbert does know his team plays in the eastern conference right? He’s going to have to play the super team in Miami four times this year, and the new super team in Brooklyn, that he is helping to form, four times as well.

  19. I can’t come up with smart reasons business and basketball wise why this is a good trade for anyone other than Brooklyn and maybe Clippers.

    Humphries and Brook are willingly going to leave a great situation for bottom feeders? It just doesn’t add up.

    This deal is comical. I’d be shocked if Orlando gives the OK.

  20. @any_one_mouse

    No, they don’t. On the other hand, if they had Dragic lined up and were thinking he’d be a longterm solution for them at PG, cutting ties with Nash now and getting picks would be a great change of direction.

    I’m very high on Dragic and think he could be a borderline All-Star caliber PG for the next 5-8 years. Maybe they wanted to get Dragic, knew that they needed to get him starter minutes to justify the price tag, and didn’t want to try and make Nash come off the bench?

    Or maybe the agent is just lying his *** off. Hard to say sometimes.

  21. couple things I read today -
    1) there is a general discontent amongst the NBA teams other than the Lakers that they were able to get Nash.. (sounds like the Cavs owner again) too funny!
    2) part of the hold up on a Bynum-howard trade is that Bynum won’t agree to sign an extension with the Magic and they, (like the Lakers) are not interested in a 1 year rental…
    so why don’t both teams sign and trade?

  22. Judging from the latest reports in the ‘Dwight Saga’, the team who makes out best (besides the obvious, Brooklyn) would be our co-tenants, who would come away with a promising young 2-guard in Marshon Brooks.

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8144717/sources-nets-magic-need-fourth-team-possibly-complete-dwight-howard-trade

  23. Jim C @8: “Worst place to be in the NBA right now is stuck in the middle between rebuilding and contending.” Yes – exactly. The middle is actually very large in the NBA as well. You need to be one of the worst 4 teams in the league to get high lottery picks. You need to be one of the top 2-3 to win the title. We are close to the later, and if as per above we only hit a “triple”, then we need another hit or some sort of suicide squeeze play, otherwise it could end up being – just another man left on base.

  24. And yes – I am ecstatic
    And No I am not complaining
    And Yes – we still need more

  25. Chris H, yes Bynum will not sign an extension, and neither will Howard. Even if Howard gets traded to Brooklyn, he’s not going to sign an extension. Neither of them will sign an extension no matter what the team is because they’d be leaving a lot of money on the table. The best financial decision for them is to let their current deal expire and sign a new max deal for 5 years/$100 million like Deron Williams did. It’s the same reason why CP3 will not sign an extension.

    No matter where Bynum would like to play, he’s not going to leave $25 million on the table and sign with a team who does not own his bird rights.

  26. Robert: Yes we do still need more. Orlando on Line 1 and Philly on Line 2.

  27. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    @JimC:

    I agree with you on the Nash staying there would stifle Dragic theory. We said the same thing with Sessions/Fisher.

    On the other hand, does that mean we overpaid for Nash? :)

    Thanks for your input!

  28. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    Of course we deserve to be in the finals each and every year. It has been two years and we need somebody to kill.

    I love the if this, then that type of thread. The constant complaining just seems more than merely spoiled. Actually, I think we could trade teams with Miami and we would still have a lot of noise about what the FO isn’t doing.

  29. The other thing to consider against OKC is this past playoffs, Lakers weren’t able to consistently hurt OKC’s lack of size inside. Yes, part of that was on Bynum and Pau. But part of that was the inability of the guards to get the ball to them in good position.

    With Nash on board, got to think Bynum and Pau will do even more damage. Limiting the break with made baskets on top of already limiting the break with a better ball handler in Nash.

  30. @any_one_mouse

    I think Nash is worth every penny of the contract we’re paying him. As recently as last season he was an All-Star. We’re basically paying him Lamar Odom level money for what he’ll bring.

    Just because he would have been, in theory, willing to sign with Phoenix for less than he would have commanded on the open-market doesn’t mean he isn’t worth the contract we’re offering him.

    Based on pure production, I’d argue he’s worth a little more than what we’re paying him, but that’s balanced out by his age, his back issue, the possibility his skill set might decline very rapidly, etc.

    In other words, I think Nash’s contract is a very reasonable one based on what he brings to the table and the risks based on his age. To me, the more sticky question is whether he’s worth both his salary AND the picks we had to give up to get him.

    Based on where those picks were likely to be, I still think the answer is yes. I am, overall, thrilled with this sign and trade. I think we got as good of value as we could have possibly hoped for out of the Odom TPE.

    Just my personal thoughts. Would love to hear yours as well as this has been an enjoyable conversation.

  31. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    @JimC,

    I was just referring, tongue-in-cheek, to what his agent said about staying in Phoenix for 3-4M a year :)

    You are absolutely right – assuming his production doesn’t drop off a cliff, and he stays healthy, $9M a year (plus the cash and picks) is fantastic for someone whose strengths plug the holes in our starting unit so well.

    That being said, I do hope that the FO fills out the rest of the roster appropriately as well. Ideally, our starter’s minutes are maximized together. I’m not sure if I want to see Kobe averaging 39 min a game, or Blake play substantial minutes.

  32. 1/2decaf: So you want D12 (as I do), so does that make you an unhappy camper? : )
    Craig W: “Of course we deserve to be in the finals each and every year. It has been two years and we need somebody to kill.” Very close : ) In my case, I think we deserve to be in the Finals every other year (31 out of 66 to be exact), but yes 2 years out is too long : )

  33. @any_one_mouse

    I generally do not like Bynum much as a person. At all. But if we end up with him as our starting center instead of Howard, I’d be okay with it.

    But IF things play out that way, I’d be very much in favor of trading Gasol for a package of young talent and picks. $19M is way too much to pay a 4th option. He’s a great player, but I’d rather have four very good/good players for $19M per year than one aging 4th option taking jumpers.

    Essentially, I think the acquisition of Nash changes the calculus of the team in a way that is not in Gasol’s favor overall. I’d rather have Jordan Hill playing starters minutes as a rebounding/defensive/12 foot jump shot shooting big man AND a floor-stretching, defensive lockdown three than pay Pau $19M.

  34. I really just don’t understand why we’re still talking about trying to get Dwight Howard. HE’S NOT COMING HERE! He will not sign an extention here so there’s no reason to talk about this anymore. We need to go with a different plan and trading Gasol seems to be the logical option. If we can get more athletic and add a shooter or 2, I’m ok with trading Gasol.

  35. Rudy: Will Bynum sign an extension here? So next question – is he staying here? We have a center for one year in any case.
    Also we can talk about Bynum/D12 according to site rules. The Gasol trade talk has been relatively silent recently, so trying to talk about that would be sheer “speculation” : )

  36. I’m actually leaning towards switching my stance on Howard. With the Nash acquisition, the picture changes for me. I’m willing to put up with his awful attitude for his pick and roll game. But I think it’s a moot point.

    If Hennigan is serious about that deal, Mitch Kupchak isn’t sweating – he’s sitting back and laughing to himself and saying “n00b.” That’s a pu-pu platter if I’ve ever see one. Those picks are all Nets and Clippers picks, right? So he’s trading Dwight for a few non-lottery picks and the right to dump J-Rich’s contract. And a center who can’t rebound because he once had “mono.”

    I pity Magic fans if that deal goes through. Let’s be honest – if I ever went to a site that allows for trade speculation and talked about a Lopez, Shelden Williams, Luke Walton, Damion Jones, and Armon Johnson package for D12, I’d be laughed at and banned. Somehow Hennigan is actually entertaining this, or trying to build leverage.

    We don’t know much about Hennigan but we’ll find out soon enough. Billy King must be excited, this might be the first time he actually fleeces another general manager.

  37. Robert – We own Bynum’s bird rights, so yes I do believe Bynum will sign here. We can pay him more money than anyone else.

    I just don’t understand why we continue to talk about Dwight Howard when he’s already said he will not sign an extension here. What else has to happen before we realize we’re not getting Dwight Howard?

  38. I’m convinced that D12 will end up with the Nets, but that proposed offer is so terrible that it actually makes me think it’s posturing to get a better offer from the Lakers..? They don’t even get to dump Turkoglu in this trade. Something smells fishy.

    Unless, ofcourse, the goal is to become an absolutely horrendous team for the next 4 years. But DeVos said he would rather field a playoff team than start over again, right?

  39. I’d like them to focus fully on the bench. I think signing Jerryd Bayless for Kobe’s backup for the MLE (if possible) would be the best move. He can guard the fast PGs that Nash or Blake can’t and is a fantastic 3 point shooter. See if Jamison would take the vet’s minimum for 1-year before going back to Charlotte (he’s debating chasing a ring or going to charlotte). Trade McRoberts to Golden State for Dorell Wright (warriors said they intend to get rid of him)

    Bench:

    Blake or Bayless
    Bayless or Ebanks
    Wright / EBanks
    Jamison
    Hill

  40. Bynum has so much power with the Lakers it’s crazy. From now on Lakers do what he says that’s how it works with stars. Unless their proactive.

  41. A 24 yr old center has the Lakers under his thumb. Rebelled against everyone from tht front office on down but he’s the 2nd best center in the league let’s keep him. Lakers aren’t winning nothing as long as Bynum’s around. He doesn’t have a winning mindset. Dwight or not Lakers want depth they’ll make a tough decision. It’s obvious Lakers brass aren’t convinced Bynum is their guy otherwise he wouldn’t be on the block.

  42. 43,

    Bayless has talent/potential, but something about him not even receiving a QO from Toronto (of all teams!) makes me uneasy.

    As it stands now, our only signed big on the bench is McRoberts. I’m pretty sure the mid-MLE will be spent on a vet big.

  43. Rudy, if we trade for Dwight, we will own his bird rights just as we own Bynums now. Bynum can walk or resign just as easily as Dwight can.

    Bayless would be a nice pick-up with the mini-MLE; I’m hoping they have contacted Courtney Lee as well.

    This proposed 4 way deal for Dwight to Brooklyn is utter crap. They got rid of their second best player, Ryan Anderson, so that they can pay Brook Lopez?? They are getting Shelden WIlliams and Luke Walton in the deal? Frankly neither of them should be in the league at this point. Damion Jones, who!? Armon Johnson, who!? Utter crap.

    And how is it that Brooklyn is sending Orlando two first rounders (along with the Clips first rounder) as well sending Cleveland a first rounder? I thought there were restrictions on sending out so many picks.

  44. @43….he did get a QO, but it was rescinded…..something about trading for Lowry and signing Fields.

  45. Lakers got Nash below market value. Toronto was willing to offer him more money for same years. That established the market. If Lakers hadn’t stepped in, Toronto would have gotten him.

    Return to Canada, 3 years at high $, trade package that Phx could live with.

  46. looks like the magic are counting their selves out of the playoff.

  47. Rudy: Yes – Bird rights for Bynum – however if we traded for D12 – we would have his as well. It is all the same – except talent : )
    1/2 Decaf/All: I was very hard on the FO, and they impressed me with their willingness to add salary (at least for now – we are about to let RS walk and let’s see what we do/not do with Pau). However – like you – I want titles – so it is a moot point if we do not get over the top – to at least make the Finals.
    Kevin: You and I think so much alike now it is very scary. I think more so for you than me : )
    NP: Jamison is not VM. He is probably not even MLE. However I would love to have him.

  48. Hang on tight with the offer Mitch, the deal with Dwight to the Nets is becoming complicated every hour. First, it was Cavs now it may include a fourth team and then some players on the deal would not agree to multiple year. The story ends with Magic absorbs Lopez et al plus Walton whoaaa! Magic is in quandary with all these options on the table. I think best deal in trading Howard especially if you are balancing multifarious interests of several teams would go for simplicity i.e. Andrew Bynum. It is a simple exchange of both head strong Centers who are both injury prone. Honestly, imo do we really need another diva in the South land who expressed dissatisfaction on being a Laker? A year from now or even months ahead he could be changing his mind and demanding more. At first I was excited of Howard but after all these hustle and cajoling in trying to lure him, he is not interested to follow the Laker tradition of Centers from Mikan, Chamberlain, Jabbar, O’Neil, Bynum and could be him. He’s interested of the Russian roulette so be it, let’s enjoy Bynum for 12 months, at least we already know his pattern of behavior. Whoever would be that Laker Center, he’d excel under Nash as PG.

    What is really important are the bench and our FA. I think Sessions might go with Mavs since Terry will go to the Celts after Mavs failed to match the Celtics offer, therefore Mavs would come out empty on PG without Nash, no more Kidd, nor D’Will. Lakers should take Hill back even to the point of exercising birds rights if Minny overpays him. Lakers should close the deal on the perimeter shooters before they’re grabbed by other teams. All teams don’t want to give the Lakers a break because they’re afraid to wake up the sleeping giant.

  49. I’m happy if we stay put, as long as we shore up the bench somehow.

    No need for big names any more, we got plenty.

    It’s mostly about managing our players’ times and having the personnel to do so while getting a high seed.

  50. I’m convinced that San Antonio FO employs voodoo magic. Danny Green resigned for 3 years $12 mil.

  51. Luke Walton for Superman–who woulda thunk it?

    Jodie Meeks is good on both sides of the ball.

  52. Avidon,

    re: Turk, it is quite probable that his high salary is preventing the deal from complying with the CBA.

    Re: the Spurs, they just are very good at managing the cap/tax, drafting players, and scouting. The combination has allowed them to remain relevant for over a decade despite being in a small market.

  53. Not expecting a big name bench. Whatever Lakers pay to somebody now it doubles given their in the tax. Top heavy and rooks may be a good combination.

  54. Harold?

    Sure Nash is a upgrade but this is still not a top 2 team in tbe West.

    Worst bench in the league.
    One of the worst 3 point shooting teams.
    Slow last year, slower thus year.
    Starting lineup top 3 oldest in the league.
    Bad backups at both guards and SF.
    Clueless coach on offense.

    And you are ok with the team as it is?

    No way this team goes from 1 win two years in a row 2nd round to beating OKC or Spurs.

    No way. Zero chance of beating Heat.

  55. Ko: You are only saying that because you are a spoiled, entitled Laker fan. Takes one to know one : ) I do think we are a little better than you do, but yes we need more to beat the “Inferno”. However please do not get upset at your fellow posters who are OK with participation certificates. I myself draw the line at the silver medal. I would rather be 30th than 3rd.

  56. Ko: realistically, what else is there?

    The Nash signing was beyond all realistic dreams, especially as it came from the Odom TPE. Sure it cost us some picks, but I wouldn’t trust Jim Buss with those picks anyway.

    And while there is a gap between us and OKC (and Heat by default), it’s not something a focused team can’t overcome. Boston pushed Miami to 7, and I think we could easily do the same if (big if) we can get our players to play hard, 1-15.

  57. Ko,

    well shoot, lets pack it up and go home then.

    The Lakers could have beat the Thunder in the playoffs, but they lost leads in the close games final minutes. Ramon Sessions disappeared and the bench was not able to compensate.

    The Thunder could have beaten the Heat, but they (it can be argued) cracked under the pressure of the moment (as FT% plummet would indicate). James Harden disappeared, and the bench was not able to compensate.

    Next year, The Thunder (and James Harden) will be ready for the pressure, they can beat the Heat.

    Next year, we’re relying on Steve Nash, not Ramon Sessions. We can beat the Thunder.

    If we can beat the Thunder, and the Thunder can beat the Heat….. there is a slightly better than Zero chance that we can beat the Heat.

    Enough of a chance that I wouldn’t write them off in the off-season anyhow.

  58. The focus needs to be on defense. When guards are blowing by Nash, Kobe and Ron Lakers need someone to be a legitimate defensive force.

    Lakers will have no problem scoring after the continuity gets there. They could easily be one of the worst defensive teams in the league next year.

  59. @ Kevin—Can we agree that LA was not one of the worst defensive teams in the league this year? I’m not saying LA was great, but I think the data says, “at least slightly better than average” on “D”

    If so, was Ramon Sessions such a defensive force that we believe that removing him from the starting lineup and inserting Nash will knock LA down 10 or more spots in that category?

    Now, I’ll turn my smart aleck off and concede that Kobe, Ron, and Pau, all being on the backside of the proverbial career arc, and well north of 30, will probably be at least somewhat worse on D next year—

  60. kehntangibles July 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    The one thing that makes me cackle with knowing glee is the pundits wondering how Nash’s defensive shortcomings will hamstring us. Since, you know, we had such stellar on-ball defenders at the 1-spot beforehand.

  61. Kevin: So are you aware of any big men, who play good defense and clog the lane? : )
    jonny: Exactly correct – we have a fighting chance now (overall in the 3-5 range). We did not have any chance last year from “6th”. However to really have a good chance we now need to follow up on the Nash signing by signing our 2012 version of Bob McAdoo. That is what the Heat just did by adding Allen.

  62. 59

    Agreed.

    Nash has always played good flop/angles/body positioning for someone who everyone says is a notoriously bad defender.

    From what I can tell, he does a better job preventing penetration than contesting the perimeter shot, which is really what you’re looking for in your 1 defense. (i’ve heard that the advanced stats back me up, but i don’t understand them, so it could be all hogwash)

    If he can consistently navigate screens to limit 1s to slightly contested 3′s and barely contested 17ft+ jump shots, then he will be miles ahead of Sessions (i.e. screen velcro man) on the defensive end.

  63. We perhaps need a couple of more players who are defensively-oriented. Though, Ebanks/Barnes/Peace can be splendid.

    Yet, we also need players who can stretch the floor and improve our bench.

    –It’s pretty difficult to obtain someone who can both defend and shoot, especially when you don’t have the money to spend.

    Also, we need our leaders to lead by example on the defensive end.

    On Nash: sure, he isn’t a very good defender… But he does have a great work ethic–and I think that exemplifies the culture change instilled by Mike Brown/Jimmy Buss.

  64. 62 – pietrus can do both and is athletic enough at the rim.

    It would be great to see Shannon come
    Back for mle as well.

    Does anyone known if either hill will be on the team next year – outside of the Nash signing and tweet about Jodie Meeks it has been really quite in regards to who else we are looking to add to the team.

  65. Nash gets horribly lost on screens. With that said, Sessions was worse defensively, so I agree with kehntangibles. We’re not really losing anything in that department.

    Pairing Nash with an elite PnR defensive big man would cover a lot of his weaknesses. Bynum isn’t that guy consistently enough, Dwight is going to the Nets, and one other guy who fits that description is aging with a hefty contract in NY. We’ll likely have to make do with what we have. To be fair to Bynum, offensively he hasn’t had the ability to show how well he rolls since he’s never played with a true PG. I hope we see him take strides in that area.

  66. The ultimate smokescreen — Have Mitch inquire about MarShon Brooks.

  67. So much attention on D12, yet the more available and rational (as well as cheaper) option is sitting there and just waiting for his chance to leave his current team in Atlanta.

  68. Robert: yes there are a few. Don’t have to look too far but down the hall.

    mindcrime: I agree with you on last year’s defense. Brown showed signs of life as a defensive coach vs Okc. Now Lakers have time to practice his defens instead of learning on the fly.

    Avidon: Atlanta and Philly.

  69. Warren Wee Lim July 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Can Dwight Howard PLEASE be traded to the Nets already… so we can stop talking about her.

  70. Warren Wee Lim July 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    If the other shoe doesn’t drop… then we’re a better “team” than we should be had it dropped.

    Dwight Howard, in all his glory, should just get this over with. He’s changed “her” mind more times than my wife has, and I thought that was an impossible feat.

  71. Warren Wee Lim July 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Andrew Bynum, petulant, lazy, immature…

    Better the devil you know, than the drama queen that you don’t.

  72. I have a hunch Sessions comes back to Lakers with the mini mid level. No better situation out there for him.

    Would the Lakers be able to amnesty Bynum after he signs an extension?

  73. Kevin_: Why would Sessions do that if he can get a better deal with the Mavericks? Chance to be mentored by Nash while being a 3rd guard and having no guarantee to showcase his skills to get a better payday?

    Just wish the season would start already, the Olympics isn’t that interesting to talk about.

  74. Sources: The Magic accidently traded Dwight Howard to themselves in a blockbuster 26 team trade:)

    Chad Ford tweeted that on. Pretty funny, but true.

  75. I will reserve judgement until season begins. I am sure there are moves to ge made. Tgey can’t be worse then Kapono, Murphy and starting this session with Walton and Fish.

    Out starting 5 right now is top 3. Our remaining 7 is bottom 3. Bit off balance and seeing the contributions of Heats 6 true 10 in the playoffs shows how important those other guys are.

    Upgrade the bench and we are in the hunt. If not think of what happens if and when 1 or 2 of our starters get injured. To go all season 100% health seldom happens and right now that is the biggest problem.

  76. why on earth would the lakers amnesty Bynum?

  77. harold: backing up Nash for the Lakers is a better option than anything out there.

  78. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    “I think we deserve to be in the Finals every other year (31 out of 66 to be exact), but yes 2 years out is too long : )”

    How spoilt are we?

    :)

  79. Going to Vegas tomorrow with ex-NBA friend and President of West Coast retired players assoc Rick Darnell who is bringing me to Olympic team practice. Looking forward to it. Hope James dosen’t punch me.

  80. http://www.fullcourtpest.com/2012/01/in-defence-of-steve-nash-part-1.html

    Article entitled “In Defence of Steve Nash Part 1 written a year ago.

    If you haven’t read it, very long and detailed (7000 words) but very insightful. Worth a read…

    You’ll get excited over what an incredible player he is by the numbers.

    Interesting section regarding Nash’s underrated defensive skills. Brief excerpt….

    “Nash is far and away the winner in terms of charges drawn. He has 1.6 times as many as second place, 1.8 times as many as 3rd, and over 3 times as many as any of the other 5. He is only 6thout of 8 in defensive plays per game, but as stated Nash isn’t the guy who will make tons of defensive plays. However, he is one of the smartest defenders out there, shown by his .96 defensive plays per foul, second only to Chris Paul. Now obviously numbers are an extremely imperfect way of measuring defence, but I think we can at least say that Nash makes a noticeable defensive contribution without hurting his team with a lot of dumb fouls. He’s a solid team defender.”

  81. any_one_mouse July 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @JimC,

    I hear you, but I’m not sure I agree.

    For one, it’s not my money :) So, as long as the Nash signing does not severely curtail our ability to fill out the bench – and I don’t think it will, I’d rather have a really expensive 3rd option

    Secondly, I’m not sure you can do a lot better than Pau as a third option – and I think he will continue to remain option 3 even with Nash on board. No less an authority than Phil Jackson has come out in his support – and pointed to the coach as the culprit that we are not utilizing him properly. Offensively, he is a top 3 PF that also doubles up as a top 3 center. Defensively, he’s not terrible.

    Finally, there isn’t a team out there than can give us a package of players who can come in and contribute as effectively as we’d like. Iguodala, for all his strengths on defense, is nowhere near as skilled as Pau is.

    And there’s the little matter of Artest as well. I may be in the minority here, but I actually liked his second half (elbow notwithstanding). He may have lost a step, but he is still one of the best defenders in the league.

  82. R.R. Magellan July 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    You guys that are bringing the doom and gloom posts here are hilarious. It’s only July 9th, guys. Maybe we should wait a little longer to see what the front office does to the bench?

  83. If per Adrian Wojnarowski, Orlando still would prefer Bynum but are scared Bynum will leave as a free agent, can someone explain why that would be? If I’m Orlando, Bynum staying and being a franchise cornerstone or Bynum leaving and clearing a ton of cap space > an overpaid Brook Lopez, bad draft picks, and salary cap fillers.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–nets-emerge-again-as-strong-contender-to-land-dwight-howard.html

  84. Warren Wee Lim July 10, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Like I said, the only thing worse than Dwight leaving your team is to be stuck with Brook Lopez earning 10+ million over 4 seasons.

    http://www.nba.com/freeagents/2012/#?ls=iref:nbahpt1

    Lets try to assess our FA choices shall we? Build the team as we have it, and not if/when we trade for Howard.

    5: Bynum, Sacre
    4: Gasol, McRoberts
    3: MWP
    2: Bryant, Goudelock, DJO
    1: Nash, Blake, Morris

    Own Free Agents:
    Ramon Sessions (full bird rights, likely gone)
    Matt Barnes (early bird rights)
    Jordan Hill (restricted bird rights)
    Devin Ebanks (qualifying offer)

    We have 11 players on the roster and room for 4 maximum, 3 most likely.

    Biggest needs:
    backup C
    floor-spacing SF
    Stretch 4

    In case we decide to amnesty Blake or World Peace, that number rises to 5 but also the need increases to whatever slot was vacated.

  85. I have faith Mitch can strengthen the bench and maybe add a new starting SF. Looking forward to the Summer L to see if any of the guards are keepers.

  86. @any_one_mouse

    I agree that Pau is a damned good player to have as a third option, but only if your first two options aren’t already camped out where he operates best from. I’ve seen a fair amount of the same comments you have about getting Pau the ball down on the post and in back-to-the-basket situations more.

    To do that you’ll need to move either Bynum or Kobe OFF of the low block. I agree completely with your comment that Pau is not utilized optimally, but I don’t see an easy fix that gets him back down to his comfort zone without displacing one of the two players on our team that ARE better from him off of theirs.

    And employing Pau as a $19M per year spot up midrange jump shooter is an awfully inefficient way to spend your cap space.

  87. #91. I don’t think Goudelock is a SG, personally. His best production came as a PG when Blake was hurt. When he went back to playing SG when Blake returned, his production suffered again. Maybe that will change next year, but I think finding a legit back up to Kobe is as important as any move the Lakers can make this summer.

  88. Needs for Lakers at this time:

    1. Dependable three point shooting for Nash to dish to after probing and kicking and to open the floor up for Bynum

    2. A backup big man, preferably one who can shoot midrange jumpers, defend and rebound.

    3. A backup shooting guard, preferably one who can play defense and, again, hit wide open three pointers.

    (Basically depth in general)

    4. Youth and athleticism – can be paired with other needs on this chart

    5. A capable, dependable, consistent small forward who can hit the outside shot (stop me if you’re hearing a familiar theme) and be a solid wing defender

    Now, here’s the thing…we’re well over the cap. What we can offer to free agents to address these needs is very limited. We’ve made the best use possible for the Lamar Odom TPE, but still have holes to fill.

    And not a lot of our players have much value.

    Generally the rule in the NBA is that the team who gets the best player in a trade “wins” it, but our team is so ridiculously top-heavy that we might be one of those rare teams that should consider surrendering the best player in the trade in return for multiple above average pieces.

    Now, if MWP really IS about to have a resurgence in his game as a result of a long-standing injury finally clearing up, then maybe we look to pick up some cheap young pieces out there, keep him as our starting three, etc.

    But my guess is that the Lakers are actively looking to do something like the following:

    1. Trade Pau for a big name, younger and more athletic small forward and also get a serviceable PF/C back.

    2. Re-sign Jordan Hill to maintain a decent three big rotation. (Four if you count McRoberts and assume that he’ll improve having Nash to work with…which I do.)

    3. Bring MWP off the bench at both the 3 and the 4 spot as well in certain small-ball lineups.

    4. Use that younger, athletic, big name SF as Kobe’s backup 2 as well.

    Generally, you don’t trade big for small in this league, but if we lock-in Howard or even Bynum, and still have 2-3 other decent big-men, then I’d argue the need for depth and outside shooting overcomes the conventional wisdom.

    Essentially, just two moves, trading Pau for a stud SF and a serviceable big-man back and then re-signing Jordan Hill could address most of the issues on the list I put up above.

    Youth, more depth at every position, more athleticism and better outside shooting.

  89. Great article on ESPN about Big Threes and how important it is to have a top heavy roster. The Lakers were fourth (a pinch behind San Antonio), But they are still far behind OKC and Miami. The reason is Andrew Bynum. We are far behind in the Big Ones. The second and third best players on the Lakers are statistically right there with Miami and OKC. The problem is Bynum. He needs to jump to a 26 to 27 PER like Durant and LeBron if the Lakers are going to win a championship. He has that potential but will need to realize it for Kobe to get number six.

    4. Los Angeles Lakers
    Andrew Bynum: 23.0 |  Kobe Bryant: 22.0 |  Pau Gasol: 20.5 | Steve Nash: 20.3
    Combined PER: 65.5 (21.8 average)

    Meet the league’s finest big four. Alas, this isn’t a big four list, so they’ll have to wait their turn. You can take your pick among this quartet, but any trio will rank among the best in the league. If Nash and Bryant weren’t so far past their primes, they would give Miami’s big three a run for its money. This group faces the same question as Boston’s over the years: Who exactly is the big

  90. Nick Young got 6. Lee, Rush might be out of Lakers price range. Depending on if someone over pays Lou Williams.

    Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, Delonte West would be steals at this point in the process. Both good options as backup 2 guards.

    2nd tier Sam Young, CJ Miles.

    Michael Redd, Jodie Meeks, Marco Bellinelli may be last resorts.

  91. Kevin:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we have Hill’s bird rights? Can’t we re-sign him for whatever dollar amount we want if we’re willing to take the tax hit?

  92. Hoping Ilyosova’s 5yr/45 doesn’t take Hill out Lakers price range. Someone may overpay for Hill and there are very few backup big men on the market.

    JimC: Not sure may have to get one of the mods for this one. I thought 3.6 was the max he could get with Lakers.

  93. Jim C. There was some loop hole in his bird rights so the Lakers can only offer him 3.6M as Kevin said.

  94. Thanks Ryan. On the plus side, Jordan didn’t even make Chad’s mile long list of alternates outside of the top-10 free agents.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8146472/2012-nba-free-agency-best-rest

    So maybe there isn’t a lot of demand for his services out there?

  95. Nate Robinson 23.4 min 11.2 pts 2.0 reb 4.5 ast 1.2 stl 42/36/83. He was barely picked up last year by GSW. Won’t take more than the vet minimum.

    Delonte West 24.1 min 9.6 pts 2.3 reb 3.2 ast 1.3 stl 46/35/88. He knows Brown’s system and is another solid backup for Kobe.

    Randy Foye 25.9 min 11 pts 2.1 reb 2.2 ast 39/38/85. He may want to stay in LA.

  96. Hill will probably leave for more $,but I think he can be replaced short term. It would be nice if we could get a starting SF,a shooter,who could also sub for Kobe.,without trading Pau. Glock and Morris are now PG`s,only one is going stay, with Glock holding the edge because he can also be a SG. Want to see more of Odom in the SL.

  97. We must re-sign Jordan Hill but all indications (he tweeted days ago he made his decision but nothing else has come across LA tabloids) we may have lost him. Devin Ebanks is another priority because of his youth, length, and familiarity with the team. He will not cost much plus we have the inside track. Courtney Lee would be perfect, Lou Williams would be excellent and Jodie Meeks would be great. Come on over Grant Hill even since Barnes is not coming back.

  98. I’ve seen a number of articles out there about Courtnee Lee, none of them really indicated that we were pursuing him.

    I suspect Lou Williams might end up being too expensive for us to get.

  99. Jim C.

    As with every other move the Lakers (specifically Mitch) make, we don’t see it until it happens. I agree with you about Lou Williams, but he would be an excellent addition (as would Jerryd Bayless). Both have the ability to play back up point and the two. As much as I like Goudelock’s confidence, I would take the two seasoned veterans over him anyday.

  100. Busboys:

    I agree that I’d love to land either one of them. I’m not seeing how we do it with our financial situation, but I’d love to be wrong here.

  101. Lou Williams will almost definitely be out of our price range, he was due to make $5.3mil this year but exercised his ETO instead.

    Courtney Lee MAY be had for the mini-MLE. There’s been a lot of chatter about him landing in Boston, but they gave Jason Terry their MLE already, so they’d have to work out a sign and trade with Houston. He is an unrestricted free agent though, so we wouldn’t be required to deal with Houston. In Boston, he’d be playing behind Avery Bradley and Terry, here he’d be playing behind Kobe, but he could also play alongside him in smaller line-ups with Kobe playing the 3.

    He’s 26, plays good D, athletic, and shot +40% from 3 the last two seasons. Perfect back-up 2.

    “The Lakers are believed to be among the eight teams pursuing free agent guard Courtney Lee (Rockets)” – Sam Amico (last paragraph)
    http://www.foxsportsohio.com/07/09/12/NBA-notes-Cavs-could-do-worse-than-Humph/landing.html?blockID=758520&feedID=3725

  102. Post I was responding to deleted. Retracted.

  103. @JimC,

    I don’t know that there is a single team our there that would:

    1. Take Pau
    2. Give us a young, athletic power forward, and
    3. Give us other pieces to fill out the roster

    (3) is important because getting Pau off the books doesn’t automatically release cap space to us – we just end up spending less on taxes.

    So, then we get into, at a minimum, a 3-way trade with another team that has those pieces. And those are always complicated :)

    IMHO, an easier way to fill out the roster (and I’m in complete agreement with you on what those pieces are) is to use the MLE, and our sign-and-trade chips – Sessions and Barnes.

    I think that with a little creativity we can get both Bayless and Lee, but I won’t go there because of “edited for trade speculation” :)

  104. As far as he bench, i don’t kniw why were out on gerald green? Athletic, good shooter with upside. Would LOVE him. What’s the vet’s minimum like 1.2M? Why not split the mini MLE at 1.5 each for rashard and green, then re-sign jordan hill and grab grant hill. We would have a great bench!

  105. Lakers fans I’m going to throw a possibility out there. Kwame Brown as a backup isn’t a bad idea.

    Ian Mahinmi, Kwame Brown, Brian Cook, Louis Amuson. List gets real thin after Hill.

  106. I love Courtney Lee, never understood why Orl let him go after their 10 Finals run. Was hoping he’d get squeezed out by teams paying for other guys and be available for the mini. He would be perfect for the team off the bench. He and Ebanks would make a great tandem backing up Ron and easing Kobe’s minutes.

    He’s well worth the regular MLE even with the new CBA.

    Green was supposedly never considered seriously last year since he had only been a SF, washed out of camp for a few years in a row. Team was super deep in SF last year.

    One of those casualty of the lockout and short camp. Staff never got a chance to see him play as a SG and evaluate how he had progressed from previous years.

  107. News scoop about Lakers

    A. Dr. Buss was rushed to the hospital last night due to dehydration. He is in stable condition and may be sent home today;

    B. Devin Ebanks tweeted that he will re-sign with the Lakers;

    C. Asst. Coach Snyder will join Coach Messina with CSKA Moscow in Euro league;

    D. Howard……back to the same story on July 1st to this date, Cavs are out of the three team deal. Lakers are one of the contenders for the destination of drama queen.

  108. Alex Kennedy is reporting that Ebanks is expected to accept our qualifying offer today. So that’s one more piece that’s back.

  109. @111: Kwame has hands of stone that not even Nash will be able to help with, but he’s turned out to be a surprisingly solid post defender and an okay rebounder. As a fourth big signed for the veteran’s minimum, you could do worse.

  110. The reports are that free agent money is drying up and more guys are being added as unrestricted like Ronnie Brewer and Sonny Weems. The odds are good that we will get decent player with the Mini MLE.

  111. @ #87 “here’s a list of kobe’s backcourt mates starting or reserves that have come and gone his entire career:”

    you forgot Gary Payton.

  112. My prayers are with Dr. Buss hope he has a quick recovery.

  113. Heat on the verge of signing Rashard Lewis.

    Watching the Heat right now makes me acutely aware of why so many people get annoyed with the Lakers.

  114. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakersnow/la-sp-ln-lakers-devin-ebanks-20120710,0,1042927.story

    sounds like it is unofficially official according to Medina at the LA Times–Ebanks is back

  115. Jim C.

    What do we need with a 6’10″ guy who won’t rebound, doesn’t play D, won’t post up smaller players, who is one dimensional and if his shot isn’t falling, gives you nothing?

  116. Lou Williams goes to ATL!!! Multi-year deal.

  117. Glad to see Ebanks is coming back. He NEEDS minutes.

    Guards: Nash, Kobe, Blake, Morris, Goudelock, Eyenga

    Forwards: Pau, Ron, Ebanks, McRoberts

    Center: Bynum.

    Unsigned Rookies: Johnson-Odom, Sacre

  118. Lakers have 6 guards already signed for next year. Barring some spectacular play and front office moves Johnson Odom a D-Leaguer.

    Lakers are thin up front. Always need the insurance at C. Have to expect Sacre to be signed because he’s comes cheap.

    Lakers will have a weak bench. A scorer like Delonte West or Nate Robinson are necessary. 2 of the big 4 will be on the court at all times so that helps.

  119. Busboys4me:

    Floor spacing. You have some pretty high expectations of the skill set of a player that we might be able to attain with the veterans minimum or mini-midlevel exception.

    We have to be realistic here on what players we can reasonably attain.

    A 6’10″ guy who can space the floor, and play either the 3 or the 4 in limited minutes is about as much as you can realistically hope for at the salaries we can afford to offer. We need outside shooting in the worst possible way right now, particularly with the way Nash will be setting up shooters.

    I’m not saying bringing in a guy like Rashard Lewis solves all our problems, but exactly who do you think we could conceivably get with the mini-midlevel or the veterans minimum? I heard the legendary Kwame Brown’s name tossed out earlier.

    On the other hand, I know you’re probably right and we should probably be patient and try and find something else rather than pick up this year’s version of Troy Murphy…

  120. Great analogy Jim!!!

  121. Anybody caught on to the Tommy Dee report yet? Apparently HOU, ORL and Mitch/Jim are working out a deal that lands Drew with the Rockets and Dwight here. Interesting stuff.

  122. Funky Chicken July 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Jim C., you are spot on. Rashard Lewis would have been an excellent pickup. Two years totaling $2.8 million is a bargain, and he would have provided exactly what the Lakers need: a floor spacing big who knocks down shots.

    To harp on his limitations is to ignore that at this point the Lakers are filling out their roster by adding specific skills like shooting–not adding versatile guys who have multiple skills. With what limited resources the team has at its disposal, they are going to get (at most) specialists, not guys with breadth of talent.

    Nash is a huge upgrade as a shooter, but it looks to me like we need to give him more weapons to spread around the floor….

  123. @125, I just saw that and was thinking of the possibility earlier. Seems like everyone gets what they want.

    I suppose it would be possible in such a deal to have Sessions going to HOU in a S+T and C. Lee coming back to the Lakers in a S+T.

    Question would be timing due to the Asik offer as he would have to sign and then wait 3 days for a match by CHI. Doubt HOU would go for the deal so that Asik would be a back-up for that kind of $.

  124. Ok the latest. Bynum and Sessions to Houston. Howard and lee to Lakers. Package of picks and prospects to the Magic. Thing is the Nets will be to far over the cap next year to sign Howard or even a sign and trade will be prohibited next year. So he might want to sign here. But it was also reported that Lakers are still concerned about his back. The problem is it could be months before anyone knows how Howard will look. Really difficult to tell what is going to happen.

  125. Yes, R. Lewis is a good pick up but his final decision is to join the Heat. It was his own feel where he can get his ring not because of the money terms nor any other considerations. We win on Nash and may not be lucky on Lewis. Ebanks sticks with the Lakers while others wanted greener pastures, move on and get to the next available F/A. Win some and lose some.

  126. Michael H., I believe HOU would also have to send ORL at least expiring contract of Martin to make the deal work under the CBA. Might have to send out more $ too depending on where they sit with respect to the cap after the Asik offer sheet is signed tonight/tomorrow.

  127. Here’s an article by Pincus encapsulating the trade Michael H is talking about…

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/can-lakers-rockets-magic-make-a-deal

  128. Darius makes a very valid point that finding a legit backup for Kobe is a priority. What about our own Eyenga? With the financial constraints that the Lakers have, giving a chance to the Ebanks and Eyengas of the world may be the way to go.

    I thought that Mike Brown’s biggest shortcoming last year was his lack of development of the bench and his inconsistent use of the younger players. Mike ran Pau and Kobe into the ground.

    I still can’t believe the team whiffed on Gerald Green last year. Especially since Gerald was on the Lakers’ D-League team. The Lakers have got to take a chance on some young talent and nurture it. Brownie can’t coach scared and yank players when they experience growing pains.

  129. This trade is feasible if Magic is willing to rebuild and not interested in getting another 5. Perhaps, the sticking point here who will absorb the garbage contracts of Magic about 17M per year and if Lakers would absorb them, the heavy toll would be 34M including luxury taxes. There you go for the 3 point shooters we have been wishing – Turk and Jason.

  130. Thought Rashard would have been a great spot up guy for 12-16 minutes a game. Kind of like a taller Mike Miller….

  131. The most logical Dwight trade always involved the Lakers. The other seemed agent driven. But I will say these constant talks are sort of an indictment of where Bynum stands with the Lakers franchise. And those high archy in the know reporters who said Jim would never trade Bynum. Bynum may never be able to spread his wings fully with LA. And may just may turn out to be the dominant center we all hoped he’d be when Lakers picked him. I don’t want to miss out on valuable bench players chasing Dwight. Lakers are usually quick to get things done so I hope this ends rather quickly.

    FA opens tommorrow the next tier of players will be signed soon. Really hoping for a guy like Delonte West and resigning Barnes.

  132. @136 – What if they decided to ship Hedo to HOU and JRich to LA? I’d be fine with that.

  133. Magic and Nets are now on the final stretch and if at the end of the day, nothing comes out – it will be 3 team deal with the Lakers would be the only option to move Howard.

    Maybe, Nets are furious about the deadline and offering all their FA’s which they have been doing since Day 1. – that would be Humphries, Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Gaines and their up coming prized rookie Marshon Brooks. Magic would not bite on China eggs, therefore repackage the offer and include Deron Williams too???huh! got lost on undue pressure.

  134. I do not believe the Lakers would trade Bynum for Howard. Bynum is either the future foundation or the trade chip that brings in the new foundation next year. My sense is that Howard’s back is the basis of their concern.

    Now, I do believe the Lakers would roll the dice with Howard if ‘all’ they had to give up was Gasol. What is intriguing in this new rumor is that Orlando isn’t demanding Bynum in return and that Houston is now involved in the three team dialogue. The Rockets have long liked Gasol – having nearly acquired him a year ago.

    We’ll have to wait and see if these dynamics provide the basis of a trade.

  135. The best part about this new Orl/Hou/Lal rumor is Houston and Lakers worked together recently. Only for it to get vetoed. So each other may be willing to cooperate more to the other accomodations. I can definitely see this happening. Jim and Mitch are going for it.

  136. I don’t even know if I should add fuel to Morgan’s fire, but Morgan….

    What would the Lakers do with Dwight and Bynum both on the same starting lineup?

    Or, if such a fantasy trade did occur, do you think Bynum would be traded for other pieces?

  137. Mitch is about to take Morley and Hennigan to school.

  138. any_one_mouse July 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    On one hand, as a fan, its nice to get this play-by-play. But I feel for the players and the FO – information leaks like this just makes their job that much harder.

    We all fault Bynum for his lack of hustle, passion etc. Yet, how does he feel when his name gets thrown out in all kinds of rumors? Why would he want to resign with LA when we are ready to ship him out at a moment’s notice? Makes me appreciate Pau that much more!

  139. Morgan,

    It is also possible to make it happen Lakers have to trade both Gasol and Bynum. Unfortunately, Bynum would not commit multi year and also that will be blowing up the team on one player. Gasol goes to Houston and Bynum to Orlando while Lee, Scola and Howard goes to the Lakers. Other players would fill the gap.

    However, the rumor states that Magic is rebuilding so more on draft picks, Lowry and wanted to shed off bad contracts as well.

  140. Rubenowski:

    Just speculation on my part as I am clearly not a Laker insider. To me one of the problems of the Gasol/Bynum frontline is the lack of speed and quickness. If healthy, Howard has a much better motor than either of them. Sliding Howard to PF (he’s closer to 6′ 10”) is not as much of a stretch because I believe he could guard the position.

    Offensively putting Howard at the 4 is a a different story. The Lakers would miss Gasol’s mid-range game and passing ability. However, Howard’s ability to really run the floor would add a new dimension to the team.

    Obviously there are a lot of ifs in this scenario – one of them being are all three teams serious about this? Orlando has to be content with only receiving cap relief/picks and Houston has to be OK with getting Gasol and letting Howard go to the Lakers. All legitimate questions.

  141. Again… I don’t want Dwight even for Gasol as I don’t think we will ever see the 2012 Dwight Howard ever again. But if Dwight were healthy I think a Bynum/Howard front court is better than a Gasol/Bynum front court and better than a Gasol/Howard front court. Although Drew and Dwight aren’t complimentary it would be like a LeBron/Wade backcourt. Too good, too big, too strong. The opposition wouldn’t score fifty points. The Lakers would have the 6-10 Howard and the 7-0 Bynum and the rest of the league wouldn’t have answers. It’s beat not to over think things at that point. Worse case scenerio is the spacing would be too poor and they rotate at Center. The Lakers would have the only two good big men in the entire NBA.

  142. Forgot about McRoberts in my depth chart above. Replace Hill with him I guess.

  143. Aaron

    they could take turns being petulant and picking up needless T’s for complaining to the refs too!

    Joking aside, I would rather see a Bynum/Howard Front court as well. we have Steve F’ing Nash, let him figure out the spacing.

    Only front court I would rather see than a Bynum/Howard is a Gasol/Nowitzki, but thats only because great offense beats great defense, per Marc Jackson.

    Hmm… Gasol/Dirk vs Bynum/Howard… That would be some matchup.

  144. Morgan:

    Your trade based on getting Howard for Gasol only works if:

    1) Orlando only wants to dump salary and acquire young talent/draft picks
    2) Houston is fearful that Howard’s back is going to be a long term problem

    In this scenario both Orlando and Houston would feel that they are getting the ‘best’ value in the trade. They would assume that the Lakers are rolling the dice and trading for potentially damaged goods.

    I am fearful of Howard’s back as well but its worth the risk. Worst case scenario – we find out that Howard is indeed damaged goods and we don’t sign him long term and we save the $19 million owed Gasol in the last year of his contract.

  145. Dorrell Wright to Philly for pocket lint.

  146. This re-sign thing…

    NOBODY will sign an extension. Nobody. Howard, Bynum, CP3…nobody. That’s simply because they can make much more money by letting their contracts expire and resigning a new 4-years one.

    Nobody cares for a 5-year extension anymore (thx CBA).

    So when you hear “team A is concern that player B will not sign an extension” is all cheap-talk.

  147. Hale

    True, but it’s the kind of pocket lint that the Nets are desperately looking for in order to dress up their trade package to Orlando.

    Not all pocket lint is created equal though

  148. johnhollinger John Hollinger
    RT @Mike_Bresnahan: Key development in Lakers’ pursuit of Dwight Howard: They’re more open to taking back contract of G-F Jason Richards …

    That would be interesting. Damned costly for the Lakers, but definitely would fix some depth issues at SG/SF. Played very well a couple of years ago with Nash in Phoenix.

  149. Warren Wee Lim July 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Sigh. I hope the Lakers end up with the Rockets’ assets rather than Dwight Howard.

  150. Just a reminder… Take nothing seriously the Lakers have never finalized a trade that was rumored and the on going negotiations were so public. I would trust Kobe who recently clued all smart Lakers fans in in the front offices plans… “We don’t do trades that are rumored. That’s all I know. Our trades are the ones you don’t see coming. And I think we have something else coming up our sleeves.” Kobe is basically saying the Lakers are going to make another big move but it’s not Bynum for Howard.

  151. “Metta World Peace applauds Mitch Kupchack and calls the Steve Nash signing one of the greatest signings of all time. He was in Vancouver the day he heard the news and had even visited Steve Nash’s sports club. Metta says that there are a lot of Laker fans in Vancouver and many of them come up to him praising the genius and importance of Mitch Kupchak. Metta compares the signing to the same magnitude as our forefathers signing the declaration of independence.”

    http://ronartest.com/musings/article/-a-4th-of-july-to-remember

    God love you Ron. You’re still as completely nuts as ever.

  152. Next post may well be:

    The Other Shoe May INDEED Drop

  153. 155,

    This is not a rumor, trade Aaron to other blogs. haha j/k.

    ESPN Mark Stein explains the proposed three team deal:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8147719/orlando-magic-exploring-other-dwight-howard-trades-source-says

  154. I can’t even recall the last time a rumored trade actually ended up consummating for the Lakers. If you’re reading it, it’s most likely junk generated by agents and/or other teams’ FOs.

    In other news, Dorrell Wright to Philly for nothing. Iggy must be packing his bags somewhere..

  155. Aaron @ 155 – “Kobe is basically saying the Lakers are going to make another big move but it’s not Bynum for Howard.”

    Let’s hope so. Please send Howard anywhere but L.A.

  156. Steve Nash’s PF

    Dirk Nowitzki
    Antoine Walker
    Boris Diaw
    Shawn Marion
    Tim Thomas
    Channing Frye

    Common Theme.

  157. 07-08 when PHX started Amare/Shaq

    Amare shot 59%, Shaq shot 61%

    But if you remember the great offensive mind D’Antoni has struggles integrating 2 post players with Nash. Nash was so great he made it work.

    Their offensive rating was off the charts and defense sucked.

  158. Sorry for the multiple posts but saw this stat and had to post it.

    Joe Johnson shot 47% from 3 in 04-05 RS. He played all 82 games. He shot 55% from 3 in 9 PO games. Those numbers are eye popping. wow

  159. The NBA salary cap for 2012-13 season set at $58.044 MILLION. The tax level for the 2012-13 season set at $70.307 million.

  160. The dynamics from the new Steve Nash era have clear implications for Bynumite. Because he is too slow for transitions and team defense, has little pick and roll, or pick and pop experience, and not a high IQ passer or assist leader, Bynum has become the new big on the block.

    Aaron might have to switch loyalties to a Houston blog, or ???????

  161. Remember how news leaked out before the tradrle that brought us Shaq? How about them news stories predicting the Pau trade? Oh, and all of that buzz on the net predicting the Nash trade?

    Yeah. Howard is not coming. The real question is who then?

  162. the only bigs other than Howard that make sense in a trade for either Pau or Bynum (now that Nash is here) is Dirk and Love, and I doubt either are available (and I don’t believe Love can be traded until Jan. 15).

    The only wing I could see would be Iggy, but the value isn’t there and PHI has nothing to add.

    I don’t see Mitch trading for Howard (at least now) because of the back surgery. How long before Howard can prove he is back to 100%?

  163. R @160,

    I agree. Anywhere but here. It seems like some Lakers fans are begging that guy to come here. Screw that. The Lakers are not the Cavs, Warriors, or Bobcats. They shouldn’t have to get on their knees and beg this dude come here. It is an honor to wear the purple and gold. Players much greater than Howard have worn the purple and gold. The Lakers have extended their hand to him. He slapped it away. End of story.

    Let that diva go to Brooklyn.

  164. Anon: Good point and good question.

    I felt since the Nash trade was made Lakers have to put him in the best position to be comfortable and play his normal game. He’s always played with spacing. Going into this season without a athletic wing or a legit 3 point threat would be disastorous.

    Iguodala is a perfect fit but not at the expense of Pau.

  165. T. Rogers, the funny thing is that if the Lakers don’t trade for him, his only real options are HOU, DAL, or ATL, none of which are going to contend for a title any time in the near future. That is, unless ORL panics and takes that horrible offer from BRK. I don’t know how we can possibly trade for someone coming off back surgery until we know he is back to 100%. At least Bynum proved his knees were fine this year.

  166. Houston has lost both of their point guards. I’m hoping they do a sign and trade for Sessions and we get Courtney Lee. This would allow us to keep our mini-mid level for Jodie Meeks, Jerryd Bayless or Gerald Green.

    We still need to sign Jordan Hill. There is no one left as good as him in (or close to) our price range.

  167. it’s official. team announces steve nash is a laker.

    yessssssss.

  168. I’ve seen the rumor of Pau for JSmooth (Josh Smith). Maybe that’s what’s cooking.

    OTOH, Dwight is the best defensive player in the league. If he’s on the Lakers…with Kobe, Nash and Pau…game over!

  169. any_one_mouse July 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Did you know Kobe calls Blake Eminem, or Slim Shady every once in a while?

    :)

  170. JSmooth is already losing some of his athletic abilities. He doesn’t have the complete game that Pau has. We have to see what Nash can do with Pau. I see a repeat of Shaq and Amare where both shoot around 60%.

    The only All-Star Center the Lakers ever ridded themselves of is Shaq. He put himself in that position by not staying in shape and demanding more money. Drew has done neither. He will not be traded.

  171. any_one_mouse July 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I tend to agree with the observation that if the details are out, the trade usually doesn’t happen – see Paul, Chris.
    Imagine what Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban will inundate Stern with when they hear of Dwight, Pau, Kobe and Nash together on the same side !!

  172. Adrian Wojnarowski just tweets
    Rockets remain strongly engaged w/ Orlando in direct talks for Dwight Howard, sources tell Y! They’ve spent little time on 3-way scenarios

  173. Dang!!! Bayless signs with Memphis.

  174. I’ve given up hope for Dwight finally. Now the focus needs to shif t on getting pieces for 17. Have to call cle, hou, dal and entertain offers. He done everything but ask for a trade.

  175. BusBoys – That was disappointing to see. I thought that he would’ve been a perfect fit backing up both guard spots.

    It’s in the air that there is more to come – the question is, who?

  176. OTOH, Brook Lopez is getting ready to sign a max contract with the Nets. Yes, you read that right! 4 years 58M or 5 years 78M.

    If that happens soon, it will take the Nets out of the drama, as they can’t trade Lopez till end of the year – and I don’t think Orlando is starting the season with Howard on the roster.

  177. raja bell to the Lakers? I mean KObe always like him and now we have nash so it will fit the back up sg issue.

  178. Grant Hill > Raja Bell

  179. Busboys – JSmooth may be losing some athleticism…but he’s still more athletic than any Laker…and would look nice filling the wing for Nash.

    Toli/sbdunks – stick a fork in Raja and GHill they’re both done…although I’d still take a 40yr GHill over Raja.

  180. Watching the video posted @187 was a real eye opener. I didn’t get too deep into the analysis. I just watched the video and some things jump right out.

    First off, the Lakers can’t optimize Steve’s talent with their poor spacing. On nearly every Suns possession there is a player in both corners at the 3pt line. There is another sitting on the wing at the 3pt line. And Gortat is usually setting the screen for Nash near the 3pt line on whichever wing is open. The entire inside of key is open on nearly every set play giving Gortat room to roll, Nash room to operate and the shooters are ready for a possible pass.

    Now, the Lakers possessions look totally different. There is often an overloading of players on one side of the box. There is also a general cluttering of players around the box. When the first pass is made in the half court set there are often two other players within ten feet of the player catching the pass. It has been said before, but I will say it again. The Lakers poor spacing begs defenses to pack the lane. They just make it way too easy.

    To truly optimize Steve’s skill set the Lakers need one rolling big and another floor spacing/shooting big. Floor spacing and free movement are the key. The irony in it all is Howard (assuming he completely heals) would be much better with Nash than Gasol or Bynum. All of those rolls to the rim that Gortat couldn’t convert on that video would be money for Dwight.

  181. There were banner headlines on ESPN that the Lakers were after Paul (and Howard) a couple of days before the Paul trade was agreed to, and there were endless rumors about Sessions. The surprise was Hill, but that supposedly happened only after the Beasley deal–also rumored for months–fell through at the last minute. It was a bit surprising that Walton, Kapono, and Fisher were dealt, in that it was assumed no one wanted them, but the Lakers had to give up picks to get other teams to take them.

    Nash was a surprise, but in the digital age, it is very, very hard to keep a secret. I doubt the number of rumors has any connection to the likelihood of a trade going down.

    As to people who don’t want Howard…it is all about his back. But if Howard is Howard, he is better than Bynum is, and would being badly needed quickness and mobility on the defensive end. In addition, with Nash, Gasol, and Bryant, the Lakers would not need to feed Howard late, which would cover his FT weakness.

    With Nash here, a healthy Howard at the 5 might well be the difference between winning one more time in the Kobe era or coming up short.

  182. Warren Wee Lim July 11, 2012 at 2:54 am

    rr, are you willing to gamble everything on that back and that mouth?

  183. Warren,
    Howard’s back is no riskier than Bynum’s knees, and on paper, Howard’s game meshes better with the rest of the roster than Bynum’s does.

  184. You all really think that Howard is going to be running his mouth on a team with 3 possible Hall of Famers? He hasn’t had a decent team for all his years in Orlando, and now he’s playing his cards. Sure it’s a pain to watch, but at the root of it, there are very legitimate reasons he wants to leave.

    Even Bynum and his agents are playing games with the press; but Bynum’s more of an introvert anyways.

    If Howard comes here, he will fall in line. He’ll be playing on a world beater team. What more can you hope for?

  185. Exhelodvr,
    Again…That just isn’t true on every level. Back surgeries are the most debilitating injury for a bb player. Place that next to Bynum’s non career threatning knee injuries and it’s really not that close. Howard’s back is a much bigger deal than anything that is being reported. If Howard is going to make a full recovery he will be the second player along with Pippen ever to do so.

  186. Why people play up Howard’s back injury when he’d been indestructible previously while forgetting about Bynum’s multiple knee surgeries baffles me.

    They both have injury question marks, but I’d argue that Bynum’s are much more extensive question marks.

    @rr #191

    Well said. Yes, the Laker organization has pulled some rabbits out of their hats and are better than other organizations at coming out of nowhere to swing a deal for Pau or Nash etc.

    But that doesn’t mean that we can instantly discard any trade being discussed and reported on in the news as complete fantasy.

    Trading for a guy like Howard is difficult, even if you have the best player to give back in Bynum. It’s difficult because EVERYONE wants Howard. He’s the best center in the league. So even if you have the best single player, someone else may be able to put together a better package that fits what Orlando wants more.

    Or Bynum might torpedo it by telling Orlando he won’t re-sign. (As Silver Screen and Roll reported)

    But the Lakers are CLEARLY trying to trade Bynum for Howard at this time.

  187. I have been saying what everybody is saying now since the trade for Nash was announced. The current LA roster will not maximize Steve’s full range of skills. I am glad that others are realizing that this deal, if it is the only one, will still lead to a disappointing season(no chip).

    It is similar to a used car salesman painting a car, putting new tires on it and asking above wholesale. Only to pop the hood and it’s leaking oil. Looks alone the trade was brillinat, but once you dig deeper you will find that looks are decieving. Yes Nash will take the ball out of #24′s hands in game situations that will lead to a higher percentage shot. Yet on the other hand, how will he be able to probe and roam as he is accustom, and legendary for, if you have two trees planted in the paint(both better back to the basket players) eating all the space with no outlet on the perimeter.

    The only solutiion is that one must go( I dont know which one) in order to acquire depth and players that will accentuate Steve’s skills, not Kobe’s. He will do the majority of the ballhandling if LA is to be succesfull , so why not give him the ingredients if he is going to be baking the cake.

  188. #188 – Nice video link. Very well constructed, researched and presented.

  189. Aaron,
    Back surgeries CAN BE debilitating for basketball players. They AREN’T ALWAYS debilitating for basketball players. Unless there is specific information to the contrary from Howard’s surgeons, I think it is much more likely that Bynum will have significant knee problems in the next few years than that Howard will have significant back problems. Bynum’s knee injuries are career threatening when looked at in the context of his previous history and his structural issues.

  190. Aaron: I think attaining Howard has some to do with creating revenue because the Busses are in the tax and have to pay $50 mil to the smaller market teams. They make their money off the Lakers. I can see it from a financial and basketball standpoint.

    When was the last time anybody saw a Bynum jersey in LA?

    1/2decaf: nice post

  191. The video just proves that one of the bigs must go, in order to acquire athletes and shooters that will be able to compliment Nash’s game. He was brought here to run the offense, not stand in a corner and wait for #24, Pau, or Bynum to pass him the ball. Even with the departure of one of the Big2, and acquiring a serviceable big, we could still matchup in the paint with the title contending teams. What we dont match up well with is speed, perimeter players and bench.

    We cant fool ourselves any longer thinking that this team will dominate on the inside to help equal out the shortcomings on the outside. It hasnt happened the last two years consistently(two consecutive early round exits) to say it will work in the future. LA must match up on the perimeter in todays NBA with the Brons’, Durants’, Westbrooks’, Rose, Wades’, Rondos’ of the league.

  192. Kevin,
    That would make sense if Dwight Howard didn’t just have a career threatening back surgery. Within one month of seeing Dwight Howard move like Luke Walton people won’t be buying any jerseys. From a business stand point it’s very dangerous to bring in a big man fresh off of back surgery. Again.. The past is not important. The future is. If history mattered Bynum would be in a wheel chair and Dwight would be playing for the National Team right now. Dwight has been the better player the last seven years. The odds are Bynum will be the better and more profitable player for the next seven years based on height, length, strength, skills, and a surgically repaired back.

  193. Calls for one of the bigs to go in order to suit Nash’s game are off-base. It seems folks are looking at Nash’s Suns and trying to see how the Lakers current players compare to the guys flanking Nash rather than looking at the Lakers sets with Sessions/Blake/Fisher and seeing how having Nash changes how the defense must adjust.

  194. exhelodrvr,
    Yes… They are always debilitating for bb players unless your name is Scottie Pippen. He is the only one who had that same surgery who fully recovered. Everyone else loses athletisism amid has reoccurring back pain/injuries. Human beings above 6-4 don’t recover from back injuries. That’s how the human body is. Until gene therapy advances this will continue to be the fate of basketball players. The odds are against Dwight being the only player outside of Pippen making a full recovery.

  195. Darius: That would be a great post. I see where it benefits the team too. The shots opposing defenses were giving Sessions/Blake it’ll be much tougher to leave Nash open. And his great basketball mind will create pace and shots for everyone.

    I could definitely see teams trapping Nash off the PnR forcing the ball out his hands daring our subpar 3 point shooter to beat them. And the room nash always had keeping his dribble down the baseline to find an open man won’t be as successful because you have 2 bigs on each low block and the passing lanes when you have 2 3 point shooters spacing the floor won’t be there with 2 centers. It’ll be interesting to see how this works.

  196. Re “bigs blocking the paint” as a problem–some folks say two bigs creates a logjam for Nash, further exacerbated by Kobe’s proclivity for living in the post–the problem is a little more nuanced than that. The real issue isn’t Drew and Pau clogging the lane, its the extra defenders sitting in the lane, including wing and PG defenders because of no fear that one of our PG’s will start raining in jumpers–that fear will probably start to develop soon after teams feel the effects of sagging off Nash to protect the paint….

  197. Aaron: I’ve knid of moved on the idea of getting Howard. All he has to say is send him to the Lakers and he hasn’t. And while I feel Bynum has a chance to continue to better his game being in so many trade rumors has him thinking of a future that doesn’t involve the Lakers.

    I’m just not counting on Bynum wanting to stay. He’ll be in the same position as Ray Allen next summer. A team with cap space like Dallas can sway him on him being their future.

  198. Kevin,
    I think what many are missing – and I mentioned this when I discussed the acquisition – is that Nash isn’t coming here to run the Suns’ offense. He’s coming here to run the Lakers’. Now, there will be some adjustments to what the Lakers do and a better balance must be struck between featuring the strengths of the other players while catering to what Nash does best.

    But, last year, the Lakers ran several actions for Sessions that got gummed up simply because he’s not a prolific shooter and his best strength was still getting to the rim. So, picture Nash in the 1/2 P&R with Kobe. Picture him coming off pin downs by Bynum/Gasol and then popping to the wing. Picture him coming off double screens and circling to the top with Kobe on the weak side wing rotating to the top.

    These are all actions that must be treated differently by the defense than they were last year because it’s Nash instead of Sessions or Blake.

    I’m not predicting things being perfect out of the gate. I anticipate there being an adjustment period for them to get on the same page. But just as fans talk about spacing for Nash, think of ways to free him and the subsequent space created because of the respect he must be given when getting the ball in positions where he can be dangerous. And then realize that he’s dangerous in so many more places on the court than any of his predecessors.

  199. Aaron,

    No deal wil be completed without a medical checkup for both players. Even Dwight himself must have considered the risk–and he’s been willing to play this upcoming season without a long term contract.

    If Dwight’s willing to bet a $100 million future that he’s going to be OK, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  200. Darius: You make good points. The pindowns would create open space for nash to shoot or if a defender big jumps out a easy post pass or lob to a big. Any time you can get Nash in open space giving him options is a great thing for the team.

    I just see some of the same problems as last year. Spacing and 3 point shooting.Nash by himself won’t fix that. Teams are still going to pack the paint daring Kobe/Ron/Pau from deep.

    Nash definitely makes this team better but there still somewhat one dimensional. Still going to have problems with transition offense and defense.

  201. Darius

    I can see where your coming from in the context of how teams must adjust to a Nash handling the rock compared to what LA has had in the past. But you have to say if LA is to keep both bigs they will have to dominate( the biggest advantage) in order for LA too truly compete for a title.

    I also take into account that this will be a major adjustment for Kobe(alah Wade in Miami) to play off the ball and let someone else drive the train. That can be said about Nash as well considering that he has played his whole career at the same tempo and now you ask him to slow his game down to compensate for lack of team speed, and two back to the basket scorers. That is alot of adjusting for players that have been in the league a combined 32 years.

    I quess I am just nervous about depending on two players that have been the most inconsistent the past two years to be the driving force behind LA title hopes.

  202. Funky Chicken July 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    The only place I’ve seen Howard’s back injury referred to as “career threatening” is in Aaron’s posts. I think those comments should be placed in their proper context–that is, made by someone with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of Howard’s medical condition, and someone who has repeatedly called Andrew Bynum the most dominant player in the NBA….

  203. Funky-
    That is the absolute truth. When it comes to anything concerning Andrew Bynum, you have to take Aaron’s words with a grain of sand. By default, that applies to Howard’s back injury because he’s using it to bolster his agenda with Drew.

    Right now- at the age of 24/25- Bynum runs like an older Patrick Ewing. He labors up and down the court and has lost some of his athleticism because of the knee injuries. I’m more concerned about Bynum getting hurt again than I am about Howard’s back. I also think that Howard will fully invest in defense, rebounds, and being a team player. That is just an opinion though and should be taken with as much sand as Aaron’s.

    This is a moot point anyway…as all smart Laker fans know that we would never trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. /sarcasm

  204. The Lakers of last season were not that far from being a top contender. If you Nash’s three-point shooting to last year’s team, with the effect that would have on the double teams they faced, they would have been as good as anyone else. That’s not even taking the improved play-making into consideration. As is, they are a top contender this year. The real question is if Bynum/Nash/Bryant will stay relatively healthy for the entire season.

  205. Funky,

    Aaron may get excited at times. But to be fair, it has been reported the Lakers have real concerns about Howard’s back. I have read nothing calling it career threatening. But it doesn’t have to be. If it keeps him from looking like the DPOY Howard we remember then all bets are off. Any Howard other than that one is not worth the time and effort.

  206. Funky Chicken July 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    T. Rogers, I would be surprised if the Lakers or any other potential suitor did not have concerns about the health of a guy coming off back surgery, so I think that’s a very real probability.

    What I was calling out was the hyperbole about the “career threatening” nature of an injury that the poster has absolutely no knowledge of. Not all back surgeries are created equal, and nobody on this blog knows the extent of Howard’s injury, so it would be equally absurd to dismiss his injury as a non-issue.

    It surely adds to the complication of the proposed transaction, that’s for sure. If Howard was healthy, it would be 100% clear what the Lakers would do (except to a certain Bynum fan on this blog, that is).

    KenOak, I think your comparison to Ewing is a good one. At his best, Ewing was a plodding big guy who required his team to play in the half court. That’s not a criticism, per se, but a real observation, and one that is accurately made about Andrew as well.

  207. You guys kill me. Drew stayed healthy the whole year. Why???? No one ran into his knees!!! Lamar and Kobe ran into Drew. Those weren’t freak injuries that happened when he fell awkwardly and twisted in an unnatural way. Howard and his extra large penitentiary top and skinny legs has back problems just like a woman with an overly large chest. Who is more injury prone right now? The guy with the bad back.