Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  July 11, 2012

Jack McCallum’s Dream Team book was released yesterday, prompting a number of worthy discussions and reviews, such as FB&G’s roundtable. The midnight hour brought an additional momentous occasion, the end of the league’s moritorium, meaning that free agency signings could become official. This leads us to the here and now, with the Lakers set to kick off their introduction of Steve Nash, at noon Pacific Time. The presser will be carried live by the Lakers website. Other teams will be holding their various functions throughout the day but this by no means puts the brakes on the continuing feeding frenzy, replete with the kinds of deals that had owners screaming foul during last summer’s lockout. Apparently, a level playing field is best accomplished by either overpaying stiffs, or stripping out assets before the season even begins. Here in no particular order, are some links:

Kevin Ding at the OC Register brings us the news of Steve Nash’s official signing, at midnight Eastern Time, last night.

Ian Thomsen for Sports Illustrated, writes about Kobe Bryant, Team USA, and the continuing quest to achieve more.

Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll has an article about the Lakers bigs, and offseason planning.

Dave McMenamin at ESPN Los Angeles reports on Devin Ebank’s new one-year deal with the Lakers.

Eric Pincus at Hoopsworld has a report about a possible three-way between Orando, L.A., and Houston in the Dwight sweepstakes.

Andy Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers writes about joyful playing returning to the Lakers.

Ben Bolch at the L.A. Times, writes that Steve Nash is an efficiency expert.

Ryan Ward at Lakers Nation reports that Jordan Farmar is being bought out of his Atlanta Hawks contract and will head to Istanbul.

And finally, Fran Blinebury for NBA.com writes about Adam Morrison’s road back to the NBA., and summer league. I truly hope Ammo catches back on – one of my favorites, always.

***

Trying to embed links during the height of free agency, sometimes feels futile – I have no idea how the national writers are keeping up with this shapeshifting serpent. Today could very well be pivotal in the ongoing Dwight Howard saga – the Nets are working to resolve their own part in it, one way or another. They’re having to deal with the Brooks Lopez situation, which basically amounts to multiple teams throwing max offers at a center that was out of action for most of last season. When Brooks did play however, he managed a mind-boggling 3.6 rebounds per game. That’s not a typo. Swing for the fences, big guy.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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122 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Great.. Steve’s jersey is already stained.

  2. Does anyone have any insight into Howard’s back? Seems a bit strange that teams would risk so much sight unseen regarding his future health. If the Magic are sharing medical reports with prospective suitors why hasn’t anything been leaked by the media?

    I’d love to see Howard in a Laker uniform – but not if he’s going to miss significant time or have his productivity diminished.

  3. This would be Farmar’s second stint overseas. His game fits perfect for euro play wish him the best.

    Since Ebanks is back I assume G. Hill isn’t in Lakers plans. When Lakers play Okc Ebanks sticks Harden.

  4. Now that it is official – a big welcome to Steve Nash! Very much looking forward to this season.

  5. isn’t that a shadow of the mic on his Jersey?

  6. Per Alex Kennedy the Magic have announced that they are suspending trade talks for Howard. I think it’s time for the Lakers to take care of business and add a piece or two and improve on what we all ready have.

  7. Trust in Mitch!

  8. 4,

    Yep. I realized after posting that it’s hard to get the tongue-in-cheek intent by reading it online.

  9. come to mama, DH:

    ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    RT @SportsCenter: BREAKING – Dwight Howard trade to @brooklynnets falls through, last-gasp attempt to work deal has died (via @RicBucher)

  10. smart move by orlando. force dwight to expand his list of preferred teams.

  11. kehntangibles July 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Norm Nixon’s stranglehold on “best #10 Laker of all-time” (as judged by the estimable Dexter Fishmore of SS&R fame) is in some jeopardy

  12. I have Dwight fatigue. ESPN has lost major credibility in my eyes. Bucher said it was a 80% chance Dwight is traded then it was 20% today. Now the talks are off. Everybody wants to be the 1st to report a significant story they mislead fans and report meaningless information. You’d swear Dwight was Wilt with all this coverage.

    Get a bench Mitch. Jamison may be in play I thought he would be an option.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakersnow/la-sp-ln-bynum-fishing-in-alaska-lakers-hope-to-catch-jamison-20120711,0,5336010.story?track=rss

  13. max deal for Lopez? good luck Jersey. don’t they know foot problems and 7 footers don’t mix? they must not know who yao ming is.

  14. I’m still speechless that we live in a world where max damned contracts are being offered to Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon and Nicholas Batum after the recent lockout.

    Man that lockout where the owners bent the players over and made them their *****es was sure productive and a good use of time.

  15. any_one_mouse July 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @JimC,

    Ha ha – well put.

    In fairness, though:

    1. “Max contract” is around the lines of 14-15M a year, less in the case of Batum. I still think it’s too much, but we’re not talking 20M+ a year.

    2. The whole CBA negotiation was less about curtailing the cost, and more about sharing the profit. Costs haven’t gone up from before, but profit margins, at least for the owners, will.

  16. A possible signing of Jamison tells me Hill may have a high pricetag. Lakers need hungry vets anyway. Still need a gritty rebounder maybe Joel Prisbilla.

  17. Jim,

    I agree. No matter where they set the value of a max contract, Lopez shouldn’t be getting one.

  18. any_one_mouse July 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Jamison? Are we trying to set a record for the oldest collective age of a team? Or is this a smokescreen to get Hill?

    I’d rather have Anthony Randolph.

    Bayless signed for 3M with the Grizzlies :(

  19. Lopez only played in 5 games last year. A very small sample size especially considering he was coming back from injury to a bad ballclub in a lockout shortened season. He’s not the world’s greatest rebounder, true, but some on this board make him sound like a real scrub. He’s not. Brooklyn is essentially in the same position as the Lakers in reference to Dwight. If they don’t get Howard, they have still got a good, young center.

  20. Regardless of what certain owners’ ultimate objectives were regarding BRI, etc., they still played very fast and loose with peoples’ lives last summer, not only the players, but a lot of affiliated businesses and workers. So yeah, I think there’s a level of hypocrisy present – especially with some of the inflated, back loaded deals that are being jammed in right now.

  21. @Kenny T – fair enough. Agreed, Lopez’s sample size last year doesn’t allow for an accurate representation, I don’t think he’s a max contract guy regardless, but your point is well taken.

  22. *wry smile*

    I have, on occasion, been known to resort to hyperbole and colorful imagery and language to get my point across.

    My apologies for being a touch blunt with my previous post.

    any_one_mouse and Kenny T both make valid points.

    Mouse’s point is that a max contract isn’t what it used to be in terms of the damage that it can do and Kenny’s is that Lopez didn’t play that much last year and isn’t overall a bad player.

    The flip side to both of their points is that the lockout was largely about saving owners from their own damn stupidity for handing out huge contacts to players like, say, Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson that, while not SCRUBS per se, weren’t MAX MONEY players either.

    My point being, as Dave M put it, that the owners demanding the players protect them from themselves is doomed to failure. The lockout happened and now we’re still seeing absurd contracts handed out because, not surprisingly, it’s the same group of dumb individuals who can’t properly value the players involved.

    None of the players that I mentioned earlier as examples are bad players. In fact, I think they are all, to various extents, above average players. In particular, I really like Batum who is an underrated two way player. But I don’t think they are max money guys. Prior to the finals, James Harden was being talked about as a max money guy too.

    Mouse is correct that the IMPACT of idiotic contracts has been reduced by changing the cost extent of how idiotic a contract is, but the SELECTION of who is being offered idiotic contracts isn’t any smarter.

  23. any_one_mouse July 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Wow, Kaman to Dallas now. Depending on the structure of the deal, it may rule them out of the Howard sweepstakes as well.

    And Brian Schmitz just referred to them as Crooklyn!

  24. any_one_mouse July 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    @JimC:

    We agree…as usual:)

  25. The player the Lakers should be moving heaven and earth to get at this point is Courtney Lee. He would be the perfect backup to Kobe–young. athletic, good defender, can hit the 3. Why not do a sign and trade with Houston: Sessions for Lee?

    Imagine a second unit featuring some combination of Blake, Lee, Ebanks, Hill and Jamison?

    Getting a deep bench is critical. Kobe and Nash should only be playing 30-35 minutes a night.

  26. any_one_mouse July 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    @Derek:

    Not fair – I posted that a couple of days ago, and am still in “your comment is awaiting moderation” hell :)

  27. Now that it’s official, I’d like to point to a comment made to the “On Free Agency’s Eve” post from 6.30.12:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2012/06/30/on-free-agencys-eve/#comment-803633

    Full disclosure: I’m the one who made that suggestion re: trying to obtain Steve Nash and Grant Hill.

    Fuller disclosure: I am now 1 for 758 re: suggestions and/or predictions of what moves Mitch Kupchak’s Lakers could make.

  28. Btw, Farmar’s heading to Andadolu Efes, the same team that the Machine played for this past season. Anyone surprised that Sasha hasn’t gotten any mention around the league during free agency? His last NBA stint was 56 games for the Nets, season before last, averaging11.4 ppg. Not huge numbers on the face of it, but fairly robust compared to his L.A. free fall.

  29. Unless there are verified reports about trade talks occuring, trade speculation is still going to be deleted.

  30. Why do my posts disapper. Weird – I post them they go ‘under review’ then get pulled.

    Does this happen toother folks?

  31. reeves nelson is on the summer league team? yuck.

    i think eric gordon deserves the max. he’s a two-way player. he hits 3s. he gets to the line. he makes his free throws. he picks pockets. he blocks shots. he’s young.

  32. I agree with dave M. Why don’t the Lakers try to reach out to Sasha and Farmar? They are definitely worth the mini-mid leve exception (more so than any one out there on the rumor). This is not a trade speculation –I am just wondering why no one in the league seems to be interested in them (especially the Lakers).

  33. darren collison to the mavs! that takes them out of the running for ramon sessions.

    jesus, ian mahimi for darren collison and dahntay jones? is indiana’s gm insane?

  34. #30. The answer to your question is in the commenting guidelines that are linked to at the top of the page (above the banner). This isn’t the site to post trade speculation that isn’t being reported as part of an active discussion.

  35. “In addition to Nash manning the point, the Lakers’ offense should look significantly different next season, as the team is contemplating running a Princeton-style offense and has been in contact with former Nets and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan to fill assistant Quin Snyder’s place on the staff.”

    I’m glad this is what we’re looking to do after passing up on Rick Adelman and dedicating all our resources to finding a PG that can run Mike Brown/Kuestar’s plays

  36. Collison will only get better playing under/with Jason Kidd. Good for him and Jones is a good young player.

  37. http://www.rgj.com/article/20120710/SPORTS06/307100008/1018

    Sessions was at his basketball camp Monday. Great guy but silly for opting out. Most teams already have 2 PG’s and Houston looks to be the frontrunner for Brooks. Should sign for 1 year with Lakers.

    Dallas is going to have tons of cap next summer.

  38. 33,

    Was wondering that myself – what happened to D. Collison? His value has plummeted since his days in NO.

    35,

    D. Jones is turning 32 this year, not young at all for the NBA.

  39. In a perfect world we bring back Sessions and Hill and still have the mini for a shooter. Jodie Meeks, Courtney Lee and Gerald Green are all still out there.

  40. OT, but very interesting quote from Kupchak on asking Kobe to talk with Nash (and, if you extrapolate, recruiting FAs in general):

    Kupchak said he initially planned to have Bryant speak to Nash as a final plea but ultimately decided the sooner the two All-Stars talked, the better.

    “It was a little bit of a risk,” said Kupchak, who helped facilitate the phone call through Nash’s agent, Bill Duffy. “That’s the chance you take with Kobe.”

    —-

    Reading a bit between the lines, it hints at credibility to the reports of the phone call that did take place between Kobe and Dwight Howard that turned Howard off.

    Dallas just did a good deal in picking up Collison for Mahimi. Not sure if that pushes Sessions further down their list or if they want both.

    One more interesting note from McMenamin:

    In addition to Nash manning the point, the Lakers’ offense should look significantly different next season, as the team is contemplating running a Princeton-style offense and has been in contact with former Nets and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan to fill assistant Quin Snyder’s place on the staff.

  41. @39…..Gerald Green signed with Indiana.

  42. @ 32 Farmar signed in Turkey.

  43. Chearn, you must have missed it, but Kidd left the Mavs for the Knicks

    I bet Sessions is second guessing opting out right about now.

  44. Daryl Morey has too many assets to not do anything. Have to assume he’ll try to get McHale a post player and hope his gamble pays off.

    Excited for summer league to see which of our guards dominate. Didn’t know Eyenga was 6’7 210, Morris 6’4 190, Ebanks 6’9 215, Johnson Odom 6’2 215. Anxious to see which one of these guys develops with Lakers.

  45. Now is when I really want to know if those who are saying we could S&T Sessions to Houston for Lee are correct. That would be a great move.

    Or (as numerous others have said) having Sessions as a chang-of-pace bench PG who can speed things up with the likes of Ebanks on the wing.

    He must be kicking himself for opting out right now…

  46. I’m wrong on both counts, I didn’t realize that Jones was that old. And, I sure forgot that Kidd is with the Knicks.

    That’s okay Collison is a very good young player that should thrive as the no. 1 point guard. I believe he lost his starting position to George Hill. Of the three guards coming out of UCLA Westbrook, Holiday and Collison. Collison was supposed to be better of the three.

  47. Lopez should change his name to Brooklyn Lopez in appreciation. A good offensive C if he can get back to pre -injury condition. Ironic that the 3 centers mentioned in the Howard trade scenario all have injury issues.

  48. jonathan feigen, the rockets beat reporter, wrote that the rockets may have to amnesty scola to clear up the capspace for guys orlando really wants to unload(turkoglu, richardson, davis, etc.)

  49. Dallas just did a good deal in picking up Collison for Mahimi.

    Everything Dallas did today was done to set up a run at Paul and Howard in July 2013. Collison, Jones, and Kaman are all on one-year deals. Dallas could also try to package them in a deal for Howard before that.

  50. Edit: Not sure if DAL is allowed to trade Kaman until deadline, since he was an FA>

  51. The interesting bit on the Nash signing was how Kupchak mentions that it was Jim Buss who urged him to try.

    Naivete?

    At any rate, thanks to the prodding we get Nash. More reason to cut him some slack.

  52. @48 chibi – Is that enough?

    Howard will “love” to play again with Hedo and JRich.

  53. Was staying at the same hotel as the players in Vegas this week and James walked by me with a t-shirt with his first name in big letters.

    Made me want to yell at him “daaaaaaaa”

  54. Based on various LATimes articles, it appears the Lakers are reluctant to use the mini-MLE and just want to sign players who accept vet-mins. There goes Courtney Lee.

  55. rr: Kaman signed a one year deal so doesn’t matter, assuming you are talking about next year’s cap space

  56. What’s a day without posting on Dwight. It almost seems Hennigan stalled the Nets out knowing their package wasn’t good enough but trying to show Dwight he tried to trade him to his preferred destination. He may be trying to get him to add more teams to his list or eliminate such a garbage package. The Dwight/Bynum swap is out the question that’s too simple and easy and would’ve happened already.

    I can see Atlanta taking a chance on him their a real threat. But it’s more likely they ship him out west. Houston has the best chance with picks and young talent. Orlando is trying to unload Hedo, Richardson and Duhon. No way Rockets would want to take on all those contracts. All that dead weight gives Howard more reason to skip to Dallas in the summer. Bynum has shown a willingness to resign in Houston and Lakers can split those bad contracts with Houston.

    Houston already gave up much more before (Scola, Martin, Dragic, pick) for Pau. And were willing to make a deal where Lakers would get the best player in the deal (cp3). When they possibly could’ve gotten him themselves with all the assets he gave up then. Morey is desperate proven by his moving up in the draft and he just has too many assets to sit on them all. Is he desperate enough to make a trade where he gets the seond best player again.

    I think a way this would get done is by Lakers taking Turk instead of Richardson. I’m not sure. But this makes too much sense 2 teams have worked together before and this could happen. Unless Henngian wants to keep Dwight and is fooling everyone.

  57. Well, looks like Dallas has a few tricks up their sleeve after all. I really like Kaman’s offensive game, but he always seems to be breaking something. And being able to get Collison for a backup big is a nice coup.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that teams are offering scads of loot to restricted free agents. It seems as though they are willing to overpay for a player that they like, such as a Hibbert or a Batum. And while I agree that those type of players are not max contract worthy, it seems that raiding other teams’ players is a strategy that a lot of organizations use to get better. Even if their offers are matched, they have driven up the price for said player and forced another team to go deeper into their financial resources to keep the player. The NBA offseason is like a minefield these days.

  58. Hennigan knows the Nets deal will always be on the table, no matter how much they posture. He can always return to that (crappy) deal after January now. Opening up a window of time for another team to jump in with a better offer is the only logical move.

    It’s been said many times before, but the owners get what they deserve, handing out these ridiculous contracts, constantly trying to poach players from one another. It’s why I laughed when the majority opinion during the lockout (not here) was in favor of the owners and against the players. The owners needed a hard cap to save themselves from themselves. Which is why I loved Dr. Buss waving his middle finger at the rest of the league by acquiring Nash and ignoring the harsher taxes.

  59. @ 54, Aprilryan

    Wouldn’t put much credence into that report. I’m pretty sure that if the right opportunity/player presents itself, they’ll definitely use the Mini-MLE to better the roster/bench. If not, then what’s the purpose of bringing in Nash/using the Lamar TPE? … They’re in a ‘win now’ mode.

  60. Avery Bradley is 6’2 yet he can defend SG and suffocate them so if Goberlock can learn Bradley’s style of defense or even Kobe style of defense of denying the basketball, we wouldn’t need to sign another SG that will only play 10-18 minutes and at the same time develop young players.

  61. Toli, Avery Bradley has very very long hands that’s why he can guard bigger guys. Goudelock doesnt.

  62. Joe Atlanta:

    I think you mean that Avery Bradley has very long arms. Not saying he doesn’t have very long hands …

  63. I can’t help but wonder why on earth ORL is trying every single possibility to trade DH BESIDES sending him to the Lakers.

    I bet Stern printed a picture of himself and sent over ORL FO with the caption:
    “I can see you…”

  64. It’s always great to read what actuall smart people write about basketball and not what smart basketball people write. These are my exact thoughts on the Nash addition if he doesn’t age before next season (possible)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/47595/can-nash-do-his-thing-in-l-a

  65. I went and looked back at Superstar trades and what they got in return.

    Pau for Marc Gasol, javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, Kwame Brown, 1st in 08 and 10.

    KG for Al jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, two 1st picks.

    Shaq for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, 1st pick

    Melo for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timothy Mosgov, two 1st one 2nd.

    Melo is the worst player in this group and got the best haul. I hope Orlando isn’t holding out for something like that deal cause it ain’t happening.

  66. Following up on Kevin’s post: Houston and possibly Minnesota can put together a combination of young talent and draft picks to match the better of the deals you outlined.

    When we all feared that the FO would do a salary dump of Pau’s contract the Timberwolves were in the mix. It’s because they have significant dollars in non-guaranteed contracts that can be included in a trade but waived once they arrive at their new location.

  67. Even if Steve Nash isn’t as effective as he was, if he can penetrate and shoot threes it will still work out fine because we still have an upgrade in 3pts shooting, clutch shooting/passing, penetrator, and a leader ( probably the most important one because it force Kobe to not use “my PG suck, so I must control and play ISO” excuse.

  68. The ink hasn’t dried on the contract he signed yet, and he’s already out making us proud:
    http://youtu.be/JY4Zhm3vTBM

    Too bad there isn’t a Kobe cameo in there!

  69. Good read Aaron, I had similar feelings about how this will all play out when game time rolled around. Nash does dominate the ball on offense, can Kobe channel his inner DFish. Everybody says the right things, but the results on the court will speak the loudest. Two veterans having to change their whole mindset about how they approach the game makes me say hmmm. It will be Kobe’s team, but in order for this team to be at its best he will have to be willing to hand over the keys and let Nash drive.

  70. Aaron –

    Did you just refer to Henry Abbott as a smart person?

  71. Henry Abbott is one of the few incredibly smart people who cover basketball and like most smart people he is not particularly liked. But I assure you he is very intelligent. He is one of the few people that I consider as knowledgable basketball wise as myself.

  72. The thing everyone needs to understand about Nash is he needs a system to be Steve Nash. You can plug Kobe or Bynum into any system and they will be Kobe or Bynum. But Nash is a Messi. He looks better than he is in a certain system and looks much worse than he is in another system. The Lakers must commit to the Nash system or they would be better off starting Sessions.

  73. Aaron LOL- How do you know he looks worse in other systems?

  74. Aaron’s right. Nash won’t be “Nash” if he is simply asked to cross the timeline, pass the ball to Kobe, and get out of the way. He won’t be himself if the lane is clogged and he can’t get into the paint at will. Nash is a point guard in the purest sense. He needs to be the primary ball handler and he needs everyone else to play off him. Well, that’s what he needs if the Lakers want to get the best out of him. I remember the Porter/Shaq time in Phoenix. It wasn’t pretty.

    I am glad to hear the Lakers are considering going to a Princeton style offense. They need more motion and better spacing.

  75. It’s more than a little unreasonable to say that Steve Nash can only play in one kind of system. When surrounded by the kind of moderate to poor talent that he’s been cursed with, OF COURSE he’s better in an up tempo system. So would everyone else, including Kobe Bryant.

    Average NBA players always play better in an up tempo system. Such an offense allows transition baskets and open shots, which is where average players are able to contribute.

    Steve Nash has never played on a team with more than one other all-star caliber player; and even then, look at the quality of those “all star” teammates.

    To surround Nash with the league’s best shooting guard, 2nd best center (or best center, depending on the Magic), and one of the most skilled power forwards in the game is to give him three weapons that are each arguably better than anyone he has ever played with. I would surmise that he’ll be substantially more effective in a slower offense with THIS supporting cast than any that he’s ever had.

    With Andrew on the left block, MWP in the left corner, Kobe in the right corner, and Gasol coming up to set a screen at the 3 pt line, exactly how is a defense supposed to react? Nash will come off the pick and have:

    (i) a clear path to the basket if Bynum’s man doesn’t rotate over, or a lob/dish to Bynum if his guy does rotate;

    (ii) an easy pass to a wide open Kobe on the right wing for a 16 foot uncontested shot if the help comes from Kobe’s man;

    (iii) a drop back pass to a wide open Gasol at the free throw line if Gasol’s man flashes hard to stop the screen roll (where Pau can take an open shot, or put the ball on the floor and take it to the hole or lob it to Bynum); or

    (iv) a wide open floater for Nash from about 8 feet away.

    And that assumes that you don’t have a shooter in the corner on the left side. All this is accomplished in a slow, half court set. Nash has never, ever had anything like this to work with….

  76. sessions to charlotte.

  77. It would be great if the Lakers “got the most” out of Nash, and I hope that is what happens. But they don’t need that to happen to be serious contenders this year – if they use the same system as last year they are already noticeably better on offense.

  78. exhelodrvr

    I hope LA doesnt use the same system as last year. because I couldnt stomach watching Kobe iso at the end of games and with Nash aboard it would be close to suicide.

  79. Kevin- given D12’s injury, I think the smart money is on keeping the team intact at least until we see how he reacts once he is on the court and playing games. Remember that the last major trade the lakers made was mid-season. So, don’t give up hope. But do stop posting about it! (j/k :-)

  80. Henry Abbott may be smart. I haven’t met him, visisted him, and sized him up, so I don’t “know” for sure. I do “know” that even if he is a genius, his agenda (most often, an unapologetic penchant for anti-Bryant hit pieces–Aaron’s link to the Nash article is yet one more example of his inability to avoid digging at Kobe) so occludes his intellect that he comes off like a one-note hack. It’s sad, really.

  81. Henry Abbott may be smart. I haven’t met him, visisted him, and sized him up, so I don’t “know” for sure. I do “know” that even if he is a genius, his agenda (most often, an unapologetic penchant for anti-Bryant hit pieces) so occludes his intellect that he comes off like a one-note hack. It’s sad, really.

  82. TheNC,
    The difference, though, is that the ball will start in Nash’s hands every possession, or almost every possession. He is not going to feel obligated to give it to Kobe, which seems to be the case with most of Kobe’s teammates. And when he does, even if Kobe does “go iso” the threat that Nash poses will make things easier for Kobe.

  83. @mindcrime:

    +1.
    Anyone who tries to shamelessly peddle an anti-Kobe agenda at any given opportunity is not “smart”.

    Remember the time he linked to a youtube clip of Kobe dunks and blamed him for not passing the ball??!!!

  84. Abbott didn’t say anything FB&G hadn’t said since the Nash signing. For Nash to be most effective you have to turn the reigns over to him.

    TRogers: Totally forgot that was Porter coaching that team thought it was Gentry.

  85. @ kevin–As always, Abbott had to go a bit further. He didn’t just say “Kobe” (and everyone else) has to turn the reigns over–he had to say “I don’t really think Kobe can do it”–A defensible opinion, but coming from him–unnecessary blather–

  86. Wow, tough break for the kid. As a fan of the game, hope everything turns out alright and it’s not too serious.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8160453/los-angeles-clippers-blake-griffin-injures-knee-team-usa-camp-report-says

  87. But I assure you he is very intelligent.

    Abbott is smart in some ways, but his problem is a lack of awareness of his own biases and how that negatively affects his analysis– like Aaron’s Bynum thing. I had an email exchange with Abbott, and his lengthy response to me made it pretty clear that he actually seriously believes he has no agenda about Kobe. He’s wrong, and his latest shows it yet again. The post focuses entirely on whether Bryant can adjust to Nash, and suggests that Bryant (being selfish, etc) will not. OTOH, Abbott hardly mentions that Nash may have to adjust to Bryant. The bias is built-in, and Abbott simply either willfully ignores it or fails to see it. I think at this point that it is the latter.

    Abbott took the psych profile test that some NBA draftees take. His score on “awareness” was 1.7 out of 10. It is just one data point, but it tells you something about where the guy’s “intelligence” falls woefully short.

  88. He is one of the few people that I consider as knowledgable basketball wise as myself.

    Classic. If my Abbott post makes it out of mod, I would suggest that you read it carefully.

  89. Sessions to Charlotte just seals a perfect deal: a PG with talent but listen to much to his agent, going to a mediocre team just because his agent said he needs to be a starter.

  90. mindcrime: Not too big on truehoop at least hp and dwyer make me laugh at their Kobe columns. But It’ll be an adjustment for Brown, Kobe, Bynum only smooth transition is Pau. Nash will help the team get easier baskets but the same problems remain.

    Athleticism, 3 point shooting, transition defense.

  91. I will say Kobe recently told SAS he won’t stick around and average 20 pts. With a big 4 starting and a elite PG that’s where his numbers should be at. Nash will make up those points with his assists.

    Numbers have to be similar to Boston’s FGA. in 08 PP 13.7, RR 9.3, KG 13.9, RA 13.5

    Three players averaged 13 shots a game and the PG averaged 9. Shot distribution has to be that close. Nash has to run the team like Rondo runs Boston. Difficulty for Kobe is trying to shift 16 years of muscle memory of having to take over to letting it come to him.

  92. Abbott is smart about basketball, but he keeps tripping over his obvious axe to grind re: Kobe. This is kinda like if Jennifer Aniston was a professional marriage counselor and was assigned to write a clinical assessment of Brangelina.

  93. @ Kevin and any one mouse:

    I’m not saying Abbott is an idiot. He is probably smarter than me about statistics and a wide variety of other subjects–that isn’t my point. I think rr and I have about the same view of the guy–irrespective of his intellect, he destroys his credibility on certain subjects by talking about the specks in other people’s eyes and missing the proverbial “mote” in his–he has some huge biases and, unlike a guy like BIll Simmons–who will readily admit he’s a Boston homer, and a Laker hater–acts like he is evenhanded and has no prejudice by hiding behind (demonstrably) manipulated stats–as if his basing his statements on “statistical analysis” proves he has no bias. Like I said, it’s sad because he clearly is a stats “smart guy” far beyond my abilities.

  94. Not exactly sure what the nexus is between the opinions and intelligence of any basketball writer and what happens on the court. But, if anybody can set up some real causal links, I’ll see what I can do to manufacture a current All-Star who will join the Lakers for vet minimum. Write it, and they will come.

    Re: Nash and what kind of systems he can or cannot fit into – my pet theory is that you put him and the rest of the guys onto the practice court and tell them to figure it out. I have this crazy idea that they can do it.

  95. 89,

    Was Wednesday midnight the deadline for FA signings? Lakers lost Sessions but still in contention with Lee, Jamieson and Jodie Meeks. What happened to Jordan Hill? How about Beasly, Amundson and Bellinelli?

    I hope Darius could help us as a research-blogger aside from his current duties as a police moderator in finding the latest on Laker FA’s hunts in order to prevent wild speculations. Thanks in advance.

  96. Kevin

    You touched on a very significant point about how will the Mamba in #24, which this mindset has made him one of the greatest these eyes has ever seen, be able to adjust to this new look. Does passivity make him turn into Pau Lite or does it prolong his career? Abbot has a valid point in wondering if Kobe can do it, Nash has always been considered to be a team first player. Bean on the other is aloof and a loner, not your best traits for adaptibility or sudden change.

  97. @ 93 — Didn’t Beasley sign an offer From Phoenix?

    All of the Lakers’ moves won’t mean anything unless they find more outside shooting to spread the floor — basically, what they’d thought they were getting when they signed Blake.

    A player similar to the 2007-08 version of Vujacic would work wonders.

    (And yes, I realize Nash can shoot well — but he can’t pash it to himself when he collapses the D with penetration.)

  98. any_one_mouse July 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    @NCDon, @Kevin_,

    In 2004 – the last time we had 4 legitimate “stars” in the starting 5, Kobe averaged 18 FGAs a game, which I think is where he’ll be.
    Also, don’t forget that last year, on that crappy Suns team, Nash averaged 12.5ppg on 9FGAs. Whether that’s a reflection of opponents trying to load up on Nash, or the fact that he is slowing down is irrelevant.
    I don’t think shot distribution will be a concern – either for us, or Kobe.

  99. As usual someone else sums up my thoughts about Abbot and his ilk, but does it with far fewer words, in a far smarter and funnier way–+50 to kehntangibles–I can stop spouting off now because you nailed it.

  100. Funky Chicken July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    The pick and roll will naturally spread the floor more than what the Lakers did last year. With Sessions, they tried PnR but his outside shot was not worthy of respect (not in the playoffs, anyway), and that’s what made the offense stagnate.

    With Nash, defenses have to respect his shot, so by playing high pick and roll you will bring two of three defenders to the three point line. By “collapsing the defense with penetration” Nash is forcing one of three remaining defenders to help–one of which will be Kobe’s guy, another of which would be Bynum’s guy (if Pau is setting picks). Either way, a very efficient offensive weapon will be left with a wide open shot.

    That’s not to say the team shouldn’t pursue a shooter. They should. I just think the team’s outside shooting woes last year were complicated by the fact that the Lakers had a PG who could essentially be ignored on the perimeter. That won’t be the case this year…..

  101. @75 Funky Chicken- Those are 4 very viable offensive options with many possible variations.

    Kobe is so selfish that even when he plays on the Olympic teams he demands the ball in his hands 99.9% of the time. Though everyone knows that on the last Olympic team he played defense while Wade and LeBron scored. That is until neither of them could close out a game.

    If Kobe passed the ball willingly to Derek Fisher, how much more will he be willing to pass the ball to Nash? A player far superior to Fisher, a multiple all-star player and two time MVP. Child please.

    Why would Nash join the Lakers and become something he’s never been his entire career, a player that plays without the ball in his hands? Nash’s game is far more ingrained in his psyche than Kobe’s. Kobe has morphed into a high usage basketball player due to Lakers personnel. Nash was born a high usage basketball player.

    Steve will be the player that brings the chemistry back between AB, PG, MWP and KB. Which will have an effect on the bench as well.

    (Joker’s voice) “Wait till you get a load of them.”

  102. any_one_mouse July 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Also, as exhelodrvr pointed out, this is different from Shaq to the Suns. Here, Nash is adapting to *our* system, and not the other way around. As it should be – we are not replacing our offense with Phoenix’s. We don’t have their personnel.

    All these concerns about Kobe hijacking the offense are unfounded. Talk if you will about his high usage rate, but do not forget the fact that Coach Brown *asked* him to take care of the offense while he focused on defense initially.

    Also, don’t forget the fact that he played most of last season with Blake and Fisher, neither of whom is a penetrator. He was the de facto PG, and given a combination of a new offensive system, lack of other initiators and the equivalent of a ‘green light’, he was being asked to shoulder a bigger load offensively.

    And the stats (FGAs per month) bear this out. Towards the end of last season, once Sessions became the starter, Kobe was averaging 20 FGAs a game, which was what he averaged the previous season as well.

    I’m surprised a stat-head like Abbott didn’t bring that up. #sarcasm

  103. any_one_mouse July 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @EdwinGueco:

    Beasley is a Sun. He signed for 3 years @6M per.

  104. I’ve never read anything Abbott has written that suggests he has a bad toward Kobe at all. He hasn’t said or written anything about Kobe that I don’t agree with and I’ve been a Kobe fan for 15 years (I liked Eddie Jones for Kobe’s rookie season).

    Dave,
    Nash like most PGs needs the ball to be effective… That has been a problem for the Lakers as Kobe likes to dominate the ball. Unlike most PGs Nash isn’t athletic enough anymore to play effectively off the ball. He needs the ball a lot. Will he get it?

  105. Abbot’s unnecessary Kobe/Lakers bias made me stop reading Truehoop. I’m kind of getting sick of Simmons’ biases as well, but seems like he’s softened a bit on Kobe the past couple of years…

  106. Roland Lazemby is lobbying for PJ back to Lakers…

    That would be excellent…or let just say, better than what we have now…

  107. BTW, I do appreciate the commenters on this site; everyone seems to be very knowledgeable and comments don’t resort to name-calling, as they tend to on other blogs…

  108. Saw a report this morning that the Lakers were talking to Eddie Jordan about an asst. coaching job, to run the Princeton offense. I’m okay with that. The Kings ran it with their sweet-passing big men to great effect in Chris Webber’s heyday.

    Re: Abbott and Simmons: I stopped reading Abbott around the time he posted that video of Kobe’s top-ten dunks and criticized Kobe for not passing to Kwame Brown. Kwame Brown!

    Funnily enough, it was his dunk on Nash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pDGIrjPUrs (advance to about 0:24, there’s a long, pointless lead-in at the beginning of the video)

    Simmons, however, has been interesting to watch evolve. He loathes Kobe openly, but between living in LA for the past, what, 8 or 9 years, and the last two titles, he now has grudging respect for him. The much higher media focus in LA on the Lakers, and Kobe in particular, finally let him in on what the rest of us have known for 16 years: Yes, he’s an asshole and certain teammates have tended to dislike him in the past, but he’s a gritty, relentless warrior who will stop at nothing to win. If you’re not following the team closely or watching local coverage, the only stuff you see on him is national, and like it or not, chuckleheads like Abbott are influential in the national coverage scene.

  109. 103,

    Thanks for the info. Anybody who can offer the status of rumored FA’s or still in negotiation. Can anybody clarify here on what the Wed. midnight deadline meant?

  110. any_one_mouse July 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @EdwinGueco,

    You are welcome. The Wednesday deadline was for the start of Free Agency, not the end. It’s open season now :)

  111. 108,

    Yes A. Markazi was really Aaron.

    If only Andrew puts his head to the mission of being the next big man to carry the torch not only from Shaq but all the way from Mikan, Chamberlain, Jabbar, then why would they still go with spoiled diva? Unfortunately, like the diva there are a lot question marks on Drew. Is he focused on the mission? Is he consistent with his game plan from the season carried over to the playoffs? Can he play along with Kobe, Gasol and now with Nash or compete with them on touches? Can we expect from him to play defense at all times? Lastly, (which I think Bynum cannot answer, regardless we would like to ask) will he be free from injury or can he play injured like Kobe? If all these lingering questions are satisfied, I think the Laker nation would prefer developing our own diva than importing another one.

  112. @Aaron – Kobe doesn’t seem to have a problem sharing the ball when he plays for Team USA. And, as he’s gotten older with the Lakers, he’s become increasingly willing to share the ball during the first half, when he’s in facilitator mode. This obviously changes when he’s frustrated, feels like his guys aren’t doing their job, or simply gets caught up in competition. I’m very confident that he will mesh well with Nash. Those two guys are about the work, and they’re hyper aware of their ticking clocks. I think it’s going to be a great partnership.

  113. scola just got amnestied. they must think dwight’s in the bag then? are we allowed to bid if we’re over the cap?

  114. #114. Only teams under the cap can bid, so the Lakers would have to wait and see if he cleared waivers.

  115. Scola would be an awesome addition to this team. But our chances of landing him are remote. There’s quite a few teams under the cap that will likely snatch him up.

  116. Sessions winds up in Charlotte. Whew. Like the earth is flat and he fell off.

  117. is nash a better fit for this team than chris paul?

  118. Dave,
    Of course they can mesh well… But as always it’s up to Kobe. He needs to let Nash play PG and dominate the ball. If he doesn’t Nash will not be effective.

  119. han @114 – Only teams under the cap can bid on an amnestied player. If no team does, then the amnestied player becomes an unrestricted FA, and any team can offer them a contract. So in LA’s situation, they couldn’t bid on Scola, but if nobody else did, and he was a UFA, then we could offer him the mini-MLE or the vet min.

    (That’s my understanding of how it works anyhow! I am more than happy to be corrected.)

  120. LBc/#118: Chris Paul is significantly younger (12 years?), but has a bum knee that may cut his prime short. Steve Nash has age working against him, but comes at a cheaper price and stays in excellent shape. Both are top PGs, excellent playmakers, shooters, and all-around gamers.

    Chris Paul would have cost Gasol and Odom and $5-6 million more per year–much more if you include the savage luxury taxes in a few years. Effectively Nash cost Odom. Economically and quality of team-wise in that Gasol is still on the roster, Nash is better.

    However, ask that same question again in two years.