Report: Jordan Hill To Return To The Lakers

Darius Soriano —  July 20, 2012

In a move many Lakers’ fans have been hoping would come to fruition, Jordan Hill is set to return to the Lakers next season. Reports say Hill will earn a shade under $8 million dollars over the next two seasons, giving the Lakers the second back up big man (after Antawn Jamsison) they needed to complete their front court rotation.

After being acquired in the trade that sent Derek Fisher away, there weren’t many hopes that Hill would be anything more than a placeholder that could provide spot minutes should the Lakers’ reserve big men continue to falter. After nursing an MCL sprain almost immediately after he was acquired, those hopes nearly disappeared entirely. However, as the Lakers reserve bigs continued their up and down play, the hope that Hill would get his chance to play started to become more prevalent. When Hill finally got his shot and was inserted into the lineup he never relinquished his role as the Lakers’ primary back up to Gasol and Bynum.

In those last few regular season games and into the playoffs, Hill showed a knack for attacking the glass, flashed good quickness and instincts in defending the pick and roll, and generally embraced his role as an energy man that would fill in the gaps next to his more skilled front court partner. His hardhat mentality fit perfectly next to both Bynum and Gasol as he consistently attacked the front of the rim on offense (gobbling up offensive rebounds and getting easy baskets in the process) and provided solid secondary help as a rim protector on defense.

HIs game game wasn’t filled with skill, but the Lakers didn’t need it to be. Hill played hard, never ventured too far outside of his skill set, and seemed to provide exactly what the coaches asked of him. The fact that he showed just enough range on his jumper (he can knock down shots out to about 16 feet when he’s set and unguarded) meant he could play off Bynum and his ruggedness around the rim and ability to carve out space made him a nice partner for Pau. He didn’t always play well – what reserve really does? – but when he did, he brought a level of production that had been missing from any reserve big man on the roster.

With Jamison now in the fold, Hill’s minutes and role might be a bit different but his ability to play either PF or C will aid him and the Lakers next season. He’ll give his coaches flexibility in lineup choices and, maybe most importantly, allow the Lakers primary big men to get the rest they’ll need to stay fresher throughout the course of the season. Remember, last season Gasol was 2nd in the NBA in total minutes played and 7th in minutes per game while Bynum’s per game average and total minutes played were the highest in his career. With Hill (and Jamison) in the fold, both Bynum and Pau should get more rest with the hope that they can be fresher and more productive.

Beyond helping to keep his front court partners fresh, the hope is that Hill can continue to improve. With Steve Nash in the fold, Hill should get easier baskets as a screener in the P&R. And, if Bynum continues to improve passing out of double teams, Hill should also get more (and better) touches at the front of the rim against a scrambling defense. If he continues to be active on offense by making smart cuts and moving into the open space allowed to him by a defense that must focus on his more heralded teammates, Hill can become an even more effective garbage man than he was last season. How that translates to nightly production remain to be seen, but the potential for 8-10 points and 6-8 rebounds a game is there simply by continuing to work hard, changing ends aggressively, and keeping his hands ready to make a catch.

Hill’s return isn’t the flashiest of moves, but it certainly bolsters a Laker team that really needed another capable big man to play behind Gasol and Bynum. His contract is not only reasonable in terms of total dollars, but its length allows the Lakers to maintain their long term payroll flexibility by keeping him on the books only through the end of the Kobe, Pau, Ron, and Steve Blake’s contracts. And, by adding another capable bench player, the Lakers have further strengthened their reserves and have taken another step forward in shoring up one of last year’s biggest weaknesses.

All in all, there’s no downside to this type of move for the Lakers. It may not be the type of move that vaults them into contender status, but it certainly gets them closer. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?

Darius Soriano

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188 responses to Report: Jordan Hill To Return To The Lakers

  1. Can I just say I’m starting to like that Jim Buss guy. He got of to a rocky start early on, but lately, he’s moves have been pretty damn good.

    He got Nash and Jamison for peanuts. He resigned Jordan Hill and now, he’s playing the waiting game w/ Orlando to perfection. (last I recalled, last year it was Pau+Bynum to get Howard)

    Now we get to keep Pau and have Howard too. Dayum! The dude is pretty good considering the guy he was replacing was considered the best owner in sports.

  2. Hill is perfectly cast in this role– as a bench player who is probably going to play 15-20 minutes a game he’s a great complimentary piece.

    Still need another shooter and maybe another defense-oriented wing, but the previously barren bench has added two really nice players over the past few days.

  3. As someone with a larger sample than you have had in LA, Jordan Hill is a garbage man and nothing more. I hoped that he would improve in his time in Houston, but he just fell further down the depth chart (And we had much less talent than the Lakers). He is athletic but doesn’t play with any heart, and is a terrible one-on-one defender because of his inability to hold the post. I do agree that the addition of nash should help him finish at the basket though.

  4. “Heart” notwithstanding, the advanced stats like Hill, as a bench player at least. He’s a terrific rebounder– 10.4 reb/36 for his career, and Win Shares likes him too, pegging him at .118 WS/48 last year, solidly above average. He’s particularly strong on the offensive glass and will block a shot once in a while. He’s not brutally inefficient on offense– career TS% of .524, which should go up with Nash feeding him the ball.

    As a reserve big who’s going to play 15 minutes a game, you don’t need him to be a world-beater.

  5. 3-Great Wall

    I hope you’re wrong, because Jordan Hill showed plenty of heart with us last season. Though, the energy he displayed could have been due to his yearning for a new contract.

  6. Jordan Hill may not have been considered a high energy, great motor player for a team like Houston that played at a frenetic pace. But for a team like the Lakers that played at a sloth’s pace (older, slower bigger team), he represented one of our few active players.

    That in and of itself should tell you just how athletically challenged the Lakers (are) were. It was even more evident when we had to slow Ramon Sessions down because when he ran, it gassed our big men and caused mis-matches for us on defense because they could not make it down to the other end of the court. Ramon was not a bad player, it was just a bad match.

  7. ok, so it’s looking like we’re just about set on what and who our team, (players) are all about…
    now, I’m wondering how Mike Brown is going to get this team looking like a Nash centric team?
    isn’t Mike Dantoni unemployed?
    why couldn’t we bring him in as an offensive coach/coordinator?
    we have defensive coaches, shooting coaches, etc?
    of course Nash and he would be great together and I seem to recall Kobe has a fondness for D’antoni as well…
    thoughts?

  8. Jordan Hill’s #1 priority should be learning how to finish in traffic around the rim. I remember way too too often he would get multiple offensive rebounds, especially vs Denver, but would miss the putback. That is probably the main reason he shot 43% in the playoffs, not good for someone who plays mostly under the rim.

  9. Are we forgetting that Hill has a pending 3rd degree felony assault charge against him? Let’s see what transpires there. But if he is cleared, this is a good re-up, obviously.
    I was a big supporter of getting DH but have finally lost patience with this guy. He is ridiculous and seems totally self-absorbed. I finally agree with the posters that say we should move forward without him. But it does beg the question how Bynum will feel and play, given that he has been the main component of a DH trade.

  10. kehntangibles July 21, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I’d love to see what D’Antoni could concoct with Nash and Kobe in his arsenal, but would he be willing to accept an asst. coach slot after having been an arguably more successful head coach than the Laker’s current head coach?

  11. This Jordan Hill move is great. Now all the Lakers need is either Jodie Meeks, or Leandro Barbosa to sign on at the back up 2. Regardless of what happens at center, that would be a pretty strong roster heading into next season.

  12. Is Khazzouh invited for training camp?

    Was his 6-7 3s just an anomaly?

  13. Jayz,
    We are a country of ‘first impressions’. We say we are forgiving, but that only applies to particular people and situations.

    Jim Buss made the horrible mistake of following in his father’s footsteps – sort of like Kobe following Michael Jordan or Mitch following Jerry West.

    The fact that he didn’t have a lot of basketball savvy before his dad brought him into the business was a real mark against him – never mind that his dad had nothing to do with basketball before he bought the Lakers.

    I am not trying to make Jim out to be more than he is, but he has had some pretty good training. Sure there have been mistakes – nobody who does things fails to make any mistakes – but his batting average is above the normal NBA owner, by a measurable amount.

  14. #12: 6-7 on 3s would be an anomaly even for great shooters like nash and allen…

  15. People realize Dwight wants to be traded right? The only hold up is Orlando, seriously don’t blame the guy for having a team hold him hostage

  16. 8844,

    Had he opted out instead of freaking out last year, he would spared us all being hostage to this nonsense.

  17. 12, Hello Magic Phil, who is Khazzouh? Did he come from NCAA?
    I paused a question before and didn’t get an answer. Can the Lakers recruit a good shooter from other countries in this Olympics? a). can they bypass the draft if they were not included in the recent draft? b). can they help the player in opting out from his contract from other foreign leagues he is affiliated with? c). do CBA rules apply in acquiring players from other countries?

    10, Kehtangibles, that’s a great idea on D’Antoni as asst. coach, he’s close to Kobe and Nash. Well, Lakers hired Eddie Jordan recently as replacement of departing asst. coaches. I think D’Antoni could go back to NBA coaching especially if USA gets another gold, he could also aspire the NBA ring via the Lakers. If that happens, Lakers will have four former head coaches from other teams, fantastic ideas could come out from more heads than just one.

  18. chris h: from everything that has come out from lakers writers brown is running the princeton offense next year.

    BlueLaker: I share that opinion. Hill was phenomenal on the glass but putbacks and kick outs weren’t his strong suits. But that was only in a couple games have to expect the team to be much farther in tune with camp.

    The longer the Dwight drama goes on the less likely I feel Lakers will get him. The Asik offer sheet coincides with Orlando’s coaching search timeline. They may be waiting to get a coach to try and convince him of their new regime. But by that time Lakers may have already filled out the roster leaving no room for acqusitions.

  19. Steve Johnson July 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Yes Dwight wants to be traded.
    And yes the Magic might be dragging it out even though they have no leverage. They could’ve gotten more for him if they’d have just done the trade earlier.
    But it’s Dwight’s fault he signed that stupid one year extension, and then to top it off insisted on only one team. He could’ve gone there outright already, and made the Magic take whatever scraps the nets wanted to give up in a sign and trade or get nothing. And to add to the situation he’s still insisting on exploring free agency again next summer. Reducing the amount of teams willing to gamble on a one year rental to Houston.
    Does he not see how much his ‘brand’ will be damaged (maybe it can’t go lower?) if this circus starts up again next summer?
    There is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no way the Lakers should trade for him if he’s not going to commit to them.

  20. So what he opted in one year, great blame him for that but the Nets and Magic had a deal that was pretty much done until the Magic GM backed out. He wants to be traded to LA, he was going to opt out no matter what team traded for him so once again can’t blame him for getting the extra money he deserves. All I’m saying is a deal should be done a long time ago if Orlando would have just traded him a long time ago, supposedly he wasn’t going to opt in originally until the night before the trade deadline the Magic threatened to trade him to a team he didn’t want to play for at the time (LA).

  21. 3,

    When Lakers acquired Hill in a trade with Rockets, he was slightly injured. He showed some promising performance in the late season OKC game where Lakers won in 2 OT’s. He showed heart during the playoffs, in fact an effective post defender against OKC, I think much better than Pau. Well, most of the new players start from garbage and someone picks them up, develop them and turns them into a gem.

  22. Can`t go after Rush, or another SG/SF until the Howard-Richardson drama is finished. Until it is,don`t see another big name signing. Would love to see Eddie Jordan as an asst coach for offense and to teach the young guards.

  23. Finally. I’m starting to feel better about our bench.

    I think MB playing the lineups will be huge. Instead of giving Nash his rest at the beginning of the 2nd and 4th, I’d rather have MB pull him early (with Blake on the floor, Bynum and Kobe are more than capable of carrying the offense) and play Nash at the beginning of the 2nd/4th with a guy like Hill. True PGs raise the collective worth of surrounding players, especially energy-type guys with no offensive moves like Hill. Hill will be a lot more effective if MB maximizes his PT alongside Nash instead of Blake.

    Like the way the bench is turning out. We need both a backup 1 and 2. Doubt we can get both, but Nash and Kobe need reliable backups or they’ll wear down.

  24. Ronnie Brewer is still a FA and can play. Career 25 minute guy 50% fg, 1 stl and rarely fouls. Perfect guy to put on Harden.

  25. @17 sup Edwin, Khazzouh is an aussie invited by Chuck Person to the SL. The guy is tall, 6’11 I think, but the dam aussie shot 7 3s and made 6, what about that?

    I’m not sure if he’s affiliated with another league, I’m clueless to be honest about him.

    But 6-7 3s?

  26. A little history seems to be in order for the Howard critics. Orlando told him that if he didn’t waive his opt out last year they would trade him to a team he wouldn’t want to go to (rather than risk losing him for nothing after last season).

    That was a reasonable thing for Orlando to do, as it bought them time to seek a better deal than what the Nets were offering. Howard knew that whoever he was traded to would be the only team that could give him a 5 year deal, and rather than have that team be one he didnt want to go to, he waived his opt out. That, too, was a reasonable thing to do.

    Today, Dwight is saying he won’t extend with anyone. That’s the smart financial move, because an extension guarantees him far less than going to free agency and then re-signing.

    In other words, nothing that has transpired over the last year has been unreasonable–until now. What is now unreasonable is the Orlando GM thinking that he can get a better deal than what has been offered so far. Trade partners are dropping out (NJ), and others appear to be moving on (Houston). Blaming Dwight for the delay right now is completely unfair.

  27. Excellent move by the Lakers,

    He’s a young, strong and athletic big man who would provide as an excellent backup to either Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, or Dwight Howard.

  28. Good points by Funky. Howard has mishandled this in some respects, but a lot of the frustation with it is simply a reflection of:

    a) The 24/7/365 nature of the digital news cycle and the internet Echo/Tweet Chamber.
    b) The fact that we are Lakers fans, so our team is on a certain level directly affected. The fans most tired of it are obviously Orlando fans, but I think if the Lakers didn’t have Bynum and/or were in a rebuild and not in the mix for Howard, it would seem tiresome but not as big as it does. For Pistons and Jazz fans the Howard situation is more of a minor annoyance IMO.

    All that said and Funky’s points conceded, Howard could still simply have not signed the opt-in and hit FA this summer. He decided not to.

    Finally, I am sticking to my theory that Howard and Paul want to be on the same team and that Howard was motivated by that. Paul of course has not re-upped with the Clippers and as of now Paul and Howard both are FAs in July 2013–as Mark Cuban well knows.

  29. Think about this though: had Dwight opted out of his last year with Orlando he would have signed with the Nets as a FA and we wouldn’t have a chance to get him.

  30. As a former Knick fan, I can tell you that hiring D’Antoni as offensive coordinator would be problematic.

    The SSOL offense is a pretty extreme coaching style and requires lots of guys who are floor-spreading jump shooters. D’Antoni is dogmatic, sticking rigidly to his system no matter who his personnel is. Last year he had the Knicks playing SSOL with Toney Douglas as the PG, brick machine Landry Fields as the starting 2, a paint-clogging C in Tyson Chandler and a “star” player whose specialty is the iso. It failed miserably, and he never showed a willingness to adapt his approach to fit his personnel.

    Sticking to the SSOL style magnified the Knicks’ flaws rather than minimizing them. The Lakers do have a couple of guys that would make good D’Antoni players, but they lack the army of good perimeter shooters that is necessary for the system to work. And D’Antoni can’t (or won’t) coach any other way than pure SSOL. The D’Antoni/Nash teams in Phoenix worked because they had one great PnR roll man (Amar’e) and loads of great three-point shooters. Those teams would lead the league in 3-pointers attempted and 3-point percentage, which is tough to beat. Here, it would just be a lot of MWP, Gasol and Kobe 3’s. Not a recipe for success.

  31. I don’t blame Howard for his indecisiveness – a lot of that is due to other conditions changing, which are not in his control. I do think a few “No comments” by him would have made his past year go much more smoothly.

  32. Sam Amik is reporting that the Magic are confident that they can pull the trigger on a Howard deal by early August. The question is, will the Lakers be willing to wait that long. And if they do, will there be any shooters left, if they don’t get Howard and Richardson. Not sure if Jim and Mitch are willing to wait and see. It could be a long couple of weeks.

  33. JK47,

    Exactly!!

  34. Michael H,

    Rob Hennigan is in way over his head. The guy is playing hardball yet he overplayed his hand a long time ago. It ain’t Dwight whose holding up this deal. It’s Rob freaking Hennigan.

    That dude needs to take a Jerry West 101 class for GMs. Seriously.

  35. Now the genius orlando gm says early august. Mitch should move away from this drama and sign Meeks or Rush. Let orlando stick with DH. It will be fun to watch DH playing for orlando…

  36. Is it time to start referring to Josh McRoberts as Josh McRobert’s Expiring Contract?

    Thanks for everything McBob, you were a lot more fun to watch than Troy Murphy

  37. Ahh fugget solidy the bench and give Bynum the Mark Sanchez treatment try to resign him after chasing the big fish. And hope he’ll suck it up like Pau did and not sulk like Lamar.

    Say Lakers drop out which is highly likely and that leaves Houston only which is also high likely. Orlando only leverage against Houston is trade deadline and Brooklyn. Atlanta has cap space for the summer and Dallas does too with no state taxes both have plenty expirings and can sign Dwight outright in 2013.

    Then say Dwight isn’t fully healthy and Brook Lopez is balling leverage goes back to Brooklyn because they’ll have a formidable team with a top C. Many ifs and all this absolutely goes out the window if Morey is so desperate for a star. Morey is so crafty he can go a safer and cheaper route say Igoudala for Martin expiring and a pick.

    Many people out there are way smarter than me espicially the writer’s columns saying Hennigan’s patience is showing savvy on his part. But I don’t see how waiting is helping them just trade him to LA and get it over with. They may keep him and dare him to walk like Shaq did.

  38. O.K here is a scary thought. Hennigan came from OKC, right? What if he is holding out for James Harden and Serge? The talks would stay completely inside the two organizations so odds are we wouldn’t hear a thing until it was completed. They could also either include Perkins or find a 3rd team to take him. Dwight, Durant and Westbrook would be deadly. Would Dwight play there? That would be the question.

  39. JayCartyGoldenWheels July 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I would hope Khazzouh at least gets an invite to camp, would be intrigued to see what he can do with better players surrounding him. He’s not really a banger, but looks like an athletic big man who can shoot.

  40. What is the most we could give Barnes? Why don’t we sign him at top dollar so we have another expiring? If we combine him with McR, Eyenga, and maybe Ebanks, we are getting into Hedu territory. Cleveland would absorb JRich, and everbody is a winner. We get D12/Hedu, Cleve gets AB/JRich, Magic get our expirings, and Cleve picks + expirings. And Jim gets his ring kissed.

  41. Jordan Hill was paid for his athleticism and height. This is another Steve Blake/McRoberts signing – too much for too long. This offseason has been disappointing even with the Nash acquisition.

  42. Jordan hill for too much and too long??? Two years is too long? less than 4 million a year is too much? He’ll produce more than Blake and McBobs combined. I think the J. Hill signing was great.

  43. Hill was signed because of his production. His per-game stats may not look like much, but per minute he’s a quite effective player. His rebound rate (including his games with Houston) was the best on the team last year.

    I don’t understand why there hasn’t been more talk about Matt Barnes, who should really be re-signed. Hill, Barnes and Jamison would make a really solid bench core.

  44. Avidon: While historically I have shared your skepticism, the offseason is not over yet, and so far it has been at least decent. I would however agree that we have a ways more to go and those that say we are “fine or fine either way” are a little too optimistic.

    JK47″ I mentioned signing Barnes. albeit for different reasons : ) but all the more reason. If we sign him and then D12 falls through – I wouldn’t mind having him.

  45. Rob Hennigan is in way over his head. The guy is playing hardball yet he overplayed his hand a long time ago. It ain’t Dwight whose holding up this deal. It’s Rob freaking Hennigan.

    People need to back off of this line until we see how the deal goes down. As we have seen with Jim Buss, we generally need to take the long view with the FO and evaluate moves after they happen, rather than talking about things not happening fast enough, etc. Hennigan may know exactly what he is doing.

    Robert,

    Turkoglu makes over 11M. What you are talking about would be almost impossible. Also, “decent” is something of an understatement for the Lakers’ off-season at this point. Fisher and Odom have been converted into Nash and Hill. Given how much you hammered those deals, I think you would do well to acknowledge that at this point rather than continuing to harp on Howard.

    As far as Mike Brown, it is a gray area. There is not really any substantive evidence that his teams have underachieved, but he does not impress anyone and seems to have issues commanding the respect of his players. Nash’s presence will probably help him.

    I would add that Brown has, on many occasions, bragged about his ability to coach defense, and this team will be a real test of that. It seems highly likely that the Lakers will have an excellent offense no matter what Brown does. The defense OTOH is an area on whuch he can have an impact.

  46. darius: use to think this apple, meaning jim buss, falls far from the tree. starting to look more and more like, doesn’t fall far from the tree; in a good way. one or more enormous trade/acquisition in this current trend and we’ll all pretty much be saying the same thing: this apple hangs with the best of them.

    keep up the good work darius and the rest of you faithful followers. karma seems to be positive right now, let’s continue riding it out. life is too short not to enjoy the good karma.

    Go Lakers !

  47. 25,

    Get him to sign Magic Phil @ 6’11” and can shoot at perimeter, that’s a rare C. He could compete with Sacre for the position. If he falls short from the crowded roster, sign him on FBG. lol!

  48. any_one_mouse July 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I think they should just fill out the roster assuming things are not going to change. Whether its Bynum or Howard, we need another creator/source-of-offense off the bench.

  49. The problem in signing Matt Barnes, it takes away one position from a crowded roster between available FA’s(Jodie + Brandon) and Summer League entries. Matt is somewhere in between, he’s a veteran so he could be getting old; he has poor showing in the last two seasons with the Lakers; his defense lately leaves a lot to be desired; his 3 pt shooting comes in spurts and were no longer that reliable. Therefore, we could pose the question: who among these players can help the Lakers more?

  50. Ive always defended Jim Buss as he hasn’t done anything to betray that trust. He and Mitch haven’t done anything this offseason. Nash for a couple late round picks? Duh. Jamison for the absolute min? Come again? It’s not rocket science. What Jim and Mitch will be judged on is of they decide to trade Bynum for Howard. That’s the trade in the end that might define their careers. Is it fair? Probaby. There are only a few transactions that refine Jerry Wests career. These are the big ones folks. We will see how history remembers this moment. It could go either way.

  51. Supposing the Lakers stop from here since they have passed the 90M mark w/o Jamison and Hill 5.3M contracts and also new draft picks, how would the roster look like:

    1 Nash/Blake/Morris
    2 Kobe/Ebanks/Jdo
    3 Jamison/Peace
    4 Gasol/Hill/McRoberts
    5 Bynum/Gasol/Sacre

    ~~I think we could beat San Antonio and could come close with OKC. Undoubtedly, Mitch and Jim deserve all the praise for their aggressiveness in using TPE on Nash which attracted Jamison and got back Hill.

    If we include Meeks and Rush plus Howard & bad contracts, it will be reaching the 100M mark w/o luxury taxes yet.

  52. Edwin Gueco,
    Good point.

    We still have a financial side to this. When you combine that with the fact that the less expensive younger players need to be developed for the time when the big guns leave. That is so whether they are part of the team or part of a future trade. Personally I think we will keep 4-5 young players, along with the immediate contributors. My guess: Morris, Ebanks, Sacre, Eyenga, and DJO.

    I think we need to think about players being signed with the idea that these 5 will be here.

  53. 42 & 43,

    To put things in perspective, let’s use an even larger umbrella of statistical evidence of him being paid well above his true value.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hilljo01.html

    Look at which players Jordan Hill’s career so far is most similar to. Rodney Carney and Mark Madsen to top the list? Neither made more than 2.8 per year, and Mark’s cheerleading skills were second to none.

  54. rr: First off – I was defending the FO by saying decent. I was responding to a comment that said – disappointing ! So go talk to Avidon : ) Second – covering Hedu would be difficult, which is one of many reasons why getting D12 is difficult. If it was easy it would be done already. Creativity must be used. Third – I said the off season is not over + a full eval can’t take place until it is + we see how we play. However, we have sent away many picks, and have now gone beyond the 14 threshold, so if we do not win in the next couple of years – we are also gambling part of our future. This is a gamble that I am on board with, but it is a gamble we could lose. I simply do not want to stop here. I want to be at least tied for 2nd best in the league and I will be reasonably satisfied. A likely loss in the WCF is not the projected finish I want to go in with.

  55. @47 Edwin, I’m 6’7 and can be our backup SG. And I’d charge WAAAAAY less…

  56. This guy Sacre…I don’t think he can NBA at all, way too slow. He fights, which is good, but very little skills.

    From the SL, I like Morris improvement and Khazzouh is intriguing. Eyenga impress but only when there’s no D on him (great trade chip).

    And if GLock start to hit 3s like crazy, he’s in. Otherwise he showed very little, which is sad. He should forget he’s a SG and start to develop PG skills. With teacher Nash, he and Morris can improve a ton.

  57. Brown: I think again he might be in the wrong place through no fault of his own. Yes – we have a good offensive team, so we should have an offensive coach. Without a very good defensive team, it is hard for a defensive coach to be successful. In the NFL you would not have Buddy Ryan coach Tom Brady, and that is effectively what we have.

    rr: The response to the rest of your unprovoked attack is in moderation : )

  58. Mitch wanted Ebanks to work on his SG skills maybe he backs up Kobe. Lakers need someone to guard Harden. I am not a fan of putting Blake or Kobe on him or any of our guards for that matter. Lots mentioning McRoberts and Eyenga’s expiring if Lakers could get Brewer for that would be nice.

    I’ve been an avid supporter of developing rookies but that got us nowhere last year. To win this year Lakers need production not potential.

  59. rr: The response to the rest of your unprovoked attack is in moderation : )

    Didn;’t see it as an attack, and I responded to the email. I would respectfully remind you about the 20-30 times that I said “We need to see about Hill and the TPE before we judge Jim Buss.” Now we have.

    This offseason has been disappointing even with the Nash acquisition.

    This position is totally unsupportable. And, of course, the off-season is not over yet.

  60. Barnes seems like the kind of player that is often undervalued. He’s not great at any one thing but he has a well-rounded, solid-but-unspectacular game.

    He’s not a GREAT outside shooter, but he’s respectable. Not a lockdown defender, but gives you solid wing defense. Doesn’t pull down eye-popping rebound numbers but gets his share. He’s been quietly efficient and effective for the last three seasons, and I hope he returns.

  61. Jim Buss: I have started calling him Jim rather than Jimbo. I also knelt before him when we got Nash. I will not however kiss the ring until I get what I want : ) I have been waiting (albeit impatiently) for coming up on a year now.

  62. JK47: Couldn’t agree more. Great glue guy and has fit in instantly every team he’s been on.

    Robert: Jimbo and Jimmy boy posts were stuff of legends. Jim is making it hard to criticize may be years before those kind of laughs again.

  63. Why is Jim Buss suddenly getting credit for all of these Laker moves and not Mitch?

    Last I checked, Mitch still had the title of “General Manager”. We’re clearly shopping Bynum, one of Jim Buss’ favorite players. I’m not seeing a lot of signs that we should rush to give credit to Jim Bus instead of Mitch Kupchak for the moves this offseason.

    And I’ve agreed with every one of them. WHOMEVER is running the show, and I do think it is Mitch right now, is doing a great job.

    As for the Matt Barnes question, I wouldn’t bring him back at this point. He was absolutely awful in the playoffs and has a bad injury history and, for a player who relies as much on his explosiveness and injury as Matt does, age + injuries are not looking good.

    I’d rather save the money that we’d spend on a backup SF, roll with Ebanks at that spot, and bring in a backup shooting guard for Kobe.

    But I think that’s all waiting on Orlando. I think EVERYTHING is waiting on Orlando.

    If, for example, we end up caving to the demand that we take Hedo back with Dwight, then we don’t need another SF and money spent on Barnes would be a waste.

    If, on the other hand, we get asked to take Jason Richardson back along with Howard, then we no longer need a backup shooting guard and someone like Meeks doesn’t need an offer.

    Essentially, we’ve added all the pieces we can at this point pending the Howard trade either going through or the Lakers deciding to stop pursuing it.

  64. his explosiveness and ENERGY as Matt

    Typo in my previous post.

  65. Barnes, last season, did a decent job on D but we’re expecting him to hit his 3s and he didn’t. Same with Artest but Ron plays superb D and he showed us he can go into the paint and score, which kinda compensates for his bricks.

    Yeah, we need a backup SF that hit 3s.

  66. So…Is that true that JRich was the reason Nash got divorced? That would complicate trade talks, once JRich to Lakers was a real possibility.

  67. Magic Phil you hit the nail on the head, a SF that can shoot 3s would make this Lakers team unstoppable on offense.

  68. Jim C: You are of course correct. In my case, I am giving Jim credit, because I bashed him heavily previously. In reality – he only needs to do 2 things – allow for spending and get out of the way. He however is active, so he is involved in these things, but yes MK is the one doing most of the work. And hopefully there is still one piece of work to be done.

  69. @Robert 62

    I’ll kiss the ring when we get number 17.

    @ rr 47

    The upgrade from Fisher to Nash is huge but there is a marketable decline from Odom to Hill. The only positive is that Hill is young and will improve with time. LO was one of the most gifted 6’10” players in our league. He did and can do everything with the basketball. Hill will be a great rebounder and a potential good defender. He will never have LO’s handles, ability to create his own shot or shoot outside.

    We need to develop Eyenga. Remember he has a good eye for defense and we will need that against OKC. He has nice size 6’7″ 215. He can become our Tony Allen, who has finally developed an outside shot. He was one dimensional at Boston but now is a different story. Eyenga can be a huge help if MWP doesn’t return to his end of the year self. Playing 4 on 5 offensively isn’t bad when your four are Kobe, Pau, Nash and Bynum.

  70. Another thing about Eyenga. He’s a freak. Watched him posterize several 7 footer’s in the summer league. Amazing athlete. All he really needs to develop is a set shot 3 pointer, the rest of the time, just slash.

  71. With the signing of Jamison and Hill the Lakers sent a message. We will deal on Laker terms. No Hedu, no Big Baby. If we sign a shooting guard I think that will send another message. No deal.

  72. 55,

    May I apply as your agent Magic Phil, since you’re 6’7″ we can be more creative….not a SG tho’ but more of apple picker, grapes etc. you name it, we’ll cover them by Sept. At that height, they will only pay one instead of 5 workers.

  73. @70 – Robert ” LO was one of the most gifted 6’10? players in our league. He did and can do everything with the basketball”

    “Can do everything” would seem to me to be ignoring entirely the fact that Odom was practically out of the league last year because he couldn’t play any longer which would make trading him for what ultimately becomes Steve Nash a sensational piece of front office work.

    Jordan Hill came by way of Derek Fisher and a draft pick. So far I feel pretty good about that one as well.

  74. It’s funny because before the Lakers drafted Sacre, he pretty much appeared in the highlight reels of all the other big men drafted before him. I said to myself, “God, I hope we don’t draft this guy”…And so we did. But I’ll tell you one thing, Jimmy Buss thinks this guy is a hell of a horse.

  75. So…Is that true that JRich was the reason Nash got divorced?

    Any true on that?

  76. Funky Chicken July 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Pining for Lamar Odom is to emerge from a 12 month slumber with no idea what transpired during your hibernation. Ask Mark Cuban who he’d rather have between Hill and Odom.

  77. @73 Edwin, If Sacre can make to the roster, I can make it too.

    Guy is too slow. I know, he’s the kinda guy that fights, plays hard, etc…but 1-2 seconds later. By the time he gets married, I’m already a father…

    You get 10%. That’s it.

  78. This is my ideal roster if we can’t get Howard.

    Starting 5
    PG Nash
    SG Kobe
    Sf Brandon Rush
    PF Pau
    C Bynum

    2nd Unit
    PG Blake
    SG Ebanks
    SF Metta
    PF Jamison
    C Hill

    3rd Unit
    Pg Morris(2nd unit by mid season)
    SG Johnson-Odom G-lock
    SF Eyenga
    PF McBob

    We might have to find a trade to get Rush. Since he is restricted.

  79. Jim C,

    Buss has openly said he is taking a more active role and is presumably signing off on all these deals. Also, there were those who thought he would be unwilling to spend money. Finally, I think most people here assumed that Kupchak is reasonably astute. Buss was the one the fanbase was worried about.

  80. About DH:

    What if Bynum, all of a sudden, start to play DEFENSE (a center’s priority on every book I read) like he did against SAS afer the ASG? Remember the 30 boards? Remember the blocks?

    Dwight who?

  81. Michael H, this isn’t hockey. 3rd Unit? LOL.

    The Lakers are not taking back Hedo or Big Baby because of the incremental tax in 13-14. JRich would be a possibility if we also moved Blake, but then who would backup Nash? So, even if the rumors aren’t true, JRich isn’t coming either. Basically, ORL will take Bynum straight up or include HOU to take back one of the salaries.

    Also, as others have said, if ORL is so concerned about these salaries, why did they give mighty mouse a ridiculous contract that greatly exceeds his worth?

    My guess is that this new ORL GM will wait too long and get nothing for Howard. What is it in the water down there that everyone thinks they can convince him to stay?

  82. 79, @MichaelC,

    That first unit doesn’t have much perimeter defense. Who is going to guard LBJ, Durant, Melo, Pierce etc?

    @JimC,

    Didn’t Kupchak reveal that it was Jim Buss that pushed him to reach out to Nash? My personal theory that Jim is so eager to convince everyone that he has what it takes, that he is going all in for the next couple of seasons – and I don’t have a problem with that:)

    81, @Magic Phil,

    Drew will never be the defender that Howard is. Boards/blocks don’t measure how effective you are in defending the pick and roll. Drew is bigger, heavier and has problematic knees – he will never be as swift of foot as DH. Imagine a Russel Westbrook pick-and-roll – Nash and Drew will be helpless!

  83. Btw, Ronnie Brewer shoots 25% from 3….

  84. The situation for Howard needs to end soon. That ship is slowly sailing away. But it’s pointless unless Bynum gives some indication he’ll sign with the team he’s traded too. He has power as Darius wrote a month back.

    Brandon Rush is the sexy pick but a long shot like Mayo and Lee were. Foye, Brewer, West are more likely. One of them are going to get the minimum.

    We can pump Eyenga up all we want we all know any team 6th man will get buckets on him to start the 2nd. He may turn out to be a valuable throw in like Brown was.

    I felt before FA started Jamison was a name Lakers would target. Now CJ Miles seems to be a guy Lakers could pickup.

  85. 78,

    Magic Phil, my future boss – do you remember when Socks started his first professional game at CSLB, all he had was wing span with two round eyes and one dimensional move. There was this Euro player @ 7’5″ whose name begins with letter “K” who was toying Bynum around. In fact, Farmar had higher vertical leap than Bynum. Well, Sacre has to crawl before he can walk, run like the pros but height cannot be taught. It is also true that sometimes the true height is measured on what is above the shoulder. If there is no drive and ambition, then you produce Chuck Nevitt or Sean Rooks.

    Joking aside, how far did you reach your own basketball career? I’ve never conversed with 6’7″ blogger, good we haven’t seen each other or else they’ll call us…. have you heard of Mutt & Jeff?

  86. Re: Bynum’s defense which is key for title contention

    Bynum played 72 games last year and there are a handful of memorable games where he owned the paint. Game 1 vs Denver, 30 rebound game, at home vs Boston and the philly game where Kobe passed Shaq in points but shot us out the game.

    4 out of 72 will not cut it.

    This year he’ll play 33-35 mins and staying healthy 82+ games it’s unrealistic for him to play defense the way Howard does every night. This team will have to simply outscore teams and not give u so many off. rebounds. That is unless Brown works some kind of miracle.

  87. Twiper

    You’re right. The Lakers made it pretty clear that they will only deal on their terms when they signed Hill and Jamison and sent the picks for Nash. It’s only Andrew, no picks, no bad contracts. Take it or leave it.

  88. Let’s add more realism to our dreams.

    Here is the present salary structure of the Lakers:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/los-angeles-lakers-team-salary

    *Adjustments to be made on Hill and Jamison.

    Footnote:

    No Rush, no Meeks, no Howard increment after trade with Drew and/or add’l garbage from Jason Richardson.

    ~~ Why would the Lakers need to sign raw players and add more to their luxury taxes? Why would Lakers add hedu, anderson, big baby etc.?

    Now for all the psudo-GM’s out there try compute the luxury taxes for ’12 and the new CBA zoom tax in ’13? This what Mitch was saying “we can’t sign the world with mini mle.”

    In fact, I think they will trade G-lock who has a team option, Ebanks and McRob if they take Richardson or add more shooters like Meeks and Rush. Depending on the standing of the team, it is possible they would trade again Pau Gasol too, before the playoffs.

  89. How about T-Mac?

    Here are his averages from last season – for games where he played at least 15 minutes:
    8.125 ppg at 45% FG, 47% 3ptFG.

    He’s not going to convince anyone he is a defender at this stage in his career, but as a source of offense off the bench, we could do a lot worse. Looks like he is an unrestricted free agent at this point.

  90. PER career:

    Hill 14.2
    Carney 11.9
    Madsen 8.1

    Rebound/TS % career

    Hill 16.5/52
    Madsen 12.4/48

  91. Here’s Orlando’s dilemma. Dwight seemed to promise the 2012 season to them. With an energized Dwight and their 2011 team, the Magic this year might contend for a playoff slot–at least into the first round.

    Without an energized Dwight, the Magic might not make the playoffs–even if their entire team and coach returned. That’s not happening. Stan’s been fired, and they’ve already allowed key restricted free agent Anderson to leave rather than match his salary offer from New Orleans.

    To retool, the Magic need to dump contracts and assemble draft picks–but they’ve already signed several expensive new multiyear contracts–Nelson and Riddick.

    Dwight’s contract has become Orlando’s Magic bullet. If Dwight stays, they expect to contend with the remaining cast of players. If they let him leave, they want to dump expensive contracts from older players, replace them with inexpensive younger players, and get first round draft picks in the next few years.

    We already know that even Houston is unwilling to humor Hennie’s fantasy. His best deal is still Andrew Bynum for Dwight right now. Andrew may well lead the Magic into the playoffs–with Shaw coaching and a few key trades. Drew then might anchor a rebuilding effort in the Magic Kingdom–just as he might do in Lakerland in a few years.

    Without Howard or Bynum playing effectively this season, it would appear that Orlando is about to go down big time.

    Hennigan appears to have front row seats on the deck of the Titanic.

    Will he spot that iceberg dead ahead?

  92. I don’t think they can trade Ebanks until Dec 15.

  93. @86 – Mutt & Jeff, of course.

    My carrer was cut short for a very weird reason. I was the tallest kid and the coach put me as a center, which I hated. I was the best PF in the area bu he insisted on C. So I quit after 4 painful years to play volleyball.

    Yes, I remember Bynum’s 1st game. I hated him, too slow and very few moves.

  94. At the end of the day, I think ORL deals him to HOU as a rent with the opportunity for a buy. ORL has not been able or willing to complete a deal, so the Lakers will move forward with Bynum or non-Dwight assets he can be traded for (there does not appear to be an obvious team on that front so Bynum will likely be a Laker this year). ORL will ultimately take much less than full value because HOU will be the only trade partner left and leverage will be in their favor.

  95. Any-one-mouse

    Actually Brandon Rush is considered a good defender.

  96. 96, @Michael H:

    I wasn’t aware of that – thanks.
    How would you compare him to Lee? Inspite of being such a good shooter, and defender, why is he still out there?

  97. 96, @Michael H,

    Isn’t he Kareem Rush’s younger brother? Perhaps we get an alumni discount :)

  98. Rush is still available because teams know whatever they offer Brandon, Golden State will match.

  99. Here’s a good article on Rush:
    http://tinyurl.com/ca698tn

  100. For Orlando, It won’t be the worst thing in the world if they don’t trade him.

    All they need to do is come out and say “we’re not going to trade him, and we want to resign him in the off-season”

    Suddenly, they have the leverage again. They’re happy to keep him and potentially lose him for nothing. Dwight would have to leave $30 million on the table (which most people say he is unwilling to do) to only go to teams that have cap room. (basically Dallas)

    No Lakers, No Nets.

  101. Coach K has to limit Kobe’s minutes. Bringing him off the bench is disrespect for a player with his credentials. Three minutes a quarter would be just fine give guys with young legs some of his minutes.

  102. Avidon,

    You can’t compare Hill to Madsen in that way and expect me to want to have a serious exchange with you. You can keep your cheaper Madsen on your bench while I take the more expensive Hill and use him to relieve my twin towers for 20-25 minutes a game.

  103. I have a strong dislike for Team Argentina. Scola and Ginobli are two of the world’s dirtiest and floppingest players. And Scola needs a bath and a bottle of Prell.

  104. @mouse #83:

    If he did, I missed seeing it. Do you have a link? It would be great if Jim Buss decided he wanted to establish his street cred with the Laker fanbase by going all-in to win over the next two years before most of the salaries on the team expire and then retooling then.

    @rr #80:

    I’ve seen mixed signals. One moment it’s Jim Buss is going to take a more active role in deals, and then the next it is that he’s going to step back and let Mitch handle things like he has for many years.

    One thing I have seen that is consistent is Jim Buss promising to take a more active role in COMMUNICATION. As in, making sure that the star players already on the team are consulted for their thoughts and opinions on the deals in question.

    Which, presumably, means that the rumored Jason Richardson difficulties with Nash may not be true because I have a hard time believing that they’d bring in that sort of chemistry problem right after making the entire team happy with the Nash signing.

    @jonny #101:

    And what would their pitch me to Dwight in that case? “We let the second best player on the team walk this offseason and re-signed Jameer Nelson?”

    Dwight wants out in large part because the front office has done a poor job surrounding him with talented sidekicks. They just let Nick Anderson walk. They’ve pretty much gone all-in on the “blow it up and rebuild with picks and young players” approach.

    If they still had Nick Anderson, then MAYBE I could see the always waffling Dwight change his mind rather than leave $30M on the table.

    But I think that ship has sailed. Dwight WILL leave for nothing if they don’t trade him.

  105. Lakers bench averaged 20.5 pts 12.8 reb

    Hill w/ Lakers and Jamison last yr 21.9 pts 11.9 reb

    In April Lakers bench 23 pts 17 reb 42/37/70. Found a nice rhythm before the infamous elbow and Barnes injury

  106. Some thoughts on Bynum’s potential–
    It was never more clear to me than after this season’s playoff series loss to the Thunder, that Bynum is just not superstar material. Not to take credit away from the Thunder D, but Bynum should have dominated the matchups, no question.

    I hope I’m wrong. I like Bynum, I think he’s a smart person (albeit immature), and generally likeable, but I just don’t think he will ever understand that his game is built on fundamentals… that he’s that type of player. He could be the Tim Duncan of centers if he really wanted to, but instead he plays outside his identity, and we get Bynum chucking three’s and slacking on defense.

    Dwight Howard, on the other hand, is the best big man in the league, and obviously a superstar. And it was clear to me after the Lakers defeated DH and the Magic in ’10 that he’s more fit as a second option, and in my opinion just doesn’t have that killer instinct to lead a team to a championship. That means on the Lakers, paired with the most competitive player in the NBA, he would thrive.

  107. Jim C,

    Snap out of it, man. The time machine has gotten hold of you. Before you know it, Shaq and Anfernee will walk, too.

    Just messing with you.

  108. I know a Jamison-Pau frontcourt has no defense written all over it but offensively I think that can devastate teams. Jamison isn’t as good a passer as Lamar but slashes equally as well and is a sneaky off. rebounder.

    The Jamison-Pau vs Bonner-?, Collison-?, Speights-?. I don’t see any bench PF that has a chance against Jamison except Lamar and maybe Harrington because of footspeed. Jamison can have a big big year.

  109. A big part of the championship years was Lamar because his ability to knock down 3s gave the C room. Last year it was McRoberts, Murphy, Hill who don’t strike fear in opposing teams with the threat of the 3 point shot. That all changes this year.

  110. Whoops! I meant Ryan Anderson. Time machine indeed.

  111. nino dela cruz July 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    i hope that dwight will come to Lakers.. its a fact..he is a superstar, he can fill in seats, had the guts..i like andrew too to be in laker uniform, however, his time has come…but Kobe’s time is running out..please pair Kobe with Dwight, we need to enchance Kobe’s ring total..we need no to waste his fruiful years…he might be the GOAT in due time…as a fanatic, there is a big difference with Howard / Bynum, take out all the numbers, and see for yourself…

  112. What does FB&G think about how Kobe looks in the Olympics?

    I think he looks great bringing Artest type physical defense. Playing a lot off ball taking what the defense gives him. It looks like he altered his shooting form has a quicker release or he’s not jumping as high. lol. He looks kind of how Paul Pierce is looking now.

    Eager to see Pau looks on Tuesday.

  113. Hopefully Kobe is using the Olympics to change his game to better accommodate Nash’s, although it will be more of a mindset thing for him as opposed to capability type of thing.

  114. I realize linking a Bill Simmons article is tantamount to treason, but Simmons’ revised Laker logo (along with some truly hilarious complaining about the Lakers acquiring Steve Nash and possibly Dwight Howard) is comedy gold.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8182261/game-nba-thrones-part-i

  115. I actually thought Simmons’ “logo” was in poor taste. His complaining about Howard (who is not even on the team, much less committed to staying) was very typical Simmons, as were his amusing ways of rationalizing a world in which Steve Nash will be on Kobe Bryant’s team and Ray Allen took a 50% pay cut to leave Ubuntu and Boston.

  116. #118.

    I suppose I find that stuff funny in a schadenfreude kind of way. The logo is totally offensive—but it’s funny as hell because

    A. This is Simmons, homer journalist for the Lakers sworn enemies! He’s whining about the Lakers’ good fortune, again! It’s good to be a Laker fan! God, I love the Lakers!

    B. You know, basically all the above. Any time Simmons is miffed about the Lakers, I’m happy— throw in that logo (which is funny precisely because it’s childish, sour-grapes stuff) and I dunno…delicious Simmons tears??

  117. @87 Kevin,

    As a former center, I learned that blocking, rebounding, passing, playing off the ball are the most important things a center can do. Kareem was my idol because he did all that but his scoring abilities was the cherry on top of the ice-cream. But the paint was always protected under the Cap.

    As you mentioned, those games where Bynum got those rebounds/blocks numbers, were the games we crush our opponent.

    He should stick with the fundamentals of bball first, before asking for “more touches”

  118. I kinda like Simmons, although the logo was poorly done. And really, coming from a leprechaun?

    As for Howard, IF he’s healthy and IF he joins the Lakers, well that’s great.

    If not, just willing to roll the dice here with Bynum and hope the guy understands the words “CONTRACT YEAR.”

  119. any_one_mouse July 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    12O, @harold-

    You bring up a very good point – both Drew and Dwight will be in contract years. So, whatever happens down the line, we know that for this year, at least, we will get good production from the C spot:)

  120. In regards to ‘Contract Years’ for Howard and Bynum:

    If the insinuation is that both will Have To produce in order to maximize their leverage on their next contract, nothing can be further from the truth. The only word that matters is Health. Bottom Line: If they maintain their health, they’re both guaranteed Max Deals. It’s a given that both can and will produce Contract Year or not. As long as they’re healthy.

    As pertaining to the post, it’s good to have J. Hill back in the fold. As someone posted earlier, he gives us youth, athleticism and energy. Also toughness. Would have been upset to see that we gave away Fisher and a 1st rd pick for nothing.

  121. Tra, come to think of it, just the opposite of what I wrote could happen – both players mailing in games to preserve health.

    Now that would be just wrong on so many different levels, and I do think Howard won’t come to that but all bets are off when talking about Andrew I-don’t-huddle Bynum.

    Still, I do think the kid has some pride and will be mindful of it being his contract year.

  122. Tra is exactly right. “Contract years” matter a lot to guys like Jordan Hill and Ramon Sessions but very little to guys like Howard and Bynum. Howard does on some level need to show people he can play again, but even he sat out ALL of this year, he would still get a pretty big contract offer from multiple teams in 2013.

  123. Remember Aaron saying for days and days how Sessions was going to be as good as Chris Paul?

    Ha

  124. Again, Ramon was not a bad player, he was a good player placed in a bad situation. The Lakers as constituted, were not built to run. They still aren’t. That’s why getting D12 is important. We lack athletes.

    The problem I see is by getting Steve Nash are we not doing what San Antonio did? Didn’t OKC just beat them? I don’t care if it was because Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka shot 18-for-20 on the road in Game 5, they were a beaten team. So if we mold our team to be a great offensive team and a medicore defensive team, won’t we suffer the same fate?

    If we were to add reliable bench players (still a need) and another proven scorer, wouldn’t we be in a better position. Now that the die is cast (Nash) we still need those type players. Hopefully, MB will play Ebanks and Eyenga enough to give them confidence without pissing off MWP and we add another dependable shooter.

  125. “Eager to see Pau looks on Tuesday”

    I can’t say that I will put too much stock in how Pau performs for his country and how that will carry over to the NBA. Last year Pau played great ball during the summer, but never really found his grove during the season. The competion is just not the same as in the league, lot more physical and faster players in the NBA. Although world competion has caught up in some aspects it cannot be compared to what he will face come Oct.. It is comparable to some kid tearing up the D-League, only to get to the show and look like he doesnt belong.

    I hope Pau turns a corner playing alongside Nash this year, but I fear that his best days are behind him in the new NBA. If you are going to be a top big in the league you have to be freakish athletic(D. Howard) or a brute(A. Bynum).

  126. actually aaron repeatedly said that Sessions is an average nba point guard, just like tony parker is an average nba point guard.

  127. I wish Sessions was nearly as good as Parker. I think we would have had more success.

    Sessions is a nice back up PG. He could be better in the right situation if he decided that playing defense was important. I didn’t think it was possible but he was as bad as Fisher and Blake on D, mainly because it seemed he didn’t try or no one ever taught him how to play defense.

  128. TheNCDon- ” but never really found his groove during the season”.

    Are you kidding me? Pau was a reliable steady force during the season. Played every game accommodated Bynum and played a role he never has and still avg. 17-10-3-1. Only B. Griffin put up those type numbers and he’s gets plays called for him.

    Lakers didn’t play Sessions to his strengths after his shoulder injury. But what was asked of him he couldn’t do. He couldn’t hit open shots when teams were daring him to shoot. Tony Parker didn’t develop a reliable jumper until a few years ago. If Sessions does that he has a chance to be a starter.

  129. Kevin

    Those same numbers that you speak of must be put into context of the competitiion. Pau would shine against the Phoenix’s, Golden States, Clevelands in the league, but against the top teams with bigs that were able to muscle him he wasnt consistent. He got his numbers, but the numbers dont tell the entire story. I could care less if he drops 30 on the Wizards, I want to see it against Miami.

  130. Pau proved to be a great role player during the season playing off of Bynum and Bryant but couldn’t hit the same open shots in the playoffs. Small sample size or second consecutive playoff choke job? OKC found the best way to double Bynum… Have Ibaka double late and force Pau to shoot jumpers. That strategy only seems to work in the playoffs.

    Every anylyst said not to trade for Sessions if he is just going to be asked to play the Fisher get out of the way and spot up role. Well… After Ramon statistically was a top 10 PG as a starter for the Lakers… Kobe met with the FO as he didn’t like playing off the ball. Ramon was never the same player again of course. Hopefully Kobe will be okay with playing SG if a Vet like Nash is at the point… But who knows. Hopefully this summer of being humbled by his better USA teammates will allow for a more fluid offense next year.

  131. Aaron: What great player in the NBA is neutralized by double teams? What great Lakers Center let a double team stop them from dominating a game?

    You were lauding over the fact Sessions was a much improved outside shooter. Many saw that he took so few his percentage wasn’t a good measuring stick to him actually being able to hit 3s.

  132. Warren Wee Lim July 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Haven’t been here a week or so and Laker fans still clamor for Dwight. Sigh.

  133. Dh is not coming. ORL GM is a rookie.

    Now, what about getting Meeks and/or Delfino?

  134. Getting double teamed isn’t supposed to stop a great player from helping his team. When Shaq got double teamed he’d kick it out quick and re-establish position. Or push his man under the basket for offensive rebounds to score. When Kobe gets double teamed he’ll spin for the baseline J or his patent spin between defenders move or bait the defense to kick it out to the pg for the shot. To keep giving Bynum the out of he gets double teamed and Pau isn’t making jumpers as often is weak. To truly be great Bynum has to find a way to beat everything thrown at him.

  135. Pau has never been a jump shooter. That was a piece of his arsenal that made him a great post player but to stick him 18 feet from the basket every game and ask him to hit jump shot after jump shot is asking for…well exactly what he did during the season but not capable of sustaining it in the playoffs. The more important the game the more a player will tend to be hesitant on the parts of his game that he is not comfortable doing. And, anyone in basketball knows that’s the death of a basketball player.

    Case in point, look at Ramon. He was asked to hit jumpers during the post season. That’s something he’s incapable of doing, sure he can hit an occasional jumper in rhythm during the game, but to ask him to supply a steady diet of jump shots goes against his natural tendency in the game which is to drive to the basket.

    That’s what made Lamar so valuable to the Lakers, he could hit jumpers, drive, rebound, pass, play defense, start when Bynum was injured or come off the bench and produce. Most players are reticent to be chameleons, but Lamar was not.

    Since there are only two seasoned centers in the league, I believe the market is set on their pending contracts. It will come down to which player is bent on leaving their mark in the NBA and what their prospective legacy means to them.

  136. Aaron is 1/2 right about Sessions. One thing that he left out (another good example of how he has Abbott-type bias problems, as is the gratuitous backhand at Kobe about the Olympic team–classic Abbott move) is that a lot of the rumors about the “meeting with the FO” (and that is all they are AFAIK–rumors) had Bynum and Gasol backing Kobe on that issue as well–wanting to play slower, etc. Also, Sessions played very poorly on D, as advertised, and that was on him and Brown, and had nothing to do with Kobe.

    My guess is that Aaron will play the “inside information from my friend at a sports agency” card here.

    That said, I do think that Kobe is more likely to turn over the keys to a guy like Nash, whom he respects as a fellow star, so Aaron has a point there.

  137. @116
    bill simmons-
    awesome sports writer, terrible homer

  138. rr,
    They were not rumors… It was reported by every newspaper and website and confirmed by Lakers players that there was a meeting that took place because certain Lakers players were not happy with the offense (an offense that was severly out performing the Kobe at PG offense).

    And every great player is offensively neutralized by double teams. Duh. That’s the point. But you need a good enough team around that player to make them pay. When LeBron got double teamed his teammates made mst of their open shots. That’s how you stop your star from being consistently double teamed. Shaq had floor spacers around him his entire career to prevent the constant double teams. He played with historically great three point shooters in Orlando and the first stretch 4 in Horry in LA. That’s what you need when you have a great low post scorer. You need to surround them with shooters. It’s not rocket science.

  139. Funky Chicken July 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    While I suspect that rr is right, and Kobe will be more willing to turn over the keys to a guy like Nash, I think the other (probably more important) fact is that Nash, unlike Sessions, will simply take the keys.

    What Fisher brought that no other Laker guard in recent memory could was the ability to actually say “no” to Kobe. I think Nash can do that quite easily, and will be perfectly happy being the guy with the ball in his hands as the shot clock winds down rather than forcing a pass to Kobe so Bryant can rush a last second shot.

  140. Aaron, how many players on Team US would you take on the Lakers over Kobe? The idea that Kobe will be humbled by “better Team USA teammates” is laughable. The man is the best on ball defender so far through the 4 exhibitions they have played. Offensively the haven’t called any plays to Kobe’s strengths and that hasn’t phased him. He was asked to fill a role in 2008 and that’s the role he is still filling. As for Ramon Sessions who was weak during the playoffs. He disappeared for 2 straight series and you are talking about some phantom FO meeting. Kobe doesn’t have an issue playing off the ball as long as the people with the ball are competent. Go watch the 2008 Olympics tapes again: the only man took over when the team was in trouble.

  141. OT:

    I just want to publically state that I hate the idea of ads on NBA jerseys. I know times change. Still one of the thing I like about the three major American sports leagues was no ads on the jerseys.

    There are enough ads as is. Is the Toyota logo going to replace the Lakers logo at center court in Staples Center next? Enough already.

  142. WWL: Since you have not been here for a week, there are also still people who think we are “true contenders” with the existing roster. Crazy – I know right? : )

    Magic Phil: While things are not looking good. let’s not give up yet on D12.

    rr: Please understand that tearing down Kobe is part of the grand scheme to elevate AB. You would do the same if you were AB’s agent : )

  143. Funky Chicken July 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    T. Rogers,

    Amen to that.

  144. Lamar w/ Lakers 04-11: 13.8 pts 9.4 reb 2.2 off rrb. 3.7 ast 48% fg

    Pau 04-11: 19.1 pts 9.3 reb2.8 off reb 3.4 ast 52% fg

  145. I didn’t think there was anyone left who felt Kobe is on par with the elite young NBA athlete… But Joe Atlanta proved me wrong. From one quarter it’s easy to tell Kobe just isn’t in that league anymore. This isn’t 2008… Kobe isn’t 30… He is 34. The eye test on this National Team says what the stats did from last season… Kobe is no longer a top 10 player. Why is this so upsetting? He has played more minutes than most forty year olds. It’s amazing Kobe is still as good as he is on both sides of the ball. That’s a testament to his work ethic. As Lakers and Kobe fans we can’t keep pretending Kobe is still the Kobe we remember. Let’s not kid ourselves… The emperor has no clothes.

  146. Robert, we’re dealing with an idiot. Hennigan wants 3 1st round picks, plus he wants teams to take ALL of Hedo, Big Baby, JRich contracts. That’s from a guy that resigned Jameer for much more than his value.

    They will keep DH and he’ll say was the best decision…

  147. Lamar 04-11- 13.8 pts 9.4 reb 2.2 off rrb. 3.7 ast 48% fg

    Pau 04-11- 19.1 pts 9.3 reb 2.8 off reb 3.4 ast 52% fg

    Antawn 04-11- 19.9 pts 8.4 reb 2.1 off reb. 1.7 ast 44% fg 35% 3pt

    Aaron: I agree with your assessment of Kobe visually you can tell father time is knocking at the door. It would be cool if you had on those same perspective glasses when it comes to Bynum.

    Sorry for the double post.

  148. “I didn’t think there is anyone left who thinks Kobe is on par with the elite young NBA athlete”

    If I’m not mistaken, Kobe made the all-NBA first team this season, which is voted by sports writers and broadcasters. He also was a starter on the all star team, which is voted by fans….and I would suspect Kobe would fair just as well in a poll by GMs and coaches but hey, everyone is wrong, and Aaron is right once again.

  149. Dear Aaron,

    I agree with you on Kobe not being elite anymore, but please please please provide sources for your claim about the meeting between Kobe and the FO because I can’t find any. If you are telling the truth and the meeting was reported by all kinds of newspapers then there should be an online trace of it. I’ve yet to find it. So provide links or do not bring it up again. Thank you.

  150. As much as it may pain one particular member of this board, Kobe is STILL a better basketball player than Andrew Bynum. Even though he is ten years older. Bynum will NEVER achieve what Kobe has. When this person is trying to make subtle jabs at Kobe, he should remember that Kendrick Perkins and JaVale McGee opened up Bynum like a can of soup during the playoffs. Bynum is a decent player, who only seems to be so good because of his size. If Bynum was 6’8″, with the same skillset, he wouldn’t even be in the league.

  151. 2 games are known for the Lakers 2012-13 season

    On 17 Jan 2013 Heat @ Lakers
    On 10 Feb 2013 Lakers @ Heat

    Info was from lakersnation and the Mason and Ireland show.

  152. Rubenowski, I tried to find a source regarding Sessions slowing the tempo. The only thing I was able to find was a quote from a Fox Sports reporter named Lindsay Rhodes, that was posted to a couple of other Laker blogs:

    “Brown would sometimes remind Ramon to slow the game down. Ramon says he’s used to playing with teams pushing the pace constantly. Some Lakers veterans even pulled Ramon aside to remind him. Ramon says he’s still learning how to read Bynum and Gasol when they want to go, and when to slow it down.”

    Nothing regarding a meeting with the FO, nothing naming Kobe. I couldn’t even find when or where she reportedly said this.

    On top of all that, if we’re speculating as to who WOULD ask Sessions to slow it down, my last guess would be Kobe, because he’s a) the fastest out of starting unit aside from Sessions and b) able to convert in transition, at the very least get to the line. My best guess would be the lumbering starting center, but that doesn’t fit in with Aaron’s golden boy worldview.

  153. Not a good topic to feat Kobe vs. Bynum because Session said so….that’s moot Ramon is now with other team because Lakers could not re-sign him. Kobe and Bynum could be teammates in the future so let’s find ways they complement under the new PG Nash who will make them both better players. At this time, Session is belongs to history of spilled milk who could have helped the Lakers but did not.

    Magic Phil, I do agree with you to move on to this Orl deal. Move on, in the sense that Lakers would just concentrate on their needs that are Vet. Min. which is their market. On the news, Marco Bellinelli who has expressed before that he’d like to play with Kobe is being signed by Bulls @ 1.3M, but having problems with caps space with the signing of Hinrich.

    Perhaps, Lakers could compete in that arena instead of Brandon Rush. Laker’s offer on BR will always be matched by GS. Marco is also a fantastic shooter to supplement the bench and great deal at Vet. Min.

  154. Kenny T,

    You can’t really compare bigs to smalls. Saying a guard is a better player than a center (or vice versa) is kind of pointless. They require different skill sets and impact the game in different ways.

    I agree with Aaron to a degree. Kobe is still a great player. But we should not fool ourselves or have kneejerk reactions because someone dared to mention that, at 34, Kobe may not be the best of the best anymore. I don’t think he needs to be for the Lakers win again.

  155. Edwin, I think Belinelli to Bulls is a done deal, nah?

  156. @#156….

    I’m not comparing bigs to smalls. In this instance, I’m comparing ballplayers and what they bring to the table in terms of team success. A lot of folks in Lakerland seem willing to assign greatness to Bynum in spite of the fact that he hasn’t earned it.

    And I’m fully aware of the fact that Kobe is not the same ballplayer that he was in the flower of his youth. But if you ask me who I would take on their best day between Kobe and Bynum, I’ll take Kobe every time.

    Bynum’s best may be in front of him still, but he’s sure taking his sweet time getting there. I’ve been watching basketball for a long time. The Bynum I saw in this year’s playoffs left me cold simply because he did not rise to the occasion and failed to win his individual matchups as often as not.

    I have no problem acknowledging that at 34, LBJ and Durant have surpassed Kobe in the best player discussion. But, Andrew Bynum has not, and I don’t think he has it in him to ever be mentioned as an all time great in the same breath as Kobe Bryant.

  157. Edwin, I’m not pitting Kobe against Bynum. I was merely refuting a baseless claim about a private Kobe/FO meeting regarding Sessions.

    Who here is saying that Kobe is still the best of the best? He is still phenomenal, especially for his age, but he’s top 5 at best at this point. But like T. Rogers said, we don’t need him to be the best in order for the Lakers to win it all again. He definitely needs to be more efficient at this point though, and I think Nash goes a long way in helping in that regard.

  158. Jamison may be the most underrated 20 and 8 guy ever.

    Out of Carter, Wallace, Jamison and Stackhouse he’s no worse than 2nd best player. He’s 2nd in points and 1st in rebounds.

    In 98 draft it’s Dirk, Pierce, Carter and Jamison as the top players. Dirk is a HOFer, Carter is not in my book, Pierce wasn’t talked in that light until KG changed the Celtic culture. Jamison has had a solid career and overlooked in some ways.

  159. #152 I’m not so sure Perkins exposed Bynum during that series. If any thing OKC’s defense exposed our poor backcourt. It seems no one on the lakers knows how to throw a lob over the the top of a fronting Center. Every 4th quarter of that series they fronted Bynum and the Lakers never tried to go over the top or run any play to get Bynum the Ball. I still don’t understand why they at least didn’t try to go over the top once or twice.
    They wont be able to get away with that with Nash running things!

  160. 158,

    No doubt about it Sbdunks Kobe is no longer the phenomenal athlete but he’s still a “mamba” who could strike lethal force against any enemies. One of the reasons why Nash joined the Lakers is because of Kobe’s presence. Once you remove Kobe, then Lakers is just like Phoenix Suns. Of course vital parts are important to make the whole team work. If we paint jealousies, egos and selfishness in the dynamics, then we can’t move ahead, it is a stalemate from within. Bury those hate hatchets whether against Bynum or Kobe or anybody in Lakers uniform. Therefore, what I was commenting is to shift the conversation to something uplifting in counting our blessing this summer, anyway this is just a conversation in summer time…if it’s not against Orlando, or Lebron we quarrel among ourselves on who is better among our favorites.

  161. So instead of the cross bashing going on agaisnt posters lets look at who is still left as free agents that we could bring in off the bench to spell Kobe

    Here is a list of possible 2’s and 3’s that I think would fit the bill:

    – Randy Foye*
    – Barbosa*
    – Delonte West*
    – Sonny Weems
    – Jodie Meeks
    – Michael Redd
    – Gilbert Arenas
    – Carlos Delfino*
    – Josh Howard
    – Michael Pietrus*
    – CJ Miles*
    – Tracy McGrady*
    – Terrence Williams*
    – Martell Webster

    I starred the ones that I would like the most but with Mitch stating that they are trying to keep the mini mle off the market I think that it would be most possible for us to get either Tracy McGrady, Michael Redd, Delote West, or Gilbert Arenas at that price as these guys have already made their money and West is crazy so we get a discount.

    Of those I would rather have either McGrady or West.

    Looking at that list though im surprised that a lot of these guys are still on the market, its pretty amazing how this CBA has killed the middle class when all of these guys are still unsigned and guys like aaron brooks are taking 3 Million, Bellini 2 million, CJ Watson 1.4 million

    In saying that if we could get either delfino, CJ Miles, or Pietrus for 2 Mil it would really be worth it.

    Might even be able to get McGrady as well and then have a whole line of former all stars on the bench.

  162. 157,

    True, Belinelli is a done deal after I posted.

    Going back to my previous question supposing we spotted those “Belinelli-type” in this Olympics who are staying in very unstable country like Greece and Spain, can we get them? Can we help them opt out of their euro league contracts? Will the new CBA allow us foreign players bypassing the draft? Chances are there are many sharp shooters from those teams and include the eastern Europeans like Lithuanians, Croatians.

  163. @ Kevin_ 149 comment

    Lamar 04-11- 13.8 pts 9.4 reb 2.2 off rrb. 3.7 ast 48% fg 32% 3pt

    Pau 04-11- 19.1 pts 9.3 reb 2.8 off reb 3.4 ast 52% fg

    Antawn 04-11- 19.9 pts 8.4 reb 2.1 off reb. 1.7 ast 44% fg 35% 3pt

    Which player was more valueable for their repective team? Who guarded multiple positions, played multiple positions and cost half as much in salary? LO!!!

    LO was never the featured player so his points would never be as high. Pau was the final piece to a championship, LO was the glue guy that kept everything together and the missing key that made us champions.

    He fell down last year. Granted. But if he plays well this year will he get his due from all the LO haters?!? I don’t think so. It’s funny that it takes two players to replace LO (JHill and AJ). The guy was the freakin’ 6MOY and still can’t get love from you guys. Damn shame. I’ll bet his numbers are better than AJ this year.

  164. With regards to Orlando and Howard, we really have to move ahead. Here is the reason:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8193410/sources-orlando-magic-keep-dwight-howard-now

    It is a soap opera that changes every week. Lakers cannot solve Orlando’s monumental problems and we could not get Howard with his price without a trade.

  165. The recent Howard article is one last attempt at getting the Lakers (or Rockets) to sweeten the deal, IMO. I don’t think Orlando wants to start the season with a disgruntled star. There’s too many risks. For one, injuries could happen in an instant, which could quite quickly kill any deal. Also what if Howard isn’t himself for the first half of the year as he recovers? It will drive down Orlando’s leverage. I could easily be wrong, it clearly changes daily, but I see it as about 75% likely that Dwight ends up in LA fairly soon.

  166. nino dela cruz July 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    i think Kobe is going take a back seat in the olympics and let the young guns lead the wat..but i think he will lockdown the oponents big time scorer…we need a third wheel to acquire howard…but its insane if they package the bad contracts of hedo,jric & big davis, maybe the lakers can get either wing (hedo/jrich) for bynum/fillers..

  167. Busboys4me: I agree Lamar is a very underrated player. The bad news during the summer and lockout did him no favors last year. If he’s motivated comeback poy is his to lose.

    Edwin: Know why that story came out Leverage. They have none and are trying to create some. Hope Orlando fans will be happy with a maxed out Lopez.

  168. Kevin, I agree. That sounds like leverage-creation to me.

    The guy is a rookie, can think big. Will drag ORL to a decade of oblivion.

  169. Kevin: Nets is just as excited to trade Lopez to Orl if they could do it now. In the case of Howard and his agent who are hungry for a richer contract with the russian owner, it’s a fool’s gold to do it with Nets. I think Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Wallace are not enough to win the Championship. Secondly, this is the 1st year of Brooklyn Nets who would be competing with the traditional NY Knicks domain.

    In another scenario, if he actively forced the hand of Orl to take the Lakers deal, then he has one year to hit the jackpot for the ring, create a name in the advertising world and at the same time open up his market to a wider field at the end of the season. He could also take a short deal with Lakers for 3 years only and survey the market again at the end of 3rd year. If he pans out, Lakers can afford to pay his price. without Kobe, Pau and Nash, he has all the caps space. However, I doubt if soap will end this way.

  170. It’s easy to be a genius when you have the 2, 4, 3 pick in consecutive years. Many teams wiff on lottery picks but people who watch pac-10 hoops back then knew Harden was better than Tyreke and Westbrook had a chance to be really special. Not saying Hennigan doesn’t know talent but if Durant went #1 things may be different.

  171. In addition to what I said about fool’s gold, the Brooklyn Nets is tied up with the politics of Russia under this billionaire Michail Prokhorov. Read his wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Prokhorov

    Do you think MP will be the owner of the Nets for the next 20 years like the Buss Family? Of course, all of these players will be retired by that time. IMO, this is like Rupert Murdoch buying the Dodgers to gain foothold of American sports and media, then dump it when he would be under pressure by the European crisis or Russian politics.

  172. Aloha Edwin,

    I agree with you. It is time for the Lakers to move on from the Dwightmare. Lets find a shooting guard and be done with it. I really do not think Hennigan will even, try and trade Howard until the deadline, hoping all along that they can convince him to stay.

  173. Foye is off the board – signed with the jazz

  174. I was disenchanted with Sasha while he was a Laker, we never seemed to get enough out of him until the last year of his contract.

    However, I’d be interested in seeing how he is playing. He’d be a perfect addition to the Lakers at minimum cost to chase the quicker guards around on defense and hit the occasional 3 pt shot.

    Is he playing for the Lithuanian team this Olympics?

  175. any_one_mouse July 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Agree that the Magic news from today is just scuttlebutt – there’s no way Dwight is going back to Orlando after everything that went down.

    163, @ Shaun:

    chris sheridan had a list of available free agents – http://tinyurl.com/caxgc78
    Very similar to your list. For me – it’s Brandon Rush, Matt Barnes, Terrence Williams and TMac. In that order.

  176. chearn — Vujacic isn’t Lithuanian.

  177. Isn’t Vujacic Slovenian?

  178. I am glad we still have Pau, he is a unique 7 foot player for sure.

  179. @123, harold. ‘all bets are off when talking about Andrew I-don’t-huddle Bynum.’ LOL

    Yeah, and he is the 2nd best Center in the league, and the Lakers have to deal with that stuff… No matter what he does next season, I bet he will get a max contract from some NBA team.

  180. Yes… Those were the reports. Kobe and Pau had a meeting with Mitch and Brown to discuss slowing the Lakers offense down. But the next game and for the last couple weeks of the season the Lakers didn’t just slow down the tempo… They reinserted Kobe to PG and Ramon began playing the SG role. So it was obvious to everyone at the time that Kobe and/or Pau asked for Kobe to be back in charge of the offense. It wouldn’t have come out at all except Artest outed the meeting and the strategy change.

  181. Doubt such a scenario will happen with Nash aboard, but you never know. If Kobe lets Steve be Rondolite for this team everything should be fine.

    If the Bynum deal for Dwight falls through does anybody think that Pau’s name will start to resurface in trade rumors? The FO has stated that it doesnt intend to use the MLE at this juncture, the only trading asset to acquire a legit playmaker/shooter would likely be Gasol.

  182. Orlando will hold Howard hostage until the last possible minute (the trade deadline) and then be forced to take a crappy deal for him, or they can tank another season with him and get nothing next year. they are screwed either way.

    What a horrible organization, no sense at all!

  183. Below is a very good article that chronicles the D12 saga. Maybe the Lakers are being smarter than we think. Why take on D12 bad back, bad contracts, and the possibility that we would have to wait until months later to see if he can actually play.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1264402-breaking-down-the-strange-and-shady-backstory-of-dwight-howards-back-injury?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=nba

  184. The only on the record quote I can find about the Lakers trying to play at a slower tempo came from Ron in this interview. And, for what it’s worth, those quotes came from when Kobe was sitting out with his shin injury. I also find it interesting that Ron’s first point about playing at a slower tempo isn’t to accommodate Kobe, but to cater to Bynum and get the most out of his game.

    During the playoffs, there were rumblings that the Lakers wanted to play slower because of the teams they were facing – Denver and OKC – because their ability to win playing at a fast pace meant that the Lakers tried to slow the game down. This had little to do with Kobe and more to do with a team strategy. Mike Trudell even tweeted during the playoffs that the coaches went away from some of their P&R sets with Sessions because when he drove to the lane, floor balance was lost and it hurt their transition defense against teams that could change ends quickly should Sessions not finish (or make a bad decision). So, the Lakers played a safe style.

    The conversation here at FB&G was whether it was in their best interest to continue to play this style as it was clearly affecting Sessions but the alternative would have been to revolve more of the offense around Sessions and less around the post ups of Bynum/Pau or getting Kobe the ball in LA’s HORNS sets.

    How this became a referendum on Kobe is beyond me, but that’s a slanted point of view that seems to be rooted in a bias.