Report: Lakers To Sign Jodie Meeks

Darius Soriano —  August 11, 2012

For weeks we’ve been discussing the Lakers’ need to find a capable wing player, especially one that could back up Kobe Bryant. There were several capable options on the market but the Lakers were clearly looking for the right fit both in terms of skill set and price. It looks like they’ve found their man in former 76er, Jodie Meeks. Via Dave McMenamin’s report, it’s a two year contract worth $3 million with the second year a team option.

In Meeks, the Lakers have grabbed a player that crosses off several boxes on the wants side of the ledger. First off, he’s young. Meeks just completed his 3rd year in the league and is only 24 years old. Second, he’s relatively inexpensive. After reports that Meeks wouldn’t sign for the minimum, the Lakers dipped into their mini mid-level exception to give him a slightly larger starting salary, but they’ll pay him around what they pay Antawn Jamison next season, so he represents value for someone they clearly see as a rotation player. The fact that the second year of his contract is a team option gives the Lakers flexibility moving forward to decide to move in a different direction should they deem it necessary. Third, Meeks has been a starter and a bench player in his career so he should have few issues adjusting to a bench role backing up Kobe.

From a skills standpoint, Meeks is the exact type of player they’ve sought. He’s known as a shooter and is someone that does his best work off the ball. Via My Synergy Sports, Meeks shot 37.9% on 3 pointers in spot up situations and 37.5% on 3’s coming off screens. Whatever offense the Lakers plan to employ next year, Meeks is a guy that can work off the talent that surrounds him and knock down open shots afforded to him when the defense reacts to his teammates. Playing on the strong or weak side, spotting up or running off picks, Meeks’ ability to catch, shoot, and hit shots will be a valuable asset to a Laker team that possesses so many players that draw defensive attention.

Where there may be some concerns is when digging deeper into his shot chart. Meeks only shot 25.9% on corner 3’s but did hit 39.3% of his 3’s from the above the break in the arc. If these trends continue into next year, the Lakers may find issues with sending him to the corner to simply camp out and provide a threat that will space the floor. That said, if Mike Brown and his coaches can find ways to use him higher on the floor – something that an offense utilizing a two guard front (like the Princeton Offense) would allow more of – Meeks’ ability to hit those shots with consistency would be a big weapon. Time will tell how Meeks is used and on what spots of the floor he’s most successful, but this will be something to monitor.

Defensively, there are also some positives to bringing in Meeks. He has decent size (6’4″), has played for coaches that preach defense first (most recently Doug Collins and before him Scott Skiles), and will give good effort on that side of the floor. Numbers wise, when he played shooting guard he held his man to a PER of 8.5 this past season and the Sixers were a bit better defensively when he was on the floor versus when he was on the bench. Via Synergy, Meeks also posted very good numbers guarding ball handlers in the P&R and when guarding his man coming off screens or receiving hand-offs. His numbers in isolation and in guarding spot up shooters were only average, but with better help defenders in Los Angeles (hello Dwight Howard) the hope is that his numbers in these areas will improve next year.

Of course, not everything is roses with this signing as Meeks does have his limitations and does come with some question marks. He’s not a guy that will create his own shot. He’s got relatively good size but offers little positional versatility and will likely only play shooting guard. In the playoffs, his minutes dwindled and his role was reduced in favor of players that offered more well rounded games. And, though he’s a “shooter” his overall FG% is not eye popping.

But even with those caveats, the Lakers did well here in finding a good role player at a moderate price who can help the team. Meeks isn’t a difference maker as an individual talent, but he’s certainly a quality player within the team structure that the Lakers offer. His offensive skill set and ability to relieve Kobe of playing heavy minutes make his signing worth what the Lakers paid. When you add in the fact that he’s a capable defender, is coachable, and has never seemed to chafe when his role shifted, the Lakers got a very good player to compliment their roster. Considering they’ve already added Nash, Howard, Jamison, and brought back Jordan Hill, this signing caps off a nice off-season for the Lakers. This team is now built to seriously contend and Meeks aids in that pursuit. From that perspective, I’m very happy he was added.

*Statistical support for this post from

Darius Soriano

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91 responses to Report: Lakers To Sign Jodie Meeks

  1. Delfino would be perfect to knock down 3’s for this group, plus his length makes him capable of guarding a couple different positions.

  2. How is Meeks different from Goudelock? Goudelock has a three and a floater. I’d use him more. FO should have offered Barbosa or Delfino for cheaper price.

  3. Philly was a very limited offense and needed players with more well rounded game to help in creating what little O they could muster. It’s not inconceivable, considering the offensive talents on the LALs, that the coaches will be very comfortable slotting Meeks in, deep into the playoffs, to keep Kobe fresh and provide that spot up shooting that this particular team needs. It’s not general offensive talent this team needs, rather that specific skill that Meeks has shown to have.

    I’m really intrigued with Meek’s defensive numbers. Philly was a defense oriented team and to think that the team’s defense improved when he played is interesting. Any indication of how often he was playing against the top-7 line-up combinations of other teams?

  4. Glock is 6’1″; Meeks is a legit 6’4″ and won’t have as many issues guarding shoot guards.

  5. You’re kidding right? Goudelock was so inconsistent last year and his defense is god awful. His defensive PER last year was 17.0 compared to 8.5 with Meeks. Meeks is a HUGE upgrade defensively and still better at shooting.

  6. Like his FT%, shows he can shoot,better selection > 40% 3`s.

  7. Off topic, but how tall is Mitch? Looking at the press conference, it looks he was at least as tall or taller than Dwight.

  8. Aaron is just upset, so he’s lashing out at management… he’ll get over all that when the season starts and the W’s start piling up again

  9. Mitch was a PF back in the ways. I believe he was listed at 6’8, and may have lost half an inch or an inch due to age.

  10. Meeks may not have positional versatility but I if he can be solid in that role, it allows lineup flexibility without burning up Kobe. Kobe can slide into SF spot as needed if Ron and Ebanks are in foul trouble. But you can still limit his minutes by playing Meeks more at the SG spot.

    Lots of pressure on Ebanks to do well. He wanted minutes and a larger role, he’s going to get it now. Backing up Ron, he should get a lot of burn and looks running the floor with Nash. Hope he’s worked on his jumper.

  11. it was a nice pickup because the lakers really dnt have spot up shooters and by addin him that should fix that problem and also he is good defensively so that should go a long way and he is young and he is capable of hitin big shots and kockin down ft

  12. its also a good pickup cuz against teams that play small like miami they can move kobe to sf and meeks at da 2 and ron artest at da 4 and dwight at da 5 so they can do a lil more now and also since they gt antawn jamison it should make things easier

  13. Mitch was actually listed at 6’9″ and played mostly PF and some C. Dwight, for what it’s worth, measured 6’9″ without shoes at the draft combine and is listed at 6’10” with shoes. They’re roughly the same size.

  14. The Meeks signing in itself is even more important than the Howard signing due to the sole fact that Meeks is another guy who helps the bench.

    Now, Jamison and Meeks are in the fold coming off the bench. Even if D. Howard didn’t sign on and Bynum stayed put the team improved significantly.

    In one breath, I think the Lakers should seriously consider Delfino. In the next breath, I see him and think of Vlad Radmonovic!

    Either way….Lakers are clearly, clearly the team to beat in the West.

  15. @ 7, Harold:

    Funny, I recognized that also and according to Basketball-Reference.Com, Mitch is 6’9. Looked to me as if Mitch had D-Howard by at least a half an inch. In reality, it doesn’t make a difference because even though he’s a couple of inches shorter than his listed height at 6’11 (and this has been well documented), he’s still the best ‘Big’ man in the ..A .. And he now happens to be a Laker.

    Edit: Looks as if Darius responded accordingly.

  16. Oh, so Meeks is not a done deal?

  17. Dude… I don’t know who this other Aaron is… I would never ask the difference between Meeks and GLock. Whoever is posing as me please stop.

  18. And I don’t know how one can say this Lakers roster is complete. I just don’t know how this can be said. The Lakers have a 38 year old PG with no proven back up. This is a giant deal. Giant deal. I think Darius Morris will be that but I don’t know it yet… Nobody does. The Lakers néed to obtain a quality back up PG.

  19. This is too perfect, we have such a good starting lineup with a halfway/improving bench? My sacrifices to the basketball gods finally paid off woohoo!
    Starting – Backup
    S. Nash S. Blake/D. Morris
    K. Bryant J. Meeks
    R. Artest D. Ebanks
    P. Gasol J. Hill/A. Jamison
    D. Howard P. Gasol/J. Hill

    That’s a near ideal 9 1/2 man roster you want for serious contention. At least if you put any stock by Bill Simmons

  20. Oh whatever Aaron, don’t act like that wasnt you, you’ve been on Goudelock all year claiming the front office was “hiding” him so he wouldnt be traded when the guy barely made the roster and couldn’t earn playing time.

    Meeks has never had wide open shots like he’s going to get here, he is going to flourish like crazy here. I am so thrilled to have some UK blood on the team

  21. Nice reading, and interview with Mitch about the deal:

    The mental image of this part is great:

    I know Jim Buss is and I know Coach [Mike Brown] is. When we told him yesterday after we had the conference call I told Mike I thought we have a deal”

    “He looked at me and asked ‘Who we’re getting?’”

    “I said ‘Dwight.’”

    “He said ‘Who is going out?’, and I said ‘Andrew’”

    “He said ‘That’s all?’”

    “I said, of course, “Josh, Christian, draft picks.’”

    “He said ‘No Pau?’”

    “I said ‘No Pau.’”

    “And he jumped out of his chair and hugged me.”

  22. @Aaron: We’re already 13 full (+1 if the Meeks signing indeed goes through), what else would you demand of Jim and Mitch? Do we not have enough point guards (Nash, Blake, Morris, Duhon) on this roster already? What will adding another do, but to waste a valuable roster spot and more money? Even if you intend to make them Nash’s dedicated backup, that still means you’re paying 3 other guys more than Nash makes by himself to sit on the bench. That’s incredibly stupid.

    Perhaps there might still be one last trade to make before camp opens or perhaps at the deadline. But it is also just as likely the roster you see now will be the one Mike Brown leads to war come November. Better get used to it.

  23. Expect Bynum to have a good year with the change of scenery, wish him well…but delighted to have a center who will work hard every play. Oh yeah and who is by any objective standard the best at his position in the association.

  24. Cloud,
    We have one PG on the roster. One proven NBA level PG. That’s it. You can pile the garbage as high as you want but it’s still garbage. Every other “PG” on the roster was at a D League level last year. At this point we need to sign Barnosa as Nash’s back up ala the Suns.

  25. So BSPN reports that “Dallas still bla bla…”

    Then Shaq says DH needs to fill big shoes…


  26. Chownoir: Couldn’t agree more Ebanks will need to step up and produce the way Barnes has.

    Nothing bad to say about the Meeks signing. Lakers really have a chance to improve on team 3 point shooting. Career: Meeks 37%, Blake 38%, Ron 34%, Jamison 34%.

    Blake was hot from 3 in the playoffs (18-43) 41%. Nowhere to go but up from his first 2 seasons as a Laker. Pre-rib injury Blake was a solid contributor.

  27. 23

    We won 2 titles with ‘the worst PG in the league’ in the starting lineup. Apparently you don’t need a perfect roster to win championships.

  28. The Lakers’ roster is complete. Time to chase the championship.

  29. Last season I was thinking “There’s no way the Lakers can get anyone good with the limited assets they have.” Looks like I severely underestimated Mitch once again.

    Meeks is another example of rounding out the bench that doesn’t commit the team to lengthy contracts. The Heat and Thunder benches aren’t especially deep–all the Lakers need is a better bench than the horrible one last season and hopefully Mitch’s dealmaking has accomplished this.

    I think the issue now is no longer the roster, but integrating everyone into a cohesive unit, especially since D12 probably won’t even start the season and will have to be incorporated on the fly. Mike Brown’s sure got his work cut out for him while being under the microscope next year!

  30. Everyone is forgetting that Jamison can also Play the 3 sense can go big with him there as well or Clark as a 6’10 sf – Ron and ebanks can also play 2 at times

    There was a report that we were insteresred in k-mart but overall l think we are done

  31. Aaron-Barbosa isn’t a point guard, but rather an all-score no-D shooting guard who would’ve backed up Kobe. The Meeks signing obviates the need for Barbosa. As far as backup point guards go, Blake isn’t terrible. He has his warts, for sure, but don’t all reserves.

  32. Ah … Darius, you are the master of the understatement. Lakers had a “nice off-season” capped off with the Meeks signing???? Are you serious? 60 days ago if I had asked you what you thought the roaster would look like, I seriously doubt you would have mentioned NASH, JAMIESON, HOWARD, MEEKS … etc. Come on, give it up. This has been one of the all time great off-seasons for the Lakers. I don’t see how you can label it any other way than …. S-U-P-E-R! You are one tough grader, but have the best blog on b-ball arround.

  33. NYLaker – seriously, the Meeks signing is MORE IMPORTANT than Howard? DH is a game-changer … a franchise maker. Meeks is a nice pick-up. Get real.

  34. Jon,
    Barbosa would be the best back up PG the Lakers have on the roster… And he did play back up PG for the Suns. I beleive PG is his best posistion as he can use his length and athletisism. Most teams have plenty of PGs and few SGs so it has forced Barbosa into playing more off gaurd. I think we would see Barbosa at least be closer to his younger days if matching up with PGs again (although he will never be the same player again).

  35. Say what you will about Steve Blake, but he is certainly a capable, proven, NBA backup PG. Any complaint with this roster is picking nits to say the least.

    Good times ahead in Lakers land.

  36. So, who thinks the biggest obstical to the Lakers being in the NBA finals, next June, is Mike Brown?

    :raises hand:

    Can’t wait to see Kobe get 40, Pau and Dwight get 38 and Nash with 36 thru the first 40 games… then miraculously this team collapses.

    Please Please Please… If anyone who talks to mike brown, sees this, tell him the 3rd or 4th seed is ok but an exausted big 4 at the beggining of the playoffs is unacceptable.

  37. I for one hope we cut Chris Duhon. I watched a lot of Magic games last year and he is washed up. I think if we can get Kenyon Martin to come we are looking at a sure finals appearance.

  38. Duhon is a good presence on the bench. I’d be OK with him as the 15th guy travel dancin’ on the sideline.

    And he’s insurance for Blake.

  39. Darius, great stuff as always.

    I like Glock but he needs to work on his conditioning. Morris outplayed him physically in the Summer League.

    I don’t know much about Meeks but after reading your article he does seem like a solid back up for Kobe.

    Ebanks can play the 2 right? Is he better than Meeks coming off the bench? I’d rather see Ebanks get his minutes than a newcomer.

    Did the Lakers resign Goudelock?

  40. The Lakers are still hiding Glock so that they can use him as a secret weapon in the playoffs.

  41. Our backup guards are still garbage. Meeks, who automatically becomes our best guard off the bench once he is signed, is an average player (though we did get him at a fair price). In fact, it’s not just our guards – our entire bench is below average.

    – Hill does only one thing relatively well (grabs offensive boards); the rest of his game is inconsistent
    – Jamison is 36 years old and the main reason he put up decent numbers over the last few years is because he was on terrible teams that had no go-to scorer except for him
    – Blake/Duhon will both fight for the title of the worst PG in the NBA
    – Morris/DJO/Goudelock/Sacre will spend majority of the season playing in the NBADL

    I do hope that Earl Clark begins to realize his potential here. Quite a few scouts thought his ceiling was L.O. and given his young age it’s still possible. Check out his draft night –

    Our starting five can compete with any other starting five (assuming D12 comes back in MVP form and not as a taller version of Luke Walton). But I can’t name many benches worse than ours in the league.

  42. Why are people saying Eubanks will sub for Artest? Isn’t that why AJ was signed?

  43. If Jodie Meeks is your 7th or 8th best player on your team, I’d say we have a pretty damn good roster.

    To be even more abrupt, if Dwight Howard was your 2nd best player on your team, you know your teams loaded.

    Anyone still complaining has to be crazy.

  44. I don’t care what happens; the fo did everything they could and that’s an understatement.

    Now we just wish our roster health and chemistry while waiting for the season to start.

  45. I don’t why people here are complaining… we traded for the player that all team in the whole NBA wants to have, we got a player that can back up Kobe, and a real point guard in Nash. And people are still complaining…


    Enough already… Go Lakers!!!

  46. Did someone say Dwight Howard is our second best player? Dwight Howard hurt probably would still be our best player. The guy has been the second best player in the league for the last five years.

  47. dice8up, because, people like to complain to show or illustrate their intelligence and knowledge on a blog with no consequences to whatever they say. You know, like Skip Bayless.

    This team is pretty scary when you look at it. I mean, so much potential, and so much drama that will add to the story lines of every NBA t.v. show/blog/twitter feed. Nash is still amazing, but has issues with back and age. Kobe is still amazing, but has issues with … shot selection and age. MWP has issues (but man do I love him on this team). Pau is a top 5 big man with a unique set of skills (17ppg, 10 rebounds in a new offense and as a de-facto third option?) that people take for granted. Dwight is amazing 20 ppg without any plays, DPOY, rebound/shot blocker extraordinare but has a back issue. Jamison, Blake (who will be fine as a back up PG in this lineup), Meeks, Hill… I mean what more do you want? What an amazing front office. What an amazing job by Mitch. I for one cannot wait to see how they actually play with this lineup. And I can’t wait for all the naysayers in the first 20 or so games that we are disappointing, not living to potential, Pau is mentally weak, Nash is old, kobe has lost a step… then everyone be happy again when we go on a run in the middle of the season, have 3 all stars (I think Pau will make it in over Nash) and get one of the top 2 seeds in the west.

    It’s going to be fun. With the lineup we have. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

  48. I said this last thread but I think it bears repeating. Duhon and Blake are trade liabilities, not assets. No team will take them without other assets (we have none left).

  49. Ko – because Jamison is not quick enough to play the 3. He’ll be a backup 4, with Hill. Jamison’s days as a SF are long gone.

  50. 5 trades in 8 months has to be a record.

    Incoming: Nash, Howard, Sessions, Hill, Meeks, Jamison, Duhon, Clark

    Outgoing: Bynum, Lamar, Barnes, Fisher, Luke, Kapono, Eyenga, McRoberts, 4 1st, 4 2nd

    How do the Lakers do it? Only one of those players have true value and upside but Lakers FO upgraded on every single trade. Unbelieveable!!

  51. I think GM’s want the highlight of their resume to say “Made a trade with the Lakers” win or lose. This is pretty remarkable thinking about it.

    Lakers lost all the FO savvy with Lester and co. Layed off lots of other high profile workers and are still puling stuff like this.


    Did you ever think watching Mitch play for the Lakers that he would bring so much to the Lakers? Yeah, me neither.

  52. All hail Mitch

  53. ‘Kupchak had little to say about Earl Clark, acquired in the Magic deal .. “Well putting Josh McRoberts in the deal, we needed to get a big player back,” said Kupchak.’

    With all do respect to Mitch, who, IMO has already earned Executive Of The Year, I don’t like the sound of that. I’m in agreement with Avidon’s post @ 41 in regards to Clark. As I stated under the last post, E. Clark should not be viewed as some ‘throw in’ within the D-Howard Trade. He has skills that needs & can to be utilized on this team. Especially when/if D-Howard isn’t ready to start the season.

    I also believe that Steve Blake is good enough to be the back-up PG. 15-18 mins a night backing up ‘General Nash’ is something that he’s more than capable of pulling off. IMO, this will be our ‘active 12 man roster’ once D-Howard returns:

    SF – Ron-Ron … Ebanks
    PF – Pau … Jamison
    C – Howard … J. Hill
    SG – Kobe … Meeks
    PG – Nash … Blake

    PF – Clark
    PG – Duhon

    A good look if you ask me.

  54. Didn’t read all of the comments above carefully, but noting that we have a poor backup PG isn’t exactly complaining. It’s a legitimate worry because last year Mike Brown ran our starters into the ground. Mitch has already spoken on this and made it clear his message to MB is to back off on the minutes, so hopefully that’ll change. But MB’s 1-year history indicates that Blake is actually a real concern, considering the guy ahead of him is in his late 30s with chronic back issues. I think our roster is complete – I can’t imagine any FA PGs out there who would help – but I think it’s very reasonable to worry about MB’s handling of Nash’s minutes.

    I thought Clark was going to be a stud coming out of college, and was really surprised by his time in Phoenix. I haven’t watched very much of him in the NBA, so I tend to listen to the knowledgeable Magic fans who say there’s nothing there to get excited about. But the last player I was really excited about coming out of college that shockingly failed early on in the NBA was Shannon Brown, and that worked out very well. I don’t have the same strong feelings on Clark because I haven’t seen very much of him in the NBA, but fingers crossed he can find some sort of niche.

  55. These scouting reports would suggest the Lakers should waive/try to buy out Clark and especially Duhon.

    Duhon looks really bad.

  56. Kobe is still the best player on the team until Dwight Howard takes it from him.

    Actually on this team, Dwight Howard will be Steve Nash’s glorified Tyson Chandler.

  57. Why would anyone be complaining? The 10 guys on this team are in my opinion better then any of the last 6 years. And yes 2 of those were champ years.

    Who thinks this team would not beat the back to back teams of 08 and 09?

    I sure think they will and be much more exciting doing it!

  58. I’m not against complaining, per se. I mean, I would love to have LeBron start as SF and Wade back up Kobe, and have Nash back up a healthy Rose, all the while making sure that our 1-15 is the league’s top 1-15.

    But realistically, and honestly, anyone here thought we could get Steve Nash for our TPE? A good half of us thought that we were going to let it expire to save money.

    Now I can see the worries regarding Howard for Bynum, which is legit. But we do have Pau who can hold his own as a 5 and will be devastating with Nash as a Plan B which is almost better than half the league’s Plan A. That’s not even thinking about Nash/Kobe. Having that as our Plan B, I think it is worth the gamble (with all medical due diligence done – more thoroughly than we could probably ever imagine since it’s tens of millions of dollars worth of investment) of ‘upgrading’ for a big man that could seriously ROLL once back. (puns not intended)

    So yeah, we’re not perfectly deep as some other teams whose starters and bench players are ‘not as good as our starters but better than our bench.’ But that’s the cost of having nearly the best in more than half of the five positions.

    And if you are worried/miffed about how we overspend for talent and don’t build through the draft… well, go root for San Antonio or the Thunder. For better or worse, that’s not how Lakers get things done.

  59. Just read Scouting report on Duhon. Ouch. Knew he was worse then Blake and Fish but didn’t realize he was worst in NBA. Ouch. Got to lose this guy and go with Morris as 3 rd guard.

    One thing being a bad player but saying he is a bad team guy and a nightlife guy(just what Artest and Howard need) this guy should not be on the team and we don’t need Smush Duhon!

  60. Duhon = amnesty

    Done. DL, here he comes.

  61. 50) Kevin_,
    “How do they do it”
    To be a successful (over the long-term) GM in the NBA these days requires more than just evaluating talent for the draft. They need to thoroughly understand the ins-and-outs of the salary cap, and the needs and limitations (financial, psychological, on-the-court and otherwise) of both their own team and the other teams in the league. I think that is where Kupchak really excels – I don’t think he’s exceptional at evaluating pre-NBA players, but he appears to be exceptional at figuring out exactly what another team is looking for. Since the goals of teams are often not purely on the court, it’s not always easy for us to see, understand, and anticipate the moves that can/will be made.

  62. exhelodrvr,
    Outstanding comment. Other readers should reread your statement on Mitch above. Then read it a third time.

    Following that, they should stop complaining about what we don’t have or how we can’t draft. We are not San Antonio or OKC – nor do we want to be. We are the Lakers and we do it our way. In two years we will have lots of problems to resolve, but we will always have this summer to remember that we can do something, often with almost nothing but an understanding of what others want.

  63. Wasn’t Brown a throw in for that trade that was ostensibly to bring in Morrison, or just to get rid of Rad-man? Mitch makes little moves well. Picking up Ariza and then “flipping” him for Ron. Picking up Shannon when everyone else thought he was going after Morrison. I’m not trying to suggest that the Dwight pickup is a smokescreen for getting Earl Clark but a man being put in the right situation is a big part of doing well in life. I certainly perked up my ears when I heard he was coming in the trade.

    Why have I started dreaming of trick o’treaters and smelling autumn? It’s humid as hell, the central AC keeps blowing out a fuse for some reason, and when I sleep I dream of pumpkin season.

  64. 60 (Ko)

    Smush Duhon. Hilarious.

    61 (Magic Phil)

    Can’t amnesty Duhon, only team’s own players under contract when CBA started.

    Also, this years deadline has passed, so teams have to wait until next summer to amnesty anyone.

    The Lakers will have to buy-out Duhon and Clark.

  65. Phil,

    You can’t amnesty a guy you traded for.

  66. 63) craig w,

    Thanks – I think the first time I really noticed that was when they gave Kwame Brown the extension (8M?). IMO, that was significantly overpaying his basketball skills, and it seemed like the only reason to do that was if they were going to use that contract as a trade chip at some point. Kupchak seems to think way ahead, and “shape the battlefield.”

    I suspect that Kupchak also deserves more of the credit for West’s successful time as a GM than most people give him.

  67. As to the FO, I think it is fine to criticize. But they have done a phenomenal job this off-season, even if the “supernova” plan doesn’t work.

  68. rr,
    no you can amnesty like NO did rashard lewis

  69. Meeks is a fine shooter but Miami rendered him useless in the playoffs by playing him for the 3 and forcing him to drive, which is not his strength. He needs to work on that aspect of his game. But, at that price, I’m pleased he’s on board and am sure that he’ll be a valuable piece of the puzzle.

  70. One thing I really like about Olympic basketball is that it doesn’t cater to TV. Timeouts are 1 min. & halftime is a strict 15 mins. Compared to the clown show of a halftime that TNT presents, it’s very refreshing.

    Go Team USA!!!

  71. 41

    “But I can’t name many benches worse than ours in the league.”

    You may or not have noticed, but our starting lineup alone will earn upwards of $80 million next season. We also had nothing to shore up the bench with except the mini-midlevel and the veteran’s minimum. Obviously you aren’t going to get much better than what we have in that situation. In any case, Miami just won the title with an even worse bench, and the group we had in 2009 and 2010 was nothing to write home about either.

  72. tomcun: rr is right. you can only amnesty a player whose contract was signed in the last cba and on the team at the time the new cba was signed.

  73. Rashard Lewis was not amnestied; he was waived. NO bought him out for $14 million of his $23 million final year contract.

  74. 69

    Lewis wasn’t amnestied, he was bought out.

  75. Good game so far between USA-Spain. Team USA holding a 1 pt lead @ the half (59-58) .. Kobe with 5 pts (2-3 fgs) and Pau with 8 pts (3-8 fgs), 6 rebs and 4 dimes. Should be an even better 2nd half.

  76. love seeing Pau making quick agressive moves, so much more effective than the back to the basket and think for 5 secs before doing anything

  77. Pau show to start the 3rd to give Spain the lead. Game hanging in the balance Kobe stepped on the gas to keep USA in it and Durant chipped in. LeBron was on the floor the whole time but nowhere to be found. My lonely observation.

  78. the timing couldn’t be any better.

    note to laker front office: if things don’t work out for coach brown, coach k would be a perfect match and perfect timing.

    just putting it out there.

    Go Lakers !

  79. Kevin
    I think we can all agree LBJ located.

  80. And The Lakers Quest Begins..

  81. Can I just say, Kobe knows how to dial it up.

  82. @ 81, Kevin:

    True Indeed .. True Indeed

  83. Kobe seemed just a little emotional after being taken out when the deal was sealed in the 4th quarter of the Gold Medal game. Our Mamba still has a lot of game left. He shut down Navarro in the 2nd half.

    I’m going on record right now as saying that if Pau Gasol plays next season with the focus and grit that he played with in this Gold Medal game, and there are no serious injuries to the other key players on The Show, the Lakers are going to win # 17.

  84. Do I care that the USA won the gold? Not really. I’m just happy Kobe and Pau didn’t get hurt.

  85. Another good Gold medal game between Spain & US. A nice farewell to both Kobe & Coach K in the Olympics.

  86. I don’t think he’s exceptional at evaluating pre-NBA players, but he appears to be exceptional at figuring out exactly what another team is looking for

    There is certainly some truth in this, but at the same time, Nash wanted to be in the West on a contender, and the Lakers needed a PG. Sarver wanted to help Nash because he respects and likes him. WRT Howard, the main chip that made that happen was because the Lakers nailed the only lottery pick thay have had in the last 20 years.

    My take on Kupchak remains the same: he often has trouble with the little things, but he gets the big things right. One thing I like about this off-season is that I think the little moves–Hill, Jamison, and Meeks–were good, too.

  87. Mitch has had to develop much subtler strategies for building and sustaining a contending team. Basically, he has had to ignore the draft because the Lakers perenially draft pretty late. He has never had the luxury of lottery picks with the exception of Bynum and I’m pretty sure that’s how he likes it. The draft lottery is for losers. Mitch reminds me of a jungle cat. He lays low until its time to pounce. And when he does strike, its usually pretty good.

  88. Never checked it,but I always thought Mitch was about 6`11 with shoes. Dwight looked 1/2-1 in. shorter Fri. Length,quickness,and strength more important. Duhon doesn`t seem to have a role;should be waived or traded.

  89. The Lakers bench is better than last season’s Heat bench. They added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, but even still I’d say that’s not enough to make their bench an obvious advantage. They still have zero size on that roster and will never be able to guard Howard or Pau one on one.

  90. One thing that keeps coming back to my mind when I think about this year’s roster is Pau Gasol. If Mike Brown payed attention to the Olympics, he would have seen just how dominant Gasol really is. And yet he was relegated to the 3rd option last year. Now, with DH on board, with his less-than-refined offensive game, I expect to see more of a low-post Gasol led offense through stretches of the game. Nash is a master of getting people open looks in PnR and screen actions, skills that should primarily benefit Howard. What I’m getting at is that we should see our starting lineup in Nash, Kobe, MWP, Gasol and Howard, but as far as an effective setup, I believe Gasol should play more with the second unit, to afford Howard more space in the paint and give us an All-NBA offense for most of the game.

    That is not to say Gasol+Howard wouldn’t work. It is, in my eyes, the best front-court tandem in the NBA today. Just thinking about the details and our bench and rotations and stuff. And how Mike Brown likes starters to play 47.5 minutes/game.

    And here’s to hoping we get to see some fastbreak Nash awesomeness with the young guns, even though I don’t remember seeing any of them except for Hill and Ebanks run the floor well and finish (even if poorly) in transition, they should benefit from the ‘spoon-feeding’ assists from our Canadian maestro.