Around The World (Wide Web): Lakers Off-Season Headlines

Ryan Cole —  May 13, 2013

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: The 131-character dispatch arrived mournfully within two hours of sunrise May 4, at 7:58 a.m. to be exact. “When u give Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand?” Kobe Bryant wrote on his Twitter feed, adding the hashtags “hurt beyond measure,” “gave me no warning,” and finally, “love?” Bryant’s career with the Lakers has often been pushed aside by internal family matters, the recent court battle over his memorabilia the latest in a string of cheerless events. Bryant and his mother, Pamela, are contesting in court whether she has the right to give a New Jersey-based auction house dozens of his basketball mementos from high school and his early Lakers career.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: It’s well documented that the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have much to offer in the way of contracts during free agency. There are pipe dream players out there like Jose Calderon or Kyle Korver whom we’ve discussed already. There’s something in the realm of a five percent chance either player would accept the small tender L.A. can offer. Realistically, the Lakers are going to need to dig deep to fill out their needs. Depth-wise, the biggest issue through 2012-2013 was the small forward position. With that in mind, there’s no reason to believe there won’t be a new small forward in the rotation next season. There’s also no reason to believe it will be a “sexy” name with eye-popping stats, or that it needs to be. The Lakers best route would be to target a younger player who has yet to prove himself worth a big contract, which brings us here: Wesley Johnson is an ideal target for the Lakers this Summer.

From Mark Willard, ESPN LA: At a certain point, a Band Aid is not sufficient. Sometimes surgery is required in order to fix the bigger problem. The Lakers have applied a series of Band Aids since their title run in 2010. In 2013-14, they can only do more of the same. But 2014-15 is different. Most Lakers fans are thinking in terms of bouncing back from this season and its disappointments next year. But they should be thinking about the promise of the year-after-next. The word patience doesn’t usually go over well in LA. and the Lakers will never ask for it publicly, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it from their fans right now.

From Andrew Ungvari, Lakers Nation: I can’t get mad at the average fan for not knowing the finer points of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement (CBA). It isn’t the easiest thing to digest, and besides, who needs rules when it comes to fantasizing about ways in which the Lakers can get better, right? As soon as it seemed as if people finally got a grasp on the old CBA, the league’s owners decided to lock the players out and many of the major issues in the old CBA were either tweaked, repealed, or replaced. And while I can’t be mad at fans who don’t know about the changes, I have every right to be angry at respected members of the media who should have done their homework by now. I only have so much time with which to answer the questions people send me on Twitter or let those aforementioned writers know that they incorrectly reported something that will most likely be read by hundreds of thousands of people. Instead, I figured I’d use this space to educate you in the simplest way I can on some of the more common fallacies as they pertain to the Lakers and what they can or cannot do this off-season to improve their roster.

From Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford is interviewing with the Milwaukee Bucks for their head-coaching job on Monday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Milwaukee has interviewed Nate McMillan and Houston Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff for its head-coaching job. When Hammond reached out to gauge Stan Van Gundy’s interest in the job, Van Gundy declined but delivered a strong recommendation for Clifford, league sources said. Clifford spent five years on Van Gundy’s Orlando Magic staff before joining the Lakers in the summer of 2012. Clifford fits the profile of the kind of hands-on, defensive-minded candidate that Hammond has been seeking to replace interim coach Jim Boylan. Clifford will also interview with the Charlotte Bobcats in the near future.

Ryan Cole

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14 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Lakers Off-Season Headlines

  1. “At a certain point, a Band Aid is not sufficient. Sometimes surgery is required in order to fix the bigger problem. The Lakers have applied a series of Band Aids since their title run in 2010. In 2013-14, they can only do more of the same. But 2014-15 is different.”

    True!

    (Last thread convo) Los Angeles’ purple and gold coach may have done no worse than any other coach (Jackson included) with the roster and injuries. However, the Lakers coach seemed oblivious to adjustment in a series, and in game. So, I ask is not the measure of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a change? His sourpuss face on the sideline during opposing team runs did nothing to ingratiate him to the Lakers or the fans. As a coach on the sideline there are three acceptable behavioral mannerisms (my opinion):

    1) Regardless of what transpires on the court, remain calm 90% of the times (see Mark Jackson).
    2) Have fire in your belly about the game, players and referees (see Tom Thibodeau).
    3) Have a blend of 1 and 2 (see Gregg Popovich).

    Lastly, this coach’s system hinges on a guard of (a young) Steve Nash, Tony Parker or CP3 caliber. It is yet to be proven to work without that level of guard. So next year will be an experiment for the current Lakers coach, a test to see if (an old) Steve Nash, Blake and Morris can prove him right.

    Someone on this board repeatedly says that a coach can win games that he shouldn’t: that is when a coach’s knowledge of game situations and X’s and O’s come into play. So, a discussion on the coach is just as important as player personnel. Always has been otherwise, you do like Bernie Bickerstaff did and you just roll out the ball and let the talent dictate wins.

  2. Chearn,
    It is not that we shouldn’t be discussing the coach – you did this quite well in the comment above – but so many comments were short and totally negative like, “MD is a terrible coach…” Truthfully, Mike D’Antoni is a good coach, whether or not he should be the Laker coach. I, too, am sometimes p.o.ed by some of the substitutions, but I also have been ticked off by the in-game adjustments of the two coaches prior to MDA. The key we all have to remember is that the ownership (Jim, Jerry, and Mitch) were the ones who hired Mike D’Antoni and they hired him for a reason. We fans may or may not agree, but this decision wasn’t haphazard, even if the “all-knowing” press presented it as a screw-up. From that perspective I think we fans have to give this thing next year – at a minimum.

  3. there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that the decision to hire mda was not thought out, just as it can be easily said that the hiring and firing of mike brown was questionable. And frankly, a lot more respect could have been given to pj when he left… and boy did he get shafted when he was almost hired!

    this herky-jerky approach could have serious ramifications in the next year. Frankly, If I’m DH, I would not be too crazy about how things have been handled.

    30 million is a lot of money to leave on the table, but there’s something to be said for peace of mind.

    I would not be surprised if the internal drama is much worse than what’s going on in public.

  4. Person gone, Bickerstaff gone, Clifford interview. Would be a huge hit if all these guys wind up leaving. The D’Antoni’s and Gentry next year? My o my how far we’ve fallen from grace.

  5. Part of PJ’s coaching identity was to let the player’s figure it out. They always had a system to fall back on, offensively and defensively. I never liked that approach to coaching, but it somehow worked…and they won a high percentage of games and championships. Until the last year when unbeknownst to the fans, PJ was battling cancer. His only answer to the Lakers lethargic play was, something about flipping a switch in the playoffs. Due to PJ’s health constraints that last year, it should be thrown out as an outlier.

    Additionally, Laker fans should let the thought of PJ as a coach again rest: (me included). It takes too many years for players to effectively learn the triangle, which is why Jim Buss wants a different system for the Lakers. The triangle is not an optimum offense in today’s NBA. Today’s NBA player only understands how to play like high school all-star traveling teams. Rarely are the players capable of learning anything other than run-n-gun, pick-n-roll, and pull-up-jumpers-in-the-paint.

    If the Lakers allow Howard to walk, that will signal that the Lakers are married to the current coach’s system. If Howard stays, no way will he be content to merely clean up the offensive glass while the likes of Meeks, Blake, MWP and Morris shoot 3’s as the first option.

  6. Chearn: I like your three categories of coaching as listed above. However I can’t seem to fit MD into any of the 3 provided. Could you perhaps add a fourth to see if he fits?
    trianglefan: “Frankly, If I’m DH, I would not be too crazy about how things have been handled. ” And that is exactly the point. Is MD a positive in the DH signing and in the attraction of any other players? What do you think Antawn would say at this point?
    Kevin: “The D’Antonis”: We have nepotism in the ownership ranks, and nepotism in the coaching ranks. Let’s go ahead and sign Jelly Bean Bryant to a contract so we can have it on the floor as well. We do need guards.
    Chearn/triangle/Kevin: Would you please stop pulling me back into the coaching discussion !

  7. Enough if this silly left $30 million on the table. Not sure what math you all are kissing but let me help you.

    If Dwight leaves and goes 4 years else where you are assuming he quits after that? He still will sign another contract at 31 for 5th year and on. Even if its only a drop of $5 million he collectively losses only that $5 million over the 5 years. In addition if he signs in a non-state tax state like Texas he saves 50% of his salary for home games in no state tax.

    Please think it out before coming up with that $30 million figure.

  8. Ken,

    You are right he could a lot of 30 mil down the road. Here is why I think he will resign. Injury. He has never been hurt before. Now he has had to under go back surgery and a shoulder issue. A serious injury in the last year or two could of a 4 year contract could significantly drop his market value for the next contract. A player that has never had a serious injury might roll the dice. Dwight has had a serious injury. I for one do not think he will roll the dice. The other issue of course is the yearly raise is larger when you resign . That is where some of that 30 mil figure comes from. Under the CBA he wouldn’t actually be receiving 30 mil in the 1st year of a new contract.

  9. Ok. Makes sense. Not sure if Dwight thinks that deep. Might still think he is really Superman. I feel he will not resign. Just a guess. Like the song “Dwight just wants to have fun”. Guessing this year was not.

  10. I had an interesting thought as I put together yearly my recommendation for Mitch. Who knows, someday he may listen. Anyway, what do you all think we should do with Ron. Lets say the Lakers are all in for winning next year and are not worried about the tax. Do you still cut him? How about if we do manage to sign a younger player like Martel Webster of Wes Johnson that can be plugged into the starting rotation, would we cut him then? Keep in mind that any player we sign that we could start will probably cost the full mini mid level. Looking at the other small forward on the free agent list, I couldn’t find one that I think we could sign for the vet min that is better then Ron. Earl Clark could back up the 3 but he had his best moments as a stretch 4 and kind of struggled as a 3. I am thinking that I may keep him and bring him off the bench, especially if it’s an unproven guy like Wes Johnson. What do you think?

  11. I hear Ron, who has players option, wants to sign in NY or NJ. I say let him go. Need a guy who can shoot. And run. That’s not Ron.

  12. Craig W-I agree, the Lakers have no choice other than to give the current coach a training camp to determine if he can handle the klieg lights in Los Angeles. What’s plan B if:

    a) Steve Nash gets injured 6 games into the season?
    b) If Nash looks as slow at the start of next season as he had this season?
    c) Howard signs and starts complaining about the offense?
    d) The Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers game plan still doesn’t net wins?

    These questions are of course, rhetorical as no one has a definitive answer. But someone in the front office and on the coaching staff should have some possible answers somewhere in the back of their minds.

    Robert-I can’t promise that I won’t have occasional complaints about the coach, that won’t have the same influence on you as to quote Michael Corleone “Everytime I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” I’d really rather read Kobe Alerts, but alas I am denied.

    If the Lakers get an opportunity to get Wes Johnson as a free agent, I hope they jump at it.

  13. Regarding Ron, I thought teams over the cap do not have the option of a mid level? Then again, what do I know. I was under the impression that if we amnesty Ron, the best we could do as a replacement is a player willing to take the veteran’s minimum. Can someone please confirm?

  14. Manny,
    Teams over the *luxury tax* only have a mini mid-level exception. If you’re only over the cap, you have a full mid-level. The Lakers only have a mini mid-level and the veterans minimum to offer free agents this off-season. Amnestying Ron would mean replacing him using one of the exceptions or making a trade, of course.