Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  June 14, 2013

So you’ve got a car with some years on it but you’re still paying it off. And, the mileage is really stacking up. And things are starting to go wrong with it. In fact, things have been going wrong with it for a while. And you are determined not to take on more debt right now because your current load is a killer. You know that in the summer of 2014, a lot of your debt will be paid off. What do you do? Do you keep eating all the repair bills, hoping to get by until then? What about that one last cross-country trip you wanted to take with someone special? Someone that may not be around in another couple years. You don’t think the car will make that trip. What do you do?

This is essentially the challenge facing the Los Angeles Lakers. Worn-out tires, a year left on the loan and the glue still drying on a new head gasket. There may not be enough left in the tank to make a run for Kobe’s sixth ring. And then there’s the Dwight dilemma.

From Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie, Chandler Parsons talks to Dwight, ‘a lot’.

From Eric Pincus at the LATimes: Phil Jackson tells why the Lakers’ offense should go through Dwight.

C.A. Clark at Silver Screen and Roll writes that Dwight and D’Antoni are perfect for each other.

Drew Harrison at Silver Screen and Roll examines reports of Dwight and Chris Paul’s supposed desire to play together.

From Ross Gasmer at Lakers Nation, Dwight supposedly adds the Spurs to the list.

On the Steven Lebron tumblr, Dwight Howard: In Another Life.

In non-Lakers/Dwight news, remember Jordan Farmar? Dan Feldman at ProBasketballTalk has the story.

***

So back to the bloated car loan that’s coming to an end. Mitch Kupchak’s made it clear that Dwight is a priority. It’s mostly an all or nothing proposition however. The Lakers can resign Howard because of his Bird rights but can’t otherwise spend in free agency except for the mini mid-level exception and veteran minimum deals. So what happens if Dwight doesn’t return? Are there no other options apart from waiting it out? Well sure, it’s called a trade-in. You might not get your full blue book value back but you’ll get something, including a new loan or two. Ready to talk some turkey?

Dave Murphy

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79 responses to Friday Forum

  1. My comment from the previous thread (which has been caught up, for quite awhile, in moderation):

    If one was to believe all of these reports/rumors in regards to Dwight, it would seem that he wishes to play anywhere but with the Lakers. And while it’s true that retaining him is looking less in less likely, my wish list still remains intact:

    1. Retaining Dwight
    2. Retaining E-Clark
    3. Signing Wesley Johnson
    4. Amnestying Ron
    5. Hoping n Praying that, upon returning, Kobe hasn’t lost too much

    Pau’s situation is tricky. If we can receive some valuable pieces (shooters/youthful athletes/a pick) back for him without putting too much of a dent in our 2014 Summer Plans, he should be moved. If not, hold on to him.

    With the FO insisting that D’Antoni isn’t going anywhere, I’ll stay away from our coaching dilemma. Hopefully, after the coaching carousel around the league plays itself out, a couple of good assistants will be hired to help D’Antoni with 2 of his weaker points. Defense and Player Interaction.

  2. Trade speculation will be deleted. Read the commenting guidelines for a full explanation if you need it.

  3. Dave Murphy: I see almost all of your articles are about Dwight, Phil, and D’Antoni. Can’t we talk about anything else? : )
    Tra: Overall I like your priorities. “2 of his weaker points. Defense and Player Interaction.” If coaching priorities were shown as a pie chart, I think those two cover very large portion of the pie.
    Even injured – this guy does his part (one of the few positive articles about the Lakers):
    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9388294/kobe-bryant-wants-two-more-cracks-nba-title-according-source

  4. Tra

    Agreed -it s looking less and less likely that Howard signs with the Lakers because he wants to be a Laker. He may stay because they can offer the most money but not for the right reason.

    If your the Lakers isn’t the drama around Dwight beginning to wear on them? It sure as heck is starting to bother me. My gut is telling me that he is not resigning here.

    I hope Laker management has their pulse on the situation. If there is no back channel communication that says Dwight is all in what other alternative do they have but to look to move him?

  5. I wonder why Kobe felt he had to pick now to announce he wanted to play 2 more years. I thought Dwight was open to staying with the Lakers because it would be ‘his’ team in 2014 when Kobe retires. If Kobe is still here doesn’t that create an Alpha Dog tug of war with Dwight?

    I have no idea how this plays out.

  6. While I believe that much of the drama that follows Dwight is a product of media hype I can’t help but think that he is his own worst enemy. I am assuming that Broussard’s article on his desire to play with CP3 is based on public comments and tweets, etc. One would hope that Dwight would have learned his lessons from how his reputation took a hit last summer.

  7. Why is my comment in moderation? It did not contain trade speculation.

  8. First, a little mea culpa here. I realize that my car-trade in analogy reads like an open invitation for trade speculation. I was not being mindful of longstanding policy and apologize for the whoopee verboten. As for the ‘let’s talk turkey’ line, I’m actually just trolling for bird recipes.

    Next, Robert – yes, now that you point it out I can see that all my recent posts are about Dwight, Phil or D’Antoni. To be honest, I’m just lazy. Good news though, I’ll be concentrating on our 48th pick for the next few weeks, followed by a month of Kobe’s tendon.

  9. The way Paul berates his teammates and demands they play hard all the time, does anyone really believe Dwight wants to live with that for the next several years? He had to put up with Kobe’s win-or-go-home attitude last season because he had no choice. But to think he’d willingly sign up for that elsewhere is a stretch.

    Likewise, if Paul were to leave an ideal situation with the Clippers, does anyone really believe he’d be looking to have Dwight tag along? Reports say Paul’s got issues with Griffin, since Griffin is a late-game liability because he can’t shoot free throws and has few go-to moves. Hmnnn… sound like anyone we know?

    I could see either guy playing elsewhere next season, particularly Howard. But I don’t see them going anywhere together. Atlanta would be ideal for Dwight — hometown, and no reasonable expectation to win, or even play hard. Empty seats don’t boo you.

    All that said, the biggest reason I dispute this rumor is the source. Chris Broussard. is a first-degree hack.

  10. Chris,

    Like I said before, I think you are projecting your own emotions about Howard on to how other players might see him. I think it is quite likely that Chris Paul sees Howard a lot differently than you do.

  11. Nothing is stopping Dwight and Paul from playing together. Atlanta is sitting right there on a silver platter with cap space, but that’s not going to happen since they just hired a coach few fans have heard of. We know Dwight and Paul are picky when it comes to coaches. Lakers and Clippers dealing with each other will never happen. I said a while ago I didn’t think Paul would resign with the Clippers and it’s pretty obvious he’s looking around. This seems nothing more than Dwight not being able to keep his plans to himself sharing texts with Broussard. Quite frankly I have Dwight fatigue and a bit offended as a Lakers fan. You don’t want to play here take his services elsewhere. Then next year he’ll have trouble living up to the contract like he had trouble with the pressure that comes with being a Laker.

  12. Marc Stein twitter:
    There’s a rising belief around the NBA that Doc, KG & Pierce all want to carry on as a trio in Clipperland if they can’t roll on in Boston

    Can Clips really pull off trifecta and get all three Celtics legends into their organization? That’ll be your first NBA drama post-Finals

    Cash and draft considerations in exchange for Doc? Separate trades for Garnett and Pierce without surrendering Blake Griffin? All do-able

  13. Warren Wee Lim June 15, 2013 at 2:54 am

    If Atlanta wants to make that thing happen, they will need to send us something in a deal.

    IF most of you don’t know yet how much does 1 team have and what are the intricacies of the salary cap, it would be good to read: http://www.shamsports.com/2013/06/the-amount-of-cap-room-teams-will.html

    Larry Coon suggested it. Its good.

  14. “I wonder why Kobe had to pick now to announce he wanted to play two more years”

    Its a fools errand to try to figure out what’s on the dudes mind, so here goes: he’s an alpha male who has to leave his, uh, mark on everything.

    Never mind its an open question if he will be able to play at all.

  15. If Howard and Paul really want to e team mates the set thing that the Lakers can do is trade Howard to Atlanta. The Lakers aren’t going to help the Clippers make this happen. Additionally, why make the rockets stronger as they are in the same conference. Trading Howard to an Eastern conference team means that they weaken a divisional rival (Paul leaving the Clippers).

    A hidden benefit may be that the Eastern Conference becomes much tougher and more likely that Lebron opts out and heads the the Lakers.

  16. Dave Murphy I enjoyed your car analogy and thought it was pretty amusing what it apperently triggered. Some of the scenarios were pretty wild not to mention impluasible!

  17. Like I said before, I think you are projecting your own emotions about Howard on to how other players might see him. I think it is quite likely that Chris Paul sees Howard a lot differently than you do.

    ——–

    Our opinions differ then. Neither knows for sure.

  18. There’s a rising belief around the NBA that Doc, KG & Pierce all want to carry on as a trio in Clipperland if they can’t roll on in Boston
    _____

    Yeah, this was reported by Stephan A. on ESPN 1st Take shortly after the Celtics and Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Interesting that it’s now being reported by Stein also. Story/rumor may have some legs to it. Our co-tenants have been conducting several rounds of interviews for their vacant Head Coaching position (B. Scott, Shaw, Hollins, ..). If none of the individuals that they’ve brought in so far are hired shortly, that might give us a clue towards the reported scenario. For the Lakers sake, I hope that it doesn’t come into fruition.

  19. Denver has the owner’s son (he did play college ball) running things, and now Masai Ujiri and George Karl, who were Exec and Coach of the Year, are both gone, and Andre Iguodala opted out to test FA:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/george-karl-tells-denver-team-president-firing-karl-173628923.html

  20. People talk like KG and Pierce are in their prime, i hope they made a deal

  21. I totally agree Fern. Who cares if Pierce and Garnett go to the clippers? We need to resign Dwight and get an athletic 3 in the free agency. I still believe we have enough talent to get to the finals. We need to be healthy.

  22. I despise the Celtics, the Spurs, and the Clips, in that order. That said,let’s not root for Boston to fleece the Clips for obvious reasons. Giving up picks for a coach is not a good idea unless it is Phil Jackson. Giving up young guys for old is not a good idea unless you are a half breath from the title which the LAC are not. On the other hand if Boston would like to make an even exchange with us, I would be all for that !
    “We ned to resign Dwight” Yes we do, and we need to do everything possible to increase those odds.
    Dave Murphy: Continue to talk about what you have been. D’Antoni, Dwight, and KB determine 85% of our fate. With regard to your car story: Yes – I like it. However I think the issues could be with the driver and the GPS system (is it even turned on?).

  23. If Paul Pierce comes to the Clippers, he’d better be ready to be jeered at all four games against the Lakers at Staples Center!

    My hunch on Dwight is if he leaves, the Lakers won’t get anything for him. The reason is they want to keep him and would only explore a trade if he tells them decisively that he’s not resigning with them. The problem with Dwight is he never seems decisive on anything, so if he leaves it will probably be a last-second decision.

  24. From our old friend Kurt:

    “ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports the reason the Clippers want to keep Bledsoe is they want to package him and Blake Griffin to try and trade for Dwight Howard after July 1. The Lakers want to re-sign Howard and keep him as their star, but if they were going to lose him for nothing they would consider a sign-and-trade options — but not ones from the Lakers. They are highly unlikely to send their best player down the hall, no matter who is coming back.”

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/15/report-clippers-celtics-in-serious-talks-to-send-garnett-rivers-to-l-a/

  25. I thought a team can’t sign and trade a player if the team is over the salary cap?!

    Can you please enlighten me with this scenario…

  26. vhanz: We can ship someone elsewhere in a S+T. We can’t accept someone incoming in such a deal. That said, many are speaking of the S+T as a way to “salvage something out of the situation”. This strategy is akin to England conceding half of Europe in the late 1930’s. It is a strategy that will not work well.

  27. Chris,

    No, we don’t know for sure, but given that Paul and Howard are about the same age, played together in Beijing, have each suffered a lot of playoff defeats, and have very complimentary skills, there are several reasons to believe that Paul would like to play with Howard, in addition to the leaks to that effect, which I supposed you can dismiss. But there are no reasons that I can see to believe that your opinion about the issue is valid.

  28. Things are going to turn upside down at this rate. Rumors abound and it’s going to be really, really interesting if some of the things being mentioned unfold.

    Now, I will suffer some serious wound to my Laker pride if we lose both CP3 (still bitter) and DH12 to the Clippers. That stuff should only exist in alternate universe scenarios.

  29. I see that my mention of the rumor currently linked in the sidebar, reported by Ramona Shelburne, was taken down.

    Guess you need to take the link down, too, then, if that qualifies as “trade speculation.”

  30. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2013 at 12:45 am

    As of now, “reporters” are reporting ‘potential’ trades, which by itself is trade speculation. The moving parts, names dragged in and out of the discussion will change this landscape. However, with it being ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Marc Stein and Chris Broussard as a trio, that might have some legs into it. It no longer, in my opinion, counts as speculation that is prohibited here. Still, advising my peers to tread lightly and not over-assume. Things can easily get out of hand.

    For what its worth, rather than lose Dwight for nothing, Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe is not a bad compensation for what we gave up: Andrew Bynum and 2 1sts.

  31. RR, unfortunately the links on the left are just what comes with being affiliated with TH.

  32. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2013 at 5:20 am

    The Lakers have problems outside the Dwight Howard issue. With or without Dwight, our perimeter and transition defense needs work. This is not a matter of coaching drill, as others would like to blast at MDA, this is a matter of capability and willingness to do so. Much as we’d like to, Nash (39), Kobe (34), Metta (33) and Pau (33) can not do the deed anymore.

    The Lakers need to adapt some young legs into the starting lineup. This is in order to balance out the inability of our vets to address this problem. I am not a big X and O guy but “astute observation” dictates that we need a fresh(er) leg to run after the transition plays and perimeter defense in general.

    Pau Gasol is a very good player. I love him more than you think you know. Not many of you were here when drrayeye and I “willed” his trade. Details of that is no longer important. Pau needs to accept a bench role otherwise we need changes.

    At the wing where there is a dire need for speed, we need someone in the SG department to help out. Kobe, if/when he comes back, should ease himself into a scoring SF position. Between him and Steve Nash, there is not alot we can do really.

    On offense, a healthier Nash will run the PNR with better execution. Shooting doesn’t necessarily regress if the body is feeling right. Even Reggie Miller can still beat Dwight Howard at the free throw line blindfolded. Nash will be the PG we traded for. He will run a system, at a certain tempo. But defensively is where we need capabilities of running the floor. When things do not go as planned on offense, its the defense that will help us prevail or preserve leads.

    A very obvious sense last season was the Lakers inability to preserve leads. When the adrenalin dies down a bit, the oldies find it hard to light that fire back again. Partly coz the body is resisting. Not everyone has Kobe’s will.

  33. Why are all the coaches leaving the Lakers. Why did Darvin Ham leave? Every coach that D12 worked with is gone. I understand one coach leaving to be a head coach, but Ham, The Rifleman, and Bickerstaff all gone. Does anyone else see a pattern?!?

  34. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Reasoning is simple: the Lakers are starting a new core of coaching staff and assistants in preparation for the new regime. Its only natural that MDA hires his own people as the Lakers plan forward. If Nate McMillan ends up not getting hired for a head coaching gig, I see him joining our crew as a defensive specialist assistant.

  35. Read the commenting guidelins if you’re confused as to why a comment about an unsubstantiated rumor would be deleted. These aren’t talks that are being reported, they’re reports on what someone may try/want to do. Well, I want to win the lottery.

  36. Lakers were 7th in the West this year after monumental injuries and front office turmoil. Houston was 8th with minor injury and McHale needing some time off after his family issue. I think it’s a bit hysterical to conclude that the Lakers are going to nosedive into Bobcat/Hornets level only because their key players are near the end of their careers. Those aging & injured players were still upper and high level in comparison to the much of the competition this season. The key element, in my opinion, is how the front office settles on what the identity of the Lakers will be as an organization. The culture of winning was maintained through several different styles of on court play but the voice from the box appeared to the public as monolithic. The coaching panic, disloyalty towards staff, the subpar evaluation of roles players all feed on one another and does not allow for a projection of confidence. The illusion that the Lakers will always be winners is one of the most alluring things about the franchise and they must protect that by tightening their direction and not showing a ____ (insert pro sports micromanaging owner here) myopia.

  37. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/59783/latest-on-what-lakers-will-do-with-dwight

    The ESPN reporters trio are not letting the story go. So I guess its on for a ‘watch’ approach for us.

  38. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Happy Fathers’ Day to Darius and every other dad out there.

  39. The latest from Wojnarowski:

    While the Clippers had the wistful thought of trying to arrange a sign-and-trade to acquire Dwight Howard for Bledsoe and Blake Griffin, the Lakers have flatly rejected the idea, sources said.

    “They’ll never do it,” one source with direct knowledge of the conversations told Yahoo! Sports.

    So far, the Lakers have rejected every possible sign-and-trade scenario for Howard, sources said. The possibility of trading him within the Staples Center is probably the least palatable scenario of all should they be forced to lose him for nothing in July and finally do agree to a sign-and-trade possibility.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–celtics-in-trade-talks-to-send-doc-rivers–kevin-garnett-to-clippers-201709995.html

  40. Actually, Darius, you are the one that needs to read them:

    7). Discussion of trades is allowed only once discussions of said trade between organizations can be confirmed. Posts of fan fiction speculation on how the Lakers can land LeBron (or whomever) are not. (There is no shortage of other Lakers sites that welcome that kind of speculation.)

    —-

    So, on the one hand,. while there is no formal confirmation of such talks, on the other hand, this is not “fan fiction speculation.” Shelburne, Woj, etc are talking about it, and now we have two more posts about it above. And, since these rumors are related to the Boston/Clippers talks, which I think are pretty much confirmed at this point, there is obviously a gray area here.

  41. If there’s any gray area, then it’s my call, right? I mean, it is my site. If you don’t like it, well that’s just too bad. Ha.

  42. I’d add that this might as well be fan fiction. It doesn’t matter if every respected writer in the world reports on what the Clippers may try to do, it has no connection to actual talks between the teams. And once that stuff enters into the comments it’s all about “well they should do it!” or “why do that deal, they should do deal X instead” and it snowballs into a discussion on trades that aren’t actually being reported as actual talks. So, again, it’s my call and that stuff is out and if you don’t like it, go to any number of other sites and discuss it there. I’m sure you’ll have no issue finding a place to do so.

  43. Lets read the market place… The Lakers have a solid team around Dwight next year and have cap space next summer to being in two maxed out super star players around him. Add in the city of Los Angeles and the amount of money he can make on endorsements with the Lakers global fan base and its pretty much ludicrous he leaves the organization. Lets use our brains people.

  44. to use the car analogy-
    if you just fix the thing, then you won’t spend any more money than if you have a car payment. in fact, the card payment will be more over the course of the year, usually. the old car will go down the road just as well as the new one will. the new car will be really nice though.

    in either case, you have to pay. in either case, you can get where you are going. in either case, disaster can strike and leave you with a pile of scrap.

  45. Anon: I’m not sure we can call the Lakers a solid team on paper if they bring the band back together because of this year. Possibly 5 new player, 2 or 3 new coaches, Kobe’s injury and another philosophical change. Lot of question marks on this team. A lakers team 2 games from missing the playoffs shouldn’t be classified as solid.

    Game 5 I expect Spurs to win but Miami’s dangerous. Player could make the difference is Splitter, that is if he has a pulse. Been embarrassed last 3 games. Should have a chip on his shoulder to finish those easy opportunities he’s been getting.

    Happy Father’s Day gents.

  46. A Salute to all of the Father’s within our FB&G Community. Hopefully, you are all enjoying this day.

  47. If you don’t like it, well that’s just too bad. Ha.

    Happy Father’s Day, Darius.

  48. If the Spurs win the Finals- will Tim Duncan be the 3rd best player on the team? Danny Green is ridiculous right now. Sweet jeebus why can the Lakers find a shooter like him.

  49. Off topic, but if you were to pick a coach you could build ‘around’ for the next 10 years, who would it be? Among those that are available, anyway.

  50. KenOak – His name is Reggie Bullock and he should be a late 1st round draft pick (although I’ve seen some early 2nd projections). I’d love to trade up to get him. Of course you have to utilize him properly – it took Danny Green several go-arounds with the Spurs to get it right – but I think Bullock can be an excellent role player in a similar mold. We don’t have the assets to pull it off, so I’m speaking hypothetically of course.

    Harold – I’m a big SVG fan, ever since I paid close attention to the 2005 Heat campaign. He’s adaptable, he pulls all the right strings, and he’s excellent at X’s and O’s and drafting systems to maximize personnel. The downside is his personality grates on players, so I’m not sure he could last 10 years. But he’s the only coach out there that I’ve got a man crush on. The others can be good in the right situations, but they all have more glaring flaws.

  51. This must be quite the shock for LBJ and Wade…they don’t seem to be getting many calls.

    harold- PJ has to be the top choice, but if he’s not available, then I would go with Hollins. He has experience coaching the ‘twin towers’ type roster. If one or both of Howard/Pau are not with us next year, then why not go with Brian Shaw or Byron Scott. If we’re rebuilding, then why not give one of those guys a chance.

  52. harold: KenOak has given you a very good response. You either go with a proven winner (Phil, Doc, Pop), or you go with a younger up and comer with ties to your franchise. What you do not do is go with a long-term NBA vagabond coach with grey hair who has never won anything. I am of course referring to Del Harris. Any similarities to our current coach are merely coincidental.
    KenOak: Crushed the tables at the Detroit casinos. Seek + Destroy

  53. KenOak: I don’t think PJ will coach more than one season even if he does decide to coach again… Scott is not somebody whose style is conducive to a long tenure (from what I hear). Shaw… well, unproven, but yes of the ones you mention I think him and Hollins would be worth considering. Van Gundy?

  54. Rusty Shackleford June 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Is 8 for 22 no longer considered “shooting your team out of the game”? My how status of best player on the planet has changed.

  55. Rusty – Beautifully put.

  56. Rusty- If it were our #24 then that would be the narrative that certain networks would be spinning.

    harold- If Howard stays, then Van Gundy wouldn’t be a bad choice imo.

  57. That’s awesome Robert! I’ll be heading to Vegas for a bit of gambling this week.

  58. Rusty – was waiting to make that comment but LeBron usually managed to shoot better than 6-24, so was kinda holding it back.

    Anyway, the Spurs are making every other organization, save perhaps the Thunder, look really stupid with how they manage players. Geez Danny Green breaking the record for 3 pointers made? Crazy (or, LeBron’s team in Cleveland wasn’t all that bad in hindsight).

  59. Darius: “If there’s any gray area, then it’s my call, right? I mean, it is my site. If you don’t like it, well that’s just too bad. Ha.”

    Pretty funny that someone would advise Darius to read the guidelines. Uh, didn’t he write ‘em??

  60. Actually Kurt wrote the guidelines. Darius followed them when he took over the blog.

  61. I have to admit there is no way I can root for Miami – just no way.

    If/when the Spurs win it they will have to be considered with the Lakers, just not the best location. Also, Tim Duncan will be up there as a top player in the decade with Kobe – sorry, but they both have to be mentioned. I realize that really ticks off the people who insist on some kind of GOAT label and won’t settle for a group of the top players.

  62. Pretty funny that someone would advise Darius to read the guidelines.

    ___

    It was half in jest. But my point stands–mentioning a rumor that has been widely reported and commented on by numerous reputable sources is not the same thing as coming up with a random trade idea.

  63. “Actually Kurt wrote the guidelines.” Fair enough!

    rr – all this “stuff” swirling around the Clips and Celtics IS fascinating, to say the least … it’ll be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

  64. So the excuse for LeBron’s performance is that he’s run into a Hall of Fame core of TD, Manu and Parker.

    Geez, that storyline wasn’t there when Kobe ran into KG, PP and Ray Allen (+Rondo).

  65. http://www.lakersnation.com/lakers-rumors-personnel-might-stay-same-even-if-dwight-howard-walks/2013/06/16/

    I’ve said all along that the Lakers may just stay status quo if Dwight does not resign with the team. This would save a ton of money, get us under the luxury tax, remove us from the repeat offender list, all while keeping us in a favorable situation for the following year. This article supports my conclusion. It is not trade speculation so I hope it will be posted (and read).

  66. Craig W –
    I agree with your post with regard to the Spurs and (the great) T. Duncan, this even though I m `rooting´ for the Heat (as I´ve mentioned before, cuz of Riles and Doo) (( + I live in Ginobili-land & have to hear about it evry time they defeat us or Manu´s defense stifles Mamba…ugh))
    But, it is true that Duncan & co.are a helluva team and are playing much better than the Heat right now (at least that´s what I see) and if they get this ring we´re just gonna have to put up with that dose of ice-cold water…
    Btw, I´m not sure what you meant by the `GOAT´ reference, could you clarify, please? thanks a bunch..
    ______
    & to Harold (@ 12:24am, June 17)
    excellent post, ain´t that the way it is though…but f*** it, LONG LIVE BLACK MAMBA!!!!!!!! :)

  67. http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=9395337

    As the article entails, highly unlikely, but yet and still, interesting.

  68. I think if the Lakers could get an athletic PF or stretch PF for Howard the Lakers would greatly benefit. We have been playing Pau out of position for years. Our champion teams had Pau at center and our other center on the bench down the stretch. This would maximize our roster.

    Harold – I would really like George Karl. He is the type of coach who can build a strategy based on what players you give him. However, I don’t think MDA would be a horrible coach if in 2014 they build a team from scratch that fits his system. I’m still really impressed by Karl and I’m rather shocked he was let go.

  69. Purple: GOAT is Greatest of All Time. Craig has a different perspective than I do on this. We do not want the Spurs to win period – so Purple you are correct : ) First they are our rival and 2nd only to the Celtics. Also whether the players are in a “group” (as Craig states) or whether you pick a GOAT, then I do not want Duncan to look better relative to Kobe (this is in addition to the fact that I despise the Spurs). To relate to prior, if forced to choose in the late 80’s/early 90’s between Larry getting another ring or MJ getting one, I would have rooted for MJ (in fact I did when he played them).

  70. “if in 2014 they build a team from scratch that fits his system” – Well so going back to last year, what was the reasoning given we all know this was a 2 year gamble and then a reset?

  71. Appears to be moving beyond speculation at this point. And I do not like it from either side. Makes the Clips better in the short run, and jump starts the Celts re-build. Would not give up so much for Doc, but it does show the value of NBA coaches ‘with rings”.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–celtics–clippers-resume-push-to-get-kevin-garnett-doc-rivers-deal-done-160920220.html

  72. I really wish people would post links *after* they read the story and not just the title.

    The Yahoo story on the Celtics, while provocative, is full of problems. First, Doc is owed 3 years and $21 MILLION on his contract. Second, no way the the Celtics release him and allow him to coach in the NBA immediately without Doc walking away from $21 MILLION and maybe more. So, Doc would end up costing the Clips more than $21 MILLION for three years. For an owner like Sterling, this is something that could create an issue. Third, there’s the issue of Garnett’s remaining two years under contract AND a pending knee operation. Fourth, there is the assumption that Pierce is willing to come to the Clippers for the Vet minimum, since adding his gargantuan current salary does not make sense to the Clips.

    So, is this a story with “legs” or merely “speculation”? I don’t know, but the facts seem to point to this being a fantasy more than a reality.

    Finally, as far any Howard “sign and trade”, it was my understanding that no such scenario is impossible for the Lakers this year as they are above the “apron.” But, if so, can anyone clarify why almost all reporters continue to insist on a Laker sign-and-trade as a possibility? I’m trying to figure out why I’m wrong here.

  73. Thanks Robert, now I get it, of course, GOAT…
    & I´m completely on board with you about (the great) Larry Bird and MJ;
    I could only see blood red whenever we had to face ol´ Larry!
    I do, however, have a funny anecdote about his Airness that you may enjoy and which might give you a bit more insight as to my mindset back then (I was in the City of Angels still):

    A VERY close buddy of mine, who happened to be roommates with John Paxson´s cousin, went to game 5 at the Forum to watch us lose the championship in `91(blaaah..ugh…burp…ahem). Anyhow, the next day I´m talking to my pal, mind you we´d been friends since 7th grade & by this time we were both 27 year old fuds (thanks to Jack Kerouac for that one), and I say “F***, i´m still reeling from last night man´´ and this is what I hear on the other end of the line: “Oh dude! I had a fantastic night! I went with my roomy to the BULLS CELEBRATION PARTY and PARTIED with MJ, Scottie and wow! It was great……´´
    Needless to say, I absolutely LOST IT! I told my dearest friend to go straight to hell and officially disowned him as a Purple&Gold fan. Then I went ahead and refused to speak to him for about a month! Hahahaha –
    We still laugh about that and he still tries to justify that dastardly betrayal! but I love the old f****er anyway!
    It´s GREAT to love the Forum Blue & Gold!!!

  74. I totally agree with Robert on this. Tim Duncan will win his 5 ring this year as the (maybe) third best player on his team, but the media will elevate him above Kobe Bryant. I know that this makes me look like a homer, but I’m jealous of Kobe’s place in history- whether it be his place in the pantheon of greats throughout NBA history or his place among his peers during the late 90’s and 2000’s. Kobe has always (since Colorado) gotten short shrift from the media about his status and this will just give them more ammunition to lob at him.

    Meh…that’s just me (and Robert). And don’t get me wrong. I love Tim Duncan. The guy is an all-time great player and definitely the best PF of his generation. He isn’t the best big-man of his generation because of Shaq. He also played center for most of his career, but is listed as a PF. If you rank him among centers in NBA history, then he possibly doesn’t crack the top 5. Kobe is firmly ensconced as the 2nd best shooting guard in NBA history.

  75. But there are no reasons that I can see to believe that your opinion about the issue is valid.

    Again, your opinion. It may well be correct, but just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s gospel truth.

    One could offer back that the Howard with whom Paul played in China is gone; he has not been the same player (or teammate) in more recent seasons.

    You can suggest their are several reasons to believe that Paul would like to play with Howard — possibly valid reasons, for sure. But if we’re to believe leaks and rumors, Paul has reportedly ha issues with Blake Griffin because he can’t trust him with the ball in late-game scenarios since Blake’s half-court offense is so unrefined, and he’s a lousy free throw shooter. If those are reasons Paul reportedly has issues with Blake, it’s foolish not to cite those same concerns exist with Dwight. And Paul is anything but stupid.

  76. MannyP: Please do not say I did not read the article, just because I am thinking about it differently than you are. There are multiple points of view in this world. I can state mine, and you can state yours without insinuating that I did less reading etc.. Further, I am not saying this deal is going to happen for sure, I am merely saying that it is now being reported by main stream respected media (if there is such a thing), so there is “some” validity to it. I do not think Rivers will coach the Celtics next year so that part is probably real. Whether someone else gets him or not – that is to be determined. The fact that people are even writing about the Clips giving up substantial value for Rivers shows how valuable coaches are. He is definitely top 5, and yes I would take him even before Shaw, as he is a proven commodity and an excellent bench coach. I would not give substantial value for him, however, as I said – I would only do that for Phil (and to think – we could have had Phil without giving up any picks/players). Go figure.

  77. KenOak – That’s one of the most interesting NBA thought exercises to me. At the PF, Duncan is the best ever. But he played half his career at the 5. So where does he rank among centers? Definitely behind Kareem, Russell, Wilt. I’d put him behind Shaq just because Shaq’s peak was so high. Behind Hakeem? Duncan has more titles but a far better supporting cast, and in terms of pure skill and individual game, I’d take the Dream over Duncan. So right now – without putting a ton of thought into it – I’d probably have Duncan just outside the top 5.

    MannyP: Directly from Larry Coon on sign-and-trades:

    “Starting in 2013-14, teams cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade transaction (see question number 89) if their team salary is above the apron at the conclusion of the trade.”

    “Starting in 2013-14, the team receiving the player cannot be above the “apron” ($4 million above the tax level) after the trade. A team above the apron can receive a player in a sign-and-trade if the trade reduces the team’s payroll and the team finishes the trade below the apron.”

  78. If I had to pick the coach who I think has the brightest future it would be Mark Jackson.

  79. Again, your opinion. It may well be correct, but just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s gospel truth.

    Didn’t say it was; I didn’t even say I believe it. I just think that it is a lot more plausible than what you have to say about the issue, and the “leaks and rumors” to that effect are mounting up every day. The internet is kind of an echo chamber, but put it this way: I will start to believe your version when I see something that says, “CP3 sees D12 as Blake 2.0; Looking at Other Options”