Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Bringing Everyone Back, Phil, Kobe

Ryan Cole —  June 17, 2013

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll:The Los Angeles Lakers remain confident that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the franchise this Summer and have had “several discussions” with Howard’s representatives, according to the latest update from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. The Lakers may a handful of sign-and-trade options on the table this Summer if their confidence is misplaced, however, including an offer involving Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets. Howard is expected to give the Rockets serious consideration this Summer and Houston has assets to offer Los Angeles, but the Lakers are expected to turn away sign-and-trade offers in favor of maintaining financial flexibility from 2014 and onward, according to Shelburne and Stein.

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: When the reports started flying of a possible deal that would net the Clippers Kevin Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers from the Celtics, Dwight Howard‘s name got thrown in the mix at some point as someone that L.A.’s historically junior team would then like to pursue. Talks have stalled between the Celtics and Clippers for now, but the report that the Clips have weighed offering Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade package for Howard had plenty of people wondering where the Lakers stand on potential scenarios involving Dwight should he decide he wants out of the Forum blue and gold as a free agent after July 1.

From Gabriel Lee, Lakers Nation: Time for a quick survey – raise your hand if you thought the Lakers would be a force to be reckoned with upon acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Vegas sure did, as they had the Lakers at 5:2 odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in October. Keep your hand raised if you now think after one sub-par season, the Lakers need to press the reset button on this aging and brittle roster. I should see a lot of (virtual) hands up. That’s just the nature of sports in the 21st century. Few fans have the patience to wait for their favorite sports team to mesh when everything else in their lives is given to them in a nano-second. You can technically reach anyone in the world in an instant through a text message (although, standard message rates may apply). We consume the news instantly through our Twitter feeds. I could go on for days to list the ways technology has accelerated the process of globalization. However, we’re here to talk about the Lakers.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Phil Jackson coached Shaquille O’Neal with theLakers.  In his playing days, Jackson was occasionally charged with guarding Wilt Chamberlain. Jackson compared the two legendary centers Wednesday night in Glendale at the Alex Theatreat his “Live Talks Los Angeles” event. “Shaquille didn’t have quite the same athleticism that Wilt had,” said Jackson. “He had the bounce and he had the speed, but he didn’t have the endurance.” As detailed in his memoir, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” Jackson told O’Neal that Chamberlain’s greatest accomplishment came in the 1961-62 season when he averaged 48.5 minutes a game. Jackson challenged O’Neal in their first season together (1999-2000) to get in better physical condition to improve his endurance.

From Zach Harper, CBS Sports: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is approaching the end of his career. He’s been in the NBA 17 seasons, will be 35 when he plays his next game, and is rehabbing a torn Achillestendon injury that could either keep him from playing in the 2013-14 season opener or possibly limit his play altogether when he does come back. It’s hard to know just how his body will respond to the hard work and the injury recovery. But don’t think that Kobe Bryant is even thinking about hanging it up any time soon. He’s intent on not only coming back at full strength or better from this Achilles injury, but he reportedly has his mind set on playing until he has won at least two more championships to put his career total at seven rings. Via ESPN Los Angeles:

Ryan Cole

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65 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Bringing Everyone Back, Phil, Kobe

  1. Since this thread is mostly about rumors and there’s a thirst to discuss what’s what, go ahead and proceed with speculation in this post.

  2. I’d add, however, that my position on these things hasn’t really changed. These aren’t reports about talks between two teams, they’re reports from sources making claims about what a team may or may not do in regard to pursuing trades when free agency starts. It’s not that I doubt the validity of these reports, but they don’t really mean much to me. They’re reports on contingencies should the dominoes start to fall in a certain direction. They are, essentially, filler stories until there’s actually something to report on.

  3. What about Adrian Woj’s reports? He seems to be a very reliable source.

  4. LakaFan: See my post at the end of the last thread. Evidently not everyone agrees he is a good source.
    Darius: So after we sign Paul for the Vet min, what do we do next? (just kidding – I love your tweets on this).
    Dwight: I think it would take a lot to retain this guy. Maybe if he could play for a guy who actually guarded Wilt, KAJ, and Bil Russell. Whose playing career also included a game against Magic Johnson. And he coached Shaq, and by the way has 13 rings. You think D12 might be interested in that? But since that was ruined – perhaps a protegé might do it? What is the plan other than offering a max deal?
    Speculation: I have none – I want none. The best story for Dwight is to get a good coach, have him reconcile things with Kobe, and then let him know the team and its 2014 “fairly” blank slate are his. No garbage trades this year. Nothing that extends beyond 14 unless Mitch completely fleeces someone which is not likely given what he has to offer.

  5. Hi Darius,

    Clearly, the visitors to this site understand that these reports being discussed: trade possibilities, rumors, wishful dreams and so forth, are just that; and not to be taken for anything else. They are the fodder of the off-season, basketball phantasms to occupy our hoops junkie minds in the parched months of summer. I congratulate you on loosening the reins to help keep boredom at bay!

  6. Since you’ve given us the Green Light –

    Going back to Robert’s post in the previous thread:

    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.
    ____

    You left out that it possibly lessens the likelihood of Dwight signing on the dotted line with us.

    Do remember that the original plan, which was set to become a reality IMO, before Stern defecated on us, was for CP3 and Dwight to team up together with us. Our FO had secured CP3 (or so we thought) by dealing away Pau and LO (in the process, saving money long term), while also maintaining Bynum. Once CP3 was acquired, it’s my belief that Dwight was going to force Orlando to ship him to us for Bynum, which would’ve given us a nucleus of Kobe, CP3 & Dwight going forward. No need to go further because we all know how that scenario turned out. To this day, I, for one, can’t stand the sight of David Stern. And never will.

    Fast forward to the present and a similar scenario is playing itself out, albeit, with different teams and players. With 3 exceptions – CP3, Dwight and the Lakers. Once Coach Doc and KG are acquired by the Clippers (Pierce shortly there after according to reports) for D’Andre Jordan (a bum, IMO) and some draft picks, while being allowed to hold on to Bledsoe, Dwight can effectively (try and) force the Lakers to ship him down the hall to our co-tenants by threatening to just outright sign with Houston without the Lakers receiving compensation. Compensation that we can acquire if we were to agree to signing and then trading him to the Clippers for B. Griffin and E. Bledsoe.

    This is why I mentioned the other day that, for the Lakers sake, I hope that this Celtics-Clippers move doesn’t become reality. I definitely would like for us to sign Dwight long term. IMO, when healthy, he is easily the best Big in the league. A game changer, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. Obviously, with all the reports that’s been surfacing in regards to CP3 and Dwight communicating as of late, this a well mapped out plan. If it does play out that way, the Lakers can try and call Dwight’s bluff in regards to heading to Houston to team up with The Beard by informing him that they will not sign and trade him to the Clippers (or, for whatever reason, the Rockets). Or, fearing that he’s sincere in his threat to walk, without receiving anything for him, they’ll cave in and grant him his wishes by sending him down the hall to team up with Coach Doc, CP3, KG, Pierce and J. Crawford. While we receive, IMO, an overrated, soft PF who lacks an offensive repertoire, can’t shoot free throws and is just an athlete/dunker. Along with an individual who really is a SG (who can’t shoot), in a PG’s body. Who’s also extremely athletic, but lacks the intricacies, IMO, to play PG. I know, people will look at my description of Griffin and surmise that that’s exactly what we would have if we are able to retain Dwight, but Dwight’s defensive acumen and the fact that he’s a legit Big dwarfs anything that Griffin can do to help us at this point and time.

    So, although I’m encouraged by the latest news that our FO believes that, at the end of the day, Dwight will remain with us, if this widely reported trade between the Celtics and Clippers takes effect, IMO, the Lakers will be the one possibly ending up losing. Again.

  7. Im torn about all this stuff, on one hand it would give the Lakers youth and athleticism on the other hand it would put a dent on our capspace and im not totally sold on Blake another overrated one dimensional player, never have, i do like Bledsoe.I dont know but i think the Clips are being just beyond stupid to sacrifice their youth for a washed up KG, but thats their problem i could not care less.As i see all the rumors unfold im starting to agree with the FO and let Dwight walk w/o a sign and trade, if healthy our core will be competitive, probably not championship material but it just cant be worse than last season. If he dont want to stay let him walk, dont sign anyone beyond next season and hope we can reload next summer. I still do believe Dwight stays in LA, this oportunity to be the cornestone of THE marquee of the league and all that it entraills its just too much to pass on. If he doesbecause he cant deal with the pressure he is more weak minded than we thought and he would had make even more damage to his image, he will be a follower not a leader.

  8. To this day, I, for one, can’t stand the sight of David Stern. And never will.
    _____
    I hear that, & it goes way back to before his, ahem, `soiling´ of the CP3 deal.
    (However, for me this is NOT to say these feelings cross over into his life outside his role as soon-to-be ex-comish;
    we´re all simply sentient beings on this rock)

  9. On the other hand Blake and Bledsoe would fit MDA style like a glove and their combined salaries would be a little less than Dwight would command. So i dont know whats my stand is in all of this in all honesty.

  10. It would be nice to hear from Kupchak and Buss what their vision for the Lakers is. The teams in conference finals all have players who can attack the basket and who are difficult to stop one on one. Talk about Green’s brilliance all you want but without Parker killing whoever is trying to guard him there would not be wide open shots around the perimeter. Who will the Lakers have next season to fill that role? The template for Laker point guards has been tall players who can guard either backcourt position and hopefully be able to hit 3’s. Unfortunately, that seems to only work if you are playing a triangle offense. I would like to see the Lakers make it a priority to get a guard who can attack the rim (and somehow keep Howard).

  11. In response to the last thread:

    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.”

  12. Baylor im sure there is no a clear vision after we find out what Dwight is going to do, everything else is in a holding pattern, the team’s aproach hinges on his “Decision”

  13. I think we should trade Dwight I like what the rockets may or may not offer and I like the clippers trade. with the rockets trade we will get a solid defensive big man and good starting Point in Lin if he can stop turning the ball over he can play and he would already know the coach. With the clippers trade we would get a high flying big man who can run the floor and dunk all over people and we would get a up and coming starting point in Bledsoe he can back up Steve Nash till he retire but over all the Lakers need to try and get a SF and a shooter like Danny Green will become a free agent I think the Lakers need to try to sign him to a deal because he is a great defender who can shoot the three . Both the clippers and rockets trade both give us point guard depth in witch Howard only average 18p 12Rebounds any center can replace that.

    #I Say trade howard

  14. I would say no way no how Lakers take back Lin and Asik with their bloated $15MM salaries for 2014-2015. Big question is IF you take back Griffin and Bledsoe, will Blake will enough to entice LeBron to come to the Lakers? Bron is the only FA next summer worth talking about. Melo, Bosh, Dirk, etc are not what the Lakers need or want.

  15. Tra: Your brutal version of the possible realities has thrown me into a level of Laker depression to which I only thought rr was capable of sending me.

    Dwight Howard Trade: The words strung together just don’t look very good when the trade is outgoing. The Lakers have historically made great deals for obtaining centers and DH was no exception. The one time we sent someone outbound (Shaq) we did not receive adequate value. Sending DH would be no different. We will get fleeced. Besides – why the defeatist attitude? Do we think there is no chance to sign him? I am skeptical myself, but I have not given up? Why are so many throwing in the towel on this?

    Fern: ” im sure there is no a clear vision after we find out what Dwight is going to do” That is probably true and could be what the problem is. We have no clear vision to present to DH and his people. We’re basically saying, sign with us, and then we will figure it out, because we are the LAL – and that is what we do !

  16. Nothing wrong with that aproach Robert lo history speaks for itselfl. On a serious note everything depends on Dwight because his decision will have a cascade effect in everything the team does, he leaves then Gasol will not be traded and he will move to the center position, he stays then Gasol will most probably be moved. The FO vision have been in place since Kobe and Pau signed their deal, a 5 year window and then reload, outside if Dwight the Lakers wont sign anyone beyond next season unless that unlikely deal with the Clips happens. The vision is simple in my opinion, if Dwight leaves we go fwd with the core of Kobe, Pau and Nash if Dwight stays we move fwd with Nash, Kobe and Dwight with an outside chance of retaining Pau some cheap complementary pieces with MWP ammnestied and then use the ton of cap we would still have in 2014. People talking about green are smoking the funny stuff he wont be near a Laker uniform for the reasons stated above and for all we know this could be a fluke year for him.

  17. BTW the only thing the Lakers could offer Dwight beside the xtra money is the keys and frankly there is not a bigger and shinnier set of keys in the entire league, if he walks away from that he will tarnish his reputation beyond repair. He wont get the keys neither on Houston or Clipperland. Unless he prefer to hide behind other stars.

  18. 1. Obviously we should try to keep Dwight. He’s the best big in the league when healthy and a defensive beast. He improved as the season went along and I think it’s reasonable he could return to something close to the form he had in Orlando
    2. It appears likely that Dwight does not want the spotlight of the Lakers nor does he want to be apart of the rebuilding process post-Kobe.
    3. Dwight holds the cards.
    4. Receiving Griffin, Bledsoe, pick(s) is a heck of a lot better than having to bottom out in order to rebuild. Resign Pau and Kobe for lesser salaries after next year and they may be able to afford another star (but likely not max free agent)

  19. Griffin and Bledsoe for Dwight.

    It will be an interesting thought, but do you want the Clippers to load up with Dwight and CP3, with a one year window with Garnett (Garnett and Dwight on the same team?!) and maybe even Pierce?

    I don’t think our front office will like that idea at all, even if it means letting Dwight walk for nothing.

  20. Good post by Paul L.

    Robert, I don’t think folks are throwing in the towel, but look at it from D12’s POV. With the Clippers, he would:

    a) Still be in LA
    b) Be playing with Chris Paul
    c) Have an elite defender in Garnett who likes to play away from the rim on O to run with at the 4.
    d) Be in position for an immediate run.
    e) Be able to draw ring-chasers by being paired with Paul.

    Weighed against this is the brand factor, but

    a) The Lakers brand is not what it was
    b) Dr. Buss is gone as are other legends
    c) Pierce/Garnett/Rives have the Boston winning tradition that they would be bringing with them which would counterweight the Sterling factor

  21. I don’t think our front office will like that idea at all, even if it means letting Dwight walk for nothing.

    Well, yes, but the other side is that a Griffin/Bledsoe combo would probably make the Lakers look better to FAs, like, say Kevin Love in 2015.

    Bledsoe has his limitations, but he fits the Lakers’ needs to a T, and Griffin is a very good player. Also, supposedly Jim Buss wants more “Showtime” type excitement, and Griffin, whatever his flaws, is an exciting player.

  22. Also, Griffin is similar to a young Amare Stoudemire in some important respects, so D’Antoni would probably like it.

  23. rr: Nice one – however – if the Lakers sign him

    a) He will still be in LA
    b) Be playing with Kobe Bryant.
    c) Playing with one of the best #4’s of all time and future HOF member – Pau Gasol.
    d) Be in position for an immediate run (that was the theory anyway)
    e) Be able to draw ring-chasers by being paired with Bryant, Nash, and Gasol. For example – someone like AJ might come to the team and sign for way less than they are worth.

    Then again there is your second list:

    a) The Lakers brand is not what it was. How did this happen and who is responsible?
    b) Dr. Buss is gone as are other legends. Well RIP for Dr Buss, however why exactly are the other legends gone? Are we going to start burning “books” soon too?
    c) Winning tradition: Pierce/Garnett/Rivers is something like Bryant/Gasol/Jackson, only we won 2 and ours are more recent. Oh yea – but you added Sterling who you are saying sees the value in not breaking things up. I see your point.

    “The Sterling Factor” When we are envious of the Sterling Factor, I think it is clear that we have been run over by the BUSS.

  24. Robert,

    I think one issue is timelines and generations. Paul and Howard are on the same timeline. Kobe will be 35 in August and at the moment can’t walk. In addition, he and D12 did not appear to hit it off that well.

    Sterling is a negative, but he would be outweighed by Paul, Rivers, Garnett, Pierce and the LA market.

    Garnett’s skillset meshes better with Howard’s than Pau’s does.

  25. Sterling is still a negative. Howard meshes better with KG skillwise than he does with Pau (although there might be some personality fireworks).

    Also, Kobe will be 35 and at the moment can’t walk. Plus Howard may not like him.

    But I think the main draw is Paul. They are the same age., they were in Beijing; their skills mesh, etc.

  26. Well then – I guess it may come full circle to December 08, 2011.

    The day the Lakers quit being ……………. you know the rest

  27. Well, yes. Stern rewrote NBA history that day.

    Chris Paul has never been paired with an elite defensive big; the Clippers are, theoretically, trying to pair him with two. It could be huge.

    But if all this actually happens, I think people will like Griffin and Bledsoe more than they think they will and the Lakers will be attractive to FAs.

  28. I say no sign and trades for Howard. See how badly Chris Paul wants to play with D12 by offering him a 1 year 3 million deal (the mini mid) and then give him a max deal come next season.

    Besides what a disgrace it would be to let a marquee player like Dwight go to the Clipper’s. It’s like having to live in the same house with your ex-girlfriend and her new husband.

    I’d rather ship him back to the east, to Atlanta and have them take on some of our bad contracts for cap space and maybe get some picks out of it before sending him to the Clipper’s.

  29. I want Lamar along with Blake and Bledsoe. That way, we will have a 4 big man rotation and a 4 guard rotation when Kobe is back. I dont know about the SF position, pray metta is working on lateral quickness.

  30. Imutau: “It’s like having to live in the same house with your ex-girlfriend and her new husband.” Nice ! Now imagine living in that house and also having to give your sister away at the altar, to your arch-enemy. It could drive you to drink. Good thing we have Chas.
    Clippers: They make a deal for Rivers or they get Shaw or Hollins as a consolation prize. How did this happen? rr – I think you are on to something. The commodities traders are going crazy, as the price of Sterling is trying to top the price of Laker Gold.

  31. Warren Wee Lim June 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I still maintain my 2014 plan in place with a reduced salary for Kobe. Somewhere along the lines of 12.5M per season for 2 more seasons. While he thinks Dwight and Pau are his biggest shot at a championship, Kobe should consider himself being no longer what he used to be. At SG, his ankles would get burned every night guarding the quicker ones in the league. Kobe needs to slide to the SF role and while guarding bigger opponents, he can be the smaller guy that proves smarter than the other guy. This is to preserve him at the same time improve his efficiency. I saw the 40yo Jordan do this in Washington.

    IF we do end up s&t Dwight Howard, I would let his reps know I’d only be willing to cooperate with Atlanta in exchange for Al Horford. Not only is Atlanta out East, they also have the best possible piece coming back whose salary structure is very conducive for our plans this year and the next.

    Pau no longer needs to be moved in this case. I believe he, along w/ Hill and Clark will stand firm on the frontcourt as very solid and formidable.

    Does this increase the odds of us winning this year? Probably not, but it does increase the odds of doing so next year. When we have Kobe, Nash and Horford (again purely out of my suggestion) we would have 32M committed to 3 starters and some 28M-ish to spend for the rest of the team. Factor in Earl Clark and some cap holds, along with possible re-signs, thats 1 max guy with a big three already in place.

  32. Question for Darius, and others well versed in the salary cap:

    From Larry Coon: “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.”

    -The tax line this year was roughly $70.3 million.
    -The apron is thus $74.3 million.
    -In other words, the Lakers cannot complete a sign-and-trade that will leave them with over $74.3 million in salary.

    On the surface, it thus appears impossible the Lakers will be allowed to complete a S&T – when you take Dwight’s salary off the books, the Lakers are left with $79 million, far above the apron.

    **However,** as Larry Coon adds here, for the purposes of calculating the team’s salary in regard to the apron, there is a different calculation used that ignores team cap holds: (http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-salary-cap-chat-with-larry-coon-12513, and also in Question 14 of his FAQ).

    This is where my question applies – and I need someone to double check I did this correctly – if you calculate the team’s salary after removing team options and qualifying offers (equivalent to cap holds, in this case, or is that incorrect?), I believe the team’s salary is reduced to $73.5 million. In other words, after removing those extra numbers, the team could theoretically trade Howard (for no salary in return) and it would be legal, because it would be under the apron of $74.3.

    So why is it being widely reported that the Lakers could obtain Bledsoe and Griffin in a S&T? I haven’t heard Larry Coon come out and say the trade would be illegal, which means I’m missing something – based on a careful read of the above rules, it seems like it would be impossible for us to take back Griffin’s mammoth salary and remain under the apron. It appears we only have about $800,000 of wiggle room under the apron to receive salary (if Dwight is the only outgoing player).

    The unknown variable, of course, is of the Lakers use their amnesty – whether on MWP or Gasol. To do so would open up a good amount of wiggle room under the cap (in Gasol’s case) to absorb back salaries and still remain under the apron.

  33. rr – Paul played with Chandler in NO, and while he wasn’t as renowned back then, he was starting to form into one of the elite defenders in the league.

    Addendum to my above post (in mod) – I was using the wrong numbers for Griffin’s salary. The S&T actually makes perfectly legal sense, as his salary plus Bledsoe’s will add up to less than Dwight’s new salary.

    So if the calculation above is correct – the apron-specific team salary is around $73.5 – then we should be able to S&T Dwight for a return of any salaries roughly approximating $19 million, and do so legally.

  34. Snoopy,
    The key here is that the Lakers wouldn’t be receiving the *signed and traded* player (Dwight). This is why the Lakers can trade Dwight for any player under contract (Griffin, Bledsoe) but not one who would be signed and traded to them (Josh Smith, Chris Paul, Iggy, etc) *unless that trade lowered the Lakers payroll & got them under the tax apron*. Those deals simply don’t exist for the Lakers since they’re so far over the apron that they’ll need to make another move (trade or amnesty a player who makes substantial salary) that simply isn’t likely if the only goal is to do a S&T where they get a quality player.

  35. Darius – Thanks for the response, that makes perfect sense.

  36. The Raptors were after Nash last offseason. Being a native of Canada, Nash would likely boost ticket sales….and the Raptors have been upset with Kyle Lowry’s attitude.

    Trade Nash / Gasol for Lowry / Rudy Gay. PG and SF issues are immediately solved, and Jordan Hill can be moved to the starting PF slot.

  37. Well, yes. Stern rewrote NBA history that day.
    ____

    True indeed Double R. I definitely concur.

    Robert: Didn’t mean to go there, but it seems with each passing day, another report/rumor surfaces that makes our situation look dimmer and dimmer in regards to retaining Dwight. With that being said, I’m maintaining hope.

    With his tenure as Commissioner coming to a self-imposed end early next year, if the Doc, Dwight, CP3, KG and P-Square fantasy becomes a reality, I wonder how he (Stern) will look back on the part in which he played that effectively shifted the balance of power in the city of Los Angeles from one organization to the other?

  38. Rudy Gay is a player who is overpaid and has plateaued. Monta Ellis is in that same mold. Josh Smith can help a team and certainly get better in a certain enviornment. Tough not to put Dwight and Igoudala in the same sentence because of their defense. I don’t think any player here knows who he wants to be in the league except Igoudala, and he’s still overpaid. All are physical specimens who may have reached their ceiling. Great ceiling because it’s enough to put them top 10 at their position but Lakers shouldn’t want an overpaid secondary player who is almost a sure change won’t get any better after 8 years in the league.

    If the discussion is the Lakers future a gamble in my opinion should be on John Wall, 22, Derozan, 23, Tyreke, 23, Jennings, 23. Perimeter players who’ve yet to hit their prime with a lot of growth left in their games. I’m sure it’d take the right situation for all. I’d rather have one of these guys at $11 than the first half at $15. Lakers are looking for a #1 option or a great #2 I think one of these guys can grow into that.

    See a lot of proposals and ideas. My dream scenario would be John Wall to become unhappy and Lakers have talent, expirings, and draft picks. Seriously doubt it happens but Lakers could accumulate those things with the proposed Blake/Bledsoe for Dwight deal. The Lakers/Clippers scenario is defintely a far fetched one but Wall becoming unhappy and Lakers finding a way to get him is not. John Wall should be the next cornerstone for the Lakers. He’ll be the best pg in the league next year and top 5 within 2.

  39. Warren-

    Agreed, Atlanta would be my choice as well. Horrors and the Hawks two #1s for Howard. Gets Dwight out of our conference and if Paul wants to play with him it weakens a division rival as well.

    The only problem is that I suspect Howard and Paul want to be together in LA and that can only happen with the Clippers. The only way it works for us is that the Hawks GM, Danny Ferry roles the dice and acquires Dwight before he is a free agent. I believe this is possible but not sure. Atlanta would then own his Bird rights and could offer him a 5 year deal. That would be a big gamble by Ferry.

  40. Sorry – I meant to say Horford. I think my iPad changed it to horrors.

  41. Griffin & Bledsoe would be an excellent deal for the Lakers. Griffin is an athletic PF who can slash to the rim who would pair with Pau (an excellent passer) better then Howard. Some of the loss of defense at center would be helped by Griffin’s better speed at PF compared to playing Pau at PF.

    Bledsoe is another athletic player who could step up to be a starter PG. This would be a great opportunity for him playing with the elder statesman Nash instead of CP3. This would answer scaling down Nash’s minutes. As well as his defense would also shore up some of the loss of shipping out Dwight. This would also turn Blake & Morris into possible trade chips. Blake had a great year last year and Morris has some potential.

    Those pining to keep Dwight should remember only a year ago we were debating whether Dwight’s back of Drew’s knee was the bigger risk. Dwight is no slam dunk to be an NBA great going forward for the next 5 years.

    I think Dwight wants to stay in LA. I don’t think he wants to be a Laker and I think he sees greener pastures in Clipperland. I think Dwight as just team chemistry would dictate might be best served going to Dallas. He really should be teamed with a great stretch PF and there is no better then Dirk. They would have to flesh out the rest of that roster but, I think the hardest piece to get to fit with Dwight is that PF. This is one of the reasons pulling Dwight out and fitting Griffin makes so much sense. Griffin could co-exist much better with Pau then Dwight does.

  42. robert
    i think many have “thrown in the towel” because they really dont care for dwight…hes so overrated its insane

  43. in an effort to wake up the slumbering bears; both yogi and boo boo need one big shiny pic a nick basket. yeah, that’s right, i’m talking about mitch kupchak and jim buss. take your pick, when snoring, they’re interchangeable.
    seems the ghost of jerry past needs to make an appearance; something, anything to help quell and quench the rumor thirst currently swirling, like ghosts around staples center.

    sometimes when you hold your cards too tightly; the likes of orlando howard can take advantage of the cards you’ve been dealt. he knows this because it worked perfectly for him in orlando. and he’s doing it again. when he should be in lakers corner, he’s cornering himself because he’s unhappy and his feelings are hurt. poor baby. emphaisis on the baby.

    i’m not changing his diapers is a a statement i would like to hear coming out of the mouth of jim buss. that’s right, jim buss. why? because when he man’s up, dwight man’s up. and if not, then it becomes crystal clear that big boy responsibilities is not in dwight’s dna. for sure.

    boo boo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Go Lakers

  44. Warren Wee Lim June 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Snoopy and Darius, I think the point being raised is very important in assessing our options.

    IF we trade Dwight in a sign-and-trade, along with other players in the deal, something that brings our figure to 73.4M (apron) we can, technically receive a player via sign-and-trade now.

    As for Snoopy’s original question, yeah we have no problem sending Dwight anywhere even if we do not go low enough for the apron. The Apron matter does not apply in this case. Provided that the players we receive are under contract. Griffin and Bledsoe in this example are.

  45. Warren Wee Lim June 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Matt, the deadline to trade Dwight Howard (before he becomes a free agent) was last February.

  46. I know that everyone seems to believe that it would be better to let Dwight walk, if he demands a trade, than to take the Griffin/Bledsoe deal but….we should take that and run. Griffin could be traded to half the teams in the league for whatever we wanted. That could be a different player or picks if the FO wants to shed his salary. Griffin could help floundering franchises sell out just to watch him dunk.

    Besides. Something dark inside of me wants Paul and Howard to team up for the Clippers. Why? Because the Clippers are so cursed that it has to fail somehow, some way. Then, it will be that much sweeter to watch it implode.

  47. Rudy Gay may have plateaued and might be overpaid, but Nash and Gasol have definitely plateuaed and are overpaid. Lowry and Gay would be upgrades at two positions, and even with the loss of Gasol, I believe this would be a significant improvement to the roster….especially if MDA returns. Lowry has yet to hit his ceiling, and his reasonable salary can somewhat offest Gay’s.

    I’m a fan of John Wall’s game as well, and in a dream scenario, I would love to see Wall in a Laker uniform….but the point of my trade proposal was to suggest a reasonable way the Lakers can improve immediately and give Kobe and the Lakers the best chance at a ring in the next couple seasons, while also giving Dwight some incentive to resign.

  48. Rudy Gay is a relatively high usage, low efficiency player. He’s the type of guy teams struggle to win with in the long run. If fans don’t like some of Kobe’s bad habits, they’ll outright loathe some of Rudy’s. Also, if you’re going to cite issues that Lowry has had with coaches (and he’s had them, to some extent, in nearly every city he’s played in) why wouldn’t those apply to his new team? I’m for improving the talent base, but citing issues players have in one city as a way to get them in trades while not acknowledging those same issues have the potential to follow him to his new team isn’t sound.

    As for the question about the tax apron, remember the team has to be *under* the tax apron *after* acquiring the player who is signed and traded to the Lakers. That doesn’t mean just getting under the apron in order to *make* the trade, it means getting *far enough* under the apron so that when that new salary is added the team will *still be* under the apron after the deal is consummated. That changes the dynamics of any deal by a fairly big margin. (For example if the Lakers wanted to add a player via S&T who makes $12 million a year, they’d have to be that same amount under the apron before executing the S&T. Also, the apron then acts as a hard cap making it so the team can’t go over the apron at any point in that season because it would be then seen as a way of circumventing the rules of the CBA to execute said S&T. As far as I know (and I’ll seek clarification on this from Larry Coon), they couldn’t even use any salary cap exceptions (not even the veteran’s minimum) to exceed the apron.)

  49. Darius,

    No team is going to give up a solid PG, let alone a solid PG with no baggage, for an aging Nash. Lowry’s attitude issues (coupled with the fact that the Raptors pursued Nash last summer) is precisely the reason that the Lakers just might have a chance to get him in a trade. The PG position will continue to be a problem for the Lakers, and if the team wants to upgrade at the position (a necessity IMO), they will have to take some calculated risks…and Lowry’s attitude issues is a risk I think is worth taking. I think he would thrive in an up tempo system. He is still young and has plenty of room for growth, both in terms of skill and emotionally.

    As far as Rudy Gay is concerned, last season, he was woefully inefficient, shooting 41.6%, but he was returning from a pretty serious injury and also had to learn a new system after he got traded. In the prior three seasons, he shot between 45.5% and 47.1%, while getting to the line almost five times per game. Those are solid numbers, especially when considering his Memphis teams played at a slow pace with limited fast break opportunities. He is athletic, an above average defender, and can create his own shot……things this team desperately needs. If MDA is retained as a coach, playing in a faster paced system should also help with his efficiency…..and I would expect his usage rate to go down significantly playing alongside Dwight and Kobe. Rudy’s high salary, along with his inefficiency and high usage rate last season are precisely the reasons the Lakers might have a chance to get him in a trade. Similar to Lowry, I think Gay is another calculated risk that is worth taking.

  50. Whenever I think about potential Lakers trades, I always ask myself why the other might want to do it. While it is hard to picture Toronto trading two guys in their 20s for a 33-year-old and a 39-year-old, in this case, there are reasons that Toronto might consider it.

    Lowry is a UFA after this year, and given Toronto’s track record with keeping their guys, he may be looking to leave anyway. Also, Masai Ujiri has just taken over in Toronto, and he may not want Gay, in which case trading him for Pau’s expiring might appeal to Ujiri.

    Nash, of course, is Canadian, and Pau is sort of a Renaissance Man by pro jock standards, so they are two guys who might actually like playing in Toronto. Nash is also of course a hero in Canada.

    The biggest problem with it from the Lakers’ POV is Gay’s contract. Lowry is a UFA after this year, as noted, so all those who are focused on the magical world of 2014 cap space should be on board with that. But Gay has a player option for an incredible 19.3M in 2014-15, which, if Howard is here, would make it pretty much impossible to go after Kevin Love then, unless they could move Gay’s deal to a team looking for an expiring.

  51. And Nash might not want to go, due to his children being in the western US.

  52. Warren Wee Lim June 18, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Mentioning Nash and Toronto IMO is an unproductive conversation. Not only is it not hinted anywhere in media, it suggests of a scenario that has yet to happen: Dwight Howard. What happens to Dwight will dictate what we do next. Not that we won’t consider that if it became available or if it was actually offered.

    Pau Gasol is too slow for this team. I am not referring to Mike D’Antoni’s system but I refer to him being the PF beside Dwight. He also doesn’t accept a bench role and therefore he isn’t really suited for the team, for both salary and fit reasons. That considered, I’ve always believed how effective a “stretch four” would be beside Dwight. That guy can run with/beside Dwight Howard, has ability to space. I would even dare running Metta at the 4 as he was quite effective in spurts last season.

    If you held a gun to my head, I’d still push for Pau to be traded to Minnesota. Thats a place he can be happy, looking to make the playoffs and have new management. They might want to pair Pau with Rubio at minimal cost. Andrei Kirilenko has not yet decided to opt out, he might choose to remain under contract for 10M reasons. Derrick Williams has also struggled to fit into Adelman, who knows we might get the best out of him and he rediscovers why he was taken 2nd overall in the 2011 draft.

    We have choices, staying put and re-signing Dwight and Clark are the obvious moves. A Pau trade is not out of reach and who to amnesty will most likely be World Peace – or no one.

  53. Warren Wee Lim June 18, 2013 at 5:34 am

    I would also like to make a mini MLE offer to Omri Casspi. He can have it in full. He fits what we don’t have, he is tall enough and has range. I believe the Kings are of no interest to re-sign him… he’s hinting he’s heading back to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

  54. ROBERT: Looks like your article has some legs to it (in fact, a lot of legs). I was wrong. You were right. My apologies to you. If it happens, I still think its a risky move by the Clips, but gotta give them credit for trying to improve the roster to keep CP3.

  55. Winning a championship is difficult. It takes a toll on a team emotionally and physically. It’s hard for a team to sustain the level of excellence needed to win it all for a prolonged period of time. (Makes you appreciate the Magic Lakers and the Jordan Bulls). These current Lakers have not been the same since their magical run of three straight finals.

    I say this because Miami is in their 3rd straight finals. I wonder what their future holds in terms of personnel changes. Hindsight is 20/20, but you can argue that the Lakers waited too long to rebuild around their core (Kobe) with younger players. Loyalty can make you blind to reality. Dr Buss once said a team doesn’t get one year older the following season it gets 13 years older (assuming 13 players on the roster). You have to constantly be looking to upgrade with youth and talent.

    Regarding the Lakers: Inserting Howard to a very old and slow core appears to have been a case of too little too late. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Dwight now appears to be too immature for the Lakers to build around. Getting the Lakers back on top is going to be a painful process. I don’t think that Dwight is up for that.

  56. Mentioning Nash and Toronto IMO is an unproductive conversation

    I don’t know that I would characterize any conversation that occurs here as “productive”, but I suppose I see the point.

    And everybody knows that Howard will be the first domino to fall; Darius waived the rule for this one thread, so people are musing.

  57. Reading rr and Warren I think the most notable agreement is that Pau and Dwight are not an ideal tandom. Where Dwight needs a stretch PF, Pau would be better served playing with an athletic PF slasher or a stretch PF. Dwight should be a better slasher in theory then he really plays.

    I am adamantly in favor of keeping Pau and finding a PF to play with. I think it is an easier task to acquire a PF Pau would fit with then to find one Dwight would fit with. Griffin being one example. I’m also just not sold on Dwight long term. I would however be supportive of a scenario that brought in a top tier stretch PF to play with Dwight. I just don’t see this happening. There just aren’t that many elite stretch PF’s.

  58. MannyP: Thanks for the response. No apologies needed. I have been wrong many times myself. We are both rooting for the same thing and that is for the Lakers to be successful.

  59. Regarding the Celtics/Clipper trade – I can’t see the Clippers giving in to all of the Celtics demands. They want far too much for a 37 yr old Garnett and Rivers. If I’m the Clippers I walk away and let the Celtics try and make up with Garnett/Rivers – I think that would lay the ground work for a pretty miserable season in Boston.

    I think the Celtics need the deal more than the Clippers do. Personally, I wouldn’t do the deal. I’d hire Shaw as I think he is going to be a terrific coach. Lakers fans will be upset as we could have easily had him as our coach. I also think the Clippers can get Garnett for next to nothing when the Celtics release him later this summer

  60. The Lakers two year window (last season and this one) was designed for Kobe. At this point Kobe is a huge unknown for the upcoming season and beyond. If the Lakers approach this offseason with any sense of reality they must know that the odds are very long that it ends well.

    While I doubt they can be as honest in public. I hope everything the FO does is predicated on the opportunity to re-energize the team in the summer of 2014.

    I wonder if Mitch and Jim have concerns on whether Dwight really is the new core. He acts, as mentioned above, an immature child. However, I recall, when Kobe was unhappy a few years back he had many tantrums in public. Although one could say that Kobe knew what he wanted: solid teammates or a trade to a contender. I’m not sure Dwight knows what he wants.

    I guess what I’m saying is that Laker management should not be afraid to take a step back in 2013/14 if it means that we can take two forward in 2014/15 and beyond. If Dwight does not want to be here so be it. The best thing to do is start rebuilding for the future now.

  61. Sources saying that BOS/LAC talks tabled for now with no plans to restart.

  62. @Tino, i been saying it all along, i dont mind the Lakers taking some lumps next season if it means getting our financial house in order and be able to reload on youth on 2014.

  63. I have this thought i doubt the Lakers will sign and trade Howard to the Clips, but if we do i think it could be better for the club if we keep Bledsoe and trade Blake away for whatever 1st round picks we could get, i dont know if thats posible in this Day and age or is it even been sugested but if posible it should be something worth exploring. They can trade him to the Bobcats for all i care outside of his dunks he is really overrated.

  64. Re BOS/CLIP – I think the issue is the assumption that the Celtics will release Pierce, with the Clips then picking him up. Although the teams technically cannot do so as part of any trade agreement as it would circumvent the cap provisions of the CBA, I have a feeling the Celtics may do so if they get a deal they like. If the Clips don’t include all of the pieces the Celts want, then the Celts may do the trade and hang on to Pierce for the full season.

    What bothers me about this deal from the Clippers point of view is Garnett’s health, given the history of injuries to Clipper contributors such as CP3 and Billups. Plus, Sterling is a tightwad. I just don’t see him taking the gamble on Garnett alone.