Report: Lakers to Sign Free Agent Nick Young

Darius Soriano —  July 11, 2013

The Lakers have finally signed a free agent to play on the wing and he should be a familiar name to residents of Los Angeles. Per USA Today’s Sam Amick:

Young is a Los Angeles native and a product of USC. He was then drafted in the first round by the Wizards and has bounced around to the Clippers and the 76ers in the past couple of years. Young will have to play for the minimum, since that’s all the team has to offer to free agents at this point.

To be honest, of all the wings available on the market, Young was the one who I had the most questions about should he be signed. Young is a relatively high usage, low efficiency player who has had issues with differentiating between a good shot and a bad one. Said another way, Young is a gunner. He’s also not known for his ability to create shots for others, so his ability to put the ball in the basket is about all he’s bringing to the table offensively.

That said, what Young can do is what nearly no other Laker sans Kobe has been able to do consistently: he can create his own shot at any point in the shot clock. This can be a valuable skill and it’s one that the Lakers didn’t have enough of, even with the addition of Jordan Farmar. What Young can also do is hit the occasional 3 point shot, especially if he’s taking it from above the break or the top of the key:

 

Nick Young

Young’s lack of prowess from the corners is a bit concerning and if he’s unable to knock that shot down consistently, he’s going to struggle playing on the weak side when the Lakers run their P&R sets. However, if he can continue to hit at a reasonable rate from above the break, he can still be a valuable outside threat when the Lakers run more post centric sets or HORNS when the ball isn’t kept as flat.

Young also isn’t known as a lock down defender by any stretch, but his metrics aren’t awful either. When playing SG or SF, he holds his man to a PER of 14.2 which is right around league average. And, based off his on/off numbers in Philadelphia last year, the 76ers defense stayed flat whether he was in the game or not. There are worse things in the world than being a neutral defender and if Young can channel is size and relative athleticism into simply playing hard on that end of the floor the Lakers could have done a lot worse on that side of the ball by signing a different player.

So, in the end, considering his contract and his skill set, this is a pretty good signing. Young will have his nights where he’s hot and knocking down ridiculous PUJITs and the crowd will love him. And there will be nights where he drives everyone crazy with his shot selection and gunning when making the easy pass would be the better option. This is who Young has been his entire career so I don’t expect that to change now. However, considering the Lakers’ lack of depth on the wing and need for more players who can create their own shots with the ability to positively impact the game with bulk scoring, Young is a nice enough get. There will be a large variance in his production from night to night, but for the minimum, that’s what you’d expect.

*Statistical support from NBA.com

Darius Soriano

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83 responses to Report: Lakers to Sign Free Agent Nick Young

  1. Haha you don’t sound terribly excited Darius. I mostly agree, but the one thing I’m noticing w/the FA acquisitions so far this offseason is we have started to address one of the biggest problems that has plagued the Lakers since ~2011: quality depth. Right now our bench has added Young, Farmar, and Kaman which is a huuuge upgrade in my eyes over the likes of Duhon, Morris, Ebanks, and Jamison (who was the only serviceable player of the lot). Young/Farmar/Kaman are all flawed players, but they are at lease productive and will probably on average help more than hurt the team when they are on the court, whereas our bench rotation since the championship runs has been dreadful.

  2. Renato Afonso July 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    This is a good pickup by mitch. Low risk, high reward. He is not the most efficient player but having someone who can score in iso besides kobe is a good thing. The trick is to keep his minutes low enough. Now, all we need is a 3 and D SF and maybe The Machine…

  3. fifth rune,
    I’m certainly not down on this signing, but it’s Nick Young — he’s not the type you pin your hopes on. And, I agree, the Lakers have added good depth and I’d take young at the minimum over Ebanks at that same price any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I’d add that the Lakers have done well in waiting out the market and getting players who are capable pros at prices they could afford.

  4. For what we had to work with this is about as good as it gets. The dude can play. Its been his attitude that has always held him back. Kobe will not tolerate attitude. I predict a good year at of Nick. Now if we can sign Wes Johnson, that would be another good move.

  5. Chris Douglas-Roberts is on the Lakers’ summer league team this year. Some decent wing athleticism is (finally) drifting through the organization. Sign a decent mobile 4 and I’d be completely okay with a Farmar-Young-CDR-(four)-Hill running SSOL-style bench lineup. Or CDR could be your mini-stretch-four and stick Kobe or Meeks in at the SG/SF slot.

    So the starting lineup is going to be a 6/10 as matters stand. If the bench is a 6/10 too and running a partially-different offense (think the 93-95 teams that changed up the Van Exel/Jones backcourt with Threatt and Peeler), that’s not the worst thing in the world.

  6. “the Lakers have done well in waiting out the market and getting players who are capable pros at prices they could afford.”

    Indeed. I would not have expected that Young, Farmar and especially Kaman would have been available at these bargain basement prices.

    Darius, do you happen to know whether or not playing in Los Angeles was a big factor for Nick Young as it apparently was for both Farmar and Kaman?

  7. Nothing but a big plus! Now this adds flexibilty with MWP, Meeks,and Blake in possible future deals or amnesty. A lot guys want to be here and work their tails off for bigger paydays in the future

  8. If the oldies on FB&G remember I was pulling hard for us to pull young from the wizards back when Luke Walton and Sasha still had some worth around the league. Glad to finally see him as a Laker. This alone will make the season worth something to me. *it’s not all about rings.*

  9. Damn, Kirilenko to the Nets for only 3.1m. Thats our mini mid level lol.

  10. SO. MUCH. SWAG.

    This one surprised me. Can’t say I hate the signing considering the amount. I’m normally not a Nick Young fan, but that would be when the team had real expectations. With the understanding that we’re not going to be a good team next year, Nick Young is a fun signing. He’ll make this team fun to watch on some nights. Kobe finally has a protege, and we finally have someone to rival Russell Westbrook in ridiculous post-game outfits.

    I notice some comments about “finally” addressing team depth and the bench. Let me preface this by saying I fully understand the situation we’re in and how limited our options were, and this is not in any way a complaint –

    But the same things were being said at the beginning of last year. Almost to a man, every Lakers fan was high on our “depth” last year – upgrading from McRoberts and Murphy to a supposed sniper in Meeks (despite a league average 37% from downtown), a complete bargain in Jamison, and many had high hopes for our young guns Morris and Ebanks finally making an impact.

    Fans can talk themselves into a lot of things. [Farmar was out of the NBA for a reason (finances a key reason, sure)]. I’m on board with all 3 of these signings considering how little we had to work with, and I think all 3 will contribute next year … but I guess I just see the same repeated comments about finally improving our depth/bench, and my point is simply – let’s wait and see if it actually happens. I’ll believe it when I see it. I see these guys as stopgaps, and little else.

    http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/sptusnbaexperts/Cool-shirt-Nick-Young.-Photo-via-www.the700level.com_.jpg

    http://edgemagazinesite.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/NickYoungEdge.jpg

  11. i like it. i think young has a chance to be a decent contributor in dantoni’s system. we’re gonna suck at defense anyway, so not even paying attention to that side of the court anymore. = )

  12. Snoopy,

    Good points. From my perspective, last year felt so much different because I thought we were plugging guys to fit on a team that could make a deep run, thus the need for 3 point shooters and a guy like Jamison who could offer offense off the bench. Of course, many things blew that plan to hell.

    This year, I’m just interested to see if the bench can get out, run, and score. Young probably gets lots of time with the starters, depending on Metta’s situation, and can score in bunches (although perhaps inefficiently). If nothing else, I’m just hoping for some excitement from these guys.

    Conversely, championship or bust!

  13. Ron will be missed. Damn!!! As in DAMN!!

  14. ugh Metta is now officially released

    Negative, Positve, positive, positive, negative – lets get 3 more positive signings

  15. Peace Out Metta, your contributions will be forever remembered.

  16. MWP will be most remembered for that huge Game 7 2010 Finals performance, but he actually had a ton of great / clutch performances in the run-up to that during the playoffs. We basically don’t get banner #16 without him. Truly he will be missed; I hope he lands on the Knicks as that is his hometown and I’m sure he’s always wanted to play there at some point.

  17. I hope Ron gets to go somewhere he’ll enjoy playing. He turned his reputation around in LA, and as everyone is saying, that 2010 title likely does not happen without him.

    Farewell.

  18. thanks Metta, much luck down the road
    ____
    Robert, (from the last thread)
    guess you´re right about being 2yrs. too late and the rest,
    but we can´t let our spirits dampen, I´m sure you agree
    ____
    Looking forward to seeing what N. Young will bring us

  19. There is already whispering of conspiracy since Kirilenko took 7M less to play for Prokhorov’s team. Also, that closes off a landing spot for Metta.

  20. Bitter day for me. I was in favor of Ron Artest before we signed him instead of Ariza, so it’s tough to see him go. Good luck to the guy and I hope he gets his wish to go play in NYC.

  21. Looking forward to seeing what N. Young will bring us.

    ___

    He is sort of a KMart Jamal Crawford. I like that Young and Farmar will form a USC/UCLA backcourt; LA needs to unify right now.

  22. Hmmmmm?

    By Aaron

    Shaq is now reaching out to Cousins and giving him statistical benchmarks to meet? Sounds like Shaq is trying to recruit Cousins while Kobe is trying to recruit Melo. Are those two enough to recruit LeBron though?

    Also interesting the Lakers are securing young talented roll players like Farmar and Young. Could it be they are doing so by promising they will be brought back for 2014 to play with Cousins, LeBron, and Melo? Kobe now saying no matter what he will retire a Laker. Hmmmmm. Is this also being done so LAL Managment can say to the new Big Three “hey. We have young roll players to play alongside you guys your first year as well. And those young players are a PG and a SG the only positions LeBron, Cousins, and Melo don’t typically defend/play.” Hmmmmm.

    I’m just reading the tea leaves ;)

  23. Just connecting the dots here. Why would Farmar give up the 5 million in Turkey to play on this old/bad team? Why would Nic Young go from six million last year to the min this year to play on this old and talentless team? They couldn’t even sign this kind of young talent last year. What’s all of the sudden the big draw this year when the Lakers would be even worse? Hmmmmm….

  24. METTTTTTTTTTTTTTA! my favorite laker…sad sad sad

  25. Hope the Knicks have the good sense to pick up fellow New Yorker Metta World Peace. Am I the only one who surprised no team has offered Nate Robinson a contract? Instant offense off the bench.

  26. Hmmmmm maybe a coincidence Young and Farmar play the only two positions LeBron, Melo, and Cousins/Gay/Bosh/ don’t play?

  27. MWP: The use of the amnesty on MWP was hardly shocking, but it is somewhat of a public display of the white flag on the 2014 season. It is financial move that is hard to argue with, but it is a move that will make the team worse (albeit not in a huge way – as MWP was in decline).
    Purple: No – we will not have damp spirits. We still have Kobe and nobody else does. I was able to cheer for the Del Harris era teams. The parallel is huge as well: Then: The Announcement Now: The DH Decision Then: Del Now: MD Then: MJ dominating the league Now LBJ dominating the league. Then: 8 straight years not in the Finals (club record) Now: 3 years and counting. One difference however – this time – we still have Kobe and nobody else does.
    rr: “LA needs to unify right now.” Hey send me a bottle of whatever you are drinking, cause the picture of Doc in front of the Clips today made me have the opposite type thinking.

  28. So long Metta. Will miss your great heart. Thanks for the banner!

  29. rr: Cancel that bottle. I want whatever Aaron is drinking.

  30. What’s the big draw this year?
    Playing time? Last year most of those guys ride the bench. This year with the roster thin, and Kobe out for at least a few months, probably see the court a lot more.
    Also, if they actually get to play Dantoni’s system, they get to pad their stats in hopes of a bigger payday next year.

    I hope Stern rigs the draft one last time in our favor to make up for screwing us out of Chris Paul.

    I don’t blame the FO for amnestying Metta, but loved watching him play! I will miss him! No Ron, no ring!

  31. Robert,
    I am not “drinking” anything. But might be under the influence of something. Maybe I am or maybe I AM.

  32. Aaron: OK we agreed on DH, we agreed on Phil, we agree on MD, and we agree on Kobe. So I will go with you on your pipedream.

  33. Metta will be missed and always remembered as a true champion on our team… So with that said, don’t we undoubtedly have to go after two true small forwards now? Young is tall for a guard but not much of a Forward though. Odom has lost his step to play the three so I don’t know how much we need him with all of the PF/C’s we already have. I’m still very confused on where this roster is headed for next season. All I can see right now is that we’re really going to present some odd line ups this year.

  34. Steve,
    Haha… Both these guys got serious playing time their last year in the NBA. Farmar was basically starting next to DWill on the Nets. Plus as of right now Nash and Blake could be higher on the depth chart than Farmar. Both these guys could go to much better teams and receive just as much playing time. I mean Young was starting on the Clippers two year ago when they went to the second round of the playoffs.

    Robert,
    Be the first to get on this bandwagon… In a year there won’t be any more room. I’m not saying of course it’s a sure thing. But all the logic in every way point to it being a strong possibility. It all hinges on Wade. If he looks like he is done the Lakers are in the drivers seat. If Wade goes to “Germany” and the Heat win a championship the Heat are in the drivers seat.

  35. Wow.

    Kobe just put out a press realease saying “the goal as a business man is to not do anything publicly that would hurt you chance of making more money. The goal of every business man is to not take a pay cut. Buuutttt…..” Hmmmmmm…..

  36. Corey Maggette now saying he’ll take the minimum too. He was a grade-A chucker back when he was good, but a decent gamble for a crappy starter/average backup SF. However, he posted a 15.89 PER in 10-11, the last season he played enough games to qualify, so it’s probably downhill from here.

    I think some of these guys signing for minimums realize the Lakers will be a huge player in the trade and free agent market over the next year or two and are lining up to try and get a piece of the action, whether that’s salary-related or championship aspirations depends on who you’re talking about. And in Kaman/Farmar/Young and potentially Odom and Maggette’s case, trying to get back where they started their careers (or grew up) and probably all have homes. Call it home-court advantage.

  37. Yeah.. I think these guys are being told.. yeah.. play hard.. play here this yr and we will give you a little security nxt yr to have better role players already in place instead of visa versa.. but they are not being told who they are going to be playn with lol.. They are not being told they will play with cousins and melo guys come on!! Yeah the Kirlenko deal does stink… but players take less to play for rings..lol.. I think if our bench is better than last yrs.. and Nash who honestly nvr recovered from his femur injury.. we will be alot better.. 85% of the time our bench got outscored and outhustled.. if we can pick up now maybe two more decent pieces… A Michael Redd…and Raja Bell…. or Barbosa and Pieturus… we will be alot better than people thnk.. promblem is the move is being done to provide relief.. Not sign alot of players but those are Four guys right their that would take less money to come play with Mike D and the Lakers

  38. One question Darius!! With Hedo taking a buyout.. is LA a decent destination. Also.. anything on the Lamar Front?? Or Barbosa, Bell, Micahel Redd, Piertrus, Aaron Brooks… those are within the play range now.. or Is Ryan Kelly really our new 6’11 SF with CRD backing up???

  39. What am I to do next year? Can’ t scream about bad Metta shots or his silly dribbling in circles and can’ t rip Dwight about turnovers and missed FTs. What will I do ? Oh wait there is still Mike and Jimmy! Never mind.

  40. The Lakers could also hypothetically keep Gasol this year also and give him the same deal as Kobe… A one year contract and then give him a big enough raise the year after to make up for the first year. The Lakers do have the Time Warner money and have shown they will pay anything on a championship team.
    They Lakers could literally field a team starting Kobe, LeBron, Melo, Pau, and Cousins in 2014. With Farmar and Young off the bench. That’s actually possible. Is that something that would attract Melo, LeBron, and Cousins/Bosh/Gay? I think that would be hard to turn down.

  41. Don’t worry Ken, it won’t be long before Kaman and Young provides you with a lane to voice your frustrations.

  42. Thanks Tra. Lucky I am in the distilled Spirits Business.

  43. The departure of MWP is far more upsetting to me than the. Loss of Howard. He was an actual contributor to playoff wins and a championship.

    Ron Arrest will always be a Laker.

    METTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. The demise of the Lakers appear to be greatly exaggerated by the media & haters. Not championship caliber but not a bottom feeder either. Gonna miss Metta but I love the recent pick-ups. Go Lakers!

  45. First, Ron we gonna miss you. The guy is all heart and a warrior.
    Second is Im hoping that Kobe takes his time and returns as close to full strength as possible.
    Third is the moves so far have been solid. Had Howard embraced being a Laker this team could ve won it all with minor tweaking. Defense needed at the 3 and 5 position. Jordan will help at the 1.
    Wesley Johnson would be great. He can develop. CDR as well. Wanted him from last year.
    Last is we should look to move Blake or Nash if it can translate to picks. Love Nash but we are not going to win next year. Kobe’s Achilles, Pau’s health no interior defense. Not gonna happen. Moves so far have helped us but we need defense. Not just offense. The only defense we have on the team is Hill, Kobe Sacre. We need some perimeter and interior defense.

  46. So let me get this straight, Kirilenko opts out of a 1 year $10 million deal to take what amounts to a 1 year $3 million deal with a team that just happens to be owned by a Russian quadrillionaire who can cut him all kinds of deals under the table back home.

    And that is fine with Stern but the Chris Paul deal was a travesty of fair dealing? I hate this league.

  47. Lots of stuff happening. As for Aaron’s pipedreams, i wish that was true just to show Howard which ship will reach championship first.

  48. the other Stephen July 11, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    This belongs on one of the previous posts, but since the amnesty is now final, I guess this is a good a place as any to say something about Ron.

    I will miss Ron for his big heart–something that was under-appreciated for years, but was always quietly known around the league; for his friendship and respect for Kobe, which ultimately led him here; for coming back in ’13 from a surgery after only 12 games; for his crazy hairstyles when he first came to the Lakers; for nearly waylaying Kobe in the showers after the ’08 loss just to show his support; for playing through injuries and hitting the gym like a madman in the summer of ’12 to work his way back into shape; for sticking up for players like Pau and barking at Reggie Evans, “YOU SOFT!”; for his timeless Wheaties and “I’d like to thank my psychiatrist” post-game conference; for his putback over the Suns in ’09; for going from crippled and unable to jump over a Twinkie in ’11 to giving us some truly unexpected dunks in ’12; for tussling with Paul Pierce; for mostly staying out of trouble, but still getting that old gleam in the eye when the going got rough; for tossing Trevor Ariza’s shoe the first time we met the Rockets in ’08; for his lightning quick left and right hands of the law; for never failing to play his heart out; and most of all, for making L.A. his home and really loving and becoming a part of our community. You always saw Ron going out, meeting, and just hanging out with people: from sand football in Santa Monica, to Drew League with Steve Blake in Compton, to Late Night. He just had that kind of energy. There were countless other moments that made you chuckle and go, “what?”, and that you just had to shrug off, because hey–it was Ron Artest. If I ever see him, I’ll buy him a round of drinks, but if not, I just wish him luck with his next team!

  49. gay is locked in 2015… Dont believe he has an out nxt yr looking at the posted info on the net anyway… Lebron… is not leaving South Beach.. unless they all opt out.. but if he ( plz no, wins his 3rd ring ) he is not leaving Miami, regardless and Riley will try to make sure of it… But Cleveland is now more in play again then alot of you think ( if Bynum is slightly productive ) you have one hell of young nucleas… that is just sick with cap space… until Irving says ( im a max guy).. Melo is about the only one in play… especially with his wife in show biz.. thats why its already out there.. and Melo and Kobe actually do enjoy each other and like playn together on the floor together in olympics.. Lebron.. is south beach or Cleveland.. Bosh.. who knows.. he could go to whomever gives him a max deal.. Wade will try to stay put and have to take less…Bosh is a sign and trade guy honestly.. especially with the birdman coming back… they dont him to be out on the 3point line really… Cousins is not coming unless LA and Sac think a deal for Gasol can be worked out… ( they cant get Cousins and Melo.. unless that happens ) since both will be considered Max deal guys.. Im actually excited for the yr.. and dont see one way that we dont actually play loose and free nxt yr.. and Nash will be better..Gasol will play better since the NBA is saturated with unmobile Centers… but obviously their were some issues with the word “Soft” in two straight playoffs.. I think that now with some of the bigger Centers being more stretch guys… and not as many bully guys.. that we can mix and match better.. With a HEALTHY Kaman who is a double/double center with Pick and Pop and great mid range game.. So we will see… if the amnesty of MWP/Ron Ron was just for luxury tax relief than we are not going to see much more.. but if was done to add two more CHEAP CHEAP pieces to the bench that are competitive Vets… we could compete a little more than media and the people think… ( just my opinion )

  50. Thank you Ron,so long.

  51. I second the other Stephen’s post, very well said. One of my first impressions watching Artest in the purple and gold was shock at how hard he went on every possession. It’d had been a long time since I’d seen someone grappling and diving for rebounds and loose balls like that, playing with that much energy.

  52. OK, someone explain this to me. We lose Earl Clark to Cleveland, we don’t offer Ebanks a contract and now we amnesty Ron Ron. Who in the hell is going to be our starting and back-up small forward?!?!?!

  53. So does Andrei Kirilenko get to see his family again after this year, or after the full two years are up?

    Busboys – D’Antoni rolls with the 48-minutes-or-bust philosophy. What do we need a backup for?

  54. An interesting note from Larry Coon: we all know that our only salary on the books for 2014 is Nash’s $9.7 mil. Not that there’s a ton of FAs worth signing, but the stretch provision – which I often forget about – would reduce Nash’s cap hit to $3.2 million. Basically a completely bare cap.

  55. darius: with all the “talk” about lamar odom and magette making himself available for the lakers, starting to look like a possible clipper team of yesteryear today. is this what laker front office is really looking at? if so, why?

    has the potential of tanking without really tanking.

    Go Lakers !!!

  56. The other Stephen,
    *Rudy Gay is an unrestricted free agent.
    *Pat Riley just sold his home in Miami and is almost done with a giant compound in Malibu
    *LeBron’s fav beat writer in Miami admits himself their is a good chance James leaves because Bosh and Wade won’t opt out (since they won’t get another max contract). So Miami with those big contracts and the ones to Haslem, Chalmers, Battier, and Miller have made it almost impossible to reload for another few years around LBJ.

    We need to use our heads when making predictions. Not to just have baseless gut instict opinions. It’s about logic.

  57. Riles and Lebron also recently joined the Weathermen order which, you guessed it, has an office in Los Angeles. The nearest one to Miami is in New Orleans, and they are for second rank members. Conspiracy?

  58. Kareeme,
    Hmmmmm. More tea leaves. All the arrows are pointing in the same direction. I hope you LeBron haters won’t be too mad he might be pkaying for the Lakers soon.

  59. Snoopy,
    Great joke. It’s not a good joke. It’s a great joke. Because its true.

  60. Who will guard Melo, Lebron, Durant, Paul George, Loul Deng, Igoudala etc?

    Nick Young? CDR? Meeks? Ryan Kelly?

    We need a version of Shawn Marion, just younger and cheaper.Eric Pincus suggested James Johnson (formerly of the Raptors). I’d like him more than Stephen Jackson or Magette. Maybe Wes Johnson – but isn’t he just 6’6″?

  61. Ron secured his place in Laker lore by coming big in game 7 of 2010 and helping take down the hated C’s. I understand the reasoning behind letting him go. Still I hate to see it. Just like I will hate to see Gasol go when the time finally comes. I know it’s time to get younger and quicker. But I have great appreciation for players who worked hard and produced for the purple and gold.

    I’ll be rooting for MWP no matter where he ends up. Hopefully he can go back home to New York City.

  62. Anonymous above is me.

  63. Darius could we see a post about what we are planning to do about our SF rotation or who we should be targeting because right now we got nothing

  64. There are three things that I would like to know about the Lakers right now:

    1. Is a tanking plan, either now or later, that gets Pau, Nash and Hill out of town really on the radar, or is that mostly just an internet thought exercise, like amnestying Kobe was?
    2. Obviously Jim Buss has thought about LeBron James. But is his thinking more “Sure, we will ask to have the conversation when the time comes but it is a huge long shot” or is it more “We really have a serious shot to get this guy”? And if it is the latter, is Buss basing that on anything other than blind hope and Laker Manifest Destiny narratives?
    3. Is Jeanie going to try to actually do something to get her brother and her fiance to smoke the peace pipe and is there actually a chance that Phil will be involved with the Lakers again in an official role, or are the differences too great and Phil will just continue to float around Tweeting and giving interviews?

    I say this because this idea of leaders with gravitas being an issue in recruiting with FAs seems to have some weight, as Robert has pointed out. Riley’s gravitas was one of the reasons James went to Miami. Paul had no more questions about the Clippers after Rivers came. Howard cited the opportunity to work with Olajuwon and McHale as one reason that he wanted to be in Houston; they have low-post gravitas and five rings between them.

    Kobe has gravitas, of course, but that is different, in that he has “negative gravitas” in some ways, and he is a player.

    So, to tie it together, Lazenby said that James would be more likely to think Lakers if Phil were involved. A) Yes, either Phil or Jeanie may have planted that with Lazenby. B) I still think it is probably true.

  65. ” … Phil will just continue to float around Tweeting and giving interviews? …”

    Hope he eventually tires of this; it’s an (evidently) self-serving distraction that doesn’t help the Lakers at all.

  66. rr: good post. I don’t think Howard ever wanted to be in LA. Never embraced it and never got embraced. All his reasons to leave are just a smokescreen. And the flood of stories coming out from the Lakers side tells you how they thought of his tenure. What I don’t get is why would you want D’Antoni and Kobe gone. Who else would be there to play with?

    As far as LeBron any team will welcome the best player in the world and never say never. I just see him as more of a competitor now. He’s chasing a guy like Kobe when it comes to ring count, not sure he’d be willing to help him keep his advantage.

    Even though Jim Buss gets a bad wrap, he somehow lands better players than the prior season. This team will be a jump shooting one who could be fun to watch. And possibly have upset potential if they mesh well.

  67. rr,

    After reading the Lazenby article, I think that both Phil and Jim need to sit back and think about their own personal legacies. Phil obviously has the championships as a coach and player, but the flipside is that he appears to have very few positive relationships with the management/ownership level in the NBA and he should think about how to change that. I believe that also contributes partly to his lack of a coaching “tree” meaning his assistants have not seen as much success as I might otherwise have thought. Part of that is the triangle, obviously, but part of that is Phil. For a guy that speaks so eloquently about building team camaraderie and spirit, I have always found it odd that Phil seems not to grasp that idea when considering a wider view. He’s too smart not to, so I assume up to now he has chosen not to play nice. Now is his chance to change that.

    As for Jim, I obviously know little about him and can only assume he wants to succeed. Of course, how he defines success could mean everything. Do rings matter or do profits? Doing it himself or hiring the right people? I suspect he wants to win and thinks he has taken the steps to do so (the Paul trade, actually trading Bynum, building last year’s team), but so far it has all blown up. I think his weakness now may actually be in choosing a coach. So far, his choices and timing have been less than exemplary. Jim may own the Lakers for a long time, so I hope his learning curve is short. Ultimately, I think it may be more in Phil’s hands, however. He may need to be the one that moves more in order to move the franchise forward.

  68. Hi

    Lakers will be a great team next season or I will be extremely mad. I love the picks so far. W better get 2 or 3 more guys.

  69. Just learned via ESPN Dwight Howard wanted the Lakers to dump enough salary to sign his BF CP3 as was the plan before Stern blocked the infamous Pau/Odom trade. The Lakers decided not to do that for “an unknown reason” that reason is they are probably picking Melo and his BF LBJ and another max player over dwight and CP3.

  70. No Aaron. The “unknown reason” is that it would be impossible to dump Kobe’s salary, Metta, Pau and Nash without taking on gargantuan salaries. If you think there was a way to accomplish that, I would love to hear it. So maybe because there is “no way possible” for that scenario to happen.

  71. Dwight’s and CP3’s representatives wouldn’t have asked for it if it wasn’t possible silly head. They would have to amnesty Artest (they did that already) and trade Pau and Nash for bad picks (Pau is an expiring contract so he has value). It wouldn’t have been that dificult. But the Lakers decided to go in a different direction. What direction? We will find out a year from now.

  72. rr,

    “Negative gravitas”. Hilarious.

  73. Manny,
    Btw… ESPNLA reported it was possible FYI. Now they could be wrong but I doubt Ramona, Marc Stein, and ESPNLA along with Dwight’s representatives all were wrong.

  74. Aaron – I’d have to go back and look at the #s, but I’m fairly sure the only way that would have been possible would be amnestying Kobe. That was the scenario I saw in those initial reports, but I haven’t done the math myself.

  75. Snoopy-

    I am pretty sure that you are correct. There was low-level spec about that before FA started: amnesty Kobe, dump Pau, get the dumpee to take Metta or Blake as well, since they are expiring. Then sign Howard and Paul in one grand maneuver.

    I have no idea if any of that was real, but I am pretty sure that absent the Veto, Paul and Howard would be both be here on max deals right now.

  76. teamn:

    Nice post. I expect that if there is a kumbaya moment/epiphany coming for either Phil or Jim Buss, it will come in summer 2014 in one of two ways:

    1. Buss learns prior to FA that potential targets want Phil involved and knows he can’t risk another big whiff on his own.
    2. The Lakers strike out in FA, and Jim Buss, without the cover of The Veto and the fanbase’s dislike of Howard, will become even more of a target of ridicule and as such, Jeanie will ask Phil to put the past aside, back off, go to Jim, and get back in the game. And Buss will listen.

    Right now, my read on it is that Phil has contempt for Buss, and always lets him know it in his sly, biting way, so Buss wants to show everybody that he can do this himself, and I am sure that he thinks he would have done so already if Chris Paul were here, since getting Paul, it appears, might well have also meant keeping Howard. And if the Lakers had Paul and Howard locked up, Jim Buss would be very well thought of, bad coaching hires or no.

    As it is, though, Buss and Phil may need each other. Between his arrogance and whom he shares a bed with, Phil really wont/can’t really work for another NBA organization, and that means going through Jim Buss. And with the grand Paul/Howard plan in ruins, and with the Lakers relying on FA recruiting, tradition, weather, and cap space to get off the deck, Buss may need Phil’s gravitas and hardware on his side.

    We will see.

  77. Aaron – My point is that what they were asking for was impossible to accomplish. It would be like Lebron saying he will sign with the Lakers if they agree to sell the team to his friends for $10. Sure, you can ask for it, but it is so unrealistic that its almost absurd to ask that. Its as if they were asking just for the sake of asking and wanted to make sure they framed the question in a way that the answer would have to be “no.”

  78. outside of Lebron and Melo, are there really any franchise/potential franchise players on the FA market next year?

    for me, if we’re looking at building through free agency vs. building through the draft, I’d rather blow it all up and have a shot at doing both. Do we even have a first rounder next year or did we trade it for Nash?

  79. The Lakers have their 1st rounder in 2014 and the 2015 pick is Top 5 protected.

    James is the only franchise anchor in the 2014 class. Anthony will be 30 and is not that good (although he is better than he is sometimes credited as being).

  80. Travis – we still have our 2014 first.

    Who’s left on this year’s FA pile that people are interested in? Since it’s clear we’re looking at stopgaps to just make this team entertaining, I’d actually consider players I’d normally never want on my team. Nate Robinson, for one. Aaron Brooks is still unsigned, I believe. Mo Williams? John Lucus III had some solid moments in Chicago. Xavier Henry is a guy I liked coming out of college. If the Mavs can’t make it work with both Brand / Brandan Wright, those are guys I’d be interested in (esp Wright playing the younger Odom role next to Pau).

    Those are guys (mostly) that should be in the league next year. If the cap space teams don’t make runs at them and they’re left to vie for the minimum, I’d be interested in any of them.

  81. Snoopy,
    Yep. I went back and read the report they were talking about on sportscenter and yes… That plan was to amnesty Kobe. If LeBron asked for that (which isn’t possible) the Lakers wouldn’t wait a second asking Kobe’s helicopter pilot to take him out of town ;)