Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris assigned to D-Fenders

Daniel Rapaport —  November 14, 2013 — 38 Comments

Earlier today, the Lakers made a bottom of the roster move concerning a couple of their young players. Per Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

The move will benefit the two young players, as neither has seen significant playing time for the Lakers. Kelly and Harris will both play significant minutes for the D-Fenders, which should help them develop as players. While it’s surely fun to hangout with the likes of Kobe and Pau Gasol and suit up to play in Staples Center, playing only garbage time minutes (if they’re lucky — Kelly and Harris have combined to play a grand total of 9 minutes) won’t help a young player improve.

Kelly, a Duke graduate who was drafted by the Lakers in the second round as the 48th overall pick, has an incredible-yet unsustainable- eFG% of 100%, as his only shot attempts this year have been 3 point attempts, and he’s 2 of 3 from distance. Not to be pessimistic, but if Kelly never sees the floor in an NBA game every again (unlikely), he can retire as one of the most efficient shooters in NBA history.

Harris was signed out of Gonzaga as an undrafted free agent and has missed his only shot attempt this season.

Daniel Rapaport


38 responses to Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris assigned to D-Fenders

  1. Lakers should go after Eric Bledsoe next season….Look how he is helping Phoenix..Dude can also play Defense…

  2. Watching Knicks/ Rockets. Boy do I not miss Metta ‘a bricks or Dwight junior high post moves.

  3. @Ken Agree. Watching D12 confirms his departure was best for all parties. Lakers fans are used to centers who can post and score i.e. Shaq and Andrew Bynum. D12 has no money post moves and can’t shoot free throws. Long term relationship between D12 and Lakers fans would have been terrible.

  4. Dwight is not a max player, thank god he skipped town.

  5. Good for them. They need minutes to develop their game.

  6. While Dwight Howard is not the piece to build your team around anyone who can’t see him as an asset on their team is not being realistic. Currently the Lakers are 27th in points allowed & 28th in point differential. Translation: the Lakers are a horrible defensive team. If you don’t think Dwight, 3 time NBA Defensive Player of the year can help your team, dream on.

    Pau Gasol did nothing in the post season as the #1 option in Memphis. 0-12 in 3 years. As a #2 he won 2 titles. Obviously Dwight is not one of the all time great centers in NBA history, but he’s easily among the best of his time.

  7. Big City,
    Not sure how the last paragraph about Gasol ties in with DH-who?-12, unless you´re comparing the two men´s skill sets & subsequent results…
    I do think, however, that you´re more than obviously on the money about his defensive presence, nonetheless, he seems to be a bad teammate in the sense that if he´s not the center of attention, at all times, he gets whiney and lets the team down (our playoff series against S.A. is a prime example for me).
    So maybe most of us still have that awful taste in our mouths when commenting on how good it is not to have him around anymore, defensive prowess notwithstanding.

  8. Dwight is similar to Carmelo, in that he has superstar talent in a couple of areas (defense and rebounding), but a couple of really, really substandard areas — freethrows and whineeness/mental toughness. Then he is also limited in what he can do offensively, so that when he plays a powerful center (not many of them) or defensive team his offensive shortcomings really show up.

    His defensive abilities can carry a team to the playoffs, but when the competition has fewer holes in their game and plays in 7 game series Howard’s shortcomings really begin to cost his team. For Laker fans this is a fatal flaw and the reason he is not a player we should build our future around. It is for this same reason I feel we should also stay away from Carmelo.

  9. Big City Sid,

    I don’t think there is any discussion how good D12 is defensively. Offensively is where we have the biggest problem. Oh and he wants Kobe amnestied too… how do you feel about that?

  10. I know hes not on own team and blah blah blah but i personally believe Dwight Howard is not a max player and we are lucky that we didnt overpay him.

  11. The only way Howard’s leaving will be a win for the organization is if they use the money to get better talent than what he provides over the window of his contract, either in combination or by landing LeBron James or Kevin Love. Given who is available in FA over the next 2-3 years, that seems pretty unlikely, but of course we don’t know. And, of course, Howard’s back might blow up on him.

    That said, adding to Sid’s point, the Lakers gave up 60 points in the paint against Denver with Timofey Mozgov scoring 23 on 8/12 shooting. The situation is pretty cut-and-dried, and the people rationalizing it and spinning it every time Hosuton loses and/or Howard has a bad game aren’t really helping the discussion. Howard’s gone; the Lakers have miserable interior D without him, and we will have to wait and see what they can do to build the next team.

  12. Points scored/allowed per game is not really the best indicator to measure defense. The Lakers may be 27th in points per game allowed, but are 19th in defensive efficiency at 102.5. For comparison, Miami is 22nd at 103.3 and the Grizzlies are 26th at 104.5.

    My point isn’t to praise the Lakers’ defense, as they’re ranked in the bottom half of the league and need to improve. They’re just not as bad as points per game would say they are. Also, their point differential is mostly related to their offense. The Lakers are ranked 25th in offensive efficiency and they’ve definitely not performed well enough on that end of the floor to compete over the course of the season.

  13. Dwight: He was a whiner and he was not a very good “team” guy. If you did not like him because of that – it is very understandable. However he crushes in rebounding and is a major force defensively. If you dominate in two categories like that – you are a superstar. There is no way that letting any major contract walk out the door is a good thing. We lost a superstar and got nothing in return. The only way it works out is if (as rr points out) we use the money to get better superstar talent in the future.
    When we refer to franchise guys, most people are referring to LBJ, KD, KB, and Chris Paul. Now Love is starting to enter the conversation, and some would include Melo. But that’s it. I would argue that DH is still the 5th most valuable guy in the league behind the top 4 I listed. I could see some logic in maybe bumping him down to around 8-10 if you are so inclined. However there are 30 teams in the league and everyone knows you need one of these guys to win a title. Would I rather have LBJ or KD than Dwight? Of course. Would I rather have nothing? No. So – when we get LBJ or KD – I will then say – thankfully DH left. If we sign a couple of middle of the road guys, – then that will complete the downgrade. Downgrading is not something I find very “interesting”.

  14. KB: And yes – I know I am being a homer by including KB. I am of course considering a 90%+ KB and this would be for 1year. Not to build a franchise around for 5 years. So if you want to take KB out – I am fine with that. That puts DH at #4 : )

  15. Robert, so you’re willing to amnesty Kobe in the process?

  16. IMO – having a superstar is only good if you can win the championship – see the Knicks.

    From a business perspective, having a superstar increases both your home and road income because people come out to see them and also buy their clothing. Carmelo fits this definition. However, this wouldn’t satisfy Laker fans.

    Fans, especially many Laker fans, don’t think in terms of developing a superstar – a’ la Paul George – but always look at grabbing someone else’s already established superstar. We developed Kobe Bryant and stole Shaq. The only model we are working off now is the Shaq model. We actually may have to scout, sign, and develop our own superstar. Of course, that will take more time so we don’t want to discuss that – unless you count the carping about ‘Jim Buss can’t do anything right’ as discussion.

  17. WWL: We all have our conjectures as to why DH left and what he demanded. I am not going to profess to “know” for sure. Personally however – I think if we had done what Howard had wanted at the coaching position – he would be here. With regard to KB – yes that fence needed serious mending, and there was only one man on the planet qualified to do that. I am not positive he would have successfully done it, but that is my theory. All of that is speculation. Facts are we do not have DH, we have MD, and we have no clear path to making ourselves contenders again. We have cap space and we have Laker manifest destiny and we will see if that is enough to get us back in the Finals, before we break the franchise record of 8 years.

  18. Dwight Howard is not a top 5 valuable guy in the league. He is not the best player on his own team.

    Here is a few players who are BETTER and more VALUABLE

    Chris paul
    Lebron James
    Kevin Durant
    Demarcus Cousins
    Kobe Bryant
    Tony Parker
    Kevin Love
    Paul George

    Centers better than Dwight:
    Roy Hibbert
    Marc Gasol
    Demarcus Cousins
    Tim Duncan

  19. Sufian: I did forget about George, and I would take him over DH. My mistake – #5. In any case, whether he is #5 or #12 as you suggest, there is one other major issue. We could have actually signed DH. Most of the 11 guys on your list are locked up for years, or in the case of KB and TD are close to retirement.
    To illustrate the point further, try seriously floating the idea of betting the franchise on D Cousins? You want to see some sarcasm coming from the fan base? However – I think he is a reasonable guy for you to have on your list.
    Aren’t all of these guys “max” type guys? There are 11 guys on your list and 30 teams in the league.

  20. It’s incredibly short sighted to talk about Dwight Howard post back surgery. It’s similar to saying Kobe isn’t a max player after achillies surgery. Dwight used to be a dominant post player and a one man defense. He was the second best player in the NBA (after Lebron). It’s not his fault Orlando’s team doctor told him he was just battling through back spasms and he could play witch led to a very serious back surgery that didn’t have to happen. Even after the surgery he is still a good player… He just isn’t the dominant force on either side of the ball he used to be. But the hate needs to stop.

  21. To give you an example of how limited Dwight has been following back surgery he is currently tied for 67th in PER with an 18.6. And this just shows you his slip on the offensive side of the ball due to his lack of athleticism. Last night Baragnani shut him down one on one. The defensive advanced stats say the same thing. Dwight’s PER the four seasons before his back surgery were 25,24,26, and 24. Last year it was at 19 and now he is at 18. I hate career altering injuries to elite athletes but what I hate worse are fans pretending that the athlete is 100 percent.

  22. Aaron: Very timely arrival into the conversation. If your LBJ scenario comes true – then it will be good that DH walked. Short of that is an abyss that I do not want to fall into (although can’t really be avoided). Are we still on target for the pipedream or have you adjusted those odds?

  23. I can name more players that I prefer to have over Dwight Howard who i think are more valuable to a Championship NBA team. My point is that Dwight Howard at this time of his career is not a max player and is not a top 15-20 valuable player in the NBA. I realize what he does on defense but lets be real, hes not a top 15-20 player. I would rather have Deandre Jordan at 12 or whatever he is making than Dwight at max.

  24. Is hill still starting for us?

  25. Howard will get you 15 to 25 points any night…shooting over 60 %…I will take that any day even if he doenst have a post move….Anyone who doenst want Howard on the Lakers are on the “other” side of the FO….They wanted him…

  26. Here we go again, LEBRON AINT COMING TO LA, why in the hell he would leave a good situation tax wise, FO wise and winning wise to come to LA?, he has to take care of his legacy, if he jumps teams again it will tarnish his legacy and make him look like a mercenary, he is going to stay in Miami and Saint Riley will keep surroundin him with talent until he retires or return to Cleveland to retire. Dwight, he did not liked playing with a demanding player like Kobe, didnt like to play for MDA and Kobe saying after the season that he can play 4 or more years sealed Dwight’s fate, and i say good riddance,when he explored the posibilty of the Laker ammnestiyin Kobe that was it. A non winning soft whinny overrated primadonna having the gall to ask for the removal of a proven winner the face of the franchise and one of the bestbplayers of all time. The funny thing is that they are running the same stuff in Houston that he whinned here. He dont look like his old dominat self and is a second fiddle to Harden bc thats all he is.Not a franchise player.

  27. Shaun–Hill has started the last two games, with a double-double in points and rebounds.

  28. We actually may have to scout, sign, and develop our own superstar.

    Sure. And the Lakers at the moment have 2 draft picks, total, over the next four years–because they traded the picks away for Nash and Howard as well as in some other deals, and if you, Warren et al are right about how good this year’s team actually turns out to be, this year’s pick will not be in the lottery.

    They will have three picks if the 2015 pick in the Top 5, since the FO did get that one Top 5 -protected. Boston, by way of comparison, has 10 first-rounders alone over the next five years, and all the picks they got from Brooklyn are unprotected. Phoenix may have 4 first-rounders in the 2014 draft alone–and they already have Eric Bledsoe, who looks like he can be a #2 type guy on a good team.

  29. , but are 19th in defensive efficiency at 102.5.

    Well, like we said in preseason, the perimeter D was likely to improve, particularly without Kobe and Nash, sad as it is to say. But my comment spoke specifically to the interior D.

  30. Robert,
    I said after the first week I adjusted the odds because Melo has lost a step. LBJ doesn’t have a number two star to play with anymore in this FA class. I predict LBJ will now opt in for one more year to join the 2015 FA class.

  31. Fans, especially many Laker fans, don’t think in terms of developing a superstar

    I addressed this in a post stuck in mod, but the reasons for that in this case are:

    1. The team has 2 draft picks over the next four years.
    2. The FO has told us many times how important financial flexibility is.
    3. A lot of Lakers fans, including many here, believe the current team is a playoff team.

  32. sufian-

    Let’s say your list is right. Only three of those players are likely to be UFAs in the next two years: Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, and LeBron James. So, sure, like I said–if the Lakers get James or Love, and you can throw MGasol in there if you like–Howard’s leaving may wind up being a plus. But the odds are very much against it. And MGasol will be 30 by the time he hits FA.

  33. But my comment spoke specifically to the interior D

    And my comment wasn’t speaking to yours at all. So, thanks, I guess.

  34. And my comment wasn’t speaking to yours at all

    Ok. But it appeared immediately after mine, and it did refer to Sid’s, which I was piggybacking on.

  35. Perhaps picking ‘nits’ with this Laker team and year is not the best way to measure things. We are now taking chances on players who were once judged to have a lot of talent. We have a coach who has a reputation for developing players by playing to their strengths – even though this has normally been in service to his view of offense. We have two HOfers in rapid decline. We have an all-time great player coming back off injury late in his career. We have limited access to draft picks over the next 4yrs. We have to be creative with what we do and we also have to take some chances, without signing away the franchise.

    All the above points to being somewhat creative and working outside the normal ‘box’. This is not something most fans can do well and it certainly doesn’t cater to the ‘talking heads’, who most often judge the future off the immediate past.

    We are going to fail in some of our attempts. However, we only need a couple of big successes to start us back on a climb where we can again use many of the normal tools to improve the franchise. That is the mood in which I approach this year’s team.

  36. Perhaps picking ‘nits’ with this Laker team and year is not the best way to measure things.

    Label it however you like, but people are just stating some facts–mostly unpleasant ones for those of us who want the Lakers to win and be successful over the long-term. I certainly hope that Jim Buss is as smart as you seem to think he is, because he is going to have to be to get the franchise off the deck over the next three-four years, and he is going to need some good fortune as well.

    On another note, Howard, as the stats suggest, looks about the same as he did last year, and is not quite what he was, as Aaron predicted would be the case. I would still rather have Howard than not.

  37. Why would Kelly never see an NBA court again? That is a dumb prediction.

  38. Why would Kelly never see an NBA court again? That is a dumb prediction.

    You misread it. Darius was saying that it is “unlikely” that we don’t see Kelly again.

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