Steve Blake Traded to Warriors for MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore

Darius Soriano —  February 20, 2014

The news hit right before game time — Steve Blake was actually in his warm-ups and was ready to play against the Rockets — but in an instant the third longest tenured Laker (behind Kobe and Pau) was a Laker no more. Blake was shipped off to the Warriors in a 2-for-1 trade that netted the team young swingmen MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore.

The mechanics of the deal aren’t as straight forward as you’d think, but Amin Elhassan of ESPN summed up the deal as three separate trades:

  1. Steve Blake traded to the Warriors into a Traded Player Exception (TPE)
  2. MarShon Brooks traded to the Lakers into a TPE
  3. Kent Bazemore traded to the Lakers into a minimum salary exception

Those are the mechanics, the business side of this. Of course, that’s not the only part of a deal like this.

I, for one, will miss Steve Blake a great deal. Others may not feel this way and it is somewhat understandable when you consider the full picture of his time as a Laker. Blake was brought in as a $4 million/year point guard who was supposed to fit into the template as an ideal Triangle point guard. He had a reputation as a shooter, but not necessarily a playmaker and was supposed to thrive as an off-ball worker in Phil Jackson’s scheme. It didn’t play out that way, however. Blake had his moments under Phil, but never really flashed the consistency or high level three point shooting the team was hoping to get. That, combined with his salary, had fans turning on him early in his tenure and never really coming around on him as a player with value.

Which is a shame. Because while Blake’s salary should be a factor in how he’s viewed as a performer, what I saw when he played was someone who always gave his all while on the floor, always talked about the success of the team as his number one priority, and always carried a chip on his shoulder with an extra level of competitiveness that isn’t always seen in players — even at this level. He never wilted from a big moment, never blamed a teammate when something went wrong, and never did anything less than he could to try and help the team win. If that meant playing out of position at shooting guard, he’d do it. If it meant coming off the bench or having his minutes cut, he’d accept that too. Blake is the type of teammate everyone respects and the type of player who coaches love to have on their side.

The hardest part about trading Blake now is that he had finally come into his own as a contributor in a scheme that seemed to suit his skills best. Unlike the off-ball work he was asked to do under Phil Jackson and Mike Brown, Blake had the ball in his hands under Mike D’Antoni and was showing what he could do with the added responsibility. He proved he could make plays for his teammates in both the half court and when running the fast break. He also showed that he really could shoot well enough to be a long range threat. Blake had his best games under this head coach. Now he will try to do the same for Mark Jackson out in Oakland.

I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

And speaking of moving forward, the players the Lakers got in this deal fit the profile of players they’ve been chasing for the past year. Brooks isn’t a former lottery pick, but he’s a former first round pick who has flashed an ability to score the ball well. His rookie season saw him score over 12 points a game while playing about 29 minutes per night. Since that point, however, he’s seen his minutes and production dip. In his 2nd season with the Nets he only played 12.5 minutes per night and in stints with the Celtics and Warriors this year he’s only appeared in 17 total games. Brooks’ issues seem to lie most with his shot selection and his ability to play NBA level defense. The latter is an issue most young players have, but that doesn’t alleviate the concern. The former is an issue that can also be aided with coaching, but that doesn’t mean it actually will be. Some players are what they are and never really grow out of the habits that they’ve had most of their basketball playing lives.

Whether Brooks is one of those players or not remains to be seen. But know that the Lakers acquired him to get a long look at whether he is redeemable as a player and whether the promise he showed as a rookie can be harnessed again. Brooks, after all, is only 25 and is only in his 3rd year. He is entering his prime and whatever skill he has is about to be combined with what should be his peak physical years. The Lakers, like they did with Xavier Henry and Wes Johnson and Kendall Marshall, are hoping he can show why he was a first round pick in the first place and do it under their watch.

As for Bazemore, he’s had a winding road to the NBA, going undrafted and then having spent time in the D-league trying to round his game into form. He’s probably best known for his legendary sideline celebrations, but he’s also been a summer league demon and flashed an ability to use his athleticism and physical gifts to look like a capable a pro. The issue is, however, that he hasn’t shown the skill level to match his physical tools and that has left him out of the Warriors’ rotation the past two seasons. This past summer they experimented with him as a point guard and tried to rework his jumper to get him to be a compliment to Steph Curry, allowing Steph to play off the ball more offensively and guard the lesser of the two guards defensively. That, though, never materialized and now the Warriors have turned to Steve Blake to do that job (after also failing with Toney Douglass and, to a lesser extent, Jordan Crawford).

If Bazemore is really going to stick in this league it will have to be as a “three and D” perimeter player in the half court and a guy who is opportunistic and a strong finisher in the open court. His defensive potential is enormous as he has great length and enough foot speed to guard three positions. That, like Brooks’ offensive talent, must be harnessed, though, if he is to become a rotation player in this league. Just as his offense will need to be at least replacement level. It’s one thing to have a somewhat broken jumper if you play Tony Allen level defense — but even that is getting harder to do as spacing has become so crucial in the league — but Bazemore is nowhere near that level now. So he must refine his offensive game so he can be a somewhat capable half court player. Because if he doesn’t, he’ll find himself sitting on the bench a lot in Los Angeles, just as he did in Oakland.

The Lakers will give him his shot, though. And he has some potential to make a wise man out of a gambler.

All in all, then, what these trades do is signal the continued transition of this team, in this season. Trading Blake means salary savings and a peek at two young players who have some promise. It maintains financial flexibility moving forward and, at least in the short term, actually adds healthy players to the rotation for coaches to evaluate. I can’t say from a management perspective I am mad at this approach. It is hard to see a player you like leave, however. And with the trade deadline nearly here, I don’t think it will be the last time I say that today.

Darius Soriano

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to Steve Blake Traded to Warriors for MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore

  1. Well, at least Blake can play for a playoff team this season. I’m not very concerned about Brooks since I think Henry, Young and Johnson fit the bill of wing players to come off the bench and help the team. We’ll have the opportunity to look at him, but if I was still a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on him sticking with us for next season.

    On Bazemore, I’m more on a wait and see approach. I think that Farmar can be a starting point guard in this league. I’m not saying he’ll be a top point guard, but he can start on a playoff team. Or he can be the first guard off the bench as well. Assuming that Nash will never be healthy for a long stretch, this means we need to have two other point guards in our roster. Marshall has shown he can pass the ball and create scoring opportunities for others while having an unreliable jump shot and playing bad D. Wait, scratch that, not playing any defense at all. Bazemore seems to be the type (and I haven’t seen much of him, to say the least) that if he develops a good jump shot, with his physical tools can be a 3 and D player as Darius said. He will never be a true point guard, but he can help if necessary. Personally, I’d always take the guy that plays defense if I had to choose, but maybe both stick around…


  2. i’ll miss Steve as well.


  3. Blake’s a warrior, now in name as well as spirit. He’s better appreciated by pros – coaches and players in the game – than by many people who read box scores. It’s a shame this season has resulted in the Lakers benefiting more by moving him. I wish Blake well in GS.


  4. I can understand lakers offering Kamen to Philly for 2nd round picks.

    Look at success in those picks.


  5. ugh. what a disappointment. the lakers failed to get any worse.


  6. KO says “I can understand lakers offering Kamen (sic) to Philly for 2nd round picks.”

    Considering the Lakers lack draft picks in general and how picks can be used as sweetners in future trades, I question that “understanding” of the situation, to be honest.

    It’s easy to take pot shots at this team. I think we all get that. They’re a bad team and things have gone terribly wrong for them. But try to bring nuance and information to the conversation rather than going for the cheap joke every. single. time. won’t you?


  7. Interesting outcome. I wonder if the Lakers were asking too much in return, Laker players are just not as valuable as some fans may think, the fit was not there, or some combination? I can’t fault the FO for not making bad deals and I don’t think any of us wanted to see the Lakers take on bad contracts or give up any picks, so hard to get too agitated over the lack of deals absent more info.

    I had expected Pau to stay put — I suspect the Lakers will try to negotiate with him for next year. If he is willing to sign for a much lower number ($6-8M per year?) perhaps he could fit for two years. A decent transition along with Kobe and a lottery pick, to be augmented by some of the guys on the team now and potential FAs? I realize that’s not an exciting prospect to many, but it may be more realistic given the many limitations the Lakers face now.

    As an aside, I’m starting to wonder if some deal was cut with the devil for those last two championships. The payback the past few years has been awfully steep. I usually don’t ascribe to karma as a rationale, but the injuries, uncertainties, and overall missteps seem to require some kind of supernatural explanation above and beyond pointing to Jim Buss.


  8. Lakers weren’t trying to get “worse.” They looked to make deals that move them in the direction they want to go.


  9. Part of winning those titles was the Lakers signing their fading stars to huge contracts. The new CBA makes a different playing field, and the Lakers have had to take on more risky contracts and fading players. They hired a coach who wants to play uptempo. Bad luck is certainly part of it, but you also make a lot of your own luck.


  10. Are the Lakers below the luxury tax right now?


  11. Sounds like the lakers only traded Blake away, and are still above the tax limit. Since that’s the case, isn’t that trade completely pointless?


  12. Does someone want to take a stab at trying to explain what our plan is now? My understanding:
    1) We are not strategically tanking based on our trading or lack thereof (although we could be in some little known late deal – codicil of the rules).
    2) We are going to get a decent draft spot due to our losses – strategic or not. This of course is also pending the lottery.
    3) We are publicly saying MD is the guy, but who knows.
    4) We will draft how? In the spirit of the MD offense, or best possible player? unknown
    5) We will seek significant FA? Unknown
    6) If we seek significant FA, they will be in the spirit of the MD offense or best available? Unknown
    7) We are not sure what we are going to do with Pau, Hill or Kaman. Are we? (barring some super secret extended time deal).
    8) We have no update on Kobe and it is well beyond the All Star Break

    I am not being sarcastic. I am asking questions, and to Darius’ point about nuanced conversation, I am interested in realistic answers. Not “Have faith in Mitch” or the “FO is horrible”, but rather an honest answer to what we are doing. I surely do not know.


  13. First of all, i think rfen is right by saying we made a lot of those mistakes we have to pay for now
    It was obvious that Steve would be injured at some point and would Miss significant time…Dwight was a diva already before we got him, so there was a Chance of losing him (which i am not mad about, never really liked him in purple gold)

    But u really cant blame anyone for those injuries we had endured but the training staff, but i’d say its just Bad luck

    I linke to focus on one particullar thing: we are the Lakers and sooner rather than later we will be back in contention….


  14. Should fans know what the plans are? Do we know until things play out? I remember being surprised many times.


  15. It looks like the FO is still trying to adapt to the new financial rules regarding the salary cap. Teams are placing a much higher value on staying below the cap and are reducing a player’s value relative to how his salary impacts the cap. In addition, teams have waited until the very last minute to get serious about trades. It may be harder to finalize trades and take all the cap implications into consideration. All that said, one goal this season should have been to get below the cap and that did not happen barring some unreported trade. The Blake trade opened the door for a little flexibility but apparently it was not enough.

    Going forward, a high tempo offense does not work for older players. Gary Vitti did not become an idiot overnight and suddenly lose his ability to keep players on the floor. The bodies of the plus 30 crowd are simply wearing down too fast to last the season. If the Lakers are serious about pushing the pace, then they need players who are younger and can hold up better over the course of the very long NBA season. That will also mean a bigger commitment to developing young talent and having the patience for them to become productive.


  16. nice tribute to blake. wish he made that corner three against okc, but he did sink that shot against the rockets this year. he was a always a laker killer as an opponent, but our lackluster pg defense made everyone look like an all star. He should probably print out this tribute, because it’s a nice one.


  17. Kinda surprised that there were no more moves, i correct that, im really surprised, my guess is that the FO were not happy with what the other teams were offering, i guess the attempt was to get more picks/youngins. But i dont know. Have to say thanks to Steve Blake not everything went according to plan but nobody can question his integrity and profesionalism, and some clutch baskets, especially that game winning shot on Howard’s face that was my season highlight.


  18. Cheap jokes up above… Two new guys ..little promise..Really??


  19. I had high hopes when the Blake deal was announced. Even dumping salary ensuring future financial flexibility could ha
    ve been seen as a positive outcome. Im really curious to see what was being offered. I’m usually very support of the F.O. but at the moment this looks like an epic fail.


  20. Fern..reality….those 2 Players are not NBA players…and if they are the Laker s could’ve waited till the off season and get them both for minimum…


  21. I think the trading of Steve Blake (whom I personally hate to see go–he’s such a battler) as being interesting on a number of levels.

    1) Blake was making $4 Million / year; trading him saves the Lakers $2 Million / year; I don’t think that the trade was primarily motivated by $$$ but I think that the Lakers were attempting to position themselves financially to get under $71 Million in total salaries (if another deal or 2 could have been made);

    2) More importantly, Steve will be 34 yrs. old next week (February 26–Happy Birthday, Steve); the Lakers are attempting to get younger and more athletic, not older and potentially vulnerable to injuries; in that respect alone, the trade makes some sense;

    3) The Lakers have had a glut of point guards despite the remarkable run of bad luck with injuries; so…do we really need 4 point guards for next year? (even though we needed them this year); and

    4) As Darius mentioned, this trade fits in perfectly with the FO’s recent strategy of giving “try outs” to young players, especially, it seems, guards and wings, whose careers have faltered but who have shown real signs of promise at times; the remainder of this season will serve, I believe as a tryout period for current players for about 7 or 8 of the positions on next year’s team; the current team,then, serves in effect as the Lakers’ “draft picks” from past years who are being given a final chance to prove whether they belong in the league or not.

    With regard to the potential of the 2 players, Brooks and Bazemore, it’s a shame that we can’t combine them into one. Bazemore, 24, is something of a defensive specialist (according to Mychal Thompson) who just happened to win MVP of the last Summer Games. Brooks, 25, is a former 1st round pick out of Providence who averaged 12.6 ppg, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and .9 steals in 29 minutes per game in his rookie year and then, for some reason, virtually vanished from sight. One could say that these two players are redundant and simply seem to duplicate the talent of Nick Young and Xavier Henry. But there is no guarantee that either X or Swaggy will return next year. So Brooks and Bazemore may possibly be serving as insurance in case Henry and Young leave for greener pastures.

    Please don’t get me wrong. This is hardly a major trade. But it is an interesting one.


  22. That old saying is ringing in my head right now. You know the one. It goes, “Its only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.” That describes the Lakers basically striking out at the trade deadline. The Lakers wanted more for Gasol, Hill, and Kaman than other teams were willing to give up. This is a major reality check for the Lakers.

    Part of me thinks the Lakers have not completely come to terms with the new reality of the NBA. It just seems like the rest of the league is clapping on 2 and 4 and the Lakers are clapping on 1 and 3. As a fan its a little unsettling. It not so much that the Lakers are bad. I can accept that. But I am beginning to doubt their leadership’s ability to make them better. I hope I am wrong.


  23. Gene there is no harm on having a look at them, who knows 1 might pan out or maybe not but who the hell cares? they cheap we need the bodies and they are totally expendable i guess you imagine the Dubs were willing to trade Harrison Barnes,Iggy or Klay or even Steve Curry for Steve Blake,. Mitch is talking and he said the the trade was basicaly made to give Farmar a better look now that hes back and give Marshall the time that he has earned. But i guess you know better


  24. OT:

    Pacers getting Turner for Granger and picks?! Are the Sixers insane?!

    Pacers now have a deep roster.


  25. Public disdain from your franshise player…not good, FO.

    Not cool with @SteveBlake5 being gone AT ALL One of my closest teammates and psycho competitor GS picked up gem #smartmove

    — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 20, 2014


  26. I’m shocked GMs around the league didn’t think Pau was worth a late first round pic. He is at least a league average starting big man. Surprised a three team deal couldn’t be set up to send Gasol to a team like OKC, Mia, or SA where he could possibly put them over the top. Those guys have major holes (Perkins, Anderson, Splitter).


  27. It just seems that anything we could’ve gotten would be more than we had. I’m skeptical that the Suns wouldn’t part with the 29th pick in the draft for Pau. I think Jim just said no. Yet when Pau walks, like Dwight walked, we’re left with nothing. Even a 2nd rounder could’ve been impactful in this draft. How did we not get Philly’s worst of 9 (NINE!) 2014 2nd rounders for Kaman? Something will always be worth more than nothing and as far as the 2014-15 season is looking, Pau, Hill and Kaman will be gone and we’ll have nothing to show for it. Again.


  28. The Lakers weren’t gonna give up any players strictly for salary relief; picks or young players would have to come back in exchange. Why trade Pau or Hill for nothing when you can let them go in the summer anyway?


  29. vhanz – I thought Philly did a masterful job today of tanking-by-trading. No way they got value, but they have LOADS of picks, and a great chance of top pick overall. It’s like a lot of us have been saying about our players – it’s not like we’re doing anything this season, so why not deal them?


  30. Jane: Perhaps this will give MD another opportunity to call Kobe a “fan”
    sald0dog: “Pau, Hill and Kaman will be gone and we’ll have nothing to show for it. Again.” Again? To whom could you possibly be referring. Perhaps the guy that got 20+13 on us last night even though he is totally worthless and a baby?
    bleedpurplegold: “we are the Lakers and sooner rather than later we will be back in contention….” Well in the past I have generally felt his way. However now we are 4 years removed from the Finals and I don’t even think the wildest optimist thinks we can get there in the next 2 years, so that will be six. Only the 90’s exceeds that so I would say that already put us in the “later” category. Could you define what you mean by sooner : )
    rr: Have we hit rock bottom yet? I still feel we are falling.
    T Rogers: “But I am beginning to doubt their leadership’s ability to make them better” My condolences. You are joining a club that is not much fun. It is far better to ignore the facts and watch DVD’s of the 2001 season.


  31. @Jane
    I dont read Kobe’s comment as disdain for the FO. I read as simply a show of support and well wishes for Blake, a truly professional player whom Kobe and, I’m sure, the entire team respect.


  32. AusPhil,

    Yeah, I agree, they are just insane collecting those picks.

    Can we call the Silver, if we can start the playoffs now?! Ha!


  33. Robert,

    Of course this is rock bottom. There’s no where to go but up. After all, we just acquired Marshon Brooks and Kent Bazemore.


  34. Nothing that happened at deadline is going to hurt or help the Lakers this year. It does appear that other times value their picks more then Pau,Hill or Kamen.



  35. Good trade.


  36. I agree with Parrothead Phil in that I would read it to be more a statement about Blake then about the FO, though my opinion might be somewhat informed by the fact that it’s an endorsement of Blake that I happen to agree with.

    As to justification for the Blake trade and for the lack of moves other than that, I would probably interpret the Blake trade as something done to increase the chances of our next move taking us under the luxury tax threshold. As for the lack of other moves, I definitely agree with T. Rogers in that other teams simply weren’t offering a price that we were interested in. Just as an example, Philly has no incentive to give up picks for a player that might actually make them better, which would explain why we apparently weren’t able to get even a second round pick for kaman


  37. Keeping our bigs and not giving away something for nothing makes sense. Blake did not make sense but at least we get a first hand look at Marshon. The kid has James Harden’s old school style on offense, but plays no defense whatsoever. I was one of those praying that we drafted him when he came out of college. He may thrive in MiD’s offensive scheme. He has the ability to take people off the dribble, get space to get his shot off, and penetrate and get to the whole. All of those things may prove beneficial for our sometimes anemic offense. I have wait and see with Bazemore. If you don’t have a shot when you come into the NBA, you usually don’t find one when you’re there.

    Count me as one of the ones who appreciated Blake’s grit but hated his inconsistency. I was the one who always tracked and posted is 0fers and 1fers on this site. It wasn’t until MiD gave him the reigns did he seem to feel comfortable. I hope to see him back next year when we finally get rid of Nash (I can dream can’t I). The only problem is that I’m with the FO on this one. I have a funny (good) feeling that we are going to end up with a couple of coveted Free Agents in both 2014 and 2015. We may somehow end up with and Eric Bledsoe or Kyle Lowry and a Melo, Deng or Kevin Love. Any three of those and we are set to compete with anyone.


  38. rock bottom

    I hope so. Like I said, the Lakers got crushed by Houston on the same day that Love made a public statement referencing how bad the Lakers are, as the team hit dead last in the West. So I hope that this is in fact rock bottom.


  39. Robert,

    Obviously, they can’t really announce a lot of that stuff. But, yes, I am surprised that Kaman and Hill are still around, simply because there are contenders that they could help. Two things, one related to your questions, and one related to Kobe’s statement:

    1. One thing I am 100% sure of is that the Lakers need to draft whomever the FO thinks the best guy is, with no regard for fit or position. If they pick the wrong guy because of an evaluation error, so be it, but there should not be any decision based on “need.” The Lakers have one need: talent.
    2. Koeb has earned the right to say what he wants to, but the FO should not make any short-term oriented moves based on what Kobe wants or which guys Kobe likes. Yes, everybody likes Steve Blake, but he is a 34-year-old backup PG. Kobe got his money and made his choice, and power to him. But the Lakers need to think big picture on all decisions, major and minor.


  40. Parrothead: Agreed. Not a knock on the FO, just Kobe backing a teammate he respects. No need for anyone to read more into it.


  41. Gail Goodrich: “The game is played much faster than when I did and the possibility of things going wrong is much greater because of the speed at which the game is played now” (sic).

    Yes! Duh! Why isn’t this fact talked about when discussing not only the Lakers epidemic of injuries, but the league in general? It is not only faster, the players movements are much more explosive and powerful. I remember when having a guy who could catch and dunk an alley-oop was a big deal (see Michael Cooper). Now there’s many kids in high school who do it. It’s a different game that takes a much greater toll on the body. The number of injuries we see now is not an aberration; it is the new norm. Successful teams going forward will be both young and deep: both to withstand injuries and the short-shortsightedness of the 80 game regular season.

    I think teams are seeing this, and thus there is a corresponding drop in perceived value of skilled but aging players (Lakers are seemingly slow to grasp this or we would not have seen the Nash deal). With a little luck there is a learning curve here for the Laker front office who just witnessed the low value of their veterans at the trading deadline.


  42. Here’s the good luck situation:

    Draft someone like Jabari Parker
    Kobe gets healthy
    Sign Kevin Love
    Get Pau to sign for say $8 mil
    Nash retires
    We keep Jordan Hill and a few other of our young players
    Get somebody to play point guard!

    I like our chances in this scenario!


  43. rock bottom
    yes, down to shoe scrpapings I ´d say
    bryan S,
    helluva post (btw, did you ever make it down to Bs.As.?)


  44. Not cool with @SteveBlake5 being gone AT ALL One of my closest teammates and psycho competitor ..
    — Kobe showing love to SB

    .. GS picked up gem #smartmove
    — Kobe, slyly, with a backhanded slap at our FO


  45. BusBoys: Please don’t EVER mention the Lakers and Carmelo Anthony in the same sentence… EVER! He is the antithesis of what we want/need. Dude is a chucker, doen’t play defense, and doesn’t work on his game… Plus he isn’t young anymore. Can I get an amen?


  46. We don’t know the discussions that took place in terms of what the Lakers were offered for their assets. However, in light of the realities the team is working under, I can’t help but think we will regret our lack of activity today.

    We need draft picks, cheap young talent and cap flexibility. With the new CBA these are the organizational attributes that are prized. (Obviously, to make them work you need a sound FO).
    We did not make strides in any of these areas.

    I see folks saying that retaining Pau is sending a message to him that the team wants him back (I note that everyone expects him to take a $10 million per year pay cut to do so). I will be very surprised if any of our FA front court (Pau/Kaman/Hill) stay. I would have moved them all.

    I know I sound like a crazy dude but I am very frustrated by what we did not do today. If losing is a necessary part of the rebuild why wouldn’t you want that process to go as quickly as possible. By standing pat we are just prolonging our mediocrity. Why would you do that?

    Please don’t rag on me – if you disagree please tell me what I am missing. What silver bullet do you see that I don’t?


  47. So players talk after their close teammates are traded…

    ‘Bryant said the hardest thing to replace about Fisher will be his championship experience.

    “That doesn’t happen by accident,” said Bryant. “There’s a reason why players that have multiple championships have multiple championships. There’s a certain characteristic and an understanding and knowledge and that’s not something that’s easily taught. You kind of have to go through it and it kind of has to be part of your DNA from the beginning. So, that’s something that’s obviously tough to replace but we believe that (Ramon) Sessions has that DNA.”‘

    Kobe has stated before that he’s not qualified to make personnel decisions, and that he trusts the Laker FO to do their jobs. ‘Nuf said.


  48. Thats the media try to spin something out of nothing, just showed support for a good teammate. But of course there is drama to be had. This new CBA has make draft picks extremely important maybe too important but teams are wary of parting with them. Im not totally against signing Gasol at an reduced rate and by reduced rate i mean like 15 million less. He still can play and ge could be transisioned to the second unit depending on what adquisitions we make this summer and the next. If he want more than that he can walk. Hill is gonna leave in pretty sure Young too. Im glad to hear from Mitch’s mouth that the Lakers are making basketball decisions not monetary ones. Acording to him they did not make any other trades because the offers werent godd enough basketball wise and they did not wanted to just do a salary dump. Im really glad the FO is speaking like that and we were talking about cap space and dumping salaries and all that jazz. That show us how little we know. That why i know tue Lakers will be fine. By the way he said that it might take more than a year to rebuild so i leave that to the hysterics. I knew it all along.


  49. Disappointed that we weren’t able to get more done at the trade deadline. Like others, I’m surprised that we couldn’t get something for Hill or Kaman, not even one of the 76ers zillion 2nd round picks.
    I don’t think the FO has their head wrapped around the new reality of the NBA yet (liked how T.Rogers put it).
    This rebuild isn’t going to be easy – realistically, what high caliber/game changing free agent wants to come here and why would they? I know we are the Lakers, but that was then and the landscape has changed dramatically now and not just with the new CBA. All of the really good free agents are mini-corporations; they are their own brand. They don’t need the Laker brand to increase their value.
    Plus, they want to go to a team with a realistic chance of winning, if not now, then in 1 or 2 years. This doesn’t describe us.


  50. I can understand not giving up Pau for nothing. But Kaman and Hill? There was no reason to hold onto them. These guys aren’t part of the future. They arent under contract next year and there is no playoff race this year. This was a situation where you take the best offer available. Even if it’s just a salary dump. This will impact future flexibility. This was just a failure.


  51. @robert: believe me, i’m more than glad we’re rid of Dwight. The issue is that we let him walk. We could’ve talked him into the Warriors with his 5 year dream contract and netted Bogut, Thompson or Barnes AND a 2014 1st rounder. That offer was reportedly on the table but management stubbornly refused to trade him. You don’t think we could’ve moved Bogut at some point this year? Remember, he was an expiring deal…


  52. I expect that Kaman will get bought out and go to the Clippers, who got rid of Mullens tonight,


  53. This organization doesn’t know what to do, Kupchak said that they have the plan for next 18 months, but in my opinion it won’t guarantee anything, in 18 months anything can happen. This FO loves the idea of two 7 footers and now they let two 7 footers gone with nothing to return, the future is uncertain, we only can hope for the best. Look at the Pacers, they do everything right, that is the reason one team is going to the championship game, Lakers going down to the bottom.


  54. The 76ers waived Earl Clark, so anybody missing him may get to see him again.


  55. Purple Blood: Haven’t been down this year. I need to go but can’t swing it right now. Appreciate the props.

    rr : Earl? Hell ya. If he clears waivers we have a shot at getting him back. He’d instantly be our best stretch 4 . . .

    Blake: Nice debut for GS. Warrior offense looks sad: really poor shot selection and ball movement. That’s on Mark Jackson.


  56. sad to see Blake go, though not that far. he can contribute to a young promising team in GSW.
    he was a nice pickup by us, when we first got him. i actually thought his price was acceptable with his level of play. he brings decent D, an excellent passer and has a sweet shot from deep. i wish him luck.

    as for the lakers, i’ve been lurking almost every game here. nothing to share :(. i dont want to whine because we assembled this team to hit and miss this season..
    2 seasons straight full of disappointment. i was actually rooting for us to suck more, lose more so we can position ourselves for a lottery (lose more but not in a bad way). injuries have helped us struggle.


  57. Fern, sometimes I think you see everything through those purple shades of yours…

    You’re saying that Pau is worth 4M per year (since he’s making 19M and you said he should be signed for 15M less)… We can all agree can he’s not worth near 20M per, but take a good look around the league for players NOT in their rookie contract and check the market for real 7 footers. He’s worth at least twice as that, even if his play isn’t as good as it once was.

    You’re saying that we know little of what the FO wants, and that is certainly true, but we’re all entitled to criticize the product we see on the floor. We the fans who make the TW deal possible, who fill the stands, who pay for internet content, etc. And yet, you’re saying that not doing any trade for “basketball reasons” was the right thing, that the FO knows what they’re doing and that will be right back on the top in a couple of years. Guess what, the new CBA was made to stop teams like us and NY to simply outspend everyone and you have to work with that. Two second rounders for Kaman and Hill was better than just letting them walk when the season is over, because everyone know they will (unless Pringles is gone…). Two D-League players for the remainder of this season from hell, would be better than letting those two walk when the season is over. We got nothing and they’re talking about basketball reasons? What basketball reasons? We don’t play defense, we can’t rebound, we can’t withstand physical team and we’re dead last in the West. And it could be two 2nd rounders in 2025, for all I care, since we’re losing those two for nothing while trying to achieve nothing this season.

    You believe everything will be fine because our FO is good. We believe that in an age where you can’t simply outspend everyone, in case of equal monetary offers, the players will choose the best team and we’re quite far from that. You believe everyone can walk out, because we’re the Lakers and we’ll come back in 2 or 3 years time. I believe that coaching staff should have a look at more players who can contribute and that we should get something for guys who are about to walk out the door mostly because I don’t trust the current scouting staff.

    And please, try to be less condescending with the rest of us folks. You know as much as us about what the FO is doing.


  58. What does everyone think about the strategies of philly and pheonix – even the celtics in the next few years

    I think all the pick stockpiling os going to backfire – you can only have 15 guys on a team – whats pheonix gonna do with 4 1st round picks next year?

    They already have len, bledsoe, dragic, morris twins, green, frye, tucker etc… can they really fit another 4 rookies on the team? Who will mentor these young guys?

    Same thing with the celtics they have like 10 1sts over the next 4 years or something

    Teams are going to have to trade their 1sts for pennies on the dollar these next few years and ill tell you why

    No one is trading an irving, lillard, aldridge or blake griffen for picks – the only.guy that might get traded.for picks is love and there is only 1 of him and 4-5 teams that are trying this strategy out …amd their gonna crash and burn for 5 years only to have nothing to show for it after.

    We have seen really good players be agitated on bad teams which is what lead to guys like deron williams, melo, howard and cp3 leave teams but look around now -there are no good players on these bad teams they just all suck and the top 10-15 talent has already grouped themselves on good teams that are winning – why would good teams trade franchise players for picks when they are winning…they wont

    They say that everytime a new strategy comes out it will only work for a short period and then the parameters of the market will change making that strategy that worked in the past ineffective – this is whats going to happen in a few years – remember pheonix (rondo) and evem the lakers (t douglas) traded away picks for cash because we didmt have the space nor wanted to pay the guaranteed 4 years for each rookie and this is what we will see in the next few years

    That and a lot of guys like pierre jackson getting fracked by ownership as a 2md roumd pick because they wont sign them unless they agree to their terms leaving them in limbo


  59. darius: i’m sure, like many of us here are a little disappointed in the fact that the steve blake for two players to be named in someone else’s roster, albeit in the d-league later were the only moves the front office were able to conjure up prior to the now past tense trade deadline. which, by the way now feels like a week ago.

    for no other reason (and there are many) any other move(s) by the front office would have given laker followers a better glimpse as to direction the organization was headed. as it stands now, what we see is no different than a week ago. the topic now and once again is: let’s be patient? the reality is sure, why not be patient? for that’s what we got to look forward to at this particular point in time and in addition to continuing to see the same (we all have remote controls) laker product trot out there until season’s end, on the road at san Antonio on april 16th.

    on the bright side, happy Friday everyone. with clicker in hand, we got dem Celtics from boston tonite out at staples center.

    Go lakers


  60. …and that we should get something for guys who are about to walk out the door mostly because I don’t trust the current scouting staff.
    This is a good point, one that´s been rarely discussed here (though I have missed a few threads).
    The last two injury-laden seasons notwithstanding, after the all-out fire sale of our previous scouting staff our current one seems to be lagging somewhat, to put it gently.

    As for Fern´s purple-tinted shades, it´s clear he gets very passionate about our Purple&Gold, like most of the rest of us do, & what I´ve done on an occassion or two is to try not to take it personally, just as I´m sure you have as well Renato.
    But hey, this is coming from a fella who, when I was much younger & stupider, actually threw two people out of my place for dissing the Lakers during a playoff game: “ugh, I think Magic´s a phony…I hope the Lakers lose´´ (in fact, we were losing at the time) and for questioning my..ahem…impassioned pleas for defense, not to mention the references to the referees´ mothers!! hahahaha… You might imagine they never spoke to me again – rightly so.
    So, I can certainly understand anyone, including myself, who may get a bit carried away with their comments on this great blog. Ultimately, we´re all rowing the same boat, the Purple & Gold one, which is a heck of a feeling!
    Let´s take down the Celtics tonight fellas!!


  61. PurpleBlood: I like your analogies and you’re absolutely right about the fact we’re all rowing the same laker purple and gold colored boat. which got me to thinking:

    most of us here sit on the back end (aka: stern) of the boat, whereas fern and a few others balance the boat from the front (aka: bow) of the boat. I, for one think that robert is actually darius’ alter ego; holding onto the rudder of the boat. let’s wait for a reaction.

    moral to this current state of laker affairs: we use to ride a yacht.

    Go lakers


  62. PurpleBlood: The head of scouting is one of Dr Buss other sons (Joey, I think) and his youngest son is in charge of the D-Fenders, so it is very unlikely that we will see an overnight change in the scouting area.


  63. Abe – I feel your pain. We all love the Lakers and this has to be the most frustrating time frame in the team’s history. I read, in this blog, that it feels like the FO does not understand that the new CBA has completely changed the landscape of the league. You stated correctly that draft picks, cheap young talent and cap flexibility are gold in today’s league.

    I can’t think of a rational reason not to move Pau, Hill or Kaman. This season is lost – keeping them does not make us better. None of them are inclined to resign with us since their Laker experiences have been frustrating (the last three years for Pau) to say the least.

    It seems our FO is holding onto the vision that as long as Kobe is under contract the team will be competitive. I don’t see it. This is a slippery slope for the team. If they go all in to try and win one for Kobe they are likely to make cap decisions that are short sighted and have long term consequences. Envision Carmelo signing a 4 year deal this summer – we’d still have him as a max player for two years after Kobe has retired. Building a team around a 32 year old Carmelo won’t work either.

    Jim/Mitch let it go – your chasing a train that has left the station. Look at the schedule and make plans to catch the next one.


  64. Shaun,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree entirely that teams are over-rating draft picks at this point. Certainly, without a doubt, they are attributing too much value to 2nd round picks.

    History has proven that 2nd round picks rarely turn into anything. There’s very little value in them. (The Marc Gasols and Isaiah Thomases of the world are the exception, not the rule.)

    So…to trade Kaman and/or Hill for 2nd round draft picks is the equivalent of trading them for a piece of the Yuma desert. There’s nothing there. To say that we’d be getting “value” is delusional. There is very little–if any–value in a 2nd round pick. In fact, most late-1st round picks don’t work out either.

    So…when the FO refuses to trade Pau Gasol or Jordan Hill for nothing, I applaud them. This franchise is above that. They won’t do that. And they shouldn’t. I don’t always support the FO. But this time around, I do.

    I may be in the minority. But the FO has its principles. And they’re sticking to them. Good for them.


  65. Mid-Wilshire,

    I actually understand where you’re coming from. They’re sticking to their principles… But don’t you think those principles went out the door the moment we begged Dwight to stay or refused to properly use our big men? Wasn’t it the Lakers tradition to play big and never beg players to come here (actually players took discounts to play for us)?

    And about those 2nds being worth almost nothing, I also agree with you but… aren’t Brooks and Bazemore the equivalent to two second rounders? One could say that Blake was traded for nothing. I’m not criticizing your stand which I actually would support, but just questioning if those principles actually still exist…


  66. I would go further to say that most teams simply do not know how to develop players … look at marshall, t.harris and vucuvic – these guys needed the proper playing time to shine amd a tually develop – yiu cant have 6+ players on one team all trying to develop – look at mcw – hell get lots of playong time and put up numbers but when you play with scrubs and loae by 40+ pts a game it also stunts your growth you need to see some positives amd having 3+ defenders go against you only every play because you have no one to pass to isisnt going to help


  67. @david h – great link

    I’ve already seen people misrepresent what Kupchak actually said. But, that is what sells papers and gets clicks.

    Obviously, none of us fans are privy to any details regarding the Lakers’ plan for rebuilding. Watching such a bad season is simply the unusual position in which we find ourselves currently. It creates a great amount of angst because we have not yet seen the first steps towards the rebuild. All we can do is wait and put our trust in the FO to put a winning team on the floor. In the meantime we’ll all continue to root the Lakers on (and gripe about the hazy future).


  68. FO: There are legit reasons to defend them and legit reasons to criticize them. As far as the decisions to hold on to Hill and Kaman, we should always start with the basic caveat: we don’t know what offers the FO got. So, spinning it either as some shrewd and/or principled move by the FO, or spinning as some kind of obvious error or failure, is not wise IMO.

    I expect that Kaman will be bought out, as I said upthread.

    As to the interpersonal stuff that sometimes comes from the FO disagreements, the conversations here are a lot more civil than they are at other places on-line.

    Draft picks: I agree with Shaun to a point in that I think that it will hard for teams with 10-12 picks over the next 3-4 years to leverage all of them, but such pick-hoarding does provide options for a FO: stashing players overseas, selling them, packaging them to move up in a draft, being able to put your hat in the ring for a star who becomes available, And, it also provides a margin for error to a degree, which the Lakers FO does not have: Buss and Kupchak NEED to nail this pick.


  69. Sigh, if i have purple colored glasses so be i dont care, we dont know anything the Pau to Phoenix trade in part didnt happen bc Pau would not commit beyond this season or so i read dont know, and i can be flexible about Pau’s salary if he stays if someone offer more let him go, the Lakers were asking picks but with this new CBA those are prime commodities no matter what scrubs they are. If they all walk they walk i dont lose sleep over it . Phoenix and NJ were the ones that pulled out of the deals not the Lakers. I said before and said it again Kaman and Hill are good players not great, i think Dwight demolishing Kaman the other day proves my point, Hill is overrated here in my opinion energy and hustle guy not much else. About the product, the product we have is the product that injuries left us not the FO, and i been pretty much quiet about critizising the FO bc this circunstances were not forseen by anybody so i think is unfair. Next season if we have a better team or even a terrible HEALTHY team and we play like this i be the first to critizise like i said before the FO even MDA get a pass from me bc of this cathastrophe that has befallen this team. And lastly if Mitch says they have a plan i believe him, not because of some purple colored glasses but because his track record and i believe the FO commitment to compete this season until the injury bug wiped out half the team. And if there is one team that can rebuilt relatively fast is the Lakers, people mention that the CBA is in place because of teams like the Knicks, okkk when was the last time they won anything? Before most of older people on this blog were even born, and even being in the biggest market,they sucked before the new CBA they still suck now, why? Because their FO starting with their owner are terrible how much money they gave to Eddie Curry again?, so i really doubt the Knicks and the Lakers should even be mentioned not in the same sentence, in the same book. The team will be back eventually, in 2 or 3 years and we should start judging the FO from draft night onward not in the middle of the most abnormal Lakers season ever.


  70. My goodness, one can get dizzy reading all this armchair apocrypha. Guys, we don’t know what was offered. We know very little about who we wanted to trade. We do not know what the plan is and frankly, we aren’t entitled to any of that information. Here is what we know.

    We will be getting a high pick and the Lakers have done well with high picks under the current FO

    We know there will be a ton of cap room and the Lakers have been good enough in trades and free-agency decisions to have won 3 championships under Mitch Kupchak and 5 while he has been in the FO.

    We know Kobe is fun to watch, a winner, and very skilled. We get at least another 2 seasons of him.

    We know this franchise counts success in terms of championships and has accomplished that success 16 times.

    We know you need to have the best player on the court to have a reasonable chance of winning at a high percentage and you raise your winning percentage when you can keep 3 or 4 of the best players in a game, on the court together for extended periods of time. We know you don’t just get those players without spending money. The Lakers have made it clear (just look at what they have paid in the past, and the Mitch’s comments yesterday) that they are willing to spend top money for top players.

    None of us knows what any single FA is going to decide, what other franchises are going to accomplish, nor what players will be available via trade. Anybody who says they know what was put on the table by any team is simply naive and don’t understand how the media works, and how teams try to manipulate the media.

    There is a game called basketball, and then the game of putting a team together, and then the game of selling that team to the public, and then the game of selling that public to advertisers. All these games rely on each other and at the same time, we cannot know the plans designed by the team to achieve success in each of those fields.

    I personally think it’s unrealistic to expect that previous markers for time between finals appearances be the measure of success. Like the question of who is the GOAT or who is on your Mt. Rushmore, every era has it’s GOAT. Every era has it’s MT. Rushmore. Every era has it’s context and as we speak, the Lakers seem to be behaving in a defensible manner within the context of today’s environment. Just look at a team like OKC. They drafted Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden. They have made far less defensible moves (trading for Perkins, keeping Perkins, and in essence choosing Perkins over Harden) and yet they have a championship contending team and will continue to have one so long as Durant is anywhere near his prime and on their roster. That is the key component to winning in this league and the Lakers look positioned to net themselves a few of those types of players. Even with this, not one of you saw Kwame Brown, the rights to some fat Spanish center, a future murderer and a player long retired turned into Pau Gasol. We don’t know anything.


  71. That is the key component to winning in this league and the Lakers look positioned to net themselves a few of those types of players.

    Indeed, and that is why the only one of the many apologia issued on behalf of the FO that really carries serious weight is the Veto. Paul is one of the five best players in the NBA; now that he is committed to the Clippers, people have forgotten all about Donald Sterling.

    We don’t know anything.
    We actually do know a few things:

    1. Howard is gone, and he remains a Top-20 player. He plays for a team that is almost 20 games over .500 and crushed the Lakers two nights ago.
    2. Kobe supposedly still can’t do much other than a ride stationary bike, is owed nearly 50M over the next two years, and he will be 36 in August.
    3. The Lakers don’t have any players who are both good and young. Excluding Kobe for the moment, since he is not actually playing, other than Pau, the Lakers arguably do not have a single player under contract who is either a legitimate front-line NBA starter or is likely to develop into one.
    4. They don’t have many draft picks over the next few years.

    As your post suggests, there are reasons to have faith and hope. But FO defenders around the net, should, in my opinion, recognize that hope and faith, based on the organization’s past, brand, and market, is mostly what they are selling.