Initial Lakers’ Workout Similar to their “Wide Net” Coaching Search

Darius Soriano —  June 8, 2014

While the Finals are set to resume on Sunday, the Lakers are like every other team not named Heat or Spurs and in full on draft preparation. This past week they held their first large workout which included several players projected to be lottery picks as well as some other prospects who could be available late in the first and into the second round.

For a full list of the guys who attended the workout can be found here, the guys who Lakers’ fans should keep a close eye on are:

  • Marcus Smart, PG
  • Aaron Gordon, F
  • Noah Vonleh, PF
  • Gary Harris, SG
  • Zach LaVine, G
  • Doug McDermott, F
  • Tyler Ennis, PG

Smart, Gordon, and Vonleh are projected to go in the top 7 picks in most mock drafts. Smart and Vonleh are also players who have been projected to go to the Lakers in multiple mocks since the draft order was determined (with initial rumors stating that Vonleh is a guy the Lakers are particularly interested in). McDermott, Ennis, Harris, and Lavine are all slated to go anywhere from picks 8 to 20.

And while it’s nice to speculate, this initial group really offers zero hints towards what the Lakers’ draft plans may be. If anything, this group offers a nice composite for the Lakers to simply gauge how the prospects measure up to each other and whether or not any of the middle-tiered prospects (like Ennis, McDermott, and LaVine) may be worth a gamble at 7 or if a potential trade down would net the Lakers a comparable talent and an additional asset on draft day.

That latter point is something that will gain steam as the Lakers get closer to the draft. Because while I’m fully on board with the Lakers sticking at #7 and drafting the best available player, they would be wise to explore all their options and get the most out of this draft as they can. This would be true even if the team’s pick next summer wasn’t slated to go to the Suns if it fell outside the top 5 picks. Even though this draft is thought to go 8 deep with a talent drop-off after that, there always seems to be a prospect who is picked at the tail end of the lottery or into the teens who ends up being a very good player (Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are recent examples of this). In other words, the Lakers could potentially slide down in the draft even further and net themselves a player who develops nicely while netting an additional player or pick that ends up contributing to more wins.

Whether that will be their strategy or not isn’t known, but I wouldn’t put it past them. Especially as they workout players who would be reaches at 7, but would be solid picks in the 10 to 20 range. And including these players in workouts with prospects considered to be better at this point in order to watch them compete and get a better gauge in how they compare only aids in that process.

Much like their coaching search, the Lakers look like they will also cast a wide net when evaluating prospects for the draft. And just like that other search, the more information they can get to make the best decision, the better.

Darius Soriano

Posts Twitter Facebook

138 responses to Initial Lakers’ Workout Similar to their “Wide Net” Coaching Search

  1. Don’t recall – did Bynum come from nowhere, or was he a highly regarded prospect when he was drafted by the Lakers? Just trying to gauge the odds of our pick being a dark horse pick.

  2. I looked up an old mock draft a few days ago. Bynum had been projected on that Mock draft as the 23rd pick. The Lakers took him I believe at number 10.

  3. Bynum was a surprise pick, a risk, and the Lakers knew it. Youngest ever drafted, little known about his character. He was picked at #10 for his height, and at that height, he was fairly athletic. I think the Lakers, always having been a Center led team, were desperate in 2005 for a plus 7-footer, and were willing to be patient with Bynum.

    The risk taken is probably going to depend on what’s available. I wouldn’t think a #7 in this year’s draft should be as big a crap shoot as Bynum, but I never try to predict what the Lakers are going to do.

  4. Renato Afonso June 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I have no problem with the Lakers trading their 7th pick for a couple of 1st rounders. They held the workout, so they know each player’s weaknesses and strengths better than we do… Let’s see what happens. Very interesting times to be a Lakers fan.

  5. If available, I’m very high on Vonleh. I’d be fine with Smart. I like what he did once he came back from his suspension. Really impressive run. After that, I would prefer a trade down to nab Payton. 6’4″ PG with long arms, elite athleticism, really nice dribble fundamentals, can get to the cup at will, only 20 yrs old. Needs to improve his shot and get his man-strength to help with his finishing at the rim. To me, those are all very doable improvements. I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to defend 1-3 like Smart can and I like PGs that can hurt you in the post, which may not happen for Payton, but I think he’ll be an excellent PG in the not too distant future. I’m just not excited about picking Gordon, McDermott, LaVine, Harris or Ennis.

  6. I dream of Exum falling to 7 but, Vonleh, Smart, and Gordon are all excellent consolation prizes. I really want the Lakers to focus on filling out their starting line-up. I’m wary of trying to just get 1 big name guy and not addressing the needs at every position.

  7. Mark Jackson – “Tim Duncan doesn’t speak to Parker or Ginobli and he’s an all-time great teammate .. Kobe Bryant doesn’t speak to Smush Parker and he’s a jerk. Please tell me the difference.”

    JVG – “It’s all about how the media portrays you and once they portray you a certain way, it’s very difficult for them to ever change the narrative.”

    Mark Jackson – “All we want is just like we want from the refs. Consistency.”

    True indeed Mark Jackson. But unfortunately, when it comes to the media’s treatment of Kobe Bryant, for the most part, consistency is something that I don’t believe we’ll get.

  8. One of the great finals game ever.

  9. Aaaaannndd, after all of the LeCramps bs, Miami takes home court advantage after a great win. There’s still hope Robert!

  10. @Tra
    I loved those comments by Mark Jackson and JVG. Totally summed up Kobe’s uphill battle with the media in a few sentences.

  11. I’m having flashbacks of Kobe on TMZ about Andrew Bynum basically throwing him under the bus and stating he wants him traded for Jason Kidd. I respect Kobe but his reputation good and bad is not unearned.

  12. reminiscent of a heavyweight fight – nice game

    There’s still hope Robert!

  13. For the record i believe Duncan said he didn’t talk to players like Parker and Ginobili their first years on the team, that’s all. He obviously has bonded with them now.

    I always enjoy Mark Jackson’s commentary and of course JVG, but there is really no comparing Duncan’s reputation for team play to Kobe’s. I’m quite sure a veteran who is also a champion, Kobe or Tim, takes his time getting to know players as new ones are added to the roster every year.

    Interesting and often funny book about this phenomenon and what it’s like on the fringes of the NBA by journeyman player Paul Shirley, called Can I keep My Jersey? :

  14. New theory about Lebron: He is an NBA robot.
    Like a Transformer.
    (Temporary hardware glitch from Game 1 resolved.)

  15. Given the team will likely be left without any picks (2015) IMO drafting/trading down should be considered (tho not past 11th). Seems as half the top 10 teams are open to trading down as they aren’t sold on the remaining top prospects (top 10) once the top 4 prospects are acquired. Best to take advantage of this year’s draft as they’ll be drafting until 2016 (depending on how the team does next season which won’t be as bad as this past season).

  16. If anyone thinks Kobe & Duncan image portrayals are only driven by the media…I have a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap too.

  17. Chris Y: As I said his reputation both GOOD & BAD is deserved. I respect all of Kobe’s accomplishments and I’m glad he is on the Lakers. But, I’m not looking through rose covered glasses and not recognizing his flaws.

  18. Kobe is a jerk. So what? So was Barkeley. So was Jordan. Being “nice” is not a requirement for greatness. Some of the greatest players to have ever played have an ego. This is a non-issue. Not sure why some of you are so worked up about it.

  19. chris y, I’m not really trying to get into the conversation about Kobe but, he had nothing to do with the Lakers trading for Gasol. The talks to trade for him were going on for months before it happened. Also, I don’t think anybody had to cajole or cudgel the FO into trading a few bit players, a stashed asset and a retired player for Pau Gasol in his prime. That said, all the reports at the time were that, while the media and other teams were surprised by the move, the two teams had been working on the trade since well before the season had started and the Lakers had waited on the Grizzlies to feel that it was time to move the unhappy Spaniard.

    Now if you want, enjoy arguing over whether Kobe is god, demi-god or merely a talented but flawed mortal.

  20. I’m adding Greivis Vasquez from the Raptors to my FA wish list. A PG big enough to play a combo guard. I miss having versatile guys like this on the Lakers roster.

  21. Yeah, that game last night was a blast. Especially enjoyed the long runs of continuous action w/o a whistle every 3.5 seconds.

  22. Does anyone have any idea what the FO will do with Pau? He has such a large cap hold that if the Lakers don’t renounce him they may not be able to be active in the RFA/FA market. Are the Lakers going to:

    1) Try to resign him to a team friendly contract?
    2) Qualify him so the team can use him in a sign and trade?
    3) Let him walk outright?

    I have always though the team would try and do a sign and trade as I believe there are teams that are currently over the cap (OKC and SNA) that could use him. However, I think the Lakers would be foolish to have their top RFA/FAs sign elsewhere because our cap space was tied up in waiting for the right sign and trade to materialize.

    Any thoughts from folks?

  23. Todd, regarding Pau, I’d be surprised if he re-signs with the Lakers. Try looking at it from Gasol’s point of view…WHY would he stay?

    The vast majority of professional athletes play for one &/or two things: Big $$$ &/or championship opportunities. The best get both, many get one or the other, the lesser get neither.

    – Gasol will be 34 next month, no shot of another title run with the Lakers in the next two years
    – Money? I don’t see Lakers committing big money to guys his age…any more
    – Laker legacy? Gasol is already the best, most successful PF to wear a Laker uniform for more than a minute. Lakers will retire his #16 & he’s a sure HOF.

    I expect to see Gasol sign with a contender for two years, maybe even a return to Memphis to play with his brother if Zeebo leaves.

  24. @Todd, The cap hold won’t matter. By the time July 15th comes around (the day they can actually sign deals) all the major moves for every team will have happened. So the Lakers don’t have to worry about it. They just keep Gasol until they know what FA are signing with them. Plus before July 1st you know the agents talk to the teams and pretend like it is draft talk and not illegal. Every team and agent just pretend like they are talking about nothing but clearly set up everything. That’s why you see an exact number on a contract the same day they meet with a player that signs with them. The agent already went through the work.

  25. So perfect. The Knicks get Phil, Fish, Rambis, Fox and perhaps Coop.

    Lakers under Jimbo get
    Two Mikes and a bucket to cry in the next few years.

    Nepotism at its finest!

  26. I do think the Lakers need to look at drafting someone to help right away. If they make the 8th seed next year most fans will look at it like why didn’t they purposely tank and try to get a top 5 pick, but to me they are one of the few (if not the only) teams that get be an 8th seed and not worry about draft stars. Love would come if the Lakers edge out the T’wolves and other players would try to force their way to LA if they had enough talent. They need to win to quickly turn things around. Otherwise you could be looking at a 7 year rebuild like most teams that end up in the lottery.

  27. Seriously – knicks just signed Fisher for 5 years 25 million. i would never say PJ would be desperate but really? And further word is he wants to fill out the assistants w other former lakers/players. yeesh. thought the point of hiring rookie coaches was to save money.

  28. PAmi,

    I don’t think there is enough evidence to conclude that Kobe had no influence on the Pau trade. What we do know is that the trade talks withMemphis started almost immediately after Kobe voiced his displeasure about the roster.

  29. Todd/BigCitySid/Justin: The Pau thing was something I was also wondering about – thanks for discussing it. Although I am a little confused about how you think this plays out.

    – BigCity, sounds like you believe the Lakers will let him walk.
    – Justin, you seem to think that the RFA/FA season is all preset with only the announcement date to be determined. How can the Lakers have a RFA offer on the side and pull the trigger on a Pau sign and trade just like that? I think Todd was supposing that its logistically impossible to qualify Pau and then behind the scenes put the RFA/FA signing and a sign/trade in place. If the sign and trade falls through you still have Pau’s hold against your cap which prevents you from finalizing the RFA/FA signing. Plus, if you are trying to make RFA signing you have to announce the terms and wait 5 days for the other team to match. You couldn’t make the RFA offer with Pau’s cap hold.

    KO: I am a big Fisher fan and think hiring him as a head coach is a home run hire. I don’t believe Fish needs Rambis, Fox and Coop to be successful. My thought is that Fisher will be hitting his stride as a coach in a few years which is when the talent level of the team should be increasing to the point that the Lakers can compete. I’m not impressed with any of the other candidates at this point.

  30. You decry the Lakers for nepotism while citing the Knicks as the counterpoint? A team whose owner inherited the team from a successful father and has since spent years running it into the ground?

    How is Dolan signing Fisher, Phil or any other ex-Laker an example of why the Lakers are doing something wrong? First off, there is no guarantee Phil’s moves will translate to wins in Gotham. There is a lot of risk in hiring an unproven coach and handing him a five-year deal. Time will tell.

    Likewise, the Lakers’ situation today is not entirely on Jim Buss’s shoulders. Going forward, yes, but when you take a “Go for broke” approach four or five years ago, betting on older players to win now, at some point those older players will break down and you have to restock. That was noun to happen so long as the Lakers stayed on the course of trying to get Kobe No. 6. I can’t say I blame management for taking that risk.

    Jim Buss has had some blunders — the Mike Brown and the Nash deal being two huge ones. But I am not about to suggest losing out on Fisher or wen Phil were signs the Lakers were a lost cause.

    If they’re still in lotto land three years from now, different story. But I am not buying Knocks stock anytime soon.

  31. Looks like Fisher will sign with the Knicks. Am I the only one that felt he was a perfect choice for the Lakers? I’m a little pissed that they did not even talk to him. I am very curious if the decision not to include him in our ‘wide net’ coaching search was Mitch’s or Jim’s. How can Rambis get an interview and Fisher not?

    Since the Veto the FO has continually made questionable decisions. How long does the ‘benefit of the doubt’ last. Right now I am a bit frustrated.

  32. The Knicks are trying to become the Lakers east. I’m glad to see Fish get a shot. I think he will be an excellent coach once he gets his feet under him. I would have loved to see him coaching the Lakers. But hey, I guess the Lakers have their own way.

  33. Fisher made the right choice to coach NY, Phil can give him idea to build team, to beat another team, if Fisher coach Lakers, he could get good advise from who ? some people think, trial angle offense is easy to learn, to coach, look at Rambis in Minnesota and Jim Cleamons in Dallas before.

  34. I think the Lakers will regret not pursuing Fish. Especially, in two years after we fire Scott. I think Fish would have been a popular hire and would have been a sign that the organization is moving in the right direction.

    I see 3 things needing to happen for the Lakers to get back on track: 1) sign a solid coach 2) make this draft a good draft and 3) spend their cap space wisely.

    We’ll see how this plays out, however, I’m starting to get nervous.

  35. The desired coaching candidates are being snatched up left and right (Stan Van Gundy, Kerr, Snyder, Fish). The longer the coaching search goes on, the higher the odds that Jimbo will be zero for three in his coaching hires.

  36. YOUR desired coaching candidates Mitchelll…

  37. Item stuck in mod, but I am not going to be upset over Fisher signing on in New York. I wish him well, but it’s not the Lakers’ death knell by any means…

  38. Leo, I fully expect the Lakers to make Gasol an offer, just don’t think it will good enough. Would the Lakers offer Gasol $13-$14 mill per for two years? I mean they have to offer him more than Nash right ($9.7 mill in 2015)? And they would have to pay him more than 1/2 of Kobe’s $23+ mill right? So can this Laker team afford to pay three guys on their last legs $46+ mill next season? I mean I think that’s about 70% of next year’s salary cap. That one thing if your a contender, but a lottery team…w/o a lottery pick…:-(

  39. Chris J June 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    …Fisher signing on in New York … it’s not the Lakers’ death knell by any means…
    True, the Laker’s death knell sounded some time ago … I’d say about the time the Lakers traded the ranch for a certain used up point guard … and hired a certain head coach that was only successful using that PG when he was in his prime.

  40. If Nash’s contract is going to prevent the Lakers from signing Gasol (or any other free agent for that matter), I think Nash needs to be released. The additional $6 mil in cap space could net the Lakers six Bazemore/Farmar/Wesley Johnson type players…..or it could be the difference in the amount of money the Lakers can offer a Lowry type player. Nash is done. He’s been done for quite some time. He has been a jinx and a black eye to this franchise…..and it’s time to move on.

  41. I had no prob w fisher coaching LA, woulda been low expectations and he could grown into the team. I don’t get the size of contract though, it’s not like pj had that many people willing to outbid him and fisher obviously would prob coach first under Jackson anyways. Guess Dolan really did give him a blank cheque

  42. LT does have a point. The available coaches are out there. OKC has given Brooks the stamp of approval. Indiana has done the same for Vogel. So those two are not hitting the market. Basically anyone the Lakers are interested in is already on the market and has been so.

  43. I’m curious what people think the market for Pau really is. I love the guy, a HOF’er and his number will be the Staples Center rafters some day. But he’s washed up, he hasn’t been good for over 2 years now…..but his relationship with D’antoni scapegoated his poor play. He can no longer finish over size, he’s not that great a midrange shooter, and I’m not sure there are many worse defenders (bigs) in the league who log 25+ minutes.

  44. Fish made a smart move. Sounds like Phil will be providing plenty of mentoring to him and he is bringing some familiar faces to help him with his move. My only concern for him is that the New York media is not on a rebuilding state of mind. While that may very well change in the next year or two, there will be lofty expectations for him (though they may be slightly tempered). Its going to be a tough job. I wish him the best.

  45. Phil is following the Riley model of coach development. Find someone who will listen to you and build on your wisdom. Jackson will assemble a coaching “team” around Fisher who are all on the same page. Three years from now they could be a strong team when LeBron finally begins to show mortality.

  46. Todd- You are not the only one, but there are plenty of reasons why the Lakers’ passing at Fish is a good move. Frankly, the guys coaching skills are a complete unknown. The Lakers said they want someone with head coaching experience. Not a rookie who has to learn on the go.That alone is sufficient to justify a pass. Fish may very well turn out to be an excellent NBA coach, but as of this very moment taking a pass on him is not necessarily a bad choice.

    One thing to note: the Lakers said they want someone with “coaching experience” – but I note that the qualifier “NBA” is missing from the “coaching experience” moniker. In my mind, that still leaves the possibility that the Lakers may be looking at Blatt. Just a thought.

  47. Congrats and much respect given to Derek Fisher. Good to see him transitioning on to the next phase of his life. He was actually my 2nd choice – behind JVG – as the next HC of the Lakers. Wish him nothing but the best – except against the Lakers – as coach of the Knicks. Never could I have imagined that both of my hometown teams, New York and Brooklyn, would hire head coaches who transferred straight from the playing court directly to the sidelines. No work as an understudy required. Somewhere, Patrick Ewing is pulling out what little hair he has left on his head.

  48. Dan: I am very grateful for what Pau did for the franchise. However, I was hoping that he would be worth a solid young player/draft pick in addition to the expiring deal needed to make the sign and trade work.

    I do not think signing him is in our best interest. If he is injured in Yr 1 of, say a two year deal, he becomes dead weight for the Lakers and our cap space. Unfortunately, if the Lakers try to win one for Kobe and bring Pau/Nash/Kobe back as a core, then I believe injuries will derail our season once again.

  49. Best paid coaches. Brad Stevens, Steve Kerr, Derek Fisher and Scott Brooks will all make more than Erik Spoelstra.

  50. True, the Laker’s death knell sounded some time ago … I’d say about the time the Lakers traded the ranch for a certain used up point guard … and hired a certain head coach that was only successful using that PG when he was in his prime.

    I would not say the Lakers are dead, not by any means. We’re a spoiled lot, and in the pursuit of banner No. 17/ring No. 6 for Kobe, the front office made several moves that stressed today over tomorrow. Well now tomorrow has come; it happens to the best of all franchises, in every sport. Guys like Magic Johnson or Kareem or Kobe don’t come in a perpetual pipeline, no matter how hard we wish.

    Letting Ariza go, effectively for Artest, is not appealing in 2014 since Ariza is still playing and Artest is out of the league. But at the time Artest was signed, most fans loved it — and it paid off with a title. Adding Nash was part of a larger move to make one good push in 2013. I personally hated that one, but I understand the logic the front office applied. It didn’t work out, but 29 teams more or less make what they hope are good plans every year only to see them fall short come June.

    Sometime you have to take a step back to move forward. D’Antoni is no longer our concern, and Nash is what he is — I have no expectation he’ll ever contribute. But those factors are behind the Lakers now, and I’m interested in what they do next to get back on an upward trajectory. If they make some wise decisions, they can get back soon enough.

    So dead? No — maybe if you define “alive” as contending for a title in the next couple of seasons. But dead dead — I don’t feel we’re anywhere close.

  51. I am starting to feel that the FO is going to hire a win now coach to go with a win now Kobe and that all the decisions made with our assets (draft pick/cap space) will be to try and win now. I think we have too much ground to cover to make up the talent differences between the Lakers and the 12 teams in front of them in the Western Conference.

    I tend to be an optimist. I was optimistic heading into last season that the Lakers would rebuild with talented youth with all the cap space they would have this off season. I was willing to be patient while we assembled the next contending team. I like Kobe and all but goodness that extension has changed everything. Not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet.

  52. I think both PJ and Fish are smart enough to realize that it’s going to be a rebuilding period, and they’ll tune out the impatient Knick media and fans who will, of course, make a lot of noise during the process. No guarantees, but it’s apparent that Jackson wanted to make a strong commitment to Fish saying, you’re my guy til we get this all together. Probably would have been the same with Kerr. That’s the way to go. Believe in what you’re doing, who you’re doing it with, build consistency from the start, be patient. Nothing wishy-washy. The current Lakers should be so smart.

  53. Am I the only one here who thinks a coach should have some proven ability? Maybe have called a play or two, something like that? Fish is on my all time great lakers list, but ihe wasn’t even a true PG. What , other than he is a likable guy, possibly qualifiex him as an NBA head coach?! I guess I’m alone, but is rather have a proven h.s coach than guys like mark Jackson, Kerr, Kidd or fish. I really think, in 5 years time, this current passion for hiring PGs as head coaches will be looked with copious head scratching , doc rivers’ success not withstanding.

    Phil coached – and won – in canada and Puerto Rico before coming to the NBA. Don’t you think that experience was enormously valuable in preparing him for greatness?

  54. Can’t believe they (the FO) decided that Fish wasn’t even worth an interview. In order to turn this thing around, some outside the box thinking would help. Coaching experience is aka previous failure. Right now, the Lakers have no team, no coach and limited draft resources. The hole they’re in is looking deeper all the time.

  55. Chris J..
    I think the MD’A hire and the acquisition of Nash are still hurting the team. Mike’s petulance and strict adherence to his chosen system left no place for bigs such as Kaman, Hill and Pau. Now they may all feel they have no place or future with the Lakers. And Nash is still here, counting against the salary cap, basically a well paid question mark moving forward.

  56. I could understand if the fo said fishers experience was limited mostly to the triangle and iso oklahoma style and that the roster was too disparate for a rookie coach to handle – but to not even interview (especially in light of Rambis getting a courtesy) is just mind boggling. Plus they most likely could have had him a lot cheaper. I don’t begrudge him taking that contract because ny is gonna be ridiculous – but pj has made it clear how he wants to play etc.. and I would’ve liked to see what kind of coach fish is and what system he would play vs just being a proxy/disciple of phils philosophy ala rambis.

  57. It wouldn’t shock me if Nash was moved. I’d rather pay him this year though if necessary and free up the books in the following years.

  58. Chris my issue is Jimmy waits while others get hired. Now there is a report they are waiting on FA until they see if they can sign James.

    It’s this home run mentality that put this team in the hole they are in. How about learning to walk or crawl first.

    What are they waiting for the ghost of Lakers past.

  59. If Nash comes back healthy – 50/50 proposition as there is no way to predict the nerve issue – which is the only thing hampering him – but if he comes back and is decently healthy and can play well for 20-25 mins a game – he could be a good chip for the Lakers after xmas to move to a contender or someone else looking to solidify for a playoff run etc… Not that he has a no trade clause or anything- but I think there is an understanding on the FO’s part that Nash is in LA because of family so I don’t think they’d move him someplace else just to be rid of him – it would either be cut him outright and pay him not to play or trade him someplace he is willing to go

  60. Maybe the FO knows that Nash will retire as a player and is slated to become the Laker head coach.

  61. Congrats to Fish
    Was my second choice behind Byron.
    jerke: I agree. Mind boggling. There are only two explanations in my opinion. One is that Fish basically told them no and then they floated the concept that they were not interested due to lack of experience. Second is that they were not interested, and did not give the Rambis type courtesy interview, because they were afraid it would appear that Phil “beat them to it” when the Knicks hired him Hence no courtesy interview. Either way it is not for “basketball” reasons.
    Chris J: The Lakers are not dead and they will rise again at some point. However if that date comes after we break our record of being out of the finals for 8 years, then Western Civilization as we know it will come to an end : )

  62. Is it just me or does “no interview” smell a bit like:

    Phil: Kerr made me look bad. Now I really need Fisher.
    Jeannie: OK honey.

  63. Am I the only one here who thinks a coach should have some proven ability?

    A few points:

    1. Fisher has shown that he has a lot of leadership ability, an ability to connect with people, an ability to command respect, and when it is in his interest, an ability to manipulate events in his favor. These are all traits one would look for in a coach.
    2. Presumably the Knicks will be running the Triangle, which is not an Xs and Os system in the traditional sense and doesn’t involve that much in terms of calling plays. And, of course, Fisher played in the Triangle for many years.
    3. Fisher has been around the NBA for basically his entire adult life and has run the players’ union. So, while it is true that he has no HC exp. it is not as if he doesn’t have some idea of what he is getting into. He knows big markets; he knows the Triangle. And he knows Phil.
    4. The Nets, under Kidd, stabilized after the brutal start and had a year very much in line with their talent: they won a close series against Toronto and then lost in 5 to Miami.

    Robert has pointed out several times that there are no slam-dunk coaching candidates. Fisher may fall on his face, but I think it is unwise to treat the hire like another silly Knicks’ mistake based only on what we know now.

  64. @robert – you make a lot of sense w that – they may have felt it not necessary to stir the pot in the fan base by interviewing him when they didn’t seriously want to hire him and the resulting appearance of losing him to Phil was pr they didnt want to have to deal w.

    As for PJ, this just feels like there is a bit of desperation with this hire having to throw that much $ out there to secure Fisher. I don’t think its so much that Fisher is unproven (because if necessary PJ will just coach thru Fish if he feels he needs a heavy touch) – but i think after the way that Kerr ended up spurning him – and their very differing points of view on the situation (PJ says he had a committment/Kerr saying thats not the case and that he heard way too many horror stories – plus carmelo being told Kerr was coming then for it not to happen) – just feels like PJ couldn’t afford to take another chance of having one of his handpicked proteges/hires fall thru.


    Valuable info gleaned from analytics on prospects in our draft range. What stands out for me is Kevin Pelton’s rather dim view of Randle, and his doubts whether Gordon can become an effective shooter based on his abysmal FT percentages. Pelton considers Smart an “underrated prospect.”

    Great questions by Mike Trudell, who has the brains to be a front office guy.

  66. The Finals drought was closer to nine years than eight, but regardless, what happened between June 1991 and June 2000 will hopefully be a template for what’s to come.

    Lose an all-time great player (Magic, Kobe) and a Hall of Fame caliber No. 2 (Worthy, Pau); make some moves to get younger; keep the fans happy with discernible progress; and after some wise draft choices and selective signings/trades, be back in position to contend again for a long time.

    Whether Jim & Co. can pull that off remains to be seen, but down cycles come up eventually if people play their cards right.

  67. Fisher made all the sense in the world for the Knicks because of Phil and likely would have flopped as a Laker coach. The Knicks under Phil will know who they are and what kind of players they need to succeed. Fisher will be surrounded by solid coaching talent and be able to delegate his responsibilities. As the Laker HC, he would not have a mentor in the FO who could help guide him. It worked out the best for both the Lakers and the Knicks.

  68. Way to go Fish!

  69. People interested in analytics/stats as they relate to guys the Lakers might get should read bryan s’ link. As I have noted, that type of approach makes Marcus Smart appear to be the guy we should be hoping for at 7, assuming that Vonleh is off the board by then.

  70. As rr notes, Pelton’s approach seems to like Smart. He also seems to believe Exum is a good prospect & that Vonleh has a chance to be very good as well. I’d honestly be very happy if any of those three were there at 7, though it’s very possible all three & the Embiid, Wiggins, Parker trio make up the top 6 picks in the draft & the Lakers are left choosing between Gordon & Randle. That’s not awful, but I am definitely more hopeful one of those other 6 guys is there at 7.

  71. I guess Phil Jackson doesn’t know as much about NBA coaching as some here? He must not realize that Fish has no experience? Or then maybe Phil just jumped at hiring Fish, jeopardizing his own success and years of progress for the Knicks, just so he can save face over having Kerr accept another coaching job? smh. 🙂

  72. Cleveland is interviewing Mark Price next. Two ACs still out there–David Fizdale and Adrian Griffin. Griffin was one of the guys Utah looked seriously at; he works under Thibodeau. Fizdale works under Spoelstra and is from LA.

  73. 50/50 proposition as there is no way to predict the nerve issue – which is the only thing hampering him

    Given Nash’s age and health record since arriving in Los Angeles, 50/50 seems very optimistic. Nash will be 40 when play starts, he has played 65 games in two years, and his performance metrics, except for his assist rate, cratered last year. He is also raising his documentary film profile; he did the Grantland thing and has now narrated an NBATV film about the 1984 NBA Draft which airs tomorrow. I have no problem with that, but IMO Nash is clearly thinking post-playing career now. The Lakers should assume that they will get nothing at all from Nash, although I still like him and will be rooting for him.

    I backed them at the time, but the Nash/MDA gambits didn’t work, and ultimately, the FO decided to pay D’Antoni to go away rather than paying him to coach the team. It’s over.

  74. Warren Wee Lim June 10, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I’m happy for Fish, I believe he and Phil and the Knicks are a good fit on their timeline and what they’re trying to do. I have never liked him to coach the Lakers, no offense.

    Another point of clarification: Pau Gasol cannot be “qualified” because he is an unrestricted free agent. Meaning he can sign on July 1st (technically its 8th) without informing us, or considering us or even an afterthought. We have nothing to hold Pau, except the fact that we are the only team that can offer him the most money – but we’re obviously not doing that.

    I continue to advocate for Smart, though like Darius said, the Jazz could be interested at drafting him. The Celtics, picking #6 could also potentially snag him if a deal for Rondo can be made now or further down the line. So expect stiff competition. If you like Vonleh, early indications tell me that one of the Celtics or Jazz are taking him. So the choice will come down to Gordon and Randle. For me this scenario presents a bit of a challenge. I would trade down with Utah or Charlotte (picking 12th and 9th) along with some assets to move down and just roll the dice with Zach LaVine.

  75. Fish actually gets a raise to become a coach. Goes from $1.4 mill to $5 mill per year. Only in America. Happy for you Fish.

  76. Kobe’s “I eat first” quote right up there w/ A.I.’s “practice, we’re talking about practice”.

  77. chris y… No, I don’t have any interest in defending or attacking Kobe.

    All reports after the Gasol trade indicated that the teams had been discussing it for many, many months. If I remember right, they had been talking since the previous season. I could be wrong but not by much. It certainly predated Kobe’s parking lot rant. Also, the move was finally accepted by both sides after Bynum got injured. That event provided the spark that set off the trade. Lets try this intellectual exercise, come up with a set of conditions that gets them to agree to a trade sending Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, undeveloped Marc Gasol, and a retired player (can’t remember who it was right now), for an in his prime Pau Gasol?

    Look at that trade and ask yourself, would anybody with some basketball savvy need Kobe to twist their arm to make that trade? Let me ask, were the five sexiest ladies on Game of Thrones to show up at your door (or guys if you prefer) would you need Kobe to convince you to let them in? Would Kobe have to show you a YouTube clip of himself yelling “Are you kidding me? Khaleesi, Cersi and Irgit and he’s trying to keep Mrs. y in the bedroom? Mrs. y ain’t s**t. That there is the Triple Crown of pubic hair. I don’t even need them to throw in Kaleesi’s sexy serving girl. You make that move.”

    Logic and the media reports both lead to the same conclusion. Kobe had nothing to do with the Gasol trade.

  78. Chris Y: I have to believe you are trolling me. You have come in stating some issues in Kobe’s past then in the next breadth dismissing them. But you have really gotten off track and not focused on the original conversation.

    The original topic centered on if Kobe was a good a team mate as Tim Duncan. I cannot remember a time Duncan called for a team mate to be traded, insulted a team mate with juvenile comments, or any other nonsense. Duncan has been a fairly no drama guy.

    Kobe, we had the issues with Smush Parker, ok maybe Smush doesn’t count. There was the time he demanded Bynum be traded for KIdd, there was the incident of him stating Gasol needs to put on his big boy pants, there is the whole Dwight saga, and it is not a tightly kept secret that frequently comes up a lot of veteran all-stars are very wary of teaming up with Kobe.

    I’m not going to go into his personal business because as I said before thats really getting off track. But as a team mate yeah there are some issues. And if you compare him to Duncan you need to look at those issues.

  79. I sense that at this point the major coaching candidates have already been interviewed by the Lakers. It probably comes down to Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins. My preference would be Hollins because he is the candidate with the most recent success (56 wins and a western conference finals for Memphis last season). But Scott has his strengths as well and, I would hope, has mellowed and matured over the years.

    I wouldn’t be ecstatic about either. But I’d certainly be willing to give either one a chance. Either would be an improvement over D’Antoni IMO.

    I don’t think that the Lakers will be interviewing David Blatt. Otherwise, they would have done so by now. I’m sorry to see this. From what I’ve heard, he has a superb basketball mind. The ridiculous LBJ rumors, notwithstanding, there really is no reason for the Lakers to drag their feet about this decision any longer. I’d like to see them reach a decision by the end of next week. Right now, the FO is beginning to look slightly indecisive.

    I’m in the business world (Vice President of an IT consulting firm in LA) and, having done a lot of hiring in my time, I would say that it’s time for the Lakers to make a move. They’ve had initial interviews. They’ve certainly thought about things. It’s probably time for 2nd interviews and a decision.

  80. Vasheed: His entire post reads like a Kobe-fanboy who will not accept any criticism of his beloved star. Why bother? He needs to realize that its ok to like a player that is not perfect.

  81. I’m thinking of Budget lineups that I wouldn’t mind:

    Hill, Kelly
    Johnson, Andersen or Hood
    Hawes, Sacre
    Vasquez, Lavine, Farmar

    I’m taking Warren’s Idea of Hill and Hawes as I do think they would compliment each other well.

    I like Vasquez from Toronto he has put up decent numbers as a PG should come relatively cheap and has the size to switch to SG. I would think to trade down in this scenario and pick up Lavine who could develop off the bench and also play some back up SG minutes.

    I would resign Johnson to a min 1 year contract. Hes been regarded as one of our better defenders and would come cheap. I would like to move him to the bench but at this time I would pencil him here. I’m interested in SF draft picks Andersen or Hood.

    This is incomplete I would look to get a SF guessing at the 10 million price range.

  82. Interesting that Ford’s latest mock draft has us picking Randle over Smart. I’m hoping his “intel” doesn’t actually reflect the current thinking of the front office.

  83. I’m not thrilled with any of the current candidates. Any chance we pursue Marc Jackson? I thought he did a nice job with the Warriors – they improved each year he coached the team. Absent that I would go with Hollins.

  84. If a dark horse is still out there for the HC gig, it could be David Fizdale, although I have nothing to back that up. But, Fizdale is still working–he is an AC in Miami. He was born in LA, is very young for a coach (39) and has an interesting resume.

  85. 29 yr old 6-7 Shaun Livingston of the Nets is the best free agent big pg available. Played for less than $2 mill last season. But truth be told, he’s probably on the radar of every serious contender looking for a combo guard who would be an upgrade in their guard rotation.

    Will be hard for the Nets to hold on to him.

  86. The whole comparison to Duncan as a teammate is another silly attempt by the Kobe Haters to nitpick at Kobe’s alleged “flaws”.

    By most accounts, Duncan is a prime example of the perfect teammate. There has not been a superstar that I can remember who was as low maintenance and devoid of ego as Duncan….so any comparisons to Duncan in that department will inevitably fall short. That by no means should suggest that anyone compared to Duncan is a bad teammate….but that’s the silly argument that Kobe haters on this site are trying to make.

    For example, the Empire State Building is not as tall as the Sears Tower….but guess what? Who cares? The Empire State Building is still pretty darn tall, no matter how you try to spin it.

    For every example of Kobe being a poor teammate (i.e. his treatment of NBA legend Smush Parker), I can provide dozens of examples on how he’s been a great teammate…..not that it will have any influence on a hater. Haters gonna keep on keep hatin’…..

  87. I hope the Lakers’ objective this summer is acquiring young talent. I am willing to endure another so so season if it moves us forward down the road to being competitive. My fear, like many have outlined, is that the team over values Kobe/Nash/Pau and leverages our few assets (draft pick/cap space) for a veteran (eg Melo).

    If all the pieces fell into place the Lakers could capture lightning in a bottle next year with a core of Kobe/Nash/Pau/Melo. However, I think that core would be prone to multiple injuries and would ultimately under perform.

    If Melo signed for two years so that all of the contracts expired with Kobe then the long term damage would be minimal – except for the fact that the Lakers would have wasted two years that should have been spent acquiring young talent. The Melo approach is fools gold – the Lakers would be incrementally better but not good enough to go far in the playoffs. The real fear is that the Lakers would be left with aging veterans are on the payroll long after Kobe retires which further delays the rebuild and prolongs mediocrity.

    I believe the Lakers are worried about the Clippers getting a lot of momentum. My response to that is that the sooner the Lakers start acquiring young talent the sooner they will be truly competitive. When that happens it won’t matter how the Clippers are performing.

  88. And yes, I think the Lakers may try to connect with Mark Jackson after the Finals. Jackson’s church is in Reseda, and he has expressed his admiration for Kobe. He also fits the experienced criterion and has been in the spotlight.

  89. I’d be fine w/ Mark Jackson. More coaching experience than Jason Kidd, Steve Kerr, & Derek Fisher put together 🙂

  90. Warren: Agree with you on exploring trading down if we are looking at Randle and Gordon. PG Elfrid Payton’s stock is climbing, and if the Lakers could snag him and say, Adreian Payne, (stretch four, 2-way player, maybe this year’s Draymond Green) I would be excited.

    rr: From what I’ve heard, the entire GS front office (including Jerry West) really, really, don’t care for Mark Jackson. Given West’s relationship with Mitch, and the fact that his son is a Laker scout, I would be very surprised if he gets a sniff. At this point I am still hopeful Jackson’s broadcast partner, JVG, is considered.

    Vasheed: Good thoughts on budget FA possibilities.

  91. Sad to say that I do believe politics entered into the Fisher equation. I think Jim was afraid of going head to head with the Knicks over Fisher and did not pursue him. To say that Fisher could only coach the triangle or iso offenses is strictly CYA. The Lakers were afraid of losing Fisher over dollars and decided not to go down that pat at all.

    That’s what happens when you have to pay two off two coaches to go away – dillutes what you can afford to pay the next coach.

  92. rr-I dont think the Lakers will go after Jackson. They are too afraid of Robert’s wrath if they dare go outside of his master plan 🙂

    Lance – You present an interesting argument, but without any substantive backing (e.g. facts). Also, NO ONE said they passed on him because Fish “only” knew the triangle. That was speculation by Jerke on an earlier post.The FO said they preferred people with experience. That in itself is ample reason to skip on Fisher. Why look for a secret reason where none exist?

  93. MannyP: Wait, you mean Jerke isn’t a credible source 🙂

  94. Just my opinion here…

    I wish Fisher nothing but the best, but I would be extremely surprised if he is the Knicks coach for the length of that contract, or even three years from now. New York has a way of chewing up people with high expectations and demand for immediate results. I would guess not even Phil will be immune.

    Don Nelson received a 3-year deal and didn’t make it through a full season. D’Antoni had a 4-year deal and didn’t make it through the end of his third season. Mike Woodson received a 3-year extension in March 2012 and was ousted just 25 months later. Those guys all had lengthy NBA careers on the sidelines, with varying degrees of success, but in some cases quite a bit of success. And all were run off sooner than planned. Dolan has a way about him, and he passes out contract years and cash like a Pez dispenser shoots out candy. Neither is particularly filling, however.

    Jeff Van Gundy is the one recent exception Fisher should hope to emulate, but in his case, he’d been a longtime assistant and took over a veteran team with many talented players; the transition back to Riley-ball (after the brief Nelson tenure, which was doomed from the jump) was welcomed by the longtime Knicks players and fans, which put Van Gundy in a great position to succeed.

    Fisher will enjoy a honeymoon period, but it won’t last long.

  95. Nick Van Exile June 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Best of luck to DFish! I think he will make a fine coach someday (there will be inevitable bumps along the road, particularly in his first season of any coaching). The Knicks job was probably the best situation for him as they have a support system (Phil Jackson) to mentor him and a defined offensive system (Triangle) to help him be successful. Fisher has clearly shown he is a natural leader and well-respected on all the teams he’s been on. One benefit the Fisher hiring has for the Lakers is that it most likely removes Kurt Rambis from the Lakers’ potential list of coaching candidates if the rumors are true that he is headed to be Fisher’s assistant. Perhaps Fisher can do the Lakers a solid and hire Mike Dunleavy as well!

    I’m totally fine with the Lakers wanting a head coach with previous coaching experience. Having someone with zero coaching experience, at any level, is a rather large crapshoot that a coaching hire with previous experience would hopefully mitigate. After Mike and Mike’s brief tenures, the Lakers would do well to have some stability in both the head coach position as well as the identity of the team.

  96. From Pro Basketball Talk:

    “The slow pace of the Lakers’ coaching search that began April 30 when Mike D’Antoni resigned has been timed deliberately with the upcoming free agency period in the NBA, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Specifically, the idea that the Lakers could beat the odds and land the likes of the Heat’s LeBron James, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony or any of the other superstars who may be free agents on July 1 has led the Lakers to plod through their process so as to not limit their potential options. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the search.”

    So the Lakers are moving slowly on the coaching search because they are trying to land LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. And they want to presumably get a coach that LeBron (or maybe Carmelo) would like. Here is the problem with that thinking:

    1. LeBron is not coming. Neither is Carmelo. If Anthony wanted to be on a rebuilding team he would stay in New York where he can get more FA money.

    2. Waiting so long to choose a coach actually limits the team’s options. As they have waited coaches have steadily been taken off the market.

    The longer they wait the more they look like they don’t know what they want. And every move Phil makes in New York will inevitably get compared to the Lakers. He just put together a coaching staff filled with former Lakers. Meanwhile the Lakers have no coach and only three players under contract.

  97. The Knicks are in Dolan’s hands. If he hired Phil with a fantasy that it must be instant magic or time to try something else again, then he’ll continue to preside over a dysfunctional organization. If, OTOH, he’s learned something over the years, is realistic, and hired the most successful coach in NBA history to turn a loser into a winner, then he’ll be patient. The answer is not known at this time.

  98. Lance-I take it all back. Jerke is infallible. 😉

  99. It won’t take long for Fish to gain experience. Of course, he already has tons of experience as a leader, at playing the game and being a knowledgeable piece of the winning puzzle. Frankly, I think he has more relevant experience than most college or foreign coaches. Fish knows the NBA game and culture, and he’s a good fit with Phil Jackson. Phil probably prefers a coach who isn’t coming in with a lot of baggage and an already-established way of doing things that doesn’t fit with his own. And there aren’t too many sure-things available, as the Lakers well-know.

  100. Phil made a good move with Fish. Worst case, he can coach by proxies through Fish. Best case, Fish hits the ground running.

    A rookie coach also helps lower the expectations somewhat for next season.

    Very good chess move IMO.

  101. Rememeber when I told you I had insider information that Lebron wanted to play with Melo in LA… well after seeing Melo decline this year I thought that was dead. Apperently not…

  102. Lots of great points here.
    Congrats to Fish.

    If Laker FO is standing by “experience required” that tells me they aren’t exactly embracing a rebuild mentality. They’re hoping to score in the draft or in a trade and add one FA, and that a with a healthy Kobe return they’ll have enough to compete for a playoff spot at least – and want a seasoned coach to help navigate those waters.

    I still feel a Buss reluctance to compete with Phil for reasons that imply an unspoken collusion – call it cooperation – played a factor in passing on Fisher.

  103. Given West’s relationship with Mitch, and the fact that his son is a Laker scout, I would be very surprised if he gets a sniff.

    There are always things going on in coaching hires that we can’t see, so perhaps. But Jerry West doesn’t work for the Lakers anymore, hasn’t for years, and the Warriors did improve markedly under Jackson. And Kobe Bryant does still work for the Lakers, and I would think that Jackson would be a hire that Kobe would endorse.

  104. in my post I didnt speculate that the Lakers didn’t give Fisher a look because he only knew triangle – I was stating that I wouldve been happy to have Fisher here and would’ve liked to see what kind of coach he would be on his own – personally if he coached the upcoming Laker team I don’t think he’d be tied to the triangle as much – whereas in NewYork its clear that PJ has an idea how he wants to play and is hiring in that manner. I just wanted Fish to be his own man – wouldve liked to see how he developed on his own. Wouldve much preferred him over the current rumours that Scott is getting a serious 2nd look. If they bring Pau back and Nash is healthy enough to play – does Scott realize that means basically zero defensive effectiveness from his starting lineup? And since thats the one positive thing he can hang his hat on – how does he deal w that?

  105. above post first sentence should say – “in my post I didnt speculate that the Lakers didn’t give Fisher a look because he only knew triangle – but at least I could understand if they gave that as a reason” – just because the Laker roster is a mess and will be next year again – ergo a more experienced coach w exposure to different coaching situations may be more suited to the roster

  106. MannyP: “wrath”: That made me laugh. However, there will be no wrath this time. .
    Scott: I have not waivered one iota from my initial wild boast on this subject.
    I have been beating this drum and I will continue to beat it. I further predict a made for ESPN photo at the interview table. Mitch looking humble but in a very professional suit. Byron in a impeccable 3k suit looking like a total stud. Finally Jim wearing jeans and a baseball cap. I am going to go with a blue polo and a blue cap (he wears those for formal occasions),
    Game: No comment

  107. Fish going to NY is PJ saving face after Kerr left him high and dry, sorry, it is what it is, so far PJ’s moves in NY have not impressed me at all, signing Odom, still smh over that one, basically announcing Kerr and then we all know the rest. Getting slapped with a tampering fine for courting Fish while he was still in uniform, and now he wants Rambis too he can take that one after he basically stole his salary last season. There are reports that he is clashing with Dolan already and one little fact, people act like giving PJ all this power is unprecedented, guess what, he gave the same power to Zeke and we know how that turned out and later to Donnie Walsh who actually was doing a decent job rebuilding the Knicks with *gasp* MDA until Dolan went over Walsh’s head and traded the whole team for Melo. I dont think this is going to end well for PJ im sorry to say. I could be wrong of course but im not impressed, at all. So Byron Scott got a 2nd interview with Mitch and Jim, i think he us going to land the job im 80%sure lol. He is my candidate and with Fush gone it should be between him andHollins, those are MY preferences, like i said before, both have their pros and cons but they are the best choices, we are not getting the Next PJ or Pat Riley people sometimes have the most irrazonable expectations, is damned if you do and damned if you dont, either one if these coaches are a vast upgrade over what we had the last 3 years. Most importNtly, they are not old fossils like Some of the coaches people like to mention here. People forget the little fact that the Good Doctor wanted Scott to be the next coach after PJ for all the reasosn we know. Thats good enough for me. There is no miracle wunder coach out there. There are solid coaches…

  108. Typing from my phone, sorry Ko, and i second Robert about the game tonight. I dont give a crap..

  109. That the Lakers are on a holding pattern bc they want to lure Lebron and Melo is a lot of horse@&”%. I dont believe thats the case,at all, how many times we see these kinda rumors and then we hear from Mitch or somebody else that its not true? I rather takes my chances playing powerball than this happening.

  110. Spurs hang 71 on heat in the first half.

    Never thought it would be hypocritical to hire Karl after MDA but interesting take. Surprised Mcmillan hasn’t been mentioned more.

  111. Without going into detail I’m expecting the Lakers to absorb at least 1 bad contract of 1 year length from another team with incentives for the Lakers. This allows the Lakers to have the requisite cap room to sign an all-star the following year. Then another all-star the next year when Kobe’s deal expires. I see the lakers signing several solid free agents this year in the 3 to 7 million range.

    I don’t really see signing a major name this year as feasible as the roster would be 1 injury away from being a lottery team again. I think a strategy as outlined above gets the Lakers on the right path this year, gives Kobe 1 realistic year of being a contender, and has things on track for the post Kobe era assuming he retires at the end of his contract.

  112. As I mentioned several times on here the Clip sale is long from done. I was told by an old law school friend Sterling will contest his wife rights. They were setting up his mental claims to be able to claim daminshed capacity and throw out the sale if it didn’t go his way.

    NBA got conned and this will continue for a long time. Man lives for fights.

  113. The difference between the Knicks and the Lakers is that the Knicks have a plan. Succeed or fail, Phil is going to do things his way. He is not going down because the GM and the coach are on different pages. That is basically what Carroll did with the Seahawks; sign his kind of players, inject his style of play, and not worry about the critics (and send Phil a note thanking him for his advice). Phil knew what he wanted in a coach and found one. Contrast that with the Lakers who seem to be all over the map in their search. Phil will be loading up with assistant coaches while the Lakers are still trying to decide who they are and what they want.

  114. Ko
    If Shelly sterling signs docs to sell the team and pockets the proceeds it seems like it will be a real mess to unwind.
    Especially if Ballmer starts making improvements to ‘his’ team.
    So can Donald really stall the sale and gum up the works if all other parties proceed as if it’s a fait accompli?

  115. If he claims his signing trust over to her was done when clearly was due to mental incompetence which they have two Doctors to sign off on.

  116. It would actually surprise me if Sterling lost. Will be an awkward season next year if they can’t get this over with.

  117. The Donald signs off in a heartbeat if the NBA recants his lifetime ban and fine. This is all about image at this point and the Donald has never admitted fault to any of his crimes. Now the question is: are the owners still willing to vote him off the island if the consequences are answering questions under oath when the case goes to trial.

  118. Man, i have to laugh, people act like the Lakers should have a coach,the pick and 10 players under contract by now, if PJ wants to make moves in NY (and again i know it dont count for much, but so far im not impressed by any move he has made until now) let him!!! The season is not even over an people act like the preseason starts tomorrow, get a grip!! I think we have a HC candidate that got a 2nd interview, that might mean that they are closing in on making a decision, and i dont understand that after the last 2 hires people wanting the team to make another rushed half throught choice. If there is something the Lakers need to avoid at all costs is the impression that they are competing with PJ. I bet they will hire the next HC soon after the Finals are over. I dont get whats the damn desperate rush. The FO is hyper aware of how vital are the choices they have to make in the coming weeks, they dont need to rush and we need to be a little patient.

  119. Fern: do you speak with inside knowledge about the Laker FO? I think the concern you see on the board is due to the fact that many Laker fans are not convinced that Jim is doing anything other than winging it.

  120. Fern,

    The Lakers have no coach and only 3 players under contract for next season. Worse yet they floating some line about waiting to see what LeBron wants as the reason for not moving on a coach.The FO will look silly dragging this all out just to end up with Byron Scott. Say what you want about Phil. But he understands that the sooner a team starts rebuilding the culture the better. The Lakers not only lack a coach and a roster. They lack an identity. And on top of that their public statement basically says they want LeBron to come and give them an identity. That’s almost as bad the the banners begging Dwight Howard to stay.

  121. How about those Spurs going off like they did on the Heat.

  122. If someone in the Laker organization actually said on record that they are waiting for LBJ to finish the finals before selecting a coach because he may consider coming here, that would be like the emperor truly believing that his subjects were actually impressed with his new clothes.

  123. Renato Afonso June 11, 2014 at 2:59 am

    I don’t understand the rush to find a new coach. We’re still waiting for the draft and we don’t have a roster, so there’s no need to put a guy in just to talk with Kobe and Nash (and Sacre). Maybe the FO is waiting to see who falls to them at 7th before making the pick. If they get Randle, maybe Hollins will be heavily considered because of what he did with Marc and Z-Bo. Maybe if they get Smart they’ll have a look at Byron Scott who has been coaching some pretty strong point guards. Maybe Gordon is the one who fall to 7th and George Karl is the man explore his physical gifts and adjust to that. Maybe they are able to drat Vonleh and JVG is the one they go after since during his NBA coaching career he’s handled big men pretty well.

    Anyway, my point is that maybe having a coach before the draft isn’t important. Maybe we should see who get before rushing into a coaching hire. However, I do agree that early in free agency a coach should be in place so that he could tell FO the type of player he needs. And I’m not talking abou a Kevin Love trade scenario, since any coach would love to coach a star-caliber player, regardless of skillset and position. I’m talking about rounding up the roster: what kind of backup big does the roster need, should the backup backcourt be really strong defensively or provide a scoring punch and so on…

  124. Warren Wee Lim June 11, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Draft is near and the Kobe/Duncan comparisons being media subject will be ringing when Duncan gets ring #5. Oh you know what else comes after that? Free Agency.

    Consider me a realist but I don’t believe Lebron or Carmelo is walking through the door. I believe Lebron will consider other destinations, but eventually will choose to remain with the Heat with “unfinished business” and Carmelo will go the Dwight Howard route and go to Chicago. The Bulls would need to address payroll issues as they don’t have outright cap space. That’s easy.

    The Lakers can do an easy way of a rebuild, or do a quicker way. The quicker way is about getting ready-to-play players on good contracts so that:
    1. We give Kobe a chance to compete aka be 1 move away;
    2. They are young enough to have those guys part of Team Future post Kobe era.

    That said, I advocate for low-key signings that will turn out to be gold later. Spencer Hawes and Jordan Hill up front, let Pau walk to Memphis or get expiring + pick from them.

    Now here’s an interesting position, by the time we pick #7 and Smart and Vonleh happened to be picked at 5 and 6, I would entertain trading w/ Orlando for #12 while swapping Nash with a more effective player. At #12 Zach LaVine would be a low-risk-high-reward move.

    So many permutations right now in terms of coach, but my top choice remains JVG. Mark Jackson is my close-2nd choice and I wouldn’t be disappointed with Hollins. I also wish Skiles got consideration.

  125. Warren Wee Lim June 11, 2014 at 4:59 am

    In other news, Ettore Messina aka Stannis Barratheon is on his way to be Popovich’s assistant while Byron Scott gets a 2nd interview. 2nd interview almost always means he gets the job. I hope not.

  126. T.Rodgers, the Lakers are not floating anything, the Lebron thing is just a rumor like the thousand rumors and “insider” reports that float everyday. And like i say in other comment im guessing/ speculating like everybody else. So let me get this straight, PJ hiring Fisher was not winging it, how silly of me. “The Lakers have no coach and only 3 players under contract for next season”When is the Draft again? When the FA period begin again? Like i said, people act like the preseason starts tomorrow.

  127. Fern-people keep complaining that we only have 3 players in the roster and blah blah blah. Well, we can’t sign any free agents now, can we? What if the FO wants to interview someone currently on Pops squad? What if the approach they want to take this time is to hire a coach that is suited for the roster rather than hire a coach and then hope they can adjust their system to the roster?

    Let’s face it, if you have already decided that you disapprove of the FO, nothing they do, regardless of the rationality, will satisfy them. You see, in their minds, the coach needs to tell Jim and Mitch what they need to do and they are worried that without a coaches input these two guys do not know what they are doing. That is the jist of their argument – one I personally disagree with as the Lakers are only looking for a coach and not a VP/Coach.

    The reality is that free agents cannot be contacted before July 1 and the earliest they can sign is 1 week later (I think). You think things are bad now, boy, just wait until each of us start playing NBA GM and argue what player should be signed/traded. I’m ok with waiting to sign a coach once the FO figures out where they stand on their top target free agent(s) or trades for the off season. Some folks obviously disagree, but that’s the nature of being passionate fans.

  128. Man, the Spurs were rollin´ last night, whew
    caught Dave Chappelle´s visit to Letterman. Very funny! Thanks for the link –

  129. Oh yes, Chappelle on having kids:
    ` I´m a baby-making machine Dave, that´s how I like to chill´
    hahahahaha – fantastic

  130. JC,

    John Ireland basically said the same thing as that report on the air yesterday. He believes the Lakers are “keeping their options open” so to speak. He’s pretty well connected to the organization. Maybe that line of thinking is being put out there to throw everyone off the scent.


    Phil does appear to have a discernible plan. It was clear he wanted one of his former players. He wanted a coach to run the Triangle. He missed on Kerr but landed Fisher. That doesn’t seem like him winging it. It seems like him going to plan B when plan A didn’t pan out. The point is there seems to be a plan. They know the system they will run. Now Phil can turn his attention to reconstructing the roster to fit the system. Will it all work? Who knows. But there is clearly a plan there.

  131. T.Rogers> “The Lakers not only lack a coach and a roster. They lack an identity. And on top of that their public statement basically says they want LeBron to come and give them an identity.”

    What public statement?

  132. Isn’t Fisher like Plan “C”? Phil first wanted Kerr, then Shaw, and finally landed Fisher.

    I’m having a lot of fun just thinking of all the possibilities for next year’s team. I realize things won’t go into motion before July 1st. With so many open roster slots, next year could be anything imaginable. Really the only concerning thing I see is the F.O. tendency to express a desire to land the next franchise player now. I think that will be an easier sell next year, if they do all the prep work this year of assembling a strong core.

  133. Tim: I think the concern you see on the board is due to the fact that many Laker fans are not convinced that Jim is doing anything other than winging it.

    Brings up a good point – what is Mitch’s role in the FO? Does he simply implement Jim’s directives or does he have a seat at the table? There are times when I sense that Mitch is just a mouthpiece for Jim. Mitch is very good at answering questions without saying anything. I used to think that was to maintain leverage on all fronts. I’m beginning to think its also do to the fact that there is no unified path or plan.

  134. “Isn’t Fisher like Plan “C”? Phil first wanted Kerr, then Shaw, and finally landed Fisher.”

    It’s called the real world. Adjusting to it is what successful people must do.

    As far as the Laker FO goes, we don’t know what they’re thinking or doing, so wait and see.

  135. Brian: While you were a little rough I do agree with you. There is a lot of ‘uncertainty’ in the air and recently Laker fans have done their fair share of creating additional stress. From all reports Mitch does have an important seat at the table and he is a trusted voice when decisions are made.

    I think the entire FO realizes that the Lakers are at a very crucial time. They are dealing with some important issues:
    – A fading superstar that likely won’t be happy with a rebuild
    – A fan base that is extremely fickle and while they may be OK with another year without the playoffs they will want to see an infusion of talent and have the confidence that the franchise is on the rise.
    – A roster that quite honestly screams rebuild
    – A high draft pick that could either add a young core talent or be used to acquire an established player
    – Cap space that can either be used to sign young talent or established veterans
    – No coach. This on the heels of completely whiffing on the two previous hires (to the point of damaging the Lakers brand and good will).

    Jim and Mitch bear a lot of the responsibility for the state of the team. I’m sure they feel that they have to nail these next set of decisions. The problem is that there are no guarantees in this business.

    As I said Jim/Mitch do not get a free pass here. There have been too many mixed messages recently for my taste. Last off season, the team was looking forward to having a lot cap space which would be used to restock the roster. Then Kobe was signed to an extension that uses 40% of our cap. At the deadline Pau is not moved (for filler and a pick) because the Lakers are all about winning now. Then this off season Mitch says that it may take 2 or 3 years to become competitive again.

    I know that the NBA landscape moves often and to be successful you have to be open to change. However, the Lakers operate in a hard cap league where financial flexibility is the new currency and young controllable talent (draft picks) is the life’s blood of your organization. If your actions fly in the face of what makes sense then we, as fans, have a right to ask what is the FO is doing.

  136. What’s worse? …the fact that DFish was plan C for the Knicks……or that D’Antoni and Mike Brown were plan A for the Lakers.

    If another team’s plan C is better than your plan A, you are in trouble.

  137. Ramona Shelburne: One of the tests doctors asked Donald Sterling to perform, was to spell “world” backwards. He could not. Twitter @ramonashelburne – See more at:

  138. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too.
    This kind of clever work and exposure! Keep up the
    awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.