Lakers Gearing Up for Free Agency with Decisions on Kelly, Bazemore

Darius Soriano —  June 29, 2014

Free agency begins when the clock strikes midnight, turning Monday into Tuesday. At that point teams will be making their initial phone calls to free agents, putting out feelers and proclaiming interest. This includes the Lakers, who will be chasing the biggest fish on the market but would be wise to also look at the mid-tiered prospects who will be needed to fill out a roster that the front office obviously hopes will compete for a playoff spot next spring.

In the lead up to being able to sign other team’s free agents, the Lakers have made a couple of minor moves to help clean up their own cap. From the LA Times’ Eric Pincus:

The Lakers have given Ryan Kelly a $1-million qualifying offer, making the former Duke forward a restricted free agent.

Kelly was selected by the Lakers with the 48th pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

After a slow start as he recovered from April 2013 foot surgery, Kelly become a regular contributor this season, averaging 8.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game after the All-Star break.

The Lakers have chosen not to give guard/forward Kent Bazemore a qualifying offer of $1.1 million. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent this week.

I would have been on board with extending qualifying offers to both players, since both are so cheap and the Lakers will surely need to fill out their roster with players just like them — young, inexpensive, and eager to prove themselves capable of sticking in the league.

That said, declining to make Bazemore a restricted free agent makes a lot of sense for the Lakers. First, he is recovering from foot surgery and, even if he recovers to full health, right now his status is in doubt. Second, and more important, is that Bazemore is not likely to earn more than a minimum level deal on the open market. With this being the case, the Lakers can make him an unrestricted free agent and clear up some minor cap space in process all while speaking to him about potentially returning next year. Losing his rights does nothing to disrupt the Lakers’ plans and if both sides decide it would be good to have him back next season, they can work on that deal later in the free agent period.

Kelly, however, is a different story. The Lakers surely see Kelly as a player who will have more value on the open market and/or as a player they would like to retain next year. Making him a restricted free agent by extending him a qualifying offer gives them the right to match any contract Kelly is offered on the open market, which not only gives them leverage but options as well. If a team were to offer Kelly a contract, the Lakers could either match or let him walk for nothing. Another option would be to try and negotiate a sign and trade to the team who signs him to an offer sheet, extracting an asset in the process. I don’t envision that is the route things go with Kelly, but it is nice to have these options.

Of course, the hope is that bigger moves are on the horizon for the Lakers come July 1st. But in order to sign any of the bigger name players, the Lakers needed to make these smaller decisions in order to clean up their own house and clear up exactly what they are working with. Now, the real hunting can begin in earnest.

Darius Soriano

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to Lakers Gearing Up for Free Agency with Decisions on Kelly, Bazemore

  1. Yeah, good call. I can see Ryan Kelly developing into an off the bench stretch 4. He’s a high IQ player with length & a 3 pt shot. He’s also shown some potential to create both for himself and his teammates. Someone like Bazemore is little more easier to find on the cheap.

    I really hope the Lakers at least put out a competitive roster. Coz realistically I still don’t expect a whole lot next season since…

    – there won’t be any big name FA coming this summer (for a variety of reasons)

    – they are in the Western Conference

    – who knows at what level Kobe will play in

    – Nash and his dead weight situation

    – Did I mention they are in the Western Conference?

    So I think, again realistically, next season will be a time to give plenty of opportunity to Julius Randle to develop and acclimate his game to the NBA level, get Kobe to slowly get back to his usual level of play (without killing himself with heavy mins) and put out a relatively competitive roster that the fans enjoy watching and can root for. Let’s hope so.


  2. Until the whole melo/lbj thing is decided, nothing can be made. Hopefully the Lakers make a play for next years pick to be top 5 protected instead of playing for the 6-8 seed. I’d rather see the seeds of chip teams sown rather than seeds of mediocrity


  3. Robert Nalbandyan June 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I’d like for the Lakers to try and sign both Lowry and Stephenson this summer. Lakers should have around 23 million in cap space this summer, and I believe this would be enough to ink both. Then looking ahead to 2015 Free Agency, there will be plenty of quality defensive centers available like Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik, and Tyson Chandler. With Nash’s 9.7 million coming off in 2015, I’d like for the Lakers to try and sign Marc Gasol, to pair next to Randle. Besides what Gasol brings defensively, I love bigs who can pass, and see the floor well. 2016 Free Agency obviously brings Kevin Durant. I don’t think he’s completely happy being on OKC, especially after the team dumped Harden, and potentially their championship window, to avoid paying 1 year of the luxury tax. If the Lakers spend smart, and work to building a strong foundation these next two years, I think that would put them in a good position to sign Durant. A starting lineup of Lowry, Stephenson, Durant, Randle, and M. Gasol would be something special.


  4. the other Stephen June 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    I’m glad the team RFA-ed Kelly, and while I understand their reasons for not doing the same with Bazemore, I do hope they ultimately bring him back next year. The Lakers need to keep the few young players with potential that they have within the fold. Bazemore has a good mix of tools–length and athleticism, disruption and anticipation on defense, a decent driving/slashing/dishing game (in either direction), a perimeter stroke, off-the-ball movement and cutting, finishing ability–and I hope he can follow Jodie Meek’s development arc with some hard work.


  5. Warren Wee Lim June 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Im hoping our 1st 2 moves involve tendering offer sheets to Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward and Eric Bledsoe.


  6. if the lakers can’t add young cornerstones, we ought to just load up on vets.

    steve nash / luke ridnour / jordan clarkson
    kobe bryant / ray allen
    paul pierce / mike miller / caron butler
    julius randle / ryan kelly
    jermaine o’neal / chris andersen / bobby sacre

    coach: jerry sloan
    offense: flex


  7. Honestly, if all of the Laker’s free agents chose to sign elsewhere, my reaction would be…so what?

    From the previous post:
    Can Randle average 16 pts & 8 rebounds per game for the Lakers? If he can he’ll join the short list of only ten forwards to do it in a Laker uniform. If he can average that for more than one season the list becomes shorter, only been accomplished by five forwards in Laker history.

    Sure one huge reason is because of the Lakers list of HOF centers (Mikan, Chamberlain, Jabbar, & Shaq). That said, Randle has an opportunity to be one of the more productive fours to wear a Laker uniform.


  8. Renato Afonso June 30, 2014 at 6:52 am


    I would never support a team with Paul Pierce in it. Period. He can wheelchair is way out of Brooklyn if he wants to…


  9. I can see why the Lakers decided to let Bazemore go. They have too many wings. Kelly, however, has the chance to be someone very special. He might become another Ryan Anderson.


  10. the other Stephen June 30, 2014 at 8:41 am


    Ridnour is only a wee lad. Go big and double up on Mike James and Jason Terry. Nazr Mohammed hasn’t retired yet either.


  11. Chibi,

    1. Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Scott Skiles (out of retirement) player/coach
    2. Kobe Bryant, Raja Bell
    3. Antawn Jamison, Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler, The Butler
    4. Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly
    5. Robert Sacre, Kurt Thomas

    The new jersey space for sponsorship can be MediAlert or The Clapper.


  12. Robert I’m with you 100%. I’m making calls to Lance and Lowry trying to get them some frontloaded contracts that will make grabbing a center (Marc or Aldridge who can play some center) next off season easier and eventually hopefully lead to KD. I imagine something like Lowry at $14M, $12M, $10M over the course of his 3 year deal and Lance at $11M, $9M, $7M, that way in 2016 when KD is a free agent, these 2 are only costing us $17M combined. The biggest thing to me is getting some pieces who can attract free agents in the future and can cover Kobe and Randle on defense. Also after some of the early free agency dust has settled, I’m looking at bringing back Xavier Henry and Wes Johnson at cap friendly contracts. Maybe Jordan Hill too.


  13. I would be very happy to see Kelly back. He was rated as one of the best rookies last year with very high productivity. I liked what I saw in him when he was drafted and correctly predicted he would work his way into the starting line up.

    This year I’m not so optimistic about what I’ve seen from our draftee. I see some promise in Randle being able to face up and score but I’m pessimistic about his post play and defense. Its a little early to predict without seeing more of the roster but I could see Kelly stepping up again.

    On the coaching front, I would think the Lakers have had enough time to do their due diligence on picking a coach. I would consider it poor judgement to give a free agent any say in choosing the next coach if that is indeed happening while very publicly saying Kobe would not.


  14. Lebron is a fantasy. Everything points to he/Wade/Bosch returning to Miami. I am not a Melo fan. While I can see the potential of him playing with Kobe (who may be able to coax the best out of him) it remains to be seen if Kobe is still Kobe.

    My fear, which has been mentioned by others, is that we would sign Melo to a near max deal for 4 years. When Kobe retires in two years we will have a 33 year old Melo as the core of our team. This is a recipe for disaster and will prompt the FO to fill in the roster with over priced veterans. You see where I’m going with this – no cap space because we will always have too many overpriced veterans on the roster.

    Unless you can sign veterans to two year deals so their contracts expire with Kobe’s I would stay away from overpaying (in terms of years) for nice to have veterans.

    Its not a difficult plan to execute: Hire the right coach, draft well (Randle is a good start) and spend your cap space wisely. In the future after we have sufficient assets we can look to make trades – the right trades (think of a desperate OKC dumping Harden). Its just that this plan requires a FO skill that the Lakers have never displayed: patience.


  15. Okay, please watch the Randle video Darius linked in his twitter feed. Spare me the “but it’s high school” remarks. Just watch his handle, surprising plasticity of movement in attacking the rim, and smooth shot. A slimmed down Randle can play inside and outside.


  16. Chibi & Hale
    Agree but would suggest

    Michael Caine (Batman’s Butler) at the 3 &
    Bill Bertka and Tex Winter as assistant coaches

    Chris Y
    By far your best post


  17. I’m skeptical of Lowry. He’s the classic buy high veteran coming off of a career year that he will never duplicate. He’ll want a 4 year deal – the last two of which he’ll be dead weight. If you can get him here on a two year deal to mirror Kobe’s contract then I’m a little more interested. Although, I honestly think we can spend our cap space in other areas.

    Again, I am thinking of maintaining cap flexibility for the next 2 – 3 years. I sense that the FO and the fans are going to spend our current cap space regardless of the long term value our purchase brings. If we were talking about adding assets to the 2012/13 Kobe then you might overpay to get them. It makes no sense to make ‘winning for Kobe’ our mantra if there is uncertainty around what kind of a Kobe we’ll have on the court.

    I think a longer term approach is needed.


  18. This Kidd to the Bucks thing is confusing me. Is this a case of the Bucks really wanting Kidd or the Nets really wanting to get rid of Kidd? It all just seemed to come out of nowhere.


  19. One of the new Bucks owners has a personal relationship with Kidd that goes back more than a few years. Drew is a previous regime guy. You can connect the dots from there.


  20. @Chris Y, I don’t get what the big deal about the coaching thing is. All that talk about how it will effect the FA and what will they think is BS. Very few coaches would affect the decision of a FA. And any of those coaches are gone. So they might as well put together a team and then figure out what coach would fit with it. But it won’t matter much. There are really only 5 or so coaches that produce wins (according to win-shares). Coaching is overrated unless you have a Phil Jackson or Pop.


  21. Justin,

    Having no coach would definitely affect veteran free agents like Carmelo and LeBron. Of course, those two aren’t coming anyway. But how can the Lakers be taken seriously when they don’t even have a leader on the bench yet? When Carmelo meets with the Lakers don’t you think he’d like to talk to the coach about what he wants from him? Those guys are not switching teams for money. They want an organization that will give them the best chance to compete for a title. Not having a coach on the eve of free agency just screams that the Lakers are not ready for the big time yet.

    Now the younger guys like Greg Monroe or Eric Bledsoe are different. They are restricted free agents looking for their first big paydays. For the right price they’ll ride out the Lakers current shortcomings.


  22. I vociferously supported Kelly’s productivity this past season proclaiming, “How you like me now” when he scored 18 points against Houston. I like players that know how to get to spots on the floor, set screens, make assists, and get their shot off in their money spot. Typically, R. Kelly ‘s stats were up and down playing in a fast paced Dantoni system. His lack of conditioning and inability to work on strengthening his core during the off-season in order to withstand the rigors of the NBA were evident as the season progressed. This season I expect to see some of the same fire he displayed while, at Duke, he is not a starter in a run and gun system, but I tell you what if the Lakers let him go PJ and Fisher would snatch him up in a nano-second. Add San Antonio to that list, too.

    As for the Lakers draft pick, I desired Gordon for defense and entertainment purposes, you know a high-flyer. If the Lakers drafted him, Kobe would have him on ESPN highlights regularly. He was a player young Laker Nation would support, as most only watch ESPN dunks to ascertain if they want that player’s jersey. To that end, Julius Randle will have to beast opponents in the post and dunk on them regularly, in a similar fashion as Blake Griffin during his rookie season to warrant the jersey and merchandise buyers to purchase his product.

    Julius Randle is going to shock us all (except maybe Eric) on his skill set, the desire to play for a team and held in esteem by one’s idol factors in what a player will accomplish on the court. That Kentucky team was not balanced (or smart) enough to capitalize on his strenghts in college games. He should have been the focal point on that team, rather than an after-thought.

    At any rate, he is the second rookie in back-to-back seasons that I will watch blossom. Ready for this season to start…oh wait no coach.

    Truthfully, the Lakers had a perfect scheme in place whereby they had rookies join the team with a veteran at their position to provide tutelage. Think Rambis and Green, Jones and Bryant, Van Exel and Fisher, that identity was abrogated when PJ coached. The team recruited players specifically for his system with no thought to tenure. BTW, the triangle achieved the Lakers goal by netting the team multiple championships, therefore my problem was not with that arrangement, however it is obvious that the triangle ill-prepared the Lakers to play catch-up with the league that showcased athleticism and agility.


  23. I’m hoping the Lakers are smarter than simply putting all their eggs in the basket of getting multiple big FA’s in the future. The Spurs should be an inspiration. Find talent where others aren’t looking. Hire the right coach and other personnel. With patience, from this moment forward, assemble quality, complementary talent, players with the right stuff between the ears, all within a culture that demands excellence in all facets of the game. When a big FA is to be had, he should be wise enough to recognize where a winning framework has been established.

    Then again, maybe that’s just asking too much of this Laker FO, in which case, the best hope is they get lucky and big stars are attracted by the bright lights of Hollywood.


  24. Chearn: Nice post! Eric is the man on all things Kentucky.


  25. Coach: I am glad so many are jumping on the FO for this coaching debacle. Whether you are advocating for Byron or not, this inaction is just inexplicable. So the Nets are now looking at Hollins, Messina, JVG, etc. Only difference is that they are actually going to pick one!
    chris y: “comb your hair, take your hat off, explain yourself…..” Well – this was funny. However – let me correct one item. Before the combing – there needs to be a cutting. Not because it is too long mind you (remember I am a hard rocker), but rather because Jim’s current doo, like with the overall FO plan, direction and style are completely unidentified, and there is absolutely no regard for public perception.
    Chearn: Nice post. And I realize you are not criticizing Phil. That said: “however it is obvious that the triangle ill-prepared the Lakers to play catch-up with the league ” The key here is that we are playing “catch up”. The Lakers have not been designed to play “catch up” in 67 years. Of course we are ill prepared. How did we get here? : )


  26. I really hope the Lakers make a play for Eric Bledsoe. In the Western Conference you need a point guard who can hold his own. I’d love to see Bledsoe teamed with Randle and maybe Monroe. I know the numbers may not work. But that would be a nice start to getting the team back where it belongs. The key as not to overpay. Unfortunately, to pry away UFA’s sometimes teams have to overpay.


  27. however it is obvious that the triangle ill-prepared the Lakers to play catch-up with the league that showcased athleticism and agility.

    Jackson’s best teams here had some athletes (Kobe 2001, Ariza and Odom 2009) and so obviosuly did his teams in Chicago, during the first threepeat. The Triangle has nothing to do with the Lakers losing team-based athleticism; that was caused by the FO making a long series of acquisitions and moves designed to win one more title and to fill specific skillsets, often involving adding guys 30 or older:

    Ariza to Artest
    Farmar to Blake
    Theo Ratliff
    Jason Kapono
    Troy Murphy
    Jodie Meeks
    Steve Nash
    Chris Duhon
    Chris Kaman

    Sessions is pretty athletic; so is Josh McRoberts, but Mike Brown was not into either one of them. Hill has some athletic ability but is more about motor. Ebanks and Morris were reasonably athletic, but nothing special by NBA standards, and they just couldn’t play. The Lakers also cut uber-jock Gerald Green during this post-Triangle period, and many of the above moves were made after Phil was gone.

    Matt Barnes was 30 when he came here, although he was still pretty athletic. And of course, your favorite Ryan Kelly, while he did a nice job last year, was brought in based on a specific skill–not athleticism, and was brought in under D’Antoni.


  28. I think the Lakers will sign a couple of free agents, resign one or more players, hire a coach and fill out the roster. That’s my prediction for this off season. I bet you I’m the only one whose prediction will be 100% accurate.


  29. T. Rogers: I like Bledsoe a lot as well. However, the Suns have cap space and will match, especially an offer from the Lakers.


  30. I like the fact that so many are open to looking at Parsons, Stephenson and Monroe. All are rising stars and they are 25 (Parsons) and 23 years old respectively. These would be great acquisitions if the Lakers could get two out of the three of them.

    If Houston has an inkling that they can sign Melo, Parson’s may have to be expendable. Stephenson is unrestricted so Mitch just has to make a solid offer. Monroe may be an un-affordable luxury to Detroit because the Pistons are over the cap and they still have to pay Drummond next summer.

    I really like Monroe so my heart was beating when Detroit was in talks to dump Josh Smith on the Kings. That move would have taken Monroe off the market as the Pistons would have had the financial flexibility to resign him.


  31. Leo June 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    I like the fact that so many are open to looking at Parsons, Stephenson and Monroe.

    Yeah, but is the Lakers FO open to this??


  32. bledsoe is a very risky play. knee injuries have caused him to miss a lot of games.


  33. R: On the Herd last week, Dave McMenamin said that Plan A was Lebron/Melo and that Plan B included Stephenson and Monroe. Parsons was a lock to resign in Houston until they were mentioned in the Lebron/Melo Sweepstakes.

    The Rockets likely can’t sign both but can you imagine Lebron in Houston. That may be the only way that DHoward gets a ring.


  34. One more note on Bledsoe. If the Lakers are really bringing in Scott to coach then have to make hard play for Eric Bledsoe. Scott’s best teams were PG dominated teams. And Bledsoe is the best PG on the market. Plus, unlike Lowry he is on the right side of 25.


  35. @Chris Y, Hey Chris let me explain more since you think I didn’t understand your point. The whole thing of being transparent and putting up facades for the public is pointless. First most of the trades in Laker history come because people don’t see them. If you are transparent then your plan is either fool proof or will get completely undermined by all the other offices. So the only reason for Jim Buss to “look” better for the fans is for his personal PR. When Lebron went to Miami they sucked and only had Wade and Beasley (who was a huge bust). And they had Spolestra as coach, an unproven coach that everyone though of as a video coordinator. You think that mattered. The people that run the players are the agents. The agents already know how a front office runs. The Lakers hiring a coach today would do absolutely nothing for FAs and only be for fans. If the Lakers selling point is to tell the player they can have input (which Dwight wanted but had none), it is another selling point. It may not be much but it would be seen as something since Kobe, Shaq, etc have had no input on their coach. Again it may be nothing but when you are making a play at the biggest names they feel they need as many bullets as they can get. And back to Jim Buss for a second, could you tell me all about Peter Holt (Spurs owner). No good ownership has nothing to do with PR and getting in front of your fans to sell them you are good at your job. He may be shy or hate being in front of the media. Heck you could say a thousand great things and one dumb thing and the media may probably go with the dumb thing and make you look like an idiot. As for coaching, Hollins, Mark Jackson (if that is indeed who Lebron wants), they tired to get Thibs, Rambis, Dunleavy, Ollie, Cal, etc have all been linked or rumored. And each of those coaches has been linked to a player (mostly Lebron, but also Durant with Ollie). But again it sounds like you are complaining because you don’t know and don’t want to wait. That is purely a PR thing. If you still disagree, then I really am misreading you and not getting at what your point is.


  36. T Rodgers: As many have pointed out, Bledsoe has missed many games due to injury and has already had knee surgery. I always bet against hyper-athletic small guys because what makes them outstanding is usually the first thing to go. Don’t think we will see a big offer here.


  37. Marc Stein says Lowry is all but certain to go back to Toronto and Monroe was given a qualifying offer making him a RFA and the Pistons will match any offer he gets. Sorry guys options are dwindling. When Lance Is one of your few options you are in a bad spot.


  38. I don’t see Bledsoe coming. Other Laker RFA targets (Monroe and now Parsons) have teams that are already capped out (Pistons) or need to free up space for bigger fish (Rockets with Lebron/Melo). The Suns were playing amazing ball and so was Bledsoe before he went down so performance is not an issue. Plus they have cap space. He’s staying in Phoenix.


  39. This free agent season will be very interesting. Previously the Lakers have NEVER had problems attracting free agents, even at discounted prices. But the main reason why has been a serious opportunity to win a ring. I’m looking forward to seeing the caliber of free agent who desires to:

    -play on a team which has a good chance of NOT making the post-season,
    -play w/ Kobe X (Kobe the Unknown, production wise on court)
    -join a team w/o a clear direction (rebuilding or going for it)
    -join a team w/o a coach.
    -join a team w/ unknown teammates, thus an unknown role
    -do all of the above on a one or two year contract at a discounted rate

    Yes I’m very interested in seeing the caliber of free agents willing to sign w/ our Lakers starting tomorrow. Hopefully they won’t just use Laker $$’s to get better offers from other teams.


  40. melcountscounts June 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Thought Bazemore was a keeper. What do I know? Maybe more than the FO it seems sometimes…

    Lowry and Stephenson, great…one is a coach killer, and the other one is seemingly crazy. If we’re going to stink, can we have a little class at least?


  41. Big City
    That’s a sobering outlook.
    (And slightly discouraging.)

    The last guys to take a pay cut to come here were Antawn Jamison and Jordan Farmar.
    And Dwight took a paycut to leave!!

    The old ways are dying.
    We’re Laker FANS and we can’t even see why
    a free agent would be dying to play for Jim Buss.
    I wonder how it looks from a FA’s viewpoint!

    I like Manny’s take.
    ‘Something will happen.’
    I concur 🙂


  42. Heres hoping we get hollins in as a coach

    Most likely scenarios
    – pau resigns
    – farmar resigns- starts
    – hill resigns
    – we sign one of ariza or deng to play the 3
    – young resigns as our 6th man
    – we got after 2-3 rotation players
    – surprise signing in bynum …. who plays well


    To me farmar was our best guard last year but got his minutes cut because of dantoni and injuries – if hollins is coach he has similar size to conley but better shooting a bit more athletic and hollins will coach up his defense and half court game

    Kobe plays the 2

    Ariza would be great at the 3 and could be a better tony allen

    Randle starts at the 4

    Gasol at the 5

    Good bench in young, hill, kelley,nash? (Whoever nash gets flipped for) and we could easily find another 1-2 guys

    Ed davis could be a hill replacement if he jets, james johnson was great for memphis before his mins got cut at the end of the year (court case disregarded), and aaron brooks who lit it up at the emd of the year for denver could be great as another 1 since he can break down a defense with his dribble and shoots the 3 well

    We cpuld realistically compete for the playoffs if we are able to slow the tempo down so tjay we dont get into races with teams like gs, no, houston, or san antonio

    Dallas played san antonio better than the heat and outside of monta ellis every guy on their team that played was older

    I really think we are not that far away we just need the right strategy


  43. why do people continue to believe Pau is even a remotely smart signing. classic case of living in the past. Signing Pau would be a gigantic mistake because he would take the slot of a younger player. Pau will go to a contender, hopefully. good for him. but stop thinking it is a good idea to have Pau on the Lakers next year or any year in the future.

    and for those who are worrying about FA signings, listen to what Mitch actually says. they aren’t signing guys just to spend the cap. they have a very well-defined plan and they will stick to it. in Mitch we trust.


  44. Unlike somevhere, I so want to see a competitive team with a shot at the playoffs.

    Personally I can not handle another year of my compliments on a Laker talk and my repetative junk on here and being caught in moderation.

    And I am sure you all also sick of me.

    Just give me some hope
    Some dreams
    Some wins
    Just something


  45. Scenes we’d like to see:
    Bledsoe or Lowry at the 1 (Nash off the bench)
    Kobe at the 2
    Stephenson or Parsons at the 3
    Randle at the 4
    Pau or —???? at the 5
    Swaggy off the bench
    Sacre waving a towel

    That’s just two mid-tier FA signings, plus Pau.
    We can do this – right???

    When I look at the list of FAs and the teams vying for their services it boggles the mind. I’m so used to players really wanting to play here above almost anywhere else.
    Now it feels like we’re just another destination –with issues (!)

    Just gotta get back to those winning ways again to turn that tide.
    I genuinely hope Kobe repays the franchise for its generosity by assisting in the recruitment process and showing a good “team” attitude that free agents pick up on.

    Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long rebuild.


  46. Westchester Mike June 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    As long as the don’t sign that moron from LMU. Anthony Ireland or something. He lives on our block and is a complete pot head gangsta wanna be. Been a nightmare with around here with thugs, extremely load music, smell of weed and really disgusting language around children.


  47. Interesting stuff from Zach Lowe:
    The Thunder are indeed paying into the revenue-sharing system, rare for such a tiny market, but they’re slated to make nearly $29 million in profit when everything is netted out. That’s the fifth-best projection in the league, trailing only the Lakers ($100.1 million), Bulls ($61 million), Rockets ($40.7 million), and Celtics ($33.1 million)….

    • Holy cow, the Lakers! They end up with that huge profit despite contributing a league-high $49 million to revenue sharing. The league’s revenue sharing is complex, with payouts and contributions tied to all sorts of variables — market size, profitability, earnings benchmarks, and other stuff. A few teams, including the Lakers and Knicks, play in markets so large they are disqualified from ever receiving revenue-sharing payouts.


  48. I really hate the position the Lakers are in, your options are either:

    A) Overpay any free agents this summer (like Parsons or Lance – both guys will be overpaid NBA journeymen IMO)

    B) Save cap space, sign cheap veterans to one year deals and play money ball. Stay somewhat competitive even though as deep as the West is there is a real possibility they still miss the playoffs (and get stuck with a mid round pick).

    C) Tank city (which would be difficult due to Kobe’s competitive drive). I also think people who hope for this route are in for a rude awakening in terms of players in the draft next year. Many of the top players projected to go are freshmen and overrated IMO. Could be a very weak draft, for example Mudiay (projected top 3) is basically a Tyreke Evans clone, Jahlil Okafor #1 overall projected pick is basically a Jared Sullinger clone (slightly taller but still struggles with length). There are college players like Willey Cauley Stein and Montrezl Harrell both long term projects who wouldn’t have been drafted in the top 10 this year. Basically I am trying to say nobody who can realistically help Kobe right away in competing for a title.

    D) Save majority of cap space until the ideal fit FAs come along, collect assets and hope that really good players want to leave their teams via sign and trades. I think this is the best option, but having Kobe and his desire to win makes this hard. The funny thing is this option is almost identical to option B, and probably ends up being the same option because I can see guys like Xavier leaving the Lakers to secure better deals (Indiana is supposedly interested in him to replace whatever is left of Evan Turner’s career). In option B the Lakers are able to sign decent talent and stay competitive, the difference with this option is the Lakers fill out their roster with basically summer league roster talent which results in probable lottery pick.

    The Lakers are in a no win situation and I don’t see them being able to pull guys like Durant from OKC, people underestimate the brotherhood he shares with Westbrook, if you don’t believe that then check his comments about Russell at his MVP acceptance speech.

    Odds are the Lakers are going to see a long and challenging rebuilding process. Randle is a great start but there is a long way to go.


  49. Also just my two cents on the coaching hire, I think the front office already knows who their man is. I have seen this idea floated around on twitter and I think it is totally logical, they are really waiting to see if there is any chance they can lure Lebron/Carmelo and offer them the option of selecting the coach as added incentive. Once they strike out with both guys I am sure there will be a hiring fairly quickly.


  50. SGDE

    I agree people should let Pau go. Nice guy but weak on D and an injury waiting to happen.

    I also have an issue with the thrust Mitch.. I don ‘t

    The big years were build by West and the residue was assumed by Mitch. The one big move he gets ctedit for was Pau. Inside info claims the consultent for Memphis made that call Mr. Logo. And also which Gasol would you like now?

    Name 2 good drifts or moves Mitch has made the past 5 years other then that Pau gift.

    I’m waiting!
    Sorry I can ‘t hear you.
    Guessing Jerry wouldn’t have left the team in the pile they currently are in. Guessing he would not throw away draft choices for a guard on AARP.
    No way Jerry allows hiring of Browm and Dumtoni

    Sorry not thrusting Mitch here.


  51. Things are looking up again. It seems LBJ is giving Riley one shot at bringing in help. Of course this means Melo because after that there isn’t a quality free agent out there for the Heat. Gotat is the next best… But he is an average player. He would help of course but enough? I doubt it.

    Report: LeBron, Bosh, Wade to give Riley ‘window’ to upgrade roster