Yes, you should want Carmelo Anthony

Daniel Rapaport —  July 3, 2014

The absolute chaos formally known as the NBA’s annual free agency period toys with fans’ imaginations each and every year. In an instant, a team’s fanbase can go from being depressed about what the next five years will look like to fantasizing about a starting five that includes every marquee free agent. I have to admit that during this free agency period, I’ve fallen into the trap. You guys, I’m really, really excited about having even a slight chance of landing Carmelo Anthony. And you should be too.

There’s a belief among a troubling amount Lakers fans on the Twittersphere that the purple blue and gold should not offer Carmelo the maximum 4-year, $97 million dollar contract that they’ve put on the table. Those who believe this claim that Carmelo isn’t a “winning player” because he’s yet to make it to the Finals in his first eleven years in the league. And while I respect the passion of the fanbase (it’s what makes ours the greatest in the sport), I feel as though the anti-Carmelo camp needs a stern talking to from the voice of reason. And I personally volunteer to act as the voice of reason.

I’d like to start by dispelling the rumors that Carmelo isn’t a winner. Sure, Carmelo hasn’t enjoyed deep playoff runs during his stellar career. But last season was the first of his career that he missed the playoffs. Carmelo has been the first option on every team he’s ever played on, so it’s not like he’s riding the coattails of other superstars, also. Clearly, Carmelo knows what it takes to win in the NBA. To knock the dude for not having won a championship is lazy; as a certain team from South Florida has shown, one, and probably even two, superstars aren’t enough to get a title in today’s NBA. I have zero doubts that if given a sublime supporting cast like LeBron was in Miami, Carmelo could contend and win championships.

And as Melo passes the 30 benchmark and heads toward the tail end of his career, you have to believe his main focus above all will be winning. He’s looking for his Miami, a place to go and join other players that he can trust in order to get that elusive championship. And for those of you who have watched Carmelo play for Team USA, you know that when he wants to be, he can move the ball very well within an offense and isn’t always the gunner ball-stopping type that his haters label him as. If he leaves New York, he’ll be desperate to win, no matter what it takes.

Kobe and Carmelo’s friendship has been well-documented and probably a bit exaggerated by the media these past couple days. But it’s true that the two are very close and that Kobe admires and respects Carmelo, and we all know that Kobe doesn’t give compliments easily. They’ve won two gold medals together and both share the ability to hit mind-blowingly difficult fadeaway jump shots (they probably don’t bond over this, but I have an image in my mind of the two playing absolutely epic HORSE games that last until the early morning). So the locker-room chaos that took place last year with Dwight having such a different approach to his job than Kobe and Nash wouldn’t realistically be an issue.

I’m somewhat confident in suggesting that Laker fans do, and should, trust Phil Jackson’s judgement. Hell, Phil is a borderline deity to Laker fans, and rightfully so. So my question is this: If Phil badly wants to keep Carmelo in New York, shouldn’t you want him in Los Angeles? Phil Jackson understands the inconvenient truth that these type of players don’t come along too often, and when they do, you simply can’t let them walk despite the fact that sometimes they may shoot too often.

Let’s be honest here. Signing Carmelo is virtually the only chance the Lakers have to get Kobe his coveted 6th ring, which seems to be the number one priority for the front office whether you agree with it or not. That’s why it blows my mind that some people truly believe the team would be in a better position to win and win soon without Carmelo. When you accept the reality that the Lakers have no shot of landing LeBron, it becomes shockingly evident that the Lakers don’t have many options here. Some are proposing LAL sign a younger player whose best days are ahead of him, like a Lance Stephenson or an Eric Bledsoe type. But those type of players are still 2 or 3 years away from entering what I like to call “prime championship years.” While your physical prime might come around 25, it takes more than being in your physical prime to win championships. It’s during a player’s late 20’s/early 30’s, when he’s still in the tail end of his physical prime while simultaneously understanding what it takes mentally to be a champion that he’s most likely to win (see James, LeBron or Jordan, Michael). Carmelo is in his championship prime. He’s ready to win now.

Lastly, let’s revisit just how special of a player Carmelo is. Sure, he has his flaws, but I don’t think people realize just how good Carmelo Kyam (isn’t that a sweet middle name) has been over the past two seasons. Over the past two years, he’s averaging exactly 28 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists on 45% FG, 39% 3FG and 83.9% from the line. For those of you who claim he’s not efficient, he’s finished in the top-10 in each of the past two seasons in Player Effeciency Rating. Those are bonafide superstar-in-his-prime numbers. And that’s exactly what Carmelo Anthony is- a superstar in his prime.

When you have the opportunity to get a superstar in his prime, you should be pumped.


Daniel Rapaport

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320 responses to Yes, you should want Carmelo Anthony

  1. “Let’s be honest here. Signing Carmelo is virtually the only chance the Lakers have to get Kobe his coveted 6th ring.”

    WTF?? This is the kind of stuff people talk about when they say this fan base is split..you have Kobe fans and Laker fans. Getting Kobe short term playoff contention should not come at the expense of the teams health long term.

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  2. Wtf indeed James

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  3. In no way am I going to call Carmelo a bad player or a guy who can’t win. Those are silly statements. Melo is a top-15 NBA Player and everybody knows you can’t win with a bad roster around you.
    That’s not why I’m against signing Melo. I’m against signing Melo because I don’t want to risk losing focus of the long-term/bigger picture view just to get “Kobe his coveted 6th ring”.

    Why do I care if Kobe get’s a ring in the next 2 years? It’s very highly unlikely without Melo, and just highly unlikely with Melo.

    As a fan, I want to see LA dominate for years to come – and not just focus on the short term goal of ‘getting Kobe another ring’ (or worse – getting just into the playoffs). If Kobe really wanted that ring, would he have signed a contract that ate up 1/3rd of LA’s available cap space?
    But I digress…

    Here’s why signing Melo potentially can set LA even more back.
    It takes us out of the running for a max-free agent in 2015.
    Not only that, but the prize of 2016 – Kevin Durant – might be turned off by playing with a 33 year old Melo who’s making $25M. I’m not expecting Melo to fall off a cliff in 3 years, but let’s face it, he’s going to likely start declining.

    This sours one LA’s selling points. LA should aim to have a pretty contract-barren roster in 2016. The fact that we can sell Durant – and potentially one or two other max guys to come to LA, to play for the premier franchise of the NBA, and to win rings together is pretty attractive if you ask me.

    Look at Miami in 2010. Do people not remember the 2-3 years before? Teams – Miami included- were setting themselves up to sign LeBron and potentially other free-agents. LA must do the same. That means sacrificing the next 2 seasons (and by sacrificing, I don’t mean tanking.) for a potential long-term gain.

    Can it fail? Yes. But LA being LA, MUST take that chance. If it works, the payoff is going to be HUGE.

    So to conclude: Melo is a fine player, and unless we’re getting Bosh or LeBron, I dont think LA should go after him. Why? Because it hurts the bigger picture. It doesn’t necessarily kill us, and Melo is always a tradeable asset. But it can potentially harm us by hurting our cap flexibility, especially if Melo declines faster than what everyone is projecting.

    (FWIW: LA has a lot of cap flexibility in 2016 thanks to Kobe’s contract coming off the books. So if LA can land a young star/solid player -think Lance this summer or Love next summer- It should absolutely do it. We’ll still have the room to sign Durant and probably another max guy as well…)

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  4. I’m not under the belief that Melo isn’t a great player, but I believe if we sign him to the max for 4 years, this year we might be able to make a playoff run and maybe make the second round if we are lucky, next year about the same, and then what? Even WITH melo on the roster, there is close to no chance we get Kobe his 6th, but we do hinder the “rebuild” process. That is why I would rather let Melo walk, sign Stevenson or Ariza, and basically psuedo tank for 2 years while we wait for Kobes contract to expire so we can actually rebuild. Let Randle develop, see if we can give Clarkson some court time so he might evolve into a rotation player in 2-3 years, and then start from there. I think its silly to believe that Kobe and Melo will get a championship together.

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  5. The cost of Carmelo concerns me, but he is a prodigious talent. I am a big proponent of cap management, but there is something to be said for having a true cornerstone player on your team; the type of player who can potentially attract similarly talented players. As for winning Kobe a 6th ring, to me it is less about that & more about maximizing your roster while you have talent on it. There are nothing but “ifs” surrounding Kobe right now, but the Lakers’ best chance of contending in the short term is about adding talent to Kobe with the belief he will recover physically enough to be a very productive player.

    Basically, I think the argument against Melo is his cost, not his talent. The numbers *and* how defenses treat him support him being a difference maker offensively, the type of player who can tilt the floor in his direction and prop up an offense. Signing Melo at his max salary would temper my enthusiasm somewhat, but I’d still be very happy to secure a player as good as him.

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  6. You forget that he is a horrid defender. Say it a million times,dont want him on the team.

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  7. When it was no longer possible for Kobe to get himself his sixth ring — which happened the year he needed Metta World Peace to win Game 7 and his fifth ring — my priority went back to hoping the teams wins championships for its own sake.

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  8. Agree with this article and i am not a Melo fan. You have to go after the big fish. and in this class it is Lebron 1, Melo 2. Lebron isn’t really fielding calls at this time, but if he were, Lakers would be calling his phone non-stop. Next fish: Melo. You have to offer it. Sure the CBA sucks and it limits what the big clubs can do, but stars sell in the NBA and you only win when you have the best/biggest star.
    Sadly we can’t all be the San antonio Spurs. You can’t have just one guys sacrifice and expect the team to do right. Even the Mavs screwed dirk after their championship by not spending and closing that window fast.

    On the long term: Lakers aren’t that hurt long term. Kobe comes off in 2 years and you build around melo and provides you with more options and time before you get the next great person in the draft. Swing for the fences now Mitch!

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  9. Darius, Melo is not a cornestone player, he is not what the Lakers need.He is a 30 year old ball hog that dont guard. Good player, not great

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  10. The problem isn’t Anthony–it’s the Lakers. Building a contender around a very questionable 36-year-old Kobe and a 30-year-old Melo making 47M between them would be extremely difficult from where the Lakers are now. If Kobe were healthy and 31 and Melo were 25, I would be in favor of it. If they were each going to play for what Nowitzki and Duncan make, I would probably be in favor of it. If the Lakers had nailed 3 straight draft picks and had three other quality starters on rookie deals, I might be in favor of it. If the Lakers could get LeBron James as well, I would be strongly in favor of it.

    But as it is–no.

    My guess is that Kobe sincerely believes that he, Melo, and Pau can still form the nucleus of a contender. They could have in 2007 or 2009, and maybe even in 2011 or 2012. But not now. They would be giving away too much on defense, and there would be too many roster spots to fill with no money, and there would be too much downside risk with age and injuries.

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  11. “Horrid” defender wasn’t really accurate last year. He worked harder than in other years, put in more effort, and it showed up on film and in some stats. His PER against as both a SF & a PF were good, holding opponents to below average marks of 13.7 and 14.8 respectively. The Knicks’ defense was also 3 points per 100 possessions better when Melo was on the floor than when he was on the bench. These stats aren’t the entire picture, but they are part of it and reflect some of what you saw on film from this past season.

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  12. Melo is a monster, an absoluter monster. motivate him and he’s tough to stop. nobody knows this better than Kobe after wrestling with him in the playoffs(“like wrestling a bear”). he would be a great interim star after Kobe is through. hiring him won’t keep the Lakers from retooling.

    fear and negativity won’t win championships even with the best players. basketball is more about confidence than anything, although skill and athleticism are certainly important. crush the spirit and the team really is lost. if a fan’s spirit is crushed, he needs a new team. at best he’s irrelevant and at worst, he’s a cancer that will help sap the spirit. it goes without saying that this also applies to coaches and players.

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  13. We had 2 major blows to Lakers. First CP3, then DH. If we can get Melo, then we will get out of this current downward spiral. Melo is the only legitimate chance for Lakers to make a quick turnaround, and possibly start another upward spiral. Folks, consider ourselves lucky, if you can get Melo now. Money is the least concern right now.

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  14. It’s inaccurate to call Melo a horrid defender. I’d go with an incomplete defender who doesn’t play to his potential. I’m not a huge fan of his so it wouldn’t bother me if he was a horrid defender but one-on-one, he’s actually pretty damn good. He’s always surprised me with how well he moves his feet. You just don’t see guys roasting him. He can keep perimeter guys out of the paint with his lateral movement and he can stymie guys posting him up with his strength and very quick hands. Team defense is where he can be apathetic rotating to protect the paint or running out hard on shooters or digging in on drivers. Also, his transition defense can be lacking. In summary, his individual defense as well as rebounding are pluses but his effort on team and transition D cut down his defensive value.

    As fine a player as he’s been and he’s likely bound for the hall of fame with the career numbers he’s going to amass, I don’t think he’s truly fulfilled his potential. There’s his overall D but there’s also how he’s neglected to utilize his full passing ability because he is a very gifted passer. He is as good at making a skip pass as anybody in the league. He’s superb passing out of the post. When he gets the ball at the elbow, he can amaze with bullet passes through tight windows to teammates open for an instant under the hoop. He can throw a beautiful pocket pass out of the pick and roll. If he had played under Jerry Sloan, he might’ve averaged 5-6 assists a game. If he had played in the triangle and been forced to consider more passing options, his career might’ve been different. Instead, he’s been overly focused on impacting the game through scoring more than someone like Lebron and Durant have. Someone with his passing ability who can break down a defense off the dribble should not have averaged over 4 assist a game just once. This is where I feel he doesn’t belong in the group of wings who’ve won championships. Championship teams usually have wings who average over 4 assist a game.

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  15. Whenever there are superstars (Carmelo is one of them) available, you go after them. See what you have to offer to get them, then think about the future. In the Laker’s case, you’re offering a 4 year max contract to a 30 year superstar until he’s 34. I’m perfectly fine doing that. Kobe and Carmelo have played together and won gold medals together. Yes this signing will take them off getting Love, but it looks like Love will be traded away and sign with another team. This signing will not affect Durant because Kobe’s contract will expire by then. Offering a max contract to Carmelo is what any smart franchise should do. And that is exactly why the Lakers did so.

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  16. A 30 year old Melo is exactly what the Lakers don’t need unless LBJ comes with him. He is a very good player who has already lost a step. He is an average defender because he isn’t a great athlete. It has nothing to do with effort for him. He has never been a hard worker off the court (check body) which is why he will not age as gracefully as his skillet would suggest.

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  17. if we can get Melo, then i’d be really happy. its not always that we have an opportunity to have an A+ talent available in the market. i am not even putting Love on the same level with Melo, because Melo is a offensive beast. and his defense is really not that bad. he’s always giving his best, you can see when he plays.
    if we can get him now, then we go all in to get him and do not worry about our future, for now. i am really doubtful about future FAs that we are anticipating in the coming years, because most of them will most likely stay with their teams.
    i remember the Lakers FO has said that they would try to win it now and not later, so Melo is really the key (not James sinces he’s not joining us) for pushing us into playoff contention… then we work from there…

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  18. Please Melo, don’t accept the Laker offer. Please.

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  19. I’m in favor of getting Melo. I can really see it happening. We have a great chance. The difference between us and the Knicks is that we can field a better team sooner than them because of their payroll next year. True, they can offer Melo 1 more year, but with the business ties the Lakers provide he’ll more than make up for it throughout his stay in LA. Guys, I think he signs with us.

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  20. Y’all are basically saying that the lakers should go through another season of not making the playoffs. Or did y’all forget that we don’t get a first rd pick if it falls out of the top 5? As a fan you’d want to contend now, not a couple years down the line. Y’all are not lakers fans with all that talk.

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  21. Good, bad and ugly.

    Good
    Melo is better then anyone on team this or last year. Unlike Fern I feel he is an ok defender in the right system. He is also are only shot at being competitive at this time.
    Bad
    The right system means a rim protector and a point guard to slow penetration. Melo is not top 15. He is top 5 in the NBA. Also need a tough coach. Perhaps delay in hiring is to see if he approves Scott who can be grating and combative.
    Ugly
    They have no players! Who will protect the rim? Sacre Vue? Who will distribute and defend the point ? Marshmallow? Where is the bench to spell Kobe For 15 a game and Melo for 10? You have no money left and while Jimmy is going all in there are no cards left in the deck.

    Conclusion
    Sure it would be nice to have 2 top players but without a full team this is a embarrassment waiting to happen.

    Kobe and Melo making $50 million surrounded by D-Leaguers is only good for 2/people. Kobe and Melo’s wife’s can hang out together.

    You all might be buying a lot of wine from me this year as I see “The ear of wine – ing coming.

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  22. Melo:
    If it works out, we´re all jumping for joy and praising the cat. If it doesn´t, it´d be like `Nightmare on DH Street, Part 2´ –

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  23. I lived in NY most of my life so I saw a lot of Anthony. Anthony is a legit all-star who is a go to scorer. Really it is a question of who you going to put around them. You would have to move Nash with Randle to open cap space to fill out the starting line up. There is a danger of becoming like OKC where if you can shut down 2 guys the team cannot score.

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  24. @ Vasheed. I’m nodding along with your post and then- wait what? Why would we even think of moving Randle if ‘Melo comes? You would absolutely keep him. Maybe you move Randle if we happened to get both LBJ and Melo, but otherwise…no.

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  25. If you can get a player like Carmelo Anthony, you get him.
    Plain and simple.
    The Laker brand has always attracted stars.
    Melo is a volume scorer, a clutch player, and a beast, a banger down low.

    So if I could get him, I’d get him.
    The problem is — like Hindi said yesterday –
    no matter which direction I run, I run into the same wall — Kobe’s contract.

    If Lebron’s issues in Miami are as real as they appear at the moment, and he is really considering a change of address, IMAGINE how a contract to Kobe of 12 mil a year
    would look right now.
    We’d be able to nab BOTH Lebron and Melo, and the rebuild would be over!
    Yes, we could keep young players like Randle and Kane and Clarkson…

    …and WIN.

    Reading now that it was Jeannie’s idea to pay Kobe this much.

    Wonder if Phil planted that “pay Kobe the moon” seed?
    The Zen master strikes again.

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  26. No to Melo.

    A solid foundation in the NBA is having cap space, young talent on your roster and numerous near term draft picks. Most teams, that are struggling can find a way out by leveraging one of these three asset groups.

    I would argue that the Lakers are lacking in each of these areas. So if you already have 38% of your cap space tied up to a 36 year old why tie up another 30% on a 30 year old that isn’t Lebron.

    I have said this before, signing Stephenson and Monroe (both 23) gives the Laker organization hope. Signing Melo feels like it kicks the rebuild can down the road for 4 years. Welcome to 4 more years of mediocrity.

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  27. KenOak,

    If the Lakers actually sign Anthony to a monster deal, then they are trying to win this minute, so in that scenario, getting Nash’s money off the cap to shop with and trading their only other asset–Randle–for immediate help would make sense. Vasheed of course is not thrilled with Randle, while we have had numerous long posts from other guys comparing him favorably to various All-Star or near All-Star PFs. But even if the second group is right, there is going to be a learning curve, and if 48M of the 63M cap is going to Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant, there is no time for learning curves.

    I mostly agree with Aaron on this: I see little point in bringing Anthony here unless James comes with him. I am not even sure that Bosh and Anthony would work, and I think highly of Bosh’s game. That is a not a knock on Anthony, who is a very talented player and would be a great add for Chicago and for some other teams. I just don’t see it working out for the Lakers.

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  28. lol @ FG%. did i wake up in 1979? carmelo is a high usage low efficiency player. worthless. any bum in the league could put up 28 points on as many FGA as this cancerous chucker clown

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  29. Nowitzki re-signed with Dallas for 3/30, BTW.

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  30. kobe won the lakers 3 championships in a row making 7 million a year.

    That was a lifetime ago in NBA terms. Last year, he made 30M for playing six games on a 27-55 team.

    His point about the owners when he signed the deal was underlined by the recent article by Zach Lowe, which said that an internal NBA memo says the Lakers made 100M in profit last year, so again, I don’t blame him for taking the money.

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  31. @rr
    I typically agree with most of what you write…not on this though. As much as I’m wary of Melo’s age, and propensity to hoist ’em up, I still think you take him -> even if LBJ isn’t coming along for the ride. The reason being that the Lakers (as an organization) need superstars and flash to put people in the seats and no matter what anyone says about Melo he’s still an All Star who’s carried a team by himself. The only reason he’s never been to the Finals is that Kobe and the Lakers knocked them out. You bring him in to put butts in the seats. You bring him in to get ratings for TWC. You bring him in because he gives the Lakers a heckuva better chance than they have without him. Kobe loves him and he could be the Lakers standard-bearer when Kobe retires in two years. Fans would still come to see him and Randle as long as the kid pans out. Then you add in another max player and you’re possibly in the mix again. I think it’s a no brainer to be honest and so does pretty much every other NBA team.

    I would also argue that keeping a young possible star in the making like Randle is imperative. He would have a much easier and shorter learning curve playing with Kobe and Melo than anyone is making it out to be. Life is pretty posh in the NBA when you can’t be double-teamed because there are two wing players that absolutely can’t be left alone. From what I’ve seen on film and what others, who have watched Kentucky religiously, have said is that Randle was double and triple teamed all day because Kentucky didn’t have anyone else to draw attention.

    And finally…the Kobe contract gripes have to stop. I’m not pointing the fingers at anyone in particular here, but seriously guys -> it’s a done deal. Do we all wish it were for less money? Sure. Do we all think that Kobe “deserved” the paycheck from a big picture perspective? I would argue that almost everyone believes that he did. His five championships, that he contributed greatly to, are more than every other team in the league has won except the Lakers, Bulls, Celtics, and Spurs. Let that sink in for a second. Harping on it day after day does zero good because we can’t change it. The FO paid Kobe what they believe that he was worth.

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  32. I think that in THIS case, 3 quarters beat a dollar. I’d rather go for 3 young FA’s with a chance to get better by next season than a Melo who will almost certainly get worse. The Lakers have expressed hesitance to offer guys contracts beyond 2 years, but I think that’s a mistake. The bug to-do should be signing great young players on frontloaded contracts so they’re making less in 2016 as opposed to more. If I’m building this team, my 3 targets are:

    Lance (on a 3 year $30M deal, declining from $12M -> $10M -> $8M)
    Isaiah Thomas (on a 3 year $20M deal, declining from $8M -> $7M -> $5M)
    Ed Davis (on a 3 year, $12M deal, $3M -> $4M -> $5M) not frontloaded but cheap.

    That fills out our starting lineup around Kobe & Randle. To build our bench, I’m making 1 year offers to Henry, Johnson & Hill on prove-it deals and bringing back Kelly & Marshall.

    Starting 5:
    Thomas
    Lance
    Kobe
    Randle
    Davis

    Rotation:
    Nash
    Henry
    Johnson
    Kelly
    Hill

    Development/Injury Insurance
    Marshall
    Clarkson
    Kane
    Sacre

    This would be what we’d be looking at NEXT offseason financially

    Kobe $25M
    Lance $10M
    Thomas $7M
    Davis $4M
    Randle $2.6M

    That’s only $48.6M. The NBA salary cap for the 2015-16 season is projected to be around $66M. That leaves us enough to make a $17M/year max contract starting offer to Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love. Once you get that signed, you can bring back the players that proved it (let’s say Kelly, Henry, Clarkson and Marshall) and spend the midlevel on maybe a Thad Young to bolster the bench.

    We’d be looking at a 2015-16 roster of:

    Starters:
    Thomas
    Lance
    Kobe
    Randle
    Marc

    Bench:
    Marshall
    Henry
    Kelly
    Young
    Davis
    Clarkson
    x
    x

    Suddenly, KD is a free agent (in what will likely be a season with a $70M salary cap) and we’d be looking at this roster financially:

    Marc Gasol $18M
    Lance $8M
    Thad Young $6M
    Thomas $5M
    Randle $3M
    Kelly $2M
    Henry $2M
    Clarkson $1M

    You can add KD to that at the max plus have a full mid-level and probably bring back Kobe for one last run at the title for significantly less.

    Potential 2016-17 lineup:

    Thomas
    Kobe
    KD
    Randle
    Gasol

    Mid level player (PG) x
    Lance
    Thad
    Kelly
    Davis.

    That’s the dream gentlemen.

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  33. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh July 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Looks like Phil Jackson is outsmarting everyone in the league. 1st he got Calderon (who he knows is Pau’s buddy), then he offered Melo max, and next he is going to get Pau take a deep discount and sign with the Knicks. Odom might bounce back, and next season some more big (and younger) free agents will be attracted to the Knicks, as some of their bigger contracts will come off their books simultaniously. All that in a weak eastern conference. I hate to say it, Knicks will be contending before the Lakers will. We can’t afford two more tanking seasons to slowly re-build, there is only so much brand equity to burn through. Already now after 2 bad seasons viewership is declining, and top free agents can care less what history our storied franchise boasts, if there is no winning roster and a coach with a winning track record in place.
    Man, I hope Kupchack prooves me wrong with a ninja move, but I don’t see it in the cards…

    And, Renato: I am with you on “Lets stop with that Marshall as our starting PG nonsense” I dont know what people were watching last season….

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  34. Funny how some people object to Melo on the grounds that his defense is bad, while at the same time pining for an equally bad (or worse) defender in Kevin Love.

    It is hard to argue persuasively that a Laker team with Melo for the next 2 years won’t be radically more entertaining to watch than one without him. As someone who sees no scenario where the Lakers win a title in the next 2 years, I’ll value the guarantee of more entertaining basketball for two years higher than the mere possibility that the team could be better three years out at the expense of watching a much worse team for two more seasons.

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  35. ESPN has an article talking about some bargain players. I like 3 of them…

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11172162/al-farouq-aminu-gustavo-ayon-top-best-value-deals-free-agency-nba

    It’s on insider so you’ll need a subscription. I like Udoh, Ayon, and Rush and it seems like they could be had for $7m a season all together. Good value for that price and all three can be very useful role players.

    Melo does not excite me and defense is the issue. I don’t see how a team starting Kobe and Melo can compete on defense unless both the PG and C are plus, plus defenders. Even with Randle, whose foot-speed is actually really nice, the defense in the paint will be a problem. You need to pressure the ball and protect the cup. So, I don’t see how Melo makes this team more of a playoff team than last season’s group. Having a healthy Kobe is one plus and a healthy Melo over injured Pau is another. Coupled with Randle I would say the team is improved but is that enough to make the playoffs, let alone compete there? No, not without steep upgrades in the defense.

    Is anybody else irritated that while Cleveland has moved on to hiring one of the most successful overseas coaches- with a system that contains a majority of NBA features- we are waiting to see if the Lakers hire a coach Cleveland moved on from after his mediocre showing as coach of that team? If the Lakers hire Scott, I will have a fit. Not saying it’s as bad as them deciding to hire Dunleavy, but it would be a pretty bad decision. Lets see a creative coach.

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  36. Melo will bring in the season ticket holders, and up the TWC ratings significantly, that is why it s a business decision. I would be happy to get him in a Laker uniform.

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  37. ST
    We often lose site that this a business.

    Last year down. 40% TW ratings? Why do you think TW was at meeting with Melo? That investment is like buying a building in down town Detroit. 10. Yeats ago!

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  38. Lakers made so much money last season….they should PAY the tax for going over the cap…..

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  39. I dont think lebron stays in miami

    – If atlanta gets deng they are better than the heat

    – If chicago gets melo they are better than the heat

    – If washington gets a bit better Internally maybe they are on equal level

    – if the hornets get lance or 1-2 guys that can dribble they can possibly be better than them

    Im sure lebron sees this amd doesnt want to end his career being on a team that keeps getting clobbered as he gets older especially with wade missing half the year or even if it gets worse missing a whole year with knee surgury

    I say pheonix and chicago and cleveland are our biggest threats with clevelands abilty to get love being the biggest wild card if they give up wiggans

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  40. i’m like the others that do not want melo on the lakers. i really don’t care if kobe gets his 6th ring or not. i want the lakers to make better decisions with their contracts and the organization’s long term future. sure – max out for lbj. but no way kobe/melo/gasol) win a ring with just them and some role players. can live with mediocre to horrible teams for a few years if the lakers have a great long term plan.

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  41. I’m not really in favor of signing Melo. That said, if you do sign him at the max, you’re not doing so under the illusion that a Melo/Randle/partial Kobe core is a championship contender. You’re doing so because you understand future big fish FAs will only come if they see a cornerstone piece to team up with, and Melo may be the necessary bait.

    /end Hubie Brown voice

    While I favor maintaining cap flexibility and waiting for the right pieces, there’s clearly only a handful of franchise players that come along. Dallas broke up a championship core and got to enjoy cap flexibility for the past 3 years, until finally trading for the center they sent let go in the first place. In a league where contracts are now shorter and 10+ teams enter every offseason with legitimate cap space, there’s 2 simple realities you have to face:

    1) cap space holds less value when a third of the league has loads of it, and 2) that amount of cap space means FAs will be overpaid for years to come. If you’re going to overpay, better to do it for a franchise-ish piece rather than Ben Gordon or Thabo Sefolosha.

    Finally, I feel it’s likely Aldridge re-ups with Portland and Love with the team that trades for him. That leaves Gasol as the only real big 2015 option. In addition, it’s my opinion that Stephenson isn’t worth the headache / chemistry issues.

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  42. This whole discussion regarding Carmelo Anthony is academic.

    The Lakers will NOT be getting Melo. Period. End of sentence.

    Time to move on.

    P.S. Brace yourselves. They won’t be getting LeBron either.

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  43. KenOak: “The FO paid Kobe what they believe that he was worth.” True – and there in lie the problem. I do not care what he’s worth business wise. I care about championships. Now that said – I also root for Kobe’s records So I pose this to you. Kobe will put people in the seats – and we already have him. In fact in my case – if we hire Byron and we run a box and one “offense”, I will go to more games then if Kobe plays a lessor role. As far as moves are concerned, we need to make moves that put us closer to real contention. Not moves that make us temporarily better, but never good enough to contend. So if it were my team, I would want a plan to get us back to contention. If Melo is a part of that then fine. But if we are saying that -well we will get Melo because we will be better than we are without him but we will never be good enough to win the West, no thanks. The Lakers brand and their net value are based on history and titles. Temporary dips in ratings or stub hub price for tickets do not matter. What is the franchise worth now and what will it be worth 10 years from now? What is the single biggest thing the Lakers can do to impact that in a positive way? Win titles. 10 years from now – nobody will remember what the TV ratings were in 2015 or how much 100 level seats sold for on Ebay. They will remember how many titles we won.

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  44. Robert Nalbandyan July 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Signing Carmelo Anthony would be the WRONG move for the Lakers going forward. It has nothing to do with any of the nonsense about Carmelo not being a winner. I think Carmelo is one of the toughest competitors in the game, and wants to win as much as the next guy. It has to do with how he will fit THIS team going forward.
    As good of friends Kobe and Carmelo might be off the floor, on the floor, they do not compliment one another. What makes each so special on the offensive end, is what they are able to do with the ball in their hands. So if I’m paying Carmelo a max contract, it’s certainly not because of what he’s able to do off the ball. Lakers already encountered this problem when they signed Nash to run the point, only to see him be converted into a spot up shooter mid-season as Kobe took back the responsibilities of handling the ball.
    Besides the point of whether or not Kobe/Melo would work together on the floor, signing Melo to a max deal, would mean the Lakers would have little to no means of adding valuable assets to the team going forward. Even if they were able to sign Pau as well, a core of Kobe, Melo, Pau, and Randle will not be contending for a championship. They’ll be lucky if they made the 4th or 5th seed in the West. It’s not a smart investment for the team going forward, in terms of putting themselves in a position to contend for a championship. The cap flexibility they have now, would be better spent on building towards 2016 when Durant will be a free agent. I have a feeling KD is not completely happy with OKC after they cheaped out on signing Harden to avoid only 1 year of paying the luxury tax. As his window to contend for a championship closes in OKC, he’ll be looking to sign on with a team that isn’t afraid to spend money to compete. If the Lakers were smart, they would invest on building a foundation that would attract Durant in 2016 Free Agency, rather than blow their money on Melo this Summer.

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  45. Stephenson averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds last season. Hopefully he comes to his senses and signs his 44 million dollar deal in Indiana. That would save the Lakers from themselves, because that head case isn’t worth more than that. I’m surprised that people think that Lance is part of the solution in L.A. When I watch him all I see is erratic unreliable play. Plus there are rumors dogging him that he’s a locker room cancer. Passing on Lance would be a wise move.

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  46. Hawes to the Clips.

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  47. Mean while, as more and more FA get signed, Jimmy waits.

    Wondering if Melo and James are just out to make Lakers look like fools. If they both go back to their original teams and no one is left then perhaps Lakets will wake up.

    Brown, Dumtoni, Nash, Howard and the fake job of 2014 should be enough to send Jimmy back to the stables.

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  48. . I’m not pointing the fingers at anyone in particular here, but seriously guys -> it’s a done deal

    WADR, no, it isn’t. It will be a done deal when it expires. Right now, it is as much a part of the Lakers’ present and short-term future as Julius Randle is, and therefore, it is probably going to continue to be part of the conversation. I posted Nowitzki’s deal because I had said earlier that Dallas would sign him for a big paycut, and they did.

    As to the rest of the post, I don’t think Anthony is coming here anyway, so it will probably be a moot point, but the KBros pointed out that if we believe the Grantland/Lowe piece, the Lakers have somewhere around 100M in profits to burn through before they have serious “business” concerns. So, sure, Melo here would be cool for TWC and Kobe and Nicholson and Flea, and he almost certainly would, at least for a year or two, make the team more competitive. But I don’t see it as a good idea, unless they think he can draw some other high-level talent.

    I agree that Udoh would be a good idea. I also like Ed Davis.

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  49. WRT Randle playing with Kobe and Melo:

    A lot of his learning curve will be on D, and I don’t see playing with Kobe and Melo helping much there. As to how good Randle is, we will just have to wait and see. Some points favor him; others don’t. He may be good or he just be OK. That is what you get picking 7th.

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  50. Sources: After meeting with Knicks, Carmelo Anthony aligned with team’s plan
    Yahoo Sports
    Adrian Wojnarowski 8 hours ago

    See my post above about being fooled again.

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  51. can’t stand doc rivers and la is still laker town. but the clips are making moves and doing things to get stronger while the lakers (imo) appear to be clueless. i sure hope mitch can prove the naysayers wrong but this time they really seem lost.

    getting melo doesn’t really solve the problem as everyone has already stated. it just appeases the fan base who want a few more wins.

    but otoh – if they don’t get melo – what are the lakers plans? pj seems to at least be executing some thought out plan in ny.

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  52. how would randle not benefit from his defensive knowledge?

    “Knowledge”–sure. I am talking about playing the actual games. Melo and Kobe have not been great on D in recent years, and it is unlikely they will get better. In addition to that, if you play Randle and Melo together, one of them will be guarding the 3–a very questionable idea.

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  53. @rr
    Harping on the Kobe deal over and over again on nearly every article won’t change the fact that it happened. It doesn’t make it better. It just gets old reading it. (And as I said before..I nearly always agree with you and I almost always love reading your posts.) And, WADR I remember you telling a certain person on these boards something similar when they were harping on the same subject over and over and over again.

    @ Snoopy Exactly! Everyone should read Snoopy’s post above at July 4, 2014 at 4:02 pm and then read it again. It’s spot on. Having cap flexibility just to have it doesn’t do any good.

    @Robert Nalbandyan WRT to Kobe and Melo playing together. You really can’t compare the Nash situation at all. Nash was hurt and was *unable* to perform the duties of a PG. He couldn’t move. That’s the only reason Kobe took over and played much much better than Nash was at the time. As to Kobe and Melo not being able to play together..who knows- you may be right. Then again, no one thought Lebron and Wade would mesh as well as they did since they are both ball dominant. It’s not like the Lakers have never run an offense with multiple isolated post players…

    Yes, this may be moot point…Melo is probably not coming here, but I don’t believe that it would necessarily be a bad thing if he did.

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  54. KenOak,

    There are any number of things that get old here, including guys complaining about people who complain about the team and the FO. The Lakers are in trouble. That bothers some of us, and we talk about it.

    You are also not thinking it through. The Lakers are in free agency; they are and will be making decisions about who to try to sign and for how much. Kobe’s deal will affect many of those decisions, and will affect all big ones. It will also affect decisions some players make about whether to come here. The FO made the decision to offer Carmelo Anthony 4/97. This thread is about Carmelo Anthony. Whether offering Anthony 4/97 is a good idea in large part depends on what salary has already been been committed and to whom. Kobe’s deal is clearly relevant to that discussion. Almost all discussions, about all teams who are active in the market at this time of year, involve discussion of cap commitments, player salaries, what choices need to be made, which existing contracts are good and bad, etc.

    Now, when you will perhaps have a point is, say, in December. At that point, bringing up KB’s salary all the time as the team grinds through the schedule will be kind of going all Eeyore, although I am sure that if he does well this coming year many people who are defending the deal now will be bringing it up at that point quite a bit. I will be happy to listen to them if that means KB’s comeback is successful.

    Kupchak and Buss have made several public statements to the effect that they are focused on having financial flexibility. We are in the first key FA cycle where they have some, and we are about to see what will happen. The FO sacrificed some of that flexibility by giving KB the deal they chose to give him. As such, it is a key part of the picture of what is going on with the Lakers–today, tomorrow, and next week etc.

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  55. Is it possible for kobe to renegotiate for more years at less per year?

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  56. Anon – No. Once an NBA contract is signed, there’s no renegotiating it.

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  57. @rr
    “There are any number of things that get old here, including guys complaining about people who complain about the team and the FO. The Lakers are in trouble. That bothers some of us, and we talk about it.”

    My point is that you’re one of those guys!! You complained about people that were complaining and now you’re doing it… BTW people have been complaining about “the extension” since it happened. It’s been nearly non-stop.

    Let me make one other point. The Lakers have now publicly offered Melo 4/97. How will it look if they strike out on yet another big name FA? The Lakers allure is fading fast, and I don’t believe that the team can allow another 27 win season when the Clippers are poised to win 60 games and make a deep push into the playoffs. The FO knows this. The FO also knows that we need a little razzle dazzle to take our fan’s minds off of the fact that we’re probably not contending for at least 3 years. I’ve thought it through and Melo is the best bet that the team has to not completely suck next year. Sign him up for whatever it takes and then put another max guy around him in 2 years along with Randle. That’s the move. However, we’re probably going to strike out anyway and this will all be useless theory-crafting.

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  58. @rr why aren’t you talking about Nash’s deal?

    1. They signed it a long time ago, when Nash was healthy and seemed to be a reasonable value. Kobe got his deal after the injury and before he had played again.
    2. I have talked about Nash’s deal. Many times
    3. Nash’s deal is up after this year and they can stretch him.
    4. Nash’s deal is worth about 19% of what Kobe’s is.

    What FA is out there that you would want then?

    I mostly agree with Leo. I would make a max offer to Greg Monroe and hope SVG blinks, and I would make a big play for Lance Stephenson. I would try to bring back Farmar, Henry, and Hill, and I would try to pick up Ed Davis and/or Epke Udoh to get some rim protection. I would also be talking to Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Morrow.

    KenOak,

    What I mostly complain about is guys doing what I think you are doing now: telling other people how to be fans and what the appropriate topics are. I rarely complain about people being repetitive, since I am that way myself. I am very opinionated, obviously, but you don’t see me telling chris y or Fern what to talk about. I have admittedly done that a few times when posters bag on fans, call fans ignorant, etc.

    As to the issue, the best argument for signing Melo is the one you make, and I acknowledged: that his presence might draw someone else. But by the time they have room for another max guy, Melo will be 32 and will have two more years of NBA mileage. And basically every team in the NBA already has an eye out for Durant in 2016. But, if you believe, as you seem to, that Anthony can be a key to getting Durant in two years, then well, maxing out Melo makes some sense.

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  59. How will it look if they strike out on yet another big name FA?

    I think it will be a big story in LA for about 24 hours, then will fade. But really, if he signs with the Knicks, the mainstream media angles will be “Phil gets his man”, particularly if Melo leaves a little money on the table and “Is Melo Worth it?” And even if he does take a small discount, the offer will still be more than what the Lakers can offer. If he signs with the Bulls, the mainstream media angles will be, “Melo Spurns Knicks; ZenMaster is ZenDisaster”

    And, in terms of the sabermetric media, if the Lakers have Kobe and Melo on deals that size, the angles will mostly be snickers and head-shaking.

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  60. A point of differentiation that almost all commentators on Sirius NBA radio – including Mike Dunleavy among other voices – have been making all week – Carmelo is an all time great scorer – not necessarily an all time great player. If you need a guy on your team to drop 26-30 guarranteed every night – he’s your man – but if you have deficiencies in other area’s not so much. He’s the modern day Bernard King/Dominique.

    Melo is an ok boarder for his size, not as bad a defender as some have said – but on a team w Kobe/Nash/possibly Gasol – and no Chandler to protect the rim – he’s not going to help. And the ball stops when it hits his hands – not a bad thing always – but lakers already have a player of that kind in Kobe.

    Melo is an awesome scorer – a force for sure – but not as efficient as Durant/all around as Lebron/or a team defender like Duncan. He’s a like Liam Neeson in Taken – he’s a very bad man w a very specific set of skills – skills that a fit the Bulls anaemic offense to a T and they have the team defenders to back him up. Unfortunately, LA needs more than a specialist scorer and box office draw – LA needs to field a whole team. That max salary spot would be much better spent on filling out the roster with players that can help in multiple ways w 2-3 guys – keeping things flexible for a move in 2016/post Kobe’s contract. I don’t disparage Kobe for taking the $ – his contract is what it is – and he’s smart enough to have understood at the time what the ramifications of having that max deal would be to the team going forward. As for why the FO would make a move on Melo – I would only hazard to say it’s because they feel that if they land Melo – that they have a couple other chess moves which they feel will be able to effectively fill out the roster enough to field a very competitive team.
    However – the time for chasing homeruns is over – would just like to see the FO hit solid singles and doubles for a change and build a foundation.

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  61. Look guys.
    We are not getting Melo
    Not getting James
    Pau is going to NY or OKC
    done, over, finish and other words in Italian or Serbian

    Now that’s over the best alternative is the latest from rr. Only possible change is Thomas instead of Farmar..

    If Kobe is sound and Nash is gone, Kobe, Lance, Monroe, the rook, Thomas and something of the bench with Scott as coach will be a heck of a lot better then the junk on the floor last year.

    Either way we will be looking up at clips again who will dominate the headlines. Donald’s not going anywhere and guess we will see which players inserted foot in mouth opening day.

    I stack my questionable reputation and hoarse whispers into my phone from anonymous contacts on the above.

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  62. Darius, I think his defensive is the most overhyped aspect about him in a negative way. Let’s be honest individual defense in the NBA is the most overrated concept in the league. Team defense and solid defensive systems are what matter. Even Lebron looked subpar on defense this year due to the team’s poor defense. Melo was pretty solid for the George Karl Nuggets squad that faced LA in the conference finals. Few players are really shutdown defenders.

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  63. Agree with rr’s point about striking out on Melo. Everyone knows we’re the underdog in this one. Some columnist will write a piece about how D12 and Melo rejecting the Lakers means the brand is tarnished, and then it’ll be over. If the Lakers go on a ten-year run of futility, things might be different. But check out the Yankees from 1965-74. It happens, and it doesn’t have lasting effects.

    I’m mostly on board with the Leo plan too, although it’s every bit the gamble Melo is, unless Stephenson takes a shorter max-level deal. Monroe worries me defensively, especially if you get shut out on a rim protector. A Davis or Udoh to rotate with Monroe, Randle and maybe Hill (I think Davis makes Hill redundant, though) could work.

    But if you end up giving two max level deals that run past 2016, then there’s your team. It had better work, because the alternative is probably that 10-year period mentioned earlier.

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  64. Sitting back and observing how the FO – Jeannie, Jim & Mitch – is going about recruiting Level 1 Free Agents is disgusting me. First, it was the posters/pictures all over the city of L.A. of Dwight. Literally begging him to “Stay”. Now, they’re holding off on hiring a coach because a major part of their recruitment pitch is allowing the free agent – mainly LeBron, and possibly, to a lesser extent, Melo – the opportunity to select the coach of their desire. When this story was initially reported – I can’t recall by whom – weeks ago, I found it hard to believe. But it definitely has come to fruition. What’s ironic is that maybe if the FO would have listened to Dwight a couple of seasons ago and hired Phil instead of we all know who, the organization wouldn’t be in the predicament that they’re in now.

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  65. For all of you who wish others would stop bringing up Kobe’s albatross of a contract to the salary cap & rebuilding of the team…it’s not going to stop until the contract is over. Simply because it effects EVERYTHING the Lakers can do on the court. You can’t get pass something that is still happening. It’s why there’s a question of whether the Lakers are retooling or rebuilding. And let us not forget, no one has a clue of what Kobe’s on court production will be.

    Sure (than again, maybe not) he’ll pass MJ in total points scored during the regular season, but his post season stats stand a chance of not changing in the next two years.

    The contract and it’s ramifications will continue to be discussed until it’s no longer in existence…then we’ll focus on something else :-).

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  66. So sad so many here have such a fragile ego. ”
    “Oh no we got rejected by the free agent we like… Poor me…. How will we ever get over it. It’s better to just not try to sign anyone. Ya know what,.. Let’s not draft anyone either because they might leave us as free agents someday. ”

    Do people realize there are no consequences to getting rejected in life or in NBA free agency?

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  67. Oh Aaron…-
    So sad so many here have such a fragile ego. ”
    “Oh no we got rejected by the free agent we like… Poor me…. How will we ever get over it. It’s better to just not try to sign anyone. Ya know what,.. Let’s not draft anyone either because they might leave us as free agents someday. “

    I hope that Lebron and Melo both come to the Lakers for a couple of reasons. First, because it would be freaking awesome! And, second, because it would be one of the first times that you would have ever been right on this board. :/

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  68. Sometimes being right supersedes ‘the good of the team’. I certainly see some of that on this board. I have responded to comments directed to me in the past. I probably will in the future – less is my goal, however. The entire NBA is in a state of flux at this time of year. The city of Los Angeles, and particularly the Lakers, are not going to radically change over the next few years – so stop worrying about our ability to attract free agents. The game has changed with the new CBA and free agents are the ones most often overpaid. We cannot afford to overpay as much as we could in the past. Ergo — if we lose a couple of free agents because we weren’t able to overpay – so what! If we lose a couple of free agents because they preferred another destination, that also isn’t going to impact our brand that much. When the situation is right, a free agent will sign. Until then we have to rely on the front office to draft properly – I think they did this year – and to create trades. All of that will not be announced beforehand. Sorry, but us fans won’t be the most informed citizens in all this.

    Relax, this is a time of change. The Lakers have generally been pretty good in a time of change – even if it is frightening. ‘May you live in interesting times’ is not meant to mean your life will be easy.

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  69. Lebron and Melo are not coming to the Lakers. In the very slim chance Melo signs with the Lakers and leave all those millions on the table and Gasol re-up, the Lakers would be a playoff team, not a contender. The Lakers guving a max to another 30 something player would go against everything they been saying and would eat all that cap space that took a long time to built, btw this is the 1st time the Lakers are going to be under the cap since 1996. We need to be patient and start building a foundation.

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  70. If I’m the lakers I take Jarret Jack and the future pick the Cavs are shopping if it’s a first rounder. He’s a better option than most guys if the Lakers want to win now.

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  71. What do people on here think about signing isaiah thomas?

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  72. @rr, @KO

    “If Kobe is sound and Nash is gone, Kobe, Lance, Monroe, the rook, Thomas and something of the bench with Scott as coach will be a heck of a lot better then the junk on the floor last year.”

    Let’s look at the numbers for this proposal:

    Kobe 23,500,000
    Nash stretch 3,233,667
    Sacre 915,243
    Randle 2,497,800
    Cap holds 4566024
    total 34,712,734
    cap room 28,487,266

    This assumes that Nash has been stretched (“Nash is gone”), all FA have been renounced, QO to Kelly is withdrawn, and all exceptions have been renounced. So, max cap room is about 28.5M.

    How much is Lance getting? Well, he turned down 9M, so at least 10M, which leaves 18.5M. Now to Thomas, after the Meeks and Bradley deal, he is getting at least 7-8M, let’s say 7M. So that now leaves 11.5M. Unfortunately, DET is probably matching 11.5M starting salary for Monroe. So probably have to make the offer to Monroe first, but those 3 days may be too long for the other guys to wait.

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  73. chris y,

    Sorry, but Sid is right on this one: Kobe’s deal, as he said, and like I said, will affect a lot of what the team does the next two years. It is a topic that will be on the table, regardless of whether I mention it again, particularly if Kobe gets hurt again and/or plays poorly.

    And, I blame the FO for it, not Kobe.

    ___

    rubenowski,

    Thomas is a pretty good player and he is a very good offensive player. But it doesn’t take much acumen to see that an undersized, defensively-challenged, high-usage, shoot-first PG is probably not the kind of guy you want alongside KB at this point in KB’s career. So, I would prefer that they bring back Farmar and bring in Stephenson, but we’ll see what happens.

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  74. Question. Let’s say that Melo and Lebron are not coming. (Pretty good bet at this point…) Would anyone here sign Bosh to a max deal? Is he a max player?

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  75. so what you’re really mad about is the fact that the Lakers can’t retain a serviceable back up pg

    I’m not mad at all. But, if you are going to talk to me about this, at least read my posts. As I have said many times, the biggest issue that I personally have with the deal is the second year. I think if KB wanted to be the highest-paid player in the league again, and the FO wanted that as well, then his offer should have been for one year. Why? Because Kupchak and Buss themselves talked about “financial flexibility” and because of his age, mileage, etc. I think a multi-year deal at Kobe’s age and with his recent injury history should have been for around the numbers that Nowitzki’s and Duncan’s multi-year deals were signed for, because I think that would have been in the best interests of the team for two reasons:

    1. Big-time FAs would have seen that and I think it would have made the Lakers more attractive to them.
    2. It would provide more cap room to add role players.

    The counter-arguments are the business/branding arguments, and that future FAs will know they will be taken care of, it shows what the Lakers are all about, etc. I don’t really buy these arguments, because I try to keep things simple, and focus on the team on the floor.

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  76. KenOak,

    For Houston, I think he is. I actually think that Bosh would help Houston more than Anthony would. I don’t see it for the Lakers, though.

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  77. KenOak, I would not give Bosh the max, no. Agree with rr that he would be perfect for HOU, but with bad fit for LAL with just Kobe on the roster IMO.

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  78. Isiah Thomas? No way, Jose. One-way. Need two-way players.

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  79. Jerke,

    Well-played on the Neeson/Melo analogy.

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  80. I actually think that the “perfect” player for Houston would be K-Love. Bosh would be a good fit, but not perfect. He has range out to the 3, but he’s not deadly like Love. I almost wish that Melo would pick Houston if he doesn’t come to L.A. because that has disaster written all over it IMO.

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  81. Love would work very well in Houston, but Bosh is more mobile on D, even though he is older than Love, and all the buzz indicates that Morey wants Bosh if Houston misses on Anthony.

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  82. The Lakers would not be in a situation where they’d have to sign Thomas as a free agent had they drafted him when the opportunity availed itself. I vehemently petitioned (via screaming at the television) the Lakers to draft him when he remained on the board when they made their selections. They, however, chose:

    #41 Darius Morris

    #46 Andrew Goudelock

    #56 Chukwudiebere Maduabum

    #58 Mater Ajok

    Isaiah Thomas went to the Sacramento Kings with the 60th pick in that draft. Many on this board believe that guards are a ‘dime a dozen’ (yes, I know that’s why the Lakers have been so successful with their pg and shooting guard positions).

    Had the Lakers hired PJ and retained Howard, signing Melo and probably James makes sense. More than likely Kobe signs his contract for less as the odds on favorite would make his 6th, 7th, and 8th ring plausible. Buss’ ego prevailed, causing PJ to flee to New York and Howard to Houston. At this point, the Clippers are the NBA championship contenders. The Lakers will rely on the sustainable superiority of their brand through ten years of draft picks and mediocrity even through the uncertainty of the world economy, social media, and emerging technologies.

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  83. I vehemently petitioned (via screaming at the television) the Lakers to draft him when he remained on the board when they made their selections.

    I remember a couple of people here making a big deal about that at the time as well.

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  84. SGDE,

    I would not be looking at Thomas if I were running the Lakers, and I don’t know if the Lakers’ actual FO is, either. There has been some spec out of Sacto that Thomas wants to come here, and the Collison deal indicates that Sacto will let him walk, but that’s it.

    But yes, the situation is very difficult right now, as your post details.

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  85. pay lance his 60 mil over 5 years and let’s get younger and more athletic. its overpaying a bit but its better than Melo for so many reasons. Plus that leaves some money left for Pau. We aren’t getting LBJ. If we try to be cheap, we will miss out but its another year of being bad. All the other available guys are a waste of money relative to the cost.

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  86. heat are ready to let bosh go if they can get two good players(pau and deng for example) for $15M-$18M. that explains why miami is talking to higher echelon free agents.

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  87. Chearn

    As to your post. I compiled a well thought out post 2 weeks ago about Mitch. I asked to name 2 drafts made by him that West was not involved with either covertly or as a Laker VP.

    I received no response from anyone. Look at the past few years when Mitch and Jim make pitches.
    Dwight- gone
    Melo- no thanks
    James- Ha
    Meeks- see ya
    Kamen-forget about it
    Pau- politely no thank you

    Bad drafting , poor scouting, universal rejection.

    How did the former number one franchise turn into a walking herpe?

    Time to find a new GM as perhaps Mitch ‘a car salesman pitch has come full circle.

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  88. CBS Sports is reporting Pat Riley wants to meet with Luol Deng, which is a name no one has mentioned with regard to the Lakers.

    Deng seems like a player who could be had for less than it would take to get Anthony — in both years and dollars — and it’s known that Kobe likes (or at least at one point liked) Deng’s game, since Kobe repeatedly was linked to comments about wanting to play with Deng in Chicago, back in summer 2007 when it was rumored that a Kobe-to-the-Bulls deal was being discussed. I specifically recall Kobe did not want Deng included in whatever package the Lakers would have received in return for Kobe, which thankfully never went anywhere anyway.

    Not suggesting Deng is the answer, but I find it funny no one’s even linked him to possibly playing in L.A.

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  89. In keeping with hashing over old business that continues to loom dreadfully relevant –
    Pau’s imminent departure.
    Similar to Dwight’s
    And now Kaman’s
    And possibly soon Jordan Hill…
    All these tragedies can be tied directly to the still- lingering echo of my favorite coach of all time
    Mike Dantoni.
    Thanks for the memories!

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  90. there is a lot of crying on this board.

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  91. JC
    I have a post in mod dealing with the questions you raise .

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  92. Chris Y,
    No offense, but continuing to post about how you don’t acknowldge the cap and saying things like “in a couple of years when the cap is 100 million” makes it impossible to take you seriously. And this says nothing of your consistent stanning of Kobe and championships as if they erase the reality of present day team building and roster construction realities. You’d probably be better off commenting at Lakers Nation.

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  93. Lol chibi.

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  94. Hmmm Simmons and now Ramona reporting that is a 3 way race between Knicks,Lakers and Bulls. Seems like the pitch worked, i really doubt Melo will leave all that money on the table. Still not the right move in my opinion…

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  95. Chibi

    This sight is a lot like my 9 year old son who “expects” anew game the dY it comes out.

    I/we expect winning and when things look bleak I/we complain like little kids.

    I of course being the leader of the kids crying club.

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  96. There is a lot of crying on this board.

    —-

    As a diehard Laker fan since the 1960s I may be guilty of expressing my anguish at our current state and how we got here.

    My post about our previous coach and his legacy pertains specifically to who our front line might be next season.

    I agree that too much hand-wringing isn’t productive. Let’s look forward.

    On that note, I’m wondering if retaining Jordan Hill will become more of a priority should we lose Gasol.
    I do understand such personnel moves hinge on playing out the potential star FA recruitments angle first.

    On the outside (haha) chance that our dreams of getting Lebron and/or Melo do not come to fruition, (since that alternate reality doesn’t require such prioritizarion) who will play center and power forward next year for the Lakers?
    Randle can’t play 48 minutes.

    I don’t know much about Detroit’s Monroe but it seems some here are hopeful we can get him so I trust that would be productive. Luol Deng would seem another strong candidate.

    I hope Kupchak and company isn’t actually expecting Sacre to play a prominent role.

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  97. Simmons on Twitter:

    Bill Simmons @BillSimmons · 1h
    Hearing the Lakers made a MAJOR impact on Melo this week – it’s now a legit 3-way battle between LA/Chi/NYK to land him. Crazy NBA weekend.

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  98. Ha. No one’s “panties are in a wad” but nice of you to flash a mysoginist mindset. True colors and all that. Also, say something smarter and you won’t get singled out. Sink or swim, man.

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  99. I agree with you Chris. Majority of the same posters here were 100% against artest for ariza at the time because of “future”. Lakers best hope is to become a playoff team and land another superstar once Kobe’s contract is off books. Hopefully melo decides to come here, we can retain pau and seek another big man to protect the rim. If melo comes here, I would not be surprised if randle and Nash are sent packing for cap space so we can try to land bosh.

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  100. I hope this Melo thing doesn’t happen but it shows that the Lakers drawing power is pretty much intact.Dwight was an anomaly and he didn’t want to he a Laker in the 1st place. Kudos to the FO for the impressive push and for reminding all the doubters who the Lakers are. Even in the worst season in history the Lakers are still the most profitable team in the league. Like i said countless times, we need to lay the foundation and the FAs will come. We be fine…

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  101. Shouldn’t all opinions be allowed here…good/dumb….Fair/Unfair…..Some of the most outrageous comments can come out to be true…Cheers!!!

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  102. there’s a lot of crying

    Wah, wah wah–Ok, just didn’t want to get left out.

    Three Way Tie

    I would feel perversely satisfied if Mitch and Jim kicked ol’ double-dealing opportunist, Phil Jackson, back to New York empty handed. But then maybe a total rebuild would be the best thing in New York and we would be caught holding the aging Carmelo bag. . . .

    Chris Y:

    Some understanding and application of the cap in one’s comments are requisite to intelligent discussion here. It’s a particularly egregious error that weakens your other good comments. You are right that a lot of other nonsense goes unremarked upon; and for that I thank Darius for tolerating me.

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  103. Our front office only has so many moves. To visibly react to each and every free agent development is only to show your ignorance – as a front office. We fans are under no such restraint. We will react to each and every rumor, not just acknowledged actions. That is the life of a fan. It is why the front office won’t acknowledge any of our ‘suggestions’.

    To assume the front office is ‘stupid’ because they don’t react to what we, obviously, see as a critical development, does seem to be a short-sighted view of things.

    As a fan, I really don’t like the continuing innuendo about the inability of our front office. However, I do acknowledge there is a lot of insight that does get put out in this blog. When it masquerades as the absolute truth is when I kind of turn off. IMO, we do have a pretty good front office, but certainly not perfect. It is also true that the front office is also learning as they go along – we sometimes resent this. However, we fans do have to realize all the developments are a process and not the end point. Commenting is great, but expecting the Lakers to follow our suggestions, and haranguing on them when they don’t isn’t really productive.

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  104. Yeah, lets stop whinning.Who do we think we are having such high expectations? The way some people on this board act you would think the Lakers are one of the greatest sports teams in the world.

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  105. Kudos to the FO for the impressive push and for reminding all the doubters who the Lakers are.

    You might want to save this kind of stuff for when they actually sign someone. Also, like I said, if the Lakers bring in Anthony on a max deal and bring back Pau, opposing teams fans/doubters/et al will be doing more sneering than fearing when it comes to the Lakers.

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  106. Shelburne and Broussard:

    “In a surprising twist, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as the team that most worries the New York Knicks in their attempt to re-sign superstar free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

    The Lakers’ pitch — of teaming Anth ony with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and prized rookie Julius Randle on a team with no long-term salary obligations — made what one source described as a “strong impression” on Anthony and has made his decision over the holiday weekend “tough,” according to another source close to the situation.”

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  107. It is more difficult to argue for a minority opinion. Doesn’t make it wrong though and when I make such an assertion I will point to a lot of evidence to back it up. I think the most interesting conversations to read take place when people really are presenting information.

    I do find the F.O. declared strategies to be at odds with what they are actually doing. It does feel they are more concerned with name recognition then building a solid team now with flexibility for the future. I really think they should be exploring options to get deeper, add young talent, and prepare flexibility over the next 2 years. It would be easier now while all the other teams are trying to clear cap space to sign LeBron, Melo, etc. then later when every team is going to be looking to grab the next tier of guys.

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  108. Bill Simmons @BillSimmons · 1h
    Hearing the Lakers made a MAJOR impact on Melo this week – it’s now a legit 3-way battle between LA/Chi/NYK to land him. Crazy NBA weekend.

    I’d like to hear some speculation ’round these parts about what the content of this successful pitch may have been– what was at the heart of the message? Patronizing gestures such as a Joel Silver produced paean aside (car chase? house sliding down a mountain? hooker with a heart of gold? Melo shooting a game winning 3 in ‘bullet time’?), the Lakers must have impressed Melo with some specific vision of their future. To be honest, I’m more excited about whatever this mystery-agenda might be than with the prospect of actually getting Melo himself. I mean that quite seriously as, with all respect to Daniel R, when it comes to Melo, I prefer the salary cap flexibility in the bush than the pudgy, aging, kind of dopey bird in hand.

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  109. Hello, been lurking on this site for a few years now, finally thought of something to post. KO’s comment re. Kupchak’s draft success is something I’ve thought about a bit, and overall, I think he’s done a good job. Since 2002, when West left to join the Grizzlies, the Lakers have drafted 2 all stars in Bynum and Gasol; capable rotation players in Walton, Vujacic, Farmar, Turiaf and Kelly (potentially a rotation player); and borderline rotation players in Morris, Ebanks and Goudelock. The most notable miss has been Javaris Crittenton. This years draft selections appear sound as well. I wonder if Darius, or one of the other contributors, would consider writing a detailed analysis of the Lakers’ draft performance over the past decade? Perhaps once the excitment over FAs dies down a bit?

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  110. just don’t understand the melo love. maybe as a fan, i am spoiled and only want the lakers to spend max money on a player who is going to be a total game changer for the franchise. if the lakers can get james, now that is worth it and build their dynasty around that piece.

    i’ve never thought while watching melo play – wow – wouldn’t it be awesome if he was a laker? As a child, watching kareem play for milwaukee and rooting against him – but I admired his talent and would dream that he would someday don a laker uniform.

    I don’t want the lakers getting some max contract player just for the sake of acquiring one. I know the debate on the dh incident but the lakers may have been saved years of mediocrity with a huge contract to dhoward.

    I personally would like to see the lakers build around or prepare for a player like james or durant. obviously, like mitch stated, there is only so much they can do. they offer the package and see who accepts. (but i do understand that getting melo now may improve their chances of getting lbj in the future)

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  111. Anon:

    See post above yours.

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  112. @rr i said probably a hundred times by now that i dont want Melo on the team, and that a Melo+Bryant + Pau wasn’t a contender, that said they would not be something to sneeze at, they would be a playoffs team no doubt but thats it unless Mitch pull yet another rabbit out of his hat. I gave kudos to the FO for reminding the league what a force the Lakers still are as a destination for FAs.

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  113. Anon

    I was told by a friend at CAA that the pitch by Silver and TW was more aimed at Melo ‘a wife who has had a strong desire star in film and TV. If so it’s a smart play to get to him through his wife.

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  114. Fern,

    I understand that. I was pointing out that you were giving kudos to the FO for…having a meeting with a FA. Whether the FA is Anthony or another one is immaterial. Having a good meeting does not re-establish the Lakers as either any kind of force or destination.

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  115. Most recent anon comment with the snarky Joel silver stuff was my post.

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  116. Thanks Lil Sac

    Soon

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  117. KO,

    That makes sense.

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  118. In all seriousness, can someone explain to me why someone posts as “anonymous” and then later says “that was me” using their usual identity? Is this meant to be funny? clever?

    Seems awfully lame.

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  119. Seems awfully lame.

    You are making a mistake in suggesting that people are doing it on purpose. It has happened to me a couple of times, when my handle for some reason was not automatically in the name bar.

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  120. @Byron S. – When you use someone else’s computer, the field of ‘Name’ is usually blank for this site, and if you do not notice it, and leave it blank it will display as ‘Anonymous’.

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  121. bryan S.
    When you clear your cache, you often lose your browser memory; thus your name gets lost and you have to reenter it. If you forget to do this – because you rarely have to – then you come up as ANON. Normally this isn’t intentional.

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  122. Thanks for the education fellas! (But it’s still kinda lame :- )

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  123. I may be ‘lame’ but it was an accident that i subsequently corrected. Some of my devices are more FB&G friendly than others.

    I’m going to investigate the melo pitch through some people I know at silver. If I learn anything, I’ll share it.

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  124. I for one did do it on purpose once.

    I made a point and then came back under anon to say

    Boy that KO is brilliant.

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  125. You could post as Zorro or The Question and everybody would know who it was 10 words in.

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  126. so melo coming to LA is leaning towards fruition. it will also bring back gasol in our lineup.
    thats why it is important to secure him at all cost, otherwise gasol walks out…
    that will leave us with how many $ left to assemble casts?
    melo instantly puts us into a playoff team, regardless of supporting cast, they (melo+kobe) can carry a team.

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  127. Warren Wee Lim July 6, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Anytime you can acquire a top 10 player in the league by giving up nothing other than “flexibility” you do it. If you find it hard to find the sense in it, follow the money. Your nose will usually lead you to the money. Its all about the money.

    Carmelo Anthony represents a scoring machine that will bring us to the playoffs year after year. I say this because he has done it the 1st 10 years of his life with very little to work with and only missed it last season when he had the best statistical output of his career. Weird?

    Carmelo joins a Laker team that has 2 hall-of-famers. Granting you can make a case that Kobe and Pau have their best days behind them, you can never discount the level of skill these 2 have as well as their ability to produce wins. To be dominant is another thing, we can’t all be the Spurs.

    Most of the league can only salivate of a free agent as good as Melo. We just happen to have the cap space and the market that would be able to lure him without a doubt. For most of his life he’s been the alpha male (for awhile he had an aging Iverson) and it will be the 1st time in his life that he would play with someone supposedly “better” than himself.

    Kobe is his friend and you did not see him make a pitch to Dwight this way. The fact is obvious as I’ve seen them in countless of West All-Star Games that they have played so smoothly beside one another. Besides, Kobe only respects someone else that knows how to score the rock better than him. After his date with mortality last season, he recognizes he needs to pass the Laker torch somehow. It would be to his friend.

    At the end of the day, its about money vs opportunity. Its about the Knicks and the guaranteed money as opposed to the Lakers and the fame. Its about getting a chance to be rich and play with Kobe, or be rich. Its up to him.

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  128. Interesting ESPN stat: “If Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant teamed up for the remainder of Bryant’s contract (two seasons), the Lakers would have two of the best scorers in the league. However, no NBA players have taken more shots and had a higher percentage of their plays in isolation than the pair over the last FOUR seasons.
    Kobe Melo
    PPG 3rd 4th
    FGA PG 1st 2nd
    Pct. of Iso plays 1st 2nd”
    — ESPN Stats & Information

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  129. There is no good reason for Carmelo to choose the Knicks over the Lakers. Randle is more intriguing than anyone the Knicks have. Kupchak has closed trades for superstars, Phil has not. The Lakers did not try to lowball Melo as Phil tried to do.

    And if I am the Lakers, I sell Lebron and Melo that even if they take less money now, the Lakers will take care of their stars later, as the now-criticized deal for Kobe shows.

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  130. They were easy calls but I spot on called…
    Nash trade being bad
    D Howard being a much different player post Back surgery
    Kobe being washed up post achillies tear

    Now we just have to wait a few day for the Melo/LBJ signings to come to fruition.

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  131. Aaron,
    You are good, but your pride will get you into trouble.

    Howard isn’t different, so much as he is playing with ball dominant players (Kobe & Harden) since he left the Magic. Has he come to terms with not being the one directing the offense??? – I really don’t know yet. Perhaps this next year will tell. The only thing I can say is that I really don’t cry when he loses.

    As to Kobe being washed up…the verdict isn’t in on that yet. Many of us have doubted Kobe in the past and lived to regret it – you may also.

    Kobe lives to win – above all. With that in mind, and with his friendship with Melo – his game may be changed, but ‘washed up’ is something I would doubt. He is too fundamentally sound.

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  132. Aaron,
    Keep throwing crap to the wall, and wait for people’s reactions. U remind me of a known Laker hater Bill Simmons. Says crap just to get Lakers fans all riled up.

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  133. Kobe, post-injury, won’t be a high-fly act. But he will find ways to contribute. His pride will allow nothing less than the absolute best he can muster.
    Think Andre Miller, at the very least.
    Crafty, posting up, setting up teammates – life below the rim.

    The only thing I worry about with Kobe is another injury.
    That could be devastating.

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  134. With the new CBA, there are not any players deserving of “max” contracts. Teams simply do not have enough money to employ enough quality players if they funnel a large portion of their cap space into one player. The Heat came up short against the Spurs even though they had their big 3 intact. LeBron campaigned for a new point guard as soon as the finals were over. The Spurs have a geriatric dynasty going by employing star players willing to play for salaries well below their market value.

    All that being said, adding Carmelo would not even guarantee that the Lakers would make the playoffs. The West continues to be very competitive and Phoenix is going to move from lottery to second round threat by the time the season starts. Dallas gave the Spurs a genuine threat in the first round and they are in better financial shape due to Dirk willing to sign for a serious discount. A Kobe, Carmelo, Gasol team would be run into the ground by any of the top teams in the West. We saw last season what kind of “quality” team the Lakers were able to put together using minimum wage players.

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  135. Craig,
    Dwight’s PER has dropped from 26 the year before surgery to 20 the last two years. He is a different player. From perennial MVP candidate to good player.

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  136. Can anyone explain to me how they’ll get both Gasol and Carmelo if he should decide to go to LA?

    Based on ESPN, Gasol would have to take around 6m, while Carmelo getting the max. Wouldn’t make sense if he were to take 6m. Can’t we go over the cap to just sign him and use our MLE for another player?

    —-

    There’s also a rumor going on regarding Lebron. Would it be possible for them to get lebron and carmelo at the same time with 16m each?

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  137. Aaron,

    How did some of your old posts about Bynum work out? 😉

    As to the current situation, James and Anthony would each be taking cuts to come here, and all buzz on James is that he wants the max or very close to it. None of the media types are linking James to the Lakers, so if that is what actually happens, it will be quite a surprise to more or less everyone except Aaron, and I will give him full props.

    As to getting Anthony on the team, I made a flip comment last spring that if the Lakers bring in Anthony and bring back Pau, they may as well make Kobe the GM. Speculating: Kobe, and maybe even the FO, may look at the Spurs and see them winning with three old stars, a young, versatile 4, and role players, and believe that they can re-create that here. I hope that is not what they think, because obviously what the Spurs have done is unique, but according to Shelburne, the non-CAA element of the pitch focused on more or less that model.

    Another problem is that if Anthony signs for 24M, then the Lakers would be probably be trying to sign Pau for literally something like 3M. Asking him to play for 10-15% of what Anthony and Kobe are getting would be asking a lot.

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  138. Aaron is right about Howard. Four years ago he would have been the difference maker in the Portland series. He would have had at least one 40/20 game, and maybe two. Now a great game from him is 26/13.

    He’s clearly one of the best defensive bigs in game. But at only 28 he’s no longer the same player. All that said I’d still take him.

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  139. Not suggesting Deng is the answer, but I find it funny no one’s even linked him to possibly playing in L.A.

    Deng is still a pretty good player, but he has been worked very hard by Thibodeau and is pushing 30. I think most people figure that he will slow down/break down as time goes on.

    With the success of the Spurs, we will see more teams monitoring minutes, resting guys, and making use of the new technology for injury prevention, since the Spurs are one of the teams that do that. So Deng’s mileage is probably working against him a little bit in FA.

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  140. @ T Rogers
    The problem is that Aaron has lowered the bar for what he’s “right” about. Before we traded Bynum he was all over this board with post after post saying that Howard’s career was basically over ala Larry Johnson, but that’s clearly not the case. Dwight is still pretty close to being the same guy he was previously. Not all the way, for sure, but pretty close. Aaron was also very vocal about how Bynum’s injuries were trivial and that he would bounce back from those trivial injuries. He claimed time and time again that all “smart” basketball fans knew this and that it was foolish to trade ‘Drew. Well, we all know how that ended. Bynum is pretty much out of the league and even if we only got one year out of Howard -> it’s one more than we would have gotten from Bynum.

    I feel like I would be very generous if I said that Aaron was right 50% of the time. Here’s to Aaron- the coin flip of prognosticators that’s smarter than everyone else in the room, of course!

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  141. Craig,

    Don’t feed the trolls. That being said if lebron and melo did sign with Lakers I would give mad props. However I think even just melo signing is unlikely. I think its just a leverage ploy

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  142. reading comments about not wanting Carmelo is like watching the high school chess club president saying no to the cheerleading captain. are you holding out in case the even hotter cheerleading captain from the neighboring school comes knocking?

    the cba has added incentives for superstars to stay with their teams. LA may still be an attractive destination, but it does not have nearly the amount of sway that it used to have. in the rare occasions that a superstar turns up in the market, you do everything you can to get him.

    Carmelo has never played with a legit number one option, and still made WCF in the stacked west. he led the knicks to 55 wins only two seasons ago with JR Smith bring the number two option. we saw Kobe sacrifice his offense and focus on other areas when he played with Shaq and during the Olympics, and to a lesser extent, Carmelo was able and willing to spread his energy in other areas as well.

    A core of Kobe, Carmelo, Gasol, Randle plus scrubs led by an intelligent coach is a lethal combo. don’t miss an opportunity to grab the opponents queen because you would rather have a couple bishops.

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  143. rr
    —-
    Your points on Deng’s mileage make sense. But couldn’t the same be said of Carmelo?

    I think I am more on the same side of this future strategy divide as you — not sure I see the wisdom in tying up so much money on a guy who is going to be mid-30s when the deal is up, and whose presence would tie up so much of the payroll.

    If Deng brings 60 percent to 75 percent of what Anthony brings on the floor, but at 40 percent of the cost, then maybe that’s worth a look.

    As you said earlier, a lineup of Kobe, Pau, Carmelo, Randle and whatever fumes Nash has left is not going to scare anyone. No defense there at all. And there wouldn’t be much money left to round out the roster, even if they brought back some guys (like Farmar) who add value but at an affordable deal.

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  144. The Lakers are treading on very dangerous ground. As I’ve noted earlier they do not have any assets except their cap room to improve the team in the near future (no young talent excluding an unproven rookie and no abundance of draft choices).

    If they bring Melo on board it will take away the only ‘asset’ left to them (cap space) to improve the team for at least two years when Kobe’s contract expires. Success these next two years will then depend on Kobe’s health/production and on finding contributing veterans playing in LA for much less.

    The Lakers are choosing a path which essentially ignores what the new CBA has identified as gold: young controllable talent (the Lakers have only Randle) and draft picks (very few in the immediate term). In finance sometimes the contrarian investor hits it rich. However, I think the odds are long for the Lakers.

    The only 30 year old we should be pursing with a max deal is Lebron. Why couldn’t Kobe be friends with him.

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  145. KenOak,
    I never said Howard’s career would be over. I said he wouldn’t be the same MVP player.

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  146. reading comments about not wanting Carmelo is like watching the high school chess club president saying no to the cheerleading captain. are you holding out in case the even hotter cheerleading captain from the neighboring school comes knocking?

    Nah. We are looking for some intelligent, nice young women with whom we can settle down long-term.

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  147. rr,
    Ha. Well my posts regarding Bynum were accurate as well. I said he was injury prone and we should trade him for Howard. After Howard’s back surgery I said we should trade Bynum for someone else. Bynum healthy was the most dominant offensive low post player in the game. I got flack on here for saying he was a better player than Gasol heading into his last season in LA. And he was.

    The only time I was wrong about a player was Kevin Love. While I think he is an above average player (awful on D and great floor spacer on O) I didn’t think he would be a quality starter in this league.

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  148. Chris J,

    Deng is seen as a guy who can help a contender, but not as a guy who can anchor one. Deng is seen as sort of like Lamar Odom, circa 2010, while Anthony is seen (by some) as a facsimile of Kobe Bryant circa 2009. I think Odom and Kobe were clearly better then Deng and Anthony are, but the principle is the same. Deng is a good player, but I think he will end up on a team that is already good, not on a team like the Lakers.

    Some of the Knickerblogger crowd seem to think that this is a just a sham so Anthony can spin taking 5/129 in NY, rather than taking a little discount. We will know in a couple of days, I guess.

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  149. @KL – if you stretch nash we could offer gasol like 8ish per year ….considering he gets to do wtv he wants in LA see book deal + interning at ucla med …im pretty sure hed stay here at that level

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  150. Aaron,

    While I think KenOak was a little harsh, that is not how I remember many of your Bynum posts. I recall comments to the effect that Bynum’s injuries were not a big deal, and Howard’s were. I don’t recall what you said about the trade itself. But it is not important enough to me to actually look it up (I did look up some of my own posts about the Nash deal) so we will leave it there.

    In any case, you are on the record about the James/Anthony stuff, so we will see how that plays out.

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  151. Alright folks. LT just walked into the room and spoke the truth. He then proceeded to drop the mic, flash the peace sign, and bounce. Thanks LT!

    The Lakers without ‘Melo are not going to be bad enough to keep our top 5 protected pick. The Lakers with ‘Melo, and possibly Pau along with Randle, are probably a playoff team. If they could make the playoffs for a couple of years until Kobe retires and then reload…that’s the plan. That’s also how you attract another big FA when they look at a team that’s only a player or so away from real contention.

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  152. I have a response to LT in the queue.

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  153. rr,

    My post directed at Aaron is as restrained as it could be given the circumstances. Aaron is from the school of -> proclaim everything as often and as loudly as you can until something/anything sticks. Then, never admit when you’re wrong -> even when there’s a multitude of evidence and witnesses to see it. Also, there’s -> belittle anyone and everyone that disagrees with you. And then finally -> lower the bar for proclaiming yourself “right.” Did I miss anything?

    For the record. If Aaron is right about LBJ and Melo in L.A. then I will give him all the props in the world for calling it.

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  154. rr,
    I did say Howard’s one injury was more serious than any one of Bynum’s injuries (which is true). But I knew Bynum could breakdown at anytime which is why I was in favor of moving Bynum for certain players.

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  155. Listen guys… You would think you would learn not to freak out when I say something that upsets you. I say Bynum is now better than Pau and you get pissed. I say Dwight Howard won’t be the same player after back surgey and you laugh. I say Steve Nash at best will be the same player as Sessions next year and it was an awful trade and you throw a fit. I say Kobe won’t be good again after an achillies tear and he probably will get injured again and you lose it. So now when I say for the last year there is a good chance we get Melo and LBJ how about you guys learn from all your past experiences with me and instead of being repulsed by what I tell you instead really take it in.

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  156. Ken Oak: If they could make the playoffs for a couple of years until Kobe retires and then reload…that’s the plan.
    —-
    The only problem is that you’ll have 70+% of the cap tied up with Melo and whichever veterans we would have signed to be competitive during the Kobe/Melo experiment.

    That’s what worries many of us: Melo delays the inevitable rebuild for 4 or more years. And the Lakers are not likely to be more than a six seed in the West. Simply not worth it.

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  157. I think posters are out thinking themselves. You can’t play the chess game of thinking 3-6 moves ahead of where you are. Everything changes each time you complete a successful move. This is because there are multiple other clubs doing the same thing. The landscape changes each time a major player makes a move – players being both clubs and major talents.

    With Anthony our future changes, and so does the future of all the clubs in the NBA. With that reset there become a number of new possibilities. That is why GMs are better off not over-thinking any problem, but develop several scenarios and then moving forward with a strategy.

    Carmelo makes us better. Now what do we do with that. It is the ‘bird in the hand’ theory that will get us farther along in development. We simply cannot plan 2015/16 – it ain’t near enough yet.

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  158. Farmar signs with Sterlings.

    Another bites the baseball hat.

    Guess Jimmy’s idea is to go with Smush Parker at point guard. Wonder if Kobe still won’t talk to him.

    Nepotism: the curse if American Business.

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  159. I see a lot of misconceptions about the cap, so here is a refresher:

    Kobe 23,500,000
    Nash stretch 3,233,667
    Sacre 915,243
    Randle 2,497,800
    Cap holds 4,566,024
    total 34,712,734
    cap room 28,487,266

    This assumes all FA (other than Gasol) and all exceptions are renounced. Melo’s max number is 22.5M. If you sign Gasol first for 6.5M, his cap hold is removed and you are left with almost exactly 22.5M (the math works this way because one of the cap holds for 500K would be removed once Gasol is signed). That is how it would work assuming what is widely reported. However, this would leave only the Room Exception for 2.7M. The rest would be minimum deals.

    Unless Melo is promised Gasol, I don’t see how it makes any sense to include him on this roster. With Kobe and Melo, the primary missing ingredient is defense, not a strong suit of Pau’s at this point in his career.

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  160. Year farmar signing hurts us but I think steve blake might be back personally I think we should go after aaron brooks – averaged 16 and 8 on a balanced team when lawson was injured

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  161. Definitely sad to see Farmar go, especially across the hall. He’s not a difference maker or anything, but he’s solid, a known quantity, and has clearly improved his game since his first stint in LA.

    As others have noted, I hope we’re not missing value FAs whilst hoping for big name signings – but it sure looks that way. Just have to hope that we don’t get halfway through this week with still a roster of 5 and no coach…

    Sounding like Bazemore to Atlanta too…

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  162. No to Blake
    Yes to Bazemore

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  163. repulsed by what I tell you

    More like humored by your unintentional comedy.

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  164. Bazemore will get more money elseware … also melo was playing pickup ball at ucla today with kobe ….. probably to get a look at how kobe is doing healthwise

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  165. Assuming no Lebron, best case scenario in my opinion:

    Sign Stephenson, IT, Okafor, Udoh
    Clarkson and/or Kane are serviceable
    Re-sign Henry
    Don’t waive Nash

    Roster:
    PG – Nash, Thomas, Marshall
    SG – Bryant, Clarkson/Kane
    SF – Stephenson, Henry
    PF- Randle, Kelly
    C – Okafor, Udoh, Sacre

    Clarkson/Kane can cross-cover the 1 hopefully. Stephenson defends the more dangerous wing. Randle will need a rim-protecting big. Okafor (if recovered) fits the bill and this should be a good to great rebounding duo.

    Bench will be shaky defensively but hopefully will have good chemistry and enough offense from Thomas/Henry/Kelly to at least break even.

    2015: All in for M. Gasol
    2016: All in for KD

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  166. also melo was playing pickup ball at ucla today with kobe ….. probably to get a look at how kobe is doing healthwise
    ————————————-
    And did that source say how he looked?

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  167. Darius, can you add a jump to bottom of the page link at the top of a post … posts like these take a loy of scrollong to get to the bottom on mobiles

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  168. Happy Birthday Pau Gasol!!!

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  169. @Aaron you dont know any more than anyone here and we are like Jon Snow, like someone said you throw crap at the wall to see what sticks. My main gripe about Melo coming to the Lakers which by the way i reeeaaalllyyy doubt it will happen, is that this reminds me of the much heralded pairing of Melo and AI, a lot of hoopla that didnt achieve anything, they paired 2 volume scorers and that was it, now i think is a similar situation but Melo is older and Kobe is unknown variable at this point even if Kobe comes back at 90% of what he was and they bring back Pau, it would be a playoff team with a second round exit ceiling at best. I dont think it would work. Im opposed to this move,always been, at this point the Lakers need to swallow their pride, bite the bullet and start laying a foundation, i sound like a broken record but i dont think this is the right time to pounce and make a move just to make a splash, it will make a splash all right but thats it. I vote NAY…

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  170. “They didn’t want to commit to me,” Farmar told ESPNLosAngeles.com during a phone interview Sunday. “I understood the situation with them, what was going on and would I be willing to wait. What am I waiting for? There was no real definitive answer. It was, ‘Yeah, we like you, we’d love to have you here,’ but I didn’t know what I was waiting for. You don’t know who the coach is. You don’t know who I am going to be playing with. They made no commitment to me on that part.”

    Farmar to the Clippers burns me up. Mitch & Jim better be in love with their rookies/Summer league pick ups because I don’t want to see Marshall in the Laker jersey this coming season. Farmar was shooting 43% from three. No Meeks. Who will be shooting the 3…With accuracy? Oh yeah, can’t make a team until you what you have left to spend.

    It seems the Laker loyalty only goes for overpaying for Kobe. Pau, humiliated for years; Fisher maligned as subverting the power of the genius known as Mike Brown. The track record of not taking care of your people while you beg a bad back center to #stay is the new normal. Farmar bolting to (uuugh) Doc Rivers brings me back to harping on Lakers talent evaluation. It’s easy to say, “sure give me Melo” and other upper echelon talent but this franchise routinely now has a track record of ex-Lakers role players doing well on other teams. Brown jerks around McRoberts. Team wants Kapono instead of Gerald Green. Steve Blake instead of Dorrell Wright or Shaun Livingston……

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  171. Stephen A Smith reported Lebron back to Cleveland a few years ago, he was the only guy to say Lebron would join Wade and Bosh in Miami. So Chris Broussard reporting Cleveland is the favorite to land Lebron Im not shocked.

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  172. @Eric, in my opinion this is all a charade, he is going back to Miami, even with Wiggins and Lowry the Cavs are not championship ready. This is him working the media. All this is a big pile of dung.

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  173. I meant irving, my bad.

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  174. Fern I get you but:

    Bird in the hand.

    No reason to think any 16 FA will sign with Lakers.

    Time it takes to build through the draft with limited picks could be 5 years or more.

    I roll the dice and build around Melo and Kobe and at least give us something to watch the next 2 years that doesn’t result in multiple broken TV screens around LA.

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  175. Fern, I actually agree. Still wouldn’t be shocked either way. I think Melo ends up in NY and the big 3 resign in Miami. Problem for Riley is nobody wants to give up a ton of money in their prime to play for the Heat so they are stuck with fading veteran talent chasing rings. Happens to all stacked teams. The Lakers couldn’t afford the best supporting cast with Bynum Kobe and Pau either.

    If this is all really a charade for media attention (which it likely is) it makes me dislike them all even more.

    I just like to remember how dead on Stephen A is about his predictions. He’s plugged in, he didn’t say with certainty Lebron would return but he said Lebron’s camp reached out to facilitate a return if needed.

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  176. We better hope Bosh doesn’t sign with a team like the Rockets before LBJ and Melo sign with the Lakers. I’m sure LBJs first choice would be to have Melo join him in Miami.

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  177. Farmar is making 2.1M a year–about 200K more than they were paying Darren Collison.

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  178. Kudos hale …. completely agree that on the low end of the bench we have struck out multiple times

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  179. @Ko Takes 5 years? Really doubt it but im prepared for it. I just dont think this is the year. Getting Melo just for the sake of getting him dont cut it for me, dont cut it for the Lakers.

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  180. What’s pretty funny to me is that I think back on the Finals and I don’t really believe that, if you substitute ‘Melo for Bosh, the Heat would have won. Wade seems just too far gone to be part of any big 3. It’s not like Bosh was the one that was M.I.A. (Pun intended.)

    I still think Melo comes to play with Kobe. Everything seems too perfect. He has a home here and his wife loves the Hollywood lifestyle. Man, it will be nice to be thinking about the playoffs again!

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  181. Farmar signed with the Clippers, so what? Never been a huge fan of him, he has talent but he is too brittle and i hate a lot of his decision making as a pg, need to rebuild the team from scratch and disasosiate(sic) from anything that stinks of last year team specially the ones that spent a lot of time on the DL. Dont really care if Sterling himself signed him. Once this Melodrama fades away like i hope it does Mitch will get to work, i have the feeling he has something up his sleeve Mitch can build a team…

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  182. Fern,

    Farmar is a local guy who left several million dollars in guaranteed money on the table in Turkey to come back to the Lakers, and is a guy who was a reserve on the last two title teams. More to the point, he is 27, in his prime, and is a solid back-up PG, as the fact that a team that is far better than the Lakers are just signed him shows. Yes, Farmar has had injury issues, but the Lakers’ PGs at the moment are Steve Nash, Kendall Marshall, and Jordan Clarkson: a 40-year-old who played 15 games last year, a guy who is very borderline and may not be on an NBA roster next year, and a guy who may not be able to play in the NBA at all. And Nash and Marshall, of course were on last year’s stinky team that you want to the FO dissociate from.

    As I said last spring: at some point the FO needs to make some decisions that people like you don’t feel the need to explain away and rant about, and that you can back up with something more specific than a feeling you have that Mitch has something up his sleeve.

    It seems pretty obvious that the FO is waiting to see what Anthony decides to do. That is not an unreasonable decision, but with the money being so tight, there will be costs associated with it.

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  183. my 2 cents
    lakers will always prefer to build w stars
    they have never favored building thru the draft
    so if its not melo now, it may be love next yr.
    the 2-3-4 yr patient rebuild just isnt the Laker way,
    for better or for worse.

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  184. Agreed JC…

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  185. Hale – Agree with you completely. It’s this part of that quote that concerns me most:

    “I didn’t know what I was waiting for. You don’t know who the coach is. You don’t know who I am going to be playing with.”

    A worrying quote.

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  186. melcountscounts July 6, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Well said, Hale. Thought I was the only who thought McRoberts got a bum deal here. Not a bad player, made to look bad when he was here.

    This whole mess is going to come down to Kobe’s big contract messing things up. Ridiculous.

    Don’t pile on Kendall, he is what he is. A gifted passer, average shooter at best, not a great defender….I have to admit, I love to watch him pass that ball.

    Can’t blame Farmar for leaving really, kind of left him hanging…..and hanging….and hanging.

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  187. melcountscounts July 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    …and now Bazemore is probably out too, Hawks or Celtics. Won’t be an All-Star, but pretty solid, and a good locker room guy too.

    This whole thing is a mess..

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  188. there is a new report from Broussard that states…. “Cleveland is frontrunner for James now and not Miami.”

    I was going to accept this but then I remember.

    it’s Broussard

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  189. “I didn’t know what I was waiting for. You don’t know who the coach is. You don’t know who I am going to be playing with.”

    This should be the quote on the side of Staples center to replace the statues.

    Just add Jimmy’s photo and you have the New Lakers!

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  190. Ko,
    I know you are gonna miss
    Bazemore
    Farmar
    Kaman….
    and probably Gasol
    but don’t worry
    we still have Kendall Marshall –
    your personal fave!

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  191. @rr sorry we lost Jordan Farmar not Magic Jonhson so forgive me if i dont think is the end of the world. Bleh

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  192. Fern,

    No one said it was the end of the world. The questions are:

    Is it good for the team?
    Who can they get to play the 1?
    Is it part of a sound roster plan?

    KenOak,

    SGDE’s post is a good one, and the point is that basically, we could be looking at Kobe/Pau/Melo/Randle, I think one guy for the room exception, Sacre, and 6 guys at the minimum. Given the profiles (age, injury history, performance records) of the supposed Big 4, I simply do not think that will work.

    From what I can see, the FO is playing this as if:

    1. Kobe is 30 and healthy.
    2. Melo is LeBron James.
    3. Pau is 30 and an All-Star.
    4. Randle is going to be high-impact immediately.

    1-3 are definitely not true. 4 we don’t know yet, but I am skeptical. In the context of a reality that includes 1-3 being true, no, Jordan Farmar doesn’t matter. Jerry West cut loose two guys that he drafted, liked, and who were not bad ballplayers, Anthony Peeler and George Lynch, to clear more money to throw at Shaq, and that was absolutely the right call. But that was Shaq, in his 20s, at a time when everybody knew he wanted to come here, the Lakers already had some players, and when the CBA was very different. This is Melo at 30, and the Lakers are underdogs in the race to get him and have no roster.

    None of this is to say that if the FO believes Melo is the answer, that they should jeopardize that for Farmar. But I am saying that I have real doubts about the plan, based on what we can see of it now.

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  193. It is why the front office won’t acknowledge any of our ‘suggestions’.

    Other than KO and Robert, both of whom were being totally facetious, no one here has ever, to my knowledge, suggested that anyone in the Lakers’ FO would pay the slightest bit of attention to anything posted here or at other sites. I would guess that Jeanie, Jim, and Mitch have heard of FBG, and may have clicked on it a time or two, but that’s it. And most people who post here, regardless of what they think of the FO and the team right now, are smart enough to understand that.

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  194. Kobe’s not healthy?

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  195. Darius, this tis a great thread, I complement you on our moderation, just let people talk.

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  196. Kobe’s not healthy?

    Not until he proves that he can stay on the floor and play an NBA schedule, no.

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  197. @rr and KO you have a lot of good things to say.

    Go Lakers!

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  198. the other Stephen July 7, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Hale: “It seems the Laker loyalty only goes for overpaying for Kobe.” This thought has also been running through my mind for a while now. It feels hollow if that’s all it is.

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  199. Renato Afonso July 7, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Darius,

    Can we please have a post about Jordan Farmar? It would be nice to hear your thoughts on this and I really need to vent. Having Farmar at 2.1M is a great deal and I don’t understand why we didn’t sign him. There’s no logic behind this.

    I’ll wait until said post before venting on 200+ thread…

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  200. If the Lakers strike out on Melo, I wish they’d consider some of the scenarios that would allow them to reload in the near future. Would I consider Jeremy Lin and a first -rounder or two, just for taking his contract? I might; Lin has his issues but is better than any other PG on the roster. Cleveland needs to show Bron they’re serious; could the Lakers help facilitate a three-way deal and get some picks in return? Pau still has value in a S&T; I know no one wanted to give up a pick for him at the deadline, but teams are on a different deadline now and circumstances are very different.

    I realize this isn’t the Laker way and that there is an argument for win-now mode, even if I don’t think it’s realistic. But free agency produces desperate teams. In any kind of business, if you’re not desperate, you can come away with some pretty good deals. Problem is, I think the Lakers are one of the desperate teams.

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