Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  July 10, 2014

Some links and thoughts to hold you over while we wait for the free agency dominoes to fall…

  • Julius Randle remains unsigned, though is on his way to Las Vegas as part of the Lakers’ summer league team. Randle isn’t likely to suit up until he puts his name to a contract and at this point we will wait — a day, more? — for that to occur. All signs point to Randle remaining unsigned so the Lakers can preserve the extra bit of cap space that will be tacked on to his contract. Rookies generally sign for 120% of their slotted salary and every little extra bit helps. As an aside, with Randle unsigned the Lakers could still, technically, trade his rights to a different team whereas if he was signed there would be a waiting period before they could do so. I don’t believe that will happen, but it is something to keep in mind.
  • Speaking of summer league, Ben Rosales of Silver Screen & Roll has a nice breakdown of the players who will suit up for the Lakers. Get to know these guys, they should be fun to watch.
  •  While summer league will be a nice distraction, all eyes do remain on the free agent ticker. Several Lakers from last year’s team have already inked deals with other teams, for good money too. If you’re keeping score at home, Jodie Meeks got $6 million a year for 3 years from the Pistons, Chris Kaman got $10 million over 2 years from the Blazers, Jordan Farmar got $4 million over two years from the Clippers, and Steve Blake just got similar money as Farmar from the Blazers. I wish all these guys nothing but the best on their new teams. Last season they all showed they could be rotation players in the league and they will get their chances on their new rosters.
  • Of course, some would have liked the Lakers to bring back one or more of those guys. Personally, I could go either way. While all are serviceable players, none truly stood out to me last season. The closest were probably Meeks and Farmar. Meeks had an excellent season and showed growth in several areas, but when his career is over, last season’s numbers may stand as his best season. Farmar, while showing he is now a very good shooter, was also injured for half the season and didn’t quite show as much next level passing as you’d like from a starting caliber guard. Again, I like both players fine and would have welcomed them back, but losing them to another team isn’t the end of the world. Best of luck to them.
  • This is nearly two weeks old, but if you missed it, give Zach Lowe’s piece on Jason Kidd departing the Nets for the Bucks a read. The Kidd stuff is very good and worth your time on its own. But the bullet points also have a couple of Lakers’ related nuggets that speak to the team’s financial health.
  • On that note, Brian Kamenetzky wrote a very good piece on why the Lakers should be patient this off-season.
  • Lastly, Kobe Bryant is holding his annual basketball camp in Santa Barbara right now and did a press conference to open things up. He spoke on a variety of topic, but in this clip he speaks on his health noting that he feels “great…strong and crisp” and notes that he doesn’t think about his knee or his achilles when he’s training. He also talks about the way he “pitches” the Lakers as a free agent destination.

Darius Soriano

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106 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. Lebron…. Make ur decision already….

  2. Byron: The time is almost here. I see many are questioning why the Lakers are waiting and I have no explanation for that myself. However no amount of hand ringing by Jim will make me waver one iota from the proclamation made now 2 1/2 months ago. It will be Byron.
    FA: We first need to see what happens with LBJ and Melo, however if they stay put, this will mean the next discussion will be one where we discuss where we should get marginally better or whether we should just ride this out. Some of us refer to the later as the multi year tank.
    Phil: So he has Fish and Rambis. If he gets Melo – I guess it will Phil 3 – Jim 0. Oh wait – sorry 4-0 (forgot to include Jeanie)

  3. It’s getting tiring, waiting for Lebron and Melo to make up their damn minds. Hurry up already. I want to know who’s gonna be on the Lakers so I could cheer for my team again. My wish is to have Kobe healthy for all 82 games.

  4. Lebron & Melo, 2 of the biggest drama queens ever. sheesh

  5. Here are my predictions so I can check them:

    Lebron stays in Miami, Bosh and Wade take pay cuts and they make two more significant upgrades to the roster like Ariza and Jordan Hill or kirk hinrich or something.

    Melo chooses LA, Pau jumps on board for a little less. Poor Randle can sign and play, the Lakers round out there roster with henry, bazemore, young, ryan Kelly and okafor or possibly Mario chalmers, also wouldn’t mind maybe getting Kenyon martin and reuniting him with melo on a one year vets deal.

    Houston signs Stephenson to salvage the off season which isn’t a bad move and covers a lot of hardens flaws on the perimeter and would be a pretty intimidating back court actually.

    Deng signs with Phoenix or Cleveland after they strikeout on James

    Detroit Keeps Monroe

    Bledsoe stays in phoenix

    that’s all I got.

    going to be totally wrong and off but I can compare later.

  6. Jason Maxiel is also someone I felt got buried in Detroit and always liked the way he played.

  7. LBJ and the Cavs owner are both so distasteful they deserve each other.

    However, I’m thinking James stays in Miami. Maybe he’ll ask for an annual opt out clause this go around so he can play his little “decision” game every year.

    ‘Melo stays in NYC. He should go to the Bulls or Houston if he wants to try for a ring, but since he’s looking at his “career in total” (yeah, whatever), he’ll continue with the Knicks.

    Poor Jimmy Buss! He will have lost yet another round of this bizarre contest he’s conducting with PJ. He’d better ink Byron soon, before Phil finds a job for him, too.

  8. Love this Kamenetzky line: “The idea is to build a genuine championship contender, not to compete for a six-seed every year”

    Amen.

  9. Mike McGraw ?@McGrawDHBulls 2m
    Hearing the Stephen A. Smith report is accurate. Carmelo may have been leaning elsewhere, but regained interest in #Bulls.

  10. Will be interesting to see if LeBron does go for a two year deal. That would coincide with Kobe’s contract expiring (and Durant’s as well I believe). This appears to be another way that players can exercise more control over team building and combining for a championship.

  11. If I was Mitch I would sign Stephenson and tell Melo thanks, but no thanks. If he wants to come to LA, then come. Otherwise have a great career losing in NY or CHI or wherever. The only exception is the Aaron prediction, but at this stage, does anyone think it is even remotely possible? There hasn’t been a peep about LAL moving Nash’s contract.

  12. It is really looking like the Lakers are going get left high and dry. No Melo, lucky if they get a 2nd tier guy, many of the best budget guys gone, no one looking to unload contracts with draft picks as incentives. Another season of hiring cast aways? I really hope Mitch has a solid plan B.

  13. Lakers need to be focusing on Lance. Forget Melo. Kobe can take him to the next level and his contract will be a bargain when we look back in a couple years. Leaves some room for other moves to get younger and be just as good as with Melo. I bet Phil secretly wants him to sign elsewhere.

  14. Two thoughts, is it far fetched to guess that Lebron is holding out so Bosh signs with Houston and after that get Melo to Miami? Everybody here now my stance on Melo, with that money the team would pay Melo we could get Stephenson and Ariza or Stephenson and Swaggy P with money to spare. The Lakers would be a better team with any of those 2 combinations than with Melo. I expect the FO will start to put the roster togheter fairly quick after this two fools finally stop holding the league for hostage it’s foing to be a blur all around the league. If Melo dont decide by tomorrow i say we move on.

  15. I think Phil wants Melo to sign elsewhere too and I wouldn’t be mad if it was with us and I wouldn’t be mad if we did get lance Stephenson and a couple of more solid contributors rather than Melo because I feel like Stephenson is going to be elite soon if he can be around kobe and just absord it would be good for him.

  16. If they end up with nothing but a team of Marshall’s and Sacre’s Mitch should find a new job with the Post office.

    Those guys stay employed no matter how many letter they throw away.

  17. If we’re being frank, the Lakers are losing this summer. They haven’t convinced anyone to take their free-agent money, and they still don’t have a freaking head coach.

    From JR Pollard.
    Getting embarrassing.

  18. @Fern, Definitely not happening that way. First Bosh has to sign within 3 days so waiting would be a big mistake. Second if that was the case Lebron could just tell Riley to release him and add Melo. It is widely known Bosh is waiting on Lebron. So Lebron should just tell Bosh to take the Houston deal and then they could focus on Melo if thats the plan. But they would be extremely small. Bosh is at least a tall 6’11. Hibbert destroyed them two years ago. What happens if they don’t have any bigs but Chris Anderson and McBob. And not just Hibbert we are talking any decent big man. How would Miami get past Duncan, Dwight (if they get there with Bosh), Brook Lopez, Nene, etc.

    Melo is an upgrade over Bosh, but two things, you need at least one big (no team has one without at least one all star big. Doubt there is enough good wings to overcome what bigs bring). Bosh is not a top 10 player but he does more than people give him credit for. And if nothing else, Bosh is tall enough to bother a shot or two. Melo is 6’8 and not even the defender Bosh is. Scoring wasn’t the problem against the Spurs, it was stopping the Spurs open shots.

  19. The post office is a nice place to work.

    Byron is moonlighting there and keeps ‘losing’ envelopes containing resumes sent from other head coaching candidates addressed to Mitch.

  20. Mitch must go!!! Mitch must go!!!! Mitch must go!!! Mitch must go!!!

  21. As much as I would like to see Melo join with us, I don’t think he is ready to step up his defense. We never had a problem scoring points, it’s our defense that was suspect.

  22. Breaking Laker News!

    Jim Buss washed his baseball hat.

  23. Bottom line: the 2014-15 Lakers will basically be a bunch of guys (except Randle) that none of the other 29 teams are interested in offering contracts to. That includes Kobe & Nash, no other team would take on those players at their current salaries. :-(

    Normally the Lakers play for rings, what will they be playing for in ’14-’15? What will be the team’s “hi-light” of the season? Kobe passing Jordan on the all-time scoring list? That would be a HUGE deal if this was Cleveland or Charlotte, but this is the Lakers, and for me, while that will be a noteworthy accomplishment, if that’s the hi-light of the season, it will be a disappointing season.

    As far as the coaching decision goes, did any other team offer Scott a job? Would any other NBA organization want Jim Buss to be a major voice in their front office at the moment?

    2014-’15 Lakers, the best thing about this team/franchise will be it’s brand. Never has the phrase “the whole is better than it’s parts” been more appropo.

    Lakers, always & forever…even in ’14-’15.

  24. The Lakers dont need any big names this summer, we need a foundation, with Melo we would not be contenders, so whats the point?I prefer they use that money to get 2 or even 3 players to fil/ upgrade several posicions and create flexibility, flexibility is as important as cap space. That the Lakers with an empty team were able to get Melo to give them serious thoughts speak volumes. Melo was not going to turn the franchise into a contender and i certainly would not want him as the face of the franchise. If we have a solid foundation and flexibility stars will come.

  25. If LeBron goes back to Miami and Cleveland has made moves to make room for him, he ain’t gonna be MORE popular in the Mistake by the Lake. Flirting with the Cavs and not going there is bad PR.

  26. @ Tommy D, I haven’t heard anything from LeBron regarding the Cavs except that Gilbert’s letter is still an issue. All Cleveland talk has come from media & fans. If you have anything from LeBron pertaining to returning to Cleveland post July 1st, 2014 please post link here.

  27. I’m not really worried about the Lakers, I believe if they miss out on Melo and Pau then Stephenson at 3 years 36$million is solid and actually great value.

    Also, getting gasol 3 yrs 27$ is also a possibility.

    Ariza, Jordan Hill, Bazemore, Henry, wouldn’t be bad if that’s how we rounded out the roster.

    wow, Broussard with a article on Lebron not being over the “letter”, guess what Lebron, your fans aren’t over “the decisions” so get over it and pick a team. You have a losing record in the finals you might be the king of akron but you’re no real king and at this point in the free agency this is nothing more than Lebron flexing his power and making a strong point this is a players league, there is a lot of undertones to this free agency and it’s all been super fascinating.

    The Lakers need to be careful here, I would give Carmelo today, because Lebron is going to the world cup as is probably every star so they should make their decisions today because they’d be flying to brazil today or tomorrow so we should know today, but it’s getting really old and if nothing comes out today if I was the Lakers I would just surprise everyone the next day with signings and just go for it because at some point it has to be about being a Laker for Melo too and if it takes this long and it really isn’t about the money because he’s going to get his anyway, then just let him go and sign the other talent on the market and go for KD next summer. He loves Kobe and I would rather have him that Lebron or Melo.

  28. I think the Lakers are really high on their young talent too, Kane, Clarkson, randle, I see us keeping those guys or at least 2 of them. I still see the Lakers stretching Nash if anything just out of disrespect haha, I also don’t want to see Kendall Marshall on our team but if he is making tiny improvements to his game then he wouldn’t be a bad back up pg with a closer like Kobe, just give him the ball lol. So that Leaves us with Randle, Kobe, Sacre. If we get Melo, Pau, keep Clarkson, Kane, sign Bazemore, Henry, and we have Marshall that’s still only 10. If you can bring in a couple of vets like Okafor, Maxiel, Kirk Hinrich, etc this could still be a strong playoff team and with Pau, Melo, Kobe if healthy who really wants to see that? The SAS don’t want to see a healthy Kobe, he would foul out Kawhi in 15 minutes in the post something Lebron and wade can’t do.

  29. ….I still just don’t feel it. Hopefully something happens today haha. clearly my brain is on FA overload.

  30. NBC: LBJ to Cleveland

  31. What a moment for Cleveland sports. What more can you say? The best player in the world just signed as a free agent in Cleveland.

    What a moment for Aaron’s guarantees. OK new put together a darn team Titch and Dim.

  32. Now the question is what has been the holdup for Melo. Is it possible he will be S&T to CLE?

  33. darius: this just in; Self Indulgence.com reports LeBron will return to Cleveland play for Cavaliers via the Excessive Self Promotion Network.

    blue in the face and what seems like Christmas came and went; now hopeful laker front office can finally put to rest all inquiring minds as when to announce their choice for laker head coach; ie after Carmelo takes his “talents” back to that mecca; or is it to the city where his family resides or to that city of bullish behavior?

    it’s still early friday morning here in southern california; blue skies; palm trees swaying; birds chirping; life goes on. time to wake up, Carmelo Anthony.

    Go lakers

  34. Lebron looking like a done deal? 2014 summer free agency – let the games begin…

  35. HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. happy for Lebron too deep down I think this was the right decision for him and they do have a nice young team. CMONNNNNNNNNNNN LAKESHOWWWWWWWWWWWW. JIM BUSSSSSS DO SUUUUUUMTHIN!

  36. Don’t be shocked if Melo end up in no tax Miami now.

    Jim Buss talking to Sasha and Smush.

  37. I think you can book a Wiggins/Love exchange now.

  38. LeBron back to the Cavs is a bit surprising. I can see them trying to make a package around Wiggins for Love now. That would be a pretty good team.

  39. Brousard just said… “Melo told me that LBJ asked him to go to Cle with him and he said hell no. I don’t leave the hotel when I’m in Cle”

  40. I think Melo should go to Chicago if he wants to win a championship. He would complement their line up perfectly. If he signs with NY it is mostly about money and family. The Lakers have been holding hope looking for a big name. The opportunity to take advantage of the frenzy around Melo & LBJ is almost over and the Lakers will have nothing to show for it. They could have managed some deals to fix the lack of young talent while serving as the team that helped other teams chase Melo and LBJ.

  41. Wow crazy, but like I said the other day Stephen A Smith has been calling this for years. I didn’t know if he would actually leave but I felt like there was a good chance. That guy is money, he may seem a little much at times but he is consistently right and plugged in.

    I don’t like Lebron but this makes me gain some respect for him for several reasons. 1-Winning for your hometown should be the goal of every player if you have the chance (unless you hate where you are from), and 2- Unless the Cavs get Love I don’t know if they are better than Miami would be with Lebron returning. People always talk about Wade being injured by Kyrie is injured MORE than Wade, and plays just as bad defense. Wiggins is a huge question mark as he could be traded/ not show up since he doesn’t have a killer instinct and appears aloof at times. Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett are so raw that they aren’t that skilled yet. Lebron will truly have to develop these guys as opposed to playing with battled tested talent in Miami. I still think the only reason the Heat lost was because of the brilliance of the Spurs, the decline of Wade is greatly exaggerated and Bosh will show he is better than the third fiddle he played in Miami.

  42. We should s&t pau to cleveland for either bennet, waiters and picks ….. we are now gonna miss on all the big fas and if pau is gonna leave we might as well get some value back for him and a former top 5 pick on a rookie contract will be worth it taking on contracts in the near term

    We could then move to plan b targets but since it looks like love will be heading to Cleveland too we cant look to next year fa class anymore

    Stephenson, monroe, bledsoe all become top targets now

  43. @rr: Did you notice Bron didn’t mention Wiggins in his essay? Dude is gone. Probably for Love…but is there any way they could S&T for Melo?

  44. Vasheed, No you always go after the fish. Stop thinking like a midwest team. You go after guys like Bledsoe or Monroe and you end up a six seed forever. Now you go out and get just a couple of decent players and hope to get someone next year or year after. Don’t waste your cap space on anything but a top 15 guy. May suck but it is the way the Lakers have to do it because the draft is too slow (Especially since they won’t have their pick next year).

  45. By the way Melo chance just went up. Melo will probably try to force the Knicks to do a sign and trade with the Bulls but if that fails he comes to the Lakers.

  46. And now for plan B as Mitch put it. I agree with our GM. We shouldn’t sign any free agents and we should wait for other superstars to hit the market in the next couple years and load up on lottery pics.

  47. “The Decline of Wade is greatly exaggerated.”

    Nah. Wade is a shadow of a shadow of himself. I’ve never seen anyone decline as quickly as D-Wade has.

    I think that this is a poor choice for Lebron, but the easiest decision for him. He gets to go home and try to win Cle a championship. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a Love for Wiggins swap now which would make the Cavs the favorites in the East for sure.

  48. @rr: Did you notice Bron didn’t mention Wiggins in his essay?

    Yep, although I mentioned Love/Wiggins earlier at another site. I think James did this for many reasons, but I believe that he believes that Love/Irving will be in place of Bosh/Wade. I think roster was a factor.

    Also: Cleveland owns Miami’s 2015 first-round pick. It went in the S/T for….James.

  49. KenOak, agreed. Wade is a shell of what he used to be. The best part is that now Riles HAS to overpay him for at least a while…no way he can screw him after he opted out in supposed good faith. Not only are the Heat in trouble next year, there will be longer-term ramifications. Riles is a good poker player, but his hand sucks now and everyone knows it.

  50. Look for the Bosh to Houston announcement within minutes…

  51. If you think the Lakers overpaid an injured superstar out of loyalty…wait and see what Riles is forced to do now with DWade. Yikes.

  52. If missing the playoffs cost the lakers 60 million a year in lost twc profit … they are not going to be patient

  53. Aaron: Enjoy watching Cleveland.
    KO: Easy buddy. Watch Mitch work.
    Melo: Go to Chicago already.
    Randle: Sorry young fella, you should be playing today.

  54. Lakers out of the running for Carmelo
    (via @stephenasmith) http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BsR-hq9IAAE1p25.png

  55. jimbo stikes out again.. no d12, no lebron, no melo and most likely no Love… and no coach…now what? wait for durant? smh

  56. I’m happy for LBJ. I think the move took guts and shows a lot of maturity (not easy to go back and work for a guy that publicly called you a “coward”). I also think it’s good for the league as it may encourage others to move to greener pastures.

    Sure, it will hurt us if Bosh ends in Houston, Melo and Gasol in Chicago or NY, but the reality is that Kobe’s cap hold, his reputation among free agents in the league (let’s face it, rookies idolize him but veterans detest him) and the FO set backs experienced in the last two seasons likely meant that we will be facing year two of what may well be a 4-5 year rebuild. It sucks, it hurts, it’s frustrating, but it is what it is.

    Since our pick next year is only top 5 protected, I don’t have to tell you what that means in terms of the likely strategy for the FO next year. In short, I expect the team to hire 1 year rentals (except maybe Stephenson if they can swing it) and put a coach on the bench who will be loyal to the team and at a minimum appease some fans with some sort of hope that he will attract future free agents (I.e. B Scott).

    One last thing: I genuinely hope Cleveland can get at least one ring out of LBJ before he hangs up his shoes. That poor city needs it.

  57. ESPN’s @stephenasmith reports that Carmelo is undecieded between the Knicks & Bulls. Decsion could be made at any time. The Lakers are out

  58. KenOak I can provide you a ton of statistical information to show you otherwise. As well as video to show he just stopped trying hard, a lack of effort did him in this year.

    I distinctly remember everyone and I mean everyone before the Spurs series saying Wade was “finally healthy” and that “he would be the difference.” But the narrative changed to “he’s old and looks done” after playing a superior team who he didn’t know how to attack offensively. Defensively I can show you the effort part as there is a hilarious 12 minute youtube clip showing how he didn’t try on defense at all the entire series. The guy still has some good years left in him.

  59. THIS JUST IN: Carmelo Anthony is deciding between Knicks & Bulls. Lakers are out. (via @stephenasmith)

    Nice job Stich and Nim you just screwed up season 2!

  60. “Vasheed, No you always go after the fish.”

    But as this free agency period has shown, the big fish won’t come without other talent as bait. I agree with Vasheed because going after those kinds of players now is looking toward 2016 when Durant is in play. The best players in the league don’t usually hit UFA until they are nearly 30 years old. At that stage none of them are interested in a rebuilding team. Not having guys like Bledsoe or Monroe (for example) is exactly why they were never a serious option for LeBron or Carmelo. Forget the issues with Kobe. Howard left because Houston had more young talent. And his logic proved to be correct as they are about to get better as Bosh is all but certain to go there now.

    This isn’t 1996. Pro atheletes can be mega media stars in any American city. They don’t need L.A. like that. Its like the Lakers are running the wishbone offense while the rest of the league is running the West Coast Offense.

  61. Does everyone realize that Miami is suddenly flush with cash. Assuming Bosh goes to Houston, the Lakers will have the Heat as main competitors for FAs now. I can see them outbidding everyone too. Miami may offer Lance the max to outbid the Lakers and max someone like Bledsoe or Monroe. Also what do people want from Jim? The CBA is designed to make teams like the Lakers fight slowly all the way back up. Jim has made mistakes, but they aren’t different than just about every other owner. Lakers will be fine, but it will be a longer road than whiny impatient fans can handle. Guess what that is how rebuild has been for every other team of the last 3 decades.

  62. So Melo gone and now Rockets dangling Lin’s contract. I think the best options are to go hard after Lance/Deng/Ariza and Thomas. Otherwise you save the cap space and wait it out (my preference). Although I would like to get back Terrance Jones from Houston for that Lin deal because he’s a rising versatile talent who was a big contributor on that Rockets team.

  63. @ Eric
    We’re just going to go in circles here. You say he “just wasn’t trying.” I’ll counter with the reason he wasn’t trying was that he couldn’t try. I mean the guy hardly played during the regular season. If it were possible for him to give more effort, then he would have. I saw the videos that you’re talking about and they were pretty hilarious, but it wasn’t even just the team defense. He just could not guard anyone. You could point to his stats and say that they were still pretty good, but he played alongside LBJ who got him wide open shots and driving lanes for the most part. I’d like to know how Wade did in isolation when he had to create for himself. Those would be telling stats.

  64. Lakers interested in Jeremy Lin wtf? we have really hit the bottom

  65. where are all the posts lambasting Riles as the worst GM ever? didn’t he just lose the best player in the game to free agency, and to Cleveland, of all places? now Bosh is gone and all Miami has is scraps and a broken Wade.

    everything passes, even bad times. something good will happen for the Lakers.

  66. I’d take Lin with as much else as I could squeeze out of the Rockets. They’re on the clock w/ Parsons.

    Melo down to Knicks and Bulls according to Screamin’ A. Lakers out.

  67. Melo out is fine by me – no way we’re winning titles anytime soon, so don’t see the value of Melo joining on a max contract (except to put butts in seats, which I couldn’t care less about).

    Lakers should focus (and prob already are) on using their cap space to their advantage. It’s not just about signing available free agents; a good GM can and should turn large cap space into assets (assets for both the present and the future). And I do consider Kupchak a good GM. Here’s hoping we come away w/ a good summer.

  68. Hope Melo at least gives Mitch a call and confirms so he can go to the next step. Stephenson should be on speed dial.

    Appalled that people are thinking taking Lin into cap space to help HOU is a good idea. What assets are coming back? guess we will see as Woj just reported it. better be a king’s ransom or I will lose a lot of respect for Mitch.

  69. Lin and picks…Do it Lakers!

  70. Adrian Wojnarowski ?@WojYahooNBA 2m
    Houston is finalizing a deal to send Jeremy Lin to the Lakers, league source tells Yahoo Sports.

  71. Getting Lin (a good back up) and something for taking up would be a good deal for the Lakers at this point (they need assets). But Houston already has deals on the table with the 76ers and Bucks. So the Lakers couldn’t 1) demand much and 2) would be much less likely because talks would starting now. Houston wants this done as fast as possible.

  72. Hi all ling time reader first time poster. I would just like to ask a question and give my two cents.

    Why is everybody so proud of Lebron James?
    Lebron’s thinking:
    2010: “Lets see Cleveland sucks, I have a chance to play with DWade and Chris Bosh in their prime in a conference that is terrible. We could easily win multiple championships. Okay I am off the Miami”
    2014: “Lets see, DWade sucks now, I don’t like playing with Chris Bosh. It does not look good in Miami. Hmm Cleveland sure looks good, with great young talent, terrific cap space and flexibility to get more talent. Plus it will be a great story, if I win I will be a hero. I am off to Cleveland.”
    I will give it to him, he sure knows how to play this game at every level. I never saw a superstar that jumps ship in his prime so often. Usually a superstar stays in one place and collects talent. Lebron seems to find a way to look at the landscape see which place presents the best oppurtunity to win and finds a way to get there. All hats off to him and his managers for always remaining flexible.
    But I have to say if any other superstar at his level (he is surely in the all time top 10 if not higher) had done such ring chasing in their prime jumping to more clearer waters at every turn they would be crucified. But all Lebron gets is praise for maturing. All I see is a man who is great at seizing easier roots to championships. I really think he should be called out for this.

  73. The Lin/pick idea is a good one for the team. Also, Lin would be “coming home”–he was born in LA.

  74. Haha, following is a reprint from July 9th:

    BigCitySid July 9, 2014 at 10:49 am

    My understanding is Houston would have to move Jeremy Lin, $15 mill expiring contract to sign Bosh to a max deal. What’s the chances Houston w/b willing to trade Lin for Steve Nash’s $9 mill expiring contract plus 2nd rd pick or such? Save $6 mill per year with thoughts of Nash (12-15 mpg behind Beverly) occasionally teaming up w/ Harden, Howard, Bosh, & Parsons. Meanwhile Linn w/b an upgrade at the one to anyone the Lakers have had recently.

    Can Mitch sell Houston on this deal?

  75. Getting Lin, and his insane contract, is all about getting the assets that come with Lin. Don’t some of you people pay attention at all?

    Geez, guys… the same people here who complained about the possibility of going all in on Melo now complain about not getting Melo. The same people who complained about trading away draft picks to get Nash now complain about acquring draft picks by picking up an overpaid player.

    The Lakers are doing the right thing– swinging for the fences (LBJ/Melo) for 2014 and if they miss, keeping an eye on being a major player when the real FA banner crop hits in 2015. Guess what: failing to get LBJ is not a indication of front office incompetence.

  76. Now Riley can share his ‘POLY-GRIP” with D Wade.

  77. Whelpp we just gave away $9M of cap space that could’ve been used to put pieces in place (Lance, Isaiah Thomas) for a scrub point guard just to get a 1st round pick 3 years from now. This one summer after not trading Dwight for Griffin and Bledsoe. I really despise Jim Buss.

  78. The Lin angle sounds ok on paper. But the stench from last summer’s Dwight diss still lingers for me to wanna see my team almost hand him a contending team. Which is what this deal almost guarantees.Sure Houston could dump the Lin deal on others but just dont wanna see a conference rival getting help from my team unless its a huge steal in terms of assets.

  79. I guess kobe was being a co man talking about competing for a championship this year this all lip-service since he took all that money Lakers wont make the playoffs and are headed down wow

  80. Lin is better than any PG we have on the roster. He only counts $8 million against the cap because of how his contract is structured. Lakers are gonna get at least one pick, which they need now more than ever. Plus Lin has something to prove. I’ll take that deal every day and twice on Sunday

  81. It took years for the lakers to rebuild after magic retired we look to be headed in the same direction

  82. Woj says we send rights to overseas player to Houston. Anyone know who?

  83. @Justin’s
    Does everyone realize that Miami is suddenly flush with cash.

    I thought of that too.But then again the way I see it is there just isn’t that many difference makers left for us to get into a bidding war with the Heat. Would rather go along the lines reports are indicating…get expiring deals with good assets suck another season and try again next season to find a piece.Even Kobe is resigned to the reality he’s gonna be balling alone next season lol.

  84. @ iksaglam, makes no diff to me. Try a Cleveland blog. With that said, I’m not sure of which “other stars of his status” you’re talking about, but consider the following:

    If free agency existed in the ’60’s the way it does today:

    -no way does Bill Russell win 11 rings in 13 years, some teammates would have rec’d offers that couldn’t refuse.
    -no way Wilt would have only won two rings.
    -Oscar Robinson wouldn’t have been trapped and held captive for the best years of his career in another Ohio city (Cincy), and with two or three rings in his prime, would have given Magic Johnson a true run for his money as the best point guard in NBA history.

  85. Oh great the 2nd worst PG shooter next to Marshall. Jeremy Lin.

    That should solve everything.

  86. People are crazy if they don’t think this Lin move is great for the Lakers. Yes Lin is a good back up level PG (replacing Farmar). Yes it eats $8 million this year. But do you realize that with Melo not coming the Lakers have to go get players. They now have their starting PG (hey you aren’t getting an all star, but a solid PG is important for next year). They didn’t have to worry about giving away a two year contract (allowing them to have max money next summer: Nash plus Lin, which could also be used in a trade to match salaries. That is flexibility). For those who want Lance this doesn’t effect it at all. Lakers still need to get to the floor and sign a team, but it is clear they are going after short term deals and waiting for next year and year after (smart). And they don’t have to just wait for Durant. You never know which player may suddenly become available.

    Harden, Love, LA (before they started winning), Horford, etc were all rumored or left. Someone will want to play with the Lakers so having the flexibility to either get them in a trade (now with a pick they can put in a deal) or FA is smart. You can’t contend every year. Be patient. Lakers are doing the smart long term and short term move.

  87. Lin/Kobe/Randle……Its a start..Lin put up decent numbers last season..

  88. 2015 first-rounder per Woj. Now we don’t have to tank to get one. :)

  89. Another guy who doesn’t play defense. Well, at least no one can accuse the FO of being inconsistent. Of course they probably wouldn’t have done it if his contract didn’t expire.

  90. The Heat owe next years draft pick to the Cavs as part of the sign and trade they made in 2010 for Lebron. That means the with the Cavs luck in the lottery they could get the number one pick next year if Miami sucks. So Miami has no choice but to try to be as good as possible.

  91. Nick Van Exile July 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I like the Lin + 2015 1st rounder deal. He’s a solid PG on an expiring deal and the Lakers can use the draft pick since they don’t have their own 2015 1st rounder. I don’t think the Lakers should consider what a deal does for a competitor like Houston unless they are fighting them for a championship. The Lakers are not at that level yet. The Lakers need to do what is best for them and not worry about other teams right now. The Lakers can still go after Lance Stephenson (overpaying him is a good gamble considering his age and talent) and maybe Okafor or Udoh (on a short-term deal) with the rest of their cap space.

    Houston has proven that you don’t need to tank and bottom out to re-build a team into a contender (which they will be with Bosh and a re-signed Parsons). I’d rather the Lakers follow the Houston route (fight for a playoff spot while collecting tradeable assets) than the Philadelphia route (tank for high draft picks).

  92. Needless to say, meant Oscar Robertson in prior post. As far as the Lin move, I love it. Who was the last point guard employed by the Lakers who was better?

  93. Can you imagine:

    Cleveland wins NBA championship AND gets #1overall pick…again…because the Heat flame out.

    Cosmic irony at its finest

  94. I have read that that pick is top-10 protected.

  95. Per Woj- sources confirm Lakers are now squandering cash and cap space for lousy players and draft picks of dubious value in an effort to placate Time Warner executives.

    Good thing they didn’t use that cap space to front load a deal for a useful player…

  96. I wonder if the Rockets put protection on the pick sent with Lin. What if the Rockets have a number of injuries and the Lakers end up with a lottery pick out of it (And I am not wishing for this because I never want players to get hurt).

  97. Now can the Lakers actually sign Randle so he can get started in the summer league?

  98. I wonder if the Rockets put protection on the pick sent with Lin

    —-

    Good question, but I doubt it. The Rockets are planning to get Bosh and match on Parsons, are up against a tight deadline, and are going for a title with Howard/Bosh/Harden (they can play James/Love/Irving in the 2015 Finals) so I would guess it is unprotected.

  99. Getting Lin is OK, since we have no PGs. Getting a first round pick is the real upside there.

    If we miss on Melo, there are $96 million reasons why I’m not going to cry.

    As to LeBron, in many ways I think his move is good for the league, but the one thing that sickens me is Dan Gilbert has run a garbage organization for years now and the system and/or fate (LeBron being an Ohio guy) continues to reward incompetence. How many No. 1 picks have they had? Barring a deal, they’ll have four on their roster. I understand parity and the league’s desire to not let the rich rule, but a well-run small market team can thrive even when the bigger markets can spend — the Spurs and Blazers and Jazz and Pacers have proven that over the years. Likewise, the Knicks have proven it takes more than money.

    This new CBA blows, and we get morons like Gilbert and his crayon fonts being gifted a chance to compete.

    If the Cavaliers can land Love by offering Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick, as the (most often wrong) Chris Broussard has reported, that’s even more criminal and is exhibit 1A of a mismanaged small market franchise (Wolves) gifting another, much like they gifted Garnett to Boston seven years ago.

  100. Don’t think we are placating TW execs. Think the Lakers are facing reality: we are not gonna be very good next year and need as many assets as possible.

    Don’t discount the possibility of flipping Lin at the deadline for another pick. He’s going to start and will probably put up the kind of #s that might make him a chip.

  101. Why the heck are people on this blog calling Lin a backup?

    Earth to Lsker fans! Lin us your starting 38 minute a game starter.

    Geez

  102. Can you imagine: Cleveland wins NBA championship AND gets #1overall pick…again…
    —–

    The Lakers lived that, holding the No. 1 pick in 1982 right after they’d won the Finals over the 76ers, and just three seasons after last having the No. 1 pick in 1979.

    James Worthy, meet Magic Johnson. And that became a multi-year contender.

    Boston did it, too, in 1986, but Bias didn’t work out given the overdose.

  103. Minor …. that would be hilarious ….. is the miami pck completely unprotected? what about the picks owed to Toronto?

  104. Ko, folks calling Lin a back-up on Rockets because he lost his starting job to Beverly.

  105. Self-correction…

    I forgot that Len Bias was the No. 2 pick in 1986. Philly picked Brad Daugherty No.1 and flipped him to Cleveland in an awful trade that effectively ended the 76ers chances to contend in the Barkley era.