Do the Lakers Have One More Move in Them?

Darius Soriano —  July 11, 2014

Friday was a wild day for the Lakers. What started with a glimmer of hope that Carmelo Anthony might still decide to bring his talents to tinseltown, ended with the Lakers seemingly spending all their cap space on acquiring Jeremy Lin from the Rockets, re-signing Nick Young to a 4-year contract, and re-upping Jordan Hill for an additional two years (with a team option on that second season).

Not necessarily how many fans envisioned the team’s day evolving, that’s for sure.

The question isn’t what these moves bring to the Lakers, that’s really the easy part of all this. All three players are pretty proven commodities who fans should be quite familiar with. We’ll evaluate them more in time, but not now. That’s because there is a bigger question at hand: do the Lakers have one more move in them?

As mentioned above, the Lakers have seemingly used all their cap space on the aforementioned three players. In Lin ($8.37 million), Hill ($9 million), and Young (not yet known, but a 1st year salary of roughly $4.5 million is possible) the team’s nearly $22 million in cap space would be spent if all these deals were signed in the next 24 hours.

But, will they be?

If you want the Lakers to continue to be players on the free agent market, you should hope they won’t be. Because despite having commitments to those players, the Lakers can still try to do a bit more simply by using timing and various mechanics of the CBA to their advantage. The LA Times’ Eric Pincus explained this via twitter:

Okay, the difference between Hill’s cap hold and expected salary (roughly $2.3 million) and the room exception (an exception for teams who fall beneath the salary cap to sign another player above the minimum) don’t sound exciting, but they are options to sign a couple of more players who could help the team.

These aren’t the only cap gymnastics the Lakers could try, however. More from Pincus:

Pau Gasol is not going to be a Laker next year (more on this at another time), but the Lakers can still try to facilitate a sign and trade as Pincus notes. It would have to be perfectly timed and the Lakers would be limited in how much money they could bring back — they would need at least $13.5 million left of their cap space to sign Young and Hill. This isn’t much, but if a team wants to give up an asset for Pau while not sending much salary back it could be explored.

The only way for the Lakers to really up their cap space is to use the stretch provision on Steve Nash. This would turn their $2.3 million of cap space into close to $9 million in cap space. That would be enough to chase one high potential, second-tier free agent (Lance Stephenson?) or multiple mid-level free agents who could be part of the rotation. This may be far-fetched, but it is an option that still exists. And if you want the Lakers to be as good as they can be next season, you should hope that they explore all these options.

Of course, these are all just hypotheticals. And considering how quickly the Lakers moved in making the moves they did on Friday, I’d bet they are done looking. Add in that “stretching” Nash keeps money on the books beyond next summer and into years where the team is hoping to have clean books, it only adds further doubt they would take these measures. Instead, I would imagine they are destined to now fill out the roster much like they did this past year — chasing low cost players who need to rehabilitate their games and wouldn’t mind doing it on the stage the Lakers offer.

One can hope they still have one more trick up their sleeve, though. Because while I can live with what they have done to this point, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like at least one more.

Darius Soriano

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111 responses to Do the Lakers Have One More Move in Them?

  1. I really think that this upcoming season, we’re going to see an exciting Kobe.

    He knows it’s his last year and – deep down – knows they’re not going to win a championship. So now, more than ever before, we’re going to see him “getting his”. It’s his last chance to pass up Jordan on the scoring mark, among a ton of other records. He’ll want to remind everyone that LeBron isn’t the only great player people should be talking about and that he’s still around, capable of kicking ass. I can’t see Kobe quietly fading away at 10 points a game. He’s thrived on the doubt of pundits for years now after his injury. This season is his last chance to make a mark for everyone to remember… and never forget.

    We won’t win it all – and maybe not even that often – but we’re gonna see a Kobe going all-out like never before. Considering all the disappointments in recent years, I’ll gladly get excited for that.

  2. Who may I ask.

    Is the Laker center.

  3. Why, Robert Sacre, of course!

  4. KO, right now? The Lakers’ center is currently Robert Sacre. The starting line up, right now, looks like a toss up between Nash/Marshall/Lin, Kobe, Young, Randle, Sacre. Here’s to hoping they can bring in Lance or Ariza/Deng for some help on the defensive end, and bring in a guy like potentially Okafor on a veteran minimum to man the 5 for us. Other than that, we’re not sitting very pretty. But hey, if we can get draft picks and expiring contracts in return for Pau, our future looks bright.

  5. I knew the answer guys. I just could not get myself to admit the sad truth.

    Don’t laugh but I expect them to work out Bynam.

    Or Jim Krebs.
    Or Kwame Brown.
    Or LeeRoy Ellis
    Or George’ Miken.

  6. Any reason that randle did not play in summer league tonight?

  7. please mirotic.

  8. Or Mel Counts? Cornell Warner? What about Jack Haley? Jim Krebs – maybe Maynard Krebs??

    Sounds like there’s something stewing in Chicago with a sign and trade, and latest stuff I saw says that we don’t want Boozer. Who else is there, say, as a center? Obviously it ain’t gonna be Noah.

  9. Shaping up to be a .500 team at best. They will be much worse than that if Kobe isn’t productive or is injured again.

  10. Aren’t they paying Hill $9mil a year to play center? If not, thats an awful lot of money for a bench player…

  11. anyone wanna take a change at Bynum for a million? maybe he only wants to play for the lakers

  12. @81 witness: Randle couldn’t play because he hasn’t signed his contract yet. Terms couldn’t be finalized until Melo was no longer in play. Last I heard, the Lakers were aiming to get Randle signed in time for him to play Sunday.

  13. Chibi

    Good idea. But could that be the foreign player to be named latter in the Lin deal?

  14. Looks like most recent reports have Bulls signing Gasol without a sign and trade with Lakers. This means Melo goes to NYK.

  15. KO
    I’m for George Mikan, though he’s lost some weight he’s probably the best of the lot.

  16. LakerValentina July 12, 2014 at 12:09 am

    WISE MOVES BY MITCH!

    Even though no laker fan may feel very excited about today’s moves we knew that if Plan A didn’t materialize the Lakers weren’t convinced about going all out for average talent. I know… everybody was dreaming of Melo paired with Pau + Randle and Kobe with hopes of getting back to relevance once again in a heartbeat!
    But let’s face reality: are we sure that would have been a championship team? It might have been a contender though worth spending the max on Melo.
    Striking out on Melo anybody would have hoped to get a Stephenson or Deng but they probably wouldn’t accept a 1-2 year deal. Even Isaiah Thomas took 27mil/4yrs.
    If getting anyone of them, who certainly wouldn’t have changed the face of the franchise, would mean jeopardize the chance to preserve flexibility for the following summers than it wasn’t worth going for them. We probably tried but didn’t get much interest.
    So… if we couldn’t get what we wanted why not just protecting cap space with wise moves (LIN – upgrade at PG and JHILL – yeah 9 mil is way too much… but that’s just a year guaranteed and if you’re going to lose PAU where do you find a better center who would accept less on a 1yr offer?)?
    As far as this “stay patient another year” sucks for a Laker fan used to being a contender every year… I would have felt way worse than this if we had invested all our future on average talent which would get us to 1st round exits most of next seasons.
    And who knows… maybe Randle and Clarkson are far better than people think and we can have an exciting team to watch!
    Hopefully there’s one more move or we can fill out the roster with capable role players.
    It’s not just about waiting for 2015 FAs (M Gasol, Rondo, Gay, Aldrigde, possibly Love if not traded, etc.) or 2016 (Durant) 2017 (Westbrook)… it’s about being ready and having means to strike on the right move when you have an opportunity!

  17. @arliepro thanks for the update. Had me scared for a minute there with the foot injury.

  18. This feels like going to the buffet table for lobster and having to come back with broiled chicken.

    Like it’s my birthday and looking like everyone forgot and hoping that everyone is joking and there’s a surprise waiting later in the day, but knowing that there probably isn’t.

    Mitch, pull off some deal man. At least Gasol sign and trade made me hopeful that they’d get back some assets for taking Boozer, that they could use during the season if a certain Santa Monica native isn’t willing to go back to Minnesota and can’t go to play in Cleveland. By the way, unless you’re from Cleveland or Drew Carey, who in their right mind WANTS to go to Cleveland(or Detroit, or Utah) no matter who else is playing there.

  19. Hill became a center as soon as Pau rejected their offer.
    I also assume they expect to start Randle at the 4.
    Swag at the 3.
    Kobe at 2.
    Lin at 1.

  20. Just curious.

    Why does anyone think the 2015 FA are any more apt to sign with the Lakers.

    M and J struck out this year. Will they get smarter? More clever? Will Kobe be less demanding?

    Answer to all in my opinion is no. Only possible is Russ because he may want out of town and back to LA. Is he a franchise player?

    Way I see it next year will be a repeat. Only way this changes is through the draft or if someone like Magic buys the team.

    I see a increasing lack of respect for this Jimmy, Jeanne, Joey act. Clippers have a 5 year run coming and Laker fans may not have the patience.

    Have the Lakers become the Purple Cubs? Promise and promises but not able to complete the deal.

    This is what Stern and the owners wanted. Hope their happy with 5 years of Cavs vs Spurs and lower ratings.

  21. The problem is that you don’t want to be a 5-14 team. We had a shot, albeit a longshot but a shot to make the playoffs if we snagged Thomas & Lance to deals and brought back Pau. In year 2 of a rebuild, playoffs are good. But we only get to keep out pick if it’s 1-5 so we want to be bottom 4 to be safe (incase an 11-14 team jumps like the Cavs did). I’ve always preached that there’s no benefit to being in the 8-20 range because you’re not good enough to compete for a title but not bad enough to draft a difference maker. We lucked into Randle who spent most of the year projected as a top 3 pick. Hill is a nice player and I like him, but who was outbidding us at $4M a year. Why go 9? Why not try to grab Lance after the Lin deal closed any shot of Thomas? And as for Nick Young, who amuses me, but is nowhere near a $5M player in the current NBA economy, why in the world would we give him 4 years? Was he saying no to $11M for 2? I’d bet not. It just has the makings of a desperate team and it’s sad that we’ve gotten this way. We turned down a real shot at difference making FA’s in Thomas and Lance for trippling the contracts of 2 role players on the worst team in the franchise’s LA history. I’d argue that it’s the worst free agency day put forth by any team in any sport ever and I can’t be convinced otherwise. With Jimmy Buss’ s karma, I’d bet we get the 6th pick

  22. LakerValentina July 12, 2014 at 1:10 am

    KO

    you’re not guaranteed you can sign anyone but at least you can try… or get assets because of cap space (LIN + 1st rd pick for nothing).
    Ok… I’m worried as well for the credibility the buss siblings have right now… but for those who blame Jim and Mitch remember they had agreed on a trade for CP3, succeeded to get Dwight, got Nash (even though those last 2 ended up being bad moves), got Pau…
    How many significant FAs additions did the bulls had since Michael Jordan? let’s see… since 1998… is that Pau in 2014?
    We came close on Melo too this year… so please don’t be too pessimistic… we’ll find a way to rebuild… and LA is a desirable place… don’t forget that! We even have those beautiful purple and gold jerseys… I would sign just for that!

    Sald0gg

    I was convinced we should have gone after stephenson first too… maybe we did and he didn’t accept our proposal! I would rather have Lance on a long year deal than Nick… but Swaggy P wouldn’t accept another short term deal since he’s 30yo and did sacrifice at 1yr minimum last year… anyway 5 a year isn’t that bad for a good player (see avery bradley at 8 and lots of other bad moves way over market value).
    As far as JHill 9 mil is a way to give him a 2yrs 4.5 guaranteed contract without losing cap space for 2015… so you overpay to preserve that.
    I would love to get a pick in the 1-5 range next year… and that would help rebuild but you need to get the team to grow… to show possible FAs you’re on the right track… you can’t just tank every year on purpose!

  23. @Sald0gg, yeah, that would be Phoenix’s 6th pick, ugh.

  24. Everyone is complaining about Kobe’s contract, but the truth is that the front office told him that they weren’t going to field a championship contender in the next two years. They paid him off to keep the seats full while we lose and frankly they got off cheaply

  25. Hill’s offer is acceptable because of the TO on the second year, but Nick Young @5mil for 4 years? No, never! I am waiting for the next wave of signings. Also, Jordan Clarkson had a great showing in our first summer league game. So much clutter at the PG position, feel bad for Kane. Bazemore has signed with Hawks. And I hear about the Gasol S&T to Bulls, wonder how that works..

  26. I’m just glad that Gasol is no longer a Laker

  27. The NY Laker is overly concerned.

    I actually like the Lin signing. He’s a better player than Farmar and Marshall and will supply some scoring from his position. Wouldn’t shock me if he plays well enough to return to the team on a new contract starting in 2015-2016.

    Way too much money for N. Young. I was hoping that we would use that money to try and snag Deng, Ariza and/or Stephenson. I know he was one of only a few guys out there that can really score it. But four years seems like forever.

    Big trouble inside for LAL – Sacre should be assigned to the D League, Hill isn’t consistent enough and Pau is packing his stuff as I write this. As of now, assuming Pau is out, we will have zero presence inside. Hopefully we don’t touch Boozer. Randle is unproven.

    This feels like a mess. And judging how D12 left and Melo crossed us off the list already, it doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about our chances of getting Durant, Love if available or Westbrook.

    Darius….make me feel better about this!

  28. Sad day in saddling the Lakers with castaways who are over paid by other teams like Lin and Boozer. Mitch became salary cap technician whose objective is 1-2 yr frame as if he could convert them into Durant or Love in the future. This tanking objective yield Lin, Randle and Clarkson, is that close to achievement. Perhaps, Boozer is added to Jimbo’s dynamic roster which is pale and close to D grade free agency. Your paying fans wanted: Ariza or Deng; Bledsoe or Thomas; Monroe re-sign Bazemore. None of the above, Mitch was more interested of the Rocket 1st d/p and 2nd as Rockets will fall in the top 10 picks in 15. His biggest mistake is clearing up the roster, having the money but no players to lean on. After a dismal season under Dantoni, Mitch could have secured the players he intended to resign by reworking their contracts like Swaggy P @ 10m for 3 years or Hill extend to 3 yrs at the same amount salary. Yeah, he and little Jimmy were engrossed of Lebron and Melo coming to LA because we are the Lakers. That is no longer true the old Lakers are now dispersed throughout the league and in baseball, what we got are the Buss Children. What we really wish in the future? Hopefully, S Balmer moves on the Lakers if Sterling case drags on. Will the Buss Children agree in selling the team for 2.5 or 3 billion? BTW, have they announced the Coach? This will be a worst scenario if Sacre becomes the Center, Lakers are back to the Rook years as the Center in the 90’s. The message of the day, sorry fans we could only sign Lin and Boozer but thanks for the profits you gave us last season. Better luck next season.

  29. I’m not excited about us rolling our cap space into next year … If we missed out on guys like melo and soon to be love because we are not really contenders then what will our cap space do for us?

    Houston getting harden was a fluke because their owner was too cheap and with most teams now being owned by hedge fund billionaires no one else in the league is cheaping out like that … The only team that might want to give someone away would be New Orleans and do we really want Eric Gordon at 20 per???

    Look at boston …. This is the route they went and they have like 10 more picks over the next 5 years … Won’t be getting love … And will continue to suck for the next 5 years like us since every pick is a 15-30 pick … They built up all these assets and now can’t pull off a Garnett type deal because there are no more Garnett’s out there …. Love is the closest thing and now way he doesn’t go to Cleveland unless golden state gives up Thompson … No where else.

    Do we really expect Durant or Westbrook to leave each other or Ibaka?

    Will Anthony Davis simply opt put of his rookie deal, being the 1st rookie ever to do that? (Shaquille was under an uncapped year) nope… So who the hell are we targeting with our cap space?

    Out of the non-contending teams, which have good players
    Jazz….. Favours in 3 years
    Sac….. Cousins in 4-5 years
    Sixers …. No one for like 7 years
    Bucks…. Sanders who is not that good
    Boston ….. Rondo? Would he really come here? Would we pay him the max he is looking for?
    Orlando…. No one
    Detroit ….. Monroe in a year or Drummond in 7

    Other than that we would need to convince a guy like Ty Lawson to leave a better team than ours to come here and play for equal money to bring up our team

    Shaq happened because we offered him 20 million more than anyone else … If the new tv deal brings up star maxes maybe we can get someone since most teams don’t have our cash but the tv deal goes up for everyone so who knows

    We are pretty much going to stink for 5-10 years all because of the veto ….. I would look into suing the league if this ends up costing the team like 300 million in lost twc playoff money

    We could have been where the clips are and just because we had recent success it got nixed … Look at things now with Cleveland … There is no big/small market advantage anymore if anything the league should be looking into normalizing salary structures across states to eliminate the tax advantage for Florida and Texas for FAs … The veto was a sham

  30. Darius, as I have been trying to keep my mind busy with basketball ending I decided I would read Bill Simmons’ book, “The Book of Basketball.” Some may not like the guy but I think he’s very smart and he brings up some very valid points about winning that only Lakers and Celtics fans know best and I think it comes to describe the current mood/attitude for most fans on here.

    “As strange as this sounds, it’s more painful to live the high life as a basketball fan and lose it than to never live that high life at all. Imagine a basketball team as an airplane – if you never flew first class, you wouldn’t know what you were missing every time you crammed yourself into coach. But what if you spent a few years traveling first class, reclining your seat all the way, relishing the leg room, sipping the complimentary high-end drinks, eating steak and warm chocolate chip chokes, sitting near celebrities and trophy wives and feeling like a prince? Head back to coach after that and you’re thinking, Wow this sucks!”

    This couldn’t apply to any other fan base other than LA/Boston, few NBA fans outside of us know how it feels. I personally am only 27 and not old enough to know about the older Lakers teams (although I love reading about them and watching old game tape), but I know I am so blessed to have witnessed the greatness of the Kobe Bryant era. Even the Smush Parker years, the offensive brilliance that Kobe showed was a thing of greatness (it just sucks to have a player in his prime stuck on such a terrible squad). I know that once Kobe retires it will be the end of this era that afforded me the best basketball memories of my life. I couldn’t be anymore grateful because I realize few other fan bases can enjoy periods like this. Witnessing one of the top 10 players to ever play, just as Simmons described about watching Bird, it is like winning the lottery.

    I guess you could say that’s why I am not that bothered by the rebuilding phase. I knew after last season that LA was entering the rough stretch, and I never believed anything of substance would happen this summer. I truly hate it for Kobe because he gave his body up for so many years to see it end like this (although he’s definitely being compensated for it). Franchise impact type free agents wouldn’t have joined here anyways, players are much more sensitive these days. Guys like Dwight couldn’t handle a guy like Kobe or Jordan, they are from different eras (Carmelo could but there was no team for him to win here with). Few players nowadays can handle someone being hard on them because most of the guys grow up thinking they are God’s gift to earth since they are privileged since their AAU circuit days.

    I have hopes for the future but as Bill Simmons points out in his book, in the expansion modern era winning has become more luck than anything else. You need luck in the draft, luck in trades, lucky in developing young players, and quite frankly LA hasn’t had any luck in those areas lately (although I am hopeful Randle is a nice start). You go through and look at the draft successes over the years (although brilliant piece of Simmons on Grantland) and you see that it’s a total crapshoot and you realize that tanking isn’t the best option, but unfortunately it is the only one for rebuilding teams. Mitch has made some mistakes, we could have traded Bynum for Melo/Bosh back in the day, if Stern doesn’t veto the Chris Paul trade and Phil gets hired as coach who knows where we would be at today, once again this goes back to the luck needed to be a winner.

    At the end of the day, we have all witnessed greatness and we should all be thankful for it, hopefully reality has set in for Lakers fans as to the direction of the team. I personally am content as bad as that may sound to some because I realize you can’t always stay on top. It will probably be a long road, so I will just cherish and rehash my fond Laker memories until the better days return. I am just glad to be along for the ride.

  31. Pretty depressing reading all the comments in the past few threads. That said, once Lebron and Melo off the board, I don’t see what else you could do for 2014/2015 season.

    Regarding the 3 moves today:

    1. I like the LIN pickup, big upgrade at a empty position ( I hate Marshalls game and wish we had kept Farmar). The draft pick and flexability in the LIN deal are nice pickups. Should be good for business/TWC too.

    2. Nick Young. I think he is is a nice role player and bench scorer and a good guy to have in the locker room. 5 MM is not unreasonable for his production. However, a 2 year deal with a max of 3 years would have been a lot better. We may really regret those final 2 years.

    3. Jordan Hill. I like him as a player, and his motor. The contract, while a bit expensive, is very flexible. His skillset may overlap a bit with Randle, but he was probably the best big we could get and I think will be very productive now that the horrible Antoni is gone as coach.

    As far as moves not made: i am glad we did not tie up long term money on Stephenson or Thomas, as they are both flawed ( one size and one psychologically).

    Also, now that Pau is gone ( THANKS for being such a great LAKER ), i hope we can squeeze an asset out of a sign and trade.

    I am hoping Kobe returns to form , Randle blossoms, and we can be at least fighting for the playoffs. All the while keeping flexability for a superstar by trade during the season or free agency.

  32. I think the Lin trade was a good deal. The Lakers really do need to restock their young talent and that drat pick represents young talent. Lin is overpaid but an upgrade over min salary guys. My complaint is had they pulled the trigger earlier maybe they get Asik at center too. Young got a deal that I think is fair. Only question whether he can work next to Kobe but we will see. The Hill Contract is way too much. I only value him at around 4 million per year. Only thing I can say about his deal is that they got him to take 2 years. I would have prefered the Lakers to take on another 1 year contract with picks.

  33. Starting Line Up as of Now:
    Randle
    Young
    Hill
    Lin
    Bryant

    I think they might put up points but,the defense will be something atrocious.

  34. We had to reach the salary minimum and wanted to keep both Hill and Young. I think Young is properly paid for what he does – by current league standards. Hill may be a bit overpaid, but the contract is only guaranteed for one year and we really needed an experienced rebounder. Remember he and Pau were both effectively throttled last year and we had to overpay a bit to insure he didn’t sign elsewhere. If we just equaled another offer, perhaps he would have taken it as further evidence that we didn’t value his contributions. Sort of the reverse of the ‘home town discount’ that Young claimed he would give the Lakers.

    Anyway, everything is all said and done. Now on to summer league. How about that Clarkson?

  35. I agree about Hill salary being too much, the beauty of it is that second year team option,Lin and Nash are expiring contract and we got a 1st round pick we didnt have before so thats good for me. That Melo/Lebron dream was just that, a pipe dream, glad it didnt happen, i said countless times that next season was going to be a repeat of last getting low cost players and salvage projects and that they were going to go all out for Kobe’s final season. There is another scenario that my bias didn’t let me discuss until now but it could be that the Lakers paid Kobe to basically go away after this 2 seasons. They might just stick to these sort of 1 year deals the next 2 seasons and hope something stcks and then when Kobe comes off the books they could potentially have 40-50 million in cap space. The reality is not that the Lakers are not a destination, is that Kobe represent a diying breed of a player and his desire and drive to win plus his age turns some of this pampered primadonnas off. i been a fan long enough to be prepared to accept that the team wont be very good for a while, nothing new. But i never would discount The Black Mamba and his presence on the team healthy and a healthy team should make it a competitive one and a lot better than last season’s wreck. Dont doubt that Kobe take this team kicking and screaming to the playoffs,he has donei t before. GO LAKERS!!!!

  36. Told you guys no big time free agent would come play here while Kobe is still here. The Lakers will not be relevant for the next five years and the everyone knows it but the Lakers fans.

    @Everclear – An exciting Kobe? Err Kobe is not the same Kobe he was years ago. While he is still a very good player he is no longer an uber-elite type player.

    @Eric – Surely you recognize that Kobe is past his prime. The only person who doesn’t recognize that is Kobe himself.

    This comes down to basically 3 occurrences:

    1) The Veto – Infamy!!! I will curse David Stern for all of eternity. After all the things that the great Dr. Buss did for the league…Stern screwed him in the end.

    2) Nash Trade – Bonkers!!! Who trades for a broke down 40 year old point guard. Jimbo that’s who!!!. That draft pick is looking really large now!

    3) Kobe’s extension – Now you are locked in with an overpaid aging superstar that is breaking down and no other star wants to play with due to his personality.

    We have had so many great years here in LakerLand. But now…Winter is Coming!!!

  37. Winter is been here before and there always been a spring afterward. 5 years? I think is going to be shorter than that.

  38. How the heck is Gorden Heward worth $16 a year.

    Nice to see Rockets may get nothing. Perhaps Dwight us not liked.

    Kobe needs to reach out to Pau to pressure Bulls to do a sign and trade. Give us some hope here. Need players. Especially those that can defend.

    Adding Young, Lin and Hill along with Randell and Kobe might be the worst starting defensive team since my 12 year old boys club team that once lost by 58 points.

    Can you imagine Lin, Marshall and Young on the court at the same time? Bet the over!

  39. I’m actually really impressed with the Lakers off season so far and this is why. We’ve managed to simultaneously get a first round pick, a very good starting caliber pg in Lin, who by the way is only 25, can stroke 3s, is a big body, and is on the last year of his deal that comes off next year, excellent play by Mitch there. Also we have upgraded so far at pg, sg, we still have enough room to go out and get someone like Ariza and Okafor and that would round out the roster nicely.

    @Ever clear I agree, I think the roster is going to enable kobe to be kobe and he will be the focal point obviously but I’m also excited just to see if he can dominate a game still and it will be entertaining that’s for sure. I thought if we could get Carmelo and Pau there was a chance to make a run at it but I will concede unless kobe goes into god mode we aren’t winning anything this year but I’m not mad because I also believe the Lakers are more interested in KD next year than they were in Carmelo and just felt obligated to go after him because of the Time warner deal and star attraction which is equally important to the franchise. Not only do I like what we’ve done so far, I’m ecstatic we brought back nick young, I didn’t think we could afford, I think he’s a great teammate and another guy you can give the ball to with time running down and it takes a little pressure off kobe to create, especially if they play together. resigning Jordan Hill was also a great move because of the length of the deal, with a steady roll and minutes Hill is going to be very very solid and worth it and it’s only a 2 year deal. Disappointed Pau didn’t take the Lakers offer I’m not sure how any other team can offer him more, but teaming up with a healthy rose, Gibson, butler, noah, it does give them the best front court in the nba other than maybe Drummond Monroe and smith if they retain all three.

    They can still stretch Nash, here’s to hoping we pick up another rim protector like Okafor on the cheap and retain Xavier Henry and someone like Ariza OR still the possibility of Lance Stephenson either way the Lakers have done a good job of fielding a competitive team and even if it isn’t kobe can be kobe and it sets themselves up very very nicely for next year’s FA.

  40. @KO, maybe the Lakers can play more up tempo this year and when things slow down let kobe operate in the post. There is no one player in the nba that can stay in front of another nba player. They are all amazing athletes, so here’s to hoping we play a healthy brand of team defense because we don’t have one defensive presence on the roster other than maybe Hill haha, so I hope the Lakers make a strong push for Ariza and Henry and okafor and or Stephenson/okafor

  41. Lakers will run and gun!!!!

  42. The Lakers cater to Kobe, screw everyone else on the team. Nobody wants to play with Kobe. Lebron and Carmelo are 2 examples.So many bad decisions made by Laker management last couple of seasons. Lakers have to be one of the worst run franchises in the NBA. Lose Dwight Howard and Pau in consecutive off seasons and got NOTHING in return for them. Do they even have a coach? Gasol has been disrespected. Not just by the office but the fans too imo.Jim Buss is the new Al Davis of professional sports. It’s sad to see what’s happening to the Purple and Gold.

  43. Fern,
    Never were truer words spoken IMHO than”Kobe represents a dying breed of a player and his desire and drive to win…pampered primadonnas off.” Once Kobe retires I’m pretty much done with pro ball because for me coming up watching Magic, Dr. J, Kareem, Karl Malone, Bird, Michael, Hakeem, Worthy, Dumars, Barkley, etc play the game. Today’s pros are boys. For me its like watching college ballers who are getting paid millions. It’s no longer just about the challenge of being champions of working as hard as you can to win no matter what, today it’s seems to be more about having fun and showing off then playing team ball and winning championships? There’s nothing wrong with Kobe except he’s a man playing in a boys league. I guess that’s why it was so refreshing watching the Spurs annihilate the Heat, it was old school BB versus New school and New school could not compete. I heard many say the Spurs played the right way and what way was that? Fundamentally sound. Whatever the record I’m going to enjoy watching Kobe Bean Bryant play for however long he chooses to play because he, Timmy and Kevin Garnett represent the last of the truly great player.

  44. The last chance of this Lakers FO is Durant, if Durant won’t sign with Lakers, some Lakers fan have no chance to say good things about this Lakers FO, we have to wait until Kobe leaving Lakers, right now i don’t believe anything. I knew NBA players don’t want to come to LA and play with Kobe, do you think LeBron and Camelo coming to LA and being number 2, 3 options behind Kobe? Camelo doesn’t like trial angle offense, he doesn’t believe in Phil and doesn’t want to sign with the NY Knicks yet, but Phil should be happy because he only has Fisher and Jeannie Buss on his side. The interesting with Phil is that if nobody wants to learn the trial angle offense in NY, what Phil is going to do ?

  45. I really would like everyone to turn the clock to when they were 23 years old. Lance Stephenson is not a head case…..have any of his teammates other than Roy hibbert who himself fell apart come out and say that they didn’t want Lance around or that he was bad for the locker room? He did get an OFFER from Indiana even if it was a low ball offer. He’s 23 and just came off a seasons where he led the league in triple doubles…..let me repeat that he’s 23. What is more shocking is that of all people LARRY BIRD used his “mental issues” to low ball him. wow….bird….really? the same guy who swung on Julius Irving for no reason….who has more issues than anyone in the nba today? Lance had a moment of competitive weakness for a young man. Even Kobe kobe elbowed Artest then got him thrown out of the game haha…..wade broke kobe’s nose in the ALL STAR GAME.

    bottom line, Lance Stephenson is a future all star and he’s only 23. He’s never been in a fight in a game or had issues with his coach. As far as I’m concerned you’re all hating and it’s a little depressing how quickly people are to write these kids off. He’s a baller and if you don’t want him on the Lakers you don’t like basketball.

  46. it’s really time to name a coach too wtf…..

  47. The state of the Lakers is a direct result of the ineptitude of Jim and Jeannie.

    This won’t work until they sell or hire someone who can get the organization on the same page. Not sure if this is promoting Mitch and back filling a stud GM or bringing in a no nonsense Sr Executive.

    This team has no strategic direction. Everything is done tactically and in a vacuum.

  48. Guys dont worry we are getting mike dunleavy back from chicago for gasol …. everythings gonna be fine

  49. Chris Y

    Your not getting it.

    Lakers ate not getting any top tier players like Melo, James, Love, Lance etc. these guys are running from the Buss Stop just like
    Phil
    Shaw
    Rambis
    Fisher
    West
    The word is out. This is a disfunctional mess with family members running a business into the ground with zero basketball sense.

    Good thing these kids weren’t heirs to the Walmart family or they would change the name to Fallmart and only sell jeans and baseball hats.

    Scott will be hired Tuesday or my new posting name is Aaron2

  50. melcountscounts July 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    This is what a rebuild feels like. Time to collect some assets (such as that lst round pick), looke toward the future. I finally feel like there is some kind of plan, even though it may be a rough couple of years.

    Thanks to Pau, great player who had to put up with MDA last year, not his game. Like Nick Young, but agree, those final two years may hurt. His contract isn’t outrageous, he may be moved before then.

    How come no one ever mentions Greg Monroe-I suppose Detroit will match any offers. He would be nice in the middle, for sure.

    Lakers are collecting PG’s-Nash, Lin, Marshall, Clarkson. Hope they can find a way to keep Clarkson, new blood is good.

  51. Pau S&T is netting Mike Dunleavy and the non-guaranteed contracts of Mike James, Lou Amundsen and Ronnie Brewer.

  52. Reading about a s&t with the Bulls, Dunleavy expiring contract and 3 non-guaranteed deals, sounds reasonable to me i dont know, would try to squeeze a pick there too but we have to try to get something for him

  53. LordMo and Julien… Regarding the dying breed of baller… “You know, throughout history, I bet every old man probably said the same thing. And old men die, and the world keep spinning.”

    – Marty Hart, True Detective

  54. @ P.Ami thats true but players today dont have the same mentality as before, i would love to see Howard fir example going 1-1 with Hakeem, KAJ,Ewing or even David Robinson playing the way it was played back them w/o all those fouls that they call today that are little more than kisses, he would leave criying, same goes withh all these present day “superstars” that like to play with each other and sing “kumbaya”. Ahh i long for the days when a clothesline was 2 free throws haha

  55. There has to be at least 1 pick in the gasol deal …. wouldnt make sense otherwise …. sure we will give you the best FA left on tue market and take back your unwanted salary for nothing …. of course … thank you for granting us the pleasure

    If anything we should add houstons pick and take mcdermott …. id rather have mcdermott than 2 picks who will both be in the 20s

  56. So the Lakers netted nothing from a Pau S/T?

    Was it done as a favor to Pau or another example of incompetence?

  57. We had to reach the salary minimum

    There are no real penalties for not reaching the salary floor; all that happens is that the extra money is distributed among the guys on the team. Also, of course, there any number of FAs still out there, and plenty of time to sign them, so your statement is false.

  58. Fern, you putting brackets around the word superstar is just silly. People said Jordan was all flash and scoring, can’t make players around him better, a scoring champion never led his team to championships. Blah, blah, blah. Same old BS.

    LeBron, Durant, Wade (when healthy), Aldridge, Dirk, Rose (when healthy), Bosh, CP3, Griffin, Curry, Love, Lillard, Parker, Leonard, Manu, Melo, Wall, Rondo, Westbrook, Ibaka, Harden… all down the line… Those players would do just fine in any era of my lifetime and would be just as dominant. These players had to adapt their game to the current conditions.

    The game has changed. Part of it is due to rule changes. Part is the slow adaptation to how the 3PT line is used. Certainly defense is played differently than in the past and the baseline athleticism of the league is superior to what it used to be. So, the game looks different and maybe some folk don’t like it as much as the game they grew up on, but guys like Garnett, Kobe and whomever else people want to put on a pedestal of tough competitors are always going to be features in the league. We keep hearing about Willis Reed playing on a broken leg because that kind of stuff is uncommon, even then. It is the stuff of legend but every generation has it’s legends. So, I’m not disagreeing that there are aspect to the earlier game that I like better than today. I like post play, the footwork involved and the thinking game involved in how the player uses their moves and then chooses their counter moves. We don’t get a lot of that these days and it is missed. That said, the game is in good hands. The Spurs won using the “Right Way”. So did Miami, so did Dallas, so did we, so did the Celtics (unfortunately) and on down the line. Remember, Detroit beat us in ’04 playing the right way. It turns out the right way is just whatever happens to be effective enough to win a lot.

  59. Why does anyone think the 2015 FA are any more apt to sign with the Lakers.

    Kobe’s deal will only have a year to go, and the Lakers might have enough money to sign two guys. That is why Hill’s deal works; they can cut him and have the money to chase Marc Gasol or Kevin Love–if those guys reach the market. That was good thinking by the FO.

    But, the point is well-taken, and if the team is really bad again, that will just draw a line under it.

    The Durant argument is:

    1. He will blame the OKC FO for dumping Harden and keeping Perkins for financial reasons, and will want to join a team that will be willing to pay the luxury tax. Of course, the Knicks will have the exact same pitch to make–and Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson will probably be the ones making it. Lakers fans should probably actually hope that OKC does not win it all the next two years, even though that would mean “rooting” for the Clippers/Spurs/Rockets to win the West.
    2. Westbrook may want to come here, so he and Durant may orchestrate a LA team-up. But Westbrook is not a FA until 2017, and given his style of play and his knees, he may not be a good investment by then.

    It comes back to the same things: Veto, Nash, Howard, Kobe’s injuries. After absorbing those four bell-ringing punches, getting off the canvas is going to be very hard, and may be impossible for the foreseeable future. Whether hiring Shaw and/or Phil and keeping Alex McKechnie would have helped with the three of those four problems is unknown; we do know that the guys the FO hired couldn’t do it.

  60. Also, Howard obviously didn’t like Kobe, but I don’t think KB’s personality is free-agent poison. I think the fact that the team is bad is. Winning, as we saw in 2008-10, and 2000-02, cures a lot of potential chemistry problems. Howard was probably leaving anyway, but if the 2013 team had actually been good, I think it would have been tougher for him.

  61. I’m glad Gasol is moving on. Truly hate to see extraordinary talented players waste their careers in bad situations (unless they choose to simply be overpaid for their current talent level).

    Appreciate your time here Pau. Your #16 will get placed in the rafters. As per him “owning” the Lakers a sign & trade…let’s not forget this is the same guy the Lakers dangle as trade bait for the last few years…the same guy the FO allowed D’Antonio to waste his talents the last two seasons.

    Now as Laker fans we want Gasol to be above it all and help the Lakers on his way out the door. Business is business, if Gasol, the Lakers & Bulls can work something out, that’s more than I could expect. If they can’t, I have no problems with Pau decision.

    Good luck Pau, a sure future HOF.

  62. How come no one ever mentions Greg Monroe

    Leo and I and others have talked a lot about Monroe. But teams usually match on good RFAs.

  63. Nick Van Exile July 12, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Laker fans are spoiled, plain and simple. We’re used to parades, trophies, long playoff runs, superstar players vying to join us, etc. The latest CBA has really taken away a lot of the big market advantages the Lakers used to enjoy. The playing field has been leveled and unless there’s some drastic change in the next CBA, it will stay leveled. The years of reloading, instead of rebuilding, are over. The Lakers are going to have to play the same game most of the other teams have been playing (something Boston has found out the last few years as well). There will be years where we draft great players or sign top free agents. And there will be years when we draft some busts or strike out on the next LBJ/Melo. Some years we’ll make the playoffs and some not. Some years we’ll contend for a championship and some not. This is what other teams go through and we better get used to it because we’ve been truly spoiled all these years.

    If the Lakers can net Mike Dunleavy Jr. (along with other players that can be waived) in a S&T for Pau, that would be a good deal. Dunleavy is a good 3 point shooter on a cheap expiring contract and could potentially start at SF (allowing Young to thrive in his preferred role coming off the bench). If they can also get a first or second round draft pick, that would be gravy for a player that was leaving anyway.

  64. @Gordon, pau and the Bulls ate still talking there is nothing definitve yet, if there is a S&T the Lakers will get something. There are only two options Pau signs outright for less money than the Lakers offered him or do a S&T and the Lakers will be compensated.

  65. Guys durant, westbrook, and especially love are not coming here ….. we need to get that out of our mind … we need to keep developing guys and hope that juliues turns Into barkley and that clarkson was a steal … maybe fall Into mcdermott or some other player …. we wont get a star unless we have a base and we dont have one yet

  66. P Ami the other guys you mentioned that could he true, but Howard playing in that era would be a Kevin Willis a good not spectacular player same game and same physique so there is a comparision and Willis actually had a post game so i dare to say Kevin Willis in this era would be the best big man in the game today, thats how sad the state of the big man in the NBA is nowadays.

  67. , but Joward playing in that era would be a Kevin Willis a good not spectacular player,

    This is not a great time for centers, but Howard would have been among the top centers in any era–that is clear both from his stats and from watching him. People who don’t like him, which is basically every Lakers fan on the planet among many others, tend to focus on his visible flaws: post-ups and FT shooting, and miss his more subtle contributions in the areas of team defense and floor spacing.

    Last year, I posted a list of what happened to teams that lost top centers mid-career. It was not a pretty picture. While there was of course more to the Lakers’ issues last year than Howard’s departure, they can be added to the list, even though they had Pau to slide in at the 5. Losing an All-Star center almost always leads to a downturn, until you get another one (like the Lakers with Shaq/Pau,plus they drafted Bynum, and got a good 4, Odom, in the Shaq deal). Howard is not Shaq, but the Lakers got nothing at all for Howard, so it is what it is.

  68. I know a lot of people are down on the FO, but I haven’t heard many suggestions about what they would have done differently. I think the FO took some risks, some riskier than they would have otherwise done, in order to win another championship for Dr. Buss before he passed and to take advantage of Kobe’s last years.

    The CP3 deal was put together by current FO and would have likely been considered one of the great trades in recent memory. It was so good, that it caused the league to take extraordinary action to prevent it from happening. We would have gotten CP3 to team with a then still healthy Kobe. Pau and Odom would have been off the books and we were still in the running for Dwight with Bynum as potential trade bait, and no draft picks given up. That is a pretty remarkable deal engineered by the FO that would have helped us contend for several years and left opinions open for the future.

    Since that deal was nixed, the FO has had to react with decreasing leverage and take more risk in order to get one last chance at a championship.

    They essentially recreated their original plan to team CP3 and Howard with Kobe by trading for Nash and Dwight next year, but the cost and risk was higher in terms of draft picks, injury risk and the fact that Nash was not CP3. I was ok with the Howard trade. They got rid of Bynum and his $16.1 million salary. I didn’t think Dwight was a good personality fit with Kobe, but completely understand why the FO made that trade. I hated the Nash trade, because he was injury prone and we traded 4 draft picks.

    Together with the 2 picks to Orlando, we gave up 6 draft picks. That’s a high price for a team with 2 aging superstars in Kobe and Nash, but I think the FO paid the price in order to win one more for Dr. Buss. I understood it and hoped for the best in terms of Nash’s health and Dwight’s mental state.

    Dwight didn’t re-sign, but I don’t blame the FO. They offered him the max $118 m and he took $87.5 m to go to Houston. What else could they have done? Yes, Dwight implied it was the coach, but I don’t think that was the main reason. Star players always have priority over coaches. I don’t think he like playing with Kobe and dealing with the pressure to win.

    As for this year, we offered Melo the max. If he says no, not sure what else the FO could do without going back in time. If Kobe were healthy and Nash somewhat healthy last year, maybe Melo is more interested, but no way the FO could have forseen Kobe’s injury. Without those draft picks, it was probably harder for the FO to put together packages to bring some better role players.

    As for LBJ, we apparently offered him the max too, but I think he was always a long shot to sign. He’s want to be the clear alpha dog and that wasn’t happening with Kobe.

    One thing the FO could have done differently is traded Pau last year. What would have been a REALISTIC trade you would have accepted? We don’t know what the offers were, but if a trade occurred, it probably would have been viewed as one-sided and not in the Lakers favor. Also, what are you telling Kobe when you make that trade.

    Another thing the FO could have done differently is Kobe’s contract extension. That debate is on-going, but the bottom-line is that it gives the FO less room to maneuver.

    One last thing is the coach. The coaching carousel was probably not a strong selling point and the back and forth with Phil. The FO hasn’t handled this area well and maybe that’s been the clearest sign of the disagreements within the FO between Jim, Jeanie, Mitch and whomever is involved.

    I’m not looking forward to another season of, at best, mediocrity, but I’m just wondering how people would have handled things differently without the benefit of hindsight.

  69. but I’m just wondering how people would have handled things differently without the benefit of hindsight.

    You must be new here. Any number of people, here and elsewhere, seriously questioned both coaching hires at the time. Getting Phil involved at all and then not letting him either take the job or turn it down set D’Antoni up for failure, and Howard apparently told the FO that he wanted Phil. And you are leaving out the changes in the scouting and training/medical staffs, which were also questioned at the time.

    The Nash deal was a gamble that most backed. A few people here did oppose it very vocally at the time. The Howard trade was the right thing to do, obviously, and the Veto has been covered.

    And yes, a lot of that was done for Kobe and Jerry Buss on some level.

    Kobe’s extension, trading for Jeremy Lin, Nick Young’s deal, Jordan Hill’s deal, offering the max to Carmelo Anthony, the presumed hiring of Byron Scott, drafting Julius Randle–all new decisions, and people are divided on those as well, although most people like the Randle pick.

  70. Yeah, if our lineup configuration is Lin-Kobe-Young-Randle-Hill, that’s a very questionable lineup that will win in the 25 game range, and that might be generous even. We don’t know how Kobe’s going to come back from his injury, Randle might have growing pains, and while I like the other three, there’s definitely a school of argument that all three of those guys are better coming off the bench. And then our bench–Clarkson, Sacre, Kendall Marshall, Ryan Kelly, and maybe Mike Dunleavy. That’s not going to scare anyone. That might depress the 25 win range downwards to 22.

  71. Rr, that is my opinion as well mostly free agents didn’t want to come to a bad team, Kobe wasn’t the issue. BTW Vonleh had a brutal 0-13 last night, just one game I know but this is exactly how he was at Indiana.

    Lordmo, of course I realize Kobe is over the hill, the achilles injury effectively did him in.

    Guys Durant is not leaving Westbrook unless it is under the most dire of circumstances. Read his MVP speech and see how much he considers Westbrook a brother. Durant is a loyal guy, he isn’t coming to LA.

    The best hope is that Randle and Clarkson turn into stars and other stars want to play with them similar to Chris Paul wanting to play with Blake Griffin.

    As far as that Houston pick goes, the options in the mid 20s next year will be utterly brutal. Draft express has both Harrison twins in that range and I can honestly say as UK fan they will never be anything more than backup NBA talent. I keep talking about how bad the draft is next year, other than maybe 2 or 3 guys it will be similar to last year’s draft.

    Also how bad is Cleveland kicking themselves right now for not taking Nerlens Noel, he’s going to end up being the best player from that draft.

  72. I think Young is properly paid for what he does – by current league standards

    It’s the years that are the problem, not the money.

  73. Just curious, does anyone know the terms of the Houston pick we got in the Lin trade? I’m thinking with what they have lost, they might be one season ending injury (Dwight or Harden) away from the lottery…

  74. Read his MVP speech and see how much he considers Westbrook a brother.

    James called Wade, Bosh, Haslem, and Chalmers his “brothers for life” in his letter announcing that he was leaving Miami. I don’t think that there is a particularly good chance that Durant will come here, but things will look a lot different in two years than they do now.

    As to Vonleh and Randle, we’ll see. But I want to make this clear, since Randle is such a big deal to you: If I was sure the Lakers had blown the pick, I would have said so. My positions are that based on what I know, I would have taken Vonleh, but the FO may be right, and I am skeptical that Randle is going to be an All-Star type player. But maybe he will.

  75. Houstons pick is top 10 protected

  76. Vonleh went 0-13 yesterday

  77. Fern, no question there are issues in the post and I addressed that in my comment. I don’t see why anyone aught to be confused that I was trying to suggest that the center position is anything like it was in the past (just to quibble, Willis had famously short arms while Howard is very long armed. That said, Willis also had a short range jumper even if he looked like Grimlock shooting it, not so Howard.) Howard’s mobility and defensive intelligence is an asset but I’m not trying to say that every star player today would be a star in every era. I do think most of the great players today rank right along side their counterparts in terms of toughness and competitiveness. Many of the current abilities are better developed than those in the past and some skills are not as developed. If you want to argue that post play is rare today and lament that, I am with you. If your argument is that the game isn’t tough enough, the players not competitive enough, and the skill level not high enough relative to a golden age I would say that is just as arguable as someone saying that this is a golden age and the players today are clearly better than players from the past. I’ve been watching the league closely for over 20 years, watched classic games, and old Youtube clips of full games from a number of eras, and been aware of the league and it’s history for close to 30 years. In my opinion, the players today are every bit as tough, competitive, and skilled as players from the past and are generally more athletic, more fit, and (because of sports medicine and their own discipline) recover from injuries much better than their forebearers. IMO, the league is in good hands and I’ll be watching with plenty of excitement.

    I am bitter about some of the decisions made by the Lakers FO, but not as regards players etc… I’m just not looking forward to their making a 4th bad coaching hire in their last five tries. Freakin hell, what the heck was wrong with going hard for Blatt? What is wrong with Messina, Fish, or any other young coach with a bright future. How on earth does Byron qualify as a strong candidate? Anyway, plenty of us were complaining during championship runs, so no doubt we’ll be picking nits at times like these.

  78. Rr you are Robinred right? I used to post under Lakers8884 a few years ago. I was trying to jokingly throw
    the Vonleh thing in your face I was merely pointing out he mentally never got it at Indiana and he may not in the NBA. I truly think you have a good basketball mind so I have respect for you. If he turns out to be a flop it’ll be symbolic of Jordan’s tenure as an owner.

    And if Randle turns out to be a flop I will eat my words I just think he’s too talented to not succeed. He’s more offensively gifted than Griffin just slightly less of a leaper. Truthfully the key for him will be to get a supporting cast to help him thrive. Many rebuilding teams have great prospects over the years but the players don’t amount to anything because they are in bad support systems. I just pray the Lakers aren’t heading into that unsteady situation. I really am shocked Boston chose Smart over him and I think they will regret that.

  79. Bluehill — excellent post.

    I also feel the “Jim sucks” stuff is overblown if you’re using Howard and Melo as bullets in your argument. Howard balked at coming to L.A. a year before he was actually traded there, and he clearly didn’t want to be there a evidenced by all the money he left on the table and how quickly he announced he was gone last summer.

    Time Warner Cable Sportnet for a time two seasons ago aired an ad in which Mitch was showing Howard all of the retired jerseys and he made a comment about, “I want to see your name up there in a few years.” The look on Howard’s face reminded me of a closeted gay kid whose dad points out a hot girl and suggests he’d love to see his son date her. The interest clearly isn’t there, and Dwight’s face showed it. So to hell with Dwight; it is what it is.

    Likewise, Anthony leaving NY was always a stretch. It’s his hometown, they could pay him more and he clearly would be the focal point of the Knicks. I lived in New York before and there is something special about the Knicks in that town, especially when they win. He got a taste of that a couple of years ago and it’s tough to leave.

    The front office gave its best on both of those guys, but the decisions were made more on other factor than for a like or dislike of Jim Buss. Let’s not be naive here and think the Lakers have a magic wand to get them whatever they want, especially in this CBA.

    The coaching choices, Nash trade — I understand those critiques. Even the Kobe extension I can understand the criticism. But to suggest any “striking out” on Howard and Anthony is very unrealistic.

  80. I’m wondering if Randle may actually wind up being a SF for a while. He has a great 1st step. He would be a load for most 3s to handle. He needs to improve his handle a bit (common for most players his age) and show that the Kentucky system was the reason for his low shooting stats. He moves his feet really athletically. I think it’s particularly interesting in so far as having a guy who doesn’t protect the rim at the 4 is perhaps a minus I’m not wild about while the same player at the 3 isn’t as big an issue. Also, having a bruiser at the 3 is more unique than that same trait at the 4, while I doubt his shooting will be so good as to consider him a true stretch 4. So, I’m really excited about the prospects of seeing Randle play on Sunday and get a feel for what his game looks like in this next stage of development.

  81. Ok, word is that the Lakers are working a S&T with the Bulls that could involve a third team (Hou) that might net the Lakers 1 possibly 2 picks, that exactly what the Lakers should be triying to do. Those are good news, i hope it works out. Thas what we need to do get ASSETS.

  82. The best player in the world left a winning situation to go to the Cavs, does that make Pat Riley a bad GM? Mitch and Jim are doing a great job considering the circumstances. As for people not happy with the Kobe extension imagine if the Lakers didn’t offer the extension and they missed out on all these Free Agents, how much do you guys imagine the Lakers would be offering Kobe now to stay? And please lets stop with Melo and Lebron coming here, the past couple of days show that was never ever going to happen. If anything, Mitch and Jim have been brilliant. They got a 1st round pick off Houston for a player they wouldn’t be willing to trade after Bosh re-signed with Miami. They secured Kobe’s services at a cheaper price than they would have had to pay if they had to pay Kobe now to endure the next season.

  83. We net a center and we’re going STRAIGHT TO THE TOP!

    GOOOOooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!!

  84. ” how much do you guys imagine the Lakers would be offering Kobe now to stay? ” Maybe the 12 million they should have offered in the first place. Seriously, who would offer more and why? If the superstars were never interested in coming to the Lakers, then why not go after young stars in the making? The cost would be high but the fans would have a future to look forward to.

  85. So Chris your saying it was not bad management just a case of inability to read intent and or age vs injury probability?

    That makes me feel much better.

  86. Great point, Joe. LBJ leaves the Heat, who would have paid him more than the Cavs. What could they have done differently? Perhaps Riley or Arison could have been more willing to go over the cap to keep Mike Miller and Joel Anthony. Hard to say, but some people seem to think the Heat FO is much better than our own.

    Also, what should they do now? What do you think of signing Bosh to a max contract? How much should they offer Wade? In regards to Wade, they are kind of in a similar situation as we were with Kobe – great, loyal player that’s been part of 3 championship teams but is also aging and hobbled by injuries. How much should Riley pay for that? It’s a much different question now with LBJ gone.

  87. P. Ami,
    Really? Old men die and the world keeps spinning. Really, that’s all you got? Man when anybody dies the world keeps spinning, old, young or middle aged. And I’m far from old dude. By the way, occasionally old men are right, even when young men think they know everything. LOL!

  88. Bluehill/Chris J: The Lakers have not caused their problems in this FA period. Getting LBJ and/or Melo was always a pipedream. We took our shot and missed so I agree you can’t base your criticisms of Jim off of that. The moves we have made Lin/Hill/Young are overall OK so no big deal there either (although I do not understand the Young deal). However we have put ourselves in this position due to 2 bad coaching choices (actually Brown was bad – D’Antoni over Phil was horrendous), the Kobe extension which was for way too much money, the loss of Dwight (the franchise did nothing right to keep him), and the Nash trade (too many good picks and 3 years on the deal). And Bluehill, this is not hindsight. I was against D’Antioni from day 1. I pleaded with the FO to get rid of MD and take other measures in order to keep DH. I desperately wanted us to hire Shaw instead of Brown. I was against the Kobe extension from Day 1. The only one of these debacles that I can partially forgive is Nash. Further the FO does not project confidence and cohesiveness (the infighting, the indecisiveness, and the questionable treatment of guys like Shaw, Lester, and others). We have dug ourselves a hole so our options are limited now. The fact that we can’t do much from the bottom of this hole does not forgive the FO (Jim specifically) from putting us here. There is no reason that Jim should be an active part of basketball operations. No other owners are as prominent as he is in team basketball management (Cuban probably being the only one who is close). His track record is poor which is more reason for him not to do this. There is no defense of his record other than to claim it is all bad luck. Well – I do not think so, and I had the foresight” to say before the results were obvious. What should we do now? Short term deals and preserve future cap space (that is why I do not get Young). Hire Byron now – this is ridiculous. Accumulate draft picks (Lin deal was good). Wait. The later is the punishment you get for a few years of bad decisions.

  89. Howard is a top center in any time? really?
    i saw Wilt, Kareem, Parish, Lanier, Walton, Cowens, Russell, Unseld, Ewing, Hayes, Reed, Robinson, Malone, Shaq, Olajuwan, and ALL of them would have given Dwight the blues, ESPECIALLY if he had to play by the rules of the league that those guys had to play under. heck, even Mutombo would have ruined Dwight’s day. remember vs. Gasol in the finals?

    ALL of the centers i mentioned would have won at least one playoff game all by themselves, something Dwight never did when he was here. ALL of them could take a mediocre team and make it competitive. Dwight is a top talent in the CURRENT league, but if you look at the centers in the game at the moment, that’s not saying much. Dwight was more effective before the surgery of course, but he was never an all-time great. i don’t care about the “numbers”. stats DO help evaluate a player, but stats never tell the complete story. Dwight is or was a great example of a physical specimen, but he’s never been a great player. would i want him on the Lakers? if he brought a good attitude, of course i would!

  90. https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/488056106879442944

    Can someone explain why the bulls would want to do a sign and trade if Pau is willing to sign straight up for 6.5m?

  91. @p.ami:
    I’ve thought moving Randle to sf is a possibility too. I think he can handle the lateral movement at the perimeter. He can’t stop larger players in the post and he is a horrible rim protector. If as reported he can stretch the floor he may work out at sf.

  92. RE: haushinka

    I think ChiTown is doing that so they can trade away some players who would free up some salary cap space…

  93. No s&t for pau hes signing straight up and leaving 12-18 million on the table compared to our offer

    Booouuurrnns pau booouuurrnns – I also dont know how chicago signs mirotic now if pau takes their mid-level – a boozer amnesty might be in the works – would it be worth putting in a min level offer? Or even 2 mil on the amnesty claim process

    Hed be ok as a 3rd big help teach juliis how to bruise in the nba since he plays a similar style + hes a decent passer

    Not getting a pick for pau sucks – we couldnt get one last year at a 19 mil salary

    Rockets also signed ariza meaning parsons might be out the door

  94. I like the lin and young deals. Hills contract i think sorta makes sense but i think another lin type of deal would have improved the team more long term and achieve the short term commitment they were going for.

  95. Joe,

    It’s not that I don’t agree with much of what you are saying, but if Kobe were a free agent and the Lakers had not signed him, where else would he have gone? Do you think he would have gotten a higher offer from another team?

    The Lakers locking him in may have partially been out of loyalty(as if a $30M contract the year before isn’t showing him any love) but it was more to appease Time Warner and fans. The Lakers may have thought the TW TV deal was unbelievable, but so did Magic when he was offered $25 mil for 25 years, or one mil a year($2.6M in todays dollars BTW) for 25 years. Although salary and TV deals won’t rise to infinity, he didn’t know that with the TV deals salaries would explode in the next 3 decades(relative to inflation).

    Lakers should have worked it out with Kobe, wait to see how things went with the free agency market, and then signed him. If they lost him to free agency, then so be it. Would they be any worse off than they are now? I doubt that TW would try to renegotiate the deal. In the long run, it may actually turn out to be a great deal.

    Jerry Buss wasn’t just great at what he did because he had a great basketball mind. He may or may not have. It wasn’t even that he was a great poker player. He made his millions in real estate because he understood how to “read the market”. Buy low, sell high. See the trends, and act on it accordingly. The current management lacks that.

  96. Baylor Fan,
    If the Lakers would have insulted Kobe with a $12 million a year offer he would have gone to play for the minimum in New York. If Kobe left this season to sign with another team it would have destroyed the Laker brand for good. Time Warner would be looking for loopholes to bail.

  97. It is becoming quite clear that many on this board do not understand that the NBA is entertainment business first. CBA, Salary Cap restrictions are real but so is the business side of things. The Buss Family aren’t billionaires like other owners. They know why they gave that extension to Kobe. No one on this board understands, cares, loves the Lakers more than Jim and Jeanie. Jim learned from Mitch and Jerry West; in fact Jerry West’s son is part of the front office. The idea that anyone here feels the front office is failing is absurd. They are doing a damn good job considering how jealous owners have changed the rules to make life harder for the Lakers. This team has a $3 Billion local TV deal and the front office works hard daily to earn that money.

  98. Julien, Fern understood what I was getting at with that quote. How about you put a little more thought into it.

  99. @Vasheed- I’ve watched tape of Randle and it seems he can defend the post in terms of not getting backed down. His problems seem more an issue of bigger players being able to finish over the top of him. He winds up biting on too many fakes and I think that plays into his limits as a rim protector as well. Like you, I wonder if it might be better to rely on his lateral quickness, energy and strength on the perimeter and figure his issues with size will be less a problem against 3s than 4s. If he could be more like a Ron Artest style of defender (I’m not saying as good, just the style) he might turn out to be a plus on that side of the ball. No reason he can’t have active hands, use his feet to make the offensive player work hard for position, use his strength to make the guy work even harder and then face guard when the shot goes up. You don’t need blocks and steals to be a good defender.

  100. Robert, I agree with many of your points, especially about Kobe’s contract and Nash’s signing and the coaching. I was trying to understand the FO’s motivation to make some riskier bets after not getting CP3. I would like to think they knew the risks they were taking, but decided the opportunity to get one more championship for Kobe and Dr. Buss were worth it rather than think that they were simply inept. I didn’t agree with it, but could understand where they were coming from. Kobe’s contract is another story.

    As for Dwight, one thing the FO did right was offer him the most money. They got rid of Mike Brown after 8 games, which I agreed with, but didn’t bring Phil back, which I didn’t agree with. Would that have kept Dwight? Maybe.

    I don’t know who drove the Phil decision. Jim probably was against, but I don’t know where Mitch stood. Weren’t there rumors that Phil wanted Mitch’s job? As I said, the coaching decisions probably best illustrate the issues within the FO. Like you, I also wish Jim weren’t so involved and just let Mitch take care of the basketball side of things. I think Mitch is a great GM, and I’m guessing there would have been some things that Mitch would or would not have done if it weren’t for Jim. However, Jim probably isn’t going anywhere for a few more years, and he’s part of the FO, so I understand your criticism.

  101. Good points Joe but I have to hi with Laker17 on this one.

    Contacts I know who used to work for Lakers all tell same story. Jim is the issue and he is inept without a plan.

  102. @bluehill

    First of all, it’s not only natural, but it’s perfectly legitimate, for fans and others to criticize the Lakers F.O. for failing to produce results without offering a better solution. It is not our job to figure it out. That onus is on the F.O. If you want to put that onus on us, pay us and put us in a position of influence.

    That said, I can understand and sometimes agree with every decision they have made since Jim Buss took over. The F.O. and especially D’antoni as been unfairly maligned for many things that have gone wrong.

    Second, what would I have done? Keep in mind I’m not sure what the F.O. has or hasn’t tried.

    I would have offered Lance Stephenson a 4 year salary, max first year and decreasing each year, team option after year 2 if we can negotiate that in. Lance has the talent to be max, and for all his headcase moments, he’s 23. Max it the first year, explain to Kobe and Lance that 2014-15 is a playoff year to build off of, not a ship or bust year. Explain that ’08 Celtics and ’10 Heat were aberrations, not the norm. It was only possible because of a one in 2-3 generation strong draft hitting UFA in same year. You won’t attract Star X in ’15 or Star Y in ’16 without a playoff worthy team to join first.

    I would not have flown to Cleveland to LeBron. It may just be me, but the sub 1% to land Lebron is not worth the weakening of the Lakers mystique (free agents come to us, we don’t go to them), nor sending Melo a “you’re our Lebron consolation prize” message. What were we going to do with Lebron wanting the max? Sign Lebron and sign Melo to $3 mill a year after offering the max? Sign Lebron and take back our offer to Melo? Note that Kobe intuitively understood star psychology and had his press conference about Melo, not Melo and Lebron and maybe Bosh etc. You don’t tell a girl that they’re your main squeeze, then hop on a flight to offer the same story and proposal to someone else.

    Finally, I would have offered less years to Nick Young. He’s exciting and his attitude is great. But three years from today, we’re going to regret this deal and wonder why we don’t have any capspace.

  103. Ko,
    Was Jim inept when he traded for CP3?

  104. Joe: The VETO screwed us There is no doubt. However just like in Poker (Jerry played – Jim does not), getting a bad beat is not an excuse to go on Tilt. Most owners are not co-GMs. What has Jim done that demonstrates he should be the exception?

  105. Adios, Pau! Muchas gracias for the championships!

  106. “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” Confucius
    Or,
    “When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.” (someone’s t-shirt not sure of origin)

    Although it’s true that when things go well, Mitch is praised, and when things go wrong, fans blame Jim, Jim probably isn’t as inept as everyone thinks. However, I get the sense that he thinks he’s as savvy as his dad. One essential trait of successful individuals is knowing their own limitations and weaknesses, and surrounding themselves with others who can compensate for these deficiencies. My sense is that he lacks this important insight.

  107. Joe

    Yes. Instead of calling Stern(the proxy owner at the time) to determine first if it would be approved, he called the media(John Black did) causing the up roar.

    His own sister was sitting in NY at the time in a NBA board meeting and knew nothing about the move. She admitted on radio if she knew she could have perhaps mediated the issue before it became public.

    All due respect Joe but knowing all the facts is helpful in understanding the mistakes made by Jimmy.

  108. Kobe would have played in New York for the minimum? Stop it! He wasn’t going anywhere. The Lakers were bidding against themselves.

  109. KO brings up an interesting point.

    Other important traits, not only in business, but in any aspect of life, is knowing how to build relationships, learning how to deal with people, and knowing how to close a deal.

    Maybe that deal wasn’t going to succeed no matter what, and it’s true that hindsight is 20/20, but…

    Maybe if Jim had a long standing relationship with Stern, he may have been able to work something out. It’s also possible that since Jim never had a real job outside of the Lakers, he doesn’t quite know how to handle these situations.

    Contrast that with someone like Donald Sterling. If Donald Sterling were as inept as Jim Buss, would he have survived as long as he did? Everyone knew Sterling had racist tendencies, had been sued, tons of accusations. Either he had some unsavory information on Stern, or he was enough of a businessman to know that he had to stay tight with Stern all those years. And the reward was not only being able to stay in a league he should have been kicked out of decades ago, but Chris Paul. As inept, unlucky, and cheap as Donald Sterling was in running his basketball operations, his business savvy kept him in the game.

  110. Kevin, that’s a good point. Fans don’t get paid, so we don’t need to offer solutions. I just find a lot of comments, not so much here but on other sites, to be reactionary and inconsistent. Take Pau for example. Many fans wanted him gone and now that he is they’re upset. If he would have taken our deal, they’d probably be upset. Well, I guess they have a right to be inconsistent as well.

    As for Lance, it will be interesting to see what he gets. I’m skeptical that he’d accept a deal that pays him less over time. I agree about Nick’s contract.

  111. So Chris your saying it was not bad management just a case of inability to read intent and or age vs injury probability?

    ——————-

    “inability to read intent” — by this I presume you mean Dwight, and that the Lakers never should have made the deal for him? I was one who argued against the trade for him, precisely because I never felt he wanted to be there nor that he would stay. But from a basketball standpoint, few criticized the Lakers for dealing for Dwight, and even though I hated Dwight, the guy for whom he was dealt (Bynum) missed that entire season, so everything Dwight gave was a gain compared to what the Lakers would have received had Bynum been their center that year.

    Likewise, what did they lose in pursuing Anthony? They’d have been foolish not to at least reach out to him, and by most accounts the Lakers made a very good impression on a guy who was extremely unlikely to leave New York from the outset. I don’t see why that’s reason to criticize the front office, either.

    “and or age vs injury probability?” — No clue why this was directed at me. I said above the Nash deal was a bad one, just as I raised questions about that deal the day it was announced. I also said one could critique the front office for the Kobe extension.

    I never at any point said Jim or Mitch were above reproach. As to making you feel better, KO — not my concern.