Lakers Quiet at Trade Deadline, So What Now?

Darius Soriano —  February 18, 2016

The Lakers, as I thought they would, stood pat at the trade deadline. Trading their veterans for any sort of viable return was going to be difficult, trading their young players was going to be a nonstarter, and by wanting to maintain cap space for next season there simply was not going to be a deal to make.

This leaves the Lakers with the same roster they had heading into the all-star break, the same roster that has produced 11 wins and 46 losses. With that, I’m sure there will be some lingering frustrations. My sense, as the trade deadline approached, is that fans were hoping for a chance simply to see a different roster and for Byron Scott’s options to be altered in order to create different lineup and rotation decisions. After all, if Lou Williams or Brandon Bass or Roy Hibbert were to be traded, maybe D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson see more court time together, maybe Tarik Black could be more than just an emergency option at Center.

There’s some merit to this, for sure. I mean, even some of Scott’s comment’s post practice can be read into in ways that don’t inspire confidence change is coming:

But changes will come. Scott has said so himself. They may not come on Friday (Russell is expected to remain a reserve vs. the Spurs), but they will come sooner or later. I joked that for “round number reasons” Byron will likely make a lineup change with 25 games left (or maybe it will be with 20), but even Mitch Kupchak has said he expects the young players to get more minutes and Byron, as early as December, has said he would make such changes as the year wore on. We’re getting to the point where there’s not much time left, so I expect his word to be honored.

So, in a way, I am not worried. No, the roster has not changed, but I think soon enough we will see Russell starting and closing. And now that Nance is healthy — he practiced fully on Thursday — he too will get back into the rotation behind Julius Randle. I hope to say the same about Anthony Brown and that we will get more than just token appearances from Tarik Black. If those latter two find their way back into the mix (likely at the expense of Hibbert and Nick Young), six of the team’s 10 man rotation will be players who are 24 or younger.

There really is no reason for this not to happen now. Some would argue that was the case all year, but I digress. With little else to play for, let the kids get some burn, let the front office evaluate where they are, and the let the chips fall (and, likely, the losses come). Then we can get to the summer and see what really comes next.

Darius Soriano

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to Lakers Quiet at Trade Deadline, So What Now?

  1. There really is no point for Lou, Young and Bass to play any minutes now. The only vets that should be playing are Kobe and perhaps Hibbert. You can certainty make an argument that Black should be starting at center.

    Also, this proves that the theory that the Lakers signed Lou and Bass to try to flip them at the trade deadline is most likely false. They either screwed up or they actually thought they would make the playoffs by just signing Lou and Bass….


  2. “Everyone knows this is what we got.”
    Correct – we “got” a coach that shows his IQ every time he opens his mouth.


  3. Lakers stand pat at trade deadline.
    Are we standing pat – or striking out?
    “Yes we really like our roster. We’ve got 11 wins!
    Why make changes?”
    Or should I say ‘we got 11 wins.’


  4. Agree. Don’t think it’s bad at all that we stood pat. With the team in tact, no vets traded etc, the general roster stability should allow for continued development of the young players.

    Think this- stable environment- might actually outweigh the benefit of a trade (considering there weren’t that many picks or young talent available for return). Another supposed benefit was to force Byron to reallocate minutes to the younger players. At this point (over half way done) that’s going to happen anyway, with difference being likely marginal.


  5. Also … Hoping Mitch is waiting for the new coach to arrive, and for his insight, before making roster adjustments. Crossing fingers.


  6. – If the Lakers couldn’t acquire a 1st round draft pick w/o giving up one of the young guys, there was nothing to do.

    – A huge part of this three year nightmare will be over by mid April. Time to look towards the future is way overdue.


  7. It doesn’t matter. I know who I am,” Howard said. “I know what I have done in my career; no need to focus on anything negative. I have a great life, blessed beyond measure. Doesn’t matter. People can talk as much as they want

    Wanted to share this howard-quote from espn with you…this pretty much sums up why he will never win a ring and why i was glad he left for houston…


  8. I thought they should have seriously considered moving a young piece or two. In order to get something of value you need to give something of value. By not being willing to move any of them the F.O. is indicating they believe all of our young guys fit together. I see talent but, I’m a little skeptical about fit.

    I’m also find the unwillingness to take on salary short sighted. With the cap rising guys who have multiple years now are likely going to look like bargains going forward. The Lakers have doggedly pursued having cap space every year and every year failed to land the players they coveted. They then had to fill their roster with contingency players. Next year the Lakers might have obscene amounts of cash to spread around but, with the cap rising pretty much every team will be able to hand out a big contract. I hope this is the year it works out.


  9. Best decision, staying put. What would be the point to make trades just for the sake of making them, take back what? multi year salaries? a second round pick?even if the cap goes up that’s capspace that could be missed if there is a deal. The Lakers need to keep the maximum cap space possible. Not worth our time. And even trading the kids, i lol’d at that one. Let’s just made trades for the hell of it whoopee!!! SMH…


  10. No problem with no trades of players couldn’t we get a second for Scott and his antiquated philosophies or do we have to wait for Russell, Randle and Nance to ask for trades!!!


  11. Do we still think, what we believe should happen will happen,,,,,, it’s still byron scott,,,,,, let me help, what you think should not happen will happen, this will help, just think right now who should not play, mwp, huertas, kelly, hibbert, those guys are gonna play, ok, because I’m byron and I’m the coach

    and the reason why swaggy p, and lou williams play is because they are gonna be the leaders next year…..


  12. The next 3 years are what they are, unless one of the current or future draft picks turn to a franchise changing player.

    I don’t know how long a player gets to show that he is or is not, but as long as you believe he or they will be you ride it out.

    Maybe next year there is a big improvement, a mid level free agent wants to sign here, we might be competitive. I expect a few more down years


  13. You don’t make a trade just for the sake of making one. For what does matter. But, to not consider all possibilities is to hamstring oneself. And in the name of cap space, it does appear, the Lakers are not considering all possibilities.


  14. I think kupcheck should step down, if he does jim will follow, mitch seems smart but also too nice for the job, we need a smarter tougher guy in the FO, someone who will grab the coach smack him a couple times, and say you better make this work or I’m gonna kick your ass.


  15. Dwight howard is terrell owens as a basketball player


  16. If we are to start over, I think it’s probably best to stay pat because:

    1. Byron’s replacement will have room to form the team to his liking.

    2. Byron’s replacement itself could be a great draw for free agents if played right.

    3. There was no hope of getting anyone anyway when the entire league knows your hand.

    4. Tanking is the only legitimate option at this point, and unless we can get picks in return (which, with our talents, very unlikely unless trading somewhat proven young players), why mess with a good tank team.

    5. That includes keeping Byron for the remainder of the season. Integral part of the tank team.

    6. Still unhappy about the team, however.


  17. @Harold,

    I like your point about flexibility acquiring talent that fits the coach. However, that assumes the Lakers will fire Scott. I think likely but, not a given. Also our F.O. has been very adverse to hiring coaches who want a lot of input on players. It was an issue when considering Phil Jackson to return. It was also an issue when they considered George Karl instead going with Scott. We saw the mess Karl made with Cousins trying to force a trade. Of course a coach should have some input but, with the Lakers it is more like accepting a suggestion.


  18. We do not know what goes on behind the scenes, so this is missing “context”. With regard to the trade deadline, we do not know if any deals were on the table or how aggressively the Lakers pursued them. We only know that no deals got done. Over the past few years, we were unable to deal Dwight before he walked, we were unable to get anything for Pau, nothing for Kaman, unable to dump Nick, unable to use Hibbert as a trade piece, and unable to trade Williams. If we were really tanking and just developing youngsters you would think we would have just auctioned off Williams to the highest bidder even if that was a second rounder right? However is that what we are doing? What we know is that we kept Williams, he takes playing time from youngsters and he hardly helps in player development being an iso offense – no defense guy. We know that Hibbert costs us a 2nd round pick and a ton of money, and yet we unable to use him in a deal. Meanwhile, I am not clear why we still have Nick Young (again takes time from youngsters). Actually – I am clear – nobody else wants him. So yes – we lack complete information, but we know for a fact that no deals are getting done, and the people we have signed recently have generated little interest from the rest of the league. Fill in any behinds the scene context you like, these are not good facts.


  19. Robert,

    And who makes the playing time decisions regarding Williams and Young? Your problem is that you critique others for the same failings you possess. You want to bark back against those who lash out at Byron while always pivoting to the FO/Jim to deliver your own lashings. Even when you discuss firing the coach it’s in the context of assigning blame to the FO for making another hiring mistake and relieving them of an “excuse” for how bad this team is.

    Take your comment above. You said “People like to bash Byron, because in a warped way it gives them hope. Some think that if we just change out Byron – all will be well.” But if we swap “Byron” with “Jim” that is basically a perfect representation of your contributions to this board on a daily basis. Pot, meet kettle, personified.

    As I have said many times, all situations deserve context. Byron’s failings, the front office’s failings, the players’ failings, all of it. Those who ignore that context to hammer away at their desired whipping boy don’t deserve the time it takes to read their thoughts.


  20. Could have taken the Trailblazers approach. From an article on Trade Deadline Winners:

    Portland: Armed with more cap space than any other team in the league, as well as the ability to save money by taking on contracts because they were under the salary floor, the Blazers ended up with a first-rounder and second-rounder for their trouble. It was a sellers’ market for bad contracts this year, so Portland had to eat nearly $10 million in guaranteed salary for Varejao in 2016-17 to get that, but the Blazers still ended the day with more picks than when they started it.

    Sometimes you’ve got to be creative. The Jim/Mitch FO has been anything but that these last few years. I’m not surprised the Lakers stood pat. I am disappointed because there were teams willing to give up picks if we were willing to give up a portion of the cap space we have (and can’t possibly spend this summer).

    We need talent and picks are a good way to obtain controllable talent or use as sweetners is trades for pieces we do need. It’s just odd that so many players are allowed to walk without anything coming back (Howard/Meeks/Kamon/Pau) or contracts are designed so that the players are not tradeable (Davis/Hill/Bass). The only logical explanation is that the FO is obsessed with cap space for free agency– which as the last three years has proven to be a failed strategy.

    No, the Jim Buss regime is flawed. Changing coaches is not the cure. Jim and Mitch have got to go. They can’t hire a coach, they have no idea how to build a roster. Jim has always had a superstar to build around. Well, the Lakers don’t have a star now so Jim doesn’t know what to do, Chasing 30+ year old free agents is not the answer. Jeanie needs to bring on a GM that knows what he’s doing.


  21. Good post at 904 AM. That is also one thing that Ainge has done in Boston: take on bad contracts (Gerald Wallace) in order to get picks, etc.


  22. Darius: We are also missing “context” with regard to Byron (as you say all situations deserve context). Have there been discussions between him and the FO as to what he should be doing? Meaning is it simple – as in “try to win as many games as possible”. Or is it more like – “Byron – we want you to play the youngsters to develop them – even it means less wins”. Do we know? We only know that Byron plays vets more than most would like, so either the convo never took place or Byron is not following orders. The FO could solve all of this by not having the guys in question on the roster or by explicitly telling Byron what to do. In the absence of being told what to do, Byron should play Lou Williams a lot and give him the ball. He and Kobe are our best chances to win. And as I said in the post – we don’t know all the facts – we only know that no deals got done and that there is apparently little interest in our recent acquisitions, which does not bode well for the wisdom of those acquisitions/signings. By the way – I agree with your desired line up for the rest of the season. If I were Mitch/Jim (what a thought), I would tell Byron what I wanted him to do rather than leaving up to him to figure it out.


  23. We are confident in a FO that miss Howard, offered almost 30 million for Kobe, destroyed our picks until 2019 and trade this vets thinking of we are making the playoffs this year.

    Darius you really really want or you just in the hope of Byron’s promisses. He told before Christmas that he would’ve start Russell/Randle in the beginning of 2016. I don’t know what happens when the lights come out but all this scheme from FO, HC, Jim, Jeanie is lost and odd.

    In Kupchak interview I didn’t see him pushing over Byron for changes in the minutes of the kids and its strange that MK did not endorse Lakers HC performance therefore he didn’t criticize BS as well.

    Let’s finish this season ASAP and move on with a new mentality of what is modern basketball management, because, c’mon, try to figure out Byron’s modus operandi is the same thing of burn the bunker


  24. I am disappointed because there were teams willing to give up picks if we were willing to give up a portion of the cap space we have (and can’t possibly spend this summer).

    This is true, but with a caveat – the Blazers had the cap space right now to absorb Varejao’s deal without sending any salary back to the Cavs. That helped the Cavs shave their luxury tax bill AND acquire Channing Frye at the same time. The Lakers didn’t have the same ability to do that this season since they are up to the salary cap now. The Blazers were beneath the salary floor and used that to their advantage. Now, you can argue the Lakers *should have* been in a similar position as Portland, but that is a different argument and requires going back in time a bit to discuss other moves made that ate up that salary.

    What the Lakers could have done at the deadline is taken on future money in any deal, but they chose against that. Without knowing what those offers were — offers for Bass and Hibbert apparently came in that had future $ attached, but reports on those offers were slim on details — I cannot say if I would have done a deal or not.

    It seems the Lakers feel that they can do better in free agency this summer than what they could have done at the trade deadline in terms of talent acquisitions which impact future money owed. I’m guessing, if they wanted to, they could have sought out a deal like Detroit made for Tobias Harris and took on a talented player with future money owed. And maybe they did make those calls but couldn’t come to a deal. Again, a lot of unknowns.

    What we do know, however, is that Mitch again spoke about flexibility in the summer which is essentially coded language for them wanting to ramp up for free agency in July. That strategy has not been successful the last two seasons. We’ll see if that changes this year.


    • Darius-

      Great point about difference between Portland’s ability to absorb money THIS season vs Laker’s ability to do so for future picks.

      Also, question, has it been projected yet when the big jump in salary cap next season goes back down? And if so, is the dip back significant?

      Can a point be made that cost controlled salaries during the big salary cap years have declining marginal utility vs in a smaller salary cap?


  25. If we are realistic, no NBA team wants Hibbert or Young in their team, they are the garbage of one of the worst teams in the league.

    Bass is good, he was the only one with real posibilities of being traded. I like him but I prefer to develop Randle and Nance in PF position than Bass, so I think he has no space in next years team.

    I’m happy with Lou, he is a good rotation player and has a good contract. I consider him part of next years team.

    I agree with the article, right now is time to develop and figure out what our young guys are capable of. Clarkson, Randle, Russell and Nance have proved that are good enough for NBA and some of them can be all stars… so lets develop them, Byron has to give them playing time. I would love to see Clarkson and Russell sharing court time together. Brown, Black have to prove they belong to the NBA, but we have to give them a chance to do it, right now it’s the perfect time.

    Finally, I hate to say this but we really need to tank, there are 2 great prospects in next years draft that could add a lot of quality to our young team. I hope we have Ingram or Simmons next year so we can have a better chance of landing good FA’s.

    PD.. sorry for my english, it’s not my native languaje.


  26. Need Jeanne to act after season. No more Jim and Mitch and Byron and maybe hire Brooks as coach.


  27. Yeah, the problem with some of the anti-Byron rotation stuff is that the FO can, if they want to, simply give him directives on who to play and fire him and replace with Eyen, Pressey or Madsen if he refuses. The counter I suppose is that is not the Lakers’ MO; they are old-school and don’t interfere with the coach, etc. but the issue there is that if the team is doing things in a way that is leading to going 59-160 over 2.75 years and is also not maximizing young guys, then it might be time to change the MO.

    Also, I think most of the fanbase would have been happier if the FO had never added Hibbert, Williams and BB or re-signed Young, and had just made the theme for this season Kobe and Kids. Kobe plays his 28-32 when he can; almost every other minute of floor time goes to young guys. Celebrate the Past and Look Forward to the Future: the 2015-16 Lakers.

    Instead, they appear to have made another misguided effort to put together a lower-tier playoff team with guys on short and/or questionable deals.


  28. rr-

    Disagree about the fan see being happier if none of the vets got signed. Also disagree that it would have been better without those signings. By all accounts, they have been great mentors. If it was Just Kobe and the kids, with Kobe not being at practice often due to his health, it would have just been kids- we saw how that went for the sixers early this season. And generally, it’s good to have some balance in roster.


  29. By all accounts, they have been great mentors.

    Sorry, I agree with rr here. Many saw these moves not moving the needle — ESPN’s panel predicted the Lakers would win 25 games. The FO is delusional in thinking the team would knock on the playoff’s door.

    No need for more mentors – what are you paying Kobe 25 million for? Why have MWP on the roster?

    It was said in a thread previously that Jim’s desire is to get the Lakers back to respectability ASAP in an effort to get his sister off his back. The only way be knows how is by signing multiple max free agents. This will be the third year in a row we have played that game. All the while the product on the floor gets worse.


    • Anon-

      I recall the same in respect to the projections. But I’m part of the group of fans that believe we underachieved. Especially considering how there’s a bigger gap between top and bottom teams in the west this year. Most projected us to have better overall roster than Denver, Philly, Knicks, etc…and on par with Minn/Por/Mavs…

      While I love Kobe- He’s not exactly known for being the type of vet you need for team building… i.e. Patient motivator from the bench…$25M was likely a u deserve this payment.

      Hibbert has been great with the way he has stood up for the young players.

      One thing that hasn’t been brought up, having players that come from diverse/winning team settings ( Lou from TOR (Masai), Hibbert from IND (Vogel) and Bass from BOS(Stevens)) I think helps provide more POV and knowledge in the locker room. This sounds like a reach, I admit, and gives more credit to the FO than should be assigned. But I do believe there is an art, and should be premium on, building lockerrooms. Kerr and Amin elhassan from ESPN spoke of this more articulately in a podcast. If I find link, will post.


  30. Kimberly,

    I think you can make an argument for having a couple of mentor types around to help the young guys acclimate, but I am not seeing the argument for giving heavy minutes to veteran role players on a team that looked like the worst team in the conference in preseason and has in fact been even worse than expected.

    As to the fans, what I mostly hear is that people want to see the young guys and people want to tank for Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. And sure, some fans–mostly FO backers–were temporarily happy about the vet adds. But I don’t think Hibbert and Williams et al either got people genuinely excited or sold tickets, and they certainly have not added many if any wins. I think Kobe and the Kids could be 11-44 on their own.


    • rr-

      I was definitely NOT making any argument for greater minute allocation to vets. Merely responding to your assertion that most fans likely want only “Kobe and the kids” on roster.

      While I was not pro-tank in the beginning of the season, I am more so now. That said- I am also, have been since beginning, for the adding of vets. There can be a reasonable overlap for wanting both.

      What Philadelphia is doing now proves this somewhat- they added a few vets yet still play mainly then young guys.


    • rr-

      Sorry pls disregard any sharp tone that might have been reflected in my replies! Always mean to be cordial here.


  31. I wonder if the lakers are just getting freezed out of the trade market

    look at Pau before he left … still had a ton of value, had suitors even now 2 years later …. but when we tried to trade him we were being offered 2nd round picks and had to take money back … it’s like the entire league has decided to devalue laker players so that they could try and rip us off and Mitch isnt going down for that which is why we stood pat with Gasol and probably stood pat this year

    some guys like williams, hibbert, young even and bass could all have value on playoff teams looking at add punch … but nobody probably wanted to give up picks to do it … cleveland gave up a pick for fyre this year, 2 for mozgov last year and we couldnt get anything for gasol

    too me it smells like shenanigans by the league


  32. It seems the Lakers feel that they can do better in free agency this summer than what they could have done at the trade deadline in terms of talent acquisitions which impact future money owed.

    Regarding college basketball recruiting, it is said that the great coaches know who they can get and who they can’t. The point being that resources aren’t wasted on targets that will never come to fruition.

    I believe the same can be said of FOs and free agency. You’ve got to know who you can sign and who you can’t sign. There are resources and opportunity costs in play. Case in point, this summer KD, DeRozan, Horford and Whiteside are the prime un-restricted targets in a very slim free agent class.

    – KD is at a point in his career that he is focused on winning titles. He’s not going to spend the remaining four elite years on a team, like the Lakers that even with him is 2 + years away from making the playoffs in the West.

    – DeRozan made a very heartfelt statement in a recent interview that he is proud the Raptors are doing so well and that it is very gratifying to play a leading role on the team. Plus, the Raptors are in the East and stand a good chance to supplant the Cavs in that conference.

    – Horford is this year’s LA. You’d be paying future dollars for past performance. His stats are already slipping and he’s missed two of the last four years due to injury. If you’re spending $100 million over four years you better be getting a #1 option on the floor. Horford would be a 3rd option on the Lakers. Pass.

    – Whiteside is intriguing because he’s relatively young — 27 to start next year. However, there has been much discussion on the fact that the Heat have better defensive numbers when he’s not on the floor, that he has 15 assists all year and can’t shoot free throws. Plus, 20 teams will have 20+ million dollars to spend and 19 of them have better records and all of them have more talent than the Lakers.

    My point is that unless the Lakers are getting back channel communications that KD, DeRozan and Whiteside are all coming together then the FO is doing a dis-service to the organization by not exploring every avenue to acquire assets — including giving up some of that cap space for a 1st round pick.

    To your point, the Lakers made the decision to acquire Hibbert and he ate all of their remaining cap space. So a Varejao deal into existing cap room was not possible. Obviously, Hibbert was acquired because he had an expiring deal that could be moved — however, the rising cap made expiring deals less valuable — plus his performance made him a liability and not an asset. So the Hibbert deal was a fail.

    It’s just that this FO is constantly putting themselves in the wrong position to take advantage of market opportunities. Be it letting folks walk for nothing, designing contracts that are untradeable or obtaining expiring contracts when they are not a real asset.

    The Lakers are awful and need assets/talent yet the FO operates as if they are a top seed and won’t stoop to pick up a first round pick lying on the floor because they’d have to get their hands dirty by taking back someone like Varejoa.

    The Lakers are 11-44 for goodness sakes and we just stood pat at the trade deadline. What is this FO waiting for? We should be selling everything that’s older than 23 years old and stockpiling as many picks as possible. We should have been doing this for the last three years.

    Watch, this FO will claim victory for just getting meetings with these guys and spin losing them into, ‘we were so close to signing them.’


  33. The Blazers were beneath the salary floor and used that to their advantage. Now, you can argue the Lakers *should have* been in a similar position as Portland, but that is a different argument and requires going back in time a bit to discuss other moves made that ate up that salary.

    The few people who have talked about the need to reach the salary floor should make sure to check this out from DS. I pointed out weeks ago that a team needs to be at floor by the end of the year, so not hitting the floor can actually be a tactical advantage.


  34. I disagree with the premise that Free Agency is like College Recruiting. Any team in the league would love to be in the Lakers’ position of getting meetings with almost every elite free agent who hits the market. I remember during Dwight’s free agency year and he met with the Warriors, there was commentary nationally that it was a “big deal” that the Warriors were one of the teams who got a meeting with him. It was a signal they had “arrived” as a team worth watching moving forward. The Lakers are afforded these meetings every season, even when they are awful. They should take these meetings, even if only for information gathering purposes. Again, other teams would kill to get in the room with these guys.

    I’m all for managing resources better. But I don’t think this FO can be painted with a broad brush of not taking advantage of market opportunities. Taking on Jeremy Lin’s contract netted them the pick which became Larry Nance. Using their financial resources and working the phones netted them the rights to Jordan Clarkson.

    Regarding getting value for outgoing assets, I always point to the fact it takes two teams to make a deal and building trades can be much more complicated than simply plugging guys into ESPN’s Trade Machine and getting a “this trade was successful” banner after hitting submit. There are typically dozens upon dozens of factors being considered all the time, many of them based on information we will never have access to. This is the same reasoning I have used to not go all in on Byron Scott when so many other writers have chosen to — there simply is information we do not have. It’s always better to admit what you do not know than to act like you do know when there really is uncertainty.

    Also, I’m not on board with a team building strategy that is all young players all the time. That’s how you end up with what’s going on in Philly. At some point you add key veteran players to a roster to help shape the young talent you have on board. If fans want to disagree with the Lakers approach here, that’s fine, but there’s more than one way to build a winning team and it’s better to have an open mind to various strategies than to close potential avenues off.

    From everything I have read (and heard behind the scenes) the Lakers have been doing due diligence. We’ll see if the path they are on now yields good results. I think it’s fair to doubt it will, just as I think it’s fair to think it works. Time will tell.


  35. Last 2 years lakers have made offseason trades. Lin and hibbert, acquiring players that were dumped by their teams, both these deals happened cuz the lakers waited on top free agents irresponsibly, plus they had limited cap room, worse case this offseason, they would believe they can get 2 top free agents, wait and land neither one. ……


  36. Maybe blazers will amnesty varajao and we can pick him up…. you know resurrect his career like we did with hibbert


  37. The Lakers are afforded these meetings every season, even when they are awful.

    Agents know that its often not the free agent you’re repping now that counts its the one further down the road. If getting an elite in front of the Lakers now helps grease the skids for the Lakers to sign player X next summer so be it. It’s part of the game.

    Plus, what greater leverage for an agent than to tell Team X that ‘the Lakers are interested in my client as well — max your offer and he’ll sign here instead.’

    We’ll see how this plays out. But if the Lakers go a third consecutive summer tying future success to signing multiple elites then strike out yet again — then its symptomatic of a failed strategy and an indictment of the FO that implemented it.


  38. It’s always better to admit what you do not know than to act like you do know when there really is uncertainty.

    Jim Buss said, “The Lakers are awful again. And I do not know why.”


  39. The main problem i have with the coach is, it’s like he doesn’t know his players, he just expects them to do what they are told, players have strengths and weaknesses, you can develop them, but it’s the coaches job to know what they are capable of, and it’s like this coach doesn’t care who you are just do your job. Again he doesn’t know his players and it’s like he doesn’t want to know them.


  40. I’m not going to go back and forth on this, but to say “Agents know that its often not the free agent you’re repping now that counts its the one further down the road. If getting an elite in front of the Lakers now helps grease the skids for the Lakers to sign player X next summer so be it. It’s part of the game.” without acknowledging this is a two way street is humorous to me.

    Why would someone think the Lakers aren’t using these meetings for multiple reasons as well? Yes, the primary goal is to sign the player you are meeting with. But keeping up good relations with agents (something a team like Philly has been accused of not doing recently), gathering information on players who teams cannot legally speak with from the time they are drafted until they are free agents, and/or any other number of strategic or tactical reasons is something every team who gets these meetings is doing.

    To think otherwise reflects on a person not seeing (or acknowledging) the entire board, speaks to a bias being held for some reason or another against those hosting the meeting, or is just a product of being uninformed on a topic.

    Like I said, I’m not going to go back and forth on this, but not every angle needs to be spoken of from an anti-FO stance just like not every angle needs to be spoken of as anti-Byron, anti-Kobe, etc. When that occurs, you’re telling on yourself.


  41. The comment above can be viewed as speculation, but when your young players get torched by okc and your response is they played like they were scared, it is an indication that you got no relationship with these guys, of course westbrook is gonna clown russell or clarkson he does that to veterans, I’m saying this again byron treated lin the same way last year, common man that’s your player, get to know him, build a relationship with him, don’t isolate him and down him cuz he can’t play like you want, a coach should have the players interest in mind, he should serving the players, he should serve them, with some discpline to improve them.


  42. Darius, good point. Most players have the same agents.


  43. I’ve been frequently looking at mock drafts players outside of the top 4 are moving up and down constantly, also i saw a comment that boston might almost be forced to trade a pick away. Too many players.


  44. I read this blog regularly and it seems there is a divide between:
    1) Those see the problem being Byron as coach and replacing him will be the right cure
    2) Those that see the FO as being to blame and the solution is new leadership
    3) The FO is doing the best they can under the circumstances and eventually they will hit upon an approach that works — but they just need more time.

    Seems to me that only Jeanie can answer these questions. She’s the only one that has access to the real facts on what Jim/Mitch have promised and whether their public statements about the playoffs were honest or marketing spin for the masses.

    For all we know Jim and Mitch told her three years ago that the only way back to the top was to lose a lot of games and get some really good young talent. If she believed the only way back was this painful road and gave her approval to the plan then her public statements about being upset with the FO may be marketing spin as well.

    Again, the plan may also have included half hearted efforts to sign elite free agents knowing that the true goal was to lose and get draft picks. Maybe all this financial flexibility is really being saved for the truckload of elites hitting the market in 2017.

    Bottom line is we don’t know what the truth is. I can tell you that the Lakers were bankrupt from a talent level when Howard walked. Kobe was injured and Pau was an expiring deal. There was nothing else.

    If someone came to me at that time and asked how I would fix the Lakers, I would have said the easiest and best way back is to secure young controllable assets, like draft picks. I then would have said save your money until your kids are good enough to attract real talent. Signing good players prior to that only makes you better than you need to be and you need to be bad for awhile.

    So, a four year plan that focused on losing a lot of games in order to draft good young talent and not spending money until the summer of 2017 would be the plan I chose. Whose to say that Jeanie/Jim/Mitch didn’t agree to the same thing. And everything else we see out of the Lakers is marketing and mis-direction.

    We may be witnessing a perfectly executed rebuilding plan right before our eyes.


    • Keith-

      I can’t help but think something similar. This is again, us both giving a TON of credit to the FO, and you to Jeanie.


  45. We may be witnessing a perfectly executed rebuilding plan right before our eyes.

    Thank goodness! There was a plan all along!


  46. Keith,

    Again, the problem with that is that the FO tried to sign Pau, Melo and LMA and made fairly long commitments to Williams and Young.

    If the defenses of the FO are getting meetings with guys who don’t sign here and would have been questionable acquisitons and conspiracy theories then people should go back to the veto and the CBA.


    • rr-

      Don’t think Lou’s or Nick’s contract, 6M and 5M respectively, each with 2 more years after this season, which will both have a 95M+ salcap, are unreasonable in either a tank or no tank situation.


  47. Sometimes I wonder (this is very optimistic on my part) if the last few attempts by the FO to go after Major FAs have been more for show than a sincere attempt to sign (post Dwight).

    I think this especially since:
    1. Jeanie has made it clear what she thought of tanking.

    2. Isn’t it better for rebuilding/contending for our team to NOT have lamarcus aldridge as a key cog? Plus, Seems silly that FO wouldn’t know to talk Bball more than marketing strategies, plus Byron (tank master) was invited…PLUS it seems reasonable that LMA, at his age, was likely to choose a potential contender if he left POR.

    3. The FO “went after” Greg Monroe…but didn’t offer him a max or gave him a shorter deal than expected.

    It seems like the whole FA chase post-Dwight has been more for show. Stealth-tank conspiracy.

    Sorry if this sound off tangent. But since the whole “torn over Byron” thing came up… Can’t help but hope this has all been a masterfully planned stealth tank.


  48. Keith i said the same thing 3 monthes ago


  49. Kimberly,

    Always glad to see you here.


  50. Sorry Keith. That was my snarky comment at 2:26.


  51. Kimberly,

    Young’s deal is far too long and Williams’ is questionable. For the record, I have not given up on the Jim Buss FO. But they need better results, optics and coherence.


    • rr-

      Have to disagree about both- in the sense that j think both can be considered reasonable.

      With respect to Young’s contract- it was given to him after a great season under d’antoni- and before that- a great playoff performance with the clippers. He was also known as a great teammate and player to coach (says his for coaches like d’antoni and vinny deal negro) $5M per year has been and is currently below the league avg vet salary. This was given at a time when he was playing as a potential 6man and under 30 years old. Not a bad contract, and in hindsight still potentially good if we switch coaches, and because $5M will represent only 5-6% of next years salary cap.

      I really do think we don’t emphasize enough of the effect Byron’s coaching (his poor communication, tendency to talk down to players, lack of x/o, in game management)- as well as below avg roster has on each players performance.


  52. Kim, totally agree, during melo I’m like ok if you get him it’s him kobe and what no more cap, during LA radio personalities sounded all excited, most of us were telling ourself he ain’t coming here, not with kobe at 25 mil.
    Kobe is worth it, no one plays like that now, closest is westbrook, but when they signed kobe that deal they were locked in on losing
    Thats why it was either big time player or bust


  53. Actually i should say they were hoping to get those guys


    • Matt-

      Yea. Think attempts for both Melo (and Pau) were made same time as the attempt for Dwight. Which was before the Byron hire.


  54. What really bugs me?
    People being so crazy for Jeannie Buss
    Name one thing you can credit HER for?
    Jusy one?
    Time Warner was Jerry’s attorneys.
    Players were GM
    Coaches she tried to push Phil again.
    Other then hanging out with Linda Rambis for 10 years why does she get a pass?
    Did she stop them from firing long time scouts?
    Hiring bad coaches?
    Allow Jim to hire his bartender?

    Two things she did push was the $50 million contract for a injured Kobe and that embarrassing “We love you Dwight” sign on the WALL.

    Not going to mention the Phil wife when he he was hired situation. Try reading the now ex-wife’s version.

    Yet she gets a pass because she is nice?


  55. You can tell we are deperate and sinking team, if we were winning, and Phil was still here and we had a player like Russell, the fans would be calling him a petulant head case, and Phil would be killing him in the media.

    But since we suck, and we really need Russell to be good, we are going to blame the coach.

    If there is a god, please let Thibs, be the next coach. Please, please, please.