In his latest post, Darius focused on one of the Lakers’ new assistant coaches, Steve Clifford, and the potential impact on the team’s defensive mindset. Change continues to be a large part of the evolving story. Former lead assistant John Kuester has been reassigned to scouting, putting another piece of the puzzle into place. News updates on Dwight Howard’s rehab have also been front and center, giving some positive indicators on his progress since having back surgery. And as we enter the endgame of a national election cycle, I can’t help but think of parallels in sports, media and all else. There’s always a spin, no matter which side you’re on.
Ben Golliver at Eye On Basketball, uses the Mark Cuban remarks as a framing device for a larger chemistry conversation.
Kevin Ding at the OC Register brings the news of Dwight Howard’s first team training session.
Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers provides an overlook for coaching changes that are no less aggressive in nature than the summer roster shakeup.
Lisa Dillman at the L.A. Times reports on the Lakers and social media wars.
At some point, the Lakers conversation always seems to come around to money. A recent article in Businessweek shows how the money is spent, and actually spent smartly.
The Lakers have a crowded roster heading toward training camp. Ryan Ward at Lakers Nation looks into the rumor that Leandro Barbosa may still be in the mix.
With all the talk about the run-up to the NBA season, Jordan White at Hardwood Paroxysm discusses the ABL with fellow staffer Amin Vafa.
Perception is in the eye of the beholder as the old saying goes. Whether in sports, politics or personal conversation, our inner dialogue colors all that we see and hear. Or as John Lennon said, “The more I see, the less I know for sure.” Training camp is a little more than two weeks away. And with it some answers, and inevitably, more questions.
– Dave Murphy
I’m so glad DH has worked with Vitti and Seto. Two of the best in the business. The fact he worked out is a good sign and Ding sounds optomistic. Ding is always money.
Lakers play Dallas the first game of the season. Cuban needs to put a muzzle on it and let his players do the talking. Just watched that clip on the right. Skip Bayless tries so hard to create a storyline I stopped watching him the day after LeBron won and he still couldn’t give him credit. His credibility is shot once Tiger wins and Tebow flops those rating will drop.
Barbosa would be an upgrade over our backup PG. But too much would have to happen for him to get a spot. Possible buyout Blake and release Duhon. I don’t see him on the Lakers unless they release 2 or 3 of the 5 PGs they already have. I’ll never put anything past Mitch but Barbosa may have just been trying to create a market for himself.
Barbosa is no longer the super quick athletic PG he was in his prime. But as always it’s about the best options and Barbosa is far and away in a different league than Blake/Duhon. He also is a career 39 percent three point shooter and is younger than both at 29. I would have Morris and Barbosa battle it out for the number two PG spot.
Cuban’s logic is pretty hilarious: if the Lakers lose then he was right in blowing up a championship team.
Expressio logicus rationalizationus.
chris h says
does anyone know if or how we can get to watch Laker games on TV this year? I have direct TV, will it be a new channel? or will Time-Warner cut deals with channels like Prime Ticket and KCAL?
does anyone know what’s happening on this?
I would love to get both Barbosa and to bring Barnes back.
I would be much happier knowing that we have proven hungry veterans on the bench as opposed to players with question marks in Meeks, Ebanks, Blake, Duhon and Clark.
If these guys bring it it would be great but if 1 or 2 of them are weak overall our reserves will suffer.
Craig W. says
While we fans are always about this season, the front office must also consider the future. If we are successful at getting under the luxury tax in 2014-15, we will have a much harder time going above it in the future. For that reason alone, we should probably plan to develop some younger players during our ‘runs for the rings’ the next two years.
Mitch has to be very careful and keep some young players both in the backcourt and the frontcourt. This argues against both Barnes and Barbosa replacing these players.
WoW, Barnes signing with the CLips?
This season, the Battle of LA is going to be a BRAWL. Barnes head-to-head again against Kobe, Odom against his former team, former 6th man Crawford against Jamison, Nash vs CP3.
Dave M. says
@Craig W – couldn’t agree more.
Warren Wee Lim says
For all the down times of the off-season, its time to hit the treadmill. Shave off those extra pounds and lets get into basketball shape come October.
The Lakers have hit the ball out of the park this off-season, twice! 1st of all, the unexpected Nash signing, which we have Mark Cuban to thank for that, and of course, the much-anticipated and long-overdue conclusion of the Dwightmare, ending up in happily ever after in LA. But I would like us to try to delve in further in the “other” moves that were not breaking news in nature that would matter alot in bringing forth success.
First, the realization that Kobe is no longer Kobe of 2007 has to be considered. With only himself as the obstacle, [b]putting Kobe at SF[/b] would be a very wise move to make at stretches of the game.
Second, the need for the bench to play quality minutes because we’re an old team.
Third, that the Lakers need to make this about a team effort, a championship for Nash and Dwight, as the main objective.
@4, chris h. I have AT&T U-verse and for now there is no deal for me to be able to watch the Lakers in LA with them, ugh. This must be a cruel joke or something.
Even before the Lakers signed Steve Nash, they were clearly rethinking the role of a pg on the Laker team. Mostly, they’ve had three on their roster, but regularly play only two.
This year, they’ve already got 6–with three experienced veterans and three rookies or near rookies. What’s going on?
If we follow the money, the three players should be Nash, Blake, and Duhon, with the other three either cut or in D league–but nothing really fits.
Neither Duhon nor Blake have the kind of assist record to continue Steve Nash’s style of leadership with the second unit. Darius Morris had a college assist record that would make him an ideal apprentice to Nash–but the Lakers expect to win now. Neither of the other newcomers look even like long term backups to Steve Nash.
Leandro Barbosa has been suggested to the Lakers, but he’s not really an assist man–he’s a shooter.
What would be ideal would be to find a savvy PG that can really shoot and provide Steve Nash style assists in a backup role. Enter Jose Calderon. He fits.
Can the Lakers somehow replace Duhon and Blake with Calderon, with Morris as the apprentice?
It’s more possible than you might think!
Craig W. says
See my comment at #7 above. We are not likely going to ‘gut’ our youngsters just to add another backup to our roster. “All in this year” does not mean to ignore the future entirely.
Also, with an old team we need to develop young legs talent for the dog days of the season.
I didn’t want to mention it at the possibility of getting moderated but I think Calderon as a trade deadline buy-out will be a real possibility due to his links with Pau.
Calderon would give us arguably the best backup PG in the league, great 3point shooter and amazing turnover to assist ratio.
Much better than blake,duhon or morris.
Darius Soriano says
Not to be a wet blanket but any mid-season acquisition via a buyout (Calderon or otherwise) will have several variables attached:
*The Lakers used part of their mini-mid level exception to sign Jodie Meeks. They’ll only have the remaining part of that exception (roughly 1.6 million) or the veteran’s minimum to sign any free agent during the season.
*The Lakers currently have 14 players under contract going into next season. Only one of those contracts — Goudelock’s — is not guaranteed. The Lakers typically carry only 14 players and that may be the case next season as well. But, when you consider that neither of the draft picks are signed either, the Lakers could easily keep 15 players on their roster next season simply because they like some of their young players (who are also cheap).
*The Lakers already have 4 PG’s on their roster (Nash, Blake, Duhon, Morris; and 5 if you count Goudelock). That’s a lot of roster spots assigned to one position and, maybe just as important, a lot of salary. Combined, those 4 players make about 16.7 million dollars next year. The FO already bristled last season when they were going to pay 3 PG’s around 12 million (after the Sessions trade) and cited salary concerns as a reason for trading Fisher. Adding a 5th PG at any price may not be something the Lakers want to do, especially when they’re already at a $100 million payroll before the luxury tax.
So, while there’s an opinion that getting Calderon (specifically) is “more possible than you think”, we’re a long way off from that simply off questions from the Lakers’ end, much less the fact that he’s still under contract with the Raptors.
Darius Soriano says
#16. I should clarify. Sacre’s contract isn’t guaranteed. So, in that sense, his deal is like Goudelock’s. Reeves Nelson and Greg Somogyi have also been signed to “make good” contracts that are essentially just training camp invites for a chance to make the team.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.