The Lakers play the Suns at home this evening, but all their moves aren’t on the court this Sunday. In a bit of a surprise, the Lakers have made two roster moves:
And Lakers have claimed Tarik Black off waivers
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 28, 2014
Lakers did not have an open roster spot for Tarik Black but created one by simultaneously waiving Xavier Henry
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 28, 2014
Releasing Henry is really the no-brainer move here as he’s done for the season after tearing his achilles tendon earlier this month. Henry’s contract was fully guaranteed so he will take his salary and rehab in the hopes of making a strong comeback next season. I wish Henry nothing but the best in his endeavors, though it will surely be an uphill climb for him. Last season under Mike D’Antoni, Henry showed that he has an NBA skill set, flashing an ability to hit the long ball while also getting to the basket regularly. If he can ever find a way to make a higher percentage at the foul line and not have so much tunnel vision once he beats the first defender off the dribble, he can take the next step as an offensive player. Of course, all that comes secondary to simply getting healthy — something that, sadly, has been an all to frequent theme for the former Jayhawk.
As for Black, the rookie big man was released by the Rockets who needed a roster spot to sign Josh Smith after the latter was released by the Pistons. This enabled the Lakers to pick him up for nothing but the commitment of paying his salary. The 6’11”, 250 pound Black has flashed some talent as a reserve big man, getting most of his minutes at center when Dwight Howard sat out due to knee problems. So far this season, he’s averaged four points and five rebounds on 54% shooting in 15 minutes a night.
As you can see from his shot chart, Black is mostly a player who stays around the rim offensively and doesn’t seem to step outside of his comfort zone at all. Based on the Rockets’ offensive approach, Black likely gets most of his baskets off dump-offs or as the roll man out of the P&R as evidenced by the fact that nearly 69% of his shots are assisted. His hovering around the rim also contributes to his very good 16.7% offensive rebounding rate (for comparison, Ed Davis’ ORR is 13.3 this season).
Where Black fits into the rotation now remains to be seen. Right now Davis, Hill, and Boozer are the team’s best big men and Robert Sacre has earned the coach’s trust and plays solid minutes as the team’s 3rd Center. With Ryan Kelly reportedly nearing a return (he is targeting next Friday), the front court rotation is already set to get more crowded. So, Black will either displace a current rotation player (Sacre?) or languish on the bench. Unless, of course, a trade is made to remove one of the team’s big men.
I’m not one to speculate, but moving one of the team’s bigs would not be a surprise to me. While Black isn’t really the type of player you sign to throw into the lineup right away, he is a player who should probably play to see what you have in him and right now those minutes simply do not exist. We’ll see, however, what the team decides to do. In any event, they have added an interesting piece to the roster who should get a chance to show whether he is worth an investment beyond this season.
Calvin Chang says
Tarik Black is very similar to Chuck Hayes, Reggie Evans, even Ed Davis – dirty-work type of role players. Good to have those guys on your team.
Hmm, does this lead to speculation that come January they will be looking to move Jordan Hill? Sacre certainly has done pretty well as a 2nd string guy and seems to be pretty skillful for a 7 fotter. But either way, doesn’t hurt to have another able body. Went most of the season with 4-5 guys on the roster being injured or out for the season certainly isn’t helpful.
Kobe should understand that lakers is bigger than him.If kobe play team basketball and play defense, lakers will be OK. I am a lakers fan. The truth is bitter someone have to say thanks guys. .
It’s quite probable that Kobe is a bigger Laker fan than any of us.
As to Tarik Black, let’s see what you got. Good luck Xavier in your rehabilitation.
Calvin Chang says
Come to think of it – Tarik Black reminds me of a young Ben Wallace. (before he became champion Ben Wallace) 6 ft 9 hard worker.
Kobe Alert: During tonight’s game it is quite possible that Kobe will attempt his 25,000th FG attempt. This is an accomplishment that both Kobe fans and haters can enjoy. I mean seriously – 25,000 times we have enjoyed Kobe launching an attempt at the basket. I am proud to say that I have witnessed many of them and relished in all that I witnessed (well maybe I did not enjoy some of those air balls in the late 90’s but other than that). Only 2 others have taken as many shots. Look for HA to write an article referencing this, and posters here to link it : ) Kobes is now within 50 FGs of catching Shaq for 5th in that category and 5 three pointers to catch Nash for 12th there. He needs 9 more defensive rebounds to move by Dale Davis for 53rd. Tyson Chandler is also gaining on Kobes from behind in the category, but all in all, Kobe could be top 50 in defensive rebounds before too long. His combo of rank in scoring, rebounds, and dimes will be unmatched by anyone.. Kobe needs 4,563 points to follow MJ’s instructions to “Go get Karl”.
Calvin C – What’s the real height of Tariq Black? On ESPN reference, he is 6’11” while on the college draft express only 6’9″. I think the purpose in getting him is to move Hill to PF while he takes C. Basically, a big body in the post for rebound purposes.
Calvin Chang says
I think he’s really 6 ft 9, with a buffed, wide frame that makes him look taller than he really is. But he’s more like 6 ft 9. Sacre would be an inch or so taller than him.
BCS: I will prepare a future Kobe Alert comparing the “top” players in multiple categories so we can see how Kobes stacks up against the all time greats. After reading my future alert, you might even move Kobe up to be in your top 7 Lakers of all time : ) You are right about this board. Thanks to Darius for presiding over this diverse group of posters for the best Laker convo on the net.
Calvin: I like your posts. As to your question. I despise the Spurs (have you been reading?). I hate the Celtics too. In the 80’s, the Lakers were the showboat team and the Celtics “played the right way”. Enter the 2000’s it is the same thing for Lakers vs Spurs. Kobe and Shaq were prima donna super stars and the Spurs play the right way. Fortunately in both cases we enjoyed a lot of Laker victories over these teams who “played the right way”. So yes – the mention of Celtics or Spurs playing the right way makes my stomach turn. To give you a point of reference – in my playing days – I was a trash talking, tall swing man. I was hard to play with – but harder to play against : )
Rob W: “04 Pistons or the Popovich Spurs” That is just it. We have never won that way. And I am not on the edge of my seat for us to win that way. We need a new superstar ready to inherit the mantle. A new number to put on the wall. Our team, and our history is not set up like the 04 Pistons or the 14 Spurs. And please do not get frustrated with me : ) Championships are my paramount objective. Give me a path to that and I am there. In the meantime – Kobe is my entertainment. I think you are new. Go back in the archives. You are reading a new version of me where I have become “Comfortably Numb” (Purple – sorry have not thrown any rock references in recently – but there you go).
Somebody in the front court will likely get moved and i wouldnt be surprised if the cavs were the team involved since they lost varejo …… hopefully we can suck as many picks out of them as possible for being douches when it came to the cp3 trade
Kobe doing one of those no shots things. Ok so far.
Kevin T says
Ko, already. Wow
I look for hill to get traded and lin
Rob Westbrook says
Everyone admits we’re not winning a championship until Kobe retires; may not even make the playoffs unless we get lucky next summer. So in the meantime, we’re gonna lose a lot of games. It sounds like you’d rather watch old Kobe chuck against double teams, make a couple crazy shots but otherwise shoot ~40%, than to have him play a team game with lower usage rate and 20 or fewer shots/game. Thing is, we may get more wins with Kobe playing the team game and limiting his minutes and shots. Meaningless wins since we’re done in April, to be sure. But I’d rather have a W than an L, even if it means Kobe doesn’t avg 25+ PPG on 37% shooting.
The reason I talk with respect about the Spurs and Pop is that, even though they’ve been our rivals during the Kobe/Duncan era, Pop would NEVER allow Kobe to do what he’s done lately. Byron thinks Lakers are better with Kobe on the floor. Pop would say, depends on which Kobe. Ballhog chucking Kobe who calls out his teammates even though they have better FG% than him would get put in his place real quick.. Hopefully Byron has now seen the light, cuz we might as well have not even had a coach the last 30 games.
Great game so far with Kobe playing the team game, 1-1 for 2 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast. Too bad it’s in 11 min. What happened to limiting his minutes to 30 or less? At this rate, he only has 19 more for the rest of the game…
Kevin T says
Kobe should have been subbed out the time out before, when he had played a little over 7 minutes. This coach is starting to frustrate me.
Kevin relax it was meant as a good thing. They are moving the ball. Please try not to over think. I can hardly read my own mind.
Nick Young on fire from 3 point range, 4-4 so far.
Rob W: You are correct. “It sounds like you’d rather watch old Kobe ” Not just old Kobe. Any Kobe. I fly across the country to see this guy (literally). Turn around, double team fade-aways are better than sex. Got it? : ) And I have “respect” for the Spurs as well. I still despise them.
karen: so you are looking for a full tank? I would not mind this, but I do not think Kobe would like it.
Hill been bad for the last 5 games shooting. Might be time to bring in bench. Fast!
Is there a PG in NBA Lin can stay in front of?
Seems like this team needs a real NBA PG and SF instead of another big who shoots from 2 feet on in.
Odd hope it’s a trade to come.
Good Luck to Xavier and welcome to the team Black.
@Robert, The Lakers are crowded at PF and where they actually have what you might call a glut of talent. If the Lakers could get equal value at another position like SF, PG or C the overall effect would probably be an upgrade. Picking up Black seems to suggest there is a likely possibility the Lakers plan to move at least one of their big men.
And Wes takes that shot before that last sad TO. Not a well coached game at the end. Who was going to play D at the end?
Vasheed: Did you just use the term “glut of talent”? : ) I understand your point though.
All: Please reference my earlier stats, where we win 1 out of every 3 games. Many of you got your wish – good Kobe ! So we are 0-1 with good Kobe. Not to fear – I am thinking we would win 1 out of every 3 with good Kobe as well.
Calvin Chang says
Jeremy’s gotta play better defense. He’s so used to the Rockets scheme of defending the high pick and roll – funneling the penetration to Dwight or Omer for rejection. That’s a bad habit. Lakers have no pure big center to protect the rim. So he has to take a better responsibility of disrupting his man. He is capable when he plays with a sense of urgency. But its missing half of the time.
Calvin Chang says
Kobe has to get the ball in the mid post. From top of the key iso, he has lost his speed to penetrate so oftentimes, he ends up taking a contested long two – a low percentage shot. When Kobe’s between 15 to 17 feet freethrow-line distance, his jumper is money and he can shoot over the defender. But oftentimes, he’s shooting contested 20 footers which is what opponents want him to take. It’s a low percentage, difficult shot.
Rob Westbrook says
What is up with these 3rd quarters?! Really fun game til the Suns got hot.
Kobe shot 4-10, better % than his season avg. I’d be ok with like 18 fga, but you’d better believe it I don’t want him gunning for 25-37 a game. Loved his team ball and rebounding; we’re a better team when he hits the glass instead of trying to cherry pick for early post up position. The 5 TOs hurt, and his -9 was second worst on the team. I just don’t know how you help those tired legs that have seen almost 47k minutes (and coming back from the injuries) guard these young guys..
I guess it goes back to the first week of the season. Doesn’t matter if Kobe takes 10 or 40 shots a night; it’s the defense that reeks. 107 points would get it done if we’d guarded Dragic and Bledsoe, but we are last in the league allowing 109 ppg. I’d still rather Kobe play team ball and get everyone involved, but even with Lin, Young, and Johnson having excellent offensive games tonight, we still couldn’t outscore them.
Unfortunate that Kobe took all of Clarkson’s minutes.. Would like to see us develop the kid more, especially since he gives us 3P% (5-11), steals, and good rebound rate for his position. Defensive stats are decent.
Calvin – Exactly what I’ve been thinking about Lin’s D. He’s clearly used to the Houston scheme. He needs to act like it’s Amare behind him.
Alright, alright, alright…
I’m getting a good feeling about Tarik Black. For starters, he’s extremely young since he’s a rookie. We complain a lot about not having any picks. Tarik may not have been a top 10 prospect, but he’s still a rookie, and this means he’s got potential. If Black turns out to be a keeper then we’ll have Julius and Tarik next year. Add Ed Davis to this front court and it sounds like it has some potential. I read somewhere that he communicates well on defense, he’s a talker on D. This is what this team is lacking. I like this addition. I hope he gets playing time.
This points to the FO trying to make moves. Their recent attempt to land Rondo also points to this. I hope there’s a move soon.
Hill is over rated. He had so many opportunities to score as kobe set him up but missed on short stuff over and over till scott finally pulled him. I think he will get traded. I read there were a couple winning teams with injuries needing a big man who may trade for him
-Personnel moves have begun. And I’m pleased. Agree it appears more moves are on the way.
-Rob, I actually responded to your recent Kobe alert on the previous post pertaining to career defensive rebs & career assist. May still be in review.
-Wishing Xaiver well in his attempt to get back on the court next season.
-Nuggets tomorrow is a very winnable game…even in Denver.
I liked Lin’s defense in the second half. Thomas made a few shots in the first half, but only scored 15. Last time the teams met he scored twice that. The pick and roll defense could be better, but honestly you guys are worried about giving up driving lanes, while the Suns were shooting better from outside than inside (on half-court possessions). We saw the defense you suggested in the highlight reels, lol.
As for scoring, I’m surprised the Lakers didn’t run any PnR plays for Lin. Young had the hot hand in the first half off of creating for himself, mostly … but should he really have to? It seemed like a poor plan: giving it to him early in the possession. Lin with 2 assists is kind of puzzling.
I like the addition of Tarik Black very much. The times I’ve seen him play, he’s impressed me as a high energy player with a nose for the ball. Plus he’s a big, wide body who has the potential to be an enforcer type.
I can’t understand why Coach Scott plays Kobe so long in the first period. Let KB start the first 6 minutes and then let Swaggy and Boozer shoulder the scoring load until the middle of the second.
Playing Kobe for approx. 7 minutes in the first and fourth and 8 in the middle 2 periods adds up to 30. Very reasonable.
Calvin Chang says
@Quin: That’s what is frustrating – Jeremy’s capable of playing better defense if he plays with a sense of urgency. In the second half, he was able to follow Thomas and Bledsoe in the penetration and get a block. But in the first half, he was letting them drive to the hoop off the high PNR, expecting the big to protect the rim. There is no big to protect the rim in LA, so it’s a layup drill. Lakers ran a few PNR plays for Lin with Boozer, but defense was loading up in the middle. That’s why it is important to have 3pt shooters in the right spots to kick it out.
Calvin Chang says
It’s frustrating to see Wes Johnson take a dribble and shoot a contested 20-footer. That’s probably a 20% shot. Byron should drill it to Wes: specialize in corner 3’s and freethrow-line jumpers from cuts. Do not take any contested long 2s. And when guarded by Dragic, post him up.
Did he just say unfortunate KOBE took Clarkson’s minutes?!!! How disrespectful. Basketball Greats must be turning in their graves after that absurd comment. I know one thing I don’t pay for NBA LEAUGE pass to see Kobe play anything less than 25 mins per game (resting only awaiting a real team). I’m HONORED to see him on the court at all! Kobe is Legend & when a legend even touches the ball we ought to be thrilled. Just my 2
Well, Black’s signing does seem to indicate that a move involving a front court player is looming. Let’s hope that if there is a deal the Lakers come away with either a young asset or a pick.
I can tell, by reading here that there are many camps/points of view. I tend to be pretty pragmatic. The Lakers, as currently constrcuted, will not make the playoffs. However, they have just the talent to win more than enough games to lose their top 5 pick.
To me there’s no sense in that. There are many moral victories in life. In this instance I don’t see winning enough to lose the pick to be of any value. So if it was up to me I’d make every move that made us wose this year but laid the possibility for better things in the future. And for this team the future is 2 – 3 years away.
With the West so loaded it makes no sense to me to try and develop a team that has a two or three yerar window. The Lakers flirtation with Carmelo and the desire to acquire Rondo buys the Lakers nothing. These players are 30 years old have had injuries (Rondo) or are showing signs of breaking down (Carmelo).
Hopefully, what we are going through with Kobe (its not just the age its the miles) will have a sobering effect on the FO. Yes, we need to get better but we also need to get younger.
Warren Wee Lim says
This might be the year I don’t break the ESPN trade machine. Or maybe not.
Talking about roster specifics, needs moving forward and etc. I see 2 Laker fixed points: Kobe Bryant and Nick Young. Kobe, atleast until his contract is up, is a fixed point. No questions asked. He can adjust, he can be asked to adjust, but he’s a fixed point. Nick Young, based on the contract we gave him and his play, is a fixed point. 5M per year at 22ppg per 36 is great value. Sure he only gives 3+ rebs and 1.2 dimes but hey, he’s a scorer. You need one.
The next thing you’d need to look at is Randle, and what he’d be able to give us. It sucks that we can’t enjoy his development for atleast 300 more days but I think he stays put unless we land an absolute star – and mind you not many are available that an injured Randle can fetch.
Ed Davis is surely opting out of his contract and signing a MLE contract somewhere.
Carlos Boozer “might” be back next year but with the demotion to the bench (its actually doing wonders for him) it would depend on the numbers. Some team like Washington could use him big time with a mid-level contract so I’m guessing he’s gone as well.
Jordan Hill will be someone else’s forward before the year ends. That someone would have to bite his 2nd season of 9M but alot of teams will be very interested at his skillset.
Jeremy Lin, besides his 15M due check, is very trade-able. Teams know of his marketability, and his ability to score and run plays so he would get a decent look from a contender. What we’re willing to give him up for will be the question. At worst, he expires on us and we lose nothing.
Rob Sacre, Tariq Black, Ryan Kelly… along with Julius Randle all represent young bigs that are really young and cheap and can develop further. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are still with the team unless some team asks for them in a trade.
Top 5 pick, its looking possible right now. The Lakers have no incentive to make it the 8th pick only to lose it to Phoenix, but I do believe we are trying to use the Nash expiring and some minor assets to land a legitimate big man or PG.
Wes Johnson and Wayne Ellington, I wouldn’t be against signing them to decent 2-year deals. But I guess priorities have to be set straight.
Stuart: “To me there’s no sense in that.” No there is not. However to make sense of it, the FO would have to have a plan.
Kobe4life: I love your support for Kobe. There are those who think that everyone who wants to enjoy Kobe, should sacrifice that. Supposedly this sacrifice will buy us 3.5 more wins this year and a little playing time for a second round draft pick. Even if this is true, I do not think they will ever understand why we do not think that is worth it.
FO Moves: Those who are thinking that the FO is going to send anything of value out for picks and youngsters might be on to something. For those who think the FO is going to make us better in the short run with moves – all I can say is – I hope not. This is why I almost want them to do nothing. The odds of them causing harm outweigh the good they can achieve.
It will be interesting to see what we get from Kobe the rest of the way. My concern is that Kobe’s offensive game is gone. Last night he only took 10 shots and scored 10 points. To his credit he did contribute 8 boards and 7 assists. However, what if Kobe’s body won’t allow him to be the 25+ scoring threat he is used to being? Where does that leave the Lakers?
Rob Westbrook says
Kareem is a legend too. Doesn’t mean I want to watch him play 35-40 inefficient minutes In 2014-15. No one has proposed Kobe play <25 min/game as long as he can contribute (I personally like 30-32 and 18 fga). But for the Lakers to contend for the championship again, they need to develop their young guys. What's wrong with lamenting that Clarkson went from getting a steady 10-15 mpg to a DNP? I'll enjoy Kobe while I still can; I just wish we could develop our younger guys too. Lin had one of his better games, but who thinks he's gonna be a Laker next year? If you want to return to the Finals, you should be annoyed at Byron not playing the rookie. Even if we are able to sign a superstar in the next few years(which is by no means a guarantee at this point), do you think it'll be enough if we've neglected the supporting cast?
Rob W: I am all in favor of giving younger guys who have promise some extra playing time. Why not? We could also showcase anyone we plan to move (perhaps that is what is being done with Lin). With our roster – there are plenty of ways this can be done without involving Kobe. I probably would be annoyed with Byron if we had a better team or were closer to contending. I have a dream that Kobe plays 22 years and wins another ring. You probably think that is far fetched (you are correct). So I need a picture that is not far fetched. Then I will give up my dream if needed : ) Fair enough? : )
J C says
Acquisition of Black is interesting and a positive, as he is another young asset.
It also seems to bode more roster moves forthcoming, since he seems to
overlap the skillset of Hill and Davis.
To me, our biggest need is at SF (Wes) and PG (Price).
We are currently starting two guys that are lucky to be in the league.
Next I’d say we could use a legitimate Center (Gasol), but those aren’t so easy to find (Bynum) apparently, or hang on to, once you have them (Gasol, Howard.)
Adding additional PFs such as Black and recent reduction in minutes for J Hill looks like the writing is on the wall.
Then again, such a presumption implies that there is, in fact, a plan to begin with.
. The Lakers, as currently constrcuted, will not make the playoffs. However, they have just the talent to win more than enough games to lose their top 5 pick
Well, yes. As I said a week or so ago, and as others have said as well, the FO didn’t commit to either to competing, by trying to get guys like Thomas, Monroe, etc. or to tanking, which would have involved either letting Kobe walk, or having him on a one-year deal and not having guys like Lin, Hill, Young, Davis, and Boozer. Tanking is more having all minimum-guys like Price, Sacre, Ellington, and Tarik Black, and actually playing guys like Clarkson. Now, guys like the second group may wind up winning more than you think, but the plan in that case is clear.
Instead, the FO seemed to take the approach that they wanted to have a likable team that might sort of kind of compete and to make sure that the cap was clean in 2016. So Kobe got two years at big money, and Swaggy got four years. I said at the time (as many did) that I thought this was a questionable idea and that I didn’t like either contract.
On the tank front, the Lakers are 9-22. Detroit is 2-0 since SVG waived Josh Smith, and is now 7-23. They have more front-line talent than the Lakers do, and they are in the East. Charlotte has been doing better and is now 10-21 and also has more talent than the Lakers do. Utah is 10-20, and has a lot of decent-to-good young talent. So the only teams in the NBA that are clearly worse than the Lakers are New York, Philadelphia, and Minnesota, and I expect that Minnesota will actually play better the second half. But the way the lottery is structured, the Lakers need to finish with either the worst or second-worst record in the league to guarantee that the keep the pick, and I doubt that will happen.
What’s wrong with lamenting that Clarkson went from getting a steady 10-15 mpg to a DNP?
Nothing, but whether Clarkson plays has nothing at all to do with Kobe. If Kobe is on the roster, he is going to play, unless he is physically unable to do so. The issue with Clarkson, as I said in preseason, is Byron Scott and Ronnie Price. Basically, if your coach thinks that you are not as good as Ronnie Price, then you should be in the DLeague. We had people here really talking up Clarkson in preseason, and one person suggested that Clarkson would sit because he would be too good–even as a rookie second-round pick–to tank effectively with. But even if that is the case, I think it would be better to let him be MVP of the D-Fenders than to let him watch Lakers games.
So, connecting Clarkson’s PT to Kobe is just another example of this pattern some people here have of making every single thing that they don’t like about the team relate to Kobe in some way. Kobe shot 10 times last night, the Lakers shot 52% from the floor and 60% from the arc–and the team lost again anyway, because they can’t play defense. Kobe is a big part of that problem of course, and it has always been a bigger issue than the O.
It’s been a long time since posting, but I’m always reading…for better or for worse. The Lakers have had so many good years that it’s a learning process for the fans to endure the tough ones.
Meanwhile, I absolutely could not ignore Robert’s turnaround double team fade-aways comment. I literally laughed out loud heartily in a very serious meeting. Thanks for that. Kobe does it like no one else, so I get it…but still. ROTFL.
Robert-For those who think the FO is going to make us better in the short run with moves – all I can say is – I hope not. This is why I almost want them to do nothing. The odds of them causing harm outweigh the good they can achieve.
LOL, right! The Lakers current position is too solemn to make plans on the fly. Lakers have need for level heads to prevail in reconstructing the organization.
-Mark Stein’s Power Ranking for Week 9 is out and Lakers (9-22) came in 26th.”For all the debate about Kobe and his shot counts, his Lakers have beaten three division leaders (Golden State, Toronto and Atlanta) as well as 19-win San Antonio. Not sure that’s such great news, though, when L.A. needs one of the NBA’s five worst records to keep its first-round pick in June.” Stein.
-Only teams ranked below Lakers: in order(bad to worst): Celtics, Sixers, Knicks, T’ Wolves.
Not sure that’s such great news, though, when L.A. needs one of the NBA’s five worst records to keep its first-round pick in June.” Stein.
This isn’t really how the lottery works, as I allude to above.
Jane/Chearn: Thanks for the comments and glad I made you laugh. And for the record, I might fly all over the country to see Kobe take turnaround double teamed fade-aways , but I will not be driving to Temecula (anyone who did not see that story you should Google Kobe + Temecula).
Maybe Cleveland would give us something for Sacre?
Lakers will pay the price for the huge Kobe contract and the Nash trade well into the next decade. Thanks, front office.
Team Lakers is good enough as a team and they can compete with other teams and the only problem they have……they are not properly guided by their Coach Mr. Byron Scott.. after 31 games almost half of the NBA season Mr Byron Scott still doesn’t know his players…he still doesn’t know his starting line up….
Most people tend to ignore that if Phoenix doesn’t get our 2015 pick we owe them our 2016 pick (top-3 protected). Unless you predict a major turnaround next season it might not make such a big difference which pick we retain.
I would also say that the chances of getting a better player with a lower pick in 2016 are actually higher than the chances of getting both a top 5 pick this season and a top 3 pick next season, even with a tanking strategy (and remember that tanking doesn’t come for free but causes collateral damage).
Side note: if we keep our 2015 pick we won’t have a first-round pick in 2016 and in 2017 (owed to Orlando). If Phoenix doesn’t get our 2016 pick they will get our 2018 pick (unprotected). We do have Houston’s 2015 pick, though.
So next year we get yet another new set of mostly veteren minumum faces to go out there and lose horrifically during Kobe and Scott’s final year. I can’t see how Scott coaches again after next season, him and Kobe can go off into the sunset as BFF. Maybe we find somebody willing to come here for a Max contract, who clearly is not good enough for a max contract or too old for a max contract.
Boozer/Lin/Ellington/Davis all are likely going to be moving on to greener pastures (meaning teams that win more than us). Those guys may not excite people, but I think the odds are it will be a few years before we get anyone that is better than those guys. Randle likely will be better than Boozer eventually, but Boozer clearly has a high level of offensive prowess left in him, his defense is just mostly non-existent unless you count back shoves. Lin isn’t going to stick around to back up Ronnie Price, even if the Lakers throw a few million at him, he seems to want to win/play not lose. Maybe we keep Ronnie Price, yipee. So Swaggy/Kobe are going to be our go to guys next year as well with either Rooks or mostly new vet min’s? Next year is looking like a recipe for the true Tank. Love Kobe, but he’s in big time decline this year, next year is going to only be worse and likely far worse–or he sits a ton, or he gets hurt and misses a lot of games.
Oh yeah, we have Kelly signed for another year, like Kelly but man what’s up with his hamstrings, and he’s at best a good role player off the bench. Jordan Hill, hopefully will be trades in January, I have no stomach for big men that jack up 18 footers all day and he barely scores near the rim anymore. He played more under the rim under MDA, now he is a pick n’ pop guy who looks like he is physically ill, drinking/partying again or something. Mark my words, this years team is competitive in most of their losses, next years team has a high probabiliy of being a joke and gettting blown out the majority of their games.
J C says
Tankyou, that’s a pretty good post (though a bit on the gloomy side).
However, I think Scott may be retained past next year, and same with Mr. Bryant. I predict Kobe adjusts his game just enough, Randle returns and makes an impact next year, and I hope Davis sticks around.
At least Byron’s teams compete, which is more than can be said of our previous coach.
This season I think we’ll finish with around 32 wins.
I think next summer FO will wise up and grab some second-tier players and properly embrace the rebuild instead of praying that home run players like LeBron arrive.
I’m not even sure who the big free agents are coming available next summer.
How bout that wins contest?
Joshua, if your post about the Lakers drafting positions for the next few years is correct, I agree, 2015 draft position might not be as important as many of us are making it out to be.
The Signing of the Tarik Black certainly has to point to the Lakers FO looking hard at moving someone. No point in grabbing a 6″9″ guy to add to our core of PF’s that play center. I actually think Sacre is a real good deal for us, he’s a good back up big with some skills for cheap. Lots of teams pay way beyond vet minimum for true 7 footers that barely can do anything but be large and stand around near the rim.
Our draft pick situation as outlined by Joshua is certainly another dagger in the notion we are going to somehow regain glory through the draft the next few years. Most likely we get a very very late 1st round pick with Houston rolling off the wins this year. It doesn’t look like we are near bad enough to secure the 5th worst record anyway, we have lost a ton of close games this season–that while undermanned big time.
JC, I pray ou are right that the FO actually tries to rebuild with some mid tier guys and doesn’t try to swing for the fences again. The Rondo attempt was both underwhelming in what they offered, yet still upsetting to me that they offered much of anything. Why anyone wants to sign a 30 year old Rondo to a max contract is beyond me. First off he represent Boston, which is enough for most lakers fans to be wary. Second, the guy can’t shoot, and his defense is much much worse despite people suggesting he is some sort of defensive stalwart. He was getting owned by Lin when we played them. We need to wait until Kobe retires to try and unload a max contract, and it best not be on a 30 year old! Even Durant/Westbrook can’t get to the finals and that’s some impressive top 10 talent right there. It still takes a team to win, maybe now more than ever with the way teams play now adays.
Calvin Chang says
@Tankyou – There’s a good chance that Lakers keep Lin next year, but for business reasons. Lin has been too inconsistent this season, so teams with good starting PGs might only be willing to offer him 2 years / 6M to play backup. Lin generates millions in sponsorship. Given that the Buss’ main business is running the Lakers, ticket sales and ad revenue, they might give Jeremy a bigger contract to stay on. Especially if they concede that they will suck next year.
Calvin Chang says
I see Ed Davis commanding the MLE next season, so he’ll be gone unless the Lakers pony up. Tarik Black may be their insurance policy in case they lose Jordan Hill or Ed. If Boozer and Ellington don’t get offers, I see the Lakers offering them 1-M contracts to stay on – just like the ones they signed Wes and Xavier to.
Calvin Chang says
One thing I’d like to see is Wes Johnson posting up if he’s guarded by a small or weak defender. During the Suns game, Wes posted up Dragic and scored with a good post move. I’d like to see more of that if Wes is guarded by the likes of Dragic, Korver, or Redick.
@CalvinChang, I don’t disagree with your guesses there about Lin. Except for Lin himself who will get to choose what happens to him. He seems to want to win badly, I don’t think he cares a lot about the money, he is rich already. I would bet he isn’t going to stay with the Lakers even if he is offered the most money by them next year–because he wants to win games.
Also, seriously who wants to be Ronnie Price’s back-up on a bad Lakers team? LIn could be a great back-up somewhere else (playoff bound/contending team) on a team that wants instant offense in their 2nd unit, plus Lin can break down defenses and get his teammates lots of easy baskets even when he’s not shooting well. I don’t think many teams would want him as their starter at this point, but apparently Byron Scott doesnt’ either–so why would he stay?
Joshua is mostly right; the whole pick thing is very complicated. Couple of notes:
1. The 2015 pick they got from Houston with Lin is lottery-protected. But if it is 15 or later, a near-lock, they will get it.
2. Phoenix pick:
The PHX pick, the last one from the Nash trade, works as follows:
1-5 protected in 2015, as everyone knows.
1-3 protected in 2016.
1-3 protected in 2017.
Unprotected in 2018.
3. Orlando picks:
The 2015 2nd-round pick owed to Orlando is protected 31-40. If the Lakers keep it, they don’t owe another one.
If the Lakers have given a pick to PHX by 2017, then the whole thing starts over again, this time with Orlando. The first rounders in 2017 and 2018 are again Top-5 protected–but this time with Orlando. That pick is unprotected in 2019. If the Lakers have not given a pick to PHX by 2017, then the Lakers’ 2017 and 2018 2nd-rounders both go to Orlando, and recall that also in this case, the Lakers’ 2018 first-rounder is unprotected and goes to Phoenix.
Looking at this, I can see why the FO had such a quick trigger on Mike Brown. They felt like they had to do something to make Nash/Howard work. And, as I have said many times, I also think that they moved on D’Antoni, rather than waiting on Phil, in large part because they thought MDA’s fun/PnR ball would make Howard want to play with Nash, and stay here.
Some of the posts above are gloomy, because the situation is gloomy. We have more picks outgoing than incoming, we have effectively swapped some of our picks with teams with better records, thereby worsening our draft position, we have very few roster players that will be retained, and few that command much in a trade. Many of us said that “the sky was falling” over the past couple of years and in fact – it has. Unfortunately the options now are limited. We can debate Kobe’s shots, Byron’s rotations, and whether we can delay the Phoenix pick, but those do not “significantly” change our position for the future. Most of what we can do in the FO now, would possibly put us in a worse position, so I am simply riding out this year (and next and who knows after that), by rooting for Kobe. As many of you know, my main hope is that Jim resigns, and we get complete organization change. That will be the start of a new era.
Joshua: I have a different view about whether the 2015 and 2016 picks are essentially the same thing. I believe that the Lakers’ goal should be to keep our top 5 pick this year and not roll it into next summer.
If we assume that the FO is going to try and ‘get better’ this off season by making trades or signing FA’s then we should try to keep the pick this year since we stand a good chance at being much better next year. Logically, it follows that we would never retain a top 3 selection next year. Suppose we just miss the playoff or just make them, so if we give away our top 5 pick this year we’re looking at a pick in the 10 – 16 range next year. Again, this assumes that the FO wants to substantively improve the team this summer.
A rebuilding team should try to make use of all of the tools at their disposal: Draft Picks/Cap Space/Trades. At this point in time our only chance to get a star player on a controllable contract is to keep our pick this year. Next year that pick should be closer to the middle than the top 5.
Calvin Chang says
@Robert – Unfortunately, Jim will not resign. This is their family business and father’s legacy. They own it and enjoy the wealth and status it brings. Jim promising to resign after X years is bogus. If I were in his shoes, I will never resign even if I failed to make the team a contender. Unless the business is losing money and my bottom line is in the red, I’ll stay on. The status of being the owner / decision maker of the Lakers is worth more than 3 billion. I’ll fire my GM and coach 10x over before resigning.
Calvin Chang says
If I were Jim Buss and fans ask me to resign or sell the team, I’d be replying in my Gollum voice – “you can’t take away my precious” Seriously though, being the chief decision maker of one of the most popular brands in the world is priceless. The status, fame, and millions in annual profits is almost impossible to give up.
Calvin: I hereby deem you the board’s biggest pessimist : ) Based on your last couple of posts: We could be retaining players based solely on marketing and money rather than wins (you could be correct); Jim will never resign (my worst nightmare); and we have 7 more coaches to plow through (think of the impact this will have on Ko alone). I am ignoring the “GM” portion of your comment, because Jim is our GM : )
Jim promising to resign after X years is bogus.
Highly doubtful position. He is on the record, and Jeanie has mentioned it on the record, multiple times, while also pointing out her position in the organization relative to Jim’s. If the Lakers have a string of 20-30 win seasons, which is quite possible at this point, something will have to change. The closest analog to the Lakers in another major sport is the Jones Family running the Dallas Cowboys, but the Cowboys have been mediocre, not bad, and of course broke through with a 12-4 season this year. Also, in that case, the patriarch is still alive, which is of course unlike the situation with the Lakers.
And, you are missing a fundamental point: Jim simply said that he will step down as the guy running basketball operations, not that he will leave the Lakers entirely or that the franchise itself will change hands.
Where it will get tricky is if the Lakers are not contenders–and Jim said he will leave if they are not–but if they are just OK. If the team is a 45-win team in 2017 then I think that Jim and Jeanie will announce that Jim is staying on to finish the job, etc.
Calvin Chang says
@Tankyou: I think Lin wants playing time and a bigger role more than simply playing for a winner or money. For example: If he had a choice between staying with the Lakers for 9M/2yrs and averaging 20+ minutes per game, vs joining contender Dallas for 6M/2yrs but maybe playing 14 mins per game with some DNPcd’s, I think he’ll pick the Lakers. I remember when the Lakers got him from Houston, Mitch K said “he’ll be good for the community”. Meaning he’s good for Lakers target market.
JC put down the bottle. 32 wins means winning 23 of the next 50 games. Now I will bet on that!
As for drafts. That Nash deal might go down in Laker history as worst trade ever. 38 year old injury prone PG for your future and 27 million.
Any other business gets you fired for that stupid move. If Jimmy owned Fleming he would trade out steak and start selling Beef jerky on a stick!
Have to say, I’d rather lose with lesser players than watch Nick Young (I won’t say S—— P) play for one more minute. Although I’d rather watch him play than hear him talk.
Dodgers will be in same boat with Kershaw in 5-6 years. He’ll be average player, getting franchise record money. The world has gone crazy.
And yes, Nash trade is worst trade in NBA history. Thanks, FO. Next worst move is Kobe’s contract, who gives record contract for fading star? Does that much money even mean anything when you’ve already got so much? Kobe is all about winning (so he says), should have gone to Miami or Chicage for one last run.
Also, here again is the link to Shelburne’s interview with Jim and Jeanie:
One key quote among many:
Jeanie, ultimately you’re in a position to hold Jim and Mitch accountable for what happens on the court, right?
Jeanie: Yes. Just like it is with everyone who is employed by the Lakers.
Calvin Chang says
@Anonymous: Jim Buss’ position is a bit nebulous- he’s in charge of basketball operations. But isn’t that what the GM does? Mitch K is the GM and makes personnel recommendations, and Jim just has the final say because it’s his money. Do you think Jim will hand Mitch K the power to make player decisions if the Lakers is still a 30-win team in 2017? I know I wouldn’t. It’s my family’s money. If the Lakers were losing money, it would be a different story.
Read the interview in the link.
Calvin Chang says
@Anonymous: I also watched that interview. Of course they will say that in public. As owners, it’s their responsibility to say things like that to give fans hope. I would say that. Do I believe they will follow through? No way. Imagine this: Lakers happen to get lucky and become a 40-win team in 2017 and miss the playoffs by 2 games. Will Jeanie tell Jim “you are relieved of your duties” after the season? I truly doubt that. Jim can tell Jeanie “we missed the playoffs because Y player was injured, X player was injured”, and Jeanie will give him another chance. Because it’s the family business. And from that interview, I got the sense that they have a good relationship.
@CalvinChang, I agree with what you stated about Lin and playing time to a degree. 14mins as you suggest and some DNP’s is not going to be a draw for him or many players that are in their prime physically. But Lin can play as a combo guard and log 25-30 mins on some teams by playing a bit of Point and shooting guard, as he often did his last year at Houston.
In regards to the FO, only time will tell, but we have a few years to wait on that one. I think if we are at least mediocre in 3 yrs Buss won’t leave. If Laker’s fans are going crazy this year though, while Kobe still looks good occasionally, where the team sometimes competes and beats the best teams in the league–wow wait until next year. Mind you, if we retain more players than I think we will and decide to spend more wisely on a bunch of good players in the 5mill range, rathern than trying to max out 1 guy, then perhaps we will be slightly better next year.
I think Ellington has shown he’s worth a bit more than the vet minimum, so a bunch of teams might throw him a short contract at 2mill. Ed Davis is definitely MLE, maybe even slightly more b/c he still has upside and has real low mileage since he really never got a chance before this year. I think playing time and some money could be bigger selling points to keeping Davis. Someone will offer Boozer a few million probably, only b/c he has shown the ability to dominate offensively from the 2nd unit, but he better be ready to accept being a bench player from now on.
Really hope we get out of single digits tonight with a win, 10 would look so much prettier 🙂
Calvin Chang says
If in 2017, the Lakers are a 40 win team and miss the playoffs by 2 games, and are losing money and losing ratings, it will be a totally different story. In fact, if the Lakers are losing money in 2016 because they’re a bad team with bad attendance and declining ratings, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim and Jeanie made drastic changes or put the team up for sale.
Calvin its impossible for them to lose money. Rating were done 46% last year without Kibe and their worst record since they came to LA and they still made $117 million. Having a billion dollar plus Time Warner deals means that Mr. Ed the talking horse could make $100 million without ever watching a game in his horse life.
Also Jim is not the owner. He is part of the Buss trust with has a 66% stake in the team. There are 3 other independent share holders outside if the trust with 33%
I got the sense that they have a good relationship.
Then IMO you should read it a little more carefully, and you should think about Jeanie and Phil. It would have been easy enough for Jeanie to say, “I have all the confidence in the world in Jim. I know that we will be back on top with him in charge, and any talk of his stepping down is premature.” In that interview, at least, she didn’t. Also, Jim himself came up with the timeline and told the LA Times about it himself.
The one thing I do agree with you on, as I said, is the idea that if the Lakers are decent, Jim will end up staying in his current role. But if they are bad for several years in a row, then I don’t think he will.
I got the sense that they have a good relationship.
I disagree there, and I disagree with your interpretation of the PR angle. It would have been easy enough for Jeanie to say positive things about Jim. She didn’t. I do agree, as noted, that she may keep him if the team is decent.
But remember: Jim himself set the timeline and the conditions: 3-4 years, contender, conference-finals level team. And he said so in public.
Okafor is a beast! If his work ethic matches his potential, he’ll win a couple of championships. That’s a big ‘if’ though because millions makes players lazy.