For the past week, there have been strong rumors linking the Lakers to Goran Dragic. The current Sun will be a free agent this summer and, up until now, the rumors (originally reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein) said the Lakers would strongly pursue him in free agency by offering him a max contract. The thought of trading for Dragic was not really an option because the Suns were reportedly not interested in dealing the Slovenian PG, preferring to try and re-up him this July.
It seems, however, that those plans are about to change:
Goran Dragic's agent informed the Suns tonight that Dragic will not sign an extension in Phoenix this summer, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 18, 2015
Wait, there’s more:
The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks are among preferred destinations for Goran Dragic, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 18, 2015
And then, there’s this:
ESPN sources say Suns trading Dragic by Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline is now regarded as the likely scenario
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2015
If no trade materializes, Dragic would head to free agency seeking a four-year max from Lakers or Knicks that could reach $80 million range
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2015
So, to recap: Goran Dragic will not re-sign with the Suns this summer and the Suns will try to trade him by this Thursday’s trade deadline. The Lakers are among the teams on Dragic’s short list of preferred trade destinations. If Dragic is not traded, the Lakers will still try to pursue him in free agency where they will likely offer him a boatload of money ($80 million over 4 years).
After digesting all that, there are two ways to look at this:
- The Lakers should try to trade for Goran Dragic
- The Lakers should wait until free agency and try to acquire him in July.
Both of these sides have solid arguments, so let’s quickly tackle both, starting with the latter.
Pursuing Dragic in free agency only requires two things: for Dragic to be a free agent and the Lakers to have the money to pay him. Luckily for the Lakers, both of those things will be true come July. The benefits to taking this approach are two fold. First, the Lakers do not have to surrender any assets in their pursuit of the point guard. This is important since the Lakers do not have many assets to offer. The second is that the Lakers really do not need to do anything that would improve their team right now. Being that the Lakers draft pick is only protected if it falls in the top five of the draft, it’s to their benefit to not acquire players who help them win more games right now. Whether or not you like watching a losing team (I do not) or if you are pro “tank” (I am not; though I’m more ambivalent on this now than 3 months ago), there is no argument in which not having a top 5 pick is better than having it. If you find that argument, please tell me as I am happy to listen.
It’s difficult to stress how meaningful those two points above really are. The Lakers are a team who really cannot afford to give up anything of value for a player they can chase in free agency. You want to give up the Houston pick? Fine, but just remember you can have that pick and Dragic if you are good enough in selling your franchise and convincing him your money and vision are worth it. Further, that top 5 pick may not yet be an asset, but if it becomes real it will instantly become as valuable an asset as the Lakers have possessed since they turned Andrew Bynum into Dwight Howard.
In saying all that, trading for Dragic now does have its benefits.
At the top of that list is the fact that trading for Dragic nets you his Bird Rights. While the Lakers were burned with that line of thinking when they acquired Dwight Howard, Dragic is a bit different for a key reason: Dragic’s cap hold this summer is only $11.25 million. This low-ish cap number allows the Lakers a certain amount of flexibility in how they negotiate with Dragic while still chasing other free agents. For example, let’s say the following things occur:
- The Lakers trade for Dragic
- The Lakers decline Jordan Hill’s team option (or trade him before Thursday)
- The Lakers are left with roughly $20 million in cap “space” this July after all relevant cap holds for players not named Dragic are accounted for (NOTE: This is not a real number and is for example purposes only)
Of that $20 million in cap space, $11.25 million of it will be tied up in Dragic, but the Lakers would still have $8.75 million to pursue another free agent (or more). Maybe that means the Lakers ink Ed Davis. Maybe they chase another big man. Maybe they go after a wing who can defend (like DeMarre Carroll). Or maybe they just roll that space over into the season, giving them flexibility in other trades that allows them to take on salary in a move. The key is, though, that they have the ability to do something besides just sign Dragic in free agency due to controlling his Bird Rights. And, yes, while those rights also mean the Lakers could pay him more than any other team (and would likely be pressured to do so by his agent), that flexibility has value.
On the flip side, if pursuing Dragic in free agency all of the Lakers’ cap space is likely devoted to making him an offer. And this would be after renouncing rights to all their current free agents and not picking up Jordan Hill’s option. So, presented in this context, would you rather only have the ability to pay Dragic or would you like to have the ability to pay him and pursue one or more other options in free agency?
Of course, your answer may well be that you don’t want Dragic at all. Not in free agency, not in a trade, not ever. That’s a perfectly valid opinion. I mean, if the choice is paying Dragic $20 million to have him on your roster or not paying him at all, it’s perfectly reasonable to say “thanks, but no thanks” and move on to other options. And, despite typing all those words in the paragraphs above, it’s not like it’s some sort of given the Lakers just snap their fingers and end up with him via a trade or in free agency. Any deal for him requires the Suns to say yes or for him and his agent to agree to terms. As we’ve seen in years past, this isn’t a gimme.
But, this is the rumor season, the trade deadline is on Thursday, and the Lakers are prominently mentioned as a viable option for a very good player. Plus, there are good arguments on both sides of the argument on how to best pursue him. So, what say you?
*I should add that ESPN’s Beto Duran explains that Goran Dragic speaks fluid Spanish and that he could become the face of TWC Deportes. This may or may not be something that should be considered and left me only responding with !!!!! to Beto’s tweet at me. But, considering the Lakers’ broadcast partnerships was a variable in the Dwight and Carmelo free agency pitches, it’s probably a variable worth considering.
Does trading for Dragic = losing our pick this year? If, the answer is yes, then-> No, I do not want.
Does trading for Dragic = losing Houston’s pick this year? If, the answer is yes, then-> No, I do not want.
Netting Dragic in FA wouldn’t be terrible, but I guess that I’m more ambivalent about him than anything else. Just please god don’t give up any more draft picks to Phoenix. He’d probably get injured somehow and miss a season or three. :/
Yes, I’m still bitter.
I’m really not very high on PER, but usually really good players are higher than 16.67. A max contract? Would Jim do that? Oh God. We’re giving up our 2 first round picks aren’t we?
I see a scenario where we trade Houston’s pick and then become just good enough to lose ours. Shoot me now.
Darius Soriano says
To be fair, Dragic’s PER this year is his lowest in the past 5 years. Last year he had a PER of over 21 which is all-star level. This season he has played a ton of SG next to Bledsoe or Thomas and has played a fair amount of minutes in their 3 PG lineup where all of them are on the floor together. This isn’t ideal for him as he’s the most versatile of the three and is the guy working off the ball the most. He’s then also asked to defend either a SG or a SF as Thomas can only defend PG’s (and not very well, at that). From my understanding, this is one of the reasons he has said he will not return to Phoenix. He has supposedly “lost trust” in the front office after the Thomas acquisition and how that has affected his role, making him ready to move on.
It is a risk reward thing to me. If we trade for Dragic we get his bird rights, which could allow us to go after someone like Tobias Harris and potentiality a top 5 pick. Dragics playing style will allow him to be a star well in to his 30s. So a core of Dragic,Harris,Randle, and pick would be great for years to come. But then we could lose the pick,Dragic, and not sign any FA. I say go for it.
Those are very good points Darius. And, to be honest, if we get the Dragic that toasted the Lakers on many many occasions then I could get behind a FA acquisition. I just don’t want to see the team trade/lose our two best assets right now. (Our pick, and the Houston pick.)
If a trade only costs Hill, and a second rounder, then we’re cooking…
Seriously though. Do you think that Jim Buss would be able to leave his home if we gave up the Houston pick and then finished outside the bottom 5 to lose our pick? Dude would get tarred and feathered.
Good analysis. My own hit:
1. I wouldn’t trade for him. The Lakers need everything, and Dragic is good enough, and the rest of the team is bad enough, that I could see him swinging a game or two late in the year that could in turn swing some ping-pong balls to another team.
2. Whether you want him in FA depends on several factors. If the Lakers land Okafor, I could see Buss and Mitch thinking quick turnaround to lower-playoff seed contention. Get Dragic to play the 1, sign a 3 in FA, bring back Ed Davis to work in a 3-big rotation with Okafor and Randle, and pray Kobe can play 30 good minutes a night and stay on the floor.
But I personally wouldn’t go that way. Dragic is a pretty good ballplayer, and if I had a good team and needed a guard, I would be getting on the phone to PHX. But the Lakers need guys younger than 29, so if they want to spend money on a PG in FA, I would look at Brandon Knight before I looked at Dragic. One thing I am leery of is the FO thinking they “need to send Kobe out on a decent team.” It would be nice, but it shouldn’t be a top priority IMO.
Note on above post: Knight is a RFA.
J C says
I’d give up the Houston pick for Dragic now. That would be a net gain.
Then I’d tell Dragic to “pull a hamstring” so we can keep tanking.
Or, Jordan Hill. Even though I like Hill and I hope we can keep him.
There’s no way I would do anything now to jeopardize our potential top 5 pick.
It’s been a miserable season–we deserve to taste the fruits of our sacrifice.
If Dragic comes now and costs us our pick by winning a few meaningless games, we can surely change his name to Tragic.
With this year’s draft pick, we’re talking the potential Okafor windfall, who is a possible Anthony Davis-type player. Dragic is good, but he isn’t worth risking that. Sure, we may fall to the 4th or 5th pick–and we can’t risk that either.
That being said, I’d also be wary of expecting Dragic to come to LA as a FA in the summer, for the following reasons:
1. If I’m Dragic, I may prefer Phil over Jim Buss when the rings are on the table so to speak.
2. I think whomever gets Dragic in trade now, and has his Bird rights, will have an excellent chance at retaining him. Remember, most players don’t turn down the extra money and the extra year of security (see: Melo). Unless they’re sub-mental (see: Dwight).
3. The Lakers recent track record may still scare good players off.
Bottom line: I hope we can get Dragic, but only without giving up our top 5 pick.
J C says
Ken Oak – shoot me now — haha, funny.
Darius – nice read, good article, nice work.
Thomas Rickard says
Wow, I’d sure like to have a crystal ball, if he wants to stay a Lakers, can he see how important keeping the draft pick would be to his future, and also kind of give the Suns the finger, losing is winning!
Do you think that Jim Buss would be able to leave his home if we gave up the Houston pick and then finished outside the bottom 5 to lose our pick?
He could always stay at Craig’s. 😉
KenOak and rr: I totally agree. I see downside with Dragic. Heavens sake don’t trade for him as he puts our top 5 pick in jeaprody. I also think his age is an issue as he would be close to 33 by the time the young core (Randle, Clarkson and top 5 pick) caught up with him. Reggie Jackson this summer or Brandon Knight next summer are better options (both are 23 or 24).
rr is right – you should only pursue a Dragic if you are close and these Lakers are not. If the FO goes after him it’s because they panicked into a bad move. Dragic is not,in my opinion, worth $80 million over 4 years. The last two years of the deal he will be dead weight on the Lakers payroll.
I think the scenario of trading for Dragic (Nash for Dragic could be ironic) might include some shady tanking agreements being made between coach and FO. It just does not give sense to loose that pick and in top sports everything that isn’t called is fair game.
Another thing worth considering is that if the Lakers don’t trade for him now and he’s traded to one of his other prefered destinations, I think there won’t be any FA pitch to him.
In other words, Lakers got burned with ‘we’ll get them in FA’ mentality for several years in a row and I don’t think that putting your hopes into something that may or may not occur is smart for the franchise right now.
They thought Rondo would hit FA and he probably won’t, so that goes out the window. There was talk about Kevin Love and FA. Well that’s not happening either. The Dwight story we all know of.
So I’d say trade for Dragic now and try to unload Hill plus someone else if possible. Go get Zoran too, he was playing out of his mind in Europe and in WC, and he’d have a perfect opportunity to show what he’s got this season in LA. Plus everyone in his previous teams says he’s a gym rat and is working non-stop to improve his game, and I’m taking into the account he’s a bit of a late bloomer like his brother is.
And yes despite his slightly above average stats, sadly, Hill is not someone who you can count on come playoffs.
As much as I hate the idea of tanking, securing a top 5 pick is preferable to me than acquiring Dragic now. As rr says, he’s good enough to win a few unexpected games down the stretch and cost the team it’s early pick. That pick could be a franchise changer. I would wait and see how the pick turns out. The team has stunk this long; a little longer may be necessary.
I land in the camp of not wanting Dragic at all. He’s a very good player yes, but I’m not a fan of paying great player money to someone who is very good. Cost efficiency is a concept that is very important in my humble opinion when it comes to team building. It appears the Lakers front office disagrees though, so I hope whatever they do works out fine but I’m nervous.
Trading for Dragic makes sense if you’re the rockets and need an average starting PG… But signing him to anything above five million a year makes sense for nobody in the entire league. I know he is white which a lot of NBA teams in smaller markets need… But he is 30 and on the downside of his career and unless his name is Steve Nash that’s not the time you want a PG.
Btw… These Lakers rumors are most definatley put out by the Suns to increase his already limited trade value.
Of course this has been his lowest PER of the last five years. The previous four years were his prime years (24-28). And may I mention in those prime years he was a journeyman (albeit a talented one who has been an average starting PG). I’m all for a trade speculation post if it’s someone the Lakers are actually thinking of trading for. But unless you’re a contending team who needs a starting PG or a back up PG to round out the roster you aren’t in the market for Dragic.
If they could get him without giving up a first-rounder, I suppose it’d be worth listening. I don’t see why PHX would do that, though: there has to be an offer out there better than Jordan Hill plus filler, right?
My nightmare is that they DO get him in the scenario above. And that he DOES swing a couple of close games, and we end up with the #6 pick. And Jeannie says, see, we didn’t tank. And Magic agrees, while plotting his hostile takeover…
Renato Afonso says
It all comes down to money spent on him. He’s not worth 20m per year at his current age but I would be fine with him as our starting PG at 13m per year. I don’t think that is possible though.
If trading for him, I would say that we cannot surrender our own pick nor Ed Davis or Julius Randle. Everyone else and the Houston pick I’d gladly give to the Suns if it netted us Dragic.
If we’re spending money on someone in free agency, I’d rather spend on Greg Monroe even if he’s not a rim protector but I understand that we have a full starting lineup to fill, so it really doesn’t matter where you start.
– I’m in the “not interested in Dragic” camp, via trade or FA. My preference for the Lakers is to start building a team which will be a contender in the post Kobe era. At 29 years of age I don’t believe Dragic fits that bill.
– In addition, why would Dragic choose the Lakers as a free agent? Knicks and Heat are also very interested. Of these three teams, Heat have the best chance of post season play next season and also the only proven front office.
– If the Lakers are fortunate enough to land a center (Towns or Okafor) in the draft, I would hope they would set their sights on 24 year old pg Brandon Knight in free agency. Add forward Randle to the mix and I see a nice young core to build on.
-@ rr, Brandon Knight is an UFA as per this source: hoopshype.com/free_agency/point_guards_2015.htm
– If the Lakers choose a point guard (Russell or Mudiay) in the draft, my 1st choice in free agency w/b 25 year old center Greg Monroe. 2nd choice: 27 year old Sanford alum Robin Lopez.
I am for the idea of a trade with the following caveats:
1) we gut the roster with subsequent trades; get rid of vets who could help us win enough to lose our pick
2) the Houston pick is traded only if PHX take Swaggy. I love swaggy but if we could lose his 5m next year, we could offer at least 16m to a Jimmy Butler (assuming Reindorf is as cheap as everyone says he is) type of player. Plus the diff between a late first rounder and early second rounder may not be that significant but the early second rounder doesn’t have a guaranteed contract and hence no cap hold.
This will enable us to swing for the fences.
BTW I think Dragic’s game ages well and by the time his contract is up we can easily find another top PG in UFA, eg Dame.
If the lottery gods smile on us, either an Okafor or a Towns would change our fortunes along with Dragic and Butler (best case) or Wes Matthews (consolation prize)
George Best says
Jordan Hill and Nash expiring(not even sure if that can be done) is the most I would offer. You cannot give up any assets ie draft picks at this point for a player.
I dont even think he is a max player in free agency but sadly the Lakers will have to pay a guy like this way too much to get him to come here.
We need young assets and its going to be a long rebuild.
Id still like to see Kobe sign on for a small amount after next year and let him play 10-20 minutes a game just for a spark and leadership in 2016 and beyond.
Lil pau says
I vote yes as long as we don’t lose: our top 5, randle, Clarkson, or maybe Davis. We have too many holes to fill to try to do so exclusively through the draft– we need some FA talent. While dragic isn’t at the top of my list, we’ve been burned by waiting. Unless the FO thinks we are close to a lock to get Westbrook, I’d do this. Frankly, I prefer him to rondo. Keep in mind, under the next CBA, his apparently huge contract may be more modest than it now appears.
Hopefully, this will also allow Kobe to play more off ball next year and extend his shelflife, something that didn’t quite work out with Nash
Assuming the Lakers land the top 5 pick at least 2 of the top 5 choices as currently estimated in the draft are PG’s. Considering that at this point I do not think it is wise to commit long term to a PG for anything approaching 20 million per year before even considering what the Lakers would have to give up in exchange. After the draft maybe this becomes a higher priority but also considering the plethora of high quality PG’s in the league this may not be the best position to drop top dollars on.
Please do not trade any draft picks, even 2nd rounders, and obviously do not include Randle and Clarkson in the deal for Dragic. I’d give them Hill or Nash’s corpse. If they insist on a pick, I’d sacrifice a 2nd rounder in like 2020. And Dragic would need to be convinced to sit out the rest of the year as to not win a couple of meaningless games and cost us our top 5 pick.
I rather the Lakers be sellers, not buyers, and go all in on the tank as the Knicks are with Melo now out the rest of the season. There’s plenty of Dragic-like PGs out there they can go after (Reggie Jackson, Brandon Knight, B Jennings if he recovers from achilles injury).
Larry Sanders just got bought out. He would be nice as a rim protector if he still wants to play ball (don’t care about his weed issues since all these guys are doing it).
L. A. b-ball ratings continue to dip:
Here is some of the L.A. Times’ report:
Nielsen ratings for the Lakers in the Los Angeles market are at an all-time low, dipping below a 2.00 rating for the first time, according to the ratings firm.
The Lakers’ 1.95 rating on Time Warner Cable SportsNet is down 25% from this point last season and puts the team on pace to break the record low 2.11 figure it posted for the 2013-14 season.
The Clippers are averaging a 1.10 rating on Prime Ticket, a drop of 13% from the same point last season. The ratings gap between the Lakers and Clippers is the lowest on record.
The Lakers (13-40) are on pace for the worst winning percentage in the franchise’s 66-year history. Making them all the harder to watch has been the absence of veteran stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and rookie Julius Randle.
The Lakers’ TV ratings have declined in each of the three seasons they have partnered with TWC, which is paying the team $5 billion over 25 years. The team’s ratings are down 57% from only two years ago, when it posted a 4.63 during Dwight Howard’s one season in L.A.
The Clippers (35-19) are only one game worse than they were at this point last season on the way to a franchise-record 57 victories. They also had avoided injuries to top players before All-Star forward Blake Griffin was diagnosed last week with a staph infection in his right elbow that required surgery.
Aaron: Accomplishment is what it is all about. I agree that “rings” are partially a result of circumstance, however in Kobe’s case he has accomplishment with the good teams (5 rings), and accomplishment on bad teams (81, huge number of All NBA teams, All Defensive tams). If you never accomplish anything – that is not all the fault of what team you are on.
Trades: Before the Lakers make any trades, they need to make some decisions. Are they tanking next year? Are they trying to make the playoffs? How many years before they are targeting contention? Starting with the last question, if we are at least a few years off, then we need to make plans accordingly. My desire – make the pick and go into next year with Kobe and the two youngsters. That’s it. Do not try to contend. Make the big splash in 16 or17. Doing deals that make us incrementally better for the next 2 years are not desirable.
Dragic Aaron calls him a journeyman. This translates to an expensive “vagabond”. We do not need any vagabonds. They are players you add as the last piece to win a title. They do not make good foundation blocks. Glen Rice, Bob McAdoo, and Ron Harper are all good examples.
Craig W. says
Jim Buss is welcome to stay at my house – that being said, I don’t view him as any kind of genius, only as someone continuing to learn-on-the-job – something that all of us should wish for, regardless of our age.
While I am not on the ‘get Goran Dragic’ bandwagon, there is an interesting wrinkle in this case. Phoenix would like to get the Laker’s 1st round draft choice this year. Why not take a little less from the Lakers to deal him there and hope he makes them good enough to drop out of the top-5 after the lottery is completed?
ESPN says Knight is a RFA, and looking at a few sites, that seems to be the case. But of course that could be incorrect info.
Craig W. says
If Phoenix is able to trade Plumlee, why wouldn’t they take Jordan Hill back in any Laker trade and decide at the end of the year what to do with him – after the lottery is completed and they know whether or not they get the Laker pick?
If you can’t trade Lin + Young, then don’t get him. Lakers should unload dead end players and bring something useful. Get Dragic and Marc Gasol in July @ 12M and 15M per year. You can’t offer max contracts as long as Kobe’s contract occupying cap space while having an owner Jim Buss a wishy washy owner who is clueless on who to get at the right time. More often than not, he is being used and exploited by superstars like what happened to Nash and Howard. Wait till these guys are gone, then Lakers could be ambitious again.
Would be insane to unprotect the pick this year!!
joseph (LA) [via mobile]
What are the chances lakers get dragic from the suns?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)
I think he wants the Lakers and the Lakers want him. However, the Lakers don’t have much in the way of assets either. The Suns want them to unprotect the pick they owe Phoenix this year. Currently it’s protected 6-30 meaning the Lakers keep the pick if it falls 1-5. If that protection drops, that’s a very valuable asset for Phoenix and I think the deal gets done. But I understand the Lakers reluctance to do that. They need a top 5 pick long-term. And as good as Dragic is … the chances he’s as good in 2 or 3 years as Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay or Karl Anthony-Towns is very debatable.
Craig W. says
The pick would still be more likely to be in Phoenix’s hand if Dragic is on the Laker squad. That was my point above. If you are looking for guarantees in this world, you are not doing well.
Dragic is a known quantity at this point. The current group of players in the draft are not. The draft produces too many failures tor anyone to say future value comparisons are ‘very debatable’. I am not a Goric proponent, but it is not because of obvious draft superiority. For fans ‘hope springs eternal’, and past predictions can easily be forgotten – this is not true for owners and general managers.
Craig W.: Learning on the Job: I would like to be named CEO of Google, so I could learn on the job. So the stock sinks by 50% and the company starts losing money. No issue – give me 3-4 more years to learn and then let’s see. Hope springs eternal indeed.
Oldtimer: Hilarious. With regard to being ambitious again: You said the guy making all the decisions is clueless, so at what point will the ambitiousness occur? It is a day I am waiting for.
Phoenix: No deals with Phoenix. We have been set back for a decade with 2 significant acquisitions from them already.
Darius Soriano says
Maybe you could be named CEO of Google if you worked as an upper executive there for the better part of two decades.
I tire of the petty pot shots taken at fans favorite whipping boys at this site. Just like I tire of commenters (and you know who you are) feeling the need to respond to every point made by other commenters even when they aren’t directed at you.
I know people who comment here have their niche’s that fall into. It’s pretty natural in any community. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to read every comment here every day and not voice my opinion some of the time. And, honestly, some of this is more than tiring.
bryan S. says
lakafan @ 10:26
Chad Ford is spewing nonsense. No way, no way in Hades, that the Lakers agree to un-protect the owed pick for Dragic. If that happened, (just say’in) I’d solemnly bury my purple and gold bleeding heart in the compost bin. Probably stop watching the NBA . . . . it won’t happen.
I said it in the last thread, acquiring Dragic will simply come down to cost. Too high a price, lakers pass. Reasonable cost (Hill, 2nd rounder, nod and wink on the tank etc.) it happens. My guess it doesn’t as someone else will probably over pay.
I am firmly in the say no to Dragic camp. Just let Chad Ford’s comments regarding the Lakers sink in: ‘They need a top 5 pick long-term. And as good as Dragic is … the chances he’s as good in 2 or 3 years as Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay or Karl Anthony-Towns is very debatable.’
Are we that short sighted that we’d actually elevate a ‘nice player’, which Dragic is, and make him out to be a ‘great player’, which he is not. It makes no sense to me to bring a player with a two year window (who will require a 4 year contract) into an organization that is three or four years away from competing, at best.
All Dragic does is make the Lakers a fringe playoff team. Is that what we want, to face a One seed or if we’re lucky a Seven seed in the opening round of the playoffs for the rest of the decade?
Look we’re 2/3 of the way through this rebuild let’s take our lumps and do it right. The Lakers need to focus on young controllable talent to establish a foundation. After that you can bring in a 29 year old PG at $80 mil over four years.
Dragic is the icing on the cake, the Lakers don’t have a cake yet!
People get dillusional and desperate with so much losing. They forget the goal is to win a championship. But our FO knows the drill. They have said they won’t be trying to win for at least two years which is now almost one year. Building a championship team takes time. Or you can do what the Knicks have done the last fifteen years and refuse to rebuild and try to win every year.
Put it this way… Even with Kobe in his prime the FO refused to make bad moves. They were patient and built the team up and struck when the timing and the player (Gasol) was right. Kobe was demanding to be traded and asking for the FO to trade Bynum for aging players. If the FO was strong enough to waste three years of Kobe’s prime they will have no problem waiting for draft picks and the right players to hit the trade market and free agency.
And Dragic make the Lakers a “fringe playoff team”. Kobe in his prime made the lakers a fringe playoff team.
@ Stuart: Dragic is the icing on the cake, the Lakers don’t have a cake yet!
I agree, although there are scenarios that get the Lakers back in the mix without signing a 29 year old Dragic this summer:
– We get Okafor or Towns via the draft (assume Towns)
– Sign Greg Monroe, he’s unrestricted and has excelled this season as a Four
– Sign either Reggie Jackson or Brandon Knight. Both are restricted FAs but they play on teams with either no cap space (Thunder) or with young talent nearing the expiration of their rookie deals.
– Trade for Lance Stephenson. He’s got one guaranteed year left on his deal (with an additional one at a team option). He’s a top 25 player who could reach his potential with ‘big brother’ Kobe keeping him focused.
That gives the Lakers the following lineup (age):
C: Towns (20)
PF: Monroe (24)
SF: Stephenson (24)
SG: Kobe (37)
PG: Jackson (24)
Off the bench: Randle (20), Clarkson (22)
That, to me, is a team that can mature into a championship contender.
-Not drinking the “Dragic interest in Lakers, Knicks, & Heat” kool-aid. His agent is using the Knicks and Lakers to drive up the $$’s from the Heat. This guy knows Buss & Dolan are gullible to believe a 30 year old FA w/ playoff aspirations wants to go to the “going nowhere in the next 2 years” Lakers or Knicks anchored by Kobe or Melo instead of the Heat under GM Pat Riley, a championship coach in Spoelstra, and solid proven ownership under Mickey Arison. Yes Wade has seen better days(like Kobe & Melo) but they have the better supporting cast in Chris Bosh, an emerging big man in Whiteside, and Luol Deng. And, needless to say, a much better opportunity for post season play this year & next then L. A. or NY.
– What am I missing? This kid is looking forward to running Phil’s triangle? Waiting to get the ball from Kobe (isn’t that why he’s leaving the Suns, had to play off the ball too much)?
– Or is it strictly a matter of who’s willing to pay him $20 mill per for next four?
Dragic may just want to play in New York or Los Angeles. That is not as big of a draw as many Lakers and Knicks fan try to say it is, but it does work for some guys. I doubt that Kobe will be a big factor for Dragic; not everyone worries about Kobe as much as you do, and Kobe supposedly really likes Dragic’s game.
And, sure it is almost certainly a little gamesmanship by Dragic and his agent.
The Heat have 0$$$$ in caproom … they are capped out … unless they trade for dragic, dragic will not sign there.
I’d be fine w/ a trade for Dragic, as long as NONE of our picks are involved
Let somebody else overpay for this dude ….
Oldtimer – love how you slam the FO, only to offer two impossible alternatives. Gasol at 15 million? Wow. Thank goodness you still have your dayjob.
That is only an arbitrary figure I would pay for the caliber of Marc, it could be less depending on his marketability, of which Mitch is good at in figuring the exact dollars. Try to focus more on people than the details of the acquisition One reason, why you have to overpay him if you like him because if Memphis take him back, then it will hurt their salary cap. Secondly, I have high regard of Marc than the clown Dwight. If they can offer the latter 25M and long term, I think this is good price in acquiring Marc.
In my opinion, I don’t know why good players would come to the Lakers under this environment. It is a challenging with narrow objective on competing, more of rebuilding. There is no energy, no fighting spirit, the focus is tanking for the next three years to improve the roster. What a dilemma, instead of tweaking, they get into overhaul every season and this has been happening after Phil Jackson’s coaching in’11. We are now in 2015, we are still rebuilding and adjusting our barometer on who to get or who to waste? Don’t you find this a clueless ownership, overpay Kobe then surround him with scrubs. Why did you take him in the first place if you wanted to be frugal focusing on swap meet players? Why is FO like Howard when they are not ready to get good players and coaches around them or sign Melo of mega bucks when your next best player on top of Kobe, is a rookie by the name Clarkson. They call this “chop suey” a mixture of many viands and pepper with spices.
Stuart — how do you figure the lakers are 2/3 rds thru a rebuild?
Seriously, looks more like 1/10 th or so from here ….
Interesting discussion. I think the other day someone pointed out to me that under the new CBA, only young, controllable talent mattered, thus the need to stockpile picks. Not sure I completely agree, as I still see successful team-building in this environment as a more complex challenge. Picks don’t necessarily win you a championship, it’s whether or not those picks yield real talent.
If the Laker FO pills the trigger on this trade, that would seem to signal they may still view free agency as a better path to success.
Out of curiosity, what do folks here think of Dragic defensively? Seeing as I think the Lakers could use a PG that can play good defense, as well as a rim protecting big man, I wonder if Dragic would help in that area? I suspect not, but could be wrong of course.
@ Aaron, “People get dillusional and desperate with so much losing. They forget the goal is to win a championship. But our FO knows the drill…” Have to disagree, that’s when Dr Buss was involved. Jimmy B having the last word…not so sure.
Dr Buss isn’t a magical wizard. He let his son and Mitch run the team for the last decade. What we know of Jerry Buss is he picked the right people to run the team. Jim and Mitch are still there. Although I question if Mitch is getting old. As you know I wasnt a fan of getting Howard after back surgery and Nash after he qualified for social security.
I’d pass on Dragic. No good reason, just don’t want to help Phoenix out any more.
Would love to somehow sign Tobias Harris as a RFA, don’t know if Orlando would let him walk or not. Combine him with Randle, that’s a front line for the next 4-5 years. Ryan Kelly becomes a stretch 3 or 4 off the bench. Clarkson and Kobe play the 2. Somehow convince OKC to trade Reggie Jackson for Jordan Hill, who becomes your point. Keep the high pick hopefully, and get one of the top 3 guys-Okafor would be nice. That leaves a hole in the 5, must be somebody-anybody-out there who can replace Sacre.
Never going to happen, but I can dream.
Baylor Fan says
It is good to hear a prospective free agent talk up the Lakers. He still should not be on the Lakers’ shopping list. They need a core of young, talented players and Dragic does not move them closer to that goal. Instead he would block them by using up a major chunk of the salary cap. Cap space is precious and the Lakers need to remain patient and get theirs under control.
I’m suspicious and leery of any deals with Phoenix. Their medical staff supersedes the Lakers by far. They were aware of what was required to keep Nash marginally available to play in games; thus they patched him up well enough to get past a Lakers physical. Who knows whether or not there’s a physical ailment lurking behind his recent dip in PER. Maybe that’s why the Suns picked up Thomas; otherwise it doesn’t make sense. Why disrupt a young lethal back-court with Isaiah?
In addition, most European players have productive years then drop off precipitously. Please, no more Trojan horses from Phoenix!
The latest news is that the Lakers will not be making any trades before the deadline. If this turns out to be the case, I will not be surprised.
I think Dragic is a good player — maybe on occasion very good. But he is hardly worth $80 Million over 4 years , especially on the downside of his career. Such talk might, of course, be mere posturing by his agent who is attempting to stir up a bidding war.
Obviously, the Lakers must wait until after the draft before they start to make any significant moves. Two of the top 5 picks — Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State — are both 6-5 PGs with their careers and lives ahead of them. (Of the other three — Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Stanley Johnson — 2 are centers and one is a SF.) They are all, remarkably, the same age (freshman in college, in effect) and all could have a real impact upon their arrival in the NBA although, of course, nothing is guaranteed. If the Lakers were to select, say, D’Angelo Russell who, some say, has been playing the best of the lot recently (a triple double — 23 / 11 / 11 — just 2 weeks ago), then there would be no need for Goran Dragic. At all. Period.
If, however, the Lakers were to choose Karl-Anthony Towns with their first #1 pick and, say, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the 6-7 SF from Arizona (17 pts. and 9 rebounds and 17 pts. and 10 rebounds in his last 2 games on a very well-balanced team that happens to include Stanley Johnson), then the Lakers could possibly have a front line that could serve them through the rest of the decade: Towns, Julius Randle, and Hollis-Jefferson. Then if they were somehow to acquire Reggie Jackson (who I think is very frustrated at OKC and may very well want out), then the future begins to take shape:
C – Karl-Anthony Towns
PF – Julius Randle
SF – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (or another young SF)
SG – Jordan Clarkson (backing up Kobe next year)
PG – Reggie Jackson (or Brandon Knight)
These players would have several things in common: 1) their youth, 2) their athleticism, 3) a hunger and desire to excel, and 4) (I think) a willingness to defend.
My larger point is that this should all be done as part of a plan. Simply chasing the occasional 29-year old Free Agent simply because he expresses interest in the Lakers, however flattering that interest is, is not necessarily part of a coherent plan. An intelligent, well-thought out plan is needed. If the Lakers adhere to that, they will arrive. It might take a few years, but I truly believe that they will return to relevance.
Therefore, I say no to Dragic and yes to acquiring young talent (both through the draft and free agency) over the next few years.
As much as I like and respect his game, Dragic is not a $20 mil per year player, therefore, I would definitely pass on him. As others have mentioned, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
Maintaining our top 5 pick – preferably Okafor or Towns – should continue to be the goal. Giving us 2 lottery picks – I’m including Randle – along with the additional late 1st rd pick from Houston. Continue developing Clarkson and Kelly (who, speaking of Kelly, several individuals are down on. Personally, I’m still of the belief that, if utilized correctly, he could be of value) and try to secure at least 1 FA this off season, for the right price – too early to assume who because, IMO, it’s contingent upon who we settle upon in the draft.
Once Kobe comes off the books after next season, depending upon who’ll still be available in regards to FA’s – personally speaking, I would love for that player to be KD35 – that’s when we’ll make our play.
RIP Jerome Kersey @ young age of 52. Condolence and prayers to the family of JK..
His agent has asked OKC to trade Reggie Jackson immediately: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–agent-for-thunder-guard-reggie-jackson-has-asked-team-for-a-trade-175504732.html
Apparently, Reggie Jackson wants out of Oklahoma City in the worst possible way.
bryan S. says
Mid-W: Nice post @8:16. I agree, the Lakers aren’t likely to make any moves.
lil pau says
For those of you ‘Our FO is incompetent, Bring back Phil’-types, the Zenmaster is being savaged today in the press. Multiple ‘print’ articles plus Windhorst destroying him on ESPN– everything from his mishandling of Melo’s injury to trading Chandler for Calderon (and their respective extreme #s this season) to failing to get Kerr to sniping about Fish and the triangle. Pretty brutal stuff– one writer compares his performance unfavorably to the Knicks’ dismal record– ie., the Knicks are bad, but Phil has been worse.
In other news, SS&R suggests Ty Lawson is on our radar as well. I can see the logic there… Does anyone else struggle to sleep on the eve of the trade deadline? I have a P&G illness, I suppose…
We are already Tragic so no Dragic. Best news I read on here is the 57% decrease in viewing, perhaps those perhaps these numbers will wake up the other 33% share holders and other trust members in Buss family.p not named Jim.
If its not working in business then you change the ones on top. This team needs all new management and training staff. This one has bankrupted the team talent and lost the fans of LA.
Two worst years in the history of the Laker name.
Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is nothing at all. We’re at least at the point this season where I finally don’t expect things to get worse. Unfortunately, I’m still far from optimistic about next season.
If I were a free agent, and Kobe called, saying he was gung ho for next year–I’d sign with another team. If he called and indicated that he might not be able to play more than 10 minutes a game, and might not play at all next year, I might sign on the dotted line.
T. Rogers says
Regarding the trade deadline:
I hope the Lakers sit on their hands and ride this thing out. There is no point in getting just good enough to lose their top five pick. They REALLY need that pick.
Regarding the terrible TV ratings:
This worries me a bit. Surely there is pressure on the FO to put a better product on the floor. Will take their time to build the team right? Or will they cave to pressure and go for short term improvement that ultimately leads nowhere? If there was ever a time for Kupchak’s steady hand this is it.
I agree about the trade deadline T. Rogers, the best course of action should be staying put in my opinion, making a trade for say, Dragic, make no sense right now specially if he can be had in the summer without giving away anything. Trading for Dragic would not make the team better, it would still stink and would have even less assets for the future. The way this season is going, looks like we are going to keep that Suns pick, plus we will have another 1st from the Lin trade, people can moan about the FO but that is good management. We could pottentially have 3 nice rookies, including Randle since he is still a rookie a 2nd year Clarkson and money to spend on 1 or 2 “elite” players that could be a nice core if everything works out. I dont think Dragic is max money material but beggars can be choosers and he is a really good pg. About TV ratings, i would not worry about that, the team is losing, is natural that people would turn away, but i dont understand why people keep forgetting that the Lakers have one if not the biggest fanbase in the league. When the team crawls back to respectability again they will come back. I was on Dallas on the 26 of December and was on the AA Arena for the Lakers-Mavs game and like 20% of the people there (me included of course) were rocking the Purple and Gold in the Mavs own stinking gym and that was w/o Kobe playing and the team stink,they did put a good fight though. When the Lakers start winning games again fans will be back in huge numbers.
T-Rodgers: I agree, the Lakers do not want to lose their top 5 pick – it could well be a franchise altering selection.
However, I am intrigued by Reggie Jackson. It looks like the Thunder want an established big and are looking at the Net’s Lopez. I think a Hill for Jackson trade works for both teams. While his offense is better than Hill’s, Lopez has a big contract and is often injured. I think the Thunder would see Hill as a less risky approach to improving their team for the playoffs.
Once the Lakers get Jackson on board they can still pursue the soft tank by limiting his minutes, etc. The key is to have him on the team now to make signing him easier this summer. Of course this only works if the FO is thinking of drafting Okafor or Towns as obtaining Jackson would eliminate the need for drafting a PG.
J C says
Nice post, Anonymous.
I’d pay you a more specific compliment, but I like to keep my comments vague and mysterious.
Darius: OK – for my part – will not pound on my favorite topic as much (I am starting here by not even stating what it is). And by the way – we all appreciate your keeping up with this board through very difficult times as far as writing or commenting about the Lakes.
lil pau: I am not sure anybody wants Phil back now. He was the greatest coach of all time, we had a chance to get him and we did not. That is past. He is a totally unproven GM and we will see. It would be nice to have one of the following in our organization: Riles, West, and Phil. We do not and at this point, probably never will. Personally I get no satisfaction out of rooting against the Knicks (Phil/Fish) or the Rockets (DH). I prefer to root against the Spurs and the Celtics.
T. Rogers/Fern/others: Agreed – basically do nothing, except why not jettison whatever we can even for second rounders? Also, I am favoring this for this summer as well. We need to accumulate picks and youngsters. We absolutely can’t sign expensive vagabonds who will clutter up our cap well into the future.
Calvin Chang says
The low ratings are definitely alarming if I was an owner. Professional basketball is -first and foremost- a business. Ratings=sponsorship=money. Sure, winning and superstars bring money. But in the team’s current state, they’re 2 or 3 years away from contending and need to lose out to get that draft pick. To artificially spike up ratings, mix in some gimmickry to the process of developing youngsters and tanking. I’d sign Sim Bhullar for minimum non-guaranteed and have him play 12 minutes a game. Maybe 3 minutes per quarter. No-brainer ratings money jackpot. First NBA player of Indian descent. 1 billion people in India, with many hundred thousand rich in US. Sponsors will be lining up to offer me millions. Then tell Byron to play Linsanity style 28 minutes a game. More sponsors and ratings. They’ll still be bad so it won’t affect the tank. But they can also give Kelly Clarkson 20+mins per game to develop. Also play Wayne and Tarik. So I get tank and draft pick, develop-youngsters time, and ratings bonanza. Money.
Regarding Phil: His opportunistic attitude and the way he leveraged his relationship with Jeanie to oust West has always rubbed me the wrong way. I think it also began to grate on Dr. Buss and Jimmy. There is no doubting his ability as a coach but I could never see him in a FO position with the Lakers – not with Jim around.
However, that doesn’t mean that he can’t be effective in a FO role. If we are being honest the Knicks have been a mess for a very long time. Phil is essentially tearing the building down, which is the right thing to do. The big question is can he rebuild it into a winner.
Also, the decision to resign Melo to a max contract through his age 35 season could come back to bite Phil and the Knicks. You only need to look at the Lakers for the last two seasons to realize how paralyzing it is to have a max player on the roster that can’t perform. It would have actually been best not to resign Melo but that obviously would have taken even more gravitas then the Zen Master wields.
J C says
Agree about Phil.
Best coach ever. By FAR.
Wore out his welcome in Chicago.
Ok, put that down to Krause.
Wore out his welcome once in LA.
Even after winning three titles!
People seem to forget that.
Remember Rudy T!
Then Dr. Buss ate crow and asked him back.
Two more rings.
Then Phil got tired right about the time Dallas was kickin out a–es.
Nobody was begging Phil to stay then.
And by that time he was seeing the boss’s daughter for years and hadn’t proposed.
The Lakers offered Phil the job a third time and he told them, lemme think about it.
So the Busses said, we’ve had enough.
Phil’s ego is what prevented him from being welcomed into the Laker family.
Jeanie digs him and that’s cool.
But Jim doesn’t have to.
I don’t blame him and I’m not even a Jim Buss fan.
Here’s hoping we get a great draft pick, sign a good FA, Randle and Kobe come back healthy, and the Lakers prosper in 2016.
About PJ, the Knicks were a mess w/o him and that mess wont be fixed overnight, that article is tipycal NY media out to make a story out of nothing, if he was the Lakers President of basketball operations GM or whatever, the situation would be the same, the Lakers still be a mess. About Melo, PJ didnt had any choice, if Melo walked away the NY media would had completely tore PJ up. I doubt he can turn that team around and he is getting just a taste of how mean the NY media can be. I think he will come to regret going to NY. About him and the Lakers, he basically wanted total power and the Buss family starting with the patriarch himself would never allow that. This is their business and they are not going to gave the reins to an outsider even if he is with the princess. He left because he wanted what he got in NY. And lets not forget that the good Dr and Jimbo were not that fond of him. I think the best thing was what happened.
Nashty, thank you for working with Clarkson.
Wolves turning up the HEAT. They just got KG for Young. It’s gonna be a race to the bottom…. I can’t wait to see who wins.
heat giving up two draft picks for dragic (or so the rumors say)?? thank god the lakers didn’t try to compete w/ that.
People here seem to worry too much about ratings. Remember that even in this dreadful state, the Laker games viewership has outdrawn Clipper games on PrimeTicket all but one game this season.
Dear Pat Riley,
Thank you, again.
Some of these trades make no sense … why would utah trade kanter for perkins … if they mcgary its worth it but not stand alone … also sixers trading mcw … wow …bucks trading knight … was breaking out this year …. crazy
The Lakers should pursue Steven Adams of the Thunder. W/ Kanter on board Adams will be back on the OKC bench. I think they would be open to a Hill for Adams/filler deal. We could use a building block center.
Phoenix is stockpiling picks as they should be. This will also put them in the lottery this year. And they now have 3 extra 1st rounders coming n the future, plus all of their own. Not bad for Miami in that they can actually contend in the wide open East with this. All teams need to be doing one or the other. Stockpiling picks and youngsters or contending.
Craig W. says
The Jazz already have their starting center and will not be paying Kanter starting money and would lose him – therefore trade him now and get picks. They have the cash to pay for Perkins short-term. It’s a business, after all.
The 76ers have money, but are bad. They don’t see paying MCW long term – they don’t totally believe in him – and will pay short term to get more picks.
Phoenix now needed an experienced PG and Knight was now surplus – therefore, a trade.
– Looks like a lot of us got our wish…Lakers weren’t involved in any deadline trades…at least none that have been reported one hour passed the deadline.
– No surprise Goran went to the Heat. Did anyone really take the Laker or Knick talk seriously?
– Will be interesting to see how Brandon Knight does in Phoenix. Apparently the Bucks weren’t confident they would be able to retain him. Wonder if this improves the Lakers chances of acquiring him during the off-season if they don’t select a pg in the draft.
– Lakers next three games after this extended mid season all star break are against non playoff teams (Nets, Celtics, & Jazz, first two at home). No way they lose all three…right.
Calvin Chang says
Interesting how analytics has changed the approach of teams now. Either contend, or tank. For the sake of the league, I hope Silver can work to fix the lottery system. I feel bad for fans who pay $100s for tickets to watch teams lose on purpose.
Aaron: If it is a race to the bottom, then why do we not have a sign out in front of Staples: “Inventory Clearance Sale – Anyone on the roster available (sans Randal + Kobe) – bidding starts at a second round pick – Salary dumps not accepted” This would help us get to the bottom and get us picks.
-Starting to sound like B. Knight may be Phoenix long term. Hearing they just send Isaiah Thomas to Boston.
Robert: All teams need to be doing one or the other. Stockpiling picks and youngsters or contending.
Unless, of course, you are the Lakers. Jim is counting on a combination of pixie dust and a great deal of good luck to turn this ship around.
It amazes me — we are a team that needs, well essentially everything — and we continually stand on the sidelines while attractive young talent is traded. I would have loved to have gotten my hands on Jackson, Knight or MCW. One less hole to fill through the draft or via free agency. We have so much work to do!
-@ Robert, like the inventory clearance sale idea, but you have too many untouchable names :-).
@ Aaron, looks like Sixers & T’ Wolves have decided to let Lakers & Knicks fight for title of “worst team of 2014-15 season.
According to Romana Shelburne, Phoenix (in discussions re: the possible trade for Goran Dragic) asked the Lakers for both 1st round draft choices which would have involved altering (or even removing entirely) the protection on their potential forthcoming lottery pick.
Mitch said No.
Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.
Todd: Unless, of course, you are the Lakers. Jim is counting on a combination of pixie dust and a great deal of good luck to turn this ship around.
It does make you wonder what goes on at Lakers HQ. Did they meet and decide not to do anything or just take the week off altogether?
“I think we’re good till Summer, what do you think?” “Yeah, we’re good.”
Takes 2 to tango folks. Darius pointed out last month the difficulties in trying to trade hill, Lin, etc due to their contract/ salary and skill set. I thought maybe we could have attached davis or Ellington to one of those guys to get a future pick from a contender looking for depth.
I would think its time to buy out/ waive boozer now so black, davis, and hopefully kelly (if Scott ever decides to play him as stretch 4) can soak up all the minutes at the 4.
BigCitySid – quite the opposite, actually. Those trades make this year’s team worse for both the Sixers and the Wolves.
For the sake of the league, I hope Silver can work to fix the lottery system
now that makes sense
bryan S. says
Phoenix makes a surprisingly good batch of lemonade: Facing losing Dragic for nothing if they didn’t trade him, they engineer a trade for him that nets two 1st rounders, pawn off Isiah Thomas (too small, 1-way player ) to Boston, send a few picks, Miles Plumlee and title to a vacant lot in Phoenix, for Brandon Knight. BK is better than Dragic and the other Phoenix point guards. Wow.
This begs the question, if they can resign Knight (RFA), what do they do with Bledsoe? There is no way a small market team, or any team, wants that much scratch tied up for two point guards…
Don’t be surprised if the Lakers offer Knight a max range deal if they don’t pick a point with their top five pick. Phoenix will have to move Bledsoe (not so easy methinks) to keep Knight.
Joe A says
So, the Sixers now own our top-five protected pick. I really hope we keep our pick this year and then, by some miracle, leave them with a pick well outside the lottery next year…
Lakafan: Takes 2 to tango folks.
Understood. However, in a talent driven league, letting skilled players walk away for no return and designing current contracts in ways that ultimately make them untradable is not a beneficial strategy. It leads to seasons like this, when the only way to get better is to lose.
Phoenix will have to move Bledsoe (not so easy methinks) to keep Knight.
I don’t agree with either of these statements. Bledsoe has a lot of value, and I would presume that McDonough has thought it through.
I do agree that that the Lakers may go after Knight, but AFAIK he is a RFA.
Todd: Just curious, what would you have liked to see the FO do? Its easy to critique the FO for doing “nothing”, but I just do not see any other realistic alternative out there that did not involve getting rid of our two first round picks this offseason.
Not trying to pick on you buddy, just piggy backing off Darious’ earlier comment about folks slamming the FO for the sake of slamming or simply because they have chosen to focus on the FO as the source of their frustrations .
I would love, love, love to hear a single well-thought out comment about what can’t-miss-deal the FO passed up that they should be slammed form. Seriously. Not just from you. From anyone else out there — because from where I stand, absent a Kevin Durant firesale, I think keeping our picks for this offseason makes the most sense.
As to the Phil stuff, the two basic issues remain the same:
1. As the KBros have pointed out, the Lakers FO would have been smarter either to not involve Phil at all, or let him turn down the job publicly if he didn’t want it. Doing it the way they did created a lot of bad optics and ratcheted up the pressure on D’Antoni.
2. Howard supposedly told the FO that he wanted to play for Phil.
As to how Phil will do as an exec–don’t know yet. I do know that anyone defending Jim Buss should give Phil another couple of years before bagging on him.
Calvin Chang says
Sam Hinkie – Looks like you need some players. Please sign me up. I’ll play for your Sixers and help you tank.
I don’t like Phil, but In retrospect: Phil + Mitch > Jim + Mitch
Todd: This is of course very frustrating, With regard to teams trying to lose: Of the 14 teams currently qualified for lottery position, 11 of them were involved in deals today. In the majority of the cases, the 11 teams got younger and or received picks.
Robert: What deals would you have liked to be made? It’s easy for us couch surfers to say “something should have been made” without the realities of cap space, the need for a team to be willing to take an existing contract and offer up a pick for nothing. Would love to hear your opinion rather than the normal subtle-yet-not-so-subtle backhanded comments toward the FO.
I am OK with the FO not doing anything, but I think it is reasonable to point out that they couldn’t do much in part because of decisions that they made earlier:
1. Giving Hill 9m/year.
2. Signing Young for 4/21
3. Getting Boozer on an amnesty claim, which means the CBA prohibits trading him.
I backed the Lin deal and still do because of the Houston pick, but teams in the market for a PG can always find one for less than Lin would be paid the rest of the year.
I am sure that they could have moved Davis, but they may want to re-sign him, which is not unreasonable.
There’s an easy fix to the lottery system: (1) give each team that misses the playoffs an equal chance to get picks 1-16, (2) no one team can have consecutive seasons with a top 3 pick; and (3) all trades involving picks are top 5 protected.
I think this is a better system in the following ways:
(1) The incentive to “tank” is reduced, as its no different than just missing the playoffs in terms of your lottery odds;
(2) Making each pick “top 5 protected” at all times reduces the value of picks in trades, which will hopefully reduce the incentive for teams to do a “fire sale” of veterans for picks
rr: I do not disagree with your comment. In fact, what you say exactly matches my argument that there really was nothing else for the FO to do at this point (and based on the realities of where we are) other than give away what few lotto picks we may have this year.
However, that’s not what Robert, Todd and others are saying here. Based on what they write, they strongly imply that the FO did “nothing” when there we plenty of other “somethings” that could have been done by the trade deadline. That is simply not the case. Had they argued that the Hill, Young and Boozer signings were the root of the problem, well, then I would have said nothing and just nodded in agreement.
Anonymous: Had they argued that the Hill, Young and Boozer signings were the root of the problem, well, then I would have said nothing and just nodded in agreement.
I think that’s what I said. See below.
Todd February 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm
Lakafan: Takes 2 to tango folks.
Understood. However, in a talent driven league, letting skilled players walk away for no return and designing current contracts in ways that ultimately make them untradable is not a beneficial strategy. It leads to seasons like this, when the only way to get better is to lose.
lil pau says
J Hill was overpaid to give the Lakers flexibility moving forward, specifically the Lakers overpaid to ‘buy’ themselves a team option for his second year. This was a good move. Much better than paying him the more anticipated deal of, say,, 6/7M year for 4 years.
Boozer was a good player picked up for cents on the dollar. He fit better when Kobe/Randle/Xavier/Nash were playing and we weren’t yet in full tank mode, but it’s hard to fault this ploy. I have to say I hated him when he was on the Jazz and I still think he’s one of my least favorite Lakers of all time, but i admire how professional (and talented) he’s been this year (at least on offense)
The commitment to Swaggy is more questionable although, to be fair, he is pretty much the only player on the roster other than Kobe as we look towards next year…. As always, the truth is more complicated than the Chicken Littles of this site would suggest. Easier to make fun of a baseball cap, I suppose.
In other news… I wanted Dragic, but certainly not at the cost of 2 1st rounders, then 20M/year. No, thank you. I actually like where the Lakers are moving forward:
top 5 pick
Houston’s late 1st round pick
2nd round picks
Progress is being made, if slowly…
The real story here guys is the Suns gave away our protected pick. To me that means they think we will either be going for a top three pick next year or make a big trade some time next season that will move that pick out of the lottery.
I think it would have been better not to sign Boozer at all and said so then, and I was far from alone. And at the time they signed Hill, I was sort of OK with it because the deal was short–but I didn’t know about how the deal would work in a trade situation, and brought that up. I also would have rather that they made an offer to a RFA and let Hill leave in the 72-hour window than sign Hill for 2/18, and said that at the time. Young I was against at the time as were many others.
So it just comes back to the same thing: unless you buy the long con stealth tank narrative, the FO didn’t fully commit to either competing or rebuilding, which made making moves today harder. The team has hit full-tank mode anyway, but I don’t think that was part of a plan.
Anonymous: Not Robert or Todd, but I too felt frustrated by today’s inactivity. For me, its more of the compound impact of the poor decisions we have made. How can we constantly make decisions that create no upside? I look across the league and I can’t name a team that is in as much disarray as the Lakers.
The current Lakers organization projects such a sense of ineptness. Their moves either create no forward momentum or end up boxing themselves into a corner. I think the problem is that even in this strategic vacuum the franchise will still earn a $100 million dollars this year. There seems to be no incentive to operate effectively or efficiently.
So, am I upset just about today — no. But am I mad that, yet again, the Lakers put themselves in a position that forced them to do nothing — yes.
All things considered, I think we came out of the deadline as well as could have been expected. It was going to be tough moving any of the pieces we had, as was stated by Darius some time ago. Now we can look ahead to:
1. not doing anything stupid that will jeopardize our pick. Call it tanking; don’t call it tanking. We’re all in now for as many losses as possible, or we’d better be, TWC and season ticketholders notwithstanding.
2. cutting Boozer, which would help our race to the bottom, and which would also be the decent thing to do.
3. looking ahead to the draft and FA, in which I hope we ignore Dragic again and focus on younger targets. Luckily, the only really bad money on the roster is the Swaggy deal; if there’s a way to get out of it, it would be nice, but usually that costs a draft pick, and I don’t think this is worth it, except as part of some larger trade. It’s a bad deal, but not THAT bad, as these things go.
It doesn’t seem like much right now, and the second half is going to be uglier than the first, probably. But sometimes not moving in the wrong direction anymore is a step in the right direction.
One other second half hope: that BS manages to find a little time, even in blowouts, to play Kelly at the 4. Kelly is limited; as rr noted some time ago (at least I recall it was something like this), I agree that his ceiling is as a 10-15 minute, fringe rotation guy. But he does have a specific skill and that does give him value — unlike a guy like Wes Johnson, who really doesn’t do any one thing well enough to overcome his limitations.
Baylor Fan says
The draconian cap rules guarantee that more teams will be highly incentivized to have bad records. Losing the ability to take on exorbitant amounts of salary leaves teams with little choice other than to collect cheap, controlled players to build around. The chances of getting a free agent superstar as a foundation player are greatly reduced.
Craig W. says
Me, I’m happy the Lakers did nothing today. There wasn’t much to be done. As to why we are here – the NBA veto story holds the same amount of water as the ‘Jim is dumb’ theory. Decisions were made that didn’t work out. If you have been one of those fans that has ‘hated’ the front office, then you have found the downside of every move made since the MDA signing. Therefore I don’t listen much to your observations. To many of us fans the decisions didn’t seem terribly wrong at the time, but didn’t work out. The CBA structure also had a hand in preventing some actions the Lakers might have wanted to make – hence Kobe’s recent comment on the CBA. The Lakers were particularly hampered because 1) they weren’t used to operating ‘like other clubs’ and 2) they were at a veteran ‘roll-over’ point when the veto happened and prevented that ‘roll-over’. As to letting players go for nothing – that also has to do with the other clubs offering something that is worth the trade – just saying we should have done something doesn’t really address what was attempted, but failed.
The front office is not bullet-proof, but they are not stupid and they have had to negotiate several strategy turns because of injuries and personalities. Putting them in the position of the Knicks would seem to be short-sighted, because they recently won two championships – while the Knicks look back at the early 70s for their glory.
P.S. Baylor Fan makes a very good point. Score another one for the recent CBA.
Well, lakers have nothing to trade except their assets being a poor team. The get a gift compliments of NBA to bottom dwellers – a good player from NCAA. or a wasted contract of Nash. Because of these situations, Lakers are in a dilemma….want to improve but we might lose the pick! The get the pick that they wanted like Randle, but they are getting too far from the prize because newbies take time to pan out in NBA. Lakers dream the dream of getting all the best F/A’s but handcuffed by Kobe’s contract so again, it is stalemate. They did not win nor lose from the trade, Lakers remain a bystander. As avid Laker fans, are we willing to spend being a mere bystander season after season? In the first place after 2011, why did we get into this dilemma?
bryan S. says
rr: Bledsoe certainly has significant value. But nothing on the level of a max contract type of deal. The Suns bid against themselves for a super athletic, undersized, unpolished, point guard with a history of knee problems. No other team came close to offering the deal Phoenix gave him.
For these reasons, he is not moved easily. If they do move him, they will have to give up something else to do it. We shall see, eh?
And yes, Knight is a RFA–as I said in my post you are responding to.
Really? Really? You think so low of the Lakers you think they are the only FO that doesn’t know you need to tank/rebuild for a couple years to get a base of young talent on cost controlled deals? I have long said I’m not a stealth tank guy. The Lakers have basically shouted from the roof tops they are doing an overt tank when Jim Buss says the goal is to compete for a champiknshop in 3 years and they sign Kobe to a crazy max deal that lasts just as long.
Craig W: Decisions were made that didn’t work out.
The Lakers are on the verge of having the worst record in history after setting that very mark just last year. The team has no healthy young talent to use as a cornerstone moving forward. They have the least assets of any team in the league. Last summer they pushed their cap space on a rapidly aging Carmelo, who just shut his season down w/ a knee injury.
And no, I don’t dislike the FO. In fact I like Mitch and root for Jeanie to succeed. But, I think there’s more going on than just a few decisions that didn’t work out. Even the most die hard supporter would agree that there appears to be a lack of a cohesive plan with this regime. At some point effort and good intentions have to give way to the bottom line: wins and losses.
“The draconian cap rules guarantee that more teams will be highly incentivized to have bad records. Losing the ability to take on exorbitant amounts of salary leaves teams with little choice other than to collect cheap, controlled players to build around. The chances of getting a free agent superstar as a foundation player are greatly reduced.”
Amen, brother, amen. In other words, I hate the talk about fixing the lottery. It’s the least of the problems concerning the competitive integrity of the league.
Now on to rr, no one is going to lay claim to be kin to Kelvin Cato, at least not if their name does not appear on the birth certificate as ma or pa.. R.E.M. have that song, Kohoutek, after that one comet that was supposed to be all Halley and all that, but fizzled out, like Kelvin Cato. And so in honor of Kelvin Cato:
And so you can sing along:
Now on to Robert, and so, Robert, bread and circuses is supposed to be the superficial diversion intended to divert lemmings like us from considering more serious matters in the clear light of day. This team ain’t that. At least not for me. Since as you know, I’m not at all buying into the bread and circus that is Nick Young. As I’ve made plain here before.
By the way, not exactly thrilled that we didn’t try to move up in the draft, since I screwed up last year re the timeline. Meaning, I knew that Wiggins was out and so Randle as 2nd best on the board. So okay there. Also said Towns. In the running for him (and I do want him over Okafor). My error was in thinking that Oubre would still be in high school. Oh well…..i.e., no one in the league is stupid enough to help move the Houston pick up in the bottom third of the top 10, which is where Oubre probably goes. And the worst thing is, owing to that whole you can’t go more than a year without a 1st rounder provision, well, I’m fairly certain that our protected picks are taken as traded for those rules and so we spaced them out (owe one to both Phoenix and Orlando) and so no intervening 1st rounders to trade, like, say, a 2017 1st rounder + the Houston pick this season + one of Hill/Lin/whoever (not Randle) + a second rounder or two for a pick wherein the odds are good that it winds up 7-9 (so Jimbo and Mitch can take Oubre after they take Towns). Then add a SG and then beg and plead with Westbrook when the time comes. And at the risk of offending the folks at Bruins Nations, hire Ben Howland as the defensive coach with the authority to implement and enforce his, You don’t play D and you don’t see the floor, rule. Lastly, as always, Cathargo delenda est.
Anyone who still thinks tanking was not a plan for this year is just plain ignoring facts.
Tanking and staying below the cap have always been a part of this years strategy. It’s the reset that, although no one wanted, had to happen.
Why do we need a pronouncement of the plan when it’s so painfully obvious?
Good young players can always be moved, even if they are overpaid in some Platonic sense. Also, how do you know what Bledsoe’s other offers were? Serious question. As to Knight, yes, I know that you mentioned he is a RFA. And it is a game-changer.
This is old ground. Like I have said, there are easier and cheaper ways to tank than giving Kobe 48.5M, Young and Hill 30M, Byron Scott 17M, and there are guys worse than Boozer that a team can get for less than 3.25M who could be traded without violating the CBA.
You have some good posts. How about a handle? =)
But see what I say to Aaron above re. tanking.
Good post. I think there are two reasonable ways to look at the FO right now:
1. It is time for a change.
2. Between The Veto, some bad luck, and a five-year window of short-horizon organizational strategies designed to get Jerry Buss and Kobe one more trip the Big Rodeo, the Jim Buss FO was put in a bad position, so they deserve some more time. But there are many reasons for concern. And one of those is, as you note, the fact that they apparently offered a max deal to Carmelo Anthony, a fact which is seldom brought up anymore.
Craig W. says
I, in no way, want to say I think this is a superior front office that hasn’t made mistakes – they have made several, just not the number ‘haters’ on this blog want to attribute to them, i.e. I think their coaching hires have been poor – and I didn’t/don’t support rehiring Phil Jackson for the remaining year he would have stayed. While I didn’t criticize the MDA and Byron Scott hires, I thought they were sub-par – I just understood why they were made (Jerry Buss and continuity).
What I have been saying all along is that 1) the CBA was aimed directly at the Lakers and 2) the CBA fundamentally changed how all clubs could operate. Since the Lakers had a 30 year track record of good decisions, everyone thought this should continue unabated. Since the old owner – who had final say on everything – was dying and most of the ‘old ways’ were specifically barred by the new CBA, the Lakers had a learning curve to endure. They tried to make a good start and were Vetoed. The ripple effect from this was horrendous in personnel chemistry, coaching, and options available to the front office. Trying to do the same thing over with Dwight Howard & Steve Nash was understandable, but pretty fatal for the Lakers – big learning curve here. With these two occurrences and the fan dislike of anyone who wasn’t Jerry Buss’s personality, there was no quarter to be given for learning. Now that the media smelled blood, the pursuit was on – see the Kobe Bryant saga for a previous example (there are plenty of others) – and the ‘talking heads’ were in full cry, further inciting impatient fans.
Now we are in a situation where things will happen more slowly, however, the fan-base will not let go of what happened during the ‘downhill slide’, even if much of it was predicated by people outside the Laker organization.
These are tough times, but we will get through them. I still have faith in Mitch Kupchek and I don’t think Jim Buss is getting in his way.
The story of the Buss Children engaged in wheelin’ and dealin’ is like the history of Monarchy in the Middle Ages to 21th Century. The Kings and royal blood get involved in governance of their country with little experience in dealing with the modern era. They are afraid to let go their power to warring subjects, their teutonic knights without realizing poor governance would accelerate their eventual downfall as well.
Why not let the experts runs the show like transitioning to prime minister and parliament while the royal blood enjoys its symbol of power without getting to the neatly and gritty way of governance?
Having said that, don’t blame the CBA but focus on Lakers decisions in dealing with changes in CBA. You have to change with the changing times! When changes were coming, use your political power with the league and influence on marquee players to your advantage. After all, without the NBA players there will be no games to show and without the fans support, there will be no NBA team could exist to support the team.
What fans are asking in the Laker nation that there should be an improvement, a forward thrust, no excuses nor if’s and but’s. If you have 12 miserable salesmen who continuously produce a bad show, why not improve at least 2 or 3 and continue tanking to get 4th individual? Is this not the smart way of improving the team? There should be progress rather than retrogressing (like Kodak and Radioshack); can’t use the pick. as your sole objective to improve. Since 2011 who were the new players we have been getting – Murphy, Kapono, McRoberts. Morris, Goudelock, Hill, Sessions and then in 2012 – Howard, Nash, Jamieson, Clark, Duhon, Meeks, Sacre and going to another year 2013 – S. Williams, Farmar, Brooks, Bazemore, Kelly, Young, Harris, Kaman and the current season which change again in 2014.
The team stays but where are all these players? What is the progress of rebuilding? Patience, yes but where is the solid structure? Do you get my drift? We essentially have been changing players every season rest all our bets on our old players used to be Fisher, then Gasol, Metta and now only Kobe who were with this team that gave us three visits to NBA Finals starting from ’08? Are the Laker fans patient enough in giving time to this new kid’s fantasy? Hey, we know you are the owner but you got to improve, move forward if you want us to spend more for this team. Sometimes, truth hurts even to avid fans who are defending the actions of the Family. Well, sorry folks some people have to say it, though maybe unpalatable to read in our fan’s blog, we have to air the other point of view.
Slappy: I appreciate your commenting on the Lakers while simultaneously educating everyone on linguistics and history. To continue to play along:
Roman Empire = Lakers
Carthage = Celtics + Spurs
The Forum = The Forum
FBG = The Senate
MD’s Offense = Bread + Circus
Kobe = Spartacus
Phil = Marc Antony
Jeanie = Cleopatra
I will allow you to decide who Jim will be in this. As far as Cato, he wanted complete defeat of Carthage (Spurs and Celtics). Anything less would put the Empire at jeopardy.
Aaron: It is not rr you should be arguing with. You think it was obvious that the Lakers were going to have bad record this year. I think rr and others of us said as much in preseason. Please remember this next summer. You will not be disagreeing with rr on this subject then either.
rr: Are you going soft on the Jim Buss FO? Reading Option 2, in your post above, it is almost as if you have embraced the ‘victim of circumstances’ flag that Jim’s supporters wave.
I try to be pragmatic about these things but let’s face it being a fan is inherently an emotional connection, so call me emotionally pragmatic. So given that fact I will admit that I am inclined not to like Jim Buss. While assuming control of Basketball Operations he has done little in the PR aspect of his job to refute his ‘ne’er-do-well’ image. So admittedly, the emotional side of my being a fan dislikes him.
But the pragmatic side of me asks how many consecutive errors can one make and still get a pass, or in your words ‘more time’? Supporters always fall back on the veto as reason enough to absolve Jim for any subsequent wrongdoing. Wasn’t there discussion on this board that Jim’s actions after the Paul trade contributed to the groundswell of protest by small market owners and left Stern little maneuverability except to veto.
In my mind the balance of Jim’s moves were either wrong (coaching choices) or doubling down on loosing hands (Nash). Jim even undermined his own smart move — he had to know the Howard trade essentially mortgaged the future of the franchise. Yet he failed to anticipate the oil and water personalities of Kobe and Dwight and put a strong coach in place to help them work together. And as Alan noted above he came very close to making the Lakers irrelevant for the balance of the decade by attempting to sign a fading Melo to a max contract.
So, put me in the ‘I’ve seen enough’ of Jim Buss to know that he should not have the keys to the car any longer. Its funny, though, Jim can still be the architect of the next great Lakers team if he would just step aside (not out) and elevate Mitch and bring in another smart basketball mind to sit at the table. Since so many of you think that the CBA is too restrictive for the Lakers maybe this new addition is someone who can help Jim and Mitch make it work for the team’s benefit.
Alan’s final comment says it all: ‘Even the most die hard supporter would agree that there appears to be a lack of a cohesive plan with this regime. At some point effort and good intentions have to give way to the bottom line: wins and losses’
Craig W. says
No monopoly is like any ‘regular’ business and professional sports leagues are monopolies.
I don’t believe in giving the Laker organization a free pass. That said, all NBA teams make many mistakes – all of them, even the Spurs. The Laker situation was somewhat unique, both because of their 30-year history as being the most successful franchise in sports and the success of the other NBA owners to try to reign this success in – for good or ill. There was no way the Lakers were going to avoid mistakes in this environment. Taking any decision in isolation is folly, but simply listing the bad ones, without really knowing what went into them is also folly.
The Veto and the Howard/Nash decisions pretty much dictated we were going to be somewhere close to where we are. What’s done between last year and the future tells more about the front office. I did not support the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony last summer, but – again – I understood it. I don’t really support the Dragic pursuit, because I believe his window fits the Laker window. I think, if the Lakers draft a PG in this next draft, they will pit him and Clarkson against each other and may be better off – bigs normally take years longer to develop.
Why is it necessary to go through a laundry list when criticizing the front office. That only emphasizes how difficult the job of running a successful franchise in a monopoly environment and somewhat weakens your argument – IMO.
T. Rogers says
Love the historical references. If FBG is the Senate does that mean Jim is Julius Caesar? The Ides of March are quickly approaching lol!
I dont understand people here, i really dont, the Lakers did the only sensible thing they could do which is doing nothing, and they still whinning about Hill contract ( basically a 1 year contract and he has delivered) Young (market value after his production last season) and boozer, what some people here wanted the team to hire? Minimum wage workers? The roster needed to be filled. The Lakers squandered their draft picks triying to be better and win championships didnt work out, and when the team was good most of us didnt gave a hoot about the Draft, now it looks like we have a shot to retain that top 5 pick and get an additional 1st rounder from the Lin trade, we potentially going to have 2 valued rookies and randle and a second year Clarkson on the roster. Dragic wasnt traded to the Lakers because Phoenix wanted what they got from Miami, and if the Lakers did that it would had been cathastrophic. They are not stupid and next year team should be a leap fwd from this one, we are getting younger and have tons of cap space, whinning about contracts is silly, if not them they would had to pay someone else. Its easy to talk from here when in fact we are like Jon Snow.
@craig.w excellent comment we are in total agreement
As Craig W said the current CBA was targeted against the Lakers. I am specifically referring ridiculously burdensome repeater tax.
Once going all in to try to bring another championship with the addition of Howard and Nash failed, the Laker strategy has been to get under and stay under the cap these past two years until the 2015 and 2016 off-seasons. Hence, the collection of vagabonds and one year contracts.
With regards to acquiring picks, the Lakers traded away all/most of their picks trying to keep the 2008-2010 championship window open longer, most notably the Nash trade.
While getting and staying under the cap, the Lakers still needed to be entertaining, giving us the Kobe and Swaggy P deals. The size and timing of Kobe’s deal were very questionable, but I believe the Lakers wanted to make a statement to potential future Lakers that the organization takes care of their stars. 4 years for Swaggy is puzzling though.
With regards to Hill, besides paying him more for a shorter time to fit the 2016 time frame, I believe his salary was enlarged to make salaries work out in trade scenarios that may have presented themselves this season, but did not.
To say there has not been a plan is incorrect. We may not agree with the plan, but there has been a plan.
Fern typed most of what I typed but faster.
rr said he didn’t think the Lakers were trying to tank this year. He is too smart to hold such an opinion.
The easiest and best way to tank is to have Kobe jack up shots and bring in fans as you lose as many games as possible. This isnt Philly. You need a headliner for your tank. Young was the only entertaining thing last year after the Kobe injury and he is a bad player who also helps you lose games. Boozer also is my ideal guy for losing. Old vets who can’t play D. That’s why the Sixers will finish with a better record. Too many young guys getting better who can play defense.
… Whoops. Forgot to touch on Hill. He was signed strictly so if a star player became abailable we could match salaries.
And I will say I think they made a mistake in Young. I thought they should have signed him to a big two year deal like Hill. That’s the only mistake they made.
I thought Robert was going to lay off the anti-Jim Buss bandwagon? How long did such hiatus last? I feel bad for Darius having to deal with these types of repetitive comments.
Most of the Anonymous posts on this thread are mine. I’m too lazy and forgetful that I often fail to fill in the name box.
rr: I think there are two reasonable ways to look at the FO right now:
1. It is time for a change.
I think you could have stopped right there. 🙂
Seriously, I am not as ’emotionally pragmatic’ about this as Victor. However, I do understand his feeling that Jim’s choices should not be viewed through any type of a filter — they should be judged by wins and losses. Looking at it from that perspective we shouldn’t expect change in the results on the floor without a change in the person(s) making the decisions.
It is likely true that if Jim were not family he would have been relived of his duties. If we give Jim credit for making bold moves he should be held accountable for the fact that they have not worked. This isn’t AYSO soccer where effort is rewarded with a trophy.
However, Jim is family and his rope is much longer than if he wasn’t. Folks, he’s not going anywhere and its likely he’s not going to bring on additional brain power either. So the fan in me is forced to hope that Jim has learned by his mistakes. A silver lining is that, in their current state, the Lakers have limited assets and as a result have limited choices to make –who to draft and which of the few available FAs to pursue — maybe the odds that Jim chooses the right path increases.
Like I said, I think it is reasonable to think that they need to pull the plug now, and give Jim new duties. And I think the people trying to defend a few of the recent moves are simply kidding themselves, either with stealth tank narratives or with vaporous narratives which rely on continually lashing out at fans and the media, rather than dealing with the actual moves themelves.
That said, I think it is pretty hard to overstate the Butterfly Effect of the Veto of the Paul deal, not only on the Lakers but on the entire Western Conference. Add that to the drive to get another ring for Kobe and Old Man Buss and that is a lot of hold-back. Also, I am skpetical about Jim being responsible for the Veto. I think Stern had very specific business/PR reasons that he did that and would have done it no matter what.
You are better than I am, and better than most people, at observing and evlauating NBA talent. But that doesn’t that mean you know everything or can read every chessboard.
First of all, you are ignoring the fact that Kobe dramatically cut his USG and had changed into facilitator Kobe before he went down, and you posted multiple times that Kobe shouldn’t rest, etc. But of course he was resting a lot, and notice that without him and with FBG MasterScout fave Clarkson getting heavy burn, the Lakers are still losing with metronomic regularity.
As to Boozer and Scott, you are doing the same thing that you do with your free agency scenarios: projecting. You are presuming that the FO sees Boozer, Kobe, Scott, et al exactly the same way that you do, just as you are presuming that Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis will read the FA chessboard exactly the way that you would. Given that LeBron James
a) Went home to Cleveland
b) Demanded that the Cavs trade a young, cost-controlled hotshot for a guy whom you think is pretty much the most overrated player in the game today
You might want to re-think that approach.
Parrothead: The size and timing of Kobe’s deal were very questionable, but I believe the Lakers wanted to make a statement to potential future Lakers that the organization takes care of their stars.
Additionally, we can’t forget that the facts include two future Hall of Fame bigs (Howard and Gasol) who were so fed up and frustrated by the Lakers that they left a lot of money on the table to get away. That also sends a message to potential future Lakers about how well they take care of their stars.
FB&G, moderators and posters are on fire! Excellent dialogue! 🙂
If Young endures for the entirety of his commitment, just think, he’ll be the veteran on the team. A remnant from MDA, a place setter for Scott, and a continuity player for the future. Young’s position on the bench will gradually move from 6th to 9th by the end of his contract. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’ll still be relevant as a specialty player he’ll win a few games for the team, think Mike Miller or Ray Allen.
What’s wrong with that is he will be eating up valuable sallary cap space that we would want to use on star player. Every million counts when you are trying to attract multiple max contracts. Presumably we will have to give away a draft pick to get rid of his contract in the future.
I can’t argue any of your points. I am of course thinking the Lakers are as smart as me at judging talent. Tying to get into soneone’s head isn’t as hard as most people think… But it of course isn’t going to be 100 percent accurate all of the time. I know this.
As for your example of a dumb organization like the Cavs…I don’t think they are as good at judging talent as I am. That’s why I was not suprised they went after Love after the Warriors passed on him (Jerry West and co were smart). I still rem all the talking heads laughing at them for not wanting to give up Thompson. Having said that I was not opposed to trading Wiggins for an actual good player since Cle is in win now mode. Of course I thought since they were under the cap it was best to keep the cost controled wiggins and use that money to sign another good player this offseason.
J C says
Jim…”failed to anticipate the oil and water personalities of Kobe and Dwight and put a strong coach in place to help them work together.”
This is very well said by Victor above.
In fact it highlights the flavor of the current FO, whether it’s Jim or Mitch calling the shots.
Even Phil and Jerry West had to soothe the egos of Shaq and Kobe long enough to win those titles.
Even if we disregard the effect of The Veto, which was out of our control (EXCEPT had the Lakers waited until a day or two after the league meetings had disbursed, we may not have been Vetoed), the failure of FO to properly corral and manage the talent they had assembled (Kobe, Dwight, Pau) falls squarely on the shoulders of Jim Buss and also Kupchak.
Even the mismanagement of a guy like Chris Kaman is representative of this sort of failing.
It’s not enough just to acquire talent – the talent has to be managed from ownership down to coaching and motivated to embrace a collective mindset of teamwork, etc. Duh!
This is the disconnect I see between the current front office and players, and is contributing to our recent lack of success overall. And this is why selecting a coach does matter – it can make the difference between players functioning and succeeding as a team, and playing like a bunch of individuals out there. But it starts with ownership and management, and requires leadership and vision.
bryan S. says
with FBG MasterScout fave Clarkson getting heavy burn, the Lakers are still losing with metronomic regularity.
Huh? Did you expect otherwise? What were your expectations for a second round pick, playing his first games in the NBA, surrounded by back-up talent? By all measures, Clarkson has hugely exceeded expectations.
What were your expectations for a second round pick, playing his first games in the NBA, surrounded by back-up talent?
My expectations for him were pretty low. He looks like a very nice get as a guy in the 2nd round. Aaron, however, suggested that Clarkson would help win too many games, and you have called him the steal of the draft, and predicted in preseason (perhaps half-jokingly) that Kobe and the rookies would lead the team to the 8th seed
Aaron, you’re right there’s a possibility but in all likelihood, Young’s contract should not preclude the Lakers from acquiring max players.
The Lakers should have several controllable contracts in Clarkson, Randle, 2015 top five, and Houston’s pick. Presently, top executives are anticipating how the new TV deal and the potential NBA lockout in 2017 affects their strategy. Zach Lowe explored the ramifications of the TV deal in How the NBA’s New TV Deal Could Blow up the Salary Cap:
Two years ago, smart teams began projecting a rising salary cap, and industry experts wondered if the new TV deal might crack $2 billion per year on average. The Suns absolutely had the TV deal in mind when they beat the field in inking the Morris twins and Eric Bledsoe to long-term deals over the last two weeks. Those contracts look big, especially Bledsoe’s five-year, $70 million deal, but they’ll look very different in two or three years. Longer is better, in this case, provided good health. This may also apply to Kenneth Faried’s extension with Denver though details on that are still rolling in.
Young’s agreement could very well fall into this same category appearing fiscally unsound now but will be viewed as negligible with the new deal. His contract just might be the genesis of a strategic plan by the Lakers brain trust. As the saying goes, “Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”
I agree because I think they are going to dump Youngs contract when the time is right. It won’t be too hard of a contract to shed but we will have to give up something in the transaction… That’s why I thought it was a bad contract. Having said that of Nick was 23 years old I would have signed him to that exact contract with the intent of keeping him through the duration. His most valuable years though are now behind him.
Craig W. says
The Gasol situation was bound to have problems once the Veto happened and MDA was on-board. Dwight Howard was the best big man in the game – bar none – and we got him. His personality and commitment were what did him in in Los Angeles. He is simply better off in a smaller pond – yes Houston is a smaller pond, though not a much smaller city. Also, we certainly could have kept Andrew Bynum, but my guess is that the heat would have been very hot about why we didn’t get Dwight Howard.
This is simply revisionist history and it is all focused on Jim Buss. Just listened to John Ireland – who had talked to Mitch and Byron. Mitch says Jim pretty much defers to Mitch when there are disagreements and Byron seems very content with the direction of the club (he has taken two teams from 15 wins to 50+ wins in his career), even if I was not in full support of his hire.
The ‘never ending spiral down the toilet talk’ needs to finally get flushed out and a new bowl filled.
For those who think Mitch is a moron…
Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter)
Posted at February 20, 2015 at 12:19 PM on Twitter
“Kupchak said LAL can’t jeopardize the next 5-7 years just to win during the final year of Kobe’s contract by bringing in veterans.”
Todd: Additionally, we can’t forget that the facts include two future Hall of Fame bigs (Howard and Gasol) who were so fed up and frustrated by the Lakers that they left a lot of money on the table to get away. That also sends a message to potential future Lakers about how well they take care of their stars.
It will go down as one of the greater ‘what ifs’ in Lakers history. What if Jim had swallowed his distaste for Phil and brought him back as coach. Would Phil have been able to corral the seemingly opposite forces of Kobe and Dwight? Would he have been able to work Pau into the mix?
Of course, we all know how it works out — by not working out. Howard’s leaving was the straw that broke the camel’s back and timed with Kobe’s injury sealed our fate to what we’ve experienced these last two years.
It wasn’t that long ago the Lakers were on the cusp of doing great things.
“Kupchak said LAL can’t jeopardize the next 5-7 years just to win during the final year of Kobe’s contract by bringing in veterans.”
There is indeed hope!
“Kupchak said LAL can’t jeopardize the next 5-7 years just to win during the final year of Kobe’s contract by bringing in veterans.”
This is pretty important. And I have never thought that Mitch is a moron, and frankly, I doubt that Jim is either.
But genius or moron–Jim and and his FO need to start making some decisions that work in a big way.
At this point, the only way to go is up. I’m glad the team stood pat at the deadline. Dragic seemed too expensive and was not a franchise changer IMO. As much as we may hate it, retaining this year’s pick and using it wisely is all that’s left to make something positive out of this disaster of a season.
On a side note, the buying out of traded or players deemed not in a team’s future plans has really become a cottage industry. An Amare or a Kendrick Perkins could be a difference maker. It’s becoming a sort of bizarro free agency for jettisoned players. It just feels a little sleazy to me. It’s a situation that bears watching.
-@ rr, Stuart, & Aaron, finally Jimmy B & Mitch have finally stopped drinking the Kobe kool-aid. Better late than never.
I wouldn’t call it the “Kobe Kool Aid.” Kobe is, ultimately, labor, not management, and one player. I would call it the “We have better players than folks think we do and can and must rebuild differently than other orgs do because we are the Lakers” Kool Aid.
Also, if they were really off the Kobe Kool-Aid, they never would have given him a two-year deal to begin with.
If Kobe were 33, healthy, and the team could WIN next year, then, yeah, fine. Go for it. Trade a couple of picks etc. But this would just be “sending Kobe out on a decent team.” Not enough.
Comparing Nick Young to Mike Miller and Ray Allen? That’s a stretch.
BCS: Not sure why you are saying that. Mitch basically said he would not surround KB with old, short term talent next year, just to try to win. However KB will still be the main guy both in payroll and on the court, So how exactly is this different than this year?
Sorry that’s wasn’t clear. I wasn’t addeessing you. I’ll always talk directly to you on here. I was speaking to the masses who felt the FO was going to go after Dragic types in FA this summer.
You add a lot to the site.
I just wish we had a team to root for so we could argue about stuff like playoff match-ups and rotations.
email@example.com-In terms of the ability to hit a 3-pter here or there in future years to win a game, I don’t think that’s a stretch. Considering, Young hit 3-pters, and several four-point plays last year causing the Lakers to drop out of the top five in the lottery. If I’m not mistaken, he did that this season in his first game back from injury aiding the Lakers in a road win. Allen was a floor spacer for the Heat, and this year Miller fills that role for Cleveland. I’m intimating that Young could execute a similar role for the team albeit historically he is a streakier shooter than either Allen or Miller.
See that’s the thing. I still do that with my friends. I am an NBA fan first and foremost. I was trying to do that on this site at the start of the year but people here only want to talk Lakers (which I don’t want to do unless it’s about other players in the league).
Me too, but not here. What is your hit on some of the big trades?
The biggest trades were made by the Cavs shaping up for the playoff run. On deadline day I as always loved what the Sixers did. MIchael Carter Williams isn’t a future star player. Keep moving average players for future picks. Ya know fake it till you make it? I’m for tank it till you bank it.