At the time of this writing, the Lakers and 76ers are about to tip off. So, up front, I’d like to apologize for my tardiness in getting up this preview. However, when real life intervenes with my ability to post, I’m just going to chalk it up to priorities being priorities and leave it at that.
Speaking of priorities, if you’re on the outside looking in on this game, one would have to wonder what each team’s priorities really are. As we discussed the last time these two teams faced off, the Lakers would very much like to keep their lottery pick in the upcoming draft this June. The 76ers, meanwhile, would very much like it if the Lakers surrendered that pick since they (and not the Suns) now own it. So, are these teams trying to win this game?
On the Lakers’ side, they will be without Jeremy Lin who, after missing Sunday’s game against the Nets, is still out with an “upper respiratory infection”. Carlos Boozer is able to play tonight, but it’s not yet clear who in the musical chairs of a big man rotation between Boozer, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill, Tarik Black, and Robert Sacre will not play. My money is on Davis and Boozer sitting out again, but guessing what Byron Scott will do with his rotations is a fool’s errand.
On Philly’s side, everyone who is able to play likely will as they are okay at losing games all on their own without making any lineup adjustments. We’ll see how much Nerlen’s Noel actually does play, but as their best player in a game that will likely be fairly close throughout, I’d imagine he’ll be pushing 30 minutes.
I wish I had more to say about this game, but, honestly, I don’t. Both teams would be better off losing and, most times that is the case, the result will not be very aesthetically pleasing basketball. So, the fans suffer, you guys reading this suffer, and I, well, I post a preview when a game has already started. Again, sorry about that.
In order to make it up for you, here’s a scene from Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks tells his crew about a “sticky bomb” and how to blow up a tank. In other words, a metaphor for any player who decides he’s going to play well tonight. Enjoy:
Wow! At least the 76ers give great effort. Lakers look like they are tanking or something.
It’s not like me to give our FO credit. However, I will say they have embraced the reality of the moment. They are finally doing everything they can to keep their top 5 pick.
The fact that the Lakers have won a few games just goes to show how difficult it is to be among the worst four teams in the NBA. Losing, a lot, is hard to do. Players play to win. Coaches coach to win.
If you were waiting for the other shoe to drop, here it is: The Lakers FO did no one any favors when they took so long to acknowledge the fact that the season was gone. Kobe went down for the season on January 21st. However, it was evident that something was wrong with Kobe in December. By the way, December was a month where the Lakers won 6 meaningless games and likely lost their chance to keep this pick.
The FO had to know the only way this season had a happy ending is if Kobe played beyond expectations. By December, it was clear Kobe was not right and therefore the season was essentially over before the New Year hit. Yet, the FO did nothing in terms of down grading the roster (release Lin/Boozer or move Hill). The FO sat out the trade deadline keeping these same players — players that in all likelyhood won’t be on the team next year.
In fact the FO waited until the 3/24 game against OKC to begin sitting players with DNPCD (Boozer and Hill in this case). The FO waited 26 games (from 1/21 to 3/24) to realize that a) the season was lost and b) it might be a good idea to keep this pick.
If the Lakers lose the pick it will because they won a handful of games too many. It’s possible that the Lakers may win 22 games this year and by doing so lose their pick. True, this has been a horrible year. However, would it really have been that much worse if the FO had been truly realistic about this season and we won, say, 15 games?
we totally need to lose this game … would love to creep past the sixers and ruin their multi-year tank plans
This is a real toenail biter…
To stupid to know when to lose?
I’m happy for Brown, Kelly, Clarkson, and Johnson. I hate the win but love the effort!
I can handle the Lakers being really bad, but I am pretty tired of knowing that they are better off losing those games which they are capable of winning and having my fan exp. filtered through that lens.
Might as well get used to Jabari Brown as our 2015 lottery pick. First that 3 in minnesota and now this: has a 10 day contract ever reset the clock on a rebuild before?
Philly deserves this Lakers pick, we have enough winners already.
Tonight is the first time that my gut has told me “They’re going to lose the pick”.
That said, lock up Jabari Brown, he’s instant offense.
Reggie Hammond says
If we lose this pick…then what
All the games we hired Scott to lose we are winning. These are the games that we can judge Bryon. So far he has failed and failed again.
I think losing the pick seals the fate of the Jim Buss FO. After winning too many games down the stretch last year cost them draft position you’d have thought they’d learn from their mistake. Losing this pick at this time would be a devastating blow for the franchise. I don’t think we sniff the playoffs for the rest of the decade.
The commish really should do something about the draft format. How about the bottom five all have an equal chance at the first pick? I would think that would help. This cheering to lose is insane (even though I see the reason why of course), and undermines the quality of the League.
Let’s see — we can get a franchise changing player, pay him what we’re paying for Nick Young and keep him at below market value for five years, the catch is that we have to keep our pick. Or, we can go get a 30 year old Rondo this off season and pay him $80 million over four years. Jim, what do you think we should do?
bryan S. says
We haven’t lost the pick–yet. Can’t say I’m feeling confident we will keep it though. The inability to act decisively when the team’s best interests are at stake (make sure you lose) will be wholly on Buss and Kupchak should they lose this pick. Not on Byron, certainly not on the players. Should they lose the pick, it likely signals the death knell for the front office. But you never know,
they may rebound from this place of diminishing positive outcomes with a lucky lotto ball or some shrewd signings and picks that change the game. Not really feeling it though.
It is awful that Clarkson is exploding as a player out of nowhere, a delight for fans, and we hope he doesn’t make the clutch plays he did. This is a terrible league.
Players are improving with playing time. Scott put Kelly, Johnson, D-league player Brown, rookie Clarkson at point, and recently out of the league Ellington in the fourth quarter. The only problem is the 76ers players may be more athletic than the Lakers they are also low IQ players.
The 76ers even benefited from home court advantage by shaving 3 points off their score in the fourth. LOL, that reminds me of traveling team games when the scorekeeper at home games mysteriously forgot to give the away team points when they scored.
The whole league knows that the Lakers have to lose to keep their pick except of course our own FO. Todd is correct, the FO waited far too long to make a decision about this season. To have so little to show for having the worst two seasons in Lakers history, back to back, is all on the FO.
I agree with those above, losing this pick is the beginning of the end for Jim. Fans will turn on him as he has done nothing to earn their goodwill or extendedDave patience.
The FO has done everything they could to give Scott the tools to lose as many games as the Sixers. If we lost both OT games to Philly we would currently be two games “ahead” of them in the lottery standings. If I were coaching I would be playing Boozer the entire game and Clarkson would be on the bench with some injury.
Chris J says
The NBA really does need to revamp its draft system. To see organizations pitted against one another in an effort to lose for a draft pick, is that really that much better than the Stepian-era Cavs giving away draft choices year after year? It’s antithehetical to sports to want to lose, yet here we are, with NBA fans in many cities going for just that. Disgusting.
Patience, folks. Patience.
Everyone is hyper-ventillating as if the Lakers had actually lost their coveted top-5 draft pick. This is not a done deal. It is not. The Lakers are still 2 games worse than Orlando in the win column and are still the 4th worst team overall. And there’s only 9 games left in the season. Let’s see how this thing plays out before we become fully suicidal.
In the meantime, Jordan Clarkson continues to grow in confidence and polish. A game of 26 pts. (on 9-15 shooting), 11 assists (with 3 TOs), 6 rebounds, and 3 steals is not bad. Meanwhile, his Missouri buddy Jabari Brown goes for 22 (on 7-10 shooting) and is finding out that he just might be able to play in this league. And he belongs to the Lakers. Or didn’t you notice?
Imagine if the Lakers had none of this. Then the future would really look bleak.
In the meantime, let’s wait and see what really transpires. Ain’t nothin’ happened yet.
If I were coaching I would be playing Boozer the entire game and Clarkson would be on the bench with some injury.
Brown, Kelly, and Ellington went a combined 10/16 on 3s. Lin had a big game the last time the Lakers played the 76ers and Scott sat him–and Davis–tonight.
The Lakers are 1.5 games behind Orlando. Here is the schedule:
Craig W. says
“The whole league knows that the Lakers have to lose to keep their pick except of course our own FO.”…now what kind of garbage statement is that? I realize people are frustrated that the Lakers are good enough to win some games, but this whole collusion thing is really tiresome.
We are sitting vets to look at our youngsters – and that may help the ‘tank’ people somewhat – but we are not intentionally trying to lose any game. Our players are working well together and we are learning who we want to keep as rotation players next year – not a bad plan.
As far as the draft, we are most likely going to finish with the 4th worst record in the league – them’s the facts, From there it is a crapshoot with the ping-pong balls. Until then we might as well find out about Brown, Kelly, and give Clarkson as much experience as he can handle.
I secretly believe that Adam Silver and the Buss family had a sit-down before the game and came to an agreement. In order to promote a new kind of draft rule, the Lakers would try their hardest to win this game; and if they won, they’d be guaranteed a top 3 pick. (The new draft system would be an anti-tanking measure that would penalize the team that lost these kind of the games. In other words, the league would penalize the worst team(s) in the league.)
But yeah, they came to a secret agreement.* So that means we are gonna get a top 3 pick. This also means it’s ok to be happy that we won. We’re getting a top 3 anyway!
I’m sad to say that Orlando may catch us for the 4th spot. I think the Lakers will win no less than 3 games the rest of the way with a high of 4. Orlando will probably only win 2 games the rest of the way. It’s going to be a close one. If we finish 4th, then I’m confident in keeping the pick. 5th spells disaster though.
Having said that…it’s nice to see the young guys gut it out and play well. Clarkson really, really seems like the steal of the draft.
Has Craig W. and Jim Buss ever been seen together?
Another example of what a corrupt and self-serving system the NBA owners have created. I refuse to pay another cent for NBA basketball until the tanking problem has been solved. I guess that’s the only language that they will understand.
I ran the ESPN lottery thing. 2nd roll of the balls, the Sixers get Towns and Winslow, so 1 and 6. I’d take Towns and Oubre, so front court of Embiid, Towns and Oubre. They are the lure, here picture a certain aspect of both Amsterdam and Bangkok. And so I can see why the Sixers voted against the lottery reform. They’d have been fools not to.
For more foolishness, picture as well the 95-96 Lakers, all 53 and 29.. Had nada, zero, zilch, nil chance to win it all. Compared to that, well, at least the tank isn’t accompanied by delusion. And I don’t know that if it were me, I wouldn’t accept losing. In the here and now. So tell coach to put in Sacre. I’ll sub out. And so while I enjoy my sizable pay check and all the rest that comes with the NBA status, doing my best, but leaving a healthy slice for the end of the bench mediocrity, and all because the plan really is, in a few years I can win it all. For heaven’s sake lads, give me 5 titles and 5 worst ever in franchise history, over a decade, and for an eternity, over the 95-96 Lakers on repeat for that same eternity. That’s the distinction between heaven and hell. Where Dante got it wrong. It isn’t the flames but the delusion that makes it hell.
Another *bad* win last night. In all likelihood, the victory ended our chances of *surpassing* Philly in the standings. Believe what you want, but the odds of us maintaining our pick is much better from the 3rd worst slot than from the 4th or 5th.
In regards to the remaining schedule, I have us winning 2 games (the Minnesota game and the last game of the season against Sacramento). The Denver matchup is the 2nd game of a back to back – while the Nuggets will be coming off of a few days rest – therefore, I have us losing that game also.
Its crazy to think that 20-53 is dangerously close to falling OUT of the bottom 5. The NBA really should tweak the lottery.
IF, and it’s a big if, the Lakers retain their pick, I would love for them to consider Cauley-Stein from Kentucky. I just feel that this team is a solid rim protector away from being a decent team, and he certainly fits that description IMO.
Should they lose the pick, I’d love to see them offer Kanter or Greg Monroe the max. Build the team from the inside out. Right now, there is some decent talent in place. The right center would provide the glue to hold that talent together. I hope our FO has a fallback plan should they lose the pick. It’s time to get out of this hole!
Baylor Fan says
From the Philadelphia Enquirer:
“L.A’s victory Monday was a productive loss for the Sixers”
Pathetic but true.
Lakers gets into this foolishness is just unbelievable for longtimed Laker fans. That capped honcho need to quit mismanaging this franchise. I’m sure Clarkson, Randle and other young breed are also thinking of their future whether they would belong to a team whose objective is to lose every season in order to protect a lottery pick. What is next in 2016 top 3 pick? Shame for winning and shame in losing, dunno where the Lakers really stand since that capped honcho became the CEO? I don’t consider Jeanie a CEO, too charming girly and loves her family.
I think Todd hit the nail on the head. The FO waited far too long to acknowledge the season was lost. I don’t blame the players and I don’t blame Byron. The FO is culpable here. This is not the 2004/05 Lakers who missed the playoffs but still had an in his prime Kobe to reload with.
There are those of you that say the FO would never give in to trying to lose. Well, guess what they are – look at the DNPCD these last few games. Plus just look at the rosters for the last two years – so many one year deals and so many reclamation projects. Management wasn’t trying to win, they were treading water waiting for the Kobe era to be over.
Losing this pick will indeed come down to winning too many meaningless games. Even more frustrating is that this team was never destined to win so what really is the difference if we won 15 games instead of 23? Nothing, except the important fact that we’d keep our pick.
T. Rogers says
Silver tried to tweak the NBA lottery system. Thanks to small market OKC what seemed to be a sure thing fell apart. Yes, this is the same OKC that traded James Harden for a sack of magic beans.
The system will not change anytime soon. In fact, its been terrible for a while now. Its just the Lakers were so good we fans never cared about how dysfunctional the NBA draft system was. Now our team is in the dumps we realize just how sickening this system is. Still NBA writers won’t make a big deal about the system. They will do what they have always done. Talk about the good teams. Unfortunately the Lakers aren’t one of the good teams anymore.
The greatest insult here is not that the Lakers have to “try” to lose games to get a draft pick. Its the fact the Lakers are bad enough to be in this position to begin with. And if the pick is indeed lost the entire leadership team should walk. Of course that won’t happen. They won’t fire themselves.
Renato Afonso says
For those people who sided with the owners during the last lockout, this is the fallout from said time. See, the problem isn’t the NBA draft system which has been tweaked over the years. It’s the CBA. This CBA was done to “protect the small market teams” and all that and, as such, the draft became even more important. The way I see it, is not the draft that needs to be changed but the CBA itself. Stop that “extra year and more money per year” nonsense for UFA’s that stay with their teams. Stop that RFA stupidity that forces players to stay where sometimes they don’t want to (see Portland and Minnesota). Stop that ridiculous max salary idea in a league that has no max profit limit for owners that most of the time bring NOTHING to the table but do care about making an extra buck even in gimmicks like Sauce Castillo (which is the best nickname ever but I digress…).
If picks are worth less, players will be able to move better between teams and owners willing to spend to put a good team on the floor wouldn’t be penalized because some idiot billionaire in Oklahoma wants to make 205 million in profit instead of “only” 180 million. If I would compare the NBA to 19th/20th century ideologies I would say that it has the worst from capitalism (owners artificially keeping the best employees salaries low to maximize their profits and using public funding to build arenas that also maximize their profits), the worst from socialism (restriction on worker’s will to do his job at his most desired location and restriction on how much he can make even if he’s worth more than that) with the worst from fascism (don’t you dare criticize a referee’s bad performance or we’re getting some of your money).
In all it’s just a form of pure entertainment that is tainted by a few greedy men…
So if the Lakers lose the pick this year, they get to pick in the first round next year. The way things are going, it’ll be a lottery pick as well. It’s not like they are missing out on the chance to pick KAJ this upcoming draft. Or even Hakeem or Shaq, for that matter.
It’s gonna be a long climb back to mediocrity in any event. If the FO is as messed up as I think it is, it’s gonna be a very, very long climb back.
hoping we get Justise Winslow with our top pick … draft express has us taking Jerrel Martin at 27 … havent seen him, any good?
I think Rozier would be good at 34 … or even a harrison twin … surprised those guys are not ranked higher
On Mason and Ireland they are debating if Scott played all the right players to help secure a loss. Ireland says yes and Mason says no. That Scott didn’t play all his worst players (Clarkson shouldn’t be in the game). Both said Scott was trying to lose (one being the Lakers play by play announcer).
The NBA… I love this game!
If the Lakers lose out on this pick I wonder how ESPN will rank the Lakers next year: A recap on the 2014 rankings:
– Likelihood to win a championship by 2019: 28th out of 30
– Future Power Rankings: 28th out of 30
– Use of Analytics: 29th out of 30
– FO Overall: 28th out of 30
– Head Coach: 29th out of 30
The fact is that the Lakers’ franchise is at an all time low. The Jim Buss regime has cratered this organization. Let’s face it the emperor has no clothes.
bryan S. says
For the fourth spot: It comes down to whether or not the Lakers are willing to pull out the stops to secure the pick. This means no: Boozer, Davis, Lin. They sit these out. A simple sub-out of Wesley for Ellington in the over time would probably have done the trick. If it’s close, you have to have Wes in there–as he’s already proven himself with inept play at crunch time. I don’t expect this, but something close to it is plausible. Clearly, with the dnps the goal was to lose. Just didn’t go hard enough. The Lakers are wrestling with pigs. That get’s one dirty. Can’t be afraid of that.
If there are no more than two wins, we likely keep the fourth spot. Anything more than that, I think it’s a goner.
R: ehhh, whatever. So if the Lakers lose the pick this year, they get to pick in the first round next year.
True, it doesn’t matter if the Lakers stand pat heading into next year. They’ll be as awful as this year. So they’ll definitely get a top 5 -7 pick. However, what if the FO decides to spend some of their cap space because they don’t want to be as bad again? The Lakers might improve by 10 + wins and end of drafting in the teens. That could be a big difference in terms of the quality of player they get.
Makes no sense to me to miss out on this pick by a few wins. In fact it will make it worse. I agree with posters above it really makes no difference to me if we win 15 games versus 23 — we’re still the worst team in Lakers history. We might as well keep our pick to help ease the pain.
You could have also noted ESPN’s headline for the recap: “Lakers sink 76ers in OT, endanger draft pick”. The tanking stuff is now mainstream, freely acknowledged in the media.
Also note the unacknowledged retreat of the conventional wisdom. A few years ago, it was: no one tanks, that’s just crazy conspiracy talk. As late as earlier this season, it was: well, organizations tank, but the coaches and players are out there trying hard to win every game. (As if there were some kind of hermetic seal between the GM and the coach who reports directly to him.) Now the line seems to be that coaches are trying to lose, but the players are going all-out to win.
The league seems pretty shameless about defrauding its customers. It’s not just the tanking — what about resting players? There seems to be a consensus now that players can’t abide the current 82-game schedule. Of course, the honest thing to do would be to just reduce the schedule. But obviously since that solution would reduce revenue, it has never been seriously proposed. Instead they intend to rest players while still charging full price.
It’s sort of like if Ford decided to start supplying a Focus to every 10th customer who paid for a Cadillac. “Here ya go! What? Oh, our Cadillac parts assemblers were resting for your particular order. No, no refunds.”
Kevin next year it’s bottom 3 or NO 1st or 2nd pick. Even they can’t be that bad with Kobe. Screw up this years puck andvtheyvare garbage for years.
Clearly, with the dnps the goal was to lose.
Like I said upthread, Brown, Ellington and Kelly went 10/16 on 3s and Wes Johnson played 44 minutes. They won by 2 points in OT. So, I think trying to finesse the tank beyond what they are doing is probably impractical, unless they simply decide to shut down Clarkson.
They have one game left with Minnesota, one with Denver,and the last two with Sacramento, and Karl is probably going to shut down Cousins.
Keith: The Jim Buss regime has cratered this organization.
The Jim Buss regime has at least 3 years left. I think we can and will go lower.
Blizzard of oz,
Yea… Always follow the money so to speak. It helps everyone to tank except the players on the court. Hence it was always apperent the only ones not in on the tank would be the players.
Also… I’ve always said the top seeded teams should pick their opponent after every playoff round to prevent playoff teams from tanking to get the matchups they want. You always need to incentivize winning.
@ Ko “Even they can’t be that bad with Kobe.”
Well, assuming he’s able to play at all/contribute on any meaningful level.
I’m watching the Clippers / Warriors game. I’m not a fan of the Clippers’ roster. Griffin/Paul/Jordan are a nice core. However, I can’t help but think they blew the Bledsoe trade — they should have been able to turn him into a fourth star and did not. They need a wing with range.
Here are AK’s thoughts on Scott and Lin:
Craig W. says
Thanks, Renato Afonso! A break from simplistic mongering against the organization.
While our organization may not be geniuses, the problems lie much deeper than just what the Lakers are doing. Of course, the real problem is that neither the ‘problem’ nor the ‘solutions’ lend themselves to simplistic strategies. It is not like Perry Mason, where the guilty party confesses at the end of each show and we all walk away satisfied.
There are complex issues here, some have been around for a while without attention by Laker fans – the draft process – others were implemented due to the owner’s power, greed, and short-sightedness – the CBA – and still others were systemic – the death of a beloved owner on a pedestal. This little ball of twine will take awhile to unravel and straighten out.
Still have a shot at the pick but I agree with assessments that 4 more wins may kill the dream.
FO has finally mandated to Byron to sit some guys and lose softly. That much is clear, apparent and amusing. Rr’s “finesse tank” is apt. And as Blizzard says above, the strategy has come out of the closet.
Imagine the FO squirming as their stripped-down team keeps winning and Clarkson repeatedly makes clutch plays. It’s funny. Reminds me of Will Farrell wrestling a bear in Loose Balls. The franchise has become laughable.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
I think one thing to remember is that the system looks bad in part due to the nature of the sport. One or two guys can have a huge effect on your team, in a way that they can’t in football or baseball (with maybe the exception of a Brady or Manning type QB in football) and you don’t have the farm system/complex development curve issue the same way that you do in baseball.
Also, it looks especially bad from the Lakers POV right now, since the Lakers are Top 5 or nothing. The reaction to the Philadelphia game would have been different if it simply meant that the Lakers might pick 6th.
This is not to say that the criticisms of the system are invalid; rather, it is to say that structural and temporal factors make it uniquely bad from the POV of Lakers fans right now.
Finally, I recall digging up my post about the Nash trade from 2012 and re-posting it here about six months ago. I backed the deal–with the caveat that I was concerned back then about the inclusion of this pick.
The system doesn’t “look bad” because of the nature of the sport. It is genuinely bad (in the way that Renato described it) and things are exacerbated by the nature of the sport. Anyway, it’s not like the people who designed it didn’t know what sport they designed it for.
– Draft procedure is what it is. It’s not the biggest, strongest, fastest, or richest front offices that will survive and prosper…it’s the ones most willing to adjust.
– Top five NBA draft picks for 2015 have been compared to the following NBA players/former players according to http://www.nbadraft.net/2015mock_draft
So following are the sites current top five draft picks. Based on these comparisons who would you prefer to see the Lakers draft?
1) Andrew Boget/ Vlade Divac combo
2) Al Jefferson
3) Brandon Roy/ Manu Ginobili combo
4) John Wall
5) James Harden/Wilson Chandler combo
Baylor Fan says
AK’s article encapsulates much that is wrong with the Lakers. Lin was never going to fit with Scott given Byron’s ideals of how basketball should be played. Given that the Lakers are in serious rebuilding mode, it would have made sense to run an offense that showcased Lin and create trade value. Instead, Lin was slammed for being too soft and thinking too much. It is no surprise that Lin was thinking too much since he was trying to learn an offense foreign to him and told to forego everything that he does well on the court. Lin may or may not get a starting job next season but at least he can become a rotation player on a good team and the Lakers will have Houston’s first pick to show for it.
Renato, spot on post man!
… here’s a scene from Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks tells his crew about a “sticky bomb” and how to blow up a tank. In other words, a metaphor for any player who decides he’s going to play well tonight. Enjoy
Renato for NBA Comish! Renato for NBA Comish! Renato for NBA Comish! Renato for NBA Comish!
The CBA needs some reform. I think salaries have become distorted gravitating to MAX deals and MIN deals. Although as I noted a long time ago alot of the best teams are ones that tend to pay a good salary to each starter and not max deals. I think this could be solved with a new exception or two. But otherwise I feel the system has been relatively succesful at creating a system where management matters more then how deep your pockets are. Wuithout this the league would likely shrink down to a handful of teams and I don’t think that would really be a good outcome. I do however, agree with the profits issue. I do think a more re-distributive system complete with profit sharing for players could solve this.
The protected status issue of the pick has been something I’ve been focusing on lately. I think the attention the Lakers are receiving due to this issue may actually spur some form of reform on protected picks in the near future. The circumstances of the Lakers really sharpens and lays bare the fallacy of protected picks.
I do think the media has come to the point as you say of accepting that tanking is happening. The rotations Scott used I think lays pretty bare they were trying to lose this game. Players are generally believed immune from this as they are trying to showcase themselves. I’m a little skeptical of this.
Good article from AK. Some of those issues seem similar to ones under Brown and D’Antoni, namely key parts of the roster that don’t fit the coach. I don’t want to debate whether or not a coach should adjust or the players should adjust, but instead point out that it would be better if the FO thought more about these issues. Get a coach first, then players to fit that coach or get a coach that fits the players you have and plan to get. Instead, these hires seem at odds with many of the players in critical ways.
I’m not arguing a different coach would have resulted in better results this year at all, but I do believe that Byron’s approach could negatively affect the on-court development of next year’s draft picks and could push free agents to decide against the Lakers. I hope not.
That is why I said “in part.”
Also, there is no system that would please everyone or that everyone would think was fair. The lottery was put in place after Houston tanked hard so they could get Sampson, but some team would tank for something no matter what system was in place. If all the lottery teams had an equal shot, then sub-500 teams playing for 8th, like the ones in the East, would tank. If the bottom 5 records all had an equal shot, teams would tank to avoid 6th.
Non-lottery alternatives that have been floated, like “The Wheel”, could lead to stuff like Golden State picking third this year while the Lakers picked 28th.
None of this is to say that the league shouldn’t look at changing the system but anything they do will have both intended and unintended consequences.
Craig W. says
I agree with you. Tanking will go on in the future, regardless what is implemented.
The key is to keep it around the margins and to make the ’76er tank for years’ an unsustainable tactic. That would be the best we could expect – and it might need tweaking because teams would finds holes with any process over time.
My suggestion would be to make the top 10 picks part of an equal weight ‘ping pong ball’ system. That way the worst teams would have an equal chance for the first pick, but there would be little incentive to reach the very bottom. Tanking might happen around the 10th pick, but we could have a tournament where teams 10-16 play for two playoff spots (and the money that comes with that). This would probably minimize this type of ‘tank’.
This solution is fairly simple and the tournament would bring in more money for all teams participating.
There is a system that removes any incentives to lose. I’ve stated it several times. It’s not rocket science and it’s very fair. Football leagues around the world have practiced it for decades.
Craig W. says
The football system revolves around several factors: contracts that only last a single year, games that are played only once a week, a hard cap on total salaries, and a season that is only 16 games long.
The players would strike for eternity if the owners tried to implement a one-year contract limit or a hard salary cap. The owners would revolt against any suggestion that the number of games be reduced.
As stated before, basketball is unique in that a single player can influence an entire team more easily and all players are totally visible to fans during the game. Also, basketball is played indoors, weather doesn’t influence any part of the game, and it takes very little equipment to play – thereby making it much more universal around the world.
I’m referring to the football that is played around the world and doesn’t result in suicide.
bryan S. says
Calvin Chang: SIM BHULLAR TO SIGN WITH THE KINGS PER MARK STEIN WHOOT WHOOT! (Sorry, caps required for this news.) With Cousins out and Bhullar manning the middle, defeat is assured for the Lakers in their upcoming 2 games against the behemoth . . . .
The Occasional Rant on the Clippers: Chris Paul butter fingers the inbound pass away, killing their last shred of hope left in the waning moments. How many times have I seen Paul in fail in the clutch this season? Don’t fooled by his stats, he’s slipping. And what about Doc? He suggested prior to last night’s game that Steve Kerr’s comment that the game mattered more to the Clippers than the Warriors, wasn’t a simple statement of fact, given their respective standings, but rather, a dodgy move by Kerr because, after all, the teams were 2-2 this season prior to last’s night game, “when they (the Clippers) have all their players.” If this sounds familiar, it’s the same nonsense Glenn mouthed about his Celtics being unbeaten against the Lakers “when they have all their players.” Does the guy have an ounce of self-awareness? He’s a caricature of himself. A good win for the Warriors, and for Laker fans too; as we do not want the Clippers passing the Rockets in the standings, which will result in a loss of the second round pick owned by the Rockets from the Clippers. Got it?
If you mean relegation, I don’t think would fly in the States.
Craig – I think Aaron is referring to the “other” football – AKA futbol. No payroll cap. Players can be traded (“transferred”) freely, much like commodities, and the team doing the “selling” as well as the player end up with a transfer fee out of the trade. Typically happens with unhappy players or players coming up on their last contract year where the player and team cannot come to an agreement on an extension. So faced with the prospect of a walk away or an unhappy payer, the player is transferred. Similarly, teams can “loan” players out to other teams. Team acquires player for a specific period (typically a season), pays the guys salary and some sort of loan fee to the team and the player (I think). Some loans will grant the acquiring team the right to negotiate a new contract with the player at the end of the season (with a fee being paid to the loaning team), while in other loans the player goes back to the lending team at end of the term. Loans work for developing players as well as “trial runs” that lead to player transfers.
Example on how it could work in the NBA with some minor revisions: At some point during his contract, Kevin Durant and OKC cannot agree on a contract extension, either because of money or because Durant wants to bail (or alternatively, Durant decides he no longer wants to play with Westbrook). SCENARIO 1: OKC agrees to transfer Durant to the Lakers this offseason. The Lakers have the cap room to absorb the trade straight up. They take Durant and, in return, give OKC a transfer fee fixed at 1 years worth of Durant’s contract in straight cash. [SCENARIO 2: Durant goes to the Clips, who maybe agree to trade Deandre Jordan plus enough cash to make OKC whole as far as the value of Durant’s contract][SCENARIO 3: a straight up trade of Durant in exchange for several players and their contracts adding up to Duran’t contract]. ALL SCENARIOS: Durant, as part of this new CBA, will likely have a “transfer fee” clause that kicks in if he is traded. As part of the clause, he either gets a fixed amount or a percentage of the overall value of the trade – regardless of how much “cash” is involved (or both). For non-Kevin Durant types, the CBA can provide for a minimum “transfer fee” fixed as a percentage value of the “cash” , if any, involved.
In Scenario 1, Lakers are happy bc they have Durant, BUT it comes at a significant price: they are on the hook for KDs $21m for next year (impacts cap space), plus they just paid OKC $21m since they have no assets OKC wanted back, plus whatever Durant negotiated as his “transfer fee”. Even if Durant did not want to transfer or has no intention on playing for the Lakers beyond his contract, he is happy b/c he just got to deposit a gigantic transfer fee into his bank account. OKC’s sadness at losing Durant is lessened by the cap space relief, plus the $21m just delivered to their owner.
In Scenario 2, same analysis as above, only the Clips saved some money by trading Deandre (lets assume his new salary is $15m a year). So, while they lose Deandre and have to pay OKC $7m plus whatever Duran’ts transfer fee is, they still get KD. OKC is sad, but gets something in return right away plus cash. KD continues to smile as he deposits his check in the bank.
Scenario 3 is really no different than today’s, except that players of the caliber of KD will likely get a transfer fee payment.
The concept of a player “loan” may also work in the NBA if it is altered to accommodate the wants and need of NBA franchises. For example, assume Kevin Love has 2 years on his contract and he is “loaned” to the Lakers for a year in exchange for a loan fee that includes a top 10 pick in the 2016 draft (just assume we have such right for the sake of this example). If the Lakers end up with a top 10 pick, then the “loan” can convert to a transfer at the Laker’s option, and the applicable transfer fees are paid (however, if at the Lakers option Klove goes back to the Cavs the Lakers do not keep their pick). If the Lakers do not get a top 10 pick next year, then Kevin Love goes back to the Cavs, but assuming no mutual desire for him to stay there, then the Cavs have the option to “transfer” him to the highest bidder (including the Lakers if they so desire).
Anyway, the TLDR of this comment is the following: there are plenty of creative ways to improve the mechanics of the CBA without altering the way the draft lottery is done today.
the other Stephen says
The Lakers waived Steve Nash and locked down Jabari Brown to a multi-year contract today: http://on.nba.com/1bPM5qs
Calvin Chang says
Bryan S: Wow – I’ll record that on my league pass. Should be entertaining. I hope they nickname him The Mountain like in Game of Thrones! Every time he blocks a shot, he’ll yell “Sim Smash!” and shake his head.
Relegation isn’t some magical fairy dust that only works everywhere but the USA. It just works the same way capitalism works better than socialism. It’s just natural.
Craig W. says
I fully support relegation as a means of controlling ‘tanking’. The problem is that today’s owners would never – and I mean NEVER – agree to have their franchise devalued by the possibility of being relegated to a lower league, even if only temporarily. That would be considered even worse than reducing the season by a few games – IMO.
Of course the owners don’t want it. And it wouldn’t just solve tanking. It creates even more compitition between teams. The premier league also shares TV revenue differently from the top record down to the team with the worst record. Everything is done to promote competitiveness and compitition.
Sports leagues and sports ownership are different here.
That’s what my fiends in the south say about equal rights for every human being. Of course it’s different. That’s why it’s worse. It doesn’t mean it can’t be changed for the better.
Chris J says
It doesn’t mean it can’t be changed for the better.
As you said a few posts earlier, “Always follow the money.”
The owners employ the commissioner, and no commissioner nor owner would buy into a system that could conceivably wreak havoc on their net worth based on something as fluky as a broken leg, or a 20-year-old kid making a bad decision. (Think what long-term damage Len Bias’ death did to the Celtics, or more recently, Oscar Taveras’ DUI and its effects on the St. Louis Cardinals.)
A team signs a long-term lease for an arena using loans whose finances were based on projected revenue; no lender would finance an NBA team’s loans if there were a chance its revenue could fall off a cliff one year, when ticket prices switched from $500 a seat to see the Heat or Rockets to the next year when you’re trying to fill a 20,000-seat venue to watch a D-League opponent.
I don’t know what the solution is, but a soccer-style relegation would not work in this country.
The league that makes the most money in the entire world is the English Premier League.
Chris J says
Yes, and in England there is a ready supply of soccer clubs with a sizable following — both within the U.K. and in other European countries — to support the EPL and many second- or third-tier leagues while still generating a sizable profit.
Contrast that with North America, where you essentially have the NBA and that’s it (unless you count Kentucky as a pro team).
Manchester City or another English team could still make great money after being relegated. The demand is there, and there are plenty of viable opponents. Move an NBA team to the D League, and it shuts down in a year.
Another point is the players… No free agent is going to consider a deal with an NBA team that’s at risk of dropping off the table. That would hamstring a poorly performing team from getting better via free agency, since players would choose a .500 team at a lesser pay scale than take the money of a .300 team that may not be on the NBA in a year’s time.
It’s apples and oranges.
Once relegated you make much less money. Again… As I told RR pro/rel isn’t magic fairy dust that world everywhere besides North America. And yes… The entire point is to punish poor performance.
…also if you add a second and third division there would be plenty of basketball clubs that would pop up. All the D league teams would jump at the chance to move up to the NBA.
Chris J says
…also if you add a second and third division there would be plenty of basketball clubs that would pop up. All the D league teams would jump at the chance to move up to the NBA.
Not true. There aren’t enough open markets that could or would support an NBA-level arena or payroll. The Heat owner or Cavs owner isn’t going to agree to a deal that would have his team playing in some 5,000-seat arena in Boise or Reno, at at the Lakers’ practice facility.
I’m not debating this one anymore…
We aren’t talking about what the small town owners would agree to. Small town owners in Europe and around the globe didn’t want promotion/relegation. And yes small towns can afford basketball Arenus. Even high schools can afford them. How do you think small towns in Europe afford soccer stadiums? It’s capitlilism. If you can’t afford a big fancy once you pay for a cheaper smaller one.
Chris J says
I never mentioned a word about what small town owners would do. I said NBA owners wouldn’t agree to it — be it a major market or small NBA market.
And yes, small towns have arenas. So do high schools. NBA teams don’t play in either of them. And why do they not play there? Because they’d never generate the revenue to afford even the 12th man on an NBA roster.
Your reading comprehension is as bad as your understanding of economics, which rivals your historically bad record of predictions on this forum. The only thing you do well is stroke your own ego and upset people on this blog who tire of your antics. But please, keep convincing yourself your plan is awesome, and that you’re the only one smart enough to understand it — no doubt that’s the reason billionaire businessmen haven’t already jumped to implement your awesome idea in this country.
Try to learn and improve instead of deflect. The reason promotion /relegation isn’t around In sports leagues that have monopolies is because they have monopolies. That has already been discussed on here by me. That’s the only reason. Promotion/relegation makes leagues better. Leagues have to do that to compete with other leagues in the sport. The NBA doesn’t have to compete with a rival league. Again… This is the only reason.