So far, free agency has not been going well for the Lakers. Beyond the optics problems with taking meetings and having reports label them as unimpressive, the bigger issue is having top targets decline offers from the team while the speed of the market has taken most other viable options to other teams for more reasonable deals. (Ed Davis bolting for Portland is a perfect example here — while the Lakers broke bread with LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan, and Aldridge again, Davis decided he could wait no longer and signed with the Blazers for a very reasonable deal.)
Again, stripping away all the optics from this, a more tangible problem has surfaced. Who is actually left on the market for the Lakers to sign? The answer is, well, not many people. Since we last discussed this on Thursday, Robin Lopez can likely be removed from any list as reports have him signing with the Knicks should Jordan choose the Clippers or Mavericks (as he is expected to). For big men, then, this leaves a list looking like this:
- Kosta Koufos
- Bismack Biyombo
- Jordan Hill
- A bunch of other middling guys like Chuck Hayes, Ryan Hollins, Andrea Bargnani, Greg Smith, Jeff Withey, etc
Of that list, the top three options are all useful in one way or another. If the Lakers signed any of them to help fill their hole in the middle, I’d give a polite clap and go on my way. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking on any of those guys. It’s not exciting, but chasing excitement is probably what got the Lakers where they are in free agency to begin with.
The other alternative, though, is trying to trade their way into the big man market. The Lakers used this approach last season when getting Jeremy Lin from the Rockets and chasing a similar deal for a big man may just be their best option now. There are two prime candidates for this:
NBA teams that miss out on centers DeAndre Jordan and Robin Lopez will target Roy Hibbert in a trade with Pacers. That includes the Knicks.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 2, 2015
Hibbert’s availability is not a secret. The Pacers drafted a young center (Texas freshman Myles Turner), are going to lose David West after he opted out of his contract, and are making a run at Monta Ellis in free agency. They are likely to want to play with more pace in the coming seasons and Hibbert is not a guy who fits into that dynamic. Those same issues would likely present themselves with the Lakers, making the fit not completely ideal, but beggars can’t be choosers.
It’s unknown if a straight salary dump trade into the Lakers’ cap space — Hibbert will make ~$15 million next season — would be enough of a carrot to get the Pacers to bite. And there are reports that if the Mavs cannot sign Jordan, they will explore sign and trade options with Monta Ellis going to Indy and Hibbert going to Dallas. Still, the Lakers should be monitoring this situation to see if a Lin-like deal could be made.
The second option is a name we have not yet discussed, but is also an intriguing possibility:
Concurrent with their pursuit of David West, I'm told Wizards continue to shop Nene but clinging to hope they can trade him into cap space
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2015
Nene, has mostly played PF and might bristle at being a full time center. He has also had injury issues throughout his career. But he is a talented big man, plays both ends of the floor, and is better than any of the free agent possibilities I listed above. Nene makes $13 million next season — the final year of his contract — and if it is true the Wizards are looking to simply dump his salary into a team’s cap space, the Lakers should be on the phone with the Wizards to discuss that as well.
There are two other points of note, here. First, the Lakers can still chase other options on the market and forego trying to grab these big men in a salary dump. Tobias Harris is a restricted free agent, but if the Lakers like him more than trying to grab a big man, they could tie up their cap space in him (while the Magic decide on whether to match) and see if they score a young wing who has talent and room to still improve.
The second, point, though is that the Lakers will need to spend some money in the offseason. The salary floor is 90% of the salary cap, or about $62 million. Said another way, the Lakers will need to spend around $16 million in cap space this year to meet that threshold. Some of that will come with simple roster filler additions of minimum contract guys. But they will need to invest in some players who make substantial dollars to get to (or above) the floor. Not to mention to serve as salary ballast should they want to explore deadline deals to get additional assets.
Some of this is just spitballing ideas. I could easily see the Lakers trying to bring back Hill on a one year deal, trying to sign Koufos to a value deal, or taking a flyer on Biyombo. But, as last summer showed, using cap space to absorb contracts from other teams can yield a useful player and, potentially, bring back additional assets. With free agency not going well for the team to this point, the Lakers would be wise to see what is possible in the other player acquisition markets.
I can sum up the postmortem of the Lakers free agent approach in one word: “Incompetence’.
I an only hope that Jeanie brought up Jim’s deadline because she intends to hold him to it. To be honest, after the FOs pathetic (another good description) performance in free agency, the Lakers are at least three years away from a top four seed in the West. Jim and likely Mitch will be gone by then.
The future Is still bright but after this summer it’s just farther away.
Or we can check out who Bismack Biyombo is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQtRfdAwe5M
Really enjoy having a player like this tbh.
Give him a deal like that of Lavoy Allen’s $12 million over 3.
Losing Ed Davis is incomprehensible. “Mutual interest” makes me wonder if Davis was telling a little white lie for coverage in case he couldn’t get out of Dodge.
Much more worrisome than missing out on LMA; in his case the reasons that wouldn’t work have been explored in great detail. But Davis blowing out of here? Stupefying.
Talk about scraping the barrel… This is terrible.
I’d take a flyer on Bismavk, only because we are desperate. Biyombo didn’t see much playing time for a team that doesn’t have much front court talent. There’s likely a reason for that.
Yes. Fill out the roster in a way that maintains flexibility in the future and regroup.
It looks like some FAs are thinking about other things besides just getting the most money. Sacramento has lost a couple even though their offer was higher.
As much as we would all love this deal happening between Hibbert and the Lakers I just don’t see the Pacers giving up such a big contract and not receiving any assets in return. Especially when they can still use Hibbert next season with less minutes of course. I do believe they could pull a similar deal off with the Warriors because there such a stacked team they just want anyone to take David Lee off their hands at this point. Koufos should be a priority at the C position at this point. Lock him up, and then focus on a deal like the David Lee or a starting wing like Tobias Harris.
For around $26.5M we could look at this next year:
1. D Russel
3. Tobias Harris (offer him the max)
4. Julius Randle
I’m excluding kobe, because I’m looking to the future right now.
Now obviously this roster I’ve listed above has little to no experience, and might stink it up for a bit. But out of this I think we get the following positives:
1. See what we have in these young players early on
2. These young guys will give you high energy and compete every night
3. Opportunity of being surprised to the upside
If it all blows up, and we aren’t happy with the result, then just trade some pieces! If Tobias doesn’t pan out in 2 years, I think there would be a definite market for him. Look a what Dallas just paid for Wes Marthews. This offseason has shown us that teams are willing to pay for versatile talent on the wing. I really see offering Harris the max a low risk type of deal.
I see what I just proposed a better option than filling the roster with mid level older NBA talent…
The Lakers have never had cap room before. They traded away half their team to create room to get Shaq. Next year will be the first time maybe ever the Lakers will have young appealing cheap talent and cap room. And btw Blake and Westbrook are free agents the same year. And yes I’ll take Durant, Westbrook, and Blake from 28-32. Even if they lose a step after 30. We aren’t talking about getting them from 31-35. That’s a nice veteran core to go with our young core.
Starting line up for 2015:
3. Tobias Harris(you’ll be stupid to not to even try and get this guy)
…There are lots of other teams in the NBA that don’t win championships and have rosters every year full of role players on big money deals. The raptors, bucks, Hawks, and Nuggetts might be more up your ally 😉
I still seething about Ed Davis fiasco I’m not going to lie, that was our center, but thinking about the big names, this was not the year because of the simple fact that we don’t have anything to show team wise. What the presentation was going to be? The Lakers stinking up the joint every night? That’s why they went thru all that “opportunities” crap. I read projections about Russell being a 16ppg and 6apg guy as a rookie, Julius could be a12-8 guy right out of the gate, we have an idea what Clarkson can do. That is going to be our selling point, not selling dreams. Davis could had been part of that selling point but *sigh* im not getting into that again. On this subject at this point I don’t care, Hibbert? what can we trade for him? that’s the question as far as im concerned he s a overpaid bum, 7’2 and can’t rebound, he is a shot blocker people say, well duhh he better being that tall, Biyombo is a bust, Kosta Kuofos meh, in reality it doesn’t matter to me who we pick as center. We had a center and we let him g for a reasonable offer that we could had easily made.
Joe Houston says
Pick up Bismack Biyombo
Aaron talking about Russell and Blake next season, they are not coming to the Lakers for sure knowing his track record. You can take that one to the bank.
Chobe Bryant says
Biyombo…..and Koufos? Is that do-able?
I’d insert Biyombo with our starting 5 (shot-blocking, PnR dunks) and Koufos for low-post scoring off the bench. If we can’t get DAJ, we might as well get the next best similar player – Biyombo. Dude has crazy 7-7 wingspan.
If Upshaw also works out, I’d be happy with that trio of bigs.
If the Lakers want to salvage this summer they should offer a max to Harris and pray Orlando don’t match, after the cap rises his contract is going to look like a bargain.
Warren Wee Lim says
Well this one could work too. Same as the Hibbert situation, but I think Wizards need the FA money to chase West. (Perhaps offer of Swaggy, Kelly and Sacre.)
Warren Wee Lim says
All that Bismack Biyombo will be asked to do is rebound and swat everything that crosses him.
On offense, just wait for lobs from DAR and take it from there.
Or Lakers new tradition is grooming centers to star players! Bynum is the only laker that came from a draft but sadly got traded. What if he was not traded for Dwight… Maybe he is more discipline for the team that got him for years. Most kids rebel when transferred to a new school they dont really like. & mike brown is a questionable coach…
Bynums injury is not that worse when he was still a laker. He played good for few games in cavs & thats good sign that only needs special maintenance to keep being healthy.
Develop Robert Upshaw like andrew bynum! & make Sacre get mentored hard. Too many living laker legends that can mentor the players. Find a Mozgov/whiteside potential players & just let them shine from scratch as a laker.
Thats the lesson the basketball gods are telling the lakers now. Grow & produce your own super star center!t
@Warren I would be onboard for a Nene one year rental, would get rid of those 3 you propose in that trade in a heartbeat.
If Bynum would not had been traded for Dwight his knees would had blow up in LA instead of Philly, people forgot that he didn’t played that season at all already? At least we got a year out of Dwight. Bynum can’t play anymore.
Robert Fisher says
The Lakers are doing their due diligence to show TWC execs and some of the fan base that they are trying to bring in a big name. That should be done by now, so let’ get on wit it. Tarik Black can start at center with Upshaw and Sacre as backups, assuming Upshaw keeps it together, so for this year, forget the center position, and go after Tobias Harris and then use the balance of the cap to go after Cory Joseph to fill out the PG depth. Assuming Tarik Black NG, SG Jabari Brown NG, #34 pick SF Anthony Brown, and undrafted C Robert Upshaw all make the team, and you get Harris and Joseph, then the roster is at 14 and the cap is probably gone. That leaves the $2,814,000 Room Mid-Level Exception for the 15th position.
Personally, I would rather use that 15.8 mil of cap to get Tobias Harris than take on Nene’s 13 mil salary, or Hibbert’s $15,514,031 2015-2016 salary. Neither Nene or Hibbert fit the Lakers, but Tobias Harris fits very nicely. By my calculations adding in the 2 mil expected bump in the projected Cap and considering the 20% increase when signing the rookies, then deducting the 15.8 mil max for Harris that leaves 7 mil to pry Cory Joseph away from the Spurs who have given him a $3,201,889 QO and are conserving cap space for Aldridge. Now is the time to pounce. Forget chasing names.
I all that occurs and Scott runs a Russell-Clarkson backcourt with Kobe at SF, then this is how I see the 15 player depth chart with Harris who should be a starter understanding Kobe’s minutes need to be restricted, meaning Harris will get plenty of playing time.
Room Mid-Level Exception for another PG
Develop the kids, don’t worry about making the playoffs, enjoy the excitement, and next summer we will have a much improved infrastructure to impress free agents, with about 45 mil in cap space less raises. Plus if we don’t make the playoffs this season, then the Ping-Pong balls might take a nice bounce into the top 3 so we can get that 2016 pick.
Why are we just waiting around, not making any moves?? None this makes sense?! Someone tell me why the f.o is lagging. I wanted Chandler and think Harris is a great addition. Are the Lakers the team he’s being hush hush about?!
Darius for F.O!
Wow sideshow bob got 4/54!! Insane $$$ for a below average player!
My track record? I guess you’re referring to LBJ/Melo? I guess you didn’t remember that wasn’t an Aaron prediction. I was passing along inside info. What I did predict is if we didn’t get LBJ we wouldn’t waste cap space on role player and we would tank. That’s exactly what we did. I said this year we wouldn’t/shouldn’t sign anyone and tank again. It looks like that’s what we are doing. I said we should sign Rondo to a one year deal to help the tank (let’s see if that happens). And I said the first year we make a free agent play is next summer with Durant if he is healthy.
Guys josh smith amd javale mcgee are better tham every single option listed with hill being on equal standing with them
If we can get 1-2 of those guys plus corey brewer id be happy … at this point
Josh played really well in houston knocking terrance jones out of the starting lineup and could play anywhere from extra big sf to smallball c which cohld help since him and ramdle could just switch whenever if he played the 4
Javale could be a better pnr rollman than bismack and i’d be happy to have hill who has expanded his range to be serviceable
All could be great …. nene would be out at least half the year and indy would probably trade hibbert to dallas instead lf us so they maintain cap space and sign other guys while still getting monta
David lee could be good too but id rather the positional flexibilty of smith …. i wonder if we need to spend 16 mil this year and we sign guys to 1 yr deals … how much will we meed to spemd next year and will anyone take it?
Look at sacremento, can’t even overpay for mid level players
Watched the Biyombo video. He looks like the player type we need next to Randle, and a good pick and roll finisher with Russell. Also, his age and development status leaves room for him to grow and improve. Good rim protector with lateral quickness. A Mutombo type. Perfect fit.
Well it does seem the attitude about the FO is changing rapidly. Ironically the major mistake is not really occurring during this FA period. Rather everyone is realizing where we are and how we got here.
I’d take a combo of koufos and Harris. The deal for both should end up around 23m and gives us two solid contributors that will be thrilled to grow with our young core. I’m excited to watch these guys develop and give the front office something tangible to attract free agents. Maybe this isnt the quick fix they’re hoping for, but until they have a cohesive vision of what their style of play is going to be no big time free agents will willingly come here. Hopefully this past week’s embarrassments have shown them that the Kobe era has been done for two years and that this should be the end of his run.
Good post. Wiz definitely want out of the Nene business, but have to be careful. Losing Pierce hurts to a degree as it could set them back next year, which is critical to them for the Durant sweepstakes. They cannot look like a team going backward, but a team with stars ready for that next step (the model I hope the Lakers can follow with Russel and Randle).
If Lakers get Nene, I would expect a lot of bench time due to injuries and a lot of Sacre at center (assuming nothing else happens). Nene did ok during the playoffs with Pierce at the 4 and Wiz went smaller, but that was for short bursts with more time between games.
Biyombo went from starter to a less than 20mpg backup so let’s not get carried away people, he is a bust plus he is only 6’9.
Baylor Fan says
The inability so far to sign a big opens the door for the Lakers to find out what Black can do. He has the athleticism they are looking for but his skills are raw. Maybe this creates the opportunity for him to learn on the job. A major issue with the Lakers next year will be a lack of experience. Taking on Nene as a salary dump from the Wizards would give the Lakers a respected big who is also very good when he is healthy. Next season is going to be ugly as all the new players learn how to play at the NBA level so the Lakers may as well try to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. That means not bringing in a new alpha player but instead sharing the ball with all the players.
There is no significant penalty to not making the salary floor–the league just makes the team distribute the extra $ among the guys on the roster.
Biyombo would be fine, but he would make the floor spacing problems they are probably going to have even worse. But he is young and can provide some rim protection.
So Durant will join a bad team next year at age 28, wait a year for Westbrook, and then wait another year for when Griffin will sign a year later? Okey-doke.
Realistically, this season will be much like last. Kobe is coming off yet another injury and we saw last year he was jacking up shots like he was trying to chase records more than he was trying to teach the young players the system or how to play fundamental winning basketball. I live in Portland and trust me you dont want LMA. He is slow footed, doesnt play any defense and has no lateral quickness. He is this side of thirty and doesnt provide youth/talent. Talent yes but youth no. The Lakers need to bite the bullet and go forward with a major youth movement. The new CBA is crippling the teams ability to offer the type of contract an in your prime superstar is going to want. Players no longer need to be in a major market to brand themselves internationally. The Bucks, Timberwolves Wizards are young exciting teams that need that one/tow superstars to contend and compete for titles. The Lakers are Knicks/Philly west. Let Kobe have his swan song, and let the team focus on the next two drafts. Westbrook and Durant arent coming here. You have DMA and Randle focus on developing them and see if Upshaw can be a Whiteside type addition. The good new is that Jimmy B.will be fired in 2 years. Then perhaps Jeannie can take over and we can get back on track
Can the Lakers FO learn from this?
Chillingly, they look like the last years of the Al Davis regime at this point.
I never in my worse nightmares envisioned this.
So why can’t everyone chill about the Lakers and free agency. We only ever got one BIG free agent, Shaq. Everyone one else we drafted or traded for.
Lakers’ Hall of Famers:
Mikan – supplemental draft
Baylor – draft
West – draft
Goodridge – draft
Wilt – trade
KAJ – trade
Wilkes – FA signing
Magic – draft
Worthy – draft
Shaq – FA signing
Kobe – traded for his draft rights
Gasol – traded
So let the FO do its job by drafting desirable pieces and signing movable players and let them do what they always do. Remember Mitch got us Gasol, Paul, Nash, and Howard.
Not sure why people think Jeannie will bring the franchise back. Frankly, she’s not much better than jimmy with her ridiculous marketing slogans and her very unprofessional twitter handle. Buss fam should sell and bring in a young Ivy League MBA to be the gm. And please hire a young upcoming coach rather than these retreads!!
Jeanie is part of the problem, she is responsible for the team marketing right? Soooo who prepared those weak presentations? People saying that Jimbo step down and she takes over are retarded, she is as clueless as he is…
Latest laker sightings focused on Amare, Corey Brewer.
Lakers should now set their lens on what is available and can be locked to their cap space. Forget the lofty ambitions of Jimbo should lower it to achievable level. What is the difference of Boyombo and Dj? Put there Koupus or Nene, that can also spell success. If we can also acquire Tobias and Corey, that is innovating a new paradigm. Too much of Lamarcus and Deandre make the Lakers a cheaply franchise. Time to say enough on waiting!
This is exactly what happened last season when they sat for too long on lofty ambitions again with Melo and James aiming for home run missed the significant singles and doubles. Another team got Thomas, Ariza and Stephenson and snubbed Bledsoe. It is gonna happen again this season. Lakers mystique is gone with Dr. Buss so just go with satisfactory grade.
Jeanie mentioned again that they would honor the timeline. Laker fans want to know when did the timeline start and would end?
I feel bad for Mitch. I think he get’s it but his rational approach is lost on Jeanie and Jim. Face it the Buss kids are out of touch — unfortunately there us nothing we can do about it.
Next year does look like a tough one. We won’t make the playoffs and keeping our pick will be a roll of the dice. With such a young team it’s not likely an elite will choose us in free agency. We can only hope that we develope enough to be next summer’s Bucks so we can attract the next level of player (like Mil. did with Monroe).
But we are not going to be in the game for Durant – unless he continues to be injured and we’re the only team willing to chance a max deal on him. That is my concern, because next Summer Jim will be down to one year to make good on his promise. He’s ‘out there’ enough to do something risky and stupid. And, as we have seen, there are no checks and balances against making foolish decisions in the Lakers FO.
As for what do do now, sign Tobias Harris and resign Hill to a one year. Harris is good – he won’t overly move the needle now but he’ll be a key piece in a few years. Jim’s only hope is to build a young core that is on the verge of competing when his timer goes off. However, if we are still losing 50 games a year the heat will be up on him and Jeanie too.
I’m gonna have to say this again? Blake and Westbrook can be free agents the same year. Blake can be and will be a free agent the summer of 17. Durant won’t be joining a bad team. And that’s the major point. That’s why we are tanking for three straight years. Next year there is a good chance the Lakers have the best young (cheap) core in the NBA. Clarkson, Randle, Russell, Upshaw, and Nance (who I love). Oh… And don’t forget there is a chance we add another top three pick. That’s why the Lakers have tanked. That’s why I wanted them to tank. So Durant sees what LBJ saw in the Cavs. What any FA sees. A great young core and nothing but caproom for himself and other star players to join him or they can use those assets to bring in a proven star. Its exactly what Monroe saw. Yes the bucks were probably the only ones to offer him a max. But… Look at the bucks. They tanked for many years and last year their young players got the attention of the league. Again… As I said the hard part would be landing the right draft picks. Remember? If we select the right players the easy part would be to seduce Durant, Westbrook, Blake…
Next year we need to put on the lipstick… Hike up our skirts… And show these young sexy kids off to the NBA stars around the league.
So this is what it feels like to be a fan of nearly every other team in the league.
I am 36, so for basically my entire adult life the Lakers–driven by Kobe–have spoiled me with nearly two decades of being the face of the NBA. Yearly deep playoff pushes, followed by offseasons of landing whoever we wanted. Shaq, Gasol. Former stars/elite role players playing for the minimum. Phil. Dr. Buss. MVP trophies. Being the center of media attention.
We got whatever we wanted, and have 5 titles and endless golden sports memories to show for it. And, as a result, I undoubtedly developed a deep sense of sports entitlement. I expected–and perhaps still expect–for things to break our way. For stars to come running to us, trades to fall into our lap, and so on. I mean, we are the LAKERS. We are cut from different cloth.
But this is not how other teams, and their fans, experience life in the NBA. Other teams–excepting maybe the Spurs and whoever Lebron is in bed with–suffer and struggle and sweat for the slightest incremental improvements. They celebrate the small things — regular season victories over a rival; an up and coming young payer making the all star team; making the playoffs and not getting embarrassed; a coach that develops a unique style of play. We, as Laker fans, would have never thought to enjoy such things, as we were consumed by greater glories.
This era of golden dominance is over, of course. Kobe’s basketball life is over and Dr. Buss passed, and with these passings the Lakers as we knew them have died as well. It is almost like Sampson after cutting his hair — lost, flailing, and suddenly just like everyone else. This has been a painful awakening, and, unfortunately, it appears the team is being driven by a combination of confusion and incompetence.
Mike Brown ? D’Antoni ? Scott. Pain.
Howard, Nash, and the lost draft picks. Suffering.
Summer of 2013: Howard billboards ? Kaman, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Wesley Johnson. Good lord.
Summer of 2014: Lebron ? Melo ? Jordan Hill/Jeremy Lin/Nick Young. Cramping and nausea.
And now, perhaps worst of all, the summer of 2015, when we have become a laughingstock.
It is time to step back, look in the mirror, and consider: who are we? and what should we be trying to become? These are hard questions given the facts, but we need to see clearly before we can act with wisdom.
The facts: we are several years from contending; we have a bad coach; star free agents don’t want to play for us; we are a team of unproven 20 year olds.But we can have hope of a bright future if we stop pretending to be the Lakers of old, or the Spurs of the present, and proceed the right way.
What does this mean? It means we need to stop chasing 30 year old veterans and losing out on players that fit our developmental timeline. Aldridge wants nothing to do with us, and even if we landed him, it would have just made us a 42 win team instead of 32 win team. Just like Howard, and Lebron, and Melo, and Jordan, and Marc Gasol, and on and on, wanted nothing to do with us. We simply aren’t read for that kind of a transaction. And we won’t be for several years.
Everything, I repeat everything, hinges now on Russell and Randall and Clarkson. Our only shot of becoming a title contender in the next 5-7 years is if those three players all develop into all-star level talents, with at least one of them (likely Russell) becoming a bonafide star. But this will take several years of patient, intense, focused development. Our offseason needs to be wholly centered on putting those three players in the best possible position to grow. They need playing time; they need complementary players that will help them thrive; and they need leadership and a culture that will help them learn how to succeed in the NBA.
What does this mean in terms of free agency and trades? It means we need to stop swinging for the Aldridges of the world. And, just as important, we need to avoid the Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill, Nick Young types. This means the Roy Hibbert/David Lee/Nene types. Signing middling veterans on one year deals is the worst possible plan. There is a 0% chance that any of these players will be on the roster when Russell and co. is ready to truly compete. They are too old and too mediocre.
We can’t keep cycling in bad veterans on one year deals that no one else wants, in a foolish plan to keep rolling over our cap room, all so we can go through the charade of trying to eventually land a superstar that will never come. We’ve tried this for years now and it’s time to end that dream, which is all it ever was. It’s time to build a basketball team.
That means we need to go land young players with upside who can bring out the best in Russell, Randall, and Clarkson. Players that can stay with the team for years to bring actual continuity, rather than constantly fielding a team of one year mercenaries and having to rebuild the roster every summer. We at some point will need to add a star or two through free agency or trade. But this will only happen AFTER Russell and co. have shown they are worth playing with, and after we have shown actual success and growth on the court, year after year. We need to build a roster that is worth believing in, with a coach, system, and analytics that can compete in today’s NBA. We need to set aside going for the homerun superstar for 2-3 years while we focus on developing what we have. Durant is not coming next summer. It’s not worth wasting time and energy worrying about this. Avoid stepping in that trap, again, and build a real team.
If we had accepted this reality with proper vision last summer and this summer we would have been able to use all of our cap room to add real pieces that could have brought long term value and continuity. It is shocking and depressing that we spent $25M in cap room last summer and have NOTHING to show for it right now. We can’t make that mistake again, although it appears we have largely missed out on the kinds of players that would have made sense; it may simply be too late.
Who, specifically, fits the mold? Players like Bledsoe, Monroe, Parsons, Hayward, Thomas, Mills, Ed Davis, Aminu, Bazemore, Middleton, Jordan, RLopez, Danny Green, Carroll, Harris, Kanter, Koufos, Wright, etc, etc.
No one sexy, but if we had come out of the gate each summer focused on the right players, we could have put together a roster of young talent that could grow together, so when the foundation pieces are developed, the roster would be enticing to the star or two that would be needed for completion. And we’d have assets that could be moveable if an opportunistic trade came. We wouldn’t have sunk money into Jordan Hill, Jeremy Lin, and Nick Young, none of which have a shred of value on the market. Now, some of the players on my list were/are restricted, and all have issues, but the point is to focus on the right kind of player, knowing that you have a much better chance of adding real value that way than by wasting that critical first week on the unattainable (and too old/expensive) Melos and Aldridges of the league.
Consider, as a hypothetical, if we had added Monroe/Thomas last summer, and Carroll/Wright this summer. We’d have a roster right now that looked like:
That kinds of roster could complement and grow together over the next 3 years. There are multiple assets that could be packaged in the right trade. We could have continuity. Instead, we have nothing from last summer, and will likely end up with another one year cast off this summer (Nene/Lee/Hibbert). Tough times.
At least we aren’t the Kings.
Todd – I wonder how much Mitch’s approach and decisions would differ if Jim and Jeanie played more of the role that Dr. Buss did with Jerry West (although I don’t know how involved Dr. Buss was in the day-to-day). I don’t think Jim and Jeanie dictate what Mitch has to do, but at the same time maybe he’s more deferential to them because they are involved in the day-to-day than he would be if he was just reporting the latest developments.
Will getting Tobias Harris affect us in getting Kevin Durant? Maybe that ship has sailed already.
Jim and Jeanie are both clueless as to how to right this franchise. Jeanie should give herself the same ultimatum she gave Jim. If you don’t make the playoffs, then both of you, get out.
Craig W. says
Read Ryan’s entry above.
Not only is 2015 free-agency not a disaster, but it is the definition of the norm for the Lakers.
No I am not celebrating. I would have liked to have had a front-line player to help lead the youngsters we have on this team. The Lakers, however, rarely do well in free-agency – partly because we use it so seldom. Players have always taken the money, except when they had a chance to sign with a contender. Well, this year a number of contenders had, or were able to manufacture, cap space. The result is not really a revelation.
Yes, the front office needs to take some lessons from this summer, but one of them is that they may be pretty good at this drafting stuff.
I am driving over to Las Vegas for the sole purpose of watching the first three Laker games of the summer league. I will try to report what I see.
Craig W. says
Read Ryan’s entry above.
Read Ryan’s post and it’s a nice one however KAJ and Mikan among others don’t really reflect what’s going on now.
Now is looking a lot like a failure.
Tarik Black is also only 6’9 …. we need a center … Javale is is 7ft 270 and is only 27 yrs old
Jordan Hill – 6’10 .. 27yrs old
Josh Smith is 6’9 and 29 … might be out of our “age” range but he could start at the 4 if randle is really going to play the 3 – or at least tutor him … he is a good defensive player and can do a lot of what randle does .. and if we can get Josh at a reasonable rate and not 14mil per year like rolo … I think we win on the signing because right now it doesn’t look like anyone is ponying up that kind of cash to him or he would have already of been gone … but I could see Dallas going after him to screw with houston
Kosta Koufous – 7ft – 26yrs old … and might be a trade chip we can send to a contender for a pick later in the year
We got worthy in a trade actually … we traded for an unprotected pick that then turned out to be Worthy at a later date
What really set us up over these pasty 20 years was in fact the Shaq signing because that built up our say Basketball human capital to the point where guys would sign with us on the cheap to contend and he was still valuable enough later in his career to be sent for Lamar and Caron, with Caron turning into Kwame who turned into Gasol
A big signing of a key guy away from a team was able to create 20 years of value for the team and now we are just on the other side watching ….. Portland is losing LA for nothing, like we lost Dwight for nothing … 1 or two more nothings and I think the owners bring this up again in terms of trying to get a franchise tag in the NBA
What did happen though inbetween was that we drafted right and had eddie jones and nick van exel to get to the point where we were a good team and shaq saw he could contend with us … except this time now that a key guy became available – LA and Monroe – they both don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel with us and went where they did
I think it will be another 4 years before we get back up there but if we could at least be fighting for the playoffs it would be great
You can’t have it both ways. Jim Buss said he would rebuild the team through free agency. You supported that by supporting Jim. Then when Jim massively fails by prioritizing the wrong FA (making public what we privately feared – that Jim and Jeanie are out of touch) you back track by saying free agency doesn’t matter.
Jim has no grasp how to develop a roster outside of big gets in free agency. That’s why the team showed very little improvement these past years — virtually every player was on a one year deal to save space for free agents that won”t come. Jim’s plan failed. Getting Harris can be a save – but as Todd stated above he is likely to pay dividends a few years down the road.
Let’s be honest Jim Buss is more likely to be viewed as Frank McCourt then Dr Buss.
Tarik Black is not a center, he hustles like crazy on the boards and I like him as a back-up big but that’s it. He’s really a PF, he’s only a tweener out of desperation. I think they said he’s actually 6″8 without shoes on or something–but honestly I like him at center more than Sacre!
So D. Jordan is going to be a Mav now, that really shakes things up in the Western conference. Clippers aren’t going to like the post–Jordan season much, and they don’t really have back-up center to speak of.
Mavs could be interesting if they sign a good PnR guy like Lin as their PG. IF Matthews can come back strong from the achilles, or at least continue to be a deadly 3 point shooter. Matthews and Parsons shooting 3’s, Jordan getting dunks, Dirk shooting 3’s, they will be able to score and actually defend a bit as well. Of course they cannont have Felton as their starting PG to make that happen.
I’m generally (have been at least) an optimist when it comes to the Lakers. Anyone pretending this free agency period has been anything other then a disaster from the front office is lying to themselves.
The Lakers FO need to spend the 2015-16 season reevaluating the organization from top to bottom
Obviously the plan is to only spend max money on elite players; same as last year we are going to give 1yr deals to everybody else.
DJ is a goner to Mavs. what are you waiting for Mitch, July 9th? Argh!
@ George: Let’s be honest Jim Buss is more likely to be viewed as Frank McCourt then Dr Buss.
And he’s getting there pretty quickly. Incompetent and unpopular usually go hand in hand.
haha – Clippers
This is now the 2nd big to leave California to Texas because of taxes …. Dallas can actually pay DJ 4M more than clippers because of taxes
NBA needs to review the cap in relation to state taxes so that all teams have a fair shot cash wise … our extra revenue doesn’t mean anything if we can’t actually outspend people because of the cap and the money that we can spend is worth less than everyone else because of taxes … make a big difference to max players
Jeanie bring this up at the NBA governors meeting
so clips are what fighting for 8th in the west now with Utah and Pheonix … Markieff is pissed in pheonix because they traded his brother away … maybe we can trade for markieff … best contract in the league right now
Tyson doesn’t care because no one was going to give him another 50m … guy was done at one point in NY … now gets 50mil to breakdown in a year
the clips hurting makes our FO look not so bad after all …. maybe chris or blake pushes for a trade early or opt out at their first chance since clips wont contend in the last of chris’s prime and for the next few years of blakes … blake is gonna get so doubled now when hes in the post … no lob target for him anymore keeping the defense in step
I admire your persistence and patience.
Craig W. says
I am not here to defend Jim Buss. I also agree that the expectations for this free-agency period are a disaster. However, some of the blame for this is the activity of us fans and our media conspirators – hits on critical Laker comments can really drive a site. The Laker front office, by remaining somewhat silent, except to say they would be going after the best players, really played into this issue and deserve most of the blame.
What I am saying is that the Lakers have never been very successful at free-agency. They have concentrated on trades to get either players or draft picks. Now that the rules have changed – for both free-agency and the game – the Lakers have to adjust. There are enough stumbles here that they look like a more average franchise. I say average, because every franchise is finding this world more difficult. Even the Spurs are going to see less success once their ‘big 3’ leave the scene. It is just how the rules flatten out the competition.
Craig W. says
Finally, and again, while I think that free-agency has ratcheted up the angst we all have for our team, it is equally true that their draft the last two years does give us a place to be cautiously optimistic. That is why I am going to see summer league games in person for the first time in my life.
Yeah, if Robert Upshaw shows any skills at all I expect him to be signed quickly for training camp – at least.
“Mitch got us Paul” – really? Where is Paul now? I knew what you meant but Lakers did not follow through with a lawsuit. That trade hurt Pau and LO and the start of the Lakers demise. Again lofty ambitions wiithout clear resolve or strategy.
Kostas K. Will be gone soon if no advances made. Re-sign Hill now before somebody signs him too.
Jinno Rufino: Source say Mark Cuban gave Deandre Jordan shares of Avion. #NBAFreeAgencyFrenzy
if this is true shouldn’t DJ’s contract be invalidated by the NBA … what about Dallas getting docked a bunch of picks like Minnesota did when they got Joe Smith
NBA’s has got to change rules on the cap in regards to taxes … California can’t compete with Texas for max players ….. 2nd time in 3 years … with ellis leaving to Indiana of all places for less money than Sacremento …which was really more money too … it effects the balance of “Parity” in the NBA … needs to be looked at
So if you are a poker player and almost out you keep going all in. By Jimbo making this 2 year or leave deal he is forced to keep going all in. Problem is he is a crappy poker player and keeps losing. And so do we.
Blake can be and will be a free agent the summer of 17.
He has an opt out, but that doesn’t mean that he will use it. Jordan leaving the Clippers may have increased the chances of it of course.
But the bottom line realities remain.You haven’t refuted them and won’t be able to,no matter times you repeat yourself. But I hope you turn out to be right.
All in mentality of a guy with a two year clock running often gets one nothing.
However, some of the blame for this is the activity of us fans and our media conspirators
You are really, really reaching now. Just go with the Aaron defense–it is better than this.
That noted, I am glad to see you finally directly criticize the FO.
Never cared about Deandre signing with us, so it dont matter to me, he makes Shaq and Dwight look like Steve Nash on the ft line, and he want to have a bigger role in the offense, what a joke, he cant score more than 2 feet away from the basket has zero offensive game and won’t have CP throwing lob passes at him. He wins the overpaid award of this summer, he has his value on the defensive end but he is not as good as people make him out to be he is not a max contract player in my book. On the other hand im extatic the Clips took this hit lol.
All these guys making max money are not even “franchise cornerstone” type of players (ok, i really am bitter). Let these teams overpay and spend their money- they’re not all gonna win championships. The Lakers should just add a few guys to complete the roster and let the young guys get their feet wet. Hopefully, they will adjust and get a feel of the NBA fast enough. Front Office also needs to update its recruitment pitch-their strategy is obsolete and players are no longer buying LA’s selling points. Sad to say, but once Kobe is off the books, that will hopefully pave the way for other top guys to come over.
No doubt Kobe being off the scene will help. I suspect he’s widely viewed as somebody who is acting like an alpha dog but can’t back it up anymore. Why would that be well received by young studs?
About this whole the Lakers have never improved by signing free agents mantra. Well keep in mind the free agency landscape has changed over the years. Prior to ’83 teams had the right of first refusal until a player had completed two contracts with the team, for one example.
Also, the Lakers are now trying to participate – and failing miserably. How is that a good thing?
Craig W. says
Who, besides Shaq, has ever bought what the Lakers had to sell in free-agency?
Also, Ryan’s point has been made many times by different people here, including me.
Brewer stays with Houston for less money than Sac offered. Glad our FO is better than them!
All in all a disappointing free agency thus far. While the results are not quite unexpected (realistically the big free agents want to compete if they are leaving for more money), it is disheartening to hear the negative reactions coming out of our pitches.
One thing that is pretty astounding to me is how quickly free agency moved this year. I can’t remember previous years being like this.
I’m at a loss at what the Lakers should do. It seems that they need to bide their time and continue to hoard assets. Maybe they can get a desperate team like Houston last year to send over an expiring contract for a pick or two.
While it’s difficult to imagine tanking again as Aaron suggests, it almost seems that we are forced into that position once more. Out of all the bottom 5 teams, I would think Minny, New York, and Orlando have improved. I would say we are close to the bottom along with Philly. Where do you guys think we fall?
Pretty sure the lakers haven’t made any moves yet because they’re waiting for Aldridge and need to keep the space open to sign him. We can debate whether that’s a wise move, but it appears to be the move they’re going with.
As an aside, assuming LA does not pick LA, put me on the Tobias Harris bandwagon.
I’ll be at the first weekend of summer league too. Would love to link up at some point — you’ve always shared great thoughts/perspectives on the team and its history.
I want to know how do we get Chandler Parsons. He is an excellent pitch/party guy. Already recruited D12 and DAJ from Los Angeles.
Who, besides Shaq, has ever bought what the Lakers had to sell in free-agency?
Jim Buss said that he wants to bring in two max FAs, and the FO has acted and spoken accordingly. So far, they have not been able to get one here.
One thing that has not been mentioned regarding the chase for LMA, is he’s a PF. He said he does not like playing C (gets beat up too bad I assume) and his game (good range on his jumper) is fit more for PF. Julius is also a PF. If we would have signed LMA one of those two guys would either be upset as they’re coming off the bench or be upset as they’re playing out of position. We can’t play Randle at the 3 right? I don’t know but maybe I’m one of the few that’s not upset we didn’t get him. He’ll be good for two years (in which we’re not winning a championship) and then his game will start to decline. Plus he doesn’t play much defense. How about a rebuttal from those who are more in the know than me. Am I looking at this wrong? Has the NBA become almost a position-less league? Just put your best 5 on the floor (which is what GS did) and go for it.
Chris J says
DeAndre Jordan is going to Dallas, per ESPN.
R: I have had many nightmares like this. Historically I have used Jerry Jones as my comparison, but Al Davis works as well.
Darius hit the nail on the head – minus signing worthy max players, we should look for (1) bargain bin deals (see Davis, Ellington, etc.), and/or (2) trades for one-yr contracts to get as much value as possible out of our available cap space this year (see Lin). We aren’t gonna compete for a title until we get a handful of superstars on our team (we may have one or two future superstars now – time will tell). In the meantime, we continue to build a strong young team, and maintain cap flexibility (see Houston).
Best thing the FO did this free agent season, NOT SIGNING RONDO! 10 mil for the crazy Kings!
At this point I’m just going to give the Lakers proprs for avoiding some of the dumb signings out there. How about we lock up Wayne Ellington he’s actually a good all around player. Also perhaps the Lakers can sign some more PF’s to play Center again. I’m telling you Boozer would be a helluva good Stretch 5, he is money from 15ft out. He also is very good at back shoves, probably the best I’ve ever seen. He only gets called for about 1 out of every 5 shoves, so he gets away with it a ton. Once he fouls out, we always can trot out Sacre…
My earlier post is lost somewhere in the internet ether, but what do you guys think of tanking again? Obviously, it’s less than ideal as we only have a top 3 protected pick, but who is going to be worse than us? Out of the top 5 bottom teams from last year, I can only see Philly being worse than us unless Russell and Randle blow us away. How many teams do you guys see competing for a spot at the bottom?
@grumpy, I don’t think its a matter of us “tanking again” as a strategy it will be a natural evolution based on our talent basically sitting with 2 rookies. Us having no defense to speak of. Us running a system that is anti-analytical, since of course math is a ‘soft science’ still to some. What the team really needs is just for everyone to play tough, no more charmin, no more softies.
Our talent level and inexperience guarantee us a bottom 3 at this point. I honestly can’t see us defending against anyone at all, last years team seriously were defensive juggernauts compared to our current roster. It’s not going to be pretty.
Its really us …. maybe portland cause they now stink lost 4 starters, i was gonna say dallas but they should still be good even though they signed 3 role players to max deals, the knicks could still be really bad but if melo plays well they could be ok, indy maybe unless they sign someone lile brandon bass to replace west … not that much of a downgrade, and orlando …. although their gm said they would be aggressive in FA. …. id give us a 30% chamce right now that we keep our pick
Chances of keeping a top 3 lottery pick:
Worst record – 64%
Second worst – 59%
Third worst – 47%
If we are tanking this year, we have to ‘push hard’ for the first or second worst records, otherwise we have a coin-flip or worse chance of keeping our pick next year. Based on our free agency approach this year, I feel that this is a PR strategy by the FO to appear to have made a push for legitimacy, all the while setting the team up for failure by avoiding accumulating mid-tier talent. I’m no mind reader, but this might be the duality of their approach. Here’s to Randle and Russel exceeding expectation, Clarkson carrying on his upward trajectory, and Upshaw beating his rap and turning out a diamond in the rough. All of this turning out well in the next year, and we are still one of the worst teams in the league. I hope all that growth takes place while securing a top three pick next year.
I am driving over to Las Vegas for the sole purpose of watching the first three Laker games of the summer league. I will try to report what I see.
awsome Craig, looking forward to your own `bird´s eye-view´ from Vegas!
(& fwiw: Ryan´s post , though spot on, mentinoed one BIG FA signing in Shaq, but I´d venture to say that Silk was some kinda pick up as well! 😉 Note to Ryan: I know what you were getting at, I just wanted to remind some of the youngsters how great Silk was for us 🙂
Man I love Cuban… He would have been the first owner/FO to admit to tanking…
I’m glad to see people starting to get on board with my three year tank of strategy. Well it’s the Lakers strategy… I just supported it two years ago. Only one year left. But this will be the most fun year of the tank. So many good young players to watch and we know this will be the last year of the tank. So much to look forward to. I’m excited for summer league and the season. The first time in a long time.
16nov2014-Posted last year.
I recently viewed a fascinating documentary regarding the rise and fall of the Raiders and its owner Al Davis. It seems that he alienated so many people in the Commissioner’s office and between owners that when his team started losing, they ganged up on him.
The Raiders have never gained the popularity they were previously afforded, and the previously storied franchise has become perennial bottom-dwellers. Though there is a faction of Raiders fans that persist to this day hoping that the team will rise out of their doldrums and regain a spot at the top of the leader board. It’s been longer than 10 years since the Raiders were even 7-9.
Are the Raiders a harbinger for our Lakers?
Warren Wee Lim says
Kareem, please NO tanking. NO MORE.
Tankyou, I completely agree with you. Of course tanking is not a viable strategy, but given the position we are in, it seems like we will be near the bottom of the league unless something dramatic changes our fortunes. It will be really painful if we are horrible and end up losing our pick to Philly. I guess it’s hard to tell how terrible we will be at this point. It will be fun to see the young guys develop though.
Baylor Fan says
What has Philadelphia accomplished that makes losing so attractive? Who on their roster is a budding superstar? They have loaded up with 3 centers and traded everyone else with a pulse. No matter what they say about Okafor, the Lakers hosed their tanking strat when they picked Russell. He was the only player who made sense for their team. In addition, how can they find playing time for all their young players to figure out who to keep? Theirs is not the road to success. What they have learned to do is lose.
Along these lines, the Lakers need to decide which veterans they need to help develop their younger players.
Chearn: Like I said to R: I usually use the Jerry Jones comparison, but the Raiders are OK. However if you really want to go there, check out the history of the Redskins. A championship franchise, our Jack Kent Cooke, a complex trust when he died, son in charge, and then decades of pain. Almost all of that is exactly like us, and I am hoping the last part is not.
Stan Tyre says
There is no coherent direction here. Lakers have 7 (8 if you count Upshaw) of the most exciting young possibilities in the Association. Their window should be opening in 3 years. Instead they’re wasting all this time trying to win now….because Kobe’s old? …Because Jim might resign? …Because of Jeanie’s “stakeholders”? Who gives a f***?!
Thanks to clever drafting and dumpster diving (hat tip, Mitch Kupchak) Lakers have a more interesting roster than 90% of the lottery. Glad we didn’t get LMA, dodged a 30 year old bullet. glad we didn’t get Rondo, dodged a freaking grenade.
Not to age myself too much but this roster reminds me of ’95. Peeler, Jones, Vlade, Elden. Guys they drafted. Guys that played together. Pieces. Assets. Next year Shaq looked at that team and saw possibilities. Coaching change (snap), Kobe, rings.
Lakers fans are not stupid, neither are we impatient. Jeanie = stop treating us like we are.
I don’t know who you are. But I’m going to find you.
I am going to find you and I’m going to shake your hand and congratulate you for keeping a level head and calling it like it is.
Yes, we struck out in free agency, but so what: lets’ be real. LMA would have not matched our timeline, unless we traded all rooks for boogie.
We just have to get a good wing and put our priorities in developing all the young promising assets we have. I just wish I could say I have confidence in Byron Scott being able to do that…
CHearn – it seems like football rule changes affect the game more than in basketball, but your underlying point is a good one – will the Lakers rigidly stick to an approach that worked once but may not be appropriate for today’s game. I’m thinking more about incorporating analytics into game plans and talent evaluation. It’s not an either/or and maybe the Lakers are doing than we know, but there have been reports about how we lag in terms of analytics. And one of things that the Mavs and Rockets did that impressed Dwight, LA and DAJ was how they would be featured in the offense and I have to believe some of that was based on analytics.
LMA should go to the Rockets. They are on his timeline and give him his best chance to win. The Spurs are old and now everyone is copying their offense and their rotations that keep players mins/games down. Its a no brainer for me.
Brian P. says
Why does everybody think Upshaw will definitely sign with us if he pans out in summer league? Just a reminder anybody can sign him if he does well. No lock to go to the Lakers even though they have the inside track.
Stan Tyre says
There is no coherent direction here. Lakers have 7 (8 if you count Upshaw) of the most exciting young possibilities in the Association. Their window should be opening in 3 years. Instead they’re wasting all this time trying to win now….because Kobe’s old? …Because Jim might resign? …Because of Jeanie’s “stakeholders”? Who gives a f***?!
Thanks to clever drafting and dumpster diving (hat tip, Mitch Kupchak) Lakers have a more interesting roster than 90% of the lottery. Glad we didn’t get LMA, dodged a 30 year old bullet. Glad we didn’t get Rondo, dodged a freaking grenade.
This roster reminds me a bit of ’95. Peeler, Jones, Vlade, Elden. Guys they drafted. Guys that played together. Pieces. Assets. The next year Shaq and Leonard Armato looked at that team and saw possibilities. Coaching change (snap), Kobe, rings.
Lakers fans are not stupid, neither are we impatient. Jeanie = stop treating us like we are. We don’t need another top 3 pick, who cares. Just need to let this team marinate. For a while.
Lakers slogan this year should be Cheaper, Younger, Slower (slower in the f.o., not on the court). Eschew large deals, cultivate the younglings, bide your time.
I think Jim Buss should either hand the rein to someone else or make a compelling case for giving himself an extension. This artificial, self imposed deadline is detrimental to his decision making.
LaMarcus camp are already declaring that they would limit the choice to one of the three: Spurs, Suns or back to Blazers. I bet he goes back to Blazers offer for 5 years max.
Lakers on day three still zero signings except Sacre. So what is the next move? Are the Lakers waiting for miracle that LaM will suddenly change course because he was moved by the 2nd meeting?
Please complete the roster holes and move on. Are the Lakers FO really that retarded that they can’t convince anyone to join the team? Anybody now, forget those marquee players, average Tom Dick and Harry, just any Center, Small Forward at least Lakers can put up a team,. lol!
chris henderson says
every post I see with the word “tank” in it, I’m scrolling past.
this is ridiculous, how do you even keep the energy to write about a strategy involving tanking?
Joe A says
Tobias Harris agreed to stay with Orlando…
Craig W. says
I am driving over early FRI AM. Stopping in Barstow & Primm for about an hr to charge my car, then to Thomas & Mack Center to buy FRI, SAT, & MON tickets. If you send a request with your email address directly to Darius he can forward it to my email and I will contact you directly. I will be staying at The Carriage House on Harmon, about 1 mile from the T&M Center.
Almost all FAs have come off the market in record time. Lakers, of course, have signed no one.
Whether the Lakers believe some of their young player can become great players or not, what remains true is they need to build a team and to do this, the Lakers needed to address the glaring weaknesses in their roster with variety of players.
I would have liked to have seen the Lakers actually sign or trade for couple of good, solid, mid-level players and not chase the best players available. For example, Wizards were able to land Dudley for a 2nd rd pick. I think it would have been a great move by the Lakers and it was for the Wizards.
Another example would be Pistons absorbing one of the Morris twin (worse one) and Bullock into their cap space from the Suns.
Cap space is only an asset if you actually use it. It doesn’t actually win any games for you. This is becoming a trend and clearly has diminishing marginal returns. It may have served the Lakers best to try to exploit other opportunities.
Perhaps if Aldridge chooses the Suns, Lakers can absorb some of Suns’ contracts such as the remaining Morris twin (better one) and/or Alex Len since they will need to open up cap space.
Harris has 4 more years in orlando – derrick williams to the knicks
Well upshaw would have a starting gig amd if it hasnt happened already we should have signed him to a 4 yr max deal for undrafted guys. ….. mitch ….. hurry up …. LA is not coming
Assuming that LMA does not come here and we fill out the roster with scrubs, it’s going to be Kobe and a bunch of kids. That’s going to be an interesting dynamic. I wonder what kind of role Kobe will take on.
Skins are an interesting comparison. Just need a rich superfan to buy the team a la Snyder and then destroy the franchise for another fifteen+ years. Not a happy thought.
You are correct. Anyone can sign Upshaw after Summer League, not just the Lakers. However, bear in mind that in the recent NBA Draft 30 teams just passed on him. Any of them could have drafted him on June 25th and they all decided against it. And they all know he can play. So I would think that Upshaw may have some credibility issues.
Even so, if you’re implying that Mitch is rather slow to act and can get beaten to the punch, I would agree. Do you remember the hiring of Byron Scott last year? Mitch brought him in for a 2nd interview, then a 3rd interview, and then (if I recall) a 4th interview. It seems as if he agonized over that decision greatly.
Some executives (usually those who are highly introspective and analytical) are often very slow to decide. Mitch Kupchak definitely falls into that category. It could be, I think, his biggest weakness.
In any event, if Upshaw stays clean and performs well during Summer League, I would think that the Lakers would sign him up immediately. At least, I would hope so.
With Orlando’s signing of Tobias Harris to a 4-year, $64 Million extension, I can’t think of a single RFA who has left his team this summer, at least, no one noteworthy.
Perhaps this is to be expected. Talent in the NBA, especially at the SF position, can be scarce. Teams just can’t let good, young talent like Harris walk out the door.
Even if the Lakers had bid on him, Orlando would have matched. Harris simply was not win-able.
Man, the negativity here is toxic. It’s no wonder a lot of long time posters stay away.
Well, Harris’ signing puts to rest the notion that our FO did have a plan in place and we’re waiting for restricted free agency to start. We’re left with one of two conclusions:
1) our FO went through an elaborate charade to make us think they were pursuing free agents when their objective all along was to carry forward cap space.
2) our FO is a bunch if amateurs who can’t prioritize free agents or close them.
I really think that Jim Buss is in way over his head. The FO’s approach to free agency was an embarrassment.
Things are not going well and i see no light at the end of the tunnel. What is the clear cut plan here. The front office is going all in these meetings but keep coming up short. Maybe mitch isnt as good as we thought.
Love how Jeanie goes out if her way to do an ESPN interview essentially distancing herself from the utter mess that is Lakers basketball. She made it clear who’s ass is on the line — and it’s not hers.
Gotta love those Buss kids!
For those of you who are following Robert Upshaw, I recommend the following interview (Silver Screen and Roll, Trevor Lane, 3 July 2015). Please be sure and click on the link that takes you to the interview that he had yesterday (Thursday) with a radio sports personality in Seattle:
Correct me if I am wrong, but with Jordan set to sign with the Mavs, the Clippers seem to be capped out without a center?
Both the Wolves and the Bucks seem to have a bit of a jam at center with their recent draft/FA acquisitions. If we are to acquire a center via trade, Pekovic or Henson would be good to have.
Rahul: nice thinking… Henson would be a great fit for the a Lakers since he likely would come cheaply enough. Pek is expensive and can’t stay on the floor so I’d pass on him.
Anonymous did you consider the last 2 years being the worst in Laker history is reason some poster left? 43% decrease in TW viewing also not caused by negativity here. Caused by terrible management and bad teams!
Smart move by Magic to bring back Harris at the max. Hurt to see it as a laker fan, but good for them. Just hope at this point we can maybe absorb another teams unwanted high salary players in order to obtain some draft picks.
A question for Darius / anyone else –
I know we have to meet a cap minimum that we currently are not at. Would it make sense to try and re-sign Clarkson, right now to a 4 year deal worth around $36M or something? This is my thinking, he will probably get significant minutes next year, and more likely than not, will put up some big stats. Won’t he be expected to get paid more then, or look to jump ship? I just think no matter how you slice it, we’re going to be pretty bad for the next couple years… Might as well do everything in our power to ensure that Clarkson, Randle, Russell, and potentially Upshaw are long-term lakers, and to try and get them all on some sort of “value” contracts
It doesn’t matter whether it’s free agency or via trade. The point is, no one wants to come because the organization is a mess. Kobe thinking that he’s still the main guy doesn’t help too. I totally agree with Jamison’s post btw. Also, i think the reason why Lakers FO went swinging for the the top FAs is because of the urgency to win now, to give Kobe that 6th ring. Too bad that it seems FO did not have any other plans in terms of signing key role players. As much as i would love for Kobe to get his 6th, chances are that’s not gonna happen.
Lakers remind me of a girl I once knew. Used to be really attractive with great skin and body. Ran into her after 10 years, put on lot of weight, skin and hair bad. Problem is she still thinks she hottest in the room yet was sitting alone in the corner drinking as the new young girls were getting the attention. Sad but true Laker management. You ain’t that hot. Time for a make over?
Aaron, anyone can come here and pretend to know more than everyone else, post 1000 times a day, and give themselves credit when by chance their “ideas” come to pass, and conveniently forget when they don’t. (Okay, maybe not ANYONE, but anyone with no life)…
We aren’t tanking this year, and we DIDN’T tank last year. Look at our roster… We sucked! Tanking is when you play below the level of talent/expectations ON PURPOSE. We had NO TALENT. Please stop patting yourself on the back, this used to be a nice site to come read some intelligent, reasonable analysis of our Lakers but you have made it near un-readable.
Keno for Comment of The Year!
Indiana might try and get greedy but I would say only trade for Hibbert into the cap space. West was disgusted by perceptions of Pacer’s FO attempting to manipulate an opt out. If they get desperate, they’ll bite. Otherwise, Biyambo on the cheap, if possible. Outside of Koufos, everyone else are forwards playing the 5. I’m curious to see if Hill is going to boomerang back or if someone will make a play.
Im willing to bet the farm that the Lakers are not making any moves because they are waiting on the .0000000001% chance Lebron leaves Cleveland, until he signs they are not doing anything. Just watch…
The Lakers have been managed terribly the last 3 years. They are seemingly allergic to gaining assets?! Mozgov gets 2 x first round picks yet Ed Davis is kept and walks away for NOTHING! Always waiting for the big fish in free agency instead of getting a decent team up-together with signing b level starters who will have cap friendly contracts. The Lakers have NO draft picks owed to them, look at the Celtics & 76ers… Even 5 x second round picks can be traded for first rounders and players.
I like Mitch, but he and Jim have completely wrecked the Lakers these last few years. Not to mention the Lakers owe this years pick (top 3 protected) to Philadelphia so even tanking is not guaranteed to pay off. FIRE Jim & Mitch & lets start over with a new younger GM who is more analytics based as with the rest of the league
Warren Wee Lim says
Instead of absorbing Roy Hibbert, you should consider the Wizards who are trying to unload salary to sign David West.
Sing to the beat of Silento’s “Now watch me whip (Kill it!) Now watch me nae nae (Okay!)”
Maybner Hilario, 1 more year at 13 million, huge body and can score a bit inside, a bit fat but still serviceable. We also have a good history of trading w/ Wizards as we had acquired Clarkson from them (or if you’re technical, the 46th pick that was used to select Clarkson).
I would still highly recommend giving Bismack Biyombo the Lavoy Allen contract (12M/3) and take a flyer at Markieff Morris and TJ Warren if the Suns want to dump (to get LmA).
As long as these moves haven’t happened or otherwise, they remain my hope.
Yup, Bismack is what this team needs. An athletic big that can defend and doesn´t demand nor need the ball. Him along with a serviceable defensive minded SF is enough to shore up the defense, IF the Lakers are able to sign Upshaw and IF he pans out. Lets be honest: There is no way the Lakers turn from bottom feeder to contender within this offseason, no matter who they sign (outside of a blockbuster ala Lebron).
Honestly at this point, unless a guy is going to be useful to us winning in a couple years, may as well not bother. Not enough impactful defensive FA left to move the needle. I was hopefully we snagged R. Lopez/Ed Davis guys who could shore up our defense and were still young enough to be useful when the youngins’ hopefully improve enough to turn the Titanic around. Next years FA look even more paltry and the few big dogs seem like an even bigger leap for us to sign than this year. Signing a few useful guys could also be used as trade bait for a team with a disgruntled high level talent who just wants to get out. We could be the escape hatch for somebody of note, it may come down to that happening to get us a really good player. If these young guys don’t amount to much, then we got serious problems.
But for this year our frontcourt looks pathetic. We need some bodies, and again if we don’t get defense first type guys, its going to be atrocious as we break some more records this season, at least for points given up.
Nene is a good player but he’d probably miss like half the season on this Lakers team.
J C says
Tobias H may have stayed w Magic even if Lakers made an offer since Magic had his RFA rights, but still shocked we didn’t take a stab at him.
As I stated before I don’t really want LMA but once he officially passes on Lakers, we can wake up and smell the coffee.
We’d better sign Upshaw before some other team makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Mid-W, thanks for the link.
Hope his heart/health issues are behind him for his sake. Sounds like a great kid with a positive attitude.
Lakers can still judge talent well.
I just think they don’t have a good recruiting team/sales approach.
If Randle/Clarkson/Russell/Upshaw all pan out this could be a very promising turning point for the team.
Maybe our FO just has to learn the hard way to give its youth a real chance – and stop chasing rainbows.
Great point on Clarkson. I was thinking bout this last year… Because he was a second round pick he is on a short deal. We need to resign him now to a first round pick type deal or it won’t make sense for us to sign him next year to a big contract and eat in dramatically to our cap space. We might have the same problem with Upshaw although with him we are allowed to sign him to a long term contract. Not the case with second rounds picks.
J C says
I stopped in last year at T&M to catch some games. It’s pretty cool. Very informal setting, lots of hoops junkies and coaches.
I might be coming out next weekend.
I’m at Heyjc@ yahoo
If you shoot me an email, I’ll reach out to you.
I’d recommend the Summer League setting for any and all Laker diehards. Gotta represent!
Robert- The Cowboys certainly fit. The Cowboys sold jerseys and merchandise based on their position as America’s Team. In a 2014 Harris Poll, the Broncos are now favored as America’s Team, dropping the Cowboys to fourth place for that honor.
bluehill-After the Lakers fired everyone a few years ago, the logical step forward would have been to use technology to fill the basketball assessment void.
There is no spin available to describe the disconnection the organization exhibits towards innovation.
Interesting note on Twitter re Deandre Jordan being impressed with Dirk flying in to attend recruiting meeting, and that zero Clipper players attended his meeting w Clips FO.
Surprised his buddy Blake wasn’t there.
Maybe there’s no love lost over in Cliiperville but it just points out how important these meetings are.
Lakers need a new sales team.
I thought there will be a great 4th of July for Mitch and Jim, well the surprise it’s all quiet here, no hooplah from Jeanie’s brigade and TWC cheerleaders. Nobody can voice from the broadcasters dissent that the pathetic FO because they’re afraid of being banned by the Buss Family from some business interests as if we really care. If the Lakers can’t compete, forget the business interest eventually the value of the team is watered down. They made some efforts but not enough can’t sign their own players like Davis, waiting for some logical moves of signing Hill and Black now before they’re grab again right in front of their nose. Slow, incompetent, overkill old bunch of the Laker past managers. Time to regroup, I hope the minority stockholders take over because the present brand is severely damage by this anemic stalemate.
I had heard DJ wants the ball more and that’s part of the friction between him & CP3. If so cool another defender rebounder with no shooting ability who wants to be an offensive cog but has no moves. Sounds familiar if true.
At this point, you may as well just sign upshaw and hope he develops into something usefull instead of chasing some dreams of signing LMA,who will be too old and expensive when your young guns are ready to take over… there are plenty of teams still in need of a center/backup center, who very well could give him guaranteed money….and lets face it: who would lay down a paycheck for a try-out? Lock him up before it is too late and we start with sacre again.
I cant see how most of you guys thought we could sign a big-time free agent, or even a secound tier one like monroe/harris…there were so many teams with cap space and a young promising nucleus, especially in the weak east (bucks, philly, orlando just to name a few) that it was clear to me we would miss out on them, just like the knicks did..
Bottom line is: i am not as disappointed as most guys on the board seem to be, making a splash in FA was never really realistic to me (admit: i was dreaming as well)….now if clarkson keeps shining, russel shows signs of that superstar ability most experts said he has and randle will be what i think he will be (at least 15/8rbs per night right away) i think we are in position to maybe make a splash vome 2017, 2018 or so….until then, be patient lakernation, because we wont see the playoffs the next couple of seasons 🙁
Well we can resign JHill and get Koufos. We also have the summer league, it might not be what we want, but this is a good lesson. We need to be smarter in how we do things. I’m still for building through the with the primary emphasis being placed draft/Dleague with FA last. Also, I’m sure that there are a couple of good centers in the Euro leagues.
11-12 = 11
12-13 = 61
13-14 = 53
14-15 = 67
year / Games played. Nene fits in with the Lakers of the last 3 years. How much more is he going to give you on court than Jordan Hill or Black? Lakers don’t have any problems finding players to fling the ball at the hoop.
Morris twins have a court case on them. Heads don’t seem to be right. If Upshaw sticks, that would cover the possible loon quotient. I think Hibbert would move the needle more than any of the flotsam out there and he’d be only one year. Biyombo would somewhat cover the Ed Davis style.
I don’t think that tanking is the organizational strategy. I think that they are going for a dual approach. If they could, they would land big name FAs. But as many posters on here have noted, there’s not a lot of good reasons for stars to come to LA now, especially with Kobe’s contract on the books and a ton of question marks around the team’s young talent. So the duality of the approach is, if not home run, then bunt. The only way a tank is viable with the Lakers being the Lakers is if they make an effort/appearance of trying for the home run. The reality is we have one of the worst teams in the league, and are likely to finish in the bottom of the rankings. So attempting to keep the pick is more of a necessity than anything, reality if not strategy.
Last domino off the board …. can we expect a signing sometime soon …. can we at least get a press conference to tell us whats gping on and what the plan is from here on out …. silence from the lakers right now hurts …say we are rebuilding … just say it
Deandre gone, and now Lamarcus, no more.
who else can we sign???
Aldridge to Spurs for 80M only which Lakers could offer, oh forget about it! What are you waiting for Mitch, are you going to sign anybody today or still on holiday mood? Hill and Black can play Center huh?
Why sign/trade hibbert or any productive player lakers are still a bottom 5 team. No reasonable explanation to be in the hunt for the playoffs. Bottom all the way out get another top 5 pick and build the way the
A small market team like the spurs/thunder have. Lakers have no future free agents see that and theyre unwilljngness to sign here proves that.
Its no enough to say you can own la, be with the hollywood stars and look here are our 16 gold trophies. A player in his prime want to win and wants to see a recent track record of winning. Losing phil and jerry busd lakers lost a lot of mystique. Nobody in la has a track record except kobe. This isnt the same old lakers and when kobe leaves forget about it. Lakers have nothing to present players except a legacy players want there own legacy not a franchises. Its going to take a player like anare joining the knicks for our current scenario. Durant, westbrook is so used to winning theyre not coming either.
You just defined exactly what tanking is. If you can’t win (get great players) you try and get (cheap) bad players so as to draft great players and then sign great players alongside them.
I’m actually relieved that Aldridge is off the board. BTW, I think he made the right decision. San Antonio should be an ideal fit for him. Of course, this makes San Antonio very powerful for the next 3-4 years. Some things never change.
Now it’s time for the Lakers to move on. I have no idea whom they could pursue to play SF at this point. (Should they have Kobe play the 3 with the rookies backing him up?) But at least there are options at the 5, namely the following:
1) Kosta Koufos,
2) Jordan Hill, and
3) Bismack Biyombo
My preference would be for the Lakers to bring in Koufos (a legitimate 7-footer and a solid, if unspectacular, defender). Then they could let Upshaw — if he can keep his nose clean — develop and mature…and possibly start in the 2nd half of the year.
This coming year, as I’ve said before, will represent new ground for the Lakers. They will be embracing a youth movement as never before. If all the youngsters make the team that I think could make the team, 4 of them will never have played a single game in the NBA: D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance, Jr., Anthony Brown, and Robert Upshaw. Another young player — Julius Randle — will have played a grand total of one game in the NBA. That’s 5 completely untested rookies.
The other 3 would be Tarik Black (one year of experience), Jordan Clarkson (one year of experience but only half-a-season of meaningful time), and Jabari Brown (less than half a season of NBA experience).
That would be a serious youth movement. Some of these players, of course, look to be truly talented. All, I think, can play the game. We’ll see if they develop. We have no choice.
It is what it is.
Ive been a Laker fan for 40 years. I am amazed at how petulant and spoiled the fan base has become. You are not going to get an in your prime superstar unless you have a solid core and some quality depth. This lets quick fix this by fleecing small market teams is a thing of the past. With this CBA and the popularity of the sport, players dont have to go to crappy big market teams for exposure and branding. We traded away our most important building blocks draft picks for quick fixes or the free agent lottery that hasnt panned out. The only team that has been remotely as successful as the Lakers is the Spurs over the last 20 years. Its time to pump the brakes and look at reality. We need youth, talent, and time. The Warriors are the only relatively youthful team that wasnt build on tanking. The Cavs tanked to get Wiggins and Kyrie, Lets not even get started on the wolves and bucks. This is the new NBA. Now im not advocating tanking like the sixers, but the next few drafts are critical and we need picks. Our picks are top protected and the team has no tradeable assets. Let Kobe jack up shots at a historic rate, lets the young guns make every rookie mistake imaginable, get a top pick the next 2 years then maybe we can start to put together a contender. When David Stern vetoed the CP3 deal it was our deathknell. Lets calm down, stop looking for quick fixes that arent going to materialize. There is no reason for a top 5 star to come here. Its okay tes been an amazing 20 year run now lets start afresh.
I don’t think we’ll be as bad a last year but we are still likely a 50+ loss team. The fear is that there’s no guarantee we keep our pick and with no lottery selection to add to our talent base what FA would find us attractive.
Most owners would blow out the FO for incompetence. However, Jim’s deal gives him yet another year. I’m beginning to think that we won’t turn thus around until we get a new VP of Operations, GM and coach. No one wants to take a chance with this leadership.
We should sign anyone that will be worth flipping at the deadline for more assets …. thats it
By the way, let us all enjoy our Independence Day, the birthday of the good old USA.
Anon: there are viewpoint here that the best way to rebuild is from bottoms up, so we go on this tanking method and play with percentages of ping pong ball till our team could gel and compete.
There is another group who dream of Durant and Westbrook like the delusional Buss Kids who would celebrate first before hearing the results. They wanted instant gratification that Lakers can be great again under the vision of Jimbo. Applying analytics would be useless if most of Laker players are raw and not athletic enough to compete. Stats are effective as a guide to improve further the efficiency of a good player.
My point is, in order to achieve those goals Lakers should go back to basics and be active all year round in recruiting on whatever opportunities they have. Tanking is not a goal but a failure which results to mercy drafting of the best players. It is an unworthy gift of NBA. Lakers should active on all fronts especially in scouting for good players here and abroad. Cutting costs like what we did last year by going for the minimum Vet is not a good measure of success. They should get the players when it becomes available via trades or outright purchase. Be active on draft scouting here and abroad. Lakers could buy some good players who are currently signed with other Euro teams in order to improve their team. If they have strong scouting, they could recruit high school phenoms and grab them before small market sharks get into them.
One of the reasons why Lakers were not the destination of FA because our team is weak and under construction. Do you want to live in a dwelling that still under construction? Secondly, we have nobody to trade except Kobe (untouchable relic); Swaggy P and Kelly plus Sacre who are rubbish to other teams. Power begets power and misery invites more company. This is the result of tanking, we got Randle as the 7th pick two seasons ago and Russell as 2nd pick but we lost the inertia and momentum. It is the story of the rise and fall of empire that went back to 3rd world because the warring leaders and abuses that yield inefficiency, pariah and could not compete to the new world order.
Lastly, there is nothing wrong if the Buss Family get a new management team that will replace them from managing the Lakers. Retain Mitch and Byron but please accept in a humble manner their limitation to do the task. They are still the majority owners of the franchise why not relegate the day-to-day managerial operations to a professional group that can supplement a better vision for the Lakers future. Dodgers are doing it, so are the current Champ Dubs, they hired consultants to decide on what is good for the team.
In a nutshell, I am suggesting two things: 1) New Management team that will replace Jim and Jeanie; 2) Strong scouting and trainers/assistant coaches
Not upset that we didn’t get LMA as I didn’t think he was the final piece to make a championship run. To me the most disappointing thing about this free agency period was the FO strategy and the apparent discord within the FO. Leaks about how one part of the meeting was lacking and essentially threatening to fire someone while FAs are still making their decision do not paint a picture a cohesive, well-run team especially compared to the FOs of the Mavs, Spurs, Heat. If true, that’s the biggest problem right now.
Good news – maybe this means we will fully embrace a rebuild strategy and focus on the young guys. I’m excited to see what they can do.
Also, please don’t go after Hibbert. He seems slow and plodding albeit a strong defender if the other team runs a half court offense. More importantly, he doesn’t seem mentally strong. He seems to shrink when things aren’t going his way and he’ll have more pressure on him in LA than Indiana.
+100 oldtimer. From your post to the Buss’ ears.
Bismark is gone for $3M only per year, 2 years with Toronto. Whoaaa! That’s how slow we are. Next player mentioned is Kosta Kofous according to Mike Bresnahan.
Let’s place bets on who will be the other team to get Kosta? David M was suggesting to Make KK part time for Clippers and Lakers to satisfy the cut cost measure of the Lakers and lack of cap space for Clippers That’s how bad our recruiting people are, they are slow in showing the money.