Just when all the Lakers’ free agent chips were down, they managed to get back in the game with their trade for Roy Hibbert. Considering the Lakers’ roster needs, their approach in free agency, and the fallout from missing out on all their top targets, acquiring Hibbert in the manner and at the juncture they did comes as more than just a bit of a relief.
The optics of the move aside, though, the true analysis of this deal comes on what Hibbert brings to the court, not as a reprieve from the early free agency fallout. And when it comes to fit, Hibbert seems to be a mixed bag, providing some things the team certainly needs while grating against some of what they hope to be.
His strength as a player, of course, is his defense. His massive size, ability to be in good position more often than not, and his understanding of verticality make him one of the best interior defenders in the league. Here is a look at his defensive shot chart:
All of that blue in the paint? Yeah, that’s what you want defensively. Hibbert remains one of the elite rim protectors in the league, serving not only as an excellent shot blocker, but as someone who alters shots or deters them entirely. The idea of the Hibbert Effect is real and, even though the Pacers were without Paul George (injury) and Lance Stephenson (departed in free agency) last year, the Pacers still boasted a top-10 defense, a lot of which had to do with Hibbert anchoring the the back line.
For the Lakers, this defensive skill-set is incredibly valuable. For one, they were an awful defensive team last year and infusing any defensive talent is an upgrade. Infusing top level defensive talent at a position and in a role which is one of the more important aspects of team defense in the league is quite a big deal.
Further, Hibbert is a nice fit with the players currently on the roster. One of the key knocks on Julius Randle when he came out of college was his inability to protect the rim defensively. It was said Randle would need a front line partner who could cover for these issues in the paint. They now have that in Hibbert. The hope would be Randle’s mobility and athleticism would allow him to be in position to help funnel offensive players towards Roy, with the big man in the middle then contesting shots and forcing misses. We’ll see how this plays out, of course, but I much prefer the on-paper solution of Randle working in tandem with Hibbert than I do with Jordan Hill or, say, LaMarcus Aldridge.
The more questionable fit is on the other end of the floor, however. The positives are that Hibbert brings good mid-range shooting from the right elbow and reasonable scoring ability from the right block. His work as a post option with his jump hook from the block won’t be a game changer, but can provide some stability in certain sets:
Beyond his individual scoring ability, he’s also a fine passer and has experience playing in a Princeton-style Offense from his college days at Georgetown. He should be comfortable operating from either elbow as a passer and, as an off-ball worker, presents a big body as a screener. Within the larger scheme of what the Lakers want to do in their halfcourt sets, Hibbert’s skill set functions well.
Where things get trickier is in terms of fit and, by association, the ideal style the Lakers should play offensively with their current set of players. Hibbert was, essentially, begged by Larry Bird to not exercise his player option to return to the Pacers because of a want for them to play faster. Hibbert is a plodding big man and not an ideal fit for an uptempo team.
The Lakers, meanwhile, have multiple young players in Russell, Randle, and Clarkson whose development is a priority. These players look like their best offensive chances will come in the open court or by playing with a tempo conducive to creating opportunities against defenses not yet set up. Further, these young players are all good with the ball in their hands and are likely to see touches early in the shot clock via rebounds and quick outlet passes.
A counter to this, of course, is one Kobe Bryant. An argument would be: “Kobe is old and coming off injury. He’ll play slow and that helps Hibbert.” Well, that’s a nice posit, but it’s not really correct — at least not based off last year’s data. Last season, per NBA.com/Stats, when Kobe was on the floor the Lakers played at a pace of 98.34. To put this in perspective, this number would have ranked 7th in the league over the course of a full season. Just because Kobe will be back doesn’t mean the Lakers will inherently play slower.
Pace, I believe, isn’t just a product of shooting quickly; it’s a product of having shot creators who can generate reasonably good looks early in possessions. In the three young players, Lou Williams, and, presumably, Kobe, the Lakers have multiple guys who will have no issues getting up shots early in a possession just by playing their natural game. Hibbert does not really fit into this dynamic.
Hibbert can help enhance this tempo via his work on the defensive glass* and his rim protection, but he isn’t likely to actively participate in the sped up pace. In fact, you likely don’t even want him trying to sprint the floor for easy baskets — at least not too often — if it’s going to come at the expense of his ability to get back defensively or affect his in-game conditioning. This disconnect between how the team would ideally play versus what he’s good at on offense is real. How the Lakers navigate this while he is in the game will matter.
Overall, though, the positives outweigh the negatives with Hibbert joining this version of the Lakers. While the fit isn’t ideal offensively, he can still be useful on that end. Frustrations will surely come when he misses an inside shot you think he should just dunk or when he flips up a hook that just rolls off the rim, but he’ll bring more to the table than just his individual offensive prowess. However, for his defense alone, he is worth the one-year investment and a long look at whether he can be a longer term contributor.
*Many will point to Hibbert’s relatively pedestrian individual rebound numbers and say he’s not a great rebounder. But, the Pacers had a 77.3% defensive rebounding percentage when Hibbert was on the floor last season. This number would have ranked 3rd in the league over the course of a full season. So, while Hibbert wasn’t necessarily grabbing a ton of rebounds himself, he was a key contributor to a team putting up great numbers. Now, consider, if Roy isn’t grabbing the board himself, it’s more likely to be grabbed by guys like Randle, Kobe, Clarkson, or Russell. Or, basically, the guys who want to push the ball up the floor.
acquiring Hibbert in the manner and at the juncture they did comes as more than just a bit of a relief.
Absolutely; I for one am more than happy that we acquired him. As Darius pointed out in his piece, Hibbert´s defense alone is a shot in the arm for our team (& us too!).
Finally, after a long while, we´re gonna have a solid big protecting the rim…hooray!
Give `em heck Roy!!
As an aside, I´d like to give a thumbs up to the FO for what they´ve managed to do this off season –
i think Roy is a great asset defensively.
As for the pace argument, I’d like to see the lakers throw in Robert Upshaw (after all the ‘ifs’ have been taken care of) and let him run with almost all rookies. Russell, Clarkson, Brown/Nance, Randle/Black and Upshaw would be quite quick, still defensively active and space the floor as well as any other Lakers lineup.
I still think we need a veteran SF presence from free agency, but I’m more than happy to watch this version of the Lakers (provided we can move Ryan Kelly, Sacre and maybe Nick Young).
Even if the lakers decide to go small, Tarik Black or Randle could play the 5 and there’s endless possibilities. Really excited about the season!
Craig W. says
Randle has a reputation for end-to-end play. With our quick guards and 3-pt shooting wings, we have an ideal situation to run. However, when we run we still need someone back to defend, at least in the first half of the shot-clock. That man is Roy Hibbert.
My guess is that he may actually make our running team more effective by lagging back a bit, to see if the play develops in the first 10 seconds of the clock. With the exception of DJ, Hibbert may be the best fit with our team – and others won’t hack him at the end of games/quarters.
Darius, the transition offense, or lack thereof, is not owing to him not being able to join in transition. Many another team through the years has gone out in transition while having a slow C. The problem is his poor rebounding. Since you mentioned George and Stephenson, when they were all there together, in order of rebounds per game:
That’s why he’s gone from the Pacers. You can’t have much in the way of a transition game when your SF and SG need to stay back and grab the rebound in the first instance. Also why West is gone as well.
Now, re the defense:
Not saying that Hibbert’s horrible, but I would suggest that the rest of the team has a large role to play. And for a surprise for you:
So who knew that Ian Mahinmi is a better rim protector than Dwight. He isn’t. They play some defense in Indy. Harden plays none.
And, Darius, go back to the George and Stephenson season, 13-14:
Those are Ian Mahinmi numbers for Hibbert, i.e., was worse at rim in 13-14 than in 14-15.
Lastly, and by the way, look at match ups. See Dragic, Westbrook and Wade. They torch Hibbert. And not simply because they are elite (Dragic 4-8, or 50% versus Mahinmi, whereas 10-12, 83.33% against Hibbert). They are much faster and rather more nimble than Hibbert (and less so against Mahinmi, see Wade v. Mahinmi v. Hibbert as well). Look, I’m not saying that Hibbert svcks, but if the team allows the opposing guard(s) to go in alone on Hibbert, it is not going to be pretty. The other teams bigs, opposing PF, getting penetration isn’t nearly so bad as they are slower and less nimble and owing to the latter also won’t handle the contact with Hibbert as well as Dragic, etc.).
Hibbert alone changes the projection of the defense this year from “historically awful”, to “below average”. At the very least they will be able to have a coherent defensive philosophy with him as a major rim protector. That’s a Godsend for this team. On the other end even though his offense is rough I can see him being a net neutral on offense just by stationing him on the high post since he’s a good passer.
So Hibbert’s enormous net plus on defense with a net neutral on offense I believe is good for 10 extra wins this year. I’m thinking 33-35 wins now as a baseline which is a huge improvement.
Is it me… or does this Laker team have the potential to be something special, not only for the future, bur next season??? The FO has done a great job IMO!
As great as Aldridge or Jordan would have been, I think that Hibbert fits better with their young core… at least on paper!
Although Hibbert work on the glass does not show on an individual stats, he does have similar value as Jordan on the defensive end.
In fact, I think Hibbert is more valuable to THESE Lakers than Jordan because Hibbert can play well into the 4th quarter because he is not handicapped at free throws like Jordan. Also, Hibbert would have more value with THESE Lakers versus Jordan or Aldridge because Hibbert doesn’t require the offensive touches those two do!
By and large, I see the Hibbert acquisition as a net positive.
Offensively, the Lakers won’t be counting on Roy for any major contributions, especially with Kobe, Lou Williams, Clarkson, Russell, and Randle already due to get extended minutes.
The Lakers’ biggest need, clearly, is for them to tighten their defense. The Lakers need a stopper, a true defensive force. And as the 3rd leading rim-protector in the NBA, Hibbert definitely fills the bill. His teams have always performed well defensively. The analytics back that up. Defensively, he should help immeasurably.
One final point: if Robert Upshaw makes the team, he’ll be able to learn a tremendous amount from Hibbert by 1) talking to him and asking him for tips, 2) watching him (during games and on film), and 3) playing against him every day in practice. Who’s to say? This may ultimately be Hibbert’s greatest value to the Lakers in the long run.
I do not think we can fully evaluate this until we see the full deal. Is he better than Sacre? Yes. Is he worth $15 million more, plus a pick? Well – not sure of that.
Hibbert has seemed a bit too fragile. Moping and disappearing. If Kareem has recovered enough from his surgery, I’d suggest hiring him to bust a footprint on Hibbert’s brain until it achieves basketball clarity. Kareem Kun Do.
Come on Summer league.
It seems like you’re nitpicking here. Hibbert is absolutely better than Sacre *and* we weren’t going to spend that 15 million on anyone else! All the really good FA’s seem to be off the table. And, who cares about the 2nd round pick? They can buy another one if they really want to get back into the second round…
Seriously, when has Sacre ever been more formidable on defense than a cardboard cutout of Carlos Boozer?
Personally, I could care less about the Hibbert signing because I don’t really see how it fits into some sort of 2-4 year plan that has been put together by the Laker’s FO. Other, than to maintain cap space flexibility, and delusionally try to hit a free agent home run, again, next year, for the third summer in a row. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Acquiring Hibbert and Lou Williams does not make us competitive enough next year to get us in the playoffs. Despite how much we all wish it will, it won’t. Additionally, neither are long term pieces that will help build a foundational core for the future (Tobias Harris and Greg Monroe were). So essentially we have placeholders that will take us from a 20 win team to a 35 win team. And we probably will lose our lottery pick, so in the end, wasted time.
The only way I don’t see next year just being absolutely wasted is if the Lakers make a conscious effort to get the young guys significant play time.
Now I’m not sure if either one of these guys will feel compelled to help mentor our younger guys, but seeing that Hibbert is just playing for his next contract, I kind of doubt it.
I know a lot of people have been taking some flack for placing a lot of hope in Upshaw, but I’m one of them. I would rather give him the bulk of the minutes at 5, and let him show us what he is made of. Just like you don’t learn a foreign language by tip-toeing around the subject, you also don’t progress in the NBA by sitting on the bench, watching Roy march his cupcake butt up and down the floor all game long, you need to be immersed in NBA games. After all, that’s the only way we figured out we had something in Clarkson.
I guess all I am saying is that if the plan is to develop the young assets, then fully commit to that. But if the plan is to sway KD to sign with a 35 win team, well then it looks like we are well on our way!
Brian P. says
Going with the theme of Laker centers, I just watched the Upshaw summer league practice video. He seems a little overwhelmed but well spoken. He appears to have a support team setup for himself and saying the right things. Hopefully for his sake he can keep it up and correct his life.
As for him as a basketball player, I am going to reduce my expectations of him on the court. He has only played basketball about 8 times since February and he also proclaims he is very out of shape. Sounds like he will have a rusty Summer League. If he does well it will speak well of his natural talent.
Regardless I am very amp’d to watch these young guys play and see if they have a bright future ahead of them.
I think the Lakers may stumble in to being a poor man’s golden state. If Roy can help the defense and the young guys can push the pace, he might not even need to make it all the way down the floor. Kobe and Lou can find their own shots quickly, even if it isn’t a high percentage offense, playing good D and getting a lot of shots could be a great way to help us win some games.
@Robert, I would be inclined to agree with your statement, except everyone else Center-wise were scooped up already. Since its only a 1 year rental who cares, no one of note was coming anyway, or left on the board. The team is still going to stink defensively but Hibbert/Bass can definitely help stop the bleeding. Without Hibbert, the team was built to be so amazingly bad defensively it would have made people wish for last years squad.
I for one don’t like seeing them lose, or lose by massive margins. As it stands the wings we have are likely to have no defense whatsoever from the 1-3 positions. I don’t think you can expect Russel to play much D year one, he’s going to struggle big time as a rook on the defensive end, particularly since he wasn’t too good at the college level. Clarkson is so-so at best, I think he’s another all offense guy, he’s not going to match up really well–despite having length. SF, Nance? Young, yeah right. Williams, um Ole’ defense and he has no size to boot–he’s an all offense guy. We basically have a bunch of all offense guys, beyond Hibbert, hopefully Randle plays D, and Bass who I think plays solid D. I’ll be glad we don’t break records for points given up, I’m cool with guys who are great offensively, as long as you got some D from other positions.
Sam Amico says Cavs are discussing big trade chip Brendan Haywood with Suns, Clips, and Lakers.
KenOak: I said we have to wait. And the pick does matter. People are talking about our most recent 2nd round pick like he is a future all star, so I guess 2nd round picks are not worthless. Further, this is a dump and we should be getting compensated.
“we weren’t going to spend that 15 million on anyone else! ” Actually we were, because there is a min salary. So if you let me spend $15 million more on a position and I get to mortgage a future pick, then I hope the guy is a little better than our incumbent.
And I am in a bad mood as you know. Let’s go back to 2010 and compare the Lakers and the Spurs. They were both old. How did this happen? Holt/Buford/Pops vs well you know. And we are in 2015 and the Spurs are still going.
Don’t worry about me though – I am actually becoming optimistic of late. I think my dream is going to come true in time. I am waiting patiently.
lil pau says
from previous thread:
I wonder what the odds are that Hibbert is a Laker on the last day of the season. While it’s true he fills a huge need for rim protection, given our timeline, I think he probably fills an even greater need as a tradable asset, both as a legitimate center (clips) but also as a salary dump for a team that has young players we want.
A useful cog and a potentially fantastic trade asset? Plus there’s a third benefit as well- substantiating the choice to draft Russell and find a big rather than drafting Okafor and find a guard/wing. And to think some here don’t believe the FO ever does anything right.
@ chibi – I am curious as to what asset the Lakers would be open to trading for the right to waive Haywood and his no guaranteed contract.
@ Nick – I liked your post. I saw the Hibbet, Williams and Bass pickups as the FO making sure we don’t set another consecutive record for losses. Does little long term to move the needle.
Note: we may need Upshaw to develop quickly. Hibbert has never averaged 30 minutes per game in the NBA.
I agree with your take on the acquisition of Hibbert. I think the Lakers will have enough guys that can create their own shots, that Hibbert’s lack of offensive ability will not be too glaring of a deficiency.
Hibbert is obviously a well above average defender at his position, and exceedingly, its become a position with a lack of quality offensive players. As long as HIbbert is willing to focus on excelling at being a defender, I think this will end up being a great trade for the Lakers.
On one of the previous threads, there was much mention of all the reasons the Lakers are where they are today…the Nash and Howard deals, the CP3 veto, poor coaching hires, the FO dysfunction, etc. etc. Little mention is made of the moment that one Kobe Bryant, in the midst of a thirty something point game, tore his Achilles trying to drive past GSW’s Harrison Barnes. That is the moment that sticks in my mind. The moment that my heart sank with the realization that it was very likely that one of the greatest players ever would never be the same due to injury. Love him or hate him, the Mamba always gave the Lakers a puncher’s chance. Since that moment, his team has become the punching bag.
We’ve been irrelevant ever since the nixed CP3 trade and the new deal that the old Buss agreed to. I don’t see that changing before Kobe’s retirement, which seems to be the general atmosphere around the league if you believe all the writers.
If I were a free agent, I would want to wait until I can own LA, meaning not joining when Kobe’s here. Joining while he’s here means that Kobe may postpone retirement and will take credit for much of the success while shoving you under the bus, which has and will happen – and it’s not as if the rest of the roster is really that attractive either.
But since I’m all for Kobe retiring at a time of his own choosing (or father time’s choosing) I am happy with this signing and willing to accept another year of mediocrity even if he is costing us some free agents.
Link below is a good look at Hibbert’s pluses and minuses. He’ll certainly help on defense, but I fear he’s going to have foul problems with attacking guards and quick post players.
Yeah kobes injury really hurt us …. we actually gave san antonio a good fight that series even though we got swept ..
Dwight player well and if kobe was there it could have been close. … which is why dantoni is a complete crap head of a coach for playong kobe like 40+mins per game that year
Anyways, hibbert could easily he our center going forward beyond next year as well …. the FA market next year sucks and u less you want to replace hibbert with noah or horford … who i believe are both older and more injury prone. … he might be the best center on the market next year …. if we could actually extend him in the area of 10-13mil per year we should do it now before his price possibly skyrockets
Surprised both josh smoth and hill are still on the market
If there just arent that many spots left on teams getting dorrell wright or gerald.green at the min might be possible
Robert, Roy Hibbert is the best Center that the Lakers could grab on 4th of July @ 17M for one year only. It is like finding an oasis in the middle of Death Valley. If David West did not opt out from Pacers, Larry Bird would still sign Hibbert, then Lakers final alternative would be Koufos and McGee. Lakers could have grabbed a scrub Center and would still pay that center that much just to prove Lakers could field a team with a legitimate 5 in the middle. Roy Hibbert went to Finals and former ASG player. I would not compare him to Sacre, who is a bench Center of the LTT (Lakers Tank Team).
-@ Nick, Lakers still don’t have multi year plans. Strictly one year plan presently.
-Is he worth $15 million? When I hear someone say that, it makes me feel as if the poster is focusing on the wrong sign (as in $$’s). A better way to figure out a player’s worth is by the % of salary cap he is utilizing. The sign we s/b concerned with the most is the “salary cap %” a player uses.
-Bottom line, Hibbert > Sacre.
-Still awaiting all the dust to settle before I share my opinion regarding a successful realistic 2015-16 for my Lakers.
nice take on Hibberts effect on our team. i agree that he’ll likely bring more to us, than hurt us with his play. his defense alone can change game, and what we need now is our guards to defend, so Roy will be not be in trouble defending strong penetrations.
and he’s still young, going into his prime, so if projected FA centers in the next years are nowhere near his talent, i agree with Shaun that we need to lock him up for 3+ years, at 10-15m. with the deals given to other players nowadays, that amount will be a steal for a tall, 1-time allstar, defending center.
Byron Scott was part of the Showtime Lakers, with speedsters Magic, Worthy, Cooper and Scott himself. They had a plodding anchor for a center who wore goggles. It worked before; hoping Scott can impart his experience here.
Hibbert is a perfect fit. He doesn’t ask for the ball, decent on rotations, and keeps control of the paint on defense. During the Showtime era Cap didn’t run on the break and they did just fine. Hibbert will mostly do well. His focus, at times, is questionable.
I find it amusing that people talk about a 35 win season a dissapoinent, that would be a huge improvement, with a young core that would be in the upswing, as for the 3rd pick? Philly can shove it ok? I DONT CARE about the damn pick, we lucked out this year with the 2nd pick that is a s good as we could hope for if after the season the Lakers are in play for that pick that is no good thing, that is a cathastrophe plain and simple, people whinning about 35 wins? What the hell you expect? 60 wins? Or you prefer to disgrace the Lakers by tanking? The Lakers wont tank anymore , so you people get that out of your heads, rooting for the team to be horrible, what kind of fan are you?Im actually have something we missed the last two years HOPE which surprised even me after starting this summer so depressingly bad i dont like Hibbert that much i mentioned before but if he is motivated by a change of scenery he can help and those 15 million on an expiring contract, make him a valuable chip if he provides rim protection thats a bonus as far as im concerned so what if we give away a 2nd rounder? What are the odds we could pluck another Clarkson? Give it a rest , we are younger with potential and if Russell and Randle perform like we hope. We would have a team that most probably wont make the playoffs this season but it will be in the position to do so as soon as next season hopefully, most important we would have something to sell so those stupid Jeanie presentations could be about basketball. I think we have recovered nicely from the fiasco and started doing what we should had done from the beggining of this summer. Get that tanking and wanting to be horrible so we can play the odds to get a $&@”/& Draft pick out of here. About Upshaw, great shot blocker true but do we really want to let loose a knuckelhead of his pedigree in LA? I sincerely hope the Lakers perform beyond expectations just to shut a lot of know-it-all armachairs GMs that we have here.
WHAT?!? Of course hibbert is better than Sacre. Upshaw is better than Sacre RIGHT NOW. I really wouldn’t trade R. Kelly now just he had a down year. He was forced to play out of position due to injury, he was injured himself at the beginning of the year which took him out of rhythm, he still has the potential to be a floor spacer, and I believe he has the potential to be able to play 3 positions. The 4, the 5 (he’s 6’11”), and the 3 if he works on his footwork and his handle (which is already decent).
Like Michaels and Raymond said, Cap was slow as all hell during the Showtime era. Not that im comparing but most recently i dont remember Bogut being a gazelle on the break either.
Aaron, – “And if for some reasons (PEDs) he regains his athleticism we have a trade chip during the season.”
What do you mean by “PEDS”? Are you accusing Roy Hibbert on PED therapy to become athletic? That is just being unfair with unfounded accusation labeling our new player on PEDS.
If he becomes athletic enough, you say, he was brought in to train Upshaw and as a trade chip during the season. If you consider RH as a player in order to tank more games, so why trade a player who specializes in tanking? That is what you love, isn’t it? On other hand, if he is that athletic enough and helping the Lakers, why would you trade him and with whom and what will be the exchange? As it is, Roy is a stiff, tall and sloppy C not worth the money as other posters here opined, what makes you think other teams will absorb your own garbage? Don’t you suspect that they getting rid too of their own rubbish? I’m not nitpicking you Aaron, just pointing out some contradictions on your post.
Warren Wee Lim says
Awesome write on Hibbert. You said the words that I meant but couldn’t find the… well, words.
The best part about absorbing Hibbert’s 15.5M salary plus his trade kicker of some 2.3 million, is that it prevented us from absorbing a bad contract which would disable the team now and in the future. People wanted Greg Monroe or Tobias Harris and the likes, assuming Orlando let him go, I am not paying 16 million per year for him for 4 years. I also am not a fan of the Philly/Sacramento deal where Philly absorbed 2 mediocre contracts for a shot at Stauskas, who’s pretty much a so-so player at this stage in his career. Well it works for Philly coz no free agent is signing there, ever.
For the actual signings we made, Lou Williams and his 2 girlfriends, along with Brandon Bass provide solid veteran leadership and actual value. If we plan on moving them in future seasons, their contracts are decent and not onerous enough with the rising cap.
Overall, despite missing out on the initial targets, I give the Lakers a “B” grade. This was the best they could’ve done.
That’s brilliant analyzing Darius!
Hibbert is a great upgrade as a defensive center and primary transition do not necessarily involve your C! Transition on offense won’t be much of an issue here since russell, clarkson, kobe and randle are going to thrive given the opportunity to run.
Transition defense and overall defense still worrisome at this point! Both backcourt and wings do not possess individual defensive skills to really stop penetration, but since defense is a team art there’s some room for improvement via consistent effort and strategy (an efficient zone defense might work well here).
Also to note: our 3 picks have above average wingspan and that might help as far as getting on loose balls and deflections (Russell 6’10”, Brown 6’11”, Nance 7’1”).
If Russell can do his own part on D, Brown can be a significant wing stopper right away and Nance can contribute with his hustle the result to the equation may be amazing to watch.
And who knows what Upshaw may become… his 7’5.5” wingspan is monstrous, barring any behavioural issues, he certainly has the highest ceiling of our frontline on the bench and if he can manage to get to his potential we might have found a gem! I wish he was already under contract just based on potential.
Sacre will always be mediocre at best and is expendable having Black and Upshaw.
Kelly has some ball but is not a good defensive player and the way the roster is shaping up is expendable as well.
Young: yes we may trade him but he has to be replaced by a defensive SF, if that can’t be achieved why should we diminish our bench depth?
And don’t be too pessimistic… overall team values emerge on the court and not on paper in July. Just let me dream of Russell leading the fastbreak in the open court… and if everything goes well we might surprise some people…
I’m not sure there are so many teams who have the same potential in the West… just let the kids play and enjoy… maybe it’s just a matter of waiting patiently just like Golden State did with their young and exciting core… just needed to add a special player like Iguodala, a solid defensive anchor in Bogut, and a good coach in Kerr to get to elite level basketball.
what kind of fan are you?
Telling other people how to be fans is almost always a bad idea. There is no right way to do it.
The Lakers’ win total next year is more or less irrelevant, unless they are bad enough to be in play for the pick, and I think it is pretty clear that the FO is trying to avoid that (and may or may not succeed). But it doesn’t matter whether they win 29 games or 33. What matters is that Russell and Randle develop and show that they are going to be good, and that Clarkson sustain, or maybe even builds on, what he did last year. And maybe Hibbert or Williams can be moved if the opportunity arises.
Aaron – with the new veterans Lou, Bass and Hibbert, what’s your win projection this season barring any major additions? I don’t think Byron and Mitch are going to tank because there’s nothing much to be gained. It’s too difficult to keep the draft pick. First of all, it’s difficult to lose so much to finish in the bottom 3. Then there’s still a risk of losing the pick.
What do you guys think of the Clippers this coming season? If they get Javale to replace Jordan, then with Pierce and Lance – do you think they’re a 50-win team? Or do they miss the playoffs? I think Doc is the type of coach who can get Javale to focus and specialize in rim-protection and defense. If Doc gets him to believe it, Javale might actually be able to fill Jordan’s shoes. Javale has the physical tools and timing / coordination to be an elite defender.
We are Lucky. No one wanted to come to a rookie team. It will be better than last year for sure. See those young guys develop.
The Clippers will still be good as long as Paul and Griffin stay healthy. But if either of them gets hurt, they will have real trouble. They are not on the same level as SA and GS, though.
Will Davis says
This is more of a financial move than anything. Hibbert is making 15.5 million this year. He also has a trade kicker so his cap hold will be 17 million (and some change). At the end of the season when him and Kobe both come off the books they’re two salaries alone will free up 42 million in cap space (and that’s befor the salary cap jumps with the new tv contract). All in all by next off-season the Lakers could have about 60 million to play with. the only thing that could make this deal any better is if there is a way to unload Nick Young’s contract as well. The Lakers pitch next year to the top free agents (yes you Kevin Durant) should just be “who do you want us to get for you…..”. But on a side note Hibbert might not be at the top on the wish list but the move makes sense for “Basketball Reasons”
It has been rumored that we are in talks with cleveland about the hayward contract …. will be interesting to see what the other shoe might be if we were to get it
I like what the Lakers have done. This will be a drastically different team. It is not just Hibbert, Bass, and Williams but also, Russell, Randle, Lance, and Brown. I’m still not expecting a playoff run but the ability to improve this year is not marginal.
I’m waiting to see the details of the Lakers moves but I would like to send our draft pick away the 2nd rounder and acquire other teams picks as a net result. Let other teams tank for us. Let the Lakers concentrate on basketball not the draft implications.
Your initial reaction to Davis re-upping with the Pelicans kind of gave the game away. Keep telling yourself that the FO are Evil Geniuses fooling the rubes if that is what you need to get you through another 55 losses. I am all for hearing your opinions and everyone else’s, but whether Jim Buss is Big Brother or Tommy Boy, this is still coming down to Russell, Randle and the 2017 FA cycle.
As to the Clippers, they can be a 6th seed and still be good in the West. I think they are a 48-50 win team. And if you are predicting a big drop-off for Paul now that he’s 30, sure that might happen. But I think it will be incremental this year. If he falls off a cliff, I think that will be a little bit down the road.
Darius Soriano says
I’ve said this before, but will say it again now: the rumor mongering and accusations of PED’s are going to stop. It ruins the conversation and is based off one dude’s fascination with the subject matter. If it doesn’t stop, I’ll ban the commenter who keeps bringing it up. Some of you tolerate this guy, but I’ve long lost my patience for most of his schtick.
As for Hibbert’s defense and Slappy’s continued persistence on the subject, I’ll say this: the Pacers are much more well coached than the Lakers and they have better defensive talent in general. So, of course that will help Hibbert’s defensive numbers. I too looked at Mahinmi’s numbers, looked at team defense stats, on/off numbers, etc. It’s a bit of a chicken/egg argument, but I do not think you can build great team defenses without excellent scheme *and* excellent players in key positions/roles. Giving a lot of credit to the Pacers’ guards/wings while discounting Hibbert seems strange considering I’d imagine part of what makes the guards and wings effective is having a big rim protector like Hibbert (or Mahinmi) behind them to cover for their aggressiveness. I also think citing a handful of guys (Dragic, Wade, etc) and using them as examples of why Hibbert is overrated is silly. His overall numbers are what they are. If he’s getting killed by a handful of guys, that means his numbers are even better against the rest of league. No player is perfect and small samples can be used as the guide if you’d like, but I’d prefer what the data says over a full season or multiple seasons.
Finally, I don’t consider Hibbert some savior. But, as I wrote, he’s a much better piece than what the Lakers had (not saying much, I know) and the things he does well matter in this league. If you want to argue he doesn’t do these things well, that’s fine. But I too watch tape, I too look at the numbers, and I too talk to people who cover the team and watch every game he’s played in. Has he declined some? I’m sure he has. Is he still an impactful defensive player? I’m sure he is. If you want to say he’s not, that’s fine. We can agree to disagree.
I didn’t say that the pick was worthless. I said we can buy one if we really want to have one…just like we did when we selected Jordan Clarkson.
rr It’s is relevant, i dont think anyone here is looking forward to a 21 win season again and while is important that the team develop the young talent, Randle and Russell are expected to contribute right away, they are not projects, depending on summer league play i expect them to be in the starting lineup opening night and while i dont expect world beating numbers on their rookie season i do expect they contribute to a better performance of the team, you have to show improvement to the likes of Durant or whoever we try to go for next season and running in place won’t cut it, and im not talking about playoffs but a step in the right direction. All in all i do think that we have a better roster than last season so it’s not unreasonable to expect improvement. For now over 30 wins is reasonable expectations.
I agree with Fern. Wins/losses are absolutely relevant this year. If nothing else -> it’s relevant for me and other fans who can’t bear to watch the Lakers lose. If this team is good enough to win 35-40 games, then I’ll do my very best to watch every game. However, if they put together another pupu platter like last year… Well, I tried to watch as many games as I could but often I couldn’t make it through half time. They need to win enough games to lure a FA. Enough games that a superstar will look at the roster and say, ‘If I join them, we can be great. We can compete.’ Maybe they don’t win that many this year…they need to try though.
@ BigCitySid: Bottom line, Hibbert > Sacre.
I would argue:
Monroe > Hibbert > Sacre
The FO blew this free agent season by prioritizing Aldridge (bad fit) over Greg Monroe. By whiffing completely in free agency the Lakers, in desperation, traded for Roy Hibbert, who is a nothing more than a decent backup center.
Its decisions, like pursuing Aldridge over Monroe, that define front offices. Yes, we dodged a bullet in missing on LaMarcus (he’d be in decline by the time the team starts winning). But we also wasted an opportunity to improve the team for the long run. A previous poster mentioned opportunity costs – and I think that is just as important to consider when judging Jim. Not only have virtually all of his decisions back fired its what he didn’t do these last two summers that is hurting the Lakers.
When you have cap space and little talent on your roster and young talented players are available on the free market yet you prioritize older players that don’t fit (Melo and Aldridge) it says something about your approach. To me it says that Jim does not understand how to construct a winning team. Jim is all about stars which is fine if TV ratings are your prime concern.
Monroe is younger, makes less money, would be a building block for the future and if you needed to trade him – he would fetch more on the open market than Roy Hibbert. Jim has it in his head that the home run is the only play that matters. He’s wrong in that regard as well.
I often wonder what a really smart young executive, from another team, would do with the resources the Lakers have available to them. I hope Jeanie wonders about that too.
Aaron – if Lou Williams was brought in to help lose games, why would FO sign him to a 3 year contract? I disagree with this one. Lou is instant offense off the bench, and he can create shots and win games. Hibbert was an all-star who can still be a good rim-protector if motivated properly. You’re giving the FO too much credit here. I don’t think they are devious geniuses. They just struck out on Aldridge and scrambled to get available players to help them be competitive. Occam’s razor on this one.
Joel – Monroe was not coming to the Lakers. Look at the salary he took. No team would have offered him that much.
I’m with you that going after Aldridge was a mistake. Everyone, and I mean everyone, expected him to go to the Spurs or, as a distant second option, stay in Portland. The Lakers were never really in the radar. Given this reality, going after Aldridge was a mistake as there was a very, very, very strong chance of rejection – and this team did not need the bad press that came with the rejection.
@Fern, a 35 win season would have been welcomed, and praised by me if we picked up some sort of a long term building-block player in free agency. The reason I say this is because it is going to be very hard for us to get ahead of the “winning curve,” by picking up just one foundational piece a year through the NBA draft, and even harder considering we don’t have a pick this year. Ultimately I could care less how many wins we get this season, I just want to see Randle, Clarkson, Russle and Upshaw get solid PT and (hopefully) make strides in the right direction. Everything else on the team, at this point, is essentially a place holder… As harsh as that may be.
@joel, I couldn’t agree with you more. If we went into free agency either going to Monroe or Harris (even though our money would have been tied up for 3 days w Harris) first, I believe we could have landed one of them.
After all, how impactful of a message can you deliver Monroe, when you’re coming off a very well publicized meeting with Aldridge, and the FO leaking that our options are, in this order, 1. Aldridge 2. Jordan. 3. Monroe… And then PROBABLY feeding Monroe a line about how we want him so badly, and will build around him, he could probably sniff through that BS real quick. And instead he chose to go to a modest team with some resemblance of business etiquette, who wasn’t chasing Aldridge in the first place… Because they aren’t delusional.
I’m just so sick of our FO, every year we chase the flashy players, and tarnish our brand, instead of chasing solid building block players with immense upside.
And for anyone saying before free agency that Harris, and Monroe aren’t Max Contract caliber players…. The market spoke, and they are.
Craig W. says
I think almost every poster on this blog would agree ‘Monroe > Hibbert > Sacre’.
In the abstract that is simply a true statement. However, the Lakers are not a group of players in the abstract – they are a team, with individual strengths and weaknesses, with a coach with strengths and weaknesses. Many of us do feel that Hibbert fits better with this team than does Monroe. Monroe’s strengths are similar to our other team members and his weaknesses are also similar to other team members. That is not a receipt for success. We need something to pin our defense around. Hibbert is certainly not perfect, and perhaps edging past his prime, but he does compliment what the team needs.
I think that is the argument for Hibbert.
Then there is the fact that Monroe wanted a team ready to compete for a championship next year. Knicks and Lakers do not qualify.
Craig W. Sounds like you believe that Hibbert was on the Lakers’ radar from the beginning. Hard for me to get excited about a player who will see the court about 25 – 28 min a game and will put up 10 points and 8 rebounds. Again he seems like a solid back up who we are paying top dollar for. Bottom line, I’m not nearly as high on him as you are. But that will be born out as the season unfolds.
Darius Soriano says
Bye, Aaron. I’ve heard your little “I’m not coming back” thing before, but I’ll make sure it’s the truth this time.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Darius pulled the trigger lmao
‘Darius with the Tomahawk slam!’
Parrothead Phil says
I read Darius’ 10:29 am comment implying that Aaron has been banned from the site, so I scrolled up to read what Aaron had written. (I always skip over Aaron’s comments because they are enervating and redundant.) Lo and behold Aaron’s comments have all disappeared and he has actually been banned.
Drama with DJ-
Like I said, this started Monday with DJ having second thoughts and CALLING Doc Rivers. 4m
Darius Soriano says
This Jordan story is wild.
you know, I like to come to this site for a different perspective as there are some excellent commentators but your leader is something else.
Lost all respect for Deandre Jordan, you need to be wishy washy BEFORE you say your signing. These max deal guys can mess up an a team potentially for years if they are able to just back out hours before the deal becomes official.
I wouldn’t feel too good if I was a Mavs fan, about D. Jordan at this point either. But they lost their aging, yet talented vet Center T. Chandler already. If this goes down, NBA seriously needs to do something about free agency, if verbal committments don’t mean jack. Especially since teams are stuck potentially with huge amounts of cap space, that the NBA forces them to use–on whom, 2nd stringers that are left on the market?
@Nick our long term building block is the gazillion of cap space we will have next summer i know its a broken record but this is what i hope, if this team move into a 30-35 win im not even going to 40 wins, it would show genuine improvement and an upswing, Russell, Randle and Clarkson showing they could be stars in this league, that’s what we all hope, that’s our long term building blocks right there, i don’t think in hindsight this was the right year for the home run approach, that hurt us getting what you are describing, but if this team becomes what we are hope, next summer a FA could look at this team and say “I can really help this team go to the next level” i liked Monroe but max?nah Deandre?Even less i think he is hugely overrated and let’s see how he do w/o CP lobbing passes at him. We should go foward with what we have, this team and us are hoping that those 3 guys are our long term building blocks, remains to be seen if they can but at least im hopeful. This team is better than last year was i just pray for that injury bug to leave us alone for a while,i think it must had gorged on Lakers lol.
Regarding possibility that DAJ goes back to the Clippers. Imagine if Bird pulls the Hibbert to LA deal and extorts the Mavs, who would be without a center. Dallas would definitely offer more than a 2nd round pick for Hibbert. That would be so awesome to have the Lakers Plan D fall apart at the last minute.
This Deandre thing is hilarious, even with him the Mavs are not going to win anything and the Clips are not going to be that good,is a win/win for me. but i guess this fool is thinking about all that money, that could be us you know.
As a few have said on Twitter: whatever happens, we get DAL/LAC on Christmas.
Happy to see the Clips desperate and cap out, i think i seen this before lol, the shoe is in the other foot now. Oh wait must be that Wesley Johnson signing that make him change his mind. What is with the Clippers obsession to take Lakers refuse?
Tru TV should make a reality show out of this Deandre Jordan soap opera! How entertaining would it be to see how the Clipper bosses greet Jordan in Houston, wine and dine him again, and sell their pitch. Then Cuban and Parsons coming in with a counter. And Deandre discussing his thoughts with his circle. I’d watch this comedy drama with popcorn and beer.
Craig W. says
Perhaps we should be glad DJ didn’t accept anything from the Lakers.
I doubt Larry Bird would play that fast and loose with the NBA, since it has been his life. However, if he did the league would really be in ‘duck soup’ and would have to immediately convene ownership to deal with the crisis. No deals are possible if there is no trust.
Wouldn’t that be a fitting end to “The Veto” – karma is a b***h.
Players tribune piece by Clarkson
If we lost hibbert to dallas I would be super pissed
I don’t especially want Hibbert, but it would fit with everything since December of 2011 if the Lakers get sideswiped in a multi-car crash involving Mark Cuban, Doc Rivers, and Chris Paul.
Our deal with hibbert is completely unrelated i doubt hibbert or specially Bird do business that way, i wish he return to the Clips just so Cuban can fell the kind of sting we felt by the Veto he helped instigate.
The thing is, this isn’t just about Dallas/Clippers. IF guys can do this they can stealth screw teams in their conference if they wanted to pretend to be wooed until last minute, then screw one of their conference competitors by pulling out last minute–leaving them stuck with money and no one to spend it on. Or Worse, Imagine the Lakers trade away say Clarkson/Russel in to clear up cap space to land Kevin Durant or something but then he walked last second. So you traded away good or perhaps great future players to snag a known great player now, but instead get screwed by the verbal agreement. This type of thing is just bad for the NBA period, shouldn’t be cheerleaded IMO, its not good for the sport or the entire free agency system period.
Usually not a good idea to go back on an offer. The company you’re returning to won’t trust you as much (and obviously neither will the company that made the offer if you end up taking it).
If Doc changes the offense to accommodate DAJ, wonder what the other players are going to think. Doc is big on sacrificing the self for the team.
excellent article Shaun Thank You! This DJ thing really reeks can’t be good for the league.
Thanks fern ….. Which is why pheonix did a dumb trade with detroit for LA shipping out MM and alienating thier best fc player in markieff….and why i think we got a 2md meeting with LA , i figured the 2nd meeting was meant to show him who else he could play with via trades and he didnt like what he heard
i dont understand how he can back out, hasnt the deal been signed already? this is crazy. If he goes back, it will be bad for nba.
Chris J says
Is it me… or does this Laker team have the potential to be something special, not only for the future, bur next season???
It’s you. At least as far as next season goes. Hopefully the young core is the start of great things to come, but this is a 30-win team in 2015-16, in my opinion. And I’m OK with that — at least now there are things to which we can look forward, rather than a cast of retread vets playing heavy minutes in 25-point losses. Watching young guys develop can be enjoyable.
Baylor Fan says
Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day! If there is no impact on Hibbert going to the Lakers, it will be good to see real defense in the paint this season. The wing players will benefit by being able to focus on stopping 3 point attempts. Transition defense may be helped off of Laker fast breaks since Hibbert could hang back before going to the offensive end. Two concerns are that Hibbert wanted more touches on the offensive end and if he really hustled on defense he would not be on the trading block.
Regarding D Jordan … As Joan Rivers might have said: “oh, grow up!!”
@Chris J “its you” that’s for sure. No way this team is going to be Hoosiers next year. If we win 35 with this roster that would be quite an accomplishment honestly. It wouldn’t have even be possible to get that but Portland/Mavs look alot more beatable now. But the main group of teams in the West are going to spank us most of the time. At least we have a couple guys that we can invest in a bit that may have some serious upside, well besides the hidden Gem that is Sacre 🙂
the other Stephen says
RE: Doc and DeAndre
Darius Soriano says
I’m really not concerned about what folks think about the way I run the comment section of this site. I can guarantee you no one puts more into this site than I do. I read every comment, spend countless hours reviewing every word typed that appears on the main page and in the comments below it. If you want to put that much time into something, have back end emails sent to you with complaints about commenters, try to police it all in a reasonable way, and then have everyone come out being happy, you’re welcomed to try.
In other words, I appreciate you and everyone else who comes to the site and supports it in whatever way they decide to. But I’ve said this before, a fraction of the people who visit the site actually comment here. I’m not going to run this site to cater to the commenters; I’m going to run this site the best way that I know how since I’m the guy who has been putting enough time into it for it to be a part time job simply because I love it.
Make whatever judgments you want, but, in all honesty, I’m not going to let it sway me too much from what I think is right.
Assuming this DJ thing is just rumblings & much to do about nothing. What or who do we think/want to get in return from the Mavs in a sign & trade of Lin?
You go Darius! And thanks for all the time and work you put into keeping this site up and running. It’s my favorite Laker blog and one of the more intelligent/informative ones to boot! Thanks!
david h says
darius: not bad for a guy with a day job; you just did a twofer.
liked your write up on hibbert. always looking at both sides of the coin and revealing to those who will listen and consider the positives in the deal that will extend to the ears of the laker organization.
just keep doing what you’re doing.
I’m one of your many viewers who do not comment (this is my first). Your postings are always insightful and well written – you try to understand the reasons for the moves the FO is making. You do this calmly. I appreciate that.
I also enjoy reading the comment section. Most comment sections are not worth reading – too much anger and foolishness – but not your’s is not: I am sure one of the reasons for this is that you put in the time and effort read them all and prune where necessary. Thanks.
Agreed – love the way you manage this site Darius. Good to discuss hoops with knowledgeable fans.
HIbbert is a very smart move (even at the high salary as Robert explains above): last year on his contract, leading up to a free agency market where every single team in the league will have cap space. Unless Hibber is ready to go Andrew Bynum and retire at the end of this season, he will have the pressure to prove he still has all-star like qualities and can command a near max salary. If he’s a bust, no harm, no foul. He comes off the books and off we go to find another player. If he experiences a resurgence, then no one can offer him more than the Lakers via Bird Rights. If he’s too expensive, there’s always the sign and trade option to get something back in return.
Of course, whether or not a move is “smart” (vs “lucky”) will depend more on what happens down the line. Hopefully this guy plays to his potential and the Lakers get something positive out of this.
It’s looking like DJ is coming back to the Clips. This makes the Clips contenders if Jordan stays. Mavs will be awful. Rim protectors make a huge difference.
Anon: I think Hibbert will play like gangbusters because it is his contract year, and he will have a huge chip on his shoulder after being disrespected by the Pacers. I can see him averaging 2.5 block per game this coming season.
Fair enough Darius, I tried once to do what you do and found there just wasn’t enough hours in the day (and retain a full time job) to keep it up to the standard I set for myself. That website made allowances for the absurd as I felt it encouraged an entertainment element designed to keep the blog from becoming static and dull.
Aaron is a perfect example, he’s stuck in such a rut that he cannot help but be redundantly entertaining. Banning Aaron ironically makes him a sympathetic character.
Please accept my apology for the previous comment.
Wow. People, you are getting way too carried away about Hibbert. He’s not all that — if he was Larry Bird would have kept him. Larry Bird is not stupid – he was looking to dump Hibbert. Ed Davis and Jordan Hill each put up better numbers in less minutes with higher PERs — for less than half the price, I might add.
Our FO painted themselves into a corner and needed a center, having whiffed in free agency and not keeping Davis or Hill warm (in the event they whiffed in free agency).
Hibbert’s acquisition is not part of a grand plan. Our FO does no planning except to see who the elite FAs are every year then prioritize the one that is the worst fit and go all in to get them.
Hibbert’s 2014-15 Season
PPG RPG BLKPG PER
10.6 7.1 1.6 15.47
Hibbert’s Career Avg
PPG RPG BLKPG
11.1 6.8 1.9
None of our bigs is a fleet rim protector. None (not counting Bass as big) is going to stretch the defense. We gotta hope we can get some early offense outta Coach Princeton.
Some summer league updates:
According to the Lakers.com site – “Jabari Brown was poked in the left eye during Monday’s Summer League practice, and was examined on Tuesday by Dr. Steve Dinsmore. Brown has been diagnosed with a small laceration in the conjunctiva, and will be examined regularly over the next several days…The guard is expected to miss the Lakers’ first two Summer League games, on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas.”
It was also reported on Lakernation.com that Julius Randle will play Friday and sit out Saturday’s game against Philly for precautionary reasons. They don’t want him to start off with back to backs.
I like to say thanks Darius for your hard work,this is the best Lakers site in the world for real, any Lakers related news break this is where i come for instant analysis, we have a good thing going here.BTW where is Ko?
Craig W. says
Todd – Larry dumped Roy because he was mentally soft. When criticized by the media in Indiana, Hibbert tends to go on a slump. He’s also slow on offense and is suited for a grind-out pace like the 90’s Knicks. But on defense, he can be an excellent shot blocker who understands the verticality rule to change shots and avoid fouls. In 2012, he averaged about 2.5 blocks. I think he is capable of doing that again if motivated. And I’m sure he will be extra motivated because it’s a contract year.
However, do not expect much from Hibbert on offense. He’s very slow on the gather and is not really an alley-oop threat from a pick and roll. He’s better with a pick and pop as he can hit 20ft set shots. He does have a decent hook shot when he gets deep position.
Mark Sigal says
Btw, some talk that if DAJ deal blows up for Mavs, could see a sign and trade between Mavs and Pacers with Monta Ellis and Roy Hibbert. They’d need a center and Ellis going to Pacers.
Some potential ripple effects to that deal.
Deandre Jordan must have been practicing and realized he can’t shoot outside of 5 feet, so the “be the man” 1st option thing wasn’t going to work out very well. Seriously D. Jordan is great at the things he does, and he’s a great dunker, but no way the dude completely re-inventing his post game at age 27, he still can’t learn to make a set shot free throw. Cuban was spouting off crap Shaq 2.0, give me a break, Shaq would have destroyed D. Jordan big time.
After the egomania dropped down a notch he perhaps realized he didn’t want to be the man on a team that might not even make the playoffs.
Ah, thanks for what you do, Darius. Frequent reader here.
Banning that commenter refocuses the comments section on what is happening in the NBA world, instead of the meta-meta insider discussions of which commenter is right or wrong.
Mark Sigal – I’d say it’s very unlikely that Larry Bird backtracks from his word. Larry is very old-school and is a straight-shooter with no filter. If he has a deal in place with Mitch, I think he will honor that.
“When criticized by the media in (Indy), Hibbert tends to go on a slump.” He must get criticisms a lot then – haha. Seriously though, if true makes me wonder how the bright lights of the big city will agree with him.
Oh well, whatever.
@ Calvin: I’d say it’s very unlikely that Larry Bird backtracks from his word. Larry is very old-school and is a straight-shooter with no filter. If he has a deal in place with Mitch, I think he will honor that.
All fair in love and war.
You are only as good as your word. If you cannot be trusted it is difficult to deal with you. This may result in the moratorium rule being looked at in the future.
What happened to Aaron? I’m sorry to cause his departure. He is a good citizen here, just trying to be funny tho’ joke are somewhat controversial at times but overall, he is a fine gentleman. I hope he gets another chance.
Boy, the moratorium period is dangerous. I don’t see it happening to Hibbert since Pacers are changing their focus and go rebuild. However, our other acquisition like Lou Williams may lead to 2nd thought because I read Louis choice is to go back to Raftors. It was Raftors who told Williams to accept the Lakers offer. Supposing there is a seller’s remorse and offered William a better deal, would he take it? So far no such chatter similar to DJ but this could happen to all expressed commitment till July 9th.
Craig W. says
It is different with players vs general managers. GMs have to do business with the other clubs every day. If Larry reneges on the deal with the Lakers he will find it more difficult to do deals with other franchises.
I think this rule gets changed before next July 1, so that we won’t have any repeat of this. However, perhaps that would also allow Larry to change and get much more from Dallas – knowing he won’t be in that situation again in the future.
This is a real mess – and only because the NBA dictated that there could be no signatures before 9 July – everything is a handshake until then. Social media has ensured that these type of situations get maximum exposure – really harming the NBA image.
Yeah I agree with your point. This sort of change of heart has happened in the past from players. What has made this so different is having Doc Rivers trying to influence events the way he has,
Well, after DJ being wined and dined, he woke with the reality that $ 30M = cost of his anger at Chris Paul. Buyer’s remorse after witnessing Cuban yelled at his managers and players. Because of this incident, all transactions are now really in moratorium and there could be back room negotiations all over again. Can we still get Ed Davis back?
Am I missing something? As the Lakers are trading for Hibbert, is it written somewhere what they are giving up? Will they be trading a young player?
Oh no! With Aaron gone will that make me the biggest winer? Or just wine seller?
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined 2 organizations having a Tug of War over .. DeAndre Jordan. I guess it really does pay to be 7′ Tall and freakishly athletic.
On a more serious note, I’m in total agreement with tankyou, fern and others in that if he changes course and heads back to the Clippers, the league would need to do something to rectify this. If not, in the future, there could be all types of backdoor shenanigans taking place between owners, agents and players.
Salary cap set at $70mil. With a little more room and DAJ’s apparent change of heart should be interesting tomorrow.
And that’s how much, or little, these defensive shot charts are worth.
Lastly, try reading this one:
This sums the matter:
Birnbaum cites a study by David Lewin and Dan T. Rosenbaum that shows that minutes played by players in a preceding season is at least as good of a predictor of team performance in the subsequent season as the so-called “advanced basketball statistics” are.
Do you have any idea why that is true? No one number, no collection of numbers, can possibly capture the interrelationship that is defensive basketball. It is simply not possible. The other reason is that minutes played is a marker for something else, with that something else simply being the talent evaluation of the coaching staff, i.e., he’s the best we got so he’s going 38 minutes per game.
Is why, by the way, you whiffed on the much larger story that you might have written, to wit, the media ran with and so mocked the Lakers FO over the remark that ole Deandre wasn’t impressed with the basketball pitch, with the media supplying the add-on narrative that the Lakers are dinosaurs who don’t use metrics. Of course they don’t, and who in their right mind can blame them, when minutes played the prior season correlates with won-loss record as good as any so-called advanced basketball statistic.
Tra: On a more serious note, I’m in total agreement with tankyou, fern and others in that if he changes course and heads back to the Clippers, the league would need to do something to rectify this. If not, in the future, there could be all types of backdoor shenanigans taking place between owners, agents and players.
My understanding is that DAJ initiated contact with the Clippers after he, himself, had second thoughts. It wasn’t the Clippers hounding him. Not much you can legislate against that unless you decide to fine the player if they change their verbal agreement.
To carry that idea forward, I could envision the league imposing a fine if its proven that the former team initiated contact with the player after a verbal agreement with a new team is announced. The verbal agreement in that case would act like a restraining order until the contract was signed.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
That Baxter Holmes article on ESPN about Randle’s leg does not fill me with joy. Never good to have a 19 year old guy with those lower-limb issues.
Lin signs with Charlotte. Dominos starting to fall. Guess no Justin Anderson for us.
lil pau says
This DJ tug-of-war gets stranger and stranger. Are the Clippers a basketball team… or some kind of strong-arming cult? Can Mark Cuban file an emergency habeas corpus injunction to free DJ from his prison guards?
Urgent memo to DJ: if you change your mind again and choose to leave the house, don’t drink the punch before you go!!!!
Escape strategy: first steal the wheelchair…
Chris J says
Bye bye to Lin and Wes.
Casual Fan says
Why can’t the Roy Hibbert trade be finalized until Thursday? I thought free-agent signings need to happen on 7/9, but trades can happen prior to that, no?
Well, there’s a reason why we have a signing dead week: to give players the right to explore different options without he pressure to immediately sign. Deandre’s move is exactly what this moratorium was intended to protect: his right to change his mind consequence free. NO WAY THIS CHANGES. EVER. Remember, Even signing on the dotted line is meaningless until the league approves (anyone remember the CP3 veto?).
Having said that, there is such a thing as a gentlemens agreement. While not enforceable under the CBA, I can see Cuban and several other owners impacted by this reneg taking issue with the Clippers FO. Maybe that will mean unofficially staying away from doing deals with the Clippers, but likely not.
It’s understood on my end that DJ, from all accounts, was the individual who made the initial contact with Blake. That’s why I stated in my comment ‘.. if he changes course ..’ However, I’m of the belief that a verbal agreement from a player to an organization should stand for something. Even if, as it appears to be in this case, the player decides to renege on the agreement. Especially if the team that was under the impression that they were about to sign said player makes other moves roster wise to accommodate the *supposedly* incoming player. Shady, to say the least. But like you stated, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how it eventually plays out.
Chandler Parsons on Twitter – “I thought I had a good pump fake…”
This method of free agency seems broken to me. I get players having the chance to check their options, but committing one way then turning back on that is more than just checking options – it’s giving players the opportunity to damage franchises (deliberately or otherwise). When a team lets another player leave because they’ve reached an agreement with you, it seems crazy that you can walk back on that agreement simply because the new team wasn’t allowed to sign you. Why not just allow signings from the start of free agency? If you want time to take meetings and look around, just do it and sign when you decide.
I realise the issue here is players feeling “forced” to sign quickly because options will dry up, but if you’re a good enough player, surely teams will still hold space (like they do now). There doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution, but I personally think there needs to be some kind of change.
Chris J says
These stories about the Clippers group refusing to leave Jordan’s house sounds like one of those cult stories people used to tell. Maybe Adam Silver needs to stage an intervention?
On the karma scale, I kind of wish ill on Jordan and the Clippers. If he was unsure, he should not have said publicly he intended to go to Dallas. Punk move all around.
Berdj J. Rassam says
Roy is a decent player with good productivity but he is down to playing almost only 2 full quarters a game now which seems way too low for someone still in the prime of his career. Not in good shape, too many nagging injuries, or flat out lack of consistent playing heart?
Cuban is now telling his staff that DeAndre is going back to LA Clippers. It was a love lost for Cuban after promising him stocks and co-ownership to some business interest but after make hard computations, it doesn’t reach 30M with China stock on a free fall. Ex-Mavs players may have contacted DeAndre about his future life with Cuban in post Nowitsky. He just put himself in a prying pan. He reminisced his happy life in LA under Steve Ballmer who delegates everything to Doc Rivers. His wife asked point blank questions – “where can you get extra 30 million in our lives, 4 years from now you are old like Kobe. lol! Jordan quips ” but dear we can save state taxes in Texas” Wife answers: “Yeah right, you can save also taxes if you invest half of our earnings in California properties. I talked to a financial advisor while you played footsies with Cuban”. End of drama – DJ got anxious “call Clippers I made a boo-boo, there is still time.”
I don’t agree with his decision but if that’s what the moratorium was intended to allow then the owners shouldn’t be surprised. (Of course if rumors are true that he won’t even speak with the Mavs that’s says something about him.) It’s like a high school player decommiting to a college.
I wonder if the moratorium was negotiated as part of the CBA maybe as concession for limiting the amount another team could offer.
I don’t know the reasons that DAJ changed his mind but if the Mavs could have offered the same contract as the Clippers maybe he would have left.
I remember a certain ‘maverick’ sports owner being heavily involved in the blocking of the Chris Paul trade and gleefully saying he hoped the Lakers sucked forever.
Funny how things work out sometimes. Only would have been better if Lebron did it to Gilbert.
Craig W. says
I have kind of switched my position on the DJ situation. Since it is a time period where the players can sample what is out there and have until the 9th to decide, I kind of support this.
The players get screwed by management all the time – in the CBA and having on real choices once they sign a contract. Just this week an NFL team withdrew a contract offer to a player injured in a fireworks accident. The contract hadn’t been signed by the player. I don’t see the difference between this and the DJ situation.
Until you sign on the line that is dotted, the contract is invalid and you can change your mind.
However, I do love that Mark Cuban got some payback for his vocal support of rescinding the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers. I enjoy the karmic nature of this ‘payback’.
Ryan – Agreed. Disappointing how the Clippers have benefited both times though.
This is rich; per Yahoo NBA, Clippers have “commitment” D Jordan is returning. For what that’s worth …
Not that this is really relevant to anything Lakers related, but I can’t help myself….
Chris Paul is having a pretty wild summer: from high-fiving everyone but DeAndre, to riding a giant banana with Wade’s wife to playing cards with his teammates and a free agent who already committed to another team…you couldn’t make all this up if you tried.
having said that, the clipps have been and will continue to be a joke.
I am really looking forward to seeing our promising young prospects at the Summer Leauge this weekend! See u all there
The moves, taken together, show me the first vague outlines of a plan that Byron Scott would be comfortable coaching toward. The first light I’ve seen for a long time at the end of the tunnel.
The first Clippers/Mavs game is definitely going to be on national TV now. Jordan’s agent is supposed to be really good friends with Cuban. This can’t be good for him. He supposedly was not there when Jordan signed the contract tonight, probably drowning his sorrows.
If there were issues between CP3 and DJ, they haven’t gone away and will resurface at the worst time during the season; unless this was the agent trying to stir the pot to move Jordan to the Mavs.
Did Cuban really say that he was going to blowup the team if they didn’t get Jordan?
Steve Ballmer won against Cuban and he needs this small victory badly just for his bloody day in Finance.
Another story in Ballmer’s court, Microsoft will lay off 7,800 jobs due to the failure of the Nokia project which was the baby of Steve Ballmer. He pushed this controversial project in 2013 which led to his departure from Microsoft. As a result of the face out, MSN anticipate the loss of 8.5B in profits and if you relate that to Steve’s holdings plus the woes in Dow and China stocks, he may have lost more than 30M just for today. Clippers gain save his low down. Btw, the news says that Nokia would face out their handset in US, eventually that Nokia Theater would change name too like the former Kodak theater.
Chris J says
“Players will always have the right to choose what they want to do as a free agent, but the players agreed to rules that said, ‘You know what? Let’s give the home team, the incumbent team an extra advantage.’ And that’s how the rules were designed. I think they’re going to work.”
… said by Mark Cuban, December 9, 2011, speaking in an ESPN.com interview in which he supported the Veto because he was tired of seeing small-market teams lose their top players to larger-market teams. (Only to see said player wind up in the exact same large market days later.)
Re-reading that same story, I forgot about the haul of players New Orleans would have received, which makes the eventual, league-approved trade all the more aggravating. Pre-Veto they’d have taken in Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick (which wound up being No. 16, which the Rockets wasted on a guy who was afraid of airplanes. But Daryl Morey is a genius, right?)
Compare that lot to landing Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round pick (which became Austin Rivers), and two future second-round picks.
The Lakers’ offer was far better, though Stern nixed it for “basketball reasons” — only to see New Orleans field the league’s worst team in 2011-12 and have Anthony Davis land square in their laps.
As rr and others have said before, the Veto made the Clippers and Hornets playoff teams and set the Lakers back years. The pre-Veto deal also would have made Pau a Rocket, likely taking away that franchise as a suitor for Dwight a couple of years later… The possible ramifications to weigh are infinite.
What a travesty. I’m glad to see a little of its stink come back to taint Cuban now.
Mavs looking for a rim-protector, they’re playing Summer League in LV with the Lakers… will they be having a long look at Upshaw?
man, what a big turnaround, for the Clips.
i guess they are the biggest losers now (Mavs). but what a cowardly act by DJ, that is according to reports he’s not responding to Mavs even when he was decided to come back to Clips. should have notified them that he changed his heart…
anyways, they are the Clippers and Mavs, and will not get past the contenders of the West. i wish they both suck more than ever. haha
on to the topic, have we signed/traded Lou/Bass/Roy?
i mean are they official now?
Not a Mavs fan at all, but DeAndre Jordan really screwed them over. Can you imagine something like that happening to the Lakers?
While I understand the right for players to choose their destination, DeAndre still had the entire week to make his decision and did not have to commit one way or another (think he commit on Tues) until he was absolutely sure. At this point, assuming over players don’t renege on their agreements, the Mavs almost have no good free agents to target this off season. Terrible and I hope there are some rules put in place to prevent this.
Craig W. says
grumpy, Dwight anyone.
On the subject of the Clips benefiting both times – now the karma is on them. Adding Chris Paul hasn’t gotten them out of the 2nd round yet – and he is now past his prime. No guarantees, but DJ just gets them back to last year. Of course, I think they helped their bench a bit, but is that enough? We will see.
After all this DAJ stuff, I’d like to see the Lakers get some pens on paper…
In other new, Spurs just traded a 2nd rounder for Ray McCallum and Scola is headed to Toronto for $3m.
Currently I live in Dallas, so maybe I’m a little impartial… But the DAJ snub really diminishes the NBA product. Just like the botched CP3 deal did.
I mean what is the deal with free agency? Free agents announce over Twitter who they want to sign with, then the NBA take a week to “verify the numbers,” before pen is put to paper? Does the NBA employ 2nd graders doing this math as part of some an “NBA cares” program? I mean Jesus, if Deandre Jordan and/or the Clippers don’t receive some sort of penalty, this totally sets the precedent of sabotaging teams through fake free agent commitments down the line. Any way you slice it, inexcusable by the NBA to not foresee this issue
grumpy July 8, 2015 at 10:14 pm
Not a Mavs fan at all, but DeAndre Jordan really screwed them over. Can you imagine something like that happening to the Lakers?
It did! Chris Paul! and Cuban lobbied for it!
Update on former Laker signings – Ellington to the Nets and Price to the Suns.
Gerald Green to the Heat …. if the Heat get Amare they could be really good
Hoping for Dorrell Wright now
That was a punk move by DJ and the Clippers, but guess what, i dont feel one bit for Cuban, you can call it karma, but i really like the symmetry of him and his team fanbase feeling the sting we felt when he was one of the instigators of THE VETO and the perennial losing team he helped prop up at the expense of the Lakers screwing him royally. Im sick and tired of listening to him badmouthing the Lakers out of jealousy. Even more beautiful that he gets fined because he ran his mouth and announced the signing and Jordan backed out, so thats salt to the wound, love that his team is lottery bound and it going to take them years to recover. The Clips are not going to win anything regardless and the Mavs are a smoking wreck so at least for me it’s a joyous day, he set put to ruin the Lakers and nearly succesed but right now our prospects look better than his ruined franshise, finally the chickens came to roost for this despicable clown.
Casual Fan says
Can someone explain why he Roy Hibbert deal had to wait till 7/9?
It’s a straight up trade, not a signing of a free agent, so why does it have to wait?
Ugh …. Green’s deal with Miami is for the league min … at least that might mean we could get dorell right at the league min ….. I think the wider players in the league are going to want to force a strike when the CPA is up …. it’s all max contracts and league min guys … no more middle
Long time FB&G fan and first time poster here. Inspired to finally post after reading Darius’ comment to Trollman.
Darius I love reading your articles since to me they are the most honest and well written breakdown of the Lakers around. I also really enjoy the comments overall, occasional moron notwithstanding. Your readership is well versed and insightful. Keep up the great work.
The Hibbert trade if it does not blow up is a great plan B all things considered. Short term solution that does not risk assets or future.
DJ not signing with Dallas is well within his right. I have no problem with it. Like someone said players get screwed all the time so it cuts both ways. The NBA has some things to think about though. For example, why doesn’t the draft happen after free agency like in football? Then teams could use the draft to fill team needs not addressed in FA. Or perhaps they should give teams an exclusive period to sign their own free agents just like in baseball.
My guess would be the Lakers would like to do a sign and trade and need the cap free to do so or something to do with the trade kicker or they wanted to see the official cap space before finalizing the details.
Craig W. says
Just like the free-agent signings, trades have rules governed by the CBA.
Yes, but who has the power? Certainly not the ‘middle’.
Casual Fan says
Trades were already happening prior to 7/9 though. Not sure why reports indicated the Roy Hibbert one have to wait till 7/9, unless it’s a sign-and-trade?!
I think it is more likely a separate deal. They have the cap to bring in Hibbert but not also sign the guys they have agreed to sign without sending out some salary. The Lakers could theoretically sign a guy like Hill, pack him up with a guy like Young and trade for a large non guaranteed contract waive that player and then have the cap they need to do everything they want to do, Otherwise they could have executed this earlier.
We could take in both Hibbert and Williams now that we have like 25ish mil in space with the cap going up to 70mil without any issues right now ….. but if we are doing another S&T for either hill or young …. or if Dallas is gonna screw us with Indiana … this could be something that is holding things up … I think it’s likely that we are going to see one last move from the FO that we didn’t see coming yet just like the williams and bass signings
I wonder though ….. how many teams have open roster spots left
Darius Soriano says
Unless I’m mistaken — and I might be — it’s because the trade is predicated on the Lakers absorbing Hibbert into their cap space. That space technically doesn’t exist until moratorium ends and they either renounce the rights to their own FA’s to create the space or those FA’s sign with other teams (and that space is created that way). That’s my best guess.
Darius Soriano says
This will really be the last I say on this because, like I said above, I’m happy to agree to disagree on this. But if you’re going to tell me because the shot charts say Sacre is an effective paint defender (or as effective as Dwight) that it makes the tool useless, I’d say you’re not very good at understanding basketball. Sacre, for all his warts as a player, is a fine defensive big man. He’s not a great rebounder, of course, and his offensive utility leads people to believe he’s a bad player overall. But, he’s not.
Over the course of the season, the Lakers’ defense was 7.3 points per 100 possessions better when Sacre was in the game vs. when he was on the bench. Sacre played over 1100 minutes last season. This isn’t a small sample. He’s a good position defender, has good feet, and knows how to use his size and strength to his advantage defensively. He’s not a good shot blocker, but that’s only one element of defense. He makes up for not blocking shots by being in the right place, being a threat to draw charges and/or simply standing tall to disrupt shots inside. In other words, there are several ways to be effective on defense.
As I’ve said before, I don’t expect Hibbert to be Mutumbo on the back line. But he’s big, smart, and has proven to understand how to excel at defense over the course of his career. I think that has tremendous value for the Lakers. If you don’t, that’s totally fine. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.
If Sacre.was on the court primarily vs 2nd teams or bench players would not that effect his numbers vs Hibbert who was playing vs starters?
No word of trades on Nick Young, Ryan Kelly and Rob Sacre, or contracts being waived, does it mean they are still Lakers? Will there be trade moratorium too? Have we completed 14 players including rookies and Upshaw?
Two important good players we will miss who were great last year: Ellington to the Nets and Davis to Blazers. If there is an extra money as a result of the increase in cap, I hope they can re-sign Hill at a lower amount but multi year deal.
Just want to send a link to a great article about young players and injuries. It quotes the Lakers strength and conditioning coach. I wanted to bring that up because people act like the Lakers don’t have a good staff (mostly because of the irrational hate of Jim Buss). It is also good for us normal people to know. Learning about Blue Light will actually be really helpful to many who are stuck on their phones. Anyways here is the link:
Darius Soriano says
Yes, there are noise in the numbers. But since you bring that up, there are other metrics when used in tandem paint a similar story. Real Plus-Minus (RPM) is a tool used to try and normalize statistics to account for the other players on the floor. Basically, to try and account for whether you play against better (or weaker) players, lineups, etc. Using this metric, Sacre was 27th in defensive RPM among all centers in the NBA.
Regarding numbers, I try not to use just a single catch all, but instead try to put them all into context along with what I see by watching the games. The eye test tells me Sacre is actually a good position defender who has better feet than what he’s given credit for. He seems to understand defensive concepts and plays hard all the time, making the extra rotations and hustling as best he can all over the floor. It just so happens when you crunch the numbers, they tell a similar story — he helps the Lakers’ defense when he’s on the floor.
I wanted to bring that up because people act like the Lakers don’t have a good staff (mostly because of the irrational hate of Jim Buss)
Nah. People bring it up because
a) Buss replaced a lot of people, including McKechnie.
b) The Lakers have had a lot of injuries.
Last year, Tom Haberstroh wrote a piece about McKechnie which called out the Lakers as being behind the curve on injury analytics. Don’t know if it is true, but it is out there.
And again, the fact that you have to characterize anyone who criticizes Buss so negatively shows the weaknesses of your defense.
Yeah well I can’t say I have an “irrational hate” of Jimmy Buss; it’s very rational.
Seriously though, the dude has a lot to prove and we agnostics are waiting for him to show us something.
@ rr I am a big fan of McKechine, but if I recall correctly it was Jerry that let him go and did so as to not pay him during the lockout. Which was something done by most owners. Not sure if the Lakers wanted to rehire him (I suspect they did, but with him not being under contract other teams saw an opportunity). I am fine with giving the blame for this (if it was Jim), but that is not giving me a ton of hatred over making a business decision. But that is also not to say that the Lakers hired someone worse or not good. I know people see a ton of Laker injuries the last three years and just assume it is the training staffs fault but players get hurt from all teams in all sports all the time. Even if the Lakers don’t have a training staff it shouldn’t lead to the amount of injuries they have had. But I can see the anger over letting go someone so universally loved. Again I am fine with this point, but lets not act like Tom is the authority on injury analytics. And how did he get his data by calling front offices and speaking to people and then assuming from what he heard that they seemed to be at the bottom? I just can’t see how accurate it is, but it may be.
Your last sentence makes no sense. I am perfectly fine with criticizing anyone including Jim. What I said is that fans have an irrational hatred of him. As in you can’t make a rational argument to hate the guy. Yes you can make arguments that he isn’t the best owner or that ultimately it is his fault, but read what people say about him and the job he is doing. That is scapegoat hatred. Anyone who thinks that a single guy can ruin a franchise or company don’t understand how all companies work. Look at the Maloofs, they were cheap and terrible at their job. They still had a good run. Then look at ownership after they left. Maybe Viveck is following suit, but I would bet that most of the decision makers kept their jobs through the transition. It is poorly run because of multiple people. If you really think Jim is doing a bad job, people should be asking for Mitch, Jeanie, and several other members of the FO. Watch when Jim steps down and the Lakers make the same kind of moves. It won’t be because Jim is pulling the strings from the background, it will be because those are the moves of most of the FO. And again I am fine with blame Jim if the conversation is hey do this, but not when it is fire the guy. That won’t solve anything only place a new figurehead to blame.
PS I think Jim has done a good job (not a great one). The goal of building around superstars get proven in every finals. If you have a bunch of role players that don’t fit with that star you end up with teams that have issues. The reason the Warriors are so good and the Cavs had such issues (beyond not playing together long enough) was that the Warriors players were built (by Jerry West) around Curry. They had a philosophy and got those players. The Cavs had Lebron but Love style of play didn’t fit. On paper sure, but until they rework his game it will be a square peg in a round hole. The guys that looked best were the ones that Lebron fit with. If the Lakers get Durant, I suspect they would sign players that fit his strengths and weaknesses. You build around the main guy. If all you want to do it make the playoffs you sign the talent you can get. And that’s a reason why none of those teams are contenders.
What I said is that fans have an irrational hatred of him.
You said that people were bagging on the medical staff “mostly because of irrational hatred of Jim Buss.” Not the same thing.
Again, all your arguments are based on hypotheticals and hopes–other guys in charge would make the same moves, what if Howard had stayed, what if Nash hadn’t gotten hurt, what if the Lakers get Durant etc. So, since you don’t really have a case, you end up having to characterize critics as irrational, etc. That has been going on here for three years among a few people and at SSR, with a lot more people doing it, as well. Sure, some people have strong emotions about it, but not liking Jim Buss and wanting him gone is just as rational as defending him vigorously and wanting him to stay, if you actually look at the track record since he took over.
As to firing Buss: Robert wants him gone right now, yes, and so perhaps do a few other posters. I personally would give this iteration of the FO more time and I think that is the majority opinion here by a wide margin.