As I write this article, I’m operating under the view the Roy Hibbert trade will take place later today. Given the DeAndre Jordan fiasco yesterday, it’s important to present this caveat, as all deals mentioned in this article are no more than verbal agreements at this time.
We live in a world where Steve Nash’s trophy case has as many MVP awards as Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant combined. Don’t get me wrong, Nash is a surefire Hall of Famer, but no GM in their right mind would choose to start their franchise with him over Kobe, let alone Shaq. Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson, who share 16 NBA Championships between them only combine for four NBA Coach of the Year awards. The reason for those apparent injustices: expectations.
We expect the seven-foot- tall behemoth, gifted beyond measure athletically, to dominate the sport. Same goes for the geniuses who have figured out the game of basketball to depths few can only imagine. The scrawny white guy who overachieves gets extra points because we can’t quite understand how he’s so good. Those coaches who drag mediocre teams to the playoffs are honored because we don’t know how they do it. In this case, it’s beneficial to be dealt the tougher hand. None of that has anything to do with how deserving the actual winner might be, only the circumstance under which the award was given.
But sure, Nash and Allen Iverson were obviously more valuable than the most dominating presence the NBA has ever seen.
Our perception of everything is skewed by expectations. We think of movies differently given what we hear about them from friends. Have you ever said something along the lines of “no, don’t tell me how good it was” to someone who just saw a movie you’re interested in? You’re managing expectations.
The same applies to the offseason facelift the Lakers just underwent. We gauge success on a curve based not only on the franchise’s history, but on tidbits we see heading into free agency. Think of it this way: Would fans have been more or less impressed with the Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and Brandon Bass acquisitions had we not heard the Lakers had meetings with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan?
They’d be more impressed, right? That’s not even debatable.
Heading into the lottery, fans only pleaded and prayed for the ping pong balls fall in a way so the Lakers could somehow keep their pick. Sure, the odds were heavily in favor for that to take place, but so much was riding on it. Since then, the Lakers miraculously moved up in the draft, selected an exciting point guard they believe can be the answer at his position for the next decade. Add to that those moves I mentioned above and improved health throughout the roster and the Lakers somehow found at least short-term solutions at nearly ever hole they had.
Look, if we’re being completely honest, neither Aldridge or Jordan were never coming to the Lakers. The move never made any sense for either player. Aldridge is 30 and probably has only a handful of prime years left before we start to see a decline. Signing with a team in the middle of a long-term rebuild given his age would’ve been extremely short-sighted. And DeAndre Jordan? Well, given how that worked out for Dallas, let’s just say the Lakers are pretty easily better off.
But, because the Lakers are the Lakers and we heard reports they were moving up Aldridge’s list of preferred destinations, we freaked out a little. It’s perfectly fine, that’s what fans do. But, just like you should prepare yourself to see a movie, we should’ve managed expectations. Given what few assets the Lakers have to work with, filling holes up and down the roster should have been enough.
Filling those hole while maintaining flexibility for next season? We really should be jumping for joy.
Now, say what you will about Lakers fans having to manage expectations – and many have. If we continue along the movie analogy, the franchise should be that Oscar nominee no one worries about hyping up as a must-see. That’s simply not the case. As with almost everything else in life, we have to understand what we’re getting into before we throw ourselves headfirst into a situation.
So, the Lakers head into the season with a potential starting five of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Kobe, Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert with an elite bench scorer (Williams) and veteran presence down low to bring in off the bench (Bass). No, it’s not a playoff team – far from it, probably. But it’s progress.
Perception is reality, right? And if our reality can be so easily skewed by expectations, the most important theme we have to consciously keep in mind is to understand circumstance. For now, progress should be enough.
The reality check is to be in the group of 8 at seasons end. ..far below the usual higher expectations. This looks like a good nucleus to grow.
I fell into the “skewed” category over the past several days. Aldridge, Monroe, Jordan weren’t for the Lakers. Yet, I was enthralled with the idea of getting back to relevance via a high-end free agent -against my better judgment. Developing the youth and staying this particular path is best. The few plan B veterans we’ve landed are a nice fit. The young ones are going to exceed projected expectations by the Non-Laker audience.
Craig W. says
There are so many ‘hidden agendas’ here that your thread is really a ‘breath of fresh air’.
Getting off the ‘We are the Lakers’ vibe, we really have made a lot of progress since last August. If we look at our summer team we have every position filled with someone we think could make the team, and we even have a backup in Nance Jr. That is really a stunning development. Of course, it comes with having 8 players with 1yr or less experience likely to be on our final squad.
I look forward to what Byron can do with these players starting out, but I am really interested to see how the team plays after the all-star break.
Thomas Rickard says
Actually with the demise of Dallas and Portland, Phoenix still figuring ouy what to do, Kings being the Kings, and no one. Shure who’ll wind up in Denver, and lets not forget unknown Minnesota, it’s possible that Lakers and Utah could be fighting for the 8th spot, the perfect spot for a couple of top players to see that they could make the difference, I’m looking forward to next season, it’s been a long time since Lakers had this much young talent
Welcome Anthony great read. I like the vibe we have now, more hope than negativity, considering how things were a week ago this has been an amazing turnaround myself included. I feel this team will start showing improvement next year and yes im all for starting Russell and Randle right away if their Summer League plays warrant it. They would not be the first nor the last rooks to start on opening day. I think they are ready.
Very honestly if the Lakers had not pursued top tier players I believe fans would have been furious that our F.O. didn’t go after the obvious top tier talents.
I must say after seemingly everything going wrong the last 2 or 3 years the Lakers may have finally lucked out by not winning the Jordan sweep stakes,
Going to be interesting to see if Kobe actually plays significant minutes at the 3. I’m not sure his body can take the night in and night out physical pounding required to play the 3, at this point in his career. We will see what Byron comes up with.
I do agree with you though Anthony, assuming we stay healthy, we have an interesting mix of talent on the roster.
This FA season has been nothing but drama. Monroe rebuffs Knicks and Lakers for Bucks, LMA disses Lakers twice, and Jordan flip-flopping while emoji wars ensues. Crazy stuff!!
Baylor Fan says
This is a very thoughtful piece. However the expectations have been set by two years of player rentals with no intent to develop or keep them. The entire point of this strategy has been to maximize cap space to sign superstars. Seemingly in spite of themselves, I agree that the Lakers are coming out of this is pretty good shape. If they did get a couple of gems in Russell and Randle, and two more rotation players among the first year players, the off season will have been a wild success. Only time will tell.
I know it`s possible,but I don`t think Russell starts with Kobe@ 3. Too much pressure on Russell,and physical for Kobe.I can see Bass and Randle together at times if not starting. I`m really going take a long look at Nance and Brown in SL. I don`t have a feel for either right now against top competition .
Vasheed – Imagine if we had been in the Mavs place on this debacle. My god, I can only imagine the lynch mob that would have formed outside of the El Segundo practice facility.
Chobe Bryant says
As a fan, I want to see the starting lineup that Darius had mentioned – starting the young guns. Let ’em grow and develop chemistry as a unit. Whether that lineup starts the year like that, it’ll more than likely finish that way. I think D-Russell is automatically the team’s best passer, and he will make everyone better. He’ll find you, all you need to do is finish. That kind of talent needs to be in the starting lineup. Also, we need Clarkson’s athleticism as a slasher/finisher especially with a AARP Kobe in the starting 5.
@Ed, Kobe needs to “guard” whichever is the slowest/worst be it the 2 guard or the 3 guard on the opposing team. Kobe’s defense is crap at this point and he is so much slower now. But Kobe still looks plenty strong from lifting and he has good size so against the smaller 3’s he could do well. We need to hide Kobe at least a bit and the less running around he does the better, for him, and for our team defense.
Now that we have Williams, I would seriously consider starting Clarkson at the 2 guard for developments sake. Williams is a pure gunner, so Clarkson’s skill would possibly be hindered a bit playing with him in the 2nd unit. Russel seems like more of the willing passer, and Kobe is a willing passer UNLESS its the last 6 mins of the 4th quarter apparently. Plus Clarkson is fast, and it gives us someone else to try and run and deter the other teams 3 point shooters to some degree. Honeslty, I’m not a huge fan of this Williams pick up the more I think about it. Unless we are looking to let Clarkson walk next season possibly? Wiiliams worked on the tenacious defensive team of the Raptors with their guards that get after it. We basically have a ton of non-d guys even with Hibbert/Bass as an attempt to hold down the fort. Additionally, we still don’t have a real clue if even Randle is going to be very good on defense this year either? If his defense is lagging as well we have serious issues.
Part of the reason I still can’t see them get much beyond 30-35 despite the western conference weakening a bit, is the Lakers defense. Hibbert is not going to be able to cover for the 1-3 positions when Kobe is in. IF they were smart and were ALL IN on the future, they would have Kobe Bryant be the 6th man this season. Start Brown/Nance, and bring Kobe in to destroy 2nd string shooting guards and let him be the primarily ball-handler with Williams as the #2 option guy in the 2nd unit. That would solve a bunch of problems in terms of player development of our 2 guards and Randle, who need to start together. It’s not as if Williams or Bass need developing in the 2nd unit anyway.
Wow – Mavs gave Wes Matthews a max deal. That does not make sense. Coming from surgery? Wes wasn’t even worth the max when fully healthy. Mark Cuban getting sloppy.
In case anyone is worriying about Dallas cooking some nefarious scheme and ruin the trade for Hibbert, he put the Lakers logo on his twitter account. So that’s that.
@Calvin, he is not being sloppy, he always been a tool…
I am glad to see that Cuban finally got to meet Karma. I hope they enjoy hanging together for the next decade. At some point I hope that Karma comes knocking on the Clips door too. Although DJ and the Clips had every right to meet and renegotiate, how it all went down was pretty unprofessional. Just glad none of it involved the Lakers. If this was the Lakers and although it wasn’t the owner’s (Cuban) fault, it would be viewed by FO critics as another failure and PR stain on the franchise. I think we dodge a bullet there and calmed the flaming fires of negativity.
Lakers are looking pretty good now compared to some of the other teams. If the team can sign the FAs we lined up, the rooks, and trade Young, Kelly, and Sacre then I will consider it a fairly successful summer. Lakers signed Anthony Brown, Bass, and Williams to muli-year deals today. I couldn’t find any details on their contracts from the Lakers site. Does anyone have anymore info? Also curious about the status of the Hibbert deal? Anyone news?
Lou Williams 40% shooting has me concern.Ellington would give you that with less of an salary…. .
For all this talk about Hibbert, I wonder why Javale McGee isn’t worth a risk. Javale’s physically like Rudy Gobert – potential to be an elite rim protector and alley-oop threat with length, speed and athleticism. Javale’s problem is all mental. If you can get Kobe and Byron to give him a mental rehab treatment and toughen him up, Javale may even be better than Deandre Jordan. All that’s missing is consistent mental focus and motivation.
@ Nick, Kobe actually handles the 3 really well in previous years. Plus it will likely make him better (a little less ball handling and players closer to his current speed). There aren’t a ton of post up SF, especially in todays fast pace NBA, so his size shouldn’t be an issue. In terms of breaking down it isn’t the position that changes much (unless he plays PF or PG). It will be the minutes. If Byron keeps to his 30 minute limit or close (Duncan minutes) to it Kobe will be fine. If he starts heading towards 35+ Kobe will break down again.
@ Calvin, McGee isn’t worth the headache. Maybe for a contender, but not the Lakers and even then I would question it. Ignore the stats, they don’t tell the whole picture. He makes the wrong plays at the worst times. Can you imagine having an important possession and him leave his man at the wrong time and completely screw up the rotation. On TV it may not look like it is his fault, but his teammates will be pissed that he could cost them a game. He will find a team because he does have raw talent, but would be surprised if he plays more than 15 minutes as a back up. And McGee is in year 7 and 27. He is who he is.
J C says
I always liked Javale McGee.
Tough to really tell what happened with that guy considering the early upside he showed.
@ Gene They do entirely different things on the court. Ellington is just a shooter. Lou is a shot creator and can get to the basket. Apples to Oranges. You can pick what you think is more valuable, but they are not similar players (like say OJ Mayo and Ellington).
Fern/Anon: Cuban and Jim Buss are not opposites. Rather – they are both owners who choose to over involve themselves in basketball decisions.
Anon/Justin: Nobody is saying it is all Jims fault. My preference would be to completely clean house. However, I am setting my expectations at reasonable levels.
Gene: Do not worry about the 40% for Williams. I am confident that Kobe and Byron will “minimize” that problem ; )
Hill to pacers, why wasn’t there a sign n trade with Hibbert and hill??
“Would fans have been more or less impressed with the Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and Brandon Bass acquisitions had we not heard the Lakers had meetings with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan?
They’d be more impressed, right? That’s not even debatable.”
I think your point is not just debatable, but in fact erroneous. I agree with your more general point about how expectations define perception, but not with your particular application here.
I’d argue that the Hibbert, Lou, and Bass signings were actually MORE impressive because the Lakers had completely struck out with LMA while having no one signed via FA (not an exaggeration, literally not a single player) as the rest of the league was making signings left and right. The highlight of free agency up to that point was that the Lakers were getting a 2nd meeting with LMA, where we got to apologize profusely to his camp and have another chance of getting rebuffed.
If in a vacuum the Lakers had signed Hibbert, Lou, and Bass, I wouldn’t be so impressed. But given the gravity of the situation the Lakers were in, my expectations were so low that these signings were “better than expected.” For a “Plan A,” these signings are putrid; however, for a “Plan D” like the Lakers were in, these FA additions are solid.
Off topic – player style comparisons: Wouldn’t you say that Wes Matthews is like Nick Anderson from the 90’s Magic in terms of playing style? 3 and D wing who can also play the low post. And Jimmy Butler is like an improved Michael Finley.
Agreed with Justin that Lou is a proven shot creator. Wayne Ellington is more effective as a catch and shoot, while Lou excels with the ball in his hands. Off a high pick and roll, Lou is very dangerous with the ball going left, where he’s got a quick release if the defender goes under the screen.
Im guessing salaries weren’t close to 50% which is why they didnt do s&t …. pincus is saying that hibbert might be waiving his trade kicker possibly allowing us to keep our room exception for another player
For what it’s worth re: Kobe’s minutes (I’ll believe it when I see it)-
Byron says he doesn’t want to overload Kobe this year, wants him to finish it heathy. Limited minutes? Sitting games to rest? Seems likely.
J C says
I have zero doubt that Mr. Bryant will voluntarily reduce his shots per game and minutes played in the same manner in which he voluntarily reduced his salary on his current contact.
Lou Williams has a pedestrian FG% but a very good true shooting percentage. He gets to the free throw line 6-7 times a game and shoots them at a high clip. That increases his offensive value considerably above Ellington (as Justin stated). I also anticipate that his percentages will experience a bump, because he will be playing with (potentially) a much better offensive cast. He was forced to carry the Raptor’s offense at many points throughout the year.
Kobe’s Gamelog at Bask Ref:
His shots and minutes, were, in fact, both down demonstrably in the last eight games he played before going down again.
I read from several posters on this board and many other places, that the Lakers needed to get rid of NY and others in order to complete our deals The deals are being reported as complete – so what is up?
We officially lost the pick to the Pacers, so now we are down 3 future picks. We also still have the NY contract, and we were not able to get anything for Lin in a sign and trade. These are the little details that can make a big difference in your re-build. You want to stockpile picks and get rid of bad contracts.
And since Kobe didn’t sign 2 years for the max, he did reduce his salary in real terms… and this season, he will be on his lowest salary since 2010-11. As much as we would’ve all liked the extra flexibility (so that we could pitch to more FAs who would then use it as leverage to sign elsewhere), I think it might be time to stop flogging the dead horse of the Kobe deal (although I am still a fan of flogging the dead horse of the Veto, and will be for a long time yet, so to each their own!).
In other thoughts, how concerned are we (FB&G people) about dealing away 2nd rounders? Will it still be as easy in the future to buy them from other teams as it has been in the past?
De Andre did not retract his 2nd word this time, so bringing back Clippers to playoff bound team while Mavs slip down. Karma for Mark Cuban what goes around comes around, LO is relieved and so many other ex-Mavs.
Lakers finally inked our new FA recruits that came on the last inning, it’s better deal than the last season’s objective of clearing for salary caps and eyeing for VetMin only. I think these set of new recruits have values for trades and could lift the Lakers from .500 barring the rapid improvement of our draft pick jelling well with the Vets. Jimbo seemed to improved this FA season compared to last years where his signature image is all over the place. Scott and Mitch were compatible and gradually our scouts are getting established. I hope they for a committee of trainors from legends retirees like Coop’, Cap and Silk. These legends could help tremendously both camps rookies and vets with the new wave of NBA game. Cap could refine the hook shots of RH instead of going to the right always, pivot to the left. If he goes for short range shots, nobody could block him in the air; Lou Williams is a great slasher and perimeter shooter, hope to see him jell with Russell and RH in the low post. That will be cool.
Third chance for Young, Kelly and Sacre, hope they use this opportunity to improve as the competition for Lakers playing time get serious. Hone those skills on shooting and D as the season matures. If they retrogress furthermore, we will see them as trade baits again before ASG.
Lastly, thank God and FO, Lakers are going to be Lakers again whose objective is to get to the playoffs than pathetic loser to preserve 1 r/dp from Sixers. Fans will have something to cheer in winning than the mojo of a perennial ping pong contender. No more injuries please!
Warren Wee Lim says
Going by the theme of “expectations” I hope we give our rookies time to grow. Time to develop.
May we grow that patience in time so we aren’t impatient enough to pawn our future on a headcase like DeMarcus Cousins.
Craig W. says
Given that we have a salary floor, as well as a salary ceiling, I think the Hibbert trade was well worth a 2nd rounder. He can help train up a rookie (assuming Upshaw sticks) and improve our perimeter defense by defending the middle. We don’t have that – and we are not going to tank.
Right now we have up to 8 1st & 2nd year players that are likely to remain with our club. We don’t exactly need that 2nd rounder and Hibbert may well be worth resigning next year – even to play backup. Anyone think Sacre > Hibbert? Didn’t think so.
Essentially, we exchanged C’s with Pacers (Hill and Hibbert) and guards with Raftors (Lin and Williams). We lost Ellington, Davis, Price and Boozer but gained Bass, Russell, Nance and two Browns. To the skeptics, which Lakers roster do you prefer?
I will say it again, our biggest hurdle will be chemistry since these players are still familiarizing with each other moves. There could be lots of TO’s in the beginning and learning curve from a good passer Russell balling with slow-foot Laker players who used to play with the scrubs. This is the season we expect Scott to prove his worth as a Coach, there is no more reason to tank since Lakers upgraded Center at 17M per year.
Go Lakers, please stop being injured for the 3rd season. We want some form of professional entertainment all year round.
Been watching some of the summer league practice videos. I can’t wait to see Randle go beast mode. BS mentioned that Meta, who comes in every once in a while to practice and ends up guarding Randle, said that Randle is “super strong”. This is coming from MWP who supposedly “bounced off” Randle when he got hit by JR. Doesn’t sound like he’s going to get pushed around in the league too much. It’ll be interesting to see if Hibbert or Kareem can mentor and teach him a thing or two about defense and pick up that end of his game.
Upshaw looked out of shape and slow. At times, he looked lost on the court. Hopefully with more time and practice, he’ll get into the groove of things considering his lack of bball experience compared to the other rooks.
Nance was impressive. Athletic, runs well and looking good both defensively and offensively. He’s active and hustles. I’ve always admire hustle guys, so it’s nice to have a budding hustle player on the team.
The cap rose enough that we didn’t need to trade anyone, and Nick Young is a bargain at $5m per, given current market rates for free agent wings. He wants to be a Laker, so I’m more than willing to give him another shot.
That second round pick we gave up for Hibbert is a pittance, and we should be truly grateful that a deal that good landed in our laps–and didn’t get thwarted by the Mavs outbidding us.
At some point, you need to just sit back and appreciate the team for which you cheer, instead of constantly second-guessing every little thing you think the front office has done wrong. All that negativity will only ruin it for you, no matter how good the team becomes. Just enjoy the ride, man. We’re on the way back up.
Nick Young has a bad contract because of the Lou Williams signing. Why did Lakers sign Williams if they already have Young? I’m guessing Young will be gone soon.
Upshaw has not played much full court this year and lacks fundamentals,but with great potential for a young big man. He has to be given a chance to improve his conditioning to NBA level,and maybe a couple years to work on his skills. Nance is the type of player Byron likes,so if he works hard might get more time than some drafted higher.
Craig W. says
Bigs take longer to develop and Upshaw, though 21, hasn’t had the game minutes his age would project to – more like a Bynum. Therefore, we should keep our expectations reasonable while he is learning. If he 1) gets into shape, 2) starts off about 5-10 min/game, and 3) serves time behind Hibbert and Sacre, we will probably see a lot of progress this year – though he may not start for a couple of years.
Anyway those are my expectations.
Mitch said he sees young as part of the core group but needs to improve on D ….lou was brought in to be our 3rd pg ….. we also still have our room exception as hibbert waived his trade kicker and bass was signed with normal cap space ….. so im gonna guess that jabari brown does not make the roster because of lou and young and we will either sign a wing or a big with our room exception
Me thinks dorrell wright is probably the guy we go after since he can play big 3 or sb4 … need a guy like that on the roster plus his 3s will help space things out
Excited to see the first game tomorrow night ….. towns has apparantly been amazing so far …. so close
I, too, watched the 6 1/2 minute video summary of today’s practice.
I thought that Nance looked excellent. He’s athletic, high-flying, and continually crashes the boards for offensive rebounds and put backs. In fact, from what I saw, I thought he was the best player on the court. Nance could be an unexpected surprise.
Clarkson looked OK with one extraordinarily acrobatic dunk in following up on a missed shot. Russell wasn’t very visible in the video that I saw. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that the video was representative of the entire practice.
Upshaw played only in the middle portion of the video for about 2 minutes. He definitely looks out-of-shape. Of course, he hasn’t played anything resembling a basketball game since February. So that might be understandable. To my eyes he didn’t look lost at all, just out-of-shape and winded. About 3 times in a row he set a good high screen (he was the only one in the video who did that), then rolled quickly to the basket. Each time he was wide open. But the PG (I believe his name is Mumford) over-dribbled and didn’t see him once, thus missing out on major opportunities for an assist and a dunk. Upshaw seems to know what to do. He just has to trim up and play with a guard who knows how and when to get him the ball.
Tomorrow (July 10th) should be interesting. For the first time in memory, the Lakers will be playing a Summer League game that could actually be meaningful. A full 7 or 8 players from this team could make the regular season squad. Three of them, over time, could actually be starters this year.
I’ll be following closely.
Anthony, the more important question is, what expectations will the team play to, i.e., win-loss versus player development. Hopefully, Nick Young will be gone, because if he’s not, then that’s Kobe, Nick Young, and Lou Williams as ball dominant players (leaving less ball-handling time for Russell and Randle).
Lastly, and by the way, for fan purposes, always helps to have little to no expectation, that way you can only be glad and surprised and never disappointed.
The salary cap rose and Hibbert agreed to waive a significant portion or all of his trade kicker.
Craig W. says
Nance has a reputation as an energy player – then with his wingspan, he should be able to rebound and guard above his height. He and Randle may lock up the 4 position for this year. If all three of our draft picks work out, and Upshaw makes the team, we are going to have to give major props to the front office for the last two drafts.
NOTE: Can someone fill me in on any major free agents the Lakers have ever signed – besides Shaq. Free agency has never been our strong suit; perhaps because it took too much out of Jerry West.
Javale along with ringmaster Nick Young?? No tent big enough for that circus…
Can someone fill me in on any major free agents the Lakers have ever signed…Free agency has never been our strong suit;
Please let Jim and Mitch know, so that Jim will retract the statement about signing two max FAs, Mitch will stop talking about financial flexibility, and the Lakers FO will stop asking for meetings with max FAs and focusing on cap space.
Is this Lakers squad equipped to make the playoffs?
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: “It’s a little early, but I would say yes.”
Mitch is a master of casual overconfidence.
“Wow – Mavs gave Wes Matthews a max deal. That does not make sense.”
Calvin, if you believe what everybody has been saying about everybody else, then an okay deal. Simply recall the CAP rising to 90 mil next off-season. So now Wes gets the max with a 70 mil CAP and not a 90 mil CAP. And remember that is not the same max for all, since as Darius correctly noted, there are 25% guys, 30% guys, and 35% guys. Wes is a 25% guy, so bottom tier max guy. He’s otherwise a good 3 PT shooter, pretty much guaranteed to go for .380 or higher, and the 3 PT attempts are at least half his total FGA (last season was 59%, season before was right over 50%). Why, with a single exception, his TS% is .574 and up.
By the way, for one and for all, the entertaining thing re the Deandre Jordan affair was the reaction of the fans on first move and now on reconsideration. He’s a dog and a traitor for leaving, and he really wasn’t and isn’t all that good, owes most of it to Paul and Griffin. Now is, Hey, Deandre, you’re great, glad to have you back. In Dallas was, Yea, brother, we’ve got our franchise building block and are on the road to glory. Now is, I cannot believe this is real life. That, and the obligatory post on the legal actions that Mavs could take to force a player to play for them (which is the worst idea in the world, forcing someone to play for you). Players should do this more often. It’s all roundly entertaining.
And to round it out, there is no possible legal action for the Mavs, see Article II, Section 14 of the CBA between the NBA and NBPA. Here:
Except as permitted in the next sentence, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, no player and Team may enter into any oral or written agreement concerning terms and conditions of the player’s employment, or reduce any such agreement to writing in the form of a Uniform Player Contract or amendment, during the Moratorium Period. The following shall be permitted during the Moratorium Period: (i) a player may accept any Required Tender, Qualifying Offer, or “Maximum Qualifying Offer” (as defined in Article XI, Section 4(a)(ii)) that is outstanding; (ii) a player and a Team may negotiate over the terms and conditions of a Player Contract or Offer Sheet that may be entered into following the conclusion of the Moratorium Period; (iii) a First Round Pick and the Team that holds his draft rights may enter into a Rookie Scale Contract; and (iv) a player and a Team may enter into a Player Contract,not to exceed two (2) Seasons in length, that provides for a Salary for each Salary Cap Year equal to the Minimum Player Salary applicable to theplayer (with no bonuses of any kind).
Note the first part, no agreement, oral or written. Note the second part, some can enter in an agreement/contract, but not Deandre, as he’s an unrestricted FA who is not going for the minimum player salary contract for two years (everything else is out, i.e., no rookie scale, no qualifying offer, etc.). All he can do is negotiate, and here that is all that it means, negotiate. Agreement is not negotiation but agreement. You can’t have that in Deandre’s circumstance save for a two year minimum player salary deal. And so you all get it from both a legal and moral standpoint, given Article II, Section 14, there is no basis for any legal or moral expectation, since Article II, Section 14 says that there can be no agreement, of any type, in any way, shape, manner or form. If you, like Cuban, relied on someone when they were in the position of never having to perform, then you, like Cuban, are a fool. And so you all get what that means, if Deandre says, I agree to this, that and the other thing, no matter, as he cannot agree. So if he says he agrees, he is still in the position of never having to perform. Since he cannot agree. His agreement is ultra vires (beyond one’s legal power or authority). And if ole Mark Cuban had went to law school, then he’d know that Deandre’s “I agree” was ultra vires. As I said, this is all roundly entertaining, people feeling all rear end hurt when by virtue of the CBA itself everyone has to know that since you cannot agree, then no one can be taken at their word in that respect. Do some of you get it now? There’s no harm to Dallas here. Since there could not be any agreement, Dallas had no right to expect anything.
Casual Fan says
It looks like we have quite a stacked frontcourt with the following:
PF: Randle, Bass, (Nance?)
C: Hibber, Black, (Upshaw?)
I don’t actually feel that bad we lost Ed Davis at $7M/yr, since our bigger need will be wing.
Darius, do you think we should’ve signed Ed Davis even with this situation?
Chris J says
Someone’s cousin’s sister’s hairdresser’s doctor’s nephew was once on an elevator with Pat Riley, who said every free agent ever was coming to the Lakers so long as they could get back on PEDs and the Lakers continued to tank, because only that someone was smart enough to know all of those things. Fisher sucked, Bynum ruled, no one has ever come back from an ACL injury, and every scout who ever watched a college player knows less than this someone.
Anyone miss him? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t.
We’ve gained a few new comment section contributors since. I’ve found these contributions to be refreshing, intelligent and adds to the dialog on this board. That’s a bonus too.
Losing Ed Davis is worse than gaining Bass. IMO. Losing Hill without shipping Swaggy will also hurt. Letting our entire bench other than the ones no one wants (Kelly, Sacre, and Swaggy) will also hurt us. I thought keeping energy, tough guys like Price and Davis was imperative for the youngsters growth. We have too many tweeners and no starting caliber small forwards. A successful free agent signing would have been the kid from Orlando (Tobias Harris).
I too would love to see us sign JaVale McGee!!! His upside is far greater than his perchance for error. He almost singlehandedly beat us in the playoffs against Denver. He is far better than Upshaw.
Less you forgot they had the worst record in history last year. Talking about anyone coming back other then Clarkson and Kobe is silly. they have a much better team this year and most important they have potential to get better.
Last year had a bunch of guys getting checks. Lin,Boozer, Davis, Hill and the rest are nice guys but if it was my choice Young and Kelly would be part of the sweeping out of a bad memory.
Out with the old and in with new hope!
J C says
I feel a little smarter after reading Slappy’s posts.
Marlon Brando says
I personally have no problem that Swaggy is still on the roster. IF he’s healthy and regains some of his swag (hopefully he’s taken the rim out to dinner a few times this offseason), it could really help in keeping kobes minutes down. Also, teams that find themselves in contention next year but need some scoring off the bench (do to injury or underperforming players) might be willing to make a deal for him IF again he can show he can contribute. I realize there are a lot of if’s involved here, but we could potentially get something of value. As someone already stated, his salary is quite cheap in today’s market. Food for thought.
“appreciate the team for which you cheer” – No need to worry about me. When the games start, I will be cheering for Kobe, writing Kobe alerts, cheering, and generally having a good time. I think you are confusing me with the Kobe bashers or perhaps the Byron bashers (who will be out in force this year).
My expectations are 30-35 wins, forty wins would be fantastic, but thats a stretch. it’s all about moving in the right direction and hoping we dont lose 330+ games to injury again. @Chris J i dont either, this is a better place now, was sick and tired of that fool.
Sorry to have double posts with the same content above, I thought the first one would not be published.
Chris J in reference to you post – I felt guilty for causing trouble to the poster you referred at. I hope there is mediation in the offing, Somebody said: “the most hurtful things does not come from our adversaries, it’s what comes from our friends.” Words are mere words to be treated as reckless follies of an adventurer to cater attention.
Lakers have still 2.8M extra money after RH removed the trade kicker, unfortunately we also have extra players in the roster. We need a Center as back-up of RH, wish Sacre and Kelly who are both 7’0″ would wake up someday and have that confidence that they too, can rebound and defend against those foxy 6’1″ to 6’4″ guards who are infringing their turf in the low post. That’s how Rambis and Madsen made a career from basketball, they started to be positive role players that earned them a ring and coaching jobs today. Rob is Zag and Ryan is a pupil of Coach K, both have great foundation to make a greater leap on their third season and prove to everyone that they are better than the freshmen Lakers.
Craig W. says
I didn’t like losing Ed Davis, but losing him meant we would be able to afford Hibbert – IMO HIbbert is the better defensive center, and we needed a defensive center. So I am happier the way it has worked out.
If we keep Swaggy, great, if we trade Swaggy, great. Let’s concentrate on getting to the season with the fewest injuries possible, i.e. none.
I will try to report from the Las Vegas summer league. Leaving now, be there around noon PDT.
The Batman says
Did Aaron get perma banned or something?
Warren Wee Lim says
It is my expectation/prediction that Hibbert on a contract year will show up. For all the “failure” of an off-season according to some, the Lakers can quickly reverse that if Hibbert pans out. In a way, he is a signing (Bird wanted him to be a free agent this year) … that came a year early, and we have a free look at him playing beside Randle, Clarkson and Russell.
Take note, if next season’s cap is 89 million, the Lakers only have committed salary worth ~28M. This already includes Lou Williams, Bass’ player option, Nick Young, qualifying offers for Tarik Black, Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown. That’s a total of 60 million. Imagine that.
Playing the projection game, I would reckon it would be beneficial for us to lock up Clarkson next season using a reasonable price. It would totally depend on this year’s performance but its imperative that we make him top priority. I don’t have a figure for him yet, but I am guessing its going to be way more than the midlevel. I’m guessing Mitch and JC can come up with a short-term deal for a decent amount (20M/2 perhaps) with player option, more famously known as 1+1. This move allows us to retain Clarkson for 1 more year to complete his full birds. Or we could wait for him to explore offers from other teams then match it.
In the case of Hibbs, also depending on the kind of year he’ll have, a 50/4 deal would not be impossible.
I know, getting ahead of myself here. I just have a good feeling about Hibbert’s fit.
Hills contract with indiana is apparantly a 2yr 10mil deal with a player option for year 2
Shame we couldn’t have kept him at that price but it wouldn’t have worked cash wise to get hibbert and lou
Also, mitch said if ed davis would have waited a day they would have resigned him but he wanted the money right away. …since eds cap hold was small giving him a big bump in his contract wouldnt have been a problem
Still waiting to see who gets josh smith … if rockets dont resign him they take a step back …. was their 3rd best player last year ….will be super fun to watch sacremento if he goes there
Excited for tonight …. also stanly johnson is looking like a beast in summer league …. like jimmy butler but right away
david h says
ai: you talkin ’bout skewing??? well thought out and insightful to say the least. welcome and another sound choice from darius.
unless and until lakers can replace the position nick young plays; coupled with kobe’s uncertain health this upcoming season, I can see where management is tied to a dilemma; today, that is.
I too can see kobe playing the off guard, small forward and on occasion point guard handling duties (19 plus years experience); dependent on opposition, game in game out.
am also looking forward to observing laker summer league play starting tonite.
I agree with Mid regarding the practice video. Larry Nance Jr. was very active and had two put back dunks. Crazy! I like this guy.
Russell may have been less active on the video because Julius was bringing up the ball a lot. Larry and Julius can both bring up the ball. That means we got a lot of potential playmakers. I saw the interview with Byron and he said he told Julius to “push it” every time he got a rebound cuz he had the ability to create plays for his teammates. I can’t wait to see a lineup of Russell, Clarkson, Julius, Nance and Black/Upshaw.
Byron also said Tarik was communicating well on defense. Some of us commented before that we thought Brandon Bass could be a good mentor for Julius. Now I’m thinking he may be an even better mentor to Black. Tarik as Bass 2.0 would be awesome.
Julius has been described as a “monster,” a “beast”, and an “ox.” Russell is a “natural born leader.” And Upshaw “knows how to use his body.” There are lots of things to look out for this season, and these things will definitely make it very entertaining. This is the first time since the last run with Phil that I’m excited about the team. Can’t wait to see these guys in action today.
Shaun, this is precisely what rr has been advocating in several posts. Our FO is enamored by the glamour A+ FA’s, they committed themselves for too long without taking into consideration our own players in the trenches who needed to be paid too for their yeoman’s sacrifices. They are being asked to wait for spoiled celebrities who are using the Lakers as their ticket for more money. One meeting is enough for LaM, DJ or Monroe who have no Championship pedigree in their resume. If they are negative to purple and gold, move forward and don’t let them define our traditions and our future. I hope Mitch should include this lesson in protecting the brand and Jimbo that not all that glitters are gold standard like Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Some players have tarnished convictions who would change their minds any time challenged by difficult tasks ahead.
Our ancestral legends never quit on purple and gold even in face of series of defeat like Elgin Baylor who has been frustrated by that mighty fat belly leprechauns popping smoke on his face, Elgin just kept on trying annually to win against all odds. Wilt Chamberlain never wavered or slowed down by injuries or blamed Coach Butch Van Breda for being benched in last few minutes of a Championship. He just moved on and tried it harder next time around.
Not sure what sort of contract Josh Smith is looking for, but I would be intrigued in signing him. Despite his inconsistent past performance, I thought he played very well last year. He would have no trouble sliding in at the 3, and helping out on the offensive/defensive glass and on defense. Additionally he has shown “enough” of a three point shot to keep people honest. Overall very versatile player.
If Mitch is generally intersted in making the playoffs, like he said yesterday, this would be a nice pickup to get us over the hump. If we are able to get swaggy off the books, we could definitely afford it.
Since there could not be any agreement, ____ had no right to expect anything.
Could this apply to the veto as well?
Darius Soriano says
Smith is brought up to me a ton on twitter and, honestly, I couldn’t disagree more about his fit on the Lakers. He’s a PF now (and has been for a while). His playmaking is ideal at the 4 and, whatever floor spacing he offers is maximized there, whereas it is expected of him as a pure wing. If the Lakers need a wing (and I think they probably do, though less so if Young isn’t traded), they should probably target Dorrell Wright or see if there are cheap wings they could try to trade for using Kelly as bait. I don’t know how likely a trade could be, but I do know targeting Smith as a wing is even less likely to be a success.
It is important to keep perspective from some bygone eras. Prior to the 3-peat, Jerry West accumulated talent at seemingly every position. Even the 4 all-star team wasn’t a champion, but had been building to that point for 4 years. Heck, even the Kobe/Pau group took years to assemble, including the top 10 pick of Bynum. The Heatles are the extremely rare exception and they needed a top 3 all-time guy to take a pay cut to make instant magic happen.
This article is a great reminder on perspective. Thanks.
Brian P. says
As excited as I am about today’s game, I am trying to temper my expectations so I don’t get disappointed. Watching the scrimmage footage showed me how rusty the guys are and that the game today is likely to be ugly and obviously not on par with NBA games.
Regardless I will be watching and lurking here to see everybody’s thoughts.
@Darius, completely agree with you in regards to Smith. Smith has definitively shown that he’s a great passing PF, but a horrible shooting SF/wing. When smith drives to the rim and looks to finish around the paint the guy is very impressive, the further he steps out the more he just looks like a bad shooter jacking up bad shots.
@Tankyou: Agreed that Josh Smith is not a good fit. What the team lacks right now is a 3pt specialist to space out the defense. Someone with the same skillset as Jodie Meeks