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I Wouldn't Banks On It Yet

After all, rumors fly around during the off-season like 747s leaving LAX. But it remains a rumor that makes sense and has been speculated upon from the moment the dude got sent back to Boston after GP threw a hissy. And his addition would certainly fill a need. The kid's offense needs some work, but he's quick and plays some good D. And if memory serves, perimeter D was something of an issue in Lakerland.

Scroll about halfway down and you'll see it.

AK

 
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I'm waiting for someone to say this is the missing piece we need to make us a championship contender. Yet again, we all have to get excited for a bunch of scraps from other teams.

I just did a "head to head" comparison on nba.com vs smush...

Can someone tell me how this is a big upgrade from what we already have? I'm not that familiar with him, and maybe there's more to him than the stats.

I guess if this is true we can stop talking about trading for Chris Duhon.

Seriously, I love trade rumors and trying to come up with new things. I should probably become a Knicks fan because I would have a ton of material to work with.

I don't want to believe it but I think the Lakers aren't going to do much this off-season. It's kind of a bummer because I think there is going to be a lot of action out there and it would be cool to be part of it.

Andrew Z,

No doubt, Marcus Banks ain't the Rasheed Wallace who put the Pistons over the top in 2004. But I do think he could help in a specific need area, so that's a plus. And he couldn't cost too much, meaning they could use their MLE elsewhere. He won't automatically put them in WCF, but I do think he'd be a productive signing, if nothing else.

Actually, it wouldn't shock me if they did this and still traded for Duhon (or backcourt help guy Mr. X), or found someone with the MLE. Guard is where they're thinnest by far, so them making a couple moves wouldn't be crazy to envision.

AK

AK

AK,

I agree, he's an upgrade, especially defensively where we need it most. I just read an article about Banks on hoopsworld where his teammates and coaches had some pretty impressive things to say about him. It looks like his time in Minnesota showed that all he needed was some time on the court and he began to shine. The fact that he is one of the quickest guys in the league does make me a little happy on the inside, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

I also agree that the Lakers are paper thin at guard but what gets me is I've heard little, if anything at all, about the Lakers pursuing a scorer. I know LO improved his scoring towards the end of the year and playoffs, but I think it's out of his style to adopt a score first mentality. With the rule changes the NBA has seen lately it would seem the Lakers would focus on obtaining a swing man who could create his own shot off the dribble. Maybe they are looking for that guy in the draft or via trade, I'm not sure, but I have to think it's a glaring need for this team that management should consider addressing.

If Marcus Banks could play defense, that's a step in the right direction. His stats are almost identical as Smush. I'm curious with that low salary, what motivated the Celtics to trade him to Wolves? A year later, Mchale is not picking him up, there got to be something in Marcus Banks that we don't know. (Just can't trust people with Celtic's mold) Nothing wrong in including him in the list as long as Lakers are open to all other options.

AK, is there a trade involve in that possible Bank's deal?

I honestly don't care if the kid doesn't have a jump shot, because he is coming here for defensive purposes. We could have a point guard who can shoot lights out, but it wouldn't help us slow down Parker, Nash, or any other quick pg we'll have to deal with to make the next step towards a championship team

I agree with AK. We need more than 1 point guard, and can definetly use another 2 guard, so I think we'll definitely make a splash in the free agent market/draft. I have a really good feeling tha t we'll be happy with our squad next season.

I think by virtue of speed alone, Marcus Banks would be good. Signing him certainly gives us the option of perhaps not playing Smush as much (cause let's face it, at then end he hit wall city, having not played as much before). However I caution others in thinking of immediate impact, he still needs to learn the system (so some impact will be good enough for me).

Now I'm not saying he's the answer (Andrew Z, lol), but he can certainly be a "piece" of the championship puzzle we're building, just like Sasha is (lol). Now we need to go and get a "defensive" wingman/mult-position player, and/or a PF. With some time, this core of ours can do something special. That said, it's just a "rumor" and we know all about those lol.

P.S. AK or BK, do you have any insight for us about the team currently, like who's already working out or what not. Cause remember Kwame I believe was supposed to vacation early and come back much earlier than others (or was that Bynum). Chris' ankle and all that...(but don't go too far, it is after all the offseason, don't mean to put you guys to work lol). In anycase it might be too early.

When Marcus Banks was traded to the Lakers, he said that it has been his goal to be a Laker for a long time. My guess, however, is that he will be overvalued and overpaid by some other team. He does not fit the triangle, thus the Lakers won't give him a high contract offer. There will be plenty of players availiable in the draft that can fill the need for a back-up point guard.

How is this guy defensively? I completely agree with Weave-man, we don't need a scorer, we need someone who can stop Bibby, Tony Parker, Jason Terry, and Steve Nash. BIG TIME. Lets hope he's got the defensive package we need so desperately.

Off-topic here, but why do these east coast teams have such annoying public-address announcers? Miami, Detroit is the same... they use the intonation of a schoolyard NYAAAA-NYA-NYA-NYAAAA-NYAAAA. Rip Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaamilton. Or Shaquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile Oneeeeeeeeeeeeal... (and a high-pitched screech), FROM Dwayne Wade.

Sheesh, thank god there's only one more game of that crap. I'll be seriously pissed if Shaq and Dwayne "OUCH, I bruised my left pinkie" Wade pull this off.

If you look at Banks' numbers it's tough to get an idea of what he's all about. He was always given limited playing time in Boston and his numbers jumped dramatically when given PT in Minnesota. The coaches in Minnesota praised Banks for his hard work and leadership and were very pleased with the vast amount of improvement he showed in the limited time he had there. What gets me is that if he made such a good showing there, why aren't they keeping him? Maybe he's this year's Earl Watson where he'l demand way more money than he's worth and the Lakers will pass on him.

Ken,

We don't need a back-up point guard, we need a starter - if we keep Smush he'll be our backup, and if we draft any PG's they'll sit on the bench for at least a year under Phil. I've been pro-Banks since before the season ended, I'd love to see him in a Lakers uni next season, I'm glad to hear he's interested in coming out here and he certainly wouldn't cost too much, especially with other teams probably targeting Mike James as the premiere free agent PG. Banks is very very quick, atheletic and seems to have a good head on his shoulders, and he seems to be very team oriented (the Wolves players loved him). Under the guidance of Phil and Kobe he could be a very productive player in the Triangle and really help beef up our backcourt defense, I hope it happens, but am also well aware of how the rumor mill churns at this time of year so I'll keep my hopes moderated.

You guys don't get it. During the 3 championship years under Phil Jackson, I read and heard repeated comments by critics and even some Laker fans that the Lakers were too this and too that. The comments said that they were too weak EVERYWHERE except for center and shooting guard. However, the Lakers kept winning championships by adding not-so-great players.

Who considered Robert Horry to be Mr. Clutch before those 3 titles? Eventhough he had won 2 in Houston, his real legacy came during those 3 titles. Who ever thought Brian Shaw was a key piece for a championship team? However, he was for the Lakers. Great teams don't have to have a roster full of great players. The days of the Bill Russell Celtics or even the Sixers, Lakers or Bird-led Celtics, aren't happening anymore. In fact they aren't even possible because of how the league is structured and because of egos!

Instead, teams that hope to reach a championship must focus more on chemistry than they do on ability. Note that when I say chamistry, I am not simply talking about how attitudes/personalities mesh. I am more so talking about how skills mesh, as it relates to not only personnel, but also team strategy.

Furthermore, for all those wanting the Lakers to gain a BIG score this offseason or add some huge free agent, it isn't going to happen and really isn't necessary. Granted, I stated in an earlier post that i think that a trade to acquire Al Harrington is a great trade. However, I don't consider Harrington to be a major score at this point. How can he be considered a major score when his team has yet to reach the playoffs? What has he done to be considered a major player? That's part of the problem with the league. Guys are given elite status quickly these days when they haven't done enough to deserve it. I read the other day that Dwayne Wade is a veteran in this league. How can a 3rd year player be considered a veteran? What is it based on? Plus, what has he really accomplished yet? No offense to him, LeBron, or any fo the other guys, but the league use to make you pay some dues before getting all of the praise. I'll come back to that in a later post.

Finally, I like the Marcus Banks pickup. I too wanted him before and was hoping that it worked out. He isn't the answer, and probably isn't even a starter for the Lakers. However, he would be the key player off the bench for the backcourt. The reserve point guard has a key role because they are the one that hounds the starter that has gotten tired, or the opposing reserve point guard that's trying to keep the offense together. They can really disrupt the flow of the game with their energy and emotion.

I still believe that the Lakers should pursue moving up in the draft to get a solid point guard to lead the team. I believe that Phil is adjusting to things these days. He could adjust to using a rookie point guard IF that rookie point guard demonstrates the ability to handle the pressures of the league. I believe the program which they come from is the key. Tim Duncan was ready because he came from the right program.

Kevin Mck,
Gettting a defendive point guard is easy. And it would not even take the 1.7 mil. that Banks got last year. The Lakers need a better player than Banks to get into contention in the west. I agree with JJ, the Lakers need to put together a team that has chemistry and I would add, "Balance". If they can add some pieces such as Brian Shaw or Robert Horry type players, that is what it is going to take. Banks is not good enough yet, and I wouldn't take him over Smush and Sasha

I just did a "head to head" comparison on nba.com vs smush...

Can someone tell me how this is a big upgrade from what we already have? I'm not that familiar with him, and maybe there's more to him than the stats.

Posted by: Tim | June 16, 2006 at 10:54 AM

Stats never tell the whole story (ie robert horry), but with Banks, the Lakers have an up and coming point guard. The guy is quick and fast, but more importantly, plays D. He's not the type to simply play for the steal, a la Smush. I like Smush, but we all know he has deficiencies both as a player and mentally. Banks is on the verge of a breakout season and if the trade does happen, it's a big step in the right direction for the Lakers.

from a fellow blogger at clublakers.com

"Take it for what's it's worth, or not. Dude who works in the hospital with me is Banks' 1st cousin. He talks to Banks and his father frequently. He says that Banks wants to be a Laker and they expect that to happen."

Magic=Goat,

Is it a trade or just a pick-up of our bi-annual exemption of $2.0M.

Magic=Goat,

Is it a trade or just a pick-up of our bi-annual exemption of $2.0M.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | June 16, 2006 at 01:01 PM

My bad...he's unrestricted, so not by trade. Man, I hope we get him.

JJ,

I agree that chemistry is important, but when talking about Shaw and Horry and those Laker teams that won rings, it's important to realize that we had Shaq at his utmost prime and Kobe was the best non-big man in the league. When you have the two best players in the league (by far) you can fill in the holes with role players. Problem is, with our team we have Kobe, LO who isn't even an All-Star, and then a roster full of guys who probably wouldn't start on the majority of teams in the league.

JJ,

another thing, Dwayne Wade has been in the league three years and took his team to the second round his first year, the Eastern Conference Finals his second year, and the Finals (and quite possibly a ring) in his third year. i think he deserves every last bit of praise he's received.

Ken,

How can you think Sasha is that good? I like Smush but he's definitely not a starter in this league. Banks is an upgrade over both of them.

Thanks Magic=Goat, good posts too

I'm pretty sure that the reason Minnesota likely won't retain him is because they cannot pay him as high as the full Mid-level exception. Danny Ainge never exercised his fourth-year option, so when he was traded, Minny did not get any Bird rights. This may be a little inaccurate, but it's the general idea. It's not that Minny doesn't want him, they just won't be able to pay him as much as other teams.

JJ,
The difference is that Horry, Shaw, Harper, Fisher, Fox, et al were proven, quality NBA players. (Fisher would not fit that category in the first championship year.) That is not the case with the group the Lakers currently have McKie and Jackson would fit into that category if not for their age, injury issues, and (in Jackson's case) joining the team at such a late point.

I did some research and found that Minnesota cannot sign him to a higher salary than what he would have made had the Celtics picked-up his fourth year option. Therefore, the most they can spend on him without using any of the Mid-level exception is 2.46 million per year. It's not that Minny doesn't want him back, but they can't out-bid anyone. Where would you want to play if you were a FA? LA or Minny?

FOOTLOCKER

Seems like those DWade shoes are slowly filling the shelves at FootLocker and FootAction. The Kid is AMAZING, cool as the proverbial cucumber.

Footnote: When Shaq got flagrantly fouled, notice several Miami Heat players stepping up in Stackhouse's face.

When Kobe got his 'bell' rung by Raja Bell, NO (none, nada, zip, zilch, bupkis) LAKERS stood up for Kobe. Just shows you the kind of RESPECT players have for their teams stars.

OUT!!!
the Truth

Magic=Goat,

Thanks for the clarification. Good we have a personal input on Marcus Banks from your co-employee.

As a Minnesotan, I got to watch Banks play here after he was traded. He was a definite upgrade to what they had before he got here. However, they already are paying a bunch of money to PG's up here that are pretty much untradable and are rumored to be in the running to pick up a PG high in the draft. With that said, I think Banks is a definite upgrade from Smush. I like Smush, but I think he is probably best served coming off the bench and giving the team some energy. At this point I don't think he is a starting-quality PG. Banks is solid defensively and isn't a slouch on the offensive end either. I think he'd be a good fit for this offense.

I do caution, however, that Sid Hartman (the columnist who is predicting Banks coming here in the article shown) is notorious for being completely offbase most of the time. Senile is probably the best way to put it. But occasionally he is right -- so hopefully he is this time.

JJ

Totally agree with you there on players in the league today getting their dues before they've been paid. Players these days get so much praise from the media in the first couple years of their careers, its sickening to hear.
The reason is obvious for the players with flashy styles like lebron and wade. The media fell in love with Jordan back in the day and are still hanging on to him, to this very day, and they have a need to find somebody to compare him to which is totally rediculous.
Even the Kobe/Jordan comparisons, they are pointless. Nothing will ever be solved, they are endless debates.

THESE DAYS..THE MEDIA MAKES THE PLAYERS WHO THEY ARE.

The lakers already have too many young players. Banks is just another young man who hasn't got a lot of chances to play.

Why should the Staples center be an experimental field?


Yea it was really big of walker to stand up and protect a 7'1" 350 pound man. Give me a break!

Banks would be a nice addition. He is fast, real fast. He would have been very helpful during the Phoenix series. He's a good penetrator ball handler too. I like the pick-up. I believe with the roster as it is today, Banks would probably start. Get ready Smush.

I think Banks is ready to make a splash in this league. And what better team to do it for than the Lakers. If we get Banks, expect some major competition at the PG spot.

I'm not ready to write off Smush yet though. Remember, Smush has some major talent. Not every player can throw down reverse alley-oops like Smush, or pop three's like Smush. Remember, Smush is still young. With Smush, it's a matter of playing a smart consistent game. Smush's talent and athleticism can't be taught, but man, he got a heck of a lot of experience last year. And it's hard to believe that he's not going to improve.

A PG trio of Banks, Smush, and Sasha provides us with good depth and flexibility at the position. I like it. I'm curious to see what happens.

Andrew Z,
Honestly, I know it is not the popular opinion, but I think Sasha is the perfect fit for the triangle. His defense is ok and he is a shooter. He is still very young and he did not get a whole lot of minutes to make shots. I watched how he played in the playoffs, When he gets those shots to fall with more consistency, along with increased playing time, he will be pretty good. That is why my predition is that the Lakers will not make the point guard position the highest priority. I think they will fill in the gaps in the line-up with veteran free agents and get a scorer in the draft. I know people will disagree but Sasha is only 22 and Smush has never played the amount of games and minutes. If they both get a little stronger and more consistent with a good off-season they will get the job done. All the lakers need is a veteren like Tony Delk.

Thank you Mary for a local flavor viewpoint about Marcus Bank. Your post was very funny when you added that the story came from a senile sports columnist presumably, you cannot take his word to the bank. Haha.

Anyway, being in the Laker Blog, we always counter check the news account and Magic=Goat's co-employee gave us a personal feedback, unless he too(referring to co-employee), was just playing with the Laker fans on their thirst of a PG. LOL!

Marcus Banks would be a great pickup for the Lakers. you can compare Smush and his stats but last year smush really overachieved. While M.Banks hasnt even reached his full potential as a scorer or a definsive stopper at the pointguard position. SO he would help alot. My mmoves for this off season would be to release devean green, release Aaron Mckie and then sign Banks as well as kareem rush then try my hardest to trade for gerald wallace by tradin Mihm, cook, walton and 1st rounder. then our lineup is something like this..

position-starter/backup

pg-banks/smush/Sasha
sg-Kobe/jj/sasha/rush
sf-Gerald wallace/rush/jj
pf-Odom/turiaf/douthit
C-Brown/bynum/turiaf/douthit

Then by the allstar break (cuz they need time to learn the triangle and gain chemistry) we could do almost any team in the league some serius damge in the playiffs including the mavs or the spurs..

Lance.P

Hey fellow Laker fans,

I know this section is supposed to be about the possibility of trading for Marcus Banks. But i'd like to bring something to everyone's attention. I think it deserves some real thought and possibly a post of it's own. Why isn't anyone talking about the Lakers getting Peja Stojakovic this offseason? It wasn't long ago that there was a rumor Peja would be a free agent and come to the Lakers to reunite with his good buddy Vlade. Now i know, you might be thinking, how could we possibly sign Peja as a free agent. We have no cap room. Which brings me to an even more salivating possiblity. Why don't we go after Peja AND Jermaine o'neal. Jermaine's been heavily rumored to be on the block and the Pacers are looking to rebuild without him. Peja's obviously not where you want to start rebuilding either. So who could the Lakers trade here? I'm sure everyone's first thought is, Lamar Odom. He would HAVE to be included in this trade if not only for his salary but because he's an attractive piece to offer. I would also think they'd have to throw in Bynum and maybe Brian Cook or Devean George. I know it sucks to give up L.O. and Bynum at this stage but think about what the Lakers starting lineup would look like next year. (insert name) pg, Kobe Bryant sg, Peja Stojakovic sf, Jermaine O'neal pf, Kwame Brown/Chris Mihm c. There are so many reasons why this trade should go through it's not even funny. We have to take advantage of the fact that Odom boosted his stake in the 2nd half of the season and that Bynum, while raw, is still a prized possession to many teams in the league. We also have to provide Kobe with some major star power before he gets too old and breaks down. If this trade went down, we wouldn't have to worry about waiting a couple years and saving our cap space for Lebron (yeah right) or Chris Bosh (pretty much yeah right). Man, i need to call Mitch Kupchak....

AND, the trade would be between an eastern and western conference team. It's perfect..

Let me know what you guys.

competition between smush and banks might get pretty good in practice...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS1yArF1RdE&search=marcus%20banks

Go Lakers...

Don't know much about Banks to offer an opinion except when I saw him play against us last season I was impressed with his quickness. I'm not in love with him due to the "potential" factor. Like one of the other bloggers said, Staples isn't a training ground!! But if Banks is a throw in with K.G.?! I'd be happy!!!

I've heard from a credible source that K.G. has been in L.A. & has already met with Dr. Buss and Kobe!!! I'm gonna hold on to the fact that "anything can happen" and until I hear otherwise, I'll have visions of a three man break with Banks in the middle with Kobe & K.G. on the wing!!!

Someone talked about not having to have a PG that scores....

We do need a PG that can do some damage on the Offensive side. That's part of the reason why the Lakers were successful in the first games and probably the main reason why they weren't successful in the subsequent games. Smush was playing pretty good and he was getting to the basket, making Nash play D and taking some of his energy. Without that in the final games, Nash just coasted and conserved energy for the assault on the Offensive side.

On that note... we need a consistent, decent shooter (something around 40-45%) with good defensive skills. athletic? I think a good defender has good enough athleticism by virtue.

In analyzing Smush he's got 1/3:
-needs to be more consistent
-he is a decent shooter (.433)
-needs to be faster on D.

In analyzing Marcus Banks (based off your opinions) he's 2/3:
-half a season does not "consistent" make...
-he is a decent shooter (.427)
-he is a good Defender

note: banks did average about 10 minutes less per game than smush.

truelakerfan beat me to postin smush's play on marcus.. but check this out ya'll, imagine this kind of play on our team

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wEwCyStuhSY&search=marcus%20banks

yikes...he could help since our big men seems as if they are incapable of blocking shots at times lol

Marcus Banks will be a huge upgrade defensively for the Lakers. He can stay on front of anyone. I said this before, we definitely need to sign him.

____________________________________________

"another thing, Dwayne Wade has been in the league three years and took his team to the second round his first year, the Eastern Conference Finals his second year, and the Finals (and quite possibly a ring) in his third year. i think he deserves every last bit of praise he's received."

Sorry AZ but it wasn't "his" team his first year (it was Lamar's) and it wasnt his team the 2nd year (it was shaq's). this year, he became the man and took the throne from shaq. dont get me wrong. I knew wade was special right away. i watched every single heat game that year and i am pretty certain i was one of the few to vote for Wade to be an allstar his first year. nobody knew about him and i had scroll through all the players name to vote for him every chance i get. but he was not the man the first year until after the playoff begun. hell, he was injured for 1/3 of his rookie year. it was lamar who carried that team to the playoff for wade's chance to shine.

i hear people say we should trade lamar because he's stock is at an all time high. HELL NO. the year with the heat is the year he's stock was the highest because of what he was doing. he was traded for shaq!! i mean is there any way his stock can be higher than that? he had a 30, 19, 11 game. 1 rebound from doing what havnt been accomplished since Wilt.

my point is Wade's great but he's been the sidekick until this year. he definitely deserves praises, but lets not over do it. Baron Davis was on Kcal after the game and they asked him who he would build his team around. wade, kobe, dirk or lebron. HE PICKED KOBE!!!

Mitch,
Your credible source is a definite fraud. It is a violation of the CBA for an owner to meet with a player who is under contract with an opposing team. They call it "Tampering". If Jerry did this he would be hit with huge fines, a suspension and be restricted from signing or trading for KG for several years. I can assure you that no such meeting ever took place nor even a phone call. He can't even talk to his agent, unless KG was a free agent, which he is not. The only way this could ever take place is if the T-Wolves approved it in advance and most likely were in on the meeting or phone call(this happened in the Shaq trade to miami). In which case the meeting would have been public knowledge by now.

However, KG can talk and meet with Kobe all he wants; but Kobe cannot do so as an agent of the Lakers.

Tom:

thanks for the props.

Edwin G:

Thanks also, but the guy isn't my co-employee...just a fellow blogger. I too, hope it's for real.

Question...do you guys/gals think Smush would crawl into his shell again, like he did against PHX, if we sign Banks? I mean, Smush tends to pout at times, especially when he's having a bad game and/or on the bench.

Final note...Happy Father's Day to all of you who are dads.

It doesn't matter who's team it is!!! This isn't some Kobe Bryant high school rationale. What matters is a group of men FORMING and BONDING into a cohesive unit. A group that evolves INTO A TEAM. Players don't own the teams, they create an atmosphere of cohesiveness and TRUST in each other in BATTLE.

Some subscribe to that Kobe Bryant type of thinking where it has to be 'someones team' Only in Basketball is it where you hear that obsurd dragonian thinking. There is a 'team leader' to which other players defer, which Dwayne Wade has evolved into along with Shaq. But they both SHARE the responsibility to set the example for other newer players on the team who all each have just an important contribution.

OUT!!!
the Truth

I agree that this is not a "rookie" camp or whatever, but to be honest between an oft injured Vlade/McKie, I will take a young Banks hands down. Look at what happened this season, Smush was an off-season/acquisition thingy, and he turned out ok (And I say that with the least amount of venom) but he did play, compared to McKie who we spent a lot of money on but probably had a total of 2 minutes all season long.

Magic=Goat,
I hope that if Banks did come to LA, Smush won't "pout" like he does, I mean he was getting playing time-- more than most of us here think he should have gotten but he still had an "attitude"--so if Banks were to take his place (which I doubt cause of the whole learning the triangle thing) I hope he takes it as motivation. Actually I hope that it makes him better like it made Turiaf--the Kwam better (having competition in practice, at least according to them lol).

I totally see the wisdom of what JJ said. Nowadays it's almost unheard of to have a team of "stars" (win), with the CBA and free-agency I think it's more imperative than ever to develop chemistry and grow together. However I believe you have to have something to grow, the question is does our guys have that (and I think we do for the most part).

Steven, after kobe got clotheslined, Lamar stormed over to beat the crap out of Bell, or at least you could tell Lamar was going to do something, but he was held back by teammates.

So from now on, don't just ramble on things you don't know about. Get the facts straight.

Assuming we signed Marcus Banks or another PG, then Smush becomes the back-up PG. If we get Laron Profit back and replaces Kobe. What happens to Sasha Vujacic? Shall we just drop him or are we torn between Sasha and Smush? Supposing they are traded these kids are not completely miserable, they can be improved and only time can tell. I see Sasha could duplicate Devin Harris if he can practice more on his lay ups or moves without the ball. Smush could be like Jason Terry if he develops his short jump shots and put up a strong defense.

I guess their images left indelible marks in the Phoenix series. It's hard to make an objective analysis based on last three games alone while ignoring their overall performance throughout the season. We blamed them of just standing around or committing series of turnovers but they were learning the triangle for the first time. What if they improve in other teams like Diaw, Barbosa, Jason Terry after leaving Atlanta,(or LA) that's a calculated risk that only a GM can decide. He can only sign 13 players and only 12 can play each game.

i just went back and saw the replay of raja's clothesline and lamar did go up to raja after the foul was commited, i had missed that myself...if it was for Greek Dude meantioning it i would have never realized that...

Go Lakers...

I know as much about M Banks as the next guy but someone on this blog did say he'll stay in front of anybody. I beg to differ though after watching Smush son him on that you tube clip.

To keep hope alive, i don't know how true this is but the fedex guy (CJ) who comes to my job said at one of his stops a guy owns a store who plays poker with J Buss and confirmed that THE BIG TICKET will be in purple and gold next season!

Steven...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCFV1pDT_HQ

facts dont lie

Go Lakers...

I love how we know people that know people that know about our beloved Lakers. lol

Faith,

..and our "about-to-be-beloved" Lakers :)

If you watched ALL the video clips, Odom just walked gingerly toward Raja Bell, it was no immediate form of protecting his teammate.

Now if you watched how Smush Parker stood up for and 'PROTECTED' Luke Walton after he hard fouled Tim Thomas that shows the type of RESPECT some other players have for Luke Walton. This was not the same case after Kobe was clotheslined by Raja Bell.

now i dont want to defend that steven guy because he acts very unprofessional on these blogs, but i think he has a point about lamar going up to raja. go back and look at the you tube vid. after the incident, raja begin to motion toward the LAKER bench (right side of the court) and he is shown yelling something in that direction.since a majority of the players are on the left side of the court,logic dictates that hes talking to one of the other lakers(phil perhaps? they dont like each other either-see past LA times articles for info) then LO goes over to raja, then is held back by another teammate. truth is truth.

The Lakers need to bring Marcus Banks, Kareem Rush, and Darius Miles on board.

THAT is the team which will bring us to the Western Conference Finals in 2007.

GO LAKERS!

Thank you WOLF
And.....

...the Truth,.....will SET YOU FREE!!!!

Heat wins in SIX

OUT!!!
the Truth

Banks will be a Laker this season, no doubt about it. I'm just wondering if we'll bring anybody else in...

Los Angeles Lakers Offseason Preview

Season Recap
After a disappointing season in 04/05, complete with the loss of a coach, a star player to injury for the last quarter, and a full on nosedive, LA bounced back with healthy stars, the greatest coach in the history of the NBA, but a supporting cast of underachievers and unknowns. LA finished with 45 wins, playing some of the best ball in the NBA after the All Star Break to earn the 7th seed in the playoffs. Despite a team that suddenly seemed to grasp the concept of teamwork, and a huge 3-1 lead, LA was bounced from the playoffs by eventual Western Conference Finals loser Phoenix. LA’s offense (thanks to Kobe Bryant) was solid, the defense improved to be about average, and, despite a schedule ranked in the top 10 in terms of difficulty, LA provided much to make their fans forget 04/05.

Team Needs
LA needs a PG desperately. Smush Parker is not a starter in the NBA at this point. Even if he develops his defensive game, which seems hellishly unlikely given his desire to play street ball this offseason, another PG of at least Parker’s physical ability level (and superior mental toughness) is a necessity. LA also needs a Forward. Neither Kwame Brown nor Chris Mihm seems able to play the PF spot. Luke Walton is not a starter at SF, Ronny Turiaf is not ready at PF, and Devean George is gone. Lamar Odom cannot play both SF and PF at the same time. Thus, LA needs someone for one of those two spots. Secondary needs include a veteran or two, some perimeter defense, and an outside shooter. A shot blocker would be a nice luxury.
Recommendation: Obviously, LA needs to address these needs. If multiple needs can be addressed with one move, for instance a godsend who could play defense, has veteran savvy, and a good outside shooting touch at the PG or F spot would take care of many needs simultaneously.

Cap Situation
Even without Brian Grant’s contract counting against the Luxury Threshold, LA has no traditional, big options. They are at or over cap. As a result, they will have the Mid Level Exception (MLE), valued at around $5.25M. Because they did not spend their Bi-Annual Exception (BAE) last season, they have an additional $1.75M contract available for offering. An unlimited (up to the roster maximum) number of veterans can be added for the Minimum based on time of service. Draftees receive contracts that do not count against any of these previously mentioned signing options. Finally, LA has a few small trade exceptions outstanding.
Recommendation: LA is not going to get under cap this season. In fact, the odds that LA will ever be under cap while Odom and Kobe Bryant are on the team are slim. If absolutely no one else is signed, then in 07/08, LA will have the ability to sign a player to a max contract. Personally, I’d rather see Andrew Bynum and Turiaf develop into competent players, as well as any players signed for MLE this and next season become solid contributors. There is no real reason, unless LeBron James has personally said that he would come to LA, for LA to try to get cap space. Avoiding the Luxury Threshold, however, is obviously desirable.

Draft
LA has two picks in the upcoming draft. In the first round, LA will select with the #26 pick. In the second, LA will select the 51st overall player. Their selections could be influenced by other moves, obviously. There was talk that LA would try to move up to #4 to select Brandon Roy, but LA really has nothing of interest to offer without dismantling the “core” of Kobe, Odom, Brown, and Bynum.
Recommendation: It’s not always the best strategy, but LA should select the best available player. This will almost assuredly be a PG/SG in the first round. Initially, Thabo Sefolosha was looking like a great fit, but he has likely secured himself a higher draft position now that his name is out there. Quincy Douby (6′3 PG), Mardy Collins (6′6 G) become the two top names for LA’s #26 pick then (assuming Rajon Rondo (6′2 PG) is off the boards as well). Either pick would give LA a young player to learn the ropes of the triangle while backing up both the PG and, occasionally, the SG spot (likely with help from Sasha Vujacic). The second round seems as if there will be some good risks for LA. I’d go with Taj Gray, 6′9 PF from Oklahoma, who is being compared to Chris Wilcox, if he is still on the board. Yes, LA has some bigs, but Gray has a decent upside, and there is no such thing as too many bigs. One or both of these picks would probably go to the D-League, to LA’s own team, where they would learn the triangle. This is a huge move for LA, giving them, in effect, their own farm system where players learn their system while honing their game for the NBA.

Free Agents
Devean George is the most high profile Free Agent for LA. After seven years in the system, Devean has not fulfilled any of the hopes of the fans who saw him taken as the #23 pick. Blame it on injuries, mental weakness, or a lackluster work ethic, but George has not developed a consistent shot from anywhere but the three point line. His defense, though good at times, is streaky. His ball handling and playmaking ability are sorely lacking. He will never be an NBA starter, at least not on the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak said as much, noting that George, if brought back, would fill a similar role to this season, where he was generally 6th, 7th, or 8th man. One simply cannot pay the kind of money George will seek (in the neighborhood of $4M) for someone in that role. Also Free Agents are late season addition Jim Jackson, huge disappointment Von Wafer, and Devin Green, a surprise addition to the roster. Neither of the rookies made a dent in the books. Jackson, though his defense was solid, looked out of sync on offense, consistently making poor entry passes down the stretch.
Recommendations: If I had to bring back one of the FAs, it would be Jackson, despite his age. He is a consistent shooter from three-point range, a hard worker in terms of conditioning and defense, and a playoff vet with all the savvy that typically accompanies that fact. Wafer and Green may be worth camp invites so they can show off their (hopefully) improved games. In reality, I don’t expect any of them to be back.

Starting Five
How about a starting three? LA seems happy with the promise shown by Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown. Kobe Bryant is a given. Chris Mihm, after two surprisingly solid seasons, is on the outside looking in. Kwame does most of what Mihm does offensively, but is a significantly better defender. Neither has shown the ability to move to the PF spot, so one is probably gone. I say that’s Mihm. Walton and George picked up the SF spot when Odom wasn’t there. Neither did an impressive job until Walton’s breakthrough performance (again) in the playoffs. I don’t think that he is a long-term fix, but he is a great bench player in the triangle. Smush Parker can dunk like few PGs in the league. Also, he doesn’t have the ball in his hands enough to make too many stupid mistakes. On defense, however, while he makes good gambles, picks up a lot of steals, he is a turnstyle, the likes of which LA fans haven’t seen since Chucky Atkins and Caron Butler. He is not an option at the starting spot. This leaves LA in need of a PG and a F.
Recommendations: Get a PG and a F as soon as possible. These are urgent needs if the team is going to get past the second round or, God forbid, have to play without Kobe or Odom due to injuries at any point next season.

Bench
Sasha Vujacic struggled mightily in Summer Pro League (SPL). He then surprised everyone with his intensity on the defensive side of the game, and improved on his dreadful shooting percentages as a rookie. He does not play aggressively enough (Phoenix series aside) to warrant long stretches of playing time, however. Nonetheless, he remains a competent backup at the PG/SG spots. See above for Luke Walton’s contributions. Ronnie Turiaf and Andrew Bynum showed flashes as backups at the 4 and 5 spots. Turiaf impressed me most of all, working hard on defense, under the boards, and especially with his scoring ability and skill at getting to the free throw line. Brian Cook, probably the team’s best pure shooter, showed that he is going to keep working hard to improve areas of his game. That outside shot is pretty deadly. Unfortunately, he is a one-dimensional player at this point. He is also a turnstyle. Aaron McKie did little more for LA than I did this season. And I live in Texas.
Recommendations: The young men (Sasha, Turiaf, Bynum) are probably going to become solid bench players. That would effectively cover the PG, SG, PF, and C spots on the second team. Walton is already solid at the SF bench spot. After having literally the worst bench in the league two season ago, LA’s bench was only a bit below average last season, and should be right in the middle of the pack next season. The development of Turiaf and Bynum are key. Shifting Smush to the bench would make a very potent second unit. LA must find a way to get Smush and Walton to the bench.

Signings
LA can re-sign Devean George. Or they can help their team. Marcus Banks, a solid PG defender who showed off a good three point shot at Minnesota, in addition to good defense, has shown interest in LA (and vice versa). He would likely accept around $4M of the MLE to come and start for LA. This would be a solid upgrade over Smush Parker. Players like Rasual Butler, Kareem Rush, Jumaine Jones, Jannero Pargo have been mentioned, at least among fans, as possible recipients of the BAE. Toni Kukoc, LaRon Profit, and Stacey Augmon can be added to the mix. How many of these players fit LA’s needs?
Recommendations: If LA does not get a PG through a trade, the Banks signing sounds like a no-brainer. If that happens, then there is no reason to sign a guy like Pargo. Profit was solid as Kobe’s backup, but isn’t worth the BAE. Kareem Rush has no work ethic, it seems, and was cut from one of the NBA’s worst teams. Kukoc still has a bit left in his tank. Only a bit though. I’d sign him for the Veteran’s Minimum (for him, it would be close to the BAE). I would offer the BAE to Jarron Collins. Bo Outlaw is another possibility. Most intriguing, to me, is the thought of having the “remainder” from the MLE if LA signs Banks. A five-year deal beginning at around $1.25M and topping out at $1.7M in year five should be enough to lure a young talent or a solid career bench player. If LA can lure a player like Linton Johnson, who works hard, hits the outside shot, the remainder could be their best offseason move.

Trades
There have been several rumored trades, including Mihm as the centerpiece in a deal to Chicago, possibly for Ben Gordon. Another trade has Darius Miles from Portland as the centerpiece for Mihm. I dismiss most of the other trades as either impractical or stupid (including taking back Derek Fisher’s contract). Carlos Boozer would take too much doing. Kevin Garnett is not being traded, at least not to LA. Gordon and Miles remain as possibilities because they are both young players. If LA is going to take a gamble on anyone, it would have to be a young player who has shown a lot of potential. Both of these men fit the bill. Mihm for Gordon would just about work, in terms of the cap. That move would move Kobe to SF, Odom to PF, and mean that Smush would remain the PG unless someone else could be brought in. Gordon can certainly score, but he does not play defense. This move would be intriguing. The Miles move is equally intriguing, but it is a bigger risk because Miles’s contract is long and expensive. He has also dealt with injuries. There is, however, the chance that Steve Blake or the 30th pick in the draft would come with Miles. Portland could make out like bandits in terms of cap room if they sent Blake’s meager contract out with Miles in exchange for Mihm, McKie, and possibly Cook. They would be looking at more than $20m in cap space after next season. This move would put Smush Parker on the bnech. LA would have a very athletic lineup. While Miles is a bit of a slouch defensively, when motivated, he is an explosive shotblocker. Blake is one of the better PG defenders in the NBA, and Kwame and Kobe make two more solid defenders. LA would lose absolutely nothing in terms of scoring punch, but would gain a fair amount in terms of defense from this season’s roster.
Recommendation: Trade with Portland. Send Mihm, McKie and LA’s second round pick for Miles and the 30th pick. Gray will definitely be available at 30th. It wouldn’t hurt LA as much if they had to get rid of Cook in the deal if they can restock at PF.

Proposed Depth Chart
PG Marcus Banks, Smush Parker, Mardy Collins (#26)
SG Kobe Bryant, Sasha Vujacic, Linton Johnson
SF Darius Miles, Luke Walton, Toni Kukoc
PF Lamar Odom, Ronnie Turiaf, Taj Gray (#30)
C Kwame Brown, Andrew Bynum, Jarron Collins

Outlook
Barring significant injuries, one would expect LA to improve slightly, even if they make no moves. They were the youngest team to make the playoffs, but Houston (for instance) will not likely be as hampered by injuries next year so competition should be fiercer. I would say that LA should make the playoffs, perhaps as the 5th or 6th seed, at around 48 wins. If LA were to make the moves I’ve suggested, they should be a team that could at least weather some injuries. With the blessing of health, the team should easily make it into the 50-win area, second round of the playoffs. Experience is going to be key. I don’t think LA has enough to make a legitimate run at a championship, but when Kobe is on your team, you always have some chance. That team would be loaded for years to come. Also, Banks, Collins on the bench would improve the defensive look of the team. Johnson would give LA yet another shooter from the outside (hit 36% of his 3pt attempts last season), and LA would only be a bit light on depth. Adding Kukoc for the Vet Minimum would round out the squad nicely.

nyc vid LakerFan..
a 6'3" PG blocks a 7' C..whoa!take that..so i say..

Mitch,
Sign MARCUS BANKS NOW!!!or imma kill you!lol..

I know that Banks doesn't have the smooth jumpshot yet..but it is a skill that can be developed..

OUT!!
THE TRUTH!!<<==this is a crappy sig by STEVEN!

Steven Mr. Heat Troll why are you in a LATimes blog? your not a Laker Fan get out of here a-hole.

Brylle:

Very well thought out and thorough post. And I thought that I make long posts. Overall, I agreed with your analyses and conclusions and found your last season and team needs recaps to be right on.

I also think the Lakers should stop trying to save cap room for Lebron or another max contract free agent in 2007/8. The CBA now makes it far more lucrative for max contract free agents to resign with their existing teams. Our unwillingness to offer free agent prospects more than two-year contracts has really kept us from being able to recruit any quality players.

Our 2006/7 salaries are projected to be $67.0M, down from $73.0M this year, due to expiring contracts for George, Slava, and Divac -- less pay increases. This would give us $6,0M in addition to the $5.25 M MLE and the $1.75 BAE to utilize in the free agent market.

By offering a three or four year contract, we could use this money to sign a free agent like Bonzi Wells, who could be the player we need to reach the next level. Bonzi would give us a dynamic player who would toughen our defense, create matchup nightmares for opposing point guards, and free Kobe up to return to being our shut-down defender on the perimeter.

Regarding trades, I definitely would not trade Chris Mihm for Darius Miles et al. Darius has done nothing to prove that his play and attitude in Portland have changed whatsoever. Bonzi, on the other hand, has proven he has matured as a team player and has elevated his play to another level with his performance for the Queens in the playoffs.

I also think that this years draft is one of the most unpredictable in years. While we lack the lottery high schoolers of previous years, there seems to be a total lack of consensus as who will be picked where. Other than a few players like Brandon Roy, the other guys I really like have been slotted anywhere from 10 to 30.

I still think there is a good chance that Thabo Sefolosha, Alexander Johnson, Raja Rondo, Shawne Williams, Guillermo Diaz, or another good player will be available at #26. I keep my fingers crossed that Thabo will somehow slip through the cracks and be there.

Bottom line, I am happy with the progress the team made last year and confident that management will make the right decisions regarding free agents, the draft, and possible trades. For just 2 years after being forced to trade Shaq, the Lakers are really in excellent shape with prospects for the future looking good. We should be grateful that we are not Celtics or Knicks fans.


Trade L. Odom(former HEAT star player) for Marbury.

GO HEAT.

DWade for Finals MVP!

DO IT MITCH!!!

LakerTom--

As stated in the past, we are on the same page when it comes to Miles. I'd rather take back Brain Grant (as we are still paying for it...). I just don't get the infatuation with Miles. He has not done a single thing in the NBA except make teams wish they didn't have him on their team. Yet people want him to infect the Lakers. I am pretty sure Miles makes over 10 Mill a year. 10 Million a year for a guy that cannot shoot the ball, is not known for his defense, and has a very bad work ethic. What the hell are you guys smoking...


I am warming up to your Bonzi aquisition. He has a bit of a hot head, but if he can control his temper, I think he would be a hell of a pick up.

I'm ok with Banks as well.

Trading Mihm rumors...


Why would the Lakers (or any team) trade away a good center for anything less than a better than good PG. It just does not make sense. Good centers are hard to come by. Good guards are not. So you only make a trade that underscores that concept. I had posted before about the three headed monster. There is a reason Mihm is talked about in just about every trade. He has value. You do not trade him unless you are calling the shots and addressing a very important need for the team. To me although gordon can shoot the ball, he is not known for defense. And as the Lakers do not need points (they were a very productive scoring unit this year), they need to stop people from scoring so many easy ones against them...

My vote is no to Gordon unless we throw in Smush and the Bulls throw in Chandler...

After further review...

Miles is in the middle of a 6 year 48 million dollar contract. The first year started in the 6 mill zone so the remainder of his contract is in the high 8 to 9 million per year area.

Mihm is in the last year of a 3 year 11.4 million dollar deal.

So the only way the Lakers can trade away Mihm for Miles is to sign and trade, or throw in some more players (lets see, Luke plus Sasha plus Cook might equal Miles current contract). But wait it gets better. For all this effort you still get Miles in return. You get 10.5 points per game. You get 5 (!!!!) rebounds per game. You get a guy who shoots it 47% from the field, but makes up for it from the line--yes a career 50.5% free throw shooter. But those are only stats, you know numbers can't explain the intangibles. For everyone knows the kind of presence Miles has in the Locker room. He will show the kind of work ethic and leadership every young team needs (remember he will be considered a vet on this Laker team). And to think we could steal him from the Blazers...

Just for fun:

Boris Diaw- 4 years/5 million dollars
Leandro Barbossa- 4 years/ 4.2 million dollars
Chris Duhon- 3 years/9 million dollars
Drew Gooden- 4 years/13 million dollars
Andrew Bogut- 4 years/20 million dollars
Chaunsey Billups- 6 years/33.7 million dollars
Manu Ginobli-6 years/52 million dollars

Shall I go past the letter G?

Miles, ya that's the ticket...

tajluck:

Thanks for backing my post. Glad to see you warming up to Bonzi. Joe Dumars has proven that he knows how to evaluate players as well as anyone in the league. So when you hear that the Pistons are the other team rumored to covet Bonzi, it adds credibility to our position. Bonzi creates a great mismatch against other guards and is so tough for smaller guard to defend against. I believe he can literally wear down the Nashs and Parkers that always torment the Lakers.

Thanks also for getting Mihm's back. I am amazed that everyone does not remember just how well the guy was playing before he got hurt. He deserves a chance to show he can be part of the core the first half of next season before we decide to part ways. If he really plays great, then I think we should give him an extension. If not, he will be worth even more then if we decide to trade him. You are right about the value of centers vs.guards.

Great analysis rebutting the value of a Mihm vs. Miles trade. We give away several players and get back a guy whose stats are not even as good as Chris' figures from last year but who has a much bigger contract. Looking at this, we would be better off resigning Chris.

Thanks, tajluck.

Latest on Banks from HoopsWorld Rumor Mill:

Marcus Banks (unrestricted) – Camp Marcus is going to explore their options, word is Marcus wants to talk with the Lakers, and depending on what happens in the draft Marcus could very well be the Lakers next point guard. Its believed Marcus will command the full median exception from whatever team he signs with. The Timberwolves are not out of the hunt, they are one of the few teams that could offer Marcus more than the $5 plus million per year he’d receive in a median exception deal. The question is will Kevin Garnett fight for Marcus to be over paid?

Draft speculation involving Lakers from HoopsWorld Rumor Mill"

ROY SAYS: Brandon Roy has been in to see almost everyone in the top 10, except for Atlanta and Toronto, who according to Roy told his camp they would be drafting big men this year and felt it would be unfair to bring Brandon in if they had already decided they would not draft him- a surprising workout was with the Lakers who do not hold a pick anywhere close enough to grab Brandon, leading many to believe the Lakers are willing to trigger a trade to move up. An informed source near the Lakers says the Lakeshow may indeed be making a draft day trade involving Andrew Bynum for the chance to nab Brandon, depending on where he goes. There has been speculation that the Lakers have dangled Lamar Odom to the Bulls for the #2 and Tyson Chandler, but informed sources say Odom is not a player the Lakers are shopping. It’s possible the Lakers are offering Bynum and the #26 to Chicago for the #2. An informed league source there is almost no chance Brandon Roy slides past Minnesota.

More rumors from the Bulls report in HoopsWorld about Lakers/Bulls possible trades:

1. The Bulls draft Brandon Roy at #2 for the Lakers and then trade him to the LA for Andrew Bynum and the 26th pick in the first round.

2. The Bulls draft Roy at #2 and package him with Tyson Chandler in exchange for Lamar Odom.

3. The Bulls send Roy, the #16 pick, and someone expendable like Chris Duhon or Michael Sweetney to the Lakers for Odom and the #26.

What did the Mavs think about Wade's last possession?

The Mavs had a lot more to say, actually, believing (a) that Wade committed a backcourt violation before his final winding drive to the hoop, (b) that Wade "pushed off, like, three guys," by Nowitzki's count, on his way to the rim, and (c) that Nowitzki never fouled him.

Draft Express updates on Thabo:

Thabo Sefolosha was surprisingly not invited to the physical-only portion of the NBA pre-draft camp, but DraftExpress has managed to obtain his measurements taken by an NBA team that worked him out last week in Orlando. Sefolosha measured out at 6-7 in shoes, 207 pounds, with an astounding 7-2 wingspan and 8-11 ½ standing reach.

Sefolosha worked out with the Minnesota Timberwolves today against Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and Shawne Williams and reportedly had an outstanding workout, only losing one of four games in the one on one competitive portion against the two likely top 10 picks.

More potential Thabo news involving Phoenix from DraftExpress:

Phoenix Looking to Move Up

Multiple sources over the past week have informed DraftExpress that the Phoenix Suns are looking to package both of their first round picks to move up, likely into the teens portion of the draft. The two players they are reportedly most interested in are Rodney Carney Saer Sene and Thabo Sefolosha. There are rumors that the Suns might even try to trade with Chicago and move up all the way to the #2 pick, a deal which would most likely involve Shawn Marion.

Oh No! Lakertom, Phoenix is going after him! They don't need another athletic defender, please let him drop to us! (lol) I was so hoping he'd at least drop to our spot so we decide (to pick him up or not)...but with Shawn Marion in the deal, I think teams will bite. With that in mind, I think we need to look at other options (cause it looks like his stock is really rising).

Faith:

We must keep 'faith' although Chad Ford now has the Bulls taking Thabo at #16. It is taking all of the patience I have to not want to trade for the Bulls #2 and #16 picks. Maybe we will luck out in the end but damn it is not good news to see so many people jumping on the Thabo bandwagon.


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