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Talking With: Ronnie Lester, Part II

In the first part of our interview with Lakers Assistant GM Ronnie Lester, we covered the "science" of drafting, what the Lakers planned to do with their picks, and the development of Andrew Bynum, among other topics. In the second installment, we talk a little more draft, some trade rumors, summer league, and whether or not there will be a spot available for me or AK. Not to give anything away...but there isn't.

BK

Brian Kamenetzky: You talked about how scouting isn't an exact science.  Who is a guy that you thought would be great that didn't pan out, or a guy that you thought was underrated going into the draft that panned out?  Whether you drafted them or not?

Ronnie Lester: That's a tough question. You can go back. I can't name anybody off the top of my head, but if you go back and look at the drafts the last 12, 14 years, you can always find guys that went pretty high in the draft and didn't have really good NBA careers for whatever reasons. Injuries may have played a part. And you can find other guys that were second-round picks who have gone on to have great careers, and play a long time. Cedric Ceballos comes to mind as a second-round pick out of Fullerton back in I think the late '80s, maybe '90, who was a mid-second-round pick that went on to have a great career. Guys like that. But if you go back and look at the media guide, the draft book, you can find tons of instances, I think, of guys like that.

Andrew Kamenetzky: Or someone like Udonis Haslem, who wasn't even drafted and is now starting for a team competing for a championship. (The interview was conducted last week, before Miami's clinching victory.)

RL: To me, there are a lot of guys who play four years of college and they're pretty good players, but they're not ready to play at the NBA level when they get out of college. They go someplace else, whether it's Europe, the minor leagues, and they keep developing. They keep working on their games and two years down the road, they find themselves on an NBA team. There are a lot of routes to the NBA. Being drafted and being a high pick and coming in with all the fanfare and all of that is one way to make it, but kids go different routes to get to the NBA.

AK: Speaking of different routes, Smush was a guy that was off the radar but ended up having a pretty good season for you last year. Was he someone you had your eye on?

RL: We had him in. He only played one year at Fordham and put his name in the draft. We had him in, and worked him out after his one year of collegiate basketball at Fordham. He was a junior college kid, by the way. He played one year of junior college ball then transferred to Fordham, sat out, and played one year at Fordham. But we had him in after his one year playing at Fordham, and we liked some things about him. He was long for a guard, he was athletic. Didn't shoot the ball real well. We liked him some, but didn't think he was good enough at that point in time to draft, or to be a part of our summer league team. And guys you like a little bit, you keep track of them over the years. I think that year he played with Cleveland, Cleveland may have been the worst team in the league. I think the next year he to Europe and played, then he came back and I think he made Detroit's team. Went there as a free agent. He made that team until January, the cut down date. Then he went to the D-League when they released him, and then he got called up to Phoenix when Nash went down a couple years ago. Two 10-day deals, and they eventually sent him back.

We have a guy who covers the minor leagues for us. One of our scouts (Irving Thomas) covers the CBA and the D-League, and he saw Smush play. Smush played for the Florida team, and put up a couple triple doubles, which is kind of eye-opening for a 6-foot-4 guard. We had a mini-camp that year, and we brought Smush in, and he was the best player in our mini-camp. From the mini-camp we invited him to the summer league, which was last year. He played on the summer league team and played well for us. And we signed him to a two-year deal. But we had known of Smush coming out of Fordham because we had brought him in. But again, he wasn't ready and he went someplace else for two or three years to get better as a player. He came aboard this year, started every game for us, and had, I think, a very good season for us and himself. Averaged double figures, I think, 10 points a game (actually 11.5 ppg). Shot the ball decently at 45%, and I don't know where we'd be without Smush, because we needed someone like him in our backcourt this year. And if we're going to improve from this season, winning 45 games to maybe winning in the 50s, we need another player in our backcourt to help us like Smush did last year.

BK: Is that aspect of the workout season — guys that don't make the team or don't get drafted stay on a team's radar — a lesser known part of the process?

RL: Well, everything you see, you encompass. You write down, you store things. Not only on paper but in the back of your head. Players you like. There are players you like that get drafted by other teams. And they could be cut from those teams for whatever reason. So you know who you like, and if players are available and you think they're good enough to help you, you try to acquire those players or bring them in to take a look at them.

AK: There's a lot of talk about you guys trading up in the draft. Is that something that you're interested in or thinking about?

RL: We'd be interested in trading up, yeah. You hear a lot of teams in the draft, especially lower in the draft, really don't want their picks. So yeah. There are six teams in the first round that have multiple picks. Six teams have two picks, so you kind of target those teams. In a draft like this, which like you said is not a great draft, a lot of teams don't want their one pick, so why would they want two? So you talk to those teams, and I think if we can move up, we'll try to do that. Sure.

BK: When you do that, is it just about getting a better player? Does it also have to do with thinking about roster construction one, two or three years down the road in terms of who you'd have to give up to get a higher pick?

RL: A little bit of that, but normally the most important thing is moving up to get the player you want. That's the most important thing. You worry about other things after that. If you think there's a player there that can help you to become a better team, you move five or six spots to get that player. That's what you want to do, you want to improve your team.

AK: Do you guys have the pieces to do that?

RL: It depends on what a team is asking for. It may not be players involved. It may be picks down the road. And we have picks. We have, I think a lot of picks, especially second-round picks, and potentially some good second-round picks in some of the deals we've made with Charlotte, which could be potentially two pretty good picks. I think we have two of their picks going forward in the next couple years. From [Kareem] Rush and Jumaine Jones. So players don't have to be involved, it could be picks. And those picks in the 30s are pretty valuable picks I think.

BK: How much do things like J.J. Redick's recent DUI affect a player's draft status or what you would think about him?

RL: Honestly, it depends on the player. J.J. Redick, I think, is pretty highly thought of in this draft. A guy that you'd say is probably in the top half of the draft. Would that affect his draft status? I don't think very much.

BK: Because he has a strong track record of "good behavior"?

RL: Yeah. I think that and he's the player that he is. Being the player you are determines some of that, too. If the guy's not a very good player, then you look at it a little bit differently I think. If you liked J.J. Redick before this incident, you're probably still going to like him as a player.

BK: You guys could use a shooter.

RL: (laughs) Everybody could use a shooter.

AK: It seems like as a team, you avoid "character questions." Either in trading for guys, signing guys, it tends not to be something you do. Is it something you prioritize highly?

RL: We delve into the backgrounds of players, especially of players you're interested in. Especially if there have been incidents over the course of their careers. You want to bring in good players but you also want to bring in good people that are going to represent your organization the correct way. So that's part of it. Initially, you evaluate kids on skill and ability to play at this level, and if there are some underlying things like a checkered past, you want to check that out and be comfortable with bringing a kid in here.

AK: Even with established players, outside of Isiah Rider about five years ago, I can't think of the last guy who came in who had a long history of issues.

BK: Kwame would probably be the closest thing.

RL: Like I said, even if you're trading for players, signing free agents, or drafting kids, you want to bring in not only good players that you think can help your team, but you want to bring in good people who are going to represent the organization the right way too. Sure.

BK: Who from the current roster do you anticipate playing this summer?

RL: Andrew Bynum. Von Wafer. Devin Green, who's a restricted free agent, has indicated that he's going to play with us in the summer league. And Ronny Turiaf would have played but he's working out with the French national team. He may play with the French national team this summer, so he's working towards that end, getting himself in the best shape he possibly can be in, and he'll start practicing with those guys. I think they start in early July. So he won't be available for the summer league.

BK: What is the process of filling out the rest of the team? Can you start now, or do you have to wait until after the draft?

RL: You can start now with free agent type players. And we have probably eight players already committed to play with us in summer league. We have two draft choices who will play with us in summer league. You take the three kids, the rookies that we had last year, plus the draft picks is five. We've got commitments from other kids that we've seen over the last year or two, whether they were in the draft last year, whether they were minor league players, European players, all of that.

BK: Can you be specific about who they are?

RL: Yeah. Kasib Powell, who was a small forward, played at Texas Tech. He's gonna play with us in summer league. Nile Murry. He's a two guard who played at TCU. I think he transferred in there from Temple. We have a point guard by the name of Doron Perkins, who played at Santa Clara a year ago. Went over and played in Japan this past year. Nick Horvath, who played at Duke. 6-foot-10 kid. He's gonna play with us. Been playing professionally in Australia. And I think that's it.

BK: So that leaves one spot for one of us.

RL: (Trying hard not to shudder at the notion) Yeah, yeah.

AK: Having had Andrew, Von and Devin on the roster for a year, none of them played a whole lot, especially down the stretch. What specifically are you guys looking to see from them in terms of evaluating their progress when they're on the floor in Long Beach?

RL: Well, like you said, those kids haven't played. And they need to play. That's how you get better, by playing. They've been practicing all year, working hard all year. They're here now. We've got our young kids working out in the mornings now. And I think they've all gotten better. We'll see by the summer league. We'll be able to judge by playing against other teams and other players. If they've gotten better and how much they've gotten better. We think they have. I think they're all good kids. I think they all want to get better. But the summer league just gives you an indication if they've gotten better and how much better they've gotten. But the big thing is, those kids have been here all year, but they haven't really played. Practice is not like playing in a game. And they need to play. And so we're going to play as many games as we can, I think maybe eight or nine games in the summer league. And those guys will play the majority of the minutes. And you just like to see them develop and get better going into training camp.

AK: You run the triangle during summer league. Are you evaluating not only how well they learned it as rookies but also how comfortable they are with being the guys that the new players come to with questions?

RL: Sure. Those guys have been around. They've been practicing in this system for a year. They should know it like the back of their hands, really. And we expect those guys to be our best players. The kids you draft, you expect them to be your best players. But you're not only evaluating them, you're evaluating the young guys that you bring in too. The draft choices. The free agent type players. And we'll invite some of those guys to camp with a chance to compete against the guys we had last year to make our team. We're probably going to have three or four spots available, I would think. And those spots are up for grabs, to make our team. To make our roster. Devin Green is a restricted free agent, who we like. We have Von Wafer under contract. Ronny Turiaf's under contract. Both those contracts aren't guaranteed. If somebody comes in here and beats those guys out, then those guys (that got beat out) are probably looking for jobs. And Von Wafer, just because he played last year, he's not assured of being back next year. None of those guys are, with non-guaranteed deals.

BK: Basically, anybody who doesn't have a guaranteed contract through '06-'07 isn't guaranteed to be on the roster in '06-'07.

RL: No. Those guys will go into training camp with us, because they have contracts. But if we bring in other guys that beat them out, then they're looking for jobs some place else.

BK: Kobe's OK, though? Relatively secure?

RL: I think Kobe's OK.

AK: If he has a good camp, shows up with the right attitude...

BK: The mother of all rumors that always gets thrown around is Kevin Garnett coming here. Or guys like Darius Miles and Carlos Boozer. You hear all these names and it's mostly the media, stirring the pot. How much can, or should, people pay attention to things they hear? How much do you guys pay attention to those sorts of rumors?

RL: Well, some things are silly (laughs). Some things you know can never happen. But speaking of Kevin Garnett, Minnesota really holds all the cards. If they decide that they want to trade him, and it all starts with them, I'm sure 20 of the 30 teams in the league will put a proposal on the table. And we would be one of those teams. You'd be stupid not to, I think. Kevin Garnett is still a big-time player in our league and will be for the next two or three years, I think. And if he's available, we're gonna put something out there. Whether it's good enough or not to get him, I don't know. But when a player like that is available, you've got to do almost anything you can to acquire a player like that. But it all starts with them. He's not on the trading block. They've not called us or anyone else and said, "Kevin Garnett is available." So it all starts with them.

BK: So do you pay attention to the reports? Is that sort of how things work, where information get passed around like that, or is it less clandestine?

RL: Yeah, you hear things like that sometimes and you place a call. But like I said, Minnesota, that team, it would come from their own. It's such a big deal. He's such a high level player that I think the owner would have to decide to move him. Like in our case, with Shaquille. It didn't come from us (in the GMs office). We're not gonna move Shaquille. It comes from someone a lot higher than us, to trade a guy like that. So I think the owner of the team is going to get involved before Garnett's out there on the block.

BK: So you don't sit around waiting for Kevin McHale to call?

RL: No.

BK: The free agent class is, like the draft class, considered pretty thin. The team needs backcourt help and has some holes in other places. Is it hard to resist the temptation to overpay or reach in an offseason where there isn't that much available? How do you balance the need to improve the team now against the need to keep your cap and luxury tax situation under control?

RL: I don't think it's real tough. If there's no players out there that you think can help you that deserve it — if you've got mid-level money and you don't think a player deserves mid-level money — we're probably not going to give it to him. I think Earl Watson was an example last year. We liked Earl Watson. He wanted the mid-level for five years, I think it was, and we weren't willing to do that because of a number of things. We had a window where we wanted to have as much money under the cap in two years, so we want to go out more than two years. But I think in a lot of cases you do have to overpay free agents to get them, especially in some places that are not so desirable to play. I don't think Los Angeles is one of those places. I think if you polled players around the league, this is one of the places they'd like to play and live is in Los Angeles.

AK: Guys might cut their salary requests to come here, as a trade-off.

RL: I don't know about that. (laughs) I don't know about that.

BK: We're still talking about NBA players.

AK: Can you talk about free agents you're interested in?

RL: We won't do that, but we're looking more, as we talked about, in the backcourt than in the frontcourt. If you look at the free agents that are available, I think it's pretty easy to figure out who you'd be interested in. Some of those guys you can't acquire. Some of those free agents are going to sign back with their teams, some of those free agents want more money than you have to give. So that eliminates some guys.

AK: What were your impressions of last season? Did the team meet your expectations? Lower? What are you looking for in terms of next year?

RL: You look at the season and I think you judge it on wins and losses, number one. Winning 45 games I think is OK. I'd say it's a little bit below what, if I had to go into the season and pick the number of games we'd win I'd probably have picked two or three more wins, but that's probably nitpicking a little bit. Making the playoffs and going to the seventh game in the first round was a step in the right direction. I think we have to improve upon that this year, and that's what we're looking to do. To become a better team and to improve upon our team because if you look at the Western Conference, there were some teams that didn't play real well this year that are going to be better next year. The Houstons, the Seattles. Seattle won their division (two years ago), and then they kind of stumbled this past season, but those teams are going to improve too. So you have to continue to improve if you're going to be a playoff team, especially out west. It's tough out here. It really is. We were a seven seed last year, can we be a seven seed next year? Hopefully. You want to improve upon that. But we may be a better team and still only be a seven seed because the other teams are improving around us.

BK: You could have a better record, win 48, 49 games, and still be a seven seed.

RL: Yeah. So you want to improve, it's tough to improve, but we think we have a chance to, with our young players getting better. Possibly signing a free agent to help us in the backcourt. You want to win more games, you want to advance farther than you did in the playoffs this past season. So those are the things you measure it against I think.

AK: But was it nice to at least prove wrong those who said you accomplish what you did this season?

RL: That doesn't really matter. You listen to that stuff, but it goes in one ear and out the other. I think we know our team better than a lot of the so-called experts out there. So we're just trying to improve upon where we finished this year.

 
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BK

If you BELIEVE on this guy, for better for worse, stick with him. Don't fickle like many other bloggers: "I really like him but....?" Why GAMBLE based on the opinion of "experts"? Or, are you also one of the experts? (just kiddin').

Go Kobe...Go Odom...Go Bynum...Go STATUS QUO and roll the dice on Mihm, #26 #51, MLE & Bi-annual. Those are my parting summary on my position.

PASSION
passion is the most beautiful thing in the world it is what makes a player get up and play hurt ,it is what atracts attention let me give u examples.ronaldinho s mother flew from brazil in his birthday and his team was getting a draw and needed a goal in extra time and there came a freekick(dont be fooled by the free they are very hard to make )he looked at it stared at it,he wouldnt look at the ball and at anyone everybody knew he was going to shoot it! he shot it! goal ! the team wins !he runs at his crowd gets his shirt half off and start jumping like crazy with 90000 fans screaming at him.same player at 1 am in the morning makes an entire city get up when he gets a fantastic goal.the passion is that they played at 1 am,he tried his best with nothing on the line,90000 people woke up at 1 am to watch a match again passion.people cry on something other consider normal thats is passion and passion is love of something in a way that is outside of the mind it makes u wait for it it makes u never give up it is love of a thing not a person with evrything u got.
like our love to the lakers but 100 times.
zidane s passion to his game brought him attention to detail details.he could open up and break down defences with one pass.passion made thease people the best at what they do and passion is why i love soccer and basketball.
and the most passionet person in the word is kobe he loves the game i have seen more intrest and love in his everymove that a lot of players .he plays with his heart on his sleave. he never gives up he posterizes the best blockers ,he shuts down the best scorers and scores on the best defenders.
the guy with most passion was magic and MJ.kobe is way more talented than MJ wade and LJ.but it was his will that was behing MJ (any doubt of kobe s talent have been erased by him dunking on players like yao ben mutumbo and howard,breaking three point records)his will has surpassed MJ as he is full of hate and determination after hearing shaq and the media call wade the best.after shaq won the title.his passion and his will will drive him to win.kobe s passion is why i love him not why i love the lakers but it is why i beleive that:
kobe is our messiah and will lead us to the promise land.
he will bruch off wade and lebron and melo like he did to TMAC iverson allen carter peirce and any other SG SF and PG in the leaugue that was compared to jordna and to him.
that is why i beleive that with kobe around this team from just watching his shear passion and commitment will become better and the fact that bynum is huge and odom is very talented.

LASTLT, BK if you want to surround Kobe with newcomers and shrubs, why do we need a $ 10 million Coach? Why don't we just let Shaw run the Kobe & 11 Shrubs until 2009?

"D-Wade is a ballhog!" And Kobe ISN'T???

"Shaq is FAT loser!" A fat WINNER, actually.

"Lakers is still the best basketball club in the NBA." That's a joke, right???

Shaq has flipped off his index finger at the Lakers by winning another trophy on another team -deal with it and move on.

Lysander,

I liked your post. I'll start my answer by saying that if the Lakers stay at #26 they should look to draft for speed and quickness. I would then look to pick-up Marcus Banks, if the price is halfway decent (not the full MLE) and on the defensive end I would look to pressure the ball more from a full-court or half-court perspective. I think making the likes of Nash, Parker, Paul and other quick guards work the full length of the court would take away some of their strengths of driving and dishing or picking and rolling in the half-court set.

Of course going with a smaller, quicker guard is against what Phil Jackson has preferred in the past (bigger guards) but the league has changed and I think he's smart enough to realize that. The rule changes made this year really make it easy for a guard to dominate and we need to fight fire with fire.

A deal that has been mentioned numerous times on this blog is a Mihm to Chicago for Duhon (include picks or throw-ins if you wish) and I think that's a great idea. I believe a guard rotation of Kobe, Duhon, Banks, Smush and hopefully with the #26 pick Guillermo Diaz would do us well. There's a lot of speed there but we would be lacking a scorer to compliment Kobe.

I don't think we will be able to address all our weaknesses in this offseason, but I think what hurt us the most last season was stopping the point guards of the league from dominating us (damn you Steve Nash!) and these changes would help alleviate that.

(got summer vacation so u are going to have a lot of purple and gold this summer me and tha lakers)
faith,this is for u girl u asked for it a couple of weeks ago ,well better late than never.(all u guys 2 ,cant remember all the names (wich u pull on half of the consistent bloggers but thats ok we love u guys exept steven and tarugo u cabn go take a hike) )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1IrPCe4DT4&search=lakers
this is great.this why i love the lakers. this is why my blood is made of a litle bit of purple and a litle bit of gold.
PS:(edwin u said worthy was a role player the guy is a hall of famer has his jearsey hung from the staples along all the lakers s legend and has a finals MVP plus he lead the lakers after magic retired,keeping us from lottery but couldnt lead us to a championship.u were way off and undervalued a legend.he is no role player he is a hall of famer.)

Edwin-

I totally understand what you're saying, and like I said, I'm in no hurry to send L.O. on the next train to Somewhereelseville. I just think they have to be open to anything and everything that could make the team better. You don't want to make moves out of panic and take on the wrong contract, but at the same time, you don't want to avoid making a move to improve out of fear.

Like I said, it's not a job I'd want.

As for Jackson and Shaw, I couldn't agree more. I like Jackson and think he is a brilliant coach, but I thought he was a strange hire then. They brought him in because they felt they had to for PR and tix purposes, not because they thought he was going to lead them to a title in the three years of his contract. He's a great coach, but not a necessary one. Is it bad that he's here? I don't think so, but I think Shaw would have been a great choice that set the right tone- i.e. "We're rebuilding, and going to grow as a group."

BK

Edwin,

Before they announced the hiring of PJ, I was very much hoping Shaw would be the guy they'd bring in. I thought he'd be perfect for the team's current position.

As I've said a few times in the past, I've always thought (and still think) that Phil Jackson was an odd hire for a team in transition/rebuilding. Now keep in mind, I didn't say "bad hire." He's one of the best coaches ever and did a very good job with this team, especially with what he has to work with. But that's sort of my point. Bringing in Phil Jackson creates certain expectations that I don't think this core is capable of, at least not as presently constructed. But since PJ usually equals "rings," that doesn't stop people from judging in terms of championships, which puts everyone in an unfair spot. Plus, given Phil's short contract, unless he plans on reupping, he's at odds with the long terms rebuilding process, since he's understandably more wrapped up in the sort term picture.

That's why I thought Shaw would be a nice hire. First and foremost, I think he'll be a great coach someday. He's got rings, he's got respect and he's very smart. He also has a good relationship with Kobe. They get along well (he's known Kobe since he was a kid), but he's also not afraid to stand up to him. And for a team that's expected to be competitive but not title competitive, it's a no harm-no foul situation. If it works, great. Resign him after a few seasons. If it doesn't, the expectations weren't through the roof anyway. You bring in a more established coach when the team's cleared some space and can make some moves for better players. Or the younger guys have turned into better players, whichever comes first.

Just one man's opinion.

AK

Lysander,

Interesting comments about the tri-angle. It seems to me that with Kobe Bryant we really don't need to worry about the type of offense we run. Bryant is going to score anyway. With that said I would scrap the tri-angle in order to allow the likes of Kwame Brown to become more functional offensively. It's been said that Kwame Brown isn't effective as a 4 because of the nature of the tri-angle. Well, if we want to maximize what Kwame Brown can bring to the offense, again, scrap the tri-angle.

Also, the tri-angle has a reputation for being somewhat difficult to incorporate into the mind-set of players who have no experience with it. That would imply that rookies won't be getting much playing time. At this point, with the league wide open, it's almost essential that PJ utilize all the players he has available to him. I mean we can't go another season of not seeing Bynum, Turiaf and even the incoming rookies. To make that easier to acheive, one more time, scrap the tri-angle.

If PJ were to scrap the tri-angle then he can emphasis defense in the coming year. If our defense were up to par that would win a lot of games for us. With that thought we should run a simpler offense. We a simpler offense we could draft a player like Jordan Farmar with the 26th pick. If we stick with the tri-angle Jordan Farmar would be a wasted pick.

I'm not slacking. I'm waiting for the draft and transactions to be completed so I can write my season ending report. Why this and this happened and what needs to be done so it would happen, again.

mike

p.s. Unless Chris Mihm comes in with more weight I think it's best to trade him. If he gained 15 pounds I would keep him.

I'm really against the idea of trading LO for two draft picks. I've posted this before, but I think our best shot at getting young talented players without losing experience is by trading Mihm. Chicago is fiending for a big man that can score, and they need some veteran leadership, so I would trade Mihm, Mckie, and the 26th (if they want it) for Gordon (or Duhon), and Deng. I think they would give us Duhon before Gordon, but either way we get better as a team, but we stay young enough to be contenders (hopefully champs in a couple years) for a while. I see the logic in trading LO, but i'm just against giving away prooven talent for draft picks in an admittedly weak draft. Trading with Chi-Town is our best shot.

PS: I don't know if the salaries work out, but this is my idea.

Just a thought here, but if the Lakers did do the LO for picks trade and the Lakers did suck a little next year, would it be such a bad thing to be in the lottery of the 2007 Draft, which many believe is the best and deepest in years?

That can't be all that bad, especially considering that the 2007 Free Agent market is also one of the best in years. I'm willing to be young and "sucky" next year for that.

Somewhereelseville? Now that was stupid! LOL, J/K.

mike

Edwin Gueco
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Im more against trading Odom then trading him. I was just trying to explain why Lakertom's proposal wasnt bad. I would rather trade Kwame before Mihm or Lamar. Its just that some ppl dont see Lamar as long term Laker with our future "dynasty" (?). Like i said if the Lakers did trade Odom (hopefully Kwame instead) they could get both Roy/Sef (the favs) and a FA this offseason with the bigger cap space. Then (not sure if im right) get another FA next offseason with the expiring contracts (Grant). These are all big unknowns but i think we would still have a possibitlity of signing Lebron or someoen like that. I really like Odom but he might not stay with the Lakers. This means we could easily sign Banks or Terrry and then next offseason still sign a Lebron caliber player. This is why i thought it was appealing. Correct me if im wrong. Not sure if we can afford the 2rooks/1 Fa this offseason/and another Fa next season if we trade Odom(or hopefully kwame).

I can't believe ESPN is labeing their draft "Who will be the next Wade?". It should really say "Who will be the next Shaq to help someone become the next Wade?"

I think the hiring of Phil was an excellent choice by the Lakers. They needed a coach that commanded respect as a coach. It gives Phil an opportunity to show he can teach a young team to the promised land.

i think if the lakers get a title or get close PJ will resign to get that elusive n 10 and get one over red.but if we fail buss wont wanna pay 10 mill to rebuild again neither would phil have the patience,

FYI...Knicks fire Larry Brown just fired and replaced by Isiaih Thomas.

from espn.com

you all know what i mean...

AK:

PJ is the man for the job. He and we should have championship expectations. Being competitive is not enough for an organization like the Lakers. I do like BShaw though. I think he'll be the perfect transition coach once we win another ring or two w/ Phil. I believe Phil will have his contract extended for a couple of more years once we get the first ring.

Andrew Z:

Ok, then explain to me how the Knicks have a $100+ million payroll when the cap is about $50 mill?

AK/BK

Not that I want to thrash my favorite utility man, Brian Shaw, if he took over the reins from Hamlen and/or Rambis, the Laker could have been in the 10th seed in the West just like the year before.

PJ tho' not perfect (ask Mike T.) restored discipline and order with a bunch of benchwarmers like: Cook, Sasha, George and Walton. He gave confidence to a playground player like Smush that he could make it in the big league. He gave a new life to Kwame that there is life after the Wizzard's and he should prove that he is truly a Draft Pick #1. He gave hope to Lamar that he is not a mere crack-user that he could a facilitator and all-around player with Kobe, they could flourish like MJ & Pippen and finally, he MADE peace with Kobe and made him a BELIEVER of his vast talents after the Colorado case, after the quagmire with Shaq, after his relationship with his peers like: Allen, Atkins and Karl Malone. Since PJ arrived, Kobe was at peace with himself and the world around him. That is worth $ 10 Million! a magic wad from the Zen made the Laker fans alive again that WE CAN DO IT!

Finally, if there is no enthusiasm or passion to be a Laker fan, then there is no need to post in the Laker Blogs. I will just read the book of Roland Lazenby and the articles of Eric Pincus about the memories of great years with the Lakers.

Lysander, I think you made great points/questions. I think most people here (not me of course lol) often times focus most on the offensive ends (i.e. Kwame's hands) yet completely ignore the defensive end. The triangle is an offensive system, so there really is no "tweaking" of it in terms of defensive strategies, and as for offensive strategies, I have to say I disagree with others about it. I think the triangle is great offense (once learned which is its drawback)...the triangle exposes lots and lots of scenarios of play, it counters what the opponents does in a way that no other offense can do (again onced learned). But I digress, defensively, I think we have the personnel (mostly) to play great team defense, and if you ask me, that's all we need. Let us not forget that we were scoring points, I'm not sure the record but with Kobe in our team it had to be pretty high. Defensive enforcer players (which I've also been asking for, don't you love the shameless promotion aka th K Bros lol), are needed, but not as much as an actual okay defending guard---I believe that defense is all about effort, and I'm hoping they are in "defensive brainwashing camp" right about now, cause I definitely saw only smidgets of that effort throughout the season. We have to go by priorities, cause like Andrew Z said, our hands our tied, and a glaringly obvious hole in defensive PG is our first/should be our first priority.

Now as for the pick and roll, I think we do have the personnel to counter it. Unfortunately, it's not just about the big going out there to challenge, the small also must not let their player just waltz in, and get a foul on our bigs (i.e. Mihm in the beg of the season). I honestly think that Kwame could be a great defensive player, once he gets it in his head of course. But if you recall, in the Phoenix series, esp game 2 I believe, we were so crisp and pointing all over the place, and talking, honestly I got excited lol...my point being that Kwame can and does step out on picks, the problem is that the switching, which we should have countered with somebody not named Smush. Blocking, and all that will come. Let's not forget we have the A. Bomb coming and he might turn out to be a flop (highly doubtful) but his body is not (we should at least get some us of it defensively lol). We have the tools to make something happen, that's my biggest disagreement with others, I think we have the tools, those lightbulbs just need to be opened and I think PJ is the best coach to do that (star out of star players remember? lol). Have faith in this team, this org, they just might surprise the rest of the world.

P.S. Sorry for the long post, I agree with Edwin, and thanks Purple and Gold (for the clips), we're glad you got the summer off (I unfortunately have a summer school class of Pharmacology, just a lil too much fyi lol)!

It's official. Chad Ford sucks. Someone asked him about what the Lakers are doing with trades and stuff and all he says is "The lakers need a point guard.". Gee, tell us something we don't know!!! He saves his trade rumors for the stupid Insider. If your going to have a decent chat, you should answer the question and not hold back any information. Why even have a chat?

Certainly he knows a little more about the Lakers then "oh I think they need a point guard." Give me a break!


Wade by himself - No playoffs.
Shaq by himself - second round.
Shaq making Wade look like the MVP - priceless.

This blog is being runned by negative people im out of here call me back when you guys have something good to say for now bye.

Ok LakeMan, we have some good things to say now. Come on back.

WAKING UP IN LAKERVILLE THE DAY AFTER...

As I woke up to a beautiful morning in NorCal, my first thought was to review where I really stood with respect to the great debate and big questions confronting us on the Lakers Blog.

Here are my thoughts:

(1) OUR WINDOW FOR WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH KOBE BRYANT WILL LAST AT LEAST ANOTHER 8 YEARS.

---Kobe Bryant won his three rings when he was 22, 23, and 24 years old. He is now 28 years old and entering his prime with five years remaining on his contract. He will be 32 years old when his contract expires and could easily play another 4 or 5 years if healthy. This means that Kobe could well play 9 or 10 more years for the Lakers.

---Michael Jordan won his first three of six rings when he was 28, 29, and 30 years old. He won the second three of six rings when he was 33, 34, and 35 years old.

(2) THE LAKERS ARE AT LEAST TWO MORE GOOD PLAYERS FROM BEING ABLE TO COMPETE FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP.

---The Lakers finished last season strongly and showed in the playoffs that they were a far better team with more potential than most thought before the season began. Nevertheless, the team still needs to add a srong 1-on-1 defender at point guard and a shot-blocker at power forward to help improve the team's overall defense.

---The teams ahead of the Lakers in the standings in the Western Conference all are poised to be tougher to beat next year, with injured players returning and younger stars maturing.

(3) THE NBA IS UNDERGOING A MAJOR SHIFT IN POWER AND THE ROAD TO A CHAMPIONSHIP IS WIDE OPEN.

---There was a major shift in power in NBA with many young star players and teams emerging and many older players and established teams fading.

---The NBA playoffs were the most competitive playoffs ever, with almost all of the first round matches going to 7 games and two teams that never made it to the Finals playing for the championship.

---A faster paced run and gun style of play began to spread across the NBA, with a greater emphasis on athletic guards and perimeter oriented players.

(4) THERE IS NO WAY THE LAKERS CAN ADD THE PLAYERS THEY NEED THIS YEAR WITHOUT MAKING A MAJOR TRADE.

---The new CBA changes made it much easier for teams to retain their own free agents and much more difficult for teams over the salary cap to sign free agents, resulting in a renewed focus on the importance of the draft and developing and growing your own players.

---The current free agent and draft crop are among the weakest in years, mostly due to the changes in the CBA that prevented high schoolers from going straight to the NBA and resulting in many superstar players signing extensions rather than becoming free agents.

---The Lakers are currently over the salary cap and cannot add sign a free agent for more the $5M MLE until 2007/8. The only first round pick they have is the #26 they got from Miami in the Shaq trade and the players that could help immediately will not be available by that pick.

If these four assumptions are true, what do we do?

I think we have three choices:

(1) We bite the bullet and essentially stand pat and wait for Brian Grant's $15M contract to go off the books after next year, when we would have cap space to sign a top-level free agent. We try and sign Marcus Banks with our MLE and hope he can help our woes at the point.

---This means we will probably struggle again to make the playoffs and get past the first round. We wait a year for Grant's $15M contract to expire and continue to develop what we have and hope.

(2) We trade Chris Mihm and our 26th pick to the Bulls for their 16th pick and Chris Duhon and draft Thabo Sefolosha to be our point guard of the future.

---This means we rely more on Kwame Brown as our center and hope that Duhon and Thabo can solve our point guard problem. We wait a year for Grant's $15M contract to expire and continue to develop what we have and hope.

(3) We trade Lamar Odom to the Bulls for their #2 and #16, draft Brandon Roy and Thabo Sefolosha, and use the cap space we get to sign Bonzi Wells or Jason Terry as a free agent guard and either save the rest of the cap space or maybe sign Al Harrington as a free agent forward.

---This means that we get younger and add three or four good players, and flexibility but probably have to struggle as they adapt to the triangle. It is possible that the team would be stronger in the short term as well as the long term.

That's what I am thinking right now. What do you guys think? Thanks.

Everyone needs to come down, da blog, is just doing it's job, examining ALL scenarios. I'm not saying trade, or whatnot...but these are all possibilities that we can do. Frankly I believe (and have said numerous times) that we should stay as we are with some tweaking, and if we suck by the trade deadline, blow it up...but that's not to say I'm not interested in the possibilities of other scenarios. Like I said before, the Sky is not falling, the Lakers will be fine, rememeber what Ronnie said, "I think we know our team better than a lot of the so-called experts out there"---and they're sticking with this core (for lots of reasons, not just money), so obviously they see something of what we the optimists see. Let's not forget the "highlights" of the previous season, the snippets of what we can become and what we can grow to---the chemistry we're developing, the growth we've gone through in game 4 alone. Let's also not forget we have Kobe, and what he brings (a lot)---he himself makes a team a great in my opinion, he's certainly got enough drive and passion for everyone (they just need to embrace it). Go Lakers!

Its about time I voiced my opinion of these finals. It sucked! Kobe would have averaged 50 in the same situation: Shaq in shape and deferring. Honestly you guys know that Shaq deferred in this series on purpose. It wasn't because he wasn't physically able to. He had a lot more in the tank than he showed. He wanted Wade to be the MVP of the finals from the very start. It was so obvious. He could have gotten 20/10 easily.

Shaq was going to take over only when he absolutely needed to.

Kobe would have averaged 50 in this series if he was in Wade's position.

Also Riley is the better motivator but Phil is the better coach. I'll never forget the speech Riley gave when magic retired. One of the greatast ever.

On that note, who did Riley have to motivate? Every key player on that team didnt need any motivation. They got up everyday - motivated.


AK/BK..

Got a question for you guys...can we couple our Bi-Anual salary exception with our Mid-Level?? If so, can we use that entire amount to retain ONE free agent??

I bring this question along as I have been reading all the posts in regards to trading Lamar, etc. If we could use our Mid-Level together with our Bi-Anual exception, we would have roughly 6.15 mil. in availible salary space.

Would it be such a bad idea to sign a guy like Al Harrington, then explore your options for trade.. If we definatley had an Al Harrington type player waiting in the wings if we traded Lamar, or trade Al, and get a decent PG to run the show.

Anyway, let me know if we can do any of that.

Thanks!

The only way the Lakers could really get a player over the MLE, would be to do what they did with Rick Fox. Have Him sign on this year for the MLE and the promise to take care of him in the future since they could then go over the luxury cap when they resign him. I believe this is true, but feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

It just seems like we really are a player or two from seriously competing and if we assume that the players we have actually do improve, that makes us at least 6 or 7 wins better this year than last.

phantom

LakerTom,

THE NBA IS UNDERGOING A MAJOR SHIFT IN POWER AND THE ROAD TO A CHAMPIONSHIP IS WIDE OPEN.

That is the truth. Both the Miami and Dallas teams were weak. Miami wouldn't have gotten past Detroit if the Pistons would have had just one more bench player.

Dallas would never have gotten past San Antonio if the Spurs Tim Duncan was completely health.

Those two teams playing for the Championship this year were pretenders. The league is truely wide open.

mike

Dave:

No, you cannot combine the MLE with the BAE. It is expressly prohibited. Sorry.

Mike T:

That is the probably the main factor besides wasting Kobe's prime years that pushes me to want to do something major. So maybe we have a better chance to compete for a ring that everyone thinks.

On the other hand, I don't think the road to the Finals in either conference will be as easy. In the West, the Mavs and Suns will definitely be better. The Spurs are reloading. If the Queens resign Bonzi, they will be tougher, having Artest for the full year.

In the East, Miami will have a shot to repeat if Alonzo returns, especially with the "Wade Rules" now in effect. The Cavs will be better for sure as LeBron tries to match Wade. The Pistons will also reload for sure.

As you said, this was the year to be lucky, as the Mavs and Heat proved. Next year will be a lot harder but nevertheless wide open.

Shady,

I know your position that you will defend Lamar against at all odds. I'm just answering the alternative of doomsayers that the Lakers will have no chance at all if we don't infuse new blood. Shady, if you just review the players of Lithuania, Argentina, Italy, France, Spain this coming FIBA games there are so many UNKNOWN players there that we can tap better than Selofosha and I am positive 50% of those players there are willing to play with Kobe in HOLLYWOOD (That's the connotation of LA in the outside world.) The way I look at it, our foreign scouts depend their scouting on hearsay or ME-TOO theory, I will imitate what Spurs are doing so we draft Sasha......oh yeah, there is this Bargnani, or Selofosha or Rodriguez etc. How come you don't know them last year or the year before?

Faith,

With all pronosticators around us of doom and gloom in the next three years, all I have to say we still have "FAITH" logging in the blogs and I have faith with PJ, Kobe, Lamar, Bynum, Turiaf and the shrubs that they can wither the challenge ahead.

Lakeman,

AK & BK are not negative and so with the other bloggers, they just paint REALITY which often stinks. Unfortunately, basketball is not played in the boardroom of corporations or in a blackboard of x's and y's, you still have to play the game to win it. If the experts always pick the winner,(we'll just ask Adande, T.J. Simers & Plasche on who will be winner in every game) the reality is that everyone has a chance to win, it all boils down on who's hungrier?

MAGIC=GOAT,

There were quite a few contracts on the Knicks books prior to the new Collective Bargainning Agreement that was instituted in 2005. They had that large payroll before hand and it's just carried through. Now, they keep it that high by trading players like Penny Hardaway and his expiring contract for expensive players like Steve Francis who have more years at big money.

The Knicks also can not go out and sign a free agent for more than the MLE. I think they are over the cap for the next five years or something and that's why you hear all the doom and gloom about that franchise, they just can't go out and sign good players because of their cap situation. The don't give a rip about the luxury tax since James Dolan has tons of cash and doesn't care, but they ain't signing any good free agents anytime soon.

LakerTom,

Great post.

BK said it best when he said he wouldn't want to be the GM right now. I think it's an interesting time with the Lakers franchise and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to ride basically the same team until at least the All-Star break. There is a lot that can happen between now and then and we should have a good gauge on the team's abilities.

However, I think it should be a priority of this team to either move up in the draft or get more picks. As you stated teams are much better served drafting well and developing their talent internally than trying to go out and get someone in free agency. The league is structured in such a way that players are rewarded more by sticking with their own teams.

Andrew Z.

J Dolan doesn't care about the tax but our owner does. Can you blame him? As a matter of fact, yeah, I can. It's not how far over that cap we are, the bottom line is what's Jerry B taking home after a ticket increase? Why do we know what the players make and not the owners? Same game, different players.

Edwin-

I agree that PJ helped them get in this year, and I think he's done a good job. Like I said, I don't think it's bad he's here, but bringing him back changed the context of the conversation. Where PJ goes the expectation of titles follow. A certain type of team often follows. The Lakers were in a totally different position. You can make a good arguement that they needed to tear the whole thing down and start over.

I think it's great that they made the playoffs this year. It was good for fans, it was good for whoever might be around when they get really good again- not sure who that'll be, but still...

But I've always thought that beyond that, it didn't really matter if they made the playoffs last year. Much of the roster won't be around after next summer anyway, and they aren't in a position to add the pieces to turn this group into a championship one. They needed, whether they made the playoffs or not, to try and figure out who can play, who can't, who they might want to keep, who they don't. Get the kids to play hard, try to play smart, and see what happens. PJ actually did a great job with that, in my estimation. And while I agree a rookie coach in B. Shaw wouldn't have done as well in the win column, I think he would have been successful in the other categories.

I hope I'm wrong about next season. I hope they can find the pieces, that things come together faster, etc. It's more fun around town when they win. But hey, I'm supposed to call it like I see it, so that's what all this is. I'm actually optimistic about the future, I just don't think the future is next season.

BK

Also, my understanding is you can't combine the bi-annual and the MLE. Granted, these rules are so arcane it's hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure about that one.

BK

LakerTom,

I come to like your thoughts because you have the passion to win but you're confused on which path to take to be a winner. Being in the NorCal, sometimes you always have a nice and cool breeze, you need to inhale some of our SMOG in the skid row to learn how to survive in the big leagues. I noticed your fascination of Bonzi and Selofosha. We have seen Bonzi when he was in Portland together with Brian Grant, with all their abilities assembled by MSN creator, Paul Allen you should have seen their faces when they lost the 7th game after leading 15 points in the last quarter. Perhaps, Bonzi is a new person now with his old body. Sacto will always compete with their nemesis, the Lakers but as long as Kobe is around, have faith...we know how to win against Sacto. Undoutedly, you may be correct with your vision but to us here living among the peddlers of Laker hats and t-shirts in the corner of Figueroa and 11th Street, we only have faith and passion that PJ, Kobe + Lamar and the new Bynum = Championship-in-the-making. We don't think of WHAT IF?

Vman,

Honestly, I'm in Dr. Buss' corner. Since when is obligated to spend all of his money to make us happy? He puts a product on the floor and people pay for it. I also think it's wrong to start calling him the next Donald Sterling. The man has been the best owner the city has ever seen and the simple fact that we made the playoffs last year and had what I believed to be an entertaining season in the middle of a major rebuilding (don't believe it's not) says a lot about his leadership.

I for one would spend my money as judiciously or more so than Dr. Buss. And who are we to need to know what Buss takes home? It's a private business, he has every right to do what he wants with his money. If you don't like the product he's presenting go watch another team, its that simple. I was definitely entertained this past season and don't regret one bit the time I spent watching, talking about, or crying over the Lakers.

LakerTom; I am 100% in agreement with making the Odom trade if we can get Terry. We can do a combo of things with Chicago, we can go #2 and Gordon or #2 & #16 or maybe go Deng and #2 or hienrich and the #16. all are contigent on getting a good FA like Terry or Harrington. the bottom line is a a 4 for 1 deal with two seasoned players and 2 up and coming athletic rookies. You have to consider that if it can be done.

An additional thought to my trade proposal for Darius Miles. If we were to do this trade we could play Miles at the 3 spot. Odom could play the 1. Isn't that what he does best? Handle the ball? And PJ gets what he wants, a big guard.

mike

well i saw the one purple and gold put up and i liked it, i found this one...hope u all like it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I8NbJWDcjM

Go Lakers

kobe's the worlds greatest

Why is everyone obsessed with D Miles? What has he done for ANY team? He is a tweener role player

AK/BK
What are the chances of us getting Harrington??
Would he come for the MLE?

Anyone know who the non superstar FAs are after next season??

WOW

I guess if there is nobody else on the team BUT Kobe you have to defend him. The reality is, players AGENT will support a player that is a FREE AGENT to play with Kobe on the Lakers, nor the dealings of a Mitch Kupchak. One look at the type of numbers put up by everyone not named Kobe would be a turnoff to an Agent or the player he is representing.

With Kobe taking 25-35 shots can diminish a players chances at negotiating a larger amount for the NEXT contract. Financially it would make no sense for a Free Agent that is not trying to rehab their image to play on a team with Kobe Bryant. Look at the type of seasons Lamar Odom has had since playing along side of Kobe. Lamar went from second round playoffs with the Miami Heat to one and done with Kobe and the Lakers this past season.
Two options exist Trade Kobe Bryant, or FIRE Mitch Kupchak.

OUT!!!
the Truth

Andy B,

The chances of getting Al Harrington for the MLE? Slightly worse than Shaq demanding a trade back to L.A. haha

AK

Steven
What is your purpose here?

Do I go into your store and tell YOU how to bag groceries??

Michael Teniente,

Like your posts, very educated. That being said, why do you like Miles so much?? He sturggled in LA, flat out failed in Cleveland, and hasn't done anything to write home to Mom about in Portland.

I guess my whole problem with a guy like him is, he is NO proven winner. When PJ took on Rodman in Chicago, it wasn't that much of a stretch seeing as how Rodman had won a couple of rings and knew what it took to be at the top. You just can't say that about Darius.

Last season was telling in alot of ways, one of them being you need Hi-I.Q. players to play in Phils system. That is Lamar's whole problem...exremely talented, but not very high B-ball I.Q. (didn't make proper cuts, passes, shots, etc, etc.) With a guy like Darius Miles who didn't even play the ONE year of college that Lamar did, I think everybody involved is asking for trouble. Also, Miles "thinks" he is much better than he is. Tons of D-Leaugers jump out-of-the-gym, but that doesn't mean they ever get called up.

In essence, I can't see trading anybody on our team for a guy like Miles unless you are planning a larger trade and need him for bait..then go ahead!

The only real moves to be had by us are to try and get what we can for Mihm and let next season play out. I really thought we had a helluva shot at the Conf. Finals this year, so if we can sign a Banks or something, we should see a rapid assention up the ranks. I really don't think ANY team (save the Hawks) are THAT far away from a championship.

P.S. I think the Lakers would have beat the Heat in 6 had we got to the finals. We DO have the best 2 gaurd since that bald guy.

Dave,

I know Miles hasn't done anything, yet. My feeling is that he was with teams that were too young (the Clippers) and with no real foundation (Cleveland). Put him in Los Angeles (the Lakers) with Bryant, Odom as leader and he will develop into a player who can be very effective. With Bryant and Odom he doesn't need to be a star. Less pressure. Also, he was very young with the Clips and the Cavs. I think he might be maturing right around now. Plus with Bryant, Odom, and Brown on the defensive end Miles would be very effective on the defensive end, too.

mike

I like the fact that we are already at some hundred something posts in like, the second day or something.

I especially like the fact that everyone is exploring all options, I think its because we all really care.

We know and the team knows this team more than any expert out there, and although we are not experts, we all know that sticking with the core of this team is going to be the best thing we are going to do this offseason. That is why I'd rather listen to you all comment, becuase when it comes to the OUR team, we know better than most, WE Laker fans, are truly of another breed.

Ok Michael T. So how much will Miles cost us?

With the trade of Mihm, Cook, and Walton in my proposal we still might be over the cap but it won't be that much. I think Buss needs to go over the cap even if it's only a million or two. I haven't checked the numbers but the combined salaries of the 3 lakers should make it about right.

mike

With the condition of the team right now we have to be creative in order to get what we want, but not stupid (sorry could not find a better word, it wasnt directed towards anyone). I do agree that the core needs to stay intacted with Kobe, that means you Odom, Bynum, Walton Kwame, Ronny, and even Smush and Mihm. If we are going to make a move its the guys we can trade are all the guys left from that list. Now Mihm is our Best movable piece, therefore he can move into the tradeable status if we can get a good deal only.

Mike-

I'm not a proponant of bringing Miles in (terrible fit for the offense), but I will agree with you on one point- he can't possibly be worse from a maturity standpoint here than he's been in Portland. (hahaha)

BK

Michael T.,

I do understand your thinking behind the Miles trade, I am just wondering what we would have to give up to get him. If we had a couple more desirable assests that we could afford to loose to get him, OK. As it stands the risk/reward for a SF/SG seem a little high.

I was all for getting Kwame last year beacuse he is the positional player that we needed most. It is just my gut that Portland is going to try and pry an Andrew Bynum or a Luke Walton to get him. It may not sound like a ton to give up for a player of his considerable talent, however, I think our team started to jell the best with Odom at 4, Kwame at 5, Luke at 3, Kobe at 2, and Smush.

I think our real weekness is a two part thing consisting of in-experience last year, and an incompitent PG.

Smush to me is a complete liability on defense, and his shot selection is questionable at best. I know we didn't have any other choice, and considering the circumstance, we could have been WAY worse off. Either way, Smush is not the type of player to start for the Lakers, and I'm not so sure we will even find the "right" guy in Free Agency.

Has anybody thought of a small trade with Boston that might land us Dickau??? He showed real poise with the Hornets after the Baron Davis trade, and was buired in Boston last year. He would be a good addition to a "thinking man's" backcourt that Phil loves.

Ok, my sunbath is calling me. What a life! Later!

mike

Steven

Why are you here?

Heat has won.. Wade is the MVP...

What else??? Do you feel unwanted and that is why you come here on our LAKERS BLOG...

Get this straight, you dumb head... Kobe is Lakers foundation right now.. IF you do not like it, buzz off... We at the blog are here beacause we want to put our constructive thoughts here and update ourselves witht he latest news.

LAST TIME... BUZZ OFF STUPID

Michael T,

i was one the other day proposing a deal that involved bringing Miles to LA, but if you look at his contract, not just the cost this next season, but how long it is, it's just a bad risk to take. His history is rough to say the least and if it failed his trade value would be even lower than it is now, which is hard to believe.

The Lakers took a risk on bringing in Kwame with his baggage, but the upside to the kid was far greater than Miles and he is only under contract for two more years.

I wish there was a player we could throw the full MLE at, but even though we need a PG I wouldn't give Banks all the money. i would guess the Lakers take a point with the #26 pick and maybe even trade up to get Rajon Rondo who is lighting quick and a great defender (try to ignore that he quite possibly is the worst shooter in the draft).

Anyway, I'm all for trading for picks or doing nothing at all. We can't go all Isaiah on this thing and start bringing in a bunch of expensive pieces that don't fit just because Shaq won a ring.

Has anyone thought about what you guys have been saying and combining that with the 08 fa planif we sign marcus banks and keep L.O. then draft any position all we have to do is keep our team together. start Banks Kobe Luke Odom and Kwame then have Mihm Leave at the end of the season. Then Bynum will be ready to start cuz it will be the 07/08 season and artest will be in the last year of his contract with Mihm and Grants contract off the books we could trade Kwame for Artest cuz it will be his last season in sacto and he'd want to leave plus Sacto would do it cuz artest would be ready to walk and Kwame would be finally developed as a decent player and be in a contract year (Ithink). So our linup would be
pg-Banks/Smush
sg-Kobe/Profit/Kareem
sf-Artest/Luke/kareem
pf-Odom/Turiaf
C-Bynum/Douthit/turiaf
thats probably the plan for the lakers. Kobe will barely be 30 or 31 and Jordan still was dominanat until he was like 38 and was decent in his years with the wizards so Kobe would still have good years left in him and Odom on the squad takes pressure off of Kobe as well as bynum as well as Artest as well as banks so we'd be a great defensive team(Artest, Banks, Kobe, Bynum) and offensive (KOBE, odom, bynum) no teams would be able to match up with us the Lkaer dynasty could be back that fast so Just hold ion and wait to see what happens.....

Lance.P

I have always liked Michael T. reasononing with bringing in Miles if it works, and it would be even better if we could get something else with. I think Walton shouldnt be moved though, throw in Mckie instead.
Honestly, the only good we are going to get out of Mckie is to package him in a trade, and I like Mckie too.

We need to get creative this offseason. Somebody said earlier, teams are trying to take advantage of us by offereing us trash, So I say we need to be be the ones controlling our own situation and play the offseason for our plans.

The ESPN guy says a GS rumor is LO/McKie for Dunleavy, Murphy and the #9. Let's say by some chance it's kinda true (don't think the salaries work), but what if we turn around and trade Mihm and the acquired #9 for the Chi #2? I think the Bulls would have to at least consider that one. That would give us a chance at B. Roy(Phil's boy). We could start '6/'07 w/:

Banks/Smush/Roy
Kobe/Sasha
Dunleavey/JJ/Walton
Murphy/Turiaf
Brown/Socks

I'm not crazy about Dunleavey, and Murph always seems to get hurt once a year, BUT we stay young, good triangle players and we get the future stud(?) in Roy to pair w/ Bynum. I know it would absolutely kill any cap room for the forseeable future. At the very least, Murph/Dunleavey would equal LO's output. BUT the Lakes can't miss on Roy if that's their guy. Plus we could always send Dunleavey down the hall to Daddy if he continues to be a bust.

Phil was brought in to recapture the headlines in LALA land, and was the best "free agent" available that wouldn't hit the salary cap. I too wasn't sure if it would work w/ Kobe, but now it seems that the relationship is a good one.

I too agree that we need to trade our asset now (Mihm) because we won't sign him in '07.

Hey Dave, I liked the Dickau idea, I remember posting it once after we lost game 7, I actually thought Devean George would be a good fit in Boston, so if it worked out we could work a sign and trade that could bring him and maybe more, like their pick or something. Dickau is not the best defender and he didnt play because of injury, but he's solid PG and can shoot. its an idea especially if we could land their pick if they dont want it.

Andrew Z:

We are the 2nd largest media market and I'm telling you, Jerry Buss has the money to go way over the cap...

from Forbes.com (12/22/05)

Team Value1 $ 529 mil (#2)

1-Yr Value Chg. 4%
Ann. Value Chg. 13%
Debt/Value 10%
Revenue $156 mil
Operating Income $38.2 mil
Player Expenses $66 mil
Gate Receipts $60 mil

The skinny
The Lakers missed the playoffs for the first time since 1994 last season. The team had been generating as much as $20 million annually from it's frequent deep runs in the playoffs. Don't cry for owner Jerry Buss as the team remains one of the NBA's most profitable, despite being merely a tenant in their building, albeit an important one. Billionaire Philip Anschutz controls the Staples Center and owns hockey's Los Angeles Kings and 30% of the Lakers. The Lakers keep about 25% of luxury suite and club seat revenue. It adds up though when one club seat or "premier seat" in Staples parlance goes for $19,000 for the year.


The gate receipts alone = the payroll and ticket prices are being raised for next year. Debt to value is only 10%. For every dollar the team's value goes up, only 10 cents goes to debt. And like the numbers prove, the deeper the Lakers go in the playoffs, the more money he makes. I love Jerry Buss, but he needs to spend more.

Draft Express just released a study of the chances of picking a star player or solid starter in the first round of the draft. The study analyzed the first round drafts from 1980 to 2001 looking at draftees progress after being in the league for 5 years. The results are very interesting:

(1) THERE IS A 50% CHANCE OF DRAFTING A STAR OR STARTER IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE FIRST ROUND.

---70% of the guys picked in the top 7 slots were stars or soldid starters. This dropped to 43% for the 8 to 15 slots, 24% for 16 to 22 slots, and 18% for the 22 to 30 slots.

(2) THE BIGGER THE PLAYER, THE BIGGER THE CHANCE THAT HE WILL BE A BUST - REGARDLESS OF POSITION.

---Drafting big men (4's & 5's) carried the biggest risk of getting a bust, wing players (2's & 3's) a little less chance, and point or combo guards the least chance of a bust, with a bust defined as the player being out of the league within 5 years. Interestingly, none of the point or combo guards drafted in the top 7 was a bust.

(3) GOOD OR GREAT WING PLAYERS (2's & 3's) CAN BE FOUND ANYWHERE IN THE TOP HALF OF THE FIRST ROUND.

---60% of the Wing players selected in the first half of the first round became stars or starters, including 26% of those drafted in slots 8 to 15.

Here is a link to the complete study:

http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=1362

Kobe Update from Pittsburgh:

Just read a columnist in Pittsburgh that said that Kobe has recently sold his motorcycle, so we don't have to worry about a Ben Roethlisberger incident. Kobe says he now spends his spare time doing crossword puzzles and browsing the Lakers Blog. Just kidding about the blog.

Go, Kobe.

Like rawjaw bell, stephanie (aka steven) needs a hug. ignore that fool and his bed buddy tarugo...oops...sorry...i mean pendejo.

Mike T., while you were sunbathing like Marc Anthony w/ Cleopatra, I try to reconcile the salary of your choices:

Exhibit I Trade only MLE & B/A not feasible

Darius M. $7.75M

Mihm $ 4.2M
Cook 1.5
Walton 1.2
Total $6.9 they're short of $ 0.85 & 2 players

Can Darius M really replace these three players?

Exhibit II Trade only MLE & B/A not feasible

Bonzi $ 8.0M

Mihm $ 4.2M
Cook 1.5
Sasha 0.98
Total $ 6.68 Sacto is short of 1.3

Exhibit III Trade only MLE & B/A not feasible

Harrington $6.8

Mihm $ 4.2
Cook 1.5
Sasha 0.98
Total $ 6.68 short only of $ 0.12 & two players. If CELTIC Bird will agree that's close to reality.

Exhibit IV Trade MLE & B/A feasible

Duhon $ 3.0
#16

Mihm $ 4.2
#26

Difference of $ 1.2M negotiate for future 2nd draft pick for the Lakers - Very Feasible if GM Paxton agrees.

Exhibit V MLE & B/A only

Claxton $3.6 MLE plus with option of multi-year renewal in '08 depending on performance

Banks $ 1.8 B/A plus option of multi-year renewal starting '08 based on performance


**If Mihm is traded, we get a lower draft pick, if not, we exercise our #26 & #51 plus Summer League candidates.

**projected to be on the way out:
George
Green
JJ
Von Wafer

* Salaries can be absorbed if good player could replace:
Smush $

Hey "theprune"

"So if he did outplay Smush why isn't he given playing time. I mean the best thing i've ever seen Von do is this."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7_4J44cdwo&search=Von%20Wafer

That was a great clip. Way to go, backing up your argument with solid evidence. Love to see more substantiation for claims on the blog.

if Banks really wants to BE a Laker, he would do what someone said Rick Fox did earlier, sign for little money, he plays well, we'll take care of him later.

Edwin:

Thanks for the props. Sorry about the smog, man. That's why I moved from SoCal to NorCal. But I do feel your pain. I grew up in the smog listening to Chick do broadcasts of Lakers games and also watching 11:00 p.m. reruns of Dick Enbert calling UCLA Bruin games during Coach Wooden's days. I think I've played pickup games in every gymn in SoCal from Pasadena to Watts to Long Beach. So I am definitely a SoCal BB guy. I hate the Warriors and go to see the Lakers whenever they are in town.

The reason I am such a Bonzi fan is because of how tough he always was for Kobe to guard in the box. I have these visions of seeing him destroy Nash, Parker, and Terry and the other pesky little point guards that Smush could not crush. Did you see him play for the Queens against the Spurs? You have to give the guy his due. He is as tough a player as there is in the league, including Artest. I just think he has elevated his game to another level and would create nightmare matchups for our opponents if he were on the Lakers.

Regarding Thabo, I think he is the perfect match for what the Lakers need and the Lakers should seriously consider moving up to get him. The reports from his workouts and 1-on-1's against other draft prospects have been raving. It is rare that you find a guy really prides himself on his defense first, but that is Thabo. I just received a few short videos of Thabo in the French All-Star game a couple of seasons ago, including a great block on a guy trying to dunk a fast break. I think the key to the Lakers getting better has to be guys that want and can play defense.

I have appreciated your intelligent posts and calm in the eye of the storm. Keep up the good posts. Go Lakers.

THE KOBE BRYANT & ANDREW BYNUM RUN:

I would like to reemphasize a point I made in my long post earlier today regarding Kobe and Bynum anchoring a future run of Laker championships.

When Kobe's current contract runs out, Andrew Bynum will hopefully be a 23-year-old 6-year vet who is our starting center. When Kobe signs an extension to finish his career as a Laker, he will be 33 years old, which is the same age that Jordan was when he began his 2nd run of 3 championships.

This is why trading Bynum, if you believe he will become the player we expect, to win now does not make sense. He potentially represents Kobe's 3rd run of championships. We started with Kobe & Shaq and will end with Kobe & Big Baby. The question is whether Kobe & Lamar can be upgraded enough for us to enjoy a middle run of championships.

Kobe Bryant - 9 Time NBA Champion - That is what we Laker fans really want.

"Brian Kamenetzky- You talked about how scouting isn't an exact science. Who is a guy that you thought would be great that didn't pan out....."
"Ronnie Lester- That's a tough question. You can go back. I can't name anybody off the top of my head...."

man, that IS a tough question. the only guys i could think of were sasha, brian cook, kareem rush, devean george, tyron lue, mark madsen ....basically, almost every first rounder the lakers have picked in the last 8 yrs.

Posted by: wiZo

wiZo,

You sure got that right. From your previous posts, it is hard to imagine that you would not do a better job than the horrendous drafting of the Laker crew.

Look up the stats for the guys Lester mentioned as being invited to summer camp. Kasib Powell,5 games with Chicago, .333 FG%, 3.8 ppg.
Nile Murry, senior year at Texas Tech, 37.2% FG%.
Doron Perkins, DNP 2005/2006; 2004-2005 for Santa Clara, .401 FG%, .313 3P%, .644 FT%.
Nick Horvath, last played 2004, 1.9 PPG in 6.4 Min/G, down from 3.9 PPG in 2003.

You really have to hand it to our creative management and scouting team! They really go for "the intangibles" in picking talent, with results like you have mentioned in the past 5 years or so drafting the Lakers into a downward spiral.

Meanwhile I spent some time simply looking at the list of players available for this years draft, at nba.com
http://www.nba.com/draft2006/profiles/byStatus.html

players listed by postion. Check it out. You can find around 20 guards with fg% above 45%, 3P% above 38%, PPG above 15 or so, FT% above 80%,etc, with great reviews of their strong points. Same thing with forwards: lots of guys in 6'8'' to 6'11 range, with close to double double numbers, many with 18+ PPG, above 50% FG%. All with rave review scouting reports, "can really run the floor", "great around the offensive glass", "nice mid range touch", "aggressive rebounder", etc. This is why it is so amazing to see, year in, year out, the Lakers never seem to get any of those guys. (Although, I still have high hopes for Turiaf. And Bynum may come through one of these days. Jury still out.) Let's not even talk about deals for ancient players with injuries who never even play, like Vlade, Grant, and Mckee last year.

WiZo, keep up the good work and hold them accountable---somebody has to.

Zen,

With all due respect (and props)to Shaq, he didn't make D-Wade "look like an MVP" - D-Wade did an excellent job of that by himself.

If anything, D-Wade made Shaq look much better than he actually played (only 9 points in the clencher game?? - and don't even get me started on the atrocious free-throw shooting aside from Game 4)

Don't get me wrong. I still like and admire Diesel and, I laugh my a-- off at every interview he gives. But, let's face the facts - he is not the dominant player he once was. If he deferred to Wade in the Finals series, it was due, not only to his fondness for Wade and his desire to win but because he really had no choice. If not for Wade, not only would Miami NOT have won the championship, they would most likely have been swept.

Shaq was THE MAN in the Laker Three-peat but, he rode D-Wade's back to his 4th trophy (like some say David Robinson rode Tim Duncan's).

LOL - do you think Shaq deliberately missed all those free throws to make Wade look better?

Here's a thought: What if the Lakers had traded KOBE to Miami for D-Wade and a couple of incidental players and kept Shaq instead?

I put this proposal up a few weeks ago, maybe a month.

Lakers trade Chris Mihm to Chicago for Duhon and their 16th pick.

The Lakers trade Duhon, Cook, and Walton to the Blazers for Miles and Steve Blake.

We get Miles, Blake, and the 16th pick for Mihm, Cook and Walton.

mike

Good interview, although I'm still sick to my stomach to see guys like Antoine Walker and Jason Williams celebrate an NBA championship...Remember when Shaq called Phil the greatest coach ever? Funny thing is, he seemed to forget this when saying that Pat Riley and another coach who's name I forgot was mentioned as the greatest coaches he's ever played for. Another thing that pisses me off is that Pat Riley stated that he would trade all his NBA rings for this one. To me, I take that as a sly, indirect slap to the face as a Laker fan...This was one of the weirdest/unpredictable playoffs I have ever seen. I truly wonder if the Heat are legit champs. Although the Heat benefitted from some friendly officiating, Dallas couldn't get the job done. There half court offense is terrible!! I'm sure Kobe is irked, but he can only do so much next season. The team you see now, is the team you will most likely see next season.

Fish Guy:

I live in NorCal and have seen the Warriors play many times. Sorry, but now way do we want either of these guys or their horrible contracts. Every Warriors fan is trying to propose a trade to get rid of these guys. The moves to sign these guys is what will probably cost Chris Mullen his job.

Dunleavey is a total bust, plays no defense, and has as much of a confidence problem as Smush. He is considered the biggest bust on the team and has played very poorly after signing a $44M extension.

Murphy is a flat-footed power forward that knows how to box out, can only score from behind the 3 point line, and plays no defense. He has 5 years to go on a $9M to $12M contract. No way.

#9 pick would not get us Brandon Roy and is too low to use for Thabo Sefolosha. This would be a very bad deal for the Lakers.

If you want to trade Lamar, which is really the Lakers only way of clearing cap space, you want to do it for draft choices, not for two horrible contracts and two overpaid underperforming players.

MAGIC=GOAT

You are doing the same thing I was doing last week before it was made clear that the new CBA prevents a team from making a deal other than for the MLE or BAE unless they are under the salary cap, which only 5 teams are and which the Lakers are not.

Basically, this means that the Lakers cannot sign any free agent unless they would agree to come for $5M starting salary and 10% raises. I know, it sucks. I am a Yankee fan and love how George uses all of his extra revenue to get the best players regardless of the salary cap or luxury tax. The NBA deal with the players does not work the same.

That is why there is all of the talk about whether to trade Lamar for draft picks, as it is the only way we could free up cap space to sign anyone for more than the MLE this year. After next season, we will lost Brian Grant's $15M contract and will have a little room to sign a free agent, but not until then.

Don't be mad at Jerry. It is not his fault. It is the deal that the owners and players made.

Michael T.,

Luke Walton is not worth trading. He is too much a benefit to the team for such a low salary.

Otherwise, your trade looks good.

Luke Walton stays a Laker.

GO LAKERS!

fkillah,

Yeah, bro, I KNOW! What the hell is Shaq calling Riley "The best coach ever" when he earlier was calling Phil Jackson "My white father".

Ugh.

I don't hate Shaq. I am thankful for his years as a Laker.

But he sure can be a pretencious baby sometimes.

GO LAKERS!

Jay El:

Making a side deal for Banks would be a bad move. A similar move made by McHale with Joe Smith resulted in the league fining the T-Wolves and taking away two first round draft choices. I don't think we want to go that route.

Bottom line, Banks is probably not worth the full MLE of $5M for 3 or 4 years, which is why Minny is not going to resign him. I do not believe he is our answer although anyone would be an upgrade over Smush.

fkillah:

As Mike T and I noted earlier, both the Mavs and the Heat were lucky to win this year and the road next year will be tougher in both conferences.

As to big Shaq, he just continues to show his immaturity and pettiness and that, in the end, he is really a small man. Oh, by the way, he still has four more years at $20M. Next year the Heat have to give Wade an extension, which will mean salary cap hell for Miami until Shaq is gone. His playoff averages plummeted to 13 ppg this year, not very good for $20M. This was his last 5 minutes of fame so he better enjoy it because it is not going to happen again. He will soon become Miami's new Brian Grant.

Miles and Brown both in the starting lineup? What are you guys thinking? We want two problem players at the same time?

Pat Riley's Comments about the Heat Championship!

I was really amazed to hear Riley comment that this championship was worth more than his other four put together. I guess that is what 18 years of failure and losing does to you. Riley used to have class, but then so did Shaq once upon a time.

Riley should have been grateful for getting a chance to coach the Lakers in the first place. After all, he was just a color commentator working with Chick Hearn on Laker broadcasts when Magic forced the Lakers to fire Paul Westhead and get a new coach who would play with a more upbeat style. I don't know of any other NBA coach that got started like that with absolutely no coaching experience. By the way, that was when the drug lord hairstyle began.

Lysander,

Yes, the triangle is an offensive system but it leads to what the team does defensively. For the offense to run properly you have to have good spacing, and good spacing on offensive leads to getting back on defense much easier. You have to remember that Phil isn't used to having young players that can run all day, and the triangle makes it much easier for veteran players to get back without taking too much energy. As far as the pick and roll, the best way to guard that is to have a guard with size that can defend the paint in a pinch. I believe if Phil would have put Devean George on Nash it would have cut down on some of the easy baskets Phoenix scored in the paint against Smush. To me it's all about personnel. We didn't defend it good with Shaq because he didn't want to leave the paint, and we didn't defend it good this year because Smush wasn't strong enough to guard the paint without help.

Goodness gracious!!!

The Kobe Bryant Nation seems to be a group rift with unwelcome thoughts. A group comprised of thugish and felonious Mansonistic behavior.

Kobe is not the ONLY shooting guard in the NBA. There are many more INTELLIGENT 'team-oriented' Dwayne Wadeish, basketball players at the shooting guard position. Kobe is just out for Kobe. With the type of behavior displayed by Kobe the last two seasons; the shoving of Sasha, the rifts with Odom, the rifts with Smush, tossing TV Monitors, elbowing Mike Miller of the Grizzles, elbowing of Raja Bell, the blaming others for loses, etc,....I can see those who think his erratic behavior as a 'competitive attitute', and not holding him accountable for his behavior, better hope they are not 'enabling' another version of O.J.

"Another thing that pisses me off is that Pat Riley stated that he would trade all his NBA rings for this one."

I agree. To me,it's almost like a father saying that he would trade up his other 4 kids for the youngest one.

But, I don't think anyone is stupid enough to actually believe him (he didn't look or sound even remotely credible when he said it). Come on, someone with an ego as gargantuan as Pat Riley's being content with only one ring?? (that's like George Bush being happy about frying only one death row inmate in the electric chair)

Andrew Z

Jerry Buss is the victim of his own success. Donald Sterling shrinks in his presence. Laker expectations are Busslike. He's has had his team in the WCF half of the last 26 years; everyone else was the other half. I think he's a genius but not untouchable.

His Laker income isn't private and I'm not interested in his other revenue streams. His take just isn't bantied about on Sports Center like the player's are. Why the one and not the other? That was the question. It's rhetorical.

Money is all we're talking about here. The player's most private moments and holdings are plastered all over the media for our entertainment. Their every dollar is accounted for. That's accepted and expected but we're not supposed to pay any attention to the man behind the curtain? Don't the same rules of celebrity apply?

He's got celeb cred from years in them trenches. He's a showman par excellence, he knows when to send his GM to do town meeting damage control, keeping the season ticket holdin' moguls in line. He gets raked over the coals for vacationing in Italy while Rome was burning back home. His penchant for shall we say, adolecence is legendary but for some reason his Laker budget is sacrisanct?

I can watch some other team and he can can make it so nobody but George Clooney can afford a seat to watch Kobe burn out and you may be entertained by it all. But if you want to discuss player acquisition options that could involve a dollar for dollar tax paid at the owners discretion, then the elephant in the room is the solvency of the Laker organization.

Shaq left half his weight on our salary cap when he left. Now he's wearin' another ring, a size or two bigger, on his way out to LA to promote the Superman opening and LA folks will undoubtedly cheer. He'll say all the right things and the subtext will be the Lakers blew it. Jerry B won't be swayed by it. He'll fold for now, and wait for the right hand to go all in.


Laker Tom

Absolutely, a player knows. It's about tough and Bonzi brings that without doubt. He might be ready to put it all together. He's reached the NBA age of reason. He'd have Kobe's back, take on Lebron and D Wade and never back down. No guard / sf would want to face two dobermans like Bryant and the Bonz. I'd love it.

We couldn't make it happen with Artest, so it would be great to somehow land Bonzi. You know the Maloofs won't let that happen but I have to feel that the Lakers still have some prime time lure that peaks the interest of most players, so maybe???

Jake,

Good post, I hope BK would have another round of interview with any Laker scout and ask those questions. The people they are inviting in the Summer League appears to be rejects even in their school team with that kind of PPG and FG%. How pathetic!

Shady & LakerTom

Just to give you an idea guys the names of international players that we do not hear from this draft, please visit these websites:

www.eurobasket.com/events/wc/wc06.asp

www.latinbasket.com/index.asp

www.australia.com/index.asp

*Try to get the player stats and you'll be amazed FG%

Try to click on the national players of Lithuania and Germany this forthcoming FIBA games, I'm sure you're familiar with Dirk Nowitski, how about the other players? How many PG's can we invite to play with the Lakers among this group. Can we ask Ron Lester, how come we don't invite these players to the Laker's camp after FIBA games?

Yahoo Sports says the probable picks for the Lakers barring a trade is Guillermo Diaz and/or Dee Brown. I don't know much about either except that Brown is under 6 feet which doesn't sound like PJ's kind of guard. Can anybody fill me in on these draftees and whether it would make sense to pick them up?

Edwin Gueco
what i meant to say is i would rather keep Lamar but am not completely against it. I said it was appealing but there are so many unknown. I also mentioned Sef because i dont know much bout the international players and college players. if you do know any players better gimme an update of them. Im just going by the favorites of the blog (mostly Lakertoms bandwagon for Sef) and do not have a specific college or international player. The problem is our scouts. We need to send them out to those games and let them do their jobs and not go by "hearsay or ME-TOO theory". Im open for just about any trade not including Kobe and Bynum (i like him). Lamar would depend on the trade and future of what we would get to replace him. Thats why i thought lakertoms proposal was appealing. It doesnt necessarily have to be Sef or Roy. those are just the ones i know ppl want. I understand that it gets a bit confusing wit so many ppl wanting "their" player to come to L.A. Mine would be Terry LOL. for now these are all theories and nothing more then specualtion. We will get our answers in a few months.

Heck, if the Bobcats draft Rudy Gay that might make Sean May available. I like Sean May. Bring him in to play the 4 spot. It's his second year. His contract can't be too expensive.

Let me see, what can we give up for May. Chris Mihm? LOL!

mike

In fairness to the Lakers, most players that fill out a summer league roster are "rejects." That's why they're available for summer league play. You never know. Sometimes these guys turn out to be helpful, but in general, they're filler. And just because you (or me, for that matter) don't know them doesn't mean they can't end up useful.

In the end, though, the majority of guys that fill out a summer league roster are there to make it possible for the team to be able to conduct practices. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

BK

the lakers need to foucus on DEF next year. too many times last season they gave up triple digits. their core can score, despite what many thinks. if LO is traded, the team DEF will drop, big time. LO is not outstanding in one def category, but he is well-balanced. kobe was a great defeneder when he wasnt worried about scoring a zillion points every night and still is. i like mihm but he must go for draft picks or have a team with picks "pick" the guys we want and trade them to us. also if the lakers have to, give up a future pick or two. smush is a bench guy, we need to upgrade him. we should not get anyone weaker than banks(thats the bar as far as i am concerned) other than that, the ones that the lakers should keep IMO are: turiaf,bynum,walton,brown. everyone else is trade bait. then i think we can sign a impact vet or 2 for cheap(speedy,maybe wells) and short term we'll be able to still have a competative team next year with promising youths and if something happens in the FA class of 07 or 08, then make the big moves(ya'll know what i am talking about) that is what i hope can happen.

of course what BK/AK said, if a promising proposal is dealt,the lakers MUST at least consider it. "whats best for the organization"

Lakertom--

You continue to bring up good points.

I have scanned through most of the posts on this thread, and while the question has been brought up (by you and a few others), there seems to be noone here who has the information regarding the "salary cap". As you just stated, Wade is going to be playing in the final year of his rookie contract next season. He is going to get Max dollars from the Heat, no questions asked. I heard Lebron is ready to dign a contract extention in Cleveland soon for somewhere around 15 mill/5 years (the most he could get paid). You can bet your ass Wade will get the same. So that means Shaq (20 mill) + Wade (15 mill) will be consuming 35 mill between them. The Heat will be in cap hell.

This brings up the real (so far unanswered) question...

What is the Cap and how does a team go over (and pay the luxary tax), yet no "break the rules of the cap".

For example: USA todays reported 05/06 NBA cap figures...

NY Knicks 92,904,104
Dallas Mavericks 68,271,402
Lakers 54,215,834


How is it the Knicks are able to be almost 40 million over the cap (and have the second worse team in the NBA).

The Mavs have been over the cap since it was invented.

Can anyone who has knowledge of the cap tell me why Dr. Buss can't just go out and sign players with year one salaries that squeeze under next years cap, but escalate into ammounts that might take us over in years to come (with the penelty being simply Luxary taxe dollars).

If this cannot be done, than how does a team like the Knicks have a payroll almost twice that of the current salary cap?

If it's a matter of realy bad trades (see the Knicks), than Miami is in for a suprise next year. If it's simply a matter of forking out more dollars, I think the Heats winning the title will open up Dr. Busses wallet...

Some more Salary Cap info...

Inside Hoops.com reported the 05/06 salary cap at 49.5 million.

And I forgot to post the heats 05/06 team salary of 59,651,468.

The Spurs were at just over 79 million...

So when Wade gets his contract extention (he will not play trough the final year of his rookie contract or he will become a free agent), the Heat will be at 75 mill with their current roster.

Seems to me the Cap can be played around with as the Lakers are in teh middle of the league when it came to this years team cap figures.

The only thing that makes sense is teams can go over the cap when resigning their current players to extentions. If this is the case, that would be the only reason I could see to trade Lamar. His contract is the second highest on the Lakers roster. Kawames is the third highest, but expires in two years.

I am going to try and find out what is fact when it comes to a team being over the cap. It just does not seem right that the Lakers have the 14th or 15th highest payroll. They have the revenue to be in the top three...

Mike T--

I have posted this on other topics, but would like you to respond...

What is it that you see in Miles? He averaged more rebounds his rookie year than he does as a five year vet. His point per game was by far the best this last year, which was 14. He has been a malcontent and trouble in every locker room that has graced his presence. As Phil is our coach, and will be for at least two more years, there is nothing Miles has ever shown on the court that would see to translate into learning the triangle offense. He plays average defense at best (1 block per game and 5 rebounds per game over his career). And lastly he will be paid between 8 and 9 million over the next FIVE years.

Now I will admit I do not know much about Blake except for seeing him play against the Lakers this year, and mabey I'm missing something there...

So you would trade our starting center, Walton (who can play 3 or 4 in Phil's scheme) and Cook (I'm really not attatched to Cook except for his occational offensive spark), for Miles, Blake, and a 16th(?!). Please tell me how this would translate into a more harmonious team next year.

I am not trying to get into a name calling rant war with you, nor do I want to revisit your dislike for Mihm. I simply would like to know how the trade you propose would make the Lakers any better. Please take into account the Cap as many have mentioned in this current topic.

 
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