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The Big ?

You guys have discussed the topic all season. With the season over and draft fever running wilder than Charlie Sheen at the Bunny Ranch, the talk's gotten even more fierce. And now Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus breaks down the question on every purple and gold brain. To adopt parlance common with the other K brothers blog...

Should the Lakers swing for the fences now or patiently hit doubles and triples while attempting to build a roster capable of potential grand slams down the road?

How's that for shameless cross promotion while simultaneously creating fodder for more enthusiastic debate? We're clever like that around here.

Let's hear some thoughts. Batter up! (OK, that one was actually kinda lame.)

AK

 
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Jon K,
You need to have a little realism!! Kwame was absolutely NOT playing fantastic. I don't know what games you were watching but they weren't the Lakers games.

Chris

You needed to be listening to Will Smith and blasting the song 'Miami'

Steven & targuo, I hope you enjoyed the Coronation of your Princess, he truly earned it. Let's acknowledge the other guys though, this was a total team effort. You know, I heard that Joe Derosa and Stu Jackson were 2nd and 3rd in the MVP voting. It shows, to win a championship, you need contributions from all of your guys on the floor. All 8 of them.

I didn't watch any post game interviews or any thing of the sort so can you guys tell me what all shots Shaq took at Kobe and the gang?(phil and the lakers establishment)

Eric Pincus,

Thank you for giving everyone on the blog a realistic idea of where these current Lakers stand. With Kobe, LO, and Kwame all under contract we can only fill in pieces until 2008. My problem is that a core of those three (mainly Kwame as one of the cornerstones) is not going to get it done. The problem is no one will trade for Kwame and that contract, at least not until he has a full, solid, consistently good year. At that point wouldn't we want to keep him? I guess I'm just dissappointed that this is the core that the Lakers have decided to go with. I really don't think it's championship material.

Congrats to the Heat and D Wade. Congrats to Riles, who I always thought was a great coach that should have won more than his record stated. Congrats to Zo for overcoming everything. THEY ALL REALLY DESERVED TO WIN. CONGRATS TO SHAQ, you can thank Buss and Kupchak for treating you like the legend you are and giving you to a franchise and a coach that we knew would be good for you. I am still grateful he WAS a Laker, and happy as I am for any former Laker, unless they were won the Celtics.

HATERS don't think the Lakers organization knew this was a possibility that Shaq could win a title, but they are incredibly naive and BLINDED by their contrarian viewpoint. Be honest now, you could have put Eddy Curry on that team and I think they would have had a legit chance. But with the Heat win and this INCREDIBLE playoff season truly brings to light is the impact guards now have on the game. You can a core of a couple of great rebounders and defensive big men and a great perimeter player and win a title. YOU DO NOT NEED SHAQ NOW.

FORTUNATELY, WE TRADED SHAQ. He no longer anchored us the way he did and his numbers now bear that out....he is no where near worth the extension he was asking for. The Lakers have done it right and now have a longer term solution than when we had Shaq. We are 1 A-/B+ player away from becoming competitive for the longer term. WE HAVE A FUTURE, whereas before, we were still shoving the threepeat in everyones face. I believe if we have some more athletic players and get away from the remnants of the team built around Shaq, and build athletes around Kobe, we will achieve the desired goal for the long term.

Eric Pincus,

I had another question for you. The way the new CBA is structured, doesn't it seem that drafting and scouting good players is even more important than ever? Because of the salary cap isn't it much easier to sign a player you drafted and developed to a big deal with "Bird Rights" than go out and get a free agent in the market? Kind of makes this draft for the future of the Lakers franchise pretty damn important if you ask me. I think getting the most NBA ready guy possible makes the most sense since they won't be able to add anyone worth poop in free agency. I think that LO to the Bulls for two picks trade looks better everyday.

Ode to Kobe Bryant Fans:

'Your eyes may shine, and your teeth may glit....but as long as Kobe is a Laker, not another NBA Title will you get!!!!'

The End

good post and prediction lakerfaninTX,

haha from what rock did all these dwayne wade #1 fans come out from? isnt there a "I want to marry Shaq" Blog somewhere that youre supposed to be at? Now, Ive always liked wade, but come on, this is ridiculous. He had a great great finals, against a team not particularly good at perimeter defense, and got a lot of calls anytime he got touched. Someone said he loves contact like MJ? #1, from what i remember, MJ didnt wear a flak jacket and thigh pads, and #2 did you even watch basketball in the 80s/90s? MJ got pounded on by the Piston and Knick teams, at times it seemed like they were literally trying to hurt him. Thats a little different that what Wade went through this series.

"Josh Howard and Dirk are overrated, mentally weak players who are the sole reason as to why the Mavericks lost"
-well, theyre also the reason they won 60 games and made it to the finals

"Okay, for I'm going to have to say it now. Dwayne Wade is the best player in the NBA."
-why are so many people saying this? its ridiculous how easily people are swayed by one game or series. i think wade is a top 5 player in the nba. i wont even argue #3. but come on, stop judging off one series. obviously youre one of those "fans" that only watches the playoffs. kobe and lebron are still the 2 best in the nba.

"I wish I would have shaken Dwayne's hand when I saw him at the Long Beach Pyramid last Summer league."
-sounds like you wish you did more than that.

and people, please stop saying we shouldve kept shaq. what did shaq do this finals that you want him so bad? if Zo didnt have kidney problems and could play 40 mins, they are a way better team with Zo starting. you ppl are only making yourselves look dumb. and we know who you are, we have you pegged. theres tons of them out there. the people that watch 3 regular season games a year, then watch the finals. they didnt suffer with us thru shaqs out of shape fat lazy regular seasons, but caught enough of the finals to see him win the mvps. they say they watched every game of the finals this year, but we know they didnt. cuz at the end of it all, they will say "DAMN! Heat won it! I KNEW we shouldnt have traded Shaq!"
Fools.

Shaq DYNASTY
Steven I really though for a while you still had some brain cells left. Specially when you jump bandwagons to the winning guy or guy at the top of the mountain. Seriously though i think you lost more brain cells. Didnt you witness your "MDE" on the bench? Wasnt it Wade that got Mvp? Wasnt it Wade that led the Heat? So shouldnt it be Wades Dynasty? Whoa whoa whoa we are getting way ahead of ourselves. Well first off the great center of the Heat (i mean Mourning who was the center at the end of the game while Shaq was benched) will be slower at 37. The whinning baby ( who can officially where pampers now that he's offically a senior) GP will then be 39. Then there is also that guy who is on a downward decline. At just 36 Shaq is done. Ouch i feel bad for the Heat now. Having to pay a guy $20mil for a guy whose gonna produce less than 20 and 10. Ya numbers sometimes lie but you could see it for yourself. Hmmm wait he's on the bench half the time. So you have a guy whose gonna average less than 15 & 7 because he's too old and too much of a liability to be on the floor. You also cant acquire new talent because he has a big contract that nobody will want to for a buy whose on a decline.

Congrats Miami Heat for your ring. Too bad its the only one you will get. Specially since you have to wait til Shaqs contract is over to go get somebody decent. So who do you pick to give $20mil to? Wade or Shaq? Thats why your "dynasty" wont happen. YOur role players are done. Your "MDE" is not much of an "MD" and your young talent is gonna demand some $$$$$. I wonder what the Heat will do? I hope they can pay Wade. O almost forgot we could have the money to pay wade if we wanted to. LOL dont worry Steven Wade is not on our radar. By the way theyre already over the cap as we speak. woner how theyre gonna add talent when they dont have the money?

You guys need to relax about the refs handing the game to Miami. Yes, I realize D-Wade get's more calls than just about anyone in the league (except for maybe Lebron), and possibly the most since Jordan. But, you have to admit that he puts himself in prime opportunities to draw fouls because he attacks the basket more than ANYONE.

Dallas saying that the discrepancy in FT attempts must mean the refs are biased is a flawed argument. Why? Because, Miami and namely D-Wade attack the basket relentlessly and DRAW fouls. The Mavs fall in love with the jumper and then complain when they don't shoot FTs. It's hard to draw fouls when you're living on the perimeter isn't it.

I've just two more thing to say about the refs "winning" the series for Miami. Anyone who looks at a replay or a photo of the final play of Game 5 clearly see that Devin Harris got Wade across the arm. It was Harris not Dirk who fouled so either way he should have gone to the line.

Secondly, it's been confirmed by the NBA rule book that there was not a backcourt violation on the inbounds pass Wade caught on that same play. Want proof, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2006/news/story?id=2492756

The madness/frustration just hasnt sunk in as yet LOL!

We've got to put together a team to win, not improve on playoff's performance since Kobe's window would not be always open.
This Kwame/Smush Parker and such mediocrity is not going to get it done. I feel Kwame started performing to his 'normal' ability in the last part of the season after being horrible early on. Dont mistake that for him doing great in the last part of the season. I dont know about Lamar. I think he's got huge talent but he's not a potent scorer, meaning we need another offensive piece if we keep Lamar.

We gotta get KG. If we need to give up Lamar and Bynum, we gotta do it. I dont know if its a no-brainer but Lamar and Kwame for KG sure is.

Seriously, is Shaq for real, when he says they would definitely defend it! Wade was other-wordly but the Heat might struggle next yr, as all their vets have realized their dream and may not have any real drive. I can see some trades/retirements there.

I dont think Wade's better than Kobe but as far as closing out games, Kobe now has company.

kobe needs to pass the ball.

Steven:

I could play "Miami", but that would reduce me to your level of bandwagon trollish Flash in the pan jock riding. I'm better than you, kiddo.

I have been bleeding Purple & Gold since I first touched down in LA almost 22 years ago. I stand by my team even when the chips are down. That's called allegiance - something you probably know nothing about.

Wanna know how thick the haterism lies? The NBA championship was won a few weeks ago when the Suns put us out of the series. It's us against the world, yall. When the Lakers get eliminated, the whole world celebrates. Always has...always will be. Your ranting and raving about what is "TRUTH" only emphasizes the point. We are the greatest. AND YOU KNOW THIS. If we weren't, YOU wouldn't be here.

Players come & players go. Purple & Gold for Life!

GO LAKERS!!!

steven, i want to apologize for any of my comments to you that were negative..you do speak the truth after all..maybe, we should start listening to this guy..steven said to fire kupchak..i say absolutely- considering that he got absolutely fleeced by riley on the shaq trade..mitch got us 50cents on the dollar for that one.. while i'm at it, screw riley for ripping off the organization that gave him his legacy and screw shaq for ripping the organization that gave him his first taste of championship hardware..also, if i have to hear shaq or anybody refer to shaq as M.D.E., i'll jam a pencil in my eye..probably need more than 4 rings to make that claim. also, M.D.E.'s dont ride the pine during crunchtime of a closeout game

Andrew Z

The question wasnt directed at me but i think i can answer it. Your completely right that no GM will take Brown (atleast now). Kwame is not a cornerstone. The only reason he's "untouchable" is because of his contract. If he had the same contract that Mihm has he wouldve been gone by now. If he doesnt improve he shouldnt get the same contract. I dont think we should even keep him. If (only IF) he improves i think we shouldnt give him more money then he already makes. I wouldnt go past $8mil for him even if he does improve.

P.s. your core is a bit off. It consists as
1. Kobe
2. Bynum
3. Odom
LIke i said Kwame isnt going anywhere ONLY because of his contract. After that he might be out of L.A. I went through this in an earlier blog. Dont know if you read it but here it is : June 20, 2006 at 01:29 AM on this topic.

Andrew Z,

I understand your logic but if the Lakers trade LO for the #2 and #16 picks they may as well trade Kobe Bryant too. They'd strictly be playing for the future. We'd have another season of Kobe Bryant killing himself for the Lakers to be a middling team.

There are a few other moves the Lakers can make without giving up LO. Like the Chris Mihm and the 26 pick for Duhon and the 16th pick. It helps solve a problem without giving up one of our key guys for unknown commodities i.e. draft picks.

The only way I'll believe the Heat winning another ring is if Riles predicts it. Shaq better party hard this summer cause, like the Pistons, we are watching a 1-year short term dynasty, folks.

PURPLE & GOLD FOREVER!

Vman,

Thanks for mentioning my name in your post. Although trading Shaq was the right thing, we failed to use him as a bait to attract good players, especially the Center position. As Lysander said, that is now water under the bridge, hopefully we learned from that experience. Never again should the Lakers make hasty decisions based on the emotions of the day. Like in this draft, they wanted to get back to a Championship team ASAP, however they wanted to unload the "project" players who are on the road to stardom like Odom and Bynum. What were your reasons why you chose them in the first place? You asked Odom to be the facilitator to Kobe, he complied; you asked him to score, he did; and was topnotched triple-double in the team. You picked Bynum in the #10 pick in last year's draft. You asked him to play more and listen to his new coach, KAJ, he complied. But you were not playing him throughout the season, how could he show you what he learned? The poor fellow sat on the bench, play with Kareem before and after the game until he got injured in half-court games. You expected him to learn basketball by just observing not playing. You put more TRUST on players like Kwame, Smush, and Cook who could not play team defense, who commit turnover-after-turnover. The worst part, Smush, Cook, Sasha all young kids - they all imitate Kobe, their role model by shooting threes at will, as though they are playing the game h-o-r-s-e (I can do, what you can do and I can do it better.) then we won one game against the Spurs, one game against Pistons, one game against Heat aghhhh we discovered Duncan-stopper, Shaq-stopper, Rasheed-stopper and so on. What happened to those turnovers ratio and poor shooting ratio? Aaghhh, that's OK, but we have a stopper. Where is the team defense? None, nada but we have the offense and that includes Kobe.

I really question that wisdom using Odom & Bynum as baits, this is not the Shaq's case in '04. These are your worthy assets, Lakers org. should be consistent with their objective-settings. You just can't keep on changing objectives in the midstream, you have to go through it. That being said, you have to prune the dead leaves that affect the fragrance of the budding roses. In any plan, there has to be adjustments but you have to stick with the core set values of the plan. You saw the playoffs, you all know who the players who tanked this team while it was leading 3-1, so why blame on Odom and Bynum? You can't go back to Square One again and say we want to save cap space until 2008, that's changing the previous plan and mismanagement in the making. You are chasing glory with constant change in plans. In the stock parlance, it is described as timing the market. You have to diversify the talents and grow with them.

PS. Steven & Tarugo,

Enough is enough...you have made your points. Stop being children. You can celebrate but be humble in victory.

First off, I'm not as bummed about the Heat winning as I thought I would be. Congrats to the best team in the league for winning the title.

Second, Dwayne Wade is awesome and performed incredibly on the world's biggest stage. Give him his due.

Third, I've come to the conclusion that the Lakers should NOT trade Andrew Bynum, SHOULD trade Lamar Odom for a high draft pick(s) if possible and come to the realization that they are in a rebuilding mode. Sure, Kobe's window of his prime will soon be closing, but right now he's the most entertaining figure in sports, fills seats and Buss' pockets, and there's no need for titles. The way the league is structured now you have to develop players from the draft and then bring them up in your system. The Lakers youth, except for Bynum, has very low potential. What we need are a couple young guns to bring up as the cornerstone for the NEXT Laker dynasty. Then in 2-3 years we look to trade Kobe for picks and cap space and we're all set. We could go on a five-year run of championships at that point, whoo hoo!

1) I'm glad that Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning finally got their ring.

2) I'd rather Shaq and Pat Riley have another ring than Mark Cuban get one.

3) Shaq is going to be a shadow of his former self next season. He will be older, unmotivated, and prone to injury. The Heat will be out in the first or second round next year.

4) The Lakers will be better next year and possibly much better.

GO LAKERS!

Gotta take my hats off to the Heat.......the BIG ARISTOTLE kept true to his word.....got his team a championship......

bittersweet to watch Shaq/Riles get a ring on another team.....

hopefully, this win will act as a catalyst for the laker management.....

We need studs, not scrubs!!


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Congrats to the Miami Lakers on thier championship. This was one of the weakest finals ever. But Shaq got what he wanted, and Kobe's sitting at home with two swollen red hand slaps across his grill. One big one from Shaq, and a smaller one from Wade.

Credit where credit is due though. Nobody thought this Heat team would be able to do this. But Pat Riley was able to get his cast of rejects to do it. Goes to show how valuable Shaq really is.

This is just going to make the next Laker championship that much sweeter. I can't wait to see Kobe light Wade up next year. If Kobe was able to shed the chip on his shoulder this year, Shaq and Wade just put a couple of monkeys on Kobe's back. Kobe's got 2 choices: either win another championship, or become known as the most selfish, egotistical player who had it all but threw it away for selfish personal reasons. This is what Kobe wanted, to be the man. Kobe's mission is monumental in stature. If he is able to do it, he'd probably be considered the greatest of all time. If he isn't able to do it, he'll go down in history as one of the greatest failures. Now that is pressure.

And what about the total and complete collapse by Dallas? How sad was that? That was Queen-like. If Dallas is all the West has to offer, look for the Lakers to make some real noise next year.

Xodus
Do you really expect the NBA to come out and admit they were wrong? I dont know if you know this but a referee can give back a time out. Did you know that? So why didnt they give the Mavs the time out once everything was sorted out? Its not like the Mavs went on a time and designed a play and then came out and said "O i want to save this time out i just used after then 2nd free throw". Im also not saying that Wade NEVER got fouled. There were just some BS calls. Im not blaming him for driving since he knew that all he had to do is throw up his arms and he would get a foul called. Ive seen the video and it is a tough call. Im not really sure but thats not the only bs call that the refs made. There was a lot of incosistent calls.

Xodus,

The only reason you keep Kobe is because he fills the seats and brings money to Dr. Buss' pockets. Let's not forget that this is a business. If you trade LO for the two picks he'd be saving $10 million a year. Not bad, even for a rich guy. This Laker team is mediocre with no money to get better via free agency, no good draft picks, very limited young talent to develop (Bynum), and no relief coming from any direction for another 2-3 years. I think what we saw of the Lakers this year, 6-8 seed, 45-ish wins is what we should get used to unless something "drastic" is done.

Rocky- "But Pat Riley was able to get his cast of rejects to do it. "

Are you talkinb bout the Heat or Lakers? Bunch of Rejects? Check this out

Mourning:
Is a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year…
Has earned First Team All-NBA honors once, Second Team All-NBA honors once and First Team All-Defensive honors twice…
Is Miami’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.532), blocked shots (1,232), free throws made (2,195) and free throws attempted (3,288)…
Gary Payton:
Named All-NBA First-Team in 1998, 2000, All-NBA Second Team in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and All-NBA Third Team in 2001
Selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive seasons (1994-2001)
Named Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 and was the first guard to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88
Selected to the NBA All-Star Team seven straight seasons (1994-98, 2000-01) and was voted as a starter in 1997 and 1998
Member of the gold medal-winning 1996 and 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Teams
Antoine Walker:
Selected as a reserve for the 2003 Eastern Led the Celtics in 1997-98 in points (22.4 ppg, 5th in the NBA), rebounds (10.2 rpg, 7th), steals (1.73 spg, 13th) and double-doubles (47, 2nd)
Selected to his first NBA All-Star Game in 1998
Named to the 1996-97 NBA All-Rookie First Team

These 3 plus Wade and Shaq =5 players. The heat only use a 8 player rotation. Heres the 8
Wade
Shaq
Walker
Haslem
Posey
Mourning
Payton
Williams
So whose the rejects? Haslem or Posey? Maybe its Williams or Payton? You tell me because i really dont see rejects....

What bothers me about Shaq is the "flavor of the month" comments. "Best this, best that" at the present.... For me, it really dilutes what he has to say (but why should I expect more??)

Riley says, "he would trade all six rings for his 2006 ring".... how disrespectful to the Lakers of the 80's.....why are comments made in the heat of the emotion... This is not fair to those teams.

The basketball gods were not smiling on me... as I really wanted anyone besides the Heat.. But the Mavs played their best against the Spurs and the Heat against the Mavs.... What can you do..

I really can't see Miami repeating as they will have a target on their backs next year.... But that is why they play the game - eh?

oh, BTW, Stern has got to be delighted the Heat won... and no one can tell me differently

Shady,

I know the refs CAN take a timeout back. But, they definitely do not have to bail out a head coach who was clearly signalling timeout after Wade's first free throw. And Josh Howard clearly signaled timeout and was walking towards the bench until Avery Johnson stormed the court saying that he meant after the second. I love Avery as a coach but you have to be clear about what you mean at that point in the game.

Also if the refs ended up taking the TO back people in Miami would be complaining that Josh clearly called timeout and took it back. It's a lose-lose situation.

BTW, about the Heat being a bunch of rejects I agree with that statement whole-heartedly. The Miami Heat won this series behind Pat Riley's adjustments after Game 2 and the heroics of Wade who single-handedly defeated a much better team in the Dallas Mavericks. Everything you posted was true but the only thing the current Miami Heat players have in common with "those" players is that they have the same name.

Payton, Mourning, Shaq and to a lesser extent Walker are shells of their former selves. And Walker's a guy whose game I never loved anyway. Williams and Posey are good rotation guys but not much more.

keep your heads bloggers...every dog has his day. just remember this...the LAKERS OWN THE NBA...WE ARE THE LOGO...14 RINGS...TRADITION...MIKAN...WEST...BAYLOR...WILT...GOODRICH...KAREEM...MCADOO...WORTHY...COOPER...SCOTT...MAGIC...KOBE...HORRY...DFISH...FOX...RILES...JACKSON...CHICK HEARN...THE LIST IS ENDLESS.

like i said, WE OWN THE NBA...EVERYONE ELSE JUST RENTS!!!!!!

umm I'm new I live in San Antonio born here....
and I'm a die hard Laker Fan! I also support Kobe but what happened when he passed the ball? If I remember correctly the team missed open jumpshots and layups! Why would you pass the ball to someone who misses layups?

"Rocky" speaks the ULTIMATE truth. seriously....kobe is on a personal and team crusade..again if we think that kobe was motivated this year...WAIT until next year..he will be stronger, better, faster more deadly than before...

scary scary thought.

Lakers plus 50 wins...and maybe a title?
I hope so..i think the lakers can compete..seriously..look at the league wide open...

THE LAKERS CAN NOT COMPETE FOR A TITLE NEXT YEAR!!

I don't care how wide open the league is, I think everyone here over-estimates the level of talent the Lakers have and under-estimates everyone else's.

You can give me all that one rebound away from maybe being in the Finals crap but you are assuming the Lakers would have won the next two series! That's ridiculous. The Lakers got beat by a Phoenix Suns team without their best player and they had to have a miracle happen just to get to a game 7.

Let's look at the Lakers top 8 guys right now compared to the Miami Heat:

Kobe
Lamar Odom
KWame
Chris Mihm
Smush Parker
Luke Walton
Brian Cook
Sasha Vujacic

vs.

Shaq
D Wade
Antoine Walker
James Posey
Udonis Haslem
Alonzo Mourning
Jason Williams
Gary Payton

I can't see any position where we are substantially better. At this point the Kobe/Wade match-up is a coin flip, and maybe, we get the nod at power forward with LO, but he's more of a small forward anyway. For god's sake our top 8 includes SMUSH PARKER AND SASHA VUJACIC!!! I'm a diehard Laker fan here but let's be realistic, our team is a loooonnnnggg way from competing for a title.

Andrew Z,
Just admit it. It stings. It sux that the Heat won the champion and Wade is the finals mvp. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they should trade L.O. The Lakers just don't have the flexibility with L.O. contract when you also have Kobe. Therefore, you only trade L.O. if he is not the guy that can bring he Lakers back to championship form. Until they actually trade L.O., I'm going to assume the Lakers intend on winning the championship with him, and what they need to do is abandon this 08' strategy and get some veterans in there. The only way Kobe can save face at this point is for the Lakers beat the Heat in the finals within the next 2 years, if not Kobe will move down a peg in the eyes of many.

Congrats to the Heat. That's all I"m going to say. At least some people can act graciously ;-)

Quantity people, quantity. Prepare for a season of Shaq stabs, and of numerous what ifs...it won't matter. We'll keep on fighting. If you don't think this makes a difference both in the Org, Kobe's or in PJ's "motivation" and attack...you don't know much about this team. Go Lakers!

Welcome to the blog theprune!

Xodus
Your right. The refs have no obligation to return the TO. If by any chance they had gottent the TO back and won the game the heat would be the oness complaining. The whole thing is that it wasnt just that call. It was all the others that added. Suspensions,fines and a bit too many foul calls.

I still dont think the heat have a reject (like Lakers) roster. "shells of their former selves" is true but those are big shells. Walker was a former star as was Mourning and GP. They have experience and know what to and not to do. Something the Lakers dont have. Smush/Sasha/Cook arent even at the level of the remains of the Walker/Mourning/Gp. Still good point.

10 Observations from a Disappointed Laker Fan:

************************************************

(1) These were the two weakest teams to play for an NBA championship in the last 10 years.

(2) The Heat were very lucky to beat the Mavs and have little chance to repeat next year.

(3) Riley and Shaq showed a lack of class with their post-game comments trashing the Lakers.

(4) Shaq clearly showed he is done and that the Lakers made the right decision in trading him.

(5) Alonzo Mourning showed that Shaq was not even the most dominant center on the Miami Heat.

(6) The officiating in this series clearly showed the NBA has annointed Wade as the next Jordan.

(7) The Mavs' coach, superstar, and young players totally choked under the pressure

(8) Steven and his aliases clearly showed that the blog needs a way to control unwanted posters.

(9) Jerry Buss needs to open his checkbook like Mark Cuban to get the Lakers back on top.

(10) The Lakers need to make whatever moves are necessary to compete for a ring right now.

Rocky and lakerfaninTX
Your both right but you got to remember that Kobe cant do it alone. He showed the whole world how great he is. He got us to the post season with "scrubs". Imagine what he can do with a decent team. Thats why this offseason is so important. At his prime Kobe is unstoppable. It doenst matter if they double or triple team. He'll tear them apart. The problem is he gets no help or nobody with a decent shot to pass to to make the open shot. Thats why i want Terry. He's a shooter and a scorer whose not afraid to shoot but also doesnt demand the ball too much. The pressure is on the fron office of the Laker organization. I hope they dont dissapoint.

Congrates to the Miami Heat! Congrates to Shaq, to Payton, to Mourning and to Wade!!! They deserved it. Dirk played soft and disappeared when the team needed him the most.

Now let me say... LET THE KOBE HATING BEGIN!!

IHaven’t posted in quite sometime but I had to after Miami won the title.

First Off I want to say you can't take away that Miami worked to get the title. I watched a couple of games and Miami seemed hungrier to me then Dallas and Dallas is still just too soft. Dirk is over rated but to Dallas credit they did make it to the finals and that accounts for something.

I am really not mad that Shaq got his fourth ring not because he said he was, but I knew the moment he went to Miami it was a possibility; because of the double teams he demands. If you play him one on one he will over power you, period no matter how old and slow he is. You can't deny that Shaq makes a team better because of his presence not his skills.

I am truly happy for Lonzo because he deserves it, I always liked his game, as for Gary (don’t like him too much) but for anyone to play in this league as long as he has should at least have one ring to make the career complete.

Part II to follow

Reading through these late entries to this post, all I can think is... Holy cow Steven posts under a lot of different names...

LakerTom,

Jerry Buss can't open his checkbook like Mark Cuban, he is not allowed to go out and sign people based on league rules concerning the salary cap. He has decided to put his big money into Kobe, LO, and Kwame. Those are our guys until any changes are made. Are you happy to ride with those three? I'm not so sure I am.

What we need to do is draft better and get more talent from out third player down to 12. I think this Finals showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the Lakers are very, VERY thin in the talent department when it comes to NBA players.

Ken,

This title for Miami doesn't sting at all. Losing to the Suns stung but once the Lakers were out I could care less who won. I'm more pissed because I don't think our team is that good and I'm not really sure management has a plan to get us to a championship level.

Some of you are reasonable, but why so many babies here? The Lakers didn't get it done, the Heat did. All that needs to be said.

All the talk about next year? Kobe's going to be even better! We're going to see him dunk on everyone! He's going to smack down DWade when he plays him! blah, blah, blah. We all just saw Kobe's best season. You saw how he played in the Suns series - a team player, pass the ball, play the system. You think he's going to revert back next year against PJ's wishes?!

No way hosses. Kobe's looking at 28ppg/8r/6a next year and you have to hope the rest of the team gets it done. You seem to all forget our last game this season was such a stinker, it brought back memories of the Detroit series and cries of "WTF happened? How embarassing!" You can't even bring yourselves to include in your discussions - everyone around Kobe stinks.

All the drivvle about purple and gold, past championships, whatever. That doesn't do s**t for the future. Someone needs to get serious in the front office and put this team on the right direction. Stop all the Kwame ass-kissing - I saw him play in Washington and he just doesn't get it. Even when he gets on a little bit of a roll, something gets inside his head and tells him to start screwing up.

And Kobe needs to find a way to be confident, but not have his ego dominate the team. He's obviously quirky with people, but someone needs to help him figure it out - you just always get the feeling that locker room lacks some cohesion because of it.

Out.

commentary to steven and tarugo...

My point about Shaq is in response to his comments about Riley and Wade. HE seems to believe that Riley is a better coach than Jackson and that Wade is better than Kobe, so I was (sarcastically) asking why he is not able to be more productive with those factors in his favor. Of course he is older now and not able to sustain his former level of play. He should have understood that when he was in L.A. (his decline did not just start this week) and deferred to Kobe the way he defers to Wade now. By the way, wasn't it real classy the way Shaq blew off the media after game two? How much heat (no pun intended) would Kobe get if he pulled a stunt like that after a bad game?

You think that it would be humiliating for him to have deferred to Kobe but that it is not humiliating to defer to Wade--and you are probably right that Shaq thinks this way. That is also why he refused the offer of Hall of Famer Rick Barry to teach him how to shoot free throws better. Perhaps you think that this shows Shaq's greatness, but I disagree. If Shaq would have been willing to defer to Kobe and lose weight then the Lakers probably would have offered him max dollars for max years. If Kobe is not classy because he commented on Shaq's weight, then how is Shaq classy for calling Dampier "Erica" and saying that he could only dominate in the WNBA? Isn't it more significant that an elite athlete like Shaq got out of shape than that Kobe called him out about it? Shaq calling Kobe the best player on the planet was nice but to suggest that Kobe never acknowledged Shaq's greatness is untrue. He has done so many times, including in his recent article for Dime magazine.

It is not exactly true that Shaq would have had to leave money on the table. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak offered Shaq max dollars but not max years, because it was evident that Shaq would not be worth max dollars at the end of the contract. The Heat were willing to give Shaq max dollars and max years. So the yearly amount would have been the same, but the length of contract would have differed--a subtle distinction, perhaps, but important. He could have made a bundle of money and stayed in L.A. to play with Kobe. He chose to go to Miami.

As I said, it's easy for me to say that Shaq should have taken less guaranteed money (because of the shorter contract duration offered by the Lakers). None of us really knows what we would do if we were fortunate enough to be offered the choice that Shaq had. In the long run, though, Shaq will be remembered for how many titles he won, not how much money he made.

You say a lot of bad things about Kobe but are basically saying that Shaq left because he would have felt humiliated to defer to Kobe. I don't think this shows Shaq's dignity; it reflects hubris and pettiness. According to your analysis (we don't really know what Shaq is thinking, but your point of view is certainly a plausible representation of his thinking), Shaq understands that he is getting older but is too proud to allow Kobe the status in the game that he has earned and would rather take his chances in a new situation.


Part II (continued)

Now to reign in on the trade rumors and what we need in a nut shell. To be honest this team we have is not so bad (by far exceeded my expectations after all star break). We can score with the best of them (well maybe not; phoenix is a freaking anomaly), it’s our transition defense that killed us and our guard position that suffers the most. It’s obvious to me that the league is changing a little bit as far as it’s a guards game again, so we need a guard who can defend, has speed, can penetrate and create his own shots within the triangle. I can't see us getting another super star for reasons already stated on the blog. The coaching staff needs to create set plays for all positions so when we can exploit mismatches and not be so predictable (Just give it to Kobe). Speaking of Kobe, he needs to drive to the basket; period. He needs to pass to his teammates a lot more. Everyone else needs to work on the fundamentals, boxing out, defend pick and rolls, etc. So I really don’t believe we need to reinvent the wheel with this team, just use the bench players for what they are bench players and get some starters to start.

My two cents for free.

The Lakers need to get deeper and quicker. Phil's love of big guards has us at a disadvantage against smaller and quicker attacking guards. With the rules against all forms of contact on the perimeter speed becomes an asset. Uptempo is the name of the game. The Lakers get very few fastbreak points/easy buckets and we need to change that. We can still run the triangle but we need to run whenever possible

LakerFan4life
It is true that Kobe needs to get his team involved. The reason Kobe doesnt drive is because he gets double and triple teamed. He has no space to drive but he does have a beautiful J. Thats why he settles for it. The other thing is everyone is telling Kobe to pass the ball more but to whom? Sasha? Smush? Or let Brown fumble it out of bounds? Work on their fundamentals is a good start. Throw in a lot of shooting practice and these guys would improve but still wouldnt be starters. NO ROOKIES. Get some vets and let these guys fight for minutes not starting positions. If Kobe passes the ball and they miss what does Kobe and the team get out of it? Nothing! Atleast when Kobe shoots he has a better chance of making it. Give him some decent shooters like Nash has and i gurantee Kobe would pass the ball more. YOur right we need starters. these guys are decent bench role players but nothing more. Pressure is on the Laker front office. Lets hope they dont dissapoint.

There is no way we should trade Odom!He's like a almost triple-double a night!
He runs the offense very well and unlike kobe does make his team better. I think trying to get Gerald Wallace is the best thing we can do. He can score and defend and by looking at his stats he just keeps getting better. Now about the team, they really need to find some way to score when open. Everyone knows the first thing a a coach will tell you is don't miss layups! Kobe did the best he could this season. Congrats to the Heat on being Champions. But really don't think they will repeat. Hopefully we will have a WAY better offseason than the last!
Laterz

I think the reaction of Laker fans and hopefully Laker management to the Miami win should be a firm commitment to win now rather than later.

With that in mind, here is what I believe the Lakers need to do in order to win now:

(1) Salary Cap - Jerry Buss needs to open up his wallet to get the Lakers the additional players we need to win the championship next year. Last year, Mark Cuban paid $97M in salaries compared to $73M for the Lakers, a $24M difference. The Lakers are the NBA's Yankees: they are worth more, make more, and can afford to spend more than other teams. We also need to stop trying to save cap space down the road for Lebron James. The goal is to win now.

(2) Free Agents - The Lakers need to upgrade the point guard position by signing a top-level free agent guard such as Bonzi Wells or Jason Terry. Either player would immediately improve our defense as well as giving us a #2 scorer to reduce pressure on Kobe and Lamar. Kobe could then focus on being the shut-down perimeter defender we need and Lamar on being our all-around facilitator. Signing a journeyman player such as Mike James or Marcus Banks will win us another championship.

(3) NBA Draft - We need to make a move here to get a top draft prospect who is ready-to-play such as Brandon Roy or Thabo Sefolosha. We have enough Sasha Vujacics, Brian Cooks, and Ronny Turiaffs. We need a top-level defense-oriented player that can play right now. At this point, I would be willing consider trading Chris Mihm to Chicago for the #16 pick to draft Thabo Sefolosh, who could play the 1 or 3 spot depending upon whom we sign as a free agent.

Laker Tom,
I agree with those moves, and I think if those players sign elsewhere for more money, more moves can be made. The draft is important for the overall direction of the team, but what will show me that the Lakers are making a seious attempt to win the west is the veterans that they bring in. A point guard that can defend and shoot, and a 2/3 #2 scorer is also needed. I like Mihm, but 3 centers are not needed. Use the exceptions and Mihn trade value and make it happen.

Ken,

To the proponents of trading Odom to save cap space you should listen to Ken. If you're in the NBA, the ultimate goal is always the championship or else don't join the NBA and waste the money and time of your fans. If the goal of the Lakers is just to increase ticket prices and rake more profits for the Buss Family, then they are cheating their fans and the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, Lakers management should engage in oil business or in politics to continue making promises and fleece their constituents (or customers).

Let us be blunt, call a spade a spade. Do you want to save money? then make the radical move by getting rid of undesirable players namely: Kwame, Smush, Cook, Sasha, George, Mckie, JJ, Green and Von Wafer. They lacked the HEART and BRAIN to be with the LAKERS. Bring in new players via trade, draft, free agency, international players that can play TEAM DEFENSE and the Lakers will advance in the playoffs. (You can see Magic Johnson just scratching his bald head with two hands IN FRUSTRATION in watching lazy, raw, inconsistent & injured has-beens commit turnover after turnover during the Phoenix playoffs.) But to put the blame on Phil Jackson for poor coaching, or Kobe for too much shooting or lack of shooting, or trade Mihm, Odom, Bynum because they have VALUES create cap space in '08 that's a NO NO...Don't engage in "analysis-paralysis" just remove the CAUSES of the disease and move on.

band wagon.
i thought some of u were real lakers fan. hmmm.
reality chek is what u want .
miami is very old .so on the downfall.
wade is great but is not worthy to be in the same sentence as kobe or jordan.
when was getting a foul call by biased referees that hard .the kid is great but do no ever compare him to kobe.
u know wat kobe could not winn a title in the next 10 years but he will still have more talent in his litle pinky than wade.shaq era is over and it was declared by the block from big ben. thats the truth.we have more hope than most nba teams because of kobe and PJ.hmm (going crazy)
dont beleive in karma anymore go commit crime no more moral reprecussion.kill people start with shaq s fat ass.

Why HATE Shaq???????

All Shaq did was deliver on a PROMISE he made to the Miami fans after the IDIOTIC trade by Buss and Kupchak. All Shaq did was provide LEADERSHIP by not arguing, slapping and insulting his teammates, like a Kobe Bryant. All Shaq did was show Dwayne Wade the way toward winning a Title in the NBA. All Shaq did was take Dwayne Wade under his wing and the two bonded like adults and WON AN NBA TITLE with Dwayne Wade named MVP. DWade will make more money on endorsements, players will want to take paycuts just to play alongside of Shaq. Players in the NBA who KNOW about Basketball realize the VALUE of a Shaquille O'Neal and want the opportunity to play on a team with Shaq. Don't be surprised at the names of players considering going to Miami next season and take paycuts.

Kobe Bryant on the other hand is childish and makes bad decisions. Kobe Bryant was the one who slapped Sasha upside the head on a televised game, argued with Lamar Odom, yelled at Smush Parker in a televised game, tossed a TV monitor after a loss, and elbowed Mike Miller in the throat with a DIRTY play. Kobe is a bit out of control, yet he has this O.J. Simpson charm about him to con people. This past season showed the MATURITY level of a Kobe Bryant and the nation took notice when Raja Bell had enough.

Blame Buss and Kupchak for making bad decisions, they wanted to keep Kobe for financial reasons, those where they could RAISE ticket prices with the promise of SMOKE and MIRRORS regarding any type of Championship. It is a shell game that Laker ownership is offering fans and I myself am not biting. Savy use of the media during this society beleaguered by 'SHORT ATTENTION SPAN' Laker ownership raised ticket prices offering a mediocare with promises of 'tomorrow'. I for one am not one to buy into the illusion, however as gullible as this short attention span society has shown to be, there are still those that still believe there were WMD in a certain country.

OUT!!!
the Truth
case closed
told ya so
NEXT

Whoa, whoa, whoa…

Too many of you need to get off the “we should’ve kept Shaq” Did you guys not see his performance in the finals??? Is that worth the kinda money Shaq wanted? And what is worse is that it’s only gonna go down hill from there.

Okay, say we did keep Shaq. How would we have pulled off paying him 20-30 mil. and getting a Kobe or Wade type player? Plus, quality role players? It wouldn’t be as easy.

The Heat already had a young player who won’t be getting big money for couple years down the road. It will be real interesting how things change when Wade’s asking for what he earns.

Okay, let me ask this. After seeing the Finals, if Riley had a choice Wade or Shaq. Who would he choice?

I actually like that Miami won! It's makes the Lakers off season moves that much more interesting. I can't wait for the draft, more trade talks, etc... BUT the best thing of all.....seeing #24 step on that court. The league should be scared! I can see Kobe in the gym today working on his game.

LakerTom,

The reason the Mavs had such a high payroll, and the Knicks for that matter, is that they either had big contracts prior to the latest CBA in 2005 or they gave big extensions to their own players under the "Larry Bird Rule". From now on the only way the Mavs, Knicks, or Lakers for that matter could sign a free agent would be to use one of the exceptions. Unless these teams keep trading high salaries for high salaries or if they keep signing their own players to big contracts, each one of these teams will slowly get back to the salary cap.

Now, Buss can open his wallet and spend the $5 million per year on a player this year and every other year until the cows come home, but I see no reason for him to spend his money and basically pay $10 million per year because of the luxury tax on some scrap player.

I know it sounds like beating a dead horse, but the league has structured these rules to limit teams like the Lakers in a big market from basically just outspending the competition.

If you have any other questions about the cap or luxury tax, check out this link, it's pretty good.

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm

Shaq is still the same ole shaq. He still has not lead a team in the finals, wade led the heat in this finals with shaq, as usual, riding his coat tail just like he wore the coat tails of Horry, Fisher, Fox and Kobe. He has continued his string of not being in the game at the most critical moments when the game is in the balalnce because he committs stupid fouls, and he can't shoot free throws. He continues to say he is the most dominate center in basketball with 5 and 7 point games in this finals respectively. He didn't attempt a single shot with the game on the line because he dominated space at the end of the heat bench as a cheerleading spectator. He was always the first to the podium for post game commnets in victory, but could not show up in defeat because to shaq, its never his fault. Congrats!! to D Wade for establishing himself and will now get all the acolades due to him that everyone had already given to Le bron James, and Gary Payton, who saved the heat season twice in games 3 and 5. Shaq's legacy should be written as "the big take credit for things he did not do"

THe league is NOT wide open, if anything it is going to get harder to win, at least in the west. Dallas and Phoenix will be better next year than this year. San Antonio probably will be. The Clippers will be. Denver probably will be. New Orleans will be better. Memphis will probably be better. Sacramento, hard to tell. So the Lakers need to noticeably improve just to tread water in the west.

Tunnel Vision Kobe Bryant fans:

There is MORE to playing basketball than scoring 1,000,000,000 points a game. Shaq when not scoring is PASSING the ball to open teammates, making them better the bottom line is WINNING Championships with Shaq.

The Kobe Bryant school of basketball is to shoot first, second and third, then blame your teammates in losing for being young or inexperienced. Stop the denial before you turn Kobe into another O.J.

OUT!!!
the Truth

Andrew Z:

Thanks for the salary cap info and link. Reading this stuff reminded me why I quit law school after the first year. It does look as if you are right and the Lakers cannot spend more than their MLE without having to pay a luxury tax.

A few important related questions, if I might:

(1) Did I understand you correctly that the Knicks and the Mavs did not have to pay a luxury tax because their salary overages were all the result of valid exceptions?

(2) Based on an est $52M salary cap, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, and Toronto are the only teams under the cap. Does this mean that a free agent currently earning $8M, such as Bonzi Wells or Jason Terry, could only sign with these 5 teams as a free agent or stay with his current team without taking a pay cut?

(3) If only 5 teams are under the salary cap, that must mean that 25 teams are over the cap and can only use their $5M MLE or $2M BAE to sign free agents. Did any of these 25 teams have to pay a luxury tax for last season?

(4) The Lakers used the NBA's one-time Luxury Tax Amnesty exception for Brian Grant, which means that his $15M contract does not count against the Luxury Tax. We waived a player that could have helped the team in order to get this exception. Doesn't this mean that the Lakers can sign a free agent such as Bonzi Wells or Jason Terry and still not have to pay any luxury tax.

I am especially interested in your answer to #4 as Brian Grant is only on our payroll for next year. I understand we cannot trade his expiring contract but it would appear that should take advantage of the exception to sign a top-level free agentt.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

AK/BK:

What do you know about the Brian Grant $15M and how it affects our ability to sign a top-level free agent? Why would we have exercised that option unless it had some value we planned to take advantage of? We obviously struggled with this decision since it cost us an inside player who could possibly have helped the team.

Thanks for your input.

LakerTom,

I'll do my best here:

(1) Both the Mavs and Knicks did pay a luxury tax (the Knicks a whole lotta tax). I just mentioned that they were able to get that far over the cap because they had big contracts already in place.

(2) You are absolutely correct. Those are the only teams under the cap and can offer a big contract to those guys. Once you get a player on your team who is any good you're golden because you can pay them anything necessary. Going out and getting free agents is a bit tougher.

(3) Any team over the luxury tax threshold had to pay a dollar for dollar tax. Kind of sucks for owners. But yeah, there are quite a few teams who only have the exceptions to play with.

(4) I think Brian Grant was cut to save Dr. Buss $15 million. That's all. Even though we could have used a big (although he was injured like always) he sure wasn't worth $15 million. Can't say I blame Buss on that one. As for using that to sign Bonzi or Terry, no we can't. That amnesty was a one time deal to take some of the sting out of the owners agreeing to the luxury tax rule in the new CBA.

As you can see the Lakers and their free agent spending comes down to MLE and bi-annual. Now, they can split the MLE if so desired, amongst as many people they want, and to be honest, I think they should. I think paying Marcus Banks, say ALL the MLE would be a bit unwise. But that's just me.

I know you want Bonzi Wells on this team, and I would really like him here too, but getting him for a contract starting at $5 million per might be tough, especially since he had a great playoffs and made $8 million last year.

I hope that answered some questions.

LakerTom,

Here's an article from ESPN.com that explains what the five teams with cap space this offseason are looking at. It doens't mention players but kind of helps to get an idea of who's going to be shopping.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2458296

It's time for all Laker/Kobe fans nationwide to stand shoulder to shoulder against the Purple and Gold hatin' that's going on right now. The common thread seems to be "I TOLD YOU SO!!!
I read somewhere that Shaq has spent considerable time after hours at the Heat's practice facility practicing his free throws. Does anyone remember him returning to the Laker's facility to practice free throws?? ....and then there was the matter of him postponing his toe surgery until September with pre-season training starting in October, his lack of motivation for self preparation for upcoming seasons. IMO, I don't think his heart was really with the Lakers....issues with Kobe notwithstanding. He was willing to do much more for Miami, although it was motivated purely for revenge.

Andrew Z:

Thanks for your answers. I think this is a great dialogue because it is clearing up a lot of misconceptions we all have about what the Lakers can do. Here is my next set of questions:

(1) The Lakers salaries for next year total $67M. Assuming that the salary cap is $52M, this means that the Lakers are $15M over the cap, not taking into account any exceptions. Do you agree?

(2) The Luxury Tax Amnesty Provision allowed the Lakers to waive Brian Grant and not have to count his $15M as part of their salaries for purposes of calculating next year's luxury tax. Do you agree?

(3) The Larry Bird Exception allowed the Lakers to resign Kobe Bryant and not to have to count his $16M as part of their salaries for purposes of calculating next year's luxury tax. Do you agree?

(4) Brian Grant's $15M and Kobe Bryant's $16M in exceptions reduces the total Laker salaries for next year from $67M to $36M, which means the Lakers will be $16M under the salary cap and will not have to pay a luxury tax. Do you agree?

(5) It would thus appear that the Lakers would be able to sign a free agent player to a contract for up to $16M next year without having to pay any luxery tax. Do you agree.

(6) The NBA salary cap allows teams to sign free agent players and exceed the salary cap provided they are willing to pay the luxury tax. Do you agree.

Andrew Z, I may well be incorrect with the above analysis but that is what the CBA seems to say. If true, what it really means is that they only thing keeping the Lakers from signing a top level free agent at this time is Jerry Buss and not the prospect of having to pay a luxury tax.

Andrew Z:

After reviewing my post, there is another alternative to my point (6) that might finally explain everything. Let me know your comments:

Original Post:
(6) The NBA salary cap allows teams to sign free agent players and exceed the salary cap provided they are willing to pay the luxury tax. Do you agree.

Alternative Post:
(6) The NBA salary cap does NOT allow teams to sign free agent players and exceed the salary cap. It only allows teams to exceed the salary cap by using the Larry Bird exception, or the MLE or BAE.

My problem with this interpretation is how would a team every end of having to pay a luxury tax then if they could never sign a free agent player who would cause them to exceed the cap?

Help me out here, Andrew. This doesn't make sense.

Shaq and DWade led the Miami Heat to the NBA Title.

EXACTLY as predicted 4-2...who woulda thunk?!!!!!

The Truth rings clear!!!

BK:

You are definitely not looking at our team with the same "purple and gold" glasses that I usually wear but you do make some sense.

I have been trying to understand how the salary cap works and whether the Lakers can sign a player like Bonzi or Terry for more than the MLE if they are willing to pay the luxury tax or whether the CBA just prohibits them from signing the player period. Can you answer that question?

If the answer is that we are totally prohibited from signing a free agent for more than the MLE, then I agree with you that we will be hard pressed to compete for a ring the next couple of years. Signing Marcus Banks for the MLE is not gong to make us a contender.

And unless we are willing to basically stand pat until Grant's contract goes off the books in 2007/8, I can also start to see why trading Lamar, whom I love as a player but who will make $12.5M next year, for Chicago's #2 and #16 could make real sense.

Basically, we would be able to get two top 15 defensive-oriented ready-to-play rookies (Brandon Roy and Thabo Sefolosha, for example) with very low salaries and be able to clear cap space to sign a free agent like Bonzi or Terry, as well as a very valuable $12.4 trade exception.

In other words, we would essentially be trading Lamar for three players who could help plus cap room flexibility. Does this all make sense to you?


all us laker fans should just chill..

wel'll win it.
we just need kobe to score one point more than the whole opposing team all the time ^_^

I would trade Andrew Bynum and the 26th pick and our 2007 first round pick to Chicago for the 2nd and 16th pick.

Lets look at the facts if Bynum ever becomes an All Star player he will be around 23 or 24 years old and by that time kobe will br around 33 and Lamar around 32, we need to win now.

Think of a backcourt of kobe roy and lamar, plus we can get an athletic 3 in the draft, only way we will make it back to the finals is by being athletic as san antonio wont make it back to the finals for awhile as they are an ageing team, only way we make it back to the finals is being athletic team like dallas and phoenix.

We should improve our frontline via free agency get some expreienced bangers who play good d, as with kobe lamar and brandon they would combine for 60-70 pts per game

GO LAKERS

mike i lost respet for u man.
seriously saying bynum and odom will go before brown is plain stupid.no picking a fight but come on .brown is good could do great things to us but will never have the size and pottential of bynum nor the verstality of odom.he is the opposed of clutch wich bynum kind is coz under pressure to respond to shaq he dunked on his ass.odom is on a diffrent scale than brown.right now he isnt worth hald the money we pay hi, so thimk before u type man brown is the first i would give up from the 4 players of the core and he wont be in the core unless he keeps up the late last season heroics.and does wat he is told "15 10"

LakerTom,

Every players salary counts against the cap, even if they were signed with the LArry Bird Rights. So Kobe's $16 mil definitely counts. Brian Grant's $15 million counts against the cap but not against the luxury tax due to the amnesty clause in the CBA.

When a team is over the cap, no matter by how much, they can not sign any player to a deal using anything but the MLE and other exceptions.

I think your last post to BK made the most sense. Basically the Lakers can't offer a free agent more than the MLE for the next two years. On top of that, Dr. Buss will end up basically paying twice whatever salary he gives that player because of the luxury tax. Now, if Marcus Banks asks for the entire MLE, and I'm Jerry Buss, I have a hard time swallowing the fact that I'm paying $10 million a year for this kid. In that sense it's easy to see why the Lakers are so picky about who they sign.

Kind of makes the LO to Chicago for the #2, #16, and trade exception sound pretty good, huh?

some of u guys are short sighted .MJ won his forth title at 34 so wat if when bynum is at his best kobe is 33 and is bynum going to jump from beeing a rook to an all star he will become solid long before and with odom and kobe and solid big man that will be a dynastie and bynum will play second and third until he is great and kobe is diminishing, then it will be kobe playing second if he hadnt retired at the top .

I don't think L.O. should be traded.
When Phil came back as coach, L.O. was supposedly one one the reasons that he thought the lakers could be a good team. I think some of you are still shook up that Miami won. What the Lakers need to do for right now is bring in a point guard, possibly Banks or Claxton, and trade Mihm for a shooter/scorer, such as Mo.Peterson. The only way the Lakers will improve significantly is if Smush, Sasha,Kwame, and Luke really puts in work this summer on their shooting, their strength and knowledge of the offense. Next season more salary cap flexibility will be availiable and they can made more changes based on how guys improve.

Andrew Z.
Just be patient. :)

purple and gold,

Why are you surprised by what I said? The Lakers, if PJ would of had his way, would have traded by Lamar Odom and Bynum last year. PJ would like to trade Bynum, which I think is a foolish thing to do but that PJ for you.

Over time if Kwame improves this year and Byunm develops as expected Odom would be out.

mike

Finally the Lakers draft Thabo:

NBADraft.net updated their 2006 mock draft and now have the Lakers taking Thabo with their #26 pick. Probably won't last that far but it would be great if they were right.

http://www.nbadraft.net/

Mihm, Mckie, the #26 and whatever is lying around that works and get Roy. Anything else in the draft is a PJ bench warmer.

IMO Mihm is undervalued. 2000 7th pick, 7 footer, ok hands, fairly good offence. Chicago should be interested. Chandler is not producing the offence desired. Maybe NO.

I Like Miles, but feel that he has a huge 'X' factor. Good FG%, but bad FT%. Get him for a deal... I'm in.

Bynum for Roy... I see from PJ's perspective this may be a good thing. I like the upside of Bynum and I willing to wait. Remember Roy looks pretty good in a weak draft. We might be overvaluing him beacuse of his company in the draft.

Thabo would be a good bet for the future, but not much more than a bench warmer for PJ.

We really really need a second scoring option now. We need a solid (read consistant) mid-range shooter that can drive to the basket and can play some solid defence. Someone that can hit three's near the 40% range. Someone both PJ and KB can trust, but maybe with what we have to offer this will have to be two players and not one.

I am kind of interested in a Gordon and Banks combo. Might be a nice blend.

If we fill this PG slot right we will have an excellent chance of being in the conference finals next year. If we give up Bynum we will be playing him in the finals in a few years.

IMHO he is a future allstar center. Beware of selfish motives for fast results. I plan on being a Laker fan in 5 years, don't you?

I would prefer hitting doubles and triples, assuming we actually do so. messing with the core (Kobe, Lamar and Kwame) is unacceptable to me. Kobe is Kobe, and the latter two came on strong when it counted and are viable, proven commodities for the Lakers. Unless you can parlay them into Kevin Garnett, I see no reason to touch them. Bynum must be kept b/c you just hate to give up a future real center (are their any real ones left) with actual skills. The rest of the team can be harvested for parts as far as I'm concerned.

it seems there was a confluence of occurrences which kept us from a legitimate spot in the finals...PG play, one bench player, and a rebound. Nothing we can do about the last one. But plenty we can do about the other two. But we have to be willing to try stuff and not try to get away on the cheap. Really, did anyone's heart skip a beat when we tried to get Daniels or when we actually got McKie? I'm not a capologist, but do something to bring a guy who has proved that he can do this NBA thing, but had an off season. Seems like Q Richardson might be that type of player and after everything he's going through, perhaps he needs a change back to the familiar. We should have an expiring contract Isiaih Thomas should covet. I'm all over the Darius Miles thing. that should definitely happen. Perhaps bring the old guy Magliore in to tutor Bynum one more year. I'm not proposing pie-in-the-sky deals for other teams' all-stars, just getting creative in pursuing a talented player. Miles for us would be the equivalent of Tim Thomas for the Suns. we see how that worked. Q would obviously give us the scoring we need. both talents, both not considered on the threshold of stardom, just very good COMPLIMENTARY pieces.

oh and by the way, if the Clips are STUPID enough to let Sam Cassell walk, it would behoove us to offer whatever we can to get him!! that guy just flat out knows how to win. I dare say that if we had this guy at the point, we would have been in the Finals. If you could get him, he might make all other moves unnecessary.

ni mike if they all developp we can have the best frontcourt ever with kobe u can go 4 against 5 and go 82 -0.
if kwame can developp his jumpshot wich like u i know he has he would become a great player coz of his D his post game (as a center wich he showed last season)and his jump shot with bynum s size and then they just ask lamar to work on his jumper and three point shot. they wont trade them lamar know they wont pay him more so does kwame unless he goes to another level and they will give bynum a not so big contract since he would be young.and promise him that he will be the face of the franchise .dont trade anybody. sorry trade mihm for a PG. thats it.
but that would mean that all three would play up to potential.

Mike T.,

Not that I know you're critical of PJ but I don't think he wants to jeopardize his career by trading Lamar. (I go w/ Ken and P&G) He could entertained the idea of trading Bynum when Artest was available for selfish reason to jumpstart the Laker offense and defense with Artest playing cuz' Bynum is still under training. But in Lamar's case, that is his 2nd scorer and his most reliable all-around player next to Kobe, why will he get rid of him in exchange of young gung-ho players?

Well, Lakerville...Let's admit how much seeing the Heat celebrate a C'ship galls us and move on with our lives. The Heat were able to capitalize on circumstances which were favorable to them throughout the playoff and took advantage. Before anyone overdoses on the Wade/Shaq Kool-aid, I think that the credit for Miami's victory has to go to their overall team defense. They simply took away any inside game from Dallas and forced the Mavs to beat them over the top. Much like Detroit, Dallas could not mount any inside game. Props have to go to DWade's great series, although I thought that his numbers were augmented by favorable calls from the referees. Guys like Haslem, Mourning, Posey and even Antoine Walker provided tremendous help defense and prevented Nowitski from ever taking over. True Laker fans are going to have to live with the anti-Kobe, anti-Laker BS until the Laker organization puts together a solid contender.

I love Lamars game as we all do but he doesnt have a scoring mentality, hes been no more than 17 ppg in his career.

Kobe is always going to average 30 PPG and to compete for a championship we need two other starters that can average 15 PPG.

We have to trade Lamar for the 2nd pick and trade mihm to new orleans for the 12th. If we do that we have 3 first round picks. If we do that I believe can get roy with the 2nd pick, a power forward with the 12th and its rumoured the likes love James White with the 26th as an athletic swingman.

Lets face the facts we couldnt beat the suns without stoudameire kurt thomas and bell in game 6, do u think LO would of put up the same numbers if stoudameire played I DONT THINK SO.

By trading LO we get picks as well as money to spend on free agents look at the free agents we have got the last 2 years, Aaron Mckie Smush Parker Jim Jackson.

On the current roster we have only 3 players that could start for other teams Kobe Lamar and Andrew in the future.

We cant win a championship with simply Kobe Lamar and hope Andrew turns into an All Star low first round draft picks MLE and no salary cap space.

Lamar trade value is at its highest right now and as we are at the moment its not like we will be in the Western Cinference Finals next year

 
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