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About that depth chart

The Lakers will kick off the season Monday with a GM under fire (though perhaps more than he deserves?), a star player (more powerful than Arte Moreno!) who seems to reside in various states of gruntle, dis or otherwise, a No. 2 who most believe is best suited to be a Swiss Army No. 3 ... and not much else, at least according to Tony Mejia of CBS Sportsline.com. 

It's reasonable to take the sort of positional rankings Mejia does with a grain of salt.  You can always argue about where a guy might fit onto a list, and no question that a team is often more than the sum of its parts (see first half, '06-07).  Certain players fill certain roles that can help a team thrive, their relative talents vs. the rest of the league notwithstanding.  But there's no arguing that, despite an improvement at point guard, the Lakers are still a top-heavy and talent-thin bunch relative to other NBA teams with dreams of big things. 

Click below for the rankings, and where the Lakers fit in.

Here's the disclaimer from Mejia, so you understand where he's coming from:

"Players are ranked in the order of their projected impact on the coming season. Upside is taken into account, but only for the next 12 months.  Whether you're a bargain or a bad contract doesn't matter."

Let's start with the no-brainer:

Shooting guard: Kobe Bryant, No. 1. 

Point guard:  Derek Fisher, honorable mention.  I'm among those who is happy to see Fish back, but it's hard to say that if you went team to team around the league that you'd take him over most of the other options.  He'll have an impact, for sure, and has obvious meaning to a team like the Lakers, but he's not in the neighborhood of a top-tier NBA PG.

Small forward: Luke Walton, Vlad Radmanovic, honorable mention:  Can't say this is a surprise, either.  Like Fish, Walton has value that is particular to the Lakers, but we're not talking about an elite small forward here.  On a better team, he's a rotation guy.  First or second off the bench, making valuable contributions.  As for Vlad Rad, "honorable mention" would be an improvement on his performance from last season, so if he can hit those heights, it'll make a difference (seriously, any contribution from the guy likely improves the Lakers, simply because they received nothing from him last year). 

Power forward: Lamar Odom, 10, Brian Cook, honorable mention.  L.O.'s a warrior, and we all know what he can do.  It's just a question of health and consistency.  It seems like every sentence about him begins with "if."  But odds are he'll start the season in L.A., so he's our "if," right?

Center:  Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, honorable mention.  So if you put three guys together in the H.M. category, that makes one top 10 center, right?  Bynum is still all potential, Kwame is still all one dimensional (defense -- an important dimension, for sure), Mihm is still all question marks.  This is a position that could turn into a strength for the Lakers, but it could also be a hole.  It'll help, too, if Brown and Mihm can successfully contribute some minutes at the four.

-- BK 

 
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Top 10 Questions for the upcoming Lakers season:

1. Will Kobe show up?
2. How much improvement will we see in Bynum?
3. Can Lamar Odom take it up to all-star level this season?
4. Will Fisher or Crittendon grow into a starting PG by season's end?
5. Will Chris Mihm play up to the level he played before his injury?
6. Will Radmanovic actually start earning his MLE contract?
7. Will the Lakers be able to convert Kwame's expiring contract into a player who's worth 9 million or more?
8. Will the Lakers be able to stay healthy as a team?
9. Will there be any chemistry problems from all the trade talk and media circus of the summer?
10. Will the Lakers improve enough that Kobe will take back his trade request?

Stay tuned - the first question gets answered tomorrow!

Is Shaun Marion a Laker, yet?

--FearlessWhackJob

Taos hum is the perfect optimist...or I should I say : the imperfect obtimist.
The ingenuous dude who usually see mangos in a apple tree.

In Basketball you can't have faith in mediocre talent.
You can surprise for 2 or 3 weeks, while the veterans slowly adjust and regain the control of their body after
summer vacation. When that happen boys became babies and babies became new born.

Can Lamar suddenly be the all star that never was?
Can Kwame play with passion and be assertive?
Can Luke turn to play adequate defense by abracadabra magic?
Can Sasha play in the NBA?
Can Turiaff back support 20 minutes daily of playing?
Can Vla Ra return from oblivion?
Can Brian Cook rebound and move his feet in defense>
Can Evans be les erratic and injnured?
Can Critt survive in the NBA?
Can Derek Fisher keep some kind of energy in a old body that react tardly?
Can Bic Mac Bynum be a man and sustain some kind of energy in the floor and avoid so many mental mistakes?

This team needs so many casualties to happen in the same time in order to be successful that
we just have to low expectations to the minimum so they can surprise us.

While this mediocrity team start to make us suffer in a new season, worshipers of Jim Buss and Mitch are
demanding from us to believe in utopias and miracles, to adopt a type of auto-brainwatch that make us certain of the uncertain, sure of the unknown, secure in insecure possibilities, to those who want us to see the moon as the promised paradise, let's say as Saint Thomas told to Jesus: We have to see it to believe it.

In case you missed it.

There was a new show on tonight called Sports Science, and it featured Jordan Farmar in a segment on hang time
and Cat Mobley in a segment where they wanted to determine if he could dunk while wearing football pads.

Oh, I get it. It's a win-win situation for the Saint. Who else? When Bynum shows improvement (and there is absolutely no good reason to expect that he won't) Kobe will be lavished with the lion's share of credit for sharing his magnificient leadership and motivational skills; making Andrew the better player that he will become, right? Oh God, I can hear it now.

And if Bynum (or anyone else on the team) doesn't shine, then Kobe will clearly have had nothing to do with it. After all, he's "the best player on the planet", of course.

Another win-win scenario might have young Andrew getting his fill of Chocolate just before kicking the Dawg's boney little ass up and down the court a few times; then shoving him out the door, the east door. This too is a win-win situation; but this time it is for the Laker organization and its fans, not for a megalomaniac and his girly groupies.

In about 3 years you'll look back and lament, "man, we should have sent our Mamba packing some 5 years ago". Oh man, you should have.

Sonnybelfast

Place me on the Bynum Breakout Bandwagon, and he (along with several other Laker players) will be twice as effective if Kobe is somewhere back east.

Sonnybelfast

FEARLESSWHACKJOB:

Shawn Marion is not a Laker yet. He's having second thoughts about playing for the Lakers. When asked why, he said it was because Lakers bloggers hadn't bothered to learn how to spell his name right.

CALI KING

LTLF,

1. Will Kobe show up?
The probability is only slightly higher than a Kwame brick that misses the rim.
2. How much improvement will we see in Bynum?
Enough to keep this team and other teams interested.
3. Can Lamar Odom take it up to all-star level this season?
Not this year, not ever. Lamar will never be at All-Star level in the West. East? Maybe - if he is moved to Indiana in a trade that brings back Jermaine to the WCF.
4. Will Fisher or Crittendon grow into a starting PG by season's end?
You mean Jordan? Fisher is like last month's milk. I say Crittenton will play more minutes by end of the season - as a Laker.
5. Will Chris Mihm play up to the level he played before his injury?
By the time the playoffs come around. Not necessarily with the Lakers.
6. Will Radmanovic actually start earning his MLE contract?
Enough to get another team to take on his monderately priced contract.
7. Will the Lakers be able to convert Kwame's expiring contract into a player who's worth 9 million or more?
Not if he's the only Laker involved.
8. Will the Lakers be able to stay healthy as a team?
Yes - compared to last year.
9. Will there be any chemistry problems from all the trade talk and media circus of the summer?
Yes, but they will be hushed up.
10. Will the Lakers improve enough that Kobe will take back his trade request?
Kobe will opt out in 2 years, but will lead the Lakers to a better showing this year than the last couple.

Faith,

Your FYI is troubling. An official Laker website, asking season ticket holders to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on player trades??? Astonishing.

It's worse than a kick in the balls. Fans should be flooding the site with complaints.

If this is how ownership operates, they should be run out of town with the man-child strapped to their backs.

This will leave you with good coaching, solid framework and promising pieces with which to build your new team. Alas.

Sonnybelfast

SOUNDS LIKE PJ IS SENDING A MESSAGE TO KOBIATCH.

"Is the sun about to set, not only on the brilliant coaching career of the newest NBA Hall of Fame coach but also on the glorious success enjoyed by the Los Angeles Lakers? "We're at a critical point," conceded Jackson. "Players [once] jumped to get the opportunity to play with the Lakers. It meant an opportunity to maybe win a championship. Now we have to compete real hard for free agents."

Source: CHICAGO TRIBUNE

WHY DO WE HAVE TO COMPETE SO HARD FOR FREE AGENTS? ANSWER: BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO COME TO LA AND BE KOBE'S KBIATCH. IT'S FUNNY HOW HE SAID PLAYERS "ONCE" JUMPED TO GET TO PLAY FOR THE LAKERS. DIRECT COMMENT AT THE "SHAQ ERA". PJ BASICALLY SENDING OUT THE MESSAGE OF WHEN THE LAKERS MADE THEIR FIRST MISTAKE. THEN HE FINISH OFF WITH, "NOW" MEANING "KBIATCH ERA" HAVE TO COMPETE REAL HARD FOR FREE AGENTS. DIRECT REFLECT ON THE PLUTO'S SUMMER RANT.

kobe & the lakers co-existing

"The Lakers are counting on economics and pride. Even if Bryant would rather be elsewhere, as long as he is on the court, everything we've seen from him indicates he will give it his all. Bryant's most admirable trait -- the one that made Lakers fans gravitate toward him instead of Shaquille O'Neal and stick with Bryant even after he flirted with other teams in 2004 -- is his professionalism. Come game night, he's going to bring it. There's no threat of him turning into Vince Carter on the Raptors in 2004. "

"Well, Bryant disagreed with O'Neal more often than they got along over their eight seasons together. They also won far more than they lost."

"The Lakers and Kobe need each other right now. He needs the team so he can be an NBA player -- and stay visible to satisfy the companies he endorses. The Lakers need him to sell tickets and to have a shot at being competitive on the court."

THAT BEING SAID, KOBE WILL BE THERE....

I WISH THE FO WONT COZ HOW COULD THEY SIT ON THEIR LAZY ASSES AND NOT BRING A REAL #2!!!

PURPLE & GOLD BABY!!!

Well I guess Kobe Bryant's ego has been humbled.
Phil Jackson is old enough to provide internal maintenance to his ego but it's been humbled too.
Big Bad Jim Buss won this summer.
My ego as a fan has been humbled also.

I never though that the team I've been nuts about since about 1980 would not make a MOVE this summer.
We've never resembled CHUMPS before but what I see sure looks like CHUMPS.

Guess it's time to put the Laker gear away until they give me a reason to wear it but of course I'll be watching as much as I can stomach.

MAMBA 24

By all means, please add me to this list - LAKERBAKE

ABSOLUTELY NO FAITH IN MANAGEMENT BANDWAGON

Get rid of Mitch! Get West back as GM! Trade for Marioin now! Still look to trade/aquire on more star forward or center! There you go, we win!

Brent

p ang ...I can only hope to brighten up your life to half the extent Mike T does.Im truly humbled.

Giant Squid...I think you should buy a brand new copy of each book and brand new copies of the dvd's too...by the time you are done you will understand.Sure quidditch isnt the beautiful game or basketball but I'd like to see you sell as many books as me.

Ex the imperious curse is coming your way fella... at least my Harry got it done...Frodo reached the the fire pit after putting everyone through the ringer and whinging his way through three books that were even longer than mine... then he couldnt finish the job and his boi had to do it for him....
How good did New Zealand look in the movies by the way?

The recent interview with Mitch gives us an update on the second most important story of the off-season:

"Lamar had the second surgery on his labrum and he's not scrimmaging yet and he's not doing a whole lot on the basketball court so I don't know how much he'll participate in training camp. He'll be there; he'll be on the court. But is he scrimmaging or is he working at the side basket doing dummy offense and dummy defense, we don’t know right now."

On another note, since training camp starts today, the big wonder is how the off-season will have effected the chemistry between Kobe and his teammates. Even though it's wishful thinking, perhaps Kobe's ranting and complaining about being on a sub-par squad will light a fire under his teammates and possibly keep them from playing so much Kobe-ball on offense. Rather than looking to force-feed him the ball and stand around watching, the rest of the guys will be looking to keep the ball moving to the open man with the best shot.

you know it's pure hatred when nothing Kobe does, even if it leads to positive results, is turned into a negative. Sonny has his script ready.

You know why there are "groupies"? It's because of people like him.. of course, it could be a chicken-egg issue.. because of groupies, people like him who look to criticize all the time pop up.

Unfortunately, for the sane and unbiased ones (criticize, praise when appropriate), we've got to deal with both kinds of people.

"In about 3 years you'll look back and lament, "man, we should have sent our Mamba packing some 5 years ago". Oh man, you should have."

um....YES.

Mambo#8....strike that...Mambo#24.....strike that.....pick one, it doesn't really matter..... should have been sent packing in circa 2003 for the rights to LBJ, Wade or Melo.

FO is only incompetent (my guess is everyone but Jimbo Buss who probably wanted kobe out) insofar as being too chicken-shizzle for not trading kobe to Cleveland for the rights to Lebron. Imagine Lebron leading the way with Shaq-o Bell as the Super Robin? Lebron would have cherished playing with a 32-year-old shaq still in his prime for the chance to win titles back in 2004.

Lakers would have won at least 1 more championship from 2004-2007. A hypothetical Kobe Kavalier team would post a .500 record and first round knockouts in the playoffs and kobe winning meaningless scoring titles.

Instead of the Shaq-Kobe "too much drama for your mama" ending up like Magic-Kareem, it became a Garnett-Marbury in Minny circa 1999 when Marbury (the original Malcontent) decided INDIVIDUAL legacy is more important than CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Players not as excited to come here has nothing to do with "eras". Even towards the end of the Shaq-Kobe era, we were running out of options because of salary cap issues and having to sign "veterans" on their last legs to compete, which wasn't good enough to compete with the younger, deeper teams anyway.

Right now, the lakers aren't close to being in the top tier.. Shaq or no Shaq, we don't have the depth. That's the reason. Despite this, we've heard JO, Shawn Marion, couple of key folks in the rumor mill wanting to come here to play with Kobe and form a duo. So, enough of this BS!

KL Beast

The Kavalier thing was witty but the cavs would have never traded Lebron for Kobe so hows it down to Mitch? surely the sensible cavs would have already been aware of your second point that the would have been a 50% team with Kobe.

Im disapointed in your logic Beast!

Prediction:

Kobe has his best year..wins MVP
Bynum turns into Godzilla and wins MIP award.
Critt is better than Farmar and wins starting job be the end of the year.
Lamar gets hurt again.
Kwame traded on deadline day.
Lakers get out of 1st round and advance to Western Conference Finals

If this doesn't happen, nice knowing Kobe and Phil they will leave and the Lakers start the long rebuilding process. God I hope not. GO LAKERS!!!
bd

Gunner stopped drooling for a minuted and then regurgitated this:

>>WHY DO WE HAVE TO COMPETE SO HARD FOR FREE AGENTS? ANSWER: BECAUSE NO ONE
>>WANTS TO COME TO LA AND BE KOBE'S KBIATCH.

For those of you who insist that the reason the Lakers haven't gotten any significant free agents the last few
years is because of Kobe (that means you, Gunner and KL) -

Two of the key players from last year's Cavaliers team won't be reporting to camp today. In fact, they're not even
in the country. Anderson Varejao is in Brazil and Sasha Pavlovic is in Europe. Everyone is so gushy about
LeBron James, you'd think if there were ANY player in the NBA that players would take less money to play
with, it would be LeBron. But no. Both of those players are thinking about playing overseas rather than play
on LeBron's team. And that's not to mention that an endless parade of players has turned down contracts with
the Heat and the chance to play with Shaquille.

NBA players in their prime don't come to teams to play with a player anymore. It's all about the Benjamins.

When the Lakers free up some real free agent cash, then the free agents will come.

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ABSOLUTELY NO FAITH IN MANAGEMENT BANDWAGON
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(1) Complex Brotha
(2) Mambs24
(3) XODUS
(4) RICK FRIEDMAn
(5) MJCMAN32
(6) MJCMAN33
(7) XODUS
(8) EXHELODRVR
(9) utzworrld THE BANNER HOLDER
(10) WEDWIN GUECO
(11) LakerBake
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"We Are Out in the First Round Again if Kupcake Doesn't Get off His Ass and Do Something" Bandwagon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) EXHELODRVR
(2) ANDREW Z
(3) JAY JAY
(4) COMPLEX BROTHA
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SELL THE LAKERS BANDWAGON
--------------------------------------------------------------
(1) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER
(2) MAMBA24
(3) RICK FRIEDMAN
------------------------------------------------------------------
* SHAWN MARION TO LAKERS BANDWAGON.*
-------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Shawn Marion
(2) AK
(3) FearlessWhackJob
(4 Rick Freidman
(5) Mamba24
(6) Jeff Pinoy
(7) AB
(8) #4
(9) Caesar
(10) Justin
(11) LALakerLover
(12) TaosHum
(13) McGARNAGLE
(14) Andrew Z
(15) Brandon
(16) Danny
(17) Xtro
(18) Gino
(19) LakerBake
(20) Zajkee
(21) Kiwi
(22) Paulie
(23) MJCMAN32
(24) TSPHERE
(25) Exhelodrvr
(26) Zakee\
(27) Xodus
(28) ChiTownLaker
(29) Q WUOR
(30) B4hoops
(31) Linda Pineda
(32) Laker Tom
(33) Complex Brotha
(34) Andy B
(35) Steve From New Jersey
(36) Long Time Laker Fan
(37) Hugo Boss
(38) KLBeast
(39) WesJoeNixon
(40) TajLuck
(41) Dice8Up
(42) Edwin Gueco
(43) GOV
(44) HAL9000
(45) JOREMA
(46) THE LAKE SHOW
(47) CUT & DRY
(48) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER
(49) Benjamin
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55 WIN BANDWAGON MEMBERS:
(1) Laker Tom (2) Marty (3) HUBBIT (4) Fearless Whack Job (5) Mamba24
(6) David Whang (7) BD (8) Dan Dan the Laker Fan (9) Long Time Laker Fan
(10) Roky (11) JoninJapan(In Canada) 12) JUNO (13) KEIFO,
(14) Alexinho17 (15) TALIQ (16) GENERIC_ONE (17) VIOLATER
(18) Twoody (19) SLO Gal (20) HobbitIMage (21) dice8up (22) KIWI
(23) DEREK (24) NIK KANNAN
Members at heart
(25) Bob (26) Faith (27) LakerLover
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ROLL THE DICE ON JO BANDWAGON
(1).Tha Show (2) Andrew Z (3).Xodus (4).Mamba24 (5)Edwin Gueco
(6). Exhelodrvr (7). Long Time Laker Fan (8) Me (9)Fearless whackjob
10). LakerBake (11) Lincoln Laker (12) Benjamin
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAKE A DEAL BEFORE TRAINING CAMP BANDWAGON
(1) Laker Bake (2) Gino (3) Trip Game (4) Jay Jay (5) Cbuck (6) Benjamin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SIGN SUN YUE BANDWAGON
(1).FearlessWhackJob
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SACRAMENTO KINGS 50 WIN BANDWAGON
1. Sonnybelfast 2. Ron Artest
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BYNUM BREAKOUT BANDWAGON
(1) LakerFaze (2) Mamba24 (3) DEREK
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SASHA BREAKOUT BANDWAGON
(1) Faith (2) LongimeLakerFan ----------------------

>>>4. Will Fisher or Crittendon grow into a starting PG by season's end?
>>>You mean Jordan?

Doh! My bad - yes - this should have read "Will Farmar or Crittendon grow into ..."

Part of the meaning I meant to imply with the question is that Fisher is very good for team morale and for being
a composed guard in the late moments of games, but he's not good enough to carry the team to a higher level.
If neither Farmar nor Critter can surpass him by the end of this season, then the Lakers aren't going anywhere
in the playoffs.

To be honest, I think Jordan Farmar will be a very good NBA point guard. And I could see a situation where
Critter backs up both PG and SG for a few seasons and then becomes the starting SG when Kobe retires.

Long Time Laker Fan,

In other words,

Varejao to LeBron - FU!
Pavlovic to LeBron - FU 2!

Jokes aside, it goes to show that the small market teams will always have a tough time attracting FAs. The Spurs were lucky to have David Robinson go down the year before Duncan was drafted, and were astute enough to get Ginobli and Parker with low picks. Other teams will have a hard time keeping their existing (good) players while trying to attract top-tier talent. This is where big-market teams like LA, Chicago and NY have the advantage - as long as you have an owner willing to spend.

I still hold out hope for the FO - if we can trade LO, Kwame, Farmar and a #1 for JO and one of Indiana's bad contracts, we should. Even if it's Murphy. We could always buy him out like Portland did with the Franchise. If course, that's easy to say when it's not my money :)

October 1st, preseason is starting!

It can't come soon enough for me. The Chargers are looking real sucky, and the Pads have blown a golden opportunity to make the playoffs. Hopefully the Pads can come through tonight with Peavy.

Go Lakers!

Offer up Lamar for Marion! It's a good trade.

Another CAMP fodder signed...Forward Andre Patterson


you've probably already been informed but here is the link: http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/071001_andrepatterson.html

 
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