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Trevor Ariza does the totally expected ...

Meaning he exercised his player option, as announced by the Lakers today. As BK and I both felt (from both conversations with different people and simple common sense, given how much time Ariza missed due to injury), this decision was a given. And it's a good situation for both parties, assuming the small forward can remain healthy. Ariza likes it here and before getting hurt, he was fitting in nicely and is the team's best defending three not named "Kobe," "Bean" or "Bryant."

We'll be sure to clue you in when Chris Mihm inevitably follows suit with his contract option.

The official press release is below the jump.

AK

TREVOR ARIZA EXERCISES PLAYER CONTRACT OPTION FOR 2008-09 SEASON

EL SEGUNDO – Lakers forward Trevor Ariza exercised a player contract option for the 2008-09 season, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.   

Ariza, acquired by the Lakers this past season on Nov. 20 in a trade with the Orlando Magic, posted averages of 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.08 steals and 18.0 minutes in 24 games with the Lakers before suffering a fracture of the fourth metatarsal in his right foot Jan. 20 and missing the rest of the regular season and 11 playoff games.

Returning for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the four-year veteran played in eight total postseason games, recording playoff career-highs in points (six), rebounds (five), steals (one) and blocks (one) in nine minutes during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Drafted by the New York Knicks with the 43rd overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft, Ariza is originally from Los Angeles (Westchester High School) and played one season at UCLA before entering the NBA.  He averaged 11.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in his one season at UCLA.

 
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good for him, better for us

I say Lamar Odom + Mihm for Mike Miller.

If anyone doesn't understand why Laker fans love Andrew Bynum, check out Player Efficiency Ratings per 48 minutes from NBA.com (Check out the players below AB on the list. Gives me a little wood.

http://tinyurl.com/6yyqjn

Go Lakers!

No big changes.


2009

Good.

Keep The Bench Mob together!

GO LAKERS!

If the Lakers wants to keep Sasha and Turiaf, and no changes in the current roster, then they are looking for about 80 million in salary plus about 10 to 15 million in luxary tax. While they can get a Grant Hill, Ron Artest, Eddie House and James Posey, which are all "unrestricted free agent" this summer.

THIS ENTIRE SEASON HAS BEEN ABOUT NEXT YEAR…

This was the year the Lakers broke out of their 3-year cocoon of sleepy dysfunction and metamorphosed into a championship caliber basketball team. It was the year they won back the heart and soul of their leader and greatest player and saw their future greatness in the emergence and dominance of their 20-year old center Andrew Bynum.

It was the year the Lakers got Derek Fisher back and added Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza. It was the year Lamar Odom’s play finally caught up with his high-ticket NBA paycheck. It was the year Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, and Ronny Turiaf learned how to win. And it was the year we finally got rid of Smush, Kwame, Cookie, and losing seasons.

It was the year of the Kobe Clones, players working, striving, and playing just like Kobe. It was the year when GM Mitch Kupchak should have won EOY and Phil Jackson COY. It was the year when the NBA finally returned to the glory days of the Lakers and Celtics, when the Lakers once again ruled the West, and Kobe Bryant rightfully won MVP.

But this season has really always been about next year, our first opportunity to play a full season with all of new pieces healthy and brimming with confidence from this year’s run. It’s about Andrew Bynum continuing his emergence as the Lakers next great center in the tradition of previous greats Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, and O’Neal.

Contrary to Chicken Little and his compatriots, the Lakers front office is not going to make any major trades or moves this summer. If Lamar Odom ends up being traded, it will only be later in the season ala Kwame and after the Lakers have had a chance to see how all their new pieces fit and make sure Lamar is effective at small forward.

I think the Lakers will let it be known to his agent that they would be willing to sign Ron Artest to a 5-year contract for the full MLE if he opts out of his contract with the Kings. I also think the Lakers may also let James Posey’s agent know that the Lakers would be very interested in signing him to a contract for next year if he opts out of his contract.

While the Lakers will probably draft someone to store overseas again in the 2nd round, there are two interesting events that could impact next year’s roster. First, Chris Mihm is apparently confident that he will be completely recovered next year with his explosive hops back. If so, that would be a major coup for the Lakers as Chris would be the best backup center in the league if fully recovered. The other is Sun Yue, the 6-9 point guard the Lakers drafted in the second round, who has Lamar Odom ability to fill a stat sheet and will reportedly be in training camp next year.

What is interesting is the talk about Lamar possibly playing guard and Kobe playing small forward. What is really going on here is Phil responding to concerns that Lamar playing at small forward would not be able to cover quicker and faster small forwards. Kobe is definitely going to see more action next year at small forward.

Whether Lamar could stay with guards, who are usually even quicker than small forwards is another version of the same question but I have always wanted to see Lamar try to cover guys like Tony Parker. His height and length can really bother smaller players and Lamar has shown to be a pretty good 1-on-1 defender and brings so many options.

While I have not heard anybody talk about how we are going to play next year, there are really two obvious options – both based on the fact that the Lakers now have a dominant inside and outside player in Drew and Kobe much like when they had Shaq and Kobe and Kareem and Magic. I suspect that Phil is going to look for a combination of both styles. The Lakers are going to roll up big edges in points in the paint and fast break points.

I think the Lakers with Bynum and Odom dominating the boards are going to put their running game into high gear next season. Bynum and Odom can run. and we know Jerry Buss would like nothing more than a Showtime reprisal. In the half court, the Triangle Offense will feature great interior passing and soaring above the rim play by Bynum, Gasol, and Odom. The Lakers will set records for most dunks in a season.

So save your money for season tickets, NBA League Pass, and you new AB17 jersey because all that this wonderful and unexpected Lakers journey back to the top of the NBA pinnacle has done is get us primed and ready for next year, which is when we finally embark upon the Era of the Beast.


Tom

Important bit of insight from Bill Simmons:

"(Speaking of the Zen Master, for someone who's allegedly the best coach of his generation, how could he not figure out how to stop the high screen with Pierce and KG in Game 5, and why can't he figure out a way to get Kobe going in this series? Throw in the disrespectful way Kobe treats him during games -- Damon's crew was shocked by that running subplot, by the way -- and is anyone else starting to wonder if Jackson coaches the Lakers just because they pay him a ton of money and he's dating the owner's daughter and that's it? I mean, he can't LIKE most of these guys, right? He sure doesn't seem like he's enjoying these games, that's for sure. Do you think he goes home after every Lakers game, pours himself a glass of wine, lights up a Cuban, watches one of the old Bulls games from the '90s and just fights back tears for an hour or so thinking about how much he hates coaching Kobe? You wouldn't rule it out, right?)"

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?
page=simmons/080617

SPEAKIN OF PAIN......... S. I.' S TOP 24 MOMENTS A PLAYER PLAYED IN PAIN.......................I SHOULD HAVE BEEN # 1 FOR CARRYING THE LAKER'S ON MY BACK TO THE 2004 FINALS WITH ONE GOOD KNEE ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I think the Lakers start Sasha at the point, and use D-Fish and Farmar off the bench in a four guard rotation (each able to play both guard positions).

I honestly feel LO gets moved by the trade deadline (at the draft if they can get a more traditional 3 and first rounder..Jersey and RJ anyone?).

Whatever happens, it's been a great year and I commend all the Lakers for what they gave us fans.

GO DODGERS!!!!

He was the BEAST this year. Next year Andrew will become The ONE.

You only have to believe it.

Bill Simmons is a joke as a journalist. He writes long winded drivel, and that essentially makes him ESPN's version of Peter King. Only Simmons finds a way to say nothing about more than just one sport.

Tom - what a great post - says it all and says it well.

I would like to say thank you to all the LAKERS fans who made my day with there posts. We had a great year and next year will be the best ever. As a LAKER fan I would like to say thanks Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky. To all Laker fans we have nothing to be ashamed of we had a great year. Also great post Laker Tom

GO LAKER 2008-2009

"


If anyone doesn't understand why Laker fans love Andrew Bynum, check out Player Efficiency Ratings per 48 minutes from NBA.com (Check out the players below AB on the list. Gives me a little wood.

http://tinyurl.com/6yyqjn
"

PER is a statistic thats based on assumption.
Essentially Hollinger figured out that he can take a few in game numbers and stats, add them together in a math formula that he created and then call it
Player Efficiency Rating.

It's an assumption and there are no additional facts to back it up.

points per game is factual
assists per game is factual
minutes per game is factual
fouls per game of factual
rebounds per game is factual
player efficiency rating is not factual.

Hope Trevor will work on his game this summer to be the next Bruce Bowen, James Posey, Shane Battier.
Be the lock-down player on Lakers with a deadly 3 point shot. As a very good athlete, he can already drive on almost anyone to the basket.

Tip every ball in his reach.

Walton needs to work on his 3's to be almost automatic. He's probably the best distributor on the team already.

If both Luke & Trevor develop their jump shot/3's to be more dependable. Lakers will not need Sasha or VladRad.


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