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Report Card - Luke Walton

Walton_2 It was, in short, a struggle. 

On the heels of signing a generous - many thought overly so - six-year, $30-million deal after a solid 2006-07 campaign, Luke Walton came into camp this season with the increased expectations that came with the new contract and couldn't deliver, unable to find a groove on the floor as his role with the team changed and he battled health problems. And though by some of the comments on this site you'd think he was solely responsible for everything from each regular season and playoff loss to global warming to the weak dollar (all while clubbing baby seals in his spare time), there's no question Walton wasn't the player L.A. needed him to be for the majority of the season. 

There were some mitigating circumstances, as I alluded to above. The first was an ever-changing role on the team, leading to ever-fluctuating minutes. Sometimes he was a starter, sometimes he came off the bench.  Some nights he'd play 30 minutes, others 12. That can be a tough adjustment for any player, and Walton was clearly no exception. The second was injuries. Walton dealt with ankle problems at the start of the year that dogged him throughout, and also had some hip issues.  Never the most athletic of players, Walton struggled to get lift inside, making him a much easier cover and leading to an inordinate amount of his shots blocked close to the basket. 

More than that, though, Walton's biggest problem was confidence. The season before, Walton came out gunning, developing his long-range game and forcing defenses to respect his outside shot.  His three-point percentage was a career-high 39% and was particularly good in the opening weeks of the season.  This gave him room to operate, opening passing lanes he was able to exploit.  This year, however, the shots didn't fall with quite as much frequency, and Walton often became hesitant to pull the trigger. The results from distance only exacerbated the problem.  The 33.3% from downtown in December made his February (20%) and March (16.7%) averages seem robust by comparison. Worse, his passing skills, the big foundation of his floor game, were off.  Walton too often tried too hard to be too perfect.  He wasn't, and his assist-to-turnover ratio suffered as a result.  In November, for example, it fell to an abysmal 2.6-1.7.  Mistakes hurt his confidence, which led to more mistakes, and impacted his playing time. You see where this is going. 

It wasn't all bad. Over the season's final weeks, Walton's play improved.  His A/TO ratio began trending in the right direction, as did the overall consistency of his play. His shot even came back toward the end of March and into April, and Walton found a measure of redemption with a strong first-round series against the Nuggets. 

In the end, when you look at Walton's final numbers, they're not awful. Yes, they're lower than what he produced the year before, but that's to be expected given that he went from a starter to a sub. 7.2/3.9/3.0, shooting 45% from the field.  But the stats don't really tell the story.  Walton is a guy whose impact is often felt on the margins. A good pass here to facilitate the offense, a quick outlet to start the break, etc.  The overall quality of his play just wasn't there, and as a result there was little consistency to his contributions. Ironically, his oft-maligned defense was often the most consistent part of Walton's game. As he said in his exit interview, it was a very positive year for the team, but on an individual level it wasn't good.  Take the year as a whole, and Walton simply didn't play well. 

Grade (Remember, I use C as average, based on my expectations for the particular player): D+

BK

 
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haha Luke! A D+! Looks like you'll have to go to Summer School!

Ermm? BK?? Why is Luke Walton not getting an F here? Last i remember from college, D+ would be like 65-70% or so. Dude sucked big time last season, too bad we wont be able to trade him ( unless to the local YMCA) since no team will even come close to him

lalalaa.

hi guys!

D + is my new nick name for Luke...

I agree with your report card here, BK, Luke just never got into a groove. I think he needs to work on his conditioning more than anything. He seemed to tire quickly all year. He also needs to watch some game film from '07. He moved on offense a lot more, this year he spotted up on the short porch and made the majority of his moves along the baseline or popping for a 3 from the corner. He doesn't have the quickness to explode along the baseline, although sometimes it seemed like he caught a defender of gaurd with those funky, spinning post moves. All in all, I've liked Luke since his rookie season when he showed a ton of heart in the Finals against Detroit and worked his way into the roation as an offensive facilitator. Which is something to consider taking into account PJ's hatred for rookies (although that seems to have thawed ever so slightly).

However, his role on this team has changed. This isn't a group of selfish superstars combined over confident veterans who all want to make it happen, this Laker team is more unselfish and so a player like Luke is almost an afterthought. If he can beef up a bit, get a bit more bang from that body, and work on a pull up J, he might begin to be more effective. He's a consumate teammate and understands how to play team defense. He won't block the most shots or intercept the most passes, but he will stay in front of his man. I look forward to him breaking back into the starting line up next year if he can improve by a point or two on offense and stay out of foul trouble on D.

D+ for Luke - Piece #1 of The Triangle of Mediocrity. I wholeheartedly concur.

Lakers Will Wait for Sun Yue

According to the LA Times, the Lakers have expressed continued interest in adding Sun Yue to their 2009-10 roster.

The Lakers drafted Sun Yue, a 6 foot 8 guard, with the 40th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft.

Mitch Kupchak on Sun Yue:

“We’re very optimistic that we can get him on the roster next year. I’ll contact his agent this week and have some initial discussions. He is a player that we are intrigued in. We think he has the talent to play at the NBA level.”

I know this isn't related to the topic, but I just read about the memphis/minni trade.

What the hell is going on in memphis?

After the Gasol trade, which was the biggest legal robbery since the KG-to Boston trade (for those who don't remember, it was KG for about 3 benchwarmers, a couple guys who shouldn't be in the league, and a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart). The Lakers got the better end (clearly) so I just looked the other way. But they've dont it again. Although they media likes to call this a "blockbuster", 8-player trade, it's really a 3 player deal:

O.J. Mayo for Miller & Love.

How does that make any sense? You give away your best player and your first round pick to bring 1 player at a position which already has a couple guys competeing (including a first-round pick of their own). I don't really care since overall it doesn't really affect the Lakers, although I think Love, Jefferson, and Miller could be a pretty good line-up, especially if Randy Foye can find some level of consistency. But the griz seem to really have screwed themselves again. If I was a memphis fan, I can't imagined how or why they would have any hope at all for this team next season, or any time in the near future.

CALI KING

P.S. While on the subject of memphis, what ever happened to kwame?? just curious...

PsychedLakerGirl

One Love!

Why did Luke go from starter to Bench Mob? Because he didn't deliver. Why did Luke play diminished minutes? Because he didn't deliver. Why did his confidence suffer? Because he couldn't deliver.

Luke's star was ascending the previous season because in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. This season, the Lakers had a stronger roster, and Luke was recognized for what he truly is: the one-eyed man.

Perhaps over the summer, Walton can re-discover his game. But he could have done more to improve this past season than he did. He participated in that silly showcase series for FSN when he could have been working on his game. He was putting energy into the bar-b-q restaurant when he could have been working on his game.

The truth is, Luke is this Laker generation's version of Rick Fox -- more interested in Hollywood than he is in basketball. Maybe that's the right choice. Luke will never make his mark as an NBA player. Maybe he'll end up on a VH-1 reality show with a bunch of other D-List players.

Yes, D-List. But my grade is D-

Not a D, nor F grade because he has already the big three letters in his possession MLE or its equivalents. It should be INCOMPLETE. He needs total parental guidance because his overall performance affects the standard of the institution.

Luke Walton is weak his grade should be F-!!!! Lost his confidence, he's never had any or a game for that matter.

Thanks Charles - love that song.

BK: I have been waiting for this report card. Clearly, you provided a nice, FAIR, assessment. The grade is marginal though. I am leaning toward "F" and think Rick F. is on target. Luke signed his big, fat contract thinking he would be a starter, so slacked off on conditioning by doing exactly what Rick F. said. In the meantime, all the bench guys worked their pit-tutties off last summer and improved WAY more than Luke.

Since he was slacking off, he got injured which set him back even more. He needs to spend less time at the beach, yoga, ping-pong table and more time shooting hoops and hitting the gym.

Back to basics Luke or we will be puking your big fat contract to Charlotte - Larry Brown would take him as a favor to his Dad.

GO LAKERS!

Luke Walton is F-.

Thanks for the birthday wishes in the other thread.

As far as Luke goes...
Needs to step his game up. No more excuses. I like him on the team and believe he can really contribute but last year he pretty much stunk. He needs to be able to hit the 3 like he could in the past. If Luke can spread the floor that will help greatly.

Lamar = Laker for Life

GO LAKERS

PsychedLakerGirl,

In additon to Bob Marley, I want to include the Nas first album track with Q-tip. One love.

I worry that the contracts of Walton and Vlad are going to prevent the Lakers from signing our talent young guys. Are we really going to be able to afford Sasha, Farmar, Bynum, Ariza, and Turiaf when they all become restricted free agents? Probably not, but it would be easier if we didn't have these two contracts taking up $10mil+ per year.

I look at the Bobcats, way under the cap, and needing a 2 guard and I get worried. If they offer Sasha an overpaid contract, kind of like how the Magic overpaid Lewis last season, Mitch will have no choice but to pass. Sasha is an irreplacable part of our team and we could very well lose him for nothing in return.

The headline will read...

NBA Was Lepre-CONNED!
Associated Press Newswire: Jun-28-08

In a riveting and mutifaceted tale of internation espionage, Cold War combatants have resurfaced to play a major role in the outcome of major North American team sports.

The story began in Morgantown, West Virginia, in the spring of 1960, when U.W.V. All-American and Olympic hopeful Jerry West was first contacted by Allen Dulles, then the Director of the C.I.A. The Agency needed "boots on the ground" inside the Olympic Village at the upcoming Games in Rome - then a hot-bed for intelligence service intrigue. The highly intelligent and patriotic West received excelerated training in clandestine intelligence gathering and reporting techniques at an Agency compound near his hometown of Chelyan, W.V., prior to leading the American team to the Gold Medal podium in Rome later that summer.

The story continues in during the winter of '79, when Soviet "diplomats" stationed at the Minneapolis Consulate arragned a clandestine meeting with Gophers' All-American Kevin McHale. The 6-11 forward was selected because of his Slavic ancestry - his mother having Croation roots, with extended family still living in Communist Yugoslavia. The KGB case officer who handled the gangly McHale stated in a recently de-classified interview that: "it was our hope that the idealistic young man could gain access to the White House, either by winning the U.S. student championship, or through Olympic participation. The U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games effectively derailed the operation."

Both of the major Cold War powers had "assets in place" within the N.B.A. for many years, but with dwindling budjets, higher priority objectives, and then the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the KGB, both of these assets were shelved in favor of other projects.

Until the 2007-08 season. The off-season exposure of referee Tim Donaghy - the Russian Foreign Intelligence Division of the FSB's primary operative inside the N.B.A., set off a firestorm of allegations, finger-pointing, and investigations. Recently de-classified N.S.A. intercepts of Russian "diplomatic chatter" have yeilded the following smoking gun:

Krakov (FSB Las Vegas Station Cheif): "We much solid goals left to accomplish here. I MUSTN'T be recalled!"

Chuilovik (FSB Direktor, North America): "Then why the additional funds? So much money...so much..."

Krakov: "What else shall we do? We can't turn back the clock, my friend. But we have men in place. Very powerful men, they call the fouls...or not...and decide the outcomes of these games. What could be better, then? To make big profit on the bets, and demoralize the Imperialists by making many champions in the deserts of San Antonio! You should see their faces, comrade! I like this work much better. Las Vegas has many beautiful women, and the gutters run gold with American dollars!"
(end of transcrpit)

The subsequent investigations sent the other tainted referees into deep cover. Their contacts dried up, their handlers were recalled to Moscow, and the FSB's conduit for creating mischeif in the America's was temporarily crippled.

In a desperate play to reassert control, agents of the FSB - many of whom are former KGB operatives who escaped prosecution for their crimes - sought to "reactivate" a once-priceless asset who had remained under deep cover for decades. A call went out to the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves - Kevin McHale (known to the Agency as Kevin Starcevich). Still loyal after decades of inactivity, McHale was given a professional-suicide mission: trade his frachise player to the Boston Celtics, taking back very little in exchange. One of McHale's handlers, speaking on condition of anonymity from the Agency's detention facility near the Panama Canal, had this to say:

"The West has always been our enemy. It is in our blood. Even when our Empire fell, we still felt obligated to fight against the West, in any possible way. Duping our stooge in Minnesota to trade his most powerful weapon to laughingstock Eastern team is our greatest triumph since we put down student rebellion in Hungary!"

With foreign intelligence services activily meddling in the League's affairs, the Agency's own cold war veterans could not stand by and do nothing. To fight fire with fire, they reactivated the aging but still influential former G.M. of the Memphis Grizzlies - Jerry West. The resulting negotiations resulted in the transfer of Pau Gasol to the N.B.A. most successful franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers.

C.I.A. Director of Psychological Studies, Dr. Jon K., explained the significance of the Agency's counter-move:

"We had to do something. The American people were suffering a crisis of confidence. The economy was swirling the bowl, our foreign enemies were laughing in our faces. The American people needed the Lakers' return to prominence."

Unfortunately, however, the FSB's deep-cover contacts within the ranks of League referees proved decisive in the ultimate clash of East vs. West.

Celtics forward Paul Pierce: "Yeah, man. This cat comes into the locker room at half of game one. He puts the cash on the table. The signal was for me to grab at my knee. He said to make it look good. That was when the zebra's was supposed to take over. They guaranteed us wins in one, two, and fo. The rest was up to us..."

To be continued...

Cali King,

The trade makes sense. In order for McHale aka Herman Munster, to feed the Celtics Kevin Love, they have to have him. Well now they do...and eventually the C's will have him. (....and if Rambis had tackled McHale wayback, he would have been penalized by the league...it's the star factor....Rambis was a "nobody" to the rest of the league, and McHale was an integral part of the Boston/NBA buildup at the time.

In talking about trades in retrospect, I think that once a traded draft pick is made, the trade should be talked about like this...."the Grizzlies drafted (insert name once known) with the pick they acquired in the Pau Gasol deal". I think it gives a little more sense of value to what that pick was worth. Granted the team trading the pick away may not have taken that player, but at least we know an approximate "value" for the dealt commodity. Sometimes those traded picks turn into gold....such as didn't we get pick to Magic in a trade involving Goodrich, years earlier. Worthy came as a result of a trade for Don Ford, I believe. Now, the team that screws up and trades badly can hide behind numbers..."We got Goodrich but had to compensate with a #1 pick"...does not sound as bad as "we got Goodrich but gave up the rights to #1 pick, which the Lakers used to draft Magic Johnson"....Sorry also to go off blog, but that's just the way I feel. It would give you a better sense of the end result of the trade value. So I say, we fill in the blanks with the names that are picked, once picked.

Comparisons of Luke (sometimes "puke") to Rick Fox are valid. Now if Luke can only do 80% of what Rick gave us then we would be OK. The problem is you never know what you're going to get from Luke. I think he's the real "space cadet", after all where did all that genetic and environmental upbringing go???
Fox was great, put on weight to defend against 4's, took it off when no longer needed, and come on going after Christie who was actually one of my favorite players (as a Laker) was great...Fox is around enough, we need the 2 pretty boys to work together. We need to know why Pippen isn't on our payroll, we need him to coach the facilitators and I believe he could be the defensive mind we need. Chicago screwed him on contracts, so why does he wait for them to come knocking. He needs to tell Phil that he can help organize this team, because he could probably still outplay some of the guys on this team. We need to think about who will take over down the road...we have some good candidates in house, never hurts to keep looking, it'll keep your employees on their toes. Is the Jeanie Buss and Rambis's wife connection so strong that he gains an advantage?


Charles - I am more a Marley music kind of girl and a wee bit older than a lot of guys here (except Laker Tom). Think like Valley Girl era and from Woodland Hills to boot.

Sorry and no disrespect to you whatsoever...but I am definitely not up on the rap scene and the Nas lyrics for me are in the "no comment" category. But I love the back & forth today. Good stuff and you are funny. One Love!

GO LAKERS!

Bum - no need to worry.

I think we have Luke and Vlad for this season (unfortunately) - but they are more tradeable Summer '09. Or I have a feeling Mitch will again pull another rabbit out of his bag o'tricks and POOF - one of those two will magically disappear. You just wait.

GO LAKERS!

Isn't the real reason why Kupchak chose Crawford that he sees him as a secret weapon against the Spurs. Imagine Tim Duncan's reaction when the Lakers announce they have Joey Crawford in their lineup!

Psyched,
"so slacked off on conditioning by doing exactly what Rick F. said. In the meantime, all the bench guys worked their pit-tutties off last summer and improved WAY more than Luke. "

There is no valid reason to make that assumption. Reports from the team and other players have consistently been that Luke is one of the harder workers in the off-season/at practice. And he has a history of ankle problems going back to college, including with the Lakers previous tothis contract, so it's unwarranted to assume that this is related to his contract.

BK,

You say that a "C" grade is AVERAGE expectations for a player, and Luke only gets a D+? So you're saying he only played a little bit below expectations?

I thnk his play was WAY below expectatations, and said so throughout the season. He can't jump, can't finish, can't shoot midrange, can't shot the three and more often than not this year, couldn't pass or play defense.

I think it was either Rick Friedman or ExHelo who said that we only have room for one "Mascot" player. So if Luke stays, we must get rid of coby karl so Luke can take his place at #12 in the rotation.

Rick F.

I think the comparison of Rick Fox to Luke Walton, is a little off the mark.

Rick Fox was a STUD and had an impact on the game with his defense and tuffness. Luke is as soft as tissue paper, and I don't think he comes anywhere close!

There off-court activities may be similiar, but that is as far as it goes.

Charles,

>>>“We’re very optimistic that we can get him on the roster
>>> next year. I’ll contact his agent this week and have
>>>some initial discussions. He is a player that we are
>>>intrigued in. We think he has the talent to play at the
>>>NBA level.”


Huh. I read that differently than you. You interpreted this to
mean that Mitch intends to bring Sun Yue in in 2009. I
read it that by "next year", Mitch meant "next season", as
in 2008. I wonder which it is.

>>>The truth is, Luke is this Laker generation's version of Rick Fox

I wish. Rick Fox made HUGE contributions to the Lakers
championship teams he was on. He was a pretty good 3-point
shooter and a harassing defender. And if you needed someone
on the team to take a cheap shot, Fox would be glad to do it.
Nobody ever called Rick Fox "soft."

BK -


I'd at least give him a C-, but for all the reasons that you stated. If he was slightly worse than last year, and if he was average last year, then a barely passing grade is in order.

"Huh. I read that differently than you. You interpreted this to mean that Mitch intends to bring Sun Yue in in 2009. I
read it that by "next year", Mitch meant "next season", as
in 2008. I wonder which it is."

Posted by: Long Time Laker Fan

I didn't interpret anything. I just copied and pasted it from club lakers. http://tinyurl.com/6mxh87

Thanks for the reply though...

Best,

PsychedLakerGirl,

Thanks for many replies. If it is worth anything, the song from the album came from the "Golden Era" of hip-hop. (Anything 95' and below) More aware of the world lyrics and production theory then.

Best

Rick Fox, when the Lakers signed him away from the Celtics, was one of the Celtics best players at the time. Rick Fox scaled his game down when he came to the Lakers. Luke Walton isn't anywhere near Rick Fox period.

mike t.

BK:
Are you that afraid to call a spade a spade?
Are you that insecure about how Luke (and the Lakers) will treat you in the locker room and at practice by sugar-coating the truth?
Luke: F+
What a pathetic attempt at grading a player.
I guarantee you this:
The pressure from fans (both at the games and at this blog) will be so great that he will request a trade.
And in spite of your defense, Luke was the main reason we sucked on both ends of the court (like the majority of fans and bloggers, I cringed when ever I saw him rip off his warm-up, knowing a 5 point lead would turn into a 3 point deficit).
Bottom line:
Luke is garbage (just like LO and VladRad).

BK,

Dude, how the hell did this team almost win a Championship with SO many players with poor report cards?

You make some strong arguments, but I think your final grades are a little tough.

By the way, what objective scale are you using to determine these grade?

GO LAKERS!

So, do we know who is going to be on the Summer League roster? Will Sun Yue be playing? Will Coby Karl be playing?

GO LAKERS!

Rick Fox and Luke Walton comparison?

That's like comparing an Original Military Hum-V to a Pink Mini Cooper.

- LTLF and Charles,
- This is the direct quote from the LA Times. Club Lakers added '09-10 to the quote. Mitch seems to be talking this next season not the following year. Eric Pincus, in an earlier article said as much. And why would Mitch say I will be calling his agent shortly if not needed till the following year?

"The Lakers have had some relative success in the second round, taking Luke Walton with the 32nd pick in 2003 and Ronny Turiaf with the 37th pick in 2005. They are also keeping tabs on 6-foot-8 Chinese guard Sun Yue, whom they took last year with the 40th pick.

"We're very optimistic that we can get him on the roster next year," Kupchak said. "I'll contact his agent this week and have some initial discussions." The Lakers now move forward to free agency, which begins Monday at 9 p.m.

They are particularly interested in re-signing Sasha Vujacic, a restricted free agent.

"I intend to contact him at 9:01 on Monday night," Kupchak said.

The Lakers are also interested in re-signing Turiaf, a restricted free agent.

karyanr,

Brother, people like you and posts like that is what makes Laker Nation better than any other nation out there!

That much said, you're blowing my cover.

GO LAKERS!

Where did my shot go?

Poop Walton

Luke is not Fools Gold. I can only hope Luke starts next year. We need his IQ, something MikeT and Kwame don't have. If you don't think he is good than just maybe he should consider the offer that he and his agent turned down going to SacTown for Artest. Then you will finally know what you are missing. You guys are fools not knowing anything about Basketball. Don't forget Luke is tough something this soft Laker team suffers from.

BD

Okay, BK, I re-read your report card. I'm not going to argue with the D+. We all know that Luke Walton is capable of better.

Hey, what injuries did Luke Walton have this year? I kept hearing about a manifold number of injuries, but never any specifics.

GO LAKERS!

Passionate Lakers Fan, you always come correct with your passion and straighforwardness, albeit too strong at times. But that's why you're an intersting mix in this Lakers blog community. Luke should merit some of the flames thrown his way, but I'll tell this much ... them B-B-Q ribs of his are something else. I see him having more of future as a restauranteur than baller.

Rick Friedman,

I respect your opinion by the way. I just feel that Rick Fox is a different Feline. Rick Fox = Tiger, Luke Walton = Asian Hello Kitty.

D+ is about right for Luke. I might have given him a D,
but D+ wouldn't be unreasonable. Luke was a little better play here
and a little better play there from a barely passing grade.
So he deserves a barely failing grade.

If he makes a couple more stops or steals against Pierce,
if he hits the late 3-pointer to tie the game against Cleveland,
if he plays as well against Boston as he did against Denver,
then maybe Luke gets a passing grade.

There were a few games where Luke really contributed
to the team, but they were so far outnumbered by times
when he failed that we mostly forget them.

Those of you saying that Luke should get an F need to
think again. Luke was paid about 4 million this season.
The average salary in the league is over 5 million. Luke
played slightly below average defense and had a slightly
below average PER. There are MUCH MUCH worse
players in the league. Kwame Brown comes to mind.
So do Marko Jaric and Brian Cardinal and several others.
If Luke was paid 2 million for the season, he would be a bargain.
At four million, he underachieved.

But he was also a piece of the most statistically productive
5-player lineup the Lakers put on the floor this season.
Fisher-Bryant-Walton-Odom-Bynum was more efficient
than any other 5-player team by the Lakers . In the 272
minutes they played together they were +106 points.

The lineup of Fisher-Bryant-Walton-Odom-Gasol was also
highly efficient for the Lakers, going +83 points in the 164
minutes they played together.

Both of those were in the top 10 in the NBA for the season
in terms of efficiency. Fisher-Bryant-Rad-Odom-Gasol was
also in the top 10 -- it was played for more minutes than
either of the lineups with Luke, but it didn't get as high
a +/- rating per minute played. Ariza wasn't in any of
the top 25 five-player combinations last season.

So though most of you will gnash your teeth at the thought
and deny it, it's a statistical fact that having Luke as the
starting SF was the most winning starting 5 the Lakers
could put on the floor this season.

Luke was perhaps the best in the team at the alley-oop
pass to Bynum. I remember seeing that connection many
times when they were both on the bench mob. And when
Bynum went down, Luke made a lot of turnovers on alley-oops
passes to Kwame. As in... Luke threw the alley, and Kwame
went OOPS! and dropped the ball out of bounds.

Ariza is a better defender than Luke and Rad is a better
shooter, but when BOTH of those guys went down with
injuries, Luke played through his injury, which hurt
his performance a lot. After getting some rest during the
all-star break, Luke came back and played much better
I think if Luke can come back uninjured next season,
you'll see him performing back at the level he did in the
2006-07 season, which would make him a B to C player
based on his salary.

Last year at about this time (start of summer), I predicted
that Sasha would have a breakout season and surprise
a lot of people.

Right now, I'm predicting that Luke will have a comeback
season next year. He'll work on his game over the summer
and come back in good shape with improved confidence
and hitting his outside shots consistently again. And he
will surprise some people and make important contributions
to the team. Next summer at this time, most of you will think
that Luke earned his salary in the 2008-09 season.
Mark my words.

Charles,

>>>I didn't interpret anything. I just copied and pasted it
>>>from club lakers. http://tinyurl.com/6mxh87

Ah. I see. Then Club Lakers made an interpretation of
Mitch's quote.

The quoted text (which was also in the LA Times) didn't
specify 2009-10. I interpreted Mitch's expression "next
year" to mean 2008-09. Club Lakers interpreted it to mean
2009-10.

passionateLakerFan,

>>>And in spite of your defense, Luke was the main
>>>reason we sucked on both ends of the court (like the
>>>majority of fans and bloggers, ...

Speak for yourself.

>>>...I cringed when ever I saw him rip off his warm-up,
>>>knowing a 5 point lead would turn into a 3 point deficit).

So your claim is that Luke was a big negative for the
Lakers. Let's just check that claim...

For the season, Luke played 1729 minutes and was +219.
That means the Lakers did better with Luke on the floor
than with Vujacic, Turiaf, or Ariza, among others.

The ONLY Lakers with negative +/- scores were Newble,
Cook, Mihm, Crittenton, and Brown.

So your assessment of Luke is unfounded. You're welcome
to continue to assume that Luke is the worst player in the
NBA and that the Al Quaeda are bugging your phone and
that Milli Vanilli were some truly gifted artists and whatever
else you want to believe.

I wish the Lakers would trade Luke Walton for someone that's better at basketball. I know a lot of people don't think that way. It's just that the money would be better spent elsewhere. I'd rather have Critter back than Luke.

Oink

BD,

One of the things that I love about Luke Walton's game is that he excels at doing the little, selfless things that facilitates flow and improves the play of the team. It'll never truly show up in his stats, and that's something I like about Luke Walton. He doesn't play for "stats", he plays to help his team.

That much said, was I disappointed with his game this year? Generally so. Yes. And I think BK hit it squarely on the head when he said it was a matter of confidence. Luke was clearly playing too much inside his head this year.

I think he really needs a vacation, followed by a couple sessions with a sports psychologist, and then a few months of Kobesque obsessive training in the weight room and in cleaning up his shot, and he'll be fine.

Me, personally, I'm glad Luke Walton's a Laker and I'm glad he still has five years on his contract. He's got a lot of time to improve and he will. Once he develops some real mental fortitude, he'll be a great benefit to this team.

GO LAKERS!

Looks like BK succumbed to, or was ascared of the wrath of the blog.
Though I had many Puke moments throughout the season, a C- was in order at the very least. Luke had many positive moments and will still be an integral part of the Lakers in the future. PJ will just have to pick Luke's spots better. Against certain teams, Luke will look great, against others he will look pathetic. That's the way it is in the NBA, it's about match-ups.

Everytime I looked up this year, Luke was helping us blow big leads, throwing the ball out of bounds or missing a 3 pointer. I actually LIKE the kid, don't get me wrong. But I don't find him to have any of the qualities a less than awesome (ahem) athletic talent should bring to the table. A certain headiness (he's supposed to have a high BB IQ but to me he makes tons of mistakes) a sandpaper grit (comparing him to my fellow Canadian Rick Fox REALLY rankles. Luke and Pau are soft as a downy chick..wink) and an ability to adapt to playing time that he showed zero ability to do.

Granted he had ankle problems and a change of role is never easy but he's paid WAY more money than his actual production would dictate and I think he should have made far more strides this year than he showed. I don't see him as part of the puzzle for an eventual Lakers` championship. I pray that Ariza stays healthy and that Luke stays on the bench until he can be traded.I don't believe he is really a starter for any good team in the league and I would rather have an athlete in his place on the bench.

Man,I am harsh today...but that's the way I see it. He's been a massive disappointment for me and I suspect many other Lakers fans.

D+??

I disagree. I would give him a D or a D-....barely escaping total failure (F).

Charles,
>> Rick Fox = Tiger, Luke Walton = Asian Hello Kitty

LMAO
Exactly

For you who think Luke will get better over the summer you can forget about it. Luke should be in his prime as a NBA player and he shows no signs of being a NBA player!

Chuck23,

After a stressful evening with Luke's game, have you noticed he's the coolest guy in the locker room who answer all questions about the Lakers. He's the unappointed spokesman of Kobe, the F/O considered that as one of his talents to shield the franchise from answering challenging qustions, they give these scribes to Luke. You never know this guy could become the future GM of the Lakers perhaps, a couple of years from now. If Bush became President, then, Luke Walton could become General Manager too.

With all the unsavory comments of Laker fans on Luke Walton, does Jerry Buss read the fans feedback through the Lakers Blog? Putting it in another way, perhaps, we the fans need his feedback, as a longtimed basketball owner who invested multi million on players, what is his personal opinion about Luke Walton?

As silly as it sounds...Luke needs to trust in the Force.

In other words, believe in yourself. But above all, believe. Shoot that open jumper. Don't pass it! Believe. Let go, Luke! Trust in the Force!

Get rid of Luke already, like yesterday!

OH, NO!

NOW THEY'RE SAYING KOBE IS JEALOUS OF POOR, POOR LUKE!

WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO HIM?

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!

Looks like BK succumbed to, or was ascared of the wrath of the blog.
Though I had many Puke moments throughout the season, a C- was in order at the very least. Luke had many positive moments and will still be an integral part of the Lakers in the future. PJ will just have to pick Luke's spots better. Against certain teams, Luke will look great, against others he will look pathetic. That's the way it is in the NBA, it's about match-ups.


Posted by: Do You See What I See | June 27, 2008 at 02:38 PM

Well said.

Lukes value is mathups like bulky SF the likes of Harpring in Utah etc. Against more athletic and speedier players the mismatch is against us. Totally agree. BVut it is PJ who puts Luike in this no win situation and plays him as ath man regardless of the matchup. Threin lays the problem.

Luke Walton's Lakers career is an illustration of the Fat Friends Principle. If you hang out with a bunch of fat friends, you look a lot cooler by comparison. You can even fool a lot of people into thinking you're *actually* cool.

Luke's Fat Friends were the Lakers teams of the previous three years. They stunk so bad (aside from Kobe) that Luke looked like he really had it going on. You were even happy when he got in the game.

But this year, he started hanging around with some hotties (Bynum, Fish, Gasol, Ariza, Kobe of course) and we could see him for what he really is: an inept wallflower who doesn't impress.

He's always the slowest player on the court, the least hops-havin' guy, with the slowest release "jump" shot in the league.

Announcers keep calling him a "heady" player, saying he has a "high basketball IQ."

Translation: He's not much to look at, but he's got a great personality.

As many good moves as he made on Lakers personnel, Mitch K also made big mistakes. 1) Luke's contract 2) Vlad's contract. 3) B Cook's Contract, 4) Giving away C butler. Getting Gasol was only luck.

Sure, I can understand a D+ here on the basis that you had LOW expectations for him.

Frankly I think Luke just played outside of himself too often this past year. A case in point was the game against the Suns (when they still had Marion). He tried to take Marion one on one in the "not so low post". I think he had two shots in a row blocked and had several "turnover via missed shot that resulted in the other team scoring" plays. I like Luke and what he brings to the table. But I will tell you this much, his offense is not better than Marion's (or many other's) defense. For him to force the issue throughout the season was just foolhardy. Where was the supposed high basketball IQ?

D+ was generous to say the least.

JustaLakerFan,
"Luke had many positive moments"

Not as many as negative. Can't shoot...Can't jump...Can't finish...and as you agree, can only guard SLOW players.

You people defending Luke act like his ocassional GOOD pass makes all the difference. They are supposed to be able to make a good pass...they are pros.

Wow, you are being unbelievably generous. Not the most athletic of players? Please. Luke is perhaps the least athletic player in the NBA who is under 6'10". To pay this guy $30 million over 6 years was something Kupchak should have been fired for, especially after signing another unathletic small forward to a virtually identical contract the previous offseason.

The Lakers now have $10 million a year tied up for years on two guys who will get hardly any minutes next year and beyond.

If Luke can't elevate and get to the basket (because he isn't athletic) doesn't that just make him like Sasha? Why, then, hasn't he developed an even passable jump shot? I keep hearing and reading about all the things this guy does well, and I am at a loss. He can't shoot, jump, defend, or dribble (without looking at the ball). Exactly what does he do well?

You have to remember that if the Lakers don't sign the Luke last offseason, the only thing they could have done was sign someone for veteran's minimum. Had they would not have been as good as team. His contract is not keeping them from signing free agents, because they are already over the cap anyway. The person to blame, if you are determined to blame someone, is Vlad Rad. Had he shown more his first season with the team, instead of getting lost in the offense and ending up in Park City, the Lakers would have been less likely to offer Luke the contract they did.

Phil Jackson must also take a good portion of blame for Luke's demise. He has rewarded Luke with star player minutes that Luke has not earned, not to mention playing him in games were Luke sucked before the game started.

Example a) During practice, the coach should be the first one to know if player skill level will benifit the team. I willing to bet that Luke looked as bad in practice as he did in games. What does Phil do he put's this scrub in the game any way the rest is too painful rehash.

I also hold AK/BK part responsible! They help feed this Luke is a solid contributer hog wash to us and Luke!
As a matter of fact it almost appeared as if Luke had paid the Kbro's off! I may be getting carried away I apologize Kbro's very touchy subject.

Back to the blame for this mess! Mitch or Phil? Both!

ExHelo,
Good point about VladRad.

OH, NO!

NOW THEY'RE SAYING POOR LUKE IS CARRYING THE LAKERS ON HIS BACK AND IS UNDERPAID!

WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO HIM?

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!

Man, D+ is way to generous. I would give him somewhere around an F or F- . Might as well change his name to "Fluke"

Luke Walton is lucky that he's in the nba thanks to his fathers last name.Bill Walton puts down the Lakers except his son who could not compoete with the clippers or the sparks (who can dunk,Luke Walton can only dunk a donut)He is a lame brain no execuse of a plyer with no pride.Lakers get rid of him.


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