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So you think you can dance, Part Deux

You thought the coverage of last weekend's Laker Girl tryouts was over after this dispatch from fellow LAT blogger Adam Rose?  Think again.  He's back with the only thing better than regular pictures-- moving pictures (get your mind out of the gutter if you thought I was heading in a different direction).  Click below for the video.  My personal fave?  The one in which the prospective LG's are asked to spell "Vujacic." 

Well played. 

Our thanks again to Adam for spending a few hours in a room surrounded by hundreds of beautiful women.  I'm sure it was a horrible burden.

BK

 
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never

"I believe in you kwame brown"

thanks for the laugh. it gets me every time!

On the subject of Lakers and trading this summer:

The current Lakers squad (with some help from Ronny Turiaf)
made it to the NBA finals last season. With Bynum back in the
lineup and with Walton, Mihm, and Ariza in better health,
there's no reason to believe they couldn't get back there and
possibly win it all.

Thus it's not easy to come up with a trade this summer that
actually improves the team. The Gasol trade was insanely good
because it took one fairly bad player (Kwame), a player who
wasn't playing much (Critter), an unsigned draftee, and two
future draft picks, and turned them into a player who is the
second best on the team. Those sort of deals are very rare.

To make a trade like that this summer isn't quite possible, as
the Lakers don't have anyone as bad as Kwame, but the closest
I can think of would be Luke (below average player), Ariza
(player who wasn't playing much), Sun Yue (unsigned draftee),
and two future draft picks for Ron Artest. That trade works in
the trade machine, but if it happened, I'd be as aghast as when
the Gasol deal went down.

So let's consider the nature of prospective trades...

-----------------------------------------------------------------

First let's consider all the players that the Lakers could
conceivably trade:

A. Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum

B. Fisher

C. Odom, Farmar, Vujacic (assuming they re-sign him)

D. Walton, Radmanovic, Turiaf

E. Ariza, Karl

The A-list are players that the Lakers will not be trading
for any reason. Forget about it. Don't bother including
them in a hypothetical trade unless it's for a joke.

Fisher is nearly on the A-list, not because of his talent
level, but because he signed here to be near specific doctors,
and the Lakers wouldn't betray that by trading him to Atlanta
or something. The one exremely unlikely trade situation I can
conceive where Fisher would be included is in a trade to the
Clippers.

The C-list were strong contributors to getting to the finals.
If you trade away any of those three, the Lakers better be
getting something very good back. And even if they do get
something good back, you're risking making the team worse by
taking any of those three away.

List D are players that are a bit more expendable. They all
played significant minutes and you cannot deny that they
contributed to the Lakers getting as far as they did. But
losing one to free agency (we'll miss you Ronny) or a trade
probably won't impact the team as much. But don't discount
the fact that trading one of them will change the dynamic of
the team.

The players on list E didn't play enough to truly make a
significant contribution to the team that made it to the
finals last season. MBenga and Newble and Crittenton and
Kwame contributed as much or more than these guys. Either
could be traded without making a significant impact on the
team.

Note that if you trade more than one player from the A, B,
C, or even D lists, you're taking a huge risk on making the
team worse instead of better. For example, the whole Odom
and Farmar for X type of trade is as likely to make the team
worse as it is to improve the team.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Next let's consider what the Lakers need and what would possibly
improve them.

1. Replacing Ronny - with Turiaf gone, the Lakers lost their most
reliable backup at both PF and C spots. If Bynum and Mihm get
healthy and stay healthy, no problem. But in case either of those
guys isn't recovered or has a relapse, the Lakers need at least
one more player who can back up the center position. If he could
back up power forward as well, so much the better

2. Defense at the SF - Ariza might be the answer, or he might not.
Or he might be good enough, but might be injury prone and never be
healthy enough to give the team a full season.

3. Defense at the PG - They're not terrible, but there were some
times last season when Fisher and Farmar got dominated by the
opposing PGs. This problem will be reduced a little with Bynum
back and guarding the rim, but it's at least a slight area of
weakness of the current squad.

4. Toughness - It's not an easy quality to quantify, but the
Lakers' toughness was called into question in the finals, so
it might be nice to add an enforcer or two to the team. The
player[s] brought in to solve 2 and 3 would probably cover this.

That's pretty much it. Oh, except for this:

5. Replacements for the players traded - If you trade away any
player from lists B, C, or maybe D, then you need to consider
whether the Lakers will need to back-fill their role as well.
(e.g. if you trade away Farmar to get a defensive SF, then you
need to find a good backup PG to replace him)

Note that these objectives could be solved by signing free agents
as well as through trades... if the Lakers could have signed
James Posey, it would have solved 2 & 4 without having to
make a trade. But it would have made their financial situation
even worse than it already is.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Last but not least, let's consider the financial picture. Right
now the Lakers are 5 to 6 million dollars into the luxury tax for
next season. Add in Sasha's salary and that's probably over 10
million. Even a conservative estimate of next season's salary
for Vujacic (5 million), Bynum (10 million), and Odom (10 million)
would put them deep into luxury tax for the next two seasons as
well.

And that's just for keeping the rest of the core players around.
That doesn't consider what they spend on Ariza or Mihm or any
free agents they try to bring in. Basically, for the 2009-10
and 2010-11 seasons, they will be way into the luxury tax
with just Kobe, Gasol, Radmanovic, Farmar, Odom, Bynum, and
Vujacic (and Fisher the first year).

I can see Dr. Buss paying the big bucks for 1 year with the
team as close as it is to making a championship, but if they
fall short next season (especially if they don't make it to the
finals), I'm sure the Lakers will be trying to bring in the
reins on that huge salary load. Dr. Buss is not a billionaire
like Mark Cuban, so he can't afford for the team to bleed cash
every year. I think with Sasha's salary added to their current
load, the team will still be profitable, but just barely.

So how could trades help the salary situation?

1. dumping off Vlad &/or Luke. If the Lakers could trade
off Vlad or Luke, that would help with the salary situation,
but not as much as you might think.

If you replace them with other players at or near the MLE,
then you haven't really saved any money. At best you get
a contract that expires sooner. OTOH, If you replace them
with minimal salary players, you'll likely get even less
production out of those guys than you got out of Vlad and
Luke. So you save money, but you risk making the team
worse. How much worse? Loss in the WCF? Loss in the
second round? Won't know until you make the trade.

2. dumping off a big salary player. It ain't going to be
Kobe. If you could get Lamar to extend for 10 million per
or less, then trading Gasol would save more money, but it
would certainly bring the talent level back down.

Odom is the most likely candidate. He makes almost as much
as Gasol but doesn't produce nearly as much. He's a good
player, which is appealing to some teams, and his contract
is expiring, which is appealing to other teams. The key
to trading Lamar and improving salary situation is to get
back two or three players. At least one of them has to
either be at Lamar's (good but not all-star) level. And
at least one of them has to expire next year or the year
after at worst.

But it's not easy to trade Odom. First of all he was a
significant piece of the team, so trading him off is
more likely to hurt the team than help it. Second, you
have to trade him to a team that either he wants to go
to or that doesn't mind that he'll walk away after next
season. So it's gotta be either another contender or
a team that's thinking like Denver was thinking when
they dumped Camby on the Clippers.

----------------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it. That sums up most of the factors that
should be considered when trying to come up with trades
involving the Lakers this summer. Do you try to make the
team better and make the financial situation worse? Do you
try to improve the financial situation at risk of making the
team worse? If you make a trade, is the player[s] you're
getting back good enough to make up for the loss of someone
who actually contributed last year?

You want Mitch's job?

I don't.

giantsquid,

Thanks for the link. God, I'd sure like to see a lot more of that. Yep, I sure would.

It wasn't all bad times, after all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOcVOC-fgt4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEvrcEpf4l8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgtC9kQzUWE&feature=related

GO LAKERS!

giantsquid,

>>>>>Once in a Lifetime.

I agree. And the flip side of that record is Never Again. LOL.

Tom

"How much impact did Perkins have on the Finals?"

You're kidding, right? Perkins had a HUGE impact on the series, ask Pau Gasol. Perkins was pushing him all over the place, opening up lanes and generally taking Gasol - our 2nd real scoring threat, out of the game.

You guys sure have a high criteria level for a BACKUP! LOL! Kwame is NOT going to start unless there's nobody left, he can run with the 2nd unit and provide minutes when Bynum gets in foul trouble, also provide minutes as our lineup changes back over into the starting unit. Kwame would be a ROLE player, like... James Posey, who played a ROLE in the series due to matchups, etc. If we were to play the Celtics again, Kwame would play a ROLE in the series, who knows? he might only play 10 minutes a game in the playoff series before that but you certainly couldn't deny that if/when Bynum gets in foul trouble on a road game in Boston, that it would be nice to have Kwame come in and lean on Perkins vs... what? Pairing Gasol back up with him? Sticking Mihm in there for 3 quick fouls?

You guys are funny... learn to love The Kwame, I'd think his second go-around with the Lakers would actually be a love-fest because now, everybody acknowledges that THIS is what Kwame is and will always be. He's never going to be a strong offensive scorer, he has the body to do it but the hands will never be there but as far as being a 2nd unit guy, he's topnotch. Name good, solid backup Centers in this league. You can't! There aren't any! There's like... 3, and none of them are available.

We need to get a "NO TO KWAME" bandwagon started. I swear, if the Lakers pick up this reject, I'm going to lock myself in a closet and mumble things to myself in my own made-up language as I rock back and forth on the floor in the fetal position.

There were two good things Kwame did for the Lakers...

1) Go down with an injury so we could discover how good Bynum was.
2) Be SOOOOOO overpaid that his huge ridiculous contract allowed us to get Pau Gasol.

That's it. That's what he gave to this franchise. Kwaminus Vomitus Brownicus.

Kwami,
"Perkins was pushing him all over the place, opening up lanes and generally taking Gasol - our 2nd real scoring threat, out of the game. "

You're making my point for me - if Kwame was playing,, Perkins wouldn't be worrying about taking him out of the game, so he would be free to then double up on Gasol or Kobe.

Inthe five games he played, Perkins was in foul trouble in all five of them, averaging 18 minutes, 3.5 rebounds, and 4 points.

"high criteria level for a BACKUP"
THe point being discussed is the value of Kwame banging against the opponent's starting center, not the value of Kwame occasionally playing 5 minutes of garbage time.

Kwame back to the Lakers has to be a long shot, at least as long as Obama's to win the presidency. lol

Americans are too smart to elect an inexperienced divisive candidate, just as the Lakers are too smart to bring back Kwame.

puddle,

I've had an epiphany.

We need Kwame back. He, Mihm, Gasol, and Bynum provide tremendous size and flexibility. All four of them can provide something the Lakers need to their game. This Four Headed Beast gives our coaching staff the ability to win under all circumstances.

We need Kwame Brown back to serve as the fourth head of The Four Headed Beast.

We need Kwame Brown back, especially after we lost Ronny Turiaf.

I not only said it.

I believe it.

GO LAKERS!

Dave M....I am in Adelaide (south Australia)..Its winter and its freezing...Its now 7.30am and its 2 degrees at the moment..Through out the day it been between 10 and 15 degrees (c).....It does not snow in this part of Australia but in Victoria and New South Wales it snows for a couple of months.

Charles...No Vodka mate...I just wake up,turn the coffee machine on and make myself a short black or machiato and jump on the blog...

Bring on summer and the heat waves of 43 degrees for 15 straight like last summer.....Thats just over 100 degrees in your neck of the woods....Man its freezing

exhelodrvr, I don't think we were watching the same series. LOL!

Perkins AND PJ Brown were in there bullying and pushing, opening up lanes. Believe it or not and apparently you choose NOT, Perkins was doing what Kwame would do for us. It's not the point totals, it's taking people out of the game, opening lanes, setting picks, in other words, dirty work.

What makes you think backups only play against backups? Not all teams have the same substitution patterns, you get crossover all the time.

I'm think'in Kwame comes back with a big fro this time. :)

Tom,

Hi, Roland,

"Then you dump more fuel onto the fire by feeding the Kwame and Bynum debaters with more raw meat to fight over. LOL."

Raw meat is the order in the jungle.

As for the extension, considering the doctor situation, I think the Lakers will want to see him perform with confidence in training camp. If he can't play in training camp, their decision becomes very tough, although Jim
Buss will probably talk his dad into it.
By the way, the Jeanie faction contends that it was Jim who talked his father into firing Phil, trading Shaq, etc.


"The other issue is whether or not the Lakers need to be careful with their offer so as not to insult Andrew. Do you think this is an issue considering how Mitch negotiates and do your comments insinuate that Drew is more sensitive about the amount of the offer than some think considering his comments that he didn’t need to be paid max money?"

ONE OF THE TWO SOURCES WHO TIPPED ME ABOUT THIS STORY DESCRIBED BYNUM'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM AND COACHES AS "WEIRD" AND ADDED THAT THAT WEIRDNESS CAME FROM HIM BEING JIM BUSS'S PET. IT'S NOT A NORMAL BASKETBALL SITUATION, PLUS THERE'S AN INJURY AND NOW A MEDICAL DEBATE, SO ALL BETS ARE OFF. WHO KNOWS HOW THIS WILL PLAY OUT?

AS FOR YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT TEX WINTER, HE CONTINUES TO BATTLE THE SHINGLES, HAS BEEN IN GREAT PAIN AND HAS DOUBTS THAT THE TEAM WILL INVITE HIM BACK NEXT YEAR.

HE ALWAYS HAS DOUBTS ABOUT THAT EACH YEAR, BUT HE IS 86 WITH A WIFE CAUGHT IN THE STAGES OF DEMENTIA.

ALL THE BEST TO YOU TOM.

ROLAND

Roland - thanks for sharing some news. I'm sorry (as I'm sure all bloggers and fans are) to hear about Tex's wife. That's tough.

Thirty2 - that is outrageously cold. I've spend the last couple years in Cape Cod and am moving to Austin in the coming week. The Cape has some harsh weather during winter months... Texas is best described as hot.

LTLF - that was a great trade post but a wee bit lonnnnggg. I feel basically the same as you but in truncated form - the Lakers don't need to trade anybody, they just need to land a second string banger on the cheap.

Fattty my brother - love your posts but I got news for you about Obama - he's going to win and win huge. Just the way it is pal. :P

sasha rocks--i dont care what you say...

Roland,

Thanks for responding. And you’re right, the blog is truly a jungle at times. LOL.

>>>>>As for the extension, considering the doctor situation, I think the Lakers
>>>>>will want to see him perform with confidence in training camp.
>>>>>If he can't play in training camp, their decision becomes very tough,
>>>>>although Jim Buss will probably talk his dad into it.

That’s about where I am on the extension. The Lakers definitely should wait until they see Drew in training camp and he takes a few licks. But even I would have some serious doubts about the extension if Drew couldn’t play by October 1st. That would be a total reversal of how things are supposed to be right now.

>>>>>As for your questions about Tex Winter, he continues to battle the shingles,
>>>>>has been in great pain and has doubts that the team will invite him back next year.

>>>>>He always has doubts about that each year, but he is 86 with a wife caught
>>>>>in the stages of dementia.

That’s sad news. I’ll keep Tex and his wife in my prayers. It would be wonderful if he felt healthy enough and the Lakers invited him back again next year. He really seems to keep Phil in check, which we would need desperately if the Lakers took Kwame back.

Best to you, Roland. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the Jerry West bio. Congratulations.

Tom

Fatty,

>>>>>Americans are too smart to elect an inexperienced divisive candidate,
>>>>>as the Lakers are too smart to bring back Kwame.

If you think Obama is divisive, read the text of his Berlin speech. He is the most inclusive candidate we have ever had. On the Republicans side, there are also some good things to say about McCain not being divisive, so as to be fair when violating the no politics good advice. Can we all agree that inclusive is better than divisive? I thought so. Always appreciate your posts and humor. Like giantsquid said, people’s political beliefs are usually not an indicator of their IQ. And I sure hope we don’t bring back Kwame. That would be like…never mind. Have a nice day, Fatty. LOL.

Tom

they are only posing there sexy body Voooooooooooooooo??????????????????

 
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