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Adam Morrison and Summer League, The Twitter, and other odds and ends

If I might briefly interrupt Lamar Odom Contract Watch 2009!...

Tonight at 5 pm, the Lakers will kick off their Summer League season against the "Toronto Raptors" at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.  It's a little tough to get juiced for the action, since in the history of such teams it's very possible one has never been assembled that will have less impact on the regular season version than the squad the Lakers have put together.  (Due respect to the guys on the roster, but you, me, and all of our buddies have about the same chance of wearing purple and gold this fall as they do.)

The exception, of course, is Adam Morrison, hoping to start the process of getting his generally disappointing career back on track with some full court burn headlining LA's squad.  There's nothing glamorous about it, but it's a necessary step for Morrison.  Writes Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Adam Morrison is back in the summer league, probably the last place he thought he'd be as he prepares for his fourth season in the NBA. But the former Gonzaga standout finds himself at a career crossroads. The time for Morrison to prove he can play -- and contribute significantly -- is now. After the coming season, nothing is guaranteed. "I think (about it) a little bit," Morrison said. "Having not played much last year, I have to see if I can fit in. "I don't think I'm starting over necessarily. I still have confidence in myself. My knee feels pretty good right now, and I'm as close to 100 percent as I can get." The 6-foot-8-inch Morrison will be the most recognizable player on the Lakers team that faces Toronto at 5 p.m. today in Cox Pavilion as the summer league's sixth year in Las Vegas gets under way. "I'm trying to learn the triangle (offense) and go out and play," Morrison said. "I'm going to use the summer league as a positive."

The need for Morrison to play well is intensified by the powerful Lakers roster. The real one, I mean.  As it stands, Morrison seems an unlikely candidate for an extension in LA and assuming good health, it'll be tough for even a healthy Ammo to crack the rotation in a significant way.  Obviously it's a long time between now and next summer and any number of things could happen (trades, surprise PT, etc.), but these five otherwise insignificant games in Vegas could be one of his only chances to show other teams he can still be productive.  

I hope he does well.  In my admittedly limited interactions with Morrison, he certainly doesn't strike me as a guy interested in simply collecting a check and fading away. 

Other summer league news:

  • If you're the guy who can't get enough summer ball, there are a few outlets for you.  TrueHoop at ESPN.com has provided some quality coverage, but for my money, the best resource is Ridiculous Upside. They do a great job during the season of covering the D-League, and let you in on everything you need to know about the July version of NBA hoop, and a lot that you probably don't. 
  • Along those lines, check out the Knicks SL roster!  It includes both Yaroslav Korolev, taken 12th in the 2005 draft by the Clippers and representing, even by their liberal standards, one of the worst lottery disasters in team history, and Nikoloz Tskitishvili, taken fifth by the Nuggets in admittedly soft 2002 draft class, but still ahead of guys like Amare Stoudamire, Caron Butler, Nene, Jared Jefferies, and Chris Wilcox (who while not all that great an NBA player is still, you know, in the NBA).  Given their trade for Darko Milicic on draft day, Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh have a chance to put three of the biggest busts of the decade on one squad.  Two more, and I believe either becomes eligible for a free three nights at any Red Roof Inn across the nation.
Moving on...

Regarding, as mom calls it, "the Twitter," we're interested in making our feed (latimeslakers) a more useful tool for those of you in the crowd who Tweet.  Part of this, I know, is disseminating other Tweets from other feeds (the proverbial re-Tweet), and to do that it helps to be following the right folks.  So here's my question: Who do you follow on Twitter for hoops info, and who would you like to see us follow?  Send suggestions in the comments.  In the meantime, if you don't follow us, start dammit!   We get news out on that thing as it comes in, and the Twitter also serves, more or less, as an RSS feed for the site, so you'll know when new stuff goes up.

We're open to any additional advice about how to put this thing to good use.

A few more nuggets:
BK



 
Comments () | Archives (42)

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Ammo could be a key player off the bench.

How many guys can get their own shot that come off the bench? Maybe JF? Lamar on a good day? If Ammo rehabs and gets it, he could be that missing piece

Yaroslav Korolev? Urgh. One of the worst draft choices EVER.

Go Clippers!

GO LAKERS!!!!

Thank God for summer league.

I was getting Lakerholic shakes.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

"by the way: duncan/shaq r aging pretty bad. like trying to age a zinfandel. it's not cabernet."


ouch i'm not talking about duncan/shaq today, i mean resume wise. Shaq was the most dominant big man back in the 2000's and I loved those Lakers owning Duncan and Robinson though it was never as exciting as Magic going against Dennis Johnson or Cooper vs Larry Legend or Kareem battling against The Chief. I still hate McHale to this day for the clothesline of Rambis.

I still believe that 1999-2000 Lakers would beat 2008-2009 Lakers or even a 2009-2010 (with Odom) Lakers squad. True Kobe today is heck a lot better than that Kobe but young Kobe would give today's Kobe's fits for sure. And this Lakers squad I doubt could withstand an MVP Shaq.

"Your hatred is not supported by stats, nor by reality. It reeks of obsession. I'm not sure if it's because of his Dad, it's its because he's good-looking, if it's because he's white, if it's because he was on the 2005 Lakers team, if it is because he was on the 2004 and 2008 teams that lost in the Finals, or because he has a long-term contract."

Jon K, I think its a combination of all though probably his contract length is what gets guys most upset.

Can we now come back on the LO Contract Watch? Just Kidding!

Any new updates? Hello? Anything?

Have a fun weekend Lakers!

TOP 5 MATCHUPS…
Advantages in CAPS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Lakers vs. Celtics
--KOBE vs. Rondo
--Fish vs. ALLEN
--Ron vs. Pierce
--Pau vs. KG
--DREW vs. Perkins
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--LAMAR vs. Rasheed

Lakers vs. Cavaliers
--KOBE vs. Williams
--FISH vs. West
--Ron vs. LEBRON
--PAU vs. Varejao
--DREW vs. Shaq
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--LAMAR vs. Gibson

Lakers vs. Magic
--Kobe vs. Vince
--Fish vs. Nelson
--Ron vs. Rashard
--Pau vs. Varejao
--Drew vs. DWIGHT
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--Lamar vs. Pietrus

Lakers vs. Spurs
--KOBE vs. Mason
--Fish vs. PARKER
--RON vs. Jefferson
--PAU vs. Bonner
--Drew vs. DUNCAN
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--Lamar vs. GINOBLI

Lakers vs. Nuggets
--KOBE vs. Smith
--Fish vs. BILLUPS
--Ron vs. Melo
--PAU vs. Martin
--DREW vs. Nene
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--Lamar vs. Birdman

Tom

The Triangle seems like the perfect system for Morrison. Here's wishing he turns into a reliable shooter off the bench! Or should I start by wishing he sticks with the team?

Michael Jordan sure can pick em. First Kwame Brown and now Morrison? Good grief.

have we stopped laughing at David Lee yet? I hope not. Here's to you, David Lee:

Ahahahahahahaaaa!

He comes storming into negotiations, VASTLY overpricing his client, then goes to the press and threatens to have his client sign elsewhere without giving the Lakers a shot to match. Then... THEN he hustles his client off to Houston, agrees to an offer that is LESS that what the Lakers would have paid THEN tries to doublecross Houston by bringing Cleveland into town AFTER his client verbally agreed to play for Houston and only at this point does his client ask any questions at all, "is Lebron going to be there in 2 years or not"? BOOM! they go back and probably try to game Houston for a few more bucks and then suddenly, Ariza is sitting in front of the press looking dazed and confused, "how did I get here"?

Oh... BRAVO! we've got a WINNER!!! (clap, clap, clap)

I sure hope Andrew Bynum was watching this. If I were a GM in the NBA, I sure would have noticed...

Knicks is accumualating lottery darft busts in the summer league roster. Sene, Thiskivili and Korolev. What is Mike d'antoni up to? Trying to find diamonds in the rough?

Smush Parker is back in summer league, dleague. To think he was the starting PG of the Lakers, playing alongside the best player of his generation.

My thoughts on the LO situation...

The only team that's any kind of threat to steal Lamar Odom away is the Blazers. But even if the Blazers were to get involved in the Odom discussion, the most they could offer him is 7.7 million per year, which probably less than what I assume the Lakers will probably end up signing him for. The only way he takes that is if he's so angry at the Lakers for lowballing him, he'll just take the next highest offer out of spite. But if the issue truly is money, I don't think the Lakers will be outbid. Even the Blazers with all that cap space have to be very careful as they have many good young players who will be eligible for extensions and free agency soon. Overextending themselves now may put them in a pickle later on.

In the end, I think the Lakers and Lamar will settle on a 3 year, 25 million dollar, or something very close to that. Maybe Lamar is looking for 10 and the Lakers are offering 7.5 or maybe it's the length of the contract that matters, but I think Lamar is going to find out very soon that the money pool has mostly run dry and he will have to lower his demands.

Come on man... Morrison is under rated. He's NO Kwame Brown.

Kwame never led a team to anything except the locker room

Morrison has led at least one team to a high level of success... sure, he's not likely to do that in the NBA, but the guy can actually play basketball, whereas Kwame cannot even catch a basketball

Worst case scenario w/c I don;t want to see - another team offers LO $8.5 mil just to screw up the Lakers and Odom walks.
If that happens and Morrison proves in SL that he is an NBA level shooter, Ammo could take LO`s place in the bench.
The Laker's bench becomes:
C: Powell/Mbenga
PF: Walton/Powell
SF: Ammo/Walton
SG: Sasha/UPS
PG: UPS/Farmar
Not a bad bench assuming Ammo does turn his career around - although nowhere near as good as a bench w/LO.

BK,

Great post. Thoughts:

1. Are the Knicks the worst run franchise in the NBA? Salary cap hell for years leading to a perpetual search for hidden "gems." At least with the Clippers, you don't expect much.

2. Bass is a good pickup for Orlando. Boston is in trouble.

3. I enjoyed watching Morrison on the bench during the playoffs. Some games it looked like he had taken a bong hit right before the camera panned on him. Others it looked like he had just popped some speed and was ready to check in to the game. I hope things work out for him.

Forum Blue and Gold does its nice analysis of Ron Artest. Sure it has some Laker bias (hey it is a Laker forum after all) but an impressive job without wearing the purple and gold sunglasses too much as well.

For those thinking Ariza was just as good as Artest on defense:

"We see from 82games.com that Cleveland has the best PER against small forwards at 12.6 and Houston was second at 13.5. So far so good. Looking into the Cavs and Rockets in more detail shows that Lebron’s defensive PER was a good 13.5. Of course the Rockets also have Battier who was at 12.3. However Artest was even better at 12.2. By the PER-against metric, it is safe to say that Ron is an elite on-ball defender. (Bowen was 16.3 and Ariza 23.0). Versus Ariza, a significant upgrade."

Putting it all together. Artest is a significant upgrade as an on-ball defender versus Ariza. "

Wow even an old man Bowen was able to beat out a young Trevor Ariza on defense! Imagine what a still in his prime Artest could do on defense?

On offense the only big difference was Trevor as a slasher was able to finish. Though I have to point out to Kurt that while Trevor does have better numbers at the rim that a good portion of those were fast break opportunities that he kept dunking on so those numbers about Trevor being better at the rim may not be entirely accurate. In the Finals Trevor when forced to slash to the basket on a non fast break after being chased off the 3 point line finished very poorly as his shot was altered/blocked by Dwight or he forced a mid range jumper which was very ugly to see and had ugly results as well with a FG% of 37% inside the 3 point line.

Overall Artest is the Small Forward that we have been yearning for. For all the clutch steals remember how Carmelo and Artest and Hedo blew by him. Artest will make that tougher.

Tim-Show,

I am also a fan of Ammo's potential.

He was a fierce competitor at Gonzaga. His defense is suspect, but the Triangle is an ideal match for his skill set. If he is given the opportunity to gain some confidence, he can be a deadly shooter from anywhere on the court, especially with all the attention directed at Kobe and Pau. He has the potential to become a much more effective player than Luke, and can possibly replace his minutes. After Luke predictably gets another minor injury to his brittle bones next season and is out for 3 months, Ammo should have plenty of opportunity to contribute.

At the very least, he is good insurance to have in case Sasha continues to struggle with his shot.

Yellofever, you are wrong about at least one thing. No one here is blind to Luke Walton's weaknesses. Luke is blessed with weaknesses that a blind dog can see and strengths that only a real fan will pick up on.

One thing Phil understands, it seems, is that all role players have limits and that you can't look at role players for what they CAN'T do, you have to look at them for what they CAN do.

Phil appreciates willingness to play a role and a great understanding of the gamem someone who plays the right way. And he likes toughness. Athletecism is optional, youth a potential problem.

A role player will not, by definition, have a 3 dimensional game - he will have weaknesses, that is why he is a role player.

Let's look at some of Phil's role players in Chicago. Ron Harper post injury. An old Bill Cartwright. Luc Longley. Bill Wennington. John Paxson. Steve Kerr.

In LA? An even older Harper. The never long or quick Fisher. Old Brian Shaw. Old Rick Fox. Old A.C. Green. Old Horace Grant.

By and large these guys are humble, hard working guys with limited athletic ability who will play a role and play the right way. Outside of Kerr none are lights out shooters.

This is why Fish and Walton have value. They are veterans who play the right way and give Phil a pretty reliable tool to plug in for whatever minutes they can give.

We all fall in love with an athletic kid like Shannon Brown. And Phil will too if he is productive and learns his role. But if you are going to have a 9 man rotation a few of those guys are going to have limits.

Phil prefers a smart player with skill limits to a skilled player whose weakness is his brain.. That is why, for example, Vlad Rad, the Lakers' best pure shooter, fell out of the rotation entirely in favor of the smart Walton and scrappy Ariza. He was always in the wrong place on the floor.

Limits are part of the game for role players. Luke is not athletic and he struggles at times to score. He is vulnerable on defense to quick players on the perimeter.

But he knows his role in the offense and defense. He is almost always on the right spot on the floor (an vastly underestimated and often invisible skill that makes his teammates better on both ends). He understands ball movement and flow and plays hard at the defensive end. He is a decent rebounder. In the end, in 10 - 15 minutes a night, he usually does a lot of things right to help the Lakers win.

As a guy paid below average for NBA salaries he provides about what he makes. If he is overpaid, it not by enough to replace him with a vastly better player.

You don't have to like him, a lot of folks don't. I sometimes cringe when he is open for a jumper myself. But he is a decent backup SF and not the cause of all the Lakers problems. He is a small, possibly slightly overpaid part of what made them champs.

Wow.

http://tinyurl.com/nfwjrt

Looking at the salaries, it sure feels like we're paying Adam Morrison a hell of a lot of money.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

LakerinBC,

There's no way in hell Adam Morrison could serve as a viable substitute for Lamar Odom.

Lamar Odom does everything (except consistency) well. Everything.

Adam Morrison can shoot. That's it.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

puddle,

"The only team that's any kind of threat to steal Lamar Odom away is the Blazers."

The problem is that the Trailblazers HATE us. HATE US. They have a burning, irrational hatred. So much so that they will sabotoge themselves if they think it will somehow sabotoge us more.

It's crazy.

Remember when they threatened the entire NBA that if anyone traded a quality power forward to the Lakers, they would do everything they could to undermine future trades with that team?

The Trailblazers are crazy. The lack of sunlight makes those Northern Oregonians become hateful lunatics.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Buss,

Throw a Golden Ticket into Lamar's contract and this deal is done!

Lamar, you are a LAKER, come on back right quick.

I want my biggest concert this Summer to be whether or not Luke Walton takes up surfing again (which he absolutely should to better his coordination, strength, balance, and reflexes).

I always hated Ammo at Gonzaga, and as a Bruin I was delighted to see him crying on the floor.

But I am a better now, and Ammo is a Laker. If he is healthy and willing to work, I would be surprised if he cannot get himself together enough to find a job in the NBA. Look at a guy like Jason Kapono, who was more one dimensional that Adam and worked his way into a role.

Whether he winds up here or elsewhere, I hope he gets a chance and earns some minutes, and a few more years in the league.

>>>Kwame never led a team to anything except the locker room

lol.

Or the buffet table.

Portland's smart not to pursue Odom, because in the end it would be a waste of their time and resources. For all intents and purposes LO is a restricted free-agent, if not technically then practically. They must realize that the Lakers would be given a chance to match any offer that they made and if they offered all they could trying to get the Lakers to shoot their wad, they would then have to worry that the Lakers might not match it. Do the Blazers really want Odom for $8M/yr? Probably not. Do the Lakers? Probably not either, unless maybe it's for one year.

Then again, why would they pay a price that no one else in the league would right now? Because he was such a bargain last year at $14M? I don't think so. The Lakers should tell Odom he can have 3 years at $6M per, or 1 year at $7M and try again next year. I personally like the one-year deal since Odom has proven to be motivationally challenged outside, and some might say even in, his contract year.

Here's my dream scenario:

1.Morrison scores 30 in each of the first 3 summer league games.

2. Teams with cap space get interested. Someone offers a future
draft pick (and possibly a lower salaried player) for Morrison.

3. Lakers trade off Morrison getting a reduction in salary

4. Lakers up their offer to Lamar to 8.5 million.

5. Lamar signs

6. Lakers celebrate title #16 in June of 2010.

So Portland has made a big offer to Paul Millsap.

If Millsap signs the offer & Utah doesn't match, then there's
basically nobody left to offer Lamar more than MLE.

Oklahoma City could, but they're reportedly not looking to
spend any of their cash this summer.

LTLF,

Memphis too, right? It seems pretty obvious they would also like to keep salaries down.

"Looking at the salaries, it sure feels like we're paying Adam Morrison a hell of a lot of money."

Jon that is his rookie contract which he signed with Charlotte and lottery picks especially make a ton of money. Out of Gonzaga he was heralded by scouts as the next Larry Bird and well look how that comparison turned out to be.

Tom D,

Great post on Luke. Maybe now yello will understand what everyones been telling him.

Laker Tom,

Advantage in CAPS;

Lakers vs. Magic
--Kobe vs. Vince
--Fish vs. Nelson
--Ron vs. Rashard
--Pau vs. Varejao
--Drew vs. DWIGHT
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
--Lamar vs. Pietrus

Huh??? Kobe = Vince???

Is this a playoff matchup or a dunk contest?

Jon K -

Your post made me laugh (in a good way, not in a mocking way or anything). I know plenty of good Oregonians, but you're right about the Blazers. What they did with the Darius Miles situation was flat out pathetic. And replaying the Ariza "flagrant" to rile up the crowd was indefensible and totally bush league. I hate the Blazers and would bathe in my own urine rather than watch Odom don the black and red. It's obvious the Blazers and their fans hate the Lakers with a fiery passion and would love to hurt the Lakers, even if it meant cutting off the nose to spite the face.

That being said, no matter what the Blazers do to try and steal him away, the Lakers can still offer Odom more money. That's why I just don't see any other option than for Odom to return. Odom might not be happy and may take a one year flier on a smaller contract and wait until next summer, much like restricted free agents do (as I forsee Nate Robinson doing this year). Not to mention the fact that one would think most teams would prefer a young David Lee that the Knicks won't pay for than an older Lamar Odom that the Lakers WILL pay for.

I might be wrong, but Lamar is simply running out of options. He's trying to hold up the Lakers with a water pistol and it's obvious the Lakers aren't really fazed. Ariza found this out the hard way.

AMMO is a dud

LO is a candy eating sky rocket

Oh, who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream
The Candy Man, oh the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good

suprisingly despite the bad comments he scored 24 points in his debut

Adam dropped a KB-24 on that ass tonite -- albeit Summer League comp -- yet in still, good sign....

I prayed we resigned Lamar -- trust --- my prayers are always answered...believe dat!

K's

Ron Artest has one of the best Twitters. Always full of interesting thoughts, especially since he used one of my comments here on his Twitter. lol

Benjamin,

>>>Memphis too, right? It seems pretty obvious they would
>>>also like to keep salaries down.

After Memphis completes the Zach Randolph for Quentin Richardson
deal they agreed to with the Clippers, they will have something
like 6 million left in cap space. I'm guessing the Lakers have
already offered more than 6 to Lamar.

But at the moment, you are correct, they have more cap space.

puddle,

>>>Not to mention the fact that one would think most teams
>>>would prefer a young David Lee that the Knicks won't
>>>pay for than an older Lamar Odom that the Lakers WILL pay for.

This is an excellent point.

If Lamar is asking for 9 million per, you could make that same offer
to David Lee (the player not the turd of an agent). And I'd
wager the Knicks are less inclined to match that big an offer
than the Lakers would be.

And though Lamar has Finals experience (which would be
useful to a young team), David Lee is young and still improving.
With Lamar you know what you're getting: a talented, though
sometimes frustratingly inconsistent player. With Lee, he's
just a step below Lamar in productivity, but he's more consistent
and he's young enough that he could mature a bit and be an
All-Star level player.

For the Lakers though, Lamar is experienced with the triangle,
he's used to playing with these players, and he knows where
his contributions are most needed. So he's a much better choice
than David Lee would be for the Lakers (even if we could afford
him).

puddle,

>>>I might be wrong, but Lamar is simply running out of
>>>options. He's trying to hold up the Lakers with a water
>>>pistol and it's obvious the Lakers aren't really fazed. Ariza
>>>found this out the hard way

The Ariza situation was totally different. In that situation, the
Lakers still had their MLE, and there was a better player out
there to sign for the contract that Ariza (or his agent) was
insulted by.

Now the situation is changed:

1. The Lakers have no MLE or even BAE. All they could offer
to any alternative choice would be a veteran's minimum.

2. Most of the best free agent PFs have now signed with
other teams (Sheed with Boston, Villanueva with Detroit,
Brandon Bass with Orlando, McDyess with the Spurs,
and now MIllsap has signed an offer with Portland).

So basically, the longer he holds out, the more Lamar's
water pistol becomes a real gun with real bullets.

Losing Ariza was no big deal, as the Lakers immediately
replaced him with a better player. If the Lakers lose Lamar,
then either Powell or Chinewhateverhisnameis better really
step it up this season, because there will be no free agents
left who could even play up to Powell's level, let alone Lamar's.

Of course, that assumes that Lamar would be willing to take
LESS money than the Lakers were offering. I can't see him
doing a multi-year contract, but maybe if some competitive
team offered him a full MLE for 1 year, he could turn traitor
like Ariza and take it.

OTOH, I think Lamar was just biding his time to see if any
larger offers came in. I think if Portland had offered more
than the Lakers original offer, then the Lakers would have
raised their offer a little bit.

Once Portland's cap space is gone and there are no more
teams with the money to make a larger offer, I think Lamar
will come in and sign for what the Lakers are offering.

Trevor had a hot-head agent who killed the goose that layed the
golden eggs for his client. Lamar's agent seems more sensible.
He's not trying to work the press to improve Lamar's position,
he's just quietly doing his job to try and get the best deal possible.
Once it's certain that that deal is with the Lakers, he'll take it.

Utah is going to trade Boozer before next Saturday so they can match Portland's offer in order to keep Millsap. Then will Portland go after LO even though he has said he wants to live at the beach? Maybe, but they'd have to do a great selling job since the nearest beach is 90 miles away.

Morrison is better than anyone on LAs bench. I hope they trade him early so that he can prove his stuff with a time that will play him..

Morrison is a better player than anyone on LAs bench. I hope they trade him early so that he can show his stuff with a team that will play him.

I think the Morrison/Kapono/Sasha analogy is a good one. Nobody really expects them to guard anyone...just light uo the open 3's.


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