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Trevor Ariza interview on 570 KLAC

 Former Laker/now Rocket Trevor Ariza recently appeared on the 570 KLAC's Myers & Hartman Show Trevor Ariza hits two three pointers vs. Golden State in Los Angeles.  TA was asked various questions about the ultimately failed negotiations that resulted in a Houston relocation.  Not many specifics revealed, but that's what actually made the interview noteworthy.  Here's what I found most interesting:

  • How largely uninformed Ariza appeared while trying to relay what happened between the Lakers and his agent, David Lee.  His explanations were very unspecific and included a lot of sentiments like "I'm not really sure" and "whatever the situation was."  I found that pretty odd.  Perhaps Trevor wanted to tread lightly and avoid painting a negative picture of the Lakers, Lee or himself.  I also know from experience that he's much more comfortable off the record than on it.

    Or, as I suspect, Ariza's retelling of the story was filled with blanks because he was informed of his situation entirely through Lee, as opposed to Lee and the Lakers.  Beyond never actually being in a room with any Laker brass, Trevor gave no indication of having spoken directly with Mitch Kupchak at any point.  Thus, Lee was the one keeping him in the loop and attempting to make the exact opposite route of Trevor's first choice sound palatable and/or necessary.    
  • Ariza didn't sound thrilled about leaving the Lakers.  As he acknowledged, "what kid from L.A. would want to leave L.A.?"  TA also lamented having "no control over that."
  • When asked about Lee's handling of his business, Ariza expressed more loyalty than praise for a job well done.  He also acknowledged that the Lakers don't particularly like Lee,  unless I misinterpreted the following comment: "If I was to stay there, (the Lakers) would still feel the same way about him."

Those "no love lost" sentiments reinforce my initial thoughts on the matter (which felt even more reasonable in light of the report from Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus).  Lee postured and played harTrevor Ariza steals a critical inbound pass in the fourth quarter of Game 1dball well before the approach was merited, and the Lakers refused to bite.  From there, Lee looked to gain leverage through meetings with other teams and the Lakers, knowing Ron Artest was available and interested, decided to cut bait and to the chase.  Without question, I was surprised events unfolded so quickly, but in retrospect, it makes sense.  Lee's jabbering to the media with July 1st barely in the books felt unusually over the top.  It also signaled a hassle in the works. 

With all due respect to Ariza, a guy I like as a player and a person, he isn't worth that much drama to secure, especially if the Team Ariza numbers floated are so far out of line with what the Lakers were offering. 

In any event, I hope things work out for Trevor in Houston (except, of course, in games against the Lakers).  I also think he'd be wise to cut ties with Lee.  Between Ariza and Andrew Bynum last season, it's pretty clear Lee is a pain to work with.  That would be fine if he had a client roster big enough that franchises are forced to kiss up.  But when your agent's third biggest client is apparently Hassan Adams, it's safe to assume he doesn't "own" the NBA.  More importantly, Lee botched the task of getting what Ariza wanted, which, in its own right, is kind of impressive, considering the mutual interest expressed by the Lakers and Ariza in continuing a relationship.  That talks broke off so abruptly and acrimoniously feels like a sign that Trevor should look elsewhere for representation. 

AK

 
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Wow, anybody that would have Lee represent him in the future is crazy. I have a feeling he will have a VERY difficult time finding new clients.

I posted it before and I post it again. David Lee has a great job. He got to screw his client royally and still get paid. Ultimately, TA has to realize his gaent is bad news and cans him asap. What a jerk (Lee)!!!

hobbitmage,

"Can't you just
see him endorsing lo-jack or Brinks Security or some
such security product?"

Like u aint see what happened to sasha after he signed his multi-million dollar deals ... money corrupts even the best of us ... just cuz i'm hungry and playing with heart today don't mean i'm the same guy once i get my deal ... anyone remember michael olowkandi? ... or shawn kemp

Who knows what Ariza will become in the future ... but I can't blame him for not willing to bank on his on continued sucess as well as the continued success of LA ... which is what is needed for the potential endorsements you speak off ... I agree with you that would have been the likely scenario but I cant blame him for standing behind an agent that's screaming FU pay me now

BTW Sasha I'm still big on you yo but I was big on smush too ... lets just hope u rediscover your shooting touch and that the problem aint that you've been hosting orgies with some hot european models every weekend which is affecting ya focus ... fyi no sources can verify this rumor, i just made it up

David Lee is simply a bad agent no but or ifs.

He did the same thing with Bynum. Only reason why he succeeded was because Lakers management had no backbone. Now Mitch realizes he has all the cards on the table and on hoopsworld that Trevor Ariza was his first option. Since though David Lee is a greedy punk and tried to use Scott Boras tactics to force an even bigger payday from Mitch said simply said screw it and signed Artest who is strong enough to give fits defensively to Carmelo, Lebron, and Pierce (Ariza's defense though clutch at times were a bit sub-par against all three though most interesting against the best of the three Lebron James he has the most success against probably experience against him in preps).

Trevor is no doubt sad and he tried to salvage the situation by not accepting more money from Toronto and signed with Houston instead. When they get back McGrady though he'll most likely head towards the bench.

this article is on point. the only reason his hardball game worked with bynum was because he was the lakers future and there were no other big men on free agency. Ariza is no where near as valuable as bynum and there were more options to pick a free agent. I agree he should fire him. but it was a blessing in disguise, ARTEST is a great addition to the team he is the same player as Ariza but much much better

I'd say that I agree with AK's sentiment.

Taliq,

you wrote: but I can't blame him for not willing to bank on his on continued sucess as well as the continued success of LA

my response: I guess this is my entire point. According to
the "Hoopsworld" article, the $$ is essentially the same.
I wouldn't be mad at Ariza if Houston was paying more $$.
The crime *seems* to be that Ariza's agent *prevented* the
offer from being made/going thru due to his confrontational
attitude. If the Lakers are the team that can offer you the
*most* $$, then being confrontational with them doesn't
seem like the best methodology.

Since AK didn't quote it specifically, from the Eric Pincus
article:

>>>"A source tells HOOPSWORLD that Kupchak was
>>> prepared to give Ariza an offer equivalent to the full
>>>MLE but at 10.5% raises, totaling at approximately
>>> $33.8 million over five years.

>>> LA's ceiling might have been a $6 million starting
>>> salary for $36 million over five but before
>>> negotiations progressed after 9:00pm Pacific on
>>> Tuesday night, the source says that Ariza's agent,
>>> David Lee, took a confrontational approach with
>>> Kupchak.

>>> Lee wanted a deal in the $50 million range and took
>>> offense to the team's stance that Trevor should test
>>> the market first for that level of compensation."

So there you have the story. Both sides were talking numbers,
the numbers didn't match. Whether that constitutes an "offer"
or not is up to interpretation.

If Mitch says, "We feel that Trevor has improved greatly and
is worth MLE level money with 10% raises", is that an offer?
Or is that just discussing a number?

I dunno guys (and gals). In my opinion, we are making WAY too much of the Ariza situation. I absolutely love the guy, but we went in a different direction and I'm absolutely fine with it.

At the end of the day, all of us need to take personal responsibility for our actions or inactions. If Artest proves to be a bust (which I doubt) the Lakers need to be stand up about it. If Artest proves to be nails and we dominate like never before, then we can say we took a shot and it worked out GREAT!

You take chances in life you know? Ariza and his agent took a chance, the Lakers are taking a chance and we will see how it works out. Who said what and when is of LITTLE concern to me. Therefore I am shouting out.....LET IT LIE!

Good luck Trevor. I wish you the best and I love you for what you contributed. I hope to see you back with us again one day and until then, be well.

It's funny. Wasn't it only two summers ago that KL was ranting
that EVERYone wanted to play on Shaq's team or on LeBron's
team. And that NObody want's to play on ball hog Kobe's team.

Now people are falling all over themselves and taking less
money to sign on with Kobe's team. And in the mean time,
LeBron and Shaq are calling Artest and Ariza, begging them
to join the Cavaliers, but Artest chose Kobe's team, and Ariza
would rather go to a likely lottery team than join LeBron and
Shaq.

What say you now KL? What's your spin on this situation?

KB Blitz,

"Only reason why he succeeded was because Lakers management had no backbone."

First off I concur ... secondly here's what our boy lakertom had to say when confronted on the issue ...

[>>> do u honestly think bynum could get that money on the open market today???)

Probably not because he was injured and missed half the year and was still hobbled in the playoffs and there were very few teams with cap space. Hindsight makes all decisions look easy. After next year, hindsight may tell us that the deal was a bargain.
]

Really ... hind sight? ... didn't many on here call it ... we said yo he's barely played a complete season much less a good complete season and yet you lakertom was screaming max or doomsday ... the same tone his agent was screaming (what are the chances you're david lee?hahaha)

Look we all love Bynum but given he was just going to be a restricted agent this year, there was absolutely no reason for Mitch to do that deal ... he could have waited and had he done so we'd be getting Bynum for a discount ... the only benefit of doing it then was it meant Bynum wasn't a distraction during the season but what a hefty price to pay for that benefit

Like blitz said yo ... this was really just about Mitch growing some kahunas and standing up to the dude that bullied him last summer

You can spin it anyway you want but like I said before ... save your energy for bynums silly contract ... Ariza is no longer a laker and we wish him the best

It's obvious that Mitch didn't want to deal with Lee. I think you're exactly right in saying that Lee started playing hardball too soon and F'd Trevor. With all his posturing in the media in both Trevor's and Andrew's negotiations, Lee really came off more as an ass than a positive "let's get the deal done for my client on the team he want's to play for". He's a bad negotiator, he should have known the economic AND other free agents situations before he shot off at the mouth.

Unfortunately it sounded like Trevor isn't going to fire Lee and doesn't even seem to think that Lee did anything wrong. Trevor should really speak to Mitch and ask him what happened. I'm sure Mitch will say the same thing that everyone knows...Lee F'd him. I feel bad for Trevor and wish him all the luck.

AK,

Yeah, we have come to similar conclusions.

I get the feeling that David Lee's attempts at hardball were probably received (particularly post-re-signing Andrew Bynum drama) by Mitch and Dr. Buss in a similar way to how Shaq's "WHEN YOU GONNA PAY ME MY DAMN MONEY?" outburst was received.

We've had enough drama in this organization. Now we're ready for a period of maturity and mutual respect. I'm guessing that David Lee didn't pick up on how that is the most effective dynamic to utilize to get what his client wants.

In short, David Lee told Trevor Ariza, "Don't worry. I'll handle it," and then screwed it up.

Luckily for the Lakers, Artest was ready to fill that role, otherwise there would have been a tremendous amount of drama in a delicate situation that required mutual compromise.

Kobe, compromised? Check.
True Warrior Artest, compromised? Check.
Shannon Brown, compromised? Check.
Lamar Odom, compromised? God, I hope so.
Dr. Buss, compromised? Check.

David Lee, compromised? Nope. Hello, Houston!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

It's all in these two articles. I'm sorry, but this is a threat on the first day of negotiations no less:

http://tinyurl.com/km25fe


"Ariza already has firm offers from several other teams, according to Lee, and will begin speaking with opposing coaches today. Asked if he could envision Ariza accepting a deal from another team

*** without speaking to the Lakers again, Lee said, "Yes, we have no choice. That's the position they've put us in."
=============

http://tinyurl.com/no9krn

A source tells HOOPSWORLD that Kupchak was prepared to give Ariza an offer equivalent to the full MLE but at 10.5% raises, totaling at approximately $33.8 million over five years.

LA's ceiling might have been a $6 million starting salary for $36 million over five but before negotiations progressed after 9:00pm Pacific on Tuesday night, the source says that Ariza's agent, David Lee, took a confrontational approach with Kupchak.
=============

Mitch did an AWESOME job. David Lee was going to try and create a circus and was threatening to put Ariza on another team without even calling the Lakers back, leaving the Lakers with NOTHING.

Ooops. The Lakers had Artest in their back pocket. Oooops, BLUFF CALLED. Ariza signs with Houston for about what he could have gotten with the Lakers.
=================
Read it and weep:

Lee wanted a deal in the $50 million range and took offense to the team's stance that Trevor should test the market first for that level of compensation.
-------
then he goes to the Riverside Press and tells them Ariza could sign with another team "without speaking to the Lakers again". The Lakers see this going on, read the article and...
----------

By the next morning, the Lakers were going after Artest in full force with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and even Magic Johnson reaching out to the Houston forward.

This is just sad -- not only for me as a Lakers fan, but all the more so for Ariza. The Houston system will not be able to showcase his strengths. Playing along-side Kobe, Pau, Bynum and Lamar is (and now was) the best possible situation for this talented young player.

Devin,

I'm going to disagree with you.

David Lee's hardball tactics DID NOT work with Andrew Bynum and the Lakers. David Lee was pressing for more money and the Lakers weren't budging. Ultimately Andrew Bynum told Lee, "Get a deal done!" and a compromise was made.

If Andrew Bynum didn't push Lee to compromise, he could have very well screwed up the whole thing.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

KB Blitz, correction, Lee failed with the Lakers with Bynum. Lee wanted max money and nothing less. The Lakers were offering 10 mil a year. Now think again about who won that? Bynum go nowhere near the 18 mil he could have gotten. Lakers won.

LTLF,

LakerTom is playing a game of semantics. Call it what you want. I see it as David Lee expressing that the MLE money Kupchak was talking was "an insult" and so David basically slammed the door shut after Mitch told him to test the market value and get back to him.

You can blame the Lakers and Mitch for the Trevor fiasco, but one guy at the table started getting huffy and puffy and went to media saying things like "there will be no home town discount" and "we felt insulted" and when he got slapped said "they didn't even make an offer"

In other words, one guy tried pit bull tactics in a poodle market and when it blew up in his face, he defaulted to the "no offer" to make it look like the situation was already decided and there was nothing he could do differently that would have altered the outcome.

Lee clearly went into damage control mode with Trevor, but those actually reading the statements and comments see it for what it is.

David Lee is a tool.

JohnnyV,

Ariza's defense arguably got us past Houston and Denver in the playoffs. He was a difference-maker in this year's Championship season. He was a local kid, a Bruin, and we were looking forward to him being this generation's Michael Cooper.

I, personally, am very sad to see him go. I was hoping he would be a long-time Laker and Dynasty member.

That much said, if Ron True Warrior Artest, can maintain his presence of mind and maturity as a Laker, I think we have, quite frankly, gained a major upgrade at the SF position.

Despite losing Trevor, if we retain Lamar Odom, next year's Laker team will be MUCH BETTER than last year's Laker team.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

spot-on assessment. Of course, it's impossible to know exactly what was said between Mitch and Lee, their frames of mind, but it is clear that Lee bungled what was a mutual-interest on both parties to get a deal done. In my mind it kind of sounded like a power-play by Lee, the agent wanting to play 'super-agent' hardball without assessing the amount of leverage or lack of interest the Lakers had in going that route. I have found in what I've seen of Mitch publicly and in assessing his actions throughout the year that he is very straight-forward for a sports GM, and extremely honest, traits he picked up and learned well from his mentor, Jerry West.

It looks like Ariza is pretty naive/weak in having David Lee as an agent, perhaps he doesn't see what has transpired, as you wrote AK, and was just seeing everything through David Lee's eyes and one-sided explanations. I think it is very clear he was harmed by Lee, who was not putting his clients desire to remain with the Lakers as priority. I hope that Bynum is approached by the organization and strongly urged to try to find another agent, I can see problems resulting in the future with Lee and his 'leveraging' tactics.

Ultimately though, it was great to see that the Lakers moved so quickly towards getting Artest to sign. Lee must have really felt like the rug was literally pulled out from under him, his plan to parade around to other teams and media was quickly snuffed out. Frankly, I don't think Lee is very smart, and agents should be the smartest people in the room. That would be MY criteria if I were an athlete at least, I really don't know what he does to get clients. If there was ever a poor-showing by an agent in misguiding his client/misjudging his leverage this was it. I just hope Bynum watched this and saw the same thing most people did...

First, this is a very well written and informative article. It reflects what I got out of the press, as well. In essence, his agent got him the same type money from a Houston team that isn't going anywhere rather than Ariza's team of choice. All because Lee alienated himself and his client without reason. Welcome, Ron Artest.

LongTimeLakerFan,

I think people in the league know something that we don't know.

Cleveland (generally speaking) sucks as a place to live compared to say, California or New York, but if they're gooing to be a long-time Championship-contending team, that makes a big difference in whether or not a player would choose to play here.

Well, if Trevor Ariza doesn't think LeBron is going to stay in Cleveland after next year, well, he's probably getting that information from supporting sources.

As multiple Clevelanders/LeBroniacs have suggested to me, if LeBron doesn't win a Championship next year, then he's gone.

Well... LeBron's not winning a Championship next year.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

In addition to misreading his client's value on the open market, Lee seems also to have underestimated LA's options beyond TA. Ron Artest has been linked to the Lakers for years, clearly was interested in playing here, and the Lakers certainly have had varying degrees of interest over the years. To not take that into consideration was pretty poor work.

Then he compounded the error by negotiating/whining in the press to try and force their hand. The free agency period was what, 15 hours old at that point? It was a poor piece of agent-ing, and ultimately TA is responsible, too, because he employs the guy. He's not some sort of victim. Sucks for him if he didn't end up where he wanted to be, for sure, but athletes can't cede control to their agents (if that's what happened) and then be upset when things don't turn out the way they'd like. They have to stay active.

BK

BK

Dallas Raines Hair,

"Mitch did an AWESOME job. David Lee was going to try and create a circus and was threatening to put Ariza on another team without even calling the Lakers back, leaving the Lakers with NOTHING."

I concur.

You've got to remember, this is a situation where everyone has to compromise. If one guy stampedes off the reservation, it GREATLY increases the liklihood that EVERYONE stampedes off the reservation and thing rapidly degrade into an ego war in which everyone loses.

Mitch and Dr. Buss not only did a great job in nipping this in the bud, but by rapidly signing True Warrior Artest at a discount, they have been able to maintain a dialog of mutual compromise as was manifested in Shannon Brown's re-signing.

Preliminary grades:

Mitch and Dr. Buss: A

David Lee: F-

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Taliq & KB Blitz,

>>>Like blitz said yo ... this was really just about Mitch
>>>growing some kahunas and standing up to the dude
>>>that bullied him last summer

I think you mean "cojones", a kahuna is like a priest or sorcerer.

But other than that, I completely agree with you and blitz.

I'm still kinda mystified why the Lakers didn't offer Drew
an incentive laden contract. By that point in the summer,
3 or 4 other players (Andrew Bogut, Luol Deng, Igoudala, and
I think someone else) had accepted contracts that started lower
than what Drew got, but had incentives that could get them
more than what Drew got.

It was a smart GM technique in a time when economy was
already looking shaky for the future. It gave the players a
solid big contract with a chance to make it a HUGE contract
if they played up to their potential.

If Mitch would have offered that, then next season if Bynum
becomes an All-Star and the Lakers win the title, he would
have earned MORE money. And if he missed half the season
with injury again and the Lakers missed the playoffs, then
maybe he'd still get 9 million.

But in light of how poorly Lee handled the Ariza negotiations,
Laker Tom may be right. Lee might have accepted the qualifying
offer for Bynum and pushed him to go to another team next
summer.

The one thing that Trevor has more than anyone else I've seen in today's NBA... this guy anticipates the defense like no one else - not Kobe, not Ron, not CP3.

Then he added a reliable shot to this skill + his athletic ability and he was certainly a keeper. His ultimate downfall was putting trust in the wrong person, and it will continue to be his fault as long as continues to remain Lee's client.

excuse me, he anticipates the opponent's offense... typo

The whole process reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when the swordsman confronts Indy, sabers blazing and putting up a very intimidating picture... and Indy just rolls his eyes and shoots him.

That's essentially what happened here.

BK

In response to all the Bynum talk, I will put myself out there and be counted among those who believe in Bynum. I like the guy and I think the Lakers made the right choice by investing in the future.

He is still VERY young and I like his promise. He has grown both physically AND mentally over the last couple of years. He has now established an injury pattern that is troubling, but I think it's gonna be alright.

I love that Kareem is mentoring him and that the Lakers are smart enough to invest in his and our future. When you think about it, what do we really NEED from Bynum in the short run? We need a good presence in the middle, we need some scoring and when those pesky little guards make their way to the hoop, we need him to swat the ball away.

I don't blame Kobe for wanting to "Win Now!" and for him criticizing Bynum and the Lakers for their long term view. Kobe and the Lakers have a window of just a few years to make hay during the "Kobe Years." HOWEVER, things improved for Kobe and the Lakers this last year because of Gasol, the emergence of Ariza (Artest now), and Bynum's growth.

You could now say that Kobe and the "Win Now" mantra is being well served by the way things are set up currently. This leads to my point. AFTER the Kobe years, do we really want to SUCK (aka Boston's 20 year disappearance), or do we want to have something to build around?

Therefore I am WITH Lakertom. I am in full support of our contract with Bynum and making the investment in a solid relationship with the guy. That relationship may serve us for ALOT of years and some of those years Kobe won't be around to save us.

LakerMike,

" don't think Lee is very smart, and agents should be the smartest people in the room."

Excellent point. An agent should know the priorities of all the other teams, who they're interested in, and what players are interested in playing where...

This is like sitting at a poker table and knowing the styles of the players and judging against the backdrop of the board and action. Lee is like some chump sitting down for the first time, pays no attention to the board, no attention to the players, and gets angry when his bluff gets called and loses his chips.

BK,

"The whole process reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark"

I laughed.

So, Mitch Kupchack has gone from Mr. Cupcake to Indiana Jones? What a difference a Championship makes.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

KB Blitz,

I'm confused. So are you saying that Mitch is utilizing Hawai'ian sorcerors now to get the job done?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

BK ... lmfao @ d indy reference ...

BK, not sure if you know this bit of trivia, but that scene in ROTLA was completely improvised by Ford. Funny enough, that's not too dissimilar from Kupchak's situation. He looked around, saw that Artest was available and with a bit of improvisation pulled the trigger.

Tim-4-Show,

You're right. Trevor was incredible in anticipating the opponent's offense. That's why he deserved the moniker, "The Thief". His steals were a thing of beauty.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

LakerTom,

I wasn't insulting you ... I'm just calling it like it is ... but hey no citizen likes being issued a ticket so i kinda understand why u feel d need 2 get emotional ...

Y'all keep claiming you was just doing 5 miles over d speed limit when in actual fact it's more like 40 over the limit

To claim LA screwed Ariza is definately doing 40 ... his agent screwed him ... we will win a championship next year and Ariza will fade like his predecessors who left Kobe's limelight ... and that's a shame cuz he bleeds purple and gold

I'm not sure we have the whole story. It seems to me if the Lakers wanted Ariza back they would have pursued him more vigorously. I think they turned their back on him when they realized they could finally land Artest. At a great price too. The Lakers wanted him years ago and getting him now at the mid level is impossible to pass up. No offense to Ariza but Artest is a far superior player at the same position. You spend less with a shorter commitment and upgrade at the same time= no brainer. The Lakers never wanted Ariza back and they used his bumbling agent as the fall guy.
BRILLIANT MITCH!

Ok yo enough already ... our leader has spoken

[Even though Bryant and Artest had words during a couple of games last season, Bryant related a pro-Artest anecdote from the 2008 NBA Finals in which Artest, a spectator at Game 6, entered the showers in the Lakers' locker room after Boston clinched the championship with a 39-point victory.

"I was in there by myself," Bryant said. "He came in there and he said, 'This is not going to happen to you [again]. I'm going to come in here and help you out.' He wound up being in Houston, and [then] took us to Game 7. But he's here now. It's something we've both been trying to make happen for a while and here it is."]

We can argue all we want about Ariza ... but one thing is clear ... Ron Artests wants to be a laker and is going to be a laker ... lets embrace him yo and leave it to the simers of the world to hate on him yo ... for crying out loud, d man shared the boston loss with us ... if dat ain't purple n gold, then what is

wells said AK.
Lee negotiating through the press made him look bad.
He was successful with Drew.
He was bitten in the butt by doing the same with TA.
We may never know the truth.
However, Team Ariza look like the bad guys.
And the Lakers played it well, using Ron as their wild card.
to quote the God Father movie:
"it's business, not personal."

BK, that post you made about Mitch going Indiana Jones on the agent was HILARIOUS!!! I laughed out loud in my office and felt foolish but I couldn't help myself.

Your comment has given me a whole new way to look at Mitch Kupchack. From now on I will picture Mitch doing that to Trevor's agent. NICE!

The good, the Bad and the Ugly
Ariza, Artest, Lee

As Jon K point out, David Lee tactics did not work for Bynum, he was asking max money for Drew, like 80M, eneded up with 55M. which is pretty big difference. Difference, Drew gave him a direct oreder to get a deal done. It's pretty big difference between young Center and young SF. How many Centers were available year ago? None. SFs? Plenty. Lakers have a plan B and Mitch played it to perfection. Everyone won, except TA, he basically got the same money as Lakers offered in the 1st place, with one little difference, Houston not LA, and Lakers not Rockets. with Yao out for season, TMac at least for 1st part of the season he'llbe forced to be a scorer every night. And it's not the same vs here when Kobe command double and all he needs to do just shot open 3. Suddently this miracolous % will go down.

>>>Then he added a reliable shot to this skill + his athletic
>>>ability and he was certainly a keeper.

Tim-4-Show,

I agree with you about Trevor's anticipation. In one of the Lakers
wins vs Cleveland last season, Trevor cleanly picked the ball
from LeBron while he was driving like a freight train on a fast
break... TWICE.

Normally, LeBron's full-steam-ahead fast break attack ends up
in an assist, a dunk, a foul, or a dunk & an and-1. Twice in
that game, Trevor left LeBron standing there looking baffled
while the Lakers broke in the opposite direction.

OTOH, I'm not 100% convinced about the improved shooting.

The 46% overall for the season is good, but I don't really see
Trevor as a great 3 point shooter. Everyone talks about how
bad Sasha was this season, but Sasha hit 36% of his 3's
compared to Trevor only hitting 32% of his.

Sasha had a reliable shot and aggressive defense in the
2007-2008 season.

Luke shot 38% on 3-pointers and 47% overall in the 2006-07 season.

So in their contract years, both Luke & Sasha were more
reliable shooters than Trevor was last year.

There's no guarantee that Trevor, like Sasha and Luke, wouldn't
take a step backwards in performance after earning his big
contract.

Oh, that does make me think of one thing...

This year is effectively a contract year for Jordan Farmar.
Expect him to perform above-and-beyond what he's shown
us so far.

BK,

>>>The whole process reminded me of the scene in Raiders
>>> of the Lost Ark...

VERY nice.

These are situations where Trevor's shyness and unwillingness to "stir the pot" are a hinderance to him. Based on what he said, he basically let his agent handle the entire situation. Trevor needed to be involved in the process and made sure his wishes were clear.

I always knew this was the doing of his agent. I will always love Trevor as a player and hope he does well in Houston but he should have been more in control of his future. He was a champion with the Lakers, he'll simply be a starter with Houston. Good luck Trevor!

In the ESPN article, Team Ariza is in full spin mode

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4311048

"Souces say ...Adelman promised him the Rockets would feature him offensively while the Cavaliers refused to guarantee him a starting job."

Making this be a "bigger offensive role" issue, which then debunks the whole myth of a perfect fit for the Lakers since he only needed 7-8 shots a night and accepted role of a team player.

Hopefully this shuts Bill Plaschke and others like him.

Who is in charge of Team Ariza damage control anyway? Oh wait, that would be the same genius that got them into this mess in the first place.

Magic and Kobe take part in the Staples Center tribute to Michael Jackson. But not Lebron.

Who cares who is the face of the ESPY's?

JohnnyV,

"In response to all the Bynum talk, I will put myself out there and be counted among those who believe in Bynum. I like the guy and I think the Lakers made the right choice by investing in the future. "

We all like Bynum ... I'm just arguing we could have got him cheaper ... which in turn would make it easier to keep Odom ... Luke Walton was helpful in our recent championship run too ... but again we could probably have gotten him cheaper

As far as I'm concerned, in both of these deals Mitch outbid himself ... there were no similar offers out there for Luke and Andrew would just be a resitricted FA now, and given economics and his recent play we could get him at a major discount

It ain't a GMs job to be best friends with his players ... his job is to handle the business side of things and make sure it dont get ugly ... I get that Drews agent is a tool ... but then Mitch could have had Kareem/PJ etc make a sales pitch to him and go just be patient ... idk yo ... maybe he listens maybe he doesnt ... but either way 90% of the blog said wait on Drew's deal and if we had there's no way he gets the same money on the market today ... and aite maybe he signs a qualifying offer and bails next year to spite us or maybe we go look you're young, here's an 11m deal for both you and odom, and dont comlpain, or do u think u did more than odom has the past few years ... besides, if ya game is dat nice, we'll put a player option for year 3, ya can opt out then and get more mula baby

Frankly speaking as a fan ... I got way more respect for the guys that earn their pay based on what they've done ... than the guys that keep harping on their potential and want to be paid for it ... y's everyone so eager to cashin on a great year as opposed to a body of work ... especially dudes dat are asking for max? ... it's like that's cp3, dwade, lebron money aint it? ... @ least make it clear u worth it first

We all got love for purple and gold yo ... otherwise y would we be blogging about them ... i repeat, i signed the 55bandwaggon when smush and kwame was balling ... hey it might even have been lakertoms idea, i forget ... but it shows we love this team yo ... the question is just how much should buss be willing to pay for that love ... i love sasha, didn't mind his contract, but now he's making me look like a fool ... i still love d dude, but wish i could redo his contract

So if there's a silver lining in all this we miss Ariza threads ... it's that Mitch seems to be learning from some of his past mistakes ... just cuz he a fan and got love for these players too, don't mean it should affect his business judgement ... his job is to do what the rest of purple and gold can't stomach

I bet Lee is nervous about losing Drew as a client.
If that happens, his career is over as an agent.
If he is fortunate to keep Drew, he will never again use the press to negotiate.

LTLF,

>>> If Mitch says, "We feel that Trevor has improved greatly and
>>> is worth MLE level money with 10% raises", is that an offer?
>>> Or is that just discussing a number?

It is clearly just discussing a number. That is NOT an offer.

Tom

It's not too late for TA to go tell lee to go f himself and do what's right for him (he hasn't signed anything). The'll still be plenty of space for him on the Lakers (cut or trade sasha). He can back up Kobe and Artest. Not to mention he'll be home.

Attention David Lee:
Learn from LO and Shannon's agents:
Do not go to the press.
Do not put your needs ahead of those of your client.
Do not disrepect the paying management.
That is all.

Well in IMO the thing that really got ariza outa here was Yao's injury. Thats when Artest really became available. I ain't mad though.

We still don't really know what happened.

And I'll admit that I'm biased to think the Lakers didn't royally screw a great guy that played very well for us in this championship run.

It really does sound like Lee (especially given his history of hyperbolic rhetoric) really screwed up big time.

Per Stephen A. Smith via Twitter

Odom interested in Portland?

Here is a small update. Seems to appear that Odom and Portland have some “lukewarm” interest in eachother.

CBS Sports: Despite reports that the Trail Blazers were preparing to make a major bid for Knicks restricted free agent David Lee, a coaching source familiar with the situation said Portland is more interested in the Lakers’ Lamar Odom. And the source described the Odom situation with Portland as “lukewarm.”

God please don't let this happen.

Mitch "Indy" Kupchak:

http://tinyurl.com/o76hhq

Awesome, Mitch!

Go Lakers!

Correction...not Stephen A. Smith but The Lakers Nation and CNN. Sorry about that.

Benjamin-

I understand your worry, but I don't really think the Lakers could have "screwed" Ariza, short of offering him a contract, then pulling it back when it appeared Artest would be available. Nobody seems to think that's what happened. Even if the Lakers preferred Artest to Ariza, that doesn't mean they screwed TA. These are roster questions, and the team certainly has the right to do what they think is best to improve the team, even if it means not everyone from a championship season comes back.

It's a shame the business stuff has to come so fast after the parade.

BK

Was Trevor Plan A or was Artest Plan A all along??

As LTLF noted, It's impossible to say which side is telling the truth. Both parties have their motives to be dishonest about the discussions.

Ultimately it comes down to this. If both players were available for the same price, who would the front office covet more? Here is what we know. When news broke that Artest would not agree to Houston's one year offer, Jerry Buss, Kupchack and Magic all met with Artest, and Kobe was texting Artest to convince him to sign. Phil, Kupchack and Kobe have openly wanted Artest for the past three years. If the Lakers had a choice between Ariza and Artest for the same price, Artest would obviously be their choice.

Whether David Lee is a scumbag or not is not the issue. Once Artest decided not to re-sign with Houston, the Lakers organization went all out to woo him. If Ariza was in fact plan A from the get go, it was only because Artest's situation with Houston was still uncertain, as well as his willingness to sign for the mid-level. Even if David Lee hadn't played hardball with the Lakers, once Artest became available for the mid-level, the Lakers were going to sign Artest over Trevor. There was NOTHING Trevor or his agent could have done about it.

This is just an unfortunate situation for Trevor, who considered playing for the Lakers a "dream come true". His agent acted like a tool, but his actions became irrelevant once Artest became available for the mid-level. The front office did not make a rushed decision based on their displeasure towards an agent's dirty tactics. That would be foolish for any organization. They made a calculated decision based on who they thought would give them a better chance to win multiple titles for the next few years. David Lee's tactics were a convenient PR excuse for not re-signing a Laker that was loved by the fans.

Ahahahaa! David Lee is causing chaos through the whole league:

http://tinyurl.com/ktk3fa

LeBron James did not tell Trevor Ariza he would stay in Cleveland past 2010, according to sources close to the Cavaliers' superstar -- contradicting what a person close to Ariza said Monday night.

That source said that James told Ariza he planned to remain with the Cavaliers past next summer, when he can become a free agent. James could not be reached for comment Monday night, but on Tuesday, sources who spoke to James said the story told by the person close to Ariza was wrong.

==========

LOL! I'll give Lee this, he sure knows how to stir up a ****storm...

Hope Bynum is paying attention to this mess...

Taliq,

We will have to disagree because I believe the Lakers had decided to sign Artest before they even met with Lee. In fact, the time line shows that the Lakers and Artest had already been talking before the Lee meeting. Lee and Trevor just went in their blind not understanding the situation and played right into the Lakers hands. So I do think they screwed up but I also think in the end, they did not offer Trevor a contract because they did not want him to sign. They had already decided upon Artest. Trevor and Lee just gave them the weapons to spin it properly. Think about the backlash if Trevor would have come in and said I will sign for whatever you offer. Obviously, many of you think that would have made a difference. That is where we disagree. It was Artest all along.

So just keep your ticket book in your pocket, Sheriff. :) I was under the speed limit.

Tom

"I'm confused. So are you saying that Mitch is utilizing Hawai'ian sorcerors now to get the job done?"

I never said that Jon lol. I think it was Taliq. Mitch is utilizing though Ned Colleti magic to get the job done.

For sure though Mitch has a backbone to stand up to Scott Boras wannabes like David Lee.

"KB Blitz, correction, Lee failed with the Lakers with Bynum."

J-Dizzle,

No he won partly because $14 million is still tons of money and he would have lost had he accepted the incentive laden contracts. Like I said Pau Gasol type money without Pau Gasol type results means overpaid.

That incentive laden contract had Bynum accepted it would have for sure be a loss for David Lee AND would have for sure spent more money to Lamar since Bynum underperformed this season.

David Lee is nothing more than a guy who could only dream of holding Scott Boras's tea cup. If Bynum and Ariza ever fires him he'll be out of business for sure.

BK,

>>> The whole process reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark
>>> when the swordsman confronts Indy, sabers blazing and putting up a
>>> very intimidating picture... and Indy just rolls his eyes and shoots him.

>>> That's essentially what happened here.

Now that is something I can agree with 100%. Ariza and Lee went into these negotiations not understanding the environment or the potential competition. That was a BIG mistake. Not because it cost Trevor a chance to play with the Lakers – because I think they had already decided on Artest – but because now Trevor and Lee look like stupid idiots and dumbasses and all the blame that could have gone to the Lakers for being so coldhearted as to switch to Artest after all Trevor had done for them disappeared in a cloud of dust.

But a great, great scene from Indy.

Tom

EastCoastJessie,

If LO takes that contract, it is from a money standpoint. If that's the case, I hope we do a sign and trade for a replacement.

Who's to say that Kupchak wouldn't have agreed to the MLE bid & 10.5% increases with Ariza and then shortly thereafter sought after using the Lakers MLE on Artest?

We pretty much all didn't anticipate the Lakers using their MLE because of the luxury tax, but if the right player becomes available at the right price, you know Buss would give it the green light. Come on, you know that's true... if hypothetically speaking LBJ or Howard were available for the MLE, then you can bet your bottom dollar Buss would pay the luxury to get them.

And so it may have been with Artest, but this portion of the situation we will never know...

I'm just guessing that if Lee had not pulled this stunt, then there's a chance that both guys would be suiting up for P & G next season instead of just one.

While Lee is largely to blame for the antics that took place, I find it mind boggling that Trevor didn't play a more active role in negotiations. If my professional and financial future was on the line I wouldn't entrust my agent, who was already on the Lakers shit list, to handle the entire situation: especially if my end-game was to stay with the Lakers. Therefore, I'm putting the blame of the outcome squarely on Trevor.

LakerTom smell the roses or sometihing!!!


Answer this question do you think TA is a 50MIL player like what Mr Lee wanted for his client. So you would have liked Mitch to sign TA to a 50mil contract!!!!


At the end of the day TA is an adult, open your mouth and get you agent to report back to you about how the negotiations are going next time!!!!

He could have told his agent to just get the deal done but he wanted more money, based on the fact his agent reckoned he was worth that!!!

Wow!!, 50mil gets you 8 pg 4rpg, I will sign up with Mr Lee, I reckon I could get 1pg 1rpg and I would be inline for 6.25 mil contract!!!!

Does anyone have Mr Lee's mobile!!!!!

Aaaaaarrrrrhh!!!


Angry_Laker

LakerTom, you appear to be WAY off on this issue. You forget the Bynum negotiations, Lee going to the press. You think the Lakers forgot about that and thought Lee would actually "negotiate" with the Lakers?

Look what happened. DAY ONE, David Lee is already going to the Riverside Press saying Ariza would sign with another team without giving the Lakers a shot at re-signing him.

Mitch would have been an absolute FOOL to sit around and wait for Lee to run his circus. Look what Lee did to Houston. Ariza agrees to sign with Houston, a few days later, Cleveland is flying to Los Angeles to meet him. Ariza/Lee could have told them "no", that they had an agreement with Houston but.. nope, they set up talks...

You can see what would have happened to the Lakers, Lee would have taken the Laker offer and gone fishing with it up to and possibly even past tomorrow... it would have been a total mess, meanwhile, we probably would have lost out on Artest.

All hail Mitch! The KING of Los Angeles!

BK,

The whole process reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when the swordsman confronts Indy, sabers blazing and putting up a very intimidating picture... and Indy just rolls his eyes and shoots him.

That's essentially what happened here.

BK

Posted by: Brian Kamenetzky | July 07, 2009 at 10:37 AM

That swordsman practiced the scene for weeks. Harrison Ford having to learn the choreography, find a better alternative... for him. The swordsman was pissed, and no one remembers him now.
And we all know who Harrison Ford is.

GO LAKERS!!!

I wish we could Charles but he's unrestricted so we can't do a sign and trade. I think that had to be done before the season was over if we were going to go that route but he was playing too well. Now we stand a chance at losing him for nithing but cap room. UGH

I really hope he's doing a smarter version of the Ariza bluff because he can't go to Portland.

Now I'm just sayin' but that was great advertising for the Lakers. The whole world just saw a subliminal Lakers commercial. Wow!


Can't believe the Lakers let Ariza go! He was a HUGE part of bringing a championship back to LA.

He wanted to stay here! His son is here! Why would he not take a contract here! I think LA did not offer him a firm one contract.

There are a lot of teams with talent that don't win championships. I don't agree with the Artest signing.

LAKER TRUTH,

Good to see we are in agreement 100% on the Artest/Ariza situation.

Tom

Mitch did exactly the right thing, IMHO. He had been through one dance with Lee over Bynum's deal. Now here's Lee, quite obviously trying to play hardball, and quite obviously trying to set up a bidding war for his "hero of the finals".

I think Mitch saw it all coming. Lee would parade Trevor around and around and crank up the rhetoric and the Lakers easily could have come up with absolutely nothing late in the day when it would have been too late to land a quality replacement.

The only move was exactly what Mitch did ... Move directly to Plan B before both Plan A AND Plan B disappeared.

Sad to see Trevor go. Sad to lose the upside of a talented young player. Sad for Trevor to land somewhere he might not have chosen to go - and for the same money he'd have earned in LA. Chalk that up to his agent AND to himself. Clients have responsibilities, too.

Kudos to Mitch for seeing the handwriting on the wall and acting on it. He made the team better in the short (3 year) run.

SIMPLE MATH:

Look its pretty freakin simple. Lamar wants 10 mil but would probably take 9. Buss is offering 7 mil but would probably go 8. So the difference is only a million....times 2 for the luxury tax. So if we could come up with an extra 2 million a year everyone would be happy - at least happy enough to get er done..

The solution - get rid of Morrison. He's a player with a strong possible upside AND an expiring contract. Trade him for draft choices, cash, a buy-outable contract, or a peanut butter sandwich. Whoever takes him on might luck out and get a sharpshooter stud, but worst case scenario they get cap space back at the end of the year. A good stopgap guy for the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Nets, Blazers, hell for ANYone wanting to jump into the LeBron-Wade-Bosh sweepstakes next year who needs a SF that can shoot this year.

Meanwhile, we dump 4 million and bingo - Odom difference money for the next TWO years. Mitch??????

Tim,

>>> I'm just guessing that if Lee had not pulled this stunt, then there's a chance that
>>> both guys would be suiting up for P & G next season instead of just one.

I think that is pretty naïve, Rick. Bottom line is that the Lakers cannot afford to pay $11M for a backup small forward considering that their payroll will end up around $90M if Lamar re-signs, which will mean a $20M luxury tax bill and a total payroll of $110M next year, which is $35M more than last year and $20M more than the Celtics payroll with Rasheed. When you take $35M off the Lakers bottom line, their profit shrinks greatly. That is why they will likely let Morrison’s contract expire next year. It would save them $11M and drop payroll to $100K. JMO, of course.

Tom

Mitch is officially born-again HARD. Wow. If he keeps with this mentality (rightly) that it's a privilege to play for the Lakers and not the other way around, we'll keep winning rings/contending for years to come. I'm proud because the more he does this, the less likely future agents come along and try to punk him.

David Lee better hold on to Bynum because I can't see anybody else wanting him to represent them after this. Then again, I get the feeling that he'll be around for a bit longer, preying on wide-eyed rooks and locking them in with loyalty and big dreams. Trevor, wake up, David's not yer boy he claims to be.

On that note, welcome to LA Ron Ron!

LAKER TRUTH,

" There was NOTHING Trevor or his agent could have done about it."

wow really? ... how about we stick to the facts instead of y'all just making stuff up ... speaking of which, lakertom can you pls provide the proof that shows the lakers had agreed with artest before meeting with ariza?

Y'all need to understand Artest is a stud and Ariza is a great fit for the lakers ... it's like the model vs the girlfriend ... you propose to girlfriend, she says you don't make enough money, i've got other options i'm considering ... hot model goes, i'll make u scream every night if u marry me ... you go for hot model ... girl friend now starts going, wow it didn't take u long to jump ship ... and y'all like a bunch of suckers side with the girl friend going wow, they had history, how could he just go for the hot model

Well shouldn't the same history have made said girl friend eager to say yes ... Ariza was a nobody till Mitch plucked him out of Orlando and the thanks he gets is David Lee screaming I feel insulted by the MLE (and no amount of spinning by you and lakertom can erase that quote from the papers) ... so Mitch goes oh well I guess I ain't appreciated, wtf was I even telling the hot model i got a girl friend when she's saying all i do is insult her ...

And to show you how messy Ariza's camp is now Lebron James has to issue a statement that he didn't say he wanted to leave cleveland ... it's like they just keep talking ... and if y'all wanna read between the lines then those of us in Mitch's camp can do the same ... so I'm going to say in caps ... Ariza just wants more MONEY ... hence the reason he's still talking to cleveland after houston ... he's just trying to see who'll pay him more

is it a fact? nope ... but hey y'all wanna read between the lines ... well it ain't pretty in between there ... now where's that hot model yo ... mama show me what u can do with ya hands (as in u need hands to play defense lmao)

David Lee is beating the Lakers like a rented mule!!!!

2008 : D-Lee "steals" $58M for Bynum
2009 : D-Lee sends Ariza to Houston

Final Score :

D-Lee : 2
Lakers : 0

ok am I the only dude going crazy at the lack of ODOM news!!!!! ... shouldn't that have been #1 priority

I didn't know anything about this guy Lee until Trevor's "negotiations"were made public and anyone can see the guy failed to serve his client's interests. In addition to needlessly alienating the Lakers and prematurely blowing up that bridge, it's obvious he ended up walking away from the Lakers to take the same money in Houston. While Lee justified thiis on the basis of the Lakers not showing Trevor love, he omitted that the Houston deal took Trevor away from his hometown, where his infant child lives. I'm guessing that Trevor is way more concerned about his child's "love" than his employer's so called lack of it.

Jay Jay,

>>> Meanwhile, we dump 4 million and bingo - Odom difference money for
>>> the next TWO years. Mitch??????

LOL. There is a contract called the CBA, Collective Bargaining Agreement, that has a set of rules to prevent team just dumping salary. In fact, the ONLY way really for teams to dump salaries is to get expiring contracts and let them expire, which is why there will be no trade for Ammo. He will save us $11M when his contract expires next year.

Add up the salaries. We are already at $76M now for 10 players (not counting Sun Yue, who will not be brought back). That is second highest in the league, bested only by the Hornets at $77M.

Now add $5.5M for Ron, $2.4M for Shannon, and let’s say $8.5M for Lamar. Now our salaries total $92.4M. The luxury tax threshold is going to be set tomorrow and will be around $70M. Since we are $22.4M over, we will be charged a tax of $22.4M, bringing out total payroll bill to $114.8 – probably the tops in the league by almost $20M.

Those are the numbers and they speak worlds. The Lakers have replaced the Knicks as the team that spent way more than everyone else. We will pay $20M more payroll and taxes than the Celtics or Cavs, for example. Now do you see why we could not sign BOTH Artest and Ariza and why we will NOT trade Ammo but let his contract expire?

Tom

It's not so easy to just dump Ammo; as the trade deadline approaches, his contract will be very valuable, however.

Everyone pretty much assumes Ammo is nothing, is worth nothing, will contribute next to nothing, and is just dead weight on the team.

I'm not willing to say that. The guy was a fierce competitor in college and had a decent rookie season. I highly doubt he'll be a star player in the NBA, but he will be solid and has been at the top before.

Let's wait and see how he does this summer and what he looks like coming into training camp. He might surprise us and become a key piece of our bench, and in that event, who knows, maybe Kupchak actually resigns him next summer (of course, not at his current salary)

HOW YOU REDUCE PAYROLL…

Some clarification about the salary cap. For teams over the salary cap and/or luxury tax threshold, here is the primary way by which they can reduce payroll.

1. Short term – Allow a contract to expire, which is what we will do with Ammo.
2. Long term – Trade a player with a long contract for a player with a shorter contract.

You cannot just dump a contract you don’t like. And if you trade a player making $5M next year, you have to at least take back a player or players making about the same amount so you can’t really change next year’s payroll with a trade. You can trade a player with a longer contract like Luke’s for a player who makes the same amount but has fewer years left. That is option 2 above. Otherwise, if you sign a guy to a contract, you are obligated to pay him and cannot just cut him. You would still have to pay.

Tom

Over at Hoopsworld Eric Pincus made a very interesting point.."dont be surprised if the Lakers and Rockets do a sign and trade so both teams can retain there MLE"...Its in his chat..He also said it because if talks fail with Odm they could go after Mcdyce.....

Reds Idiot...You are an Idiot.................................Go fishing ....

EastcoastJessie et all,

We can't do a sign and trade with LO? Please advise...

This is just like buying a house in 2006 and now getting a bargain in 2009.

Like Luke was 5 mil then, now he is probaly worth 2 mil. While Ariza's current play would have command 8mil then is 5.6 mil right now.

Bynum, Sasha and Luke were just the right timing of their contract expring.

Ariza and Odom were not.

That's why title contenders are having a great time finding bargains in FA that could help their team.

Just like smart investors who sold in 2005 are buying houses now for a bargain.

Spurs added Blair, Jefferson, Hill, Mason to Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, Finley is the best in the league in controlling cost and still contending.

Taliq,

you wrote: Y'all need to understand Artest is a stud and Ariza is a great fit for the lakers ... it's like the model vs the girlfriend ... you propose to girlfriend, she says you don't make enough money, i've got other options i'm considering ... hot model goes, i'll make u scream every night if u marry me ... you go for hot model ... girl friend now starts going, wow it didn't take u long to jump ship ... and y'all like a bunch of suckers side with the girl friend going wow, they had history, how could he just go for the hot model

my response: If Ariza is: "The Girlfriend" a la Jim Bean,
then my friend a horrendous error has been made. BY
ALL MEANS NECESSARY, WE MUST re-sign Ariza.
For cryin' out loud, she doesn't care if we go out to the
strip-clubs with the guys! We can have our manly round
bellies!!!

More of "The Girlfriend"!!! [ In the midnight hours, we cried
more, more, more ... -- Billy Idol ]

I have to come to Mitch's defense here on the Bynum signing. Comparing signing Bynum to signing Ariza is apples and oranges.

Trevor Ariza is a pretty talented mid size player. There are how many good ballplayers in the NBA, college, Europe, D-league in that size range? The list of guys who could play a pretty decent SF in the NBA is realtively long. That is why the Lakers could pull Artest out of a hat when negotiating with Ariza - there was a list of free agents this year who could play SF.

Now let's make a list of young guys over 7 feet with athleticism and pretty good basketball skills. It is a damn short list. So guys like Bynum will always be more in demand. If Bynum did not get hurt again last year and was a free agent this summer, he could have been very expensive. And if Bynum asks for too much money, who among this year's free agents could have replaced him, a al Artest?

Bynum, even just as potential, is a valuable commodity. So Mitch elected to lock him up and get cost certainty rather than roll the dice.

Even after his injury and soft playoff showing, Bynum still would command attention in the open market. He would not have been an MLE signing. He is a scarce commodity, plain and simple.

Beast or not.

Tom D.

Taliq,

Yes I am a Lakerholic and the lack of LO news is nutty.

Mitch did exactly the right thing, IMHO. He had been through one dance with Lee over Bynum's deal. Now here's Lee, quite obviously trying to play hardball, and quite obviously trying to set up a bidding war for his "hero of the finals".

I think Mitch saw it all coming. Lee would parade Trevor around and around and crank up the rhetoric and the Lakers easily could have come up with absolutely nothing late in the day when it would have been too late to land a quality replacement.

The only move was exactly what Mitch did ... Move directly to Plan B before both Plan A AND Plan B disappeared.

Sad to see Trevor go. Sad to lose the upside of a talented young player. Sad for Trevor to land somewhere he might not have chosen to go - and for the same money he'd have earned in LA. Chalk that up to his agent AND to himself. Clients have responsibilities, too.

Kudos to Mitch for seeing the handwriting on the wall and acting on it. He made the team better in the short (3 year) run.

Posted by: Zingaro | July 07, 2009 at 01:25 PM

Best post of the day.

Anybody else noticing Coby Karl tearing it up for the Celtics in Orlando? Apparently he is continuing his improvement. I am definitely going to miss TA, but if CK plays for the Celtics I will be sick.


I think we have covered this ground as thoroughly as humanly possible. I think we’re good so far as Trevor Ariza, David Lee, and Michael Jackson are concerned. I think we can table the great Bynum debate for a few months, although I’m sure we won’t.

This isn’t criticism, as it is a pretty interesting style, but taliq’s um, colloquialisms have gotten to the point where I have no idea what he’s talking about most of the time. Of course, I have no idea what a lot of people on this blog are talking about most of the time either, so whatever.

Lamar Odom? I think no news is good news, I think both parties are being pretty smart about it, and he will be in a Laker uniform next year. I have a question, however. Is it possible for us to resign anybody else for more than the biennial whatsits at all if we let Odom go? Seems to me that we would have to sign somebody to play backup PF, and I'm not sure if the cba allows us to offer another quality player enough money.

I am really looking forward to the Ron Artest quotes and conversations we are going to have next year. Frankly, I’m not sure why we are talking about anything else.

Oh, and there was something...um, I was thinking about it while I was reading some [illegitimate person’s] comments…oh, right

WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! YOU GUYS DIDN’T. NOBODY ELSE DID, WE DID!

And frankly, I will take one ring in the hand over any nebulous hope for next year. Nobody knows what will happen next year. But I am very sure about what happened this year. WE (*^(&^ING WON!

Is there a there like a compilation of Artest's greatest moments on Youtube like there is for Shanwow? A good one, I mean?

Off topic, or to change the subject, and interesting part of an article by Marc Stein on espin.com about Detroit's coaching hire;

"Dumars told the Detroit News: "Where we are right now as a team is kind of like where we were at the start of the Rick Carlisle era. And a $4 [million] to $5 million [per year] coach is not what we need right now. We didn't have one of those until we were close to contending for a championship when we got Larry [Brown]."

So my understanding of what this statement means is "if you come coach for us, you have until the team gets good, and then we're going to fire you. We think the best chance of winning a title is to hire a big name coach for one year after another guy does the hard work."

Probably explains why I've never heard of the guy they hired. Who the hell would come coach after a statement like that?

And between this coaching hire, and spending huge money and all their cap flexibility for the foreseeable future for two non superstars, It seems painfully obvious that Detroit is just taking the attitude 'we have no chance of competing for a title. Ever. We just want to be barely good enough to fill seats. Sorry, fans

Ariza & Lee's negotiating strategy would be more understandable if he had gotten a huge payday for leaving LA. But they didn't. I can't believe that Ariza wouldn't have gotten the full midlevel from the Lakers with a minimal amount of negotiation.

Lee was just puffing out his chest and winds up sending his client to a probable lottery/#8 seed team for the same money he could have gotten from his hometown, NBA-champion team. Huh? I wish Trevor well, he was one of my favorite Lakers. I just wish he had a smarter agent.

Ariza should have stuck to basketball, not trying to play hardball. I liked him at UCLA but thought he was a fool to leave so early. So is it bad advice or maybe he's just a fool.

Really, Kobe Lamar and Magic reached out to Artest. Does anymore need to be said? Who cares already, we still have a championship team.

hobbitimage,

"she doesn't care if we go out to the strip-clubs with the guys! We can have our manly round bellies!!!"

So I take it when you propose and she says she's looking into other options ... you'll wait around cuz she's the only one that'll kiss your belly ... take a page from JBuss yo ... go with the hot model ... less pretentious crap

Now if she said yes when you proposed ... different ball game ... same way as Mitch would have signed Ariza if he had said we'll take the MLE if that's what you'll offer, I just wanna be a laker yo ... instead his agent went and told the whole world "we're insulted" leaving Mitch no guilty conscience in hooking up with the model

 
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