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Josh Powell maintains positive attitude despite lack of playing time

Before every game, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hears words of encouragement from teammate Josh Powell.

It sounds like a simple gesture, until you realize what the dynamic means. Bryant, one of the world's most recognizable players and the Lakers' franchise player, openly admits there's not many he allows within his inner circle. Yet, Powell, who averaged only 2.7 points in 9.2 minutes per game in the regular season and struggled in becoming an effective fourth big man, somehow has earned Bryant's respect. It all points to what Powell presents in practice where he's solidified his reputation for his hard work and positive attitude, two admirable qualities for a bench player whose opportunities remain scarce.

"Through my work ethic and my drive," Powell offered as reasons veterans, such as Bryant and Derek Fisher value their relationship with him.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak offered similar sentiments Friday in Powell's exit interview, an assessment Phil Jackson and his assistants outlined in note form since Jackson has already left for Montana to help clear his mind before deciding next week whether he'll retire or remain the Lakers' coach.

"He was understanding of the fact that the opportunities were less, but just saying I worked really hard and was a professional off the court," Powell said of the meeting with Kupchak.

It's unclear what Powell's future entails once he becomes a free agent Thursday. It if it were his call, he'd remain on the Lakers because of the two championship rings he's gotten, the learning experience and the appreciation he's felt from the team. Whether the Lakers cut Powell -- something an NBA executive told The Times' Broderick Turner the team will likely do -- or keep him, Powell says he isn't going to fret about his future.

"I'm just going to put it in God's hands and understand the organization has decisions they have to make," Powell said. "I understand it and respect it. I just have to make sure that no matter what, I'm ready, wherever it is I'm supposed to land next year."

It's the same mindset he carried as a reserve. Even if the constant work in practice yielded little in playing time, Powell wanted to show he could somehow contribute to the team. Even if his approach required extra work since limited minutes makes it harder to maintain a rhythm, he wanted to remain sharp in case he earned some run. Though Powell played a team-low 3.1 minutes per game in the playoffs, Jackson often said he'd feel most comfortable with Powell playing in the NBA Finals if Lamar Odom remained ineffective because of how alert Powell had been in practice.

Powell never received those kind of minutes Jackson envisioned, but he believes his attitude opened many eyes. It gave Jackson reason to consider playing him, Bryant a willingness to listen to him and other teammates to appreciate him. Whether or not the Lakers keep him remain another issue. But Powell said he felt at least comforted hearing the staff noticed his effort.

"We did our parts especially in practices to get the guys ready and make it competitive and go really hard," Powell said of himself and the bench. "Whatever we could do to help with the practice or the energy we brought in games, hopefully that was very helpful to the guys performing."

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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THE DARREN COLLISION WATCH !!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Potentially good news for Lakers fans from The Times Picayune today:
~
“Earlier this week, Bower admitted that he had been listening to offers for Paul, but owner George Shinn said they will continue to build the team around Paul.”
~
That means that there still is a remote chance that the Lakers will pull a coup and sweep in and steal the talented 22-year old second-year point guard as the successor to Derek Fisher in the Lakers road to 3-peat.
To do it, the Lakers would have to trade Odom and Vujacic and take back Okafor’s large contract but it would give them a great young point guard (think Rajon Rondo with a shot) and a solid backup center and insurance for Andrew Bynum WITHOUT increasing their current league leading $91M payroll. I know you’re reading this Jim Buss. You’ve made your mark leading the support for Drew and Ron but now’s time to finish the job.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

SWEETCHUCK.

I know I am a few days off on this.

But did the blog family pay tribute to Sweetchuck? If not, we definitely should. It will certainly quiet down some of the green people to know that one of their own pulled a Paul Revere (yes pun intended).

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/ian_thomsen/06/21/mike.procopio/index.html


Happy days all! PLG

LT,

That might be a great idea!

Peace,

"No other team has this combination and that's a big reason why LA is where it is today."

Kobe and Pau. Enough said.

Scottie,

"but he has potential to be a decent role player...no more no less."

Check that he IS a great role player. Then people thinks he's the franchise player JUST like there were those of us who believed Jordan Farmar was our future PG because of his 07-08 production.

Then when we float around trade ideas for franchise players (teams that TRADED to get salary for) and when it involve Bynum they feel as if it a sin. They bashed Bosh as nothing more than Gasol (Bosh's game is DIFFERENT from Gasol one big reason he's a real better shooter with a good post game while Gasol is more of a post player with an outside shot), don't want Stoudemire, and keep with the "Lebrick" things as a possible target for Bynum (Lebron deserves his criticism for being a quitter and being a loser but Bynum for Bron? Only Laker fans would say no to that...sorry but most of us says no to that...).

Jeter,

As I said to Laker Tom....think with your HEAD. Do you honestly think New Orleans would even THINK about that deal? Who will be there center? Sean Marks? They already have a Power Forward named David West why give away your center when NEITHER Odom or West are capable of playing center?

Think with the HEAD not the EMOTION

Hey LT,

Wouldn't that be nice. If Mitch can pull that off he deserves Exec of the Year award.

But if I were the owner of the Hornets I would try my hardest to do a deal with an eastern conf team first, and next any team other than the Lakers.

No one wants to help the Lakers.

If the Lakers did nothing except get a solid 3 point shooter to open things up that would be huge.

Anything else they get (back up center, PG who can drive and make shots), would be gravy. Yummy gravy at that!

Next year Lakers will be all healthy, barring injury I don't see who can beat them in a 7 game series.

I think OKC and Denver will be their biggest challengers in the west but Denver may implode again without Karl.

But this may be premature until we see where everyone ends up.

KB,

Yeah, I understand that, I'm just saying if that deal was possible, yeah, do it before the ink dries, ha, ha!

"Plus, SP, if what you say about the lack of "true" centers in the league is true, then that's all the more reason to keep him"

A great role player instead of a franchise player?

Sorry but if you could trade Ron for LBJ you DO IT

If you could get Fisher for Wade you DO IT

If you could get LO or Bynum for Bosh you DO IT (LO doesn't have that $14 million contract anymore though).

That's why we gave up Vlade Divac for the rights to Kobe. Yes Vlade did his job well in the 90's but Kobe's potential outweighed him not to mention how the Lakers slashed salary to get SHAQ.

There is no true center save for Dwight and Yao and maybe Brook Lopez for Bynum to counter with. Pau is a FORWARD-CENTER meaning he could play either position. Pau has OUTPLAYED Dwight, handled Yao, and probably could handle Brook Lopez as well. There's a reason why Pau Gasol is called the most skilled big man in the league and possibly the BEST big man in the league arguably. He can handle both Howard and Yao defensively (he has proven it) so why not get another franchise player while at it?

And again the football comparisons. We *want* Bynum to be a 3-4 nose tackle. HE would rather be a 4-3 interior lineman like he *wants* to score. In his exit interviews it showed how much better offensively he wants to be. He's an OFFENSIVE oriented Center he's not a DEFENSIVE oriented center that you think he wants to be.

DJ,

New Olreans wouldn't want to do that trade.....would you do that trade if you were the GM of the Hornets?

I'm thinking:

LBJ-Chicago
D-Wade, Johnson, Bosh-Miami
Amare,Boozer-NY
Pierce-Boston
Allen-?

I don't like the trade idea. I don't think Bynum and Okafor could play together. Both are centers only. Lamar is perfect for this team. I also don't think Phil would like a PG as small as Collison.

KB,

If I were NO, of course not. At the same time, why did Memphis give us Pau?

If we could get Ray Allen for part of the MLE, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Even though he is a dreaded Celtic and old, we could really use his out side shooting.

Remember as a kid, "I will give you this big nickel for that little dime, ha, ha!

rdlee,

I'm thinking Korver instead.

Think if Korver shot over 50% for Utah, what he would shoot for us, 60%?

collison is the same size as fisher no?.....can you really see allen playing for the lakers? he seems to despise them. laker tom, i like the idea. but...can the lakers afford to pay okafor all that money to come off the bench? probably not

DWade and LBJ are trying to put this super team together, but that will weaken even more the east conference. And LBJ NEED THE EAST ALL STAR TEAM TO BE A CHAMPION!!!!!

Love Korver...
Love Collison...
Hate Ray Allen...
Mildly like Okafur...
Love Hinrich...

Sasha gets the Machine back...
LO gets consistent...
AB healthy for the whole year...
Ron Ron more acclimated on the offense...
2 draft picks pans out...

Then all we need is a back up point guard and no stopping this Dynasty Bus...

The only player i would like to have instead of Bynum, is Mark Gasol. That's the kind of trade i really like. Not for Bosh, not even for Howard.
But salaries and Memphis... well, we all can dream now, or not?

hobbitimage,

you asked what I think these guys are:

Kareem-Abdul Jabaar 7'0 225 lbs.
Hakeem Olajuwan 7'0 255 lbs.
Bill Russell 6'9 215 lbs.

Well, obviously, I think they are centers. It is a skill set as much as anything. Most bigs now learn forward skills (Pau, Dirk, Bosh, etc.). Kareem was a dominating low post player on offense, and in his prime a great shot blocker/alterer. Bill Russell was maybe the best low post defender and rebounder ever. Olajawon was some of both. Not as great offensively as Jabbar or defensively was Russell, but great at both. Throw in guys like Thurmond and Cowens who played fantastic low post D in spite of being small. All those type of guys become face up shooters nowadays and most cannot defend a Bynum let alone a Jabbar.


Also, size has changed over time.


KBBlitz, it isn't about the centers they have to match up against neccessarly, but the advantage they have against teams that don't have one. But also it helps a lot against a team like Boston with Perkins and Garnett and Wallace and Baby off the bench. Baby went off when Bynum was on the bench.


I think the Lakers as is are pretty tough. They need to reload the bench some this year - they need a guard who can play heavy minutes and an SF to back up Artest. But these guys have won two titles (that's impressive, by the way) and have learned how to play together. Excpet for Fish age is not a big factor. Talent and chemistry and playoff experience are all there.


Look, if you could trade Bynum for LeBron I'm on board. If you trade him for Bosh, I wonder if it really helps. But I jump on board. I'm a Laker fan. But I like Bynum. He is young, unique, has a lot of upside. Causes matchup problems every night. I'm not looking for a change. I'm just hoping the knock kneed bastard can stay healthy.


I'm hoping Kobe can stay healthy for a change too. Imagine - Kobe and Drew healthy. Artest gets more comfortable as a Laker. An upgrade at guard. That is another title right there.

Any Simpsons fan?
When Homer "build" a fighting robot he used electric shocks to keep himself focused.
Lamar needs the same treatment.

What do you guys think of Rafer Alston for a PG pick up...

I think Orlando blew it by putting in Jameer Nelson, during the 09 Finals...

Alston was way more effective...

He was penetrating and was hitting the open 3...That's all we need from him...and he can give Fish major rest during the regular season, then Fish can get more playing time during the playoffs...

I still support the ideal of bring in Kyle Korvar and Bell, and a PG from the developmental or summer league teams. Luke deal is one of the worst deals Mitch has ever done, I know Buss hates how he just gave up his cash.Trade him...my bad no GM would be STUPID enough to take this LOOSER. I can't understand why he's still around, maybe buy out his contract. Back surgery again, injury reserve most of the season, safe again from being traded, pay checks alway's on time each month.

LEWSTRS,
Alston isn't better in any category than our veteran player. We need to upgrade, not downgrade.

How about Aaron Brooks...he is on contract for almost 5 mil for the next 2 years...

Nobody with bynum's injury history can play a whole season without getting injured. That is not possible.

Breaking News from Andy Kamenetzky at ESPNLosAngeles.com:

http://es.pn/acZSEL

The Lakers have confirmed that Brian Shaw has received permission to meet with the Cleveland Cavaliers about their coaching vacancy.

So, the plot thickens. If PJ retires, Byron Scott either goes to LA or Cleveland and Brian Shaw either gets promoted or goes to Cleveland, says the conventional wisdom. I still think JVG is in the candidate mix here.

July 1 is almost upon us. Things are about to happen fast and furious. So much for the idea of a quiet summer after two consecutive NBA Championships.

What part of his leg hasn't he hurt? Let's see....Achilles, knee, hip. Ankle is next. Hopefully not.

Tom Daniels,

you wrote: Well, obviously, I think they are centers. It is a skill set as much as anything. Most bigs now learn forward skills (Pau, Dirk, Bosh, etc.). Kareem was a dominating low post player on offense, and in his prime a great shot blocker/alterer. Bill Russell was maybe the best low post defender and rebounder ever. Olajawon was some of both. Not as great offensively as Jabbar or defensively was Russell, but great at both. Throw in guys like Thurmond and Cowens who played fantastic low post D in spite of being small. All those type of guys become face up shooters nowadays and most cannot defend a Bynum let alone a Jabbar.

my response: I'm a little confused. help me out. Earlier the point you made
for Bynum was that his size made him a "true" center. Did I misunderstand
you on that?

Earlier you made the point that you don't trade big for small. Did I
misunderstand you on that?

I gave you a short list of great centers who didn't have the size that Bynum
has. Your response to me was that in addition to size it's also skill set.

Are you really arguing that Chris Bosh, from Georgia Tech, is not more skilled
as Andrew Bynum from St. Joseph's high school?

re: not being able to defend a Bynum.

http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/300110028/boxscore?gameId=300110028

This is a link to Celtics vs. Raptors. Against Perkins/other Celtic bigs
Bosh scored 31 pts, 13 rebounds, 4 dimes, 2 steals & 2 blocks.

The old saying goes: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of
the fight in the dog.

I have found this to be true in every area of life. I have seen this
demonstrated in the NBA too many times to recount.

If you like Bynum because he's a Laker, fine. I don't have a problem with
that. If you like Bynum because he's got wide hips, fine. I don't have a
problem with that. If you like Bynum because he's close to 300 lb.s, fine.
I don't have a problem with that. Let's not re-write history to say he's
something that he's not.

I said before and I'll say again, by any metric you wish to use Bosh is a
better player than Bynum.

If we keep Bynum, fine. If we trade Bynum, fine. Let's not lie to each other
about what's really going on though, ok?

Derek Jeter,

Memphis gave us Pau for cap relief. Then they spent on on Zach Randolph LOL.

"All those type of guys become face up shooters nowadays and most cannot defend a Bynum let alone a Jabbar."

Tom Daniels Kareem said the best player who best guarded him was Nate Thurmond he was one of the few along with Wilt and Hakeem to block the Skyhook. I would contend also that guys from Mark Eaton to Dikembe Mutombo to even Ben Wallace would give Bynum a very tough time and would affect the production Bynum offensively would get against them.

"Baby went off when Bynum was on the bench."

Untrue. Baby went off in Game 3 just as much as Game 4 and Bynum played 30 minutes in Game 3. In Game 6 and 7 Bynum barely played and was on the bench most of the time but did Glen Davis go off? No. Therefore you cannot say Glen Davis went off when Bynum was on the bench.

"KBBlitz, it isn't about the centers they have to match up against neccessarly, but the advantage they have against teams that don't have one."

It's EASIER to defend against post up compared to face up game. Besides Rasheed Wallace showed in Game 7 it doesn't matter how strong you are if you can deny the initial pass the inside out game is made tougher. Rasheed denied the pass to Bynum and Gasol the whole series. You would expect Gasol to put up like 30 points on Sheed? He didn't that game though he did out rebound both Boston bigs. If the double team happens what do you do? Do you try to still go over them and invite a triple team to get more teammates open or do you pass out and force ball movement to an open man or a possible easier post up option. As big and tall as Bynum is he isn't a good passer out of the post. He scores yes but does he make teams pay for the double teams? Not often. And I seem to notice when he is doubled he completely gets take out of his game for that possession. True you could say the same for other players but the ones who get doubled more (Kobe and Pau) they find ways to beat those teams. Andrew is a solid when it comes to scoring (by no means Shaq no matter if he is the focal or not) but when it comes to making your teammates better can you honestly say that?

re: You also want to make sure you have the floor SPREAD. One reason we played horrible in some games was because our shooters did not make the opposing team pay for clogging the lane. Fisher shot 35% which isn't very good for a spot shooter from three. Ditto for Artest. Bynum and Gasol went to the post ALOT, even if the other one wasn't post position they were very close by and that gives them LESS space to use. One reason for Bosh is that he has a great mid range game and could possibly hit the 3 ball. Many bloggers only see that yet fail to notice his post game which is just as good especially when he has the space to operate and he's a solid passer as well one reason why he's ranked higher than say an Al Jefferson who puts similar production but his team has been horrible.

I too see that Bynum has upside. At the same time though I don't think it is so much as necessity as compared to a "good thing to have" and I think Bosh would be BETTER fit and maximize Kobe's years even more.....though it is very unlikely he would come to LA with the way Miami and Chicago opened up even more cap room (Heat Bulls Rivalry Part 3 ooooo).

Thanks for the talk it's much calm and logic oriented compared to other Bynum fans responses.

Let me introduce this piece of information to the Bosh-Bynum-Battle...

In the 2008 Olympics, the minutes at Center were split about evenly between Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard. That's right. Bosh was the backup center.

Bosh shot a higher %, made a higher % of his free throws (goes without saying), got more rebounds then Howard, committed less fouls and less turnovers, blocked 1 less shot, and was just as effective on defense as Howard.

Basically, playing against guys like Yao Ming, Marc & Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Andrew Bogut, Dirk Nowitzki, and Fabricio Oberto, Bosh played just as well as Dwight Howard.

So clearly Bosh is capable of defending most of the centers in the NBA.

This doesn't account for Howard himself. Pau certainly played Howard well in the 2009 finals. And it doesn't account for Shaq. He's definitely a wide load and could be trouble. Maybe 2 or three other guys. Kendrick Perkins. Greg Oden. Andrew Bynum (when the Lakers would play Toronto).

But if teams with one of those few big muscular guys gain an advantage over Bosh on the offensive end, the Lakers would gain an advantage when THEY were on offense as well. Both Bosh and Gasol are capable of posting up high or low, shooting out to about 20 feet effectively, and passing to cutters for scores. Bynum doesn't have quite the range or passing skills that Bosh has.

How many times in the finals did Kobe pass to Bynum in the high post, and then cut around him and both Celtics went to Kobe and left Bynum wide open from 18 feet? If they do that with Bosh, he either shoots, or drives right to the rim. How many times did the Celtics double-team Bynum when he had the ball in the low post and he turned the ball over or threw up a wild shot?

Remember, Bynum only shot 45% in the finals. Pretty bad for a player who shoots almost entirely from the low post. Yes, part of that is just tough defense by Boston. But Pau, who has more range and versatility to his offensive game, managed to hit 48% of his shots. Bosh would have similar success. Where Bynum's limited range made him easier to guard, Bosh would make Boston's defense work much harder.

Instead of two go-to scorers - Kobe and Pau - you'd have three.

And unlike Bynum, Bosh is a very good pick & roll defender. So instead of escorting Pierce or Nash or whoever to the rim, he'd be more effective at cutting off the penetration and then recovering to his man.

Honestly, I'm on the fence about the situation. I think it's a moot point, because I don't think Bosh will want a S&T to the Lakers unless all the dominoes fall the wrong way for him.

But if it does happen, I'd try to work the fact that Toronto is trying to reduce future salary in the deal and make it more than just a 1-for-1 deal.

Bynum + Sasha + sign & trade someone (for salary matching - MBenga? Morrison?)

for

Bosh + Jarrett Jack

Solves the Lakers PG issue as part of the deal (Jack is reasonably priced, but several years), then you sign Raja Bell to back-fill Sasha's spot and maybe sign a veteran backup center like Brad Miller or Zydrunas Ilgauskas and you're good to go.

I like Rafer Alston, but probably not in the triangle. He's a playground legend not a disciplined triangle type guard.

Pls. don't break up the Lakers nucleus. Kobe, Pau, Lamar, RonRon, Bynum and bring back Fish and Shannon. Then signed our 2 rookies. And split the Mid-Level to bring a solid PG(Steve Blake, Earl Watson or Luke Ridnor) and a big man(Craig Smith, Etan Thomas, Amir Johnson or even Brad Miller).

PG- Fisher
SG- Kobe
SF- Artest
PF- Gasol
C- Bynum
bench
Lamar, Sasha, Luke, Shannon, 2 rookies, and the 2 FA's

I agree about Rafer Alston. There's a reason why Lebron in 09 ECF sagged off him to be more of a roamer. As much as he could be settled by his fellow Queens people (Artest/Odom and possibly Ebanks) he's not the guard that would fit best with Kobe (primarily his susceptible outside shot).

Now Mo Williams and Jameer Nelson even though they are bad at defense is an upgrade in every way for Fisher....outside shooters and can run an offense. Their defense is better than Fisher though clutch wise still goes to Fisher.

Those are the kind of point guards you need to have with Kobe.

Longtimelakerfan,

Props to you sir. Even though we disagree about Byron Scott your thorough analysis about the myths what Bosh can't do compared to Bynum is superbly written. Hats off to you LTLF.

LongTimeLakerFan,

you're so reasonable. so knowledgeable.

a pleasure reading your thoughts.

This whole Bosh-Bynum talk is a waste of time. After 2 championships in 3 tries, I trust Kupchak. If he thinks Bosh-for-Bynum is both possible and a major upgrade, he's probably working the phones right now. If he doesn't, it's not happening.

They jumped at the chance for Artest. They didn't even try to use him as a negotiating tactic to get Ariza to lower his offer. They just signed him on the spot, because they felt it was a major upgrade. I was dubious but turns out they were totally right.

So if I wake up tomorrow and find out that Bosh is coming to the Lakers, I trust the brass that they know what they're doing. If they stick with Drew, I'm fine with that also. Kupchak certainly views Drew in a much more level-headed manner than the polarizing positions he somehow provokes here.

hobbitmage & KB Blitz,

Thanks for the props. But to be honest, I lean toward keeping Bynum. The main advantages to keeping Bynum are that he already knows the triangle, he knows he's the third option in the offense and has no problem with that, he already has good chemistry with everybody, and when it comes to a shoving match, he can hold his own with anybody. If Kareem could get him shooting a skyhook, he'd be nigh unstoppable, but that may be too much to hope for.

I think the core team, as currently constructed could easily win 2 or 3 more titles before Kobe retires.

Continuity is a good thing.

But I try to be fair. I think if the Lakers did trade Bynum for Bosh, they'd be just as well off. There's a tiny chance that Bosh would have an ego problem with being the third option, but I doubt it would come to that. And there's a chance that Bosh could fumble in the triangle for awhile like Artest. But I don't see those as deal killers.

There is actually one other reason why Bynum for Bosh could be an improvement...

It's one of the reasons why Artest for Ariza was an improvement.

The rest of the team already has rings. And some of them become complacent because of it. Kobe & Fish no problem. Pau seemed to be fine. But I think part of Odom's problem this year vs last was satisfaction in already having gotten a ring.

If you bring in Bosh, then Bosh is gonna be HUNGRY for a ring. So at certain times, he's going to play with more desperation than a player who already has a ring. You've got to admit that Artest played MUCH harder than Odom in the playoffs. I think it's at least partly because Odom already had a ring, and Ron-Ron didn't.

I don't think they will trade Bynum because they invested too much in him. Bynum is LA's pet proyect, and they surely love him more than LakerTom, so they will not dump him until they are sure he will be injured for the rest of his life.

AND, look at his contract lenght. 2 more years. Is worth waiting one more year. Then they can use it as expiring contract for someone looking for it, or for themselves.

I have read the trade proposals but don't like any of them.
I tink including Odom in trade for Colison is a bad move. I would do sign and trade with Farmar, Powell or Sasha, and second round pick. They get young pg in return and add depth.

Or do the same trade to Minny for rights to Rubio. In Farmar Minny can package him with Jefferson as trade bait.

I would NOT trade Bynum at this point or foreseable future.

We have 3 rookies which can compete to sit on bench and learn in first season.
2 pfs in Caracter and Chemelu (sp?) playing over seas. Either would not get much playing time but neither did Powell.

Next with Ebanks another rookie to ride bench and cheaper than Morrison as Ammo did not play much. Also if Luke can't play Luke can move to bench as coach and open his salary to staff and not team or cap.

That can open cap space to add mid level vet.

I read earlier that some one stated Bosh wants to play for Lakers. No trade for him and if he really wants to be a Laker then follow Ron Artest and take mid level money.

Bynum is a keeper for the lakers. Bynum is very skilled and a big body. Without Bynum's presence alone Lakers go down for the count against the Cs. Since 2008 the Lakers had a 3-1 record regular season against the Celtics thanks in large part to Andrew The Beast Bynum. Perkins is a tough matchup for gasol but Bynum abuses Perkins with ease. Hopefully this season Bynum is healthy in both regular season and playoffs. If he is healthy I predict his first all star berth. It makes no sense to have two power forwards in Gastrong and Bosh. Lakers need a point guard who can push the ball in transition and spot up shoot. The triangle is too predictable and LA needs a transition game as well. A guard who can initiate a one man fast break ala Rondo etc. Think Showtime Lakers of the 80s, a fast breaking team with a devastaing half court game. If LA ran more players like Odom, Brown, farmar etc production will go way up.

lakers fans are getting too greedy with wanting Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Stoudemire, Paul or Boozer. Listen LA has a good good core with championship experience. Now if there is a chance to get Lebron or Wade then do it. But that is not going to happen. Let's work with what we got and thats the championship players. Of course LA must improve to three peat which will be extremely difficult because every team in the League will bring their A+ game against the Lakers. Plus there may be a grouping of 3 mega stars that is Wade, LBJ and Bosh or Stoudemire. Obviously LA needs a solid point guard. I am glad to see Gasol taking the summer off from international play but he must hit the gym hard to get stronger. Bynum after surgery must improve his low post game and be committed to defense and rebounding. Odom play with passion and like you care. You are the second most skilled player on the team but is way too lacksidasical. Fisher work on shooting and layups. Artest work on the three pointer and playing around the basket. Teams will double Kobe/Gasol so you will have plenty opportunities to shine aim for defensive player of the year and all star. Now Kobe. You are 32 years old and have only about 3 years left at your other world level. You are a 5 time world champion and 2 time finals mvp. You have nothing else to prove so play like it. Be more of an emotional leader on the team. Reduce your shooting from 23 to 26 shots a game to 16 to 19. Have fun and make it fun for your teammates. If you play relax and your team is loose while still focused then Lakers should win it again. Also Kobe become open to the idea that next year Gasol might win the Finals MVp and your focus must be winning the ring and not individual accolades. Magic didn't win every finals mvp. Worthy won and Jabaar won as well. But yet magic was the man. How better your career will be if you win number 6.

>>>I would do sign and trade with Farmar, Powell or Sasha, and second round
>>>pick. They get young pg in return and add depth.

Doesn't work.

First of all, the only reason Farmar wants to leave is because he wants to start. Do you really think he believes he could beat out Chris Paul for a starter job?

And WRT Collison, New Orleans isn't just GIVING him away. The rumor that hints that they might trade him says that they would do it for someone who would take Okafor's big contract and not trade back much in return. Now that they've made trades to get under the luxury tax, I think they're not even likely to do that.

Either way, I don't think the Lakers could make them the best offer. If a team's looking to cut salary, they want to trade with someone who could give them a good player making 5 million, or better yet 2 million, and nothing else. Unless they got a third team (with cap space) involved, the best the Lakers could do is send them less salary than they're taking back and include expiring deals. Lamar's an okay asset, but there are better players making less that teams might be willing to give up to get Collison.

I have watched Powell digress from his first season with the Lakers where he was willing to play defense and get rebounds to getting lost on defense and being primarily interested in shooting and being Kobe's BFF. As for Farmar he must not be a student of history, i.e., Rick Fox understanding short term loss for long term gain being associated with a winner and having a post career with the Lakers. All he needs to do is ask Fisher if it was worth it to leave, or Ronnie, Trevor or the young center they had (forgot his name) in the early 2000's... who signed with Boston after they won the NBA Championship and disappeared. But ego will prevail... so long Farmar hello Raja, so long Powell hello ...


We dont need to breakup the starting 6, Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Artest, Fish and Lamar. We just need to add to the bench. Sasha should be back in form, Brown will be told what to improve on, Luke needs to get healthy. Farmar will be gone, sad but its time. Mike Miller to open it up, Steve Blake would be a nice fit and maybe keep Josh Powell to backup Artest. Everybody should be healthy and we should have a good run throught the playoffs. If anything there will be teams wanting to make a trade during the season and maybe something good will come up. Almost all teams will be in rebuilding mode so another championship run should be in our grasp. I just believe the Lakers have to much playoff experience for the other teams to deal with.
No matter what, within a months time we will all know what players will be wearing a Laker uniform. THe bigger question will be who will be coaching!


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