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Mitch Kupchak discusses Lakers' second-round draft picks

Here are some of the highlights regarding General Manager Mitch Kupchak's assessment of the Lakers' second-round draft picks.

On West Virginia sophomore forward Devin Ebanks (43rd pick):

--Kupchak said he drafted Ebanks in case Lakers forward Luke Walton doesn't recover next season from the pinched nerve in his lower back.

--Ebanks often defended the opponent's top scorer when he played for the Mountaineers. Kupchak described Ebanks' defense this way: "He's active. He's long, athletic. You can be a good defender when you have those type of qualities and you put your mind to it."

--Kupchak believes Ebanks has similar skill sets to Trevor Ariza.

--Various reports mentioned Ebanks had off-court issues, but Kupchak said that isn't a concern. "A lot of players, young players in particular, go through times where they have to work on their character a bit. Once again, he's a young player, a talented player and a player we got to know."

On Texas El Paso junior forward Derrick Caracter (58th pick):

--Kupchak believes Caracter's conditioning needs to improve, but he likes his rebounding.

Other notes:

--Kupchak said the team's backcourt remains the biggest issue, but he selected two forwards. He mentioned that statistically it is unlikely second-round picks make the roster.

--Kupchak said both Ebanks and Caracter will play in Summer League. They would then go to training camp in an attempt to make the team.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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If Luke Walton is a true Laker, the best thing he could do is to negotiate his contract for an opt out similar to Vlade Divac. He should be in the F/O replacing Lester who is considered as GM of Suns.

We expect some trades or MLE offer to an experienced PG. Fisher has to slide to the reserve with a pay cut. Shannon should exercise his 2nd year option with openings coming soon for him. He needs to show-up next season that he belongs to this team. They could give it to Raja Bell and split it with J-Critt, perhaps 70-30 ratio. Here are the line-up if we have them in placed:

1 Bell/Fisher/JCritt
2 Kobe/Shannon/Sasha
3 Artest/Ebanks/Walton
4 Gasol/LO/Caracter
5 Bynum/Gasol

I really hope these two 2nd round draft picks will be retained. We need youth from the line-up. We are entering the last days of PJ, Lakers should develop their own rookies not harbor "scrubs" who could not play good basketball.

For those who were crying about Ariza leaving towards Houston well you got something Better: Ebanks.

Everything is eerily similar to Ariza when Ariza was drafted and for those who were enamoring to have an Artest-Ariza combo well here you got it! The physical defender and the more quicker defender we'll see if he is steal happy as Ariza was (which is good and bad).

What a very good steal at the 43rd pick and for less than $500,000? UPGRADE over Morrison at far far cheaper price so in this case we replaced Morrison and more.

Caracter is a long shot to stay but hell if he does better than Josh Powell he'll there's another big man in reserve.

So that leaves GUARDS and guess what we have the Summer League AND the midlevel/veteran's minimum to work with. Now just have to wait and see about Phil.

With the entrance of two PF's, it is also possible LO might be traded for a PG. As outlined by Heisler this morning's reporting Lakers are trying to unload some residuals to meet the salary cap minimum. The only way to do it is to trade down with medium range PG and a couple of future draft picks. How much can be saved from trades and free agents:

LO - 9M
Walton - 5M
Ammo - 5.5M
Farmar - 2M
Fisher - 3M (Pay cut)
Mbenga - 1M
Powell - 1m
Total 26.5M

Addition: Split MLE 5.5M
Minimum on draft picks 0.5M each total of 1M

Savings of 20M and another 20 M of luxury taxes

Edwin,

Ebanks is a Small Forward (he could possibly play PF) but they have him as a wing (He said his game was more like Trevor Ariza)

Personally, I'm rooting for our two picks to make the team along with a couple of veteran FAs to strengthen our bench and team. The Lakers potentially have two steals in this draft which is exciting. I can't wait to watch them along with JCritt during the summer league to see what they can do. Lakers can have a nice blend of experience and youth for this upcoming season. Several analysts and draft pundits were pretty high on both Ebanks and Caracter talent wise. It's nice to have even more length and athleticism that can defend.

Now we turn our attention to free agency where we can address our need for another PG, backup big and sharpshooter. Should be fun. Go Lakers!!!

Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | June 24, 2010 at 11:30 PM

i like Edwin's idea lol now make it happen LA!

It sounds like Mitch is expecting Ebanks to not only make the team, but to have an impact off of our bench this year. He even went on to say that Ebanks has a more rounded game coming out of college than Ariza did coming out which is pretty high praise considering how Ariza turned out and improved his game. Ebanks needs to display his skills during summer league play and training camp.

ALOT of mock drafts had him in mid to lower first round talent. In fact almost all draft analysis about him going 43 says he is good value and remarks he is a terrific defender. Mitch did a great job in this draft.

The Grizzlies are gonna be killing teams next year. MARK MY WORDS!!!!
Get Vasquez now before it's too late Mr. Kupchak! Get the kid now!!!! Do a trade of Sasha or something (nothing wrong with Sasha) but in a few years the Grizzlies can begin to be a problem. MARK MY WORDS!!!!

i'm EXCITED

now we have our own BABY DAVIS. or mini-SNAK. way to go Cupkake.

never enough POWER and FORWARD. isn't it AMERICA about POWER and FORWARD.

and finally we ALSO got 300lb. of CHARACTER.

If I have to hear somebody say that the Lakers, because of the triangle do not need a traditional PG again I'm going to barf!

First off it doesn't matter what offense one runs it is still a very good thing to have a guard with good ball handling skill (yeah, Kobe is absolute best but he's getting older and we'll need to preserve his energy for scoring instead of bringing the ball up court). Fish is also a good ball handler but... but... which brings us to the second point:

It's NEVER a bad idea to have a guard who can slash, penetrate and create. Sorry Fish, like 7UP you never had it and never will. Again Kobe is IT but who is second in this dept? Farmar is a distant second here but he's leaving...

Last but not least the triangle is on its last leg even if Phil comes back for one more (last) season. No, the Lakers do not need another combo guard like Brown/Vujacich. They need a REAL, BONAFIDE PG for the foreseeable future. They need a successor to Fisher so he can move to the bench. It's time to think about a post-triangle future and prepare now.

Hopefully this is the organization #1 priority for this summer.

Kupchak......get us Vasquez......(or did you already????)

I disagree with trading Sasha, he is still maturing, and I think it would disrupt the chemistry of the team. Even though he hardly played last year, I think his presence was very important. Speaking of which....Josh Powell seemed to be a very important teammate for Kobe....always the last man he would hug and speak with before he took the court, I think he is someone I would pull off the "dump" list...M'Benga had some un-tapped talent, however PJ would never play him, even a few minute stretches per game, he never let him develop with the starters, he just stuck with overplaying Gasol and Bynum ( and LO)....
I know we have a core of players but with talk of trading some of those (Bynum and LO), this team could change drastically, even if PJ stays.....and if he does, next season would definitely wear him out, and finish his run....I just don't agree with breaking up a championship team. I know it's Buss' wallet but spending has brought success....scrimping.....I'm pretty sure it won't work.

Folks,

Please remember that it took 4 years and 3 teams (I believe) before we saw a Trevor Ariza that we all knew, loved, and now miss. No one is going to step in as a rook and play like Trevor did in '09, so get over that notion.

It will be a long process. And I can only imagine how many hundreds (if not 1000s) of "wtf, Mitch really screwed that one up" comments we'll get before we see anything out of Ebanks.

That said, how many players (Shannon is another example), DO finally get it (after a few years) and become real keepers. It takes time though.

Bring back Phil!

Bosh indicated having a proven coach could play a factor in his decision about where to play next season. "The coach, pretty much, is the leader of your team,'' Bosh said. "And if you have a good coach, that gives you better chances in certain situations. I think a lot of guys want to play for a good coach. And to be put in the right position, that has a lot to do with it. You want to look at situations for winning and that's one of them. So I think a well-led team is very important in the decision-making process.'' SI.com

My dream free agent signing. Captain Dirk
Won't happen unless Bynum + 1 is included though a sign and trade

If the Laker are going to keep the Apple dumpling gang...Phil and Fish

Then you better get Dirk

Imagine Dirk instead of Lamar, or Artest.
I know he's a power forward but he really plays like a small forward. Him and Gasol could both play the center position as well.

Captain Dirk want's to come to Hollywood, prettier gold diggers here.

Captain Dirk

MAKE IT SO

Seeing comparisons of Ebanks to Ariza, that would be nice.
Anyone know how is Ebanks outside shooting.
Trevor could knock down 3's.

Nevermind, just saw the answer in Bresnahans column, from 3 pt range Ebanks shot 10%, ugh.

Guess he's more of a defensive guy, doesn't look like he'll pull defenders to him outside like Ariza did.

Interesting article on Hoopsworld about the Phil/Lakers saga by Ed Pinkus.

His take is that this is all about the money for Phil but that PJ will not publicly call out the Lakers on it.

A low ball offer to Phil and he's gone, but he will not publicly blame it on salary. Evidently Lakers have not make a formal offer yet.

Pinkus makes an interesting point that Kobe and Pau weren't asked to take significant pay cuts on their extensions.


Hopefully Shaw doesn't leave for Cleveland.
We need to keep this team in tact as much as possible. All we need is a few tweaks (veteran PG, 3rd string center, shooter), not major disruption.
But, being the Lakers we have to have drama in the off season. Drama sells!

The next time i see someone one mentin J-Critt on this thread i am going to go crzay..:lol
he guys has proven nothing in the 3 years he has been i the league. Stop the obsession already. he has been on 2 bad teams, still no playing time and you want us to spend half our MLE on him? Come on man!

One thing appears certain this morning. The Lakers will not stand pat in their quest to 3-peat, with or without Phil.

Now not just one, but two of the Times' beat reporters are on the record that Lamar's head is on the chopping block. Heisler in the paper yesterday, and Turner on ESPN710. Anecdotally, Vanessa Bryant's open distain for Khloe Kardashian Odom doesn't help Lamar's cause to remain a Laker.

Mitch's public avowal to strengthen the back court is encouraging to all who were frustrated by last season's weakness there.

And Mitch's enthusiasm for the two draft picks suggests at least one of them will make the new roster.

But those of you who seem willing to put money down on Andrew Bynum being available for the right price should think hard about what it might be like to live in your car after you lose the bet. This one ain't happening.

Ugh if PJ retires and B Shaw heads to Cleveland. The Lakers might be stuck with a coach with a whole new system, not good.

LeBron wants B Shaw because he now loves the Triangle? What the? People talk about bandwagon fans but LeBron sounds like a bandwagon player. Next he'll ask for Cav uniforms to be changed to purple and gold.

Can't believe it was a little more than a week since the Lakers clinched it. Already feels like a part of Laker lore.

Scuse the ignorance...from oHIo I miss alot of the inside stuff. Who the hell is JCritt? Surely you're not talking about "6 gun Crittenden" late Wizard, and even later Laker?
Little help here?

Brian,

Yep, that's the one.

LBJ IF he wants Shaw is because B Shaw is a Snaq fluffer.

he always criticisezed Kobe. and i'm sure KOBE won't play for him!!!!!!!!!!!!

neither will I. :-)

LBJ IF he wants Shaw is because B Shaw is a Snaq fluffer.

he always criticisezed Kobe. and i'm sure KOBE won't play for him!!!!!!!!!!!!

neither will I. :-)

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=5326055

NEW YORK -- In a different life, back when he was in charge of assembling his hometown Knicks, Ernie Grunfeld said there was only one thing more frightening in the NBA than the prospect of clearing salary cap space:

Clearing that cap space and having no worthwhile free agents willing to take it.

So thanks to Grunfeld, Knicks president Donnie Walsh should be afraid. Very, very afraid.

Grunfeld's Washington Wizards just cut a deal with the Chicago Bulls that e-mailed New York the kind of presidential message once famously sent by a Daily News headline writer posing as Gerald Ford.

[+] EnlargeLeBron James and Derrick Rose
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesIs a Rose-James partnership closer to being a reality?

Grunfeld to City: Drop Dead.

All because the Wizards' president was willing to take Kirk Hinrich's $9 million wage and the 17th overall pick in exchange for a future second-rounder -- a deal first reported by ESPN's Ric Bucher -- the Bulls now have enough cap space to sign LeBron James and the Chris Bosh/Amare Stoudemire/Joe Johnson/Carlos Boozer sidekick of his choosing.

So the one significant advantage the Knicks had over the Bulls in the great free-agent chase of 2010 -- the room to sign a second max-out player -- is a significant advantage no more. When someone familiar with the Knicks' thinking was told Thursday night that Grunfeld didn't exactly help the master midtown plan, that someone replied, "Nope."

Of course Grunfeld intended no harm to his former employer. Of course Grunfeld was thinking of the Wizards' best interests and nothing more.

But your average, beaten-down Knicks fan has every right to ask this question: Why, Ernie, why? On the night you used the first overall pick to draft John Wall, the franchise maker once meant to save the New Jersey Nets, why wreak your havoc on the more vulnerable side of the Hudson?

And aiding and abetting the Bulls, of all teams? The same dynastic foe you spent every waking New York minute scheming to topple?

"I'll have to give Ernie a call; has he lost his mind?" joked Dave Checketts, the former Garden and Knicks president who had helped Grunfeld build the contender of the '90s before firing him at the close of the decade.

"Ernie and I hated Chicago more than anyone. We wouldn't do one thing to help them when we were running the Knicks. In fact, we even tried to kill deals we heard the Bulls were working on. We'd call agents and tell them, 'Why would you send your player there? Are you kidding? Don't you know what's going on inside that organization?'"

Checketts laughed, but he wasn't fooling around.

"We tried to convince Michael Jordan to come to New York when we offered him all of our cap space in '96," he said. "We even bid on Scottie Pippen once. A lot of time has passed, but it's still hard to picture Ernie doing a deal that would help the Bulls."

No, these aren't Jordan's six-time champs, and no, Grunfeld isn't worried about pleasing the Knicks' ownership or fan base anymore. Grunfeld has to satisfy a boss, Ted Leonsis, who is scrutinizing his subordinate's every step.

But let's face it: No NBA executive has made a deal this helpful to a would-be contender since Memphis gift-wrapped Pau Gasol and made Kobe Bryant and the Lakers whole.

"The Bulls' situation is really attractive now," Checketts said. "Two max contracts is a huge advantage for them."

It was a huge advantage for the Knicks until Thursday. In the war for LeBron's heart and mind, Chicago could offer Derrick Rose and a roster full of long and active friends.

[+] EnlargeJeff Van Gundy and Ernie Grunfeld
AP Photo/Doug KanterFans at the Theater at MSG were chanting Jeff Van Gundy's name, but Ernie Grunfeld spoke loudest with the Wizards-Bulls trade.

The Bulls couldn't offer James a full scholarship for a fellow blue-chipper, and the Knicks could. Walsh would have to explain away a decade of lousy basketball, most of it played on someone else's watch, but he could promise LeBron a Bosh or Stoudemire -- both better frontcourt players than Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

With one powerful swipe, Grunfeld just erased that sales pitch from the Madison Avenue board. The same Grunfeld who grew up in Queens worshipping the Knicks. The same Grunfeld who served as a player, broadcaster, assistant coach, personnel man, GM and president for his boyhood team.

The same Grunfeld who shipped out Charles Smith, Monty Williams and Doug Christie to clear the $10 million in cap space that turned into Allan Houston and Chris Childs. The same Grunfeld who traded for Larry Johnson. The same Grunfeld who dealt Charles Oakley for Marcus Camby against Jeff Van Gundy's objection in 1999, but who was fired before Van Gundy and Camby made it to the Finals against all odds.

As Garden president, Checketts felt he needed to end the feud between Van Gundy and Grunfeld. He took the team president to a White Plains, N.Y., restaurant, talked shop during a 90-minute dinner and then terminated his friend over a serving of pie a la mode, an event Grunfeld would call "the Last Supper."

The exchange went like this:

Checketts: Ernie, I'm sorry, but I have to let you go."
Grunfeld: "Yeah, right."
Checketts: "No, I'm serious, Ernie."
Grunfeld: "Dave, you can't do this to me."

They debated the decision for another hour, nothing changed and Grunfeld ultimately got a $4 million check to disappear. But at the draft Thursday night, with New Yorkers pointing toward the ESPN set and chanting Van Gundy's name, Grunfeld's voice was heard loudly and clearly above the din.

In serving the Wizards, and only the Wizards, Grunfeld might have single-handedly rerouted James from New York to Chicago.

"We want LeBron!" Knicks fans shouted inside The Theater at the Garden.

They got Andy Rautins of Syracuse and Landry Fields of Stanford instead.

Donnie Walsh still has his precious cap space, but Grunfeld just sent him this little note:

Good luck convincing LeBron James to fill it.

KB Blitz,

you wrote this: Everything is eerily similar to Ariza when Ariza was drafted and for those who were enamoring to have an Artest-Ariza combo well here you got it! The physical defender and the more quicker defender we'll see if he is steal happy as Ariza was (which is good and bad).

my response: where did you see/read that ebanks is quicker than Ariza?

I had seen something which indicated that he was Ariza-lite, but I may
have mis-read things.

btw, I saw the comments about Bynum. *sigh* The Bynum fans seem to
not understand physics the way I do.

Art,

Ebanks was terrible from range, but so was Ariza when he came out. Mitch did say however, that Ebanks has a more rounded game than when Ariza came out and has a lot of room to grow. Ariza took a couple of years to develop an outside shot(better from three pt land than mid range)and Ebanks has a pretty decent mid range shot and can slash to the hoop. It's on the defensive side of the ball where I think Ebanks can have the biggest impact early on because of his length and athleticism.

People forget that part of the reason Ariza took a while to develop is because not only was he young, but both NY and Orlando really didn't utilize him all that much. It wasn't until he came to the Lakers and got more playing time, that he carved out a niche for himself defensively and as a slasher who could hit spot up threes.

Many draft experts and people around the league believe the Lakers may have gotten a steal by landing Ebanks and good value in Caracter. Both must be willing to work hard and improve their games in order to make the team. We'll see how they do in summer league. I hope both will make the team. Mitch may have hinted at something when he mentioned that Ebanks could possibly backup Artest next year if Luke's back isn't better. Maybe it's time for Luke to retiring and join the coaching staff. This may be the best way that the Luke could help the Lakers going forward.

Nemaia,

Thanks for the info on Ebanks.

BTW, if Luke were to retire, what happens with his salary, does it still count against the cap?

NBA Comparison: Corey Brewer

Strengths: Long and lean small forward possessing a 'smooth' game ... His wingspan is incredible and he seemingly gets his paws on every ball ... Prolific rebounder (8.5 RPG). Particularly innate offensive rebounder (3 per game) ... Grabs boards outside of his area. Quick off his feet and anticipates caroms extremely well. Breaks for the ball before anyone else on the court ... High percentage shooter, rarely takes a bad shot (47%) ... Very soft touch around the basket. Crafty with a variety of release points ... Knows how to get shots off in the paint ... Exhibits excellent body control ... Shows promise with his mid-range jumper ... Gets good elevation and has picturesque shooting mechanics ... Appears comfortable at the free throw stripe where he shoots 74% ... Will occasionally take his game into the post and shoot over smaller defenders ... Thrives in transition as he runs the floor very well and takes long, loping strides ... Makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands ... Good passer averaging 2.7 assists per game ... Has the ability to see over the defense and find cutters ... Versatile defender with the ability to guard multiple positions ... Often matches up with the opponent's top perimeter threat ... Moves his feet pretty well for 6-9, and his length can bail him out if he's beaten off the bounce ... Long arms and quick hands net him a steal per contest ... Has a fire in his eyes at the defensive side, something very rare.

Weaknesses: It's hard to say whether he's gotten less aggressive or more unselfish ... There are games where he simply doesn't look at the basket ... Seems lost offensively at the moment- as if he's unsure what his game is ... His field goal attempts per game have gone up from 8 to 10, but most of his shots come as a result of offensive rebounds or broken plays ... Shot mid-range jumpers regularly last season, but appears hesitant as a sophomore ... Lacks any range whatsoever, shooting 13% from three as a freshman and 11% this season ... Needs to enhance this dimension of his game to keep opponents off balance ... His ball handling is a work in progress. Not quick with the ball in his hands and very right hand dominant ... Has difficulty beating defenders off the dribble, and quite frankly, rarely tries to ... Lack of strength is a major concern as he gets knocked off balance easily ... While he has a great looking stroke at the FT line, he rarely get there. Shoots 4 free throws per game ... Does not possess an explosive burst or leaping ability ... Would certainly benefit from adding upper and lower body muscle ... Has difficulty finishing through contact. Cannot hold up defensively against stronger college 4's ... Was suspended for the first three games of the 09-10 season for undisclosed reasons.

sorry, the above is about the Eubanks guy

Living in Vegas, I might have to watch the Summer League and scout our 2 new draft picks...

Mitch picking 2 forwards might be some chess moves with Lamar on the trading block...

Our shallow depth with our guards would greatly improve if Sasha can bring the Machine back...

I was hoping to get Kirk Hinrich, but with his trade to the Wizards, don't see it possible now...

The Laker's strengths are LENGTH and REBOUNDING. This is how they killed their opponents. The most important players in this regard are: Bynum, Gasol, and Lamar Odom. Boston could not keep them from rebounding.

Trading Lamar would be STUPID since anyone else they get would be SHORTER and CAN'T REBOUND as well. Lamar can also dribble the ball up the court like a guard.

Despite how good Kobe is, Kobe can be NULLIFIED by a bigger and stronger player guarding him. The Lakers need their BIGS to keep them in the game when this happens.

Despite how good Gasol is. Gasol can be NULLIFIED without the help of Bynum and Lamar Odom in attacking the rim.

The Lakers posed severe matchup problems because of their SIZE AND LENGTH. Trading Lamar SEVERELY WEAKENS the Lakers and seriously prevents them from winning the championship next year.

MM,

Heisler wrote: The Lakers took on an additional $90 million in salary and taxes to get Pau Gasol in 2008, assuming they would slash that figure by letting Odom go when his deal ran out in 2009.

Instead, Odom proved his value in the 2009 postseason with Andrew Bynum hurt.

At the urging of Jackson and Magic Johnson, Buss re-signed Lamar but only after pulling his offer at one point in unusually heated negotiations.

Even with Odom down to $8.5 million a season from his old $12 million, he cost $17 million in salary and tax this season.

Multiplied by four, the number of years on Lamar's contract, that's $68 million the Lakers hadn't expected to pay.


my response: This seems odd to me. Do you have any insight into Dr. Buss
not wanting to re-sign LO ?

The reason why I say this seem odd is:

1. When Bynum was hurt and LO was the starting PF and got us to the finals.
2. When Bynum was hurt and came back, LO was the starting PF and we won.

Why wouldn't he want to bring LO back?

KB Blitz,

you'll appreciate this:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/o/odomla01.html
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bynuman01.html

LO has been a better rebounder than Bynum for the last 2 years. Bynum
has been a better scorer than Odom for the last 2 years. Odom has had
more assists than Bynum for the last 2 years.

No. Seriously!

Bynum 07/08 [ the best year bynum has *EVER* had. all 35 games. ]
13.1 pts / 10.2 rebounds 1.7 assists 2.1 blks 2.8 PFs 1.5 TOVs

Bynum 08/09 [ 50 games ]
14.3 pts / 8.0 rebounds 1.4 assists 1.8 blks 3.1 PFs 1.7 TOVs

Bynum 09/10 [ 65 games ]
15.0 pts / 8.3 rebounds 1.0 assists 1.4 blks 3.0 PFs 1.8 TOVs

LO 07/08
14.2 pts / 10.6 rebounds 3.5 assists .9 blks 2.9 PFs 2.0 TOVs

LO 08/09
11.3 pts / 8.2 rebounds 2.6 assiss 1.3 blks 3.0 PFs 1.8 TOVs

LO 09/10
10.8 pts / 9.8 rebounds 3.3 assists .7 blks 2.8 PFs 1.8 TOVs

Both of these guys have "Caracter" problems and have no outside game to speak of. They can rebound.....but Derrick Caracter is a weak defender in rotation and a turnover waiting to happen.....I can't imagine this guy playing for Phil Jackson but at least Artest now has some running buddys.........

Nemaia Faletogo,

you wrote: People forget that part of the reason Ariza took a while to develop is because not only was he young, but both NY and Orlando really didn't utilize him all that much. It wasn't until he came to the Lakers and got more playing time, that he carved out a niche for himself defensively and as a slasher who could hit spot up threes.

my response: umm ... Ariza credits Kobe's shooting program as why he
became a better shooter. It should also be mentioned that it was Kobe
drawing the double teams which gave him space to shoot. In Houston,
Ariza's shooting was much worse this year than the previous year with
the Lakers.

Hobbit,

Regarding Kobe and Ariza: Spot on and I couldn't agree more. Must also credit Ariza for putting in the work as well. No question he did benefit from playing with Kobe and Pau. At least the Lakers gave him a chance unlike NY and Orlando.

Time to get rid of odumb, he gave us couple of solid years. He is breaking down and sell him high cupcake

it was Kobe drawing the double teams which gave him space to shoot.

Response:

You mean to say when Kobe was in dribble dribble dribble

To "Ouchhhhhh

Some of those comments you posted about Ebanks were unfounded, particularly: "Does not possess an explosive burst or leaping ability ..."

I would suggest you take a look at the Youtube video highlights from his WV days. His leaping ability and explosive bursts are quite obvious. Whomever put together that synopsis of Ebanks was grossly mistaken.

Take special note of his videotaped participation in the WV Dunk Contest. You might want to rethink portions of your post.

Edwin,

>>>>If Luke Walton is a true Laker, the best thing he could do is to negotiate his
>>>>contract for an opt out similar to Vlade Divac.

Well, it's irrelevant either way.

If Luke just "give the Lakers back the 16 million left on his contract" as you propose, he can't do it. The CBA does not allow renegotiating of contracts. The only way out is if there's a team option or a player option in the contract, and Luke's contract has neither.

The other way that could help the Lakers is if Luke's injury is so bad that it doesn't allow him to return to play for most of the season (not sure how many games would disallow it). In that case, the insurance would pay off most of his contract for the year, and they would get a Disabled Player Exception for half of Luke's salary for the year. In other words, that would give them up to 2.7 million to offer to one player (2.7 starting, 5 years max with 8% raises max).

Or if Luke is so injured that he has to retire, that would do the trick as well. That would take Luke's contract completely off the Lakers salary cap, insurance would pay it off, and the Lakers would get the same 2.6 million dollar Disabled Player Exception.

Note that the DPE would be a tradeable commodity, and if used that way, they could trade for a player making up to 2.7 million.

But I doubt any of that will happen. I think Luke will be back and be contributing by the end of the season.

>>>We expect some trades or MLE offer to an experienced PG.

Actually, if Mark Heisler's sources are correct, you can expect the Lakers not to spend the full MLE this year, and maybe even to trade off Lamar Odom to try and dump additional salary.

I honestly doubt that will happen. I'm sure Buss wasn't happy to have his profits reduced from 40 million in the 2008-09 season to 15 million in the 2009-10 season, but I think he'll keep all the core players that are under contract. I think Buss will be willing to keep all of Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum, and Artest as long as they keep winning titles.

But if they have a slip up and lose in the second round or something, then you may see the Lakers dumping some salary next summer or the summer after.

OTOH, with all this Chris Paul talk, I will say that that may be the one thing that would compel Buss to be willing to break up the current core. Bynum and Odom and Artest are all very good players, but CP3 is at Kobe and Pau's level, so if he's truly on the market and if the Lakers could put together a package to get him, I think they'd do it.

One of the espn guys yesterday proposed this deal:

Lakers trade Bynum, Odom, and Vujacic for Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor.

The deal works in terms of money.

Lakers would be sending out 27.5 million and taking back 26.5. But Vujacic's contract expires next year, Bynum & Odom would earn less than Paul and Okafor in 2011-12, and there are team options on the last year of both Odom and Bynum's contracts, so they could bail after that if they wanted (instead of paying Okafor big bucks until 2014.

I think it was JA Adande who proposed that trade.

But note that if New Orleans is looking for more cost cutting than that (or different players), the Lakers have the means of doing that as well. The same deal works with Artest instead of Odom in the trade, and that would save a couple million more per season (and they may prefer Artest to Odom). Or the Hornets might be interested in Jordan Farmar or Shannon Brown to be part of the deal. Whatever.

If the Lakers managed to get a core of Kobe+Pau+CP3, then it's over. You can hand the next three titles to the Lakers right there. And I think that's still the case if things work out to create two other monster teams this summer (e.g. Chicago's fantasy big 3 of LeBron+Bosh+Rose and Miami's fantasy big 3 of Wade+JoeJohnson+Stoudemire).

Again, I don't THINK that sort of thing will happen (I don't think CP3 is going anywhere). But if New Orleans decides to shop Chris Paul, you can bet that Mitch has their GM on speed dial.

>>>We expect some trades or MLE offer to an experienced PG.

Actually, if Mark Heisler's sources are correct, you can expect the Lakers not to spend the full MLE this year, and maybe even to trade off Lamar Odom to try and dump additional salary.

I honestly doubt that will happen. I'm sure Buss wasn't happy to have his profits reduced from 40 million in the 2008-09 season to 15 million in the 2009-10 season, but I think he'll keep all the core players that are under contract. I think Buss will be willing to keep all of Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum, and Artest as long as they keep winning titles.

But if they have a slip up and lose in the second round or something, then you may see the Lakers dumping some salary next summer or the summer after.

OTOH, with all this Chris Paul talk, I will say that that may be the one thing that would compel Buss to be willing to break up the current core. Bynum and Odom and Artest are all very good players, but CP3 is at Kobe and Pau's level, so if he's truly on the market and if the Lakers could put together a package to get him, I think they'd do it.

One of the espn guys yesterday proposed this deal:

Lakers trade Bynum, Odom, and Vujacic for Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor.

The deal works in terms of money.

Lakers would be sending out 27.5 million and taking back 26.5. But Vujacic's contract expires next year, Bynum & Odom would earn less than Paul and Okafor in 2011-12, and there are team options on the last year of both Odom and Bynum's contracts, so they could bail after that if they wanted (instead of paying Okafor big bucks until 2014.

I think it was JA Adande who proposed that trade.

But note that if New Orleans is looking for more cost cutting than that (or different players), the Lakers have the means of doing that as well. The same deal works with Artest instead of Odom in the trade, and that would save a couple million more per season (and they may prefer Artest to Odom). Or the Hornets might be interested in Jordan Farmar or Shannon Brown to be part of the deal. Whatever.

If the Lakers managed to get a core of Kobe+Pau+CP3, then it's over. You can hand the next three titles to the Lakers right there. And I think that's still the case if things work out to create two other monster teams this summer (e.g. Chicago's fantasy big 3 of LeBron+Bosh+Rose and Miami's fantasy big 3 of Wade+JoeJohnson+Stoudemire).

Again, I don't THINK that sort of thing will happen (I don't think CP3 is going anywhere). But if New Orleans decides to shop Chris Paul, you can bet that Mitch has their GM on speed dial.

KB Blitz,

>>>What a very good steal at the 43rd pick and for less than $500,000?
>>>UPGRADE over Morrison at far far cheaper price so in this case we replaced
>>>Morrison and more.

I concur. The Lakers will probably mostly play 8 or 9 players next season, just like they did this season. But they have to have at least 13 players on the roster. If they both show a pulse, it wouldn't surprise me to see both of the Lakers draft picks make the roster.

Most mock drafts had Ebanks going in the first round (21-25 range). And if Derrick Caracter hadn't been a head case in college, he has the talent to have been a lottery pick.

So basically, the Lakers could get Ariza-lite to replace AmMo and an upgrade over Josh Powell for minimal rookie salaries. And if Josh Powell sticks around, then maybe Caracter lights a fire under him to improve (or vice versa).

So you add those two salaries (each of them would make $473,604 for the 2010-11 season), and you've filled Morrison's seat on the bench and taken a flyer on two guys for less than 2 million including luxury tax.

Fisher is a lock to return, and unless someone offers him crazy money, I think Shannon will be back as well. So assuming all that, the Lakers roster is effectively this:

C: Bynum
PF: Gasol, Odom, Caracter
SF: Artest, Walton, Ebanks
SG: Kobe, Machine, Brown
PG: Fisher

(with Pau able to play some center and Sasha and Shannon able to play some PG, of course).

They'd need to add at least two players to make it up to a minimum roster. Let's say Shannon & Fisher take 3 million each. Then the total for those 11 players would be at 87.7 million (about 4 million less than last season's total salary). So if they keep both draft picks, and don't spend a bundle filling the other two roster spots, then they could be right around what they paid last year with only Farmar gone from the regular rotation. If the Lakers could get some team with cap space to take Sasha off their hands (e.g. Sasha + a future first rounder for a future second rounder) then they might even be able to spend the full MLE for a point guard and pay out less total salary than last season.

If Mbenga comes back (which isn't certain, he sounded like he wants to get more minutes... and probably more money), then that's another million and you have your deep backup center. If not, I'm sure they could find a big body that's mostly a practice player/bench warmer. Or maybe Brad Miller or Zydrunas Ilgauskas or someone like that would be willing to play a limited role for cheap in order to get a ring. I'd be happy to have either of those guys on the roster, and in fact they could play regular minutes and give Bynum/Gasol more of a rest during the regular season.

That leaves PG. I'm assuming Fisher starts. I'm also assuming the Lakers will add a PG. Don't know who they can get for low bucks & will have to back up old man Fisher, but maybe someone like Blake or Ridnour would take the job knowing Fisher will be done before Kobe and Pau and Bynum are.

Raja Bell? If he'll sign cheap, maybe he's on the roster and Ebanks isn't. If you think about it, they'd both play the same role: backup stopper on the wing. But if Bell wants 5 million to play, then Ebanks gets to win a ring.

James Katt,

>>>Trading Lamar would be STUPID since anyone else they get would be
>>>SHORTER and CAN'T REBOUND as well.

Really? Every other player in the league is shorter than Lamar and gets less rebounds? Is that correct?

Last season, Lamar averaged 14.9 rebounds per 48 minutes played.

Let's just see if we can find some players who are at least 6'10" and were at least as effective at rebounding as Lamar last season, and who make less money (and who might be obtainable - Minnesota's not going to give up Kevin Love for Lamar, so I won't even suggest dumb stuff like that).

Aaron Gray - 7'0" - unrestricted free agent - averaged 16.4 per 48 minutes. Unfortunately, he's not a great defender other than rebounding, nor a particularly good shooter (poor free throws). But he is a decent passer.

Jamaal Magloire - 6'11" unrestricted free agent - 16.2 rebounds per 48

Earl Barron - 7'0" - unrestricted free agent - 15.9 rebounds per 48

Jeff Foster - 6'11" - signed through next year with Indiana - 15.2 rebounds per 48 - he makes about a million less than Lamar, and is a better defender than Lamar, but more limited offensively. Indy might go for that trade. Might even throw in a sweetener like a 2nd rounder or cash.

Hamed Haddadi - 7'2" - signed through 2012 with Memphis - 15.0 rebounds per 48. Memphis might be willing to deal, and if they did, their front court of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Lamar would be pretty formidable. Since they have Hasheem Thabeet, Haddadi isn't really needed by them.

Let's also consider a few players who are at least close to Lamar's 14.9 per - maybe down to 14 per...

In that case, you can also throw in Nazr Mohammed (14.8), Drew Gooden (14.8), Sean Marks (14.7), Randolph Morris (14.7), Brendan Haywood (14.6), Josh Boone (14.5), Serge Ibaka (14.4), and Johan Petro (14.2).

None of those players have the exact skill set that Lamar has. Most of them aren't as good overall. But some are better shooters than Lamar. Some are better shot blockers than Lamar. Some are better defenders. And some could be had for 1-2 million.

And of the ones who are on other teams, most of them are probably attainable.

For example, Oklahoma City likes Serge Ibaka. But clearly Lamar Odom is a better player. And Lamar's salary isn't grossly overpaid (11 million was excessive, 7.5 million is about right). So Ok City might be willing to work out an Odom for Ibaka deal. And Ibaka could play Lamar's minutes and provide comparable rebounds and MORE shot blocking and just as good defense. The only letdown would be on the offensive end, where he's more limited than Lamar (but presumably he wouldn't jack up stoopid 3-pointers like Lamar).

That's the point. There are players that could provide MOST of what Lamar provides for less money. They don't know the triangle and they aren't on Kobe's Christmas card list (yet), but if they'd do the job for 1/4 of what Lamar makes, then the team could afford to spend a bit more to shore up the point guard situation.

I am a alum at WVU and have seen Ebanks a lot. Great offensive rebounder with great length. No shot at all from 15 feet out but he can make a free throw. Good ball handler and great on D. If he can ever develop his shot he will be every bit the player Ariza was. Jerry West saw a lot of this guy, he had to influence this pick. He had some type of altercation with a teammate early in the year but no off court issues that were ever made public. Great pick! Go LAKERS!

Ok, I see the rationale for the Lakers picks...1st round talent in a 2nd round pick, someone to back up Artest, "potential", but don't we need a point guard - especially with an eye on the future? A few "potential" point guards went undrafted. Mikhael Torrance, Sharron Collins, Jerome Randle, just to name a few. And guess what, none of them are on the Lakers Summer League roster. Torrance and Collins are playing for the Bobcats and Randle's playing for the Bullets, err Wizards. Torrance is a 6'5 point guard who can score. Collins, while small, is what we need to defend the quicker point guards. Isn't one of them worth a look? With late picks, it's all about "what if", but at a minimum - invite them to play on the Summer League roster - don't tell me they'd rather wear those other uniforms - we're the 2-time defending champs!!! Any ideas???

I say trade bynum, odom and walton, then release farmar, morrison, mbengga and vujacic. Get Derron and Amare or Bosh + 2 cheap centers who are bangers and 2 cheap but reliable role players. Now that's gonna be a championship team for a very long time.
Kobe, Gasol, Derron, Amare or Bosh, Artest, Fisher, Ebanks, Caracter + the 4 other reliable players & PJ. Then you can tell every team in the NBA to come and try to beat the Lakers...

Get collison. Get Bosh don't get bosh.I don't care on that one even tho I think its smart due to bynums injuries. But either way. Get collison. this guy is going to be the next Magic/Rondo. Get him.

C/Pau/Okafor/ Maybe even shaq thats what it looks like.
PF/Bosh
SF/Artest/Tmac
SG/Bryant
PG/Collison/D Fish


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