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Poll question: Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic?

There seemed to be some debate recently over whether the Lakers would be better served with Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters that he intends to keep five guards on the roster, which at this point would include Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake, Brown and Vujacic. But with Brown yet to reach a deal, you just never know. Additionally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst recently reported on Twitter that the Lakers were considering trading Vujacic and a first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Delonte West, increasing Brown's chances to stay. 

Our Lakers beat writers, Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner,  have been on top of the free-agency news and will update everyone whenever anythey're available. But in the meantime, I thought it'd be good to get an exact percentage on where Lakers fans stood if the team ultimately had to choose one of the two players.

--Mark Medina

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Trading Sasha.

First, remember that the Trade Exception works both directions--either team cannot take more than 125% of their player(s) contracts plus an additional $100k.

Sasha's contract is $5.4 million.

That means the Lakers would have to get back at least $4.32 million worth of players. The immediate result would be, if the deal could be worked out to the $$s, $1.08 million for a total savings of $2.16 million after luxury tax reduction.

Let's say that Mitch trades for a player (or players) he expects to immediately release. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean an immediate reduction of cap $$s or luxury tax $$s for these players' released contracts. The reduction comes ONLY after the player (or players) are picked up by another team(s)--NBA or overseas. And it is then only reduced by the amount the player (or players) actually sign for with his (or their) new teams. I wouldn't expect teams to be jumping all over players that a team is willing to release so quickly. Could happen, but the more likely scenario is that players of that low a calibre would need to earn a spot on a team's roster at training camp or during the season on 10-day contracts.



The Lakers have Shannon's Full Bird Rights and so they can clearly offer him more $$. Since the Lakers are still above the salary cap, every $ paid Shannon results in an additional $ luxury tax.

With the Cavs and the Knicks now bidding for Shannon's services, the question then becomes "How much is Shannon worth?" and "Would an Immediate $1.08 million luxury tax savings be enough to pay him what he's worth?"

It seems unlikely that Shannon would wait for more luxury tax space to clear up (i.e., waiting for released players to be signed by other teams) rather than sign a better offer from the Knicks or Cavs (where he might actually start).



If Caracter and/or Ebanks don't get signed (i.e., they go overseas), as second round picks they are not on the books for salary cap purposes since, unlike first round picks, they don't have guaranteed salaries. But, unless released, the Lakers retain the right to sign them should they desire to play in the NBA.



This begs the question: With possibility of losing Shannon, Caracter and Ebanks, would the Lakers be better served by trading Sasha for a player (or players) that would be retained on the roster? Remember, the Lakers could trade for up to 125% of Sasha's contract plus $100k (That's $6,850,000). Luxury tax increase of $1.45 million should they max it out.

To me this makes more sense. Unless, prior to trading Sasha for release bait, Shannon agrees to a deal that works within the additional $1.08 million luxury tax reduction, why risk losing the possibility of upgrading. Shannon would've been paid approx. $2.16 milllion if he didn't opt out.

If Shannon really wants to return to the Lakers, then he'll work the deal within the Lakers current luxury tax scenario.


OK, so this is for the WannaBe GMs on this Blog: What player (or players) would you trade for Sasha's expiring contract?




I personally would love to deal for Hinrich, but the problem is that his contract is $9 million.

After Washington picked up Wall, they might like to clear some space for 2011 Free Agency ("The Decision, Part Deux. The Melo Yellow Year").

But not likely the Lakers could make the deal work. Luxury tax would be through the roof!!!


Bah, let's keep them both...

Tringulator -

If we trade Sasha to a team with cap space, they can send us virtually nothing in return like a 2nd round pick or my personal favorite "future considerations."

That's probably what the team is looking for in exchange for Sasha: cap relief.

Delonte West would've offered that.

All Sasha has done worth anything over the last two seasons is sink two free throws. Those free throws ran about $10 mil each (counting lux tax).

The Lakers are looking to get in return for Sasha about what he's provided over the last two years: NOTHING.


icelaker -

I didn't like Malone either, but I actually grew to like him when he was on the Lakers. He was a warrior who did whatever he could to help that team win. I remember at the beginning of the year how amazing that team was. The turning point of that season was when Malone went down with an injury. The team was 20-5 before he went down. While he was out for 40 games, the team went 22-18. Then he returned for the final 17 games, during which the team went 14-3. Then they make the Finals and Malone re-injures his knee, playing 3 of the 4 games hurt, before sitting out game 5 entirely. Nobody can tell me that he wouldn't have made a huge difference in that series.

Gary Payton though? Ugh. That's another story.

By the way, the 2003-2004 Lakers winning percentage with Karl Malone in the lineup...


Over the course of the season, that would equate to 66 wins. Just sayin'.

Magic Phil,

With you on keeping em both. Kelenna Azubuike would've been nice to trade for, but NY is said to be holding onto him in case Chris Paul becomes available(highly doubtful, but you never know). Oh well, my cents on this ongoing saga. We need to have our roster set and ready for training camp which is coming up here pretty quickly(yessssss!).


True dat, regarding Malone. Here's something else to ponder. I read an article where a scout referred to Caracter as a poor man's Karl Malone, with a similar game to the HOFer. Although it's an absolute stretch to even make a comparison, if Caracter works out and becomes a solid 270, he could very well imitate Malone's post up game and feathery jump shot. With Caracter's ability to hit the elbow jumper and finish at the basket with either hand, he would be ideal at running the pick-n-roll. I hope he stays and develops with the Lakers instead of going overseas. Even a poor man's Karl Malone would be awesome in this offense!

Triangulator & HTJ,

Great posts regarding Sasha's situation.

Nemaia -

If Caracter turned into the homeless man's Malone, I'd be thrilled. :)


LOL! Now that's a classic post!

MM -

Will you be sending these results over to Mitch? Has anyone asked Mitch if the Lakers are keeping Sasha?

My comfort zone says keep them both.

I like both players, and Brown may have more talent overall, but for this team and this system, Sasha is more valuable. He is a shooter! inconsistent to this point , and Brown is a good mid-range shooter, but having that 3 point threat is essential on a team with strong post play and a perimeter player that requires a double team. Sasha defense is not all league but quite underrated and pesky(better than Brown which is a shame cause of Brown's athleticism). When healthy and confident Sasha can hit the deep one which will have more impact on this team(not to mention one of only 3 good free throw shooters, which we witnessed can determine the outcome of the game)

Just lost one of the longest posts I've ever written. Please, no one on this earth ever buy an ACER Aspire notbook computer. This thing sucks.

Wow. Life really sucks. I'm so mad that I'm going to repost at least some of that article. If the computer gods/demons want to suck my soul out of my spine by refreshing the page when I'm 11/12th done, so be it.

I was talking about the Ron Artest article and I was saying that he makes adult education sound so interesting;

It started in Sacramento, when I had a domestic issue with my wife. I won't get into specifics, but the court said I had to take classes, had to change course. At first, I was mad. But I took a marriage class, and the teacher was amazing. I became a better husband. Then I took a parenting class, and I became a better father. And I took an anger management class, and that helped me too. Ultimately, I got hooked on self-betterment. All of a sudden, I was addicted to counseling. So when I got to Houston, I started shopping for a mental health doctor. That's when I found Dr. Santhi Periasamy. She's the doctor I kept thanking after the Finals."

I also liked this part:

Every time we talked about my problems -- at home, in my life, whatever -- it would always come back to basketball. She helped me realize that. So we mostly talked about basketball. We talked about my moves, my shot, and how all of the pressure I felt about my game was interfering with the rest of my life. Like, I found out that an argument with my wife was because I had a bad game, and I had a bad game because Coach Jackson was getting on my nerves. I'd bring that stress back home. It was a cycle. Dr. Santhi said, "Solve the basketball problems, and you'll solve the rest." Now, I can take the pressure, the anxiety, the heat from the media and fans, and it doesn't faze me. I don't rush anymore. I'm not anxious for a game, or to get my shot. Everything will come to me. Dr. Santhi helped me figure that out."

And this was interesting. I think Ron should really give speeches to urban schools. He has a real solid perspective, that not everyone has.

Nah, I'm much more mellow now. I can control myself on the court. If I get fouled, I say what I gotta say and move on. I don't mind being punked anymore. If someone gets in my face, I just walk away. Against the Celtics in the Finals, Tony Allen got in my face, but I don't got the time for Tony Allen. Now, if you're a star and you're talking trash, I'll talk back. All series long, Paul Pierce was talking: "You're a bum, you can't score, you can't guard me, I'm busting your ass." Everything."

An interesting insight into Ron's weight loss mid season:

All right, there is one thing that gets me really mad. Last season, Tim Legler, Charles Barkley and Carmelo Anthony all said something like, "Ron Artest is a step slower and can't play defense no more." I was 270 pounds, all muscle -- which was my goal for the season -- so I was fine, in my peaceful little world, until I heard that. It pissed me off so much! I put myself through my own midseason training camp. Didn't take a sip of alcohol from that time all the way through the playoffs. And by the Finals, I'd lost 20 pounds in two months. The problem was I was exhausted during that part of the season. That's why I was struggling. I was working out at 1 a.m., on the treadmill, in the gym. But I hit my stride in the playoffs. I shut down Kevin Durant, the NBA's scoring leader. I shut down whoever I shut down in Utah; they didn't have any stars at the 3. I shut down Jason Richardson. Shut down Paul Pierce. Three years straight, Paul Pierce is shooting 40.8% against Ron Artest. So, go ahead, tell me I'm slower. Tell me I can't play defense. Thank you."

And one of the reasons Ron was able to turn things up during the finals:

Yeah, that's true too. Phil Jackson is the only person these days who can truly get under my skin. And he gets under my skin 80% of the time. Phil totally controls me. In practice, he'll always joke about me and bother me, saying stuff about my shoes or whatever. All season, he'd say, "Ron can't shoot." But after Game 4 of the Finals, when we were tied at two, he changed his tune. He came to me and said, "Ron, I need you to play your game. You have to make plays." Oh, man. I was so happy! I called Derek Fisher and a couple of my friends and said, "Coach told me I could make plays! Boom! Let's go." What happened? I made plays. When my coach and teammates are behind me, there's nothing you can do to stop me."

And Ron as Coach Jackson's replacement?

I want to be a coach, bad. I'd love to coach the Knicks or St. John's, but I'd go anywhere. I want to coach immediately after I retire. I'd be good for a bunch of reasons. I know the little things, like how important spacing is. I also understand how to deal with players, so I'm able to coach a player like me now. I know when the problem is emotional versus selfishness. I've hurt teams with my selfishness, and I've hurt teams with my emotion. I know the difference. If a player doesn't listen to me, I know how to respond. And, of course, I know defense. It's not just physical; it's more than that. How do I get through a playoff game with only one foul, as physical as I am? It's about knowledge. I know every player's moves and tendencies. I know exactly where all 10 guys on the court are supposed to be, and when. I'm 100% sure this coaching thing will work. All I need is a good staff, and to watch more tape. One thing I don't do is watch tape. I gotta start if I want to coach."

Insights to Laker relationships...

I thought you'd never ask. We'll be on the plane, playing cards. Kobe will walk up, stop the game and say, "Ron, come to the back of the plane." Then, he'll show me some tape and say, "Look at this. Here's what you need to do." I'll go back to my seat, and then he'll walk up to Shannon Brown, stop the card game and do the same thing. And it doesn't matter if you're sleeping. He'll wake you up and show you things you've never thought about. He puts so much time and passion into the game. I have no problem following somebody who's worth being followed, who works as hard as me. I will follow Kobe anywhere."

What does Ron think about Andrew Bynum?

Don't sleep on Boston, but I like Miami in the East. It would be an honor to face the Heat. I'll take LeBron. Kobe's on Wade. Gasol's got Bosh. It'll come down to Andrew Bynum. If he's healthy, we can't be stopped."

I'd better post this before it vabishes.


This from PlayerPress:

The Los Angeles Lakers might end up getting the man they were hoping for in the first place.

The Lakers had been trying to trade Sasha Vujacic with a first round pick in order to get his salary off the books. They had attempted to make the trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Delonte West.

That did not work out and on Tuesday the Cavaliers traded West to the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, the Timberwolves will “almost certainly” buy West out of the remaining $4.6 million on his contract for $500,000, making him a free agent.

If the Lakers can move Vujacic, sources say that they are going to add Delonte West to the roster.

This move would certainly give the Lakers a way to match up with the Miami Heat and stop LeBron in the case that the two teams do actually end up meeting in the Finals next season.

So the Lakers pick up West, who also happens to be LeBrons mothers lover, or at least has been there so to speak, and what would be a better preventative measure against LeBron than to give his mother a definite mixed emotion come the finals?

Afterall, if LeBron does have any one particular weakness, it would be the man who stole his mother’s heart, or at least her playtime, and that man is former Cavaliers teammate Delonte West.

This scenario could play out to be better then any soap opera out there. It should make for some great press come playoff time next season.

I feel bad for the kid (Sasha) , he likes to compete, the problem is , he is not that great at the NBA level. Lets trade him for some future 2nd round picks , get his contract of the books, and reign Shannon Brown. Shannon is much more valuable to this team.

Fatty - Mitch called me directly and said I'm kind of on the fence. Take a poll and let me know what the readers think. The last thing I want to do is make the L.A. Times Lakers blog readers angry lol


I honestly see both sides to Shannon or Sasha. But I would take Shannon over Sasha because of his attitude and work ethic. Sasha is perhaps more dependable like in Game 7 (hitting those two free throws were critical), but I feel like the Lakers have so many options for that. Shannon is one of those good energy guys during the dog days of summer and he won't cause drama on the team. It seems like theres many teammates that get frustrated over Sasha's antics.


-Good Triangle player
-Hustle Defense, Annoys other teams
-Can be deadly shooter
-Already on contract
-Can trade his contract if needed

-Good Dunker
-Can't play in Triangle
-Can't shoot
-SF stuck in a PG Body
-Will be asking for multi-year deal

Hey im a new to this, I actually been reading the blogs for over a year, everyone makes interesting comments and i decided why not join in, but anyways, i think Shannon has improved from all aspects of his game, to me he is not so much of "the great dunker", he has expanded his game behind the arc and is a decent mid range shooter,and once in a while can change the momentum with a spectacular play... that being said signing shannon is important...

Buss, its too late to cut cost now. You've spoiled us. Keep them both. You can never have too much depth especially when you're going for a 3peat

I'm no fan of Deltone West. I don't think his game is above average.

But just for the sheer sake of rubbing it in Princess Jimmy's face a little more, I say we bring Delonte "Lebron's New Daddy" West in. LOL!

I can hear Mamba24 now:


JonK - I enjoyed your eloquent summation of the Cleveland fan.

I think this is a popularity contest, who is the flashiest most exciting player. Me personally, I’ve seen the potential that Sasha has in 2008. He has this year left to prove it, if not no big deal. Brown on the other hand has only shown he can dunk during a game when he is running the wing and gets hand fed. The other thing he has shown is inconsistent discombobulated dribbling and jacking up a shot.

Nemaia - Is that scout still employed?

Man, I don't care if we get a little older because of the off-season (I never fear the good veteran. I don't care if we get a little less athletic (we've made up for it with skills and BBIQ). But if we get Delonte West, the team's definitely gotten uglier. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

they should have signed tmac.what happens if ron goes down,or kobe for that matter,then we will be finished,but with tmac as a backup.he would fill kobe scoring,and can be a decent defender with his length.we slipped by boston last year,and would of probably been beaten by boston if perkins was healthy,and or they had home court instead of us.i,say mitch make it happen and sign tmac.then we will have the best bench,and deeper talent then miami,or chicago,or any team can put on the floor.

I prefer Shannon than Sasha if there is no other alternative available other than trading or moving Sasha. However, there is a way to have both. Perhaps, lakers salary would jump to 97M w/o luxury taxes. Under the rules, luxury taxes are paid at the last game of the season. Therefore if Sasha is traded by February to NY Knicks because of his expiring contract and Knicks may clear cap for Melo, then we took care of the taxes and it is possible to trade him to a team for their 1st rd. dr pick. Best scenario really is talk to Luke and rest for 1 year for the sake of the team. Procrastination keeps everyone hanging.

When Shannon opt out, it was noted here that nobody was interested to take him. Now it appears there are 3 teams competing with the Lakers meager offer namely Bulls, Cavs and Knicks. I'm sure Celtics and Heat would like to join if only they have the money.

I say to Mitch, let's close the deal on Shannon and move on to the preseason mode. Sign both Caracter and Ebanks, it is time to train Phil Jackson to play good and able rookies who can post up, rebound and play defense.

One1_Mike - welcome. If you're a crazy Lakerholic, you'll fit right in.

Well part of Sasha's shortcomings last season was the fact that he felt he was not trusted at the 2, had less playtime, and had 2's breathing at the back of his neck all season. But both are capable SG's (one whos pesky and can shoot at times, another who can dunk, space it out a bit and so forth) but let's take a look at Sasha for instance, what does that say about his personality and locker situation, that he's not good in the locker room or has mental deficiencies, self-esteem whatever. But yet Sasha has proven to be cocky and a bit aloof in the court, as evidenced by the Goran Dragic fiasco.

In the other hand you have a player is most comfortable being a starter, getting big minutes and loving the spotlight, has a great work ethic, size, is versatile on the wing, but can't really defend on the screen for some reason. He isn't horrible as a defender just not great. Then you look at other players still available that the Lakers could get. Anthony Parker is fearless in the playoffs, so what about the regular season? He can flat out shoot, athletic, can finish at the rim, can space it out. There are other guards out there. Shannon might be in the end the most impressive because he remains an X factor, you don't know what he will give you, you don't know if he's going to go off one night, or shoot lights out, but he can sure as hell run a fast break and the Lakers could reap the rewards in that department, as well as Phil vouching for him, and playing him more often at the 2. Shannon is another X factor with Blake running the PT. Blake makes everyone around him better, better shooter, better rebounder, hell, even better cook, better swimmer, better athlete whatever he's a pleasing presence in the bench. So will that really help Shannon already will he continue to average 8ppg (2 dunks a night accounting for his 8pp so he might shoot 2-7 one night or 3-9 another and still be beneficial).

In comes Sasha who the Lakers will use in the playoffs to defend and chase players around and just get in their necks and how that impacts the game for the Lakers, he was a much needed defensive boost when he got back late in the playoffs last season. In the other hand Sasha was a menial 30% from deep last season so the Lakers can't count on him coming up big, and he can't really produce. There's the caveat guys, the Lakers can always get a guard whos right in the middle in size, length, shooting, spacing, athleticism and still be a legitimate Kobe reliever. So I am not trully sold on any of the two, but if it HAD to come down to it, I guess Shannon because he can produce when asked of him even with all his other deficiencies, he's dependable to give some timely shots as well. My 2 cents.

OOoohhh!!! An interesting thread to be sure.


Thanks for the link to Ron on Ron, that guy is funnier than I ever gave him credit for, I'd LOVE to see him coach an NBA team, that would be the bee's knees. Can you imagine his segments with Craig Sager?

@ Jon K

Wait, you're no longer in Cleveland? Donde esta?


The remaining quandry of the off season. We can go back and forth all day about who is better, who means more to the team and all that. I voted to keep Sasha for a couple of reasons:

1) Contract Year. I believe there was a hidden, secret 11th Commandment from God that said, "Any athlete in a contract year in any sport will play 120% better than they normally do, verily, yea." So Sasha has THAT going for him. Seriously, contract years are the stuff of legend in sports. A perfect example is Adrian Beltre, duded mashed his last season as a Dodger, they had watched him under-perform for about 4 years (not counting the minors) and offered him money. Signed an astronomical contract with Seattle, where he hit in the mid 200s and played decent D, and is now on the Bo Sox (booooooooo!).

But let's throw out the *magic* of a contract year, which player best helps our team.

Shannon Brown
-high flyer whose monstrous dunks and spectacular blocks can ignite a crowd
-can shoot the 3 pretty well
-good free throw shooter
-able defender
-good pull up game

-not very decisive with the ball, has a tendency to sit on it 'til it hatches
-not the best handle
-bad passer (this is the one that tips the scale over to Sasha for me)

Sasha Vujacic
-solid defender
-pesky in a way that aids the team
-good spot up game
-good shooter
-better passer than he gets credit for
-better free throw shooter

-complains to the officials too often for obvious fouls
-not the greatest handle
-seems mentally fragile in that every single pro can be brought down by his attitude

It's a hard one in my mind. UPS is a down to earth, humble man who works his tail off. Sasha is hyper-active, passionate man who works his tail off. There's no clear choice. I think one big hold up is Camp Brown is seriously regretting the opt out. He'd be making more than what we're most likely offering and still be in a position to win ring number 3.

I really like both players. They have been the part of the Lakers success for the last 3 yrs. But the problem with both players is their inconsistancy. I'd rather have one proven veteran backup SG. Kobe needs more reliable backup so he does not have to force to play heavy minutes.

This is pretty interesting. Im not sure which games some people have been watching but Its easy enough to clear up.

Shannon Brown has more upside than Vujacic where as Sasha is getting worse each year that passes Shannon is getting better as he gets more time. When kobe was injured Shannon had a 27point 9rebound game which just lets me know he has a pretty high ceiling when he actually gets a few years behind him. He has a good outside shot which got worse over the season but ill blame that on his injury. Sasha had no excuse brick after brick after brick after brick. Id say get Delonte and trade sasha freeing up the salary and sign brown.

MY SUGGESTION !!!! LUKE WALTON !!!! Get his contract out of the laker's book....retain sasha and brown...get players from luke's contract...maybe RUDY FERNANDEZ????

OR......Sasha & Walton for RUDY FERNANDEZ of the BLAZERS....!!!!


Luke isn't tradeable- he's hurt and teams think he will break down again/and he hasn't showcased his talents last season. AND has a $5 yr deal for 3 more years, impossible to trade at this point in time. Rudy Fernandez won't come because he wants to start. Oh, and Lakers are trying to get 1 backup for Kobe while clearing space, another thing that's already easier said than done.

Yeah Blazers won't trade because a) we're their rivals b) same conference c) don't want to help us d) not taking big salaried $ scrub just to make us better.

wes - I'm losing posts too....

Thanks Ron. No one's ever brought up the idea of trading Luke Walton.

I'm sure teams will be clamoring for his services as soon as Mitch puts word out there.

I'm pretty sure that's our ticket to landing an All-NBA talent in return.

Who would you think would be interested in the services of Mr. Walton?

Just a rumor at this point but supposedly Minnesota is considering Delonte west for a first round pick and sasha which would help us tremendously seeing as we could just drop West or keep him dirt cheap and sign shannon

Jamie Sweet,

Both Shannon and Sasha have merits and deficiencies, sometimes it was not their fault but due to lack of playing time. When they play, they go with Lamar, Farmar and Luke. They waste so much minutes doing lateral passes and experimenting the triangle. I noticed most of the shots were taken out of desperation in the 22nd or 23rd seconds trying to beat the clock. Shannon or Sasha were not given specific assignments as gunner but mere fasciliatator to Kobe, all he does is touch the ball when kobe is double teamed or can't dribble anymore so he passes it to the nearest teammate. As soon as Kobe is freed, Kobe gets the ball as well as the shot. Of course, we would prefer Kobe than Shannon doing the shooting and that's probably designed by PJ.

When Kobe did not play during those four games before ASG, Shannon and Lamar were at their best. The gunner is out so they moved around freely. Therefore, since the triangle is designed not only for Kobe, PJ should create opportunities to these guards and make the other team pay for not guarding them. Spread the offense not just concentrated on Kobe.


LOL!!! Last I read, he was still employed. I know, scouts say the craziest things sometimes, but sometimes they get it right. I refer you to Puddle's post regarding a homeless Karl Malone, LOL.

In my opinion Sasha and Shannon pretty much run neck and neck.
Sasha is a pesky defender, who can hit an occasional three, and on top of that can get the team into early foul trouble.

Shannon can thrill us occasionally with those high flying dunks, and get the team off of the bench, giving high fives, and chest pumps. I'll say both of them are pretty valuable. Let's keep them both.

I want them both.

I refuse to choose.

I defer to the FO - whatever happens, I'll still ride!

Here is the biggest problem of Shannon. He does not have the guts to imitate Fisher. Fisher is slow, missed a lot of shots, yet he is the first guy out there who is not afraid to start shooting. The more he misses, he just keeps on shooting until if finally sinks in. With Shannon and Sasha, they are allotted only with 2-3 consecutive misses or else they go back to the bench. Kobe will miss 6 shots in a row, nobody will reprimand him, in fact encourage to keep on doing it, the law of percentage will soon work in his favor. With Shannon and Sasha, there is no law of percentage, you help or you sit down! Artest was stubborn, he went against PJ wishes and got what he wanted. Therefore, this is what SB needs to do - be a star out there and have confidence with yourself. If Westbrook can do it, you can do it.

We hear talk all the time about how important chemistry is but do we really know what chemistry is, how you get it, and why it matters? To me, team chemistry is the synergistic result of a successful blending and subjugation of personal egos, motives, and desires to the team’s roles, plans, and goals. It’s every player on the team sacrificing and trusting and rooting for one another, picking each other up when needed, keeping the bar high in practice and games, being more than the sum of their parts. It’s believing in your teammates and caring more about the team winning than even how you play.
What most of the pro basketball analysts who think Miami is going to dethrone the two-time champs don’t realize is just how hard it is to get chemistry. It’s not something that just happens overnight. It’s something that takes time to develop. It’s a learned skill, a synchronization of minds that you can’t just snap your fingers and instantly create. It’s synchronicity to the extent that you know exactly what each of your teammates is going to do in a certain situation. It’s something created over a grinding 82-game regular season plus playoffs, not during a 6-game all-star tournament in the Olympics.
The Boston Celtics are one exception to the rule that championship chemistry takes seasons to grow and develop. They were fortunate to enjoy a perfect storm of three veteran potential Hall of Fame players coming together under a great defensive coach at a point in their careers where they had been the man already and were now ready to sublimate their talents to the team to become champions. I seriously doubt that the much younger threesome in Miami will be capable of doing the same in the prime of their careers. It wouldn’t surprise me to see LeBron quickly tire of being Wade’s sidekick.
It will be interesting to see how the Lakers championship chemistry is affected by the influx of new players. My guess is that the new guys added will all end up playing more than the guys they replaced, partly because they’re better and partly because they’re going to get a lot of minutes due to blowouts. At any rate, playing time will always make a player happier, as will having teammates who will have your back. This team’s mantra may well be even more defensive oriented than last year’s team with the addition of Blake, Barnes, and Ratliff plus two impressive rookies. And defense is really where chemistry becomes critical because of the trust and synchronization factor in good team defense.
Bottom line, both the Lakers and the Celtics possess proven championship chemistry, something that Miami is not going to find as easy to develop as the so-called experts think. And that, just as much as bigger and better front court tandems, is the real reason why the Miami Heat will not be playing in the NBA Finals this year and perhaps not ever. Chemistry is the one thing that they don’t measure or track in fantasy basketball. If you ask Pat Riley, I bet even he would admit that is his real challenge. The only question is can he develop a championship chemistry before the team self-destructs.

All said, the decision isn't clear cut. Would the FO want to cut both? and get another player? And alienate 50% and favor 50% of the other fan base? The FO should do what they feel is best, if it's saving $ have a good reason for the player you picked, if it's about a particular player filling a particular need offense or defense. I still feel the Lakers are already good defensively even without the draft picks. My question is do the Lakers feel it important to sign a player based on one aspect over another? End of the day Kobe needs to rest some minutes for 82 games, and we need somebody who is skilled enough or who could mesh fast enough to run the triangle, it could be some kid in his 20s or a savvy vet. I'm still riding with my team I don't fall in love with player a or player b. It's still a business with a little bit of sports mixed in and Lakers need some relief so, do what's best for the organization and fans.

Edwin Gueco & LakerTom,
beautiful texts.

thanx for the Ron info wes, good lookin. hope you get to a point w/ the bagels that Bobby Flay will want a throw down!
will you have any cream cheese filled bagels w/ bacon bits sprinkled on top?
mmmmmmmmm...... cream cheese filled bagels w/ bacon bits sprinkled on top. aaaaarrrgggkkkkaghh


I agree Puddle's post was hilarious - "A homeless Karl Malone", but that's still a little too generous for me. These scouts aren't doing these young players any favors comparing them to a Famer. Don't get wrong I was impressed by Caracter offensive game. I do have concerns about his ability to defend at the NBA level. A better comparison would have been, a Big Baby Davis with a more polished low post game.

When's the schedule coming out? Have to watch Sasha go up against Farmar. Can't wait to see Sasha annoy and flop on Farmar.


Fair enough. I'd take the cloned Big Baby without the drool and a more polished low post game on my team anytime. We could use a Kung Fu Panda on our team and Boston can keep Shrek, LOL! Thanks for the great post! Must admit, that "homeless Karl Malone" is a classic quote, haha.

My take, If push came to shove, I would choose Shannon over Sasha. Everyone talks about Sasha's pesky defense but Sasha was a foul "machine" if you ask me. He made terrible decisions and fouled at inappropriate times too. I like Sasha, but for $5 million, he is overpaid and doesn't bring enough to the table IMO. All that said, I DID like his two HUGE freethrows. I will always love him for that.


Thanks, man.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


LakerTom beat me to the punch--sort of.

Extending his logic, we've had a relatively large influx of newbies. If the rooks get signed, that'd be about 40% of the roster being unaccustomed to teammates and--more importantly--the Triangle. Phil and Staff are going to have a headache of a year getting everyone on the same page.

Losing Sasha and/or Shannon and/or adding ANOTHER player (like West) would even add more instability. I think we've tinkered enough. The recipe for success decreases with each new addition (unless it was someone on the order of Rudy F.--which bloggers have already noted is impossible).

So, I say stick with who we know (and who knows the current system) and be done with it. Sasha and Shannon will be enough to secure the Three-peat.

How great was that Artest piece??!!!!!

random lurker,


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


More bad news:
The Knicks just upped their offer to Shannon AND he'd be a great fit there in D'Antoni's uptempo style.

As the poll is saying 52-21% Shannon Brown is a much better backup than Sasha Lose-his-swish. He actually outshot Sasha from the 3 point line as well as being way more athletic. And I'm so f--ing tired of seeing Sasha pound his chest every time he makes a basket or even knocks a ball out of bounds (by the way Shannon leads him in steals as well - by almost 2 to 1).

Everyone talks about what a great job he did sinking two free throws in game 7 of the finals. Have we all forgotten how he almost singlehandedly lost game 6 for us in the Conference finals? Folks, anyone can make a free throw (well, except maybe Shaq). But to do what Sasha did in Phoenix? How sad is that?

LRob -

I think the Caracter comparison to Big Baby Davis is apt. He's like Big Baby but with half the girth.

Does that mean his nickname is just... Normal Sized Baby? Hmm. Doesn't have the same ring.

That Poorman's Karl Malone {Caracter} analogy is money.

Wes -

Brilliant synopsis on the Artest interview...Best thing I read justa, Ron Ron is quickly turning into a favorite of mine...who

He says so many of the right things...Following Kobe where ever he goes...not because of sucking up to him, ala all the Cavs players did to Lebron...but because he respects and admires his dedication and how he leads by example...

Great stuff...great job...


This the problem of trying to go on prolonged negotiation, your item in the market suddenly create a demand like Shannon's case because there are no more star players available within range. As long as they don't offer Shannon the MLE contract, Lakers still can match it, once it goes beyong 4 M and more than 4years, he becomes unreachable due to our luxury taxes. It is really dicey because both Cavs and Knicks are below salary cap.

Mitch should also sign his draftees, Caracter may use the European offer as a start of negotiation as well. It is just too bad, whoever the Laker chooses, it creates interest from other teams as well as Euro team. It is the b2b flavor that they are looking into, so they are pirating all our players who are still sitting on the fence except for Luke. lol!

The posts move so fast. I want to point out, in fairness to Aldridge, that he did not rank the Lakers third in a preseason poll as suggested a few posts back - he ranked them third in offseason moves. Not bad for the defending champs to make the third best moves.

Jackie and Jamie Sweet did a very nice job of summarizing the good and bad of Sasha and Shannon. The sentimental Laker fan side of me would like to see both of them stay and blossom this year.

My hope for Sasha is probably completely ridiculous, but I like his peskiness on defense, liked his shot for the few months it worked, and think he has gotten a little bit more basketball smart over time. What if he got even smarter, played annoying D and shot well? That would be nice for 10-12 minutes.

Yeah, I know. He could just as easily keep missing poorly selected shots and get basketball stupider. But its summer, and anything is possible in pre-pre-season.

t_sensei - couldn't agree with you more. we have enough newbies, any more and it could spell trouble. bring Shannon back, keep Sasha - let's be the last team standing in mid June.

Lakers cannot be compared to teams who are below salary caps, Knicks got Amare, while Bulls had Boozer and Heat the two amigos and retained the 3rd one. Cavs are on a buying spree to appease their fans. Lakers already have already the best cards on hand so why trade cards for an unknown. All they want to do is surround their starters with good follow up unit which they did in signing Blake, Barnes and Raitliff with the help of two good, taller rookies. After signing their first 11 players, they're in the 92M mark which means 22M luxury taxes while Cavs are only in 49M and Knicks are 44M. See the disparity of competitions in the salary scale.

Lakers will not trade Shasha. All this rumor about Shasha being shopped is to send a message to Shasha that if he doesn't show-up he'll be gone.

Lakers will sign Shannon.

Say no to Delonte West.

I prefer Shannon. I think Sasha has pretty muched maxed out his potential, whereas I believe UPS still has room to grow given more PT but, in all honesty, I'd like to see both players remain with the team.

BTW, there are some bloggers here who I think need to embrace the concept of being 'concise'. Long drawn out dissertations really are unnecessary and for me, rather annoying.

At any rate...carry on.

Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!

Let's keep them both. Sasha and Shannon has a nice ring to it.


Sign Shannon (and MAKE him dunk). See how Sasha plays and how the season plays out. Having machine in back pocket is good thing whether trade deadline or last minute of game 7.

I don't think we need to tinker anymore.

Delonte's job? Repeat after me..."Who's your daddy Lebron?!"

...and bringing donuts to all team meetings

lol@ winton Classic post.

I wish the Lakers could sign Delonte so he could yeah.. you know what I'm talking about.. Calle Ocho Miami with - pick your trio's GF. Get inside their thick heads. That and being the gym bag handler/test dummy at team practice. But Delonte still has a decent stroke. I won't lose any sleep if we dont have Shannon, but I'd miss his spectacular dunks like my blankey.

It's too bad that the Lakers gave Sasha the contract that they did, he really is a solid player, just not 5 million-type solid. It is hard to justify paying Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, and Derek Fisher what they do, and then keeping Sasha. They also jumped the gun on Luke, so here is to hoping that we can trade Sasha for a quality shooter, or yet another defensive presence at a much lower cost.

I actually like Brotha Red. Not his playing, just the brotha.

I think he had a small part in 'The Book of Eli'

2nd crazy strapped red headed brotha on Kawasaki KX 250 -- Delonte West

"Trains, planes, automobiles you better have my donuts!"

Sasha will produce in a contract year just as he did before. If he helps us win 1 more title then it's worth keeping him. I heard 'HTC' say each of those free throw shots came at a 5 million dollar price tag since he did nothing else this year. Well, that's true but 1)he was hurt this year and 2)Would Shannon have hit those free throws down the stretch in game 7 of the finals? Maybe, maybe not. But Sasha was and always will be money when it comes to hitting free throws. As for Shannon, we need him for ESPN sportscenter. Besides the highlights, the season game momentum changing dunks, he's utterly useless. He is too small to play the two position, we don't need him playing the 1, he has no jump shot whatsoever and he thinks he's better than he is. And I like the guy, but if I'm giving my honest opinion, that's it. I mean Kobe was going to help him win the dunk contest and what did he do? Man Kobe is maybe the best player of all time, he doesn't have time for your nervousness. Far as I'm concerned you failed the test. A C- was passing and you got a D+. And on top of that Shannon has a desire to opt out of a 2 million dollar contract from a championship team. Boy, you lucky to wear the purple and gold, act like you know! You want the Knicks or the Cavs, have fun coming off the bench for a mediocre team. There you have it keep Sasha.

But, for the record I looove Shannon's dunk on Mikki Moore. That dunk alone almost makes me reconsider my whole argument. Almost.

Shannon Brown. No contest. I have been waiting for Sasha's arrival for many years. He did peek in once, about two years ago, but he left before I had the chance to see his potential. In 2 years, Shannon has shown more upside than I think Sasha will... unless he spends this summer to perfect his erratic 3 point shot.

@Jay Jay "Sasha Lose-his-swish"

From the 2008-2009 Season up until just before Sasha's high ankle sprain running into the playoffs (where he started to resemble his 2007-2008 form), I resorted to calling him "Snausage I'm-Your-Biatch".

On both offense and defense, the opposition and refs owned him. But I do believe he's started to turn the corner again and started looking somewhat like The Machine.

With that said, even the broke down Snausage has more value than Shannon if re-signing Shannon means paying more than $2.5 million.

What? Am I Nutts? Noooooo!!!! Say It Isn't So Triangulator...

Yes, Snausage Has More Value... HIS EXPIRING CONTRACT CAN GENERATE A TRADE OF GREATER VALUE THAN SHANNON'S POTENTIAL. $6.85 Million (Actually Costing $2.9 million above Sasha's current contract including luxury tax bump) can buy a simultaneous trade of 1 or even 2 quality players (or 1 quality player and a player to be waived; or 1 quality player and a player to be named later).


OK, Here's the Only Scenario I Would Trade For Delonte West.

Christmas Day. Delonte starts in place of Fisher. Delonte would guard Princess Jimmy, constantly chipping away about every room and position he's experimented in. Princess Jimmy loses it and Delonte is transported to the emergency room.

Princess Jimmy is banned from the NBA and the Lakers get the Injured Player Exception.




My favorite Sasha highlight from last year was the ball fake that sent the entire other team out of their jocks as he drove to the hoop and then jammed. Damn if I can recall the game, but it was just before he had the fight with BShaw and fell into the doghouse. That is when I thought he was about to get his season under way (in time for the playoffs) and then, of course, once he got out of the doghouse there was the severe ankle sprain, which really set him back.

My point is that Sasha is not entirely a bum and I think he has the ability to be that take it to the hoop guy with heart and guts. I'd like to see more of that before we unceremoniously ship him off for a player or picks that are even less proven.


>>> Sashaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you say Sashaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then, I say,


Besides, UPS had his chance. He dunked. The fans said,,
and what did he do? He choked. Just like he did in the Finals.

What did Sasha do in the Finals? He delivered.

UPS isn't ready for the big stage. Let him go to the Knicks or the Cavs or wherever. He's not a big stage player. Not now. Not ever.

I'm not sure that it makes much difference in the long run, we've got enough depth that either will probably suffice. Just don't sign Delonte West, that's all. I don't care if it's just some deal to drop him, I don't want anything about that guy connected to the Lakers. Bad juju.

Damn this sucks! Sasha has been around here for a while so I consider him family. I still remember the buzz cut.

Call me crazy but if I read Mitch correctly, he wants to dump both contracts if possible and get somebody else who is clutch in the post-season. I think alot of the Shannon posturing is him saving face and having that option open in case all else failed. They are probably going after TMAC for whatever they can free up, or possibly somebody else, and save some $ in the process. But that's me.

Yeah Shannon choke major in the dunk contest, and he did fine with the Lakers starting 4 dunking the alley oops. He looked like a shell of his former self. So the Lakers know this, I think they might go for somebody else, young or not.

The one who wrote on top about the article explaining the money scenarios with free agency, trade and release scenarios and 125% on Sasha's salary if deal was done will not know exactly everything that goes on behind the scenes.(Executive Politics,under the table stuff, you know,etc,etc) I'm still confused about Shannon's scenario because he turned down a 2.2 payout this season to roll the dice and get more through free agency. Lakers might be able to afford to keep him? Depending if Sasha stays? Bird rights? That can be around 5.5 mil per year? It sounds like that was a good thing, but that's 5+ mil per year. Wouldn't 3.5 a year be better to offer and Brown would be happier ? This can get confusing for the fun fan like myself. If we trade for Delonte, is he released, or is he playing? For how much? Can Lakers talk with Sasha and Shannon and re-do both contracts to keep them both without paying that luxury tax stuff? Hey Sasha, how about 2.5 mill and we call it even or you out?Any hoot, we need Caracter and Ebanks on the squad, not overseas, and I would go with Shannon, and hope Sasha would be able to go to the Bay with Golden State instead of a Miami team. The Bay would take him at this point and pay him 5 million and give up a D-Leaguer for the minimum. We have an idea which players are going to rotate in the Lakers 3 peat season.


Here's my take. Sasha will end up leaving at the end of the season and may not be a big contributor to help the Lakers threepeat.
Shannon has more potential but does not fit well in the rotation. He would no even be a apart of the discussion if he would not have opted out of his contract. He would still be a Laker period. Be careful what you wish for..


The only way NY will take Sasha is if we take Ronny T. He is the only player besides Amare, Felton, that they must retain next year. In other words this will open more cap space next year for the Knicks. I say we do it if they get R. Fernadez from Portland and include him on the trade.

Pros: We get another big man that's familiar with Triangle O and an athletic three point shooter that may be thrilled to play with Kobe, and fellow Spaniard, Pau. Rudy Fernadez will be a better version of Sasha and SB in one player.

Cons: The lakers do not save any cap money unless they trade away Ronny, which could be more tradeable than Sasha in midseason. R. Fernadez may still want to opt out and go play in Spain.

Option 2:

We trade Sasha and a 1st round pick to Memphis for Sam Young. Memphis looks to be under the cap pending their rookie signings. They will shed over 17M with Randolph's contract and Sasha will not hurt them this year or next against the cap.

Pros: We get a very athletic young player who is defensive minded and has a lot of upside at 900K. We save about 9M in salary and taxes.

Cons: Maria S. won't be at courtside. We may have to throw a 2nd round pick as well. Did I mention that Maria S. wont be at courtside.Young is not a good 3 pt. shooter.

In order to trade away Sasha we may have to include the rights to Caracter or Ebanks. Maybe that's why they haven't been signed.

My $.02

Dave M,

A lot of masses who are unemployed today for months....could not believe our priorities in enriching all these individuals just to play basketball. Whoever opened these floodgates never expected that someday a player will be paid 20M+ per year. It is unconscionable while teachers, cops, soldiers, state employees, white collar applicants with masters degree are on furlough or have no jobs at all. There is even a threat of deflation if this slow economy does not improve.

I know we cannot solve such economic dilemma but it is something to ponder on the existence of multi-millionaire few and the low income many.

Best case scenario would be to deal Sasha to a team with cap space so that the Lakers could save approximately $10m and then sign Delonte West to a veteran minimum contract.

Sephy Hambaz

I just read that the T-Wolves are going to buyout Delonte West's contract. What an intriguing sign that would be! A psychological advantage over LeBron if you will (if there is anymore needed these days), and a solid player to add as well! (This is also assuming that Shannon takes a big money contract in New York, or CLE) Kobe to Delonte West: "I don't care if you gotta fly, trains, planes or automobiles.. you better have my DO-nuts!"

Regarding my previous post about Memphis. I meant to say that if they do not resign Zach Randolph, they will shed over 17M next year when he becomes a free agent.
They may want to move Greivis Vasquez as well, he did not impress in Summer League and he already had ankle surgery. He could be another option along with Young for the Lakers.

I'm sorry, but is all this talk about Delonte West referring to the undersized, over-tattooed, bad-shooting, gun-toting, mentally unstable locker room cancer that played in Cleveland?

I just don't buy that Delonte West sucks. He was part of the Cavs 60+ win streak, played a bigger part in it than Sasha did with the Lakers sorry.. I'd take DW over SV any day, I don't think I'm wrong to admit this.

To clarify not streak- just 60+win no losses, but for 2 60+win season streaks

Delonte West is talented, but seriously unstable. Artest may be kooky, zany, and strange, but he knows himself. Delonte West does not. He was a distraction for the Cavs in so many ways last year, I would not trust him on this team. I'll take a contract-year Sasha, thanks very much.

Delonte is a better player. People said Artest would be a cancer to the team, that never happened. What I would say is some players have more fire than others, that by itself helps the team, I'd also say success breeds success, which is why I take the Delonte jokes, puns, criticism about him with a pinch of salt.

Before everyone gets their panties in a knot about Delonte West, here's the important quote in a new article by Dave McMenamin:

"The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this week that before the Cavaliers traded Delonte West to Minnesota, the Lakers inquired about a trade that would have sent Sasha Vujacic and a first-round pick to the Cavs for West....the Lakers probably would have waived West had the trade gone through. "

Which means, if the Lakers send Sasha to Minnesota, they would do the same and still wave West.

In short, Delonte West will NOT become a Laker. He is simply a pawn in a chess match, the game now between Minnesota and the Lakers, instead of the Cavs and the Lakers.

That's the creative accounting whereby Mitch seeks to retain Shannon Brown. The fly in the ointment of course is that both the Cavs and the Knicks want UPS. So, now it boils down to if Brown's agent, Mark Bartelstein, keeps the door open. Stay tuned.

As I said, Artest may be kooky, but he's not unstable. I think there's a serious difference between Artest's crazy and Delonte's crazy. Delonte missed games last season because of his trial in the gun case and because he was battling depression and bipolar disorder. Then there was the whole thing with LeBron's mom, which is just too bizarre to really fully grasp.

Ultimately, Delonte is the better player, but sometimes there's more to choosing between two guys than just getting the better player. Character, fit in the system, acceptance of role, etc. all matter as well. There's no doubt Delonte is the better player, and if the Lakers think they can handle his craziness then I'll trust their judgment, but he has enough question marks that I wouldn't take a chance on his talent.

In any case this whole deal will really boil down to Shannon's original plan as you cited, the Knicks offering more than the Lakers, in which case much like the Barnes situation with the Cavs where he didn't get the raise he wanted and opted to become a Laker, Shannon brown could go for the better paycheck. Knicks are pushing hard for him there aren't any other quick guards who would fit in the D'antoni system like SB. They have more and can afford to go over the salary. That's the trickle down effect from the Shannon FA neg's going on with the Knicks- and Cavs are hurt since losing out on Barnes.

I did watch the Jimmy Kimmel show after the Lakers won the Championship vs Boston, he was asked about Sasha's 2 Ft at the end of the game, he commented that besides Fisher, Sasha is the next guy he wants to pass the ball and shoot the 3..why? because like Fisher he is not afraid to take to shot.....between Shannon and Sasha who do you think PJ will use in the Finals?

Hey fellow Laker fans,
I would like the Laker FO to keep both Shannon & Sasha as they know one of the hardest offenses know as the Triangle. Ask Ron Ron.

A better alternative would be the Laker FO to "buyout" Luke's 3 year contract due to his "oft-injured" back issues. Luke can then start carrying a clipboard and become an assistant coach or something in this capacity. They can then bring back Shannon and not worry about the luxury tax penalty. Of course, this is predicated on Luke agreeing and retiring.

My .02

correction: Jimmy Kimmel asked Kobe about Sasha's 2 ft....

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