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Lakers Mailbag: Start sending your questions

Lakerslogo_200 In an effort to continually find ways to expand the blog, I thought it'd be a good touch to start doing a weekly mailbag.

Here's how it'll work. Send me a question or a topic suggestion in the comment threads or to my e-mail address listed at the bottom of the post. I'll then feature a mailbag post once a week where I answer some of your questions. We already do this in the comment threads and during the live chats, but this will be for questions that require a little more depth and research than just having a free-flowing chat.

Looking forward to reading what topics you'd like me to address.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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@hobbitmage: "Until the teammates show the same commitment as the leader, and start
racking up the same sort of accolades these excuse you make don't hold
water.

They're being paid more per year than some of us will ever earn in a lifetime
for a GAME! No excuses given to these complacent bozos. I care less about
losing and more about how we lost.
"

AGREED!

This has been some of the best back and forth analysing of our team the past day and a half. For this reason, I would love to see less threads per day, so that these types of discussions can flourish.

My mailbag question to you MM:

Would you be willing to nab an interview with Jim Buss? I would love these specific questions to be asked: Since almost all of the intelligent bloggers here, as well as the "so called" experts on T.V. seem to see that our PG play and lack of outside shooting are our two biggest problems as a team, why don't you feel that there is a need to upgrade these gaping holes? Is it more accurate to say that you don't want to show your hand regarding any trade scenarios?

@MM - I think Plaschke was the columnist that erroneously reported the Lakers only interviewed one candidate....and you kind of ran with it in your critique of the process....not good! Posted by: LRob2 | May 28, 2011 at 09:27 PM

---

In all fairness to Medina, it's not his job to vet LAT colleagues or their stories. That's what editors do.

In "Caught Up in the Web"[ http://bit.ly/jAnQGX ], Medina simply did blog readers a favor by providing a one-stop follow-up of stories on Brown's hiring -- thus saving us the bother of visiting numerous sites for the same .

P.S. It was Heisler who erroneously -- and, I think, irresponsibly -- "reported" or rather claimed: "Jim shut down the interview process after meeting one candidate, Mike Krzyzewski-er, Brown, who is certainly charming and determined." [ http://lat.ms/koKu2o ]

Ironically enough, it seems NBA players & coaches are more accountable for mistakes than certain journos of dubious value who delight in nothing more than holding others accountable.

corr. ["Caught in the Web"]

TJ Simers piece on Jim Buss is interesting. It sounds very possible the core will be back (he said 8 guys). He also said athleticism would be added at the end of the bench. It maye be the most practical option, if not the most ideal. This is a championship caliber core, after all. And the slower guys on the perimiter that you really want to move (Fisher, Artest) probably have verrrry limited trade value.


Kobe and Bynum should be much better in the second year after knee surgery, if history is any indication. Gasol has to play better than he did in this year's playoffs. It would be dangerous to write him off, as good a player as he has been here. Barnes was a good fit until he got hurt. Odom is sixth man of the year. There is a lot of upside for this core.


Plus the lockout may the affect timing of deals and player movement in general. It may freeze things, or it may loosen players up. Who knows. But let's look at next year in the extreme case assuming no trades at all.


C: Bynum
PF: Gasol/Odom
SF: Artest/maybe Barnes (Barnes' option) /Walton
SG: Bryant/maybe Brown (his option)
PG: Fisher/Blake


So that is 8-10 guys under contract. Smith and Ratliff are gone for sure. I don't think Caracter earned another year, and guys like him are available late in the draft every year. Ebanks, before getting hurt, showed a lot of promise. And, irrationally, I like Trey Johnson. If he was in camp and learned the system, he could be a quick guard who could shoot. They are two guys who could make the team younger and quicker, though probably deep in the rotation.


So assume they stick. That is 10-12 guys under contract. Now you are down to draft picks and whatever limited free agent space the Lakers have under whatever new cap rules apply. What this core needs is a backup center who can actually play some minutes and a guard. Actually, it probably needs a PG capable of starting. Which is practically impossible under this scenario. This is the weakness of the core coming back.


What has to happen under this scenario is that the Lakers go out and sign a solid starting guard who just wants to win and takes the kind of money the Lakers can pay. He can be a combo guard. As long as Kobe is around a pure PG is not needed. He is bound to be an upgrade over Fish at this point. If Brown goes away maybe you can get two. Hell, I'd start Trey at this point over Fish. And I love Fish.


So in this scenario you still have the "long" Lakers who won two titles. But you also have some quicker guys - Odom, Barnes, Ebanks, Bryant, Johnson, the new free agent guard, Blake. What the Lakers have to be able to do is surround the bigs with guys who can defend on the perimiter and shoot from the perimiter. They need enough of these kind of guys to go small when they need to.


Walton is the 14th man and only suits up when guys are injured. It's not the dream team, with some magic deal bringing in CP3. What it has to be is an improved version of the team everybody said would win 70 this year. Healthy Kobe and Drew. Motivated Pau. A free agent guard, athletic and hungry for a title, Blake and Barnes with a year under their belts. Ebanks healthy and a year older. It is a team that COULD win, not one that WILL FOR SURE win.


It could be what we get.

Looks like Kuester is on the way out as the Pistons coach. I believe the only reason he survived this long was because the team was up for sale. I don’t know what type of assistant coach he was (very good according to Mike Brown and the experts), but he was a terrible head coach.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6605553

A little insight into George Karl thinking for those interested in the Lakers pursuing Raymond Felton...

http://www.denverpost.com/hochman/ci_18163154?source=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dp-sports-nuggets+% 28Denver+Post%3A+Sports%3A+Nuggets%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

@MM - I think Plaschke was the columnist that erroneously reported the Lakers only interviewed one candidate....and you kind of ran with it in your critique of the process....not good!

Posted by: LRob2 | May 28, 2011 at 09:27 PM
---------------------

In all fairness to Medina, it's not his job to vet LAT colleagues or their stories. That's what editors do.

In "Caught Up in the Web"[ http://bit.ly/jAnQGX ], Medina simply did blog readers a favor by providing a one-stop follow-up of stories on Brown's hiring -- thus saving us the bother of visiting numerous sites for the same .

P.S. It was Heisler who erroneously -- and, I think, irresponsibly -- "reported" or rather claimed: "Jim shut down the interview process after meeting one candidate, Mike Krzyzewski-er, Brown, who is certainly charming and determined." [ http://lat.ms/koKu2o ]

Ironically enough, it seems NBA players & coaches are more accountable for mistakes than certain journos of dubious value who delight in nothing more than holding others accountable.

Posted by: latopia | May 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM
-----------------
latopia,

Thanks for correcting me on the fact it was Heisler and not Plaschke. My apologies to Plaschke. But my point is later MM's criticized the process by saying the Lakers only interviewed one guy. I told him that I had just listened to Mitch Kupchak say on an interview on Dan Patrick's show that they interviewed 3 candidates. I posted the Kupchak interview on this sight. I never heard back from MM on the matter and that's why I said in my post you responded to that MM just took the LAT's version and ran with it.

FYI....Below is what I posted when I first read MM repeat that it was only one interview
--------------------

The fact that the Lakers held exactly ONE interview with a coach is troubling. This is one of the most prestigious coaching positions in all of sports and they pull the trigger after interviewing ONE guy? Doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: Mark Medina | May 26, 2011 at 08:56 PM
---------------------
MM,

Kupchak said they interviewed three candidates. It's said that on the interview with Dan Patrick today that I posted at 4:46pm.
Posted by: LRob2 | May 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM

hobbit, this started out as a response to your earlier post, lol...

"All Signs Point to Phil Jackson When Assessing What Went Wrong for the Lakers"
http://bit.ly/koejZ0

Hate to write it but had to. I still consider Phil to be one of the top coaches, ever. He is an outstanding manager of egos and motivator of talent, however he failed this group by not giving them the proper coaching that was so clearly evident that they needed.

Isn't it ironic how Phil could so well manage egos - when his was so big itself? Remember the hat with the XI on it? That was all about Phil, and was a perfect snapshot of the man.

Oh well, if Mike Brown has to work hard to establish himself in L.A., to win Kobe's confidence - then all the better. Kobe respects one thing: working at your craft. If Brown is the worker that all say he is, then he'll have no problem in L.A. or with Kobe...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Posted by: LRob2 | May 29, 2011 at 01:38 PM

---

Thanks for the clarification. Didn't mean to "correct" you. It was just an FYI. I also and obviously forgot or didn't know Medina ran with Heisler's assertion. Good catch.

Otherwise, what Heisler did 'normally warrants a retraction or at least an apology.

Instead, we're more likely to hear/read more criticism of the Busses for being mysterious &, as a result, "encouraging" journo imaginations to run wild.

LRob: Cool article about George Karl, it was pretty plain to see his affinity for Felton after their great play post-trade and in the playoffs. Ty Lawson is his baby (and a TarHeel no less...) but Felton got a great deal of minutes. When they had both Lawson and Felton on the court together, they looked real good.

However, it seemed that they would explore trading him, which is a good thing. I don't think he's worth giving up L.O. for, but our desperate need for a point guard might necessitate giving Odom up for him. If they could do a JR Smith (sign-and-trade) coupled with Felton for L.O. and maybe Luke - that would be a coup for Mitch

How about Artest for Felton? That would give them some muscle and replace Smith. I believe it would work salary-wise.

OK, it does work:
http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3psjdbb


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

@CCX
Yes!!!! Please Denver! you know you want Artest! He's your missing piece! Please!!!!!

I like this one:
Pau($17.8 mil) and Artest($6.3 mil) to New Orleans for CP3($14.9 mil) and Bellineli(sign and trade $7 mil).

This would help us dramaticallly in our two weakest spots and gives us a linup that looks like this:

PG CP3
SG Kobe
SF Bellineli
PF Lamar
C Bynum

That looks like a championship squad to me.

This one also works:

http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine

Pau for D. Williams and Anthony Morrow ( a 44% carrer 3pt bomber)

Another one I would consider:

Lamar for Stephen Curry and Charlie Bell(sign and trade)

Cyber,

I don’t think the Nuggets would be interested in a SF (Artest). They really like Gallo and Chandler.

Also, Ty Lawson was good in the playoffs, but Felton was suspect (2nd year in a row his playoff performance has been underwhelming). To make matters worse this year Felton ran his mouth saying that he wanted to play OKC and then didn’t back it up.

http://www.yardbarker.com/nba/articles/raymond_felton_hoping_nuggets_face_thunder_in_the_playoffs/4545338

I like Felton’s game and he would be an upgrade over DFish, but I’d still prefer a more athletic, do all PG like Delonte West. Here’s a comparison of Felton/Fish playoff #’s:

Fish 43fg%/41 3pt%/ 8.2pts/2.7reb/3.6asst/1.4stls/.8 TO's in 32 mpg
Felton 36fg%/25 3pt%/11.6pts/1.8reb/4.2asst/1.2stls/2 TO’s in 30 mpg

Another one:
http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine

Lamar and Blake for D Will.

Mclyne: Pau & Artest for CP3 & Bellineli? I would do it in a heartbeat! CP3 is still a premiere point guard, but on the Lakers he really would have a full arsenal of weapons around him and a dominating down-low offensive presence that Okafor just isn't. Bellineli would address one of our much needed areas, shooting.

Like you point out, L.O. can step in and fill the void left by Pau, and CP3 is 5 years younger than him. Bellineli would be filling a much-needed void as a shooter - so he would flourish I would suspect. They could start Barnes if need be, too. Especially like that move if the Lakers bring in Ettore Messina, the Italian-born assistant they have been rumored to be bringing to the states.

But that second trade might be even better. Morrow is a name I threw out there a few months ago, he is a great, dead-eye shooter. D-Will though doesn't have some of the knee problems of CP3, and he's bigger and stronger.

I don't know if the Nets would make that move, maybe the Lakers could sweeten it with a couple of draft picks or something - but man, how sweet would it be having a *true* elite point guard? Not since Magic have we had that here in L.A....


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

@latopia – no worries. I agree that Heisler should issue some type of retraction, but I’m not holding my breath…lol.

@Mclyne – I like the DWill/Morrow package much better than CP3/Bellineli. Belli is still very young, but so far consider me unimpressed.
You can forget about Curry. GS plans to build their team around him. I know Charlie Bell would be a throw in, but he’s done. I’d be very surprised if he plays anymore significant NBA minutes.

@Cyber – I agree that Mike Brown’s work ethic and dedication will win Kobe over. Good observation. Frankly that’s one of the things that surprised me about Jerry Sloan, when it came out that he wasn’t big on watching film. DWill wanted them to watch more film and that’s one of the things they butted heads on. Now being how Kobe loves to watch game tape I think he would’ve been underwhelmed by Coach Sloan in that regard.

LRob: I was surprised that Sloans name didn't come up more, maybe they made a phone call and he turned quietly turned them down.

I hadn't heard that about Sloan not being a big fan of watching film. I would think that most coaches would want to sit with their guys, remote control in hand, and watch plays - pausing and lecturing when needed. I would think that would be a big tool for a coach.

Maybe he was just an old-school guy? Better that they didn't bring him in, players nowadays grew up with technology, a younger coach that would embrace modern coaching tools, like video (lol) would probably go over better.

I think Felton would give us a point guard who could actually guard his position, something that has been haunting us for almost a decade (no Ty Lue on the bench nowadays, lol). Him running his mouth is personally not that big a deal to me as long as it wasn't directed at a certain player (like idiot Kendrick Perkins and his 4-ppg in the playoffs) he was probably excited to be in the playoffs with a team that was playing well. Look at Barnes or Artest, that's no big deal.

But you're right though, the main drawback to Felton is his shooting. Lawson's strength is his shooting, but Felton is no better than a Jordan Farmar-like shooter. There is no way to mask that.

It's the other parts of his game that would make him valuable, his D, his quickness & speed, his ball handling and his ability to break anyone down off the dribble.

Of course, I'd be more enthused about getting D-Will or CP3, but Felton is a good option that would be a lot more affordable as far as we would have to give up to get him.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Hey guys. I'll catch up with you after Memorial Day. But there were several reports besides Heisler that indicated it was only one interview including Brez and Bt and Woj from Yahoo. That's interesting that Jim said on record they interviewed three candidates. But all those assertions were according to multiple sources. We'll see who's lying soon enough

@CCX,

"D-Will though doesn't have some of the knee problems of CP3, and he's bigger and stronger."

I recall from the previous season that CP3's knee injury was bone-on-bone. How long that surgically repaired knee will hold could be a pretty risky investment.

Would seem to be very risky for an owner to say that 3 were interviewed when they were not, especially when he's already under fire by the media in this town. I'm assuming at this point that these writers were borrowing the story from each other. I suppose someone will pick up the phone next week and ask Adelman's agent if Adelman was interviewed by the lakers.

Snake92646: "I recall from the previous season that CP3's knee injury was bone-on-bone. How long that surgically repaired knee will hold could be a pretty risky investment."
-
NBA TV was having a live look-in at the end of that game last year he got injured in, it was right at the end. He tried to save a ball from going out of bounds and flew into the photographers and you could see he was in a massive amount of pain right away, he was clearly injured.

But Jeff Bower, that idiot - because that is what he is - put Paul back into the game in overtime. That was unbelievable, he in clear pain and hindered by it. But the fat walrus coach just had to win at all costs I guess. Anyways, yeah, bad injury.

I guess we can all look at Brandon Roy to see what bone-on-bone does to a knee. Actually we don't even have to look that far because I remember Kobe saying his knee was basically bone-on-bone too. But Kobe will be 33 at the beginning of next season (assuming there will be one... lol) and Paul will be 26 - I'd hate to sign him to a long extension only to see his career be cut short due to a bad knee.

So I agree with LakerTom, D-Will > CP3 if it comes down to it...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

@CCX,

"I guess we can all look at Brandon Roy to see what bone-on-bone does to a knee. "

It's actually worse in the case of Brandon because for him it is bone-on-bone on BOTH knees.

Snake92646: "It's actually worse in the case of Brandon because for him it is bone-on-bone on BOTH knees."
-
Yeah, true.

Would he be worth taking a look at if the rumors are true and the Blazers ask him to retire? I'm sure he'd be interested to come to a city like L.A. where he wouldn't be asked to shoulder a major burden, but could be more of a spot-up shooter off the bench. Maybe we could grab him for the MLE? To me, his upside would be worth the risk, especially on a one- or two-year deal.

Unlike McGrady, he's younger and hasn't had microfracture surgery like T-Mac had. I'd do it if I were Mitch and if he does 'retire'. He does love Portland though so probably he wants to stay put. I guess it's a lot like Shaq, who is going to force Shaq to retire when he needs money -errrrr- has the fire in his belly to return.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!


You have to give Jim Buss credit for doing a great job responding to the torrent of criticism from an unimpressed media and angry fandom for hiring Mike Brown as the team’s new head coach. The interview should do a lot to quell some of the crazy innuendos and silly assumptions fans have been posted about Jim and give Lakers fans confidence that the team is still in good hands. From what Jim said, his father Jerry Buss is still heavily involved in all of the big decisions. I like that Jim is not a publicity hound looking to attract attention but I think he knows now he can’t be a recluse.

I also liked how Jim stood up for Mike Brown and expressed regret in retrospect for not having discussed the hiring with Kobe in advance. While I’m usually pretty cynical about management being honest about the motives behind their actions, I can see how Kobe’s comments about hiring a new coach being the general manager’s job could lead to the front office thinking they didn’t need to reach out to Kobe. By the same token, I can see how Kobe’s “no comment” reaction could lead Jim to regret the initial decision. Jim also scored additional credibility when he pointed out that Mike Brown was a coach known for great defense, which was exactly what Kobe had requested in the new coach.

As Tom Daniels pointed out, the one puzzling statement from Jim was that he thought the top 7-8 players would return from last year, which – if we believe Jim – would mean that we would NOT be trading Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom for Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Raymond Felton. Instead, we would most likely continue to rely on Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to run the point in a new system where point guard will be much more important than in the Tex Winter’s Triangle Offense. Hopefully, Jim is making that statement to keep other teams from feeling the Lakers are desperate to trade because I think the competition will be even greater next year and the Lakers a year older.

Can just changing the coach and adding some athleticism at the end of the bench be enough for the Lakers to win a championship next year? Without a doubt, Phil ended up being a lame duck coach to whom the Lakers players no longer listened by the time the playoffs started. Not calling a time out to stop the Lakers from blowing that 16-point lead was close to death knell for this team. So maybe a younger new face like Mike Brown can get this team to play the same kind of defense they did during the infamous 17-1 run. If I recall, our starting point guard and small forward during that run were the maligned Derek Fisher and Ron Artest. Throw in a healthy Kobe and Drew who won’t be rehabbing knee injuries and a re-motivated Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and yes, this team could win it all.
…………………………………………
TOM


[T]here were several reports besides Heisler that indicated it was only one interview including Brez and Bt and Woj from Yahoo. That's interesting that Jim said on record they interviewed three candidates. But all those assertions were according to multiple sources. We'll see who's lying soon enough. Posted by: Mark Medina | May 29, 2011 at 06:31 PM

---

I don't know about Yahoo, but I've read enough of Wojnarowski to distrust his credibility on any number of subjects, including LeBron James.

Meanwhile, what Bresnahan/Turner reported on May 25 [ http://lat.ms/l8oj9W ]:

---

(begin excerpt)

The Lakers' coaching search began May 17 when Jerry Buss, Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak finally had their season-ending meeting. Last Saturday (May 20), Brown met with Jim Buss in Minneapolis while Buss was at an NBA predraft camp, **according to league executives**. Buss returned home Tuesday night (May 24) around 7:30, and about two hours later the framework of a deal was in place, the executives said. Other likely candidates for the Lakers coaching job were Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy, Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw and Jeff Van Gundy. But Adelman, Dunleavy and Van Gundy never got an interview with the Lakers, **according to various NBA officials**. Adelman had some support from **Jerry Buss**, but Jim's decision carried the day.

**The Lakers liked Shaw** and believed he would be an NBA head coach one day but didn't think he was the right fit for them. Adelman, who turns 65 in a few weeks, recently moved all of his belongings from Houston, where he coached the last four seasons, to his home in Oregon. He wasn't certain he wanted to return to the grind of an NBA season, much less move again, according to **a person familiar with Adelman's thinking**.

(end excerpt)

---

Summarizing:

1. Bresnahan/Turner cite unnamed "league executies" who say Jim Buss met Mike Brown at a pre-draft in Minneapolis on 5/20.

2. Bresnahan/Turner then cite "various NBA officials" who claim Adelman, Dunleavy & Van Gundy "never got an interview with the Lakers" though the only material party to Jim Buss' version of events is Adelman (sounds like Dunleavy sour grape juice leaking all over LAT keyboards).

3. Yet, Bresnahan/Turner go on to say "Adelman had some support from Jerry Buss" while "a person familiar with Adelman's thinking" asserts Adelman "wasn't certain he wanted to return to the grind of an NBA season."

Questions:

1. Were unnamed "league executives" and "various NBA officials" privy to *every* conversation or discussion that occurred between the Busses, Kupchak, Adelman & Shaw from May 17 to May 25?

2. Are Bresnahan/Turner saying Jerry Buss expressed his support for Adelman *without* a single interview, conversation, discussion of any kind with Adelman regarding the Laker vacancy? If associates of Adelman claim Adelman "wasn't certain he wanted to return to the grind of an NBA season" how do unnamed "league executives" and "various NBA officials" know Adelman didn't convey the same to the Busses and/or Kupchak, thus and obviously obviating a "formal" interview?

3. Are those same league execs & NBA officials claiming Shaw *never* had a single discussion with the Busses and/or Kupchak regarding the vacancy? A discussion that could've occurred on any number of occasions, including Shaw's season-ending exit interview?


Otherwise, there are *three* falsehoods (or "lies") either stated or implied in Heisler's account which Jim Buss refuted in his interview with Simers: 1) Jim Buss was the sole interviewer; 2) Jim Buss only interviewed one candidate; 3) It was the sole discretion of Jim Buss to "shut down the interview process."


n.b. It's also worth nothing Bresnahan/Turner excluded Shaw in the graf naming Adelman, Dunleavy & Van Gundy as putative candidates who "never got an interview," thus implying Shaw *did* interview for same.

n.b. It's also worth nothing Bresnahan/Turner excluded Shaw in the graf naming Adelman, Dunleavy & Van Gundy as putative candidates who "never got an interview," thus implying Shaw *did* interview for same (contra Heisler).

@CCX,

Brandon Roy at MLE is an interesting proposition. But how does that work? He has a guaranteed contract until 2014; if he retires, injury insurance kicks in to cover the remainder of his contract (if he is declared medically unfit). Can he 'un-retire' while still receiving insurance payments?

@latopia - On the interview with Dan Patrick, Kupchak said they informally talked to five or six coaches, and formally they interviewed three people. Patrick tried to get him to name the 5-6 coaches, but Mitch said he wasn't going to get into that.

Like you mentioned it would be very easy to ask Adelman and Shaw if they were interviewed. I just can't see the Lakers not granting BShaw an interview. I can't see Kupchak lying about the number of candidates that were interviewed. Of course, the loophole here is what constitutes a "formal" interview.

@LT - I didn't buy Jim Buss statement that the Lakers wouldn't change any of their top 7-8 players. Like you said...i don't think he want to weaken his trade leverage.


In a way, tho', I wonder what Blake would do in a system not named triangle? I mean, he didn't suck like this in Portland so could it just be the triangle that was hindering him/messing him up? I'd like to see him get another shot under Brown.

I'd support a Pau for either Chris Paul or Deron Williams trade as someone mentioned a few posts back. Not because of Pau's dismal playoff play (well, a little bit) but mainly due to his heart. Guy has zero heart. And I'd prefer not to have someone we'd constantly have to light a fire under to get him motivated and/or play defense. I mean the guy basically left the interior D entirely up to Andrew and focused on what he cares about himself (which is scoring), to which this is entirely the coach's fault for splitting them that way. No one should be telling Drew not to shoot (especially when he's at a 50% clip at times, Kobe).

Lessee, what else? (I haven't been able to post since the new system was brought in so I have a lot of backlog posting to sort through...lol...jus' glad to be back)

As currently configured, if we can just add a shooter to spread the floor (like a knock 'em dead shooter, Peja or Ray Allen style) and maybe a hustle-type center for back-up, I'd be okay with the roster as is. I still say we beat ourselves more than anyone beat us. Hopefully, the Mavs giving us the smackdown this last year will knock all of these distractions out of our guys heads and play some ball like that 17-1 run.

The tough thing about all these theoretical trades, if you are Mitch Kupchak, is that the other team actually has to agree. I like a lot of these deals. But we now learn from Buss that Carmelo - Bynum was never actually on the table. They wanted Drew for two lesser talents - to convince Carmelo to stay.


I think Pau is a great player and a terrific second option. He isn't a franchise player, though. I don't see a team trading a franchise player for him (CP3) unless they are truly desperate. It just doesn't make sense. You might want to TEAM PAU UP with Paul, but not swap him even up,


Artest is slowing down and doesn't fit into a system well. When he was a good offensive player, it was when he was younger, both quick and strong and was allowed to go one on one with guys and just beat them. He can't do that anymore. He doesn't play well in a system. Artest, in a trade, would bring lesser value at this point.


Fisher or Walton have almost no trade value.


That covers most of the guys most fans might like to see moved. Sometimes lightning strikes (Lakers trading Shaq, Garnett to Boston, Pau to LA). But that is something that sort of just happens. As a GM you cannot create those situations. Offer Pau for CP3 and you just open a negotiation wher the other guy assumes you don't want Pau anymore, and he tries to get him for less.


Trades are easier to do here than in actual life. Much as I want to see one happen, to use one of our PFs to get a PG, I give it a less than 50% chance. And even if it is possible, it also requires that we can also get a couple of quality bigs who can play quality minutes as well, which cuts that probability in half again. The Lakers have a 3 man, quality rotation of bigs. Solving a PG problem with one of the bigs creates another problem.

Of the PGs in the finals you got a 38 year old and Bibby - no one believes these are elite PGs. So what's the Laker PG problem? Good defensive schemes shut down elite PGs -- see Rose, Westbrook. Small guys have never been what this league is about. Lakers need more "servicible" size. If the Lakers want to face and beat the Heat next year they need a defensive 3.

Tough decision for Buss. On the one hand you know the season will be 50 games, so having continuity is critical - you'd rather have the same coach because you don't want a steep learning curve. That's why B shaw was considered. On the other hand - Kobe's Prime Ring Earning Years and by default the Organization's are dwindling. So you got to bring in the guy that best maximizes your chances.

The solution: Keep the core in tact and throw in the best coaching candidate.

"Hopefully, Jim is making that statement to keep other teams from feeling the Lakers are desperate to trade because I think the competition will be even greater next year and the Lakers a year older."
-LakerTom

This is exactly why we need a significant upgrade at the PG position. One reason our defense fell apart last year is that our bigs got tired of doing all of the defensive work. You can't expect your bigs to guard their men AND stop the penetrating guards at the same time. We need a guard who can stay IN FRONT of his man and not just be the lackey who "funnels" his man into the paint. We need D. Williams or CP3 to plug up this huge gaping hole in our defense as well has get the ball and the players on the court moving on offense.

The rest of the League is no longer afraid of this Laker Squad. Our weaknesses have been exposed and if we continue with the same lineup, I give our chances of making it to the top of the mountain a less than 10% chance.

"Trades are easier to do here than in actual life. Much as I want to see one happen, to use one of our PFs to get a PG, I give it a less than 50% chance."
-Tom Daniels

I agree that they are much easier to pull off here than in real life. BUT, if a player like CP3 or Deron Williams demands to be traded, and one of their options is here, than we have the upper hand in the situation.

Also, once a franchise player demands to be traded, or even hints that he is unhappy with his present situation, it never works out that the team he leaves behind gets handed a different franchise player in return. I can't recall a single example of when this happened in the past.

I also beleive that Pau or Lamar and or a combo of Lamar/Artest or a combo of Pau/Artest is a very good return if you are looking at what other teams can offer in comparison. Pau has proven to be a huge asset(when focused) in either being the go to guy or a second option on a championship team. Artest obviously isn't the same guy he was three years ago, but he does provide toughness and can still shutdown many small forwards in this League.

As for the issue of Kobe not being consulted regarding the coaching search: the front office has no obligation to ask one of its employees whether or not he approves of the new coach. Plain and simple: Kobe is the one who needs to "fall in line" with any decisions that the front office or the new coach makes. He is paid HEAVILY to perform as a PLAYER, not as an owner, GM, assistant coach, consultant, or scout.

I do agree that the FO did consider how the new coach would fit with their franchise player, but to give said player veto power is just plain ridiculous.

"Of the PGs in the finals you got a 38 year old and Bibby - no one believes these are elite PGs. So what's the Laker PG problem? Good defensive schemes shut down elite PGs -- see Rose, Westbrook."
-HmrHed

The reason why the Heat can get away with having a old and slow PG on the defensive end is because they have one of the best defensive 2 guards and 3 forwards to ever play the game covering for the PG's weaknesses. Lebron and Wade are so quick and strong that they have the ablity to switch over to the opponets PG and stop him from causing damage in the lane.

Also, our defense was considered pretty good last year(at times) and we had no chance of stopping Chris Pual in the playoffs. If he had David West to pass the ball to, I think we would have lost to the Hornets in the first round.

Even worse, our defense had no answers for JJ Barea. JJ fricken Barea!!!- Dallas' SECOND option at the PG position.

If OKC had D fish as their starting PG, do you think that they would have even made it past Memphis. I don't think so. Russel Westbrook is not the reason the Thunder didn't beat the Mavs. They ran into a team that is just better at every position. The Mavs have made it to the Finals because they are the deepest team with dead eye shooters at every corner and a guy named Nowitski who is on fire and almost unguardable.

More typos.

"1. Bresnahan/Turner cite unnamed "league executies" who say Jim Buss met Mike Brown at a pre-draft [camp] in Minneapolis on 5/20."

"n.b. It's also worth [noting] Bresnahan/Turner excluded Shaw in the graf naming Adelman, Dunleavy & Van Gundy as putative candidates who "never got an interview," thus implying Shaw *did* interview for same (contra Heisler)."

===

Posted by: LRob2 | May 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM

---

Wow. Great catch. That's what I call ON the ball.

So Kupchak is *on the record* corroborating Jim Buss' version of events (3 decision-makers, 3 candidates interviewed). So 2 of the 3 Laker principals involved per Jim B's version -- i.e., the *only* 3 principals privy to *all* communication, long or brief, between team and candidates -- are on record *AND* on the same page. The only Laker principal we've yet to hear from on SMEARGATE is Dr. Buss himself.

Meanwhile, news accounts covering the Patrick/Kupchak interview you've described include, so far:

Elliot Teaford, Daily Breeze [ http://bit.ly/lDO17O ];

Kevin Ding, OC Register [ http://bit.ly/iYHWYo ];

Sean Deveney, Sporting News [ http://bit.ly/kyOJ4M ]

*AND* an actual transcript from Michael Bean of SportsRadioInterviews.com [ http://bit.ly/m04f4Z ] where Kupchak says the Lakers actually & "informally contacted/" interviewed ***"5 or 6"*** candidates which include the ***3*** who subsequently received "formal" interviews.

So, if we're keeping track, it's Kupchak + Jim Buss ON THE RECORD (Defendants) v. the printed accusations of Heisler, Wojnarowski, unnamed "league executives", "various NBA officials" etc (Plaintiffs) on the life/death matter of what Kupchak + Jim Buss + Jerry Buss allegedly did or didn't do & who they allegedly interviewed or didn't interview for The Succession.

Tough choice.

Not.

 
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