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Lakers assistant coaching candidate profile: John Kuester

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Below is the third post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll look at John Kuester, who, The Times' Broderick Turner recently reported, probably would be hired by new Lakers Coach Mike Brown for his staff should the Detroit Pistons let Kuester go from his head coaching position.

Background:  Kuester's job security remains in question, Turner reported, in part because of a player revolt last season that entailed five of them skipping practice. The Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis also wrote that Kuester isn't expected to return for the final season of a three-year deal. Kuester has coached the Pistons for two seasons with a combined 57-107 record, no playoff appearances, and plenty of turmoil, including several players' reportedly laughing when he earned an ejection and drawing comparisons to Sean Penn because he's the Dead Man Walking. Kuester has had several assistant coaching stints, including the University of Richmond (1980-81), Boston University (1981-83), the Boston Celtics (1995-97), Philadelphia 76ers (1997-2003), Detroit  (2003-04), the New Jersey Nets (2004-05), the 76ersagain (2005-06), the Orlando Magic (2006-07) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2007-09).

Kuester's head coaching experience includes succeeding Rick Pitino  at Boston U, as the youngest coach in NCAA Division I history, with a two-year stint from 1983-85, and then moving to George Washington from 1985-1990. In the 1988-89 season Kuester's Colonials went 1-27. He finished with a 81-122 record coaching college basketball.

Connection to Brown: Kuester was an assistant under Brown with the Cavaliers from 2007-2009 where he was assigned to be the team's "offensive coordinator."

Style: Kuester has coached some of the league's elite players, including LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Dikembe Mutombo, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace  and Ben Wallace. But ESPN's Stephen A. Smith says that several Detroit players didn't respect Kuester because he was afraid of standing up to players, a quality that wouldn't bode well with the Lakers. Nonetheless, Cavs the Blog's John Krolik credited Kuester for overseeing the Cavaliers' offense, helping them improve in using their frontcourt players on the weak side to free up their backcourt. 

Photo: If Pistons Coach John Kuester, shown during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, is not retained by Detroit, he's likely to be a target of Lakers Coach Mike Brown to be a top assistant. Credit: Jason Miller / US Presswire / March 25, 2010.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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Tim-4-show,

re: what the Lakers FO knew. We *KNOW/KNEW* that the Lakers front office
wasn't clued into what was going on because of what happened w/ Bynum's
surgery and Kobe's surgery.

This is further verified by Jerry Buss saying that this was arguably one of the
best teams he's had talent wise.

We also know that the Lakers FO wasn't talking to the coaching stuff because
Sasha got traded for Joe Smith & Phil's comments to Sasha. He did *NOT*
want Sasha to be traded.


re: Would you not expect the front office to trade or attempt to trade those players that helped cultivate the cancer of attitude the coaches were talking about? For them not to would be idiotic. Who knows, there could be some surprises on that list.

I just hope management is awake and not asleep like last off season

my response: I don't know that the FO *CAN* trade the problem players.
Consider the following -

1. Ron Artest. No one wants to take Artest because his offense has sucked
the last two years. What could we possibly get in return?

2. D-Fish. Unless you're hiring him as a mentor, why would you take D-Fish?
He's too slow to guard any of the contending pg's.

3. Bynum. He's the youngest of the starters. In theory, Jim Buss has decided
to build the Lakers around him.

4. Pau Gasol. Best trading chip not named Kobe "You can't trade me" Bryant.
If you trade Gasol, you've just severely weakened your front court. No other
credible offensive threat besides Kobe. The defense sits on Kobe and we're back
to 2006 w/ a busted Kobe.

5. LO. He's the second best big man we have. He's the second most versatile
player we have. He just had his best year ever. If you trade him you severely
weaken our front court & our bench. Furthermore, you dump extra weight
onto the new guy that you *must* get, because you've got D. Character, Joe
Smith & Theo Ratliff on the bench.

6. Blake, Barnes & Brown. Brown is the youngest with the best upside. What
are you *REALLY* going to get for Blake & Barnes? I'm not saying that they
suck. I'm saying that if we're going to make a change then it should CLEARLY
be for the better and I don't think we get that trading any of these 3.

fwiw, *I* think the front office trades Gasol. The actions of the Lakers
organization *CLEARLY* shows that Bynum is the future. If the FO reaches
the same realization that Jerry West reached why would they keep two slow
bigs?

The best thing for everybody concerned is if Pau plays great for Spain.
If every single Lakers is fanatical in working on their game and clearly
communicates with management.

And now the 10 million dollar question...

What would the Lakers have to give up to get any of these players?

It varies a lot, since each team has different positional needs and different financial needs and different team-building statuses.

First of all, Barea is the ONLY unrestricted free agent on the list. Houston has a $2 million team option for Dragic, and every other player on the list is signed through next season, so the Lakers would have to trade to get one of them.

There are teams like Atlanta. They're a playoff team with ambitions of moving up in the pecking order. Their biggest weakness is size in the front court, so Bynum or Gasol are awfully tempting to them. Either could play alongside Al Horford or Josh Smith and greatly improve their front court.

There are other teams like Minnesota - after they draft Kyrie Irving and bring in Ricky Rubio, they'll have a glut of PGs on the roster. I'm sure you could get Ridnour (or Jonny Flynn if you didn't mind that he sucks) for almost anything.

A top-tier team like San Antonio might be willing to give up one of their two good PGs, but they're going to expect a big talent back in exchange. And with Timmy fading, it'd probably take Pau or Drew to lure away Parker or Hill.

I'm not even sure New Orleans would deal Chris Paul at this point. He can't leave as a free agent until next summer at the earliest. So why dump him off now, when they could at least TRY to improve the team and try to pursuade him to stay. And if they do decide to dump him, then it's a rebuild move, so they'd more likely want a package of several young players and picks than one veteran pricey player like Pau or Drew. Think of the Carmelo trade - that's the sort of deal they'd want for CP3.

Teams that draft high and are rebuilding (Cleveland, Minnesota, Utah, Sacramento) might be willing to part with their best PG if they're planning to draft a Kyrie Irving or a Kemba Walker.

New Jersey has Russian Mark Cuban running the team, so I'm sure he'd be willing to give up Farmar, but he'd probably want some real talent back in return. Would Artest be enough? or Barnes?

Cleveland would probably gladly dump off Baron Davis and his huge contract to facilitate rebuilding. But they're either going to want big expiring contracts and picks (neither of which the Lakers have) or another big talent, and Pau/Drew/Lamar for Davis is a step backward.

I doubt Mark Cuban would let Terry or Barea get away. He'll overpay them rather than let them go to the Lakers.

--------

I should also point out that if the Lakers were seriously considering trading Drew or Pau (which I doubt very much), they'd have to back fill a front court player, and they'd have to be able to get a very good one to not take a step backwards with the trade.

In an ideal sun-shiney world, the Lakers would trade Bynum for CP3 and then sign Marc Gasol for the MLE, or something like that. In the real world, quality front court players don't come cheap.

Thus a more likely scenario (if they trade Bynum or Gasol) would be to trade for a new starting PG and getting back a big in the same trade. Gasol for Cp3 is a sideways move if not backwards. Gasol for Horford/Teague or even Felton/Gallinari is quite a bit more palatable.

hobbitmage,

>>>1. Ron Artest. No one wants to take Artest because his offense has sucked
>>>the last two years. What could we possibly get in return?

I totally disagree. Part of the reason his offense sucked is because he was the 4th or 5th option on offense and was mostly relegated to the 3-point line.

And anyone who watched the 2010 series versus Oklahoma City and Boston know that Ron-Ron still has value.

Offer him to a team that's weak at the SF position and I bet they'd bite. Maybe New Jersey or Minnesota (or maybe even the Clippers if they fumble on getting a real star at the SF).

>>>2. D-Fish. Unless you're hiring him as a mentor, why would you take D-Fish?
>>>He's too slow to guard any of the contending pg's.

Actually, I think that Fish could keep up with either Jason Kidd or Mike Bibby in a foot race.

What he can't defend is any guard with speed - including Chris Paul, JJ Barea, Russell Westbrook, and Derrick Rose if that ever came up as a finals matchup.

>>>3. Bynum. He's the youngest of the starters. In theory, Jim Buss has decided
>>>to build the Lakers around him.

Yep. It's the old catch 22. The guy with the most trade value is the guy you least want to trade.

Yep Kuester is a goner. When the new owner mispronounces your name at the press conference (Koo-ster instead of Kue-ster) then the handwriting is on the wall. Kuester is exhibit A on why every good assistant coach isn't meant to be a HC.

>>>If you trade Gasol, you've just severely weakened your front court.

... unless you get back a big with some offense as part of the deal.

Gasol for CP3 is a huge step back in the front court.

Gasol/Blake for Horford/Hinrich is a big improvement at PG with only a slight step backwards in the front court.

>>>5. LO. He's the second best big man we have. He's the second most versatile
>>>player we have. He just had his best year ever. If you trade him you severely
>>>weaken our front court & our bench.

LO is like Baron Davis lite.

When he's motivated (like when he thinks he can make an All-Star team or win the 6th man award) he plays hard and is excellent.

But he's also prone to zoning out and giving very little to the team at times.

Lamar had a game versus Dallas where he scored 18 points. But he also had a game where he shot 3 for 10 and scored 6 points.

Don't get me wrong. Lamar contributes a lot to the team and contributed a lot to the two championship rosters... but if the Lakers could get a legitimate starting PG under 30 for Lamar, I'd make that trade.

>>>6. Blake, Barnes & Brown. Brown is the youngest with the best upside. What
>>>are you *REALLY* going to get for Blake & Barnes? I'm not saying that they
>>>suck. I'm saying that if we're going to make a change then it should CLEARLY
>>>be for the better and I don't think we get that trading any of these 3.

Believe it or not, there are teams that have worse backup PGs than Steve Blake. And there are teams that would value Barnes' hustle on defense.

But I doubt the Lakers could get a starting PG back for any combination of Blake, Barnes, and Brown (even if Brown does opt in). There's a chance they'll play better next season. There's a chance they'll play better OUT of the triangle. Unless you need them as salary filler in a bigger deal, I don't see any reason to aggressively pursue trading them.

But do bear in mind that Mitch managed to turn Radmanovic (a stiff) into Shannon Brown (slightly less of a stiff). And Brown played really well in the 2009 playoffs (at least the first 3 rounds). So I wouldn't completely rule out Mitch managing to turn one of those guys into a 3-point shooter, for example.

>>>6. Blake, Barnes & Brown. Brown is the youngest with the best upside. What
>>>are you *REALLY* going to get for Blake & Barnes? I'm not saying that they
>>>suck. I'm saying that if we're going to make a change then it should CLEARLY
>>>be for the better and I don't think we get that trading any of these 3.

Believe it or not, there are teams that have worse backup PGs than Steve Blake. And there are teams that would value Barnes' hustle on defense.

But I doubt the Lakers could get a starting PG back for any combination of Blake, Barnes, and Brown (even if Brown does opt in). There's a chance they'll play better next season. There's a chance they'll play better OUT of the triangle. Unless you need them as salary filler in a bigger deal, I don't see any reason to aggressively pursue trading them.

But do bear in mind that Mitch managed to turn Radmanovic (a stiff) into Shannon Brown (slightly less of a stiff). And Brown played really well in the 2009 playoffs (at least the first 3 rounds). So I wouldn't completely rule out Mitch managing to turn one of those guys into a 3-point shooter, for example.

I would do a Gasol/Blake for Horford/Hinrich in a heartbeat. I doubt the Hawks would go for that one though, unless Horford demanded a trade. Blake is so weak, Hinrich would be a huge upgrade. Horford is waay tougher than Gasol. C'mon Horford! Demand that trade!

I still like the Chris Paul/Pau Gasol scenario though. Watching these finals, it's hard not to think about how Chris Paul, on the Lakers, would be picking apart that Miami Heat defense. I think we have to find a way to get Chris Paul in a Laker uniform.

Go Lakers!

hobbitmage,

>>>fwiw, *I* think the front office trades Gasol. The actions of the Lakers
>>>organization *CLEARLY* shows that Bynum is the future. If the FO reaches
>>>the same realization that Jerry West reached why would they keep two slow
>>>bigs?

Okay, and here's my counter-suggestion.

Name one time when the Lakers traded away a top-10 big man in the league.

The only quality big I can recall them trading away was Vlade Divac, and that was to get the draft rights to Kobe.

Can anyone recall the Lakers trading away a top level multi All-Star big?

The only good STARTER they traded away during the Showtime era was Norm Nixon. And that was trading age for youth.

I can't imagine the Lakers trading away either Gasol or Bynum.

How about Chris Paul/David West/Carl Landry for Gasol/Odom/Shannon Brown. It works salary-wise. I'd do that. lol

Go Lakers!

@Justa – Good to see you pop in. Who would’ve thought we’d be reduced to rooting for the Mavs…ugh!


@LTLF - I would love to see Jrue Holiday or George Hill on the Lakers. Those two take as much pride in their defense as offense. Oh well its just wishful thinking because no way SA/Philly are letting them go.
Oh yeah…I believe Tony Parker is an unrestricted FA.


@LT – I was very impressed also by Dirk’s strong finish last night after struggling for 3 qtrs. But I thought Marion was the Mavs MVP last night. His defense on Lebron was very good and his scoring kept them in the game in the first half.


@Rocky – It’s one thing to talk about trading Pau for DWill or CP3, but for a 35yr old Billups…no way. The best part of Chauncey’s game these days is his 3pt shooting (and threat of 3pt shot), free throw shooting and high IQ, but he can no longer create effectively or really defend. I thought the goal was to get quicker and more athletic.

@LRob, that shows how I think of Pau Gasol now. Good thing I'm not the GM, I'd trade him for anyone right about now. In my opinion, it would be addition by subtraction. Hopefully the Lakers hype him up during the regular season to raise his trade value.

But then again, I've been told that the best trades you make are the ones you don't make. But dammit, I'm tired of yelling at Pau to go hard! How can someone so good be so weak?

Go Lakers!

Many have railed on PJ for not calling timeouts to slow Dallas run when they cut the Lakers 16 point lead to 3 points in Q3 of game 1. Well OKC called 3 TO's and it didn't stop Dallas from overcoming a 15pt deficit in the last 5 minutes of gm 4. Coach Spoles called 4 TO's in the last 6 minutes last night...yet Dallas overcame a 15 pt deficit. Hmmm, I thought TO's are supposed to stop these runs...I'm just saying....

Also since Spoles used up all his TO's he didn't have one left when he needed it most at the end of the game. So instead of having 3.6 seconds to set up a play after Dirk's go ahead basket, Miami was forced to settle for a desperation heave.

@Rocky - I feel you, Pau was terrible in the playoffs. But I can't isolate that one year. In the big picture Pau played at an all-star level 3 straight years in the playoff. Thus, I believe last year was an abberation.

I don't think the Lakers will trade a big for a small or at least not initially. I think they hold on to both big men with hoping they can use one to pry away Howard. By having both Orlando would have its choice.

PSP

You'll find 888 on the ESPN Hollinger Rankings/Lakers Conversation Page
where you'll also find lewstrs, jamf, and a couple others.

And just what is MM's fascination with a certain blogger who rarely posts here anymore. Dude let it go.

If this isn't your home Laker blog , your are a visitor.
And if you petition others to leave here you are a traitor.
And if you continue to make nice nice with traitors then you better be holding to the strategy "keep your friends close and your enemies closer", otherwise your an/a _________.

Wow.

The Paulitis here is amazing.

Which wouldn't be so bad if it only & temporarily clouded reasoning.

But it also & apparently affects MEMORY.

How else to explain VISIONS of Sugarplums dancing sans Gasol.

How else to appraise fan amnesia regarding 2006-07 (42-40).

When the Lakers HAD Drew for his 1st-and-only 82-game season?

When the Lakers also had Phil AND Kobe AND Lamar available for its FIRST ROUND NEAR-SWEEP SURRENDER ...

... to PHOENIX?????

Because if you "believe" Lakerland's current dreamscape : Drew + Odom + Kobe + (insert fantasy name here once the Lakers finally *dump* Gasol) = championship

Unless you also believe DFish was the key component to 2 x subsequent O'Briens in 3 x Finals appearances.

Likewise 2005-06 (45-37).

When Phil + Lamar + Kobe + Drew the then-rookie surrendered to the same Suns in the same 1st round.

Of course, this is LA.

Where faddism, attention-spans and what-have-u-done-4-me-latelys are calibrated in seconds.

Where past-is-prologue means about as much as the last great book nobody read.

Not that the Busses are listening, mind you. Or the GM. Or even the brand new coach.

Because what's fun for fans is serious business -- to them.

And serious business like serious men don't confuse rash with rationale .


Hey MM....LRob....good to see you guys too!

Rooting for the Mavs....yup...

It's not pretty, but the alternative is unspeakable.

GO MAVS - gotta take Game 3!!!

Troll Man

The PSP noticed that too; thought maybe I was nitpicking but yeah, maybe the PSP wasn't ...

We need a fast PG and an athletic/speedy wing that can or will be willing to learn how to knock down open j's a la Trevor Arizaaaaa.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Hmmm... think I come here too seldom these days, there seems to be a new sign-in and my name and url is no longer at the bottom of the form. At any rate, I'm not high on the Kuester signing at this point, the guy carries a fair amount of baggage on the player-respect front and it comes at a time when there's already been questionable moves (firing Ronnie Lester and a dozen scouts right before the draft?). It seems to me that with all the changes and uncertainty, you at least go with an A-list offensive coordinator but that's just me -

- dave m

... oh, it is still there but different. Ergh, comment forms... dave m


@LTLF … Thanks for the great analysis of the available point guards and their respective strengths. IMO you have always been the best at using statistics properly to support your takes. I don’t think anybody on the blog could have done a better job laying out the situation and our options. I know it takes time and effort to put this stuff together so please know we really appreciate it. Kudos.

I think part of what happened to this team is the Triangle Offense masked the team’s loss of speed and athleticism as Derek Fisher and Ron Artest seemed to both suddenly lose a step. Now that we are saying goodbye to the Triangle, we probably need to trade some of our vaunted height and length to add speed and quickness at point guard and small forward. Listening to Mike Brown talking about getting down the court quickly and driving and dishing is not going to work with Derek or Ron.

To me, our best option is obviously trading Pau Gasol because he will bring back the best talent in return and be missed the least. That of course may only true if Andrew Bynum stays healthy. But as Yellowfever so eloquently put it, do we bet on weak knees or a weak heart? Like him, I’d rather bet on Drew’s knees rather than Pau’s heart. I just don’t think he can be trusted going forward. I hope I am wrong but I think he will be a marked man for the rest of his career. Now is the time to move him.

Ironically, trading Gasol and Blake for Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza could effectively impact three starting positions with Odom, Paul, and Ariza likely replacing Gasol, Fisher, and Artest as starters. And suddenly, a team with four slow players now has four fast players. That’s the kind of return we need if we trade Pau Gasol, a trade that transforms the team making it faster and more athletic in several positions. We also need players who, unlike Pau, want to play tough defense.

There are of course obvious holes that such a trade would create. The Lakers would need to find a backup center. To be honest, I have not liked what happens when Gasol plays center. His poor defense hurts us. He won’t foul or challenge shots so we end up having a free lane to the rim and every team out there knows it. That’s why I think we would be better with a strong defender and rebounder with size like Aaron Gray on the Hornets or Nick Collison of the Thunder than Pau as Drew’s backup.
………………………………………………..
TOM

"Can anyone recall the Lakers trading away a top level multi All-Star big?"

LTLF, you are being facetious when you ask that question, right? I think most of us recall trading a certain top level multi all-star big in the not too distant past. A guy who has been in the news recently....

You identified the downside of trading Pau for an elite guard but managed to ignore the considerable upside. In my mind, the presence of Lamar Odom as a more than serviceable power forward makes the HUGE upgrade at PG significantly bigger than the downgrade at PF.

Moreover, for all the potential on paper, we have not yet seen an effective Gasol/Bynum front line when Drew is healthy and playing well. Moving Pau would allow Bynum to blossom, particularly if Gasol is replaced by the more deferential Odom and brings back an elite PG that makes every guy better....

LongTimeLakerFan,

you wrote: I totally disagree. Part of the reason his offense sucked is because he was the 4th or 5th option on offense and was mostly relegated to the 3-point line.

And anyone who watched the 2010 series versus Oklahoma City and Boston know that Ron-Ron still has value.

Offer him to a team that's weak at the SF position and I bet they'd bite. Maybe New Jersey or Minnesota (or maybe even the Clippers if they fumble on getting a real star at the SF).

my response: you're talking about two seasons ago. W/ respect, I'm going
to quote Phil Jackson on this one.

"Ron, there's a reason why we left you open when you played for Houston."

fwiw, we can agree to disagree on this. There's no way that *I* would take
Ron Artest if I had any of the younger teams out there.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/artesro01.html

re: trading away a big. Jerry West commented about the foot speed. Have
you been watching the playoffs? The lack of speed on the lakers is obvious!
Someone mentioned the combo of Kareem & Rambis. My reponse to that
was that Rambis was 6'8 not 7'0. We've got *two* slow-footed 7-footers.

We have not had one season where they were both healthy and both played
well. Not one! This season was supposed to be that season.

yoy wrote: But I doubt the Lakers could get a starting PG back for any combination of Blake, Barnes, and Brown (even if Brown does opt in).

my response: that was my point.

you wrote: I can't imagine the Lakers trading away either Gasol or Bynum.

my response: so slow and go until 2014? really?

you wrote: What he can't defend is any guard with speed - including Chris Paul, JJ Barea, Russell Westbrook, and Derrick Rose if that ever came up as a finals matchup.

my response: Actually these were the group of guys I was referring to.

you wrote: Name one time when the Lakers traded away a top-10 big man in the league.

my response: Shaq. But you're missing the issue. In the past, you had JW as
GM & Jerry Buss running the show. Now you have MK as GM & Jim Buss
running the show. Because of Jim Buss, we drafted a 7-fter with knock-knees
and wide hips . We refused to trade him for any number of people. During
the 3 finals runs w/ him on the team, he was missing for one and recovering
from injury on two. KobeMVP888 & LakerTom are adamant that Bynum
was intrinsic to the Lakers winning the last two championships and that he
would be crucial for this one. I have argued against both posters and points.
It's now June and Bynum and the Lakers are done. Which casts doubts upon
the interpretation of LakerTom & KobeMVP888.

Look, it's gonna be what it's gonna be. Most of the observations that I made
have turned out to be true. Some haven't. If you think the Lakers can win
, against the more athletic teams, with two slow 7-footers ... and Lakers
management agrees with you .. I hope y'all are right. *I* don't see it. *I*
don't buy it.

Shaq's comment on the state of big men in the NBA....

There’s only one real dominant big man right now, and that’s Dwight Howard,’’ O’Neal said. “I expect him to win three or four championships. If he doesn’t win three or four championships, I’ll be disappointed.’’

Pau Gasol plays well when there's no pressure and the defense is non-contact. Basketball is supposedly a non-contact sport as it was designed. But we all know championship basketball in the NBA has as much contact as any sport.

Dirk Nowitzki is a prime example of the Euro player who came to the NBA shying away from contact. Dirk has adjusted his game and mentality so now he can handle the contact and it wont take away from his game if say, someone knocks him on his rear end. If someone knocks Pau Gasol on his rear end, or does so much as challenge Pau, his whole mentality changes, and his game along with it. Pau tries to be Mr. Tough Guy instead of playing his game with force. Everyone knows that Mr. Tough Guy that Pau turns into is an act. That's why he gets called for silly fouls like shoving Carl Landry at the other end of the court after Landry made a forceful play at the other end that showed the softness of Pau. Pau truly doesn't understand what it takes to end his reputation as a soft guy. Look at this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWLUWoofx1s

It shows Amare calling Pau soft, then Ron Artest joking about how Pau Gasol is soft, then it shows Pau brushing off his softness as jealousy from other players. Pau thinks that being tough is all about cussing, etc., which he is too civilized to do...Pau really doesn't have a clue. Until he realizes that he needs to fight and go all out until the end with no time for frustration or letting opponents punk him he'll always be soft. He doesn't have to go out and beat up on guys or prove anything to anyone, he just has to go out there and play his game with force and not let the Carl Landry's of the world get in his head. Pau is so much better than these guys skill-wise, to let Carl Landry do that to him was so disheartening.

It's got to be real, otherwise it's FOOL'S GOLD! lol

Go Lakers!

Pau was terrible in the playoffs. But I can't isolate that one year. In the big picture Pau played at an all-star level 3 straight years in the playoff. Thus, I believe last year was an abberation. Posted by: LRob2 | June 03, 2011 at 07:28 PM

---

Yup. The SAME aberration that apparently afflicted Kobe & Lamar too, though you wouldn't know it based on pitchforks for Pau and Gasolian garrottes.

Because the win-share*** falloff from 2010 to 2011 was significant *AND* almost identical between Kobe (-.091) *AND* Gasol (-.109) *AND* the rotation role played by Sasha/Barnes (-.103); with 2010-to-2011 falloffs also affecting Odom (-.039) as well as the role shared by Farmar/Blake (-.029).

Whereas any "improvement" from 2010-to-2011 was either negligible or marginal among Drew (+.004), Fish (+.013) & Ron (+.054).

Pau Gasol .224/2010, .115/2011 (-.109)
Kobe Bryant .190/2010, .099/2011 (-.091)
Andrew Bynum .150/2010, .154/2011 (+.004)
Lamar Odom .125/2010, .086/2011 (-.039)
Derek Fisher .087/2010, .100/2011 (+.013)
Ron Artest .064/2010, .118/2011 (+.054)
Jordan Farmar .060/2010 Steve Blake .031/2011 (-.029)
Shannon Brown .041/2010, .062/2011 (+.021)
Sasha Vujacic .140/2010 Matt Barnes .037/2011 (-.103)

Furthermore, as much as most, including players, collectively blamed playoff *defense* for the team's failure, LAL's *offensive* decline (ORtg -5.0; 112.8/2010, 107.8/2011) FAR exceeded the team's defensive decline (DRtg -0.7; 108.6/2011, 109.3/2011) from 2010 to 2011.

Ergo Adelman, whose offball-motion-oriented Princeton-like offense might've been an ideal panacea to triangle stagnation.

Which doesn't mean Brown's Twin Tower Redux (Brown) won't defibrillate the Lakers attack. It could, and probably will, with the right bigs, i.e., SMART bigs, bigs who PASS and/or UNSELFISH bigs with multiple skills.


*** [ http://bit.ly/kj3gzp ] Win-Shares is a value approximation based on the number of wins contributed by each player per 48 minutes; if you're familiar w/PER, Offensive Ratings & Defensive Ratings, win-share basically combines all 3.

"Because the win-share*** [postseason] falloff from 2010 to 2011 was significant *AND* almost identical between Kobe (-.091) *AND* Gasol (-.109) *AND* the rotation role played by Sasha/Barnes (-.103); with 2010-to-2011 falloffs also affecting Odom (-.039) as well as the role shared by Farmar/Blake (-.029)."

There’s only one real dominant big man right now, and that’s Dwight Howard,’’ O’Neal said. “I expect him to win three or four championships. If he doesn’t win three or four championships, I’ll be disappointed.’’ Posted by: LRob2 | June 04, 2011 at 08:17 AM

---

And yet, even in an *off* year, Gasol's ONcourt/OFFcourt was *identical* to Howard's according to gamechart data maintained at 82games.com

Howard net ON/OFF (2011) [ http://bit.ly/j9GPhi ]: +9.8
Gasol net ON/OFF (2011) [ http://bit.ly/mRq50X ]: +9.8

While Gasol's regular season win-share/48m of .232 was exactly .004 less than Howard's .236.

The playoffs were obviously a different matter, where 3 (Kobe, Gasol, Lamar) of the top-5 Lakers in playoff minutes over the last 4 x postseasons all logged win-share declines.

Hey,

Quick question for Mark M. about the new blog login -

Why does the new blog login force me to sign in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc?

Why can't I just sign up for a brand new account with TypePad?

Man, you guys are killing me. It wasn't broke, but you guys "fixed" it!

Thanks,

Rob in L.A.

Don't count on Dallas winning the thing -- the 3-2-3 format makes it extremely difficult for a road team to win. I still hope the nba would go back to the traditional format for the finals. I would wager that if you looked at every series where a road team won a 7 game series the number of games they won it in would predominantly be 6 games (as oppse to 4, 5, or 7). Have not done the research on it - just informal estimate. Now you take that 6th game away from the road team - so the road team now has to either (1) Win 4 out of the first 5 games, or (2) Win at least two road games! Please nba - go back to 2-2-1-1-1 for the finals. The competitive advantage is out of wac.

Oh and I can't help but say that all of you that want to trade Pau Gasol are NUTS!!


I just put my handle where it aked for my full name - and I didn't sign up for FB or Twitter.

Oh and I can't help but say that all of you that want to trade Pau Gasol are NUTS!! Posted by: HmrHed | June 04, 2011 at 11:43 AM

---

Some probably are, some probably aren't -- but the worst are PHO, GSW, SAC, LAC infiltrators hoping/praying/lobbying/demanding the trade equivalent of Gasol-for-magic-beans.

One last link. Nice take by KBro Andy Kamenetzky [ http://es.pn/kZgBmK ] on offseason needs.

TRADE PAU GASOL !
....................................
One of the most ironic things to me is how people use stats to blur reality, revise history, and make you forget what you saw to defend why a given player or team choked in this game, series, or season. That’s what I see happening right now as Pau Gasol fans present a plethora of stats that pretend to show that Pau was not the main reason we were swept by the Mavs in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Don’t let a parade of obscure stats tell you that what you saw with your own eyes was not the truth. The primary reason why the Laker are not playing in the Finals right now was Pau Gasol. Period!
...
Despite comments to the contrary from the Lakers front office, count me among those bloggers who believe the Lakers are going to trade Pau Gasol before the start of next season. He will not only bring back the most in a trade but also will be missed the least because we have Lamar Odom to replace him as our starting power forward. I think Pau’s dismal performance in the playoffs and how he single handedly destroyed the team’s chemistry and synergy have made him the obvious player to trade to get the speed, athleticism, and outside shooting the Lakers need to balance their roster.
...
Besides his subpar last season and hideous playoffs, there are other sound reasons why the Lakers need to trade Pau Gasol before the start of next season. First, it has become obvious that defensively, Pau is no longer an acceptable backup center for Andrew Bynum. It’s time to put an end to the dunk and layup parade that happens almost immediately after Pau replaces Drew at the center position. The truth is the league has become too physical and Pau’s dislike of physicality too well known for him to be able to function as the backup center on a team committed to playing tough defense. We’d be better off trading Pau and signing a free agent backup center like the Hornets Aaron Gray.
...
Second, with Derek Fisher and Ron Artest both suddenly losing a step, the Lakers can no longer get away with 2 slow 7-footers in the lineup. It worked fine with the Triangle masking the team’s lack of speed and athleticism but now that Mike Brown has taken over from Phil Jackson, the team needs a better balance and needs to become faster, quicker, and more athletic at the point guard and small forward positions if they are going to push the ball as Brown plans. That’s why a trade like Gasol and Blake for Chris Paul and Ariza would be perfect. It transforms the team from one with 4 slow players to one with 4 fast players as Odom, Paul, and Ariza replace Gasol, Fisher, and Artest as starters.
...
Finally, even though I have long supported the Triangle Offense, I have to admit as a former point guard, I am excited about Mike Brown taking over and implementing an offense that needs a true point guard to run. Watching how many baskets Jason Kidd creates for the Mavs with his great floor leadership and pinpoint passing that always seems to get the ball into the hands of the right guy at the right time in the right place, I believe that the biggest improvement we could make offensively would be to trade Pau Gasol for an elite point guard like Chris Paul or Deron Williams. A great point guard is the key to getting easier baskets. And to transforming this team to Showtime 2.0. Imagine Chris Paul leading a fast break with Kobe, Odom, and Ariza filling the wings and Drew trailing. Or Chris Paul feeding the ball to Drew, Lamar, or Kobe in the post. That’s the Lakers team I want.
....................................
TOM


Is no one else struck by the fact that, even this year, with the Lakers and the Triangle out of the picture, neither of the teams in this years finals have one of the great young PGs that sometimes seem to be taking over the league?


Look, Kidd is one of the greats, and Bibby had his day. But at 33 and 38 they aren't what they used to be, and they do more spot up shooting than driving to the hoop.


What the Lakers need to do is to get a very good guard to go with Kobe. Younger. Quicker. More athletic. They don't need CP3 or Derrick Rose or some other great young PG at the cost of thinning out the front line. Yeah, I might trade Pau for Paul. I might. But then who backs up at PF or C? What happens is Bynum goes down?


Pau is a great player who is 7' tall. Pau, Kobe, Drew and Odom are a great core. Build around it. It is not time to panic. Many of the same people who thought this roster could win 70+ games last year now want to blow it up. Kobe and Drew should be better and stronger a year removed from knee surgery. Pau WILL rebound to prior form. LO just had a great year. Build around them. Shore up the second guard spot and the bench. Don't give up on this core.

@latopia - Thanks for the win shares breakdown. I’m familiar with it and it’s useful for a barometer, but I wouldn’t take it as the end all be all. In the Dallas series Pau played the furthest below his talent. And being the second most important player on the team, he justifiably gets a large share of the blame. But I agree, many act as if he’s the only one to blame. LO was nearly as bad, Ron got suspended a game and was a no show in another, Drew was very good in two games, but subpar in the other two, Kobe was good but not great – scoring only 14pts combined in 4th quarters of games 1-3. He used to get that in one game.

@HrmHed – I’m not a fan of the 2-3-2 either, but the best team always win (barring injury) in a best of 7. No excuses.

Re: Pau Gasol. While I agree with the previous poster that Pau should not shoulder all or even major part of the blame for LAL PO failure I also think if it is in the best interest of improving the team I would still trade him, for example to get CP3 or D.Williams.

The ONLY untouchable on the Lakers is Kobe. Period. Everybody else should be fair game IF it is in the interest of improving the team.

Unfortunately I too agree that if LAL is to get a top PG in return they may have to part with a quality player and that player should be Gasol because:

1) They don't have to have two slow-footed 7-footers at the same time on the court. Yes that's a lot of size but like anything in life there is a point of DIMINISHED RETURN and I'm not so sure the advantage in size is worth the disadvantage in quickness.

2) Lamar Odom is more than capable of filling in at PF than Gasol. Only drawback is the bench will be weakened but that's another topic.

Also, somebody mentioned that LAL did not have a history of trading quality, make that quality big men and that's true. However he must not have received the latest memo: Jimmy Buss is running the team now and with Jimmy, the Ron Artest of the FO (LOL) all bets are off...

If those people who are talking about Pau as the weak link, no heart, too soft, too whiney, crappy attitude, mentally weak are correct, then why would another team trade a super star player for a $20 mill per year guy with 4 more years on his contract who is like that?

Unless, during the exit interviews, multiple teammates all spoke out and said Pau was the major problem for all those reasons listed above, I don't expect the Lakers to trade him.

I expect them to hold tight and try to add some pieces of low cost free agents, the draft, and maybe, big maybe, a trade of a lessor player to help the bench.

The length and amount of the player contracts as well as the quality of play relative to the amount the person is being paid makes any major trade difficult to find a willing partner. If the Lakers go shopping I don't think they will get equal value in return and will recognize that and not pull the trigger.

I really think they are going to hold tight and wait and see if the new coaching staff can get different results with the same guys.

If they don't do better, then maybe they try a big trade before the trade deadline if they can, but I'd bet whenever the season starts we are looking at pretty much the same lineup.

The only exception to that I would say, would be if a team approached them and really wanted Pau, Bynum, LO or Artest and wanted them bad enough they were willing to offer at the least fair value. I don't think it will happen.

I’m not a fan of the 2-3-2 either, but the best team always win (barring injury) in a best of 7. No excuses.

LRob
====

LRob,

That's an interesting thought but I'm not convinced the Lakers would have won last year vs Boston if they didn't have HCA.

If one team is clearly superior like those Lakers vs Nets or Lakers vs Philly Finals, then I agree the format is irrelevant. The Lakers were so dominant they could have won those Finals if all 7 games were on the road.

But in a Finals match up featuring two teams that are very close to equal, it may just come down to HCA.

How much cred does Kuester really have with the players in the NBA?? The walkout by his players was pretty monumental. He just doesn't pass the eye test to me as far as a top notch candidate for any type of hands-on coaching position for our team.

dan the man

After the way Pau went out in these playoffs, I don't even know if his teammates can look him in the eye. It was that bad, from what I saw. Andrew Bynum said there were trust issues. What I saw was Pau Gasol not giving his full effort, sulking instead. So whatever those trust issues were, Pau was the guy most affected by it. Will Pau get over it? Who knows. Should we wait another year to find out? I don't think so. There's a hungry young player named Chris Paul who can be had with the right deal, or maybe Mitch can pull off another Kwame steal.

Here's my question: Can we trust Pau Gasol to give his best effort when things are on the line?

My answer to that is no. He can come out next season and average 20/10, until he proves that he's ready to just go out and play the game with force when things get tough, and play to win, I don't trust the guy. Whereas, there's no question what Chris Paul is all about.

Go Lakers!

I agree, Sean Penn has lost all cred with players, for right or for wrong. Could Brown re-establish his assistants cred with the new team? Yes, no, maybe! Based on Kuesters resume, which is ok but not spectacular, I dont think Brown should risk it. There will be plenty of drama for the new coach to deal with without importing some of his own.

Put me in the trade Gasol camp. It has nothing to do with his play this season as I too think it an abberration. However, I believe trading Gasol would give the Lakers the best chance at improving the TEAM. No direspect to Gasol, just business.

I think Brown will make a fine coach for the Lakers and the team willcome back next year and surprise alot of people.

The Simers interview with Jim went a long way in quieting my fears about the FO of our beloved Lakers. Who cares how he dresses. I didnt hear anything that would make me think the Lakers were going in a different dierection of financial committment.

Go Lakers

One of the most ironic things to me is how people use stats to blur reality, revise history, and make you forget what you saw ... Posted by: LakerTom | June 04, 2011 at 02:02 PM

---

LMAO.

Oh great & mighty "point guard", do tell: How can I learn to "blur reality, revise history, and make you forget what you saw" using the unblurred, unrevised, largely indelible "stats" maintained at Basketball-Reference.com, 82games.com etc? I LOVE magic, sleight of hand, prestidigitation, all that stuff. I'd really like to know. No, REALLY!

Otherwise, I'd be the first to agree stats are no "substitute" for observation. Stats, especially usable stats, simply reinforce what you see.

I saw a physically & mentally fatigued Laker TEAM unable to summon what they previously summoned over 3 x postseasons + 400 games . You saw Pau Gasol drop anchor, blow a hole in the hull, dive overboard & swim ashore -- alone.

The DVRs, the numbers, the owners & the GM all point to fatigue.

But you're always welcomed and entitled to point elsewhere.

@ART ... If history serves as any guide, whenever an all-star or superstar player has a subpar season or playoffs, it just serves to raise the interest in other general managers thinking they may have a chance to snag a key player because of his team’s dissatisfaction with his recent play. Remember how Mitch Kupchak talked about all the teams inquiring about Drew after his injury? Other general managers would be interested in Pau for exactly the same reasons why the Lakers might trade him. The league is filled with stories of players who just needed a change of scene to get their game back. Pau may well fall into that category. For me, it’s more about needing to balance our roster and trade some 0f our height and length for improved perimeter speed, athleticism, and outside shooting.
....................................
@PSYCORP ... Excellent post. We both obviously see the need for the Lakers as we leave the Triangle Offense in our rear view mirror to get a top flight or elite point guard. What we would lose in depth in the front court would be more than made up for by the huge improvement that we would get from having an elite true point guard like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Raymond Felton.
....................................
@DAN THE MAN ... I have to admit of all the assistant coach candidates, Kuester seems to be the questionable one because of the way he lost the players on the Pistons team. The Lakers definitely do not seem to be the right place for a coach who can’t stand up to players if that accusation is true. It will be interesting to see if the front office gives Mike Brown enough budget to hire all the coaches under consideration. I do have to say I am pretty impressed by the rest of the candidates although I would like to see some other candidate besides Kuester who had an offensive orientation.
....................................
@ROCKY ... Your post goes to the heart of why I am concerned about keeping Pau Gasol at a time when we desperately need to add a top flight point guard and to improve our overall team speed, athleticism, and 3-point shooting. I think it is totally obvious that the “trust” problem that Drew raised and the chemistry and synergy problems suffered were the result of Gasol’s playoff meltdown. You ask a valid question as to whether we can trust Pau not to fall apart again. To me, that is an even bigger risk at this point than Andrew Bynum’s infamous knees. I think we need to trade Pau.
...
The main reason why we might be hesitant to trade Pau is that he is our backup and insurance in case Andrew Bynum re-injures one of his knees. The problem with that argument is that the league has become much more physical and Pau’s wilting when faced with physicality has become common knowledge. Add to the fact that teams do not respect his ability to protect the rim and immediately attack the paint for easy dunks and layups whenever he replaces Drew at center. The truth is Pau no longer is the ideal backup center for a team that is going to focus on playing tough defense. We’d be better to sign a free agent backup with size like Aaron Gray of the Hornets to backup Drew IMO.
....................................
@LATOPIA ... Thanks for your comments. ROFLMAO. I have never claimed that Pau is the only reason why we failed to three-peat. There were obviously numerous other reasons, including the extra games we have played the last three years, Kobe playing like a human, Lamar not showing up, Blake choking, and Phil helplessly throwing in the towel. But to claim that Pau was not the major reason we were swept by the Mavs is to me ignoring the actual truth and rewriting history.
...
Nor was I really trying to single you out as a Pau fan trying to pull the wool over our eyes. As I said earlier, I appreciated the statistical information you posted. But while stats do serve a purpose to clarify why some things happen, they’re not a substitute for good common sense and what we can easily see with our own two eyes. What I saw was a player who lost all of his confidence and quit on his team, killing the offensive and defensive chemistry and synergy needed to win a championship.
....................................
TOM


Laker Tom,

Another candidate is Hornets assistant coach Mike Malone:
http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2011/06/new_orleans_hornets_assistant_5.html

In the article, it also talks about the fact that David West can opt out of his final year(7.5 mil).

If Mitch is really the man, he will somehow find a way to swap Gasol for Chris Paul and get West to opt out and come to L.A.!!

dan

LakerTom,

you wrote: One of the most ironic things to me is how people use stats to blur reality, revise history, and make you forget what you saw to defend why a given player or team choked in this game, series, or season. That’s what I see happening right now as Pau Gasol fans present a plethora of stats that pretend to show that Pau was not the main reason we were swept by the Mavs in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Don’t let a parade of obscure stats tell you that what you saw with your own eyes was not the truth. The primary reason why the Laker are not playing in the Finals right now was Pau Gasol. Period!

my response: While it's obvious that you can now champion the cause of
Bynum w/ impunity ... Can we put a bit of realism in this? Please?

Look, I'm the first person to blame Pau. However, there is a ton of blame
to go around. To not place serious weight upon the shoulders of the bench,
Artest & D-Fish is just propaganda. You also need to put the weight upon the
management for choosing to get older, slower & less athletic. You also need
to put the weight upon management for not knowing about the chemistry
problems. Yes, Kobe did not play like a superstar. He seemed to have played
hurt all year. next season will show if he's washed up or if he was injured.

@DAN THE MAN … Hey, great to hear from you, Dan. We’ve come a long way since the days of the Smushcalade and Farmar though ironically our point guard situation is exactly the same as back then. I like Mike Malone and think he will join Brown’s staff unless he gets the Warriors head coaching job. Phil had four assistant coaches. Brown is looking at Mike Malone, Euroleague legend Ettore Messina, Dallas assistant Tim Grgurich, current Lakers assistant Chuck Person, and soon-t0-be former Pistons head coach John Kuester. My bet is he will end up with Malone, Grgurich, Messina, and Person.
………………………………………………..
@LAPTOPIA … To continue our conversation, I focus so much on Gasol’s collapse as being the main reason for the Lakers folding in the second round not because he was the only factor but because his performance is what caused the trust issues and threw our offensive execution and defensive rotations out of sync. Next to Kobe, there was no other player on our team whose play was as critical to winning as Pau. He was our second option and post up focus on offense and our starting power forward and backup center on defense. When he faltered, it had season-ending repercussions for the whole team.
………………………………………………..
@HOBBITMAGE … With due respect, think what you think about my motives but they have nothing to do with Drew and everything to do with Pau. I don’t disagree at all with your list of other reasons why the team floundered. There was plenty of blame to go around. My issue is how do we fix it. I still do not agree with Jerry West or you about two 7-footers not being able to play together but I readily admit when you throw Derek Fisher and Ron Artest into the mix, you end up with a team that really lacks speed, athleticism, and consistent long-range shooting. The problem is we can’t trade Fisher or Artest or the bench to solve problem but we can trade Pau to get a top flight point guard and athletic small forward or backup of center. As for Drew, Dwight would be the only player you trade him for.

Frankly, I think Kobe has shown great restraint to not throw Pau under the bus. You could clearly see he was disgusted with Pau during the playoffs and near the end of the series basically totally lost confidence in him and would not throw the ball to him at all. Like I said all along, I’m not picking on Pau and recommending we trade him just because of his meltdown. It’s more that he is really the only chip we have that can bring back the point guard and other player to balance our height and length with more speed, athleticism, and 3-point shooting. And we have Lamar to take over the 4.
………………………………………………..
TOM

LakerTom,

re: your motives and Drew/Pau. Since you've mentioned trading Pau for
a couple of years, you'll understand if I'm confused.

re: the two 7-ftrs not being able to play. I get that you disagree. It would
be nice if you could articulate how he's wrong. i.e. How do two slow
7-fters run with OKC, Bulls, Pacers, Hawks, Heat, Jazz, Nuggets etc. etc. etc.

re: who you trade and what you get. We seem to be reading this differently.
Let's shed some light on this.

We have a 3-player rotation for 2 spots. If you get rid of Pau Gasol, you must
replace him with two players. A backup PF & a backup C.

If my analysis of the PF/C position is correct, you can't trade either Pau or
Odom. That only leaves Bynum. Which Buss won't do, but that's a different
topic.

If you get rid of Odom you weaken the bench & lose versatility & lose athleticism.

Are we in agreement about what positions Pau has played on this team and
if he's gone, what positions/holes will be open?

@HOBBITMAGE .. Yes, we agree if we trade Pau we need to fill two positions but since Lamar can replace Pau as the starting power forward the positions needing filling would be two bench positions, which would be backup power forward and center. I believe we can get a better back up center than Pau via free agency or the draft. Pau’s ability to play center has been compromised IMO.

On the other hand, if we were able to trade Pau and say Blake for Chris Paul and Ariza, we would have a starting lineup of Kobe, CP3, Ariza, Odom, and Bynum with a bench of Fisher, Artest, Barnes, and Walton, leaving 4 spots for free agents or second round draft picks. The biggest need would obviously be to find the two bench players to back up Drew and Lamar, hopefully guys like Aaron Gray of Carl Landry who can give us energy off the bench to replace Lamar along with a couple off young shooters. Look at how much more balanced between height and length and speed and athleticism. Seriously, look at these lineups and tell me you don’t think we would be a better team if we made this trade.

POSITION/POST TRADE/PRE TRADE
………………………………………………..
PG/CHRIS PAUL/Derek Fisher
SG/KOBE BRYANT/Kobe Bryant
SF/TREVOR ARIZA/Ron Artest
PF/LAMAR ODOM/Pau Gasol
CE/ANDREW BYNUM/Andrew Bynum
………………………………………………..
BENCH/Barnes, Fisher, & Artest/Barnes, Blake, @ Brown
………………………………………………..
TOM

re: Pau as the starting power forward the positions needing filling would be two bench positions, which would be backup power forward and center. I believe we can get a better back up center than Pau via free agency or the draft. Pau’s ability to play center has been compromised IMO.

my response: Please name any backup center that we can get who's
better than Pau over the last 3 years. As you come up with the names,
please list how much their salary is.

fwiw, I think you're being *INCREDIBLY* callous, short-sighted and plain
ignorant with your statement: " I believe we can get a better back up center than Pau via free agency or the draft. "

Specifically, the part about the draft.

re: Pau's ability as a C. It's nice to see you give him as much leeway as you
gave Bynum w/ his multiple injuries & poor choices. It all feels so ...equitable.


re: that trade w/ NO. Ummm ... Smoke some of that with me. Please!

Aloha laker Tom,

You must have gotten your hands on some good stuff. I have to respectfully disagree. There is absolutely no way that the NBA would trade a young superstar, the face of the franchise, for a 30 year old all star, while they search for a buyer. That will never happen. And why in the world would they then throw in Ariza, a very good 25 year old for a 30 year old journeyman point guard? While that would be great for us, it would not make any sense for the Hornets.

You did mention one trade that is much more plausible if Denver would consider trading to the enemy. Lamar and Blake for Felton and J.R Smith.
Kmart is a free agent and Lamar would be an upgrade with a reasonable price tag. Blake has played well for Carl and would be a good back up. Carl has had issues with J.R and they may not want him back. And Felton is a very good PG.

Plus now we only have to really find one big instead of two. Rotation quality bigs are hard to come by and expensive. The odds of find one are long, finding two, nearly impossible.

Big splashy trades are fun to speculate on but rarely happen. I really can not see us being able to land a Superstar, even Howard for Andrew would be highly unlikely, since I think he does want to stay with the Magic. Anyway aloha for now.

MH

One thing is certain if Pau is traded. We get a much younger replacement in Lamar Odom.
Though he is in his 30's, he only shows up half the time, so really he's about 26 or 27 years old and in his prime.
Yeah.

But in a Finals match up featuring two teams that are very close to equal, it may just come down to HCA.
Posted by: Art_Lakers | June 04, 2011 at 03:19 PM
------------------------
Agreed. I wasn’t clear on my point. I was responding to a post that said the 2-3-2 could determine the outcome. I’m saying whether its 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2 doesn’t really matter. But I agree the HCA can swing it for two evenly matched teams. We’ve seen three such occasions in the last 20 years (94 Rockets-Knicks, 05 Pistons-Spurs and 2010 Lakers-Celtics).

So I'm looking up Blake to see if he was coached by George Karl (with a K)

and I'm looking at his career stats...WTF... we gave this guy 4 mil a year? sometimes it is about the stats.

@HOBBITMAGE & MICHAEL H … LOL. Be glad to share what I’m smoking with either of you. As proud as we are in Northern California about our agricultural accomplishments, I have to attest that the best I’ve ever had was from a long time friend who lived on the big island. Our sun can’t compete.

Who knows what is going to happen but I doubt Chris Paul stays in New Orleans or Deron Williams in New Jersey. Right now, looks like a better chance that Dwight stays than those two in my opinion. At any rate, the reality is that none of the deals we ever talk about seems to happen but it’s fun to blog about. What else are we going to talk about. One way or another, we need a better solution at the point than Fisher or Blake. And I think the obvious candidate to trade is still Pau Gasol. For whom and when will probably depend on the situation and circumstances but I think it is going to happen. I don’t see any other way to solve the problem of our lack of speed, athleticism, and outside shooting.
………………………………………………..
TOM

All I can say is TypePad...

OK, it works...
I say no major trades because Pau Gasol who walked on water for 2.5 years is being blamed, and that is unnecessary. I think the team had just reached its point of disconnection from Phil. Look, Granted Kobe, Derek , Walton and Bynum I believe were the only ones to have to endure his routines, but I think, with due respect, that he is or was the greatest coach ever, that he lost the team. I disagreed with some of his actions, such as never playing deep into the bench. Caracter and Ebanks (before injury) should have gotten a few minutes each game, say at the end of the first, second and perhaps third quarters. This removes the rookie stigma for them from the "unbiased" refs. (Oh no, I'm going to be fined $25K by David Stern now).
I say go into camp with who we have, including Trey. Keep an eye on who is available as cuts are made. Evaluate how the players are working into Brown's system, which should be very quick as opposed to the intricacies of the correctly run Triangle Offense. Keep an eye on the Clippers...two players of interest but pricey and only out of desperation...Mo Williams and Chris Kamaan.
About the 2-3-3 finals format, I have always disliked it. I think that the better team only wins if it goes 7 games. Sorry but I am not going to hunt the quotes down from the people who made them, who I highly respect. I agree that the best team will win in a seven game series, with the exception of the 2-3-2 format. By the time the teams are in the finals they have gone through 3 previous series, they are tired, they are tired of making adjustments, concepts they used during the season against that opponent may not apply, as the game changes a bit during the playoffs. The refs are the reason.
Many people threw Blake under the TEAM Buss, however, it was his first year under the PJ/triangle and he was sick at times. He is not a bust. People are calling for us to pull out all stops and get Ariza back, don't we have his clone already in Ebanks??? Ariza did well last year, and the year before but he was getting 35-40 minutes per game. I think that the loss of Farmar and Sasha later on, ironically to the same team, because it was known they did not get along was a contributing factor to the failure last year. Losing Farmar, we lost a small pg, yes, he did get beat by other pg's but no one player can really lock down another player, and in this case, Farmar was doing his best because his skillset was always a notch below his opponent. Losing Sasha, I think was a big loss to Kobe, who probably liked to have him around to rag on.
I like the BleacherReport hinting that Kris Humphries would try to get to LA, because of his fiancee. Man last year carMELO, next season would really be MELOdrama, with Kris and Lamar having to be best buddies. I'd love to see him come to LA for less than market value, it's a shame his fiancee isn't worth $100 million YET, because then he could do it, but since she's only said to be worth $25 million (I doubt that), he still needs to earn a paycheck. Like the said, he's the "poor man's Blake Griffin".
I think retaining one of the previous assistant coaches would be important, as the players could use him as a conduit to the coach, and the one who fits the role perfectly would be Chuck Person, who still looks like he could beat up half our team.

Sorry to disapoint some of you but its better to trade Andrew Bynum,Ron artest,blake for CP3,ariza and Aaron Gray...As proven for four years Drew is a liability always injured.Pau is still the second important player behind Kobe as evidense of our second round meltdown against the mavs eventhough Drew played well but we lose so Pau is important than Drew as evidense of our three straight final appearance if Pau plays well were unbeatable...

There is way too much focus on getting an elite PG here. The Lakers do not need an elite PG. They just need an upgrade. I believe that spending big salary dollars on an elite PG, especially in an era of salary caps, is not smart.


Jason Kidd (under the age of 38). Steve Nash. Derson Williams. Allen Iverson. Chris Paul. Gary Payton. John Stockton. The total number of championships won by this elite goup of PGs? One. Payton in Miami in 2006, when he started only 25 games and was near the end of his career.


Am I saying an elite PG is a bad thing? Of course not. If you traded Fish for Paul straight up and the salaries were the same, the Lakers would be better. What I am saying is this: it seems to be a bad idea to spend a lot of money on the smallest guy on the floor. Becuase you can only spend so much money, and means one less great player at another position.


Spend money on guys who are 6'9" and can make plays like Bird or Magic (a PG in a PFs body). Get athletic wingmen like Jordan and Pippen. Go big. Kareem. Akeem. Shaq. Robinson and Duncan. Get an inside/out tandem. Karee and Magic. Garnett and Pierce. Olajawon and Drexler. Bryant and Gasol (remember how great they were?). These championship teams tend to run their offense through a big man or a superstar wing player anyway. So an elite PG is sort of a waste of money.


Isaiah Thomas is the exception here. And, no Magic doesn't count. he wasn't the smallest guy on the floor. I just see no evidence that investing heavily in a PG is the answer. San Antonio has Parker, but he came cheap early on and was not the focal point of San Antonio's offense until later, when they pretty much stopped winning titles. And the year Boston won Rondo was a cheap surprise, and he was still pretty raw. He was their 4th or 5th most important player.


Chris Paul is a great player. But having the two guards as your best and most expensive players? When has that EVER led to a title? It would be a radical strategy. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol is a 1-2 punch that has actually been to 3 Finals and won twice. Look, I understand the urge, I do. Paul is great. He is fun to watch. Fisher looks pretty washed up. Pau just disappointed us. But you trade a Pau Gasol? You break up a proven core?


I would rather get a solid young guard to play next to Kobe. I actually think that is easier than finding functional backups at PF and C after Pau is traded. Guys who can actually play heavy minutes and start when Drew and LO are injured. It is pretty simple math. There are a LOT more small guys who are talented basketball players than there are big guys. You can find good young guards on pretty much every NBA roster, except for the Lakers. Go get one. Keep the core.

Trade Pau Gasol? Replace him with Aaron Gray?? WHAAAT?

I for one believe that Pau still has a lot of game left in him. What really affected him this season/playoffs was the lack of outside shooting to help spread the floor. He basically was facing a triple team whenever he had the ball in the post. Whoever was guarding Artest and Fisher was free to sag into the paint and make it difficult in on our post players.

On top of that, the lack of perimeter defense had more to do with the layup/dunk parade then our inability to protect the basket. Fish was too slow to guard anything and Kobe hasn't played consistent honest defense since the first 3-peat.


I think Andrew Byum is ready to become more of a focal point on this Laker team offensively. Just look at his moves, he can score at will against almost anyone. Andrew's post moves are much more high percentage plays than Pau Gasol's post play, especially in the playoffs. So if Andrew Bynum is going to become the focal point in the post for us, where does that leave Pau Gasol? As a defender and rebounder. Do we want to pay big money to someone who isn't going to be a focal point on this team? Lamar can rebound and defend just as well as Gasol. While, in a new offense, the PG will be as critical as ever.

Fisher was perfect in the triangle, good spot up shooter, smart, strong, tough. What we need now is a guy who can do it all. A guy who will handle the ball in the most crucial situations and make plays. We can't depend on Kobe, Blake or Fisher for that. Chris Paul is available and he's the best in the league at surveying the floor and making plays for either himself or his teammates. He's also the best steal guy in the NBA, he's the most efficient player in the NBA, he's the best assist guy in the NBA, he's one of the top 5 competitors in the NBA, he can hit 3's, and maybe most importantly, as Kobe declines, he can take over games. Pau Gasol is a good player, but please, Chris Paul is on another level.

I think if we were to get Chris Paul and have the core of Kobe, Bynum, Paul, Lamar, we would be a better team because of our balance. We would be able to hit teams in the post with Bynum, we'd have the mid-range with Kobe, we'd have the perfect set-up guy with Chris Paul, and Lamar can do what Lamar does. It would be the perfect balance once we add a shooter or two. Ron Artest would probably still be on this team too to be our stopper.

Everyone is worried about losing a big man. But the Lakers are all about championships. This team 2011 has proven that it couldn't win a championship, and we had the greatest coach of all time coaching. And everyone saw who the weak link was and what our deficiencies were. Chris Paul, Jason Terry and freakin Barea ate us up and spit us out, while Pau was getting manhandled by the likes of Carl Landry, Tyson Chandler, and Dirk.

I think it's time for the Andrew Bynum era to start, knee braces and all. Just run the offense through him. With a back court of Kobe and Chris Paul, what could be the greatest back court ever, there's no doubt that we would be in position for a championship with those competitors.

Look who Miami has as their bigs, Joel Anthony, and Chris Bosh. Everyone knows Bosh is soft an inexperienced, Anthony is a journey man. Dallas has Tyson Chandler as their main big man with Dirk and Haywood off the bench. We don't need 2 'elite' big men, and I'm not so sure I'd consider Pau Gasol elite anymore. Where on the other hand, Chris Paul on the Lakers would be a difference maker. Niether of the teams in the finals would have an answer to Chris Paul, he would eat them up, pick them apart. You think Bibby or Kidd would be able to stay in front of Paul? No way. Once Paul penetrates into the lane and collapses the defense, there's noone better than him to find the open man. The Heat would probably try Lebron and Wade on Paul, only to make Chris Paul salivate at the opportunity to show the world what he's all about.

Thinking about it, I don't understand how Laker fans wouldn't want to make this deal if it's possible. We need a change.

Go Lakers!

Somebody on this blog (I forgot who) said it best...can you honestly trust that Pau Gasol will give you his best when it really counts, in the playoffs? I think it's been proven the answer is a flat out NO. If for no other reason, trade him because of that.

But my main concern is one Kobe Bean Bryant and his upcoming public feud with Andrew Bynum. Kobe has publically berated Bynum as being "lower" on the Laker hierarchy, and this hasn't made Bynum or Jim Buss very happy. In fact, I personally believe that one the most compelling reasons for why B Shaw didn't get this head coaching job is because Shaw is a Kobe Stooge. You have Bynum who is becoming more vocal about his criticisms of the Lakers (trust issues) and his lack of involvement on the offense. You have Kobe who keeps repeating that he is the Laker Alpha Dog and Pau Gasol is his 2nd in charge. You have Kobe on one side, the up and coming Bynum on the other, and Bynum has the Buss family as backup.

You do the math.

Remember, Kobe has never appreciated Bynum....never. And Bynum has grown from being a fresh NBA project to a veteran force to be reckoned with. Will he be satisfied with being 3rd dog? Especially after Pau's emotional break down last playoffs? I don't think so.

Trading Pau, even for an allstar caliber player, will boost Bynum's importance on this Laker team, and if Mike Brown embraces Bynum in his offensive scheme, this will just make Kobe even more angry.

My guess is that Jim Buss is planning on tossing Pau as opposed to Bynum.

How will Kobe feel about this? I don't know. But my predictions usually pan out, and I predict now that there will be a huge war between Jim/Bynum/Mike Brown versus Kobe Bryant, especially if Shaw and Derek Fisher get the boot.

Stay tuned...

I am in a “Let’s face it” mood today.

We have all seen current Lakers do what Dirk did. Kobe has done it so many times it is scary. Just last year, D-Fish had to win one for us to keep us in the finals. Pau has finally got mad and took things in his hands. Lamar has said enough is enough and brought us back... Not this year…

What do the Mavs have that we don’t? What is the elephant in the room?

Heart.

Where did it go? I am rooting for Mike to bring it back.

I am also rooting for an elite point guard and a small forward that can both shoot a high percentage from three point land. Let’s face it. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that we have one of the best if not the best shooting guards in the league. We are loaded up at center and power forward. We need a young, fast point guard who can run the new offense, get fast-break points, and hit the open shot and we need a small forward who can be a threat from the three point line – someone you have to guard. Half way through the season I was lamenting our three-point shooting. This was right around the time I was advocating picking up Peja. If he was on the team, coming in and doing what he has been doing for Dallas, things may have been different. If Sasha was on the team, doing what he was doing for the Nets, things may have been different. We had no outside threat.

Let’s face it. It wasn’t just Pau that played like a weenie. Kobe did not drive to the basket. If Kobe had driven to the basket, things may have been different. At the end of games, Magic knew how to close them out. He was going to drive to the basket. The opponent could choose to foul or not foul. If they didn’t foul, he would get us 2 points. If they did foul, he would get us 2 or 3 points. Triple team him and you have Worthy or Kareem slamming it down. Kobe didn’t drive to the basket.

The thing that gave me the biggest feeling of dread was not losing to Dallas. It was Kobe’s little statement about pecking order. It was Phil saying he didn’t want to coach Kobe on the down side of his career. There are some Hollywood actresses like Meryl Streep, Ellen Barkin, Sharron Stone, etc. that get old gracefully. They continue to work because they change and adapt and they don’t have a lot of ego. There are other actresses that keep trying to play parts they are too old for and eventually flame out. I hope Kobe can take the high road.

Ok, enough “Let’s face it.” I am sure the Lakers will come back next season loaded for bear and the rest of the league will be quivering in their sights. They will be hungry again. They will have something to prove. Kobe will be attending practice. It will be different. I can’t wait because…

I am a Lakerholic.

LT,

Regarding your comment about Pau to Rocky you wrote:

"I think it is totally obvious that the “trust” problem that Drew raised and the chemistry and synergy problems suffered were the result of Gasol’s playoff meltdown. You ask a valid question as to whether we can trust Pau not to fall apart again. To me, that is an even bigger risk at this point than Andrew Bynum’s infamous knees. I think we need to trade Pau."

==================

Despite how obvious it is to you I don't come to that conclusion at all. Please send me some of that "good stuff" so we can be in the same state of mind when looking at this issue and then maybe I can understand where you're coming from. Maybe I'd be better off reading the blog and posting after a night of hard partying because then some of this stuff might make more sense to me. You do know I'm just kidding around, right?

Ok, but seriously, I think you (and some others) are placing excessive blame on Pau. He may have been 'part' of the chemistry problem, but I can't lay all the blame at his feet because frankly, we have no idea what Drew was referring to with his 'trust issue' comment. Drew could have been referring to anyone and everyone including Kobe.

Consider this: perhaps some of those 'trust' issues Drew referred to helped to 'cause' Pau's poor play instead of occurring 'because' of Pau's play.

You question whether we "can trust Pau not to fall apart again" and you said: "To me, that is an even bigger risk at this point than Andrew Bynum’s infamous knees."

You say trusting Pau is a bigger risk than Bynums knees. I can't agree with that one either. Only the future will tell the answer but Bynum's health is a huge risk.

Do you remember all the posters who have called Nowitski all kinds of names having something to do with being a choker and how he couldn't come through in the playoffs? Look at him now. At 32 years old he is having one of his best years ever. Pau must have some pride right? Coach Brown needs to tap into his head in a way that Phil couldn't.


Also, you said:

"There were obviously numerous other reasons, including the extra games we have played the last three years, Kobe playing like a human, Lamar not showing up, Blake choking, and Phil helplessly throwing in the towel. But to claim that Pau was not the major reason we were swept by the Mavs..."

=====================

I would say all those reasons you listed were big factors that were sorta like dominoes, each thing affected something or someone else. I don't think the Lakers chemistry problems began during the Mavs series at all. I think they started much sooner and simmered on the stove and as the temperature got hotter they finally boiled over during the Mavs series.

Maybe the Lakers best option is simply to find filler-inners. Geesh, maybe even Trey J is an upgrade over Fish at this point but another realistic option is to give Blake a real shot at it.
And as someone else said, Ebanks should get a serious chance to develop also. Remember, this coach may play and develop the young players.

I think they have to give the new coaching staff a chance to work through the issues because if coach Brown can adjust and improve the chemistry-trust issues, make some tweaks on both offense and defense, and fill in a few holes on the bench this team is basically the same one that won those two Titles.
The same other teams in the West will be good next year, but so will the Lakers. Dallas may have a hangover next year from the deep run to the Finals this year.

Coach Brown will have his hands full just getting the team to come together but I'm not sure he or any coach can do that, it will be up to the players to change their minds about some issues.

The Lakers really may not be a Championship team anymore for several reasons that even a C Paul won't fix.

How will Kobe feel about this? I don't know. But my predictions usually pan out, and I predict now that there will be a huge war between Jim/Bynum/Mike Brown versus Kobe Bryant, especially if Shaw and Derek Fisher get the boot.

Stay tuned...
Posted by: troy
==========

That was an interesting post.

If what you suggest comes to pass, it won't matter whether or not the Lakers trade Pau and get CP or anyone else for that matter.

If your assessment is correct this team is done for. They will show flashes of being really, really good but won't be able to sustain any consistency and be a quick out in the playoffs. Sound familiar?

If as you suspect Kobe is the problem, if they can't fix him then the only fix for the team is to convince Kobe to accept a trade. And trading his salary will be a monster of a problem.

If you are right, then so is Magic, and blowing up the team will be the only thing to do.

Maybe Magic see's things we don't and you have tapped into part of it.

Or maybe not. But you are right about this, stay tuned...

Lost in the criticism of the idea of trading Pau for an elite PG is the fact that the improvement at PG improves the Lakers in several ways that standing pat does not.

First, an elite PG helps get easy shots for everyone. That makes other players better. The Lakers have only one guy who can get his own shots (Kobe) and increasingly those shots are coming from further away from the basket (meaning worse, and lower-percentage shots). Elite PG's make average players better.

Second, most elite PG's (at least CP3 and DWill, the two most frequently talked about trade options for Pau) would immediately and dramatically improve the Lakers outside shooting--perhaps their greatest need.

Third, elite PG's present scoring threats that the Lakers have not had the benefit of for decades. How do you double Kobe if his backcourt partner has the ability to score 30 points? How do you pack the paint to deny AB touches when the PG can just raise up and score from the outside?

Fourth, defense. Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Westbrook, Kidd/Barea, etc. The Lakers have no answer for these kinds of guards, which forces defensive breakdowns on nearly every possession. An elite guard will, at a minimum, reduce the number of breakdowns....

Does trading Pau come at a cost? Sure. But that cost is, in my mind, more than offset by the improvements described above, and mitigated to a large degree by bringing in LO to replace Pau as a starter.

There aren't many PG's who qualify, but there are definitely a couple who would radically improve the Lakers even if the cost was one Pau Gasol....

@HUMANOMALY ... How’s it going, Howard. You make some excellent points, especially about Phil and the team becoming “disconnected.” Whether we go to camp with the same team will depend upon the opportunities that emerge, which is why trades are always so difficult to predict. And you may well be right that management will give the current roster with a few tweaks another run with a new coach. Will that be enough? Could be. Or it could be a case of “fool me once, screw you. Fool me twice, screw me. If the right deal emerges, I hope Mitch has the cajones to take it.
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@TOM DANIELS ... It’s rare that I disagree with your takes, which are always well conceived and presented. I do agree that there are stats out there that can be interpreted to say that small point guards are not a necessary championship component, but to say the Lakers swapping Pau Gasol for Chris Paul wouldn’t dramatically improve this team based on stats is not persuasive. Whether the Hornets will end up being forced to trade Chris as many experts expect is one issue but I contend there is no other potentially available player who would improve the Lakers roster more.
...
Maybe it’s the damn Triangle Offense that has clouded Lakers fans memories but Magic Johnson was not great just because he was 6-9. He was great because he knew how to run the offense and how to get the ball to the player who was hot or had the biggest matchup advantage. He was great because he could deliver pinpoint passes to guys right where and when they wanted it. He was great because everything he did enhanced and expanded the team’s chemistry and synergy. With due respect, you are greatly underestimating the impact an elite point guard who could become a true #2 option on a team would have. To me, we clearly need Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Ray Felton.
....
You can trade Drew for Dwight to possibly upgrade the center position. You could even trade Pau for a player like Carmelo, a deal I proposed that very likely could have helped the Lakers three-peat. But neither of these deals is going to have the impact that bringing in CP3 would have. No Triangle means we need a top flight point guard who can hold his own – not a Fisher, Blake, or Barea but a player who can feed the post, hit the open 3-pointer, or drive and dish with the best of them. You can talk all you want about Dirk’s shooting but just watch how many easy baskets Jason Kidd delivers.
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@ROCKY ... Excellent post. The issue about trading Pau is more about restoring balance between height and length and speed, athleticism, and outside shooting to make the team better than it is about punishing or banishing Pau, although there are still moments when I think Pau has reached the point where addition by subtraction comes into play. If we can get Chris Paul for him, go for it. As you say, we would have a much better team with improved balance and versatility.
...
I agree with you that this year will be the start of the Bynum Era but I think it’s more important that Drew concentrate on playing the kind of defense and rebounding the ball like he did during the 17-1 post all-star streak than becoming our #2 scorer. That is the true perfect role for him on this team. With Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul in the backcourt, Drew would become our primary low post option He would still be #3 option but would get more minutes and touches because Pau would be gone.
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@TROY ... Great points. I also have a problem trusting Pau after the wilting in the playoffs. I also think other teams are really going to go after him physically now. It may even turn very nasty and Pau is going to be constantly attacked at both ends with overly rough and physical play. At any rate, we’re in agreement that if the Laker decide to trade a big man, it will be Pau Gasol who goes.
...
While I am concerned about Kobe’s pecking order comments, I am not really worried. I think in a way Kobe was saying what he was saying to try and show he still had confidence in Pau (even though he blatantly refused to pass to him by the end of the Mavs series). The real problem with Kobe’s pecking order comment was that he had the order wrong; it should have been Kobe, Drew, then Pau. And I doubt Drew would have any problem being #3 in touches and shots behind Kobe and CP3.
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@LAKERHOLIC ... A “Let’s face it” mood? I love it. And I love the gist of your entire post. Heart is what this team lost and I believe it was the wilted effort and heart of Pau Gasol that was the virus that infected and destroyed our team chemistry and synergy. By the time Game 4 came to a close, the team had fallen apart, Kobe had lost his playoffs magic, and Phil just wanted to leave. As I said above, while I did not like Kobe’s pecking order comments, I do think he will come to the sobering realization during the offseason that he needs to recommit himself to playing better team basketball.
....................................
TOM


@MM ... I want to thank you for sticking with the TypePad login system. It has been a pleasure blogging without the constant trolls and objectionable posts. We still need to find a way to balance the number of threads with the need to have a single daily thread where the bloggers inside the blog can carry on their dialogs with each other and you. The quality of the posts and discussions this weekend with only the one thread have been superb. When you finally sit down and catch up, I’m sure you will agree. Now that we solved the login problem, let’s try and find a way to encourage more great dialog and conversation like this weekend. Why quit when we’re on a real roll? Just do it!
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@ART ... LOL. I actually had been smoking some pretty good stuff when I made that post and I’m always willing to share with Lakers fans like you, whether it be my opinion or virtual high. I can see where you are coming from and why you might feel many of us were putting too much blame on Pau. We will probably have to disagree because I’ve seen many times in my basketball life what one player can do to completely disrupt and destroy an entire team’s chemistry and synergy. That’s not saying that Pau caused Blake to also choke, or Kobe to suddenly become human, or Ron and Derek to slow down a step but as the team’s #2 option, Pau’s stumbling effort at both ends had calamitous effect.
...
You made a valid point about Dirk’s previous reputation for being a choker and not a clutch player. Frankly, most of that criticism was right on in my opinion. What Dirk has done is taken his game to another level. Everything, even his passing and defense, has gone up a level. And his shooting has never been better. So, yes, Pau could possibly come back and become an even better player than he was before. The difference is that Dirk is built like a brick house whereas Pau’s house is of straw. Dirk’s failure was one of being able to come through in the clutch. To me, Pau got bullied and quit.
...
I like your analogy about dominos because that it is what I think happened to the Lakers. Pau started a toppling of the team’s dominos that led to a perfect storm of things going wrong right when the Lakers ran into a hungrier and hotter team dedicated to making up for their 2006 collapse. If you believe that we should stand pat and just make tweaks, you could be right and the Lakers front office is saying that is what they intend to do. If we don’t trade Pau, it won’t be for trying IMO.
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TOM



@LEO ... Bravo. Reading your post was like listening to God. :-) Great point about what an elite point guard adds to the team. Basically, he’s the guy responsible for creating team synergy. I’ve been salivating watching the over-the-hill Jason Kidd hit players with great passes right on stride as they break or come open and dreaming of a guy like that feeding the lobs to Drew or setting up easy wide-open shots off the break for Kobe to finish. Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and Andrew Bynum could be Showtime 2.0’s version of Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
..
The points you make about Chris Paul or Deron Williams also giving us improved outside shooting, a true #2 scoring option, and better perimeter defense are also important reasons why we need to try and make a deal for an elite point guard. When you look at the history of Big 3’s on the Lakers, you see that Wilt had Goodrich and West, Kareem had Magic and Byron, and Shaq had a young Kobe and Fish – all Big 3’s with a center and 2 great perimeter players. That’s been the championship formula for the Lakers, not two big men and 1 great perimeter players. We need Drew with Kobe and CP3.
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TOM


LT,

I agree with your comments to MM and I hope he gives it the importance it deserves. The commentary not just this weekend but since MM began to take weekends off and just leave one thread has been so much more interesting to read and it flows so much better. Even though the number of posts is down the quality of posts makes for much better reading. I much prefer better content even if it means less of it than some of the stuff that used to go on here.

There is no doubt in my mind that the constant new threads disrupt the flow and change the subject. It's like talking to someone about something and then someone else breaks into the conversation with something completely unrelated, almost rude.

Also, it doesn't give time for more people to read and get engaged unless they are constantly monitoring the blog. On the weekends with one thread hours can go by and someone can jump right into the same dialogue. Or, they can bring up something new also which is fine, but all the different threads change the subject matter constantly throughout the day. It is easily my biggest criticism of this blog.

Anyway, my 2 cents on that issue.

=====

About Pau, not to beat this subject up too much, but your comment about Pau toppling the teams dominoes is, IMO, out of sequence.

My claim is that Pau is not the one who started toppling the dominoes, that it happened earlier in the season, that they started falling during the season and when Pau's domino finally got toppled it became so visible because he is such a key player.

In other words, Pau finally reached a point of no return from too much crap and said screw it, either consciously or unconsciously. He wasn't the cause, his play became a result of the cause and because it was him it had a bigger impact on the teams results so it 'appears' he is the culprit.

I hope one day we can read all about 'the rest of the story'.
Wish Paul Harvey were still around...

What if we had a choice between Chris Paul and Deron Williams? Who would you take?

Personally, I'd take Chris Paul. I think he'd be a better fit for the Lakers because of his efficiency and his killer instinct. When the pressure is on, Deron Williams feels it, while Chris Paul relishes it. Can you imagine the competitive nature of a Laker team led by Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul? It would be a sight to see. But of course, you can't go wrong either way.

Go Lakers!


@ART ... Excellent post. Your analogy about new threads being like somebody interrupting an ongoing conversation was right on. Here’s a suggestion that I think is very doable and should be able to done using TypePad. Let me know what you think.
...
(1) Limit the home page to the latest three threads.
(2) Add a continuous thread to the home page that shows most recent comments first.
(3) Set all links on the home page to open in new pages.
(4) Post all comments and move posters back to the home page thread when they post.
...
The result would be even more hits as readers would be constantly jumping back and forth to the home page. As it is now, most of us just sequentially jump to the latest thread. This way the home page gets all the focus as it should be as the hub. New posts always show up every time we refresh and the conversation thread would enable great content from the blogs readers and followers.
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As for Pau, something happened to this team between the 17-1 run and the playoffs. You’re right that we probably won’t know until Phil or somebody writes a book but something happened. I don’t have any inside information so my take is obviously just my opinion as is yours. It will be fascinating to find out what did happen. I assume it would also impact the decision whether to trade Pau though it obviously wouldn’t be the only or major factor. At least I don’t so but as you say who really knows.
....................................
TOM



@ROCKY ... Before this year, I would have taken Deron Williams over Chris Paul because of his size being perfect for the Triangle Offense. After the mess in Utah, the way CP3 played in the first round this year, and the fact that we will no longer run the Triangle, now I would rather have Chris Paul.
...
One additional reason why Chris Paul will help this team more than Pau Gasol is the fact that he would take over most of the ball handling and facilitating duties from Kobe, allowing him to become more of a pure scorer and hopefully a genuine First Team All-NBA defender. This could actually add several years to Kobe’s career and extend his and the Lakers championship window. With the finger injuries, Kobe’s handle has become a detriment at times with costly turnovers seeming to happen as often as game winning shots. Sadly, it has probably killed the option of Kobe one day reprising Jerry West’s move from shooting to point guard. I would much more trust the ball in Chris Paul’s hands.
....................................
TOM


@ART ... LOL. I actually had been smoking some pretty good stuff when I made that post and I’m always willing to share with Lakers fans like you, whether it be my opinion or virtual high. I can see where you are coming from and why you might feel many of us were putting too much blame on Pau. We will probably have to disagree because I’ve seen many times in my basketball life what one player can do to completely disrupt and destroy an entire team’s chemistry and synergy. That’s not saying that Pau caused Blake to also choke, or Kobe to suddenly become human, or Ron and Derek to slow down a step but as the team’s #2 option, Pau’s stumbling effort at both ends had calamitous effect.
...

Aloha Laker Tom,

O.k I am going to try a different angle here. Let's forget about Pau for a minute. Lets talk Andrew. I don't know if you have saved any of the games. Like me you may have erased them the minute they were over but if you still have them take a look. Or if you have any of the Hornets games left look at those because the Hornets taught Dallas how to beat us.

When Andrew caught the ball, freeze it and count the bodies harassing him. Andrew had issues as well as Pau and he has to weight 3 bills. Also watch the passing lanes. Where was the space for interior passing even with a Cris Paul? There was absolutely no space. The Hornets and the Mav's flooded the paint and dared our shooters to beat them and they couldn't.

Heck, the only part of the point guard play that really killed us was that Dfish could no longer make the big shots and neither could blake. We shot 22% from the 3! How can you play inside out when the out is that miserable? If we could have even mustered a poor 30% we would still be playing! Yes Pau is a finesse player. He needs space to be effective. But without shooters even Andrew with his size and strength isn't as effective as he should be with someone spacing the floor.

I really do think Pau is getting a bad rap here because the stats don't lie. Give Pau and Andrew a couple of shooters and they could go down as perhaps the greatest Center/ power forward combo of all time. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Aloha

MH

Laker Tom,


As I said, love Chris Paul. Think a good PG is a nice thing. But my years of following the NBA tell me it waaaaay over rated. Ask Durant. OKC won't ever win with it's two best players on the perimiter. Durant should want to trade Westbrook for a low post player today. The history of the NBA just does not support spending big bucks on a PG.


But let's look at it another way. How many teams have a core that is PROVEN championship caliber. Well, the Spurs and Celts, but arguably they have both gotten too old. The Lakers core is still young enough to go get a couple more trophies. So we will have this year's winner and the Lakers. Two teams in teh NBA with a proven championship core.


Why trade the #2 piece in a proven championship lineup? Because you didn't win this year? No. Look at what Jerry West did in the 80s. As Kareem aged they didn't deal him for a young guard. When Magic crashed and burned in the playoffs (remember Tragic Johnson?) they didn't decide he was done and his teammates wouldn't trust him. No. They kept the core and rebuilt around it. When Wilkes got too old Worthy was eased in. They went through power forwards like Charles Barkley goes through a buffet. But they kept the 1-2 punch.


That needs to happen here. Fisher and, in my opinion, Artest, are getting old and slow. That needs to be addressed. The end of the bench contributed nothing. Zero. That needs to be addressed.


But there are good support pieces. LO was solid. Barnes, I think, is a good fit. Athletic and plays hard. Blake I don't know about, but he is quick. Ebanks has potential - long and athletic and likes to play D. In fact, Barnes and Ebanks may provide the quickness and depth needed at SF. with Drew/Pau/LO the bigs are solid. Trey Johnson may be a good insurance guard. You need a big man deep on the bench. That's what the minimum is for.


Now you need a guard to start next to Kobe. Well, that's what the MLE is for. you go out and get, not a CP3, but an athletic guy who can defend and hit shots when the bigs kick it out.


Remember this fall Drew and Kobe are healthy. Kobe should be a lot more mobile next year. Knee surgeries are a two year recovery thing. And having all your guys in camp is far more productive than working them during the season.


I personally think Pau is a great player who will bounce back, and playing for Spain will start that process for him. And with a healthier Kobe, an MLE guard, Barnes, Odom, Ebanks, Blake and, Trey (or similar) there will be a lot of more athletic guys to surround Drew/Pau with. And, regardless of the system, the reality is that this team will run it's offense through #24 and the low post.


I think that is the way to get back to the finals. Brown was on Pop's staff in San Antone when they had the Two Towers. He knows how to make this work. No, there was no title this year. But the core is still there. CP3 is great. He's fun to watch. If we could get him for Ron, Fish, Walton and a bag of practice balls I'm all for it. But to go from a championship proven, PF-SG core to a PG-SG core, something I have never seen work at the championship level? I wouldn't do it.


@LakerTom: I've been reading your last post and I agree with some of it.

First I think Gasol is a good player but had a terrible Playoffs. The problem right now is can we predict if he can return to his older self? And if we can trade him for players that fit in this team?

I agree with the fact that the backcourt must be improved no matter what. Today I watched some videos from older Laker teams: in 1972 they were considered a old team but they ran the floor and scored a lot on fastbreak. And there was only one big (Wilt) that made outlet passes that speed the game up.

In the showtime in 1986 Pat Riley shifted the focus of offense from Kareeem to Magic. This after being defeated by Houston and with many wondering if the team could still win a title.

So I think if Mike Brown mades Bynum the main offensive focus, it can benefit Kobe and let him be a playmaker and a better on defense.

Many doubt Bynum, but I think it would be a great test of character - this test would make him stronger.


re: those who are talking about trading Pau.

I get that you want CP3 & I'm already on record as saying, yes to this trade.
However, it will never happen and y'all are supposed to share your drugs
w/ the rest of the blog.

re: backup PF & C's. Start tossing out names. Y'all make "good big men"
sound like "job growth". i.e. We'll get rid of our two time all star PF,
so that we can have some good backup big men and one superstar PG.

Will one of you drug crazed individuals please list some specific backup
big men that you want to replace Pau w/?

re: backup PF & C's. Start tossing out names. Y'all make "good big men"
sound like "job growth". i.e. We'll get rid of our two time all star PF,
so that we can have some good backup big men and one superstar PG.

Will one of you drug crazed individuals please list some specific backup
big men that you want to replace Pau w/?

Posted by: hobbitmage | June 05, 2011 at 01:20 PM

Aloha Hobbit,

You are absolutely right. There just isn't many quality big's out there to get. Kris Humphries and Kmart are both free agents but both will sign for more then the MLE if it even exists next year.

In my mind, Dfish, Blake, Brown and Artests inability to make a shot had more to due with Pau's poor play then Pau. It's hard to score when you are going one on three, one on four every time. We have not been a great outside shooting team the last few years but we were good enough to at least keep the defense a little honest. At 22% from the 3, the Mav's ignored our shooters and sent everyone inside. Not only did it not give Pau and Andrew room to operate but Kobe couldn't really post up much like he likes to do and it affected his numbers as well. Plain in simple, we need a couple of guys that can knock down some outside shots more then we need an all world point guard. Even Cris Paul without shooters would have a hard time penetrating the wall that the Mav's set up inside.

Aloha

MH

First off: someone will want Pau, Odom, Bynum, Artest and Fisher. Then they would have to offer something viable in return. I don't see that happening.

The real trades - and the team might as well stand pat - will come once the futures and desires of D. Williams, C. Paul and D. Howard are made known to their teams. Even though they are in the last year of their contracts, without a "no-trade" clause - a la Kobe and Dirk - before any team accepts them in a trade, they will want assurance that those respective players will execute an extension and I don't think that's going to happen. Melo, LBJ & Bosh were in complete control of their destinies and there's no reason to expect that the others will relinquish theirs.

We'll see minor additions and subtractions to the team and I don't think any of the "big" free agents are too excited about joining the Lakers at this particular time. It's going to be more of a wait and see approach to evaluate Coach Brown, Kobe and the entire team's chemistry. Right now, I think all of the free agents might be eyeing Chicago and/or New York. The Lakers will have to win another championship in order to attract the "big" free agents on the horizon and don't forget: Miami will only be getting better regardless of what happens in the Finals.

BTW: GO DALLAS!! Anyone who believes that Wade's follow through on that "off angle" 3 pointer fired up the Mavericks is buying into the press' hype. Dallas just kept their heads into the game, did not quit and Dirk simply closed out that game with the last 5 points and nothing sweeter than his "blow-by" past "CBS." Honestly, whenever Dirk throws it up, don't you expect it to go in? What an incredible scorer and no: there is no comparison between him and "Bird." Different positions, different heights and completely different games. Enjoy the "Dirkmeister" while he's still in the league.

@HOBBITMAGE ... Here is a list of unrestricted free agent big men who could be backup power forwards or centers for the Lakers. Please remember we are talking BACKUP and not STARTERS.
....................................
Glen Davis – Celtics – $3.3M
Chuck Hayes – Rockets – $2.3M
Craig Smith – Clippers – $2.3M
Marc Gasol – Grizzlies – $3.5M
Kris Humphries – Nets – $2.3M
Aaron Grey – Hornets – $1.1M
Carl Landry – Hornets - $3.0M
Steve Novak – Spurs - $0.5M
Kyrylo Fesenko – Jazz - $1.1M
Josh Howard – Wizards - $3.0M
....................................
TOM

Kuester has been fired by the Pistons and is now available to join coach Brown's staff. He's clearly not HC material but has proven to be a very effective assistant coach. I defer to Mike Brown.

OKC won't ever win with it's two best players on the perimiter. Durant should want to trade Westbrook for a low post player today.
Posted by: me.yahoo.com/a/anQmheFzssMQdbcjHVr3wosBRQP0Dak-
=======

Uh oh, now I see this coming:

... trade Pau for Westbrook and Collison...

Actually, considering Maynor played pretty well for OKC that is kind of a win-win. The Thunder get their post player in Pau and have Perkins for the physical aspect and the Lakers get a PF in Collison and a good PG.

Just for fun...

BTW, interesting handle, lol.

@ART ... Excellent post. Your analogy about new threads being like somebody interrupting an ongoing conversation was right on. Here’s a suggestion that I think is very doable and should be able to done using TypePad. Let me know what you think.
...
(1) Limit the home page to the latest three threads.
(2) Add a continuous thread to the home page that shows most recent comments first.
(3) Set all links on the home page to open in new pages.
(4) Post all comments and move posters back to the home page thread when they post.

=======

LT,

If that can be done under the current format it would be great if MM could make it happen.


THE DRAFT’S DEEPEST POSITION
By Yannis Koutroupis for HoopsWorld.com
http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=20027
....................................
Excellent article that discusses lots of point guard candidates both first and second round as well as a section discussing Greg Popovich’s high regard for Mike Brown. A must read for Lakers fans.
....................................
TOM

By the way, that post with the strange me.yahoo.com thing was me.

Tom Daniels

@Tom Daniels – Excellent summation on the importance on an elite PG. The championship model over the 30 years (minus Zeke’s Pistons) has proven to be elite big men and/or elite wing players.

@Rocky – I agree the Lakers should make Drew a bigger part of the offense in 2012, but run the offense thru him? You called Drew an “elite” big man. I like his potential, but what has he done to warrant the “elite” label?

I prefer DWill over CP3 because he’s bigger and stronger. This causes more of a mismatch when smaller guards defend him. It also gives him the ability to guard bigger guards. Plus….he hasn’t had knee surgery.

@troy – to say Kobe has never appreciated Bynum…never…is just not true. I do recall Kobe being very complimentary of Drew’s play before his injury in 2008, during the 17-1 run this season and many other times.

@Lakerholic – Peja looked great against the Lakers…because they left him wide open (52% 3pt). The deeper he goes in the playoffs the scarcer the open looks become. He only averaged 5pts vs OKC and shot just 24% 3pt. Now he can’t he stay on the floor in the finals because he’s such a defensive liability. The Lakers didn’t need another slow footed defender. I can agree with you on Sasha because he has enough mobility and desire to play defense.

@LT – I agree that fewer threads on the weekends have helped the conversations flow much better and led to more riveting discussions.

You can cross Steve Novak and Josh Howard off your list. Those guys are small forwards.


@ART ... As much as I love Westbrook’s speed and athleticism and defense, I would prefer a point guard who can shoot a high percentage from the 3’s. I still have my doubts about Westbrook, Rondo, and even Derrick Rose. It’s hard to play inside-out basketball when you don’t have outside shooters. I would much prefer a guy like Chris Paul, Derrick Williams, or Raymond Felton who also can shoot. But if we could really get Westbrook for Pau, I would have to consider it because of his defense but he is not a true point guard in my opinion. He lacks the floor vision, passing, and outside shooting.
....................................
TOM


One other comment on trading a big for a small, then I promise I'm done.


One of the issues for the Lakers this year was lack of depth in the front line. Trading a big for a PG means that the Lakers REALLY have to somehow pull 2 legit bigs out of a hat.


Part of me wanting to keep Pau around is I think Pau is a great player who struggled. Another part is, hey, I'm a Bynum fan, but how reliable is he? And $$$$ aside, how good a big can you sign if he is going to be a backup? Not a Marc Gasol level guy. He wants to start. If Bynum goes down is Carl Landry/Lamar Odom going to be your starting front line?

@ART ... Now Pau and Blake for Westbrook and Collison or Ibaka would be interesting.
....................................
TOM


On the new front, I'm all for giving Kuester a chance. Coach Brown appears to be a very strong, extremely well-prepared leader and I feel that respect can go through him, as in respect Kuester or you disrespecting me... If it becomes a problem we should be able to boot him.

On the old front of fixing our flameout in the playoffs, I'm as frustrated as the rest of you with the Lakers' problems. And I think it's problems, not problem. I find it really challenging because I don't feel comfortable speculating on exactly what the many problems are. To compound that we're in a time of major transition and therefore uncertainty. We're getting a new coach and a new offensive system. That means there will be new roles and it's uncertain where our players will end up (though Mitch did say there will be roster stability--no reason not to believe him).

The questions for me are

1. What specific chemistry issues exist? Is it so bad that we should follow Magic's advice and blow up the roster? He seemed awfully certain about blowing the thing up.
2. What mental issues plagued Pau? Are they temporary?
3. Were we just tired after so many deep runs? Can we return to form with the exact same roster as last year?
4. Does it make sense at all to bet on Andrew's knees?
5. Was the main issue that Phil lost the team? There obviously will not be any punishment next year from him based on what they did this year.
6. How serious were Kobe's injuries? What impact did this have on the team overall and did Kobe overcompensate for them by trying to do too much himself?
7. Is Kobe's alpha dog attitude harming the team? Should he have avoided saying he's number 1?

If we had more inside information we could better answer these questions and then attempt to fix the issues that this team has.

I believe being tired was a major factor in this whole thing, easily the most significant. After that I noticed Pau's play decline the worst of all players. And beyond that we were just terrible. No heart, horrible shooting, lackluster defense and terrible ball movement.

I do feel Fisher's time has come to an end. I felt as long as we were winning and he was making a real contribution that he was okay. Now we're not so it's time for him to take a back seat. What's the solution? Of the available ones that LTLF has mentioned, I'd be happy with Ridnour. He's not a great distributor, but he's okay and he's definitely got some fire in his belly. From what I've seen his defense is effortful at least and could certainly be improved.

As frustrated with Pau as I am, I'm not yet ready to throw him under the bus. He's shown white swan tendencies, but he's still gotten us to 3 consecutive NBA finals as the 2nd most contributing player. This year appears to be the anomoly. The FO knows what's really going on and they can make a better decision in this regard. I'm certainly open to trading him, but we need good value in doing so and his poor play had better not be an aberration. Hinrich/Smith or Hinrich/Horford would be pretty nice. I wouldn't trade him for CP3 whose knee is a known bad quantity. I absolutely love D-Will's game, but he has injury issues as well and I think you need to get more for Pau. D-Will has been very clutch in shooting late in games in playoffs and distributes the ball very, very well. He's also a very good, bigger, stronger defender than CP3. Deron looked bad at the end of the season, but it was a new scene and his wrist was a mess. I consider than an aberration.

As for Drew, you trade him for D-12 if you can. Absolute no brainer. His flashes of brilliance have been similar to Dwight's average last 5 seasons. He simply hasn't shown he can return to January 2008 or January 2009 form. And Dwight is the most durable center in the league. I still do not believe that Drew will contribute more to this team than Pau. 17-1 was great. What happened after that? Drew just doesn't seem to be able to get on board as defense first for enough of a season. He's spoiled and still immature. He's improved, but I think being added to the Lakers and doing so well has screwed up his perspective. The best mix of 5 man units has Odom-Gasol rather than Gasol-Bynum or Odom-Bynum. http://www.82games.com/1011/1011LAL2.HTM . Gasol-Bynum is clearly less effective than Odom-Bynum or Odom-Gasol.

I do think we need to add some quickness unless we can use our talent to dictate the game better as we have in the past. Not many PGs are slower than Fisher.

I don't love absolute faith in the front office, but given their informational advantage, I just have to hope that they make wise decisions as they know a lot more than any of us. If Mike Brown's opening presser is any indication, I'm happy with their decision-making. I was very impressed with his strength and his preparation.

I get the sense that if Kobe had been a tiny bit healthier, if we could make more shots and if Pau were 90 percent of the player he was the last two years that we'd be in the Finals.


@TOM DANIELS ... LOL. I wondered who had that crazy handle. I agree it’s hard to win with your best two players on the perimeter unless they were Jordan and Pippen that is. As a former middling point guard, I am definitely biased in favor of point guard and now that I no longer have the Triangle to restrain me, I may go completely hog wild on the subject. Hell, let’s even get two point guards.
...
I still like the Lakers history of a great center and two great perimeter players. Wilt with Gail and Jerry. Kareem with Magic and James. Shaw with Kobe and Fish. And maybe Drew with Kobe and Chris Paul. To me, that makes as much historical sense as evaluating teams with great point guards. To me, we are not going from a PF-SF t0 a PG-SG core but from a SG-PF-CE to a SG-PG-CE trio.
...
We both agree the problem is that Fisher and Artest have suddenly become very slow and unathletic. We both agree we need more speed, athleticism, and outside shooting. Where we differ is how we get there. You may be right that all we need is the few tweaks referred to by Mitch Kupchak. To me, with the competition getting better and better and Kobe getting older and older, we need to trade Pau Gasol to address our serious lack of speed, athleticism, and outside shooting in order to win.
...
As to Drew’s knees, they are what they are. If he goes down, it won’t matter if Pau or Carl Landry is playing backup center. We will not win it all. Frankly, I think Pau’s usefulness as a backup center has diminished greatly. When he did replace Drew at center, the other team usually celebrated by immediately attacking the rim for easy dunks and layups. His defense was non-existent and even worse than when he missed his rotations and gave up while playing power forward.
....................................
@TIDAL ZEN... Thanks for your response. Your post reminds me that the silver lining we all need to remember as we discuss various options to improve the team is that Drew finished the year healthy. While he lamentably will miss 5 games due to the cheap shot delivered on Berea to start next season, I think being able to come into camp after having worked on his game all summer will be a big boost. Drew should have a breakout season next year at both ends.
....................................
TOM

wow I love us Lets go lakers .

LakerTom,

1. Thanks for your list.

2. Every single one of those players represents a step down from
Pau Gasol. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

With that being said, you're willing to cripple the rotation of the C/PF, so
that we get better at the PG and Bynum becomes more of a focus on offense?

Is that correct?

And I want to make sure I'm putting this in perspective: You want to replace
one of the two Lakers all stars & second best offensive threat ... for a
combo of: Fesenko & Howard?


@HOBBITMAGE ... You are impossible. I never said these guys were equivalent to Pau Gasol. They were options to be backup power forwards or centers. You can characterize trading Pau as crippling our 4/5 rotation if you want but as I said 100 times today, it is trading height and length from a player who completely choked in the playoffs for desperately needed speed, athleticism, and 3-point shooting. I get you don’t agree. Just don’t complain when you get your requested list of viable backup candidates that they aren’t as good as the guy we’re trading. The issue is whether Chris Paul will make the Lakers a better team than Pau Gasol has now that we’re abandoning the Triangle.
....................................
TOM

Here's why the Lakers need to hold out hope for Dwight Howard.

When looking at the championship teams over the last 30 years all of them have had one of the top 5 players in the league...except the 2004 Pistons...and maybe the Bad Boys Pistons although Zeke could've been considered a top 5 player even though he wasn’t voted to the all-NBA teams during those years. Whoever wins the championship this year will continue that tradition.

Will Kobe be one of the top 5 in 2012? How about 2013? How about Pau? No way. Drew? Nope. Hence, the Lakers need to use their assets (Pau/Drew/LO) to obtain a top 5 player. Are CP3 or Deron Williams top 5 players? If playing very well they both could be top 10 players, but like Tom Daniels stated in his excellent post (6:56am) elite PG’s under 6-9 have not added up to championships recently.

DHoward is the player the Lakers want to make sure they’re in a position to get if/when he tells Orlando he’s not re-signing. (Earlier this week Howard went on record saying he will not sign an extension until his team proves it’s a championship contender). With the big 3 in Miami and the emergence of Chicago, I can’t see how Orlando is going to prove to Dwight they’re contenders before the trade deadline. DHoward (not CP3 or DWill) is a sure fire top 5 player for the next 7 years. I would hate to see the Lakers out of contention to get him because of a previous trade for a PG.

Glen Davis – Celtics – $3.3M
Chuck Hayes – Rockets – $2.3M
Craig Smith – Clippers – $2.3M
Marc Gasol – Grizzlies – $3.5M
Kris Humphries – Nets – $2.3M
Aaron Grey – Hornets – $1.1M
Carl Landry – Hornets - $3.0M
Steve Novak – Spurs - $0.5M
Kyrylo Fesenko – Jazz - $1.1M
Josh Howard – Wizards - $3.0M
....................................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | June 05, 2011 at 02:10 PM

Aloha Laker Tom,

O.k I think your list proves Hobbits point. Lets take a look.
Smith, Hayes, Landry and Davis are all undersized PF's that can not match up well against larger PF's and not at all against most centers.
Josh Howard is a SF
Novak is 6' 10' and can hit the 3 but there is a reason he has averaged 9 min a game for his career. He can't do anything else.
Humphries would be good if Kim can talk him into playing for the MLE if it exists because he has developed into at least an 8 mil guy.
Grey had some good moments but on defense they sent a triple team to help every time Drew touched the ball. Again no spacing.
Gasol 10 to 12 mil at least
Fesenko really only good at being 7 feet tall. Not much else.

And that is the point. Pau is a natural PF. But when he plays center I have him as a top 5 center in the league. When you consider center is the weakest position in the NBA that is not a stretch at all. No one but the Lakers can always have a quality center and power forward on the floor at all times. That is why all the contenders added size to counter us. And that is something no will be able to match up against.

It is much easier to find a couple of shooters JR Smith is a MLE level free agent, then it is finding quality bigs. If we space the floor no one can match up to the Andrew/Pau combo. Just my opinion.

MH

Mr. Boss man I don't joke on a Friday
The bank line long like a highway

 
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