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Shannon Brown and Joe Smith have appeared in Drew League this summer

This was supposed to be a post updating how Shannon Brown plans to exercise his $2.37-million option. This was supposed to provide a glimpse on how Brown has stayed busy this offseason. And this was supposed to show a few Brown dunks that Laker fans endlessly enjoy.

I had been tipped off that Brown had devoted part of his summer playing in the Drew League, a summer league that features Los Angeles-based NBA, college and amateur players and a league that director Oris "Dino" Smiley says serves as the equivalent to New York City's Rucker Park leagues. The video indeed shows Brown participating about two weeks ago, but he didn't arrive Sunday like league officials had said he would. All accounts, from Smiley to Toronto Raptors guard and USC product DeMar DeRozan to rapper Game, say Brown definitely didn't disappoint. 

But there was still some Laker news to report. Lakers forward Joe Smith showed up after saying The Game convinced him Saturday when meeting at a local barber shop that he should come by Washington Park in East L.A. to hoop it up. Smith reiterated his desire to play again for the Lakers, saying he doesn't want to have to keep moving after playing for 12 different teams. But surely his wishes aren't among the Lakers' highest priorities. Besides, no matter how much fun Smith is to talk to and how much he provided a positive locker room presence, he doesn't exactly sell himself well when Game cracked more minutes on the floor than he did and he was the victim of getting dunked on in a pickup scrimmage. Still, Smith had nothing but goods to say about Lakers Coach Mike Brown, whom Smith played for in 2008 and 2009 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, though he admitted "it's going to take some getting used to" adjusting to handling the widened scrutiny and off-court distractions that surround the Lakers. 

"He knows his X's and O's on both ends of the floor," Smith said. "It's going to be a good fit for the team. We have a lot of veterans on this team and a lot of guys who know what it takes to win. Mike will be that key factor to get us going on both ends of the floor, especially defensively, where I felt we struggled at times this year. I don't think we really understood the defensive scheme as a whole.  Certain individuals did, but as a group I don't think we really understood it to the point where we could go out there and execute it to the fullest."

Speaking of Game, he jokingly challenged several players with thousand-dollar wagers and appeared in a jovial mood. But he didn't sound too excited in touting his music video "Purp & Yellow," which featured Brown, Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Besides the song being a few months old, discussing it only brought back frustrating memories regarding the Lakers' early playoff exit.

"Lakers got put out by the Mavs," Game said. "It's a sore subject." 

-- Mark Medina

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@BAY TO LA.... Superb post about Kidd and Bibby. All you have to do is watch how many times Kidd gets the ball into the hands of the right player in the right spot at the right time to understand why a true point guard is extremely important. Whether we can get CP3 or DWill or Raymond Felton is a big question the answer to which is unknown. Whether Derek Fisher and Steve Blake can provide what Mike Brown want is a question the answer to which is probably No.

Excellent breakdown of trade options for CP3.

As for the Nash proposal: I think he's a bit too old for what we need. If we could have somehow stolen him a few years back, I would have been more excited about it. We need someone who can run this team for the next 6-8 years, not only for the next two.

I'm still pinning for D Will, but CP3 is my second choice(only because of knee issues). I also like a trade previously mentioned for Raymond Felton, but I would not give up Pau or Drew for him and a few other throw ins.

If we could give up Lamar and Blake for Felton and Gallinari, that would give us a steady PG who can run the show and a long range bomber.

My first selection of the day:

the lakers are not going to be "that" team for a while, so i suggest that people practice patience. the lakers had a great run, but, like every other championship team,the run is over, so now we are like any other team trying to climb that much as i love the lakers, i also have a cerebral cortex,and that tells me that we are no longer an "elite" team.which is not to say that we can't get back there real soon, we typically do. i'm sorry, but i don't think jim buss is jerry west. but again who knows whats possible. i'm just hold my nose and try to watch the rest of the finals

really? in the " Purple & Yellow " song Matt Barnes and Ron actually rap on it? hmmm how come I never heard that version, I just heard it with the Game and Snoop Dogg!

>>>If we could give up Lamar and Blake for Felton and Gallinari

Why don't you wish for trading Lamar and Luke for LeBron and DWade while you're at it.

Absolutely no way in hell Denver would give up Felton and Gallo for Lamar and Blake.

Lamar for Felton might work as the core of a deal, but Gallinari was the best piece they got out of the trade for Carmelo, so they won't give him up easily.

Might be able to pull off something like Lamar and Blake for Felton and Birdman or Felton and S&T K-Mart, but not Gallinari.

Dykstra, who bought a Ventura County mansion once owned by hockey star Wayne Gretzky, filed for bankruptcy two years ago, claiming he owed more than $31 million and had only $50,000 in assets

"Why don't you wish for trading Lamar and Luke for LeBron and DWade while you're at it."

Wow, that was a bit of an exaggeration compared to my proposed deal...

Gallinari maybe has about the same talent that Wade has in his left pinkit toe.

And since you mentioned it... Point guard #3:

Ray Felton.

Felton is an excellent defender and a true pass-first point guard. His shooting has improved the last couple of years, but still isn't great. But he's great at pushing the tempo and good in the pick & roll, and one of the best defending PGs in the league. In a way he reminds me of a much younger and slightly better passing Derek Fisher.

Denver actually did pretty well after the Carmelo trade. Gallinari has big upside, and Felton and Chandler are both very good players to either keep or trade. Al Harrington's a notch below that, but not too bad and not too expensive. Add that haul to Nene, K-Mart, JR Smith, Aaron Afflalo, Chris Anderson, and Ty Lawson and they have decent depth at every position. No superstars, but reasonably good players at every position.

They now have two quality point guards in Felton and Lawson, but Lawson is the more likely PG of the future for them, so they would probably be willing to trade Felton to get a talent upgrade at some other position. More likely, they'd be very willing to trade Felton and another piece or two to get an All-Star level player.

Their strength is more in their guards - Felton, Lawson, Smith, Afflalo, and Chandler is a pretty potent set of guards, with Chandler able to cover some SF as well.

In the front court, Nene is by far the best, with K-Mart, Harrington, and Andersen passable.

Any of Pau, Drew, or Lamar would certainly be appealing to Denver, thought Drew plays the same position as their best front court player - Nene.

Pau could probably get you Felton and Gallinari. Or at very least, Felton plus some combination of two guys from {K-Mart, Birdman, Chandler, Afflalo, Harrington, Smith, Mosgov}, or maybe Felton + Gallo + one player from that list (and maybe a draft pick). Bynum might get you the same. Remember, Denver was fishing for a Carmelo for Bynum deal, so they'd almost certainly be willing to give up most (if not all) of the assets they got for Melo to get Bynum.

As for trades for other Laker players to get Felton, I doubt it (other than filler). Denver has two talented young SF's in Gallinari and Chandler. And other than Kobe, all the Denver guards mentioned are better than all the Laker guards. They might be willing to take Barnes or Brown or Blake or Ebanks or Caracter as matching salary in a trade, but not as primary pieces to get Felton. So the only players the Lakers could trade Denver that would be upgrades would be at PF & C.

So here are several potential deals that could get you Felton.

Andrew Bynum for Gallinari, Felton, and either Mozgov or Birdman, plus the future Knicks pick.

Basically, this deal gives all of the Knicks assets except Wilson Chandler and Al Harrington to the Lakers. So effectively, from Denver's end, it turns Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups into Andrew Bynum, Wilson Chandler, and Al Harrington.

From the Lakers' end, they get:
Felton (a legitimate starting PG)
Gallinari (6'10", one of the best shooters in the league, could play some PF)
a big to back-fill Bynum's role (though not NEARLY as talented as Bynum)

Lots of pieces could be thrown in here or there to augment the trade - Barnes, Ebanks, Caracter, Afflalo, Smith, Chandler, K-Mart, & Kosta Koufos could all be potential pieces. In fact, the Lakers might even be able to dump Luke Walton off in a deal with Bynum or Gasol.

Basically, as long as you don't ask for Ty Lawson or Nene, I think everyone else could be considered in play in a trade for Bynum or Pau.


Pau Gasol for Felton, Gallinari, Mozgov, and S&T Afflalo (& probably draft picks as well).

It would take a little more for the Lakers to part with Pau. This still leaves Denver with Chandler at SF, Smith at SG (Lakers could possibly throw in Shannon Brown &/or Matt Barnes), an awesome front court of Pau & Nene, and Lawson at PG (plus K-Mart, Andersen, Harrington, off the bench).

The advantage of this deal is it seals a young core of talent for future Laker teams. Now instead of Bynum & Shannon Brown, they have Bynum, Gallo, Felton, Mozgov, and Afflalo. It also makes their bench much deeper. Assuming Lamar takes over starting PF, it gives the Lakers a bench of Gallinari, Mozgov, Afflalo, and Fisher. Pretty solid.

The one caveat is this... young players don't win championships. Veterans win championships. Hopefully with Kobe, Bynum, Fish, Odom and Artest still around, they'd still have enough veteran talent to lead them to more rings.


And then there's the Odom trade. Odom is definitely a better two-way front court player than anyone on the Nuggets except Nene. OTOH, he's not an All-Star. So you're not going to get a treasure horde for Lamar. You could get Felton and maybe one other piece (not named Nene, Lawson, or Gallinari).

Even so, this trade still might help with depth if it's a twofer - Felton starting at PG makes Fisher a decent backup PG, and the second player (K-Mart? Andersen? Mozgov?) would be some depth in the middle.

I'm trying to understand the jet dissing The King. That is real smart to challenge the best defensive player in the league right now. Sorry ron ron. How dumb can you get brother? The jet is suppose to compliment the king and lul him into a false sense of security. No the fool wants to get the king real angry. Anyway to each his own. Miami is playing lockdown defense. Dwade and LBJ can be prison officers man. I see why dr buss got a defensive minded coach to compete against a team that is playing better defense than the 2008 celtics.

>>>"Why don't you wish for trading Lamar and Luke for LeBron and DWade
>>>while you're at it."
>Wow, that was a bit of an exaggeration compared to my proposed deal...
>Gallinari maybe has about the same talent that Wade has in his left pinkit toe.

Wellllllll, not quite.

While Gallinari isn't a super-star, he at least has the potential to become an All-Star, if he keeps improving. He was the best player that Denver got back in the deal for Carmelo Anthony.

But okay, maybe Denver would do Felton and Gallo for Odom. If they would, that's a deal I would take. Or maybe Felton, Gallo, and Mozgov or Birdman for Odom and Blake or Odom and Barnes (or Odom & Blake & Barnes).

Gallo has Lamar's size, though not his strength. He's a fair defender (not great, not bad) and a legit 3-point threat (which Odom isn't). He's a tweener, but more of a SF than PF, so the Lakers would still need to hire a third big to back-fill Lamar's position (unless they worked Birdman or Mozgov into the deal as I mentioned).

But the big advantage of this trade is that it adds a quality starting PG to the Lakers without giving up Kobe, Pau, or Drew. And Felton would be getting those three guys lots of quality looks, and wouldn't be letting his man get past him to the rim every time down the court.

i hope the mamba is watching the defense dwade and the king is playing. They don't roam but lock their man right down. Plus dwade is abusing the kobe stopper jason kidd. Kidd locked kobe right down. Are you kidding me? The heat are a team of destiny by beating the mavs and stern's 3 minions last night. I don't understand the king's criticism by persons in the media. LBJ is locking down the mavs number 2 scorer. He is playing 46 minutes a game. He dished out 9 assists and scored 17 points after being constantly doubled team all night. Someone made the observation that whenever dwade is on the floor he has lbj and/or chris bosh on the floor as well. But lbj sometimes is the only starter with the bench as well. The man is a hybrid of jordan and magic no doubt about it and is the world's best player.

@Island Priest:The man is a hybrid of jordan and magic no doubt about it and is the world's best player.

Posted by: Island Priest | June 06, 2011 at 04:38 PM

LBJ is supertalented and it is fair to say he's a hybrid of Magic and Jordan.


If we're counting out Kobe in this conversation then best player in the league would go to Wade, NOT Lebron.

Why, you say? Let me count the ways. Wade is unquestionably a better leader, stronger mentally, better closer, just as athletic and has a wider skill set than Lebron. I'd even go so far as to say five years from now (when both of their legs might be a little slower/less athletic) Wade will still be ballin' using his skills/game while Lebron will be less effective because (so far) he hasn't developed the type of game needed to be still dangerous when he can't rely on his athletics.



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