Fixing the Lakers. Could the unthinkable happen?
Lets play GM and fix the Lakers.
***Priorities need to be established***
At almost the half way point of this awful season does anyone still believe the Lakers could turn things around with this roster and win a championship?
If the answer is yes, stop reading. This thread is a waste of your time and we didn't want you anyways. :)
If the answer is no, do you play out the season with what you have or make a trade before the trade deadline?
If you make a trade, who do you trade? Gasol, Howard, MWP... Kobe?
If you play out the season, is it with the intention of making another run next year?
If you choose to make another run next year, is Howard going to resign with only minimal retooling of the existing roster risking a repeat of this seasons disaster and hope for the 13/14 offseason cap space?
If your intention is to retool in the offseason... whats the plan? Full rebuild (nuclear, but keep Nash,Howard and D'Antoni? Rebuild on the fly and trade Gasol after Howard resigns (assuming he does)? Continue to go for broke and a run at another championship? Not sure how this team improves drastically without a trade and upgrade in talent while all being a year older.
***Salary cap situation***
Player 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Kobe Bryant $27,849,000 $30,453,000 $0 $0 $0
Dwight Howard $19,261,200 $0 $0 $0 $0
Pau Gasol $19,000,000 $19,285,850 $0 $0 $0
Steve Nash $8,900,000 $9,300,500 $9,701,000 $0 $0
Metta World Peace $7,258,960 $7,727,280 $0 $0 $0
Steve Blake $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $0 $0
Chris Duhon $3,680,000 $3,920,000 $0 $0 $0
Jordan Hill $3,500,000 $3,500,000 $0 $0 $0
Jodie Meeks $1,400,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Antawn Jamison $1,352,181 $0 $0 $0 $0
Earl Clark $1,240,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Devin Ebanks $1,040,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Darius Morris $937,195 $0 $0 $0 $0
Robert Sacre $473,604 $0 $0 $0 $0
Darius Johnson-Odom $195,013 $0 $0 $0 $0
TOTALS: $100,087,153 $78,186,630 $9,701,000 $0 $0
After reading the Lakers cap situation, things are looking pretty sweet for the 14/15 offseason with only Nash on the roster at 9.7mil. Kupchak values that flexibility tremendously and we have to assume the only way he agrees to take on long term salary in a trade is if its for a "superstar".
Kobe is 34, Nash is 38, MWP is 33, Gasol is 32 and Howard just turned 27 in dec..
The Lakers have a 2nd round pick in the 13 draft via the Kings and both their own picks in the 14 draft. I am also unaware of any notable prospects in the Lakers farm system or playing overseas developing.
Does Kobe resign or retire after the 13/14 season? If he resigns, at what price?
Do the Lakers consider trading Kobe? Would Kobe waive his no trade clause (the only no trade clause in the league btw) if he thinks next season wouldn't be any better or would he rather the Lakers trade the rest of the team and keep him? What would his value around the league be? What trade could there be that would satisfy the trade rule below, and accomodate a Minimum return to the Lakers of 75% of Kobe's 27.8 mil salary while also limiting the contract recieved to the end of the 13/14 season to preserve capspace?
***(Teams above the cap (or teams below the cap but would end up more than $100,000 over the cap following a trade) cannot acquire more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary they trade away. Under the 2011 CBA, teams that remain below the luxury tax threshold even after the trade can acquire the lesser of 150% plus $100,000, or 100% plus $5 million, of the salary they trade away. There is no lower limit—teams may divest themselves of as much salary as they wish in a trade.)***
When the Lakers attempt to resign Howard in the offseason (instead of trading him before the deadline, which they won't do) is it likely he will settle for a future that is so cloudy for 5 more seasons? Howard could sign with the Mavericks, but Dirk much like Kobe, isn't getting any younger...although Dirks game would compliment Howard much more. Perhaps the Hawks, but is Horford a complimentary PF?
What about Gasol? Trade him? Keep him? If Howard walks in the offseason, it might be nice to have another championship caliber center on the roster, but Gasol and Howard are not a good fit. If you keep Gasol, its not likely his value will increase over the next few years. Should you pull the trigger now? In the offseason after Howard resigns?
What about Jordan Hill and Earl Clark? Are they keepers in the Lakers new world order? At what price?
In any trade, are the Lakers building for the 13/14 offseason and looking for young players and picks or are they looking for more veterans on sensible contracts or try and stop the ship from sinking ASAP?
One thing is certain. Howard will be back to his old self by the start of next season... do you focus on resigning and building around him and trade Gasol, Kobe, MWP or let them walk as FA's at the end of the 13/14 offseason? Resign them to cheaper deals if they'll take it? This is a risk because this roster doesn't work well together, so keeping all of them makes little sense. Gasol is very unhappy with coming off the bench, however, is there any other way with Howard on the roster? The spacing doesn't work. Kobe and Howard aren't clicking. The starting lineup is lethargic as a unit. People are old or beatup. Kobe still shoots too much. Ball movement is terrible. Too many alpha dogs unwilling/unable to change what comes natural to them.
Isn't the prudent choice to keep the youngest star asset in Howard and rebuild the rest of the roster around him?
Many, many questions surrounding the Lakers and their future.
Your the GM, what do you do?
Agree or disagree, +1 to anyone who sensibly responds in this thread to this marathon of a post.
He's not going everywhere. They need to build through the draft. Oh wait. I forgot. The Lakers just trade their draft picks.
I would give up on this season and face the facts that we won't make the playoffs. Each and every day it appears that Dwight will ditch the lakers so it may be time to flip him at the deadline for whatever pieces they can get(dont feel like seeing another Dwightmare). Trade Pau also, he doesn't fit in the offense and also wants to leave. Out of these 2 deals they may be able to get a nice young haul from Brooklyn for Dwight which involves Brooks, Lopez???, picks, and a nice young player from a third team. In the Gasol deal(Houston or Charlotte maybe) they can get more young players and/or picks that will help build a foundation for life after Kobe. It would be hard to fire Dantoni as they owe mike Brown 10 mil and cutting Dantoni would add 12 mil more. I think they should just eat the 12 mil and bring back Brian Shaw. Earl Clark is a wildcard as his play down the season will determine if he is part of the future or not. Since Dwight is gone and Pau is also, would Nash be on his way also? After Kobe retires next season(huge possibility) they should try to snag a free agent or two from the monster 2014 class, maybe Iggy, STAT, or possibly LeBron?!?!?!?!? Lakers should have a TON of cap space after next season so it's a possibility they could get a solid player or star
The first thing that the Lakers need is a young, stud point guard. After that, they can keep adding pieces. I think they went the wrong route when they abandoned the triangle offense after Phil Jackson retired.
I've read about the Howard/Lopez deal also. Do you think Lopez would be a piece the Lakers would be willing to commit some of there 13/14 offseason cap space to?
I'm not sure he's a real wildcard which is why I put question marks near his name, he's having a very good season though and his Impact on the Nets W-L is evident
Kobe has a no trade clause.....
I touched on that in the original post.
I say trade Gasol and Nash for young talent. This team has to think about its future, if they are this bad this year will they be better next year? They aren't getting any younger. They have to infuse young talent around Dwight if they want to be set for the future. The first move I make is trade Nash for Kyle Lowry. (He was on the block)
Lakers: they get Kyle Lowry, (proven 3pt shooter and averaging around 14, 5 and 6 last three seasons) bu t the primary reason is Lowry is a defensive minded player that can put pressure on other PGs unlike Nash. This would also benefit Kobe, as Kobe (at age 37?) Is chasing around young guards. Plus Kyle Lowry is younger and allows more room for team growth.
Raptors: they get a Canadian. Raptor fans haven't had to much to cheer about but Nash would be.
This trade isn't likely to be accepted as the Raptors have changed to a defensive philosophy that actually seems to be working (sort of)and as a Raps fan I hope they don't do this. But you asked if I was the GM of Lakers so that's atleast where id start.
Lakers line up:
Great answer. Hadn't even thought about that angle.
kobe won't want to move i don't think. what happens next depends on howard's xhances of resigning.
put it this way. th way the media and rumour mill would have it, dwight would be having an awful season. a 10/10/1 season. but as it is, he's averaging 17/12/2 in amongst this mess. lets face it, dwight is still the best centre in the league. and if you have any chance whatsocer of resigning him, you resign.
but as numerous people have already said, pau and dwight arent playing well together. pau played great at tge olympics at the 4 spot, but tht was with one of the best passing bigmen in the world at the 5. so he needs to go- but that cant happen now, as they cant risk losing both. so the decision there needs to be made in the offseason.
i doubt nash has any value left. he was already old, then his numbers fell off a cliff. so no point trading him. this team reminds me so much of the 03-04 team when they added payton and malone...too many egos, too unbalanced.
i also think that dantoni was an awful hire...and as awful as it sounds, theres only one way to fix it- ditch him.
so my plan of action: wait out this season, making my number 1 priority to get howard healthy, to keep paus value and to keep howard happy so that he resigns. in the offseason, change coaches, attempt to sign howard, and theb if thats successful, look to move gasol for a couple of young forwards that can shoot the ball and develop.
apologies for the typos, typing on phone!
If D'Antoni is still the coach by the beginning of next season, then I'd be surprised. There was no way D'Antoni was going to get this team over the top seeing as he really only coaches offense and that's not enough to make any NBA in this era an NBA champion.
Kobe dosent have the only no trade clause in the league Dirk also has one...
The more the Lakers are in free fall, the more I see Kobe warming up to trade possibilities. It is more than a rumor that the Lakers brass is looking to the future and when they were in Chicago, there were whispers that the Lakers were/are considering seeking Howard's opinion on the direction of the team. I felt like my lungs collapsed when I heard that but there is some merit to it. This year's team stinks and is going no where, so why not start working on getting Howard in the fold for the long term and putting the pieces around the "future" to make it work. As a Laker fan, if they commit to Howard and the future, I trust Kupchak to make the right player moves to make it work. My main question is whether Howard grows up and commits to winning and forgetting about all that other crap that he currently puts a high priority on.
As likely everyone will say, don't trade Kobe. I have been saying for a while now that they should trade Pau.
Gasol can still be a fantastic center, and I think they should swing him for two or three decent plays to round out their roster. Maybe an athlete who can defend and a shooter. As for Dwight, I would keep him. The Lakers have a chance to keep a player who was considered up until fairly recently the second best player in the league. Clark and Hill are decent stop-gap big men, and Clark brings some nice versatility and athleticism to the squad.
As for Nash, I'm not sure what I'd do with him. If someone else here suggests a sensible trade, it might sway me, but I don't think he's a terrible fit for the squad, and I'd lean toward keeping him.
Finally, I've been wondering all season why the Lakers haven't made basic roster moves for guys like Delonte West, who could spell Kobe and Nash, defend at a passable level, and stretch the floor, CDR, who is athletic, a decent defender, and a capable offensive player, and even taking a chance at a guy like Jarvis Varnado to potentially shore-up the defense. Varnado wouldn't offer much else, but I don't see that as an issue. Scouring the market for free agents and D-Leaguers isn't the most attractive option, but considering the resources the Lakers have committed to this team, and what's at stake in terms of swaying Dwight, I think LA's gotta take some manageable risks.
Edit: I just realized that Varnado is with the Heat, so that's obviously out, but I think my point of taking risks with fringe players/role players still stands.
that its actually come to this. There is so much talent on both ends, even with their age getting up there. I think the major problem is that noone bought into Mike Brown's offense, and now, there aren't enough runners for D'Antoni's offense to be successful. The triangle would have gotten so much more easy offense for these guys. At this point, the moral of the team is costing them wins as well. Its hard to imagine a team like this not making the playoffs.
I think you move Nash and Pau. Nash is a major liability on D and his greatness shows when he holds the rock, which will never happen on this team. And Pau does not fit well w/Howard. Kobe is untouchable. Not only does his contract prevent trades, but trading him would cause massive hysteria and potential fan abandonment--read a Lakers' board and you'll see what I'm talking about. Kobe is going nowhere. Dwight is at an all-time low on trade value and he's also the best prospect for a bright future that LA has. I think they keep him.
Stealing some ideas I've read elsewhere, including this thread:
Nash for Lowry
Pau for Milsap + Marvin Williams + Raja Bell
The Lowry trade gives the Lakers a substantial upgrade in perimeter D and gives them a pg that plays well off-ball. This trade makes them better in every way. The question is whether or not Toronto goes for it--I suspect they would.
Not many teams can absorb Pau's $19M next season. The Jazz can. Additionally, Milsap would give the Lakers a scrappy, highly productive 4 that doesn't need the offense to go through him. Milsap, though undersized, is a very good defender. He's finished in the top 5 for steals the last couple of years. Marvin Williams is only an average 3, but he can defend and knock down 3s at nearly a 40% clip, which will help floor spacing. Raja Bell is garbage imo, but the Lakers seem to like him and he can defend a little and knock down 3s--he's only added to the deal to make the money match. Milsap and Raja are both free agents next year. This trade helps the Lakers depth, spaces their floor, takes one player that needs touches out of the equation and give them more cap flexibility. Williams has a player option and will likely stay an additional season. I think the Jazz go for this because they'd see it as an opportunity to get something close to a super star, which they lack.
I like the idea of a Howard and Milsap front court. Spacing, defense and mobility are all improved. The only downside I can see is resigning Milsap in the offseason when he's an UFA. I would think Milsap should be able to get a longterm deal starting at 8 mil per or more this offseason. Is he a piece the Lakers would be willing to commit some of there cap space to? Should the Lakers ask for a pick in the deal aswell?
I also wonder if the Jazz would take the deal for Pau when Kanter and Favors are itching for more playing time. Jefferson is also an UFA this offseason, is Pau and upgrade? Do the Jazz trade Jefferson to another team instead of losing him for nothing in this offseason?
I can see trading Nash and it may be a wise move, but I get the feeling Nash is still working himself back into shape after breaking his leg earlier in the season. His defense and mobility should be slightly less terrible when he's in good shape again. Could Kupchak swallow giving up two 1st's and two 2nd rounders for Nash this past offseason only to trade him for Lowry half a season later? What's this mean for D'Antoni? Can Lowry run the pick and roll?
I agree that trading Kobe is not the most popular idea out there, but there could be a time when Kobe might be willing to waive his no trade clause if he feels his last few years in the league won't be spent chasing rings with the Lakers. Stranger things have happened.
i really dont think that they have any chance of winning it, lets say they do make the playoffs, they will prob get a 7 or 8 seed. at the very best maybe a 6 seed if they really pick it up. that means they will have to face a really good team in the first round and even if they win the 1st round i dont see them beating the clips or thunder. who knows tho, thats the exciting thing about the nba/playoffs. but it will take a miracle for them to win the championship IMO
He is the only Laker with trade value right now. Pau can play center in a D'Antoni offense and hopefully LA could get some younger players/draft picks in return. If they were able to move Duhon/Blake as well that would just be a bonus. Taking on short term contracts to get some depth/youth in pieces that fit into the new system should be the priority right now. Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland all have assets that could make a deal possible. This season is a bust and I don't see how next year will be much better with the current roster.
With all the Problems and options they have right now, trading Dwight seems like the best trade asset right now.
To trade Nash would be very mean to him and I don't think this will work out Even if I have to admit that a Lowry Nash swap looks good for both sides.
They should try to trade Dwight to the Nets and find a 3rd team to bring in talent cause no one in the Nets roster aside from Marshon Brooks is an upgrade let alone a cap friendly one.
Maybe the Kings, Wizards, Rockets or Cavs have something to offer and if Dwight is officially on the block you can be sure Cuban is going after him BIG time! The Lakers need to add youth and deph. What I really would like to see would be Kevin Love playing for the Lakers but in a possible 3 team trade with Brooklyn and the Lakers there isn't too much interest in what the Nets could offer if the Wolves are giving away Love.
I'm almost sure the Lakers will do some kind of moves cause they will be stuck with this insane payroll even if they lose Dwight in the Offseason and it doesn't Look like he will be there after his contract is over. Will be very very interesting!
The Lakers are in trouble, that's for sure. They are not going to trade Kobe, and that is going to hurt them because they are stuck with his contract for sure. The Dwight thing seems to not be working. I know Dwight is a 3X defensive POY and everything, but if I were the Lakers I would roll the dice while I still can. Trading him now you can still get great value from some thirsty team like Brooklyn, waiting a year when he could very well walk away from you anyway is also risky because he could remain a guy with a bad back. Trade him now, for the best offer. Lopez/Humphries/Brooks/Picks or something along those lines. Get rid of Gasol, the only way to do that is to sell low at this point, maybe get a few picks and a role player in return. If you can get some picks for Nash, from Indiana or someone like that, great, but otherwise just ride him out. They aren't going to want to take on many contracts that go past 2014, because clearly they want to make a run at Lebron James, which is fine. But it complicates a trade such as the Brooklyn one because of Lopez's contract. Get rid of MWP too, he has some value for contenders. Leave yourself with Kobe and a bunch of scrubs with maybe a Lopez or a Horford there as the 2nd guy. But getting draft picks, and carving out cap are the most important things. Trying to right the ship is foolish. This team would get beat down by one of the high west seeds right now even if they miraculously turn this around. And if they don't, D12 is probably going to leave, and you are going to be stuck 3 aging stars and nothing else. Take your value while you can and rebuild. You tried to patch up Kobe's twilight, it failed.