Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who is running the Lakers?

Through the years we have watched the Lakers win NBA Championship led by different Hall of Fame players from Kareem to Kobe Bryant.  One common denominator in each of the championships was the late owner Dr. Jerry Buss.  He turned the Lakers into the New York Yankees of basketball. 

Since the Great Dr. Jerry Buss passed, we have seen some very questionable moves by the Laker organization.  The first move would be putting all their balls in one hoop by bringing in Dwight Howard with no long term deal and not trading him at the trade deadline when all of America knew he was not signing back with the Lakers.  Second questionable move was signing a 38 year old point guard with health issues when you know the NBA is full of top notch point guards that will run circles around Nash.  Next, you sign a coach that has not proven anything but he can create a team that can average over 100 points which would be good if they didn't give up 100+ point a game.  Finally you sign a 35 year old shooting guard at 48.5 million dollar who is coming off an Achilles injury without seeing if he will ever be healthy again.

So I analyzed the Lakers today and ask myself this question, "How is Mitch Kupchak going to turn this one around".   The Lakers have a plan to clear the cap for summer of 2014 in the chance of getting multiple free agents to bring them back into a championship contender.  Part of this plan was totally blown when they signed Kobe Bryant.  There was no negotiation done when signing him, they just gave him the money.  Kobe is just like anyone else in the world, he is not turning nothing down but his collars.    So 48.5 million dollars for the next two years is already taken of the cap, leaving room to pay only one more max player.  While researching the list of available free agents players for 2014 that are considered max deal players, these are my top 5.

Lebron James:  He is not coming to LA to help Kobe Bryant win a 6th ring.  Lebron is legacy chasing.  It probably already pisses him off that D-Wade keeps getting one more than him, but no one thinks Wade is an all-time great.

Dwayne Wade:  He is the mayor of Miami.  He is not leaving Miami ever!  Plus you don't need D-Wade if you already have Kobe.  Both are playing on their last leg, literally.

Chris Bosh: He could probably help the Lakers but they would need the old Toronto, dread wearing Bosh who averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds a game.  But why leave Miami when you winning championships and getting undeserved max money.

Dirk Nowitzski:  He is not going anywhere.  He enjoys being Mark Cuban #1 prostitute.  Loyal to a fault.  I call it the Kevin Garnett Minnesota syndrome.   

Carmelo Anthony:  The most likely out of the bunch to leave and come to LA.  NY sucks and will continue to suck as long as they are paying Stoudemire.

There were rumors at the beginning of the season that Lebron wanted to play with Carmelo in the future.  If this rumor were to be true,  the Lakers had the money to pay both of them and put the correct pieces around them in order to contend.  By signing Kobe Bryant who looks like he will never be himself again, eliminated all chances of that happening in LA.  It just doesn't make since to give him that amount of money without knowing he will be 100% healthy.

So the sell for Mitch will be, getting an all-star to want to come in and play with Kobe not knowing if he will even last the next two years.  So good luck Laker fans, which I am one of them, there is no Paul Gasol to steal from any franchises.   But we do have one thing working for us, THE BEST BENCH IN THE NBA BABY!  Only because we have the worst starting five in the NBA.

Best Current Laker

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Young and Restless: The Dwight Howard Saga

Does this story sound familiar.  Dwight Howard is in his last year of his contract and has the option to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or test the free agent market in the summer.  If this seems like deja vu, probably because he was in the same situation with the Orlando Magic last year at this time when he made the bonehead decision of the year by opting back into his contract with Orlando, and postponing his chance to hit the free agent market last summer.

This year the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves trying to keep Dwight.  The Lakers have had one of their worst seasons in franchise history.  It has been a combination of bad coaching and a lack of effort contributing to the team's lack of success.   Dwight Howard doesn't seem to be able to mesh with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in this Mike D'Antoni offense. 

Mitch Kupchak, GM for the Lakers, has a dilemma on his hands.  Wait for the end of the year and hope Dwight Howard signs a max deal allowing you to have a young player to build your franchise around after Kobe Bryant leaves, or trade him to guarantee that you do not lose him for nothing.


It is time for Mitch Kupchak to play a little game called chicken.  We learned this as a little kid, when two objects come together on a head on collision and one object moves at the last minute.  Well, Mitch Kupchak needs to enter the Laker locker room and tell Mr. Howard that I have a max deal in my hand that guarantees that you get paid about 30 million more than you can receive from any other team and you either need to sign it, or you will be tipping the jump ball in another city tomorrow.  If he decides not to sign it, in the words of Nino Brown, "You cancel him, and buy another one".  It is not like the Lakers are winning with him now. 

As GM of the Lakers, I'm calling New Jersey, Houston, or even Miami.  Yeah, I said Miami.  Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh would make both teams better.  Dwight would give Miami the inside defensive presence they need, and Bosh would compliment Gasol a lot better than Dwight since they can both play inside and outside the paint.  As the Laker GM, you have to get something.  I don't care if you trade him to Houston for Omar Asik, some young players, and a bag of Tropical Skittles, at least you are not left looking like a man after a wet dream with nothing to show for it but sticky memories.


So Dwight, the decision is yours, make a whole lot of money with a franchise that you know will always be dedicated to winning or go back to the days of Orlando where you are the man, but can't get anyone to come play with you.