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Old 06-14-2004, 10:42 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default Laker offseason moves...

Now that the Lakers are on the verge of elimination, I'd thought I'd post a thread on what the Lakers should do this offseason.

Here's who is under contract next season...

1. Shaq
2. Devean George
3. Kareem Rush
4. Brian Cook
5. Rick Fox

Here's the unrestricted free agents for the Lakers...

1. Horace Grant
2. Slava Medvedenko
3. Bryon Russell
4. Derek Fisher ( player option)
5. Karl Malone ( player option)
6. Gary Payton ( player option)

Jamal Sampson and Luke Walton are salary protected, however Sampson is unlikely to return considering he didn't smell the court this year.

It's obvious now that Shaq and Kobe aren't going to be on the same team next year, so it's really either a Shaq or Kobe question for Buss. Resign Kobe and trade Shaq or keep Shaq and let Kobe go ( perhaps doing a sign and trade with him).

Out of the guys under contract, ALL will return as expected next year, with the exception of Fox, who is almost certain to retire. I expect Buss to let Grant, Medvedenko, and Russell walk without so much as a goodbye, so those 3 are history. Fisher will likely resign with the Lakers even if he does exercise his player option to become a free agent. Malone and Payton are gone, I think that is obvious to everyone.

As for Kobe, I think he is gone too, based on several things ( and I hope he is gone). First, Shaq and Kobe can't be on the same team anymore, that much is known. Shaq is under contract and who could the Lakers possibly get in a trade to offset losing Shaq? They would require too much in return for anyone to bite ( we're talking 3 to 4 star players and Buss wouldn't stick Shaq on a horrible team like that). Kobe's play compared to Shaq's play in the Finals is the final straw in my book. Buss isn't going to resign Kobe for even MORE money when it would upset Shaq, wouldn't be worth it because Kobe sucks, and Kobe might end up in the clink.

A sign and trade with Kobe is possible ( provided he isn't in Alcatraz) with Memphis, New York, or Indiana IMO. Memphis has Jerry West, and Kobe was rumored to have shown interest there. New York would be Lakers-East for Kobe to show off his....Kobeness? Plus, Isiah Thomas likes shaking things up. Indiana has a big man in O'Neal and could use a Kobe in their offense. The way they see it, they are the 2nd best team in the league ( behind Detroit), and only need a boost.

As for Phil Jackson, he's gone too. His contract is up and he wants too much $ to return to a team that has failed for 2 years in a row. Interestingly enough, Peter Vecsey tossed Pat Riley's name out there for a possible return to L.A. ( like I did earlier this week), claiming it's no rumor, just an idea which makes sense. Riley is negotiating a part time ownership of the Heat right now, but something tells me he couldn't pass up " fixing" the Lakers with full control under Buss' watch. I hope this talk gets the rumor mill going.

I see Shaq, George, Rush, Fisher, Walton, and Cook as the only guys to return next season. The free agent list is light this year, which hurts L.A. Top guys the Lakers should go after who are free agents IMO..

1. Steve Nash
2. Marcus Camby
3. Troy Hudson
4. Keon Clark
5. Latrell Sprewell
6. Erick Dampier

Getting one or two of these guys ( esp Nash), combined with a coaching change, and hopefully a sign and trade of Kobe to NY, Memphis, or Indiana for 2 to 3 solid stars with grounded egos would do benefit the Lakers next year. They've got alot of work to do, that's for sure.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:51 PM   #2
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The NBA released the players left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft...Fisher and Fox are on it, which was expected, because Fox is retiring and Fish proably won't get picked up.
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:20 AM   #3
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I see Allan Houston's name unprotected for my Knickerbockers. Pleeeaaassseeee.... someone take him! :clap:
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:35 AM   #4
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WAY to big of contract to unload Spikedmace. Never going to happen. Only Charlotte can take the guys on the list and they aren't signing him.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:41 AM   #5
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The Lakers would be pretty insane not to re-sign Kobe if he wants to stay. If he wishes to come back they'll sign him up and sign him long-term. He is the franchise. Shaq is Shaq, but he is getting older. I still think Shaq has a good 3-4 years left in him, but Kobe is only 25 and has reached his prime as the best all-around player in the game today. I have no idea why anyone would want to see a player like that leave his/her team.

I don't know who else the Lakers could get, but it's very clear that Malone, Payton and Fisher are the ones who will for sure not be back. The Lakers could use Steve Nash, but the thing is he's looking for a long-term contract somewhere. He's 30, and while he's still a great player...you wonder if he'll just run out of gas if you give him something long-term. He's been a warrior, playing a ton of minutes every season and representing Canada during the summer.

It'll be interesting to see what Phil does. I think he'll come back, but it's too difficult to tell. Whatever happens, the Lakers need to continue to re-build the supporting cast and re-sign Kobe.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:05 PM   #6
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I would like to see some things done:
1. Keep Kobe, Kobe and Shaq are still the most powerful two hit punch in the league.
2. Phil needs to step back and possibly be an asst. coach on the Lakers. (ofcourse that wouldnt happen)
3. Trade Brian Cook, Sampson for someone decent.
4. Pick up Nash and Kanyon Martin, do what it takes to get them.
5. Build Slava to be a good guy to come off the bench. He has a shot he needs confidence in it, and some D
6. Work Rush into the starting Five.
7. Build Luke Walton, he could be like a wally serbs if you just work with him more.
8. Get Shaq to lose 25 pounds, leaner and meaner means Title back.
9. Hire Horace Grant on the coaching staff, why,he has been there all season anyway.
10. Lastly trade George too, he was awful in the postseason, in fact he was worst than Peja in a game seven.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:50 PM   #7
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Analyzing Baptist's remarks on his above point by point suggestions...

1. Kobe and Shaq can't coexist anymore.

2. Phil as an assistant? Get real. He's done.

3. Cook was a rookie this year. Why trade a rookie? Sampson isn't under contract and is available in the expansionn draft. So he is gone.

4. Nash would be nice, however Dallas has only one free agent,him, so I'm sure it will be tough to wrangle him from Mark Cuban. K-Mart is a headcase, the last thing the Lakers need.

5. Slava is a free agent...audios Medvy.

6. Rush doesn't have nearly the talent to start at 2guard. And if you suggest keeping Kobe, where will Rush play at? The man is a spot up shooter, and can't create his own shot.

7. Agree on building Walton, although he will never have NEARLY the offensive capability of Wally.

8. Agree on Shaq losing a few pounds.

9. Whoever the new coach is will bring in their own staff. Jim Cleamons is most likely the choice if the Lakers hire within, although a hard push for Pat Riley would be nice.

10. George has a HUGE contract and is untradeable. L.A. is stuck with him for several more years.
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:27 AM   #8
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Where can I get a list of the unprotected players?
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:34 PM   #9
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I believe the Lakers would prefer to keep Kobe, but it's unfortunate for them that it's backwards -- Shaq's the one whose under contract and Kobe is the FA. They basically are going to ask Kobe what he wants to try to keep him there.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:12 PM   #10
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Shaq & Kobe will be together again, as for the HC. I have no idea.
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Old 06-18-2004, 07:08 AM   #11
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Maybe it's Shaq that might leave the Lakers instead of Kobe. Jerry Buss will do absolutely anything to keep Kobe. If he needs to let go of Phil, he will, if he has to trade Shaq, he will. And remember, Payton has once stated whatever Malone does, Payton will do. Payton will be back only if Malone is back which is very unlikely. With a new coach throwing away the triangle, maybe it will change Gary Payton's mind and Kobe and Payton might be back but with Shaq traded away. But to which team for who?
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:50 PM   #12
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I think it's official that nobody would want Gary Payton on their team. The way he played during these playoffs, he pretty much stunk it up. Payton is a whiner, old, slow, doesn't play defense and treats himself like he's high priced.

If I were any team out there, why would you sign this guy?

The Lakers would be foolish to bring this guy back. Though bringing back Malone isn't that bad of an idea.
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:37 PM   #13
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Clipps.........You made the most asinine statement possible

But also the most true statement possible.

If Kobe wants Phillip gone and Buss caters to that (as it seems he is about to do), Shaq is not going to take that to well and that opens a door to a large power struggle between the Diesel and Kobe the Great.

No way that Shaq allows a them to hire a coach who will tailor the offense to Kobe's liking at his expense.

This could get really interesting.
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:56 PM   #14
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As I always suspected Kobe opting out is only a way of him trying to garner more control of this franchise. He wanted Phillip out and he is about to get that and maybe Shaq is next.

The final year of his contract is worth $14,625,000.

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm

If he signs a max deal with the Lakers there is a good chance that his first year salary will fall into the 13mil to 13.5mil range if the salary cap stays near it's current level. No other team probably will be able to give him that much.

So we know now FOR SURE that it is not a money issue and we know he wants to see who will give him what he wants as far as a team of his own with title aspirations. The question is how far will he go as far as pressuring the Lakers to make concessions to him. They had better be careful about how they handle this because Kobe may sell tickets but Shaq hangs banners
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:31 PM   #15
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Obviously, today's events have answered everyone's question...who do the Lakers value more: Shaq or Kobe? The answer is clearly Kobe ( why God? why such madness?). Kupchak stated today he WILL NOT do a sign and trade with Kobe, but would hear trade offers if Shaq demands one.

Other news from L.A.

Possible new head coach...Brian Shaw's name has surfaced and is recieving alot of attention ( a move that would please Kobe greatly, but who also has a great relationship with Shaq, so that's promising).

The sign and trade Kupchak would have made if he decided on that route was with the Clippers according to word around L.A.
Kobe for Wilcox, Maggette, and the Clippers 1st round pick...ugghhh...bad deal, good thing it ain't happening.

Basically, this thing stands either two ways...

1. Kobe is being loved so he will return, and we will worry about Shaq later, but yes we still want him ( but we could trade him if Shaq don't like it or maybe even if Kobe wants him gone,in which case,I'll burn that selfish SOB in effigy)

2. Shaq has approved all this and the Kobe-love-athon is just the result of today's activities.

Ok, if I have to have Kobe, I hope this went through Shaq first, although something tells me it didn't. Once Kobe is resigned ( if it happens, which I think it will at this point, which drains the life out of me), look for a Shaq-love-athon period to begin by Kupchak and Buss. If Shaq isn't too hurt by this, he'll stay. If he hates how this went down, he's gone.

This is a big gamble, because Kobe can't win without Shaq, like tray said. Anyone who has a smidge of b-ball knowledge can see that.

If Kobe stays, and Shaq leaves, the pressure is on Kobe to produce a title NEXT YEAR IMO ( and it ain't happening)

If Kobe leaves and Shaq stays ( the Lakers can make DECENT strides with Kobe's money and the free agent market and should contend with a solid head coach).

If BOTH Kobe and Shaq stay, these a-blanks better win a title next year.

In any event, if Kobe ( who I see as a cancer now) stays and the Lakers don't win a title next year, I'm calling for Kupchak to get canned. THREE years without a banner is totally unexcusable.
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