Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby trodgers on Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:21 am

There are certain expectations that go along with being the Los Angeles Lakers. We want a team that competes, that is exciting, and that has some swagger. There is no realistic way this team is competing, so I'm making a proposal for a cheap, exciting team that the fans can immediately care about. It's a team I think will challenge for a playoff spot, and it will put us in position to be financially competitive in the following season.

0. Amnesty Metta - overpriced for what he offers
1. Offer Mini MLE to Will Bynum
2. Offer Vet Min contracts to Damien Wilkins, Sasha Vujacic, Lamar Odom, and Samardo Samuels
3. Get someone to coach defense. Even with Howard our D sucked. It's not about personnel as much as schemes. Miami doesn't have anyone to guard PGs (don't say LeBron can; Parker torched him, but there was always someone there to cover), but they're very successful. San Antonio gets their best wing defense from SGs and SFs - not PGs.
4. Go small.

Nash /Bynum
(Kobe)/Blake/Meeks
Wilkins/Vujacic
Odom/Hill/Kelly
Gasol/Samuels/Sacre

Let me make my cases
1. Will Bynum
It's true that Bynum cannot shoot the three, but he shot 47% on FGs last season because he's able to penetrate and break down defenses. His per 36 minute stats last season were 19 points, 7 assists, 3 boards. He'll be 31 this season, he'll be cheap, and he can score. Despite not starting a game, he scored 30+ once, 20+ 7 times, and 15+ 17 times. He was in double figures 29 times.
Scoring: 6.0 (excellent), Passing: 3.8 (very good), hustle (2.2); Overall: 83.8 - borderline starter
Needs Addressed: Scoring, penetration, athleticism

2. Sasha Vujacic
A career 37% shooter on threes, has shot 38.2% since year 3 in the league; he also shot 38% overseas on threes last year. Per36 minute stats last season in the NBA: 14 points, 4 boards, 3 assists. He can play the 1 and 2; depending upon the lineup we're facing he has the length to guard a few 3s. If we're going small, he's versatile.
(Last season in NBA): Scoring 5.4, Passing 2.7, Hustle 2.1; Overall: 65.3 - late rotation player
Needs Addressed: team cohesiveness, shooting, intensity

3. Damien Wilkins
Wilkins will be 34, and he isn't a three-point shooter. So why bother? Simply because he CAN start in the NBA because of his defense, is available cheap, has decent athleticism, and can play the 1-3 if we're running small ball.
Last season: Scoring 5.2, Passing 2.7, Hustle 2.6; Overall: 66.4 - late rotation player
Needs Addressed: body in the starting lineup on the cheap, versatility, defense

4. Lamar Odom
It's easy to look at his atrocious shooting numbers since leaving LA. It's easy to miss the things he still does: per 36 minutes, he averaged 11 boards, 3 assists, and allowed opposing PFs to post just a 13.2 PER. The Clippers were SIGNIFICANTLY better defensively with him on the court.
Scoring: 4.1 (awful), passing 2.8 (excellent), hustle 4.5 (exceptional); overall: 86.5 (borderline starter)
Needs Addressed: team cohesiveness, versatility

5. Samardo Samuels
Samuels is young, athletic, and can play the 4 and 5 spots. He's available on the cheap.
Scoring: 4.8, passing: 2.0, hustle: 2.5; Overall: 59.5 - roster spot
Needs Addressed: youth, athleticism, defense
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby therealdeal on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:30 am

I have a similar feeling. I feel that since the Lakers have no chance at a title this season, why not field a team we can enjoy? One that will work hard and that understands what it takes to be a Laker?

The only difference between the team you suggest and the team that I suggest is that I would try harder to get younger. Even if it meant guys that were possibly not as good. Here's my list of guys that I'm leaning towards in order of which I'd like to pick up:

1. Nick Young. He's not great, he's not a defender, he's not a brilliant basketball player, but he's talented and he's just entering the prime of his career at 28. I don't think the mini-MLE for one season will be enough for him, but he hasn't been signed yet and we reached out a while ago. I'm thinking he's not seeing a lot of lucrative offers and that he likes LA. If we were applying to college this would be my "reach" school.

2. Byron Mullens. He's only 24 years old, 7 feet tall, can shoot from outside, and is reasonably athletic. He's not an amazing player, but he works hard out there and has shown that he has the ability to score the ball. He didn't get a qualifying offer from Charlotte who threw the sink at Jefferson, so he's available right now. Again, the hardest part is that we only have the mini-MLE to offer for one season, but if we could convince him to sign it'd be great. We showed some interest and he'd be a good MDA fit. I'm a little more hopeful for this one.

3. DJ Augustin. He had a disappointing season in Indiana and I think his limitations as a player became obvious. He's not a great athlete, he's not a great defender, and he was unable to create very well for that team. My hope is that he's only 25 and he showed that he can do some things when he was a Bobcat and given more opportunities. Just two years ago he averaged 15/6.5 per 36 minutes. Not too bad.

4. Wesley Johnson. This one is a very long shot. I think he's definitely going back to Phoenix where they'll offer him a bigger contract than we would. But he's only 25, an unrestricted free agent, and he showed towards the end of the season exactly what he could do. Phoenix traded away Dudley as a way to clear space for him I think, but if he somehow doesn't go there, I hope he comes here. File this under "double-reach".

5. Wayne Ellington. He's only 25 and he's got some talent. I have a feeling someone somewhere (probably Cleveland) will bring him in for just a bit more than we'd offer, but I'd like to be the team that gives him a bigger shot.

6. Elton Brand. I know, he's not young. But we'd offer him a starting spot and he'd fit nicely next to Gasol. He's a good defender still even at his age and last season he had a great per minute rebounding rate. We can't offer him much money (in fact we'd probably offer only the minimum), but if he was willing to take it to come back to LA and to play with Lamar... I'd be a very happy camper. I'd list him as doubtful, but not dead.

The rest are guys that I want and that I think we wouldn't have to reach too far for:
1. Alan Anderson- He's 30 but he's a good defender, hard worker, a good teammate, okay shooter/scorer.
2. Will Bynum- you covered it.
3. Sasha Vujacic- still relatively young and capable shooter.
4. Lamar Odom- older, heavier, but a very good defender and he'd help our locker room.
5. Xavier Henry- young, athletic... pretty much it.
6. Sam Young- definition of a hard worker, good guy, not a great offensive player.
7. Ronnie Brewer- all defense, no offense. good teammate.
8. Chris Wilcox- big body.
9. Brandan Wright- big, athletic body.
10. Jason Collins- big body.
11. Samuel Dalembert- big, defensive body.
12. Aaron Gray- big body.
13. Johan Petro- big body.
14. Chris Douglas-Roberts- young-ish, some talent, showed some fight and some heart.

If we could just nab one of those first 6 players and then fill the rest of the roster with guys I think might be easy to get and we looked like the team below... I'd enjoy watching this season of basketball.

Nash/Blake
Bryant/Vujacic/Meeks
S. Young/Alan Anderson/ Chris Douglas-Roberts
Mullens/Odom/Kelly
Gasol/Sacre

I'd enjoy watching that team. They'd work hard and they'd have some good chemistry. They'd be a real hearty bunch of guys.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby cthroatgtr on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:37 am

I think CDR would be a wise pickup. He will come cheap as he has been out of the NBA and can play. Not sure why MB elected to go with the guys he did but CDR should have stayed. With Kobe sidelined for a bit and requiring more restrictive minutes CDR is a guy that can play SG & SF. SG/SF is the teams most glaring hole right now with Kobe (injured), MWP (old maybe amnestied) and Meeks (undersized). It will help to have some 6'6" - 6'8" athletes. I would welcome Sasha back because he is versatile as well as Odom. I would also welcome pleasantly surprised either Nick Young, Wesley Johnson or Wayne Ellington. But I come back to CDR because he is obtainable and is not another undersized wing player and we saw he can play.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Pig Miller on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:39 am

^not your fault, but everytime i read the list of players that we can/should go after, or can only afford those types of players, it becomes very sobering.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Snakell Beast on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:24 am

therealdeal wrote:Here's my list of guys that I'm leaning towards in order of which I'd like to pick up:

1. Nick Young...
2. Byron Mullens...
3. DJ Augustin...
4. Wesley Johnson...
5. Wayne Ellington...
6. Elton Brand...


I hate to break it to you, and maybe you already know this, but all those guys are out of our price range. Some because of the per year salary they will get, ALL because they will want multi-year deals. Elton Brand, as one example, isn't going to take less money AND a 1 year deal to play on a team that admits it has no realistic shot at contending.

Every other guy on that list, besides Brand, will want AT LEAST 2 or 3 year deals. OF those 6, only Mullens is potentially available for 3 million per year (though a proper market value assessment of a young 7 footer with hustle and an outside shot says he'll probably get more) and since he is more potential right now than proven, he will want contract security (multi-year deal with no team option) more than anything else.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby tigerjeterkobe on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:41 am

Real - what happened to Jordan Hill in your lineup? If he stays healthy, his hutstle, defense, and improved elbow jumper could really help us.

I think we all forget how old, slow, and soft Gasol has looked in recent years. there was always and excuse last year -- knee, foot, system. etc. He will totally frustrate us and simply needs ot be traded for youth and picks - whether now, in December, or in February. He can't jump at all. And is post game is way way overrated my many here. He doesn't fight for position - just dribbles side to side wasting clock and his energy. He puts up too many flip wuss shots. Let's not forget his hot potato pass right to Durant with the game on the line in the playoffs two years ago pre-Dwight when we featured Gasol a lot.

He sucks. I don't want to see him on this team for another minute. should have been traded when we hired MDA.

I like the Mullens suggestion. And again, I would just take Asik this year and try to trade him for picks and a player later this year or next summer, rather than lose dwight for absolutely nothing. Regardless - GASOL MUST GO!!! Earl Clark was better at defending the rim than Gasol. Odum would be better. And Gasol's passing is mostly irrelevant with no Dwight, Bynum, or Kobe.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby TaniBoyz on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:44 am

just sign a bunch of athletic/young D-League guys and let them run on the court/do whatever they want

let's just wait and see if our FO can field another championship team with the "magical" cap space next year
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby borri on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:14 am

Good lord our team looks pretty bad right about now. That's with the expectation that Kobe will be at 80% for the rest of his career.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby halekulani on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:14 am

odom is done, don't bother
mullens is terribly inefficient
i have no idea how brandan wright is still in the league. he's horrible
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Phil XI on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:22 am

tigerjeterkobe wrote:Real - what happened to Jordan Hill in your lineup? If he stays healthy, his hutstle, defense, and improved elbow jumper could really help use.

Didn't MDA aleady run Hill out of town once? I don't even know if Hill is in the plan, but I hope so. He's shown well in LA when given opp prior to his injury LY.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby rydjorker121 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:41 am

Trodgers--

Really like Will Bynum's offense. To me, it's a shame that he's 5'11" rather than 6'2", but he compensates with great athleticism and has always been one of those great sixth men scoring types off the bench. But...he's overrated. Because of the other end of the court. The guy can't defend at all. It's not just this past season, but for several seasons straight he's struggled at contesting shots, and he also doesn't make defensive plays. It's the reason, despite the awful inconsistency of Detroit's Rodney Stuckey/Brandon Knight, Bynum couldn't get over 20 minutes a game off the bench. We could actually use a sparkplug like him, but after seeing us with so many bad PG defenders over the years, it's become almost a necessity for us, especially with Steve Nash as a bottom ten PG defender this year (and likely getting worse). So, beyond the price, I'm really skeptical of him.

Vujacic is Vujacic. His past several years in the league on defense he's like a gerbil...tries hard, but the end result is still on the subpar side. On offense, he has handles and but he's a good "streak" shooter--not a sharpshooter. But his European stints were underwhelming--first season, he shot 33.6% from three, and the next season, he shot an awful 37.6% on TWO point shots. Considering Europe's a step down in competition, if he's doing that there, what makes you think he'll recover when he gets back? I don't think he'll see a Josh Childress type decline, but from that, I do expect a decline. He wasn't that good to begin with, either.

Wilkins is already on his way out of the league. If there was a half-veteran minimum deal, his talent would be in line for that. At this point, he's a NBA Z-lister.

Odom--really thought his defense was awesome last year. Then again, I thought the whole Clippers' bench was awesome last year, but still, Odom was critical for that to happen. This is nothing new for Odom--he always was an underrated defender, even with us, and that's what the glue guys are about. I like him and I think he can bring that dimension back, but on offense we're playing 4-on-5--he's become mad passive since he left us. Still, as a defense-guy, he ranks better than Bynum, Vujacic, etc on my list.

Samardo--Another z lister. Typically I like looking at non-team free agents for diamonds in the rough, but I remember writing a scathing review on this guy after his Cleveland. I think his problems were inability to finish and inability to play defense. He shot 37% from the field--and he's a PF--before he left the league. We could do way better.

realdeal--

Byron Mullens is an absolute turnstyles on defense. He can't guard a traffic cone and has been the root of all the losses at Charlotte. And, a 7-footer who shoots below 40% from the field? Ick. Overrated three point shooter. Overrated player.

Nick Young makes every coach pull their hair out on offense. The guy can go off, but at what cost? He's that sort of player no one wants to play with in playground--hogs the ball, me-first, tunnel vision, doesn't bother with rebounding, no defensive deflections. He was playing OK defense this year, but past seasons he wasn't so good. But, the guy can score--mostly a jumpshooter, but he's way better as a mid-range jumpshooter than as a long-baller, so I'm not really a fan. Surprisingly springy when he gets to the basket and will surprise for dunks though.

Augustin is Augustin. Rule of thumb: Anyone below 6-feet, you want them to be a good athlete. If they're not, their upside is limited. Sure, Augustin has shooting and some passing down, but that means he's a role player. He was a major weak link in one of the best defense in the league last year, not surprising that he brought is bad defensive Charlotte traits over. Below 6-feet, poor athlete, bad defense--got to pass here. I have a feeling he hemorrhages any good he does on offense.

Wes Johnson is a reclamation project that at this point is hopeless. Teams will still try to squeeze out any ounce of potential due to his standing as a lottery pick, but he'll fade at this point. No single viable NBA skill at all. Tons of weaknesses. Awful defense. Lost on offense. With his age teams just aren't going to waste time anymore.

Wayne Ellington is Jodie Meeks redux. Threes, good defense. Brings virtually nothing else to the table. That makes him a good role player, but do we really need another Meeks?

Brand's a favorite. Excellent defense, even this past year. Don't forget, he was a DPOY candidate in Philly, and had always been a good defender even with the Clips. Just an undersized PF, but very tough and stout. Perfect complement to Pau, but do we really want to get old, and he's likely out of our price range, unless he really loves LA enough to take the mini-mid. It is possible. On offense he has great touch on anything that isn't directly at the rim--short mid-range J's, mid mid-range J's, long mid-range J. Any mid-range J is gold with this guy. Could be useful for us, actually. Would be interesting if we get Brand and Odom and recreate a hybrid Laker-Clipper team.

Alan Anderson for whatever reason has a good defensive rep, but was actually awful on defense last year. Also, he's nearing 30, shot below 40% from the field last year...pass. Xavier Henry's a Wes Johnson out of the league lotto pick type soon. A supposed "defensive" player who was awful on defense this past year. Sam Young is every team's 12th man. Hard worker, D-League level talent. Ronnie Brewer lost all his offense. Better off-the-ball than on-ball defender--really, if he can't recover the offense...Brandan Wright's a favorite--sweet touch from outside, dunk machine, arms that never end, excellent shotblocker--doesn't rebound or play defense quite as well, but we can work around it. Wilcox had a heart condition--excellent dunker, but no other skills on offense. Jason Collins will be in the league as long as Dwight is there--post defense and nothing else. Dalembert is another guy we should get--defense slipped this past year, but rebounds, block shots, dunks a bit, mid-range J. Gray is 6 fouls. Petro is 6 fouls.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Weezy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:43 am

I don't hate it trodgers, but I don't love it, especially Blake at SG, I cannot stand watching Blake at SG. Also, I didn't know Damien Wilkins was still in the NBA, and I've never heard of Samuels. I like the team realdeal put together a little better, but yours is probably more realistic. Either way, I think one move that should be made is definitely bringing back CDR, letting him go over Ebanks was idiotic, would love to see him back at SF with the freedom to just go out there and play. If you just put Sasha at SG and put CDR in his place at SF, move Blake back to PG, I would like your team more trodgers. I wouldn't mind Will Bynum or Wilkins at all, and I obviously want Odom back.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby therealdeal on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:55 am

tiger- I forgot about Hill, you're right. He helps the lineup obviously.

rydjorker- I agree with pretty much all of your assessments except your take on Wesley. I think he showed towards the end of last season some real potential. Lottery pick worthy? Probably not, but solid player potential is there.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby lakersin4 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:55 am

Snakell Beast wrote:
therealdeal wrote:Here's my list of guys that I'm leaning towards in order of which I'd like to pick up:

1. Nick Young...
2. Byron Mullens...
3. DJ Augustin...
4. Wesley Johnson...
5. Wayne Ellington...
6. Elton Brand...


I hate to break it to you, and maybe you already know this, but all those guys are out of our price range. Some because of the per year salary they will get, ALL because they will want multi-year deals. Elton Brand, as one example, isn't going to take less money AND a 1 year deal to play on a team that admits it has no realistic shot at contending.

Every other guy on that list, besides Brand, will want AT LEAST 2 or 3 year deals. OF those 6, only Mullens is potentially available for 3 million per year (though a proper market value assessment of a young 7 footer with hustle and an outside shot says he'll probably get more) and since he is more potential right now than proven, he will want contract security (multi-year deal with no team option) more than anything else.

Disagree almost completely.. Darren Collison just got 1.9M & he's by far a better player than anyone on that list.. Brand & Mullens might get above mini mle money simply because they're bigs but all of those other guys will get 3M or less a year.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Savory Griddles on Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:06 pm

If we somehow landed Young for the Mini-mle and Brand and Odom for the vet minimum, I think our team would have a puncher's chance at the......7th seed.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby XXIV on Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:43 pm

Savory Griddles wrote:If we somehow landed Young for the Mini-mle and Brand and Odom for the vet minimum, I think our team would have a puncher's chance at the......7th seed.


I think this team will have a lot of heart and might be fun to watch at times. Better than a full tank job at least.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby Snake Eyes on Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:58 pm

Phil XI wrote:
tigerjeterkobe wrote:Real - what happened to Jordan Hill in your lineup? If he stays healthy, his hutstle, defense, and improved elbow jumper could really help use.

Didn't MDA aleady run Hill out of town once? I don't even know if Hill is in the plan, but I hope so. He's shown well in LA when given opp prior to his injury LY.


Hill had the second highest minutes per game in his career last season under D'Antoni. I think he sees his value now, or at least I hope he does.

***

T, do you really think Odom would start over Hill? Or is it a matter of trying to bring some energy off the bench?
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby trodgers on Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:07 pm

I think Hill would see plenty of minutes, and we know Odom and Gasol can work together. I wouldn't mind those two switching.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby trodgers on Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:08 pm

therealdeal wrote:I have a similar feeling. I feel that since the Lakers have no chance at a title this season, why not field a team we can enjoy? One that will work hard and that understands what it takes to be a Laker?

The only difference between the team you suggest and the team that I suggest is that I would try harder to get younger. Even if it meant guys that were possibly not as good.

I don't think that's a bad idea. I'm still having a hard time seeing how we can afford the guys we want though. Market price is still pretty high. Young should get multi year at 3-4. But I'd take him if we could.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby live and die in LA on Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:15 pm

The Mini mid level exception has to go to a player who can either play shooting guard, small forward, or power forward. Will Bynum doesn't fit that description, I'm not a huge Blake fan but he played solid last year and we have much bigger needs. With Gasol, Hill, and potentially Sacre we should be okay at Center.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby LakerFanIam on Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:39 pm

TaniBoyz wrote:just sign a bunch of athletic/young D-League guys and let them run on the court/do whatever they want

let's just wait and see if our FO can field another championship team with the "magical" cap space next year


I agree.. let the current contracts expire & see if some D-League diamond in the rough rises to the occasion...
Let Kobe, Pau, Metta, Nash & Hill go for it with a bunch of scrubs & start over in 2014..

To be honest, that lineup is a hell of a lot better than what most teams put on the floor even in their best years...
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby therealdeal on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:55 pm

trodgers wrote:
therealdeal wrote:I have a similar feeling. I feel that since the Lakers have no chance at a title this season, why not field a team we can enjoy? One that will work hard and that understands what it takes to be a Laker?

The only difference between the team you suggest and the team that I suggest is that I would try harder to get younger. Even if it meant guys that were possibly not as good.

I don't think that's a bad idea. I'm still having a hard time seeing how we can afford the guys we want though. Market price is still pretty high. Young should get multi year at 3-4. But I'd take him if we could.

I know. Young is certainly the Lakers reaching. I don't think there's much chance of him coming here, but he'd be a nice pick up. Is he perfect? Far from it, but he could really do some things that would make our team better.
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Re: Fielding a "Lakers" Squad

Postby trodgers on Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:24 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Trodgers--

Thanks for the point by point breakdown. I'll respond in like fashion.

Really like Will Bynum's offense. To me, it's a shame that he's 5'11" rather than 6'2", but he compensates with great athleticism and has always been one of those great sixth men scoring types off the bench. But...he's overrated. Because of the other end of the court. The guy can't defend at all. It's not just this past season, but for several seasons straight he's struggled at contesting shots, and he also doesn't make defensive plays. It's the reason, despite the awful inconsistency of Detroit's Rodney Stuckey/Brandon Knight, Bynum couldn't get over 20 minutes a game off the bench. We could actually use a sparkplug like him, but after seeing us with so many bad PG defenders over the years, it's become almost a necessity for us, especially with Steve Nash as a bottom ten PG defender this year (and likely getting worse). So, beyond the price, I'm really skeptical of him.

I think Bynum is one of the very few realistically attainable pieces that would be a difference maker. You're surely right - things have to change to disguise some of what he can't do. My thought is to have Rambis come up with a scheme to move and defend. By getting Gasol closer to the basket, he doesn't have to move as much. Hill and a SF (Wilkins, e.g.,) add quickness over last season's 3 and 4 spot. In short, I think we can do it. Not at an elite level, but good enough. And on offense, imagine Bynum attacking with Nash and Vujacic at the arc - with Odom/Hill and Gasol going for boards/cutting to the basket. I think it can work.

Vujacic is Vujacic. His past several years in the league on defense he's like a gerbil...tries hard, but the end result is still on the subpar side. On offense, he has handles and but he's a good "streak" shooter--not a sharpshooter. But his European stints were underwhelming--first season, he shot 33.6% from three, and the next season, he shot an awful 37.6% on TWO point shots. Considering Europe's a step down in competition, if he's doing that there, what makes you think he'll recover when he gets back? I don't think he'll see a Josh Childress type decline, but from that, I do expect a decline. He wasn't that good to begin with, either.

Sasha needs minutes to produce. He didn't start many games his second year in Euroleague, and he played fewer minutes. He was always a gamer to me - he stood up when the pressure was on.

Wilkins is already on his way out of the league. If there was a half-veteran minimum deal, his talent would be in line for that. At this point, he's a NBA Z-lister.

I'm not sure why I see it differently. His PER stats are good; at SG, he outperformed his counterpart. His on/off aren't awful: -0.1. And that's playing a bunch of minutes against good competition. If we can staff a team with other players who are as good for as little money, I'm all for it.

Odom--really thought his defense was awesome last year. Then again, I thought the whole Clippers' bench was awesome last year, but still, Odom was critical for that to happen. This is nothing new for Odom--he always was an underrated defender, even with us, and that's what the glue guys are about. I like him and I think he can bring that dimension back, but on offense we're playing 4-on-5--he's become mad passive since he left us. Still, as a defense-guy, he ranks better than Bynum, Vujacic, etc on my list.

He was always a solid help defender I thought. (So was Luke Walton, in my view.) You're surely right that he doesn't score. But he does rebounds and defend. Clearly he's mentally affected still. I don't doubt that physically he has slipped a bit, but the mental part with him is more important. I think that if he takes a Vet Min contract, he's one of the best quality pickups of the season.

Samardo--Another z lister. Typically I like looking at non-team free agents for diamonds in the rough, but I remember writing a scathing review on this guy after his Cleveland. I think his problems were inability to finish and inability to play defense. He shot 37% from the field--and he's a PF--before he left the league. We could do way better.

Last Year
Close shots: 25% of his attempts, shot 53% EFG
100% on Dunks (7% of attempts)
Defensive PER: 13.4 at PF, 11.4 at C
on/off: -3.6
But the FG% allowed were better with him on court

2011/12
Close shots: 46% of his attempts, shot 47% EFG
89% on dunks (11% of attempts)
Defensive PER: 12.7 at PF, 14.0 at C
on/off: +2.5
FG% allowed way better with him on court

2010-11
Close shots: 49% of attempts (50% EFG)
91% on dunks (14% of attempts)
Defensive PER: 18.1 at PF, 18.9 at C
on/off: -1.5
EFG allowed was worse with him on court

In short, the stats point toward his being a solid defender and a so-so finisher (better than Dwight last year).

I don't claim that this is the best team on the planet. I do think it's a realistic team that would be authentically LA. And we'd win some games.
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