LakersN4 wrote:I don't see anything wrong with holding onto Pau & Hill considering what we were offered.. The most we could get for Pau was Okafor, who has no value at all once his contract considers. He'll have an uphill battle just to prove he's healthy enough to get the minimum or mini-mle next season, while Pau is still good enough to be sign & traded for a good player that wants out. As for Hill, I thought we should have sold high on him earlier in the season when we were hovering around .500 but the offers we heard about around the deadline didn't make sense.. Not only were we not being offered any assets for him, it appears the Nets actually asked us to throw in a 2nd rounder at the last minute.. Again, he could have value in the offseason in a sign & trade. The only thing we had to gain by trading either of them was cap space, which really shouldn't matter that much to us considering we're unlikely to sniff the luxury tax again for atleast 3 seasons.
The problem is on multiple levels:
1. Financial blundering. The more you save, the more financial reserves you have to fight another day, such as when you need to pay repeater tax to keep a championship contender team intact. Weird, but that seems to be lost on many Lakers fans who are convinced that TWC will bail them out forever (without a clue about performance clauses) or that the Lakers (unlike the 99.999999% of the rest of the business world) don't need financial reserves.
2. The Lakers need to get the best possible lottery pick. In short, the more losses the better, and to get more losses it is best to field a bad team. This is why you don't want Pau, Hill, Kaman, etc. on the Lakers team. Finances aside, it was best for the Lakers to dump these players in order to secure the best possible pick... the other GMs understood this, which is why they didn't offer the Lakers anything better than salary relief. For some inexplicable reason, our own FO doesn't get it, or perhaps more accurately, refuses to get it as they don't have the cojones.
3. The Lakers called their own bluff: Trading Blake for two expiring contract players who, at best, were minimum contract prospect for next year was an obvious salary dump (though some challenged Kool AId drinkers on another web site considered them prospects). It was obvious after the Blake trade that the Lakers wanted salary relief, and yet they insisted to the bitter end that they needed picks for Pau and Hill. That my friend is the epitome of cluelessness. The front office doesn't have a strategy, they they do have an ego.
Great post but I think some things are being overlooked.
Gasol/Hill/Kaman are not helping us win games. Pau is rarely healthy. Kaman is getting inconsistent mins and Hill is getting fed up. All three along with Kelly and Sacre compose a front court that can compete with most front courts in the NBA but the problem is MDA's system has turned them into empty statistical lemons. If there was a way to extract picks for them then we should have done that but from all reports we were not getting those offers. We kept Hill and Pau's bird rights which will allow for a sign and trade this summer.
Perception. Perception is huge right now. We don't want to look like the 76ers who could care less about winning. We have a worldwide fan base to appease and just dumping 3 of our most valuable players (for now) is not a good look. It screams LOSE which is something Dr. B never did. It's cliche but we are the Lakers and we don't intentionally lose. Purposely trading those guys for nobody of value goes against our core principle to win and entertain.
Besides, let's say we trade Pau for Oakfor and Hill and Kaman for TPE's and then get a second for Hill. We're going to shorten our roster down even further. Who are we left with that is healthy? Sacre, Kelly, Wes, Meeks, Kendall, Farmar, Shawne (who'll be gone in after his 2nd 10 day). Nash is in and out. X is out for 6 more weeks. Kobe isn't coming back this year. We'll see when Swaggy returns. We need players and as the Lakers it'd be pretty pitiful to carry a roster of NBA rejects anymore than we already have.
We always have a plan. Our plan was cap space for 2010 to go after LeBron. I've been on these boards since 04 and remember discussion about Bron, Yao, Dirk, Wade, Amare, etc. That was our plan and then Pau happened. We won 2 titles in 3 final appearances. We then pulled off a trade for CP3 and a TPE that would have gone to Minny for Beasley. There would have been no Nash trade and thus we'd have our picks (maybe). Surely, Dwight would have forced is way to LA for a similar package and we'd be staring at CP3/Kobe/Dwight. Kobe retires in 15 or 16 after getting a another ring or 2 and then we sign Love or Durant so someone of that caliber to go with CP3/Dwight. That plan all failed when 'basketball reasons' happened. Last summer the plan was to sign Dwight and get healthy enough to compete this year. Get rid of all contracts and again for Love or Melo or somebody on that tier. That didn't happen when Dwight bolted.
If there is one critical error we made is was on the execution of that last plan. We should have hired Phil. Yet, here we are.
At the end of the day, we are in a pretty ideal position to rebuild. There are great players available within the next 3 years and it looks like we are going to have a top 4 pick a a very talent top heavy draft, at least in the top 5. The biggest issue we have is a lack of 1st round pick in 2015 but hopefully we can some how get to playoff contention next year so that is somewhat
irrelevant. If we can pair this year's pick with K Love in 2015 and then Irving or Durant or ________ in 2016 I think we have a title window from 2016-2021. That's not too shabby. At the very least it's still better than the time periods between Showtime and Kobe/Shaq era.
The lotto will dictate a lot of what our future looks like. If we get lucky and get Embiid, I'm not opposed to resigning Pau until 16, bringing Melo in and hopefully Thibs (if he's available). I think Embiid/Pau/Melo/Kobe can compete for a chip-- with the right coach. Maybe we trade that pick for a Kyrie or Westrbook and pair him with Love in 2015. Maybe we draft Exum who is a future superstar or Parker who is ROY and then add players to that. Or maybe just maybe our #1 option comes true and something brings LeBron to LA along with a high lotto pick. Either route, we are far from the 'doom and gloom' that many suggest us to be. No matter what, patience is in order. We'll be back just as we always are. It's a new plan and I'm excited to see how it plays out.