Responding to my critics

moransIf you haven’t read my earlier piece looking at the idea of the Lakers signing Chris Paul while re-signing Dwight Howard, go read it now, otherwise this post won’t make much sense. Be sure to look at the comments.

Now here’s the background for that piece. If you haven’t seen it already, Bill Simmons[1] recently wrote his annual “trade value” piece for Grantland, which is a wonderful look at player values, ranking them according to whether a team would be willing to trade Player X for another team’s Player Y. If the answer is “no,” then Player X should be ranked higher than Player Y. These articles tend to be massive — this year it was spread across three posts and I think added up to more words than the US tax code.

[1] I can’t do the nifty sidenotes like Grantland uses, so I’ll try this. Simmons, by the way, is one of the few NBA media guys I still haven’t met in person. I came close once — I was standing in the hallway of the Sloan Conference talking to Royce Webb a couple years ago, and Simmons whisked by us on his way into the VIP lounge, with his ear glued to his phone. He & Royce nodded to each other; I was ignored. I still wonder if there really was anyone on the other end of the phone. (The other guy I still haven’t met in person is Chad Ford, even though he was one of the first NBA media people I interacted with — long before either one of us got picked up by ESPN — but I’ve talked to him on the phone several times.)

Part 3 of the Trade Value article came out yesterday, which you can read here. In the section talking about Chris Paul there was a sidenote (number 13) which read:

Don’t rule out Chris Paul becoming a Laker next year. Here’s how they could pull it off: If they amnestied Kobe Bryant, then traded Pau Gasol to Houston for a dirt-cheap salary (say, Donatas Motiejunas), they’d suddenly be lopping close to $49 million off next year’s cap, leaving them with commitments to Metta World Peace, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Jordan Hill, and Gasol’s cheap replacement for less than $30 million. That’s more than enough to sign Chris Paul and re-sign Dwight Howard if they took a little less … which they might, since it’s the Lakers and all.

Now I need to explain what happens when someone, anywhere, posts something controversial that has cap implications. I get asked about it. A lot. On an ordinary day I can expect about five emails, several tweets, a text or two, some Facebook messages, and at least one phone call asking about something someone wrote somewhere, wanting to know if it’s real or not[2]. It’s a daily occurrence, it’s part of the “job,” and I’m fine with it. Really — I try to be as interactive as possible with people, and it comes with the territory.

[2] If it’s a game night, then it’s also usually the topic of dinner conversation in the media room before the game.

In this particular case, there were two multipliers. One was that it dealt with the Lakers, and the other was that it was something Bill Simmons wrote — he’s the most read guy in the business. So I was getting hit up with questions about this as soon as I got up this morning.

There are three reasons I created this blog. One is because I wanted a place to publish things that aren’t really right for sites like ESPN.com — for example, detailed analyses on cap issues that wouldn’t have broad interest, even for Insider. Second is because I wanted to supplement Twitter with an outlet that lets me explain things without worrying about limits like 140 characters. Third is because if I’m getting asked the same question by a lot of people, I wanted a way to answer everyone in a manner that’s not so ephemeral as a tweet[3].

[3] The fourth reason, of course, is “because the world needs more Larry Coon.”

So it’s natural that I devote a blog post to answering all the questions I received about that one sidenote. As can be expected given the multipliers I just named, that post received a lot of attention — it’s the most read post in the (limited) history of this blog. It of course also received a lot of comments.

Forgetting about the 99% of comments that are spam (you’d be surprised if you haven’t done a blog yourself — I was), the comments are mostly good, but there are always a few that I’d consider to be vacuous.

And for whatever reason I was in a feisty mood today. So I took on a couple of the vacuous ones. Here’s the first one of those that I received, from a guy named Brent:

This is possibly the stupidest article I’ve ever read. Here’s my scenario of how it was written:
Scenario1a: You are high
Scenario1b: You had to meet a deadline and threw some cr*p together
Scenario2: Both

And being in a feisty mood, I couldn’t let something like that go unchallenged. My response was to point out that he was missing any meat, and I challenged him to provide it for me. Here’s my response:

Hmmm, let’s see:

1a. High? No, I don’t do drugs, sorry…unless you count daily overdoes of caffeine. I also love a good Pinot Noir or Chateneauf du Pape, a nice Scotch, or a good reposado Tequila, but none of those things were in my bloodstream when I wrote this post.

1b. Deadline? Since this is my own blog and I post in it whenever I feel like it, there ARE no deadlines. So this one is ruled out too.

2. Both. Well, since one and two are both false, both being true can be ruled out as well (I can diagram if for you if you’d like).

I could also point out that you committed a logical fallacy by limiting it to one of a limited number of choices (similar to a false dichotomy, although that fallacy refers specifically to TWO choices), to which you could respond, “you’re right — I don’t understand logic. My bad.”

So let’s ignore your logic and get to the meat — let’s see your explanation for why you think my post was so stupid.

Oh, wait…you didn’t provide one.

So let’s rectify this. You obviously must think there are REASONS why my piece was so stupid. Here’s your chance to tell me — and to show the world exactly why I’m such an idiot.

Write something up explaining why it was so mind-numbingly stupid that you could only conclude that I must be either high or on a deadline to have written it. Go through the errors, the false assumptions, the missing provisos and the faulty conclusions.

I will publish your response on this blog (assuming it’s at least minimally coherent and actually addresses the point). It will be the first ever guest piece I have allowed (and trust me, I -have- been asked by others if they could write for this blog). I will promote the shit out of it (hey, it’s my blog, and I can cuss if I want to). Here’s your chance to get yourself published and put me in my place at the same time.

The only possible downside for you (other than having to come up with something to say) is that I will respond to it. But hey, if you make good, solid, cogent points — if you convince me with your logic and art of persuasion — then I will acknowledge that fact, and your post and my response will serve as a testimony to your superior intellect.

So don’t just take a lame potshot and run — let’s hear what you have to say.

That’s right — I challenged Brent to provide an ACTUAL critique, and offered to post it here on the blog if he did. To his credit, Brent did just that (to be honest, I expected not to hear anything back). So here it is. I’ll respond to him at the end.

Larry, this is GREAT! I appreciate the chance to respond.
The reason I call the article (and not you, don’t get your feelings hurt, and I do appreciate the opportunity to respond again), is that it defies logic.
By logic, I mean starting with a presumption based in reality and then making factual accurate assumptions based on it in a sequential, realistic manner.
You start off with Kobe “Coming back late in the season as a shell of his former self”. Kobe Bryant, like it or not, has been playing through serious, intense injuries for over 17 years. All indications are that he will come back at the beginning of next season. I’m not trying to act “pugnacious” lol, but I am a doctor and I know a little about achilles’ tears. The timeframe of recovery is 6-9 months. Kobe’s will be 6, because for 17 years, he’s been coming back early from all forms of injuries. The man is simply a machine. Yes age takes it’s toll and he won’t be as high-flying, but he’s already converted to a mid-range, late Michael Jordan, post up game. Anyway, point being he’s an unusual athlete, and even if he were an average professional athlete, he is projected to be back at the beginning of next season. Therefore assumption 1 is, in all likelihood, false.
Ok, now, as you say “let’s assume the Lakers WOULD be willing to amnesty Kobe in order to make this all work. Otherwise, we can just stop here”. So let’s move on to the next assumption:

The Lakers trade Pau Gasol for Donatas Motiejunas??? Are you f*cking serious? Why in the name of hell would the Lakers trade Pau Gasol, who although he may be declining, is still a borderline All-star, for some nameless P.O.S? Is the idea that they just dump salary to make way for the admittedly remote possibility of getting Chris Paul? I think this is where I completely lost track of your “logic”, and found the article, well, stupid. If they want to clear salary, why would they trade their 3rd best player for noone. They could definitely trade some of their less useful assets, or, amnesty Metta World Peace. Agreed, noone wants to help the Lakers, but Memphis “helped” the Lakers many years ago with the Pau Gasol trade, and that has ended up well for both teams. Anyway, I digress…
We both agree there is no way that scenario 1, where Chris Paul moves across town to the Lakers for 6.8 million dollars. So that assumption is agreeably ludicrous.
Scenario2a: Howard takes 8.7 million. Again agreeably ludicrous. No NBA player has ever taken 10 million dollars less then what they could make, to play for a team. I sincerely doubt Dwight Howard will be the first to do so.
Scenario2b: Where they both take 13.7 million. Honestly this is the most possible fantasy of all. Yet you completely discount it. It’s not going to happen, but unlike the other scenarios, I’m not laughing…the “Big Three” in Miami all agreed to take less, albeit SIMILAR amounts, to become the best team in the league. I think Howard and Paul would have to feel they both sacrificed equally to sacrifice at all.
Scenarios 3a and 3b, again, are unlikely to happen because NBA players egos are as big as their salaries. Paul and Howard will have to sacrifice equally in order for this fantasy to occur.
Scenario 3c: This is actually the most plausible of all your assumptions. But have you looked at the team you’ve created? You have Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and my nephew (who’s awesome btw just not great at basketball).

So, in order to create this awful team with two superstars and a bunch of pieces that don’t fit, you have to trade Pau Gasol for one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and amnesty the most popular athlete in Los Angeles since Magic Johnson.

Your ability to play with numbers is impressive, but data is just that…data. I do research, and if the hypothesis doesn’t make sense in the first place, there’s no point in crunching the numbers.

I hereby refer to this article as “stupid”. It’s not the nicest term but I’m post-call and that was the first word that came to mind.

P.S. You didn’t even point out I used improper grammar when I said “Your” high ;)
P.P.S. I appreciate the chance to respond and hope this is all taken in good fun.

My response:

First, thanks for writing back. I remember being at a comedy club once, and a comedian dealt with a heckler by saying, “You really don’t want to challenge me right now. First of all, I’m sober and you’re not. Second, I do this for a living. I have a lot of practice dealing with assholes who try to out-funny me. And finally, I have a big-ass microphone right here, and you don’t.”

I challenged you to respond, in an arena where I have all the advantages, and you did. Kudos for that. I only wish you would have made your point in this way the first time, instead of with comments that add nothing to the discussion.

Okay, that said…

On Kobe’s injury — sometimes the past is a good predictor, and other times it’s not. I touched on this in this very article, talking about the “the Lakers wouldn’t do that” response. We don’t know what the Lakers would or wouldn’t do with Jim Buss in charge. The only data we have to go on is from when Jerry Buss was in charge.

Likewise, the fact that Kobe has always been a beast when it comes to playing through or recovering from injuries isn’t necessarily a good predictor of what will happen with THIS injury. I’m sure you know that this is one of the worst injuries a basketball player can have, and an injury you really can’t rush. I have access to the Lakers’ locker room. I’ve seen Kobe’s swollen fingers and ankles close up, I’ve talked to him about it, and I’ve marveled at how he’s always been able to play through it. I’ve been in a scrum of media folks, all of us gawking at Kobe’s hand from a few inches away, and all of us thinking, “holy shit — you PLAY with that?”

But this injury is not like the others. To quote The Princess Bride, “You’re only saying that because no one ever has.” Name ONE guy at this level who sustained the same injury and was able to return as some semblance of himself in that timeframe. The typical duration is a full year, and a significant time beyond that to return to his previous level — if it happens at all. I think the fact that Kobe has been able to deal so well with his previous injuries leads people to the assumption that it’ll be the same with THIS injury, and I think that assumption is a mistake.[4][5]

[4] We could also have a long discussion about whether a Kobe amnesty is reasonable if indeed he will miss the entire season, especially given the Lakers’ 2014 plan and the question of how to fit Kobe’s salary in with that plan. But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion, and this post is already getting Simmons-esque in its length.

[5] Do you REALLY think Kobe is inhuman? What if he had — forgive me for being morbid — pancreatic cancer? Would you still be saying, “It’s Kobe Bryant! He’s indestructible! He’ll be back in six months!” Probably not — so now it’s just a question of where you draw the line between things from which he recovers quickly and things from which he doesn’t. I’d put all his previous injuries in the former category, and this particular injury in the latter.

I also take issue with your saying his game has changed and he’s not a high-fly act any more. That was true even before the injury — we’re talking about his ability to return to the level he was at THIS year, not in 2000. He’s a jump shooter, and this is a devastating injury to the leg he jumps with.

But that’s not my main objection to your objection. My main objection is that it was a built-in premise. Remember, I was analyzing whether Simmons’ point was reasonable, from a cap standpoint. A Kobe amnesty was a part of HIS point. His idea doesn’t work at all if the Lakers AREN’T willing to amnesty Kobe, so the only way I could possibly analyze the feasibility of Simmons’ proposal is to accept the premise that the Lakers would be willing to amnesty Kobe.

I didn’t mean assume it like, “of course the Lakers would be willing to amnesty Kobe. We can just take it as a given and move on.” I meant assume it like, “we have to assume it, otherwise I can’t analyze Simmons’ proposal.” Maybe that’s what threw you off (even though I thought I made this point clearly).

On whether the Lakers would trade Gasol for Motiejunas — well, I already made it clear that the salaries wouldn’t work if it was Motiejunas, and instead it needed to be someone like Robinson — but I know that’s not your point.

But you already touched on my response when you pointed out that Memphis traded Gasol to the Lakers in the first place. Remember, at the time the trade was widely panned as a disaster for the Grizzlies. They were trading the same stud player — but this time in the prime of his career — for Kwame “cakethrower” Brown, a second round pick who wasn’t signed, and a first round pick who didn’t amount to anything (the fact that Marc Gasol later developed into an all-star is beside the point. At that time he was an unsigned second-rounder whose career path was still unknown. They didn’t have the advantage then of the hindsight we have now.).

So if a team wouldn’t dump a near-all-star for a stiff, then how come it’s exactly the sort of deal that brought Gasol to the Lakers in the first place, and how come these sorts of deals DO happen in the NBA? The answer is because you’re looking just at the small picture of one specific deal, and you’re looking at it strictly from a basketball perspective. There’s a financial component to deals as well, and sometimes deals are made ENTIRELY for financial reasons.[6]

[6] You asked, “Why would the Lakers trade their third best player for no one?” The Lakers traded the newly-crowned sixth man of the year for no one just two seasons ago.

In this case you need to look at the big picture — it’s not an isolated deal, but part of a series of deals to reach a specific endpoint — and you have to look at the financial aspect — it sets the team up to be able to make the other deals. Trade Gasol for Motiejunas as an isolated deal? I agree — bad move for the Lakers, and one they wouldn’t consider. But no one’s saying they’d be doing this deal in isolation.

You also objected to them dumping salary for the “remote possibility” of getting Chris Paul. I think neither Simmons nor I were suggesting they do this deal blindly, crossing their fingers & hoping that the remaining pieces fall into place. The idea is that they set everything up, and only do this deal if they know they have agreement on the rest of the package.

And now we also get back to my same big objection — trading Gasol for Motiejunas wasn’t MY idea. It was Simmons’ idea, and I was analyzing Simmons’ idea from a salary cap perspective.

You also said the Lakers “could trade some of their less useful assets, or amnesty Metta World Peace.” Same response — sure, they could do that, but: 1) That wasn’t part of Simmons’ proposal to which I was responding; and 2) None of that would have put the team in a position to acquire Chris Paul, which was the point of this exercise.

In my piece I went through the various ways of trying to work the numbers, and showed why each one them didn’t make sense. You then went through them, and pointed out that they didn’t make sense. Yeah — that was my point. Again, maybe you weren’t reading carefully enough, and thought I was saying they were plausible options…

On “…but have you looked at the team you created?” Uh, yeah — I did so right there in that piece. I was specifically pointing out that you have a thin-as-hell team, with little ability to add to it. Maybe by this point you were seeing red so much that it was blurring your vision.

So in summary, thanks for at least providing some content this time — but while you say my article was “stupid,” I think you mistakenly ascribed to me something that should have been directed at Simmons, and I think you weren’t reading carefully enough to realize I was making many of the same points you had in mind.

 

 

18 thoughts on “Responding to my critics

  1. Mike

    Larry, interesting analysis. I thought of this (remote) possibility a week ago and mostly thought of it as a hypothetical to other Lakers fans — would you be willing to amnesty Kobe if it meant Paul + Howard guaranteed? Obviously this would be more palatable if Kobe was willing to go along with it (take a year off, play overseas for a few months, come back the next year), but what if he wasn’t? Paul and Howard could potentially set up the Lakers for the next 4-6 years.

    My thought was first that the Lakers could threaten to amnesty Artest if he didn’t opt out, and hope that he takes the bait. Waive Duhon, and try to trade Nash for Kyle Lowry and picks or some other cheaper players from Toronto. Dump Gasol somehow — preferably completely through a 3rd team, or for cheap to Houston or Atlanta.

    Depending on the exact cap number the Lakers could either renounce Howard and sign both Howard and Paul to identical 4 year deals, sign Howard to the max and Paul to a slightly lesser deal, whatever works. Sure, a team of Paul, Howard, Blake, Clark/World Peace, and Hill is not the best on paper but I think that’s a team that guys like Korver and Tony Allen would sign up to play for. The promise to Paul and Howard would be that the following year the Lakers would again have cap space for another solid player or two, Kobe might come back for cheap, and potentially the Heat would have been broken up.

    Again, a long shot, but a possibility. I still think Kobe is closer to coming back early in the season than missing most of the season, and the Lakers will probably just try another year with more or less this same team intact.

  2. Gds

    so u are a lakers fanboy, who analyzes capspace for espn. Cool.So you basically got into a fight with another lakers fanboy who’s a “doctor” and quite possibly a 90’s kid, because of the TMNT reference and the inherent, entitled, cyber-fueled impertinence.

    Kobe is done for, can you please tell him that those 17 yrs of riding the shaqs and the pau’s of the world is over? Thanks. the lakers would kill the cap if they could. You know it, I know it. The Lakers are nothing more than a tourist attraction now.

    How come all the laker “greats” have left them, you only see them when there’s death in the family. Kobe is the only one left, he’s a brand name, and when he’s gone, maybe we’ll see a return of magic, Kareem, and shaq days.

    Maybe you can sign iverson now, it’s the same thing, only his Achilles is better. Heck, if you traded Kobe for AI, you’d probably have 8 rings max

  3. Jorge

    I’m a lifelong NBA fan who just came across your blog for the first time thanks to ESPN Twitter feed (… on ESPN.com, because I don’t even use Twitter). I am very big fan of your work, especially your salary cap FAQ. Your responses to these semi-troll posts are hilarious and enlightening at the same time.

    But I do want to point out something about the nature of the comments. Most sports fans have a misconception about the impact the financial aspect of the game has on trades and team rosters. I am, and always will be, a complete moron with numbers. That being said, I still think even the mathematically challenged can appreciate that the Kobe amnesty scenario you bring up is quite real, because the $30,453,805 he is going to make without playing a single game is… well, $30,453,805 without playing a game next season. Insurance or not, you don’t want that against your cap hold for no particular reason. If $30,453,805 is the price of loyalty… things don’t look good for Kobe in L.A., at least not at that price. In my layman’s opinion, of course.

    So, why not entertain making something out of that salary cap space, as Simmons did? But Simmons, whom I love, just thinks of the cap like any other fan does: something you mess around with, taking team and ownership into consideration, using the ESPN Trade Machine. L.A. got two titles the same way Miami got its 2006 title (well, aside from the record free throw attempts the officials gave Wade): by mortgaging its financial future for a few years. Is it worth it? Sure, you get two titles. Once Miami cleared its crucible, it got LeBron and Bosh, even though Chicago presented the best winning situation for Wade and LeBron at the time (good god, Wade-Rose-Noah-Lebron?). But L.A.’s final gamble with Kobe-Howard-Nash-Gasol-Artest failed, and now the franchise has hit the end of the line.

    Jim Buss has to know its time to tap out, just like Miami did, to get his house in order. He must re-sign Howard, and probably has to trade Gasol while he’s still worth something. But it won’t culminate in CP3, as you most adequately explained. And he might lose Howard to Dallas. I spent a year in Orlando convalescing during that Dwightmare, and by all accounts he may be the thinnest skinned, least mature players in the NBA. He’s also reportedly not the smartest guy in the world.

    I also really appreciate another point you make over and over: you can come up with infinite, complicated scenarios where a trade happens. But the more steps to a complicated plan, the more likely it will fail. Ultimately the finances have to make sense – and this includes more than just the cap space, for every franchise in the league. Including the Knicks and the Lakers. And it took Isiah Thomas wrecking his franchise and turning Chicago into a monster with that Eddy Curry trade for Dolan to learn this lesson – if he really has learned it.

    Anyway, great blog. It’s fun to fight the trolls sometimes, but, remember what Nietzsche said, which he likely plagiarized from some old Latin proverb: he who fights monsters risks becoming a monster himself. I’m pretty sure that applies to women, too, but Nietzsche was afraid of them so he probably thought they were all monsters already.

  4. Eric Rosenthal

    Great response Larry. I am honestly shocked you answer so many stupid questions. (Not just this one, but all of the time). Funny that you mentioned Sloan because this year at the conference is the first time I had ever met you in person.

    My question is what if the Lakers just traded Steve Nash to a team with cap room for say a future 2nd round pick just to clear the cap space away? Then they could amnesty Kobe, turn down Meeks’ option, trade Gasol, and then if MWP doesn’t opt out, waive + stretch him. Would they be able to sign CP3 + Howard in that case?

    Also my hypothetical way for the Clippers to get Howard…

    Waive Green, Summers, Wayns. Hill retires.

    Trade Bledoe + Jordan + Butler in one trade together. Someone takes on the Jordan contract + one year of Butler to get Bledsoe. Maybe draft picks are involved if need be.

    I believe it leaves the Clippers a bit short, but could you give me an exact number? Thank you.

  5. stix

    Obviously, CP3 to the Lakers – at best – has a paper-thin chance of happening, but, assuming it *were* happening… I don’t understand his “Why the hell would the Lakers trade Pau for Motiejunas? Are you f-ing serious?!?!” response. I mean, on paper they would be, but in actuality they’d be trading Pau for Chris Paul. So that part of the scenario isn’t outrageous at all.

  6. Ryan

    This reads like one of the old detailed take-down posts on Fire Joe Morgan. That’s a compliment. If the world truly does need more Larry Coon, and I see no reason to deny that, your next step is obviously to write a critically acclaimed but little watched sitcom for a struggling TV network. It’s a well trod path at this point.

  7. Patrick

    ‘A wise man once told me don’t argue with fools, because people from a distance can’t tell who is who.’

    Great piece on unlikely CP3 acquisition.

  8. RetepAdam

    One point that stuck out to me: trading “All-Star Pau Gasol” for “nameless P.O.S. Donatas Motiejunas” is hardly a fair comparison.

    Pau Gasol turns 33 in a month. By all indications, I would project that he has about two more years left as an All-Star level basketball player and then maybe a few more as a useful rotation guy. On the flip side, Motiejunas is 22 and is a former first-round pick and one that may have gone higher than 20th had a buyout not been part of the equation. He didn’t really crack Kevin McHale’s rotation until April, but when he did, he posted a handful of games where he showed himself to be a very efficient scorer when he gets going and one that can beat you in the post and from deep. I’m not going to act like he’s the equivalent to Pau Gasol on the court in 2013, nor project with any certainty that he will be, but he is a guy that Simmons had listed as one of his toughest omissions from that same Top 50 trade value list (and one he thinks will crack next year’s list), so he’s not exactly Joe Schmotiejunas. (And lest you think I’m just sheeping Simmons, I’ve watched him play plenty and am extremely high on his future, especially playing under Kevin McHale.) At the same time, it’s also not just Pau Gasol for Donatas Motiejunas. The Lakers don’t make that trade in a vacuum. They just don’t. The part you’re choosing to exclude in your assessment is that it’s Kobe and Pau Gasol for Donatas Motiejunas and a strong chance at signing Chris Paul. And if the Lakers have any semblance of a guarantee from Paul’s camp, they absolutely make those moves to secure a future of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard for the next eight years.

    1. lcoon Post author

      Yes. My response took the “hey, it wasn’t MY proposal,” the “straight-up basketball reasons aren’t the only reasons for making trades,” and the “it wouldn’t work for Motiejunas anyway” approach, but you can also construct an argument that Motiejunas’ upside at least somewhat mitigates the trade imbalance.

      1. RetepAdam

        Even if it did, it would be a poor trade for Motiejunas, who could thrive under McHale’s tutelage.

        But assuming you trade Gasol to the Rockets for some sort of combination of prospects that both makes the salaries work on the bottom end and still leaves enough room to meet Chris Paul’s minimum number, it’s not the worst idea in the world. It’s just a gigantic leap of faith for the Lakers.

        I would honestly love to see the Lakers unload Gasol and amnesty Kobe because of messages they received out of Chris Paul’s camp, only for Paul to turn around and re-sign with the Clippers who are now cemented as the #1 team in LA. I said a similar thing about the Lakers/Celtics rumors, only with Chris Paul deciding to walk and sign with Atlanta.

  9. Kurtis

    “lol, but I am a doctor and I know a little about achilles’ tears.”

    God help your patients, Dr. Brent.

  10. Josh

    The most important, key line in all of this is “We don’t know what the Lakers would or wouldn’t do with Jim Buss in charge.” The guy has a serious napoleon complex and its the reason P.J isn’t at the helm of the Lakers right now. It seems he does or doesn’t do things just to spite logic so his moves seem unique, and if in some parallel universe where the most illogical move worked, he’d be a genius. But science hasn’t come up with that ability yet, so we are stuck HERE and HERE bad moves are….bad moves. The whole Kobe debate is too dependent on the single most important factor, when and how does he returns. Personally, I just cant form an opinion until I see him on the court again. But that’s not even the Laker’s biggest question right now to me. It’s about whether you want to invest in 5 years of Dwight Howard. Did he prove enough to Lakers fan and the front office that he should be the cornerstone (well, 1/2 of it if the Chris Paul scenario works out) for years to come? I’m not sure I know that answer. My last memory of him this season is getting thrown out early of an elimination game in the playoffs. I’m not sure that Chris Paul believes in him. He’s 28 now, he’s got one more in-his-prime contracts and I’m not too sure he wants to sign with a team who’s second best player doesn’t seem to be sold out on winning and may be more concerned about his image. On paper, its a great pair. But the best aid logic-on-paper of mice and men often go awry. If CP3 doesn’t think Dwight is in it 100%, I don’t think he goes there without Kobe. He’s had his #1 PG in the league, all star games as the young guy. He wants to go deep in the playoffs every year he plays now and compete for rings. I don’t think anyone can say for SURE Dwight is on that same page

    1. lcoon Post author

      Nah — I was gambling on the idea that I could turn it into something constructive.

  11. htj

    Guy totally threw me off with his 1st response. I totally had him pegged as a Laker hater, but turns out he’s a dyed-in-the-wool Kobetard.

    Oh well, six or one-half dozen . . .

  12. THunter

    Thanks for this post, Mr. Coon. Very informative. It really helps to define the scope of the challenge the Lakers have this summer.

    How about this scenario:

    – Using the cap parameters you provided, suppose the Lakers only sign Chris Paul , and improve the frontcourt with the savings from NOT signing Howard? Do you think this could be financially and competitively viable?

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