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Thread: Official NBA Thread
03-15-2012, 12:18 AM #5261
03-15-2012, 12:42 AM #5262
lol how'd u get that so fast? and were u trying to imbed that?
03-15-2012, 10:28 AM #5263
i got it from twitter
03-15-2012, 11:04 AM #5264
Howard finally signs w/ Orlando to stay through next year.
03-15-2012, 11:11 AM #5265
let the tradings begin
03-15-2012, 11:29 AM #5266
Yup, quick frenzy to cap off the day, lets see what happens.
03-15-2012, 11:35 AM #5267
The Nets are so screwed. They traded so many players for D-Will last year because they thought they would be getting Howard. They should trade D-Will before he walks after the season.
03-15-2012, 12:23 PM #5268
Hey look, LA got an actual point guard today.
03-15-2012, 12:24 PM #5269
03-15-2012, 01:28 PM #5270
Holy shizzz, LA traded Fisher.....I really wanted Fish to finish in LA.
03-15-2012, 01:31 PM #5271
03-15-2012, 01:35 PM #5272
03-15-2012, 01:35 PM #5273
03-15-2012, 01:38 PM #5274
03-15-2012, 01:44 PM #5275
03-15-2012, 01:58 PM #5276
Yeah I don't really agree with that, doesn't make sense. Fish was important to this team. Oh well.
Did LA get Beasley?....I thought they were but haven't heard about it since.
03-15-2012, 02:14 PM #5277
03-15-2012, 02:18 PM #5278
Just saw it, heard we could of sent Fish for Beasley too, but instead we did the deal where we got.....the other guy. Way to go LA...
Glad Dwight's w/ Orlando though, for now anyways. Weird day.....
03-15-2012, 10:11 PM #5279
03-15-2012, 10:21 PM #5280
Yeah, no problem.
Lakers now a threat out West
No blockbusters, but small deals greatly alter L.A. Lakers' 2011-12 outlook
Soooo ... now what do we think of the Los Angeles Lakers?
Calling them the "new look" Lakers might be a bit much -- this is still the outfit led by Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and the other guys are still mostly filler.
But with two trades on Thursday, L.A. dramatically altered both its present and its near future, while once again shipping out more money than it took back.
At least this time it was about more than just money; the Lakers got back two players who are going to help them more than a lot of people realize. More on that in a minute.
First, though, the Lakers are once again cutting dollars. They didn't use their $8 million trade exception from the Lamar Odom deal; instead, they used both of their first-round draft picks this June to pay other teams to take unproductive secondary players. One went to the Rockets to pay them to take Derek Fisher, owed $3.4 million after this season, and one went to the Cavaliers so they would take Luke Walton, owed $6.1 million next season when you factor in his trade kicker. The latter figure was partially offset by the returning salary of Christian Eyenga from Cleveland, owed $1.1 million, but there was still a net savings of $5 million in deadweight money.
And remember, those savings double because the Lakers are deep into the luxury tax. So unloading Fisher and Walton realizes an actual savings of $16.8 million next season.
(Since I'm writing about the Fisher deal at length here instead of my usual grades file (Click here for more grades), let me note that Houston gets a nice solid B-plus for landing a short-term backup point guard and purchasing a first-round draft pick in 2014 for $3.4 million. And let us also note the night-and-day difference in valuations on first-round picks today. Golden State and Cleveland paid an effective price of nearly $10 million for theirs, which is why I graded each of them so harshly.)
The crazy part is that L.A. actually got usable players in these deals. The Lakers would have gladly given away the first-rounders just to get rid of Walton's contract, but getting players back in the deals significantly improves their prospects. From Houston, the Lakers get Jordan Hill, a serviceable backup big man who can run the floor, rebound, block shots and generally be a much better option off the bench than Troy Murphy or Josh McRoberts.
And from Cleveland, the Lakers get Ramon Sessions, a dynamic pick-and-roll point guard who provides a sizable upgrade on the pathetic Fisher-Steve Blake combination that the Lakers had been trotting out. Sessions has defensive shortcomings and can't space the floor well for the Lakers' three stars, but L.A. was so desperate for another dynamic offensive player to create easy shots that he'll still be a major shot in the arm.
This is where we get back to my BAD rating. BAD stands for "Below Average Dependency," and it's my tool for determining how big a chunk of a team's minutes is squandered on bad players.
The Lakers, despite owning the league's sixth-best record, lead the league in BAD. They are top-heavy in the extreme, with three All-Stars, one half-good reserve (Matt Barnes) and a roster full of replacement-level filler.
Some of the filler have big names -- Fisher and Metta World Peace, for instance -- but at this point in their careers they shouldn't be starting for good teams. In fact, they should hardly be playing at all.
And that explains why L.A. is third in the West, and not first, even though it has the best three-man core this side of Miami and Bryant, Bynum and Gasol haven't missed a single game because of injury.
In turn, that explains why getting players like Hill and Sessions -- who would do little for the bottom line of several teams -- is likely to make this club a lot stronger. Basically, the Lakers' secondary players were so bad that even replacing them with mediocre ones is going to dramatically improve the team.
I understand the sentiment in L.A. regarding Fisher's departure, and you wish it could have been handled more delicately. But in terms of the business side, this was a no-brainer. Fisher has a player efficiency rating (PER) of 9.01 and Blake's is 8.87; among point guards with at least 750 minutes, only Orlando's ridiculous Chris Duhon has been worse. Fisher barely scores half as often as he did in 2007-08, his first season back in L.A., and with a lower true shooting percentage and more turnovers. His 3-point shooting, his "specialty," has also fallen to 32.4 percent.
Replacing that dynamic duo with a point guard with a 16.44 PER provides a massive shot in the arm. Per minute Sessions averages nearly twice as many points and provides huge advantages in assists and rebounds too. There's no way this won't translate to the Lakers' win total, even if he is less productive in their system than he was in Cleveland.
Similarly, Hill isn't exactly going gangbusters -- he gets pushed around on defense pretty easily and he is often out of position. Big picture, he's something of a "4.5" who lacks the skill for a 4 or the beef to play 5.
But compared with Murphy, this guy will look like Bill Russell. Hill averages 13 points per 40 minutes, nearly double that of Murphy or McRoberts, and his 13 boards per 40 minutes is also an improvement of more than 50 percent. Playing off the ball, running and finishing -- he can do those things, and likely won't have a major adjustment coming to the Lakers.
So how big an improvement are we talking about? Well, factor in 30 minutes or so with a seven-point PER jump at the point, and another 20 minutes with a five-point jump for the third big man. Even if you water down Sessions' numbers because he doesn't fit perfectly in L.A.'s offense, it will still make a bigger impact than people realize.
Sum it up and the numbers say it's worth about six wins over an 82-game season -- a jump as big as one the Lakers would make by trading a halfway decent starter for an All-Star. That would have had us writing 3,000-word epics for days, but this more subtle move was what the Lakers' situation required. With a real backup big and a decent point guard joining their three studs, the Lakers can make a much more coherent case for being contenders.
They're not favorites, mind you, and they still are very fragile -- if one of the three stars goes down, forget it. But in a Western Conference where everybody save Oklahoma City has shown considerable warts, these moves make the Lakers a legitimate threat to reach the Finals. I'm not sure I could have said that with a straight face 24 hours ago.
By John Hollinger
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