This is the FIRST true season of the WNBA that there has been a plethora of rookies that come into the league in the same season and make a GREAT IMPACT. With all of the commotion b/w LA and Detroit, Minnesota rookie Candice “got into” a lil bit with sue bird and swin cash…and i’m not saying it was a big deal. Yet I am wondering is there “some’ animosity towards these young players coming in? The majority of them are in the starting line-ups for their perspective teams, taking out some of the veteran players. This is not like previous years when you had maybe 1 or 2 impact players coming in. So this doesn’t surprise me to have a “melee” as they called it to take place…because the vets need to be worried…or better yet taking the time to see the league truly GROW with more versatile talent, marketability, and SKILL! I say the 1st true season because when leslie them came in it was the beginning of the league.
Monthly Archives: July 2008
of ANY franchise, and Candace Parker is now TRULY finding that out from her peers. After this incident b/w the 2 teams (la/detroit) I can only imagine the headaches she has endured. Headaches of making sure you “smile”, say the right things, be open to people, interview after interview, commercial(s) (i’m sure gatorade will start those), promos and so on. People who know NOTHING about wbb, know who Candace Parker is and she is only 22. So who sat her down and told her what to do if you get “stole” on in a game, or approached in a certain manner. She has heard that she is a “target” but in college that just meant..getting you in foul trouble or being doubled or tripled team, but NOW there is ‘money’ involved, players egos, cities, and ex-NBA players bringing in the “thrill of a rivalry”, and here is Parker in the span of 24/hrs transitioning into this world, and taking it by STORM, and some don’t LIKE it! Even when Tina Thompson became the 1st number 1 pick she was never “targeted” not even after winning 4 championships in a row. Latoya Thomas, Monique Currie, Lauren Jackson (though) everyone realizes she is one of the best things going in the game right now. She gets everyone best game…yet she has not had to truly carry the “wnba banner”. And maybe that’s because she is an international player. Who knows! I just pray for this entire CLASS, because they are going to need it. Because those who opened up this league in 1997 are getting ready to bow out gracefully (i guess but with nancy lieberman playing) who knows…lol!
The way I see this upcoming season is another winner. Those close games we lost last season will be won by the Lakers. Having Andrew Bynum back in this line up, period, will CHANGE the way the Lakers play defense, and it will make them Boston-Like. Acutally with that interior defense bulking up…the guards defense will not look so vulnerable…until foul trouble comes into play.
But there is NO doubt that as long Ariza is healthy that he can be a viable back up at the SF position on both ends of the floor. For a 2nd rd pick, (43rd) overall, we have a “gem” in this guy. He has to just make that jumper consistently…and for the most part, for the time he got after coming back in WCF, it (the jumper) looks a lot better. To me that makes Walton very expendable.
I am definitely for the trade of Odom for Artest, and at the same time, if NOTHING happens I won’t be disappointed, mainly because, when Lamar does not have to BECOME a scorer…meaning when he can just go out and play his game…doing the intangibles, he is at his best. When Pau Gasol was having good scoring games, Lamar was close to triple doubles in those game, but if Pau struggles that put Lamar back into that position of Robin to Batman, and he struggles there. That should NOT be considered a weakness, because every player can’t be KOBE (the ability to adjust on the fly and be great)…lol. However for the money he makes…we need every FACET of his game to be successful.
Farmar has GOT to bulk up some more. He is getting pounded by the likes of Williams and Paul, and though Fisher is still a decent defender, he has to keep that jumper on point. We also have to have a pg who can deliver on point lobs into the lane, because I see a lot of dunks next season. If you go back and look at that youtube video I posted (incredible bynum) there was a dunk on there that bynum arm (the middle of his forearm) was above the rim, CRAZY! So someone besides Kobe has to continue to toss that thing up there.
Kobe, nuff said!
The other Lakers-Kings trade that would work
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This is the potential compromise. Kenny Thomas out, Shelden Williams and Quincy Douby in. No difference to the Kings in lineup impact, big difference to the Lakers in money.
It’s still Ron Artest for Lamar Odom at the bottom line, except the salary-cap ballast has changed and the Lakers, in this version that will undoubtedly be discussed between the teams, if it hasn’t been already, get away from Thomas and his $17.3375 million due the next two seasons. For a team paying the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax, as L.A. is, that’s actually a $34.675-million hit for Thomas. You can see the hesitation.
Williams is on the books for $3.4 million in 2008-09 and Douby for $1.43, along with Artest’s $7.4 to match up under the cap rules to Odom’s $14.15 million. Nearly 5 mil combined for a power forward that never plays and a guard that never plays is a bad thing. But Williams and Douby have guaranteed money next season only while Thomas is down for two more and, specifically, $8.775 million in the second one. That’s the key.
Taking Artest, Williams and Douby, the Lakers are bringing on $12.23 million ($24.46 including the luxury tax) for 2008-09 and nothing after. Total commitment: $24.46 million.
Taking Artest and Thomas, the Lakers are bringing on $16 million ($32 mil) for 2008-09 and $8.775 ($17.55 mil). Total commitment: $49.55.
Obviously a massive difference.
The numbers change if the Lakers negotiate a buyout that saves a few million or if they trade Williams or Douby with the appeal of expiring deals, but these are the numbers of the moment that will be factored into a Artest-Odom deal. The same goes for the Kings, of course. If they don’t trade Thomas, they can attempt a buyout, though nothing says he will be willing to give back money to become a free agent and go somewhere with a chance of playing. And, the Kings can move Williams and / or Douby as expiring contracts.
The point being, compromise deals are available.
Why the Kings would like this: Same as before. They get away from Artest and return to dealing with people of this planet. They get a season with Odom, a gifted, versatile offensive player who would replace Artest as the starting small forward and be able to play power forward. If it becomes a good fit, they have the lead on a new contract when he becomes a free agent next summer. If not, the money comes off the books, just as it would have with Williams, Douby and (perhaps) Artest. No harm done.
Why the Lakers would like this: They get the toughness of Artest without having to take Thomas. They also get a season with Williams and Douby before the pair becomes free agents in 2009. There isn’t much to test drive, but those are the No. 5 (Williams) and No. 19 (Douby) picks in 2006, so maybe something’s there. One of the L.A. unknowns is whether it would rather have Williams as unproductive youth or the experience of Thomas at power forward. Tough call.
Why the Kings would not like this: It solves the Artest problem, but leaves the Thomas issue unresolved. He may not take a buyout, and it will be much harder to trade him in the future. K9 with Artest works because Artest has a very manageable contract and because teams see Artest as a potential final piece to a long playoff run. Thomas with John Salmons or Francisco Garcia or Mikki Moore doesn’t have the same heat, and Thomas with Brad Miller is too much money.
Why the Lakers would not like this: No reason. If they want Artest and have decided on a willingness to part with Odom to get it done, Williams / Douby instead of Thomas is the best possible outcome.
There’s a good chance it turns into a stare contest. The Lakers want Artest but draw the line at taking Thomas. The Kings want Odom but insist on Thomas being part of the deal.
Does either side blink?
Lakers let Turiaf go to Warriors, will look to Bynum in middle
ESPN.com news services
Updated: July 19, 2008, 12:22 AM ET
LOS ANGELES — With great reluctance, the Los Angeles Lakers decided at Friday’s deadline they wouldn’t match Golden State’s offer for Ronny Turiaf, meaning the former second-round draft choice will move up the California coast to play for the Warriors.
ESPN.com’s J.A. Andande first reported the Lakers would not match the offer.
“There are emotional ties with Ronny that go beyond basketball,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on a conference call. “I think that makes it difficult. I think organizations that draft players who turn out to be good players, it’s hard for them to let go of those players. And if you know Ronny, you know he’s a special kid.”
The Warriors signed Turiaf, a restricted free agent, to a four-year, $17 million offer sheet last week. By rule, the Lakers had seven days to decide whether to match it. The three-year veteran from Gonzaga averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 78 games with the Western Conference champions last season, making 21 starts.
The Lakers played much of last season without starting center Andrew Bynum, giving Turiaf the opportunity for more playing time than he would have had otherwise. But, Kupchak said, Bynum is expected to be healthy when training camp begins in early October, and Turiaf’s opportunities figured to be diminished significantly.
Kupchak said Bynum has been in New York and underwent physical therapy in 19 of the last 21 days and has been cleared to work out and play.
“He’s basically on his own to begin conditioning and basketball activity, starting today,” Kupchak said. “It’s a process. Based on what he did last year, I would expect him to come in in mid-September basically in great shape. I know that’s his goal. He’s coming back this weekend, we’re going to meet with him Monday. He will go to Atlanta late next week to begin his training for the upcoming season.”
With frontcourt players like Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Vladimir Radmanovic, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm on the roster, that wouldn’t appear to leave much playing time for Turiaf. Kupchak said he believes that Mihm, who missed most of the last two seasons with ankle problems, will also be fully healthy at the start of training camp.
“We will miss Ronny, we will miss his contributions on and off the court, the emotion and the energy he brought, whether he’s playing or not,” Kupchak said.
Kupchak said he met with Turiaf for about an hour Thursday.
“It was a very emotional meeting because he loves the city, he loves the organization, there are certain bonds here,” Kupchak said. “He feels it’s in his best interests to move on. The last thing you want is a young player like Ronny no matter what he’s being paid is being on the bench at 25 years old and not playing.
“We discussed it yesterday, he wants to play, and sees an opportunity to play in Golden State at least twofold what he can play here.”
The Warriors certainly have a much greater need for big men than the Lakers.
Kupchak said the Lakers will now focus on re-signing guard Sasha Vujacic, another restricted free agent.