Tag:Los Angeles Lakers
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:40 am
 

Wolves offering Derrick Williams for Pau Gasol?

Gasol's name is popping up in trade rumors again. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Lakers already tried to trade Pau Gasol once this season. So they aren't completely married to their Spanish power forward. The Lakers appear to be a team shopping at the trade deadline, especially with that nice trade exception they got in the Lamar Odom deal.

But that doesn't mean the Lakers are just going to do anything. So are ready for a trade rumor that almost certainly will not happen, but is pretty fun to think about anyway? Via FoxSports.com:
In other news involving NBA big men, a source said Wednesday that Minnesota continues to pursue a possible trade for Lakers forward Pau Gasol, dangling rookie Derrick Williams, who is from the Los Angeles area, and draft choices.

The only players considered untouchable by the Timberwolves, who are seeking to add a veteran by the trade deadline, are Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves believe it could be enticing for Gasol to play on the same team as fellow Spaniard Rubio.
The two biggest reasons this isn't happening:

1) No way Kobe Bryant would at all be cool with this, considering he's not exactly of the mind for the Lakers to start a rebuilding youth movement as he chases a sixth ring. If you want to upset Kobe, trade Gasol for someone not named Dwight.

2) Actually, that first reason is probably enough.

Then again, maybe there's one reason it would. Maybe the Lakers have visions of using Williams in a package with Andrew Bynum to have a go at Dwight Howard. Maybe the Gasol/Bynum thing isn't what Orlando is looking for and instead wants to get younger, get some picks and get some talent back. That, I can buy.

From the Minnesota perspective, I'm actually a little curious as to why the Wolves would want to go down that path. Gasol is more of a 4 than a 5 and they already have Kevin Love playing power forward. And Nikola Pekovic is coming on strong right now at center. It's understandable if they see Williams not fitting in anywhere, but Gasol's not exactly a major need player for them either.

Either way, there's a month until the trade deadline and I'm pretty sure this isn't the last trade rumor you're going to hear Gasol's name get dropped in. The Lakers want, and probably need, to make a deal. And Gasol's a pretty big piece to dangle out there.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:36 pm
 

Magic the leading suitor for J.R. Smith?

Are the Magic the top suitor for Smith right now? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

J.R. Smith will be returning to the United States sometime this week and he's already eyeing a few teams. Smith changed his Twitter bio to say, "NYK? LAL? LAC? CHI? ORL? IND?" recently so that should give you an indication the directions he's looking.

But according to HoopsWorld, The Magic might have the inside track to get the erratic scorer. The report says Smith is looking for more than a veteran minimum deal and that the Pacers are not interested back in Smith. And if Smith wants more money, that would eliminate the Clippers and Lakers as well as they can't offer more than the vet minimum.

That puts the Knicks with the ability to offer the $2.5 mini-mid-level deal and the Bulls who can offer a $1.9 bi-annual exception. The Magic though can offer the most -- about $4.9 million -- but don't necessarily have a spot for Smith, especially if he wants to start. Orlando already has Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick while Smith could likely start for the Clippers, Bulls (depending Richard Hamilton's health) or Knicks.

Earlier in the week via ESPN LA, Chris Paul said he likes the Clippers' chances of nabbing Smith.

"I think our chances are very high," Paul said Monday night after the Clippers' 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

[...]

"Who knows J.R. better than me?" Paul said of Smith, his teammate for two seasons with the Hornets.

Referring to Kenyon Martin and Billups, both of whom played with Smith in Denver, Paul attributes his optimism to "my relationship with J.R., Kenyon's relationship with him and Chauncey's relationship with him."

"Also he knows he'll have the opportunity to play here," Paul said. "He can only make us better."

Acquiring Smith really could almost be like a good deadline trade, but without having to give up anything. He's going to make an impact on the court, but it's just a matter of where he chooses. He's got teams ready for him, but it's up to Smith to go for money, a contender or a prominant role. There really isn't an ideal fit in that regard right now, at least in terms of teams Smith is interested in.

But a decision should be coming soon. So hang tight.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 2:33 pm
 

Report: Cuban bashes Stern for Chris Paul trade

Mark Cuban questions David Stern's Chris Paul trade. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The Los Angeles Clippers added Chris Paul and became an instant contender; the New Orleans Hornets traded away Chris Paul and have the worst record in the Western Conference, by far.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants the world to know that the league-owned Hornets, with NBA commissioner David Stern calling the shots as de-facto owner, screwed up in making that trade.

ESPNDallas.com provides Cuban's trade analysis, in which he argues the Hornets should have simply held on to Paul for the duration of his current contract rather than trade him away to the Clippers after previously discussing a 3-way deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
"You're better off just taking the cap room, or whatever," Cuban said.

"I don't think it was about the Lakers, per se," Cuban said before the game. "I think it was just the way they did the deal, which was ridiculous. I don't think it was about which team. I think it was the fact that, even with the Clippers, we just went through this whole (collective bargaining agreement) and said the incumbent team still has the advantage and then the team the league owns (wimps) out. And look how it's worked out for them.

"Bad management gets you bad results."

It's impossible to believe that Cuban actually believes his own cap room argument but it's an absolute certainty that he enjoys reading the "Cuban blasts Stern over management decision" headline on every NBA website. That's probably endless amusement for him.

The recent case studies in handling disgruntled superstars all point to getting maximum value in trade rather than risking flight in free agency. Ask the Toronto Raptors if they could re-do the Chris Bosh departure. Ask the Cleveland Cavaliers if they could re-do the LeBron James departure. Ask the Utah Jazz if they are pleased with the return they got for Deron Williams, who is holding up the future of the New Jersey Nets as he contemplates his next move. Ask the Denver Nuggets if they're constant with the ransom they got for Carmelo Anthony at last year's trade deadline.

There's no question that Stern was operating from the right playbook in moving Paul, who had clearly had enough with the dysfunction and ownership questions in New Orleans. Look no further than the Cavaliers for additional proof. Do you think owner Dan Gilbert is happier with getting nothing but a trade exception in James' departure or getting the No. 1 overall pick and Kyrie Irving, his next franchise player, by trading guard Mo Williams to the Clippers last season? Obviously, getting the rebuilding value back is key for a struggling team that needs to drastically change course.

In addition to a likely lottery pick coming over from the Clippers, the Hornets still hold matching rights on Eric Gordon, who has star potential, and they will have a top-5 pick based on their own performance. That's a potential up-and-coming "Big 3" in New Orleans as soon as next season, depending on what happens with Gordon in free agency and how the lottery balls fall. Al-Farouq Aminu, also acquired in the trade, isn't worth writing home about, but he's probably worth at least a mention here. Meanwhile, if Paul walks, all New Orleans has is its own pick plus cap space to chase free agents that don't want to play for the Western Conference's worst team. The choice is here.

If Cuban's larger argument was that the management decision to trade a superstar for parts continues a bad precedent that was supposed to be fixed during the lockout labor negotiations, he's right, of course. The system was changed but it wasn't entirely overhauled, and Stern and the Hornets had to act in their own self-interest, not take a stand for the greater good of the league. The risk/reward calculus was crystal clear given Paul's years of frustration and the weak Hornets roster that would have surrounded him this year. He had to go as soon as possible. 

The conclusion that Cuban likely wants you to take from his comments is not that Stern, the owner, is an idiot for the trade. It's that the NBA's system is still broken because not even Stern, the commissioner, trusts its new mechanisms for retaining franchise-player talent. That's an excellent point, although everyone seems to have been acting under that assumption since the first day that the lockout was lifted.


Posted on: February 12, 2012 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 11:27 pm
 

Report Card: Celtics survive Rose-less Bulls

Posted by Royce Young

 Rondo put together maybe the finest lines of the season when his team needed it most. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo's line: 32 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds. That, boys and girls, is quite the triple-double. When the Celtics needed something from someone the most, Rondo was there. He played his best game of the season, albeit against C.J. Watson and not against Derrick Rose. Still, he stepped up big time for Boston and carried his limping team to a win.
Kobe Bryant
Kobe isn't always as clutch as some like to pretend he is, but he still can hit that shot that breaks your back. With the Lakers looking at an ugly loss in Toronto, Kobe drilled an impossible baseline jumper to put L.A. up one, which they held on to for a tougher-than-expected win over the scrappy Raptors. 27 points on 23 shots is probably more "B" worthy and the Lakers won this game because of Pau Gasol but who cares, game-winner!
Boston Celtics
The Celtics need wins any way they can get them. And if that means beating the Bulls without Derrick Rose, so be it. It's still a win over the East's best team (record wise), which counts for something. Boston had dropped two straight including a bad one to the Raptors. The Celtics tried to blow a 14-point lead late in the fourth but held on to put away a nice win. So they didn't have to beat Rose. Boston's taking them any way it can get them. Besides, the Bulls have played pretty well without Rose and the rest of that roster isn't trash.
Chicago Bulls Down three with a minute left, you know Tom Thibodeau had to be looking at Derrick Rose thinking, "Hmm, maybe I could squeeze just a minute..." Even without their MVP, the Bulls battled back from 14 down and had a real chance to completely devastate the Celtics. They came up short, but it was definitely a noble effort. And finished 6-3 on a nine-game road trip.
Boston's "Big 3"
Good thing Rondo did the heavy lifting, because the Celtics' Big Three certainly did not. Kevin Garnett's help defense was terrific, but in terms of the box score, Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined for just 33 points on 12-27 shooting. Again, Rondo had 32 by himself.
C.J. Watson Filling the shoes of Derrick Rose is like stepping into a couple size 50s. C.J. Watson has done serviceable work, but he was very average against Boston. He gave up a triple-double to Rondo and while he had 23 points, he needed 23 shots to get it and took a miserable, contested deep 2-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Bulls down three.
Chicago's bench
Most like to call the Bulls' bench mob the best in the league, but they were completely worthless Sunday. A total of 16 points on 6-23 shooting from the Chicago reserves. John Lucas III actually was their top scorer off the pine with eight. That's not going to get it done when you don't have Rose. 
Scott Foster
The same official that blew the goaltending call in the Portland-Oklahoma City game appears to have gaffed again with a crucial late call in the Toronto-Lakers contest. The Raptors had possession with four seconds left down 93-92, taking the ball out at midcourt. With Dwane Casey trying to call a timeout from the bench, Foster called the Raps for a five second call after failing to get the ball in. Problem is, besides missing the timeout from Casey, is Foster appeared to blow the whistle at four seconds. (Update: The NBA says Foster got the call right with the official time being 5.8 seconds. He still didn't award Casey a timeout though.)

Posted on: February 12, 2012 3:51 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 3:52 pm
 

Report: Lakers had interest in Allen Iverson

 Iverson and Kobe? Together? What? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Lakers are clearly in a desperate position at point guard. Gilbert Arenas is reportedly under consideration. Steve Blake has been injured. And Derek Fisher isn't the answer.

So, they might be looking at The Answer. Via ESPN Los Angeles:
Allen Iverson, who sources indicated the Lakers had some interest in as long as he was willing to go to the NBA Developmental League for a few weeks first, is not the answer. He's simply not a point guard. The Lakers are also said to be interested in former Toronto Raptors point guard Rafer Alston, who helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009. But who knows if that will materialize into anything?
OK, so it's way unlikely Iverson actually ends up with the Lakers. Or for that matter, anywhere. He reportedly recently had some interest in playing professionaly in Puerto Rico as the beginning of an NBA comeback, but that's a believe-it-when-I-see-it thing.

Iverson playing for the Lakers really doesn't solve anything. I mean really, what's the point? Yeah, Iverson wants to play again and he's probably still got something left, but the Lakers need someone to run an offense, not someone that has a point to prove. Unless Iverson is planning to completely reinvent himself at age 36 as a pass first point guard that penetrates and creates, then this isn't a good fit.

Unlike the Arenas interest that could potentially be a low risk, high reward move, the Iverson one smells like failure all over. I realize the two players aren't that different, but the chances Arenas can still play a little are higher than the ones of Iverson having something left. Picturing Arenas fitting in alongside Kobe is much easier than picturing Iverson doing that.

The interest level probably isn't much higher than "He's a living breathing point guard that isn't signed by someone, so I guess we'll listen" type of thing, so that's important to keep in mind. Just because the Lakers might have interest doesn't mean it's a lot of interest. Also, notice it's past tense. Sounds to me like the Lakers were mildly intrigued and now aren't.

The Lakers do need help and are looking to improve their roster. But Allen Iverson? Not the answer.
Posted on: February 11, 2012 1:22 am
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:18 pm
 

Jeremy Lin, Knicks beat Lakers: photo gallery

Posted by Ben Golliver

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, sending the Madison Square Garden crowd into a tizzy time and again with his big shot-making. (You can watch every basket here, if you missed it live.) 

Lin, a Taiwanese-American guard from Harvard, has emerged as a major, pleasant surprise for the Knicks. New York's win over Los Angeles was its fourth consecutive victory, and Lin's 89 points in his first three career starts are more than any player has scored in their first three starts since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976-1977, according to ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Knicks reportedly considered waiving Lin prior to his recent explosion and he had been crashing on a teammate's couch. His sensational play this week led his former GMs to admit their mistakes in cutting him, it drew comparisons to the breakout success of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, and it inspired a song. "Linsanity" has gotten so big that, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported, Lin received some pre-game advice from Lakers forward Metta World Peace.

Here's a visual look back at Lin's magical night against the Lakers on Friday, from start to finish.

All photographs courtesy of Chris Chambers and Nathaniel S. Butler for Getty Images.

Lin's image is shown on the jumbrotron during player introductions. (Chris Chambers, Getty Images)

Lin swoops in for the lay-up in transition after the Knicks defense forced a first half turnover. (Chris Chambers, Getty Images)

Lin skies for a reverse lay-up over Lakers big man Pau Gasol during the second half. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Lin celebrates with his teammates after knocking down a second half jumper as Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni tries to hide his excitement. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Lin holds his release on a fourth quarter 3-pointer, as the Madison Square Garden crowd cheers him on. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Lin went head-to-head with Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who made headlines on Thursday by admitting he didn't know much about Lin's recent play. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Two of Lin's fans wear his jersey and hold iPads bearing his image and name. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Three Lin fans catch "Linsanity" with t-shirt designs bearing the letters in his name. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)

Two Knicks fans seated courtside wear Jeremy Lin masks to show their support. (Nathaniel S. Butler, Getty Images)
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:19 pm
 

Knicks G Jeremy Lin career-high 38 points (video)

Posted by Ben Golliver

Here's video of all 13 field goals by New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin on his way to a career-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Lin scored in every conceivable manner, knocking down 3-pointers, hitting pull-up jumpers, taking defenders off the dribble, hitting leaners and finishing a nifty spinning lay-up, among other feats of offensive genius.

The Knicks defeated the Lakers, 92-85, and Lin's 38 points were a game-high, topping Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Lin finished 13-for-23 from the field and added 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 39 minutes. The Knicks were without All-Star forwards Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

Here's the ridiculous highlight reel of every Jeremy Lin basket during his career-high game for the New York Knicks against the Los Angeles Lakers.


Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:26 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Kobe Bryant pass to himself off backboard, assist

Posted by Ben Golliver

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant threw a pass to himself off the backboard to set up an assist to All-Star forward Pau Gasol during the fourth quarter of a Friday night game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

It was Bryant's only assist on the night. He finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds in a 92-85 loss to the Knicks. Bryant was overshadowed by a career-high 38 points by Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, as "Linsanity" was at full tilt for much of the evening

Still, this was a remarkable play, as Bryant was clearly trapped, lost his dribble and was dealing with heavy defensive pressure. That a play as unusual and smoothly executed as this -- made by the league's most recognizable star, no less -- could be a footnote shows exactly how big the Lin phenomenon is right now. This is Lin's world, for now, and we're all just living in it.  

Here's video of Bryant's tricky self-pass off the backboard, assist to Pau Gasol combination play against the Knicks.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com