Thursday, June 29, 2006

Samb, we hardly knew you....

And just like that our big Sengalese buddy has been whisked away from us. The Lakers traded away Cheick Samb for spare part SG Maurice Evans. Perhaps Evans will see some time, but I really hope not.

The Lakers also acquired J.R. "Don't call me Danilo" Pinnock. I've never seen Pinnock play, but he's 6'5" and was the Atlantic 10 "6th-man of the year" so chances are he'll be good in the summer league and then find his next basketball job in Italy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm exhausted from that Draft. I'm not sure if it was a record for trades, but it seemd like they just kept coming and it might just be my imagination, but I think Portland was involved with every single one.

The Lakers did not take one of my 6, but they did snag previously-profiled Jordan Farmar in somewhat of a surprise. Both Ager and Collins were on the board, but Kupchack went for a more prototypical point guard. I'm not sure if Farmar will be a great fit, but he's a very nice pick at 26. He should be able to spell Smush and help bring energy at both ends of the court. If his outside shot improves before the season, he could see upwards of 20 minutes a game by the end of the season.

With their 2nd round pick, the Lakers chose Cheick Samb. I'm pretty sure that was a dartboard pick. Here's your scouting report on Samb: He's tall and can jump high. The nice way of saying that is "Raw with potentially explosive athleticism." He essentially needs to learn how to play the game of basketball. He'll be 22 in October. I don't know the exact rule for how long a team keeps the rights of a 2nd round player, but maybe he'll turn into something and help the Lakers down the road. I would've preferred the Lakers to take Pittsnoggle.

The Clippers had themselves a nice little draft. Paul Davis is a big man with solid fundamentals, he'll do nothing spectacular but will be an assest as a back-up PF/C. Guillermo Diaz at 52 looks like a huge steal. I thought he could go in the 1st round; instead he was the 16th guard taken. Perhaps it was his smallish frame or the fact that people thought he was a tweener, a shooting guard caught in a point guards body. I think he could be Leondra Barbossa-esque. I'm not sure what happened, but Elgin Baylor seems to have gotten this whole draft thing down.

Other Teams Drafts I liked:
  • Memphis - Top all-around athelte in the class. Check. Help at PG. Check. Highly athletic PF. Check. Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and Anthony Johnson are a great draft class. Gay for Battier may go down as one of the all-time draft steals. What was Houston thinking?
  • Utah - Adding Ronnie Brewer gives Utah a very solid starting 5 that could challenge for the playoffs. Dee Brown and Paul Millsap were very strong in college and excellent 2nd round picks.
  • Orlando - No matter what you think about Redick, the man can shoot and last I checked that was still the only way to score in basketball. Even more, adding Redick will prevent teams from completely doubling down on Dwight Howard and the emerging Darko. This pick will help their development. Last note, Redick scored most of his points last year through double/triple teams. No way he sees anything like that this year. Plus he's a sick FT shooter. I like Augustine in the 2nd round as well.
  • New Jersey - Gets the top PG in the draft in Marcus Williams, adds a shot-blocking presence in the athletic Josh Boone and picks up an athletic wing in Hassan Adams.
Drafts I didn't like:
  • Minnesota - Hey Wolves fans, how'd the last SG-for-PG in consecutive picks in the draft trade work out? I think Ray Allen is slightly higher regarded than Stephon Marbury. Also, you gotta love undersized non-athletic PFs in the 2nd round. What a joke this team is becoming.
  • New York - Four words: Renaldo Balkman at 20.
  • Houston - You have the top PG and a stud SF drop to you and you end up with an old SG who is the world's most average player and a tall white guy who can shoot. If Jeff Van Gundy had more hair to lose, it'd be gone by now.
  • Seattle - The Detroit Lions of the NBA. 3rd consecutive year drafting a Center. Will probably still need one next year too.
Team that I'm still trying to figure out all of its ramifications:
  • Portland: I think they turned over about half their roster today, but I'll have a piece up about their transformation shortly.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Creator of the Dodger Dog dies at 84

"The stadium menu that Arthur believed in meant basically four things: soda, peanuts, beer and the super-sized hot dog in a super-sized bun."

A great man has left us.

Thomas G. Arthur, 84; Made Dodger Dogs a Staple of L.A. Stadium Experience

Laker predictions from around the web

Here are some picks from writers online:

Chris Eckstrand ( - Mardy Collins
Ian Thomsen ( - Mardy Collins - Thabo Sefolosha, SF - Angelico Biella - James White, SF - CIN
KillerCrossover Mock Draft - Kyle Lowry, PG - Villanova - Thabo Sefolosha - Guillermo Diaz, PG - Miami - Mardy Collins
Tony Mejia (CBSportsline) - Kyle Lowry

  • Collins seems to be a favorite of the mock Lakers and I'd be glad to have him.
  • Sefolosha is an athletic Swiss player who seems to rising up the boards. He doesn't have much of an outside shot though, so I can't see the Lakers taking him.
  • White is a stud athlete and uses his athleticism well on defense and on the boards. He has very little offensive game though and I believe Jackson will want a more polished player.
  • Lowry has a phenomenal first step and is a solid defender, but his height (6'1) and lack of outside shot will not endear himself to Laker management.
  • Diaz is actually a possibility. He has a very similar game to Douby albeit a bit smaller. He could be the darkhorse to break up my 6.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What the Lakers should do at the draft.

In this draft, the Lakers will be looking for a combo guard or a power forward with a bit of nasty in him. I’ve taken into account only players that could fall to the #26 pick; I don’t believe the Lakers will make any trades. I predict the Lakers will pick one of these 6 players.


  • Quincy Douby – 6’3” 175. Lights-out shooter and fantastic scorer. Adequate distributor. His small frame will get him pushed around a bit by bigger players and is just a so-so defender.
  • Maurice Ager – 6’4” 200. Athletic, long-armed with a great outside shoot. Strong finisher and ball-handler. Weak rebounder for his size and just a so-so passer.
  • Mardy Collins – 6’6” 205. Even at 6-6 played the point and distributed the ball well. A solid defender (like many Temple Owls) with a nose for the ball. Good at many things, but doesn’t profile as being very good at anything. So-so 3-pt shooter and a poor FT shooter.


  • Alexander Johnson – 6’9” 230. Exceptionally athletic PF from Florida State. Huge wingspan and leaping ability. Very powerful with a nice touch from 12-15ft and can range to 18. Needs to improve his post moves. His stock has been rising and he may not be available at pick 26.
  • James Augustine – 6’10” 230. Solid in all facets, not sensational in any. Very smart player with adequate physical tools. Unselfish and good at moving without the ball. Great at the pick-and-roll either going to the basket or stopping and popping. Given his height he should be a better shot-blocker and is just an adequate rebounder.
  • Josh Boone – 6’10” 240. Exceptionally athletic and a great shot-blocker. Very little offensive game to speak of right now. Seems like a second-coming of Tyson Chandler.

Were it up to me, I’d rank them like this:

  1. Johnson
  2. Douby
  3. Ager
  4. Collins
  5. Augustine
  6. Boone

We’ll see what they do on Wednesday.

All pictures from

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Larry Brown's Next Job

Detroit. It just makes too much sense.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two thoughts on Cubes

  1. BlogMaverick is down....I think Cuban is very very depressed.
  2. Do you think his constant complaining and conspiracy theorizing ever gets the players down? If your boss was constantly telling you that the Man had it out for you would there come a point where you just accept defeat? Just an odd atmosphere in which to try and succeed.

Game 6 Quick Hits

  • Dallas could use a banger. Neither Diop nor Damp can really get dirty nor do they scare opposing players. Haslem's dirty work and Mourning's presence really were felt in this series, especially in game 6.
  • Jerry Stackhouse had a good 4th. His block of Posey was pretty awesome, but his first half just killed them.
  • Will anyone be talking about Shaq only having 9 points tomorrow? Miami's going to regret that 5-year extension. Shaq's good, but he's nowhere close to a $20million/year player anymore.
  • When the Mavs tied it at 79, they went into 3-pt firing mode. I know the feeling. You've clawed your way back and then want to make a big shot, but they should've been running their offense.
  • Did the Mavs just tire themselves out? The fast-breaking at the start of the game was effective, but disappeared in the 2nd half.
  • JET sure went down firing didn't he? He took a number of really stupid shots in the 4th quarter.
  • I've wondered why Marquis Daniels didn't get more minutes....I still do. He and Devin Harris should be Dallas' starting back court next year.
  • Dallas needs Ben Wallace. No idea if it's feasible with a sign-and-trade, but that'd complete them.
  • Somewhere Stan Van Gundy is quietly sobbing.
  • Yes Terry was grabbed before he hoisted his last-second shot, but the Mavs got a majority of odd calls at the end of the game (the Wade loose-ball foul, the Posey/Mourning travel, the Posey double dribble)
  • Speaking of fouls, Wade is the best at drawing fouls in the league right now. Even on small things like a rebound attempt or bringing the ball up. If he were on the US soccer team, all of Italy would have been carded off.
  • Funniest moment of the night. During the last time-out Pat Riley got quite excited and whipped his head back almost breaking Jason Kapono's nose. Michael Doleac laughed at him.
  • Shouldn't it be "Dwayne"?
  • Gary Payton and Antoine Walker both have championship rings. That upsets me greatly. I'm glad Mourning got one though. He's fought through a lot. I like Haslem too.

Tale of Two UCLA Guards

The two members of the UCLA starting backcourt, Jordan Farmar and Aaron Afflalo, both declared for the NBA draft yet did not sign with agents to test the waters. Two days ago, Farmar announced he would stay in the draft while Afflalo decided to stay in school. For Afflalo, this decision was a no-brainer. He was projected as at-best a 2nd round pick. If you're not guaranteed to be drafted in the 1st round, it's not worth the risk to enter. He should be able to sharpen his ball-handling skills and assist numbers to help get himself into the 1st round next year. He got his name on a lot of team's radars and got feedback on what skills he needs to improve. This was a win-win for Aaron.

For Farmar, it's a tough choice. I've seen him projected to go anywhere from 13 to 25 with his most likely destinations being Indiana (at 17), Grizzlies (at 24) or Cavs (at 25). If he goes to any of those teams, he'll most likely start as a back-up and perhaps work his way to start by the end of the season. He's currently ranked as the 5th best PG on If he were to stay, he'd probably be the top PG in the '07 draft and a guarnteed lottery pick assuming his draft status remains as it is.

I've watched a lot of UCLA games and have never been impressed with Farmar. An average Farmar night looks something like this : 5-13 FG 2-6 3pt 2-3 FT 2 reb 1 stl 5 ast 4 TO 15 points. 15 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal isn't a bad night for a PG, but he never seemed to have a good shooting night and always turned the ball over way too much for my taste. He does show a real high basketball IQ and a number of those turnovers were from passes to big men not ready to catch the ball. If he improves his shot selection, that'll help a lot in the NBA. I think he'll be an adequte distributor and if he can end up with one of the 3 teams listed he'll be in a real good position because he'll only have to be a supporter. He won't be an all-star, but he'll end up a solid PG after a few years. A Mike Bibby-type player would be his upper ceiling, a Brevin Knight is what should be expected.

Laker Free Agents

The offseason will soon be upon us, so it's time to examine what the Lakers will be doing to upgrade a team that took the Suns to 7. Here's a quick summary of the returning depth chart:

PG - Smush Parker / Aaron McKie
SG - Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujacic
SF - Luke Walton
PF - Lamar Odom / Brian Cook
C - Kwame Brown / Chris Mihm / Andrew Bynum

FA: Devean George, Ronnie Turiaf, Jim Jackson

Here's my feeling on those three:
  • Devean George - I've never been impressed with him. Devean's a player who'll make a big shot or two and help you win a game, but it's always due to being in the right place at the right time, never due to his talent. Looking at him, he should be able to at least body up bigger players, but has never been an effective post defender and has always been a step slow on elite perimeter wing players. I'd let him walk. Only reason to bring him back is because he knows the Triangle Offense, but Odom and Walton are better options a the 3 right now.

  • Ronnie Turiaf - Ronnie (or is it Ronny? I've seen it both ways) is already the best shot blocker on the Lakers. He hits the boards and is an effective scorer either through put-backs or an emerging post game. I loved watching him at Gonzaga and was so happy when the Lakers signed him after his heart surgery. I hope they re-sign the guy. I think he can be a legitimate PF in the league, especially as a rebounder/shot blocker. I think his potential could be a Udonis Haslem with more shot-blocking ability or a Bo Outlaw with a few more offensive weapons.

  • Jim Jackson - Boy did this guy hit the wall. After being a solid piece of the Suns puzzle in 2004-2005, Jackson was cut by Phoenix halfway through the season. The Lakers picked him up and he contributed very little. He knows the Triangle from working with Jim Cleamons in Dallas, but I think his place is signing for the veteran's minimum on an older team, perhaps Memphis or Detroit would be good destinations for him. (I tried to find a picture of Jackson in a Laker uniform, but to no avail)

Unfortunatley for the Lakers, they are over the salary cap, so they can re-sign Turiaf, but then can only improve by using the MLE and the draft. I'll expand upon the Lakers draft possibilities and potential free agent signings in future posts.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


This is just the first entry in the blog. The blog will focus on Laker basketball, the NBA in general and other Los Angeles sports happenings. Hope you enjoy...