Lakers Nation Week in Review: Nov. 30 – Dec. 7

Lakers Nation Week in Review: Nov. 30 – Dec. 7

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the day all Lakers fans have been waiting for since last April. After tearing his Achilles, Kobe Bryant is set to make his 2013-14 season debut.

The Lakers have announced that Bryant will be on the court for the team’s game Sunday night in Staples Center against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant has looked strong at the last few practices and there should not be any doubt in his ability to return at an elite level.

Los Angeles is still competitive in the Western Conference and as it looks to climb up the standings with Bryant back, Lakers Nation takes a look back at the previous week.

Lakers Nation News:

Mike D’Antoni talked about Kobe’s minute restrictions and role on the team. 

It is still unclear as to when Steve Nash will return.

The Lakers are anticipating Bryant’s first game on Sunday. 

Kobe did not feel restricted at practice.

Bryant unveiled the new Nike Kobe 9s. 

Kobe showcased his new shoes at a practice.

D’Antoni and the Lakers are open to adding another point guard. 

Bryant and Lionel Messi appeared in a Turkish Airlines commercial.

Watch as Kobe throws down at a recent practice. 

Pacers’ Paul George looks at Kobe for motivation.

Ryan Kelly was recalled from the NBA D-League. 

Jordan Farmar tore his left hamstring and will miss four weeks.

D’Antoni thinks Nick Young can win the Sixth Man of the Year award. 

Kobe Bryant Announces His Return Via His Facebook Page

  • LakersHeatBeef

    With Kobe coming back is it possible the Lakers will trade Chris Kaman and a shooting guard like Jodie Meeks or Xavier Henry for a starting caliber legit Point Guard?That way the Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni can use Steve Blake off the bench and once Farmar comes back Blake can go back to being a off the ball shooting guard.

    I just see a log jam at shooting guard and a big need at Point Guard.Also Caveman is completely out of the rotation,so he has no role on the team.Also a shooting guard will be out of the rotation with Kobe coming back and my thoughts are Xavier Henry is getting yanked out of the rotation.Might as well hope the Lakers fill out the roster with a PG to play crucial minutes and that allows Kobe to do what he does best and that is to score points.Take the pressure off Kobe and Blake by adding a healthy PG.We can play with the best teams in the world IMO.Just hoping all goes well with the big return for Kobe.

    Things change in a big way with Kobe returning a trade is inevitable IMO.Whatever happens willbe for the best tbh.Let the chips fall where they may tbh.Lakers are the best organization in the NBA IMO.Lets just hope Kobe is healthy and dominant tbh.

    Go Lakers!

    • Daryl Peek

      You anticipate Farmar getting PG duties over Blake? That’s not gonna happen IMO. D’Antoni likes Blake too much.

      • LakersHeatBeef

        Clarifying myself i was saying we trade Chris Kaman and Xavier Henry or Jodie Meeks for a top tier PG and we then use Steve Blake as a main backup PG and then shift him to backup shooting guard under certain situations where Farmar gets backup duty.

        But the new stud PG would be the starter and Steve Blake main backup.But otherwise we can stick with Blake at main PG for now and hope the Lakers call up Manny Harris for backup minutes until Farmar get fully healthy.

        Steve Nash is a unknown due to poor health.Standing pat is hard to gauge especially with Kaman eating up $3.5 million dollars and he is not in the current rotation.Sacre beat him and Jordan Hill out as the Lakers starter.That ought to tell ya how good Sacre is.

        A trade for a new PG was mentioned on all Lakers boards this week.BTW i do love Steve Blake and i want the Lakers to keep him for sure.Trade Kaman as a salary dump before Blake.Also lets guess the Lakers will be under the luxury tax by the trade deadline.I say Kaman and a shooting guard will be gone.They need to dump around $5 million dollars in salary right?

        • Kracken

          Who exactly do you think will be the taker? You’re sounding as if Kaman, Henry/Meeks are the hottest commodities out there. Wth

          • LakersHeatBeef

            They are solid role players IMO.Not too sure if a team will send over a top tier point guard.Just hoping the Lakers eventually get a PG via Trade or Draft perhaps even Free Agency.Mitch has made miracles happen before.But this time around things seem much tougher tbh.

          • savi

            LakersHeatBeef you are a very honest person! Jk, I say we don’t need any trade right now!! this team is playing good, Every team has a phase like this, but luckily for us Nash will be back. And talking of trades, find a stud PG and then putting all the assets to get him and disturbing all that is going good for this team is secondary

          • LakersHeatBeef

            Truth be told Chris Kaman is not playing at all,he seems to be in the MDA Dog House for some odd reason.

            He makes $3.5 million dollars and the Lakers are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold from what i keep hearing.

            Maybe a stud point guard is far fetched i totally agree on that but saving $$$ is still a big goal from what is being a explained to me.I want the Lakers to keep this team that won 6 out of 8 games but if they must get under the luxury tax i hope they use Kaman he is not contributing to this winning formula.

            Just saying.

          • Gregory Choa

            I think the “doghouse” theory is incorrect, I believe Kaman’s back is still not right. And while it’s clear he’s fallen behind Sacre & Hill in the Lakers rotations at center, he still has value to this team as an insurance policy against Pau getting hurt again or Pau possibly getting traded before the deadline this season.

            I also agree that chemistry counts for a lot and the trick is not introducing too many new elements into the mix now that team cohesion and balance is at an all time high, especially with Kobe coming back and the adjustments that’ll have to be made on that front.

            Let Kaman do whatever he needs to do to get healthy again and let him ride the pine for a while, even if that’s a relatively expensive ride given his salary.

          • Daryl Peek

            Well said! I 100% agree on the team chemistry new element theme. Many Laker fans love to play fantasy GM too much, no disrespect intended to those who do. Too much change is a bad thing. I also agree on staying pat up til the Feb. trade deadline. At some point between now and then, the FO is gonna have to address the 5+ mil the team is over the luxury tax. A salary dump has to happen by then.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            I agree a salary dump of $5 million+ dollars will take place by the trade deadline no matter what tbh.Lakers will benefit immensely by not paying the repeaters tax.

            The obvious guy to me is Chris Kaman because bro he makes as much as Steve Blake and if you look at how much Blake impacts the team as compared to the new towel boy Kaman it’s really apparent Kaman is making too much for his role on the team,he has become the Josh McRoberts of 2013-2014 IMO.But the Lakers will dump salary regardless to avoid the repeaters tax.Mitch and Jim will make it happen IMO.They moved the contract of Luke Walton enough said.

          • Daryl Peek

            Kaman is under paid. Have you forgot he took a pay cut to be a Laker? Believe me when I say this, Kaman will make more money next season then he is this year, it just wont be with the Lakers.

            His production is not bad, he’s just not getting Pt for some reason and injury is the call so far?

            Teams that are tanking will come through in the final hour. this is how Jimmy and Mitch moved Fisher, Walton and Kapono. Also keep in mind the draft picks they gave up in doing so. We don’t have any to give so the task is that much harder as I previously said.

          • LakersHeatBeed

            Not taking away anything from Kaman as i do know he is a well respected veteran big man,but he has had limited contributions with the Lakers and he seems not to fit the scheme of things within the MDA system and rotation currently.Sacre is the guy,it’s obvious to me now.That could still change,but Sacre is in as a starter for now.

            I do their is a injury he has sustained,therefore i mention the trade deadline which is in late February,by that time we will know if Kaman is staying or going.If he gets healthy and regains his place in the rotation and he averages like 12 PPG and 8 RPG. then he will probably be kept IMO,but if this continues until then he will be gone IMO.Trades happen.

            Lakers FO has made some great trades in the past tbh.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            Yeah it’s up to the Lakers FO.I have no reason to think Kaman will stay much longer especially with the way Shawne Williams has helped out,and factor in how good Sacre has been in his surprise emergence.But if Kaman stays then i understand he is a insurance policy much like Joe Smith and Theo we’re years back.The Lakers are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold from my understanding.We shall see what transpires this season.But for now lets just enjoy the Kobe show,it will be fun.

            Go Lakers!

      • Jim213

        IMO, whenever the PG starting position gets fixed Blake will be moved to the 2 given Farmar runs the 2nd unit #1 bench efficiently.

        • Daryl Peek

          Keep in mind fellas, no PG will be brought in this season. Even if Nash is done. Now if Farmar is out longer than anticipated then you might see a move made.

          Salary dumping is the goal. Unless you trade with a team that’s way under the cap/luxury tax you cannot dump salary in a trade. Gotta take personal feelings out and look at the business stance the FO is faced with.

          Once Farmar comes back the PG situation will be fixed for this season.

          • Jim213

            Still possible but if it happens it’ll benefit the Lakers being freeing up $$ while possibly grooming an inexperienced or younger player. Like Jimmy! mentioned during the off season they don’t intend on being repeat offenders. So either Nash calls it quits (helping cap), gets traded, or they’ll pay the fine.

          • Daryl Peek

            If they want to be able to maximize FA signings next season they cannot pay the fine. Again you lose FA signing exceptions if you’re a repeat luxury tax offender. The team will end up being as restricted as they were this past season, next year if they don’t dump salary by Feb.

            Thinking about grooming a new younger player not currently on roster is the last thing their contemplating right now.

          • Jim213

            Hopefully management is observing today’s game closely aside of Kobe for a potential future pick up (not R Gay) if a trade is ever pulled off. Today, they’re $11 mil over the cap + fines, might as well get the ball rolling.

          • Daryl Peek

            Mitch needs to talk with the Raptors brass and see if he can grab Kyle Lowery as it seems Toronto is in full tank mode now. They picked up Vasquez and can afford to let Lowery go now.

          • Jim213

            Given R Gay is on possible route to the Kings they’ll likely keep Lowry now.

          • Daryl Peek

            Grevias make Lowery a possible salary dump for the Raptors.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            Saving $$$ is top priority from the sounds of it.Who goes?

          • Daryl Peek

            Nash calling it quits would be best case scenario. I highly doubt that happens given he’s determined to see his contract out. Nash deserves that chance. Would love a trade of him to Toronto but his injury status makes this very difficult.

            Of the scenarios I’ve looked at, a trade with a team like Philly, moving Gasol for Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, would be a deal that saves enough cap space for the Lakers. Philly can absorb the cap dollar difference due to them being well under the cap as they dumped tons of dollars last season.

            The problem is getting other teams GM’s on board as they know the quandary the Lakers are in. They have all the leverage in dealing with us right now. Couple this with everyone being conscious of the 2014 luxury tax day of reckoning looming…

          • LakersHeatBeef

            Sounds like a team nearing a championship like Portland might find a interest in some of our players.Perhaps Portland may send over C.J. McCollum and Robin Lopez but i don’t think they can absorb the contract of Pau.

            I think Philly would be awfully nice to trade the Lakers Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner for Pau.Another team might be the Denver Nuggets they might trade Javale and Evan Fournier for Pau Gasol.Timberwolves have had interest in Pau before.But i prefer other trade scenarios.

            OKC can use Pau Gasol to push them over the top IMO.A return of Reggie Jackson and Steven Adams would be good for the Lakers future plans of saving $$$ and avoiding the luxury tax and at the same time the Lakers add youth and a young PG and a young Big Man.

            At the same time the Thunder finally get the low post scorer they always desired and needed,Pau puts the Thunder over the top IMO.

            Saving money is the main thing for the Lakers FO.The OKC possible trade i came up with makes most sense to me tbh,both teams gain something they want.Also gaining young talented players is great for the eventual reload of the Lakers.Mitch and Jim are shrewd business men tbh.

          • Daryl Peek

            Unfortunately the dollars don’t come close to matching in your OKC trade and they are not under the cap enough to adsorb Pau’s dollars. Even if you threw in Kendrick Perkins bad contract it would not Work with OKC. Couple that with them not likely being willing to give up on Adams at this point. Too much upside on an already really good team.

            The Blazers are enjoying success they haven’t had in years this season. Lopez is the difference maker playing C next to Aldridge. Why would they trade Robin? Plus you’re right the money don’t match.

            The Denver trade is interesting but the money doesn’t add up either. Toss in say Andre Miller it could possibly work but now you have too many long term contracts on the Lakers and we know that’s out of the question. Couple this with the Lakers not having enough open roster spots to make the deal work.

            I like the Philly deal. It works on paper due to them being 10.5 mil under the salary cap. This is what it takes for a salry dump trade to work for the Lakers. Philly is absolutely in tank mode and that’s also why it could potentially work for both teams but Hawes and Turner are expiring contracts also and Philly can demand more than the Lakers can offer big picture. Keep in mind the Lakers have no draft picks to offer in trades right now as they can’t give their 2014 pick because they already gave the 2015 pick up in the Nash trade… you cant give away consecutive season draft picks per the CBA. Many teams are looking 2014 first rounders given the deepness of this draft. Future draft picks given up has always been the salary dump buffer for Mitch and the Lakers in trades.

            A trade to help save salary is not impossible but Mitch and Jimmy are really gonna have to work to make one happen. Odds are against them.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            Trading Pau Gasol won’t happen IMO,the reason being he makes too much money.His salary is $19 million dollars in the final year of his contract.Not very many teams can absorb that especially given the fact the Lakers can’t trade a first round pick.

            Best case scenario tbh is ridding the salaries of Steve Nash and Chris Kaman but chances of that happening are not that good at all.Probably a sweetener is needed and the Lakers just don’t have a pick to toss in.

            Maybe sending out one of the Lakers young prospects will sweeten the deal but then again probably not.Lakers are fine keeping Pau he seems to be playing much better lately.But if he is moved for financial reasons i understand.

            Philly would be crazy to trade to 25 year old studs for the expiring contract of Pau,that makes no sense unless they plan on letting Evan Turner walk in free agency.Hawes is decent IMO.Both would be welcomed.But i am happy with Pau staying mostly.I rather see Nash and Caveman get traded tbh.Mitch and Jim clear the books this off season,Kobe and Nash,Sacre only players signed.

          • Daryl Peek

            Pau is the best trade chip on roster still. 14/9.8/3.1/1.3 is still very appealing contrary to all the decline Gasoft hate you hear about Pau. Keep in mind he’s 33 and that’s not old when you look at players he compares to like Duncan and KG. the 19.3 million dollar salary plight is moot to a degree. The Lakers will have already paid more than half of that by the trade deadline. Unfortunately for trade purposes the total dollar amount is considered in trades of players for players. The books don’t adjust for money already paid out til after the Feb. trade deadline.

            Jordan Hill and Steve Blake are the next best trade chips. Again most let feelings cloud the thought of trading Hill, who’s having a breakout season. Keep in mind it’s gonna be very hard for the Lakers to keep Hill beyond this season anyway given he will be due a higher payday if he keeps producing like he is.

            You’re right, Philly would be dumb to trade Hawes IMO. The only reason I bring that scenario up is because it works on paper and the tank mode Philly is in.

            Most keep Nash in the trade headlines due to feelings also but again, he’s gonna be very hard to move also. Harder than any other Laker given he’s on the books for almost 10 mil next season.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            I love Jordan Hill but if he is the one that gets trade it will be a sad day for me and my family,some friends also but it better net back the Lakers at least a first round pick if not it will be a clear salary dump that is done for financial gain tbh.

          • Dragon7s

            Actually, best case scenario would be a ‘medical retirement’ for Nash. That way his contract comes off the books and he still gets paid. I think there’s a high probability that this eventually happens. It’s the only win-win scenario for everyone involved, including Nash.

          • Daryl Peek

            True, very true. I’ll never hope for injury that ends a players career but you are right

  • Jim213

    ?!??, SMH @ Nets

  • 2Pac

    I think Kaman is going to be traded, because he gets no playing time