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  1. #1

    Official Los Angeles Lakers Thread

    I am a huge fan of Kobe Bryant; but not so much of Shaq.

    But, Shaq's the biggest farker out there, and I'd rather have him on the team than be facing him.

    Right now, awaiting news on how Kobe is recovering from the shoulder surgery.

    Fox is most likely out for 1/2 the season at the very least.

  2. #2
    Well, with the 24th pick in Round #1, Lakers pick 6'9" Brian Cook from IL

    He's not the tough, muscular power forward I was hoping they would get..but then again, I don't think rookies will help the Lakers next year

    I am expecting the Lakers to sign Juwan Howard, PJ Brown, or another experienced power forward veteran

    For the #32 pick in 2nd round, Lakers picked Luke Walton!!!

    wow, the son of Bill Walton, who's got skills, but isn't particularly muscular.

    I think Walton has a chance to see a lot of playing time, esp. if he can hit the open shot.

  3. #3
    7/3/03 update: it's time to talk to free agents for all teams looking for them

    Right now, Karl Malone is speaking with Lakers GM --- we can only afford to spend $4.5M

    Will Karl accept?
    Will Juwan "I got $105M, 6 year contract and didn't do squat" Howard accept?
    Will PJ Brown accept?
    Will Gary Payton accept?

    These are the top 4 free agents the Lakers are going after.

    We will see if money matters to these multi-millionaires more than a chance to get a ring

  4. #4
    7/4/03 update:

    well well well ... Karl Malone looks to be headed for the Lakers, accepting an INCREDIBLE pay cut to $1.9M, **IF** Lakers also are able to sign Gary Payton

    That's FOUR future Hall of Famers on a Lakers roster: Shaq, Kobe, Malone, Payton!!!

    A Laker Makeover Could Be in the Mail
    July 4, 2003

    By Tim Brown, Times Staff Writer

    The Lakers' negotiations with Karl Malone have gone so well that they are considering the possibility they could sign him and still offer their full mid-level exception to Gary Payton.

    Sources with knowledge of conversations between Malone and General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Malone expressed a desire to sign with the Lakers as well as an appreciation for their wish for a guard, namely Payton.

    Malone, it appears, has made the Lakers the perfect offer: his services for as low as the veteran's minimum exception ($1.5 million for the first year), or whatever rate they agree would be necessary to top off their roster with Payton. It is possible the offer is dependent on the mid-level money going to Payton. If not, the Lakers could split the mid-level to improve their depth in the backcourt and sign another front-court player, perhaps Robert Horry, or use the entire mid-level exception for Malone. The Lakers also could lose Malone if Payton declines their offer.

    In the process, Malone has convinced the Lakers that his only agenda, in what would be his 19th NBA season, would be to win the championship that eluded him in Utah.

    It would be an extraordinary gesture by a 39-year-old player still skilled enough to have been selected to last year's All-Star game and next year's Olympic team. Last season, Malone averaged at least 20 points for the 17th consecutive season and was the only power forward endorsed by Horry on the day Horry's option was not exercised.

    Malone, who as a free agent also has drawn interest from the San Antonio Spurs, is still well regarded as a rebounder and defender, enough that Shaquille O'Neal already has given his blessing to any deal that would bring in Malone.

    Payton is expected to sit down with Kupchak sometime this holiday weekend, perhaps today. He earned $12.6 million last season, which he split between the Seattle SuperSonics and the Milwaukee Bucks, and in the open market or in a sign-and-trade deal could fetch nearly three times the $4.7 million or so the Lakers have available for their mid-level exception.

    As it stands, Malone is waiting on the Lakers, who are waiting on Payton.

    The Lakers are hopeful that a multi-year contract taking Payton close to his 40th birthday, and the chance to play beside O'Neal, Malone and Kobe Bryant — four probable Hall of Famers in the same starting lineup — would be enough to convince him to pass up millions.

    In the meantime, power forwards Juwan Howard and P.J. Brown continued to shop the NBA, for the moment with the Lakers intent on coming to an agreement with Malone. One possible snag: owner Jerry Buss is in Europe and Coach Phil Jackson is on a motorcycle, on his way to North Dakota for his 40th high school reunion, and so the ever-changing details of negotiations are taking time to run through the organization.

    Teams may not sign free agents until July 16. Handshake agreements can be reached, however.

  5. #5
    uh oh, looks like this may be it for Robert Horry. I hope Lakers offer him a contract, and he signs. But, will Horry play for only $1m?

    What matters most to Horry is that he was a Laker
    Steve Dilbeck

    This is not right. Forget about the logic, the timing, the odd evolution it took to become suddenly obvious.

    It simply feels wrong.

    Robert Horry's career as a Laker is apparently over.

    Just like that -- with an odd mix of clear foreshadowing and unexpected suddenness -- Horry has gone quietly into the good night.

    Without fanfare and with little tribute, the forward who arguably was the third most important player in a run of three consecutive championships, who hit one of the most celebrated shots in team history, is just gone.

    Slipped out the back when few were noticing, like he simply was some other player, some extra hand whose time had come and gone.

    There was no outcry, no sports-talk shows overcome with outrage, no real ovation for what he helped bring to the Lakers. One major area newspaper ran his exit on its back page.

    He deserves better, deserves to hear his accomplishments lauded, a few hands wrung at his passing as a Laker.

    Horry acts as though he couldn't care less, like he's almost more comfortable without anyone making a fuss over him.

    "You know how I like to do things," he said by phone. "Just do my thing and go about my business."

    That's part of this nonreaction, of course, Horry's own laid-back approach. Add a slightly disappointing regular season, a disastrous postseason, the team's need for a makeover and the evolution of not picking up his option and re-signing him at a lower rate to probably not re-signing him at all, and you have the end of a 6-year Lakers career that has received too little attention.

    He's not some name in the small type in the daily transactions page. This is the one Laker counted on to defend the super power forwards of the Western Conference.

    The player who hit the stunning 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Sacramento in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in 2002. The defining shot of the Lakers' run.

    Horry came to the Lakers as a 6-foot-10 small forward but moved to power forward with the addition of Rick Fox. People thought he couldn't defend the West's power forwards, but he put on 20 pounds of muscle and played them well, sometimes flustering the Tim Duncans and Chris Webbers, sometimes just playing great defense.

    He might not have started during the first two titles, but he was the one on the floor in the fourth quarter, the one playing the key minutes.

    He was a refined team player playing in the oversized shadows of superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and OK with that, the ultimate role player who understood Phil Jackson's triangle and what the coach expected.

    When Horry looks back on his career here, what do you think will be the first thing that comes to him? Not the shot, the purple and gold confetti, the parades.

    "That I got to play with my dream team," he said. "I got to play with the Lakers. Growing up I was a big Lakers fan. I got to meet Jerry West, Magic Johnson and hang out with those guys.

    "The second best would be just winning the championships."

    They wanted a fourth, of course, and the Lakers gave them a chance, returning the team almost unchanged. Horry was in the last year of his contract, the Lakers holding a $5.3 million option for next season.

    But he never could regain that postseason magic, missing 36 of 38 3-point attempts.

    "I think I put too much pressure on myself knowing that I really wanted to win a fourth championship bad and really wanted to play good because I wanted them to pick up my option," he said. "I haven't had that kind of pressure on me in a long time.

    "I know I put too much pressure on myself, because I was having headaches during the playoffs and everything."

    His fortune, and the team's, might have changed when he tried to duplicate his most memorable shot, but his buzzer-beating 3-pointer against the Spurs in Game 4 almost symbolically went in ... and rolled out.

    "I can't help but replay it," he said. "I have so many people come up to me and say something about it. If it goes in, if we win the championship, you never know what they're going to do about picking up the option.

    "But I think they still wouldn't have picked it up, just for the fact they could get somebody else and have other ideas."

    The option was declined Monday. The Lakers, knowing fans demand change after falling to the Spurs, are courting Karl Malone and are expected to talk to P.J. Brown and Juwan Howard.

    If they sign one of them, that still leaves only Slava Medvedenko and rookie Brian Cook as backups. Horry might find a tight market flush in power forwards not offering him the kind of money he expects.

    "Then again, nobody might want me," he said. "I might beg them for a job."

    He certainly deserves more than just passing on through, like he was Samaki Walker or Tracy Murray. The thought of him returning to Staples Center as a Spur is just plain distasteful.

    Yet when he does return, in whatever uniform, you'd hope the Lakers would give him a nice tribute.

    "To be honest with you, I don't even think I deserve one because I've never been a 15-plus scorer," he said. "All I did what what I needed to do to help the team. I wasn't no superstar. I was never an All-Star. I don't deserve any of that stuff."

    One bad year, at age 32, and he's gone. Gone without roses, gone too quietly.

    Steve Dilbeck's column appears in the Daily News four times a week. He can be reached

  6. #6
    ahhhhh, the news gets better and better for Lakers in getting Malone AND Payton

    Agent Signals Lakers That the Glove May Fit

    By Tim Brown, Times Staff Writer

    Gary Payton spoke at some length with Phil Jackson on Friday afternoon, continued his near-daily dialogue with Shaquille O'Neal, and perhaps moved closer to joining Karl Malone in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

    As a result of Malone's choosing championship possibilities over financial gain, the Lakers are expected to negotiate through the weekend with Payton and his representative, Aaron Goodwin.

    "There's definitely a high level of interest," Goodwin said Friday.

    Malone returned to his home in Salt Lake City, where he awaits the results of conversations between Payton, Goodwin and Laker General Manager Mitch Kupchak. As Jackson and owner Jerry Buss are out of town, and given his contact with Jackson, Payton has decided not to travel to Los Angeles this weekend, and intended to consult with his family during negotiations.

    Payton has given no indication he would accept the mid-level exception as a starting point on a multi-year deal, considered below market value for a player who made $12.6 million last season and is playing as if in the prime of his career. But if the Lakers were to come to an agreement with Payton -- free agents may not sign contracts until July 16 -- he would represent the final piece of what would be the Lakers' most productive off-season since 1996, the summer Jerry West signed O'Neal and traded for Kobe Bryant.

    As Payton mulls his future, the Lakers hope his longtime relationships with Magic Johnson and O'Neal will sway his decision. It is believed that Johnson, vacationing in Hawaii, has also spoken to Payton about signing with the Lakers. Jackson was on the road to North Dakota when he reached Payton.

    It is believed Payton would prefer to reach a contract decision quickly, whether it is with the Lakers or another team. Milwaukee Buck officials continue to maintain they would seek to retain Payton, even amid rumors the team would be stripped down to be sold. They might seek a sign-and-trade deal to receive some compensation for Payton, though Payton would have to approve it. The Lakers conceivably could pile in a handful of players to reach an acceptable salary for Payton.

    Meantime, Laker management is not only ecstatic over Malone's decision to forgo a larger contract to make room for Payton, but pleased Malone appears to have chosen the Lakers over other interested organizations, such as San Antonio. In a gesture reminiscent of superstar Andre Dawson's blank-check signing with the Chicago Cubs 16 years ago, Malone has told the Lakers he would play for whatever fit their budget, assuming it facilitates the signing of Payton.

    One by one, Kupchak, Jackson and Buss, along with the team's handful of consultants, are thought to have signed off on the acquisition of Malone. If he signs and then stays at least two seasons, Malone could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the NBA's all-time scoring leader as a member of the Lakers.

    While Laker officials believed the team needed to add a formidable power forward to return to its championship stature and believed Malone fit that requirement, it was Payton and an upgrade in the backcourt that was the summer's first priority.

    Payton is rangy and savvy, a dynamic offensive player whose nickname, "The Glove," refers to his defensive skill. In a season in which their run of championships ended, the Lakers finished in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, field-goal percentage allowed and three-point percentage allowed.

    Even as power forwards Malone, Juwan Howard and P.J. Brown became available through free agency, and in spite of their recent soft legacy at power forward, it was Payton who drew the Lakers' attention, and Payton who would allow them to finish their summer business early.

    source: la times

  7. #7
    Lakers will probably end up getting Malone and Payton. Payton will probably do well for the Lakers, but i just cant picture Malone in a Lakers uni, and furthermore doing well in a Lakers uni.
    I think P.J. Brown would be a better fit, but they would still need to find a replacement for Robert Horry, and the problem with Brown is that he isn't a good shooter.

  8. #8
    Payton is one of my favorite players I'd love to see him in the purple and gold I think he would fit perfect.

  9. #9
    I agree with most of your points.

    We need a power forward for defense -- against the likes of Duncan, Webber, Rasheed, etc.

    Can Karl provide the needed defense?!? As Dallas proved, if all you do is score, you won't win the title.

    Haven't seen much of PJ, so I am not sure if he can score; but as long as he brings in about 10 points and 10+ rebounds and plays defense, that's all we need.

    Payton would serve well against Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby, and other small quick guards.

    Malone is making a sacrifice, b/c he's willing to play for $1-2M. Would be nice to see Malone break Kareem's record as a Laker,... and hold the record until Kobe breaks it

  10. #10
    Malone is a pretty tough guy for his age, i think he will be able to hold his ground well against the Duncans' and Webbers'. He still has a good 2 seasons left in him(i hope).

    The only thing stopping Payton, is his age, and confidence. Payton knows he is ageing, and i don't think he believes in himself enough to know he can stop Kidd, Bibby, etc. He can still score, but can he get back on defense?

    I really don't think P.J. can even score 6 points a game, i don't think Jackson would even trust him enough to let him take more than 3 shots a game. He definetly is good for around 8-10 boards a game, and typically plays great defense as well.

    I personally would still go with Malone, only because Malone is a winner, and i think playing on a winning team would only motivate him more.

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