Hermann in Beverly Hills:
what team has the best chance of landing Marion and O'Neal now that the miami toronto talks are dead?
The Toronto organization has told HOOPSWORLD that Jermaine O'Neal will not be traded this season. I can only take them at their word for now. Obviously circumstances change and a great deal could land O'Neal elsewhere - perhaps for an expiring contract like New York's Stephon Marbury - but for now I'm going to trust the Raptors. As far as Shawn Marion - there are a number of suitors although I'm not so sure the HEAT want to add long term salary. There are too many free agents they'll have a crack at this summer (possibly Lamar Odom or Carlos Boozer) for Miami to rush into a trade. For now I'm going to say neither gets moved but I may have a different opinion next week as the situation evolves.
Drake in Carson:
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out who the lakers could target for a pg. My picks are hinrich, sessions and bibby. Am I crazy?
Ramon Sessions is a nice, young player although I'm not sure who you imagine the Lakers would be trading? If the rumor is Mike Conley from Memphis - who can the Lakers offer who is comparable? Come this summer he'll be a restricted free agent - which could be too big an obstacle for the Lakers. I can't see how LA gets into the Mike Bibby business midseason - he's not going to be traded. Is he going to accept the Mid-Level Exception from the Lakers this summer? I think not. I've heard that the Lakers have interest in Kirk Hinrich - but the Bulls don't appear willing yet to make a deal - and frankly neither do the Lakers.
Erik in Anaheim:
any update on the lakers pg search? Or are they going to stand pat?
I believe there's some passing interest in Stephon Marbury but probably not enough to wait for him to become a free agent - by then Jordan Farmar may be back. It looks like the Lakers are going to try and rely on Sasha Vujacic and bigger lineups to keep Derek Fisher's minutes at about 30-35 a game. Coach Phil Jackson admitted yesterday that Fisher is indeed wearing down. In most cases a new point guard wouldn't be able to learn the offense quickly enough over the course of two ten-day contracts.
Ron "Yeti" Hauge in Long Beach:
are they lakers going to make a move? They need a pg anf some other pieces.
Beating the Celtics and Cavs - challenging the Spurs on the road while extremely depleted - and barely getting beat by the Magic - I'm not sure the Lakers are rushing to make any changes. They would like help at the point but for now it looks like they'll just wait for Farmar.
Marcus in :
I'm a big laker fan. With Lamar Odoms contract expiring after this season what direction do you think the lakers will go. I truely believe that Trevor Ariza is as available as LO. Do you resign Trevor or explore other potential free agents?
The verdict isn't out yet. Obviously if the Lakers win a title -that's different than falling short again. If they don't win - I'd think Lamar moves on. I'm not sure how much they'll pay for him to stay either way considering their salary will end up well over $100 million (including luxury tax). Regardless, expect the team to try and keep Trevor Ariza. He won't get offers any bigger than the Mid-Level Exception. I could see LA talking to free agents like Andre Miller, Ron Artest and Rasheed Wallace . . .
Joaquin in West Covina, California:
Are the Lakers looking to move C. Minh, for a luxury tax relieve. If L. Odom signs with some other team in the summer, how much money will be allowed to the Lakers to sign another player like Rashee Wallace. Thanks. Joaquin
The Lakers aren't going to find a team willing to take Chris Mihm's contract for a trade exception - which would save LA luxury tax money. LA isn't going to have more than the Mid-Level Exception to spend - that's about $5.6 million.
Ignacio in Lugo, Spain:
Hola Senor Pincus. Do you think the Lakers will do anything big and shock the league again like last year before the February trade deadline?
Hola Senor- no I don't.
Chris Bonds in South Bend, Ind:
Hey what's up Eric? If the lakers and the magic make the nba finals who do you see winning and in how many games?
Of the three power teams in the East - I believe the Lakers would be most favored against the Magic. Admittedly it'd be difficult against all three - Coach Phil Jackson would find a way to slow Jameer Nelson down with a bigger defender like Kobe Bryant, Trevor Ariza and/or Sasha Vujacic. Toughness and physicality is the way to beat LA. Beyond Dwight Howard - who is spectacular - the Magic don't have the same ruggedness as the Celtics and Cavs to really wear down the Laker bigs. I'm very fond of this Orlando team and they would have a credible chance to win it all - if they get there. How many games? Six.
Steven in La Puente, CA:
Is Kobe trying to set the tempo defensively right now? Is he trying to remind his team that they need to work on there Defense not on points? First he did it with Wade and now with LBJ
Kobe – on requesting to guard LeBron last night - which to me says it all:
"If he's going to go off for a big night, I'll sleep much better if the big night was done on me - as opposed to just going to sleep wishing that I could have guarded him in situations – and maybe trying something different. If he's going to have a big night I'd rather take the responsibility of that."
If Kobe can bring that mentality every night (especially in the playoffs) - the Lakers will be fine.
teryn in eddysone pa:
Now that the lakers smashed Cleveland does that make Kobe the official leader in the MVP race?
I don't think so but he's gaining on LeBron. It's just too early to make a declaration on that front yet. Arguably the league MVP should be Dwight Howard.
Scott in Santa Barbara, CA:
The Clips and Lakers play tomorrow? How ugly will it get and who is the next Clipper to get injured?
Ouch. It should be lopsided for the Lakers but the Clippers have been finding ways to hang around. They just can't close the door. Let's hope both teams stay healthy - and that Kobe is good enough to play (although obviously if you're a Clipper fan you make feel differently).
Joshua in Fontana CA.:
Gasol looks as though he's been packing on some muscle. Any word on his new workouts? Do you think the added muscle has affected his finess play?
It's nearly impossible to add muscle midseason. If he's made changes - it's probably more mental than physical.
Bardiya in Sunnyvale, CA:
Any news on whether Bynum is aware of his recent defensive struggles as far as blocking and rebounding? What is he doing to work on the problem?
Yes he's aware - yes he's working to improve. I don't think he's found the balance yet with his health, conditioning, effort and focus. He's still young and developing. Honestly I don't know if he's still all the way back from the knee injury. He's a bright kid and he works hard. I'm sure over time this season he'll continue to improve - though not without ups and downs.
Dave in Anaheim, CA:
Are the Lakers waiting on Marbury? Because they are not doing one single thing to help Fisher out.
The plan was to rely on Sasha Vujacic and he had risen to the occasion until his back gave out. He had a mild ankle sprain last night. If he is hobbled - perhaps that lights a fire. In the meantime - the Lakers apparently are going to wait it out. I'm not sure they're united on the "Marbury" front - with the no votes probably outweighing the yes votes. I wouldn't say Marbury is out of the question though.
DC in HI in Hawaii:
Eric, any fire behind the smoke emanating from Stephon Marbury's multiple visits to Lakers games? I understand he is getting his tickets directly from the Buss family. Thanks!
Yes - obviously he and Jeanie Buss are friendly - but she's not the one who has the final say on roster moves.
Eric in Las vegas, nv:
Do you think Stephon Marbury could help or hinder the Lakers rotation?
Kobe fan in Romania:
Why didn't Lakers try to get Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets got him for an expiring, and the Lakers had Lamar Odom. I know about the payroll but you see how good Billups is, and he is a perfect fit in the triangle.
The timing didn't work and the Lakers need size back if they ever trade Lamar. He's invaluable as the backup four. Billups would be a great fit but it wasn't meant to be. The Pistons also liked the idea of Allen Iverson - who is quite a different player than Lamar Odom.