Special thanks to Cyrus Santoriello for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to GetGarnett.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at GetGarnett@gmail.com.

It is a good possibility considering the incompetency of the chaotic Lakers’ front office. I deliberately call it the “front office” because just one person alone, Mitch Kupchak, couldn’t possibly generate so many blunders. We must add the narcissistic Jimmy Buss and the former Playboy centerfold -in love with the Hall of Fame coach- to the mix for complete chaos.

With a messy front office (Kobe called it a “mess” in his media frenzy) in charge, there is a good chance we start the season with the present roster. Except Derek Fisher, Javaris Crittenton and possibly Coby Karl (Kobe Light), the supporting cast remains intact. To predict any results, we shall go back in history and examine their performance last season before injuries, the time frame between Oct.31 and Jan.17, 2007.

Injuries were a major contributor to the disappointing season. Thus, we must take a closer look at the first 39 games of the season (almost halfway into the season) using statistics and probabilities. Out of 39 games, they won 26 and lost 13 games, which translates into 55-27 (54.66-27.33 to be exact) in 82 games or 0.670 Pct. Remember; Odom was injured on Dec.12 and he didn’t play in 18 of those 39 games. K. Brown was injured on Dec.31 and he was absent in 8 of those 39 games.

In 39 games, they played Phoenix once and Lakers won (Oct.31, 114-106). They won both games against Spurs (Dec.10, 106-99 and Jan.17, 100-96 in SA.). Lakers lost the road game against Mavs. (Dec.13, 101-110) but won the home game (Jan.7, 101-98). With other words; Lakers won 4 of 5 games playing agianst the big three (Mavs-Suns-Spurs.) However, 7 of 13 games were lost to teams under 0.500; Bobcats, Hornets, Grizzlies, S.Sonics, Bucks, Wizards and Portland.

A healthy roster with addition of Derek Fisher, Javaris Crittenton and Chris Mihm could produce a 0.670 or higher Pct. overall. That would position this team in the 3rd or 4th playoff spot. Utah finished the season 51-31 (0.622) and eliminated Rockets and Warriors to face the Spurs in Western conference finals.

Several other factors could be considered as well; Kwame Brown is on the clock with his expiring contract; his future in the league hinges on his performance this coming season. Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom both have been on the block and it’s no secret that the Lakers are shopping them. Andrew and Lamar want to stay in Lakers’ uniform; they must perform to prove they are worth keeping. Lamar’s performance in his last playoff game against Suns is a good example.

Without a doubt adding JO to this team, without losing Odom, is preferred over status quo. However, it ain’t all lost if we don’t land O’Neal. We could possibly make it to the Western conference finals, but would that be enough to appease Kobe?

  • kb24lalaland

    this guy makes great points. I am just scared kobe will opt out later because our fo.

  • BringDFishBack

    I’ve always thought of how they played before injuries, and in 2007 they never played 1 game without at least 3 people hurt. A combination of injuries from Odom, Walton, Kwame, Mo Evans along with Mihm had them short-handed the entire year. But i dont think we could go all the way, in series with the suns, mavs, spurs, etc we could win 4 out of 7 imo.

  • kingkb24

    very good point. maybe instead of changing the roster jerry buss fires his entire FO and hire the getgarnett staff in place and buss can fire himself and hire ld2k as owner. maybe after that kobe might stay.

  • Rpoc

    If we don’t get JO then we are fraked!! Kobe will continue to be pissy.

    The Queens will NEVER trade with us so forget Artest.

    Memphis made moves to keep Gasol.

    Fraked. JO or BUST.

  • Faith

    You have some very good points Cyrus. However this team continues to have holes left unmet. Even during the first half of the year when everyone was healthy, we had obvious defensive holes, not to mention being lax in offensive execution. You add our propensity to underachieve against under 500 teams…you have our team.

    Kobe or no Kobe, JO or no JO…these are things the front office has yet to address. While trading a bulk for one player will not solve it, heck…standing pat wouldn’t either…it remains to be seen whether we’re willing to address it to begin with. As of now, no.

    Instead we’ve resigned Luke, we’ve brought on Fish…hoping for Java. All things that are great, but no cigar. Did we improve defensively? I really don’t know…I believe Fish brings stability to the position, but he doesn’t “overhaul” it…nor does he singlehandedly improve our defense because we continue to have defensive holes. Will a year of improved Bynum get us past the first round? Though to be fair, that question would be better asked from LO. Will LO finally be that 2nd option that we have been hoping? Enough to save Kobe’s legs, enough to make the defenses honest, and will our players wake up and realize it takes defense to win games?

    What would it take? I think a consistent second option would go a long way. Another body or two that is capable of defense would be fab. I think currently our greatest holes are 3, 4, 5…but I’d prefer to get a legit 4 instead of a 3 because I believe we have the best 3 in the league in LO. We need rebounding, we need guys that will go out there and battle. Ronny’s awesome, I love Ronny…but I’m apprehensive on how much time he’ll get on the floor this coming season. We need an inside presence.

    I got off track there somewhere but I guess I mean…our front office needs to wake up and smell the coffee. And do something about it. JO is at least a step that shows they’re proactive lol.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    I found this on clublakers.com

    We need a spark to get Jermaine

    So, Jermaine has said he would like to become a Laker, even though he took those words back, but it is so obvious that he only changed his mind after a chat with the management.

    We also know that the Lakers have been in contact with the Pacers with a deal not involving Lamar Odom (smart move) but Larry Bird doesn’t want to lose his job after making two of the worst trades in history, and so he’s standing back and waiting for us to give Lamar, which we won’t.

    Therefore we need a spark to get JO on the Lakers. I feel that the spark needed is a 3rd team – someone who can give the Pacers a good 1st Round Pick, that’s all I think they need, a good first round pick. They’re in rebuilding mode, Jermaine even confirmed this in the LA interview (yes, the one he later said wasn’t true – AGAIN) and so a nice first round pick, along with a 10 million expring in Kwame Brown, and two young players with tons of potential in Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar, I think, is perfect for this Pacers ball club. They’re not going anywhere soon, so they may as well take this trade – it’d be one of the better moves Larry has made, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    I like this guys point of view.

    The Jermaine O’Neal story is almost scripted…

    If Jermaine O’Neal is traded, his favorite destinations would be the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.

    The Kobe-led (for now) Lakers, in my estimation, are 2 or 3 pieces away from contention. You know that Kobe is somewhere behind the scenes giggling with his buddy Jermaine about the possibility of him coming to the Lakers (it seems that Kobe’s faith in the O’Neals of the NBA wasn’t as low as I thought). A big man and a superstar guard automatically makes you a contender in any conference, especially when that superstar guard is considered one of the top players in the last decade. The addition of Jermaine, with little loss of win-now talent would make this team a contender, in my eyes. That means, Lamar stays, and Bynum goes. Kobe is obviously not into that whole ‘Bynum has potential thing’ (and who’s Kobe to judge anyway? he’s the reason Slava thought he had potential) so he’s campaigning for him to take a step out. A healthy KB/LO/JO trio can cause a lot of damage to the Suns, Mavs, and Spurs. Can you imagine the size on that roster? From the shooting guard position up, it’s KB at 6’6, LO at 6’10, JO at 6’11, and Mihm at 7′. Now that’s hell to the Suns!

  • gugy

    man,
    this is one the longest summer’s ever!
    Waiting for KG then,
    now
    Waiting for JO
    and then praying for Kobe to stay.

    I hate the Lakers FO for doing this to the Lakers fans.

  • franchise98bn

    1. The Laker FO won’t do anything this summer or this season. Didn’t you hear Mitch…”When we’re healthy we have a championship level squad.”
    2. Kobe is gonna opt out next year and sit out this season.
    3. Bynum is not the future.
    4. Mitch is a retard that can’t even spell the word Trade.

    Am I missing anything?

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    franchise98bn you are wrong!!!!!!!!

    The fact of the matter is the Lakers are the only team that Indiana can trade with, so all the Lakers have to do is wait until the price goes down for JO. I gaurantee you that the Lakers will make the playoffs this season as the 5th seed or better. Before the trade deadline in Feb. the Lakers WILL have Jermaine O’Neal and Lamar Odom and Kobe on the same team and that will make everyone happy.

  • BEC

    Cyrus,
    You make some really good points.
    Western conference finals?? I doubt it with this squad. And thats not good enough, its not about how far we ACTUALLY go, its really all about putting a team on the floor that can contend for a title, because winning a title takes a little luck, health is a big factor, good chemistry, and guys really gelling together at the RIGHT TIME. As long as Kobe is convinced that the team he is on can contend, i think, thats whats really important, that we have a team that can contend, just because we got talent all of sudden doesnt make us favorable contenders automatically, triangle offense alone takes over a year to really learn for new guys.
    And lets not forget that the 26-13 record, those 39 games was a very favorable schedule. Thats a big reason why that record was as good as it is. We’re an above 0.500 team like the past 3 years.
    A 0.670 winning percentage is really pushing it thats a 55 win season, we are playing in the western conference enough said. With this squad realistically, an above 0.500 team that makes the playoffs 6/7 seed. Its been the same for the past 3 years. This team hasnt changed much, same guys for the past 3years, no new impact guys that can really make a big difference other than Bynum but well see about him. And it also seems like not much is going to change so records going to the same and what it seems like another 1st round exit.
    Lamars amazing performance in ONE playoff game was just that ONE GAME. We all know he can put that, that shouldnt be a surprise to anyone here. Whats really important for him is to be CONSISTENT. He hasnt been consistent, check his game log. And I just dont seem him changing, its been 3 years with Kobe and 8 years in the NBA, Lamar Odom hasnt changed, and i dont see it happening anytime soon.
    Getting JO though will change things big time. But we’ll see what happens. Just my two cents.

    GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cyrus

    Faith,

    First of all, I truly enjoy your great style of writing, using elegant vocabulary wrapped in impeccable grammar. And your knowledge in bbl technicalities is stunning for a fan. I wish you would consider writing some articles for this site. Just your comment on my article is an article in itself. I rather read your piece than any ESPN or Times baseless rumors written by those so called “sportswriters”……

    Back to my piece today; my article is solely based on statistics and probabilities. I left out the game technicalities for two reasons: First I didn’t want to embarrass myself with my limited knowledge, second adding game technicalities to dry statistics and probabilities would have made it very complex, more complex than I could have handled.

    However, it would be difficult to not agree with you regarding “holes” in defensive and offensive execution. Supply of free agents is dwindling and good players are being grabbed by other teams on daily basis. Lakers are not the ideal trade partners, because of lack of bargaining chips. Simply said; we are stuck.

    I just hope that Kwame, Lamar and Andrew would recognize that they are in the hot seat (or hot jersey in this case) and perform accordingly in case we have to bear with the present roster.

  • cyrus

    BEC,

    Thank you for your comment, your point is well taken and you present some valid concerns. My article is based on dry statistic and probabilities. I do not agree that those 39 games were favorable or at least that much favorable to affect the probabilities greatly. They played weak and strong teams from both conferences. You can lookup the game log in Yahoo or NBA for yourself to get a better picture. Western conference finals may arguably be far-fetched, however, I truly believe this roster can do and will do better than better than 7 or 8 spot.

    Lamar Odom was, is and will remain an erratic player and could never fill that “Jordan/Pippen” cast that was imposed on him. In his exit interview, he was asked by Kupchack, how would he see his future? Is it going to be the usual 16-9-5 (career)? Or could he make a habit of his last performance on May 2 in Phoenix? LO’s answer was almost the same he gave 7-8 month ago in a post game interview: “I just try to play the game of basketball and not just score.”(Interview available on Lakers NBA site)
    I’m becoming so desperate that I would just pull the trigger on LO and Bynum to get JO, but I know I will regret it tomorrow.

  • cyrus

    Ed,

    I agree with you and I go one step further; I think Kobe prefers JO over KG, first because they are close friends and second KG would present a second “alpha” in the roster and we know Kobe well by now and we know he likes to be the top dog and JO would be OK with that.

    Also, I didn’t write this article because I think JO deal to LA wouldn’t happen. I truly believe it will.

    It was just a question we ask ourselves like any at cross roads in life; What if……

  • Faith

    Thanks for the compliments Cyrus. I’ll think about it…although I’m not sure how I can do it without my trademark “lol” lol.

    Lakers-wise. I hope what you hope. I think that LO took a large, huge step this last season, and his farewell words (for the season) though not exactly encouraging, were forward thinking. Perhaps this will be the year, for all of our players…we can only hope.

  • cyrus

    Somebody said a funny line, I don’t remember who it was: “Dr. Buss would rather date a woman in his age group than trading Kobe”. haha

    It’s very unlikely but not impossible. However, the receiving team would be gutted and Kobe could land in a team even weaker than present Lakers as the result of a trade. Even Chicago Bulls didn’t seem to be very interested because of the high price. I think Kobe is more comfortable with the present roster than we think. Didn’t somebody say Kobe himself has said swapping both LO and Bynum for JO is not a smart move?

    Kobe will not be traded, at least not this season, and he knows that. And the Kobe I know is not a quitter; he will be at the training camp, in purple and gold, as Phil Jackson predicted. The presence of Derek Fisher, his friend and teammate for many years, will be a huge factor in keeping Kobe happy.

    Don’t expect Kobe just to come out and say: “everything is fine fans, I am gonna be a Laker for life and I am happy with what we have”

    He started putting pressure on FO and rightly so (preferably in private though). He needs to keep the pressure on the sluggish and ever indecisive management. It wouldn’t be productive if Kobe would come out now and comforts us with his assurance. It takes the very much needed pressure off Mitch Kupchak’s and Co.

  • cyrus

    Faith,

    It’s easy to overcome the “LOL” trademark; either you write about “lots of laughs” or “lots of love” or both. LOL, nothing wrong with that, LOL

    I am getting used to adopt Ak’s “haha” trademark. I almost wrote a piece about that “haha” at the Times Blog, oh well, too late in the night to explain. haha, lol

  • cyrus

    Ed,

    “A healthy KB/LO/JO trio can cause a lot of damage to the Suns, Mavs, and Spurs. Can you imagine the size on that roster? From the shooting guard position up, it’s KB at 6′6, LO at 6′10, JO at 6′11, and Mihm at 7′. Now that’s hell to the Suns!”

    Suns eclipsed by all those big men, wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Rpoc

    As long as Kobe maintains the status quo he wants out unless there’s changes, the Lakers have NO leverage.

    Sure it’s the management’s fault for this. But guess what, THERE STILL HAS BEEN NO TRADES IN OUR FAVOR!! Why? It’s pretty obvious everyone knows the Lakers are screwed without a trade so they’re just going to wait for Kobe to implode.

    Kobe only fraked the Lakers by his public tirade. Or in a more accurate sense: The Final Dagger. Only Kobe fans will applaud that public tirade. Why? They don’t give a rat ass what happens to the Lakers as long as Kobe goes to a good team. I only supported his initial Do something and Do it now.

    You know what was the first thing that came my mind when he demanded to be traded back and forth? “FRAK, I think it’s going to take a MIRACLE for us to get something done good now with this FO’s leverage to zilch.” And that WAS and still IS the case.

    Can dumb and dumber play their roles any better? The Lakers FO and Kobe were showing some chemistry.

    Hope! Hope! Oh what fleeting hope!

  • fb

    great piece …made complete sense

  • BEC

    Those 39 games, 22 were played at home about half were sub 0.500 teams, out of the 17 roadies about 10 were sub 0.500 teams. I think thats a little favorable in my opinion. Because near the end of the season we did have fairly healthy guys and they were on the floor playing, but we could barely get a win, it was a tough schedule with one part being an eight game roadie with back to backs, thats rough for our young guys.
    I now understand were youre coming from though, but seeing as that in 3 years with pretty much the same core of guys, we havent even reached the 50 win mark yet once, being healthy the whole season is unlikely too for some of our guys, and I dont think the addition of Fish/Critt/Coby is enough at this point to make much of a difference.
    I do think though we definitely are a top 4 team in the western conference, if were running on full cylinders, but consistency has been a big issue because of key holes in our team.
    Faith hit right on the money, our defensive holes are huge, especially dribble penetration. The fact that Kobe has to do so much on the offensive end leaves a big hole in our backcourt defense because KB has to roam on D to save energy, I think a consistent second option on the offensive end will work wonders on our team (JO can do that or step up LO), KB is DPOY caliber defender and its a shame he has to save his energy for offense, he can effect games with his D, and knowing Kobe hed love to shut down Nash, Parker, and Wade but he cant. Our interior defense doesnt seem too bad, Kwame actually can defend Bynums got length and size, its really a matter of motivation and heart for them really.
    I think the key thing for the Lakers is to really get that second option for Kobe, someone who he can really trust, getting better balance on our offense will really help our D, and that alone can make us contenders.

  • lakerfan81

    If healthy I believe the Lakers are 46-48 win team. Its possible though that they go few more wins or losses though. I Believe they are the 6th best team in the West.

    SA, Dallas, PHX are all pretty much as good as last year. Utah will miss Fisher’s leadership a little bit but still just behind those 3 teams. Houston…. I like Scola but I don’t understand the additions of Mike James and Steve Francis. How many me-first combo/PG can they have on their team? Will Yao ever see the ball with Francis on the floor? They could be better. Denver is basically the same except they get back Martin who had reconstructive surgery on both of his knees. I think when healthy the Lakers are just as good if not slightly better than them. GS will miss Richardson this year. Nelson maximized the talent last year and they will fight for the 8th spot. Portland though better is not quite a play off team yet (next year maybe). Seattle is not close yet, they still have a lot of holes to fill in the next couple of years. Clippers…. Sucks what happened to Brand. Can you say Lottery? The Kings… well they are not any better. The two ? marks are how good are a healthy NO and Memphis, I think they both have a chance to make the playoffs.

    Here is the problem I have with this team as it is currently situated. The problem last year was defense, and that problem has not been addressed. I think there are a couple small trades that should be looked into to see if they are possible. A S&T for Posey but I am not sure how you get that done. A trade for Quentin Ross, not sure how that gets done either. But those trades or similar ones for a defensive minded wing should be looked into.

  • http://getgarnett.com/blog j-c 8

    try this : http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=2748~1998~617~2760~615&teams=11~11~11~13~13&te=&cash=

    fisher / critt / farmar
    bryant / evans / karl
    granger / walton / vujacic
    o’neal / turaif / cook
    brown / mihm

  • http://getgarnett.com/blog j-c 8

    no cook in roster, radman

  • lakerfan81

    J-c 8 Indiana is not going to trade Granger.

  • LAKERSCHAMPSO8

    hey this is all good but lets get jo and keep lo and we good… and lakersfan81 i think u meant the lakers are a 46-38 win team not 46-48…

  • KB24KG21SUNSRGAY

    [quote comment="11475"]1. The Laker FO won’t do anything this summer or this season. Didn’t you hear Mitch…”When we’re healthy we have a championship level squad.”
    2. Kobe is gonna opt out next year and sit out this season.
    3. Bynum is not the future.
    4. Mitch is a retard that can’t even spell the word Trade.

    Am I missing anything?[/quote]

    nope…you pretty much got down everything

  • lakerfan81

    no I ment they they will win 46 to 48 games. They are a just above .500 team. A team in no mans land. Not a contender but too good to rebuild.

  • rasarx

    Here is another thing I’d like to throw out there for discussion: This is the wrong environment for young players. The major problem with the Lakers has been its front office. Simply put, they lack basketball IQ. That’s why they end up with a mishmash of mismatching players, don’t achieve much, and pay a very high price for it. That’s also why they don’t realize young talent like Bynum do not do well in such chaotic teams. They wither. For someone like Bynum who has had no college background to nourish his abilities, throwing him into a team with no chemistry, no stability, no depth, and not much leadership is actually the kiss of death. That was partially KB’s problem in Washington. Everyone has potential, but without the right environment talent doesn’t materialize, even if you throw a Kareem at those players to tutor them. It only works marginally. If it was the 80s Lakers, where there were many pillars of strength and a great deal of stability, AB would have thrived and grown up to be a great player. But not now, not here.

    So, here is the Laker’s FO, sitting there waiting for AB to rescue them in the coming years. They’ll be sorely disapointed. They might be better off trading him now and allowing a more stable team to cook his raw talent, and in return take a fully cooked player. Let me hear your thoughts on that observation.

  • BEC

    Rasarx,
    You make some good points, but when it comes down to it, its the player who decides whether he will be great or not. Hes got a big thing going for him already and thats the opportunity to play, hes got that. He can get all the playing time he can get if he gets good enough, hes not playing second fiddle to anyone, shaqs not here, we only got one real center and thats Kwame. Bynum has so many good things going for him, he has no pressure to lead this team, hes got the greatest center in NBA history teaching him how to play, and hes got a great coach.
    A good environment can help a player grow faster, but its really up to the player, his desire and passion for bball and to be great. Look at L.James when he first came into the league, you think that lottery team Cleveland he went to was a great environment to grow, hell no, no one was good on that team. But he wants to be great, he wanted to beat the hype that was handed to him and he rose above it all. There are many other examples like this were players go into bad environments but still end up becoming great players.
    Its really up to the player and when I look at Bynum I dont see someone who wants to be great. I hope im wrong but from what ive seen on the court it doesnt seem like it, but hes still young and maybe he’ll mature to be someone great. Its really too early to say whether he’ll be a bust or not, but for the Lakers sake lets hope he turns out great.

  • cyrus

    I agree with BEC on Bynum. It’s up to the player and Andrew doesn’t seem to have “The Right Stuff” to become a star center in this league. He has a favorable environment with a tutor like Kareem, HOF coach and decent coaching assistants such as Shaw and Rambis. They say he’s working hard this summer but we know that there have been complaints about his work ethics by the coaches.

    Kobe Joined the Lakers in 96 and Del Harris (94-99) was his coach for 3 years. Harris played Kobe off the bench reluctantly; he didn’t seem to give the “kid” a whole lot of credit. I remember vividly; a reporter asked Harris about Kobe (after a stunning game by Kobe) and He said (paraphrase)”these kids have a moment of brilliance but it’s just that; a moment of brilliance.” It was Kobe’s second year. Kobe didn’t have a favorable environment but he had “The Right Stuff.” Luckily, Magic Johnson got Harris fired.