First off, I know losing in the NBA Finals was painful for all of us. But, who really expected us to be here in October? For now lets just say the journey has begun, not ended. With that said, we do have some roster moves that we need to figure out for the off-season.

Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf will be restricted free agents this Summer. Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm have player options. D.J. Mbenga, Ira Newble, and Coby Karl will all be unrestricted free agents. Plus, there is the looming extension that Andrew Bynum will need. There is also the draft, but Joe Crawford will most likely come to training camp with us and be cut or see very little playing time.

Let’s start with our own free agents. For all I care, Mbenga, Newble (don’t even know why we signed him in the first place), and Coby Karl can all walk; they just take up roster spots. Chris Mihm exercised his player option since no one else is going to pay him $2.5 million. That’s okay since I think once he gets consistent playing time, he can be a nice big man off the bench. Ariza also exercised his player option, which is awesome. Once healthy and in playing shape and rhythm, I expect to see the Ariza who once flew over Grant Hill on Christmas.

Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf might be tricky…

Lets start with Sasha. Except for Game 3 of the Finals, he played terrible and Ray Allen just destroyed him. He did play well against Manu in the Western Conference Finals, but Manu was injured and shot the ball terribly. Sasha has put his work in and played his best season as a pro. He went from being an 11 o’clock player to The Machine in one season. That being said, we should resign him because we do need him to stretch out defenses and his a good player to have off the bench. If he is offered something ridiculous on the open market, it will be tough to match that deal since we are already over the salary cap. We should not pay more than $5 million per season. I do expect him to be back though, he does love L.A.

Next, Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf also did not look good in the Finals. But, he is the energy guy off the bench and he was playing out of position at the 5 for most of the year. He is really a 4 man and has a very good relationship with everyone on the team. He helps bring the team together and is really a player we cannot lose. I am afraid that someone will offer him a good amount of money that will be hard for us to match. I do remember the GM of the 76ers saying he really liked Turiaf after the Lakers played them in January. That was the game Turiaf started cause Lamar Odom was suspended. Turiaf loves being a Laker and the organization did stand by him during his surgery a few years ago. I am sure he will be back.

Here is the big problem that I see for next season. We are going to have 4 small forwards. With Bynum coming back, we are going to move Odom over to the 3 spot and we will also have Ariza, Luke Walton, and Vlad Rad on the bench who can play the 3. To move Walton or Vlad will be tough since both of their contracts are terrible and no one would want to trade for them based on that alone.

I feel we should try to trade one of them and I believe Vlad Rad is the more likely to go because Phil really likes Luke and his high basketball IQ (I know we have been saying this for years, but lets hope he puts in a lot of work over the summer). We really need to get rid of one of them because I see Ariza getting a lot of playing time off the bench next year because of his defense and slashing ability that is great for the triangle. If not, then we are going to have a player on the bench who makes about $5 million for doing nothing. Obviously we can slide Odom over to the 4 at times, but he will be our starting small forward at the start of next season.

In terms of free agency, we only have the Mid-Level Exception and we really should not be giving out the full MLE since we have to pay Bynum real soon. We need to start to think about how we are going to move forward with this team. I know Odom is going to be a $14 million expiring contract next year, but if everything works out with Bynum, Gasol, and Odom, we are going to want to resign him. Also, we have Jordan Farmar who is going to need an extension in two seasons and I really believe he will be our starting point guard in the future. There are not many free agents on the market who will be looking for the MLE.

We do need a defensive minded player such as a Ron Artest or James Posey, but they both play small forward and we already have way too many of those. We could always use our Bi-Annual Exception on Kwame Brown (I am completely kidding, he should not be anywhere near the Lakers). Baron Davis should NOT be discussed. He is not what we need. We are set at the point guard position. I feel that if we lose Sasha (by the way, who knew that his real name is Alexsandar), we should go after Mickael Pietrus. He can be the replacement for Sasha if need be. People are already starting to say he can be a Bruce Bowen type of player, which is what this team needs. Other than those moves, nothing major should occur this off-season.

Mitch Kupchak has some work ahead of him this summer because of our good play, but it is a good problem to have. We will be better with Baby Bynum back in the middle, but we have some short-term and long-term contracts to think about. I think after what Mitch did this season with the trades for Ariza and Gasol, along with his draft picks playing better, we can all be reassured that he will make the right moves to keep this team in Championship contention and bring home a title for all of us.

  • kb24bestever

    i say mitch kupchack should to trade luk walton radmanovic coby carl for a player like gerald wallace,prince,josh howard,al harrington,mike miller,or haslem come on mitch we need to make something happen we have to get rid of those contracts and we need to get a true sf so he could back up lamar odom if odom doesnt do well at the 3 or odom could come off the bench and play PF and let turiaf be our second center and let mihn go.
    what yall think.

  • lakrfan4life


  • Short Diezel



  • lakersno834

    Up until now I wanted to make some changes. But since last night after a friend explained to me, I changed my mind. Here’s why. I would try to do something for Luke and Vlade.. but let’s be real, No one would want them for someone better than them. Then comes Lamar. I wanted to trade him for a while. But then I realized it is Lamar’s final year in the contract. He would wanna work hard and play exceptionally well to demand a better contract (like Sasha). If he does not do better, then we have his expiring contract for someone who wants an expiring contract to clear out some cap. UNDERSTAND?? AGREE??

  • lakaluva

    I would welcome Baron any day of the week!!! Baron is better than both of our point guards combined. Stop saying he doesnt fit well in the triangle. We already have the worse player on the planet in the triangle… KOBE.

  • daboss1848

    Would PJ welcome him? Hes a self-described no D playing offense-only guard who chucks.

  • deffflepppard

    how about luke or vlad for pietrus in a golden state sign-and-trade? Is that impossible, if he’s going to walk anyway?

  • L.A.alltheway

    Odom + Derek fisher ——————–>Kwame Brown (Ticket to NBA CHAMPIONSHIP)

  • Diehardfan

    If we keep Odom and sign Bynum it would be okay with me. But I dont think that Sasha is worth the 30 mill for 5 years that he is asking. There are better players out there who are better. For that much money I would prefer to sign posey who doesn’t just play good in a contract year. Just like Luke, and sasha do!

  • Thuggishdeer

    miller is the only possible thing i see. for luke or vlad probly, hopefully luke because hes getting paid to do nothing but pass to kobe and gasol, yeah he knows the triangle but doesnt use it. vlad makes timely threes while luke just makes us PUKE!!

  • Mamba2410

    I say we shouldn’t trade or sign anyone at all, except Turiaf and Vujacic, Luke and Radman aren’t going away whether we want them to or not, I’m afraid about Kobe’s (about 20-mill next season), Odom’s (about 14-16-mill next season), Gasol’s (about 15-mill next season), Bynum’s (wants to get about 16-mill per year), Farmar’s (he might ask for maybe 8-12-mill when he re-signs), and the rest of the other Lakers’ contracts (approximatley 31-mill or so for the rest), that might add up to…maybe…90-mill+ in all, probably in the 100-mills area than the 90-mills area, but hey, Mitch will get us out of this, I know he will, I just know it!

  • Jamie Spears Insider

    Keep the current team together. Try and get Baron for Mid-level exception. Bring in Sun Yue if necessary. That’s all!

    I personally felt like everyone is overreacting. Lakers played like crap for one series (finals) and everyone out there feels like there’s a need to trade everyone. Kobe shot like crap against Boston, does that mean he should be traded along with Lamar. Gasol was out-muscled (for playing center instead of power forward), should he be traded too?

    Seriously, chill out and wait till the season starts. Every player on the roster just got to come up with something added and improved to their ability to play.

  • kb24 4life

    why not bring back kwamee??

    plus:[Comment ID #42975 Will Be Quoted Here]

    luke was signed for a 5 yr/30 mil contract, and i think the machine deserves it better than lukee

  • Soichiro

    I’m so excited for the 2009 campaign.

    Mostly because ANDREW BYNUM, our beloved young center and most intimidating presence in the paint and whose services we badly missed during the Finals, would be back at full strength; and that means no more Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Leon Powe sprinting down the middle for easy layups!

  • gugy

    If Mitch figure out a way to dump the three stooges, Mihn, Luke and Vlad, I think that on itself will be a HUGE improvement for the team.

    I would only keep Odom in case we can get couple good veteran players to add to the roster, but I think his salary is huge bait to land a really good player that is CONSISTENT, something Odom will never be.

    We’ll see

  • xtro

  • xtro

    Kwame can provide tough inferior er… I meant interior defense as a back-up center

  • allan

    as much as i want them to go, i’m afraid we’re stuck with luke and radman next year. i just hope they do what farmar, sasha, and drew did last summer and work hard to get better.

  • T.A.

    What about moving Kobe to the 3???

  • BringDFishBack

    The things they need to do:
    1. Sign Turiaf. Yes, priority #1. You can’t find many guys like him, so you have to make him priority #1.
    2. Sign Ariza to an extension – His contract is up at the end of next season. Again, like Turiaf you can’t find many guys like him, and we have to make sure to lock him up. He provides and element that no one else on this team does.
    3. Sign Bynum to an extension – His contract is up at the end of next season. Well, he gets a qualifying offer of about 3.7 million. That means that he’ll be a restricted free agent, like Sasha and Ronny. Therefore although it is important to sign him longterm, he is behind Ariza who will be an unrestricted free agent. Also, if he wants the max, don’t sign him. Let him be an restricted free agent next offseason. Hardly anyone is going to be looking to spend, everyone is wanting for the ’10 offseason where a lot of the 03 04 Draft Class will be free agents.
    4. Exercise Farmar’s team option for the 09/10 season and look into an extension. He has a team option for that season, but it has to be exercised before the start of this season. Also look into an extension because it appears they are building the team where he is the PG of the future and so he needs to be locked up. It can wait until next offseason though, although it might be more expensive.
    5. Re-sign Sasha. Yep, way down here at priority #5. Shooters are the easiest to find. Sure it’d be great to have him back, but if he wants a lot of money, let him walk. Here are his other options: Phili, Memphis, or the Clippers.

  • Shaq786

    Kobe is not strong enough to gaurd pierce or lebron…. they will post him up and wear out his legs….

    -send lamar, v.rad, farmar…. for baron davis and pietrus (a sg/sf… who can hit the open 3, attacks the basket and can play above average defense)… give baron a long term deal if he is willing to sign for no more than 13/14 a year for 5/6 years

    -try to send walton, mihm, coby karl, and a future second round pick for maggette (CLIPPERS: BETTER THAN GETTING NOTHING IN RETURN FOR MAGGS)

    – sign KWAME for LLE and give Alonzo a contract to help bynum play more aggressive

    Line Up:

    kobe/pietrus/joe crawford

  • lakers4life

    [Comment ID #42970 Will Be Quoted Here]

    that is funny!!!!!!!



    Some of Y’all know what I’m goin’ to say…..GET(OK I’ve said his name enough)…..UHMM..Knicks are shopping Jamal Crawford(good backup for Kobe,scores in bunches,defense is not bad,remember he torched us when they played in LA).

  • mr.laker19

    I agree with alot of things im hearing. Main thing is this, it would be nice to get rid of luke or vlad, mainly luke. Id love to have sasha back and turiaf is almot a must. But if i were the lakers I would try my hardest to get james posey or pietrus. If we cant win with that roster then before the deadline next season we need to trade odom for a true 3 like prince or smith etc.

  • John Ireland

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Quinton Ross??? This dude is a LOCKDOWN DEFENDER and he is cheap!!!!

  • Awaker85

    Kobe and Odom are our only two perimeter guys who can create their own shot consistently. You don’t trade Odom unless you are getting someone back that’s just as good at that or better. Our offense would stall almost completely whenever Kobe was out of the game. We need someone out on the floor at all times to make plays for everyone else. That’s why Odom would be a perfect fit for us as a 6th man. A lineup of Farmar, Sasha, Ariza, Turiaf, and Mihm isn’t gonna score any points, cuz Farmar isn’t a good enough playmaker. We NEED Odom.

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #42981 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Because Kwame sucks. Can’t you remember how bad he was.

    “Kwame Brown, just being a disaster out there.”-3:05


    [Comment ID #42967 Will Be Quoted Here]WHAT????? STOP SMOKIN…PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Smush Walton

    Our #1 TOP PRIORITY should be getting rid of Walton and Vlad. These two guys are absolutely worthless on the floor.

    Our major improvements over prior years were getting rid of Smush Parker, Kwame, and Brian Cook. Getting rid of Luke & Vlad will also be MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS, so, some how, some way, this must be done. These two guys are major holes in the lineup. If we can’t unload them then they should just assume Mbenga & Newble’s spot on the totem pole.

  • Shaq786

    lamar …. for artest and sheldan williams!

  • Smush Walton

    Next year, if we still are saddled with Luke and Vlad, I think the fans need to take action.

    We’ve had enough of this garbage!

    Give them the Kwame treatment – CONSTANT BOOING!
    It worked once, maybe it will work again.

    Management’s eyes have to be opened up that we will not tolerate this crapola anymore!

  • S-quire

    Unless we win the chip, this is LO’s last year. He’s overpaid and we can replace him. If we win, then he’ll probably be rewarded if he played well, still would have to take a pay cut though I think. I also think he’d be okay with that. As for Luke and Vlady, everyone really wants to have our new Laker squad ready to go at the beginning of the year or during camp but their value is too low to trade right now. We’ll have to wait for one of them to step up at the beginning of the season (hopefully, it doesn’t take an injury for them to get PT to prove themselves). Only then, after they’ve redeemed themselves could we possibly move one or more of them for. I suspect we’ll get in return one low contract serviceable player, and an expiring contract. I still think we might need one more big; maybe we can trade Luke or Vlady for someone like Reggie Evans…

  • Michael_23

    They didn’t sign Ronny and Sasha yet? Not even at least a verbal agreement …

    Something is up …

  • lakers181



  • sclakerfan

    If we don’t want a player on our team, then other teams definitely don’t want them on their team. NO ONE WILL TAKE LUKE AND VLADE RIGHT NOW! NO ONE!

  • ab4sure

    One tough defensive post defender. Kurt Thomas or PJ Brown… Thomas more gettable.

  • MILO

    Ship out Fluke and Vlady for some first rounders in order to pay Bynum.Now dont get me wrong! i think Bynum doesn’t deserve 16 mill a season at least not untill he shows hes still going to be effective after that injurie, but i think they will bring him down to maybe 10 or somethin…

  • sclakerfan

    If I were GM of another team, the LAKERS would have to give ME their first rounder for me to take Vlade or Luke their hands. No team will take their bloated salaries. Luke is worth about 2-3 mil a year and Vlade is worth about 1-2 mil a year.

  • Nabil

    If there’s a team out there really looking for an expiring contract, and looking for a backup 3, then you could conceivably unload Luke or Vlad alongside Lamar in a trade. A team might see a Vlad+Lamar as a “get” if they are looking to get space for future free agents. Also, they get a couple guys who where the starting forwards on the western conference champions. In exchange, I think we could get a real good SF.

    So Lamar + Luke or Vlad for a real deal SF (Prince, Matrix, etc.)

  • Parich

    Dump Walton and Radmanovic by trading them for a true SF. A true SF is an athletic player who is quick, can defend, and shoot the 3. None of our SF’s master ALL of these qualities.

    Mihm is okay, he was great when he started the whole year on the year after Shaq was traded. He’s a fine player and would be great off the bench behind Bynum. Turiaf subs for Pau. Ariza subs for Odom. We really need to add a veteran DEFENSIVE MINDED + 3 POINT SHOOTING player to this roster. SF or PG is fine but make sure to dump Luke and Vlad.

  • Parich

    [Comment ID #43138 Will Be Quoted Here]

    PJ Brown is going to retire, Kurt Thomas is too slow and can’t score.

  • Parich

    [Comment ID #43054 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Right on Playa, those 2 are overpaid and underachievers. They’re not worth their money. Both are very inconsistent. Walton can’t shoot, has no hops, is slow, and can’t defend. Vlad can’t defend, is slow, good shooter but STREAKY (makes a lot then misses a lot), inconsistent.

  • Parich

    [Comment ID #43011 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Uh Hum… Neither Prince or Smith are true SF’s pal. Prince is too slow for the 3, shoots okay but not a sharpshooter, mainly a set shooter but not jump shooter (set shooter = bad). Smith is a big SF, can’t shoot well enough for that position. Bottom line is we need an ideal SF similar to Artest/Marion. Odom can’t shoot so he’s not a true SF. SFs need to help defend, run fast breaks, and shoot 3s.

  • Parich

    [Comment ID #42980 Will Be Quoted Here]

    No the Lakers can’t chill out dude. Odom is way too INCONSISTENT + not a very good shooter from outside. Kobe shot like crap in the finals CUZ of the Celtics’ defense (Kobe wasn’t off, he was just crowded all the time). They focused on Kobe and dared the others to step up and they didn’t cuz they can’t. Duh Duh, that’s what every good defensive team does when they face Kobe. All the do is play on him and hope that other Laker player can’t do crap to step up their game, which is what happens every time. Shut Kobe down, Odom/ Gasol/ Fisher/ Vlad did not step up their game.

  • Nabil

    I disagree that Prince is to slow for the 3. Hasn’t he been the starting 3 on the Piston’s all these years? He’s a really good defender, and would compliment the Lakers attack well, along with bringing in a winning mentality.

    Your right about Odom for sure. We got to trade him! By the way, reports are that:
    – Richard Jefferson isn’t happy about being sent to the Bucks
    – Artest wishes he opted out.
    Hmm, does that put those two as the front-runners in an Odom trade?

    What is the status with Marion and the Heat?

  • Soichiro

    I’d rather take Kareem Rush

  • Soichiro

    Lakers could get a tough guy like Brian Skinner!

  • T.A.




    might as well stay in the city

  • Ron

    We need to Trade odom for Artest and Kenny Thomas or whatever is out there…Sacramento would love to have odom and we would love to have Artest…

    We had a bit of bad luck in the finals and yes lack of defense…but imagine Artest …Lebron James scoring 30? um i dont think so…maybe 30 points on 30 shots…Paul Pierce shooting wide open 3’s….um no chance…

    In a review by…..Artest has a defensive rating of 87% and against the best players including our mamba he makes them earn every shot…the only player with a better defensive rating is bruce bowen at 92%…but Bowen scores like 5ppg while artest can put up 18ppg ….Trade odom for Artest and kenny thomas…and lets take the celtics in a repeat….

    in the words of Alexander the great…Only through Defeat can victory be accomplished..

  • joseph

    Crynum will be injured again in the middle of the season 09’after signing a max contract extension with so little to prove hahaha…

    loved that big letter L on your forehead fakers!… hahahaha

    regards from beantown…

    starting 5 for boston:

    big baby

    fakers softness doesn’t stand a chance…bwahahhaa

  • JC

    Jul 2nd, 2008 at 6:17 am Click this link to quote this comment in your reply

    Crynum will be injured again in the middle of the season 09′after signing a max contract extension with so little to prove hahaha…

    loved that big letter L on your forehead fakers!… hahahaha

    regards from beantown…

    starting 5 for boston:

    big baby

    fakers softness doesn’t stand a chance…bwahahhaa”


  • lakers-r-pimpilicous

    Joseph…does your dumb AZZ honestly believe that your beloved green 4 leaf weed clover win another championship? Go ahead and gloat about your so-so championship after a 20 year wait. When you get a 3-peat let us know, dumbazz.

    The only thing that your stupid town came up with is Ben Afflack, he sucks and so do the red sox….”go yankees”.

  • Daryl Imhoff

    The young Lakers will improve and learn from this past year. Defense needs to improve. Scoring is not a need to improve area. However the Lakers improve defensively it needs to be done. I have confidence in the Front Office in doing what is necessary. Artest would have answered a lot of needs. Who else out there answers that need. Posey in purple and gold would be hard to get used to, but he answers the areas of need.

  • sclakerfan

    I like Trade #2. Udoka is pretty good.

  • T-Dub

    Please dont use the MLE on another mediocre SF. We have 4 of them already!!!…Odom, Fluke, Space Cadet, and Arize. We don’t need another one. Either a tough big man..PF or Center, or a Ben Gordon like PG or SG. Sasha aint it! He had one good game and 5 bad one in the finals and everyone wants to lock him up. He’s just a spot up streaky shooter at best! Can’t create, can’t handle, can’t get his own shot and has no discipline. Let his A$$ walk!!!!

  • T-Dub

    The only thing the Lakers can do at this point to get better is to trade Odom for either a better PG than they have now or a top 10 SF.


    I blame Artest….for what I don’t know yet.

    Pietrus(Mitch gotta put his glasses on).

  • freddy b



    i also love the odom for artest deal…add artest and stephen jackson subtract odom and radmanovic = championship

  • lakerfan

    T-Dub….you are correct. Finally someone being real.

    Sasha is an average (at best) NBA player. Why is LakerNation so in love with this guy? He doesn’t fight through picks on D and always plays soft by going around. I’ll never forget how a slow Ray Allen just walked by him for a layup. “Hhheeeelllp!!!”. He looked like a deer in headlights. He hasn’t made the shots when it mattered so I say let his 8 PPG walk. I can’t stand Posey, but he hit the shots when it mattered. I’d rather spend the money on him.

    what would jerry west do