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Layups: Early Offseason Moving & Shaking

Posted by Neil Paine on July 2, 2009

From ESPN and John Hollinger, some key free agent moves over the past few weeks:

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5 Responses to “Layups: Early Offseason Moving & Shaking”

  1. Gerrit Says:

    Too bad all of this is behind the ESPN insider firewall.

  2. Anon Says:

    Hmmm...am I the only one who thinks that the Lakers took a step BACKWARDS with the Ariza/Artest "trade"? Basically they gave away a younger player who played better defense, was more efficient offensively (especially in the playoffs), and has more upside in Ariza for another player who certainly gives you much better shot-creation ability but wasn't as efficient at both ends in Artest. And Artest's age and year-by-year numbers don't point to an expected huge increase in performance for next season even if he does have a performance jump (he's still in his prime at 30, but most players typically have their very best seasons in their late 20s). It seems that the Lakers ran out to grab the 2002-2004 version of Artest instead of the Artest that has certainly leveled off since then.

    Any thoughts Neil (or anyone else)?

  3. Neil Paine Says:

    Artest is a great player and I don't think Ariza is anywhere near him defensively yet (check out the on/off numbers this year for both guys, RonRon blows Ariza away), but the age discrepancy would worry me if I was a Laker fan. Artest will be 30 next year; Ariza will be just 24. According to our SPM projection method, Artest will be worth +3.12 points above avg. per 100 possessions next season, which is pretty good... But Ariza will be worth +3.11. And with the age difference (Artest on the wrong side of the peak age, Ariza very much on the right side), those numbers will soon be headed in opposite directions. In other words, right now Artest is better than Ariza at both ends, but that may not be the case for long. Then again, you have to consider that Jackson won't coach beyond next year, Kobe will be 31, Odom (if he re-signs) turns 30, Fisher will be 35, Gasol will turn 30 in 2011, etc. They're not a particularly old team yet, but their best guys are right in that peak/slightly post-peak range where you almost need to go all-in now -- maybe Ariza gets better than Artest within 3 years, but you can't wait around to find out, you have to grab the proven contributor and go for it before that window closes.

  4. steve norris Says:

    as a lifetime laker fan, this is good for now but not three years from now. kobe and ron-ron, the most hated 2 players in the nba.

  5. Mike G Says:

    It's more impossible to not hate the Lakers now. But do Kobe and Artest have any chance to complement one another? Or will their chemistry inevitably corrode the team?

    In crunch minutes, Artest is not afraid to take the shot. In fact, he insists on it, and he's really bad. While he may have been a 'good boy' for a while, I don't see that continuing.

    Phil (and Jordan) pressed Rodman into being a productive player, because he filled a niche. Artest is more demanding, and Kobe is no MJ.