Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Was Right For Once!
I made this prediction last summer, and now it is coming to fruition! I said that Ridnour, Felton, Lowry, were better options than signing Steve Blake! Ridnour is shooting a torrid pace from three and is balling in his starting spot. He is a keeper for the money he is getting. His PER is only 15.97, which isn't great, but look at his contract ($4m). Felton has dropped off a little, but is still performing well at a 17.41 PER with high assist numbers (I know that Amar'e is helping a lot, but he is still killing). He is also getting paid more ($7m), but has more upside. Lowry is playing great defense, which the Lakers need, has a 15.05 PER and is getting paid ($5.75m).

And back to Blake. He doesn't have much of a role, but he isn't necessarily filling it well. I like the guy, and I think he could eventually be a good triangle guy, but in about 20 minutes, he is averaging a 7.60 PER, easily the lowest of his life. He is getting paid $4m, which is on the low end, but about in line with the guys we're talking about. I decided to go into the numbers, and discovered that several Lakers dropped in PER in their first season in the triangle. Ron Artest has been on a decline for a few years, and in LA, his responsibilities shrunk. The same story with Pau, although his 24 PER the previous year was a high and he only dropped a little below his average before getting back to that level last year. Same story for Lamar. Matt Barnes is the only significant Laker to get better in his first year. But still, those guys dropped organically, and Steve's fallout has been precipitous.

I don't know that Steve will turn out badly for LA, but I don't know that he is a solution. I understand that the Lakers are thinking short-term, but I think they could have a lot better for the money (at least Ridnour). I think I was right, but you make the call.

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