Broderick Turner covers the Lakers for the Times. Readers' questions about the Lakers will be answered every week.
Question: I would like to see the Lakers acquire a veteran point guard to share the clutch minutes with Derek Fisher. Then Shannon Brown can provide the spark off the bench. I think they should be able to get something decent (in a trade) for Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic (he might be harder to move because he's getting paid so much to sit on the bench). I mentioned those two because I'm finished with them as Lakers. They haven't developed into what I expected. Who do you think is a good candidate to share quality minutes with Fish?
-- John Morris
Answer: Man, you're giving up on Jordan and Sasha already. Didn't they just help the Lakers win the NBA championship?
Of the two, however, Vujacic is the one who hasn't shown improvement. And you're right. He would be hard to move. He's being paid $5 million this season and is due $5.4 million next season. And he can't make a shot. And he likes to shoot a lot.
To be honest, I don't see the Lakers getting another guard. Looks like you're stuck.
Q: I hope Shannon Brown gets to participate in the slam dunk contest. He would be the show. Didn't LeBron James say last year that he was going to be in the slam dunk contest this year? Wonder if the NBA would allow LeBron to lose?
-- Bob Anderson
A: You already got the conspiracy working, huh? Yes, James did say he was interested in being in the slam dunk contest at this year's All-Star game. Dude got some serious hops, as does Brown. But to win the contest, it's all about being creative and wooing the fans and judges.
What I want to see is a dunk we haven't seen before. But I don't know if that's possible.
Q: The Lakers were talking about getting a fill-in for Luke [Walton]. What about Robert Horry?
A: Just for you, I put a phone call in to Horry to see how he feels about playing for the Lakers again. Now, I reminded him that he hasn't played going on two seasons, since he last suited up for the San Antonio Spurs following the 2007-08 season.
But he reminded me that he still has not officially retired. So, would you consider coming back to play for the Lakers? "If they call me, I would play," Horry said. "I can do better than half of the players in the NBA. . . . And I'm in shape too."
Dude, you're 39. "I'd come out there for a 10-day [contract]," Horry said, laughing.
Well, Julie, there you have it. But don't expect the Lakers to reach out to Horry, even if he has won seven NBA championships, three with the Lakers.
Q: The article regarding Jerry Buss spending $112.7 million to keep this team together (minus Trevor Ariza) shows exactly what is right about the Lakers winning the championship and trying to repeat in the NBA as opposed to what the Yankees will do over this off season.
The Lakers are and will be restricted to a strict salary cap. While their payroll maybe the highest in the league (they are in fact bringing a world championship team back to the court), they are not leaps and bounds ahead of other teams competing to win. Jerry Buss will take a hit for shelling out the money he is, but in the end it is not a tremendous advantage over any other team, due to the salary cap (which every other major sport in our country has).
A: Wow, Brian. That was mouthful. And you found a way to mention the Lakers with the Yankees.
But here's the thing:
The Lakers are paying to have the "best" talent in the NBA. That's what makes them better than most every other team in the NBA. Yes, Buss is spending a lot of money, but that's what it takes to win, and Buss loves to win.
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