Does the Mike D’Antoni hire make sense for the Lakers?

I really have no idea. The entire situation in LA is pretty stunning. I’m not surprised they got rid of Mike Brown, as his pathetic offense seemed like a poor fit for a team Steve Nash. Nash flourished under Mike D’Antoni, but he was younger at the time and they never won anything. Meanwhile the Lakers decided not to bring back the best coach in NBA history – Phil Jackson. It should be good for NBA ratings, however, as this drama should be fun to watch.

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Steve Nash goes to the Lakers

I really have no idea how Nash is going to fit in with the Lakers as currently constituted. We’ll have to see how the rest of the off-season plays out.

But Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger, and I like the idea of adding a dynamic player like Steve Nash to the mix, even if he’s 38 years old. It’s “win now” time in LA. Mike Brown is a lame offensive coach, but now he has another playmaker on the court to help him out. It will be fun to see if he can teach Nash how to play defense.

Bengals strike gold while Raiders assume massive risk in Palmer trade

Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Carson Palmer fumbles the ball as he scrambles against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on January 2, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

A first-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013 that could become a first-rounder based on playing time and incentives? For Carson Palmer?

Put it on the board: Mike Brown just hit a grand slam, then came up in the same inning and hit another grand slam. If the conditional pick winds up being a first-rounder and Brown actually nets two starters with the selections he received for Palmer, then he would have hit for the cycle while doing a handstand and eating a hot dog all at the same time.

Palmer could go on to lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl and Mike Brown would still wind up being a winner in all of this. Palmer was never going to play for the Bengals again. He said as much while digging his heels into the ground and standing firm on his retirement threat this offseason. The Bengals would have been fortunate to have received a third-rounder for Palmer and gotten his salary off the books. Instead, they net a first-round pick and another selection that could turn into a first-rounder.

Granted, we don’t know all the details yet. That conditional first-rounder may only be if Palmer wins two Super Bowls in Oakland and winds up with a bust in the Hall of Fame. But to receive one first-round pick for him was a massive victory for Brown and the Bengals. Let’s not forget that this is the same Palmer whose arm strength and mobility appeared to be declining badly last season and who hasn’t played in a live game (preseason or otherwise) since January 2.

Before I get too swept up in the sticker price for Palmer, let me state that I understand why the Raiders made this move. Due to Jason Campbell’s season-ending injury, they’ve mortgaged their future for the chance to win now. They know that if Darren McFadden stays healthy they’ll remain competitive and it’s not as if Palmer doesn’t know the offense. He and coach Hue Jackson spent time together in Cincinnati, so it theoretically shouldn’t take long for him to get up to speed. Plus, with Campbell and Kyle Boller set to become free agents at the end of the year, Terrelle Pryor was the only quarterback on the roster signed past 2011. Eventually they needed to address the position and had a chance to trade for a franchise quarterback, so they took the risk with Palmer.

That said, I still wouldn’t have made this deal. Not in today’s NFL where building through the draft is still the answer to winning over the long haul. Ask the Packers and Steelers, who have made minimal free agent signings over the years while combining to win three Super Bowls in the last six seasons.

Plus, it’s not like Palmer is in his prime or has won anything of substance as a professional. I would use the term “franchise quarterback” loosely when it comes to describing his talents. When the Bears traded a first, a third, and Kyle Orton to the Broncos for Jay Cutler, the latter was just about to turn 26. The Bears mortgaged their future for a young signal caller who played a position they had trouble filling for over two decades. Palmer is 31 and has already showed signs of decline.

The best case scenario for Oakland is that Palmer just needs a change of scenery and will be motivated to prove he still has a couple of years left in the tank. Maybe he gets to Oakland and has a resurgence just like Rich Gannon did early last decade.

But that’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case is that Palmer’s game continues to deteriorate, the Raiders lose two high draft picks and wind up paying an aging quarterback nearly $30 million to be Pryor’s tutor. (Assuming Oakland still views Pryor as the future, that is.)

For Brown and the Bengals, there is no worst-case scenario. Palmer was done in Cincinnati and if Andy Dalton pans out, the Bengals have already filled their need at quarterback. For once, Brown’s stubbornness finally paid off.

Cincinnati Bengals plan to keep Carson Palmer despite approaching trade deadline

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer looks at two receivers as he passes against the San Diego Chargers in the first half during their NFL football game in San Diego, California December 20, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Blake (United States – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown reiterated on Thursday that he has no plays to trade disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer.

“I don’t have anything more to say on that,” Brown told the media. “I’ve had my say on that, and it remains all there is to say.”

Following the team’s 4-12 season in 2010, Palmer requested a trade on January 23, 2011. Brown turned down the request almost immediately and Palmer retaliated by saying he’s prepared to retire if necessary. The veteran quarterback hasn’t filed his retirement papers with the league but he remains steadfast that he won’t play another down for the Bengals.

Cincinnati has seemingly found its quarterback of the future in 2011 second round pick Andy Dalton, who has compiled a 78.7 QB rating through five games this season. Thus, with the trade deadline coming up, many have speculated that the Bengals would be willing to move Palmer. Miami, Seattle and Indianapolis are all in need of a quarterback, so Cincinnati has trade partners if it eventually decides to deal the former USC product.

That said, Brown has made it perfectly clear that he is not willing to deal Palmer, who won’t become a free agent until 2015. If the trade deadline passes, the next chance Palmer has to get out of Cincinnati won’t be until March of 2012 when the new league year begins.

Shaw learned about Brown hiring on TV

Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team’s owner Jerry Buss (R) and his son Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss listen at a news conference to announce new head coach Mike Brown in Los Angeles, California, May 31, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Brian Shaw, who many thought was the heir apparent to Phil Jackson, says he found out that he didn’t get the Laker head coaching job by hearing the news on TV.

Shaw, in an interview with Andy and Brian Kamenetzky on “The Mason & Ireland Show” on 710 ESPN Radio on Friday, said he first learned that Mike Brown had been hired as the Lakers coach during a television interview with Brown on ESPN at halftime of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

“I wasn’t really told anything,” said Shaw, who had the public backing of players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, among others, to take over for Jackson. “Unfortunately, I found about not getting the job and who was hired for the job on ESPN. I didn’t really talk to anyone for about three weeks after that.”

Just this week, Shaw was hired by the Indiana Pacers to be their associate head coach. He will work alongside Pacers coach Frank Vogel, a man he knows from their days on the Lakers staff together during the 2005-06 season.

Well, it’s good to see Shaw land on his feet, but…ouch. The Laker organization seems to be transforming under showrunner Jim Buss. Given the role he played in back-to-back championships, it seems like the franchise could at the very least notify Shaw of the decision before the news broke on ESPN.

Stay classy, L.A.

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