Archibald talks nowhere; Maravich signs on

September 11, 1980

The Celtics' biggest problem is not the possible departure of top draft choice Kevin McHale to Italy. Their most important concern is signing the man who made their backcourt last year, Tiny Archibald.

"Right now, we are nowhere with Tiny," Red Auerbach admitted yesterday after returning from a disappointing negotiating session with Archibald's agent, Irwin Weiner.

"I can't really classify Tiny a holdout, because he's a free agent and free to go anywhere he wants," said Auerbach, adding that he doesn't expect Archibald to show up with the other Celtic veterans this week.

Asked if the no-show by Archibald would force the Celtics into a trade for a guard, Auerbach responded, "We'll just have to wait and see what happens. We're not going to panic about any of these things."

The Celtics signed Pete Maravich to a one-year contract yesterday, which reportedly is not guaranteed.

"It will be great to have Pete in here for a whole camp," said coach Bill Fitch, "but the guy I want to see in here is Tiny. Working together from the start develops chemistry on a team. That's how we got it last year with everyone working so hard in camp from day one."

McHale says he is going to take a look at Italy over the weekend "because I have to do what is best for Kevin McHale. The Celtics are offering me a contract that would make me the lowest-paid third-round pick in the last four drafts. This is my first experience at mixing basketball with business and it's leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I still want to play in Boston, but I'm not going to play for what I think is less than I deserve."

The Celtics' original offer to McHale was reportedly a $50,000 signing bonus and $175,000 a year for five years, which would average out to $185,000 per year including bonus. The third-round picks in the previous three drafts fared like this: 1979 - Bill Cartwright, New York Knicks, a contract average of $450,000 per year. 1978 - Rick Robey, then with Indiana, $220,000 per year. 1977 - Marques Johnson, Milwaukee, $200,000 per year.

The Celtics' position is that the money offered McHale is the second most (only to Larry Bird) that they have ever paid a draft choice, and they feel it is very generous.


Lex said...

Wondering whutt up in laker land?

Lex said...

It's come to this for the Lakers: If they don't trade up in the draft Thursday, their lone pick will be the NBA equivalent of Mr. Irrelevant.

They have the 60th and final selection, the result of rapid-fire draft-pick dealing in March.

Team executive Jim Buss told The Times last week the Lakers would try to trade into the first round, but if they didn't, they'd sit out the first 30 picks for the fifth year in a row.

Yep. Draft day has become a complete bore for Lakers fans. Their last first-rounder was Javaris Crittenton in 2007.

They might change that, however, with a phone call or two.

The Atlanta Hawks have tried to send them power forward Josh Smith for Pau Gasol, initially expressing interest in Gasol shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, The Times has learned.

Smith has been unhappy in Atlanta for more than a year, his dissatisfaction starting because he thought he was an unfair target of criticism by coaches and media members.

In separate activity leading up to the draft, the Lakers are also open to trading Gasol for a high first-round pick because they covet Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Atlanta holds the 23rd pick and cannot help in that area.

No deals were imminent for the Lakers heading into draft day.

Last season, Smith averaged career highs in points (18.8) and rebounds (9.6) for the Hawks. He is 26, five years younger than Gasol.

He has one more year on his contract for $13.2 million. Gasol has two more years and $38.3 million. It is unclear which player would accompany Smith to the Lakers in such a scenario.

The problem with Smith is his percentages. He shot 45.8% last season and was a dreadful 63% from the free-throw line.

Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for Kentucky, which won the NCAA championship. Kidd-Gilchrist, listed as a 6-foot-7 small forward, is projected to be one of the top five picks.

It would almost be a shock to the system to see the Lakers back in the first round.

They traded their 2008 and 2010 first-round picks to Memphis in the Gasol deal, sold their 2009 pick to New York for $3 million and gave last year's selection to New Jersey with Sasha Vujacic to save about $8 million in salary and luxury taxes.

The Vujacic trade netted their only pick this season, the Lakers acquiring Chicago's second-round selection in the three-team deal.

The Lakers traded this year's first-rounder (No. 24 overall) to Cleveland in the Ramon Sessions deal in March. On the same day they sent the first-round pick they received from Dallas in the Lamar Odom trade to Houston so the Rockets would accept Derek Fisher in a salary dump.

Where'd the Lakers' own second-round pick go? To Dallas in the Odom deal, meaning the Lakers have neither a first nor second-round pick to show for the rushed Odom trade.

Confused? You're not alone.

The Lakers haven't unearthed any consistent players in the second round in recent years: Sun Yue (2007), Joe Crawford (2008), Patrick Beverley and Chinemelu Elonu (2009), Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter (2010) and Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Chukwudiebere Maduabum and Ater Majok (2011). Some of the players were traded and only Ebanks ever started a game for the Lakers.

The one great second-round pick they made was Marc Gasol in 2007, who never played for the Lakers and was shipped to Memphis in the trade involving his brother.

Lex said...

Whoever the Lakers take with the last pick certainly won't get the equivalent of the weeklong celebration for the NFL's Mr. Irrelevant, which includes a parade in Newport Beach and a day at Disneyland. He might not even get a spot on the team.

It's rare for the draft's last player to make an NBA impact, but Sacramento hit a home run with Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas last season. He averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 assists in 37 games as a starter for the Kings.

Much, much more often than not, players taken that late barely have NBA careers. Since 2000, nine of 12 didn't even play 15 NBA games. Sorry, Milovan Rakovic, Bryan Bracey, Andreas Glyniadakis, Corsley Edwards, et al.

The Lakers would be lucky to even get a guy such as Turkish center Semih Erden, who was picked last in 2008 by Boston and averaged 3.5 points for Cleveland last season.

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