Examining factors in simmering Lakers trade rumors

first_imgThere are good reasons, too, why the Lakers would want Bogdanovic, who at 6-foot-6 is a capable second-unit ball-handler and a good-enough defender at various wing spots. That is kind of what the doctor ordered. I also personally believe that he has the best name in the NBA, which translates to “BOGDAN, SON OF BOGDAN.”But the Lakers also are structured in such a way that filling one hole creates a hole somewhere else. Kuzma has struggled, but he’s also been injured, and it wouldn’t be in the Lakers’ interest to sell low on him. The organization has believed for a long time that he could grow into a third scorer, which LeBron said himself recently.At the very least, there are a lot of obstacles keeping this kind of trade from becoming fully realized. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but that’s the grain of salt you should take when reading about such rumors.As for Darren Collison and Andre Iguodala: Iggy still needs to be bought out, and Collison needs to prove he’s NBA-ready. In either case, the Lakers still need a roster spot, so they’d have to free one up by trade or waiver to get either guy – neither of whom is really on the market [email protected]_ wants to know: “What is the word on LeBron’s groin? We haven’t heard anything since he was meant to go out for a few weeks but you can see his game style has changed.”It’s an interesting question that I wrote about last week. In a back-to-back with wins over Portland and Dallas, LeBron flashed a different kind of game that seems to translate as he ages. One of the things I noted is that he had dunked just one time in three games, off of two feet.Since I wrote that, he’s dunked a couple of times – against Phoenix, against New Orleans. Last night, he even forgot that he had an alley-oop against the Pistons, as Anthony Davis shouted in the background, “I told y’all he’s getting old.”So yes, great troll job on my story. But on the other hand, that doesn’t change that LeBron’s game has generally moved further from the rim. In the last six games since returning from injury, LeBron’s assists are up to 12.8 per game. He’s taking a career-high six 3-point attempts per game this season. His rim-finishing is down to 67 percent, according to stat site Cleaning the Glass, which is the lowest average since his rookie season.It’s just tougher when you’re older. To say nothing of the groin injury, which is no longer on the Lakers’ injury report, any little nagging thing is harder to recover from. LeBron takes a beating in games, and in fact has been a little irate that he doesn’t get more foul calls. At 35, those tiny things are more likely to set him off-course. Rather than create with rim-running drives, he’s more likely to drive in to just touch the paint before passing out. And with Davis, it’s both necessary and ideal that he plays set-up man rather than finisher more often.I’m going to try to stop predicting the future about how LeBron’s game will change, but there does seem to be some trending that will continue. I don’t know if it has to do with the groin injury as much as Father Time.Many of you want me to talk about Rajon Rondo.This is something where a few thought experiments might be necessary.There are some statistical elements that tell us Rondo is not doing well on this team. Of any of the regular rotation players, Rondo has the lowest net rating (plus-1.0 per game). The Lakers have outscored opponents by 19 points when he’s on the floor and by 244 when he’s sitting. The offensive and defensive ratings improve when he’s off the floor – especially on offense, actually (105.2 Ortg when he’s on; 112.9 Ortg when he’s off). Rim-finishing used to be one of his best skills, but this year he ranks in just the 16th percentile among guards, according to Cleaning the Glass. While he’s had some good games, he’s struggling in general.Some of you seem to think we haven’t asked Coach Frank Vogel about it – we have. The Lakers play him because they feel it’s necessary to use a second ball-handler to take some burden off LeBron.“’Do’s gotta come in and run those looks, and I think he’s doing a really good job with it,” Vogel said after the Pelicans game on Friday. “We haven’t had success with some of those units, but I think Rondo’s done a good job.”First of all, it’s important to remember that part of Rondo’s value is intangible to fans. I wrote about this last spring when it seemed like there was a good chance the Lakers would bring him back. While he can be prickly at times, he’s generally considered a fun teammate, a guy who keeps things light, and a keen basketball mind. He takes practice seriously, which seems to be a big reason coaches like him. He might be the most well-conditioned player on the team (really). He is close with Anthony Davis, who obviously the Lakers have to woo back into the fold this summer.If we pretend for a moment that the Lakers want to trade him (there is no evidence at all of this, but merely to experiment here), then some other factors come into play. He reportedly has a player option, which makes him difficult to trade this year without some kind of consent that he wants to go elsewhere (which he doesn’t, because he could be on a title-winning team if he sticks in L.A.).If he’s playing poorly in his minutes so far, why not just bench him? Because it would tank his trade value. When a player is slumping and then benched, it’s not a very attractive player to trade for. It would create a situation where one of the closest players to Davis becomes discontent. And it still doesn’t solve the on-court problem that the Lakers want to use Rondo for – helping take some of the burden off of James. Cook hasn’t been terribly effective in that role when he’s gotten to play. Caruso has been in spots, but the Lakers also like his off-ball minutes as well.Unless the Lakers do find a second capable ball-handler, it’s hard to see Rondo’s minutes going away. Please, don’t shoot the messenger.— Kyle GoonEditor’s note: This is the Monday, Jan. 6 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.Let’s Get LinkedNew Lob City? – A look at how Anthony Davis’ rim-finishing has propelled the Lakers atop the league.Reinforcing the trade – Davis had 46 points against the Pelicans in a dramatic validation of the Lakers’ decision to go get him.Avery Bradley on injury watch – He sprained his ankle against the Pistons and we’re waiting to hear more on that.Block party – Speaking of the Pistons, the Lakers piled up swats against them.Remembering David Stern – Both Mark Heisler and Jim Alexander chimed in with memories of the commissioner with a one-of-a-kind personality.Sympathy for BI – Mirjam dove into how Lakers fans feel about the most accomplished former member of the young core. Editor’s note: This is the Monday, Jan. 6 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.I think it’s best if we just dive into the mail, don’t [email protected] wants to know: “How serious are the talks regarding Kuzma? Any news on the Collison or Iggy front? Feel like we just need another solid playmaker off the bench.”So if you’re not up to date on newsy tidbits from Monday morning and early afternoon, here’s what people are talking about: The New York Times reported that the Sacramento Kings have “tried to engage” the Lakers in talks for Kyle Kuzma, and that they “know they would have to include” Bogdan Bogdanovic, a 27-year-old ball-handling wing who has been the odd man out in the Kings’ starting backcourt. There was a report by The Athletic not long after that the Kings were not interested in a “straight up” swap.  Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThere has been some smoke about this for the last week. Rather than parse the credibility of two of the NBA’s best reporters, I think it’s most constructive to look at the barriers that would have to be overcome for Kuzma to be dealt:• In a Kuzma-for-Bogdanovic deal, their salaries don’t match. Kuzma is owed $1.97 million this season, while Bogdanovic is owed $8.53 million in salary. The Lakers would have to cobble together roughly another $4.5 million in salaries to be able to do a deal, which seems hard to do without taking another key piece of the rotation. There is a $1.75 million trade exception for DeMarcus Cousins that helps. Quinn Cook is owed $3 million at the moment, which gets you there on paper, but given that he’s not playing at the moment, it’s hard to gauge how Sacramento would value him as an asset. It’s relevant that Sam Amick added to his report, “filler salary is of no interest to the Kings.”• You have to consider how Sacramento values Bogdanovic, who averages 14.5 points per game and shoots over 38 percent from 3-point range. Even though he might be underutilized off the bench, he decimates opposing bench units, he has a knack for game-winners (including one against the Lakers last season) and the Kings are 0-6 without him. Even though the Kings have dedicated a ton of money to Buddy Hield already, Bogdanovic is clearly a player of value in their organization.• You have to consider how the Kings value Kuzma, who is struggling in several ways this season. At 11.8 ppg and 3.5 rpg, his numbers are down, and so are his minutes. Even when you look at per-36 minute numbers, his scoring, assists and rebounding are all down. His shooting has improved, ticking up to 34 percent beyond the arc, but his two-point shooting is a little worse – which might be a little skewed by injury. Most pertinent to the Kings is this: They already have a huge roster with Marvin Bagley, Harry Giles, Dewayne Dedmon (who notably wants to be traded, but would only inflate the salary problem being owed $13.3 million), Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica (who was annihilated by LeBron on a dunk earlier this year). While a Luke Walton reunion with Kuzma might strike them as compelling, what are they going to do with all these bigs?• You have to consider the ways the Lakers value Kuzma, who was notably kept this summer. He’s close to many people in the organization, including Rob Pelinka. He’s viewed as a grassroots success story, a triumph as a late-first-round pick who validated the Lakers’ scouting department. He has growth potential, at just 24 to Bogdanovic’s 27. He gives the Lakers a good option at power forward when they want to close games small – which they would lose if they traded him. Would a closing lineup with Bogdanovic, Davis, LeBron, Danny Green and Avery Bradley make sense? Or would the Lakers go with one of their centers? It’s just a little bit clunkier. And that’s before we get into Kuzma’s contract, which is still one of the best bargains in the league. If they don’t extend him next summer, he’s a restricted free agent in 2021.last_img read more

St George’s face tough St Jago test

first_imgDefending champions St George’s College will face a tough task when they oppose St Jago High in the feature ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup Knockout semi-final at the Constant Spring playfield today at 3 p.m.The game is the second of a double-header as the last four battle for spots in the November 28 final.In the opening encounter, Jamaica College square off against Wolmer’s Boys at 1 p.m.The feature game will see two quality teams in action. St George’s College will start as favourites but they will be severely tested by a robust St Jago team.St George’s will be looking to outscore their opponents, as they have found the back of the net 42 times in both the Manning Cup matches and Walker Cup so far.In the Walker Cup quarter-finals, St George’s beat Excelsior High 3-1 while St Jago blanked Kingston College 2-0.St Jago have scored a total of 28 goals in eight Manning Cup matches and one Walker Cup game.Marcel Gayle, assistant coach of St George’s College, is confident that his team will come out on top.”We are defending champions and so the aim is to win this game tomorrow,” Gayle told The Gleaner yesterday.Star GeorgiansSt George’s will look to star players Shevon Stewart, Alex Marshall and Gregory Messam Jr to get past their rivals.”It will be a good match-up against St George’s,” St Jago’s coach Glen Laing said yesterday. He added: “The George’s team is an attacking one, with quality players, but we also have a quality bunch. These guys are also talented in other sports and able to play in different positions on the field, which is a plus for us.”St Jago will look to Romario Douglas, Ryan Smart and Shaqon Bryan for victory.In the first game, Jamaica College are tipped to clip Wolmer’s.Both won their quarter-final games in penalty shoot-outs against Charlie Smith and Hydel respectively, last Saturday.JC won three titles last year but lost the Walker Cup in the final. With this in mind, the Miguel Coley-coached team will be determined to advance to the final.JC will look to Alando Brown, Norman Campbell, Donovan Dawkins and Ronaldo Brown to lift them past their rivals.Wolmer’s, under the guidance of Vassell Reynolds, have been quietly making their mark. The leading players for the Heroes Circle-based school are Rojay Smith, Alphanso Gooden and the diminutive Stuart Payne.B2: St Jago hunt North Street sweeplast_img read more

Our electronics systems are slowly opening their eyes

first_imgBefore you start reading this, I would like to ask you to close your eyes for 10 seconds. Please do this now.It’s tough, right? We really need our eyes and are pretty powerless without them. The first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is to open then, and the last thing we do in the evening when we go to sleep is to close them.The history of our eyes started 270 million years ago. The Trilobite was the first species that developed this compelling new sensing mechanism: the power of sight. It turned out to be very potent. Using the power of sight, it was easier for the Trilobite to search for food, keep an eye on its family, and flee from predators. This new sense was possibly one of the driving forces behind the Cambrian Explosion, a period in which many new species originated in a relatively short period of time.We are now on the eve of a new revolution in which our electronics will also adopt the power of sight. A large part of this new sensing component has already been widely adopted by our electronics in the form of their cameras. At home in my family of five, I count about thirty. Two cameras per mobile phone and tablet; one in each laptop; we also have a few digital still cameras; and then there are some cameras gathering dust as part of our old cell phones that haven’t yet been recycled.So the eyes are already there. They’re small — the selfie camera of a phone is just a few square millimeters –capture a pretty high-quality image, and cost just a few dollars. Today, these cameras are primarily used to capture, store, and distribute images. The next big step is to build devices that actually understand what they’re seeing, or — if not fully understand what they’re seeing — at least interpret the images and use this information to take appropriate action.We’re not really sure how to do this though. How do people recognize a picture of their niece in a fraction of a second? How are we capable of reading text in any font? How do we drive a car when it’s raining and dark, or drive it slowly through a crowd when it’s busy in the city?Fortunately, much progress has recently been made in this area. Previously, image recognition algorithms had to be carefully hand-crafted — a labor-intensive task with non-stellar results. But now there’s been a breakthrough with the use of deep neural networks. One key advantage of this technique is that you train the networks by simply showing many examples. More importantly, these networks are much better in generalizing, and recognize images with a much higher accuracy than what was possible just a few years ago, even rivaling us humans at some image recognition tasks. Combining this technology with image processing techniques that are more grounded in classical math, such as optical flow or SLAM algorithms that deduce the locations and movement of objects, we can build highly powerful intelligent systems that understand what they see.These image processing techniques, however, require huge amounts of computing power and storage. According to neurologists, humans use about half of our brain power for the sole task of visual processing. Fortunately, Moore’s law helps, and we can now extract teraops of compute power from silicon. Even so, neural networks can still bring a large compute cluster to its knees. The next step we need to make is not research anymore, but one of good engineering. In order to solve the compute problem, we need special embedded vision processors that can work the transistors much more efficiently than standard CPUs or GPUs. We need design tools that shrink and optimize the neural networks for minimal compute and memory usage while maintaining their ability to perform their detection tasks well. And we need to develop software tools that make it easy to use and implement such image processing software in lower power, low cost silicon. Making efficient silicon and tools for visual processing is exactly what we at videantis have been working on for many years, and we’re excited that our technology is now rapidly being adopted by the market.But we’re still only at the beginning, and there are still many good product ideas and strategies to come that will use this new electronic power of sight. Of course, we know that with a proper set of eyes our cars can drive themselves, and drones can automatically deliver our packages or food, but what about cameras that keep an eye on us all day to see if we’re still healthy? How about a washing machine that really knows when the laundry is clean, or an oven that prevents the potatoes from burning? The possibilities are endless.Electronics that can see — I’ve got my eyes set on that! Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Automotive, Communications, Consumer, Industry, Medical center_img Continue Reading Previous How Engineers deal with End-Of-Life issuesNext Bluetooth mesh solution cuts time-to-marketlast_img read more