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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:30 PM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Lakers get creative with Yi Jianlian contract 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:26 PM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Luke Walton’s first training camp as Lakers head coach appears likely to be held in Santa Barbara 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:59 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    NBA Potential Position Logjams to Watch 

    Lakers Overfill Frontcourt Void

    Perhaps the most glaring hole on a 2015-16 roster full of questionable parts was the Lakers’ starting center position. Beyond all the madness and rotation uncertainty, the Lakers simply didn’t get much positive play from their centers regardless of who former coach Byron Scott put down low. From Roy Hibbert to Tarik Black to Robert Sacre to even undersized Brandon Bass, L.A. struggled to find a viable answer at the position most nights.

    After taking Croatian big man Ivica Zubac in the second round of June’s draft, the team then signed veteran center Timofey Mozgov to a four-year contract last month. Recently, L.A. also signed Yi Jianlian and rookie Zach Auguste to deals as well. Tarik Black is also reportedly set to re-sign and young bigs Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. will obviously be back too. While having a ton of frontcourt options is a good thing for Coach Luke Walton, it could also present a bit of a challenge.

    There were rumors about the possibility of Randle and Nance Jr. playing alongside one another depending upon the matchup, but the influx of frontcourt talent makes you wonder if that’s still in the cards. Especially when you consider that Luol Deng, while traditionally a small forward, played some of his best basketball as a hybrid or stretch-four in Miami last season out of necessity. Jianlian’s game is versatile enough to play more than just power forward, but the idea of an intriguing project like Zubac finding time to develop in such a seemingly crowded crop of bigs seems a bit more far-fetched than it did when the 18-year-old impressed during Summer League.

    Again, as in many of these cases, it isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world to have a bit of roster redundancy if it presents coaches with the “problem” of finding time for quality players. The Lakers are in the rare position of not having high expectations in 2016-17, so it will be very interesting to see if the front office is actually setting up potential transactions for the future.

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 1:07 PM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Another in a series of exhausting, misleading articles. Zubac and Auguste will likely spend most of their time in the D-League. Auguste’s deal might even be one of those training camp deals for all we know. It also sounds like Yi’s deal is non-guaranteed, so he might have to actually earn a spot on the roster. It isn’t as if the Lakers don’t have flexibility either. While Deng, Ingram and Brown are all natural small forwards, Deng can play the small ball 4 position and both Brown and Ingram have the tools to slide over to the shooting guard position. Both Lou Williams and Clarkson can play lead guard and D’Angelo Russell can play the 2. The only players on the team who are single position players are point guards Calderon and Huertas and centers Mozgov and Zubac. It is still possible that the Lakers rid themselves of Nick Young and go with 14 roster spots with Auguste (or Yi) not making the team. There’s plenty of balance; there’s just a deficiency of star level talent at this point that will come with experience.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:07 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    The Lakers have officially signed forward Brandon Ingram 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:55 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    L.A. city officials have declared this Wed, August 24th as Kobe Bryant day 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:55 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Happy Birthday, Kobe! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:55 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Celtics Looking to Trade Isaiah Thomas for D’Angelo Russell? 

    http://www.chattsportsnet.com/sport-today/nba/boston-celtics-rumors-celtics-looking-to-trade-isaiah-thomas-for-dangelo-russell/8894/

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:49 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Ranking The NBA’s Best Young Cores On The Cusp Of Contention 

    8. Los Angeles Lakers

    Core: Jordan Clarkson (24), Larry Nance, Jr. (23), Julius Randle (20), D’Angelo Russell (20), Brandon Ingram (18)

    Most will deem this ranking a few spots too low for a team with as many sure-things as the Lakers. All five players here are primed to carve out meaningful roles in the league before their careers are over, and some would argue each has the chance to star. That’s a wildly optimistic perception, though, one proven most outlandish by Nance positioning himself beside or just behind Randle in the race to become Los Angeles’ power forward of the future.

    But that positional battle is on the periphery of what most matters to the Lakers both now and going forward. Russell has the scoring and playmaking instincts reserved for superstars. If he continues to work on his body and comes close to his ceiling as a shooter, the No. 2 pick of the 2015 draft is poised to emerge as the conductor of Luke Walton’s motion-heavy, uptempo system. That’s hardly a formality, though. Russell’s work ethic and professionalism was consistently questioned throughout his rookie year, and the bright lights of Los Angeles have been blinding for some players in the past. Time will tell.

    The Lakers’ biggest prize might be Ingram. Players with his package of size, skill, and coordination are few and far between; the Kevin Durant comparisons aren’t far off. A lack of strength really could be the 18-year-old’s undoing, though. Much of Ingram’s value is gleaned from his potential ability to guard multiple positions down the road. But if his exceedingly lanky frame fills out like Austin Daye’s as opposed to Durant’s, that versatility won’t ever quite come to pass.

    Los Angeles got Clarkson to re-sign for a bargain contract, which is especially important considering his fit with this roster isn’t so seamless with Russell and Ingram around. He’s a useful piece during this team’s evolution either way. Randle and Nance are, too, and their battle for playing time under Walton will be much more hard-fought than reputation suggests – particularly after Walton’s hiring.

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 9:20 AM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Cracks me up that Jordan Clarkson’s contract is considered “a bargain.” Whoa is me.

  • John M.

    John M. 5:49 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    In Other News… 

    Police found Todd Marinovich naked, holding a bag of contraband, in a backyard today in the LA area.

     
  • mclyne32 (Director) 4:25 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

     
  • keen observer

    keen observer 3:40 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    The Player Who Excites Jamie Sweet The Most Has Officially Signed! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:04 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    What To Make Of Julius Randle? Even The Lakers Aren’t Sure 

    So all of this begs the question, can the Lakers count on Randle to be the power forward of the future?

    As is the case with most things in sports, it depends. If Randle can learn to hit jumpers on a consistent basis, finish with his right hand, play within a team framework, and improve in pick and roll situations, he may be the answer. It’s a very real possibility that Walton’s improved offensive schemes will hide some of Randle’s deficiencies while playing to his strengths. But until that actually happens, it’s fair to question how the 21-year-old will fare in a league that is relying more and more on the very areas that needs to improve upon the most.

    Though his game—much like that of his teammates—has some major flaws, Randle did showcase some remarkable improvement as the season progressed. He dropped his first triple-double in a matchup against the Denver Nuggets on March 25th, showcasing legitimate playmaking abilities and an ability to spot the open man. Likewise, in spite of playing in a stagnant offense, Randle still managed to average a double-double thanks to impressive rebounding ability. In fact, Randle has amassed more rebounds thus far in his career than has any other player from his draft class, despite the fact that he missed nearly an entire season.

    There are many ways Randle’s game can go. He may end up becoming an elite rebounder whose energy and hustle ignite the team. He could also become a crafty sixth man who can run in transition and handle the ball. The talent was evident, if only in flashes. But with five players sharing one basketball on the court, resources are limited. Every touch Walton allocates to explore one part of Randle’s game is another that don’t go to three other players the front office has identified as high priority prospects, and vice versa.

    Seeing Randle dominate the glass and leading the break offers glimpses of tantalizing possibilities. Of course, the picture becomes more muddled when imagining his weaknesses alongside the rest of the roster.

    In that, Randle’s year isn’t solely about seeing what he can be as a player, but who he needs to be as a Laker.

     
    • John M.

      John M. 12:46 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Same story: When Julius starts hitting from outside and stops knocking people down inside, he’ll be a star.
      Luke’s going to really have fun with him.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 1:21 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He’s probably 2-3 seasons away from being a unique beast in this league. What is wrong with being different type of player? Why does he have to be able to do this or do that? When he is 25, he will be as strong as any player in the league, as athletic as anyone that size and have better handles than anyone that size. He might even average 15 rebounds per game by then. Does anyone doubt whether Dennis Rodman would have been able to carve out a spot in today’s NBA? He had a different skill set than Randle and was certainly deficient as a shooter and ball handler. Randle will become a much better playmaker than people realize. Sure, it will be nice if he improves his mid-range game, but is it essential? He also may never be a great lateral defender, but if he can muscle bigs down on the block, he can certainly be a decent enough post defender. I understand the concerns of these fans who believe that today’s players have to fit certain molds to be successful, but in the case of Randle the eye test tells me that he can be his own special player in this era.

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 5:41 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “and stops knocking people down inside”

        Had to laugh at that line, JM … somehow u always manage to make me chuckle. : D

        • John M.

          John M. 6:04 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Always happy to amuse you; wasn’t even trying this time.

        • AK27

          AK27 7:44 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Say it isn’t so, G…I thought I was the only one.. :(

          • GDUBinDC

            GDUBinDC 7:14 PM on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yeah, AK … and like he said, sometimes it’s not even intentional which makes it all the more amusing. : )

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:44 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      First off, to question his tenacity is a mistake. This guy is a dogged, determined athlete who seems more than willing to put in extra work on his game. I thought he responded the best to ‘Benchgate’ last season when he and D’Angelo were banished to the second unit. I think he realized that just being talented is nowhere near enough and he took a lot more jump shots, and even finished with his right hand a couple times, as the season wore on. Like Russell, I am waiting for his vision and play making skills to become a more consistent, positive aspect of his game.

      When he slowed down and played with the framework I thought Julius was devastating. He can get to the rim at will and, as many have said, his main issue is finishing. But he rebounds better than most in a league that more and more under values the rebound, to the point that some teams eschew offensive rebounding altogether in lieu of getting back on D. That, I believe, is foolhardy because the game slows down and possessions are created more often via the offensive rebound in the playoffs when that toughness and tenacity will pay dividends it maybe ends up owing on during the regular season.

      I’m hopeful he comes into the season without conditioning issues, like those that have plagued him the last two seasons, and I believe his time with the Team USA training unit will aid in that. If one is to believe rumors, only Clarkson is in the gym at El Segundo more than Randle is. I think if he only improves with his efficiency and makes a few more plays/per game he will be in the All Star reserve conversation. If he averages 20-10 it’s foregone conclusion. I hope Luke empowers him in a manner similar to Phil and Scottie Pippen, Lamar Odom, et al. Give him some minutes as the primary ball handler at point forward with our best shooters, maybe Nance at the 5.

      Like all of them, we’ll see real real soon.

  • keen observer

    keen observer 10:56 AM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Who has been following the whereabouts of Kwame Brown? 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:04 AM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    HOW BRANDON INGRAM CAN WIN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 

    The Los Angeles Lakers have their team of young players, but one, in particular, will help usher in a new era of Lakers basketball, Brandon Ingram. Ingram was selected by the Lakers with the 2nd overall pick in the draft, and while many thought that Ben Simmons might have been the better selection, they couldn’t be more incorrect.

    The Lakers were not in the market for a ball hog, a PG or a power player, what they needed was an all-around talent that could mesh well with their current roster of youthful, yet versatile players. Simmons was not the guy, not that they had a chance but if they were fortunate enough to pick 1st, Ingram would’ve been the right selection.

    The world is sold on Simmons being that guy for the Philadelphia 76ers and has all but penciled him in as the ROY winner, but not so fast there voters. While Simmons will get plenty of chances with a rebuilding team in Philly the Lakers will give Ingram all the opportunities to be the better player.

    Before everyone gets caught up in this Summer League hype, just call it what it is, a few games of free-flowing offense where it’s nothing important but to see where your stamina is. If that’s the case, then the Lakers should look forward to Russell scoring 22 a night as he did in the Las Vegas League. Ingram struggled from the field but so did Simmons but to expect both to continue that trend into the regular season is fools gold.

    Simmons will have the better chance at ROY; the 76ers have few offensive weapons that will take shots away from him. Simmons will average at least 35 minutes per night, 16 FG attempts on a team that needs his scoring. Ingram, however, may get a modest 25 minutes per with an average of 10 shots per game. Those stats alone will make Simmons the easy choice but, it’s never that easy.

    Here is why Ingram will win the award.

    The Lakers are a marquee team, larger following and are built to win now, unlike the 76ers. While Simmons will be jacking up shots left and right, Ingram will be learning and winning. Those minutes that we just talked about will work in his favor. Simmons is not the best player out of the two; he just happened to play on the worst college team than Ingram did which made his exposure a little brighter as he was forced to be Mr. Everything. Ingram played on a TEAM but he wasn’t compelled to do everything, it just came naturally.

    Ingram will play behind Luol Deng, and while Deng is still a contributor the Lakers will make a move by the All-Star break to either trade Deng or have him in a reserve role. Ingram was not taken with the 2nd pick to ride the pine his entire rookie season and the fewer minutes he will play the first half of the year will benefit him after the break.

    Simmons will hit the rookie wall, most players with his limited skill-set always does, and that’s when Ingram will make his move. On the court Ingram is a threat from the perimeter, he can put the ball on the floor and create his shot, while both players can hit the glass neither will be required to on their respective NBA teams. Another area Simmons will struggle is the lane. The 76ers are loaded in the frontcourt with Okafor, Embiid, and Noel, which offers no room for Simmons to operate on the low blocks. He must work on his perimeter game to be successful in this league just as LeBron had to do.

    Ingram will not enter the season with a clear advantage, but he will end it with one.

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 9:18 AM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:00 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s going to be interesting to see who the starters are at the beginning and end of the season.
      I think it’s going to be hard to keep Ingram out of the starting lineup.
      What we may see is Deng moving to the 4 to make room for Ingram to start.
      Will depend on how our power forwards in Randle and Nance develop.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:50 PM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      To quote Kevin Garnett: “Anything is possible.” Which coach finds a line up combo that plays to the strengths and masks the most weaknesses of their respective teams? That rookie has the best shot. Ingram will be up against a big minutes wall with Deng in front of him, Simmons will likely have free reign of the pasture.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:01 AM on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Why Lakers Have An Extremely Bright Future 

    With the weight of Kobe Bryant’s retirement finally off the shoulders of the Los Angeles Lakers, they forge ahead into a promising new era

    Losing a superstar is never easy, especially when that superstar is Kobe Bryant.

    For the last few years, the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled to progress with Bryant on their roster. He’s an all-time great and arguably the best shooting guard ever, besides Michael Jordan. However he undoubtedly held the organization back in the final years of his playing career.

    In addition to battling serious injuries, Bryant took huge paydays that really handcuffed the organization’s future.

    Now with his contract off the books, the Lakers are in overall terrific shape moving forward.

    They took Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, brought in some much needed veteran leadership by signing Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov with their cap space, and gave head coaching responsibilities to wonder-kid Luke Walton.

    Ingram is built exactly like Kevin Durant. Like Durant, he is known for his sharp-shooting and snake-like penetrating ability. In time, he will help add a new dimension to this Lakers team that it hasn’t had since Lamar Odom was on their roster.

    Eventually, he should develop into a lights-out scorer in the NBA while taking tips from Deng, who will undoubtedly serve as a mentor to him initially.

    While the four-year, $64 million contract they gave to Mozgov is certainly questionable, he fills a huge need they’ve had since losing Dwight Howard. Mozgov is certainly no Howard, but he definitely brings a ton of length and athleticism to the table.
    He will greatly improve the team’s efficiency in the post on offense and on defense.

    Deng remains a super-underrated player that can guard and play multiple positions extremely well. In the right situation, he can flourish on both ends of the floor thanks to his versatility and ability to score from anywhere.

    Walton was the interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors to begin the 2015-16 NBA season. He guided the Dubs to 24 straight wins to start the year, as well as helping them win 29 of their first 30 games.

    He won’t have the same instant success in Los Angeles when compared to the Bay Area, but he is a disciple of one of the best coaches in the league in Steve Kerr. He will certainly help in reshaping the team’s offensive schemes, as well as aiding in fostering the club’s young talent into stars.

    It is realistic to wonder if the Lakers have a shot at the playoffs this year. To put it simply, the West isn’t as stacked as it was a couple years ago.

    One big concern that remains is if the team trusts D’Angelo Russell after the Nick Young videotape fiasco last season. An incident like that one can really divide a locker room.

    Russell needs to show that he is a more mature guy and someone that wants to come across as being a professional both on and off the court.

    That’s how he will earn back the teammates he lost along the way. That’s how he’ll help make the Lakers a winning team once again.

    They also have two additional terrific building blocks in Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, who will be counted on to provide toughness and leadership for this young team.

    Both of these players will most likely be starters this year, which means they will have to accept more responsibility coming into this season.

    In terms of this year, the Lakers will just miss out on the playoffs. They will certainly be in the mix for the eighth seed, but the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves will take bigger leaps than them this year.

    Although in a few years, they might be one of the best teams in the league. The most important thing they must do is try to keep this squad together.

    There has been so much upheaval and change recently within the organization, which is one of the reasons they have had so many problems.

    If they truly want to establish chemistry and a comfortable atmosphere for their staff and players, sticking together with this roster is the right move.

     
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