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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:02 AM on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    So generally speaking there’s not much of a reason to spend much time on ESPN, especially in the Laker “section”. But this is awesome. Ron being Ron.


  • CSTracy10

    CSTracy10 10:48 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    My far-fetched thought of the night.

    I imagine that this is most likely one of two things: unoriginal or ludicrous. But, with that said, I found myself wondering this evening about the power potential of player agents. I believe the train of thought was spawned by a combination of Game of Thrones and a report I saw on twitter earlier today about a player signing with Kobe’s agent.

    So, allow me to get a little tinfoily:

    Unless my understanding is tainted, player agents get paid a percentage of signed and dotted contracts. If this is the case, then Mr. Pelinka was handsomely rewarded when Kobe signed his last contract. I like to think that every move Mitch makes is calculated – more on that in a second. I am also operating under the assumption that a player agent has sway and influence over where his player ends up (whether it is telling a rookie to have a bad workout because team X wants him [the agent just so happens to owe team X a favor], or he can throw negotiations so that the only feasible offer is from the team he owes a favor to, or it could be as simply and honest as just telling the player how great Team X is for such and such reasons, etc.. etc..) Now back to Mitch and his calculated moves. I am hoping that Kobe’s last contract was gone about in such a way that a certain agent may have a certain desire to provide certain favors to a certain team. And, of course, this is only a consideration of “incentives” given above the table.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:24 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:48 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    What sort of improvement do want/need to see in the Lakers next season? 10 wins? 20 wins? 30 wins is what would be needed to get us into the playoff convo in the western conference but a 30 win improvement seems highly unlikely, albeit possible.

    Personally? I’d like to see a 20+ win improvement and good health for all. See who forms the future core of the team and move on from there.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:58 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not really concerned about the record or the playoffs next season since we won’t be jumping over the west contenders anyway. Just want to see Julius healthy and watch him develop with the rest of the young guys to see if we actually have something going…along with whoever we’re able to snag in free agency. That’s about it.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:21 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        How we do will depend more on whom we sign as free agents than whom we draft. If we get Towns or Russell in the draft and Gasol or Love in free agency, then I think we could be a playoff team or close to it. For sure, we won’t be a bottom 3 team.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 9:32 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s hard for me to see us jumping into the West playoffs with 2 rookies in the starting lineup along with a guy who basically started half a season. Just too much youth. ..which is why that Denver thing is interesting. Plus, for us to jump in, somebody gotta fall out. And that ain’t even counting OKC.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:46 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I could see it if we got Gasol but you’re right we’ll be too young to be a real threat and it would take a perfect storm of health and Russell and Randle turning out to be huge hits for us to do it. It’s a nice target to have but I would sacrifice wins to give the young players experience. We do need to bring in some veterans and I’m hoping Mitch can pull his usual magic.

    • NuggetsCountry (Director)

      NuggetsCountry (Director) 9:25 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      wait for it……………………………

      KOBE FOR 50!!!

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:02 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A ninth place finish is attainable if we get a very good free agent starter, Towns or Jahlil, a solid contribution from Julias, continued improvement from Clarkson, and a decent bench.

    • LRob (Director)

      LRob (Director) 12:14 AM on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ll take the 9th place finish and #1 pick…yep league still owes us.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:17 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    The Lakers and Mitch Kupchak face huge decisions this summer 


    Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak faces a summer filled with critical decisions that will ultimately decide the fate of the franchise. Does Mitch have what it takes to make the correct choices and lead the Lakers back to glory?       

    The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into one of the most important offseasons in their history, with the team badly needing to right the ship after a 2014-2015 season that featured a franchise-worst 61 losses. While the future is certainly bright thanks to a collection of young talent and the addition of the second overall pick in the draft, there are still a number of very difficult decisions facing general manager Mitch Kupchak this summer.

    The choices that he and the rest of the front office staff make are going impact the club long-term, so it’s going to be crucial that they choose wisely. To complicate things further, every decision made has implications further down the line, like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book except you can’t keep your finger on the page and flip back when you realize that venturing into the dungeon has caused your hero to get eaten by the dragon.

    For that reason, the NBA’s off-season can sometimes be just as important as the regular season. Summer is the time when general managers have to come up big in the clutch and acquire the assets necessary for their teams to be successful. For Mitch Kupchak, making the right moves can lead to championship parades down Figueroa and purple and gold confetti raining down from the rafters at the Staples Center, while the wrong ones will prolong the misery of the past three seasons.

    The Draft

    First and foremost, the Lakers need to decide who to use their draft picks on. The nice thing about having the 2nd overall pick is that it brings certainty, as only one player out of a group of 5 or 6 potential candidates will not be available to them. Last year the team had to sweat it out, hoping a highly-talented player would fall to them at the number 7 pick. It worked out, as by all accounts Julius Randle was ranked much higher than 7th on the Lakers board (he may have been as high as 3), but still, it’s nice not having to wait through a tense 30 minutes of hoping “the guy” drops far enough.

    There’s a conception that there are four players there (as top two candidates). I think there may be more.    – Mitch Kupchak

    While it sounds unlikely that Karl-Anthony Towns will be available, the Lakers will have a number of other prospects to choose from, including D’Angelo Russell, Jahlil Okafor, Emanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis, Mario Hezonja, and Justise Winslow. While it can certainly be argued that one prospect may fit better than the other with the current Lakers squad, the bottom line is that Mitch has to figure out which of the players available to him has the best chance of becoming a superstar. Fit shouldn’t be a major factor for a team in the midst of a rebuild like the Lakers are.

    The NBA history books are littered with general managers who made the mistake of drafting for need rather than talent (*cough* Bowie over Jordan), and Kupchak would do well to simply take the best player available and worry about fit later.

    The Lakers draft decisions don’t stop with the second overall pick though; they have the 27th and 34th picks as well. It’s also possible that the team is able to move up or down in the draft via trade, which means the front office staff needs to evaluate and rank around 60 or 70 prospects in order to be prepared for the draft.

    It’s important that Kupchak not only identifies talent but also quantifies exactly what each player is worth so that he can respond appropriately in trade situations. For example, last season the team had Jordan Clarkson ranked much higher than his eventual draft spot of 46th. When they saw him start to drop the decision was made that he was worth a financial investment to acquire his rights, and spent $1.8 million in order to buy a draft pick from the Wizards to select him.

    Looks like it was was money well spent

    The move ended up being a home-run, as Clarkson finished the season on a tear and made the All-Rookie First Team. While not every decision pays off like that, the importance of diligent scouting and player ranking can’t be understated.

    While a number of decisions still face the Lakers, the draft is the first domino to fall. Nearly every other decision that will be made for the rest of the summer is going to hinge on what happens here. On June 25th, Woj will tweet who will be donning the Golden Armor about 1 minute before the pick is actually made, and thus the team’s direction will be established.

    Team Options

    The Lakers hold options on 5 players: Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Robert Sacre, Jordan Hill, and Jabari Brown. The team can let any of them go and erase their salaries from the cap, which would give the Lakers more money to play with in free agency. It’s on Mitch to decide which players are worth their cap hit and the opportunity cost of adding someone else in free agency.

    We’re still looking for [Jordan Clarkson] to be a big part of what we do next year as well.   -Byron Scott

    Realistically, Clarkson and Black are safe, as both performed above expectations and have minimum salaries, which means the odds of finding someone better at the same price are very slim. Jabari Brown’s deal is non-guaranteed for next season, which means the team can cut him from the roster even after the season begins and remove him from their cap. That feature, combined with his low cap number and productive time with the team last season, means he will be given every chance to continue his campaign to stick in league next season.

    Robert Sacre, on the other hand, is about as likely to stay in Los Angeles as a rain cloud. He has been with the Lakers for the past three seasons and has shown only marginal improvement during that time. While his 7′, 260-pound frame is certainly an advantage, his numbers suggest he may not even be a backup center in the NBA. The main culprit is his 41% shooting from the field, which is bad for any position, but for a big man it’s unforgivable.

    Still, size does have value in the league, and Sacre’s contract would cost the Lakers just under $1 million to keep him around. He’s a solid teammate, and his celebratory antics from the bench are always fun to watch. However, Tarik Black is younger, cheaper, and more athletic, and outplayed him for the backup center spot last season. For cap purposes I’m going to say that Mitch decides to keep him around as an expiring trade piece; expect to see him sent elsewhere before the season begins. Should Mitch determine that there is no market for Sacre, he will likely see his option declined.

    Conversely, Jordan Hill is, by all accounts, a solid NBA player. He is a phenomenal offensive rebounder who improved his range last season, although he admittedly ran out of steam playing starters minutes. Still, in his three and a half seasons with the Lakers he has had a role as a fan favorite, and his ability to play either front court position helps his value. However, to keep him around next year on his current deal would cost the Lakers $9 million in cap space, and would likely prevent them from being able to truly chase after the crop of 30% max contract players (Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, LaMarcus Aldridge, et al.).

    Additionally, should the team indeed select Jahlil Okafor in the draft (or Karl-Anthony Towns), there will be very few minutes available for the dreadlocked big man. Based on these factors, it’s very likely that the Mitch makes the decision to decline Hill’s option and that the two sides part ways.

    Free Agency

    One of the most exciting moments of the NBA offseason is free agency, which begins at midnight on July 1st. There are always a handful of GMs ringing the doorbell of an impact free agent as the clock strikes 12, and given how aggressive Kupchak has promised to be, we can expect him to be one of them.

    Just who the Lakers target will likely come down to a few factors. First and foremost, the team needs to know how much money they have to spend. With a salary cap set at $67,100,000 and the contracts of Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Ryan Kelly, Julius Randle, Tarik Black, Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown, Robert Sacre, and the 2nd and 27th pick on the books the Lakers will have a total payroll of $44,681,670 (including cap holds for open roster spots) which leaves them $22, 418,330 to spend on free agents.

    With the massive salary cap increase coming during the summer of 2016, it’s less likely that deals given out this year, even max ones, end up being bad contracts. However, not all max deals are equal. A max contract for a player like Greg Monroe, who has just five years in the NBA, would start at around $15 million per season–this is why I consider him to be one of the best values this summer, as his relatively low “max” contract nearly guarantees positive trade value in the future. If a player like Monroe is added, then the Lakers will still have ~$7 million to spend bringing in other players.

    This summer we have a lot of cap room….we have to be aggressive in free agency.   -Mitch Kupchak

    However, should they give a max contract to a player like Goran Dragic, a veteran with seven years of experience, his deal would eat up nearly all of the Lakers available cap space. It’s going to be up to Mitch to determine whether or not such a deal is worth it not only this summer but whether that contract is likely to be a positive asset in the future.

    This is an area Kupchak struggled in last year when he gave a 4-year, $21.5 million deal to Nick Young. While Young had a career year in 2013-2014, Kupchak was essentially betting that Nick would continue shooting at a relatively high percentage, which was a big gamble to take on a 29-year-old known for taking (and sometimes making) difficult shots. When Young lost his, well, swag, his trade value took a major hit and now the Lakers have a player who is about to turn 30 on a contract that pays more than his production suggests it should.

    This summer Mitch will need to avoid striking out on similar gambles in order to bring success back to the team.

    Who the Lakers select in the draft will also be extremely important here. If they take D’Angelo Russell or Emanuel Mudiay, that would likely mean that Kupchak will focus on adding a big in free agency. With names like Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap, Draymond Green, Tyson Chandler, and possibly Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, and Brook Lopez on the market, there are plenty of opportunities to add an impact big man this year.

    However, should the Lakers select a center like Jahlil Okafor in the draft, that would rule out most of the free agent centers on the list, as the team would already have its post player of the future and free agents rarely want to play with one of the top picks in the draft fighting them for minutes. In that scenario, only the players who can slot in at power forward would remain options for the Lakers.

    Going with a center in the draft would also seem to require that the Lakers focus their attention on wings and guards in free agency, but this summer is lacking in both areas. Aging guards like Rajon Rondo, Dragic, and Monta Ellis will be available but are less than ideal. Younger guards like Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight are restricted and their current teams are very likely to match any offer presented to them (after 3 days of tying up the Lakers cap space).

    Wings are similarly scarce thanks to restricted free agency, with Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler locks to be retained by their incumbent teams. Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris are also restricted, but going after either of them would require the gamble of offering up a max deal and then holding your breath for 3 days while the Bucks or Magic decide whether or not to match.

    Tobias Harris’ versatility on both ends of the court could be attractive to the Lakers

    Should Kupchak decide that attempting to sign restricted free agents is too risky (which has been his stance in the past), the Lakers would be left to chase after unrestricted free agents DeMarre Carroll, Danny Green, and Wesley Matthews, though all have their downsides and would likely cost more than the team would like to pay thanks to the scarcity of available talent at the position.

    Needless to say, team building is a complicated process. Every player’s production on the court has to be weighed against their contract in order to determine their overall value and whether or not they are perceived as an asset.

    For example, most Lakers fans are retching over the thought of Rondo winding up in a Lakers uniform. Not only is he a poor fit on the court thanks to his terrible jump shot, his attitude is also a concern. If Mitch were to present Rondo with a 4-year max contract this summer, the likelihood of an angry mob gathering outside the Lakers’ El Segundo training facility with torches and pitchforks would be extremely high.

    However, what if Rondo accepted a one-year deal at, say, $3 million in the hopes that he could play his way into a bigger contract next year (aka the Nick Young/Ed Davis plan)? Wouldn’t his experience, ability to pass the ball, and tiny contract (thus allowing cap space for other free agents to be signed) be worth the gamble? Some might still say no, but Kupchak’s job in free agency is not just about getting the right player to sign on with the Lakers, it’s about finding a number that allows the team to build the best roster with the most assets.

    Navigating the tangled web of free agency will be Kupchak’s greatest task this summer, but if he gets it right, the team will be on the road to redemption next season.

    The Trade Market

    The final challenge to face Mitch Kupchak this summer is the trade market. Trade talk typically picks up during this time of year, as teams head into the draft and free agency period with specific goals in mind. Most teams are a little more willing to talk trade over the summer than they are during the hectic regular season, as it provides their newly acquired players time to get acclimated to their new team.

    These days, trades in the NBA don’t very often come down to simple player for player value; it’s much more complicated than that. Now teams must also consider the contracts of the assets they are trading compared to what they are getting, whether or not their team needs are being met, and just what the opportunity cost is of making a particular deal.

    For example, the Lakers need talent across the board. The Denver Nuggets have the 7th pick in the draft and two solid players in Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried that they are hoping to deal. A trade sending Faried, Lawson, and the 7th pick to the Lakers in exchange for the 2nd overall pick isn’t out of the question based purely on talent. Faried is a young power player who many feel hasn’t been allowed to fully blossom in Denver, while Lawson’s speed and scoring abilities from the point would be a welcome addition alongside Jordan Clarkson. Losing the 2nd pick hurts, but the 7th overall selection would allow the Lakers to take a gamble on a young international talent like Mario Hezonja or Kristaps Porzingis (just don’t tell Ben Rosales).

    However, trades aren’t constructed based solely on talent; there are contracts and opportunity costs to consider as well. Completing the trade described above would wipe out all of the Lakers’ available cap space, which would mean that in addition to giving up the 2nd overall pick, they would also be sacrificing the opportunity to chase impact free agents. Is it worth one of Towns/Okafor/Russell AND a free agent like say LaMarcus Aldridge to add Lawson, Faried, and Porzingis to the roster? Probably not.

    It’s also possible that the Lakers part with an asset to move up in the draft, or that they absorb the contract of an unwanted player in exchange for draft picks, as they did with Jeremy Lin last summer. They could even find themselves in a role reversal, paying a team with a draft pick to take on the contract of Nick Young and freeing up more cap space in the process.

    Would it be worth paying another team with the 27th and 34th pick to take Young’s contract? What if that meant freeing up enough cap space to land two lower-tier “max” free agents, like Greg Monroe and Tobias Harris? Is it worth it then or are the Lakers better served hanging on to their picks and chasing one major free agent?

    Those are the kinds of difficult decisions Mitch is going to need to make this summer.  Every choice offers an opportunity cost that goes along with it, and he is going to need to correctly value his assets and then make decisions to determine the correct path going forward. Nearly every decision is linked to the ones that came before it, and also sets up the ones that come after it, and not all roads lead back to the promised land.

    All that being said, the great thing about this summer is that the Lakers do have options. Tons of them. While it might make Mitch Kupchak’s job incredibly daunting, having the flexibility to swing the franchise any number of ways is a good problem to have. If he appears more stressed than usual this summer though, we know why.

    Choose wisely, Mitch.


    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:53 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kudos to Trevor Lane for one of the best written, objectively thorough analyses I’ve read of how huge this summer is to the future of the Lakers franchise. Mitch and Jim have to get this right.

      The key point Trevor made that resonated strongly with me was drafting Russell would give the Lakers more choices in free agency because there are more centers available than guards.

      Choosing Okafor would leave the Lakers looking mainly for guards and wings, of which the selection this summer, other than RFA’s, will be more limited than centers.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 7:57 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        So now you’re saying Russell over KAT as well?
        Because drafting Towns leaves them in the same predicament.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:22 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No, I would take Towns if he were available. He is my perfect center. Great defender. Great motor. Can make his free throws and shoot 3′s. Play and defend the 4 or 5. Play inside or outside, full court or half court. You cannot pass him up. He is a true franchise player imo and I’ve been thrilled to see a lot of the mocks showing him falling to us.

        The thing about Towns is you could play him as a 4 along side Marc Gasol or DeAndre Jordan or as a 5 along side Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge or

        I worry about Okafor’s lack of lift and slow jump. He is going to eat a lot of leather in the NBA. And the poor free-throw shooting, though live with that to get defense, which is unfortunately not Okafor’s specialty. My top priority for a center is to protect the rim.

        If your center can’t anchor your defense, it throws off your decisions at every position. Suddenly, Randle and Love don’t fits for the Lakers. And finally, style. I don’t want to play post up inside-out basketball. I prefer scoring off a play rather than a post up.

        My board: Towns, Russell, Cauley-Stein, Mudiay, Winslow. Sorry Jahlil.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 8:31 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          So all that stuff about taking a guard instead of a center to maximize free agent flexibilty only applies if that center is Okafor?

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:46 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            You could put it that way but it’s only applies if the center is Towns, who can play 4 or 5. As much as I love WCS, I think Russell is a much better pick. Suddenly, you have a lot more choices that make sense as pieces. Gasol, Love, Aldridge, Jordan, Monroe, Koufas, or Lopez.

            Take Okafor and who do you really have to balance the lineup? I like Dragic but… Suddenly, you’re looking at Rondo? Pickings are not so good. Suddenly, you have money you need to spend but the best players available are where you already have 2 lottery picks.

            Russell does make it the easiest and Okafor the hardest to find the major free agent to bring in this summer. Towns is sort of in the middle because he can also play the 4. He will blossom in the NBA.

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 9:00 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            So to make a long story short…you just don’t want Okafor.
            I think we’ve got it….lol

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:06 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              I don’t want a center who can’t anchor your defense and protect the rim. Sometimes a forward can do that, like Ibaka, but usually it’s a center’s job. Having a center who doesn’t do that makes you change how you approach every other player because you need to compensate; Limits your flexibility elsewhere.

              You can do with minimal offense from your center imo but not minimal defense;. That’s what it’s all about. Not my personal dislike for Okafor. I actually feel bad because Okafor is such a good kid and wants to be a Laker. If we take him, I’ll have no problem supporting him. He is just not the right fit in my opinion because of his defense. I would be happy with Towns or Willie Cauley-Stein, although we would need to trade back for WCS.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 9:08 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              I think we’ve got it.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:29 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        So what did you think of the article, Mongo?

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 8:36 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Mostly just a rehash of everything every other blogger on the internet has been saying since the lottery. I might need to take a break cuz the repetition is starting to grate.

          The Denver thing is interesting though.
          Lawson & Faried were at the core of 57 win team just a coupla years ago.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:51 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yeah, but you give up your cap space too. That’s the problem with trading the pick unless it’s a swap so you still get two players.

            I don’t like the idea of giving up the pick. That is our best bet for the next franchise player. Love and Gasol and anybody really available this year would #2′s once the team was championship ready. #1 might be the #2 pick or Kevin Durand in 2016 or Westbrook in 2017 or Davis in 2018.

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 9:07 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            You actually get 3 players for 1 in that deal..Lawson, Faried, and the 7 pick. I don’t think you do much better than that in free agency. Maybe even flip one of them for something else.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:51 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This guy lost me at picking up Sacre’s option.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:05 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:11 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Saw this kid play several times this year. Beautiful stroke. Great defender.
      He could be a good pick at #34. 6-6 215#. Plays 2 or 3 can guard 1, 2, or 3.
      Shot 45% his junior and senior years at Stanford.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:50 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:52 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From article:

      With the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25, the Los Angeles Lakers will be armed with the 2nd, 27th and 34th picks. After keeping their top-five protected pick last week, the Lakers are currently working out prospects at the team’s practice facility.

      On Thursday, the Lakers worked out potential prospects with their late first round pick, which included Justin Anderson and Delon Wright. At the team’s practice facility, last season’s lottery pick Julius Randle was also in attendance and working out. After being cleared for full contact half court drills, Randle was asked about the possibility of another Kentucky prospect being drafted via Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:

      Asked Julius Randle about an all-Kentucky frontcourt if Lakers draft Towns. He chuckled and said, “It wouldn’t be bad at all.”

      Between Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, there are conflicting reports on who the Minnesota Timberwolves will select with the first overall pick. While the Lakers will likely keep their pick, general manager Mitch Kupchak has said that it would have to be a ‘heck of an opportunity’ for the team to consider trading it.

      After failing to make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Lakers have an opportunity to build a foundation and continue their rebuild. Along with Randle and the second overall pick, the Lakers have Jordan Clarkson and cap space over the next two off-seasons to pursue free agents.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:46 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:49 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You wonder why teams can’t just part ways amicably rather than throwing dirt that only shows how bad their judgment must have been to hire the guy in the first place. Stay classy. Like the article says, Bulls didn’t win. Time for a change. Leave the laundry out of it. End of story.

    • LRob (Director)

      LRob (Director) 12:16 AM on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Bulls smear campaign in full effect. 3 Bull players ripped Thibs according to Bull sources…um I want names and statements…otherwise I view it as propaganda.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:53 AM on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      More than three, not 5…but it could have been as many as all of them. Except Pau who had only nice things to say before going and doing something nice because that Pau Gasol sure can be nice.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:30 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:35 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Riles struggling to hold Miami together after LeBron bolted for Cleveland.
      Cannot believe Wade would go anywhere else. Riles low balling him.
      No Wade, no Dragic, no future.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 5:49 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Talk about the end of the dynasty that never was.

    • yellofever

      yellofever 6:04 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      let’s see dwade old, injury prone, no longer marketable and a dirty mutha fkka too

      he ain’t no Kobe or jeter

      I’d say pretty dam smart business and basketball decision by riles to chase greener pastures

    • wesjoenixon

      wesjoenixon 6:10 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      At the right price, I choose Wade over Rondo. Although, I watched an interview with Brian scalabrini who said Rondo was by far the smartest BB player he ever met during his career. By far.

      • yellofever

        yellofever 6:13 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        no way I pay Max or near Max to a guy who plays 40 games a year

    • LRob (Director)

      LRob (Director) 6:14 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      DWade lost 10mil when he opted out of his deal last year. He did it to give the team some room to sign Lebron…but Lebron bolted anyway. Will Miami reward him for giving them flexibility? I’m guessing that this is all part of negotiations and Wade ain’t going anywhere. He has more value to the Heat than any other team.

      • yellofever

        yellofever 6:16 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        sup Lrob!

        yeh I’m sure just part of negotiation but will bad bad contract nonetheless paying him on goodwill

        • LRob (Director)

          LRob (Director) 12:17 AM on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          sup Yello. Yeah they owe him a lil something something…but if he doesn’t get it its his fault.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:53 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is why I don’t blame Kobe for taking the money (I blame our FO for offering it)…playing at a discount for the sake of cap flexibility rarely works out for the player.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:40 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Kevin Love considering free agency options 

    David Richard-USA TODAY Sports / reuters
    The NBA free agency period hasn’t even begun yet, but that hasn’t slowed the “What will Kevin Love do?” speculation.According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Love is expected to take a long, hard look at his options this summer as he enters the free-agent market.

    “He’s got options,” Wojnarowski said in a radio appearance on The Jason McIntyre Show on Yahoo Sports Radio. “He could stay another year (by not opting out) and go into free agency next year. But he’s had injuries, and he might just want to sign a four-year deal somewhere else.”

    Love saw his regular-season averages dip significantly from last year, when he was the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ primary offensive weapon. In 2013-2014, he averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds. This season, seen as the Cavaliers‘ third option, Love averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds. Those are respectable numbers by most standards, but it was reported several times throughout the season that Love was less than thrilled with his reduced role on Cleveland’s roster.

    While it seemed Love was finding his groove in the Cavs’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics, the shoulder injury he suffered may have thrown a wrench into his offseason plans.

    Wojnarowski stated that Love may explore opportunities with the Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and possibly the Houston Rockets, due to his close ties with former Timberwolves coach/GM Kevin McHale.

    Love has until June 30 to notify the Cavs of whether he intends to exercise his player option for next season or become a free agent this summer.


  • DJ2KB24

    DJ2KB24 2:45 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    So GDUB, when we say any player has a certain amount of rings, most of us know that 1 player didn’t win it all. No Shaq, no 3, no Paul no 2, no Kobe none for those Laker teams.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 3:42 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      No B Shaw no getting past Portland for their first one. No Artest we don’t beat the Celtics Etc.

    • NuggetsCountry (Director)

      NuggetsCountry (Director) 4:21 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      yeah, despite BSPN’s campaign otherwise, it is still a team sport. Has to be a good team, with some cold blooded All-Stars (or HOFer(s)), but team nevertheless.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 1:39 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 1:40 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hate to burst the bubble of some…but the Rockets HAVE A TON OF CAP SPACE and they’ve really quiet about it and nobody really is talking about that.

      I think Love could end up on the Rockets.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 1:50 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Morey lives for a move like this.

        • therealhtj

          therealhtj 3:13 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Not enough for a max offer without making some moves and Brewer opting out. Love would be the missing piece to their puzzle though. Ahh sweet irony.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 1:55 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If he does, then oh well, I would love to watch Randle develop at the 4.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 2:01 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Makes sense, Rockets can clear in the range of 5 Mil to almost 10 if Corey Brewer exercises his Player Option.

          They could sign Love and still be below the Apron.

          • mclyne32 (Director) 2:04 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I won’t shed a tear if he goes elsewhere.
            I’m more interested in the development of our youngsters.
            We are still at least three seasons out from competing for a Chip anyway.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:11 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              So am I, but we both read what Mitch said “We don’t have the time to methodically build through the draft.”

              Seems like Season Ticket Holders and the Natives are becoming restless.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 2:16 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              There are no real game changers available until Westbrook becomes available.
              They better not fall for chasing names again.

            • John M.

              John M. 2:58 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              I’d like them to be patient, too, but don’t see them carrying 6 guys with a year or less in the league. I think they’ll keep #2 and deal the others; hopefully wind up with a couple impact vets who can stay healthy and begin the climb back to the top.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 2:01 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        A ton of space?
        They’re at 54mill if they don’t bring anyone back, including Beverly. Gonna have to gut the roster even further to fit Love’s salary.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 2:09 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Canaan, Covington, Nick Johnson, Scotty Hopson are all on Non guaranteeds.

          Corey Brewer has a PO.

          They can trade Montiejunas.

          Yeah, they got space to sign Love.

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 2:12 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Dude, Beverley’s qualifying offer is just a little over a Mil.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:15 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              Why would Love want to be a 3rd option again at Houston?

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:21 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink


              It’s all hypothetical, but…

              With a healthy Patrick Beverley on Defense, and with Kevin Love on the Rockets spacing the floor with his shooting and his ability to rebound with Dwight, how do you think they would have fared against the Warriors?

              Because I got to be honest, I think Houston takes them to the limit.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:39 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              Sure, but, why not stay with Kyrie and LBJ?

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:40 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              Still a 3rd either way. Cavs made it to the Finals without Love and Kyrie. With Lakers his 2nd and 1st following year. Just my thoughts.

            • NBA4ever

              NBA4ever 3:51 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              They only have around 10m if they don’t sign any of their own. I agree 100% with DJ…why would he want to go to Houston to be 3rd wheel?

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 2:16 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply


          It’ll take more than that if the cap is at 67mill. But regardless, they’ve already got pf covered pretty well with Jones and DMo at a fraction of the cost. I could actually see them making a run at Dragic instead.

          • mclyne32 (Director) 2:19 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I don’t understand why people think that Dragic would want to leave money on the table and leave South Beach.
            Plus, he plays for one of the best GMs in the League.
            Harden monopolizes the ball in Houston.
            The Lakers are still in transition.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 2:23 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              Not saying Dragic would leave…. but that won’t stop teams from making the offer. You never know if you don’t take the shot.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 2:28 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              You are right about that.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:35 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink

              Heat are on the way down and will never recover from LeBron.

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 2:24 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Keeping this team together only weakens Houston. They need a legitimate shooter beyond the arc.

            They shoot a lot of them, but they’re streaky at beast.

            They also need someone to rebound other than Dwight, for more possessions.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:33 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What about the Cavs? This is more evidence that Love is leaving Cleveland.
      As for Houston, Josh Smith has played well as their power forward and might re-sign.
      With Patrick Beverly due for a new contract, I don’t see how the Rockets could max Love.
      I also don’t see Kevin wanted to go there. If he’s really leaving the Cavs, it’s the Lakers.
      Unless Marc Gasol takes his cap space, which is not impossible.

    • yellofever

      yellofever 6:11 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      too bad draft starts before FA period not vice versa

      that way if lakers strike out on gasol or love then you know they gotta draft a big man

      but if lakers land gasol or love then that changes their drafting needs

      gonna be a very interesting summer

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 1:37 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:06 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Another excellent 3-and-D player 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:58 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:59 PM on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From article:

      Viewed as one of the draft’s premier on-ball defenders, Anderson has a lot of tools teams are looking for in a wing. His massive wingspan makes up for measuring at just over 6’6 in shoes, slightly below average for a small forward. Anderson also shot an impressive 45 percent from three-point range last season, but scouts worry that it may not be sustainable as he struggled shooting after returning from a wrist injury and has continued his shooting struggles at the Draft Combine.

      Anderson is viewed as a mid-to-late first round pick and could be available when the Lakers pick at 27, though most outlets have him going earlier. The Lakers may need to trade up a few spots if they hope to land him.

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