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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:32 AM on February 19, 2017 Permalink |  

    Wizards reportedly ‘have interest’ in trading for Lou Williams 

    The Wizards are one of the hottest teams in the league, climbing the standings in the Eastern Conference all the way to third at 34-21. They certainly look like a serious threat to make a deep playoff run this spring, but many believe they need to add some depth if they want to dethrone LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Wojnarowski notes that Washington has shown an inclination to send out a first-round pick, either in the draft this June or in a future draft, if it means they can add another valuable piece to their rotation.

    If the Lakers sent Williams to Washington in exchange for a first-round pick, it appears to be a deal that would make sense for both sides. The Wizards can go all-in on making a deep playoff run while the Lakers would net a draft pick that they certainly could use.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:30 AM on February 19, 2017 Permalink |  

    How The Lakers Can Salvage Their Season 

    As the Lakers use the All-Star break to ponder what to do the remainder of the season, the answer is staring them in the face. To salvage the situation, they need to return to the original mission which Walton announced last summer. The starting lineup the rest of the season must be Russell and Clarkson at guard, Ingram and Randle at forward, and Zubac at center. They need to all play thirty minutes a game or more. Nance and Black need to be the first two players off the bench.

    Would the Lakers win more games if they featured Williams, Young, and Deng instead? Maybe one or two, but so what? While most rational-thinking fans frown on the concept of tanking, after enduring such a miserable season, it would be a shame if the Lakers suffered the further loss of their top-three protected selection in this summer’s draft because they squeezed out another meaningless win or two in the waning games of the year.

    All signs suggest that this will be an important offseason for the Lakers. Jim Buss and/or Mitch Kupchak could be replaced — the disastrous Mozgov and Deng signings last summer were probably the final straw. Magic Johnson seems to be in control, and he may be joined by Jerry West if the rumors turn out to be true.

    In sum, the way to salvage this season is not to finish with another couple of wins. It is to give the seven young players on the team as much playing time as possible the remaining 24 games. It also means that any veteran the team can trade for a first or high second round selection, or for another young player with promise, they should pull the trigger. If the Lakers do not vigorously pursue this strategy, it may be time to seriously question if anyone in the organization has any real idea how to run a basketball team.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:24 AM on February 19, 2017 Permalink |  

    Lonzo Ball to the Lakers, please 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:20 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink |  

    Brandon Ingram Mixes Love for Basketball with Old-School Work Ethic 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:54 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink |  

    Brandon and D’Angelo help build a playground for @nbacares 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:35 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink |  

    Here’s my halftime rant on D’Angelo Russell from last night’s game. 

     
    • tate793

      tate793 1:45 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Plus, all the blib-blab about Russell being “so young”, KAT is only 3 mos older, been in the league the same amount of time, on an equally as s#itty team -- yet, he’s a freakin’ superstar. Excuses need to stop. Face reality. Sucks.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 2:08 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mr. Tate, you may be right, you may be wrong, but Karl Anthony Towns isn’t being asked to run an NBA offense. He is also a special talent who the Lakers or anyone else would have drafted in the #1 slot, so you are not comparing apples to apples. Why don’t you look at his teammate Kris Dunn for a comparison or Emmanuel Mudiay. Or how about going back to 2014 and compare him to Dante Exum, Marcus Smart or Elfrid Payton.

        I know you have little patience and love to blame Jim Buss for everything, but D’Angelo Russell will be a solid lead guard in 2-3 seasons, about the same amount of time it took Dennis Schroeder, Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry, among others, to figure it out.

        • humanomaly 6:09 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I still think Mike Conley was a big surprise, I had thought he was just riding the coat tails of that big guy that isn’t in the league anymore (I think)…and yes I know he is a disciplined athlete coming from his father….but I never thought he would be as good as he is.

        • tate793

          tate793 7:58 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I beg to differ, Mr. Keen. He is being asked to be the focal point of the offense, and he is the obvious leader of the team. He has put the team on his back and carried them. A #1 pick and a #2 pick certainly are in the same bushel. Look back at the 2012 draft. After Anthony Davis was selected #1, players like Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond followed and blossomed quite nicely, even becoming all stars in their second year..

          • keen observer

            keen observer 7:08 AM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            LUKE has put the team on his back. The only #2 picks currently playing who were all-stars are KD, LA and Tyson Chandler. Find me another one and please try laying off the kid, Mr. Tate. As for the #2 after Anthony Davis, it was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, not an all-star. By your reasoning, the Lakers should have drafted Nikola Jokic (41) instead of Julius Randle in 2014. It’s a crapshoot, sir, but I believe with confidence that of the #2’s of recent times (Ingram, Russell, J Parker, Oladipo, Kidd-Gilchrist, Derrick Williams, Evan Turner, Hasheem Thabeet, MIchael Beasley), our guys have as good a shot of becoming all-stars as any of them.

            • tate793

              tate793 6:33 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              HeIi, Damian Lillard was a #6 pick -- All Star in his 2nd and 3rd years.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:07 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excuses are for the weak.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 2:09 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Let’s see your list of stellar 20 year old NBA players currently balling in the Association.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 2:20 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          What does that have to do with the guy that is supposed to be LEADING our team?
          So far, young DAR has showed zero leadership qualities and a whole bunch of immaturity.
          If he’s not up to it, I’m fine with that.
          It just feels like many are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 2:28 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            It has everything to do with it. Being the leader of a young, inexperienced team at the age of 20 is a HUGE task! I completely disagree with your assessment of him having “no leadership qualities.” Once again, all you can look at is a recent slump or his last game without evaluating the much bigger picture which is that the Lakers have overall performed better with him on the floor. Any time the Lakers lose, you guys want to blame someone, and because they have a not-quite-ready for prime time young guard “leading” them, there’s your scapegoat. I see the way he’s been playing lately just like you do, but the difference is that because I am patient, I cut him slack given the enormous responsibility that has been thrust upon him. Why should I be surprised though. You’ll never change.

            • John M.

              John M. 2:46 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              He has the required skill-set to be a great guard, but he’s a college kid learning the pro game. I think he and his peers mostly draft too early, but they wouldn’t get picked if there wasn’t something there. As Marcelo observed, if he keeps on pace, in a few years he’ll be a heck of a player.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 3:09 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              That’s absolutely correct, John M. If you listened to mclyne or Mr. Tate, you would believe that there’s a Purple & Gold exception to the general rule.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 3:18 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              Which is exactly why Luke made a mistake by prematurely annointing him as the team leader. That’s a title that’s earned…not given. Dude hadn’t earned it and still hasn’t. It ain’t just about stats either.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 3:24 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              Yup.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 3:47 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              I reserve the right to question ANY and EVERY Laker player- especially the one’s who are supposed to be the next team leader.
              You can have your opinion and I will have mine.
              Your opinion is no “righter” than mine and vice versa.
              I hope you have a blessed weekend.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 6:53 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              Wrong!

            • tate793

              tate793 8:18 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              What bigger picture can you get than the guy is shooting .392 and only dishing out 4.7 assist (with 2.6 TOs). Time to stop trying to justify giving this juvenile delinquent the “keys” to the franchise, and accept the fact that Jordan Clarkson was doing just as well as our PG.

              John M., the “required skill-set” includes the ability to penetrate, the ability to get to the rim, the ability to knock down open shots, and the ability to minimize turnovers. Also, great guards play great defense. Lastly, he’s NOT “college kid” any longer. Hasn’t been for 2yrs now. But his immaturity is still an issue. He lags on defense, goes through the motions of pointing to phantom players, wears his two “I’mma-Super-Star” compression sleeves. Everything but the qualifying performance.

              Then, there’s that doofus haircut.

              Got nothing to do with Jim Buss. Except the doofus part.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 9:41 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              Look at this:

              http://nbasavant.com/player.php?player_id=1626156

              Now look at this:

              http://nbasavant.com/player.php?ddlYear=2015&ddlShotMade=&ddlTeamDefense=&player_id=1626156

              Analysis:

              Player demonstrates marginal, not major improvements in Shooting percentage, it should be carefully noted, player took 21% of shots inside restricted area in 2015-2016 season. Making 51% of those shots. By far his highest percentage .

              In 2016-2017 season player has taken 12% of his shots inside the restricted area, accounting for a 57% shooting percentage. Player has demonstrated a marginal increase but is taken less of an emphasis on penetration and paint shot selection. Player has had injury concerns that limit his effectiveness both as a penetrator and a distributor. His alarming drop in Assists within the restricted area is also becoming art of his game.

              Heavy feet, restricts player from having explosion or quick bursts in order to get penetration for himself and teammates.

              Along with drop in Assist percentage within restricted area, player has an A:TO Ratio of 1.4:1. Average A:TO in NBA is 2.4:1 making player a below average distributor and having a predilection for unforced turnovers that is also below average standards.

              Player has demonstrable strengths as a streaky shooter capable of scoring in burts, however, these bursts are supernova in nature, a big explosion followed by a marked and almost predictable descent caused by a lack of consistency. Player shows inconsistency in marked areas where gradual improvements need to be shown to enhance his other four teammates on the floor since the player has the ball in his control for most of the 26 MPG on the floor.

            • tate793

              tate793 10:53 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              Your “young, inexperienced team” features 7 players over 30. Metta, Calderon, Huertas, Deng, Lou, Nick and Mozgov.

              Porzingis, KAT, Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker, Greek Freak, all had the “it” factor in their infancy stage. Not Russell. He belongs in the “slow learners” class.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 8:06 AM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              I don’t know. Why don’t you take a look at Greek Freak’s and Jabari’s 20 year old numbers and get back to me on that. I suppose they would be “slow learner” numbers, too. If you watched them every game like you watch DLo, you would probably have a different opinion.

              Chill out. Like Magic Johnson, I have been saying that we’ll be back in the hunt in 3-5 years. Sorry that isn’t good enough for “I want it right now” you. Your numbers mean nothing to me.

            • mud

              mud 12:28 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              can we get over Porzingis?

              sure, he has skills and he’ll be a very good player, but he’s not THAT special, really. he’s a much better than average shooter, but a mediocre rebounder, passer and defender. he can block shots…he’s no creme-de-la-creme, however.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 12:47 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              We don’t know what Porzingis is quite yet, mud. All we can do is guess, just like DLo.

            • mud

              mud 4:24 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              i can agree with that.

    • p ang

      p ang 8:54 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Can’t believe those guys want DLo to get lay-ups. Don’t they know in the modern NBA 3s are better? lol.

      • tate793

        tate793 9:09 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And I don’t have a problem supporting our players. Just don’t be giving me Jim Beam and trying to tell me it’s Macallan Single Malt.

      • tate793

        tate793 5:41 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I bring up Porzingis because he’s only 6 mos older than Russell and has performed at a higher level which debunks the age/experience excuses, Mr. Keen advocates.

        In particular, Porzingis is outrebounding Marc Gasol, and there are only 5 players with more blocks.

        Mediocre passers pile up turnovers. Yet, Porzingis has fewer TOs than both Gasols.

        Regarding a player not being “creme-de-la-creme”…………

        • tate793

          tate793 8:21 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          And your “not ceme-de-la-creme” just won the 2017 Skills Challenge Competition -- defeating Gordan Hayward, Nikola Jokic, Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Devin Booker.

          By the way, the Skills Challenge is a three-round, obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting. Four frontcourt players join four guards in the eight-player field in a head-to-head, bracket-style tournament format.

          • mud

            mud 10:04 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            yep, he did win.
            he’s not a superstar in my mind, but that’s just what i’ve seen of him playing. i would not want him at this point. perhaps his career will change my mind. as i said, he’s a good shooter and shot blocker. i’m still not convinced he’s a good passer, but he’s obviously competent. i don’t see him as more than Russell at this point. yes, Russell has been disappointing, but he’s not as bad as he’s been painted, just like Porzingis isn’t as good as he’s been painted. neither are what they were said to be on draft day.

            it’s amazing that a 7 footer won the skills challenge, but for that to happen, i’m really wondering about the quality of the 6 footers in the league. i suspect that the challenge does not measure qualities that are important in an actual game, that it’s mainly for the fan’s entertainment, not as a serious test of basketball skills.

            it’s ok, you can hate on the Lakers, if you like. i suppose that they have really broken your heart. my condolences….

            • tate793

              tate793 11:22 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              And, it’s ok for you to falsely accuse me of hating the team I’ve loved and followed since they were in Minny. My criticism of Russell is well founded. Salient factors regarding his on the court performance.

              Additionally, Porzingis out performed much more bally-hooed competition than himself. At least he was invited to compete.

            • mud

              mud 12:15 AM on February 19, 2017 Permalink

              true. you can like him if you want to.
              i’m not always correct. i just don’t expect greatness from him.
              when i look at other skills challenge winners past, i don’t see this guy in the same rank, but he did win and he was invited.

              you may have followed the team for a long time, but you’re still pretty bitter about them right now. there’s a thin line, etc.

              D’Angelo is fine imo. it’s true that he hasn’t been what was promised, but the team never made all those glowing statements about him beyond the fact that they saw potential. Kupchak has always downplayed expectations, but that’s his style. no, it’s those same stupid sportswriters that led fans to think that this guy was James Harden v2. i don’t hold that against D’Angelo. i’m pretty sure that he will find another home if he doesn’t find a way to be more consistent. the team is certainly worlds better with him than without him right now, but i’m not sure that’s a compliment to D’Angelo.

              it’s alright. i’ve gotten used to the cranky attitudes. this is no time for weak hearts, though. if it’s broken, mend it.

            • tate793

              tate793 1:25 AM on February 19, 2017 Permalink

              The longevity of my loyalty to the franchise should suggest to you that I am not a situational, or conditional fan. I can be disgruntled with regard to the current situation, and the poor decisions that paved the road to this pergatory.

              Being “pretty bitter” does not equate to “hating”.

              Downplay the validity of Porzingis winning the Challenge, if you like, that doesn’t diminish his accomplishment.

    • John M.

      John M. 1:20 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That analysis above reads like something out of Car and Driver. These guys are human beings, remember?

      • tate793

        tate793 5:01 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, John, human beings. I know. It’s the deification of said player that is the grand stumbling block. To utilize your analogy, Russell was touted as a Range Rover, whereas in reality, he was a Jeep Cherokee. Jeeps are good vehicles -- but it’s no Range Rover.

        • tate793

          tate793 5:43 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Mr. Keen, which of my numbers mean nothing to you?

          • tate793

            tate793 5:49 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            And, Mr. Keen, please reserve your snarks for those that participate in those trysts with you. I don’t. So don’t direct them towards me.

            • tate793

              tate793 6:29 PM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              As for “thrashing” players -- if a player is performing subpar, then they are subject to constructive criticism. You chose to characterize that as “thrashing”? That’s on you. Deal with it.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:34 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink |  

    5 NBA teams that should be selling at the trade deadline 

    2. Los Angeles Lakers

    After a promising 10-10 start to the 2016-17 campaign, the wheels have fallen off for the young Los Angeles Lakers. Though their sudden collapse may wind up costing executive vice president Jim Buss his job at the end of the season, it could ultimately behoove them in the long run.

    If the Lakers finish outside of the top three in this year’s lottery, their first-round pick will head to the Philadelphia 76ers as the final penance for their ill-fated Steve Nash trade from a few years ago. Additionally, if that pick conveys to Philadelphia, L.A. will owe its 2019 first-rounder to the Orlando Magic as well. (If the Lakers do wind up in the top three, their 2018 unprotected first-rounder will go to Philly, but they’ll only owe the Magic their second-round picks in the next two drafts.)

    Those draft-pick considerations caused Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus to argue in late January that “perhaps the Lakers should think less about improving the on-court product” heading into the trade deadline “and more about their chances in the lottery.” Though they likely won’t find takers for their two free-agent miscues from this past summer, Luol Deng (four years, $72 million) and Timofey Mozgov (four years, $64 million), microwave veteran scorers such as Lou Williams and Nick Young could attract suitors in need of additional offensive firepower off the bench.

    According to HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy, rival general managers believe the Lakers “will strongly consider” shipping out some of their veterans to free up more minutes for their young core (aka tank for that top-three pick like there’s no tomorrow). The one hurdle may be Buss, who promised to step down if the Lakers weren’t back in the contender mix by this season, but the team’s recent appointment of Magic Johnson as a special adviser may thwart that potential stumbling block.

    Adding one more top-three pick to the Brandon Ingram-D’Angelo Russell-Julius Randle core could give the Lakers a special mix of young talent moving forward. The franchise should do everything in its power—including selling the likes of Williams and Young at a discount—to ensure that possibility becomes a reality.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:29 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink |  

    Best trade (assume salary filler as needed): 

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 10:50 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Why is Larry Nance, Jr. including in these? The idea of literally giving him away essentially for cap space (#3) disgusts me. Clarkson AND Nance for a player who might not be better than either one of them? Wow. Rodney Hood is as inconsistent as Clarkson and doesn’t have near the all-around game as Nance. So #2 is a no. As for #1, Trey Burke is meh and most 20-something crapshoots turn into meh. As for #4, we’re talking about a proven player for a dude who can do a few things. Even though WCS is young and long, he’s never going to be an impact player even in Lou’s league in the NBA, so no.

      No to all of them.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:25 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Nance is included to incentivize the other team to take on Deng’s contract or to add sufficient value in a deal for Hood. I would likely agree to the last 3 trades. Not a fan of Burke.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 1:26 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I grasp the reasoning, I just disagree with it. Cap space has proven to be worthless unless you are an elite team. If you can’t buy a star, your choice is to overpay average to above average NBA players or just forgo the whole thing and sign meh players to one year deals. The new CBA will keep most players where they already are. Rodney Hood for Nance & Clarkson is a one sided deal in Utah’s favor. Hood is no better than either one of them. Remember, they have veterans like Gordon Hayward, George Hill and Rudy Gobert on their team to make Hood look better than he is, just like Clarkson and Nance would be better than they are with a newbie team. Tom, it seems to me that you are simply showing impatience and want to to a deal for the sake of doing a deal even if it means parting with our best veteran player/contract.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:36 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Only reasoning I can see for trading Nance is if the FO feels that he’s gonna continue to have injury issues. If they can get a 1st roumder for Lou then that’s a deal they need to make. Not sure if they can get a decent player PLUS a 1st rounder tho…

    • Magic Phil

      Magic Phil 6:47 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t like any of those trades. And JC and Larry are, IMHO, the the 2 “best” players from the youth squad. I don’t like the word “better” or “best” but those 2 contribute/deliver like a NBA player.

      And Lou? He will cost us $7mi next season (is that correct?). If so, he’s a keeper.

      Trade #2 made me choke, btw…

      And this Reed…Where is the NOTA option? Is he a Lakers hater?

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:26 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    D’Angelo Russell & Brandon Ingram have intriguing potential riddled with inconsistency 

     
    • p ang

      p ang 9:25 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      While inconsistent and having a bad day the difference being is Ingram still plays hard while DLo just quits.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:24 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Young and growing, the free agent situation is the real issue.

      Agree with p ang. Russell does not seem to possess the mental fortitude to be a super-star. You don’t see Kobe texting DAR for instance.

    • Caliphilosopher

      Caliphilosopher 1:26 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Jamie,

      Yeah, the FA stuff is a bit rough in my opinion. I would prefer a nice quick turnaround, but I personally don’t see that barring any injuries to other players on other teams (which I do not endorse and I personally abhor happening).

      Since it’s ASB, I’ll think ahead to my off-season targets:

      Otto Porter Jr. -- Pretty Awesome
      Ian Clark -- Potential back-up PG if anyone is moved in a trade
      Mason Plumlee -- averages almost 4 dimes a game; could be great in an offensive scheme that doesn’t need the C to carry a heavy offensive workload.

      And….that’s it. :-/

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 7:31 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hard to see the Zards lettin’ Otto go if he keeps playin’ at his current level, Cali.

        • Caliphilosopher

          Caliphilosopher 8:00 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hey GDUB!

          Yeah, but one can dream haha! He sure was looking real good in that game against Indy.

          • GDUBinDC

            GDUBinDC 8:32 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Nuthin’ wrong with dreamin’, Cali. : )

            Otto’s in a contract year and is playin’ like it. Now that he’s become a key figure on that squad, I think Grunfeld realizes his worth and will pay him this offseason.

            That said, he was on fire last night in that first quarter hittin’ 5 treys and, of course, he leads the league from beyond the arc. And, as I’m sure u already know, he’s much more than just a long range shooter.

            • Caliphilosopher

              Caliphilosopher 9:42 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink

              I’ve been following a bunch of stuff across the league and try to constantly keep my eyes open for hidden gems or people that fly under the radar of the national scene (both from an “eye-test” and an “analytics” standpoint -- even though I think the two are in a mutualistic relationship).

              The combo of Offense, Defense, working on the glass, and trying to be in the right spots to keep the flow going is something I really really like. Even if he isn’t a current “superstar”, from the games that I’ve watched, he doesn’t seem to have an off-night. That tips me off that he’s finally harnessing all of his talent and channeling all that hard work in the right direction. Consistency is under-valued.

              Also, did you see Devin Booker’s star shining as brightly as soon as it has? I knew he could hit a mid-range jumper at Kentucky, but he is exceeding every expectation that I could have had for him.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 11:20 AM on February 18, 2017 Permalink

              Even at Kentucky, he was so smooth and I remember the college announcers saying that he might be the best pro prospect on the team, but with his limited minutes it was difficult to glean that. If we had drafted him, the fan base would have gone berserk, just as the so-called Lakers fans would have gone bonkers if we had drafted Porzingis.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 10:47 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m in complete agreement with u on both counts, Cali.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:42 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    The signs are all there: Magic Johnson is the man in charge of the Los Angeles Lakers 

    Since being named as a Lakers “advisor’’ two weeks ago, Magic Johnson has bombarded the media with one piece of advice.

    He shouldn’t be the advisor. He should be the boss.

    He has talked to USA Today about wanting to “call the shots.’’

    He told ESPN he wanted to be the Lakers’ “one voice.’’

    At first blush, this might seem to be the same old Magic rhetoric, but upon further inspection he’s not blushing, and neither are the Lakers.

    Buckle up, folks. This is real. This is on. All indications are that unless something drastically changes, at season’s end Johnson will be formally placed in charge of the team’s basketball operations.

    It turns out, the “advisor’’ title was apparently just an interim tag designed to reestablish Johnson as the face of the franchise until this spring, when he will be the centerpiece in Jeanie Buss’ attempt to rebuild the franchise in the manner it was first constructed by her legendary father.

    Johnson would call the shots that are now called by Jim Buss. He would be the voice that is currently Mitch Kupchak’s. He would essentially fill the role, both spiritually and practically, that Jerry Buss once entrusted to Jerry West.

    Once installed, Johnson would attempt to surround himself with a strong management team while using his star power to make the Lakers relevant again.  He would hire a general manager to run the daily operations, bring in former players as occasional consultants and spend time counseling the young Lakers while acting as a salesman for potential free agents.

    Mitch Kupchak says Lakers have more players that other teams may pursue in trade discussions this season.

    This would be one of the biggest organizational changes in Lakers history. But after the last two weeks, it should not be a big surprise.

    Nobody from the Lakers will talk about Johnson’s job, and Johnson refused comment for this story through his spokesperson, but it’s pretty obvious what is happening.

    Since giving his first off-the-cuff interview nearly a week ago, Johnson has been talking like a boss, and nobody from the organization has quieted him. From coast to coast, Johnson has been publicly making plans like a boss, even pleading for help from Kobe Bryant, and nobody from the organization has contradicted him.

    When Johnson tells ESPN, “If Magic Johnson is in that seat, guys are gonna want to come play,’’ he knows he’s already firmly in that seat.

    When Johnson tells CBS, “We know that it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take three to five years to get them back again rolling,’’ he is already teaming up with Jeanie Buss to draw up a blueprint.

    Say what you want about the struggles of Buss and Kupchak, but it has been painful to watch them steamrollered by Johnson while they still have their jobs. In particular,
    Kupchak has been a loyal Laker for many years and deserves better than to be publicly flogged by a man who will eventually determine his fate. It would be nice if Johnson chills out a bit until his title becomes official.

    When that happens, probably in the final days of the season, Lakers fans celebrating the departure of the Jim Buss regime will have a whole new set of worries.

    While putting Johnson in charge would be a splashy move, it will also be a splashy gamble.

    Magic Johnson is not Jerry West. While West was totally devoted, Johnson is easily distracted.

    West would sit for two hours watching Lakers practices. Can one imagine the irrepressible Johnson sitting still for two minutes?

    Remember when he was part of the Guggenheim group that purchased the Dodgers and claimed he would come to work there every day? A couple of years later, he doesn’t even have a Dodger Stadium office. Everybody loves Magic Johnson, but one minute he wants to buy an NFL team and the next he’s buying and selling a minor-league baseball team, and now that he wants to focus on the Lakers, how long will that last? In just the last couple of days, he has been seen throwing pies in the faces of ESPN personalities and playing beer pong with Jimmy Fallon while the Lakers were suffering a tough loss to the Sacramento Kings and getting their shorts handed to them against the Phoenix Suns.

    “If I took it on, I would give 150%,” Johnson told ESPN of a job that he has already taken on.

    Jeanie Buss is apparently willing to bet her legacy on that claim. This is not only the first big move of her stewardship but could also be the one that defines that stewardship.

    Stay tuned. The Lakers drama is 150% just beginning.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:51 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good article by Plaschke. Magic gave Jeanie the perfect solution to how to replace Jim. Personally, I think he will be great if he does what he has with all of his other businesses and investments, which is surround himself with people smarter and better than him to take care of the day to day business. More likely, however, he’ll be more hands on because it’s BB.

      The reality TV aspect of this situation is the Lakers face a critical decision as the trade deadline approaches as they are just 1 win away from a 55% chance of saving their 2017 and 2019 first round picks. Has Jeanie told Jim and Mitch that they need to get Magic’s approval; to trade Lou and Nick? Will Magic OK trading Lou and/or Nick and going all in on saving the picks?

      What’s ironic is whom will Lakers fans blame if the team does or does not make moves to help keep the picks. It could be a re-run of the Phil Jackson/Mike D’Antoni circus. Who’s in charge? I hope Jeanie has set some guidelines to prevent this from turning into a PR disaster.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 7:35 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Guessing that Magic gets 3-4 years like Jim and Mitch.

    • tate793

      tate793 6:54 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What is being whined about (Jim Buss and Mitch being dissed) is no different than the s#itty way Jim Buss and Mitch treated Phil Jackson, including the accompanying slap in Jeanie’s face. Then, of course, the blow it was to the fans.

      In this case, Karma bites Jim (and Mitch, if appropriate) in the @ss and delights the fans. Jim hasn’t proven that he knows jack about the NBA. It was even reported that he does not even show up until draft time.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:44 AM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The more I look at this the more I don’t like the way it’s being rolled out. All these meetings should have already taken place behind closed doors before anything regarding Magic was ever announced. Everybody’s role should have been clearly defined and a hierarchy already in place. This haphazard piecemeal crap makes the organization look amateurish once again. .. perception

      • tate793

        tate793 1:33 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        One has to consider the sway and spin that the media and pundits are contaminating the issue.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 2:17 PM on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        All I gotta do is listen to Magic’s own words to know that his role isn’t clearly defined and that Jim & Mitch are in limbo. All that should have been established by Jeanie beforehand. That ain’t got nuthin to do with the media.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:23 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    The History and Future of Ivica Zubac 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:18 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    Kobe Bryant appears to be ready to work out with Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram 

    Ingram has been longing all season for the chance to connect with Bryant, yearning to find out specifically “whatever he did his rookie year to get prepared” and generally about that killer mentality that Ingram called “unreal.”

    Ingram’s wish came true Wednesday when he got a text message from Bryant—”What up, youngin? It’s Kobe. Hit me up” — to open the door to what could be a wealth of information. Ingram initially didn’t believe it was really Kobe.

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:26 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The mythology of Kobe The Mentor has never really panned out. Maybe this time…

      • mud

        mud 1:04 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        he sure helped Caron butler….

        • mud

          mud 1:05 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Lebron credits him with getting LBJ to championship level.
          there are plenty of other stories. only the principals know the truth…

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 5:54 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Then what are you talking about?
            You one of the principals?
            lmao

            • mud

              mud 5:59 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink

              did i say that?
              i was just referring to the stories by players and reporters saying that Kobe had helped, and acknowledging that i don’t know any details with certainty, the same as the reporters and bloggers who might have an opinion.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 6:48 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink

              So you pick n choose which stories to believe.
              Got it.
              lol

            • AK27

              AK27 7:53 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink

              Caron said so himself…

              Being up under the wing of Kobe Bryant and the relationship that we built over that time, I learned a lot about the game of basketball

              But I guess pointing out that Kobe helped Butler means you’re pickin’ n choosin’ the stuff you believe in, muddy….( perhaps believing everything , or nothing, is the way to go ? Lol )

            • mud

              mud 11:01 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink

              well, at least i admit that i don’t know more than i can see…so it’s not so bad. i just wanted to point out that none of us really know the truth, although it certainly appears that those who make the effort with Kobe are given quite a lot.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:28 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think it’s one thing when you’re forced into his presence (Laker teammates) and another when you get to be invited (Olympians). I don’t think he had time for people who didn’t prove themselves to him quickly.

    • p ang

      p ang 9:28 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kobe offered. No need to overthink this.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:39 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    Luke said he's spending part of All-Star weekend meeting w/ Mitch, Jim & Magic 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:41 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers need to make moves to help secure the #2 seed in this summer’s NBA draft.
      Hopefully, Luke, Mitch, Jim, and Magic will all be on the same page about tanking.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:46 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sit Lou, trade Nick. Boom!

      • AK27

        AK27 9:29 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yup..gotta do what you can within the rules, messed up as some of them are…does make a mockery of the game though, like muddy says below…

    • mud

      mud 9:21 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      no, Tom, they don’t need to do that. if it happens, i don’t doubt that it would be a good thing, but they Lakers don’t need to lose on purpose. that would only prove that basketball and the WWE are both fake sports. as Popeye said, “wrong is wrong, even if it helps you!”.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:27 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Nobody expects Luke or the players to try to do anything but win while emphasizing playing time and development for the young players. However, the front office controls the roster and can help make sure we have the best odds of keeping our 2017 and 2019 picks. That’s all we are asking.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 11:21 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We would be competing for the worst record in the league without Lou. His type of game doesn’t improve the kids development nor do I think he’s the type of veteren leadership that is crucial for their development. If we could get some really good assets or a package of expiring contracts attached to getting rid of Dang or Mozgov…..you trade Lou. Kills two birds with one stone.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:05 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Agree 100%, Sean. While we won’t beat the Nets, we can beat the Suns for the second best record and a 55% chance of keeping our pick and 20% chance of landing top pick in the draft, which I believe will be Lonzo Ball.

          A 50/50 chance of saving our Top-3 protected first rounder this year and our 2019 first rounder is worth trading or sitting Lou Williams. The best chance of landing a superstar is through this draft rather than hoping for free agency.

          • mud

            mud 11:16 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            that might help, common sense would say that it would, although real life experience would say that it might not help at all.

            the only thing the Lakers should be focusing on is playing good basketball. they should win whenever they can. the coaches should encourage winning and good basketball. if the team can’t win, they’ll get the lottery pick. if they learn how to win, they won’t need it. period.

            tanking is fun to talk about, but it’s a terrible idea for the team to actually pursue it. it’s exactly opposite the intense competition that the team needs to ingrain deep into it’s culture. it’s better for them to be honestly bad and grow, than to have talent and hide it.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:32 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      All these guys need to be on the same page.
      Good time for the break and this meeting to get all the ducks in a row for the home stretch and set the strategy to end up with that #2 seed. I don’t think simply sitting Lou is the right move…too blatant and him sitting there is a constant reminder that you’re choosing to lose. Bad juju. Let him go someplace where he has a chance to win and let us get on with what we gotta do. Win/Win

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:31 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agree 100%, Mongo.

        • tate793

          tate793 4:38 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Well, let’s just hope they get appropriate value for him. Some of the FO’s recent dealings have left a lot to be desired. LO, Nash, Dwight, Deng, Mozgov, all extra bad deals. A second round pick would be a travesty. And, if Luke was the driving force behind signing Mozgov and Deng, then someone with a better eye for talent, as well as a better business acumen should be given imput. Also, we need to find out about the quality of our medical/training staff. When you view Mozgov’s highlight videos you see a player that can really bring it. But on the court he doesn’t look like that same player. Could his knee (like DLo’s) still be suspect? Julius hasn’t looked right in over a month. Again, sans Alex, Gary and Judy, we might be getting less than stellar imput regarding our players health.

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 6:53 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            We had alotta injuries under Vitti n Seto the last few years too. But I do agree we might need a fresh set of eyes in that dept. That’s one of the areas where no other franchise should be out-spending us.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 6:10 PM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I respectfully disagree. Let Lou win for us. Eventually.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:38 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    Listless Lakers stagger into All-Star break with 137-101 loss to Suns 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:33 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    Top 3 teams that should trade for Lakers guard Lou Williams 

    Memphis Grizzlies

    The Grizzlies offense is decidedly mediocre – they’re No. 18 in offensive rating – and can often grind to a halt with the lack of dynamism on the team, especially along the backcourt outside of Mike Conley. Their other guards on the bench are Toney Douglas, Andrew Harrison, Troy Daniels, and Wade Baldwin. None of those is a particularly reliable option, which will put a lot of pressure on Conley, especially come playoff time. They could certainly use someone like Williams who can take people off the dribble and create his own offense.

    Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets need offensive help badly. They’re incredibly reliant on Kemba Walker on a night-to-night basis to carry a huge burden offensively, and their bench is almost completely devoid of scoring punch. They’ve already fallen out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and are in desperate need of reinforcements. Ramon Sessions is out for a month following knee surgery, so they also need a backup ball-handler. Williams fits the bill in terms of both of their needs. He would bolster the second unit and lift the scoring burden from Walker at the same time.

    Washington Wizards

    The Raptors have already made their big move to get back to the top-2 in the East by trading for Serge Ibaka, so will the Wizards counter with their own move to shore up a big weakness? That weakness, of course, is their lack of bench scoring. With all due respect to Trey Burke, but it’s a big problem that he’s the team’s third guard. Williams’ addition would be perfect for the Wiz, since he’s a combo guard who can play alongside John Wall or Bradley Beal. Getting Williams would greatly increase the Wizards’ chances of staying in one of the top-4 places in the East, and could also be a big difference-maker in the postseason.

    While all three teams would love to get Williams, they don’t necessarily have the most appealing assets to trade with the Lakers. Still, there seems to be a market for Sweet Lou in this trade deadline, and if one of the Grizzlies, Hornets, and Wizards doesn’t move in for him, another team might.

    https://realsport101.com/news/sports/nba/top-3-teams-that-should-trade-for-lakers-guard-lou-williams

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 7:54 AM on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Wizards are the only team that has a player of interest (Kelly Oubre) and even he is still a big question mark, so they’d have to send us their first round pick, too. No way they part with Otto Porter or Markieff Morris for Lou. I’m not a fan of Trey Burke. As for Memphis, I see nothing on that roster of interest and the only player who is somewhat interesting on the Hornets is that stiff Kaminsky. Lou for any draft pick that isn’t top 5 should be a non-starter.

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