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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:10 PM on May 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Can Lonzo Be the Lakers’ Draymond? 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:00 PM on May 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Toronto Raptors CLAW BACK THE WIN in 2OT! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:14 AM on May 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Draymond Green gives clinic on great playmaking and defense! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:43 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Blazers All-NBA star Damian Lillard has separated ribs and is playing through injury 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:44 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Honestly, he has not looked his normal self last two games. Isn’t finishing his layups.
      But Warriors defense has been unbelievable on both him and McCollum.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:11 AM on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’s beyond banged up. Calf acting up, ribs hurting. Good defense is to be credited but if Portland keeps this core together the Blazers are going to be challenging the Warriors on the same level as Houston has next season.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:41 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Kevin Durant ticked off by harsh Warriors narrative 

    Kevin Durant’s mysterious injury and curious future initiated the narrative. By taking down the Houston Rockets without him and becoming two wins from their fifth Finals in a row, the Golden State Warriors only fueled it.

    Then Seth Curry, of course Steph’s younger brother, set it ablaze, saying the Warriors “are harder to guard” without Durant.

    The Warriors dynasty: Better without their two-time Finals MVP, and perhaps the heir to LeBron’s best-player throne?

    “Hell no,” Durant responded on Instagram, in accordance with the masses.
    Maybe Curry was being honest, or simply trying to get inside Durant’s head in case of a surprise comeback this round from his calf injury.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:47 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kevin will get no respect for staying with Warriors. He’ll always hear they don’t need him. Problem is if he goes to New York or Brooklyn, he’s not going to win a ring and the Warriors just might without him. What he needs to do to redeem himself with social media and the press is go to Lakers and join with LeBron to beat the Warriors. Running and hiding in the East is not going to work. Winning with the Lakers will.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:33 AM on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is what happens when you join a team that has already won it all. Fair or not you are viewed as gimmicky luxury. Also the eye test reveals a crisper more fluid Warriors offense without KD. NYC beckons, sir, NYC beckons.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:52 AM on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      SOFT.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:14 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Money Green!!! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:53 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Draymond Green rips the hearts right out of the Blazers!!! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:45 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: Trading for Bradley Beal is the best-case scenario 

    The other player that the report states the Lakers have interest in is none other than Washington Wizards shooting guard, Bradley Beal. And unlike Lowry, trading for Bradley Beal would be the best-case scenario for the Lakers and is a move the team should make every day of the week.

    To be fair, Beal is not the absolute best-case scenario. Obviously, signing Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard without having to give up the young core would be a better move. However, those signings seem unlikely and are the only moves that would beat out a Beal trade.

    Which means that a Beal trade would be better than an Anthony Davis trade. Trading for AD is going to entail shipping off the entire young core when the team can try and be patient, wait another year and sign Davis as a free agent.

    Anyways, the price tag on Beal is not going to be absurd and he fits into this team perfectly. The Wizards should be rather desperate to change the culture of the team and with John Wall practically unmovable with his massive contract, that means trading Beal and trying to start over around Wall.

    The Lakers can easily land Beal for a package consisting of the fourth overall pick, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. The team still has to send one of the young core three players and another young player in Hart.

    That is still better than including Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball, if not both, in the trade as well. It keeps the depth of the team intact and leaves enough salary cap space to bring in other outside assets as well.

    After crunching some numbers on Spotrac, the Los Angeles Lakers would still have just under $24 million in practical cap space to bring in other free agents this summer. While the same could be said if the team trades for AD, the team would also need to replace Kuzma and Ball.

    In this situation, the Lakers can run a starting five consisting of Lonzo Ball, Bradley Beal, LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma. The remaining $24 million can be used to find a starting center, a backup point guard, a three and D specialist off the bench and probably a cheaper, veteran center, such as JaVale McGee.

    Just adding one star to the roster is not going to instantly make the Los Angeles Lakers title contenders. The team still has to have a solid foundation around the two stars and trading for Bradley Beal allows just that.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:47 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is a great article and reinforces what I have been saying the last few days that a trade for Bradley Beal would cost us much less than a trade for Anthony Davis and leave us with enough cap space to replenish the young stars we would have to give up to get Beal. He would be a perfect fit. I actually think because of the injuries to Ball and Ingram, we might be able to get Beal for Kuzma, Hart, and the #4 pick.

      • p ang

        p ang 7:30 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        BI for Beal? Nah. Trade doesn’t move the needle.

        So many shooters in the draft.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:03 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I disagree, Peter. Beal is a 25-year old 4-time All Star whose a career 39% three-point shooter and averaged 25/5/5 this season. When you compare what we would have to give up to get him vs. what we would have to give up to get AD, he may be moving up on my Big Board to be the move to make if we can’t sign one of the top five free agent superstars this summer.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:03 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    After playoff performance, some teams reportedly down on chasing Kyrie Irving 

    However, after a down playoffs, Irving’s options may be shrinking, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

    The most interesting bit of information from several sources that we’ve been able to consolidate and confirm is that some teams thought to have interest in Irving as a free agent are now a great deal more wary. Based on the way things played out with the Celtics this season and Irving’s role both off the court all year and on it in the playoff loss to Milwaukee, certain clubs are concerned about putting too many eggs in his basket right away.

    Two teams for certain are telling people they will only go after him if they land another marquee free agent and that player says he wants Irving. In each of these cases, the initial target is different. (There was worry on one of those clubs that the basketball ops people might be overruled by ownership and told to make Irving a primary aim, but that organization is now on the same page.)

    Sources around the league have said the plan for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics has not changed: Trade for Anthony Davis (likely at the draft) then on July 1 max out Kyrie Irving and get him to stay.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:05 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      More good news for Lakers. Both that there might be less competition for Kyrie but also that the Celtics also need to trade for AD before free agency just like the Lakers, which makes it surer that the Pelicans will need to agree to an AD trade before free agency begins this summer even if trade is not executed until after July 1st.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:33 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am too. Give me Lowry instead.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:51 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers reportedly could be interested in Kyle Lowry, who has one year remaining. 

    There’s also interest in point guard Kyle Lowry, who could be available if the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Because of Lowry’s age (33) and contract ($33 million for next season), the Lakers could bring him in for a relatively limited outgoing package.

    While it is unclear, Lowry could be an option if the Lakers ultimately strike out in free agency and are looking to preserve their cap space for the following offseason. After Lowry signed a three-year, $100 million deal prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, he is set to make $33.3 million in his final year.

    Based on this assumption, it appears the Lakers are willing to go through the 2019-20 season full of one-year deals again. Although this is not ideal in terms of building continuity with James and the young core, Davis will become an unrestricted free agent by then.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:58 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A trade for Lowry could make sense if the Lakers wanted to save their cap space to sign Anthony Davis as a free agent. The $33 million they would pay him would be almost exactly what they would need to have to sign AD. I remember thinking of the same strategy with Mike Conley, who also will be a free agent next summer. Good to see the Lakers thinking about strategies to follow if they strike out with the top five free agents and want to maintain their leverage to force the Pelicans to trade AD to them this summer. Since the move would be a pure salary dump for the Raptors, it wouldn’t likely cost the Lakers much, maybe a future first round pick since the Raptors would be rebuilding. And the ultimate prize of signing AD as a free agent and keeping their young core AND the player they draft with the #4 pick. Would be a smart move.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:43 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    The Lakers are no longer on the timeline of developing young players 

    The lottery potentially gave the Lakers another young asset, but that probably isn’t the correct direction for this team to pursue.

    The Lakers received a gift from the lottery gods Tuesday when they jumped up to the fourth pick in the draft despite having the 11th-best odds. The improved draft position, in addition to being a feather in the cap for NBA draft reform, gives Los Angeles a better asset, and as Silver Screen & Roll outlined earlier this week, that provides the Lakers with more options heading into the offseason.

    The most obvious of those choices is simply having the ability to draft a better player with the No. 4 pick to add to the team’s young core. As ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported a few days ago, the team is trying to reset its star-gazing priorities from last year and get back to developing its players.

    That’s a perfectly fine ideal to have, but it doesn’t hold a ton of water with the current iteration of the Los Angeles Lakers.

    If the Lakers weren’t on a strict timeline for contention, they would be over the moon about adding another young player to their exciting core. The team could focus on the “next steps” that Alex Regla put forth last week, work in another high-upside piece from the draft, and build organically. Last year, each of the core four (Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart) had a positive point differential, giving the front office a strong foundation to work with as it rebuilds much of the roster.

    But the Lakers have LeBron James. The fact remains that this is LeBron’s team, and as long as he is here, Los Angeles has an obligation to LeBron to maximize what remains of his basketball prime. Otherwise, this situation could get fairly uncomfortable.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:48 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m not so sure the Lakers are going to be making decisions primarily to optimize LeBron’s remaining three (or possibly two) years. With Magic gone, I think the front office is more conscious than ever that they cannot trade the farm just to compete the next two or three years. I also think winning the #4 pick is a double edged sword. Yes, it could be used to facilitate a trade but that trade is only going to be for a young player like Davis or Beal. I think there is zero chance the Lakers would go after an older player like Lowry or Conley. That would have been a Magic Johnson ‘all-in’ move and I don’t think the Lakers are in that mode any more. Time will tell but I suspect the Lakers are looking for balance, to compete for a championship now but not at the expense of their long term future. Hopefully, that’s what we’re seeing happening right now.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:52 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think you are spot on Tom.
        If we don’t get a top tier guy this summer, it would be stupid to Not continue to develop our youth. Since I believe we won’t be trading for AD this summer, we should just add to our core with the #4 pick and a free agent or two. Obviously, I would love to add Kawhi, and keep our youngsters. I am hoping that Bob does see value in developing our in house talent rather than continuing this absurd plan of one year deals. Now, adding a piece like Lowry does make sense to line up that slot for AD next summer. If we strike out with Kawhi, the Lowry bridge to AD is a good one. Bob can turn this around if he doesn’t screw us by shooting for this narrow LeBron path. I think we can all agree that we don’t want to go through this entire process all over again in two seasons when LeBron dips. Right now, it’s about setting this Franchise back on course for sustained success. The “go for broke sacred cap space” model has failed miserably. It’s time for Bob to realize this, course correct, and build this thing back up the right way, without false timeline restrictions. I’m not all about winning another Chip for and with LeBron. I’m about building a lasting, winning team for the next eight to ten seasons.
        Front of the Jersey!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:33 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    To save the Lakers, LeBron James needs to flex his influence 

    Legend has it, LeBron James has spent most of his G.O.A.T.-worthy career toeing the line between player and backroom controller. “Smiling faces with hidden agendas” and whatnot. Despite rumors, history and common sense asserting that LeBron has substantial influence on his teams, he has been reluctant to outwardly wield it. Now, with his Los Angeles Lakers in a state of bedlam, it’s time for LeBron to flex his muscle.
    When Magic Johnson bounced in April, LeBron was left standing as the only person in the organization with experience winning anything in the NBA at a high level. Oh, wait, is that Kurt Rambis? Alright, one of two.

    Rambis, with four championships as a player and two as an assistant coach, has built a career out of benefiting from the splashback of winning. But for all of the winning he got to sop up, he’s done a whole lot of losing since then as a head coach or executive. He’s in the red now.

    Disappointing season notwithstanding, LeBron is not. LeBron went to eight-straight NBA Finals before this season. He has a proven ability to lead teams to greater heights than anyone the league has ever seen. His leadership style — which can be described as Machiavelli Logging Onto Twitter While Waiting For His Frappuccino — can be questioned, but it can’t be denied. More often than not, the ends justify the means.
    Throughout his career, LeBron and the people around him have pushed back on assertions that he is anything more than one of 15.

    “It’s not true at all,” former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin told The Starters last year. “He doesn’t want to have that role. He doesn’t really want to do those things. He is obsessed with winning basketball games. What he wanted to do was lead the guys in the locker room and be as good as he can possibly be. He spends more time on his body and getting himself mentally and physically right than any player I’ve ever seen.

    The reason people perceive that is because he was on one-year deals, because he is the best player of his generation, and the natural assumption is they won’t do anything to upset him. So if they do that, he must want that. The reality is there were several things we did because it was the right thing to do. And certainly I would go to him and ‘Listen, this is why we’re going to do that.’ Just as I did with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. … There was never a time where LeBron said ‘I want X, Y, Z.’”

    In the past, he did so either in deference (for Pat Riley and the Miami Heat) or to avoid culpability (in Cleveland). Out of respect to those organizations, they were also run like the businesses they are. You know, with a structure, a plan.

    This is different. LeBron, 34, chose to hitch his wagon to the Lakers by signing a four-year deal. More than likely, he’s stuck, and his team is without a paddle, let alone a 30-60-90. The thing resembles an episode of Succession more than a basketball team. Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka are more at home picking outfits at the Hollywood & Highland Center than basketball players. Neither knows how winning happens, just that sometimes it does. Buss was born into winning. Pelinka got 10 percent.

    The one thing they did well was bring on two people in LeBron and Magic who have a history of creating winning. Then Magic had his awkward goodbye. Now LeBron is the only Lakers employee who can credibly turn the franchise around. Maybe Buss falls backward into it, but more likely not.

    It starts with the front office. LeBron knows people. He knows people who could be capable general managers. He knows people who could be capable head coaches. If he tells the Lakers to offer his former coach Ty Lue five years instead of three, don’t you think they do it? He needs to point the front office in the right direction like showing J.R. Smith a shot clock for the first time.

    The Lakers ended up hiring Frank Vogel and sticking Jason Kidd next to him on the bench. According to ESPN, Rambis and BAH GAWD IS THAT PHIL JACKSON’S MUSIC?! had significant influence in the hiring process. Again: why?

    Vogel was the third coach the Lakers offered the job to. They were turned down by Lue, who preferred unemployment, and Monty Williams, who chose the hot mess in Phoenix over the hot mess in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, LeBron’s name hasn’t come up in reports about the search committee. He’s either not being asked, or is distancing himself publicly, as he always has.

    It’s been floated over the last year that superstars don’t want to play with LeBron, that coaches fear coaching him and general managers fear building around him. It’s a tall order with little credit and a helluva lot of blame. LeBron can change that by becoming a partner.

    The truth is, LeBron is great at choosing beneficial partnerships: Rich Paul, Liverpool, Dwyane Wade, Nike. He’s an incredible collaborator when selfishly invested.
    Throughout his career, there may not be a more appropriate time to be selfish, to throw the weight of his support behind capable leadership and turn the tides of the Lakers around. Not in a contrived way, like bringing Lonzo Ball onto a fake barbershop set. In a real way, like his relationship with Maverick Carter. An open and true partnership with LeBron will curb nerves about getting Blatted if things don’t work out.

    If LeBron wants to win again and re-stake his claim as the NBA’s best player, it won’t be by distancing himself from the chaos, but holding it in his hand and molding into something more prosperous for everyone involved.

    LeBron wanted to benefit from the glitz of the Lakers but instead, he’s suffering from its ineptitude. Talk Hollywood connections all you want, but hanging a banner at Staples would give LeBron something Michael Jordan doesn’t have in the G.O.A.T. debate: the rallying and conversation-bending endorsement of Lakers fans. Instead, after one season, those fans accuse him of not being enough of a ruthless winner like Kobe or propping up his teammates like Magic.

    For LeBron to get the support from Lakers fans, he’ll have to turn around the team they love and riot for. Right now, they need each other.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:39 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Considering the dysfunction in the Lakers front office, we could probably benefit from LeBron pushing for some changes, such as better three-point shooting, for example. The conundrum is Jeanie Buss and the Lakers front office seem to be on a campaign to disavow any theory that they’re kowtowing to demands from LeBron or his camp. And LeBron seems to be content to NOT push his power as we’ve seen in the recent coaching decisions. Ironically, this could point to the fact that the three years left on LeBron’s contract could easily turn out to be just two years as he exercises the player option in his third year. Thinking of just two years left with LeBron suddenly changes the dynamic of what to expect the front office to do. Do the Lakers want to trash their long term future to try and take advantage of the remaining TWO years of LeBron’s contract? That could greatly influence what the Lakers do this summer.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:03 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This ain’t Cleveland.
      I applaud Jeanie for not turning the entire franchise over to LeBron.
      He was not a good GM in Cleveland and would not be one here. How he could help is with attracting Kawhi. If he approached or approaches him with the plan that Kawhi will be the leading scorer now and the face of the franchise in two short years, maybe Leonard agrees.
      It’s up to Bob and Jeanie, as well as the Rambii to make prudent decisions in order to right this ship. LeBron can only do so much behind the scenes. He’s paid for what he can do on the court. Let’s hope he can have a healthy season and at least lead us back into the playoffs.
      Or, he can be wearing a Sixers uniform next season. Lol!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:26 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    NBA Draft Combine's Biggest Mystery: How Good Is Darius Garland? 

    CHICAGO — Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland’s name is trending in NBA circles at the combine despite leaving before the event really got started.

    He wasn’t expected to play, coming off a torn meniscus and a preseason lottery projection, but departing early Wednesday, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, has led to speculation about a promise.

    One NBA executive told Bleacher Report that rivals believed the Phoenix Suns (drafting sixth overall) to be the franchise giving Garland assurance, though nobody has ruled out the Los Angeles Lakers as a suitor at No. 4. Coincidentally, Garland is represented by LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Suns general manager James Jones also has ties to Klutch, through James, and given the gaping hole at point guard in Phoenix’s lineup, signs are now pointing to Garland’s draft floor at No. 6 overall.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:37 AM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Darius Garland is my favorite for the Lakers to draft at this point, assuming they don’t have a deal already locked up with either Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker since Garland’s game and potential is very similar to those two smaller quicker guards. What jumps out for me is his great handle and impressive range of his three-point shot. He can also shake-and-bake with the best of them to get wide open twos from the free throw line. He looks like he could be the next Steph or Dame.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 3:06 PM on May 18, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It would be great to have a backcourt if Garland and Zo. That could be very dynamic and fun to witness.
        Let’s hope Zo is working with a shooting coach all summer long. There’s a reason why teams like Chicago are willing to trade for a player with his tool set.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:27 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Bucks crush Raptors again. 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:30 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kawhi almost sure to leave Raptors. He knows he needs another great superstar. Supposedly, LeBron working hard to talk him into joining him on the Lakers. If that happens, we keep our young core and another future star with the #4 pick. If we get Kawhi, I think the Lakers go for Darius Garland, who is compared to a young Kyrie or Kemba. Great shooter with moves to get an open jumper from midrange or deep.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:48 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    That AD only has 1 year on his contract is a concern considering the price! 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:54 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think AD would have to agree to an extension for the Lakers to give up that much. Only way to pursue AD in my mind is to use the leverage of keeping cap space to sign him next summer. That’s the only way to keep opposiing offers low enough so Lakers don’t have to give up both Ball and Ingram. I would only make the trade if the Lakers were able to keep Lonzo Ball.

      Otherwise, go after Beal or wait to sign AD as a free agent next summer. Cannot give away the farm to get him. We can get Beal for a lot less and still have cap space to replace what we traded. Lakers need to use their leverage to force Celtics and other teams to lower their offers.

      I’m also starting to think the Lakers might be smarter to go after Beal because the price for AD might just be too high. We might be able to get Beal for #4 pick and Kuzma and Hart. Keep Ball and Ingram.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 4:02 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nope.
      I’m not giving up all that talent when you can just add AD to this group in a season.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:20 PM on May 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree, Matt. We need to keep one of Ball or Ingram in a trade for AD.
        I also think we might be able to keep both of them in a trade for Beal.
        Kuzma, Hart, and the #4 pick for Beal.

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