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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:02 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers Cap Space for PG & Summer 2019 

    Here is a scenario where the Lakers sign PG to a max deal and save $30 million for Kawhi the summer of 2019 by signing players to 1-year short term contracts.

    Lakers have 5 players under long term contracts and will add 5 more long term deals in this scenario plus 5 short term deals for a 15 man roster.

    Scenario assumes the Lakers waive and stretch Luol Deng rather than trade him. Lakers use Bird rights, Room Exception, and Minimum Contracts to go over cap by 11.6 million.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:31 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink |  

    Sample Lakers Cap Space Calculation 

    Blue = Current LT contracts, Green = New LT contracts, Red = New ST contracts, Purple = New Vet Min contracts

    Here is my latest spreadsheet that alleges that we could sign Paul George to a max contract, Clint Capela to a $20 million contract, and still sign Julius Randle, Isaiah Thomas, Trevor Ariza, and Brook Lopez (if he would accept room exception).

    The first column calculates cap space available. The second calculates actual contracts signed. Note that the second column total is $10 million over the cap because the $4.4 million room exception to sign Brook and the $6.1 paid to Randle because of Bird rights. The third column calculates salaries that count against the cap, which excludes the room exception and amount paid Randle for Bird rights.

    The scenario assumes you are able to trade Luol Deng’s contract with a sweetener of $5 million cash and our 2019 first rounder. I only included Zubac in this because we had too many centers. We could also give up our 2021 first rounder or other incentives. Pincus felt money and a first rounder might work. The other alternative if a trade is not feasible would to waive and stretch Deng, which would reduce the cap space available by $7.4 million, the cost per year to waive and stretch Deng.

    Here’s the depth chart for this scenario. It almost looks too good to be true so maybe I am doing something wrong.

    Please let me know if you see any errors or mistakes in how I am calculating this. Thanks.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 4:43 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      “The scenario assumes you are able to trade Luol Deng’s contract with a sweetener of $5 million cash and our 2019 first rounder. ”

      That’s where the conversation ends for me.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:45 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No problem, just change it to two first round picks or give them Hart or whatever. Or we waive and stretch him and have to eliminate Ariza or Thomas.

        The issue is whether I am calculating this right. What you give to move Deng is not major. The bigger issue here is what can we realistically do.

        For example, this calculation shows we could easily sign two max contracts so I’m not sure it’s correct yet. Could be something to do with the order of the transactions?

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 5:01 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I don’t think moving deng is realistic and I still have doubts that the Ju/IT cap hold situation is accurate but I’ll put all that aside for now.

        If we go this route with 4yr commitments to PG, Capela, & Ju then that’s the squad we’re rolling with for the foreseeable future. I don’t see us overtaking GSW or Houston in that time. Maybe not even New Orleans. In the east, that’s not gonna cut it against a healthy Boston (who can still make moves) and probably not against Philly either. So again..that leaves us in Raptor/Bullets/Blazer territory.

        Long term money to Capela locks us into a path we don’t necessarily need to go down. I’d almost rather Noel for 1 year then try again for THAT dude again in 2019

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:17 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          30. When do free agents stop counting against the team’s cap?

          When any one of the following three things happen:

          The player signs a new contract with the same team. When this happens, the player’s affect on his team’s team salary is based on his new salary.

          The player signs with a different team. As soon as this happens, the player becomes the new team’s problem, and his salary no longer counts against his old team.

          The team renounces the player.


          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 6:28 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Kinda what I was thinking and also along the lines of not having your cake and eating it too. So the last column on the spreadsheet for Ju should read $18mill.

    • p ang

      p ang 4:51 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      dang, LT, as a HR guy you really expect Lopez to take a 16M paycut to play for the Lakers?

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 4:53 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He’s gonna have to take that kinda paycut just to stick in the league.

        • p ang

          p ang 5:01 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Mavs made Nerlens Noel a 17.5M a year which the tool turned down and the Mavs wisely rescinded. Nerlins Noel!! Now he gets 4M. You may not be Lopez fan but you can’t actually be serious he is worth less than the Noel.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 5:04 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Someone may take a flier on a young Noel, but everyone knows what you’ve got in Brook. Not a big market for slow footed bigs with unreliable jumpshots and offense killing post moves.

            I’d be willing to bet Noel gets more lucrative offers than Lopez this summer.

            • p ang

              p ang 5:05 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              make that a sample bet. throwing away money is never a good idea.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:08 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Brook is obviously worth more. Pincus suggested the Lakers sign him 1 year with room exception and then reward him with a big multi-year deal the following year since they would still have his Bird rights. $4.4 first year then maybe 3 year deal for $35 million so he averaged $10 million. Of course, nothing on paper or guaranteed. Would probably only work if he started.

            • p ang

              p ang 5:12 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              Pau Gasol makes 16M, Robin Lopez 13M, Steven Adams 25M. That would be the range. 4M, not going to happen.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 6:08 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The more “likely” spreadsheet will show Luol Deng stretched over 5 years at $7,362,000. When the dust settles, they might decide to suck it up one more year if the dominoes don’t fall the way they want them to.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:43 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: Three reasons why Lebron James to the Lakers is a bad idea 

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 2:57 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Cavs “have a pretty great” roster. Are U kidding me, they are bad, said that from a long time now. It can be our leader? He ain’t led stink, Bron 7 straight NBA Finals. He needs LB and Ingy and Kuz, they’d love his passing, but like Kobe, hit the shots dudes and our guys will.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:28 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s ironic how scribes from back east continue to claim LeBron has a better chance of winning staying with the Cavs than joining the Lakers.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 3:40 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          They B crazy LT. Cavs are a mess. Lovely is always hurt, JR is done, Hill is overpaid and overrated. Hood and Nance and Clarky are NOT LB, Kuz, Hart and Ingy. Thompson is waaaay overpaid and overrated. And on and on.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:30 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink |  

    What Lakers are likely to do this summer 

    Blue = Current LT Contracts
    Green = New LT Contracts
    Red = New ST Contracts
    Purple = Minimum Contracts

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:11 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I stopped reading after seeing the whole premise hinges on somebody taking Deng’s contract.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 2:14 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s not happening.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 2:20 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Definitely not for Zu and a pick that’ll probably be in the early to mid 20’s.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:19 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            And $5 million! Pincus thinks that will work. I threw Zubac in just to get rid of him since we would have too many centers. If we have to switch picks or give up two, that won’t materially change the result.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 2:34 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I normally enjoy your Medium write-ups, but the topic lost me. There’s no “likely” scenario because there are too many moving parts. If Plan A is to sign two max contracts, nothing falls into the “likely” category after that (other than perhaps signing PG, especially if the Thunder lose Game 5 and matching on Randle). The bottom line is that the Lakers have so much flexibility this summer, really more than any other team, that all this gibberish from Laker Nation and Twitterverse is probably just that.

      Once we start reading about what teams are interested in what players just before July 1st or which players and which teams have “mutual interest” the picture MIGHT clear up. Then again, we didn’t see the D’Angelo Russell trade coming before last summer, nor the KCP signing once free agency began and we certainly had no clue about the Clarkson, Nance trade OTHER than rumors out there about the Lakers considering trading Clarkson and/or Randle and then about a week before the trade we heard that Nance was being offered as a sweetener to trade Clarkson.

      You should print out all your hypothetical rosters and see which one comes the closest to matching. In fact we should all submit hypothetical rosters and see who comes the closest. I bet all the brackets get busted.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:04 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


        Just my interpretation based on news reports of what the Lakers are likely to do rather than the usual what I would like the Lakers to do. If you look at the final roster, you can see there is some kind of evidence or reasoning supporting why each player is on the list. I think there’s a good chance many of these players will be on our roster when we start next season.

        1. The Lakers are likely to sign Paul George as their first superstar.

        2. If the Lakers don’t sign LeBron or Boogie, then:

        A. They’re likely to re-sign Julius Randle.

        B. They’re likely to save cap space for Kawhi summer 2019.

        C. Needing a center, they’re likely to re-sign Brook Lopez to a cheap deal.

        D. Needing a backup point guard, they’re likely to re-sign Isaiah Thomas on a 1-year deal.

        E. Needing a backup center, they’re likely to sign Nerlens Noel, a former trade target.

        F. Needing depth at guard, they’re likely to draft Aaron Holiday, who played with Lonzo.

        G. Needing a backup small forward, they’re likely to sign Trevor Ariza, a former Laker.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 3:10 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I don’t see E, F and/or G happening, but your reasoning is sound. My reasoning is even more sound. Things rarely happen as you expect them to happen, ESPECIALLY with all the flexibility. Let’s say the Mother of All Dominoes lands LeBron in Houston. Suddenly players like Ryan Anderson, PJ Tucker and Eric Gordon are in play for cheap out of necessity and guess who has a history of dealing with the Lakers and guess who has the ability to trade for those players? That’s just one not so far fetched example of what could happen that we’re not even looking at.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:23 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            LOL. Of course predicting that you can’t predict is always right. This is a blog, Keen. It’s OK to make predictions. Boom or doom. That’s why we’re here.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:42 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not claiming to be a cap expert nor do I want to be but I added a screenshot of the spreadsheet I use to create various roster scenarios. Love your feedback to make sure I’m doing this right.

      Basically, the first column determines how much cap space the team will have based on contracts and cap holds. You’ll note the cap holds for Brook and KCP had been renounced but not the ones for Randle or Thomas. There also is a cap hold for four empty roster slots since you have to have 12 players.

      The second column show how the cap space is spent, noting that as you agree to a contract with a player, then their cap hold disappears. So if we pay Randle $18 million, we get back the $12.5 million cap hold and the additional amount does not count against the cap because of Bird rights. So as you add contracts for Randle, Thomas, the #25 pick, and the short term deals to save the cap space, you eliminate all the unrenounced cap holds.

      Anyway, that’s my amateur understanding of how the cap works. Please let me know if I have anything wrong. This is the same spreadsheet and system I’ve used to create all the different scenarios.


      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 4:19 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “So if we pay Randle $18 million, we get back the $12.5 million cap hold and the additional amount does not count against the cap because of Bird rights.”

        I believe that’s where the error is being made…but i could be wrong

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:34 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          LOL. Or I could be wrong. In Lopez case, for example, his cap hold is $33 million or something like that. If you denounce him or sign him for the room exception or even for just $10 million, then his cap hold is gone. The only thing you can’t do if you renounce him is go over the cap to sign him. At least that’s how I think it works.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:32 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    Isaiah may have to accept 1-year prove it deal 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:32 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That could be perfect for Lakers, who can go over the cap to sign him to a 1-year deal and still keep his Bird rights to sign him long term if he is healthy.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 6:03 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Room Exception? Vet minimum?

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:09 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          He’s worth more than that just because of his upside.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 12:17 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            So if PG is 31 mil, Randle say 21 mil, Capela 20 mil, how do you pay IT more than the Room Exception?

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:37 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              Randle’s cap hold is only $12.5M and Thomas’ $12M. Thus what you pay them over that doesn’t count against the cap.

              Salaries for LB, BI, KK, JH, TB, and #25 pick total $19.3M. Cap holds for JR, IT, and 4 empty slots total $27.6M. Salaries and cap holds total $46.9M, leaving you $53.8M for free agents.

              Then use $30.3M for PG and up to $23.5M for Capela, assuming you can get somebody to take Deng’s contract for Zubac, $5M, and the 2019 first round pick.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 2:18 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              I think you are wrong, Tom. The Lakers are not a “cap” team. They can’t creatively make themselves a cap team. So let’s say we tender Randle his QO and he signs and offer sheet for 21 mil and we match, we sign PG and Capela signs an offer sheet for 20+. If the Rockets choose to not match, we must renounce IT’s Bird rights.

              BTW, this assumes the Lakers waive and stretch, not trade, Deng. If somehow the Lakers trade Deng and take nothing back, then that would create an additional 7.362 mil in space, which would probably be enough to sign IT anyway.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 2:27 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              LT…I’m glad you included the holds for the empty roster slots.
              Alotta folks (even the so-called “professionals”) forget about that and it’s not an insignificant figure when the numbers get tight.

              But I think Keen is correct…you can go over the cap to sign Ju or IT but once you do it then their salary counts towards the cap and it affects the other guy. Might have to do some financial jujitsu to make it work…like maybe sign IT first…

            • keen observer

              keen observer 3:01 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              I always forget, then remember, the 862K hold for empty roster spots. There’s also the hold for the Cavs’ pick, but there’s no hold for the second round pick. Thus, my numbers are skewed. Also, I don’t think cap holds need to be renounced until deals are actually in place. Last summer, we renounced on David Nwaba to pay KCP some extra scratch, but the verbal agreement was in place first. After KD decided to sign with the Warriors, they renounced on Barnes, traded Bogut and I think renounced on Barbosa and maybe someone else. Perhaps the problem arises if a player pulls a DeAndre Jordan and changes his mind before putting the ink to the paper.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:54 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              Mongo, I’m going to post the Excel sheet that I used. Would appreciate your and others checking it to see if I’m missing anything. The order teams finalize these deals is an art in and of itself.

    • mud

      mud 10:54 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      some in the league don’t believe that.

    • p ang

      p ang 7:53 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Why risk anything at all for a backup pg?

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:08 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        1. Because we desperately need a quality backup point guard.
        2. Because there’s a change Isaiah will recover and be a hugged asset.
        3. The risk is minimal because it would only be for 1 year.

        • therealhtj

          therealhtj 1:14 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I agree, Isaiah needs to change and a hug. You pat him on the head and whisper “it’s not your fault you’re only 5’7” repeatedly.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:00 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    NBA Centers Defensive RPM & Salaries 

    For centers who averaged more than 16 minutes per game last season.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:03 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Notice the two young stud centers on this list are Joel Embiid and Clint Capela.
      Investing in a young stud like Clint would be a very smart move for Lakers.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:23 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        $20 million per year is probably close to Capela’s value. The fact that he is only 23-years old and bigs develop more slowly than perimeter players mean Capela has upside to become an even better center. On a team with plus defenders like Lonzo, Brandon, PG, Hart, Randle, I could see Capela growing into a top 3 defensive center along with Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid,

        • keen observer

          keen observer 6:05 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Wow. No Brook Lopez on the list. He looked better than that to my eyes. Moz > Brook!

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:13 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            That Brook ranked as the 67th best center in DRPM at 0.11 says everything about Brook Lopez’ defense. An occasional blocked shot does not make up for a guy who never jumps and is too slow to make quick rotations needed on defense.

            • mud

              mud 11:58 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink


              this shows the inaccuracy of defensive stats. there is no way that Mozgov is a better defender.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 12:09 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              You don’t need advanced stats to know Mozgov is garbage. Takes a special kind of idiot to give him that kinda contract.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 2:19 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              And a special kind of idiot to only see the negatives in people.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 2:34 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              And a completely unobservant moron to keep trying to make trash into treasure.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 3:03 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              Actually, just someone who can see the forest, not just certain trees. You are incapable of that.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 3:56 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              Blind homerism doesn’t make you right, no matter how many times you try. The irony of you trying to stay positive while being anything but towards anyone who dares disagree, clearly escapes you You need to stop putting your faith into false idols. The team, its staff and players, are not beyond reproach, not by a wide margin. You, of all people, should respect the opinions of others and try not to be such a blowhard jerkoff.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 4:26 PM on April 25, 2018 Permalink

              I have no idea what you are talking about. “Blind homerism”? If you re-read a post you wrote above that actually makes sense, it flies in the face of much of your negatism toward the prior front office.

              You said: “The way the league is set up, you’re better off being a basement dweller hoping to strike gold in the draft than to waste money on mid tier guys that give you a 2nd round ceiling on a good year.”

              Well guess what Mitch and Jim did after getting screwed by the 2011 CBA and the CP3 nixing, all while trying to figure this out with a crappy, aging roster and a garbage payroll that was through the roof? When I talk about seeing the forest, all you can do is stare at the bad moves they made. I admit that Kobe’s contract was a mistake, but let’s say Kobe signed for 10 mil per instead. Then what? This is LeBron’s time and the Warriors time and without the assets to wave a magic wand, the best they could hope for was Dwight and Nash blending with Kobe and Pau and either it it big or tank. So they gambled and lost went with your prescription with this stupid CBA.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:42 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have no doubt his defense could travel to LA with him.

      Just not so sure his offense will.
      Harden & CP3 open things up for him that our backcourt can’t match.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:10 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Lonzo definitely needs to learn how to run pro pick-and-rolls but I think he will be able to master that. He’s just too smart a point guard not to be able to pick it up. if we sign Isaiah to a 1-year deal, I think he and Capela could be great together. But they will have some work to be able to take advantage of him like Harden and CP3 do no doubt.

        Capela’s ability to finish above the rim whether on lobs or offensive rebounds, however, will be a huge improvement over Brook. Trying to lob the ball to Brook is always a turnover because he can’t jump. If he loses the seal or the pass is slightly off, it’s a turnover. Capela will give all of the playmakers on our team an easy sure target.

        Capela will solve a lot of those problems because of his hops and athleticism. I also think Capela’s court speed will help the Lakers offensively. We’ll miss Brook’s outside shooting but will hopefully still be a better team on offense and in transition because of Capela. Clint is not a good free throw shooter but he has improved every year.

        One area I’ve been impressed with Capela is his screening and how quickly he rolls to the basket and, like with DeAndre, all the ball handler has to do is throw the ball up to the hoop and he will go get it. Bottom line, I think his speed, athleticism, and hops will make us a better offensive team. Capela lets us play much faster in half court.

        Ironically, Brook would be the perfect center to backup Capela as a vet and give us a big body and stretch 5. Zubac is likely the odd man out but maybe we can trade him for a second rounder and go with Capela, Lopez, and Bryant. I think with Brook and Thomas being able to shoot from deep, Capela fits in with the Lakers well as our center of the future.

        I also don’t think you can discount the chemistry and culture that this team is building under Luke. Adding two players like PG and Capela would allow the team to continue to grow and develop the team the way they have been doing. That’s exactly one of the reasons why the Warriors young core is so good and play so well together. They grew up playing together. the power of continuity.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 7:22 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Oh yeah…he’s definitely an upgrade over Brook who’s only advantage is outside shooting. Not sure how well a combo of Capela & Ju in the starting lineup would work either. If we’re paying PG13, Ju, & Capela that probably means IT is gone..

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:30 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yeah, that could be an issue. It could also be the answer to the issue that Kyle Kuzma should start. I know he plays starter minutes and closes but I think he’s one of those guys who is going to want to start sooner than later.

          Personally, I would love to see Kuzma start with Capela and Julius start with Lopez. That’s the best match and logical solution. Of course, Julius and Brook may not want to stay if that’s their role so you have some issues to resolve.

          I’m a big believer that you need 2 or 3 bench players who could be starters to win a championship and convincing players like Iggy and Livingston to accept those roles is key to building a championship bench.

          Of courese, the best thing to do is see who plays best and wins the starting position. You do need to solve the half court pick and roll issues with Lonzo if you want to play Julius and Capela together. Part of the solution that has to happen also is Randle learning to shoot the 3, which I believe he will be able to do. Bttom line, that’s what would be best for Randle’s career and the Lakers.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 7:36 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Lonzo’s gotta hit shots consistently for any of this to work.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:51 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Lakers need to have minimum of 3 and ideally 4 floor stretchers in the lineup.

            But pretty much, Lonzo needs to hit the threes because that is something he has shown he can do fairly consistently in college and at times during his rookie season. His success as a elite point guard depends on that. It’s more important than the layup or free throw issue. That’s not to say he also doesn’t have to fix the layups and free throw issues. Once he does that, he has superstar potential. If he doesn’t, his ceiling will not be that of superstar but just a good player capable of great moments.

            Watching some of the veteran point guards who are killing it this playoffs like Rubio or Rondo helps keep Lonzo in perspective. It may take 2 or 3 years but I think he will become an elite point guard in the Jason Kidd mode. In many ways, the fact that he looks like he is going to be a superior defender could be more important than his rookie shooting woes. Just like the team itself, it’s the defensive chops and playmaking that impress me.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:44 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Those Bird rights and only a $12 million cap hold should give us a good shot at keeping Thomas. We can keep Julius and Thomas and sign PG and Capela for $20 million. If you offer more than $20 million for Capela, you would not be able to keep the cap hold for Thomas. In the end, it would come down to how much luxury tax the Rockets are willing to pay and what roster changes Morey tries to pull off. For some reason, I think Morey would rather do something with the $20 million than paying Capela. He needs another star to get to the next level. It would take some sign that matching Capela could be an issue for the Lakers to take a shot … or a commitment that they’re going to save the cap space for sumer of 2019 if the Rockets match. That’s the only way to approach an RFA.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 6:07 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I don’t think so, Tom. The Lakers will have to renounce their rights to IT. They can’t have their cake and eat it, too.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:31 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    Randle looked back on season, touched on summer, and raved re Lakers’ young core 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:06 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers May Pass On Cousins Even If They Don’t Sign LeBron Or Paul George 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:11 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have to admit that I am a little concerned that Cousins, especially if he loses some athleticism, could be a poor fit for a Laker team that wants to run. The reason the Pels are doing so good now is they are able to play faster and press more on defense without Boogie. While I think he would still be a force offensively after he recovers, I’m worried his defense will suffer, especially his lateral quickness. That’s where it might be smarter in the long run to go after Capela and his 23-year old hops. He can’t stretch the floor like Brook or Boogie but he can defend and finish at a high level and is only going to get better.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:26 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    The Gravity of the Thunder’s Situation 

    It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect defense against a Westbrook-led offense than this Jazz squad helmed by Rudy Gobert. Westbrook’s effectiveness against most of the league revolves around his ability to magnetize the floor with his locomotive drives to the rim. He attracts as much attention as possible and finds holes quicker than the defense can recover, whether that means kicking it out to a 3-point shooter, hitting the roll man with a pocket pass, or finishing himself. What separates this strategy from every other point guard’s in the league is the sheer velocity of his actions. He attacks with such terrifying conviction that help defense becomes almost an instinctive, fight-or-flight response. Westbrook’s forays create a vortex effect in the middle of the lane, and no one is more equipped to use momentary chaos as an ally than the person who’s installing it. But the Jazz are built to ignore the chaos and trust in their sentinel at the rim. With Gobert capable of defending the entire painted area simply by extending his reach, all four Jazz defenders around him don’t have to worry about help defense.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:35 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      How do you stop the Westbrooks, LeBrons, and Walls of the NBA who can attack the rim relentlessly? You have an elite rim protector. Two teams with the lowest opponent points in the paint: Philly at 41.3 points per game and Utah at 41.6 points per game. Compared to Lakers dead last 49.0 points per game.

      This is exactly why the Lakers need to pursue Clint Capela. We were third in the league in points in the paint at 51.9. Can you imagine how much better our defense would be with an elite shot blocker like Capela playing center? We play too fast to hold opponents to around 40 points in the paint but we could cut that to maybe 45 points. That’s the quickest fix that could elevate our #12 defense to top five.

      • mud

        mud 11:46 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        you put Congo Cash in and you smash that guy to the floor as hard as possible. take the flagrant. that ends the problem.

        you improve the perimeter defense. that causes fewer breakdowns and creates fewer points in the paint.

        you get back in transition. when the Lakers got back in transition, they were much more effective in stopping layups.

        Capela is only a slightly better shot blocker than Lopez, but if he’s the solution, then so would Ibaka and Biyombo.

        look, i’m totally cool with the Lakers picking up Capela. he’s not the missing piece, though.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:54 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Sorry, mud, but I never want to see a player on my team intentionally risk seriously hurting a player with a cheap shot like that. Not the way I played the game or want my team to play the game.

          • mud

            mud 12:04 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            so what?

            that’s how the game has been played since i’ve been alive. NO LAYUPS.

            but i wasn’t that serious, except that that was the actual job of a center like MBenga or Eaton or Lucas….

            in any case, the point was that there are many factors that lead to layups, “rim protection” or the lack of it, is just a part of the equation. Lopez is not a lesser shot blocker than Capela. Brook has blocked an average of 1.8 shots a game for his career. Capela 1.4. Capela DID have his best year in blocks, this year, but Lopez has had SEVEN seasons at that level.

            i get it though. Capela is the new Laker Tom Lakers savior. i’ll write it down.

            • GDUBinDC

              GDUBinDC 7:21 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              : )

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever 12:13 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          He’s not “THE” missing piece, he’s a piece.

          And that antiquated tough guy neanderthal “smash that guy to the floor as hard as possible” bs is a thing of the past when players were suppose to just “shut up and dribble”.

          • mud

            mud 12:23 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            i don’t care. it’s a competition, and there’s nothing wrong with competing. NO LAYUPS.

            “shut up and dribble” has nothing to do with this. it’s not political.

            yes, he’s “a piece” and that’s fine. I AM NOT AGAINST THE LAKERS PICKING HIM UP. he’s just not that important. if the Lakers can pick him up on the cheap, then he’s be a great player to get. at full price, he’s just not needed.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:56 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    Why Paul George is the better fit for the Lakers 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:00 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Reed is exactly right about PG. He can slide into the Lakers starting lineup without the team having to change how it plays or any of the young guns having to change positions or roles. Same is true of Clint Capela. He would slide into the lineup seamlessly and allow the team to continue to build the great chemistry and culture they have going. The big difference would be the enhanced defense and offense they would provide. I love how we’re playing as a team. Just need better rim protection and 3-point defense, which is exactly what we would get with George and Capella replacing KCP and Lopez.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 11:40 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        PG I get. He may not be the guy, but could be the guy next to the guy.

        Still don’t see a contract you can offer Capela that makes sense AND he’d take.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:51 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          4-years $80 million. He will sign that. If Rockets match, save the money for Kawhi next summer and sign 1-year deals for guys like Thomas, Bradley, Noel, Lopez, etc.

          • mud

            mud 12:08 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            20 mil a year for a one dimensional player?

            ok. that seriously puts him in the Biyombo category.

            i am thankful that you run this blog and not the team.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:04 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              One dimensional? Capela is an elite defender who can anchor our defense to reduce opponent points in the paint and an elite finisher who can help us score increase our efficiency and points in the paint. Capela can impact the team on both ends of the court. He may not be a superstar like LeBron but he could theoretically bring more to the table than any other free agent because of the Lakers’ needs and his positional strengths.

            • mud

              mud 3:19 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              yes, one dimensional.

              despite the woeful paint point stats for the Lakers, they were 17th in the league in blocks. Houston despite the “elite” rim protector was 14th. the difference? the Rockets had 0.2 more blocks per game 4.9 vs 4.7. “rim protection” was not the issue.

              the Lakers were #2 in the league in fast break points, while the Rockets were 17th, despite the “elite” finisher. that’s 17.5 vs 11.3.

              THE LAKERS DID NOT NEED MORE SHOT BLOCKING OR FAST BREAK FINISHING. these are needs that you manufactured to make your point.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 4:05 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              According to my math, if the Lakers waive and stretch Deng, while keeping Lonzo, Brandon Ingram, Kuzma, Hart, Zubac, Bryant, and Cavs 1st, they would have about $72.4 mil in cap space. They could pay PG his 31 mil, Randle 21 mil and Capela 20 mil. That would give them 10 players under contract and they could fill the roster with minimum contracts and the Room Exception. If the Rockets match on Capela, there’s 20 mil to spend on one or two 1-year contracts that can be saved for 2019 space. That wouldn’t bother me. The main downside to replacing a guy like Lopez with Capela is the spacing because Julius holds court in the paint. Otherwise, I think he’s more than Biyombo and is one of the better paint/rim protectors in the league regardless of the blocked shot numbers, and he obviously fits Luke’s style of play.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 12:23 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Seems a little rich, besides that sniveling weasel Morey will match that knowing he could probably trade him if luxury tax becomes a concern.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:01 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The hope is it is too rich for the Rockets. For the Lakers, who will go over the cap this summer unless they kick the can down the road, money really doesn’t matter. After next summer, we will have to extend all those players on rookie deals and that will put us way over the cap but that’s where our large market and huge fanbase help because it puts us back in the outspend everybody to win mode. There’s a price we can offer that Houston won’t match because they’re in a win now mode and we’ll be in a win in a couple of years mode. If Clint continues to play this well in the playoffs, I would give him whatever we need to steal him from the Rockets.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 1:54 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              Not necessarily. What’s done with Julius notwithstanding, BI will be the elder statesman of the group, and while he’ll be extension eligible coming off his 3rd season next summer, he can still be made to wait another year to get paid. Given his frame and durability concerns, I wouldn’t rush to max him out unless he makes a leap into solid all star territory.

              Not saying it’ll shake out that way, but there’s potential for a couple more seasons of kick the can down the road, coinciding with the end of the Deng atrocity.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:01 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              Truth is it will be hard to kick the can down just one summer. The raises on the rookie contracts will eliminate any increase in the cap. Whatever we pay Randle over his cap hold will also reduce our cap space. Say we save $28 million but have to pay Randle $20 million to keep him. That would then reduce our cap space to sign Kawhi or another superstar to $20 million, which would then force us to trade or give away a player on contract for around $10 million, which we just don’t have because everybody is on a rookie deal. Once we go over the cap, we aren’t going to get under it until we rebuild again. This summer will be our only chance to get it right.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 2:14 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              Also depends on how much they value Randle. To me, he’s just a C student who studied his a*s off to get a B+ on the most important test of his life. This league is littered with contracts of guys who got their payday and stopped GAF.

              His limited wingspan, unrefined offensive game, and herky jerky playing style (which often leads to injury) really makes him a “I’d keep him at the right price” type of guy for me. I’d say let him go out and get the best offer he can and let some GM tie up their cap space for a bit trying to steal him. If it’s nothing outlandish (along with the smaller raises a RFA offer comes with), they can match. If they lose him, it’ll sting, but in today’s NBA, you can’t have your 4th or 5th best guy making close to max money.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:50 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              That’s true but I think Randle’s price will be around $18 million. If it hits $20 million, then I don’t think the Lakers match but again anything over his cap hold will be via Bird rights so who cares when your can print money like this franchise. That’s why I would overpay for Capela. The big change in Randle was mostly due to changing his body and getting into the kind of shape where his ferocity and hustle could play long enough to be impactful. He is a dangerous player to guard. And the heart and soul of this young team as it’s elder statesman. Add in a kid, I think Julius is a big part of the Lakers’ future. Again, you don’t let those kinds of players walk unless they get a ridiculous offer.

            • mud

              mud 3:21 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              well, we agree on Randle.

              not only was he effective in the way that he was in college, he’s the only enforcer on a team that is pretty soft.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 4:42 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink

              You can print money all day, it don’t give you more capspace. Bad contracts are still worse than no contract. Given the choice of kick the can or sign dudes just because, you kick the can. EVERY. D**N. TIME.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 2:26 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Just so we are all clear on what the salaries out there are looking at before anyone thinks 4/$80 is way too much! That and the fact that the cap has consistently gone up, with this season being another record breaking year for attendance and tv ratings.

      1 Stephen Curry, PG $34,382,550
      2 LeBron James, SF $33,285,709
      3 Paul Millsap, PF $31,269,231
      4 Blake Griffin, PF $29,727,900
      5 Gordon Hayward, SF $29,727,900
      6 Kyle Lowry, PG $28,703,704
      7 Mike Conley, PG $28,530,608
      8 Russell Westbrook, PG $28,530,608
      9 James Harden, PG $28,299,399
      10 DeMar DeRozan, SG $27,739,975

      11 Al Horford, PF $27,734,406
      12 Carmelo Anthony, PF $26,243,760
      13 Damian Lillard, PG $26,153,057
      14 Jrue Holiday, PG $25,686,667
      15 Kevin Durant, SF $25,000,000
      16 Otto Porter Jr., SF $24,773,250
      17 Chris Paul, PG $24,599,495
      18 CJ McCollum, SG $23,962,573
      19 Andre Drummond, C $23,775,506
      20 Bradley Beal, SG $23,775,506

      21 Anthony Davis, PF $23,775,506
      22 Dwight Howard, C $23,500,000
      23 Chandler Parsons, SF $23,112,004
      24 Harrison Barnes, SF $23,112,004
      25 JJ Redick, SG P $23,000,000
      26 Brook Lopez, C $22,642,650
      27 Marc Gasol, C $22,642,350
      28 DeAndre Jordan, C $22,642,350
      29 Kevin Love, C $22,642,350
      30 Steven Adams, C $22,471,910

      31 Giannis Antetokounmpo, $22,471,910
      32 Nicolas Batum, SG $22,434,783
      33 Rudy Gobert, C $21,924,719
      34 LaMarcus Aldridge, PF $21,461,010
      35 Victor Oladipo, SG $21,000,000
      36 Danilo Gallinari, SF $20,559,599
      37 Serge Ibaka, PF $20,061,729
      38 George Hill, PG $20,000,000
      39 Ryan Anderson, PF $19,578,455

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 2:35 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And start picking the guys that are over paid for what they give back (just sayin). I do understand your point though.

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever 3:59 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Chandler Parsons, SF $23,112,004

          This is my pick for the absolute worst contract of them all SMH

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:04 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Great list, Sean. Not to mention that I would rather overpay an improving 23-year old on the way up than a 33-year old with limited shelf life. Of course, the issue in the age of salary caps is how much you’re paying for personnel. Teams like Warriors, Thunder, and the Rockets could end up with salary and tax bills between $250,000 and $500,000. Tax payers could end up paying $5 for every $1 over the tax threshold. That turns an $8 million MLE into a $40 million super max contract. Gotta be a big market team to be able to pay that to win.

        I think the Lakers will go over the cap this summer to take advantage of Bird rights with Randle and Thomas. With Randle, it will enable them to beat any team out there. With Thomas, it will enable them to sign him to a 1-year deal and keep his rights to sign him long term to any contract because of his Bird rights. And each of the kids on rookie deals will get paid even if not maxed out. Bottom line, this is where the Lakers huge market edge really pays off. Like the Warriors, they have the income to pay the taxes.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 4:11 PM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Adam Silver has already said that the cap is not going to go over the $101 mil they projected. There is less money to go around, too, which will have an effect on Tier 2 players down from what I understand.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 11:06 AM on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sadly, it’s gotten to the point where every borderline capable starter or with potential to be so wants a max deal. The teams need to control themselves or they’re all screwed.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:20 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    The Big Boogie Question 

    The Pelicans are the story of the NBA postseason. But does their success in the wake of DeMarcus Cousins’s injury mean they’re better off in the long term without the free-agent-to-be? A likely second-round matchup with the Warriors may provide the answer.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:29 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent article that brings up a major point, which is that Cousins injury could hurt him more on defense than offense. The article also points out that the benefits the Pelicans have received by missing Cousins is the ability to go smaller and play faster. The more I think about the risks involved and the personalities, I think pursuing Capela might be the smarter way for the Lakers to go. We don’t really need more offense. What we need is rim protection and finishing from our center, which Clint can provide in spades.

      The other solution in my opinion would be go to small with Randle at the 5, which has the huge benefit of starting Kuzma, whose stats scream out that he should be starting. The Lakers could bring back Brook on their room exception to cover situations where Randle is just overwhelmed by the other team’s center’s size. Or the Lakers just win the matchup battle at the other end by punishing slower bigger centers with Julius going downhill and transition offense.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 10:34 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The other story of the postseason is the 76ers and Joel Embiid.

      The other story of the postseason is the Rockets and what puts them over the top of the Warriors is Capela.

      The other story of the postseason is the Jazz and how Rudy Gobert is stopping Thunder penatration within the paint. The Thunder haven’t quite figured out how to operate in the paint when Gobert is in.

      I’m with you Tom on Capela vs Cousins. The more I think about it, and from what I’m seeing in these playoffs…It’s Capela who should be the focus this July even over PG. Like Mongo said, Lebron decides to be a Laker or not, regardless Capela is the other piece.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:45 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You absolutely right, Sean. All the teams we’re going to have to go through to win championships in the future have a young stud at center. I think we’re in the start of a re-emergence of the center in the NBA. Embiid, KAT, Capela, Porzingis, Gobert. They’re making a big difference. Lakers greatest position of need and opportunity is the center position.

        If the Lakers could steal Capela, they would have a budding star at all five positions and a team that could grow into a monster just like the Warriors did with 5 great starters and another 2 or 3 who should be starters coming off the bench. And nobody older than 23 other than PG. That’s the team I would like to root and cheer for the next 10 years.

        Sign PG and Randle to long term deals and then make Capela an offer he can’t refuse to steal him from the Rockets. Let’s build a team that can win more than just 1 or 2 championships. I’m just hoping that Magic and Rob can see the need and opportunity we have to add a championship center.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:10 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers fans still watching the playoffs 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:51 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    It’s a shame Lakers didn’t make the playoffs 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:39 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink |  

    What if LeBron, PG, & Boogie all want to join Lakers? 

    After the Thunder and Cavs collapse and the Boogie-less Pelicans thrive, the Lakers suddenly find that all three superstars want to join the Lakers. Let’s also say nobody is willing to take a cut in pay to build this superteam. In that scenario, whom should the Lakers sign? Answer below and post your vote in Today’s Poll. Thanks.

    • mud

      mud 10:59 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      if the other two join, there’s no need for DMC. Bropez will do just fine on that team, maybe even better than DMC because Bropez won’t whine about being 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th option…

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:11 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Rockets are just second team ever to score 50 points in a quarter in a playoff game 

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 12:53 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Didn’t tune into that game until mid 3rd qt. or so and I believe they were up by around 30 … kinda lost interest at that point.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:19 AM on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It was a great game at the half so I switched over to watch the Yankees and by the time I switched back, the d**n game was essentially over and it was still 5 minutes left in 3rd quarter. Wolves just don’t have the horses to compete with the Rockets.

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