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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:53 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Miles Simon praises Lonzo Ball for his ‘off the charts’ basketball instincts 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:50 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lonzo & LeBron will be Showtime 2.0! 

    The idea Lonzo and LeBron can’t be a good fit playing together is laughable. There might not be another duo of players in the game today better matched to reprise Magic and Big James and bring back the glory of Lakers Showtime.

    Lonzo is a unicorn point guard in that he does not need to dominate the ball like other point guards such as James Harden or Chris Paul or point forwards like Ben Simmons or LeBron himself. Instead, Lonzo’s selfless passing and relentless pace pushing creates an infectious environment where the ball and players are constant moving. Lonzo’s like a conductor and his goal is ensuring the players play their best and have fun and the performances lead to wins.

    Frankly, there’s probably no better point guard in the league today to lead a team comprised of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George, three players used to having the ball in their hands around 30% of the time. Lonzo Ball’s ability to keep the ball in motion and his league low 17% usage rate for a point guard is exactly what a superteam needs to function , thrive, and win. Lonzo isn’t why LeBron James wouldn’t join the Lakers. He’s why he will.

    What Lonzo provides that’s unique and perfect for LeBron is a playing style where LeBron is suddenly free to play with and without ball, where his raw superior athleticism and physicality can be deployed and weaponized much more efficiently and beneficially to the team than constantly isolating him. Instead of having the ball in his hands 30% of the time, playing with Lonzo would enable LeBron to reduce that workload and wear-and-tear to 25%.

    What’s missing from LeBron’s game right now is playing in a system where he gets easy baskets and can score without a Herculean effort and maybe play defense. LeBron needs to follow part of Kevin Durant lead by joining a team that plays a fun, successful style where he can fit his unique skills into their system. Kevin may still be taking hits for joining the Dubs but watching him in the Finals, you can tell he’s never enjoyed the game of basketball more.

    I may still prefer the Lakers would pursue other superstars but there’s no way thinking of Lonzo firing full court passes to a streaking LeBron doesn’t bring a smile of anticipation and flickering flame of hope that it just might come true.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:45 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    LeBron Predictions: Where Will He Go in Free Agency? Lakers are the favorites! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:07 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Kevin Durant to the Lakers? It might not be as crazy as you think. 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:31 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I heard two ‘experts’ on Sirius XM say there were ‘whispers’ that KD may not be willing to sign a long-term deal with the Warriors because of all the negativity going there has caused. There’s a reason why the owner Joe Lacob was basically saying KD could have whatever he wants in a new contract. The Warriors have been uncertain all year whether Durant was happy or not. He may want to just stay another year and then look for a change. Chances are Green is not going to sign an extension and the Warriors are not going to give him a supermax deal when they value Steph, Kevin, and Klay more. KD pulling a LeBron and doing the one year deals might signal big changes for Warriors.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 4:59 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t buy it, at all.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:24 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Possible trade targets the Lakers could pursue if they miss out this summer 

    The moment Los Angeles Lakers fans have anxiously waited for all year has finally arrived in the form of a potential monumental offseason. And although there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic this time around when it comes to the team’s chances of reeling in big fish, it is also important to recognize the other avenues the team possesses in case things do not go as ideally planned in free agency.

    The Lakers have seemingly pushed all their chips to the middle of the table this summer — and rightfully so with the notable names available and the recent Kawhi Leonard news — but they have also not ruled out the option of shifting their focus to a 2019 free-agent class which potentially could be headlined by the likes of the aforementioned Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson.

    1. Kenneth Faried (PF/C) Denver Nuggets:

    It is no secret the Denver Nuggets have actively been shopping Kenneth Faried for what seems like the past two seasons now. The team’s aggressiveness to move the 28-year-old energetic big seemingly picked up after the team signed All-Star forward Paul Milsap this past summer, and when they traded the 13th overall pick (Donovan Mitchell) in a draft-night deal that brought forward Trey Lyles to the Mile High City.

    During a recent ESPN draft-special, Adrian Wojnarowski added even more fuel to the fire for this idea by indicating the Nuggets were willing to go as far to attach this year’s 14th overall pick to a team willing to take on Faried’s expiring $13.7 million dollar contract.

    Now for a Lakers’ front office who has put themselves in position to be big spenders this summer, taking on that money prior to free agency seemingly undoes years of planning. Yet, this is not to say a potential swap would be completely off the table for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, as Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reported the Lakers were “looking to add a pick either in the middle of the first round, or trade up from the 25th pick into the middle of the first round to draft a player they are targeting.”

    If the team does get some sort of pre-July intel come draft night that they are out on, say, LeBron James, this is the type of corresponding move that could pay dividends. Especially if they are still able to sign Paul George this summer.

    Adding George, a late lottery prospect like Zhaire Smith or a Lonnie Walker in the draft, keeping 2019 cap space intact, and adding front court depth/vertical spacing in Faried (who despite posting poor numbers across the board in efficiency—still ranked in the 98th percentile in offensive rebounding percentage last season) could set this team up nicely for years to come.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:57 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love the idea of taking on Faried’s contract and using the #14 pick to draft Kevin Huerter. Perfect tie in to my latest proposed plan to sign PG this summer and save cap space to go after Kawhi next summer.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:20 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Heisler: Lakers fans who love young nucleus split on pursuing LeBron James 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:21 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The last thing I want to do in this life is watch the Lakers in 3 years back in the same spot they were with Kobe while Randle, Ingram, Thomas, and Hart are all killing it with their new teams.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:14 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Thinking twice about Kawhi to Lakers 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:26 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Trading for Kawhi could give Lakers a choice between:

      1. Kawhi, LeBron, and Randle
      2. Kawhi, George, Randle, and Thomas

      Which would you prefer?

      • mclyne32 (Director) 3:39 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You already know which one I like.
        Nice write up.
        I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep him and play hard ball. They would do this to screw us out if becoming a super team. At the same time, Buford would be stupid not to take Ingram and picks back(maybe even Hart as well) or the picks that the Clipps have to offer.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:56 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        #2 although I wouldn’t specify IT but rather slate the money for any other player of impact. Could be Thomas, Lopez or an outside free agent.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 1:47 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom

      Nice write up. Another thing that really bothers me is he has missed time in the past with injuries to the same quad that sidelined him for most of season. As for your question if I thought we could get by the Warriors with number 1 I would do it. But the Warriors can match just about anything we can do plus have a lot more depth. I think you were to add Lopez with the MLE to number 2 you at least have Lopez and Randle attacking the Warriors biggest weakness so it might be actually better then having Lebron.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:51 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Michael. For some reason, I have a hunch Kawhi will end up getting traded to the Clippers, which is OK with me as he would be a free agent next summer. Just worry about him on the Lakers with the way the spotlight is something he wants to avoid. Could be the best. Think this story is going to keep barreling along and be resolved shortly. Or not. lol.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 4:25 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Lakers would be foolish to let him go to someone else if they can get him for a reasonable price. Absolutely foolish.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:33 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        True unless the price in terms of your players was too great or he decides the Clippers are a better fit without all the Hollywood Hoopla and media attention.

        My preference is to trade for KD but I don’t see the Spurs eating Deng no matter what Kawhi demands, which means the Lakers would not have cap space left for both LeBron and PG.

        But I could see Kawhi limited the Lakers as the only team he would re-sign with and the Lakers making a deal after July 1st for Kawhi giving up Ingram, Hart, and 2019 and 2021 first round picks. That would be a very good yield for the Spurs and a fair deal for the Lakers to finally land a top 5 player.

        From there, the Lakers would have two paths: LeBron and Randle or PG, Randle, and Thomas. I prefer the latter but would accept the former.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 4:36 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That’s such bullsh!t (the Hollywood Hoopla part). I said “a reasonable price.”

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:40 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            All I’m saying is that Kawhi just may decide there is too much attention from the media and fans that he would not be comfortable playing for the Lakers. His preference first was Los Angeles and second Lakers. In other words, the Lakers may not get a chance to trade for Kawhi. Don’t know why you think that is BS.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 4:47 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Based on Woj’s very first tweet on this.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:56 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Please explain. Not sure what you mean.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 5:31 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Sorry. It was his second tweet. The first one was that Kawhi wanted out of San Antonio “according to league sources.”

              San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2018

              https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:59 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              OK, I see he preferred city is LA and team Lakers, which gives the Clippers an opening.

              I just keep hearing and reading that he’s not sure he wants the attention and limelight that comes with the Lakers. Frankly, that resonates with the kind of guy he is. You love those guys as teammates but in your superstar? IDK

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 4:47 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The 1st move isn’t Kawhi’s..it’s the Spurs’.

            If the Spurs could make a deal with the Clipps without the dead money of a Deng contract then I think they’d do it. Then you run the risk of him staying across the hall next summer…

            • keen observer

              keen observer 4:50 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              They can trade Kawhi straight up for Ingram (and whatever) without Deng.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:55 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              The Spurs can just wait to July 1st and take a deal from the Lakers that doesn’t include Deng. They would then be able to get Ingram, Hart, and picks without taking bad contract. If Kawhi limits options to re-sign to the Lakers, that would work. If he limits it to Los Angeles, then Kawhi would likely end up next door.

              Dude is a weird cat with questionable camp who isn’t a leader other than by example and has a reputation for not bonding with teammates, thinking he was not getting the same level of respect as Tim and David got, resenting the touches Aldridge got, feuding with Parker over his quad injury. Magic needs a long talk before committing.

              But Kawhi is the top 5 player who you need. Big question is whether or not he is THAT guy for the Lakers. For me, he is still the better option than LeBron, primarily because of age, style of play, and especially for defense, something you have to cover up for LeBron at this point in his career. Tough decision to make, assuming we get the chance and he doesn’t just end up with the Clips.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 5:28 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              I’m biased. He’s been my favorite NBA player for a long time, so don’t ask me. :)

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 6:43 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Lakers will wanna dump Deng in this deal to maximize flexibility come July 1st. Spurs could balk and jump on a Clipper offer if they see something they like in this draft with the 12th & 13th picks…or package them to move up. We’ll know the answer to that in a few days….

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:50 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Yep. That’s the best part of this. There’s also nothing to prevent the Spurs and Lakers to agree to a deal to be executed after July 1st.

              You’re right this will all depend on the positions the Spurs and Kawhi take. I think there’s a chance to make a deal because Ingram is really the perfect young player to replace Kawhi.

              Some talk that getting rid of Kawhi could encourage Pops to stay beyond 2020. Supposedly, Kawhi was not a low maintenance player but that was all kept inside by the Spurs. Until now, of course.

              As they say, more to come…

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 6:52 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              Also…if you’ve got Lebron teamed up with Kawhi & PG (heill…even just one of em) then there’s no need for him to lead the league in minutes while playing 82 games nor to play him damm near 48 minutes every game in the playoffs.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:57 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              You’d have a superstar on the floor 48 minutes. And you could keep Randle, get Lopez for the room, land Robinson in the draft, etc. etc.

              He’ll probably be like Ohtani and avoid the bright lights and join the Clippers. Something about the heart.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 7:01 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              I think Kawhi is probably just a regular maintenance player who appears high maintenance in comparison to Robinson, Duncan, Parker, & Ginobili. Most players wouldn’t go for the stuff the Spurs FO asked of those dudes over the years.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:04 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              You may right. The other side is what top five player doesn’t have some issues and quirks. Magic needs to talk to him for sure.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 7:22 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              And that’s the thing…we can’t even talk to him. Truth is that nobody really knows what makes this dude tick. But I feel like the Spurs kinda screwed themselves with some of the comments they made about his injury during the season. Totally misread who they were dealing with.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:03 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink

              We can actually request to meet with him before finalizing the trade.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 7:52 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wake me up after their meeting goes nuclear.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:27 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lonzo Ball the ‘one constant’ in Lakers trade rumors for LeBron James 

    James will have to decide on his player option by June 29—two days before free agency opens. By opting out, LeBron would cost himself a slight (for him) reduction in salary from the $35.6 million he could earn in 2018-19, wherever he signs.

    In the Lakers’ case, if Zo is the price of acquiring LeBron and vaulting back into title contention—after five years of mediocrity—it’s probably worth paying. The fit between James and Ball is far from perfect on paper, especially considering the former’s preference for catch-and-shoot specialists around him and the latter’s struggles with his shot as a rookie.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:29 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lonzo Ball for LeBron James? The Cavs would love it. Get a young star and lose salary. Would obviously depends whether LeBron feels he can play with Lonzo. Otherwise, Lonzo could become the Lakers version of Andrew Wiggins.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:22 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Scalabrine says Lakers should make trade Lonzo Ball to “appease LeBron” 

    “If I’m the Lakers, I’m looking to move Lonzo Ball,” Scalabrine said. “To be honest with you, I’ve looked at the list of free agents out there. If I’m the Lakers, I’m looking to do a lot of moves to appease LeBron. Whoever he wants, go ahead and do it. There’s a lot of guys out there that you can put on this team that could help you beat the Warriors.”

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:13 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Eric Pincus update on how Lakers can trade for Kawhi and then sign LeBron James 

    Perhaps the biggest question of all is: How willing is Leonard to play hardball to make sure he gets traded to his desired location? If his representation tells the Celtics, 76ers and Clippers that he will opt out after the 2018-19 season, perhaps he scares off the competition.

    That assumes the Lakers are atop his list, which may not be the case.

    They have the flexibility to use their cap room in July to absorb Leonard’s salary without forcing unwanted contracts on San Antonio (specifically Luol Deng’s). An uneven trade of Brandon Ingram ($5.8 million) for Leonard ($20.1 million) will be legal in July when the NBA’s 2018-19 calendar year officially begins.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:18 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Three important points from Eric’s excellent review of the situation:

      1. Kawhi needs to play hardball if he wants to go to LA. Hopefully, Kawhi’s camp learned from Paul George that they need to control the narrative by limiting their list to just Lakers.

      2. The focus appears to be LA more than Lakers. Frankly, the comments from other sources about Kawhi not wanting to come to Lakers because of the attention bother me.

      3. The Lakers don’t have to match salaries after July 1st. Other than the Lakers refusing to trade for Kawhi unless it includes Deng, there’s no reason for the Spurs to trade Kawhi and take back Deng.

      Bottom line, Kawhi and Lakers both need to play hardball with Spurs. We can afford to wait.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:36 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From the above article:

      If James chooses to join Leonard, the team would still have roughly $16.6 million to spend to round out the roster while retaining Randle. Without Randle, that number climbs to about $28.2 million.
      That’s awfully close to the $30.3 million that George would be eligible to receive in free agency.

      “Is George the right fit for the Lakers if they get Leonard and James?” asked a former vice president of basketball operations. “Don’t they all play the same position?”

      If the franchise was fortunate enough to have to make that decision, that’s a viable argument. Would Los Angeles be better served using its remaining spending power on a big man like DeMarcus Cousins or Jordan (if he opts out)? Cousins is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon; would he agree to a shorter, less expensive deal to prove he’s healthy while playing on a superteam?

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:42 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        How about Kawhi, PG, and Boogie. If there is a threesome that makes sense for the Lakers, this would be it.

        STARTERS
        —————
        PG: LONZO BALL
        SG: PAUL GEORGE
        SF: KAWHI LEONARD
        PF: JULIUS RANDLE
        CE: DEMARCUS COUSINS

        RESERVES:

        —————
        PG: RAJON RONDO
        SG: #47 PICK
        SF: VET MINIMUM
        PF: KYLE KUZMA
        CE: MITCHELL ROBINSON

        • mclyne32 (Director) 3:51 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          IF Boogie is good to go, come opening night, or close to it, I would be ecstatic to witness what this group could do.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:55 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Two Decades Later, the Spurs May Have to Rebuild 

    Any interested team must feel confident that Leonard would re-sign since he has only one season (plus an option for one more) remaining on his current contract. The Pacers faced the same dilemma last summer with Paul George, who had eyes for the Lakers. But sources still don’t expect San Antonio to settle for anything less than a massive haul.

    It’ll be a leverage game between the Spurs, Leonard, and other teams. If Leonard makes it clear he’ll re-sign for only one or a few teams, then the price to acquire him goes down. Recent trades for stars on near-expiring contracts — George (one year plus an option), DeMarcus Cousins (one and a half years), Kyrie Irving (two years plus an option), etc. — didn’t yield massive returns for their original teams. Teams must also gauge Leonard’s risk for reinjury. He missed 18 games with quadriceps tendonitis near his left knee toward the start of the 2012–13 season, and the Spurs sent Leonard to P3 in Santa Barbara, California, to correct the problem that next summer. But Leonard’s right quad flared up again toward the end of the 2015–16 season. The same quad then sidelined him for most of the 2017–18 season.

    If offers are underwhelming this month and into free agency, league sources anticipate that the Spurs will drag this out if necessary to drive up the price. The New York Times’ Marc Stein said the Spurs still haven’t “yet” made Leonard available. The fact that Leonard’s camp leaked that he wants out (even before he met face-to-face with Popovich, per Chris Haynes) is an indication that his camp is trying to escalate the situation in order to force the Spurs to trade him. There’s no other reason to go public than to pressure the San Antonio front office. The Spurs aren’t budging as of now, but Leonard’s camp is pushing back hard. It’s only a matter of time until San Antonio is forced to make a move.

    I would go all in on Leonard if I were the Lakers. Trading Ingram, Kuzma, Josh Hart, the no. 25 pick, and Luol Deng’s salary for Leonard, as NBA salary cap expert Albert Nahmad suggested, would still leave the Lakers with enough open salary cap space to sign LeBron James and Paul George to max contracts. But ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported in February that the Lakers were “recalibrating” their focus to the 2019 offseason, so they could theoretically wait out Leonard. Even if Leonard were traded to a different team, the Lakers could make a push for him once he hits free agency. I reported on Wednesday that the Lakers, who hold the 25th pick, have interest in trading up for Texas Tech prospect Zhaire Smith, according to sources. Those same sources said that Los Angeles is also open to adding salary for the 2018–19 season, whether it’s one-year signings in free agency or through a trade. It appears the Lakers are paving multiple paths to building a contender, whether or not this is the offseason for fireworks.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:42 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Multiple quad injuries…don’t sell the farm, Earvin.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:30 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From the above article:

      Here are seven made-up trade proposals that would represent San Antonio’s best-case scenarios:

      1. From the Lakers: Ingram, Kuzma, Hart, Deng, no. 25 pick in 2018, 2021 first-round pick (unprotected)

      2. From the Celtics: Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Guerschon Yabusele, Abdel Nader, 2019 Kings first (top-one protected), 2019 Grizzlies first (top-eight protected, top-six protected in 2020, unprotected in 2021)

      3. From the Clippers: Tobias Harris, the no. 12 and no. 13 pick, 2021 first (unprotected)

      4. From the Sixers: Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, no. 10 pick

      5. From the Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, no. 9 pick, 2020 and 2022 firsts (unprotected)

      6. From the Kings: No. 2 pick, Justin Jackson, Skal Labissiere, 2021 first (unprotected)

      7. From the Suns: No. 1 pick, Josh Jackson, Dragan Bender, 2021 first (unprotected)

      • mud

        mud 10:09 AM on June 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        so, now the internet is the actual GM of all teams? the internet puts up the deals and the teams choose between internet values?

        San Antonio’s “best-case scenarios” are that they don’t end up with Kawhi leaving for nothing. why would a team, any team, give up all that for a guy who is leaving? what front office in its right mind would bend over to help the Spurs? no wonder all these teams are crying “bankruptcy” and demanding salary caps! they are all as idiotic as folks on the internet!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:42 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Kawhi Leonard’s camp flipping back and forth between Lakers and Clippers 

    Kawhi Leonard’s camp changes it’s mind often. It’s a fluid situation. Sometimes he prefers joining LeBron James with the Lakers but other times, he prefers the Clippers to avoid the spotlight — he didn’t like all the attention his injury situation got this season.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:44 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Almost sounds like Kawhi doesn’t want to play with LeBron, which would be fine. Love the idea of he and PG on the Lakers. Would allow us to keep Randle and Thomas. Just need to wait until we can sign him for nothing or the Spurs take Deng as part of the deal.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:52 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Enjoy misery if you force a trade there, sir.

    • mud

      mud 10:02 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      he’s just not THAT good. he’s not Kobe or MJ or Magic or Kareem or Wilt or West or Russell or Hakeem or Bird or LeBron, or any of those other guys who weigh down the scales just by showing up. he’s not even Duncan. i’d be VERY happy if the Lakers get him, but he’s not worth bending backwards over. he’s just a really, really good player, but i’d be surprised to see him take a team on his back to the finals, even in the eastern conference. he’s Scotty Pippen, not Jordan.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:18 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers should just sign Paul George! 

     

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:27 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually began writing this article last night before the news broke this morning about Kawhi Leonard’s camp leaking that Kawhi wanted out of San Antonio and he wanted to be traded to L.A., preferably to the Lakers. The more I ran the numbers and looked at the situation, the more everything I just wrote about why the Lakers should just sign PG, collect more assets this summer, and wait to pursue a second or third superstar until midseason or next summer resonated with me. Kawhi, LeBron, and PG is too good to be true.

      If the Lakers can convince the Spurs to take on Deng’s contract as part of a trade for Kawhi so the Lakes would have a clear path to sign LeBron and PG, it would be stupid to turn that opportunity down, even though we would have to build a new bench from scratch. Otherwise, our best course of action is to sign Paul George this summer and wait until next summer to sign Kawhi Leonard as a free agent. Would love to hear what you think. Thanks.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 7:32 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Keep in mind that if LBJ and PG agree to come, they can leave what’s needed $ to keep Randle and we don’t have to give (trade) anyone to anybody, thus keeping LB, Hart, Ingy, Kuz and Randle.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:34 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That’s true, DJ, but unless we move Deng, you’re talking about them each having to take at least $5 million less than the max. The only way that could be true is if LeBron is choreographing this entire scenario along with Kawhi and PG. Not impossible at all. But also not probable.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 8:14 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There’s no guarantee that Kawhi will be available next summer. There’s a big chance that he could really like his new team and stay with them.
        This is my dream scenario:
        Trade Ingram, Deng, and picks for Kawhi.
        Sign PG.
        Re sign Ju.
        This way, you are only giving up one of our youth and adding two of the best two way players while at the same time, retaining one of our most versatile ones.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 7:37 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom,
      I like your approach. For me the bigger issue is letting Randle walk and trading at least two of the kids to form a big three still may not be enough to get by the Warriors.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:40 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aloha, Michael,

        Thanks. It makes even more sense when you think of a team that only has Lonzo, LeBron, Kawhi, PG, and maybe Hart. That’s throwing away the baby with the bathwater as far as I’m concerned. Like with PG, don’t pay for what we could get for free next summer.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 8:00 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We need to keep in mind that Rockets had em, but for Paul going down. These Warriors will be able to be beaten.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 8:15 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We can’t let Randle walk.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:09 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Gotta also keep in mind how the Kawhi news was worded:
      Wants to come to LA…preferably to the Lakers.
      Means that the Clipps are on the table as well, although in secondary position (as usual).
      Spurs might make that deal just to get this mess over with…

      But yeah….I don’t wanna give up Kuz in that deal.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 8:29 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Who would you give up?

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 8:38 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Deng, Ingram, Hart (I hate to do it), picks, Jack Nicholson, whatever…

        The other problem could be getting the Spurs to take Deng’s contract if the Clipps offer has no such dead weight.

        • GDUBinDC

          GDUBinDC 9:10 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Realistically, do y’all really believe Buford would go for any of the proposed deals u’ve posted thus far? : )

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 9:23 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think it alot depends on whether another team (like Boston) steps up and takes the risk of trading assets for a guy who could walk in a year. If that doesn’t happen then you’re down to the 2 LA teams. I think they’d take one of those deals rather than go thru a whole season of this mess and then lose him with nothing in return.

          • GDUBinDC

            GDUBinDC 9:32 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            We’ll see ‘what’, if anything develops of these rumors and proposed trade scenarios.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:46 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I had a post much like this up for an hour or so except that I blew all my cap numbers and just scrapped it.

      In a nutshell is was this: I think a stronger option would be to sign one of James, George or Cousins. This allows you to absorb one, or both, of Thomas and Randle’s cap hits. Use your room exception to try and either Lopez, KCP, or another free agent of your choice (of the unrestricted variety).

      You keep Deng and use him as Randle’s back up and injury insurance for your bigs. You can W&S him next summer if you can’t find a taker for an expiring deal at the deadline. You could even go the extend and W&S route and minimize the hit even more.

      Use Bird Rights to re-sign Randle and IT. You can waive the non-guaranteed deals of Ennis, Zubac and Bryant to free up almost $10 mil if you sign LBJ, more than that if it’s either George or Cousins. If you’re not that high on IT, you renounce his rights and you can go after some really decent mid-level talent.

      This route keeps you out of any bidding war, allows you to get the superstar to appease Jeannie and the fan base, and continue to build on the chemistry and growth we saw last season. You could sign two or three superstars and decimate the team, it’s certainly possible to do. But I’m not so sure that’s the best way forward. At any rate, we’ll find out sooner than later what Magic and Rob got cooking on the burners.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:51 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Essentially what you said in your article, so, great write-up, LT!

        I don’t think RC Buford takes Leonard unless he can also package in either Mills or Gasol. If we’re dumping salary, he’ll insist, too. I suppose Pop and Buford could do Leonard a solid and hit rebuild but that sounds beyond outlandish. Deng ain’t going nowhere unless we W&S him.

        I say keep him and play him. After Thomas Bryant seeing no burn last season the other big mystery was why they didn’t play Deng to see if he could generate any interest. There certainly isn’t any, now. He couldn’t generate any less so…who knows.

        At any rate, I’m thinking there are more fireworks yet to come. The calendar turning followed by the draft ought to inform us of more than a little.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:06 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We’re saying the same thing, Jamie. Avoid LeBron. Sign one superstar and keep Randle and IT. That has the makings of a longer and more sustainable contending team. I would be fine with signing PG this summer and Kawhi next summer.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:36 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m fine with LeBron, but only if it’s just LeBron and complimentary parts. George has never been to the NBA Finals, neither has Boogie. LBJ can impart much wisdom and that is something that should not be ignored.

          You can sign LeBron and keep Randle and IT, easily. If all parties are into it. Leonard this summer is my least favorite option as it involves breaking up the band. Continuity, chemistry, cohesion.

          Kinda hope it’s Boogie.

          • mclyne32 (Director) 3:32 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            One very very important thing you’re forgetting is that LeBron ain’t coming, unless another star is coming with him.
            As you can see in my post above, I’m perfectly fine with him not coming because I value our youth.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:38 AM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think we agree on the multi “super star” dream is a disingenuous path to success. I’m basically fine with which whatever superstar it ends up being.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:02 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    The key to the Lakers landing Kawhi is his refusing to re-sign with any other team 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:04 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Of course, this could all be this summer’s version of the Hampton Five. This could be LeBron James taking his next superteam into his own hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if he told Kawhi that he and PG would join the Lakers if he forces the Spurs to trade him there. You know these guys have been talking and plotting. Players can control everything now. The days of the GM’s putting together superteams may be gone.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:34 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Pressure now on Magic's Lakers with Kawhi-LeBron-George superteam real possibility 

    It’s only fitting that Magic Johnson is at the helm, because it’s showtime for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Only this fast break doesn’t have Michael Cooper and James Worthy running the wings with Byron Scott spotting up behind the 3-point arc — this one has Kawhi Leonard trying to flee San Antonio, a homesick Paul George looking to play for his childhood team, and the megalodon of all big fish, LeBron James, looking to produce the climactic final act to his legendary career.

    The Lakers and their fans have been eagerly awaiting this moment for five years, crouched and wiggling like a lioness hiding in the brush, waiting for the unsuspecting free agent antelopes to drop their guard for a split-second.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:43 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent article by Colin Ward-Henninger for CBS Sports. There’s also a great video there where one of the San Antonio reporters who covers the Spurs talks about the split with Kawhi and what the Spurs might do. Not happy with Aldridge, how the injury was handled, and homesick for LA.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 10:23 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yeah, and so far the Lakers have NONE of them.

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