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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:28 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: Why Bradley Beal might end up being second star 

    However, there is a fair probability that Davis won’t ever wear the purple and goal and it will instead be Bradley Beal that gets called upon to be the team’s second star.
    Beal is not on the same MVP level as Davis, that is without question. However, he could still be the second-best player on a title-contending team. Here are three reasons why Bradley Beal might end up being the route the Lakers take.

    1. The Los Angeles Lakers might have the urgency to make a deal happen now.

    2. Bradley Beal is good enough to be the second star alongside LeBron James.

    3. Bradley Beal has a reasonable trade value.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:33 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Interesting article by Jason Reed along with some excellent points about why the Lakers might find it easier to make a deal midseason for a star than next summer. There’s a lot to be said about how Beal would fit well with LeBron on the Lakers. He’s the elite catch-and-shoot player all-around superstar that can play well with LeBron. He’s not AD and the price to get him reflects that. What he could be is a bird in hand.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:43 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Could be a huge mistake waiting around for KD, Klay, or Kawhi (none of whom has given any indication of wanting to come here) if there is a deal to be made for a guy like Beal. Our guys’ trade value plummets with every bad game they continue to put up. Lotta nationally televised games against top teams on the horizon as well.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:14 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke Walton is mulling lineup changes, and Lakers may be mulling a coaching one 

    Despite an uplifting Christmas Day victory against the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers’ fall from grace sans LeBron James appeared inevitable to everyone but the team’s front office. As a result, Sunday’s dreadful loss to the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers has staged another potential showdown between Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and coach Luke Walton.

    Following the loss to the tanking Cavs, which came nine days after a loss to the tanking New York Knicks, Walton told reporters that he is considering a lineup change in advance of Tuesday’s game against the tanking Chicago Bulls. Should that adjustment result in an eighth loss in 11 games without James, there is increasing speculation that Johnson could present this string of defeats to Lakers owner (and Walton supporter) Jeanie Buss as evidence in support of the case for firing the coach.

    Johnson’s skepticism of the incumbent coach that preceded his regime has been no secret. He reportedly “admonished” Walton for the Lakers’ 3-5 start to the season in a November meeting, and even when Johnson tepidly supported Walton in the aftermath of that report by saying, “He is going to finish the season,” the team president included the caveat: “unless something drastic happens.”

    Losing to the league’s three worst teams in a span of two weeks may very well count as drastic.

    What does it say about the roster that a player acquired through an early season buyout might be their best shot to avoid losing to yet another single-digit win team? What did the Lakers expect when they signed Stephenson, Beasley, McGee and Rondo to one-year deals in hopes of pushing their pursuit of big-name free agents to July 2019? They’re not building a team. They’re biding their time.

    So, Johnson may have his opportunity to pitch Buss on bringing in his own guy in the coming weeks. Walton knows this and insinuated as much in an interview with The Athletic’s Sam Amick last week:

    “At the end of the day, you either get fired or you don’t. But when you get fired and you tried to do it to please other people, then you’re going to have regret. If you get fired, but you went out and you did it your way and you coached what you believed in, then you can live with that. You can sleep at night, and you move on to what’s next.”

    Then what? You lose a promising young coach who has improved the team’s record in each of his first three seasons and had the Lakers hunting a home playoff seed before James went down, and you replace him with whom? A retread like Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd or Tyronn Lue, or another promising young coach, like Jerry Stackhouse, who might require an even greater learning curve than Walton?

    The more you think of candidates who could both command a LeBron-led team and be the sort of player development coach the young Lakers so desperately need, the more you realize that the coach isn’t the real problem with the Lakers this season. It’s a roster problem, and that is on Johnson and Pelinka. They won’t fire themselves, so Walton is their scapegoat. Such is life as LeBron’s coach.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:23 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      An excellent article by Ben Rohrbach for Yahoo Sports. Luke Walton and the Lakers’ young core have a lot in common in that they’re both talented but so young and inexperienced that they face a difficult road ahead earning a long term role with the LeBron James Lakers. Every game is going to be a must win game for Luke and the young Lakers, starting with the Bulls tomorrow night. We don’t do well against crappy teams from the East.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 6:34 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, I am just puzzled by our lack of energy, motivation, and perhaps Luke would be a good coach for a more established veteran team?

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:40 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good point, DJ. The only complaint I have with Luke’s ‘player management’ skills is his ‘chill’ laid back approach. I wouldn’t want a screamer like me who’s always standing and yelling but teams that play with a lot of passion usually play for a coach who’s fiery and passionate. That’s not Luke. There’s no question he still has the team but it’s kind of like he expects them to understand the urgency and motivate themselves. Very Phil like expectations, like letting teams work out their problems on court. Not a recipe for success with kids.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 6:46 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Say LT, I’m not so good at numbers, but why can GS pay Curry $37 Mil, KD $30 Mil, Klay $18 Mil, Dray $17 Mil, and Iguodala $16 Mil plus and we can only have LBJ and one other Big $$ guy?

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 6:50 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink

              Bird rights.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:33 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sooooo many excuses being made for Luke.
      If it wasn’t so sad it would be comical.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:43 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He may need them if the Lakers lose tomorrow night to the Bulls. That’s how quickly the worm turns in these situations. A hero on Christmas day, hanging as the result of 10 games without LeBron James. Like you said, “if it wasn’t so sad it would be comical.”

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 6:49 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We can’t hang our hat forever on that one win 3 weeks ago.
        The simple fact is that Lebron’s absence has shown that nobody has made any real progress from last season’s 35 win team. That includes Luke. These dudes still play 1 good game for every 3 mediocre/poor games.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 7:04 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          But, could we pay Beal $27 Mil and grab KD or Kawhi for $35-40 Mil going over the cap? Could we do that?

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 7:10 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply


            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 7:12 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink

              That’s not the answer I want to hear, lol!

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 7:31 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Lotta things fell into place for the Dubs to build that core. 1st & foremost was Steph’s early injury issues that forced him to sign that below market value extension. Then that huge tv contract salary cap increase that allowed them to pursue KD. We haven’t been as fortunate. Our windows of opportunity always seem to be slightly mis-aligned.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 8:28 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink

              So we are paying $67 Mil for next year leaving $42 Mil to spend. Buying Beal would olny leave us with $15 Mil for whoever.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:29 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I dunno…as frustrating as this stretch has been, and it has been extremely frustrating, you take just about any team in the Association and remove their top player and best PG and see how they fare.

      Have holes been exposed? Yup, no doubt, but it’s not like those holes aren’t an injury or two away from any other team. Even Houston still has James Harden. heck, Boston is healthier than last year and is struggling.

      Mainly I have a hard time seeing a major coaching change until the summer. That’s a Jeannie call and it would take this kind of losing with LeBron to trigger something like that.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 10:05 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        For me..it’s not even so much about the losses. It’s more about the lack of growth/development from alotta these giys combined with the continuing problems with energy, hustle, motivation, aggressiveness, fire, cajones, or whatever you wanna call it. It’s been a common thread since last season and doesn’t bode well for the future of the franchise. If it continues then the question becomes not only who wants to trade for these guys but also who wants to PLAY with these guys?

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:23 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    2 trades that would protect Lakers’ ‘sacred’ cap space and turn them into contenders 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:34 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      These two trades would increase the Lakers potential $38 million in cap space by the amount of Brandon Ingram’s $7 million salary and Lonzo Ball’s $9 million so we would have $54 million in cap space next summer. And, as you can clearly see, all three trades would generate 14 additional wins for the current season per ESPN.

      It would also give the Lakers Bird Rights on two players who would be excellent fits to remain with the Lakers in the event that they were unable to sign KD, Kawhi, or Klay. While they would have to wait until midseason to trade any player signed this summer, the two could be valuable trading chips in a 2020 midseason Anthony Davis trade with the Pelicans, especially Vucevic, who’s emerged as a top-ten center.

      Ingram and Ball did both perform better the second half of last season but they still look to be too far away from reaching their potential to be the kind of impact players LeBron and the Lakers need to compete for a championship in the next couple of years, despite what Luke Walton believes. It’s a combination of their age and their fit with LeBron. Frankly, Kuzma and Hart are more versatile fits with LeBron.

      After last night’s game, you couldn’t blame Magic and Rob for deciding to go all in on this season and trade both Lonzo and Brandon for Kemba and Vucevic. That would certainly give the Lakers a powerful fresh new look for this season. Swapping Ball, Ingram, Zubac, and Stephenson for Vucevic and Kemba could transform the Lakers into an instant championship contender for this season.

      PG: KEMBA WALKER, Rajon Rondo


      SF: LEBRON JAMES, Svi Mykhailiuk

      PF: KYLE KUZMA, Michael Beasley

      CE: NICOLA VUCEVIC, JaVale McGee



      It’s possible that the Magic and Hornets wouldn’t make these deals but they’re both likely to lose Vucevic and Walker for nothing this summer and this gives them a #2 overall pick to build around.

      For the Lakers, I don’t see how they could decline the deals if the Magic and Hornets were willing. Kemba and Nicola would dramatically upgrade the Lakers to contenders right now.

      • p ang

        p ang 4:08 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You seriously think anybody wants Lonzo at this point?

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:24 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Sure. Elite playmaker and elite defender. He will have to learn how to finish and make free throws but those will come. He’s still only 21 and was a #2 overall pick. You don’t get a chance to trade for a #2 overall pick on his rookie contract unless there are some warts. Problem is Lakers may not be able to afford to wait and gamble on him or Brandon.

          • p ang

            p ang 6:01 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            At this point Zo is a backup 1, to be used as a defensive guard. BUT whatever defense he brings is negated by his offense. Only reason he not being subject to hack a shaq is they’re losing anyway. If they make the playoffs you can bet its on the table.

            To be traded for Kemba? That’s a Gasol for Kwame trade, at this point.

            Remember DLo? a #2 traded for change.

        • therealhtj

          therealhtj 4:46 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hey Jordan wanted Kwame, so anything’s possible?

          • p ang

            p ang 6:03 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            that’s true. its possible to win the lottery too but will you buy a ticket?

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 7:18 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Is Vuc even on the market?

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:21 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There’s no long term position for him on that team, which is why it was expected that they would trade him rathe than lose him for nothing as a free agent. He has played better than expected, as the Lakers unfortunately found out but they’re not going to re-sign him to a long-term deal. He gives you something that we desperately could use with LeBron, which is an offensive threat at the five who can both efficiently post his man up or take him behind the 3-point line. He would be great playing with LeBron. Not a great defender but not a stiff either. He and Kemba on those cheap contracts too.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:47 AM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    Inside look at today’s Lakers practice 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:46 AM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke Walton’s job could be on the line if the Lakers lose to the Bulls 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:37 AM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke and his staff need to accept blame for Lakers' inept half-court offense 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:39 PM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Tonight’s Lakers starters vs. Cavaliers 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:46 PM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers Basketball back at home tonight at 6:30 PT! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:42 PM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke Walton thinks Lakers ‘can beat anyone’ if they ‘can get healthy’ 

    The Lakers have trudged through a severe bout with the injury bug, but Luke Walton remains confident that once LeBron James and everyone else is back, they’ll be tough to deal with.

    With what we have, and with it being (pro) sports, if we can get healthy we can beat anyone,” he said. “It doesn’t happen often, but you look through the history of sports and there are teams that weren’t supposed to be ready or weren’t supposed to win (it all) that beat other teams, and we have – in my opinion – the best player in the world. And he has proven that he can do the impossible for however many straight years now, so can this be a special season? For sure.”

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:41 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Sixers should trade Jimmy Butler 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:44 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I saw a tweet this morning suggesting the Sixers trade Butler to the Lakers for KCP and Rondo. While that seems like a bad trade for the Sixers, it could actually fill a couple of huge holes in the 76ers lineup. KCP could be the catch-and-shoot guard they need and Rondo could give them a championship caliber point guard for the playoffs. Sixers may need to trade Butler if the fit and conflict gets worse. His trade value as an obvious rental and possible bad fit on most teams is going to limit what teams would give for him. Personally, I wouldn’t want Jimmy on the Lakers but Magic and Rob might feel differently. A low or no risk trade for both teams.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 12:39 PM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Without Rondo we have no chance in the playoffs even with the CANCER Butler. Unreal it was said he wasn’t…I don’t need to be fooled 3 times to call it how I see it. I can’t stand people like jimmy.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:01 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: Players most likely to be traded before deadline 

    So what can we expect between now and the trade deadline? There’s a decent chance at least one player is dealt, but more could also be sent packing. The only question is who will be wearing a different jersey come Feb. 8?

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:21 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Could the Lakers trade Rondo, Beasley, or KCP for a first round pick to improve their chances of trading for Anthony Davis. Each of them could be a missing piece for a team looking to make a playoff push. Since the Kings are the only team with any cap space right now, a trade would also have to bring back another expiring contract for the trade to be made. It could be something to watch. Landing another first round pick for next year or maybe even two would go a long way towards helping the Lakers match the Celtics war chest.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:59 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers may be struggling, but don’t expect LeBron James to possibly rush back 

    While James, 34, could be in line to return in time for the Lakers’ game against the Thunder, he will take a cautious approach and is prepared to be out multiple weeks if that’s what it takes to return at 100 percent, a source familiar with James’ thinking told ESPN.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:25 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If LeBron is not ready for the Thunder, Rockets, and Warriors run, Lakers could easily fall out of the playoffs. That’s why winning the next two games against inferior opponents is so critical.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 5:32 PM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mid-February through mid-April are more critical.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:39 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers vs. Cavaliers Preview: Can L.A.’s offense finally generate some points? 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:00 PM on January 12, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke Walton Responds to JaVale McGee’s Criticism of the Coaching Staff 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:27 PM on January 12, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I tend to agree with JaVale that the Lakers should have changed up their coverage. Early in the season, the Lakers kind of moved away from their previous switch-everything defensive philosophy because teams were isolating on Kuzma, which was likely also thought to be affecting his offense.

      The ‘deep drop’ strategy is the result of the Lakers deciding to follow the ball handler around the screen rather than going under or switching the screen. Basically, the strategy requires McGee to stay close to Gobert to take away the lob instead of moving up to contest the shooter earlier. When the guard can’t follow close enough, McGee ends up caught between a rock and a hard place. Last night, he prevented Gobert from dunking but Mitchell killed him with floaters while Ingles embarassed him with misdirection layups.

      Should the Lakers have changed their coverage and maybe switched on those screens to keep the ball handler from penetrating and forcing the guards to follow? I understand Luke wants the team’s focus to be on executing the strategy better rather than changing strategies but that belies the reality that every matchup is different. Mitchell was hot and Ingles is a born trickster so it might have been smarter to keep them out of the paint. Luke seemed to think the Jazz shot a low percentage on those floaters but it didn’t seem that way. Might be better to adjust and live to play another day rather than stick to your guns.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:18 PM on January 12, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As a defender you’re going to give up some kind of shot, that’s the reality in the NBA. Everyone is too skilled, can hit from multiple spots on the floor and with the rules being what they are. I don’t honestly mind a Death by 1,000 Floaters. Would I prefer contested mid-range jumpers? Absolutely, but that’s where the work comes in. Need to get better at staying in front of perimeter players and, even with LeBron, we don’t have a good small ball center. So the floater will be there and to Utah’s credit they made enough of them to win.

    • p ang

      p ang 11:49 PM on January 12, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Team couldn’t make a basket. That’s on the players. No need to overthink it.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:06 AM on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There’s a reason why we stopped switching everything..those reasons still applied in this game. I’ll defer to Luke on thus this one over JaVale…

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:44 PM on January 11, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lonzo Ball’s Shooting Is a Serious Problem for LA Lakers 

    Ball is a rare player who can make a significant impact on a game while scoring just five points. In almost 35 minutes while he was on the floor, the Lakers outpaced Detroit by 24 points, as Ball put the clamps on Blake Griffin on switches—yes, Blake Griffin.

    When he’s fully engaged, Ball can be one of the best players in a game, despite his inability to consistently finish at either the basket or free-throw line. That’s why he can’t let a poor shooting night take him out of his game. He’s not a good shooter. He’s going to have a lot of off nights.

    Ball has some similarities to retired All-Star Jason Kidd. Although Kidd was a far more ball-dominant point guard than Ball, in his second season, Kidd only shot 38.1 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range. At his shooting peak, he hit 42.5 percent from deep in the 2009-10 season, well above his career average of 34.9 percent.

    It took Kidd over a decade to find his shot. Now that the Lakers have James, they’re suddenly in win-now mode. They may not have time to wait for Ball to find a consistent jumper or free throw, especially if teams are able to take advantage of his inability to shoot in the postseason.

    Walton and his teammates have encouraged Ball to be more of an aggressive scorer and he has looked to shoot more within 10 feet of the basket. Per NBA.com, Ball is attacking in that range on 38.1 percent of his attempts, up from last year’s 31.6 percent. Ball is also converting at a higher clip as well, up from 52.2 percent to 55.4 percent.
    Would the Lakers see an even bigger jump from Ball at the basket if he could also convert at the line?

    “It seems like that’s true, but that’s just me trying to get into his head,” another video analyst said.

    Ball may not even consciously know but he needs to be a credible scoring threat for the Lakers, especially as the team moves on past the regular season.

    “We’ve got to fix [our free-throw shooting], especially if we want to win in the playoffs,” Ball said recently on the Spectrum Sports Net broadcast. “We’re not going to win if we keep missing free throws as a whole. Myself, I obviously have to make mine and the rest of the guys that are getting to the line.”

    For now, Walton can only act as cheerleader, encouraging Ball to be aggressive as a scorer.

    “I think the more he continues to play aggressively, the more he gets to the line, he’ll get more comfortable there. He’ll knock them down,” Walton said.

    It’s an annoyance today, but in April, May and potentially June, it could be a serious problem.

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