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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:12 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Resilient Isaiah Thomas on Lakers role: ‘I’m not no sixth man’ 

    The irony, of course, is that the players doing the most damage – Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Thomas, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – have no contracts beyond this season and no reason to believe they’re part of the Lakers’ future. But theirs is a shared mission, a chance to play the game with a free spirit as free agency nears.

    And Thomas, who has learned time and again that he can only control so much, will keep searching for the hoops happiness that has been so tough to come by of late.
    “At the end of the day, when free agency comes, I’m going to go where I’m wanted, and wanted the most, and wanted to be Isaiah Thomas,” he said. “And I’ve got to make the best decision for me and my family, and that’s all that I’m going to be worried about when that time comes.”

    “I’m feeling good, man. Every day, every game, I’m getting better and better. I’m moving better. My body’s feeling better. It’s just – it’s going to take time to get back to that level, but also – which I tell people – my opportunity is not the same as it was when I was in Boston. Even when I was in Cleveland, it wasn’t the same as it was in Boston, so you can’t expect me to go out and average 30 points when I’m not given that same opportunity. If that opportunity comes back, and when it does – because I know it will – I promise you: I’ll be more than ready to take advantage of that opportunity, and be back on top.”

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:14 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You could make a credible argument that Paul George, Julius Randle, and Isaiah Thomas might turn into the Lakers new Big 3 giving Lonzo, Brandon, and Kyle the time to grow and develop into a future Lakers Big 3.

    • mud

      mud 12:20 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      since only 5 can play at a time, on this squad, IT might be a 6th man….

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:06 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sometimes you just gotta believe what a guy is telling you. If we sign PG13 then there’s no way IT’s starting. PG or BI will be starting at the 2.

      • mud

        mud 4:05 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        i don’t have to believe anything.
        IT will wait to see what the demand is and then make a decision from there, as will all the rest of the free agents. i agree, though. if PG13 comes, then IT probably won’t start, assuming he even wants to sign with the Lakers.

        NOTHING is written in stone, at this point.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:36 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I remember Andre Iguodala and many other great players agreeing to come off the bench to benefit the team. If the Lakes offer more money, starter level minutes, and the ability to be the team’s closer (and there’s no question right now that he is better at that than Lonzo), then I think IT will stay. This is the big move Luke has to make just like getting Andre to come off the bench set the stage for the Warriors to break out. We need Isaiah Thomas and he needs the Lakers. We’ll just have six starters.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:55 AM on March 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Julius Randle Calls Altercation With Isaiah Thomas ‘Great’ 

    It’s great, honestly. We expect a lot out of each other. It was just communicating. We expect a lot out of each other, we want to win, we expect to win these games and we expect each other to play at a certain level. It’s just us being teammates. There’s nobody I’d rather go to war with than I.T., so it’s nothing personal. We’re just trying to get the best out of each other to try and win the game.”

    “Just two basketball players competing. That’s all it was. We just happened to be yelling. We want the best for each other. We just want to win. We’re two leaders on the team that were competing. There was a misunderstanding at one point. We talked about it, and we’re good. … I mean, I’m a leader. It’s not me getting after anybody. It’s just me leading. If I see something, I’m going to say something. And that goes vice versa. If they see something, they should say something. That’s how it’s supposed to be on basketball teams. It’s not calling anybody out, not getting on anybody. Just doing what’s best for this team.”

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 1:49 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Those vets in CLE weren’t trying to hear it from the new guy who never even got to the finals. These young dudes might be more receptive but Ju got a lil bit tired of it last night.

      • mud

        mud 4:07 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        those vets in Cleveland are stupid, then. well, that’s not surprising.

        NOBODY likes to get jawed at, almost everyone will bristle in return. that does not make a problem, necessarily. arm in arm singing Kumbaya is not a requirement for a winning team.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:02 AM on March 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Could the Lakers keep everybody? 

    The Lakers are facing a conundrum because their grand plan to create cap space to sign two superstars is likely to require the team to denounce rights to several key players who’ve been major contributors to the team’s resurgence.

    The Lakers’ young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma has certainly been the catalyst behind the team’s recent elite play but you can’t ignore the inspired contributions from key players on expiring contracts like Julius Randle, Isaiah Thomas, Brook Lopez, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. While adding two superstars would make the Lakers better, the best option might be to sign one superstar and use smart cap moves to keep everybody.

    This is where front office vision and savvy cap management come into play. If the Lakers believe their current roster would be a top 4 team in the West, then they should seriously consider signing Paul George and using the rest of their cap space to sign several second tier stars to fill specific roster needs. Once they’ve used up their cap space, the Lakers could then use Bird rights to re-sign Julius Randle and Isaiah Thomas and their MLE to sign Brook Lopez.

    The beauty of this strategy is it will let the Lakers add Paul George and several championship caliber free agents to fill roster holes while allowing the team to keep the key veterans that have helped make them a winner. More importantly, it guarantees that the Lakers will be able to keep both Julius Randle and Isaiah Thomas, both of whom could become superstars, and eliminates the need to trade picks or players to move Deng’s contract.

    • mud

      mud 12:14 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      yes, they could do all that.

      the so-called “plan” was never in concrete, anyway. it’s always been a movable target, since the #1 goal is to have a team in contention, not hire x number of stars. for this reason, the only “conundrum” is “considering the available talent, what course is most likely to lead to success?”.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 1:39 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ju, IT, Brook = $54mill in cap holds

      • keen observer

        keen observer 1:49 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        IT and Brook will be renounced quickly. I don’t think this summer will move as quickly as last summer because the LeBron, PG, Cousins dominoes may take awhile to fall plus there’s less money available plus there are several solid RFAs from the 2014 class like Randle (e.g., Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Zach Lavine, Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood and Clint Capela) this summer. Apparently the 2014 draft wasn’t so horrible after all. It will be fascinating how things shake out.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 1:59 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          But that’s not the plan being laid out here.
          If you renounce IT then you lose his Bird Rights and can’t go over the cap to re-sign him.
          Bird rights are valuable when you’re already near or over the cap heading into the summer. Otherwise the hold eats up most of the advantage. The scenario shown here is exactly why the holds are there in the 1st place.

          Anyway…if you have Noel & Bryant then why mess around with Brook anyway? How many centers are we gonna carry? Especially if Ju will be logging minutes there as well…

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:12 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I think you need to keep Brook if you want Julius to start at the 5. I also think Brook has shown some value with his size and offensive skills. He has also done the best job of our centers protecting the rim. Made some great blocks the last few games.

            I’m intrigued by Noel as everybody knows. His unique ability to guard all 5 positions and his speed as a rim runner are perfect fits alongside a shooter who can stretch the floor like Kyle. Randle’s rise has made him a must starter, which means Kuzma comes off the bench.

            There are other variations of this plan depending on whether Thomas is willing to come off the bench, which I agree is a must if we get PG. But I somehow think Isaiah may back down on that because he is not going to get more money or PT or closing role like he would on Lakers.

            Anyway, I could see a scenario where we kept KCP rather than Thomas. The point of the article is not to give up the vets who’ve been instrumental in turning us into a winning team when we sign free agents. That dilutes the impact of the free agents. Why not use Bird Rights to land Randle and either Thomas or KCP? We’re going to be in the tax once we start giving extensions to all the kids but we can use Bird Rights to build a better roster right now.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 9:39 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink

              Tom, that’s not how the MLE works. You can’t turn yourself from a non-cap team into a cap team and then create an MLE. They would have to renounce Brook’s rights and re-sign him with the Room Exception under your scenario. Anyway, this is making me dizzy. Once again, the team we see next season won’t be any of the hypothetical scenarios you have been laying out all season long.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:22 AM on March 16, 2018 Permalink

              Thanks, Keen. I wasn’t sure about that. So Brook would have to accept $4 per year or the Lakers could sign him for $8M instead of Ariza. Lots of options.

              In fact, they could even decide to use the $18M after signing PG to sign KCP with the idea of having Josh Hart back up Ingram at the 3 and then use the Cavs’ draft pick to grab a young mobile shot blocking center.

              PG: Lonzo, Isaiah
              SG: PG, KCP
              SF: Ingram. Hart
              PF: Randle, Kuzma
              CE: Lopez, Bryant, Cavs Draft Pick

              I actually really like this option better than my original one. We add PG and really do bring everybody back.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:02 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        True but they would renounce Brook, whose hold is almost $34M.
        I went back and recalculated whether the Lakers could generate $48M in cap space. The answer is but they would have to waive Zubac and waive and stretch Deng.

        Here’s a recap of the cap sitution before signing Randle and Thomas:

        1. Players under contract (Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, Josh, and Thomas) total $17942,322
        2. Holds for Randle and Thomas total $24,344,378
        3. You do need to waive and stretch Deng so add in $7,362,000
        5. Assuming a $99,093,000 Salary Cap, Lakers would have $48,300,000 to spend
        6. Lakers use that $48M to sign PG to $30.3M max deal, Noel to $10M, and Ariza to $8M
        7. Lakers use Bird rights to sign Randle to $18M 4-years and Thomas to $16M 3-years.
        8. Finally, since they’re over the cap, the sign Lopez to 3-year deal for $8M.
        9. Total payroll is now $117,948,173, which is below the tax threshhold of $119,266,000

        Lakers would have 5 players on rookie contracts, including Cavs pick
        Lakers would sign 6 free agents, 3 from other teams, and 3 of their own.
        Roster would have 11 players:

        PG: Lonzo Ball, Isaiah Thomas
        SG: Paul George, Josh Hart
        SF: Brandon Ingram, Cavs Draft Pick
        PF: Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma
        CE: Brook Lopez, Nerlens Noel, Thomas Bryant

        Needs would be 3rd point guard, shooting guard, and small forward.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 12:28 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Don’t forget about cap holds for the Cav’s pick (probably 1.2 -- 1.5) and empty roster spots (about $815K each I think).

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:48 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Thanks. I included the draft pick but not the 4 empty roster spots. Could reduce the $48M to $46M but shouldn’t be a problem.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 3:09 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink

              Let;s face it, the ideal scenario would be trading Deng plus the Cavs’ pick, plus $5 mil in cash for cap space. I understand that it took D’Angelo Russell to get rid of Mozgov, but perhaps the landscape will be different this summer. It’s highly unlikely, which is why I call it the ideal scenario.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:19 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If IT wants a starting role, he will be moving on.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:36 AM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Depends on what other teams are willing to pay. Would IT opt to play for a team that has no chance of making the playoffs or competing for a championship? There aren’t many other teams with cap space to sign him and none of them are winning teams. Isaiah knows the Lakers are going to playing in the Finals down the road. That will win him over.

        It will be up to Luke to convince him to be our 6th starter, just like Kerr did with Iggy. Considering he will play starter minutes and close games, I think Isaiah will be willing to do that, especially if we offer him something like $18M for three years.

        The key thing to remember is that the Lakers can make both Randle and Thomas RFA’s and since they’re going to use Bird rights to go over the cap, they will be able to match any offer that another team makes, even if a max deal. Now the Lakers certainly aren’t going to pay either guy the max but I think both would be very happy with $16-18M deals, which would likely be more than other teams would offer

        When you consider KCP, Randle, Lopez, and Thomas have all been key contributors on a team playing like a top 4 team in the West, it would be foolish no to keep them, especially if you can pay two of them with Bird rights money over the cap. If Thomas will agree to be the 6th starter and Lopez to take the room exception, the Lakers could add PG and bring all four veterans back.

        Even adding PG to a roster that is a top 4 team in the West won’t be enough to dethrone the Warriors next year but give the kids a couple of years to grow or maybe trade some of the depth and picks for Kawhi or Klay, and the Lakers could be a serious playoff team that would be much better and deeper than if they just signed LBJ and PG and lost Randle, Thomas, KCP, and Lopez. Using Bird rights this summer to keep Randle and Thomas is the smart move.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 2:19 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Always thought provoking. BTW, Booker, KAT and Turner are QO’s after next season. Something to keep in mind.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:19 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The players who are stars will get extensions and the ones who aren’t will be RFA’s, which basically never get many bids and are usually matched. And many of the top free agents talked about for summer of 2019 like Kawhi and Klay probably won’t even hit the market.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:21 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It comes down to Lonzo Ball and how they view him. If he’s the PG of the future I don’t think IT stays around to play second fiddle, just not in his DNA. The same reason Kobe hung them up rather than pull a Dirk and hang on for too long. After that it becomes a discussion of role and the future of Ball: having IT takes a lot away from Lonzo, as we’ve seen recently in 4th quarters: all IT all the time, and it’s been very effective. But having IT and Lonzo and free agent X, likely a player that needs the ball to be an elite player, becomes redundant.

      I think Jr. leaves for greener pastures, which I’m fine with. But I’m glad he’s been around a little bit to show the kids what winning looks like.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 6:12 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        With the plan of adding PG and LeBron, or just PG, Randle and others, there would be already many ball handlers. Add to that the fact that IT wants to start, I just don’t see how he would fit. If he were to change his mind, which I think isn’t going to happen, I would love to have him as a sixth man.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:14 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I will bet you right now that IT is not going to get a better offer as far as money or closing role with any other team. That will be enough to change his mind. I love the idea of having Isaiah backup and play and close with Lonzo. Imagine how much better he could be next year with better players surrounding him.

          • tate793

            tate793 6:28 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Lot of supposition on the part of posters not in tune with the thought process and psycholigical make up of the players. Comments like “….not in his DNA” and “If he were to change his mind, which I don’t think he is going to…”, suggest an intimate knowledge of a certain player’s inner thoughts and make up, which is quite unlikely and farfetched

            Casting shade on players because one “doesn’t like him” doesn’t diminish that players skill set or ability as a player. Extolling the nonexistent virtues of a neanderthal plodding clodhopper doesn’t make him a quaity NBA center, either.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:34 PM on March 15, 2018 Permalink

              I just take folks at what they say and weigh it against their on-court demeanor and actions. IT has said “I’m not no 6th man” Figure that’s not code for “I can’t wait to backup Lonzo!”

              One man’s shade is another man’s tree and so go opinions. Call them what you will.

            • tate793

              tate793 2:04 AM on March 16, 2018 Permalink

              “Not in his “DNA” is beyond your ability to comprehend, regardless of what your formula maybe. IT’s on-the-court demeanor is one of competitor extraordinair. The consumate veteran leader, willing to do whatever it takes to win.

              Your willingness to slight certain players to help the ascension of your pet choices (Zubac, Wear and Caruso) secure roster spots dates back to the days of Ryan Kelly where you campaigned for him to start over Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Shawne Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Brandon Bass.

              I’m sure Luke remembers the 07/08 season when Trevor Ariza supplanted him from the SF starting spot. He stated that he wasn’t pleased sbout it, and never started again. Maybe that plays a part in his mindset with IT, or,Thomas Bryant. Walton’s dad, Bill, was a throw back, back-to-the-basket style center. Maybe that’s why his has preferential trestment for Zubac. Zubac is not the best option at backup 5. He doesn’t score, stretch the floor, protect the rim, rebound or roll.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 10:02 AM on March 16, 2018 Permalink

              I will take a man’s word as what he’s thinking inside, until he changes it.
              I would like to have him stay, but I’m not counting on it.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:39 AM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1. Since Lakers’ Plan A to sign 2 superstars would require denouncing rights to several key contributors to the team’s resurgence, how about a Plan B to sign PG and use cap space, Bird rights, and the MLE to bring back Randle, IT, KCP, and Lopez?

      2. Lakers renounce all free agents but Randle & Thomas, waive Zubac, waive & stretch Deng. Result would be salaries of $26.7M (Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Hart, Bryant, Deng, Cavs Pick) and cap holds of $24.3M for total of $51.0M. With $99.0M cap, Lakers would have $48.0M in cap space.

      3. Lakers use cap space to sign PG to $30M 4-year deal and KCP to $18M 3-year deal. They then use Bird rights to sign Randle to a $18M 4-year deal and Thomas to a $16M 3-year deal or to match any RFA offer. Finally, Lakers use room exception to sign Lopez to a $4M 3-year deal.

      4. Lakers end up with total salaries of $114M, which is over the cap but under the $119.3 tax threshold. No draft picks or players needed to move Deng. Can match any RFA offer for Randle or Thomas. Starters Lonzo, PG, Ingram, Randle, Lopez. Bench IT, KCP, Hart, Kuzma, Bryant.

      5. Lakers would not have cap space going forward but would be a deeper and better team. Their portfolio of young talent on rookie deals and veteran talent on tradeable contracts and their full suite of draft picks to trade for a superstar like Kawhi or Klay if they become available.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 1:16 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I thought you wanted to move on from Lopez?

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 1:33 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Only if we cannot sign NN, tee hee.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:59 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            There are three reasons I know want to bring Brick back.

            1. He has improved his offense and defense greatly since Jan 7 and is part of why we have been winning games.

            2. He’s a better fit alongside Randle since he can stretch the defense. Noel would be great as a backup playing alongside floor stretcher Kuzma.

            3. He will come cheaper than Noel and we can find a Noel style shot blocker using the Cavs first round pick.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 1:40 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        IT is unrestricted if I’m not mistaken …no matching rights

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:56 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Thomas was traded from Boston to Cleveland to Los Angeles.
          Thus, I believe the Laker still hold his Bird rights unless they renounce him.

          This means a player can obtain “Bird rights” by playing under three one-year contracts, a single contract of at least three years, or any combination thereof. It also means that when a player is traded, his Bird rights are traded with him, and his new team can use the Bird exception to re-sign him.


          Let me know if you saw something different, Mongo.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 2:13 PM on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The Lakers have his Bird Rights but he’s not a restricted free agent…they’re 2 different things. Ju is restricted..not IT

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:39 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink |  

    Go, Lakers! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:37 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink |  

    Tonight’s starters: 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:05 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink |  

    With Kyle Kuzma (ankle) out, Isaiah Thomas to start for Lakers 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:07 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Be interesting to see how Isaiah plays tonight. I expect a huge game from KD but Lakers should have an advantage with Steph, Klay, and Dray out. Would be great to win our third in a row and fifth in a row on the road.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:39 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink |  

    The Art of Keeping the Right Players! 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:55 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One of the things that may come back to bite us this off-season was not picking up the team option on Randle last summer. All this ‘keep him or let him walk if the offer sheet he signs is too expensive’ BS could have been dealt with if the front office had picked up his option. In the long run it’ll be better for Julius, he’ll end up making more money, but in terms of Laker stability it was a short-sighted move on Rob and Magic’s part. I remember when they picked up Nance’s option but not Randle’s. Thought it odd as he was always a movable contract and having one still on the rookie scale makes them all the more movable. Hopefully it all works out for the best for all involved.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:50 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s where missing that rookie year really hurt Julius. If he had that extra year, I’m sure he would have earned the extension. To their credit, they kept an open mind and made the smart decision not to trade Julius at the deadline. I’m confident they’ll make the right decision and make sure Julius remains in purple and gold. He is definitely out first superstar in my mind. He’s not playing like an All-Star player. He’s playing like an All-NBA player.

    • tate793

      tate793 12:59 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yes, keeping the right players is imperative. Player development is an art in itself. Luke is benefitting from the talent the players have, it’s a concerted team effort. Players, and the head coach, are young and still learning. There are some bad habits that need to be broken -- offensive fouls, missed free throws, missed defensive coverages, off-the-ball movement and giving up on defense. Luke seems reluctant to play Bryant and Williams, whose skillset could augment that of the starters and stave off fatigue at the end of games. Caruso, Wear and Zubac are limited in what they bring. One of the worst things that can happen to a player is to be left languishing on the end of the bench. Especially, when there is an obvious deficiency on the floor.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:52 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Great points, Tate. It’s never completely on the player because the guidnace, training, culture, and situation a player finds himself in can totally change what kind of player he becomes. Development can sometimes make the difference between a player reaching his ceiling or floor. This is one area where I feel the results confirm Luke has been outstanding. I haven’t always agreed with his methods or madness but I have confident he knows what he’s doing.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:49 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Regarding that pole of which combo of superstars and youngsters the fan base would want next season:
      47% of 6,200 voters chose signing Randle, PG, and keeping all our youth.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:57 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom
      Nice write up as usual. I have always been more about developing the young players. I always felt that even with adding two max players we still would Not be true contenders until the kids came into their own. Now Randle is playing like an all star on both sides of the ball. He could be an all NBA defense player next year with a full season as a starter. And with the growth he has shown BI could break out as early as next year. I will be perfectly happy if we just sign PG. heck as is this team would be a 4 or 5 seed. Next year. Considering we have bird rights on Julius we could fill out the roster and then we could go over and sign him. If we stretch Deng or better yet get someone to take him for a couple of first round picks we could sign George, Randle, IT if he would take a 6th man role and perhaps even bring Brook back while we develop our young centers. That would be a strong playoff team and perhaps a true contender in another year or two. And if we can’t get a max guy, bring this group back. We will still be a good team while we grow into a great team.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:17 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lonzo was a game-best +18 with 5 points, 9 boards, 8 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:23 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lonzo is the definition of a baller, a game changer. There were 2 other steals that just bounced right back to the Nuggets or Lonzo would have had 6 steals. Many of them big momentum swinging plays too.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 7:58 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He’ll need to fix that shot if he ever expect to get to the next level.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 10:26 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Big deal, he had a bad shooting night. He’s actually been shooting great as the season has progressed, but you refuse to see that. Also, that is his least important attribute, yet he has been proving to be clutch as he sunk the go ahead momentum changing 3 in the 4th quarter and we never looked back. His defense was incredible. Have you ever seen a 20 year old point guard play better defense than Lonzo? He is already at a level that other players dream of with his natural basketball instincts. He will develop runners, a mid range game and learn how to finish at the rim as he matures, but the idea that you are consumed by one poor shooting game speaks volumes about your shortsightedness! Otherwise, he had a phenomenal game, but neg-heads like you can’t focus on what caused his legit game best +18. Such a whiny, impatient, entitled Lakers fan. Grow up.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 11:03 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Ho lordy, here he comes again. Don’t you get tired of this routine?

            Numbers combined with the eyeball test don’t lie. Kid can’t shoot and the occasional non-abysmal outing doesn’t change the trend.

            Such a bitter, spiteful, drain on society you are. Go get a job.

            • mud

              mud 12:40 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              his shot is fine.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 2:15 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              therealhtj has determined that his eyeball does not like Lonzo Ball’s shot and based on Lonzo’s shooting performance last night, it proves that he has to “fix that shot if he ever expects to get to the next level.”

              Well alrighty then. Ignore his season long improvement and focus on one off night and the form you Hate. Once a Hater, always a Hater!

              As for my “job,” I think I will stay retired.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:01 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              39% 3-point shooter since January 7th.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 7:16 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              That sounds like a nice 2 & a half month stretch until you realize it’s only 13 actual games.


            • keen observer

              keen observer 7:17 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              Tom, not according to therealhtj’s “eye test.”

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 7:28 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              Actually 35% in those 13 games.

              Last 4 games:

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 7:30 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              So really…he got hot for 9 games from the arc.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 8:49 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink

              Who cares anyway.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:50 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He needs to learn a floater in the lane, and a jumper at the elbows.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 6:15 PM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        therealhtj thinks his shot stinks period. I agree with you and he will do all that over time, including finishing at the rim.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:11 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Randle kept us close, Kuz brought us back, and Isaiah closed the game 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:08 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Randle and Kuzma Bringing It! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:07 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    How About PG, Randle, KCP, and IT? 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:21 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Who needs LeBron? Maybe all the Lakers need is another year of growth for the Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma, Hart, Zubac, and Bryant and then sign PG, JR, IT, and KCP as free agents. I’d love to root for that team.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 8:14 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        AND Brook Lopez. He has a positive effect on this team. Continuity, continuity, continuity.

        • Worthy42

          Worthy42 9:30 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good point, Keen. I was down on Lopez initially, but feel he has really come around and provides some leadership and maturity.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 10:31 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            And he turns 30 on April 1st, so for a big he should be in his prime for 3-5 more seasons.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 5:06 AM on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yes -- my dream as well. And if not PG this year, then someone else next year. Just say no to LBJ.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:06 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers get revenge on Nuggets 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:38 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers' Championship Obsession 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:34 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Warriors shorthanded tomorrow against Lakers 

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:55 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      4th time he’s rolled that ankle this season.
      Take the 2 seed and don’t rush him back…

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 6:40 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agreed, and I think that’s Coach Kerr’s thinking as well.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:23 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink |  

    Eric Pincus on Lakers signing LeBron, PG, and Randle 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:32 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Lakers shouldn’t have to give up either Kuzma or Hart to move Deng.
      If the Lakers needed to, they could easily give up Zubac or Bryant.
      Young core should be Lonzo, Ingram, Randle, Kuzma, and Hart.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:51 PM on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Impossible to predict..especially not knowing the other team involved, where the Cavs pick lands, or how much another club might offer Julius. I’m guessing Kuzma is pretty much untouchable but Hart not so much. If it meant being able to unload Deng and sign Ju, PG, & LBJ then it’s bye-bye Joshy.

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