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  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 1:57 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink |  

    Cap Space 

    Aloha,

    Cap space is nice to have but we are seeing the flip side of that space. The rumor was that the Lakers could have extended Randle for between 12 and 15 mil. If that had been done they could have traded for Kawhi without having to include Deng. And it might have only cost one of our young core and some picks. Now our best chance to land Kawhi in a trade is to spike Pop and Buford’s wine with some acid and convince them that helping LA build a power house by taking would be a kind and groovy thing. I think it’s important to try and retain Julius not just for what he brings but as future trade chip. You just don’t let someone that good walk.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:19 PM on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I just hope Magic and Rob can see past their bromance with signing an 33-year old LeBron is not the smart move for the Lakers to make with their young core. Trade for Kawhi, sign PG, and keep Randle and Thomas and continue building continuity and establishing an identity.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 7:02 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink |  

    Be careful what you wish for 

    Aloha,

    I have always been for adding stars to the our kids. But I have never been for trading them for a star. If trading for Kawhi does not lead to a couple of rings then it could go down as perhaps the worst move in Lakers history. A line up of Lebron, Kawhi and PG sounds great but the Warriors can more then match them on both offense and Defense. Warriors have two superstars and two all stars, Lakers would have one less all star and little depth to match the Warriors depth. Don’t be fooled by this year, the Warriors were injury riddled all year with little cohesion. Even in the playoffs neither Curry nor Klay later were 100%. And how ironic would it be if the Warriors finally stumbled in a couple of years only to lose to the Ingram and Kuzma led Spurs. By adding to our young core we have the chance to contend for the next 10 years. Lebron will be 38 by end of a 4 year deal. Kawahi will be 31 and PG 32. Randle will be 27, Kuzma and Hart 26, Bi and Lonzo 24. I really don’t think it’s worth the risk.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:43 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Right on, Jamie. You should like the Medium article I just published. We don’t have the depth yet to pull off such a move. That’s a move better suited for next summer.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 8:02 PM on May 26, 2018 Permalink  

    Contenders next year 

    Aloha,

    I’m sitting the Rockets Warriors and it dawned on me for the first time we possibly could contend next or the year after for sure. It all depends on the right free agents. I never thought I would say this but I think Boogie could be key. Maybe I’ll come to my senses but It appears he may have left his baggage in Sacramento. They seemed really like him in New Orleans. Assuming he’s close to where he was having both Cousins and Randle could fundamentally change the way both the Rockets and Warriors want to play. First Cousins is the big strong kind of center that gives Cappella problems and he would force The Warriors to play a big center that puts Iggy on the bench. Next you have Randle. There is now way Tucker could guard Randle but Randle could guard him. If he can guard Curry he can guard Tucker. They would have to try Anderson who Julius would eat up as well. One other benefits of Cousins signing is if you want Rondo as a back up bringing in Cousins maybe the only way he comes considering their friendship.
    The other addition is a guy I haven’t been advocating either. I would try to bring in Lebron. My main objection to Lebron was the age factor. But if we can contend in the next two years he is absolutely the best guy. It would be hard to much to a front line of Lebron, Cousins and Randle would be the nastiest front lines in the NBA. With just normal improvement from the kids we could contend if next year the following year for sure.
    Stsrters
    Lonzo
    Ingram
    Cousins
    Lebron
    Randle
    2nd team
    Rondo
    Hart
    Kuzma
    Bryant

    This could be a very good team.

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 8:36 PM on May 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Don’t forget to add Noel, who is of utmost importance.

    • p ang

      p ang 10:59 PM on May 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      other than Kuz and maybe LBJ this lineup has no outside shooters.

      • humanomaly 12:22 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The team won’t need outside shooters, the ball will die in his hands, and if and when he does kick out, the shots will be rushed and not in a smooth flow…I’m not for LBJ signing…sorry….

        • p ang

          p ang 5:10 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The way I see it is LBJ is the guy they should get based on his age. In 2-3 years he’ll not be the LBJ we all know BUT that gives the young guys the 2-3 years to develop while being in the ring hunt. It also is the perfect time frame. In 2-3 years, if the youngsters developed as hoped, Lakers will have to pay the max/near max for Ingram, Kuzma and Lonzo with higher than average for Randle and Hart. LBJ should be retired by then leaving money to pay for these guys.

          But I still wish they get Cousins and Rondo first.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 8:25 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            This is the year Lebron has to get a 5 year supermax because the over 38 rule kicks in otherwise. Remember that rule he and CP3 slipped into the CBA as union leaders most probably to ensure their own massive final contracts. You think he’d go to all that trouble and then not capitalize on it? He’s staying in Cleveland.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:10 PM on May 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ingram was better then Kuzma and Lebron he shot .390 from 3. Hart shot .397 from 3 and even Boogie shot .354 from 3.

      • p ang

        p ang 5:03 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Your starters (and I assume, finishers) are Lonzo, Ingram, Randle, Cousins and LBJ. Assuming Lakers got Boogie for his low post game (because if its for his shooting Lopez is cheaper) that leaves only Ingram and LBJ, Randle and Lonzo are not there.

    • humanomaly 12:21 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think Rondo would be a great signing and a mentor for Lonzo, but I’ve been getting the vibe that he’ll take another team over the Lakers if numbers are close….

    • keen observer

      keen observer 6:35 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Unless the Lakers can get rid of Deng’s contract, signing LeBron, Boogie and Randle, never mind Rondo, is an impossibility absent major haircuts.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 12:37 PM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Not only get rid of Deng’s contract but also magically not take any salary back in return.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:07 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Pels keep him and they have him, AD, Rondo, & Holiday.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:30 AM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I know it’s not going to happen, but I would love to see a Rozier for Ball swap.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:39 PM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      I’m going to have to vociferously disagree with your post. While I can see the lure and appeal of signing Cousins and LeBron, I’m hoping that’s not the direction the Lakers decide to go if given the opportunity. I know to some on this blog there’s as much chance of the Lakers declining to sign LeBron and Boogie if given the chance as most men turning down an exciting evening with two beautiful women, but to me it would be like cheating, selling out, compromising what we were building, trading the legacy of our franchise for the legacy of a mercenary superstar, selling our soul to the devil.

      Ultimately, I’m still concerned about Boogie’s fit in the offense and defense that Luke wants to play. The risk after the Achilles is one thing to worry about. Having dead cap space like Deng is one thing. Getting stuck with an injured superstar on a max deal is entirely another thing. That’s like franchise killing. To take that risk for a player who is not a good fit for a team that wants to play fast and switch everything. Better to draft Robinson, sign PG, and keep Randle and Thomas and wait another year before making a move to build a team that can compete.

      My goals for the summer are to continue to build this team organically like the Warriors and Celtics have done. First move should be to draft Mitchell Robinson in the first round. Next should be to sign Paul George. Third would be sign Julius Randle, Fourth would be bringing back a healthy Isaiah Thomas. That should be a top four playoff team in the West. I like the depth this team would have and don’t want to bring in veterans who would steal valuable roles or minutes from the kids. PG is the perfect addition. If cheap enough, I would also go after Nerlens Noel as backup center.

      STARTERS
      —————
      PG: Lonzo Ball
      SG: Paul George
      SF: Brandon Ingram
      PF: Kyle Kuzma
      CE: Julius Randle

      RESERVES
      —————
      PG: Isaiah Thomas
      SG: Josh Hart
      SF: Room Exception
      PF: Channing Frye
      CE: Mitchell Robinson

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 1:08 PM on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom
      I understand. And as you can tell by the post I have mixed emotions about this approach. But while watching the game I saw areas that both the Rockets and Warriors could be exploited and give us a punchers chance next year. And for me size would create the biggest problems for both. Everyone on the line up I posted are 6’ 6” and over. A big powerful center like Cousins would force the Warriors out of their preferred small ball lineup for longer stretches of time. And as for the Rockets, Cousins is the kind of center that would give Cappella issues and forget about playing Tucker on Randle. That wouldn’t even be fair.

      As for Lebron I actually had a debate with myself between PG and Lebron. But to get out of the West we would need at least one guy that can take over a game if need be. Paul George is not that guy and while we have young candidates for the closer job all of them are at least a couple years away from that level. And honestly I don’t think even these move quite enough. I would be delighted to just continue the youth movement adding a piece here and there .I actually believe that is what will end up happening. But on the other hand this line allows us to keep all of the kids and although long it would probably be the best shot of winning next year. We can’t get by the Warriors for instance playing like them. You need to create mismatches. And that’s what this post was about.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:15 AM on May 5, 2018 Permalink  

    Rockin and Rollin 

    Aloha,

    Things were really shaking here today. Literally. 5 new fissures have opened and Lava is flowing about 20 miles from my home. There have been a series of earthquakes but today were the big ones. There was a 5.4 followed by a 6.9 45 minutes later. Oddly there has been no reported damage from the quakes. But there have been a few homes have burned down. Hopefully this flow will be short lived like the one above Pahoa did two years ago. I had a friend here comment that I was rather calm after the 6.9 quake. I explained I was from a California. Anyway just another day in paradise.

     
    • mud

      mud 1:38 AM on May 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      living on a volcano….

      well, life is dangerous. i hope you and yours remain safe.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:10 AM on May 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Glad to hear you are safe over there.
      When my kids are all out of the house, my wife and I plan on moving out to the islands and IMHO, it’s well worth the risk.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 12:39 PM on May 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks guys. I think the eruption is much bigger news on the mainland then it is here. There is actually 6 volcanoes with Kilauea and Mauna Loa as the only that’s been active recently. Kilauea has been flowing virtually non stop since 1983. The difference this time is a rift opened a little outside of where the activity had been and unfortunately that was in a populated area. I don’t think there are a lot of homes in the path but there is a chance it could cut off road access for some for a long time. But know what? I think most people here would say it’s worth it. This island is twice the size of Connecticut so there is a lot of areas not effected by the volcano

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:50 PM on May 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Epic! Glad everyone’s safe and I hope you all stay that way! Y’all had the first specifically named global warming induced tropical storm (at least that I’ve heard named as such), 50+ inches in one 24 hour period. Crazy times-a-coming.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 3:52 PM on May 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Jamie

      Hilo which I’m not far from is the rainiest city in the U.S. but it’s been wet even for here. The rainy season usually ends around the end of February but it’s still going. Our normal pattern is sun in the day and then the rain comes down off the mountains at night. But this year it’s been day and night. Sure looks like there’s something to that global warming thing.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 1:37 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink  

    The Great Lebron Debate 

    Aloha

    Tom’s thread is getting all stretched out on my phone so I decided to start a new one. The Lakers have always been about championships. That’s why we don’t hang Pacific division banners up in the rafters. Personally I do not share the opinion of some that adding Lebron and pick your 2nd star is enough to get us out of the West.
    I love our young group. I believe the floor for each of them is very good player and who knows yet what their ceiling is. But we are very young. At 23 Randle is the oldest and he hasn’t reached his prime yet. If this group were two years older I would be on the Lebron bandwagon. We maybe ready to compete for the playoffs but not a ring. And while Lebron’s window could be closing soon our kids window hasn’t opened yet. By the time this group is ready to compete for a ring Lebron could be 36 or 37 years old. Who knows where he will be with all the mileage. I remember MJ with the Wizards. It was a little embarrassing. As was a lot of Kobe’s last year.

    The other option you read about is Trading for Kawhi and forming a big 3. But I don’t see that as an answer either. The Spurs will not trade in division unless it was too good to pass up. Kuzma, BI and picks. They might let us keep Hart. Lebron, PG, Kawhi and Lonzo would be 92 mil. Which means Randle also is gone because of his 12 mil cap hold. As for Deng since we traded all of our assets for Kawhi we would need to stretch Deng. Don’t think for a minute the Spurs take him and help us. That’s another 7 mil. That might leave us enough to keep Hart but Zu and Bryant are also goners. Now there be some ring chasers but how much game does a guy have left that takes the minimum. We still wouldn’t have enough get by a healthy Warrior team. And in My mind having Kawhi does not make us a better team then we would be with Randle, BI, Kuzma and our draft picks.

    There are no guarantees that any plan ends in a ring. But I think we are better served by adding free agents that will still be in their prime. Also by letting the kids develop more you may not have to give up the farm if a trade possibility arises that would help the team. It’s step by step for me. There are no short cuts that I see working.

     
    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 1:49 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If we add a couple of 27 yr old stars to this group it gives us a chance at a 10 year run or more. Lonzo and BI would still only be 30.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:51 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        PG and Cousins would be the only two superstar option I could support at this point. Second choice would PG this summer and KL next summer. Otherwise, add PG and just keep building and developing.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 2:34 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve been consistent preaching exactly this Michael. It makes absolutely no sense to gut these young guys for anyone, especially if they are going to demand the superduper max like Kahwi. Doesn’t make any sense to bring in Lebron who’s window will be closing once our young core’s opens. Even with Lebron, PG, and the all of our young pieces- we are not beating the Warriors or even Rockets in the next 2 years.

      Two 27 year old stars playing the two positions we need to fill are available, they want to be Lakers from everything I’ve read…

      Sign Cousins & PG and be done with it. Let them grow for 2 seasons, 2nd round next year, conference finals in 2020, Finals in 2021.

      PG- Ball
      SG- PG
      SF- BI
      PF- Ju
      C- DM

      Bench:
      Kuzma
      Hart
      Zubac
      Bryant
      Cavs pick

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:41 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Let me start by stating that I think LeBron is the best basketball player on the planet. Who knows how long the guy will continue to deserve that title. He could surprise and be a force until he is 40. If any player can do it, LeBron would be the one. But chances are at some point, he will prove to be human. After going through this with Kobe, whom I idolized and loved, I sure don’t want to go through this with a subpar LeBron James.

      Not to turn this into a Dump on LeBron thread, nobody with an open mind can deny there’s a lot of anti-LeBron sentiment in Lakers Nation. In fact, Lakers fans are split 50/50 on whether or not the team should pursue LeBron. Considering how many Lakers fans are spoiled all-we-want-to-do-is-win-at-any-cost fans, it’s shocking that half of them do not want the best player on the planet to join the Lakers. Why is that? Could it be that once LeBron joins the team, everything becomes about him rather than the team.

      Can you blame it all on disgruntled and jealous Kobe fans? Or maybe it’s just infatuation with the budding young stars the team has accumulated. Or maybe, just maybe, Lakers fans have developed a little better intuition. Many of us warned vociferously that Dwight Howard was a huge mistake. Same with Steve Nash. They’re great talents so just sign them and we’ll figure out how to win. Don’t worry about fit or how it might affect the young stars you’re grooming. All that counts is talent and LeBron is the best.

      Maybe some of don’t want to lose that joie de vivre that I’ve seen on our team but never seen on a LeBron James Cavs team. These young Lakers have a bonding and chemistry that comes from a more shared and egalitarian approeach to the game than LeBron’s dominating mentally gymnastic approach to alternatively praising and then throwing teammates under the bus. Who’s to say that Lonzo is going to like playing without the ball or that BI or Kuz wouldn’t chaff playing with LeBron same as Kyrie did.

      I think it’s the win at any cost attitude that keeps rubbing LeBron’s teammates the wrong way. It’s like a brutal hazing or trial they have to go through to prove they’re worthy of playing with the King. And they’re always the sidekicks. It’s always about LeBron and not the team. That’s why Kyrie left. Who wouldn’t want to play with LeBron and win a championship? Didn’t look to me like Jordan and Larry were enjoying playing with him. He squeezes the joy out of the game with the constant focus on winning at any cost.

      Bottom line, LeBron’s not the answer and could very well be a fatal mistake that sets the franchise back for years. Better to avoid the quick fix and short cut and build a better team through the draft and free agency that could ultimately win more championships than we could have done by adding LeBron. Anyway, that’s my rant on LeBron. He’s the best player in the world but just not for the Lakers in my humble opinion.

      Finally, I have no doubt Magic would not hesitate to sign LeBron if we wanted to come. I just hope we have everybody wanting to come to the Lakers so Magic has other options that he might hopefully see could be better, like PG and Cousins.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:56 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree Tom. But I don’t think adding Lebron is even a win now strategy. If I thought we were A Lebron away from a ring I would say go for it. But we’re not. Any star or two gets us into the playoffs but only a little more growth and experience will get us a ring. PG and Boogie for instance will still be in their primes in a few years when we maybe ready, but who knows where Lebrons game will be. And let’s not forget about some of the other guys that will become free agents over the next several years. Lebron at 35% of the cap could make it tough to chase them. It’s not like we could trade him. Too much salary and no upside. Patience is key now.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:07 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s not only a win now strategy as much as change of objective that is going to demand the Lakers make other moves to take advantage of LeBron, probably starting with Brandon Ingram. That’s what worries me about adding LeBron. Everything changes. Young talent becomes trading chips.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 4:08 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The goofy part is some see IT and Cuz and KL as gonna be good to go soon, pay and hope, but still see that LBJ will break is leg tomorrow. Can’t have it both ways. If we sign Inrued guys that can’t compete then we set ourselves back a loooooooong time.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:20 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Haha. I don’t think injury is a concern with LeBron unless you’re worried about the PEDs catching up to him. However, years and mileage can’t be ignored. Chances are high his good years remaining are a lot fewer than Boogie or Kawhi even injured. Taking a couple of years to come back isn’t possible should LeBron get injured. He would likely be done.

            That reminds me of a comment Eric Pincus made in a recent podcast, which was that he doesn’t think Jeanie would want to sign Boogie because of worry he might end up a shell of himself athletically like happened to Kobe. He felt Jeanie wouldn’t want to gamble that Boogie would be able to recover better than Kobe.

            That jibes with Woj saying the Lakers’ focus is still on LeBron and PG and keeping Randle. If LeBron has an early exit, which could happen, he might start thinking seriously about the Lakers. While fans always think their teams are better than they are, most of the pundits haven’t caught on yet because of the injuries how good this young team could be. We’re still underrated.

            But I think LeBron may see more there than people assume. The Lakers have some serious talent and an identity and culture that LeBron might love to join and have fun playing again. Add Paul George and a year more experience for Lonzo, Julius, Brandon, Josh, and Kyle. He would be in a far superior situation than he is right now with the Cavs. We’ll find out how good Magic can sell.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 4:46 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink

              I get that.

          • Michael H (Editor)

            Michael H (Editor) 4:47 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            For me DJ it is not how good Lebron is now but how good will he be in 2 or 3 years when the the young players are ready to compete for a ring. I rather sign a star that’s 27 now and will still be in their prime in a couple years then gamble that Lebron will still be this player at 36 or 37. In a couple years could we trade Lebron at 37 to get AD if the Pels feel they will lose him? Like I said if we were close to a ring now Lebron makes sense. But we’re a few years away.

            • mud

              mud 4:56 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink

              DJ is right, though.
              with LeBron, they would be contenders immediately.

              there are other reasons to pass on LeBron, and he’s not a guarantee of anything, but he’s a contender with a team that features two Lakers cast-offs. there’s no doubt that the Lakers kept their best players this year.

              i think you are on the right track when questioning what will happening 2 or 3 years. LeBron may be the best bet next year, but the future might be damaged by his presence.

              it’s something for the FO and for LBJ to consider.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 4:49 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Here’s the silliest part of this so-called debate…

      Earv & Rob want him…that isn’t even up for debate. The fan opinion doesn’t even enter into the equation. They didn’t create all this cap space to bring back Ju, KCP, Brook, & IT. They’ll pull out all the stops & make their pitch. So it all hinges on him saying yes or no. If he says no then they move to the next option and all this jibber-jabber is moot anyway. If he says yes then he’ll be on the team and all this jubber-jabber is moot anyway.

      Personally…I’ll take 2 more years of what I ‘m seeing right now and another 2 of the decline. Sign PG as well and lets roll. We still have the “core” and they’ve gained some valuable playoff experience, learned from the consumate pro, and take that knowledge with them into the future. Way more upside than downside.

      The “window” is an abstract concept. Nobody saw the Sixers going on that roll from the last month of the regular season til now nor the Pels getting outta the 1st round. That’s why they play the games.

      • mud

        mud 4:57 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        i can’t argue with the above post.

      • Michael H (Editor)

        Michael H (Editor) 5:44 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Actually it is up for debate. We can assume that PG is one of the targets because of what came out in the tampering investigation. But up to now there has been no fines for tampering with Lebron. There is only media speculation that by the way have linked the Lakers with every single name free agent or disgruntled star over the last five years. Maybe they see a need for a big time center. Who knows. All we know for sure is they created the space flexibility to sign two max players if they choose to do so.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 5:48 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You can’t honestly believe they aren’t gonna pitch Lebron.
          And why pitch him if you don’t intend to sign him?

          C’mon Mayne…..

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 6:24 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            They need to play to his vanity. Tell him an LA doc woulda never did that to his head.

          • Michael H (Editor)

            Michael H (Editor) 6:28 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I have no idea of who they will talk to. What is the vision? Magic has been talking about how adding one star impacted the Celtics. I believe being smart guys and looking at it from a business standpoint, the future stanpoint and not a fans perspective I’m sure they have discussed the pro’s and Con’s of signing Lebron at this stage of his career. And believe it or not there are cons’s. I will not be surprised if they talk with him or don’t talk to him. I just don’t know what they are thinking. I do know they they like this group and their growth I’m sure will also factor in to what they decide.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:34 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink

              They have to have a meeting with him just like players have to have meetings with the Lakers to show proper respect. Best hope is LeBron, PG, and Boogie all want meetings with the Lakers and want to come. Then we will see who ends up coming. I don’t think LeBron is a slam dunk. He may have demands the Lakers might not agree to. Maybe he wants KCP at the 2, Fizdale as coach, and trade BI and Kuzma for Kawai. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers ended up choosing PG and Boogie and passing on LeBron. It’s why they have interviews. To see who is the right fit.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 6:45 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Lebron (to Earv & Rob): Ok guys, I’m ready to take my talents to LA. Break out the champagne..

        Earv & Rob: Cool. But let’s hold off a bit until we see what Capela & Nerlens are gonna do. We’ll call you.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:00 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Isn’t going to happen like that except in your imagination. LeBron isn’t going on a free agent tour. His team will negotiate everything and he wouldn’t announce anything until all the details are worked out. That’s why it’s such a joke that you can’t start negotiations until July 1st. The Lakers will know whether LeBron is interested. If he is, of course, they will talk to him. If LeBron is just coming as a player, no problem. If he also wants input in personnel and coaching or a 4-year max deal, the Lakers would certainly negotiate and it’s not impossible both sides will decide they wouldn’t be a good fit. In fact, this could all happen and we might not hear about it until way after. In fact, LeBron might not even contact Lakers and instead have in his mind to join the Rockets or 76ers. Would any team including the Lakers turn down LeBron as just a player? No but the dynamics could change depending on what else LeBron wanted.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 7:27 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Earv (to LBJ): Let’s do this deal but you gotta promise not to say anything about the coaching or player personnel.

          LBJ (raises hand): I promise.

          Rob: That’s the wrong hand man!

          LBJ: Sorry…my bad.

          Jeanie: Let’s do a pinky swear!!!

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:28 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            LMAO. Good one, Mongo. Kudos!

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 7:33 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            lol…I’m just saying…alot of these things we talk about really aren’t enforceable. Same thing as trying to force a guy in Kawhi’s situation to commit to us long term before trading for him. There’s no actual mechanism to do it except to hope & pray he honors his word….

            Lebron could make a promise to be “just a player” and 2 weeks later hold a joint news conference with LaVar demanding Luke be fired..

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:49 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink

              True. There’s also Magic’s competitive spirit. No doubt he would love to recruit LeBron. That’s the big fish. What’s interesting is the 4-year big free agencies dominated by LeBron. 2010 to Miami! 2014 to Cleveland! 2018 to Lakers? I actually think the Lakers could very well be the best destination for LeBron, but then I am a Lakers’ fan.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:41 PM on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Am I the only person who believes The King is staying in The Land and I ain’t talkin’ La La Land but the Cleve.

      Sorry I’ve been mostly MIA, it’s amazing how little free time you have when you’re baby-wrangling!

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 2:49 PM on April 15, 2018 Permalink  

    Yes there is more then free agency 

    Aloha

    As it has been all year, free agency has been the number one topic in Laker land all year. But with the success we have had the last several years in the draft maybe it’s time to start thinking a little bit about it. Now one thing for sure is the Laker will probably surprise us all with their picks. And whoever it is will probably be pretty good.

    Right now the mock drafts are all over the place as you will see. It probably won’t settle down until after the combines. We need at PG and SF. But also like the positional versatility we have been drafting into. All of our young core can play more then one position. So these these are some of the guys I’ve been thinking about in no particular order.

    Shake Milton is a 6’6” Junior PG with a 7’ wingspan. He was injured this year so it maybe driving his stock down. I have seen the Lakers taking him in the 1st and 2nd round. Also today I saw 22nd and 29th. He is an average athlete who averaged 18ppg 4.4 assists Projects at both guard positions with defensive upside became of that wingspan.

    If wanted to go the development route Troy Brown could be the guy. One mock has the Lakers grabbing him, and as high as 14. He is a 6’ 6” wing with a 6’ 11” wingspan. Like BI he was a high school pg. not a great shooter yet but he is a playmaker slasher and projects as an elite defender.

    Chandler Hutchinson is a 6’ 7” senior wing who was late bloomer. Decent 3 point shooter who average 20ppg 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists and plays good defense. The mocks have us taking him or going in the high teens and one mock has him 31st.

    Keira Bates Diop is a 6’ 7” SF who shows up in both the 1st and 2nd rounds. Averaged 21ppg 9.5 rebounds and an impressive 1.8 blocks a game. High end defender.

    Gary Clark is a 6’ 8” combo forward who I’ve seen the Lakers taking in both the 1st and 2nd round. 12.5 ppg who shot .435 from 3. He pulled down 8.7 boards 2.1 assists 2.1 assists and 1.2 blks.

    Any these are few guys a looked into. It’s funny with the various projections we coul end up with two of these guys. Most are 3 or 4 year players that tend to drop but we know how valuable the older guys can be. Who do you guys like in the draft.

     
    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:56 PM on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I forgot to mention that Shake shot .435 from 3. And whate a great name. :)

    • mclyne32 (Director) 5:54 PM on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Michael,
      Thanks for the write up. I don’t spend much time scouting college prospects. I know we’re in good hands since our great scouting department has done such a great job over the past four years.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 6:23 PM on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I never even heard of Kyle Kuzma before the Lakers drafted him (probably because none of the mock drafts had him coming to the Lakers), didn’t remember Josh Hart from the Villanova championship game and vaguely recognized Thomas Bryant from some of the mock drafts (probably because at least one had him coming to the Lakers).

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 2:00 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink  

    To Max or not to Max 

    Aloha

    Kevin Dings article here got me to thinking about what this year has meant to me. I must say I have really enjoyed this season. The only downer for me was the amount of injuries we sustained. It was frustrating losing close games to good teams short handed. This was easily a .500 or better team when healthy.

    So now I’m wondering what the F.O is thinking. The became the year with a stated goal of two max players and they took steps to have that flexibility. Then a funny thing happened. Growth. Randle began to put up all star numbers in the new year and he began to play elite defense. BI didn’t just take a step forward, he took a flying leap forward. While management was really happy to land Kuz, I’m sure not even thought he would emerge as one of the best Rookies in his class. And you can’t sleep on Josh Hart either. He went 30th pick to a guy playing at a lottery pick level. Honestly he was better then a lot of the lottery picks.

    So does signing a free agent wing like Paul George, help or hinder our future growth? For me a max player should elevate a team. But after watching OKC Hang on to the playoffs for dear life I’m having 2nd thoughts handing PG 30% of the salary cap. Considering BI, Kuz and Randle play the positions that PG plays could he actually set the development of the kids back like Butler has done to Wiggins in Minny. I looked at the numbers and I wonder just how much PG helps.

    PG 36 min 21.6 pts per 5.7 reb 3.4 assists .428 shooting% .390% from 3

    BI 33.5 min 16.1 pts per 5.3 boards. 3.9 assists .470 shooting % .390 from 3

    Kuz 31.2 min 16.1 pts per 6.3 1.8 assists .450 shooting% .366 from 3

    Now PG on the other side of the ball is an impressive defender. However BI is on the way to that level. I think his defense has been one of the impressive aspects of his game. I just don’t expect much defense from a 20 year old but his been very good. And Kuz has made great strides as well.

    So the question is how much better will be next better with PG at 30 mil. Before he went down Cousins was the guy I had the most interest in. Mainly because we had developing guys everywhere else. And he still maybe. But if your not Lebron, KD, Harden or a couple of others, I’m not sold on spending 30 to 35 percent of the cap when you have to young guys that are only going to get better next year.

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:53 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You can add PG13 and still keep the core.
      I don’t see the downside….

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:08 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael.

      Outstanding post with an interesting topic. Does it make sense to add superstars who play the same position as your young stars? I made the same point in my last article. We have our point guard, small forward, and power forwards of the future so maybe we should target shooting guard and center with our cap space. That would give our young stars the most opportunity to grow and develop.

      However, I see Paul George much differently than you. In today’s NBA, you can play what you can guard and I alctually think shooting guard could be PG’s best position offensively and defensively. Paul is great guarding players like Klay Thompson or JJ Reddick who run defenders through a gauntlet of screens and coming off screens. In my mind, George’s ability to play the 2 is why I like him better than LeBron or Kawhi, both of whom would likely make Ingram play out of position or be traded.

      A question directly related to your question is 2 superstars or 1. What keeps bringing me back to 2 is that that’s the number of positions for which we do not have a budding star. Shooting guard and center. Now you could possibly argue that Josh Hart could the man at the 2 but more likely he, like Kuzma, would be best anchoring our second unit as we need to add superstars. But there are some arguments to be made about 2 superstars or 1. I mean, how do you beat a team like the Warriors who have 4 superstars?

      You can also argue that the Warriors, Cavs, and Rockets don’t have superstars at center so why should we? My answer to that is so can have a huge advantage that will help offset the huge disadvantages we have because we don’t have LeBron or Kawhi, or Durant or Steph or Harden. And you need a center who can spread the floor and protect the rim. Center may not be as important as some of the other positions in the modern game or it may just appear that way because none of the recent teams with elite centers have been great. It’s an opportunity or window to get an edge.

      As for having to pay the max for guys who aren’t LeBron or Harden, it’s the only way you’re going to win in this NBA. Yeah, Kuz will steal a couple of games with great closes. As will Julius and Brandon. And even Hart. But what the Lakers lack is that veteran superstar who is so good and consistent that other teams have to totally focus on him opening up all kinds of opportunities to win close games.

      The Lakers need their next Kobe and much as I love Ingram, Kuzma, and Lonzo, they’re still two or three years away at best from filling that role. We’re probably a bottom four Western playoff team right now without making major changes. Unfortunately, we will have to lose some players to take a step forward, which could be Randle, KCP, Lopez, or Thomas depending on this summer’s events.

      Right now, I’m not interesting in any deal that doesn’t leave us with Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle, and Hart. Those five are almost untouchable to me. 3 starters now and 2 next gen starters. Whatever we do after that will depend on luck and opportunity. I think PG is my top priority. If we get him, then we fill the shooting guard starting slot and have two elite bench players in Kuzma and Hart. That’s the key to a winning summer in my opinion. That opens up a world of opportunities. Anything more is gravy.

      All we need then is a starting center. If we somehow lose Randle, I might make a big offer to Capela as an RFA because he would be a great fit with Kuzma but not with Randle. But assuming we keep Julius, then we need a stretch 5 and Boogie is the obvious perfect fit. Plan B would probably be Lopez.

      The other thing to like about only adding PG is you would also be able to keep Isaiah Thomas for another year to see if he could get back to the player he was for the Celtics. That’s a silver lining in missing out on two superstars. You could end up with a mini-superstar in IT.

    • Rocky

      Rocky 7:45 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My question is should we give Julius Randle a max deal? You know other teams out there are going to try to pry him away. He’s going to get paid no doubt about it. I’m thinking some team, (Mavs?) will give him a max offer. Should the Lakers match it?

      Of course this depends on a lot of other factors as well, but in my opinion, Julius has proven that he’s worth a max offer this year. Whether it’s with the Lakers or not, we shall see…

      Go Lakers!

      • Rocky

        Rocky 7:55 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        In addition, I am not sure that PG is worth a max contract from the Lakers. What are we going to do? Trade BI and Kuz? That would be crazy at this point. But who knows…

        I love that the Lakers have so many options. Hopefully Magic and Pelinka can work some magic.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 8:36 PM on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great points. A part of me hopes that Paul George stays in OKC. Someone will pay him. It happens every off season. The Golden State Warriors grew with a young core of Steph, Klay and Dray, made a deal here (Monta for Bogut; garbage for Iggy) and eventually splashed for KD, that rare superstar you are talking about. Look at The Process in Philly. Aren’t we tracking more for what those two organizations did? Or are we seeing an illusion where these youngsters look better than they actually are because they wouldn’t have these prominent roles on teams that start players like Paul George? Is Paul George less of a player because he has to play second fiddle to Russell Westbrook (and is fine with that)?

      In the end, it’s a no brainer to me. You pay Paul George to come and you keep Randle. The small ball, fast break 5 of Lonzo, BI, PG, Kuzma and Randle can go up against anyone. It’s a “perfect fit.” Someone will pay Paul George and we are starved for a player of his caliber, never mind those numbers. He wasn’t among the last 10 on the floor in the All-Star game for no reason. He may not be LeBron, Harden or Russ, but he is one of “those guys.”

      I think he’ll stay put though. And I’m fine with that, too.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 1:00 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you 100% except I’m still wanting to sign Cousins 1st and foremost. Hopefully he will sign for a 9% discount ;) It puzzles me as to why everyone instantly went away from wanting Cousins who is only 27 years old with a game that is built on skill and power and not athleticism. Comparing his injury to Kobe who at that point was how old with how many miles on him??? Cousins was getting better every year, and I expect him to continue to do so. In my opinion I still think he’s the perfect target. Anything beyond Cousins I couldn’t care less about. If we sign PG cool, if not cool…I’m with Michael on this one, I can patiently wait for our young core to develop one more year.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 1:53 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hypothetically, let’s say we sign Boogie, Randle and KCP. Starting 5 is Lonzo, KCP, Ingram, Randle and Cousins. I love that on paper ASSUMING Boogie returns to good health. Why? Boogie, Ingram and Randle are the primary scoring options allowing Lonzo and KCP to expend more energy defending the perimeter, which might be the most important aspect of defense in the NBA these days given the continuous uptick in 3 point shooting. With Kuzma coming off the bench, he can rotate in for either Randle or Cousins without a drop off in scoring production.

        In terms of the Achilles injury, that is a risk. The best analogy would be Elton Brand because he was 28 when he ruptured his Achilles and was a skilled big man who just 2 seasons before that was an MVP candidate. He never rounded back into form, although he was serviceable. I can’t think of another player with that injury who came back successfully who wasn’t a floor player. Dominique Wilkins came back the most successfully from this injury and we all know what went on with Kobe. Wesley Matthews has been pretty much the same player, although it is difficult to tell because he’s in a different system (numbers down slightly).

        I would say that given our young core, which includes young promising role playing 20 year old centers in Zubac and Bryant, I think I would pass unless it came at more of a discount than 9%. We already have plenty of developing firepower and improved defensively leaps and bounds this season IMO.

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever 4:16 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Love that starting lineup. Wasn’t Elton Brand’s biggest issues post Achilles his shoulder? Didn’t Elgin Baylor rupture his early on? If you go with Zubac or Bryant then it’s going to be much further down the road. Ideally I’d like to sign Cousins for 3 years with team option for 60-70M.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:41 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It will be a HUGE gamble for anyone to give Cousins a large, long term deal before we see how much he’s lost.
        If Magic and Rob decide that they are going to roll the dice, I will be fine with it, but I wouldn’t do it.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 4:40 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Some other things to look at when discussing these injuries are the huge advances in surgical and rehab techniques that have come along in the years since Nique & EB. You just don’t see alotta guys who don’t make full recoveries anymore.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:39 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I look at our cap situation and feel like it would be a huge mistake NOT to sign at least one max free agent and probably 2 or at least a max & 2nd tier guy who currently isn’t on the team. I’d hate to see us use cap room instead of Bird Rights to sign Ju or IT or KCP. Ideally, you wanna burn the cap space on new talent (I honestly don’t care if it’s PG, DMC, or LBJ or any combination of those 3 at this point} and then go over to keep the guys you already have. Sure..the luxury tax becomes an issue but it shouldn’t be when we have one of the most profitable franchises in the league. Say what you will about Dan Gilbert but he’s never let the money stand in his way.

      Right now we’re in a very unique financial position to set the stage for a sustained title run if Earv & Rob play this correctly. But if we use up the space to “keep the gang together” then I think we’ll end up coming up short in the future.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 4:21 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I understand this take as well, using the cap now so we can use the bird rights on our guys. We use all the cap with guys that provide value either for us or for trades- regardless of their position.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 5:14 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You’re gonna have to renounce at least IT and KCP for those max slots. Bird rights go along with them.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 5:20 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree that the ideal scenario is to sign or trade for (Kawhi) at least one max guy, if possible, and re-sign Randle while keeping the young core together as much as possible. It is still a superstar league this time of year.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:55 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Pretty much agree with that, Mongo. We do need to sign at least one max free agent, even if a gamble on Boogie. I do agree in principal that we need to maximize Bird rights for our own free agents and ideally we don’t spend any of our cap space on our own free agents other than their cap holds. Since Lopez’s cap hold is $33M, he would be the only players we might spend cap space on. We definitely want to use cap space to sign Randle as that would enable us to outbid anybody. Thomas would depend on what happens with superstars and Randle and only has a $12M cap hold similar to Randle.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 6:12 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I wouldn’t want to trade for Kawhi because he would cost a lot. Probably Kuz and Ingram. I will be okay if we sign George, I just don’t think he elevates the team enough for a max deal but he will get one. Cousins would be a risk but because he is so big and strong that he could compensate for a little loss of mobility with pure power. It will be interesting to see if anyone gives him a long term max deal. Perhaps a one or two year deal at first. I do know that a Cousins Randle 4, 5 duo would be one of the nastiest ever. At this point I love our young core and I wouldn’t give any of them, I’m that confident in their futures.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 4:30 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink  

    Can Randle attract free agents? 

     
    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 4:30 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      ‘This is what I’ve been thinking lately.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:14 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There’s no doubt that Aaron Mintz would love to see Randle stay with the Lakers. In fact, PG might be willing to take a little less to see it happen since it would benefit him too. And locking up Randle and George, would definitely make the Lakers suddenly more attractive to LeBron.

        Chronologically, the Lakers should reach a verbal agreement with Randle so he does not negotiate with other teams. Next is figuring out how to get rid of Deng.Then, they land PG, setting the stage. If they can close those two deals before the midnight bell tolls (yes, by whatever means), then they have a package to present to LeBron James or maybe Cousins.

        But if LeBron or Cousins doesn’t bite or is too big a risk, the Lakers then need to spend the rest of their cap space they would have paid LeBron so they can go over the cap to sign Randle. They could probably sign Lopez and maybe steal Marcus Smart from the Celtics.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 5:56 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I would like to see PG and LBJ and Randle. I still think LBJ is going to want the best possible Laker team over money. When Magic gets with PG and LBJ and needs a few extra Mil for Randle, I think they both would be on board.

    • p ang

      p ang 4:45 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      may be should be MAY BE.

      always have an out when giving an unfounded opinion.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:08 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The one thing that nobody seems to talk about is that it doesn’t make any sense for the Lakers to save cap space for summer of 2019 since doing so would require them to let Randle walk.

      Lakers have cap space for two max contracts. If they use their cap space to sign one, they would have to use the rest of the cap space to sign Randle or other free agents to get to the point where they could use Bird rights to go over the cap.

      The only way to use Bird rights to sign Randle is to use up the $60 million in cap space -- either on two superstars or on one superstar and two other mid-tier players, e.g. PG, Lopez, and Smart or PG and KCP or PG and Lopez and Thomas.

      In other words, Plan A is LBJ and PG. Plan B is PG and DC. Plan C is PG and use up the cap space to sign Randle using Bird rights.

      Bottom line, there really is no sign PG and save money for summer of 2019. The only way we save money for 2019 is if we completely strike out on superstars this summer. That’s Plan D.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 5:47 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Lotta talk today from Jalen & The Wheelchair thinking that Kawhi has already played his last game as a Spur. Again…conjecture…but ex-players can kinda see the writing on the wall. Gotta imagine Earv & Rob have that as part of the equation somewhere….

        • mclyne32 (Director) 5:59 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I would be surprised if Rob and Magic haven’t spoken with the Spurs already.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:42 PM on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I respect Pincus because of the hard work he does on the salary cap and he’s one of the few who will respond to questions thru twitter. But when he reports on stuff like this he’s a lil bit outta his depth. He’s not like Woj or Shams out there beating the bricks talking to sources all day long. Alotta conjecture.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:27 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink  

    Why Not Brook Lopez 

    Aloha,

    I have been thinking a lot about who the Lakers should pursue this summer. I have been thinking that we would be a better team if we signed just one max player and keep some of the current team. And I would like to have Brook back.

    Like everyone here I was so disappointed in Brooks play in the first part of the season. There was an occasional good game but over all he didn’t look anything like the player he had been his entire career. Then a funny thing happened. Randle was inserted into the starting line up. And together they have formed one of the better 4, 5 duos in the entire league. A lot has been made about Randles stretch of 20+ games but over the last 10 Brook has averaged 19.5 5.5 and 2.5.

    He is definitely old school in the post. Sometimes he looks like he is moving in slow motion. But what he lacks in speed and quickness he makes it up with size, power and strength. Against the Pels AD considered one of the best defenders in the league couldn’t stop him when he had position. Like everyone else he bounced off of him. He had one play that really was impressive. He took one dribble from around the 3 point line and dunked.

    There are prototypes for each position now in the NBA. Centers are suppose to be long, fast and athletic. But against Noel who is long, fast and athletic, Brook overwhelmed him with size and power. Between Brook and Julius Noel was doing his best impression of a pinball. Brook may not get as many rebounds as you would like but we have a good rebound rate while he is out there. He takes up so much space, if you watch him, there are times when he is keeping multiple players off the board. I think Brook is one of the reasons are guards are all rebounding at such a high rate. To top it off he is a plus rim protector. He has also proven he can play at pace. The Nets were number one last year in pace and we are up there ourselves. He has gotten rim run baskets this year. But he also gives us a 3 point threat as a trailer.

    I really like what Brook and Julius has developed as partners on the block. Them seem to know when to give each other space and Brook draws people out with his 3 point ability. Neither Brook or Julius are prototypes in the NBA but sometimes talent outweighs that ideal. With one max player and The Randle/Brook combo inside we would be a very good playoff team and in another year or two I believe with normal growth from the kids we will be real contenders. I hope we keep Brook and Julius together.

     
    • mud

      mud 1:16 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Brook is a really high quality center.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:50 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael.

      Good write up as usual. There’s no doubt Brook and Julius fit well together and Brook’s performance has taken off along with Julius. Some credit for Randle’s success has to go to the spacing that Brook’s ability to stretch the floor gives the Lakers when they play together. Luke usually goes to small ball with Randle at center down the stretch so Brook usually doesn’t close unless the matchup demands it.

      The big plus in my mind for bringing back Brook is his fit with Randle. Julius at the 4 requires a stretch 5 and Randle at small ball 5 requires a stretch 4, which the Lakers have in Kyle Kuzma. The more important that Randle becomes as our version of Draymond Green, the more Lopez and Kuzma become as players to complement Julius when he is playing the 4 or 5 respectively.

      Randle’s emergence changes what the Lakers should be looking for in a center. Players like Noel and WCS no longer fit because they cannot stretch the floor and open up the paint for Randle. To optimize Julius Randle, the Lakers need a center who can shoot from deep. That makes centers who can shoot from deep like Brook and Thomas Bryant more imporant to the Lakers than to other teams who don’t need a stretch 5.

      My latest version of PG and keep the kids has the Lakers renouncing everybody but Isaiah and Randle and waiving and stretching Deng, which would create around $48 million in cap space. Lakers would then use $30 million to sign PG, maybe $10 to sign Brook, and maybe the last $8 million to go after an elite wing defender like Marcus Smart or Trevor Ariza, whom the Celtics might decline to match.

      Of course, the ‘other’ center who would fit the Lakers needs perfectly as a stretch 5 to play alongside Randle would be DeMarcus Cousins. I’ve searched for information about what the Pelicans plan to do now but there’s no indication in the media. The assumption seems to be that Cousins will entertain bids. Right now, there are only a few teams -- Lakers, Mavs, Bulls, Hawks, and Pacers -- who will have the cap space to offer Cousins a max deal besides the Pels who have his Bird rights.

      There’s always been talk of mutual interest between the Lakers and DeMarcus Cousins and there is no question that DeMarcus brings another dimension to the center position than Lopez does. And that’s what ultimately is at the crux of my hesitation to completely support bringing back Brook. Let me see if I can lay out what I’ve been thinking, which comes down to the Lakers Plan B being PG and Boogie.

      First, the Lakers are not going to quit until they get a second superstar. If they don’t sign PG and LeBron or DMC this summer, they will likely trade some of their young talent for a second superstar next midseason or summer 2019. They won’t have the matching salaries to make a superstar trade this summer. Thus, if the Lakers want to keep Randle and their young core and not trade them, they need to sign a second superstar this summer when they have the cap space.

      Second, shooting guard and center are the positions at which the Lakers need their second superstar. Otherwise, they will block the path of their point guard, small forward, and power forward of the future. Paul George will fit perfectly at shooting guard and Cousins would fit perfectly at center. If LeBron won’t come, Lakers’ next call should be to DeMarcus Cousins. Brook would be the fall back.

      This may be the only opportunity the Lakers have to land the best center in the league. It’s worth the risk, even at a max price and losing the firs year to recovery and integration. The more I think about it, the more I think the Lakers need to go after PG and Cousins before settling for just PG.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:24 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom

      A Cousins Randle front court would be nasty for sure. I’m really not sure what will happen there. As for the two star plan. That could have changed. A lot has happened sense the beginning of the year. They created the cap space to do it but Randle is Breaking out, Kuzma is so much better then even the FO thought he would be when they drafted him, Hart has played like a lottery pick and Brandon’s growth is more then expected. We actually have around 63 mil available. Excluding Deng We only have around 18 mil on the books for next year. Add Randles 12.5 mil cap hold and 7.2 mil if we stretch Deng. The projected cap is 101 mil. We fall a couple mil shy of signing Lebron and another max player but we have space for two 30 max players. So I really don’t see the Lakers trading anyone nor should they. For me short of signing Cousins I think a Randle Lopez is better then a 2nd max player. The good news is all of our options appear to be good ones.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 4:15 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Outside of Boogie, I’m not sure Magic and Rob could do much better than Brook at this point. Of course, it depends on what does or doesn’t happen in free agency.

      • John M.

        John M. 5:51 PM on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        They’ve done a great job so far improving the team; I trust them to spend wisely. Regarding Julius, Magic was prophetic last summer about his breakout year. He’s not going to let him walk. If he does, and I were Luke, I’d quit :)

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:42 PM on March 26, 2018 Permalink  

    How would you spend the money? 

    Aloha

    There has been a lot of talk about how would proceed this summer but here is what we have to work with. There are 5 guaranteed contracts on the books.
    Ball,BI,Kuz and Hart total $16,564,920
    Deng is $7,200,00 stretched if we can’t find a trade.
    Randles cap hold will be $12,500,00 if Render a qualifying offer which we will.
    $1,600,000 or so for the first round pick.
    That is a total of $37,864,920. The projected cap is $101,000,000. That gives us $63,135,080. Keep in mind we can save Randle for last and go over the cap.

    So how would you spend it?

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 1:38 PM on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      PG
      Lopez
      Julius
      maybe KCP, depending upon how much he’s asking for
      backup PG
      rest of bench filler

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:09 PM on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would probably do the same but I don’t thing they would bring KCP back if they sign PG. plus I think KCP wouldn’t come back to come off the bench.

    • John M.

      John M. 3:37 PM on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Buy a fast car, put on my lead boots, and take a long, long drive :)

      • mclyne32 (Director) 5:13 PM on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        LOL!
        911 GT3RS or
        M4 GTS or
        Cayman GT4 or
        918

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 11:20 AM on March 24, 2018 Permalink  

    Dang Deng 

    Tania Ganguli
    Tania Ganguli
    @taniaganguli
    Luol Deng sprained his ankle yesterday. He is questionable to be available to sit on the bench in uniform and watch the game.
    7:02 AM · Mar 24, 2018

     
  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 11:37 PM on February 26, 2018 Permalink  

    Can OKC miss the playoffs? 

    It’s not far fetched to think that OKC could miss the playoffs. They only have 20 games left. 13 are against current play off teams and the Clippers while not in the playoff bracket yet are tied with OKC in the loss column. Of those 13 2 are against the Rockets, 2 against the Spurs who could have Leonard back, one against the Warriors and 2 against a good Portland team. If they miss the playoffs I’m pretty sure George comes to the Lakers.

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:32 AM on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The 3 seed thru the 9 seed are separated by a single game in the loss column…gonna be alotta volatility over these last 20 games. Hell..the playoffs have already started for those teams.

      OKC is 5-5 over the last 10…that ain’t gonna cut it

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 11:25 AM on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s possible.

      If Adams goes down at all, they’ll lose ground.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 1:01 PM on February 24, 2018 Permalink  

    Conventional Wisdom 

    Aloha

    Up until mid January the conventional wisdom was that a star wouldn’t come to the Lakers alone. A second would have to come. And if we wanted Lebron perhaps you would need two other stars. I’m beginning to wonder if that narrative is changing.

    Brandon Ingram has been developing so fast that he could possibly be that 2nd star as early as next year. Since becoming that point forward his game has really taken off. Efficient Scoring, play making and defense all have put him firmly in the most improved conversation. Magic wanted him to become a 20 point a game scorer and it’s not a stretch to think he will next year.

    And Randle my goodness. I think it was Fish in the post game last night that said players just don’t see old school bully ball any more and outside of a couple of guys most can’t handle him. I had fun watching him Battle Adams another old school type when we played OKC. They just pounded on each other. But defensively is where he’s really grown. Barnes had 19 last night but only a couple of baskets were on Randles watch. Stu even commented he bet that Barnes was happy to see Randle go to the bench.

    There will be a lot of free agent eyes on this team the rest of the year. Does George look at the Lakers and say no I need another star. Or does he look at Ingram, Randle, Lonzo, Kuz and Hart and say, you know with me there it’s a pretty good team that’s only going to keep getting better.

    If the kids continue to improve it will give free agents as well as Magic and Rob a lot to think about.

     
    • John M.

      John M. 2:17 PM on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I completely agree. And Zubac is earning a seat at the table as well. One thing we know about Magic and Rob is, they will trade players who are expendable, but it will take a unique offer to mortgage the future.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 2:19 PM on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Zubac works on certain matchups, yup, a definite specialist.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:37 PM on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      I sure hope you’re right about our young players being way ahead of schedule. I don’t know if we have a better young core than the Timberwolves or 76ers but when you throw in our cap space I think we will have a seat at the table for any superstar who becomes available the next couple of years.

      Whether we end up trading one or two of Ball, Ingram, and Kuzma in a packege to acquire a superstar like AD or Kawhi will untilmately depend on how much our young talent grows and what opportunities may arise so that a superstar suddenly is available like Kyrie Irving last year. Nobody saw that one coming before it happened and there seems to be a lot on negative noise coming from Kawhi’s camp.

      Everybody thinks Pops can easily solve the problem but it’s become bigger than a coach can solve and there’s no lucky draft pick like TD to save the day. The Spurs are #3 right now but they are very vulnerable and face the toughest schedule of any team in the West. Many analysts do not think they will make the playoffs. Pops or not Pops, the Spurs could always rely on being a winning team. Right now, that’s in danger and that may be part of why Kawhi may want a trade.

      Ironically, we’ve evolved from going after two superstars in free agency to three superstars by any means, including trading some of our young talent. Knowing Magic and Lakers’ exceptionalism, I’m sure that’s always been the real Plan A. I think Magic isn’t going to be content on waiting for all of young players to become stars. The big question might be which one of the three end up being the star who stays. My bet is on Lonzo, which is why I believe Ingram and Kuzma will ultimately be traded.

      Unless the Lakers strike out in free agency or their top targets don’t hit the market. That may be the only thing that prevents Magic and Rob from gutting the squad to build a superstar Big Four to compete with the Warriors. They’ll be looking to pull off the grand plan this summer. If they can’t, then maybe Lonzo, Brandon, Ingram, and PG with Randle and Thomas on short term deals will get a chance to show them they already have what they need to compete for a championship.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:52 PM on February 19, 2018 Permalink  

    Growth Spurts 

    Aloha

    While watching all star weekend most of the chatter centered around who the Lakers could land instead of who they have. While the record is not good they have lost a lot of games they could have or even should have won. And the trade has taken even more of the shine off the kids. For me this has been the most fun I’ve had in years watching Laker games. We really do have a bright future. I don’t think our chances of Landing a star this summer is good. But in a another year or two we might be a prime destination for a star.

    I think BI maybe the closest to becoming a home grown star. He has had some serious growth spurts this year. Besides the versatility to play one through three his offensive game has been evolving quite quickly over the season and for a 20 year old his defense is very good. By the end of next season we may not need more then one star.

    Kuzma on the other had took a step back but I think it’s just temporary. First he hit the dreaded rookie wall. Most of the time it takes awhile to develop an NBA body unless your Josh Hart who Already had one. The league now has a book on him now. He will need to adjust to the adjustments. I think he will. He has shown signs of just that the last few games. One thing I would like to see is Kuz getting some more run at the 3. They say your position is the position you can defend. While a bit simplistic there is some truth. I’m thinking ahead to what happens if we don’t get an all star. I have this fantasy of a line up with Ball, BI, Kuz, Randle and a rim protector behind them. That could be amazing. BI has shown the ability to defend guards Kuz has a offensive game that translates to SF if he can defend the SF, man that line could rock.

    Randle is another that has shown multiple growth spurts. He has become a more efficient beast inside and his defensive improvement this year is off the charts. If he can just develop a reliable 10 to 15 ft jumper and even a adequate 3 point shot he’s another guy the could become a star sooner then later.

    Poor Josh Hart, first his teammates won’t high five him(I think that’s hilarious) and then playing in the shadow of Lonzo and Kuz he hasn’t received much pub. Yet I would venture to say that in a redraft he just might be a lottery pick. He has shown tremendous growth over the last 20 games. He has everything it takes to become a very special 3 and D guy.

    Lonzo showed signs of improving offense before he was hurt. He already was running the show, rebounding and playing D before he was hurt. If he can stay healthy he will be the catalyst for another overall team growth spurt.

    Even if we don’t get a star this year. By the end of 2019 we could have our pick of them or just wait until 2020 and add AD to this group. We easily could become a legit contender.

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 1:33 PM on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      MH, kinda tired of waiting. Hope the Iron is hot for us this summer.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:12 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent post, Michael. I agree that the focus on the Lakers always seems to be what they don’t have rather than what they do have. Here’s my assessment what we have:

      1. Future starters and All-Stars under contract: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma
      2. Future quality role players under contract: Josh Hart, Thomas Brant
      3. Future elite role players who are free agents: Julius Randle

      That’s a pretty solid core of 6 young players under 23-years old.

      All we need is a starting 2 and 5 and backup 1 and 3.
      PG & NN and IT & TA.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:26 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Michael, I couldn’t agree more on your take of Ingram. If he keeps this up all year it will make sliding him over to the 2 to accommodate (hopefully) Paul George’s arrival a lot easier. He can hang with all but the quickest of players and he’ll out-length all but the tallest.

      I also agree on Randle. I’ll settle for BI like improvement with his outside shot. Hit those 15-20 footers for a good while, then step out to the three point line. He also needs to take them to make them. It’s often his 4th or 5th option but when he rears up and lets fly, like with his free throws, he’s a lot better.

      I think Josh Hart would be a lottery pick in a re-draft. What I really wonder is if we would end up with Donovan Mitchell or if Philly would have him now in said re-draft. Love his demeanor and he plays, solid guy to have on the team.

      I’m more dubious of Ball’s offense than others but I’m also squarely of the opinion it doesn’t matter. He only needs to score enough to force the defense to guard him off of screens which means over the summer he’ll need to get better at coming off of screens. If we keep IT Jr that is the one, tiny little bright spot I could see is if Thomas can help him get better at P&R.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:36 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with both of your assessments of Randle but not Ingram, whom is not a good fit to play the 2. Paul George is a much better fit at the 2 than Brandon Ingram. Right now, Ingram is far better playing the 3 than chasing defenders through gauntlets of screens. PG is also a much better catch-and-shoot player who can play without the ball coming off screens whereas almost all of Ingram’s shot attempts come off isolation drives and pull ups.

      • tate793

        tate793 11:20 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Who the heck is IT Jr?

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 9:59 PM on February 15, 2018 Permalink  

    Zubac 

    Aloha,

    That’s 3 games now that we played well against the T Wolves only to lose down the stretch. Having Butler is a big plus I guess. But there were some good performances. Zubac was great. I would give up Brooks’s 3 pointers if he played the way Zubac did tonight. Zubac played big man ball while Brook doesn’t play big that much anymore. I was also impressed with Zubac’s defense against Towns. He forced him to pass out of the post several times. Everyone wants to see more of Bryant but outside of the 3 point shot Zubac has been better then Bryant in most other areas in the G league games I’ve watched. They both have upside and I hope we hold on to both.

    Randle had another strong game as well. He also played great defense against Towns. The guy is just a beast and I’m so glad that we didn’t trade him. Maybe Luke should have played Zu and Randle more together because Gibson was having his way with Lopez and Kuz. We could have put Randle on Gibson. Neither Kuz or Lopez brought much offense tonight. Brandon wasn’t as good as some of the previous games but I thought he was okay. Kind of got use to the level he had been playing at. But KCP made up for it with his best game in weeks. I think this was a game we win before the trade because IT was bad. 3 for 15 is not going to cut it. I think Luke rode him too long. It was his missed shots and turnovers in the 4th that really killed us. Hopefully a little rest, practice and a Healthy roster will translate into some good wins after the break.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:12 PM on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Michael, Zubac played great, as if he had no rust. Active on the glass, using his vertical defense and moving his feet. Best game since last year. It’s on him to make the most of the vacuum left by Larry. Loved when he went to the floor and forced that turnover. Made free throws, hit his shots. Solid.

      Randle in the starting line up has been great. I wish he had been there all season but I think in some ways it forged that edge better. AT a y rate, my new hope is for Randle to develop abetter 4th quarter game. He has no adjustment to when they key in on him and double/triple team him in the post. He’s either gotta kick faster or pull it back out and reset. He’s at his worst when he plays in one dimension, or along straight lines. Don’t be the Rook, at least be the Bishop or, better yet, the Knight. Although Rooks can be a force to be reckoned with…

      Josh Hart continues to be a revelation. IT struggles in the paint and most teams won’t leave him open. He made some great passes tonight, really got that second unit engaged. I has hopes he and Zubac would develop a game together, the bigger the screen the more daylight Thomas gets and he doesn’t need much. Kuzma started well, faded and then got sat in favor of Lopez which I was fairly ‘meh’ about.

      Not that that my ‘meh’ matters, I just feel like down the stretch you either ride Zubac who was killing it or use Kuzma to at least have more than 2 options on his shot attempts (whether they fall or not). Brook has either plodding post moves that are barely effective in the first quarter or he shoots threes. Anyhow, it is what it was and I wish we had been able to pull it out. It was right there.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:18 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m guessing that this came from the front office. If Zu played well, Brook would be bought out. We’ll see.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 7:34 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Frontline shorthanded with Frye missing..

          • keen observer

            keen observer 7:56 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            True. I’ve always liked Zubac’s potential and still do even in today’s NBA. He stands tall, has soft hands, finishes well and has a smooth stroke. He’s very young and I bet the front office struggles with whether to continue to develop him or if he’s just not in their vision.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 12:46 PM on February 16, 2018 Permalink

              That’s all great, he’s a complimentary player with a group of Perimeter athletes. That’s his ceiling.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 12:53 PM on February 16, 2018 Permalink

              Perhaps, but he turns a whopping 21 next month. Bigs take a long time to develop in the NBA and, with his skill set, he can be the rim protector we need. I also think he can stretch his shooting range. Again, he’s an infant Like I said, I have no idea what plans Magic and Rob have for him, if any, but my extremely amateur eyeballs have always liked his game. You may be right about his ceiling, but if being a quality complimentary player with a bunch of perimeter players is an essential piece for a championship team, i’m buying some Zublocka stock!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:21 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      Good stuff. Julius continues to play like a man possessed. His helter skelter bully ball is leaving bodies in its wake. He has become a very dangerous guy to guard as many defenders are finding out as elbows and bodies crash together. While I thought his on defense on Towns was excellent, he didn’t provide much rim protection and was a -17 in plus/minus, second to worst to Ingram’s -22. I thought this was one of Ingram’s poorest games defensively but I loved how he pushed the ball in transition.

      You never quite know what to expect in these last games before the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the Lakers couldn’t live up to the hope and hype and probably blew their remote chance at sneaking into the playoffs this year with the three road losses. Disappointing but not really a big deal. Lakers are still positioned to be a major player in free agency and trades going forward and their young core is one of the most promising in the league. That’s a lot of progress since Earvin and Rob took over.

      What jumps out about last night’s game and all of our games against the Timberwolves was how having an elite player like Jimmy Butler and a quality veteran like Taj Gibson make all the difference in the world closing out games. We can talk about Ingram and Kuzma showing some potential as closers but they have a long way to go to be in the class of a player like Butler. He was impressive at both ends. As talented as Towns and Wiggins are, the Lakers young talent held their own. The difference was the Wolves vets outplayed the Lakers vets. Kuzma, Thomas, and Lopez were frankly terrible.

      It was fun being able to yell ‘Zu’ every time Ivica scored last night and hopefully this will infuse him with the confidence to work his way back into the young core. Much as I love small ball, sometimes you just need size to hold your own or take an advantage. I also think much of Zubac’s success was directly attributed to Isaiah Thomas’ playmaking skills off the pick and roll, something that is not yet one of Lonzo’s strengths. But what we got from Isaiah last night was move the Cavs’ IT than the Celtics’ version, although I think much of it is still recovering from the hip and conditioning.

      Personnally, I think you can pin the last three losses on our defense. Probably missed Nance some in making smart rotations and the team in general didn’t seem to be in sync on defense. I thought there were inspiring moments on offense, especially in transition with Ingram pushing the ball, but we never seemed to be able to lock down on defense. I also think we were playing over our head without Lonzo and that finally caught up to us in our last three games. Happens to young teams. Can’t take away the great effort without Lonzo but his defense and culture changing playmaking were missed.

      Frankly, I like the Lakers personnel and financial position better than the Timberwolves for several reasons. First, while I love Wiggins and Towns, neither has shown promise as a two-way player whereas I see Ingram and Ball as both potentially being elite two-way players. Throw in Kuzma, Randle, Hart, Zubac, and Bryant and I think the Lakers have a potentially superior offensive and defensive roster. They just need the upgrade for which they’re perfectly positioned to separate themselves from pretenders like the Timberwolves.

      Watching the impact that Butler has had against the Lakers started me wondering whether I would rather have Paul George and say Klay Thompson or Paul George and a healthy Isaiah Thomas, Julius Randle, and Nerlens Noel. There’s no doubt we need a superstar to lean on in the clutch and I think Paul George is the perfect elte player to fulfill that role for the next decade along with our young core. If Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, and Josh have the upside I think they do at both ends of the court, then the Lakers may be smart to be patient and use the cap space for a second star for a trio of second tier stars who could make the team bettter in the long term.

      Bottom line, I go into the All-Star break pleased with where we are as a team and the job done by the front office and coaching staff. I’m excited to see how we play the second half of the season. The week off is exactly what the team needs to regroup and refocus themselves on the taking the game to another level for the rest of the season. I would love to see us finish 15-10 over the remaining 25 games. I would love to see Lonzo rack up a few more triple doubles and Isaiah prove he can be the elite player he was with the Celtics. But most importantly, I want to see the Lakers get back to playing great defense. Go, Lakers!

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