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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:38 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

    The Lakers and D’Angelo Russell reportedly have scheduled a meeting 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:36 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

    Can L.A. Lakers Make a Winning Case to Kawhi Leonard? 

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:21 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Uhhhhhhh, we just landed ANTHONY DAVIS, so YES.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 3:15 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The problem with the mystery that is Kawhi is you just don’t know what kinda pitch will resonate with him. Lebron/AD/Kobe sitting at the table could make the difference or it could drive him away. The experience/familiarity/trust and winning factor in Toronto could lead him to stay or he mighta never had any intention of staying no matter what. The lesser spotlight in Clipperville could do the trick or he might see it as hurting his “brand” (fact check: nobody’s ever buying New Balance basketball gear regardless of where you play..lol). You just don’t know…

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 5:39 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Stop thinking like a man lol. It’s his wife who will tip the scale. Jeanie and Linda should be busy wining and dining his wife, introducing her to all the exclusive places that only influence and reputation can get at. Work all the angles, it ain’t all about basketball. :D

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 5:55 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Very true..if Mama ain’t happy then nobody’s happy!
        That’s also one of the main reasons Lebron ended up here. But Mrs Kawhi could be a weirdo just like him. Do you pair her up with Jeanie’s crew or with Savannah James? lol

        • Seely_Iggy (Director)

          Seely_Iggy (Director) 6:21 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Exactly! Mrs James is happy, Lebron can focus on basketball. Why choose between Jeanie and Savannah. The more the merrier. Sisterhoods need numbers to make it a real support network.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 8:55 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I did research on Ms. Shipley…it’s not looking good :(

      Leonard attended San Diego State University as did Shipley and it’s believed the two met there. She has a degree in Public Administration.

      Like Leonard, Shipley is a very private person and prefers to keep out of the limelight. She doesn’t have any public Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts.

      In fact, the two are so private there is some confusion about their marital status. In a 2016 interview, ESPN referred to Shipley as Leonard’s “fiancée.” However, it has never been confirmed if they ever got engaged. There have also been conflicting reports about how many children they have.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 8:59 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        lol…that’s why you let Savannah take her out instead of Jeanie.
        She waited til 2011 for Lebron to put a ring on it…

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:24 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

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

      Wow, Russell wins hands down with 47% to 23% for Lonzo, 17% for Ingram, and 12% for Julius. The killer is I threw away my DLo jersey. LOL.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 3:20 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This constant Laker nostalgia thing has led us to bad decisions in the past. I’m not against signing him but it’s gotta be at the right price. He’s gonna get other offers for close to that 27mill max.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:15 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

    Kawhi… Wanna sign with us? 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:25 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

    If we can’t get a max player then bring D’Angelo Russell back 

    • Magic Phil

      Magic Phil 9:07 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      DAR for $22mi? Instead of Danny Green for $12mi?
      Are you guys on dope?

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:05 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      For me if we don’t sign Kawhi I think this would be the 2nd best option. We would be a better team with Dlo and say Danny Green or JJ then we would be with just Kyrie or Kemba alone. Or You could a couple of ring chaser with the 12 mil because to get a good ones you will need more then the Vet min.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:21 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aloha, Michael,

        DLo and Green have now moved to the #2 spot on my big board too. Word is the Lakers have already setup a meeting with D’Angelo. Russell would have to lower his usage but I think it could be a great combination. Offensively, D’Angelo is an elite shooter and playmaker and he has 6′ 5″ size with a 6′ 9″ wingspan so he would be harder to isolate defensively than Kyrie or Kemba.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:12 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s an age thing. DLO still has room to get better. His age lines up better with AD.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 12:52 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        His age, size, and durability with an upward trajectory is why I’d take him over Kyrie and Kemba.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:03 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I agree, Sean, but there are also two other areas that I believe are important considerations that make D’Angelo a better prospect to join the Lakers than Kyrie, not even counting that DLo would leave us enough cap space to sign an elite defender at the 2 to help balance the backcourt.

          The first is chemistry. Assuming Kyrie does leave the Celtics, that’s two teams where his departures were almost considered to be addition by subtraction. His negative impact on the Celtics was close to cancerous as you can get on a professional basketball team. I wouldn’t invest in him long term on the Lakers because of that. I don’t trust his sense of loyalty or maybe it’s that I don’t think he understands what loyalty is.

          The second is usage. The Lakers already have two 30% usage players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The last thing they need is another player who needs to have the ball in his hands. It’s why I always had Malcolm Brogdon and Jimmy Butler, who were 20% usage players, rated higher on my big board than Kyrie, Kemba, or D’Angelo. While I can see D’Angelo adjusting his game and usage to fit with LeBron and AD, I don’t see Kyrie being able or willing to do that. It’s just not in his ego. It’s why he left LeBron and the Cavs. Russell, on the other hand, is young enough to defer more to LeBron and AD out of respect as they were two players he originally had on his Mt. Rushmore of players he would like to play with. I can see him making the adjustment for the team far more easily than I could imagine Kyrie ever doing.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 3:09 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good points.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:23 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink |  

    ‘He’s better now’: Magic Johnson says Lakers should bring back D’Angelo Russell 

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. — D’Angelo Russell lasted as the youthful face of the Lakers for just shy of 24 months. Then, the legendary point guard he was compared to as a teenager took over the team’s basketball operations, questioned Russell’s ability as a leader and abruptly traded him to the Brooklyn Nets in a salary-cap-clearing move.

    Now Russell is an All-Star, and he will enter restricted free agency on Sunday at the same time that, in a pretzel of fate and irony, the Lakers have enough cap space to afford him. There have been reports that both sides could be interested in what would be one of the NBA’s most unexpected reunions.

    While such a second marriage has perhaps gained recent support among fans, here’s another name to add to the list of those in favor: Earvin Johnson.

    Yes, Magic. The very man who deemed Russell unfit for the Lakers would welcome a return.

    “He’s better now,” Johnson told The Athletic on Monday night, tapping his right temple with an index finger as he stood in a parking lot outside the NBA Awards at the Santa Monica Airport. “He’s a different player. He’s more mature.”

    Johnson was honored with the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award alongside his friend and nemesis Larry Bird. The two Hall of Famers faced off in three NBA Finals, with the Lakers winning in 1985 and ’87.

    On the red carpet, Jeanie Buss said Johnson’s abrupt resignation as president of basketball operations on April 9 was a “surprise” and that she “didn’t see it coming.”

    Johnson has maintained a large presence in the Lakers universe since quitting. Since then, he has both accused general manager Rob Pelinka of “backstabbing” and questioned the organization’s power structure, but he has also tweeted his enthusiastic support of the trade Pelinka executed to land Anthony Davis.

    While he no longer pulls the strings guiding the direction of the franchise, Johnson hopes his voice will still carry some weight even though he said he has not discussed free agency with Buss.

    “I haven’t talked to her directly,” Johnson said. “I’ve sent messages, I’ve left her messages. … I call her assistant or whoever and just like I say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do A.D.’ I left them all a message: ‘You’ve got to do it.’ Because now you’re set for 10 years, even after LeBron. And I’m glad they did it.”

    That move gutted the Lakers’ young core. Pursuing Russell once free agency hits on Sunday would, in the most roundabout way, restore one of its earliest members.

    Russell was one of the first pieces of that now-bygone core, averaging 13.2 points per game as a rookie in 2015-16 and 15.6 points in his second season. He clashed with coach Luke Walton, however, and his tenure in Los Angeles was marred by a leaked video he took that showed teammate Nick Young discussing infidelities.

    It was in the middle of that sophomore campaign that Johnson and Pelinka were tabbed to replace Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, the front office that had made Russell the surprise No. 2 choice in the 2015 draft. Johnson was determined to rid the Lakers of the most crippling contracts Kupchak and Buss had left them, starting with Timofey Mozgov.

    On June 20, 2017, the Lakers traded Russell and Mozgov to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez and his expiring contract. Johnson laughed when it was pointed out to him that the Lakers could essentially use that cap space to sign Russell.

    Still just 23, Russell became a first-time All-Star last season in Brooklyn, averaging career highs of 21.1 points and seven assists. He will be a restricted free agent, meaning that Brooklyn would be able to match any offer. The most the Lakers or any other team could pay him is expected to be around $27 million, based on cap projections. However, recent reports have indicated the Nets landing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant is increasingly likely, paving the way for Russell’s exit.

    The Lakers are also dreaming big.

    After agreeing to trade for Anthony Davis, the Lakers have roughly either $24 or $28 million in cap space, depending on whether the freed Pelicans star is willing to waive a trade kicker.

    Much of last week was occupied by analysts questioning whether Pelinka, in his zeal to complete the Davis deal, had overlooked certain nuances of the salary cap and made it more difficult to create space for another max player. But sources said the Lakers remain confident they can get close enough to the roughly $32 million needed to sign a player like Irving or Kemba Walker to a max deal — by dumping the contracts of Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones — if they get a commitment from a top-tier player.

    If not? That’s when Johnson says the Lakers should look Russell’s way — “after the super-superstar” options are off the board.

    “Now he’s ready,” Johnson said. “He’s much more mature. I said the only thing, he was immature back then. He could always score, but the guys would never play with him because of what he did (with the Young video). But now all those guys are gone and he’s on another level now.”

    If the Lakers are not able to lure a third max star next to Davis and LeBron James, the Lakers will have to get creative divvying up contracts.

    Johnson suggested more players the Lakers could pursue in such a scenario: Portland’s Seth Curry, Milwaukee’s Nikola Mirotic, Philadelphia’s J.J. Redick and Toronto’s Danny Green.

    “There’s guys like that,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of guys. So we can’t be just saying, ‘Hey if we don’t get Kemba, if we don’t get so and so, it was a disaster.’ No. You’ve still got to fill out a lot of these roster spots.”

    Johnson made a choice to no longer make these decisions. But, being Magic, he continues to have opinions. If nothing else, on Monday he offered a glimpse of how he would have attacked this offseason and, perhaps, a road map for those he left behind.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 9:01 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dear Magic -- please shut up and go away. Thanks.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 9:25 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No kidding.
        Ever since taking the POBO gig, everything he’s said and done has made me cringe.

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever 10:17 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          He’s been making me cringe since his time on ESPN. Realized he didn’t follow the NBA at all and it was his job. smh

          • mclyne32 (Director) 2:16 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I’ve switched to Kobe as my favorite all time Laker because of the things that have come out of Magic’s mouth since retirement.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:56 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    18 year old LeBron James hits 5 straight full court shots 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:48 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 8:59 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  


  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:46 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Sources tell me D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers is a done deal 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:47 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kid’s been right several times. The big question is for how much? If it leaves enough to get Green or Redick, that would be great. Assuming Kawhi is not coming, of course.

    • p ang

      p ang 9:14 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If true that’s one big FU Magic from Rob and DLo.

      What next, Big Zu returning?

    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:26 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sauces are always right!

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:50 PM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure how reliable this Arye dude is but this tweet isn’t even from him. Look at the hashtags and the name. We gotta be better with our due diligence…

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:42 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Your 2019 NBA MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:38 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    The 2018-19 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year is… Jon Horst 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:58 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Ben Sullivan should be the Lakers target as their lead offensive assistant coach 

    Ben Sullivan is an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Sullivan has gone from a video intern with the San Antonio Spurs, despite having no NBA background, to a respected and praised shooting coach around the league.

    Sullivan is now in a critical role with the Bucks, helping a team that shoots more three-pointers than almost anyone else in the league while working with Giannis Antetokounmpo, an MVP candidate whose one weakness is shooting.

    He’s now at a fascinating intersection with the Bucks, in a pivotal role as a shooting coach. The Bucks are an offensive juggernaut who rely on the three-point shot more than almost any team in the league. And yet, they are led by an MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo who has just one weakness — he struggles shooting.

    With Sullivan’s help, the Bucks have become one of the NBA’s most dynamic teams. He is trying to help bring them to the next level.

    “Ben is an assistant coach — he’s not just a Giannis coach, he’s not just a shooting coach,” Horst said. “He brings value to Bud and his staff and to our whole product … I think he’s a really good young coach that has a bright future.”

    Sullivan said he’s still so astonished by making it in the NBA that he doesn’t consider his future in the league. Will he remain a shooting coach? Does he have higher ambitions? He said those thoughts sometimes pop up during offseasons, but during the season, he’s focused on his goals.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:23 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This was the second step in searching for offensive mined assistant coach that the Lakers could add to their staff as their offensive coordinator or guru. While Frank Vogel has adjusted his vision of NBA offense to embrace pace and space and an outside-in attack, his strength and that of Ron Adams is obviously defense. The search led me to this article on Ben Sullivan, a 35-year old assistant coach who started out as a video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs 7 years ago.

      In 2013-14, Sullivan accompanied Mike Budenholzer when he took over the head coaching gig with the Atlanta Hawks and then follow Coach Bud to Milwaukee and is now the Buck’s shooting coach and has been primarily responsible for revolutionizing the Bucks offense with their combination of MoreyBall and Pace and Space offense. He is also the coach who’s built a strong relationship with Antetokounmpo and helped him improve his three-point shooting.

      Like they just did with the Warriors Ron Adams, the Lakers should request permission to speak to Ben Sullivan about a position on Frank Vogel’s staff as the lead offensive assistant and shooting coach. His Spurs and Bucks background and success in revamping the Bucks offense with Coach Bud make him the perfect candidate to do the same with the Lakers. Hopefully, Frank Vogel is looking at the top assistants with an offensive background and will spot Ben and make a pitch to bring him aboard.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:33 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Also nice to have a coach on the staff whom Giannis loves.
        Then we won’t need to keep Jason Kidd any longer.
        Ben Sullivan for offensive lead and Ron Adams for defensive lead.

    • havoc

      havoc 9:43 AM on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The only question i see here is why would he come to the Lakers when all along he has accompanied Budenholzer wherever he went and has played a major role in how Milwaukee Offense operated..he has good relationship with Budenholzer and Giannis..it will be a mile wide long to convince him in jumping ship with the Lakers

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:43 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    The MoreyBall Revolution! 

    Last year, the Bucks attempted just 24.7 3-pointers per game (25th-most in the league). Under Budenholzer, they have pumped up their long-range volume to 37.8 3-pointers per game, second-most in the NBA this season (trailing only the Houston Rockets).
    But Budenholzer has done more than just open the 3-point flood gates in Milwaukee this year: He has engineered a sea change in shot selection.

    “I think there’s a lot of focus on how many 3s [we are taking], but hopefully we’re having the best of everything,” Budenholzer said to The Athletic. “If you’re an efficient offense, you’re getting to the basket. You’re getting to the paint. You’re getting to the free-throw line. And you’re shooting a bunch of 3s.”

    This season, the Bucks have done more to modernize their shot chart than any other team in the league, as shown in these year-to-year charts.1 Their share of shots taken at the rim or behind the 3-point line — referred to as the Moreyball Rate, after Houston general manager Daryl Morey — has jumped by 16 percentage points, according to data compiled by PBP Stats. Correspondingly, their average 2-pointer is being attempted from a shorter distance, about 2.5 feet closer to the hoop. And everybody on the team is cutting back on midrange jumpers.

    The Bucks’ transformations in Moreyball Rate and 2-point shot distance are the biggest changes by any team in the NBA from last season to this one. In fact, the Bucks’ sudden modernization is among the most drastic changes in shot selection by any team during the entire era of play-by-play data (available since 2001-02).

    Appropriately, Morey produced the biggest Moreyball makeover in league history during Houston’s 2012-13 season, James Harden’s first with the team.

    For the Bucks, the advantage of being laggards in the Moreyball revolution has been an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of their competitors. Seth Partnow, now Milwaukee’s director of basketball research, wrote for Vice Sports in 2016 that creating makeable shots takes more than just jacking threes and driving headlong into the lane. “Three-pointers and shots at the rim are indicators of good offense, but they’re not good offense in a vacuum, and teams that use them as targets should be wary of putting the cart before the horse. Those are good shots in theory. In practice, the best shots are the ones the personnel on hand can make.”

    Fundamentally, the Bucks have achieved their impressive offensive efficiency on the strength of the two principles of Budenholzer’s offensive philosophy: pace and space.

    Budenholzer’s emphasis on court spacing has been emblemized by the image of five “stand-here” squares he had taped to the floor of the Bucks practice court, surrounding the 3-point line. By initiating their offensive possessions with all five players outside the 3-point line, the Bucks leave more space for Antetokounmpo to attack the basket. Once Antetokounmpo draws attention around the basket, he’s free to kick the ball out to open 3-point shooters in space. It’s a positive feedback loop that yields easier shots for Antetokounmpo and his teammates.

    The Bucks’ improved floor spacing has been facilitated by some shrewd front-office maneuvers. The team signed capable stretch bigs Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova on team-friendly contracts while at the same time cutting ties with paint-clogging centers Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and, most recently, John Henson.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:08 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This article is timely in that Mike Budenholzer was just announced as the 2018-19 NBA Coach of the Year. It’s also part of my personal search to find a candidate for Frank Vogel’s staff who could be the lead offenseive coach. I sent a message Tim McCranjis of B-BallIndex asking if he would recommend any young asisstant coaches who would be right for the Lakers and he responded to look at the staffs of Utah, Milwaukee, and Dallas. So I started with Milwaukee because of Coach Bud and because of how he revolutionized their offense last year.

      This led to this article from 538 about the MoreyBall Revolution, which not only talked about how the Bucks followed the general design that Daryl Morey had given to the Rockets, which focused on scoring points via threes, layups, and free throws but smartly integrated pace and space principles to improve the quality of the shots that were taken. The beauty of the system for the Bucks was how it unleashed their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who like the Lakers’ LeBron James needed space to unleash his game at its best. The transformation that Coach Bud and his staff were able to accomplish with the Bucks was exactly what the Lakers under Frank Vogel need to do to unleash LeBron and AD.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:34 PM on June 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    The 2018-19 NBA Coach of the Year is… Mike Budenholzer 

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