Since Theo Robertson left his post as player development coach to serve as an assistant coach at his alma mater UC Berkeley, Luke Walton and the Lakers have had a spot to fill on the coaching staff. It seems they have made their choice, looking at (another) former Arizona Wildcat to step in:

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In this episode of the Laker Film Room Podcast, Pete and I are thrilled to have Mike Schmitz of Draft Express on to talk about prospects for the upcoming draft. The first part of our discussion focuses on Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and De’Aaron Fox. We get into strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit on the Lakers should they select any of them at #2.

We then move into who Mike likes in the later part of the 1st round and who he might select at pick #28 for the Lakers. Pete also goes into a “lightning round” of prospects who might be available at #28, with Mike giving his insight into each guy. We cap off the discussion with Mike talking some about Brandon Ingram’s growth throughout the year and why Mike remains so high on Ingram as a player.

This was a worthwhile discussion with a lot of great information for Lakers fans to consider as we get ready for the draft. Thanks to Mike for coming on and being so generous with his time. Click through to give the entire episode a listen.

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After Tim DiFrancesco resigned as Strength and Conditioning coach in early May, I was very much interested in who the team would find to replace him. After all, DiFrancesco had earned a lot of support within the Lakers and under the previous front office, and when you add how pivotal a role the person in that position plays, getting this specific hire right is important.

Well, the Lakers announced today they have found that person, naming Gunnar Peterson as their new Director of Strength and Endurance Training.

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The off-season is a time to remake and build up a roster and as a team that has missed the playoffs four straight years the Lakers are a team that needs some improving. Some of that will come from the internal development of recently drafted players, but the rest will come from player acquisition and swaps via the draft, free agency, and trade market.

With that, we recently detailed the types of players/skill sets the Lakers should be looking to add. And we did this using a classic venn diagram:

As I wrote, the hope is to get as many players on the roster as possible who have these skills. But, I know, even this request requires a bit more clarification.

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On Monday night I joined Mo Dakhil on The Jumpball Podcast to talk all things Lakers. Among the topics discussed: the draft, which prospects fit best, the importance of this off-season for D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, what team building approach the front office should take, and more.

After talking Lakers, we also got into the playoffs, talking the conference finals, whether Boston has any chance to make it a series against the Cavs, the end of the Spurs, and the dominance being displayed by the Warriors. I really enjoyed our discussion and would encourage you to give it a listen:

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What you see here is a venn diagram. It is a simple thing you are likely familiar with. You probably used these in elementary school to learn about all types of things.

If you’re not familiar, well, each circle represents a quality and the overlapping portions of those circles means whatever person/place/thing you’re applying the diagram to has more than one of those qualities. The sweet spot is that small triangle looking part in the middle where all three circles overlap.

Got it? Good.

Now, the venn diagram above represents player traits I think are important for any player the Lakers acquire moving forward. Again, this is pretty straight forward, but if you have questions about this, here’s why:

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Considering he’s not even a member of the Lakers, we’ve written plenty about Paul George in these parts. I guess that what happens when there is, supposedly, a mutual affection between team and player to the point that the rumor mill continues to churn.

And churn it does.

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You will not find a more divisive member of the Lakers today than D’Angelo Russell. Opinions of him run the spectrum of hot takes, with full throated endorsements and dissents colliding each day wherever you are. There’s not a single player who inspires as much debate, no, belief that they’ve pegged him not just for what he is, but what he will be as a player.

A quick example: This past Saturday I was checking into a hotel in the Bay Area and one of the employees who handles valet parking saw me rocking my Mitchell and Ness Lakers hat. He asked me if I was a “real” fan or not. I chuckled and said I was legit and then he peppered me with qualifiers — “Real like you’re nervous about the lottery on Tuesday?” Yes, I said. “Real like you didn’t want the Lakers to draft D’Angelo Russell?” — whoa there, buddy. “He’s got a terrible first step, doesn’t pass well…” I stopped him there.

This is how it is with Russell. Like an apparition, you either see it or you don’t. And no matter if you’re on the pro or con side, the person who doesn’t see it has instantly lost some credibility with you.

Fast forward to today and there are rumblings about Russell’s status with the Lakers. After the team retained their pick and the prospects of Lonzo Ball (or, in what would be a minor miracle, Markelle Fultz) becoming a Laker is now perfectly plausible, Russell’s name is starting to be muttered in the same sentence with words like expendable. The reasoning goes something like “who needs Russell now that you’re going to get Ball? Ball is the PG of the future, not Russell, trade him for someone better!”*

Full stop.

This is a mistake.

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